ESPN has Missouri back in the Top 25 in football, and the top four student-athletes in the state are in fact Mizzou players getting ready for another SEC season. The state also has a lot of high school talent in big-time volleyball and basketball prospects.
Syracuse plays short-handed due to probation. The best St. John’s player quit because of the strictness of new coach Chris Mullin (pictured), and Donovan McNabb won the last football game between ranked teams when his Syracuse Orange defeated Army in 1996. There are 50 players to watch this season in New York, and they are spread over 18 colleges and several high schools in a state dominated by pro sports.
The South Dakota State University Jackrabbits basketball team came within three points of stunning Arkansas in March Madness. They should be even better with three players in the top 10% of all players at Value Add and a midseason transfer from Wisconsin in George Marshall who went 2nd team all Conference and Deondre Parks led the team in scoring.
When Babe Ruth stood on the mound for the Boston Red Sox from 1915-17, he went 65-33, a mark topped only by a couple of dozen pitchers in the 100 years since. All three pitchers inducted to the Hall of Fame Sunday – along with my favorite player Craig Biggio – enjoyed even better marks.
The year-round climate produces so much high school talent out of Florida that Miami, Florida State, and Florida all consistently put powerhouse football and baseball teams on the field.
Yogi Ferrell’s decision to wait on the NBA gives the Hoosiers a chance for a run, he may not be the best basketball player in the state (Alec Peters, Valparaiso) or best athlete on his campus (Nate Sudfeld, 60% of passes completed all three years and 34 TDs to 13 interceptions). IUPUI’s soccer player Krissy Kirkhoff (pictured) also shines as one of the brightest stars in the state.
When you think about Nebraska, you think about football—and Alex Lewis should be protecting quarterback Tommy Armstrong this season. However, Omaha hosts the College World Series, and the greatest athlete ever from the state is pitcher Bob Gibson.
Defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah hopes to keep Oklahoma State on top of its football rivalry with Oklahoma, while Buddy Hield’s surprising decision not to go to the NBA gives the Sooners hope of a big NCAA run.
We ran the Value Add Sports calculations on all returning Arizona athletes and emailed 17 sports writers and other experts in the state to help rank the 25 state players.
We ran the Value Add Sports calculations on all returning Tennessee athletes and emailed sports writers and other experts in the state to help rank the 25 state players to watch.
We ran the Value Add Sports calculations on all returning North Dakota athletes and emailed 5 sports writers and other experts in the state to help rank the 25 state players to watch.
Whether or not the Iron Bowl produces one of the top two football teams in the country for a 7th straight year may depend on if the Crimson Tide’s Carl Lawson and Reggie Ragland can get to Auburn quarterback Jeremy Johnson before he fires the ball down the field to D’haquille Williams. So why are we talking about UAB?
We ran the Value Add Sports calculations on all returning Colorado athletes and emailed 32 sports writers and other experts in the state to help rank the 25 state players to watch.
Dick Butkus was a Chicago Bear after he starred for the state flagship Fighting Illini, but athletes to watch hail from 10 schools in Bradley, DePaul, Illinois Fighting Illini, Illinois St., Lake Forest College, Loyola Chicago, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, SIU-Edwardsville, Southern Illinois, and Western Illinois with the Academic All-American Player of the Year (Ashley Luke, pictured).
East Coast bias is the only reason we can explain Juju Smith being snubbed from from the preseason Biletnikoff Award list as one of nation’s top receivers.
In 2001, no one from the SEC or 5th ranked Texas worried about 6-6 TCU of Conference USA. On New Years’ Eve, an SEC defense that had beaten Alabama 23-17 keyed on the fastest player in the country, TCU’s Kolby Listenbee, only to have him throw a touchdown pass to begin a 42-3 route in the same place where the SEC plays its championship game.
The bizarre Bruce-to-Caitlyn Jenner saga that started as a distraction in the aftermath of Jenner’s involvement in a fatal car crash (see photo and story from TMZ here) only resulted in Jenner’s controversial ESPY Award because of a deal made behind the scenes among two companies owned by Disney, according to RadarOnLine.com.
We ran the Value Add Sports calculations on all returning Virginia athletes and emailed 109 sports writers and other experts in the state to help rank the 20 state players to watch.
LSU has a top-four football team according to ESPN, and a top 4 basketball team according to Value Add Basketball, and two of the four top returning scorers in the country play up the road at Northwestern State.
Heavyweight Joe Frazier’s home state will be represented by the South Carolina Gamecocks against UNC to kick off the ESPN season September 3. But after football wraps up with the annual Clemson-USC rivalry watch out for a breakout basketball season in a lower-weight division with Detrek Browning of Francis Marion.
For years the Won-Loss record dominated pitcher evaluations even more than ERAs. This was wrong, but too many in the baseball analytics community threw out the baby with the bathwater by making winning irrelevant in their calculations.
ESPN refused to cover women’s professional soccer during the new millennium’s first years. Now the network complains that the women receive lower pay than their male counterparts.
Without Kenny Stabler, who passed away Thursday, scouts may have never believed a left-handed quarterback could make it in the NFL and football fans would have not witnessed three of the greatest plays ever in the “Immaculate Reception,” the “Immaculate Deception” and the “Run in the Mud.”
Upon Value Add Baseball’s release two years ago, a disagreement arose over whether the best pitcher necessarily meant most valuable pitcher. The system now lists both. And Cincinnati Reds starter Johnny Cueto ranks as the best pitcher in baseball and deserves the All-Star nod over Clayton Kershaw.
Pat Corbin, one of the best pitchers in baseball in 2013 before Tommy John surgery sidelined him in 2014, returned to the mound for his first regular-season start in 22 months on Saturday night.