Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kiffin Fired Over The Phone

The worst kept secret in the National Football League is finally revealed from beneath it's silver and black tablecloth... Oakland Raiders boss man Al Davis fired Head Coach Lane Kiffin today ((pictured, thanks Getty Images)), according to multiple reports and sources.

Davis did so over the telephone and, apparently, without pay...

((ed. note- the only way that will fly is if Kiffin was in breach of his deal... good luck proving that one...))

Davis had interviewed the likes of line coach Tom Cable, special consultant Paul Hackett, offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, and James Lofton while Kiffin was still employed and game planning. Kiffin basically dared Davis to fire him, and not make him quit. There was too much money on the table for Kiffin to go voluntarily...

Davis, apparently, called Kiffin shortly after noon eastern time to inform him of his decision...

As we know more, you know more... a decision on the successor will be made later today. Davis is scheduled to have a press conference to give his rationale for the firing- finally...
UPDATE: Davis released a letter to the media that he claims Kiffin received on September 12th notifying the then-coach that, if he continued his pattern of behavior, he would be fired for cause... the letter can be found in black...
The first paragraph is below...
"Dear Lane:
Over the past months, you have made a number of public statements that were highly critical of, and designed to embarrass and discredit, this organization, its players and its coaches. I left you alone during training camp in hopes that you would cease your immature and destructive campaign..."

College Football Poll: Division II

AFCA Division II College Football Poll

1. Valdosta State (Ga.) (21) 4-0 640
2. Grand Valley State (Mich.) (2) 4-0 619
3. North Alabama (1) 5-0 601
4. Abilene Christian (Texas) (2) 4-0 578
5. West Texas A&M 5-0 535
6. Pittsburg State (Kan.) 5-0 512
7. Northwest Missouri State 4-1 498
8. Bloomsburg (Pa.) 5-0 462
9. California (Pa.) 4-1 381
10. Minnesota-Duluth 5-0 374
11. Tuskegee (Ala.) 4-0 365
12. Central Washington 4-1 345
13. Tarleton State (Texas) 5-0 331
14. Delta State (Miss.) 3-1 297
15. Chadron State (Neb.) 4-1 269
16. Nebraska-Omaha 3-1 258
17. Midwestern State (Texas) 4-0 211
18. Wingate (N.C.) 5-0 190
19. Indiana (Pa.) 3-1 185
20. Catawba (N.C.) 3-1 131
21. Edinboro (Pa.) 4-1 127
22. Central Missouri 4-1 88
23. Carson-Newman (Tenn.) 2-2 82
24. West Virginia State 4-0 81
25. Ferris State (Mich.) 4-1 65

Duke Football: No Longer A Joke

Back in July at the ACC Football Kickoff Duke Head Coach David Cutcliffe told me that one of his goals is for the seniors to have fun this year. That Blue Devil senior class had only won 3 games. Well 4 games into the 2008 season the Duke seniors have equaled that number and have ended a long drought in the ACC.

Saturday’s 31-3 win over Virginia snapped Duke’s 25 game ACC losing streak.

“We were a little more hyped than the JMU game, because it is an ACC game – my first one winning since I have been here.” Duke senior receiver Eron Riley said. “So it was a whole other sense of happiness going along with it. We are just real happy to actually get a win, especially being an ACC win.”

Senior nose tackle Clifford Respress told Michael Tomko of GoDuke.com “I am very happy,” Respress said. “I am excited. The old streak is over. What is even better is a streak starting. We got to go to Georgia Tech this week and we got to work on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and we are going to go to Georgia Tech and take what we can down there. I am very excited. This is my first ACC win. It is amazing.”

For the past 13 years Duke has won only 22 games including 4 winless seasons. Fred Goldsmith led the Blue Devils to an 8-4 record in 1994, his first year as head coach. That earned Duke an invitation to the long forgotten Hall of Fame Bowl. It all went downhill from there as Goldsmith could only win 9 games the next 4 years.

Carl Franks lasted 4 ½ seasons and won only 7 games. Ted Roof gave it his all but could only win 5 games during his 4 ½ years as head coach. During this decent into college football purgatory Duke became the worst team in the BCS.

Enter David Cutcliffe who is in the process of changing the culture at Duke. No longer is losing acceptable. Cutcliffe has built a team chemistry not seen on the Durham campus in quite a while. He expects his players to work hard, improve but have fun in the process. The players have responded and the results are a 3-1 start and 1-0 in the ACC. Duke is just 3 wins away from bowl eligibility and we are just starting October.

The Blue Devils enter the meat of their schedule beginning this Saturday at Georgia Tech. Then it’s a home game against a much better Miami team then 2 road games in a row at Vanderbilt then at Wake Forest. Road games at Clemson and at Virginia Tech also remain before closing the season hosting arch rival North Carolina.

In other words getting those 3 wins to become bowl eligible will be a tall order for Duke but right now the sky is the limit. For once, the Duke Blue Devils are one hell of a football team.
Photos Courtesy: Getty Images

AP NAIA College Football Poll

1. Carroll (Mont.) (18) 5-0 418
2. Sioux Falls (S.D.) 4-0 402
3. Missouri Valley 4-0 382
4. Saint Francis (Ind.) 4-0 374
5. Morningside (Iowa) 3-0 353
6. MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 4-0 339
7. Friends (Kan.) 3-0 312
8. Ohio Dominican 3-1 306
9. Lindenwood (Mo.) 3-1 282
10. Northwestern Oklahoma St. 2-1 273
11. Northwestern (Iowa) 3-1 257 T
12. Union (Ky.) 4-0 226
13. Virginia-Wise 4-1 208
14. Montana State-Northern 3-1 196
15. Black Hills St. (S.D.) 2-1 185
16. Saint Ambrose (Iowa) 3-2 181
17. Cumberlands (Ky.) 3-1 179
18. St. Francis (Ill.) 4-0 157
19. Midland Lutheran (Neb.) 4-0 143
20. Bethel (Kan.) 2-1 99
21. Saint Xavier (Ill.) 2-2 64
22. Langston (Okla.) 3-2 59
23. Shorter (Ga.) 3-1 57
24. Jamestown (N.D.) 2-2 51
25. Sterling (Kan.) 2-1 25

Others receiving votes: Malone College (Ohio) 23; Georgetown College (Ky.) 22; Ottawa University (Kan.) 15; Minot State University (N.D.) 12; Marian College (Ind.) 5; Lambuth University (Tenn.) 5; Baker University (Kan.) 3; Kansas Wesleyan University 3; Valley City State University (N.D.) 1; Southern Nazarene University (Okla.) 1; South Dakota School of Mines & Technology 1.

Here We Go Again...? Balsillie To Buy Preds... Maybe...

On "Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown" Monday afternoon, McCown had his normal roundtable discussions with David Shoalts and Stephen Brunt- or just "Brunt" as McCown calls him on the air. The program is heard throughout Canada on the Fan Radio Networks and is simulcast on Rogers Sportsnet.

A good reason for a Slingbox for a friend north of the border...

McCown had it through his sources that Research in Motion co-founder/Blackberry God Jim Balsillie ((pictured, thanks Getty Images)) was about to buy the NHL's Nashville Predators- again.

The segment can be found in black...

Balsillie's lawyer, Richard Rodier, flatly denied any talk of the sort to Rogers Sportsnet's HockeyCentral program later in the day.

"There is not a scintilla of truth in this report," Rodier told HockeyCentral. "This fell out of the sky."

Reports vary as to the amount of interest Balsillie has in the Preds. It could be the 20-percent stake that William "Boots" Del Biaggio has as part of his holdings that are awaiting bankruptcy divisions, or the whole thing- which would, again, renew the interest of an entire province in the idea of hockey expansion.

Which is where is really needs to be...
You'll know more as we know more...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Oh, Danny Ware...

The lights, the lights are callin'...
And, by that, we mean the red and blue flashing ones...

You see, the New York Giants had a bye week ((much to the chagrin of a lot of fantasy owners)), and former UGA footballer Danny Ware decided to return to Athens to catch the Alabama game.

The folks at Online Athens pick up the story from there...

"Officers arrested the world champion New York Giants running back on an alcohol charge as he joined other Georgia Bulldog fans who wallowed in the aftermath of Saturday night’s defeat to the Crimson Tide of Alabama."

You see, he and the girl that was with him felt compelled to stand in the middle of the road and not move from that particular spot...

Like the mug shot...? ((Thanks, onlineathens.com))
We like the stickers that stayed on all night long...
But that's just us...

Richard Collier Update

The news isn't good from Shands-Jacksonville hospital on the condition of Jaguars offensive lineman Richard Collier...

From Leslie Coursey at cbs47.com in Jacksonville...

"Nearly a month after Richard Collier was shot in Riverside, doctors now say the Jaguars Offensive Lineman is paralyzed. Doctors also say they had to amputate his left leg, and that he will never play football again.

Collier was rushed to the hospital with 14 bullet wounds on the morning of September 2nd. He was shot while sitting in his S.U.V. Police say he was the target of the attack, but have yet to identify a suspect.

To help police, Jaguars players and Crimestoppers are offering a $26,000 reward for any information that may lead to an arrest."

Steve Patterson's in-depth coverage from the Florida Times-Union is in black...

CBS47's coverage with Coursey is below...

Division I-AA Poll- Week of September 29, 2008

1) James Madison ((84))
2) Appalachian State ((1))
3) Montana ((16))
4) McNeese State ((1))
5) New Hampshire ((1))
6) Richmond ((1))
7) Elon
8) Cal Poly
9) Wofford
10) Northern Iowa
11) Eastern Washington
12) The Citadel
13) Southern Illinois
14) Villanova
15) Furman ((1))
16) Delaware
17) North Dakota State
18) UMass
19) Central Arkansas
20) Liberty
21) Western Illinois
22) Jacksonville State
23) South Dakota State
24) Northern Arizona
25) Brown

St. Louis Rams Fire Scott Linehan

A day after the St. Louis Rams suffered its 4th lobsided loss in a row, the team fired head coach Scott Linehan.

“I have enormous respect for Scott Linehan as a person and believe under the right circumstances he will be regarded one day as a fine head coach,” Chip Rosenbloom, owner and chairman of the Rams, said in a statement released by the team. “Unfortunately, the situation with the Rams as they exist today is no longer acceptable and we have to make a change."

“We do this with a heavy heart, and we thank Scott for his efforts and dedication on behalf of the Rams."

As of 4 games into his 3rd season as head coach, Linehan was 11-25 overall. This season St. Louis had been outscored 147-43 and 0-4 to begin 2008.

Linehan had tried to shake things up to right the ship including benching starting quarterback Marc Bulger, whose the highest paid player in franchise history, and replacing him with 38 year old Trent Green, who has a history of suffering concussions.

It didn't work as the Buffalo Bills clubbered the Rams 31-14 and that sealed Linehan's fate.

Jim Haslett will take over as interim head coach. Haslett has been the Rams Defensive Coordinator and also was the head coach of the New Orleans Saints before he was fired after the 2005 season.
Photo Courtesy: Getty Images

Sunday, September 28, 2008

East Carolina, You Have A Problem...

Yeah, yeah.. we know...
It was too easy to let that one go...

Here's how it happened...

((HT: CBS/CSTV and the youtube))

And here's your postgame reaction from ECU Head Coach Skip Holtz

((HT: WRAL-TV/WRAL.com))

Attending a Funeral

'Bama is Back

Well, like it or not, Nick Satan...I mean Saban has crafted another winner. I got to take part of the Alabama/Georgia massacre Saturday night and let me tell you something; this game was never close.
(photos courtesy of Me)

Big, Fast and Nasty

This game was over pretty much in the first 5 minutes. Alabama got the ball and with the help of a Georgia late hit on the Quarterback penalty, went right down the field and scored. It wasn't really that the Tide had a great offense with tremendous skill guys; rather the O-Line was huge and opened holes at will for Glen Coffee and Mark Ingram. Combine that with John Parker Wilson hitting passes to open receivers and well, you know where I'm going.

Defensively wasn't much different. The Alabama D harassed Matthew Stafford for most of the game and so overpowered the young Georgia line that Knowshon Moreno had nowhere to go. Stafford warmed up a bit in the second half, but after taking a hit on a strange play where he ran a sweep, was hit and his head bounced off of the turf was loopy and not much of a factor.

Swapping places

This weeks AP Poll is already out. With all the chaos this week; Southern Cal, Florida and Georgia all losing, we've got a new number one. That would be Oklahoma and look who is 2nd. Scary as it may be, they are mostly freshman and sophomores, it is none other than the Crimson Tide of Alabama.

College Football: Some Of The Mighty Fall

Could you keep up with all the stunning upsets and unexpected outcomes in college football Saturday? The SEC alone had some games that no one saw coming.
First Ole Miss going into the Swamp and defeating Florida 31-30 with Kentrell Lockett blocking the extra point late in the 4th quarter to preserve the Rebel win. If you a student of Ole Miss football history then you know the Swamp is not as intimadating to the Rebels. This is the 2nd straight win for Ole Miss in Gainesville and all-time, Ole Miss is 6-3-1 at the Swamp.

This is a signature win for 1st year head coach Houston Nutt

"I asked the guys to believe in ourselves and to believe that we have a good team. We’ve always played hard, but we finished this game today. We can build on this. . ” Nutt said.

Watch out for the Rebels from here on out.

Dog Roll Over For Tide

OK, Maybe Jolly Ole St. Nick is worth millions. The Alabama Crimson Tide went into Athens, Georgia and beat the heck out of the Georgia Bulldogs between the hedges. Nick Saban has put together a Crimson Tide team that doesn't do anything spectuacular than just line up and try to beat the hell out of you. Next thing you know, your down 31 points. The Tide did that to Clemson to open the season and followed that script against Georgia. Alabama is a lot better than we thought.

"I’m very proud of how we played. Georgia is a fine team." Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban said. "We made a lot of plays in the first half. It’s a great team win. If you lose your intensity in a game like this at halftime and you let Georgia get back in it, there are lessons to learn. I’m looking at what we need to do to become better. If you don’t come every week to play with intensity, the other team will beat you. We got beat in the second half 30-10. I hope we learn from this: what did I learn from when we played well and from when we didn’t. This is a big and great win for us. Georgia has a lot of good players and they are coached very well."

Even in the glow of a great win, Jolly Ole St. Nick is still keepin' it real.

Paws And Reflect, What's Up At Clemson

The Clemson Tigers were the overwhelming favorite to capture the ACC Championship. After a humilating loss to Alabama to open the season some eyebrows were raised as to maybe Clemson was over rated. Now the 20-17 loss to Maryland at Death Valley has you scratching you head. What has happened to Clemson.

"We self-imploded today." Head Coach Tommy Bowden said. "We had critical points in the game where we made mistakes, especially with penalties and fumbles. We didn't play sharp today and that was the reason we lost."

Bowden added "They made plays when they needed to in the second half, and we didn't. They came out of the locker room with defensive adjustments and they capitalized on that."

Clemson must regroup because Wake Forest is next and the Demon Deacons were also a victum of an upset. The Deacs were dumped by Navy 24-17. Wake committed 6 turnovers while quarterback Riley Skinner threw a career high 4 interceptions.

"I missed some throws, over throwing people and I tried to force some throws." Skinner said. "I just really hurt our team tonight which I feel bad about because our defense played well in the second half. They gave us chances to score and we didn't come away with the points we needed."

East Carolina Falls Back To Earth

After shocking the college football world twice to open the season, the Pirates have walked the plank twice as reality has set in. East Carolina fell to Conference USA rival Houston 41-24 as the Cougars racked up 621 yards of total offense. It's the second loss of the year for ECU and their BCS dreams are over.

The Pirate offense was so ineffective that head coach Skip Holtz pulled starting quarterback Patrick Pinckney at halftime for backup Rob Kass.
It was Houston's first road win over a ranked opponant since 1984.

Hail To The Victors

Don't think I forgot you Big 10 fans. Michigan got its first signiture win in the Rich Rodriquez era with a come from behinder over Wisconsin 27-25. The Wolverines came back from 19 points down scoring 27 straight points in the 500th game played at the Big House.

"I'd like to tell you things looked okay at halftime but they didn't. Wow -- there was no panic." Michigan Head Coach Rich Rodriquez said. "We were just trying to make some corrections, but if there was a hole to crawl into, I'm sure a bunch of us, including myself, would have liked to crawl into it. But we didn't. We hung in there with the guys and they did a tremendous job on defense to keep us in it."

So as we absorb this past Saturday of college football the conclusion drawn is that Southern California is not invinceable, Georgia's got some issues, Clemson has much bigger issues, Alabama is pretty damn good, Florida has to rely on Tim Tebow and Michigan still has its mystic.

Ole Miss/Florida Photos Courtesy: AP Photo-The Gainesville Sun, Brandon K
Tommy Bowden Photo Courtesy: Bart Boatwright/The Greenville News

Here's your recap of the Michigan game from WXYZ-TV in Detroit...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman ((1925-2008))

One of the greatest ever passed away this weekend...
Didn't matter if it was acting, driving cars, or salad dressings...
Paul Newman kicked some serious ass...

A lot of us here at OSG HQ remember him for this...

((HT: the youtube))

Nice Beaver...

Thanks... I just had it stuffed...
At least, that's what they told everyone else about Marc Sanchez's night...
Second-half highlights are below...

((HT: ESPN and the youtube))

Life in the NAIA...

It's more about buses than planes...

That's the easier part of the whole deal, but what about when you take a wrong turn to where you're supposed to go...

That's me... Sports' version of "Wrong Way Corrigan..."

I've never claimed to be a walking Rand McNally atlas or anything of the type, but I'd like to think that, when I look at a set of directions ((and print them out)), I can get where I'm going.

Not so much...

The third picture is of Davis Field in Pikeville, Kentucky. That's where the Pikeville College Bears play their football games against the rest of their NAIA brethren. It's a multi-purpose high school facility with SprinTurf that will house baseball, softball, and high school sports where it sits. The drive is a fairly simple one from Atlanta- Chattanooga, Knoxville, Tri-Cities, and into the Virginia mountains into eastern Kentucky.

Not so much...

Knoxville has construction going on downtown which causes two decisions- north on I-640 to I-75, or south on 640 to I-40 and I-81. I chose north, and I should have taken the left turn at Albuquerque. It took me 30 miles north of Knoxville on 75 headed to Lexington to realize that I couldn't turn right until the Daniel Boone Parkway- 40 MILES INTO KENTUCKY!!!

So, I get to Davis Field in the second quarter of a game where Shorter College scores 35 straight to win 52-17 going away... that's the good part...

If you can track down the Shorter Hawks Sports Showcase TV show from that week, you'll see Head Coach Phil Jones give me the gift that keeps on giving- a map of Kentucky and Tennessee.


So, driving back to OSG HQ, I was a-feared that I'd run in to Tennessee-Florida traffic out of Neyland Stadium. I take a detour into the town of Wise, Virginia looking for gear to share with the rest of the family.

I wander in to a football game: UVa-Wise and West Virginia Tech. The Highland Cavaliers took on a team that, really needed Sedale Threatt's outside shooting. 28-6 after one, 35-12 and 41-19 at the break. And Tech wasn't the one in the lead...

Thus, picture one... a 62-33 final... and I missed all the traffic...

By the way, did you know that gas is about 60 cents cheaper in Tennessee than on the way back to the HQ...? Stinks...

UVa-Wise quarterback Randy Hippeard is pictured ((thanks UVa-Wise athletics))

More from the road as we get closer to Carroll of Montana defending their NAIA Division I title for the nine-billionth year in a row in Rome, Georgia in late December...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Catch of The Year...

There is, really, only one word to describe the video below...

Truly ridiculous... filthy... nasty...
You get the idea...
Morgan State's Edwin Baptiste from last weekend against Winston-Salem State...
Is absolutely foul...

Still Another Dirty Dozen

Settledown Saturday

Okay, so what did we learn last week? We learned that Tennesse is really bad, Florida is really fast, Georgia can play out west and Missouri can score a lot of points. We also learned that LSU may have found a quarterback and that Florida State still doesn't have one. Gosh, aren't Shakedown's fun.
Here are this weeks 12 (Not to be confused with the Big 12 which is a conference):

1. Southern Cal (Didn't play, didn't have to, they don't have any roadblocks at this point)

2. Georgia (They are for real, though they are going to have to beat a really tough Alabama team this week)

3. Oklahoma (Where the wind sweeps...anyway, they are really good, but the Big 12 will shake out here eventually)

4. Missouri (Right now they are putting up Video Game numbers, but again, things are getting ready to settle out here)

5. Florida (Damn, they are fast. They hammered a crappy Tennessee team, they may be looking ahead to LSU in a couple of weeks)

6. LSU (Jarrett Lee became a man in the 2nd half vs. Auburn, if that holds, these guys could be dangerous

7. Alabama (We get to see if they are for real this week at Georgia. They are big and nasty, can they hang with the big boys...we'll see)

8. Texas (Getting better every week, once again, the Big 12 will settle out here really soon)

9. BYU (More pinball, no competition)

10. Wisconsin (They'll lose eventually, they always do, the 10 is a poor conference)

11. Penn State (Joe Pa apparently doesn't do background checks, but his team is undefeated)

12. South Florida (How'd they get here?)

Without question Alabama at Georgia is the game of the week. We are going to find out which of these two belong here. Stay tuned to your favorite Sports Blog (us) and find out, I'll be there in person to see this one.
((Nelson Notes: Oklahoma, UGA, Florida, LSU, Mizzou, Alabama, BYU, Texas, 'Sconsin, Penn State, TCU, and Oregon State))

Bottom of the Barrel:

5. Tennessee (Welcome to obscurity Philip Fulmer)

4. UCLA (You've got a lot of work to do still Mr. Nuehiesel)

3. Washington (These guys just can't get it together, is Ty Willingham long for the coaching world?)

2. Rutgers (And to think Greg Schiano was "The" hot coaching candidate just a couple of years ago)

1. North Texas (Just because I want to say "Not so Mean and Very Green")

That is what sayeth we (or at least me), what sayeth everyone else? And oh, happy fall!

((Nelson Still Notes: USC, Notre Dame, Washington, UCLA, and USC))

Another Ereck Plancher...???

The NCAA and Rice University were sued by the parents of a former student who died two years ago after drinking shakes containing the nutritional supplement creatine.

Dale Lloyd ((pictured, thanks Rice University)) was a freshman defensive back for the Rice Owls football team, and had sickle-cell disease, according to the complaint filed in state court in Texas.

Creatine, which supplies energy to muscle and nerve cells, has been linked to an increased risk of rhabdomyolysis, a condition that breaks down muscle fibers and releases harmful substances in the bloodstream of people with the disease.

The sickle-cell trait is found in one in 12 African Americans and can be diagnosed with a blood test, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Rice failed to adequately screen black athletes, including Lloyd, his parents said in the complaint filed in Harris County District Court in Houston.

``The NCAA requires a physical that tests for any number of different things,'' Mark Lanier, an attorney for parents Dale and Bridgette Lloyd, said in an interview. ``We want a policy in place that guarantees every black athlete will be tested for sickle cell.''

Lloyd and other team members were given creatine shakes on September 24, 2006, and then ordered to run 16 individual 100-yard sprints, according to the complaint. His parents claim the Rice coaching staff ordered other players not to help Lloyd after he began having trouble breathing.

Lloyd collapsed on the field after practice and never regained consciousness, dying the next day, according to the complaint.

The NCAA didn't do enough to address known dangers from the sickle-cell trait and rhabdomyolysis, and failed to warn member colleges and universities, according to the complaint. Lloyd's parents are seeking unspecified damages for pain and suffering, medical and funeral bills and loss of earnings.

Lanier, a Houston-based lawyer who won a $253 million jury award from Merck & Co. over its Vioxx painkiller, said the Lloyd suit is mostly about changing policy. While Rice has started doing voluntary testing, the NCAA has made no such changes in the past two years, even though more than half of college athletes are black, Lanier said.

Rice University spokesman B.J. Almond said the school hadn't yet been served with the suit and declined to comment. Officials at the Indianapolis-based NCAA didn't immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

The case is Dale Lloyd v. William Marsh Rice University, 2008-56506, Judicial District of Harris County, Texas (Houston).

Moisekapenda Bower's work from the Houston Chronicle is in blue...

Bower's piece also tells us that former Rice, and now Tulsa Head Coach, Todd Graham has been named as a defendant as well as Head Trainer Clint Haggard, team physicians Thomas O. Clanton and Leland A. Winston, and performance enhancement coach Yancy McKnight also along with Optimal Nutrition Systems and Cytosport- the manufacturers of the supplement.

Mark Berman's work from Fox 26 in Houston is in blue...

The video is required viewing...

The Orlando Sentinel has also picked up the trail and compares the case to UCF freshman Ereck Plancher and his death while participating in off-season conditioning drills. It was later revealed that Plancher, too, was diagnosed with sickle cell trait.

Graham declined comment through University of Tulsa contacts.
Rusty Hardin will represent Rice University.

Let the fireworks begin...and do not be surprised if a class-action suit rises against the NCAA in the near future if these forces unite under one flag...

((HT: Bloomberg News and SBN Daily))

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Goodbye Matt!

Millen is Finally Fired

Yes, it is true. The President and General Manager of the worst NFL team over the past 10 years is officially gone. The Detroit Lions have finally parted ways with G.M Matt Millen.

Check out the story hyah (Thanks DetroitNews.com-for the story and the photo)

Millen, a former NFL Standout with the Oakland Raiders has been at the helm since 2001. In that time, the mighty Lions have managed an outstanding 31-84 record, one unamatched by any of the more pathetic teams in the NFL.

The Lions have also gone through 4 different coaches during the Millen regime, including such notables as the "Dreaded" Marty Mohrhinweg and Steve Mariucci.

Having seen the Lions play in person this year (vs. Atlanta), I can truly say that despite last seasons 7-9 record, and despite having the 2 biggest and fastest wide receivers in the NFL (Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson), they are truly one of the 3 worst teams in the NFL.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

College Football Poll: Division II

AFCA Division II Coaches Poll

1. Valdosta State (Ga.) (20) 3-0 639 1
2. Grand Valley State (Mich.) (2) 3-0 617 2
3. North Alabama (2) 4-0 601 3
4. Abilene Christian (Texas) (2) 3-0 569 4
5. Nebraska-Omaha 3-0 549 5
6. West Texas A&M 4-0 496 6
7. Pittsburg State (Kan.) 4-0 465 7
8. Northwest Missouri State 3-1 441 9
9. Central Washington 4-0 423 8
10. Bloomsburg (Pa.) 4-0 400 10
11. Carson-Newman (Tenn.) 2-1 396 11
12. Indiana (Pa.) 3-0 347 12
13. Tuskegee (Ala.) 3-0 318 13
14. California (Pa.) 3-1 311 14
15. Minnesota-Duluth 4-0 290 15
16. Tarleton State (Texas) 4-0 276 16
17. Delta State (Miss.) 2-1 246 17
18. Chadron State (Neb.) 3-1 202 18
19. Central Missouri 4-0 191 20
20. Albany State (Ga.) 3-0 160 19
21. Midwestern State (Texas) 3-0 101 --
22. Wingate (N.C.) 4-0 70 --
23. Catawba (N.C.) 2-1 51 --
24. Edinboro (Pa.) 3-1 40 23
25. West Virginia State 4-0 37 --

Monday, September 22, 2008

Someday We'll Go All The Way...

Just ask Eddie Vedder... Pearl Jam front man...
He's burst out in song... and is an eternal optimist...
Just like a Cubs fan...

((HT: Mouthpiece Sports))

Division I-AA Poll- Week of September 22, 2008

1) Richmond ((49)) 2,389
2) James Madison ((37)) 2,387
3) Appalachian State
4) Montana ((12))
5) Northern Iowa ((2))
6) McNeese State
7) New Hampshire
8) Elon
9) Cal Poly
10)North Dakota State
11)Eastern Washington
12)Central Arkansas
13)The Citadel
15)Southern Illinois
20)South Dakota State
21)Eastern Illinois
22)Western Illinois
23)Tennessee State ((1))
24)Georgia Southern

Munson Announces Immediate Retirement

The long-time voice of the Georgia Bulldogs, Larry Munson, announced his immediate retirement from calling the school's football games on the Bulldog Network Monday afternoon.

Munson has been suffering from a litany of health problems over the past few seasons which, initially, had limited his game calls to home contests in Athens. Scott Howard, who was Munson's color commentator at Sanford Stadium, was calling games on the road with former UGA quarterback Eric Zeier.

Munson is set to celebrate his 86th birthday next week and had called games since 1966. Howard will take over the football duties full-time including this weekend's game with the University of Alabama.

There are volumes of calls over time that Munson will be remembered for...
This is only a few of them... our thoughts of thanks at OSG HQ go out to Munson, his family, and the Bulldog Nation as the torch is passed.

Hunker down, you guys... just one more time...

Boots Kicked Again

Pete Carey in the San Jose Mercury-News adds another name to the list of folks the former San Jose Sharks/Nashville Predators part-owner William "Boots" Del Biaggio can't keep on any Fave 5 list for the forseeable future...

Former Los Angeles Kings superstar Luc Robitaille...

Robitaille has sued Del Biaggio for fraud stemming their involvement in a bank loan that Robitaille claims was used, partly, for Del Biaggio's "extravagant lifestyle."

The pair had done business before everything fell apart for Del Biaggio- including the joint purchase of the United States Hockey League ((USHL)) franchise in Omaha, Nebraska- the Omaha Lancers.

((Unrelated sidebar- the Lancers and Robitaille are putting corporate sponsorship opportunities for the upcoming USHL season on Ebay through the 29th of September))

((Go here if you're interested- http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170263970189))

Robitaille and Del Biaggio apparently picked up a US$2-million line of credit to invest in real estate and some other things. Now Robitaille says Del Biaggio "tricked him" in to signing for the credit line, and is asking to be relieved of his part of the full amount credited since he "received no benefits" from it.

It is also Robitaille's belief that Del Biaggio maxed out the credit line at the end of 2008 without telling Robitaille he had done that.

Remember who owns the Los Angeles Kings ((the team Robitaille played for most of his career))...?

Remember what AEG has to do with all of this...?

Just thought we'd remind you...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"Faldo Fails at Valhalla"

That's the key line from the perspective of the Sky Sports broadcasters at the Ryder Cup from this weekend...

Those of us at OSG HQ really dig Anthony Kim's belt buckle ((thanks, Pam Spaulding/Louisville Courier-Journal))

The clincher is down below from their point of view ((thanks, Sky Sports and the youtube))...
Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez goes for his putt against Jim Furyk...
Furyk's post-match reaction follows...

The rest... you know...

Doug Ferguson got some time with Kenny Perry, one of the two native sons playing for the Stars and Stripes this weekend ((JB Holmes is the other))...

“I figured this was going to define my career,” he said. “But you know what? It made my career.”

“I poured my heart and soul into this for two years,” U.S. captain Paul Azinger said, his voice cracking. “The players poured their heart and soul into this for one week. They deserved it. I couldn’t be happier.”

The Louisville Courier-Journal's coverage is in blue...

Huzzahs and hurrahs to Captain 'Zinger and the boys that brought the trophy back to this end of the Atlantic Ocean. The next round is in Wales in two years.

The Bois Are Back In Town

Vandy may be dandy, but the Broncos have done it again ((pictured, thanks KTVB))...
Their 37-32 win over Oregon at Autzen Stadium has put them back in the Top 25...
Nick Krupke's take from KVAL-TV in Eugene is in blue...
KTVB-TV's beyond in-depth coverage is in blue...

And then, naturally, the NC State Wolfpack decided that East Carolina's BCS dreams had lasted long enough beating them in overtime, 30-24...
WRAL-TV's Tom Suiter and Dane Huffman break the game down for us below...

College Football Polls: Finally Vandy Is Dandy

It looks like the SEC is going to have to find another school to beat up on. For the first time since 1984, the Vanderbilt Commodores are ranked in the Top 25. Vanderbilt is 4-0 after defeating Ole Miss 23-17 Saturday night in Oxford.

"We're proud of the ranking. It is a reflection of us being 4-0, but I also think voters in both polls are seeing a team that plays hard and does everything it can to win games. As a coach, that's all you can ask of your team," Johnson said.

"I'm extremely proud of how hard our guys played last night at Ole Miss. Both teams gave great effort. This was a really good win for our team. That's probably the way the voters saw it too. We're going to enjoy this one for a day, then get back to work and try to become a better football team," Johnson added.

AP Top 25 Poll

1. USC (62) 2-0 1,621
2. Oklahoma 3-0 1,484
3. Georgia (2) 4-0 1,475
4. Florida (1) 3-0 1,442
5. LSU 3-0 1,363
6. Missouri 4-0 1,360
7. Texas 3-0 1,174
8. Alabama 4-0 1,132
9. Wisconsin 3-0 1,091
10. Texas Tech 4-0 962
11. Brigham Young 4-0 919
12. Penn State 4-0 891
13. South Florida 4-0 798
14. Ohio State 3-1 790
15. Auburn 3-1 785
16. Wake Forest 3-0 711
17. Utah 4-0 574
18. Kansas 3-1 555
19. Boise State 3-0 363
20. Clemson 3-1 300
21. Vanderbilt 4-0 242
22. Illinois 2-1 224
23. East Carolina 3-1 201
24. TCU 4-0 117
25. Fresno State 2-1 105
Others Receiving Votes
Oregon 100, Oklahoma State 98, VIRGINIATECH 63, Colorado 39, Nebraska 32, Connecticut 26, Tulsa 19, Miami (FL) 17, Michigan State 14, Georgia Tech 8, Kentucky 7, Northwestern 7, Ball State 6, South Carolina 3, West Virginia 2, Florida State 2, North Carolina 2, Minnesota 1.

USA Today Top 25 Poll

1. USC (56) 2-0 1,517
2. Oklahoma (2) 3-0 1,424
3. Georgia (2) 4-0 1,388
4. Florida (1) 3-0 1,345
5. Missouri 4-0 1,284
6. LSU 3-0 1,247
7. Texas 3-0 1,143
8. Wisconsin 3-0 1,041
9. Texas Tech 4-0 944
10. Alabama 4-0 939
11. Brigham Young 4-0 931
12. Penn State 4-0 818
13. Ohio State 3-1 744
14. South Florida 4-0 721
15. Wake Forest 3-0 678
16. Auburn 3-1 650
17. Utah 4-0 528
18. Kansas 3-1 506
19. Clemson 3-1 378
20. Boise State 3-0 265
21. Illinois 2-1 233
22. Oregon 3-1 174
23. TCU 4-0 151
24. Fresno State 2-1 117
25. Vanderbilt 4-0 103
Others Receiving Votes
East Carolina 88, Nebraska 83, Oklahoma State 55, Connecticut 54, Virginia Tech 47, Michigan State 37, Kentucky 36, Colorado 30, Northwestern 21, Tulsa 17, Ball State 16, Arizona State 11, California 9, Minnesota 8, Purdue 8, West Virginia 7, Miami (FL) 7, Georgia Tech 7, Cincinnati 6, Maryland 6, Louisville 3.
Photo Courtesy: vucommodores.com

Yankee Stadium Memories

Yankee Stadium is closing and everyone from the famous to the infamous has a story about their experience at the House That Ruth Built. Sadly, I only went to a Yankee game at the stadium once, but it was a great experience.

It was May 14, 1996. My fiancĂ©e’ (now my wife) and I went to an early season game with her cousin to Yankee Stadium. The Seattle Mariners were in town and I was excited about seeing Ken Griffey, Jr. and Alex Rodriquez play. Dwight Gooden was starting for the Yankees and though his dominant days on the mound were behind him thanks to his addiction to drugs, it was a nice side bar for me to at least see Doc Gooden bring it to at the time was a potent offensive line up for the Mariners. One that featured Griffey, A-Rod, Jay Buhner and Edgar Martinez.

The game moved on rather unspectacularly as it turned into a pitching duel between Gooden and Seattle starter Sterling Hitchcock until the 6th inning, when the Yankees erupted for 2 runs and and Hitchcock’s night was done.

It was about that time when that half of the 6th was over that I suddenly realized that Gooden had not allowed a hit. My soon to be wife leaned over and said that this game is boring, no body is hitting.

“Boring game!!!” I thought. I’m sitting at Yankee Stadium and I might witness a no hitter. I’m on the edge of my seat.

As it turned out, the clock for Doc Gooden turned back to 1986 as he stymied the Mariners potent offensive line-up. As the drama built the atmosphere at Yankee Stadium was electric. By the time the top of the 9th came, the stadium was rocking and when the final out was recorded, the place went wild. My Yankees cap that I wore to the game became soaked after took a beer shower from fans sitting above me. I never could get the stale beer odor out.

My first and as it turned out, my only trip to see a game at Yankee Stadium I witness Doc Gooden’s no hitter. My soon to be wife and her cousin couldn’t understand why I was so giddy over this. It was big thrill for me and one I will never forget.

I hadn’t come down from that thrill 4 days later when something else very special happened. That’s when I married the love of my life. My wife said tongue and cheek “so much for the wedding being the highlight of your week.”

Marrying my wife is one of the biggest moments of my life but that night at Yankee Stadium was special. How many people can say they saw a no hitter the first time they saw a game at Yankee Stadium.

Photo Courtesy: New York Daily News, St. Petersburg Times

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Another Dirty Dozen!

Shakedown Saturday

So we are getting closer to the real BCS Standings coming out. USC/Ohio State answered a few questions, this week will answer a lot more. So here we go:

1. Southern Cal (Is there any question right now, they may be better than the KC Chefs or Detroit Lions today)

2. Oklahoma (Pretty good and a soft schedule. Something tells me this won't stick)

3. Georgia (Nothing has convinced me they aren't this good. Don't read anything into the South Carolina game, trust me)

4. Missouri (Very good on Offense, again, a soft schedule, let's see how they do against a power team)

5. Florida (There are a few holes here, the Tebow will not win the title for you by himself, tough one this week at Tennessee)

6. LSU (Again a tough one this week at Auburn, its tough for anyone to win on the Plains, but this is the first shakedown weekend of the year)

7. Texas (Will Muschamp made them into a good defense, can they sustain it for a full season?)

8. Auburn (Winning 3-2 doesn't get you many style points, but you won. This will be a much truer test)

9. Texas Tech (Again, lets see what happens as the competition level increases, I have my doubts)

10. BYU (Until they lose, they are back and throwing it all over the place)

11. Alabama (Big, tough and physical, their test will be next week)

12. Wisconsin (I don't buy this team, they choke every year, I guess someone from the 10 has to represent)

This list will probably look a lot different next week, which isn't a bad thing.

The Bottom of the Bunch

5. UAB (These guys were dangerous not too long ago, whither poor Neil Calloway (the coach), he may not be around much longer)

4. FIU (Perpetual cellar dwellars. Not much has changed, and don't look for it to any time soon)

3. Washington (Poor Ty Willingham, another soul, not to long for the D-I coaching ranks)

2. San Diego State (At least it is a pretty place to play)

1. Syracuse (This will not change until Greg Williams is gone. Did they really think Lane Kiffin would come to the 'cuse?)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Josh Howard's Twelve Second Commenrary

Those of us here at OSG HQ will leave it to you as to whether or not this really should hold any water over time...

The Dallas Mavericks' Josh Howard has always been frank and honest about his behavior and opinions- everything from partaking in the wacky weed to, a few months ago, telling someone about his lack of feelings about the National Anthem...

Here's the rant from July- and the Allen Iverson charity flag football game...
Decide for yourselves...thanks to the youtube...

We could see his point if this was the anthem in question...
Otherwise... whatever...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

AFCA Division 2 College Football Poll

1. Valdosta State, Ga. (21) 2-0 642 1
2. Grand Valley State, Mich. (2) 2-0 622 2
3. North Alabama (1) 3-0 597 3
4. Abilene Christian, Texas (2) 2-0 575 4
5. Nebraska-Omaha 2-0 549 5
6. West Texas A&M 3-0 503 6
7. Pittsburg State, Kan. 3-0 471 7
8. Central Washington 3-0 442 8
9. Northwest Missouri State 2-1 426 9
10. Bloomsburg, Pa. 3-0 419 11
11. Carson-Newman, Tenn. 2-1 388 12
12. Indiana, Pa. 2-0 359 13
13. Tuskegee, Ala. 2-0 298 14
14. California, Pa. 2-1 286 16
15. Minnesota-Duluth 3-0 284 15
16. Tarleton State, Texas 3-0 242 19
17. Delta State, Miss. 1-1 235 17
18. Chadron State, Neb. 2-1 190 20
19. Albany State, Ga. 3-0 162 21
20. Central Missouri 3-0 154 24
21. Newberry, S.C. 1-1 147 22
22. Shepherd, W.Va. 2-1 110 10
23. Edinboro, Pa. 3-0 104 --
24. Ferris State, Mich. 3-0 56 --
25. Washburn, Kan. 2-1 30 18

Monday, September 15, 2008

Jake "The Snake" Roberts Was "Drugged"

At the Firestorm Pro Wrestling Show in Ohio on Friday night, the master of the DDT finishing move, Jake "The Snake" Roberts had a bad night.

In the video below ((Thanks, the youtube)) Jake cuts a promo before his match with someone who goes by the name of JT Lightning. Jake then goes through the match, goes over clean, Lightning cuts a promo, and then it gets more interesting outside the arena.

Word from Snake's camp today ((HT: 411mania.com)) maintains the pride of Stone Mountain, Georgia was drugged. Okay, we'll bite...

"He has been home since Saturday afternoon about 4:30PM and up until last night about 8:30PM, had not eaten or slept. His standard answer for everything the last two days has been 'I don't know.'

"That is the other side of the story, folks, believe it or not, it is certainly your choice. I'm dealing with the guy they sent home, and folks, it is frightening to both me, and to him, and really not much fun. To the guy's that did this, and I say this often when confronted with sub-human behavior, something I see far too often I'm sorry to say, God's a funny guy. You'll get yours, I have no doubt at all."

That was submitted to 411 by "Shannon, Jake's assistant"
The rest of the thoughts are in blue...

JT Lightning, who claims to be a 16-year veteran in the business and "was tired of carrying ((Jake's)) ass" has a myspace page account of the whole thing...
That rant can be found in blue...

The last part of this whole mess, that can't be verified yet, was that at some point Jake went all Jim-Morrison-in-Miami on the crowd... most just wished he'd worn a t-shirt to the ring or something...

FCS Coaches Poll (Division 1-AA)

1 Appalachian State (17) 1-1
2 North Dakota State (9) 2-1
3 Richmond 2-1
4 Montana (2) 2-0
5 James Madison 2-1
6 Delaware 1-1
7 Northern Iowa 1-1
8 McNeese State 1-1
9 Massachusetts 2-1
10 New Hampshire 2-0
11 Cal Poly 1-1
12 Wofford 2-0
13 South Dakota State 2-1
14 Southern Illinois 1-1
14 Georgia Southern 2-1
16 Central Arkansas 3-0
17 Eastern Washington 0-2
18 Elon 2-1
19 Villanova 1-1
20 Eastern Illinois 1-2
21 Western Illinois 1-2
22 The Citadel 1-1
23 Furman 2-1
24 Youngstown State 1-2
25 Liberty 3-0

Brewers Fire Ned Yost

With the Milwaukee Brewers mired in a late season slump seriously hurting their chances to make the post season for the first time since 1982, the team decided to fire manager Ned Yost.
3rd base coach Dale Sveum takes over as interim manager for the remainder of the season.

"This was a very difficult move to make, and we appreciate all of the work that Ned has done to develop this team into a contender," general manager Doug Melvin said. "In the end, this was a collaborative decision made to put our club in the best position for the final two weeks of the season." quoting the Associated Press

You may recall the Brewers held the N.L. Central lead for most of last season before collasping in September and missing the playoffs. Milwaukee shares the N.L. wild card lead with Philadelphia despite losing 11 fo their last 14.
Photo Courtesy: Getty Images

Outside Looking In; The Mountain West Conference Deserves BCS Status.

As the college football season moves along the conversation among fans and sports talkers on the radio is whose the baddest conference of them all. Yes, the SEC can stake that claim with 5 teams in the top 5 of the AP college football poll. Based on the SEC’s research, that has never happened before in the league plus, the SEC totals about 30% of the points in that poll.

So all bow to the SEC for they are indeed walking the walk and talking the talk.

There is one conference though that doesn’t have the clout of the SEC but is building an impressive body of work. That would be the Mountain West Conference.

Saturday alone proved that maybe the MWC deserves to be in that BCS conversation. The league went 7-1 with 4 of those wins coming over Pac-10 schools. UNLV shocked Arizona State in Tempe 23-20 in overtime, New Mexico defeated Arizona 36-28 and TCU blasted Stanford 31-14. The most impressive was BYU’s butt kicking of UCLA 59-0, the same UCLA team that opened the season with a win over Tennessee from, the SEC. When you include BYU’s win over Washington the week before, the Mountain West owns the Pac-10 with a 5-0 record. If Colorado State can get by California on September 27th, the MWC would run the table on their western rivals.

I’ve got an idea for the BCS and I brought this up a few weeks ago. Boot the East Conference (they are not so big now) and replace with the Mountain West Conference.
Other than South Florida beating Kansas who has a team from the East beaten!! Your best team, West Virginia, got killed by East Carolina, Connecticut had to go overtime to beat Temple, Pittsburgh lost to Bowling Green and barely beat Buffalo, Syracuse lost by 2 touchdowns to Akron.

The Mountain West not only is unbeaten against the Pac-10 but has a win over the Big10 (Utah 23-21 win at Michigan). The MWC does have a shot against the mighty SEC when Wyoming takes on Tennessee November 8th at Neyland Stadium.

The Utah-BYU showdown at the end of the year is shaping up to be for a BCS berth barring any unforeseen circumstances however, the winner of the Mountain West Conference deserves to automatically qualify for the BCS after what this is accomplishing.

As for the BCS Championship Game, that’s another conversation.

BYU Photo Courtesy: Rick Egan/Salt Lake Tribune

UNLV Photo Courtesy: AP

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Karma or Luck of The Irish...?

You get to choose...

Notre Dame Head Football Coach Charlie Weis accepts an apology from four-letter-word anchor Trey Wingo, but not one from fellow anchor Dana Jacobson before the game with the University of Michigan...

And, in true karmic fashion, a Michigan player bestows the same injury on Weis that his former quarterback, Tom Brady ((a Michigan grad)) is now having to deal with- a torn MCL and ACL from this rolling from behind...

Weis finished the game with a wrapped leg and on crutches...
((thanks, the youtube and ESPN))

Brian Hamilton has the following update from his Chicago Tribune blog...

Charlie Weis may or may not have surgery to repair the torn left ACL he suffered in a win over Michigan on Saturday -- but if the Notre Dame coach does go under the knife, it won't be any time soon.

"I might just go without having the surgery in the foreseeable future, if at all, to the ACL,"
Weis said Sunday. "If we need to address it down the road, we'll address it down the road. I certainly would not do it anytime we had a game. If I did it at all, it would be on a bye week or after the season."

Who's Your Daddy!! The SEC's Domination On Defense

SEC defenses were kicking butt and taking names this weekend. Auburn didn't allow a first down against Mississippi State and won 3-2. 3 SEC Teams are in the Top 10 in total defense, Florida is ranked 3rd, South Carolina 9th and Auburn 10th. Alabama leads the nation in rushing defense and South Carolina leads the nation in passing defense. Check out these numbers from Saturday's games in the SEC:

8.2 points allowed per game (82 total points)
259.2 total offensive yards per game (2592 total yards)
186.2 passing yards per game (1862 passing yards)
73.0 rushing yards per game (730 rushing yards)
2.52 yards per rushing attempt (290 carries for 730 yards)
14.1 total first downs allowed per game (141 total first downs)
SEC defenses forced 18 turnovers in 10 games

USA Today Top 25 College Football Poll

1. Southern California (57) 2-0
2. Oklahoma (1) 3-0
3. Georgia (2) 3-0
4. Florida (1) 2-0
5. Missouri 3-0
6. LSU 2-0
7. Texas 2-0
8. Wisconsin 3-0
9. Auburn 3-0
10. Texas Tech 3-0
11. Brigham Young 3-0
12. Oregon 3-0
13. Alabama 3-0
14. Ohio State 2-1
15. Penn State 3-0
16. South Florida 3-0
17. East Carolina 3-0
18. Wake Forest 2-0
19. Kansas 2-1
20. Utah 3-0
21. Clemson 2-1
22. West Virginia 1-1
23. Illinois 2-1
24. Arizona State 2-1
25. Florida State 2-0
Others receiving votes: Fresno State 93; TCU 76; Nebraska 49; Boise State 43; Kentucky 40; Oklahoma State 39; Tennessee 34; Virginia Tech 31; Connecticut 27; Vanderbilt 20; North Carolina 19; Iowa 14; Northwestern 10; California 7; Michigan State 5; Notre Dame 5; Colorado 3; Ball State 2; Boston College 2; Georgia Tech 2; Tulsa 2.

College Football Week 3: Ohio State Dominated Again

Once again the Ohio State Buckeyes wet the bed in a big game in front of a national TV audience as top ranked Southern California dominated 35-3 in front of 93,607, a record crowd at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.

Just like the Florida and LSU BCS title games, the Buckeyes couldn’t handle a team that is loaded with speed at the skill positions. The Trojan receivers got separation which enabled Mark Sanchez to torch the Ohio State secondary with 4 touchdown passes, 2 went to Damien Williams in the 3rd Quarter while Joe McKnight gained 105 yards on 12 carries.

Does this hurt Ohio State’s national championship hopes? Probably so because this loss is sure to linger especially when you couple this with the Buckeyes lackluster showing last week against Ohio U who they barely beat.

Next up for Ohio State is Troy at the Horseshoe which might be a tougher game than you might think. Then it’s Minnesota before an October 4th showdown against Wisconsin at Madison.

Since the Badgers won at Fresno State Saturday night, Wisconsin’s stock is up, Ohio State’s is down.

Sun Devils Done In

How could Arizona State lose in overtime to UNLV at Sun Devil Stadium? You get the feeling the Sun Devils thought they would cruise over the Rebels and were looking ahead to Georgia next week. Only problem is UNLV bit them in the backside.

“It starts with me. I didn't have them ready to play and I'll take the blame. But we have to play better as a group. There are a lot of guys in that locker room that understand that." Arizona State Head Coach Dennis Erickson said.

“I just want to say that obviously, UNLV, we have to give all the credit to them. They played a great game, and they're the reason why we lost. They played a great game, so we lost. Other than that, we practiced fine, but we just didn't execute it in the game. We didn't score, we turned the ball over, and we didn't do well in all three aspects of the game, and when you don't, you're going to lose."
Said Quarterback Rudy Carpenter who threw for 242 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

UNLV head coach Mike Sanford sensed all week the Sun Devils weren’t taking his Rebel team seriously with the Georgia Bulldogs stepping on the Sun Devil Stadium turf next week. So he played that up as the Rebels prepared for the Sun Devils.

"Yes we did, of course. We were out to gain respect." Sanford said.

Now after this unexpected loss, can Arizona State regroup and get up for the Bulldogs?

Here's how the word got out in Vegas... thanks to our friends at KTNV/ABC 13
((We remember weekend anchor Bryan Salmond when he was just a mere pup in the biz... and we agree with him about the Phillip Payne catch, by the way...))

SEC Time Warp

Those who have been to Starkville, Mississippi sometimes feel this small town is behind the times. Well time went back 50 years when Auburn and Mississippi State game ended in a 3-2 with the Tigers prevailing. That’s right, a field goal and a safety were all the points scored. Rumor has it that single bar facemasks were worn. This was a dirty low down defensive battle.

This is the kind of game that’s to the liking of Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville.

“I am an old defensive coach so I was liking it a little bit but I wish we had scored a few more points. We just wasted a few opportunities. That was a true defensive game.”
Tuberville said.

Auburn’s defense was outstanding not giving up a first down to Mississippi State.

“It is all about defense when you go on the road. Our guys came to play today. We gave up zero first downs today on 14 chances and only 116 yards total offense. You can win a lot of games that way. Our guys played hard and played with enthusiasm.”
Tuberville said.

Mississippi State’s promising season is now stuck in the mud at 1-2 and it just gets harder for the Bulldogs. Next up is a trip to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech.

Ohio State/USC Photos Courtesy: AP
UNLV/Arizona State Photos Courtesy: AP
Auburn/Mississippi State photo courtesy – Mansel Guerry

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fear The Pre-Game Meal...

Maryland, the week after losing in Murfreesboro, Tennessee to Middle Tennessee State ((???)) comes to temporary life against Cal in a home game for the Terrapins.

Cal had to throw the ball 60 times to try a big fourth-quarter comeback...
This pass was, however, very incomplete...
Jahvid Best is still trying to figure out what he ate that morning...
As are we...
Early "Hit of the Year" Candidate comes from Kevin Barnes...
((thanks, the youtube and ESPN))

Free Willy and the Temple Of Doom

In baseball these days, this would be called a "walk-off Hail Mary"

Let's just call it a game winner and leave it at that...
((thanks, the youtube and ESPNPlus))

Let's Go Buffalo...

Hurricane Ike Updates/Saturday September 13th

The biggest news today where the rescheduling and juggling has been done on a lot of different levels of sports comes from the National Football League.

The Houston Texans-Baltimore Ravens game scheduled for Sunday and, then Monday, has been shifted to November 9th. Sunday now serves as the bye week for the two teams.

The November 9th game will be held during the Ravens' bye week. The Texans' home game against the Cincinnati Bengals, originally scheduled for November 9th, will be moved to October 26th, which was the bye week for both of those teams.

The Bengals' bye week will be the weekend of November 9th.

Shea Guinn, the President and General Manager of Reliant Park was asked about the status of Reliant Stadium ((pictured, thanks Billy Smith II/Houston Chronicle)) and its retractable elements.

"There is no way this stadium will host a game on Monday night," Guinn said Saturday. "There are parts of the roof that are completely gone."

The retractable roof on the $352 million venue rolls open in nine sections. Guinn said five of the sections were missing and large pieces of debris had fallen into the stadium.

"It's hard to tell what came from where," Guinn said.

Reliant Stadium sits next to the Astrodome. Guinn said Saturday that he had not yet inspected the dome for storm damage. The Texans' air-supported practice "bubble" across the street was deflated on Thursday and was not damaged, Guinn said.

The logistics of bye weeks of all teams involved is in blue, thanks to the National Football League and nfl.com

Minute Maid Park was spared from any major damage from Hurricane Ike, but the Astros may move games to another domed stadium- possibly Miller Park in Milwaukee for their series with the Cubs that is scheduled for Union Station this week.

"We couldn't get to the Rangers," Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane told the Houston Chronicle. "One of the options was to go to Minnesota. We're looking for a domed stadium because of all the rain that is out there. We're trying to deal with all that. Milwaukee is one of the few places that there is a roof.

"(The) Tampa (Bay Rays' Tropicana Field) was one, but they have a game Monday. It's one of the most difficult (scheduling) things I've ever dealt with."

The rest of the interview with McLane from Jose De Jesus Ortiz and the Chronicle is in blue

De Jesus Ortiz' article also talks about the precautions taken at Minute Maid:

Workers tied the stadium's roof to a concrete deck Thursday night and sandbagged the service level, where the home and visiting clubhouses and the Diamond Club seating are located.

They plugged drains below street level, and they tied all the exterior doors so they could not blow open. Those precautions paid off.

The Minute Maid Park roof was tested for 118-mph winds before it opened in 2000. Unisystems, which designed the roof, told the Astros it would be able to withstand 150-mph winds.

KHOU-TV's yeoman coverage, with friend of OSG Chief Meteorolgist Gene Norman, can be found in blue and is encouraged viewing...

Fox 26's coverage is in blue at myfoxhouston.com
KPRC-NBC2 in Houston is in blue at click2houston.com

UPDATE: De Jesus Ortiz has a follow-up article with the Chronicle where it was decided that Miller Park will host the Astros-Cubs games for Sunday at 7:05 and Monday afternoon at 1:05.

“If it all comes tied down at the end of the season we could play the third game in Houston,” Drayton McLane said. “We’re giving up the revenue that we would have had.

“This is costly for us. This is painful for us, but we felt for our fans and our city we needed to move these games. This is the right thing to do for our fans. We have a great chance to win the wild card and we think this will give them something to cheer them up.”

A September 29th scheduled tie-breaker would be played in Houston.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Talk Talk...

"Well did I tell you before
When I was up
Anxiety was bringing me down
I'm tired of listening to you
Talking in rhymes
Twisting round to think
You're straight down the line

All you do to me is talk talk..."

I'll be the first to tell you that, no, I didn't lose anyone close to me seven years ago.
I do know people who did and nerves are still raw.
Thoughts are still involving more questions than answers, and those same people have increasing levels of anger. From my point-of-view that's wholly justified.

I remember exactly where I was that morning...
I called in to a friend of mine at work, thinking that I might have an outside shot of having an event shot for me for a sportscast.
I could not have been more off base...

"I don't think you're getting anything shot today," she told me. "Two planes just flew in to the World Trade Centers and another one went in to the Pentagon."

I got out of bed, showered, and headed in to work. It's just one of those situations where you just "do." There was no question about it. This was a Breaking News story that was in need of every hand- free or otherwise.

But I made one stop before I checked in...

I went to a drug store down the street and picked up an American flag. I posted the flag at my desk and it stayed until my boss told me to take it down and take it home. I still wish, to this day, that I had challenged his decision somewhat to pull it. But I relented.

Seven years later, not every American flag was at half-staff.
And that annoyed me.
I think, that on some level, some people have forgotten what went down.
And that's sad...
I think some people believe that if you don't think about 9/11, it will go away.
That's just flat naive...

Just to let you know... I had family that served in World War II and Korea. My grandfather was involved in the invasions of North Africa and England. He thought Ike was weak. He loved Patton, and hated the Russians. He thought Patton was on the right page when he wanted to invade the Soviet Union when they were weakened. He knew Jimmy Doolittle and was in the Army Air Corps and the OSS.

He didn't mess around...
And he always told the funny stories- never the serious ones.

"If every sign that I see is to complete
Then I'm a fool in your game
And all you want to do
Is tell me your lies
Won't you show the other side
You're just wasting my time

All you do to me is talk talk..."

My boss, on 9/11, asked me to bird-dog a mosque that was across the street from work. He wanted to know if there was going to be some minor insurrections as the thought came across his mind that Muslims all around the world might strike out- following the example of Osama Bin Laden earlier in the day.

And he asked a blonde-haired, blue-eyed sports guy to stare them down from a sidewalk. Made a lot of sense...

All we have heard in the last six years is the governmental-double speak equivalent to "We've almost got him."

I call "shenanigans." I would call a little more colorful version of the phrase, but I'm too tired right now. I had a solution back then, and I still feel the solution would work today.

Give every citizen's family from this country that was affected that day a valid passport and a concealed weapons permit. Give them a free flight on a transport plane. Give them all the tools they need and send them in to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan to hunt the son-of-a-bitch and any of his boys down once and for all.

Get this over with... like, oh I don't know, six-and-a-half years ago...

I'm the first person to thank a soldier in an airport or another public place for their service- I get what they do. I know, that without them, we wouldn't be able to stay safe in the greatest republic ((and continuing political experiment)) on this or any other planet. I thank cops when they pull me over. I thank firemen and other public servants when I get the chance.

But in this country, that has the greatest minds and freedom-loving souls around, what is taking so damn long...?

We have the greatest planes with the greatest pilots and the greatest air forces around. So why in the hell are we not doing all this from the air...? The loss of life would have been exponentially less. Am I missing something here...?

That's not a hard choice...

I say give those sections of the world that want to cross us ((or anyone else for that matter)) a 48-hour window to evacuate an area in question. Anyone who remains is assumed to be someone who didn't want to face troops around a perimeter.

Turn everything into a parking lot and let those who choose to remain sort it out.
In a situation where the choice is either "us" or "them..." when the "them" is this group of evil individuals that, simply, will not stop until their will is enforced... I choose "us."

"When every choice that I make is yours
Keep telling me what's right and what's wrong
Don't you ever stop to think about me
I'm not that blind to see
That you've been cheating on me

You're laughing at me when I'm up
Crying for me when I'm down
Laughing for me when I'm up
Crying for me

All you do to me is talk talk..."

I don't second-guess that the emotion from any politico, on some level, is genuine when the subject is brought up.

But give me Vinnie from the Bronx and his boys, any day to take care of a problem.
We need that fix...
Now...or, to be more accurate, about 2,200 yesterdays ago...

May ((insert divine being here)) be with you on this day and all the others... and remember what today is, not just in your world but everyone else's...
Thanks to all that make us free...