Sunday, June 25, 2006

Top 3 Runningbacks in the SEC

1. Darren McFadden

2. Kenny Irons

3. Kenneth Darby

Let me start off by saying McFadden is the best runningback in the SEC. Sure Kenny Irons had the better season last year, but his production will decrease this coming year. Irons is a strong power back that will run you over to get the first down instead of trying to finesse his way to a 30 yard run. This is a great attribute to have in your runningback, but he also needs some quickness to his game. Irons is not the fastest guy in the world nor does he have the best moves. I am not putting him down at all, but he ran through monstrous holes last year and wasn't even touched until he reached the secondary in some occasions. Playing in the SEC you can not run over everyone and quickness is needed to be successful in this conference. Last and final point is that Auburn does not have a fullback that has proven he is SEC material. Stop yelling at me all you barners, Kenny Irons is a GREAT back but not the BEST back in the SEC.

Darren McFadden resembles my favorite back in college football, Adrian Peterson. McFadden is fast, strong, quick, patient for blocking, and he has done this at such a young age. What really impresses me about this kid is that he has proved that he can put an entire football team on his back. He racked in huge rushing games last year when Arkansas could barely even complete one pass. McFadden does all of his damage without a strong passing attack or without a strong offensive line. Arkansas also has a better athlete at the fullback position in Hillis. A very versatile player, Hillis, who can run, catch, and lay a good lead block. This will make defenses cautious about containing only McFadden.

With all of last seasons defensive starters returning, Arkansas is a solid number three spot in the SEC west. If Auburn turns out to be overrated, which is likely, then the razorbacks could give LSU a run for their money in contending for the SEC championship. Remember LSU's final regular season game last year? Could that be what decides who goes and who doesn't? The game is in Little Rock this year so really anything could happen. Can we please start the season!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Xavier Carter turns pro

Originally published Dec. 25, 2003
Florida's Big 3 are among the schools chasing fleet-footed Melbourne Palm Bay receiver Xavier Carter.
Xavier Carter may not be America's best high school football player. But on one point, there's little debate.
He's probably the fastest.
Carter, a wide receiver from Melbourne Palm Bay, is maturing into a world-class sprinter. Catch him while you can. One day, he might be facing a decision. The NFL or the Olympic Games?

With participation in the Beijing, China 2008 Summer Olympics as a major goal, Carter announced at a press conference Wednesday that he will turn professional in track and will end his Tigers football career. It was clear that the "X-man" Xavier Carter was going to be a future star in track. Carter was a good wide receiver, but he was an outstanding track star. I'm really not surprised with his decision to go pro in track, but I know a lot of people will miss him around Bourbon Street.

"I feel like I'm in the best condition of my life," Carter said. "Running in the Olympics is a once in a lifetime dream. I will be better prepared for the Olympics this way than if I was still battling track and football at the same time."

Carter, who leaves LSU with seven NCAA titles and ten All-America honors in two track seasons, became the first athlete since Jesse Owens in 1936 to win four titles at the national championships.In addition, Carter was the first athlete in the 86-year history of the NCAA
championships to win both the 100-meters and the 400-meters.

"While I am excited with the prospects of my future endeavors as a professional athlete, the end of my athletic association with LSU also saddens me. It has been an honor and a privilege to wear the LSU Tiger track uniform and the Tiger football uniform."

Being an SEC fan, it is great to have individuals like him to represent our conference so much. He said that his college football career will come to an end because of his decision to go pro in track, but Carter said by no means will his football career come to an end. With that said I bet a lot of NFL teams will be interested in having him after the 2008 Olympics.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

New Transfer Rule in College Football

NEW transfer rule ignites debate:
Fifth-year seniors who have already earned their degree
can transfer without sitting out a year.

A controversial transfer rule recently passed by the NCAA appears here to stay, despite criticism from some quarters new policy, passed in late April by the NCAA Board of Directors, allows football and basketball players with one year of eligibility remaining to move to another Division I program and play immediately, assuming that player has earned a bachelor's degree and a graduate course of study is not available at his previous school.

"I don't think there's any way it will be sent back," said Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association. "And I don't think it's going to be mass chaos. I don't think that at all."But the worry is, simply, the recruiting that can go on. You'd have proven talent that can come to school and be eligible immediately."That's already happened. Arizona quarterback Richard Kovalcheck, a part-time starter who graduated in three years, transferred to Vanderbilt.But Kovalcheck would have fit under the Southeastern Conference's old transfer rule, which required a player to have two years of eligibility. Now, he will be able to play both years rather than sit out a season, as was required under the old NCAA guidelines.

Vanderbilt has been the first team to take advantage of this new rule, and it greatly benefits them. Vandy was looking needy at the quarterback posistion with Cutler off in Denver, so this is obviously a huge land for them. Kovalcheck is a smart and experienced qb that has already played four years at Arizona. Can Vanderbilt make another run for a bowl bid? Ofcourse every team looks good in the offseason, but the future looks bright for this new team. I really think that this ball club will stay average and will not go back to the years where they were horrible.
B E L I E V E!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Who is This Year's Tennessee?

Who’s this year’s highly ranked team
that’s going to fall flat on its face?

One team stands out as having all the makings of being this year’s mega-flop … Florida.

Expected by just about everyone to win the SEC, or at least the East, and being talked about as national title contenders, the Gators 1) don’t have a running game, 2) have a shaky, shaky, offensive line, 3) have a powder keg waiting to blow if star freshman quarterback Tim Tebow is merely competent and if Chris Leak struggles at all, and 4) has a schedule that would make most teams forget about playing the season altogether. Chris Leak is a good quarterback, but the "urban warfare" offense backfires on its unathletic quarterback. Leak looked terrified last year trying to run the option, and he second guesses all of his decisions.

Remember, Tennessee really wasn’t that bad, and, of course, neither is Florida. Before the end of last year when the Volunteer snowball was unstoppable, Tennessee lost at Florida, to Georgia, at Alabama, in a nail-biter to South Carolina, and at Notre Dame. That’s not anything to cry about. Florida could be one of the ten best teams in America and still finish with five losses having to play at Tennessee, at Auburn, at Florida State, at home against Alabama, LSU and South Carolina, and in the World’s Largest Outdoor Gathering That Has Nothing To Do With Cocktails Or Alcohol In Any Form against Georgia.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Is Jay Cutler just as good as Matt Leinhart and Vince Young?

"Cutler does not consistently stride into throws, often either throwing with legs on the same yardline or just becoming an arm thrower with bad technique. When he does not stride into the pass and tries to put zip on the throw, his passes tend to zip and dip right before they get to the receiver. He does not consistently sense/feel backside pressure coming and it leads to him taking some hits he shouldn't. Because Vanderbilt was almost always the worse team, Cutler developed some bad habits of trying to force some passes into tight coverage, leading to interceptions. Due to the reasons listed above, Cutler has struggled to consistently convert key/important downs into first downs. "


Everyone from radio talk hosts, draft prediction websites, and talk shows on television are completely tearing apart Jay Cutler, and they are praising Vince Young and Matt Leinhart. I understand that Matt Leinhart won a single national championship, Vince Young won last year's national championship, and Jay Cutler did not make it to a bowl game in his entire four year career. I also understand that Matt Leinhart and Vince Young were on two of the best college football teams in the country while Jay Cutler was not heard of, most of his collegiant career, and played on one of the worst teams in SEC. What really separates these three players as quarterbacks? The only way to answer this question is to put Vince Young and Matt Leinhart in Jay Cutler's position as the quarterback for Vanderbilt.

Matt Leinhart played for one of the most successfull offenses in college football history. He was awarded the heisman trophy in 2004, and he was in the national championship game in the last two years. Would Matt Leinhart have been as successfull playing at Vandy? Leinart reminds me of Tom Brady where he lacks superstar physical ability, but he is a good leader and is a very smart quarterback. Playing at Vanderbilt meant that you had to be able to take big hits, handle the SEC atmosphere, and create your own plays. Leinhart proved that he could take big hits with his big frame, handle the late game pressure like the Notre Dame game, and he could create when he ran out of options. Leinhart would have made a name for himself even if he played at Vandy.

Vince Young was the winning quarterback of the national championship last year where he totally dominated Southern California's defense, which isn't saying too much. Young has great athletic ability but many question his arm strength, accuracy, and his throwing form. Most of his success came from his rushing attack agaisnt west coast offensive teams. Put this kid on any SEC team and he will struggle, not even mentioning Vanderbilt. Maby he could rush for 100 yards against the Colorado's but there is no way he would have been able to rush for 100 yards week and week out agaisnt SEC defenses. In the NFL he will have to depend on his arm rather than his legs where he will fail. Michael Vick is out of his league when it comes to break away speed, and his cuts and quickness are a lot better then Young's. So please when you are about to compare him to Mike Vick shut your mouth because Vince Young is fast, but he is about to enter a league that is just as fast at almost every position.This overhyped kid will be a huge flop in the draft, and I will be the first person to point and laugh in Mel Kipper Jr.'s face.

Matt Leinhart will make the biggest impact in the NFL out of these three quarterback hands down. I believe Young and Cutler both have flaws that will hurt them in the pros, but I would take Cutler over Young. Vince will not be able to pull the ball down and run for 40 yards like he could in college agaisnt offensive based teams. His arm is not good enough, and he lacks smart decision making that is crucial in the NFL.
B. Fegan

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

How will Tennessee size up next year in the Sec East?

(On spring drills) "Well, just to open a few comments obviously came off a very unusual season for us. Spring practice actually went very well for us although we had a number of players that were unable to participate because of surgeries. We're looking forward to the summer workouts and obviously getting to two-a-days. We made some significant progress during the course of the spring. Defensively, we've got our work to do replacing six out of the front seven people. Again, made some significant strides during the spring."
- Phillip Fulmer

2005 Record: 5-6 (3-3 H, 2-3 A, 1-4 vs. Eastern Division) SEC

Record/Finish: 3-5 (1-3 H, 2-2 A) / T4th Eastern Division Bowl: None National Ranking: N/A
SEC/NCAA Statistical Rankings

Total Offense: 326.3 (8th - SEC / 90th - NCAA)
Rushing Offense: 128.3 (9th - SEC / 80th - NCAA)
Passing Offense: 198.0 (9th - SEC / 8th - NCAA) Scoring Offense: 18.6 (10th - SEC / 101st - NCAA) Total Defense: 298.2 (3rd - SEC / 6th - NCAA)
Rushing Defense: 82.5 (1st - SEC / 2nd- NCAA)
Passing Defense: 215.7 (10th - SEC / 54th - NCAA)
Scoring Defense: 18.6 (5th - SEC / 16th - NCAA)

"These kids came into to spring practice with a sense of determination, hard work, and anxious feeling into this year's season. Last season is behind us," said Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer.

The Tennessee Volunteers, if nothing else, are playing to get the pride back into this football program. This past season was the first year that this team has not been to a bowl game in thirteen years after a horrible 5-6 record. Tennessee appears to of had a productive spring with good talent coming back in the skilled positions at running back, wide receiver, quarterback, and four starting defensive backs from last year are returning. But nowhere do the questions seem to be as large as at the line of scrimmage for this team. Phillip Fulmer said at the close of spring practice that he was heading into the summer with two players, Arron Sears and David Ligon, having nailed down starting positions on the offensive line. But the state of things is so unsettled that the head coach also conceded that he didn't know where either Sears or Ligon would line up. With the front defensive seven that lost six starters off of last year's squad, it's reasonable to expect another drop off from the Tennessee defense in '06. What you expect may not be what you get though. If the young talent, that this team does have, can step up at the defensive and offensive lineman positions, then this team could very well be back to challenging the east in the talk of the SEC championship hunt.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Who will win the SEC west in 2006?

1. LSU

Coming into the 2005 season LSU had high expectations for themselves and from the media. Their team was loaded with top recruits from all over the country, and they were said to have the number one receiving core in the nation. Before the tigers even played their first game they were faced with distractions such as a new head coach in Les Miles, a new defensive coordinater in Bo Pellini, and ofcourse the devastating natural disaster, Hurricane Katrina, hitting right in New Orleans. With an early loss to Tennessee, everything seemed to be going downhill for the tigers, but after this game the young and inexperienced bunch came together and won all their games up to the SEC championship. The tigers have key players coming back such as the second team all-sec safety Laron Landry, and the 6'6 250 pound quarterback named Jamarcus Russell. Although consistency was a problem for the team last year, they are the most talented team in the SEC. With maturity and growth between the players and new coaches, the LSU tigers as well as SEC championship contenders could also be national championship contenders.

Auburn is a solid number two pick, and many people believe that Auburn will be better than LSU this year. Last year Auburn lost to LSU 20-17 in overtime, but any Auburn fan would be quick to tell you that John Vaughn missed three field goals that lost the game. Auburn's running back, Kenny Irons, rushed for 200 plus yards in the overtime loss last year, and again he could be a big problem for LSU. In recent history the outcome of the Auburn/LSU game usually determines who will represent the west in the championship, and I do not see this year being any different. Different from last year, LSU will have to play at Auburn's home field. This will be an exciting game with all that is on the line for both of these football teams. Although I believe LSU is all around the better team, Auburn will be the biggest test for LSU.

Arkansas is my number three pick and this is a controversial pick for some people who think Alabama should be over Arkansas. Arkansas' running back Darren McFadden was arguably the best freshman running back in the nation last year. McFadden brings an attitude to this team, and he will carry this offense to score enough points to win games. Arkansas' defense last year started off slow because of their youth but ended strong in the game agaisnt LSU. They have a lot of athletes on the defensive side of the ball that have the ability to shut down most teams in the SEC. I was not impressed with the second half of the season for Alabama, and that is why they are at four. Without Prothro their offense was pathetic at best, and their point production each game was very low. Alabama's defense carried the team most of the season and scored most of the points, but they could not stay dominant the whole season. With Brodie Croyle and defensive leaders gone next year, the road ahead does not look too bright for Bama.

Well, there is not much to say about MSU and Ole Miss. Most of the teams had their second string in the middle of the 3rd quarter agaisnt MSU, and It looks like this will be another second string year for Miss St. Ole Miss simply is just not athletic enough to compete with top programs, but they did have a good recruiting off season where they were in the top 20. These two teams are fairly equal, and it will be a good fight for second to last place.
B. Fegan