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NCAA Football

Non-Power 5 Teams To Watch

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Now I’ll give you a few teams from the non-power five conferences that could make a case for a spot in a New Year’s Six Bowl or perhaps the College Football Playoff.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

First off South Bend, where it seems every year the Irish is picked to make a case for a high post-season spot. DeShone Kizer or Malik Zaire? Zaire or Kizer? Could head coach Brian Kelly go with a two-quarterback system, we’ll see. Tarean Folston and Josh Adams are a great backfield pair. With Will Fuller now in the NFL and Corey Robinson (son of the admiral basketball hall of famer David) retired due to concussions, it’ll be up to Torii Hunter Jr. (son of MLB all-star Torii Sr.) to pick up the slack at wide receiver.

All-American linebacker Jaylon Smith and tackle Sheldon Ray are gone, but there’s talent back on defense. End Isaac Rochell leads the way up front. Nose tackle Jarron Jones and fellow tackle Jerry Tillery have talent but are unproven. The secondary suffered a hit as safety Max Redfield was dismissed and cornerback Devin Butler was suspended indefinitely after they and three others were arrested in a recent off-field incident.

They face Texas on the road to start the season, they also go to North Carolina State and USC. They host Michigan State, Duke, Stanford, Miami, Navy and Virginia Tech.

Houston Cougars

Next stop, Houston, where the upstart Cougars from the American Athletic Conference, finished 13-1 and had an impressive win over Florida State in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Though there’s talent returning, it may be hard for head coach Tom Herman’s team to duplicate that mark. Quarterback Greg Ward Jr. was one of only two quarterbacks (Clemson’s Deshaun Watson was the other) to pass for at least 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards last season. Ward Jr. could be a Heisman dark horse. Texas transfer Duke Catalon must fill the void at running back left by Kenneth Farrow. Chance Allen and Oklahoma State transfer Ra’Shaad Samples lead a culpable receiving corps.

Though key guys like back William Jackson III, tackle Elandon Roberts, who was the Cougars’ leading tackler last season and Trevon Stewart all graduated, the defense could be even more athletic. Linebacker Steven Taylor had ten sacks last season. Linemen Cameron Laveaux and B.J. Singleton are back up front. Versatile safety Brandon Wilson was the only player in the nation who scored multiple touchdowns in offense, defense, and special teams.

They face Oklahoma at NRG Stadium to start the season, they also host UConn, Tulsa, and Louisville. They must play Cincinnati, Navy, SMU, and Memphis on the road.

Boise State Broncos

We go to Boise and the Mountain West Conference next, where for some non-power 5 teams finishing 9-4 would be considered a great season. Heck you may even get a rally or parade. But for the Broncos, it was somewhat disappointing especially after losing two critical conference games in November that kept them from even winning their division. Preseason all-Mountain Wests quarterback Brett Rypien and wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck as well tailback Thomas Nichols are back and lead a powerful offense. The main concern could be lack of depth.

Linebacker Ben Weaver, who was the Broncos’ leading tackler last season is back. They must rebuild outside and in the secondary.

They host Washington State, Utah State and BYU. They must face Oregon State, Wyoming and Air Force on the road.

San Diego State Aztecs

In San Diego, where the Aztecs could be on a collision course to meet with the Broncos for the Mountain West Championship. The Aztecs won 11 games last season, tying for the most in program history. They feature preseason all-Mountain West running back Donnel Pumphrey, who’s the reigning Offensive Player of the Year in the conference. Cornerback Damontae Kazee is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year and has talent to play on Sundays.

They host Cal and Colorado State. They must face Northern Illinois, Utah State, Nevada and Wyoming on the road.

Phew, that’s it for our preview, should be a great season coming up, enjoy.

NCAA Football

Ex-Oregon Duck Doug Brenner Sues Willie Taggart, NCAA, University for $11.5 Million

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Former Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Doug Brenner has filed a lawsuit against the NCAA, University of Oregon, former Ducks’ head coach Willie Taggart, and former Ducks’ strength coach Irele Oderinde, for $11.5 million in alleged damages, according to The Oregonian’s James Crepea.

Per the report:

“Brenner’s attorneys allege the University of Oregon was negligent for failing to prohibit, regulate or supervise the workouts, which they describe as ‘physical punishment regimens.’ The lawsuit also alleges that Taggart and Oderinde, both now at Florida State, were negligent in imposing and carrying out the workouts, and that the NCAA has failed to regulate such practices by coaches of its member institutions.”

Brenner was hospitalized last year, January 2017, with “rhabdomyolysis and subsequent injuries” after a series of intense offseason workouts, and is seeking damages for the medical bills he accrued due to the workouts, along with the “severe injuries, some of which are permanent, permanent renal injury, a shortening of his life span by upwards of 10 years, increased susceptibility of kidney failure, kidney disease, and death, severe physical and emotional pain, [and premature death] and an impaired opportunity to play football in college and thereafter.”

The report goes on to say that offensive lineman Sam Poutasi and tight end Cam McCormick were also hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis, but neither player has been named as being a part of the lawsuit.

Taggart is now the head coach, and Oderinde is currently the strength and conditioning coach for the Florida State Seminoles.

One of the lawyers representing Brenner, Mark McDougal, said the following about the workouts referred to in the lawsuit:

“The drills were done in unison, and whenever a player faltered, vomited, or fainted, his teammates were immediately punished with additional repetitions. A key goal of this lawsuit is to force the NCAA to ban these kinds of punishing, abusive workouts. These workouts are contrary to NCAA guidelines for protecting players from injury and death. The NCAA needs to enact and enforce regulations that outlaw these practices.”

 

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MLB

Hurricane Florence Could Impact A Number of Games

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Hurricane Florence could threaten a number of games scheduled this week as the major storm system continues to threaten the United States Eastern Coast.

According to USA Today Sports, here are the games that could be impacted by the pending storm:

NFL

Sunday, Sept. 16

Carolina at Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.
Indianapolis at Washington, 1 p.m.
New England at Jacksonville, 4:25 p.m.

College football

Wednesday, Sept. 12

Campbell at Coastal Carolina, 2:00 (rescheduled from Saturday)

Thursday, Sept. 13

Boston College at Wake Forest, 7:30

Saturday, Sept. 15 

Georgia Southern at No. 2 Clemson, 3:30
Middle Tennessee at No. 3 Georgia, 7:15
No. 13 LSU at No. 7 Auburn, 3:30
East Carolina at No. 11 Virginia Tech, 12:20
No. 15 West Virginia at North Carolina State, 3:30
No. 18 Central Florida at North Carolina, 12:00
Ohio at Virginia, 3:00
Southern Miss at Appalachian State, 3:30
Colorado State at Florida, 4:00
Old Dominion at Charlotte, 6:00
Norfolk State at Liberty, 6:00
Marshall at South Carolina, 7:30

MLB

Wednesday, Sept. 12

Miami at N.Y. Mets, 4:10, Game 2 TBA
Oakland at Baltimore*, 7:05
Washington at Philadelphia*, 7:05
Toronto at Boston, 7:10

Thursday, Sept. 13

Chicago Cubs at Washington*, 4:05
Oakland at Baltimore*, 7:05
Miami at N.Y. Mets, 7:10
Toronto at Boston, 7:10

Friday, Sept. 14

Chic. White Sox at Baltimore, 7:05
Miami at Philadelphia*, 7:05
Toronto at N.Y. Yankees*, 7:05
N.Y. Mets at Boston, 7:10
Washington at Atlanta*, 7:35

Saturday, Sept. 15

Washington at Atlanta*, 1:05
N.Y. Mets at Boston, 4:05
Toronto at N.Y. Yankees*, 4:05
Chicago White Sox at Baltimore, 7:05
Miami at Philadelphia*, 7:05

Sunday, Sept. 16

Chicago White Sox at Baltimore, 1:05
N.Y. Mets at Boston, 1:05
Toronto at N.Y. Yankees*, 1:05
Miami at Philadelphia*, 1:35
Washington at Atlanta*, 1:35

*- games with playoff implications

Minor League Baseball

Wednesday, Sept. 12
Carolina League: Potomac (Va.) at Buies Creek (N.C.), 1:05

Thursday, Sept. 13
Carolina League: Buies Creek (N.C.) at Potomac (Va.). 7:05
International League: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) at Durham (N.C.), 7:05

Friday, Sept. 14
Carolina League: Buies Creek (N.C.) at Potomac (Va.), 7:05
International League: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) at Durham (N.C.) 7:05

Saturday, Sept. 15
Carolina League: Buies Creek (N.C.) at Potomac (Va.), 6:35
International League: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) at Durham (N.C.), 7:05

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NCAA Football

Braylon Edwards Apologizes for University of Miami Tweets, Stand by his Stance

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Former NFL wide receiver Braylon Edwards, who currently works for the Big Ten Network, has been suspended by the Big Ten Network for tweets he made on Saturday night after the Wolverines lost 24-17 to Notre Dame.3

Edwards, a former All-America wide receiver at the University of Michigan, heavily criticized Wolverines’ offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz, calling him “weak,” and called Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson “scared.”

Edwards played wide receiver for Michigan from 2001 to 2004, and then was drafted to the NFL.

Edwards then went on to target the Michigan team as a whole, tweeting  “f—ing Michigan offense so predictable … Michigan football is sadly one thing … Trash.”

Edwards was criticized by Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh on Monday for his tweets and then was officially suspended indefinitely by the Big Ten Network.

“Effective as of Sunday, Sept. 2, Braylon Edwards has been suspended indefinitely from his role at the Big Ten Network due to a violation of the network’s social media guidelines”, the Big Ten Network wrote in a since deleted tweet, according to Chris Vannini of The Athletic.

“No. 1, first of all, it’s not true. It’s not factual,” Harbaugh said of the comments. “There’s nobody in our program who thinks those things about any player on our team, let alone the two players he describes. On the other level, I was disappointed a member of the Big Ten Network would choose to attack the character of two of our players. That’s disappointing.

“We’ll handle things within the program,” Harbaugh said. “That’s all we control.”

“And, I would say, if somebody wants to attack the character of anybody on the ballclub, then come after me. I don’t think it’s right. It’s not true. And nobody in the program thinks that about any player on our team. Just so you know that’s not coming from anybody inside the program.”

While Edwards admits that his tweets were “excessive”, he stands by his criticism of the Wolverines, and says that he plans to reach out to Ruiz and Patterson through his brother, Berkley Edwards, who is a running back for Michigan.

Edwards added that former Wolverines coach Lloyd Carr “called me out in the media” and he realizes now he shouldn’t have done the same to Ruiz and Patterson.

“I admit I was excessive and emotional and inebriated. Mix those together. But the focus of my tweets remains intact. I stand by that. I was over-excessive Saturday night at 10:29, but I don’t back down on my overall stance as an alum and a fan. I’ve always defended Michigan. Even this year, I was high on Michigan,” Edwards said according to the Detroit News.

“I’m a man. We make mistakes. I’m sorry. I should not have gone that way. I still agree with the overall message — what do we do now (as a program)? But I apologize — shouldn’t name individual players. They’re still kids. That’s what I apologize for,” Edwards told the media outlet.

Now that there is Legal sports betting in the USA it will be interesting to see what happens when Edwards returns. Some sportsbooks have started taking wagers on whether or not he will keep his job in the end and for how long.

For now, Edwards has a lot of time to sit at home and reflect before his return to the Big Ten Network.

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