Headlinin’: The first round is still the best round (and we can prove it)

Making the morning rounds.

Today in Duh Studies. You know that one guy, that guy at the end of the bar who keeps comparing Tom Brady to JaMarcus Russell and going on about how "the experts" don't know jack? Yeah, when he starts up tonight during the first round of the NFL Draft, point him to the Wall Street Journal, which did the math and found that, in general, first rounders are worth the hype. Over the last nine years:

• 85 percent of first-round draft picks are still playing, 20 percent better than the rate for second rounders.
• First-rounders are 140 percent (!) more likely to make the Pro Bowl over the last decade than second rounders.
• The average first-round pick plays for nine years, nearly triple the league average.
• 40 percent of team captains are former first-round picks.
• Among players who started at least six games in 2010, first rounders earned 55 percent more than everyone else.
• Of the top 50 NFL players in jersey sales, 32 of them (or 64 percent) were first rounders.

Et cetera. Also note that five of the last six Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks since Brady's last ring in 2004 were first-round picks, and the one that wasn't (Drew Brees) was the first pick in the second round. The scouts are professionals, too, you know. [Wall Street Journal]

They're sincerely sorry. Killers on the green, too. Fiesta Bowl officials seem to have successfully convinced BCS head Bill Hancock that they're "dead serious" about reforming the culture of corruption that led to the ouster of bowl CEO John Junker, the looming threat of criminal charges and possible expulsion from the BCS, in large part by following all of the recommendations of an attorney the bowl hired to conduct an internal review. "The Fiesta Bowl issue happened, and yes, it was disturbing," Hancock said Wednesday from the annual BCS meetings in New Orleans, where Fiesta officials rehashed a presentation they initially made for a seven-man "task force" last week in Chicago. "But people in Phoenix are as disturbed as we are and … they want to do something about it." [Associated Press]

While we're on the subject, you can also check out the original draft of the extremely detailed talking points crafted by Ari Fleischer's public relations firm and distributed (via Hancock) to "task force" members after the Fiesta Bowl scandal hit the headlines last month. [via Playoff PAC] {YSP:MORE}

They see me bowlin'. So much for starting the "Cougar Bowl": With privileged BCS status out of the question, newly independent BYU announced bowl tie-ins for the next three seasons Wednesday, beginning this December with a guaranteed invitation (assuming the Cougars are bowl-eligible, etc.) from the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth. Looking ahead, 2012 and 2013 will send the Cougars to the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego and the Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco, respectively. [Salt Lake Tribune]

Playing time is all you need. Washaun Ealey's status as Georgia's top tailback was already in jeopardy with the arrival of hotshot recruit Isaiah Crowell — for whom Mark Richt was not only willing to all but promise the starting position but also to break minor NCAA rules — but it's never a good sign for your prospects when the head coach calls you out in front of a roomful of boosters. "Washaun has a ways to go still to show me that he deserves to start or even play right now," Richt said Wednesday at a "Bulldog Club" meeting in Augusta. "He has a ways to go in my book. We'll see. I love him, though." When you put it that way, the bench doesn't so bad … as long as there's love. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

Send help. This is what ripped through Tuscaloosa Wednesday afternoon:

4-27-11 Tornado Tuscaloosa, Al from Crimson Tide Productions on Vimeo.

And this is what it looked like when it was done:

The University of Alabama campus was somehow spared, but the rest of the city was not: As of this morning, 32 people are confirmed dead, hundreds more are injured and untold millions are mounting in property damage. Across the South, the death toll from Wednesday's storm is approaching 200 in five states. You can donate to the mid-Alabama chapter of the Red Cross here, or text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to donate $10 to relief. [Tuscaloosa News, Associated Press]

Quickly… Ex-Virginia Tech starter Lyndell Gibson is found guilty of drunk driving, and plans to transfer to Hampton. … Mississippi State unveils plans for expanding Davis-Wade Stadium, complete with ghost people. …
Louisville unveils some new uniforms that look pretty much exactly like the old ones. … The Fiesta Bowl is hiring. … Examining recruiting expenses in the SEC. … A page from Gus Malzahn's playbook. … A Rebel/Black Bear compromise that leaves everyone mad. … And sorry to spoil the magic, but Paul Rhoads didn't really punch a moose.

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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.

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