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Things are not looking good for the AAFL, an off-season football league that is trying to capitalize on college football fans by fielding teams in college football hot-beds like Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, and Michigan by using some player with ties to those areas.
There is a report this morning in the Gainesville Sun that the league may be close to folding. It has less than a month to come up with $7 to $10 million for stadium leases.
I hope they find a way to play as it would have been a great off-season distraction and I’m guessing that you could have gotten a sky box in Legion Field in Birmingham for around $43. That is, of course if Legion Field had sky boxes.
AAFL, rest in peace.
The results from the combine are in. I don’t get particulary excited about the NFL (full disclosure: I couldn’t care less about Sunday Football) but the combine and draft are a little interesting because it gives an indication about colleges that are producing NFL caliber talent.
While looking at the top ranked forty times by position I noticed something – there weren’t any Alabama players in the top of the rankings. You had to dig a little deeper to find the current bunch of Alabama players and their times. For example, Alabama’s preseason All-SEC corner Simeon Castille was near the bottom of defensive backs at a scorching 4.7. To put that in comparison, Tyvon Branch (UConn) and Justin King (Penn State) both ran 4.31 to lead all defensive backs. There were 13 sub 4.4 times in that bunch. It appears that Simeon was just a little off the pace. A few of the notable SEC d-backs:
Michael Grant (Arkansas) 4.37
Jonathan Wilhite (Auburn) 4.38
Patrick Lee (Auburn) 4.4
Jonathan Hefney (Tennessee) 4.53
Jonathan Zenon (LSU) 4.56
Chevis Jackson (LSU) 4.58
Matterral Richardson (Arkansas) 4.7 – Seriously? That’s his name? Why have I never noticed that until now?
The Crimson Tide fared a little better with Defensive Lineman. But not much. All-SEC Defensive End and all-around nice guy Wallace Gilberry (he really is a nice guy – one time in Rama Jama’s I asked him if he was ready for the season to start and he replied, “Yes, sir”) who ran a 4.9, which is pretty middle of that pack. Of course it comes nowhere near Marcus Howard’s (Georgia) 4.47. Way to go Simeon! Yeah, that’s a defensive lineman running faster than you. I bet that makes the scouts drool.
Here is an instance of relearning what John Parker Wilson and I already knew – Quentin Groves is wicked fast (relatively). He was listed with the linebackers , but ran a 4.57, which is third amongst invited athletes who played on the line in college. A few othe SEC notables:
Jonathan Goff (Vandy) 4.63
Curtis Gatewood (Vandy) 4.74
Derrick Harvey (Florida) 4.8
The other Alabama notable in the draft, DJ Hall, was a little less than average for receivers with a 4.55. DeSean “Goodbye Tennesee Secondary”(hell, who couldn’t say that) Jackson (Cal) ran a blistering 4.35 to lead the field. Andre “Bubba” Caldwell (Florida) represented with a smoking 4.35 and Kentucky’s Keenan Burton wasn’t far behind with a 4.43.
De’Cody Fagg (FSU) isn’t from the SEC but I like saying his name. Fagg (hee, hee) turned in a 4.63 but had you asked me in late September I would have said he was capable of a 4.20 easy as he left the burnt Alabama secondary to put the game in Jacksonville away.
Another fact to file in the “things you already knew” file, the Arkansas backfield with the exception of Dick (hee, hee – I can’t stop) is fast. McFadden’s well publicised 4.33 leads the group followed closely by Felix Jones’ 4.47 and Peyton Hillis’ 4.58 is nothing to laugh at, just ask LSU (or Simeon “4.7″ Castille). The knowledge of their leaving the schedule every year makes me just ecstatic- Bobby Petrino, not so much.
What does all mean you ask. I have no freaking idea. Some say that 40 times are overrated and who am I to argue. It’s easy to make fun, but every one of these guys could run me down if they gave me a mile head start, just ask Clay Travis.
To me it says that the best athletes on Alabama’s team were fair to middlin’ and that was a big reason that the team was fair to middlin’. All things being equal, the team with the most talent wins. Alabama has not had the talent in quite a while and I believe that part of the giddiness of a lot of fans of the program lately is based on the fact that recruiting appears to be raising the level of talent. That relates to better football teams and more wins… over time.
Thanks to commenter Marcus Aurelius for the links and post idea.