Ohio State

Terrelle Pryor at the NFL Level

OTC fans, we will be back to writing our 10 page long rants about every minute detail of every sport soon, but due to some busy times here, we are just going to keep it short and sweet for a bit before returning to our ranting and raving selves. Enjoy.

Once upon a time, no one wondered if Terrelle Pryor would change the landscape of college football. It was a question of how, and how drastically. Three years later, we foudn out that the guy who was all those things was actually named Cam Newton. Cam was the #1 pick, the charismatic QB with a fireworks show of a smile and every physical gift imaginable> Now it turns out that they both have NCAA allegation issues. With the recent news that Terrelle Pryor will be leaving school, and likely eventually entering the Supplemental Draft, it is a time to look forward to his career in the NFL, and back on his football skills on college. I really could not care less about his NCAA allegations, so to hell with them, time to focus on football. What will he be in the NFL? Will he be any good? Who could use him? Where does he go from here? Let’s take a brief look.

After the Ohio State-Texas Fiesta Bowl, which was truly a fantastic game, we thought there was some hope that he could end up a QB at the highest level. After the Rose Bowl vs. Oregon, we though he had finally figured it out. His passing was crisp, his reads were good, and he picked apart the Ducks with ruthless efficiency. After this year, he is barely an option at QB in the NFL. Someone will take a chance on him, someone will give him a shot, and someone may even squeeze a few wins out of him. He is truly a fantastic athlete.

But guess what? He isn’t as good as Vince Young, and Vince couldn’t make it as a QB either. It isn’t a slight to either of them, but they just are not quite good enough to be QBs in the NFL. He would be great in the CFL (probably), but I am not sold on him at the NFL level.

Let’s get one thing straight: If he is drafted to the NFL, it will be as a QB. A kid who has been praised and worshipped all his life does not just decide he will change what has made him so loved and learn how to be a defensive end or tight end. He will be a QB wherever he goes. The question from here on out is “what SHOULD he do to maximize hsi NFL success”?

With a frame like his, tight end seems to be the standard place to plug him in. He does not really fit in too many other places on offense, so if he is not a QB, he has to be there. Defensively, he could fit as a DE if he is tough enough, but I don’t think he naturally fits many other places either. There is a certain toughness you see in DEs, though, and I do not think Pryor has it. Think about Julius Peppers, Dwight Freeney, or even the random 2nd DE on your favorite team’s roster. If he is even a decent DE there is a little extra toughness about him that, say, your team’s TE doesn’t have. Think Dallas Clark for that one, the prototype guy who can do the job wel but clearly lacks that extra toughness factor. Terrelle lacks this extra toughness, so I am going to slot him in at TE.

See how easy that was? He can start from here, just being a goal-line threat and as he realizes he can and should work on his TE skill-set more, he can potentially turn into a Marcedes Lewis type TE who is big but not really a home-run threat. As time goes on, maybe he gets good enough to really be that home-run threat but I wouldn’t necessarily expect it right away as he seems to have good gliding speed rather than breakaway speed.  Regardless, this possibility is one that is FAR more attractive to me as a mock-NFL owner than a QB with great legs, a questionable arm and what will probably be middling Wonderlic scores. Do I think he will just accept this idea? Absolutely not, but it is a far more realistic option for NFL success than trying to make the grade as a QB. More power to the guy for wanting to be a QB and reaching for the stars, but in my extremely polished faux-journalistic opinion, he would be much better served as a TE at the NFL level.

Lest we forget how breathtaking Pryor could be, here are some videos of him for your viewing pleasure.

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Ferrells and Fallons: Week 11

By: Matt Kroeger

This Sunday’s game between the Colts and Pats has me predictably over-the-top excited. I am, SHOCKINGLY, a Colts fan. This is the game you clear you see on the schedule at the beginning of the season and clear your calendar for. It is always a dramatic game, one full of history. The Patriots are our mortal enemies and have been over the course of my lifetime. There are many, many fighting points between the two groups: Manning vs. Brady (the biggie), undefeated seasons, Spygate, passing records, Super Bowl rings, intense playoff games, Marvin Harrison’s inexplicable shooting, injuries (this year at least). What this all boils down to is a serious rivalry between two sports families, a rivalry that leads me to type the following sentences: I hope Brady gets his face smashed into the grass on Sunday. I hope he throws five interceptions and fumbles the ball away another three times. I hope Peyton torches that defense for six TDs…in the first half. I hope Belichick cries. I hope Wes Welker gets his bell rung by our third-string safety. I hope a Pats fan gets arrested for running onto the field only to be dragged off on a stretcher because Jeff Saturday pancakes him. I hope Tony Dungy is positively elated with that creepy smile of his on Sunday Night Football, while Rodney Harrison appears noticeably pissed off, leaving Dan Patrick to clumsily break the tension and awkwardly segue into a commercial break.

Now some might think those statements are horrible. “Why would you wish so much malice on them!” It’s nothing personal (well, sort of). It’s just the nature of sports. It’s a rivalry. That’s what you do. I wouldn’t hold it against Patriots fans if they felt the same way about me, just like I would expect them not to hold those comments against me. We can despise each other’s teams while still respecting the competition. Rivalries are what make sports infinitely more entertaining.

But here’s what I really wanted to get at. No one in the sports media openly shows their personal fandom. Reporters, writers, anchors…none of them have a team. Or at least they don’t show it. Rooting for your team is what makes sports so fun, yet these media types are told to remain completely objective and neutral. I understand the rationality for it, but c’mon! Have an opinion! Instead, they all act like Sports is a Biology textbook that they need to study intently before a final exam. Everything is analytical and watered down. There’s no passion.

I want to know who these guys are cheering for. One thing that makes ESPN writer Bill Simmons so interesting is that he openly admits his fan biases. No one holds it against him because he still retains a fair, objective point of view. In fact, I respect him more. He EMBRACES the fan side of it–something you never see anywhere else. Now, I’m not saying that all media members need to go crazy and channel their inner Lou Holtz by blindly supporting their team at all times (that wouldn’t make you a true fan anyway). I just want to see why you’re watching the game to begin with. I still want all the fair and balanced analysis, but when something great or disappointing or surprising or whatever happens for YOUR team, let’s see some emotion. I don’t think that is too much to ask.

Ferrells:

Yes, this Troy Smith.

QB: Troy Smith (SF). The former Heisman-winner has put up back-to-back 115+ QB rating games, and more importantly, won both of them. San Franciscans (and Mike Singletary) rejoice! Finally, a competent QB! I had a soft side towards Alex Smith, but when you need to make a change, you need to make a change.  I liked the fact that that Troy threw for 356 yards and 1 TD last week on only 28 passes. I like that he is mobile. I like that he is under control (no picks). The Bucs are great against the pass statistically, but I think their record is a little misleading. Six wins against Cleveland, Carolina (twice), Cincy, St. Louis, and Arizona. Those five teams have a combined record of 13-32. They’re hanging tough and shocking the world, but I wouldn’t let my expectations get carried away for them.

Other options: Michael Vick (PHI), Kyle Orton (DEN), Tom Brady (NE)

(Last week: Eli Manning vs. DAL…33-48, 373 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT)

RB: Jamal Charles (KC). Charles sort of slips under the radar sometimes, but he is averaging six yards per carry. That is freaking impressive. And he catches balls out of the backfield. Somehow Charles only has three total touchdowns. He may match that number this week alone against the Cardinals. The Cards are 28th against the run and are just miserable all-around, yet they have three wins and are still in the division race. Remarkable. These guys need to draft a quarterback desperately. But back to Charles: it shocks me that Haley doesn’t give him more opportunities. I guess that’s the downside of a tandem-back strategy.

Other options: BenJarvus Green-Ellis (NE), Cedric Benson (CIN), Felix Jones (DAL)

(Last week: Foster vs. JAC…15 rush, 56 yds, 1 TD)

WR: Greg Jennings (GB). Jennings has been on fire the past four weeks: 25 grabs, 368 yards and 3 TDs. Interestingly, he’s reverted back to elite receiver status only after his teammates went down with injuries. Can we really say that he is elite, then? Regardless, I wrote on Ducks that I felt like this was Favre’s last game as he will either be a) injured, b) benched for poor performance during a blowout, or c) benched for week 12 after a loss that nudges the Vikings out of playoff contention. Either way, I like the Packers’ players’ fantasy odds this week, sort of like a milder version of the Eagles’ performances in week 10.

Other options: Dwayne Bowe (KC, who I owe an apology for doubting earlier in the year), Jacob Tamme (IND), Malcom Floyd (SD)

(Last week: Mike Wallace vs. NE…8 catch, 136 yds, 2 TD)

Fallons:

QB: Jay Cutler (CHI). Dolphins are sixth against the pass and are at home, plus Cutler is unpredictable. And don’t think that o-line fixed itself in two games; the Bears played the Bills and Vikings, both of which are bad teams. So there.

Other candidates: Peyton Manning (IND), Brett Favre (MIN), David Garrard (JAC)

(Last week: Flacco vs. ATL…22-34, 215 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT)

"You da man, Big Ben!"

RB: Rashard Mendenall (PIT). This is a major blow to my fantasy team. Ben Roethlisberger is single-handedly crippling my team, and he isn’t even on it. I was afraid this would happen. The Steelers looked like a dominant team before he got there. They ran the ball, and they ran it WELL. Mendenhall was piling up yardage, and the team was controlling the ball. They went 3-1 pre-Ben, and probably should’ve gone undefeated.

Now? The Steelers have gone 3-2 since Ben’s return, but they lucked into the Dolphins win. Still, Mendenhall is slowly being fazed out of the offense; Ben is the primary focus on offense now. After a brutal loss to the Patriots, my question is: why not stick with what works? Run the ball. Instead, Tomlin is channeling his inner-Wade Philips and allowing the quarterback to overshadow a successful running game. Sucks for me.

Other candidates: Ronnie Brown (MIA), Matt Forte (CHI), Brandon Jackson (GB)

(Last week:  Gore vs. STL…22 rush, 87 yds, 1 TD, 3 catch, 67 yds)

WR: Mike Williams (SEA). What a great story…that I have to sour. I love that he has reincarnated himself in Seattle under his college coach and worked his way back on the field in a big way. Eleven catches for 145 yards last week is nothing to scoff at. The problem I have with Williams, though, is that he has had three great games this season, but the other six have been HORRIBLE showings (look it up). He is inconsistent. Whether that inconsistency is a result of Hasselbeck’s play or not doesn’t change the fact that he isn’t a steady fantasy option. Plus, those three breakout games came against crappy defenses (Arizona twice and Chicago). I think the Saints are going to shut him down again this week.

Other options: Pierre “Slippery Fingers” Garcon (IND), Kevin Walter (HOU), Roddy White (ATL)

(Last week: Santana Moss vs. PHI…3 catch, 28 yds)

Pigskin Pick’em: September 11th

If you are in search of infinite knowledge, you have come to the wrong place. However, if you are in search of football knowledge, you are in the right spot. We did a pretty damn good picking the interesting games last year, so we are back for Round 2 with our College and NFL Picks. Week 1 of the NFL season is always hard to really figure out, and even more so for college, but moving forward we should be able to get most of them right. Hell, if we need to make it tougher, we can incorporate the weekly lines too. Welcome back to Pigskin Pick’em.

Infinite knowledge not served here.

We started off 1-0 with the New Orleans pick from Thursday (at the bottom of this article), so let’s try to stay hot going forward. We will not be picking games that should be total blowouts like Oregon vs. New Mexico (college) or Saints vs. Browns, so if you want to be told something you already know, go talk to your grandparents. I love writing about my picks because it gives me a chance to really express my opinion on teams. I enjoy writing about the games, but for the most part, I am not telling you anything too new. This is my chance to pass down some wisdom (hopefully) about each team and how they should do this week and overall.

Oh, and every week we are picking a big upset (team +5 or around there to win, not just cover), just to make it interesting. Let’s go!

Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Jets

There was a time when this would be a matchup of two great defenses. Not anymore. The Raves are without Ed Reed and have shown some definite cracks in the armor lately on defense. The Jets, on the other hand have been nothing but excellent defensively over the last year, and although they were only 9-7 last year, I think they can improve. However, this game does not set up well for the Jets. They really do not have the weapons to exploit the Ravens secondary, and with the pressure the defense will put on Mark Sanchez, there is a pretty decent chance he turns it over a couple times. Few things kill teams quicker than turnovers, and I think Sanchez is far more likely to do that against Baltimore than Flacco is against the Jets. The Ravens have a big offensive line, and while they might find it difficult to run the ball, they should be able to give Flacco enough time to find the open guy. I think Revis will match up with Boldin, rather than Mason, but I think the Ravens have a slight edge over the somewhat overrated Jets. It will be a really good and close game, but give me the Ravens in a tight one on Monday Night Football.

Ravens 16, Jets 13

Cincinnati Bengals vs. New England Patriots

As someone who hates the Patriots and still expects them to win, I enjoyed this picture. It still has not been cut by the way.

I think the Bengals are going to be fascinating to watch this year. Not necessarily for all the right reasons, but fascinating nonetheless. If they can resist the temptation to start slinging it all over the field with their new T.O.Y then they should be fine, but something tells me they are going to have to learn that the hard way. This team was 10-6 with a hard-nosed defense and a running game. Don’t change it just because you signed a new WR. Ask the Cowboys how it works out when you forget you  have a great running game. I think the Bengals will eventually figure it out, but it will not happen this week. I like the Patriots to put a beatdown on the Bengals in a game that will not be as close as you would think.

You know how you never pick against Nick Saban when he has extra time to prepare and other coaches like that? Put Belichick in that conversation too. He will not lose when he has had this much time to prepare for a team. The Bengals will be able to move the ball, but I think the Pats will jump on them early and force them to the air.

Bengals 17, Patriots 30


(12) Miami (FL) vs. (2) Ohio State

A big game here would go a long way towards his Heisman chances.

This is exactly the type of game Miami would play well in. They seem to play up or down to the level of their competition and I see no reason why this year would be any different. They have an outstanding QB in Jacory Harris, athletes all over the places, and all the ingredients needed to pull off an upset in the Horseshoe.

But it won’t happen. Jim Tressel has lost 1 home game to out of conference opponents. That’s it. Texas a few years ago and USC last year. That is it. This is definitely the type of game Miami would play well in, but that does not change the fact that Ohio State is the better team and the better-coached team. I am not saying it will be all Terrelle Pryor and the Buckeyes, but it is going to be a comfortable Buckeyes win. Wouldn’t be too surprised to see Miami pull it out, but the pick is wholeheartedly for the Buckeyes.

Miami 14, Ohio State 23


(17) Florida State vs. (10) Oklahoma

This is without a doubt the most overhyped game of the weekend. Last week, Florida State beat up on a small school and Oklahoma almost got beat up by a small school, bu here is why it does not matter. This is just not the type of game either of these teams traditionally comes out and plays well in. FLorida State does not handle expectations that well anymore, and Oklahoma is really just not that good. I am still going to watch, but this game has all the makings of a poorly-played game that stays close as a result between two overrated teams. I am going to pick Oklahoma because they are at home, but you will not have to worry about either of these teams when Bowl Season rolls around.

Florida State 20, Oklahoma 23

UPSET SPECIAL

OTC Upset Special!

What fun would it be if I just came out and wrote the game right away? You would know immediately what the pick was, and it would ruin the surprise. Instead, I am going to just talk vaguely about each side before letting you in on the secret to explain the ingredients of the upset.

The favorite here has had a sort of tumultuous offseason. Big pieces have been recovering from injury and bickering about contracts while management attempts to bring in a new big piece to replace the franchise guy (at this point, fans of the team probably know). The defense is unusually porous, is missing some of tis stalwarts, and all signs point south (in a relative sort of way).

The underdog has had a few down years lately, but they have new guys at the head of the organization, and proven guys now coordinating the offense and defense. It looks like they will have a very solid running game this year, and with some better play calling, it looks like they might be able to sling it a little bit too, though in moderation. They defense is coming around too. They brought in a stud in the draft, and they are entering the second year of a new defense, which is always promising. They have more skill guys than you would think for a team of the record, and they might be rady to make the jump.

Ready?

San Diego Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Nothing assures me that the world is not completely chaotic like knowing that Norv Turner's Chargers will struggle out of the gates.

No he didn’t. He didn’t just pick a team usually fighting with the Raiders for the bottom spot in the division to beat the perennial powerhouse out west, did he? Yes he did. San Diego is a notoriously slow starter (remember Week 1 last year vs. the Raiders?) with question marks all over the place. Can the offensive line get back to running the ball. Will the Chargers be alright without Vincent Jackson? Can the defense stay solid without Jamal Williams and Antonio Cromartie? With Rivers coming off an injury in the offseason, way more questions surround the Chargers than ever. The Chiefs, on the other hand, have Charlie Weis calling plays (which is what he does best besides making Twinkies disappear), a potential breakout star in Jamaal Charles, and a defense that should really start to gel this year. The Chiefs are far from a safe pick here, but that is why it is the Upset Special. Embrace the risk, and bet on the Chiefs this weekend. Your friends will think you are a genius. And if I’m wrong? You didn’t hear it from me.

Chiefs 26, Chargers 21

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On a slightly different note, a friend of mine started a blog about sports that I think you should check out, and since my word is law, you will CLICK HERE. Or else.

Ross Geiger’s NBA Mock Draft 3.0

1. Washington Wizards- John Wall, Kentucky

Oh how a year changes things.

2. Philadelphia 76ers- Evan Turner, Ohio State

3. New Jersey Nets- Wesley Johnson, Syracuse

4. Minnesota Timberwolves- Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech

5. Sacramento Kings- DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky

6. Golden State Warriors- Ekpe Udoh, Baylor

7. Detroit Pistons- Ed Davis, North Carolina

8. Los Angeles Clippers- Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest

9. Utah Jazz- Luke Babbit, Nevada

10. Indiana Pacers- Greg Monroe, Georgetown

11. New Orleans Hornets- Gordon Hayward, Butler

12. Memphis Grizzlies- Paul George, Fresno State

13. Toronto Raptors- Cole Aldrich, Kansas

14. Houston Rockets- Patrick Patterson, Kentucky

15. Milwaukee Bucks- Xavier Henry, Kansas

16. Minnesota Timberwolves- Lance Stephenson, Cincinnati

17. Chicago Bulls- Avery Bradley, Texas

18. Oklahoma City Thunder- Damian James, Texas

19. Boston Celtics- James Anderson, Oklahoma State

20. San Antonio Spurs- Craig Brackens, Iowa State

21. Oklahoma City Thunder- Kevin Seraphin, France

22. Portland Trail Blazers- Hassan Whiteside, Marshall

23. Minnesota Timberwolves- Larry Sanders, VCU

24. Atlanta Hawks- Solomon Alabi, Florida State

Kentucky is well represented in the 1st round.

25. Memphis Grizzlies- Daniel Orton, Kentucky

26. Oklahoma City Thunder- Elliot Williams, Memphis

27. New Jersey Nets- Jordan Crawford, Xavier

28. Memphis Grizzlies- Dominique Jones, South Florida

29. Orlando Magic- Devin Ebanks, West Virginia

30. Washington Wizards- Quincy Pondexter, Washington

31. New Jersey Nets- Keith “Tiny” Gallon, Oklahoma

32. Miami Heat- Gani Lawal, Georgia Tech

33. Sacramento Kings- Ryan Richards, England

34. Portland Trail Blazers- Stanley Robinson, UConn

35. Washington Wizards- Willie Warren, Oklahoma

36. Detroit Pistons- Eric Bledsoe, Kentucky

37. Milwaukee Bucks- Jarvis Varnado, Mississppi State

38. New York Knicks- Terrico White, Mississppi

39. New York Knicks- Trevor Booker, Clemson

40. Indiana Pacers- Da’Sean Butler, West Virginia

Butler was the heart of WVU, and he now goes to the city where Butler University plays ball. Coincidence??? Yes.

41. Miami Heat- Armon Johnson, Nevada

42. Miami Heat- Dexter Pittman, Texas

43. Los Angeles Lakers- Greivis Vasquez, Maryland

44. Milwaukee Bucks- Samardo Samuels, Louisville

45. Minnesota Timberwolves- Nemanja Bjelica, Serbia

46. Phoenix Suns- Thomas Heurtel- France

47. Milwaukee Bucks- Dwyane Collins, Miami

48. Miami Heat- Tibor Pleiss, Germany

Radford is also represented...

49. San Antonio Spurs- Art Parakhouski, Radford

50. Dallas Mavericks- Latavious Williams, USA (D-League)

51. Oklahoma City Thunder- Derrick Caracter, UTEP

52. Boston Celtics- Manny Harris, Michigan

53. Atlanta Hawks- Sylven Landesberg, Virginia

54. Los Angeles Clippers- Sherron Collins, Kansas

55. Utah Jazz- Jon Scheyer, Duke

56. Minnesota Timberwolves- Artem Zabelin, Russia

Looks like Kahn is going to steal Zabelin from Prokorhov

57. Indiana Pacers- Ben Uzoh, Tulsa

58. Los Angeles Lakers- Alexey Shved, Russia

59. Orlando Magic- Mikhail Torrance, Alabama

60. Phoenix Suns- Lazar Hayward, Marquette

Hey, Phoenix! DRAFT ME!!!!!!!!

Ross Geiger’s NBA Mock Draft 2.0

With the 2010 NBA Draft  just 2 weeks away, I give you my updated NBA Mock Draft 2.0. A lot has changed since my first mock draft: NBA Draft Combine was held, team scheduled workouts are underway, and player evaluations have improved. For the past two weeks, I’ve been staying up on my research of the top prospects: from their completed workouts, interested teams, to all the rumors. From everything I’ve compiled through the web, daily newspapers, magazines, and of course my own sources here’s how I feel this year’s NBA Draft will shakedown if the draft were to be held tomorrow. Enjoy!

1. Wizards- This pick is going nowhere, John Wall will be a Washington Wizard next season, I can assure you that.

Selection: John Wall, Kentucky

2. 76ers- As I mentioned in my mock draft, the 76ers aren’t 100% certain they’ll hold onto this pick. There’s definitely a possibility that the #2 pick could be sent away if I the trading partner is willing to take on Elton Brand and his long-term contract. Unless Brand is included in a deal, I see Philly keeping the pick, don’t see them involving Iguodala unless they’ll receive a high 1st round pick in return.

Selection: Evan Turner, Ohio State

3. Nets- There has been some outside interest from around the league regarding their 3rd pick in this year’s draft but as of now don’t expect any deals involving the pick to happen.

Selection:  Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech

That's Right DeMarcus, you're draft stock is rising

4. Minnesota Timberwolves- Minnesota is all but satisfied with this pick and are exploring their options on moving up as well as out of the draft with their fourth pick. With two other first round picks in this year’s draft, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them get rid of the 4th pick if the right deal was on the table. The fourth pick is definitely available to all teams, if the price is right. If they don’t move the pick, I now see the Timberwolves selecting DeMarcus Cousins here at #3. Many would scratch their head to where exactly he fits in, but let’s not forget the Wolves kept surprising us last year, stocking up with point guards in each of their three first-round picks. They shipped off one of them in Ty Lawson and I see the selection of Cousins allowing them to ship off either Kevin Love or Al Jefferson (the more likely to be moved).

Selection: DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky

5. Sacramento Kings- Each year it seems like nobody has a clue what the Kings organization has up their sleeve on draft night and once again the NBA world is kept pondering their options here. What I can tell you is that the Sacramento Kings have no interest in trading this pick. The question that remains unknown is whether or not they’d select Greg Monroe over DeMarcus Cousins. While Cousins is regarded as the player with most potential, Monroe is the safe pick who reminds Sac-Town of a young Chris Webber. I see Sacramento not rolling any dice and taking the safe pick with Monroe.

Selection: Greg Monroe, Georgetown

A sign & trade deal could point Wesley Johnson in a different direction come July

6. Golden State Warriors- If Wesley Johnson falls to the Warriors here at #6, there’s no chance they’ll pass him up. But I’m going to throw you a Oakland-like Zito curve ball to ponder, could the Phoenix Suns do a sign-and-trade Amare Stoudemire to Golden State in exchange for Wesley Johnson. No truth behind this happening, but I like the proposition. Amare gets his max contract with a good fit in Golden State, while the Suns get a nice piece to move towards the future with, just saying.

Selection: Wesley Johnson, Syracuse

7. Detroit Pistons- While the Pistons have been reportedly aggressively trying to move up into the 4-5 range, I just don’t see it happening unless they strike a deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves. I wouldn’t have the slightest idea what the Pistons would be willing to offer and what the Timberwolves would be willing to accept but I’d say Rodney Stuckey and/or Tayshaun Prince would be included in any deal. If Detroit doesn’t deal, expect them to take Al-Farouq Aminu. He’s a young, up and coming small forward that allows them to continue to shop Tayshaun Prince who they’re more than willing to get off their hands.

Selection: Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest

8. Los Angeles Clippers-Lots of hype around the Web say the Clippers are hot on Gordon Haywood and that isn’t a surprise to me. He’s versatile, he’s a winner, and could pan out to be a great pick, even here as high as eight. I find their interest in Hayward comical because I see a lot of Mike Dunleavy in Gordon Hayward as an NBA prospect. Hayward will definitely be mentioned inside the Clippers draft room when on the clock but in the end I see them passing on him and going with Xavier Henry instead.

Selection: Xavier Henry, Kansas

9. Utah Jazz- ESPN’s Chad Ford wrote that the Utah Jazz have been high on Luke Babbit longer than most and they’ve continue to remain high on his potential. But do I really see them using their 9th pick on Babbit? Absolutely not, maybe this is just my own bias here, being that I’m not high on Babbitt as a top ten pick, but I see the Jazz going power forward. They know they’re losing Carlos Boozer this summer so why not go with a power forward with high potential to back-up the new starting power forward in Utah, Paul Millsap? I see Jerry Sloan and the Utah Jazz taking none other than Ed Davis as big with a high potential and basketball intellect.

Selection: Ed Davis, North Carolina

10. Indiana Pacers- Maybe the scenario is too perfect but if Gordon Hayward is still on the board, we all know the talk will be how in the world could Indiana pass up on him? I see them buying into the idea of selecting him for a variety of reasons. Not only will he help sell seats and be a great fit building toward the future, but it gives the Pacers the ability to unload Danny Granger. I remain high on the idea that the Timberwolves will strike out in snagging restricted free agent Rudy Gay and will elect to trade for Danny Granger. Pacers then get either Kevin Love or Al Jefferson in return which replaces departing free agent Troy Murphy (after next year) and they’re future finally gets on the right track.

Selection: Gordon Hayward, Butler

N.O. could be a perfect fit especially as Whiteside draws the Tyson Chandler comparisons

11. New Orleans Hornets- The Hornets could go any direction outside of drafting a point guard at the eleventh position. But of all their immediate needs, I see them selecting a center with this pick. With Okafor everything but impressive in his first season with the Hornets, it’d be wise that they take the opportunity to draft a big man to develop. If there was a time to do it, the time is now. This year’s draft at pick #11 offers a variety of attractive centers that could potentially blossom into stars. The three top candidates for this pick if they decide to look inside would be Cole Aldrich, Hassan Whiteside, and Daniel Orton. Though it’s pretty clear that Aldrich is the most NBA-ready center to step right in to contribute I see the Hornets drafting on overall potential and athleticism. With that being said, I see New Orleans taking Hassan Whiteside, a prospect often compared to Tyson Chandler type player around the basket. Last time I checked, Chris Paul played pretty well with the real Tyson Chandler, maybe Whiteside can tandem to do much of the same down the road. But there is some definite concern, it has been reported that Hassan Whiteside and Daniel Orton both got schooled recently by Rockets center (& former Hornet draftee) Hilton Armstrong, take it for what it’s worth. I know that hearing that kind of concerns me, but I’m still a buyer on Whiteside’s potential.

Selection: Hassan Whiteside, Marshall

12. Memphis Grizzlies- I don’t hear much drift out of the Memphis Grizzlies camp but credible sources around the league have said that the Grizzlies are set on selecting Luke Babbitt if he happens to fall into their hands at twelve. Personally, I don’t like the pick nor Babbitt as an NBA prospect, but this is the same team that drafted Hasheem Thabeet 2nd overall last year.

Selection: Luke Babbitt, Nevada

How is he not a perfect fit in Toronto if he falls to them at #13? Can he play for the Maple Leafs too?

13. Toronto Raptors- With Chris Bosh departing, drafting a power forward is a must for the Toronto Raptors this year.  Or do they? Last year Toronto signed their former first pick Andrea Bargnani to a 5 year, $50 million dollar extension. If Cole Aldrich is still on the board, I see them picking him in a heartbeat; they’d not only select the most NBA-ready talent, but add toughness at the center position. This selection is also key in allowing Bargnani to move over to the starting power forward position. Obviously losing Bosh will be a huge loss, but having the ability to take Aldrich with the 13th pick should help Raptor fans restore some sort of optimism looking towards the future.

Selection: Cole Aldrich, Kansas

14. Houston Rockets- Even after acquiring Jordan Hill near the deadline last season, the Rockets need to invest in drafting another power forward to turn too next year. I see their man being Ekpe Udoh at #14. Udoh bring the long, defensive minded power forward they’d love to have down low. Never underestimate Rockets GM Darryl Morey and his “numbers” system, Udoh might solve his math problem with what to do at the 14th pick.

Selection: Ekpe Udoh, Baylor

15. Milwaukee Bucks- If all goes as planned in this mock draft, the Bucks are left scratching their heads on what to do here with this pick. All of their favorite prospects have been taken, not one of them has slid down to them at the midway point of the draft. Even I, as someone who covers the Milwaukee Bucks am left confused on what to do here with Ed Davis, Hassan Whiteside, and Xavier Henry off the board. So I see them taking the best available player which at this point is easily Paul George. While George is labeled a small forward, I think the Bucks would experiment with placing George at the shooting guard position since it’s such a slight change as far as the Milwaukee Bucks offense is concerned. George could very well end up being a blessing in disguise for the Brew City, could it be two straight years of successful draft picks for the Milwaukee Bucks?! We’ll have to wait and see….

Selection: Paul George, Fresno State

Ross Geiger’s 2010 NBA Mock Draft

2010 NBA Mock Draft (1 Month before Draft Day)

Wall definitely holds all the "Wizardry" that's needed to become a star in the NBA

1. Washington Wizards- John Wall

One of the most hyped up draft picks in recent history, John Wall has a lot challenges awaiting him in D.C., but behind the luck of Mr. Abe Polin’s championship ring Wall is everything the Wizards organization could ever ask for. Skills aside, his marketability alone will help change the face and image of the Wizards’ franchise as it moves forward from their past nightmare of a season. While I feel as though, Wall maybe a little overhyped, my only concern with his development are those influences around him. Being so young is great, but the Wizards must keep a close eye out on Wall, keeping him on his steady path towards being successful. Wall in Washington offers a variety of challenges on and off the basketball court, hopefully he can keep a level head, stay smart, and can continually grow as a professional. With Gilbert Arenas and Josh Howard on board, the smartest thing the Wizards could do is go grab a long-time veteran point guard that can lead Wall by example. A great example of this can be seen with the Chicago Bulls going out and grabbing Lindsay Hunter when the Bulls drafted Derrick Rose, a player Wall is often compared too.

This Year's National Player of the Year

2. Philadelphia 76ers- Evan Turner

It’ll be interesting to see what shakes down next season in Philly. Turner very well could be the key to the 76ers being able to make some trades. Many are already pondering whether or not Turner and Andre Iguodala can coexist together. While I think they can definitely work together I wouldn’t be surprised to see Philly keeping Iguodala out on the trading block. One team that really stands out as a possible trading partner would be the Memphis Grizzlies. If the Grizzlies are unable to resign Rudy Gay, they may be interested in acquiring Iguodala, a player so similar to Gay that it wouldn’t be a completely change in offensive strategies next year in Memphis. The 76ers can’t go wrong with drafting Turner, from his overall potential to the decisions he immediately allows the franchise to make, this great situation for both Turner and the 76ers.

3. New Jersey Nets- Derrick Favors

So what if the New Jersey Nets weren’t rewarded with the first overall pick for their horrendous play last season, this very well could be a blessing in disguise. Drafting Derrick Favors is the best fit for New Jersey anyways. Drafting Wall would’ve led to having to make a tough decision on Devin Harris’s future with the franchise, Favors on the other hand, helps them avoid the unneeded headache. He’ll compliment Brook Lopez very well and gives them a drastic improvement at the power forward position. For Favors there’s not a better situation available, if all goes as planned he should be a starter from jump. He’ll be given plenty of minutes and will have the chance to gain valuable exposure and experience; Nets fans should be looking forward to the progression he’ll make immediately. Looking down the road, I like Yi Jianlian being my sixth man off the bench, a foreigner whose not always consistent but should be much better off not having to deal with as much expectations. Derrick will do both the Nets and Yi a big Favor (pun intended) even as a rookie.

4. Minnesota Timberwolves- Wesley Johnson

With the Timberwolves under the leadership of General Manager David Kahn, you never quite know what to expect on draft night as we all found out this past year. Despite what many mock drafts around the Web suggest, I’m not so sure the Timberwolves take Johnson here. Even before NBA draft workouts, my gut tells me not to count out the Timberwolves selecting DeMarcus Cousins. Whether or not Kahn decides to pull the trigger on Cousins depends on how patient he’s willing to be. Earlier this past season, the Timberwolves and Pacers came extremely close on deal that would’ve sent Al Jefferson to Indiana in exchange for Danny Granger. Cousins is often compared to Al Jefferson in terms of size and abilities. It’s not out of the question that Kahn selects Cousins, then attempts to pull the deal for Granger offering up Al Jefferson and Corey Brewer. This trade would immediately improve both teams, the only road block that may stand in the way is Pacers forward Troy Murphy. But for the Timberwolves, adding Cousins and Granger instantaneously makes them no laughing matter next season. Don’t forget that the sooner the Timberwolves become successful, the sooner Ricky Rubio may decide it’s time make the move over to the join the team. But that’s a lot of speculation on my part and until the draft talk continues to heat up I’ll stand pat with the majority of mock drafts and take Wesley Johnson here at number four.

Whichever team takes Cousins must monitor the amount of times he calls to order pizza

5. Sacramento Kings- DeMarcus Cousins

The last thing the Sacramento Kings need is another young big man, but unfortunately for them, the best players availiable are in face big men. Sac-Town will choose between taking DeMarcus Cousins or Greg Monroe here at five. With the Maloof brothers all to familiar with gambling owning their luxurious Palms hotel in Las Vegas, I got to say they’ll go with Cousins. His definitely the risky selection but I see his overall potential too hard to pass up. As Jason Thompson continues to develop, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to take Greg Monroe here, even when he’s by far the safest pick. You cannot have Thompson coming off your bench, especially now that they have sixth man of the year candidate Carl Landry after the trade with Houston. If Cousins can live up to his potential, stay in shape, and improve his game the it’s scary to envision what Sacramento’s future may have in store with the combination of Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins.

6. Golden State Warriors- Greg Monroe

Monroe has arguably has the highest basketball IQ out of all the projected lottery picks. After snagging the very intelligent basketball player in Stephen Curry in last year’s draft, it makes perfect sense to put Monroe alongside their future point guard. The two would work very well together, having too very young and wise talents inside and outside. If Anthony Randolph can bounce back from injury, the Warriors future big three can consist of Curry, Randolph, and Monroe.

7. Detroit Pistons- Cole Aldrich

The Pistons desperately need a big man and Cole Adrich is the next best option left on the board once Cousins and Monroe are off the board. A good shot blocker, Aldrich can continue to help Detroit basketball have a strong defensive presence down low. This year the Pistons went with Ben Wallace as their starting center and Big Ben has just never been the same since deciding to leave Detroit to sign with Chicago a few years back. Aldrich is Mo-Town’s new future at the center position.

8. Los Angeles Clippers- Al-Farouq Aminu

Considering that the Clippers traded away Al Thornton, it makes me feel much better predicting them to take Aminu here at number seven. I realize they have Travis Outlaw and I’d fully expect him to fulfill the team’s starting role, but Aminu will be their work in progress. I see Aminu being a instant energy guy coming off the Clipper bench next season and a guy you can count on taking over in the next couple years to go along with Blake Griffin

9. Utah Jazz- Patrick Patterson

With the likely departure of Carlos Boozer, Patterson would be a nice addition to the Jazz young core group of guys. The Jazz main concern will be his ability to knock down the open mid-range jump shots that are very important in the two-man game with Deron Williams. But Patterson’s lack of a NBA ready jumpshot should be the least of Utah’s concerns, he posses a lot of intangibles you just can’t teach. He has soft hands and even more importantly a high basketball IQ, something that will go a long way with Head Coach Jerry Sloan.

The Pacers most likely regret trading away Jerryd Bayles, their 2008 draft pick, Bradley has the same type of game as Bayless

10. Indiana Pacers- Avery Bradley

While Xavier Henry most likely is the best player availiable on the board, they Pacers don’t need another shooting guard, they need somebody to fill the void at the point guard position. Bradley isn’t close to ready to handle the starting duties, but can be immediate spark plug the Pacers are missing. One of the worst defensive teams in the NBA, Avery won’t help them improve in that department but in the NBA if you cannot play defense, you can always try to out score opponents. Avery has a knack for putting the ball in the basket and can contribute some points off the bench.

11. New Orleans Hornets- Xavier Henry

The New Orleans Hornets had a very successful draft night last year, adding Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton both whom raised eyebrows throughout the league with their rookie season performances. Henry is a deadly shooter who can do all the things Morris Peterson isn’t able to do anymore. This young prospect has the size and strength to play both the shooting guard and the small forward position which is extremely valuable to the Hornets. Next season they’ll look to play point guards Paul and Collison at the same time and being able to place Henry in that small forward can help both of the Hornets’ penetrating point guards tally up some assists with his perimeter game.

12. Memphis Grizzlies- Paul George

The issue isn’t whether or not Rudy Gay decides to stay because George will be a work in progress throughout his entire rookie season. But his upside is worthy of being selected at number 12. He’s long, athletic, and has a quick release on his shot. If selected by the Grizzlies, he may find a few spots minutes to prove his rookie worth but don’t expect to see him out on the floor much more than Suns fans saw Earl Clark this season.

13. Toronto Raptors- Donatas Motiejunas

With Chris Bosh leaving soon, the Raptors definitely need to add a big man here. Though Ed Davis and Ekpe Udoh remain on the board, I see Bryan Colangelo intrigued by the Motiejunas who has all the potential to make him a steal at pick 13. Always the biggest concern with young international players is whether or not they’ll be able to fully transition their games to the NBA style of play. In Toronto, Motiejunas has best chance to transition his game moderately fast with a team consisting of many international sensations with the likes of Jose Calderon, Hedo Turkoglu, Marco Belinelli, and Andrea Bargnani (the player Motiejunas is often compared to).

Whiteside's Size & Length is Unmatched

14. Houston Rockets- Hassan Whiteside

Unfortunately it looks as though my favorite draft prospect won’t be available when it comes time for the Milwaukee Bucks to be on the clock. The Houston Rockets would get a steal here if Whiteside happens to fall into their laps at 14. I start salivating just hearing the comparisons of Whiteside being a young, raw talent that is comparable to Marcus Camby. He would be a good fit in Houston due in large part that he won’t be expected to contribute much his rookie season. So if you’re an NBA fan looking to catch a glimpse of Whiteside, get to the game when the gates open up one and half hours before game time, you can be sure he’ll be putting in a lot of work in pregame workouts. If Whiteside pans out to be just 70% of the player he has the potential to become, this selection will be well worth it.

15. Milwaukee Bucks- Ed Davis

While I’d love to see Bucks General Manager John Hammond and the Bucks attempt to trade up for the rights to Hassan Whiteside, I see them ultimately sticking with their pick here at 15. That pick is looking like it’ll be Ed Davis, the power forward out of North Carolina. My favorite description of Davis can be seen on NBADraft.net where these words fall under his strengths section: “live” legs, high motor, excellent touch, and tremendous footwork for his age. Then one last description on Davis drops louder than a bomb in the eyes of anybody who understand the Milwaukee Bucks team mentality: He “does not have a superstar attitude, he has a workman’s approach to the game that is refreshing to see.” The Bucks will love every bit of that characteristic, the thought of developing two gym rats in Brandon Jennings at point and Ed Davis down low could definitely be something to look forward to in the future.

16. Minnesota Timberwolves- Ekpe Udoh

Udoh can help add to the Timberwolves strength down low. He’s a tremendous shot blocker and should end being more of a defensive minded player in the NBA. Udoh could learn a lot practicing with Kevin Love and Al Jefferson on a daily basis.

Anderson's Stroke is a Thing of Beauty from the Outside

17. Chicago Bulls- James Anderson

Could end up being of the better steals in the draft if he does slide past the lottery picks. Anderson brings the outside shooting presence that the Bulls lacked all season long from the perimeter. Don’t sleep on the Big 12 player of the year who averaged 22.3 points last season, he offers a lot of upside, and would fit in nicely in Chicago.

18. Miami Heat- Damion James

Considering that Heat only have five players under contract next season, the possibilities at this pick are endless. The Heat’s hope is to sign a big name PF/C and hope to also persuade Dwyane Wade to remain with them as well. So I’d see the Heat looking to add a small forward with high energy. Big 12 Conference’s all time leading rebounder fits the profile and is one of the more athletically gifted talents available in this draft. The Heat wouldn’t go wrong with taking James here at 18, even when many NBA analysts may find this a little too high for James.

19. Boston Celtics- Larry Sanders

Who knows how many more seasons Kevin Garnett’s knees can handle. Sanders is a very late bloomer who never played organized basketball until the 10th grade. A very strong defensive player, Sanders could learn a lot from of the best defensive power forwards in the business in Garnett. He has a lot of room for growth and could end becoming a very solid player in this league.

Hayward may rock a very similar black and silver jersey soon in San Antonio

20. San Antonio Spurs- Gordon Hayward

Though I must say it’s hard picturing Hayward in a Spurs uniform, I think he’d be a nice pick here at 20 for the Spurs. He provide a little bit of everything and could potentially be a huge boost of the Spurs bench. With Richard Jefferson, all but impressive after his first year with the Spurs, Hayward might find a fair amount of time to play. If I’m Gregg Popovich, I love having to young talents in Hayward and DeJuan Blair to turn too off the bench.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder- Luke Babbitt

We’ll just have to wait and see how Babbitt’s future pans out in the NBA but if it’s anything like it’s projected to be, the Thunder have find another great piece that fits with their future. Babbitt at 6’9 is a lethal shooter with the ability to play both the small forward and power forward positions. For his own sake, he better prepare to play the power forward position with Kevin Durant occupying the majoring of the small forward minutes. Realistically, if Babbit lands in Oklahoma City I see him being a bonafide sixth man that could potentially be a sixth man award candidate down the road.

22. Portland Trail Blazers- Kevin Seraphin

It’d be silly for Portland to even consider any prospect outside of the power forward and center positions. With their luck with injuries, they could always improve their support system down in the paint. The popular options here are Solomon Alabi and Daniel Orton, but I see Blazers General Manager Kevin Pritchard taking his chances on Kevin Seraphin, the young product out of France. Already having Nicolas Batum on board, Seraphin would have French companion to help aid his adjustment to the NBA if the Blazers decide to bring him over to play next season. Seraphin’s upside is worth the gamble as the first round gets into it’s later selections.

There's No Debate: Stephenson Definitely Has the Size

23. Minnesota Timberwolves- Lance Stephenson

Once again you must pop the question, do you go best player available or do you go immediate needs? I see the Timberwolves opting against taking the best player available (either Orton or Alabi) and rather choosing a shooting guard. Heading into the NBA Draft Combine I would’ve put Elliot Williams ahead of Lance Stephenson in my rankings, but after missing the NBA Draft Combine due to injury, Stephenson jumps him in my book. It was very costly time to get injured and allowing teams to get a look at you in the pivotal pre-draft camp is so important for anyone’s draft stock. But in the long term, Stephenson is the more promising player of the two shooting guards, he’s got an NBA ready body who’s a guy that needed one more year of college to fully blossom. Depending on what happens during free agency, Stephenson may have a outside chance of starting next season for the Timberwolves if they’re willing to endure another long losing season.

24. Atlanta Hawks- Willie Warren

The Hawks have so many questions left unanswered at the shooting guard position, what will all pan out with Joe Johnson? Nobody has the slightest idea but the chances of Atlanta holding onto him looks all but promising. With that being said, they need to look at drafting a shooting guard with this pick. I see Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford becoming the Hawks starting shooting guard next season so he’ll need a backup. Warren has an NBA ready body and has the offensive skills to be a highly productive scorer in the future. He’s a very interesting prospect who was listed as a lottery pick in many mock drafts before last season.

25. Memphis Grizzlies- Daniel Orton

Both Orton and his agent will finally be relieved to know he’ll be coming off the board in the first round after being a guy who fell way past where he’s currently projected to be drafted (in the high teens). This is a great pickup by the Grizzlies here with the 25th pick and Orton hopefully can develop his game having to defend Zach Randolph each day in practice.

26. Oklahoma City Thunder- Armon Johnson

Not very well known, Johnson could very well be a big sleeper in this year’s draft class. He’s quick and crafty which could be the perfect player to back up Russell Westbrook. While Eric Maynor will still find his own opportunities to find minutes at the backup point guard slot, Johnson will give him a run for his money next season.

27. New Jersey Nets- Solomon Alabi

His size alone is very intriguing, but he’s a work in progress. If the Nets are willing to gamble, stay patient then this is a wise pick with Alabi being one of the best available here at 27. If not, expect the Nets to go get a better-known college player like Devin Ebanks.

Wait is that John Wall? No folks, that's the 6'1 Eric Bledsoe

28. Memphis Grizzlies- Eric Bledsoe

He was very much hidden behind the play of John Wall last season with Kentucky and I definitely feel Bledsoe may be one the this year’s best keep late first round secrets. He’s very athletic and has the strength that allows him to absorb contact while finishing around the rim. Nice backup to Mike Conley next season and he could potentially take over Conley’s starting job in the coming years.

29. Orlando Magic- Elliot Williams

This highly explosive young shooting guard needs to improve his perimeter shooting, but has the leaping ability you just can’t teach. A year under the wing of Vince Carter could really benefit Williams during his rookie season and it’s worth the Magic taking him here this late in the first round.

30. Washington Wizards- Gani Lawal

Much like Eric Bledsoe, Lawal was hidden behind Derrick Favors this past year at Georgia Tech. While still raw, Lawal has a lot of potential to become solid down the road. Wizards need some help in the frontcourt and Lawal is the best available.

College Football Week 12

The Pac-10 is far from my favorite topic in college football. I hate USC, have no feelings toward most of its teams and the only team I follow in-depth regardless of how it is doing is Oregon. However, they are giving me things to talk about so I will not deny them. To be honest, it was a very boring week east of Arizona this week. The SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, and MWC are all wrapped up with the Big East’s deciding game upcoming. Those are all the BCS conferences and the MWC for all of you counting. All that remains is the Pac-10 so I have no choice but to discuss them.

Arizona Iced D

There is no D in the logo, why should there be on the field?

There is no D in the logo, so why would there be on the field?

The Arizona Wildcats choked to great effect Saturday night and essentially decimated their chances for a potential matchup with Ohio State. Granted, they have games with rival ASU and a road game at USC remaining, but a win over Oregon would have been such a confidence boost that it would be plausible. Instead, Oregon now only has the Civil War to worry about after Stanford’s loss to Cal. Expect a Duck-Buckeye matchup in Pasadena because the Wildcats would have it no other way. If you give up a TD with under two minutes and the whole field to drive, then you do not deserve a BCS bowl. Sorry, Tucson.

On the other hand, Oregon is easily the team I would most want to watch in Pasadena. You never know what they will wear and you can expect exciting football every time they take the field. I just like to watch them. Ohio State might enjoy watching them a bit less, but it should be a very good matchup. Please keep in mind that Oregon State is no pushover and could very well beat the Ducks, but the Ducks are the clear favorite in the game. I am about Pac-10’d out so let’s look at the BCS picture after Ole Miss’ upset of LSU.

BCS Picture

To see a full picture, refer to THIS PAGE. LSU’s loss opens the door for someone like Iowa to peek into the BCS picture. I am not sure if this is for the best, but I did not really want to see LSU in it anyway. I do not know who the 10th BCS bowl team will be, but we will see after the next few weeks play out. When you have Florida playing FIU and Alabama playing Chattanooga, you cannot blame me for not finding intrigue. That is about all I got for the week, but you know I wouldn’t forget about the Clowns.

CLOWN OF THE WEEK: Chad OchoCinco, Frankly, you could put him here most weeks, but I thought this deserved some pub. Chad took two guys in Pittsburgh to the mall on a shopping spree for driving him there. This all stemmed from a Twitter contest that the two guys won. Very clownish, but actually kind of cool.

KEEP AN EYE ON: Cincinnati-Pittsburgh this upcoming weekend. A BCS bid is up for grabs and Big East supremacy is on the line. Should be a great game.

College Football Week 11

Not the cornucopia of upsets we had last week, but if you thought there was nothing to talk about in college football, then you could not be more wrong. Florida and Alabama held serve and will meet in the SEC Championship game as, in all likelihood, undefeateds. Let’s get to some of the games before turning to the BCS and Heisman races.

Iowa 24, Ohio State 27

I called the Ohio State win, but I did not think it would be so painfully close for the Scarlet and Grey. If not for the special teams hiccup, it might not have gotten so close, but special teams are part of the game and Ohio State’s blunder almost cost them dearly. However, Ohio State pulled it out and can book their plane ticket to Pasadena to play in the Rose Bowl. Who they will play remains cloudy as Oregon is leading the Pac-10 but still has games against Arizona (a very good team) and Oregon State (good and a rival) remaining. Stanford has been extremely impressive, including a rout of USC in Los Angeles, but will need help from Oregon to win the Pac-10. All that stands between them and the Rose Bowl is Cal (a rival) and Notre Dame (talented despite sucking). Oregon State is in the same boat as Stanford in that they need a little help to win it, but instead of needing Oregon to lose, they need Stanford to lose since they still have to play Oregon. Any of these teams could win the Pac-10 and conceivably Arizona is still in the mix too. Crazy race.

Stanford 55, USC 21

One of the most underrated RBs in America

See above paragraph for Pac-10 race info, but Stanford was impressive. I picked them to cover, but never did I think they would score 27 in the 4th quarter to run USC out of their own building. Toby Gerhart might be the best white running back in the NFL since John Riggins. I know it sounds crazy, but he was the last white running back to be really successful in the NFL. Not being racist or anything like that, just making the observation that there have been 0 good white running backs since Riggins. Gerhart is that good though, he is built for the NFL and will be an impact player for a team like, let’s say, Green Bay, Tampa Bay or Buffalo. He is the real deal, keep an eye out for him.

TCU 55, Utah 28

I didn’t need to tell you that TCU was good, but I was trying to tell you just how good they really are and they wentoutand proved it. They are fast, they can run it and throw it, they run adefense that no one really knows how to deal with, and they can get after the QB. What else could you possibly want? They could hang in there with any tea

So awesome

m in the country. ANY. You don’t want to face this team. On top of all that, they are wearing the jerseys that were promoted in this awesome Adrian Peterson commercial. Scary and awesome, just like the Horned Frogs.

It might seem obvious, but I feel the need to say one more time for everyone that the Horned Frog is one of thebest mascots in college football. Intimidating, exotic and regionally relevant. Kudos.

The Rest

Arizona, Miami, and Houston all fell this week, with two of those (Arizona and Houston) just about ousting themselves from conference title races. I called the UNC upset of Miami, but it was not all that surprising given how inconsistent Miami is and how underrated UNC is at home. Pitt, Cincinnati, LSU and BYU all survived scares against inferior opponents. The final verdicts from the games were fairly predictable too. Pitt is good, but not that good as they struggled with a mediocre Notre Dame team. LSU is talented but always struggles at weird times. Cincinnati is not elite, but is very good, and BYU is just another team with good players. Frankly, no one cares too deeply about these teams. Cincinnati is probably the best among them, but we will know when Cincy and Pitt hook up later this year. That one will be for a BCS bid.

BCS Bowl Predictions (My pick in Italics)

BCS Championship Game

Florida (SEC Champ) v. Texas (Big 12 Champ)

Rose Bowl

Ohio State (Big Ten Champ) v. Oregon (Pac-10 Champ)

Orange Bowl

Georgia Tech (ACC Champs) v. LSU (SEC at-large)

Fiesta Bowl

TCU (MWC Champs, BCS at-large) v, Boise State (WAC Champs, BCS at-large)

Sugar Bowl

Alabama (SEC at-large) v. Cincinnati (Big East Champs)

A quick note on these picks. I really hope they have Boise and TCU split up so TCU plays Alabama and Cincinnati or LSU plays Boise, but I have a feeling they will get lumped together. I would like nothing more than to see the other matchups, but the BCS has a way of screwing the public over, so it might just be TCU v Boise. It’s a shame, it really is.

Heisman Race

The perfect name for a Texas QB and the perfect ending to a great college career.

  1. Colt McCoy
  2. Tim Tebow
  3. Mark Ingram
  4. Kellen Moore/ Andy Dalton
  5. Jimmy Clausen

McCoy has really stepped it up lately and has a legitimate shot at this thing this time around. Ingram has the numbers, but I have a feeling that the loss to Florida in the SEC Championship game is going to kill his chances. Tebow and McCoy will get the undefeated bump that Ingram will not, bumping him to third. The guys in 4th are extremely good, but have not gotten the publicity needed to make a real run at the Heisman. Clausen will probably make the trip to New York instead of them simply because of publicity, but it is really a three-horse race.

CLOWN OF THE WEEK: The NFL. The NFL fined Chad OchoCinco $10,000 for offering a referee a one dollar bill in a joking manner and saying, “Come on can I get a call?” That is funny, I don’t care what the NFL says. The NFL needs more guys like Chad, as long as it is happy Chad instead of mopey Chad, which we have seen the last few years.

College Football Week 10

Wow, where do we start? Oregon went down, Iowa finally fell, Cincinnati and Houston survived by the slimmest of margins, and Alabama and Florida clinched spots in the SEC Championship Game. Tons of upsets this week, and virtually all of them had relevance in the conference so let’s look at this by conference.

Big 10

Ohio State came into Happy Valley and beat Penn State pretty thoroughly. I stated in the Picks column that I had no confidence that Penn State would come out and perform on any given week and it proved true this week. With this win, Ohio State controls its own destiny in the Big 10. If they win out, including a win over Iowa next week, they will win the Big 10 and head, in all likelihood, to the Rose Bowl to face the Pac-10 winner. The same goes for Iowa. If they win out, they go to the Rose Bowl. I like Ohio State’s chances much more, especially if Ricky Stanzi stays sidelined.

Here’s how they’ll finish

  1. Ohio State

    Intimidating?

  2. Iowa
  3. Penn State
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Northwestern
  6. Purdue
  7. Michigan State
  8. Minnesota
  9. Indiana
  10. Illinois
  11. Michigan

SEC

Florida and Alabama are clearly the class of the conference, and it shows as they have both clinched spots in the SEC Championship Game. Neither has lost, and barring a collapse against rivals Auburn for Alabama, both will be undefeated going into the game. With Texas’ stranglehold on the Big 12, it is highly unlikely that both teams can make the BCS Championship even after the SEC, so whoever wins that game moves on. My money has to be on Florida with their defense and Alabama’s QB problems, not to mention that every front-running team has won over the past year so there is no reason the trend should reverse. LSU is the best of the rest, followed by Georgia, Auburn and South Carolina. They are followed by everyone else, all of which have merit but few of which apply it on a consistent basis.

Here’s how they’ll finish:

East

  1. Florida

    V

  2. Georgia
  3. Tennessee
  4. South Carolina
  5. Kentucky
  6. Vanderbilt

West

  1. Alabama
  2. LSU
  3. Ole Miss
  4. Auburn
  5. Arkansas
  6. Mississippi State

Big 12

The only team worth talking about in depth here is Texas. It is tempting to not even rank the other teams, but I will do it. Texas has not been the class of the conference from day one, but since Sam Bradford went down, it has been theirs to lose. They haven’t done so yet, despite a few attempts, and it does not look like they will falter. This lands them in the BCS Championship Game where they will lose by double digits to Florida. Not a blowout necessarily, just not an especially compelling game. Nebraska and Oklahoma State are ok and probably second and third in the Big 12 in some order, but the gap from them to Texas is bigger than Chad OchoCinco’s ego. Not a crack at Ocho in the least, I love the guy, but you know it’s true.

You CANNOT convince me that a longhorn really looks like this. Really, look at it...

North

  1. Nebraska
  2. Kansas State
  3. Colorado
  4. Iowa State
  5. Kansas
  6. Mizzou

South

  1. Texas
  2. Oklahoma State
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Texas Tech
  5. Baylor

ACC

The ACC is a lesson in hype. Miami jumped out in front and got BCS hype but couldn’t handle it and ended up a pretty mediocre yet talented team. Georgia Tech was hyped preseason, but after getting beat down by the Canes, they started flying under the radar and now sit atop the ACC Coastal. Florida State was supposed to be pretty good too, but could not handle the hype. All of which leads us to today, where there are really no sure bets in the ACC. I think Georgia Tech is the best of these teams, but clearly they are not the only contender. Miami is the most talented probably, but that doesn’t mean much when you are so inconsistent.

Virginia Tech is a different story. They were not over or underhyped so they were not a part of that last paragraph, but they are clearly one of the better teams in the ACC. They really should be better than they are, but they did not win the big games on their schedule. They beat Miami and Nebraska, but only one of those counted in conference, and the other big games just did not work for them. Georgia Tech will represent the ACC in the BCS barring an upset by Clemson or BC in the Championship Game.

Coastal

  1. Georgia Tech
  2. Virginia Tech
  3. Miami

    It doesn't look like a Ramblin' Wreck...

  4. Duke
  5. UNC
  6. Virginia

Atlantic

  1. Clemson
  2. Boston College
  3. Wake Forest
  4. Florida State
  5. NC State
  6. Maryland

Pac-10

Oregon had a stranglehold on the conference until they did not show up in Palo Alto. This opened the door not only

Yeah, I picked them.

for Arizona but for USC in an unlikely scenario. Oregon still has to play Arizona and Oregon State, which are no cupcakes, so a once assured Pac-10 Championship is now very much up in the air. Arizona might even be favored in that game. I do not know what to think about the Pac-10 really. Oregon should have wrapped it up without any problem, but they have been derailed. Both Oregon and Arizona control their own destiny, but there is no guarantee that either will successfully control it. USC is still very much in the picture, but I would not bet on them. Right now I have Arizona winning the Pac-10 title, but with zero certainty. This will be a wild race to the finish.

  1. Arizona
  2. Oregon State
  3. USC
  4. Oregon
  5. Stanford
  6. Cal
  7. Arizona State
  8. Washington
  9. UCLA
  10. Washington State

Big East

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Originally I was just going to write Cincinnati 40 times and call it thorough, but Pittsburgh has been showing mesomething lately. Bill Stull has been excellent and they have a solid running game. I am interested in seeing how they would do against the better teams, but until that time we will have to guess. Cincinnati is clearly the team to beat in the Big East and barring some serious problems they will roll to their second straight BCS game. Cincinnati in two consecutive BCS bowls? I know, it’s crazy.

  1. Cincinnati
  2. Pittsburgh
  3. West Virginia
  4. South Florida
  5. Rutgers
  6. UCONN
  7. Louisville
  8. Syracuse’

Mountain West

Yeah, they deserve the recognition for being one of the better conferences in America. TCU should win it,

but Utah is making a good case too and BYU is not at all a bad team despite the fact that they have almost

One of the better mascots should be represented in the BCS

no shot at the MWC title. This is absolutely TCU’s to lose after how well they have played and I do not think they will squander it. Utah willchallenge and make them work for it, but it looks like TCU will get to crash the BCS with Boise State. I will avoid showing the final standings for this conference, but it should be noted that Air Force is pretty good too and could surprise someone in a smaller bowl game.

Well, hopefully that gives you a better picture of both the BCS and Conference titles will play out. I personally hope that my projections are way off so there is total mayhem in the BCS, but I wouldn’t mind being right. The AP Top 10 should see some new faces too with so many teams going down. Should be fun.