Tue Apr 28 09:50am EDT
• Some people, you never beat. The Gainesville Sun writes what may be its last profile of new Minnesota Viking Percy Harvin, including a tacit admission that, yes -- unlike certain other prospects named in anonymous reports earlier this month -- the outgoing Gator star did test positive for marijuana at the combine in February, and it caused no shortage of tears. It also includes this minor anecdote:
"He’s an extremist as far as a competitor," Florida coach Urban Meyer said. "He’s the type of kid if you played checkers with him, he’s going to try and beat you as hard as he can."
Imagine Harvin’s reaction when, as an eighth-grader, he lost to his mom in a 100-yard race.
Harvin's mom, for the record, is a former track star who refuses to race her son again, and according to the Sun, Harvin could outrun me when he was six years old; he'd go on to win every high school track title he sought in Virginia. But still: Dude. You got burned by your mom.
North Carolina receiver Brandon Tate -- who shared headlines with Harvin for the positive combine tests, as well as an agent -- also admitted to testing positive after being picked by the Patriots in the third round.
• At least one reporter can divide. I don't do the conference wars, and I'm not necessarily disagreeing with Jon Wilner's assertion in the San Jose Mercury News that the SEC is king. But for reasons Brian Cook would be happy to articulate, this bit of evidence:
Reason No. 4: 37 picks in the 2009 NFL Draft.
It’s the third consecutive year, and 10th in the last 12, that the SEC has led all conferences in draft picks.
... doesn't quite tell the story Wilner means it to. Or that Tony Barnhart means it to when he points to the same raw numbers in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. I dunno, maybe them yankees do a better job of teaching the concept of per capita than they do in the South or West* -- or maybe he's just self-interested because of the team he covers -- but for whatever reason, the Syracuse Post-Standard's Donnie Webb takes the crucial step of division to vindicate the Big East:
Those are raw numbers. However, the SEC, ACC and Big XII all have 12 members. The Big Ten has 11 schools (weird, I know). The Pac-10 has 10 and the Big East has eight. Based on the numbers of players drafted per school, the rankings look a little different:
1. Big East - 3.75
2. Pac-10 - 3.2
3. SEC - 3.08
4. ACC - 2.75
5. Big Ten - 2.54
6. Big XII - 2.33
It seems the NFL just might love the Big East a little more than the SEC and ACC. The Pac-10, too. Guess it depends on your point of view (or region).
* Webb is a native Alabaman, for the record, who somehow wound up covering the worst team in the Northeast. So his numberin' may come from Dixie, but he knows where his bread is buttered: Most of the Big East had a big weekend in the draft, especially Cincinnati (six picks) and UConn (four picks, all in the first two rounds), which have both consistently finished at the bottom of the "Big Six" conference recruiting rankings for years.
• It's not me, it's you. Following up on Monday's ineffectual refugee quarterback update, ex-Yellow Jacket/Wolverine Steven Threet will indeed enroll at Arizona State in July, confirming Monday that he plans to sit out this fall with two years to play in 2010-11. Threet described Rich Rodriguez as taken "quite off guard" by his decision to leave Michigan, but like Ryan Mallett before him, it's Rod's "run-first offense for a quarterback" that drove the 6'6", 230-pounder away:
"Two reasons, coaching staff and offensive style, and those are the reasons I left (Michigan) ... For the goals that I have and to try to be the best quarterback I can be, this isn't the place. It's almost impossible to argue (otherwise)."
Rod haters may jump on the "coaching staff" line, but given the square-peg/round-hole nature of the operation last year, the Sun Devils really do offer the better fit Threet is looking for, stylistically. At least until they hire Barry Switzer to revive the wishbone, in keeping with the pattern of Threet's career to date, but that won't be for another year, minimum.
• It's not product placement, I just like it. Well, this was inevitable.
Give the marketers this: The complete absurdity of this scene -- Scandinavian Auburn and LSU fans settling down next to each other in opposing garb alongside their black friend from Oklahoma -- successfully distracts from the brazen insult of the Snuggie's existence. Just assure us the fabric is resistant to swine flu, and we'll take six.
Quickly ... While we're on draft trivia, TCU had more players drafted than any other team in Texas, even Texas. ... SMU special teams coach Frank Gansz died at age 70 Monday from complications following knee surgery. ... What was really behind Cody Glenn's suspension from the Gator Bowl. ... Penn State defensive end Pete Massaro, a potential starter, will miss the entire season with a torn ACL. ... UNLV picks up a quick $50,000 by putting equipment on sale. ... Todd Boeckman looks to catch on with the Bengals. ... I'm sure Notre Dame wishes this guy was real. ... Projecting Florida's monster 2010 draft class, and Urban Meyer, Tweeter? ... Michigan State should be commended for some ambitious non-conference scheduling, unless, of course, West Virginia, Alabama and Notre Dame go in the tank over the next decade-and-a-half. ... Some Washington spring game skeptics. ... 19 potential UCLA cheerleaders, and not nearly enough zoom. ... And that poor, poor chihuahua.