ESPN's Bottom Line - Version 2.0

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Xmas from SKOHRboard!

Merry Xmas to you and yours from SKOHRboard.  I hope Santa brought you everything you've been wishing for.  I'm sure if Roger Goodell were here, he'd like to apologize to everyone for tonight's Cowboys at Cardinals game.  Maybe that was his gift to the NBA, who for the first time this year will have a more interesting matchup than the NFL.  

Todays NBA games:
  • 1 PM - Bulls @ Knicks 
  • 2:30 PM - Celtics @ Magic
  • 5 PM - Heat @ Lakers
  • 8 PM - Nuggets @ Thunder
  • 10:30 PM - Blazers @ Warriors
So no matter what sport you're interested in, there are compelling games to be watched on this the anniversary of Santa coming to town.  I hope everyone enjoys their day with family and friends.

Terrelle Pryor Among Suspended Ohio St. Buckeyes

Terrelle Pryor and four other Buckeyes were suspended by the NCAA this past week. The suspensions however, have been suspended until after their Sugar Bowl game next week and will begin next season. Apparently the NCAA just found out that they had a bylaw stating that if a player breaks a rule that he isn't aware of, the suspensions may be lifted to allow him to play in a championship game. How convenient for the NCAA's partners the All State Sugar Bowl and ESPN.

This judgement came down after it was discovered that the 5 OSU players had sold some of their own gear including Pryor's "Sportsmanship Award" from last year's Outback Bowl. In the NCAA's world it is an unfair advantage for players to sell their gear because it is related to their sport and image as an athlete not a student. It wouldn't be very amateurish for players to profit in any way from their athleticism and connection to the sport, however it makes perfect sense for the NCAA to conveniently find rules which allow their marketing partners to preserve their maximum profit.

The NCAA has had to make rulings in several high profile cases this year and there doesn't seem to be any consistency across their judgements.  When Reggie Bush was given a house for his stellar play at USC, the NCAA ruled that the school had to forfeit their Championship season, lose scholarships, and would be bowl ineligible for the following two seasons.  Meanwhile Reggie, who committed the infractions wasn't punished by their ruling at all, despite being "compelled" to give back his Heisman trophy.  Cam Newton and his Father were allegedly shopping Cam's commitment last year for $180,000.  The NCAA was somehow able to determine that it was all Mr. Newton's doing and Cam had no knowledge of this so he was allowed to continue playing with no restrictions at all.  Last year Dez Bryant was suspended for the second half of the season after the NCAA found out he lied when they interrogated him about spending time at Deion Sanders house over the Summer.  Dez lied about being there because he was scared that he somehow broke an NCAA rule he didn't know about, however, the NCAA determined that he didn't actually break any rules but still proceeded to suspend him for the final 9 regular season games and Oklahoma State's bowl game.

Aside from the ridiculous Dez Bryant suspension for not doing anything, these Ohio State players have clearly gotten the worst deal.  In my opinion, selling things you own, no matter who you are or how you've come to (legally) own them, is not illegal.  Apparently they were "selling" some of these things, including autographed stuff, in exchange for tattoos.  The NCAA is trying to ensure a level playing field for student-athletes and schools but I just can't see how players selling some of their old gear for free tattoos gives them any advantage.  This ruling somehow just seems spiteful.  In the end this suspension is probably going to cost Pryor millions of dollars either if he feels forced to declare for the NFL early or if he decides to stay in school (which he should) despite missing the first half of next season.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Preview of the Las Vegas MAACO Bowl, Boise St. vs. Utah

The Las Vegas MAACO Bowl, featuring #10 Boise St. and #19 Utah, is being played tonight in Las Vegas or can be seen on ESPN if you aren't in Vegas.  It's really the first bowl game that you should pay attention to this Bowl Season.  Yes, I capitalize Bowl Season.  As you've probably heard by now, Boise St. was gunning for another undefeated season and a BCS bowl until the marauding Nevada Wolfpack, led by Colin "Cam Newton lite" Kaepernick, beat the Broncos.  They somehow forced Kyle Brotzman, the Boise kicker, to miss two late game winning field goals and thereby crushed the Bronco's National Championship and BCS bowl dreams.

No doubt Boise St. will be out looking for vengeance and beating Utah tonight is there only hoping of finding some solace.  However, Utah isn't going to be a pushover.  They are led by their widely respected coach Kyle Whittingham (seen above with Boise St. coach Chris Petersen and Vegas showgirls).  The Utes have actually won 9 straight bowl games.  Although their starting QB Jordan Wynn is out he will be replaced by former starter Terrance Cain.  The Utes feature the 18th highest scoring offense and the 23rd stingiest defense in the country.  They should provide a great test for Boise St.

Who should you keep an eye out for?  
Boise St
-Kellen Moore, QB, 6-0" 190 lb. 4 year starter and one of the most efficient passers in NCAA history
-Titus Young, WR, 5-11" 170 lb. speedster
-Austin Pettis, WR, 6-3" 200 lb. spectacular hands and enough speed to beat most collegiate DBs
-Nate Potter, OL, 6-6" 295 lb. hugely talented but moved inside from OT this year due to lack of athleticism, best suited for RT or OG
-Brandon Burton, CB, 6-0" 185 lb. one of the top CBs in the draft, shutting down his guys tonight would really help his stock
-Zane Taylor, C, 6-2, 305 lb. an athletic three time All MWC selection

The Utes will be joining the Pac-12 next year and Boise will be joining the MWC next year.  While Utah will have a shot at getting some of that Automatic Qualifier goodness, Boise St will remain in the same position or needing an undefeated season to have any chance at all of a National Championship.  However, as you can see, this will be the final game for some of Boise St.'s star players and they'll have a tough road ahead without those guys next year.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

UConn Goes for 89 Wins In A Row

The UConn Huskies are going for an NCAA Basketball record 89 consecutive wins tonight when they face #22 Florida St. Head Coach Geno Auriemma has led this team along with star players through the better part of three seasons of perfect basketball. The unrivaled star Huskie this year is Maya Moore, who is unquestionably the best player in Women's College Hoops.

There have been many comparisons made between this squad and the UCLA men's teams whose record they're attempting to break. However those comparisons aren't fair. This is a different sport being played at a different time.

Unfortunately those comparisons are taking away from the spectacular feat these women have accomplished. Being able to show up and play winning basketball (or any sport for that matter) day in and day out, year after year the way these women have is remarkable. They deserve to be recognized on their own. Hopefully they pull it out tonight and can continue their streak so everyone realizes just how special their record is.

Brett Favre is a Zombie

We really shouldn't be surprised that Brett Favre played last night, he is after all a zombie.  Instead of BRAAAAIIINNNNS, the Brett Favre zombie feeds on slinging passes and "playing like a kid out there."  His streak of 298 consecutive starts makes much more sense now.  The Brett Favre zombie is able to play through the pain because, as a zombie, he is incapable of feeling pain.  He has sustained numerous injuries over the course of his 19 years that would have held out any Quarterback who is actually alive.  Incidentally, he is pretty incapable of feeling anything so when he leads the league in interceptions, although the fans might boo he is completely impervious to feeling the shame a mortal QB would experience.  

Could this revelation give us some insight into how zombies make decisions?  Brett Favre is probably the longest surviving zombie that we know about and one thing that we can all be sure of is that he is one of the best or at least most famous wafflers of all time.  So I'd venture to hypothesize that maybe this is a shared trait among all zombies.  Does every zombie wake up at some point and say they just don't feel like eating BRAAAAIIINNNNS any more, only to reconsider later when fresh BRAAAAIIINNNNS present themselves?  We may never know.  Hopefully Ed Werder has the courage to ask this blood thirsty creature outside the Vikings facility at some point this week.  

After being body slammed to the frozen turf by Bears rookie, Corey Wooten, on Monday Night Football, it appeared that zombie Brett Favre would be finished.  His zombie brain is no doubt scrambled beyond repair at this point and it's highly likely that he doesn't even realize that he is actually a zombie any more.  Is this zombie done terrorizing offenses and his own offensive coordinators?  I guess we'll have to wait until this Sunday morning to see if zombie Brett Favre wakes up, doesn't feel any feelings and the drive to sling some passes around while "playing like a kid out there" compels him onward.

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Maryland Looking to Hire Air Raid Author Mike Leach

Despite being named Coach of the Year this year in the ACC, Ralph Friedgen was released by Maryland yesterday.  The Terrapins had been under-performing for the past 6 years but were resurgent this season and looked to have a solid young talent base to build on.  However the powers that be decided enough was enough and bought out the $2 million remaining in the final year of Friedgen's contract.

All speculation is pointing towards Maryland hiring former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach.  His name keeps coming up for this job because the Maryland AD mentioned only Leach when discussing their search for Friedgen's successor.  Leach is famous for being quite the character but primarily for his patented Air Raid Offense.  The Air Raid is based on a Spread Passing attack that utilizes a simple looking but difficult to defend vertical route tree, that has led the NCAA in 7 of his 8 seasons running it at Texas Tech.  Who knows how well that will translate to Turtles?  

Monday, December 20, 2010

Desean Jackson Wins the Day with a Little Help From His Friend Mike Vick


WOW.  At halftime yesterday, I was sure that the Eagles were going to lose that game.  They flat out could not stop the Giants in the first half.  Actually according to JimmyK over at Bleeding Green Nation the Eagles allowed the following 3rd down conversions yesterday.
  • 3rd and 11 at NYG 28(Shotgun) - E.Manning pass deep right to H.Nicks to 50 for 22 yards (C.Anderson). 
  • 3rd and 7 at PHI 47(Shotgun) - E.Manning pass short right to M.Manningham pushed ob at PHI 37 for 10 yards (K.Coleman).
  • 3rd and 8 at PHI 35(Shotgun) - E.Manning pass deep left to M.Manningham for 35 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
  • 3rd and 12 at PHI 48(Shotgun) - E.Manning pass short right to H.Nicks to PHI 33 for 15 yards (K.Coleman).
  • 3rd and 8 at NYG 40(Shotgun) - E.Manning pass short left to D.Hagan ran ob at PHI 44 for 16 yards (D.Patterson).
  • 3rd and 6 at PHI 40(Shotgun) - E.Manning pass short left to A.Bradshaw to PHI 29 for 11 yards (Q.Mikell, N.Allen).
The loss of standout rookie, Nate Allen, to a torn patellar tendon is not going to help things either.  Fellow rookie Kurt Coleman is going to have to step up a lot for the Eagles in Allen's absence.  Third down defense is their most glaring problem now but the Eagles are only one win away from clinching the NFC East.  They can actually earn a bye week if they can pick up a game on the Bears over the remainder of the season.

Despite looking terrible at points yesterday it was probably the most enjoyable game I've ever watched.  This was an absolute roller coaster ride and I think we should probably savor it.  Here are the highlights from yesterday.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Relative Unknown, Tim Tebow, Expected to Start for the Denver Broncos

Former University of Florida QB, Tim Tebow, was announced as the starter yesterday by the Denver Broncos. Tebow will probably bring plenty of eyeballs to a struggling Bronco team but it remains to be seen if he is any upgrade over the previous QB, Kyle Orton.

Orton was somewhat of a surprise this year as he led a resurgent Bronco offense to put up quite a lot of both yards and points. Unfortunately for recently released Head Coach Josh McDaniels, those points didn't result in many wins. What is most interesting about this move is that Orton wasn't exactly the problem in Denver. They have one of the most porous defenses in the league this season while they are missing sack artist Elvis Dumervil.

It should be interesting to see if Denver incorporates any spread option, which Tebow ran so successfully for the Gators, into their offense today. He and Knowshon Moreno could be very fun to watch together. Their other first round pick, Demaryous Thomas, was a stud WR at Georgia Tech where they also run an option based offense. Who knows, this could be the first team to be successful bringing the spread offense to the NFL?!

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