A ground-eye view of the Red River Rivalry

Red River Rivalry

Courtesy of the fine folks at Ram trucks, Jamey Codding of Bullz-Eye.com got the opportunity to head to Dallas to experience the Red River Rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma this year. (He also got to survey the annual State Fair of Texas.)

To read about Jamey’s experience at the 105th meeting between Texas and Oklahoma (a 28-20 victory for the Sooners) and a closer look at Ram trucks’ new Laramie Longhorn, head over to Bullz-Eye.com.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

McCoy vs. Bradford: Who will be the better pro?

With Oklahoma set to square off against Texas in the Red River Rivalry on Saturday night, I thought it would be fun to breakdown the quarterback matchup between the Sooners’ Sam Bradford and the Longhorns’ Colt McCoy to figure out who would make the better pro.

Colt McCoy vs. Sam Bradford: Who will be the better pro quarterback?

Arm Strength: Bradford.
Neither quarterback has elite arm strength, but Bradford can make all the throws, while McCoy excels at the short to intermediate passes. Lack of arm strength could be an issue for McCoy at the next level.

Size: Bradford.
Bradford is two inches taller than McCoy and nearly 15 pounds heavier. Bradford can probably add to his frame, where McCoy is essentially maxed out.

Accuracy & Decision Making: Push.
Both QBs have outstanding accuracy, get the ball out of their hands quickly and are excellent decision-makers.

Leadership: Push.
Bradford and McCoy’s leadership have been evident in how good their teams have been with them under center. Both players truly love playing the game and it shows both on and off the field.

Athleticism: McCoy.
Although Bradford does have decent athleticism, he loses this category by a long shot. McCoy has displayed excellent athleticism in his career while rushing for over 500 yards in each of his past two seasons. He’s also very mobile, which helps him elude pressure and buy extra time to find receivers.

Release: Bradford.
Bradford has a great release, but we’re probably splitting hairs in this category because both quarterbacks get the ball out of their hands quickly.

The Final Whistle:
Both of these quarterbacks have weaknesses in that neither runs a pro-style offense in college. So on most occasions, neither is forced to make difficult reads and neither has faced a consistent pass rush. They both benefit from playing in a conference with weak defenses and have out-of-this-world stats because of it. That said, Bradford has fewer question marks surrounding his pro potential than McCoy does. McCoy has never operated under center and that could be a huge problem once he gets to the next level. While Bradford doesn’t have the arm strength to zip the ball into tight windows, he can make all the throws at the next level. The same cannot be said for McCoy, who will struggle with the deep ball in the NFL.

In the end, the question of which quarterback will make a better pro comes down to what offenses they’re drafted into. If a team figures out how to use McCoy’s athleticism and accuracy to hide his lack of arm strength, then he could become an outstanding pro. But Bradford has more intangibles that pro scouts look for and thus, would be my choice to emerge as the better NFL quarterback.

Winner: Sam Bradford.

Which quarterback will make the better pro?
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Couch Potato Alert: 10/10

Oklahoma vs. Texas
This year’s Red River Rivalry battle at the Cotton Bowl has more marquee value than in past years; as for the first time since 2004 both teams will enter the game ranked in the top five. Heading into this season, the Longhorns offense was thought to be their biggest strength. But it has been the Texas defense that has provided most of the swagger. The Longhorns are ranked fourth nationally in total defense and that is a big jump since the 2007 unit set a school record for most yards allowed in a season. They will get stiff competition come Saturday against top-ranked Oklahoma. The Sooners are in the top five nationally in all offensive scoring categories, led by the nation’s second-rated passer Sam Bradford. National coverage begins Saturday at 12 PM ET on ABC. Click here for the official Oklahoma-Texas smack thread.

LSU vs. Florida
“The Showdown at the Swamp” marks the first time the last two national champions have faced each other since Notre Dame defeated Miami, 29-20, in 1990. The stakes are high for both schools; Florida must win to maintain any realistic hope of staying in the hunt for a berth in the BCS championship game, while LSU needs the win to stay on course to repeat as National Champions. And the matchup got even more intense after Tigers defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois promised that the LSU defense will try to knock Gator quarterback Tim Tebow out of the game. Later in the week, Jean-Francois said his comments were misinterpreted by the press. National coverage begins Saturday at 8 PM ET on CBS.

Major League Baseball LCS Series
The animosity between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox is not ready to approach the level of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, but their contempt for each other is a good undercard. Back on June 5th, the Rays’ Game One starter, James Shields, hit Red Sox outfielder Coco Crisp with a pitch that triggered a bench-clearing brawl between the two teams. Has this issue been resolved? Stay tuned for the answer. Meanwhile, the National League Championship series boils down to how well the Los Angeles Dodgers left-handed pitchers throw to the Philadelphia Phillies lethal left-handed hitting. The Phillies led the NL with 214 homeruns, with Ryan Howard leading the way with 48 followed by Chase Utley with 33, and both players bat left-handed. The top of the Phillies’ lineup also includes switch-hitting Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino, who both have outstanding on-base percentages. NLCS Game Two is Friday at 4:30 PM ET and Game Three is on Sunday at 8 PM ET; all NLCS games are on Fox. ALCS Game One is on Friday at 8:30 PM ET and Game Two is on Saturday at 8 PM ET. All ALCS games can be seen on TBS.

New England Patriots vs. San Diego Chargers
Their franchise quarterback is out for the season, and somehow the Patriots have still put together a successful start to their 2008 season. On the other side of the field, the Chargers have been one of the biggest disappointments in the NFL. To avoid falling further back in the AFC standings, the Chargers must try to defeat a Patriots team that has eliminated them from the past two post-seasons. Inconsistent play on both sides of the ball has plagued the Chargers all season; they have lost three games by a total of 10 points. Coverage begins at 8:15 PM ET on NBC

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