Sunday, November 30, 2008

AP Poll ((Week of November 30th))

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (62) 12-0 1,620
2. Florida Gators (3) 11-1 1,516
3. Texas Longhorns 11-1 1,488
4. Oklahoma Sooners 11-1 1,480
5. U-S-C Trojans 10-1 1,355
6. Penn State Nittany Lions 11-1 1,257
7. Utah Utes 12-0 1,216
8. Texas Tech Red Raiders 11-1 1,197
9. Boise State Broncos 12-0 1,103
10. Ohio State Buckeyes 10-2 1,069
11. T-C-U Horned Frogs 10-2 885
12. Ball State Cardinals 12-0 834
13. Cincinnati Bearcats 10-2 824
14. Oklahoma State Cowboys 9-3 798
15. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 9-3 708
16. Oregon Ducks 9-3 630
17. Georgia Bulldogs 9-3 495
18. Boston College Eagles 9-3 482
19. Missouri Tigers 9-3 479
20. B-Y-U Cougars 10-2 385
21. Michigan State Spartans 9-3 312
22. Ole Miss Rebels 8-4 280
23. Pittsburgh Panthers 8-3 241
24. Northwestern Wildcats 9-3 190
25. Oregon State Beavers 8-4 122

Others receiving votes: Iowa 66, Virginia Tech 47, Tulsa 13, Florida State 12, California 7, West Virginia 4, Connecticut 3, Nebraska 3, Rice 3, North Carolina 1.

BCS Poll ((Week of November 30))

1. Alabama Crimson Tide 12-0 .920/.971
2. Oklahoma Sooners 11-1 .980/.935
3. Texas Longhorns 11-1 .940/.922
4. Florida Gators 11-1 .820/.885
5. U-S-C Trojans 10-1 .730/.807
6. Utah Utes 12-0 .850/.784
7. Texas Tech Red Raiders 11-1 .870/.780
8. Penn State Nittany Lions 11-1 .670/.737
9. Boise State Broncos 12-0 .740/.703
10. Ohio State Buckeyes 10-2 .590/.634
11. T-C-U Horned Frogs 10-2 .610/.563
12. Ball State Cardinals 12-0 .550/.530
13. Cincinnati Bearcats 10-2 .440/.483
14. Oklahoma State Cowboys 9-3 .450/.427
15. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 9-3 .450/.404
16. Georgia Bulldogs 9-3 .410/.331
17. Boston College Eagles 9-3 .380/.320
18. B-Y-U Cougars 10-2 .290/.314
19. Oregon Ducks 9-3 .100/.304
20. Missouri Tigers 9-3 .220/.281
21. Michigan State Spartans 9-3 .250/.255
22. Northwestern Wildcats 9-3 .000/.121
23. Pittsburgh Panthers 8-3 .080/.101
24. Florida State Seminoles 8-4 .210/.076
25. Virginia Tech Hokies 8-4 .120/.057

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Marin's Story: A Reason For Thanks

A lot of us here in the land of OSG HQ worked alongside Matt Morrison when he was talking sports in the southeastern United States a few years back. His daughter, Marin, always loved swimming and became very accomplished as a teenager.

We're talking world-class...

In 2005, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She's had four operations since the initial round of diagnoses and treatments. Marin had one real wish- she wanted to compete in the Olympics. The tumor may have taken her body away from her at points, but it never took her dream away. Despite paralysis and inoperable tumors, she continued to train and made it to the US Paralympic Team- qualifying in three events.

It took a lot of people helping in and around her new hometown of Sammamish, Washington to get the family to Beijing and the '08 Paralympics.

The Morrisons made it.
Marin made it.
And the story below is a reminder of what truly is important this time of year...

Marin was part of the Peacock's Paralympic Games coverage- seven-and-a-half minutes worth.

It's worth your time...

So is her personal journey on Caringbridge.org

The folks at Hurley are even breaking out a line of their lids designed by Marin- a first for their corporation. If you pick up one of their hats during the month of November ((translation- act fast)), any hat that's purchased gets part of their proceeds headed toward Marin's charity.

Does it matter where Marin finished in Beijing in her three races...?

Not one bit...

She finished. And that's what matters...

Keep the Morrisons in your prayers this holiday season...

((HT: KOMO-TV))

Your Georgia/Georgia Tech Postgame

Craig Bolerjack and Trev Alberts track down Tech Head Coach Paul Johnson and Running Back Roddy Jones after Tech's 45-42 shootout win over the Bulldogs in Athens. Tech snaps a seven-game series losing streak with the win.

They can book their trip to somewhere in Florida for New Year's Day.
Georgia can as well, but Defensive Coordinator Willy Martinez may need to file a change-of-address kit with the Postal Service after the season. Tech gashed UGa for 409 yards rushing- Jones getting 214 of those yards on only 13 carries. The Jackets scored 26 points in the third quarter alone to take a 38-28 lead after 45 minutes.

Talk is the Dawgs will head to the "What's-in-your-wallet?" Bowl to take on Ohio State and Terrelle Pryor. The Jackets could end up in the Sports Store Chain Bowl in Orlando, or could have a home game with a bunch of cows involved at the Georgia Dome.

((HT: CBS Sports))

Swinney Nails Audition, Should Be Clemson's New Coach

Dabo Swinney got a 6 game audition as interim head coach of the Clemson Tigers and I would say he nailed it. With the Tigers 31-14 win over in-state rival South Carolina Saturday, Clemson became bowl eligible with a 7-5 record but most importantly, 4-2 in with Swinney calling the shots. Today at Death Valley the fans in unison cheered "Dabo" and "Dabo Swinney" as the final seconds clicked off the clock and the Tiger players gave Swinney a victory ride.

Swinney didn't play it safe once Tommy Bowden left and he took over. Swinney took the bull by the horns getting rid of offensive coordinator Rob Spence the same day Bowden resigned and taking charge of the offense. Clemson's playmakers James Davis, C.J. Spiller & Aaron Kelly got the ball in their hands. The young offensive line, which Bowden worried about before the season kicked off, has thrived under the confident leadership of Swinney.

In short, a program that was hinging on a disastrous season in October has won 4 of their last 5 games and going to a bowl game.

Later this week, Swinney will interview for the head coaching position at Clemson. That seems like a formality. The Tigers have their man already.

It is of OSG's opinion that Dabo Swinney will become the head coach of Clemson.

Photo Courtesy: Bart Boatwright/The Greenville News

Frost Acquitted On All Charges

((HT: CBC Sports))

Former junior hockey coach and NHL player agent David Frost ((pictured, thanks Adrian Wyld/CP)), who had been charged with four counts of sexual exploitation, was acquitted on Friday of all charges by an Ontario court judge in the town of Napanee.

Frost was found not guilty by a judge, in cases arising from his term as coach of the junior A Quinte Hawks club in Eastern Ontario in 1996 and 1997.

The charges stemmed from alleged incidents involving two former Hawks players he coached.

The young women who dated the players when they were 16 gave emotional testimony during the trial, contending Frost masterminded and participated in sexual threesomes with the Hawks players and their teenage girlfriends.

One of the women said Frost, age 29 at the time, persisted in having group sex with her and her boyfriend for a number of years.

The defence conceded that group sex is common among hockey players, but vehemently denied Frost ever took part in the sex acts.

Judge Geoff Griffin of the Ontario Court of Justice cleared Frost of the charges, adding the trial "exposed a dark and very unhealthy side of hockey."

"It's extremely offensive and must be denounced," Griffin said in giving his verdict.

The women testified that Frost held great power over the young players and controlled every part of their lives, including telling them when they could have sex with their girlfriends and instructing them about specific positions.

Frost faced two counts alleging he directly or indirectly sexually touched the two players, while the other two counts alleged he instructed the players to sexually touch their girlfriends.

In his ruling, Griffin suggested the women's testimony was "possibly tainted by collusion."

Tom Harrington reports from the site of the trial for the CBC.


Worst Kept Secret In NHL- Burke To Leafs Official

Hey... guess what...??

Did you hear the one about the Toronto Maple Leafs wanting Brian Burke ((pictured, thanks Getty Images)) to be the team's General Manager...??? All that had to happen was his leaving Anaheim- and getting out of that particular contract first... like the second Cliff Fletcher was named the replacement for John Ferguson, Junior last season.

Well, it happened... he's the President and GM of the Leafs now...

''You're talking about the Vatican if you're Catholic, you're talking the centre of the hockey universe, you're talking about one of the most important jobs in hockey running the Toronto Maple Leafs,'' Burke said. ''It's a dream job.''

Burke will reportedly earn $3 million annually on a six-year deal.

Burke, the 13th general manager in the club's 92-year history, became available after the veteran NHL executive stepped down from his post as general manager of the Anaheim Ducks on Nov. 12.

''I'm extremely honoured to join the Toronto Maple Leafs,'' said Burke. ''This is one of the most prestigious jobs in our game.

''This is an opportunity of a lifetime to work for a team in a world-class city with passionate fans, solid ownership and a rich history. I can't wait to get started.''

Now all he has to do is fix the Leafs situation... which is in pretty sad shape. The team recently traded away two former Number One Draft picks- Carlo Coliacoivo and Alex Steen- to St. Louis for Lee Stempniak.

They're currently 11th in the 15 team Eastern Conference and have lost five in a row heading in to the weekend. But the Buds are also only one point out of the cellar.

Let the new round of overly-optimistic expectations begin in the T-Dot.

Let's go back to January when Burke was a guest of Michael Landsberg on "OTR" when he said he wasn't interested in the Leafs job since he already had a job...
((HT: TSN))

Croom Out At Miss State

Surprising no one, really, after the 45-0 shut out in the Egg Bowl yesterday Miss State Head Coach Sylvester Croom has resigned his post after five years with a 21-38 record. The 45-point loss was the most lopsided in 37 years in the series.

A lot was made of Croom being the SEC's first black head coach, but his tenure in the conference as a solid assistant and brain helped in getting the gig. Last season, the Bulldogs went 8-5 and made an appearance in the Liberty Bowl. Croom took over the program while it was under NCAA sanctions and made the defense the team's calling card.

The offense, however, was another story. In Croom's five years the team was never better than 103rd in the NCAA in scoring. The team finished 4-8 this year and the loss to Louisiana Tech did him no immediate favors.

"Five years ago, Mississippi State gave me the unprecedented opportunity to be a head football coach in the Southeastern Conference and to build a program based upon a strong foundation," Croom said in a statement.

"We have tried to build a program the right way that can compete for conference championships. I believe the foundation has been set for those goals to be reached under the leadership of someone else, and it was my decision to resign."

AD Greg Byrne is set to make an appearance to 'splain himself later Saturday.
We return you to happier times in Starkville...
((HT: Lincoln Financial Sports/SEC))

Friday, November 28, 2008

See, We Told You. Kiffin Going To Tennessee

It appears that an announcement by the University of Tennessee and Lane Kiffin is eminent. As OSG reported Tuesday, Lane Kiffin will be named the new head football coach at Tennessee. An announcement is expected by UT on Monday according to OSG sources close to the situation.

Now the 4 letter word has caught on our trail.

Fox Sports.com is also playing catch up.

The Knoxville News Sentinel at least had the class to mention of media reports surfaced earlier in the week. You can read that right here.

You will also read that former Ole Miss head football coach Ed Orgeron is a possibility to join Kiffin's staff at Tennessee, they coached together at Southern California. It is also possible that Lane Kiffin's father Monte Kiffin, who is considered one of the best defensive coordinators in the National Football League, could join the staff. Former Nebraska and (how ironic) Oakland Raiders head coach Bill Callahan's name has been mentioned as a possibility to.

OSG sources can't confirm who would be Kiffin's assistants but it is known that the yet to be but will be announced new UT head coach has been assembling a staff recently.

OSG will keep you updated.
Photo Courtesy: Getty Images

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Dirty Dozen...The TURKEY Edition!

It's Almost Done!

Despite what our friends at the Four-Letter Word say, this is the week...that TRULY is rivalry week. Alabama/Auburn, Georgia/Georgia Tech, Florida/Florida State, Oklahoma/Oklahoma State and Texas/Texas A&M are all RIVALRIES that truly define what college footbal is about. I guess, because of the BCS implications, the biggest of the games is the Battle of Oklahoma, but as always, expect the crazy this week, it always happens.

Last Week: 7-2, though I got the regulation final in the Crapple Cup, but since I didn't pick the winner, I lose. Overall: 67-17, not bad for a rookie, eh?

The Dozen:

1. Alabama (They are still undefeated. I'm not totally sold that they will run the table, unfortunately, it won't be this week when they lose. This Week: Alabama 27, Auburn 13)

2. Florida (Well, if you want to argue who the best team this year is, these are the guys that I would take ((I can't believe I'm saying this))it must be the thought of Tryptophan. This Week: Florida 41, FSU 27)

3. Oklahoma (They have a steak...get it...in how this all plays out too. Even though they lost to Texas, I think they are better. They better watch out this week, they play the Gundy's. This Week: Oklahoma 37, Oklahoma State 34)

4. Texas (They argue too much. They gave a game to Texas Tech and I'm not sure how they have made it to this level. This Week: Texas 38, Texas A&M 17)

5. USC (Again, not convinced ((boy I sound really negative this week don't I?)). Heck, they may not even win there conference. They too play a rivalry game, just not an in-state one. This Week: USC 24, Notre Dame 13)

6. Utah (I finally know the name of the coach: Kyle Whittingham. Hooray for me! Nice to see them in the BCS Party, it sucks that they will be a sacraficial((sp?)) Turkey for someone in a bowl. This Week: The Season is over)

7. State Penn (Joe Pa had his surgery, nobody has committed a felonius act on campus lately, all must be well in the Great State of Pennsylvania. This Week: The Season is over, they go to the Rose Bowl...and there was much rejoicing!)

8. Texas Tech (Well, reality finally came crashing in. I didn't think they'd win last week, but I didn't think they'd get embarrassed like that either. This Week: Texas Tech 112, Baylor 17)

9. Boise State (Well, they survived, but alas they won't make the BCS, though they probably are worthy compared to several other teams ((see USC)). But, it was a good season none the less. This Week: Boise State 31, Fresno State 21)

10. Ohio State (I just don't get this team, never have. But they play in the 10, where mediocrity rules. This Week: Season over, playing in the Crap One Bowl probably vs. Georgia)

11. Okie State (We just like the fightin' Mike Gundy's, we really do. Plus, they aren't a bad team, though this may drop them out of the Dozen for the season. This Week: See #3)

12. Ball State (Congratulations for running the table. You are worthy of a Top 10, but sadly, this will be as close as you get. Maybe David Letterman will create a Bowl Game for you. This Week: Season over, waiting for a bowl invite)

The Turkey Gizzards:

5. Notre Dame (Can someone please explain how they lose to Syracuse at home? Just when you think these guys might be returning to respectability, they tank. Will Charlie the Hut survive this? Does anyone care? This Week: USC kills them)

4. Meesh-a-gain (Wow, how the mighty fall and fall and then fall again. They are pretty bad and may not be good for awhile. This Week: Season is over mercifully)

3. Schmoo (Even the Schmoo had more success than these guys. June Jones is probably wishing it was June instead of November right now. This Week: Southern Miss. 31, Schmoo 14)

2. Washington State (Just because Washington gave you the game doesn't move you out of here. This is still one of the worst teams in the history of NCAA Division 1 football. This Week: Hawaii 28, Washed State 13)

1. Washington (God they suck. Tyrone Willingham's legacy here unfortunately will not be a good one. Yes, they may have made history...as the worst team in NCAA Football. This Week: Cali-forn-i-a 34, Washington 10)


HoHoHo...to all a...oh...wrong holiday. Everyone enjoy a Happy Turkey! They taste better.

Who Will Be The New Coach At Clemson

Should the Clemson Tigers defeat South Carolina this weekend than the Tigers would be bowl eligible. It would be another feather in the hat for Dabo Swinney, who took over in mid-season and is 3-2 since and with impressive road wins at Boston College and at Virginia

Swinney has taken full grasp of the offense getting the ball to Clemson's playmakers. C.J. Spiller and Aaron Kelly have benefited from that.

The success Dabo Swinney has had taking over has lead to a grass roots movement from Clemson fans in favor of Swinney to have the job. Many Tiger fans believe if athletic director Terry Don Phillips is considering hiring a coordinator than there is no reason why Swinney shouldn't be the guy.

Here's what we know. Phillips has had interviewed Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables, Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster, University of Illinois offensive coordinator Mike Locksley and Lane Kiffin. OSG reported that Kiffin appears to be headed to Tennessee. It has also been reported that TCU head coach Gary Patterson interviewed yesterday for the job.

2 names I would also look to are Buffalo head coach Turner Gill and outgoing Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer. OSG has no confirmation that they are on the radar screen at Clemson but just playing a hunch. Gill has brought the Bulls from irrelevance to the MAC Championship Game after winning the Eastern Division. Fulmer still has the fire to coach and would seem to be a good fit at Clemson.

It is of OSG's opinion that Dabo Swinney is a virtual lock to get the job however, things might be interesting now that a formal interview with Patterson has taken place. Patterson is ready to make the leap to a BCS school and according to OSG sources, made it known that he was interested in the position. Patterson was up for the vacant Kansas State job but backed out when negotiations broke down.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Seven Pleads Guilty In Virginia Court

The continuing saga continues with Michael Vick pleading guilty to one charge of dogfighting in a Sussex County court earlier Tuesday.

A charge of animal cruelty was waved off and Seven now is on a three-year probationary term for the charge that was brought on him in court. He was also fined $2,500 and told to pay court costs- including his transport from Leavenworth, Kansas.

When Surry County District Attorney Gerald Poindexter was asked why he dropped the animal cruelty charge when Seven already admitted to the acts themselves he responded:

"Because I feel what I did today is approved by more than a majority of people in Surry County and that's a constituency I'm concerned about."

Seven is scheduled for release in July of 2009, but since the state charges have been "taken care of," he is elgible for an early release. He could serve the remainder of his sentence in a half-way house and could be out by January to do so.

The plea agreement was reached before a federal report on the case surfaced Friday, including an account from one witness that Vick and two of his co-defendants enjoyed putting family pets into a ring with pit bulls from Bad Newz Kennels and watching the trained fighters injure or kill the pets.

That's nice, ain't it...?
Mary Kay Mallonee has been on the case since the very beginning...
((HT: WAVY-TV))

How About A Playoff Bye Week...?

Well, if you're Carroll College out of Montana in the NAIA- you get one.

Not by your own doing...

Northwestern Oklahoma State will not play its scheduled NAIA quarterfinal game at top-ranked Carroll College on Saturday after discovering that three players were academically ineligible.

They will forfeit regular-season games against Bacone and Texas College as well as a postseason game against Friends (Kan.) University because the players competed in those games while ineligible.

The school said the unidentified players dropped classes during the fall semester that reduced their course load below 12 hours, which is not allowed by the NAIA.

University president Janet Cunningham said the school is saddened and embarrassed by the actions it was forced to take, but refused to compromise its integrity.

The NAIA's response is down below...

"It is our understanding that earlier today Northwestern Oklahoma's internal monitoring system detected a violation of NAIA rules and once learning of the violation the administration immediately contacted NAIA officials," said Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO. "I know this is a difficult time for the administration, coaches and players but would like to recognize the integrity of the university's administration for taking responsibility to do what was right. The NAIA and the National Eligibility Committee will work with Northwestern Oklahoma officials to ensure all proper safeguards are in place for future competition."

As a result, the Saints get to watch as the other three match-ups go off as scheduled...

You know the University of Sioux Falls has to dig that to no end...
The next question is... how do you fill a coach's show...?

Pittsburgh Pirates Need A Dose Of Reality

The Pittsburgh Pirates have been so bad for the last 15 years that they are clearly in desperation mode. The Buccos now have gone to the ends of the earth to find talent including 2 pitchers from India neither of whom had touched a baseball until earlier this year.

The Pirates signed Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel, both 20 years old, whose claim to fame is being the top finishers in a reality TV show called "Million Dollar Arm", which sought athletes who could throw strikes at 85 miles per hour or faster. The show was sponsored by a California sports management company that believed it could find major league talent in India. Apparently, the Pirates were impressed with the pair from India.

"They have potential, but they're very raw," Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington said. "There are a lot of things to cover. They've only had six months of baseball experience. They probably wonder why they have to cover first base on a ground ball hit to the right side, but they love the game."

Singh and Patel even have an agent, Jeff Borris one of the most well known in baseball.

I give the Pirates props for going to such expense to find talent. But a reality show from India makes you wonder "What the heck are they thinking!" Maybe Singh and Patel will amount to something and get a cup of coffee in the Majors. I can't wait to see them when pitchers and catchers report in February.

Kiffin Heading To Tennessee?

According to OSG sources close to the Tennessee coaching search, Lane Kiffin is expected to be named head football coach of the Vols after Saturday's season finale against Kentucky. An announcement could come Monday, December 1st.

Those sources also tell OSG that an agreement between the university and Kiffin was reached last week.

It's no surprise that Kiffin would be the choice of UT. Kiffin was a highly successful assistant at Southern California and parlayed that into a head coaching job in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders. Though the Raiders stunk during Kiffin's short reign in Oakland, he had to deal with Al Davis. Draw your own conclusions.

Kiffin is a hot coaching commodity having interviewed for the Clemson position and being mentioned for the soon to be vacant University of Washington head coaching job.

Tennessee has had an infatuation with Kiffin and it's seems to have come for athletic director Mike Hamilton. Kiffin is an offensive coach which seems to be priority in Knoxville however, he's is also in demand and it seems Tennessee acted to secure Kiffin's services.

One last element to throw on the fire... Kiffin's agent is Jimmy Sexton- a major-league power broker in those circles. The hiring of Kiffin also gives Tennessee a foothold in Southern California for recruiting... a long-desired area for the Vols to fill their rosters every year.

You don't think they just "go out" and play UCLA, do you...?

Photo Courtesy: A.G. Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Monday, November 24, 2008

And So It Goes...

Only a handful of teams in college football can actually call themselves "champion" by the end of the season- by my count, it starts at five and goes no higher than ten schools.

So, by definition, every other team in the world involved in the process finishes a season with a loss. That's just the way of the competition. The only time in the sport that a "T" is involved is during the regular season. It can't keep you playing another week during a post-season appearance.

The Shorter Hawks had a lot of "firsts" in their fourth season. First division title. First playoff appearance. So, by natural progression, we add "first playoff loss" in there as well.

But that happens...it's part of the deal.

The team's first-ever playoff game kept them within earshot of campus- Williamsburg, Kentucky. That's where the University of the Cumberlands ((pictured, thanks to me)) is located. Not the team that lost to Georgia Tech way-back-when 222-0.

That's the school in Lebanon, Tennessee- "Cumberland" singular.

There are train tracks 200 yards to your right. Interstate 75 is 250 yards to your left. It's a town carved in a valley in the foothills of Kentucky. It's appearance takes you back to a more industrial time. Pick-up trucks are all domestics and the owners could care less if there's rust on the body. There are farms with live animals grazing as if you are the interloper.

Which, you really are, by the way...

And to this town, it's all about football on a Saturday. The lone exception to the idea is that is close to freezing temperatures on the field. And I'm quite thankful I had some of those charcoal hand warmers I had left over from the night before.

The good guys got out to a 7-nothing lead, were tied at 7, and then gave up 24 straight points for a 31-7 loss. My personal opinion is that UC isn't a better team than Shorter. They just were better in that 60 minutes on the field. And that's what counts in a playoff run.

UC gets to road-trip to St. Francis in Fort Wayne on Saturday. Good luck on that one...

The one thing you notice more than anything else in the post-game talks is the emotion- from everywhere. The coaches who put their body, mind, and soul into the last four years- building a program from the idea of an idea- have an abrupt finality. That's it. There is no more with the group of freshmen that took the field against UC as seniors.

There was so much effort put in to the idea and the execution that once it's over, you really don't know what to do with yourself when you know that's all there is. Players were crying. Coaches were emotional. Family members, thankful for an opportunity to help build something special, are crying for their sons and their school.

But if you're looking for something to build on for a "next year," I give you this...

One of the league's best defensive players is Shorter linebacker Logan Lollis- conference defensive player of the year. With the game out of hand in the fourth quarter, the Hawks' AJ Baker forced a turnover and was running the other way. Those plays are where offense turns into defense and vice versa. Baker was heading in to open spaces, pursued by a UC lineman. This particular player, whose name and number will remain nameless, didn't see Logan coming.
And Logan broke the kid in two... clean hit, right between the numbers, off his feet, in the air.
The poor guy was plastered by a runaway train so hard he grabbed his earholes on his helmet and didn't leave the ground for a good minute or so.
You ask him what day it is...? He'd answer "Purple."
But the play wasn't over. Baker fumbled and UC headed the other way. Logan had the presence of mind, and the speed, to track down the ball-carrier before a score.
Of course, the idea that UC scored on a FIFTH-DOWN PLAY to make it 31-7 was lost on the officiating crew. But that's another story for another day... that and the two delay-of-game calls which came out of nowhere aren't sitting well with me, either.
So, what to do now...? Reflect with a smile and carry on- knowing that everyone involved has built a foundation. It's up to the rest to work on how they want the building to look...

Football Playoffs Matchups ((November 29th))

Division I-AA First Round - Saturday, November 29th

South Carolina State (10-2) at (2) Appalachian State (10-2), 12 p.m.
Colgate (9-2) at Villanova (9-2), 1 p.m.
Eastern Kentucky (8-3) at Richmond (9-3), 1 p.m.
New Hampshire (9-2) at Southern Illinois (9-2), 2 p.m.
Texas State (8-4) at (4) Montana (11-1), 2:05 p.m.
Wofford (9-2) at (1) James Madison (10-1), 3 p.m.
Maine (8-4) at (3) Northern Iowa (10-2), 5:05 p.m.
Weber State (9-3) at Cal Poly (8-2), 9:05 p.m.

Division II Quarterfinal Round - Saturday, November 29th

California (PA) (11-1) at Bloomsburg (11-1), 12 p.m.
Minnesota-Duluth (12-0) at Grand Valley State (11-0), 1 p.m.
North Alabama (11-1) at Delta State (10-1), 1 p.m.
Northwest Missouri State (11-1) at Abilene Christian (11-0), 1 p.m.

Division III Second Round - Saturday, November 29th

Hobart (9-1) at Mount Union (11-0), 12 p.m.
Curry (10-1) at SUNY Cortland (10-1), 12 p.m.
Wheaton (9-2) at Wabash (10-1), 12 p.m.
Franklin (10-1) at North Central (11-0), 1 p.m.
Wartburg (9-2) at Monmouth (11-0), 1 p.m.
Washington & Jefferson (10-1) at Millsaps (11-0), 1 p.m.
Wesley (9-1) at Mary Hardin-Baylor (10-1), 1 p.m.
Wisconsin-Whitewater (10-1) at Willamette (11-0), 3 p.m.

NAIA Division I Quarterfinals

Game 1: Carroll (Mont.) hosts Northwestern Oklahoma State, 12:07 p.m. MST
Game 2: Sioux Falls (S.D.) hosts Langston (Okla.), 12 p.m. CST
Game 3: Saint Francis (Ind.) hosts Cumberlands (Ky.), 12 p.m. EST
Game 4: Morningside (Iowa) hosts Lindenwood (Mo.), 1 p.m. CST

Back To The Future: Snyder Returns To K-State

"I don't know if anyone would have any interest in a 69-year-old guy...?"

Those are the words of Former-now-present Kansas State Head Football Coach Bill Snyder in a television interview in September of this year...

So much for that idea...

Snyder is returning to the same sideline where he built 17 years worth of Wildcat football three years after he left that same piece of real estate. He signed a five-year deal worth close to $1.8-million per year and replaces Ron Prince.

They were the "Mildcats" before Snyder got there: 0-21-1 in the two years before his arrival.Just ask Michael Bishop about what a guy like Snyder can do to rebuild an entire program.

Here's the official re-entry into the 12...
((HT: KSHB-TV))

Sunday, November 23, 2008

"One of the Wildest Games I've Ever Seen"

That's how the Head Coach of Abilene Christian viewed his Division II playoff game against West Texas A-and-M...

How'd he figure...?

Chris Thomsen's Wildcats scored 93 points in a football game this Saturday. Running back Bernard Scott scored seven touchdowns and ran for 292 yards. QB Billy Malone threw for six touchdowns on his own. Abilene won 93-68...

Yes, we're still talking football...

Nine Abilene Christian records were broken. 14 Lone Star Conference records were broken. 5 NCAA records were broken including most combined points and most combined yards. 16 Division II playoff records were broken.

But the rub comes in the last 35 seconds or so of the video below ((HT: Abilene Reporter News/Daniel Wason)) as Abilene didn't just take a knee with the last kickoff as time expired.
They decided to see if they could get another TD on the board and turn the scoreboard over for an even 100- much to the pissdom of the visitors after the game was over...

Reminder to the Wildcats as they get NW Missouri State next week...
There's something about karma that you need to remember down the line. It may not come next week. It may not come for the rest of this season, but it will come...

Oh, yes. It will come...

AP College Football Poll ((Week of November 23))

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (63) 11-0 1,622
2. Florida Gators (2) 10-1 1,512
3. Oklahoma Sooners 10-1 1,486
4. Texas Longhorns 10-1 1,437
5. U-S-C Trojans 9-1 1,352
6. Penn State Nittany Lions 11-1 1,238
7. Texas Tech Red Raiders 10-1 1,212
8. Utah Utes 12-0 1,206
9. Boise State Broncos 11-0 1,064
10. Ohio State Buckeyes 10-2 1,043
11. Oklahoma State Cowboys 9-2 997
12. Missouri Tigers 9-2 917
13. Georgia Bulldogs 9-2 874
14. T-C-U Horned Frogs 10-2 750
15. Ball State Cardinals 11-0 731
16. Cincinnati Bearcats 9-2 640
17. Oregon State Beavers 8-3 604
18. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 8-3 339
19. Oregon Ducks 8-3 320
20. Boston College Eagles 8-3 309
20. B-Y-U Cougars 10-2 309
22. Michigan State Spartans 9-3 274
23. Florida State Seminoles 8-3 214
24. Northwestern Wildcats 9-3 145
25. Ole Miss Rebels 7-4 127

Others receiving votes: West Virginia 120, Pittsburgh 108, Iowa 54, L-S-U 35, California 11, Tulsa 8, Western Michigan 8, South Carolina 5, Central Michigan 5, Connecticut 2, Nebraska 1, Rice 1.

BCS Rankings ((Week of November 23))

1. Alabama Crimson Tide 11-0 .970/.987
2. Texas Longhorns 10-1 .960/.921
3. Oklahoma Sooners 10-1 .900/.913
4. Florida Gators 10-1 .780/.876
5. U-S-C Trojans 9-1 .710/.797
6. Utah Utes 12-0 .860/.786
7. Texas Tech Red Raiders 10-1 .890/.779
8. Penn State Nittany Lions 11-1 .730/.752
9. Boise State Broncos 11-0 .630/.658
10. Ohio State Buckeyes 10-2 .570/.621
11. Georgia Bulldogs 9-2 .690/.602
12. Oklahoma State Cowboys 9-2 .580/.571
13. Missouri Tigers 9-2 .520/.559
14. T-C-U Horned Frogs 10-2 .510/.470
15. Ball State Cardinals 11-0 .400/.438
16. Cincinnati Bearcats 9-2 .430/.397
17. Oregon State Beavers 8-3 .240/.313
18. B-Y-U Cougars 10-2 .310/.263
19. Michigan State Spartans 9-3 .260/.212
20. Florida State Seminoles 8-3 .290/.188
21. Boston College Eagles 8-3 .180/.186
22. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 8-3 .240/.181
23. Oregon Ducks 8-3 .000/.155
24. Northwestern Wildcats 9-3 .020/.113
25. Pittsburgh Panthers 7-3 .050/.041

From The Rafters!!!

Here are the highlights of your weekend's National Hockey League jersey-raising moments...

First- Patrick Roy's Ceremony in Montreal... after years of acrimony ((that's a fancy word for not liking one another...)) both sides buried the hatchet. He came home for one hell of a night...

Dick Irvin is your MC ((HT: CBC/NHL/the youtube))
Here's Part One...


Part 2 is in black... Part 3 is also in black...

And the Toronto Maple Leafs Wendel Clark had the same event happen at the Post Office in downtown Toronto. You gotta give the CBC credit running both for an entire country.

Simultaneously...
((Once again, HT: CBC/NHL/the youtube))


Two of the toughest get their nights...

Washington State Wins The (Rotten) Apple Cup

I know the Apple Cup means everything to the University of Washington and Washington State and is a matter of pride for the alums and fans. (For those of you in SEC land, think Alabama/Auburn, the rivalry between U-Dub and Wazzou isn't as cut throat but very similar.)

This year both teams were dreadful but this was a statement game for both the Huskies and the Cougars. Washington State got to host this game and the Cougs took full advantage winning 16-13 thanks to Nick Grassu's field goal in double overtime for Wazzou's 2nd win of the year and braggin' rights for a year.

Based on the seasons of Washington and Washington State, you should have called this the Rotten Apple Cup.

Here are the highlights from KXLY, thanks guys

College Basketball: Big East Predictions

The Big East conference has bloated into a giant, Goliath mega-conference and that has been a good thing. The Big East has become the best conference in division one men's basketball. The Big East would rival that of SEC football if St. John's would get it's act together. With the Red Storm drifting into the abyss the league has lost it's trump card, the New York media which doesn't ignore St. John's or Big East hoops but it's not on the lead on the back pages. Having DePaul back to it's winning ways would be a huge help. That would get the Chicago media energized about the Blue Demons like the late '70's and early 80's with great players like Mark Agguire and Terry Cummings. The Big East has teams in 2 of the top 3 media markets with strong basketball traditions in major markets with 5 star high school talent. The Big East is great but could be scary great.

The Big East is so loaded they might get double digits in the NCAA Tournament. Connecticut, Louisville and Notre Dame look to be Final Four material.

Best Team In The Big East: Connecticut Huskies
The last 2 years have ended in disappointment for UConn. From no post season to the Huskies first 1st round exit in the NCAA Tournament during the Jim Calhoun era. That didn't sit well with Coach Calhoun went went shopping for top talent and has assembled a collection of great players to come to Storrs. Connecticut has a very deep backcourt lead by national defensive Player of the Year Hasheem Thabeet. A.J. Prince leads a group of outstanding guards. It seems the Huskies have all the ingredients for a return trip to the Final Four.

Best Player In The Big East: Luke Harangoody - Notre Dame
Harangoody averaged a double-double last year 20.5 ppg and 10.6 rebounds per game but those number increased once Big East play began to 23.3 ppg and 11.3 rebounds per game. This year he will see every freak defense Big East coaches have in the plans. Harangoody will no doubt have to create shots while double teamed, move without the ball and depend on screens to get a open look. Harangoody is a super talent that like all great players, learn to adjust.

Team That Could Surprise: DePaul Blue Demons
DePaul has been dreadful the past few years but things might be looking up. Jerry Wainwright has recruited well and has a nice nucleus lead by Dar Tucker. NIT might be the place for the Blue Demons this year but considering what it's been like, it's a great first step by to the spotlight.

Who Will Go Dancing: Connecticut, Louisville, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Marquette, Georgetown, Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia, Providence.

Who Will Play For Number 66: Cincinnati, DePaul, Seton Hall

Big East Predictions:

1. Connecticut
2. Louisville
3. Pittsburgh
4. Notre Dame
5. Georgetown
6. Marquette
7. Syracuse
8. Villanova
9. Providence
10. West Virginia
11. DePaul
12. Cincinnati
13. Seton Hall
14. South Florida
15. Rutgers
16. St. John's
Photo Courtesy: Getty Images

Friday, November 21, 2008

College Basketball: ACC Predictions

North Carolina is above and beyond anyone else in the ACC. Duke is a solid #2. After that well you have a very talented but young Wake Forest team that will challenge or even break the Carolina - Duke strangle hold on the ACC. Miami is an up and coming program and rest will be battling for position.

Best Team In The ACC: North Carolina Tar Heels
Carolina is the best team in the nation. I will be very surprised if the Tar Heels don't make it to the Final Four. All the ingredients are in place for Carolina to cut down the nets in Detroit this year. Yes, Tyler Hansbrough is nursing a stress reaction but once his 100%, it's all good. Hansbrough, Wayne Ellington, Ty Lawson and Danny Green all flirted with the NBA but decided to stay in Chapel Hill. They want to hang a 5th championship banner at the Dean Dome.

Best Player In The ACC: Tyler Hansbrough - North Carolina
Hansbrough has became the face of college basketball. Look at every pre season magazine cover and you will see #50 in his baby blue uni. Hansbrough's engine never stops running and his opponents wonder when will he run out of gas. Averaging 22 points per game and 10 rebounds per game usually means no pits stops for #50.

Team That Could Surprise: Miami Hurricanes
Miami has perhaps the best pure shooter in the ACC in Jack McClinton. He shot 43% from the 3-point line last year and was over 90% from the free throw line. McClinton is money when the game is on the line. In 12 games McClinton's 2nd half on target shooting won many games for the Hurricanes. With Lance Hurdle running the point and powerful Jimmy Graham taking care of the details inside, the Canes could elbow Duke out of the way and, dare I say this, challenge North Carolina for the top spot. I think I did say it.

Who Will Go Dancing: North Carolina, Duke, Miami, Wake Forest, Clemson, Virginia TE

Who Plays For #66: Georgia Tech, Maryland, NC State, Florida State

ACC Notes: If you get a chance, watch Gervis Vasquez at Maryland. Vasquez should be free to play the 2 where he will be impressive shooting from he outside, penetrating and creating his shots. Vasquez is the biggest weapon in the Terrapins arsenal. Leonard Hamilton loves his FSU team this year. He says its the best chemistry he's had in all his years in Tallahassee. Seminole fans hope that translates into a post season tournament run.
ACC Predictions
1. North Carolina
2. Duke
3. Miami
4. Wake Forest
5. Clemson
6. Virginia Tech
7. Georgia Tech
8. Maryland
9. Florida State
10. NC State
11. Boston College
12. Virginia
Photo Courtesy: Getty Images

College Basketball: Big 10 Predictions

There are some really good teams in the Big 10 this season but none seem to be of Final Four caliber. Purdue, Michigan State and Wisconsin looked poised to have great seasons and make deep tournament runs.

Best Team In The Big 10: Michigan State Spartans

I know the chic' pick in the Big 10 is Purdue and the Boilermakers have a nice team. I like a team that has been there and done that with a coach that knows what it takes to win the league. Tom Izzo is the best coach in the Big 10 and has assembled a Spartan team that may not be up there with the Mateen Cleeves - Mo Pete crew just yet but will be getting there. Kalin Lucas is one of the best point guards in the country and expect Lucas to become more of a vocal leader. His talent is unquestioned The key to Michigan State is dominating on the boards and creating an up tempo game. If the Spartans do that they will win their first Big 10 title in 8 years. Izzo is keeping a low profile with this team through to not elevate expectations.

Best Player In The Big 10: Robbie Hummel - Purdue
Hummel can shoot and handle the ball. He hit 44% of his 3 pointers last season to lead the Big 10 in conference games. Hummel's numbers were solid averaging 11.4 points per game, 6.1 rebounds and earned Big 10 Freshman of the Year honors. He will have a sensational sophomore season.

Team That Could Surprise: Minnesota Golden Golphers
Disregard how Tubby Smith left Kentucky. He is a great college basketball coach and Minnesota should be very thankful Smith ended up in Minneapolis. This year will be a challenge since the Golphers lost their top 3 scorers from 07-08. All Tubby Smith did was recruit some players that might even be an upgrade. Their is optimism among the Gopher nation that the basketball team is going in the right direction and their will be more to do on campus than watch hockey this winter.

Who Will Go Dancing: Michigan State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Ohio State

Who Plays For Number 66: Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan.

Big 10 Notes: Indiana fans, the Hoosiers will be lucky to win one Big 10 game with only one scholarship player returning. Take your lumps this year and don't get down on Tom Creen. He won big at Marquette and will get the players to come to Indiana. What 5 -star recruit wouldn't want to play for the coach that made the reputation of Dwayne Wade. Indiana will be Indiana again. Bruce Weber britches are getting a little warm at Illinois. Last year the Illini didn't go to the NCAA Tournament. Weber has 6 highly ranked recruits coming in the next 2 years. A Top 6 finish in the Big 10 this year will help fan confidence.

Big 10 Predictions:
1. Michigan State
2. Purdue
3. Wisconsin
4. Ohio State
5. Minnesota
6. Illinois
7. Penn State
8. Michigan
9. Iowa
10. Northwestern
11. Indiana
Photo Courtesy: Getty Images

NBA Concerned About McDavid Finances in 2003

The David McDavid v. Turner Broadcasting trial continues in Fulton County Superior Court.

McDavid claims that Turner Broadcasting did an end run and sold the Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Thrashers, and Philips Arena to Atlanta Spirit LLC after he had an agreement to pick up the assets on his own.

But the NBA had their own worries about McDavid and his attempted financing of the purchase of the Hawks.
According to testimony, McDavid admitted his own net worth was in the neighborhood of US$180-million. He was set to purchase the Hawks, Thrashers, and Philips for $60-million up front with another $20-million financed- all cash.

In the article from Kristi Swartz in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, NBA exec Joel Litvin expressed a league concern:

“Given that the losses this team was certain to incur, losses that probably would exceed the $20 million he had remaining, that would have been a concern,” Litvin testified. “We want to make sure that the owners of our franchises have the wherewithal to fund the teams in a first-class manner.”

The Hawks recorded losses of just over US$31-million in 2002-2003.

McDavid had negotiated with Turner and signed a letter of intent in April of 2003. His exclusivity window for negotiations closed, and Turner announced in September of that year that they were selling to "Atlanta Spirit, LLC." McDavid has since sued Turner for US$450-million in a breach of contract suit.

Turner has always maintained that the deal to sell to Atlanta Spirit was a better one for Turner- eventhough only US$8-million was put on the table up front in cash. The group had to pony up another US$115-million in personal guarantees against the projected losses of the franchises.

Those losses were close to US$250-million from 2002 through 2005 according to internal projections from Turner Broadcasting.

If all these figures haven't confused the ever-loving hell out of you by now... the trial is set to conclude some time next week.

That is, of course, until there is an appeal.
That will mean the only winner in the case to date will be the corporate lawyers on both sides.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Double Dribble

A whole new meaning to the term "Double Dribble"



I thought Double Dribble was a "Turnover" not a "Turn On."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Travis Henry's Deep Coverage

Currently-former NFL running back Travis Henry ((pictured, thanks James Woodcock/Billings Gazette)) was in a DeKalb County Superior Court Wednesday in an attempt to get his child support payments lowered for one son.

Henry has fathered nine children with nine women.

In Ty Tagami's article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Henry is looking to knock the number down from $3-grand a month and his lawyer, Randall Kessler, maintains that Henry is probably done with a professional playing career.

“He’s got child support obligations across the country, and he’s got zero income,” Kessler told Judge Clarence Seeliger.

You'll remember Henry was also busted last month for ((allegedly)) being the money man in a cocaine trafficking ring. He had to post a $400,ooo bond in Colorado back then. Seeliger had set the $3,000 figure last year when Henry still had a job and demanded a trust fund be set up for the child he fathered with Jameshia Beacham.

The Georgia Court of Appeals will be hearing that particular case that was filed by Kessler.

Beacham's attorney is asking for documentation that Henry is currently broke- noting in court that his last contract, with the Denver Broncos, was signed for $4-million.

Judge Seeliger agreed with the idea that more information on Henry's finances needed to be investigated. No make-up date has yet been announced for the next hearing...

Maybe Henry can consult with Evander Holyfield on such matters before Round Two...
The Rocky Mountain News Judi Villa recently chronicled Henry's fall from being all-that-and-the-whole-chip-aisle by talking to his old high school football coach from Frostproof High in Florida.
Currently, Henry is under house arrest in his golf course condo in Aurora, Colorado.
He is free on bond while awaiting a January trial date in Montana.

We Demand A Recount!

Yeah... we know there already is a President-Elect...

But we didn't know the ballot could reflect a truly charismatic leader for our time...
Thanks to Grey Blackwell for reminding us all of a gigantic oversight...
((HT: Raleigh News and Observer))

The Real Dirty Dozen



When the Dust Clears...

After this week, it looks like we might have a better idea of who our BCS teams are going to be. That isn't to say who will be the title teams, but we'll know who will be amongst the final 8.

The Big Game this week...aside from Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma, the Crapple Cup...Washington vs. Washington State or what the rest of us call the "The Worst 2 Teams on the Planet".

Last Week: I believe I ran the table...13-0 (I don't try to pick the spread, it never works out). Overall: 60-15. Maybe I do know what I am talking about? No?

The Best of the Best:
1. Alabama (They get to stay here until they lose. It really hurts to say it, but it is true. This Week: Alabama 10, Bye Week 0, they will live another week)

2. Texas Tech (I keep waiting for them to fail, they haven't. If you can cover Michael Crabtree, you can beat this team, I'm convinced. This Week: Oklahoma 47, Texas Tech 45)

3. Florida (Damn they are impressive. Again, it is painful to admit, but hell, nobody has slowed them down the past 4 weeks. Don't look for that to change. This Week: Florida 51, Citadel 6)

4. Oklahoma (This is a pretty good team, but half the Big 12 is pretty good. This Week: See #2)

5. Texas (Same as the rest of the Big 12. Congrats to Will Muschamp, but how long until the Mack Daddy retires? He's not "Joe Pa" old. This Week: Bye Week loses)

6. USC (Is anyone else tire of these guys? They just kind of slide by. I don't know, maybe it's because the PAC 10 sucks, they could be Top 10 and still not make the Rose Bowl. That would be funny. This Week: Bye Week could upset them but won't)

7. Utah (What a nice story it would be if they could go undefeated. I almost want to say that the bubble will burst...but...nah...let's be optimistic people. This Week: Utah 31, BYU 28)

8. State Penn (I'm just...I don't know...verklempt or something about this. I really don't care for this team and I'm tired of Joe Pa. Just because of that I shouldn't pick them to win, but they are the best of the Underachieving 10. This Week: State Penn 34, Michigan St. 17)

9. Boise State (They're back!!!! I swear Ian Johnson is like Freddie Weygand...an 8th year Senior. But hey...This Week: Boise State 30, Nevada 21)

10. Oh No State (This kills me because I know that if they have to face an SEC team in a bowl game, they will lose by 30 and prove they don't belong here. But right now, they have as good a claim as anyone else. This Week: Ohio State 17, Meech-i-gan 10)

11. Okie State (The Fighting Mike Gundy's still haven't given me a reason to drop them out of here. Hey...if they are good enough for T.Boone Pickens, they are good enough for the OSG. This Week: Mike Gundy 40, Everyone else 0!)

12. Ball State (It sucks they won't go to a BCS game no matter what they do. It would just plain, be more fun if the David Lettermen made it that far. But...what can ya' do? This Week: Ball State 34, Central Michigan 32)


The Bottom of the Barrel:

5. Tennessee Tuxedo (HaHa! I just love the thought of getting to put these guys here. I don't even have to make something up, they really are this bad. Great Pumpkin..."Have a GREAT day!". This Week: Vandy 24, Vowels 12)

4. Meech-ee-gan (Poor Rich Rodriguez...telling fans to "Get a life". Why does everyone seem to make Rich angry? Why did Rich take this job? Why did the Wolverines offer it to him? Way too much to ponder. This Week: See Oh No State above)

3. Schmoo (Is there even anything funny left to say here? I kind of feel bad for them...but what is the old saying? A little help? Can't think of it....Anyway. This Week: Bye Week 27, SMU 10)

1/2 Washington and Washington State (Wow! Can you believe that these two are actually playing this week? Come to think of it, they may not believe it. Sadly one of them has to win...don't they? Isn't this the "Apple Cup"? Maybe it could be re-titeled "Applesauce"! Oh...damn...that's funny!. OK, no it isn't...but neither is this game. This Week: Washington 10, Washington State 10 and we all get a good laugh!)
((photos courtesy of ME!!!))

More Final Four

Big Game...Big Arena...Big _____

Since it is close to the season of giving, the NCAA has decided that they would bestow the gift of Final Four for the next round of 5 years or 2012-2016 to you and me.

Certainly the city of Atlanta...or at least the Atlanta Journal Constitution is happy about it, check out the story here .

Here are the list of winners:

2012 New Orleans at The Superdome
2013 Atlanta at The Georgia Dome
2014 Dallas/Fort Worth at Cowboys Stadium (that should be interesting)
2015 Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium
2016 Houston at Reliant Stadium

I would say buy your tickets now, but much like the Super Bowl or any other "Marquee" event they are a little hard to come by.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Go Ride A Bike!

According to palmettosports.com, offensive lineman Josh Elizondo ((pictured, thanks rivals.com)) from Naples High School is through with football.

He's not going to play anymore. Out, over, done, and gone...
Elizondo says that he was kicked off the team about a month ago for "missing too many practices..." and not being a big fan of all the politickin' on the squad...

Too much drama for him... apparently...

You can check out some of the good ole days for Josh in black...
It's shot from really high up on top of a press box and stuff...

So what does a high school senior who is tired of football plan on doing with the rest of his life...?

He's enrolling in the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Orlando...
Apparently, he's eligible to apply for the Jeremy McGrath Scholarship...

Elizondo had offers from South Carolina, Troy, Pitt, Iowa State, NC State, Duke, and Kentucky.

"I used to love football but I'm tired of it. I've got other interests now," he said.

Perhaps, helping out this man will be the next step in his process...
Good luck in all of your future endeavors...


Milestones In The Dark




Last week was the final week in the regular season for NAIA football. Division II had already started their playoff run, and every other group that has a playoff is close to gearing up for those themselves.

Are you listening Division I...?
Oh, that's right... I forgot...

There was a lot of radio stalking the day of the game in McKenzie, Tennessee. The Shorter Hawks, the adopted birds of OSG HQ, had found out earlier in the day from their hotel rooms in Jackson, Tennessee- when there actually was warmth in the air- that the team that needed to lose for the Hawks to get a shot at a division title actually did.

Cumberland University actually beat Lambuth University... there was a shot... a shot for another first in a year of firsts- a division title. That would mean that another record would be set for wins in a season if they pulled off a win against Bethel University ((pictured above right, thanks to me)). All that, in turn, would mean another distinct possibility...

The school's first ever playoff birth...

A little about McKenzie, Tennessee... it's officially in the middle-of-nowhere-northwest Tennessee. And it's not even northwest enough to be the town of Martin. They house the Skyhawks and play on SprinTurf. They're in the polls as well you see, but in a different division that also has playoffs. But they were playing Southeast Missouri State and couldn't be reached for comment in this column ((pictured above left, thanks again to me))...

McKenzie is part of Tennessee 22 that runs from, roughly, 20 miles east of Jackson on Interstate 40 to the four corners area of Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and Arkansas.

It's Cardinals country. It's farm country and it's speed traps. You get a sandwich in Parker's Crossroads and head north about 20 miles- that's McKenzie. But not before you get lost in Huntingdon on the by-pass.

You can't tell where the Bethel campus is in broad daylight. But an 8PM kick-off is easy.
The football lights act as your beacon. Another pretty stadium that lights your way.

It looked like neither team liked the idea of playing in the cold... a lot of running. If you want to call it an idea of running to run back inside on one side- go for it. I certainly was- or would have liked to since it felt like 12 degrees outside with a nice breeze in your grill to remind you it's winter time.

Shorter runs and dares you to stop them...they don't care about the conditions.

The defense came up big on a tip drill-interception to preserve the shutout, and came up a few more times to keep the score on the positive. But there were a few instances where I couldn't help but laugh at the proceedings... an example...
Fourth quarter, good guys still up 7-nothing... Running back Chris Chapman was a moving target in motion in the wing-T formation. He got the pitch from QB Ben Williams, found the corner, got some great blocks, and ended up in the endzone.

About 45 minutes later, someone threw a flag and called the touchdown back.
So much for being up 14-nothing.

There were horsecollars, which I thought were universally-bad, that weren't flagged. There were flags that shouldn't have been flagged that were flagged.
It got flaggin' ridiculous... but the final was 7-nothing over Bethel.
Division title... playoff berth... all that...
And when you looked over at Head Coach and All-Around-Good-Guy Phil Jones he was overcome on the sidelines. You see, he's the architect of this whole thing. He started coaching when there wasn't anything or anyone to coach. In four years, he's taken the team from being a bunch of freshmen to a bunch of seniors who've played every down and made a program out of thin air.
Don't get me wrong... it takes a lot of people to make this work- from administration to coaches to trainers, players, families, and fans. And he'll be the first one to tell you all about that...
It's not about him... never has...
So, what has all that work gotten the program...?

A Top-12 ranking in the final regular season coaches poll, a division title, and another road game eleven miles north of the Tennessee-Kentucky border this Saturday at the University of the Cumberlands for the Mid-South Conference Heavyweight Belt...

Your playoffs pairings for the rest of the NAIA are in black...
See you from the road...

Division I-AA Poll ((Week of November 17th))

1. James Madison Dukes (106) 9-1 2,986
2. Appalachian State Mountaineers (13) 9-2 2,871
3. Cal Poly Mustangs (1) 8-1 2,623
4. Northern Iowa Panthers 9-2 2,517
5. Montana Grizzlies 10-1 2,499
6. Villanova Wildcats 8-2 2,355
7. Richmond Spiders 8-3 2,188
8. Weber State Wildcats 9-2 2,161
9. Wofford Terriers 8-2 2,005
10. Southern Illinois Salukis 8-2 1,988
11. New Hampshire Wildcats 8-2 1,659
12. Elon Phoenix 8-3 1,473
13. Central Arkansas Bears 9-2 1,448
14. McNeese State Cowboys 7-3 1,272
15. South Carolina State Bulldogs 9-2 1,231
16. William & Mary Tribe 7-3 1,106
17. Maine Black Bears 8-3 900
18. Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks 8-3 863
19. Harvard Crimson 8-1 769
20. Furman Paladins 7-4 595
21. Colgate Raiders 8-2 506
22. Liberty Flames 9-2 409
23. Western Illinois Leathernecks 6-4 338
24. Jacksonville State Gamecocks 8-3 242
25. Tennessee State Tigers 8-3 238

Others receiving votes: Holy Cross 196, Prairie View 185, Eastern Kentucky 174, North Dakota State 147, Grambling 117, Montana State 111, Texas State 107, South Dakota State 87, Lafayette 47, Massachusetts 43, Florida A&M 35, Albany 28, Georgia Southern 23, Bethune-Cookman 18, Brown 10, Northern Arizona 7, Dayton 6, Jacksonville 5, San Diego 4, Yale 3, Monmouth 2 Northwestern State 2, South Dakota 2.

Will Muschamp Is Off The Market

For the past few years whenever a head coach position opens in college football, Will Muschamp's name is on everyones list. He's young, somewhat psycho on the sidelines and his players will run through a wall for him. If he didn't have strong Georgia Bulldog roots he might have been the head coach at Georgia Tech rather than Paul Johnson. (Georgia Tech made a great hire anyway.)

Right now Muschamp is employed by the University of Texas and now will remain so for the foreseeable future. Texas athletic director Deloss Dodds announced that Muschamp has been designated head coach in waiting by the Longhorns and is expected to take over as head coach of the Horns once Mack Brown retires.

Dodds says he wants Brown to stay a long time but wanted to avoid the "trauma" of a coaching search when Brown calls it quits. Mack Brown, you are on the clock.

By accepting this proposal, Muschamp will receive a hefty pay raise going from $425,000 to $900,000 in January and remain a very highly paid defensive coordinator for the time being.

Sorry Tennessee, Clemson, Washington, Kansas State and Syracuse (Do you really think Muschamp would go to the 'Cuse), Muschamp is officially off the market.

Texas knows it has a hot commodity and will pay any price ($$$$$) to keep Muschamp in burnt orange.

Will Muschamp, the eyes of Texas are upon you.

Photo Courtesy: Brian Bahr/Getty Images
Coverage from KXAN-TV is below...