It’s not every day that the head coach of a prestigious program with the second-most all-time wins and highest winning percentage in school history gets fired. It’s also not every day that it’s actually a surprise that a coach with more impressive credentials got to keep his job. The former describes Georgia’s Mark Richt and the latter LSU’s Les Miles.
Aaron Rodgers’ performance on the podium postgame this past Sunday was much better than his performance on the field. For those who don’t know what I am talking about, I am specifically mentioning Rodgers’ comment denouncing an anti-Islamic slur yelled during a moment of silence to honor the victims of the attacks in France before Green Bay took the field. In a time where the lives of athletes are often dissected and ridiculed due to many negative off-field incidents, it is important to recognize and acknowledge the positive actions of many athletes in the face of tragedies and bigotry.
With one controversial game-winning touchdown, Nebraska might have not only killed Michigan State’s playoff hopes, but also potentially influenced the Big Ten’s own standing within the college football landscape. While Michigan State had been hanging on to its undefeated season by a thread all year, squeaking out numerous close calls, that thread finally broke, providing what might be a fatal blemish to their once historically promising season. However, one must ask if that horrific “L” on their schedule actually is a fatal blow to the Spartan’s quest for a College Football Playoff berth. This foreshadows a much larger question at hand as well: Could a one-loss Big Ten champion be deserving of a College Football Playoff spot?
The Broncos exposed a lot of weaknesses in their romp over the Packers this past Sunday, but the most apparent was the glaring ineffectiveness of Green Bay’s wide receivers. After Jordy Nelson went down with a season-ending knee injury, the receiving corps took an obvious hit, but many were optimistic the talent on hand, in conjunction with the reigning MVP in Aaron Rodgers, would minimize the effects of that loss. It was becoming more and more apparent that was not the case, and Sunday’s loss punctuated the point that a change needs to be made. With wide receivers to be had this trade deadline, Ted Thompson, I hope you are on that phone inquiring about several intriguing candidates.
We may actually be nearing the apocalypse. Think about it: We are living in a world where Donald Trump is a leading presidential candidate, and the University of Iowa football team has an extremely high chance of finishing the regular season undefeated. If it’s hard for you to comprehend putting the words “undefeated” and “Kirk Ferentz” into the same sentence, I’m right there with you. However, the Hawkeye’s head coach threw some liquid nitrogen onto his hot seat and has the Hawkeyes primed for a Big Ten West division title, and maybe, just maybe, even more. Forrealz?
For two historically great programs, it is surprisingly surprising that Michigan and Florida are having the kind of success that they are this season. After spending the last few seasons in a dungeon of mediocrity, coaching changes at each school have thus far brought back the kind of winning and dominance generally associated with each program. However, most experts or random college columnist such as myself, did not see this kind of progress coming so quickly, as both teams were left out of both preseason polls, and many predicted it would take at least a couple years to return back to relevance. Yet, maybe we really should have seen the turnaround Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines and Jim McElwain’s Gators are in the midst of this year, as there were plenty of potential signs that pointed in that direction for each program.
Earlier in the young college football season, UCLA standout linebacker Myles Jack suffered a knee injury that ruled him out for the rest of the season. Today, he made the call to declare himself for the 2016 NFL draft, forgoing his remaining college eligibility. Myles Jack made the right call, and it should be a call that every other standout underclassmen football player should take into consideration thanks to a ridiculous NFL rule.
If you took a bunch of aliens and showed them a NFL game and asked who the most important player on the field is, odds are that the aliens would point to the quarterback. Heck, even Roger Goodell might be able to figure that one out. This importance has typically led to many of them being drafted with the first pick, and sometimes even both of the first two picks.
This past Sunday, a violent tug of the shoulder may have changed the landscape of the entire Eastern Conference playoffs. Kevin Love’s dislocated shoulder in Cleveland’s Game 4 victory over Boston could be a season-altering play for many other teams besides the Cavs.
The first round of last year’s NBA playoffs was addiction for many fans, as an unprecedented five out of the eight series went to Game 7s. So far, the first hit of the playoff drug has been less potent, as six out of the eight top seeds won their first game.