Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Draft 2010 – Round 6 #3- Tampa Bay- P Brent Bowden

The Bucs had all sorts of problems with their kicking game last year. A new placekicker could be of help but I doubt Tampa will use a 2nd selection on a kicker. writes- Pick Analysis: The Buccaneers were among the league’s worst teams in punting average last season, so they grab Virginia Tech’s Brent Bowden. Bowden excels at dropping the ball inside the 20-yard line, and enjoyed a breakout year last season with the Hokies.


Bowden has good size and athleticism for the position. He had his most productive season in 2009, averaging 43.8 yards per attempt and showing excellent ability to drop the ball inside the 20-yard line. Bowden is a self made punter that had to sit for a couple of seasons before securing the starting position. His mechanics are solid but he needs to continue to improve his overall consistency at the next level. Bowden has the tools to develop into a solid punter in the league but doesn’t have elite talent to be an impact player as a punter.


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.


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 #26 – Houston Texans – OT Duane Brown

NFL Draft 2008 Logo The Houston Texans continued the amazing run on offensive tackles, grabbing Virginia Tech‘s Duane Brown.

Scouts, Inc.: 58th

Strengths: Has a quick first step and flashes the ability to get into position quickly. Gets adequate hand placement, has active feet and flashes the ability to sustain. Moves well laterally, can reach defenders lined up over outside shoulder and can seal the edge. Gets into pass set quickly and uses long arms to ride edge rushers past the pocket. Footwork is inconsistent and is vulnerable to double moves but can redirect in pass protection and has the potential to develop into a very good pass blocker once gains more experience. Moved from tight end to tackle in 2005 and can still line up there in goal line situations. Tall, times jumps fairly well and blocked a field goal attempt last year.

Weaknesses: Doesn’t always take sound angles to blocks and can struggle to get into position at the second level. Plays too high, hasn’t shown great lower body strength and is going to have problems driving two-gap defenders off the ball. Bends at the waist rather than the knees, is undersized and is going to have problems anchoring against bull rushers. Dives at defenders’ feet rather than attacking the thigh pad and isn’t an effective cut blocker at this point. Lacks ideal awareness and doesn’t always adjust well to line stunts and blitzes.

Overall: Brown arrived at Virginia Tech as a tight end in 2003 and redshirted his first year. In 2004, he played in all 13 games as a reserve tight end, finishing the season with three receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown. He was switched to right tackle in 2005 and started all 26 games over the next two seasons (20005-06). He switched to left tackle in the spring of 2007 and started all 12 games as a senior. Brown is a former tight end who is still somewhat raw and inconsistent but there’s no questioning his upside, as he has prototypical size, initial quickness and athletic ability. With that mind he projects as a third round pick.

Rick Gosselin: 56

Quiiiite a reach here. Clearly, a need move rather than a value move. I don’t like it.


University of Miami Baseball team to take extra security when they travel to Virginia Tech

Coach Jim Morris wants his players to feel comfortable.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Miami’s baseball team will travel to Virginia Tech this weekend as scheduled, though it’ll be with additional security.

Speaking one day after a gunman killed 32 people on the Virginia Tech campus before shooting himself — the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history — Miami coach Jim Morris said Tuesday that he doesn’t believe his team will be in an unsafe environment but is adding extra protection to put his players’ minds at ease.

“I just want our guys to feel comfortable,” Morris said.

Morris called Virginia Tech coach Peter Hughes on Tuesday to offer his condolences.

“They want to try to get everything back to normalcy as soon as possible on campus,” Morris said. “There is more security on campus than the rest of state of Virginia right now.”

Miami’s players aren’t certain what to expect on this trip.

“It could be a down game or they could want to lift up the school and want to play hard,” said Scott Maine, who’s expected to be the Hurricanes’ starting pitcher when the series opens Friday. “Who knows? It is so soon from that event.”

The shootings were especially horrifying for Miami outfielder Jonathan Weislow, a freshman from Vienna, Va., who knows several Virginia Tech students.

“All of my friends from high school went there so I immediately starting thinking if my friends were OK,” Weislow said. “Everyone that I talked to was just panicking and said it was just unreal.”

The Hurricanes will be wearing black armbands in memory of the victims.

A nice gesture by the Hurricanes, but the school and its coach are being stupid and paranoid. Higher security of course will cost the school money and for what? The baseball team is more likely to get killed flying up to Virginia than have an incident at the ballgame. Are we supposed to not travel any more? Use your brains people.

What happened in Blacksburg this week was a terrible tragedy. God bless the families of all those who died.

Hat tip- Rick at Stuck on the Palmetto


Washington Nationals Wear Virginia Tech Baseball Caps

The Washington Nationals wore Virginia Tech baseball caps last night in a show of support for the nearby university.

Washington Nationals Wear Virginia Tech Baseball Caps Photo Jerome Williams sports a Virginia Tech cap along with his teammates Tuesday but falls to 0-3 after allowing four runs and seven hits in five innings. The Washington Nationals fell behind against a pitcher bound for the Hall of Fame and predictably ended up losing to the Atlanta Braves last night, 6-4. But what otherwise would have gone down as a routine April defeat by a young team trying to find its way was given greater meaning when the Nationals came out of the dugout wearing Virginia Tech baseball caps.

At that moment, playing baseball took a back seat to remembering the victims of the shootings in Blacksburg, Va., as the 17,791 at RFK Stadium responded with a loud ovation.


[Nats 3rd baseman Ryan] Zimmerman attended the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech’s arch rival. But when team officials approached the players during batting practice to ask them about wearing Virginia Tech hats, Zimmerman didn’t hesitate. “I was honored to wear it,” he said.

The idea sprang from an e-mail that Nationals fan Dave Lanham sent to team president Stan Kasten. Lanham, a resident of Calvert County, suggested that the team don the hats in tribute. Kasten liked the thought but didn’t see the e-mail until after his afternoon meetings.

With about 90 minutes before first pitch, Harolyn Cardozo, executive assistant to General Manager Jim Bowden, was on the phone calling sporting goods stores. She dialed the number to the Sports Authority’s store in Alexandria, and when she heard a voice, she had one simple demand: “Give me the smartest guy in the store who can get something done fast.”

Paul Schneider, a department manager, soon was scouring the store for Hokies hats. Cardozo asked for 40 of them and they needed to be at the stadium before the Nats took the field. Schneider found about 20 on the rack and discovered a box full in a storeroom. He talked his managers into donating the 38 hats of various styles, then jumped in his car to cross the Wilson Bridge and weave through rush-hour traffic to get to RFK.

Fifteen minutes before the first pitch, Major League Baseball gave the team approval. Schneider arrived at the stadium during the first inning, and the caps made it to the Nationals’ dugout in time for the team to take the field with them for the second inning.

A nice gesture. Interestingly, Kasten was president of the Braves for many years.


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