Big Data In College Football

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 9.10.2016


Rukkus, a ticket selling website, showed what you can do when you sit down and comb through the data. Some of this shouldn’t be surprising like the fact that Hawaii leads everyone in how far players have to travel to go to school there. Some of the other stats may surprise you though.

One of the things that made total sense is that Stanford was second. Stanford has to recruit a certain kind of ‘student-athlete’ and Stanford is that place where they truly are ‘student – athletes’. So the Cardinal has to go all over the country to find their players.

Navy, Army, and Air Force pretty much the same deal as Stanford. A certain type of person is going to go to these Academies. This is why all 3 are in the top 12.

Nor Cal

The one that did raise an eyebrow but it really shouldn’t when you think about it was the fact that the PAC-12 has 11 of the top 24 spots on the list. Surprising because you really never think of it but not surprising in that when you get out west, things are little more spread out than they are in the south.

Overall this was a really impressive use of data in sports. A lot of times people look at data within the context of the sport itself or they find another sport and transfer over that data. Other times data like this is glossed over and used a bumper on ESPN College Gameday into the ‘feature’ on a player or coach.

imageNow compare this to the ESPNFC article from the other day that pondered the question, if your NFL team was in the Premier League, what team would they be?

Really? This is what you are bringing to the table ESPN?

A ticket selling site gives us great use of big data and ESPN throws out this? Really disappointing.

Data like this can be used to draw so many other conclusions. Last 5 College Football National Championships have been won by Florida State, Alabama (3) and Ohio State. They are only a few spots from each other (59, 63 and 67) or have players who are 400 to 367 miles on average away from home. Oregon and Oklahoma are the only two schools in the top 48 who have made the College Football Playoff and neither won the National Title. Those players travel some 1,000 (Oregon) and 515 (Oklahoma) miles to go to school at these universities.

This is a great use of data. It’s intriguing, can help put things in a new perspective and help coaches, players and fans know their schools just a little bit better. Biggest shock, this wasn’t ESPN, CBS, NBC or FOX that came up with this.

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College Football Viewing Guide

Compiled by Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


All times are Pacific.

Thursday September 1st

Butch Jones Appalachian State at Tennessee – 4:30pm SEC Network: Tennessee has received plenty of hype this off season. App State is no gimmie win for the Vols. The Mountaineers return 15 from a team that went 11-2 a year ago. This game will show if the Vols can tune out all the hype and focus on what they need to do.

Friday September 2nd

Colorado State vs Colorado – 5pm ESPN: The Rocky Mountain Showdown from Mile High Stadium. The two teams have split the last four games and last years match up went into overtime. One of the more underrated rivalries out there.

Kansas State at Stanford – 6pm FS1: Watch this game for one reason and one reason only, Christian McCaffrey.

 

Friday September 3rd

Georgia Tech vs Boston College – 4:30am ESPN2: It’s another year with a game from Ireland. Hey, this is like a full 17 hours of college football if you start with this one.

Oklahoma vs Houston – 9am ABC: Oklahoma hopes to get back to the College Football Playoff behind Heisman candidate Baker Mayfield but Houston is looking to go undefeated and be the Non Power 5 party crasher.

UCLA at Texas A&M – 12:30pm CBS: UCLA could make their first ever trip to the College Football playoff. A win in College Station would be a massive step in accomplishing that goal but it won’t be easy.

USC vs Alabama – 5pm ABC: Bama’s yearly trip to Dallas and this year they get a USC team that should make it a game for a half.

Clemson at Auburn – 6pm ESPN: Auburn has to be better this year or Gus Malzahn is out as head coach. Clemson is a heavy favorite to run the table and make it back to the National Championship game. They will be led by Mr Everything Deshaun Watson and they get their top receiver back from injury.

BYU at Arizona – 7:30pm FS1: BYU won their opener last year against Nebraska on a last second desperation throw from the backup QB. Zona needs to jump on them early.

Sunday September 4th

Notre Dame at Texas – 4:30 ESPN: The Fighting Irish will play two quarterbacks and no one but the Longhorns know who will be their quarterback. Texas head coach Charlie Strong could use a marquee win to help his team on the way back to the post-season and last years game in South Bend was an embarrassment.

Monday September 5th

Dalvin Cook Ole Miss vs Florida State – 5pm ESPN: The Seminoles will be without quarterback Sean Maguire but they still have a roster loaded with NFL talent including running back Dalvin Cook. Ole Miss lost a ton of guys to the NFL draft but they still have signal caller Chad Kelly to run Hugh Freeze’s ‘guess what I am gonna do next’ offense.

What To Watch: 4/1 – 4/3

All times Pacific.

Friday April 1st

New England Revolution vs NY Red Bulls – 4pm UniMas: These two were the cream of the crop last year in the east and should be again this year.

Minnesota Wild at Detroit Red Wings – 4:30pm NHLN: The Wild are holding on to the last playoff spot in the west while the Red Wings are two points out of the last spot in the east. So yes, there is a lot on the line.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Atlanta Hawks – 5pm ESPN: Two of the top teams in the east look to fine tune things before the playoffs.

Washington Capitals at Colorado Avalanche – 6pm NHL.TV: The Avs are playoff hopes are fading fast but whatever glimmer of hope they do have Ovi and the crew look to crush it.

Boston Celtics at Golden State Warriors – 7:30 ESPN: Warriors are zeroing in on the best season in NBA history. To get to 73 wins, they have to beat a solid Celtics team.

 

Saturday April 2nd

Liverpool vs Tottenham – 9:30am NBC: Liverpool looks to give the high flying Spurs a reality check with only a few games left in the season.

Pittsburgh Penguins at NY Islanders – 10am NHL.TV: The Isles are in hot pursuit of the Pens playoff spot. Seeding could be all the difference when it comes to the chase for Lord Stanley.

FC Barcelona vs Real MadridBarcelona vs Real Madrid – 11:30am beIN Sports: Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar, Bale, Rodriguez, Neymar, Suarez…yeah, there is some world class talent on the pitch.

Dallas Stars at LA Kings – 1pm NHL.TV: Playoff preview. Watch it.

Villanova vs Oklahoma – 3pm TBS: Game one of two to decide who gets to play for all the marbles come Monday. Keep and eye on Buddy Hield from OU. He is probably the best player in the country.

Colorado Rapids vs Toronto FC: 5pm MLS LIVE: The Rapids are worth watching….at least thus far. TFC brings a lot of talent and fire power so the Rapids defense will be tested often.

Detroit Pistons at Chicago Bulls – 5pm NBA.TV: Bulls have got to stop the bleeding if they want to be in the playoffs. It starts with beating the Pistons at home.

Sporting KC vs Real Salt Lake – 5:30pm MLS LIVE: These are played for MLS Cup just two short years ago in KC. They are very different now but it’s still a good one.

Syracuse vs North Carolina – 5:45pm TBS: This is may be an ACC matchup (UNC won the two meetings during the regular season) and UNC has the Cuse out gunned. But Syracuse has nothing to lose and their coach has been here before.

 

Sunday April 3rd

St Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates – 10am ESPN: Baseball is back! Two playoff teams from a year ago.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets – 12:30pm ABC: OKC has a playoff spot sown up but the Rockets are desperately trying to get in. This is a tall order for Harden and Co.

Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays – 1pm ESPN2: Division rivals in arguably the toughest division in baseball. Bat flip anyone?

Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins – 2pm NHL.TV: Flyers are desperately trying to hold on to that last playoff spot in the east.

Orlando City vs Portland Timbers – 5pm FS1: Orlando City is an outpost and no where near Portland, Oregon. Will the travel, atmosphere and weather effect the MLS Cup Champs?

Portland TrailBlazers at Golden State Warriors – 5pm NBA,TV: Both are bound for the playoffs but the thing to keep your eye on here is Damian Lillard. He can provide the Warriors plenty of headaches.

NY Mets at KC Royals – 5:30pm ESPN: Sunday night baseball is a rematch of last years World series.

 

What To Watch: Fri. 3/25 – Sun. 3/27

All times are Pacific.

Friday March 25th

Virginia vs Iowa State – 4:10pm CBS: ISU can score points in a hurry but UVA can lock just about anyone down with ACC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in Malcolm Brogdon.

NY Islanders at Tampa Bay Lightning – 4:30pm NHL.TV: The Islanders are only two points behind the Lightning for the lead in the Atlantic but those two points put them in a Wild Card slot.

Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs – 5:30pm  NBA League Pass: While the Warriors are getting all the press, the Spurs have lost 11 games all year and have yet to lose at home this season.

North Carolina vs Indiana – 7pm TBS: Two teams who have enough talent to win it all and are both playing with a desire to do so. Let’s not forget that they are two of the perennial powers in college basketball.

Guatemala vs USA – 7pm beIN Sports: Let’s get this 2018 World Cup Qualifying underway shall we?

 

Saturday March 26th

Minnesota Wild at Colorado Avalanche – Noon NHL.TV: The Wild have had the Avs number over the last few seasons. Now the Wild hold the last playoff spot but are only a point ahead of the Avs. This one should be as close as you can get to playoff hockey during the regular season.

Oklahoma vs Oregon -3pm CBS: Oregon is the only Pac-12 team to make any noise in the tournament this year. Oklahoma is probably still the favorite with Buddy Hield leading the way.

Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning – 4pm NHL.TV: Tough back to back games for the Lightning. Their in-state rival is also the team they are battling for first place against.

St Louis Blues at Washington Capitals – 4pm NHL.TV: The Caps may have locked up everything under the sun this regular season but the Blues still have some work to do. This could be a legitimate preview of the Stanley Cup Final.

San Antonio Spurs at Oklahoma City Thunder – 5pm NBA TV: When these two play, it’s always something you want to tune in for.

Villanova vs Kansas -5:45pm CBS: If these teams play like they did in their Sweet 16 match-ups then we are in for a real treat.

 

Sunday March 27th

Virginia vs Syracuse – 3pm TBS: One of two ACC match-ups for the Elite 8. UVA defeated Syracuse in the only match-up between the two this year. Is one day enough for UVA to prepare for the Syracuse zone defense?

LUNDQVISTPittsburgh Penguins at NY Rangers – 4:30pm NBCSN: It’s not Sunday unless NBC is broadcasting a game featuring the Penguins or Rangers.

North Carolina vs Notre Dame – 5:45pm TBS: The second ACC match-up in the Elite 8 features two teams that split their season series (each winning the game on their home floor) but in different places. Notre Dame just got by Wisconsin in the Sweet 16 due to Wisconsin forgetting the fundamentals of basketball in the last two minutes. Meanwhile UNC is rolling right now. They might be the hottest team in the country.

What To Watch: Fri. 2/26 – Sun. 2/28

All times are Pacific.

Friday February 26th

Minnesota Wild at Washington Capitals – 4pm NHL.TV: The Caps are the top team in the NHL and the Wild are fighting for a playoff spot. And what is a Friday night without Ovi?

Charlotte Hornets at Indiana Pacers – 4pm NBA League Pass: This one will go a long way in determining if and where the Hornets are in the playoff picture.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Toronto Raptors – 4:30pm NBA League Pass: LeBron and company head north to take on DeMar DeRozan and the Raptors.

 

Saturday February 27th

Oklahoma at Texas – 11am CBS: When isn’t an OU vs Texas game fun?

Louisville at Miami – 11am ESPN3: Somehow a major ACC and top 15 match up made it’s way to ESPN3. Strange.

Arizona at Utah – 11am ESPN: The Wildcats are coming off a tough loss in Colorado and now have to face the Utes. Tall order.

St. Louis Blues at Nashville Predators – Noon NHL.TV: Divisional battle between two teams looking to improve their playoff position.

NY Rangers at Dallas Stars – 1pm NHLN: Inter-conference battle that features one team that is second in the NHL in goals per game (Dallas) and one that is 12th in goals against (NY).

Maryland at Purdue – 1pm ESPN: Big matchup in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers loss by 11 in Maryland a few weeks ago but things should be different and Mackey Arena will be rocking.

UFC Fight Night – 1pm UFC Fight Pass: Anderson Silva vs Michael Bisping live from London. Too bad this fight didn’t happen three or four years ago.

UNC at Virginia – 3:30pm ESPN: The Tar Heels head north to Charlottesville to take on UVA in a top 10 matchup and massive NCAA Tournament implications.

Detroit Red Wings at Colorado Avalanche – 5pm NBC: It’s not the most ideal conditions for an outdoor game, in fact it should be a balmy 60 degrees when the puck drops. Probably not what the NHL was hoping for when they scheduled this one.

DurantGolden State Warriors at Oklahoma City Thunder – 5:30 ABC: The Splash Brothers invade the house that Durant and Westbrook built. Rumors are swirling that Durant will join the Warriors in the off season but it’s a long time between now and then. This is going to be a stellar game.

 

Sunday February 28th

Manchester United vs Arsenal – 6am NBCSN: So Man U isn’t the team they once were…this is still a helluva soccer game.

Washington Capitals at Chicago Blackhawks – 9:30am: Dude….what an awesome game for a Sunday…or any day for that matter.

Iowa at Ohio State – 1pm CBS: Come for the basketball and stay to see why Iowa is going to make a lot of noise in the tournament.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins – 3pm NBCSN: These two are neck and neck in the Atlantic division.

Paul George DunkPortland Trailblazers at Indiana Pacers – 3pm NBA League Pass: Portland is a long way from home but a Damian Lillard vs Paul George matchup is too good to pass up.

 

 

LA Kings at Anaheim Ducks – 6pm NBCSN: The Ducks have really turned it around and are only two points back of the Kings for the top spot in the Pacific.

What To Watch: 1/29 – 1/31

All times are Pacific.


Friday January 29th

X Games Aspen – 4pm ESPN: Among the events over the four hours of coverage, Snowmobile Freestyle Final and Snowboard Big Air Final.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Detroit Pistons – 4:30pm NBA League Pass: The Pistons are only a few games back of the the Cavs and the Cavs have had some changes lately in case you didn’t here. Bigger point, the Pistons beat the Golden State Warriors while the Cavs got faded.

Houston Rockets at Oklahoma City Thunder – 5pm NBA TV: Harden, Howard, Durant, Westbrook. Yeah, there are stars in this one.

 

Saturday January 30th

Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid – 7am beIN: These two are tied atop of the La Liga table. Oh yeah, this game only features massive stars and the best venue in all of soccer.

X Games Aspen – 10am ABC: Featured events include Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle Final.

Virginia at Louisville – 10am CBS: Big ACC matchup for your Saturday morning.

Iowa State at Texas A&M – 11am ESPN: Iowa State is coming off a win over Kansas while the Aggies just lost to Arkansas on the road.

Senior Bowl -11:30am NFL Network: Scrounging for football? This is your only option. On the bright side, most if not all of these guys will be drafted.

Oklahoma at LSU – 2pm ESPN: Number 1 OU takes on Mr. Everything Ben Simmons and the LSU Tigers.

NHL All Star Skills Challenge – 4pm NBCSN: This is usually more entertaining than the game.

Kentucky at Kansas – 4pm ESPN: What? Excuse Me? UK at KU during the regular season at Allen Fieldhouse? Thank you baby Jesus.

X Games – 5pm ESPN3/ESPN: Men’s Snowboard SuperPipe Final will start on ESPN3 then shift to ESPN at 6pm. Ski Big Air follows that.

San Antonio Spurs at Cleveland Cavaliers – 5:30pm ABC: If the Warriors were not in the NBA, these two teams would battle it out for NBA’s best.

 

Sunday January 31st

Chloe KimX Games Aspen – 9am ESPN: Marquee event on this day is Women’s Snowboard SuperPipe Final. Remember last year when Chloe Kim became the youngest X Games gold medalist at the age of 14.

Chicago Bulls at LA Clippers – 12:30 ABC: The Blake Griffin-less Clippers welcome Jimmy Butler and the Bulls to downtown LA.

USMNT vs Iceland – 12:45pm ESPN2: It’s the first “friendly” in a big year for the US Men’s National Team.

NHL All Star Game – 2pm NBCSN: It’s 3-on-3 hockey which at the very minimum will create a lot more space on the ice.

Atlanta Hawks at Miami Heat – 3pm NBA League Pass: Number 1 & 2 in the Southeastern division square off near South Beach.

Golden State Warriors at New York Knicks – 4:30pm NBA League Pass: It’s Dub City in the Big City to get a look at rookie sensation (and former bane of Knicks fans) Kristaps Porzingis.

 

What to Watch: Thurs. 12/31 – Sun. 1/3

All times are Pacific.

Thursday December 31st

Chik-Fil-A Peach Bowl – 9am ESPN:  Houston sneaks into a major bowl game only to go up against one of the best programs in all the land in Florida State. This game showcases FSU tailback Dalvin Cook and Houston QB Greg Ward JR. FSU should pull away late but there should be lots of offense.

Xavier at Villanova – 9am FS1: Top 25 match-up and a Big East Conference battle.

ouCapital One Orange Bowl – 1pm ESPN: The first of two College Football Playoff Semifinal games. This is a rematch of last years Russell Athletic Bowl and while Clemson got the better of Oklahoma in that game, OU is one of the hottest teams in the country.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Detroit Red Wings – 3pm NHL Gamecenter: Not a bad way match up to help ring in the New Year.

Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets – 4pm NBA League Pass: The Warriors are on the ole Texas road trip. It’s a rough stretch even for the best team in the NBA.

MSU FLAGGoodyear Cotton Bowl – 5pm ESPN: Michigan State vs Alabama is about as old school as it gets. This one is all about running the ball and defense. Just a note, Nick Saban is undefeated against his former assistants. Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio is a former assistant of Saban’s.

 

Friday January 1st

dobbsOutback Bowl – 9am ESPN2: Northwestern and Tennessee have had outstanding years. This game is always close and a lot of fun to watch. Keep an eye on Tennessee QB Josh Dobbs. If he can be a dual threat against the tough Wildcat D then Tennessee could have a very good day.

Montreal Canadiens at Boston Bruins – 10am NBC: The 2016 Winter Classic is here. The Bruins are three points south of the Habs but as we know, anything can happen in this game.

BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl – 10am ESPN: Does it get much better than Notre Dame vs Ohio State?

Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual – 2pm ESPN: Iowa vs Stanford is like Michigan State vs Alabama, run oriented offenses defenses that can win a game for you. You get to also check out the most exciting player in the country in Stanford’s Christian McCaffery.

Dallas Mavericks at Miami Heat – 4:30pm NBA League Pass: The Mavs head to Miami to kick off the New Year with Chris Bosh and D-Wade.

UFC 195 – 7pm PPV: Not the best card the UFC has ever put out there but the main event is for the Welterweight title. Defending Champion Robbie Lawler puts the title on the line against for Interim Champion Carlos Condit.

 

Saturday January 2nd

West Ham vs Liverpool – 4:45am NBCSN: Two teams that are neck and neck in the standings.

TaxSlayer Bowl – 9am ESPN: Penn State vs Georgia. One team (Penn State) is in transition offensively (new OC coming in) and Georgia, well their new Head Coach is currently the DC for Alabama.

Watford vs Manchester City -9:30am NBC: It’s been an upside down league this season, will order be restored in 2016? Man City has a chance to put Watford in their place and gain ground on league leading Arsenal.

Baylor at Kansas – 11am CBS: The Bears invade Rock Chalk Jayhawk and one of the toughest environments in all of college basketball.

Memphis at South Carolina – 1pm ESPNU: Stop the presses, the Gamecocks are undefeated and get their toughest test to date.

Iowa State at Oklahoma – 2pm ESPN2: OU is arguably the best team in the country but the Cyclones are not far behind.

Valero Alamo Bowl – 3:45pm ESPN: Oregon vs TCU and that means wide open offenses and two quarterbacks looking to end their collegiate careers with a bang. Oregon’s Vernon Adams and TCU’s Trevone Boykin.

New York Rangers at Florida Panthers – 4pm NHL Gamecenter: The Panthers are one of the surprises in the NHL this season. The Rangers are not. They are just a solid hockey team.

Houston Rockets at San Antonio Spurs – 5:30 NBA TV: Two of the better teams in the West square off.

 

Sunday January 3rd

Everton vs Tottenham – 8am NBCSN: Everton sits nine points back of Spurs and Spurs have goal scoring phenom Harry Kane. Tall order, even at home.

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills – 10am CBS: Jets win and they are into the playoffs. If the Bills win then there are a whole slew of possibilities.

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals – 10am FOX: Bengals need to win to have a chance at a first round bye which they desperately need. Even backup QB AJ McCarron is iffy for this game with a bad wrist.

almerSeattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals – 1:25pm FOX: The Cards have a shot at having home field advantage throughout the playoffs and QB Carson Palmer has said ‘Super Bowl or Bust!’ Seahawks are working on a higher Wild Card seeding.

Dallas Stars at New York Islanders – 2pm NHL Gamecenter: The Stars lead the Central and the Isles are trying to stay within striking distance of the Capitals in the Metropolitan.

Toronto Raptors at Cleveland Cavaliers – 4pm NBA League Pass: King James and crew welcome the Atlantic leading Raptors to town.

Bridgewater vs PackersMinnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers – 5:30pm NBC: The NFC North and home field advantage for the first round of the playoffs is on the line. Packers got the better of the Vikings the first time around this season. Let’s see if Teddy Bridgewater and crew can get even.

New Year’s Eve Playoff Is Not As Bad As It Sounds

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


Year two of the College Football Playoff will be played on New Year’s Eve and not on New Year’s Day as it was in its first year. While much of the college football media has come out slamming the decision, the fact is that it’s not all that terrible of an idea.

MSU TDDan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports has absolutely chastised the idea. While Wetzel is correct in his cronyism view and that these games would have been bettered served being played on New Year’s Day or even on January 2nd, he is miss guided on several other points.

Not everyone has plans New Year’s Eve believe it or not. While a lot of people have to work on New Year’s Eve day, let’s be honest, nothing is really getting done (especially by kick off which is at 1pm PST) and with Watch ESPN, people are going to be watching in significant numbers on various devices. Also, people have to work on New Year’s Day and even Christmas so let’s stop acting like America completely shuts down on Holidays anymore.

If you do have plans on New Year’s Eve, did the bar or home of the party you are attending all of sudden stop having TV’s? If you are at a club, ballroom or what not, we can promise you that someone is going to be streaming the game on a smartphone. It’s 2015 after all.

Deshaun Watson ClemsonYes the ratings will be down this year compared to last year but that is not just because of the date and time the games are being played. In the second year of something you can almost guarantee a dip. The novelty has worn off. And if we’re being honest, Michigan State and Clemson are not the national brand names that Ohio State and Florida State are. Not to mention the fact that one of the games last year (Oregon vs Florida State) featured two Heisman Trophy winners squaring off against each other.

Yes a 1pm kick off on the West Coast on a ‘work day’ is a head scratcher. However we are in a 24/7 on-demand world. That means that we are not passively involved anymore, instead we have to actively seek out and find what we want to watch. Besides most people are using a second screen while watching TV anyway. Up to 87% of them in fact. So this notion that everyone stops, gathers around the TV and never looks away went out the window a long time ago.

Is a 1pm PST kick off on a ‘work day’ any worse than a 8:30pm EST kick off on a ‘work night’? Last year the Ohio State vs Alabama game didn’t kick off until almost 9pm EST and wasn’t over until well after midnight. Plenty of people didn’t stay up for that one after staying up late the night before and having to work the next day. Where was the outcry for that?

Look the College Football Playoff should be played on New Year’s Day and have games that are done well before midnight on the East Coast. But having the games on New Year’s Eve isn’t the ‘outrageous’ idea some want to make it out to be. Now there will be something on instead of Ryan Seacrest and Pitbull. If you prefer that then God be with you, the rest of us will be watching the College Football Playoff.

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.