Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre leads coaches on the rise this season

Stand up if you predicted in August that Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre and West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen would be hosting arguably the two most marquee games of Week 12.

Sit down, sir. You, too, ma’am. No one actually saw this coming.

MacIntyre entered the season at No. 2 in ESPN’s hot seat rankings, while Holgorsen checked in at No. 5. Both seemed unlikely to turn around their programs, but Colorado and West Virginia are a combined 16-3 and ranked 10th and 14th, respectively, in the CFP rankings.

The season that began with the fear of being defined by the “Super Bowl hangover” all of a sudden is being defined by head injuries.

Kuechly, who is in the concussion protocol, could be the sixth Carolina player to suffer a concussion this season. Left tackle Michael Oher Josh Wilson Authentic Womens Jersey has missed seven games with one and there is no sign of when he will return.

Quarterback Cam Newton missed a Week 5 game against Tampa Bay. Backup safety and special teams ace Colin Jones has missed the past two games. Outside linebacker A.J. Klein missed Thursday’s game.

In that scenario, the committee could possibly be comparing the résumés of two-loss conference champions from three leagues: the Big Ten (Penn State or Wisconsin), the ACC (Louisville) and the Big 12 (Oklahoma). The best-case scenario for the ACC would be for Clemson to beat Wake Forest and South Carolina, then win the conference title, leaving no doubt it’s a top-four conference champion.

One thing we know for sure: Clemson and Louisville aren’t getting in now.

The Big Ten is the only conference with any legitimate hope of two playoff teams, but that’s assuming that Ohio State wins out but doesn’t win its division. Fans have to remember that winning a conference title is one of the tiebreakers the committee uses Kevin Ogletree Authentic Womens Jersey to rank teams with comparable résumés. If it comes down to Ohio State or Penn State, and the Nittany Lions win the Big Ten title, the Buckeyes would have two strikes against them in the committee’s protocol.

How Trader Danny accelerated the Boston Celtics’ rebuild

They don’t call him Trader Danny for nothing.

“I know him and I don’t think he would just say something to be saying it,” Anthony said of James, his close friend. “Whatever was said, I’m pretty Authentic James Carpenter Jersey sure it hit home and he responded to it. I don’t know exactly what was said.”

Anthony said he doesn’t think Jackson meant to use the word “posse” in a racial connotation, but he also didn’t want to speak on Jackson’s behalf.

Anthony added that he isn’t concerned with how the James-Jackson interaction may impact the way free agents view the Knicks in future offseasons.

“No, that don’t worry me,” he said. “I don’t Authentic Jarvis Jenkins Jersey really know what was the gist of the conversation, what was the topic or why Phil was even talking about LeBron in the first place. I don’t think we play them anytime soon. It’s a whole month away.”

The Knicks next play the Cavs at home on Dec. 7.

“I missed shots,” Harden said.

Asked about the double-teams causing him problems, Harden shook that off, too.

“Normal, I still was able to make passes,” he said. “A couple of passes we missed, but normal game, just didn’t make shots, especially down the stretch like we needed to, and that was it.”

With two Thunder defenders on the ball, that meant more open looks for the Rockets. Ryan Anderson and Trevor Ariza missed seven each. Eric Gordon missed nine, and Harden himself went 0-for-3 on uncontested shots.

As the game began to slip away from the Rockets, they reverted back to isolation basketball — Harden dribbling and dribbling and dribbling. When he did pass, the Rockets had open looks, only to misfire.

“Regardless if it moved enough or not, we still got the looks that we like, the looks that we’re going to take,” Ariza said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t hit them tonight.”

Saints’ Brandin Cooks proves he’s more than just a deep threat

Brandin Cooks talked this summer about wanting to prove he is more than just a deep threat.

If the New Orleans Saints receiver hadn’t accomplished that already, he did so with three fantastic catches in the second half of Sunday’s 25-23 loss to the Denver Broncos.

Speight started the first 10 games of Deion Sanders Authentic Womens Jersey the season for Michigan and threw for 2,156 yards and 15 touchdowns. He favored his left side during the fourth quarter at Iowa and finished the game with 103 passing yards, his second-lowest total of the season.

1. Washington loses the Apple Cup in Pullman. That would give Washington State the Pac-12 North title and send the Cougars to the Pac-12 title game. Given Derrick Shelby Authentic Womens Jersey the Huskies’ poor overall strength of schedule — their best nonconference win was against Rutgers — there’s virtually no scenario in which the selection committee would put a two-loss Washington that didn’t win its own division into the playoff.

2. Louisville loses to Houston or Kentucky. The Cardinals are a real problem for the Big 12. Behind quarterback Lamar Jackson, they have been about as impressive as any team in the country, outside Alabama, and would be a strong choice for the committee even if Clemson won the ACC. A one-loss Louisville would almost definitely get into the playoff over a Big 12 champion. The Cardinals have to lose again.

3. The Big Ten winds up with only one playoff option. What does this mean? Essentially, the Big 12 needs Michigan to win out. An 11-1 Ohio State, which would have a win against the Wolverines, would be an unconquerable obstacle for the Big 12, even if the Buckeyes didn’t advance to the Big Ten championship. Ohio State throttled Oklahoma in Norman, which has basically locked in Ohio State ahead of the Big 12 champion in the pecking order. But if the Wolverines ran the table, they would be handing the Buckeyes a second loss, blocking Penn State from making the Big Ten title game and eliminating Wisconsin from the discussion. And when the dust settled, Michigan would be the Big Ten’s only real playoff possibility.

“I know that’s what I can do,” said the Saints’ third-year pro, who ranks 10th in the NFL with 77.1 receiving yards per game and is on pace for 78 catches, 1,233 yards and 11 touchdowns. “It’s just a matter of having the opportunities to do it, and when they present themselves, taking advantage of it, to be able to put that on film for the coaches.

Basketball is more fun when it’s competitive

This is the second bit of that self-description: “a competitor at everything.” Chess gets heated. Checkers gets heated. Connect Four — Connect Four! — gets heated. Video games aren’t merely a relaxing diversion; they’re another avenue in which to compete. (His top choice is “Mortal Kombat XL.” His main character? Raiden. “I don’t think anyone can beat me,” he said.)

Indeed, these are the two things other people say about Jackson: that he is a really nice guy and crazy competitive, and that the difference is never more noticeable than when he steps on and off the court.

“He’s very easy to get Dave Hollins Youth Jersey along with,” Lucas said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a person, or a personality type, not fit with him.”

This is the same person who, earlier this year, blocked a shot from NBA legend Gary Payton’s son in a high school game — and then started talking trash to Gary Payton.

Kerr pulled the plug on his evening with 5 minutes, 52 seconds remaining in the contest after Durant was called for an offensive foul for plowing over Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried on his way to the basket. Durant went down awkwardly upon contact, which was all Kerr needed to see.

“I knew about the [points] streak and I told him that when he came off the floor, but I’m not going to mess with the basketball gods,” Kerr said. “If you want to leave a guy out there to get some kind of record, you’re asking for an injury. The game Frank Herrmann Youth Jersey called for him to come out. He came out; he had no problem with it.”

Some members of the Warriors feared this game since it was their second in a back-to-back and because they arrived in Denver around 3.a.m. local time. Curry’s shooting stroke made sure they wouldn’t be the victims of a trap game, as the Warriors led by as many as 31 points.

It was the Nuggets who were the ones trapped at home all night.

“I think the energy was great on both ends of the basketball,” Green said. “Back-to-back coming to Denver, it’s tough. That’s a tough flight. Two-and-a-half-hour flight after a game, you’re losing time, and to come out with the energy that we did showed that this team is maturing.”

Clemson probably won’t have any more committee-swaying wins

Clemson probably won’t have any more committee-swaying wins, even with an ACC title.

When it comes to a team trying to creep into the top four by season’s end, Louisville is still very much on the outside looking in. After ranking No. 7 in the initial polls, the Cardinals are No. 6 and still need Atlantic Division partner Clemson to lose to Pittsburgh and Wake Forest to get into the ACC title game. Don’t count on that, so without a conference title and a remaining strength of schedule that currently ranks 62nd in ESPN’s Football Power Index, Louisville might have to score 100 points in each of its remaining games.

Speaking of the Pac-12, it should be rooting hard for the Huskies going forward, because they are the conference’s only hope for a playoff berth. While a loss to No. 20 USC this week would be damaging, the Huskies could probably sneak back into the top four with a Pac-12 championship. However, the committee won’t be too kind to the conference if the Huskies aren’t the Pac-12 representative.

When asked why Rambis was chosen to coach the defense rather than another assistant, Hornacek said, “It could’ve been anybody.”

“It could’ve been Jerry [Sichting], could have been Corey [Gaines]. We all talk as a coaching staff about the same things,” he added. “So Kurt had some of these guys last year. Just felt it was better to put him in that.”

Rambis was in charge of the Lakers’ defense when they went Kerry Hyder Authentic Womens Jersey to back-to-back NBA Finals (2008, 2009). Those Lakers teams were strong defensively, finishing in the top 10 in defensive efficiency in each season. Rambis also served as a head coach with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2009-10 and 2010-11. Those clubs struggled on defense, finishing 29th and 30th, respectively, in defensive efficiency.

The Knicks worked mostly on defense in Tuesday’s practice, specifically practicing their pick-and-roll coverage.

After practice, Carmelo Anthony was asked if the players were Kyle Van Noy Authentic Womens Jersey comfortable with the decision to assign the club’s defense to Rambis.

“Whether we’re comfortable with it or not, it is what it is, and we got to buy into that and embrace that,” he said. “[We have to] just focus in on our schemes and what we want to do and just have kinda a foundation of how we gonna do it and what we gonna do and go by that.”

I think of Florida and North Carolina as being the protagonists of this election

I think of Florida and North Carolina as being the protagonists of this election. They have a bit of everything: early voting, conflicting polling, changing demographics. And they’ve always played a role in the drama of the campaign, since neither candidate has ever really been able to pull away in either state. (No candidate has ever been better than a 2-1 favorite in North Carolina in our polls-plus forecast, for instance.) Furthermore, both states’ polls close relatively early and they count their vote relatively quickly, so they’ll be some of the first states we’ll be checking for clues as to how tomorrow will proceed.

Clinton would seem to be playing offense in these states, in the sense that winning either one would make it very hard for Trump to come back — that’s Fred Jackson Jersey especially the case for Florida, with its 29 electoral votes, which could cover for her losing two key states elsewhere on the map. But there’s a higher chance than you might think that they prove to be a necessity rather than a luxury for Clinton, in case something goes wrong for Clinton in the Midwest.

Obama was leading in the polls in Ohio and Iowa four years ago. Clinton isn’t, which is a big reason her Electoral College map is less robust than his was. While the Garry Gilliam Jersey changes are easy enough to understand based on demographic patterns — both states have lots of white, working-class voters — they’re a sign that the map isn’t necessarily going back to normal even if Clinton wins the election.

But it’s not so much that Clinton’s out of the running in these states — she’s more likely to win Iowa than to lose Pennsylvania, according to our forecast — as that it’s hard to see her winning them unless she’s doing well elsewhere in the Midwest. And if she’s doing well elsewhere in the Midwest, she’ll find it hard to lose the Electoral College. Thus, Ohio and Iowa rank poorly according to our tipping-point index, which accounts for these correlations.

Still, Ohio might have one or two things that make it a good target for Clinton, such as Trump’s frosty relationship with the state’s Republican Party and slightly tighter polls in the past week. Iowa, by contrast, might go the way of Missouri, a state that went from bellwether to off-the-swing-state-map without really pausing in between.

Minnesota would probably have required more of a concerted effort from Trump to really put it into play, but the model marks it as somewhat uncertain because there’s been relatively little polling there. If Clinton is having so many problems in Iowa, is it totally implausible that she could be struggling in the state just on its northern border?

Finally, we come to the states that would matter only in the event of a very close election — particularly, in those cases where Clinton loses Nevada and New Hampshire but wins the rest of her firewall, leaving her stuck on 268 electoral votes. Note that it’s 268 electoral votes instead of 269 because Clinton’s firewall doesn’t include the northern, rural, 2nd Congressional District of Maine, whose demographics are almost perfect for Trump — although recent polls there have shown the race tightening from a previous Trump lead. The two statewide Maine electoral votes could also be in play, although Clinton will almost certainly win the 1st District, which includes Portland.

Falcons pull off thrilling last-minute win against the Packers

It looked like the Atlanta Falcons weren’t going to be able to pull off a win against the visiting Green Bay Packers, but they managed to do so with a late-game touchdown pass from Matt Ryan to Mohamed Sanu for a final score of 33-32.

Aaron Rodgers John Miller Authentic Womens Jersey threw for 246 yards and four touchdowns in the loss. With Eddie Lacy on injured reserve and James Starks inactive due to injury, Rodgers was also the Packers’ leading rusher in the loss with 60 yards on the ground.

Bill O’Brien has the “quarterback guru” label attached to him. How he got that reputation is less clear. He made Ryan Fitzpatrick look competent in 2014, but since then his attempts to make the best out of replacement parts QBs haven’t been successful.

Osweiler was supposed to be Jordan Mills Authentic Womens Jersey different, a talented quarterback for “the guru” to work with, but that’s not working out so far either.

The Texans can’t wiggle out of Osweiler’s contract until 2018. Cutting him next year would smack them with a $25 million cap hit.

In other words, someone better help Brock Osweiler find his confidence again. One strategy: remind him that he’s very tall, 6’8, and NOBODY can take that away from him.

The Packers were also missing wide receiver Randall Cobb and tight end Jared Cook, but Rodgers still managed to spread the ball around. Aside from Jordy Nelson, Rodgers hit three different receivers — Jeff Janis, Trevor Davis and Geronimo Allison — for their first career touchdown receptions.

Collins, 27, is a versatile and talented linebacker who moved around and played several positions in the New England defense. He was scheduled to become a free agent in the offseason and would’ve cost $14.129 million to franchise tag, so it will now be a top priority for the Browns to take on the task of extending their newly added linebacker.

At this point, Gronkowski is the best tight end in the NFL, and it isn’t close. Greg Olsen is still performing at a high level for the Carolina Panthers, and Jimmy Graham is having a decent season in Seattle, but as far as pure talent and production, it’s Gronk and then it’s all the other tight ends in the league.

Milwaukee’s Jonathan Lucroy will replace injured St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina as the National League’s starter

Milwaukee’s Jonathan Lucroy will replace injured St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina as the National League’s starter for Tuesday night’s All- game. The commissioner’s office said Friday that Arizona’s Montero will fill Molina’s roster spot. Elected to start for the fourth time, Molina tore a ligament his right thumb Wednesday. He was scheduled for surgery Friday and is expected to be sidelined for at least eight weeks.

When Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda steps on the mound Phillip Dorsett Authentic Womens Jersey against the Reds, he’ll be the last one left. Gone for the are CC Sabathia to right knee surgery and to Tommy surgery. Masahiro Tanaka is expected to be out for at least six weeks with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament his right elbow, and Pineda is rehabbing a right shoulder injury, hopeful for return. Kuroda is the only starter remaining from the Yankees’ injury-riddled Opening Day rotation. his last 13 starts, Kuroda is 4 with a 3, and he has produced a quality start four of his last five outings. he’ll look to lead New to a sweep of the Reds and pitch deep into the game — both for him and the sake of the Yankees’ bullpen, which has been effective, but busy. I think we’ve asked a lot of them to begin with. But I still think you have to, at times, protect them as well, Yankees manager Girardi said.

There’s two things that can happen if you overuse them. Worst-case scenario is that people can get hurt. The second worst-case scenario is they become ineffective or exhausted, and that doesn’t help you either. Kuroda face a dominant Cueto of the Reds, who has thrown at least six innings his last seven starts and hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs each outing. He’s struck out 44 with a 2 and has gone 5 that span. The All- is second the National League with a 2, first with 143 3 innings, a.181 opponents’ batting average and a 0 WHIP, and tied for first with three complete games. his last start right before the All- break, Cueto went six innings against the Pirates, made more impressive after having to wait nearly hour for a rain delay the fifth inning. It was not easy ; I ‘t recommend that to Reggie Wayne Authentic Womens Jersey anybody, he said. I nobody has to go through that. When you’re up your tempo and then you’ve got to come back and wait and wait and wait, you’ve got to create so things. And I thank that he let me continue the game. Reds: Schumaker passes concussion test Reds outfielder second baseman Skip Schumaker had a concussion test Saturday, and passed it. The next step is to receive clearance and approval from League Baseball and the Players Association before he can be activated from the seven-day concussion disabled list. It is possible he could play against the Yankees. Schumaker was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list prior to the July 11 series opener against the Pirates. He slammed hard into the right-field wall trying to make a leaping catch on Valbuena’s go-ahead two-run triple the 12th inning of a 6 loss to the Cubs the day before. Schumaker is hitting.240 with eight doubles and 14 RBIs this. He did very well on two different tests, Reds head trainer Lessard said. The tests have been submitted. We haven’t gotten clearance yet from the league. They look it over and send the message.

Unwritten rules of football that need to go

NFL broadcasts and coaching news conferences are full of football proverbs. Very often, these are simply explanations for a why a situation demanded avoiding risk, or at least delaying it. And very often, the numbers — while not perfect — tell us otherwise.

In many cases, these unwritten laws of coaching and game management in football are more a function of history and tradition without a space for self-reevaluation or change. That’s not acceptable. Teams who spend all week looking for the tiniest little competitive advantages abandon them when given the opportunity to impact a game. That’s a waste, and it’s time for a change.

Let’s run through some of these close Auston Matthews Womens Jersey scenarios and explain why the traditional method of thinking about them is antiquated. Starting with a classic …

Today, after what he calls the “gamblization” of sports in Australia, Hunt says sports bettors make up one-third of the clinic’s patients.

If sports betting is legalized, will the United States be headed for a future with increased addiction potentially spurned by a rampant barrage of gambling Bobby Baun Womens Jersey
advertising? Proponents point to the expected economic benefits and increased game-integrity protection of legalization. Opponents say those perceived pluses won’t outweigh the pitfalls.

“For the two-thirds-plus of Americans who rarely or never engage in commercial gambling, the change will be negative,” said Michael K. Fagan, a former federal prosecutor and current adjunct professor at Washington University School of Law. “Anyone fairly and comprehensively evaluating the unbiased, independent academic, health-care and economic evidence readily finds that it weighs in favor of continuing prohibitions on commercial sports gambling.”

Sam Skolnik, author of “High Stakes: The Rising Cost of America’s Gambling Addiction,” believes the only thing truly inevitable about the future of sports betting in the U.S. is that similar pitfalls to what Australia is experiencing will follow any expansion of legal sports betting.

Daily fantasy ads were everywhere in the fall of 2015. Could gambling ads be equally prevalent if betting is legalized in the U.S.? ESPN Illustration
“Voters, state legislators and other stakeholders should start thinking about the potential downsides of what would be a major expansion of legalized gambling,” Skolnik said. “You’re going to have this pool of new gamblers, and there is going to be a subset of problem gamblers. This is extremely painful for them and not just their families. It’s for their employers, the whole communities that will pay the costs of increased gambling addiction.”

In the U.S., gambling addiction peaked at about 2.7 percent in the late 1990s and early 2000s, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG). It has been on the decline ever since, even as gambling has expanded across the nation, and has now settled around 2 percent. At state-run problem gambling hotlines, calls from sports bettors are rare. In 2014, less than 1 percent of callers to the Nevada’s gambling hotline identified sports betting as their most problematic form of gambling.

In fact, the NCPG does not oppose the legalization of sports betting and will announce a resolution later this year that will lay out recommended safeguards for an expanded regulated market.

Vikings sign coach Mike Zimmer to contract extension

Mike Zimmer built a solid reputation as a defensive coordinator over the course of his NFL career, but it took him 20 years to become a head coach in the NFL. Now, just two years after the Minnesota Vikings hired him to fill that role, Zimmer has received a contract extension.

Unofficially, check out this Riley Dixon Authentic Womens Jersey little piece of Fisher coach-speak from a radio interview he did in June, talking about Goff:

“We’re not going to rush him. He’s a quick learner. He’s got a special and arm and vision, and he’s going to play sooner than I think a lot of people think. We’re not going to put him in position to fail. We want him to be successful.”
They’re not going to rush him, but he’s totally way ahead of where everyone thinks he is.

Word of warning, Goff is the fourth Russell Okung Authentic Womens Jersey quarterback of the future Fisher’s promised since starting his four-year run of sub-.500 seasons with the Rams.

A couple of weeks ago, this looked like the most legitimate quarterback competition of all. Doug Pederson declared that Carson Wentz just wasn’t ready and would be third on the depth chart.

We should have known better. He’s since softened that stance, telling the media that he wants Wentz to be “starter ready” by Week 1. Forgive Pederson, he’s a rookie head coach who forgot how these things are supposed to work.

One thing Bradford’s done consistently throughout his NFL career, the only thing, is wow people in camp. I would expect him to be the Eagles starter when the season begins. There are two other things Bradford’s done consistently throughout his career: get injured and watch his play go wildly up and down from week to week and quarter to quarter. Wentz should have the job sewn up by the end of September.

There’s another question that doesn’t get asked in the camp “competitions” to anoint highly drafted rookies: what if the guy stinks? Camps aren’t set up for players to fail, but it’s possible that a first-rounder shows he’s just not ready for the job. If that’s the case, then the team’s got another quarterback battle on the horizon, a very serious problem.

Last year the Jets had a quarterback battle between Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick that lasted for about two weeks, when a sucker punch put Smith on the shelf and settled the matter.

Until Wednesday when the team finally re-signed Fitzpatrick, the Jets were on this list again. It would have been the fourth season in a row that the Jets kicked off camp with a question about who would be their starter.

Fitzpatrick isn’t the long-term solution the Jets have been seeking since Mark Sanchez butt fumbled his way to infamy — he’s a temporary fix. For the Browns, who have had 24 different starting quarterbacks since 1999, they’re just hoping RG3 can give them any sense of stability.

When it comes to the position, stability is the next-best thing to the absolute certainty a team gets from bona fide franchise guys.

If your team is having a quarterback battle this month, a real one, you have our condolences.