Thursday, January 26, 2006

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I’m leaving this morning for Panama City, Panama. I’ll be gone until Tuesday evening and I’m not sure there is internet access where I am staying so I probably won’t post again until Wednesday.

The good news is when I get back we will only be 5 days away from the Super Bowl and I’m working on some pretty good preview stuff.

So, I leave the blog in the hands of my faithful readers. Tell us about your blog. What is it about and why is it worth reading? Use this down time to advertise for your own blog in the comments section.

Buster's Best

Buster and I went 1-1 on our picks this week. I won the AFC game and he won the NFC game. It’s all for pride at this point anyway. We have one game left that we will pick next week.

Last Week’s Games

AFC Championship

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos
Buster picked the Broncos to win and I had the Steelers to cover the 3 points they were getting from Denver. Buster 0-1/Dad 1-0

NFC Championship
Carolina Panthers @ Seattle Seahawks
Buster wisely picked Seattle to win and as for par on the season I actually thought the Panthers would cover the 4 points they were getting from the Seahawks. Buster 1-1/Dad 1-1

For the season: Buster 68-32/Dad 47-51-2

Super Bowl Coverage
The My Opinion on Sports Super Bowl preview will begin Wednesday with a head-to-head Super Bowl Q&A between a Steelers blog and a Seahawks Blog.

Thursday will be the Super Bowl edition of Buster’s Best and Friday will be my game break down and score prediction.

Basketball Update
Buster found the basket Saturday! He scored 4 points, grabbed 3 rebounds, and had 4 steals and 3 assists in his YMCA league game. His team won 13-11 and remains undefeated.

In his school league, Buster scored 6 points and had 7 rebounds and a steal in his teams 13-6 win.

Way to go Buster!

You can read about Buster’s world and see his view on sports at Buster’s Best.

Sooners Bomb Baylor, 82-52

Welcome back Michael Neal! We knew he was better last week when he stuck four treys in the heart of Texas Tech during the final minutes of the game and last night in Waco Michael Neal picked up where he left off in Norman on Saturday.

Michael Neal was 5-7 from three point land to become one of five Sooners to score in double figures. Fellow guards Terrell Everett and David Godbold joined Neal in the three point bombing of the Bears. Everett scored connected on two treys and scored 16 points on the night. Godbold finished with 10 points including two treys as well.

``They were coming off a lot of screens. ... We got confused and left them with open shots,'' Baylor forward Patrick Fields said. ``Leave anybody open, they'll hit.''
With the guards drawing the attention of the defense the big men inside were able to create havoc as well. Taj Gray scored only three points in the first half but had 13 in the second to tie Everett with a team high 16 points. Despite playing with a broken wrist Kevin Bookout contributed 11 points and 4 rebounds.

It was the most complete game of the conference season for the Sooners. With the guards getting healthy and gaining confidence in their shooting this OU team could pull it together to make a run at the Big 12 title.

They have their work cut out for them though because they will have to overcome two early losses to Nebraska and Missouri. That means they will have to defend home court at all costs and steal some games on the road.

We will see just how much the Sooners have improved Saturday night when Texas comes a calling. With ESPN College Game Day broadcasting live from Norman, it’s my opinion that the Longhorns could be walking into an ambush. We’ll see.

On a side note, I wanted to tell my friend DG that I'm looking forward to that chili cheese burger from Ron's.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Top 10 Super Bowl Coaches

Sports Illustrated has put together their Top 10 Super Bowl coaches of all time. There are a few surprises to me. I think Bill Walsh, Bill Parcells and Hank Stram could be higher but I’m not for sure who they would replace near the top. Does Joe Gibbs deserve to be 3#?

I know he beat Shula but I would still place Don Shula a #9 instead of Weeb Ewbank.

I’ve got no beef with Chuck Noll being #1.

Top 10 Super Bowl Coaches
10. Mike Shanahan
9. Weeb Ewbank
8. Bill Parcells
7. Hank Stram
6. Bill Walsh
5. Vince Lombardi
4. Jimmy Johnson
3. Joe Gibbs
2. Bill Bilichick

1. Chuck Noll

Sooners Hunting for Third Conference Win Against Bears

The bad news for OU is that Texas is coming to Norman on Saturday night. The good news for the Sooners is that they are at Baylor tonight. A win over the winless Bears would put the Sooners conference record one game over .500 at 3-2.

The Bears are 0-4 this season but a road win for the Sooners won’t come automatic. OU has struggled on the road this season, getting wiped by Villanova, struggling against SMU, and losing the conference opener at Nebraska.

However it was a road victory that may have turned the season around for the Sooners. A last second comeback, led by Terrell Everett, at Texas A&M seemed to give OU a boost of confidence. They followed up the win at A&M with a home win over Texas Tech and a win tonight would be the Sooners third in a row.

The big story coming out of Norman is the broken wrist of Kevin Bookout. Fortunately it is not his shooting wrist and he will be able to play with a soft cast. Bookout won’t be 100% but he will be on the floor.

Michael Neal will also be on the floor as well. OU’s sharp shooter is getting healthy and buried Tech with 4 three pointers down the stretch.

I like the Sooners chances tonight. In fact I am so confident in them that I made a lunch bet, at Ron’s Hamburgers, with my good friend DG. I took OU and gave him Baylor and 10 points. I’m looking forward to a chili-cheese burger next week.

Sizing Up the Bears
F 20 Tim Bush (6-6, 235, Jr., 4.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.5 apg)
F 32 Tommy Swanson (6-10, 225, Sr., 1.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 0.3 apg)
C 15 Mamadou Diene (7-0, 240, Fr., 5.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 0.8 apg)
G 0 Curtis Jerrells (6-1, 200, Fr., 7.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.5 apg)
G 14 Aaron Bruce (6-3, 195, So., 10.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.0 apg)

Sophomore guard Aaron Bruce is the only Bear who averages double figures in points (10.5). Bruce has made nine 3-pointers on 28 attempts (.321) and also averages 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in a team-high 31.8 minutes a game. Freshman guards Henry Dugat (has not started) and Curtis Jerrells (has started all four games) are scoring 8.8 and 7.3 points a game, respectively. Jerrells also averages 4.3 rebounds and a team-high 3.5 assists. A third freshman, forward Kevin Rogers, averages 6.8 points and 4.8 boards. Junior guard/forward Patrick Fields tallied 20 points Saturday versus Texas after scoring a total of five in Baylor’s first three games. Fields is now averaging 6.3 points a contest. He is 5-for-10 from 3-point territory (he was 5-for-6 against Texas).

Current Big 12 Standings

Texas 5-0 17-2
Colorado 3-2 13-3
Kansas State 3-2 12-4
Missouri 3-2 10-6
Oklahoma 2-2 11-4
Nebraska 2-2 12-5
Kansas 2-2 11-6
Texas A&M 2-3 12-4
Iowa State 2-3 12-6
Oklahoma State 2-3 12-7
Texas Tech 2-3 10-9
Baylor 0-4 0-4

Other Conference Games Tonight
Nebraska @ Colorado – The Buffalos got a huge road win at Oklahoma State on Saturday and has to follow it up with a home win tonight.
My Pick: Colorado

Iowa State @ Missouri – Both teams are coming off weekend losses and you would have to say that the Cyclones need this one bad.
My Pick: Missouri

Kansas @ Texas A&M – The season has turned for the worse for the Aggies who will be 2-4 in conference play after tonight.
My Pick: Kansas

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Kid Gets Picked On by Teacher For Being a Broncos Fan

What happens when a teacher is a Steelers fan and the Student is a Broncos fan? Well, normally you would think the two would share a little harmless badgering the Friday before the two teams face-off in the AFC Championship game. That wasn’t the case in a Pennsylvania town on Friday.

17 year old Joshua Vannoy from Big Beaver, PA. was forced to sit on the floor during a midterm exam in his ethnicity class -- for wearing a Denver Broncos jersey. His teacher, who was wearing a Steelers jersey, John Kelly called Vannoy a "stinking Denver fan," and had his classmates throw crumbled up pieces of paper him as he sat on the floor.

Vannoy said he was so unnerved he left at least 20 questions blank on the 60-question test, and just wants out of Kelly's class because he's afraid the teacher won't treat him fairly now that the story reached the media.
Did Kelly feel guilty or show remorse for the way he treated the high school kid? You tell me.

"If he felt uncomfortable, then that's a lesson; that's what [the class] is designed to do," Kelly told The Denver Post. "It was silly fun. I can't believe he was upset."
You won’t find a bigger sports fan than me. I love my teams and support them through thick and thin but this goes well beyond the realm of sanity. I guess you could say that you won’t find a more stupid sports fan than John Kelly.

Picking on a 17 year old kid because he is a fan of the other team tops mooning a team bus, dumping beer on players coming out of the tunnel and even streaking across the field. Heaven forbid that a kid comes to trick or treat at your house dressed up as a Cleveland Brown.

I Said I Wanted Fries with That!

I found this at Turkey Talk. I know the Marcus Vick story is old but you have to love the humor. I guess this would pose new meaning to the shotgun formation.

Steeler Fanatic Returns for Another Week

Welcome back Steeler Fanatic. It is a good time to be a Pittsburgh Steelers fan as they are making a historic run through the post season. Follow all the action from one of their best fans. Click on the thumbnail at the upper right of the page to visit Steeler Fanatic.

CBBA Poll, Week 4

Here is the new poll. Obviously there is some question among the voters as to who should be the new #1. I still think that Duke is the best team in the country but you can't remain #1 when you lose to an unranked team.

You can see how I voted here.
1 Connecticut (3) 16-1
2 Duke (1) 17-1
3 Memphis 17-2
4 Florida (1) 17-1
5 Texas 16-2
6 Gonzaga (1) 16-3
7 Villanova 13-2
8 Indiana 12-3
9 Washington 16-2
10 Michigan State 15-4
11 Illinois 17-2
12 Pittsburgh 15-1
13 West Virginia 14-3
14 Ohio State 14-2
15 North Carolina State 15-3
16 George Washington 14-1
17 UCLA 15-4
18 Boston College 14-4
19 Tennessee 12-3
20 Maryland 13-4
21 Syracuse 15-4
22 Louisville 13-5
t23 Oklahoma 11-4
t23 Wisconsin 14-4
25 Xavier 12-3
Others Receiving Votes:
Arizona 12, Nevada 11, Northern Iowa 10, Iowa 6, Wake Forest 6, Georgetown 5, Alabama-Birmingham 2, Air Force 1, Marquette 1, North Carolina 1

Michael Neal Named Big 12 Rookie of the Week

Oklahoma junior guard Michael Neal was honored as the Phillips 66 Big 12 Co-Rookie of the Week yesterday after scoring a team-high 15 points in a 60-48 win over Texas Tech on Saturday.

Neal, a 6-3, 191-pounder from Mesquite, Texas, had three points against the Red Raiders with four minutes remaining in the game. With OU holding a 48-40 lead, Neal then made 3-pointers on four of the Sooners’ next five possesions to put them up 60-44. The four treys came within a span of 2:47.

Neal, who played 21 minutes off the bench, was 5-for-9 from the field, 4-for-7 from 3-point range and 1-for-1 from the free throw line on the day while also registering a pair of steals.

Neal shared the honor with Oklahoma State junior forward Torre Johnson.

Monday, January 23, 2006

NFL Round-Up, Conference Championships

The stage is set for Super Bowl Extra Large! Looking back on my Conference Championship picks I’m reminded of the word’s that Lloyd uttered in the movie Dumb and Dumber, “Samsonite, I was way off.”

It’s not the first time I’ve been wrong and it won’t be the last. For more proof on my inability accurately predict look at my pre-season AFC and NFC predictions.

Riding the Bus

Led by 275 yards and two passing touchdowns from Ben Roethlisberger and a touchdown by Jerome Bettis, the Steelers became the first team since the 1985 Patriots to win three postseason road games en route to the Super Bowl. Counting the regular season, they've played five of their last six away from Pittsburgh.

"We were sitting, looking at an outside shot to be in the Super Bowl," Steelers linebacker Clark Haggans said. "This is an unbelievable feeling to be here right now."

The Steelers first drive resulted in a field goal. On Denver's next possession, Pittsburgh's Joey Porter blitzed to force a Jake Plummer fumble. Five plays later, Roethlisberger hit Cedrick Wilson for a touchdown and a 10-0 lead. Bettis capped it by bulling in from the 3 for a 17-3 lead to put him and his teammates well on their way to the Super Bowl.

Jake Plummer, who had played so well in the lead all season, finally faced some comeback pressure and failed miserably. He went 18-for-30 for 223 yards with two lost fumbles and two interceptions.

He threw one pass underhanded, scrambled for his life and, though valiant as always, proved what had been proved many times before -- that he can't do it by himself.

"If you look at our ownership, Mr. Rooney is a football guy and he understands how hard it is to do this," Steelers coach Bill Cowher said. "Nothing would be more satisfying to me than to hand him the Vince Lombardi trophy in two weeks."

"It feels great today, I'll tell you that," Steelers owner Dan Rooney said. "The coach already told me we're going to the Super Bowl to win it, not just to be there."

Seattle Serves Notice

The couldn’t do it as an AFC team but as an NFC team the Seahawks served notice to all Steelers fans that they can be just as tough and nasty as Pittsburgh by beating up the Carolina Panthers.

Shaun Alexander, the league's MVP, came back from last week's concussion to rush for a team playoff-record 132 yards and two touchdowns, and Seattle pressured Carolina stars Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith into oblivion.

The Seahawks picked off three passes in winning their 12th straight home game and shattering the fifth-seeded Panthers' stunning postseason road run.

Seahawks owner Paul Allen raised the team's 12th man flag before kickoff, then waved a white towel to whip the crowd of 67,837 into a frenzy. What really got the fans going was when Holmgren sent in backup quarterback Seneca Wallace as a wideout, then Hasselbeck threw to him. Wallace, one of the better athletes in the NFL, made a superb over-the-shoulder catch for 28 yards.

One play later, Jerramy Stevens slipped uncovered down the middle for a 17-yard TD pass.

Josh Brown made it 10-0 with a 24-yard field goal set up when Delhomme forced an ill-advised pass for Smith into triple coverage and rookie Tatupu speared it. His 21-yard return got Seattle to the Panthers 20.

The rout was on from there!

In all the conference championship games were not that entertaining for the unbiased football fan. I’m trying to decide which was worse though, the performances of the Broncos and Panthers or Terry Bradshaw’s post game coverage.

Sooners Survive Texas Tech

Michael Neal scored 15 points and hit four 3-pointers in the final 4 minutes to help the 25th-ranked Sooners fend off Texas Tech's second-half rally for a 60-48 win over the Red Raiders on Saturday.

It was a tale of two halves for the Sooners on Saturday. In the first half they showed the team they could be with dominating defense, rebounding and scoring from anywhere on the floor. Terrell Everett scored eight points and Austin Johnson hit two 3-pointers as Oklahoma capitalized on Tech turnovers on four straight possessions for a 16-2 lead.

Taylor Griffin added back-to-back baskets to start another Oklahoma run, and Longar Longar banked in a hook shot from the right block to give the Sooners a 27-5 advantage.

OU led the Red Raiders 32-12 at half-time who were only 5-for-21 shooting (24 percent).

Unfortunately in the second half the Sooners showed the team they are. That is a turnover prone team who can’t even make point blank shots. The Red Raiders pulled to 40-38 when Jon Plefka hit a jumper from just inside the 3-point line to cap a 17-1 run.

Austin Johnson made a pair of free throws to get Oklahoma's offense going and Taylor Griffin 's two-handed dunk ended an 8-minute field goal drought and moved the Sooners' lead to 45-38.

Terrell Everett added a free throw, then set up Kevin Bookout for a layup before Neal's first 3-pointer extended the lead to 51-40. Neal, Oklahoma's top 3-point shooter, also hit 3s on the next three possessions, with the last putting the Sooners up 60-44.

''Once you hit that first one, you automatically feel good about yourself,'' Neal said. ''You think the next shot is going to go in, so you just shoot it with confidence. You just totally relax out there.''

OU should continue to improve each week as they continue to get healthy. The Sooners travel to Waco Wednesday night to play the Baylor Bears before hosting Texas on Saturday. A win over the Bears would be OU’s third in a row and would put their conference record at 3-2.

Where’s Nate?
Nate Carter failed to get into the game on Saturday. I don’t know if he was injured or what, but he is another athletic body that the Sooners can use on the floor.

At least Freshman Taylor Griffin is seeing more playing time. He just makes things happen when he is in the game.

Knight-Mare Part II
I wanted to think Texas Tech head coach Bobby Knight for proving my point that he is a classless human being with his post-game antics in the press room.

Hey Knight, my son had a pouty fit like that last week when he didn’t get a piece of candy that he wanted. Then again he is only five.

2006 Dolphins Offense Will Feature a Bunch of Mularkey

Miami Dolphins Head Coach Nick Saban named Mike Mularkey offensive coordinator. Mularkey, from Ft. Lauderdale, returns to his native South Florida very familiar with the AFC East, having served the previous two seasons as the Buffalo Bills’ head coach.

He finished with an overall record of 14-18 in Buffalo, including a 9-7 season in 2004 when his team won nine of its final 12 games. Prior to his time in Buffalo, Mularkey spent an eight-year stint on Bill Cowher’s coaching staff in Pittsburgh, the final three as offensive coordinator.

In Mularkey’s first season as Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator in 2001, the Steelers were the NFL’s third-ranked offense and had the No. 1-ranked rushing attack. The 13-3 Steelers won the AFC Central crown that season, led by quarterback Kordell Stewart, who threw for 3,109 yards and earned a Pro Bowl selection.

Mularkey’s unit followed that showing with a No. 5 offensive ranking in 2002, as he helped Tommy Maddox set a franchise record for completion percentage (62.1) and guided the team to a seventh-ranked passing offense in Maddox’s first season back after a ten-year absence from the NFL. Mularkey, who played tight end in the NFL for nine seasons (1983-91), coached that position in Pittsburgh from 1996-2000 before taking over as the club’s offensive coordinator.

In Mularkey the Dolphins have a proven guy at offensive coordinator. When you look at what he did at Pittsburgh with sub-par talent at quarterbacks it seems as if Miami got a steal with this guy. With Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams the Dolphins are set to have one of the best, if not the best, rushing attacks in the NFL next season. With the deep threat of Chris Chambers and the possession receivers of Marty Booker and tight end Randy McMichael, Miami can be aggressive with their passing attack if the quarterbacks get solid tutelage.

I’m in favor of this move and actually excited about it. August can’t get here soon enough!

My CBBA Vote

There is a new #1 this week! I went ahead and dropped Duke to #3 because even though they may be the best team in the country they still lost to an un-ranked team.

I didn’t add Georgetown or move Tennessee up very much because they have to prove to me that those wins were not a fluke. I’m more sold on Tennessee than I am on Georgetown because the Vols also have a win over Texas.

No one dropped out this week, Syracuse and Wisconsin came real close, therefore no one was added. Georgetown and Oklahoma would be 26 and 27.

Feel free to leave your thoughts.

1. Connecticut (5)
2. Memphis (3)
3. Duke (1)
4. Gonzaga (4)
5. Texas (6)
6. Florida (2)
7. Michigan State (9)
8. Villanova (9)
9. Washington (10)
10. West Virginia (13)
11. Indiana (16)
12. Boston College (17)
13. Maryland (23)
14. Ohio State (24)
15. Arizona (25)
16. Pittsburgh (11)
17. N.C. State (14)
18. Illinois (15)
19. UCLA (18)
20. Tennessee (22)
21. Louisville (8)
22. Xavier (21)
23. Iowa (19)
24. Syracuse (20)
25. Wisconsin (12)

Become a voting member of the CBBA by clicking on the link or my contacting me.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Conference Championship Predictions

By the end of the day we will know who is playing in the Super Bowl but I’ll go ahead and tell you know that I think it will be the Panthers and the Broncos.

AFC Championship

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos

People just assume since the Steelers knocked off the Colts that they are automatic for a spot in Detroit. The defending AFC champs were the Patriots, not the Colts, and New England went down in Denver and so will the Steelers.
My Pick: Broncos 28/Steelers 27

NFC Championship

Carolina Panthers @ Seattle Seahawks

With all due respect to Shaun Alexander, Carolina has the better defense, better quarterback and best playmaker in Steve Smith. I think this will be an entertaining game but in the end the Panthers will move on.
My Pick: Panthers 24/Seahawks 17

Thursday, January 19, 2006


I can’t stand Bobby Knight! I don’t appreciate his arrogance or his dry humor. I don’t think he provides any quality at all to the Big 12 Conference. I’m not even convinced that he is still a good coach anymore. One thing I do like to see Bobby Knight do is losing. It’s not that I despise Texas Tech, of the Texas schools I actually find myself cheering for the Red Raiders more than any other.

It’s just don't like Bobby Knight. I think he is a punk! He is a bully who whines and cries when he gets bullied. He’s a cheater who screams that others cheat. He built his reputation on his 1976 undefeated Indiana Hoosiers team and then has spent the rest of his career tearing that reputation to shreds. Despite winning national championships again in 1981 and 1987 Knight is best remembered for physically abusing 18-22 year old young men and verbally abusing women.

Hey Knight, Don Shula took the 1972 Miami Dolphins to an undefeated World Championship but he never came out of a bathroom stall and wiped a feces covered wad of toilet tissue on the wall to let his team know how he thought they were playing, never choked or head butted a player, never threw chairs or berated a secretary in a room full of her peers. Even the people in Knight's inner cirlce aren't safe much less a student strolling across campus or a chancelor at a salad bar. Shula built on his legacy of an undefeated season by being a gentleman, something you have no concept of. He was a humble winner and a gracious loser.

So, tomorrow when Texas Tech comes to Norman to play the Sooners I won’t be cheering for OU because they are my favorite team. I won’t cheer for the Sooners because a win would even their conference record at 2-2. I’m cheering for OU because I want to see Bobby Knight lose!

This is a winnable game that the Sooners must take advantage of. At this point the Sooners have to protect their home court at all cost. They finally got a game winning shot to go down last week at A&M. They have had the week off to rest and get healthy. The Sooners have no excuse if they lose this game.

Scouting the Red Raiders

Leading Scorers
Jarrius Jackson – 43.4% from three point range, 19.3 points per game.
Martin Zeno – 51.4% from the floor, 16.4 points per game.

Leading Rebounders
Martin Zeno – 5.3 rebounds per game.
Darryl Dora – 5.0 rebounds per game.

Who we want at the free throw line
Michael Prince – 35.3%
Jeremy Buttell – 50.0%

Who we don’t want at the free throw line
Drew Coffman – 100.00%
Jarrius Jackson – 83.7%

Big 12 Standings
Texas 3-0 15-2
Missouri 3-1 10-5
Nebraska 2-1 12-4
Oklahoma State 2-1 12-5
Colorado 2-2 12-3
Kansas State 2-2 11-4
Iowa State 2-2 12-5
Texas Tech 2-2 10-8
Oklahoma 1-2 10-4
Kansas 1-2 10-6
Texas A&M 1-3 11-4
Baylor 0-3 0-3

Other Big 12 Games
Texas A&M at Iowa State – The Aggies are on a slide since loosing a heartbreaker to the Sooners.
My Pick: Iowa State

Nebraska at Kansas – Back to back losses to Kansas State and Missouri for the Jayhawks.
My Pick: Kansas

Colorado at Oklahoma State – I would go with the Buffalos if the game was in Boulder but like most teams Colorado struggles in Stillwater.
My Pick: Oklahoma State

Texas at Baylor – Should we even say anything?
My Pick - Texas

Missouri at Kansas State – Can the Wildcats follow-up last week’s huge upset of the Jayhawks?
My Pick: Missouri

AD Tops List of 2006 Players to Watch

Sports Illustrated has released their list of the top 20 college football players for 2006. It’s no surprise that Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson was number 1 one the list.

20. Sidney Rice - SC
19. Quentin Moses - Georgia
18. Darren McFadden - Arkansas
17. Steve Slaton - WVU
16. Mike Hart - Michigan
15. LaRon Landry - LSU
14. Kenny Irons - Auburn
13. Michael Bush - Louisville
12. Levi Brown - Penn State
11. Ted Ginn - Ohio State
10. Patrick Willis - Ole Miss
9. Jeff Samardzija - ND
8. Marshawn Lynch - Cal
7. Calvin Johnson - GT
6. Brian Brohm - Louisville
5. Troy Smith - Ohio State
4. Paul Posluszny - PSU
3. Dwayne Jarrett - USC
2. Brady Quinn - Notre Dame
1. Adrian Peterson - OU

Dolphins O.C. to be Rams New Coach

The St. Louis Rams are going to introduce Scott Linehan as their new head coach some time this weekend, probably tomorrow.

League sources confirmed that Linehan, the Dolphins' offensive coordinator, is the choice of an organization that Wednesday completed its second round of interviews by consulting with Chicago defensive coordinator Ron Rivera.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the hiring in Thursday's editions, although a team source told the Associated Press the move was not yet official. The signing must be approved by team majority owner Georgia Frontiere.

"Anything that says the deal is done is premature," said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity. "It's not totally done. He's the lead guy but nothing is official."

Miami went 9-7 this season and finished with a six game winning streak. The nine wins is a five game improvement from the prior year and Miami fans couldn’t be happier with Nick Saban’s first season as head coach.

Lineman will depart after guiding the Dolphins offense to the upper half in many offensive categories and finished in the middle (16th) in scoring.

He will be missed next season! Good luck with the Rams.

Holmes Apprears to be Done in KC

Larry Johnson will be the feature back in the Chiefs offense next season regardless of Priest Holmes health.

Johnson said new Coach Herman Edwards gave him the role during their first meeting Tuesday.

"He told me I would be the guy going into training camp and that I should start the season prepared to start," Johnson told the Topeka Capital-Journal.

Johnson said that Edwards told him, “I want to tell you this now that when we get going, you'll have to be the guy on this team who is the leader and gets things done,"

Holmes, the team's all-time rusher, said in November that he plans to play next season if tests show encouraging results.

He saw specialists in California and Florida after sustaining a concussion on Oct. 30 and was told to avoid contact for at least 30 days. His 27 touchdowns in 2003 are a single-season record and the 66 touchdowns he scored from 2002-04 are the most in any three-year period.

"The main concern was that [doctors] wanted to know if there was pressure on the spine," he said. "If there's pressure on the spine, of course if you're hit there's a number of things that could possibly happen. Would those things happen to me? It hasn't happened yet.

"So I'm very, very confident about the recovery time and the number of things I have to go through."

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Buster's Best

My season long football picks contest with my son Buster is coming to a close. It’s been fun and he has pretty much taken me to the wood shed every week. Next season Buster will have hit the big 10 in the age bracket so there will be no more picking games straight up, he will have to go against the spread as well.

Last Week’s Games

Pittsburgh @ Indianapolis
Buster picked the Colts to win and I had the Steelers to cover the 9.5 points they were getting from Indianapolis. I was surprised the Steelers won but hey, they covered. Buster 0-1/Dad 1-0

Carolina @ Chicago
Buster picked a tight game and a Chigago win. I went the other way and had Carolina to cover the three points they were getting from the Bears. I’m liking the way this is starting. Buster 0-2/Dad 2-0

Washington @ Seattle
Buster picked Washington to win and I thought they would cover the 9 points they were getting. Missed it by one point but Buster is getting off to a worse start than me. Buster 0-3/Dad 2-1

Denver @ New England
Well it wasn’t a shut out for Buster. He picked the Broncos to win and I had them to cover the 3 points they were giving to the Patriots. I had a winning week but sadly I needed to go 4-0 to have any hope of getting above .500. This season I’ve been beat down by a 9-year old and now I’m guaranteed to have a losing record. Is this what it feels like to be a New York Jet? Buster 1-3/Dad 3-1

For the season: Buster 67-31/Dad 46-50-2

This Week’s Games

AFC Championship

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos
It’s the battle of the bearded quarterbacks. It will be hard for the Steelers to win their third in a row on the road but this Pittsburgh team seems to make new believers every week. Buster likes the Broncos to win and I think it will be a very close game. I’m taking the Steelers to cover the 3 points they are getting from Denver.

NFC Championship
Carolina Panthers @ Seattle Seahawks
Look for this game to be a defensive game and some what low scoring. The Seahawks will have Shaun Alexander back and healthy but the Panthers have Steve Smith who could be the most dangerous player left in the play-offs. Buster is picking Seattle and I am going with the Panthers to cover the 4 points they are getting.

Feel free to leave your picks in the comments section.

Basketball Update
Buster had his first game for his new school on Saturday. He is playing in two leagues now, the YMCA league and his school league, so he had two games on Saturday. Points were hard to come by for him on Saturday. He had several shots rim out on him.

In his first game (YMCA) he had one steal, one assist and two rebounds. His team won a nail biter 15-12. In the second game (School League) Buster came off the bench to grab nine rebounds and two steals in another close win, 12-10.

You can read about Buster’s world and see his view on sports at Buster’s Best.

Help, I’ve fallen!

I’m slipping away in the voting for best sports blog of the year. Monday I was in first. Yesterday I was in second and today I’m in third. I guess you could say that I’m fading down the stretch. If you haven’t voted yet I really would appreciate your vote. Here is the voting link. Scroll down to the Best Sports Blog Poll and vote for My Opinion on Sports.

Kobe or Shaq?

Monday night the Los Angeles Lakers did something that they haven’t done since the traded away Shaquille O’Neal, they beat the big fella. Kobe Bryant scored 37 points in the Lakers 100 – 92 win over the Miami Heat, but that wasn’t the big story.

The big story was the few incidents that occurred before tip-off. As Bryant was doing his pre-game stretches he was approached by Shaq and congratulated on the birth of his daughter and the impending birth of their second child. The two hugged briefly and shared a few words as the team captains came out to meet with the game officials and once more before tip-off.

"It made me feel good," Bryant said, adding he was surprised at O'Neal's gesture. "We've been through so many wars together. Now, just be able to move on, try to do the best for this team, wish him the best in South Beach.
"I had orders from the great Bill Russell," O'Neal said. "Me and him were talking in Seattle the other day, and he was telling me how rivalries should be. I asked him if he ever disliked anybody he played against, and he told me, `No, never,' and he told that I should shake Kobe Bryant's hand and let bygones be bygones and bury the hatchet.
That hatchet seems to be buried now but only time will tell, I’m not holding my breath and I’m not buying it. Here’s why.

The Detroit Pistons are winning at a near record pace. As of today their record stands at 30-5 but they have not been the story this season. Phil Jackson and Pat Reilly are both back on the NBA sidelines coaching but they have not been the story this season. The Kobe/Shaq feud has been receiving headlines and storylines. If the feud ends then so does the publicity that comes with it. One thing that both of these guys like is the limelight.

The other thing is that these guys really don’t like each other. There is genuine animosity between the two and even though the hatchet was buried on Martin Luther King Jr. Day it will be dug up by Memorial Day. Something will be said or taken out of context and the two will be at it again and that’s the way it should be.

If Kobe and Shaq are going to live in peace then they should do it on the same team. They aren’t on the same team and I think you can say that their inability to get along had a lot to do with that. Some people say the fault is with Shaq and others say it is all Kobe’s fault. Some will say that Shaq was the guy the Lakers should have rebuilt with and others would say that LA made the right choice with Kobe.

What about you? Who do you take and why? Do you think the feud is really over? Leave your thoughts in the comments box and be sure to make your vote in this week’s opinion poll.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

CBBA Poll, Week 3

Rank Team Record
1 Duke (6) 16-0
2 Florida 16-0
3 Memphis 15-2
4 Connecticut 14-1
5 Texas 14-2
6 Gonzaga 13-3
7 Villanova 11-2
8 Illinois 16-1
9 Michigan State 14-4
10 Pittsburgh 14-0
11 Washington 14-2
12 Indiana 10-3
13 Louisville 13-3
14 UCLA 14-3
15 West Virginia 12-3
16 North Carolina State 14-2
17 Wisconsin 14-2
18 George Washington 13-1
19 Ohio State 12-2
20 Syracuse 14-3
21 Maryland 12-4
22 Iowa 12-4
23 Tennessee 11-2
24 Boston College 12-4
25 Nevada 13-3
Others Receiving Votes:
Oklahoma 17, Xavier 15, North Carolina 6, Air Force & Wake Forest 5, Arizona & Ohio 1.
See how I voted.

Have You Voted Yet?

I sure could use your help. I have been nominated for the best sports blog of the year and right now I am 12 votes out of first place. Here is the link to vote. Simply scroll down to the sports blogs section and vote for My Opinion on Sports. Every vote counts. So make sure yours counts for me!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Coming Out Parties

The NFL draft is just three months away and this year NFL teams will have their fair share of underclassmen to select from, highlighted by Heisman winner Reggie Bush and current superman Vince Young. As the deadline for underclassmen to declare passed on Sunday here are the players that will be missing from your favorite college football team this fall.

Brandon Kirsch / Purdue
Vince Young / Texas
Marcus Vick / Virginia Tech
Omar Jacobs / Bowling Green

Running Back:

Brian Calhoun / Wisconsin
Maurice Drew / UCLA
LenDale White / USC
Laurence Maroney / Minnesota
Reggie Bush / USC
Demetrius Summers / South Carolina

Wide Receiver:

D.J. Smith / Idaho
Cory Rodgers / TCU
Troy Bergeron / Georgia Force (AFL)
Drouzon Quillen / Louisiana-Monroe
Chad Jackson / Florida
Santonio Holmes / Ohio State
Greg Lee / Pittsburgh
Jeremy Bloom / Colorado

Tight End:

Vernon Davis / Maryland
Leonard Pope / Georgia

Offensive Tackle:
Derek Morris / NC State
Winston Justice / USC
Willie Hall / Middle Tennessee St.

Offensive Guard:
Fred Matua / USC
Rob Smith / Tennessee

Defensive End:
Stanley McClover / Auburn
Roderkus Wright / Grossmont J.C.
Mario Williams / NC State
Michael Williams / Texas College
Ray Edwards / Purdue

Defensive Tackle:

John McCargo / NC State
Haloti Ngata / Oregon

Outside Linebacker:
Kai Parham / Virginia
Ernie Sims / Florida State

Inside Linebacker:
Stephen Tulloch / NC State
Paul Szczesny / Arizona State


Derrick Martin / Wyoming
Johnathan Joseph / South Carolina
Ashton Youboty / Ohio State
Charles Gordon / Kansas
Richard Marshall / Fresno State
Dee Webb / Florida
Antonio Cromartie / Florida State
Devin Hester / Miami

Donte Whitner / Ohio State
Ko Simpson / South Carolina
Danieal Manning / Abilene Christian
Bernard Pollard / Purdue

From Aggie to Sooner

Malcolm Williams, a member of the Rivals250, had been committed to Texas A&M since the spring. However, Williams is now a Sooner.

Here are the specifics on the safety from South Grand Prairie (TX).
Height 5-foot-10
Weight 173 pounds
40-yard dash 4.48 seconds

"I do my best. I give a lot more than most. I'm a pretty great football player. I'm not the fastest on the field but I get there." -South Grand Prairie safety Malcolm Williams

This Week’s Tenet

Mystickal Incense & More - This is the weblog of the website Mystickal Incense & More. It not only features occasional site news and product announcements, but a look into the personal life of the owner, Stephanie Davies. Stephanie hand-makes all of the incense, candles, bath & body products, and other items sold at Mystickal Incense. For this purpose, this is both a personal and business blog. So, if you want to get some girlie stuff for your wife, girlfriend or yourself click on the link at the upper right of the page.

I Need Your Vote

My Opinion on Sports has been nonimated for best sports blog of the year. I'm asking everyone to go vote for me at least once. It will take you less than two minutes! Here is the voting link. Scroll down to the voting section until you get to sports blogs and then vote for My Opinion on Sports.

Right now I am in second place but could move up with your help.


NFL Round-Up, Divisional Play-Offs

Seattle Seahawks 20, Washington Redskins 10
Matt Hasselbeck threw for a touchdown and ran for another as the Seahawks advanced to the NFC title game next week against the Carolina Panthers.

Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said he was optimistic that Shaun Alexander, who was injured in the first 10 1/2 minutes, will be able to play.

"I told Matt at halftime that he had to shoulder the load," Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said. "We always put a lot on his shoulders, but I told him that now he had to do a little bit more."

"I told Matt at halftime that he had to shoulder the load," Holmgren said. "We always put a lot on his shoulders, but I told him that now he had to do a little bit more."

Denver Broncos 27, New England Patriots 13
Trying to become the first team to win three straight Super Bowls, the Patriots simply didn't have enough to overcome Denver's steady play, a few bad breaks or their own five turnovers. That was one fewer than they had during their entire, record-setting 10-game playoff winning streak that ended at the hands of the Broncos.

"When you lose, you want to go down fighting," Brady said. "You want to go down playing your best and we didn't do that. We made it easy for them."

Pittsburgh Steelers 21, Indianapolis Colts 18 Physical usually always beats finesse and that was the case on Sunday. The Colts proved that they really have not changed any. The 13 game winning streak was a farce and just as New England had done in year’s past the Steelers just beat them up.

"It is disappointing. We had a great regular season, didn't play well enough in the playoffs," Colts coach Tony Dungy said. "That is disappointing, we have to pick it up from here. Pittsburgh came in and ratcheted things up and played a great game."

Carolina Panthers 29, Chicago Bears 21
It was the Steve Smith show on Sunday as the vaunted Bears defense failed to even slow down the man Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher described as, “the best offensive player in the league.”

Smith had 12 catches for a career-high 218 yards and two long touchdowns, including a 58-yard scoring reception on the second play from scrimmage.

Sunday’s win sends the Panthers to their second championship game in three years. But they'll go without running back DeShaun Foster, who broke his ankle late against the Bears, leaving Smith as their only true offensive threat.

"All we've got to do is keep plugging," Smith said. "Guys got to step it up and I think they will. We will play it by ear after that."

Smith carried the Panthers this entire year, his comeback season after missing 15 games in 2004 with a broken leg. He returned better than ever and ended the regular season as the NFL leader with 1,563 yards receiving.

"He is as tough a competitor as you can find at any position," Carolina coach John Fox said. "He does well home or away."

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Sooners Get One Back

No, Noooooo, Yessss! Those were the words that came out of my mouth as Terrell Everett launched a three point shot with 6.1 seconds left at College Station on Saturday. Everett made the shot and and put OU up 45-44 which was the final score.

The Reed Center was rockin but the Sooners still came a knockin. Coming in on a two game losing streak and talk stirring of another disapointing OU basketball season the Sooners had more than just the game riding on that Terrell Everett shot, perhaps the season.

Taj Gray added 13 points for the Sooners, who beat A&M for the 13th straight time and 24th in 25 meetings.

They shot only 41 percent (16-of-39) and were outrebounded 31-29 - just the second time this season Oklahoma has been beaten on the boards - but still stole a critical victory leading into a seven-day break before their next game.

``This was really important,'' Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson said. ``We could be 0-3, if Terrell doesn't hit that shot. But we could easily be 3-0, too. It was good to win this game and have a week off.''

Facing a student section that would rival any in the conference the Sooners struggled to make free throws in the first half. Those free throws, if made, would have altered the game and given OU a slight point advantage, putting the pressure on A&M instead of OU.

Pressure hasn’t been good for the Sooners in conference play until Saturday afternoon. In the conference opening loss to Nebraska Terrell Everett had a last second lay-up skip across the rim. In Tuesday night’s loss to Mizzouri Everett’s half-court prayer bounced off the backboard. Now you know why my first reaction was to scream, “Noooo” when Everett launched the three and you can understand my joy when he made.

That shot was clutch and to this point conference play “clutch” has not described the Sooners. Maybe just maybe this will give this team a boost of confidence and help them right the ship. With Kansas and Missouri getting upset OU is not out of it yet!

``It just felt good shooting the ball,'' Everett said.

photos from

My CBBA Vote

Here is how I voted this week. Oklahoma (21) and Kentucky (25) have dropped out of my top 25 and Iowa and Xavier are in. Kansas was knocking on the door until giving up a home loss to Kansas State on Saturday.

1. Duke (1)
2. Florida (2)
3. Memphis (5)
4. Gonzaga (4)
5. Connecticut (7)
6. Texas (8)
7. Michigan State (9)
8. Louisville (3)
9. Villanova (6)
10. Washington (12)
11. Pittsburgh (15)
12. Wisconsin (16)
13. West Virginia (17)
14. N.C. State (19)
15. Illinois (10)
16. Indiana (11)
17. Boston College (13)
18. UCLA (14)
19. Iowa (NR)
20. Syracuse (23)
21. Xavier (NR)
22. Tennessee (20)
23. Maryland (22)
24. Ohio State (24)
25. Arizona (18)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Sooners go to A&M

The Sooners will take their two-game losing streak to College Station to take on the Aggies tomorrow. OU has lost their first two conference games by a combined 3 points. Their losses haven’t come because of a lack of defensive hustle. I have often bragged on the way this team plays defense and I think they will continue their defensive pressure on Saturday.

The inability to make plays in the final minutes and poor shooting through out is what has cost the Sooners in the last two games. In the two conference losses the Sooners failed to score down the stretch after having the game under control.

Opposing teams are playing a zone defense against the Sooners in an effort to contain OU’s big men Taj Gray and Kevin Bookout. The good news is that the zone creates open jump shots for the Sooners. The bad news is that the Sooners haven’t been able to hit those shots.

You can blame Oklahoma’s shooting woes on the absence of guard Michael Neal who is nursing a groin injury. Neal is still questionable for Saturday and I don’t think he will. The truth is that Oklahoma doesn’t have a chance Saturday if they can’t score inside and outside.

A&M has been surprising so far this season. They opened conference play with a win over Texas Tech and then took Oklahoma State to the wire Wednesday night before losing by two points.

They don’t make OU fans bigger than me but I can’t pick the Sooners to win on the road at this point which makes me mad because I have the blog bet with Texas A&M and Baseball.
My Pick: A&M

Current Conference Standings
Texas 2-0 13-2
Nebraska 2-0 12-3
Missouri 2-0 9-4
Kansas 1-0 10-4
Texas A&M 1-1 11-2
Iowa State 1-1 11-4
Oklahoma State 1-1 11-5
Baylor 0-0 0-1
Texas Tech 0-1 9-7
Colorado 0-2 10-3
Kansas State 0-2 9-4
Oklahoma 0-2 9-4

Other Big 12 Games
Iowa State @ Texas Tech
The Cyclones will be tougher than the Bears were and the Red Raiders will be easier than the Longhorns.
My Pick: Iowa State

Villanova @ Texas
The Longhorns need to win this game to help restore their national recognition.
My Pick: Texas

Kansas State @ Kansas
This is a game of two teams heading in opposite directions.
My Pick: Kansas

Oklahoma State @ Baylor
Could be tough early for the young Cowboys who are walking into an ambush at Waco, I say they are able to overcome.
My Pick: OSU

Colorado @ Missouri
Tigers have the chance to go 3-0 in conference play.
My Pick: Missouri

Message to Trojan Fans

You may have heard about this but then again maybe not. It just depends on if you read my blog last because it has been on more than a few blogs.

A LSU fan who was disgruntled that the Trojans were given the AP title after the Tigers beat the Sooners in the Sugar Bowl is raising money to place this billboard near the campus of USC to remind the Trojans exactly were they rank. Now a generous Texas fan has gotten involved and the project is moving forward.

To find out more or to make a donation check out

People Who Don't Get It

I have often enjoyed seeing and hearing various fans at football games who don’t really have a clue. You know the girl who wants to know why they keep giving the ball to just that one guy or the guy who is screaming, “go for it” when the team is facing a 4th and 10 from their own 12 yard line.

The best however are when the cheerleaders who are actually on the field don’t get it. Because then the entire stadium gets to see their folly not just one section.

Note how the two cheerleaders to the left are looking at her. "Like, O my gosh, don't you know that we just lost?"

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Buster's Best

Another week of getting beat up by my 9 year old! At least it was close this week but my goal of getting to .500 by the Super Bowl is slowly slipping out of reach.

Last Week’s Games

Washington @ Tampa Bay
Buster picked the Redskins and they did. Here’s a surprise, I picked Tampa Bay to cover the 2.5 points they were giving to Washington and they didn’t. That’s what I get for counting in Chris Simms. Stinkin Longhorns! Buster 1-0/Dad 0-1

Jacksonville @ New England
Buster picked the Patriots to win and I went with Jacksonville to cover the 8 points they were getting. Buster 2-0/Dad 0-2

Carolina @ NY Giants
Buster picked the Giants to win and I smoked his 9-year old hiney on this one. I picked Carolina to cover the 2.5 points they were getting from the Steelers. Buster 2-1/Dad 1-2

Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati
Buster picked the Steelers and I had the Steelers to cover the 3 points they were giving to the Bengals. Buster 3-1/Dad 2-2

For the season:
Buster 66-28/Dad 43-49-2

This Week’s Games

Pittsburgh @ Indianapolis
Buster is picking the Colts to win. I think this will be a closer game than the last time these two teams played each other. I’ll pick the Steelers to cover the 9.5 points they are getting from Indianapolis.

Carolina @ Chicago
Buster picked a tight game and a Chigago win. I’ll take Carolina to cover the 3 points they are getting from the Bears.

Washington @ Seattle
Buster is picking the Redskins to win. I’m not sure they will but I think their defense will keep them in the game. I’ll take Washington to cover the 9 points they are getting from the Seahawks.

Denver @ New England
This could be the best of the games this weekend. Buster likes the Broncos to win and I’ll take the Broncos to cover the 3 points they are giving to the Patriots.

Basketball Update
Buster scored 6 points had four steals, four rebounds; a shot block and an assist in his teams win Saturday. It was their first game back from the Holiday break. He also started a new school this week and will be playing on the school basketball team as well. You can read his thoughts on sports and life at Buster’s Best.

More Strippers and More Recruits

According to, a Stanford fans Web site that tracks recruiting, the school hosted 28 players on the weekends of Jan. 10-11 and 17-18. Twenty of those players ended up at Stanford. That’s a pretty high percentage.

Sure the academics at Stanford are of the highest quality but apparently so is the entertainment. The 2003 recruits were treated to a night of carousing at a local strip club and the best part is that the University paid for it.

According to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle, the information about the trips to the strip club surfaced in a lawsuit filed by an athletic-department employee against the university and senior associate athletic director Debra Gore-Mann.

The school issued a statement Tuesday stating it "regrets the actions of the student athletes who accompanied recruits in 2003 to adult entertainment venues." Even though NCAA rules were not violated, the statement said the school's "standards of conduct preclude such entertainment as any part of recruitment activity."

Per NCAA rules, each host player receives $30 per day to entertain a recruit. The lawsuit alleges the Stanford athletes filed "numerous, handwritten 'receipts' for $20 each for expenditures" at the New Century Theater, a Larkin Street club whose Web site advertises "Lap Dancers," "Video Booths," and "VIP Lounges."

Stanford Senior Counsel Patrick Dunkley acknowledged the "receipts" were filed by an administrator in the football department and then flagged by Kanzaki. Dunkley also admitted that, as Kanzaki alleged, the handwritten receipts later were replaced by lost-receipt memos to account for the money spent at the club.

"Everybody on the football team was interviewed," said a source, who requested anonymity because of the pending lawsuit. "There were some players who said they knew nothing about it. But there were others who said, 'It was a tradition, it happened to me when I was recruited.' "

According to information provided to The Chronicle, the trips to the New Century involved at least 10 player hosts and their recruits, with more than $300 spent at the club. Dunkley, the school's counsel, said recruits were taken there on two separate weekends in January 2003.

In connection with the recruiting visits, Stanford did report a minor NCAA violation -- but not for players visiting the strip club. The university informed the Pac-10 in 2003 that players had exceeded the amount they were allowed to spend while entertaining a recruit, according to Ron Barker, an assistant commissioner for governance and enforcement at the conference office.

At the time, Barker said, taking a recruit to a strip club was not an NCAA violation.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


I went to my first NBA regular season game last night to see the Hornets take on the Detroit Pistons. The attendance was 19,260, another home sellout for the New Orleans/OKC Hornets.

There has been a lot of talk among the national media that the city of Oklahoma City stole the Hornets from the hurricane ravaged Big Easy. The truth is that OKC saved the Hornets. The team had to go somewhere and OKC provided a home that would love and embrace them as if they were their very own.

The problem is that the Hornets have become Oklahoma City’s very own. The city has embraced the team and the team has embraced the city. Last season in New Orleans the Hornets ranked dead last in attendance, this season in OKC the Hornets rank 7th, averaging 18, 738 per game.

The Hornets walked off the floor tonight to standing ovations after losing 96-86 to the best team in the NBA. It’s that home crowd support and college type atmosphere that OKC provides that prompted head coach Byron Scott to lead the charge to get games moved out of Baton Rouge, which was part of the original deal.

Oklahoma City will pick up a couple of additional games and so will the City of New Orleans. Players and ownership will be able to compare what they had to what they now have in Oklahoma City.

There will be several tough decisions to make in the near future regarding the Hornets. With all due respects to the city and people of New Orleans here are two facts that cannot be ignored.

Fact one, the NBA has been good for OKC and OKC has been good for the NBA. The team itself has expressed their desire for a long term relationship and several visiting players and coaches have described how incredible the atmosphere is. League Commissioner David Stern visited OKC for a game and afterwards said that the city was first on the list if a team were to relocate.

Fact two, the city of New Orleans was not supporting the Hornets before Hurricane Katrina. With the rebuilding and relocating efforts to continue over the next few years there is no way the city could support them now.

It won’t be a personal attack against New Orleans when the Hornets decide to make Oklahoma City their permanent home and it won’t be an act of thievery by the Sooner state either. It’s just a simple matter of belonging and economics.

Sooners Freefalling

Without shooting guards healthy the Sooners are helpless! OU lost again Tuesday, this time to the Missouri Tigers 71-69. Like the Nebraska loss Saturday night this loss came in the waning minutes, actually seconds.

After hitting two free throws to tie the game Taj Gray made a crucial mistake that may have cost the Sooners the game. After having the ball knocked away by Terrell Everett, Missouri's Jimmy McKinney recovered it on the floor and passed to Brown in the left corner. Brown elevated for a 3-pointer and officials called Gray for a foul.
Brown missed the first free throw before hitting the second and third.

Grey led the Sooners with 19 points. Terrell Everett and Austin Johnson scored 11 and 10 points respectively, and Kevin Bookout added 9 points and 8 rebounds.

I don’t know what else to say about this Sooner team. They have been disappointing to this point in the season and a trip to College Station on Saturday awaits them next. This could be a long season if things don’t turn quickly.

Gut Check Time for Sooners

OU let the game “slip” away Saturday in Lincoln, Nebraska and now faces a Missouri team tonight in their Conference home opener. In this league you have to protect your home floor and you can’t let games slip away on the road.

Tonight’s game is huge for two reasons.

First, OU can’t afford to start the conference season 0-2. Texas and Kansas are coming on strong and have become the frontrunners for the conference title. For OU to have any shot at staying in that pack they have to win and win now.

Second, confidence is slipping, confidence of the fans and confidence of the players. This home game is sandwiched between road trips to Lincoln, Nebraska and College Station, Texas.

OU already lost a game they should have won and a loss tonight could lead to an 0-3 start.

What do the Sooners have to do to win tonight? Here are my 4 keys to victory.

* Shoot the ball again and again – I believe in shooting your way out of a slump. Keep pulling the trigger boys!

* Find the big guys – The Sooners have some great talent in Taj Gray and Kevin Bookout. Feed these guys the ball and let them dominate inside. Also giving the ball to your big guys allows you to work your inside-outside game.

* Use the bench – In Saturday’s loss to Nebraska the Sooners only used 7 players. Granted Michael Neal is injured but where is Taylor Griffin? That guy is a hustler and a playmaker. If Austin Johnson can find his way on the floor I don’t understand why Griffin can’t.

* Keep the defensive intensity – I have said before that I will take OU’s defensive pressure over any team in America. This team hustles on defense and needs to turn that pressure into fast break opportunities.

Big Monday Recap

Texas 78, Iowa State 58
Kenton Paulino scored a career-high 20 points and Daniel Gibson scored 19 while helping hold Iowa State's Curtis Stinson to a season-low seven points as Texas blew out Iowa State 78-58 Monday night to extend its winning streak to five games.

Texas kept the Cyclones at bay in the second half by pounding them on the boards, outrebounding Iowa State 23-8.

Paulino took advantage of constant open looks and broke his career high for points for the second straight game. He made five 3-pointers in the first half, and keyed a 17-6 run that put the Longhorns ahead to stay late in the first half.

Tomorrow Night’s Big 12 Games

Baylor @ Texas Tech
– Tech has struggled this year and Baylor has yet to play a game. This should be interesting as the Red Raiders are susceptible to being upset and the Bears will be looking to make a splash in their first game of the season.
My Pick: Texas Tech

Nebraska at Kansas State – Can the Huskers start the conference season 2-0?
My Pick: Nebraska

Kansas at Colorado – You have to be impressed with the turnaround of the Jayhawks. Colorado was exposed in a bad way by a good Texas team.
My Pick: Kansas

Texas A&M at Oklahoma State – The Aggies could already be the story of the year in Big 12 basketball. Unfortunately Gallagher Iba Arena is not a friendly place to play, especially when the Cowboys are coming off an embarrassing road loss.
My Pick: OSU

Final Blog Poll

1 Texas (39)
2 Southern Cal (1)
3 Penn State
4 Ohio State
5 West Virginia
6 Louisiana State
7 Alabama
8 Virginia Tech
9 Georgia
10 Wisconsin
11 Notre Dame
12 Florida
13 TCU
14 Auburn
16 Oregon
17 Miami (Florida)
18 Boston College
19 Louisville
20 Clemson
21 Oklahoma
22 Texas Tech
23 Florida State
24 Nebraska
25 Cal
Also Receiving Votes: Toledo(0.6), Tulsa(0.6), Michigan(0.4), Navy(0.3), Iowa(0.3), Nevada(0.2), Utah(0.2), Arizona State(0.1), Virginia(0.1), Rutgers(0.0),

Total Ballots: 40

See how I voted.

CBBA Poll, Week 2

Rank Team Record
1 Duke (6) 14-0
2 Florida 14-0
3 Memphis 13-2
4 Villanova 10-1
5 Connecticut 12-1
6 Gonzaga 11-3
7 Illinois 15-1
8 Texas 12-2
9 Indiana 10-2
10 Washington 12-2
11 UCLA 13-2
12 Michigan State 12-4
13 Boston College 11-3
14 Pittsburgh 12-0
15 Ohio State 11-1
t16 George Washington 10-1
t16 N.C. State 12-2
t16 Oklahoma 9-3
19 West Virginia 10-3
t20 Maryland 11-3
t20 Wisconsin 12-2
22 Arizona 10-4
23 Tennessee 10-1
24 Nevada 11-3
25 Syracuse 13-2

Others Receiving Votes:
Iowa 13 & North Carolina 13, Wake Forest 7, Cincinnati 3, Kentucky 2, Xavier (Ohio) 1

See how I voted.

If you are interested in becoming a voting member in the CBBA Poll send me an e-mail. My address is in my profile.

All Bowl Team has released their picks for their all-bowl team. The Big 10 has the most players of any conference with 7 and the Big 12 has 6. The Sooners are represented DE C.J. Ah You.

QB: Vince Young, Texas
RB: Steve Slaton, West Virginia
RB: Brian Calhoun, Wisconsin
WR: Brandon Williams, Wisconsin
WR: Dwayne Jarrett, USC
TE: David Thomas, Texas
OT: Justin Blalock, Texas
OT: Andrew Whitworth, LSU
OG: Taitusi Lutui, USC
OG: Fred Matua, USC
C: Dan Mozes, West Virginia

DE: Mario Williams, NC State
DE: C.J. Ah You, Oklahoma
DT: Mike Kudla, Ohio State
DT: Brodrick Bunkley, Florida State
LB: A.J. Hawk, Ohio State
LB: Stephen Tulloch, NC State
LB: DeMeco Ryans, Alabama
S: Michael Huff, Texas
S: Michael Griffin, Texas
CB: Anthony Madison, Alabama
CB: Alan Zemaitis, Penn State

Special Teams
P: Jeremy Kapinos, Penn State
K: Jeremy Ito, Rutgers
PR: Willie Reid, Florida State
KR: Reggie Campbell, Navy
All-purpose: Ted Ginn, Ohio State

Demarco Murray Commits to Sooners

The Sooners landed a verbal commitment from Demarco Murray Saturday. Murray a 6-foot-0, 183 pound all-purpose back was ranked #2 by

Murray is from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. He runs a 4.49 40. I don’t see the Sooners putting a red-shirt on him. Can you imagine the potential of a Murray/Peterson backfield?

"DeMarco’s athleticism combines fluid moves and a second gear burst which allows him to be able to score on any play. He was our leading rusher and receiver and will play a variety of positions both on offense and defense." -Bishop Gorman coach David White

Murray is the highest profile recruit the Sooners have landed thus far. He chose Oklahoma over Miami (FL), Penn State and USC.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Tenant of the Week

Steeler Fanatic is moving in to My Opinion on Sports this week. If you are a Pittsburgh fan or if you just love football, like me, then you have to check him out. Click on the thumbnail at the top right of the page to go to Steeler Fanatic.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Ugly Ball Not Working for Sooners

Nothing comes easy for the Sooners in men’s basketball, and that’s the problem! For a team that was touted top 5 in the country at the beginning of the season some things, like scoring, should come naturally. I’m not saying that every basket should be a lay up but they should at least look like they know what they are trying to do on offense and stupid turnovers are becoming more frequent.

The Sooners latest offense slump came in the last 3:38 of their 59-58 loss to Nebraska on Saturday in which they failed to make a field goal.

Nebraska trailed 56-50 after Longar Longar dunked for the Sooners. After two free throws by Godbold made it 58-53, Nebraska’s Charles Richardson hit a clutch 3-pointer with 23 seconds left, and then came the stupid turnover part.

With the Sooners trying to protect a two-point lead with just a few seconds left, Terrell Everett succumbed to Nebraska's pressure defense and threw a pass right to the Cornhuskers' Wes Wilkinson in the Oklahoma end.

That set up Joe McCray, who hit a 3-pointer from the wing with 5.2 seconds left to give Nebraska a 59-58 victory over the 12th-ranked Sooners.

"It slipped," Everett said. "I was pump-faking, and it came out of my hand."
I’ll take OU’s defense over just about any team in the country but the offense is struggling and that cost them this game. This is the kind of game that the Sooners will look back on in late February and wish they could get back.

NFL Round Up, Wild Card Weekend

Washington Redskins 17, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10
LaVar Arrington's interception set up Clinton Portis' 6-yard touchdown run, and Sean Taylor returned a fumble 51 yards for another first-quarter score for the Redskins. It was the 6th win in a row for the Redskins despite gaining only 120 yards on offense -- the lowest total in NFL history for a winning team in a postseason game.

"It's been a tough fight these last six weeks," said Washington linebacker Marcus Washington, who recovered a fumble and had a fourth-quarter interception. "We ain't ready to go home yet, so we're going to keep sawing wood."

New England Patriots 28, Jacksonville Jaguars 3 Tom Brady threw three touchdown passes, Willie McGinest broke two records for sacks and the Patriots set an NFL mark with 10 straight postseason victories. Tom Brady, who improved to 10-0 in the postseason, matched his playoff career high for TD passes, and McGinest set NFL postseason records with 4 1/2 sacks and 16 for his career.

"It's a great accomplishment," McGinest said. "We're not downplaying it, but they are not passing out any trophies tonight. We've got a long way to go."

Carolina Panthers 23, NY Giants 0
It wasn’t a good weekend for quarterbacks making their first play-off start. Chris Simms went down with Tampa Bay and Eli Manning struggled, giving up the ball four times.

"We challenged ourselves this week to know the Giants better than they knew themselves," said Carolina defensive tackle Brentson Buckner.

"It was strange -- they were in our huddle a little bit," said Giants running back Tiki Barber, who was held to a season-low 41 yards. "They kind of had us dissected and figured out and we couldn't get anything going consistently."

Carolina intercepted Manning three times, then forced him to fumble late in the game in front of a nearly empty Giants Stadium. Plaxico Burress was shut out the entire game and the Giants managed just 109 yards total offense.

"I didn't play well, and I made too many mistakes for us to win today," said Manning, who finished 10-for-18 for 113 yards. "It was not the way I wanted to come out and play. I look forward to coming back and getting better."

Pittsburgh 31, Cincinnati 17
OVER-RATED! OVER-RATED, I guess you could make that the official chant of the Cincinnati Bengals who ended their season with a three game losing streak.

You have to give the Bengals credit for making a play-off run but the big boys are playing now and when I say big, I mean big. Like the size of a bus! Jerome Bettis averaged 5.2 yards a carry and scored a 3rd quarter touchdown that put the Steelers up for good at 21-17.

The Steelers (12-5) will play in Indianapolis next Sunday, a chance to show how far they've come in the past month. Pittsburgh lost at the RCA Dome 26-7 on Nov. 28.
"We're the underdogs going into their place," said Ben Roethlisberger, who threw three touchdown passes. "Now we get to see what we can do."

Looking Ahead, Divisional Play-Offs

New England @ Denver

The Patriots did make a good run to win a weak division and head into the play-offs, but this is where the run ends. I know, I know you wanted to see a New England, Indy AFC Championship match-up, everyone wanted to see it. Well, too bad!

My Prediction: Denver 24, New England 17

Pittsburgh @ Indianapolis
The Steelers beat up on an over-rated Bengals team and they are the real deal now, right? Wrong! The Colts will slow down the Pittsburg rushing attack and will again be able to move the ball on a Steelers defense that will be out manned.

My Prediction: Indy 28, Pittsburgh 10

Washington @ Seattle
Two words, Shaun Alexander! The Redskins have the defense to shut him down but not him and Matt Hasselback. So, Redskin fans pick your poison. Who do you want to beat you?

My Prediction: Seattle 17, Washington 13

Carolina @ Chigago
Two great defenses and one mediocre offense, the Panthers will struggle to score but not as much as the Bears. The first team to score in double digits could win this one.

My Prediction: Carolina 13, Chicago 6