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Who’s #1?

Posted by Nathan Atkins on March 15, 2009

Louisville, Pittsburgh, North Carolina and Connecticut have all received #1 seeds in this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

NCAA Men’s brackets have been announced today and Rick Pitino and his Cardinals are the number one overall seed in this year’s tournament. 

Though I’m not a Big East fan, I must admit that this is their year. Three of the four overall number one seeds are out of the Big East. 

Louisville made it clear that they deserved to be the number one this year after going 28-5, 16-2 in conference play, and destroying all challengers in the Big East Tournament: 73-55 against Providence, 69-55 against Villanova and 76-66 against Syracuse in the championship game. Louisville will the the number one seed in the Midwest Region, playing their games in Indianapolis.

Pittsburgh had a strong case for the number one as well. They were the regular season number one for three months during the 2008-2009 season. until they lost to Louisville 63-69. But after a 28-4 season (15-3) they were recognized as the second best team; not only in the Big East, but in the tournament as well. Pittsburgh has been awarded the number one seed in the East Region, playing their games in Boston.

Louisville, Pitt, North Carolina and UConn all been seeded number one in the 2009 Men's Basketball Tournament.

Louisville, Pitt, North Carolina and UConn all been seeded number one in the 2009 Men's Basketball Tournament.

 

North Carolina, the only number one team not from the Big East was the number one team during the regular season as well. In the highly competitive ACC, The Tarheels were dominant. In route to winning the ACC, Carolina posted the best record going 28-4  (13-3). The second place team in the conference, (Wake Forest #4 seed) went 24-8 and 11-5 in conference play. With the way Carolina handled the ACC this year; beating the #2 seed Duke twice during the regular season, they are more than deserving of a number one seed.  

Carolina will be the number one seed in the South Region hoping to make it to the regional championships in Memphis.

Last but not least, another former regular season number one: UConn. 

Connecticut fought hard this year in the Big East going 27-4 (15-3). The first, second and third place team in the Big East are all number one seeds this year, a testament to the dominance of the conference this year. 

The Huskies played games against both Louisville and Pittsburgh this year, beating the Cardinals 68-51, and splitting their series with Pitt, losing 76-68 in February. But the Huskies rebounded in March, beating the Panthers 70-60.

UConn rounds out the tournament with the number one seed in the West Region.

Though their seemed to be more parity last year, it doesn’t seem as if this year’s tournament will be much different than last year’s. 

The number one seeds look to be the most dominant teams, and will probably advance to the final four. 

The tournament is losing its parity, in the last few years Non-Power Conference teams are losing “At-Large” bids. 

Five years ago in 2004, there were twelve.

Last year there were six, this year, four. 

Remember the excitement of the 2004 tournament? 

St. Joseph’s led by  guard tandem Jameer Nelson and Delonte West making it to the Elite Eight?

Manhattan knocking off SEC power Florida in the first round 75-60? 

Nevada beating Michigan State and Gonzaga to make it to the Sweet Sixteen?

Seton Hall beating Arizona in the first round? 

Alabama upsetting Stanford and Syracuse to make the Elite Eight?

It truly was Madness in 2004, and in 2008 as well. 

Remember Siena’s upset Vanderbilt?

Davidson’s upset Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin to make the Elite Eight.?

Western Kentucky’s upset Drake, and beat San Diego in route to the Sweet Sixteen?

San Diego upsetting Connecticut in the first round?

Now there will only  four Non-Power Conference teams thanks to the Selection Committee. 

I’m excited for the tournament, but in the future will it actually be “March Madness” ? 

-Nate 

(Bracket’s coming soon….)

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It’s Coming…

Posted by Nathan Atkins on March 11, 2009

Starting next week, it has begun.

Get your brackets ready.

Each day there will be updates regarding the day’s dissapointments and upsets.

Once again, get your brackets ready, because I will be posting one too.

See who gets more right…

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With the 52nd Pick in the NFL Draft..The New York Jets select..Hopefully a Quarterback

Posted by Nathan Atkins on March 4, 2009

At Radio City Music Hall on April 25th the first round of the NFL Draft will take place. There are twenty quarterbacks that have declared for the draft; of the 32 teams I think five need a quarterback on their roster,  yet there are another eight teams that would be wise to invest in a quarterback.

Here are the teams that need to address their QB problem:

New York Jets, Detroit, Minnesota, Tampa Bay and San Fransisco.

I will spend the next five days discussing in-depth each team and the situations they face heading into the NFL Draft.

Today, its the ever popular New York J-E-T-S, JETS! JETS! JETS!

After the loss of Brett Favre, New York’s status for the 2009 season is once again uncertain. After a disappointing 9-7 season the Jets decided to improve their mediocre defense. The New York defense ranked 18th best in total defense, but was also the league’s 4th worst defense on fourth down.

The Jets allowed teams to convert a disgusting 72%  on fourth down in 2008.

Rex Ryan has improved the defense by bringing in Ravens linebacker Bart Scott (82 tckls 1.5 sacks) along with Eagles nickel corner Lito Sheppard (21 tckls 1 int). With combination of Scott with Eric Barton (119 tckls), Calvin Pace (80 tckls, 7 sacks, 5 FF), and Bryan Thomas (70 tckls, 5.5 sacks) the Jets front seven will be dominant; considering defensive linemen Kris Jenkins, Kenyon Coleman and Shaun Ellis totaled 163 tackles and 12 sacks in 2008.

The problem is on the other side of the ball: Offense.

The quarterback for next year looks to be Kellen Clemens.

The former Oregon Duck is the only signal caller in New York with game experience. In 2007 Clemens started ten games for the Jets. Those ten games are about all he has over former third stringer,  newly promoted second stringer Brett Ratliff.

Kellen Clemens’s 2007 campaign was forgettable to say the least. He threw for 1,529 yards, 5 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. That’s an  average of 152.9 yards a game, 0.5 touchdowns, and 1 interception per game.

Lets just say that boy from Gulfport, Mississippi had a much better season than that.

Kellen Clemens has Not Played Much Since his Dreadful 2007 Season. Clemens Only Threw for 1,529 yards, 5 Touchdowns and 10 Interceptions

Kellen Clemens hasn't played much since his dreadful 2007 season. Clemens threw for 1,529 yards, 5 touchdowns and 10 interceptions

Also, Laverneus Coles appears to want out of New York, if he walks it will leave a major hole in the offense.

Coles gave the Jets 70 receptions, 850 yards and 7 touchdowns in 2008. There is no one currently on the roster that could replicate his 2008 production. The departure of Coles will leave a significant hole in the offense.

There are also questions about Thomas Jones. Though the muscular running back ran for over 1,000 yards last year; on August 19, 2008 he hit the big  3-0.

If he were a car his odometer would have just turned over to 100,000 miles.

The speedy back up Leon Washington is also due to become a free agent at the end of 2009. Like most NFL teams in turmoil, its not hard for things go from bad to worse very quickly.

But the good news?

The Jets have the the 17th pick in the 2009 Draft.

First things first, don’t draft defense!

If Knowshon Moreno is still on the board at 17 (which he will be) take him!

After Matthew Stafford, I don’t believe there are any first round caliber quarterbacks left on the board. So don’t reach for one in the first round.

If all goes according to plan the Jets go into the second round with the 52nd pick. Now is the time to select a quarterback, not a wide receiver;  after Michael Crabtree most of the receivers aren’t first or second round pick worthy either. Many Mock Drafts have the Jets taking Penn State wide receiver Derrick Williams, there have also been others that suggest Pittsburgh running back LeSean McCoy. McCoy is only be a good pick if they choose a player other than Moreno with the first pick.

Knowshon Moreno Should Be Available in the First Round and Will Offer Much Needed Support to the Jets Running Game

Knowshon Moreno should be available in the first round and will offer much needed support to the Jets running game

The quarterbacks that I believe will be available are: Josh Freeman, Curtis Painter and Rhett Bomar. The quarterback that I believe to be the best out of this group is Josh Freeman.

Freeman plays in the extremely competitive Big XII conference, and proved himself multiple times against quality competition.

Against Oklahoma, Freeman was 29-51 for 478 yards, 3 touchdowns 3 interceptions. Though the three interceptions are questionable keep in mind two things: Freeman through eight total interceptions in 2008.

K-States Josh Freeman has thrown for over 8,000 yards and 44 Touchdowns in his Career in Manhattan

K-State's Josh Freeman has thrown for over 8,000 yards and 44 Touchdowns in his Career in Manhattan

Secondly, he was playing Oklahoma; the Oklahoma Sooners that scored 716 points in 2008, and only allowed 343.

The 2008 Sooners had 19 interceptions and 42 sacks in 2008. It is no surprise that Josh Freeman struggled against such a dominant unit. Compare his numbers to those of Tim Tebow in the National Championship Game and you will be suprised. Tebow was 18-30 for 231 yards, 2 touchdowns 2 interceptions. Freeman’s numbers are more than comparable to Tebow who defeated Oklahoma to win the BCS Championship.

At 6’6″ 250 pounds, Freeman certainly has the frame of a pro quarterback.

There are options other than Freeman though; chances are Curtis Painter and Rhett Bomar will still available.

This is tough, but I think Curtis Painter is the better choice. In his four years at Purdue he has a completion percentage of 58.57 percent. This number is tainted though by his Freshman year struggle where his completion percentage was a lowly 52.4%. Freshman year aside he has responded each year with percentages of 59.4, 62.6 and 59.9 respectively. He is an accurate quarterback and will get the ball out.

It is unfair to look at Painter’s completion percentage and assume he is a short yardage quarterback. The years he completed 59.4 and 62.6 percent of his passes, Painter threw for 4015 and 3848 yards.

Curtis Painter appears to be one of this years overlooked prospects

Curtis Painter appears to be one of this year's overlooked prospects

This year he has thrown for 2400 yards, 13 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Statistically this is Painter’s worst year, but all the blame can’t be placed on Painter.

The Boilermaker defense gave a way an astonishing 25.08 points a game this season.

Even with Kory Sheets rushing for 1131 yards and 16 touchdowns the offense was unable to overcome the inadequacies of the defense. With such a weak defense, a large amount of pressure was put on Painter to carry the Boilermaker team to a bowl game. It was far too much to ask from Painter and the offense.

Analysts knock Painter for his decision making and criticize him for a poor senior year but, 59.9% on a so called down year?

Pretty impressive.

That’s what Painter is; an impressive quarterback. He is probably the most polished and best quarterback in the draft. Any team that drafts Painter will get a gem of a quarterback.

As for Rhett Bomar…

Rhett was the #1 quarterback prospect coming out of high school in 2004. He committed to Oklahoma, and started for the Sooners in 2005.  Boy, was Rhett an impressive player, he started after the second game of the season and led Oklahoma to a Holiday Bowl win over Oregon.

Bomar was even lucky enough to be awarded MVP of the Holiday Bowl.

But for Rhett Bomar the holiday did not end in San Diego on December 29, 2005.

For Bomar his entire life at Oklahoma had been one big holiday.

Since his freshman year Bomar accepted money from Big Red Sports and Imports. Big Red Sports and Imports is a local car dealership that was owned by a prominent Oklahoma booster. After Rhett Bomar would hand off the ball, he would then turn around to collect hand outs.

In 2006, Coach Bob Stoops dismissed Bomar from the team.

He would not be stopped though, with two years of eligibility remaining, Bomar enrolled at Sam Houston State. In his first season at SHSU he completed 59.1 percent of his passes for 2209 yards, 10 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.

Not Impressive.

This year he completed 56.2 percent of his passes for 3405 yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

Once again, not impressive.

Rhett Bomar can’t throw for 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns in the Southland Conference?

No offense to the Southland Conference but Central Arkansas, Texas State, McNeese State, Northwestern State, Nicholls State and Southeastern Louisiana University were better than Rhett Bomar’s Bearkats this year.

On top of that, Bomar wasn’t even the passing leader in the Southland Conference in 2008.

That honor would go to Mr. Jeremy Moses of Stephen F. Austin State; Moses completed 58.1 percent of his passes for 3807 yards, 36 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.

Rhett Bomar Seems to have Underachieved in Hunstville After Transferring from Oklahoma to Sam Houston State in 2007

Rhett Bomar seems to have underachieved in Hunstville after transferring from Oklahoma to Sam Houston State in 2007

The Jets management might ask,

“Well if Jeremy Moses is better than Bomar why hasn’t he declared for the Draft?”

That question would warrant this response: “He’s only a Sophomore”.

Rhett Bomar was not only the second best quarterback in the Southland, he was defeated by a Sophomore; Rhett Bomar had too much talent to play in the Southland Conference, but not enough smarts to be successful in the Big XII.  Bomar has squandered his talent, playing in a mediocre football conference and putting up mediocre numbers.

A player with character issues, and mediocre talent?

I’ll stick with Freeman or Painter

Chances are Pat White will be available too, but Rex Ryan please take note of this: 2009 is NOT the time for an experimental quarterback.

Project quarterbacks are a waste of time. Before you were a coach in New York a man named Herman Edwards drafted Brad Smith. Herm Edwards is now unemployed. Remember that Rex before you select Pat White.

Here is the story of Brad Smith:

A dual threat quarterback at the University of Missouri, Brad Smith was a great looking prospect. He was a phenomenal player and has the accolades to prove it.

  • First player to throw for 8,000 yards and rush for 4,000 yards
  • First player  to pass for 2,000 yards and run for 1,000 yards in a season twice
  • Missouri record for: Career rushing yards, Total Yards, Most points in a Game and Most touchdowns in a Game
  • 68 Different Missouri, Big XII and NCAA records

Did I mention Smith runs  a 4.46 40 yard dash?

Has a 39.5 inch vertical jump?

Along with a 4.33 pro shuttle?

Oh, and a 10’8″ broad jump?

Is Pat White this year's Brad Smith?

Is Pat White this year's Brad Smith?

He seemed to be a monster; and in three years this monster has done nothing.

In three years he has attempted three passes, completing one for a total of eighteen yards.

He has rushed for 261 yards and caught for 450.

For G-d’s sake Rex, please don’t select Pat White. You will live to regret it.

Brad Smith is  6’2″ 210 pounds, Pat White is 6’1″ 192 pounds. Do not be fooled, he is slower than Smith (4.55), doesn’t jump as high as Smith (35″), does not have the lateral speed Smith does (4.42) and he doesn’t have the leg power or drive (9’9″).

Pat White is the poor man’s Brad Smith. If Smith hasn’t been successful what are the chances that a slower version of him will?

Take Freeman or Painter.

On the Clock: Detroit

-Nate

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