Thursday, April 9, 2009

Things are getting interesting in Columbia

Sorry for the delay in today's posting. I've been a little tied up today, with South Carolina basketball coach Darrin Horn potentially in Cincinnati this morning interviewing for the Xavier job. Nothing like a coaching search to keep you on your toes. More details on this later.

We're now two and a half weeks out from the NFL Draft, and the rankings I place the most faith in have been released. Pro Football Weekly's not perfect, but I've found them to be far more reliable in sizing up potential NFL talent than most media outlets. Percy Harvin is still listed as a late first rounder, but the part of their ratings I'm happiest to see is Cornelius Ingram as an early second rounder. Ingram's a great kid who I think can be an outstanding performer for somebody. It would have been terrible for him to come back for his final year, suffer an injury that robbed him of a chance to play at all and then drop in the draft as well. If he goes early second, that means his return likely made him some money. Last year he was being projected at least a round lower than that. One other thought looking at those ratings - John Parker Wilson of Alabama is a third rounder at QB? Really?

The number of banged up players has become a huge issue for UF during spring drills, but they've been able to stay away from the season ending injuries thus far. Last year there was a huge surge of ACL related problems that a lot of people thought might eventually sink the Gators chances. Georgia also wasn't lucky with player health last year, and that trend continues as receiver Kris Durham is done for 2009. Durham isn't a star, but he's a senior who knew their system. Without him, UGA's already down to just seven wide receivers for fall.

Another day, another SEC player who think he needs to get the NBA's opinion on his game. This time it's LSU's Tasmin Mitchell. None of these guys - not Calathes, Devan Downey, Jodie Meeks or Mitchell - are projected as first rounders. Some aren't even projected to be drafted. It's ridiculous and unfair to their teams that if these players want to they can drag this out until mid June. The deadline needs to be moved up so that coaches can make an effort to replace guys who decide to go. Football players get three days to change their minds if they enter the draft but don't sign with an agent. Why should basketball players get three months?

Since I don't watch much TV, I've never felt the need to pay for HBO. I've missed out on some good shows like Entourage, The Wire and the Sopranos, but the odds are I wouldn't have found time to sit down and watch them anyway. I may have to make a change next year, though, because Eastbound and Down is coming back. I've only seen some of the first season, but it's hilarious. The guys I work with here are borderline evangelists for the greatness that is Kenny Powers. If paying for HBO means I'll be less likely to get exposed to crap like this from FOX, well that's even better. Layoffs are not funny or entertaining. Who the hell is going to sponsor this show - resume placement firms? Kleenex? Sleeping pill manufacturers? Stay classy, Rupert Murdoch.

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