Previewing the Big Games: College Football Week 1

By Aaron Hyden
PSDC College Football Contributor

With the 2015 college football season already underway, and the first Saturday slate of games kicking off, it’s time to preview the big games from Week 1. Teams from all over the country are beginning their journeys towards a possible National Championship, but it all begins with the season’s first game. I’ll be back when the week is over to review the goings-on and see how close my predictions were. Let’s not waste any more time, though.

No. 15 Arizona State vs Texas A&M: Arizona State is quickly becoming a chic selection as a National Championship dark horse contender, and that discussion starts because of their offense. QB Mike Bercovici stepped in for injured starter Taylor Kelly last season, throwing for 1,445 yards and 14 touchdowns in what was essentially three-and-a-half games. Last season’s leading rusher, DJ Foster, has been switched to WR to replace Jaelen Strong, while Demario Richard takes Foster’s place at RB.

Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

A&M needs to improve on a defense that ranked 103rd in the nation, out of 128 teams, last season, including being No. 114 in rushing yards allowed per game. Former LSU Defensive Coordinator John Chavis joins the team in that same role this season, and that gives Aggies fans lots of hope, as Chavis led one of the country’s top defensive units every season in Baton Rouge. [Read more…]

2016 NFL Draft Prospects: Cornerbacks

By Aaron Hyden
PSDC College Football Contributor

Thanks to Richard Sherman’s boisterous ways, the cornerback position has become a more attention-getting area of football. Teams are looking for these players that can shut down entire halves of the field at their best, changing game plans of opposing offenses and forcing them to look elsewhere. It’s an important position, with high risks and high rewards, and it takes a special type of player to be successful in this day and age of ultra athletic wide receivers running like gazelles all over the field. Leading the pack in the Class of 2016 is my pick for the best overall prospect, and as close to a “sure thing” as you’re going to find this year.

1. Vernon Hargreaves, Florida – If you’re looking for the prototypical “shutdown” CB, look no further than Hargreaves. He isn’t the tallest CB (5’11”) out there, but he plays much bigger than his height would indicate because of his physicality. He has no problem jamming WRs at the line of scrimmage, and doesn’t allow them to get the best of him as they move down the field. His body control and instincts are top level, and his closing speed helps to eliminate issues when the occasional mistake is made.

Photo Credit: USA Today

Photo Credit: USA Today

His aforementioned physical style of play is an added bonus against the run or against screen passes. He enjoys contact, and isn’t afraid of shedding blocks to lay a hit on a ball carrier. The stereotype of CBs, especially the stars, is that they shy away from contact. You don’t have that issue here, making him something of a dual threat as a defender. [Read more…]

Project Shanks College Basketball Teams of the Year

By Quin Welch
PSDC Contributor

Hello, fellow Shankers. Today, we’re going to start a little tradition. Shankers, I give you the OFFICAL Project Shanks teams of 2013-14! How do we decide which teams to root for as a collective family, you ask? Well, it’s simple. We pull for the ones that suck.

After a few quick Google searches, I have compiled the six teams from each major conference who were picked by their conference’s media members to finish last. Now, in doing this, I don’t want to hurt any feelings. For instance, if we did this for football, Kentucky, my favorite team, would eternally be a part of this list. This is all in good fun. Don’t take it personally if your team finds their way onto this list. Besides, we’re now all fans of your team! Huzzah!

With that being said, we’re going to have fun with this. I’ll give bi-weekly updates (or whenever I feel like it) on our squads.

Now, for the team reveal. Drum roll please…

PAC 12: Washington State (13-19, 4-14 PAC 12)- Washington State, a school known best as the place where Mike Leach is currently imprisoning teenagers in sheds. Seriously, other than Mike Leach, when’s the last time you thought about Washington State in anything? Their coach, Ken Bone, is on the hot seat after a disappointing (expected?) season. Upon seeing a picture, I couldn’t help but think he looks EXACTLY like Eric, a hopeless nerd, from Drake and Josh. Google it. Thank me later. Anyway, they’re already 3-4, with one of their three wins coming in a squeaker by six over CSU-Bakersfield. Go Cougars!

ken-bone-wsu

Big 12: TCU (11-21, 2-16 Big 12)- TCU beat Kansas last year. Bill Self’s hairpiece should have shot itself. They’re that bad. (Yes, Bill Self does indeed wear a hairpiece. Look really close. Promise.) The Horned Frogs were absolutely miserable last year, scoring a mere 31 points in a loss to fellow college basketball bottom-dweller Northwestern. The Big 12 was not friendly to its newest member, as they only managed to collect two conference wins. I won’t say anything mean about TCU (yet) because they beat Kansas last year, and I enjoyed that. A lot. Go get ‘em, Frogs. [Read more…]

Project Shanks College Football Preview: Atlantic Coast Conference

By Garrett Franskousky
PSDC Writer

The ACC exploded its way back to the national prominence led by Clemson and Florida State this past year and it seems like the conference as a whole is continuing on an upward trend. With teams like Miami, Virginia Tech and North Carolina, expected to return to relevance and Florida State reloading for another solid year, it’s not out of the question to think that as many as 10 of the ACC’s 14 teams could be bowl eligible come December. Filled with Heisman hopefuls such as Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins and yes, even Jameis Winston, the conference will continue to get more and more publicity and air time. It seems like can expect nothing short of another banner year for this conference as whole. For the sake of this preview, I’ve broken it down into the ACC’s two divisions, the Atlantic and the Coastal.

Atlantic Division: The home of the two crown jewels of the ACC, the Championship game, and maybe even the national title hopes of many, will come down to a game in mid-October. [Read more…]

2013 NFL Draft Review: Detroit Lions, Rounds 4-7

By Keith Alrick
PSDC Writer

Round 4, Pick 132: Devin Taylor, DE, South Carolina

[Read more…]

2013 NFL Draft Review: Denver Broncos, Rounds 4-7

By Bryan Douglass
PSDC Go-To Guy

Round 5, Pick 146: Quanterus Smith, DE, Western Kentucky

[Read more…]