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Pro Sports Wrap - Sports Personality of the Day:Sidney Crosby

I continue my recent string of Jaguars-themed Historical Player Profiles with their former star quarterback; Mark Brunell. The now-bankrupt backup Jets quarterback is probably shaking his head at the team's most recent loss. The lefty has lost most of his former glory, so I'm just going to focus on his notable seasons with the Jags and Washington Redskins.

Brunell is currently in his 17th season, and the three time Pro Bowler was a 5th round pick in the 1993 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. The Seahawks made a mistake in taking highly-regarded Notre Dame product Rick Mirer instead of waiting for Brunell to tumble. The Packers already had their answer in Brett Favre, and Brunell and the Jaguars struck gold when he was traded for a 3rd and fifth rounder.

The greatest quarterback in team history, Brunell would be named to the '96,'97, and '99 Pro Bowls. He was simply sensational in 1996, as he led the league in passing yards (4,367) and also led the NFL with 7.8 yards per attempt. This was made all the more impressive when you consider he was sacked a league-leading 50 times. It was the best season of his career, and he even had a league-leading three fourth quarter comebacks to show for it. Despite the 63.4 completion percentage, Brunell did throw 20 picks that year.

A season later, Mark Brunell still made the Pro Bowl- and was the game's MVP- on the strength of just seven interceptions. He also averaged 7.6 air yards per attempt and had a 91.2 QB Rating.

A devout Christian who is known as one of the nicest players and best mentors in the league, Mark Brunell threw for under 3,000 yards in 1998 but came back in 1999 with 3,060 yards and another Pro Bowl appearance (the last one of his career). Only two percent of his passes were picked off, and Brunell had another solid season.

Two interesting statistical streaks emerge when looking at Brunell's career, and these are his six straight seasons of at least 200 passing yards per game (1996-2001) and his streak of eight consecutive seasons with a QB Rating of at least 82.0 (1995-2002). Brunell has a career AV of 120, a QB Rating of 84.0, 6.9 yards per attempt, and 22 game-winning drives. Pro-Football Reference's Fan EloRater has him as the 374th best player in NFL history as of November 9th.

Known as a good scrambler, Mark Brunell was dealt to the Washington Redskins after the 2003 season when Byron Leftwich was named the Jaguars new starting quarterback.

However, Brunell got off to an awful start with his new team in 2004. In 2005, he turned up the heat to the tune of an 85.9 QB Rating and was third in the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award voting. He came up big with two key touchdown passes in an MNF game against the 'Skins most hated rivals; the Dallas Cowboys. His two bombs to the elite Santana Moss in the final four minutes gave them an incredible 14-13 victory. Although they were knocked out in the playoffs, they were able to take down the Tampa Bay Bucs in the Wild Card game.

Brunell set the record for the most consecutive complete passes in a game (22) in a game against the Houston Texans in 2006. However, eight weeks later, David Carr tied that record. What makes this all the more interesting is the fact that those 22 passes were his first attempts of the game.

That game was the only high point of a poor season for Brunell, as he was surprisingly benched in favor of first round pick Jason Campbell. Although Campbell would go on to have a decent career- up until his unfortunate injury this season- many people believed that this was an imprudent move and that the usually classless Redskins made Mark Brunell their scapegoat.

The Whataburger owner and Madoff/Dykstra investor signed on with the New Orleans Saints to back up superstar QB and franchise savior Drew Brees. This turned out to be a great move for the holder, as he won a Super Bowl ring thanks to the prolific play of Brees under center in 2009. The former Ed Block Courage Award winner and "Whizzer" White NFL Man of the Year did play a role as one of the main advisers to Drew Brees that season.

Mark Brunell signed a two-year deal with the New York Jets in 2010 to back up and mentor Mark Sanchez. Although a solid backup, Brunell was released after the 2010 season and was forced to take a reduced pay cut. He did, and Brunell has filed for bankruptcy since; mainly thanks to some ill-advised investments. It is a somewhat sad story, but at least he has that ring and those 11 Whataburgers won't be closing either.

Although Mark Brunell wasn't a great quarterback by any measure, he was a solid player and is a great person. Everybody will tell you that he is one of the best mentors around, and he is a very religious person whose attitude made him an ideal leader. The problem is that his life has been ridden with bad-luck, and it has costed him what would have certainly been a better career. However, Brunell was able to win a Super Bowl with the Saints and has had a nice 17-year career thus far.
108 AY/A-plus for his career


2010 PSW NCAAB Coach of the Year

April 4th 2011 14:54
I already did my conference picks for the Big Six conferences, and it is time for me to unveil my major awards. I will name my Coach of the Year, Player of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year. These awards are only based on the regular season. I also released my three All-American teams earlier, so you might want to check those out. I am ready for a great finals matchup tonight against Butler and UConn. I have no idea who is going to win, and I am inching over to the Butler side. No matter how you look at it, this game is going to be one to keep tucked into your memory for the rest of your life.

Coach of the Year Louisville Rick Pitino

Mike Brey won the AP award and had a remarkable season, but my vote belongs to Pitino. I am not fond of him as a person, but he accomplished an extremely difficult feat this year. It really shouldn't come as a surprise though, because Pitino is one of the greatest coaches in college basketball history.

Before the season started, Louisville was a mess. The team had just one senior and lost five starters from the previous year. Everyone, even Pitino, thought that this team was in no way ready to compete for anything. Then, there were the injuries. It takes the truly great coaches to overcome huge injury obstacles. Nearly every player was injured at some point during the season, and Pitino called this team one of his favorite teams that he has coached.

Against all the odds, Louisville was the 14th ranked team in the nation and was 12-6 in the toughest conference out there. That's a .667 winning percentage for those of you keeping score. They were disappointing in the tournament- losing to Morehead State in the first round- but that was because their two best players missed time with an injury and foul trouble for the latter. Pitino gets this award because he was able to lead a team that wasn't supposed to go anywhere. He also overcame many injuries to get his team to the 14th spot. He definitely merits this award.
2010 Coach of the Year


2010 NCAAB PSW All-Americans

April 1st 2011 19:10
First Team

PG Kemba Walker Connecticut
SG Nolan Smith Duke
SF Kawhi Leonard San Diego State
PF Derrick Williams Arizona
C Jared Sullinger Ohio State
Head Coach Rick Pitino Louisville

Second Team

PG Jimmer Fredette BYU
SG Ben Hansbrough Notre Dame
SF Harrison Barnes UNC
PF Marcus Morris Kansas
C JaJuan Johnson Purdue
Coach Billy Donovan Florida

Third Team

PG Jordan Taylor Wisconsin
SG Ashton Gibbs Pittsburgh
SF Chandler Parsons Florida
PF Jon Leuer Wisconsin
C Kenneth Faried Morehead State
Head Coach Mike Brey Notre Dame
Kemba's Better


2011 Bracket Preview Round of 64

March 14th 2011 16:08
One Game Playoffs

University of Texas-San Antonio over Alabama State
Arkansas Little-Rock over UNC-Asheville
Clemson over UAB
USC over VCU

Round of 64 East

1 Ohio State over 16 University of Texas-San Antonio
9 Villanova over 8 George Mason
12 Clemson over 5 West Virginia *Upset* Upsets are deemed as games in which a team 7 seeds lower than another team wins. They also are when a team is 5 seeds or less in a game that is in the Sweet 16 or further.
4 Kentucky over 13 Princeton
11 Marquette over 6 Xavier
3 Syracuse over 14 Indiana State
7 Washington over 10 Georgia
2 North Carolina over 15 Long Island


1 Duke over 16 Hampton
9 Tennessee over 8 Michigan
5 Arizona over 12 Memphis- who shouldn't have even been in the tourney
4 Texas over 13 Oakland
6 Cincinnati over 11 Missouri
3 Connecticut over 14 Bucknell
10 Penn State over 7 Temple
2 San Diego State over 15 Northern Colorado


1 Kansas over 16 Boston U.
8 UNLV over 9 Illinois
5 Vanderbilt over 12 Richmond
4 Louisville over 13 Morehead St.
11 USC over 6 Georgetown
3 Purdue over 11 St. Peter's
7 Texas A&M over Florida State
2 Notre Dame over 15 Akron


1 Pittsburgh over 16 Arkansas Little-Rock
8 Butler over 9 Old Dominion
5 Kansas over 12 Utah State
4 Wisconsin over 13 Belmont
6 St. John's over 11 Gonzaga
3 BYU over 14 Wofford
7 UCLA over 10 Michigan State
2 Florida over 15 UCSB
Can You Say Final Four?


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