Four Downs – 12/18: What is a catch? + Bye bye Green Bay & Seattle’s on-field train wreck

An all-NFL four pack of topics this week…the last Monday column I’ll write for a while. Starting next week, the column goes to two days a week…usually Tuesdays and Thursdays though that may vary.

FIRST DOWN: The end of the Patriots-Steelers game was…

Amazing…yet awful at the same time. Not only should Pittsburgh have clinched the game just before the two minute mark but a dropped easy interception was missed. Tom Brady managed to lead New England down the field for the touchdown and two-point conversion which gave the Patriots a 3 point lead with just under a minute to play.

But the Steelers weren’t done…JuJu Smith-Schuster caught a simple crossing route that he took 69 yards inside the Pats 10 yard line. On first down and goal, TE Jesse James appeared to catch a touchdown to give Pittsburgh the lead.

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Continue reading “Four Downs – 12/18: What is a catch? + Bye bye Green Bay & Seattle’s on-field train wreck”

Monday Musings – December 11th: Are the Eagles toast without Wentz? And is ASU basketball top-5 worthy?

Well folks, the answer to both questions to lead off this column is unfortunately yes.

-If Eagles QB Carson Wentz sustained a torn-ACL as feared late-Sunday, Philadelphia’s chances at winning the NFC are all but over. Sorry Eagles fans, while I’m somewhat of a Nick Foles believer (considering he’s a fellow Arizona Wildcat), he’s not going to be able to win your team a big game in January. Sorry, just not happening. The Eagles defense, as we saw on Sunday vs. the Rams is good, but far from elite. To win the NFC, the Eagles will have to rely on running the ball 65% of the time. Good luck if and when they get behind.

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Continue reading “Monday Musings – December 11th: Are the Eagles toast without Wentz? And is ASU basketball top-5 worthy?”

Friday, 12/8 Quick Hitters: More Herm Edwards reaction, the CFB coaching carousel, & Best Bets

Keeping it football-only once again today…but unfortunately there is only one game to predict:

-The best tradition in sports as I see it is the singing of the alma maters after the annual Army-Navy game.

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The winners get to sing second and as you’ll see in the video below, the scene looks amazing as both teams always pay respect to one another. To be at this game is definitely on my sports bucket list:

Army won for the first time since 2001 last season but they won’t make it two years in-a-row. Navy 23, Army 20 in the last regular season CFB game of the season.

Continue reading “Friday, 12/8 Quick Hitters: More Herm Edwards reaction, the CFB coaching carousel, & Best Bets”

Friday, 12/1 Quick Hitters: Tennessee or ASU, Championship Weekend Preview, Best Bets, and more!

Question of the day: which is the better college football job, Tennessee or ASU?

Usually a college football fan would say the Volunteers due to being in the better conference, having a more celebrated tradition, and higher profile exposure. The problem is…coaches keep turning that job down like the place is on fire after the fanbase’s reaction to Greg Schiano’s near-hire last Sunday.

So the answer to my question above is ASU. Yet I’m still not convinced that AD Ray Anderson is making a good move by reportedly hiring his good friend and former client, Herm Edwards as the Sun Devils’ next head man.

The truth is…the right guy for both jobs is the same…former Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin. Once the hottest name in the college ranks to NFL personnel, Sumlin holds a combined 86-43 record at Houston and A&M. While he may not be a home run hire so-to-speak, Sumlin is a safe bet to produce winning season after winning season with the occasional super successful one.

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Continue reading “Friday, 12/1 Quick Hitters: Tennessee or ASU, Championship Weekend Preview, Best Bets, and more!”

Four Downs – November 20th: Is RichRod back on the hot seat? Seriously…

Only two blogs this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday (none on Friday) so look for a GIANT column previewing the huge football weekend ahead on Wednesday…

FIRST DOWN: If ASU beats UofA, should the Wildcats be looking for a new head coach?

As a diehard University of Arizona football fan / alumnus of the university, I like to keep my eye on the pulse of the program throughout both the good times and bad times. On Sunday morning I was reading the 24/7 Sports UofA message board where I found multiple threads discussing Rich Rodriguez’s job security.

Earlier in the year I made it known that I was in favor of RichRod to move on after the season. And then came the emergence of Khalil Tate. Let it be known now, in light of Oregon’s 48-28 blowout win over the Wildcats on Saturday night, that I don’t feel the same way. Rich Rodriguez deserves another season at the helm of the Wildcats’ football program regardless whether Arizona wins or loses at ASU on Saturday.

I didn’t expect this team to achieve seven wins this season much less beat a ranked Washington State squad by three touchdowns on Homecoming Saturday in late-October. I thought Khalil Tate might be a difference-maker but I didn’t expect him to be a Heisman candidate (though that suggestion is likely finished after Saturday’s game). Through 11 games in 2017, Arizona football has exceeded my expectations.

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Continue reading “Four Downs – November 20th: Is RichRod back on the hot seat? Seriously…”

Friday, 11/17 Quick Hitters: On CFB Scheduling, Khalil Tate, Weekend Thoughts + Best Bets

Thank you, Pac-12 – instead of making your schools and fans wait until mid-January for next year’s football schedules, you released them earlier than normal on Thursday.

In glancing at UofA and ASU’s schedules, I’ll make two early predictions:

1. If Khalil Tate stays healthy throughout, Arizona wins a minimum of 9 games and the South Division title next season.

2. ASU finishes no lower than 3rd in the division and wins at least 8 games in 2018.

Am I overly optimistic or dead on? Leave me your feedback in the comments below.

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Continue reading “Friday, 11/17 Quick Hitters: On CFB Scheduling, Khalil Tate, Weekend Thoughts + Best Bets”

Four Downs, 11/13 – November Football Questions…and Answers

For those of you who love the sport of football like I do, November is the absolute best month for entertainment. The contenders are separated from the pretenders and each week is more of a thrill ride than before. While I’m very excited about my Arizona Wildcats college basketball season, talk to me about it after the college football regular season.

This week I’m going to answer four tough football-related questions starting with a local one…

FIRST DOWN: Is ASU’s Todd Graham back on the hot seat after his team’s poor play the last few weeks?

You bet he is. The Sun Devils’ defense was as red hot as the QB play in Tucson during the middle of October…but USC derailed ASU’s high hopes on October 28th. Since then ASU struggled to beat a weak Colorado squad at home before giving up 44 points to an unimpressive UCLA squad on Saturday night.

Just think, 16 days ago ASU was playing for the lead in the Pac-12 South division. Now they’re hanging on by a thread to bowl eligibility having to beat either Oregon State in Corvallis or UofA in Tempe to achieve a .500 record.

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Continue reading “Four Downs, 11/13 – November Football Questions…and Answers”