Comments Andrew Tiller’s selection ended the drought. More than 150 picks after Chandler Jones was taken in the first round of the NFL Draft, Tiller, an offensive guard, became the second Syracuse player selected.Tiller was taken in the sixth round by the New Orleans Saints with the 179th pick. He is the first SU offensive lineman to be selected since Ryan Durand in 2009. He started all 25 games for Syracuse over the past two seasons, earning first-team all-Big East honors after the 2011 season.And the 6-foot-5, 324-pound Tiller will now join a Saints organization that Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone was a part of before taking the helm of SU in 2009.It was somewhat surprising that Tiller was the second Syracuse player off the board. Safety Phillip Thomas and tight end Nick Provo both projected ahead of him but went undrafted.Tiller was one of four Syracuse players – along with Jones, Thomas and Provo – invited to the NFL Combine in February.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse players catch on as UDFAsPhillip Thomas went undrafted, but the waiting period from the conclusion of the NFL Draft was very short. He was surprised to not hear his named called among the 253 players drafted from Thursday to Saturday but almost immediately after the last name was called, Thomas, a former Syracuse safety, received a call from the Philadelphia Eagles, who were interested in bringing him in as an undrafted free agent.‘I didn’t sign yet,’ Thomas said Saturday night, ‘so tomorrow I’m going to talk it over with my agent Drew (Rosenhaus) and things like that. But they called me right after the draft. They want me to come up and sign.’The Eagles announced the signings of 13 undrafted free agents, including Thomas, on Sunday.Thomas is one of six Syracuse players who have caught on with teams since the draft ended. Tight end Nick Provo and wide receiver Dorian Graham signed on with the Baltimore Ravens, offensive tackle Michael Hay with the St. Louis Rams, cornerback Kevyn Scott with the Miami Dolphins and running back Antwon Bailey with the Washington Redskins, according to multiple reports.Projected as high as a third round draft pick, Thomas’ slide out of the draft was a surprise, but he was grateful to join a team so quickly afterward.Thomas and Provo were both invited to the NFL Combine in February, and both were projected to be drafted in the middle-to-late rounds. Graham, Hay, Scott and Bailey were not predicted to be drafted.‘I was very surprised, but hey, it’s a business,’ Thomas said of not being drafted. ‘It’s a business, so I know I can’t do anything about it at all so just, whatever opportunity, I got to go and prove myself.’email@example.com Published on April 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Mark: firstname.lastname@example.org | @mark_cooperjr Facebook Twitter Google+
Notre Dame and UCLA series games were recently added to Wisconsin’s football schedule. The sports editors discuss whether or not these match-up are beneficial for Wisconsin football.Browne: It’s worth adding Notre Dame and UCLA to Wisconsin’s football schedule due to the resulting financial compensation.The Badgers and the Bruins have met 11 times, with UCLA holding a 7-4 edge. UW has won the last three games, but they were the 2000 Sun Bowl, the 1999 Rose Bowl and the 1994 Rose Bowl. The Bruins were ranked No. 14 during their last visit to Madison, and they handed unranked UW a 51-26 defeat.But that was on Sept. 18, 1982. The only thing certain about a UW vs UCLA football game in the year 2030 is that Wisconsin will have an increase in revenue.Notre Dame is one of the most storied programs in all of college football history, thus, a win over them in a system such as the four-team NCAA College Football Playoff selection is crucial to have on your resume during your three-game non-conference schedule.Wisconsin vs LSU at Lambeau Field was the first college game played at the historic NFL stadium and it was a huge success. Adding Soldier Field to the mix on top of the smashing success at Lambeau already spells huge television contract money, not only for Notre Dame, but really for Wisconsin, given that Notre Dame is an independent football conference school and has a likewise independent NBC television contract.Larson:Adding games like Notre Dame and UCLA into our already intense Big Ten schedule match-ups does not bode well for Wisconsin football. While I like the idea of playing successful teams like the Bruins and Fighting Irish in the long run, I think that they should remain postseason games only.With so little margin for error now the Big Ten is divided into East and West, and only one spot is available for each team to advance to the Big Ten Championship, each and every game counts.Wisconsin has a losing record against both teams, with a 4-7 record against the Bruins and 6-8-2 with the Fighting Irish. Both of these records look dismal on paper, and it looks as though both of these match-ups might result in a loss for the Badgers.This would mean four losses for Wisconsin, and four losses that would weigh on them for the rest of the respective seasons. The remainder of each season would be spent trying to overcome that loss, and it would mean that each and every loss becomes a burden that the Badgers must shoulder.Pressure of that kind is the thing that destroys team, not builds them.Schreter: Adding future home and home series with UCLA and Notre Dame could be beneficial for Wisconsin football, but it could also be harmful. This is really dependent on the landscape of college football in the future.In recent years expansion of the four team college football playoff has been a hot topic of discussion within the NCAA. These home and home series will likely be difficult match-ups for the Badgers, but whether or not they end up being worth it is very dependent on the NCAA’s post season setup and what it takes to qualify.If the playoffs remain at four teams, than these difficult out-of-conference games will likely make it exponentially harder for the Badgers to qualify. On the other hand, these games could give the Badger’s a huge strength of schedule a boost and leave them with a larger margin for error in the event that the playoffs are expanded to eight or 16 games.While no protocols have been discussed yet in an eight or 16 team playoff, the Big Ten Champion would almost certainly be given an automatic bid. In this scenario, difficult out-of-conference games like those against UCLA and Notre Dame would give the Badger’s the opportunity for multiple wins without risking their chance at the post season.