Sports Outside the Beltway

Are you ready for some bowling? II

No I’m not talking about some middle aged man propelling a ball at some objects at the end of a lane, but the games that climax every college football season. Bowl season officially starts this afternoon, here are the matchups for all the college football fanatics out there.

Note- I gave the shortened name version of all the upcoming games. Also I listed what broadcast network would be televising the game and what time they would be coming on the air. All times are Eastern Standard.

Dec 19

New Mexico- Fresno State vs. Wyoming 4:30 p.m. ESPN
St. Petersburg- Central Florida vs. Rutgers 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 20

R+L Carriers New Orleans- Southern Miss vs. Middle Tennessee 8:30 p.m. ESPN

Dec 22

MAACO Las Vegas- Oregon State vs. BYU 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 23

Poinsettia- Utah vs. Cal 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 24

Sheraton Hawaii- Nevada vs. SMU 8 p.m. ESPN
Dec 26

Little Caesars- Marshall vs. Ohio 1 p.m. ESPN
Meineke- Pitt vs. North Carolina 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Emerald- Boston College vs. USC 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 27

Music City- Kentucky vs. Clemson 8:30 p.m. ESPN

Dec 28

Independence- Texas A&M vs. Georgia 5 p.m. ESPN2

Dec 29

EagleBank- UCLA vs. Temple 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Champs Sports- Miami vs. Wisconsin 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 30

Humanitarian- Bowling Green vs. Idaho 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Holiday- Arizona vs. Nebraska 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 31

Armed Forces- Houston vs. Air Force Noon ESPN
Sun- Oklahoma vs. Stanford 2 p.m. CBS
Texas- Navy vs. Missouri 3:30 p.m. ESPN
Minnesota vs. Iowa State 6 p.m. NFL Network
Chick-fil-A- Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee 7:30 p.m. ESPN

Jan 1

Outback- Northwestern vs. Auburn 11 a.m. ESPN
Capital One- Penn State vs. LSU 1 p.m. ABC
Gator- West Virginia vs. Florida State 1 p.m. CBS
Rose Bowl- Ohio State vs. Oregon 4:30 p.m. ABC
Sugar- Cincinnati vs. Florida 8:30 p.m. FOX

Jan 2

International- South Florida vs. Northern Illinois Noon ESPN2 South Carolina vs. UConn 2 p.m. ESPN
Cotton- Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss 2 p.m. FOX
Liberty- Arkansas vs. East Carolina 5:30 p.m. ESPN
Valero Alamo- Michigan State vs. Texas Tech 9 p.m. ESPN

Jan 4

Fiesta- Boise State vs. TCU 8 p.m. FOX

Jan 5

FedEx Orange- Iowa vs. Georgia Tech 8 p.m. FOX

Jan 6th

GMAC- Central Michigan vs. Troy 7 p.m. ESPN

Jan 7th

BCS National Championship Game- Texas vs. Alabama Jan. 7 8 p.m.

Some random notes on the above 34 games

*- 19 of the 34 games are not scheduled till Dec. 31st or later. I guess college football fanatics are expected to flip channels very quickly on those 3 days(Dec 31-Jan 2) when 15 games are being aired.
*- What a downer must it be for Oregon State players and fans. A few weeks ago they were one win from a Rose Bowl trip. Instead they lost to Oregon and are playing in a minor bowl before Christmas.
*- The NFL network televises a college football game. I guess that’s the cable sports equivalent of the Sci-Fi channel showing wrestling….
*- The bowls are now set where now certain conference finishers are locked into the same bowl games every year. I understand why the current system is done, but I prefer the day when bowl games would have greater variance from year to year. The Peach bowl would usually invite a ACC or SEC school but they could be creative, like when they invited Army and Illinois. Wouldn’t a SEC team against BYU or Wyoming be nice for a change?
*- Bobby Bowden’s farewell game is against the same school(West Virginia) that he left before coming to Florida State. I do know FSU and WV have played at least twice previously in bowls during the Bowden-Florida State era.


Texas and Boston College play the longest baseball game in NCAA history

The previous record stood since 1971. From AP-

Travis Tucker hit an RBI single with one out in the top of the 25th inning, leading Texas to a 3-2 victory over Boston College on Saturday night in the longest game in NCAA history.

The game eclipsed the previous record of 23 innings, set in 1971 when Louisiana-Lafayette defeated McNeese State 6-5. The game began at 7:02 p.m. EDT Saturday and concluded 7 hours, 3 minutes later at 2:05 a.m. Sunday.

Texas reliever Austin Wood pitched 13 innings, including 12 1/3 innings of no-hit ball before allowing a two-out single to Tony Sanchez in the 19th inning.

Texas (43-13-1) scored when Connor Rowe walked to lead off the top of the inning and was sacrificed to second by David Hernandez. Rowe advanced to third on a wild pitch, and Tucker grounded past second base through the drawn-in infield for the record-setting victory over Boston College (34-25).

Tucker’s hit came in his NCAA-record 12th at-bat to tie a mark he now shares with teammate Michael Torres, who also batted 12 times.

Texas reliever Austin Dicharry earned his eighth victory by pitching 5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, striking out four and allowing one hit.

The longest professional game was a minor league affair played in 1981. It went 33 innings. Two future Hall of Famers took part in that affair, Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken Jr.


Boston College LB Mark Herzlich diagnosed with cancer

He was ACC Defensive player of the year last year. From AP-

Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich, the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year, revealed Thursday that he is battling cancer.

Herzlich, a senior, was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a cancer most often found in bone or soft tissue.

“Obviously, I was shocked. I had been extremely focused on preparing for my senior season at Boston College and for life beyond that. Now, I must channel all that energy into facing my toughest opponent yet, and that is exactly what I will do,” Herzlich said in a statement released by the school.

Herzlich has returned to his native Pennsylvania to be near his family and undergo tests to determine a course of treatment.

Herzlich was a finalist for the Butkus Award, given to the nation’s top linebacker, last season. He led the Eagles with 110 tackles, six interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

I’m a cancer survivor myself. As one I wish Herzlich the best and hope he beats the dragon.


Hall of Fame Basketball coach Chuck Daly dead at 78

He passed away after a short battle with cancer. Besides his NBA days, Daly was an Olympic coach and in his early days, a college basketball coach at Penn and Boston College. He was one of the great ones. RIP.

Chuck Daly, who coached the original Dream Team to the Olympic gold medal in 1992 after winning back-to-back NBA championships with the Detroit Pistons, has died. He was 78.

He died Saturday morning in Jupiter, Fla., with his family by his side, the team said. The Pistons announced in March that the Hall of Fame coach had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was undergoing treatment.

He was renowned for his ability to create harmony out of diverse personalities at all levels of the game, whether they were Ivy Leaguers at Pennsylvania, Dream Teamers Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley, or Pistons as dissimilar as Dennis Rodman and Joe Dumars.

“It’s a players’ league. They allow you to coach them or they don’t,” Daly once said. “Once they stop allowing you to coach, you’re on your way out.”

Daly was voted one of the 10 greatest coaches of the NBA’s first half-century in 1996, two years after being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. He was the first coach to win both an NBA title and Olympic gold.


NFL Draft 2009 Round 1 #9- Green Bay Packers- DT B.J. Raji

ESPN writes- Players who can become 3-4 nose tackles are extremely difficult to find, and Raji has the potential to be one of the best in the league. He’s big and strong enough to clog up the middle, but the reasons he’s so special are his rare athletic ability and quickness. You just don’t find 337-pound men who move like him. There are some character concerns, but Raji too much of a talent to pass up at this point in the first round.


Former Detroit Pistons coach Chuck Daly diagnosed with cancer

He coached in the Motor city for nine seasons. From AP-

Former Detroit Pistons coach Chuck Daly has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

The team says Friday that Daly “is being treated for the cancer and his family is requesting privacy.”

The 78-year-old Daly coached the Pistons to NBA championships in 1989 and 1990. He also was the coach of the 1992 gold medal-winning US Olympic squad dubbed the “Dream Team.” He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to Chuck and his family following today’s tough news,” Detroit president of basketball operations Joe Dumars said. “He holds a special place in our hearts and we’ll be here to support him in any way we can.”

Dumars played for Daly on both championship teams, winning the NBA finals MVP award in 1989.

The Pistons were scheduled to play the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.

“I wish him the best. It’s a tough cancer to get,” Golden State coach Don Nelson said. “He beat my (butt) probably more than anybody.”

Family spokesman Matt Dobek says in the release that as a coach Daly was “known as the Prince of Pessimism, right now Chuck Daly is the King of Optimism.”

Pancreatic is a particularly nasty cancer. Say a prayer that Daly can beat it.


NJ Nets Sean Williams arrested for trespassing

This is one of more interesting or quirky athlete gets arrested stories that I have seen of late.

New Jersey Nets forward Sean Williams was arrested at Boston College last weekend for allegedly violating a no-trespassing order.

The 22-year-old former BC player was arrested Sunday shortly before the Eagles played Duke for violating an order issued in May, according to the campus police report.

Williams’ Boston-based lawyer, Howard Fisher, said the player was invited to Sunday’s game by a member of Boston College’s coaching staff and blamed the arrest on “lack of communication” between the staffer and campus police.

The police report said Williams was belligerent when police tried to arrest him and wrote obscenities instead of his name on the fingerprint card and trespass warning.

Williams was dismissed from the school in 2007 after multiple problems that happened while he attended the school. I have just never heard of an athlete not being allowed to return to a place at the threat of arrest if they did.

Williams posted $40 bail but failed to show for arraignment Tuesday. Prosecutors asked the judge to issue an arrest warrant, but the arraignment was rescheduled for March 5 — the day after the Nets play the Celtics in Boston.

The judge is obviously a Williams or New Jersey Nets fan. Do all accused criminals who skip bail get that kind of preferential treatment from the judge? If Williams did, an argument can be made for the rest being allowed off also. Someone in Massachusetts should probably be asking if this judge belongs on the bench.


Are you ready for some bowling?

No I’m not talking about some middle aged man propelling a ball at some objects at the end of a lane, but the games that climax every college football season. Bowl season officially starts this Saturday, here are the matchups for all the college football fanatics out there.

Dec 20
Eaglebank Bowl- Wake Forest vs Navy
New Mexico Bowl- Colorado State vs Fresno St
MAGICJACK ST. PETERSBURG BOWL- Memphis vs. South Florida
PIONEER LAS VEGAS BOWL- Brigham Young vs Arizona
Dec 21
Dec 23
Dec 24
SHERATON HAWAII BOWL- Hawaii vs Notre Dame
Dec 26
MOTOR CITY BOWL- Florida Atlantic vs. Central Michigan
Saturday, December 27
MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL- West Virginia vs. North Carolina
Champs Sports Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Florida State
Emerald Bowl- Miami (FL) vs. California
December 28
Independence Bowl- Northern Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech
PAPAJOHNS.COM BOWL- North Carolina State vs. Rutgers
Valero Alamo Bowl- Missouri vs. No. 23 Northwestern
Tuesday, December 30
PACIFIC LIFE HOLIDAY BOWL- Oklahoma State vs. No. 17 Oregon
Texas Bowl- Western Michigan vs. Rice
Wednesday, December 31
Sun Bowl- Oregon State vs. Pittsburgh
GAYLORD HOTELS MUSIC CITY BOWL- Boston College vs. Vanderbilt
Insight Bowl- Kansas vs. Minnesota
CHICK-FIL-A BOWL- LSU vs. Georgia Tech
Thursday, January 1
OUTBACK BOWL- South Carolina vs. Iowa
CAPITAL ONE BOWL- Georgia vs. Michigan State
Gator Bowl- Nebraska vs. Clemson
Rose Bowl- Penn State vs. USC
Fedex Orange Bowl- Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech
Friday, January 2
Cotton Bowl- Mississippi vs. Texas Tech
AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL- Kentucky vs. East Carolina
January 3
INTERNATIONAL BOWL- Buffalo vs. Connecticut
January 5
TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL- Ohio State vs. Texas
January 6
GMAC Bowl- Ball State vs. Tulsa*
January 8

That’s 34 games, 68 schools spread over a period of 20 days for those of you keeping score at home. An ample supply of college football for any fanatics out there.

A few notes

*- There are a few bowl games remaining without corporate names in their title. Gator, Sun, Texas, Independence. Were these games unable to find sponsors?
*- Will Oklahoma St. and Oregon combine for 70 pts or more in the Holiday Bowl? This annually has been of the most high scoring affairs.
*- Oh how has the Orange Bowl dropped. A game that featured early triumphs of Joe Paterno led Penn State, Nebraska and Oklahoma in their glory days, the first major bowl appearance of Florida State, and the all time classic 84 battle between Nebraska and Miami, has Cincinnati and Virginia Tech playing this year. I’m sure they are talented football teams, but how many people are drooling to see them play in a prime-time network slot?
*- Arizona and BYU meet in a bowl 30 years after the former left the WAC conference for the higher profile Pac Eight(Now Ten, Arizona State joined also)
*- Vanderbilt makes a rare bowl appearance. Congratulations to Commodore fans, but this is a sign of how bowls are grown way out of proportion. 6-6 college teams get bids. When I was growing up I could remember Florida State going without a bowl in 1978 even though they finished the season 8-3.

It is my humble opinion that bowl season has gotten out of hand. Someone may say what’s the big deal? If someone wants to start a bowl game and there are two schools willing to play in it, does their records matter. A good football isn’t only a contest between stars at big name schools.

All true, but how much public money is spent on these affairs? Many of the teams are state universities who get funded by taxpayers. Then there is the game itself where police have to be taken from other tasks to work the day or night of the game or paid over-time.

With the economic downturn right now, you have to wonder if there will be less bowls in the near future. That would depend on how long a deal a corporate sponsor signed on for. I wonder how many fans of some schools plan to make a bowl trip. Are there 1,000 or more FAU Owls willing to journey from Florida to Michigan in December to watch the team play? Even if I were a Owl fan and had money, I’d stay home.

Enjoy the games.


NFL Draft 2008 – Round 1 #17 – Detroit Lions – Gosder Cherilus

NFL Draft 2008 Logo Having traded down once, the Lions didn’t take much time to make their pick: Tackle Gosder Cherilus of Boston College.

Scouts, Inc.: 31st

Strengths: Has a massive frame and good feet for his size. His arms (36.2 inches) and hands (11.6 inches) are enormous. Plays with a mean streak. Is big enough to engulf defenders if he’s in position, can wear them down over the course of a game and has the frame to add even more weight. Won’t take many false steps, is efficient and generally gets into sound position. Drives legs once in position, shows above-average lower body strength and is a powerful run blocker that can get movement in short-yardage situations. Plays with good motor, stays under control when gets into space and is an effective downfield blocker. Efficiently gets into pass set and uses long arms to ride pass rushers past the pocket. Moves feet well for size, stays balanced and flashes the ability to counter double moves. Keeps head up, shows good awareness and can pick up the blitz as well as line stunts.

Weaknesses: Plays entirely too high. Has quick feet for his size and good overall strength but both can be compromised by his marginal leverage. Though he gets good hand placement and rarely loses battle once locked on to the defender, he doesn’t deliver a powerful initial punch. While big enough to hold ground most of the time, he bends at the waist rather than the knees and powerful bull rushers should have some success pushing back into the pocket.

Overall: Cherilus redshirted in 2003, had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in March 2003, and then went on to start every game in his playing career at Boston College. In his first three seasons (2004-06), he made 37 consecutive starts at right tackle. As a senior, he moved to left tackle and started all 14 games. Gosder needs to work on staying lower to the ground and he appears to be a better fit at right tackle than left tackle. Regardless, Cherilus is a four-year starter who possesses a very good overall talent, including a massive frame, quick feet for his size and a mean streak to finish off blocks. He projects as a late-first or early second-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.

Rick Gosselin: 26th

Mel Kiper: 31st

This certainly looks like a reach but this is a copycat league and there has been an unprecedented run on linemen in this draft.


NFL Draft 2008 – Round 1 #3 – Atlanta Falcons – QB Matt Ryan

NFL Draft 2008 Logo The Atlanta Falcons have selected Boston College QB Matt Ryan, finally moving past the Michael Vick era.

Scouts, Inc.: 5th

Strengths: Absolutely looks the part of an NFL quarterback. Is tall enough to scan the entire field from within the pocket and is sturdy enough to withstand the pounding at the next level. Is extremely intelligent and has a tremendous work ethic. Picked up new scheme as a senior very quickly. Displays excellent footwork and delivery. Shows good touch and timing as a passer. takes something off underneath passes and can lead receiver when throwing underneath. Overall accuracy is good and shows the ability to throw accurately on the run. Puts good touch on downfield passes and flashes the ability to drop the ball in over coverage. Displays very good presence in the pocket and is capable of avoiding the rush with his quick thinking and feet. Possesses ideal intangibles. Shows great poise, is a leader on-and-off the field and wants the ball in hands late in games.

Weaknesses: He will force some throws when the protection breaks down. Field vision is a bit inconsistent still. He has failed to find the open receiver a few too many times as a senior. Isn’t going to make defenders miss, doesn’t have great top-end speed and isn’t a dangerous open field runner that can consistently pick up yards with feet. He has eased concerns regarding durability but it’s still a minor issue; he sustained a high-ankle spring during the 2006 season opener, broke bone in left foot during 2006 Virginia Tech game and underwent foot surgery in January, 2007.

Overall: Ryan was redshirted for the 2003 season. In his four-year college career (2004-07), Ryan played in 45 games (32 starts), completing 807 passes on 1,347 attempts (59.9 percent) for 9,313 yards, 56 touchdowns and 37 interceptions. As a senior, he attracted attention as a Heisman Trophy candidate and finished the season ranked ninth in the nation in total offense (4,509 yards). Ryan missed one game in 2006 (Buffalo) after breaking a bone in his left foot.As expected, Ryan thrived in a more wide open system as a senior. He also proved to be more mobile and accurate than in 2006, when he was clearly bothered by a broken bone in his left foot. While he will never be a running threat, Ryan displays the feet and pocket presence to buy second-chance passing opportunities. He will still occasionally miss an open receiver and he also is forcing more throws as a senior, but part of that can be attributed to him being asked to shoulder the offense due to a sputtering running attack. Regardless, Ryan has the best combination of intelligence, leadership, size, accuracy, arm strength and competitiveness in this year’s quarterback class. Hence, Ryan earns our highest grade at the position and one of the highest grades in the entire 2008 class.

Rick Gosselin: 6th

Mel Kiper had him ranked 3rd: “He has the size and arm to wow the NFL brass during testing.”


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