Monday, October 04, 2010

An in-state rivalry worth paying attention to

First Down - Alabama has come off two big wins: at Arkansas and a solid thumping of Florida...but this week the Tide goes into a beehive as they play at South Carolina...the Tide better be on upset alert...

Second Down - the next three weeks Michigan hosts Michigan State, Iowa, then travel to Penn State...realistically, I am expecting a loss when they play Iowa...but if they even want a chance to win against both State teams, the pass defense has to get better...that was one of the most pathetic pass defense performances in Michigan history...I understand the secondary is young, but this was unacceptable...

Third Down - Joe Paterno is 83-years-old but he has a good young team with a bright future...the Nittany Lions will get better over the next few years...freshman quarterback Robert Bolden has the tools to become a quality quarterback...JoePa is taking his lumps this season, but Penn State will be back in the Big 10 title hunt in the next year or two...

Fourth Down - this week New Mexico plays at New Mexico State...this may be the battle to determine the worst team in college football...both football programs are gosh awful...in their weekly power rankings, Point Wise has New Mexico as a 16 and New Mexico State as a 15...by comparison, Ohio State is 66, Michigan is 52, and Akron is 21...so make sure ya'll check out the score...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Another Big 10 team can't win out west

First Down - A few weeks back I wrote the following about the Iowa "the schedule breaks favorably for Iowa as they only have four away games...Penn State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and in-state rival Iowa State all come to Iowa City this year...the only major hurdle comes on September 18th when Iowa plays at Arizona....Wildcats head coach and Iowa graduate Mike Stoops could cost his alma mater a shot at the national title"...this was just smelled of an upset...I still believe Iowa will run the table and win the Big Ten...

Second Down - Michigan's 42-37 win over U.Mass seems more like a loss than a win...Denard Robinson had another solid game as the Wolverines offense rolled after a sluggish start...but it's the defense that is a cause for concern...allowing 37 points to a I-AA team does not bode well...

Third Down - Don't count out Mark Ingram for the Heisman just yet...with a couple of impressive performances in the SEC, Ingram can jump right back into the race...and it starts this week when they play at Arkansas...

Fourth Down - Got my first look at Auburn QB Cam Newton...Newton is 6'6" with a solid built...he was good, but I was not that impressed with him...Newton still needs a lot of seasoning before he can live up to his potential...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wesley Brown: 103 year old federal judge

A.G. Sulzberger of The New York Times writes about a 103-year-old federal judge... "Judge Brown is so old, in fact, that in less than a year, should he survive, he will become the oldest practicing federal judge in the history of the United States." ...
  • A.G. Sulzberger
  • Terry Bradshaw jealous of Big Ben?

    Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes how he thinks Terry Bradshaw is jealous of Big Ben... "But Bradshaw, who won four Super Bowls as the Steelers' quarterback in the 1970s and made the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989, won't let the Roethlisberger thing go. His act is getting old, to the point it makes you -- OK, me -- wonder what his motive is." ...
  • Ron Cook
  • Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Pele and Bobby Moore photo

    Bob Hughes of The New York Times writes about the historic soccer photo taken of Pele and Bobby Moore after their World Cup match in 1970... "But can you see joy and despair? Or do you see in their touch, their smiles, their eyes something that means so much more than who won and who lost the game?" ...
  • Bob Hughes




  • Mark Viera of The New York Times writes an interesting article of how the workers at the New Meadowlands Stadium converted it from the Giants to the Jets in 24 hours... "Four computers hummed in the Oz-like control room, displaying all manner of information about New Meadowlands Stadium, including the temperatures inside the suites and surveillance video of the loading dock. " ...
  • Mark Viera
  • Monday, September 13, 2010

    Alabama's Greg McElroy for Heisman?

    First Down - why aren't any of the media wonks mentioning Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy for the Heisman...Terrelle Pryor is everyone's favorite, but what has he really done so far this year?...and if anyone is going by past performances, McElroy has never lost a college game...in fact, he has not lost a game as a starting quarterback since the 8th grade...

    Second Down - There are two bee-hive games this week...#10 Iowa is going to #18 Arizona...Mike Stoops, a graduate of Iowa, could derail his alma mater's shot at the national title...it seems that whenever a Big 10 team goes to play at a PAC-10 school on a Saturday night they come back home with an L...

    The other bee-hive game is Nebraska at Washington...Washington's Jake Locker is being projected by Mel Kiper as the first overall pick in the next NFL Draft...the Huskies lost by seven at BYU two weeks ago...this one is just smelling like an upset...Washington can play with the big boys - remember the USC game last year...

    Third Down - are the Big 3 Florida schools a tad down this year?...Ohio State and Oklahoma exposed The U and Florida State as two frauds...even though the Gators are 2-0, there is still an obvious hangover from the Tim Tebow era...Gator Nation goes to Knoxville this week to play Tennessee...just a few years back this used to be a classic battle, but the Vols program has been in flux with all the coaching changes...Florida will get tested when they head to Bama in early October...

    Fourth Down - here is a name to remember - Marcus Lattimore...Lattimore is a freshman running back for South Carolina and he has the Ole Ball Coach switching from the Fun N Gun to the plain ole run...the 6'0", 220 lb Lattimore is muscular bowling ball who batters defenses...his numbers against Georgia were 37 carries for 182 yards and two touchdowns...this might be the kid who gets Spurrier to his first ever SEC title game as head coach of the Gamecocks..

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    The U vs. Ohio State Preview

    Miami (Fla) at Ohio State
    Saturday, September 11, 2010
    Ohio Stadium - 3:30 p.m.
    Ohio State - 7.5

    The last time these two teams met on the field, The U was in domination mode and Ohio State was the upstart team without much of a chance at the Buckeyes were 14 point underdog in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl...

    Move ahead seven years later the roles are reversed...Jim Tressel has turned the Buckeyes into a perennial powerhouse while The U had to rebuilt...the 2003 Fiesta Bowl began the downturn for Hurricane football which eventually cost head coach Larry Coker his job...

    Some forget that Tressel was almost the head coach at The U in the mid-1990s but instead turned down the job to remain at Youngstown State University...The U eventually settled on Butch Davis who started a brief Hurricane Dynasty II before bolting for the Cleveland Browns...

    Almost seven years after the 2003 game, most of the major stars of that game ended up with a bleak future:
    Sean Taylor - drafted in the first round by the Redskins...was shot to death in his Miami home by an intruder..
    Craig Krenzel - the genetics major never made it in the medical field...he currently is a spokesperson for John Deere power equipment and serves as an Ohio State broadcaster...
    Maurice Clarett - that would be the last game he would ever play for Ohio State...Clarett later served 3 plus years in prison and is now playing for the UFL...
    Ken Dorsey - bounced around the NFL as a journeyman quarterback...in 2010 he signed with the Toronto Argonauts to serve as a back-up to former Miami Dolphins QB Cleo Lemon...
    Willis McGahee - sufferred horrific leg injury in the title game...he was still drafted in the first round by the Buffalo Bills and sat out his rookie year...he is currently still playing in the NFL but never had the impact that he did in college...
    Kellen Winslow - was a top 10 draft pick by the Cleveland Browns, but a freak leg injury in his rookie season sidelined him for the year...he then tore up his knee in a motorcycle accident...he never lived up to his potential...
    Mike Nugent - was the Buckeyes field goal kicker with nerves of steel...was a second round pick of the N.Y. Jets...never was a clutch kicker in the NFL...now with the Bengals...


  • 2003 Fiesta Bowl game story



  • What the "experts" are sayin!!!

  • College Football News


  • Pointwise - Ohio State 31 The U 16
    The Gold Sheet - Ohio State 27 The U 24

    Hurricanes Summary

  • Miami Game Notes



  • Susan Miller Degnan of the Miami Herald writes how the 2003 loss still hurts former players... "As the No. 13 Miami Hurricanes (1-0) and No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (1-0) prepare to meet in Columbus on Saturday for the first time since the controversial national championship game in the Jan. 3, 2003 Fiesta Bowl, the Hurricanes from that team -- and their families -- eagerly await." ...
  • Susan Miller Degnan



  • Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald writes how running back Graig Cooper worked hard to recovery from a knee injury... "The 6-foot, 205-pound senior, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the Champs Sports Bowl eight months ago, made his debut as promised Thursday night against Florida A&M." ...
  • Manny Navarro



  • Navarro writes how The U wants to put a pass rush on OSU led by Olivier Vernon... "But it never hurts for a pass rusher to have a little style, too. Vernon just chooses to hide his under his helmet with a haircut that could best be described as a mohawk surrounded by zig-zagging patterns." ... Miller Degnan writes how The U's Jacory Harris has his focus on Ohio State... "Harris, in his cool, mellow way, insisted Wednesday that the only matchup Saturday in Ohio worth watching will be the one between No. 2 Ohio State (1-0) and No. 12 Miami (1-0) -- not the quarterbacks wearing No. 2 (Pryor) and No. 12 (Harris)." ...
  • Susan Miller Degnan



  • Buckeyes Summary

  • Ohio State Game Notes



  • Ken Gordon of the Columbus Dispatch writes how this week's game is a "home" game for some Buckeyes... "Brian Rolle hadn't been with the Buckeyes for long when he looked at Ohio State's upcoming schedules. His heart jumped. In his senior season, the linebacker from Immokalee, Fla., saw, he would get to face his hometown team." ...
  • Ken Gordon



  • Jack Park of the Columbus Dispatch writes how former coach John Cooper had an impact on the 2003 title game... "Ohio State's 31-24 victory over Miami in double-overtime in the Fiesta Bowl to capture the 2002 national title is a solid choice for the Buckeyes' greatest victory. John Cooper, who was in his second year of retirement in 2002, had three distinct connections with the game:" ...
  • Jack Park



  • Doug Lesmerises writes about the paths of Maurice Clarett and Sean Taylor... "The play lasted six, maybe seven seconds. Fifteen strides took Miami safety Sean Taylor from the end zone, where he had intercepted a Craig Krenzel pass, to the 29-yard line, where he suddenly found Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett ripping the football from his right arm." ...
  • Doug Lesmerises



  • Gordon writes how the Ohio State defense wants to put Jacory Harris on his back... "Larimore said they hope to deliver Tatum's message in person to the Hurricanes, and in particular to quarterback Jacory Harris." ...
  • Ken Gordon
  • Thursday, September 09, 2010

    NFC Preview

    NFC East
    Eagles - Kevin Kolb will surprise many and the Iggles defense has improved...
    Cowboys* - years ago, Jerry Jones would have whacked Wade by now, but J2 is showing patience...this may be the last year of that patience though...
    Giants* - the defense was gosh awful last year...they need a fast start or this team may go south fast...whatever happened to Brandon Jacobs too?...
    Redskins - Washington will show some spunk over the course of the year...

    NFC South
    Saints - the Champs will not be as dominant...their defense did give up a lot of points in their 2 home playoff wins...
    Falcons - the Dirty Birds went in a funk when Ryan got hurt last season...look for Michael Turner to have a rebound year in the backfield...
    Panthers - Matt Moore will hold off Jimmy Clausen as the starting QB...the key to this team is the health of DeAngelo Williams...a healthy DeAngelo to go with Jonathan Stewart make this a playoff team...
    Buccaneers - Raheem Morris gets canned after the season...will make a push for Bill Cowher...

    NFC North
    Packers - Aaron Rodgers will win the league MVP...the defense needs to tighten up a bit more...they are vulnerable at corner...will Charles Woodson start to show his age?...
    Vikings - Sorry Brett, but you will start to show your age this year...
    Bears - Chicago will make a push to pass the Vikings...
    Lions - this will be the Kings of the Jungle's last year in the cellar...

    NFC West
    49ers - this is everyone's sexy pick in the NFC...the door is wide open for the gold to be rushing in...
    Seahawks - the seabirds pass the Cardinals just because of who is Arizona's QB...
    Cardinals - Derek Anderson???...nuff said...
    Rams - Wonder is Spags wishes he stayed as defensive coordinator of the Giants...

    NFC Championship
    Packers over Cowboys

    SUPER BOWL
    Packers over Patriots

    Tuesday, September 07, 2010

    AFC Preview

    AFC East
    1. Patriots - Bill Belichick still has some magic in that old silk hat...Brady and Moss will connect for 17 TDs...
    2. Dolphins* - I like the pick up of Karlos Dansby for the defense...Henne is ready to show this is his team...
    3. Jets - the Jets are everyone's S-E-X-Y pick...Jets will have a winning mark but will stub their toe against some lesser opponents which will cost them in the end...
    4. Bills - Buffalo needs to get a true quarterback if they are going to compete in this division...

    AFC North
    1. Steelers - the defense will get them through an ugly season...the big concern is the lack of depth behind Mendenhall...just when people think the Steelers are over-the-hill, they always rise to the occassion
    2. Ravens - much like the Steelers, just when people think their better days are behind them, Ray Lewis and company seem to get better...
    3. Bengals - I love rookie tight end Jermaine Gresham...he will get all the fruits from the double teams on TO and Chad...
    4. Browns - Cleveland will make strides this year, but they are still a ways away...

    AFC South
    1. Colts - until someone in this division can stand up and punch this team in the mouth, I have to go with Peyton Manning...note to Jim Caldwell, if you make it to 13-0 this year, be a man and go for the perfect season...
    2. Titans* - this is a mentally tough team because of their head coach...
    3. Texans - Houston is on the brink of making the playoffs...Arian Foster is the name people will know by the end of the year...
    4. Jaguars - Jack Del Rio will be the first coach canned...

    AFC West
    1. Chargers - I love the drafting of Ryan Matthews...now they have fresh young legs to go with Philip Rivers arm...
    2. Raiders - don't laugh!!!...the Raiders will make noise this year - and in a positive way...Rolando McClain (photo) will be AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year...
    3. Broncos - this is not a bad team, but this is not a good team...
    4. Chiefs - Charlie Weiss and Romeo Crennel will not make a difference...

    * Denotes wild card team

    Thoughts on the AFC
    First Down - last season the Dolphins took a step back after making the playoffs in 2008...however, Chad Henne is solidly in charge at quarterback...also, head coach Tony Sparano dropped some major weight...

    Second Down - how much gas is left in the tank for Ray Lewis?...whether you love him or hate him, the guy is a freak of nature...somehow he keeps on performing at a high level...

    Third Down - Matt Cassell is the new Scott Mitchell...back in the mid-1990s, Mitchell replaced Dan Marino after Marino suffered an Achilles injury...Mitchell performed very well then received a big contract from the Detroit Lions where he then tanked it...

    Fourth Down - AFC Championship Game - Patriots over Chargers...this is New England's last hurrah...

    Monday, September 06, 2010

    It's decision time for Tate Forcier

    The Michigan Wolverines played a good game on Saturday in their 30-10 win over Connecticut...the star of the game was quarterback Denard Robinson who dazzled the crowd of 113,091 with his speed and good decision-making...

    One of the biggest moments in the game came when Robinson got injured and was being attended to by the medical staff...all eyes moved to the Michigan sideline to see true freshman Devin Gardner warming up instead of last season's starter Tate Forcier...

    As a true freshman, Forcier started all 12 games last season...he began like a buzzsaw but his production and development regressed as the season wore on with his last game, against Ohio State, being his worst game of the year...it was reported that during the off-season, Robinson and Gardner outworked Forcier which led to some teammates calling out their former leader...as time went by, Robinson was looked upon as the new leader of the team...

    Forcier, who sat dejected on the sideline during Michigan's big win on Saturday must make a decision - should he stay in Ann Arbor and fight to get his job back or transfer now...

    The one disadvantage to being a quarterback is that only 1 person can play that position on the field...therefore, Forcier must do what is best for himself...as a Michigan fan I still like Forcier...he played hard last season even though he made many freshman mistakes...

    People have to remember that he is a 20-year-old kid who is still learning how to deal with tough situations...last season's early success could have went to his head and been a factor in his dismal finish...maybe he thought he was entitled to be the starter again this year?...I'm not sure what is going through his mind...

    Whatever decision Forcier makes, the Michigan fans should support him unless he decides to pull a Justin Boren and transfer to hated rival Ohio State or even Michigan State...as long as he doesn't transfer to one of those two schools, I thank Forcier for selecting Michigan as his first school of choice and wish him nothing but the best in his future...

    Thursday, September 02, 2010

    BCS Predictions

    Here are the predictions of who will play in the BCS games this year...my predictions are a little different than what most "experts" have called for...anyone can predict Alabama, Ohio State, Florida, Texas for the national title...I decided to stick my neck on the line...in other words, like Bill Rafftery would say, "ONIONS!!"...

    First off, Alabama will not make a BCS...they have only 2 players returning on defense...there is no way a team will win the title, let along make a BCS game with that young of a defense...I know I stated Alabama would go 12-1, but I want to change that to 10-2...

    Florida is another team that will not win the BCS title...you don't replace Tim Tebow and players like Joe Haden and Brandon Spikes...same goes with Texas...they lose Jordan Shipley, Colt McCoy and Sergio Kindle...and Ohio State is banking on a quarterback who has played one fabulous game so far...Oregon will not flow with Jeremiah Masoli gone...

    Well here is my call:
    Fiesta Bowl - Oklahoma vs. Pitt - the Sooners and Panthers win their conferences

    Rose Bowl - Stanford vs. Ohio State - Stanford takes the PAC-10 and Ohio State gets an at-large bid

    Sugar Bowl - Auburn vs. Nebraska - Auburn shocks everyone and takes the SEC title...Nebraska gets the at-large bid

    Orange Bowl - The U vs. Florida - The U wins the ACC and Florida gets an at-large bid

    BCS Title Game - Boise State vs. Iowa - this is a game that BCS officials dread...they do not want either team close to this game, but at the end of the season, these two will be the only undefeated teams standing...when it is all done, Boise State shocks the world!!!...

    Wednesday, September 01, 2010

    Tennessee: Rocky Top reeling

    First Down - The Volunteers are the Michigan of the South...a once dominant program who stuck with their former coach one or two years too long...like Lloyd Carr, Phil Fulmer should have retired a year earlier than he did...Lane Kiffin would have turned this program around if he stayed, but his bolt to USC has left Rocky Top in disarray...Derek Dooley has the bloodlines (his pappy is Vince Dooley) but it will take him at least two years to bring the recruiting to where it once was...

    Second Down - Bryce Brown was the USA Today high school player of the year just two years ago...but Brown did nothing in his first year at Tennessee and he is leaving to go play at Kansas State next year...I am just a bit puzzled why Dooley will not let him out of his scholarship...seems like Dooley is being a bit of a hardass with the kid...

    Third Down - The Vols schedule is Murderer's Row...they get Oregon at home followed by Florida a week later...then in October, they start a four game stretch where they play at LSU, at Georgia, home to Alabama, and at South Carolina...

    Fourth Down - to make matters worse, the Vols two top receivers got hurt in summer practice...

    Hail Mary - Remember the days when Jamal Lewis, Peerless Price, and others dotted the Tennessee roster...

    Prediction - 6-6...after getting shafted by Kiffin, the Vols players will play hard and win just enough games to make a bowl appearance, something that will not be happening in Los Angeles...

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010

    Notre Dame: Another rebuilding year

    First Down - The Irish start over again...look for Notre Dame to have an above average season under Brian Kelly, which is good...don't forget, the Irish had great starts during the first season under Ty Willingham and Charlie Weiss...but that was all puff pastry and did not last...Kelly will not have as good of a first season record as the other two coaches, but he will build a better foundation that will last...

    Second Down - wide out Michael Floyd and tight end Kyle Rudolph are legitimate weapons...Armando Allen is a solid running back, but the Irish need sophomore running back Cierre Wood to live up to all his high school hype...

    Third Down - Notre Dame's defense lacks speed...this was their downfall last season...it will take time to recruit players who can run down opponents...

    Fourth Down - Unlike Rich Rodriguez when he took over at Michigan, the Irish quarterback cupboard is not bare...Dayne Crist is a very capable quarterback who can operate the team...

    Hail Mary - Can Brian Kelly sing Danny Boy?...

    Prediction - 7-5...the Irish will lose a game they shouldn't have and win a game they shouldn't have...Kelly builds his foundation this year...

    Monday, August 30, 2010

    Pitt: The sleeper team for the BCS?

    First Down - Dave Wannstedt has his offense loaded except at one position -- quarterback...Bill Stull has moved on so the reigns go to sophomore Tino Sunseri...Sunseri threw only 17 passes last year...also in the picture could be Pat Bostick or even freshman Mark Myers from Cleveland St. Ignatius...

    Second Down - Whomever is the quarterback, they have a stud wide receiver to throw to in Jonathan Baldwin...the 6'5" junior wideout is flat out the best receiver in the nation...he is a playmaker who causes match-up problems for cornerbacks...

    Third Down - the sleeper for this year's Heisman Trophy is running back Dion Lewis...sure, the knock on him is that he is only 5'8", but this kid is something special...and with defenses having to also focus on Baldwin, there should be plenty of holes for Lewis...Lewis is also aided by left tackle Jason Pinkston who has NFL potential...

    Fourth Down - The defense has a sure fire first round pick in d-end Greg Romeus...the leader on the defense is safety Dom DeCicco...the Panthers allowed 20 points per game last year...

    Hail Mary - Will Pitt ever go back to those classic uniforms and helmets from the Tony Dorsett era?...

    Prediction - 10-2...Pitt has 2 tough non-conference games when they open at Utah, which could be a problem and at home against The U...the conference title will come down to the game on November 11th at Connecticut...Pitt has the talent but they seem to always stub their toe against a lesser opponent...in the end, they take the Big East...

    Thursday, August 26, 2010

    Iowa: the Hawkeyes rise to the top

    First Down - Iowa was so close to a perfect season last year...but those hopes ended when quarterback Ricky Stanzi broke his leg in the 10th game of the season...with Stanzi healthy, the Hawkeyes can run the table...

    Second Down - one of the most under-rated big time receivers is Derrell Johnson-Koulianos (photo, right) who hails from Campbell, Ohio...DJK and partner Marvin McNutt can stretch defenses...

    Third Down - Iowa has two possible first team All-Americans on defense: safety Tyler Sash and defensive end Adrian Clayborn...Clayborn is a sure fire NFL first rounder next season...

    Fourth Down - the schedule breaks favorably for Iowa as they only have four away games...Penn State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and in-state rival Iowa State all come to Iowa City this year...the only major hurdle comes on September 18th when Iowa plays at Arizona....Wildcats head coach and Iowa graduate Mike Stoops could cost his alma mater a shot at the national title...

    Hail Mary - How many offers from the NFL will Kirk Ferentz get after this season?...

    Prediction - 12-0 - the Hawkeyes make it to Glendale to play for the title...if Butler can make it to the title game in basketball, why not Iowa in football?...

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    Alabama: Another solid year

    First Down - Let's get right to the point, Alabama will not win the BCS title this year...the Tide will be dang good, but there is no way they can replace three stud defensive players who have moved onto the NFL: Terrence Cody, Rolando McClain, and Javier Arenas...these three players were leaders on the field who made plays when the team needed it most...remember Cody's blocked field goal against Tennessee...the Tide does get Dont'a Hightower back at linebacker after suffering a season ending injury last year...

    Second Down - Mark Ingram is a battering ram...he will have an All-American season, but will not win the Heisman...Heisman voters are critical of current winners who can possibly win the award twice...

    Third Down - Bama get Florida at home on October 2nd...but the next week they have to travel to South Carolina...be very careful my friend -- this smells of a trap game...

    Fourth Down - All the focus will be on Ingram, but the player who may shine brightly this year is sophomore running back Trent Richardson who would be an All-American on any other team...

    Hail Mary - It's nice to see Penn State and Alabama playing again...where is former Bama linebacker Barry Krauss who made that memorable goal line stop against Penn State in the 1979 Sugar Bowl to preserve the Tide's 14-7 win and national title...

    Prediction - 12-1...South Carolina picks off the Tide...

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    Ohio State: Will the real Terrelle Pryor please stand up

    First Down - Terrelle Pryor had a super game in Ohio State's victory over Oregon in the Rose Bowl...was his Rose Bowl performance the type of play Ohio State fans will see for 13 straight games or will the Pryor from the USC and Purdue games slip in its ugly head?...

    Second Down - the combination of Saine and Herron allow Ohio State to keep a fresh back in the game and pound away at defenses...this is the key to Tresselball...

    Third Down - Interesting fact - former Wisky coach Barry Alvarez is the only Big Ten coach to beat Tressel in back-to-back years...it is highly doubtful that Purdue's Danny Hope will be joining Alvarez in that feat...

    Fourth Down - the key to this season is keeping Pryor healthy...if Pryor gets hurt, Ohio State does not have a proven back-up who can step in...

    Hail Mary - Did you ever wonder what color of underwear Tressel wears on game day?...

    Prediction - 10-2...Buckeyes have another double digit win season...

    Monday, August 23, 2010

    Michigan - Rich Rod has to produce

    First Down - Rich Rodriguez's future in Ann Arbor is very simple - he has to go either 8-4 or 7-5 and beat Ohio State...time has run out for excuses and stating that he has to get "his type" of players to operate the spread offense...

    Second Down - pundits may think Michigan has no chance at beating Ohio State...however, last year's score was 21-10 and Tate Forcier's five turnovers doomed Michigan...a porous defense all season long tightened up and held Terrelle Pryor to 67 yards passing...also, Ohio State is ripe to get picked off soon in the series...an underdog Michigan team has never spoiled an Ohio State season while Jim Tressel has been the coach in Columbus...complacency and arrogance may bite the Buckeyes soon in this series...

    Third Down - if Michigan is going to have any success this season, the defense has to improve...often times last season, the Michigan offense would score a touchdown only to have the defense allow the opponent to match the score in a matter of minutes...the secondary is very young and that is Rodriguez's fault for recruiting marginal players academically who have since been dismissed from the team (Witty, Turner, Dorsey, Cissoko)...

    Fourth Down - Michigan opens the season and their newly renovated stadium on September 4th against Connecticut...is it possible that one year from now U.Conn's Randy Edsall may be back in Ann Arbor, but this time as the new head coach of Michigan?...

    Hail Mary - I always wondered, with the last name of Rodriguez, does Rich Rod speak fluent Spanish?...

    Prediction - 7-5 - Michigan will win seven games, but one will be against I-AA U.Mass....so in actuality, it is only six I-A wins...can someone get me Randy Edsall's phone number?...

    Saturday, August 21, 2010

    A new Labor Day tradition?

    Michigan vs. Ohio State in September???...accordining to Detroit Free Press columnist, that would make sense...
  • Drew Sharp
  • A new start

    It's been a few months, but Stiles Points is ready to start running again...we got some new tires and did some work under the hood...

    Ideally, I would like to post everyday, but realistically that cannot happen because of my job...and, I don't plan on quitting my job anytime soon...so I would like to post at least 2-3 times a week and if time permits, maybe more...

    With football season ready to open and the baseball playoff races heating up, this is the best time to put some gas in this machine and start rolling again...

    Sit back and enjoy..

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    Second round steals

    With the first round of the NFL Draft over, here are some steals in the second round...these players were worthy of being first round selections:
    - Taylor Mays, safety, USC (photo)
    - Golden Tate, wide receiver, Notre Dame
    - Briance Price, defensive tackle, UCLA
    - Jimmy Clausen, quarterback, Notre Dame
    - Greg Hardy, defensive end, Ole Miss
    - Sergio Kindle, outside linebacker, Texas

    Friday, April 16, 2010

    I Wanna Be A Cowboy

    Who can ever forget one of the best songs from the 1980s - I Wanna Be A Cowboy - by Boy's Don't Cry...there are so many great lines in the song, but the best one is at the end when he says, "My name is Ted, and one day, I'll be dead"...

    Here are the words, then kick back and enjoy the video:
    Riding on the range,
    I've got my hat - on,
    I've got my boots - dusty.

    I've got my saddle
    On my horse.
    He's called....T-t-t-t-t-trigger
    Of course.

    I wanna be a cowboy
    and you can be my cowgirl
    I wanna be a cowboy
    and you can be my cowgirl
    I wanna be a cowboy

    Riding on the chuck wagon,
    Following my man.
    His name is Ted,
    Can you believe that?
    Camping on the prairie
    Plays havoc with my hair.
    Makes me feel quite dirty,
    Though we all do sometimes

    I wanna be a cowboy
    and you can be my cowgirl
    I wanna be a cowboy
    and you can be my cowgirl
    I wanna be a cowboy

    Looking like a hero,
    Six-gun at my side,
    Chewing my tobacco.
    Out on the horizon,
    I see a puff of smoke.
    Indians on the warpath,
    White man speak-em
    with forked tongue.
    Or not.

    I wanna be a cowboy
    and you can be my cowgirl
    I wanna be a cowboy

    My name is Ted,
    And one day I'll be dead yo yo.

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    George Selvie - the forgotten man

    George Selvie
    Defensive End - South Florida
    6'5", 252 lbs, 4.93 - 40
    Two years ago, Selvie would have been a sure fire first round pick...he was coming off a national leading 31.5 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks...an ankle injury his junior led to a decline in stats...but in 2009, despite being healthy, Selvie's stats dropped to 9.5 TFL and 3.5 sacks...he is considered a tweener at LB or DE but will probably be a third-down rush DE...I have seen Selvie play over the last 3 years and believe he will be a late round steal...he is projected to go after round 5...NFLDraftScout has him rated the 17th best DE...

    NFLDraftScout: "Can be a one-trick pony with the outside rush, so tackles easily push him around the pocket. Long arms and closing speed makes it difficult for ballcarriers to escape his grasp. Works had throughout the game no matter how often he's double-teamed."

    The Sporting News: "Selvie is one of the fasted defensive ends but most of his production came early in his career. He is best suited to play as an undersized end in a 4-3 scheme."

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    Lonyae Miller - the other Fresno back

    Lonyae Miller
    Running Back - Fresno State
    6'0", 221 lbs, 4.43 - 40

    While at Fresno, Miller was behind the nation's leading rusher Ryan Matthews...had only 354 yards last season...would have been a starter on many other teams...has the size and speed...rated 17th best running back by USA Today...NFLDraftScout has Miller listed as 11th best back...

    NFLDraftScout: "Some upside here as he has a rate combincation of size and straight-line speed and has a great deal of tread left on his tires. Quality teammate who handled the demotion behind Ryan Matthews well. Patient runner who will allow the hole to open."

    The Sporting News" Projected as 5th rounder..."While it is doubtful he'll ever start at the next level, he showed the talent to do so at the Senior Bowl."

    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    Joique Bell: Division II's best

    Joique Bell
    Running Back, Wayne State (Mich)
    5'11", 220 lbs, 4.68 - 40
    First name is pronouced "joyk"...Bell was the Division II Harlon Holl Award Trophy winner last season which is equivalent to the Heisman Trophy...he rushed for 2,094 yards and 29 touchdowns in 2009...he finished his career with 6,728 yards and 89 TDs...the Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs have shown an interest...Bell is rated the 12th top running back by NFLDraftScout...

    NFLDraftScout: "Lacks breakaway speed or second gear once in the open, but smaller defenders have a tough time tracking him down. Strong runner in trash who keeps legs churning until he's on the ground."

    Bleacher Report: "Running back Joique Bell of Wayne State, a Division II school in Detroit, took a chance on a smaller school over bigger local schools like Michigan and Michigan State because they saw him as a safety, and Bell wanted to be a running back. In retrospect, Bell made the right positional choice -- factor in his return totals, and he's top ten in NCAA total yardage no matter the school.

    Of course, that's the question: How do we look at Bell's NFL potential when all we have are his numbers against giants like Ferris State, Mercyhurst, Saginaw Valley and Findlay? No offense against those fine schools, or Wayne State itself, but it's generally tough to get a sense how a kid will do against the Baltimore Ravens if he's been facing players whose college careers will be the end of their football days.

    That's where the Senior Bowl comes in. After he gained over 2,000 yards in each of his last two seasons, Bell got an invitation to Mobile, Ala., and immediately impressed the pro coaches, scouts and personnel people in attendance. After the third day of Senior Bowl practice, Ravens running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery told the Detroit Free Press that Bell had been, "as offensive skill guys [go], the most impressive guy."

    "You see if a guy can make a guy miss when he's in the hole," Montgomery continued. "What I saw ... four times when he had the ball, he was able to front up a guy right in the hole and shake him and get out of there."

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Montario Hardesty - a solid back in the NFL Draft

    The NFL Draft is less than two weeks away...over that span, Stiles Points will be looking at some of the "sleepers" to keep an eye on...these players will more than likely be drafted late or are overshadowed by others at their position...but it doesn't mean they will not make an NFL team...

    Montario Hardesty
    Tennessee, Running Back
    6'0", 225 lbs, 4.49 - 40
    NFLDraftScout has Hardesty rated the 6th best running back...I saw Hardesty play 3-4 times last year and really like how he operated in an NFL style offense under then head coach Lane Kiffin...

    Hardesty has a history of injury problems, but when healthy he is a horse - a type of back that I love...he rushed for 1,345 yards last season...

    NFLDraftScout has this about Hardesty: "Characterized as the consumate teammate. Twice voted team captain. Breaking tackles is one of his best attributes. Lacks elite staight-line speed, but can beat the linebacker to the edge and turn the corner.. Good receiver used on a variety of routes."

    The Examiner: "Prior to the combine Hardesty was projected as a 3rd or 4th round draft pick. With this demonstration of athletic ability and proof that he is focused and willing to work and improve, he may very well have vaulted himself into the 2nd round of the NFL draft."

    Thursday, April 08, 2010

    Favorite Quotes

    I am starting a new topic called "Favorite Quotes"...every so often I will discuss some of my favorite quotes and its meaning...today, there are two quotes that I always liked...

    Quote 1
    "Every dog has its day."
    When I was a kid, I was watching Scarface and Tony Montana said this quote. But after doing a little research, I found out that it was first spoken in the Shakespeare play "Hamlet" (Act 5, Scene 1)

    HAMLET:
    Let Hercules himself do what he may,
    The cat will mew and dog will have his day."

    In "Scarface,", Tony says, "Every dog has his day, huh, Mel? We fucked up. He got away"...

    Basically, the most common interpretation is that any person's moment of glory is inevitable...

    Quote 2
    "I'm Tony Montana! You fuck wit me, you fuckin' wit da best!"
    This is another "Scarface" quote...I love this quote because at this point in the movie, Tony's back is against the wall, but his confidence shines as he believes that he is going to take down all these federal agents...and these agents don't realize who they are actually dealing with...Tony Montana is not some run-of-the-mill thug...

    Tuesday, April 06, 2010

    Jimmy Chitwood: The Milan Miracle

    With Butler's run during the tournament and the Final Four being held in Indianapolis, there has been a lot of talk about the movie "Hoosiers"...Jerry Crowe of The Los Angeles Times writes a feature about the star player in that movie - Jimmy Chitwood . . .  "Maris Valainis, 47 and now living in Southland, is still recognized from his portrayal of the player who made the winning jumper in the 1986 film, one of the most beloved sports movies of all time. The Indiana native's acting career was short-lived, but his cinematic basket is immortal." Jimmy Chitwood

    Monday, April 05, 2010

    The Summertime Blues

    Summer is fast approaching and we will soon be having days of sun, humidity, and things that annoy me...

    We have had a few nice sunny days so far this year and already people are annoying me...the first telltale sign that the temperature is going up is when you have to hear someone else's car music...the earth rattling bass of some young punk who has their music blasting and car windows down...I don't want to hear your freakin music!!!!...

    Another annoying part of warm weather is the dust!!!...when will the street cleaner come around and clean my street...I can't even open my windows because all the dirt and dust just flows through the air anytime a car goes past...

    My final annoyance has not happened yet this year, but it is just a matter of time...guys who wear no shirts and guys who wear no shirts but long jeans...

    As Ricky Ricardo would say, "let me splain,"....I don't want to see some dude with his bare chest...I could understand if some young muscular fella does not wear a shirt, but I hate when these old leather skinned or flabby disgusting men walk around with no shirt like they are some stud...PUT ON A FREAKIN SHIRT!!!!...

    The topper is when you see men who do not wear a shirt because of the heat but they wear jeans...haven't you ever heard of something called "shorts"...if you are that hot, put on a pair of shorts and light t-shirt instead of walking with a stiff pair of jeans...

    Yep, it is that time of the year...the time of dust, music, and leather skinned men...as I sit on my back porch and complain about it, there is one good thing that I can look forward to -- hot women in short shorts...the misery!!!!...

    Thursday, April 01, 2010

    Khalid El-Amin: the dough boy who paid off

    Connecticut head coach Jim Calhoun won his first national title with a beefy, cocky sophomore point guard from Minnesota named Khalid El-Amin...El-Amin scored the last four points for the Huskies 77-74 upset of highly touted Duke in 1999...

    During his career in the Big East, El-Amin was an easy target for opposing crowds to taunt him with the chant "fatboy" or "doughboy"...that did not detract him as he finished with career numbers of 15.3 PPG and 4.4 APG...

    El-Amin was drafted in the second round by the Chicago Bulls and played only 50 games in the NBA over two seasons...he found more success in the European Leagues...in 2006, he was named the MVP for the regular season and playoffs as he led Azovmash Mariupol of the Ukraine Superleague to the league championship...

    For more about El-Amin, check out his website - Khalid El-Amin Website

    Wednesday, March 31, 2010

    Landon Turner: what could have been

    In the last game that he ever played, former Indiana star junior forward Landon Turner helped the Hoosiers beat North Carolina to win the national title...that happened in April 1981...four months later, Turner was paralyzed from the chest down after being involved in a one-car accident...

    Turner was highly recruited out of Indianapolis and chose to play at Indiana because of head coach Bob Knight...during his freshman year, the Hoosiers won the NIT...two years later they took the national title...

    But the championship year was a rocky road for Turner who often found himself in Knight's "doghouse"...late in the season, everything finally clicked for Turner as he began hustling and understanding what Knight demanded from the team...once inserted back into the starting lineup, the Hoosiers never lost another game that season...

    Turner was named MVP in the semi-final win over LSU, in which he was the leading scorer and second in rebounds...he was named to the All-Tournament Team

    Since his accident, Turner completed his degree at Indiana...Turner is now a motivational speaker...he does not let his confinement to a wheelchair deter him from anything...

    In a 2006 article on ESPN.com, Turner is featured during hunting season in which he annually gets a gobbler...Landon Turner - The hunter

    Tuesday, March 30, 2010

    Monte Towe: Small but mighty

    In 1974, the N.C. State Wolfpack put a brief, yet small dent in the UCLA dynasty led by head coach John Wooden...the Wolfpack upset the defending champion Bruins 80-77 in the national semi-finals...two days later N.C. State won the National Title by beating Marquette 76-64...

    N.C. State had superstar David Thompson, but the engine of the team was a 5'7" point guard from Converse, Indiana named Monte Towe...during his time at N.C. State (1972-74), Towe was named to the 1974 All-Tournament team and was also an All-ACC selection...

    The Wolfpack posted a 79-7 overall record during Towe's three-year career, including a 57-1 stretch from 1972-73 (27-0) and 1973-74 (30-1)...the Wolfpack won two ACC titles (1973 and 1974), and Towe did not lose a conference game until his senior season...

    Because dunking was illegal in that era, Towe and Thompson are credited with "inventing" the alley-oop...Towe would throw the ball to Thompson while he was in the air and Thompson would gently drop the ball in the basket...

    Towe was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the third round of the 1975 ABA draft and by the Atlanta Hawks in the fourth round of the 1975 NBA Draft...he joined Thompson in Denver...

    After his playing career, Towe got into coaching as he served as Norm Sloan's assistant at N.C. State (1979-80) and then at Florida (1981-89)...Towe later served as general manager and coach in the Global Basketball Association...

    In 2000, Towe landed his first legitimate head basketball coaching job at the University of New Orleans....he compiled a 70-78 record over five seasons before leaving to become associate head coach at North Carolina State under current head coach Sidney Lowe (photo, above)...

    Monday, March 29, 2010

    All-Stiles Points Team

    In 1982, CBS Sports took over broadcasting the NCAA Tournament from NBC...over the last 28 years there have been some remarkable players who have been part of college basketball...below is my All-Stiles Points college basketball team since 1982...

    If I was comprising a team, these are the players who I would want...to make it fair, I have excluded Michael Jordan because everyone would select him...this team is built to win games and not be a squad of former Players of the Year...it doesn't matter what these players did in the NBA, if they even made an NBA team...I want a team that has an emphasis on scoring from the three point line, but decent enough to have an inside presence in case the jumpers were not falling...the one prerequisite is that they had to play at least two years of college basketball...

    Starting Five
    Small forward - Lenny Bias, Maryland - Bias (photo above) was a Jordan-like player who could score from anywhere on the floor...

    Power forward - Christian Laettner, Duke - he may have been the most hated college player during his playing days, but Laettner was like money in the bank...he was the best clutch player that I have seen in college basketball...

    Center - Patrick Ewing, Georgetown - the face of the Big East Conference...Ewing was a defensive stopper who led the Hoyas to the championship game three times, winning once...Georgetown has never been back to the finals since Ewing left...

    Point guard - Bobby Hurley, Duke - best pure point guard I have ever seen in college basketball - period!!!...a floor general and a leader...

    Shooting guard - Chris Mullin, St. John's - (photo, right) the best pure shooter in the Big East Conference during its heydays of the 1980s...he led St. John's to the Final Four in 1985...

    Bench
    Shooting forward - Glen Rice, Michigan - I need a forward who is a deadly pure outside shooter and Rice fits that mold...his role would be to shoot, shoot, and shoot from the outside...

    Power forward - Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina - Psycho would be my Kurt Rambis-like player who would do all the dirty work yet still be a scoring threat...

    Center/Forward - Wayman Tisdale, Oklahoma - Tisdale (photo, right) died last year of cancer...he was not a spectacular player in the NBA...but he was a great college player who could pull down rebounds and play either the 4 or 5 spot...

    Point guard - Steve Alford, Indiana - if Hurley was to get injured, I would need another floor general...no one better than Mr. Alford...plus he may have been the best free throw shooter of his era...

    Shooting guard - Stephen Curry, Davidson - his performance in the NCAA tournament two years was the most amazing I have seen in years...

    Specialist
    Three point specialist - Gerry McNamara, Syracuse - don't laugh at this selection...just ask Kansas how explosive G-Money can be from the three point arc...and who can forget his clutch shooting in Syracuse's memorable run to the Big East title in 2006...I could have went with J.J Redick, but G-Money is more my type of player because he has heart...

    Defensive stopper - Gene Smith, Georgetown - another selection that will have people scratching their head...Smith was a guard for the Hoyas title teams during the Ewing-era...he was the best defensive guard ever...he would set up opponents and get them to commit a charge...he made it look so easy...I don't need any more scorers with this team...so that is why I went with defense...

    Wednesday, March 24, 2010

    Mateen Cleaves: his name is "magical" at MSU

    When asking who is the second greatest player to ever wear a Michigan State basketball uniform (with Magic Johnson being the greatest) most often you will get the name Mateen Cleaves...

    Cleaves, a native of Flint, Michigan, led the Spartans to the 2000 national title over Florida - their second in school history - and was named the tournment's Most Outstanding Player...Cleaves will be remembered for spraining his ankle early in the second half and limping to the lockers...with Florida closing in to take the lead, Cleaves returned four minutes later to help Michigan State go on a 16-6 run to put the game away...

    Cleaves was the Spartans only three-time All-American and was named Big Ten Player of the Year twice...he is the Big Ten's all-time leader in career assists with 816...in his final home game on senior night, Cleaves dished out 20 assists, breaking the Big Ten single-game and career assist marks...

    But Cleaves' success never translated at the NBA level...he was drafted 14th overall by the hometown Detroit Pistons...he lasted just six years in the NBA - mainly as a bench warmer...he then played for the U.S. D-League and for teams in Europe before finally calling it career after the 2009 season...

    On March 14, 2010, Cleaves joined Fox Sports Detroit as a Detroit Pistons studio analyst...he is also involved in the music industry as an owner of the record label All Varsity Entertainment, featuring Jon Connor...it was reported in today's newpaper (March 24th) that Cleaves was recently arrested for drunk driving...

    Ron Mercer: a flash and he was gone

    When the Kentucky Wildcats hired Rick Pitino, his main objective was to bring Kentucky its first national title since 1978...in 1995, Pitino made good for the Big Blue faithful...one of the key players on that national title team was all-everything freshman Ron Mercer...

    Pitino recruited Mercer from the state of Tennessee where he was a Parade and McDonald's All-American...during his freshman year, Mercer averaged 8 points per game but showed his talent during the Final Four as he was named to the All-Final Four team...

    Mercer's stock rose during his sophomore season as he averaged 18.1 ppg...

    Mercer left Kentucky after his sophomore year and was the 6th overall pick by the Boston Celtics...his growth on the court did not continue in the NBA as he played for seven different teams during his nine year career...his time in NBA ended after the New Jersey Nets cut him in August 2005...Mercer earned about $35 million during his time in the bigs...

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    Eric Montross: the Carolina giant

    When coming out of high school in Indianapolis, Eric Montross the prize in a recruiting battle between Michigan and North Carolina...he was a big prize as he was selected as a McDonald's All American in 1990 and USA Today All-USA first Team...

    Montross had a solid career at North Carolina as he helped the Tar Heels beat Michigan for the 1993 national title...he was named an All-American as a junior and senior...Montross was drafted with the 9th overall pick by the Boston Celtics...he played for six different NBA teams...during his career, he averaged 4.9 points and 4.6 rebounds...

    Montross is now an announcer for North Carolina basketball...interestingly, Montross was the alleged "bag man" who paid off John Edwards' mistress during the early stages of that extra marital affair...

    Monday, March 22, 2010

    Corliss Williamson: a Razorback star

    Corliss Williamson was the head hog for coach Nolan Richardson's 40 Minutes of Hell teams at Arkansas...

    Williamson helped the Razorbacks get their only national title in 1994 as they beat Duke with newly elected and native Arkansasian President Bill Clinton in attendance...

    Arkansas finished the year at 31-3 and Williamson was named Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament...Williamson almost led Arkansas to back-to-back titles but fell one game short by losing to UCLA in the 1995 title game...

    In three seasons at Arkansas, Williamson was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team in 1993, and was 1st Team All-SEC from 1993 to 1995...he was also named the SEC Player of the Year for the 93-94 and 94-95 seasons

    He spent 12 years in the NBA for four different teams...his career highlight came while he played for Detroit...in 2001-02 he was named the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year...in 2003-04 he helped the Pistons win the NBA Championship...

    Williamson announced his retirement in September 2007 to become an assistant coach at Arkansas Baptist College...on March 11, 2010, Williamson was announced the men's head basketball coach at the University of Central Arkansas...he is married and has three sons...

    Thursday, March 18, 2010

    Dereck Whittenberg: N.C. State survives

    Many may say that Villanova's win over Georgetown in 1985 was the biggest upset in NCAA Championship game history...hogwash!!!...Villanova and Georgetown are both from the Big East and the Wildcats knew how to play the Hoyas as they already lost to them twice earlier in the season...

    The greatest upset came in 1983 when the late Jim Valvano's N.C. State Wolfpack upset the dunking force of Houston...people often forget that N.C. State needed to win the ACC tournament to even secure a bid to The Big Dance...
    The greatest upset is best remembered for Lorenzo Charles dunking home the winning points as the game clock expired...Charles' points would never have mattered if N.C. State guard Dereck Whittenberg was not off mark with his clock expiring heave...

    Whittenberg, was the star of that Wolfpack team...he missed most of the conference games with a broken ankle which put the Pack on the outside of the bubble come ACC Tournament time...

    He was drafted in the third round by Phoenix Suns (51st overall) in the 1983 NBA Draft...by 1985 he was back at N.C. State serving as an assistant coach...he also served as an assistant at George Mason, West Virginia, Colorado, Long Beach State, and Georgia Tech...

    Finally in 1999 he got his first head coaching chance when the Wagner Seahawks hired him...after four seasons and a record of 66-50, Whittenberg moved on to coach the Fordham Rams...he coached six full season and five games into this season before being fired...he put up a 69-112 mark while at Fordham...

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010

    Tyus Edney: the miracle worker

    The dream season looked over...the UCLA Bruins were favored to win the tournament...and at the very least, they were a lock to at least make the Final Four...

    But it was only the second round and they were 4.8 seconds away from being eliminated by 8th seeded Missouri...the Bruins chance at their first title since the days of John Wooden looked hopeless -- until Tyus Edney took the ball...

    Edney took the inbounds pass and shot up the left sideline...as he crossed midcourt, with the Missouri players closing in on him, Edney went with a behind-the-back dribble...with another player closing in to block the shot, the 5'10" Edney adjusted and banked the shot in at the buzzer...UCLA won 75-74...

    UCLA went on to win its 11th NCAA basketball championship, defeating the defending champion Arkansas Razorbacks 89-78...

    Edney was selected by the Sacramento Kings in the second round with the of the 1995 NBA Draft...he played for the Kings, Boston Celtics, and Indiana Pacers during his six year NBA career...

    After his NBA was over, Edney played for several European teams including Benetton Treviso and Olympiacos fo the Greek League...

    Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    Miles Simon: Simon Says Championship

    Miles Simon and Mike Bibby comprised a backcourt that led the Arizona Wildcats to the national title in 1997 over a stacked Kentucky team...this brought head coach Lute Olsen his long overdue national title...

    Simon walked away with the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament...he returned for his senior season and was named First Team All-Amerocan...the fame of that tournament did not translate into an NBA career as he played briefly for the Orland Magic and made almost $700,000 during his stay in the league...

    Simon managed to carve a niche for himself in the CBA as he became the league's most decorated player in 2002...he led the Dakota Wizards to the title and earned Player of the Week four times, CBA Newcomer of the Year, the CBA MVP, and the Play-off MVP...he also holds the CBA record for most free throws made in a row at 60...

    His time in the CBA lasted just three years...with his playing career over, Simon was named an assistant coach at his alma mater...Simon served as an assistant until 2008...

    Simon is now a television analyst for Fox Sports Net...as a sidenote, Simon's brother-in-law is Darryl Strawberry...

    Monday, March 15, 2010

    Bobby Hurley: the toughest true point guard

    I'm 41-years-old and the best pure point guard that I have ever seen in college basketball was Duke's Bobby Hurley...Hurley was not flashy, but he was so consistent and determined...he is still the NCAA all-time leader in assists with 1,076...

    Hurley was the engineer of Duke's back-to-back national titles in 1991 and 1992...in his four years at Duke, he led the Blue Devils to three NCAA Championship Games...Hurley was the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament in 1992 when Duke beat Michigan in the title game...his Duke jersey number 11 was retired in 1993...in 2002, Hurley was named to the ACC 50th Anniversary men's basketball team as one of the fifty greatest players in Atlantic Coast Conference history...

    His NBA career was cut short after a near fatal car accident in 1993 during his rookie season with the Sacramento Kings...

    Currently, Hurley is involved in the thoroughbred horse racing business...his stable, called Devil Eleven (named after his uniform number) had a horse, Songandaprayer, who won the 2001 Fountain of Youth Stakes...

    In 2009, Hurley was interviewed by the Raleigh News Observer...he had this to say about his thoroughbred business, "It’s exciting. It gave me a way, when the basketball career ended, to still stay in sports competitively. With the races, I get into it when my horses are running, wherever they are. ... You get sort of those same feelings in the pit of your stomach for the races that you do for basketball. The down side is you have very little control over what’s going to happen in a race. It’s up to the jockey and the horse." ...

    Sunday, March 14, 2010

    The worst team ever: 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers

    The New Jersey Nets may set the record as the worst NBA team, record-wise, in the history of the league...the record they may break belongs to the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers who posted a 9-73 mark...Fred Carter (photo) was named the team MVP...

    Phil Jasner of the Philadelphia Daily News has this interesting story about that 76ers team...1972-73 Philadelpia 76ers

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Glen Rice: the leader of Michigan's miracle run

    Just before the 1989 NCAA Tournament was to start, Michigan Athletic Director Bo Schembechler fired head basketball coach Bill Frieder after Schembechler found out that Frieder already accepted the job to coach Arizona State the following season...Schembechler wanted a "Michigan Man" to coach a Michigan team, so assistant coach Steve Fisher stepped in...and amazingly, the Wolverines won 6 straight games to win the national title...

    The Wolverines top player was Glen Rice...during the six game run, Rice scored 184 points, a record that still stands, which earned him the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament...

    Rice finished his college career as Michigan's all-time leading scorer with 2,442 points...at the time, he also became the Big Ten's all-time leading scorer...

    Rice played for 6 NBA teams but is best remembered for his days with the Miami Heat, Charlotte Hornets, and Los Angeles Lakers...

    Rice's son currently plays for Georgia Tech and wears number 41, the same number as his father...

    In January 2008, Rice was arrested in Miami on suspicion of felony battery for allegedly assaulting a man that he found hiding in his estranged wife's closet...the charges were later dropped...

    Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    Michael Graham: Georgetown's enforcer

    There may never have been a player with so much talent who performed so big in such a short amount of time than former Georgetown Hoya Michael Graham...Graham set the tone for the Hoyas to capture the 1984 national title with his animalistic offense and elbow flying rebounds...he was the epitome of Hoya Paranoia...

    The Georgetown Basketball History Project website best describes Graham's play during the late season in 1984:

    Graham's college statistics were not the stuff of legend: in his first 11 Big East games, Graham averaged 2.9 points and just over one rebound per game. Graham scored 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench in the season finale against Syracuse, but scored only one basket in the next two games, both of which were in the early rounds of the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden. The conference final, on March 9, 1984, began the Michael Graham legend.


    He only played seven minutes in the game, failing to score a field goal. But down the stretch, with Patrick Ewing in foul trouble and Syracuse seeking to put the favored Hoyas away, Thompson saw how Graham had handled himself in the season finale with the Orangemen and placed him down low to protect Ewing from a fifth foul. Graham stepped it up defensively, bottling up Andre Hawkins and, in one memorable exchange, with the two tangled under the basket, Graham took a wild swing at him. Immediately ejected by one official, the referees conferred and issued a personal foul instead--other than the Manley finale, few plays still arouse such anger from Orange fans. Graham stayed in the game (ironically, it was his only foul of the game), but the Hoyas caught a second wind, got the game into overtime, and pulled away in a classic, 82-71.


    The national spotlight fell squarely upon Graham, whose shaved head became a symbol of Georgetown's take-no-prisoners persona. By month's end, his 22 points and 11 rebounds in the NCAA Final Four won him All-Tournament honors. His 7 for 9 shooting against Houston helped the Hoyas while Patrick Ewing was in foul trouble, and Graham's late dunk sealed the game with just over two minutes remaining. The following week, it was Michael Graham, not Patrick Ewing or John Thompson, on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

    With Patrick Ewing coming back for his senior season, the future looked endless for Graham to build on his post-season success...but the sudden fame went to his bald head as he missed taking final exam...eventually coach John Thompson got tired of Graham's act and threw him off the team for the 1985 season...Graham eventually transferred to the University of District of Columbia but never played a game there...he entered the NBA draft and was selected by Seattle in the 4th round...but Graham never played a minute in the NBA...he bounced around in European and South American leagues and eventually just faded away...

    In 2005, Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl found Graham...Graham had fond memories of that national championship season with Georgetown and still considered himself a Hoya - for life...but he wondered how many titles Georgetown could have won if he stayed on the team...would Villanova had beaten the Hoyas in that epic 1985 title game if Graham was on the team...

    No one will ever know...but what is known, Graham played a major role in Georgetown securing its only national title during a four week run that started in the Big East tournament...