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My Top 25 (Week 4)

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Week 4 was a very entertaining week of college football.  The action started off on Thursday night as the LSU defense dominated the vaunted Mississippi State spread attack, 19-6 in Starkville.  Oklahoma proved they are for real as they took care of business in Tallahassee beating the Florida State Seminoles by a score of 23-13.  Florida State made it interesting in the second half but the Sooners proved to be too much in the end.  Brian Kelly and his fighting Irish of Notre Dame got their first win of the season beating Michigan State in impressive fashion 31-13.  Notre Dame started off the season losing heart breakers to South Florida at home and Michigan in the big house but now have some confidence moving forward after beating a top 20 team.

Teams under the radar to watch out for:

1. The Florida International Golden Panthers are looking much improved in 2011.  They are 3-0 with wins over Louisville and defending Conference USA champion, Central Florida.

 2. The Iowa State Cyclones have started the season in impressive fashion.  They are 3-0 with wins over in-state rival Iowa and Connecticut.

3. The Ohio Bobcats are another team to watch.  They are 3-0 including a blowout 44-7 win over an improved Marshall team Saturday.  Look for the Bobcats to compete for a MAC title in 2011.

4. After the departure of head coach Brady Hoke, there was not much expected out of the San Diego State Aztecs in 2011.  They have exceeded expectations and their high powered offensive attack remains intact with quarterback Ryan Lindley and running back Ronnie Hillman leading the way.  The Aztecs are looking like they will compete at the top of the MWC conference in 2011.  They beat an improved Washington State team 42-24 Saturday.  They will have a big test this week as they meet their former head man Brady Hoke and the Michigan Wolverines in the big house.

5. The Vanderbilt Commodores have not been relevant in the SEC for a while.  The days of Jay Cutler seem long ago.  Things could change in 2011 as the Commodores are off to a 3-0 start.  They have looked solid in wins over Connecticut and Ole Miss.

Here are my top 25 teams heading into week 4:

1. Oklahoma (2-0) Last week @Florida State W 23-13, this week vs. Missouri

2. Alabama (3-0) Last week vs North Texas W 41-0, this week vs. Arkansas

3. Boise State (2-0) Last week @Toledo W 40-15, this week vs. Tulsa

4. LSU (3-0) Last week @Mississippi State W 19-6, this week @West Virginia

5. Stanford (3-0) Last week @Arizona W 37-10, this week vs. UCLA

6. Oregon (2-1), Last week vs Missouri State W 56-7, this week @Arizona

7. Wisconsin (3-0) Last week vs Northern Illinois W 49-7, this week vs South Dakota

8. Oklahoma State (3-0) Last week @Tulsa W 59-33, this week @Texas A&M

9. Texas A&M (2-0) Last week vs Idaho W 37-7, this week vs Oklahoma State

10. Florida State (2-1) Last week vs Oklahoma L 13-23, this week @Clemson

11. Nebraska (3-0) Last week vs Washington W 51-38, this week @Wyoming

12. South Carolina (3-0) Last week vs Navy W 27-24, this week vs Vanderbilt

13. Virginia Tech (3-0) Last week vs Arkansas State W 26-7, this week @Marshall

14. Arkansas (3-0) Last week vs Troy W 38-28, this week @Alabama

15. West Virginia (3-0)  Last week @Maryland W 37-31, this week vs LSU

16. Florida (3-0) Last week vs Tennessee W 33-23, this week @Kentucky

17. South Florida (3-0) Last week vs Florida A&M W 70-17, this week vs UTEP

18. Baylor (2-0) Last week vs Stephen F. Austin W 48-0, this week vs Rice

19. Clemson (3-0) Last week vs Auburn W 38-24, this week vs. Florida State

20. Texas (3-0) Last week @UCLA W 49-20, this week vs Iowa State

21. Houston (3-0) Last week @Louisiana Tech W 35-34, this week vs Georgia State

22. Michigan (3-0) Last week vs Eastern Michigan W 31-3, this week vs San Diego State

23. Illinois (3-0) Last week vs Arizona State W 17-14, this week vs Western Michigan

24. Georgia Tech (3-0) Last week vs Kansas W 66-24, this week vs North Carolina

25. North Carolina (3-0) Last week vs Virginia W 28-17, this week @Georgia Tech

Others receiving votes: Michigan State (2-1), Auburn (2-1), Penn State (2-1), Georgia (1-2), TCU (2-1), Utah (2-1), Mississippi State (1-2), Florida International (3-0), Iowa State (3-0), San Diego State (3-0), Vanderbilt (3-0), Arizona State (2-1), Missouri (2-1), Iowa (2-1), Pittsburgh (2-1), Central Florida (2-1), Miami, Fl (1-1), Texas Tech (2-0), Ohio State (2-1), Ohio (3-0), Air Force (1-1), Temple (2-1), Navy (2-1), Northwestern (2-1), Wake Forest (2-1), North Carolina State (2-1), Notre Dame (1-2), Purdue (2-1)

 

 

 

Boxing

25th Annual Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night, A Charity Knockout Event

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Photo Credit: Monica Alvarez

The stars came out last night to give, show support, perform, and to continue to raise money and awareness in hopes of one day find a cure to knockout Parkinson’s disease.

Going back to year number 1, The first ever event was held at the Ritz-Carlton operated on a much smaller scale than today, which is now held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.

At the very first Celebrity Fight Night With the help of Phoenix Suns Charles Barkley, Dan Majerle, and the valley of the sun’s very own Louie Espinoza, Tony Baltazar, and boxing champion Michael Carbajal who by the way fought in the ring with over sized boxing gloves.

The ”Puttin on the Fists at The Ritz” first Celebrity Fight Night scored a knockout win and is STILL punching on through today for the Greatest Of All Time, The late great Muhammad Ali.

Last night I was honored to attend and speak to a few of the stars, one was NFL legendary kicker Nick Lowery, Mr. Lowery now spends most of his time at charitable endeavors and advocating for alternative medicine research and is also a spokesman for Kannalife, Inc to raise awareness for CTE and players safety in hopes of one day having intercellular “helmets,” like Kannalife’s CBD and KLS-13019, is so important to potentially treat the brain.

I asked Lowery what is his favorite Ali memory, and Lowery’s response: ” Taking Ali to the NBA All-Star game one year as we sat behind Jay-Z and Beyonce and watching Beyonce wave to Ali, Beyonce spoke to us, she is the sweetest person. Also taking Ali to the locker rooms and watching Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and all the other all stars turn into children at the sight of seeing their hero the greatest of all time Muhammad Ali walk through the doors, what an experience that was.”

In asking the very same question to R&B Singer Brian McKnight, ”I have so many Ali memories but my favorite was watching Ali knockout George Foreman at home with my dad. The odds were against Ali and Ali being the great fighter that he was he beat the odds and stopped a much younger powerful puncher in Foreman. You know, I am still a big boxing fan today, I enjoy watching Tyson Fury out of the current heavyweights.”

And what did legendary former champion boxer, Micheal Carbajal have to say? ”It’s truly an honor to attend this great event, at the very first one proceeds went to my 9th street boxing gym and now 24 years later it’s still going strong, a great charity”. Mr. Carbajal went on to talk some boxing with me,

Carbajal- ” You see Spence/Garcia?”

Me- ” Yes, it was brutal, what did you think?”

Carbajal- ” Not good for Mikey Garcia at all, but he is still my favorite current boxer, and he beats everybody at 135 pounds if he can make the weight there. Mikey would knockout Lomachenko in 4 rounds at 135.”

Me- ”Wow, you really think that? Both are great technical boxers but I can’t see a 4 round fight between them, so you really think it would only take Mikey 4 rounds to stop Lomachenko?”

Carbajal- ” I KNOW so!”

Special honorees for the evening include fabled American music producer and 27-time Grammy Award-winner Quincy Jones, Arizona State University President Dr. Michael Crow and Dr. Abraham Lieberman, the medical director of the Movement Disorders Clinic at Barrow Neurological Institute and Renee Parsons of the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation.

“For 25 years, we’ve treated Celebrity Fight Night audiences to the world’s greatest entertainers and this year will be no different as we welcome Barry Manilow,” said Jimmy Walker, Founder of Celebrity Fight Night. “With the help of our celebrity friends and incredibly generous donors, we are once again excited to raise millions of dollars and make a difference in the lives of those who need our support.”

Individual tickets for Celebrity Fight Night start at $1,500 – $10,000.  To purchase tickets or to get more information on the event, please visit www.celebrityfightnight.org, or call (602) 956-1121.

About Celebrity Fight Night
Celebrity Fight Night has gifted more than $86 million over the past 24 years benefiting the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as several other worthy charities.

The black-tie event features a cocktail reception, silent auction, elegant dinner, and an exciting live auction including one-of-a-kind luxury items and experiences. Celebrity Fight Night Foundation is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1994 by Jimmy Walker and supports the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as numerous other charities. For more information, visitwww.celebrityfightnight.org.

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Olympic Cyclist Kelly Catlin Dead at 23

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Olympic track cyclist Kelly Catlin, who competed in the 2016 Rio Janeiro Games, was found dead in her California home this past Friday due to an apparent suicide, according to an announcement from her father, according to Reuters.

“There isn’t a minute that goes by that we don’t think of her and think of the wonderful life she could have lived,” her father, Mark Catlin said, according to VeloNews. “There isn’t a second in which we wouldn’t freely give our lives in exchange for hers. The hurt is unbelievable.”

Catlin, 23, took the silver medal in Rio and was part of the teams who took home the gold in 2016, 2017, and 2018 World Championships.

Catlin had reportedly struggled with mental health in the past and her sister, Christine Catlin, said that Catlin was “a really special person – kind, funny, empathetic, and talented at literally everything she did, per the Washington Post. She just felt like she couldn’t say no to everything that was asked of her and this was her only escape.”

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Kansas City Chiefs

Tom Brady And Pats Play Record 8th AFC Championship Game, Seek 6th Superbowl

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It’s Championship Sunday and one of the NFL staples remain atop the league. The New England Patriots are appearing in their record 8th AFC title game in hopes of competing for a sixth title.

A season that most organizations would be happy with, was one of challenge for the Patriots. Usually a top tier team, they suffered bad losses to the Jaguars, Titans and Dolphins. However, in Patriot fashion along a weak AFC East, the Patriots finished 11-5, won a 10th straight conference title and secured a first round bye.

Kansas City will host New England in the AFC Championship game in what is a rematch from week six. That game featured an offensive clinic ,  As reported by CBS Boston, Brady went 24-35 passing for 340 yards and touchdown in that game; Mahomes went 23-36 passing for 352 yards and four touchdowns. The AFC Championship could very well play out the same way.

The Chiefs will be a tough out, They won their first home playoff game in 25 years last week against the Colts and are riding one of the most prolific offenses in history behind quarterback whisperer Andy Reid and phenome Patrick Mahomes who is arguably the NFLs best young QB.

In what is a David and Goliath matchup, Brady seems to imply they are the underdog. As he told CBS’s Tracy Wolfson, “I know everyone thinks we suck and, you know, cant win games,”.  Will the dynasty continue? Or will Reid and Mahomes hoist the Lombardi?

I’m leaning towards the game plan of Bill Belichick and veteran experience of Tom Brady in this one. I think a Patriot/Saints matchup is in order. Either way, it will undoubtedly be one for the ages.

Game Time: Sunday January 20th at 6:40ET/5:40CT on CBS.

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