The Long Snapper (4/22/10)

Think the SEC is in a good position to remain THE power conference in college football for the foreseeable future?  Think again.  With rumors continuing to circulate regarding a possible Big Ten expansion, the SEC is on guard.  Why?  Because the Big Ten may not be taking one team to give them the magical number of 12.  They may be looking at three.  Or, yes, even five.  The Big Ten is thinking super conference and the SEC isn’t going to wait for that to happen.  Now that doesn’t mean the SEC is definitely in line for an expansion, but if the others get serious, the SEC will be ready.  Ready for Clemson maybe?  Or what about Georgia Tech?  You can’t tell me either would turn down an invite.  If the Big Ten gains power (and raids the Big East in doing so) and the Pac-10 increases their membership, the ACC could take a step back just by standing still.  And that would be the first place the SEC would look.  The good thing is the SEC isn’t going anywhere any time soon.  While an expansion of the Big Ten could possibly crush the Big East, it doesn’t have the same effect on the SEC.  It may shift power, but the SEC would survive.  But SEC commissioner Mike Slive doesn’t just want to survive, he wants to remain at the top.
The Jacksonville Jaguars appear to have no interest in drafting Tim TebowAt least according to Bob Tebow.  The Jags have not worked out the former Florida star and aren’t showing that they may want to take him in this year’s draft.  But is it all just a smoke screen?  We can’t deny that Tebow in the NFL is a giant question mark.  So are half the players that will be selected in the first round.  Maybe not as much as it may seem with Tebow, but take a look over the last few drafts.  How many first rounders ended up being worthy of where they went in the draft?  Exactly.  With the first round of the draft you have can’t miss guys, guys labeled as can’t miss guys who end up missing for a variety of reasons (stupidity, injury, and bad evaluations of talent being the top three), guys who have the potential to solidly contribute, and those that have talent, but no one is really sure if they will succeed or fall flat.  Tebow falls into that last category, but is he worth the chance?  For the Jags, he probably is.  And that’s why I think Jacksonville showing no interest is merely them not revealing their hand.  Why let everyone know just how much they want Tebow?  Why not just sit where you are with the tenth pick and wait and see how the first nine unfold.  The Buffalo Bills have shown interest, but many don’t think they’ll reach for Tebow at nine.  If that’s the case, the Jags are in the perfect position.  At ten, they may get a solid player who can contribute to a franchise that seems to have more problems than we can count at the moment.  Or at ten, they could take a chance on a guy that may become the best thing they ever did.  He may not, but there’s that chance.  The Jags need to think long and hard about taking it.
Tebow won’t be at the draft, but he will be one of the players ESPN will have on a live feed during the night.  One of the 26 actually.  Tebow will be joined among the live feeders by Maurkice Pouncey (and I’m assuming twin brother Mike) and USF defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.  So even though you won’t see Tebow in New York in a nice, new three-piece suit, he will be among those we’ll get to spend an always somewhat awkward moment with when the time finally arrives and he is selected.  We should take bets on Tebow being the live feed ESPN shows the most.  Then again, that has to be a no brainer.
Rest in peace Dylan Meier.  Meier – who played quarterback at Kansas State from 2002 to 2006 – died after being injured during a hiking trip.  Meier comes from a football family.  Older brother Shad was a tight end with the Wildcats from 1997 to 2000 and younger brother Kerry was a quarterback and wide receiver at Kansas the past few years.  Thoughts go out to the entire Meier family.
The List: Might as well run down those guys who really are can’t miss NFL prospects this year.
1. Eric Berry.  Yup.  That’s it.  I’m going out on a limb and picking one horse and riding that horse until his career is over.  You could immediately point to a handful of other guys and say “there’s no way he doesn’t become a star,” but for me Berry is all I’m willing to get behind for that top category.  It’s not very ballsy of me.  In fact, it’s actually pretty weak.  I’ll admit that.  But that’s part of my point when it comes to Tebow.  How can any team guarantee any other guy will be better for them?  They can’t.  That’s not saying my draft order would go 1) Berry, 2) Tebow because it wouldn’t.  It’s just saying if I’m the Jags and I have the tenth pick and Berry is gone (which he will be) than I’m looking directly at Tebow’s name on my draft board.
The Sixth Man: The debate continues via channels not including this site (which is unfortunate because I would like to think there are a few others out there that have some strong opinions either way).  I’ll just say this, even if it doesn’t make a lot of sense to you not involved in the discussion.  I love the Gators.  I want nothing more than to see them continue to realistically compete for a basketball championship year after year after year.  Now that that’s out of the way…Florida is not Duke.  Florida is not UNC.  Florida is not KentuckyBilly Donovan has put the Gators in a great position to compete with the big boys.  Florida will have its up years and its down years, but in the end, they are not among the pinnacle programs when it comes to college basketball.  Deny it all you want.  Argue it until you lose your voice.  It’s the harsh reality.