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NCAA Football

SEC West Preview



It’s that time of year where we start thinking about the new college football season. Once again I’ll give you the teams and players to watch. We begin with the always competitive SEC West.

Alabama Crimson Tide

Let’s start with the defending national champion Crimson Tide. The Tide will have to replace both of their leading rushers, reigning Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry and Kenya Drake, so preseason All-American Damien Harris will have to carry the load.

They do have a lot of their receiving corps returning, led by first team preseason All-Americans Calvin Ridley and tight end O. J. Howard, receivers ArDarius Stewart and Robert Foster, who are coming back from season-ending shoulder surgery.  Who’ll be throwing to them is still a question mark.

As for their defense, yes they’ve lost a lot of talent from last year, but there’s also a lot coming back while Jeremy Pruitt takes over as coordinator. Preseason All-Americans defensive end Jonathan Allen, linebackers Tim Williams and Rueben Foster and tackle D’shawn Hand lead the way up front. Preseason All-Americans safety Eddie Jackson and cornerback Marlon Humphrey lead a powerful secondary.

The Tide plays USC in Arlington, TX, right off the bat to start the season. They host Texas A&M and in-state rival Auburn. They face Ole Miss, Arkansas, Tennessee, and LSU on the road.

LSU Tigers

We go to Baton Rouge next, where the LSU Tigers and running back Leonard Fournette hit a wall last season but finished strong. Preseason All-American Fournette is a Heisman front runner again, but head coach Les Miles wants to reduce his carries. Quarterback Brandon Harris must be consistent, thankfully he’ll have playmakers like preseason All-American wide receivers Malachi Dupre and Travin Durel to help him out.

On defense, Dave Aranda will be the Tigers’ third coordinator in three seasons and they’ll be going to a 3-4 scheme. He has talent coming back, preseason All-Americans linebacker Kendell Beckwith, tackle Davon Chadeaux, safety Jamal Adams, and cornerback Tre’Davious White could shine in Aranda’s new look defense.

They host Wisconsin, Ole Miss and Alabama. They have to face Auburn, Florida, Arkansas, and Texas A&M on the road.

Ole Miss Rebels

Off to Oxford we go, as the Ole Miss Rebels will have to replace three NFL first round draft picks. Preseason All-American quarterback Chad Kelly threw for 31 touchdowns and over 4,000 yards, finishing as the conference’s top quarterback last season.  Even though he will not have Laquan Treadwell to throw to anymore, Kelly will have a depth of receivers led by preseason All-American tight end Evan Engram. Running back Akeem Judd and Jordan Wilkins lead a strong backfield.

Defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche’s departure leaves a huge void on the Rebels’ defense. Defensive end Marquis Haynes does provide a solid pass rush and linebacker DeMarquis Gates finished with a team-high 76 tackles last year. Safety Tony Conner returns from a season-ending knee injury.

The Rebels play Florida State in Orlando. They host Alabama, Georgia, Memphis and Auburn. They play Arkansas, LSU, and Texas A&M on the road.

Arkansas Razorbacks

To Fayetteville next, as there will be many new faces on offense for head coach Bret Bielema. Justin Allen takes over for older brother Brandon at quarterback. Though Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams are gone, there’s still talent on the backfield led by Koby Walker and Rawleigh Williams, both coming off injuries. The Hogs’ veteran receiving corps includes Keon Hatcher, who’s returning from a foot injury, as well as Drew Morgan and Dominique Reed who stepped up in Hatcher’s absence last season.

The strength of the Hogs could be their defense, which returns nine starters. Preseason all-conference lineman Deatrich Wise made a name for himself last season. Dre Greenlaw and Brooks Ellis will have relief in the linebacking corps as depth was an issue last season.

They host Texas A&M, Alabama, Ole Miss, Florida and LSU. They go on the road to face TCU and Auburn.

The rest of the SEC West

In College Station, for the Texas A&M Aggies, the seat is warm for head coach Kevin Sumlin. Oklahoma transfers quarterback Trevor Knight and running back Keith Ford could have an immediate impact. Preseason All-American Christian Kirk leads a dynamic receiving corps. All-American defensive lineman Myles Garrett and All-conference safety Armani Watts lead a capable defense.

At Auburn, the Tigers will try to bounce back from a disappointing season. They have to figure out, who’ll start under center. Preseason All-SEC running back Jovon Robinson was dismissed from the team, so someone will have to step. Preseason All-American defensive end Carl Lawson, tackle Montravius Adams, and free safety Johnathan Ford lead a defense that could be one of the best in the SEC under new coordinator Kevin Steele.

Finally in Starkville, the Mississippi State Bulldogs must replace quarterback Dak Prescott. Wide receiver Fred Ross could be a breakout star. Defensive end A.J. Jefferson and linebacker Richie Brown lead a talented defense.

That’s it for the SEC West, next we take a look at the SEC East.









NCAA Football

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



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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Hurricane Florence Could Impact A Number of Games



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:


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


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



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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