Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Draft 2010 – Round 1 #26- Arizona- DT Dan Williams writes- Pick Analysis: The Cardinals add a key piece to their defense by nabbing Dan Williams. The hulking interior defender has the size and strength to thrive as a nose tackle, and his ability to occupy multiple blockers should free the team’s linebackers to roam freely inside. Although linebacker remains a pressing need, the decision to fortify the front line should result in better play from the linebacker corps in 2010.


Williams was a three-year starter for the Vols and had a breakout season in 2009. He has an excellent combination of size, strength and athleticism for an interior defender. He plays with great pad level and a natural base to anchor effectively versus the run. He is a powerful bull-rusher who can collapse the pocket in the passing game. Williams can be inconsistent with his effort but does play with an attitude (can be nasty) in the trenches when he wants to. He is tough to move due to great initial punch and good balance and will draw many double-teams on the inside. He doesn’t have great initial quickness to penetrate gaps but is a better run defender than pass rusher in base defenses. He feels pad pressure well and understands how to leverage blockers to maintain gap responsibilities. Williams will fit best as a nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme and will improve his draft status if concerns about his weight and work ethic are answered.


NFL Draft 2010 – Round 1 #5– Kansas City- S Eric Berry

Safeties rarely go this high. I hope Berry works out better than another 1st round Defensive back selection from Tennessee has. writes- Berry has been the most active secondary player for the Volunteers over the past three years. Berry has average size for the safety position but plays bigger than his dimensions would suggest. He is a physical run support player when filling the alley as well as a hard-nosed defender in the passing game. He is a confident player with great leadership skills. Eric shows great vision and instincts reacting to plays as they develop. He anticipates well to jump routes and make a play on the ball. Berry is a good blitz defender that has a good sense of when to hit a crease. He plays with a high motor that works through trash to get to the pile. Berry doesn’t have impressive size but the combination of athleticism, instincts, toughness, production and leadership qualities make him one of the top safety prospects in the 2010 draft.


2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament 2nd round- March 20th

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.

St. Mary’s defeats Villanova 75-68
Tennessee beats Ohio 83-68
Butler beats Murray State 54-52
Stunner- Northern Iowa beats Kansas 69-67
Baylor beats Old Dominion 76-68
Kentucky beat Wake Forest 90-60
Kansas State beats BYU 84-72
Washington beats New Mexico 82-64


2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament- March 18th

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.

1st result- Old Dominion defeats Notre Dame 51-50
1st overtime game- BYU beats Florida 99-92 in double OT
Close call- #2 seed Villanova beats Robert Morris 73-70 in overtime.
First big upset- #13 Murray State beats Vanderbilt 66-65
Baylor beats Sam Houston St. 68-59
Kansas State beats North Texas State 82-62
St. Mary’s beats Richmond 80-71
Butler beats UTEP 77-59
Kentucky beats East Tennessee St. 100-71
Ohio beats Georgetown 97-83
Washington beats Marquette 80-78
Northern Iowa beats UNLV 69-66
#1 Kansas beats Lehigh 90-74
New Mexico beats Montana 62-57
Wake Forest beats Texas 81-80


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 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.


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.


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.


Tennessee to name Derek Dooley its new head football coach

Dooley has been the head coach at Louisiana Tech since 2007, and before that was an Assistant coach under Nick Saban with the Miami Dolphins and LSU Tigers. From ESPN-

Tennessee’s frantic search to find a new coach is over, and the Volunteers are turning to Louisiana Tech’s Derek Dooley.Derek  Dooley

Louisiana Tech spokesman Malcolm Butler says Dooley has resigned from his positions as coach and athletic director to join the Volunteers. A statement by the university was expected later Friday.

Tennessee plans to introduce Dooley at a press conference on campus Friday night.

The son of former Georgia coach Vince Dooley, Derek Dooley went 17-20 in three seasons at Louisiana Tech and was the only coach in Division I to also serve as his school’s athletic director.

Derek Dooley is also the nephew of Bill Dooley, who coached for over a quarter of a century at North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest.

Tennessee must be banking on the coaching genes of Dooley’s father and uncle finally coming to the surface in him. At this point in his career, this second generation hasn’t been too impressive as a head coach. His record at LA Tech was just 17-20. Tennessee has certainly made an interesting selection here.


Tennessee Coach Lane Kiffin pulled a ‘Doug Dickey’

The front page of the Palm Beach Post’s sports section had an article and a column about Kiffin’s departure for USC. I’m a history buff and used to follow college football much more seriously than I do today. As I drank my coffee I thought of a former TN Volunteer coach who left the school for another football program. His name was Doug Dickey.

I did a google search after I finished breakfast, and found this article written by Randy Moore.

Lane Kiffin’s sudden decision to leave The Hill in favor of his previous college coaching stop (Southern Cal) has created the same mixture of shock, dismay and outrage among Volunteer fans that arose when Dickey bolted in ’69 to take the reins at his alma mater (Florida).

That’s understandable. Consider the similarities in the two situations:

- Dickey was a former college quarterback (Florida). Kiffin was a former college quarterback (Fresno State).

- Tennessee was Dickey’s first head coaching job at the collegiate level. Tennessee was Kiffin’s first head coaching job at the collegiate level.

- Dickey was an “outsider” (a non-UT grad) who followed two UT grads (Harvey Robinson, Bowden Wyatt) as the head coach. Kiffin was an outsider who followed two UT grads (Johnny Majors, Phillip Fulmer) as head coach.

- Dickey had incredible support from Tennessee’s administration and fan base. Kiffin’s support from those same groups was no less incredible.

- Dickey surrounded himself with outstanding assistants who excelled as recruiters and teachers. Kiffin surrounded himself with outstanding assistants who excelled as recruiters and teachers.

- Dickey was a radical departure from his predecessors, shifting UT from the single-wing to the I-formation and lobbying for artificial turf (dubbed Doug’s Rug). Kiffin was a radical departure from his predecessors, as well, making national headlines with his brash comments and lobbying for black jerseys on Halloween.

- Dickey went 4-5-1 in Year 1 but raised Big Orange hopes by playing third-ranked Alabama to a 19-8 loss and playing seventh-ranked LSU to a 3-3 tie. Kiffin went 7-6 in Year 1 but raised Big Orange hopes by playing top-ranked Alabama to a 12-10 loss and playing top-ranked Florida to a 23-13 loss.

- Dickey closed his Tennessee run with a 14-13 Gator Bowl loss to 14th-ranked Florida. Kiffin closed his Tennessee run with a 37-14 Chick fil-A Bowl loss to 12th-ranked Virginia Tech.

- Dickey’s departure led UT to promote receivers coach Bill Battle to the top job. Kiffin’s departure led UT to promote receivers coach Kippy Brown to the top job (albeit on an interim basis).

Those are an awful lot of similarities. Both coaches last game was a Florida located Bowl appearance.

I understand Volunteer fans who are angry at Kiffin. Greg Stoda at the Palm Beach Post does make a point-

Yeah, y’all got jilted. It hurts. It happens. Both ways. Vol Nation didn’t exactly treat ol’ Phil Fulmer kindly by kicking him out the door after 17 mostly real-good seasons in making room for … Kiffin.

The whole karma bit can get ugly.

What goes around comes around. Tennessee should move on. Isn’t Volunteer football bigger than one man?


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