Sports Outside the Beltway

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.


On the warpath- Florida St. beats Ohio St. 37-6

The Seminoles advance to the NCAA Baseball super regionals. From AP-

Stephen Cardullo set a tournament record with seven hits, including three of Florida State’s NCAA-record 15 doubles, as the Seminoles routed Ohio State 37-6 on Sunday in the Tallahassee regional and advanced to the super regionals.

“I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it,” Martin said. “We’re sitting there in the fourth inning and I knew we were going to a super regional.”

Florida State (45-16) set NCAA postseason records with 37 runs, 38 hits and 66 total bases, while Cardullo tied the school mark for hits in an offensive performance the football team would’ve been proud of. The Seminoles set or tied 18 NCAA, school or postseason records.

Jason Stidham, the regional’s most outstanding player, hit a two-run double as the Seminoles scored eight times in the first and cruised past the pitching-depleted Buckeyes (42-19), who trailed 32-0 in the fifth.

“Everything they did was right,” said Ohio State coach Bob Todd, who went through seven pitchers in an attempt to stem the rout. “Everything we did was wrong.”

Sounds like it. The Buckeye starter gave up seven runs without recording an out. I’ve never seen 30 runs scored in one game, alone 37.


NFL Draft 2009 Round 4 #108- Miami Dolphins- WR Brian Hartline

Another Wide Receiver who is ranked well down the board by Scouts Inc. analysis-

Positives: Good height and an athletic frame. Good initial quickness off the snap. Better football player than overall athlete. Does a lot of the little things well. Reliable route-runner. Lacks elite burst out of his snaps, but runs them with precision. Good body lean and utilizes head fakes and varying speeds to help generate separation. Good hands. Tough. Will take a big hit and hang on to the ball. Good downfield blocker. Stalks defenders at the second level and can supply a big hit. Experienced special teams player.

Negatives: Lacks the eye-popping athleticism to offer much upside. Doesn’t have the straight-line speed to challenge over the top. Lacks burst out of his breaks. Generally reliable hands, but has some ugly drops when he’s trying to make a move on the defender before securing the pass.

ESPN writes-

Hartline plays with the competitive edge and displays the toughness to go over the middle. He also shows good body control when catching the ball. However, we have some concerns with his fluidity changing directions and overall consistency with hands because he has a history of dropping balls he should catch.

Oh goody. A white Derek Hagen. It was said Hagen had problems with holding onto the football when Miami drafted him in the 3rd round in 2006.

Mel Kiper sees Hartline as a Special Teams player and 4th Wide Receiver. He’s higher on this selection than Miami’s pick of Patrick Turner.

In light of three of the last four picks they made, I expect Miami to either draft a Basset Hound, A Two-headed Martian lesbian, or Some goldfish with their next picks. The Dolphin 2009 NFL Draft is a psychoanalyst’s dream.


NFL Draft 2009 Round 2 #35- St. Louis Rams- ILB James Laurinaitis

ESPN writes- A very productive college linebacker, Laurinaitis has excellent instincts and he rarely gets caught out of position. He also projects as a three-down linebacker because of his strong skills in coverage and as a pass-rusher. However, his stock dipped this year because film evaluations revealed his problems getting off blocks. He simply makes too many plays three or four yards downfield.

This will be last pick to pick post. I may make comment on individual selections, particularly those of the Miami Dolphins.


NFL Draft 2009 Round 1 #31- Arizona Cardinals- RB Chris Wells

ESPN expects a running back to be chosen here. Arizona had one of the worst rushing attacks in the league last year. ESPN was correct.

ESPN writes- Wells possess a rare combination of size, speed and balance as a runner. He is one of the most talented prospects at any position in this year’s draft, but we have concerns about his durability and his mental toughness.


NFL Draft 2009 Round 1 #14- New Orleans Saints- DB Malcom Jenkins

The first defensive back taken in the draft.

ESPN writes- At 6-feet Jenkins is on the taller side for a corner. Corners that size can have a hard time sinking their hips and exploding out of their cuts, but he has the toughness, speed and ball skills to develop into an effective press or Cover 2 corner, but we believe he may be a better fit at safety. He’s a sound tackler, does an excellent job of reading eyes when he lines up at safety and has enough range to cover the deep half of the field. He can also match up with slot wideouts in certain situations.


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 2008 – Round 1 #6 – New York Jets – DE Vernon Gholston

NFL Draft 2008 Logo The New York Jets are on the clock. They’ve got a lot of needs and plenty of great choices on the board. Ohio State DE Vernon Gholston would seem the obvious choice here, especially given the renewed emphasis on speed rushers after the Giants’ Super Bowl win.

Five picks in 40 minutes is a refreshing change from last year. Harder to live blog, but better to watch.

Gholston it is, at the 45 minute mark.

Scouts, Inc.: 15th

Strengths: Has the physical tools to develop into an every-down impact defender in the NFL. Possesses adequate height and bulk, but few prospects have a better physique. Very little body fat. Powerfully built with explosive strength for his size. Displays very good initial burst  not elite level of Dwight Freeney (Colts), but only a notch below. Uses a wide array of pass rush moves. Can beat OT’s with speed, power and fluid double moves. He’s the only defender in past two years (from what we saw on film) to give Michigan OT Jake Long problems. He is strong enough to take on some blockers and anchor versus the run. Plays with good discipline. Seals off the end versus the run and will take on bigger blockers when asked to. He does an adequate job of protecting his legs as he works across the line on runs away from him. Hard worker off-the-field and obviously puts in more than fair share of time in the weight room.

Weaknesses: Flashes upper-echelon skills but he’s not consistent enough. Is strong but lacks ideal height/bulk to consistently anchor at the line versus bigger blockers. Would need to add some bulk in order to hold up as a fulltime end in a four-man front in the NFL. Still raw dropping into coverage and will need time to develop that aspect of his game  assuming he’s used to some degree as a hybrid end-linebacker type. Played in a heavy rotation at Ohio State, which kept him fresh  a luxury he is not likely to have as a high picks in the NFL.

Overall: Gholston played sparingly in six games as a freshman in 2004 and was redshirted in 2005 after breaking his hand in the season opener. He emerged as a force a year later and didn’t miss a start in his last two seasons. In 2006, he finished with 8.5 sacks, 49 tackles and an interception. Last year Gholston set single-season (14) and single-game (four) school sack records on his way to being named a second-team All-America selection. He returned a fumble for a touchdown and posted 15.5 tackles for loss (for a career total of 30.5). It can get frustrating studying Gholston on film because he’s inconsistent. There are times when he is flat-out dominant and there are other times that he will disappear. However, most of his best performances came in the Buckeyes’ biggest games (notched four combined sacks in last two outings versus rival Michigan). Gholston has the potential to play wide-end in a four-man front and/or rush-linebacker in a 3-4 alignment. He is one of the top pass rushers in this year’s class and his combine performance only verified his explosiveness in that regards. As a result, Gholston is a likely top-10 selection in the 2008 draft.

Rick Gosselin: 8th

Mel Kiper: 7th

He took his play to a new level in 2007, showcasing the explosiveness to overpower offensive tackles at the point of attack. Gholston also has excellent closing speed, as evidenced by the 14 sacks he registered. He also has the versatility to play with his hand off the ground.

We’ve already reached the point in the draft, it seems, where there’s wide disparity in how teams evaluate players. Gholston is not the 6th best value in the draft, according to consensus, which would seem an indication that the Jets Jets Jets picked for need, need, need.


1st round pick Ted Ginn Jr to possibly miss three months

The Miami Dolphins’ first round pick is already smelling like a disaster to me.

DAVIE — Dolphins first-round pick Ted Ginn Jr. acknowledged today he will spend at least the next month in a protective boot. The right foot sprain he suffered in January reportedly could keep him out a total of three months.

Dolphins General Manager Randy Mueller, through a spokesman, said the team doesn’t yet know its plan for Ginn’s recovery. However, it seems unlikely the Dolphins would spend the ninth overall pick on an injured player known for his speed and not have a rehab schedule laid out ahead of time. reported late Saturday night that Ginn would be in a boot for six weeks and then face another six weeks of rehab. That timetable wouldn’t put Ginn at full strength until right before training camp in late July.

However, Ginn said he expects to be back much sooner.


Ginn was hurt in the celebration following the touchdown he scored on the opening kickoff of the BCS Championship Game for Ohio State on Jan. 8 against Florida.

A sprained foot suffered over three months ago and it still isn’t healed. Ginn still needs another three months to be recovered.

When adding this injury to Ginn’s questionable skills as a wide receiver, you can’t help smelling another draft disater in the making for the Dolphins. Last year’s #1 has yet to start a game and we’re talking about a Defensive back.

Oh and Coach Cameron’s statement from yesterday makes you seriously think the coach drafted Ginn just because he knew the player’s family.

Cameron’s relationship with Ginn dates back nearly a decade. Ginn’s father, Ted Sr., is head coach at Glenville High School in Cleveland, and Cameron met a 13-year-old Ted Jr. while recruiting as head coach at Indiana.

“We drafted the Ginn family,” Cameron said. “Ted Ginn and his family will give us everything they have.”

What is this family crap? When is the last time a player’s father scored a touchdown? Somebody tell me!

I’m already longing for the return of Nick Saban. Miami drafted two running backs in the draft. Yes the team could use a FB but they also need a TE, defensive help and alot more before drafting two running backs. Either Cameron is a complete idiot or Ricky Williams is not coming back in 2007. If Williams isn’t coming back, then Cameron is only half an idiot. Miami drafted one more back than they needed.

At least Miami hasn’t traded for Trent Green. Considering the moves of the last few days, I expect Miami to make that idiotic move also.


NFL Draft 2007 – Round 1 #32 – Indianapolis Colts – WR Anthony Gonzalez

The Indianapolis Colts, last year’s Super Bowl champions, have selected Ohio State wide receiver Anthony Gonzales with the 32nd and final pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.

At 6 hours, 20 minutes, this was the longest 1st round in history.

What the Experts Say:

It’s odd that Gonzalez didn’t make Kiper’s board, let alone the top 50, given how much I’ve heard about him this offseason.


Taking a defensive player like Penn State OLB Paul Posluszny makes a little more sense here. However, the departure of Brandon Stokley means Indianapolis needed a No. 3 receiver and Gonzalez should slide right into that role. Though Gonzalez isn’t as explosive as Ohio State teammate Ted Ginn Jr. and he doesn’t return kicks either he is the more complete receiver. He runs crisp routes, he isn’t afraid to go over the middle and he doesn’t drop passes he should catch. It doesn’t hurt that he is a hard worker who will learn the pro game from Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne either.


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