Who says that there can’t be football excitement even with the NFL player lockout happening? With the NFL Draft a mere two weeks away, here is a preview of the top skill players and dark horses for the QB, RB, and WR positions. Included will be a top three for each of these positions, and one dark horse.

QUARTERBACKS

  1. CAM NEWTON- AUBURN UNIVERSITY. Regardless of what you think of his antics (or should I say, his father’s antics) this past season, the guy is an absolute stud. He came from a Junior College and led the Tigers to a BCS National Championship. He had 50 total touchdowns and 4,327 total yards passing and rushing the ball. He is the absolute definition of a “dynamic player.” It will be interesting to see who drafts him. We will see if the Panthers are dedicated to the development of Jimmy Clausen or not.
  2. BLAINE GABBERT- MISSOURI UNIVERSITY. Pro scouts are drooling over the potential of Gabbert, another player that was largely unknown before the season. In a draft where there isn’t a clear best quarterback prospect, Gabbert and Newton battle it out as the best prospects. Gabbert will still have to adjust to a pro style system, and if the Panthers take Newton, expect the Bengals to take Gabbert with the 4th overall pick.
  3. JAKE LOCKER- UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON. Talk about a turnaround a player could have in one season. Last year, Locker had scouts drooling with his potential and he would have likely been a top 5 pick. This year, scouts are not as impressed with Locker who struggled with consistency for the Huskies this past season. Locker didn’t show the leadership quality that he showed in his 2009 campaign, and his draft position will likely suffer from that. Expect him to be a late first round, early second round selection.

DARK HORSE– CHRISTIAN PONDER- FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY. Ponder put together a very nice season for the Seminoles this past season, but was plagued by injuries for most of the season. There wasn’t one single game he played where he didn’t have at least one injury. Some scouts had him as a first round pick before the season, but he will likely be an early second round selection in this draft. He has the ability to run, and is a very accurate passer, but doesn’t have the ability to throw the long ball.

RUNNING BACKS

  1. MARK INGRAM- UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA. Ingram is the clear-cut best running back in this draft. The only thing that hurts him, is that not many teams need a running back in this draft. One season after winning the Heisman Trophy, Ingram will likely be a mid first round selection. His ability to bust into the open field and evade tackles will help any team. I expect him to go to the Dolphins with the 15th overall pick.
  2. MIKEL LESHOURE- UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS. Leshoure had a huge year for the Fighting Illini. He is one of the few running backs in this class that can carry a big workload, but he will likely only be a second string player for most of his career. I expect him to go early in the second round, possibly going to the Patriots.
  3. DEMARCO MURRAY- OKLAHOMA UNIVERSITY. If players were able to enter the draft after their freshman seasons, Murray would have likely been a top 5 pick in the 2008 draft. However that is not the case, and his draft stock has since fallen drastically. With this running back draft class being very weak, I expect Murray to be a mid second rounder.

DARK HORSE- KENDALL HUNGER- OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY. Hunter was a very unknown prospect after his freshman season, but that quickly changed. Even though he is a lot smaller than scouts would like to see, he still offers a very unique ability to be far more elusive than his opposition. He really reminds me of Darren Sproles of the Chargers. I expect him to be a 4th or 5th round selection and he will make an NFL roster.

WIDE RECEIVERS

  1. A.J. GREEN- UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA. The Georgia Junior was suspended for the first four games of the season, but impressed scouts with the rest of his season. Green is an absolute physical specimen. He is 6’4″ and can run a 4.3 40 yard dash. Green reminds scouts of Andre Johnson of the Texans, one of the best players in the league. I expect Green to be picked by the Browns with the 6th overall pick.
  2. JULIO JONES- UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA.  Jones has had a very productive three years for the Crimson Tide. He has not been blessed with the greatest quarterbacks and played for a team that loves to run, but has still put up great numbers. He is a very viable deep threat and can run great routes. I expect him to be the 10th overall pick when the Redskins select him.
  3. RANDALL COBB- UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY. Cobb was one of the most elusive players in college football last year, but played football at a basketball school and did not get the recognition he deserved. Cobb was an All-American as a kick returner, and will likely be a starter at that position on any NFL team he goes to. He can also run great routes and is extremely fast. I expect him to go to the Bengals with the 3rd pick in the second round.

DARK HORSE- TANDON DOSS– INDIANA UNIVERSITY. You can call me a homer, but Doss really does have great pro potential. He put up great numbers for the Hoosiers, and is a great route runner. He can also be used as a special team kick returner. Although Doss isn’t the fastest player, he is great at running after he catches the ball. He has great hands and will be a great addition to any team.

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Social Media Day

Posted: April 17, 2011 by drunkonsports in Uncategorized

It has already been a few days since I took part in the planning and managing of the first ever IU Athletics Social Media Day and I am still amazed at what we pulled off.

Problems started piling up from the get-go. We didn’t have the right equipment, we were having trouble with scheduling, and there were countless issues with communication on every level. But somehow we did it. My day started around 9am setting up equipment and making sure everything worked and it turned into a day that I will never forget. It was probably the longest day of work I have ever put in on anything in my life. When I got home that night, I just sat there and took it all in. A few professors and friends of mine told me they were proud of what I accomplished and that made it all worth it. I was humbled.

Words can’t really describe what we put together. I took pictures and video to remember it, but it was really more than that. There were so many pieces.

We had the website, we had Jeremy Gray (who is a huge asset for this university), and we had our great baseball and softball programs. Then we were lucky enough to have people like myself who wanted this to work. We had the backing of the athletic department and I hope we did them proud.


I could write on this all day and I would but I’m working on a 5pm deadline here on this blog post, so I will wrap it up and probably throw some pictures on here real fast to make it look more exciting.

Its not my most exciting blog post, but I want to make a Courtney-Cronin-esque shout-out and say this class has been a blast to be a part of. One of the best I’ve taken in my time at IU.

Red Sox Struggling Out of the Gates

Posted: April 17, 2011 by Josh Tannenbaum in Uncategorized

The Boston Red Sox seemed to be the heavy favorite to win the World Series at the beginning of the MLB season. The tables have turned slightly though, after a 3-10 start. Through 13 games, the Sox have had an anemic offense and a destructive pitching staff that has allowed over 6 runs per game. Despite good pitching from veteran Josh Beckett, the other members of the rotation are not getting the job done. Clay Buchholz, who recently signed an extension with the club, has been lit up to the tune of a 6.60 ERA and an 0-2 record through 3 starts. The always inconsistent Daisuke Matsuzaka is also 0-2, with a 12.86 ERA, and John Lackey is 1-1 with a 15.58 ERA. The pitching is what everyone believed separated the Red Sox from the Yankees, but now with doubts surrounding the rotation, what was previously believed is now not so certain.

Another offseason move that made the Sox favorites was the acquisition of Carl Crawford, the all-star left fielder from the Tampa Bay Rays. But Crawford hasn’t hit in a Boston uniform yet. He is currently batting .137 with 3 runs scored, 1 RBI, and only 2 stolen bases. Crawford will, in all likelihood, bounce back, but the point is, in a division that is the most competitive in baseball, this slow start must be cut short as soon as possible for the Red Sox to compete with the Yankees, and 3 other talented teams that make up the AL East. It’s still early and not too much should be made of Crawford or Kevin Youkilis’ slow starts, but the pitching is a real concern and if it is not figured out soon, Boston could be looking at another disappointing season. Boston is a big baseball town with a lot of history and pride, so back-to-back seasons missing the playoffs with the talent they possess is simply unacceptable.

25 PPG, 7.7 assists per game, 4.1 rebounds and countless charges led late in games this season, Derrick Rose has singlehandedly brought the Bulls back to prominence. The number one seed in the east. Who saw that one coming at the beginning of the season? Certainly not me. I thought the Heat had it locked up, with ease. The Bulls and mostly MVP Derrick Rose have taken the reigns in the east and look to continue their tough play throughout the playoffs. They will have to heavily rely on Rose though if they want a shot at the ship.

Every season that the Bulls have won 60+ games, they have won the championship. That’s a pretty impressive statistic and one that I don’t think is going to change this year. As good of a player as Rose is, he has a ton of talent around him. Guys like Luol Deng, Joakhim Noah, and Carlos Boozer make Derrick’s job that much easier. It’s easier to have an MVP type season when you have the players around you that Derrick has. He has guys on this team that know their role and they play it well (Lil Wayne lyric for you).

This years Bulls team reminds me a lot of the teams from when I was growing up. They have Derrick Rose acting as their Michael Jordan/Steve Kerr. He’ll do whatever it takes to win. That’s why I believe he should be the MVP. I have it as a mixture of Michael and Steve Kerr because Rose can shoot the ball fairly well and then quickly slice through the lane, get to the bucket and gets the shot up that he wants. Then they have Luol Deng doing his best Scottie Pippen impression averaging just over 17 PPG this season. In my opinion, Carlos Boozer plays a lot like a Dennis Rodman/Horace Grant duo. He can score, averaging 17.5 PPG as well as rebound averaging 9.6 rebounds per game.

I am not by any means a Bulls fans, but I have to admit that they’re a ton of fun to watch. They play with so much heart while riding their superhero Derrick Rose to the finish. Role players such as Kyle Korver, Keith Bogans, and Taj Gibson help the Bulls so much. I believe wholeheartedly that the Bulls will win the championship this season and I have to admit that I’ll be kind of let down if they don’t.

Derrick Rose may not be the MVP at the end of the season but he certainly should be. A lot of analysts say that Dwight Howard should be MVP. That’s ridiculous. Any player that can manage to get suspended for having too many technical fouls should NEVER be in the MVP discussion. As you ponder who you think should be MVP, check out this video below of Derrick Rose highlights. It’s guaranteed to change your mind if you’re not a Derrick Rose believer already.

What’s going on this weekend? The Little 500? Yes, but the NBA playoffs are finally starting on April 16th and many NBA fans are looking forward to this years playoffs. Even this years regular season was interesting as the Lakers didn’t know the seeding until they beat the Kings in OT on their last regular season game to clinch second seed in the West. Alright, to get to the point, these are the 2011 playoff first round match ups:

EAST

#1 Chicago Bulls VS #8 Indiana Pacers

The Bulls lead the regular season series by 3-1 and I feel the same way many Bulls fan feel. There is no chance the Pacers are going to beat the Bulls in a four game series and I believe the Pacers might get lucky and steal one game away from them. The Pacers offensive is just not good enough against the Bulls defensive and they have no answer to guard Derrick Rose.

Prediction: 4-1 Chicago Bulls

#2 Miami Heat VS #7 Philadelphia 76ers

The Heat lead the regular season series by 3-0 and even the 76ers have been playing great as a team, I still can’t imagine 76ers beating the Heat in the first round. There is no way they can stop LeBron James, Chris Bosh, AND Dwayne Wade. As above, 76ers might be lucky get steal one game.

Prediction: 4-1 Miami heat

#3 Boston Celtics VS #6 New York Knicks

The Celtics swept the Knicks during the regular season by 4-0 but I believe the playoffs will be different. Even though the Knicks haven’t win a single game against the C’s I think this would be an interesting series. Carmleo Anthony and Amare will make a difference and give a hard time to the Celtics defensively and you can’t leave out Mr. Big Shot Chauncey Billups.

Prediction: 4-3 Boston Celtics

#4 Orlando Magics VS #5 Atlanta Hawks

Surprinsgly, the Hawks lead the regular season series by 3-1 but the playoffs would be definitely different. The Magics are hungry for a championship and so is Dwight Howard. And it is scary when Dwight Howard steps up offensively when you already witness what he does in defense.

Prediction: 4-2 Orlando Magics

WEST

#1 San Antonio Spurs VS #8 Memphis Grizzlies

The regular season series are tied 2-2 between these two teams and I would say I’m really impressed in how the Grizzlies are playing without their star player Rudy Gay. Even though the Grizzlies are the definite under dog, I believe this wouldn’t be a total domination series due to Zach Randolph’s offense, Tony Allen’s defense, and Marc Gasol’s presence down low.

Prediction: 4-2 San Antonio Spurs

#2 Los Angeles Lakers VS #7 New Orleans Hornets

The Lakers swept the Hornets during the regular season 4-0 and I believe this would repeat in the playoffs. Even though the Lakers are not playing like champions recently, the Lakers will be right back for the playoffs. The Hornets are missing their leading scorer David West and there is no chance the Hornets can match the Lakers big. I won’t even need to mention about Kobe Bryant.

Prediction: 4-0 LA Lakers

#3 Dallas Mavericks VS #6 Portland Trailblazers

The regular season series are tied between the two teams 2-2 and this would be another interesting series as the numbers behind these two teams don’t matter. Both of the teams are well coached, have talent at every position, but are probably one or two player off the championship caliber team. Dallas players better offense through Dirk but the Blazers play better defense.

Prediction: 4-3 Dallas Mavericks

#4 Oklahoma City Thunders VS #5 Denver Nuggets

The Thunders lead the regular season series by 3-1 but I believe this series will be interesting. The Nuggets have blossomed ever since Carmelo got traded and are getting the most from their talent. But the Thunders bring Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook from offense and Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins from defense to the table. This game could possible go to game seven but I believe the Thunders have too much to bring to the Nuggets.

Prediction: 4-2 Oklahoma City Thunders

Breaking Away

Posted: April 10, 2011 by justinhoosiers in Uncategorized

If you haven’t seen this movie and you’re a hoosier, see it. It’s well worth your time. Breaking Away is a movie, made in 1979, that is based off of Indiana’s annual Little 500 race. The story is based around a kid named Dave who recently has graduated from high school and doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life. Dave is really into everything Italian and his dad doesn’t really get it. An Italian bike racing team came in for the little 500 and Dave had some friends to see if he’d like to join their team. He is thrilled and they went on to become Cutters. After a heartbreaking loss their first year, could they come back strong the following spring?

Breaking Away has won many awards including 1979’s Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and is ranked 8th in America’s 100 top inspirational movies. The writer of the film was an Indiana alum named Steve Tesich.

Here’s the trailer for Breaking Away if you haven’t seen it.

I watched this movie on the crappy rainy Saturday we had and it was the best way I could think of to kick off little 5. This is truly the greatest college week of all time. Nothing like a good excuse to get hammered.

Happy Little 500 everybody! It’s that wonderful time of year that every IU student has been looking forward to. Welcome Week? Child’s play. Halloween? A mere afterthought. Winter Break? Pssh. This is the week where one school and community causes so much mayhem, that police more or less let the students run the town. This year will be just as crazy, if not more crazy than years past.The bike race is sure to be great as usual, but the concerts are what drives this event.

For some reason, almost every undergrad enjoys terrible rap music, so that is what the majority of the Little 5 concerts will have this year. “Highlighting” the concert field this year will be a concert on Tuesday that features Lil’ Wayne, Nicki Minaj and Rick Ross. Somehow, I was tricked into purchasing a ticket to this show, so I will have to prepare myself for three hours of awful music, by having a few choice beverages. Other artists that will be performing in Bloomington are:

  • Gucci Mane, a rapper that has a tattoo of an ice cream cone that says “BRRR” on his face.
  • Glowfest which features a poor man’s Girl Talk, with Pretty Lights and Chiddy Bang performing.
  • Wiz Khalifa, who has been to Bloomington before and is a stoner’s wet dream while performing
  • State Radio, the only free concert of Little 500. This group was surprisingly good, but nowhere near the caliber of past artists.

Gucci Mane: This is seriously the best we can do?

This is why I hate my generation. The Union Board is sponsoring the Lil’ Wayne concert, and they booked him

because he is “what the students want.” Crappy music may be what the students want, but real music fans want real music. We have had some great artists play at IU over the years. You cannot convince me that John Mellencamp wouldn’t show up for Little 500 if he was asked to. We’ve had the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Vampire Weekend, Wilco and other greats come here. I understand that students love rap music, but this is where the organizations sponsoring the shows should take action. Book socially conscious rappers such as Lupe Fiasco (who put on a great show two years ago,) Common, Talib Kweli or even Kid Cudi. These rappers are crowd pleasers as well as actual musicians. They don’t rap about guns, money or “hoes,” but offer actual messages and meaning in their songs.

Over the four years I have been here, there has been some terrible music played on Little 500 (Anybody remember Soulja Boy?) However, I have decided to not let the awful concerts ruin my good time. I will enjoy the atmosphere, the drunk people and the bike races. And I will enjoy all of this while listening to the Chili Peppers on my iPod.