Should the New York Jets draft a QB in 2014?

geno-smith-jetsWhen the New York Jets took Geno Smith with the 39th overall pick this past draft, many thought New York was drafting their quarterback of the future. Sure there were questions regarding Smith’s professionalism and late-season decline at West Virginia. But his talent was evidently enough to warrant an early second-round draft choice.

The buzz around Smith only grew as he beat out a banged-up Mark Sanchez for the starting QB job. The young signal caller fared pretty well in his first game, completing 24-of-38 passes for 256 yards and a touchdown. Smith also showed off his 4.59-forty speed by adding 47 yards on the ground. More importantly, he led New York to an 18-17 win over Tampa Bay.

Since this time, Smith has been up and down, with mostly downs to speak of lately. His statline reads of a quarterback who’d normally be benched by this point: 2,227 passing yards, 8 TD’s and 18 INT’s.

It’s worth mentioning that Smith has also added 178 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground. But this isn’t nearly enough to make up for the 18 interceptions that he’s geno-smith-jets-1tossed so far. The last four games have been particularly bad, with Smith throwing for zero touchdowns and 7 INT’s. And if the Jets had a reliable veteran at quarterback this season, you have to wonder if they’d be much better than 5-6.

This might be the question that New York management asks themselves throughout the offseason. Going further, is it already time for the Jets to start thinking about taking another quarterback next year?

It’s certainly too early to completely write Smith off at this point. After all, starting in the NFL as a rookie is an extremely tough task, especially when you’re not a guaranteed franchise savior like Andrew Luck. But if Smith is to truly be the Jets’ QB of the future, he’s going to have to make some significant improvements in accuracy and getting rid of the ball on time.

It doesn’t help the former Mountaineer’s case that the 2014 NFL Draft is loaded with talent at the quarterback position. There are potentially 5-6 signal callers who could be major game-changers at the next level. Fresno State’s Derek Carr, LSU’s Zach Mettenberger and Clemson’s Tajh Boyd lead the seniors, while Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota and UCLA’s Brett Hundley head up the draft-eligible underclassmen.

geno-smith-jets-2The latter three prospects are virtually guaranteed a first-round selection, while the three seniors could go late in the first round or at some point in the second round. In any case, the Jets are going to have plenty of chances at drafting a good QB, even if they don’t trade up in the 2014 Draft.

Of course, everything is up in the air for New York right now. Geno Smith could suddenly come out and play much better, leading his team to several more wins and instilling some confidence among management. Given that the Jets are still very much alive in the AFC Wild Card race, Smith leading them to the postseason would really boost his stock.

But at the moment, with his 7 interceptions in the last four games, he’s really going to have to show something over the next few weeks. Or the Jets could be welcoming their new QB of the future on the draft podium next spring.

College Football Power Rankings for Week 8 (Oct. 24th, 2013)

jameis-winstonLast weekend’s college football action was highlighted by the Clemson Tigers taking on Florida State. Clemson was slightly favored because they were playing at home and their star QB, Tajh Boyd, was a senior. Nevertheless, FSU turned in a dominating performance en route to a 51-14 win.

The Seminoles defense stifled Boyd by holding him to 158 yards and one touchdown pass, while picking him off twice. Meanwhile, their super-freshman QB, Jameis Winston, put himself near the top of the Heisman Trophy race by throwing for 444 yards and three TD’s. And this big victory moves the Seminoles further up our power rankings too.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (7-0); beat Arkansas 52-0, retains same ranking – Outside of a 49-42 victory over Texas A&M, Alabama has completely dismantled opponents this season. Their next opponent, Tennessee, figures to be a little tougher competition than Arkansas. But expect this home contest to be yet another easy victory for the Tide.

2. Oregon Ducks (7-0); beat Washington State 62-38, retains same ranking – Leading Heisman Trophy candidate Marcus Mariota had his “worst” game of the season after fumbling twice. However, it wasn’t nearly enough to give the Cougars a real chance at winning. And Mariota still threw for 327 yards, combined for three TD’s and avoided any interceptions yet again this season.

3. Florida State Seminoles (6-0); beat Clemson 51-14, moves up two spots – While people thought that FSU had a shot at beating Clemson, nobody could’ve predicted the massacre that they pulled off. If the Seminoles can run the table in the ACC, they could be competing in the National Title game in January.

4. Ohio State Buckeyes (7-0); beat Iowa 34-24, drops one spot – Last game was a little close for comfort for the Bucks. However, they were able to overcome a 7-point halftime deficit thanks to 251 combined rushing yards from Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde. OSU now has 19 straight victories, which is the longest streak in D1 college football.

5. Miami Hurricanes (6-0); beat North Carolina 27-23, moves up five spots – Miami miami-hurricanes-footballjust joined our power rankings last week, and now they’ve accelerated to the fifth spot, following losses by Clemson, LSU, Texas A&M, Louisville and UCLA – four of which have dropped out. They’re going to have to play better, though, than beating a 1-5 team by four points. Taking care of the football will be the challenge for the Hurricanes moving forward.

6. Missouri Tigers (7-0); beat Florida 36-17, unranked last week – Maty Mauk engineered a win over 22nd-ranked Florida by throwing for 295 yards in his first career start. The freshman filled in for an injured James Franklin, who watched the game from the sidelines. Missouri is now in good position to win the SEC East and play in the conference championship game.

7. Stanford Cardinals (6-1); beat UCLA 24-10, unranked last week – Stanford only spent one week out of our top 10. They got back in after shutting down the Bruins and breaking the game open with two TD’s in the third quarter. The Cardinals could take an even bigger jump up the rankings if they can beat Oregon on the road. But this is a huge ‘If.’

8. Baylor Bears (6-0); beat Iowa State 71-7, unranked last week – This game got ugly really quick after Baylor jumped out to a 37-0 halftime lead. The Bears nearly pitched a shutout, but the Cyclones got a late touchdown. Baylor has another fairly easy game this Saturday as they travel to Kansas.

9. Clemson Tigers (6-1); lost to Florida State 51-14, drops five spots – The Seminoles really seem to have Boyd’s number since he’s experienced two very bad losses in a row to them. They will try to get back on track as they travel to Maryland.

10. Texas Tech (7-0); beat West Virginia 37-27, unranked last week – Texas Tech actually trailed in this game heading into the fourth quarter. However, they came back and won thanks to two TD’s in the final period. Freshman Davis Webb was on fire as he threw for 462 yards and two scores. But he and the Red Raiders will definitely have to earn their ranking in a road game against Oklahoma on Saturday.

Clemson’s Tajh Boyd supposedly lost $80k on NFL Betting

tajh-boyd-gamblingThis past week was no doubt a bad one for star Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd. Not only did he have his worst game (156 passing YDS, 1 TD, 2 INT’s) in a loss to Florida State, but he’s also dealing with a controversy involving gambling debts.

According to IBNSportsWrap.com, Boyd has allegedly racked up $80,000 in gambling debts. And the massive losses are said to have come through betting on NFL games. It’s not known whether he lost the money through straight betting, live wagering or prop bets. But IBN did include some other juicy details in their “exclusive,” as you can see below:

Sources told us that Tajh Boyd owes over $80,000 in unpaid gambling debts.

The Clemson QB owed 2 bookies big money, source says that most of the money is on failed NFL bets but no bets have been placed on his team as of last weekend. The last known action from the “Tiger” is a $15,000 bet on UCF Friday night (+14) that actually won and kept him under his cut-off limit which is $100,000.

Our source indicates that the 2 bookies are giving him this much credit to wager on because they know he’s in line for big payday after this coming NFL draft (1st or 2nd rd pick likely). According to our source, those bookies feel safe because they have text and other info if Boyd would attempt to stiff them.

Although Boyd’s NFL Draft stock has slipped somewhat following the Florida State game – where he was horribly inaccurate and visibly shaken – he would still make more than enough to pay back the mystery bookies. After all, many experts still expect the Clemson star to go in the middle of the first round. But this is provided that there’s even any truth to this story in the first place.

tajh-boyd-gambling-1IBNSportsWrap isn’t exactly the best known website out there. In fact, most people have never even heard of IBN, before this story of course. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is one of these people, as he discussed this while backing up his quarterback.

“I have no reason not to believe Tajh Boyd,” he said. “He’s never lied to me before. His character and integrity from my view are impeccable, so I’m going to take his word over some website that I’ve never heard of, ever.”

Boyd also shot down the rumors about his supposed gambling habit. “I have no idea where that came from,” he said. “It was kind of shocking to me as well. That, on top of the loss (to Florida State), it made for a rough little weekend.”

Seeing as how there have never been any stories regarding Boyd and gambling in the past, it is hard to take IBN’s story at face value. It’s especially damaging to Boyd’s Heisman Trophy campaign, which already took a nosedive after the loss to the Seminoles.

According to ESPN’s Heisman Watch, Boyd has fallen down to eighth, while Marcus Mariota (73 votes) and Jameis Winston (67 votes) are in a close battle for first. There’s still quite a bit of time left in the 2013 college football season, though. Perhaps Boyd can turn things around, climb back up in the Heisman race and put the gambling rumors all behind him.

College Football Power Rankings for Week 6 (Oct. 10th, 2013)

alabama-tideEvery team from last week’s top 10 won, which means our rankings will remain largely unchanged in Week 6. But Ohio State and Stanford got definite scares and needed strong late-game play to win. And Georgia did slip in our rankings due to injury circumstances. That said, let’s discuss the Bulldogs as well as the rest of the top 10.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0); beat Georgia State 45-3, retains same ranking – Everybody from the Tide got a chance to play in this mid-season tuneup game. DeAndrew White highlighted the action with a spectacular one-handed grab in what was an otherwise predictable outcome.

2. Oregon Ducks (5-0); beat Colorado 57-16, retains same ranking – Marcus Mariota had an outstanding game after scoring seven total touchdowns. From the monsoon two weeks ago to the total domination against Colorado, the Ducks offense looks absolutely unstoppable.

3. Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0); beat Northwestern 40-30, retains same ranking – The Buckeyes were powered by running back Carlos Hyde and his 168 yards and three touchdowns. Hyde’s third score put the Bucks up for good with 5:22 remaining, and kept their national title hopes alive.

4. Clemson Tigers (5-0); beat Syracuse 49-14, retains same ranking – Tajh Boyd didn’t have his prettiest game after throwing his first two interceptions of the season. However, he also tossed five TD passes, which was more than enough to win a road game over Syracuse. There’s now just two weeks until the Tigers face off against Florida State in one of the year’s biggest matchups.

5. Stanford Cardinals (5-0); beat Washington 31-28, retains same ranking – The Cardinals stanford-ty-montgomeryhad their hands full trying to hold off the Huskies and atone for last season’s loss. But they were able to do it, thanks to 290 all-purpose yards and two TD’s from Ty Montgomery. Now they head off to Utah for what could be a semi-tough contest.

6. Florida State Seminoles (5-0); beat Maryland 63-0, moves up three spots – While many experts predicted the Seminoles would win this contest, few people expected a 63-point blowout of the 25th-ranked Terrapins. However, Maryland had no chance of slowing down super frosh Jameis Winston, who threw for 393 passing yards and five touchdowns.

7. Texas A&M Aggies (4-1); bye week, retains same ranking – Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M got last week off. Now they’ll travel to Ole Miss to face a desperate team that just fell out of the top 25.

8. Louisville Cardinals (5-0); beat Temple 30-7, retains same ranking – Nothing special to report here. The Cardinals dominated a winless Temple team while Teddy Bridgewater threw for 348 yards and two touchdowns. Louisville almost pitched a shutout, but the Owls were able to get a moral-booster with a late touchdown.

9. LSU Tigers (4-1); beat Mississippi State 59-26, moves up one spot – The Bulldogs kept this one close for a while, trailing only 31-26 after three quarters. However, LSU blew the game wide open in the final quarter and compiled 563 yards of total offense throughout the game.

10. Georgia Bulldogs (4-1); beat Tennessee 34-31 (OT), drops four spots – Once again, Aaron Murray provided late-game heroics to power the Bulldogs to a victory. That said, it seems like they shouldn’t be dropping in our rankings. Unfortunately, the win proved very costly as Georgia lost both RB Keith Marshall and WR Justin Scott-Wesley to season-ended knee injuries. Now their season could get much tougher moving forward.

College Football Power Rankings for Week 5 (Oct. 4th, 2013)

alabama-number-oneLast week’s college football action featured a very high-profile matchup between #6 LSU and #9 Georgia. And this game was as good as advertised, with Georgia escaping with a 44-41 win at home. QB Aaron Murray threw a 25-yard touchdown to Justin Scott-Wesley with 1:47 remaining to pull out the victory.

After playing four very tough opponents to open the year, Georgia is now in the national championship race, despite having one loss. They’ll be hoping that some of the following teams lose so they can move up in the AP rankings and into a BCS National Championship game spot.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0); beat Ole Miss 25-0, retains same ranking – Alabama made a ranked Ole Miss team look quite pedestrian in this shutout. And this is a big accomplishment, given that the Rebels have one of the nation’s best offenses. They gained just 205 yards of total offense in this game though.

2. Oregon Ducks (4-0); beat Cal 55-16, retains same ranking – Even in heavy rain, the Ducks couldn’t be slowed down. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota threw a couple of TD passes in this monsoon. The same can’t be said of Cal freshman Jared Goff, who came into this contest with a nation-leading 453 passing yards per game. He couldn’t grip the ball and finished 3-of-6 for 11 yards before being replaced.

3. Ohio State Buckeyes (5-0); beat Wisconsin 31-24, retains same ranking – Ohio State has now won 17 straight games after dispatching the braxton-miller-ohio-state#23 Badgers. Braxton Miller threw for 281 yards and four touchdowns after sitting out for a couple of games with an injury. He and the Bucks face an even bigger test on the road at #16 Northwestern.

4. Clemson Tigers (4-0); beat Wake Forrest 56-7, retains same ranking – Tajh Boyd became just the second ACC quarterback besides Philip Rivers to throw for 100 career touchdown passes in this route. Clemson now goes on the road to face a mediocre Syracuse team.

5. Stanford Cardinals (4-0); beat Washington State 55-17, retains same ranking – Stanford pounded Washington State by tallying 238 rushing yards with five different backs. QB Kevin Hogan added another 286 passing yards and three TD’s for the unbeaten Cardinals.

6. Georgia Bulldogs (3-1); beat LSU 44-41, moves up 3 spots – The Bulldogs make the biggest jump in our rankings, thanks to their win over the Tigers. Assuming Georgia can run the table from here on out, they’ll likely be in the national title game.

7. Texas A&M Aggies (3-1); beat Arkansas 45-33, moves up 1 spotmike-evans-texasNot surprisingly, Johnny Manziel had another big game after gaining 320 yards of total offense and throwing two touchdown passes. WR Mike Evans also continues to impress after catching 6 balls for 118 yards and two touchdowns in this contest.

8. Louisville Cardinals (4-0); bye week, drops 1 spot – The Cardinals had a week to rest before their American Athletic Conference opener at Temple. It may be a while before Louisville runs into any real tough opponents.

9. Florida State Seminoles (4-0); beat Boston College 48-24, moves up 1 spot – FSU got off to a rocky start after going down 17-3 to the Eagles. But super freshman Jameis Winston brought the Seminoles out of their funk by connecting with Kenny Shaw on a hail mail TD before halftime. FSU has now topped 40 points in every game this year.

10. LSU Tigers (4-1); lost to Georgia 44-41, drops 4 spots – You can’t fault the Tigers too much for losing to a strong Georgia team on the road. But LSU could’ve moved into the top 5 if they’d mustered a winning drive with 1:47 left.

College Football Power Rankings for Week 4 (Sept. 20th, 2013)

alabama-texas-amNow three weeks into the 2013 college football season, we’ve already see some big matchups. The most notable involved the defending champion Alabama Crimson Tide taking on Mr. Heisman Johnny Manziel and the Texas A&M Aggies last weekend. Despite strong performances by Manziel, WR Mike Evans and RB Ben Malena, the Tide proved too much to handle. That said, it’s little surprise who our top team is in this week’s power rankings.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (2-0); beat Texas A&M 49-42 – Alabama may have given up 628 yards of total offense to the Aggies, but then again, they were facing an elite team. The Tide did what they needed to do to win, and put lots of points on the board themselves.

2. Oregon Ducks (3-0); beat Tennessee 59-14 – Oregon hung the first loss on a previously unbeaten Tennessee team, and looked incredible while doing so. Marcus Mariota showed why he’s one of the top prospects heading into the 2014 NFL Draft after putting up 456 passing yards and 4 TD’s against the hapless Vols.

kenny-guiton-osu3. Ohio State Buckeyes (3-0); beat Cal 52-34 – Most teams would struggle mightily in the absence of their Heisman Trophy candidate. But the Buckeyes just inserted backup QB Kenny Guiton for Braxton Miller (sprained MCL) and scored 52 points on the Golden Bears. OSU still hasn’t been beaten since 2011.

4. Clemson Tigers (3-0); beat NC State 26-14 (Sept 19th) – You could make a case for the Tigers being as high as number two on this list. After all, they beat Georgia to open the year and polished off a tough NC State team on the road. Assuming the wins keep coming, Clemson will keep climbing.

5. LSU Tigers (3-0); beat Kent State 45-13 – The Tigers quickly put the Golden Flashes away after scoring 21 points in the first quarter. Following two easy home victories, they face their biggest test since TCU, as unbeaten Auburn comes to Baton Rouge.

6. Stanford Cardinals (2-0); beat Army 34-20 – Few people expected Army to go into the half only trailing by 7 last Saturday. But the Cardinals were able to pull away thanks to a pair of second-half Tyler Gaffney touchdowns. Stanford will try to look more impressive this week against fellow unbeaten Arizona State tomorrow.

teddy-bridgewater-draft7. Louisville Cardinals (3-0); beat Kentucky 27-13 – Nobody expects the Louisville-Kentucky rivalry game to be a cakewalk. And this was definitely the case in the first half as the Cardinals led just 10-3 at the half. Interestingly enough, Louisville relied on RB Senorise Perry (100YDS, 2TD) to carry them in the second half, rather than famed QB Teddy Bridgewater.

8. Texas A&M Aggies (2-1); lost to Alabama 49-42 – A&M is hurting after a close loss at home to the Crimson Tide. But with a ton of offensive talent and plenty more quality opponents on the schedule, the Aggies’ title hopes haven’t been dashed just yet.

9. Georgia Bulldogs (1-1); beat South Carolina 41-30 – Nobody’s going to argue with Georgia’s early strength of schedule after facing Clemson and South Carolina to open the year. The Bulldogs piled up 536 yards of offense to top the Gamecocks and avoid starting 0-2.

10. Florida State Seminoles (2-0) – Star freshman QB Jameis Winston is definitely living up to the hype after throwing six touchdowns in his first two games. And as many people have pointed out, this is more than the five incompletions he’s thrown. Assuming Winston remains poised, FSU should be undefeated when they travel to Clemson in Week 8.