A Sporting weekend to behold , maybe

A Sporting weekend to behold , maybe

By Tophatal

So here we are , week eleven of the NFL season , and for some teams , their hopes seem to have gone up in a cloud of smoke. With so many franchises in a dire situation , it is hard to envisage how the teams will somehow extricate themselves from the mess they created . Nowhere , is this more evident , than with the continued plight of the New York Jets , as from one moment to the next , the NFL’s biggest sideshow gets more comedic by the second . From unconfirmed players , being critical of backup quarterback Tim Tebow , to Jets’ head coach, Rex Ryan , trying to explain away his team’s woes , while trying to keep his own position safe . If there is one thing that you can be sure of , how Ryan handles this situation and whether or not the Jets can turn around their season , will most certainly play a part, as to whether or not, he is retained by the organization.

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Indifference , stupidity , and the mere conceitedness of Ryan, and his coaching staff , has led to the Jets’ malaise . This team simply isn’t good enough to be viewed as a legitimate candidate for the Superbowl . Yet at the beginning of the season, after the acclaim thrown upon Tim Tebow , and the thought that he could contribute to the success of the franchise. There is absolutely nothing tangible to be shown , by way of anything that can be deemed a success. That is unless you would consider a 3-6 record , while sitting at the bottom of the AFC East , a sign of success , eleven weeks into the NFL schedule ? There are litany of issues that Rex Ryan has failed to address concerning the team , while at the same time the beleaguered head coach seems at a loss for words concerning the team’s continued frailties on both sides of the ball. Mark Sanchez , is having an indifferent season , completely lacking in confidence , and while there might calls for Tim Tebow to replace the incumbent starting quarterback . In reality, the young backup , as an option , does not offer the franchise the best chance of long or short-term success.

One of the more enticing games on this weekend’s schedule , is a meeting , of two of the NFL’s most successful franchises over the last decade. The Indianapolis Colts , led by the 2012 NFL Draft, number one one overall pick , Andrew Luck, will get the chance to pit himself against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots , when these two teams meet at Gillette Stadium, in Foxboro’ , Massachusetts, this upcoming Sunday.

The game itself might be considered the “heir-apparent” seeking to pit gauge himself against perhaps , the league’s best quarterback of the past decade . Brady’s resume’ simply gives credence to that fact , whereas Luck , has been exceptional this season , while leading the Colts to an impressive 6-3 start , bettered by only the Houston Texans (8-1) , within the AFC South , where the team now sits in second place . Much of the Colts’ season has been encapsulated around the untimely issues , concerning the health of what now appears to be a cancer free , Chuck Pagano . While the head coach , has been undergoing exhaustive chemotherapy for cancer of the lymph nodes , his team has set about winning games, and rallying behind his calls for “getting the job done” . So much so , that it has now become the “rallying cry” , not just amongst the players , but the entire Colts’ organization and their raucous fan-base. If Luck is able to lead his teammates to an improbable win , it would have to be viewed as one of the high points of Indianapolis Colts’ already impressive season.

There is a quiet confidence about the Colts , not witnessed , since Peyton Manning was leading the reins of this franchise to a great many of their unprecedented successes. The question now being asked , is can Manning’s successor , lead them forward, along in the next chapter of the franchise’s history ? All signs now point towards that being “ an emphatic yes , on all counts” .

The one thing that is abundantly clear about this Colts , Patriots’ meeting , and it is that the defense of the New England Patriots will be severely tested by a young and talented Indianapolis Colts’ offense. And if their previous meetings are anything to go by, these two AFC teams , will put on a thoroughly exciting display.

If it’s not broken , then why try and fix it ? However, if it is broken , then get out the brooms and “ clean house “ . You will not have to go a long way to find the sort of ineptitude now being exhibited by the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8) , Carolina Panthers (2-7) and Kansas City Chiefs (1-8) , Cleveland Browns (2-7) and Oakland Raiders (3-6) . Far be it for me to suggest, but I believe that these teams have lost their direction , and from hereon-in. the head coaches in question, will remain on the clock, as to whether or not their tenures will last the entire 2012-13 season.

Now while the Philadelphia Eagles (3-6) have labored under the perception that they were a championship caliber team . Their performances this season , have been nowhere near, what would be expected of a championship-caliber franchise. Many of the Eagles’ issues, as their season has unfolded , lay squarely upon the indifferent and rather poor performances of Michael Vick , this season . The player has a declining —- skill-set, which has now become an embarrassment for Vick and the Eagles’ franchise as a whole. What now exacerbates this situation , has been the very fact that head coach, Andy Reid , has stood steadfastly behind in his support of Michael Vick, and his bewilderingly inept displays this season. And with each post-game interview granted by Reid , his stance has remained the same , that is until Michal Vick suffered a concussion , which forced the head coach to insert Nick Foles into the lineup, as the their game against the Dallas Cowboys ,which ended in a 38-23 loss for the Eagles. Foles did enough to suggest that for the rest of the season . he might be the person to lead this team to semblance of respectability. Things are not going to get any easier for the Eagles , they face off against the Washington Redskins (3-6) , in what will be “ a must win situation “ for both of these beleaguered teams .

As things now begin to heat up within College Football , the nation waits to see what remaining teams amongst the unbeaten , will suddenly fall flat . As we know , the Ohio State (Buckeyes) are not BCS Bowl eligible , and are not eligible for any of the postseason fare normally associated with BCS , and the plethora of games that will be scheduled. Unbeaten at 10-0 , the Buckeyes , this season , have simply played with an intensity and a purpose , as they seek to remain relevant in the world of College Football. Urban Meyer , having succeeded disgraced former head coach , Jim Tressel , will now seek rebuild and redeem the reputation of this once prestigious program. Granted, upon Tressel’s dismissal , Luke Fickle was given the position of interim-head coach , it was clear that Gene Smith , the school’s athletic director , in conjunction with university President , Dr E Gordon Gee , would seek to hire a big name coach . The two-time national championship head coach with Florida , may well have picked up from where left off , but it is clear that Urban Meyer would have relished locking horns with the likes of Kansas State , Oregon (Ducks) , or even Notre Dame during the Bowl schedule . Instead , an unbeaten season , and national acclaim is all that can be attained by the Buckeyes in 2012 .

The Buckeyes will face the Wisconsin Badgers this Saturday , in what should be a highly anticipated and competitively fought battle . During that game we should get to see if the continued hype over Braxton Miller , is indeed justified . Miller, the Buckeyes’ quarterback has simply been stellar , all season , putting up astonishing numbers , while leading this team on their unbeaten run. The player is amongst the leading candidates for this year’s Heisman Trophy , but it is unlikely that he will beat out the three perceived favorites at this juncture , and the candidates in question are Colin Klein , Johnny Manziel and Manti Te`o .

I do believe that within the world of College Football , there are some coaches you simply despise, and teams that you simply hate with such venom ! When it is all said and done , I do not think I can honestly , say that there is a program I dislike more , with such intensity , than that of Notre Dame. Granted , in the aftermath of the Penn State tragedy , and one seriously doubts , if there is a more disliked program in all collegiate athletics. Suffice to say, with all of the detailed and insidious acts perpetrated by Jerry Sandusky , it seems sheer lunacy , that those in a position of power would seek to cover up such egregious malfeasance . Yet as this all came to light , there idiots out there still trying deflect that the justified criticism not only aimed at the school , but also the now disgraced former head football coach, Joe Paterno . His actions , if nothing else , were simply beyond reason , as he tried to explain away his lack of understanding what had gone and the very fact that he should have investigated further the allegations made against his one-time assistant coach . If nothing else , for sheer incompetence , the punishment rendered against the program was more than justified . However, the legal issues , in terms of the civil suits that will be undoubtedly lodged against Penn State will further tarnish the reputation of that academic institution

As I alluded to earlier , Notre Dame is a program , that is granted far too much reverence . Much of that I believe actually stems from the fact that the school’s benefactor , none other than NBC Sports and the money simply bestowed upon the school, by way of the multi-billion dollar television contract , carries way too much sway —- within BCS circles . OK, so one could allude to the fact that this season , unbeaten at 9-0 , and ranked number three , behind number one ranked Kansas State and at number two , Oregon. . In spite of what appears to be, on the surface a terrific season, you simply cannot hide the fact that this team just isn’t that good . Their record may not bear this out but simply look at the team statistics , when adjudged against other teams at the D1 level of College Football ? Winning however, trumps everything, , and that is what the Fighting Irish have been able to do, without a great deal style or substance, and with a schedule , that one could view as somewhat embarrassing in some circles.

NBC has never been any able to disguise their partiality towards the Notre Dame program , and the very fact that the programmer’s former head of the sports’ division is a proud well respected graduate of the school , merely adds further credence to that very fact. Dick Ebersol , a now a senior consultant in an advisory role for of NBC Sports , is one of the nascent pioneers of sports’ programming, has simply corralled his superiors in making sure that the Notre Dame program’s coffers are filled annually , while fellow alumni and boosters play their part in making sure that the “ gravy train” —- remains almost unparalleled in their exercise of raising money for the school. The football program remains one of the few bright spots for NBC , in terms of it sports’ content , for prime-time viewers and ratings , as everything else within its cupboard , has become extraordinarily stale and unimaginative .

Notre Dame’s head coach Brian Kelly is fully vested in bringing about success to the program, and with it heightened recognition . As a stand-alone Independent within the conferences , the school is afforded a great deal of latitude , and with that comes the fact , that as an adjudicator in determining who plays for the BCS national title. I do believe , that certainly muddies the waters , but such is the a sway held by Notre Dame , their authority in this matter , goes unquestioned . Furthermore , by merely winning six games on their schedule in any given season , they’re automatically granted a Bowl berth , when other programs with better records and from none BCS conferences, are not afforded such a chance . Yet, there are those , who view the whole BCS system and the soon to be adopted playoff format , as being fair and equitable. That system is flawed , but moreover , it is , and has been , and will always be driven by the premise of money , and not much else beyond that ! Until the system is looked at in-depth , rather favoring a selected group of conferences and programs , not everyone will be allowed “ a bite of the apple” .

Notre Dame’s next game will be a match-up against the ACC’s Wake Forest . It will be interesting to see whether not sophomore quarterback, Everett Golson , can lead this team with any great authority . If Golson , gives a more structured performance , then all roads lead to a Notre Dame victory . On the other hand, an upset could be in the making , if for any reason , Brian Kelly’s players have any lingering doubts and become complacent , then it should be beyond the realms of probability that they could suffer their first loss of the season. It is in this endeavor , that , Manti Teo, Carlo Calabrese, Kevin Carr , and Stephon Tuitt will seek to put this game beyond the reach of the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest.

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What if anything are you most looking forward in terms of the college games and by way of those within the NFL ? Simply chime in with a comment 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 – St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer , center, talks with quarterbacks Kellen Clemens (10) and Austin Davis (9) during NFL football practice, in this June 14, 2012 file photo taken in St. Louis. Brian Schottenheimer is trying to treat the St. Louis Rams’ game against his former team, the New York Jets, Sunday Nov. 18, 2012 as just another game . AP Photo/Tom Gannam …

(2) New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan walks off the field after his team lost to the Seattle Seahawks in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 28-7 . AP Photo/Elaine Thompson ….

(3) New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow heads off the field after the Jets lost to the Seattle Seahawks in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 28-7 . Tebow ran four times for 14 yards, and was 3 of 3 passing for 8 yards . AP Photo/Elaine Thompson …

(4) New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) sits on the bench near backup quarterback Tim Tebow, left, late in the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 28-7. Sanchez finished 9 of 22 for 124 yards . Tebow ran four times for 14 yards, and was 3 of 3 passing for 8 yards. Those are the sort of “stats” that should get a quarterback benched , but now , idiots are seeking the insertion of Tim Tebow to be now inserted as the team’s starting quarterback . AP Photo/Elaine Thompson …

(5) FILE – This Nov. 4, 2012 file photo shows Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson before the start of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Indianapolis. The Colts gave Grigson his first chance to build a team . All Grigson has done is build a masterpiece by taking chances on players who didn’t pan out elsewhere and have somehow worked out in Indy, which is 6-3 and in the playoff hunt . AP Photo/Darron Cummings …

(6) Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) throws against the Miami Dolphins during the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012. Luck threw for 433 yards and two touchdown passes , breaking Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton’s single-game passing record (422 yards) for a rookie ,as he led the Colts to a 23-20 win. AP Photo/AJ Mast …

(7) New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. The Patriots would defeat the Bills 37-31 to remain atop of the AFC East divisional standings . AP Photo/Elise Amendola …

(8) Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes congratulates Bri’onte Dunn (25) of the Ohio State Buckeyes after he scored a touchdown against the Illinois Illini on November 3, 2012 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Illinois 52-22 . Getty Images North America /Kirk Irwin …

(9) Braxton Miller (5) of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs the ball in for a touchdown against the Illinois Illini on November 3, 2012 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Illinois 52-22 . Getty Images /Kirk Irwin ….

(10) Head coach Frank Spaziani of the Boston College Eagles walks the sideline in the second half of their game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the game on November 10, 2012 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Getty Images / Jared Wickerham …..

(11) Head coach Frank Spaziani of the Boston College Eagles shakes hands with Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly following their game on November 10, 2012 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Notre Dame would defeat Boston College 21-6 . Jared Wickerham / Getty Images ….

(12) Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson scrambles away from Boston College’s Kasim Edebali during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Boston on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. AP Photo/ Winslow Towson …

(13) Quarterback Denard Robinson (16) of the Michigan (Wolverines) is tackled by linebacker Manti Te’o (5) of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and teammates in the first quarter of a game played at Notre Dame Stadium on September 22, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. Getty Images / Johnathan Daniel ….

(14) NHL Commissioner , Gary Bettman ,left , is seen here with Dick Ebersol , former head of NBC Sports . Ebersol having left the program outlet , returned at the request of parent company Comcast in a senior advisory role for the sports’ broadcast division . Mark Lazarus now heads NBCSports , as Ebersol’s successor . AP Photos / Mark Shaw ….
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NFL related links: Redemption time for the Cowboys

Commissioner discusses safety in football at Harvard

Sean Payton expected to keep contract negotiations , open

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NFL news & news from around the league

NFL schedule important dates

NFL schedule week 11 & week 12 schedule

NFL results week 10

NFL team injuries

NFL transactions

NFL standings by division

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NCAA Football

NCAA Football news

NCAA Football schedule & …. week 11 results

Notre Dame football news

Ohio State football news

Penn State football news

NCAA Football standings (FBS)

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Wendy Fiore packing in a whole lot of ” goodies” into that fine a#s frame ! I like it !