Saturday, February 28, 2015

2015 NFL Free Agent Predictions

By Michael Schneid


1. Mark Sanchez - Bills
Sanchez would "compete" with EJ Manuel and reunite with Rex Ryan in Buffalo

2. Jake Locker - Eagles
Chip Kelly is familiar with Locker from PAC-12 days and could serve as a backup to Nick Foles while continuing to develop.

3. Brian Hoyer - Texans
Whether or not Ryan Mallet resigns, Bill O'Brien will be interested in signing his former project from his time in New England

Bonus Predictions:
  • Bucs will draft Jameis Winston #1
  • Eagles will find a way to trade up and draft Marcus Mariota
  • Titans acquire Jay Cutler

Running Backs

1. Demarco Murray - Cowboys
Ultimately, Murray will return to Dallas on a team-friendly deal.

2. CJ Spiller - Jets

3. Ryan Mathews - Ravens

4. Mark Ingram -Cardinals
Andre Ellington is a good player with durability questions. Ingram has those same questions but is more of a bruiser (thunder) to Ellington's lightning. The former Heisman winner would add a whole new dimension to the Arizona offense.

5. Justin Forsett -Titans
Titans could use more weapons and Forsett could compliment Bishop Sankey and replace Shonn Greene

6. Frank Gore - Patriots
Gore wants to play for a Super Bowl contender. Pats could always use RB depth and won't use Gore as workhorse.

7. Shane Vereen - Colts
Vereen is an excellent pass catching RB and Luck could certainly use one of those out of the backfield to dump off passes too

8. Darren McFadden - Jaguars
New OC Greg Olsen was with McFadden in Oakland. Jags could do worse than pairing McFadden with a high draft pick.

Wide Receivers:

1. Dez Bryant - Cowboys
Bryant will likely be franchise tagged.

2. Demaryius Thomas - Broncos
Franchise tag

3. Randall Cobb - Browns
Cleveland in desperate need of playmakers and are likely to meet Cobb's asking price...and more.

4. Jeremy Maclin - Eagles
Chip Kelly and Philly cannot afford to let their top WR get away

5. Torrey Smith

6. Michael Crabtree - Chiefs
Could take short term, incentive deal and reunite with former teammate Alex Smith. Would be KC #1 WR.

Bonus - Brandon Marshall - Ravens
Marshall isn't a free agent...yet. But there are rumors Chicago may cut the star wideout to save money. Ravens took a shot on an older Steve Smith in 2014 and that worked out well. With the possible loss of Torrey Smith, Ravens may take a chance with another older WR who would reunite with new Balt OC and former Chicago HC Marc Trestman.

Tight Ends:
1. Julius Thomas - (prediction to come)

2. Jordan Cameron - Seahawks

2015 NFL Mock Draft

By Michael Schneid


1.Tampa Bay BuccaneersJameis Winston, QB, FSU
2.Tennessee TitansLeonard Williams, DT, USC
3.Jacksonville JaguarsShane Ray, DE, Missouri
4.Oakland RaidersKevin White, WR, West Virginia
5.Washington RedskinsRandy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska
6.New York JetsMarcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
7.Chicago BearsDanny Shelton, DT, Washington
8.Atlanta FalconsDante Fowler Jr, OLB, Florida
9.New York GiantsBrandon Scherff, OL, Iowa
10.St. Louis RamsAmari Cooper, WR, Alabama
11.Minnesota VikingsDeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
12.Cleveland BrownsVic Beasley, DE/LB, Clemson
13.New Orleans SaintsAlvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky
14.Miami DolphinsAndrus Peat, OT, Stanford
15.San Francisco 49ersLa'El Collins, OT, LSU
16.Houston TexansTrae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
17.San Diego ChargersTJ Cummings, OT, Pittsburgh
18.Kansas City ChiefsEreck Flowers, OT, Miami
19.Cleveland Browns (from Buffalo)Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State
20.Philadelphia EaglesBrett Hundley, QB, UCLA
21.Cincinnati Bengals Paul Dawson, LB, TCU
22.Pittsburgh Steelers Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon
23.Detroit LionsEddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
24.Arizona Cardinals Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State
25.Carolina Panthers DJ Humphries, OT, Florida
26.Baltimore Ravens Shaq Thompson, LB, Washington
27.Dallas Cowboys Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
28.Denver BroncosMax Williams, TE, Minnesota
29.Indianapolis Colts Landon Collins, S, Alabama
30.Green Bay PackersBenardick McKinney, LB, Mississippi State
31.Seattle SeahawksTodd Gurley, RB, Georgia
32.New England Patriots Marcus Peters, CB, Washington

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

College Basketball: Top 5

By Martin James

March Madness is less than a month away, which means that more and more people are tuning into college basketball to see who the favorites are. The five teams below are all very much in the discussion for one of the #1 seeds in the tournament on Selection Sunday. Here’s a look at the most recent power rankings.

#1 Kentucky
There is really no debate when it comes to which team has been the most impressive in the 2014-2015 college basketball season so far. With a perfect 25-0 record, Kentucky is trying to be the 1st team since 1976 to go undefeated and win the national championship. Those are certainly high expectations, but the Wildcats knew that they were going to be outstanding before the season even started. Everything hasn’t been smooth sailing the entire year for Kentucky, but they have always found a way to win the close games. Look at their schedule, they have a very good shot at entering the tournament undefeated. Their depth is what sets them apart.

#2 Virginia

Losing Justin Anderson definitely hurt Virginia’s title chances, but the fact of the matter is they have found ways to continually win even without one of their best players. They only have one loss on the year, and that is to another team that is pretty good in Duke.What really hurts Virginia is the fact that they lost their best 3 point shooter on offense. Anderson was able to space the floor, and without him, they are really struggling to put up points beyond the arc. It is something to watch in the next couple of weeks in the ACC. They could start to slip down rather quickly if things don’t go their way.

#3 Wisconsin

Wisconsin only has two losses on the year, and one of them came without star player Frank Kaminsky. After making the Final Four a year ago, this team looks like a good bet to make it back. They know that the final stretch in the Big Ten is going to be difficult, but that would just give them an opportunity to strengthen their bid. They probably do not even need to win the Big Ten tournament to get a #1 seed.

#4 Duke

The Duke Blue Devils might be playing better than Wisconsin right now, but it is very difficult to put them ahead of the Badgers when they lost to them earlier in the year. Duke has survived a rough patch at the beginning of the ACC season to look like a strong #1 seed option.Even though it was controversial, the dismissal of Rasheed Sulaimon seems to have the Duke Blue Devils playing better than ever. They are really starting to put together a strong campaign.

#5 Gonzaga

Is Gonzaga the fifth best team in the country? That is certainly debatable. However, they have the clearest path to a #1 seed if one of the others fall off. They have one loss on the year, and that is likely going to be their only loss going into the tournament. A weaker conference and a lack of historic success (compared to other top notch schools) could keep them at a #2. They certainly have Final Four talent though.

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Monday, February 16, 2015

College Football 2015: Top Returning QBs

By Michael Schneid

Here is a list of the top 5 returning QBs in college football in 2015.

  1. Braxton Miller/JT Barrett/Cardale Jones (whoever starts at Ohio State)
  2. Trevone Boykin, TCU
  3. Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
  4. Connor Cook, Michigan State
  5. Cody Kessler, USC

Other returning QBs to keep an eye on (no particular order)

DeShaun Watson, Clemson
Gunner Kiel, Cincinnati
Maty Mauk, Missouri,
Brad Kaaya,Miami
Everett Golson, Notre Dame
Brandon Daughty, Western Kentucky
Jared Goff, California
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Kyle Allen, Texas A&M

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Forecasting NFL Head Coaching Changes

By Michael Schneid

Raiders: John Harbaugh (current 49ers HC)
It's been long known that Harbaugh has worn out his welcome in SF. Assuming he decides to pass on the Michigan job to stay in the NFL, he may choose Oakland for three reasons. 1) His wife reportedly loves the bay area. 2) Money. Oakland is desperate and will pay him. 3) Power. Oakland is desperate and would likely fire GM Reggie McKenzie and give Harbaugh power to make moves if that was a request.

Dolphins: Brian Kelly (current Notre Dame HC)

Miami may look to make a splash. Considering the success another Kelly has had (Chip), the Dolphins may look to the college game and hire Brian Kelly for his offense.

Jets: Darrell Bevell (current Seahawks OC)

Current Jets GM John Idzik used to work in Seattle and knows Bevell. Jets need a creative, offensive mind and Bevell has done a great job developing Russell Wilson

Bears: Mike Singletary
This job is one of the hardest to forecast. Marc Trestman has only been in Chicago for two years, but the Bears have been a disaster this season. A tough defensive-minded coach may be the way to go and Singletary's name has been mentioned. He has previous experience coaching the 49ers and is a former legend in Chicago. If nothing else, this hire can reinvigorate fans and excite them to see the Bears going back to their history. If not Singletary, Todd Bowles makes sense here.

Falcons: Rex Ryan (current Jets HC)
Rex may not be a bad coach. But he was constantly dealt a bad hand in NY. Even the two years he took the Jets to the AFC Championship games, his offense was simply average. A revolving door of offensive coordinators didnt help. But the Falcons have all the pieces in place on offense. They can leave OC Dirk Koetter in place and bring in Rex, who is known as a  player-friendly, disciplinarian, tough-minded coach. Sort of the opposite of Mike Smith. Falcons dont need to reset, per say, but they need to pull the plug on Smith and bring on someone who can regain the franchise's momentum. 

49ers: Adam Gase (current Broncos OC)
Jim Tomsula has long been considered the front runner. He is the current SF DL coach. Its quite possible the front office decides to move on from this season and the Harbaugh regime altogether. Gase is one of the younger, brightest minds in the NFL. He has been Denver's OC for two years and replaced Mike McCoy when the Chargers hired him, and so far that has worked out well.

Friday, December 19, 2014

NFL Off-Season Preview: AFC East

QB and coaching changes

Status quo. Bill Belichik will walk away when he wants to, as will Tom Brady

QB - Yes
Coach - Probably not
Word in pre-season and training camp was that Doug Marrone was on thin ice and had a very cocky attitude to him with front office officials. The Bills finally have a new owner who may decide to clean house. But with the possibility of finishing over .500, it is unlikely a major change is made.

The biggest change will be QB. The Bills drafted EJ Manuel in the first round of the 2013 draft and benched him one month into his second season. Manuel was replaced by Kyle Orton, who is as about average as there is. It's unlikely Manuel will be given another chance and it's highly unlikely Orton returns, especially at his current $5 million salary. The Bills may not risk using another high draft pick on a QB so they could look for one in middle of the draft or pursue a veteran to go with their stout defense.

The Bills will certainly have plenty of veteran options. Jay Cutler, RG3, Brian Hoyer are among some of their options.

The Jets SHOULD clean house but likely won't. GM John Idzik is likely to remain in his current position, despite gutting a roster that was once a routine playoff contender. Rex Ryan is going to be fired next week and that's going to be a mistake. Rex was never give enough talent on offense and the GM gutted his defense, specifically in the secondary.

If Idzik remains as assumed, the Jets will probably pursue a coordinator or first time head coach. 1) Because Idzik is not much of a "splashy" kind of guy and 2) because hiring a first-time head coach buys him more time in his current role.

Head coach options: Adam Gase (Broncos OC), Kyle Shanahan (Browns OC), Pep Hamilton (Colts OC), Greg Roman (49ers OC)
Likely frontrunner: Darrell Bevell (Seahawks OC)

Bevell worked with Idzik in Seattle and has a strong background on offense. He has been credited with Russell Wilson's development and can work with a new, young QB in New York and focus on the running game.

Miami should make a change at head coach. Joe Philbin has been in Miami since 2012 and is 22-24. A few years ago they went bananas in free agency spending millions on just about anyone who would listen. The Dolphins haven't gotten any better but haven't gotten worse. They are stuck on neutral and need to accelerate their progress.

Bringing in a new coach, with previous experience would be a good way to light a fire under the franchise. The Dolphins could make a major splash. The Dolphins have previously expressed interest in John Harbaugh and he is expected to be available and could be interested in Miami this time around. If Miami strikes out on Harbaugh, perhaps they can pursue Harbaugh disciples such as 49ers OC Greg Roman or DC Vic Fangio. Or even current Stanford head coach David Shaw.

If the Dolphins turn to college to make a splash, someone like Brian Kelly would be a fascinating hire.

2014-15 College Football Bowl Predictions

By Michael Schneid

New Orleans Nevada vs. La.-Lafayette Louisiana-Lafayette
New Mexico UTEP vs. Utah State Utah State
Las Vegas Colorado St. vs. Utah Utah
Famous Idaho Potato Western Mich. vs. Air Force Western Michigan
Camellia Bowling Green vs. South Ala. South Alabama
Miami Beach BYU vs. Memphis BYU
Boca Raton Marshall vs. Northern Ill. Northern Illinois
Poinsettia Navy vs. San Diego State Navy
Popeyes Western Ky. vs. Central Mich. Western Kentucky
Hawaii Rice vs. Fresno State Rice
Heart of Dallas Illinois vs. La. Tech Illinois
Quick Lane Rutgers vs. North Carolina Rutgers
St. Petersburg NC State vs. UCF UCF
Military Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati Cincinnati
Sun Duke vs. Arizona State Arizona State
Independence Miami (Fla.) vs. South Carolina Miami
Pinstripe Boston College vs. Penn State Boston College
Holiday Nebraska vs. USC USC
Liberty West Virginia vs. Texas A&M West Virginia
Russell Athletic Clemson vs. Oklahoma Oklahoma
Texas Texas vs. Arkansas Arkansas
Music City Notre Dame vs. LSU LSU
Belk Louisville vs. Georgia Georgia
Foster Farms Maryland vs. Stanford Stanford
Peach Ole Miss vs. TCU TCU
Fiesta Boise State vs. Arizona Arizona
Orange Miss. State vs. Ga. Tech Mississipi State
Outback Wisconsin vs. Auburn Auburn
Cotton Michigan St. vs. Baylor Baylor
Citrus Minnesota vs. Missouri Missouri
* Rose Oregon vs. Florida State Oregon
* Sugar Alabama vs. Ohio State Alabama
Armed Forces Pittsburgh vs. Houston Pittsburgh
Gator Iowa vs. Tennessee Tennessee
Alamo Kansas State vs. UCLA Kansas State
Cactus Okla. State vs. Washington Oklahoma St
Birmingham Florida vs. East Carolina Florida
GoDaddy Toledo vs. Arkansas State Arkansas State
CFP Champ. Game Oregon vs. Alabama Alabama

Saturday, October 11, 2014

College Football Week 7 Picks

By Michael Schneid

Cincinnati at Miami (FL) Miami
No. 1 Florida State at Syracuse Florida St
Texas vs. No. 11 Oklahoma* Oklahoma
No. 13 Georgia at No. 23 Missouri Missouri
Illinois at Wisconsin Wisconsin
West Virginia at Texas Tech West Virginia
Tulsa at Temple Temple
Indiana at Iowa Indiana
Louisiana-Monroe at Kentucky Kentucky
Northwestern at Minnesota Northwestern
Middle Tennessee at Marshall Marshall
Rice at Army Rice
Duke at No. 22 Georgia Tech Duke
Buffalo at Eastern Michigan Buffalo
Arkansas State at Georgia State Arkansas St
Bowling Green at Ohio Bowling Green
Massachusetts at Kent State Kent St
Miami (OH) at Akron Miami OH
New Mexico State at Troy New Mexico St
Western Michigan at Ball State Ball St
No. 2 Auburn at No. 3 Mississippi State Auburn
No. 9 TCU at No. 5 Baylor TCU
North Carolina at No. 6 Notre Dame Notre Dame
No. 8 Michigan State at Purdue Michigan St
No. 12 Oregon at No. 18 UCLA UCLA
Boston College at North Carolina State NC St
Liberty at Appalachian State Appalachian St
North Texas at UAB UAB
Louisville at Clemson Clemson
Virginia Military Institute at Navy Navy
Toledo at Iowa State Iowa St
No. 16 Oklahoma State at Kansas Oklahoma St
Chattanooga at Tennessee Tennessee
Central Michigan at Northern Illinois Northern Illinois
No. 7 Alabama at Arkansas Alabama
Washington at California California
Idaho at Georgia Southern Georgia Southern
No. 19 East Carolina at South Florida ECU
Penn State at Michigan Penn St
Houston at Memphis Memphis
Florida International at UTSA UTSA
Charleston Southern at Vanderbilt Vanderbilt
LSU at Florida LSU
Connecticut at Tulane Tulane
Old Dominion at UTEP Old Dominion
No. 3 Ole Miss at No. 14 Texas A&M Texas A&M
Air Force at Utah State Utah St
USC at No. 10 Arizona Arizona 
Colorado State at Nevada Nevada 
Wyoming at Hawaii Wyoming

Thursday, October 2, 2014

College Football Week 6 Picks

By Michael Schneid

Thursday, October 2
Arizona at No. 2 Oregon Oregon
UCF at Houston UCF
Florida Atlantic at Florida International Florida Atlantic
Friday, October 3
Louisville at Syracuse Louisville
San Diego State at Fresno State Fresno St
Utah State at No. 18 BYU BYU
Saturday, October 4
No. 6 Texas A&M at No. 12 Mississippi State Texas A&M
No. 20 Ohio State at Maryland Ohio State
Iowa State at No. 21 Oklahoma State Oklahoma St
SMU at No. 22 East Carolina East Carolina
Florida at Tennessee Tennessee
Purdue at Illinois Illinois
Marshall at Old Dominion Marshall
Southern Miss at Middle Tennessee Middle Tennessee
Ball State at Army Army
Virginia Tech at North Carolina Virginia Tech
Eastern Michigan at Akron Akron
North Texas at Indiana Indiana
Massachusetts at Miami (OH) Miami OH
Tulsa at Colorado State Colorado St
Wake Forest at No. 1 Florida State Florida St
No. 3 Alabama at No. 11 Ole Miss Alabama
No. 4 Oklahoma at No. 25 TCU Oklahoma
No. 7 Baylor at Texas Baylor
No. 14 Stanford at No. 9 Notre Dame Notre Dame
No. 17 Wisconsin at Northwestern Wisconsin
North Carolina State at Clemson Clemson
Ohio at Central Michigan Ohio
Buffalo at Bowling Green Bowling Green
New Mexico at UTSA UTSA
Navy at Air Force Air Force
Vanderbilt at No. 13 Georgia Georgia
Oregon State at Colorado Oregon St 
Kansas at West Virginia West Virginia
Kent State at Northern Illinois Northern Illinois
South Alabama at Appalachian State South Alabama
No. 15 LSU at No. 5 Auburn LSU
Texas Tech at No. 23 Kansas State Kansas St
Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas State Arkansas St
Georgia State at Louisiana-Lafayette Louisiana-Lafayette
Hawaii at Rice Rice
Idaho at Texas State Texas St
Toledo at Western Michigan Toledo
Memphis at Cincinnati Cincinnati
Michigan at Rutgers Rutgers
UAB at Western Kentucky Western Kentucky
UTEP at Louisiana Tech Louisiana Tech
Arizona State at No. 16 USC USC
Miami (FL) at Georgia Tech Georgia Tech
Pittsburgh at Virginia Virginia
South Carolina at Kentucky Kentucky
No. 19 Nebraska at No. 10 Michigan State Michigan St
Georgia Southern at New Mexico State Georgia Southern
UNLV at San Jose State UNLV
Utah at No. 8 UCLA UCLA
Boise State at Nevada Nevada
California at Washington State Washington St

Thursday, September 25, 2014

College Football Week 5 Picks

By Michael Schneid

Thursday, September 25
Texas Tech at No. 24 Oklahoma State Oklahoma St
Appalachian State at Georgia Southern Georgia Southern 
No. 11 UCLA at No. 15 Arizona State UCLA
Friday, September 26
Fresno State at New Mexico Fresno St
Middle Tennessee at Old Dominion Old Dominion
Saturday, September 27
Cincinnati at No. 22 Ohio State Cincinnati
Wyoming at No. 9 Michigan State Michigan St
Tennessee at No. 12 Georgia Georgia 
South Florida at No. 19 Wisconsin Wisconsin
UTEP at No. 25 Kansas State Kansas St 
Iowa at Purdue Iowa
Northwestern at Penn State Penn St
Tulane at Rutgers Rutgers
Vanderbilt at Kentucky Kentucky
Colorado State at Boston College Boston College
Western Michigan at Virginia Tech Virginia Tech
Army at Yale Army
Akron at Pittsburgh Pittsburgh
Maryland at Indiana Indiana 
Eastern Illinois at Ohio Ohio 
Bowling Green at Massachusetts Bowling Green
No. 1 Florida State at North Carolina State Florida St
Arkansas vs. No. 6 Texas A&M* Texas A&M
Western Kentucky at Navy Navy
Minnesota at Michigan Michigan
Kent State at Virginia Virginia
Florida International at UAB UAB
Wake Forest at Louisville Louisville
Miami (OH) at Buffalo Miami OH
Louisiana Tech at No. 5 Auburn Auburn
Colorado at California California 
Temple at Connecticut Temple
Texas at Kansas Texas
No. 16 Stanford at Washington Stanford
South Alabama at Idaho South Alabama
UTSA at Florida Atlantic UTSA
Missouri at No. 13 South Carolina South Carolina
North Carolina at Clemson Clemson
Central Michigan at Toledo Toledo
Rice at Southern Miss Rice
Troy at Louisiana-Monroe Louisiana-Monroe
Boise State at Air Force Boise St
Memphis at No. 10 Ole Miss Ole Miss
New Mexico State at No. 17 LSU LSU
Duke at Miami (FL) Duke
No. 7 Baylor at Iowa State Baylor
No. 8 Notre Dame vs. Syracuse* Notre Dame
Texas State at Tulsa Tulsa
UNLV at San Diego State SD St
Washington State at Utah Utah
Illinois at No. 21 Nebraska Nebraska 
Oregon State at No. 18 USC USC
Nevada at San Jose State Nevada