Friday, September 22, 2017

SWAC: Jerry Rice and Grambling NFL Greats Yield to March Madness Hopes

In the past, match-ups between Historically Black Colleges could feature as many future NFL players from Grambling State as played for Bear Bryant at Alabama. Grambling's opponent Saturday, Mississippi Valley State, once featured the first five receiver offense including the greatest of all-time, Jerry Rice. With almost all NFL talent now going to D1 schools, Southern could challenge Alcorn State for the basketball title as well as battling Grambling for the football title.

Football excitement returned in last year's Bayou Classic, as Grambling and Southern both returned to some past glory when they clashed after eight game winning streaks and Grambling coming close to stunning Arizona for a 9-0 start. Value Add projects Alcorn State and Southern as virtually event and an edge over defending champion Texas Southern.

Alcorn State boasts the Value Add preseason Player of the Year in Reginal Johnson.

Here is where Value Add ranks each Southwestern Athletic (SWAC) team for the season, and the Massey Rankings rank the football teams against all other schools (including behind the 129 FBS schools. Updates will be provided here.

Team - 2017 SeedHoopsFootball
Alcorn St.234251
Arkansas Pine Bluff263406
Prairie View A&M269255
Texas Southern 16300357
Jackson St.311315
Alabama St.315330
Grambling St.334189
Alabama A&M336331
Mississippi Valley St.346

Here are the top 15 projected players in the conference in order.

Top 15 SWAC PlayersValue AddSchoolHt
Reginal Johnson 244.72Alcorn St.`6-05
Jared Sam 124.60Southern`6-09
Zachary Hamilton 143.36Prairie View A&M`6-04
Jalan McCloud 13.12Texas Southern`5-10
Demontrae Jefferson 33.00Texas Southern`5-07
Paris Collins 53.00Jackson St.`6-04
Trent Steen 152.80Arkansas Pine Bluff`6-08
AJ Mosby 22.60Alcorn St.`6-03
Rodney Simeon 12.50Alabama St.`6-05
Shay'rone Jett 212.35Prairie View A&M`6-08
De'Edrick Petty 32.30Alabama A&M`5-10
Eddie Reese2.20Southern`6-01
Kevin Scott 42.17Texas Southern`6-04
Maurice Rivers 121.86Jackson St.`6-07
Emanual Shepherd 21.83Southern`6-08

Ken Pomeroy ranked the SWAC last of 32 Division 1 basketball conferences, which will all be previewed here with notes on which schools are now "basketball" or "football" schools based on which program is stronger this season. Football revenue is much higher, but programs are much more expensive between equipment and the requirement of matching enough women's scholarships in other sports. Therefore some programs forgo FBS football programs to focus on low cost basketball programs as their biggest revenue sport.

Sports IllustratedFox Sports and ESPN have lauded Value Add Basketball for estimating the number of points each college basketball players is worth to his team above a replacement player - similar to baseball WAR (Wins Above Replacement). Massey Ratings is used for the football rankings above.

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