Monday, July 31, 2006

AFC East Preview

Last Year’s Predictions
New England 13-3
Buffalo 11-5
Miami 10-6
NY Jets 8-8

What Really Happened
New England 10-6
Miami 9-7
Buffalo 5-11
NY Jets 4-12

Balance was given back to the AFC East last season with the resurgence of the Miami Dolphins who ended the season on a six game winning streak and finished just one game behind first place New England.

This season the division race will still be between those same two teams and while I think the Patriots will win it again they had better stay healthy and get off to a better start than they did last season (going 4-4 over their first eight games) or the Dolphins will win the division.

Buffalo Bills – Projected Finish 9-7 (3rd)
Big Question Mark: Offensive Line
The Bills don’t have a proven coach or a proven quarterback but it is their offensive line that should have everyone associated with this team worried. Last season the Bills offense set a franchise record in futility gaining just 4,122 yards and even better the same tackles and guards are back this season.

Free agent center Melvin Fowler (Minnesota) will be the newest addition to the line and he must find a way to anchor it in order for quarterback J.P. Losman to have an opportunity to improve.

Key Losses:
DT Sam Adams
TE Mark Campbell
SS Lawyer Milloy
WR Eric Moulds

Key Additions:
WR Andre’ Davis
WR Peerless Price
TE Anthony Thomas

Miami Dolphins – Projected Finish 11-5 (2nd)
Big Question Mark: Defensive Backs

Last season opposing quarterbacks enjoyed an 82.4 passer rating against the Miami secondary, and that was with Sam Madison. Now that Madison is gone Will Poole and Will Allen will try to solidify the corner spots.

The departure of safety Lance Schulters creates an absence of leadership that appears will be filled by rookie Jason Allen. Free Agents Renaldo Hill and Deke Cooper will bring much needed experience to the secondary which will no doubt require Nick Saban’s defensive expertise.

Key Losses:
CB Sam Madison
S Lance Schulters
LB Junior Seau

Key Additions:
CB Will Allen
FB Fred Beasley
QB Daunte Culpepper
QB Joey Harrington

New England Patriots – Projected Finish 13-3 (1st)
Big Question Mark: Specialists

To be more specific how much will the loss of Adam Vinatieri hurt this team? The Patriot could be one of the most solid teams in the NFL at every position but a lapse in special teams can cost even the best of teams a game. Trying to fill in for the sure footed Vinatieri are Martin Gramatica and fourth round draft pick Stephen Gostkowski. No doubt clutch kicks will be more intense this season for Pats fans.

Also gone in 2006 is punt return specialist Tim Dwight.

Key Losses:
PR/WR Tim Dwight
TE Christian Fauria
LB Willie McGinest
K Adam Vinatieri

Key Additions:
K Martin Gramatica
S Tebucky Jones

New York Jets Projected Finish 7-9 (4th)
Big Question Mark: Quarterback

Anyone who can tell you who will be the opening day starter will be much less who will end the season as quarterback for the Jets needs to be elevated to guru status. Chad Pennington’s season is still up in the air because of two shoulder surgeries. Vinny Testaverde is gone to retirement. Patrick Ramsey is the next best choice should Pennington not be able to play but he somehow lost the ability to make quick decisions and throw and accurate pass while in Washington making him expendable to the Redskins and landing him in the Big Apple.

Key Losses:
WR Wayne Chrebet
CB Ty Law
QB Vinny Testaverde

Key Additions:
WR/PR Tim Dwight
CB Andre Dyson
QB Patrick Ramsey

2006 AFC East Predictions
New England 13-3
Miami 11-5
Buffalo 9-7
NY Jets 7-9

Mariners Hot Again

They may have slumped a little coming out of the All-Star break but now the Seattle Mariners are gaining momentum. Sunday’s 7-3 win over Cleveland gave Seattle their third series win in a row and their seventh win in ten games.

After dropping the first game of their series to the Indians 1-0 the Mariners came back to win 3-1 on Saturday then took the series early Sunday afternoon. Jose Lopez and Raul Ibanez each had two run singles with two outs in the 9th on Sunday to provide the Mariners with the rubber match win.

Now, the Mariners are sitting in an almost perfect position just 3.5 games behind first place Oakland. Seattle will travel to Baltimore for a three game series starting tonight while Oakland visits the Angels for three games and then will travel to Seattle for a weekend series. Considering that the Rangers visit the Twins you have the probability that this time next week the division standings could be upside-down.

AL West Standings
W L Pct GB
Oakland 55 50 .524 --
LA Angels 54 50 .519 0.5
Texas 52 53 .495 3.0
Seattle 51 53 .490 3.5

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Prediction Time!

It’s time to make your college football predictions. Head over to the College Football Predictions thread on the message board and let us know who your favorite football team is, who is going to win the Heisman and who is going to play for the national championship.

Prove you are the ultimate sports genius by making your predictions before the season gets under way.

My Opinion on Sports Football Preview

Monday will begin more than a month of football previews here at My Opinion on Sports. I have been buying time over the last several weeks but now that time is up. The preview will cover ever major football conference as well as every NFL team.

The preview will also include predictions on conference championship games as well as you Super Bowl Champion. My initial Blog Poll college football top 25 and Heisman candidate list will be available during the as well as your opportunity to sign up to play in the My Opinion on Sports Fantasy Football League.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Mariners Make Roster Moves/Win Another Series

The Seattle Mariners made some roster changes on Wednesday acquiring first baseman Ben Broussard from the Cleveland Indians for minor league outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, designating Carl Everett for assignment and recalling outfielder Chris Snelling from Triple-A Tacoma.

Everett, the biggest named player in the moves, DHing almost exclusively against right-handed pitching and was hitting just .227 in 92 games. The Mariners were Everett’s 8th team and he seemed to not fit in there either.

In return Broussard, is hitting .360 against right-handers and at least statistically will be an upgrade in Seattle’s lineup. He will give up playing first base for the rest of the season to replace Everett’s DH role.

"I take pride in playing first base, I love it and will continue to work at it. But I realize at this point of the season it's a role I'm going to have on the team," Broussard said. "I know long term I'm a first baseman but for now I'll do what I have to do to get in the lineup."

Broussard will stay in Cleveland and join the Mariners when they arrive on Thursday for a weekend series against the Indians.

The Mariners needed to find a new bat to make a push for the AL West title. Despite being four games under .500 Seattle is only 3 games back from first place.

The Mariners beat the Blue Jays 7-4 Wednesday night to take their second series in a row. I said the winning the Toronto series was crucial and the Mariners took games one and three to inch a little closer to the top spot in the division.

Jamie Moyer won for the first time since June 24, at San Diego, and got plenty of offensive help Wednesday night as the Mariners took two of three from the Blue Jays. Seattle closed out this homestand 4-2 winning back-to-back series for the first time since last month.

Stoops Meets the Press

Bob Stoops met with the media Wednesday afternoon as a part of the Big 12 Media Days that started Monday and ended on Wednesday. Here are some excerpts of the transcript from his interview along with a few of my thoughts.

Q. Coach, you talk about progress Rhett made over the course of last year and what you expect him to do this year?

Coach Stoops: He made significant progress if you look at the first half of the season and compare it to the second half of the season and how he matured and how he -- the growth he made. And we expect him really to start the year in a good way, and continue to improve. Because he has -- he has so much skill and ability.

But as anyone knows, playing the quarterback position, there's so much growth and he has the potential to be awfully good if he'll just continue to manage the game. And when to take your chances, when to run with it, when to throw it away, when to just eat it and take the sack. And, again, that experience can only be gained on the field, whether it's scrimmages, whether it's games, and I believe he'll continue to develop that way and do a really good job with it.

My Thoughts: Rhett Bomar’s progression and maturity as the Sooners’ quarterback will undoubtedly be the key Oklahoma’s offensive success this season. Peterson will be healthy, the line will be better (see below) and the receivers have a ton of talent. The only question is how much progress has Bomar made?

Q. Bob, can you talk about the schemes, how they're going to change with a new offensive coordinator?

Coach Stoops: Really our schemes for the most part won't change. Kevin has been with us for, what, five years now and has been involved. So the schemes really don't change and with Adrian back there. That's the focal point where it all begins, and it's been that way for the last two years.

So there's always different and subtle wrinkles, and then it gets down to, too, what's your quarterback able to handle, how much can you give him. But I have great confidence in Kevin Wilson running the offense. He's a guy that's done it. Had great success when he was the guy doing it at Northwestern.

He's had a major influence on what we've been doing here the last five years, and so I'm excited about it. I think he's going to do a really good job.

My Thoughts: A little coach speak here and a little truth. The offense will revolve around Adrian Peterson but the way they get the ball to him will be different than in years past. Look for the Sooners to line up in the I formation and pound the ball with Peterson but the will also spread the offense and use screens to set up the deep ball.

Q. Coach, last year, the offensive line was shuffled around a little bit until you found the right appearance of people up front. What's the status of the offensive line based on how it's changed from last year?

Coach Stoops: I think getting a couple guys back that missed a spring will make a major difference, guys like J.D. Quinn and Jon Cooper are going to make a big difference. Those guys have gained, again, played a lot last year and had a lot of experience last year.

And then you throw them in with what the other guys that were competing in the spring, I believe in the end we'll have seven or eight guys we're used to having that have a chance to be really good. That will be the key to which ones are starting and playing the most. It will depend on who does the best here through two-a-days. But what I like is there's really good potential there.

Though we don't have 12 guys, in the end you can only play five at one time. I think every year we've been here maybe we've only had maybe seven or eight that we really relied on, and I believe in the end when we start we'll have seven, eight guys that we think we can be awfully good. And it's getting them in the right spots early on in two-a-days to have them, to get them to start blending and meshing together quickly.

And there's great size and strength up there if those guys -- if they'll come together and we can get them as coaches to mesh in a quick way.

My Thoughts: The offensive line will be better this season than they were last, or at least it should be. This year’s unit will have more playing experience and cohesiveness than the one that started last season.

Q. Bob, a lot of anticipation about this defense, potentially how good could this group be?

Coach Stoops: Has a great potential. With the guys, starts, to me, defense always begins with the guys up front, and we have a chance to be really good in our front four. And with depth. And then the linebacker position, we have a couple of seniors that play awfully well.

And then I think the biggest jump we can make from a year ago is our secondary that was awfully young and inexperienced as we started the year finished playing awfully good through the season. And really I saw great improvement through the spring that we have a chance to be really good. I think really good solid defense.

So we'll see. It has to be -- we'll be more disciplined and physical. We've got a chance to be really good.

My Thoughts: This could be the most talented OU defense in a while. Let by Sr. linebacker Rufus Alexander the 06 defensive unit will be very quick and very strong. Moving Reggie Smith from safety to corner along with DJ Wolfe in the other side will give Oklahoma one of the best corner duos in the Big 12.

Q. Talking about Adrian, can you talk about how much you're going to emphasize him (inaudible)?

Coach Stoops: To whatever degree we can. He can't play every snap and he needs his breaks, but Adrian has good hands. I kid him all the time. How come they say you can't catch? He catches the ball really well. I'll tell you this too, he's not the easiest guy to sneak out on a screen. It's not like they're not watching him.

So, anyway, as much as we can and as much as he's able to, you know, he's got to be a great pass protecter. He's got to be able to understand when we're checking at the line of scrimmage and who he's going to pick up on the blitz. That's the first part of it. And if he'll continue to do well that way and then we want to be able to keep him in there, of course, as much as he's able to handle.

He's a good guy to suck in the long to dump the ball down to if they sink off, and now he gets the ball out there with some space and gets a head start instead of having to work his way through the line all the time.

My Thoughts: Prepare to insert your best OU joke here but Adrian Peterson will have his dad watching him play from the stands for the first time since his little league days. He will also have a better offensive line, an experienced quarterback and is motivated to win the Heisman Trophy. He also only needs 1,080 yards to break the career rushing record at OU.

Q. Bob, you said in the past, your program has never shied away from expectations, but is the preseason number one talk, some of that stuff, are you okay with that?

Coach Stoops: You know, I can't do anything about it. So I don't concern myself with it, to be honest. Like I said in my opening, I believe our team is smart enough. To me we've got a lot to prove. We're an 8-4 football team a year ago, and the bottom line is we need to be more disciplined, tougher and better football team if we're going to have a chance to compete for a Big 12 Championship first.

And to me I tell them I don't want to talk about it. Doesn't matter what anybody says about it. We need to do it. And we need to get on the field and show them we can do that.

My Thoughts: Someone has to be the pre-season favorite and why not OU? Name a team that doesn’t have question marks? We won’t know the truth about any of these teams until they are tested. Notre Dame will get tested opening weekend at Georgia Tech, Ohio State faces a road test at Texas and Oklahoma should cruise until the play Oregon on the road. Those three games could drastically change the top 5.

Q. You won a national title, do you see the pieces there that that could happen?

Coach Stoops: Not yet, since I haven't been on the field with them. Spring ball is a long time ago, and to me the most important time is what we do when we get back to work here next week.

My Thoughts: I agree! This is still a team that lost four games last season and they are going to have to earn their respect on the field. In my mind you can’t talk BCS until they have made it past the Texas game and are still undefeated.

BCS Odds

Athlon picked a Oklahoma/Notre Dame BCS championship game and received some criticism over it but apparently Las Vegas agrees.

Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Ohio State are considered the top three contenders to win this season's BCS championship game and college football's national title, according to Las Vegas odds.

The Hilton sports book has Notre Dame a 9-2 favorite followed by Oklahoma at 5-1 and Ohio State at 6-1. Every other team on the board is 8-1 or higher to win the championship game.

World Sports Exchange has the same top three but in a slightly different order. They have Notre Dame as a 5-1 odd, Ohio State at 11-2 and Oklahoma at 13-2.

Their "Big 3" status is also reflected in the season-win over / unders recently posted at the Hilton and in the Week 1 college football lines now available at the Stratosphere.

Of the 30 teams on the board at the Hilton, Notre Dame and Oklahoma have the highest totals attached to them, at 10 1/2 victories. In each case, bettors pay a premium to play the "under:" minus-150 (risk $1.50 to win $1) on the Sooners, minus-200 on the Irish. Ohio State is listed at 10 wins, minus-120 on the over and even money on the under.

The Stratosphere, which has lines up for the entire first weekend of college football (Aug. 31-Sept. 4), has Oklahoma a 27-point favorite against Alabama-Birmingham, Ohio State an 18-point favorite against Northern Illinois, and Notre Dame an eight-point favorite at Georgia Tech.

I wouldn’t be jaw-dropping shocked to see Georgia Tech upset the Irish and I would also keep an eye on long shot West Virginia.

2007 Fiesta Bowl BCS Championship Odds
from world sports exchange
Notre Dame 5-1
Ohio State 11-2
Oklahoma 13-2
Southern California 17-2
West Virginia 10-1
Texas 12-1LSU 12-1
Florida 12-1
Michigan 14-1
California 15-1
Miami Florida 16-1
Auburn 20-1
Florida State 28-1
Virginia Tech 30-1
Penn State 35-1
Louisville 40-1
Iowa 50-1
UCLA 50-1
Arizona State 60-1
Tennessee 60-1
Alabama 60-1
Georgia 60-1
Clemson 60-1
Nebraska 60-1
Oregon 66-1
Boston College 100-1
Arkansas 100-1
Maryland 100-1
South Carolina 100-1
TCU 100-1
Georgia Tech 100-1
Wisconsin 100-1
Michigan State 100-1
North Carolina State 100-1
Texas A&M 100-1
Texas Tech 100-1

Purdue 200-1
Virginia 200-1
Colorado 200-1
Arizona 200-1
Iowa State 300-1
Pittsburgh 300-1
Fresno State 300-1
Hawaii 500-1
Northwestern 500-1
Oregon State 500-1
UNLV 500-1
North Carolina 500-1
BYU 500-1

Monday, July 24, 2006

Saints are getting Bushwhacked

When the Houston Texans locked up David Carr with a contract extension and made it clear that they were not going to draft home town hero Vince Young everyone just assumed they were going to take Reggie Bush with the first overall pick in the NFL draft.

Even when Texans owner Bob McNair said that Houston was not going to take Bush everyone just assumed it was a negation tactic. Then on the eve of the draft the Texans announced that not only were they going to draft N.C. State defensive end Mario Williams but they had already reached a contract agreement with him. This dropped Bush into the laps of the New Orleans Saints who proudly took him with the number two pick.

Now, three months later the Saints and Bush are miles apart on a contract and Bush is threatening to sit out the entire 06 season and re-enter the 07 draft. Bush has the leverage to do it as well. He has already made over five million dollars in endorsements and is a long way from hurting for money.

It looks like the Texans actually did know what they were getting, or actually passing up, with Reggie Bush.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Big 12 Pre-Season Predictions/All-Conference Team

The Big 12 media votes are in and two Sooners have been selected as the pre-season offensive and defensive players of the year.

Junior running back gets tabbed as the pre-season offensive player of the year for the second consecutive season and senior linebacker Rufus Alexander was named pre-season defensive player of the year.

The Sooners were also picked by the media to win the Big 12 South by the media for the 5th time in the last six years. The Sooners received 23 first place votes, Texas was second with 5 first place votes.

2006 Preseason All-Big 12 Football Team (Media Vote)
Offensive Player of the Year:

Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma (RB, 6-2, 210, Jr/2L, Palestine, Texas)
Defensive Player of the Year:
Rufus Alexander, Oklahoma (LB, 6-1, 231, Sr/3L, Baton Rouge, La.)
Newcomer of the Year:
Sergio Kindle, Texas (LB, 6-4, 225, Fr, Dallas, Texas)

Pos Name School Ht Wt Cl/Exp
WR Todd Blythe Iowa State 6-5 210 Jr/2L
TE Martin Rucker Missouri 6-5 245 Jr/2L
OL Justin Blalock Texas 6-4 329 Sr/3L
OL Manuel Ramirez Texas Tech 6-4 339 Sr/3L
C Mark Fenton Colorado 6-4 295 Sr/3L
OL Kasey Studdard Texas 6-3 305 Sr/3L
OL Corey Hilliard Oklahoma State 6-5 310 Sr/3L
WR Jarrett Hicks Texas Tech 6-3 210 Sr/3L
QB Bret Meyer Iowa State 6-3 208 Jr/2L
RB Adrian Peterson Oklahoma 6-2 218 Jr/2L
RB Jamaal Charles Texas 6-1 190 So/1L
PK Mason Crosby Colorado 6-2 210 Sr/3L
KR DeAndre Jackson Iowa State 6-0 192 Sr/3L

DL Adam Carriker Nebraska 6-6 280 Sr/3L
DL Tim Crowder Texas 6-4 270 Sr/3L
DL Frank Okam Texas 6-5 315 Jr/2L
DL Brent Curvey Iowa State 6-0 295 Sr/3L
LB Rufus Alexander Oklahoma 6-1 231 Sr/2L
LB Thaddaeus Washington Colorado 5-11 240 Sr/3L
LB Corey McKeon Nebraska 6-1 225 Jr/1L
DB Michael Griffin Texas 6-0 205 Sr/3L
DB DeAndre Jackson Iowa State 6-0 192 Sr/3L
DB David Overstreet Missouri 6-0 210 Sr/3L
DB Aqib Talib Kansas 6-2 180 So/1L
P Daniel Sepulveda Baylor 6-3 227 Sr/3L
PR Terrence Nunn Nebraska 6-0 185 Jr/2L

2006 Big 12 Preseason Football Poll (Media Vote)

1. Nebraska (21)
2. Iowa State (5)
3. Colorado (2)
4. Kansas
5. Missouri
6. Kansas State
1. Oklahoma (23)
2. Texas (5)
3. Texas Tech
4. Texas A&M
5. Oklahoma State
6. Baylor
(first place votes in parentheses)

Leave your thoughts and comments in the Big 12 Pre-Season Predictions/All-Conference Team thread at the My Opinion on Sports Message Board.

Top 10 OU Running Backs of the Last 10 Years

More pre-season football talk. Using the same rules as for the quarterbacks, here are my top 10 Oklahoma running backs from the past ten years.

1. Adrian Peterson (2004 – present) – In two seasons at OU Peterson has rushed for 3,029 yards and needs only 1,090 yards to become the all-time leading rusher at OU. Barring serious injury he will leave Oklahoma, most likely after this season, as the best running back to ever play on Owen Field.

2. Quentin Griffin (1999 – 2002) – Who can forget his six touchdown performance against Texas? A dangerous back who could burn you running the ball or by catching it he scored the only touchdown in the 2000 Orange Bowl victory over Florida State.

3. De’Mond Parker (1996 - 1999) – Think about this for a minute. If Parker stays for his senior season (99) Quentin Griffin doesn’t burn his redshirt that year and is at OU and plays in the 2003 Sugar Bowl against LSU.

Parker rushed for 3,403 yards at OU in three seasons and provided many highlights during a dark period for the Sooner Nation.

4. James Allen (1993-1996) – Allen provided a memorable moment by rushing for over 100 yards in the second half of the OU/Texas game and scoring the winning touchdown in overtime. It was the biggest win of John Blake’s career.

5. Kejuan Jones (2002 – 2005) – Maybe overvalued but definitely underappreciated Jones provided spark and leadership on some very good Sooner teams.

6. Renaldo Works (2000 – 2003) – Almost single handedly beat Alabama in 2002 and provided Sooner fans with enough highlights in that one game to create his legacy.

7. Donta Hickson (2002 – 2005) – Good speed but had trouble keeping the ball and spent more time in the doghouse than most players could stand.

8. Jacob Gutierrez (2003 – present) – Has become a crowd favorite but will get lost on the depth chart behind Peterson and Patrick.

9. Allen Patrick (2005 – present) – Forced to switch from defensive back to running back because of injuries to the position Patrick showed flashes in 2005 of being a more than solid back.

10. J.D. Runnels (2002 – 2005) – The only fullback to make the list Runnels was a punishing blocker and had the ability to beat a team running or receiving.

Top 10 quarterbacks.

Mariners Walk-Off With 2 of 3 from Boston

After dropping their first game 9-4 to the Boston Red Sox Friday night the Seattle Mariners came back to win their first three game series this month. A 5-2 win over the Red Sox on Saturday set up Sunday’s rubber match and another huge moment for Richie Sexson.

After Mariners’ closer J.J. Putz gave up a game tying homerun in the top of the 9th inning to Jason Varitek Richie Sexon left off the bottom of the 9th with a game ending walk-off homerun and a 9-8 Seattle win.

While the Mariners were taking two of three from the Red Sox the Athletics lost two of three from the Tigers allowing Seattle to catch up a game in the standings. Still in last place the Mariners are only four games back in a division that is wide open. Oakland sits in first but Texas and LA are both within a game of the Athletics with Seattle sitting four games out.

Seattle must win two of three or sweep their series against Toronto to pull closer to the division lead before traveling to Cleveland for a weekend series. It’s still too early to say that all hope is lost but losing this Toronto series would make hope of winning the division very bleak.

AL West Standings
W L Pct GB
Oakland 51 47 .520 --
Texas 51 48 .515 0.5
LA Angels 50 48 .510 1.0
Seattle 47 51 .480 4.0

Friday, July 21, 2006

Weekend Blog Explosion Contest

Okay it’s once again time for the weekend Blog Explosion contest. Here’s how it works. Just go to the My Opinion on Sports Forum and start a sports thread, you also must leave a comment on an existing thread as well, and the thread with the most comments on Monday morning will win 50 Credits. It’s that simple!

More Proof that Ronnie Brown is the Man

George Winkler, fantasy football expert stated on Sporting that running back Ronnie Brown is the highest rated fantasy player on the Miami Dolphins roster. Why shouldn’t he be? Miami is about to put their most potent offense on the field since the days of Dan Marino.

Daunte Culpepper is highest profile quarterback to lead the Miami attack since the legend himself walked off the field for the last time in 1999. Culpepper will have plenty of playmakers (Chris Chambers, Marty Booker, Randy McMichael to name a few) to distribute the ball to and none will benefit more than Ronnie Brown.

With a renewed air attack Chris Chambers will be going deep, Marty Booker and Randy McMichael pose match-up problems in the short passing game and Ronnie Brown will be running all over the place.

Not only will Brown have the support of a legitimate passing attack but the banishment of Ricky Williams to football north of the border allows Brown another opportunity he didn’t get last season, the full load as the feature back. More carries will add up to more yards and a sense of leadership amongst his team. No doubt this is Culpepper’s team now but Brown is first mate and the work horse.

More than Daunte’s knee the Dolphins’ season rest on Ronnie Brown’s shoulders. Carrying the team in a game of field possession, protecting the lead, pounding down the defense or fighting for a first down on third and short will be Brown’s job description this season. It’s a job that can’t be taken lightly if Miami wants to reach the play-offs.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Top 10 OU QB’s of the Last 10 Years

College football season is so close it seems like time is standing still to me. In my anticipation I find myself reading one review after another and checking all the blogs to see what they are saying about the upcoming season.

In order to help time pass I thought over the next several weeks I would list my top players at each position over the past ten seasons for the Sooners. Here is the only stipulation to be on the list. You must have actually played a down of football for the Sooners. It doesn’t matter how highly recruited you were or are you must have actually made it on the field or you don’t count. Are you listening Brent Rawls?

Here are the Top 10 Sooner QB’s of the last 10 years. Feel free to add your own list if you are not a Sooner fan.

1. Jason White (1999-2004) – That was easy! In his full two years as a Sooner starter White eclipsed over 7,000 yards passing and 75 touchdowns. He led the Sooners to back-to-back undefeated regular season games as well as Big 12 Championship games and BCS Championship games. He also took home the 2003 Heisman Trophy.

2. Josh Heupel (1999-2000) – Heupel could be known as the savior of OU football. He led the team back to mediocrity in 1999 earning a birth in the Independence Bowl and then to national prominence in 2000 with the upset of Florida State in the Orange Bowl to claim Oklahoma’s seventh national championship.

3. Nate Hybl (2000-2002) – Hybl led the Sooners to the Big 12 Championship in 2002 and was the Rose Bowl MVP that same year in Oklahoma’s 34-14 romp over Washington State. He finished his career 20-3 as a starter.

4. Patrick Fletcher (1998-2000) – A back-up the majority of his career Fletcher became the inspirational leader and the team spokesperson for the 2000 national championship team. He also became one of the most dangerous kick holder in college football by frequently being the trigger man on fake field goals and extra points.

5. Rhett Bomar (2004-Present) – Still very early in his career Bomar could move way up this list over the next three years. Quite possibly the most physically gifted QB on this list Bomar shook off a bad start to his first season to guide Oklahoma to win six of their final seven games including a victory in the Holiday Bowl over the #5 ranked Oregon Ducks. The future should be bright for Bomar.

6. Paul Thompson (2002 – Present) – A career back-up, now moved to wide receiver, Thompson’s best moments came in mop-up duty particularly in the 77-0 thumping of Texas A&M in 2003. His worst moments came when he opened the 2005 season as the starter and was replaced by Rhett Bomar during the 17-10 loss to TCU.

7. Eric Moore (1995-1996) – Maybe one of the most humble people you will ever meet Moore was in the wrong place at the wrong time his entire OU career. He was one of the key players in John Blake’s QB controversy.

8. Brandon Daniels (1996-1999) – Sooner fans remember when Daniels, part two of Blake’s QB controversy, was supposed to bring the wishbone back to Owen Field but it was a failed experiment to say the least. He is better known as a kick returner/wide receiver during Bob Stoops first season in 1999.

9. Tommy Grady (2003-2004) – Grady is best known for finishing out OU’s blow-out loss to USC in the 2005 Orange Bowl and for flunking out of the three man race to be the incumbent to Jason White.

10. Justin Fuente (1996-1997) – Fuente, part three of Blake’s QB controversy, was supposed to be Josh Heupel only three year’s earlier. The only problem was that he had John Blake coaching him instead of Bob Stoops. He passed for almost 3,500 yards and 27 touchdowns for Murray St. in 1999.

Honorable Mention: Jake Sills (1998)

At Least They Didn’t Get Swept

The Mariners were finally able to hold on to a win for a change by beating the Yankees 3-2 on Wednesday afternoon. They end the three game series going 1-2 against the Bronx Bombers and now come home to begin a three game series with the Red Sox beginning on Friday.

The Rangers and the A’s each won as well meaning that the Mariners didn’t gain any ground on the lead in the AL West. They still sit in last place only five games back.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The NBA's Future in OKC

The New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets were an amazing success in Oklahoma City last season. Despite moving from last to eleventh in league attendance, and making money for the first time in who knows how long, Hornets owner George Shinn and NBA Commissioner David Stern have remained solid on the Hornets returning to the Big Easy.

Now a new interesting twist has developed in Oklahoma City’s NBA odyssey. An investment group from Oklahoma City has purchased the Seattle Super Sonics for $350 million. Here is what this means;

George Shinn is losing his cash cow. You’ve been fun to watch Chris Paul but it looks like Ray Allen is coming to town. This same investment group tried to by a majority stake in the Hornets earlier this year but was rejected by Shinn who instead is going to move the team back to a half empty arena.

Instead the Sonics will be calling Oklahoma City home after the upcoming NBA season. It’s easy to see once you put the facts together. Consider this;

Clay Bennett, the president of Oklahoma City investment firm Dorchester Capital, was vital to the city's effort to bring the Hornets to the city. He led a group of investors who provided one-third of a $10 million promise to the Hornets if they did not meet or surpass their revenue from 2004-05 by at least 5 percent last season.

"Owning an NBA franchise and a world-class facility in this market is a good place to be," Bennett said about the Sonics. "That said, as you know, I certainly hope that in time, Oklahoma City gets a team, and I think we will."

In February, upon the formation of his investor group in Oklahoma City, Bennett declared: "The bottom line is, we want a team for this market."

Bennett said the new ownership group has a "12-month commitment" to Seattle, in which it will attempt to negotiate for a new arena. He said the group was "sincere" but would evaluate its other options if an agreement for a new arena wasn't reached in that time frame.

Keep in mind that the Sonics were sold because they have been trying for the past two years to reach an agreement on a new arena but were miserably unsuccessful. Bennett nor anyone else in his group has any ties in the state of Washington. Oh yeah and guess what else happens in 12 months? You guessed it! The agreement between the Hornets and Oklahoma City runs out.

Final nail in the coffin for Seattle, "I think everything's on the table after that year, and if we run out of all our options, I'd love to have the team in Oklahoma City," Bennett said. All is not lost for the Emerald City however. Shinn will be looking for a place to move the Hornets in a few years.

What Else Could Go Wrong?

The Mariners took a lead into the 9th inning against the Yankees before getting hosed by a bogus call and then getting dumped on, literally.

Mariners second baseman Jose Lopez made a sliding grab of Jorge Posada's grounder on the slick outfield grass, found a firm grip and threw a strike to first. But umpire Mike Reilly called Posada safe -- replays clearly showed he was out -- leaving runners at the corners.

The Mariners screamed in protest, and a white towel came sailing out of Seattle's dugout. Manager Mike Hargrove charged out to argue and was quickly ejected by Reilly.

Damon followed with a sacrifice fly that tied it at 4 giving JJ Putz's his third blown save in 20 chances. Next came a rain delay followed by extra innings. Melky Cabrera would homer to lead off the 11th inning and complete the New York Yankees rally for a 5-4 win.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Wasted Opportunity

That’s the only way to describe the Mariners game against the New York Yankees on Monday night. The 9th inning pretty much summed up the way most of the game went for Seattle.

Trailing 2-4 Yankees closer Mariano Rivera gave up a double and a single to start the ninth, putting runners at the corners. Then he struck out pinch-hitter Eduardo Perez, got Ichiro Suzuki on a popup and fanned Willie Bloomquist to finish off the Mariners.

"We had our chances," manager Mike Hargrove said. "We made three errors and they scored three runs off one of them. They made four errors and we scored one run off them. All their runs came with two outs. We just didn't get the big hit."

The silver lining in all of this is that the Rangers and Athletics both lost as well so Seattle is still just four games back. A-Rod also hurt one of million dollar toes and may not play Tuesday night adding to an injury list that already includes Gary Sheffield, Hideki Matsui and Robinson Cano. Maybe Seattle can steal one!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Notre Dame Q&A with Eric Hansen

We’re stepping out of the Big 12 for a college football Q&A. Eric Hansen of the South Bend Tribune stopped by for a short Notre Dame football Q&A.

My Opinion on Sports: Brady Quinn is getting a lot of Heisman publicity, and rightfully so, who are your top three candidates? If they all stay healthy who wins it?

Eric Hansen: I go into every season with an open mind. If I was pressed to pick, I would say Quinn, Adrian Peterson, Teddy Ginn Jr.

My Opinion on Sports: Athlon is picking Oklahoma and Notre Dame to play for the BCS National Championship. What are your thoughts on that?

Eric Hansen: I think that's a reasonable guess. I think every team is flawed this season. That being said, two of the best coaches in the country -- Weis and Stoops -- figure to be able to camouflage their flaws the best.

My Opinion on Sports: The Irish had a great offense last season. Other than Quinn who is going to lead the offensive charge this season?

Eric Hansen: The easier question is who isn't? Jeff Samardzija, Rhema McKnight, Darius Walker and a freshman named Konrad Reuland are players to watch. Ryan Harris is the best of a strong group of offensive linemen.

My Opinion on Sports: What have the Irish done to improve their defense from last season?

Eric Hansen: Weis spent some time with Carolina Panthers coach John Fox and his staff, they've tweaked the scheme, they're more experienced and they've recruited some good speed.

My Opinion on Sports: Do you ever see Notre Dame joining a conference or will they forever remain an independent?

Eric Hansen: Never say never, but unless the Big East -- where most of their sports play -- implodes, they aren't going anywhere.

My Opinion on Sports: Give us your pre-season Top 10.

Eric Hansen: 1. Ohio State, 2. Notre Dame, 3. Oklahoma, 4. West Virginia, 6. Auburn, 7. Texas, 8. USC, 9. LSU, 10. Georgia

Thanks a lot for your time Eric. I really appreciate it. You can read more of Eric Hansen in the sports section of the South Bend Tribune.

Discuss Eric’s interview and thoughts on the college football season on the Eric Hansen thread at the My Opinion on Sports Forum.

Mariners Drop to Last

The second half of the season hasn’t started off the way Mariners fans had hoped it would. Seattle lost two of three games to the Toronto Blue Jays. Both games were lost in extra innings but a loss is a loss and the Mariners are once again in last place.

Being the eternal optimist Seattle is only four games out but being the pessimist the Mariners are in New York next for a three game series before coming home to host the Red Sox. Here’s to hoping the rest of the AL West struggles this week!

Sunday, July 09, 2006


It’s vacation time for me and my family so you are going to have to entertain yourselves this week at My Opinion on Sports. How do you do that? It’s easy you just go to the forum. Get a good sports debate going or participate in one of the active threads.

Active threads on the message board;

Kerry Wood’s Future

Can Jose Canseco come back

The “Not a Sport” List

All Decade Team

Only six years into the new decade a panel of experts, known as the CBS Sportsline college football analysts have come up with the All-Decade team and here’s the best part eight Sooners were named.

Four Sooners were named to the first team.

OL Jammal Brown, Oklahoma: Brown allowed only one sack in two seasons and earned the Outland Trophy in 2004.

LB Rocky Calmus, Oklahoma: One of the main players who helped Oklahoma return to prominence and guided a defense that won the national title in 2000. He was a two-time All-American (2000-01) and won the Butkus Award in '01 with 117 tackles. In 2000, he was finalist for the Butkus while winning Big 12 defensive player of the year.

S Roy Williams, Oklahoma: Like Reed, he could take over a game in a heartbeat (remember the leap over the line, forcing Chris Simms to throw an interception in '01?). He was a unanimous All-American in '01, a two-time All-Big 12 selection and winner of the Thorpe and Nagurski awards. He also holds the school record with 47 pass deflections.

KR Antonio Perkins, Oklahoma: He was a good defensive back, but an excellent returner. In 47 career games, he set school career records with 113 punt returns for 1,441 yards (12.8 avg) and eight TDs. Nobody will ever forget his 277 punt-return yards against UCLA in '03, setting an NCAA Division I-A record.

Four more were named to the second team.

QB Jason White

DL Tommie Harris

DB Derrick Strait

Coach Bob Stoops

Here is the complete list of the All-Decade team.

Roller Coaster Ride

Want to know how bad the AL West is? The Seattle Mariners have only won three of their last ten games including a six game losing streak that ended on Sunday with a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers and yet they are only 2.5 games back.

The Mariners up and down season is half-way over and West is still the most wide open division in the American League. As it stands now Seattle could move from last place to first in just a weekend. Another month like June could propel the Mariners into a comfortable lead. The problem is going to be unsteady bats and up and down streaks.

The Mariners must hit consistently and have more ups than downs during the second half of the season. I still say that at this point it’s the Mariners division to lose.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Win 50 B.E. Credits

I usually take the weekends off from blogging but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy My Opinion on Sports on the weekend. The My Opinion on Sports Forum is up and running. The forum is a message board where you, the sports fan, can start a topic of your choice or add to an existing topic.

I will give 50 Blog Explosion credits to the person who starts a sports thread and gets the most comments over the weekend. It's that simple!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Just Like Wrestling, Only Real

I have to admit, I used to like professional wrestling! I remember Ted Dibiase before he was the Million Dollar Man, and his side-kick Dr. Death Steve Williams. I remember when Skandar Akbar was the worst villain around. I remember when I found out it was all fake!

All those years I had enjoyed the hatred and the rivalries and it turns out these guys were buddies when the cameras were turned off, needless to say that I was a disappointed 12-year-old.

Now something better has come along! Guys who really hate each other and throw elbows, knees and fist, they body slam, choke and kick like the Karate Kid. And here’s the best part, it’s all real.

I first got hooked on UFC by watching the reality show on the Spike channel now I watch the fights it every opportunity I get. Two guys, in peak physical condition, talk smack, train, talk more smack and then beat each other to a pulp. It’s even more pure than boxing!

I’m paying money Saturday night to watch a fight for the first time since Tyson bit Holyfield’s ear off but it won’t be a corrupt boxing match or a fake wrestling match I’m watching. It’s the real deal, Ken Shamrock vs. Tito Ortiz in "Bitter Rivals" the grudge match!

I’m taking Ortiz to win. Shamrock is past his prime but feels like Ortiz, and the whole world for that matter, owes him something because he was one of the UFC pioneers. Regardless it should be a good fight. Both guys hate each other and make no bones about it. They would be satisfied to put one another in the hospital. Man, I feel like a kid again.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

What Happened?

As June was coming to a close the Mariners were above .500, in second place in the division and just a single game back from Oakland for first place. Now six days into the month of July they have lost four in a row, are a game under.500 and are now 2.5 games back. With the 2006 “Miracle Team” Detroit Tigers coming to town, the Mariners had better pull themselves back together.

As for Carl Everett and skipper Mike Hargrove getting into a shouting match, who cares? Name a major league manager who hasn’t ticked off one of his players or vice versa. All I ask, Carl, is that you think of the team before you go and act stupid again like you did Wednesday night and got tossed for it.

Oh yeah, and let’s work on those shut-outs. I mean not getting them! If allowing their first three game sweep of the season wasn’t embarrassing enough it came on the Mariners league leading 10th shut-out of the season.

There my little rant is over now go beat the Tigers!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Longhorn Q&A with Alan Trubow

Alan Trubow, of the Austin American Statesman, is the latest member of the media to stop by for a Big 12 football chat. The defending national champions, Texas Longhorns, are the subject of today’s Q&A.

My Opinion on Sports: Mack Brown shook a lot of monkeys off his back last season by winning the Big 12 and the National Championship. Has his coaching philosophy changed any over the past few years?

Alan Trubow: I don't think his coaching philosophy changed much at all. Mack had Vince Young. He had his most talented team since becoming a head coach. The Big 12 was way down, and Oklahoma was down. So everything came together. Did Mack do anything differently? Not in my opinion. For that reason, I don't really think the monkey is off Mack's back.

Beat Oklahoma this year, without VY, without the wide disparity in talent between the teams, and then I'll believe that Mack Brown is the best coach in the Big 12. Remember, Lloyd Carr won a championship at Michigan too, how's he done since then? One year doesn't make or break a coach. And Mack says the same thing.

My Opinion on Sports: Do you feel like Vince Young deserved the Heisman over Reggie Bush?

Alan Trubow: Depends on when you asked me. There were two things I thought last year. Right from the beginning, I thought Texas was the best team in the country — and I had just moved from the Midwest, so it wasn't because I was drinking the orange Kool-Aid. I also thought Vince Young was the best player in the country. However, when it was Heisman time, I was arguing for Reggie Bush. Looking back, it probably was the wrong person to argue for. How's that for walking the fence?

My Opinion on Sports: Oklahoma suffered through the growing pains of a freshman quarterback last season. How do you think it will affect the Longhorns this season?

Alan Trubow: The Longhorns will surround their rookie QBs with more talent this year than Oklahoma did last year. First of all, the UT running game will be better than Oklahoma's was after Peterson went down. Plus, UT's offensive line should give Colt McCoy or Jevan Snead plenty of time to throw. That being said, there are going to be some growing pains. Also, Oklahoma's season wasn't as bad as everybody made it out to be last season. Yes, they struggled early. But that team was rolling at the end of the year.

My Opinion on Sports: Two of the biggest games on the schedule for the Longhorns are the Ohio State and Oklahoma games. Share you thoughts on how you see those games turning out.

Alan Trubow: Here's my prediction. The Longhorns beat Ohio State and Oklahoma — I hope there's a way to delete this prediction down the road — and the Longhorns lose a game or two they shouldn't. I'm thinking Texas Tech or Nebraska.

Why do the Longhorns beat Ohio State? Because Texas' weakness (inexperienced quarterbacks) will match up well against Ohio State's inexperience, it's defense. Remember, the Buckeyes lost almost all of their defensive starters. I think that bodes well for Texas' running game, which should be explosive.

As for why the Longhorns will beat Oklahoma, just call it a hunch. Mack Brown needs to beat the Sooners again. Seriously. Not that Mack's job is ever going to come close to being in jeopardy over the next five-plus years, but if he starts losing to OU again, there will be talk about how he can't win the big one without Vince.

My Opinion on Sports: Sum up how you see the Big 12 North and South divisions finishing this season.

Alan Trubow: I think the Big 12 South goes to either Texas or OU. Surprised? I know, there's nothing earth shattering about those picks, but it's hard to see anybody else really competing with those two right now. You're talking about two preseason top fives.

As for the North. Well, does it really matter? No, really ... does it? Unless Nebraska returns to its mid-90s form, should we even be wasting time talking about this division? It's been brutal. Just to make a pick, I'll go with Nebraska. And they'll even have a winning record to go along with it.

My Opinion on Sports: Who wins the 2006 Big 12 Championship?

Alan Trubow: I'll go with Texas. But they won't be getting back to the national championship game.

Thanks Alan for stopping by and chatting. You can read more from Alan at the Austin American Statesman.

What did you think of Alan’s comments? Add your own opinions on the Big 12 and the Texas Longhorns in the Alan Trubow Thread on the My Opinion on Sports Message Board.

12 Year Old Pimps Jarrett’s Ride

The UPS Store hosted the “Design Dale’s Ride” coloring contest and invited kids to design the special paint scheme for Dale Jarrett’s #88 The UPS Store/Toys for Tots Ford. Jarrett will race the winning design on Sunday, November 5, 2006, at Texas Motor Speedway to kick-off The UPS Store’s holiday season – and its Toys for Tots donation drive.

Twelve-year-old Annabelle Huffman from Napa, CA took the “championship cup” in the coloring contest. The contest winner was determined by online voting and a judging panel representing The UPS Store, UPS Racing and Dale Jarrett, Inc.

As part of her prize package, Annabelle received a trip to the Daytona International Speedway for the unveiling of the car, a custom-fit, autographed racing suit to match the one Dale will wear, and a Crayola® prize pack including Crayola Color Explosion™, Crayola Twistables™ and Crayola Erasable Markers, as well as a hometown viewing party to watch the car race on Nov. 5 at Texas Motor Speedway. Additionally, her school will receive 10,000 free copies from The UPS Store along with an art supplies package for the art department, courtesy of Crayola.

Click images to enlarge.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Your Opinion?

Head to the message board and start your own sports conversation. I’ll give 50 BE credits to the sports thread that has the most replies on Monday morning. What are you waiting for? Go now!