RSS

Category Archives: College Sports

My Top-10 Draft Pick Predictions:

So, after writing my NFL Draft blog earlier (https://jefflangan.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/trends-for-the-nfl-draft/), I figured, why not make some predictions for how the draft is going to turn out.

These are my predictions:

1. Carolina Panthers: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

2. Denver Broncos: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

3. Buffalo Bills: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

4. Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

5. Arizona Cardinals: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

6. Cleveland Browns: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

7. San Fransisco 49ers, Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

8. Tennessee Titans: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

9. Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, OT, USC

10. Washington Redskins: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

What do you think?

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: jeff.langan.jr@gmail.com with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 25, 2011 in College Sports, NFL

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Trends for the NFL Draft

It has been a long month and a half for football fans. Since the lockout, the only football news we have been subjected to has been news from courtrooms across the country, as well as representatives from both sides jockeying for the upper hand in negotiation.

But even with the stalemate in negotiations, we football fans have been looking forward to one thing: the NFL Draft. On Thursday, we get our first taste of the 2011-2012 season. And while mediation between the NFL and NFLPA not looking like they are going anywhere, this might be our only taste of football for a while.

Now, I do not know what is going to happen when picks start pouring. If I did, I would have submitted my picks to ESPN, and be a very rich man. Instead of giving you my picks, like everyone on the face-of-the-earth is doing, I figure I give you my five trends to look for during the three-day draft.

1. QB-Battle: This is a quarterback-heavy draft class. From Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert, down to Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick, there eight to ten quarterbacks that could be quality starters in the NFL.

Besides the debate between who the top quarterback is, either Blaine Gabbert or Cam Newton, quarterbacks have been jockeying to get drafted before everyone else. Eight of the ten teams drafting first are in need of a quarterback, and many top-tiered teams need quality backups, or quarterbacks to train for the future. You will see a lot of teams drafting a lot of quarterbacks being drafted in the first round.

2. Who will be #1?: According to all the mock drafts out there, there have been at least ten different players that have been projected as the number one pick. Will one of those players actually be picked first? Will there be a sleeper? Those are the questions the Carolina Panthers will answer at around 8:10 p.m.

3. Trading down: Along with the quarterback position, it is a deep-draft as a whole. There are many quality players that can perform well at the professional level. With that being said, I predict a lot of teams will try and trade down to pick up more draft positions in the first few rounds.

4. Defensive-Heavy: What wins championships? Defense. Look at the Steelers, Saints, and Packers. All have a solid, and deep, defense. All teams will be looking to strengthen their defense, replacing key players, and adding depth in case a player falls from injury, which in inevitable in the league.

5. Filling holes: Another casualty of the lockout is that there is no free-agency. In February, teams look to bolster their roster by adding free agents, which could make an impact right away. Without this free agency period before the draft, teams will be looking to fill holes that would usually be filled by free agents. Since we don’t know when a new CBA will be signed, owners don’t know when free agency will start. The NFL Draft is a good start.

Hope this wets your appetite. I will be in front of my television Thursday, with my Broncos gear on, eagerly watching the draft. This could be a very long offseason. Might as well appreciate the little bit of football while I can.

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: jeff.langan.jr@gmail.com with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Perfect Storm

While waiting for an oil change, I read a great article in latest edition of Sports Illustrated (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1183842/index.htm), about the financial problems of the Fiesta Bowl, which was one of the BCS bowls that was played at the end of the season.

Last year, the game which is usually played by the Big-10 champ, as well as an at-large bid, was a snorefest last year. Oklahoma dismantled UConn from the very beginning, blowing them out 48-20. The Fiesta Bowl has been a host for some of the most memorable BCS game in history. From Boise State’s ‘Statue-of-Liberty’ play against Oklahoma in 2007, to the Battle of the non-Automatic Bids in 2010, pitting Boise State against TCU, the Fiesta Bowl has been memorable.

But even with all of the memorable games, the CEO of the Fiesta Bowl wanted more.

Long story short, the CEO of the Fiesta Bowl, John Junker, wrote checks to friends of the Fiesta Bowl, excessively spent money for the bowl game, and altered financial paperwork. He was promptly placed on administrative leave before the investigation, and fired after the investigation was over.

Because of these misconducts, the sanctioning body of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), the Fiesta Bowl could lose their BCS-eligibility.

The possibility of the Fiesta Bowl not staying in the BCS, and the success of this years March Madness, is creating a ‘Perfect Storm’ against the BCS, which could lead to an implementation of a playoff system in college’s most popular sport, football.

With the loss of one the most profitable bowl games, the BCS will be hurting. There has been outcry from the public that the BCS isn’t fair, and doesn’t give the smaller schools a chance to win the championship. Mark Cuban, wealthy businessman and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, has come up with his own playoff system, that is starting to get traction, which could lead to strong opposition of the BCS.

March Madness is also pushing the ‘anti-BCS’ rhetoric. In the Final Four, there are two teams that are outside of the Power-6 conferences (Big-10, Big-12, Big East, ACC, PAC-10, SEC), with one of those teams going to the finals. The underdogs have shined this month, knocking off the so-called ‘powerhouses,’ and providing excitement for fans.

This is what the BCS needs. They need a playoff system. It is unfair to the athletes, who train hard over the long summer months, and put their blood, sweat, and tears into their teams over the season, to rank them from a computer.

Having a 68-team playoffs like basketball is absurd. But a 16-team playoff would be perfect.

You have the winners of the Power-6 conferences get an automatic bid, along with the Mountain-West and Western Athletic Conference. After that, you get the top-8 teams in the BCS rankings. Seed them, then take the month of December, and play the games during the weekend. December is a dead month for college football, so you wouldn’t have to compete with many other sports for television time. You can then play the semi-finals and the finals the during the same time you play the other BCS bowl, so it would be like the BCS games anyway.

Now, the BCS will argue that they will lose money with a playoff system. But, in fact, they would gain piles of it. Think about it. I am not an accountant by any stretch, but just think of the fan support. They will buy more tickets and merchandise. TV stations would lineup down the block to get television rights for the games. And in advertising alone, you could make enough money to cover loss you would have transitioning from the old system.

So instead of making money off of five games, your making money off of 15-games.

With the BCS still deciding what to do with the Fiesta Bowl, all we have left to do, as fans, is to wonder what is going to happen. With all of the publics support, maybe the BCS will get the picture, and push for a playoff system in college football.

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: jeff.langan.jr@gmail.com with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 2, 2011 in College Sports

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Quick Hits

So, it has been a while since I have written here. With having three midterms and a project due the two days before break, and not having internet on Spring Break, it has been hard to find time to write. And boy, has there been a lot of stuff going on in the sports-world that I have wanted to write about.

Instead writing a bunch of full blogs, which would take a day and a half, I figure I would just write about a bunch of short blurbs.

1. There have been two rule-changed in the NFL that will take place this season (hopefully). One change was they would review all scoring plays, taking the stress off of NFL coaches. This is one that was overdue. As a head coach, you have worry about players, plays, a wide variety of other things. They are 30 yards away from scoring plays, having to rely on the big screens and other assistant coaches to tell him to challenge it. With this, it will take more stress off the head coach, and automatically replay every questionable scoring play.

The other rule passed was they moved the kickoff spot forward five-yards, to the 35-yard line. Kick off specialists Devin Hester and Joshua Cribbs have both publically lashed out against the new rule. They have a point. It will severely dimish their skilled position as a kick returner (although both play crucial parts in their teams offenses). But, if you think about it, strategy can come into play. You might be able to catch some teams off-guard who are expecting a touchback.

1a. The NFLPA wants the rookies to boycott the draft. They don’t want the draft class to show up to Radio City Music Hall, not to walk across the stage infront of the entire country, not to hug Roger Goodall and receive the ceremonial jersey, and to not take pictures that will last a lifetime.

Really?

As a kid, you dream about that. Hoping one day you can strut across that stage. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and the NFLA want them to miss it. How selfish.

And P.S.- it is the same NFLPA who wants to implement a rookie pay scale. Which means the rookies, who they are asking to boycott, will lose out on millions.

[Insert witty comment here]

1b. Still no word on the labor front. April 6th seems to be the day. Keep your fingers crossed.

2. March Madness! Like everyone else in the country, my bracket was done after the third-round, with both Pittsburgh and Notre Dame losing early. This has been the most exciting tournament in a while. There have been buzzer-beaters, multiple Cinderellas, and controversial endings. All play into an exciting four days of college basketball.

3. But, there is a downside to the tournament. The length. In the first four days, 48 games were played. Then, there was a three-day break, then eight games in two days, and so on and so-forth. It slows down. The pace of the tournament screeches to a halt after the third round, and limps to the finish. Yes, I understand the kids do have school. But between rounds, they don’t go back to school. They hang around the beach, and relax. March Madness could add more excitement by shortening the tournament (It is called March Madness, but ends in April; does anyone else see the problem?)

4. The big thing in the NBA still focuses around the Carmelo Anthony trade, but not the focus the Knicks wanted. They are under .500 since getting ‘Melo, while the Nuggets are 11-4 since they traded away ‘Melo and Billups, getting most of the Knicks. The Knicks have also fallen two spots in the playoff standings, and are looking at a first-round matchup against the Celtics.

Guess the Knicks were better BEFORE they got ‘Melo. Walsh and D’Antoni got this one wrong (so far).

Interesting.

5. Alex Ovechkin is out 7-10 games. He doesn’t elaborate on the injury. The Capitals are saying he ‘needs the rest for a playoff push.’ They have clinched a playoff spot, and look to have one of the top-two seeds in the Eastern Conference. If I was on the Capitals, and a player was ‘resting’ 7-10 games, while I was busting-my-butt on the ice every night, I would not be a happy skater.

6. Kyle Busch won the Jeff Byrd 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway last Sunday. He swept both the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series races. Week after week, he is the ‘man-to-beat,’ always a favorite to win the race. Jimmie Johnson, on the other hand, never expects to win, but always flies under the radar into the Top-five by the end of the race. JJ is one of the most under-rated drivers in NASCAR. Yet, Jimmie has won five straight series championships, Kyle was won none. Doesn’t sound right.

7. One week until Opening Day. So excited to see Boston’s revamped lineup and rotation. They look good so far. But spring games don’t count towards a World Series. If everyone stays healthy, the Red Sox look like the favorite to win the American League.

A lot has happened in the sports world, with a lot more left to come.

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: jeff.langan.jr@gmail.com with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 24, 2011 in College Sports, MLB, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, NHL

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Best Time of the Year for College Basketball

It’s finally March. The snow is melting (except in Connecticut, where there were some flurries), the mercury is rising, and March Madness is in full swing.

This past week, we, as fans, were treated to an exciting week of conference championship tournaments. And boy, wasn’t it exciting. You upsets, buzzer beaters, and exciting finishes that made you jump out of your chair and scream.

Considering I am 10 minutes down the road from UConn, naturally, I was rooting for the UConn Huskies. There run through the Big East Tournament, the toughest conference in college basketball, was exhilerating. Kemba Walker, who had be quiet towards the end the season, expoded during the tournament. His buzzer beater against Pittsburgh, the number one seed in the conference, as well as big shots agaisnt Syracuse, and Louisville, were outstanding.

But on Sunday, the slate was whiped clean. The selection committee picked the field of 68 teams to compete in the NCAA Tournament. As usual, there were some suprises, and some snubs. The most notable snubs were Colorado and Virginia Tech, both who had strong runs in their conference tournaments, but struggled at times throughout the season.

Even beyond the controversy, I filled out my bracket.

Was it hard to pick the winners? Of course.

The parity in college basketball this year has been the best in years. There has not been that one team that dominates throughout the season. Every team, of every seed, has a chance to win the tournament.

My Final Four consists of:

  • Ohio State out of the East
  • Duke out of the West
  • Notre Dame out of the Southwest
  • Pittsburgh out of the Southeast

Ohio State has impressed me throughout the season, and Sullinger seems unstoppable. Duke impressed me in their ACC tournament, making quick work of UNC. Notre Dame has been underrated in the Big East, quietly sneaking up the rankings. And Pittsburgh is going to come out hungry, after their devestating loss to UConn in the Big East.

In the finals, I think it will be Ohio State vs. Notre Dame, with Ohio State pulling out the victory 79-74.

Who do you have?

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: jeff.langan.jr@gmail.com with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 14, 2011 in College Sports

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Why the Problems with the Combine?

The NFL Scouting Combine, which starts in the next 24 hours, is a place for college players to show off their ‘freak-of-nature’ skills, hoping to convince a team to draft them in April.

With that being said, why are players not participating, or making a big deal that they are?

In the past two days, there has been some big Combine news. Cam Newton has shocked the Combine world by going to the combine and throwing. Today, on ESPN, they reported that Da’Quan Bowers was only going to lift at the combine.

Am I missing something? Why not go all out for the Combine. It is your one time to show what you got to every coach and general manager in the National Football League.

I understand you could be worried of getting injured, but let’s face it, you could injured anywhere. Why hold back?

Guess this is why I am writing instead of being on the field in front of scouts.

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: jeff.langan.jr@gmail.com with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 23, 2011 in College Sports

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Why I Love College Sports

In college sports, any team can win on any given day. It doesn’t matter what you are ranked in the AP Top-25, or what score some computer gives you for the BCS. No one is immortal.

Take a look at this past week in the college basketball world.

On Monday, Kansas took over the number-one ranking in the AP Top-25. That night, they lost to an unranked-Kansas State, on a buzzer-beating shot.

So, naturally, the number-one spot was up for grabs.

On Wednesday, both #10 Wisconsin, #16 Louisville, and #9Georgetown were upset by lower-ranked teams.  On Friday, #12 UConn was upset by #16 Louisville.

So, in theory, the Top-10 were safe in the rankings going into the weekend.

But, that is why they “…play to win the game.”

Saturday started the trend of toppling the top-10 teams. Saturday, #2 Texas, who was in-line to take over the #1 seed, dropped their game against unranked-Nebraska. #4 Pittsburgh, the ‘Beast of the Big East,’ lost a shocker against St. John’s in Madison Square garden. Also, #7 Notre Dame was defeated by unranked-West Virginia.

But wait, there’s more.

On Sunday, #3 Ohio State, the former #1-seed, went into their game against #11 Purdue in-line to take over the top-spot again, with both Kansas and Texas losing. But the Purdue Boilermakers played strong on their home court, and stunned Ohio State 76-63.

Now try and rank all the college basketball teams.

According to ESPN, the last time all top-4 teams lost in one week was the week of November 24th in the 2003-04 season.Out of the Top-15 teams, only Duke, San Diego State, BYU, Arizona, Florida, and Villanova won all their games this week. I don’t know who I would pick as #1.

Even in college football this week, there were three straight weeks where the #1 team in the country lost. The BCS standings were different every week. Every week, no matter how low your ranking was, you played the game as if your life depended on it.

This is why I love college sports.

Everyone plays hard. No one gives up. Even the underdogs have something to prove. You do not get this kind of competition in pro sports. In the pros, you see players giving up on the play, not caring whether they win or lose, and trash talk.

In college sports, it is competition at its finest. Players play every play like they have something to prove. No one gives up, and everyone plays to the final whistle.

Maybe some pro sports teams/players should take notes.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 21, 2011 in College Sports

 

Tags: , , , , ,