Sports Outside the Beltway

Where’s the Silver lining? Boise State beats San Jose State 45-7

For the tenth time in ten meetings between the schools, the Broncos came out on top. From AP-

Kirby Moore caught his first college touchdown pass from big brother Kellen and the Broncos (No. 7 BCS, No. 6 AP) were sharp once again, rolling over San Jose State 45-7 Saturday for their eighth straight win.

“I think everybody on our sideline had a smile on their face after that play because to get a chance to play Division I football with your brother when not that many guys get to play Division I football — and then your brother is good enough to play and you can then hook up for touchdowns, I think that’s really awesome,” Broncos coach Chris Petersen said. “I think that’s why Kirby came here for those exact situations.”

Kellen Moore finished with three TD passes and ran for another one, and the Broncos stayed perfect at 8-0 and in the hunt for a BCS bid with TCU, the other undefeated team from a conference that doesn’t automatically qualify for the prized postseason games.

“This is what I think: When you get caught up in those numbers and get caught up in the scores of games and get caught up in how bad you should be beating people, it works against you,” Petersen said. “I think sometimes in the first half when it’s not 24-0 in our favor, guys are looking around and fans are looking around and asking, ‘What’s going on?’ That’s not realistic football.”

Moore, who came into the game the nation’s most efficient passer, was 21 of 33 for 278 yards. He now has 24 touchdown passes this season, and the Broncos rolled up 430 yards in beating San Jose State (1-6, 0-3) for the 10th straight time.

The Broncos held San Jose State to less than 225 yards total offense. So where’s the good news for the Spartans.

If there was a bright spot for the Spartans, it was their ability to tighten up their run defense. Coming into the game, the Spartans had been allowing 259 rushing yards per game. But they held the Broncos to 140 yards, most of those coming late with the game out of reach.

Do you think Coach Dick Tomey was impressed by this improvement today?

I didn’t think so either.

Boise State is trying to earn a BCS bowl appearance. They have a weak schedule for the rest of the year and I’m not sure the Broncos can achieve their goal.


Iowa and Washington State Football Coach Forest Evashevski dead at 91

He led Iowa to two winning Rose Bowl appearances and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000. RIP.

Forest Evashevski, the former Michigan football star coached Iowa to two Rose Bowl victories in the 1950s, has died. He was 91.

Evashevski’s son, Forest Evashevski Jr., said Saturday that his father died Friday night from cancer at his home in Petoskey, Mich.

Evashevski said his father’s seven children, including five sons and two daughters, and wife Ruth, were at his bedside when he died.

Evashevski, the captain of Michigan’s 1940 team, was hired at Iowa in 1952, seven years after Iowa’s last winning season. He inherited a program that had languished in the bottom of the Big Ten.

But by 1956 the Hawkeyes were in the Rose Bowl, defeating Oregon State 35-19. They went again in the 1958 season, beating California 38-12. Evashevski won 52 games at Iowa, where he coached until 1960. He also led the team to three Big Ten championships.


Hard to believe- Philadelphia routs Carolina 6-1

The Hurricanes haven’t won a game since October 9th. From AP-

Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn waited five years for his first two-goal game in the NHL. Then he took care of the feat in 1½ minutes.

Coburn scored twice and Scott Hartnell and Matt Carle each had a goal and two assists to help Philadelphia snap a two-game losing streak and send the Carolina Hurricanes to their eighth straight loss, 6-1 on Saturday.

“I’ve had a lot of close calls so far,” said Coburn, who has played in 227 career NHL games. “You just have to wait for your time.”

David Laliberte, playing in his first NHL game, and James Van Riemsdyk each had a goal and an assist for the Flyers, unbeaten in their past six regulation games at home against Carolina.


Brandon Sutter scored for the Hurricanes (2-7-3), who are off to their worst start since 1997 — the franchise’s first season in Carolina — when they were 2-7-2. Carolina is winless on the road (0-5-2), and on an 0-5-3 skid overall.

Ray Emery, who stopped 28 shots in the Flyers’ season-opening, 2-0 win over Carolina on Oct.2, made 39 saves in the rematch.

Michael Leighton, making his first start for the Hurricanes, stopped 22 shots.

Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said he thought Leighton needed some game action. You think so? You’re team is 2-6-3 with one goalie who has played all 11 games you played this year. I think it is time to try option two if just for one game.

Even if it doesn’t work.

I’m amazed by Carolina’s start, which is worse than the Florida Panthers. Carolina went to the conference finals last year. Both the Panthers and Hurricanes have 7 pts at this point in the 2009-10 NHL season but Carolina has played one more game. I’m more optimistic about the Hurricanes turning around than Florida.


PGA Tour cancels Viking Classic due to weather

The last time this happened was over a decade ago. From AP-

PGA Tour officials canceled the weather-stricken Viking Classic on Saturday because of unplayable course conditions.

There will be no makeup date and players will move on to the final event of the season, the Nov. 12-15 Children’s Miracle Network Classic in Orlando, Fla.

Annandale Golf Club received 1.75 inches of rain overnight Friday and Saturday, completely soaking an already marginal course that had areas of standing water and large tracts of mud.

Madison has received more than 20 inches of rain in the past six weeks.

“I told them this was closer to a FEMA disaster site than a golf course,” tournament director Randy Watkins said. “Somebody asked if you could play somewhere else. I don’t think you could play golf within 150 miles of here.”

Officials postponed, then canceled play Thursday and Friday mornings after nearly constant rain. There had been hope officials might shorten the tournament to 54 holes and play next week or weekend, but groundskeepers didn’t believe the course would dry that quickly.

Slugger White, PGA Tour vice president for rules and competition, said commissioner Tim Finchem had asked the board for permission to play a 36-hole tournament as early as Monday but was unsuccessful.

“We just couldn’t get there,” White said.

This is the first time a tournament has been scrapped outright because of weather since the 1996 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, which was canceled due to unplayable conditions. The last rainout came in Houston in 1991, though that tournament was rescheduled.

The Viking Classic was important to players who wanted exempt status in 2010. Now it will come down to the Children’s Miracle Network Classic in Orlando for about a dozen players. Honestly I think 125 is a way too high number for exempt players. There are players who have entered hundreds of tournaments and not been able to win. Even in a weak Fall Classic field. I think there should be a bigger turnover of players every year to avoid just that. Bring back the Top 60 days? Maybe not, but 80 or 90 has a better feel.


Pocketful of Miracles- Iowa beats Indiana 42-24

For the 4th time this college football season, the Hawkeyes launched a successful late comeback. From AP-

Of all the holes Iowa has dug itself, this was the deepest.

Indiana was leading by 14 in the third quarter and just two yards away from the Hawkeyes’ end zone. Given how poorly quarterback Ricky Stanzi was playing, one more touchdown might have brought their charmed season crashing down.

It was the second straight week and fourth time this season that Iowa has won a game after trailing entering the fourth quarter.

Tyler Sash instead returned an interception 86 yards for a touchdown, and Stanzi bounced back from a career-high five interceptions to rally the Hawkeyes (No. 4 BCS, No. 7 AP) to a 42-24 victory, yet another improbable finish in a season full of them.

Brandon Wegher had a career-high 118 yards rushing and three TDs for the Hawkeyes (9-0, 5-0 Big Ten), who scored 28 points in the fourth quarter to stun the shell-shocked Hoosiers.

“No matter what happens, we know there’s still time left on the clock,” Stanzi said. “There’s a chance to win, so you can’t give up.”

Iowa is off to the best start in school history, thanks to four wins by three points or less. And after needing two blocked field goals to beat FCS school Northern Iowa in its opener, the Hawks control their own destiny in the Big Ten — with a chance to play for the BCS title.

Iowa controls its own destiny but can they continue spotting teams the lead every week? I got a feeling they are in for a tumble before the Bowl games are all worked out.

The Hawkeyes still have games left with Northwestern(5-3), Ohio State(7-2), and Minnesota(4-4). Only the game against the Buckeyes isn’t being played at Iowa.

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Hoosier Park owner defaults on loan

More bad news for North American horse racing.

Centaur LLC, owner of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, defaulted on a loan to senior lenders Tuesday, October 27 when it missed a reported $13.4 million interest payment. The Indianapolis-based company stated in a press release issued October 29 that the decision to forego the interest payment on a $400 million-plus loan was done as part of an effort to restructure corporate debt. Centaur used the loan to pay a $250 million casino licensing fee and spent a total of $150 million on grandstand renovation and construction of its 92,000 square-foot racino, which opened in June 2008.

“Our business operations at the property level are healthy and generate positive cash flow from operations. We remain committed to putting our capital structure on solid ground,” Centaur Chairman Rod Ratcliff said in the release. “Restructuring our corporate debt will place us in a position for long-term success and benefit our customers, employees, horsemen groups, host communities and other stakeholders. We are confident our steps will ultimately strengthen the company.”

Down here in Florida, a racetrack is about to re-open. Hialeah Park which last had a race over eight years ago is going to host quarterhorse races beginning on November 28th.

Armed with its new quarter-horse permit — and racing dates approved this week by the state — Hialeah Park is gearing up for a Nov. 28 reopening. Roughly 150 construction workers are doing double shifts painting ceilings, patching damaged pipes and sweeping floors. As the deadline gets nearer, they might go to triple shifts.

“It will definitely be presentable. . . . for sure,” said Orlando Ceballos, the construction project manager.

Will Hialeah, which first opened in 1925, once again exude the grandeur that so many fondly remember?

Not completely, as large portions of the massive restoration effort won’t be done by the time Hialeah again welcomes the public.

Visitors at first will be allowed into the clubhouse area, but other sections still being repaired — such as the grandstand — will remain closed.

Gambling options will also be limited, as slot machines are not expected to arrive until a year or so from now.

I think it’s wishful thinking to believe Hialeah will prosper under those circumstances.


Florida Panther Steven Reinprecht scores a hat trick in less than one period

The cats are up 3-0 with a little over three minutes to go in a game versus the Dallas Stars. Reinprecht has scored eight goals for Florida in 11 games this season. Two of his goals tonight came less than 30 seconds apart against Stars Goalie Alex Auld. Auld played for Florida during the 2006-07 season.

In nine previous NHL seasons he has never scored more than 19 goals. How or why is he suddenly playing like Alexander Ovechkin?

I will update this post either late tonight or early tomorrow morning. Brian Sutherby just scored a goal for Dallas to make the score 3-1.

Update- Dallas has scored another goal. This one after a Florida penalty. The score is 3-2 at the end of the first period.

2nd Update- Florida scored a 4th goal but this time Reinprecht assisted Jason Leopold. The bad news- Dallas once down 3-0 and 4-2 have come back to tie the game at 4 all.

3rd Update- The Panthers won 6-5 in a shootout. Rostislav Olesz scored Florida’s 5th goal and then the winner during the shootout.

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Greece Olympic committee acknowledges poor judgment in case of torchbearer

The commission made no apology however for their actions. From AP-

The Greek Olympic Committee has acknowledged it was wrong to allow a hurdler serving a doping ban to take part in the Vancouver flame relay.

Olympic Torch Relay Commission president Spyros Zannias says Fani Halkia was included in the relay after a proposal by the Greek Olympic medalists’ association.

Zannias said his commission “was wrong to accept the proposal,” but offered no apology.

The International Olympic Committee has criticized the inclusion of Halkia, who was expelled from the 2008 Beijing Games after testing positive for steroid use. Halkia, who was banned for two years and faces a trial for steroid use, has denied knowingly taking drugs.

She was banned from the games, and in my opinion it was wrong for Halkia to be a torchbearer. Greece must certainly have other talented athletes who aren’t tainted by drug use.


SEC will suspend, fine coaches who criticize league officials

This action comes after three coaches recently complained about officiating. From AP-

Southeastern Conference coaches will face stiffer penalties from now on for complaining in the media about officiating.

Commissioner Mike Slive told The Associated Press in a phone interview Friday that coaches who violate the conference’s ethics rules against criticizing officials in public will face a fine or suspension instead of receiving merely public reprimands when they first act up.

“On rare occasions over the last seven years there were several private reprimands and that took care of the matter,” said Slive, in his eighth year as the SEC’s leader. “On occasion there were public reprimands and that took care of it. It became clear to me after last week that I was no longer interested in reprimands and the conference athletic directors and university presidents unanimously agreed.

“For the foreseeable future there will be no reprimands,” Slive added. “We will go right to suspensions and fines.”

If I were the SEC, I’d concentrate on getting more professional officials to work their games rather than take action against coaches who criticize officiating. The SEC after all just suspended an entire football crew. I think the integrity of the league possibly being endangered by rogue officiating would be the more serious concern.


Washington Nationals ordered to pay $40,000 to fired scout

The team’s General Manager, Jim Bowden, resigned because of the Dominican Republic baseball scouting scandal. From AP-

A Dominican Republic tribunal has ordered the Washington Nationals to pay $40,000 in damages to a scout who was fired after signing a prospect who lied about his age.

Jose Baez, the Nationals’ former director of operations in the Dominican Republic, sued the team for what he said was an unjustified firing. The court issued its order last week.

In 2006, Baez and special assistant to the general manager Jose Rijo signed a player who identified himself as 16-year-old Esmailyn Gonzalez. The Nationals gave the player a $1.4 million signing bonus.

A Major League Baseball investigation determined Gonzalez was about 4 years older than he said and also lied about his name.

At least two other MLB teams have had recent problems with Dominican Republic recruiting. Kickbacks, falsifying one’s age, and steroid use seem to be the norm for some MLB hopefuls.


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