Oakland Raiders 2017 Draft Profile

The Game Haus is back with another edition of Draftmas. This is the 22nd edition of Draftmas and it focuses on the Oakland Raiders.

SUMMARY

Courtesy of USATSI

The Oakland Raiders had one of their best seasons since 2002. The 2017 Raiders went 12-4 but their postseason seemed to end for them before they even started. When Derek Carr went down in Week 16, Raider Nation and probably even the players and coaches knew their was no way to go far in the postseason. With Connor Cook behind center, the Raiders lost their first playoff game since 2002. The 2018 Raiders do have a lot of great pieces coming back to the team. Seven Raiders went to the Pro Bowl, a franchise-high since 1991, and the most players for any team in 2017.

PICKS AND NEEDS

The Raiders have eight picks in this draft, with one in each of the first six rounds and in the seventh round they have two picks.

First Round: (1) No. 24

Second Round: (1) No. 56

Third Round: (1) No. 88

Fourth Round: (1) No. 129

Fifth Round: (1) No. 168

Sixth Round: (1) No. 208

Seventh Round: (2) No. 242 and No. 244

Offense:

Running Back: Yes, the Raiders do likely have Marshawn Lynch in the backfield now, but that still doesn’t fill the void in the at the running back position. I could see the Raiders finding a back later in the draft, most likely late Day 2.

Defense:

Middle Linebacker: The Raiders need a rugged and power middle linebacker in that 3-4 scheme. They have Pro Bowler Khalil Mack on the outside, but they need a force up the middle as well.

Conrnerback: In this league, you can never have too many good corners. Oakland could definitely use another good corner to play with Sean Smith and complete their secondary.

Defensive Tackle:  The defensive tackles on this roster are awful, but they could get whole lot better. Defensive tackle is not a major concern, but the Raiders could get some value from this deep pool of defensive tackles in the draft.

TARGETS AND THOUGHTS

These predictions are without trades.

First Round, Pick 24: Jarrad Davis, ILB, Florida

If Jarrad Davis didn’t have some durability issues he could be a Top 15 pick, but most likely he could slip into the late first round to the Oakland Raiders. He shows tremendous Football IQ as he breaks down plays and then attacks. He is very good against the run and his acceleration and closing speed makes him a very good blitzing inside linebacker. Davis also has some pretty fluid hips and can stick with most tight ends and some slot receivers. When you think of middle linebacker dawning the black and sliver, you think of an intimating presence. Davis has that. He wore a neck roll and didn’t wear gloves. That is the pure definition of a nasty Oakland Raider 3-4 inside linebacker.

Second Round, Pick 55: Teez Tabor, CB, Florida

Two Florida Gators back to back. Teez Tabor another one of the great cornerbacks Will Muschamp played in The Swamp before his departure. Tabor teases the quarterback into making bad plays and he makes them pay for it. And when you turn on the tape, you see that. He plays with the supreme confidence that every great NFL corner has. He has very good ball skills and will come back down with the ball in his hands more times than the offensive player.

Tabor has the size to play the game and his style of play matches up very well with how the Raiders want to us their corners. He can definitely cover the third of the field and shut down most opposing number one and number two receivers right now in the league. And to be a Raider, you have to have some baggage. It’s how Al Davis would have liked it.

Third Round, Pick 88: Carlos Watkins, DT, Clemson

If you need a defensive lineman, one of your first stops is definitely Clemson, S.C. Clemson has produced nine Top 100 defensive linemen since 2007. Last year Watkins led the National Champion Clemson Tigers in sacks from the interior. He is also sneaky athletic and in the 3-4 disguise can help the defense and help Khalil Mack get more chances to get one-on-one matchups.

CONCLUSION

The Raiders were one injury from a very interesting playoff push. If Derek Carr can come back healthy and if they follow this draft profile, they should have a season that could contend with the 2017 season.

You can read all previous Draftmas profiles here.

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Way-Too-Early Top 10 For the 2017-18 Season

The 2016-17 season is officially over after what turned out to be a different season from what most people thought. However, isn’t that always the case?

We expected Duke to rein supreme yet again last year with one of the most talented rosters we had ever seen. They were ESPN’s number one ranked team in the way-too-early top 25 without question. College basketball proved for the millionth time that what is expected to happen never happens.

With seven months until the start of the 2017-18 season, we take a swipe at the way-too-early top 10 for next season.

1. Kentucky Wildcats 

You know the drill. We’ve seen this before. Kentucky’s freshmen stars are going off to the NBA (De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, Bam Adebayo) and being replaced with another bunch of talented studs. The Wildcats have the number one ranked recruiting class in the country yet again, bringing in five ESPN top 100 recruits. They also will have redshirt freshman Hamidou Diallo.

Even if these new guys don’t turn out to have the same star power as the players they’re replacing, Kentucky has players like Isaiah Briscoe (if he returns), Wenyen Gabriel and Isaac Humphries who could only step into bigger roles.

There’s no reason coach John Calipari and the Wildcats won’t be national title contender with a stacked incoming class and key returning players.

2. North Carolina Tar Heels 

College Basketball

UNC guard Joel Berry II drives in a game earlier this year (Photo/ Google images)

The Tar Heels are losing a significant amount of players, but hold on for a second. They are losing Kennedy Meeks, Isaiah Hicks, Nate Britt and most likely ACC Player of the Year Justin Jackson. However, they’re still UNC.

Many believe Joel Berry II will come back as well as forward Tony Bradley, who is one of the best rebounders in the country. If that’s the case, the Tar Heels would be poised for another late tournament run.

They will also have Elite Eight hero Luke Maye and freshman five-star shooting guard Jalek Felton. Both could have a significant impact on their success.

There are a lot of ifs, but as we’ve seen, Roy Williams can do magical things with ifs.

3. West Virginia Mountaineers

Besides losing seniors Tarik Phillip and Nathan Adrian, press Virginia is back. Guard Jevon Carter will take another offensive leading role, while forcing steals on defense. Forwards Esa Ahmad and Elijah Macon will be crashing the boards and running the floor both defensively and offensively.

With a Kansas team that will lose a lot of key players, could this be the year Bob Huggins and the Mountaineers take the regular season Big 12 title away from Kansas? It could be.

4. Louisville Cardinals

College Basketball

Louisville forward Jaylen Johnson celebrates their victory over Kentucky earlier this year (Photo/ Adam Creech)

Don’t be fooled by the Cardinals short stay in both the ACC tournament and the NCAA tournament. They are a prime defensive team and will gain three incoming freshmen from the ESPN top 100 and maintain almost the entire previous group.

 

With the exception of Mangok Mathiang, who is a senior, and Donovan Mitchell and Deng Adel, who could leave for the NBA, Louisville is still poised to have another great season in 2017-18. If Mitchell and Adel stay, Louisville will be in a good place.

5. Gonzaga Bulldogs 

Enough is enough, Gonzaga is for real. The nation’s top defensive team will look to replace fifth-year senior Przemek Karnowski. The Bulldogs will hopefully look no further than Zach Collins, who could potentially leave for the NBA.

If Collins does return along with Wooden Award finalist Nigel Williams-Goss, Gonzaga will be extremely good. Josh Perkins, Johnathan Williams, Killian Tillie and Silas Melson also all return to make a dangerous Bulldog team out for redemption.

6. Wichita State Shockers

The Shockers finished 31-5 and managed to jump all the way up to 15th in the BPI. It looks like they’re just getting started.

After they were given a 10 seed in the tournament, which many believed was highway robbery, the Shockers lost to Kentucky by one bucket in the round of 32. Don’t let that fool you.

Landry Shamet, who could possibly be the most underrated point guard in the country, along side sharp shooter Conner Frankamp, could take the team on another tournament run. This time they won’t be considered a Cinderella.

7. Florida Gators

College Basketball

Florida guard Chris Chiozza hits a game winning shot in Florida’s Sweet 16 victory over Wisconsin (Photo/ Courtney Culbreath)

The Gators are returning one of the best, if not the best, backcourt in the country in KeVaughn Allen and Chris Chiozza. They will look to top their Elite Eight appearance from this year.

Most of the core crew is still intact. They will add a top 10 recruiting class as well as two transfers.

The Gators are dangerous. This could have already been one of the nation’s best teams. With the addition of the incoming freshmen and transfers, they are only getting better. Third-year head coach Mike White doesn’t seem too fazed after following Billy Donovan and the greatest era in Florida basketball.

8. Villanova Wildcats 

Villanova will wave goodbye to a class that helped lift the Wildcats out of their slump in the 2010s, including Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins. Granted, these two are of major importance and have been throughout their years at Villanova.

However, the Wildcats have an ongoing star guard in Jalen Brunson. They also have Donte DiVincenzo, who improved his numbers immensely from his previous year, and looks to improve them next year as well.

Jay Wright’s team is resilient. What many might believe to be somewhat of a rebuilding year could be another year in the limelight.

9. Kansas Jayhawks

The Jayhawks will lose a lot of players, including national player of the year Frank Mason III and potential top five pick Josh Jackson. That gives room for guard Devonte’ Graham to flourish in an even bigger role.

The Jayhawks return sharp shooter Sviatoslav Mykhailuik on the wing and add top prospects Billy Preston and Udoka Azubuike. They will also add Mississippi State transfer Malik Newman, who was one of the top point guards in his class two years ago. Whatever happens, we all know one thing: Kansas will be good. They’re always good.

10. Duke Blue Devils

College Basketball

Duke big man Marques Bolden looks to be the new face of the Blue Devils down low after losing Harry Giles and Amile Jefferson (Photo/ Streeter Lecka)

It won’t be all doom and gloom for the Blue Devils next season. They’re still Duke. However, the Blue Devils are going to lose a lot of players starting with Jayson Tatum and Harry Giles, who were their two top prospects from last year. They will also lose senior captains Amile Jefferson and Matt Jones, who have been a source of stability over the past four years.

The Blue Devils do have some top prospects coming in, including Wendell Carter and Gary Trent Jr. There also rests the possibility of both Grayson Allen and Luke Kennard coming back for another year.

If they both chose to leave, the Blue Devils’ starting line up will most likely have no one older than a sophomore. Either way, don’t ever count out the Blue Devils.

 

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Wisconsin Basketball

Wisconsin Basketball is a Force to be Reckoned With

It is no question that the Wisconsin basketball program has been one of the most successful programs in college basketball over the past decade. Their upset victory over the number one overall seed Villanova on Saturday has the Badgers looking for another long run into the NCAA tournament.

Wisconsin Basketball

Wisconsin senior forward Nigel Hayes, makes a game-winning layup against Villanova on Saturday. (Photo/ M.P King, State Journal)

Wisconsin basketball is not one of the marquee programs when you mention the top college basketball programs, but it should be. The Badgers have by no means been as historically successful as the other top tier franchises like Duke and Kansas. However, they have been at the top of college basketball along with the rest since 2000.

They had only two NCAA tournament appearances before 1994 with one of those being a national championship in 1941. Since 2000 they have made every single tournament and have appeared in eleven sweet sixteen’s, four elite eights and three final fours. They were runner-up to Duke in 2015.

They have also won three Big Ten conference tournaments since 2000 and four regular season championships.

The Badgers finished second in the regular season this year in what was a rather strange season for the Big Ten. The Badgers then lost in the Big Ten tournament championship to a surging and emotional Michigan squad, which resulted in an eight seed in the NCAA tournament.

It was a rather controversial eight seed considering Wisconsin’s Big Ten foe Minnesota drew a five seed even though Wisconsin beat Minnesota twice during the season. The Badgers didn’t let it faze them after a solid ten-point first round victory over Virginia Tech. They definitely didn’t it let them faze them after a three-point win over tournament-favorite Villanova.

All four senior starters played a part in the 2015 runner-up experience. The Badgers are riding their experience into their sweet sixteen matchup against the Florida Gators. The Gators, who are coming off of dominating 65-39 victory over Virginia, look to make their eighth elite eight since 2000.

The Gators come in as a four seed. Many think they are the favorite against the Wisconsin team, who many thought would not be here. But Wisconsin is here, and they’re a force to be reckoned with.

Wisconsin

Sophomore forward Ethan Happ looks for a shot in a game against Michigan in January. (Photo/ Amber Arnold)

Led by seniors Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig, the Badgers look to compete again this year for their first NCAA championship since 1941.  With the help of key sophomore Ethan Happ, the Badgers have one of the most dangerous rosters in the NCAA.

The one and done era is evidently upon us, but Wisconsin is one of the few teams to be led with this much experience.

The bottom line is that this team knows how to win. In late game situations, they know what to do and they know how to do it without panicking. That’s a talent that you can’t teach. It’s talent that the Badgers have. It’s a talent that can win you a national championship.

Anyone who draws the Wisconsin Badgers in this upcoming tournament shouldn’t judge them by their seed, and consider themselves lucky because the Badgers are here to win.

 

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National Signing Day 2017: SEC

The SEC dominates National Signing Day seemingly every year. This page will be updated throughout the day. Here are how the teams look right now:

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

Commitments: 24, 5*: 3, 4*: 19, 3*: 1, Other: 1

Nick Saban has assembled another great class. Athlete Dylan Moses (who will most likely play linebacker), offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood and running back Najee Harris are some of the best players for the Tide. Harris is supremely talented, but it is a loaded backfield that may not offer much playing time. Alabama recruited a lot of offensive play-makers this season. There a lot of good recruits still considering Alabama.

Top Prospects Signed: ATH Dylan Moses (5*), RB Najee Harris (5*)

2. Georgia Bulldogs

Committed: 26, 5*: 4, 4*: 17, 3*: 5, Other: 0

Kirby Smart has put together a great first full class for the Bulldogs. Offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson and Safety Richard LeCounte are among the best players in the class. In the next few years, Georgia should be dominant in the trenches and well on their way to SEC East superiority.

Top Prospects Signed: OT Isaiah Wilson (5*), S Richard LeCounte (5*)

3. LSU Tigers

Committed: 23, 5*: 0, 4*: 16, 3*: 7, Other: 0

In Ed Oregeron’s first class, he has helped LSU stay prominent in recruiting. He has a lot of secondary and quarterback help on the way. Corner Kary Vincent is one the best players in the class for the Tigers. Quarterbacks Lowell Narcisse and Myles Brennan have different styles, but should help out with LSU’s offensive struggles.

Top Prospects Signed: OT Austin Deculus (4*), CB Kary Vincent (4*)

4. Texas A&M Aggies

Committed: 24, 5*: 0, 4*: 9, 3*: 15, Other: 0

The Aggies have a lot of players coming in this class. Quarterback Kellen Mond is a highly touted player and may get a chance to get on the field, with all of the transfers out of College Station. He leads a class with a lot of wide receivers. Linebacker Anthony Hines is going to be a difference-maker for the Aggie defense.

Top Prospects Signed: QB Kellen Mond (4*), LB Anthony Hinds (4*)

5. Auburn Tigers

Committed: 21, 5*: 0, 4*: 11, 3: 7, Other: 3

The Tigers have a good recruiting class, which they will be expecting to help win the SEC West with. Former Baylor quarterback Jarrett Stidham will be joining the Tigers from JuCo and will hopefully solve the issues at the position. Their best offensive line recruit Calvin Ashley is a tackle who will be looking to get on the field from day one.

Top Prospects Signed: OT Calvin Ashley (4*), QB Jarrett Stidham (4*)

6. Tennessee Volunteers

Committed: 27, 5*: 1, 4*: 6, 3*: 20, Other: 0

Butch Jones has put together yet another impressive recruiting class. Five-star offensive tackle Trey Smith is one of the best in the class and will likely start the season as a starter. Linebacker Maleik Gray will help out with some of the losses they suffer on defense.

Top Prospects Signed: OT Trey Smith (5*), LB Maleik Gray (4*)

7. Florida Gators

Committed: 20, 5*: 0, 4*: 13, 3*: 6, Other: 1

Florida has struggled to find good offense, but they don’t have too many skill position players in this class. They need to hit on the ones they did sign. Their best recruit is offensive tackle Tedarrell Slaton, which should help the offense out. Wide receiver Daquon Green is going to have to step up and be the play-maker Florida so desperately needs.

Top Prospects Signed: OT Tedarrell Slaton (4*), WR James Robinson IV (4*)

8. South Carolina Gamecocks

Committed: 21, 5*:0, 4*: 9, 3*: 11, Other: 1

Will Muschamp is doing a great job of recruiting for South Carolina. Corner Jameyst Williams is committed, but may be flipped. He will help out a secondary that isn’t near the top in the SEC. Shi Smith will give the Gamecocks a weapon at the wide receiver position.

Top Prospects Signed: CB Jamyest Winston (4*), WR Shi Smith (4*)

9. Kentucky Wildcats

Committed: 24, 5*: 0, 4*: 5, 3*: 18, Other: 1

Mark Stoops helped the Wildcats be one of the most improved teams in the country. The defense wasn’t great, so Kentucky emphasized that in this recruiting class. Secondary players Yusuf Corker and Tyrell Ajian will both be expected to produce in the coming years.

Top Prospects Signed: CB Yusuf Corker (4*), S Tyrell Ajian (4*)

10. Mississippi State Bulldogs

Committed: 23, 5*: 0, 4*: 10, 3*: 13, Other: 0

The Bulldogs got a bowl win, but it was a lackluster season otherwise. Coming into the fold will be a lot of defensive players. Brian Cole and Montez Sweat are both JuCo players who will likely help the Bulldogs immediately.

Top Prospects Signed: S Brian Cole (4*), DE Montez Sweat (4*)

11. Arkansas Razorbacks

Committed: 26, 5*: 0, 4*: 8, 3*: 15, Other: 3

Arkansas doesn’t have the best class, but they targeted a lot of offensive players in the class. Brandon Martin is a great JuCo wide receiver that will catch passes from Austin Allen next season. Quarterback Daulton Hyatt is expected to be the future leader of the team.

Top Prospects Signed: WR Brandon Martin (4*), Daulton Hyatt (4*)

12. Missouri Tigers

Committed: 23, 5*: 0, 4*: 0, 3*: 20, Other: 3

Missouri doesn’t look like they will be in an SEC Championship Game any time soon. Defensive line has been a huge target for this class. Defensive tackles Walter Palmore and Rashad Brandon both are great hauls for the Tigers.

Top Prospects Signed: QB Taylor Powell (3*), Rashad Brandon (3*)

13. Ole Miss

Committed: 21,  5*: 0, 4*: 8, 3*: 11, Other: 2

Ole miss is usually a lot higher in these rankings as of late, but this year was a down year for recruiting. Wide receiver D.D. Bowie and Linebacker Breon Dixon are both great finds for Ole Miss.

Top Prospects Signed: OLB Breon Dixon (4*), WR D.D. Bowie (4*)

14. Vanderbilt Commodores

Committed: 20, 5*: 0, 4*: 1, 3*: 13, Other: 6

The Commodores find themselves in a familiar position at the bottom of this list. Defensive end Dayo Odeyingbo and linebacker Colin Anderson will need to help make the Vanderbilt defense elite to win football games.

Top Prospects Signed: LB Colin Anderson (3*), DE Dayo Odeyingbo (4*)

 

ACC Signing Day- Here

Big Ten Signing Day- Here

Big 12 Signing Day- Here

Pac-12 Signing Day- Here

 

NFL Draft Prospects to Watch in the 2017 Outback Bowl

The Outback Bowl doesn’t have the most prospects, but there are a lot of players that will go in the first rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft. Both teams specialize in defense and have the prospects to back that up. These are the best prospects in the Outback Bowl:

Florida Gators

Jalen Tabor, CB

Projected Draft Range: First round

Some believe that Tabor is better than former teammate Vernon Hargreaves III, who was drafted by the Buccaneers in the first round of the 2016 NFL draft. Tabor is a shut down corner, but has good ball skills when the ball is thrown his way. He is well built at six feet and 201 pounds.

Jarrad Davis, LB

Projected Draft Range: First round-second round

Davis has battled injuries this season, but is still one of the best linebacker prospects in the class. In nine games he had 60 total tackles with six for loss. He is good at stopping the run, but needs to work on his coverage skills to stay on the field for three downs in the NFL.

Caleb Brantley, DT

Projected Draft Range: First round-second round

Outback Bowl

Caleb Brantley (Photo courtesy: wuft.com)

If teams want a run stopping defensive tackle Brantley should be their choice. He sheds blockers with relative ease and gets to the ball carrier. Brantley is even able to take on double teams and still get the stop. The area of his game he needs to work on is his pass rushing. He has recorded just 1.5 sacks this season.

Iowa Hawkeyes

Desmond King, CB

Projected Draft Range: First round-second round

Outback Bowl

Desmond King (Photo courtesy: hawkcentral.com)

King has some of the best ball skills in the class and had eight interceptions in 2015. That season he even won the Jim Thorpe Award as the best defensive back. He has added value in the return game. King’s speed has come into question by some NFL teams. There is even rumblings of him moving to safety in the NFL.

Jaleel Johnson, DT

Projected Draft Range: Second round-fourth round

Johnson is a good run stopper as a defensive tackle, but is surprisingly a great pass rusher from the interior too. He has 7.5 sacks this season. Johnson has great size at six feet three inches and 310 pounds. His pass rushing ability may help him move up draft boards.

 

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2017 Outback Bowl Preview

The Florida Gators are taking on the Iowa Hawkeyes in the 2016 Outback Bowl.

Florida Gators

The Gators lost four games this season, all to bowl teams, to finish at 8-4. Their solid wins include victories over LSU, South Carolina, Georgia, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

Outback Bowl

Jalen Tabor (Photo courtesy: profootballfocus.com)

Luke Del Rio and Austin Appleby both have played quarterback for the Gators, but neither has been great. Del Rio is the starter and thrown for 1,358 yards and eight touchdowns, but has been injured. Appleby has 1,225 passing yards and eight touchdowns.

Wide receiver Antonio Callaway is the best player on offense and finished the regular season with 666 receiving yards and three touchdowns. He could have better production with better quarterback play.

The leading rusher is Jordan Scarlett, who has 795 rushing yards and six touchdowns. He averages 4.9 yards per carry and isn’t much of a big play threat with a long run of 33 yards.

The defense is what makes Florida a good team. They allow just 142.3 rushing yards per game. Their pass defense is elite and gives up only 156 yards per game.

Jalen Tabor has been a great corner for Florida with four interceptions this season.

Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa has four losses on the season, with one coming to FCS-level, North Dakota State. They have solid wins over Miami (OH), Minnesota, Michigan and Nebraska.

Outback Bowl

LeShun Daniels (Photo courtesy: globegazette.com)

C.J. Beathard had a disappointing year after getting Iowa to the Rose Bowl last season. He has 1,874 passing yards and 17 touchdowns. He has a completion percentage of just 58%, showing his accuracy issues.

Riley McCarron is the best receiver with 506 yards and four touchdowns. George Kittle also has four touchdowns to help out Beathard.

The Hawkeyes have two running backs who have had great seasons. LeShun Daniels has 1,013 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Akrum Wadley rushed for 966 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. The two each get a lot of carries and keep each other fresh.

Iowa has a good rush defense that allows 154 yards per game. The pass defense is even better allowing 200 yards per game.

Jaleel Johnson has been a great pass rusher with 7.5 sacks this season.

Prediction

Iowa’s offense won’t be able to move the ball on the Florida defense. Florida’s offense will score just enough to win.

 

Florida Gators 21 Iowa Hawkeyes 12

 

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NCAA Football Week Four Picks

Rob Doerger and Joe DiTullio, personalities on the DiTullio and Doerger College Sports Show, make their picks for all division one FBS games.

Away Home Location Rob Joe
#5 Clemson Georgia Tech Bobby Dodd Stadium, Atlanta, GA Clemson Ga Tech
Wyoming Eastern Michigan Rynearson Stadium, Ypsilanti, MI Wyoming Wyoming
TCU SMU Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, TX TCU TCU
USC #24 Utah Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, UT Utah Utah
Kent State #1 Alabama Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama Bama
Margin of Victory 28 34
#12 Georgia #23 Ole Miss Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, MS Ole Miss Ole Miss
Nevada Purdue Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, IN Purdue Nevada
San José State Iowa State Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, IA Iowa St Iow St
Charlotte Temple Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA Temple Temple
Iowa Rutgers High Point Solutions Stadium, Piscataway, NJ Iowa Iowa
#13 Florida State South Florida Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL FSU FSU
Colorado State Minnesota TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN Minnesota Minnesota
#11 Wisconsin #8 Michigan State Spartan Stadium , East Lansing, MI Mich St MSU
East Carolina Virginia Tech Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, VA VT Va Tech
Central Michigan Virginia Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, VA CMU CMU
Syracuse Connecticut Rentschler Field, East Hartford, CT Uconn Uconn
Wagner Boston College Alumni Stadium , Chestnut Hill, MA BC BC
Gardner-Webb Ohio Peden Stadium, Athens, OH Ohio Ohio
Miami (OH) Cincinnati Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, OH Cincy UC
Western Illinois Northern Illinois Huskie Stadium, DeKalb, IL NIU NIU
Appalachian State Akron InfoCision Stadium, Akron, OH Akron Akron
Boise State Oregon State Reser Stadium, Corvallis, OR Boise Boise
BYU West Virginia FedExField, Landover, MD WVU BYU
Duke Notre Dame Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, IN Notre Dame Notre Dame
Mississippi State Massachusetts Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA Miss St Miss St
#19 Florida #14 Tennessee Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, TN Florida Tennessee
Pittsburgh North Carolina Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC Pitt Pitt
Texas San Antonio Old Dominion S.B. Ballard Stadium, Norfolk, VA Old Dom UTSA
Penn State #4 Michigan Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI Michigan Michigan
Wake Forest Indiana Memorial Stadium , Bloomington, IN Indiana IU
Delaware State Missouri Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field, Columbia, MO Mizzou Mizzou
Vanderbilt Western Kentucky L.T. Smith Stadium, Bowling Green, KY WKU Vandy
Tulsa Fresno State Bulldog Stadium , Fresno, CA Tulsa Tulsa
Colorado Oregon Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR Oregon Oregon
#18 LSU Auburn Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL LSU LSU
Ball State Florida Atlantic FAU Football Stadium, Boca Raton, FL Ball St Ball State
North Texas Rice Rice Stadium, Houston, TX Rice Rice
#6 Houston Texas State Bobcat Stadium , San Marcos, TX Houston Houston
Central Arkansas Arkansas State Centennial Bank Stadium, Jonesboro, AR Ark St Arkansas St
New Mexico State Troy Veterans Memorial Stadium , Troy, AL Troy Troy
Nicholls South Alabama Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, AL USA USA
Georgia Southern Western Michigan Waldo Stadium, Kalamazoo, MI WMU WMU
UCF Florida Intl FIU Stadium, Miami, FL UCF UCF
Louisiana Tech Middle Tennessee Floyd Stadium, Murfreesboro, TN Louisiana Tech La Tech
Army Buffalo UB Stadium, Buffalo, NY Army Army
Missouri State Kansas State Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, KS Kansas St KSU
#20 Nebraska Northwestern Ryan Field, Evanston, IL Nebraska Nebraska
Oklahoma State #16 Baylor McLane Stadium, Waco, TX Baylor Baylor
South Carolina Kentucky Commonwealth Stadium, Lexington, KY Kentucky South Carolina
#7 Stanford UCLA Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA UCLA Stanford
#3 Louisville Marshall Joan C. Edwards Stadium, Huntington, WV Louisville Louisville
Bowling Green Memphis Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN Memphis Memphis
Louisiana Lafayette Tulane Yulman Stadium, New Orleans, LA ULL ULL
Southern Mississippi UTEP Sun Bowl, El Paso, TX So Miss So Miss
Idaho UNLV Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, NV UNLV UNLV
#17 Arkansas #10 Texas A&M AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX Texas A&M TAMU
California Arizona State Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ Arizona St ASU
Air Force Utah State Romney Stadium, Logan, UT Air Force AF
#9 Washington Arizona Arizona Stadium, Tucson, AZ Washington Washington
Gameday Guest Picker (Knoxville, Tennessee) Kenny Chesney Peyton Manning
Season Total 205 193

Top Ten College Football Rivalries: #8 Georgia vs. Florida

And coming in at number eight on my Top Ten College Football Rivalries list is…

Courtesy of The Bullgator.com

Courtesy of The Bullgator.com

#8 Georgia Bulldogs vs. Florida Gators. This rivalry has produced seven national titles. Three from Florida in 1996, 2006, and 2008 and Georgia won their national championships in 1920, 1927, 1946, 1968. This rivalry has also produced five Heisman winners. Quarterbacks Steve Spurrier (1966), Danny Wuerfel (1996), and Tim Tebow (2007) all won Heismans for the Gators. And running backs Frank Sinkwich (1942) and Herschel Walker (1982) won the only two Heismans in Bulldog history.

The Georgia Bulldogs versus the Florida Gators is one of the premiere college rivalries in the nation. This rivalry can be marked back as far as 1904. The Georgia fans believe that rivalry started in 1904 which is a year before the University of Florida was established. While, the Florida fans believe the rivalry started in 1915. Since there are two different start years, there are two different records.

Georgia believes they are winning the rivalry 50-42-2. Florida does not count the 1904-1914 games, so they think the rivalry is 49-42-2. But both fans will agree that this rivalry is especially important to the SEC.

Since the formation of the SEC in 1932, this has been one its staple rivalries. But in 1992, it became even bigger when the SEC split into two divisions. Georgia and Florida were both placed in the SEC East and since then they have dominated the East. Florida has claimed the most SEC East titles (11). Georgia has claimed the second most with seven SEC East titles. Florida also has seven SEC Championship Game wins, which is the most. The Bulldogs have two SEC Championships Game wins. This rivalry occurs every year.

top ten college football rivalries

Courtesy of Online Athens.com

The “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” (name was discounted in 2006) has produced many great games. The 2002 matchup between the Gators and the Bulldogs featured a top five undefeated Bulldogs team. By the end of the day, the Bulldogs suffered their first defeat. Gator quarterback Rex Grossman lead the Gators to a 20-13 win over the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs finished the season with that as their only loss.

If the Gators never had beaten the Bulldogs, the Ohio State Buckeyes would have never played the Miami Hurricanes in the BCS Championship Game. Think about how much could have changed if Miami would have won that game and there was no phantom pass interference call.

But one of the most memorable moments in this rivalry happened in 2007 and 2008. In 2007, Mark Richt ordered his Bulldog offense to celebrate after the first touchdown. It didn’t work out as Richt intended. Most of the team rushed the field and danced in the end zone after running back Knowshon Moreno scored the first touchdown of the game. This dance would be later referred to the “Gator Stomp.” Georgia earned two unsportsmanlike penalties from the celebration. That was about the last bad thing the Gators did that day. Moreno rushed for over 180 yards and the Bulldog defense sacked Gator quarterback Tim Tebow six teams. The Bulldogs would go onto win the game 42-30. In 2008, the Gators would comeback harder than ever.

In 2008, head coach Urban Meyer told his players they could not take about the 2007 game to media leading up to the 2008 matchup against the Bulldogs. This matchup featured two teams in the top ten of the national rankings, and two teams fighting for the edge in the SEC East. Going into the half, the Gators were leading 14-3. When the last whistle blew the game was nowhere close. The Gators beat the Bulldogs 49-10. That year the Gators won the SEC and the National Championship Game. This Gator team is the last SEC East team to win a SEC Championship and the last SEC East team to win a National Championship game.

Omaha’s Eight

Super Regional Picks: 5 for 8

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos

The Gauchos shocked the college baseball landscape with two straight wins over Louisville, a team with only one home loss until then. They lean heavily on their pitching, especially ace Shane Bieber, who held Washington and Louisville to a combined three runs on 14.1 innings pitched. The bullpen is also solid, anchored by Kyle Nelson who has nine saves with a 2.02 ERA for the year. To take home the title, UCSB will need to see more of the offense they showed in the ninth inning against Louisville in game 2. They loaded the bases against Zach Burdi, one of the best pitchers in the country, and catcher Sam “no relation to Seth” Cohen launched a changeup over the right field wall. It sent the Gauchos to Omaha for the first time, and if this offense shows up there, UCSB could continue their run.

Oklahoma State Cowboys

The Cowboys have been as dominant as any team in the tournament, winning all five games without trailing once. Their pitching was on full display, giving up just one run in each game to sweep South Carolina. The scary thing for the rest of Omaha is that they didn’t even have to use all of their depth. Freshman Jensen Elliott, who shut down Clemson in the regional final, went unused in Columbia, but he could have a major impact if the Cowboys go deep. The offense will need to get continued productivity from Donnie Walton, JR Davis and Conor Costello, but there is no doubt that Oklahoma St is as hot as any team in the country, and will be a very tough out in Omaha.

Miami Hurricanes

Miami is making their 25th appearance in the College World Series, and is looking to add championship #5 to the trophy case. They have as good of an offense as any, with Zack Collins, Brandon Lopez, Johnny Ruiz and Carl Chester all batting above .340.  They also get serious power from Edgar Michelangeli, which Boston College found out about the hard way. They lead the nation in fielding percentage, at .983, and have a pair of solid lefties at the top of their rotation in Michael Mediavilla and Danny Garcia. The Hurricanes had two tough games against Long Beach St, and lost one to Boston College in the super regional, but on paper this team is absolutely stacked with very few holes. If they put it all together, the Canes are one of the favorites here in Omaha.

Arizona Wildcats

The second West Coast team in Omaha, Arizona will look to have similar results as in 2012, when they won the National Championship. The Wildcats don’t light up the stat sheet, but are a gritty team that knows how to get on base when it counts, as they did in the comeback win over Mississippi St. They also feature plenty of speed, with seven starters who each have at least seven steals, and a 71% success rate on stolen bases. They also have plenty of arms, with five pitchers capable of providing a quality start, including Bobby Dalbec, a two-way player who pitched well in the super regional. One of the question marks going into the Tournament was a lack of experience – no one on this team had played in the postseason before – but after winning in Lafayette and Starkville, it is time to put those concerns to rest. Arizona is a tough, blue collar team who has proven to shine in big games. They certainly have the skills and the depth to continue shining.

Florida Gators

The number one overall team had a bit of a scare, losing game 1 to rival Florida St, but rallied to take the series. The Gators have a top 25 offense, and it was rolling against the Seminoles. Peter Alonso, a second round pick by the Mets, has made a big difference in both the quality and the depth of the lineup. He and JJ Schwarz provide power for this offense that few teams can match. The rotation is also elite, and got an especially great performance from Logan Shore in the super regional. When AJ Puck and Nick Faedo are also pitching at a high level, the Gators are very difficult to beat. Florida was the number one overall seed for a reason, and might be the best team on paper. They will need more consistency this week in Omaha, but have a great chance to win their first ever National Championship.

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Coastal Carolina might seem like a Cinderella to the casual fan, but the Chanticleers have become a college baseball powerhouse. Coastal won their third regional in the last eight years, and finally broke through to Omaha this time. With this team, any lead they can get will most likely be held by relievers Mike Morrison and Bobby Holmes. Morrison is probably the best closer in the country with a 1.06 ERA, and showed the ability to pitch multiple innings in wins over NC State and LSU. Their offense is also very dynamic, led by Michael Paez and Connor Owings. The Chants lead the nation in home runs with 94, and can put runs up in a hurry. They are a veteran team that excels in big situations, and that is a very dangerous thing to face in Omaha.

TCU Horned Frogs

Make it three consecutive College World Series appearances for TCU, who advanced with a second straight win over Texas A&M in the super regionals. They hope to breakthrough and win their first title this year, and can certainly do it with star freshman Luken Baker. The Horned Frogs bat .304 as a team, and have begun to show quite a bit of power. TCU also features a loaded pitching staff, where their depth was on display against Texas A&M. Brian Howard, number three in the rotation, pitched seven innings with no earned runs against an explosive Aggies offense. The Frogs are a fairly young team, but they do have quite a few players with Omaha experience, and they just got passed a tough hurdle in College Station. They have the depth and talent to make a run in Omaha this year.

Texas Tech Red Raiders

Texas Tech has to feel confident as they ran away with a Big 12 title in a conference that sent three teams to Omaha. They survived a scare from East Carolina in the super regional, but showed why they earned a national seed with an 11-0 beatdown in game 3. Offensively, they are led by Tanner Gardner, who has a .485 on base percentage, and Eric Gutierrez, who bats .326 with a team leading 12 home runs. The pitching staff is young, but showed plenty of talent throughout the season. Erikson Lanning pitched seven shutout innings in the decisive win over East Carolina. They also have a deep bullpen with both Hayden Howard and Robert Dugger capable of pitching multiple innings in relief. This team might be young, but they didn’t win the Big 12 by accident. They have a very dynamic offense, and if their pitching holds up, Tech could absolutely win the whole thing.

The Verdict: Obviously, all eight teams proved they are capable of beating anyone. With that said, I like the Miami Hurricanes, particularly because of their explosive offense. They are well rounded and experienced, and I think they bring another trophy to South Beach.

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