Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Breaking: Looks like Jon Gruden likes Miami after all

Jon Gruden/Courtesy: backseatfan.com
It would appear that there still is a match to be made here. Reports are starting to trickle out of the Miami area tonight that despite his denials, Jon Gruden is in line to be the next coach of the Hurricanes.

Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reporter Steve Groeten tweeted this tonight:

AD Kirby Hocutt and Jon Gruden meeting Wednesday to finalize details of a contract, according to a source close to situation.

He followed with this: A second source just confirmed the Hocutt-Gruden meeting.

Here is a longer version of a Groeten story also adding that if for some reason an agreement can't be reached with Gruden, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen will be the fallback plan.

We believe that there may be something to these reports. While we don't quite get the Gruden thing...and we still aren't 100% convinced that its true, the Mullen option seems legit. No, Miami isn't in the SEC (they're in the crappy football playing ACC), they are still Miami and with the right guy in front of the program can be a factor. Maybe Gruden feels this is a way to prove he's that guy.

We'll keep following this story and let you know if and when things are official.

Here's a look at Gruden...on David Letterman's show:

Dude Loves His Maryland Field Hockey

A few weeks ago the Maryland Terrapins won the NCAA Field Hockey Championship in double overtime 3-2 over defending national champion and ACC rival North Carolina. Megan Frazier scored the game winner in the 98th minute and when the ball went in the goal Brian Kapur, the voice of Maryland field hockey, could not contain himself.

Kapur makes Gus Johnson sound mellow.

BREAKING: Anschutz To Purchase Piece Of Chargers

((HT: FAN590 Toronto))

THE FAN 590's Bob McCown, on his afternoon "Prime Time Sports" program is reporting that billionaire Philip Anschutz either has or will be purchasing up to 35% of the NFL's San Diego Chargers, with the intent of moving the Chargers to Los Angeles.

The Spanos family announced their intent to sell that portion a while back, and now it looks like the first stage of removing the Chargers from the Qualcomm Stadium lease issues in the past years.

Here's some sound from 2009 involving California assemblyman Nathan Fletcher and his attempts to ask AB 81XXX be amended to forbid the City of Industry's environmental regulations exemption from being leveraged to lure any existing California-based professional sports team to the new City of Industry stadium.

His amendment failed by a vote of 29-22...

And an interview with The Voice of San Diego's Liam Dillon on KPBS-TV's "The Reporters" discussing the legal issues of a new San Diego stadium last football season...

More when we know more...

Pat Burns's wife finds car broken into and jersey's stolen after funeral....

Line Burns at Monday's funeral/Courtesy: john kenney/The Gazette
And we thought hockey fanatics (not that we are accusing anyone of anything) were respectful.

Apparently, some ballsy thieves broke into Line Burns's car and stole sweaters and other memorabilia gathered on Monday during the funeral for the former hockey coach and legend.

Read more from the Montreal Gazette RIGHT HERE

It's unfortunate that she left the 30 odd hockey sweaters signed by a multitude of NHL players, picutres and other assorted items in the car, which was parked in front of their home.

Obviously, the items will be tough to sell since they are so unique, but that also makes them very valuable. Hopefully police will find them and square this away. Pat Burns was a hockey legend and the items taken belong and need to be with the family.

DEVELOPING: Pegula To Buy Sabres...???

((HT: WIVB-TV Buffalo))

Right now, depending on who you believe, the Buffalo Sabres may be headed from the hands of Tom Golisano to Terrence Pegula. The Hockey News is reporting it, but the Sabres are not...

Here's Channel 4's early report...

Terrence Pegula founded East Resources, an independent oil and gas producer based in Pennsylvania. The company was sold last summer for nearly $5 billion.

Pegula was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and recently donated $88 million to Penn State to help fund a new hockey program and arena.

Tom Golisano pulled the franchise out of bankruptcy for $92 million in 2003.

WGRZ-TV caught up with Sabres players to catch their vibe on the whole thing...

More when we know more...

Happy 17th Birthday Jacksonville Jaguars...will you see many more?

The Crew at the Hyatt Bar-Dan flew back w/team
A good friend of mine reminded me what the folks in Jacksonville, Florida celebrate at this time every year. It's something I probably should forget, if for the simple fact that I was in the room when it happened.

That "it" was the announcement on November 30th, 1993 at the Hyatt O'Hare Airport hotel. That announcement was that the city of Jacksonville was getting an NFL football team.

At the time, I was still a struggling relative youngster in the TV business, and the story about the city of Jacksonville trying to get a team pretty much consumed my life for oh...a good six months or so. A non-stop slew of stories, most with Investigative reporter/football fan Michael Dillin on the group trying to get the team and at the time, how badly they were bungling the attempt.

They eventually, got the money man they needed, Wayne Weaver, to take control and they figured out how to get sentiment on their side with a creative marketing plan that tapped hard into the local media.

Still, they were on the outside looking in.

The 1st expansion meeting took place in early October. That's when Charlotte got their team. The owner's could come to an agreement on the other, due to the fact that all the remaining cities and groups had some holes in their presentations. Yes, we were there. And we left wondering if or what would happen.

We went back. Seven of us. Me, Jeff Imperial, Michael, Sports Dude Dan Hicken, Field Producer Mo Gordon...Rex Wells and Merle Metts drove up the Satellite Truck.

We knew something might be up the minute we walked into the hotel. A few of the reporters recognized us and said something to the extent of "Good Luck, we hear this may be a good trip for you". We all looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders.

A little later, we got an opportunity to interview the potential ownership group and someone from the NFL and we knew something was up. We didn't know what, but things were different than our last visit.

That next morning, the day of the meeting and vote was a blur. From Jeff finding the NFL Properties guy walking with a helmet to Michael and I finding both a Jacksonville and St. Louis background in the press announcement room...something was up.

It was around 1 or 1:30 in the afternoon when we knew. Dan was live on TV, turned and saw the Jacksonville group heading into the announcement room. He yelled at them "Did we get it?". Deron Cherry, a minority owner and the others, turned slightly, gave a "Thumbs Up" and walked into the room. From there it was on.

6 hours later, we finally shut the cameras down for the day. 6 hours later, we didn't realize what had happened. We finally got to sleep around 1am. We were on a plane out of O'Hare at 6am that morning and were carted directly to a rally with 40,000 people at the football stadium. Again...all a blur.

We wish the Jaguars a happy 17th birthday. We hope for the city and area's sake, that they have many, many more.

Here is a story that I did on the 1st Anniversary of the announcement. Yes, I shot an interview with a really old and somewhat scary version of myself too.

This is why the NCAA has agent problems...

Teague Egan and friend/Courtesy: Mel Melcon-latimes.com
((ht: latimes.com))

Wow! If you ever wondered how the agent and compliance issue in the NCAA became such a problem, we now have a shining example as to why.

We stumbled across this fascinating and incredibly scary story that explains how a 22-year old USC student got certified to be an agent by the NFL Players Association. The kids name is Teague Egan and he gladly proclaims his goal is to "Represent every USC Player about to turn pro".

Egan has already gotten USC running back Dillon Baxter suspended for a game and according to the article has the USC compliance office completely freaked out.

Read the excellent TJ Simers story from the LA Times RIGHT HERE

The first question this story raises is this: Why would the NFLPA certify this kid as an agent? Things like this would explain some of the issues currently dogging the NCAA and their eligibility requirements. You can't have a kid like this existing and expect a school to stay in compliance. It will never happen.

The whole college player/agent issue is already out of hand and nobody seems to be in a hurry to fix it. Certainly some form of cooperation between the NCAA and the NFLPA about issues such as the ones raised in this article would be a good start. But there is no indication either side is even willing to talk about it.

So in the meantime the corruption of the system continues. College football, while being our favorite sport of all, has gotten more and more corrupt as the years go by. It's all about the money. All about the money for the people who run bowl games. All about the money for the NCAA. All about the money for the schools and their marketing departments and all about the money for the coaches. The ones who get screwed are the players who don't make any money from anything. Unless they meet or have a Teague Egan on their campus, something that we are beginning to think, many of them do.

Here's the most appropriate video we could think of, courtesy of SoulTrain and YouTube:

Drew Brees wins Sportsman of the year: We Agree

Drew Brees/Courtesy: SI.com
I'm not sure we could think of a better candidate this year if we tried. Really, think about it. The guy is not only a Saint on the field, in New Orleans, he's a Saint off of it too.

In no short order, he made the Saints relevant. Heck, he got them a Super Bowl win. More importantly, he's embedded himself in the culture and fabric of a not-too long ago wrecked city. He's helped give a city without hope, hope.

Are we saying he's a miracle man? No. But we are saying that he's the true definition of a "Leader". He's the guy on his team who sets the tone. He's the guy who makes them tick. And, quite honestly, he's the guy, who if he chose to do it, would be voted the Mayor of the City....if he wanted to do it.

Here's the video story from the people who choose this, Sports Illustrated:

Derek Anderson doesn't think he's funny....

He doesn't think the reporter asking him why he was laughing on the sidelines is funny either.

Here's the scene setter. Last night's Monday night football game 49ers vs. Anderson's Cardinals. The Cardinals basically lay an egg, losing 27-6. Sometime late in the game, Anderson, the quarterback, was caught on camera, talking to one of his offensive lineman and laughing about something he said.

Really, there is nothing wrong with that. There is no law that says if you are losing you must have your morose, sad, depressing face on for the entirety of the game. However, during the post-game press conference, long-time Cardinals beat writer Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, asked Anderson about it. Rather than ignore the question. Anderson gets...well...he gets a bit upset.

Here's your video, thanks to our friends at KTVK-TV in Phoenix:

Nightside: TCU Joins Big East

Your postgame presser update...

"Having BCS automatic-qualifying status was a priority for our football program and a great reward for the success we've had the last decade," TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte said through a prepared statement.

The Big East will be the fourth conference for TCU since the Southwest Conference broke apart after the 1995 season and the Frogs weren't among the Texas schools that became part of the Big 12.

TCU was in the WAC from 1996-2000 before going to Conference USA for four seasons and then joining the Mountain West in 2005.

Here's team coverage from our friends at Fox4 in the Metroplex- which includes an interview with Del Conte himself...
((HT: MyFoxDFW.com))

And from our friends at WFAA-TV...
Jim Douglas is outdoors...

It's Your "Atlanta Is In Trouble As An NHL Town" Post Again...

((HT: Sports Radio 1290 Winnipeg/Illegal Curve))

But this time it comes from NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, who was a guest of the "Illegal Curve Radio Show" in Winnipeg the other day...

Remember Winnipeg...?

The city that could use an NHL franchise more than a half-dozen US towns at the moment...

Here's what Daly said:

“I would acknowledge that Atlanta historically has been a difficult sports market, and I can’t exactly put my finger on it as to why that’s been the case. You make good points when you point to the fact that the Atlanta Braves make the playoffs 13 consecutive years in baseball, where it is a little more difficult to make the playoffs. And they are having difficulty selling out their home playoff games, which, you would think in most markets is unheard of. So, Atlanta has proven to be a very difficult market.”

“Again, it might be a situation where the building location isn’t ideal in that market, and if it was built in a different location within the Atlanta Metropolitan location, it might be drawing better. But those are all issues that are important issues, obviously the building is not moving. We’re going to have to look at the long term prospects of that franchise, and if the determination is made that it can’t make it there, and can’t be successful there, then something will have to be done.”

Listen to the interview hyah...

The Thrashers know their core audience won't ever, really, exceed 10,000 or so of the hardcore fans. They're going to have to market themselves a little differently. They get that as well...

But the issue is, and always be, ownership...
Until someone is in place that will spend liberally, the teams Atlanta Spirit monitors will be average to good and nothing more...

The only thing that will bring in the casual fan in Atlanta is winning. Rick Dudley, the HQ is confident, could do that given a budget more fitting the 8th-largest media market in the country.

With Philips Electronics looking to jet from their sponsorship deal for years now- provided they can find a replacement themselves- anything could go very quickly if someone else's name is on the marquee.

Which, the HQ will say for the billionth time, needs to happen...
Either invest or divest and let someone else with deeper pockets and deeper interest take over once and for all...

Oh, the Thrash just won their fifth in a row...
Here's the highlights beating Boston 4-1 Sunday...

Boise State Kicker Getting Death Threats

((HT: KTVB-TV Boise))

Boise State kicker Kyle Brotzman missed two field goal attempts in the loss to Nevada, and as a result, he is catching the inappropriate amount of immature hell from idiots.

Death threats, phone calls, all that crap...

Mark Johnson starts team coverage of the fallout...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Alabama PA Guy Fired Over Newton Song Choices

The University of Alabama has fired the employee who played songs aimed at Cam Newton before the Iron Bowl.

University spokeswoman Debbie Lane said Monday that the part-time staffer was fired for the "unauthorized songs."

Like this one...

And this one...

...were played while Newton and the Tigers warmed up.

Lane said in a statement that all music and videos played in the stadium have to be approved by a senior athletic administrator. She said the staffer didn't get those songs cleared.

Yikes... while funny... it's still a yikes...

Who Wants The Miami Job? Chucky Not Interested?

Will the glory days ever return to the "U" or is 7-5 seasons the norm? With the firing of Randy Shannon the Miami Hurricanes are at a crossroads and finds itself trying to find the right fit for a head coach.

The Jon Gruden to the "U" rumors have been flying but Chucky himself has said he is content with his ESPN gig. Gruden would be nothing but a short term fix for Miami and would serve as an audition for the next NFL job. It would be a great hire but not one that would serve the programs long term interests. Of course I could be wrong.

Miami Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt has a list and these names just might be on it.

Mark Richt - If Richt is going to move on from Georgia this seems to be the time to do it. The Bulldogs have been mediocre at best the last two seasons which hasn't endeared Richt to the fan base. Keep in mind Richt was Jim Kelly's back up as a player at Miami so he's a alum. Richt has had some discipline issues at Georgia recently which might work against him. Bottom line, I would be shocked if Richt bolted Athens for South Beach.

Mike Leach - I know Leach has a big mouth and is a nightmare for his bosses but he his offense just might work for the Hurricanes. Leach's Texas Tech defenses weren't that good but does the same kind of athlete attend Texas Tech compared to Miami? Don't get me wrong, Leach at best would be maybe a third or fourth option but he's a proven coach and would bring some much needed excitement from an apathetic fan base. Does the "U" want to carry his baggage?

Tommy Tuberville - His credentials are tremendous. A winner in the SEC at Auburn. A successful first season at Texas Tech with a 7-5 record. Tuberville spent seven years at the "U" as an assistant coach so he knows the ins and outs of the program. Could Tubs be pried away from Lubbock, Texas after just one season?

Dan Mullen - The guy can coach offense. I think Mullen would be a great hire for Miami. Young coach whose done a tremendous job at Mississippi State. Mullen should get a call.

Gus Malzahn - Hottest assistant coach out there. Kirby Hocutt should have Malzahn's number on his speed dial. A must call.

Brent Ventables - Another assistant coach on many athletic director's list. Lack of head coaching experience will hurt his chances but he's is a known commodity to Hocutt, they were teammates at Kansas State in the early 1990's.

Jim Leavitt - Way to much baggage.

The Rest of TWTW: Va Tech, Nebraska, and Notre Dame

((HT: KOLN/KGIN, Charlottesville Newsplex, WNDU-TV,

Nebraska finds their place in the BCS picture and the Big 12/11/10 Title Game
Insert irony here...

Virginia Tech has no issues with Virginia.
UVA head coach Mike London is already hitting the road for recruiting after a 30-point loss...

Brian Kelly wins at USC and proves just how bad a QB Mitch Mustain really is...

The HQ is sorry, though, that we couldn't bring you Central Mizzou-Abilene Christian highlights from Division II...

TWTW: Iowa Loses To Minnesota...

Wait... what...???

Just when the HQ thought they figured Minnesota out as one of the Bottom of the Barrel... they go and do this...???

What's wrong with this picture...???

Apparently, everything...

Here's your highlights... if you're a Minnesota fan...


((HT: Fanhouse/McMurphy))

So, what does this do for the basketball conference...???
That's really the HQ's first question...

Do all the non-football, Division I-playing schools just go and create their own conference...??? Probably, since it would give the four-day extravaganza another level of unwatchable television.

Georgetown, Providence, St. John's, Marquette, Seton Hall, and Depaul could drift. Does Villanova get promoted to D1...? It would leave basketball with a more manageable 12 or 13 teams if it went that way...

Otherwise, basketball is at 17... and that's too big...

The Horned Frogs will, according to reports, join the league beginning on July 1st, 2012 and begin play in the Big East in the 2012-13 school year. The school has called a 2 p.m. ET press conference to announce it is moving from the Mountain West Conference- as everyone seems to be doing these days.

If Villanova chooses to stay in Division I-AA, Central Florida would be next for the football footprint.

18 anyone...???

More when we know more...

All the above story does is give us an excuse to show TCU's highlights against New Mexico- a game they won 66-17...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hanging Out With A College Football Legend, Plus Signing Books

As you may know OSG Sports is selling a book. It's on the right of your computer screen called 100 Things About The Georgia Bulldogs....

Saturday before Georgia faced and ultimately defeated in state rival Georgia Tech Brother Jon and myself signed copies of our book for those in the Bulldog Nation who purchased our book at the UGA Bookstore right next to Sanford Stadium. For Jon and I it was great to meet and great and personally thank Bulldog fans for purchasing our book which Bulldog fans did in mass quantities, the bookstore ran out of copies. The crowd was large but Jon and I knew our book wasn't that popular. The legend was sitting next to us.

Vince Dooley joined Jon and I signing our book and a variety of books the coach penned including one on gardening. You see Coach Dooley has a green thump as well.

After the introductory handshakes and catching up with Coach Dooley, someone informed coach that he's not on our top 10, he's actually #11 (and a chapter yours truly wrote.) Dooley gave us some good digs on that. All good natured though.

Bulldog fans who revere Coach Dooley had their chance to interact with the legendary coach, even if it was a less than a minute. All felt inclined to share the fondest memories of the Bulldogs and the classy Dooley took it all in and truly loved sharing those memories with the Bulldog nation.

By the way, Coach Dooley and my attention was divided between the fans and the TV to our left showing the Arkansas/LSU game. I'm not sure if Dooley had an interest in the game but for me born and bred in Arkansas I certainly did. Their was a reason I wore my lucky red sweater Saturday (See below). It worked out for both causes.

There was the young woman of college age who informed coach Dooley ever since she was three a poster of his likeness has hung in her room. That news surprised Dooley whose last season on the sidelines was 1988, well before this young Bulldog fan was born.

Perhaps the best moment was a older couple who found a poster of a "Vince Dooley Roast" over 20 years ago in an elevator. They had it framed and have been waiting for an opportunity to give it back to Dooley. Saturday at the UGA Bookstore that couple got that chance. Coach Dooley was very pleasantly surprised. I have a feeling that framed poster will hang in a prominent place in the Dooley household.

When we finished Vince Dooley asked Jon and I to sign separate copies of our book. Talk about putting me on the spot, my mind went blank. My first thought was he should be signing my copy (which I forgot.) I wrote a few lines thinking Coach Dooley for his time helping me with the book and what a honor it was to get to know him.

It was a great two hours at the UGA Bookstore. Keep buying the book.

Below is a brief clip of our book signing Saturday with Vince Dooley.

TWTW: Cocks Don't Go Soft Against Clemson


In a game that most certainly had stinker possibilities written all over it, South Carolina QB Stephen Garcia threw for two touchdowns, Alshon Jeffery had his seventh 100-yard receiving game of the year, and 18th-ranked South Carolina posted its third nine-win season ever with a 29-7 victory over rival Clemson

Now all they have to worry about is their rematch with Auburn in the Ess-E-Cee title game in Atlanta next weekend...

Good luck with that...
Here's your highlights of the game that they spotted Clemson a 7-nothing lead before coming back and taking care of business...

Greg and Julio Discuss The Loss

((HT: weagleweagle5))

There, simply, are no words...

My head hurts...
//wait two seconds

TWTW: Hoosiers Win Old Oaken Bucket, Lose Lynch

((HT: Fox 59, Indianapolis))

Indiana University Athletic Director Fred Glass is expected to confirm the firing of football coach Bill Lynch at an afternoon press conference in Bloomington.

The Hoosiers failed to make a bowl game during Lynch's tenure and finished with an overall record of 12-24 record- three of those wins in conference.

Lynch was interim head coach during the 2007 season following the death of then-coach Terry Hoeppner. He came in and led the Hoosiers to a 7-5 regular season record including a dramatic 27-24 victory over Purdue that made them bowl eligible.

The Hoosiers played in the Insight Bowl where they lost to Oklahoma State 49-33.

But true to Hoeppner's mantra, they played 13...

Here's Lynch after winning the Bucket yesterday...

Andre Johnson Does Fantasy Owners No Favors

Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson was having a decent day by fantasy standards, but somehow Tennessee Titans corner Cortland Finnegan got into his head in some severe way.

Evidence below...
((HT: NFL on CBS/Youtube))

Both players were tossed, and the HQ expects that the league office will be putting envelopes in both their lockers demanding some of their financials- perhaps granting both a suspension for a game.

Kinda reminds us of the Andre Rison-Deion Sanders fight in Atlanta...
A little... but theirs was more slap-fight than swinging...
Evidence below...
((HT: Youtube/ESPN))

Clean, Old-Fashioned Meh...

So, what happens when a 5-6 team takes on a 6-5 team...???

One needs a win to become bowl eligible, the other is already bowl eligible and doesn't have their starting quarterback for the rest of the season.

Yep, we're talking Georgia and Georgia Tech. A game that's, traditionally, wacky regardless of records even if this year the two teams are headed to the Independence, Liberty, Fight Hunger, Military, Chick-Fil-A, or BBVA Compass bowls.

Translation: Shreveport, Memphis, Birmingham, Atlanta, DC, San Francisco, or Birmingham- and you're done before New Year's Day.

Both of them...

And in the year that a team like Texas is not even bowl eligible, Georgia was on the verge of being the same for the first time in 14 years. And, rest assured, Mark Richt's leash would be very short for 2011- even shorter than it is now.

Aaron Murray will be a very good QB in the SEC- that's a given if his growth curve continues the way it has. Orson Charles, while identified as a tight end, is more a flanker that will be the security blanket all QB's have. But since they have the history from their time at Tampa-Plant, it's a natural assumption.

They'll need that once AJ Green checks out faster than the Hurricanes told Randy Shannon he was out the door after losing to South Florida in Miami over the weekend. The defense will need to grow with young guys like Abry Jones and Alec Ogletree just as quickly.

Paul Johnson is, admittedly, short-handed after Josh Nesbitt's injury a few weeks ago. Tevin Washington is the new guy under center and he's had to learn on the job. And the offense is a precision-first way to go about life. It takes a special athlete to work in a system that has proven itself to be very successful when done correctly.

Remember, what's the phrase...?

Practice doesn't make perfect.
Perfect practice makes perfect, and that's what you need for that offense.
It has to be perfect for it to work.

So, what does the game come down to...??? Momentum, mistakes, and driving the other guy off the clock. Just like a game where everyone is 9-2 and trying for a bowl game that is a lot later in the bowl season.

Tech was down twice by 14- once in the first and once again in the fourth and came back both times. Tech ended up with 512 total yards of offense, Georgia had 425. Both teams had 95 yard scoring drives.

But Tech turned the ball over four times- three of them fumbles. Georgia also had four fumbles, but only lost two of them.

Mark Richt is now 9-1 in his first ten games against Tech- the most lopsided edge in a ten game stretch since 1947 to 1956.

Aaron Murray completed six of his first seven passes two for scores to a vastly-improved Kris Durham and the other to security blanket Orson Charles. He finished the first half going 11-of-14 for 220. Tech's Anthony Allen, on the other hand, finished with 166 yards rushing, mostly up the middle of the Georgia defense.

What did we say about youth on defense for UGA...?
And athletes on the edge for Tech's defense...?

But there were two signature moments late...

The first was when Tech came back to trail 35-34 in the fourth, but kicker Scott Blair missed his point-after in 78 tries as a Yellow Jacket.

The joke is an easy one there: Who does he think he is...? Kyle Brotzman...???

That made it 35-34 and, going unnoticed by a lot of people initially, gave Paul Johnson the idea to let Georgia's Washaun Ealey score unchallenged so Tech could get the ball back with a little over a minute to go. The Tech offense wouldn't have had the chance to come back from 8 down otherwise.

A lot of you will point to the incompleted pitch from Tevin Washington that Justin Houston ran home from 18 yards away toward the end of the third quarter, but two stops by the Tech defense and the UGA offense reinforced the comeback in the fourth.

Georgia's season collapsed when AJ Green sold his jersey and they couldn't beat a horrific Colorado team in Boulder.

Which one of the teams fired its coach this season...???

Tech lost its axle when Nesbitt was lost...

And that's what the margins of error are these days in Division One- big boy college football. If one thing goes wrong at a skill position, mediocrity awaits...


But, Georgia fans, there is hope. Carver-Columbus running back Isaiah Crowell was there in his UGA hat and matching pullover.

No word on if he hugged Mark Richt after this win, though...

2010 Iron Bowl: Survive And Advance

Walking towards Bryant-Denny Stadium on the Tuscaloosa campus, it seemed neither side wanted to acknowledge there was a game going on.

Alabama fans had a sense of dread as if they were getting their ass haded to them and staring at a three-loss (gasp) season at the end of Friday afternoon. Auburn fans were going into the game feeling that, since they were the underdog, they must be the underdog after all.

There wasn't any smack talk on the boulevard. There were just merchants trying to sell "Scam Newton" and "Got Laptops? Cam Does" t-shirts.

By the way, the HQ now has a few of those for Festivus gifts.
They were on special after the game...

But when you see Mark Ingram run for nine without being touched, when Julio Jones is left to run free in a two-deep zone as corners think safeties are there for support and vice versa, and when Darius Hanks catches a 15-yard fade that everyone could see was going to work, it a 21-0 lead that took all of 17 minutes to put on the board.

Full disclosure... I went as a civilian this year. TBH got tickets in the endzone and I went since I had never gone in that capacity. It was wet. It was cold. And I couldn't get a cell signal out to save my life.

And when the lead was that big for Alabama, TBH wondered if the beating was going to be worse than the one in Tommy Tuberville's last year- 36-zip.

But it wasn't...

I reminded her that her team had been a second-half team all year- all 32 games they've played in, they've trailed. There were a half-dozen games where the Tigers/Plainsmen/War Eagles had trailed in the fourth quarter and had escaped. They were also getting two defensive starters back after they had thrown punches in the UGA game and had to sit out the first half. All the depth you would have had in the first half would be there in the second half.

But the two marquee defensive plays in the first 30 minutes, the Nelson punchout and the Nick Fairley bench press/fumble recovery, kept the team hanging around. Emory Blake caught the TD pass in the first half with all the confidence his father had on some Sundays as a quarterback ((Remember "throw up a moon ball and hope someone in the same colored jersey runs under it?")).

They got the ball at the start of the second half, and made the most of it. Terrell Zachery was the lucky recipient of an overplay in the Bama secondary to make it 24-14, and all the yards that Greg McElroy threw for in the first-half (something short of eleventy-billion), didn't mean a thing.

He threw for thirty-something yards in the second half before he was suplexed by Tasharvin Bell in a way that would have made Chris Benoit proud. From that moment on, McElroy thought he was Scott Hunter and wanted his mommy.

Evidence below...
((HT: SEC on CBS/youtube))

((HT: WWE/youtube))

McElroy didn't get to finish- that was left to AJ McCarron. And we found out why he was a redshirt freshman who signalled in plays instead of ran them. Especially after getting his ass slapped and his ears chewed in the Miss State game by Nick Saban.

But the defensive adjustments made by Ted Roof and the staff were top notch in a season where there have been two ways Auburn had to win- come from behind and make Vegas mad, or outscore everyone and make Vegas money.

As all the Crimson people were leaving, it turned into a blue-and-orange celebration. All of the Bama fans were left with was a bunch of expletive-laden retorts on their way to a weekend's worth of sulk. For every win that the Tide thinks is "bought and paid for," all the Auburn fans had to do was point to a scoreboard. But it wouldn't be that simple, would it...???

It's a game where families are divided. It's a game where middle school principals wander over to former students on their way to concession stands and make fun of their allegiances. And, on the next play when things go south, the father of the student makes a point to race to the stairwell and offer an answer to the question previously posed.

None of it clean... for the next 365 days...

It's where Auburn fans sit next to Alabama fans and send their index fingers as close to their seatmates and second-guess their neighbor. It's a game where your color choice is looked at as nothing short of Goodwill-bought and there is never any Goodwill sold.

And the land where there is nothing short of a Paul Bryant Drive will make a point to reinforce that every coach on the staff should be drawn and quartered, after being shot and killed and not a moment before.

Monday will be a fun day... for half a state, anyway... because some coaches, probably, will...

Kirby Smart and Joe McElwain are looking for work...
And so is Nick Saban, but we aren't supposed to know that yet...

Right, Pawwwwlllll...??????

TWTW: Kansas Continues Playing Badly, Losing To Mizzou 35-7

((HT: NBCActionnews.com/KSHB-TV))

Blaine Gabbert directed scoring drives on 15th-ranked Missouri's first two possessions leading the Tigers to a 35-7 victory over Kansas in the 119th renewal of college football's second-oldest rivalry.

De'Vion Moore scored two touchdowns for the Tigers are now 10-2/6-2 in the Big 12/11/10. Nebraska's victory over Colorado made it impossible for the Tigers to finish higher than second in the Big 12 North.

The Jayhawks, now 3-9/1-7, have now lost 16 of 19 after opening 2009 with five straight wins.

Lance Veeser is sitting at the adult table...

TWTW: Utah Holds Off BYU 17-16

((HT: KSL-TV Salt Lake City))

Brandon Burton came around the edge and blocked a 42-yard field goal attempt by BYU's Mitch Payne as time expired to lift the Utes to a heart-stopping 17-16 come-from-behind victory over BYU on Saturday in front of 45,272 fans at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake.

Rod Zundel gets his time in front of his new-fangled green screen...

Video Courtesy of KSL.com

Canes limp home, Randy Shannon gets fired....

Randy Shannon/Courtesy: miamiherald.com
It was inevitable. The rumors had been circulating most of the day on Saturday. The empty seats in Sun-Life stadium and the lifeless performance of the "U" against South Florida re-enforced it. It was time to change coaches.

Randy Shannon got four years to turn the University of Miami back into the power that they imagine themselves to be. It didn't happen. So he was fired Saturday night.

More from the Miami Herald RIGHT HERE

Shannon went 28-22 in his 4-years. Not exactly earth shattering. Though for some strange reason, the school gave him a 4-year extension on his contract before this 7-5 season even started. To buy that out will cost them some money. But that's what big time schools who think they are something they are not do.

This is the first, well with Robbie Caldwell's resignation, actually the second coaching opening of the Carousel season. Usually that season starts after conference championship games. Not this year. No word on the suspects in line for the gig, though we bet that this years wonderkind, Jim Harbaugh will be among them.

The "Official" press conference will be Sunday afternoon to announce this.

J-DUB UPDATE 10:30am: Shannon's offensive line coach, Jeff Stoutland, will take over as interim 'Canes coach through the bowl game, according to the Associated Press.

And there's more: The rampant speculation has already begun. Those who's job it is to throw random names are throwing Jon Gruden and possibly Georgia Head Coach and Miami grad Mark Richt as potential contenders. Expect anyone who's ever had success as a college coach short of Joe Paterno and Nick Saban and maybe Gene Chizik to have their name bandied about.

In the meantime, here is some discussion on it from our pals at ESPN:

TWTW: NC State Screws Up ACC Title Hopes Losing To Maryland

((HT: WRALSportsfan.com))

Danny O'Brien threw for a career-high 417 yards with four touchdowns to Torrey Smith. Maryland kept North Carolina State out of the ACC championship game by winning 38-31.

The Wolfpack, now 8-4/5-3, scored on their first two possessions to take a 14-0 lead. But the Terrapins, also now 8-4/5-3, rallied behind O'Brien, who made up for a running game that finished with negative yardage.

North Carolina State ends up in a second-place tie with Maryland behind Florida State, who faces Virginia Tech in the ACC championship game on December 5th.

Wolfpack coach Tom O'Brien, when asked, said about the loss: "They're really crushed. I don't think they fully comprehend what a great year they've really had, when you look at eight wins, the history of our school and how many times it's been done."

Especially when a lot of us thought NC State wouldn't be worth a flip-and-a-half.

Jason Jennings watched the end of the end...

TWTW: Sooners Survive Bedlam Over OSU

((HT: Newsok.com/Carlson))

Let's face it...

The last four minutes of the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game were the exact personification of the entire series...

No one can stop the other- even if they damn well tried. And when you thought everything was under control, it wasn't.

40 points were scored in the final 15 minutes- including a stretch where 20 points were scored in a minute and thirty-two seconds.

As a result, it means that there's a three-way tie for the Big 12/11/10 South title. When the Bee-Cee-Ess comes out this afternoon, the highest-rated team wins the tiebreaker. In all probability, it means that OU faces Nebraska in the title game in a conference that Nebraska wants nothing to do with after this year.

We once again are showing a bundled-up Jenni Carlson and Jake Trotter to analyze...

TWTW: Arkansas Makes Their BCS Case Over LSU

((HT: KTHV-TV Little Rock))

Ryan Mallett threw for 320 yards and three TD's as 12th-ranked Arkansas won 31-23 over 6th-ranked LSU.

Mallett was 13 of 23 passing and had touchdown passes of 85, 80 and 39 yards for the Razorbacks (now 10-2/6-2 in the SEC). They won their sixth straight game and finished second in the SEC West.

Mallett now has 60 touchdown passes in two seasons at Arkansas.

LSU (now 10-2/6-2), which was outgained 462-299 by Arkansas, never led. Jordan Jefferson passed for 174 yards and ran for 39 for the Tigers.

Here's your highlights...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

BREAKING: Robbie Caldwell done at Vanderbilt after today - with UPDATE

Robbie Caldwell/Courtesy: Jae S. Lee/The Tennessean
Robbie Caldwell got his shot at being a head coach. It lasted a year. Caldwell stepped in when former coach Bobby Johnson resigned over the summer. He will resign effective Sunday.

For Caldwell, a life-long assistant it was finally a chance to have his own team. Unfortunately for him, that team was Vanderbilt and they are 2-9 going into their final game against 2-9 Wake Forest.

The Tennessean talks about what is going on in Nashvegas RIGHT HERE

There are plenty of names out there on the carousel waiting to get off. However, the tough part will be getting them to Nashville's West End. Sure, it's a really cool city (we lived there from 1995-1999), but the team has been an SEC doormat for many, many years.

Bobby Johnson got them some much needed respectability. The challenge for Vandy will be finding someone else willing to put in that kind of effort.

UPDATE 8:10pm: WGFX 104.5FM's George Plaster is saying Navy offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper is the leading candidate to replace Caldwell. At one time, Plaster said Jasper would be hired within 48 hours, but has since backed off that statement. Read more from Plaster HERE.

You can also here Plaster's audio report HERE.

UPDATE 9:54pm: According to the Annapolis Capitol and HometownAnnapolis.com, Navy S.I.D. Scott Strasemeier says that no one from Vanderbilt has approached him in any way to ask for permission to talk with Jasper or any other coach from the Naval Academy. Read more from Annapolis HERE.

Broncos Video team investigated for possible "Spygate" part 2....With Update

Josh McDaniels and Kyle Orton/Courtesy: chargingbolts.com
If you don't know what I'm talking about, then think back to 2007 when the Video guys from the New England Patriots were accused of video taping the opposing teams coaching signals. It was called "Spygate" and everyone from the NFL to Senator Arlen Spector was investigating and looking for someone's head.

With that in mind, we get word today that the Denver Broncos, coached by former Patriots assistant Josh McDaniels, are being investigated for something remarkably similar. Oh, the head of video who's currently on leave because of the investigation, Steve Scarnecchia, he used to work for the Patriots too.

Read the whole story from the Denver Post RIGHT HERE

The specifics of this have something to do with the Broncos game against San Francisco earlier this year in London.

This may or may not turn out to be truthful, it's still be investigated by the NFL. But, it sure doesn't smell very good for the Broncos. Or more specifically, the ex-New England connection. McDaniels, has already struggled in his tenure with the team and with the lack of results, may find himself out of a job very, very soon.

Updated 1pm on Saturday the 28th--per Bob Glauber of the Newsday and others on Twitter:

BREAKING: NFL announces Josh McDaniels fined $50k for not reporting taping of 49ers’ Oct. 30 practice. NFL says McDaniels didn't view tapes.

TWTW: Oregon Survives Early Scare, Beats Arizona

((HT: KVAL-TV Eugene))

Oregon earned at least a share of its second-straight Pac-10 title and stayed on course for a trip to the BCS national championship game.

Darron Thomas passed for 148 yards and three scores and ran for one more. LaMichael James ran for 126 yards and two scores for the Ducks, now 11-0/8-0, who trailed 19-14 at halftime.

"Yeah, we finally get to eat turkey," Oregon cornerback and return specialist Cliff Harris said.

The Ducks have only won 11 games in a season once before, when they went to the Fiesta Bowl in 2001.

The Ducks can lock up the conference title and a spot in the national championship game in Glendale, Arizona, next week with a victory at Oregon State.

Here's your recap... Nick Krupke, apparently, never gets to go outside...

TWTW: Tide Beats Auburn In One Half, Loses Bigger In The Other

((HT: WVTM-TV Birmingham))

The HQ will have it's individual recollections of the game in a bit, but when you hold Alabama to 67 total yards and thre first downs in the second half of the Iron Bowl game, there's a good chance you'll win.

Auburn did, but they had to come from 24-0 down to do it in the first place.

Time to catch up with Gene Chizik again...

More in a bit...

Broncos BCS Dreams Busted In Reno, Nevada Upsets Boise State 34-31

Take Boise State out of the BCS equation.

After roaring out to a 17-0 midway through the second quarter the Broncos offense slumped. Boise State could only manage seven points on the Nevada defense in regulation.

Couple that with the Nevada offense, led by quarterback Colin Kaepernick catching fire and you have a game that ended in an overtime thriller.

Anthony Martinez hit the game winning 34 yard field goal in overtime to win it.
Joe Tessitore is the one who gets excitedly dramatic...
((HT: Youtube/ESPN))

Here's Coach Pete, thanks to our friends at KTVB-TV in Boise

And here's Kellen Moore...

Here's a post game report (Thanks KTVN-TV Reno, Nevada)

Friday, November 26, 2010

With Aggie Victory Texas Has A Losing Season And No Bowl

The season from hell is officially over for the Texas Longhorns. Texas A&M's 24-17 win over the 'Horns assured a 5-7 season for the boys in burnt orange and won't be playing in some kind of corporate sponsored bowl this December or January.

"It's not our standard at all." Texas head coach Mack Brown said.

No it's not the Texas way. The last time the Longhorns had a losing season John Mackavic was run out of Austin and Mack Brown was brought in.

"I've learned I don't like losing." Brown said. "It's been 20 years since I haven't been to a bowl.

Meanwhile Texas A&M are relevant again.

"You don't want to be irrelevant, we have had some tough seasons the last couple of years and it kind of puts you out of things." Aggie quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. "We have been focused on winning the whole time and this year we were able to turn it around and this is exciting for our program."

The 'Horns couldn't stop Cyrus Gray who gained 223 yards and two touchdowns. That performance was the best by an Aggie running back against Texas in the long history of the rivalry.

"I can't say enough about him." Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman said. "It is fun to watch him because he does things he has never done before each time he steps out on the field. He has tremendous humility and respect for his teammates in spite of his own tremendous talents."

Texas A&M has a chance to go to a BCS bowl but its a long shot. Should Oklahoma defeat Oklahoma State in the Bedlam game then the Aggies would share the Big 12 South title but the tiebreaking system is based on BCS standings and that might do the Aggies in.

Here's a game report from John Hygh of My Fox Austin. (Thanks KTBC-TV Austin)

Photos Courtesy: AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Karen Warren and AP Photo/Eric Gay

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Heimerdinger to coach Sunday, even after Cancer diagnosis....

Mike Heimerdinger and Randy Moss/Courtesy: George Walker IV-tennessean.com
Believe it or not. If you are looking for a way to get a football team inspired. This probably would be a good way to do it.

Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger was diagnosed with cancer earlier this week. He and the Titans declined to be more specific than that. Heimerdinger will begin chemotherapy treatment on Monday. But not before he travels to Houston and coaches his offense against the Texans.

Read the original story on Heimerdinger when his diagnosis was announced,  from The Nashville Tennssean RIGHT HERE 

Heimerdinger didn't want to talk about his decision, but here is the follow up story from today RIGHT HERE

Thankfully, he consulted with his doctors before making this decision. Heimerdinger, who is in his second stint with the Titans is widely respected by his players and in coaching circles. In fact, he is very close with Texans coach Gary Kubiak, who he'll be going up against on Sunday.

Hopefully, the chemo won't keep him down long. The Titans are still in the playoff hunt and need him to be there and coaching. But the most important thing is his health. He knows that and the team knows that. We wish him well.

DEVELOPING: Alinghi Out For America's Cup 2013

Former America's Cup champ Alinghi of Switzerland won't try to win it back the next time the trophy is up for grabs- 2013.

Alinghi spokesman Paco Latorre said the syndicate will skip the 34th America's Cup, and focus on a series that races 40-foot catamarans.

"After a careful evaluation of the protocol and other initiatives taken by the American Defender and its Challenger of Record, Alinghi considers that the existing conditions make it impossible for the team to participate in the 34th America's Cup," Latorre said in a statement.

Owned by Swiss tycoon Ernesto Bertarelli, Alinghi won the America's Cup in 2003 and successfully defended it in 2007, but they were beaten in two straight races by San Francisco-based BMW Oracle Racing off Valencia, Spain, in the 33rd America's Cup last February.

Larry Ellison and Bertarelli fought in the courts for two-and-a-half years trying to determine the rules of the race... all of the rules...

Here's Race 2 and the clincher from last time...
((HT: youtube))

MTSU And Evansville Hoops Play For First Time

((HT: WKRN-TV Nashville))

Wednesday night marked the first-ever meeting of Middle Tennessee and the Evansville Purple Aces in men's college hoops.

The two teams were originally supposed to play in December of 1977, in Murfreesboro, but the game never happened, since on December 13th, the plane carrying Evansville's team went down just after taking off for Nashville.

The crash killed all 29 people on board, including 14 team members and head coach Bobby Watson.

The Bob Mueller story is found hyah...

Here's a story from the Evansville Courier and Press and how one Illinois town dealt with the loss of their hometown players...

Chris Henry's Legacy Lives On

((HT: NFL on CBS/CBSSports.com))

Despite his personal issues and/or demons, the violent death of Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry was tragic last year.

The impact of his passing has been felt by a lot of other surrounding families in the Carolinas because of Henry's mother's decision to donate his organs for transplantation.

This is two things: required viewing and a hankie alert...
A well-put together piece that reminds us of all that we need to be thankful for...

Coyotes Still Looking For A Mid-December Deal

((HT: Arizona Republic, Sanders))

One of the prospective owners in the Phoenix Coyotes wanna-be group that would bring stability to the Desert has spoken about where the deal is...

According to them, it's "all up to Glendale."

George Peinado, visiting Glendale to kick the tires, is managing director at Chicago private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners and lives about a mile from Matthew Hulsizer- the primary in this case. The group is still looking for an asking price of about US$160-million, and has sent some ideas back to the NHL for a look-over and tweak.

Peinado admitted to Sanders that the "business side needs some help." The group, if approved, would leave the hockey side of things alone.

From Sanders:

Glendale could call a special meeting with 24 hours' notice to vote on a lease, or at a regularly scheduled public meeting. The next one is Dec. 14.

Peinado said the lease agreement expected next month with Glendale will be a final draft, unlike agreements the city negotiated before. Reinsdorf and Ice Edge both presented outlines of lease terms to the City Council for a vote, intending to work out final details afterward.

More when we know more...

Mike Leach Suing Four-Letter And Pee-Ahr Firm

((HT: KCBD-TV Lubbock))

In an effort to clear his name... since it has been sullied so...

The HQ has chronicled the back-and-forth between Craig James and former Texas Tech head football coach Mike Leach.

Leach sued both Texas Tech and James back last year. Leach was fired in December 2009 amid allegations that he didn't treat James' son Adam like a normal human being- a few days shy of the university having to pay a performance bonus as part of Leach's contract in Lubbock. Leach has always denied what James has asserted.

Leach's local attorney, Ted Liggett, says the reasons behind the lawsuit against ESPN and a Craig James-hired Pee-Ahr firm- Spaeth Communications- are easy to see. Despite sworn testimony from Adam James stating Leach never locked him in that electrical closet we all saw him in, ESPN provided "misinformation and comments to the contrary."

The James' family attorney, Scott McLaughlin, told KCBD:

"I think it's consistent really with what he's done all along, and that he is trying to find someone to blame for his own conduct." McLaughlin continues, "He needs to man up and accept responsibility for what he did and try to move on instead of blaming everybody around."

Spaeth is being fingered by Leach as the group that released the Adam James video to Youtube in the first place...

The HQ would also remind the Leach's defense team that all they really need to do is find the four-letter broadcast of a bowl game from 2009 where James and, we think Bob Davie, kinda forgot the word "allegedly" in their discussion of the topic...

Here's NewsChannel 11's coverage- actually, part of it...

The court documents are hyah...

A Turkey gets it's revenge on a Philadelphia area soccer team...

((ht: yahoo sports))

And yeah, it's as funny as you'd think it would be. Somehow a wild turkey got loose on the field at Tulpehocken Junior High School near Philadelphia. For whatever reason, the turkey got aggressive, chasing various girls soccer team members.

That's when the hilarity ensued. With this video in mind. Those of us at the OnlineSportsGuys; me-Brother Phil, Brother Jon, Brother Wilkie and Brother J-Dub wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving...and think about this video while you are eating today.

First Successful woman's boxer Christy Martin stabbed and shot by husband...

Christy and Jim Martin/Courtesy: tom burton-orlando sentinel
This isn't good. 42-year old Christy Martin who gained notoriety for being the first successful woman's boxer back in the early 1990's is in a hospital after an apparently nasty incident involving her husband.

Police say that Jim Martin was shot and stabbed by Jim Martin in their Apopka, Florida home. She apparently managed to get out of the house and flag down a passing motorist who called 9-1-1.

Read more from the Orlando Sentinel RIGHT HERE

Police apparently are still looking for Jim Martin and say that they were called to the couple's home twice on Tuesday.

Christy had not given up the fight game, her last fight was a little over a year ago. The couple ran a boxing gym in the Apopka area.

Purdue Women's basketball player gets meningitis

Drey Mingo/Courtesy: confessionsofasportsjunkie.com
Junior forward Drey Mingo is suffering from acute bacterial meningitis and the team is taking no chances. Mingo is resting comfortably in a West Lafayette, Indiana hospital with coaches and teammates around for support.

The team isn't sure where or how Mingo got the infection, but not wanting to take any chances, they cancelled a trip this week to Cancun, Mexico for a holiday basketball tournament.

Read more from Indystar.com RIGHT HERE

Mingo, a transfer from Maryland, is one of the teams best players is going to out of action for some time. The infection, though not highly communicable is capable of being passed from one person to another, thus the isolation and holding the team back from traveling.

We wish Mingo the best and hope that she recovers and is able to play again for the Lady Boilermakers. Try and enjoy the holiday as best you can.