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The Big 12 in the pros

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Football:

For a fantastic draft summary and several Scipio quips check here and then report back here for the view from the Nickel Rover draft command center I constructed in the Barking Carnival office out of Hazelnut coffee bins.

First let's all consider the fact that the Big 12 produced 6 top ten picks to a lowly 2 for the SEC. Of course the catch is that they are all from OU. If the Sooners really have held that much talent in the last 2 years then Texas victories mean some combination of the following:

A). OU players have been overrated in the draft II). Injuries to Bradford and Gresham crippled the team C). Texas has more top to bottom talent 4). Davis and Muschamp have outschemed/outcoached Bobby

All of these are pretty appealing options.

Overall I have thoughts on the following first round selections:

8). Rolando McClain to Oakland: Interesting that the Raiders departed from their usual tactic of taking the riskiest and fastest athlete available to take an instinctual and heady player with size. I'm curious to how he responds not playing behind the blob but in general I like him for the league. He should have fun with Lamarr Houston in the coming years.

9). CJ Spiller to Buffalo: I really like Spiller. If you have a team with a strong Offensive line and/or a spread offense it's essential to have a back who can destroy teams on plays with , screens, flares, draws, and plays with large holes. I would rather have a Chris Johnson or Marshall Faulk over any other back in the league, even Peterson. Buffalo is a strange location though considering their depth chart at running back and their host of other needs. A warmer climate would have been a better fit.

24). Dez Bryant to Dallas: What else were you expecting? Too bad they are already paying Roy Williams millions to do the same things. I really don't think Dallas' need at receiver justified a first round pick. Finding replacements on their rapidly aging line would have been better.

25). Tim Tebow to Denver: At first, as a McDaniels fan like ColoradoAg, I thought "oh they must have a specific purpose for Tebow in their offense". Then I thought about it for more than 2 seconds. They already signed Brady Quinn and still have Kyle Orton who should take Tebow into the film room for 2 years of study. I think Orton is pretty capable and Quinn a more likely pan out than Tebow. I would rate Tebow's likely value in the short term as a Wildcat-short yardage option and in the long term as a lesser Orton or very strong Halfback.

Unless you are building a triple option offense that requires the possession of a Steve Worster, a halfback is a lousy selection in the first round. Terrible value, especially when you have a far more talented quarterback to work on in Quinn.

27). Devin McCourty to New England: As a Pats fan I was hoping for CJ Spiller or maybe Jahvid Best here as they have lacked a worthy running back since clock killin' Corey Dillon. Their spread would improve dramatically with an upgrade over Kevin Faulk and his wretched band of injury-prone under-achievers. Instead they loaded up on another versatile, small, and physical corner of the variety that comprised their championship defenses. Then they grabbed Brandon Spikes in the later rounds giving them a pair of blue-chip inside linebackers that could be foundational for years of old school Belichek defense. Consider that their defense's failings have been a large part of their downfall it's not a terrible choice though early to grab McCourty. I think the absence of a difference maker at RB should be their priority for the remaining selections if their are any left to be had.

As far as Texas goes, I feel bad for Sergio Kindle. He came back for his senior year for the purpose of making money and then landed a 2nd round pick that probably wasn't better than what he could have had the year before.

He destroyed the Big 12 in his senior year but there were a few things that are holding him back. First and foremost is this, potential knee problems that could limit his career highlight tapes to Texas games.

Second is this, he doesn't really project as a dominant pass-rusher because of his slow shuttle times, lack of technique and the fact that most of his success came against lowly Right Tackles and chasing down guys flushed out by Houston, Orakpo and Roy Miller. The Ravens are a perfect destination for him as he can develop behind Suggs and Johnson and be useful in their zone-blitz scheme.

At Texas he was best as a 9-tech strongside DE/LB and I think the strongside OLB in a 3-4 zone-blitzing team is just about the perfect fit. Here's hoping he's healthy enough to wreak havoc in run defense and blitzing as he should be able to find space to do so behind Ngata and Mt. Cody.

Colt McCoy was dealt another blow in the game of life in dropping to the third round to be preyed on by the Cleveland Browns. Uh, good luck buddy. It's funny that he went behind Shipley (to the Bengals) as it pairs the two players that made Colt great in Cincinnati while subtly suggesting that Colt's success was in large part due to that tandem. I'm betting Palmer loves this addition.

Fake Ken Tremendous came off one of his coconut rum/Dilbert cartoon binges long enough to produce his 5th piece on the website. It's probably one of the funniest articles I've read here in months.

Basketball:

Texas signed Cory Joseph. It began as an afterthought solution to Texas' guard issues. "Well, there could be a scholarship spot for Cory Joseph, he's still undecided." Now it's set. Good deal, expectations for 2010 will now rise to the point where we can all be disappointed with the outcome.

Also, Trips Right jumped aboard the Thunder bandwagon after Durant's dominant 27-19 game where he turned Kobe into a surly loser by locking him down in the 4rth quarter. The gameplan I set out of attempting to lure Kobe into a scoring contest with Durant has worked to perfection and has secured one victory and another near miss in game 2.

I was already convinced that Durant had passed Bryant amongst the league's elite but I consider that to be less of a task than others do. For 1 season there are at least 5 players I would rather build my team around than Bryant. In fact, given a healthy year for Ginobli and their current contracts I would rather have the Raptor on my squad for his more efficient shooting, similar shot creation skills and turnover-producing defense at a far lower cost. Of course the injury trend is a difference maker in that competition as Kobe grits out non-debilitating injuries like a champion.

Still, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, Manu, Chris Bosh and Pau Gasol I think are all at a comparable level or beyond with Kobe this season.

He is wildly overhyped for his ability to take all his team's shots in the 4rth quarter and make enough difficult/contested shots to look good doing it and isn't a far better option for that role than most anyone else on that list.