Archive for the ‘OCF Original’ Category

Long time no talk…hope you have stayed in touch with me over at FantasyCollegeBlitz.com.

Let us jump right in to the picks of the week, where Mick the Piker and I bounce ideas around all week, a mixture of quantitative analysis, pure technical trends, and a healthy dose of “contextual knowledge”. Most of our interesting bets exist outside the Top 25 where Mick’s historical context and my nationwide fantasy monitoring.

In order of confidence, our Top 5 selections:

1) UNC -6.5 over Virginia

Mick’s computer loves UNC by 18!.  Mick can’t see any logical reason to disagree.  Sure, there’s the “UNC is distracted” argument but that didn’t work in week one against LSU so I don’t see any reason to put much stake in that now.  UVA has been DREADFUL at times this season, but I think many still hang that Cavalier feathered hat on the close loss to USC – what does that look like now? (more…)

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Daryl TalleyUSA today reports on the upcoming college football conference commissioner meeting in Miami this week. It highlights the once-fractured landscape of the game evolving into a BCS coalition that is marketing the game on a national level.

Has the playoff noise settled down yet, or will it crescendo as summer turns to fall ad Buckeye fans await a third straight loss in the championship game (Jim Kelly and Daryl Talley are very proud of Ohio State’s accomplishments)? (more…)

Brady Ackerman is a Florida football institution – the former Gator RB has progressed through coaching to host talk radio around the state while settling in Orlando the last few years.

While he calls it a sports talk radio show, the diehard listeners to ESPN 1080 in Orlando Florida revel in a “football talk radio show” that talks pro, college and even Florida prep ball.

Ack sat down with me via email and brought his point of view to the Sunshine State pro teams and the rest of the talent in general.

Vince Mullins: Starting with your Florida focus, let us dig in to the Dolphins first – who is their first pick? Since they need so much help and should trade down, what teams may work a deal?

Ack: I think the Dolphins take Chris Long (right, Icon SMI) from Virginia. He will be a flex-type defensive end that can play in a 3-4 system…

(continued at Fantasy College Blitz)

With a flurry of stars declaring early for the NFL Draft only four of the Top 20 rushers return for the 2008 college football season. This could be the deepest RB crop in a decade.

The top returning rusher for the 2008 season will be junior Kent State RB Eugene Jarvis (5th, 1669 yards, 10 TD), followed by junior Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells (11-1609-15) (right, Icon SMI),  junior Southern Mississipi RB Damion Fletcher (13th-1586-15) and senior Javon Ringer of Michigan State (20th-1447-6). Of course this assumes that none of these declare by the tomorrow’s Tuesday January 15 deadline.

A quick roll call of the junior RB dashing for cash making the 2008 NFL Draft one of the strongest RB classes ever, and the heir apparents:

Darren McFaddenDarren McFadden and Felix Jones, Arkansas – Many have Run DMc as their top prospect, and Felix Jones is probably a first-day pick also. Razorbacks gutted by their departure plus the FB/HB hybrid senior Peyton Hillis. New head coach Bobby Petrino will be building from the ground up with WR Marcus Monk and two offensive linemen graduating. Drew pointed to there being a rebuilding year in his Cotton Bowl wrapup, but I have a gut feeling that RB Michael Smith and maybe even QB Casey Dick wll do fine under the Petrino system – at least for the two years Petrino will stay at Arkansas.

Kevin Smith, UCF – our National Player of the Year is a tough inside runner with just enough of a top gear to break off long runs. Sounds like Emmitt Smith but I have a hard time making that comparison despite Kevin breaking Emmitt’s career college rushing yards record. Given UCF personnel expect some JUCO work to be done by head coach George O’Leary.

Ray Rice, Rutgers – Rutgers force fed carries to Rice since the middle of his freshman year, so this is the right move for him since he is a run-up-the-middle type despite his size. When Rice got a breather we did see some flashes from junior to be Kordell Young behind a line with three seniors and wunder-freshman Anthony Davis.

Jonathan Stewart, Oregon – we have said it from Day One around here – Stewart will be a better pro than a college player similar to Brandon Jacobs now of the New York Giants. 6-foot and 235 pounds, Calista Flockhart like body fat and sub-4.5 forty times should propel him to early second-round material at worst. Jeremiah Johnson spelled Stewart well between nicks and breathers, and his

Rashard Mendenhall, Illinois – Mendenhall owns the multi-talented skill set that the NFL likes, but he may need to add ten to twenty pounds. Mendenhall leaves his brother Walter as the new starter if it is possible to project a Ron Zook lineup before spring practive – I am sure he has put extra effort into texting the top running recruits for the last week.

James Davis, Clemson – I have linked to the article that outlines his meager beginnings – coupled with the crowded backfield this is absolutely the right decision for him, especially if he is a first-day pick. That whooshing sound is CJ Spiller moving up our 2008 Draft Kit.

Steve Slaton, West Virginia – he had to go pro, I will not deny him that. We at FCB have consistently marveled at Slaton’s speed as well as his penchant to disappear in big games. We revelled in his 200-yard and three-TD performances, but moreso were disappointed by his ten carrie and fifty yard yawners. I am not sure whether to blame his fire, his injury-prone nature or simply the offensive QB-read option that allowed Pat White to often look like the better runner. Slaton will have tremendous measurables but I fear will fall short in the NFL.

Oh, did I mention that this mass exodus may make Noel Devine worthy of the #1 RB slot in 2008?

Jim Tressel deserves credit for creating a college football dynasty at Ohio State, appearing in their third National Championship game this decade with his Buckeyes. Just like 2006 the Buckeyes took an early lead on a huge play, this time a 65-yard run by RB Chris “Beanie” Wells, and again like last year that about summed up the Buckeye offensive excitement.

For the second year in a row the Buckeyes journeyed to the final only to come up short, this time to the LSU Tigers in a 38-24 final in the BCS Championship Game.

osudork.jpg

(more…)

This will be updated as news comes in over at FCB. To the draft roll:

James Hardy, Indiana WR – leaves the offense in the hands of QB Kellen Lewis, who struggled mightily in games without Hardy or when Hardy has been effectively covered. James Bailey is the heir apparent WR. Hardy is my #1 NFL WR prospect for 2008.

Davone Bess, Hawaii WR – With Colt Brennan graduating this make sense to me even if he has the chance to be one of the most prolific WR in the history of college football. I wonder if this tips the hand of June Jones leaving the islands to take a mainland coaching job? Ryan Grice-Mullin is a junior who will probably stay to hook up with new QB Tyler Graunke about 150 times next year. Jones has called Bess another Andre Rison, and that says nice things about his NFL future.

Martellus Bennett, Texas A&M TE
– was also a top hoops recruit, he played a few games with the Aggies a couple years ago before focusing on football. If there is an athlete that can move up the charts with a bullet, it is the ridiculously athletic Bennet. Why? The Aggie offense did not fully explore his Winslow-like potential

Mario Urrutia, Louisville WR – this is the right decision for a player who “passes the swimsuit contest” but never put together the huge year that everyone expected. His workout numbers will amaze and delight scouts but I fear he will be the next Ashley Lelie.

Jamaal Charles, Texas RB
– this one surprises me as he was able to put up a huge year with very little competition on the horizon. Granted, if the staff could recruit someone who didn”t fumble Charles (right, Icon SMI) may have been pushed for carries, but Charles does have sprinter speed in a 210 pound frame and will get plenty of attention..

Rashard Mendenhall, Illinois RB – Mendenhall going pro now is the stock-market equivalent of selling on a rally – Mendenhall got a lot of love as the season progressed and was the highlight of the Illini team in the ugly Rose Bowl.

Devin Thomas, Michigan State WR – ESPN.com reported this ahead of a formal announcement while a was typing out the story. Good move for Thomas who was top 20 in many receiving categories for a run-based team with a questionable QB situation. Also a plus kick returner.

Kevin Smith, UCF RB – Smith has flip-flopped and decided to go pro after declaring before the Liberty Bowl his intention to stay. I think this was the proper decision for him, but by reading the linked article from the Orlando Sentinel I am concerned about the lack of sources he consulted.

Cornelius Ingram, Florida TE/WR – physically gifted and underused (except in the BCS Championship Game last year), Ingram will either bulk up to play H-back or play wideout with Terrel Owens-type size.

Others

Calais Campbell, Miami DE
Derrick Harvey, Florida DE
Ryan Clady, Boise State LT
Erin Henderson, Maryland LB
Aqib Talib, Kansas CB/WR/PR
Brandon Flowers, Virginia Tech, CB

#2 Louisiana State Tigers (11-2) versus #1 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-1)
Monday, January 7, 8pm on FOXJacob Hester, Lynn Bass/Icon SMI

Random Stats
Avg. Margin of Victory – LSU 19.2 (7th), OSU 21.3 (6th)
Turnover Margin – LSU +18 (5th), OSU -1(64th)
Team Passing Efficiency – LSU 43rd, Ohio State 14th

When LSU has the ball: EDGE OSU

LSU is our 11th ranked offense facing off against the top-rated defense of the Buckeyes (see Bowl Index below). Tigers are deep at all positions, including QB where you can expect to see Coach Les Miles alternate between Matt Flynn and Ryan Perriloux.

Offensive coordinator Gary Crowton runs a multiple-spread built upon the running of Senior RB Jacob Hester (right, Lynn Bass/Icon SMI) while mixing in passes to some amazing athletes like Early Doucet and Trindon Holliday. Over/under on trick plays to expect is three.
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