We’ve Moved To IllegalShift.com

We are at our own domain now. Visit us at illegalshift.com


College Football Poll Through Nov 1

The four of us (Edwards, Cook, Thompson & Warzecha) who contribute to this blog decided to put together our own College Football poll. We started by each filling out who we think are the top 14 teams. Then we took those results and mashed em together to create the official Illegal Shift College Football Poll.


LaMichael James has Oregon #1 in the county.


  1. Oregon (4)
  2. Auburn
  3. Alabama +3
  4. TCU
  5. Boise St -2
  6. Nebraska +6
  7. Utah +1
  8. Ohio St +5
  9. Oklahoma +1
  10. Wisconsin -1
  11. Missouri -6
  12. Stanford +1
  13. LSU +1
  14. *Iowa

* Not ranked in previous poll.
+/- How many spots they moved up or down since previous poll.
(x) Number of first place votes.

If you think we’ve messed this whole thing up, then let us know in the comments what your top 14 looks like.

Heisman Candidates Through Nov 1

It's Cam's Heisman to lose

1. Cam Newton – 40

The Cam Newton train just keeps rolling.  Newton pulled a new trick out of his Heisman bag with a touchdown reception along with two passing touchdowns against Ole Miss.  As the stats keep piling up, it will take a major letdown for the Auburn QB to not take the prestigious trophy come December.

2. LaMichael James – 32

If you read this blog, then you already know that we love James.  His stats compare very favorably to Mark Ingram’s Heisman winning numbers from last year.  Unfortunately, he’s up against the ridiculous season of Newton.  But this could definitely help his cause – 239 yards, 3 tds.  Those are James’ stats against USC last Saturday giving him his third 200-yard game of the season.  Unreal.

3. Kellen Moore – 18

In a weird twist, Moore was able to put up the same touchdown combination as Newton.  However, I think we can all agree that it wasn’t quite as exciting.  Moore continues to put up good stats and keep his team in the hunt to bust the BCS.  Unless he starts putting up even bigger stats, Moore will be giving a congratulatory handshake to Newton or James in NYC.

4. Andrew Luck – 16

Luck didn’t have a huge game but against an average Washington team that wasn’t required.  One thing to note though was his rushing yards.  Luck racked up 91 yards and a touchdown on the ground.  His mobility and strong arm have him firmly in the race for the third spot with Moore.  If Stanford wins the Pac-10 and Luck continues to outpace Moore in key passing stats, look for him to own the third spot behind Newton and James, respectively.

5. Denard Robinson – 10

Mr. Robinson makes his return to the top five after a great performance against Penn State.  Unfortunately, Michigan’s defense can’t make the same claim.  Shoelace put up 380 total yards and 4 touchdowns in the loss.  His play continues to keep him in the Heisman conversation and while he probably won’t take him the coveted prize, he will definitely finish the season with his name to several records.

  1. Newton
  2. James
  3. Moore
  4. Luck
  5. Robinson


  1. Newton
  2. James
  3. Moore
  4. Luck
  5. Robinson


  1. Newton
  2. James
  3. Luck
  4. Martinez
  5. Moore


  1. Newton
  2. James
  3. Robinson
  4. Moore
  5. Luck

Huge Weekend for Hog Fans


Sure, Arkansas’ chances of winning either an SEC or national title are now nothing more than a fading memory. And heck, the Razorbacks aren’t even playing a game in front of their fans on Saturday. Still, this weekend should be of the absolute, utmost importance to Hog fans.

Here’s why

The Razorbacks are still very much in play for their first-ever BCS bowl appearance. That may be hard to believe for some, but it is an absolute fact. Here is the simple scenario that would result in the Hogs recieving their first BCS bid in the infamous system’s 13-year reign over the college football landscape:

  1. Alabama loses this Saturday night in Baton Rouge
  2. Arkansas beats #19 South Carolina and #20 Mississippi State on the road, and #10 LSU in Little Rock over the next 4 weeks*
  3. Auburn beats Alabama the day after Thanksgiving
  4. Auburn beats South Carolina in the SEC Championship Game

Arkansas must win the battle for "The Golden Boot"

It’s honestly that simple, and relatively foreseeable. The above scenario results in Arkansas ending the season with a 10-2 record, good for 2nd place in the SEC West (and, really, the 2nd best record in the whole conference). With Auburn’s then-certain inclusion in the BCS National Championship game, the BCS will, without a doubt, extend an at-large bid to another SEC team. Here’s the group they will be looking at:

  • *Arkansas 10-2 (6-2)
  • *LSU 10-2 (6-2)
  • *Alabama 9-3 (5-3)
  • *South Carolina 9-4 (5-3)

South Carolina, like so many SEC Championship Game losers of the past would be overlooked, and given that Arkansas would have beaten LSU head-to-head in the last game of the season, Arkansas would get the nod over the Tigers. It should also not be overlooked that the BCS brain-trust is smart, and knows that the rabid Razorback fan base would show up in droves for the Hogs’ first ever BCS appearance – especially if they were to get placed in the Sugar Bowl.

So there you have it. While there are several moving parts to this scenario, would any of them, individually, really even cause you to raise both eyebrows? Not me. The two biggest hurdles need to be cleared this weekend, and if they are, this scenario almost begins to look more likely than not.

So, as always, Woo Pig Sooiieee!

And for just a single, painful but necessary weekend…Geaux Tigers!

Who You Drafted and Who You Should Have Drafted…

By now most of us have realized that we did an awful job during our fantasy football draft.  Of course at the time, we thought we had a championship team and the championship was a lock.  The football season is about half way over, which makes for a good time to look back and see who we drafted, and who we should have drafted.

Who You Drafted

If you drafted Favre, you feel the same way.

Brett Favre
Fantasy Points: 79
Projected Rank: 47
Actual Rank: 151
Drafted: 7th Round
Ryan Mathews
Fantasy Points: 53
Projected Rank: 8
Actual Rank: 122
Drafted: 2nd Round
Shonn Greene
Fantasy Points: 44
Projected Rank: 9
Actual Rank: 159
Drafted: 2nd Round
Steve Smith (CAR)
Fantasy Points: 45
Projected Rank: 34
Actual Rank: 177
Drafted: 5th Round
Robert Meachem
Fantasy Points: 44
Projected Rank: 85
Actual Rank: 163
Drafted: 8th Round
Owen Daniels
Fantasy Points: 20
Projected Rank: 100
Actual Rank: 225
Drafted: 9th Round

Who You Should Have Drafted

Somebody is playing as if they want a new contract soon...

Kyle Orton
Fantasy Points: 219
Projected Rank: 136
Actual Rank: 8
Drafted: 17th Round
Darren McFadden
Fantasy Points: 139
Projected Rank: 117
Actual Rank: 6
Drafted: 12th round
Peyton Hillis
Fantasy Points: 112
Projected Rank: 256
Actual Rank: 19
Drafted: 15th Round
Brandon Lloyd
Fantasy Points: 113
Projected Rank: 262
Actual Rank: 11
Drafted: Undrafted
Steve Johnson
Points: 82
Projected Rank: 265
Actual Rank: 52
Drafted: Undrafted
Marcedes Lewis
Fantasy Points: 76
Projected Rank: 157
Actual Rank: 37
Drafted: Undrafted

Week 9 Waiver Wire Wonders

1. LaGarrette Blount (18.5%) – If you didn’t want to listen to me last week, I bet you’re listening now. 22 carries for 120 yards and two touchdowns. If you ignored our sage advice, I almost hope that it’s too late now. Sometimes tough love is the only way.

2. Mike Tolbert (61%) – He’s owned in more than half of leagues, but the number has declined in the last couple weeks big time. And rightfully so. But On Sunday he the Chargers went back to basically an even-split time share with Tolbert and Ryan Matthews. Of course, Tolbert claimed the lone rushing TD. He’ll be a TD-vulture on his worst week and a guy who gets close to 20 touches on his best week. Definite value.

3. Danny Woodhead (31.5%) – I’m sorry, but the Patriots are using this little guy more than I can ever remember them using Kevin Faulk. He’s in on way more than just 3rd downs and he’s good. He scored another TD (his 3rd in 5 games) on Sunday and he had 11 touches for more than 50 yards. Even better, you can play him at RB or WR. This guy is a valuable bench player that should be owned in pretty much all leagues.

4. Darrius Heyward-Bey (1.1%) – Where did that come from? After being nearly invisible since being drafted way too early in 2009, Heyward-Bey went nuts yesterday with over 100 yards receiving and a TD. His 9 targets were almost triple the amount of the next closest pass catcher. Jason Campbell may have just awoken a #1 NFL WR…

5. Robert Meachem (60.1%) – Like Tolbert, Meachum is owned in good amount of leagues already, but he really looks poised for another nice 2nd half. He’s officially displaced Devery Henderson as the Saints’ 3rd WR and has been getting a lot of attention from Drew Brees the past three weeks. Last night he led the Saints in receptions and yards, and he caught every pass Brees tossed his way.

Keep An Eye On

1. Roscoe Parrish (0.9%) – Parish really stood out in Buffalo’s game against KC. They were using him on reverses in the running game, and he was targeted 8 times in the passing game. If you;re in a league where return yards count, keep tabs on this guy going forward.

2. Jerricho Cotchery (10.1%) – There wasn’t much offense between the Jets and Packers yesterday, but Cotchery – who has had a couple nice games – garnered a team-high 13 targets in the game. LT was the 2nd most-targeted Jet, with 7.

3. Kevin Smith (30.6%) – Smith carries the ball just as many times as Jahvid Best did yesterday. This may be because Best has a bit of a turf toe issue, but that is definitely an uptick in Detroit’s usage of Smith.

4. Keiland Williams (0.9%) – Ryan Torain left the game with a strained hammy. No confirmation that it is serious or anything, and the Redskins do have a bye week this week, but if you hear Torain’s strain was serious, this is the guy who will get the carries in DC.

5. Nate Burleson (27.4%) – Man the Lions offense looks a lot better with Stafford behind center. Yeah, Calvin Johnson is the beast on the team, but Burleson is definitely the #2 WR on a team that will be passing plenty. Yesterday he had 7 catches off of 9 targets from Stafford.

NFL Week 8 Fantasy Studs and Duds

David Garrard


  • QB – David Garrard 44 points
  • WR – Calvin Johnson 29 points
  • WR – Brandon Lloyd 24 points
  • RB – BenJarvus Green-Ellis 27 points
  • RB – Jamaal Charles 26 points
  • TE – Jason Witten 17 points
  • DEF – Detroit 27 points


  • QB – Mark Sanchez 4 points
  • WR – Randy Moss 1 point
  • WR – Roy Williams 1 point
  • RB – Marshawn Lynch 1 point
  • RB – Shonn Greene 3 points
  • TE – Vernon Davis 1 point
  • DEF – San Diego 1 point

Dallas Cowboys Coaching Candidates

Jerry Jones

Recently, one of Illegal Shift’s contributors shared his plan on how the Dallas Cowboys could make an in-season coaching change, and obtain their next head coach.  Since this post, Jerry Jones has stated that he will not fire current coach Wade Phillips during the season.  This makes sense given the recent injury to Tony Romo.  Why make a change when, at 1-6 and without your starting quarterback, the season is barely salvageable?  Letting someone else lead the team won’t accomplish much.  With that said, let’s take a look at some of the head coach prospects that will no doubt catch Jerry’s eye this off-season.

Jon Gruden

Why he should be hired
Gruden’s resume comes with a Super Bowl ring.  That alone is enough to attract the Cowboys’ interest.  On top of his success in Tampa, Gruden has a reputation for running a tight ship.  With the lack of accountability currently in Dallas, his style of leadership and hard-nosed football could be what the team needs.
Why they should pass
Despite Gruden’s Super Bowl championship, he was let go by Tampa for two reasons.  Poor drafting and bad decisions.  Gruden inherited a great team from Tony Dungy and was a good enough coach to win with this talent.  However, when it came time to replenish, he was unsuccessful.  He also seemed to get a little wreckless with his decision making.  Often going for it on 4th down unnecessarily or overconfidence in the run, when he should have passed.  These types of decisions led to his demise.
Odds:  7 to 1

Bill Cowher

Why he should be hired
The Chin’s tenure with the Steelers was filled with nothing but success.  His leadership and coaching style was perfect for the Steel City.  Cowher-coached teams always featured stout defenses and occassionaly potent offenses.  The Cowboys have the talent to feature this deadly combination.  They just need the leader to put it all together.  Cowher can deliver this need.
Why they should pass
All speculation is that Cowher is circling the Giants job if/when it becomes available versus taking another open position.  A lot of folks also think Carolina is another possibility given his residence in North Carolina.  I’m not sure that will happen since Jerry Richardson has shown no signs of making serious financial investments in the team.  Unless you have stellar drafts, I don’t know how you can succeed with those limitations.  Bill will pass on the Panthers opportunity.  I think Cowher will interview for the Cowboys head job but not convinced he will accept when offered.
Odds: 10 t0 1

John Fox

Why he should be hired
The Panthers are having just as disastrous of a season as the Cowboys which will most likely spell the end of the Fox era in Charlotte.  His departure opens the door for several teams to give him a look including Dallas.  Fox has had good success with the Panthers despite the same financial limitations I mentioned previously.  This success and his reputation as a defensive-minded, players coach could lead to him being the favorite.
Why they should pass
Unless Cowher accepts the position or Jerry feels he needs a bigger-named coach, Fox is the guy.  He has the resume, ability and reputation around the league to turn this underachieving team into a winner.
Odds: 3 to 1

Herm Edwards

Why he should be hired
Herm has already expressed interest in the job during recent appearances on ESPN Radio.  Accountability and leadership will not be lacking with the fiery Edwards should he be given the reigns.  He also had moderate success in New York when given talent.
Whey they should pass
Despite being a recognizable name and owning decent experience, I don’t think he’ll be the guy.  I do, however, expect him to at least interview if for no other reason then the Rooney Rule.  Personally, I see Edwards having tremendous success in the college level and would be a great fit somewhere like the University of Minnesota.
Odds: 20 to 1

Rob Ryan

Why he should be hired
Ryan’s family success alone could get him head coaching interviews.  His father led the famous ’85 Bears defense and his brother, Rex, is off to a great start as the head coach of the Jets.  Along with the family name comes talent.  Ryan has been able to put together overachieving defenses in Oakland and Cleveland despite average talent.  He’s also attractive to the Boys due to his knowledge of the 3-4.
Why they should pass
It’s true that his family has had some success and he is no doubt a good defensive coordinator.  What needs to be determined is whether he can be a good head coach. I’m not sure the Cowboys will be the team to try and answer this question.
Odds: 15 to 1

What If The College Football Season Ended Today (Oct 28) and We Had A Playoff?

BCS - The Playoff Killer

There are a ton of people out there who are completely fed up with the BCS and their system. They don’t want a computer telling them who are the best teams in the nation. They want teams to play it out on the field. So lets take a minute to head off into our own little “Fantasy World” and see what a playoff system would look like today. We’re going to take the top 8 teams from the BCS standings and match em up in a typical tournament style  (1 vs 8, 2 vs 7, 3 vs 6, 4 vs 5).

– Round 1 – – Round 2 – – Championship –
(1) Auburn vs (8) Utah
(4) TCU vs (5) Michigan St
(1) Auburn vs (4) TCU
(1) Auburn vs (2) Oregon
(2) Oregon vs (3) Boise St
(2) Oregon vs (7) Alabama
(3) Boise St vs (6) Missouri

NFL Week 8 Fantasy Quarterbacks

Wanna win this week in fantasy football? Pay attention, these are some must and don’t plays at running back in the NFL in week 8.
Looking for more NFL Week 8 fantasy help?
Running BacksWide Receivers and Team Defenses

Start That Quarterback – Warzecha

I'm so smart I went to Harvard.

1. Ryan Fitzpatrick – Fitzpatrick has started 4 games for the Bills this season. In those four weeks he has averaged 20 fantasy points, most among all quarterbacks over that stretch. Kansas CIty has a pretty good defense, but its better against the run than the pass…and the Jets and Ravens have pretty good defenses too, but it didn’t matter. This guy isn’t a gimmick anymore.
2. Jon Kitna – Sure he looked pathetic last week for most of his three quarters of action against the Giants. But the guy hadn’t seen real action since 2008 and the Giants can play defense. This week he’ll get all the first-team reps and he gets to play the most generous defense to fantasy QBs, the Jacksonville Jaguars. He has history with Roy WIlliams, looked last week like he already has a rapport with Dez Bryant, and Miles Austin and Jason Witten should be easy enough to get the ball to. Kitna will put up Top 12 numbers this week at least.
3. Chad Henne – Henne has been pretty up and down this season as a fantasy QB, but this is a week where you want to have him in your lineup. He’ll be facing the Cincinatti Bengals who will be without both of their talented starting corners, Michigan alum Leon Hall and Jonathan Joseph. Look for him to hook up with Brandon Marshall all day and get Davone Bess heavily involved as well.

Sit That Quarterback

1. Drew Brees – Brees has really only had a couple really good fantasy performances all year, so it should come as no surprise that I’m not high on him against the Steelers defense this week. Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush are still out with injuries, so this will be another week with no help from the running game. I know it’s hard to sit a guy you used a 1st or 2nd round pick on, but you can probably pick up all, or at least one, of the guys listed above and they will all have better days. Mark it down.
2. Brett Favre – Favre is still acting as if he is going to play this weekend. Maybe he won’t. Either way, don’t even think about playing him. I told you not to start him at Lambeau last week, when everyone was sure the old man was going to come up with a vintage performance. He was pathetic. Even though it’s New England’s secondary we’re talking about, he’ll be a bad start again this week too. He’s done.
3. The Texas Rangers’ Bullpen – They probably aren’t eligible in your league, but just in case they are, for the love of God leave them on the bench…


Please don't hit my shoulder.

Matthew Stafford – This is Stafford’s first week back since getting injured in the season’s first game. Don’t be shocked is he is a tad rusty in the first quarter, but if Shaun Hill could do it (and he did), then Stafford will be able to put up numbers throwing to Johnson, Burleson, Pettigrew, and Best out of the backfield. He’s at home facing a Washington defense that is in the bottom quarter of the NFL against the pass. I’d feel fine playing him if I needed a bye-week fill-in, and I’ll be ready to snatch him up as an elite back-up for the rest of the way if he has a good game.