It's here and it's all happening. We're back on the radio today at 1 p.m. with David Paschall on ESPN 105.1. We're going to have UTC football coach Russ Huesman in studio today at the 1 o'clock hour to get things going.
From the "Talks too much" studios, let's discuss our draftability.
Draft part I
One of the many great things about the draft is the use of words that we would never, Never, NEVER before use to describe football and basketball players. In some ways they are euphemisms to cover up a player's weakness or area of concern. In others, they are code words. Did you hear that? We're using code names.
When you spend an exorbitant amount of time discussing potential or length or athleticism, well, you have a guy that wowed the combined and underwhelmed on Saturdays. It's not unlike getting set-up for a blind date by your buddy's girlfriend and the first thing she says is, "You'll love her. She has a great personality."
Think Verne and Gary on the SEC game on CBS would be wowed by great plays or oogling someone's length? Wait, don't answer that.
Seriously, what do you value more, a guy who made plays in college or a guy that tests like a monster? There's a perfect case study this year for that exact scenario: SMU defensive end Margus Hunt vs. Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore.
Hunt wowed scouts in Indy. He's 6-foot-8 and 277 pounds and he ran a 4.6 40, benched 225 38 times and had a vertical jump of 34.5 inches. Moore was the biggest bust of the combine, measuring at 6-4, 250 pounds with a 4.95 40 and benching 225 12 times.
Hunt was pretty good against middling competition in Conference USA — 8 sacks, 11.5 tackles for loss and 31 tackles.
Moore was excellent in the SEC — getting 12.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss and 85 total stops.
Let's say you are the Atlanta Falcons and you need a pass-rusher. Which of these guys are you taking — the guy who looks like a super prospect or the guy who was a super player on Saturdays?
NFL draft contest
We're sprinting into the third annual the "Feeling the Draft" NFL draft contest.
Winner will get a Masters hat. Send in your entry, don't cost nothing. We are going to continue to reach out to other media-types in town to participate. The first champ of this event was SportTalk's Quake and last year Sir Jeffe won. Well-played indeed gents.
And yes, we have won a couple of our own contests, but the fact that we are winless in "Feeling the Draft" leaves an empty place in our soul. We love the draft. You know this. We are expecting to acquire picks from the SportTalk trio, Wells and Jim Gumm from ESPN 105.1. A slew of the TFP folks normally play along and TV guys are always welcomed, too.
As always, don't cost nothin' to play.
You're entries will have five parts. If there's a tie after the first round, please check back Friday because we'll have a second-round tie-breaker.
Here are the categories:
First player picked:
Titans' first pick:
Steelers' first pick:
Falcons' first pick:
SEC players drafted in round 1:
Here are the entries we have so far (and they go in order of first pick/Titans pick/Steelers pick/Falcons pick/SEC first rounders):
5-at-10 — Joeckel/Jonathan Cooper/Cordarrelle Patterson/Tank Carradine/12
Mrs. 5-at-10 — Joeckel/Warmack/Jarvis Jones/Eric Reid/ 13
McPell — Fisher/Dee Milliner/Cordarrelle Patterson/Xavier Rhodes/9
WarEagle — Joeckel/Warmack/Eifert/Kyle Long/14
ThatIDoKnow — Ansah/Mingo/Patterson/Jamar Taylor/15
TrueFan — Luke Joeckel/Tavon Austin/Jarvis Jones/Kevin Minter/11
OTWatcher — Joeckel/Warmack/Jones/Manti Te'o/12
Fred — Joeckel/Warmack/Lotulelei/DJ Swearinger/11
More to come...
Auburn fires back
After an emotional weekend in which Toomer's Corner was rolled a final time before the poisoned trees are to be removed, the primary leaders of the Auburn athletic program during the 2010 BCS title run fired back at the recent allegations against the football team.
You can make a case that this is from the files of Brittney Griner coming out, of course. Auburn AD Jay Jacobs says the school's investigation into the story that accused Auburn of paying players and other NCAA violations was "flawed." That's as surprising as kids loving Christmas and Bud Light not going to waste at the 5-at-10 compound.
That said, if you're thinking "Of course they are going to deny the charges," you'd be right. But, Jacobs and former Auburn coach Gene Chizik came out with guns blazing, especially the Chiz, who told reporters, ""When the NCAA left, they didn't find anything that indicated anybody was paid or anybody was offered money. So I'm going to go one step further for all the people that are educated and have common sense. If you don't know how the NCAA works, they're very thorough in their investigations. Let me make that clear: they're very thorough in their investigations. You want me to back that up with fact? I'll name them: Miami, Ohio State. North Carolina. Most recently, Oregon, USC.
(So you're saying they moved out.)
More Chiz: "So how could they come into Auburn and leave and find nothing, and that becomes a one-sentence statement after getting drug through the mud for 13 months? How is that right? It's not right. So my point is that, that was a magical season for the Auburn people, for us as coaches, and all of our players, and it should be remembered as just that and nothing more."
He continued about the ESPN report that there was widespread use of a synthetic pot called spice on his 14-0 team by saying, "Let's use a little common sense here. It's a performance-debilitating drug. So if half of our football team is on it during our 2010 national championship run, how were we performing at a level that was the best football team in the country?"
Of course Auburn refutes the charges. We get that. But for Jacobs and Chizik to come out that hard — and the fact that every source other than Mike McNeil has denied the quotes in the rules-breaking story (side note: If you are going to write a story like this, don't you need the quotes on tape?) — makes you wonder. All in indeed.
This and that
— Well maybe that explains it. Jason Heyward was hitting in the neighborhood of Spy's IQ — like 120 or something. Monday he had a successful appendectomy surgery. OK, J-Hey, let's get this train rolling. Side note: The Braves were snowed out Monday. We just like typing "snowed out."
— Did you see that a North Dakota TV anchor was fired for dropping th F-bomb on the air? Really, you can't use the F-word? Wow. Who knew? Dude was a rookie on the job — he lasted 15 seconds on air — and came across a particularly tough name. He bumbled and stumbled before pronouncing his frustration. You stay classy Bismarck.
— The mass movement of college expansion may be done for a while. The ACC is close to approving a grant of media rights through the 2026-27 season, a move that would lock current schools into the league because the penalties to leave would be so financially tough.
— The final vote for the cover of the next Madden video game is between Barry Sanders and Adrian Peterson. We'll take Barry Sanders. By a lot. We'll also say that if we're going to rank video game football stars, the top-10 draft board goes: Tecmo Bowl Bo Jackson (by a wide margin), early 2000s Madden Mike Vick, Tecmo Bowl Lawrence Taylor, Super Tecmo Bowl Randall Cunningham, Peyton Manning on every game he's on, Barry Sanders, Walter Payton, Marshall Faulk (with the Rams), Randy Moss and Devin Hester.
Houston Texans running back Arian Foster, left, reacts to his touchdown as center Chris Myers, right, congratulates him during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012.
Feel free to discuss players who you thought had zero NFL future during the draft who went on to become studs. Arian Foster is high on that list as OrangeGuy mentioned yesterday,
Here's another question we need help with:
We all know Anchorman 2 is being filmed and set for release around Christmas. We're down with that. We heard today that Dodgeball 2 is going to be released. We're down with that, too, as long as Pepper and Cotton figure prominently into things.
Here's out question, in two parts:
What's the best comedy sequel out there? We easily admit that Godfather II is the best sequel, but what's the best comedy sequel? (Non-animated division, please.) We also can all agree that Caddyshack II is the worst comedy sequel, right?
Secondly, which comedy would you like to see have a sequel that doesn't? We've always thought an "30 years after Animal House" could be cool. Or terrible. Pool or pond, pond would be good for us.
Whatcha' got and remember the draft contest and the mailbag.
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...