Will The ACC Soon Succeed The SEC As The Most Dominant Conference?

The ACC has enjoyed a handful of success recently.. Wait, that’s wrong.

Clemson has enjoyed a handful of success recently. The Tigers have enjoyed two championships in three seasons as they look to unseat Alabama for the most dominant dynasty of the modern era. Head coach Dabo Swinney has enjoyed that success, having been the Tigers head coach since 2010 and having seen many of his Tigers teams be in national championship contention (2012-15). The first turn of the corner came in 2011 when Clemson knocked off defending champion Auburn in a clash of Tigers to open up the season. From them on it’s been total domination for Clemson, culminating in their first National Championship in 2016 behind the greatness of DeShaun Watson. But they weren’t the first team to unseat an SEC Foe for the big crown.

In 2013, the Florida State Seminoles put together arguably the most underrated season of all-time. Redshirt Freshman Jameis Winston led the team to a perfect 14-0 record behind a prolific offense (They averaged 51.6 points a game) and stingy defense (They yielded 12 points per game, including giving up 31 in the National Championship). The Noles have taken steps backwards every year since and this year they had the first losing season since ___ leaving many to wonder what happened to FSU’s greatness. Well for one, a coaching change happened. Jimbo Fisher had been the head coach since previous HC Boddy Bowden retired in 2011. Then before the 2018 season, he bolted for Texas A&M and their Texas sized football stadium (A&M seats more fans than anyone in the country) and Texas sized yearly payroll. But will Fisher be as successful in the SEC as he was in the ACC?

The Rest of the ACC is rounded out by teams such as Miami, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Louisville and others who have been competitive at times, yet none have pushed the National Championship bill like Clemson and FSU (Besides Miami in 2017 when they started 10-0 and were ranked #2). In retrospect, the ACC is like other conferences in that they are top heavy. The best teams win consistently and run the conference for years and years, however the same can be said of the SEC as of recent.

Alabama and Georgia are by far the cream of the crop of the SEC. Heck, the two teams have faced off in back to back years as the #1 and #2 teams in the nation, 2017 in the National Championship and 2018 in the SEC Championship. But who else in the conference has pushed these two to the brink in the past few years? The only team that comes to mind is Florida this past season, although programs such as Auburn, LSU & Mississippi State had times where they each ranked inside of the top 15 at times.

Who Is The Second Best Team In The AFC East?

The AFC East has been ran by the New England Patriots for nearly two decades now. Their dominance has culminated in six super bowl championships, nine conference championships and 16 AFC East titles in the past 19 season including every season since 2009. That’s an amazing streak for a team that has arguably the best football player of all-time in Tom Brady but has gone through plenty of skill players on both sides of the football to surround Brady with.

So what’s up with the rest of the division? Well the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets have all been lacking the two most important things that the Patriots have: Great coaching and consistent quarterback play. The New York Jets even made one the most boneheaded decisions this past offseason in signing Adam Gase as their head coach. It was a retractive move due to the fact that he failed as head coach of the Miami Dolphins, so the Jets know a thing or two about his futility as a coach. The Bills made the playoffs in 2017 after not making the playoffs for 18 full seasons prior to that and what do they do after? Cut starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor who endured a couple of seasons of being on the playoff cusp before pushing them over the edge. We haven’t even discussed the Dolphins big boneheaded move: Trading for QB Josh Rosen. Would I trade draft picks for a former first round quarterback who threw more interceptions than touchdowns and led the worst offense in the league last season? Absolutely not, but I’m not an NFL GM for a reason.

So who is the second best team in the AFC East? We’ll rank the teams from second to worst below.


Buffalo Bills

Make no mistake about the Bills they are a talented team and annually have a top 15 defense. Last year’s number six ranked defense loses longtime defensive tackle Kyle Williams to retirement however they still have enough pieces there to be a top defense especially with the addition of former Houston DT Ed Oliver in the draft. 2018 first round pick Tre White had a great season while being inserted in as the number one cornerback on a team that had a hole to fill after trading Stephon Gilmore to the Patriots (Go figure)

On the offensive side of the ball, second-year pro quarterback Josh Allen is expected to take more command of the offense and be more of an impact player from here on out. LeSean McCoy’s days in the backfield may be numbered as they brought in Frank Gore and drafted David Singletary out of FAU in the draft, so don’t expect a loss of McCoy to slow down what is a top 5 rushing attack in the league.


New York Jets

The Jets have had the best offseason of any team in the AFC East so far with the acquisitions of RB LeVeon Bell, LB C.J. Moseley & DT Quinnen Williams.

Who Are The Most Under The Radar Heisman Candidates?

Every college football season a number of players will come from out of the blue and begin to shine. Last season we saw the emergence of Houston QB D’eriq King before he had a late season injury that sidelined him for the rest of the season. So who will be the breakout stars for this upcoming year?


1. D’Andre Swift

2018 Stats: 1,049 rushing yards, 6.4 yards/carry, 13 total touchdowns

Georgia running back D’Andre Swift has been excellent in filing the shoes of NFL backs Sony Michel and Nick Chubb as the Bulldogs main tailback. Fellow backfield mate Elijah Holyfield recently left school for the NFL so Swift will get a much bigger workload in his junior season. The bulldogs still have Jake Fromm at quarterback and plenty of wide receivers to play with so Swift will definitely have his opportunities to continue being the dynamic playmaker that he already is


2. Rondale Moore, Purdue

2018 Stats: 114 receptions, 1,258 receiving yards, 213 rushing yards, 662 kick return yards, 14 total TD’s

Purdue sophomore Rondale Moore burst onto the scene last year as a true freshman with his electrifying play bringing a new hype to the Boilermakers team. Moore averaged well over 10 yards per touch, inagine that. That’s a first down every time he touched the ball! If he can continue tearing up the Big 10 and help Purdue can win the Big 10’s western division, Rondale Moore may be able to become the program’s first Heisman triphy winner ever.

Will Justin Fields Be Able To Keep Ohio State At The Top Of The Big Ten?

Once upon a time Justin Fields was in a two-headed race with QB Trevor Lawrence to see who would be the number once recruit in the country. Fields then committed to the University of Georgia (UGA) in what was at first viewed as a questionable move seeing that UGA had just lost the CFP National Championship Game with a true freshman quarterback in Jake Fromm. The move only became more questionable when fans barely saw Fields touch the field due to him sitting behind Fromm, who is now slated to be one of the best QB’s in the 2020 NFL draft. In contrast, Trevor Lawrence captured a national championship in just his first season under center and was a late season Heisman trophy candidate after finishing with over 3,200 passing yards and 30 touchdowns.

Can Justin Fields have the same impact for Ohio State that Lawrence had on Clemson?

It is to be noted that Fields isn’t stepping into a situation where his head coach has a championship pedigree (Ryan Day is a rookie head coach) or one where he will have to sit behind a veteran behind getting his snaps (Fields is expected to start at OSU). However it should also be noted that Ohio State isn’t just any slouch even with a rookie head coach at the helm as they’ve won three of the last five Big Ten titles. The Buckeyes are by far the most consistent team in the Big Ten as they are usually top five annually in recruiting and they’re returning a handful of skill players including J.K. Dobbins, Austin Mack, and K.J. hill who will certainly help Fields out by making plays on the perimeter.

The aforementioned skill players have never played with a quarterback as dynamic as Fields either. Hell, Ohio State hasn’t seen a quarterback as dynamic as Fields since Braxton Miller honestly, and that’s no shade to what J.T. Barrett was able to do pre-injury. Dobbins played with Barret and last year’s starter Dwayne Haskins and i’m sure that even he’ll tell you that Fields isn’t as polished of a passer as the two but in terms of athleticism, he tops the two easily.

We haven’t even touched on Ohio State’s defense which is expected to see little to no drop-off despite losing a number of multi-year starters. Fields will be able to benefit heavily from a defense that is able to get off the field on third downs, reminiscent to how Clemson, Alabama and even UGA help their dynamic QB’s get the most out of their abilities. Chase Young and Jonathon Cooper headline the defensive starters who will be a big help to Fields’ first season success at Ohio State.

As long as Justin Fields is able to stay healthy and use his dynamic playmaking ability to win ball games then Ohio State will be just fine and probably be back to their 2014 national championship form.

The ‘Joker’ Asserts Himself As The Best Center In The West

Nikola Jokic had been on his way to becoming one of the best centers in the entire league for some time now. With the dominance of other big men such as Demarcus Cousins, Karl-Anthony Towns and Joel Embiid making such huge names for themselves. But there’s one thing that each one of these players lack: Playoff success.

Jokic, in just his fourth NBA season had never participated the NBA playoffs until this season following an exceptional regular season from his Nuggets squad that finished second in the conference. The Serbian center was then able to will his team to a game seven victory over the San Antonio Spurs to give the Nuggets their first playoff series win since the 2009 when Carmelo Anthony was their superstar.

Last night ‘The Joker’ notched 37 points along with nine rebounds in a game one victory over the Portland Trailblazers. It was a well needed victory for a franchise that’s turned it’s past misfortunes into a buzzing championship contender with a flurry of unselfish players to match their team-first style of play. Jokic is the focal point of all of this as he’s the engine that gets the team going along with third year guard Jamal Murray who chipped in 23 points in their win.


Giants 6th-Round Draft Pick Corey Ballentine injured in shooting

A day after the New York Giants drafted Corey Ballentine in the 6th-round Of The 2019 NFL draft, he was shot in an off-campus shooting that killed his friend and former teammate.

The shooting occurred during an off-campus situation in Topeka, Kansas. Washburn University a division 2 school in Topeka, Kansas confirmed that junior defensive back Dwane Simmons, 23, was killed during the incident. Washburn University also stated that the New York Giants 6th-round pick Corey Ballentine is expected to make a full recovery following the shooting.

The police report stated that officers responded around 12:45 A.M. in response to gunfire. About 4 blocks away from the school’s campus, police found Dwane Simmons lying unresponsive in the middle of the road.

Dwane Simmons, 23, was a star junior defensive back for Washburn University.

Corey Ballentine who was drafted hours before the incident is very lucky to be alive, as he arrived to the hospital with a non-threatening gunshot wound from the same incident.

The Miami Dolphins Are Finally Headed In The Right Direction

Goodbye Ryan Fitzpatrick. Goodbye Adam Gase.

Hello, the new and improved Miami Dolphins.

The draft day trade by the Dolphins to nab quarterback Josh Rosen from the Arizona Cardinals was by far the best move the Dolphins have made in the last decade. I know he hasn’t played a down in a Fins uniform however Rosen provides tremendous upside to a position (QB) where the Dolphins have been lacking since Dan Marino retired in 1999. Their list of starting QB mediocrity includes Jay Fielder, Gus Ferotte, Cleo Lemon, Chad Pennington, Matt Moore, Ryan Tannehill and their latest misfire, Jay Cutler. Following a lackadaisical 2018 season from Ryan Tannehill the organization finally decided it was time for a change.

Insert: Josh Rosen.

Rosen’s a well-rounded QB who has the potential to be great given he has the right personnel around him for most of his career. In Arizona that wasn’t the case, as he had some weapons in running back David Johnson and veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald however those two were succumbed to a bad offensive line, below-average defense and a rookie head coach that didn’t even get the chance to prove himself (The Cardinals have a new rookie HC now). Now he’ll have a better variety of skill players to get the ball to, a better offensive line and an even more opportunistic defense (Miami forced 28 turnovers last season to Arizona’s 16) but he’ll still be working with a rookie head coach. The good news about his new coach however? He, Brian Flores, had been on the New England Patriots staff since 2004 so he knows a thing or two about being apart of a successful organization.

The Josh Rosen era has officially begun in Miami and the future surely does look brighter now in South Beach. As long as Rosen continues to improve and can grow as a leader in the locker room, the Dolphins should have no regret of this trade when they look back a decade from now.

AAF Power Rankings After Week 6: Iron Get Back To Their Winning Ways

The Birmingham Iron have gotten back to their winning ways after dropping two games in a row. QB Luis Perez threw for three touchdowns in a win against the San Diego Fleet to help boast his team victory.

Keep reading to see this week’s power rankings.


Rankings:

  1. Orlando Apollos (2019 Record: 5-1)
  2. San Antonio Commanders (2019 Record: 4-2)
  3. Birmingham Iron (2019 Record: 4-2)
  4. Arizona Hotshots (2019 Record: 4-2)
  5. San Diego Fleet (2019 Record: 3-3)
  6. Atlanta Legends (2019 Record: 2-4)
  7. Salt Lake City Stallions (2019 Record:2-4)
  8. Memphis Express (2019 Record: 1-5)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRWIhnGC0AI

Jason Witten Will Return To The Cowboys After Being Away For A Year

Cowboys Tight-End and future Hall Of Fame inductee, Jason Witten, announced Thursday that he would be returning to the Dallas Cowboys after sitting out for one year. The 36 year old veteran returns to the gridiron after spending his last year as a ESPN analyst. Witten will return to the Cowboys on a 3.5 million one-year contract. Witten holds the Dallas Cowboy’s franchise record for most receiving yards and receptions within a career. Take a look back at Jason Witten career so far with the Cowboys, down below.

AAF Power Rankings: Orlando Leads The Charge

The AAF is in the first year of existence and I can easily say that it’s exceeded expectations in terms of excitement. Notable names such as Steve Spurrier, Mike Martz, Trent Richardson and Quinton Patton highlight the league which kicked off just a couple of weeks ago.

Through two weeks the Orlando Apollos have looked like the league’s most impressive squad while the Atlanta Legends have lacked big play ability en route to two losses. The Arizona Hotshots and Birmingham Iron join the Apollos as the leagues three most impressive squads as all three are undefeated.

Keep reading for our AAF power rankings following week two.


Rankings:

  1. Orlando Apollos (2019 Record: 2-0)
  2. Arizona Hotshots (2019 Record: 2-0)
  3. Birmingham Iron (2019 Record: 2-0)
  4. San Antonio Commodores (2019 Record: 1-1)
  5. San Diego Fleet (2019 Record: 1-1)
  6. Memphis Express (2019 Record: 0-2)
  7. Salt Lake City Stallions (2019 Record: 0-2)
  8. Atlanta Legends (2019 Record: 0-2)