For NFL Talent, You Still Can Do Worse Than Florida Rivalry Games

By Dave George, Palm Beach Post Sports Columnist


Here’s a heartwarming tidbit from the NFL Draft.

When it comes to total accumulation of talent on one field, you can still do a lot worse than buying a ticket for an FSU-Florida or FSU-Miami game.

When the Seminoles beat Florida 24-19 last November, there were a total of 19 eventual 2015 draft picks in the game. Four of those – Jameis Winston and Cameron Erving for FSU, Dante Fowler, Jr., and D.J. Humphries for the Gators – were first-rounders.

AP photo
AP photo

In FSU’s 30-26 win over Miami, 18 players in that game were bound for the 2015 draft. Again, four of them were first-rounders, with Miami’s Ereck Flowers and Phillip Dorsett adding to the FSU pair.

Comparatively, the Texas-Oklahoma game featured 11 players who would be drafted in 2015.

Auburn-Alabama had 12, Ohio State-Michigan had eight and Notre Dame-USC had seven.

FSU plays the Hurricanes Oct. 10 in Tallahassee. The Seminoles travel to Gainesville to play the Gators Nov. 28.


In the mood for a limerick?

Too bad. I got the music in me and I just can’t keep it in


There is a young star named Giancarlo

Who brings baseball fans in by the carload.

Three twenty-five million,

Or was it gazillion?

For him Fish will beg, steal or borrow

We’re A Little Too Tough On Ryan Tannehill

Saw the other day where the Washington Redskins picked up their fifth-year option on Robert Griffin III for the 2016 season. They’re trying to sound happy about it.

At times like these, I recognize how tough we all are on Ryan Tannehill.

The guy played wide receiver for half his career at Texas A&M. He didn’t win the Heisman Trophy, like Griffin did. Tannehill’s most attractive features coming out of college were size (6-feet-4) and arm strength plus experience playing under Mike Sherman, the Aggies coach turned Dolphins playcaller.

Well, Sherman is gone and one day Joe Philbin will be, too, but the Dolphins will continue to build on Tannehill, who was drafted No. 8 overall in 2012 and is at least holding his own with a 23-25 career record.

Compare that to Griffin. The Redskins traded first-round picks two years into the future to move up and get him at No. 2 overall that same draft, right behind Andrew Luck.

RGIII won a division title in his first pro season but he hasn’t played every game, like Tannehill has. Miami’s guy is more durable.

Tannehill has won more games, too. RGIII’s career record with the Redskins is 14-21 in the regular season and 0-1 in the playoffs. Overall, Tannehill has 63 touchdown passes in 48 starts. Griffin has 40 touchdown passes in 35 starts.

Allen Eyestone/Palm Beach Post
Allen Eyestone/Palm Beach Post

Now we could go on and on with the comparisons, measuring Tannehill, for instance, against Luck, but once more that would lead to being overly tough on the Dolphins’ leader.

The way I see it, Tannehill’s doing about as good as can be expected given that he wasn’t fully formed as a quarterback coming out of college and he’s been sacked 139 times behind a Miami offensive line that’s constantly in flux.

Doing research on another story I came across an old box score that showed No. 1 seed UCLA losing to Memphis by 15 points in the 2008 national semifinals. The Bruins had Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love and didn’t win a championship, which helps explain why former UCLA coach Ben Howland is at Mississippi State today.

Oh, that Memphis team, featuring Derrick Rose, was coached by John Calipari. He’s the king of Kentucky now, which doesn’t sound so good for Howland’s SEC debut either.

From time to time we’ll want to class up the blog with a little culture. That would be very little, as in a limerick.

“Jim McElwain’s the new Bull Gator

He’ll be winning sooner or later

The best he’s got going

Is everyone knowing

He’s exiting Will Muschamp’s crater.”

Dave’s Digital Domain: Welcome to my new blog

It’s odd, all the fuss about being a digital journalist. Seems like I’ve never been anything else. From typewriters to computer keyboards, every last column over the course of nearly 37 years has been produced with the participation and cooperation of all 10 digits.

Times and terms change, though. Plenty of you are reading this right now on a phone, which is odd in itself, but apparently necessary. Perhaps one day taking a college course on an electric toothbrush will be necessary, too. Meanwhile, I’ll try to connect with you, and vice versa, by everything this side of telepathy.

Today’s launch of my blog on the Palm Beach Post is a major part of that. You’re welcome into Dave’s Digital Domain any Monday through Friday to sample the dust that swirls around inside Dave’s simple brain.

Thanks for giving this a try. We’ll keep it up as long as you can stand it.

Dan Marino is special advisor to the Miami Dolphins’ CEO and president, Tom Garfinkel. That’s nice, but wouldn’t it be nicer if he were special advisor to the men actually making the team’s draft selections Thursday night?

Marino knows a little bit about what makes a successful NFL player, and about quarterbacks and wide receivers in particular. He shared that information with the world as an analyst for CBS and HBO. It seems a waste not to have his official input through player interviews or general discussions as the Dolphins search for draftees that could help pull them out of the doldrums.

Photo by Allen Eyestone, Palm Beach Post
Photo by Allen Eyestone, Palm Beach Post

Back in 2004 he gave front-office life a brief whirl, taking on the title of Dolphins’ Senior Vice President of Football Operations. If that had continued, Marino might eventually have assumed the same kind of power role that John Elway has in Denver. After three weeks on the job, however, Marino bowed out, saying it wasn’t a good fit for his family.

Now we see him doing community-service photo ops, taking golf trips to the Bahamas with big-money Dolphins fans, stuff like that. It’s easy to do and it’s good for the franchise’s business side. The business in which Marino excelled, however, is football, and a little bit of help from him in that area a few times a year, something in the personnel evaluation field, would go a long way.

Going into tonight’s draft we know that Mike Tannenbaum likes to play it really flashy. Dennis Hickey likes to play it really safe. With Marino’s voice in the process, even as an advisor, I would feel better about the Dolphins drafting really smart.

“The Fight of the Century” between Floyd Mayweather, Jr., and Manny Pacquiao on Saturday is breaking every record for monetary excess.

It’ll be six figures to buy ringside seats after-market. Based on that, my educated guess is that a cup of coffee will run you about $39.95 at the MGM Grand that night. Pay-per-brew.

Sure hope this fight is better than one I covered in Las Vegas in 1995. Mike Tyson was making his comeback after three years in prison for a rape conviction and the opponent was Peter McNeeley, supposedly the WBA’s seventh-ranked heavyweight. Not sure who was ranked No. 8 at the time but it couldn’t have been much of an honor.

Iron Mike needed 10 seconds to knock McNeeley down and another 79 to do it again. Before you knew it, the challenger’s manager was jumping into the ring to stop the fight, which appealed to Tyson’s gentler side.

“Eventually he was going to get hurt,” Tyson said. “You know me. I’m a blood man. I like to finish it.”

Associated Press photo
Associated Press photo

McNeeley’s part in the post-fight news conference was to field a few softballs from reporters planted by his team and then to shout at legitimate media members who sat there stone-faced, impatient for Tyson’s arrival.

“Let’s hear some more,” McNeeley howled. “How ‘bout some questions?”

The only one I could think of was “Why didn’t you go into a saner profession, like bull-riding? You’ve only got to last eight seconds to be a winner there.”

Didn’t ask it, though. McNeeley had already played his part, and we were all on deadline.

Oh, and I’m picking Mayweather Saturday.