Tonight on News, Notes and Rumors

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Evan Silva of Rotoworld/PFTalk NBC Sports

Evan Silva of Rotoworld/PFTalk NBC Sports joins us to talk about the first quarter of the NFL season in terms of fantasy football.

Brent Sobleski of ESPN & joins us to talk about the top 15 teams and the OSU win at Michigan State.

Dave Kay of joins us to preview the Big 10 and Big East basketball seasons.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at

He edits . Also listen to the best Sports Talk anywhere on the Internet and hear his sports show Monday-Thursday 6-7:30 PM EST on or  You can catch any interviews you missed on

Things to look for this week in College and Pro football.

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The Big East is a fraud. Despite the pollsters doing their best to get a BE team into the top 25, the league stinks this year. Several teams have crept into the top 25 only to lose and fall back out the next week. The current top team is Syracuse (6-2) who is tied for 28th in the AP. The league is recruiting BcS #3 TCU to join the league. TCU would love to get into an automatic qualifying conference. The BE desperately needs a team–any team– that can get into the top 25 and stay there. It also would love to have a TV presents in the Dallas market. The only problem is the BE basketball is 16 teams already and TCU does not have a strong basketball tradition.

#3 TCU @ #5 Utah – The loser is out of the Championship picture. The TCU D is #1 in most college stats and the O is 9th in scoring and 9th in rushing. The Utah D is 6th in points allowed and their O is 3rd in scoring. The key may be the difference in opponents. The only big time opponent that Utah has played was a badly over rated #15 Pit team in game 1 of the season. TCU beat a good Oregon State team ranked at the time and Baylor who was not ranked then but is #21 now. TCU wins due to more experience on D and at QB.

#6 Alabama @ #10 LSU – Watch out for Bama. They lost on the road @ South Carolina in their 3rd straight game against a ranked team that had a bye the previous week. I think LSU is W A Y over rated. Bama wins easily on the road.

#15 Arizona @ #13 Stanford – All the talk about this game is about the Stanford #5 scoring O against the Zona #7 points against D. But this game will be decided by the Arizona O vs the Stanford D. Zona is 12th in passing but struggles to put points on the board (#32). The Stanford D will struggle to stop the air attack of the Zona and Arizona wins on the road.

#21 Baylor @ #17 Oklahoma St. – Both passing games are outstanding. Soph QB Griffin has led the Bears to their first bowl eligibility in years and is ranked 10th in passing yards. OKSt has a bad D that is susceptible to the passing game but has the 3rd ranked passing game themselves. The key should be the running game of the Bears and the visitors should walk away with the win.

#18 Arkansas @ #19 South Carolina – Hog QB Mallett leads the 2nd ranked passing game into SC against the Gamecocks 24th ranked D. But Mallett’s passing stats are misleading. He has failed against the top teams (#1 Alabama and #4 Auburn) he has played and needs this game to prove to the scouts that he is a worthy top pick whenever he comes out. SC beat Alabama but lost in their only other game against a top team. They also stumbled against Kentucky. SC plays much better at home and wins this game.

NFL this week:

Chiefs (5-2) @ Raiders (4-4) -2.5 – This game is critical to the Raiders if they want a chance at the playoffs. The Chiefs bring in the top rushing game against the 26th ranked rush D of the Raiders. The secret for KC is not to have to depend on the arm of QB Cassel because he is not reliable. They have played only 2 good teams (Colts and Texans) and lost to both. The Raiders are coming back. The O has scored 92 points in the last 2 games. They win and cover.

Colts (5-2) @ Eagles (4-3) -3 – With the benching of QB Kolb the Eagles are taking a big gamble on keeping the locker room together. QB Vick is solid but will have some rust coming off an injury. I think the Colts cover and should win.

Buccaneers (5-2) @ Falcons (5-2) -8.5 – Buc HC Morris thinks he has the best team in the league. He doesn’t. The Bucs are 30th against the run and that is what the Falcons do best. Atlanta wins but 8.5 is a BIG number I would not touch.

Dolphins (4-3) @ Ravens (5-2) -6 – The Ravens struggled defensively against the Bills last week. Even so, the team is solid. The Dolphins won ugly against the Bengals last week. QB Henne is not having a great season and the Dolphin O line will struggle against the Raven D. The Ravens win and should cover.

Best Bet: Giants +5.5 vs Seahawks.

Is 2011 really the year of the QB? Probably not. Most mock drafts show 3 QBs going in the first round of the 2011 draft. There is no question that a lot of NFL teams need QBs but it is not at all clear that the under class guys like Mallett in Arkansas and Luck at Stanford, or even Wilson at NC State will come out. The key is going to be the Collective Bargaining Agreement. DeMaurice Smith of the NFLPA and the owners need to get a deal done by declaration day in mid January 2011. There is no chance that the deal will be done by that time. I don’t see any of the under class men coming out without a deal signed prior to the declaration date. QB Locker (Washington) will go in the 1st round but that is it. Florida State QB Ponder will go in round 2, with Delaware QB Devlin and Nevada QB Kaepernick being wild cards. Their draft position will depend on the all star games and the combine.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits His first non-fiction work is at the publisher now and he has also published several novels on

and edits .

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What did we learn from week 2 in College Football?

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Virginia Tech was WAY over-rated.

The win by Boise State looked pretty good last week. But then VTk lost to James Madison with James out of the lineup with an injury. The only significant game the Boise will play is VTk and now that win has lost its luster. Based just on the JM game against VTk, Boise does not deserve a shot at the Championship game.

Ohio State is the real deal.

The Buckeyes not only crushed Marshall but then soundly defeated #12 Miami. What made the OSU win over Marshall even more impressive was its game this week against West Virginia. They should have won the game but were robbed by a referee wearing a mask and carrying a gun. More on that in the editorial below.

While the OSU Miami game was supposed to be a shootout between two Heisman QB prospects, it exposed the over hyped Miami QB Harris. Harris had a passer rating of just 59.6 last year because of 17 picks to go with 24 TDs. Everyone in the media seemed to believe that in his Jr. year he would finally get it. 2 of the 4 picks Harris had were not totally his fault. He had too much heat on one and it skipped off the hands of the receiver and fell into the hands of a Buckeye. Another was stolen by the Buckeye DB.

Based on week 2 performance, there are a bunch of over rated teams.

#5 Texas struggled through early against a vastly out-manned Wyoming team. In the end, the heat and lack of depth got to the Cowboys and Texas won 34-7.

#8 Florida also struggled early against South Florida. The Tebow era is over and now the O looks sluggish. That is something to watch.

#11 Wisconsin had to hold on to beat a San Jose St. team that was crushed and beaten up last week by #1 Alabama 48-3. The Badgers allowed 2 late TDs to cut the final score to 27-14.

#17 Florida State looked bad against #10 Oklahoma in a 47-17 loss. On both sides of the ball, the team was over-matched. QB Ponder is over rated but never had time to find a secondary receiver.

#18 Penn State got crushed by #1 Alabama. The O scored just 3 points and were lucky to get that. They need more O if they are going to be competitive in the Big 10 let alone the nation.

#21 Auburn looked good against Arkansas State but when they played a real team like Mississippi State, they looked like they don’t deserve to be in the top 25. They had to hold on to win the game 17-14.

Editorial: I apologize to the Big 10 officials. You are not the worst in college football. That dishonor belongs to the Big East zebras.

Again the BE refs get plopped into the Fryingpan. Missing the fact that the WR for Marshall dropped the ball BEFORE he crossed the goal line could happen to anybody. BUT, how in the world do you miss 2 O linemen in the endzone holding a single DL of Marshall on the long pass that set up the winning TD? The holds happened right in front of the head Ref.

In 2008, WV was poised to win a spot in the Championship game. In a game against #25 Louisville the BE zebras did everything they could to prevent a WV loss. The Cards won despite everything that the zebras could do.

If you would like to see this kind of analysis on the NFL games check out News, Notes and Rumors on

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NCAA Football,week 2,Virginia Tech,Boise St,Ohio State,Texas,Florida,Wisconsin,Florida State,Penn State,Alabama,Auburn,Big East,Big 10,Heisman trophy,Mississippii State

My thoughts on the final weekend of the NCAA Tournament

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Fryingpan Sports

My thoughts on the final weekend of the NCAA Tournament

By Bill Smith

The Big East teams fail to make the Championship game.

North Carolina was just too deep and too talented for Villanova. NC point guard Ty Lawson and forward Tylor Hansbrough. Hansbrough came back for his senior year to try to win a Championship. He and Lawson were all that NC needed to get to the finals.

The biggest surprise of the day was the win by Michigan State over Connecticut. The defense of MSU stopped UConn’s powerful offense. Points off turnovers were the difference. UConn had the greatest margin on foul shots taken vs opponent foul shots in the country. While the Detroit fans were clearly supporting the Spartans, the officials did their best to even the odds for UConn.

Despite the failure to make the final game, the Big East had an outstanding season.

Just because the top teams failed to advance to the Championship game, don’t discount the year that the BE had. They were the top conference all season long with significant wins up and down the league standings.

The officiating was, to be kind, inconsistent.

A foul like beauty is in the eye of the of the beholder. When UConn had the ball fouls seemed to appear to the zebras much more often than when MSU had the pill. I played golf with my uncle and found out it isn’t what you shoot that makes the difference. It’s what you count and don’t count that really changes the score.

I will admit that I seem to be the only one that saw the disparity of calls between the two teams. Of course any statement even by the announcers will get them transferred to do the Alaska Shootout except they don’t play that any more. But since I had no particular interest in either team, I found it surprising that all the fouls in the first half seemed to be against the Spartans.

In football and basketball, SPEED KILLS.

And it was speed that killed the Spartans against the Tar Heels. There is a real temptation to play at the speed of NC when you play them. Combine that with the success MSU had against UConn with fastbreak points off defensive steals, the Spartans started the game running with NC. They problem was that they couldn’t hit the few open shots that running got them. They also couldn’t get many rebounds.

While Wayne Ellington was hitting 7 for 9 for NC, the Tar Heels suddenly found out how to play defense. All year long, the experts said that NC was a great offensive team that just outscored their opponents. That was not at all the case at least in the Tournament.

In the time between the loss in the ACC tournament and the first NCAA game, the Heels rededicated themselves to defense. In the first half of the Championship game alone, Lawson got 7 steals including an inbound pass that helped NC build a 10 point lead in the first few minutes. The Heels never looked back and the Spartans never looked like they belonged on the same floor as the Champs.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

Technorati Tags: NCAA Tournament,Big Dance,North Carolina,Michigan State,Villanova,Connecticut,UConn,Tar Heels,Spartans,Big East

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