Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Chiefs Are HUGE Draft Day Winners

As I watched the NFL Draft the past two days, I just hoped that the Chiefs would bring in someone that would make the Jared Allen trade worth while. I was maybe one of the only Chiefs fans not happy with the trade, and while I still am not 100 percent happy with the move, I definitely can live with it now.

First Round

If you have to give up a great defensive player in Jared Allen, no doubt getting the best defensive player in the draft is worth it and thats what the Chiefs got in Glenn Dorsey. Taught under the tenacious coaching of Bo Pelini, Dorsey is a guy that can just flat out push over offensive linemen. He will definitely be the anchor of the Chiefs defense for years to come. Then with their second first round pick they got the guy many mock drafts were predicting the Chiefs would pick at #5 in Branden Albert. Both guys will start day one for the Chiefs.

Second Round

With Ty Law gone and Patrick Surtain getting up their in age, the Chiefs needed a corner and they got a first round corner in the second round in Virginia Tech's Brandon Flowers. He is a very hard hitting corner with some pretty decent speed. He has a very strong upper body. Expect Flowers to be a starter from day one as well.

Third Round
Three picks in this round starting with running back Jamaal Charles out of Texas. Now I really didn't want a running back in this draft, but if we had to get one Charles was the guy. He is very explosive and has break away speed to leave defenders in the dust. The first questionable pick I thought was two picks later with getting tight end Brad Cottam out of Tennessee. This guy has some work to do but he could definitely pan out for the Chiefs. Big guy at 6-7 but doesn't seem to have good hands. Hopefully he can learn a thing or two under Tony Gonzalaez. I just didn't think they really needed a tight end. The last pick the Chiefs had in the third round they used on DaJuan Morgan out of NC State who should be a very solid back up safety for the Chiefs. Morgan was the Wolfpacks leading tackler in 2007 with 97 tackles to go along with three interceptions.

The rest of the draft
Loved the pick in the fourth round getting Will Franklin out of Missouri. He is the second fastest receiver in the draft and did very well last season at Missouri. He does have some injury problems which is why he fell into the fourth round. Brandon Carr out of Grand Valley State maybe a steal. He played for a two time Division Two National Champion and has excellent speed. Seeing him crush Northwests dreams twice in the national championship was enough to have me sold on this kid. They also got a good kick returner in Utah State's Kevin Robinson who had a total of four touchdowns ran back on kick returns.

All in All I am very impressed with the Chiefs draft. They hopefully will make some strides into getting back to the playoffs.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sleepers in the 2008 NFL Draft

While everyone is talking who is going to be going in the first round, I am going to talk about some guys that aren't getting a lot of press that could very well make an impact at the next level.

1) Xavier Omon RB Northwest Missouri State University-Yes I might be biased, but I have seen him play for the past two years in person and ladies and gentleman the man flat out has game. Over 2,300 yards this last season and is the only back in any division college football to rush for over 1,500 yards in four consecutive seasons. He rushed for over 600 yards in two playoff games (309 against Chadron State and 292 against Grand Valley State). Yes he doesn't have Darren McFadden speed but the guy has pretty good speed running a 4.55 40 yard dash. I can easily see Omon being taken in the late rounds (probably 6th or 7th round).

2) Paul Smith QB Tulsa-Stellar senior year for Smith throwing for over 5,000 yards and 47 touchdowns. He also rushed for 13 more. His leader ship skills helped Tulsa win big in their bowl game against Bowling Green and to a 10-4 record. Some experts say he is a system quarterback and may have poor arm strength but his accuracy is comparable to the other quarterbacks in the draft. I don't see him slipping past the 6th rounds and could even go early in Day 2.

3) Todd Blythe WR Iowa State- Huge receiver out of Iowa State University with very good hands. The only reason he is not higher in the draft is he played for a bad team. Brett Meyer never really stayed in the pocket long enough to find Blythe down field. He was an All-Big 12 candidate in his sophomore season at Iowa State as well. A team that would draft Blythe is a team looking deep in the draft for a guy that could possibly come in a fill the #3 wide out spot. I see him going around Round 6 maybe late 5th but not much higher than that.

4) Dexter Jackson-WR Appalachian State-This kid has tremendous speed. Jackson runs a 4.37 40 yard dash and he could really be a great punt returner or kick returner at the next level. Didn't really have outstanding numbers receiving in college but his senior season was the best catching 30 balls for 688 yards and 8 touchdowns. He could be put in as a fourth or fifth wide receiver too. I see him going middle of the second day in the late fourth early fifth round pick.

5) Josh Johnson QB San Diego-Finishing up with a quaterback which had a 43:1 touchdown to interception ratio. Thats right Johnson only threw one interception this last season in college football while completing 68% of his passes. The only knock against him is he is very skinny for a quarterback and some are questioning his toughness in the pocket. He is a threat though to run the football at anytime. I see Johnson going early in Day two being a early to mid fourth round pick.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Baseball has had Backward Start To Season

For all my fellow readers out there I want to apologize that it took me until the middle of April to actually start talking about. You see to me the baseball season doesn't begin until the Final Four is over so last Monday was actually the first time I had even paid any attention to baseball. However, after the week I have used to get caught up on whats happening in the baseball world I have seen that there has been one reoccurring theme throughout the early going, its all backwards through the first few games.

The Good Surprises

  • As of Sunday night, the Arizona Diamondbacks are the best team in baseball. Yes all of baseball. They have scored a Major League leading 77 runs through 12 games while only giving up 45 runs. Justin Upton has been the leader for the Diamondbacks hitting .400 with 5 home runs and 11 RBI's with an on base percentage of over 1.100. And with Brandon Webb already having three wins in this young season, the Diamondbacks are quickly become the team to beat in the NL.
  • The team with the lowest payroll in baseball is leading the NL East. Yes it is not a typo the Florida Marlins with a 7-5 record have a game and a half lead in the NL East, the same Division as the New York Mets and Philadelphia Philles. It surprise me especially since the Marlins have given up 14 more runs than they have scored on offense. (56 Runs Scored 70 Runs Allowed).
  • The state of Missouri baseball teams has a combine record of 16-9. The Kansas City Royals have had a very good start to the season sweeping the Detroit Tigers in Detroit to begin the season and have been 4-5 since then. They also took 2 of 3 games from the New York Yankees. While the St. Louis Cardinals are leading the NL Central with a record of 9-4 while Albert Pujols is hitting .390. Going to school in Missouri I hear about both teams a lot and I have to say I am surprised by both teams fast start. Something to keep in the back of your head, A source of mine who is a Kansas City Royals fan said if the Royals are still around by the All-Star break that the Royals will go out and get another power hitter like the Reds Adam Dunn.
The Bad Surprises
  • The Detroit Tigers are the worst team in baseball with a 2-10 record. If you told me the Tigers would start 2-10 I would of thought you were smoking weed. How can this offense only score 33 runs? They have a payroll this season exceeding 150 million dollars. Thats absurd.
  • The AL East has all five teams within one game of the lead, and one of the teams on top isn't New York or Boston. Both are 6-6 and 5-5 in there last 10. David Ortiz is off to the worst start of his career with only three hits this season. Will Big Papi, the Yanks, and the Red Soxs get out of this early season slump. Stay tune. By the way the Mets aren't much better at 5-6 and a game and a half out of the NL East race. While Missouri has a record of 16-9 the state of New York is 11-12. Explain that one.
  • The NL Champs last year are 4-7. The Colorado Rockies haven't seem to shake off the World Series loss hang over just yet. And with how competitive the NL West has been in the early going, I don't see things getting any easier of the Rockies.
Right now the Division leaders are Arizona (NL West), St. Louis (NL Central), Florida (NL East), Oakland (AL Central), Chicago (AL Central), and Toronto/Baltimore (AL East). I know its early, but if this continues we are in for an interesting baseball season.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Self Would Be Smart To Stay At Kansas

It seems like even when things are going well for Bill Self the eyes of all Kansas fans are watching him, judging his every move. This time Jayhawk fans want to see if their coach, who lead them to their first National Championship in 20 years, is going to leave them. Last week it was rumored that Self was interested at taking over at his alma mater which is Big 12 rival Oklahoma State. The job opened up after Sean Sutton resigned after two years of being the Cowboys head coach. Now they want Self and for good reason. He is an amazing recruiter, and finally got over his elite eight hump and now has a championship on his resume. Not to mention he played basketball at OK State. However, even though he has a long history at Oklahoma State, I wouldn't accept the job.

Self's Road To Kansas Has Been A Long One.
Self's coaching career ironically started at the place he is currently employed. From 1985-1986 he was an assistant coach on for Kansas. For the next seven years he was an assistant at OK State. He finally got his first head coaching position at Oral Roberts started during the 1993-1994 season where he won only six games. It took him only two more seasons to build Oral Roberts in a contender, winning 18 games in his third year and in his fourth he guided the Golden Eagles to their first ever NCAA tournament in over 10 years in 1997. After the 1997 season, he was hired at the University of Tulsa and in just three seasons he guided Tulsa to their only Elite Eight. He then took a job at Illinois where in his first season lead the Illini to the Big 10 title and a birth in the Elite Eight. Then after two more successful seasons he went back to the place that gave him his first coaching job.

Oklahoma State his next destination?
Now Oklahoma State is throwing money at Self to be their next head coach. Self said he is committed to staying at Kansas and I fully believe him. He reminds me a lot of Les Miles and how he handled the situation at Michigan opened up. He said he was committed to LSU first and even though being a Missouri Tigers fan and hating Bill Self's guts I do have immense respect for how the guy handled the first round losses to Bucknell and Bradley back to back years and how he handled the critics saying he couldn't get over the Elite Eight hump. I hate flaky coaches who jump from one job to the next. Honestly coaching the Kansas Jayhawks is one of the Top 10 best schools to coach in college basketball. While he would be at his alma mater at OK State and would get more money to coach there Kansas is a once and a lifetime job. He just won a title there, meaning the fans will back off of him a bit. Not to mention I see a contract extension in his future. If Bill Self is smart he will be coaching Kansas for sometime to come.

Monday, April 7, 2008

National Championship Preview

Tonight one coach will win their first ever National Championship. Tonight two teams with high powered offenses and scrappy defenses square off in San Antonio. With a combine four losses between them this is one game you do not want to miss. So who is gonna take the prize? Will it be Brandon Rush and the Kansas Jayhawks or will it be Chris-Douglas Roberts and Memphis. Before I pick who will come out on top lets go back and see how these teams got here.

Kansas Jayhawks (36-3 (13-3 Big 12 Champions))-The Jayhawks started out the season red hot winning their first 20 games before losing on the road at Kansas State on January 30th. They would lose only two more the rest of the way leading them to tonights game with Memphis. Seven players have been leading scorers for the Jayhawks this year and not a single Jayhawk was named to the All-Big 12 team. This selfless group is lead in scoring by Brandon Rush who is averaging over 13 points a game, while three other players average over 10 points per game. A player to watch out for is freshman center Cole Aldrich who had 8 points 7 rebounds and 4 blocks in 16 minutes in the win against North Carolina. He will be a factor in stopping Joey Dorsey down low. Kansas has had a winning tradition the past couple years, winning 84 out of their last 94 games.

Memphis Tigers (38-1 (16-0 CUSA Champions)-The only team that had a better start to their season was Memphis, winning 26 games in a row before losing in late February to Tennessee. The haven't lost since. Not to mention that they had the toughest non conference schedule, playing Georgetown, Arizona, USC, Oklahoma, Connecticut, and Gonzaga along with Tennessee. They are lead in scoring by Chris-Douglas Roberts with almost 19 points per game and freshman sensation Derrick Rose who is averaging 14 points this season and dropped 25 in their win against UCLA on Saturday. Memphis is playing in only their second championship game, which they lost to UCLA in 1973.

Who Will Win-Kansas leads the all-time series with Memphis 3-2. Tonight Memphis evens the score. Kansas won the last match over 20 years ago back on December 28th 1987 64-62 and Memphis will win by the same score. This game is going to come down to who turns over the ball more and Kansas turned the ball over 19 times against North Carolina. UCLA turned the ball over 12 times and lost by 15 to Memphis. CDR will have a great game for Memphis as they will win their first ever National Championship Game. And as a Missouri Fan living in Midwest country I see a lot of Kansas fans all the time and today I came up with another great Kansas Hater Chant. So for Kansas fans this is for you: Rock Chalk Jayhawk....FUCK KU! Have a good week everyone talk to you on Thursday.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

My Thoughts On The Final Four

Now two remain. Memphis and (Kansas) are left to fight for the 2008 National Championship. Here is what I thought of Saturday's action.

  • For the second year in a row my champion falls in the semifinals as UCLA loses to Memphis. Last year I had Georgetown winning it all and they fell to Ohio State.

  • Lets start with UCLA. One thing it seemed like many of their players had butterfingers in today's games. They have too many rebounds slip through their hands leading to second chance opportunities for Memphis. Also UCLA wasn't committed to getting Kevin Love the basketball. The Bruins had Joey Dorsey and Shawn Taggart both had 3 fouls in the early portion of the second half and they were more worried about trying to get back into the game by way of the three pointer.

  • The critics (including me) can shut up about Memphis's free throw shooting ability. They make the free throws when they count stepping up and making 20-23 from the charity strike to put UCLA away. Derrick Rose scores 25 points the tigers and was giving Darren Collison fits on the defensive end. Collison would end up only scoring 2 points and fouling out in the final minutes of the game. Also loved Joey Dorsey's stat line. Zero points 15 rebounds.
  • Also congratulations to Memphis for winning their 38th game this season, the most ever in one season in Division 1 basketball.
  • Kansas let Tyler Hansbrough score 17 points but made him earn every single one of them as the Jayhawk defense propelled Bill Self into the championship game. The Jayhawks at one point in the first half were up 40-12 over the Tar Heels. It was just the third time this season that North Carolina was held under 70 points.

  • The player who impressed me the most was Cole Aldrich off the bench for Kansas. In 16 minutes he scored 8 points, grabbed down 7 rebounds, and had four blocked shots. I would expect Aldrich to player more minutes Monday against Memphis.

  • The stat that really hurt North Carolina, 5-24 from three point land. It looked to me that UNC was trying to get back into the game with one shot instead of using their great transition game to get them easy points.

One game remains. Tune in tomorrow for an in-depth championship preview as Memphis takes on Kansas for the 2008 National Championship.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Final Four Preview

We are down to the final four and man what a tournament it has been. After all the upsets and nail biting games we are left with all #1 seeds left in the tournament, the first time that has ever happened. San Antonio is the place to be this weekend and here is the way I see the games going on Saturday.

UCLA vs Memphis-tip time approximately 6:07 pm on CBS-This is a rematch of the Elite Eight contest back in 2005 (UCLA won that game 50-45). While I don't think that game is going to be that low scoring, it will be just as close. The Memphis Tigers come into the Final Four as probably the hottest team defeating Michigan State and Texas soundly after getting a scare from Mississippi State in the second round. UCLA is in about the same boat. They just squeaked by Texas A&M in round two before winning more comfortably against both Western Kentucky and Xavier. Many of these players on Memphis's team played in that 2005 Elite Eight game and would love nothing more than to get some revenge on their way to the National Title Game. However this is UCLA's third straight trip to the final four and Memphis is looking for revenge, the Bruins don't see the Florida Gators in this Final Four (the team that ended their season the last two years) so you have to like the Bruins chances as well. The matchup I am watching for in this game is Kevin Love against Joey Dorsey. Dorsey isn't a guy that is going to score you 20 points a night. He reminds me a lot of Ben Wallace of the Cleveland Cavilers because he revolves his game around defense. He is gonna have to be at his best against one of the best freshman in the land in Kevin Love. Also am looking at the Freshman Phenom story angle between Love and Derrick Rose. Who Wins: I have UCLA as my champion and am picking them in this basketball game. Both teams have great defenses and both have very good transition games but UCLA has been their the past two years and you can't beat experience. Bruins by 5.

Kansas vs North Carolina-tip time 30 minutes after the conclusion of UCLA/Memphis on CBS- Its a game Jayhawk fans have been waiting to play for the past five years. As good as the players are in this basketball game the biggest storyline will be Roy Williams going up against his former team. Williams left the Jayhawks after the conclusion of the 2003 basketball season. Finally Bill Self has got over the Final Four hump and wants to make sure his first final four experience is a memorable one. Overall for this entire tournament North Carolina has been playing the best basketball from the opening game to now. Every other final four team has had a game in this tournament decided by 3 points or less. Carolina lowest margin of victory was 10 against Louisville. However if there is a team in this entire tournament that has the talent to go toe to toe with the two loss Tar Heel team it is the Jayhawks. They play of Sasha Kaun off the bench helped the Jayhawks escape Davidson and don't forget about Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers, and Sherron Collins. Hansbrough will more than likely will be guarded by Darnell Jackson (with Arthur getting some time on him as well). If they can stop Ty Lawson from outrunning them up and down the court the Jayhawks are in this game. Carolina will like to get out and run. Who Wins: I think the game though comes down to depth and Kansas has it. The Jayhawks need to get Hansbrough in foul trouble early and if they do that they can build a lead and keep it. Kansas wins against Roy's Tar Heels and advances to the Championship game.

Full National Championship Preview coming up on Monday. Hope everyone has a great weekend of watching College Basketball (and when basketball isn't on a little baseball)