Tag Archives: Lane Kiffin

Weekly Nickel 7-30-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Many are wondering if Silas Redd (pictured above #25) will return to Penn State next season or take his talents out West to USC.

By Josh Kramer

Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony was at least unique, which was one of the things he was going for.  Even the Queen almost cracked a smile.  All eyes in the sporting world are focused on London, as they should be.  But let’s not forget about the rest of the sporting world.  Last week was fun, but this week is sure to be great in its own right.

5.  The “Dwight Howard Soap Opera” continues.  At least now, most NBA fans can focus their attention on Team USA’ s quest for gold in London.  The Howard reality television series has definitely dragged on far too long, but it is still a big story.  Wherever Howard lands, that team is very likely going to be an instant contender.

4.  The world continues to keep an eye on “Happy” Valley in the wake of the harsh NCAA sanctions.  How will the program actually respond outside of saying the right things at press conferences?  How will the new administration ensure nothing like this ever happens in the future at Penn State? What players will stay? What players will go?  Keep a special eye on star running back Silas Redd.  It appears Lane Kiffin is working hard to add a final piece to a USC team poised to make a run at the National Championship. Continue reading

Throwback Saturday Part VIII

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Jerry Sandusky (pictured above) is one of the many faces that represents a year of scandal in the NCAA.

By Josh Kramer

Welcome to the eighth edition of “Throwback Saturdays.”  By this point, I think you all know the drill.  What was happening in the wide world of sports on March 10, 2011?  How about on March 10, 2010?  Well let’s find out.

One year ago..

State of College Athletics

Here is a snippet..

“The NCAA’s core purpose is to govern competition in a fair, safe, equitable and sportsmanlike manner, and to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so that the educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount.”

That is directly from the NCAA website.

It’s hard to believe in those words these days.

Reggie Bush.

Cam Newton.

The “Tat Five.”

Lane Kiffin.

Bruce Pearl.

Jim Calhoun.

Jim Tressel.

All of those people were recently involved in major scandals in college athletics. Don’t forget about oversigning either. College athletics is in worse shape than LeBron James’ reputation in Cleveland.

What’s worse is some university presidents and athletic directors will stand by these men at all costs (To finish reading this post, click this link). Continue reading

College Football Week 12: Don’t leave it on the shelve

Photo courtesy of kansas.com. Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein (pictured above) is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in College Football. Look for him to lead Kansas State to a big victory over Texas on Saturday.

By Josh Kramer

Kicking was the name of the game last week in College Football.  Sadly, many top teams did not get the memo, and paid the price in a big way.  The fiasco that is Penn State continues to get worse each day.  And the Stanford Cardinal finally ran out of “Luck” against a Oregon team that is playing outstanding football.  Week 11 was a wild one, but Week 12 is sure to be great in its own right.

Here are the marquee matchups.

Nebraska at Michigan:  Cornhuskers by 3

Headline:  Rex Burkhead turns the “Big House” into his house. Continue reading

College Football Week 7: Is this heaven

Photo courtesy of yahoo.com. Baylor QB Robert Griffin III (pictured above) has been simply sensational through the first half of the season. Can he lead the Bears over the Aggies in a big time Big 12 matchup?

By Josh Kramer

It is no longer a new season of College Football.  We are at the midway point of the year, and conference play is in full force.  Grab your popcorn because the second half promises to be even more fun than the first half was.

Here are a few things we do know:

-The SEC West is as good as advertised, featuring two major National Championship contenders in LSU and Alabama.

-Andrew Luck was not just lucky in his first couple of seasons under center in Palo Alto.  He truly is the real deal.

-The Russell Wilson experiment appears to not only have major Big Ten Championship implications, but possible National Championship Game implications as well.

-Stephen Garcia is one of the biggest knuckleheads ever to play a snap at the Division 1 College Football level.

-The first official set of BCS Rankings will come out on Sunday. Continue reading

Food for Thought 6-14-2011

Photo courtesy of marketfolly.com.

By Josh Kramer

It has been another wild past couple of days.  So many major headlines.  So much exciting action.  Here are the items that have caught my attention.

Mr. Dallas

I am still utterly shocked by the results of Sunday night’s game 6 of the NBA Finals.  The MonStars were defeated handily by the Mavericks.  How often outside of the movies do the good guys actually get the best of the bad guys?  I am by no means a Mavericks fan.  But as I have said many times before, there are sports fans, and then there are fans of the Miami Heat.  Therefore, I was happy with the outcome. Continue reading

“State of College Athletics”

 

This past year has been especially bad in regards to scandal involving collegiate athletics. What is the next move for NCAA President Mark Emmert (pictured above)?

Grant Freking is a Lantern (OSU Newspaper) sports writer. Ology magazine managing editor. OSU football featured columnist for Bleacher Report. High school football reporter for Newark Advocate.  You can follow him on Twitter @GrantFreking.

 “The NCAA’s core purpose is to govern competition in a fair, safe, equitable and sportsmanlike manner, and to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so that the educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount.” Continue reading

College Football Week 11 is like Seven-Eleven?”

I fully expect USC Head Coach, Lane Kiffin (pictured above), to be running his mouth in a big way if his team can pull off the upset at Arizona this weekend.

We find ourselves already in the 11th week of the College Football season.  The games have added meaning now.  Conference titles are beginning to take shape.  The BCS picture is started to become a little less foggy (no way it could be as foggy as that Miami (OH) vs BGSU game last night).  But the one thing I will state.

College Football Week 11 is like Seven-Eleven.  It is always open.

Here is a look at some of the marquee matchups this weekend.

Kansas State at Missouri:  This is a colossal matchup in the Big 12.  Both of these teams have lost control of their destiny in making the Big 12 title game.  They will need to continue to win and receive a little help from others, but they do have a shot at making a big time non BCS Bowl game.  KState has struggled throwing the ball all year, but they do run the ball with ease.  The running game, led by senior Daniel Thomas has been a main reason why this team has had any success this year.  Missouri, on the other hand, has a very strong passing attack, and a phenomenal defense.  This was a team that was undefeated 3 weeks ago and had just knocked off the number 1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners.  Now they have lost 2 straight, and are looking to make a statement.  Expect a big day for Blaine Gabbert as Missouri finally gets back on track.  Tigers win by 10 at home.

Mississippi State at Alabama:  Both of these teams are very dangerous to any opponents.  Alabama still arguably has the most talented team in the country, even with 2 losses.  Mississippi State is riding a 6 game win streak and is looking to show the world that their win over Florida was no fluke.  Sadly for the Bulldogs, they are facing a Nick Saban Bama team that will be coming out with a vengeance in front of the home crowd.  Both of these teams run the ball with ease and really play lock down defense.  The only difference is, Bama has big play wide receives like Julio Jones and Marquis Maze that can change the game with one play at any time.  Look for the Tide to Roll to a 14 point victory at home.

South Carolina at Florida:  These two SEC powerhouses have been extremely unpredictable all season long and it will be interesting to see who comes to play this weekend.  Whichever team plays for keeps will be heading to the SEC Title Game.  Will Steve Spurrier be able to Gator Chomp his former team in the Swamp? In order for Spurrier and the Gamecocks to have a chance to celebrate, they will have to get a huge performance from freshman Marcus Lattimore.  Sadly for the Gamecocks, the Gators finally seem to be finding rhythm both offensively and defensively and you know that they are used to big game atmospheres.  If this game was in South Carolina, I would be picking the Gamecocks.  But it is in the Swamp.  Gators by 3 at home.

USC at Arizona:  This will be a big time matchup in the PAC 10 as old power takes on new power in the desert.  For some reason, I have lost confidence in this Wildcats squad.  Their performance last week against Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinal was abysmal.  They looked to be feeling the pressure of being in a meaningful game in front of a national audience.  Well this week, ABC is featuring this nighttime duel.  Expect USC to come out loose and ready to go.  I mean, they do not get to participate in the postseason this year.  So what could be better than spoiling Arizona’s season in front of the entire country?  Expect USC to take care of business and win this one by 6 on the road.  Lane Kiffin will surely be running his mouth after this one.

So there you have it.  Week 11 appears to be wide open with some stellar matchups.  Expect some great battles and down to the wire finishes following last weekend’s massacre filled Saturday.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“AFC South Preview”

Superstar quarterback Peyton Manning is looking to lead the Colts to a 9th consecutive playoff appearance.

Though I would love to talk about the TO Show arrival in Cincinnati, I will hold off and continue with my NFL Divisional previews.  This is another division where 3 teams could easily win 8 or more games.  A division that features a Colt’s team looking for redemption, a Titan’s team looking to continue to roll, and a Texan’s team still trying to get over the hump.

AFC South:  Colts, Jaguars, Texans, Titans (alphabetical order)

Jacksonville Jaguars (4th place):  I do see the Jacksonville boys ending up in the divisional cellar for the 3rd consecutive year.  This team is not terrible by any means, but playing in the AFC South is no easy task.  The Jaguars feature a middle of the road offense and a fairly sub par defense.  In this division, a weaker defense will get lit up by a team like the Colts.  Jacksonville has still not adjusted to the new look “pass first” NFL.  Garrard is a decent quarterback, but Jacksonville has not shown enough confidence in the guy, which in my eyes has led to him struggling the past couple of years.  Do not expect to see Garrard have an over 100 passing rating as he did in 2007.  Now Maurice Jones-Drew has developed into one of the League’s elite running backs, but there is no compliment for him.  There is no dual running back threat, plus the receiving corps is not the best, led by Mike Sims-Walker.  Do not expect to see this team come out victorious in shootouts with teams like the Colts.  Then on the defensive side of the ball, the Jaguars feature one of the League’s weakest secondaries and do an okay job at stopping the run.  Can Daryl Smith at linebacker lead this unit to respectability?  You better believe the loss of savvy veteran John Henderson is going to hurt.  I do not expect this team to win more than 7 games, but I could see them stringing together 5 or 6 victories.

Tennessee Titans (3rd place):  Who cares if Jeff Fisher and the Titans are suing Lane Kiffin.  Doesn’t it seem like everyone wants a piece of USC right now?  This team has a strong offensive attack that features possibly the best mix of run/pass in the League.  This is a differentiating factor that this team has in their repertoire.  They can both run and pass the ball, and not just do one or the other in desperation.  The Titans got off to a horrific start last year and fought their way back into contention behind the former Texas Longhorn, Vince Young.  Expect this team to wake up from hibernation much earlier this year.  We all already know about the Chris Johnson show.  Last year’s League leader in rushing yards.  Also, we know that this team has a compliment for Chris in Lendale White.  Lendale  truly pounded  the rock on the goal line reminiscent to how the old bus (Jerome Bettis) used to do it in Pittsburgh in the 2008 season.  Maybe Tennessee will return to this tactic if Chris doesn’t score from 70 yards out every game?  But this team is definitely lacking a number 1 receiver.  Kenny Britt and Nate Washington are solid, but neither is ready to be a number 1 receiver on a playoff team.  Also do not be surprised to see former USC standout Damian Williams making some noise at the 3rd receiver spot towards the end of the season.    But the real question is can this team’s defense hold their opponents in check?  Most directions point to no.  The loss of their defensive leader Keith Bullock will really sting on a defense that was already reeling.  I feel that overall team defense and the lack of a number 1 receiver will cost this team a playoff spot barely.  I see them finishing 8 and 8 or 9 and 7 though, but coming up just short.  Next offseason they will need to get a number 1 receiver and improve the defense to really make a run at this thing.    

Houston Texans (2nd place):  For a 4th consecutive year, I see these boys falling just short of their 1st playoff appearance in franchise history.  I feel like this team is definitely good enough, but drawing the NFC East is the deciding factor that will prevent them from advancing on.  The Houston Texans have a fairly punishing defense led by DeMeco Ryans and Brian Cushing (Cushing will miss the first 4 games due to suspension though).  Easily one of the top 5 linebacking units in the League though.  They also have guys like Mario Williams on the line who can really play.  Do not be surprised if this team finishes in the League’s top 5 at stopping the run.  The question is can their secondary do as well as their front 7?  Offensively, this team has developed into one of the League’s elite.  They fit the League mold of being a pass happy team.  They have one of the most dangerous aerial attacks in the NFL led by their superstar Andre Johnson and quarterback Matt Schaub.  This guy may be the best receiver in the  AFC or the entire NFL.  Can Kevin Walter step up as a big time number 2 threat to relieve some of the pressure off of Andre?  I feel the play of Walter in the 2 slot could really make or break this team’s playoff chances.  He needs to produce much better than he did last season.  The Texans also have a solid running back in Steve Slaton, but will truly miss the production of Ryan Moats.  Though this is a pass first team, it is truly a mystery who is going to step up and be the 2nd back.  If Brian Cushing was not suspended for the first 4 games, and they were not matched up against the NFC East, I would have this team finishing 10 and 6 or 11 and 5 and easily claiming a Wild Card.  I think they are very close to the Titans and they should finish within a game of each other.  But I do see them coming out 9 and 7  and falling just short of the playoffs.

Indianapolis Colts (1st place):  The boys from Indianapolis will make the playoffs for the 9th consecutive year.  The legendary career of Peyton Manning will continue to roll.  This team still has the capability of putting up big numbers offensively, though last year the flash seemed to have disappeared.  The Colts really did not blow opponents out, but did just enough to win.  And believe me, Indianapolis was fine with their 14 and 2 finish and appearance in the Super Bowl.  Their plus 109 point differential was only 5th in the League, even though they had the most wins.  I mean who really cares though?  Peyton Manning does as good or a better job than any other quarterback in managing the game and spreading the ball around to all of his targets.  He does not necessarily have the best targets anymore, but in Michael Jordanesque fashion, he turns them into stars.  Guys like Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie and Dallas Clark have really reaped the benefits.  Who had ever heard of Garcon or Collie before last year?  Joseph Addai is one of the League’s best running backs at doing what he needs to do to help his team win. He will not blow you away with his numbers, but he will do just enough.  Also look for Donald Brown to carry more of the load than he did last year as he enters his 2nd season in the NFL.  Then you look at the Colt’s defense and you have guys like Bethea, Session, hopefully a healthy Bob Sanders, and I could go on.  The Colt’s defense last year typically bent, but did not break.  And was a key in the 14 win season.  Expect more of the same style this year. Also do not sleep on stars like Dwight Freeney and Gary Brackett.  This is a solid defense that has the luxury of playing on a team that features Peyton Manning offensively.  There are no dramatic changes to this team from last year’s AFC Champions.  These guys are just tough and they know how to win.  Never question Peyton Manning’s ability to win games.  Expect to see these guys make another deep run in the playoffs.

So there you have it, another year with the Colts on top.  But also do not sleep on the Texans susprising some people and sneaking into the playoffs.  If they did not have to play the NFC East this year, I would definitely have the Texans as a Wild Card team (sadly they play the NFC East).  Should be a fun year in the AFC South.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze