Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tuberville Interested in Texas Tech Job

A year of living the good life seems to have recharged the batteries of former Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville who is ready to get back in.

Today on ESPN 103.3 in Dallas, Tuberville was a guest on Galloway & Co. and expressed interest in the vacant Texas Tech head coaching position.

"I would be very interested." Tuberville said on the show. "I have family there. I have a lot of ties there. I've recruited Dallas and Houston and I think it would be a pretty good fit. Mike [Leach] did a good job and I think I could make the situation even better."
In 1994 Tuberville was defensive coordinator at Texas A&M so he has experience in the Lone Star state.
Tuberville still lives in Auburn, Alabama and told FOSG Tony Barnhart of CBS Sports.com, "It feels like time to get back in. I'm still young and I feel good. We'll see if anything happens."
Tuberville is 55 years old and has a career coaching record of 110-64

Tuberville is one of the classiest coaches those of us in the OSG HQ have dealt with. If the Texas Tech administration wants a big name with plenty of gas in the tank Tuberville would be a good hire. Tuberville won big time at Auburn which is not as easy as you might think. With that experience Tuberville could be very successful out in the Big 12's lonely West Texas outpost. If Tuberville is that interested then calling his agent should be at or near the top of Texas Tech's list once the search begins.


Photo Courtesy: AP

"The Number You Have Reached Is No Longer In Service" AT&T Dumps Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods has lost another sponsor. This time AT&T, Inc said Thursday the company will no longer sponsor Woods. All this means is that their logo won't be on Tiger's golf bag.

So if your keeping score, Tiger had lost sponsorship from Accenture, Gillette and now AT&T. Tag Heuer has said it will "downsize" the use of Tiger's image on their brand and Golf Digest has suspended Woods' "playing tips" column in the magazine.

Man Tiger, scoring on the golf course made you rich but scoring with the ladies...... not so much.


Photo Courtesy: Getty Images

TWTW: No Holiday For Arizona, Nebraska Crushes The 'Cats

The Nebraska we knew and loved on the football field just may be back. Wednesday night at the Holiday Bowl, the Cornhuskers pitched its first bowl shutout in school history whipping Arizona 33-0. Don't you find it hard to believe that in 46 bowls games this storied football program has played in Nebraska has never shut out an opponent. The Cornhuskers did in the Holiday Bowl and that is very significant.

A year ago Bo Pellini took over a program that had lost its way. The ole swagger was gone, their was no mystic. Nebraska had become just another mediocre program in the Big 12 North.

Slowly the program has gotten back on its feet. Winning the Big 12 North and playing in the Big 12 Championship game was a big first step in getting back on the national stage but then the Cornhuskers upped the ante with a remarkable defensive performance and the coming out party of Ndamukong Suh. If the Husker offense would have..... aw the heck with it.

Wednesday in San Diego the Nebraska way was back. The Cornhuskers jumped all over Arizona and showed the confidence and swagger that defined the Tom Osbourne era.

Those of us in the OSG HQ are glad to see Nebraska back on the college football radar screen and think the Huskers will be back in the Top 10 of the polls next season.
Here are the highlights of the game. (Thanks ESPN/Youtube.com)









Photos Courtesy: Huskers.com & Ted Kirk/Lincoln Journal Star


Adam James Video From The "Closet"

((HT: Youtube/Spaethcom8181)

Okay, here it is...
We think...

We're going by what we've seen on other video sources that this is, in fact, video of the internal area ((closet, shed, whatever other names have been used to describe it)) that Texas Tech football player Adam James allegedly was housed in by then head football coach Mike Leach...



The HQ thinks what Leach did was absolutely silly and cost him a boatload of money- for now. We also are of the mind that there will be a settlement somewhere between $240,000 and $10-million between the two parties to put this whole thing to bed soon...

Very soon...

ESPN's Rece Davis caught up with Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance about why the university took the action they did...


Quite candid for a guy headed to court...

Thursday Early "My Little Pony" Update

Okay...

Leach got fired by Texas Tech and we're gearing up for a big battle in the courts...

Ted Liggett admitted as much in front of the Lubbock County, Texas courthouse on behalf of his client...
((HT: MyFoxLubbock))
video

Here's the termination letter in full...

Texas Tech University claims that Leach violated Section IV of his contract stating: "Coach shall assure the fair and responsible treatment of student athletes in relation to their health, welfare and discipline."

It is their view, obviously, that he did not...

In an interesting bit of television, ESPN placed Craig James in front of a camera to get his take on what happened...


Leach, later on Wednesday, released a statement claiming in part:

“Texas Tech’s decision to deal in lies and fabricate a story which led to my firing, includes, but is not limited by, the animosity remaining from last year’s contract negotiations. I will not tolerate such retaliatory action; additionally, we will pursue all available legal remedies,”

Leach did not give any details as to what the "lies" and fabrications were...
The line about legal remedies is the HQ thought on why there will be a settlement before all is said and done in Lubbock and all points in between.

Remember, Leach has a law degree from Pepperdine.
Nothing gets past the pirate...

But the HQ thinks that it all came down Wednesday to prevent the payment of the $800,000 lump sum that would have been in Leach's pockets if he was under contract Thursday at the university.

Had the university come out and said that, yes, we just don't want to pay the coach the money while we pursue legal action then we might have believed their tack.

The timing is just too convenient for words...
Typed or otherwise...

TWTW: Best Bowl Finish In Boise...???

Yup...

We all know what you're thinking...

That Humanitarian Bowl between Bowling Green and Idaho will surely be one worth watching... it's WAC versus MAC...

Yep. We're tied down for that one...
Clock us in... check us out...

Well, the HQ hates to break it to you, but it was BY FAR the best finish in this bowl season to date.

For those of you who don't know, Bowling Green WR Freddie Barnes set the Division I record for receptions in a season- finishing the day with 155 on the year. He caught 17 for 219 yards and 3 scores during the day.

In a game that featured 46 first downs and 990 yards of total offense, Barnes caught his third TD pass with 32 seconds left from 51 yards out to give the Falcons a 42-35 lead.

That's where we pick up Eric Collins and Brock Huard...
((HT: ESPN))


Idaho won only two games last year...
They wouldn't dress in Boise State's home dressing room, either...
Awesome...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

TWTW: Passion Buckets Invade Nation's Capital, Take Out Toledo

((HT: KCBS-TV, Los Angeles))

You never know what happens when Passion Buckets invade Washington, DC, but after UCLA's win over Temple in their bowl game they may want to keep going back.

The Owls were playing in their first bowl game in thirty years- which speaks volumes about the job Coach Golden has done while he's been with the program. They even had the early lead at the half, but someone reminded them that they were actually playing in a bowl game for the first time in thirty years.

Akeem Ayers returned an interception 2 yards for a go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter for a 30-21 win.

You could see the wheels come off for Temple, and you kinda felt for them, but they've done really well once they were abolished to the MAC.

The Bruins (7-6) finish with a winning record for the first time since 2006. Temple's only previous bowl appearance were the inaugural Sugar Bowl in 1935 and the Garden State Bowl in 1979.

SpoertsCentral's Jim Hill has your highlights...
video

TWTW: Miami Badgered In Orlando

((HT: WSVN-TV, Miami))

Wisconsin got to carry the flag for the Big 10 COnference in Orlando against Miami. They pressured Canes QB Jacory Harris all night, sacked him five times, and held on to the ball for close to 40 minutes as they won the Champs Sports Bowl 20-14

John Clay had 121 yards rushing and two touchdowns for the Badgers- he also was the game MVP.

"Beating Miami validated our goals," Wisconsin center John Moffitt said. "We did what we set out to do at the start of the season, which was to finish strong."

Wiscsonsin finishes the season 10-3...

"It finishes the season, I know that," Badgers coach Bret Bielema said. "It made us have 10 wins, which doesn't happen all the time in college football. Made us win our bowl game, which didn't happen the last two years. Made us beat a ranked opponent, which hopefully will put us in a good spot in the rankings."

WSVN's Steve Shapiro has a taped highlight package for you...
video

BREAKING NEWS: Mike Leach Is Done At Texas Tech

The Mike Leach era is officially over at Texas Tech. The university fired Leach Wednesday.

You recall Tuesday Leach's attorney Ted Liggett filed for an injuction hearing to be heard in court the next morning to force Texas Tech to allow Leach to coach the Red Raiders in the Alamo Bowl.

Well when arriving to the courthouse for the hearing, Texas Tech officials handed Liggett a termination letter.

Liggett told the Associated Press that the letter said Leach is "terminated with cause effective immediately." The letter was signed by Texas Tech president Guy Bailey. After that the hearing was cancelled.
KJTV, the Fox affiliate in Lubbock, reports the termination letter said Leach was in violation of Article Four of his contract which is the performance clause. That deals with the health and welfare of the players.
Leach's reaction, well according to Liggett, he wasn't thrilled.
Saying he guarantees the fight has just begun, Liggett will file a lawsuit on Leach's behalf against Texas Tech in his words "soon."
Liggett also says the decision to suspend Leach in the first place was without merit and he has the evidence to prove his case.
"So they pulled the trigger," Liggett told the AP. "They don't want that coming out."
Remember Leach and Texas Tech agreed to a five-year, $12.7 million contract back in February 2009. In the agreement the University was to owe Leach an $800,000 bonus on December 31 should he still be the head coach. With Texas Tech's action today the university is off the hook.
Craig James, the father of Adam James, and you know him as a college football analyst at the four-letter released this statement on behalf of the James family:
"We appreciate that the university conducted a fair and thorough investigation. From the family's point of view this has always been about the safety and well being of our son and of all the players on the team."


Photo Courtesy: AP

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Leach Saga Now In Song

A Lubbock-based rapper/producer named "Ryze" has sampled Marshall Mathers' "Cleanin' Out My Closet..." to take the James Gang to task in all this Leach Shenanigans...

Saying "taking the James Gang to task" is putting it lightly...
Enjoy...
We think...


Ryze don't like him no snitches...

BREAKING NEWS: Leach Seeks Court Order To Coach

((HT: Lubbockonline.com))

Texas Tech coach Mike Leach is seeking a temporary restraining order that would allow him to coach in the Alamo Bowl.

The motion was filed Tuesday in Lubbock County, Texas court.
An in-chambers hearing was set for 8:30 a.m Wednesday morning in the 99th District Court.

In the filing, filed with "great regret" by Leach, the coach says he "would never intentionally harm or endanger a player" and that he has been "forced into this situation without being afforded any process."

Leach's legal representation claims there are "no legal grounds for the suspension and no provision in Mike Leach's contract authorizing it."

Last time the HQ checked, we thought all contracts gave ourselves the right to suspend ourselves if we saw fit...

Cute...

Leach's reps ((Ted Liggett signed the bottom of the TRO document request)) also claim breach of contract...

This should be cleaned up in a hurry...

Here's the motion filed on Leach's behalf...

UPDATE: ESPN's Joe Schad relays that Texas Tech University may, within the next 48 hours, attempt to fire Leach with cause from his position at the school.

Dave Diles Passes At 78

Long-time ABC sportscaster Dave Diles passed away over the weekend at the age of 78 after the effects of a stroke...

OSG HQ will always remember Diles for his yellow blazer during the College Scoreboard Show on Saturdays in the fall...

He did everything from bowling to Olympics to college football and was a guy to watch and learn from...

Here's an appearance on WJBK-TV in Detroit where he describes what it was like as a player in Detroit media...


The HQ will miss you...

Brooks Has Maxed Out At Kentucky

First lets stand up and applaud what Rich Brooks has done as the head football coach at Kentucky. Instead of something to do before college basketball season tipped off, Brooks gave UK football fans something to cheer for. Even made the program relevant in Lexington.

Two years ago with Andre Woodson, Wesley Woodyard and a bunch of other talented players, Kentucky made a serious run at the SEC East title but just didn't have enough horses to get the job done.

Still, Brooks has led Kentucky to 4 post season bowls in a row and winning 3 which is a major accomplishment. He has done one of the most remarkable coaching jobs in the SEC.

I can imagine though that Rich Brooks is frustrated because football will never be more than what I stated in the beginning. It will never become a passion with Wildcat fans.

Sure Kentucky fans will show up at Commonwealth Stadium and show support but once basketball practice starts, well that's where the loyalties lie.

Then their is the financial backing. If an SEC football coach needs to an indoor practice facility or a players lounge, the check is in the mail. That's not the case at Kentucky. Men's basketball gets priority, football must wait it's turn.

I can imagine to that watching schools like Rutgers, Cincinnati or even another basketball school, North Carolina, commit major dollars to there football programs has to frustrate Rich Brooks.

Brooks said after the Music City Bowl loss to Clemson that he was 80% sure he was stepping down which I interpreted that he's not ready to step away from coaching or even Kentucky for that matter. That he would like some kind of commitment to the Kentucky football program to compete with Florida & Georgia. That might sway his decision.

Then again maybe Rich Brooks is content to call it a career and cast his fly rod into a stream somewhere. At least the trout are always biting.

Photo Courtesy: Lexington Herald-Leader

Tuesday Update-Recap Thingy: Mike Leach Suspension

((HT: redraiders.com))

The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal staff gets major kudos for assembling all angles of the Mike Leach suspension, so here's what we all know by now...

Leach’s attorney, Ted Liggett, is going to do everything he can to get Leach back on the sidelines for the game in San Antonio...

“We’re going to do everything we can to see that our client is duly served justice and that he’s reunited with his boys as soon as possible,’’ Liggett said. Asked how he planned to go about it, Liggett said, “Through the court system, don’t ya?’’

Those of us at OSG HQ can think of a lot better reason to go to court, but this doesn't surprise us considering the amount of coach-ego that's involved.

The university completed its own initial investigation before the suspension. Apparently, Leach thought he had done nothing wrong in his treatment of Adam James.

Leach also, from what all parties understand, thought James was a "slacker" and that his father- ABC/ESPN analyst Craig James- acted like "a little league dad" with his involvement in the Texas Tech program.

Leach has never been one to pull punches, so this reaction should not surprise... Earler in the year, The Swashbuckler blamed his players' "fat little girlfriends" in a loss to Texas A&M...
((HT: KAMC-TV))



Leach had until Monday to write a letter of apology.
He didn't and, thus, the suspension...

The whole "standing in a dark space" thing we talked about earlier Monday happened in mid-December on two separate dates...

If Leach is going to be "Mangino'd" in Lubbock as a result of all this, he would be due $400,000 per year left on his five-year contract...

That's $1.6-million...there is no buyout provision...
Here's KCBD-TV's coverage- obviously, it's their lead...
Colin McElroy stands behind the desk to start us off before a phoner and a sidebar...
video

Craig James was scheduled to work the Alamo Bowl for ESPN.
He has been removed from that duty...

TWTW: Dawgs Defense Beats Aggies

((HT: KBTX-TV))

Those of us at OSG HQ would love to know where this defense has been all year long...

With UGA Head Coach Mark Richt teaming up with Recruiter Extraordinaire Rodney Garner and two Graduate Assistants, the Bulldogs held Texas A&M to 20 points in the Independence Bowl- winning 44-20.

Caleb King ran for two scores... ((Where has this been all year...???))
QB Joe Cox managed the offense to a 15 for 28 performance with two TD's thrown in...

But the offense will be either Aaron Murray's or Zach Mettenberger's next year. And it will be interesting to see where Richt goes for his new DC...

His own job future depends on it...

Here's your postgame wrap from our friends at KBTX-TV in College Station...


We still think Mike Sherman will either be out on his keester himself, or he'll have to let some coordinators go before the 2010 season starts...

Having 30 straight points scored on you will do that...

Monday, December 28, 2009

James Family Statement On Leach Matter

((HT: Lubbockonline.com))

The James family understands that Texas Tech University has undertaken an internal investigation. Since this situation affects our son and since the investigation is on-going, it would be inappropriate for us to speculate or provide additional information.

Mr. and Mrs. James took the step with great regret and after consideration and prayer to convey to the Texas Tech Administration that their son had been subjected to actions and treatment not consistent with common sense rules for safety and health. The James family believes this is a matter important to protect all the fine young men involved in Tech football and the University’s reputation for developing and educating young men and women.

Over the past year, there has been a greatly enhanced recognition of the dangers of concussions and the potential for long term physical damage to players. At virtually every level of football coaching, cases where children and young men have sustained concussions have generated serious discussion of the importance of correct treatment and diagnosis.

The entire James family is supportive of the University and looks forward to a resolution of the matter.

BREAKING NEWS: Texas Tech's Leach Suspended Indefinitely, Alleged To Have "Isolated a player in a dark closet..." Player May Be Adam James...

Courtney Linehan of redraiders.com says it has to do with a complaint from a student-athlete and his parents. Leach will not coach in the Alamo Bowl.

Here's the release from the university...

Texas Tech University recently received a complaint from a player and his parents regarding Red Raider Head Football Coach Mike Leach’s treatment of the athlete after an injury.

At Texas Tech all such complaints are considered as serious matters, and as a result, an investigation of the incident is underway. Until the investigation is complete, Texas Tech University is suspending coach Leach from all duties as Head Football Coach effective immediately. The investigation into this matter will continue in a thorough and fair manner.

Coach Ruffin McNeill will assume duties as Interim Head Coach and will coach the team during the Alamo Bowl.

The decision to take these actions was made in consultation with the Texas Tech University president, and the Texas Tech University System chancellor, and Board of Regents chairman and vice chairman.

Because this is a personnel matter no further comment will be forthcoming.


1745 EDT UPDATE
ESPN's Joe Schad via Twitter has this:
"Mike Leach is alleged to have isolated a player in a dark closet for not practicing with a concussion..."

According to Brooks, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal's website was freaked out because of all the interest...

Message Board Guy is alleging, through KTTU-FM in Lubbock, the incident in question centers around the following with Leach and Adam James- son of ABC/ESPN personality Craig James:

Adam James had a concussion. He came to practice wearing sunglasses.
Mike Leach didn't like him having the sunglasses on.
Adam James told him it was doctor orders to help with concussion because of light.
Mike Leach took him to dark equipment room and had him stay there for a couple hours.


Leach's lawyer and a representative close to the family of the player confirm to ESPN that a player with a concussion was placed in a closet...

The HQ will keep you posted as we know more, but our gut is that Leach is done in Lubbock...

And Then There's The Other Holiday Pasttime...

No, we're not talking about eating, sitting in a chair with your top pants button unbuttoned, or anything like that...

It's high school basketball holiday tournaments...

TBH has one in her hometown... It's the "Dothan Eagle-Dothan Progress Holiday Prep Classic" presented by a legal firm whose founding father talked about things not fitting and subsequent acquitting...

It's actually a pretty good tournament in a fairly new building that seats 3,500 or so on a sellout date. And, by the way, it's not in Dothan...

16 teams, three ranked in Alabama, one more ranked in Georgia ((a defending champ)), and a bunch of nearby schools who can bring folks to fill in seats.

Another Georgia school, Randolph-Clay, has a great history and a good tourney record. The town of Cuthbert knows basketball and nothing else. Donnell Harvey played well enough in Cuthbert to go to the University of Florida and get a cup of coffee in the NBA. But, this time around, they're very young. They should make some noise in the post-season tourney, but a 20-point loss to Robertsdale High of Alabama will leave Head Coach Tyrone Kellogg thinking for New Year's.

They also don't have any seniors...

After dinner, we went back to check in on her alma mater. After being down early, Carroll High went on a 23-5 run that gave the Eagles the distance they needed to beat Straughn High comfortably.

But the night cap was the real treat- unless you were the opposition.

Whitefield Academy, defending champ in the smallest classification in Georgia, was playing Charles Henderson High from nearby Troy, Alabama. Unfortunately for Henderson, I don't think they've ever seen a team as fast- as consistently- as Whitfield.

They press. They run. They trap. And they run some more.
It's 32 minutes of hell- to borrow a phrase from Nolan Richardson.

It was 21-4 Whitefield after one quarter. It was 36-9 at the break.
Henderson had one field goal in the first quarter, didn't score another one until the 4:22 mark of the second.

Head Coach Tyrone Johnson has two seniors, but the real high flyer is sophomore Kenneth Gaines. After an early third quarter alley oop, TBH and I knew that was our cue to leave the Civic Center. Johnson, to go with those seniors, has three juniors and five sophomores.

We guess they played most of those sophomores and the one freshman in the third and fourth as Whitefield coasted to a first-round win.

Did I mention that their second round game is against TBH's alma...???
She was cringing at that idea early Saturday night watching the Wolves...and she still hates Enterprise High back home...

Oh... the first "E" in Whitefield is silent... everyone will, probably, have that figured out by March...

Rance Draws Raves At Valdosta

((HT: Valdosta Daily News/McDonald))

Former Georgia Southern OC Rance Gillespie is now the new head coach at Valdosta High School. He succeeds Rick Tomberlin whose contract was not renewed after the 2009season.

"Since I was old enough to remember, Valdosta has always been the pinnacle of high school football," Gillespie said. "I've worked very hard my whole career to get to the top, and I can't wait to start working at Valdosta High School as the leader of this program. I thank you for the opportunity. And I can say this, I can say this: I promise what you will get from me is a guy that will go to work each and every day to make this the premier program, not only in this state, but in this country, just like it used to be."

Here's Gillespie's introduction at the Valdosta Board of Education...
video

The HQ knows all too well the buzzsaw that is Valdosta Wildcats football. They were recently chronicled in a New York Times article written by Drew Jubera.

It's the winningest high school football program in the country. Tomberlin went 7-4 in the 2009 season, but the blowout loss to cross-town rival Lowndes led to the non-renewal of the contract.

Mike O'Brien went 70-20-1 but was let go...
Rick Darlington came up from Florida and lasted three seasons after abandoning history as part of his coaching philosophy. That didn't sit well.
Tomberlin came in, knew what he was getting in to, and was let go after four seasons. The HQ has had past players tell it straight to its face that it's not about wins and losses, but about developing quality young men.

Shenanigans... the desire is to maintain the level of success from the past- which is impossible under the current atmosphere and county dynamic.

When we approached Gillespie at the state championships- hearing he had taken another job- he admitted that talk was premature. Gillespie has won state titles in his high school career and has the pedigree.

The biggest question will be whether or not Gillespie has to listen more than he has the opportunity to get the job done his way.

We wish him nothing but the best...

TWTW: Brooks Says He's "80%" Sure He's Not Returning...

((HT: WKYT-TV Lexington))

But sources close to those of us at OSG HQ say you can go ahead and add the extra 20-percent to UK Head Coach Rich Brooks' statement from last night's Music City Bowl postgame comments...

Brandon Fisher was in Nashville for WKYT-TV...
video

Brooks announced back in January that Joker Phillips was Coach-in-Waiting for the Wildcats footbasll job...

The 68-year-old Brooks finished his seventh season at Kentucky with a 7-6 record and 39-47 overall mark with the Wildcats. If it was his final game, his career coaching record in college will be 130-156-4 in 25 seasons, including 18 seasons at Oregon.

The HQ has to give Brooks a lot of credit for resurrecting a moribund football program in the SEC, much like Bobby Johnson has done at Vanderbilt. It will be interesting to see how Phillips carries the mantle from here...

Is This The Change Of Mind Urban Meyer Believes In!

We saw this Monday morning on the Orlando Sentinel website here at the OSG HQ. Funny stuff.

Sorry can't embed so click below to view. It's worth your time.

A Vulcan Mind Meld Changed Urban Meyer’s Mind. (Thanks Orlando Sentinel/GoAnimate.com.

TWTW: Janikowski Does It Again...

((HT: NFL on CBS))

No, this has nothing to do with his social life...

At the end of the first half of the Oakland Raiders game with the Cleveland Browns, kicker Sebastian Janikowski did it again...

This time he cleared a 61-yard field goal over the crossbar as time expired in the first half.

The Raiders would lose 23-9, but this was the 4th longest field goal in the history of the league...

An absolute bomb...
Don Criqui and Randy Cross have the call... and Cross was right on...

So, Now It's A Leave Of Absence...

((HT: ActionNewsJax/ESPN))

After attending his Sunday practice, Florida Head football coach Urban Meyer has decided that an "indefinite leave of absence" will fit better than an outright resignation...

At the first Sugar Bowl press conference preparing the Gators for their game against Cincinnati, an unusually candid Meyer expressed his desire to return at the beginning of the 2010 season...

His gut, Meyer admitted, tells him it will happen.

In the interim, OC Steve Addazio will run the show after the Sugar Bowl.

"It's something that started about four years ago," Meyer said. "It was chest pains that became rather significant two years ago. Whether it's stress related ... I started to become very alarmed with that. And then I'm a person of faith, and I just wanted to make sure I had my priorities straight. A lot of times coaches do not have their priorities straight. You put business before God and family, you have a problem."

"It's full speed ahead. We're going to do everything possible to win this game," Meyer said in New Orleans.

Here's Chris Mortensen's view on events and the 24-hopur turnaround therein...


Those of us at OSG HQ admit the whole timing of this is, to put it bluntly, odd... We think that there's more to this. We don't know specifically "what," but we're fairly confident it's pretty damn serious. Otherwise, we would not have ever come to this point.

Is it really any of our damn business what's wrong...??? Nope... unless Meyer or a designated agent tells us what's really up. We've noticed the weight loss- reported to be 20 pounds in recent months.

But given the choice of taking a few steps back to see if you can reorient your coaching philosophy and return to the sidelines or dying if you don't... the HQ thinks this is an easy one that even we can't mess up...

Yes, it's a helluva wake-up call for a helluva coach...

FOSG Steve Wrigley continues local angles from our friends at ActionNewsJax- otherwise known as CBS47/Fox30...
video

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Circus Has Begun In Gainesville, Fla.

Sporting News radio is reporting Sunday morning that Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh will be interviewed by Florida for their head coaching job. Harbaugh just signed a new deal with Stanford for what that is worth. Harbaugh won at Stanford, just think what he might do at a place like Florida.

Here's a coach Jeremy Foley should interview, Kevin Sumlin. Look at what he did at the University of Houston. That is a near impossible place to win consistently and he has done that. Sumlin's offenses have been some of the best in the country plus he would be a hell of a recruiter for the Gators. Heck they might be able to get some players from Texas.


Photo Courtesy: AP


AFTERNOON DELIGHT: Mark Schlabach from the four-letter maintains that Corch Meyers may be getting cold feet before his 4PM EDT press conference.

Meyer would now coach in the Sugar Bowl against Cincinnati, as previously announced, and then OC Steve Adazzio will take over the Gators and will coach until Meyer is ready to return...

More, obviously, after 4PM EDT...

TWTW: Marshall, Marshall, Pizza, Pizza...

((HT: WSAZ-TV, Charleston WV))

Martin Ward ran for two touchdowns in the first half Saturday, and Marshall held off Ohio 21-17 in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.

DeQuan Bembry's interception with 40 seconds left sealed the victory for the Thundering Herd (7-6), who led by three touchdowns midway through the second quarter.

It was a pleasant experience for the HQ to see a dozen players from the state of Georgia starting for both teams in Detroit. Darius Marshall and Bembry played for central Georgia powerhouses- Baldwin and Hawkinsville. The HQ also noticed south, central, and metro Atlanta also represented in Camden County, Mary Persons, and Stephenson.

Props... but the HQ also recognized the Ohio U. QB from his days at Long Beach Poly.

WSAZ's John Mulvaney was standing outside Ford Field for his live shot. He has your highlights...

TWTW: Pitt Feeling Butch, Beats UNC In Charlotte

((HT: WRALSportsfan.com))

Pitt's Dion Lewis rushed for 159 yards and a TD to bump Tony Dorsett in the Panthers record books for freshman yardage and Dan Hutchins kicked a 33-yard field goal with 52 seconds left, giving 17th-ranked Pitt a 19-17 victory over North Carolina in the Car Care Bowl.

Winning 10 games for the first time since the Marino era in 1981, Pitt finishes their year at 10-3.

"It's back," Lewis said of Pitt football. "We're not satisfied with just 10 wins. We want to get more next year."

Lewis was only recruited by three schools coming out of high school- Miami of Ohio, Tulane, and Pitt. Head Coach Dave Wannstedt, as legend has it, watched four plays of Lewis on TV and offered Lewis a full ride on the spot.

Nice going for the rest of Division One...

Here's a boatload of postgame comments from Butch Davis, thanks to our friends at WRAL-TV and wralsportsfan.com

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Urban Meyer is stepping away...

***BREAKING NEWS****

University of Florida Head Coach Urban Meyer, a 2-time national champion, released a statement this evening stating that he will be "Stepping down as the Head Coach at the University of Florida after the Sugar Bowl".

According to multiple published reports, Meyer will be stepping down due to some health issues. While he didn't elaborate...yet...on those issues, he was recently in the hospital after the SEC Championship game with what was reported as a "Dehydration" issue.

More from the Panama City News Herald RIGHT HERE
ESPN.Com says that he has a "Heart Valve Muscle Defect"...read more RIGHT HERE

((Urban Meyer//Courtesy: Boston.com))

There will apparently be a press conference from New Orleans where the Gators will be arriving in advance of the Sugar Bowl game on January 1st, a game that now appears as though it will be Meyer's last.

Robbie Andreu's piece in the Gainesville Sun reveals that Meyer will address the media at a Sunday afternoon press conference associated with Florida's Sugar Bowl game.

The short list for Meyer's replacement looks like this:
Houston's Kevin Sumlin, Arkansas' Bobby Petrino, TCU's Gary Patterson, Louisville's Charlie Strong, Miss State's Dan Mullen, and Mike Shanahan...

The HQ likes the Strong and Shanahan ideas. As far as we know, Strong has not signed a contract yet and Shanahan has ties dating back to the Galen Hall administration.

CL Brown at the Louisville Courier-Journal notes that Cards AD Tom Jurich "hopes" to hold on to Strong as his head coach. Jurich is not surprised that Strong is appearing on short lists and would not hold him to his seven-figure buyout clause if were to leave.

“Right now there are a lot of emotions for Charlie and his family,” Jurich said. “They've lived there, and that's their home. He's done four different stints there; that's the thing I'm worried about. I want to keep him, but I understand the pressure he's probably going to be under, too.”

Here's team coverage from our friends at Action News Jacksonville- otherwise known as Fox30 and CBS47. FOSG Steve Wrigley starts us off...


Obviously, keep checking OSG Sports, we'll have more on this story as it progresses

Holiday Travel Is No Holiday

Okay...

For the record, this whole travelling thing on the "Holiday on the 25th" is always trouble. But also, for the record, I disclose that- like a lot of you- there's juggling of families and the idea of trying to make sure you see everyone that time of year.

TBH is big on the Holiday.

If she could make sure that her tree was up November 26th without any kind of Holiday repercussion, she'd pull it off. She transforms her house into a holiday observance zone. All the paintings, posters, and nick-knacks that are in the place 11 months out of the year are summarily re-placed for that month of time.

She makes sure that she's off for the last two weeks of the year so she can go home and spend time with her family in Alabama and go to any possible bowl game that WDE is involved.

I will give her credit, though. The meal on the holiday is atypical.
Normally, my version of the meal would be pizza, something-Italian, or Waffle House. Her family's is steak-based...

Completely dig it...

But getting from my dad's place in Long Beach, California to hers in Alabama required a mechanical engineering degree.

There are departures, arrivals, multiple cities, multiple airports, the calendar and its quirks, air travel and its quirks all involved in making this happen.

So after taking out my travel slide rule, we figured that surprising my dad before the Holiday and travelling back on the Holiday would be the best choice financially...

Sounded good on paper... but they never travel on paper...

Holiday Morning meant a 3:30-local AM time wake up for a 4AM leaving from my dad's house. It took me 15 minutes to get from his place to LAX- which was astronomical by travel standards. There were 8 cars with me on the 405...

Unheard of...

Then, I get to LAX... after dropping off the rental car...
((That's the picture on the right, thanks to me))

The place was packed. It took 90 minutes to get from curbside check-in ((I had already gotten my boarding pass the night before)), through the government check point, and onto the plane... boarding just in time...

My reservation corresponded with a letter that would have given me my normal window seat on a smaller plane. Unfortunately, they switched plane sizes. That meant I now was the proud owner of a middle seat- for a 3-and-a-half hour plane ride.

Pleasant...

Then, it was a two-hour layover in Atlanta before boarding a cigar tube and a flight to Montgomery. The good thing about the flight itself was it would arrive two minutes before I took off...

The bad thing about the flight was:
A) I had the female version of Chico Esquela for an attendant- didn't understand a word she said...
B) I had a woman sitting next to me across the aisle who really needed to purchase two seats and would have created an issue had the flight itself been full. She also, as far as I could tell, used her cell phone to send text messages on the plane.
C) I had a married couple with an under aged, unticketed child- which is fine. Someone associated with the ocean named-multiregional flyer told the couple that the child had to sit at the window seat since that was where the mask was in emergency situations.

Instead of swapping the child from the father's lap to the mother's lap and everything being fine, the family shifted seats entirely- to behind me.

The kid was a kicker... for the entire 42 minute flight.
Had that going for me...

I'm still trying to grasp the idea of why everyone thinks talking to me will make a flight go faster... that's why we have televisions now. And, no, sitting in a middle seat doesn't mean I'm a dual back support for the two guys sitting to either side of me who want to twist to get comfortable.

So, for all of you... flying on a holiday doesn't mean that everyone else is at their destination and you're the only one on the flight.

Expect the worst and work backwards...
And the airports haven't quite gotten around to making sure that all ad campaigns are accurate, have they...???

Someone needs to tell the folks at Hartsfield about this, I think...

TWTW: Ault Lang Syne, SMU Rolls In Hawai'i

((HT: KTVN-TV Reno))

Nevada Head Coach Chris Ault is, probably, ready and willing to forget his whole Hawai'i Bowl experience against SMU.

He had the most prolific rushing offense in Division I- averaging over 350 yards per game on the ground. He had three rushers clocking in with over 1,000 yards each on the season.

But then the fun began...

Two of those rushers didn't play. Vai Taua, who led Nevada with 1,345 yards rushing, has been ruled academically ineligible. Luke Lippincott, who ran for 1,034 yards, was sidelined with a toe injury.

Then, Ault said that he had suspended safety Duke Williams for the game. Linebacker Andre Davis has been dismissed from the program. Davis, it was disclosed was busted for shoplifting.

Here's KTVN's coverage of the loss...


And here's KGMB-TV's version of June Jones' homecoming...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Legendary D.C. Sportscaster George Michael Dies

The Sports Machine has now come to an end.

George Michael, longtime sports anchor at NBC4 in Washington D.C. and host of the nationally syndicated "Sports Machine," passed away Thursday at D.C.'s Sibley Hospital after a two year battle with cancer. (Image courtesy of the Washington Post)

Created in 1984, The Sports Machine utilized the new technology of satellite programming, allowing highlights to come in from across the world. Michael is said to have inspired the creation of the Four-Letter and Sportscenter.

You may not have liked him or agreed with everything he said, but you had to give Michael credit. I grew up watching the Sports Machine, and got a lot of my Redskin/Oriole news from Michael. He was an aggressive personality, highly competitive on the air and in life. Plus, how many sportscasters actually think professional wrestling is newsworthy? You had to love Michael in the regard.

NBC4 released this statement, in regards to Michael's death:

"George Michael was our friend and colleague for more than 25 years. He was a dynamic force around our newsroom and in the entire Washington area. George was a pioneer in sports broadcasting. He was a gifted interviewer, a master storyteller, and one of the hardest working journalists out there. Our hearts go out to his wife Pat and his daughter Michelle, both of whom also worked with us for many years, as well as the rest of his family.‬"

Enjoy the the best plays of 2006, courtesy of YouTube and the Sports Machine,



D.C. lost an ambassador today. Heaven gained a hero.

Thanks for the highlights, George.

TWTW: A Wynn-Wynn Situation For Utah

((HT: KSL-TV))

Cal jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead against Utah in the SDCCU Poinsettia Bowl...
Cal then responded as only Cal does and proceeded to lose the game...

And, by the way, the HQ would like to alert everyone to the pronunciation of the flower in question... It's "Poin-set-uh," not "Poin-set-tee-uh..."

We seem to have to remind everyone of this every year...

Utah's Jordan Wynn threw for a career-high 338 yards and 3 TD's as Number 23 Utah won 37-27...

The Utes scored 27 straight points to win their ninth straight bowl game- the longest current streak in the country. The Golden Bears, in a bowl game for the school-record seventh straight year, had their four-game postseason winning streak snapped.

Wynn improved to 3-0 at Jack Murphy Stadium ((yes, the HQ knows about the corporate title, but we're not getting paid to mention the name))- including two section championships while the starter at suburban Oceanside High.

Here's your highlights from our friends at KSL-TV- again...

Video Courtesy of KSL.com

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The BCS Sux...Simply Put...

Those of us at OSG HQ first caught wind of this during our listening/watching of the "Dan Patrick Show..."

Songwriter-singer Eric Hutchinson was holding a contest on his youtube page where people would send in ideas and Eric would write a song about the topic.

TCU offensive lineman Trevius Jones wanted Eric to scribble a ditty about a topic near and dear to the HQ...

Here's the end result...very Jason Mraz-Jack Johnsonish...
Enjoy...


Merry F'n Festivus...

Derrick Roland= Joe Theismann...???

((HT: FS Houston))

This is not pretty under any circumstance...

The 22nd-ranked Washington Huskies beat Number 19 Texas A&M 73-64 on Tuesday night. But the biggest event that may have turned the game U-Dub's way is below...

Derrick Roland is the second-leading scorer for the Aggies. He went up for a rebound, planted, and snapped his right leg just below the kneecap...

Coach Mark Turgeon didn't care that play was still going on- he knew what happened immediately. Leading scorer Donald Sloan, who is really tight with Roland, was visibly shaken...

Barry Tompkins has the call...


Andy Katz, over at the four-letter, reveals that Roland suffered a tib-fib fracture and is pretty much done in college. Coach Turgeon tells Katz that they're trying to fly family up from Dallas, but it's difficult because of the holiday.

"It's tough to leave a player," Turgeon said. "We're trying to get his family here as quickly as possible, but it's not easy with Christmas and flights being sold out."

Other Aggie players and staff are staying with Roland in Washington until family arrives.

"Derrick was the heart and soul of this team," Turgeon told Katz. "Everyone is devastated. Our guys had their eyes swollen in the last five minutes of the game. They were crying during the game. They never came out of it."

TWTW: BYU Passes Jacquizz 42-20 In Vegas

((HT: KSL-TV))

Max Hall threw for 192 yards and three TDs leading Number 15 BYU past Number 16 Oregon State 44-20 in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Hall gave the Cougars their third win in five straight bowl appearances in Vegas and ended the Beavers' run of five consecutive bowl wins.

So, I guess we figured out which version of the Cougars showed up...
The one that didn't lose to Florida State...

Here's your highlights from our friends at KSL-TV...





Video Courtesy of KSL.com



All that those of us at OSG HQ can think of now is at the 3:58 mark...
((HT: Paramount Pictures))


MOUNTAIN WEST RIVALS LIKE WHAT THEY SAW IN VEGAS:

It's long be an argurment here at the OSG HQ that the Mountain West Conference should be in the BCS. All the conference's member institutions do is kick the ass of the only Western league in the BCS, the Pac 10.

Colorado State head coach Steve Fairchild watched the game and tweeted this:

"Outstanding job by Coach Mendenhall and BYU, embarrassing a ranked Pac 10 team in Vegas Bowl. BCS can't continue to keep us out! rediculous!"



Photo Courtesy: AP

Do You Know The Way To Mater Dei...???


It's at the corner of South Bishop and West Edinger...

When you wander up to, what most of us outside the state of California call, Santa Ana-Mater Dei it looks like a lot of other high schools in the Los Angeles area. There are high chain link fences and a lot of concrete surrounding parking spaces and practice fields.

But when its basketball season, there are four games in a row on any given game night- freshmen, sophomore, junior varsity, and varsity squads knock it out on 90 minute intervals.

I did the math at the Meruelo Athletic Center and all you really need to do is look at the banners hanging from the ceiling in the lobby and over the basketball court.

Since 1950, Mater Dei has collected 156 league titles and 54 state championships- 20 of those in boy's basketball alone. Most of that started in 1983 when Gary McKnight took over as head coach.

He's led the Monarchs to 7 state championships, 11 Southern California championships, 19 CIF championships, 26 league championships (21 straight, a CIF record), and an overall record of 828-76. Coach McKnight is the winningest coach in Orange County boys' basketball history and is 16 wins away from becoming the career wins leader in California state history.

Got all that...???

McKnight has lost more than five games in a season only once since 1989...

It's easy to put a finger on why they are as successful as they are. Stereotypically, you can say that success breeds success. The more you see names like Colt Brennan and any of Darryl Strawberry's kids on the Wall of Champions and LeRon Ellis' jersey in the Hall Of Fame room, you've got any Los Angelino who can go really want to...

But the easier answer at Meruelo is teaching and depth of talent pool...

Bob Thrall and Max Hoskins coach the Freshman Team. When I say "coach" that's all Thrall does- even when, in a recent game against Dos Pueblos, his cell phone went off twice. The first time he thought he turned it off, but had to explain the second time that he was in the middle of the third quarter of his 33-point win and would call whomever back when the game was over.

I would swear that all he did in one quarter of the game was tell his kids that he didn't care if they scored any points in a quarter. But he was quite emphatic that he would not allow the other team to score any with the kids he had on the floor.

And he had 14 to choose from... 14 kids on his freshman roster...

Kevin Stevenson and Ben Villa have the sophomores- and they've only got 13 to pick from in any rotation.

Stevenson has a more "modern" approach to coaching his 16-year-olds. He actually wants his kids to run "their stuff." Literally, those are the words he uses...

"Let's run our stuff."

Words that his kids understand in a 14-point win...

And an even better group of words he asked every player who was on the bench:
"Have you scored yet...?"

Stevenson made sure that every kid was getting reps and that every kid had a shot at getting in the scoring column...words his kids may keep with them as a lesson learned.

It's a school that has two Heisman Trophy winners as alums- Some guy named Leinart and John Huarte who went to Notre Dame. Huarte's trophy is in a glass case at Meruelo.

And, so you know, it's the girl's basketball team that's nationally-ranked these days. They're number two in the country- soon to be number one. They knocked off Stockton-St. Mary's in the Swoosh's Tournament of Champions...

So much for slowing down...and the bull's eye will always be there whether they like it or not... the Swoosh is everywhere it can be on campus- whether it's on a kid, a piece of clothing, a basketball, or a shoe.

That's enough fuel for everyone to come hunting...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Don Cherry Discusses Tator Goodness

Dr. Charles Tator is not a fan of Don Cherry...

He has openly criticized Cherry's views on the sport he loves so much claiming Grapes is a "negative influence."

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail caught up with Tator for his "Usual Suspects" column- and Tator is now getting hate mail on his stance:

“Letters say, ‘You don’t know anything, Don Cherry is marvellous, you’re nothing, you don’t understand hockey, go back to the lab. …’ That sort of thing.”

Tator is not taking the opposition to heart. “If this is what it takes to get issue in front of the public, then I’m okay with it. I’m comfortable in saying what I believe.”


To recap where we've come from on this...

Here's the "Coach's Corner" segment where Cherry doesn't want to dignify the doctor with any kind of acknowledgement...
((HT: CBC/NHL))


Here's the audio of a Q-and-A session where Cherry was less than diplomatic of his assessment of the good doctor with Colin D'Mello...
((680AMNews Toronto/Whotheman.com-NSFW!))


Those of us at OSG HQ have long thought Cherry was a lightning rod for his sport, both good and bad. He's been an advocate for maintaining the difference between chippy play and being professional on the ice.

He wants the best for his sport and its presentation. He wants kids to learn about the sport, its history, and the proper policing of its on-ice laws.

Doctor Tator has decided that the bully pulpit Cherry has developed isn't enough for his own desires and means, and he wants a complete retraction of what has made Cherry's sport the fabric of the hemisphere that it is...

The HQ maintains Doctor Tator needs to relax beyond a proportional means...
Cherry has demanded the game change for the safety of its players, and that there is a way that it can keep its identity and history without sacrificing its soul.

Tator is trying to be a "Soul Collector..."

Paul Steigerwald Thinks Plane Crashes Are Funny

Pittsburgh Penguins play-by-play guy was trying to spin off a comment about a former Hobey Baker award winner... and cracked a Hobey Baker joke...

Problem... Hobey Baker died in a plane crash, so when Steigerwald talked about the Devils player-in-question didn't go down "as hard as Hobey Baker did" laughter ensued...

Boy, this was damn funny stuff...
((HT: FS Pittsburgh/NHL))


It was also on the anniversary of the actual plane crash...
Good work...

Steigerwald will either: Get a game suspension and/or issue an on-air apology...

Those of us vote for choice "D"- all of the above...
Don't laugh...

With New G.M. Watching, Redskins Fail To Impress New Boss

As a Dallas Cowboys fan I always like to kick to Washington Redskins when they are down but I do have limits to that dislike. That was reached Monday night when the Redskins were embarrassed by the New York Giants 45-12. The 'Skins looked inept and at the end of the 1st half, down right comical.

Let Redskin head coach Jim Zorn describe this travesty. Thanks CSN Washington.




Don't worry Redskin fans, I get the feeling Zorn will get his pink slip soon. Maybe Zorn just waved the white flag. The boys at the Redskins post game, Brian Mitchell, Trevor Matich and Antonio Freeman ask did the team give up.





Then the boys rub more salt in the Redskins wound.




Those of us at the OSG HQ (except J-Dub) saw a really bad football team Monday night. Bruce Allen has much work to do for the Redskins to be relevant again. Not a good way to impress your new boss.



Photo Courtesy: Getty Images





Two Words You Don't Want To Hear Together: "Kovalchuk" and "Snag"

((HT: TSN/AJC-Vivlamore))

Those of us at OSG HQ have long maintained that the Atlanta Thrashers have always played with fire. On a sport played with frozen water, that's never a good combination. It looks like Atlanta Spirit, LLC is on the verge of alienating their fan base once and for-by-God-all...

It happened in the past when the team could not spend any money and was at the bottom of both the NHL spending basement-ranking 3rd lowest toward the bottom cap number. The team's on-ice performance matched that monetary output.

It happened when they traded Marian Hossa for half of the Pittsburgh Penguins roster- only Colby Armstrong is an active part of that move.

And now it could happen as the team's version of Armageddon now that Chris Vivlamore is revealing an impasse, disagreement, stopping point, or any other poor combination of words in regard to the negotiations for a new Ilya Kovalchuk contract.

"Our position is different than his position right now," Waddell explained to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Their position is fixed years with money and we have a different side of that.

"That's what we have to work through. We've gotten through every thing else, now we have to make it through that."


Oops...

According to the Journal-Constitution, Kovalchuk's agent Jay Grossman met with Waddell in Atlanta over the weekend to continue talks. Kovalchuk is scheduled to become a free agent on July 1.

The HQ warns a this point on two fronts...
Beware the trade deadline and beware the fan base...

"It's a business," Kovalchuk told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I think every player goes through that. It's the first time for me. It's (management's) decision, but I like everything here. Like I've said a lot of times, I want to play with one team all my life, but you never know."

For, what seems like, the 3,800th time here at the HQ, if the Thrash don't re-sign Kovalchuk the franchise is done in Atlanta. We don't mean to be that harsh for, what has proven when the team wins, to be a supportive-bordering-rabid fan base. But it's that whole "fool-me-once" thing...

They won't take it anymore and the Spirit may as well check in on Hamilton, Kansas City, or Winnipeg for buyers...

Yes, it'll be that bad...
And this is what the town will be missing...
((HT: RDS/NHL))

Brady Quinn done for the Season...Will anyone notice?


Here's some more Cleveland Browns news. Alleged starting Quarterback Brady Quinn's season is officially over. He was placed on injured reserve today after it was revealed that he injured his foot in the 4th quarter of Sunday's game versus Kansas City, a game that believe it or not Quinn and the Browns won (mostly because of Josh Cribbs, but that is another story for another day).

((Brady Quinn looks morose//Courtesy: Thisiswheretofindsports.com))

The lowdown from the Cleveland Plain-Dealer RIGHT HERE

The Brownie's, with 3 wins thus far on the season will fall back on the dreaded Derek Anderson to replace Quinn. Anderson started 5 games this season and had a "Stellar" 36.2 passer rating to show for it. Quinn was slightly better than that going 2-7 with a 67.2 rating.

Oddly enough, we are pretty sure this really won't change a whole lot of things for the Browns this season, the second that Quinn has finished on IR. We aren't really sure that anyone else other than the few fans that are showing up at Memorial Stadium will notice much either...Just sayin'