The Duke of Arguments

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


Jay Bilas never became a superstar in professional basketball. In fact he never played in the NBA just in Europe. He did turn into one of the more interesting color analysts in college basketball, a lawyer and at times an advocate for collegiate athletes to be paid their fair market value.

Jay BilasBilas played at Duke under Mike Krzyzewski and later coached under him while he went to law school. It would make sense that someone one who went to a world renowned university like Duke would be able to make arguments for paying student-athletes and debate such a view point with Oliver Luck who is an administrator at the NCAA.

With the college basketball season getting under way do yourself a favor and find a game that Bilas is doing analysts for. We think you will find him insightful, interesting and best yet, he knows when not to talk.

 

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The Sunday: Leftovers

Sunday Change

Mark RichtWhile LSU’s Les Miles got most of the headlines the last week or so (and now he’s staying at LSU), Georgia’s Mark Richt was almost an after thought. Now he’s the one who is out after 145 wins and 15 years. What we said for Miles applies to Richt.

He’s a heck of a coach who has never had one losing season (that’s because they lost their bowl game) and went to a bowl game in every one of his 15 years.Georgia better have a damn good idea of who they want cause Richt will be very, very hard to replace.

 

Wasting A Perfectly Good Beer

Professional sports is a grind no matter what sport it is or where you play. Apparently in Australia fans think that pouring a beer on you is a appropriate behavior. Wrong. And the announcers let him know it.

 

The Fallen

The San Francisco 49ers were the ‘Team of the 80’s.’ They were also in the Super Bowl three seasons ago. Now, they forget to tell the media when the quarterback’s Press Conference is.

 

Little Man, Big World

Texas Tech got the better of Texas on Thanksgiving night partially because of a play called ‘Little Man, Big World’.

 

Punting, Catching and Slapping

Remember to get rid of the ball…

Then catch it…

…then slap it out of the ref’s hand.

The Grass Isn’t Greener

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


Sometimes people, companies and institutions think they are bigger than they are and think they deserve better. Well in college football the ‘we deserve better’ mentality runs rampant. The latest institution inflicted with this virus is LSU. LSU is on the verge of dismissing the most successful football coach they’ve ever had and for no good reason.

Les MilesLes Miles, aka The HAT, is apparently going to be forced out at LSU. He is the winningest coach in school history, has seven 10 win seasons, one national title and played for another. But that’s not enough for some of the big money folks at LSU. It should be and if history is any indicator, LSU is in for a bit of a slide if The Hat takes his bag of tricks elsewhere.

Other schools have done similar things: Nebraska (twice), Tennessee, Miami, and Texas. All came to the conclusion that letting go of a coach with a winning percentage of over 700% wasn’t good enough. They all saw a drop off after they ran the coach out of town and some have yet to recover the glory they so desperately seek.

To play the other side for a minute, none of the coaches who were run out have ever coached again at a school in a Power 5 conference. Part of that might be by choice but we don’t know that for sure.

The fact remains that Miles is the best coach that LSU has ever had. He has earned the right to get this train back on track (if it’s even off the track) and if the LSU money men are tired of losing to Alabama and Nick Saban, well take a number and wait in line like the rest of the SEC. If they go through with this and dump Miles, LSU will take several steps back and Miles will probably be employed at another Power 5 school faster than you can say ‘The Hat’.

Don’t do it LSU, it’s a very bad idea.

What To Watch Thurs. 11/26 – Sun. 11/29

All times are Pacific.


Thursday November 26th

Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions – 9:30am FOX: Well, we’d like a better matchup but hey, it’s what we got.

Carolina Panthers at Dallas Cowboys – 1:30pm CBS: The Cowboys have Tony Romo and Dez Bryant back so this could actually be a good game.

Texas Tech at Texas – 4:30pm FS1: Texas has to win out to be bowl eligible and that’s a big deal for a young team. Texas Tech is good but beatable.

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers – 5:30pm NBC: Awaken from the food coma in time to see if they Packers can win back-to-back games or if the Bears will finally put it together.

 

Friday November 27th

NY Rangers at Boston Bruins – 10am NBC: Ice, skates, rivals. Not a bad way to start Black Friday.

Keenan ReynoldsNavy at Houston – 9am ABC: Winner gets to represent the West in the American Atheletic Conference championship. Also get a chance to see the NCAA all time leader in touchdowns in Navy’s Keenan Reynolds.

Marshall at Western Kentucky – 9am FS1: Last year the final score was 67-66. Just sayin.

Washington State at Washington -12:30pm FOX: The Apple Cup is the most underrated rivalry in college football. Always a solid game.

Armstrong JRIowa at Nebraska – 12:30pm ABC: Nebraska is a lot better than there 5-6 record indicates. Iowa is undefeated and looking for a spot in the College Football Playoff. This rivalry will get a lot more heated after this game.

Chicago Blackhawks at Anaheim Ducks – 2pm NBCSN: Both teams are better than their record indicates and still a whole bunch of talent on the ice.

Baylor at TCU – 4:30pm ESPN: It doesn’t really matter what quarterback plays for Baylor but it does for TCU. Points a plenty in this one.

Miami Heat at NY Knicks – 4:30pm NBA.TV: The Kicks aren’t bad this season but the Heat may be a little bit better.

 

Saturday November 28th

Ohio State at Michigan – 9am ABC: Our first taste of Meyer vs Harbaugh. Add in Ohio State having to put a tough loss behind them and this should be one heck of a ball game.

Louisville at Kentucky – 9am SECN: Kentucky is one win away from bowl eligibility and their cross state rivals would love nothing more than to keep that from happening.

UCLA at USC – 12:30pm ABC/ESPN2: Battle of LA and for the Pac-12 South.

Penn State at Michigan State -12:30pm ESPN: Michigan State controls it’s own destiny when it comes to winning the Big 10 Eastern division.

Wisconsin at Minnesota – 12:30pm BTN: Dude, it’s the battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe! It also gives us a chance to show this video from 2003.

Ole Miss at Mississippi State – 4:15pm ESPN2: The Egg Bowl and if Alabama loses, a chance for Ole Miss to grab the SEC West crown.

Notre Dame at Stanford -4:30pm FOX: Huge game for the Irish against a very, very good Stanford team.

Oklahoma at Oklahoma State – 5pm ABC: Bedlam is here. Winner probably has a legit shot at the College Football Playoff.

 

Sunday November 29th

NY Giants at Washington Redskins – 10am FOX: The winner controls first place in the NFC East.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Seattle Seahawks – 1:25pm CBS: Steelers have been able to keep it together and succeed despite a rash of injuries. The Seahawks looked like the Seahawks for once this season last week. Good luck hearing the play call Pittsburgh.

FC Dallas vs Portland Timbers – 2pm ESPN: 2nd leg and Dallas got an all important road goal in leg one. They did lose 3-1 however which should put the Timbers in the drivers seat.

103rd Grey Cup – 3pm ESPN2: Live from Winnipeg with Fall Out Boy as the halftime entertainment. Oh its the Edmonton Eskimos vs Ottawa RedBlacks.

NY Red Bulls vs Columbus Crew – 4:30pm FS1: The Crew won first the first leg 2-0. NYRB has it’s work cut out for them if they want to advance to MLS Cup.

New England Patriots at Denver Broncos – 5:30pm NBC: The best offense in football goes against the best defense. More or less. Broncos start Brock Osweiler for a second straight week.

Missing The Obvious

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


The NFL has done a lot to address the ‘concussion problem’ in football. 60 Minutes did an entire piece on it two weeks ago and it looked like progress was being made. Then the NFL misses an obvious situation where the player should have been removed from the game.

St Louis Rams quarterback Case Keenum had no business staying in Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens after his head bounced off the turf. He immediately put both hands on his helmet and then struggled as his teammate tried to help him up. It was so obvious that the Rams had backup quarterback Nick Foles go grab his helmet and get ready to go in. Keenum stayed in and after the game he was diagnosed with a concussion.

Concussion SpotterThis is a big black eye for the NFL. Two weeks ago 60 Minutes does a piece talking about the state of concussions in the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell points out that the game has become safer. Heck the piece started by pointing out that there are now neurologists on the sidelines and a spotter at every game with the ability to stop the game if they think there is a player with a concussion. And then they miss an obvious situation where the game should have been stopped and the player removed.

This was not the only miss this weekend that’s for sure.

Baker Mayfield After HitMore concerning was the miss by Oklahoma during their game Saturday night against TCU. Quarterback Baker Mayfield took a helmet to the back of his head. A targeting penalty that was reviewed and resulted in the TCU’s player ejection (scrub to the 47:00 mark to see the hit). Never the less, Mayfield stayed in the game even as the TV cameras showed that he was clearly not ok. He was diagnosed with a concussion but wasn’t removed from the game until halftime. His hit took place at the beginning of the second quarter.

Colleges have no such systems like the NFL with neurologists on the sideline and concussion spotters in the press box. Should there be? YES! Would those people have been able to spot Mayfield’s struggles? We’d like to think so.

Look concussions are going to continue to happen. The game of football is a contact sport and very,very fast. It’s the aftermath that we are concerned about. Keenum and Mayfield should have never been allowed to continue to play. It’s a miss at the professional and the collegiate level. Spotting concussions has to get better. It’s not just about having a spotter in the press box but also players looking after each other on the field. The game itself is on the line.

The Sunday: The Undefeated & Losing Your Mind

Undefeated No More

Three undefeated teams lost on Saturday. Ohio State lost at home to Michigan State on the last play of the game, Houston turned the ball over on the final drive and Oklahoma State was never really in their game. Ironically enough, Ohio State won the National Title last season and the head coach of Houston was their offensive coordinator. Both were undefeated for ten games and then received their first loss within about 20 minutes of each other.

Later in the evening, undefeated Oklahoma State lost to Baylor….and their third string quarterback! Needless to say, there are only two undefeated teams left, Clemson and Iowa, and the consensus seems to be that they will remain that way until at least the conference championship games.

Time To Celebrate

But if you’re the Michigan State kicker and you just made the game winning field goal….then you can celebrate anyway you want.

While this is good, it’s not better than Arizona Cardinals backup QB Drew Stanton’s celebration during Andre Ellington’s game sealing touchdown against the Seahawks. Ironically, Stanton went to Michigan State.

 

Or Not

Emotion is part of sports. Here are two examples of when emotion got the better of a a couple of coaches and a player.

Harbaugh hates his coat…

Pelini nearly attacks ref (go to the 3:30 mark)

And then there was this…..and the player wasn’t even ejected.

 

The Rant

And there is Nick Saban’s rant. Nick Saban may go down as one of the greatest football coaches in college football history. Better yet, ever now and then he gives us some great press conference fodder.

Alabama defeated Charleston Southern 56-6. Funny thing was, Charleston Southern is FCS Playoff bound and they rested their quarterback so he can be fresh for the playoffs.

 

May Helmet Be With You

Is there anything better than Minor League sports promotions? We think not. The Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League went all out for Star Wars night. Right down to the wear and tear on the the Rebel logo on the helmets. Now if only they would have had Star Wars night against the Fargo Force….oh the confusion.

What’s In A Name?

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


What is in a name? It can be a rallying cry, a term to define a group or a point of division. The University of North Dakota now has a new nickname, the Fighting Hawks. It replaces the Fighting Sioux which was dropped in 2012 however it wasn’t the only choice and in the end not the one the North Dakota faithful wanted.

North DakotaThere was a long legal battle which resulted in North Dakota dropping the nickname Fighting Sioux in 2012. There was then a state mandated ‘cooling off’ period until 2015. Then the suggestion box was wide open and as CBS Sports Chris Peters pointed out, there were some real dandy’s.

The final list came down to five options: Fighting Hawks, Roughriders, Nodaks, North Stars and Sundogs. The nickname that most wanted wasn’t even an option and that was to not have one at all. The University of North Dakota suited those folks just fine.

Fighting Hawks was chosen regardless. Now we just have to wait for the Fighting Hawks logo to be unveiled.

This does bring back some memories to when Ole Miss changed their mascot. They didn’t change the nickname, Rebels, but the old southern gentleman mascot, Colonel Reb, was pushed out back in 2003. In 2010 their was a grassroots campaign to use Admiral Akbar from Star Wars. Lucas Film crushed that idea and OIe Miss settled on a Black Bear of all things. We’re still disappointed in their decision but it gives us a reason to post this ESPN promo.

 

What To Watch Fri. 11/20 – Sun. 11/22

All times are Pacific.

Friday November 20th

Montreal Canadiens at NY Islanders – 4:30pm NHL GameCenter: The Habs have cooled off and the Islanders are a tough team.

Cincinnati at South Florida – 5pm CBSN: Hey, we love watching the Bearcats. They have a tendency to score a lot of points or go down in flames.

Air Force at Boise State- 6:30pm ESPN2: A battle that will determine the winner of the Mountain division of the MWC.

Chicago Bulls at Golden State Warriors – 7:30pm ESPN: This could arguably be a Finals preview.

 

Saturday November 21st

Michigan at Penn State – 9am : Our first taste of Harbaugh vs Franklin.

Memphis at Temple – 9am ESPNU: While both teams have suffered losses in recent weeks, they are still two fun football teams to watch.

Real Madrid vs Barcelona -9am beIN Sports: Only a match up between the two biggest clubs in the world. No big deal.

Manchester City vs Liverpool – 9:30am NBC: Liverpool sits 11 points behind City but has a new manager and new hope.

Lafayette at Lehigh – 9:30am ESPN3: The 151st meeting between the two schools which is the longest in collegiate football. There is a reason they call it ‘The Rivalry’.

Montana at Montana State – 11am ROOT Sports: 115th matchup between the two schools. Montana looks to keep their FCS Playoff hopes alive with a victory here.

YaleHarvard at Yale  – 11:30am NBCSN: IVY League title is on the line since Harvard lost last week to Penn. Harvard gets a share if they win and Yale would love nothing more than to spoil that. There is a reason this one is called ‘The Game.’

Michigan State at Ohio State – 1:30pm ABC: No big deal just National Title implications.

UCLA at Utah – 1:30pm FOX: PAC-12 South implications and two pretty good football teams.

Arizona at Arizona State – FS1 : The 2015 edition of the Territorial Cup. Bowl eligibility is on the line for the Sun Devils.

Baylor at Oklahoma State – 4:30pm FOX : OSU looks to keep their College Football Playoff hopes alive but they will have to find a way to outscore Baylor.

TCU at Oklahoma – 5pm ABC: Oklahoma has battled their way back after that loss to Texas to be one of the more dangerous teams in the land. This is a tall order but TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin may not be 100% & they lost their best wide receiver.

Cal at Stanford  – 7:30pm ESPN:The Big Game is a big one once again. Both teams have played well this year and Stanford is also looking to wrap up the Pac 12 North. And with all of the wacky finishes this year in college football, it will be nice to end a long day of football with a game that gave birth to crazy finishes.

Cotto vs Canelo – 8pm-ish PPV: Miguel Cotto vs Canelo Alvarez in boxing’s second super fight of the year. In all honesty, this one should be a better one too.

 

Sunday November 22nd

Tottenham vs West Ham United – 8am NBCSN: Both are sitting just outside the top four and are only separated by goal differential.

Denver Broncos at Chicago Bears – 10am CBS: Future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning will ride the bench for the Broncos as they take on their former head coach John Fox.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Ottawa RedBlacks – 10am ESPNEWS: Winner goes to the Grey Cup. Combination of rain and snow is expected.

NASCAR Ford Ecoboost 400 – Noon NBC: Last race of the year and maybe, just maybe Jeff Gordon can go out on top with a win and the cup.

Toronto Raptors at LA Clippers – 12:30pm NBA League Pass: Raptors are on a West Coast swing and visit Lob City.

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings  – 1:30pm FOX: Vikings are one of the best teams in the NFC while the Packers are slipping. Can the Pack turn it around?

Calgary Stampeders at Edmonton Eskimos – 1:30pm ESPN3: Not only does the winner go to the Grey Cup but it’s also the Battle of Alberta.

Columbus Crew vs NY Red Bulls – 2pm ESPN: Leg one to decide the Eastern Conference rep in MLS Cup.

Portland Timbers vs FC Dallas – 4:30pm FS1: Western Conference Final and it starts in the best venue in all of MLS. There Ain’t No Pity In the Rose City.

Cincinnati Bengals at Arizona Cardinals – 5:30pm NBC: Cards held on last week in Seattle while the Bengals put up their first loss of the season against the Texans on Monday Night. Rebound in the desert is a tough task for Andy Dalton and crew.

 

 

 

A Weekend For Those That Love The Game

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


About a year ago we posted ‘The Last Game’. It’s about the weekend before Thanksgiving and the historic rivalries that are played in college football. It’s a weekend that gets very little recognition but it is so important to so many young men. Young men who may be playing their last ever football game. That may not sound important to you but it is to them.

HarvardUnlike just about every other sport out there football is one where when you’re done playing, you may never play again. If you’re a soccer player, basketball player, baseball player, heck even a hockey player, you can find a pick up league, bar league, etc. But more than likely, a football player will never, ever put on the helmet and pads again. Never run out into a field in front screaming fans. And never line up against another player, drive off the ball and collide with another human being.

The weekend before Thanksgiving is important because a good amount of these football players will be putting on the pads for the last time in some of the biggest games they will ever play in. The Yale vs Harvard, Lehigh vs Lafayette, Montana vs Montana State, William & Mary vs Richmond, Cornell vs Penn. Rivalries that go back 100 years of more.

Colgate vs LehighIt’s not just these longstanding rivalries that we should recognize but also the final games at places like UC Davis, Furman, VMI, Liberty, Tennessee Tech, Savannah State, Youngstown State, Wagner and countless others where players will put on the jersey for the last time. Players who will not be going on to the professional level. Players who will have to come to terms with the fact that the game for them is over forever.

While the big time collegiate programs will have the stage to themselves on Thanksgiving weekend, this weekend is for the little guy. The players who just love to play the game and be a part of a team. It doesn’t matter that it may be in front of a sparse crowd at a school known more for academics than football. It’s still a football game. A game they love and game that they will never get to play again. So pull a chair, tip your cap and show your appreciation for the young men who truly do play for the love of the game.

The Sunday: Losses and the Unbelievable

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


Attack

The world stopped on Friday as ISIS carried out a horrific attack in Paris, France. Scary things is that it could have been much, much worse. It is confirmed that one of the terrorists had a ticket to the friendly between France and Germany. If this individual was able to carry out his plan, the death toll would have been enormous and sports as we know it, would forever be changed.

 

Goodnight Rousey

It’s fair to say that Ronda Rousey has crossed over. Her fight headlined only the second arena show the UFC has ever done, she is in big budget Hollywood movies and she has some 1.94 million twitter followers. Well now she has a loss on her record thanks to a head kick knockout by Holly Holm.

ESPN’s sports money guy Darren Rovell broke down what this does to Rousey outside of the Octagon when it comes to endorsements.

 

Stephen Curry

We done trying to explain what record or how amazing Stephen Curry is. This vine pretty much explains it all.

 

Ok! Everyone in the box! 

6 Predators in a BoxThe Nashville Predators beat the Winnipeg Jets 7-0. This marked the Jets fifth straight loss and they were a little frustrated. Well when they were down 5-0 a Jets player tapped the puck passed Predators goalie Pekka Rinne after the whistle. That’s a no-no. A few minutes later, every one on the ice was in the penalty box. That’s right, a dozen players squeezed into two penalty areas.

See the lead up to the banishing. 

 

The Best Of Saturday

During next spring’s NFL Draft, this is the video they will show when a team drafts Ohio State’s defensive end Joey Bosa.

Montana’s Yamen Sanders unloaded on the Eastern Washington quarterback.

The Hatter had to be behind this one. 

Look Ma! One Hand!

One Handed