Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sports Spin College football podcast

Ben Greer and Josh Neighbors break down the first two weeks of the college football season an look ahead to week 3. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzIFhsm50aDZYUp3LTJiRDVTUVU/view?usp=sharing

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sports Spin Podcast: May 2015

Josh, Connor, Addison, and Anthony are back talking about the NBA Playoffs. Major League baseball, the French Open, and Deflategate. Click on the link below, download, and enjoy.
https://docs.google.com/a/collegiate-va.org/uc?id=0BzIFhsm50aDZR0lvMlhkVTczVGM&export=download
Photo Credit ESPN.com

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Frankie Coppola's 2015 NFL Mock Draft


NFL Draft Expert Frankie Coppola predicts where the biggest prospects could land in this year's first round.
  1. 1)  Jameis Winston-QB (Buccanears)

  2. 2)  Marcus Mariota-QB (Browns-trade)

  3. 3)  Amari Cooper-WR (Jaguars)

  4. 4)  Leonard Williams-DT (Raiders)

  5. 5)  Dante Fowler-DE (Falcons-trade)

  6. 6)  Vic Beasley-DE (Jets)

  7. 7)  Kevin White-WR (Bears)

  8. 8)  Brandon Scherff-OG (Redskins-trade)

  9. 9)  Andrus Peat-OT (Giants)

  10. 10)  DeVante Parker-WR (Rams)

  11. 11)  Landon Collins-S (Vikings)

  12. 12)  Danny Shelton-DT (Titans-trade)

  13. 13)  Alvin Dupree-DE (Saints)

  14. 14)  Marcus Peters-CB (Dolphins)

  15. 15)  Arik Armstead-DT (49ers)

  16. 16)  Dorial Green-Beckham-WR (Texans)

  17. 17)  Todd Gurley-RB (Chargers)

  18. 18)  Jaelen Collins-WR (Chiefs)

  19. 19)  Trae Waynes-CB (Titans-trade)

  20. 20)  Damarious Randall-S (Eagles)

  21. 21)  Ereck Flowers-OT (Bengals)

  22. 22)  Kevin Johnson-CB (Steelers)

  23. 23)  Malcolm Brown-DT (Lions)

  24. 24)  Melvin Gordon-RB (Cardinals)

  25. 25)  DJ Humphries-OT (Panthers)

  26. 26)  Jalen Collins-CB (Ravens)

  27. 27)  Owamagbe Odighizuwa-DE (Cowboys)

  28. 28)  Eddie Goldman-DE (Broncos)

  29. 29)  Jake Fisher-OT (Colts)

  30. 30)  Eric Kendricks-ILB (Packers)

  31. 31)  Benardrick McKinney-ILB (Saints)

  32. 32)  Byron Jones-CB (Patriots) 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

No Shaka here: Smart agrees to leave VCU for Texas


Sometimes things seem a little too good to be true. This is probably one of the many thoughts buzzing around the minds of Richmond, Virginia as it has just been confirmed that Shaka Smart has accepted the job at the University of Texas, who fired their coach Rick Barnes after seventeen seasons at the helm. Being a die hard VCU fan myself, I have still not truly wrapped my head around this, but I am going to try my absolute best to put into words how I feel about the decision as a sports fan, but more prominently, as a VCU fan.
Shaka Smart has been offered a seemingly endless amount of jobs since he led the Rams to the Final Four. He was the hot new thing that everyone wanted, but he stayed around. While another Final Four was not reached, Shaka showed that he could maintain success, getting VCU to the tournament for five consecutive years. Shaka did not just create a winning basketball program here in RVA, he created a brand. HAVOC. Havoc quickly became directly associated with VCU basketball and Shaka Smart, and it did not take long for it to catch on in the Commonwealth. Five years later, you can see Havoc shirts all around Richmond. Havoc has become VCU basketball. Shaka sets the tone for his team by always exuding tremendous amounts of energy to his team no matter the circumstance. No matter the score, no matter the opponent, he made sure every single player wearing the Black and Gold was energized and all in. As the nation began to see what Shaka was doing here, recruiting became a little bit easier, and this past year he brought in the 15th best recruiting class in the nation. Something that seemed unattainable for a program such as VCU. But Shaka did it.
There have been some very stressful off-seasons for VCU fans, but the difference is they ended in us only being more confident that our man was here for the long run. It seemed as if he would take the Illinois job because of his family connections, but he passed. It seemed there were high chances that he was going to accept the job at UCLA, one of the most storied programs in NCAA history. And when he turned that down, it was supposedly a “done deal” that he accepted the Marquette job. But yet again, Shaka was faithful. To even strengthen Rams fans’ confidence, he signed a huge contract extension and helped initiate a huge construction project of an amazing new practice facility.
The main reason, however, that I myself thought Shaka was here for the long run was because of his past. Shaka grew up without a father, and he went on to play basketball at Kenyon College. After his freshman year, his coach left Kenyon, and Shaka, who looked up to this man, was devastated. You would think that he would never want a player to feel the way that he felt when he heard that news. Also, 8 of the current VCU players grew up without a father figure in their lives, so Shaka really is that father figure to them. All the more assurance right? Think again.
On comes Texas… I personally disregarded the news reports at first because I did not think UT had a chance, but I was wrong. We are all human, and sometimes money takes over our minds. It is tough to turn down the type of money that Shaka was offered, as well as the Longhorn Network, and some opportunities that would not be available to him at VCU. But the thing that shocks me is that money can matter more to someone like Shaka than does the way Richmond feels about him. Shaka Smart is a celebrity in Richmond and is one of the most well liked and well respected people in the community. VCU fans and others alike adore him for his energy, the way he handles himself, and just the amazing guy he seems to be. Richmond worships him, and he was always going to have job security at VCU. The city of RVA loved Shaka, and he always returned that love until today.
I wish Shaka the best of luck because although I am immensely bitter, basketball is a business, and the Longhorns bested the Rams this time. I respect the move, but I do not necessarily agree with it. The last two VCU coaches, Jeff Capel and Anthony Grant, had great success at VCU, and they left for more money at Oklahoma and Alabama. Here’s the thing: they both got fired. I just do not understand why you would leave a school and city where basketball is everyone’s number 1, to go to Football focused school like Texas. Oklahoma and Alabama are football focused, and that did not work out for those guys. He is also going to have to get players to buy into his system, and that may not be as easy. We also have no idea if his defensive style will be successful at a Big 12 level. There is still a lot to be seen. I don’t truly see the reason behind going to Texas besides the money and if that is the only factor, well, Shaka may not be the man we all thought he was.
I think Shaka is going to do a good job. Not great, not spectacular, but he will do well. I go back to Mark Few at Gonzaga, who doesn’t even think about leaving because he built something, he is proud of it, and frankly sometimes the grass is not always greener on the other side. Shaka built something here in Richmond, and let me tell you it was something special. This fan base at VCU has always been good, but the past few years it has turned into something truly spectacular that I am proud to be a part of. I think Shaka will have certain regrets because you are not going to get treated any better than he was at VCU.
As far as where VCU goes from here, it is yet to be seen. My first and only real thought is Mike Rhodes who is currently at Rice, and is a former Shaka assistant. Rhodes knows Havoc and is a very great coach, and while it may never be the same, he can keep some familiarity inside the program. Hopefully the Rams can maintain Havoc, or else Ram fans are going to have a lot of shirts to sell. Keep your heads up Ram fans. Who knows what the future will hold as far as transfers and decommits go. But we were depressed when Grant left, and we found a winner. So keep your minds open because when November rolls around, we will all be proud to be Rams, and life will go on.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sports Spin Podcast: NFL Free Agency, NBA MVP, NCAA tournament

The guys talk the latest news in NFL free agency, including the LeSean McCoy for Kiko Alonso trade. Connor makes Russell Westbrook's MVP candidacy and finish up by discussing the teams on the bubble of the NCAA tournament. Click on the link, download, and enjoy!

https://drive.google.com/a/collegiate-va.org/uc?id=0BzIFhsm50aDZVTFqd0JjVXprSkk&export=download

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sports Spin Podcast: NFL divisional round preview

Connor and Josh preview the divisional round in the NFL. They then give their predictions for the national championship, discuss college basketball, and catch up on the latest trades in the NBA. Click on the link, download, and enjoy!
https://docs.google.com/a/collegiate-va.org/uc?id=0BzIFhsm50aDZZWxtbGhmUnlzeG8&export=download

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Our Only Fear Is Fear Itself

For years and years College Football enthusiasts have been desperate for some type of playoff system. Finally, we got it, and after its first day of existence, it has been a tremendous success. We got to see Oregon trounce FSU in Pasadena, and we saw the miraculous upset of Ohio State over the almighty Bama. The reality is that with the old system, FSU and Alabama would have been playing in the National Championship. What does this mean? It means that finally the great sport of FBS football has finally gained what it has been missing, justice.

It is going to be really refreshing to turn on a National Championship game, and see two teams that do not come from the SEC. I'm sure SEC fans would only let that feed into their "us against the world" mentality. The thing that peeves me most about fans of teams that are hated is that they think they are hated because they win. However, their near-sighted perspectives prevent them from seeing that winning does not cause hatred, but rather it is how you handle success. In College Basketball, I absolutely despise Duke because of their sense of elitism and the way in which the coaches, players, and fans carry themselves. It is NOT because they win. I do not dislike Wisconsin, Kansas, Arizona, or Gonzaga. All teams that have respect and handle themselves the right way. I love watching teams have success when it is done the right way.

Personally, I think that the SEC is the deepest conference in the country and probably the strongest, but it is about time they start backing it up. The mentality that SEC teams should not have to play a tough out of conference schedule because of the difficulty of their conference schedule is simply foolish in my opinion. Most of the teams play a maximum of one truly respectable team, and then three complete jokes. It is an absolute shame that the 1st ranked non-conference schedule in the SEC this year consisted of Utah State, Arkansas State, Oklahoma, and Chattanooga. Really? Sure, Oklahoma is a somewhat respectable game, but that is a less than impressive assortment of teams. In addition, for that schedule to be from the 9th in the SEC Tennessee Volunteers, well that is simply embarrassing. Usually, some teams are better than others when it comes to scheduling. Usually, Georgia, LSU, and Florida are teams that are fairly consistent in their scheduling. Nevertheless, the unfathomable weakness of SEC nonconference schedules in 2015 causes me to cringe. 

The strongest 3 schedules belong to Alabama, Auburn, and Texas A&M. However, I am not sure I should say strong, rather than less weak. 

Alabama: Wisconsin, MTSU, ULM, and Charleston SouthernAuburn: Louisville, Jacksonville St, SJSU, and IdahoTexas A&M: Arizona State, Ball State, Nevada, and Western CarolinaImpressed? I sure hope not. Wisconsin is a very respected team, but they will be in search of answers in this point in the season after losing their entire offense in Melvin Gordon. Besides that, MTSU and ULM are mediocre teams with the wonderful FCS Charleston Southern. For Auburn, they play a solid Louisville team, but they will go into next year after losing their top offensive and defensive playmakers. After that, another assortment of poor football teams. I can respect A&m’s schedule. Arizona State will be a very good football team, Ball State is a respected MAC team, Nevada is no pushover, and Western Carolina is, well, they are Western Carolina. Those are not great schedules, but compared to the schedules of LSU, Ole Miss, and MIssissippi State, they are incredibly tough.

LSU: McNeese State, Syracuse, Eastern Michigan, and Western KentuckyOle Miss: UT-Martin, Fresno State, New Mexico State, and MemphisMiss St: Southern Miss, NW State, Troy, and Louisiana Tech

It is not worth analyzing these schedules because I can sum them up in one question. Are you serious? I understand teams that are rebuilding that need some winnable games playing games like this, but when you are attempting to contend for a National Championship, how dare you present a non-conference schedule like this. I am a University of Virginia fan. UVA frankly is not that great of a team, and it would be really easy for them to play a pushover schedule. Instead, they play UCLA, Boise State, and Notre Dame. While I know this schedule is unreasonable to expect from everyone, teams across the country play games schedules closer to this than the SEC. 

The SEC gets the best recruits. The SEC gets the most media attention. The SEC has the craziest fans. The SEC has a lot of pride. But you know what the SEC lacks? Guts. If you want to be the best of the best, then act like it. This bowl season, many of the top SEC teams fell to their opponents including Auburn, Mississippi state, Ole Miss, and of course, Alabama. Thankfully, these games have raised a question: is the SEC really the best? If you were the best conference, you would dominate bowl season against “inferior” teams. But guess who has the worst record in the past 10 years in BCS bowls. You guessed it, it’s the SEC. 

I am not ready to claim that the SEC is not the best conference, but the College Football playoff has caused questions to be asked and concerns to be raised. Wake up SEC, it is a new day, and if you want to be the best of the best, I beg you to man up and prove yourself.-Ben Greer

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Sports Spin Podcast: NFL Playoff Preview

Connor Addison and Josh break down the NFL playoffs. Could any teams playing this wild car weekend make a run in the playoffs? Then the guys look ahead to the draft, and then talk 

https://docs.google.com/a/collegiate-va.org/uc?id=0BzIFhsm50aDZNUE1dm5NMFFPdFU&export=download