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Category Archives: NCAA

Penn State, not Ohio State should have CFP spot

The College Football Playoff committee has made a tremendous gaffe leaving the Big Ten Champion Penn State Nittany Lions out of the top four in favor of Ohio State.

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Posted by on 12/04/2016 in NCAA, Sports Writing

 

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‘Cuse run proves Tourney flaws

Syracuse’s run to the Final Four is the epitome of “March Madness” in every sense of the word.

A team that probably shouldn’t have made the NCAA tournament shocking the world and reaching the biggest stage in college basketball is what this time of year is all about.

It’s the reason why so many people adore this tournament when 64 (or 68) teams all have an equal chance at capturing the game’s greatest prize, and why there are so many critics to college football’s significantly lower-scaled four-team playoff.

All college programs seem to want is a chance, which is exactly what the NCAA tournament provides.

If Syracuse does indeed continue its Cinderella run by beating North Carolina on Saturday night and then either Villanova or Oklahoma in the final next Monday, the Orange will go down as one of the most improbable championship teams in the history of college basketball. They’ve already defied the odds by becoming the first 10-seed to ever reach the Final Four. Madness!

Syracuse finished the season a sub-par 19-13 overall, and went 9-9 in the ACC. Losing to St. John’s may have been the single worst loss of the college basketball season, and the Orange finished the regular season with two straight losses to UNC and Florida State before losing to Pittsburgh in their first ACC tournament game.

Let’s face it. Syracuse didn’t do anything from November through the beginning of March that says they deserved a shot at capturing the championship. I don’t think there’s anyone that can dispute that. Heck, even Jim Boeheim said he was 90 percent sure Syracuse wouldn’t be in the NCAA tournament.

But by the time the tournament began, Syracuse beat a less-talented Dayton team, received the gift of the century after Middle Tennessee beat Michigan State, squeaked by another less-talented team in Gonzaga, and then had one of those miracle games against Virginia. The result: a spot in the Final Four.

So here’s the question we need to answer. Do we want to decide the champions of our sports in a where anything can happen type of environment? Or do we want to see the teams that separated themselves from the field and earned it with their regular season play battle it out for the title?

What’s the point of playing over 30 regular season games and having conference tournaments if everyone’s name just gets thrown into a hat at the end of the season no matter how they perform? Relatively speaking.

Again, March Madness is widely considered the best sporting event in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s the correct way to decide who wins the championship.

 
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Posted by on 03/28/2016 in NCAA

 

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Coach K: The ultimate hypocrite

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is an all-time great in his profession. What he’s done building the Blue Devils’ basketball program from nothing into a powerhouse is nothing short of remarkable.

But Coach K missed the boat badly for how he handled the situation involving Oregon F Dillon Brooks following the Blue Devils’ Sweet 16 loss to the Ducks.

It was blatantly evident Coach K had some choice words for Brooks after he connected on deep 3-pointer just before the end of regulation with the result already intact.

When asked about what happened after the game, Brooks told reporters Coach K approached him saying, “You’re too good of a player to do that,” a claim which Krzyzewski quickly denied in his postgame comments.

Now why would Dillon Brooks who lets face it, is relatively unknown in the college basketball universe lie about something Krzyzewski told him immediately after the game? For a player trying to build his NBA profile and make a career out of basketball to do that would be incredibly foolish.

Oregon’s win over Duke came on Thursday, and then two days after the fact, Krzyzewski releases a statement essentially admitting he lied and took responsibility for his actions.

This shouldn’t have waited until Sunday to happen, and the worst part about everything is that Coach K comes out of this looking like a total hypocrite.

Throughout the entire season, Coach K was vigorously protecting and defending Grayson Allen who was tripping players left and right and not criticizing his player one bit in the media.

One would hope there was some internal conversations about the matter but none of that has been disclosed publicly.

Either way though, what Brooks was trying to do really wasn’t that bad. The shot clock was winding down and while taking the violation would have avoided any controversy, chucking the ball up from beyond 30-feet just so it hits the rim isn’t that much worse. It just so happens the ball went in.

So for Coach K to complain about Brooks’ shot and then go out of his way to protect Grayson Allen who’s actions were significantly worse is not a good look for one of the game’s greatest coaches.

 
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Posted by on 03/27/2016 in NCAA

 

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Hiring this person would validate firing Les Miles

Chances are if (when) LSU does indeed fire Les Miles after 11 seasons, they’ll be taking a major step back at the head coaching spot.

That is unless the Tigers are secretly working on bringing in one person in particular, current Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly.

I’m on record as saying Miles is the third best college football coach in the country behind Nick Saban and Urban Meyer, and when he was coaching at Oregon, Kelly was not too far behind.

The only reason it’s fair to bring up Kelly is because whatever he’s doing in Philadelphia isn’t working. Almost every move he’s made over the last two seasons has backfired, and the Eagles are paying the price on the field.

Trading LeSean McCoy for Kiko Alonso hasn’t worked, Sam Bradford is stunningly still injury prone, Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson haven’t been replaced in the offense, Ryan Matthews continues to live up to his injury history, and DeMarco Murray does not resemble the player the Eagles thought they were getting from Dallas.

It’s safe to say that if the Eagles don’t make it to the playoffs this season, Kelly could be gone, and yes, every college with an opening would be foolish not to take a look. USC has already been strongly linked to Kelly, despite how much he wants to deny it.

During his time at Oregon, he took the Ducks to their first Rose Bowl since 1995, their first Rose Bowl win since 1917, and took them to their first ever national title game following the 2010 season. In his four seasons in Eugene, Kelly went 46-7, good for an .868 winning percentage.

It’s suffice it to say Kelly put Oregon on the map and made the Ducks a household name in college football. What he did at Oregon was special, and he’d be a perfect fit for LSU, or as perfect as you can get after firing Miles.

LSU’s Achilles’ heel is offensive production and putting up points on a consistent basis. Currently, LSU has the 66th best offense in division 1-A totaling 4,282 yards on the season, and ranks 52nd in the country averaging 31.9 points per game which sounds a lot better than it actually is.

A strong argument can be made that Kelly is one of the best offensive minds in all of football, capable of turning LSU’s strength into a weakness instantly.  His fast paced, spread offensive style allowed Oregon to be the premier scoring offense in the country. Kelly’s teams at Oregon consistently averaged over 40 points, and nearly 500 yards of total offense per game. That’s uncanny.

So if LSU is truly serious about getting rid of Les Miles which I believe would be the absolutely wrong decision, one of the few people the Tigers could bring in that would make some sort of sense is Kelly.

But as we’ve seen with Charlie Strong and Texas, it’s rare when you fire your coach you get your first choice, and the likelihood of Kelly bolting Philly for Baton Rouge appears slim.

 
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Posted by on 11/24/2015 in NCAA

 

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Firing Les Miles would be LSU’s biggest mistake

LSU is on the verge of doing something the school will regret for years to come, and that’s firing football coach Les Miles.

Not only is this a foolish football decision, it’s also a foolish financial decision since the school would have to conduct a buyout worth approximately $15 million.

Yes, LSU is not having the season they expected to be having. Three straight losses to Alabama, Arkansas and Ole Miss is tough to swallow, but there’s no chance the Tigers can do better than what they’ve gotten and continue to get from Miles.

Other than Alabama coach Nick Saban and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, Miles is probably the third best coach in the country. So unless Saban or Meyer is coming along, LSU will without a doubt be regressing exponentially at the head coaching spot.

Miles is arguably the best coach in school history, followed closely by Saban, has the highest winning percentage of any coach in program history (.775), is second all-time in wins at LSU (his 110 victories are 27 behind Charles McClendon), led the Tigers to a national championship in 2007 and another appearance in the title game following the 2011 season.

As great as all of these stats are, the most important one may be that LSU currently has the No. 1 recruiting class for 2016. Miles is an elite recruiter who has coached the likes of Odell Beckham Jr., Patrick Peterson, Leonard Fournette, Tyrann Mathieu, LaRon Landry, Dwayne Bowe, Jarvis Landry and Glenn Dorsey, just to name a few. I dare you to find me a coach that has developed more quality talent than Miles.

His Achilles’ heel though has been finding a quarterback who can get the job done, but let’s not act like he’s never had a good quarterback. It’s just been particularly bad over the past couple of seasons. Miles has coached JaMarcus Russell who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft (albeit a bust), Matt Flynn, and Zach Mettenberger.

Compared to other schools around the country, that’s actually a pretty solid group of quarterbacks to come out of one school.

But the ultimate reason why LSU is contemplating firing Miles is because they’re fed up with losing to Saban. The easy response is to that is to join the club. Saban is one of the greatest coaches in the history of college football, and firing Miles because he struggles against one of the all-time greats is laughable.

The bottom line is Miles has raised the bar so high that when LSU doesn’t win a national championship, the season is looked at as a complete failure. Miles played a large role in that becoming the expectation at LSU and that should count for something.

What needs to happen at LSU is the boosters need to sit back, and examine exactly what they’re trying to do here before making a horrendous mistake.

 
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Posted by on 11/23/2015 in NCAA

 

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Cardale Jones to Stay at Ohio State

A shocking decision from Cardale Jones.

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Posted by on 01/15/2015 in NCAA, Sports Writing

 

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Ohio State’s Championship Wasn’t Supposed to Happen

The Ohio State Buckeyes weren’t supposed to win the College Football National Championship.

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Posted by on 01/13/2015 in NCAA, Sports Writing

 

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