Sports Outside the Beltway

2010 NFL Draft to include record tying 53 non-seniors

The 2008 NFL Draft also saw the same amount of under classmen. In 2009 the total was 46. From AP-

The expected heavy influx of non-seniors applying for this year’s NFL draft did not happen despite looming labor unrest in the league.

Although a record-tying 53 players declared for early entry, that number released Tuesday by the NFL was short of most projections.

“I think that the colleges have really done a good job of telling these young men how it is to their advantage to stay in school,” said NFL draft consultant Gil Brandt, who helped build the Dallas Cowboys in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. “I thought there would be more and I was surprised.”

Six All-Americans did apply for the draft: defensive backs Eric Berry of Tennessee and Joe Haden of Florida; defensive end Derrick Morgan of Georgia Tech; tight end Aaron Hernandez of Florida; linebacker Rolando McClain of Alabama; and wide receiver Golden Tate of Notre Dame.

Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner, also declared for April’s draft, along with Mississippi quarterback Jevan Snead; Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen; Southern California running back Joe McKnight; Cal running back Jahvid Best; Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap; and Penn State linebacker Navorro Bowman.

Fresno State tailback Ryan Mathews, the nation’s leading rusher, applied. So did tackles Bryan Bulaga of Iowa and Anthony Davis of Rutgers, who are projected to go high in the draft.

I remember when Herschel Walker came out of school(U of Georgia) early and all the controversy it caused. A Herschel Walker today wouldn’t risk a potential big payday in the NFL either.

What I don’t get is how some experts expected the total of non-seniors to be around 100 or a 100% increase from last year. Maybe I’ll find an article that list the college players who stuck it out. A free college education should be valued. One day your sports playing days will end and what will you do for money then? Look at Bernie Kosar who left the University of Miami early for the NFL. Right now he is bankruptcy court.

The entire list of college underclassman declaring for this year’s NFL draft is below the fold.


Stampeded- SMU beats Nevada in Hawaii Bowl 45-10

If I were a college football player, if I couldn’t play in the BCS Championship game, I’d be happy with a bowl game in Hawaii. From the Honolulu Advertiser-

Twenty-five years after its last bowl appearance, Southern Methodist made sure that it would be ready for the Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl.Hawaii Bowl

Led by an 18-year-old quarterback and a stout defense, the Mustangs cruised to a 45-10 trouncing of Nevada before a crowd of 20,217 at Aloha Stadium yesterday, leaving little doubt that SMU has returned from the dead.


After receiving the “death penalty” from the NCAA in 1986, SMU football — a program that had produced the likes of Doak Walker, Don Meredith and Eric Dickerson — disappeared for the next two seasons. The Mustangs’ fall from grace continued with one losing season after another, until this year.

SMU (8-5), which saw the best turnaround in the NCAA this year from a 1-11 2008, put the cap on a record season with a decisive victory over the Wolf Pack (8-5). The Mustangs’ last bowl prior to last night was the 1984 Aloha Bowl, when they beat Notre Dame, 27-20.

This game was but over very early on. My wife, mother-in-law, and I left for midnight mass(10 p.m. at our parish) at 8:30. As we left the house, SMU was up 14-0 already and they were lining up for a field goal.

Part of the reason for Nevada’s poor performance may be attributable to their defense being without two starters. One player had been arrested in the days leading up to the game.

The comeback of SMU is one of the least noticed college football stories of 2009. We’ll have to see if June Jones can sustain this success.

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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.


Southern Methodist gets first Bowl invite in 25 years

To the same state, but different bowl game, than the Mustangs last appearance. From ESPN-

SMU celebrated its first bowl bid in 25 years in style Monday, accepting an invitation to play in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 24.

President Gerald Turner, athletic director Steve Orsini and coach June Jones, wearing leis, officially accepted an invitation at a festive, Hawaiian-themed event inside the student center. The announcement caused the crowd of a few hundred — fans, boosters, administrators, players, cheerleaders and band members — to break into wild applause.

“We’ve proven there’s life after death,” Orsini said.

It is SMU’s first bowl invitation since beating Notre Dame in the 1984 Aloha Bowl. In 1985, the program was placed on three years’ probation. In 1987, the SMU football program was given the Death Penalty by the NCAA and was shut down for two seasons — the harshest penalty ever given to any major collegiate program.

If Hawaii beats Wisconsin, the Golden Warriors will be SMU’s opponent. If not, then another WAC school.

I find it interesting that ESPN’s Richard Durrett makes no mention of the fact that June Jones left Hawaii for SMU two years ago and the acrimony that resulted because of it. The crowd’s reaction to Jones return could be very interesting.


Former Olympic swin coach Richard Quick dead at 66

He coached women’s and men’s teams at the college level where he won national championships with three different schools. RIP.

Auburn swimming coach Richard Quick, who won 13 NCAA titles with three schools during a career that spanned four decades, has died of cancer. He was 66.

Auburn said in a statement on its Web site that Quick, who coached men’s and women’s teams at the school, died Wednesday. His family told the Austin American-Statesman that he died in Austin, Texas.

Quick had been diagnosed in December with an inoperable brain tumor.

“While he lost a valiant battle against a cruel disease, Richard was an inspiration to countless people who were touched by his steadfast faith and amazing courage in the face of tremendous adversity,” Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said.

He won one title at Auburn, seven at Stanford and five at Texas. He also led the U.S. Olympic teams in 1988, 1996 and 2000 and was an assistant coach at the 1984, 1992 and 2004 Games.

Quick’s women’s teams at Texas won five straight titles from 1984-1988. The Stanford women’s team won the title in his first year there in 1989.

Auburn’s men won the championship in 2009 and Quick was named NCAA Coach of the Year for the sixth time.

“Richard will be remembered as one of the greatest coaches in the history of swimming, but more importantly, he will be remembered as a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather and teacher,” Jacobs said.

Quick coached at Auburn from 1978-82 and returned there in 2007. In between, he coached the women’s teams at Texas and Stanford. He also served as the men’s head coach at Iowa State during the 1977-78 season and the women’s head coach at SMU in 1976-77.


Former HS and College Basketball Coach Jimmy Tubbs dead at 60

Prior to his days at SMU, he was a NCAA assistant coach for over a decade and a highly successful head coach at the high school level. RIP.

Former SMU coach Jimmy Tubbs, who was fired after two seasons in 2006 when an internal investigation revealed NCAA violations, has died. He was 60.

SMU spokesman Brad Sutton said Tubbs died Saturday. No cause of death was given.

Tubbs was a popular choice to lead the Mustangs because he’d spent 12 years as an SMU assistant before going to Oklahoma for two seasons under Kelvin Sampson. He was also a championship-winning high school coach in Dallas, a fertile recruiting ground SMU has always struggled to tap.

The Mustangs were 27-30 in Tubbs’ two seasons. He was 232-42 at Dallas Kimball High School, including the 1990 Class 5A state championship.


Former Kansas City Head coach Frank Gansz dead at 70

He had a long career as a college and pro football assistant coach in addition to the two years he spent running the Chiefs. Gansz started coaching at Air Force in the 60′s, did a stint with his alma mater Navy for four years, and worked for six college teams in all before making his way to the NFL. In addition to his stint in Kansas City, Gansz was on the staff of the St. Louis Rams the year they won Super Bowl XXXIV.

Gansz retired from coaching in 2001 but in 2008 June Jones persuaded him to return as an assistant coach at SMU. Some people called Gansz the best Special Teams coach in the NFL. RIP.

Former Kansas City Chiefs coach Frank Gansz has died in a Dallas hospital.

SMU spokesman Brad Sutton said Gansz, who was special teams coach for the Mustangs last year, developed complications after undergoing knee replacement surgery last week. He said Gansz died Monday afternoon.

Gansz, who was 70, coached for 38 years, 24 in the NFL. He was head coach of the Chiefs from 1987-88. Other stops included special teams coordinator for Jacksonville, Atlanta, St. Louis and Detroit, and well as stints at Philadelphia, Cincinnati and San Francisco. He was on the Rams’ staff for their 2000 Super Bowl win.


Hawaii reaches financial agreement with former football coach

It stems from a dispute between the University and June Jones after he left Hawaii for SMU earlier this year. From AP-

Hawaii has resolved its financial dispute with former football coach June Jones over the early termination of his contract, officials said Friday.

Under the agreement, the June Jones Foundation has donated $100,010 to a scholarship fund for students pursing degrees in Hawaiian studies or language. In addition, an undisclosed donor has contributed $100,000 to the school.

“Hawaii is my home; therefore as I look beyond our past achievements in football, maintaining a healthy relationship with UH and sustaining productive contributions to our island communities will always be important to me,” Jones said in a statement.

He also encouraged his former team to beat Notre Dame in next week’s Hawaii Bowl.

The university has said it was owed $400,008 in damages because Jones left Hawaii before his five-year contract expired June 30. The figure represents half his annual salary with the Warriors.

Jones resigned and accepted a job worth about $2 million a year at Southern Methodist, six days after Hawaii lost to Georgia in last January’s Sugar Bowl to finish the season 12-1.

Under his Hawaii contract, Jones was prohibited from accepting employment “under any circumstances” as a football coach at any NCAA school or professional team in the United States before the expiration date … “without first obtaining a written release or a negotiated settlement.”

“In the event the university releases coach of his obligations under this agreement, coach shall be responsible for paying to the university liquidated damages,” Jones’ contract stated.

If Jones had asked for Hawaii’s permission like most coaches do, he may have avoided the payments. Hawaii had a right to go after their former coach but it could do long term damage to the school by discouraging potential applicants from taking a job in fear they would have a repeat of the Jones affair should they want to leave.

Update- Ian Lind has an interesting post that delves into the donations to the Foundation in question. He writes “So how in the world does money collected by the foundation for charitable purposes get used to pay off the contractual debt of the former coach who just happens to also be the foundation’s chairman?”


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