Friday, December 30, 2005

Sooners Sack the Ducks

The Sooner defense set the tone for the game early and held off a late Oregon rally to win the Holiday Bowl last night.

Oklahoma linebacker Clint Ingram made a leaping interception of Leaf's pass at the 10-yard line with 33 seconds left in the Holiday Bowl to preserve the Sooners' 17-14 upset of the No. 6 Oregon Ducks on Thursday night.

Ingram missed the call for a blitz on second-and-9, so he was in position to get in front of Demetrius Williams for the pickoff.

"This was the biggest play that I've ever made in any sport," Ingram said. "Everything we've gone through, everyone made plays and I just made the last one."

"As soon as I saw him go up for the ball I knew it wasn't going to be dropped," coach Bob Stoops said. "He doesn't drop balls."

Oregon led 7-3 after the lowest-scoring first half in Holiday Bowl history, and thanks to the Sooner defense the Duck’s offense was a no-show for most of the second half.

Sooner running back Adrian Peterson was held in check in the first half by the Oregon defense rushing 8 times for 8 yards but exploded in the second half, finishing with 84 yards on 23 carries. The Sooner offense took control when Rhett Bomar threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to fullback J.D. Runnells for a 10-7 Oklahoma lead with 9:20 to play in the third quarter. Then late in the quarter Kejuan Jones scored on an 8-yard run to make it 17-7. Bomar finished 17-of-30 for 229 yards, with one interception and the touchdown to Runnells.

Oklahoma would have put the game away early in the fourth but Peterson fumbled on the Ducks 1 yard line as he was reaching forward to try to put the ball across the goal line. That fumble gave the Ducks new life and they would eventually close to within 17-14 before Ingram’s interception iced the game for Oklahoma.

Don’t Buy the Lies
Two things you are going to hear in the next few days are that Oregon was over-rated and that they were distracted.

First, this was a very good Oregon football team. They finished the regular season at 10-1 with that loss being to the undefeated USC Trojans. I have often stated that the Pac 10 is an over-rated conference but this Oregon team would beat a lot of other teams in other conferences. The Ducks are solid on offense as well as defense and could be the second best team the Sooners have faced this season.

Second, there was no distraction after being left out of the BCS for Oregon. The Ducks showed up with their game faces on, they just didn’t have an answer for a Sooner defense that sacked their quarterbacks three times, held them to under 100 yards rushing and came up with the big interception to end the game.

New Rule, Celebrate With Your Helmets On
Sooner running back Adrian Peterson had to receive stitches on his forehead after his head collided with a teammate’s helmet during a sideline celebration following JD Runnells third quarter touchdown reception.

Oklahoma's win over Oregon puts the Big 12 at 3-1 in bowl games.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Rose Bowl Blogview

Just one game left in the BCS blogview series and it’s the big one. In fact this game is so big I had to get two bloggers to help me with the preview. Of course one would need to be a Texas blog and the other a USC blog.

Enter All Things Longhorn and TrojanWire two of the biggest blogs to represent their respective schools in the Rose Bowl Blogview. Together they make for a pretty good preview. TrojanWire comes across more confident and even takes a shot at Mac Brown while All Things Longhorn provides more detail and shows their team’s opponent due respect, so let’s get to it.

(My Opinion on Sports) What are you initial thoughts on your team's opponent?

(ATL) Um, they're really good. We love our team and will put them up against anybody. But we're not delusional. USC hasn't lost in 34 straight games. I'm not surprised that we're underdogs.

(TW) Texas has a lot of talent, but hasn't faced anyone remotely close
to our level in the past 2 seasons.

(My Opinion on Sports) What is the best match-up advantage for your team in this game?

ATL) Vince Young. He's the biggest mismatch for us in every game we play. He's just so lethal as a passer and runner.

(TW) Vince Young's head against our D

(My Opinion on Sports) What is the worst match-up advantage for your team in this game?

(ATL) Our linebackers versus Reggie Bush. One of our biggest weaknesses this year has been in tackling rushers. We might want to do a little better against this Bush guy; we hear he's pretty good.

(TW) Vince Young's legs against our D

(My Opinion on Sports) Which coach do you want on your sideline, yours or your opponents? Why?

(ATL) With all the admiration we have for Pete Carroll, you can't bait us in to picking him over Mack Brown. We've been so critical of him over the years, but in the end, he's brought this program to the top, and we love having him. Both coaches are outstanding.

(TW) Ours, no doubt. Obvious coaching prowess aside, Mack Brown has the highest voice of any college football coach out there. Most womens' basketball coaches have deeper voices than him. Most Texas fans are embarrassed by why would we want him on our sideline?

(My Opinion on Sports) Give your prediction of the outcome of the game.

(ATL) We will, soon enough. But not yet. We will say this: we're expecting a shootout. Points will be scored; that's for sure.

(TW) Texas plays tough early, but SC wins comfortably.

Oregon's Keys to Success

So how are the Oregon Ducks going to try to defeat my Sooners tonight in the Holiday Bowl? Here are the Ducks keys to the game according to Salem's Statesman Journal.

Contain Adrian Peterson: The 2004 Heisman Trophy runner-up, Peterson has overcome a high ankle sprain that limited his production early on, and has rushed for 639 yards and eight touchdowns in Oklahoma's past four games. If Peterson finds holes in Oregon's defense, it opens up the play-action pass for quarterback Rhett Bomar. He had 183 yards in last year's game against Oregon, and 1,925 overall.

Leave the BCS blues behind: Oregon can't be dwelling on being left out of a BCS game. The Ducks need to keep their focus on beating Oklahoma, which would give them a school record-tying 11th win.

Young quarterbacks: It will be the first bowl game appearance for Bomar, a redshirt freshman, and Oregon sophomores Dennis Dixon and Brady Leaf. Oregon will try to force the Sooners to pass more than they would like, and make Bomar beat them. The Ducks need to do a solid job in pass protection against a defense that has recorded 42 sacks. Oregon's offensive line, led by center Enoka Lucas, has allowed just 17 sacks.

Ignore the past: The five previous games between the schools have been dominated by Oklahoma. The Sooners were victorious at home in 1958 (6-0), 1966 (17-0), 1972 (68-3), 1975 (62-7), and 2004 (31-7). It's a chance for Oregon to beat a marquee program on a national stage.

Spreading the field: While Oregon is preparing for a heavy dose of Peterson and a power running game, the Ducks have more offensive weapons. Oklahoma hasn't seen a spread offense this season that operates like the Ducks. Dixon is a multi-dimensional quarterback, wideout Demetrius Williams is a 1,000-yard receiver, and the Ducks have three players (Willliams, wide receiver James Finley, and tailback Terrence Whitehead) with more receptions that Oklahoma's leading receiver, Malcolm Kelly. Oregon's ability to utilize its playmakers against perhaps the fastest defense it will face this season figures to be a major factor in the game.

Holiday Bowl Preview

Oklahoma has never been to the Holiday Bowl and Oregon wishes that they were in a BCS bowl. The stage is set for the 10-1 Ducks to take on the 7-4 Sooners but don’t let the records fool you this should be a fun game.

Oregon plays in the Pac-10, which I think is an over-rated conference, but their coach, Mike Bellotti, is one of the best in America. I respect their offense a lot but they haven’t faced very many physical teams the caliber of Oklahoma.

Oklahoma’s offense against Oregon’s defense
Junior defensive tackle Haloti Ngata also had a big season and became Oregon's first consensus All-American since 1962 but I like the match-up between Adrian Peterson and the Oregon run defense. I think the Sooners will be able to run successfully against the Ducks. I also like the match-up problems that fullback JD Runnels is going to create with Oregon linebackers focused on stopping Adrian Peterson. Look for Runnels to get a lot of passes coming his way on misdirection plays. Advantage: Oklahoma

Oregon’s defense against Oklahoma’s defense

I don’t like the match-up between the Oregon receivers and the Oklahoma secondary. In my opinion this match-up goes to the Ducks which means that the Sooners are going to have to be effective with their blitzes to get to the quarterbacks before they can get passes off. An overlooked stat is that this OU defense has more sacks than last season’s Orange Bowl team. Advantage: Oregon


As much as I respect Mike Bellotti the coaching advantage has to go to Bob Stoops. Since taking over in 1999 he has led the Sooners to bowl games every season including national championship games in 2000, 2004 and 2005. Stoops Sooners have also won three Big 12 Championships. Advantage: Oklahoma


Stoops, who played 18 freshmen and started 11 this season, doesn't think he'll have any trouble getting his players motivated for the game.
"Playing a team that's 10-1 gets your attention big-time," Stoops said. "Our players recognize it as a major challenge. It does excite them. You can tell just in looking at their faces and the way they practice. They understand it's a big challenge."

Oklahoma is 5-0 all-time against Oregon, with all five games being played in Norman, Okla. The Sooners, who were ranked No. 2 last season when they beat the unranked Ducks 31-7, will play at Oregon for the first time next season.

I think it will be an entertaining game. I see it being a shootout early and then the Sooners to wear down the Ducks defense late on their way to a 31-20 Sooner victory.

Buster's Best

The Good news is that Buster had a losing record this week. The Bad news is that I went 1-4.

Last Week’s Games

Fort Worth Bowl

Buster is picked the Jayhawks and I had them to cover the 3 points they were giving to Houston. Buster 1-0/Dad 1-0

Poinsetta Bowl
Navy/Colorado State
Buster picked Colorado State and I had them covering the 2.5 points they were getting. Buster 1-1/Dad 1-1

Buster picked Toledo and I think my exact words were “this one is UTEP all the way.” I took the Miners and the 3 points they were getting. Buster 2-1/Dad 1-2

Dallas Cowboys @ Carolina Panthers
Buster and I both missed this one. He picked the Panthers to win and I also took Carolina and the 5.5 points they were giving. Buster 2-2/Dad 1-3

Tennesse Titans @ Miami Dolphins
Buster picked the Titans to win straight up and I picked them to cover the 6 points they were getting from the Dolphins. Buster 2-3/Dad 1-4
For the season: Buster 61-24/Dad 38-45-2

This Week’s Games

Holiday Bowl

Buster is picking the Sooners and I’ll take them to cover the 3 points they are getting from the Ducks.

Fiesta Bowl
Ohio State/Notre Dame
Buster likes the Irish to win and I’ll take Ohio State to cover the 4 points they are giving to Notre Dame.

Rose Bowl
Buster is picking USC to win the National Championship and I’ll take them to cover the 8 points they are giving to the Longhorns.

Arizona Cardinals @ Indianapolis Colts
Buster likes the Colts to win and I'll take them to cover the 6.5 points they are giving to Arizona.

St. Louis Rams @ Dallas Cowboys
Buster is picking his Cowboys to win. I agree but 12 points is to many, I'll take the Rams and the points they are getting.

Buster’s Reward
Buster is starting to reap the benefits of beating Dad in football picks this season. I am taking him and his brother to Dallas Sunday night to see his beloved Cowboys play the St. Louis Rams. It should be fun!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Sooners Survive With A Late Surge

The Sooners non-conference home winning streak is now at 45 games. After losing to West Virginia last week OU, led by Kevin Bookout, played tough inside and finally made some shots from outside to spark a late rally and win 81-73 over Oral Roberts University.

Bookout had a season-high 24 points and 10 rebounds and Terrell Everett added 17 points and five assists, making consecutive 3-pointers to give the Sooners the lead at 70-68 with 3:38 left.

All of Everett's 17 points came in the second half, and he finished 3-of-5 from 3-point range after entering the game 6-of-28 for the season.

"I got one of those to go, and after that, I was feeling it," Everett said.

"For our team and what we need right now, I'm not sure I could have scripted it any better," Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson said. "It would have been nice to win by 25, but I don't think there's a team in America that could beat (Oral Roberts) by 25."

OU plays next at home Saturday against Alabama.

Orange Bowl Blogview

The “blogview” of the BCS games continues. Today we have The Nittany Blog is joining us to size up the Florida State Seminoles and the Orange Bowl.

(My Opinion on Sports) What are you initial thoughts on Florida State?

(The Nittany Blog) Florida State clearly has the talent to compete with the best teams in the country. However, this season they seem to fall apart at crucial times, and especially in games that they should win. The win over Miami was impressive, as was the win over Virginia Tech, but I have a hard time believing that Florida State should be in this game. If they didn't win the ACC, they would have likely been headed to Nashville to face Minnesota.

(My Opinion on Sports) What is the best match-up advantage for Penn State in this game?

(The Nittany Blog) Michael Robinson against the Florida State defenders. Robinson will pitch it to the receivers all day if they bring the blitz or he will make plays with his legs if they decide to stay home. Galen Hall isn't afraid to open up the playbook and mix in some surprises that Florida State won't be expecting. If Derrick Williams is able to play in the game, I wouldn't be surprised to see PSU line up with Robinson, Hunt and Williams in the backfield. Expect Penn State to use a similar offensive game plan as they did against Minnesota

(My Opinion on Sports) What is the worst match-up advantage for Penn State in this game?

(The Nittany Blog) Penn State's front seven against the Florida State tailbacks, Leon Washington and Lorenzo Booker. Penn State doesn't have great depth on the defensive line this season, and while it has improved over the course of the season, speedy and smaller tailbacks like Washington (see: Northwestern's Tyrell Sutton and Michigan's Mike Hart) have had success against Penn State. If the defense can shutdown the run game, I think this one could get ugly. No one has been able to pass consistently on Penn State this season.

(My Opinion on Sports)Which coach do you want on your sideline, yours or your opponents? Why?

(The Nittany Blog) I wouldn't trade Joe Paterno for any coach. Rarely does Penn State not show up in big games. Joe has also learned this season to let the other coaches, well, coach. Galen Hall and Jay Paterno have full control of the offense and Tom Bradley has full control of the defense. Joe's meddling has severally decreased.

(My Opinion on Sports) Give your prediction of the outcome of the game.

(The Nittany Blog) Penn State 31, Florida State 17

Huskers Finish Strong

Zac Taylor threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Terrence Nunn with 4:29 left as Nebraska overcame a nine-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat No. 20 Michigan 32-28 in the Alamo Bowl.

The game ended on a bizarre play, with Michigan's Chad Henne throwing a short pass and his teammates lateraling five or six times up and down the field before the play fizzled out with many extra players and coaches on the field.

Kirk Herbstreet was quick to point out how lucky Nebraska was that there was no penalty for extra men on the field but there were just as many Michigan players on the field as there were Nebraska players. I think Kirk was just looking for another dig against an officiating crew from the Sun Belt that struggled all night.

The Huskers won the Alamo for the third time in six years and finished a season with three straight victories for the first time since 1999.

Cory Ross ran 28 times for 161 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown that pulled Nebraska to 28-25 with 8:08 left. That score was set up by Cortney Grixby's 28-yard punt return to the Michigan 38.

The Huskers took the lead after Henne fumbled and Nebraska’s Ola Dagundaro returned the ball to the Michigan 17. Three plays later, Zac Taylor connected with Nunn for his third touchdown pass and his second to Nunn.

Taylor was 14 of 31 for 167 yards, with two interceptions.

The Big 12 is now 2-1 in Bowl Games.

Colorado Drops Big 12 to 1-1

No offense but Colorado has no offense. In their last three games the Buffalos have scored 16 points and their opponents have posted 119.

You have to think if Colorado could have mustered any offense they would have won the Champs Sports Bowl. Instead the Buffalos failed to turn opportunities into touchdowns, managing just 168 net yards of offense, and lost 19-10 to Clemson.

James Davis’ 6-yard TD run with 1:38 remaining sealed a fourth straight win for Clemson and a disappointing fourth straight loss for Colorado. Davis ran for a career-high 150 yards and a touchdown on his way to the game MVP. Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst scrambled for a score and passed for 196 yards.

The Big 12 is now 1-1 in bowl games this year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Bulldogs Get to Stay Home for Sugar Bowl

The BCS bowl previews continue, looking at the Sugar Bowl. The Georgia Bulldogs already have an edge over West Virginia and they get to play the Sugar Bowl just down the road from home, thanks to Hurricane Katrina.

The Georgia Sports Blog stepped up again for us, this time answering my five BCS questions. Make sure to check out GSB for all information on the Bulldogs and their SEC opponents. Thanks for your help!

(My questions in bold, GSB answers in italics)

What are you initial thoughts on West Virginia?

On offense, West Virginia has solid team speed and a great misdirection
running game. Battling *this* version of the spread option run by a
gutsy QB is much tougher than defending the candy ass version that Meyer and Leak are running. A version that Georgia held to 14 points and stone cold stopped after the first two drives. It's the most physical spread option in the country. Closer to what Clemson ran with Dantzler than what Northwestern, Utah or Florida currently run. However, their passing game will be one of the weakest that Georgia has faced this year. If not THE weakest.

On defense, they have good speed as well. However, Georgia is faster.
The last team WVU faced with comparable team speed was Virginia Tech, and VT worked WVU silly. Granted White, their QB, is much further along now, but still. Their schedule has been incredibly weak. They haven't played the sort of competition that would properly prepare them for this game.

What is the best match-up advantage for Georgia in this game?

Leonard Pope vs. whoever they try and cover him with is always the best
matchup for Georgia. How do you cover an 8'3" Tight End with Olympic
Sprinter Speed who can speak to the ball in mid-flight and coax it into
his arms using only his will and imagination?

Seriously, I like most of the match-ups. Georgia has done exceptionally well vs. one dimensional offenses over the past five years.

What is the worst match-up advantage for Georgia in this game?

Georgia's Attitude vs. WVU's Attitude. There is no doubt that the
Mountaineers will come into this game 100% pumped. There is always a risk in a bowl game like this of coming in flat as the heavy favorite. Coming in flat for a bowl game will get you beat.

Which coach do you want on your sideline, yours or your opponents?

Georgia's. It isn't even close. 52-12 in 5 years. 2 SEC Titles. 3 SEC
East Titles.

Give your prediction of the outcome of the game.

27-17 Georgia

Good luck to West Virginia.

Ducks on Why Their Spread Offense Will Work

The Holiday Bowl is just two days away and Oregon is confident that their spread offense will be effective against the Oklahoma defense despite the fact that OU has already faced Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Kansas State and Texas Tech and their spread attacks.

It’s not like Oklahoma is facing an offensive attack that they have never seen before. So, what makes the difference between Oregon’s spread attack and the others Oklahoma has faced? Here are the Ducks explanations in their own words.

“The personnel,” says UO cornerback Justin Phinisee, “Usually when you have a spread offense, it’s because you don’t have great talent. We have great talent, and we’re using the spread.

“And (offensive coordinator Gary) Crowton mixes it up a lot. I like how our coordinator thinks and works. Unpredictable.”

Adds backup QB Brady Leaf: “Coach Crowton’s head is always turning. He’s got things flying in and out of there.”

“We have so many leaders,” quarterback Dennis Dixon says, “and we have these rookies stepping up. We have good depth at every position. Everybody brings something different to the game. When their number is called, they respond.”

“I’ve been looking at the mobile quarterback and seeing what (the Sooners’) tendencies are, and how they’re reacting to that,” Dixon says.

“An athletic quarterback still has a better chance, because of their speed and athleticism and what (the Sooners) do with zone and man blitz,” Ducks coach Mike Bellotti says. “Typically, you have to have a quarterback who is athletic occasionally to escape the blitz and to recognize where the blitz is coming from and adjust protections.”

One of the teams Bellotti and Crowton patterned their offense after was Texas Tech, which beat Oklahoma 23-21 by scoring more than one touchdown against the Sooners for only the second time in the past six meetings. Translation: Oklahoma knows how to stop strictly spread passing games.

Crowton says Texas Tech’s spread is “a lot different” from the Ducks’ approach.
“They don’t switch receivers on either side, they don’t do heavy formations, they don’t do reads off the edge, they don’t do the shovel pass the same way,” Crowton says. “They create space the same, but the schemes are different. And we run the ball a lot differently.”

Bellotti says the Ducks have borrowed from Texas Tech, Utah, Bowling Green, Northwestern and others.

“The things we do, it’s not a cookie-cutter approach,” he says. “We have a framework in which we work that combines and ties everything together, and factors in talent of athletes. We’ve had to adjust some things.”

“They might want to bring pressure,” Leaf says of the Sooner defense, “but they have to deal with five guys out there making plays. If we execute properly, we’ll be fine. You have to be prepared, because they can send anything at you.”

“We have to play our game, that’s the biggest thing,” receiver Demetrius Williams says. “We can’t let them dictate what they want to do. A lot of guys get involved in our offense. It can go to anybody. That’s what separates us from other offenses.”

I think Oregon will pose some problems for the Sooner defense but Bob Stoops has had a month to prepare for this game and I think the biggest defensive disadvantage goes to Oregon’s run defense against Adrian Peterson.

Recruiting Hype Has Begun

I don’t usually get involved in all the hype of college football recruiting but I wanted to share with you the top 25 lists from and For more proof that recruiting will never be an exact science notice the differences in the two lists.

Pittsburg #5 on Scout and #17 on Rivals.
Oklahoma State #15 on Scout and #20 on Rivals.
Nebraska not ranked on Scout and #13 on Rivals. Top 25
1. Texas
2. Florida
3. Georgia
4. Notre Dame
5. Pittsburgh
6. LSU
7. Oklahoma
8. Michigan
9. Miami (Fl)
10. Florida State
11. UCLA
12. Auburn
13. Arizona
14. Ohio State
15. Oklahoma State
16. Penn State
17. Clemson
18. Texas Tech
19. Alabama
20. Texas A&M
21. North Carolina
22. USC
23. Illinois
24. California
25. Kentucky Top 25
1. Florida
2. Texas
3. Georgia
4. Notre Dame
5. LSU
6. Florida State
7. Alabama
8. Oklahoma
9. Auburn
10. Arizona
11. UCLA
12. Michigan
13. Nebraska
14. Miami (Fla)
15. Clemson
16. Maryland
17. Pittsburgh
18. Texas Tech
19. Ohio State
20(T). Oklahoma State
20(T). USC
22. Illinois
23. California
24. Penn State
25. Ole Miss

Signing day is still over a month away and both of these lists will change by then because they are based on verbal commitments. Also there are some big time athletes who have yet to commit.

According to here are the Top 10 prospects who have not committed. Signing any one of these players will change your teams ranking.

Andre Smith - OG - Birmingham, AL
Rivals - 2nd overall
Scout - 2nd overall
Schools - Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Tennessee, USC

Allen Bradford - LB - Colton, CA
Rivals - 6th overall
Scout - 16th overall
Schools - UCLA, USC

Vidal Hazelton - WR - Chatham, VA
Rivals - 17th
Scout - 6th
Schools - Florida, Georgia, Miami, Penn State, Tennessee, USC, Virginia Tech

Stafon Johnson - RB - Los Angeles, CA
Rivals - 9th
Scout - 4th
Schools - Cal, Florida, Miami, Michigan, Oklahoma, Tennessee, UCLA, USC, Washington

Mitch Mustain - QB - Springdale, AR
Rivals - 7th
Scout - 8th
Schools - Alabama, Arkansas, Notre Dame, Tennessee

Sam Young - OT - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Rivals - 23rd
Scout - 7th
Schools - Florida, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Stanford, Tennessee, USC

Gerald McCoy - DT - Oklahoma City, OK
Rivals - 10th
Scout - 15th
Schools - LSU, Miami, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, USC, Virginia Tech

Steve Schilling - OT - Bellevue, WA
Rivals - 18th
Scout - 12th
Schools - Cal, Michigan, USC, Washington

CJ Spiller - RB - Lake Butler, FL
Rivals - 19th
Scout - 13th
Schools - Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Miami, USC

LeShan McCoy - RB - Harrisburg, PA
Rivals - 14th
Scout - 17th
Schools - Alabama, Florida, Miami, NC State, Penn State, USC, Virginia Tech

NFL Round Up, Week 16

Who has the longest winning streak in the NFL? If you guessed the Miami Dolphins then you are our winner. Your prize? A free one year subscription to My Opinion on Sports.

The Dolphins won their fifth game in a row on Saturday beating the Tennessee Titans 24-10. With Ronnie Brown sitting this one out with leg injuries it was ventage Ricky as Williams ran for 172 yards and a score.

The Dolphins have officially been eliminated from play-off contention but still have a lot to play for. They can end the regular season as the hottest team in the NFL and a win over New England would give the Pats a heads up as to what is coming next season.

Speaking of next season, here is the latest Ricky Williams quote.

"To watch this team grow and be part of it has been special. We've made strides, and we can be confident that we can go into next season strong."

We can count on you to be there next season, right Ricky?

Conference Rankings
The NFC East is now tied with the AFC West for the best division record and the AFC North continues to climb and now has the second best division record.

AFC West 34-26
NFC East 34-26
AFC North 32-28
NFC South 31-29
AFC South 30-30
NFC North 27-33
AFC East 26-34
NFC West 26-34

Big Game
Seattle Seahawks 28, Indianapolis Colts 13

This game turned out to be a yawner after all. The Colts, with all their distractions and nothing to play for, didn’t show up – literally. Marvin Harrison didn’t make the trip, Peyton Manning played only one quarter and Tony Dungy was absent, tending to family with the loss of a son.

Shaun Alexander did tie the NFL record for touchdown in a season by a running back. The Colts approached this game like a pre-season game and will do the same next week. I would love to see this game played for real and we may get the chance to in about five weeks.

Big Upset
Let me remind you what I said last week about the Ravens/Vikings game last week.

Minnesota @ Baltimore
The ride is over for the Vikings. Minnesota will be playing outside against what is still a very dangerous defense. Kyle Boller looked like a new man against the Packers, granted it was the Packers, and I think the Ravens can generate enough offense to upset the Vikings.
Prediction: Ravens 31/Vikings 17 – Actual score Ravens 30/Vikings 23

However, the big upset this week goes to the San Francisco 49ers for beating the St. Louis Rams 24-20. Congratulations San Francisco for moving a step away from Reggie Bush. Really makes it bittersweet, doesn’t it.

Worst Game
Pittsburg 41, Clevelans 0

The Steelers needed to make a statement and that’s exactly what they did. Ben Roethlisberger threw a touchdown pass, Willie Parker had an 80-yard TD run and the Steelers thrashed rookie quarterback Charlie Frye.

"We made a statement," said linebacker James Harrison, who blocked a punt and body slammed a Browns fan who ventured on to the field. "We won, that was the statement we wanted. Margin of victory, stuff like that, is nice. But winning and going to the playoffs is our goal. That's what we want."
The Browns were just pathetic!

Looking Ahead to Week 17

Big Game

Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons

The Panthers have to win to secure a play-off spot and Atlanta would love to ruin Carolina’s party. This is Atlanta’s final chance for that big win they have been looking for.
Prediction: Carolina 17/Atlanta 10

Possible Upset
Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers

The Broncos have won the Division and clinched a first round bye. What else do they have to play for?
Prediction: Chargers 24/Broncos 13

Buckeyes/Irish Ready for a Fiesta

It’s the final week before the BCS bowl games which makes this game week. This week I will preview all four bowls with the help of fellow bloggers across the country.

Today’s guest blog is Buckeye Sports Blitz sharing his thoughts on the Fiesta Bowl match-up between Ohio State and Notre Dame.

I asked five questions about the bowl game and here they are along with the answers provided by B.S.B.

1. What are you initial thoughts on Notre Dame?

After Notre dame barely beat a 5-6 Stanford Cardinal team,
Lou Holtz of ESPN's College GameDay said that the Irish were
a lock for a BCS bid, saying it was a "great story."

I will admit that having Charlie Weis come in and be able to take a
6-6 squad from a year ago and put them back into the national spotlight
is a great story. But, it seems that Notre Dame had locked up the BCS
bid after the Stanford game just because they were, well, Notre Dame.

The following they would bring to a bowl game, along with the potential
television viewership is one of the reasons why Notre Dame is
playing in the Fiesta Bowl. It also helped that LSU and Virginia Tech
lost in their respected conference championship games.

If you take a look at who Notre Dame has played and who they have
defeated, it's not a real impressive list. Sure, they went to Heinz
Field and beat Pittsburgh by three touchdowns when the Panthers entered
the game ranked #23rd in the Associated Press poll. But then a week
later, Pittsburgh travels to Athens and loses to an Ohio University team in overtime, while Notre Dame travels to Ann Arbor and defeats then third-ranked Michigan.

So after two games, Notre Dame gets wins over two ranked teams on the
road. But if you look at it now, Pittsburgh finished just 5-6, while Michigan ended the regular season going 7-4.

After that, Notre Dame did not defeat anyone noteworthy, with their
only wins over teams with winning records came against a 7-4 Navy team, and a 6-5 BYU squad.

So my initial thoughts of Ohio State playing Notre Dame is this is a
Game the Buckeyes should win. On paper they are a much better team. Notre Dame has yet to face defense like the Buckeyes.

2. What is the best match-up advantage Ohio State in this game?

I think the biggest advantage Ohio State had is the receiving corps
of Santonio Holmes, Ten Ginn Jr., and Anthony Gonzalez vs. the
Notre Dame secondary.

3. What is the worst match-up advantage for Ohio State in this game?

I don't think there is one, but the one disadvantage Ohio State
may have is if linebacker Bobby Carpenter can't play due to a broken
leg suffered in the Michigan game.

4. Which coach do you want on your sideline, yours or your opponents? Why?

Before joining Notre Dame, Charlie Weis had one year of head coaching
experience, and that was on the high school level.

Jim Tressel has many more years of experience, and has won five
national championships as a head coach. He has four NCAA Championships
at I-AA Youngstown State, and one at Ohio State. I'll take Tressel as
head coach, but Weis could always be his offensive coordinator.

5. Give your prediction of the outcome of the game.

Ohio State 41, Notre Dame 24

The Fiesta Bowl is Monday afternoon at 3:30 central. This could shape up to be the best of the BCS bowl games.

Thanks to the Buckeye Sports Blitz for your participation. Good luck in the game!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Parker and Longoria have altercation with police

More basketball players getting in trouble, you have to love it when celebrities and athletes show their true colors.

After a San Antonio bicycle officer saw a vehicle, driven by Spurs guard Tony Parker, impeding traffic things escalated with Parker and his passenger “Desperate Housewives” actress Eva Longoria.

The officer saw the stopped car holding up traffic early Saturday and rapped the hood with his hand, according to a police report. Parker, behind the wheel, questioned why the officer touched the car, and the couple “began screaming in a verbally abusive and demeaning manner,” police said. Longoria called the police report “highly inaccurate.”

Police say the Parker began to drive away, almost hitting a man standing nearby. After being told to stop and get out, Parker showed a French driver’s license, police said. The star guard for the defending NBA champions was was born in Belgium and raised in France.

The officer said Parker complained: “This is all the cops do, just mess with people,” and that Longoria shouted from the car: “He’s just a Mexican bike cop. He only wants your autograph.”

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Vacation

I took a few days off from the sports world to enjoy some quality time with my family on a mini vacation before Christmas. In a perfect world sports would come to a halt when I am not able to watch them, but it doesn’t. Here are my thoughts on what I missed from the sports scene.

Sooners Humbled by Mountaineers

I said last week that perhaps Texas was overrated and now it looks like that tag belongs to my Sooners as well.

West Virginia out hustled, out shot and out played the Sooners on their way to a 92-68 win over Oklahoma in Oklahoma City.

Kevin Pittsnogle scored 25 points and Johannes Herber added a career-high 21 to lead a strong shooting performance by the Mountaineers.

The one high point for OU was the play of Senior Taj Grey who scored a career high 31 points. I’m speechless on what else to say about this team. They have played two quality opponents and have lost to both of them.

The Sooners play Oral Roberts on Wednesday night and then will host Alabama on Saturday.

Other Big 12 Scores

Missouri 50
Illinois 82
It could be a long season for the Tigers. At what point to you begin to wonder if the NIT is even a possibility.

Alabama A&M 60
Nebraska 67
At least they didn’t lose!

Iowa State 83
South Florida 74
At this point you have to say the Cyclones are the best team in the North.

Arkansas 78
Texas Tech 65
I think I can hear Bobby Knight cussing from here.

(23) Tennessee 73
Oklahoma St. 89
Best win for the Cowboys this season. They need to build on it!

Texas St. 49
(15) Texas 85
Now they know how Duke and Tennessee felt after playing them.

Northern Colorado 62
Kansas 85
Jayhawks are improving just in time for conference play.

Mercer 74
Colorado 117
The Buffalos have the second best record in the conference.

Auburn 67
Texas A&M 72
This was a solid win for the Aggies who I believe are going to make a solid run this season.

Iowa St. 81
Northwestern St. 77
Cyclones had a busy week!

Iowa State 87
Colorado State 80
I bet they are ready for a few days off.

Big 12 Power Rankings
This is how I rank the teams based on how they played this past week.
1. Texas A&M 8-0
2. OSU 8-3
3. Texas 9-2
4. Iowa State 9-3
5. Colorado 8-1
6. Oklahoma 6-2
7. Nebraska 9-2
8. Kansas State 7-2
9. Kansas 6-4
10. Texas Tech 6-6
11. Missouri 4-4
12. Baylor 0-0

Heupel Returns to Sooners

The man who helped lead the Sooners to the 2000 National Championship is returning to Norman to become quarterbacks coach. Josh Heupel will fulfill the departed Chuck Long’s responsibilities as quarterbacks coach.

Josh Heupel comes back to his alma mater after spending one season as the tight ends coach at Arizona. Before going to UA, Heupel spent two season as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma.

“I’m extremely excited about being back here and being a part of this football program and university," said Heupel. "It was a great opportunity for me to come back and coach quarterbacks. That’s something I definitely want to get back to in my career as a coach, and there’s not a better place to do that than right here.”
Kevin Wilson will take over Long’s duties as offensive coordinator, but will remain with the offensive line.

This is a great move for the Sooners and for Josh Heupel who is a legend in Norman. Not only was he the people’s choice to coach the Sooner quarterbacks he was the best choice. Heupel is as football smart as they come and will add insight to the offensive game plan. He will also be next in line for offensive coordinator once Kevin Wilson moves on once the Big 10 comes calling.

Big 12 Begins Bowl Season 1-0

Jason Swanson threw for 307 yards and four touchdowns, one more than he had in the regular season, and the Kansas Jayhawks beat Houston 42-13 Friday night in the Fort Worth Bowl.

Houston, with record-setting quarterback Kevin Kolb, came in as the team touted for its high-powered offense. Instead, the Jayhawks had a season-high 538 yards.

This was the first bowl victory for Kansas in 10 years and more signs of improvement for the Jayhawks football team who finished the season winning four of their final five games.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Taking the Rest of the Week Off

I'm taking the family on a little "Christmas Vacation" and will not be posting the rest of the week. Next week will feature the Holiday Bowl preview and previews for all four BCS bowl games with guest bloggers.

Merry Christmas

Okay We Get It, You’re Focused

Oregon’s Justin Phinisee says focus is the Key to winning the Holiday Bowl, over and over again. The word of the day at Oregon must have been focus.

"It's focus," the senior cornerback said. "People think the focus is on one play. People think the focus is on winning games. People think the focus is on one season. Focus is an all-the-time thing. You've got to have that focus on.

"Once you direct your focus in a certain area, everything takes care of itself. Your focus starts from the time you want to focus. If I'm focused now, then that means I'm coming out to this practice and I'm focused. A lot of people say, 'OK, that's focus and that's cool,' and they go back in the locker room and it's over. No, no, no. You go back in the locker room and you're still focused. What are you focused on? Getting healthy, getting my body right. And then when I eat, I'm still focused; I've got to eat right. When you learn how to focus, it becomes a perpetual cycle that goes on and on."

And on.

"It's almost like you're always focused," he said. "And once you're in that mind-set, things start to settle for you. In the end, it's that focus."
"After the game? I'll probably let go of my focus. I've already focused on letting my focus go, from after the game up till about the third of January. After that, it's right back on. It's kind of preplanned already."

Leinart Had Been Ineligible

The LA Times is reporting that USC quarterback Matt Leinart violated an NCAA rule by appearing in a promotional tag for a national television network, but his eligibility was reinstated Tuesday, an NCAA spokesman said.

USC quietly declared the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner ineligible earlier this month after ESPN aired the brief promotional segment, which was recorded after the Trojans' victory over UCLA. USC reported the violation and petitioned the NCAA to reinstate Leinart.

Leinart's actions were "unintentional and inadvertent," said the NCAA's Kent Barrett.

"This was the type of thing where it was obvious the student-athlete was not attempting to become an endorser of a network," Barrett said.

Leinart's situation came to light when USC's sports information staff turned down post-practice interview requests for the senior, who is only made available to the media on Tuesdays. Tessalone said Leinart had been barred by USC from participating in media activities until after Christmas, a move some would argue is more reward than punishment for a player who has been burdened by media demands.

It’s Time

Brett Favre was a shell of his former self on Monday night. The All-Pro quarterback passed for just 144 yards and two interceptions against the Ravens. This Sunday he will be offered up as sacrificial bait to a Chicago Bears defense that knocked him silly the last time they went head to head.

Usually a quarterback with the credentials that Favre piled up over his career is treated with respect among his counterparts on the defense but not Favre. It’s his tough as nails, trash-talking, gun slinger mentality that makes him the favorite target of every defense he plays against.

At some point all that abuse takes its toll and body and performance begin to breakdown. This season Favre has had to deal with injuries at the running back and receiver positions and he has the misfortune of playing behind a line that couldn’t block their way out of a paper bag.

It’s not a question of how much more he can take, it’s a question of how much more does he want to take? This season Favre has tossed 24 interceptions to only 19 touchdowns. He has also lost 6 of 9 fumbles and has been sacked 19 times for a loss of 140 yards. If this was any other quarterback then the cheese heads would be screaming for a change.

Maybe change is what is needed in Green Bay. Maybe the Packer Backers have taken for granted what they have in Brett Favre. Green Bay could have drafted an offensive linemen to help protect Favre but instead the drafted an heir apparent in Aaron Rogers.

Favre could walk away now a legend but another season like this one could mean walking away a tarnished legend that stayed in the game to long. Green Bay won’t turn around into a play-off contender next season and no one wants to see him wearing another uniform. It’s time for him to hang it up so his fans can remember him for the way he was and not the way he is.

Buster's Best

Buster got his revenge on me for beating him last week. I done in by the Buccaneers and the Cowboys failing to show up to play, but I’ll bounce back.

Last Week’s Games

Tampa Bay @ New England
Buster picked the Patriots to win and I became a cheerleader for the Buccnaeers. I picked Tampa Bay to cover the 4.5 points they were getting from the Patriots. I was way off! Buster 1-0/Dad 0-1

Kansas City @ NY Giants
Buster picked the Giants to win over the Chiefs and I went with Kansas City. Buster 2-0/Dad 0-2

Denver @ Buffalo
Buster picked the Broncos to win at Buffalo and I picked the Broncos to cover the 9.5 points they were giving to the Bills, they covered by 11. Buster 3-0/Dad 1-2

NY Jets @ Miami
Buster picked the Dolphins whom I accidently said were on a three game losing streak when I meant winning streak. Anyway the streak is now at four but the Jets covered the 8.5 points they were getting from the Dolphins. Just like I said they would. Buster 4-0/Dad 2-2

Dallas @ Washington
Holy Cow did Dallas even show up for this game? Buster picked the Cowboys to win and I picked them to cover the 3 points they were getting from the Redskins. Buster 4-1/Dad 2-3

For the season: Buster 59-21/Dad 37-41-2

This Week’s Game

Fort Worth Bowl

Buster is picking the Jayhawks. I think this is a good match-up for Kansas and I like them to cover the 3 points they are favored by.

Poinsetta Bowl
Navy/Colorado State
Buster is going with Navy and I like Colorado State to cover the 2.5 points they are getting from the Midshipmen.

Buster likes Toledo but this one is UTEP all the way. I’ll take the Miners to cover the 3 points they are getting.

Dallas Cowboys @ Carolina Panthers
Buster is going with the Panthers and I think the Cowboys may be done. I’ll take the Panthers to cover the 5.5 points they are giving to Dallas.

Tennesse Titans @ Miami Dolphins
Buster is picking the Titans to win. I don’t think they will but I they will cover the 6 points they are getting from the Dolphins.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Ducks Comment on Sooner Defense

Several players from Oregon and head coach Mike Bellotti had some interesting things to say about the OU defense.

>“This is the best defensive football team we’ll face,” Bellotti says of Oklahoma. “All 11 people present problems to us in terms of speed, they’re well-coached, and they play hard up front. Linebackers are the key to that defense. They drop (in coverage) and blitz and come at you and do a nice job.” Says Demetrius Williams: “It’s a better defense than we’ve seen (this year) — a lot of speed — and we have to match up and exceed it.”

On the quarterback situation Bellotti says Dennis Dixon remains the starting quarterback and Brady Leaf “will play more than most backups” in the Holiday Bowl.

More Trouble For Texas

It seems as if Mac Brown doesn’t run the tight ship that we once thought he did and the character of some of the athletes are not the, “All American Boys” that the University would lead you to believe.

On the heels of the assault allegations over the weekend comes the news that a UT player was arrested and has been charged for having a prohibited weapon. Here is what the Dallas Morning News had to say about it.

Texas receiver Myron Hardy, a sophomore who is redshirting this season, has been charged with a Class A misdemeanor for carrying a prohibited weapon.

According to police records, Hardy was arrested at 2:37 a.m. on Nov. 6 by Austin police for being in possession of a “butterfly-style knife” that operates like a switchblade, making it a prohibited weapon. Hardy was released after posting a $2,000 bond.

Hardy requested in Travis County court that an attorney be appointed to him. Neither Hardy nor his lawyer could immediately be reached for comment. Hardy, an Austin McNeil product, appeared in four games in 2004, catching one pass for three yards before redshirting in 2005.

What they didn’t tell you is that he pulled the knife in a fight. That is why the police were called in the first place.

NFL Round Up, Week 15

The Dolphins extended their winning streak to four in a row with a 24-20 win over the New York Jets. Backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels sparked a fourth-quarter rally for the second time in three games by leading Miami to two fourth quarter touchdowns including a game winning 50 yard touchdown strike to Marty Booker. Can we please make him the starting quarterback now?

San Diego beating the Colts and New England trashing Tampa Bay seriously damaged the Dolphins play-off chances but they have not yet been officially eliminated, that will come this weekend. As for now I am officially rooting against the Pittsburg Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers.

Conference Rankings
The NFC East made a jump to the second best record record in the NFL while the AFC North moved up to fourth and the NFC West is now tied with the AFC East for the worst record in football.

AFC West 32-24
NFC East 32-24
NFC South 30-26
AFC North 30-26
AFC South 29-27
NFC North 25-31
AFC East 23-33
NFC West 23-33

Big Game
New England 28, Tampa Bay 0

This game was huge for me on a personal level because I really needed Tampa Bay to win to keep the Dolphins alive in the division race. Unfortunately for myself and all other Bucanners fans Tampa Bay failed to show up.

New England got its first shutout in 36 games, while Tampa Bay was blanked for the first time in 103 games since a 45-0 loss at Oakland on Dec. 19, 1999.
"They have the best quarterback in the league," Bucs coach Jon Gruden said. "They have a great coach. They have a physical-laden team. They're a handful."

Big Upset
San Diego 26, Indianapolis 17

It happened a week earlier than I thought it would but the Colts streak came to an end on Sunday. The Colts had erased a 16-0 deficit with a field goal and two touchdowns in a six-minute span of the third quarter. But the Chargers went ahead for good on a 49-yard field goal by Nate Kaeding with 6:41 left.

Then Michael Turner clinched it with an 83-yard touchdown run after rookie Luis Castillo sacked Peyton Manning to knock the Colts out of field-goal range.

"I think they're the best team in the football. But all week, we felt we could beat them," said San Diego rookie Shawne Merriman, who had two sacks and forced an important intentional grounding by Manning. "It will always go down in the books, no matter what happened before or after."

Worst Game
Baltimore 48, Green Bay 3

How pathetic are the Packers? Baltimore is a bad offensive team and yet they had their way with Green Bay. Kyle Boller was 19-of-27 for 253 yards and 3 touchdowns before leaving with 8 minutes to go.

"It was a really good win," Boller said. "My teammates, my guys, they allowed me to do that."

It was the low point of an awful season for the Packers, who absorbed their most lopsided loss since a 61-7 defeat at Chicago in 1980.

Looking ahead to next week
Big Game

Indianapolis Colts @ Seattle Seahawks
You will hear possible Super Bowl preview several times this week in association with this game. The Colts will look to regroup after the loss to San Diego and the Seahawks will try to prove that they are the cream of the NFC crop. This should be a great game, I picked the Seahawks several weeks ago and am going to stick with them.
Prediction: Seattle 24/Indy 21

Possible Upset
Minnesota @ Baltimore
The ride is over for the Vikings. Minnesota will be playing outside against what is still a very dangerous defense. Kyle Boller looked like a new man against the Packers, granted it was the Packers, and I think the Ravens can generate enough offense to upset the Vikings.
Prediction: Ravens 31/Vikings 17

Monday, December 19, 2005

UT Players Begging for Pizza Money

It will be interested to see how this plays out. The lawyer says that he doesn't think Griffin and Taylor are suspects and that the incident was just "testosterone-charged moment of trash talk."

Police say that Griffin was begging for pizza money on the street and Mac Brown says that players who get in trouble probably won't play.

You know this whole thing has got to be giving Brown ulcers.

The attorney advising Texas football players Cedric Griffin and Ramonce Taylor in a police investigation into two alleged assaults – one on Sept. 4 and another on Dec. 10 – said Sunday neither one had anything to do with the September incident.

Austin attorney Ken Oden said he believes Griffin and Taylor have been questioned by the Austin Police Department in connection with the alleged Sept. 4 incident simply to elicit information about a separate possible suspect.

"To my knowledge, the suspect in the Sept. 4 matter is not a football player," Oden said. "The people being asked questions with regard to that alleged incident are football players and non-football players who might have information with regard to that incident."

Oden said he is concerned about what has been reported after a statement released Friday by the Austin Police Department.

The release said individuals "in the UT athletics program" were being investigated in connection with an aggravated assault involving an automatic handgun on Sept. 4 and in connection with an assault and robbery in the Sixth Street area on Dec. 10.

Oden said Griffin and Taylor are in no way connected to the Sept. 4 matter but were both on Sixth Street in the early hours of Dec. 10, after the Texas football banquet. At about 3 a.m. on Dec. 10, according to police, a person was punched, kicked and robbed.

Oden said the alleged incident was nothing more than a "testosterone-charged moment of trash talk." Police are investigating whether Griffin was asking people on the street for $5 for pizza and whether a group of men who came across Griffin took offense to it.

Oden, who met with Taylor and his mother, Ramona Clark, on Sunday to help provide more information to the police, said he believes Taylor was nothing more than a bystander in the exchange.

Texas coach Mack Brown said Friday during a news conference, "I've told the players, 'If you get in trouble, you probably won't play.' And what an awful thing for you to make a mistake, a 15-second mistake, and cost yourself a chance to play or win a national title."

So Long, Chuck

The most scrutinized coordinator that Bob Stoops has had since he came to Oklahoma is moving on. Chuck Long, now former offensive coordinator, signed a five-year contract to become the head man at San Diego State. His new deal includes an annual salary of $700,000, with bonuses that can add an additional $300,000 per year. Long's deal calls for a $100,000 bonus if he leads the Aztecs to a BCS bowl game.

Long has been on Bob Stoops' staff for six seasons. He will not call plays for Oklahoma in the Holiday Bowl against Oregon on Dec. 29 in San Diego, but is expected to help out. Oklahoma will practice at San Diego State.

In a statement, Stoops said: "It is not hard to trace the impact he had on Sooner football with productive offenses and decorated players. He has been a tremendous asset to this university. "With our congratulations we can say without hesitation that San Diego State has hired a great head football coach."

Long has led the Sooners to two national championship games and has produced a Heisman winning quarterback and two Heisman finalists. He has been criticized by many Sooner fans for predictable play calling and lack of aggressiveness despite guiding OU to back-to-back undefeated regular season in 2003 and 2004 and one of the most prolific offenses in Sooner history led by Heisman winning quarterback Jason White in 2004.

Chuck Long deserves a lot of credit for the Sooners recent success and despite popular opinion will be missed.

Kevin Wilson will take over as Oklahoma's offensive coordinator. Stoops said Wilson, who has been a co-offensive coordinator on Oklahoma's staff since 2002, will be in charge of the offense in the Holiday Bowl on.

"Kevin Wilson will be the offensive coordinator for the Holiday Bowl and will be our offensive coordinator after that as well," Stoops said. "I will decide fairly quickly how we will complete the staff.”

"I have a direction in mind and I will work towards that."

Southern Hospitality

OU 68, Southern 54

Taj Gray continued his resurgence with 22 points and 14 rebounds and Kevin Bookout added 16 points as the Sooners committed a season-low 10 turnovers and benefited from 27 offensive rebounds.

"We dominated every phase of the game. We could not make a layup, we couldn't make a free throw, we couldn't make an open jump shot," Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson said. "Had we done all those things, we'd be sitting here talking about how great we played."

The Sooners were only 5-for-24 from 3-point range and shot 38 percent overall. This was the last “tune up” game for Oklahoma before the West Virginia Mountaineers come to Oklahoma City Thursday night. A win over West Virginia would establish the Sooners as the frontrunner of the Big 12 Conference.

Around the Rim, Big 12

Could They Have Possibly Been Over-Rated?

A week after getting run off the floor by the Duke Blue Devils the Longhorns blew their chance at redemption Saturday by getting run off their home court by the unranked Tennessee Volunteers, 95-78.

The Longhorns may have a talented starting 5, maybe a bit over-rated, but this team lacks depth. That will result in this team not winning a championship.

On the Losing Side

The only other two Big 12 teams to lose this weekend were the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Iowa State Cyclones

UNLV used a 19-8 run at the start of the second half to gain control of the Raiders who are now just one game above .500.

Je'Kel Foster scored 28 points and Ohio State went on an 18-7 run down the stretch to beat Iowa State 70-67 on Saturday night, giving the Buckeyes seven straight wins to open the season for the first time since 1990-91. The Cyclones are still at 6-3 and are beginning to play some solid basketball.

The good news for the conference is that there are now no teams with a losing record. The Kansas Jayhawks have the conferences worst record at 4-4.

Other Weekend Scores
Saturday December 17th

Chicago St 65 @ Nebraska 76
Bethune-Cookman 61 @ Kansas St. 74
Savannah St. 34 @ Texas A&M 67
UC Irvine 80 @ Colorado 96
Sunday December 18th
Mercer 61 @ Oklahoma State 97

Big 12 Power Rankings
How I rank the teams based on who I think would beat who on a neutral floor.
1. Oklahoma 6-1
2. Texas A&M 7-0
3. Texas 8-2
4. Kansas State 7-1
5. Colorado 6-1
6. Nebraska 7-2
7. OSU 7-3
8. Iowa State 6-3
9. Texas Tech 6-5
10. Missouri 4-3
11. Kansas 4-4
12. Baylor 0-0

Looking Ahead

Mon., Dec. 19
Pepperdine at Kansas
North Carolina A&T at Nebraska

Tue., Dec. 20
Colorado at TCU
Kansas State at Northern Illinois

Wed., Dec. 21
Missouri vs. Illinois
Alabama A&M at Nebraska
Texas Tech vs. Arkansas
Iowa State vs. South Florida

Thu., Dec. 22
Oklahoma State vs. Tennessee
Mercer at Colorado
Northern Colorado at Kansas
Texas State at Texas
Oklahoma vs. West Virginia
Auburn at Texas A&M
Iowa State vs. Oregon St./Northwestern St.

Fri., Dec. 23
Iowa State vs. To Be Determined

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Tough Weekend For The Longhorns

As preparations are under way to play USC for the national Championship the underdog Longhorns can not afford distractions. Unfortunately Austin was full of distractions with allegations of assault and armed robbery by several players including two starters and then the report of players leaving the team to transfer to other schools.

According to several media reports in Austin, as many as four Longhorn football players, including three starters, are being investigated by Austin police for robbery and assault in two separate incidents. The first alleged incident occurred on September 4 with the other happening last weekend in the early morning hours of December 10. Two of the names that have surfaced in various news outlets include starting running back Ramonce Taylor and starting cornerback Cedric Griffin.

According to an Austin Police Department report, the December incident occurred at 2:59 a.m. on Seventh Street, just one block away from Austin's popular Sixth Street district. The report said that the police responded to a call regarding an attempted robbery by assault. The September incident took place at 3:06 a.m., and the report stated that officers were sent to investigate an assault that involved an automatic handgun.

"We were surprised by the APD release of allegations concerning one or more of our student-athletes," UT Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds said Friday night in a prepared statement. "We have followed up on the rumors that we are hearing and spoken with the two student-athletes who are alleged to be under investigation. Within the limited time we had this evening, we have gathered as much information as possible. Based upon what we know at this time we have no reason to believe that The University or the athletics department need to take any action. We will continue to monitor the matter and we will cooperate fully with those who are conducting the investigation."

Then came the news that three Texas players, freshman running backs Michael Houston and Jerrell Wilkerson and sophomore defensive back Bobby Tatum, have left the team and will transfer, the school announced Friday.
All three were reserve players. Tatum played in eight games and recorded four tackles this season. Houston played in two games, rushing for 27 yards and three carries. Wilkerson redshirted this season.

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Holiday Bowl Update, 3 Ducks Suspended

Since OU will be playing the Oregon Ducks in the Holiday Bowl on December 29th I feel it is my responsibility to help keep the Sooner Nation informed on what those quacks from Eugene are up to.

Here is something I found on eDuck Sports. None of these guys are starters or really even contributors, but hey it’s still dirt on the other team.

Ducks Suspend Three Players for Bowl Game
By Steve Summers
eDuck Sports
Date: Dec 17, 2005

EUGENE – Three University of Oregon football players will not accompany the team to San Diego for its Dec. 29 Holiday Bowl appearance against the University of Oklahoma for a failure to adhere to team policies, according to the Ducks’ head coach Mike Bellotti.

Sophomore Shawn Flanagan as well as first-year freshmen Matt Bramow and Mark Sunga have been suspended for the school’s bowl game as a result of separate incidents. Flanagan missed the entire 2005 season due to a shoulder injury while neither Bramow or Sunga played during their first years at the collegiate level and would have four years of eligibility remaining.

Bramow and Sunga will continue to practice with the Ducks through their final Eugene workout Monday, Dec. 19, before Oregon resumes practices in San Diego Dec. 23. The three players will not be allowed to rejoin the program until after the start of the winter academic term Jan. 9.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Bowl Bonuses

The gifts that Bowl games are giving out to players are getting better and better each year. This year Bowls are allowed to dish out $500 in presents per player, up from $350 last year.

Portable DVD players, customized mountain bikes, designer sunglasses and watches – many of the bowls have spared no expense in going Oprah on the gift giving. The quick math: Each bowl must provide 125 gift packages per team. For those that reached the $500 limit, that amounts to $125,000 in bowl goodies.
Check out the players' gift packages for every bowl game this season.

New Orleans Bowl
Arkansas State vs. Southern Miss
Dec. 20, 8 p.m., ESPN
Gift package:
• New Orleans Bowl Championship ring
• New Orleans Bowl Championship watch

UTEP vs. Toledo
Dec. 21, 8 p.m., ESPN
Gift package:
• Luggage
• Commemorative football
• Commemorative watch
• Attaché case

Las Vegas Bowl
BYU vs. CaliforniaDec. 22, 8 p.m., ESPN
Gift package:
• iPod Nano
• Oakley watch
• Commemorative shirt and hat
• 1-year subscription to ESPN The Magazine
• Tickets to see Blue Man Group

Poinsettia Bowl
Colorado State vs. Navy
Dec. 22, 10:30 p.m., ESPN2
Gift package:
• 4 GB iPod Mini
• $15 music gift certificate
• Fossil watch
• Commemorative sweatshirt, t-shirt and hat

Fort Worth Bowl
Kansas vs. Houston
Dec. 23, 8 p.m., ESPN
Gift package:
• 7-inch portable DVD player
• Backpack and watch
• Commemorative workout shirt and football

Hawaii Bowl
Nevada vs. UCF
Dec. 24, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Gift package:
• Oakley sunglasses
• Sports jacket and backpack
• Disposable camera, sandals, beach towel and lei
• Aloha shirt, plus two more shirts

Motor City Bowl
Memphis vs. Akron
Dec. 26, 4 p.m., ESPN
Gift package:
• Commemorative watch
• Commemorative football
• Luggage

Champs Sports Bowl
Clemson vs. Colorado
Dec. 27, 5 p.m., ESPN
Gift package:
• Sony camcorder
• Sports watch
• Bowl beach towel and hat

Insight Bowl
Arizona State vs. Rutgers
Dec. 27, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Gift package:
• Sony PSP
• Bulova watch
• Commemorative football, fleece blanket, hat

MPC Computers Bowl
Boise State vs. Boston College
Dec. 28, 4:30 p.m., ESPN
Gift package:
• Digital camcorder
• Various commemorative gear

Emerald Bowl
Georgia Tech vs. Utah
Dec. 29, 4:30 p.m., ESPN
Gift package:
• 7-inch portable DVD player
• Fossil watch
• Personalized football
• Commemorative football and hat

Holiday Bowl
Oregon vs. Oklahoma
Dec. 29, 8:00 p.m., ESPN
Gift package:
• 30GB iPod with video
• $15 music gift certificate
• iPod car adaptor
• Commemorative sweatshirt and hat

Music City Bowl
Minnesota vs. Virginia
Dec. 30, 12 p.m., ESPN
Gift package:
• 7-inch portable DVD player
• Swiss army watch
• Personalized football
• Sweatshirt and equipment bag

Sun Bowl
Northwestern vs. UCLA
Dec. 30, 2:00 p.m., CBS
Gift package:
• Sony PSP with Madden NFL 2006
• Silvertone watch
• Armor Gear Sports duffel bag
• Suede leather jacket
• Vitalis knit cap and hair dryer

Independence Bowl
South Carolina vs. Missouri
Dec. 30, 3:30 p.m., ESPN
Gift package:
• Fossil watch
• Large leather duffel bag
• Commemorative hat and football
• Mini football helmet

Peach Bowl
Miami vs. LSU
Dec. 30, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Gift package:
• Peach Bowl windshirt
• Commemorative football and watch
• The book Wild at Heart by John Etheridge
• XBox and XBox game pack

Meineke Car Care Bowl
South Florida vs. N.C. State
Dec. 31, 11:00 a.m., ESPN2
Gift package:
• Rolling duffel bag
• 8-inch portable DVD player
• Personalized football
• Commemorative Fossil wallet and watch gift set

Liberty Bowl
Tulsa vs. Fresno State
Dec. 31, 1:00 p.m., ESPN
Gift package:
• NIKE wind jacket and sweatpants
• Portable DVD player
• Commemorative football and watch
• Leather travel bag

Houston Bowl
TCU vs. Iowa State
Dec. 31, 2:30 a.m., ESPN2
Gift package:
• Digital camera
• Fossil watch
• Commemorative football

Cotton Bowl
Alabama vs. Texas Tech
Jan. 2, 11:00 p.m., FOX
Gift package:
• Commemorative watch
• Mp3 player
• Portable DVD player
• Luggage

Outback Bowl
Florida vs. Iowa
Jan. 2, 11:00 a.m., ESPN
Gift package:
• Sony mini digital camcorder
• Commemorative backpack

Gator Bowl
Louisville vs. Virginia Tech
Jan. 2, 12:30 p.m., NBC
Gift package:
• Toyota Gator Bowl ring
• Commemorative watch
• Commemorative baseball cap
• Duffel bag

Capital One Bowl
Wisconsin vs. Auburn
Jan. 2, 1:00 p.m., ABC
Gift package:
• Medallion Quartz watch with bowl logo
• Sony camcorder
• Commemorative beach towel

Fiesta Bowl
Ohio State vs. Notre Dame
Jan. 2, 4:30 p.m., ABC
Gift package:
• Sony PSP
• Bulova men's watch
• Commemorative football
• Fiesta Bowl dart board and snack-filled duffel bag

Sugar Bowl
West Virginia vs. Georgia
Jan. 2, 8:30 p.m., ABC
Gift package:
• Men's Fossil watch/sunglasses set
• Samsung Mp3 player
• Customized Trek mountain bike
• Commemorative hat

Orange Bowl
Penn State vs. Florida State
Jan. 3, 8:00 p.m., ABC
Gift package:
• Sony PSP
• Madden NFL 2006 and NBA Live 2006
• Ogio duffel bag
• Commemorative hat and team plaque
• Friday Night Lights DVD
• ESPN The Magazine subscription

Rose Bowl
Texas vs. USC
Jan. 4, 8:00 p.m., ABC
Gift package:
• Sony PSP
• Madden NFL 2006
• Rose Bowl watch and backpack
• New Era hat and knapsack
• Commemorative Rose Bowl flip coin
• Rose Bowl souvenir football
• The Longest Yard DVD

Buster's Best

I beat Buster this week, barely. I had a push in the fifth game and Buster’s streak of perfection ended with one loss this week. I might be able to get my record above .500 next week.

Last Week’s Games

New England @ Buffalo

Buster went with the Patriots agaist a depleted Buffalo team. The Bills were getting 3 points from the Patriots and I didn’t see any way they were going to cover. I took the Patriots to cover. Buster 1-0/Dad 1-0

Indianapolis @ Jacksonville
Buster picked the Colts to beat the Jaguars and go to 13-0 on the season. The Jags were getting 7.5 points and playing at home, you had to go with them right? I went the other way and Picked the Colts to cover. Buster 2-0/Dad 2-0

NY Giants @ Philadelphia
I got lucky on this game! There was no line on it so I picked the Giants to win straight up. Buster picked the Eagles. Buster 2-1/Dad 3-0

Miami @ San Diego
This was Buster’s upset of the week. He picked the Dolphins to win in San Diego and I just picked them to cover the 13 points they were getting from the Chargers. Man, he even makes me look bad when I win. Buster 3-1/Dad 4-0

Kansas City @ Dallas
Okay, I’m sitting at 4-0 with the Cowboys game left. They are giving 3 points to the Chiefs and I took the Chiefs to cover. Buster went with the Cowboys and won and I took the Chiefs and pushed. Buster 4-1/Dad 4-0-1

For the season: Buster 55-20/Dad 35-38-2

This Week’s Games

Tampa Bay @ New England
Buster is going to pick the Patriots to win but that can’t happen. A New England victory means the end of my Dolphins play-off hopes. The Bucs are getting 4.5 points from the Patriots. I’ll take Tampa Bay and the points.

Kansas City @ NY Giants
Buster is picking Eli Manning and the Giants to win at home and I like the Chiefs with the upset. Kansas City is a 3 point dog to an NFC East team on the road. Hmmm where have I seen this before? No push this week the Chiefs win.

Denver @ Buffalo
Buffalo looked pathetic last week and they ar eplaying a better team this week. Buster likes the Broncos to win and so do I. Denver is giving 9 points on the road. I’ll take them to cover.

NY Jets @ Miami
The Dolphins are on a three game losing streak and fighting for play-off survival. One more loss and they are done. Miami is playing at home and are a 8.5 point favorite. Buster is picking Miami to make it 4 in a row and I’m going to take the Jets and the points.

Dallas @ Washington
Buster is going with his Cowboys who are a 3 point dog. I’ll take the Cowboys to cover.

Basketball Update
I’m not going to win dad of the year because I forgot to take the camera to Buster’s game on Saturday. He is off now until after the Holodays so it may be a while before I get a new photo up. Buster had another solid game Saturday. He scored 6 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, had 4 assists, 5 steals and 1 blocked shot. His team is 2-0.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Four Vikings Faces Charges

Quarterback Daunte Culpepper and three other Minnesota Vikings were charged Thursday with three misdemeanors each for taking part in a bawdy boat party earlier this season on Lake Minnetonka.

Culpepper, Bryant McKinnie, Fred Smoot and Moe Williams were charged with indecent conduct, disorderly conduct and lewd or lascivious conduct, according to court papers.

If convicted, each player faces up to a maximum of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine on each count.

Prosecutor Steve Tallen's decision was based on findings by the Hennepin County sheriff's office, whose investigators reviewed allegations of lewd and drunken behavior aboard a floating party Oct. 6 that involved some Vikings players.

Students Cash in on Rutgers Football

Some lucky Rutgers students get to reap the rewards, literally, of their team’s great season. How about $300 cash to go watch your school play in the Insight Bowl? Can’t pay the athletes but I guess if you are rich enough, and the Governor of the state, you can pay the students who watch the athletes.

About 275 Rutgers students will be randomly selected to receive $300 stipends for travel expenses to the Dec. 27 game in Phoenix. The game against Arizona State is only Rutgers' second bowl appearance and its first in 27 years.

"The university encourages students to support the football team at the Insight Bowl. Events like these enrich the college experience," said Gregory Blimling, Rutgers' vice president for student affairs.

The travel money comes from more than $85,000 donated by alumni and others, including a $25,000 state donation authorized by acting Gov. Richard J. Codey.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Flip Side

Larry Brown is a great coach! He has been a proven winner everywhere he has been and has walked away from the Kansas Jayhawks and Detroit Pistons with championships. He has also taken three NBA teams to the finals.

The problem with Brown is that he has always been a grass is greener on the other side type of guy. It’s like he enjoys building teams up into championship contenders and then walking away and watching them come crumbling down so people will sit around and talk about how much they miss his coaching.

But that’s not what happened in Detroit. After taking the Pistons to back-to-back NBA Finals Brown bolted the motor city for a rebuilding project in the Big Apple. Most organizations would look at this kind of change as a crushing blow but the Pistons just moved on.

Detroit is 16-3 and sits with the best record in the Eastern Conference by six games. They are led by Rip Hamilton’s 21.5 points a game, Ben Wallace’s 11.2 rebounds per game and Chauncey Billips’ 8 assists per game. Oh yeah, and a new coach named Flip.

Flip Saunders arrived in Detroit after a 10-year tenure with the Minnesota Timberwolves. After guiding Missesota to eight consecutive play-off appearances (1997 – 2004) Saunders was booted when it became evident the Wolves streak wouldn’t make it to nine.

They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and the Detroit has a Crown Jewel in Flip Saunders. The Pistons are impressive on offense, intimidating on defense and seem to be doing something that last year’s team missed out on, having fun. You can thank Saunders for that as he provides the structure for this team to continue its success and the atmosphere from them to enjoy it.

In a year when the Miami Heat were supposed to be the most dominant team in the East Detroit is showing that they are still the team to beat.

Show me the Money!

A disgruntled Tennessee fan is auctioning off his services as a fan on e-bay. He promises to support whatever team the winning bidder wants him to, by wearing a hat to a Tennessee game and providing a photo, watching all televised games, buying a car flag and creating a blog for his new team.

The opening bid was $0.10 and is currently at $685.00. Now that’s a great way to get some Christmas money. Here is a description of his listing on e-bay.

I've been a loyal TN Vols fan for more than twenty five years but after The Hiring made for this University football team.
I’m DONE!!!!!!!

I'm selling my services as a College Football League fan to the highest bidder.

The winning bidder will get to pick my new favorite College team. I will root loudly and enthusiastically for my new team for the remainder of the 2005-2006 season (If in a Bowl game) and the entire 2006-2007 season.

This auction ain't no oddly shaped, pseudo-holy food item: This is 100% testosterone filled College Football League Fan that will be a fanatic for YOUR TEAM.

I'll watch televised games, and go to my former favorite team home game in my new teams hat I always go to at least 1 a year. Picture will be provided.

I will discuss my new team at the water cooler after every win or terrible loss.
If the final bid is $15.00 or more, I'll put a car flag of my new favorite college team on my car and send the winning bidder a picture to prove it.

If the bid exceeds $25.00, I'll buy a T-shirt for my new favorite team and wear it on game days.

If the bid exceeds $75.00, I'll buy a jersey and wear it on game day (instead of the T-shirt ).

If my new team makes it to a bowl or playoff game I am committed to wearing a foam-number-one-finger for the duration of the game.

Short version why: The time was perfect to reinvent this team and put some fire back in it that has been gone for a lot longer than just this past season (ever been to a home game it’s the quietest 107,000 people ever assembled in one place). Any way instead of moving forward they choose to move to the side MISTAKE. I told my wife if they hired this person I’m done so when I saw mam_1004 doing this on ebay I knew what I had to do. This was not done easily TN football is taken very seriously and it might get ugly. Have fun bidding ask all the questions you like. JUST IN TIME TO ROOT FOR YOUR TEAM IN A BOWL.

To see the full description or to make a bid click here, the comments are pretty entertaining as well.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Buy, Sell and Trade

Baseball’s hot stove league is smoking hot! You almost need a scoreboard to keep up with the number of moves that some teams are making. There were some interesting buys, sells and trades last week. Here are the most interesting ones in my opinion.


San Francisco Giants
– Have found the proven starter they've been coveting for months in Matt Morris.

The free agent right-hander agreed to a $27 million, three-year contract with the Giants, leaving the St. Louis Cardinals after nine seasons.

Los Angeles Dodgers - Added a veteran presence behind the plate Saturday, signing catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. to a one-year contract.


Houston Astros
- Declined arbitration on the seven-time Cy Young Award winner, effectively ending his tenure with the defending National League champions.

Florida Marlins – Who is not for sale in the Marlins organization?

Los Angeles Dodgers
- Traded Milton Bradley to the Oakland Athletics. Los Angeles also sent infielder Antonio Perez to Oakland and will receive outfielder Andre Ethier, the Texas League player of the year.

Texas Rangers - Traded second baseman Alfonso Soriano to the Washington Nationals for outfielders Brad Wilkerson, Terrmel Sledge and minor league pitcher Armando Galarraga.

Those are a few of the transactions that are interesting to me. How about you?

SEC Leads Nation in Football Attendance

For the 25th straight season, the Southeastern Conference recorded the largest total attendance figure of any conference in the country, according to figures compiled from NCAA statistics.

In 2005, a total of 5,593,699 fans attended 75 games hosted at SEC institutions, an average of 74,583 fans per game, which is also best in the nation. SEC stadiums were filled to 97.43 percent of capacity for each home game in 2005, which was also best in the nation. The SEC has led the nation in percentage of capacity since the statistic was first kept in 1983.

Here are the top 7 conferences in percentage of capacity. Neutral site games were not counted in this survey.

SEC 97.43
Big 12 95.01
Big Ten 93.88
ACC 90.65
Pac-10 84.87
Big East 83.50
Mountain West 78.59

Monday, December 12, 2005

NFL Round Up, Week 14

I’m a huge Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s fan, well just for this week. I’m joining our friends over at Pewter Pirates in cheering on the Bucs over the New England Patriots. Reason why? The next time the Patriots win the Dolphins play-off hopes are done. I know it’s going to happen eventually but I would rather delay it as long as possible.

Conference Rankings
AFC West 30-22
NFC South 29-23
NFC East 29-23
AFC South 27-25
AFC North 26-26
NFC North 24-28
NFC West 22-30
AFC East 21-31

Big Game
Indianapolis Colts 26, Jacksonville Jaguars 18
This game wasn’t as close as the final score. The Colts had a big lead and then gave up two scores in the final 4:08 of the game. Peyton Manning threw for 324 yards and two touchdowns and Mike Vanderjagt kiked four field goals.

In Good Company
Attention Mercury Morris! The Colts are now on your street and cruising towards your house. Indianapolis has joined the 1934 Chicago Bears, 1972 Miami Dolphins and 1998 Denver Broncos as the only teams in NFL history to start 13-0. Only the 72 Dolphins achieved the perfect season.

Big Upset
New York Jets 26, Oakland Raiders 10
I just missed on my Houston upset over Tennessee. Holy Guacomolie did you see how that game ended? That was one of the worst missed field goals I’ve seen in a long time. I’m crying fouel here.

Moving on the Jets snapped a seven-game losing streak with their third string running back and third string quarterback. The Norv Turner era is coming to an end in Oakland. Bye the way that was a great call to bench Collins. How’d that work out for ya Norv?

Worst Game
Seattle Seahawks 41, San Francisco 49ers 3
Matt Hasslebeck completed eight of his first nine passes for three touchdowns in the first 15:22 of the game. The 49ers never showed up for this one. Seattle has won their last two games by a combined score of 83-3.

Who are the 49ers going to take with the #2 pick in the draft? They have Alex Smith, last year’s #1 pick, and Reggie Bush will go #1 to Houston. Hmmmmm make your predictions now.

Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins 23, San Diego Chargers 21

My dolphins pulled off another upset and are staying alive in the play-off race. They may be on life support but they are still alive because Gus Frerotte threw two third quarter touchdowns to Chris Chambers, who has been huge the past two weeks. Do you think the Jets can cover him?

So here is the deal. The Dolphins have to win out and the Patriots have to lose out for Miami to make the play-offs. New England’s final three are Tampa Bay, @ NY Jets and Miami. The Dolphins final three are NY Jets, Tennessee Titans and @ New England.

How cool would it be for that final game to determine who wins the division?

Looking Ahead to Week 15

Big Game

Tampa Bay @ New England
The Bucs own the tie breaker over the Panthers but the key to that is to be tied. If Tampa Bay drops this game then they are putting their fate in the hands of the New Orleans Saints.

New England has to win just one more game to lock up the AFC East Division and earn a birth in the play-offs. Go Bucs
Prediction: Bucs 24/Patriots 21

Possible Upset
Denver @ Buffalo
Thanks to the Dallas Cowboys the Broncos have a two game lead in the division and the Bills are left to playing the role of the spoiler.
Prediction: Bills 20/Broncos 14