Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Draft 2011 Round 1 #26 Kansas City WR Jon Baldwin

Baltimore passes and the Chiefs pick says-

Baldwin is giant wide receiver with the potential to develop into a starter at the next level. He is a speed builder who can get behind defensive backs, and he quickly finds the ball in the air. He is a weapon over the middle, as he has strong, reliable hands and the body control to make acrobatic catches in traffic. He is dangerous after the catch, as he can run away from linebackers and over defensive backs. Baldwin has to refine his route running skills, but he is intriguing due to his freakish measurables.


2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament 2nd round- March 21st

This post will remain at the top of the blog for the rest of today. To see newer posts, scroll down.

As results come in today, I will update this post. I’ll also include any related tournament news here.

Syracuse beats Gonzaga 87-65
West Virginia beats Missouri 68-59
Ohio State beats Georgia Tech 75-66
Cornell beats Wisconsin 87-69
Michigan State beats Maryland 85-83
Duke beats Cal 68-53
Xavier beats Pitt 71-68
Purdue beats Texas A&M 63-61


2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament- March 19th

This post will remain at the top of the blog for the rest of today. To see newer posts, scroll down.

As results come in today, I will update this post. I’ll also include any related tournament news here.

West Virginia beats Morgan St. 77-50
Cornell beats Temple 78-65
Xavier beats Minnesota 65-54
Purdue beats Siena 72-64
Pittsburgh beats Oakland 89-66
Wisconsin beats Wofford 53-49
Texas A&M beats Utah St. 69-53
Gonzaga beats Florida St. 67-60
Duke beats Arkansas-Pine Bluff 73-44
Michigan St. beats New Mexico St. 67-64
Syracuse beats Vermont 79-56
Maryland beats Houston 89-77


2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball predictions

Here are my selections-

2010 predictions1

2010 predictions2

So you heard it here first. Duke and Ohio State in the finals.

Note- Starting tomorrow I will have a sticky post at the top of the blog featuring that day’s results. Feel free to make your own predictions in the comment.


2010 NCAA Basketball Tournament Bracket

Well here it is-

2010 bracket

I don’t have to say. Later in the week, I’ll take a shot at predicting the outcome.


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.


Former Pitt Panther Head Coach Foge Fazio dead at 71

He was also a long-time NFL assistant with five different teams. Most recently he was a Pitt radio analyst. RIP.

Foge Fazio, who succeeded Jackie Sherrill as the football coach at alma mater Pittsburgh and later was a defensive coordinator for the NFL’s Vikings and Browns, died Wednesday night following a lengthy battle with leukemia. He was 71.

Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson confirmed Fazio’s death while attending the Pitt-Duquesne basketball game on Wednesday night.

Fazio, who grew up in Coraopolis, Pa., in suburban Pittsburgh, was a former Pitt linebacker and center and was chosen as the team MVP in 1959. He was drafted by the AFL’s Boston Patriots in 1960 but soon after moved into coaching. He spent nine seasons as a Pitt assistant, the final three as defensive coordinator, before being promoted to head coach in 1982, following three successive 11-1 seasons under Sherrill.

Fazio’s first Pitt team, quarterbacked by Dan Marino, began the season ranked No. 1 and started 7-0, but lost three of its final five as the Panthers’ offense struggled. His 1983 team went 8-3-1, but he was fired with two years left on his contract following a 31-0 loss to Penn State in 1985.

Fazio was 25-18-3 at Pitt, including a 3-7-1 record in 1984.

“I don’t know that anyone embodied the Pitt spirit better than Foge Fazio,” Pederson said. “It was obvious from the first time that I met him how passionate he was about this university and its football program. Foge had the unique ability to make everyone he came in contact with feel special. In so many ways he represented all the great things associated with the University of Pittsburgh.”

After leaving Pitt, Fazio was hired as coach Lou Holtz’s defensive coordinator at Notre Dame. He also was an assistant coach with the Falcons, Jets and Redskins and was the defensive coordinator of the Vikings (1996-98) and Browns (2001-02). He retired with Cleveland in 2003 but returned two years later as a Vikings defensive consultant under coach Mike Tice.

Fazio spent the last two seasons as a radio analyst on Pitt football broadcasts, but hadn’t worked this season since the South Florida game on Oct. 24. He recently told broadcast partner Bill Hillgrove he hoped to return for the No. 14 Panthers game Saturday against No. 5 Cincinnati.

“Foge was a true ‘Pitt Man,’ ” Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt said. “He loved this university and everyone at Pitt loved Foge.


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 #19 – Carolina Panthers – OT Jeff Otah (via Philadelphia Eagles)

NFL Draft 2008 Logo The Eagles are on the clock. The ESPN gang is yapping about quarterbacks but the Eagles just took one in the 2nd round last year. Is a trade in the offing?

We’re two hours, ten minutes into the draft at already 18 guys gone. That’s fantastic for me as a fan of the Cowboys, who have the 22nd pick, but it’s hard to live blog at this speed!

The Eagles have traded the pick to the Carolina Panthers. The speculation is that they’re after Jeff Otah, the last stud offensive linemen, or one of the remaining quarterbacks.

Otah it is!

Scouts, Inc.: 19th

Strengths: Is a massive, mauling right tackle type. Has a huge frame with very long arms (35.3 inches). Not a great athlete but does play with good balance. He has a massive base. Will get low and uproot DL. Does an excellent job of anchoring versus the bull rush. Shows very good overall strength. Rarely loses a battle once he is locked on. Will drive his legs and create a new line of scrimmage as a run blocker. Still learning technique but is intelligent and continues to improve with more experience and coaching.

Weaknesses: Below average athlete. The more space he’s in the less effective he becomes. Lacks ideal initial quickness out of his stance and struggles to get set in time versus speed edge rushers. Struggles to reach the second level as a run blocker. Will have trouble hitting moving targets in space. Hands are smaller than ideal (9.2 inches).

Overall: Otah was born in Nigeria, came to the United States when he was seven years old and did not play organized football until his senior season of high school. He attended Valley Forge (Pa.) Military College in his first two years out of high school (2004-’05), making 17 consecutive starts at left tackle. He also averaged nearly 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Valley Forge basketball team. Otah transferred to Pitt in 2006 and made an immediate impact, starting all 24 games of his junior and senior seasons with the Panthers. He was an All-Big East first team selection in 2007. The Nigerian-born Otah lacks ideal playing experience and is still unpolished. While he is not a great athlete, he is not as slow as his combine workout numbers might indicate, as he participated despite an ankle injury. Otah is a massive mauler with the size, power and short-area quickness to develop into a good starting right tackle in the NFL, which is why we grade him as a mid-to-late first round prospect.

Rick Gosselin: 16th

Mel Kiper: 12th

A great value at the spot, presuming they didn’t give up too much in the trade. But it’s unusual to move up to take a tackle.


NFL Draft 2007 – Round 1 #14 – New York Jets – CB Darrelle Revis

The New York Jets traded up from the 25th spot to take cornerback Darrelle Revis. They sent Carolina their 1st, 2nd, and 5th round picks for this pick and Carolina’s 6th. That’s pretty pricey but Revis is an outstanding value at the 14 spot.

What the Experts Say:

Darrelle Davis Photo Uniform Profile:

Impacting the game at both cornerback and as a return specialist, Revis offers terrific size/speed and ability for the next level. A first-round choice with starting potential who should immediately help returning punts.

Darrelle Davis Photo Civies Biography: Three-year starter awarded All-Conference honors every season since his sophomore campaign. Defensive numbers last season were 39/2/4, when he also averaged 8.6 yards on 22 punt returns, with one score. Sophomore totals were 41/4/13 with an 11.6 yard average on 28 punt returns.

Pos: Well-rounded defensive back with outstanding upside. Jams opponents at the line, slows their release off the snap and plays strong at the point of attack. Fast pedaling in reverse, is fluid in transition and runs with opponents everywhere on the field. Displays a sense of timing, stays with receivers out from their breaks and quickly closes to the action. Displays soft hands for the interception. Impacts the games returning punts, showing both elusiveness and speed.

Neg: Soft in the underneath coverage and occasionally gives up some easy receptions in front of him.


With both of the top two corners available and the Jets’ top need a corner, they decided to pull the trigger on the day’s first trade and pick up Revis. Although Revis can take too long to change directions at times and has some problems matching up with explosive slot receivers, he is still a first-round talent. More importantly, his instincts should him an excellent fit for head coach Eric Mangini’s defensive schemes and he is a playmaker than can make a difference.

He could also make an impact as a punt return man, which is probably one of the bigger reasons the Jets chose Revis over Leon Hall. Another reason may be Revis’ fluidity. He does a slightly better job of opening his hips when he’s forced to turn and run downfield so he’s less likely to get beat deep when left on an island.


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