Sunday, August 31, 2014

College Football: 5 QBs Whose Names You Should Know

By Michael Schneid

Everyone knows Jameis Winston, Nick Marshall, Trevor Knight. But not everyone knows some of the quarterbacks on this list. Casual fans will know most, if not all, of these qBs very soon

1. Kenny Hill, Texas A&M
Replacing Johnny Football, Hill led A&M to an upset over South Carolina. Threw for 511 yards and 3 TDs
2. Christian Hackenberg, Penn State
If you don't know him already, you should. The project #1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Hackenberg threw for a PSU record 425 yards in a win over UCF.

3. Shane Carden, East Carolina
ECU plays South Carolina, Virginia Tech, and UNC the next three weeks so if you don't know Carden now, you will by the end of the month. Carden threw for 283 yards and 3 TDs in a win over NC Central
4. Anu Solomon, Arizona
Won a 4-man QB competition. Threw for 425 yards and 4 TDs in debut vs. UNLV

5. Jared Goff, California
Started all 12 games as a true freshman in 2013. Threw for 281 yards and 3 TDs in a win vs. Northwestern 

6. Taysom Hill, BYU
BYU beat Uconn Friday night and Hill threw for 308 yards, 3 TD and ran for another 97 yards, 2 TDs

7. Andrew Hendrix, Miami, OH
Former Notre Dame QB. Threw for 318 yards and 3 TDs vs. Marshall

8. Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky
Led the nation with 569 yards passing and 6 TDs in a win over Bowling Green

9. Connor Halliday, Washington State
Starting in year 3 in Mike Leach's scheme, he should put up video games numbers, starting with 532 yards and 5 TDs in Thursday night's loss to Rutgers.

10. Justin Hollman, UCF
The Knight started Pete DiNovo and he completed just 3 of 8 passes for 18 yards. Hollman came in and compelted 9 passes for over 200 yards and a TD and also had 2 touchdowns on the ground.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

College Football: Thursday 8/28 Preview

By Michael Schneid

Here are some quick hits and thoughts on the big games this Thursday as the College Football season begins.

Boise State vs. Ole Miss 
Boise State has beaten Oklahoma, Georgia, Oregon, Virginia Tech, TCU, Arizona St, Washington over recent seasons with Georgia, Oregon, and VT, specifically being season opening games. Ole Miss is next on the docket for Boise State, led by Bryan Harsin. Chris Peterson had coached Boise State since 2006 and finally moved on. Harsin is a former Boise State QB and Offensive Coordinator.

Ole Miss is a rising team in the SEC. Head coach Hugh Freeze is a young star in the business and has done a great job recruiting. WR Laquon Treadwell and DE Robert Nkemdiche are among Freeze's top recruits. 

Proximity has never been an issue for Boise State either. They beat Georgia in the Georgia Dome and Virginia Tech in Washington DC. This game will once again be in the Georgia Dome, in SEC country, convenient for the Rebels faithful to make the trip.

Prediction: Ole Miss

Rutgers vs. Washington State

It's unusual for a Big Ten team to play on a weekday, but Rutgers first official game as a B1G member will be late Thursday night. This will be the second straight season Rutgers opens up on the west coast, after an opening loss to Fresno State in 2013.

Cougars QB Connor Holliday is entering his third season as QB under Mike Leach and should finally be poised to put up huge numbers as he continues to get comfortable in the system. Leach's success at Texas Tech truly began in his third season in Lubbock and it's time for Wazzou to take that same next step and win 8-9 games in Leach's third season as coach.
Prediction: Washington State

Texas A&M vs. South Carolina
What a way to kickoff the new SEC network. Connor Shaw and Jadaveon Clowney are gone for the Gamecocks and Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans are gone for the Aggies. However, head coaches Kevin Sumlin and Steve Spurrier remain and that's all that really matters.
Prediction: South Carolina

Tulane vs. Tulsa
Former C-USA rivals are now a part of the American Athletic Conference. Tulsa was the 2013 favorite in C-USA but was a major disappointment. They look to bounce back in their new conference while Tulane is a young team on the rise.
Prediction: Tulane

Vanderbilt vs. Temple
Two young, on the rise teams. Temple's sophomore QB PJ Walker is very exciting and Vandy replaces the fiery James Franklin, with Derek Mason as their new head coach. We'll take the SEC team but Temple will fight harder than people may expect.
Prediction: Vanderbilt

College Football: Week 1 Predictions

By Michael Schneid

Here are MotleySports predictions for Week 1 in College Football.

Thursday, August 28
No. 21 Texas A&M at No. 9 South Carolina South Carolina
Wake Forest at Louisiana-Monroe Louisiana-Monroe
Eastern Illinois at Minnesota Minnesota
Howard at Akron Akron
Presbyterian at Northern Illinois Northern Illinois
Chattanooga at Central Michigan Central Michigan
Idaho State at Utah Utah
Boise State vs. No. 18 Ole Miss* Ole Miss
Cal Poly at New Mexico State New Mexico St
Tulane at Tulsa Tulane
Temple at Vanderbilt Vanderbilt
Rutgers at Washington State Washington St
North Dakota at San Jose State San Jose St
Weber State at No. 19 Arizona State Arizona St
Friday, August 29
UNLV at Arizona Arizona
BYU at Connecticut BYU
Jacksonville State at No. 8 Michigan State Michigan State
Villanova at Syracuse Syracuse
Bowling Green at Western Kentucky Bowling Green
Colorado State vs. Colorado* Colorado
UTSA at Houston Houston
Saturday, August 30
Penn State vs. UCF* Penn St
No. 5 Ohio State at Navy Ohio St
No. 7 UCLA at Virginia UCLA
Delaware at Pittsburgh Pittsburgh
Appalachian State at Michigan Michigan
North Dakota State at Iowa State North Dakota St
Indiana State at Indiana Indiana
Northern Iowa at Iowa Iowa
Western Michigan at Purdue Purdue
Troy at UAB Troy
Tennessee-Martin at Kentucky Kentucky
Youngstown State at Illinois Illinois
Wofford at Georgia Tech Georgia Tech
Georgia Southern at North Carolina State NC State
Colgate at Ball State Ball State
Nicholls State at Air Force Air Force
Southern Utah at Nevada Nevada
Boston College at Massachusetts Boston College
West Virginia vs. No. 2 Alabama* Alabama
Rice at No. 17 Notre Dame Notre Dame
Florida Atlantic at No. 22 Nebraska Nebraska
South Dakota State at No. 24 Missouri Missouri
James Madison at Maryland Maryland
California at Northwestern Northwestern
Duquesne at Buffalo Buffalo
Hampton at Old Dominion Old Dominion
Marshall at Miami (OH) Marshall
Arkansas at No. 6 Auburn Auburn
UC Davis at No. 11 Stanford Stanford
Montana at Wyoming Wyoming
Portland State at Oregon State Oregon St
William & Mary at Virginia Tech Virginia Tech
No. 16 Clemson at No. 12 Georgia Georgia
Liberty at No. 23 North Carolina UNC
Elon at Duke Duke
Ohio at Kent State Kent St
Morgan State at Eastern Michigan Eastern Michigan
Louisiana Tech at No. 4 Oklahoma Oklahoma
New Hampshire at Toledo Toledo
Savannah State at Middle Tennessee Middle Tennessee
Bethune-Cookman at Florida International FIU
Northern Arizona at San Diego State SD State
Idaho at Florida Florida
Austin Peay at Memphis Memphis
Western Carolina at South Florida USF
Samford at TCU TCU
Central Arkansas at Texas Tech Texas Tech
Montana State at Arkansas State Arkansas State
Southern University at Louisiana-Lafayette Louisiana-Lafayette
Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Texas State Texas State
Stephen F. Austin at No. 20 Kansas State Kansas State
Fresno State at No. 15 USC USC
Southern Miss at Mississippi State Mississippi State
No. 1 Florida State vs. Oklahoma State* Florida State
UTEP at New Mexico New Mexico
North Texas at Texas Texas
NC Central at East Carolina East Carolina
No. 14 Wisconsin vs. No. 13 LSU* LSU
South Dakota at No. 3 Oregon Oregon
No. 25 Washington at Hawaii Washington
Sunday, August 31
Utah State at Tennessee Tennessee
SMU at No. 10 Baylor Baylor
Monday, September 1
Miami (FL) at Louisville Miami

2014 College Football Predictions

By Michael Schneid

The 2014 College Football season is finally upon us! 

Here are some miscellaneous (or motley) predictions for the upcoming season.

Conference Champions: 
*if the conference has a championship game, loser in parenthesis
  • ACC: Florida State (over UNC)
  • Big 12: Baylor
  • Big Ten: Michigan State (over Wisconsin)
  • Pac-12: Stanford (over USC)
  • SEC: Alabama (over South Carolina)
  • AAC: Cincinnati
  • C-USA: Marshall (over UTSA) 
  • MAC: Toledo (over Bowling Green)
  • MWC: Utah State (over Fresno State)
  • Sun Belt: Louisiana-Lafayette

Coaches who will be fired after the 2014 season:
  • Mike London, Virginia
  • Charlie Weis, Kansas
  • Kyle Flood, Rutgers
  • Kyle Whittingham, Utah
  • June Jones, SMU
  • Tim Beckman, Illinois

Coaches who are not coaching Power-5 conference teams but will be in 2015
  • Mark Hudspeth (Louisiana-Lafayette HC)
  • Chad Morris (Clemson OC)
  • Doc Holliday (Marshall HC) 
  • Pat Narduzzi (Michigan State DC)

Most Overrated QB:
Trevor Knight, Oklahoma
Knight went 32-44, 348 yards, 4 TDs in the Sugar Bowl win over Alabama. But there isn't any evidence he can sustain huge numbers over a 12 game season. The Sooners have high expectations and a high ranking entering 2014, largely because of the expectations for Trevor Knight, who will flop as a starter.

Most Underrated QB(s): 
Everyone in the AAC.
The American Athletic Conference is no longer considered a "power" conference but there is a lot of fire power at quarterback. East Carolina is one of three new coming teams and are led by senior QB Shane Carden. Houston, Cincinnati, and Temple all have young sophomore QBs who have a good chance to develop into something special.

        2013 Stats:
  • Shane Carden 4,139 yards, 33 touchdowns, 10 INTs
  • John O'Korn 3,117 yards, 28 TDs, 10 INTs
  • PJ Walker - 2,084 yds, 20 TD, 8 INT, 332 yards rushing, 3 TDs
  • Gunner Kiel - did not play in 2013 (previously committed to LSU and Notre Dame)

Most Overrated Teams:
  • ACC: Clemson
  • Big 12: Oklahoma 
  • Big Ten: Wisconsin 
  • Pac-12: UCLA
  • SEC: Auburn

Breakout Players (P5 teams):
  • ACC: Karlos Williams, RB, Florida State
  • Big 12: Davis Webb, QB, Texas Tech
  • Big Ten: Geno Lewis, WR, Penn State
  • Pac-12: DaVonte Neal, WR, Arizona
  • SEC: Maty Mauk, QB, Missouri

Players from Non-Power 5 Conferences who you should know: 
  • Rakeem Cato, QB, Marshall
  • Chuckie Keaton, QB, Utah State
  • Bryan Bennett, QB, Louisiana-Lafayette
  • Mekale McKay and Shaq Washington, WRs, Cincinnati
  • William Stanback, RB, UCF
  • Justin Hardy, WR, East Carolina
  • Deontay Greenberry, WR, Houston

10 Random/Bold Predictions: 
  1. Gary Patterson will move on from TCU and coach at another Power 5 school
  2. Greg Schiano will be the head coach of Rutgers in 2015
  3. Penn State will finish second in the B1G East division
  4. Cincinnati will clinch a major bowl bid as the top ranked team from the non-power 5 conferences
  5. Florida will win 8 games. So will Auburn
  6. Tennessee will fail to clinch a bowl bid for the 4th consecutive season
  7. Stanford will beat Oregon again
  8. After a disastrous finish in 2013, Northwestern will return to a bowl game
  9. Navy will find their way into the top 25 at some point during the season
  10. 5 of the 7 ACC Coastal teams will go 4-4 in the ACC, creating a 5-way tie for first place.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

1st and Ten: NFL QB Thoughts

 By Michael Schneid

The Bills easily have the worst QB depth chart in the NFL. EJ Manuel is the starter, entering his second year. The Bills released Dennis Dixon and Thaddeus Lewis this week, to make room to sign Jordan Palmer. Palmer will compete with Jeff Tuel in the final preseason game to determine who will back up Manuel. Manuel only started

Ryan Fitzpatrick is also among the worst starters in the league. Blake Bortles has been lighting it up throughout the pre-season and in practices. The Texans better hope Jadaveon Clowney is healthy and everything he has been advertised to be.

Brian Hoyer is being set up to fail. And it makes sense. Browns open at Pittsburgh, than face the Saints and Ravens at home before a week 4 bye. Cleveland will likely be 0-3 at this point, with the slight possibility of starting 1-2. Unless Hoyer's numbers are Pro Bowl-esque, Johnny Manziel will likely start vs the Titans in Week 5. The Browns are simply giving him an extra month to learn plays and learn the speed of the NFL game by watching on the sidelines.

The Redskins should trade Kirk Cousins after the 2014 season. People are going to continue to compare him to RG3 and some will continue to call for him to start. The only way to avoid the QB controversy is to move on of the two QBs. Of course, it may be easier if Robert Griffin plays to his potential as well.

The Rams aren't in serious trouble. Shaun Hill is not a bad QB. Sam Bradford wasn't exactly a great QB. The Rams defense is still scary and has a ton of potential and they were going to rely heavily on Zac Stacy and the run game anyways. If Hill can avoid turnovers and simply manage the game, the Rams can sneak into the playoffs.

Matt Schaub is done. He has looked awful this preseason and Derek Carr should be starting sooner than later for the Raiders this season. This would be the second straight year the Raiders brought in a veteran, who had nothing left in the tank and were forced to start a young QB.

2014 is a make-or-break season for Jake Locker. The Titans QB has weapons and has a new, offensive-minded head coach. If Locker cannot succeed under Ken Whisenhunt, who helped Philip Rivers have a resurgent year in 2013, Locker is unlikely to succeed under any head coach.

The Vikings are making the right move starting Matt Cassel over Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater is the future, but Cassel can help the Vikings, who have a lot of talent on offense along with Norv Turner coaching the offense.

Josh McCown is unlikely to replicate his success from last year. Mike Glennon is clearly not the future in Tampa Bay and after this season, the Bucs will likely be in the market for a QB in the draft.

Another team who may be in the market for a QB in 2015 is Kansas City. The Chiefs were a big surprise last year and were the league's last unbeaten team. Alex Smith has one-year remaining on his contract. If he doesn't play at a high enough level, the Chiefs may decide to move on and go with more of a playmaking QB, over a game-managing QB like Smith. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Notre Dame: Golson Looking For Strong Return

By Jeremy Smits

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish received a pretty rough blow last season when starting quarterback Everett Golson was thrown off the team due to academics. After having a superb redshirt freshmen season, he was forced to sit out a year. Now that he has officially earned his starting spot back, the quarterback will be hoping to put up some huge fantasy football numbers.

Pressure at Notre Dame is high, and it has increased even more now that there is a new investigation into academic dishonesty. Golston is not involved in any way, but a few of the players being investigated are starters. No one knows for sure yet what the impact will be on the team, but right now things are not looking good. Golson might just be a second year player, but he has been around the program for a while now and will be counted on as a leader.

In his redshirt freshmen season, Golson went undefeated in the regular season before being exposed a bit against Alabama in the championship game. Notre Dame faces a tougher schedule in 2014, with Michigan, Stanford, North Carolina and defending national champion Florida State as the biggest threats. Ultimately, their goal is to make the new playoff at the end of the year, but at most they can probably only finish with one loss during the year.

Adding stability to the most important position on the field is huge for Brian Kelly and his Fighting Irish. The good news obviously comes with more bad news about the four players being investigated, but Notre Dame should be a fixture in the top 25 all season long. Golson will enter the season as a Heisman hopeful, but above all else he simply wants to help his team improve on a 9-4 mark from a year ago.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

2014 NBA Mock Draft Rivals Competition

The 2014 NBA Draft is expected to be a very exciting one. This draft has been hyped up for years, as it is considered very deep and very talented. Well-known college guys like Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker, international guys like Dante Exum, and shooters like Doug McDermott make this draft one of the more talented in recent years.

MotleySports NBA Draft analysts Michael Schneid and Jordan Rappaport attempt to project how this year's draft will unfold. These two return after Michael correctly projected 4 picks while Jordan got 2 in their 2013 Mock Draft competition.

The "rivals" will attempt to outdo each other again this time while focusing on the draft for various reasons. Michael has to be happy the Knicks have TWO second round draft picks right now, while also praying former Cincinnati Bearcats classmate Sean Kilpatrick hears his name called, more likely in the 45-60 range in round 2. Jordan, meanwhile, will be focused on his fellow Hoosiers. How quickly will Noah Vonleh hear his name called? Will Will "Threehey" Sheehey hear his name called?

Expect a lot of trades, expect a lot of shocking picks. Two of the league's top players - Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony, are free agents beginning next week. So tonight is only step 1 to what will be a very wild and unpredictable off-season.

Michael Schneid Jordan Rappaport
# Team Player Player
1  Cleveland Andrew Wiggins Andrew Wiggins
2  Milwaukee Jabari Parker Dante Exum
3  *Philadelphia Dante Exum Jabari Parker
4  Orlando Noah Vonleh Marcus Smart
5  Utah Aaron Gordon Noah Vonleh
6  *Boston Joel Embiid Julius Randle
7  LA Lakers Marcus Smart Joel Embiid
8  Sacramento Elfrid Payton Aaron Gordon
9  *Charlotte Doug McDermott Doug McDermott
10  *Philadelphia Julius Randle Kyle Anderson
11  *Denver Rodney Hood Rodney Hood
12  *Orlando Zach LaVine TJ Warren
13  *Minnesota Gary Harris Zach LaVine
14  *Phoenix James Young Glenn Robinson III
15  *Atlanta Kyle Anderson Tyler Ennis
16  Chicago Nik Stauskas Elfrid Payton
17  *Boston Jordan Adams Gary Harris
18  *Phoenix Cleanthony Early Adreian Payne
19  Chicago Adreian Payna Cleanthony Early
20  Toronto Tyler Ennis Nik Stauskas
21  *Oklahoma Cty Dario Saric Shabazz Napier
22  Memphis Jarnell Stokes James Young
23  *Utah KJ McDaneils Walter Tavares
24  *Charlotte Mitch McGary Jusuf Nurkic
25  Houston TJ Warren PJ Hairston
26  Miami Shabazz Napier Jordan Clarkson
27  *Phoenix Jusef Nurkic CJ Wilcox
28  LA Clippers Glenn Robinson Markel Brown
29  Oklahoma Cty Jordan Clarkson Bogdan Bogdanovic
30  San Antonio Clint Capella Thanasis Antetokounmpo

2014 NBA Mock Draft - Hoosier Edition

Former Indiana Hoosier basketball legend (and rising KanJam star) Jordan Rappaport, predicts picks 1-30 for tonight's NBA Draft and provides some very unique commentary.

# Team Player P School C Rappaport Comments
1  Cleveland Andrew Wiggins SF Kansas Fr. Because he's the best prospect in decades, right? Doesn't matter who ends up with the first pick. 
2  Milwaukee Dante Exum PG/SG Australia Intl. Pass on Parker as they aren't in win-now mode
3  *Philadelphia Jabari Parker SF/PF Duke Fr. Because he tanked in Cleveland, but is actually the best
4  Orlando Marcus Smart PG Oklahoma State So. All they need is a PG now….
5  Utah Noah Vonleh PF Indiana Fr. Steal at 5
6  *Boston Julius Randle PF Kentucky Fr. Slips from injury, but pairs great with Olynyk in the low post. Fills "grit" hole never replaced by The Truth
7  LA Lakers Joel Embiid C Kansas Fr. Lakers can afford to take a year to rebuild Embiid before losing Gasol
8  Sacramento Aaron Gordon PF Arizona Fr. Kings go for athlete instead of size, with Cousins handling the middle they can go small at the 4 and play above the rim
9  *Charlotte Doug McDermott SF Creighton Sr. Seems like a great "Charlotte guy" to replace McRoberts. That's all I'll say about that. 
10  *Philadelphia Kyle Anderson SF UCLA So. Slo-Mo another lengthy piece of the puzzle. Sixers could play unstoppable 2-3 zone in 2016
11  *Denver Rodney Hood SF Duke So. Experience and leadership, not Denver's forte in the past, maybe in the future?
12  *Orlando TJ Warren SF NC State So. ACC POY pairs nicely, similar fit to what Tony Snell did for the Bulls
13  *Minnesota Zach LaVine PG/SG UCLA Fr. This backcourt needs shooting, quickly. Lavine could be their guy. 
14  *Phoenix Glenn Robinson III SF Michigan So. The name plays big here. Should've gone Cleanthony Early
15  *Atlanta Tyler Ennis PG Syracuse Fr. Hawks need leadership. Ennis brings it all
16  Chicago Elfrid Payton PG Louisiana Laf... Jr. Marquise Teague didn't work out. D-Rose can't be trusted. Payton is best available PG
17  *Boston Gary Harris SG Michigan St. So. Harris slips due to size, but fits in nicely with need and best available
18  *Phoenix Adreian Payne PF Michigan St. Sr. Concerns from mono and limited workout, but could be a franchise player or at minimum a great fit similar to former teamate Draymond Green in SF
19  Chicago Cleanthony Early SF/PF Wichita State Sr. Thibs loves D, but how could you pass on Early here??
20  Toronto Nik Stauskas SG Michigan So. Oh yea, forgot about him. Overrated, Toronto will think they stole the B10 POY here though
21  *Oklahoma Cty Shabazz Napier PG UConn Sr. Napier can babysit Westbrook and distribute all day to KD
22  Memphis James Young SG Kentucky Fr. An actual steal at 22, Young is one of the best shooters in the draft
23  *Utah Walter Tavares C Spain Intl. BIG MAN REACH AT 23! But Utah has to roll the dice here
24  *Charlotte Jusuf Nurkic C Bosnia & Herz... Intl. Excellent Int'l reach valueat 24 for the Bosnian center. This position seems to be making a comeback
25  Houston PJ Hairston SG USA Jr.
26  Miami Jordan Clarkson PG/SG Missouri Jr. A strong combo-guard role player for a team that needs deep bench value
27  *Phoenix CJ Wilcox SG Washington Sr. With the Sun's 18th first rounder…. Experience and great shooting play well
28  LA Clippers Markel Brown SG Oklahoma State Sr. Lob City… meet Markel Brown….your new highest vertical leaper
29  Oklahoma Cty Bogdan Bogdanovic SG Serbia
International reach to store for the future. No immediate value to plug in remaining
30  San Antonio Thanasis Antetok... SF Greece Intl. Spurs know what they are doing, I won't question it.