Posted on: June 25, 2011 7:31 pm

BCS Top 25 Players?

Whilst researching this year's installment of EL GIGANTE'S NCAA Pre-season Top Twenty-five Countdown, I've run across Athlon's top 25 Players of the BCS Era (1998 to present):
25) Bryant McKinnie - OT (Miami, FL)
24) Terrell Suggs - DE (Arizona State)
23) Eric Berry - S (Tennessee)
22) Sam Bradford - QB (Oklahoma)
21) Michael Crabtree - WR (Texas Tech) 
20) Patrick Willis - LB (Mississippi)
19) David Pollack - DE (Georgia)
18) Jake Long - OT (Michigan)
17) Joe Thomas - OT (Wisconsin)
16) Ron Dayne - RB (Wisconsin)
15) Pat White - QB (West Virginia)
14) Ed Reed - S (Miami, FL)
13) Julius Peppers - DE (UNC)
12) Michael Vick - QB (Va Tech)
11) Larry Fitzgerald - WR (Pitt)
10) Cam Newton - QB (Auburn)
9) LaDanian Tomlinson - RB (TCU)
8) Darren McFadden - RB (Arkansas)
7) Matt Leinart - QB (USC)
6) Ricky Williams - RB (Texas)
5) Ndamukong Suh - DT (Nebraska)
4) Adrian Peterson - RB (Oklahoma)
3) Reggie Bush - RB (USC)
2) Vince Young - QB (Texas)
1) Tim Tebow - QB (Florida)
Reasons I hate polls like this include:
  • 7 are Quarterbacks
  • 6 are Running Backs
  • 18 are Offensive players
  • 17 are "skill" positions
  • Where's Chris Weinke who won his Heisman by 300+ more votes & 300+ more yards passing than Matt Leinart, beat Michael Vick in the '99 National Championship, won the Davey O'Brien, Johnny Unitas & Heisman Trophies in 2000?
  • How 'bout John Henderson from Tennessee?  He was a two-time All-American DT (consensus in '00) & Outland Trophy winner in '99.  Albert Haynesworth was his understudy for God's sake!
  • Anyone remember Derrick Johnson from Texas?  He was the 2-time (!!!) {'03 & '04} CONSENSUS All-American Linebacker, Butkus Award & Bronco Nagurski Award winner from Texas. 
I mean SERIOUSLY?!?!?  These are guys I just came up with off the top of my head!!!
If you want to do whole offensive & defensive teams, I might go with you Athlon.  Otherwise, quit throwing RBs & QBs at us and calling it a credible list!
EL G - Guns Loaded
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: December 3, 2008 9:25 am
Edited on: December 3, 2008 9:26 am

SEC Football the Best Top to Bottom?

For years now I have been screaming what most people in the South say about why the Southeastern Conference is the best in the nation when it comes to football:  It is the best top-to-bottom from a competitive quality perspective.  While there is no doubt that Alabama & Florida represent the pinnacle of NCAA football this year (along with a couple of  Big XII - South teams), I have revised my opinion.  Too many of its usually very strong teams did not show up in 2008. 

Look at the below comparison to illustrate my feeling.  Remember, the widely-held feeling was that the SEC was the best conference top-to-bottom.


  • Boston College 9-3
  • Georgia Tech 9-3
  • Virginia Tech 8-4
  • Florida State 8-4
  • North Carolina 8-4
  • Maryland 7-5
  • Wake Forest 7-5
  • Miami (FL) 7-5
  • Clemson 7-5
  • North Carolina State 6-6
  • Virginia 5-7
  • Duke 4-8


  • Alabama 12-0
  • Florida 11-1
  • Georgia 9-3
  • Mississippi 8-4
  • LSU 7-5
  • South Carolina 7-5
  • Vanderbilt 6-6
  • Kentucky 6-6
  • Tennessee 5-7
  • Arkansas 5-7
  • Auburn 5-7
  • Mississippi State 4-8

Again, clearly the Tide & Gators have shown themselves to be the highest of the high when it comes to coaching & execution.  They deserve every accolade the receive.  With many teams down (Tenn. & Auburn especially), though, the SEC is not the "deep" conference it has been in the past.  Heck, only 6 teams are above 0.500 vs. 9 in the ACC. 

Am I saying the ACC is a better football conference?  No.  What I am saying is that in 2008 the SEC looks more like what the Big 10+1 used to be; a two-team-conference.  These "down" programs will return in time, but this year is not a banner one for the SEC.

Posted on: April 28, 2008 12:49 pm

Draft Round-Up AFC LEAST

I know there are those of you who just don't care, but tough.  It's what I do.
We'll save the best for last, so let's start with the AFC East; home of the worst team in the league in '07:
Miami Dolphins - seemed to be telling us that they really are dedicated to the idea of moving Jason Taylor and be "married to" the 3-4 with their picks of two LARGE Defensive Ends in Phillip Merling and Kendall Langford.  Perhaps Taylor can move to an outside LB spot.  Jake Long from Michigan was taken with the first anti-climactic pick of the draft and should anchor the Dolphins offensive line for many years to come.  Chad Henne from Michigan joins his Wolverine teammate with a 2nd-round pick to push some never-was' at Quarterback.  Finishing up with two Guards, two Running Backs & a Defensive Tackle, Parcells shows where his mind is.  Get bigger, get stronger and run on 1st, 2nd & 3rd downs.  Hell, he may even on 4th if they're close enough.  With so many holes to fill, the Dolphins did their level best to stabilize a downtrodden franchise.  Grade: B
New York Jets - with only six picks, the Jets had to be very strategic in their choices.  Vernon Gholston at Defensive End, the only player to get a sack off of Jake Long, was their first pick at #6 overall.  Typically known as a big-game player, Gholston's a bit inconsistent which is why Chris Long was rated ahead of him.  The Jets then went to a receiving Tight End with Dustin Keller from Purdue.  While on paper his numbers are there, Keller's only 6'2" and 242 lbs which doesn't translate to the pro game well for a traditional Tight End.  He did run a sub-4.6 40 at the combine, so maybe the Jets will line him up in the slot more often than not.  They then addressed needs at Cornerback, Wide Receiver and Offensive Tackle.  Their most interesting pick was the anti-thesis of Chad Pennington with the selection of Eric Ainge at 6'5-1/2" and a traditional pocket-passer in the 5th round.  So few picks, but all leave me wondering about their wisdom.  Grade: D
Buffalo Bills - having 10 picks and the 31st-worst pass defense in the league tells me they may look at their secondary.  With 2 of their first 4 picks, the Bills picked up the highest-rated Cornerback, Leodis McKelvin from Troy, and Cornerback Reggie Corner (yep, that's his name) from Akron.  They picked up another in the 7th round from Pitt, Kennard Cox.  Wide Receiver was also a position of interest with Lee Evans & Josh Reed being the "best" they could field.  Here they picked up big-body James Hardy from Indiana (6'5-1/2" 217 lbs.) and 1000-yard-man Steve Johnson from Kentucky.  Chris Ellis, Defensive End from Va. Tech, provides a bit of a question mark in the injury and character categories with 3 surgeries while in college and an arrest or two, but should contribute early & often.   Finishing up with a Tight End, Outside Linebacker, Running Back & Offensive Tackle, the Bills addressed some needs and pure quantity.  They still needed to look Quarterback, though, Lohsman & Edwards are miserable.  Grade: B
New England Patriots - Going undefeated all season 'til the Super Bowl may make you think a team doesn't have any holes to fill.  With free agency, age and suspect performance in the Super Bowl, you would be wrong.  An aging Linebacking corps was obviously the top priority for the Pats with the selection of 3 Outside Linebackers with their seven picks.  Jerod Mayo from Tennessee leads the group at the 10th overall pick and providing 140 tackles for the Volunteers in 2007.  Shawn Crable from Michigan and Bo Ruud from Nebraska (yep, his younger brother) were the other two.  With Ellis Hobbs as their sole good Cornerback, the Pats picked 2; Terrence Wheatley from Colorado & Jonathan Wilhite from Auburn.  They went on to pick Kevin O'Connell, QB from San Diego State, and Matthew Slater, listed as a Wide Receiver from UCLA, but will probably be a Return Specialist.  The glaring question mark I have at the end of the day is: Did the coaches watch the offensive line get paralyzed by their lack of athleticism in the Super Bowl?  With this in mind and no free agent pick-ups, you have to wonder.  Grade: C
Next, we go North to Alaska!  Okay, maybe just the Rust-Belt with the AFC North.
Category: NFL
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