What To Watch: Fri. 3/4 – Sun. 3/6

All times are Pacific.

Friday March 4th

NY Rangers at Washington Capitals – 4pm NHLN: One of the best scoring teams in the league (Caps) go against one of the best defensive teams in the league (Rangers).

LillardPortland Trail Blazers at Toronto Raptors – 4:30pm NBA League Pass: Portland is coming on strong led by Damian Lillard but Toronto on a Friday night is very tough place to play.

 

Saturday March 5th

Tottenham vs Arsenal – 4:45am NBCSN: Great rivalry and it means a lot to who plays European soccer next year.

Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund – 9am FX: Last minute addition by FOX. Now people can watch probably the best matchup of the Bundesliga this season. Oh, Bayern has stumbled as of late too.

Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche – 12pm NHL.TV: These two are in a battle for the two wild card slots in the Western Conference.

Anaheim Ducks at LA Kings – 1pm NHL.TV: These two are neck and neck in the Pacific division…oh and they hate each other.

Iowa State at Kansas – 1pm ESPN: Kansas already has the Big 12 sown up but this one is all about seeding in the NCAA Tournament.

UNC at Duke – 3pm ESPN: Heck the last one they played came down to the last shot. This one should too.

Washington Capitals at Boston Bruins – 4pm NHLN: These two could meet in the first round of the playoffs as it stands right now.

Louisville at Virginia – 5:30pm ESPN: The Cards aren’t going to the NCAA Tournament due to a self imposed suspension so they are looking to trip up UVA on their way to a high seed.

UFC 196 – 7pm PPV: Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz and Holly Holm vs Miesha Tate. Good fights made even better by the fact none of these people really like each other.

 

Atlanta Hawks at LA Clippers – 7:30pm NBA League Pass: Forget for a second that both these teams are very, very good and think about Steve Ballmer dunking.

 

Sunday March 6th

Kobalt 400 – 12:30pm FOX: NASCAR heads to Las Vegas which is always a fun race to watch.

Timbers MLS CupPortland Timbers vs Columbus Crew -1:30pm ESPN: First game of the year and it is a rematch of 2015 MLS Cup. You can only imagine how much the Crew want to return the favor to the Timbers. Expect them to come out hard and fast and try to snag an early goal.

Maryland at Indiana – 1:30pm CBS: Indiana has a share of the Big Ten title and look to wrap up the whole enchilada.

NY Islanders at NY Rangers – 2pm NHL.TV: These two are within striking distance of each other and a win here could have dramatic consequences come playoff time.

Sporting KC vs Seattle Sounders – 4pm FS1:  Two of the better teams in MLS over the last few years and both have gone through some serious player overhauls. We’ll see what happens.

LA Galaxy vs DC United – 7pm UNIMAS: The Galaxy have some big superstars like Keene, Gerrard and Cole. But DC United is has some outstanding talent as well.

St Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild – 5pm NBCSN: The Wild are fighting tooth and nail for a playoff spot and the Blues have struggled a little lately. They need to turn it around to keep their spot.

Early Week Exits

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

It’s been a crazy, crazy early week in college football. When the smoke cleared on Tuesday evening, four head coaches were out along with one athletic director and one Heisman Trophy contender.

‘Somehow we slid. I’m responsible. I’m the Head Coach.’ It’s rare that you hear that from people nowadays in this country. People want to blame everything else and not take responsibility. Well Steve Spurrier (aka the Head Ball Coach) takes responsibility. He took South Carolina from a perennial lower rung collegiate football program and into an SEC contender. He did the same at Florida and even had a winning record at Duke. He was loved, hated and always quotable.

The Head Ball Coach wasn’t the only coach to move on from his duties of leading a college football team but he is the only one with a National Title to his name and the only one going to the College Football Hall of Fame.

The others who were asked to step aside in the last few days include Maryland’s Randy Edsall, North Texas’s Dan McCarney, and USC’s Steve Sarkisian.

Sarkisian may be the saddest removal. He reportedly checked himself into a rehab facility on Monday, the same day he was fired from USC. He was apparently intoxicated at a team meeting and is being accused of being intoxicated during USC’s win against Arizona State a few weeks ago. These are just the latest incidents he’s had with alcohol, rumors of which date back to his days as the Head Coach at Washington.

The Athletic Director who stepped down is also the Head Coach of an 0-6 team. That would be George O’Leary at Central Florida. While O’Leary’s title was technically ‘Interim Athletics Director’, it still doesn’t bode well for his prospects as Head Coach.

Finally, Georgia running back Nick Chubb blew out his knee on the first play from scrimmage against Tennessee. Chubb was arguably one his way to a possible spot in New York for the Heisman Trophy. He had already run for over 700 yards and seven touchdowns in only five games.

Yes, it’s been a busy couple of days off the field in college football. Luckily there is a top 25 match up on Thursday between UCLA and Stanford to get our mind back on the gridiron.

Make money, money, money, money!

The University of Maryland is leaving their current conference, the ACC, to join the Big 10. The Big 10 will also add Rutgers University which will then bring them to a total of 14 teams. The real interesting point in all of this is the $50 million exit fee that Maryland is supposed to pay in order to leave the ACC.

According to some people the exit fee will not add up to $50 million but none the less it begs the questions 1) what will the amount be? and 2) who’s going to pay for it? 3) couldn’t this money be put to better use?

The $50 million dollar exit fee from the ACC was put in place after the ACC pried two teams away from the Big East Conference earlier this year, Pittsburgh and Syracuse respectively. The ACC appeared to be ‘having it’s cake and eating it too’ but in the end that plan didn’t seem to work too well. Even if Maryland doesn’t pay the $50 million they have to pay something. Even if it is only half that money has to come from somewhere and that’s still $25 million.

In a time when schools are raising tuition, student loan debt continues to climb at astronomical rates and a college degree seems to get you less and less shouldn’t this price tag, whatever it amounts to be, raise some red flags?

Yes the Big Ten will bring Maryland’s athletic department (which is financially independent from the university) an exuberant amount of money and allow Maryland to bring back sports programs that were cut in the spring due to a budget crisis but it doesn’t get Maryland any better on the field of play. It doesn’t make them a winner and it sure doesn’t lower the cost of going to school there.

Where is this money coming from? They do have a giant donor in Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank who recently sold 1.3 million shares of the sportswear maker for an estimated $64 million plus but is he really picking up the whole tab? Is taxpayer money at risk?

It’s a pretty certain thing that neither Maryland or Rutgers would make this move without having thought it all the way through but it should still give people pause. This is an awful lot of money for collegiate athletics. While the move made by these universities may be sound financially isn’t their mission to educate?
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