• Early look at the College Football Playoffs

    When a giant sequoia falls in Northern California, and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound? I’d be willing to bet it does, and a pretty loud sound at that.

    On Thursday, the Oregon Ducks fell at home to the Arizona Wildcats, making it the second straight loss to Arizona in two seasons. Unfortunately for the Ducks, many were around to see and hear them fall from their number two ranking.
     
    With Oregon’s loss, the likelihood of having four unbeaten playoff contenders is starting to get very, very slim.
     
    There are now several possibilities for this year’s college football playoff that many had not anticipated earlier this season. With Oregon’s defeat, the number of possible undefeated teams from the Pac-12 dwindled to one, UCLA, until Saturday night when the Bruins fell to Utah. 
     
    The SEC West is by far the most competitive division in college football, boasting Auburn, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State with undefeated records. However,  only one team out of that group can make it to the SEC Championship.
     
    The Big Ten will likely not have an undefeated squad, leaving Florida State, and two Big 12 schools, TCU and Baylor, at the top of the totem poll now that the Horned Frogs took down undefeated Oklahoma.
     
    This year’s matchup between TCU and Bears just got a lot more serious. It has a large chance of guaranteeing the winner a spot in the college football playoff, provided that the winner can stay undefeated outside of the anticipated matchup.
     
    With Texas struggling and Oklahoma State without it’s top quarterback, J.W. Walsh, two major contenders have been moved aside in this year’s run for the Big 12. I’m not discounting these teams’ ability to pull an upset, but their chances to win the conference are unlikely.
     
    The Baylor and TCU control their future. The quest to stay perfect starts now.

  • NFL Draft to move from New York to Chicago in 2015

    Every year, NFL fans from all over the country travel to watch the NFL Draft in hopes of their team selecting the next NFL star. But, next year, instead of booking a flight to New York, NFL fans will be rerouting their travel plans.

    According to multiple reports, the 2015 NFL Draft will be held in Chicago rather than New York City. The NFL Draft has been held in New York since 1965, including at Radio City Music Hall for the past nine years.

    Once the NFL learned Radio City Music Hall could not be reserved for the 2015 NFL Draft, 12 cities showed interest in hosting the Draft.  The list was then narrowed to Los Angeles and Chicago before NFL officials decided the Draft will move to the Windy City.

    The Chicago Bear’s twitter page posted that the Draft will be held at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, which is located on Chicago’s busiest and most popular street, Michigan Avenue. The Draft will take place on April 30-May 2.

    The NFL Draft has always been popular to football fans and the three day event in 2014 was viewed by 45.7 million people surpassing the record of 45.4 million in 2010. Popularity increased last year, in part, over speculation of which team would take Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. Curiosity over Manziel increased dramatically on draft day when he slipped all the way to No. 22 of the first round when he was finally selected by the Cleveland Browns.

    Every year one major goal of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is to further increase fan interest in the NFL’s already incredibly popular offseason. This year Goodell believes the change in scenery might help. He is specifically hoping to strengthen interest in the rounds of the draft and keep the Draft’s TV ratings up.

    "We're talking about different concepts, primarily how to strengthen the last day and whether we should maybe push that back to the clubs a little bit more and allow the clubs to have a little bit more freedom as more of a club day," Goodell said.

    The last NFL Draft not to be held in New York City was coincidentally held in Chicago at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel from 1961-63.  We will find out in April if the move to Chicago is another score for the NFL.

  • NFL Draft to move from New York to Chicago in 2015

    Every year, NFL fans from all over the country travel to watch the NFL Draft in hopes of their team selecting the next NFL star. But, next year, instead of booking a flight to New York, NFL fans will be rerouting their travel plans.

    According to multiple reports, the 2015 NFL Draft will be held in Chicago rather than New York City. The NFL Draft has been held in New York since 1965, including at Radio City Music Hall for the past nine years.

    Once the NFL learned Radio City Music Hall could not be reserved for the 2015 NFL Draft, 12 cities showed interest in hosting the Draft.  The list was then narrowed to Los Angeles and Chicago before NFL officials decided the Draft will move to the Windy City.

    The Chicago Bear’s twitter page posted that the Draft will be held at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, which is located on Chicago’s busiest and most popular street, Michigan Avenue. The Draft will take place on April 30-May 2.

    The NFL Draft has always been popular to football fans and the three day event in 2014 was viewed by 45.7 million people surpassing the record of 45.4 million in 2010. Popularity increased last year, in part, over speculation of which team would take Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. Curiosity over Manziel increased dramatically on draft day when he slipped all the way to No. 22 of the first round when he was finally selected by the Cleveland Browns.

    Every year one major goal of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is to further increase fan interest in the NFL’s already incredibly popular offseason. This year Goodell believes the change in scenery might help. He is specifically hoping to strengthen interest in the rounds of the draft and keep the Draft’s TV ratings up.

    "We're talking about different concepts, primarily how to strengthen the last day and whether we should maybe push that back to the clubs a little bit more and allow the clubs to have a little bit more freedom as more of a club day," Goodell said.

    The last NFL Draft not to be held in New York City was coincidentally held in Chicago at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel from 1961-63.  We will find out in April if the move to Chicago is another score for the NFL.

  • Off to a bad start, Brady and the Patriots will have trouble in the NFL postseason

    Tom Brady and the Patriots are off to an uncharacteristically bad start.

    The team is 2-2 and is coming off one of the worst losses in the Belichick-Brady era losing to the Kansas City Chiefs 41-14 on Monday Night Football. The Patriot’s struggles were also shown in Week 3 as they barely defeated the winless Oakland Raiders 16-9 at home.

    Though, there are no reasons for Patriot’s fans to worry about making the playoffs since the Patriots have easily won their division 11 times in the past 13 years and the rest of the teams in the AFC East are also struggling this season. However, there is reason to believe the Patriots will not perform well in the playoffs.

    On Monday Night, Brady was just 14 for 23 against the Chiefs with two fumbles, two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and only 159 passing yards. Brady was also 1-7 on passes down field and was sacked twice.

    Brady’s performance indicated that the New England offense needs a lot of help in order to compete in the AFC. However, Brady’s performance cannot be the entire blame on the outcome of the game or on the season. He needs help.

    The Patriot’s offensive line has struggled ever since they traded away Logan Mankins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After losing a veteran in Mankins, the offensive line has become very inexperienced with two starting rookies-- Brian Stork at center and Cameron Fleming at right guard. The inexperience can be seen week in and week out due to a collapsing pocket that doesn’t give Brady a lot of time to make a decision. The offensive line has also affected the running game as all three New England running backs rushed for a combined 75 yards on Monday.

    Brady also doesn’t have the weapons he needs for the Patriot’s to become a serious threat in the AFC. Tight End Rob Gronkowski isn’t his old explosive self due to injuries the past two seasons and has a drop percentage of 7.4% this season, the worst of his career. Wide receivers Brandon Lafell and Danny Ammendola have been extremely unsuccessful at getting open all season. Only wide receiver Julian Edelman has proved to be Brady’s dependable option but Brady needs more than Edelman.

    Some skeptics believe that the Brady era in New England is over. When asked about a possible quarterback change, Belichick gave a blank stare of idiocy to the crowd of journalists.

    At the end of the day, Tom Brady is Tom Brady. He still knows how to win football games. He is a future Hall of Fame quarterback and can make average players into good players even at age 37. That being said, he is 37 and is nearing the end of his career. Tom Brady has done all that he can to help improve this team even by taking a big pay cut to allow the Patriots to make key acquisitions on the defensive side of the ball by signing defensive tackle Vince Wilfork and star corner back Darrelle Revis. But he still needs help from the offensive line and the receivers in order for the Patriots to reach their full potential.

  • Evaluating Texas commit Zach Gentry

    To many fans, the future of the Longhorns might not be on the Forty Acres just yet.

    He might be sitting in a high school English class in New Mexico, waiting to head to football practice or wondering about a homecoming date. The future of Longhorn football could be 4-star QB commit Zach Gentry of El Dorado, New Mexico.

    Gentry is currently rated as the No. 6 pocket passer in the country by ESPN and Rivals, and a quick study of his highlight reel shows why.

    Gentry displays great accuracy, coupled with sling-shot like arm strength, which allows him to fit his throws into whatever tight windows a defense gives him. Normally with such a tall QB, it is assumed that there is no run threat involved. That’s not true with Gentry. He has been impressive as a runner in zone-read and option situations, and once he gets going downhill with his long strides he can be hard to bring down. He also displays good vision of the field, with the ability to see past his first and second progressions to keep a play alive.

    One of Gentry's biggest attributes is also his main weakness. While his height gives him an advantage when it comes to field vision, Gentry couldn't be counted on to be able to get out of pressure from a quick defensive line using his feet. He will also have to worry about being able to withstand the lower body blows that he will be experiencing. His footwork will definitely need help once he gets on campus, as he has problems with stutter stepping when coming out of the gun. While Gentry is clearly not being recruited as a dual-threat guy, his footwork issues and quickness can only be improved by closer coaching.
     

    Proof of Gentry’s potential is littered all over his stat sheet. Just a few Fridays ago, Gentry went off for 444 yards of total offense-- all in the second half alone. Down 18 points to Mayfield, another undefeated 6-A powerhouse, at the start of the third quarter, the third-year letterman threw for 189 yards and one touchdown, while showing off his versatility by rushing for 255 yards and five touchdowns to lead his team to victory in double overtime. Gentry scored the winning 2-point conversion in that game, and described his performance as “awesome” in terms of the numbers he was able to put up and the come from behind victory.
     

    Gentry is the kind of quarterback Texas assistant head coach for the offense Shawn Watson could work wonders with. His huge frame gives him the ability to easily see over the kind of big offensive linemen Watson likes to utilize, while adding an extra zip to the ball a smaller quarterback wouldn't have. Currently at a slim 230 pounds , Gentry could easily add 15 to 20 pounds with a college level strength program to enhance his ability to absorb hits in the pocket without jeopardizing his running ability.

    While Gentry never looks to run first, his big arm can back a defense up so much that he is able to use his athleticism to rip off for long yard touchdown runs, like the two 80-yard runs he had against Mayfield.


    Watson originally recruited him while still at Louisville, while still helping first-round draft pick Teddy Bridgewater finish up his stellar career with the Cardinals. If Watson can work the same kind of magic with this tall kid from New Mexico, it could be fun to watch the Longhorn offense in a couple of years.

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