Sports Outside the Beltway

Florida Gator Coach Urban Meyer to step down

He did the same thing a year ago but came back for the 2010 NCAA Football season. From ESPN-

Urban Meyer is stepping down as football coach at Florida, the school’s athletic director announced Wednesday.

“I fully grasp the sacrifices my 24/7 profession has demanded of me, and I know it is time to put my focus on my family and life away from the field,” Meyer said.

“I will profoundly miss coming to campus every day to coach this team, but I will always be a Gator at heart,” he said.

A news conference was scheduled for 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Meyer will coach his last game for Florida in the Outback Bowl against Penn State on January 1st in Tampa.

The Gators, who won two national championships and two Southeastern Conference titles under Meyer, had a disappointing season in 2010, going 7-5 (4-4 SEC).

Meyer has been a three-time national coach of the year. 2010 was a frustrating year for Meyer(as it was for almost all of Florida college football). I suspect Meyer is real this time around in quitting but I expect him to return some day.


NFL Draft 2010 – Round 2 #40- Miami Dolphins(From Seattle through San Diego)- LB Koa Misi

I didn’t expect this guy. Mel K on ESPN likes him. Also note this is the 2nd straight year the Dolphins took a Utah player in the 2nd round of the draft(Sean Smith last year). writes- Misi has good size and strength for the linebacker position. He has played both with his hand in the dirt as well as in a stand up position. He is a tough, hard-nosed competitor that will fit best as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. Misi will need some work reading route progressions and will be a liability in pure man coverage. Wright is an aggressive defender that attacks the line of scrimmage to disrupt the run as well as rush the passer effectively. Misi is a good football player that will take some time to transition into the linebacker position, but should contribute on special teams as well as a backup as a rookie.


Utah Utes Marshall Henderson suspended for hitting BYU player

Things get pretty heated between Beehive State rivals. From AP-

Utah freshman Marshall Henderson has been suspended one game for hitting a BYU player in a game last week.

Utes coach Jim Boylen said Monday that Henderson will sit out Wednesday against Colorado State.

Henderson was ejected with 34 seconds left in BYU’s 82-69 win over Utah on Saturday in Provo for a flagrant foul on Jackson Emery.

Emery was following Henderson along the baseline after the initial play and had some words for the Utah player, who hit Emery in the face with a backhand.

Under NCAA regulations, fighting warrants an automatic suspension. Is one game sufficient enough a penalty? I would have gone for two myself.

Here’s the incident on video. Note that the person who posted it to Youtube thinks Emery exaggerated the impact of the punch he received.


Florida Gator Coach Urban Meyer to step down due to health reasons

This news is simply shocking

Florida coach Urban Meyer, who was admitted to a hospital because of chest pains following the Southeastern Conference championship game, is stepping down because of health concerns.

Meyer resigned Saturday, calling it quits after five seasons in Gainesville and two national titles. He leaves Florida with a 56-10 record that includes a 32-8 mark in league play and a school-record 22-game winning streak snapped early this month against Alabama.

Meyer says he consulted with his family, his doctors, school president Bernie Machen and athletic director Jeremy Foley before deciding it is in his best interest to focus on his health and family.

While I’ve never been a Gator fan, I wish Meyer well and pray his health concerns aren’t too serious.

Meyer will coach the Gators one last time in the Sugar Bowl against Cincinnati. Who the U of F will hire to replace Meyer, I haven’t a clue. None of his assistants stand out IMHO, so I think the University will hire an outsider.


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.


NFL Draft 2009 Round 2 #61- Miami Dolphins- CB Sean Smith

The Dolphins again go for more help to improve a pass defense that ranked 25th in the NFL last season.

ESPN writes-

The pick: Sean Smith, CB, Utah
What he brings: Smith possesses an extremely rare blend of size and speed. Although there are some concerns about his ability to stay low and quickly change direction, Smith is able to mask these flaws with his outstanding length.

How he fits: Miami tried to bolster its corners by taking another in the second round. Smith fits the Bill Parcells mold for corners because he’s got good length, size and adequate top-end speed. He fits Miami’s scheme and general manager Jeff Ireland has certainly been proactive in addressing this weakness.

This could be a sleeper pick for Miami that won’t compensate for the Pat White pick which I think has all the makings of a bust.


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.


Utah basketball coach suspends player for intentional foul

It stemmed from an incident in a game played last Saturday. From AP-

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has suspended guard Luka Drca for two games for an intentional foul committed in a loss to No. 4 Oklahoma.

Drca tripped Blake Griffin as the Sooners were on a fast break with a 14-point lead early in the second half of Saturday’s game. Oklahoma’s Willie Warren was called for a technical for jawing with Drca, who was whistled for an intentional foul.

Utah coach Jim Boylen said in a release Monday that he was suspending Drca for two games.

Boylen says he wasn’t required to suspend Drca, but felt the trip was unacceptable behavior. The junior from Serbia will sit out Saturday’s home game against Weber State and the Utes’ road game against Utah State next Monday.

Drca suspends every bit of the suspension. That kind of behavior he portrayed on Saturday doesn’t belong on a basketball court.


Utah State hires Utah coordinator Gary Andersen as head football coach

He’ll take over a program that hasn’t had a winning season since 1997. From AP-

LOGAN, Utah — Utah defensive coordinator Gary Andersen is leaving an unbeaten team to take over a program where wins have been scarce.

Andersen was introduced Thursday as the new coach at Utah State, leaving the BCS-bound Utes for a chance to turn around the downtrodden Aggies and restore them as a rival in a state that has been dominated by Utah and BYU.

“Why not us? Why not now? That’s big to me,” Andersen said.

Andersen planned to meet with Utah coach Kyle Whittingham on Friday to decide whether he’ll still have a role with the sixth-ranked Utes in their bowl game. Utah went 12-0 during the regular season and is awaiting a Bowl Championship Series bid Sunday.

Andersen said he hoped to be there when the Utes try to finish the season unbeaten, but his priority is his new job. Andersen planned to meet with the Aggies, evaluate what he is inheriting and what Utah State needs most during the recruiting stretch.

Andersen said all three schools have the same recruiting pool and he plans to bring more of the talent to Utah State, which hasn’t had a winning season since 1996.

There have been plenty of coaches who thought they could turn around bad programs. Kansas State football was a graveyard for future head coaching ambitions for many years. Utah has built a solid program, then when you factor in nearby BYU and Boise St, how much available football talent is left for the Aggies.

Andersen will be Utah’s defensive coordinator in whatever bowl game the Utes participate in.


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