If it is greatness you’re looking for you won’t find it here, as something rotten smells in Denmark and within the NCAA

If it is greatness you’re looking for you won’t find it here, as something rotten smells in Denmark and within the NCAA

I have long-held the contention that the NCAA and just about everything it represents has been a charade and a farce! Furthermore , the apathy of the fans of collegiate sports might be just as asinine as the institution itself , without going into greater detail than suggesting that this charade now underway about a legitimate way of deciding a national champion at the FBS Level for football can be done with the empaneling of publicly respected individuals. It would not be so bad were it not for the fact the panel members sought are in some respects no more versed in collegiate athletics than perhaps a truck driver would be knowledgeable enough in providing you with his thoughts on molecular biology or Sarah Palin’s thoughts on the US economy and the country’s foreign policy.

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NCAA President Mark Emmert was summoned to appear at a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC , where he was quizzed by members of the Senate Commerce Committee on the inner workings of the NCAA and the institution’s continued aversion to paying student athletes while in school.. One has to bear in mind, currently, Collegiate Athletics’ governing body is the main defendant in a class action lawsuit now underway in the US Federal Court , where a resulting loss could see the NCAA pay out tens of millions of dollars in damages for the use of the athletes’ likeness to market and sell college merchandize without their permission. This suit was brought by former UCLA and NBA player Ed O’Bannon , for what he says are purely for moral reasons and the fact collegiate athletics remains a complete sham without their being any clear transparency being shown by the NCAA and the major college conference and educational institutions in the way these monies are disbursed within collegiate athletics. I have read some of the most asinine claims and statements by conference commissioners and by fans, suggesting that the system itself is not broken , but the issues that continue to affect college sports, stems from the violations of the athletes themselves. Such a suggestion , is no more valid than making a claim, the NCAA can actually deal with their ongoing issues without any outside oversight. The NCAA failed the victims of the Penn State ‘ scandal ‘ miserably,without the university and the state’s governor Tom Corbett seeking to enact a cover-up, without the supporters of Joe Paterno trying to apportion blame elsewhere for Jerry Sandusky’s heinous actions and the lack foresight shown by the now deceased head football coach. The scandal, still permeates through the school’s campus and it can never be forgotten no matter how many changes are put into place by the Board of Trustees of Penn State.

Mark Emmert remains an enigma and a conundrum all rolled into one, having succeeded the late Myles Brand as the NCAA’s highest ranking official. During his tenure, Emmert has shown that his interpersonal and communicative skills leave a lot to be desired without having to delve into his past administrative history , which seems to be littered with a great deal of controversy and claims of incompetence , graft and corruption. Perhaps, those were the qualifications sought by the executive search firm hired by the NCAA as they sought a successor to Myles Brand ? There can be no other reason for the hire than Emmert’s past actions and therein lies one of the numerous reasons why this institutional body cannot be taken seriously.

Emmert’s appearance in front of the members of the Senate Commerce Committee proved to be embarrassing and equally distasteful with the fawning of the members fawned over not only the NCAA President but also several current and former college athletes who gave testimony to the convened members of the congressional panel. Senator Claire McCaskill in her questioning of Mark Emmert concerning the issue of on campus sexual assaults which has been on the increase over the past decade, of which over seventy-percent (70%) of all sexual campus crimes go unreported , a staggering figure when judged against the national average. Emmert would suggest the NCAA does take the sexual assaults seriously, especially where the majority of the victims are women. Victims of such crimes are always reluctant to come forward and report that they are victims of rapes or an assault because they are not likely to be believed or subjected to further degradation by either law enforcement or the educational institution itself.

The NCAA, an institution primarily presided over by men among its most senior ranks, simply has no idea how to deal with sexual crimes, much less Mark Emmert being able to provide the Senate Commerce Committee with a satisfactory explanation about how the institution now plans to discuss future incidents of campus sex crimes. It should be noted, current Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston still remains a person of interest in a sexual assault claim made by a female victim. The player’s legal representatives first suggested that the claims were false, only to then claim that the sex between the two , was consensual. Tallahassee Police Department came under severe criticism by State Attorney General Pam Bondi for the lackluster and lack of professionalism in the conducting of the original and later investigation for the Florida State player, who has since fallen afoul of the law for his theft of groceries from a well-known grocery store chain within the state of Florida. Winston’s public apology rings hollow, very much like the university’s failure in reprimanding the athlete for his actions.

Winston while remaining in school , can now look forward to a year in which he will look to heighten his value to Florida State, as well as looking to enhance his value as a future first round draft pick in the NFL Draft . Short term memory remains the norm within the NFL, no matter when there is said to be a lack of character among the prospective players looking to make their mark in the NFL. A cautionary tale can be provided with the fall from grace of New England Patriots’ tight-end Aaron Hernandez and his continued legal issues without delving into what were already clearly troubling signs during his collegiate career at the University of Florida . The excuses made by his former head coach, Urban Meyer and by the Patriots’ organization was simply another sign, where the NFL and another collegiate educational establishment simply did not care about a troubled individual with a litany of psychological problems.

The convening of a Congressional Committee and its empaneling can be about as insightful as watching paint dry or watching flies congregate around an elephant’s ass, as it begins to defecate. Which begs the question, why are these committee members there to begin with and how productive are they once in Congress? Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) , a fellow member of the Senate Commerce Committee, spent more time regaling the press , convened members and Mark Emmert about his collegiate career at Stanford as a wide receiver on the school’s football team, than asking any meaningful questions of Mark Emmert about the direction of the institution he presides over and the increase of sexual assaults on college campuses across the country. If that were not enough, Booker would go on to suggest that his college years were difficult, because he and teammates spent far too much time reading play books than studying. .Am I missing something here, but getting a free ride as a student athlete is nowhere as arduous as the congressman was trying suggest ?

Academic fraud on a college campus where a respected coach presides over a college program believed to be among the best in the nation ? Legends were built under Dean Smith , as he cemented a legacy and where fans got to see a young Michael Jordan excel at the collegiate level , garnering a national championship at North Carolina (Tar Heels)before embarking on his now legendary NBA career. Roy Williams, who took over from Smith’s successor Matt Doherty in 2003, was already a well-respected coach before coming to coach the Tar Heels’ program. Williams is now at the center of a scandal that is likely to blow the roof off the program in Chapel Hill as well as the Dean Smith Center where this storied program play their home games. Far be it for me to suggest, but Williams, his assistants and the school’s AD Bubba Cunningham will have a great deal of explaining to do if the allegations are proven to be true. Allegations leveled are of the head coach turning a blind eye to current and former players failing to meet academic requirements and their being widespread cheating, encouraged by members of the coaching staff, is unlikely to sit well with everyone , especially among the diehard Tar Heels’ fans.

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports & AP (Associated Press)


Dean Smith’s former players backing Roy Williams in wake of North Carolina’s academic scandal

By Pat Forde , Yahoo Sports

Dean Smith is alive but absent, his remarkable mind ravaged by the effects of dementia. While that has caused deep mourning among those who know and love the legendary former North Carolina basketball coach, there is one small sliver of relief regarding his current condition.

He is unaware of the ongoing integrity crisis that has engulfed the program he built into a national model.

“I’m tired of it,” said former Smith-era player Richard Vinroot. “I want it fixed. I want it to end.”

The NCAA recently announced it has re-opened its investigation of an academic scandal at Carolina. That figures to follow the tracks of the school’s ongoing (and latest) investigation of itself. Those investigations follow the drip-drip-drip of allegations of classroom shortcuts – and other embarrassing headlines – at a school that once proudly considered itself the ultimate intersection of competitive excellence and off-court class.

“It pains me greatly,” Vinroot said. “I have such high regard for Coach Smith. I revere him.”

Vinroot is a former mayor of Charlotte and one-time Republican nominee for governor of North Carolina. Smith, a staunch and outspoken Democrat, cited player loyalty over party loyalty when supporting Vinroot’s gubernatorial bid in 2000.

That was Dean Smith, to those who played under him: a mentor and ally for life, extending well past the player/coach relationship. David Chadwick, senior pastor of Forest Hill Church in Charlotte and another former Tar Heel under Smith, wrote a book, “The 12 Leadership Principles of Dean Smith.” The first principle he cited: “The Reciprocal Law of Loyalty.”

“He had an unyielding loyalty to us,” Chadwick said. “That’s why we had that fierce commitment to him, because he had that commitment to us.”

Smith cultivated something of a Camelot aura in Chapel Hill – it was Duke before Duke, and before Duke had the taint of Corey Maggette and Lance Thomas to deal with. The UNC players and coaches were all part of something special, and forever bonded in the making of it. Which is why this disorienting journey from Camelot to crucible has the Carolina old guard dismayed.

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Farcical and downright stupidity can now be the only reason why many the Tar Heels’ former players are jumping to the defense of Roy Williams and the allegations being made. A scandal of this size came into being or compromised the integrity of the program under Dean Smith, but in many respects one should be at all surprised at the claims or allegations now being leveled at Roy Williams. He is simply one of many coaches within collegiate sports, who have conflicted with violating NCAA rules. Accountability and oversight was never the highest priority within collegiate sports and it will continue to be that way even with the NCAA flexing their muscles , but therein lies idiocy of that premise, as Emmert seeks to punish some programs with impunity while excusing others. Let us not forget also, the continued incompetency shown by the investigative arm of the NCAA, where the Infractions’ Committee, who having misplaced evidence in their investigation of the University of Miami program chose to make up and then proceed to lie in how they obtained the very same evidence.

University of Miami President Donna Shalala has requested an appeal of the decision of the NCAA’s probation and other sanctions placed on the Canes’ program , for which she has yet to receive a response from Mark Emmert or from a high-ranking subordinate within the NCAA. Collegiate Athletics’ governing body should have their antitrust and tax exempt status removed by the Congress, but with the lobbying power of the institution and the money spent to curry favor with the members of the House and Senate , the ongoing hypocrisy is likely to continue, while congress members play at the role of being tough legislators. In reality, they are nothing more than money hungry members, simply looking to prolong their stays within both Federal legislative chambers

Judge Claudia Wilken will preside over the case where Ed O’Bannon is the lead plaintiff in a multi-jurisdictional proceeding . While the NCAA will fight the case as a defendant with the legal power at their disposal, I cannot help wonder, if Mark Emmert’s own efforts forestall the obvious, is simply another way of appeasing conference commissioners such as John Swofford, Larry Scott , Mike Slive and many of their peers. They are seeking to ward off this case, while trying to keep the monies pouring into their treasure chests . Billions of dollars are at stake and the chances are even with a loss , the litigation process would be prolonged with an appeal being lodged in the Federal Appellate Court . A loss for the plaintiffs and this all can be put to rest , with the stain and stench of the NCAA still within our midst.

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Are you of the opinion the NCAA represents the best interests of the college athlete? Alternatively, do you feel the institution to be outmoded, with far too much beyond its scope concerning collegiate athletics? Leave comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support of this site !

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(1) Jameis Winston of Florida State is seen here with team head coach Jimbo Fisher as the pair celebrate becoming BCS National champions in 2013 . The Seminoles had a tremendous season outplaying their opponents and performing to the highest of standards ending the year ranked number one in the polls . AP Photo/ Matt Mason ..

(2) NCAA President Mark Emmert is seen here addressing members of the Senate Commerce Committee up on Capitol Hill , in Washington , DC . Emmert faced some tough questions from certain members of the committee , but in large part there was a great deal of posturing by the NCAA President and his inquisitors . Getty Images / Mark Hurst …

(3) Sen. Claire McCaskill , D-Mo., asks a question of former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama’s choice for defense secretary, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination. McCaskill relished the opportunity to quiz Hagel on the issue of Israel’s right to defend itself and brought similar determination in her quizzing of Mark Emmert as a member of the Senate Commerce Committee. AP Photo/Susan Walsh

(4) Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee members (L-R) Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) , Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) listen to testimony during a hearing about the future of unmanned aviation in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill January 15, 2014 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony about the Federal Aviation Administration’s policy on unmanned aviation systems and about the privacy and freedom issues surrounding their use. Getty Images North America / Chip Smodevilla

(5) Roy Williams head coach of the North Carolina Tar Heels is now under siege with claims current and former players receiving monetary and unspecified gifts , as well as their being academic fraud within the basketball program , with certain members of Williams’ coaching being fully aware of the violations being perpetrated. Former Tar Heels’ player Rashad McCants has made a number of clams concerning the allegations without suggesting that he was in fact part of activities taking place . UPI / Chris Hendricks …
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NCAA

Latest news from within the NCAA

A recap of sorts

Well, the NCAA Tournament has to come a close , with the vestiges to that competition reaching a finality . Two storied programs were there the combatants in the Finals , were John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats facing the University of Connecticut (Huskies) coached by second-year coach, Kevin Ollie , a former mainstay within the NBA . With U Conn prevailing in a six-point triumph , Ollie joins a select group of coaches to have won a national title within their first three years of coaching a program . For Shabazz Napier and the leadership shown in leading his teammates to this triumph, is likely to open doors , not previously thought about in great depth , with several general managers around the NBA , likely to be showing an interest in a player , who should he declare for the upcoming NBA Draft , is likely to be taken quite high in the first round .

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I am sure that the administration within Storrs, Connecticut, are truly overwhelmed at this triumph and the Huskies’ second title in the past four years , with the program’s last triumph in the Men’s NCAA Tournament coming in 2011 , when Jim Calhoun and that team triumphed over Brad Stevens and Butler . As we know, the Huskies women’s program , coached by Geno Auriemma , has been triumphant several times , with six national titles during his reign, as the coach of the now famed women’s program. Auriemma is back again as a finalist in this year’s tournament where the opponent will be a heated rival , with Notre Dame (Fighting Irish) staring across at their adjoining number one tournament seeds. That game , will be played tonight at the Bridgestone Arena , in Nashville, Tennessee,.

A week into the MLB season and there is not really a great deal to report , beyond the fact , there appears to be more money now seated ? on the disabled list , than would actually make up the payroll of the league’s lowest paid team , in this case , that privilege belongs to the Houston Astros with an estimated payroll of $44.5 million . Yet, somehow , it was the intent of Jim Crane and Jeff Luhnow to field a competitive team this year , while trying to avoid a fourth consecutive season of one hundred losses or more ? I guess , Astros’ manager Bo Porter and his managerial staff were fed another boatload of “ bull” , by the executives entering the season , about the ball-club’s ambitions for the year.

With a record of 3-4 , the Astros are competing in what is likely to be a competitive AL West division this season , where the main competitors for the divisional title are likely to be the defending champions the Oakland Athletics , who in turn , are likely to be challenged by the Texas Rangers , Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners . For Robinson Cano and his hefty $240 million contract , signed in the off-season, having left the New York Yankees , for what he believes to be greener pastures. This season , is likely to prove to be a tough one for the former Yankees’ infielder, as he seeks to prove that contract. Coming off a 6-3 loss to the Oakland A’s , Seattle will in their next game face the Los Angeles Angels at Safeco Field in Seattle , Washington , where James Paxton will take to the mound for the Mariners to face off against Hector Santiago , in what should prove to be a very competitive pitching match-up , between the two starting pitchers .

As beleaguered as the issues are for the Houston Astros are now , I am not so sure, that the team will simply be good enough to avoid another one hundred loss season for a fourth consecutive time. Bo Porter’s staff simply does not have the acumen , and there is not a player on the staff ready, to assume any type of role of leadership or be presumed to be, looked upon as a leader. Tuesday’s scheduled meeting against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Center ,in Toronto, Ontario, where Brett Oberholtzer will pit wits with his opponent for the Blue Jays’ Mark Buerhle .

It is beginning to look as if Mark Teixeira’s career will become known for being injury prone , rather than for anything achieved on the field of play , since he was acquired by the New York Yankees to bolster the team’s roster and add to what was believed to be an already explosive lineup by way of the team’s offense. In his first season with the team in 2009, Teixeira proved to be as productive and well worth the contract , as it appeared to be at the time. The player we are told, will resume light exercise with a view to returning to the team and perhaps playing in his first regular season game by mid-April, but in all likelihood , I believe that Joe Girardi and the staff will not have their first baseman return too soon , until they believe that he is fully fit .

The Yankees’ 4-2 victory, over the Baltimore Orioles , places them atop of the AL East with a one game lead over the second placed Tampa Bay Rays (4-4) . How the season, now plays out for the New York Yankees will undoubtedly be predicated upon the play of mainstays, such as Teixeira , Derek Jeter , Ichiro Suzuki , Brian McCann , Kelly Johnson, CC Sabathia , Hiroki Kuroda , Carlos Beltran , Alfonso Soriano , Masahiro Tanaka and Jacoby Ellsbury . The team will once again , play host to the Orioles today, when they meet at Yankees Stadium , in New York City, New York on Tuesday afternoon , where the opposing pitchers will be Wei Yin Chen and Ivan Nova .

On this date in MLB history , one of the great achievements within the game of baseball was attained , when Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hit , what was his seven-hundred and fifteenth home run (715) to move ahead of Babe Ruth in the all-time career home runs’ list. Granted, that record has since been surpassed by Barry Bonds , whose legitimacy about that mark , still comes into question, but not by the MLB hierarchy or that of the Elias Stats’ Bureau . While, there has never been a positive drug test on record to somehow negate Bonds’ achievement of the career home runs’ record or that of the single season mark for home runs. The persistent questions still lingers, about Bonds’ claims, that he never intentionally or knowingly, took what he believed to be a banned substance. In the court of “public opinion” , the now retired player’s claims, are not believed and the legal system has deemed Barry Bonds to be untruthful and indeed deceitful, with his denials and the statement offered at his perjury trial .

For Hank Aaron and the opposing pitcher on the day , when the record was broken , Al Downing of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the event have been posthumously recorded . However, in the run-up and the aftermath, of Aaron , having broken the record, baseball historians have tended to gloss over the fact, the Hall of Fame inductee came under death threats , racial threats , along with the lives of the immediate members of his family being threatened by bigoted racists . Poignant, when you consider the claims being made at the time that , the nation had indeed progressed , that the legacy of Dr Martin Luther King Jr , the integration of baseball and it being woven into the fabric of society , had indeed made the world a better place. Four decades later, those claims do not hold true , even with the nation’s first African-American President Barack Obama midway through his second Presidential term and the deaths of James Byrd Jr and Alfred Wright are seen as mere footnotes and the apathy of idiots are still within our midst , about the claims of racial bigotry has in fact ended .

We are now less than a week away from the culmination of the NBA regular season and several of the divisional races have been all but decided. In the Eastern Conference, only the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat , are the two teams apiece, to have garnered more than fifty wins. Counterparts within the West, where the San Antonio Spurs , Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers , are three of five teams to have accumulated more than fifty wins each . Somehow, one gets the feeling that in the East, theirs is a conference, where competitive basketball, which is claimed to being played, is simply an acronym for complete mediocrity .

For the New York Knicks , the past seventy two hours has seen the team play themselves into contention for a playoff berth, to once again showing the trait, that has been on display , all season long and that simple inconsistency . Their fans and the print media within the local market , may well decry the fact, the team, is now likely to miss the postseason , altogether. Yet, what else can you say, when there really has been absolutely no one willing to step up to the plate? As to this utter idiocy, that Carmelo Anthony ought to be given a worthy mention as a legitimate MVP candidate , has to be viewed with the utter contempt that the claims deserve. Anthony, has been playing on a team , that at no point during the regular season, have they led their division , nor have they strung together double-digit wins in terms of a consecutive wins’ stretch.

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An eleven point loss to the Miami Heat , may well have placed the “nail in the coffin” of Mike Woodson’s players and any last vestiges of hope, that they might well have had, in gaining a playoff berth. The team’s only hopes, now rest with the Atlanta Hawks simply imploding, with six games remaining on the Hawks’ schedule.

The seismic shock waves from the Superbowl and the lopsided loss suffered by the Denver Broncos , must be seen as something of a precursor, about what we have witnessed by way of the waiving of players and the contracts lengths now being offered new contracts by their new teams . It’s pretty much safe to say, with a number of franchises, seeking to make themselves “cap-friendly” , the luring of marquee free agents , while preparing for the upcoming NFL Draft , has been the one thing , that the front office executives have been using a great deal of due diligence in some of that preparation.

Veteran quarterback , Michael Vick has now found himself a new home , having signed with the New York Jets , where he is likely to be the backup to incumbent starter, Geno Smith , whose propensity throw interceptions during a game , are as frequent, as the guests at a wedding, throwing rice to celebrate the nuptials of a just-married couple. I am not suggesting that Smith is a terrible quarterback, but he has shown no inclination to improve his game and the coaching staff of the Jets, have done little to aid the player during his rookie season. The team’s problems during the season and the fact, they were simply of no relevance within the AFC East , simply summed up the Jets’ year and the fact , they performed so poorly.

It will be interesting to see how the New York Jets do during the off-season in the build-up to the NFL Draft, as GM John Idzik , seeks to rebuild and revamp the roster, while also seeing the type of influence, that Michael Vick will provide for Geno Smith.

The waiving of running back Chris Johnson , is likely to come back and haunt the Tennessee Titans , at some point , during their future . Yet, I am not entirely surprised by the move , considering the ongoing stupidity that we have witnessed from team owner , Bud Adams , down the years. Cap issues or not , the explanation now being offered by the front office , makes about as much sense , as Sarah Palin offering up her assessment as to the country’s foreign policy or what her alternatives might be to Barack Obama’s healthcare initiative and the program that has now taken effect. Johnson , at the time of his release, was one of the franchise’s most productive offensive players, and all, but a mere handful of running backs in the NFL, have more rushing yards in the league, over the past five seasons .

With a slew of teams, now said to be interested, in Chris Johnson , many of them in need of a productive running back, to aid a franchise with a woefully inept rushing offense . Rex Ryan is said to be keenly interested in acquiring the free agent running back , but the asking price , might well be too high for the New York Jets to meet at this juncture .

Johnson and his agent, Joel Segal are likely to look for an offer, that best meets the need of the player, while giving him the chance to play for a legitimate Superbowl contender. As to where that offer is now likely to come from, will be open to a great deal of conjecture and speculation over the next few days. With the NFL Draft, just over a month away , one seriously doubts that Segal would still like to have his client unsigned, with their being some depth to the ” draft class” of running backs said to be part of this group of rushers , as well as the other unsigned free agent running backs , who might come at a less steeper price, than his own client, Chris Johnson.

“Bang the drums more loudly” , as the consensus seems to be, that the South Carolina Gamecocks’, Jadeveon Clowney , is still being viewed as the number one pick for the NFL Draft. Now, whether or not, the Houston Texans and their front office led by GM Rick Smith decide to go this route, in making Clowney that number one overall pick , will be clearly dependent upon the assessment of the player made by head coach Bill O’Brien and his staff . The Texans’ needs, as a team overall, are great and the simple thought, that the defensive player is an answer to all of their needs , is merely ludicrous and not warranting an answer, that is simple. Defensively , the secondary was a mess, throughout last season , and that fourteen-game losing streak was a clear indicator as to several of the reasons why, beyond the poor play of the often injured Matt Schaub and an offense, that has been nowhere near as explosive, as in seasons past . Yet, for all the talk of Clowney’s impact as a defensive player , one cannot help but ask, is Bill O’Brien actually willing to pass up on an array of quarterbacks in this upcoming class , that many feel might be as good and is being compared to in some circles , as good as the 2012 NFL quarterback class , that saw Andrew Luck , be taken as the number one overall pick , a grouping that I might add, that also included Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill, Nick Foles , Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins .

Quarterbacks, may well come and go , but can a team that certainly in need of one afford to pass on the likes of Blake Bortles , Johnny Manziel , Teddy Bridgewater , Zach Mettenberger , Bryce Petty , Tajh Boyd , A J McCarron and Tom Savage ?

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One way or another , Jadeveon Clowney’s fate, might not rest in the Houston Texans’ hands, but actually the perception that he created, that has been perpetuated and bought into by the press , pundits and fans, alike . I believe, he is likely to be drafted in the first round, as one of the top ten picks, taken on the day. Anything short of that , will clearly be viewed as something of a major disappointment for a player , looking to be handsomely rewarded for his collegiate exploits .

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(1) Kevin Ollie , head coach of the U Conn Huksies’ Men’s Basketball team is seen here cutting down the nets after his player’s triumph over Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament . Ollie in his second year as the head coach, simply had his players playing at a high level throughout the tournament , with them upping the tempo in the championship game , itself against the Wildcats . AP Photo Keith Mannix …..

(2) Shabazz Napier (13) walks the length of the court being cheered on by Huskies’ fans after the team’s 60-54 victory over John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats in the finals of the NCAA Tournament . It is widely believed that Napier is likely to declare his eligibility and enter the upcoming 2014 NBA Draft . AP Photo / Keith Mannix ….

(3) Mark Teixiera of the New York Yankees , for whom much of the 2013 season was a loss, is once again back on the team’s DL , uncertain of when his season is likely to begin in 2014. As one of the highest paid players on the roster , as well as having one of the most lucrative contracts among all of the ball-club’s players , Teixeira is afforded a luxury not often shared by a player of his stature . Getty Images / Tim Walsh ….

(4) Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hits his historic 715th home run which would surpass the all-time career home runs’ record (714) at the time held by Babe Ruth . Aaron hit that record-breaking home run on the 8th April , 1974 at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, in a game between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers . The pitcher on the day, who gave up the home run was the Dodgers’ Al Downing . AP / REUTERS Inc/ Pathe ….

(5) Veteran quarterback Michael Vick who was acquired by the New York Jets and signed to a one-year deal by the franchise to be the backup to incumbent starter , Geno Smith , a first-round quarterback draft pick in 2013 NFL Draft by the Jets . In his rookie season , Smith’s continued struggles were ever-present throughout the season , with their being little real evidence that his game was progressing, in spite working diligently with quarterbacks’ coach , David Lee . It remains to be seen what type guidance and influence Vick will provide for Geno Smith , as he enters his sophomore season in 2014 . If Smith shows signs of regression , then in all likelihood the veteran will be called upon the replace his young charge . AP Photo / Rod Fletcher ….

(6) Free agent running back Chris Johnson who was waived by the Tennessee Titans for cap reasons . The player who was among the franchise’s leading rushers in their history , is now said to be one of the most desired free agents now on the market . It remain to be seen where Johnson’s final destination , is likely to be. AP Photo / Phil Prentice ……

(7) Robert ‘Bob’ McNair , (left) owner of the Houston Texans , is seen here with the team’s general manager Rick Smith. The general manager , scouting department of the franchise and head coach will have a tough decision to make, whether or not, to take Jadeveon Clowney, as the number on overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft or as is being forecast by many , the organization is likely to go with a quarterback , with instate hero Johnny Manziel said to be atop of Smith’s wish-list, along with Blake Bortles , Teddy Bridgewater and the fast rising stock of Tom Savage. The Texans have never made a quarterback their top pick , over the course of the franchise’s history. Getty Images / Austin Morris ….

(8) Jadeveon Clowney of the South Carolina Gamecocks and Texas A &M’s Johnny Manziel , right . Both players , high achievers , have the wish to be taken as the number one overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. With the Houston Texans’ afforded the first pick , it remains to be seen whether or not the AFC South based franchise takes either player as that privileged first choice .

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Simply soaking up the sun while making an imprint in the sand .

 

It is what it is …………

It is what it is …………

Well the sports’ environment at present has taken a back seat to the NCAA Tournament , with the event itself , having provided the fans with a number of stunning upsets , while there have been some that were not totally unexpected . With the number one ranked Florida Gators having now made their way to the ‘Sweet Sixteen ‘ , the road in some respects does now seem all but clear , for Billy Donovan and his team to capture the program’s third national title in the past eight seasons . Were the Gators’ head coach able to manage that feat , it would certainly make him the school’s most successful coach in terms of national titles won , beating out the likes of Urban Meyer and Steve Spurrier .

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Slideshow .

From my own perspective , I believe Donovan the equal of both of the aforementioned coaches , albeit that, Meyer and Spurrier left Florida to further their careers , elsewhere . In the case of Urban Meyer, his departure and subsequent criticism of his former employers and the program he coached to two BCS titles , may well have more to do with his egotistical character and the level of criticism aimed at him , with the failure of Tim Tebow to become a resounding success in the NFL . A great deal of that criticism is more than justified , when you simply bear in mind that Tebow’s collegiate career while stellar , at the next level of his evolution , his game simply did not materialize into anything more than that of a moderately average quarterback , who could barely read defensive tendencies , much less make a pass attempt in excess of fifteen yards or more , without their being a tendency of an interception or the pass simply falling short of its target , but there were , the vast majority of less than intelligent Gators’ fans, still singing Tim Tebow’s praises as a player. With his career now coming to an abrupt end , he has now been hired by cable sports’ programming network ESPN to provide fans with his insight into the Collegiate Football and the games , where he will be covering . One can only wish Tebow, all the success possible in his new endeavor , in the hope that he is likely to be more successful in his new vocation.

With a number of programs now having fallen by the wayside, in this particular NCAA Tournament, by contrast , at this point last season , things in some respects were somewhat similar. Florida for its part, have more than justified that national number one ranking , and proof of that , come by way of their regular season schedule and their run through the SEC (Southeast Conference) ,where the team went undefeated , a first for conference play, within the Southeastern Conference. Leading the way for Florida, in terms of the team’s play , have been Casey Prather , Patric Young , Michael Frazier and Scottie Wilbekin , but it has truly been a collective team effort , along with that of Billy Donovan and the coaching acumen shown by his coaching staff , which has taken them this far and proven their season-long dominance this year.

Through their first two games of this tournament, Florida has not truly been tested , with their first round contest against Albany NY being nothing more than a cakewalk , with their 67-55 defeat of that team , before facing an even less sterner test in taking down the Pittsburgh (Panthers) with another somewhat lopsided victory 61-45 . The Gators’ path to the ‘Elite Eight’ in the NCAA Tournament, will see them having to overcome the UCLA Bruins , in what is likely to be the best game scheduled during the ‘Sweet Sixteen’ .

Of the games , still to be played in the round of the Sweet Sixteen , beyond the featured contest, which I believe to be the best at this stage of the tournament. There are games between Iowa State versus Connecticut , Tennessee and Michigan , Louisville (Cardinals) and Kentucky , Baylor and Wisconsin , Arizona and San Diego State , finally Dayton versus Stanford . All great match-ups befitting a tournament, that now lures shall we say, degenerate gamblers into wagering billions of dollars, into the most lucrative sports’ event, for the gaming industry in North America .

Rick Pitino , as the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals, when he faces off against an old foe and nemesis in John Calipari , in a contest , of well-versed coaches , that will be a match of wits . What might also make this match-up also intriguing, with both coaches, having reached the pinnacle of collegiate coaching in winning a national title. Pitino, will now seek to take down a program , where, he was once a head coach and a well-respected one at that.

There are few coaches as well-respected as Tom Izzo within Collegiate Basketball and while one can be critical of the game at this level . It has to be said, that with the continued controversy of tainted programs , abuses of privileges and the ongoing issues of recruitment violations . Rarely, has Izzo’s tenure at Michigan St (Spartans) raised any suspicion of the program being mired, in any major impropriety. However, that is not to suggest, that Spartans athletics’ program has been pristine and above-board. Collegiate Athletics has become embroiled and awash, with far too much money , that the temptation to do something amiss, has become even more tempting than ever before. At the same time, the continued incompetency of the NCAA does not cover the distrust that the public has not only the entire landscape of college sports but also the hierarchical structure of the that particular body , under its current President , Mark Emmert , who came to the position, carrying a great deal of baggage of his own, concerning a number of improprieties and a lack communicative and administrative skills .

Izzo and the Spartans, while seeking to make their way to the Elite Eight, are not likely to have an easy time when they face the Virginia (Cavaliers) . Cavaliers’ head coach, Tony Bennett will undoubtedly want to pull off the upset , in taking the program this deep into the quarter-finals of the tournament for the very first time ever. The outcome of this contest, between Michigan and Tennessee , will definitely be predicated upon the offensive prowess shown by both teams and the coaching acumen of the respective staffs.

This NCAA Tournament has certainly lived up to expectations so far and the contests have provided the fans with a great deal more than most would have expected .

The big news within the NBA over the past eight days , has been the New York Knicks’ acquisition of Phil Jackson to head up the franchise’s Basketball Operations and being entirely responsible for all player personnel decisions. Jackson , himself, has been quick to point out, that the level of the play by the current roster has bordered on being inadequate and lacking the basic fundamentals , that the team itself , simply looks like a group of individuals at play on a high school playground. Subsequent to that statement by the Knicks’ front office executive , the players have responded in kind rolling off eight victories in their last ten games , perhaps reminding Jackson that they are capable of playing as a cohesive unit. As to what this might suggest as to the coaching strategies of Mike Woodson and his coaching staff , may well spell doom and his departure from the franchise at the end of this season. Woodson, might not be a proponent of the “Triangle Offense” and Phil Jackson has suggested that the scheme need not be adhered to, by the team, but , what he would like to see, is a great deal more resilience and tenacity from the players.

The New York Knicks’ continued malaise over the past seven seasons at least , has been brought on by the negligence of team owner , James Dolan and the litany of general managers heading up the front office during that time-span. Anyone who would try to suggest that under Isiah Thomas’ tenure , or that of Dave Checketts , Ernie Grunfeld , Scott Layden and in some respects Donnie Walsh , have in some way brought about some semblance of competitiveness to the franchise, need only look at the Knicks’ overall record from 1999 to 2013 and the number of playoff appearances made . In large part, the organization has spent more time acquiring nondescript talent and simply overpaying for the players assembled to represent the team during that time. It is certainly something, that will clearly have to be addressed by Phil Jackson and the staff that he will likely assemble to assist him in that stead, as he seeks to build a roster that will be viewed as a perennial contender, rather than being seen as an also-ran.

A playoff berth is now beyond the New York Knicks’ reach for this season, but in large part several players on the roster will be playing for their long-term future and livelihood with the franchise , in light of Jackson’s wish to revamp this roster. The team (29-41) at present , is lying in ninth place , within the Eastern Conference and three games out from that final berth , which is currently held by the Atlanta Hawks(31-37) as of 23rd March , 2014.

As if to further emphasize the numerous reasons why the Knicks have been woefully inept , consider the fact that at home, they are amongst the worst teams in the entire NBA , never mind the fact that they are simply unable to close out games, but yet the asinine analysis provided by on air commentators would have you believe to the contrary. Sunday’s six-point loss (106-100) at home at Madison Square Gardens in New York City, New York, to the Cleveland Cavaliers , is a damning indictment of not only the poor play of the New York Knicks , but also how damn awful , the Eastern Conference just happens to be overall , in terms of the poor play.

Inconsistency has now become the norm for the New York Knicks , while the air-headed print and television media within the New York market tend to be enraptured by Phil Jackson’s arrival , what they seem to be forgetting is actually how bad this team just happens to be and that is even with Carmelo Anthony having to carry his teammates on his shoulders for the majority of the season. One can choose to spin the tale of the New York Knicks for this season and then suggest that next year all of the events of 2013 , will be forgotten, because Phil Jackson , by then, will have begun to work miracles. Let’s get something clear, Phil can only work with the tools given him and what he has been provided with at this juncture , are a bag of nuts , bolts, and rusty tools, in seeking to get the job done . As to what transpires, in the coming months of this off-season, remains to be seen. It will be interesting to see whether or not, Jackson can indeed revamp an impoverished franchise, with them regaining some semblance of respectability.

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Picture gallery .

The events of the NCAA Tournament, as they have unfolded, which result has been of the greatest surprise to you ? Which program do you now believe to be in the driver’s seat, with the easiest task of making it to the Final Four and then going on to win the Men’s NCAA title outright ? With Phil Jackson’s introduction as the new Head of Basketball Operations for the New York Knicks , do you believe his task will be an easy one to turn things around for the franchise and how much time in your estimation, will it take for him to make the Knicks relevant and competitive ? Simply take time to leave a comment, as you see fit and thank you for the ongoing support of this site, as it is greatly appreciated !

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below .

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Florida guard Scottie Wilbekin, bottom, gets past Pittsburgh forward Lamar Patterson for a shot during the second half in a third-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Orlando, Fla., Saturday, March 22, 2014. Florida won 61-45 . AP Photo/John Raoux ….

(2) Florida coach Billy Donovan gestures during the second half in a third-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament against Pittsburgh, Saturday, March 22, 2014, in Orlando, Fla. AP Photo/John Raoux…

(3) Florida guard Scottie Wilbekin (5) and center Patric Young (4) talk on the court during the second half in a second-round game against Albany in the NCAA college basketball tournament against Albany, Thursday, March 20, 2014, in Orlando, Fla. AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack ….

(4) Louisville coach Rick Pitino , right, yells at guard Russ Smith (2) during the second half in a third-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament against Saint Louis , Saturday, March 22, 2014, in Orlando, Fla. AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack ….

(5) Kentucky head coach John Calipari works from the sideline against Wichita State during the first half of a third-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament Sunday, March 23, 2014, in St. Louis. A highly rated Wichita State team that seemingly could not match the intensity shown by the Wildcats during this contest, which ended in disappointment for the Shockers. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel ……..

(6) Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison (2) passes the ball as Wichita State guard Fred VanVleet (23) defends during the first half of a third-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament Sunday, March 23, 2014, in St. Louis. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson …..

(7) Tony Bennett head coach of the Virginia Cavaliers . Bennett’s team face the MSU Spartans on Friday , with the victor guaranteed a berth in the Elite Eight as the prize . AP Photo / Rafael Gomez …..

(8) Michigan State’s Tom Izzo whose long and proud coaching resume’ indicates an impressive track record . Getty Images / Keith Turner …..

(9) NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 23: Jarrett Jack (1) of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots against the New York Knicks during a game at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images …
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(10) New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony talks with New York Knicks’ head coach Mike Woodson during the second half of the NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden, Sunday, March 23, 2014, in New York. The Cavaliers defeated the Knicks 106-100 . .AP Photo /Adrian Miller …..

(11) New York Knicks’ executive Phil Jackson is seen here, inlaid, team head coach Mike Woodson’s ,whose tenure with the Knicks’ franchise now seems more perilous than ever , with the team not completely responding to his coach style, in spite of a recent impressive run of eight consecutive victories . Yet, the team’s home record remains one of the worst in the entire NBA and one of the numerous reasons why they have fallen out of contention within the Eastern Conference this season. It seems highly unlikely that Woodson will be returning to coach the team next season , with their being no guarantee whatsoever, from the front office , even if there have been some reassuring words coming from unconfirmed sources within the hierarchical structure of the franchise. AP Photo / Lou Mason …..

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College Basketball & NBA related pieces :

The running of the Bulls

It’s that time of the year again , and things are said be right with the world ….

You can talk a good game but can you play one ?

Stick to what you know and not what you’re told is the truth

Full steam ahead

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NCAA Men’s Basketball & news

NCAA Men’s Basketball (bracket)

NCAA Men’s Basketball schedule

NCAA Men’s Basketball champions

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NBA news

NBA results 23rd March 2014

NBA standings (division) and by conference

NBA playoff picture (indicates game remaining)

This month in NBA history

A year in review , part two

A year in review , part two

Less is not necessarily more and that is something , the fans found out as the Alabama Crimson Tide’s season came to an abrupt halt with the team’s inexplicable loss to Auburn (Tigers) , when Nick Saban and this team were seen as prohibitive favorites to repeat as a national champions in College Football . Yet, more than anything else , it was the arrogance of the head coach and his coaching staff that led to Alabama’s own undoing in that highly competitive and touted contest . Far be it for me to suggest , but when you show that type of arrogance during such an important game , your fate can only be dealt with and brought to such a fateful way as many witnessed on that day . Nothing more, nothing less , will suffice at this juncture , the Tide now playing in many respects , a totally meaningless Bowl Game . Anyone who believes that the culmination of Alabama’s season can still be looked upon as a resounding success , has to be viewed as someone who is actually delusional and without an ounce of intelligence.

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Auburn’s victory in the Iron Bowl , now has the team and program playing for their second national title in the past four seasons , where they will face Jimbo Fisher and the number one ranked team in the nation , the Florida State Seminoles in the BCS national title game . . Fisher’s opposing number, Gus Malzahn and his coaching staff will be fully aware that going into this contest as a slight underdog should not be seen, as an actual detriment for the Tigers . If anything , it will be the Seminoles, who as favorites , will have far more to prove , given the way that they have simply steamrolled over the vast majority of their opponents over the course of the their season .

For Florida State’s Heisman Trophy winner, Jameis Winston, after his spectacular season on the field . It will be interesting to see whether or not the player can live up the hype and pressure placed upon his young shoulders over the course of the year . This much is certain , next season with his eligibility a foregone conclusion, the quarterback will simply be playing to exhibit his skills and showing his maturity level for any potential suitor seeking a player of his caliber and skill-set.

College Football , but in particular the BCS, now needs to go out on a roll , as a precursor to the new format , that will be put in place for the 2014 season . From my own perspective, no matter whether or not, it is a committee made up of experts, deciding on a formula of sorts, for a playoff system , as long as large sums of monies are exchanging hands , simply to facilitate a pretext to determine a national champion , with purists juxtaposing a premise, that this newly revised format will be the best way to determine a national champion. It is merely a pretext to deny the obvious, money, more than the spirit of competition, will always be a deciding factor .

For those players, who will undoubtedly seek to declare their eligibility for the 2014 NFL Draft , with the hope of undoubted financial and professional rewards. The rich pickings, that they may well envisage, are not necessarily as great, as they believe it to be. Being drafted in the first round and amongst the top-ten or fifteen draft picks , at times can bring about the highest financial rewards. Yet, that, in of-itself is no actual guarantee of success and for many , toiling for a team that has drafted you in the mid to lower first or third round , can prove to be far more rewarding than being drafted as the first or second pick or third pick overall , for a franchise at least two or three years away from being viewed as a legitimate contender within the NFL . Let the speculation begin, as to which player will be taken as the number one pick , as that privilege and the status it holds can so quickly be forgotten, if the individual in question is unable to show his ability within their first two seasons in the NFL . With the sums of money now vested in player of that status , it easy to understand why teams are sometimes unwilling to make that type of outlay , often associated with a player taken that high in the NFL Draft.

The Louisville Cardinals , coached by Rick Pitino came away with last season’s NCAA Men’s Basketball title and along with it, the esteemed coach added to his already list of illustrious achievements . With that also came the departure of several players from that championship winning roster , who having declared their eligibility , made their way to the NBA Draft , where they were picked up by the franchises in question , searching for fresh college talent . For Louisville , Peyton Siva and Gorgui Deng were the players taken in this Draft, now looking to make their amongst the professional ranks .

As the NCAA season has progressed the standings have remained the same , with the Arizona Wildcats and Syracuse (Orangemen) seated atop of the polls respectively, ranked numbers one and two. . From Kevin Durant in 2007, as the AP Player of the Year and Naismith Award Winner to last season’s claimant Trey Burke , everything has evolved around seeking out the next major star , taking his talent to the professional ranks of the NBA. Perhaps, if league itself, were not in such a dire situation , where the play within the Eastern Conference in particular , has bordered on being completely inept , even with the recent struggles of the reigning NBA champions the Miami Heat struggling as of late.

David Stern points to the fact that the brand and product has become a global phenomenon far outpacing the popularity of Major League Baseball and the NFL , combined. Thankfully, however, the commissioner and the fellow members of the league hierarchy , have yet, sought to expand beyond the North American continent by way of adding an international franchise. If only Stern could expound upon that premise and advise his NFL counterpart , Roger Goodell , that it would be futile and simple idiocy to believe that the NFL can be a resounding success in Europe, by way of adding in a franchise and then having to compete against the soccer leagues in the UK , as well those of Western Europe. It was enough that Goodell and his predecessor , Paul Tagliabue, simply learned nothing by the tens of millions in losses accumulated with the experiment of NFL Europe . One hundred and sixty million dollars ($160 million) later and it would appear that the NFL hierarchy , very much like the administration of Barack Obama , simply believes that by burning through vast piles of money, is another way of trying to solve an issue, without having first done a complete and thorough investigation of that issue and then seeking how to solve that problem.

The NBA for its part burns through money, by offering exorbitant contracts to players who in some instances are simply not worth the value of the deal signed . And purportedly, general managers and NBA team owners are said to be astute businessmen? I guess, that, James Dolan and Mikhail Prokhorov can make the case , that stupid is as stupid does ? Consider the fact that the respective franchises, owned by both individuals , the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets are currently struggling, languishing near the bottom of the Eastern Conference and at the bottom of the Atlantic Division . Meanwhile, the bloated payrolls of both teams , the Knicks and Nets , are simply another reason why the NBA has completely lost touch with reality. The NBA marches to the beat of its very own drum and drum beat without noticing the ever-present danger and self-inflicted wounds to its own image.

There have been plaudits, behind three players this season within the Collegiate Level of the NCAA , that are thought to be stars of the future within the NBA. Andrew Wiggins of the Kansas Jayhawks , Jabari Parker of Duke (Blue Devils) and Antoine Mason of Niagara , who play within the Metro American Atlantic Conference (MAAC) . A conference not necessarily renowned for what one would be deemed great college basketball. Yet, as the game has evolved, so too have the programs who now find themselves with players who were overlooked by the more illustrious schools within the NCAA basketball hierarchy. Whether or not Mason’s game can easily acclimatized to the rigors of the NBA is solely dependent upon his productivity over the course of this season , and the success of Niagara , how their stature is raised and the publicity garnered by their young star.

For Andrew Wiggins , having Bill Self as his coach , will avail the young freshman one of the best tutors in College Basketball , in aiding him hone his game . While there seems to be the consensus that he is likely to be the number one overall pick for the upcoming 2014 NBA Draft . It is my belief, that the player, will undoubtedly be drafted in the first round and likely be a top-five pick. However, there still remain questions, concerning his all-round game and willingness to come to the aid of teammates when adversity stares the team directly in the face. Coming off a recent victory over Toledo , the Jayhawks’ next opponent will be San Diego State of the Mountain West Conference on Sunday, 5th January , 2014. It will be interesting to see whether or not the team can push their record to 10-3 and rise up the rankings.

While, I believe Jabari Parker to be a better player than Andrew Wiggins! Being the best, does not always equate to being great in the NBA , and what is said to be desired by a general manager looking to improve a team’s roster. Parker, under the tutelage of Blue Devils’ coach , the renowned Mike Krzyzewski , will garner a great deal of attention , simply because of the stature of the Duke program and its history under Krzyzewski. Duke as a resident within the ACC and perhaps the most “celebrated program ” within the conference , will this season be undoubtedly tested as they seek to improve on last season’s showing within the ACC as well as the NCAA Tournament . A lopsided thirty-eight point victory over Elon , may well not signify a great deal about Duke , because as usual , it tends to be their conference schedule and games against the more noted programs , that dictates how much of a credible contender that the team is likely to be over the course of the season .

Parker throughout much of this season has proven his worth for Duke in a number of games , showing a great deal of maturity and leadership for someone so young. Clearly, while many are in agreement with the NBA’s ruling, concerning the eligibility of players declaring for the NBA Draft. While, there are supporters of the current edict, a number of detractors have also begun to voice their concerns of the league’s denial of a players’ right to earn a living. However, with so many declarer’s each season making the jump to the professional ranks, all but a handful, are actually looked upon as entering the NBA and capable of playing at a high level .

The NBA and the NCAA will at some point, have to revisit the issue of player eligibility and seek to find a solution that is equitable for all of the parties concerned. David Stern’s biggest concern on this issue has to be the quality of the players making the jump. Within Collegiate Athletics, NCAA President Mark Emmert has to be seen as credible , when consulting with coaches and administrators , in gauging their views on the matter. The coaches, ultimately know, whether or not players that they have recruited for a program are likely to make one or four-year commitment to that school and its athletic endeavors.

Duke for their part will begin 2014 foray, with a game , on Saturday afternoon, when they travel to South Bend, Indiana, to take on Notre Dame . The contest should prove to be a very interesting contrast of styles and coaching , with the Fighting Irish’s coaching staff being led by Mike Brey and his coaching assistants.

Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals , would like nothing better than to make a successful defense of their title . That premise , easier said than done, but with only Billy Donovan and the Florida Gators , having achieved that feat in the past decade , It is extremely difficult to see Pitino and his coaching staff being able to guide the team on not only an arduous season , but then into a series of games , where everything is said to be on the line. The Cardinals’ lopsided victory over the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando , Florida, now sets them up, for what may well prove to a tough contest against Rutgers , in Piscataway , New Jersey this weekend. Both programs, will certainly be looking to give it their all, while entertaining the fans in attendance the Louis Brown Athletics Center , in Piscataway ,. From there, as the season meanders for Rick Pitino and the program, we can but merely speculate on what is likely to happen .

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Picture gallery .

What if anything to your mind, were the biggest surprises of this past season within both College Basketball and that of the Football season also ? And in the BCS championship game , do you believe that Florida State will be able to subdue a very tough adversary , in the Auburn Tigers ? Leave a comment , as you see fit on this and anything you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter.

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Picture and slideshow details below .

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(1) Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide is surrounded after their 28- 34 loss to the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 30, 2013 in Auburn, Alabama. Getty Images North America / Kevin C Cox …

(2) Head coach Gus Malzahn of the Auburn Tigers and head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide shake hands prior to their game at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 30, 2013 in Auburn, Alabama. . Getty Images / Kevin C Cox ….

(3) Florida State head football coach Jimbo Fisher is seen here with the team’s quarterback and 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston . Unbeaten all season , the lone quest remaining on their schedule is an upcoming national championship title game against Auburn on the 6th January , 2014 in AP Photo / Curtis James ….

(4) Dwayne Allen of the Indianapolis Colts , who was taken in the third round by the team in the 2012 NFL Draft and has proven to be effective for the Colts this season , as they have garnered their second consecutive playoff berth since the arrival of quarterback , Andrew Luck , who was the pick taken overall in that year’s NFL Draft. AP Photo/ Mark Woods …

(5) Rick Pitino the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals gives instructions to his team during the against the Missouri State Bears at KFC YUM! Center on December 17, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky. Getty Images / Andy Lyons …

(6) Some time adversaries , but for the most part the best of friends , coaches , Bill Self of Kansas (Jayhawks ) shaking hands with Mike Krzyzewski , right, coach of the Duke Blue Devils . Both of these well-respected programs are currently ranked in the top twenty-five in the nation of the NCAA Rankings . Courtesy of ESPN ….

Three highly touted recruits and like to be lottery first round draft picks in 2014 , in the NBA Draft . From left to right Jabari Parker , Andrew Wiggins and James Young of the Kentucky ( Wildcats) . AP Photo / George Parsons …..

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Related article : A year in review , I think not

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NCAA Football and the postseason

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NCAA Men’s Basketball and the NCAA Men’s Basketball schedule

NCAA Men’s Basketball rankings

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NBA news and archived stories

NBA results 31st December 2013 and schedule 1st January 2014

NBA standings by division

NBA standings by conference

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A couple of well-developed assets , I believe !

No question , she wants to ‘party’ .

Hype will be the death of sports and then some ….

Hype will be the death of sports and then some ….

Well there is nothing like a littler hyperbole to set tongues wagging and to get the most idiotic of prognostications from analysts and fans alike. Nowhere does this happen to be more prevalent than within the world of the NBA and NFL . The 2012 NFL Draft , may well have been the best draft of the past decade in terms of the depth of talent made available by way of the players who declared their eligibility . The NBA has seen its wealth of talent makes its way into the league with the current class of rookies now making a name for themselves by contributing to their teams’ success during this season . Already, a little more than one-quarter of the way through a rigorous eighty-two game regular season schedule and talks already amiss concerning the 2014 NBA Draft and whether not Kansas Jayhawks’ rookie phenom Andrew Wiggins will be the top player taken in that upcoming draft. Now as good as Wiggins just happens to be , and he is very good, given the talent already on display for the Jayhawks. I truly believe that Wiggins might not be the best player, likely to be available in the draft. That accolade quite frankly, should go with the Duke Blue Devils’ own rookie sensation Jabari Parker , who is coached by the legendary Mike Krzyzewski .

Now while there is a great deal to be said for both of these respected programs, in terms of Duke and Kansas, do not make the mistake that both coaches Mike Krzyzewski and Bill Self are unlikely to take anything for granted concerning the aforementioned talents in question. What we do know , is that Parker like Wiggins , both make their teams considerably better when they are on the court , than sitting on the sidelines watching their teammates at play. Both Duke and Kansas are currently ranked in the AP Top Twenty-five , with the unbeaten Arizona Wildcats (11-0) sitting atop of the heap , followed by the number ranked Syracuse (Orangemen) , also unbeaten with a record of 10-0.

Duke (7-2) coming off a recent ten point 79-69 victory over John Beilin’s Michigan Wolverines , will be seeking to push their mark to 8-2 , while seeking to move themselves up in the ACC standings , where the Pittsburgh Panthers (10-0) and Syracuse both lead the way in the overall standings , but the conference lead is held by Maryland (Terrapins) and the Virginia Tech Hokies (1-0) . Next up for the Blue Devils, will be one these always nondescript out of conference games that tend to make up the more mundane side of a top programs’ schedule. Facing Duke in that contest, will be Gardner Webb of the Big South Conference , in a meeting that is not likely to prove too much of a mental or physical test for Mike Krzyzewski’s players .

Jabari Parker will undoubtedly prove to many that he is not only the best player on the Blue Devils’ team, but clearly has to be thought of as one of the best collegiate players in the nation. Andre Wiggins for his part, has been making analysts and fans sit up and take note of his game . . While the Jayhawks recently came unstuck, when they faced Billy Donovan and the Florida Gators , it was clear, that those in attendance for that contest , were indeed witnessing a very special talent in Andrew Wiggins, albeit , that the Gators came away with a well-deserved victory . Subsequent to that defeat, the Kansas Jayhawks were able to rebound with a rather lopsided 80-63 victory over New Mexico .

At this stage of the Collegiate Basketball season , there still remains a great deal to play for , but at the same time a number of teams are exuding a great deal of confidence.

The nation’s top ranked program in the AP Polls , the Arizona Wildcats are playing some very good basketball , and the case be made that with their current RPI , the plaudits are justified in their current ranking of the program. Much of that credit for the team’s early season form has to go to Sean Miller and his coaching staff . Miller and his team will play host to Southern University on Thursday night, at the McKale Center , in Tucson , Arizona,.

I have no wish to anoint a player as being the next big thing in any professional team endeavor , as has often been done by these on air analysts . Only for those very same individuals to then go on to have selective memory loss , when posed the question, why it is that their choice, has not fulfilled those expectations ?

It has to be said that the NFL has not only proven to be a complete joke this season by way of the poor coaching , pedantic play , but even more so, players long thought to very good or anointed as being “ the next big thing” , have simply offered nothing of substance . If that premise could not be better emphasized, then anyone who witnessed Sunday’s home game at Texas Stadium , where the Dallas Cowboys played host to the injury riddled Green Bay Packers , who were without quarterback Aaron Rodgers , will know that this game unraveled , simply because the Cowboys possess no stomach for any type of adversity on a football field . A twenty-three point lead by Jason Garrett’s players was simply squandered , as Garrett , his coaching staff and the team were unable to answer the unbelievable rally , as Matt Flynn led his team on an improbable comeback , that quite possibly may well have sealed the Dallas Cowboys’ postseason aspirations .

As Tony Romo and a weeping Dez Bryant , now ponder what might have been. It begs the question, if Bryant as he claims, is the best wide receiver currently playing in the NFL. Then where was the skill-set so often hyped over, which was simply nowhere to be seen during this contest? As to those, who are still jumping to the support of Tony Romo, being one of the best quarterbacks in the league. My question for those , who still believe that to be true , why is it that this player, has no leadership ability or and whose postseason career has been mired in mediocrity ?

The Dallas Cowboys, in perhaps their worst loss of the season , will now have to live with that experience , as Jason Garrett seeks to regain some type of momentum for the team. A divisional game against the still self-imploding Washington Redskins in week sixteen , in what is likely to be either a putrid contest or something thrilling. I am liable to think that it will be the former as Tony Romo and his teammates seek to close out their season on a competitive high. Yet, it could very well be the final game of the season that could ultimately decide the fate of the Cowboys, in what is likely to turn out to be a highly physical contest against the Philadelphia Eagles at Texas Stadium in Arlington, Texas , could very well be the difference of the Texas-based franchise being part of the postseason makeup or sitting at home , watching the participants in the NFL postseason foray.

This season’s NFL rookies have acquitted themselves well in a number of cases , even if their teams are not necessarily competitive. We have seen the travails of Geno Smith whose rookie season with the New York Jets has simply been abysmal . A great deal of the player’s woes, stem from the fact that he was not an NFL ready quarterback and his game has simply been far too inconsistent for the Jets to have been competitive . Furthermore, in what is eerily , looking like a situation that could very well see the departure of Rex Ryan and his entire coaching staff . There is a growing belief that GM John Idzik, no longer has any faith in the one-time bombastic head coach. The coaching staff is unlikely to be the only remnants jettisoned at the end of this season , as several players on this roster are likely to be as superfluous to the franchise’s needs as well as Idzik seeking to slash the team’s payroll .

Coming off a ten-point loss to the Carolina Panthers , in what was simply a pre-audition for the playoffs, for Ron Rivera’s team, as they seek to challenge the New Orleans Saints within the NFC South . Just about every area of the Jets’ game in this contest was abysmal , and it is a further damning indictment of Rex Ryan having lost the team, where there seems to be no on-field leadership, not from Geno Smith or from any of the veterans on this roster. The sooner, the departure of Rex Ryan becomes a reality, rather than the continued idiocy of his reign remaining intact, the greater the likelihood of this franchise continuing with its ever-growing incompetency.

A season of indifference and now the talk has to be, how and why the New York Giants have failed so miserably this season . Having missed the playoffs last season, the front office saw fit to do some house cleaning , seeking to get rid of several players that aided the franchise in winning two Superbowl titles in the past six seasons. Eli Manning , for his part, his play has been indifferent, with coach Tom Coughlin not seeing fit to call out his veteran quarterback and for his lack of leadership this season. If nothing else, Jerry Reese must now be blamed for several of the transactions that led to the departures of Mario Manningham, Osi Umenyiora, Michael Boley and several others who contributed in that success.

This past weekend the Giants were on the wrong side of a lopsided defeat against the Seattle Seahawks , as Russell Wilson led his team to a 23-0 whitewash of the NFC East based franchise. At 5-9 New York’s season has all but ended , with their being few positives to have been gained at all from the team’s schedule, by way of the productivity of the players and with the rookies unable to add little of note. It’s likely to be, back to the drawing board for Tom Coughlin and his coaching staff , who are likely to work in conjunction with Jerry Reese to assess the needs of the franchise. Needless to say, Eli Manning has to know that a great deal more will be expected of him , given his status with the franchise and amongst the highest paid players on the roster , as well as at the quarterback position in the NFL .

The two remaining games on the New York Giants’ schedule , will pit them against the Detroit Lions in week sixteen, to be followed by a divisional contest in their final regular season match-up, where they will meet the Washington Redskins . Victories in both games, would end the year on something of an emotional high, but the common belief has to be , that the franchise has simply under-achieved in 2013.

I’ll say it again , of the four major professional team sports , nowhere is the hype greater than within the NBA ! Each season , the crop of rookies entering the league are being anointed for no other reason , than the less than knowledgeable on air analysts, feel the need to feed into the idiocy , that their insight happens to be the only thing that matter. Granted , when you have the piety of _ Mel Kiper and Todd McShay being thrust upon you at each NFL Draft , the fans get the feeling that the idiocy doesn’t only remain within the NBA alone.

The 2012 NBA Draft brought us a less than memorable rookie class and likewise it has been the same for this season. In the midst of it all, the league’s brand has deteriorated with the play of the teams seemingly mediocre , but meanwhile the NBA hierarchy and its broadcast partners would have us believe that it is simply a cyclical effect, and that the marquee stars are still playing at the highest level . There are, but a handful of ” elite players ” in the NBA, yet an abundance of average to mediocre teams , with no more than four or five franchises that would be considered credible contenders for the NBA title.

Last season’s NBA Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard .. excelled in his role with the Portland Trailblazers (21-4) , and with the Indiana Pacers suddenly looking far from impervious or invincible , it has been the Trailblazers and coach Terry Stotts’ team with the best record in the Western Conference as well as the NBA, with Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge leading the way for the Northwest Division based franchise who lead their closest divisional rivals the Oklahoma City Thunder by a mere game in the standings.

The Trailblazers’ young point guard along with a number of his peers from last season are off to notable starts this year , and a somewhat similar case could be made for this season’s crop of rookies , where Michael Carter-Williams , Victor Oladipo and Trey Burke lead in scoring . In the assists’ category , the leaders there are again , Carter-Williams, Burke , with Nate Wolters being given due consideration.

It would be correct to suggest that this season the two biggest stories in the NBA season, are the not so implausible facts , that both the Brooklyn Nets (9-15) and New York Knicks (7-17) continue to be mired in mediocrity, in terms of their play , collectively . Never mind the fact that for all of the alleged insight of their fans , even they , cannot acknowledge the fact that neither team has the propensity to play defense . Personally , I believe the more ridicule heaped upon both of these franchises , the more justifiable the claims can be made that owners Mikhail Prokhorov and James Dolan are out of their depth as proprietors of a professional sports’ franchise , never-mind the incessant stupidity still being shown by Billy King and Steve Mills .

With New York coming off another defeat , which in many respects has been symbolic of their season. I cannot help but wonder , how long before a revolt takes place amongst the players , with the blame being apportioned upon the shoulders head coach Mike Woodson and his coaching staff ! ! The turmoil is beginning to take its toll on a number of players on the team, many of whom have no wish to be held accountable, much less with their being any leadership shown by the veterans on the roster. That one point loss at home to the Washington Wizards , where in the third quarter of the game was essentially broke open by the offensive output of the Hawks . From thereon-in, the Knicks were left found wanting , showing very little heart in the waning moments of the contest. . Next up for the laboring New York franchise, will be an away game against the Milwaukee Bucks , that is likely to tell us about the mental capacity of this team.

Brooklyn’s blowout victory over the Philadelphia 76ers might not be seen, as this Jason Kidd coached team turning the corner, but for the moment , it might well have loosened the noose that appeared to be around his neck. This much we do know, even with the front office , giving the coach their full backing , a case can be made, where if the season for this franchise should become more woeful , then a decision has to be made whether or not, he should be retained in his current position. . Kidd and the Nets will play host to the Wizards at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Wednesday night , as the team seeks a second consecutive victory.

Do you believe, that it is worthwhile hyping up an athlete , purely based on speculation or what they have achieved at the collegiate level , when there is no guarantee that success will come their way at the professional level ? Your thoughts, on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter .

🙂

tophatal ….

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NCAA Men’s Basketball

NCAA Men’s Basketball schedule

NCAA Men’s Basketball results 15th December

NCAA Men’s Basketball Conference standings

AP Poll Men’s Basketball rankings

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NFL news

NFL results week fifteen

NFL standings (division)

NFL schedule week sixteen

QB stats week 15

Rushing stats (week 15)

Receiving stats (week 15)

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NBA news

NBA results 16th December

NBA schedule 17th December

NBA standings (division)
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Mack Wilds …… “Own It”

😉

Wendy Fiore

All that glitters, is not necessarily gold …..

All that glitters, is not necessarily gold …

Well , the sports’ world brought us all an array of surprising results , but perhaps , nowhere was this more surprising than in the arena of College Football . The continued arrogance of Alabama’s , Nick Saban continues to know boundaries as to its excessive-ness and his self-absorbed demeanor, was once again on display for all to see in the team’s ” highly touted” match-up against Auburn on Saturday afternoon . Given what this game meant to nation’s top ranked team at the time , the ensuing loss suffered by the Crimson Tide , their first of the season , pretty much has sealed their fate in terms of any national title hopes , as the program sought to win their third BCS national title in the past four seasons . Personally, I see the team’s defeat as a blessing in disguise for the program , a wake-up call for Nick Saban , his coaching staff and players as a whole !

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Saban’s explanation, as to the reasons why he felt it necessary to go for a fifty-seven yard field goal attempt , when all season long , neither kickers Cade Foster or Adam Griffith had succeeded from a range beyond forty-eight yards , warrants as much of answer , as to the coach’s own decision , to seek to make the attempt at the time. What followed is likely to go down in the annals of the Auburn Tigers’ folklore, as well its rich heritage of footballing history. With the remainder of the Collegiate Football schedule, yet to be played out , the question now becomes who best serves being anointed to play for this year’s BCS title, with the winner being viewed as the nation’s top football program for the 2013 season .

A clearly disgruntled Nick Saban strolls the sidelines during Alabama’s game against Auburn this past Saturday . The game ended with Alabama’s unbeaten reign for the season coming to an abrupt end .

While Alabama, was being sent back to Tuscaloosa, with their tails between their legs. Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes , sought to move up the rankings by seeking to be victorious over Michigan . It is pretty safe to say that the Buckeyes and that rampant offense are by far the best team in the country as things now stands with the exception of the ACC’s own juggernaut Florida State (Seminoles) . I am beginning to wonder, if Jay Jacobs the Tigers’ AD is actually serious when he says ” ‘College Football’ would be done a great disservice, if a one loss team would be left out of the national title game and undefeated team such as Ohio State were allowed in “ . Once again, an administrator with clearly no damn intelligence, is seeking preferential treatment for the SEC , after Alabama’s repeated chances to put the game beyond Auburn’s reach, when the teams faced each other on Saturday afternoon . Jacobs, if anything should be elated at his school’s triumph and that they are now viewed as a possible national title contender while praising Chris Davis in showing his athleticism in racing through for a one hundred and seven yard touchdown run , that sealed the victory for the Tigers and leaving Alabama questioning their alleged invincibility .

Urban Meyer having brought back a sense of respectability to the Buckeyes’ program , their clash with Michigan (Wolverines) has always been seen as one of the highlights of the Collegiate Football season. Nonetheless, it would take a wildly rousing and stirring contest , before this game would come to a satisfactory conclusion on Saturday afternoon , with Meyer’s team coming away with a narrow but hard-fought 42-41 victory . At 12-0 , the Buckeyes can now seal their own fate, by winning the Big Ten title and booking their way to a BCS title match-up .

One can truly tell a great deal about a program in College Football , by the demeanor of a head coach and the relationship that he is said to have with the fans. In the case of the Florida Gators . The expectations were high , with the hire of Wil Muschamp , as he sought to make a name for himself , rather than seeking upon the retirement of Mack Brown at the University of Texas and that illustrious program . Of late , both the Longhorns and Gators seem to have hit upon lean times , and now comes the question what fate now awaits both Mack Brown and his former heir apparent Wil Muschamp after their respective under-achieving seasons. You can have all the talent in the world along with this asinine notion as to a top recruiting class on an annual basis , as many of these misanthropes who purportedly call themselves die-hard Gators’ fans . Ask them to explain why none of that has matriculated into a successful 2013 season , and it almost akin to berating and telling them to stop suckling on their mother’s breasts .

These Gators’ fans are bright , but not that bright or excessively intelligent. Jeremy Foley no longer has that glint in his eye and his reputation has taken a gigantic hit with the team’s failings this season under the young head coach . From my own standpoint, I do not believe that Wil Muschamp is a great motivator , while he may well be a very good coach , there has been nothing to suggest that he is either astute or in fact knows how to deal with real adversity on or off the field of play ! The results this season bear this out and the team’s lopsided loss (37-7) to instate rivals, the Florida State Seminoles , further emphasized that fact and was a damning indictment of the team’s failings that have been on show , all season long .

Wil Muschamp is likely to be retained by the school , but I believe that after this loss to the Seminoles, the picture for the head coach is not as bright as first thought , when hired as the successor to Ron Zook , whose own tenure with the program was short-lived , after the boosters were not satisfied with the on field progress of the team , at the time . If Zook, can be hung out to like a dying carcass , for just about everyone to pick at his entrails , then why has not the same fate , now befallen his successor ?

If the NFL has actually proven one thing to me this season , it is never ever look at a team and to think them great , in spite of the results or statistics ! Well , in the case of the , Atlanta Falcons , Buffalo Bills , Cleveland Browns , New York Jets , Tampa Bay Buccaneers , Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins , that argument was already mute to begin with, Neither team from a coaching standpoint, or competitive standpoint has been a worthwhile exhibit to view and categorically state , this is what the NFL is all about . If anything , all six teams , it could be argued this is what the league should not desire to be about , under any description that would give credence that this is how football ought to be played .

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-9) were thought to have turned the corner having won two straight , before running into the hottest team in the NFL , when Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers played host to their NFC South divisional rivals on Sunday afternoon . Anyone who may well have remotely thought this contest to be even competitive , must be viewed with a great deal of skepticism . This is a badly coached Buccaneers lineup , whose head coach Greg Schiano is as bereft of coaching acumen , as the team he sent out onto the field of play on Sunday afternoon . Where Tampa and the front office now decides to go from here, will be predicated upon the remaining four games of the season on the Buccaneers’ schedule.

Geno Smith , turnover machine , his understudy this season , Mark Sanchez , likewise . How else can one describe a New York Jets’ team that has been so extraordinarily bad , other than to say , “ boy this team sucks “ ! The Jets and the Miami Dolphins met in an AFC East divisional game that had a great deal riding on the outcome for both teams. Miami, is still looking to downplay and forget about the verbose behavior of Richie Incognito , while the Jets are simply looking to forget about this season altogether . Suffice to say, after the Dolphins’ open-ended 23-3 annihilation of the Jets , you have to come to the conclusion that the team’s GM John Idzik has to take matters into his own hands and fire head coach Rex Ryan at the end of this season . What use is a coach , who is unable to motivate a team , much less teach them the basic fundamentals of the game ? Answer me, that , if you can ?

Geno Smith may well be in his rookie season , but the repeated mistakes , are common placed , that there is no way in hell , I can see the player being the regular season starter for the franchise next year ! He was ill prepared in 2013 and under the tutelage of quarterbacks’ coach David Lee , his progression has been at a snail’s pace. .

How the mighty have fallen and it seems almost inconceivable, that the Houston Texans (2-10) can now be so bad and look so bad . At the beginning of the season, this team was thought to be one of the more credible contenders within the AFC South , as well as the AFC and a legitimate Superbowl contender. Instead, a team , plagued by injuries , poor quarterback play, inexplicable mid-season personnel decisions and a complete lack of leadership both on and off the field of play . Matt Schaub , has simply proven that all the all great regular season stats cannot make up for the flaws he has in terms of his postseason play , and not one to be viewed as a leader , when faced with adversity during the postseason. Head coach Gary Kubiak , in spite of his recent health issues , I can only surmise that team owner Robert “Bob” McNair and GM Rick Smith are likely to make the decision to jettison their beleaguered coach. Two successive postseason failures and then , in 2013 , a none responsive unit on the field of play , has all but condemned the franchise to a rather moribund season . The team’s record, as it now stands, certainly bears this out and it is simply another damning indictment of another NFL franchise , where the coaching has been so mediocre beyond the atrocious play .

The Texans’ narrow three-point 34-31 loss to the New England Patriots may well have been another nail in the coffin , that is likely to bring about Gary Kubiak’s abrupt departure as well the team’s veteran quarterback Matt Schaub. Many, still question, why it is, that the coaching staff have not made more use of either TJ Yates or Case Keenum . The latter, in Keenum, who showed a great deal of poise earlier this season , when asked to step in for the then injured incumbent starter , Matt Schaub. Keenum’s demotion back to the bench, created a great deal of anger amongst Texans’ fans. Case Keenum’s play on Sunday was very good , but the Texans’ defense was simply diabolical to watch under any circumstance , that one might deem to imagine.

As the Seattle Seahawks roll on , and based on last night’s rollover and demolition of the New Orleans Saints, this Pete Carroll coached team might just now be the best in the NFC . My only caveat to this all , “buyer beware “ , as the Carolina Panthers with their recent win streak aided and abetted by the play of Cam Newton and the Panthers’ defense has the team rolling along nicely . Not only that , but with a 9-3 record , they are now challenging the Saints for divisional supremacy within the NFC South , in what has been a totally abhorrent season for the division’s two other divisional occupants , the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

While I believe that the Seahawks’ fortunes are tied to that of the team’s quarterback Russell Wilson . I can’t help but wonder, how differently, things might have turned out, had not then GM John Idzik persuaded Pete Carroll to draft Wilson, rather than going with a defensive lineman . It is clear, that since Russell Wilson’s first appearance for the Seattle Seahawks, the franchise has become relevant once again, with the young sophomore quarterback once again showing his worth this season . Seattle’s next game will be a true test of wills when they make an appearance at Candlestick Park in San Francisco , California, when they are the guests of the San Francisco 49ers in a divisional contest. In the driver’s seat, having already garnered a playoff berth, the best record in the conference and the league are still up for grabs.

As a die-hard New England Patriots’ fans , I must say that at times I have been completely dismayed by the play of the team and what appears the whimsical and often complacent attitude of Bill Belichick and his staff . I believe much of this, may well have to do with how the franchise has been viewed in light of the Aaron Hernandez ” scandal” . A great deal of the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of the head coach and front office , with GM Nick Caserio working in close conjunction with team owner Robert ‘Bob’ Kraft. . In the aftermath of Hernandez’s arraignment and being charged first degree murder , all of the finger-pointing and blame game began , with Kraft suggesting that the player lied to the organization . My question for Kraft , if as suggested , the franchise conducted their own in-depth background check of Aaron Hernandez’s past history , then why was it that a number of the prior allegations against the player while in college, were simply overlooked by the organization ? And given the player’s propensity for violence and a need to be around multiple firearms, licensed and unlicensed , then clearly that had to have been a ‘red flag’ raised for the Patriots’ investigators, for Bill Belichick , Nick Caserio and Robert Kraft.

A trial date, has yet to be set for Aaron Hernandez, in the homicide of a former acquaintance, Odin Lloyd . This story will become a media cycle and news’ frenzy for the NFL and the nation’s broadcast networks in 2014. Especially where, there now seems to be a belief that the tight end may well now be an accomplice in two other homicides that have yet to be closed by law enforcement in terms of a full investigation .

At 9-3 and leading the AFC East , quite comfortably, New England’s destiny over the remainder of the regular season rests in their own hands. The remaining four games on their schedule, are all winnable , if the effort is shown to garner the results desired. A number two seed and gaining a bye, in the wildcard round of the playoffs has to be the objective of the team. I am sure that Tom Brady and his teammates would like to make that a reality , rather than having to face the pitfall of facing a lower seed in the always dangerous opening round of the NFL postseason .

This never-ending rationale by Roger Goodell with the rise in popularity of the NFL across the Atlantic Ocean , and specifically in Western Europe . There now seems to be a growing anticipation amongst Goodell and the most senior league executives that the time is almost upon the league to make it a reality , of having a franchise based in Europe . Language barriers asides , the preferred choice would appear to be London , England . Yet, the real issue would become the venue and the cost to an apparent aspiring franchise owner. Any bidding consortium is likely to be asked for a rights’ fee in excess of $750 million . No small price, considering the avarice continually being shown Goodell and the franchise owners around the NFL . What the NFL Commissioner has failed to take into account, apart from the tens of millions dollars lost after the league’s first foray on the European continent with the doomed failure . of NFL Europe . Presided over by Paul Tagliabue as the then commissioner , is the league having to compete against not only Premiership soccer , but also the various professional soccer leagues in Western Europe and their scheduling .

One of the major failings of that first start-up , was the very fact that the NFL handled it all haphazardly , without their being any input being sought from the then starting franchises, that encompassed NFL Europe’s beginning . Communiques between the league and its counterpart , were often comedic and bore no substance in fact , in terms of the claims that the initiative was an overall success . Two decades later , and I am convinced that Roger Goodell has learned absolutely nothing from his predecessor’s failure with NFL Europe. Owners such as Jerry Jones , Robert McNair, Jed York , Arthur Blank , Jerry Richardson , Pat Bowlen and Jim Irsay and Jeff Lurie are proponents for the league’s expansion outside North America .

If the NFL can barely make any inroads, in seeking the creation of a franchise in the nation’s second largest advertising market in Los Angeles , California. Then what might I ask, would embolden the league to now believe, it now has a better chance of having a European franchise ? One would also have to take into account the logistical nightmares that are likely to be created, concerning a regular season schedule and the time zones involved . While there are billions of dollars at stake in terms of increased revenues , there is no guarantee of success and I sincerely doubt that a prospective franchise owner would willing wait anywhere between four to six years before the franchise would be deemed a competitive success. Never-mind the fact, that the fans are likely to be subjected to several years of likely incompetence in terms of the on-field product . Is that really the price , that you as a consumer and fan would be willing to pay?

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Picture gallery .

As the NFL regular season is coming into the final stretch , what if anything do you believe awaits a number of the league’s perceived contenders ? Also, which team to your mind , has proven to be the biggest disappointment of this season ? Chime in with your thoughts on this and anything else, you believe pertinent to the subject matter.

😦

Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) Auburn’s Chris Davis (11) returns a missed field goal for the winning touchdown against Alabama. Auburn would go on to defeat the number one ranked Alabama Crimson Tide 34-28 in a nail-biting game that may well have dashed Alabama’s national tile hopes in a game played this past Saturday Nov. 30, 2013 in Auburn, Ala. Todd J. Van Emst …

(2) Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn , arms aloft , celebrates as he sees Chris Davis makes his way to the end-zone during the game between Alabama and Auburn this past Saturday , in a clash of two of the SEC’s most respected programs . The outcome has now wreaked havoc in the BCS standings , with the formerly unbeaten Alabama now falling down the rankings to number four in the BCS Poll . AP Photo / Curtis Todd ….

(3) Wide receiver Jeremy Gallon (21) of the Michigan Wolverines is tackled by defensive back Tyvis Powell (23) of the Ohio State Buckeyes in the first quarter during a game at Michigan Stadium on November 30, 2013 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Getty Images North America / Gregory Shamus ….

(4) Wide receiver Devin Smith (9) of the Ohio State Buckeyes scores a touchdown in the first quarter as safety Josh Furman (14) of the Michigan Wolverines defends during a game at Michigan Stadium on November 30, 2013 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Getty Images / Gregory Shamus …..

(5) Wil Muschamp left , head coach of the Florida Gators’ program is seen here with his counterpart Jimbo Fisher of Florida State as the two meet center-field prior to the game between the programs in Gainesville , Florida on Saturday 30th November , 2013 . The Seminoles would go on to rout Florida 37-7 in a lopsided match-up where the Gators’ defense was simply abysmal . So much for the idiocy that the program on annual basis has a top five recruiting class , which obviously hasn’t matriculated into anything of substance in 2013 , given Florida’s present record (4-8) . Orlando Sentinel / Jose Garcia ….

(6) Cam Newton (1) of the Carolina Panthers breaks through the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense for a first down during play at Bank of America Stadium on December 1, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers won 27-6 . Getty Images / Grant Halverson …..

(7) Another loss and another erratic display from the New York Jets . Geno Smith (7) of the New York Jets leaves the field after a loss against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium on December 1, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Getty Images / Jeff Zelevansky …

(8) Seattle Seahawks’ head coach Pete Carroll , right , is seen here with the team’s quarterback Russell Wilson . The player has guided the team to their second consecutive playoff berth in two season and will be looking to go one step further than last season , when the Seahawks were defeated in the divisional round by the Atlanta Falcons . Seattle currently has the best record in the NFC , much of it due to the improved play of the quarterback and what is now turning out to be one of the league’s best defenses . On Monday night the Seattle Seahawks showed their dominance in routing the New Orleans Saints in a completely lopsided affair . AP Photo / Mark Shaw …

(9) Case Keenum (7) of the Houston Texans is seen here on the sidelines at Reliant Stadium in Houston , Texas, speaking to head coach Gary Kubiak . Currently rooted at the bottom of the AFC South with a 2-10 record , all things seem to be pointing to the fact that Kubiak will not be returning in 2014 , albeit that the front office has been noncommittal concerning the head coach’s long-term future. AP Photo / Scott Parker ….

(10) Former New England Patriots’ tight end Aaron Hernandez (81) is seen here with head coach Bill Belichick at the Patriots’ practice facility in Foxboro’ , Massachusetts. With the franchise having released the player early this season after his having been arraigned and charged with first degree murder in the death of Odin Lloyd . Hernandez now awaits a trial date to be set , with two accomplices and his fiancee` Shayanna Jenkins also charged on a lesser count of obstruction of justice and perjury . Meanwhile , the New England Patriots, have seen their season become one of erratic performances , but with their not being much of a competitive resolve from their divisional competitors , their fate now lays in their own hands over the remainder of the regular season , and beyond . Getty Images / Sam Gardner ………

(11) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , foreground , is seen here with Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones . Both high level executives are proponents of the NFL’s expansion beyond North America . Jones has long wised and pushed for the NFL to have an overseas’ franchise specifically in Europe even in spite of the league’s failure with NFL Europe in the mid to late eighties. NFL regular season games have been played in Toronto , Ontario , Mexico City , Mexico and in recent years in London , England , at the cathedral of English soccer , Wembley Stadium , in London. In 2014 , Goodell expects the schedule to incorporate two regular season games at the English soccer venue , though no concrete deal has yet to be set on the schedule and how it would fit in with any proposed events to be staged at the stadium. . AP Photo / Scott Parker ….

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🙂

tophatal …………..

😉

NCAA Football news

NCAA Football results week fourteen

NCAA FBS Football schedule week fifteen

BCS rankings

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NFL news and stories from around the league

NFL week thirteen schedule

NFL week thirteen injuries

NFL schedule week fourteen

NFL standings by division

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Slap me silly .

Saban left his team hanging in the wind with his boneheaded decision , much like this chic’s tits .

Trouble in paradise ……..

Trouble in paradise ………

College Football’s season is well under way , with schools now heading into the fourth week of their scheduling . Alabama remains atop of the AP Poll , as the number one ranked team in the nation. Nick Saban and his team survived a minor scare when they were pushed by Johnny Manziel and the Texas A&M (Aggies) in a game played at College Station, Texas . Manziel proved once again, why he might just be the most electrifying player in college football at present. Far be it for me to suggest that the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner can repeat as a back to back winner of college athletics’ most prestigious individual honor .

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Amongst the collegiate football landscape, there does not seem to be any bona-fide standout nominees at present, to perhaps challenge Johnny Manziel as a repeat winner of the Heisman, , albeit that there seems to be the ridiculously over-hyped hyperbole surrounding South Carolina’s defensive tackle Jadaveon Clowney. And as good as Clowney is said to be , unless Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks are in the midst of the SEC championship aspirations, little if anything , is likely to come out of the arguments and sentiments that now surrounds the player . For the defending BCS national champions, this season has seen the showing something of an immense drop off in terms the play in comparison to last season . Granted when a program loses that many players to the NFL by way of the NFL Draft , it does become something of a boon as well as a boost to the school’s notoriety ,while adding to Nick Saban’s already illustrious legacy .

At 2-0 , Alabama’s next game will be against Colorado State (Rams) to be played in Tuscaloosa , Alabama at the cavernous Bryant-Denny Stadium. The match-up itself , will be the Crimson Tide’s home opener, and there is likely to be a packed venue to see the highly favored national champions make a statement as to their intent , of making a successful defense of their national title. For juniors and seniors such as A J McCarron , Cyrus Kouandjio , Kyle Zazakevicius , Kevin Norwood , Kenny Bell and Deion Belue , this game can be seen as an initial audition for many of the NFL’s scouts , general managers and head coaches. While I believe that Alabama are likely to be tested , I do not think it will prove such a competitive contest, wherein they are likely to be on the wrong side up an upset defeat . We tend to see that sort of complacency shown by the likes of former top-fifteen ranked Florida and their inexplicable loss (21-16) to instate rivals the Miami (Hurricanes) . Florida coach Wil Muschamp now has to reassess where the mistakes were made beyond the defensive lapses and errant plays by quarterback Jeff Driskell during this game .

. If Florida are to have any hope of regaining their momentum, then every effort will have to be made to remedy their mistakes , as their next game will be at home against SEC rivals the Tennessee Volunteers (2-1) coached by Butch Jones . The Volunteers are a team that should not all be taken that lightly , at this point of the Gators’ season . A second slip up , especially in a conference game is likely to put any chances to their own conference championship aspirations as well as an appearance in a major BCS Bowl match-up into a tailspin . Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida, will be packed with two sets of intensely rabid fans showing their support for their respective programs.

The hiring of Urban Meyer to replace the now disgraced former head coach , Jim Tressel at Ohio State (Buckeyes) did not come as a great surprise ,but the coach’s demeanor since his being installed into the position, has left many people wondering how conceited Meyer has become. Beyond his criticism leveled at his former employers , Florida, it has also emboldened the coach to deny any culpability of a program that he coached for six years , where he won two national titles , but also this was a program mired in controversy, which Meyer and AD Jeremy Foley may well have clandestinely sought to cover up a great many of the misdeeds carried out by the players under his tutelage . Allegations of sexual assaults , drug use, theft , grand larceny and academic fraud , much of it unsubstantiated , but there were also clear indications that Foley had boosters intervene to smooth things over with local law enforcement and specifically with the Gainesville Police Department and the Alachua County Sheriff’s Department , where there was said to be misconduct by members of the team .

Meyer having taken over a program that itself was mired in its own controversy , with much of the facts coming to the fore, only after a state and federal investigation was undertaken after it came to light that several players were known to have accepted illicit monetary payments from a known felon , gambler and drug dealer. A great deal of the subterfuge was actually enacted by Tressel , to cover up his own misconduct, web of lies and deceit enacted by himself , and assistant coaches players. While this was going on, both university President , Dr E Gordon Gee and AD Gene Smith stood steadfastly by and vehemently defended the beleaguered coach as the mountain of evidence grew and was then substantiated .

The NCAA , long thought to be the moral voice of reason, saw fit to punish Ohio State, only after the somewhat ridiculous self-imposed sanctions that the program’s Athletics Department was said to be willing to impose upon itself. A mere slap on the wrist for Tressel, with the coach being given a punitive monetary fine and having to sit out a six game suspension, was prescribed by Gene Smith and sanctioned by Gordon Gee. Take into consideration that a $250,000 fine and being told to stay away from the program for six games should be deemed somewhat laughable , when you are made aware that Jim Tressel’s annual salary with Ohio State at the time was in excess of $3.5 million a year . The Infraction’s Committee’s investigation and findings, concluded that there was gross negligence on the part of the Athletics Department’s compliance office, as well as by several administrators . That level incompetency went to the very top of the school’s hierarchy and showed also the complete lack of oversight by Gene Smith in its entirety . The fact that both Gee and Smith are still in the employment of Ohio State, either should be seen as a worrying sign or the fact that Gene Smith would be true to his word and actually make the changes recommended as well accepting the academic probation , with the loss of several scholarships and the forfeiture one year of non-appearance in College Football’s postseason jamboree .

A year removed, from having undergone their sanctions and prohibited from postseason play in 2012. The Buckeyes went through their schedule unbeaten , compiling a 12-0 record with a team , filled exciting players . This season brings about new set of challenges and a chance to see whether or not Braxton Miller is in fact the real deal . With Miller having to sit out the last game in Ohio State’s somewhat lopsided 52-34 victory over the California (Golden Bears) , it was left to Kenny Guiton take over the reins and guide the team to the win . Say what you will about Urban Meyer , but I believe that it is his intent to prove this season that the Buckeyes are justifiably the number two ranked team in the country . although based upon the recent performance of Oregon (Ducks) , some might believe that the Pac 12 program should be fitting of that role, as the second best team in the nation . . Oregon’s 59-14 pummeling of Tennessee, shows that they have no intention of being overlooked in the polls that matter the most, the BCS and AP Polls . The racking up of victories and the piling up of stats seems to be the thing that generates the most votes amongst the adjudicating officials . For Ohio State their next scheduled game will be against Florida A&M in Columbus , Ohio , this upcoming Saturday , at the program’s state of the art facility Ohio Stadium .

Since succeeding Pete Carroll as the head coach of USC (Trojans) , it would be easy to suggest Lane Kiffin has under-achieved in his position as the football program’s head coach. From my own perspective, Kiffin has been controversial from the very day that he was formally announced in that role . Within eighteen months of succeeding Carroll, Lane Kiffin was already within the cross-hairs of the NCAA for having violated several minor infractions. All this , while the program was still under probation in the aftermath of the improprieties of both the basketball and football programs coached at the time by Tim Floyd and Pete Carroll . Mike Garrett , the former AD was either simply naive or was somehow collusive with many of the actions that brought the program into disrepute. With former Heisman Trophy honoree, Reggie Bush , having to return his trophy after bringing dishonor to the school. It has to be said that a great deal more was expected of Lane Kiffin as a head coach. Instead it has been one pratfall after the other , with countless apologies being proffered and the excuse of being unaware as the NCAA requirements . Much to the embarrassment of present AD Pat Haden , who in having succeeding Mike Garrett, has done his leveled best to clean up the program and bring back some respect to one of college athletics’ most high-profiled and visible names .

Last season , was far from being deemed a successful year for the Trojans , who finished with a rather average 7-6 record overall and a 5-4 mark within the Pac 12 . Suffice to say, that with expectations being high, this misstep was seen as step backwards , rather than forward. Off to a 2-1 start in 2013, the team’s first loss (10-7) came by way of Washington State (Cougars) and much to the chagrin of the local media and boosters alike. When you are said to be one of the powerhouse programs of the Football Subdivision (FBS/D1) , these types of losses will not be tolerated easily. Kiffin for his part and his coaching staff seem to be at a loss to explain another haphazard and lackluster performance by the team. With the constant rumors now swirling and calls for Lane Kiffin’s ouster, you simply now get the feeling that his days in Southern California could very well be numbered. And you can bet that those call will not waver, should the situation become more dire for the program, with university President C L Max Nikias likely to be attuned to any changes that Pat Haden might well deem necessary to make . I do however, believe that Lane Kiffin will be allowed to fulfill his obligations for the year and then a decision will be made at the end of the season, concerning his long-term future with the program. There is no denying that Kiffin can recruit , but it would appear, that he has been unable to harness the talents of his players and the get the best possible performances out of them .

Beyond the issue of the team’s defense, it has been inconsistent play of quarterbacks Cody Kessler and Max Wittek , that has to be a cause for concern for Lane Kiffin and the USC Trojans .

Utah State awaits Lane Kiffin and the USC Trojans, this upcoming Saturday , in a game that they must win emphatically. The home crowd will be there at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California, to show their ravenous support. The question however, will it be all in vain ?

Jaded, condescending, conceited and complacent. All of these traits, I believe best sum up Mack Brown and the University of Texas (Longhorns) ! Granted , Brown and DeLoss Dodds seem to have a stranglehold on the entire athletics’ program and the way that it is ran . With annual revenues conservatively estimated at between $120 million to $145 million annually , this does not take into account the joint ownership of the Longhorns Network between the school and the ESPN sports and cable broadcast outlet, where the two parties share jointly in the revenues derived of the agreement . Suffice to say, that Brown’s and Dodds’ imprints were all over that deal , with the football program undoubtedly being the biggest beneficiary of it all .

Off to an inauspicious start the Texas Longhorns are 1-2 , uncompetitive and Mack Brown has taken to apportioning the team’s shortcomings on his coaching assistants , rather than accepting the brunt of the responsibility in not having his players prepared . Losses to BYU , 40-21 and Ole Miss , 44-23 , now has the boosters , fans and analysts questioning the direction of this program and even the coach’s own mindset and that of assistant coaches. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was summarily fired and replaced by Greg Robinson , but the question will remain . What happens, if the Longhorns suffer another embarrassing and lopsided defeat over the remainder of their schedule ?

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports & AP


Texas fires defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, tabs former coach Greg Robinson as replacement

By Pat Forde , Yahoo Sports

Reeling after surrendering 40 points and 550 rushing yards in an upset loss to Brigham Young on Saturday night, Texas coach Mack Brown didn’t waste any time making a change. Yahoo Sports sources confirmed what was originally reported by Orangebloods.com: Brown fired defensive coordinator Manny Diaz on Sunday afternoon.

Diaz was replaced by former Texas defensive coordinator Greg Robinson, who was last in that role at the school in 2004. After several unsuccessful tenures elsewhere, Robinson returned to Texas this offseason as a program analyst. His presence and availability probably shortened the leash on Diaz, whose Longhorns defense last year was among the worst in recent Texas history, allowing more than 400 yards and 29 points per game.

“Our performance on defense last night was unacceptable, and we need to change that,” Brown said in a Texas release issued Sunday evening.

[Related: Mack Brown looks out for Mack Brown]

The dismissal of Diaz may only be a prelude to bigger changes if this season continues on a disappointing path for the Longhorns. Brown, who has won 151 games and a national title in 16 seasons at Texas, will be under serious pressure.

Brown told Yahoo Sports last month, “I’m not going to (be fired).” He also said he wants to coach through the end of his contract in 2020. But Brown acknowledged that his program’s performance the past three seasons – a 22-16 record, just 11-15 in Big 12 play – was not up to the standard he’s set at Texas.

Coming off a 9-4 record last year, Brown was optimistic heading into 2013 that he had his best team since going 13-1 in 2009.

“We could win nine again and be disappointed,” Brown said. “Or we could win all of them.”

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With a slew of games set for week four of the College Football Schedule , it will be interesting to see how a number the top programs fare. The Texas Longhorns will play host to Kansas State (Wildcats ) at the Darrell K Royal/ Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas. That contest should give us a clear indication as to how Mack Brown will intend to ride out the rest of the season with this team and their aspirations within the Big 12 .

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Picture gallery .

Though I have not always been an avid College Football fan, I do believe the game in its purest form is one of the most exhilarating pieces of sports’ entertainment to be found on the sporting landscape . Now while we will continue to question the integrity of the NCAA and the tenure of its President Mark Emmert, I have to admit that the biggest I have within collegiate athletics at present , has been the lack of oversight and leadership provided at all levels within the college sports. Billions of dollars on annual basis, finds its way into the coffers of the NCAA and the college programs nationwide. Yet at the end of the day, there seems to be nothing tangible to show for it all , beyond the lavish and palatial venues and the continued controversies that envelopes college sports by way of corruption and unabated violations that continually takes place . What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised in this article and your expectations for this College Football season ? Your comments are greatly welcomed, so by all means chime in with your thoughts.

Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) College Station , Texas , a fan of Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel poses near the stadium before the start of the game between the two SEC programs Alabama (Crimson Tide) and Texas A&M this past Saturday at Kyle Field . Alabama would go on to defeat the Aggies 49-42 in what was a thrilling contest , with Manziel giving an exceptional performance that saw his team come up just short in defeating Alabama for the second successive season . Getty Images / Scott Halleran ….

(2) Head Coach Kevin Sumlin (L) of the Texas A&M Aggies and Head Coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide talk before the game at Kyle Field on September 14, 2013 in College Station, Texas . Getty Images / Scott Halleran …..

(3) Johnny Manziel (2) of the Texas A&M Aggies throws a pass as Brandon Wilson (36) and A’Shawn Robinson (86) of the Alabama Crimson Tide bears down on him at Kyle Field on September 14, 2013 in College Station, Texas. Getty Images / Scott Halleran …..

(4) Florida coach Wil Muschamp wipes his face during the game the Miami Hurricanes , a clash between the two in-state rivals played at Sun Life Stadium , in Miami , Florida . Errant plays , turnovers and inconsistent play led to the Gators’ defeat by Miami 21-16 . AP Photo / Alan Diaz …

(5) Stephen Morris (17) of the Miami Hurricanes celebrates with teammate Shayon Green (51) celebrate after a touchdown during the first half of the game against Florida played on Saturday , 7th September , 2013. AP Photo / J Pat Carter ….

(6) Devin Smith of Ohio State, out-runs Damariay Drew of Cal, as he makes his way to the end-zone for a touchdown in the first quarter of a game played in Berkley , California on the 14th September , 2013 ,.. AP Photo / Ben Margot ….

(7) Teammates Kenny Guiton (13), Devin Smith (9) and Andrew Norwell (78) celebrate another touchdown in the Buckeyes’ 52-34 romp over the Cal (Golden Bears) in Berkley ,California . AP Photo / Ben Margot …

(8) Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer , right, is seen here with the program’s AD Gene Smith . Coming off academic probation this past season , Meyer hopes to have his team challenging for a Big Twelve championship as well as the BCS national title . Currently ranked at number three in the nation behind second placed Oregon and the number one ranked Alabama , Urban Meyer knows that the road to the national title will warrant an unbeaten season . Critical of his former employers , Florida, Meyer has been courting controversy over the past ten months . AP Photo / Andrew Matthews …

(9) USC Trojans’ AD Pat Haden is seen here at the Trojans Galen Center , home to the basketball program . Haden has some real issues concerning the poor play of the Trojans’ football program and their lackluster performances this season . Lane Kiffin is now under a great deal of pressure to succeed but there are growing calls for the head coach’s removal of the football team . LA Times / Paul Garcia ….

(10) Head coach Lane Kiffin of the USC Trojans reacts during the game against the Washington State Cougars at Los Angeles Coliseum on September 7, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The Cougars won 10-7. Kiffin remains now under a great deal of pressure in spite of the team’s rout of Boston College in a 35-7 victory . The Trojans are 0-1 in the Pac 12 but 2-1 overall , yet they are seated at the bottom of the South division .

(11) DeLoss Dodds AD of the Texas Longhorns is seen here at the Darrel K Royal Memorial Stadium in Austin , Texas. Dodds in conjunction with Mack Brown have been the architects in the program’s joint deal with ESPN for the Longhorns Network , for which the derived revenues would be shared equally . The Longhorns’ AD will be placed under a great to deal with the now growing calls to fire the head coach of the program , calls that are significantly coming from boosters of the University of Texas . Paul Walsh / Summit Enterprises ….

(12) Head coach Mack Brown of the Texas Longhorns waits on the sideline during the game against the Ole Miss Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Oxford, Mississippi. The Longhorns’ head coach has seen the team’s season turn upside down as they are now 1-2 , and facing mounting criticism from the press and boosters alike for the Longhorns’ lackluster performances this season . Brown fired Manny Diaz and promoted Greg Robinson to become the new defensive coordinator . It remains to be seen whether not , there will be an improvement from the team’s secondary . Getty Images / Matt Shaw ….

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tophatal ………………………….. 09/19/2013

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Sheneka

Hot chic pic of the day model , Sheneka Adams .

They did what and why? And their explanation, was what again ?

They did what and why? And their explanation, was what again ?

I have some serious misgivings when I read of the never ending idiocy happening within the world of sports . And nowhere, has it been more candid, simply sordid , and beyond belief than at the collegiate level . It is hard to understand how a bureaucratic monolith of an institution such as the NCAA can be allowed to operate in its present guise , while being so corrupt and completely damn well devoid of any intelligence and leadership . Countenancing this all in many respects has been NCAA President Mark Emmert , who says all of the thing, he believes the public wishes to hear , but lo and behold , he like many of his subordinates simply go out and their actions simply belies and undermines the good they seek to bring about and the changes needed to salvage the years of inaction , and the simply idiocy of the previous administrators of this institution . Emmert succeeded Dr. Myles Brand in November 2010, after his predecessor’s death due to pancreatic cancer .

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Since his rise to the position of NCAA President , Emmert has sought change , much of that primarily with regard to student stipends , said to be part of the change in culture and perception of the “paid student athlete “ , something that no one can now deny is actually prevalent at the collegiate level. Yet , it remains college sports’ dirty little secret , that they do not want uncovered , to then create the perception that they have been unwilling to do anything about the sordid underbelly college sports, beyond the prevalence of sexual crimes that has also become a part of the culture on college campuses across the country . And the apathetic view being taken by so many , is if it goes unreported , then it is not a statistic that we need to worry about . Nothing new , when you consider the fucking idiots in complete denial after the Jerry Sandusky “affair “ and the actions of the Penn State trustees and that of the late Joe Paterno .

Emmert’s rule within the NCAA, has also brought a great deal of criticism from insiders within the collegiate athletic body , as he has systematically removed trusted administrators and replaced many of them, with a number of bureaucrats . However , his rule has been described as being almost autocratic bordering on maniacal in some cases . And when things are said to be not to his satisfaction , he has been known to berate subordinates with such disdain that accusations of abuse can be leveled against him . Yet thus far , he appears to be like ” The Teflon Don” , as nothing ever seems to stick . He is however viewed by a number number of legislators within the US Congress as someone who has brought back some semblance consistency within collegiate athletics . Given the fact that , that the NCAA is granted non-profit status as a charitable organization , by the US Congress , rather than what it just happens to be , a commercial enterprises whose annual revenues runs into the tens of billions of dollars . Somehow , this must have escaped legislators such as Senators Charles Schumer (D-Ny) , John McCain(R-Az) , Rep Darrell Issa (R-Ca,) , Lindsey Graham (R-SC) , Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Jim Cooper (R-Tn) .

In recent months, Mark Emmert’s reign as the NCAA President has come under increased criticism after the mea-culpa and mistakes made by NCAA investigators and what was said to be their ongoing investigation of the Miami Hurricanes’ athletics’ program and the misdeeds of former Canes’ booster , now incarcerated felon , Nevin Shapiro . Claims of fabricated evidence and previous known associations with Shapiro , by several of the investigators from the NCAA’s Infraction Committee conducting the investigation at Emmert’s behest , questions the integrity of any impartiality and that of the NCAA , as an institution. Furthermore, it has been witnessed over the years that Collegiate Athletics’ governing body punishes with impunity programs it seeks to make an example of , only to allow other to carry on with their own nefarious misdeeds , away from prying eyes . How else can one simply explain the repeated occurrences of the U Conn Huskies Men’s Basketball program and the actions of former head coach Jim Calhoun ? Lies by the former coach as to player eligibility , recruitment violations , cheating scandals , all of which seem to have been overlooked by the NCAA and specifically by Emmert . Calhoun , has been succeeded by his assistant and former NBA player , Kevin Ollie , to lead the program , after his twenty six years with the U Conn program . Hopefully , Ollie will ring in a reign, where the program can be looked upon with a great deal more integrity , in spite of the success achieved with Jim Calhoun at the helm.

As to the situation with the Miami Hurricanes and the disruption caused, and the fact that former AD Shawn Eichorst , has since left the school , to hold accept a similar role with the University of Nebraska (Cornhuskers) brings about this question . How can the NCAA, now conduct any further investigation of the school in spite of the claims of Shapiro and the evidence he provided to the FBI and the NCAA , when the institution’s own investigative body cannot carry out and conduct an investigation , without their now being any perceived interpretation of impropriety ? A strong case can be made where Mark Emmert has countenanced this incompetence , because his own reign thus far has also been one of sheer incompetence without anything of tangible note being put into place to strengthen the integrity of the NCAA as an institution. Instead , the body in question is mired in and with incompetence , all too corrupt practices and the very fact that they continue to bleed their broadcast partners dry , by overcharging them for the content they provide to ABC/ESPN , TNT , Fox Sports , CBS Sports and NBC Sports .

Emmert’s career prior to his succeeding Myles Brand has been blighted by controversy and a great deal of incompetence on his part. And with the latest allegations now surrounding his tenure at the University of Connecticut , it begs the question , was there not a more qualified candidate , without this type of baggage to succeed his predecessor ? It is alleged that Emmert along with two other top officials at the university knew of the difficulties that had beset a $100 million construction project on the university’s campus , but somehow they chose to ignore the warnings of mismanagement that had surfaced , while failing to notify the board of trustees of the continued and growing problems surrounding the project including , that there were also actions of fraud by those said to be at the center of the allegations. It has now led to an investigation which will be carried out by the state’s Attorney General George Jepsen , at the behest of Governor Daniel Malloy . And all of this is now happening twelve years after this project first came into being , which would suggest to most conspiracy theorists that something was awry . What the fuck!

Courtesy of USA Today

Digging into the past of NCAA President Mark Emmert

The man entrusted as the NCAA’s moral compass is seen as both a deft manager with politician-like savvy and a self-serving salesman who escapes blame when scandal visits.

By Brent Schrotenboeur , USA Today

INDIANAPOLIS – Six years after Mark Emmert left his job at the University of Connecticut, the governor of Connecticut ordered an investigation into a massive construction project on campus that had been ravaged by scandal, including more than $100 million lost because of mismanagement.

To find out where things went wrong, the investigators looked at old papers of Emmert, who once supervised the project as UConn’s chancellor. They soon found a bombshell.

DOCUMENTS: Take a look into Emmert’s past

Memos from 1998-99 showed that Emmert and two other top UConn officials knew about the construction project’s big problems then, but failed to disclose them to the school’s board of trustees or the state legislature.

The other two officials ultimately resigned after being placed on leave. The third — Emmert — went on to become president of the NCAA.

“There is absolutely no question that he was briefed on the magnitude of the problem three years into it,” Jonathan Pelto, who co-chaired the investigation for Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell, said of the findings. “He was in a position to blow the whistle and didn’t.”

COMING WEDNESDAY: How Mark Emmert has stirred up the NCAA during his tenure

Gov. Rell called the fiasco “an astounding failure of oversight and management .”

It had no bearing on Emmert. By the time the problems were found, he was long gone, having become chancellor at LSU in 1999. Connecticut officials said their efforts to question him about his role in the matter were unproductive.

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There are those who have suggested that Mark Emmert has brought back some of the integrity lost by the NCAA and collegiate athletics overall. I would beg to differ , as this simply more evidence a system that remains broken and where the Presidents and Chancellors as well as the athletic directors on the university campuses across the country have no wish to repair , because as long as that gravy train of , money arrives on time , and continues to meets their expectations , they simply could not give a shit , if Mark Emmert were a homicidal maniac or a damn child predator and pedophile .

The recent firing of Rutgers’ Men’s Basketball coach Mike Rice either has to be one of the most half assed decisions ever rendered by a person in a position of power . The school’s AD Tim Pernetti now states that insight he erred in not firing Rice earlier after repeated and misconduct by Rice against his players over the past three seasons dating back to 2010. If you have not seen the viral scenes since shown over the internet , the abhorrent behavior of the coach , and his repeated verbal and physical abuse of the players bordered on being psychotic and malevolent in its depravity . Throw in, the homophobic and racial epithets used by the coach and now asinine apology , indicates , Rice’s face saving exercise was insulting . And there are those who are of the belief that socially and racially that this country has made such great strides as how it views minorities and transgendered and homosexuals are still treated equally? Perhaps those who take a view to the contrary should take a look at the displays of Mike Rice and then come back with a comment .

Courtesy of ABC News

Fired Rutgers Coach Mike Rice to Receive $100K Bonus

By Kevin Dolak

Fired Rutgers coach Mike Rice is due a $100,000 bonus from the university for the 2012-2013 basketball season, a payout he would not have received had he been sacked when the tapes of his tormenting his players came to light in November.

The New Jersey school fired Rice, 44, Wednesday amid a quickly unfolding scandal that began when ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” aired footage of the coach’s pushing players in the chest, grabbing them by their jerseys and yanking them around the court. Rice could be heard screaming obscenities and gay slurs at players, including “f–king f-ggot” and “fairy.”

Rice earned $622,500 in 2012 and, as part of his deal, receives bonuses for winning games and graduating players. The $100,000 bonus results simply from his completing last season, as stipulated in his five-year contract, The Associated Press reported.

WATCH MORE: Coach ‘Deeply Sorry’ for Kicking Players

The school will pay the bonus because it’s contractually obligated to do so, Athletic Department spokesman Jason Baum told the AP.

It’s unclear whether the university is also obligated to pay for the remaining two years of his contract. He has not had a winning season in his three years at Rutgers.

The sudden firing of Rice has also led to calls from faculty, lawmakers and activists for further investigation into the school, and possibly more firings of the school’s top brass.

A group of 13 members of the university’s staff have called for the ouster of the school president, Robert Barchi, this morning, according to ESPN. In a statement released Wednesday, Barchi said he was informed of the video showing Rice’s actions in November, but did not personally view the footage until Tuesday, the same day it aired on ESPN. Barchi announced Rice’s firing Wednesday.

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Really ? Was Rice unto a new style of Dodgeball ? Ni##ga and Fag#ot Fairy Dodgeball ? Mind you , no Klan members took part in this exercise in cheap thrills an utter fucking stupidity . I wonder why ? Perhaps Rice didn’t have their number on speed dial ?

Rutgers’ President Robert L Barchi is now under a great deal of pressure to fire Pernetti , after his poor handling of this whole sordid affair . Tim Pernetti’s original maneuver of fining Rice $75,000 and a suspension of three games, obviously , had done nothing to alter the mindset Mike Rice’s continued behavior , even after , having those penalties levied against him , as he continued to chastise and assault his players physically and verbally . Once again , showing that for all of the testosterone driven fucking bullshit within sports, when it comes to common decency , there was none evident from anyone within the coaching staff of Mike Rice , much less amongst the faculty of the school. And while everyone now seems to be appeased by the coach’s firing , one could ask the question , why was such behavior tolerated to begin with and why did none of the players from years past not make the public , aware of this , rather than this all coming to the fore by way of several scenes being posted on the internet and there now being the evidence of the records retained by Tim Pernetti and made public for mass consumption .

With Barchi’s position now coming under pressure and calls being made within the New Jersey legislature for his removal . This whole episode could become even more dramatic and controversial than it has already been , with the ramifications being far-reaching and possibly altering the landscape of the Rutgers’ athletic program for years to come.

Sexism , racism it still exists , screw “ Title IX “ and what it’s said to represent ! In the aftermath of the firing of Bev Kearney as the coach of the Texas Longhorns’ Women’s Track program . A program that Kearney molded into being one of the best in the nation , having guided them to six NCAA titles during her tenure . The coach was fired , after having a consensual relationship with a student . At the time Bev Kearney , a divorcee , knew that her actions would be questioned and that character would come under scrutiny. However, what one should take into account while this all played itself out , a similar premise was also being played out with Major Applewhite , an assistant coach with Mack Brown’s coaching staff of the Longhorn’s renowned football program. If an initiative such as Title IX is meant to level the playing field for women within the landscape , then when it comes to morality , then why should it not be on an equal footing there as well ?

Applewhite for all of his acclaim, his actions , also entered into a consensual relationship with a student and also a graduate assistant , while at the time being married . The second of the two marital affairs , took place while his wife, Julie Applewhite was pregnant with their first child . Ho hum , you might say , but herein lays the idiocy of what has taken place . While Kearney was fired, for her relationship , Applewhite was promoted by Mack Brown to an assistant head coach. In amidst this idiocy and blatant act of sexism , comes the comedic analysis of Longhorns’ AD DeLoss Dodds and his comments, that Bev Kearney’s actions brought the Texas Longhorns’ program into disrepute . If that is the said case , then what do you believe his view of Major Applewhite’s actions were to said to have been ? Well , you’ve guessed it , Dodds has offered no comment , concerning the assistant coach , but if anything, he has probably congratulated the former Longhorns’ player , patted him on the back , and told him to “ keep on sowing “ and plowing “his wild oats” amongst the coeds on the Longhorns’ campus .

Kearney , under advisement , has spoken with several members of the legal fraternity, with a view to suing the state educational institution, and the possibility of seeking to being reinstated to her former position. However, with the faculty now circling to protect themselves , Dodds and Longhorns’ President William “Bill” Powers have sought to protect themselves and the university from any legal action by now suggesting that Bev Kearney kept her actions hidden and lied about it when first confronted . A claim , which Kearney completely denies and stands by to this day , in the aftermath of the new claims being made by Bill Powers and DeLoss Dodds.

I firmly believe that collegiate athletics has now become a cesspool of corruption at every level from conferences on down , starting with the faculty members through to their athletics directors , coaches , compliance officers , on down to the athletes themselves . Granted , as the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments winds down , with the nation in awe of both events. Don’t at all be fooled by the displays of sportsmanship and camaraderie being put on show. At the center of it all, are the millions of dollars to be reaped by the institutions in question are front and center for the participants in question.

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Picture gallery.

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Picture and slideshow details below for your perusal .

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;(1) Mark A. Emmert, president of the University of Washington, speaks during a news conference after being announced as the president-elect of the NCAA, in Indianapolis on Tuesday, April 27, 2010. AP Photo/AJ Mast ….

(2) Dr. Myles Brand who preceded Mark Emmert as the President of the NCAA , collegiate athletics governing body that governs at the apparatus sports for the nation’s institutions of higher learning across the country . AP Photo / David Pearson ….

(3) Nevin Shapiro said this photo was taken during a basketball fundraiser in 2008, in which the booster donated $50,000 to the program. . From left to right are men’s basketball coach Frank Haith , Shapiro and University of Miami president Donna Shalala . Shalala is holding Shapiro’s donation check. Haith has since been succeeded as the Canes’ basketball coach by Jim Larrinaga who guided the team to the Elite Eight in this year’s NCAA Tournament . The Canes’ football program is now under an investigation by the NCAA’s Infraction Committee . The investigation is now mired in a great deal of controversy with haphazard investigation procedures and claims of falsification of evidentiary records by the investigators , some of whom are said to have a known association with incarcerated felon Nevin Shapiro, who is now serving a multiyear sentence in a federal penitentiary . AP/REUTERS / Ephraim Moralez ….

(4) Mack Brown head coach of the Texas Longhorns’ football program is seen here alongside his assistant , Major Applewhite . Brown’s assistant promoted within the staff hierarchy was embroiled in two consensual relationship with students at the University of Texas . Senior faculty members DeLoss Dodds and Bill Powers have come to the defense of Applewhite , in light of his actions , albeit , that , they were not so courteous when it came to resolving a similar issue with women’s track coach Beverley “Bev ” Kearney . Courtesy of Longhorns Network @ copyrighted material ….. all rights reserved .

(5) Beverley “Bev” Kearney . coach of the six-time NCAA national champions of the University of Texas women’s track team . Kearney was fired from her position by Longhorns’ AD DeLoss Dodds for her involvement in a consensual sexual relationship with a student. Getty Images North America / Christine Parsons ….

(6) DeLoss Dodds , the athletics director of the University of Texas athletics program . Courtesy of Longhorns Network

(7) Mike Rice the now disgraced former head coach of the Rutgers basketball program. Rice was fired by AD Tim Pernetti after the resultant viral stream of the coach verbally and physically abusing his players . These actions have been taking place for a period of three years , during which Rice used racially and homophobic insensitive derogatory remarks to attack his players . Pernetti for his part has now admitted that he erred on the side of caution in not first firing the coach back in 2010 when the first of these incidents occurred , fining the coach a sum of $75,000 and suspending him for three games . New Jersey Star Ledger / Matthew Stiles ……….

(8) Mike Rice and Tim Pernetti are seen here after Rice became head coach of the basketball program . Since being fired, Rice has issued a less than contrite apology for his insensitive remarks directed at his players . New Jersey Star Ledger / ……….

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Tophatal ………………. 04/04/2013

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NCAA

Failure is not an option

Failure is not an option

It is now nut crunching time as it relates to the NCAA Tournament and the brackets , and how the whole issue will be resolved . It is clear, that the adjudicating body that will come to their conclusions will never fully satisfy the analysts , fans or the media , no matter what decision is made . As a fan of College Basketball , this is simply the one tournament that I thoroughly enjoy watching from start to finish.

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Slideshow.

Teams are jockeying , for the privilege, of playing in what I believe to be the best collegiate sports’ competition, on the collegiate sporting landscape ! Football may well be the most popular sport by far , but with their continued flawed system to determine a national champion , we will never get to a point where we are truly satisfied with a format. Even now, with a rather flawed, but some might say, a much a fairer system to be instituted in the 2014-15 calendar. Which will be solely driven , and formatted for the mere means of gaining tens of millions more sponsorship dollars pouring into the coffers of the BCS and their associate partners It now begs the question , what other asinine concept will be thought up the odious and rather archaic members of that institution ?

Personally, after that catastrophe of a national title game , where Notre Dame simply got their ass handed to them , I am beginning to wonder what the hell , are the polls meant to be about ! Hell, that team , in no way , deserved to be ranked at number one in the nation , at any point of the season , in spite of their unbeaten regular season schedule (12-0) . The fact that the Alabama Crimson Tide , rolled over their ass , like a tractor-trailer crushing road-kill, does create this widespread belief, that the “ Fighting Irish” were simply overrated and a complete embarrassment of that ranking prior to the BCS championship game.

With the recent “signing day “ and this belief , that one can assuage these recruiting classes to validate a claim , as which program was the “ best of the best “ in terms of their recruiting goals. Well, in many ways , it is like trying to suggest , are we ever satisfied with whatever we progress by the decisions made by the Congress and an administration . At the end of the day , it all comes down to the perceived talent , but more so the acumen shown by a head coach and his coaching staff. And at the top of the heap at present , is the name of Nick Saban , whose record simply speaks for itself , that now , nothing else, really needs to be said !

OK, so here we are and a competition initiated after MLB , and IBAF (International Baseball Federation) , and their complete lack of accountability and leadership being shown by both hierarchies , as it relates to the game’s ongoing morass in dealing with their approach on the use of PED’s . For years , the MLB hierarchy led by Bud Selig , simply stood by , and watched in amazement as hallowed records were simply “being ripped “ from the record books with sheer ease. The fact that disgraced ball player, Barry Bonds’ feat of 73 home runs still sits in the books , along with the career home run record , another record held by Bonds . I am beginning to wonder what the venerable Hank Aaron , must now be thing as he watches the game he graced so effortlessly, now become ” a complete sham”, while the salaries of the top players are now reaching ridiculous levels !

While the MLB Spring Training Schedule is in full swing , the World Baseball Classic is being simultaneously. Yet, lo and behold , Team USA , managed by Joe Torre , have seen their foray in this competition come to an abrupt end , with the team’s defeat at the hands of Puerto Rico in the quarter-finals of the WBC. Personally , this is the one competition that since its inception , it has been a downright failure , primarily because the fact Team USA , ranked #2 internationally by IBAF, has seemingly been a train wreck , in international play. Doubt my word , ask yourself this , when was the last time the national side won anything of note at the international level, featuring many of their best stars from the Major League Level ?

It certainly, has not happened in the Olympics, over baseball’s last staging , which before the sport being jettisoned by the IOC. Team competition for both baseball and softball at the Olympic level , last took place in 2008 , and at the behest of the IOC Executive Committee , led its President , Jacques Rogge , led to the dismissal of both sports from the Summer Olympics. Now you have Bud Selig and his IBAF counterpart, Ricardo Fraccari behaving like a bunch of clowns , as they seek the reinstatement of their sport as well as softball, back as part of the Summer Schedule of the Olympics. Meanwhile, self-styled World Baseball Classic , remains a mindless bore and eyesore , barely watched on television , with meager ratings coming by way of ESPN’s and ABC’s televised coverage. About the only ones being served by this utter nonsense are the corporate advertisers looking to make a quick dollar by way of selling their wares .

With the failure of Team USA making a successful run in the WBC , it begs the question , the boast of being world champions ? Albeit, at the club level , where does it place the country at the international level, even with the team’s ranking currently being ranked at number two . After this competition , it is becoming increasingly clear that ranking will slip , along with hyperbole over the country’s boast of being the best in the world .

We know of the aspirations of a number of teams this season with a great on their minds , as it relates to the World Series . Reigning champions , the San Francisco Giants , will be looking to make a successfully defense of the title they won with ease in 2012 , defeating the Detroit Tigers . World Series MVP , Pablo Sandoval , will undoubtedly be looking cement what was a tremendous postseason for the player and his teammates .

Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy , his coaching staff and GM Brian Sabean , will be looking to have this team prepared for the long haul of an arduous 2013 schedule . And for Tim Lincecum, a former Cy Young Award winner in 2008 and 2009 . Last season was something of a misnomer for Lincecum , but he able to deliver for the team when they needed him most during the postseason.

Sabean and Giants’ managing partner , Larry Baer , have to be aware that the franchise will the ones with a target on their backs. Having won two World Series in three years , baseball has not had a repeat series’ winner , since the New York Yankees , won three in a row (1998, 1999 & 2000). And for the game’s most renowned franchise , there are now facing a time of uncertainty, with an aging roster at its core , and a great deal of uncertainty concerning the long-term futures of Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez . And as one career winds down , with Jeter now in the twilight of his famed career , one has to ask who will now assume control and lead this team by example ? Certainly not Rodriguez , given his penchant for excuses , and seeking to apportion blame elsewhere for his own repeated mistakes. Less we forget also , Alex Rodriguez remains a flawed character , who has no desirable trait, and he might just be , the most despised player in the game today. It is my firm belief that the Yankees’ front office have erred in not rescinding Rodriguez’s contract in light of the latest expose’ in which this is the second time that the player’s name has been associated with a steroids’ investigation , after his admission of guilt to the use of PED’s in 2010, in which the third baseman confirmed that he experimented with steroid use from 2001 to 2004 , while playing for the Texas Rangers .

Rodriguez’s career in Major League Baseball, has been littered, with highs and lows , of which, many would consider career lows to be considerably more than the highs. I believe that perception to be true , primarily because of the player’s admission of guilt , and his use of steroids and the very fact that the suspicion still remains that he has never been fully truthful as to whether or not there was his continued use ! And that is in light of ongoing allegations concerning the third baseman and recent stories within the print and television media . What makes all the more disturbing also , remains the fact that Alex Rodriguez is the highest paid player in the game and whose career earnings will surpass a half billion dollars ($500,000,000) at the culmination of that career.

It should be of some note, that Rodriguez remains the only player in baseball history to have signed two separate contracts, where the team commitment on each occasion has been for $250 million. By return, for that investment , the player has rewarded baseball the teams and fans , with three MVP Awards , thirteen All Star Appearances , two Gold Gloves Awards , one World Series championship , active home runs leader (647) , as well as active RBI’s leader (1950) , and is now 99 hits away from reaching (37th all-time) the 3,000 hits’ plateau . Yet for all of those accolades , many fans believe the third baseman to self-absorbed , conceited , and not to be a great teammate , either with the New York Yankees or Texas Rangers. His relationship with Derek Jeter, is said to be fractured and one, which is day to day ,by most accounts , but yet, somehow the Yankees’ economic future will be based upon a player who remains a pariah within the game. Sidelined hip surgery and likely to miss the team’s entire regular season schedule. It can be said, that the Yankees will either sink or swim with the play of the players considered by Joe Girardi, that will give the franchise the best opportunity to win. And given the state of the team’s current pitching roster, I believe it will be a considerable task for the New York Yankees to overcome and win the AL East , much less gain a playoff berth this season.

The hyperbole was there , but now we’re beginning to see the character or lack of it thereof , as the New York Knicks (38-25) are falling from a lofty peak , falling from the sky, faster than a meteorite . And for all of the prognosticators , simply salivating over this team , primarily because of the assembly of All Stars , is simply and utterly asinine , when there is no body of work to go by ! That’s akin to placing an ugly chick in a two piece bathing suit and then to suggest, that she is in, with a favorite’s chance to win the Miss Universe contest. Not that anyone, would want to see this team strutting “ their stuff” on a catwalk, as it has been bad enough to witness their play over their last ten games , where they are 5-5 and losers of three straight . And need one suggest, that they are slipping down the Eastern Conference rankings , at a rather disturbing time in their schedule ?

Now the Knicks are having to serve the indignity of being without Carmelo Anthony , Tyson Chandler , and the vastly overrated and ailing Amar`e Stoudemire . Knicks’ head coach Mike Woodson , now has to rally this team , simply take them to task over their lack of commitment to apply themselves far more aggressively as a defensive unit . Something of which , does not appear to be a part of the team’s psyche .

I get the feeling that this is not what team owner , James Dolan and GM Glen Grunwald , envisaged from the New York Knicks this season ! They are likely to fall short of their goal, and that is to make a deep and spirited run in the postseason. They will undoubtedly qualify for the playoffs , quite possibly as the third, fourth or fifth ranked team within the conference , based on current standings and the play of several conference contenders over their last ten games.

A competitive NBA, needs a resurgent Knicks’ franchise to be an ever- present force within the game. Anyone who suggests otherwise, clearly has no understanding of the franchise’s economic impact to the NBA as a whole . And while we have seen the rise of the Los Angeles Clippers , Golden State Warriors and in recent years the Memphis Grizzlies and Indiana Pacers. There is no denying , that with the Los Angeles Lakers (35-32) , Miami Heat , the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks , the NBA postseason , simply becomes nothing more than a crap-shoot . More often than not, many of the playoff series are understated , with somewhat lackluster play on both sides of the ball.

While the New York Knicks have their on-field issues , their conference rivals , the Miami Heat continue their win streak , which now stands at twenty one consecutive wins . Do you get the feeling that the Heat are simply strolling through the regular season without being overly complacent ? And while we are at it , is LeBron James on his way to winning his fourth MVP title , joining a select group of players with at least two or more league MVP crowns as their laurels ? James and the Heat currently have the third longest win streak (33) in NBA history , a record currently held by the ‘71-‘72 Los Angeles Lakers (69-13) .

Not one to kick an animal while it is down , but it appears that the Los Angeles Lakers’ season is now on the line . Currently sitting in the eighth spot of the Western Conference , and no discerning reason to believe , that they are still capable of holding unto that position. Kobe Bryant’s claims that the team is still capable of making the postseason, is beginning to look somewhat tenuous . The Lakers’ schedule doesn’t offer the players any great aid over the remainder of their regular season. When adjudged against that of the seventh placed Houston Rockets (36-30) and the ninth placed , Dallas Mavericks (31-34). And as we know, the Western Conference has always considered to be a dogfight , for all of the aspirants seeking to make the postseason.

Now while many have been critical of Kobe Bryant , and the fact he recently lashed out at his teammates for their lack of commitment . The player was sidelined briefly, but he gamely made it back onto the court to aid his teammates in a thoroughly competitive victory over the Indiana Pacers . Much of that criticism has been valid , yet it remains a matter of conjecture and speculation how this team can survive in its present guise . Dwight Howard remains an enigma , meanwhile, Steve Nash , as gamely a veteran , as the fans know him to be . It is clear that the Lakers , are a considerable distance from where they need to be. In spite of it all, head coach , Mike D’Antoni tries to stress that the team , are now getting into their stride. As an observer from afar , I have never been enamored with D’Antoni as a head coach , and I still feel that GM Mitch Kupchak and Senior VP Jim Buss have erred , first, in the hiring of Mike Brown , and then the hiring of his successor , Mike D’Antoni ! With a mere fifteen games left in the regular season schedule for the league’s thirty teams , it will be very interesting to see how not only the Los Angeles Lakers will fare , but also many of the championship contenders seeking to make a name for themselves this postseason.

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Picture gallery.

What if anything, are you most looking forward to , when the NCAA Tournament is off and running ? In addition, which teams do you believe will be making a strong presence in the tourney and why ? Do you also believe that the World Baseball Classic has been a worthwhile competition or simply a bust ? Finally , the New York Yankees , will this be the season where we see the team back in the World Series , or will they fall by the wayside ? Chime on in with your thoughts .

Picture and slideshow gallery details .
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(1) Miami’s Durand Scott (1) reacts after making a basket as he runs past North Carolina State’s C.J. Leslie (5) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Saturday, March 16, 2013. Miami has moved on to the Finals of the ACC Tournament to be be played today , Sunday 17th March, 2013 , where they will play North Carolina . AP Photo/Gerry Broome ….

(2) Miami head coach Jim Larranaga directs his team against North Carolina State during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Saturday, March 16, 2013. AP Photo/Gerry Broome …

(3) Puerto Rico catcher Yadier Molina ,left, pitching coach Rick Bones,center, and pitcher Nelson Figueroa celebrate after defeating the USA 4-3 in the World Baseball Classic second round Pool 2 elimination game between Puerto Rico and the United States at Marlins Park in Miami on Friday, March 15, 2013. AP Photo/The Miami Herald, David Santiago ….

(4) New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, left, and former Yankees first baseman and current Miami Marlins hitting instructor Tino Martinez before a spring training baseball game in Tampa, Fla., Friday, March 15, 2013. AP Photo/Kathy Willens ….

(5) FILE – In this Oct. 14, 2012, file photo, New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez reacts after striking out during the second inning of Game 2 of baseball’s American League championship series against the Detroit Tigers in New York. When the Yankees re-signed Rodriguez in December 2007, they expected him to set home run records . Now some in the team’s management hope he never plays again, so much of the $114 million he’s still due can be covered by insurance. Not only is he injured, he’s at the center of performance-enhancing drug use allegations. P Photo/Paul Sancya ….

(6) David Sierra , sits in his family owned realty company in Coral Gables, Fla., Thursday, Jan. 29, 2013, displaying a photo of a flier that the management company passed out to tenants in an office complex where they rented space to Biogenesis and Anthony Bosch . New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez has denied a newspaper report on Tuesday that accused the baseball star of buying human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing substances from a clinic in the Miami area. The Miami New Times, an alternative weekly, reported that it obtained records detailing purchases by Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera, Gio Gonzalez , Bartolo Colon, Nelson Cruz and Yasmani Grandal from a clinic called Biogenesis, run by Bosch. AP Photo/J Pat Carter ….

(7) San Francisco Giants, managing partner Larry Baer , right to left, Pablo Sandoval, Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy holds the Commissioner’s Trophy after Game 4 of baseball’s World Series against the Detroit Tigers Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Detroit. The Giants won 4-3 to win the series . AP Photo/Matt Slocum, Pool ….

(8) New York Knicks’ head coach Mike Woodson during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Thursday, March 14, 2013. The Trail Blazers beat the Knicks 105-90 . AP Photo/Greg Wahl-Stephens …

(9) Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade lies on the court during the first half against the Milwaukee Bucks in an NBA basketball game Friday, March 15, 2013, in Milwaukee. AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps ….

(10) A healthy relationship ? Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, left, draws a play for center Dwight Howard as they sit on the bench in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis, Friday, March 15, 2013. Bryant and Howard the team’s two leading scorers are said to have a somewhat tepid relationship , but somehow things are said to be tenuous between the pairing. AP Photo/Michael Conroy …

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By tophatal

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NCAA Basketball news

NCAA Basketball scoreboard & results

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NCAA Football and College Football news

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MLB news

MLB scoreboard and results

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World Baseball Classic news

WBC Classic scoreboard
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NBA news and archived news

NBA schedule important dates

NBA results 16th March 2013 and schedule 17th March 2013

NBA teams’ schedule

NBA Standings (division)

NBA Standings (conference)

NBA statistics

NBA League lineups (teams)

NBA Playoff picture

New York Knicks profile & team news

New York Knicks team stats & team roster

New York Knicks schedule

Los Angeles Lakers profile and team news

Los Angeles Lakers’ team stats and team roster

Los Angeles Lakers schedule

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If at all interested do take time participate in the above mentioned poll .

Some year, but it was 2012, just like any other year

Some year, but it was 2012, just like any other year

Tophatal

The first week of 2013 will come to an end from a sporting standpoint , we can either seek to relook at 2012 as a successful year in sports or we can simply say “ well it was good but the drama and infamous moments far outstripped the great moments “ .

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Biggest story, by far, had been the outrage and scandal that engulfed the famed football program of Penn State. And the very fact that the state’s self-absorbed governor ,Tom Corbett now seeks to address a matter that he and his fellow trustee members of school had decided that they would not seek to veto any punishment mandated by the NCAA , in light of the findings of the school’s request of an in-depth investigation carried out former FBI Director , Louis Freeh , in what has been detailed in “The Freeh Report” . With Corbett now seeking to overturn the $60 million monetary penalty that the NCAA rendered as a verdict , the governor’s actions smacks of self-indulgence and the very fact that there seems to be a lack of common sense on his part. Well , I suppose it always came down to greed and not much else as it related to many of those within the hierarchy of the once proud educational establishment . Anyone who backs Corbett’s stance should be ashamed , given Penn State’s now infamous decision to cover up the actions of the disgraced and incarcerated Jerry Sandusky. Suffice to say, Tom Corbett should bury his head in shame, rather than his asinine comments stating that the NCAA , far out-reached their authority. My question for Tom Corbett , as a trustee member , why did you not seek to hold former , university President, Graham Spanier and Tim Curley accountable for their actions ?

I’m sorry, but with Lance Armstrong now stating that he is now prepared to admit his guilt , with the fact that he has lied about his actions in stating , that he had not taken performance enhancing drugs (PED’s). At what point, should the public seek to say simply say to the disgraced athlete , why did you simply not admit from the very beginning you have been lying , instead of hiding behind a pack of lies and a great deal of deceit ? Clearly, with Armstrong all along , it has been the ” financial gain ” , and the reputed $ 100 million fortune , he sought to protect . And for the anally retentive assholes, who jumped in, with their idiotic support of the disgraced cyclist, and the claim that neither USADA (US Anti-doping Agency) or WADA had no jurisdiction or standing in punishing the athlete. Perhaps, those very same idiots should actually review what this non-governmental agency, is asked to do , by way of their work? The USADA at the behest of the USOC (US Olympic Committee) , has a mandate to carry out investigations of what they believe to be suspicious acts of illicit drug use . And though that agency does not have subpoena powers , when they seek to act in conjunction with the US Justice Department , it does carry credence to the work they carry out. It is amazing to actually how damn uneducated a great number of the public seem to be , when they choose to not actually seek out the information for themselves and simply feed off the bile and diatribe that is continually served up within their midst !

Having been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles as well as Olympic gold , Armstrong’s legacy and reputation is now in complete tatters along with that once pristine reputation . But then again, Lance Armstrong’s actions all along in this whole saga all along spoke to his lack of character to begin with ! He was so steadfast as to his innocence that even when his former teammate , Tyler Hamilton , revealed his claims under a signed affidavit and then subpoena, that both he and Armstrong had been facilitated with the use of EPO (erythropoietin) , and stanazolol amongst a slew and battery of illicit and prohibitive substances banned by the IOC as well as by the ICU (International Cycling Union) , the international governing body for the sport of cycling . It has also been the ICU’s own lackluster efforts , that should also come into question throughout this whole episode, that has engulfed not only Lance Armstrong but several world-class riders over the past decade.

In the world of baseball , the San Francisco Giants marched through the postseason with the utmost ease , serving notice to the rest of the baseball world , that they will not be an easy pushover in 2013. As the reigning World Series champions, and twice winners of the title in the past five years , it begs the question , who is capable of stepping up to the plate and stopping the dominance of the Giants within the NL , much less the rest of baseball ? Will it be, the free-wheeling and big spending Los Angeles Dodgers or the newly revamped Los Angeles Angels ?

World Series MVP , Pablo Sandoval , essentially, cemented his legacy with the San Francisco Giants, and now he seeks to be the dominant force on what is now a very good Giants’ team. The front office of this organization has been well led, and prudent in their spending . GM Brian Sabean and lead managing partner, Larry Baer , will be intent on seeing growth with this team , while manager, Bruce Bochy and his coaching staff , will carry on from where they left off from last season.

The Miami Heat , reigning champions of the NBA . Head coach , Erik Spoelstra and team President , Pat Riley have sought to revamp the team’s roster from last season . The additions of Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen , has been fortuitous , adding a mix of veteran experience as well an offensive presence , that should bode well for the team over the course of this season.

Now while the reigning champions seek to find their best lineup , and contend with their conference rivals , one of the major storylines of the season, has been the rise of the New York Knicks. And for the Knicks this season , their All Star forward Carmelo Anthony has simply been playing the best basketball of his career , in leading the team to the second best record in the Eastern Conference , while leading the starting roster to their present position , as the leaders of the Atlantic Division with a mark of 23-10.

With the recent reintroduction of Amar`e Stoudemire back to the roster, it remains to be seen how the forward will be able to acclimatize himself back into playing shape.

I firmly believe, that the Knicks will be in contention for a top five seed within the Eastern Conference at <a season’s end , but for now it is all about seeing how Mike Woodson’s players fare , as they seek rewrite a new chapter in the franchise’s history .

The Heat’s opponents in last season’s finals , the Oklahoma City Thunder are riding high while leading their division (Northwest) and are second in Western Conference. Though the Los Angeles Clippers (27-8) lead the Pacific Division of the Western Conference and like the league as a whole , it would take a fool to suggest that the Clippers are by far the best team in the NBA at present . As good as they have been , there is no real body of work other than this season to go by, whereas the Thunder over the last two seasons have have shown us their merits.

Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook , Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison seem to moving along nicely ,as they seek to make a quick return to the NBA Finals.

From last season to this season and the expectations that beckon , the fans are being subjected to some great basketball . However, that may well be taking on a whole new meaning when you consider play of the Charlotte Bobcats (8-24), Cleveland Cavaliers (8-27) and the woefully inept Washington Wizards(4-27). Are there some bad teams in the NBA , or simply bad coaches ?

A brief, and momentary mention for the NHL , yes we know that the Los Angeles Kings are the reigning Stanley Cup champions , here’s a thought, the league hierarchy have reached a tentative agreement with the NHLPA (Players’ Union) to return for a shortened season, after their almost four-month league mandated lockout. I’m sorry, but do you, still consider hockey one of the four main professional team sports? For an industry with revenues of $2.5 billion annually , the NHL hierarchy and the players’ union have completely lost their senses , while obfuscation their responsibilities as the custodians of the sport. As to the idiots, who would suggest that the popularity of the NHL remains as high as ever. Well, that might be true, if you were comparing the sport’s popularity to that of the approval ratings of the US House of Representatives , Senate and the present Presidential US administration. The NHL would be hard-pressed to be even considered as remotely popular, as College Football , College Basketball , much less their peers at the professional level within the , NBA , NFL and Major League Baseball (MLB).

Last season in the NFL, the fans of the league were swept away in the euphoria of witnessing the New York Giants win their second Superbowl in the past five years . The Giants’ scintillating victory over the New England Patriots added a further chapter in Eli Manning’s ongoing career, albeit that the teamfailed to make the postseason in 2012. Now through in the fact that at the culmination of the regular season , seven teams saw fit to fire their head coaches , with the biggest casualties of them all , being Lovie Smith , formerly of the Bears and Andy Reid , with the Eagles .

Andy Reid , having met with the Kansas City Chiefs’ hierarchy , formally accepting the vacant head coach’s position with the franchise. As to how Reid will seek to turn around the fortunes of a team that went 2-14 in 2012. Unfortunately, the problems for Romeo Crennel , Reid’s successor , it all stemmed from the extremely poor quarterback play from Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn . The pairing might just be two of the worst quarterbacks in the league over the course of the season , gives credence as to one of the many reasons why the Chiefs failed so miserably. Kansas City may well seek to address that issue during the off-season, either by obtaining a free agent quarterback or by way of the upcoming NFL Draft (2013).

With two of the wildcard round games having given us results , in which we see Green Bay Packers and Houston Texans , march on to the divisional round of the postseason. Sunday, offers the remaining two scheduled match-ups , with the Baltimore Ravens playing host to Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts . Luck, the first quarterback taken in the 2012 NFL Draft , has led the Colts to double-digit wins, in his rookie season , while essentially making believers out of the vast array of NFL fans around the league.

The other game the fans are eager to see , will pit two rookie quarterbacks , who themselves have set the league alight . When the Washington Redskins host the Seattle Seahawks at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland , the opposing quarterbacks will be Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson . And the Seahawks quarterback has been the hottest quarterback in the NFL during the month of December as the team has been on ” tear “ within the league. And with two highly explosive offenses , the Seahawks and Redskins should provide the fans with an exhilarating game.

The College Football season has given us great deal to appreciate, and yes we still yearn for postseason playoff format that isn’t a charade , in spite of what the BCS and major conference commissioners continually insinuate . College Football has now become about those who have and those who do not ! When you have programs bringing in excess of $100 million annually in revenues , while programs not considered members of the major conferences are left “ fighting for the scraps “ left at the table . It begs the question , in whose best interests does the BCS operate ? It is pretty safe to say , it not in the interests of the schools outside of the major conferences.

The BCS national championship game pits number one ranked Notre Dame (12-0) against Nick Saban’s number two ranked Alabama (Crimson Tide) , which will be played on Monday <a href night , at the Sun Life Stadium , in Miami , Florida. Brian Kelly , head coach of Notre Dame, subject of so much speculation with the belief that he will be offered one of the several NFL vacancies that at present remain open. I certainly don’t believe that Kelly will leave the program after merely a year in charge and with the growth of the players under his tutelage . And for freshman quarterback Everett Golson and defensive stalwart , Manti Te’o , this season must have been unimaginable , when one considers the issues with the Fighting Irish , have faced in recent years. A rise back to prominence and all is well , once again at one the most esteemed programs in college football.

If there is one thing that I do know and that it is , you simply do not put much store in the Men’s Basketball rankings too early in the season ! And I certainly don’t put any store with regard to the prognostications of individuals such as Digger Phelps and Dick Vitale . Moreover, if their calls prove to be wrong , it is very rare that you will hear either admit to that fact. At present , the Duke , 14-0 (Blue Devils sit atop of the rankings as they are undefeated . Mike Krzyzewski , perhaps the most respected and revered coaches in the game today , has this program playing with a great deal of passion . Leading the way for the team are Mason Plumlee , Seth Curry , Ryan Kelly and Rasheed Sulaimon . The players are answering the call of Coach “K” as he seeks his fifth national title as a head coach . And the defending champions , the Kentucky (Wildcats) appear to be having something of an indifferent season , it should be noted , John Calipari, as a head coach , has a way of getting his players ready for the NCAA Tournament , at a time when it matters most.

Calipari, for his part, continues to be an individual, that many continue question , as to his integrity and character. From my own personal standpoint , while the Wildcats’ basketball coach can continue to skirt the rules of the game, with the NCAA simply overlooking what on the face of it are violations , then in no way can we consider to take NCAA President , Mark Emmert at his word, when he states that he would like to create an environment within collegiate sports , where there is transparency at all levels within the various programs of collegiate athletics and within the universities themselves. So far, Emmert , the NCAA and college sports are batting way below the Mendoza Line , and then some ! Now many might conclude that the actions of the NCAA in penalizing the Penn State were appropriate , when you take into account the heinousness of Jerry Sandusky’s “ acts of depravity”. However , when also called upon to act with integrity , the NCAA has proven to a rather archaic and an all too pedantic authoritative force .

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(1) Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett speaks at a news conference following a night of rioting in response to the firing of head football coach Joe Paterno in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal on November 10, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Corbett is the former state attorney general who launched the investigation in 2009 that eventually brought criminal charges against three former Penn State officials this week. As governor, Corbett is an ex-officio member of Penn State?s board of trustees . Paterno was fired amid allegations that former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was involved with child sex abuse. Corbett has sought to challenge the NCAA’s authority in rendering a $60 million fine against Penn State , in what the governor sees as NCAA President Mark Emmert and the NCAA overstepping their authority . It should be noted that Corbett sat on the board of trustees , who themselves , sought not to originally challenge Emmert’s decision . There now seems to few supporters for Mark Corbett’s actions in light of the heinousness of Jerry Sandusky’s depraved crimes . Getty Images North America / Mario Tama …

(2) Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong is now consulting with his legal counsel with the intent of issuing a public statement admitting his use of performance enhancing drugs . The cyclist also faces a legal fight in the UK for $2.5 million for a payment made to the cyclist by a UK media conglomerate and the original suit, in which Armstrong was victorious in a defamation lawsuit . AP Photo / Victor Allen …. .

(3) FILE – In this Oct. 28, 2012 file photo, San Francisco Giants celebrate after the Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers, 4-3 , in Game 4 of baseball’s World Series in Detroit. The Giants won the World Series 4-0 . AP Photo/Charlie Riedel …. (4) 2012 World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval is seen here with his World Series trophy after the Giants 4-0 sweep of the Detroit Tigers in the World Series for the organization’s second triumph in the past five years . Getty Images North America / Jason Riordan …

(5) Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III sits on the bench after a knee injury during an NFL wild card playoff football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Landover, Md., Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013. The Seahawks defeated the Redskins 24-14 . In Griffin’s first postseason appearance he was somewhat pedantic , with less than stellar figures in the Redskins’ defeat. AP Photo/Evan Vucci …

(6) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson greets Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III after an NFL wild card playoff football game in Landover, Md., Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013. The Seahawks defeated the Redskins 24-14 . AP Photo/Evan Vucci …

(7) Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly pose with The Coaches’ Trophy during a news conference for the BCS National Championship college football game Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013 . AP Photo/ Giles Moor ….

(8) Alabama’s Eddie Lacy interviews Christion Jones during Media Day for the BCS National Championship college football game Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, in Miami. Alabama faces Notre Dame in Monday’s championship game. AP Photo/David J. Phillip …..

(9) Duke’s Quinn Cook ,right, challenges Wake Forest’s Codi Miller-McIntyre for the loose ball in a game played between Duke and Wake Forest at Cameron Indoor Arena , Durham , North Carolina ,. The Blue Devils would defeat the Demon Deacons 80-62 . @ copyrighted material all rights reserved Washington Post/ Ted Richardson Associated Press …

(10) Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski directs his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Wake Forest in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. Duke won 80-62 . AP Photo/Ted Richardson …

(11) Duke’s Seth Curry drives to the basket ahead of Wake Forest’s C.J. Harris , bottom right, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. Curry scored 22 points , and Duke won 80-62. AP Photo/Ted Richardson ..

(12) Kentucky head coach John Calipari looks to his bench during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Eastern Michigan at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. Kentucky won 90-38 . AP Photo/James Crisp …

(13) Eastern Michigan’s Da’Shonte Riley (1) fouls Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. Kentucky won 90-38. AP Photo/James Crisp …

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Last year proved to be an exciting season of sports and although I have not covered areas of boxing or MMA , at a later date I will carry an introspective look at both sports and the events that unfolded over the calendar year. Simply chime in with your thoughts as what you believe were some of the sporting highlights of 2011.

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MLB news

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NFL news

NFL postseason schedule

NFL stats players (postseason)

NFL stats teams (postseason)

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NBA news

NBA schedule
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NCAA Football

NCAA Football & BCS schedule (postseason)

NCAA Football news

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NCAA Basketball men’s results

NCAA men’s basketball news

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The always , sensual , Penelope Cruz , above , and below Scarlett Johansson .

Scarlett Johansson

And so the idiocy continues ..

And so the idiocy continues ..

Tophatal …..

Just when you thought you’d heard the last of the Penn State “ scandal “ , it now appears that the state’s governor Tom Corbett will seek to challenge the NCAA’s $60 million fine penalizing the educational establishment in light of the heinous actions of former assistant coach , Jerry Sandusky, who is now incarcerated , having been sentenced to 60 years imprisonment having been found guilty on forty-five of forty-eight counts of sexual assault , battery , sexual battery , lewd and lascivious acts . What, we have now been made aware of, concerning all of the parties embroiled in this sordid affair. The now deceased, former head coach, Joe Paterno , has seen his legacy diminish , with it now being in tatters , with allegations in part that ,he failed to monitor the actions of Sandusky, even in light of other allegations of sexual misconduct , after the famed coach reported an incident not just to the campus police but also to the board of trustees of the now disgraced university.

And so the idiocy continues ..

Tophatal …..

Just when you thought you’d heard the last of the Penn State “ scandal “ , it now appears that the state’s governor Tom Corbett will seek to challenge the NCAA’s $60 million fine penalizing the educational establishment in light of the heinous actions of former assistant coach , Jerry Sandusky, who is now incarcerated , having been sentenced to 60 years imprisonment having been found guilty on forty-five of forty-eight counts of sexual assault , battery , sexual battery , lewd and lascivious acts . What, we have now been made aware of, concerning all of the parties embroiled in this sordid affair. The now deceased, former head coach, Joe Paterno , has seen his legacy diminish , with it now being in tatters , with allegations in part that ,he failed to monitor the actions of Sandusky, even in light of other allegations of sexual misconduct , after the famed coach reported an incident not just to the campus police but also to the board of trustees of the now disgraced university.

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The “Freeh Report” was a damning indictment of the school , and their lack of accountability shown , where it showed that at all levels of the hierarchy of the academic facility , they were complicit in a widespread cover-up that was so egregious , that this now makes Corbett’s actions , all the more inconceivable . Tom Corbett, a former , state attorney general , is now himself a seated member of the board of trustees , and it begs the question , what if anything, might well have been known , their actions , and how it all played out , as law enforcement and journalists alike uncovered the magnitude and egregious of Sandusky’s actions .

Courtesy of ESPN


Penn State’s failure of power

By Howard Bryant , ESPN

Even now, as the heartbreaking details emerge, pages of grand jury testimony are absorbed and parsed, and a seamy picture of alleged child abuse and the subsequent failures to act comes into clear, indefensible focus, the reflex of the Penn State hierarchy involved is one of tone deafness.

That focus revolves not around the children who most needed the adults to be grown-ups but around protecting the power: the big, untouchable football program with its legendary coach with the big name and the big reputation, the do-gooder charity with the board of directors with the big names on it.

Surrounded by so much bigness, virtually everyone in a position of authority at Penn State has, thus far, seemed to come up very small. Jerry Sandusky might not be innocent, but, as of today, he is legally not guilty. He was charged with 40 counts of felony sex abuse against minors. Despite anger and public opinion, Sandusky deserves the due process of the court of law as well as the presumption of innocence until his case is complete.

But Penn State president Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley, vice president for business and finance Gary Schultz and coach Joe Paterno should be held to a higher standard. So should The Second Mile, a charity that was founded to help children. Whether or not Sandusky is convicted, each was faced with a critical choice with damning information and chose to protect the program. This is what power has become. More accurately, it is what power has always been, in existence to protect itself.

There is no defense for the number of people in positions of authority who had an opportunity to stop Sandusky and did not.

The university, responding to information provided by a graduate student in 2002 that he witnessed Sandusky performing anal sex in the shower on a boy about 10 years old, did nothing. The university did not call authorities and did not ever sever ties with Sandusky, allowing him to maintain an office on campus for years.

The entire edifice of the Penn State monument is crumbling, yet no one involved seems capable of producing the most obvious, and decent, response, to acknowledge that each of these men failed to uphold his responsibilities spectacularly. They failed their communities, and they failed the eight young boys the state is accusing Sandusky of sexually abusing.

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Tom Corbett, is a buffoon , if he now feels that the proposed legal action is likely to be an outright success . It should also be noted , that there are several other parties , who as a bye product of this subterfuge have been indicted , and who now await trial on a litany of charges , ranging from perjury to the obstruction of justice . Graham Spanier , Gary Schultz and Tim Curley await their trial dates , whereas , Mike McQueary seeks damages in a $ 4 million whistle-blower lawsuit lodged against Penn State. This whole sordid affair , simply won’t go away , and those now embroiled in the drama, seek recourse and financial reward . Meanwhile, the victims , so often overlooked , will still be left with their lives in ruins , albeit that the university states , that they will provide the victims with whatever assistance they seek to reclaim their lives .

As I alluded to earlier , Governor Corbett , a former state attorney general , has not been able to downplay his often imbecilic actions during his agency’s investigation of the infamous “Hersey School “ sexual abuse scandal and the indictment and prosecution of a former school employee involved in sexual assault and battery on the students at the school . Corbett as the District Attorney was said to have handled this prosecution “ so haphazardly “ that it made a mockery of the legal system within the state of Pennsylvania . Yet somehow we’re now to believe, he is trying to morally and ethically appropriately do the proper thing , to “ right an egregious wrong” ? A procedural hearing and trial will be heard within the US Federal Courts in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania,.

There has yet to be a formal response from NCAA President, Mark Emmert on the pending legal action by the state of Pennsylvania , in seeking to have the fine and action reversed , but there is this a growing suspicion that this is simply being done to save face by Tom Corbett and further reduce the impact and damage done to Penn State’s already tarnished image .

The Dallas Cowboys’ 28-18 loss to the Washington Redskins in their final regular season scheduled game , has not yet led to repercussions for the franchise , but it has clearly expressed the futility of the Cowboys’ year . Team owner , Jerry Jones , and the team’s beleaguered quarterback , Tony Romo are off once again , now doing the rounds , and making excuses as to the reasons why the franchise has once again came up short . Repeatedly , year in and year out , claims are made , that , this will be the season in which the Cowboys will reign supreme , and it has now become “ a broken record” which no one , longer wishes to hear !

Granted , the ones who disavow common sense within the ranks of the pundits of the broadcast media , would rather make their bold predictions , rather than being insightful with their prognostications. And it has to be at this point , that we need to ask , what else is needed by the Dallas Cowboys , to make that team a great deal better ? A Pro Bowl quarterback , who has clearly failed to meet expectations , is being handsomely rewarded by the team and league standards

. Yet somehow, for all of those regular season statistics , Romo has nothing to show for it all . In a game, that was of equal importance to both teams, it was the Cowboys’ quarterback who blindsided the fans with his errant plays , leading to three costly interceptions in the game against the Washington Redskins. What also exacerbated , this whole situation , was that Romo’s opposite number , Robert Griffin III, was having a less than exemplary game , when one considers his exploits over the course of this season .

With the Dallas Cowboy being unceremoniously dumped , and missing the playoffs for a second successive year , one has to wonder where Jerry Jones , now goes from here . Draft picks asides, the Cowboys’ offense can be bewildering , one minute being the model of consistency , to the next , being completely incompetent and simply being devoid of creativity. The ramifications for the Cowboys , are twofold , one , in missing the postseason , it’s another missed opportunity for a lucrative payday , and two , with each passing season , failure by this team simply places an even greater burden upon Jason Garrett , to prove himself worthy of being a head coach in the NFL . Alright, so he wasn’t plucked from obscurity by Jerry Jones to become the head of the franchise , having succeeded Wade Philips.

So let me get this straight , a team that finishes 10-6 , having missed the playoffs , because a divisional rival , the Minnesota Vikings secured a victory in their final game of the season . In essence , it meant that Lovie Smith deserved to be fired , thereby sealing his fate and that of the Chicago Bears for the season ? Bears’ general manager , Phil Emery , has to be either the most gullible of individuals , or he simply has to no wish to apportion blame where it rightfully belongs , and that is upon the shoulders of not only Smith , but the entire roster of the Chicago Bears . It was primarily upon Emery’s insistence that the franchise acquired the highly inconsistent quarterback , Jay Cutler , who in his six years in the NFL has yet to win a meaningful game for either of the franchises where he has played.

Cutler’s propensity for simply wanting to pass the vast majority of the time, simply doesn’t assist in the play of the Bears and if anything , the quarterback becomes even more of a liability, as he has a propensity for turnovers , interceptions and need I say being sacked , numerous times throughout the season? Jay Cutler spends more time laying on his back, in a prostrate position, than a female porn star has been known to , on a film set , when asked to do a retake , simply because the director isn’t at all happy with the aesthetic imagery he is said to be seeking . Here’s a thought, perhaps Jay Cutler should give up playing in the NFL and ply his trade in the adult entertainment field. A quarterback, who can spend that much time on his back, has to be good for something , don’t you think? He may well give a whole new meaning to “taking one for the team” . Lovie Smith, is likely to fill a coaching vacancy elsewhere in the NFL , after Monday’s purge of the coaching positions around the NFL , with seven head coaches being relieved of their duties , all in a single day.

There is no denying that the Jacksonville Jaguars had a monstrous season in 2012 , with the team only being able to muster two wins over the course of their sixteen game schedule . Team owner, Shahid Khan , subsequently , has fired general manager , Gene Smith , and it would now appear that head coach , Mike Mularkey’s future could very well be in jeopardy . For much of the season the team , played without their running back , Maurice Jones-Drew , due to the player’s injury issues . Yet, that alone, cannot account for the team’s woefully inept performances over the course of 2012 . Continued poor play from both of the quarterbacks on the team’s roster became an ongoing recipe for disaster “. Suffice to say , that Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne , will not be atop anyone’s list of the most sought after quarterbacks should either be placed on the free agency market , this off-season. And now for the comical side to this all , with widely speculating rumors that the New York Jets may well seek to jettison one , if not two of the three quarterbacks now on their roster .

With Shahid Khan, showing a distinct interest in bringing Tim Tebow back to the Jacksonville area , as the city has now become the familial home for the Tebow clan. One has to speculate, is this simply being done, more for show , or is Khan really of the belief that the much maligned three-year player has something to offer the franchise by way of his play ?

Personally, after Tebow’s season with the New York Jets , I am not so sure his departure from a franchise that had more in common with a lunatic asylum , and where indecision at every point in the New York Jets’ thought process became the norm , might not be considerably better , than a franchise where having gone 2-14 , there is even more indecision within that organization (Jaguars) , than can be found with a virgin , unsure that the prom would be the best night for her to be deflowered , by her so-called steady boyfriend , who she’s only gotten close to , over the past three months. A little bit of “petting “ but not allowing him to get to third base may well seem fine , but now it’s all in (pardon the pun) , as everyone seeks to be gratified . There is no guarantee that such a move for Tim Tebow, will give him the opportunity he seeks. And in all honesty , the Jaguars are a hell of a long way off from where they need to be , to even mount a serious challenge in the AFC South , against all three of their rivals within the division . And last I looked, God , himself , had not bestowed upon Tim Tebow any miraculous traits , that would in essence , turn him from being a mediocre player, into one of the most sought after and gifted athletes currently playing in the NFL. You heard me right , Tebow isn’t gifted , nor is he that great a player , he is simply an affable guy , and the sooner fans realize that fact , the better off the NFL will be , without the ridicule of having to discuss his merits as a player, and where he should stand on any franchises’ pecking order as a quarterback .

The NFL is not a governmental welfare agency handing out food stamps , or in this case giving a player a chance to play , merely because he is on a team’s roster . Tebow’s current coach , Rex Ryan apart from admitting that the staff made a mistake in their usage of the player , has gone on record in stating that the quarterback has a fantastic “ work ethic” . My question is for Rex Ryan and for all of the fans who called for the player’s installation as Mark Sanchez’s successor when the incumbent starter , had his on-field issues . Why was it that Tim Tebow, was unable to dethrone Sanchez for that starting role , if as alleged by the head coach that the player was said to be working so hard ? If all of that hard work had been paying off , then would it not be a fact that Tim Tebow would have had at least one , if not two or three regular season starts for the New York Jets ? Yet fans who are clearly are not using the damn intelligence given to them , would rather make the asinine statement that Tebow is simply not being given the chance to start in the NFL . A few fleeting moments in 2011 , doesn’t make you an overnight sensation or a Pro Bowl caliber player . Suck it up guys , Tim Tebow is human , and I repeat not the second coming of Joe Montana or Johnny Unitas for that matter . Get over it, once and for all, and get on with your lives.

So finally , after three years of misinformed judgment , another season of infamy was needed for the Spanos family to come to the decision to relieve both Norv Turner and AJ Smith of their duties within the San Diego Chargers’ organization. There had to have been not only sighs of relief , but also tears of joy for the long-suffering Chargers’ fans . Far be it for me to suggest ,much less pose the question but would Dean Spanos have waited one more year and wasted another sixteen game schedule for a repeat of the diatribe served up by the head coach and the now former general manager ? The two having worked in conjunction , collectively ,they have had more misses than hits in assembling a competitive roster and identifying the needs of the franchise during their reign.

In light of his dismissal , Norv Turner has been vociferously critical of the Spanos’ family (owners of the Chargers) for their actions . Yet somehow , he has failed to acknowledge his own contributions that led to his being fired . In the last three seasons, Turner has gone a combined 24-24 (0.500) , and during which the Chargers’ last winning season came in 2010, and prior to that in 2009, with his best season, being that very same year. As a head coach of the San Diego Chargers , Turner took the team to the playoffs on three occasions , where they managed an appearance in the 2007 AFC championship game , which ended in a loss to the New England Patriots , who would themselves go on to the Superbowl of that year.

It has been a complete travesty having to witness the Chargers play at Qualcomm Stadium , in San Diego , California , and there can be no denying that Dean Spanos would like nothing better than to relocate the franchise to the downtown Los Angeles area . For the moment, the Chargers will remain a tenant at Qualcomm, subject to the existing lease agreement, with the city and its expiration date. . Meanwhile, veteran Chargers’ quarterback , Philip Rivers labors under the burden of a heavy yoke around his neck , with a team that is lacking in zeal and one which possesses not an iota of leadership from anyone on the roster . One lay the blame at Rivers’ feet , but he is not the only person on the team , who should be held accountable , beyond the ineptitude shown by Norv Turner and his coaching staff . Everyone fell asleep at the wheel, while the Chargers simply careened out of control over the past few years . Had they gone over a cliff, would anyone have noticed? I guess not!

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With the postseason beckoning , this off-season will see a great deal of activity from a number of teams , specifically those who have made the moves to change their coaching status . Last season , we did not see any major coaching upheavals amongst the coaching staffs .However, we were witness to a number free agency moves across the NFL landscape. Do you believe that we are liable to witness any major moves this off-season and which teams do you think will be among the “major players” in such a scenario ? Tom Corbett’s decision, to rescind the NCAA’s fine of Penn State , do you think it a prudent decision by the Pennsylvanian governor ? Merely state your thought on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter .

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(1) Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett speaks at a news conference following a night of rioting in response to the firing of head football coach Joe Paterno in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky “scandal ” on November 10, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Corbett is the former state attorney general who launched the investigation in 2009 that eventually brought criminal charges against three former Penn State officials this week. As governor, Corbett is now an ex-officio member of Penn State?s board of trustees. Paterno was fired amid allegations that former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was involved with child sex abuse. Mario Tama/ Getty Images North America …

(2) Penn State Board of Trustees member John Surma listens the board holds an open public meeting in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at the Nittany Lion Inn, November 11, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Penn State’s interim president Rodney Erickson was introduced at the meeting. Head football coach Joe Paterno was fired amid allegations that former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was involved with child sex abuse. Getty Images North America / John Smith …

(3) Penn State president Graham Spanier , left, and athletic director Tim Curley , center, celebrated coach Joe Paterno’s 409th win . Both Curley and Spanier , having been forced to resign or having taken early retirement, now face charges within the state’s court system , as to their actions in the “alleged ” cover-up that took place at Penn State . The former high-ranking officials at the university vehemently deny any involvement in a cover-up and have promised to shed light on the details they say were details overlooked in the ” Freeh Report” . AP Photo/ Gene J. Puskar ……

(4) Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary (L) leaves court following a preliminary hearing for former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz on December 16, 2011 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Both Curley and Schultz are charged with lying in a grand jury investigation about Jerry Sandusky’s alleged child sex abuse. Getty Images / Robb Carr …

(5) Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett , left, greets Washington Redskins’ coach Mike Shanahan after an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Landover, Md. The Redskins won 28-18, securing a playoff berth . AP Photo/Nick Wass …

(6) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) pauses during a media availability after an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Landover, Md. The Redskins won 28-18 , securing a playoff berth. Romo failed to deliver once again , when his team needed him the most , with questions now arising as to whether or not he is indeed capable of leading the franchise deep into the playoffs , let alone a Superbowl victory . AP Photo/Evan Vucci …

(7) Lovie Smith , foreground, is seen here with Bears’ GM Phil Emery , background at the Chicago Bears 1st summer camp practice Thursday at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois, on the July 26, 2012,. Emery made the formal announcement that Smith had been fired , having guided the Bears to a winning record (10-6), only for the team to miss out on a playoff berth , after the Vikings’ narrow victory over the Green Bay Packers . Phil Velasquez/ Chicago Tribune …

(8) Jacksonville Jaguars’ owner Shahid Khan , is said to be keenly interested in acquiring disgruntled Jets’ quarterback Tim Tebow , and have him compete and earn the starting quarterback role with the franchise. Both Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne have failed miserably this season in guiding the team , who ended the season with a 2-14 record and will be afforded the right of having the number one overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft . AP Photo/ Charles Howard ….

(9) Former Chargers’ head coach Norv Turner is seen here addressing members of the convened press at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego , California . The coach of six years was dismissed by Dean Spanos , COO of the NFL franchise , who also terminated the services long-serving front office executive GM , A J Smith . Turner voiced his disapproval of the timing of dismissal , suggesting that the Spanos’ family had reassured him that he would be brought back to coach the San Diego Chargers for the 2013 season . AP Photo / Olivier Pacheco …..

(10) Chargers’ COO Dean Spanos, left, is seen here with Norv Turner center-field at Qualcomm Stadium , prior to a home game during this season . AFP/REUTERS/ Paul Rutland …

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If at all interest do take time participate in the above poll.

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Penn State Football news

NCAA/ BCS Bowl games 2012-13

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NFL news & news from around the league

NFL news archived stories

NFL results week 17

NFL postseason schedule & wildcard round games

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

NFL player stats week 17 & year-end players’ stats

NFL team stats

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Meek Mill & Kirko Bangz ……. ” Young & Gettin’ It “

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Gloria Jiminez . Ay caramba !

Breaking news , or is it ?

Breaking news , or is it ?

By Tophatal

So it took the Miami Marlins a woefully inept season and payroll north of $145 million to see that Ozzie Guillen wasn’t a good enough manager to take the ball-club to a World Series’ title. Hired to great plaudits and the expectations that with all of their postseason acquisitions of high-priced free agents, the feeling was that the Marlins would be serious contenders for not only the NL East title , but also the NL pennant. The manager left the Chicago White Sox under a cloud of controversy and with the accompaniment of a great deal of baggage.

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Marlins’ GM Michael Hill, Dave Sansom , Larry Beinfest , and team owner Jeffrey Loria , made this decision to jettison the often beleaguered and outspoken manager. Guillen’s insensitive, and some might say idiotic remarks concerning Cuban leader, Fidel Castro , once again indicated that controversy is never far behind this controversial baseball figure. With the firing of Ozzie Guillen , it will prove to be extremely difficult to gauge where the front office seek to go in search of a successor to Guillen. I do not believe that they will have immediate success filling this vacancy with a near certainty. Whoever happens to be the next manager of the ball-club will placed in the sixth manager to fill this position since 2008.

What cannot be denied is that this Marlins’ team was grossly mismanaged by Ozzie Guillen, and that is in spite of his alleged talent as a manager. Granted, he won a World Series’ title with the Chicago White Sox , in 2005, when the team defeated the Houston Astros , 4-0 , in a rather lopsided series. In the subsequent years beyond the controversies , and skepticism that followed Guillen , the feeling was , sooner , rather than later, his tenure as a manager with a franchise would be short-lived. All of this was for a team to finish with a 63-99 record and at the bottom of the NL East ? Damn , that is so pathetic !

From my own perspective with so much uncertainty surrounding this franchise , and the mere fact that Loria and his partners have come under a great deal of scrutiny concerning the financing of the Marlins Ballpark . This $575 million , 35,000 seat venue was built using the resources of the city of Miami via a bond issue, which places the residents on the hook should the city not be able to meet the financial obligations of this debt instrument. It has led to the US Justice Department to conduct an ongoing investigation into how this deal was arranged and whether or not there was any collusion on the part of MLB hierarchy along with the Marlins’ organization used coercion to force the municipality to finance the vast majority of this deal. Miami Mayor Tomas Regaldo, and specifically MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, have remained mute on this matter, choosing not to answer questions on the matter , referring the matter to their respective legal counsels. Do we really need to go down this road concerning the malfeasance that has gone on concerning the Marlins’ franchise and the very fact that Bud Selig chooses not to address such issues concerning so many teams around the league? There are so many anally retentive fans who try to suggest that the financial state of the game is better than it has ever been before . The commissioner points to baseball’s to the game’s increasing revenues but rarely does he choose to address the fact that just under than half of the league’s thirty teams breaks even by showing a healthy profit.

It should be noted that with Ozzie Guillen’s firing , he is still owed $7.5 million on the three years remaining of an original four-year $10 million contract. As to what this would suggest concerning the Marlins’ capricious spending not only on Guillen , but also the almost $215 million committed to the free agents signed this past off-season , and the fact that the organization finished with a sub .500 record is enough to indicate that not a great deal of financial expediency was original placed in their whole thought process as they chased after baseball excellence to begin with . But this is the Miami Marlins , an organization that is and has been bereft of intelligence and whose ownership group are amongst the most corrupt , egregious , gregarious of individuals , and owners within the game of baseball !

Not content with whining , it would appear that Cam Newton is now choosing to distance himself from the team’s failings this season . The Panthers are now 1-5, and have all but given up on their season , obviously to the disdain of the Carolina Panthers’ fans. Head coach , Ron Rivera , will be dealing with a multitude of issues beyond the ongoing immaturity being shown by the number one draft pick from the 2011 NFL Draft .

Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon has been mentoring offering advice and words of wisdom to Cam Newton . Recently, in a candid interview , the NFL great, suggested that the criticism of the Panthers’ quarterback was somewhat unjustified, and in some cases, bordered on being racist. Is he kidding me ? If Cam Newton, cannot deal with adversity on the field , and then cowers the moment there just happens to be criticism of him off the field , and how he conducts himself , in terms of his demeanor and dealing with candid questions from the press . Then his stay in the NFL will be short-lived , as even the great players themselves have been leveled with a certain amount of criticism at one point during their careers. As for Moon, he is being disingenuous , rather than being constructive toward his protégé , in saying that the criticism is racially motivated . I mean is Rush Limbaugh now back offering his analysis of the “black quarterbacks” now playing in the NFL ?

Warren Moon , should take a step back, and review the events on the eve and immediately after the night that Hank Aaronbroke what was then the all-time home run record held by Babe Ruth. Aaron’s demeanor and class showed , as he was berated , had his and that of his family’s lives threatened , never-mind the racial epithets thrown in, by an intolerant bunch of racial bigots ! Moon now has the temerity to suggest, that criticism of Cam Newton’s play comes in part , because of his racial background ? How asinine and ridiculous is that ? If Newton and Moon are not willing to admit that the player is struggling this season, then he might as well cut short his career in the NFL . Cam Newton has become so accustomed to being coddled and told how great that he is , that he has begun to believe the all of the print written about him , and the fact that he felt that the leap from a college career to the pros of the NFL would not be that great. Perhaps , if Gene Chizik didn’t coddle the player as at Auburn , and instead teach him to be more of a productive individual on and off the field of play. The controversy that embroiled the program concerning whether not Newton , but specifically his father had received money from the school that would determine his son’s choice to further his collegiate athletic career. And though investigated by the NCAA , with no wrongdoing said to be found , questions still arose as to what may , or may not have transpired . To my mind, having the NCAA Infractions’ Committee investigate any issue concerning a program, is akin to having the Keystone Cops investigate a violent crime , only to find no evidence of wrongdoing !

Though in 2011, Newton had an excellent year, leading all rookie quarterbacks statistically in a number of statistically categories , those figures did not matriculate into anything by way of the Carolina Panthers’ standing in the NFC South or NFL as a whole . However, it was felt that the front office’s prudent justification of selecting the Auburn —- quarterback was a sound decision. Questions may still have been at the back of team owner , Jerry Richardson and then general manager, Marty Hurney’s mind , as to leadership qualities and maturity level of the player , as it had been noted that on several occasions he clashed with his college coach Gene Chizik. One should bear in mind also, that there was a giant shadow cast as to Newton’s eligibility status , and the actions of Cam Newton’s father in an “alleged play to play scandal” that embroiled Auburn University. Though investigated by the NCAA , it is unclear as to how in-depth the investigation was said to be , though there was no wrongdoing found on the part of the school, although a number of questions to this day, still remain unanswered concerning the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner’s status at the time.

There will be no respite for the Panthers’ franchise until they are able to turn things around. This will first have to start with the mindset of Cam Newton , and him holding himself accountable for his own mistakes both on and of the field as a professional. Failing to do so , only leads to continued problems for the franchise as well as an acrimonious environment with a divided locker room filled with disgruntled players. It will be incumbent also , upon Rivera and his coaching staff to deal with the matter firmly, rather than allowing the young quarterback to continue in such vain. Granted, winning , and winning consistently changes the environment . creating a conducive atmosphere where those issues then disappear altogether. For the Carolina Panthers as of late, victories have been hard to come by and therein lies the problem as a whole. It would appear that this team either does not know “how to win” , or has completely lost their “will to win”. Week eight should definitely tell us whether or not the Panthers are back on track, or of it will be more of the same when they clash with the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, Chicago , Illinois, this upcoming Sunday, in an NFC conference game. A loss at this stage of the season , and the franchise should genuinely think about beginning to rebuild for next season , and also look at the ‘ unproductive players who are superfluous to the Carolina Panthers’ needs.

A clash of the Titans , or will Saturday’s game between the Florida Gators and Georgia Bull Dogs , have more to do with the Gators finally cleansing themselves of the spirit of Urban Meyer ? A year or more removed from the former head coach’s abrupt and untimely departure , Wil Muschamp’s team remains unbeaten (7-0) , ranked number two in the BCS rankings , and they have inside track to the SEC East Division as well as a championship berth in the SEC title game. That will certainly add that “sweet taste” of success to the Florida Gators for this season , but yet , I do feel that Muschamp’s aspirations go far beyond an SEC title , as a BCS Championship Bowl berth has to be at the back of his mind. Defeating the Bulldogs and then quite possibly facing number one ranked Alabama or LSU (Tigers) in that conference title game would surely propel the Gators into national prominence , and a berth in that national championship game. Well, that would be unless the idiots behind the BCS , AP Poll and the computer tech geeks have an aneurysm in having trouble in deciphering what is patently obvious , while it stares right back at them ! We can opine playing the games, but yet , there can be no concrete decision made as to a proper and equitable format to decide a national championship for College Football at the D1 level. How asinine is that situation ? This from a country that was the first to place a man on the moon ? That explains it all , does it not ? Man on the moon , but we can’t figure out how the fuck to have a consensus of opinions on having a national champion in college football !

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Heisman Trophy talk, well it narrowly beats talking about the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates , or does it ? Forget Obama and Romney ! Whoever ascends to the White House , in November, will bring about or carry on with policies , that will still cripple the country , as neither of the Presidential candidates are as insightful as they would have us believe . Braxton Miller , Colin Klein , Manti Te’o , Kenjon Barner , A J McCarron , De’Anthony Thomas , and Johnny Manziel , are but a few of the names being tossed around for this year’s top individual collegiate award ,as the best player in the nation. Last season, Andrew Luck was the undoubted favorite to win it all, but down the stretch , he and the Stanford Cardinals faltered , while Baylor’s Robert Griffin III , simply stole the show, and with it , came the Heisman . Now it goes without saying, that both Luck and Griffin as the top two picks in the 2012 NFL Draft are having exceptional seasons . Now both of these highly sought after quarterbacks are leading their respective teams to moderate success at this point of the season . It seems strange somehow that a player who has led his team to a 7-0 start in this collegiate season , is barely given a mention amongst the players seen as contenders for the Heisman Trophy. Florida’s Jeff Driskell is having a moderately successful season , but it would appear because his statistics are not into the stratosphere , it would appear he is not worthy of a mention among the top candidates for this year’s trophy. Make of it what you will, but at the end of the day , does winning the Heisman still carry that luster and real appeal. It may well add weight in terms of commercial value and the fact that a player’s agent can then obtain a healthy contract for their client , if they just happen to be the top pick in the NFL Draft. Beyond that the award while renowned is simply an accolade rest on a mantelpiece as a reminder to friends and associates. .

Raising the specter of ridicule, as always over the past eighteen months, has been Roger Goodell’s handling of the New Orleans Saints’ bounty scandal. As this whole episode becomes even more protracted and asinine , so too are the decisions being rendered by the league hierarchy led by the commissioner, himself. Now comes word that with Goodell recusing himself from hearing the suspended players’ appeal , he has appointed his predecessor , Paul Tagliabue to preside over those very same hearings. I have always maintained that Roger Goodell is a pompous ass , whose intelligence is barely above the requirements seen as normal . How in God’s name, does the commissioner believe that having Tagliabue preside over these hearings provide impartiality, integrity and legitimacy to a process that has been flawed from the very start ? The four players still at the center of this all, Jonathan Vilma , Scott Fujita , Will Smith and Anthony Hargrove , whose interests are being represented by legal counsel provided by the NFLPA (players’ union) are now intent on challenging Paul Tagliabue’s authority to preside over the hearings to decide whether or not their suspensions should be reinstated . Far be it for me to suggest , but if a multibillion dollar enterprise (NFL) does not have the common sense to hire a retired Federal Court judge to provide the transparency and credibility sought in this matter , then it shows how out of touch with reality the NFL has become ! This institution (NFL) has become as corrupt as a Medellin drug cartel , with its secrecy and complete lack of transparency. Yet , all we ever tend to hear from these asinine self-absorbed on air analysts , are stats , the league is making money , cause for fantasy geeks to have an orgasmic sensation , and whether or not Tim Tebow can add competitiveness and a competitive streak to the New York Jets . Well we do know the answer to the latter , don’t we ? The NFL needs to get a clue , as too, the players’ union (NFLPA) , rather than continue act as if their members are above reproach , which , they are not !

With the departure of Mike Holmgren from the Cleveland Browns , and the ongoing issues with the team . It is hard to envisage what direction the franchise will now take , and that is even with Joe Banner , succeeding Holmgren as the de-facto general manager and team President . Brandon Weeden’s first season in the NFL is proving to be something of a learning curve for the player and the team’s head coach Pat Shumur and his coaching staff. Weeden has in effect supplanted Colt McCoy as the team’s incumbent starting quarterback . The Browns are now 1-6 within the NFC North and they sit at the bottom of the division , and they have one win, in their last six games . The team this weekend will play host to the San Diego Chargers at Browns Stadium , in Cleveland , Ohio . A win for the Browns is of the utmost urgency for the franchise if they are to have any semblance of a respectable season . One of the few bright spots for the Browns over the course of this year has been the play of team’s running back Trent Richardson . Chances are , the Browns’ season will be one filled with more heartache than sheer joy , but here’s hoping that the sorrow will not be too much for the fans to endure .

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What thoughts if any do you have concerning the salient points within this piece ? Simply a comment as you see fit on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter .

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Picture and slideshow details below .

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(1) FILE – This April 10, 2012 file photo shows Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen gesturing at a news conference about comments he made about Fidel Castro at Marlins Stadium in Miami. Guillen has been fired after one year as manager of the last-place Marlins, whose promising season began to derail in April when his laudatory comments about Fidel Castro caused a backlash. The Marlins announced the firing of Guillen on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky …

(2) A Marlins’ win , something of a rarity in 2012 for the franchise . Miami Marlins players celebrate carrying Donovan Solano, top, after Solano’s single scored the winning run against the New York Mets after a baseball game in Miami, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012. The Marlins won 4-3 in 11 innings . AP Photo/Alan Diaz ….

(3) From left to right , Larry Beinfest, former Marlins manager, Ozzie Guillen, team owner , Jeffrey Loria , and David Sansom . The decision was made to fire Guillen on 23rd October , 2012, after the team’s disappointing season , last place finish in the NL East and failure to make the postseason . Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images ….

(4) Adam Greenberg, right, signs the contract as Miami Marlins general manager Michael Hill looks on before of a baseball game between the Marlins and New York Mets, in Miami, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012. Greenberg was beamed in his debut for the Cubs in 2005. He never made it to the big leagues again. Until now, at 31. The Marlins signed him to a one-day contract and he’s to pinch-hit against the Mets. AP Photo/Alan Diaz ….

(5) Carolina Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton, foreground, is seen here alongside Hall of Fame and NFL great , Warren Moon . The former Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback has been mentoring ever since he was taken as the number one overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft . Newton has endured that ” proverbial sophomore slump” in 2012 , as the Panthers have simply suffered an atrocious start to their season . Newton has under a great deal of criticism for his poor play . However, it has been the recent statements attributed to Moon , that have been cause for concern. Warren Moon has stated , that much of the criticism of the young player has been ” racially motivated “ , rather than being simply about Newton’s apparent poor play this season . It now begs the question , is Moon being over protective of the player , or is it really a matter of Newton the maturity , mindset leadership ability to play alongside his teammates in the NFL ? What has patently clear , it is that Cam Newton has been complete denial , as he has repeatedly continue to throw his teammates under the bus over the course of this season during his post-game interviews with each defeat that has taken place in 2012 . AP Photo / Michael Clark ….

(6) Florida’s Quinton Dunbar , right, breaks away from South Carolina linebacker DeVonte Holloman (21) on a 13-yard touchdown pass play during the first half of an NCAA college football game , Saturday, … AP Photo / Gerry Foster …………

(7) Quarterback Jeff Driskel (6) of the Florida Gators looks to throw the ball against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on October 20, 2012 in Gainesville, Florida. Getty Images North America Chris Trotman ….

(8) Running back Hunter Joyer (41) of the Florida Gators is tackled by linebacker DeVonte Holloman (21) of the South Carolina (Gamecocks) at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on October 20, 2012 in Gainesville, Florida. Chris Trotman /Getty Images ….

(9) Head coach Will Muschamp of the Florida Gators watches warmups prior to the game against the LSU Tigers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on October 6, 2012 in Gainesville, Florida. Chris Henderson / Getty Images …

(10) Head coach Will Muschamp of the Florida Gators greets Jordan Reed (11) as he leaves the field against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Vanderbilt Stadium on October 13, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee.

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One of my favorite pick me ups to get my motor running , the always luscious Denise Milani !

Just what the doctor ordered , Melyssa Ford

It’s not about the money is it? Hell yeah, why else would they play?

It’s not about the money is it? Hell yeah, why else would they play?

By Tophatal

The College Football season (D1) is already in full swing and the wherewithal of the teams as they pad their schedules in order to proceed up the rankings . Never let it be said that the NCAA in conjunction with the BCS doesn’t know a good thing when they see fit .College Football has exploded into a multibillion dollar industry that can simply exist by itself. However, the corporate executives on Park Avenue and further afield know that a tie-in with the NCAA , BCS or in fact a wildly successful college program can do them no harm . There are a multitude of sins come hand in hand with such an arrangement, that can lead to the gross violations and surreptitious behavior, that we have witnessed in recent years. And it has been the failure of the NCAA, as well as athletic directors and compliance officers at these schools that has led us to where we are today.

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NCAA President Mark Emmett and the body he presides over are toothless body, whose powers are rarely exhibited as warranted. OK, so a great deal will be made of the punishment handed down to Penn State but let’s face it, were it not for the public outrage and a certain amount of the empathy , the football program at the university would have been given the death knell . Not quite cast out in exile , it may well be several years before football at the Penn State can once again be looked upon with any reverence. Bill O’Brien has an unenviable task ahead of him , beyond succeeding the late Joe Paterno , as he also has to reinvent the sullied image and tarnished reputation of this once proud program. I firmly believe that he will succeed but that success will come along with detractors who are averse to change.

The acting AD David M. Joyner has been quick to show his support for the new head coach and his revamped coaching staff and that faith now seems to paying dividends . Beaver Stadium at College Park in Pennsylvania seems to have been revived with the fans now throwing their full support behind the Nittany Lion players . The team is off to a 1-2 start with their next scheduled game to be played this upcoming Saturday when they take on Temple (Owls) University at University Park, Pennsylvania . This game should give us a guide as to the progress being made by team and where they may well stand amongst their competitors within the Big Ten standings .

Matt McGloin is clearly being asked to lead and provide with the prerequisite leadership sought, as the program and the team undergoes a new chapter in its history. And the best way possible is for Penn State to win and at the same time show the pride and demeanor that clearly wasn’t present under Joe Paterno, as he and his coaches led the program into some unfathomable depths of despair while trying to gloss over the egregious and heinous actions > of Jerry Sandusky , most notably Gary Spanier and Tim Curley. It is extremely hard to fathom how both Curley and Spanier could be so nondescript and lackadaisical in their handling of the sordid affair that dragged down Penn State. The Freeh Report has done little to alleviate to the pain caused by all of the parties involved in this sordid episode , other than to suggest that there was no leadership or moral decency to be found from anyone in a position of authority. Such, are the vagaries and the Machiavellian maneuvers deemed necessary to pursue a cover-up.

Be honest here , hands up if you were ready to ride on the USC (Trojans) bandwagon because Lane Kiffin was selling you the fact that this team was ready to become a “world beater” ? Don’t be shy, man up, and show yourself. There is nothing more humbling, that a large dose of reality and being solidly kicked in the ass as well as by a nemesis who brings you back down to earth. Kiffin and his self-absorbed demeanor, were rendered less reverential in light of the Trojans’ 21-14 loss to Stanford (Cardinals) . And in one fail swoop, the chances of USC being a prominent factor in the BCS national title picture , resembles the chances of Donald Trump becoming a Democrat! And with that loss we may well seen the hopes of Matt Barkley dashed , as the presumptive favorite for the Heisman Trophy . The Trojans’ quarterback will have to play at an at exceptionally high level over the remainder of the team’s schedule if he is to have a remote chance of being an award winner , thereby adding to the Trojans’ legacy of producing Heisman Trophy winners .

Lane Kiffin’s career has been marred by a great deal of controversy and his departure from Tennessee (Volunteers) to become the head coach at USC after the departure of Pete Carroll, to return to the NFL . Kiffin’s abrupt and rather surreptitious move left a rather unsavory taste amongst the hierarchy at Tennessee, and certainly among the majority of Volunteers’ fans. The coach’s disposition for flouting the NCAA rules and then responding that he was unaware that there has been any transgression , shows Lane Kiffin not only to be somewhat economical with the truth but also a conceited son of a bitch ! How else would one describe the fact that on repeated occasions since his ascent to his current position , he has seen fit to endanger a program that has only just returned from sanctions imposed on it by the NCAA , while his predecessor and then AD Mike Garrett simply looked the other way, as the surreptitious behavior of several Trojans’ football players went unreported. As we all know former USC tailback Reggie Bush rather than face further embarrassment returned his Heisman Trophy —- (2005) after all of the furor of his career with USC and the alleged payments received by the player . A house was furnished to his family, which has since has been proven that the player profited from that gift. Something that Bush to this day, still denies any wrongdoing on his part, while only having offered a less than contrite apology for what he says were simply errors in judgment while at attending USC on a full scholarship.

The Trojans’ program is one of the most profitable and revenue driven programs in College Football, ranking in the top ten of all of D1 football. And though thePAC 12 is seen as the epicenter for college football in the West , in no way should it be deemed that the teams can be overlooked as non-contenders for the national title. Stanford, Arizona (Wildcats) , Arizona State , Oregon (Ducks) , Oregon State , California (Bears) and UCLA (Bruins), can be viewed as omnipresent forces within the conference.

Kiffin has been blessed with a talented team led by Heisman Trophy hopeful, Matt Barkley , T J McDonald, Silas Redd and slew of NFL hopefuls, who for the present will look to impress the NFL scouts while parlaying their college careers into something more tangible. The conference games will be also a telling mark as to whether or not the Trojans are a national championship-caliber team. From my own perspective I believe that USC , if they are to prove themselves worthy , they will have to win out , and simply win the PAC 12 championship game convincingly , in order to convince the BCS Committee of their worthiness as a national champion contender ! Having lost so early in the season isn’t necessarily such a bad thing but the manner of the loss and the opponent in question, certainly has hindered Lane Kiffin’s chances raising the national championship trophy.

If Lane Kiffin is said to be conceited, then Alabama’s head football coach, Nick Saban has to be looked upon as a conniving and disingenuous bastard! He has been known to be condescending, most definitely a liar, and if nothing else, someone who has willingly courted controversy solely for the sake of placing his himself for scrutiny within the public arena. There is no denying that as a college coach he has known considerable success having won three national titles over the course of his career but it has been his cold and calculating approach that has times alienated him with the press while he is beloved by the program’s fans in the state of Alabama. Last season , Saban brought the Tide program another national title, with their thoroughly lopsided victory over SEC rivals LSU (Tigers) —– 21-0 in the BCS national title game. That loss left a bitter taste in the mouths of the Tigers’ players and left Les Smiles smarting and somewhat dismayed in the way his team lost the game , having gone in as the decided favorites , due to an earlier regular season conference victory over Alabama in 2011.

In 2012, these two teams may well be clashing once again for the SEC championship title that might be seen as a precursor to another potential national title rematch. However, it is my belief that there may well be another SEC aspirants with something to say about that whole premise ! Florida , under second year coach Will Muschamp has his team playing with a great deal of zeal , with an improving defense and an offense , that is slowly finding a rhythm that will indeed serve them well, as they proceed over the course of their schedule. Will Muschamp has recruited vigorously, trying to avail himself of best talent available in order to make the Gators a competitive force once again. The program had fallen on hard times, since the departure of Tim Tebow in 2010, for the NFL . With Tebow’s departure , then came Urban Meyer’s abrupt and sudden resignation, subsequent retirement, un-retirement and then return to the program , only to then leave once again. Now, with Meyer having returned to the college game, where he now coaches the Ohio State Buckeyes. A betrayal that is not lost on the vast majority of Gators’ fans across the country who still feel aggrieved by Meyer’s actions.

Florida, is off to a 3-0 start with decisive victories over Bowling Green State, Texas A&M and Tennessee (Volunteers ). Next up for Muschamp’s players will be a 22nd September match-up against SEC rivals Kentucky (Wildcats) at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium , in Jacksonville , Florida. It will be here that we should get to see whether or not, Jeff Driskell, Trey Burton , Mike Gillislee , Solomon Patterson , Josh Evans , and Jonathan Bostic are as good as advertised.

Things are genuinely great, when all three prominent Florida college football programs are riding high. The Gators are 3-0, as are Florida State (3-0 and the Miami Hurricanes (2-1) . Albeit, that the latter two programs are part of the ACC , it should be misconstrued that football isn’t part of the glamor of a conference primarily known for their renowned basketball programs . Jimbo Fisher has a top ten ranked team with ambitions on a national scale. And no doubt the Seminoles’ head coach would like to prove the naysayers wrong with a run to BCS Bowl prominence , with the ultimate goal , being a participant in the BCS title game. The results garnered by FSU through three games , are pretty impressive , and gives credence to the fact that Jimbo Fisher and his coaching staff has this team playing with a great deal of guile . And a highly anticipated game against the Clemson (Tigers) this weekend should give the home fans a great deal to cheer about , when the two programs meet at Doak Campbell Stadium , in Tallahassee ,in Florida ,.

Miami’s off-season woes have been well chronicled concerning the mismanagement and non-compliance of the athletics department with NCAA mandates , concerning personal gifts offered to student athletes . School AD, Shawn Eichorst and university President Donna Shalala have simply buried their heads in the sand, while this sorry episode engulfed the program. What might be even more inconceivable is that head football coach Al Golden could have been conduit for much of the actions that went on , unreported , with an intermediary of the coach, acting as a go-between for the players and the now disgraced and federally incarcerated former Canes’ booster Nevin Shapiro. And Shapiro has been naming names , embroiling current and former players to whom he paid hundreds , if not thousands of dollars , plied them with substantial gifts beyond what anyone could have deemed possible. Now as the school tries to distance itself from those issues , Al Golden still retains his position as the head coach. Miami did themselves no favors with their embarrassing 52-13 loss to Kansas State on the 8th September , before rebounding back to beat Bethune Cookman ….. 38-10 . Miami’s next meeting, has them tangling with fellow ACC rivals , Georgia Tech in a game that is sure to competitive, as it will be mean-spirited between these two high-profiled programs.

College Football is fraught with danger , not necessarily with regard to the endangerment of the players on the field . More so, it has to do with the corruption of the sport and the bear facts, that the major conferences within the game are simply driven by greed , power and the growing need to garner as much money as they can , while carrying on their business activities with wanton disregard of morals or ethics. The idiocy remains that so many fans are buying into this bullshit , while trying to suggest that this is simply the best way for the game to proceed. Clearly , there is not enough intelligence to go around , and it would appear that being apathetic is the choice that is preferably taken by many rather than seeing the NCAA , BCS and conference presidents act responsibly. Not to be left out of this all, are the well compensated coaches who simply are happy with their lot, no matter what idiotic changes are proposed.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Although we are only into the fourth week of a fourteen week schedule for College Football , what surprises if any , have come as a complete shock to you ? Which programs , do you feel will be vying for the national title, as well as the most prominent BCS Bowl games? Simply leave a comment as you see fit on this topic and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter .

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Picture and slide show details below .
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(1) NCAA President Mark Emmert , who succeeded Dr Myles Brand upon his death, to become the highest ranking executive of the NCAA . Over the years , questions have arisen as to the genuine willingness of that governing body to punish certain programs with impunity . Only light of the apparent outrage of the public did the NCAA punish Penn State for the egregious acts that took place and the conspiracy to cover up those acts by the highest ranked officials on the board of trustees of the academic establishment . AP Photo / Connor Gilchrist …

(2) Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien, left, shakes hands with Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo before an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa., Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. The Nittany Lions would go on to defeat Navy 34-7 . AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar …

(3) Quarterback Matthew McGloin (11) of the Penn State Nittany Lions celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass to Jesse James (18) during the first quarter against the Navy Midshipmen at Beaver Stadium on September 15, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania. Getty Images North America / Rob Carr ……

(4) Matt Barkley (7) of the USC Trojans tries to get a pass away after being hit during their final quarter of their game against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Palo Alto, California. .Ezra Shaw / Getty Images ….

(5) USC Trojans head coach Lane Kiffin talks to quarterback Matt Barkley during their loss to the Stanford Cardinals at Stanford Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Palo Alto, California. Ezra Shaw / Getty Images ….

(6) Head Coach John L. Smith of the Arkansas Razorbacks shakes hands with Head Coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide before a game at Razorback Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Tide would go on to crush Arkansas 52-0 in a game that wasn’t even remotely close . Getty Images / Wesley Hitt ….

(7) Denzel Devall (30) of the Alabama Crimson Tide sacks Brandon Allen (10) of the Arkansas Razorbacks at Razorback Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Crimson Tide defeated the Razorbacks 52-0 . Getty Images /Wesley Hitt …..

(8) Jeff Driskel (6) of the Florida Gators throws under pressure from the Tennessee Volunteers during the second half of play at Neyland Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Knoxville, Tennessee. . John Sommers / Getty Images …

(9) Will Muschamp head coach of the Florida Gators reacts to a call by the officials during the first half of play a against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Getty Images / John Sommers ….

(10) University of Miami President , Donna Shalala , is seen here with the university’s AD Shawn Eichorst . The two have tried to distance themselves from the allegations brought about, after it was revealed that former Canes’ booster Nevin Shapiro was guaranteed access to current and former athletes on the men’s basketball and football teams. Monetary gifts and loans were provided to these players by Shapiro. In the latest around of allegations , head football coach Al Golden has been embroiled in this mess , with the belief that he had a subordinate act as an intermediary between Shapiro and his players . Golden vehemently denies any wrongdoing on his part or that he was aware of any of his players accepting gifts from the now incarcerated Shapiro. Miami Herald / Antonio Echevarria ………

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