A lot has happened in the 2 weeks since I last wrote on here. The Falcons season came crashing down with several injuries, including a couple to key skill position players. But, that's the curse of the Falcons. Matt Ryan is 12-1 as a starter at home and the Birds have 2 home games to get to 8-5 and he can't play in either game. That kind of timing is why the back-to-back winning seasons may continue...
As for the Falcons getting back on the right track, it is going to start on defense. The offense could maybe use another lineman and a #2 receiver, but most spots appear pretty solid. The defense has to upgrade the secondary in the off-season. It may be an uncapped year and Art opens up the checkbook, or TD drafts players for the secondary. I will go ahead and go on record that I think Joe Haden and Javier Arenas would be excellent additions. I am not sure what the consensus will be for those players as far as draft position, but I say take either in the teens.
I am very excited at the moves Frank Wren has made with the Braves. Not just the bullpen additions (Wagner, Saito, Chavez), but the speculation that he is actively trying to trade Derek Lowe. I say wait for Lackey to sign, then trade with one of the teams that tried to sign him and failed. I think Wren may even be able to get a team to pay all of Lowe's contract. Even if Braves have to pay a portion, I still think they will have enough money to sign LaRoche and Marlon Byrd. The Soriano situation worked out beautifully, with Chavez being better than potential draft picks. He throws gas and can be a solid guy in the 6th-7th innings along with Moylan.
I don't know when it is going to happen - it may be in 5 months or 5 years, but at some point Lane Kiffen is going down in flames - and it is going to be real ugly. I can't wait...
Looks like the UGA defensive coordinator search is heating up. Kirby Smart was seen in the Butts-Mehre building Friday, but Tony Barnhart says Bama is going to offer 900K to Smart to stay in Tuscaloosa. I don't think UGA will pay 900K, especially when the OC only makes 325K. Vic Koenning is also rumored to be in the mix. He is at Kansas State, but has ties to the southeast and hasn't even moved his family from South Carolina since signing on at K-State.
Other guys like Brian VanGorder and Bud Foster may still be in the mix, but I don't think they are viable candidates. VanGorder has stated that he is not interested in the position and Foster has been with Beamer since 1981.
Hope the Hawks finish 2009 off strong with their next 9 games. They have a chance with the way their schedule sets up to finish the year 7-2 which would put them at 23-8 and in a good position to make a push for a top 3 spot in the East. If they can avoid injuries, I see this team winning 52-55 games and possibly making the Eastern Conference Finals for the 1st time in franchise history.
Finally, I have seen several college hoops teams this year and I think I can give a pretty good top 10 for the season so far. I haven't seen West Virginia, so they won't be listed.