Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Draft 2011 Round 1 #19 New York Giants CB Prince Amukamara says-

Amukamara has the size, speed and awareness to start from day one and turn into one of the league’s finer players at the cornerback position. Takes advantage of his instincts and smarts in zone coverage but also has the ability to hold up when asked to cover on an island. Possesses good overall ball skills and hands. Will help out and support the run. Durable, aggressive, competitive and hard-working. No major weaknesses in his game, but isn’t a true burner in terms of straight-line speed. Amukamara will likely be selected early in the first round, possibly in the top 10.


One last time with feeling- Nebraska beats Kansas State 48-13

The Cornhuskers will join the Big 10 next season. From AP-

Instead of resenting No. 7 Nebraska for leaving the Big 12, maybe Kansas State should thank the Cornhuskers.

Who wants to keep playing a team that always beats you silly?

Quarterback Taylor Martinez rushed for 241 yards and four touchdowns and Nebraska ended a 99-year rivalry in the same lopsided fashion it began, thrashing the slower, outmanned Wildcats 48-13 on Thursday night.

Martinez, a redshirt freshman, pushed his five-game rushing total to 737 yards and also threw a 79-yard scoring pass for the Huskers (5-0), who head off for the Big Ten next year with an domineering overall record against Kansas State (4-1) of 78-15-2.

Unbeaten in their first four games and with senior running back Daniel Thomas averaging 157 yards per game, Kansas State fans had hoped to send the Huskers out the Big 12 door with a loss.

But the Wildcats were helpless against such offensive and defensive speed and the night belonged to Martinez. He broke the team record for rushing yards by a quarterback and tied the team mark for rushing TDs by a quarterback while Thomas was held to 63 yards on 22 carries.

“Pretty much everything we ran was clicking pretty good,” Martinez said. “I was making the right reads. I just do what I can do — make plays.”

Martinez rushing performance was the best ever by a Cornhusker QB but only the 8th best by any Nebraska player.

Kansas State until fairly recent had the worst record of any Division I school. So the lopsidedness of their series with Nebraska isn’t very surprising.


Report: Big Ten Makes Expansion Offers To Four Colleges

If this report from a Kansas City sports radio station is to believed, the Big Ten Conference is thinking big when it comes to expansion:

big_ten_mini_pennant_set_23109bigThe Big Ten Conference has extended initial offers to join the league to four universities including Missouri and Nebraska from the Big 12, according to multiple sources close to the negotiations.

While nothing can be approved until the Big Ten presidents and chancellors meet the first week of June in Chicago, the league has informed the two Big 12 schools, Notre Dame and Rutgers that it would like to have them join. It is not yet clear whether the Big Ten will expand to 14 or 16 teams but sources indicated Missouri and Nebraska are invited in either scenario.  Notre Dame has repeatedly declined the opportunity to join the Big Ten.  If Notre Dame remains independent, Rutgers would be the 14th team.  The Big Ten would then decide whether to stop at 14 or extend offers to two other schools.  If Notre Dame joins, sources say an offer will be extended to one other school making it a 16-team league.

All four are interesting choices, for different reasons.

Notre Dame, of course, is a prize that the Big Ten has been pursuing for years, but it’s always been the one that got away. Given their lucrative television contract and national fan base, remaining independent has always seemed to be to Notre Dame’s advantage. Times are changing, though, and the Fighting Irish aren’t what they used to be. Putting them at the center of a conference where they would be instantly competitive might just be what’s needed to reinvigorate a program still hurting from the Charlie Weis years.

Rutgers seems like a odd choice at first because of it’s geographic distance from the rest of the Conference, but there are two reasons why it makes sense. Under Greg Schiano, the Rutgers football program (and make no mistake, this expansion is mostly geared toward football) has become credible in a way that it never was before. When I attended there in the late 80s and the Scarlet Knights played a rare game against Michigan State, it was an occasion for laughter in Lansing, Michigan. Not anymore. Second, bringing in Rutgers gives the Big Ten access to two of the biggest media markets in the country, which would be a big deal for both football and basketball.

As for Missouri and Nebraska, it’s interesting that the Big Ten would be so brazen about poaching from the Big 12, but both schools would be excellent additions on the football side to a conference that has come to be dominated in recent years by Ohio State and Penn State. Bringing the Tigers and Cornhuskers into the conference, along with Rutgers and Notre Dame, would instantly make football season much more competitive.

All in all, this seems like a smart move for the Big Ten.


NFL Draft 2010 – Round 1 #2 – Detroit Lions- DT Ndamukong Suh

I think Suh is a safer pick than Bradford. writes- Suh is an excellent combination of size, strength and athleticism. He isn’t a massive body but has enough power to play as a nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme or as a 4-3 defense tackle or end. He utilizes excellent hand strength and quickness to control defenders. Suh is often unblockable for one offensive lineman and draws many double teams from opposing offenses. He shows great range to make plays outside the tackle box and is quick to shed blockers to get to the ball. Suh is a disruptive lineman that can create havoc with penetration versus the running game. Suh has developed an expanded pass rush package with counters coming off his initial power move. His production, power, athleticism, technique and versatility make him arguably the best interior defender in this years draft. Suh is a dominating player that projects as an impact defender in his rookie season.


2010 NCAA Women’s Tournament Bracket

Here it is-

2010 Women's bracket

Like with the Men’s tournament, I’ll take a shot at making some guesses predictions in the women’s also.


Are you ready for some bowling? II

No I’m not talking about some middle aged man propelling a ball at some objects at the end of a lane, but the games that climax every college football season. Bowl season officially starts this afternoon, here are the matchups for all the college football fanatics out there.

Note- I gave the shortened name version of all the upcoming games. Also I listed what broadcast network would be televising the game and what time they would be coming on the air. All times are Eastern Standard.

Dec 19

New Mexico- Fresno State vs. Wyoming 4:30 p.m. ESPN
St. Petersburg- Central Florida vs. Rutgers 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 20

R+L Carriers New Orleans- Southern Miss vs. Middle Tennessee 8:30 p.m. ESPN

Dec 22

MAACO Las Vegas- Oregon State vs. BYU 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 23

Poinsettia- Utah vs. Cal 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 24

Sheraton Hawaii- Nevada vs. SMU 8 p.m. ESPN
Dec 26

Little Caesars- Marshall vs. Ohio 1 p.m. ESPN
Meineke- Pitt vs. North Carolina 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Emerald- Boston College vs. USC 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 27

Music City- Kentucky vs. Clemson 8:30 p.m. ESPN

Dec 28

Independence- Texas A&M vs. Georgia 5 p.m. ESPN2

Dec 29

EagleBank- UCLA vs. Temple 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Champs Sports- Miami vs. Wisconsin 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 30

Humanitarian- Bowling Green vs. Idaho 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Holiday- Arizona vs. Nebraska 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 31

Armed Forces- Houston vs. Air Force Noon ESPN
Sun- Oklahoma vs. Stanford 2 p.m. CBS
Texas- Navy vs. Missouri 3:30 p.m. ESPN
Minnesota vs. Iowa State 6 p.m. NFL Network
Chick-fil-A- Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee 7:30 p.m. ESPN

Jan 1

Outback- Northwestern vs. Auburn 11 a.m. ESPN
Capital One- Penn State vs. LSU 1 p.m. ABC
Gator- West Virginia vs. Florida State 1 p.m. CBS
Rose Bowl- Ohio State vs. Oregon 4:30 p.m. ABC
Sugar- Cincinnati vs. Florida 8:30 p.m. FOX

Jan 2

International- South Florida vs. Northern Illinois Noon ESPN2 South Carolina vs. UConn 2 p.m. ESPN
Cotton- Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss 2 p.m. FOX
Liberty- Arkansas vs. East Carolina 5:30 p.m. ESPN
Valero Alamo- Michigan State vs. Texas Tech 9 p.m. ESPN

Jan 4

Fiesta- Boise State vs. TCU 8 p.m. FOX

Jan 5

FedEx Orange- Iowa vs. Georgia Tech 8 p.m. FOX

Jan 6th

GMAC- Central Michigan vs. Troy 7 p.m. ESPN

Jan 7th

BCS National Championship Game- Texas vs. Alabama Jan. 7 8 p.m.

Some random notes on the above 34 games

*- 19 of the 34 games are not scheduled till Dec. 31st or later. I guess college football fanatics are expected to flip channels very quickly on those 3 days(Dec 31-Jan 2) when 15 games are being aired.
*- What a downer must it be for Oregon State players and fans. A few weeks ago they were one win from a Rose Bowl trip. Instead they lost to Oregon and are playing in a minor bowl before Christmas.
*- The NFL network televises a college football game. I guess that’s the cable sports equivalent of the Sci-Fi channel showing wrestling….
*- The bowls are now set where now certain conference finishers are locked into the same bowl games every year. I understand why the current system is done, but I prefer the day when bowl games would have greater variance from year to year. The Peach bowl would usually invite a ACC or SEC school but they could be creative, like when they invited Army and Illinois. Wouldn’t a SEC team against BYU or Wyoming be nice for a change?
*- Bobby Bowden’s farewell game is against the same school(West Virginia) that he left before coming to Florida State. I do know FSU and WV have played at least twice previously in bowls during the Bowden-Florida State era.


Are you ready for some bowling?

No I’m not talking about some middle aged man propelling a ball at some objects at the end of a lane, but the games that climax every college football season. Bowl season officially starts this Saturday, here are the matchups for all the college football fanatics out there.

Dec 20
Eaglebank Bowl- Wake Forest vs Navy
New Mexico Bowl- Colorado State vs Fresno St
MAGICJACK ST. PETERSBURG BOWL- Memphis vs. South Florida
PIONEER LAS VEGAS BOWL- Brigham Young vs Arizona
Dec 21
Dec 23
Dec 24
SHERATON HAWAII BOWL- Hawaii vs Notre Dame
Dec 26
MOTOR CITY BOWL- Florida Atlantic vs. Central Michigan
Saturday, December 27
MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL- West Virginia vs. North Carolina
Champs Sports Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Florida State
Emerald Bowl- Miami (FL) vs. California
December 28
Independence Bowl- Northern Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech
PAPAJOHNS.COM BOWL- North Carolina State vs. Rutgers
Valero Alamo Bowl- Missouri vs. No. 23 Northwestern
Tuesday, December 30
PACIFIC LIFE HOLIDAY BOWL- Oklahoma State vs. No. 17 Oregon
Texas Bowl- Western Michigan vs. Rice
Wednesday, December 31
Sun Bowl- Oregon State vs. Pittsburgh
GAYLORD HOTELS MUSIC CITY BOWL- Boston College vs. Vanderbilt
Insight Bowl- Kansas vs. Minnesota
CHICK-FIL-A BOWL- LSU vs. Georgia Tech
Thursday, January 1
OUTBACK BOWL- South Carolina vs. Iowa
CAPITAL ONE BOWL- Georgia vs. Michigan State
Gator Bowl- Nebraska vs. Clemson
Rose Bowl- Penn State vs. USC
Fedex Orange Bowl- Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech
Friday, January 2
Cotton Bowl- Mississippi vs. Texas Tech
AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL- Kentucky vs. East Carolina
January 3
INTERNATIONAL BOWL- Buffalo vs. Connecticut
January 5
TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL- Ohio State vs. Texas
January 6
GMAC Bowl- Ball State vs. Tulsa*
January 8

That’s 34 games, 68 schools spread over a period of 20 days for those of you keeping score at home. An ample supply of college football for any fanatics out there.

A few notes

*- There are a few bowl games remaining without corporate names in their title. Gator, Sun, Texas, Independence. Were these games unable to find sponsors?
*- Will Oklahoma St. and Oregon combine for 70 pts or more in the Holiday Bowl? This annually has been of the most high scoring affairs.
*- Oh how has the Orange Bowl dropped. A game that featured early triumphs of Joe Paterno led Penn State, Nebraska and Oklahoma in their glory days, the first major bowl appearance of Florida State, and the all time classic 84 battle between Nebraska and Miami, has Cincinnati and Virginia Tech playing this year. I’m sure they are talented football teams, but how many people are drooling to see them play in a prime-time network slot?
*- Arizona and BYU meet in a bowl 30 years after the former left the WAC conference for the higher profile Pac Eight(Now Ten, Arizona State joined also)
*- Vanderbilt makes a rare bowl appearance. Congratulations to Commodore fans, but this is a sign of how bowls are grown way out of proportion. 6-6 college teams get bids. When I was growing up I could remember Florida State going without a bowl in 1978 even though they finished the season 8-3.

It is my humble opinion that bowl season has gotten out of hand. Someone may say what’s the big deal? If someone wants to start a bowl game and there are two schools willing to play in it, does their records matter. A good football isn’t only a contest between stars at big name schools.

All true, but how much public money is spent on these affairs? Many of the teams are state universities who get funded by taxpayers. Then there is the game itself where police have to be taken from other tasks to work the day or night of the game or paid over-time.

With the economic downturn right now, you have to wonder if there will be less bowls in the near future. That would depend on how long a deal a corporate sponsor signed on for. I wonder how many fans of some schools plan to make a bowl trip. Are there 1,000 or more FAU Owls willing to journey from Florida to Michigan in December to watch the team play? Even if I were a Owl fan and had money, I’d stay home.

Enjoy the games.


NFL Draft 2007 – Round 1 #13 – St. Louis Rams – DE Adam Carriker

The Rams have selected Nebraska DE Adam Carriker with their first selection in the 2007 NFL Draft.

What the Experts Say: profile:

DE Adam Carriker Photo Player Evaluation: Hard-working and tenacious, Carriker is a smart prospect who could be used at a variety of positions. Looks like a perfect two-gap end, yet may also fit in at defensive tackle. His draft stock is soaring, and he may end up as a top 12 pick.

Biography: Three-year starter awarded All-Conference honors after his junior and senior campaigns. Totals last season were 52/16/7, with one interception and three pass break-ups. Junior totals included 43/17/9.5.

Pos: Physically impressive prospect who plays an intelligent brand of football. Instinctive and immediately locates the ball. Moves laterally with speed defending the run and has a burst upfield rushing the quarterback. Makes plays in all directions, immediately altering his angle of attack or redirecting to ball handlers. Flashes power and wraps-up tackling.

Neg: Stymied at the point of attack by a single blocker. Stands to develop more moves to disengage from opponents.


It’s the best of the best worlds for St. Louis fans, as the Rams filled a pressing need by drafting an excellent player and no one should be happier than Leonard Little. Though Carriker isn’t fast enough to consistently turn the corner, he has the quickness to prevent blockers from getting into good position and he already shows a good variety of pass rush moves. His ability to get after the quarterback should make it more difficult for teams to adjust their pass protections to account for Little. Carriker could have an even bigger impact on the run defense.

Few young players use their hands and shed blocks as well as Carriker. He’s also big enough to hold his own at the point of his attack and the non-stop motor to make plays in pursuit. However, no prospect is perfect and there is a reason he was the third defensive end taken in the draft so Carriker has to continue to work on his pass rush moves and work on his ability to protect his legs when blockers try to cut him.


Greatest College Football Team Ever

So as the Bowl season is now in full swing, and we are starting week 2 of the Bowl Games, I figured it would be a good time to bring up the debate of the Greatest College Football team of all time. If you think of all of the great teams throughout history I think the 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers team is at the top (or close to it) on everyone’s list.

Coached by the legendary Tom Osborne this team was loaded on both sides of the ball. Running their traditional triple option nobody was able to stop them, including Florida in the 1995 Fiesta Bowl (National Championship Game). Below is a highlight reel from YouTube, which includes the greatest run ever (by Tommie Frazier when 6 Florida players had him stopped).

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on the greatest college football team ever.


Former Miami Dolphin Fullback Andra Franklin dead at 47


LINCOLN, Neb. · Former Miami Dolphins fullback Andra Franklin died Wednesday in Lincoln of natural causes. He was 47.

Franklin’s body was found by police at his Lincoln apartment. He had heart problems and other health issues in recent years.

He was drafted in the second round by the Dolphins in 1981 and played for four years, starting in Super Bowl XVII against Washington. He is ninth on the team’s all-time rushing list with 2,232 yards and 22 touchdowns from 1981-84.

A knee injury forced him out of the league by the time he turned 26.

Franklin played at Nebraska from 1977-80, rushing for 1,738 yards and 10 touchdowns.

I remember Andra’s days with the Dolphins. How football has changed in 20 years. No Dolphin FB gets more than 5 carries a year now, alone become one of the team’s top rushers.

RIP Andra.


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