What to Watch Thurs. 1/1 – Sun. 1/4

All times are Pacific

Thursday January 1st

Goodyear Cotton Bowl: Baylor vs Michigan State – 9:30am ESPN: Oh lord is this one going to be good.

Tottenham vs Chelsea – 11:30am NBCSN: Probably the best match up of the day.

Winter Classic: Chicago Blackhawks at Washington Capitals – 10am (ish): Sun may delay the start of this game. Damn ball of fire lighting and heating the Earth.

Rose Bowl: Oregon vs Florida State – 2pm (ish) ESPN: We can only hope that this Playoff lives up to the hype. This should be the better of the two Playoff games.

Sugar Bowl: Ohio State vs Alabama – 5:30pm (ish) ESPN: Part two of the Playoff.


Friday January 2nd

Tax Slayer Bowl: Iowa vs Tennessee – 12:20pm ESPN: Tennessee is one of the up and coming teams for 2015. Iowa is a tough test with their traditional hard nosed style.

Valero Alamo Bowl: UCLA vs Kansas State – 3:45pm ESPN: This game has a tradition of being one that you don’t want to miss. This should be no exception.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Pittsburgh Penguins – 4pm NHL GameCenter: Two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

Toronto Raptors at Golden State Warriors – 7:30pm NBA League Pass: It’s the top team in the East vs the top team in the Pacific.


Saturday January 3rd

Baylor at Oklahoma – 1pm ESPNU: One of the few TOp 25 match ups in College Basketball over the long Holiday season.

Montreal Canadiens at Pittsburgh Penguins – 4pm NHL GameCenter: Man is this a tough stretch for the Pens.

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers – 5:15pm NBC: This game is always a street fight.

UFC 182: Jones vs Cormier – 7pm PPV: Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier hate each other. And that might be too light of a word. Oh, and our man Cowboy Cerrone is on the card too.


Sunday January 4th

Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts – 10am CBS: Someone has to win which will be a change of pace for both of these teams in the Playoffs.

UNLV at Kansas  – 1:30pm CBS: UNLV upset Arizona at home but this might be too much for the Runnin Rebels.

Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys – 1:40pm FOX: We’ll, like we said, somebody has to win.

Nashville Predators at Anaheim Ducks – 5pm NHL GameCenter: One could argue that the Predators are the best team in the league.Point of fact, the Ducks ARE the best team as far as points go.


What to Watch Fri. 12/26- Sun. 12/28

All times are Pacific

Friday December 26th

Quick Lane Bowl: Rutgers vs North Carolina – 1:30pm ESPN: This game is a question of which teams defense is only just awful as opposed to horrendously bad.

Houston Rockets at Memphis Grizzlies – 5pm NBA TV: The teams are a combined 41-14 in late December.

Saturday December 27th

Georgetown vs Indiana – 9am ESPN2: Teams may not be ranked but there is a lot of history between those two programs and it’s at Madison Square Garden.

Hyundai Sun Bowl: Arizona State vs Duke – 11am CBS: It’s the only bowl game CBS does for whatever reason. Both teams are a very talented 9-3 and this game should be close throughout.

Kentucky at Louisville – 11am ESPN2: It’s #1 vs #4 oh and it’s an in state rivalry. There are more storylines here than Santa’s reindeer.

Toronto Raptors at LA Clippers – 12:30pm NBA League Pass: The top team from the east heads to one of the top teams in the west.

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl: Nebraska vs USC – 5pm ESPN: Nebraska is without a head coach which means guys are playing to impress the incoming staff. USC is in a better place than they were a year ago.

LA Kings at San Jose Sharks – 7pm NBCSN: Teams are in the middle of the pack but sprinkle in the North-South California rivalry and this should be a good, feisty game.

Sunday December 28th

Tottenham vs Manchester United – 4am NBCSN: It’s early but Man U is gaining form quickly.

San Diego Chargers at KC Chiefs – 10am CBS: Chargers are in the drivers seat for a wild card spot. Meanwhile the Chiefs are going to have to do it without QB Alex Smith.

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons – 1:25 CBS: Winner gets the NFC South title and hosts a playoff game.

Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers – 1:25pm FOX: Winner wins NFC North and hosts a playoff game.

Vancouver Canucks at Anaheim Ducks – 5pm NHL Gamecenter: Two of the top teams out west.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals – 5:30pm NBC: Winner gets a home playoff game and the other goes on the road.


The Silver Lining

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

For many sports fans, Christmas is synonymous with the NBA. The day is almost a celebration of sorts for what the NBA has to offer. It’s biggest stars normally play and one of its most well known franchises, the LA Lakers, have been a fixture on the day since forever. While we are busy watching the games, the day also provides us a chance to examine it’s new boss, Adam Silver.

Adam Silver

Adam Silver took over as commissioner in February. During his short tenure he has been faced with some serious issues including the Donald Sterling matter and an op-ed he wrote in the New York Times where he endorsed the legalization of sports gambling in the United States.

Donald Sterling provided a quick proving ground for Mr Silver who acted swiftly and decisively. He banned Mr Sterling for life, fined him and forced the sale of his franchise. It was crisis that Mr Silver couldn’t have handled any better. While not perfect, his moves were decisive and they moved the NBA past this incident as quickly as possible.

Last month Mr Silver wrote an op-ed endorsing the legalization of sports gambling in America. A move that is bold and likely to draw significant push back from various interests. Mr Silver’s motives should be pretty clear, other parts of the world make sports betting very convenient (see the UK) and legalizing it in this country would bring millions to state coffers and probably increase engagement in all sports.

It’s also not like this isn’t already happening with Fantasy Sports. DraftKings.com and others are really just legalized sports betting but since you are not directly betting on games they sidestep just about most legal issues.

Adam Silver has made his presence felt in his short time as commissioner of the NBA. He has been bold, decisive, and unapologetic. He is a breath of fresh air in the era of the ‘my or the highway’ sports leaders like Roger Goodell and Dana White. We can only hope that he proves to be the example of what a commissioner should be moving forward.

What To Watch Sat. 12/20 – Sun. 12/21

All times are PST

Saturday Dec. 20th

Aston Villa vs Manchester United – 7am NBCSN: Its soccer on a Saturday morning.

Ohio State vs North Carolina – 10am CBS: Not a bad basketball game this early in the season.

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl: Utah vs Colorado State – 12:30pm ABC: Solid matchup between a tough Utah team and fantastic Colorado State team. Big issue for CSU, Head Coach just took the Florida job.

SD Chargers at SF 49ers – 5pm CBS/NFL Network: 49ers are out but the Chargers are not.

Sunday Dec. 21st

Liverpool vs Arsenal – 8am NBCSN: Liverpool has been just bad this year but Arsenal hasn’t been much better. In other words, this game could jump start the second half of the year for both clubs.

KC Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers – 10am CBS: The playoffs are on the line in the steel city.

Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys – 1:25pm CBS: The Colts are already in the playoffs and the Cowboys need to win out or risk missing the post-season once again.

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals – 5:30pm NBC: The NFC West will be decided.

Bowl Preview

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

All times are PST

Saturday December 20th

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl: Utah vs Colorado State – 12:30pm ABC: Solid matchup between a tough Utah team and fantastic Colorado State team. Big issue for CSU, Head Coach just took the Florida job.

Tuesday December 23rd

Boca Raton Bowl: Marshall vs Northern Illinois – 3pm ESPN: These two teams are a combined 23-3. It’s also a chance to check out the best QB you may not have heard about, Marshall’s Rakeem Cato.

Saturday December 27th

Hyundai Sun Bowl: Arizona State vs Duke – 11am CBS: It’s the only bowl game CBS does for whatever reason. Both teams are a very talented 9-3 and this game should be close throughout.

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl: Nebraska vs USC – 5pm ESPN: Nebraska is without a head coach which means guys are playing to impress the incoming staff. USC is in a better place than they were a year ago.

Monday December 29th

Autozone Liberty Bowl: Texas A&M vs West Virginia – 11am ESPN: This could be the most exciting Bowl game Or it could totally suck. Either way it’s a Monday afternoon college football game.

Russell Athletic Bowl: Oklahoma vs Clemson – 2:30pm ESPN: Don’t know what to expect here but it has all the makings of a shootout.

Tuesday December 30th

Belk Bowl: Georgia vs Louisville – 3:30pm ESPN: This is one of the best bowl games outside of the Playoff.

Wednesday December 31st

Chik-Fil-A Bowl: Ole Miss vs TCU – 9:30am ESPN: Either TCU takes Ole Miss behind the woodshed or they get faded cause they are left out of the Playoff.

Vizio Fiesta Bowl: Boise St vs Arizona – 1pm ESPN: This game depends on what Arizona team decides to show up.

Thursday January 1st

Goodyear Cotton Bowl: Baylor vs Michigan State – 9:30am ESPN: Oh lord is this one going to be good.

Rose Bowl: Oregon vs Florida State – 2pm (ish) ABC: We can only hope that this Playoff lives up to the hype. This should be the better of the two Playoff games.

Valero Alamo Bowl: UCLA vs Kansas State – 3:45pm ESPN: This game has a tradition of being one that you don’t want to miss. This should be no exception.

Monday January 12th

National Title Game – 5:30pm (ish) ESPN: Let’s see if this is as good as we hope. Also, ESPN is apparently doing it’s ‘Film Room’ again during the game. It was awesome last year.

The Unique Job Of Coaching

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard 

Being a head coach in any professional sport (or major collegiate one) is a tough task. Well paying but still tough task. It’s tough for a laundry list of reasons but one that people do not give a lot of thought to is the speculation that you will lose your tough job sooner rather than later.


In the NFL, Jim Harbaugh and Rex Ryan seem to be the odds on favorite to lose their jobs at the end of the year. Fair or unfair the media, fans and general discourse have already made the decision for their employer.

Is this right? No. Is it unfair? Yes. Would you want your employer to do the same thing to you? Probably not.

However coaching is not like your job. It is not (or at least probably not) like your current position where every decision you make is scrutinized in real time. Where hundreds of millions of dollars rest on your decision, broadcast in HD and meticulously reviewed by pundits the morning after.

Can you imagine your job and your families future being influenced by pundits, 24 news, social media and the Internet? No wonder these folks are being paid so much.

It’s not an easy job but one that is coveted across the board for whatever reason.

What to Watch Fri. 12/12- Sun. 12/14

All times are PST.

Friday December 12th

Portland TrailBlazers at Chicago Bulls – 4:30pm ESPN: Rip CIty visits the Windy City.

LA Kings at Montreal Canadiens – 4:30pm NHL GameCenter: Defending champs will probably not get the red carpet treatment in Montreal.

Chattanooga at New Hampshire – 5pm ESPN2: FCS Playoff Quarterfinal. It’s Friday night football people.

Saturday December 13th

Coastal Carolina at North Dakota State – 9am -ESPN: North Dakota State has won the last three FCS playoff titles. Coastal is a tough test on their way to a possible fourth title.

North Carolina at Kentucky – 9am CBS: UNC vs UK in basketball? Did Christmas come early?

Utah vs Kansas – 12:15pm  ESPN: Not many top 15 matchups on the docket but this is one of them,

Detroit Red Wings at Toronto Maple Leafs – 4pm NHL Network: They went to a shootout in Detroit on Wednesday. Expect the same here.

UFC ON FOX – 5pm FOX: Heavyweights a plenty on this card including Junior Dos Santos, Stipe Miocic, Stefan Struve, Matt Mitrione, and Alistair Overeem.

Sunday December 14th

Manchester United vs Liverpool – 5:30am NBCSN: It’s a classic matchup despite the teams not being so classic right now.

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns – 10am FOX: Playoff spots are on the line….oh and Johnny Manziel is starting at QB for the Browns.

Green Bay Packers at Buffalo Bills – 10am FOX: Green Bay is unbeatable at home but could they be vulnerable on the road in Buffalo?

LA Kings at Toronto Maple Leafs – 3pm NHL GameCenter: East Coast Canadian swing comes to an end for the champs.

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles – 5:25pm NBC: NFC East battle? Let’s do this.

The Sunday: Hirings, Closings, Finishes and Playoffs

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

College football’s first ever playoff is not without its detractors and upset teams. Meanwhile Nebraska pulled off the stealthiest hiring in football history and UAB shuttered its program.


Some big jobs came open in college football over the last few weeks. Florida, Nebraska and Michigan to be specific. Florida and Nebraska have hired head coaches to lead their respective programs and both went in the opposite direction of their previous coach. Florida hired Jim McElwain from Colorado State who comes from the offensive side of the ball.

Nebraska pulled off the quietest coaching search in history. They hired Oregon State’s Mike Riley. The most level headed coach in the game which is a complete 180 from Bo Pelini. Everyone found out about it via Twitter too. None of the experts even had Riley on the radar for the job. Pretty impressive covert operation by AD Shawn Eichorst.

But don’t worry Nebraska fans, always have this….



The University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) closed down its football program this week. The first to do so since 1995. We wrote about it earlier this week. In our opinion, this may be the first of a couple over the next decade.


UFC 181 saw the return of a lot fighters and was probably one of the better pay-per-views the organization has put on in a while. While the main event went to a razor thin decision (Robbie Lawler edged out Johny Hendricks for the Welterweight Title) while the other four fights on the main card were all finishes. These finishes included an impressive submission win by Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis over Gilbert Melendez.


The first ever College Football Playoff was announced on Sunday. Turns out that you really do need a conference championship game and at least make an effort in scheduling tough (or at least name) opponents out of conference. Our take? Make the playoff more like the FCS but limit it to 8 teams.

Meanwhile fans in Waco and Fort Worth are up in arms. Their teams, Baylor and TCU, were left out of the playoff. Their conference, the Big 12, doesn’t have a title game like the Big Ten, SEC, Pac 12 and ACC. We have to imagine that that will change fairly soon.




What to Watch Fri. 12/5- Sun. 12/7

All times are PST

Friday Dec. 5th

Northern Illinois vs Bowling Green – 4pm ESPN2: It’s the MAC title game. A game which is known for upsets. Like every year.

Texas at Kentucky – 4pm ESPN: An early season top 10 matchup in College Basketball. The first of two this weekend.

Montreal Canadiens at Chicago Blackhawks – 5:30pm NHL GameCenter: Just an awesome matchup on a Friday night. #Original6

Oregon vs Arizona – 6pm: FOX: Oregon wins and they are in the Playoff but they have to beat a team that beat them handily earlier this year at home. Watch for Arizona’s linebacker Scooby Wright. He’ll be all over the field and terrorizing Heisman candidate Marcus Mariota.

Saturday Dec. 6th

Manchester City vs Everton – 9:30am NBC: US National Team Goalkeeper Tim Howard has his work cut out for him as he takes on the Premier League’s best.

Missouri vs Alabama – 1pm CBS: SEC Title game hasn’t been know for major upsets. This could be one though depending on which Mizzou team shows up.

Gonzaga at Arizona – 2:15pm ESPN: Another top 10 matchup early in the college basketball season.

NY Rangers at Detroit Red Wings – 4pm NHLN: Two of the top teams in the East in an Original 6 matchup.

Chicago Blackhawks at Nashville Predators – 4pm NHL GamerCenter: Big matchup in the Central Division.

Kansas St at Baylor – 4:45pm ESPN: Massive game for the Big 12. Should be a very tight game.

Florida State vs Georgia Tech – 5pm ABC: Georgia Tech may not be a juggernaut but they have as good of a chance at ending Florida State’s win streak as anybody.

Wisconsin vs Ohio State – 5:15pm FOX: Ohio State is on their 3rd string QB and had a teammate take his own life last week. They still could win this game.

UFC 181 – 7pm PPV: Two title fights and a heavyweight matchup that shouldn’t go three rounds.

Sunday Dec. 7th

Indianapolis Colts at Cleveland Browns – 10am CBS: Could we end up seeing Johnny Football by the second half? Probably.

MLS Cup – LA Galaxy vs NE Revolution – Noon ESPN: Can the Revs get their first MLS Cup? Will Landon Donovan take home another Cup in his last ever soccer game? We’ll have to see.

KC Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals – 1pm CBS: Both teams have been smacked with injuries and both really need this game to get some confidence back.

Buffalo Bills at Denver Broncos – 1pm CBS: Bills QB Kyle Orton returns to the scene of the crime so to speak. He’s help make the Bills into a possible playoff team but the Broncos are on another level.

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles – 1:25pm FOX: Good offense vs good defense. Could be an NFC Title Game preview.

NE Patriots at San Diego Chargers – 5:25pm NBC: Chargers have been living dangerously all season but it’s the second road game in a row for the Pats and San Diego is a long way from Boston.

The Beginning Of The End?

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

The University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) killed their football program. They are the first university to do so since 1995 when the University of Pacific in Stockton, California killed theirs. Scary thing is that this may be just the beginning but that may also be a good thing.

UAB football

Money and college football have become attached at the hip. While some want to pay players others point to how much it costs to run a program and to dress a team on Saturday.  Now we are seeing with the UAB case that costs truly do play a factor and that not all of the football programs are going to make it.

Sure the big programs like Texas, Alabama, Notre Dame and others will be fine but the smaller programs like Wyoming, UNLV, and Western Kentucky could face the same fate as UAB. In other words, as the rich get richer the poor get poorer.

Can Wyoming, UNLV and Western Kentucky really compete financially with Texas, Alabama and Notre Dame? Of course not but most aren’t trying to. They will always be second class citizens and everyone knows it. The problem with that is fans and alumni still want to win and winning costs money.

American sports fans don’t like losing. It doesn’t matter if their teams will never win a national title they still want to win. When teams don’t win money stops flowing. If smaller programs can’t stay above water then they will fold just like UAB. That means less kids playing football and for some that may be their only way to get a college education.

It’s not just the players. The coaches and support staff are out of work too. While these are not high paying positions there still jobs. These are by-products but it’s still a major change.

UAB killing their football program isn’t the most important thing in the world or even in the sports landscape for that matter. It is however a sign of things to come though.The smaller football programs are just not economically feasible. There may be some good news in all of this though. A side effect may be something that most college football teams want anyway, big teams playing other big programs.

Further reading from the Huffington Post.