Posts Tagged ‘Bradley’s Buzz’

Bradley’s Buzz: Tech, UGA both among early-entry losers

Derrick Morgan and Morgan Burnett: Gonzo. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Derrick Morgan and Morgan Burnett: They're gonzo. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

This won’t be surprising to those among us who follow college football. Still, it’s jarring to see in megapixeled black and white. Both Georgia Tech and Georgia rank among the nation’s biggest losers regarding early entry to the NFL draft.

For the Bulldogs, there’s good news amid the bad. Tech is seen as having been hit harder, and Florida is the consensus choice as having been hit hardest.

Bruce Feldman of ESPN.com rates Tech the second-biggest loser, Georgia the fifth-biggest. His reasons:

Georgia Tech: I was tempted to make the Jackets No. 1 on this list because every player who realistically could consider declaring did. Tech says goodbye to its two best defenders in DE Derrick Morgan and safety Morgan Burnett as well as quarterback Josh Nesbitt’s top two weapons, running back Jonathan Dwyer and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas.

“I still think Nesbitt, RB Anthony Allen and RB Roddy Jones are …

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Bradley’s Buzz: For 2010, SI has Tech 8th, UGA 22nd

Will Georgia again outrun the Jackets in 2010? (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Will Georgia again outrun the Yellow Jackets in 2010? (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

You’ll never guess who’s No. 1 in SI.com’s college football power rankings for 2010. Actually, you will. Alabama is the easy choice, same as Florida was easy in preseason 2009. (And who was preseason No. 1 in 2008? Why, Georgia.) But the top spot isn’t why we’re here. It’s to focus on the locals, both of which appear in Andy Staples’ Top 25.

Georgia Tech is No. 8. Georgia is No. 22. I’d say that’s too high for the former, about right for the latter.

I reserve the right to amend my opinion in light of developments — if, say, either one finds a defensive coordinator, or if Herschel Walker forgoes his MMA dreams to reclaim that fourth year of collegiate eligibility — but I’d say, as of Jan. 14, 2010, that Tech will dip slightly in 2010 and Georgia will rise a bit.

My take on Tech: It won’t be bad on offense — quoth Paul Johnson: “I’d be stunned if our B-back doesn’t gain 1,000 yards next season” …

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Bradley’s Buzz: Vazquez-for-Cabrera discussed & dissected

Javier Vazquez, we hardly knew ye. But we liked what we saw. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Javier, we hardly knew ye. But we liked what we saw. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

You’ve heard what Frank Wren had to say, and maybe you’ve even read my cool-headed thoughts on the matter. Today we leave it to outsiders. Or, in point of fact, to folks like ESPN.com’s Insiders. We start with the estimable Keith Law, who says the Braves didn’t get completely fleeced. (Link requires registration.) Writes Law:

“The key player in this trade for Atlanta is Arodys Vizcaino, who becomes one of the top five prospects in the Braves’ system and gives them a trio of potential No. 1 or No. 2 starters in the low minors with Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado. Vizcaino, who pitched at short-season Staten Island this past season, has a live fastball that sits 91-93 mph and touches a little higher. He throws a curveball that flashes plus and should miss bats at the big league level when he reaches it. He already has good feel for pitching and just needs experience and a little cleanup in his …

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Bradley’s Buzz: McShay rates Tech’s Morgan No. 3 overall

Two Augusts ago I was watching Georgia Tech practice and commenting on the impressive nature of the defensive line. Michael Johnson, Vance Walker, Darryl Richard …

A man who works for Tech said to me: “Derrick Morgan is the best of the bunch.”

I started watching Morgan closely from that moment on. (I am, as we know, a moron, but I can be coached up.) And by the middle of the 2008 season I agreed: Derrick Morgan stood out the most along a D-line that would see its other three members drafted by NFL teams.

Which brings us to 2009, when Morgan was named ACC defensive player of the year, and almost to 2010, when Todd McShay of ESPN.com’s Insiders foresees the same Mr. Morgan going No. 3 overall in the NFL draft. (Link requires registration.)

Not third among defensive linemen, mind you. Third among everybody.

The top five: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska; Eric Berry, S, Tennessee; Morgan; Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma, and Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State. That’s four defenders up top, …

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Bradley’s Buzz: ESPN’s Lowe sees UGA in the Chick-fil-A

Look at the waffle fries falling from the sky? (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

"Just look at those waffle fries falling from the sky!" (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

From Shreveport, La., to Northside Drive? According to Chris Lowe of ESPN.com, Georgia is apt to be invited to the Chick-fil-A Bowl, which if memory serves is played here in Atlanta. (Full disclosure: I’m sitting in the Dome as I type.) Here’s Lowe’s rationale:

“The Outback gets first choice out of the [non-BCS  SEC teams] East and the Cotton first choice out of the West after the Capital One selects. But since Ole Miss went to the Cotton Bowl last year, there may be a deal worked out where the Rebels go to the Outback this year and Tennessee to the Cotton. The Vols finished in a tie with Georgia for second place in the East, but beat the Bulldogs head-to-head.

“The Chick-fil-A Bowl also has a tough choice. South Carolina became a lot more attractive with its win over Clemson. But with Georgia beating Georgia Tech, there will be a lot of pressure to keep the Bulldogs close to home there in …

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Bradley’s Buzz: ESPN’s Dinich now likes Clemson over Tech

According to ESPN's ACC expert, Tech won't win this time. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

According to ESPN's ACC expert, Tech won't win this time. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Say this for Heather Dinich of ESPN.com: She’s consistent. She didn’t pick Georgia Tech to win the Coastal Division, and she’s not picking the Coastal champ to win the ACC title.

Ms. Dinich call her choice of Clemson over Tech in Tampa on Dec. 5 a “wacky prediction.” I wouldn’t call it wacky. I’d just call it misguided. You can make a case for Clemson. You can make a much better one for Tech.

Winning the ACC would put Clemson in the Orange Bowl. So where, according to Ms. Dinich, would Tech land? The Chick-fil-A? Nope. She has Georgia Tech falling behind Virginia Tech in the pecking order and landing in the Gator Bowl against a Big East opponent or Notre Dame. (I understand the Chick-fil-A might not want to have Georgia Tech for a second consecutive year, but I also understand that there would be local pressure from Jacket fans to keep Tech out of Jacksonvile.)

But … Notre Dame? Is it …

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Bradley’s Buzz: UGA’s going to a bowl, but which one?

Gerogia's last trip to the Chick-fil-A was yummy. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

The last trip to the Chick-fil-A was yummy. Like a peach milkshake. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

The good news: Georgia is bowl-eligible. The not-so-good news: Shreveport still has a bowl. And, according to Matt Hayes of Sporting News Today, the Independence Bowl is where the Bulldogs are bound. (To face Iowa State, per Hayes.)

The better news: Four other bowl projectors see Georgia headed elsewhere. Stewart Mandel of SI.com has Georgia in the Music City Bowl against Boston College. Bruce Feldman of ESPN.com likewise tickets UGA for Nashville, but to oppose Florida State. Feldman’s colleague Mark Schlabach (who used to be my colleague) has Georgia coming to Atlanta for a Chick-fil-A date against Clemson. And CBSsports.com shows Georgia paired with East Carolina in the Liberty Bowl.

What this all means: Nobody knows. We’re 19 days from Bowl Selection Sunday, and the projected field for Georgia hasn’t been narrowed much at all. If you’re counting, the five projections show …

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Bradley’s Buzz: ESPN thinks UGA can (almost) beat Florida

When last I doubted the wisdom of ESPN’s Insiders and its Scouts Inc. brand of predicting, the Worldwide Leader was right and I was wrong. I thought Georgia Tech would beat Miami. Scouts Inc. picked the ‘Canes. Score it Scouts Inc. 1, MB nil.

So I pass this along for purposes of edification. Scouts Inc. gives Florida the edge over Georgia in seven of nine categories. (Link requires registration.) The Bulldogs are preferred at wide receiver and linebacker, you should know. Me, I’d have made it eight of nine, but I’m a famous Gator fan

Regarding Georgia’s offense, such as it is, against Florida’s top-ranked defense:

“Look for Georgia to attack the middle of the Florida run defense. True freshman RB Washaun Ealey and 222-pound backup Richard Samuel are both tough between-the-tackles runners who can lower their shoulders and pick up yards after contact. In addition, FB Fred Munzenmeir is an effective lead blocker who has done a nice job filling in for the injured Shaun Chapas. On …

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Bradley’s Buzz: An invisible link about UGA’s Carlton Thomas

Doggone it! Here's someone else I neglected to mention! (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Doggone it! Here's someone else I neglected to mention! (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Carlton Thomas. How could I forget Carlton Thomas?

In a perfect world — meaning: in a world where college games didn’t last four hours, leaving me 20 minutes to write a print column after doing a five-hour live chat — I’d have sung the praises of Carlton Thomas in this little submission. But his name isn’t in there, for a rather basic reason:

I forgot to mention him.

Carlton Thomas made maybe the biggest play of Georgia’s victory over South Carolina, and it was a pure hustle play, and what makes this so embarrassing is that I pretty much wrote about hustle. Which makes me the biggest idiot in the history of sports writing. (Don’t tell me. You knew that already, didn’t you?)

I wrote about DeAngelo Tyson blocking the extra point. I got Rennie Curran in there — I never forget Rennie Curran, who’s unforgettable — for deflecting Stephen Garcia’s final pass. But I left out Carlton Thomas. And …

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Bradley’s Buzz: Peter King picks the Falcons, and woe is he!

More of that great Falcon D. But I still think they'll be OK. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

More of that great Falcon D. But I still think they'll be OK. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Poor, poor pitiful Peter

I’ve known Peter King for 30 years, or since he was at the Cincinnati Enquirer and I was working in Lexington. There’s not a nicer guy or a harder worker in the biz. But I feel truly sorry for Industrious Pete today. Because he picked the Falcons to go 10-6 and win the NFC Southsame as I did! And we know what that means, don’t we?

Pete’s SI.com colleague Don Banks sees it differently. He picks the Saints to win the South and the Falcons to miss the playoffs. And Clark Judge of CBSsports.com likewise picks New Orleans. Of the Birds, he writes: “I’m not sure why, but I don’t see it happening again. Maybe it’s because I trust history, and history tells us that when the Falcons go to the playoffs they fizzle the following season.”

I won’t lie. I was utterly underwhelmed by the Falcons’ preseason. (I was appalled by the defensive non-showing against the …

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