Sports Outside the Beltway

Buffalo Bills hire Chan Gailey as head coach

He becomes the third man to lead the team since last September. From ESPN-

The Buffalo Bills have hired former Dallas Cowboys and Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey as their new coach.

The team announced the hiring at a news conference at its facility in Orchard Park, N.Y., Tuesday afternoon.

The Bills were said to be impressed with how Gailey has brought teams to the playoffs with quarterbacks such as Mike Tomczak, Kordell Stewart and Jay Fiedler. In fact, Bill Cowher — whom the Bills had been courting to replace the fired Dick Jauron — highly recommended Gailey to the Bills.

Cowher planned to make Gailey his assistant head coach/offensive coordinator if he came back. Gailey has coached in four Super Bowls and has had his teams go to the playoffs in 11 of his 15 NFL seasons.

The 58-year-old Gailey fits the profile set by newly hired general manager Buddy Nix, who preferred hiring someone with head-coaching experience. Gailey has run college and pro teams, including a two-year stint as coach of the World League of American Football Birmingham Fire in 1991-92. He also coached Troy State (1983-84) and Samford (1993).

Gailey was coach of the Cowboys in 1998-99, following Barry Switzer, reaching the playoffs in both seasons but failing to win a playoff game. He was dismissed after the 1999 season, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has acknowledged his mistake in firing Gailey.

He went 44-33 at Georgia Tech from 2002 through 2007 and led the Yellow Jackets to a bowl game in all six seasons at the helm. But he went 0-6 against rival Georgia and he was fired after finishing 7-5 in his final season.

Gailey has extensive pro and college head coaching experience, and was offensive coordinator of both Kansas City and Miami in the NFL during the last ten years. Will he be successful in Buffalo? I won’t hazard a guess, but just say that the Bills are in need of a great deal of rebuilding.


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 2008 – Round 1 #11 – Buffalo Bills – Leodis McKelvin

NFL Draft 2008 Logo The Buffalo Bills are on the clock and they’ve obviously got quite a few needs.

They’re not wasting much time. They take Leodis McKelvin of Troy, the consensus best corner in the draft.

Scouts, Inc.: 9th

Strengths: Is a fluid, smooth and explosive athlete. Displays very quick feet and leverage in-and-out of pedal. Shows good technique and footwork in coverage. Explodes out of his pedal and typically gets a very good jump on the ball. He displays outstanding quick-twitch athleticism and change-of-direction skills. Can keep with quicker WR’s on double moves and also shows the hip-fluidity and closing burst to turn and run with faster receivers on vertical routes. Is one of the elite PR prospects in the 2008 class. One of his three touchdown returns in 2007 came versus Big 12 opponent Oklahoma State. The 74-yard scamper (14:10 remaining in the 2nd quarter) shows the type of vision and breakaway speed he possesses.

Weaknesses: Is a finesse cover corner. Does not like to support the run and will avoid contact if at all possible. Plays a lot of man-off coverage and needs to improve his ability to press WR’s at the line of scrimmage. Bigger WR’s usually can dictate their routes. Despite outstanding experience in the return game, he displays marginal ball skills. He knocks down too many passes he should pick off. Fights the ball too much as a PR, as well. Really needs to improve his hands in order to reach full potential on defense and in the return game in the NFL.

Overall: McKelvin arrived at Troy in 2004 and immediately contributed as a kick return specialist and reserve cornerback. He didn’t start in his first two seasons (2004-’05), but he played 23 games and had 47 tackles (including one sack), six pass breakups and an interception (which he returned 71 yards for a touchdown). Over his final two seasons (2006-’07), he started all 25 games at left cornerback for the Trojans, recording 126 tackles (3.5 for losses), five forced fumbles, three interceptions and 16 pass breakups. For his career, McKelvin also had 112 punt returns for 1,471 yards (13.1 average) and seven TDs, plus 99 kickoff returns for 2,346 yards (23.7 average) and another score. He suffered a left shoulder sprain during the offseason in 2005 and underwent surgery for a right ankle fracture in 2006, but he missed no games as a result of the injuries. McKelvin is still a work in progress at cornerback and he will never be an overly physical defender. In addition, he needs to improve his ball skills in order to maximize his enormous potential as a playmaker with the ball in his hand. However, McKelvin is one of the fastest and most fluid cornerbacks in the 2008 class. He’s also the second-most dangerous punt return specialist behind Cal’s DeSean Jackson, which should propel him into the top half of the first round.

Rick Gosselin: 11th

Mel Kiper: 19th

Once again, Kiper is the outlier. This looks like a solid pick to me.


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