Posts Tagged ‘Mississippi’

Monday (Tuesday) Morning Rehab: Brett Favre Watch 2010

August 12th, 2010

Big week for Brett Favre.

Now that football season officially is underway via the Hall of Fame game last night, all eyes are squarely on the Vikings' signal caller, even if most football fans are tired of his annual summer ritual.

Favre will meet with Dr. James Andrews this week to determine the status of his recovery from ankle surgery. News broke—prematurely—last week of Favre's impending retirement, but the aging quarterback rebutted those news by saying he would play this season if his ankle is healthy.

I guess we will find out soon enough if that is true or not. Or maybe Favre will keep us all guessing, as he seems to do every summer, until the start of the regular season.


Brett Favre [QB, Vikings]

From ProFootballTalk:

"His arm feels great," Mariucci said. "His conditioning is good but he hasn't run much without pain in his ankle. It [his ankle] still gives him pain and it needs to be better before he reports."

"So, Favre still says he needs the ankle to improve. No surprise there.  Otherwise, he wouldn't have a good excuse to hold out of the difficult part of training camp."

Favre was spotted late last week on the practice field in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, throwing the football at the local high school. Just like last summer, it appears he is avoiding training camp at all cost.

I still believe fantasy owners should expect to see Favre on the field in week one against the Saints. But there is enough concern among the fantasy public to drop his average draft position in fantasy drafts, making him a bargain in the middle rounds. That is, if he can produce like he did last season.


Knowshon Moreno [RB, Broncos]

From Roto Arcade:

"On Sunday, the feeding frenzy continued. Knowshon Moreno(notes), who missed much of last August with a sprained MCL, was the latest breakout candidate to be victimized."

"During the Broncos' first camp session, the second-year back caught a pass, turned upfield and felt a pop. Originally feared to be a torn right hamstring, an MRI examination confirmed he only mildly frayed the muscle. He is expected to miss three weeks, but should be active for the season opener at Jacksonville."

Moreno now has served a week of his three week recovery. It is going to be fairly difficult to trust Moreno this season on what looks to be a bad offense. Him getting hurt this early in camp also does not bode well for his long-term ability to stay healthy over the course of the season.

Buyer beware.


Wes Welker [WR, Patriots]

From FanHouse:

" reports that, without missing a beat, New England wide receiver Wes Welker resumed full-contact 11-on-11 drills at practice Thursday after coming off the PUP list just last Sunday. By all accounts, Welker looked great and "popped" up quickly from a couple of big hits by teammate Jerod Mayo."

Welker's recovery from an injury which usually takes at least eight months of recovery time has been nothing short of miraculous. Fantasy owners should draft him now with confidence, especially as a value pick in the middle rounds of fantasy drafts.


Sidney Rice [WR, Vikings]

From FFToolBox:

"Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress said Wednesday that his No. 1 wide receiver is "a ways away" from being taken off the active/physically unable to perform list. Rice is still recovering from a hip injury that he sustained during the playoffs."

As Favre goes, so too with Rice. His average draft position is hanging in the balance as fantasy owners wait for Favre's decision. Without Favre, expect to see Rice's ADP plummet substantially.

I think Favre's decision will have more impact on Rice's season than this injury.


Owen Daniels [TE, Texans]

From Roto Arcade:

"However, after he bombed a physical over the weekend more realistic expectations have set in. Placed on the active PUP list and relegated to Lance Armstrong duties, Daniels' comeback has been temporarily derailed. Still, despite his initial poor bill of health, the recuperating Texan remains confident he'll be ready to clash with arch-rival Indianapolis in a colossal season opener Sept. 12."

Seems to be the polar opposite of Welker's recovery.

Daniels was having a stellar season last year before succumbing to injury and now appears to be questionable for the season opener. Hard to trust a guy having this much trouble recovering, but he was too good last season to ignore.


Hakeem Nicks [WR, Giants]

From ProFootballTalk:

Giants V.P. of communications Pat Hanlon broke the news on Twitter.  "Everything checked out A-OK," Hanlon said.

Good news for Nicks on the injury front. He finished 2009 strong and appears poised to claim a starting spot opposite Steve Smith, but injuries in camp could hinder that effort. Hopefully he will be able to get back on the field again soon.


Jeremy Shockey [TE, Saints]

From Canal Street Chronicles:

"Between his showboating, competitive nature, minor injuries, and bouts with dehydration, there's always something to talk about when it comes to Shockey. This time around, he's tweaked his knee in camp. It's apparently no big deal, but he's been held out the last few days of practice, restricting his activity to riding the bike."

Shockey appears to be breaking down. It seems every season he is dealing with some form of ailment, and struggled with injuries all of last season.

Hard to trust Shockey as an every-week fantasy tight end at this point in his career, despite the lucrative position he has in the New Orleans offense.


Dez Bryant [WR, Cowboys]

From ProFootballTalk:

"There's no telling for sure, but I think it might be even sooner than that," responded Bryant when asked if he'd be back in 3-4 weeks.  "It's coming along pretty good."

Fantasy owners are going to have a tough time grading Bryant heading into the 2010 season if he does not play any during the preseason. Who knows how the Cowboys are going to use him?

The more he sits out, the more entrenched Roy Williams and Patrick Crayton become in the offense for at least the start of the regular season.

The MMR will continue to run every Monday morning as scheduled during the regular season. If you have an injury update or want an update on a certain player, please leave a note in the comments.

After Going 8-5 In 2009, Gene Chizik’s Auburn Tigers Ready For 2010

August 11th, 2010

When you hear fans of SEC football discuss who could win the division, Alabama, Florida, and Arkansas get the most hype—but what about Auburn?

One year ago at this time, there were some questions surrounding the program. Those questions have become expectations going into 2010. After starting 5-0 last season, the Tigers struggled the rest of the way. A humiliating loss to Kentucky, and then a near upset of eventual National Champions Alabama, there were inconsistencies in the second half of the season.

Several publications have Auburn finishing third in the West. There are some that go as far as putting the Tigers fourth. Nobody that's writing a serious piece about the team has them winning it all. I'll give you five reasons why I think they can win the SEC west.


5) Pride

In 1992 Alabama won the National Championship 34-13 over Miami. The very next season, an Auburn team on probation went 11-0, but couldn't play FSU because of sanctions. When Alabama has a good season, Auburn follows them up the next season.


4) Chizik

When Auburn hired Gene Chizik, there was some public outcry over the decision (Charles Barkley). However, the plan was to get someone who could step in, work with what was already in place, and win with it. Chizik had been with Auburn under Tommy Tuberville during the undefeated 2004 season and he's brought in some of the best players. Of the 82 scholarships, 48 were signed by Chizik in 2009 or 2010.


3) LSU and Arkansas

Tough opponents Arkansas(Oct.16) and LSU(Oct.23) will be coming to Auburn. Having these two games back-to-back is tough, but winnable at Jordan Hare.


2) Returning Starters

Auburn lost three starters on defense, and four on offense, as well as punter Clinton Durst. Not that losing QB Chris Todd and RB Ben Tate aren't huge losses, but all reports indicate they're going to be fine at those positions.


1) Alabama

Starting the season as the No. one team in the country could end up helping Auburn. If Alabama ended up losing a game, they'd still be ranked higher than Auburn's starting position. Even if Alabama lost two games by season's end, depending on who and when, they might still be a top 10 team.

The 2009 Iron Bowl gave the Tigers confidence going into this season. Auburn realizes how close they came to defeating the Tide. There's no doubt that the No. 1 ranking given to Alabama was deserved. Auburn also knows they nearly pulled the upset, and most of those guys are back to try again.


Auburn Tigers 2010 Schedule and Predictions



September 4, Arkansas State:

This is probably a good opponent to open the season with, considering Auburn will be starting a new QB in Cameron Newton. I expect Auburn to win this one big. Auburn 42-7

September 11, at Mississippi State:

This is a step up from the first game, but not so much. If the learning of Malzahn's offense isn't going perfectly, it still won't cost the Tigers a win in this game. I personally believe the offense is clicking by this point. Auburn 35-3

September 18, Clemson:

The gloves come off in this game, but as I said before, the offense is going to have found its way by now. While there are a few questions around the pass defense, the run defense is really good for Auburn. I see this one being closer than the first two games, still I believe Auburn wins this one easy. 28-14

September 25, South Carolina:

Is this the year for Spurrier at South Carolina? I don't think so!

Their fans will say it is, but isn't that what they always say before losing six games? It sure is. Auburn is on upset alert this week. Auburn 16-7

October 2, Louisiana Monroe:

This game is a good one coming off a near upset, but it's another game to get the offense back into high scoring mode. Auburn 42-10

October 9, at Kentucky:

Auburn was upset by the Wildcats last season. Don't think for a minute Tiger Nation doesn't remember that too. There will be a fired up offense in this one. Auburn 38-14

October 16, Arkansas:

Auburn has not done well against Arkansas in the past. Even when Auburn has a really good team they find a way to drop this one. In a season where Arkansas is loaded with talent that trend likely continues. Arkansas 34-31

October 23, Louisiana State:

This will be a tough game, but coming off a loss to Arkansas they'll have played a better offense, and LSU has five new starters on defense. Not very pretty at all, but I still believe Auburn wins this one. Auburn 28-21

October 30, at Mississippi:

The Rebels will be coming off a rough two games when Auburn comes in. Alabama and Arkansas in consecutive weeks before getting Auburn, with no McCluster and no Snead; no way they win. Auburn 33-10

November 6, UT Chattanooga:

Auburn 58-0

November 13, Georgia:

By this point in the season the Dawgs are asking who the next coach is going to be. This will not be a good season for Georgia and Auburn will take full advantage of it, breaking the the four year losing streak. Auburn 31-20

November 26, at Alabama:

Auburn came close to beating Bama last season. It didn't happen and the Tide are bringing that offense back again. Auburn will be a better team than they were a year ago. Will Alabama's defense gel by this point in the season? The Tide are still the team to beat until we know for sure. I see this game being for the West. Both teams with one loss, the head to head match up is the tiebreaker. Auburn 23-14




Jason Campbell: From D.C. Nightmare to Raider Majesty

August 10th, 2010

It was Monday night at Fed-Ex Field in 2009, the Redskins versus the Eagles, and fans waved anti-Snyder signs. The banners read “Fire Cerrato!” and “End Snyder’s Napoleon Rule,” led by repeated chants of “Sell the team!” which rang throughout Fed-Ex Field. All the while, irate fans tossed boxes of popcorn, hot dogs, and sodas at Dan Snyder’s corporate box.

A day later, Snyder banned all anti-Snyder signs from Fed-Ex Field—freedom of expression? Not in Danny’s house.


Months before, Snyder courted Jay Cutler in an attempt to woo him to Washington. Then Snyder laminated Mark Sanchez with food and wine—and later, rumors surfaced that the Redskins were looking at Matt Cassel. The Redskins, however, lost out on all three quarterbacks, so they had a closed door meeting with Jason Campbell to put their young quarterback’s mind at ease.

Campbell responded, "It was like having your manhood questioned, like they were saying I was not a good quarterback while I was still on the team.”

Then Campbell went on to have a better season, statistically, than Cutler, Cassel, and Sanchez.

Later in 2009, on the radio, Clinton Portis ranted, “It's no disrespect to Jason, but everybody in that locker room will tell you—you will never see Jason mad, you will never see Jason's tempo change.

"[He's] going to give you everything [he's] got. But as a was always, 'Jason couldn't take control of the huddle' or 'He didn't do this' or 'He didn't do that.' That wasn't Jason's character...

"I think Jason, you can't place so much on somebody who's not ready for that situation. I think Jason has enough trouble in getting the plays in and worrying about this, compared to controlling the huddle."

All that from a man who refused to practice, ran to Snyder and complained about his coach, attempted to get his starting fullback benched, and rushed for a team-high 494 yards in '09.

And when Portis wasn’t sucking up to Snyder, he routinely dressed in gaudy, stereotypical attire, called himself “Southeast Jerome,” an inflammatory rhetorical gesture towards his impoverished, predominately minority fanbase who reside in the “southeast” section of Washington, D.C..

Campbell responded, "A leader is not someone who leads by the wrong example. A leader is someone who is trying to do the right thing and trying to lead by example, and not just [being] about themselves.

"There's a reason guys get selected as captains, and there's a reason guys don't get selected as captains. Obviously, he doesn't have the respect of the locker room to be a captain. For someone to try to take a shot at me at the end of the season, after they haven't even been around, only speaks about their character anyways."

The Washington Post reported, “Veteran leaders Rock Cartwright, Phillip Daniels, and Renaldo Wynn spoke of the team's discipline problems, and Portis's seemingly cozy relationship with Snyder has stirred resentment in the locker room because he rarely practices.”

In the pleasant, green pasture of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Jason Campbell fished alongside his father, when Brett Favre arrived. A southern gentleman, Campbell greeted Favre, but refrained from inquiring about the future Hall of Famer's plans. Nevertheless, Favre offered encouragement to Campbell.

"Brett told me he knew how hard it was to change systems all the time," Campbell said.

"He said it was important to play my game and not to forget what it was that got me to this point."

Then on April 4, 2020, John Keim, a reporter for the Washington Examiner, called Campbell:

John: Did you hear about what happened?

Jason: What?

John: The Redskins traded for Donovan.

Jason: Really? Ummm...I didn't know that, man.

John: I'm sorry I had to be the one who told you. I can't believe they didn't tell you.


Months later, the Oakland Raiders made a trade for Campbell and the nightmare was over, at least for Campbell, who said, “Coming here is kind of like being drafted all over again.

"It's a new start, you know. Oakland is trying to turn it around. They're trying to become a new team. They made a lot of changes, and I think they're trying to do things the right way and get it going in the right direction."

Rock Cartwright, who is now a member of the Raiders, commented, "I am so excited for Jason…The best thing for him was to get a fresh start and have a chance to run the offense here. We all like playing football, but you can tell Jason is really, really enjoying it again."

Raiders Nation is now prepared for launch! Your thoughts?


College Football Top 25 Preview: Part I

August 10th, 2010


I've got to be honest: I wasn't planning on writing this article until next week. But I just couldn't wait.

That's right, camps are opening nationwide and Joe Schad has appeared from his summer hibernation, seen his shadow, and is now on my TV more than Lindsay Lohan jail news. This can mean only one thing: College football season is right around the corner!!

With that, here is my preseason Top 25.

Sure, I probably should have waited a few weeks to post it, and yes, my opinions will probably change a hundred times between now and September second. Then again, why bother waiting for boring stuff like "position battles," to play themselves out, when I can just make broad, sweeping generalizations, without having the facts to back them up!

At the very least, it sure beats another baseball article, right?

Let's start today with teams No. 25-15, as well as a few teams that missed the cut. Then, be sure to check back tomorrow for teams No. 14-1. As always, feedback is welcome, even if (more likely than not), you think I'm an idiot.

First let's start with a few teams that missed the cut:


One of my oldest rules when putting together these preseason polls is, "Never go against a team that's won 18 straight regular season games." I guess rules are meant to be broken.

Don't get me wrong: I like Zach Collaros (a lot). They've got great skill position guys. USC transfer Vidal Hazelton may end up being the best wide receiver in the league. But when you lose one of the five best coaches in the sport (more on that coming), you're going to take a step back. Sorry, Cincy fans, you just are.

Add in a schedule with Oklahoma early, and trips to West Virginia and UConn late, not to mention Pitt in the last game of the season (Anyone remember how last year's game between the two ended? Think Pitt will be looking for revenge?) and it's inevitable this team is going to lose a few games. How many remains to be seen.


The skill position talent is there, and there's no doubt that bringing in Todd Grantham to replace Paul Blart—I mean Willie Martinez—at defensive coordinator will upgrade that side of the ball.

But for all of Joe Cox's faults and limitations, I just can't see how the 'Dawgs will be better with a redshirt freshman (who has never taken a snap in college football) at quarterback this year, than they were with a fifth year senior last year.

Penn State:

They've got road games at Alabama, Ohio State, and Iowa, with a quarterback whose thrown 11 career passes. Consider me concerned. This is an eight win football team.

West Virginia:

I've called West Virginia coach Bill Stewart everything from "The village idiot," to "someone better suited as a casino greeter than a college football coach." Sadly, few West Virginia fans seem to disagree.

If anyone else were coaching this team, I'd probably find a place for them in the Top 25. Not with the headset on Stewart's egg head though.

Now, to the Top 25 in descending order:

(Because of the length of this article, please click here to read previews on teams No. 25-23)

22. LSU

Of every team on this list, I went back and forth on LSU the most.

On the one hand, they beat Auburn and Arkansas last year, and played both Florida and Alabama really tough. I also don't think Jordan Jefferson is nearly as bad as people make him out to be. Sure he's not Tim Tebow, but he's also not JaMarcus Russell on the Raiders either. And we all know LSU's skill position guys are good. Wide receiver Terrence Tolliver looks like he was created in a chemistry lab.

Of course on the flip side, their defense returns basically no one (Except Patrick Petersen, who I've got a full blown man-crush on, by the way); their running game disappeared into thin air sometime around Week Five of last year; and yes, they're still coached by Les Miles. Apparently Forrest Gump wasn't available.

So where does that leave LSU? I really don't know.

I honestly believe they've got the talent of a nine-win team, but looking at their schedule, I just don't know where the wins are going to come from. They get Florida, Auburn, and Arkansas on the road, with Alabama at home, and a season opener against North Carolina.

What's the best they can hope for in that stretch? 3-2? Isn't that even pushing it a little? And I didn't even mention a visit from an underrated Mississippi State team, or a late season date with Ole Miss, when Jeremiah Masoli is going to have that offense purring like a cat in heat.

Again, I like this team. I just don't know where the wins are coming from.

21. Auburn

Alright, this is where it gets interesting, because I like Auburn. But the way people are talking about them this preseason, you'd think they're a cross between the 1986 Bears and the 2007 New England Patriots or something. They're not. Believe me.

Look, was Auburn a cool story last year? Of course they were. I even professed my love for offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn on about 47 different occassions (Unfortunately, he never answered any of the fan letters I sent).

Yet, if you really look at that offense, it really didn't do all that much the second half of the season. Just look at the box scores from the LSU, Kentucky and Georgia games. They were good, but hardly great. (And Auburn fans, please, please don't tell me about how well your team played in the Alabama game. Auburn was coming off a bye week and had nothing lose. They literally threw everything they had at Alabama, at home, and still didn't win. Sorry, the two programs are still no where close to each other).

And for all the talk about Gene Chizik, his defense was pretty brutal last year too. I caught a replay of the Outback Bowl against Northwestern recently, and needed a brown paper bag by halftime.

Now, there are a few reasons why I have Auburn at No. 21. Their new quarterback Cam Newton (6'6, 250 with speed) was born to play for Malzahn. Even if he gets shot in the foot between now and the start of the season, he's still going to run this offense 40 times better than Chris Todd a year ago. Auburn is going to score points. Plus they get most of their biggest games at home.

After all that, I've got to say that I honestly don't think Auburn is the 21st best team in college football this year. Maybe 30th. But it seems like they get enough breaks (especially with the schedule) where I talked myself into putting them here.

(Be sure to follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres and

20. South Carolina

Like LSU, I'm stuck with South Carolina.

My heart tells me that this is the best team Steve Spurrier has had at South Carolina; that Stephen Garcia could be his best quarterback; that Alshon Jeffrey is probably his best playmaker; that freshman Marcus Lattimore might be the running back they've been missin; and that by any measurement, this is the weakest the SEC East has been since Spurrier got to South Carolina.

Unfortunately, my head tells me the opposite; that Garcia may be the best QB that Spurrier has had, but he's also more scatter-brained than a 16-year-old girl at the mall; that the only thing consistent about this team is their late season collapses; that UConn turned last year's Bowl into a varsity vs. the JV scrimmage; and that, at times, Spurrier seems more interested in setting up golf games, than worrying about Saturday's games.

For now my heart wins over my head, and I'll keep South Carolina here. We'll see if that changes by the start of the season.

(This is just PART of Aaron's Top 25 College Preview. To read the remainder, please click here, or visit him at

Also, for his take on all things sports, be sure to add him on Twitter @Aaron_Torres, or by downloading his APP for FREE for your iPhone or Android)

Road to Glendale 2011: Big Ten Tussle Tops Week 12 Slate

August 9th, 2010

As part of BCS Know How’s 2010 college football season preview, we will be breaking down each week’s most important games that could have BCS and postseason implications in the “Road to Glendale 2011″.

Let’s move on to Week 12, where Big Ten and ACC titles could be on the line.

Ohio State at Iowa: Saturday Nov. 20, TBA


Preseason hype and expectations will mean very little when Ohio State takes the treacherous trek to Iowa City in this late-season Big Ten matchup that seems destined to be an elimination game for the Big Ten crown.

Terrelle Pryor and the Buckeyes will hope to have the Big Ten title all sewn up by the time this game rolls around, but, like in year's past, that’s not going to be an easy task.

The Buckeyes will have to deal with tough opponents all season, not to mention the strong possibility of three or even four teams vying for the Big Ten title all the way throughout the season. All that skill spread around the country could spell a very muddled picture in the Big Ten in 2010, making this game of the utmost importance to two of the teams that seem primed to make a run at the title.

Last season these two teams met up on this same weekend with the Big Ten title on the line in Columbus. The Hawkeyes were able to comeback from a 14-point fourth quarter deficit, but they were beaten in OT by the Buckeyes, 27-24.

Hawkeye quarterback Ricky Stanzi and the Iowa defense will be fired up to welcome the Buckeyes into town and will look for some revenge, especially if the Big Ten title is up for grabs once again.

Virginia Tech at Miami (FL): Saturday Nov. 20, TBA


Two of the three teams that jumped the Big East ship in 2004 have made the ACC a comfortable fit for themselves, and 2010 looks to be no different, as both the Hokies and Hurricanes are among the favorites for the ACC title.

Both could use this game as a springboard to the ACC Coastal Division crown and to secure a berth in the ACC Championship Game. Once again, Tyrod Taylor and Jacory Harris will be tested against tough defenses and will measure against one another. Both are capable of doing damage with both their feet and their arms—in fact the teams could benefit from playing against a similar-style quarterback in the practices leading up to the game, as the two have similar styles.

A key for both teams will be to stay healthy down the stretch of the ACC schedule. Injuries riddled the 2009 campaign for the Hurricanes and prevented them from continuing their hot start to last season.

Virginia Tech was uncharacteristically weak during the middle of last season, dropping games to eventual ACC Champion Georgia Tech and to ACC foe North Carolina.

The Hokies will have to avoid those kinds of losses, especially at home, in order for this game to mean something to them when late November rolls around.

Miami will have the home field advantage in this one, which could prove more important than any other factor in this game, as the Hurricanes were 5-1 at home in 2009.

USC at Oregon State: Saturday Nov. 20, 8:00 p.m. ET


The state of Oregon has been quite unkind to the Trojans these past couple of years, delivering crushing loss after loss in four consecutive seasons and hampering the Trojans’ attempts at BCS National Championship Game berths.

This season the Trojans will be unable to compete in any postseason bowls, but they will still have to take the treacherous trip up the Pacific coastline to the state of Oregon, this year to face the Oregon State Beavers.

The Beavers have been underdogs in the two team's meetings during the Trojans’ dominating Pac-10 run, but this year Oregon State might find itself in an unusual situation—favored against a USC team.

The Beavers are among the favorites for the Pac-10 title, and they have a chance to make their way to the top of the conference if they can overcome the growing pains of a new quarterback.

Oregon State will feature running back Jacquizz Rodgers extensively in this one—as they have the past few years against the Trojans—and will hope for a similar result to that of 2008—when the Beavers shocked the country by beating Mark Sanchez and the then-No. 1 Trojans.

Although the Trojans are ineligible for the postseason, don’t expect Lane Kiffin and USC to go quietly. Quarterback Matt Barkley and a group of talented returners will do their best to play spoiler to the entire conference and claim a Pac-10 title despite their inability to play in the Rose Bowl.

This game might be a perfect opportunity for the Trojans to do just that.

Other Games of Note: Wisconsin at Michigan, Arkansas at Mississippi State.

eXTReMe Tracker