K.C. Chiefs NFL Draft Recap

Heading into last season it looked like the AFC West would be one of the weaker divisions in the NFL, but once the league got going that was far from the case. The Kansas City Chiefs were one of the biggest surprises and they never really looked back after jumping out of the gate to a 3-0 start.

They won the division with a 10-6 record and made the playoffs with the NFL’s best rushing offense. The young defense wasn’t bad either and the Chiefs will probably be favored to win the division next season. However, they made an early exit in the playoffs after being humbled 30-7 by Baltimore in the wild card round.

The Chiefs have some fine players in Jamaal Charles, Dexter McCluster, Derrick Johnson, Javier Arenas, and Tamba Hali, but need a push from their draft picks to get over the hump and go further into the playoffs next season.

The club’s 2011 picks could be the answer they’re looking for as they landed a good mix of players with character, production and an up-side to them.

[Read more…]

Iowa’s Ricky Stanzi: Big Ten’s Best QB and MVP


The list of quarterbacks with true NFL prospects is somewhat low in the Big Ten right now, but Iowa’s Ricky Stanzi seems to have a lot of what is needed for those scouts.

He has size.  He is the best, pure-pocket passer in the league, leading the league in passing efficiency with a 180.3, good for second in the nation. On Saturday, the senior semifinalist for the O’Brien Award had a nearly perfect game, 11-15, 190 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs as the Hawkeyes gave Michigan State their first loss of the season. [Read more…]

#5 Michigan State-#18 Iowa: Brutally Honest Game Preview

msu-football

One thing I have always wanted to see in my lifetime is a season where Michigan State football is REALLY good. Not 1999’s 10-2, Citrus Bowl winning good, but actually a player on the national scene. Like they are in basketball. I also haven’t fulfilled my lifetime dream of singing a duet with a Muppet, but that’s another story.

Biggie “somehow your words just hypnotize me” Munn and Duffy Daugherty coached the East Lansing school to five national titles during a 15 year span (1951-1966). So they have history. Especially that 1966 team with their “KILL BUBBA KILL” chant, glorifying all-world defensive lineman Bubba Smith; probably the most iconic player in Spartan football history.

And this Saturday, State will play in the de facto 2010 Big Ten Championship game. Because if they win at Iowa, the undefeated season is there for the taking. Sure, they could get caught napping at home versus Purdue in a couple weeks, but it’s not likely. Basically, win and they’re eventually in. Time for MSU to “Push it to the limit. Limit!”

With the mess of the BCS b.s. on top of them, #5 Michigan State gets to the title game by running the table.

[Read more…]

Iowa’s Ricky Stanzi Named to National QB Award Semifinal List

stanzi

The Davey O’Brien Foundation announced today that Iowa senior quarterback Ricky Stanzi is one of 16 semifinalists for the 2010 Dave O’Brien National Quarterback Award. Robinson is joined by Big Ten signal callers Kirk Cousins (Michigan State), Denard Robinson (Michigan) and Terrelle Pryor (Ohio State) on the semifinalist list.

Stanzi (6-4, 230) also earned honorable mention Monday recognition for the third time from the College Football Performance Awards, as he was also recognized after leading Iowa to wins over Ball State and Michigan.  He completed 25-37 passes for 258 yards and three touchdowns against the Badgers, with no interceptions.  Stanzi has 16 touchdown passes and just two interceptions this season.

[Read more…]

Karl Klug: your under the radar Iowa Hawkeye

karl klug

Last season, the Iowa Hawkeyes may have been the least flashiest 9-0 team in BCS era history. A lot of their wins were Chloe Kardashian level ugly, and none of their talented players were truly household names. They had talent everywhere, just not at the highly-publicized skill positions. Their best overall players were linebackers and offensive linemen.

When I asked people to name Hawkeye players, and this was when they were nationally ranked in the top five, most people would say “Ricky Stanzi,” their starting quarterback who just wins, despite not actually being that good at what he does. Sure people in the industry like me knew all about Tyler Sash, Adrian Clayborn, Pat Angerer and A.J. Edds, but no other non-Iowa fans seemed to.

This year, things are different, much different. The Hawks won’t be able to (trite, shopworn, predictable bromide coming in 3….2…1…..)”fly under the radar.”  They were just too good last year, and too much of the talent is returning. You don’t know the name of Senior DT Karl Klug yet, but you will.

By Paul M. Banks

[Read more…]

2010 Big Ten QB Power Rankings

kirk-cousins

It’s Big Ten Media Day! The first of two actually!  You know what that means: football season will soon be here! So let’s talk shop.

By Paul M. Banks

1. Terelle Pryor, Ohio State. No surprise here. You know all about this kid. But seriously, WHY DIDNT THEY BRING HIM TO MEDIA DAY???

2. Scott Tolzien, Wisconsin. Has little to no NFL potential, and he’s about as exciting and flashy as Ben Stein, but he commanded last year’s number one offense, and scoring offense, in the Big Ten. As good as he was last year, he still needs to cut down on big game interceptions.

3. Kirk Cousins, Michigan State. His early season position battle with Keith Nichol seems to have really faciliatated his development. He’s a true dual threat. Trying to stop him this fall will be like hitting on a woman out at a bachelorette party- your outcome will just not be favorable.

[Read more…]

Juice Williams, All-Big Ten Selection!! Wait…Juice Williams, All-Big Ten Selection????

juice

By Paul Schmidt

Let me be the first to say, I love Juice Williams, and I want you to, too. 

I think he’s a great kid. 

I think he was the most deserving player of all that received mention as a Big Ten Sportsmanship Award Nominee. The grace with which he handled his demotion, and the teaching capabilities he showed with Eddie McGee and Jacob Charest surprised even me, an ardent supporter.

But an Honorable Mention nomination at quarterback?  Really?

Let’s go through some numbers…

Your first team QB was Darryl Clark, the conference’s leader in passing efficiency. That’s a good choice.  Your second team QB was Mike Kafka. While Kafka was fifth in passing efficiency, he was second in per game averages of total offense.  Again, a very defensible selection.  I might have gone with Purdue’s Joey Elliott (the conference’s leader in total offense per game), but either way, Kafka is a fine choice.

Now…here’s the honorable mention QBs: Juice Williams, Ben Chappell, Ricky Stanzi, Kirk Cousins, Scott Tolzien, Terrelle Pryor, and the aforementioned Elliott.

Now, I know you’re looking at that and thinking, holy crap, that’s nine of the 11 starting QBs in the conference.  Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Given that list, it would be tough to leave Williams off, right? 

Wrong.

The only top ten list Williams’ name appears on on the conference statistical leaderboard is, surprisingly, in passing efficiency, where he ranks tenth.

He’s not on the total offense list, a place that a running QB like him should be a lock to make.

Not on the top ten list for the conference’s top passers in terms of yards, either.

Heck, he’s not even in the top ten of games started by quarterbacks in the conference, mustering only nine appearances and eight starts.  That’s right, an honorable mention Big Ten selection was benched halfway through the season.  That alone should result in automatic disqualification from the award…

The simple solution? Nine QB’s mentioned in the all-conference awards, one way or another, is just too many. Dropping the number of players named would not only raise the prestige of the award but lend some legitimacy, as well.

But, assuming that you’re locked into that number of players appearing on your final award sheet, one deserving player was not named.  Remarkable, considering the number that appeared, I know, but it’s true.

Where was Minnesota’s Adam Weber?

I know that the Minnesota writers here will slam this thought, but bear with me. 

First, when naming nine QBs in the awards, you have to consider that Weber, though awful at times and someone who took a major step backwards this season, still was statistically one of the top nine QBs in the conference this season. He finished 8th in passing per game and 10th in total offense. 

Plus, he was never benched this season.

Look, while I do applaud the Big Ten Conference for honoring as many players as possible, having nine QBs mentioned is simply too many.  There must be a way to pare this down some, lest you face looking foolish on a national stage.

Of even greater importance would be to eliminate players like Juice Willams from contention, perhaps not a step the conference wants to take. Even given that, instilling some sort of a minimum performance barrier, or giving the voters qualified names to vote for would be a good step for the conference to make; awarding 81.8% of your conference’s starting quarterbacks some type of All-Conference award is just patently ridiculous.

I would have gone with Clark as the first team selection, and Elliott at second team, followed by honorable mention selections for Stanzi and Cousins.  That’s it.  Four guys is still more than a third of the QBs in the conference, and more than enough nomination-wise.  Plus, naming just those four guys doesn’t make your conference look patently ridiculous.

Perhaps the most damning evidence against any awards for Juice comes from a web page listing his national ranks this season — 91st in the nation in passing efficiency and 93rd in total offense.

That page?

His biography page at www.fightingillini.com.  Ouch.

en_USEnglish
en_USEnglish