August 16, 2014

The Browns and the First Round: Chance Warmack

We are less than a week from the NFL Draft, also known as the most important day of the year for your Cleveland Browns. With (another) new regime taking over the reigns and new schemes in place on both sides of the ball, it is crucial that Joe Banner, Mike Lombardi, Ray Farmer, Rob Chudzinski and the crew nail these three days. It all starts Thursday night with the primetime First Round. 

The Browns currently hold the sixth pick. Will they go with a defensive back? Could they turn to a pass rusher? Would they possible fortify the offensive line? Could they shock everyone and take an additional offensive weapon? Or maybe, just maybe, would they trade the pick to a team that wants to move up and snag one of those top offensive tackles?

From now until Thursday’s first round, a different member of the WFNY staff will take their look at one player in particular and tell you why the Browns, should they choose to, would go in this direction.

NCAA Football: BCS National Championship-Alabama vs Notre DameThe Player:

Name: Chance Warmack

Position: OG

School: Alabama

Height: 6’2″

Weight: 317

40-yard dash: 5.49 [Read more...]

The Browns and the First Round: Dee Milliner

DeeMillinerWe are less than a week from the NFL Draft, also known as the most important day of the year for your Cleveland Browns. With (another) new regime taking over the reigns and new schemes in place on both sides of the ball, it is crucial that Joe Banner, Mike Lombardi, Ray Farmer, Rob Chudzinski and the crew nail these three days. It all starts Thursday night with the primetime First Round. 

The Browns currently hold the sixth pick. Will they go with a defensive back? Could they turn to a pass rusher? Would they possible fortify the offensive line? Could they shock everyone and take an additional offensive weapon? Or maybe, just maybe, would they trade the pick to a team that wants to move up and snag one of those top offensive tackles?

From now until Thursday’s first round, a different member of the WFNY staff will take their look at one player in particular and tell you why the Browns, should they choose to, would go in this direction.  [Read more...]

Saban to NFL, Browns: Thanks, but no thanks

“How many times do you think I’ve been asked to put it to rest? And I’ve put it to rest, and you continue to ask it. So I’m going to say it today, that — you know, I think somewhere along the line you’ve got to choose. You learn a lot from the experiences of what you’ve done in the past. I came to the Miami Dolphins, what, eight years ago for the best owner, the best person that I’ve ever had the opportunity to work for. And in the two years that I was here, had a very, very difficult time thinking that I could impact the organization in the way that I wanted to or the way that I was able to in college, and it was very difficult for me. This is where I belong, and I’m really happy and at peace with all that.

– Alabama head coach Nick Saban, 61, on Tuesday after his men’s Division I program won it’s third National Championship in four seasons. While everyone may indeed have a price, it appears that Alabama’s Nick Saban is rooted more in his heart than in his wallet. Despite continued rumors hope-based speculation that would pin the former Browns defensive coordinator back in Cleveland, the Crimson Tide head coach will be staying put with his dynasty.

[Related: WFNY Roundtable: The Chip Kelly debacle and the ongoing search for a Browns head coach]

BCS Update: Kent State smelling Orange Bowl, ineligible Ohio State falls

No one could have seen this year coming for both Kent State and Ohio State football. The Flashes, ye’ of 40 years without a conference championship, appear to be one win away from a historic BCS game. The Buckeyes, who went 6-7 a year ago, managed to go 12-0 with largely the same roster in year one under Urban Meyer.

Just this last weekend, I wrote first about ineligible Ohio State’s rank in an adjusted BCS and then prophetically about Kent State’s possible BCS hopes. Both topics are more timely now than ever.

Kent State benefitted extremely from an incredible nine losses suffered by teams ranked No. 15-25 in last week’s BCS. Thus, after I guessed they’d jump between 2-6 spaces in the standings, they moved up six spots all the way to No. 17, one place away from magic number No. 16. Meanwhile, folks in Buckeye land continue to fantasize about what could have been the BCS result of the sixth undefeated season in school history.

Let’s dig deeper inside both stories for a little Tuesday fun with numbers. [Read more...]

If eligible, would Ohio State be on the verge of a BCS Championship appearance?

This year has been a strange one for Ohio State fans. Unlike the thrill of the recent undefeated 2002 or 2006 regular seasons, the 11-0 start to 2012 has had a peculiar aura because of the NCAA-sanctioned bowl ban.

As a result of the bowl ban, the Buckeyes are ineligible for the BCS standings, thus, they’re not included in the weekly updates, the USA Today Coaches Poll or the Harris Interactive Poll. But in a relatively weak college football field this year, because of only one other undefeated team, where would Ohio State rank in the current landscape?

So in a WFNY study and analysis, I looked at where the Buckeyes rank under the same BCS computer polls plus the Associated Press poll and another national ranking. I break down OSU’s perceived “weak” strength of schedule, the storylines that this formula might be missing, what would be up for grabs in today’s Michigan game and what other oddities I see in this new BCS. Hope you enjoy.

[Read more...]

Ohio State jumps to No. 4 in latest AP Poll

With the chaotic back-to-back losses of the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the nation on Saturday night, the Ohio State football team was set to benefit in the Associate Press poll. Despite being ineligible for postseason play (the Harris Poll, the BCS Standings, etc), the Buckeyes have slowly climbed the ranks in the AP poll all year.

The current order goes as follows: Notre Dame as the unanimous No. 1, Alabama at No. 2, Georgia at No. 3, OSU at No. 4 and then Oregon at No. 5. The next three teams: Florida, LSU and Kansas State.

Since Alabama and Georgia will play each other in the SEC Championship game in two weeks, some possible — although highly unlikely — scenarios exist that could lead Ohio State to the No. 1 spot in the final AP poll this season. That’d certainly be highly unprecedented in the BCS era, but puts an extra twist to next week’s edition of “The Game” against Michigan on Saturday.

[Related: Box Score: No. 6 Ohio State 21, Wisconsin 14]

Ohio State and Might Just Have Been the First Domino

There is no gloating to be done by Ohio State fans today.  Alabama might be in trouble for having players involved with a memorabilia scandal and now the University of Miami potentially in big trouble with a rogue Ponzi scheming booster, but these two situations – and any others that might arise – don’t absolve anyone or anything at Ohio State.  Sure, it might add some perspective to the things Ohio State and its players were involved with, but it will hopefully be good for everyone in the end.  Ohio State fans (this one included) largely sounded like babies when they said, “Oh come on!  You know everyone is doing exactly the same stuff.  The NCAA is a broken system.”  That’s the pain of being the first domino to fall.

Some will want to point at everyone else and say how much worse someone else’s violations were, but that ignores the larger point.  The NCAA has a system where the goals and benefits are so apparently misaligned that rule-breaking has become the norm, not the exception.  You can blame the players.  You can blame the boosters.  You can blame the NCAA and the schools.  At the end of it all, if this many big programs can’t figure out how to create an environment where players aren’t doing the wrong things, then it is the whole system. [Read more...]

Phil Savage Replaces Kenny Stabler in Alabama

Trading in the clipboard for a microphone…

savageIf you have followed the career of Kenny “The Snake” Stabler, you’ve seen him learn from the great Joe Namath after being recruited by legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.

You’ve seen him play on three different NFL teams, winning Super Bowl XI and getting named to four Pro Bowls.  You’ve also likely seen him star as the spokesman for the “Lung Brush.”  Smoke to your heart’s content!

Then things started to fall apart.  Stabler was a broadcaster for his alma mater, but was forced to take a leave of absence following his third DUI.  And shortly following the announcement that Stabler would be relieved of his duties comes the announcement that none other than Phil Savage will take his spot in the broadcast booth as Alabama’s color analyst.

[Read more...]