Who stood out at the East West Shrine game?

s

For this article I ignored the potential draft position of the players and rated their performance on the field on game day. Let me say up front that I do not agree with the “experts” that watch the practices and leave on game day. In my years of coaching, I have seen a lot of guys that looked like Tarzan in practice but when the pressure was on in a game they played like Jane.

Blair White WR Michigan State 14 points (4th round)

Blair gets open, has very good hands, and can adjust to bad balls (because he has had so much experience with bad QBs). He was a 4th or 5th projection before the EW game but with a very solid game he has moved into the 4th. The one question about him is speed. He is projected to run a 4.52. At 6-1 200 lbs, that is just OK. If he gets under 4.5 he could get into the 3rd.

Rahim Alem DE Louisiana State 13 pts (3rd)

Alem is 6-3 and 262. That is too light for a starting DE in the pros. He doesn’t really look like he can put on another 30 pounds and … Read more at FryingPanSports

What to look for in the Saturday January 2nd bowl games.

football

PAPAJOHNS.com BOWL South Carolina 7-5 Connecticut 7-5

Despite losing a key player to tragedy and being out-manned regularly, UConn has played a handful of ranked teams close only to lose heartbreaking game after game. Starting CB Jasper Howard was murdered on Oct. 18th. The team carries his memory and his jersey as a rally flag. The heart and hard work was rewarded with an overtime win over Notre Dame followed by a couple of wins to end the season.

UConn’s O scores 31 points per game and is fairly balanced between the run and the pass. The running tandem of Todman and Dixon provide a good ground attack despite not having even an average O line. QB Endres took over half way through the year and has done fairly well completing 64% with 6 TDs and 4 picks. His favorite target is WR Easley (5th round). The D has gotten better over the year but still is young. It is led by DE Witten (4th) and FS Vaughn (5th).

The Ol’ Ball Coach Spurrier still throws the ball all over the place. “Running backs, we don’t need no stinkin’ running backs” seems to … Read more at FryingPanSports

What to watch for in the games this weekend.

football

College Football:

Georgia Tech v. Clemson  This game was interesting on a couple of levels.  First, GT is going to be a nightmare to defend.  They have the Navy option game working like a fine tuned race car.  But Clemson in previous years would have folded up like a 78 Ford Fairmont after the opponent put 21 points on the board.  But this Clemson team fought back and made a game of it.  These two should be fun to watch going forward.

USC @ Ohio State Forget what the experts are saying. This game will depend on 2 things—the OSU O and D lines. Can OSU drive USC off the ball to run and give Pryor time to throw? Can OSU’s D stop the run and put pressure on the USC QB? The answer to both is no and OSU will lose the game by 14.

Notre Dame @ Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez’s system will work but he does not have the players on O or D to make it effective. ND finally has some key parts in place. ND wins by 10.

South Carolina @ Georgia Last year all the experts had Georgia at the top of the rankings. … Read more at FryingPanSports

My thoughts on the final weekend of the NCAA Tournament

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 … Read more at FryingPanSports

Saturday Niblets from around the net for 03/28/09

Fryingpan Sports

Saturday Niblets from around the net for 03/28/09

nib

By Bill Smith

Best comment of the last 2 weeks:

Acai Burn’s comment on Don’t get too excited about a 3 team deal involving Jay Cutler and the Browns.

The Browns have two serviceable quarterbacks on the team at this time and to make a move at the qb position when they have other needs is a waste.

The problem is that in a three way deal, there is no way to compensate the Browns for the loss of Quinn. The Broncos will demand more than Quinn in return for Cutler. The question I posed boils down to where will the draft choice(s) for the Browns come from to compensate them for giving up Quinn?

Updates on previous columns:

Thoughts about the first 2 rounds of the NCAA Tournament. – CBS has done a little better job limiting the switches in games. The officials must be reading my site. There have been very few visits to the scoring table replay TV since I commented on the issue. The top seeded teams are still in control of the bracket although Xavier gave Pittsburgh a tough game on Thursday night. … Read more at FryingPanSports

Saturday's Niblets from around the net for 03/14/09

Fryingpan Sports

Saturday’s Niblets from around the net for 03/14/09

nib

By Bill Smith

Best comment this week:

From Sportsbook on Capologist is the NFL MVP

Comment:

You are right and it is unfortunate, but I have a feeling that this will get settled in the 11th hour like it was last time. Last time, the economy was good. This time, the NFL will look even worse if they can’t settle this mess and keep the fans happy.

Also, this will be Goodell’s first test. Yes, we know he’s a sheriff and can suspended players when necessary, but what about the labor talks? How competent is he with that?

My Analysis: we will all find out how good a negotiator he is soon enough. But it takes two parties committed to getting a deal done to accomplish a contract. My fear is that the campaign rhetoric coming from the candidates to replace Gene Upshaw as the Executive Director of the NFL Players Association indicates that Goodell may not have a reasonable partner with whom to bargain.

UPDATES ON PREVIOUS COLUMNS:

The 08-09 Cavilers are not your fathers team.

Thursday night the Cavs on their west coast road trip came back from … Read more at FryingPanSports