Archives for July 2013

NIU Huskies experiencing big changes at the top this fall

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The NIU Huskies are the winningest college football team in the state of Illinois and they enter the 2013 season with back to back Mid-American Conference Championships and an appearance in the 2013 Orange Bowl. That didn’t go so well as Florida State whomped them pretty badly, but hey it’s the first ever BCS bid for the MAC.

And this year brings more enthusiasm along with upgrades to Huskie Stadium, a new Athletic Director in Sean Frazier, a new coach in Rod Carey and a Heisman Trophy campaign by the school for Jordan Lynch.

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Jay Cutler is the antithesis of Johnny Manziel

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The public face of Jay Cutler is so uninteresting and boring that we’ve created ways to make him interesting and compelling. Jay Cutler is certainly not the Punky QB Jim McMahon; or even Captain Neckbeard Kyle Orton. At least personality wise.

He never says anything that makes good copy, and most interviews of him are a huge waste of time. I didn’t write about the “not on the same page” garbage from Monday because it’s such a NON-STORY.

I know it’s hard to come up with good storylines when watching shuttle runs all day in training camp, but I doooooooooon’t caaaaaaarrreee about that soundbite. If Cutler says the Bears are “not all on the same page” a couple days before the season kicks off- then I would care.

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D.J. Williams first notable injury at Chicago Bears Camp

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The first injury of significance in the inaugural Camp Trestman is….D.J. Williams. The Chicago Bears offseason acquisition at linebacker was taking reps with the first team and is projected to be a starter in the Bears revamped corps. He’s listed as week by week, so this is significant!

“That’s an opportunity for our young guys to get reps and see what people can do,” new Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman said about it.

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Danica Patrick doing Q&A with fans

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Danica Patrick isn’t the best NASCAR driver. Actually, she’s really pretty bad this season thus far. However, she is the most marketable and visible NASCAR driver. And Danica Patrick will increase her visibility with a question-and-answer session inside the Checkered Flag Fan Zone on Sunday, Sept. 15.

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Too Early 2013 Ohio State Football Season Preview

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All the talk around Ohio State football this summer has been about arrests, sanctions, player discipline, etc. Off-the-field issues pretty much. As well is should because 1.) we don’t have actual college football to speak of for a whole ‘nother month yet 2.) 25 players got arrested under Urban Meyer while he was leading the Gators. 8 already with Ohio State football.

In fact, before subbing Christian Bryant for Bradley Roby, 2/3 players selected to represent OSU at Big Ten media day had been arrested! That’s 67% if you’re scoring at home.

Urban Meyer received a grilling from the national media during the first day of Big Ten Media Days about all this (here are the highlights of that). Then the second day he was swarmed by his local lap-dog media who mostly lobbed softballs at him.

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#102 South Florida Bulls: College Basketball 111 in 111

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Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season.  We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The South Florida Bulls make the move from the Big East to the American Athletic Conference (aka Conference USA on steroids.)  Last season USF returned to their abysmal basketball playing ways, a year after making the program’s third ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.  Even with a new league, more of the same will be expected from Stan Heath’s squad.

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#103 Mississippi State Bulldogs: College Basketball 111 in 111

mississippi state dance team

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season.  We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs were BAD last year.  I’m talking “Taylor Swift singing live in concert” bad.  With that being said, everyone is back from last year so the team should make strides this year.  Don’t expect a major leap though from Rick Ray’s team but rather a What About Bob baby steps-type progression.

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Urban Meyer answering for his players crimes

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Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer had time for 14 questions from the media a week ago. Twelve of them pertained to sanctions, legal issues, off-the-field trouble etc. If that seems excessive, read this list. After seeing it, you may wonder what was wrong with those other two reporters who asked about football.

I cribbed the best Q&A of those 12 here.

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Penn State football has correct message for Paterno conspiracy nuts

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I went through all 198 pages of the 2013 Penn State football media guide and I saw just two pictures, 8 mentions of Joe Paterno. And the PSU SID referenced Paterno only when they absolutely had to. I’m guessing you already know how many mentions of Jerry Sandusky and The Second Mile are in the Penn State football history book.

This shows you that the Penn State football program is doing the right thing in damage control. They’re accepting the NCAA sanctions and moving on; while the “JoeBots” and “Joe Paterno was framed” subset of Nittany Nation still refuses to accept reality. This cadre of Penn State football fans still tries to overturn reality while the actual PSU players are instead working within it.

PSU Safety Malcolm Willis has a solid message.

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United Dominoes: Modric Likely, Fabregas Forgotten, Hernandez, Nani up in the air

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This United article is from new TSB contributor Robbie Dunne.

The Domino effect that is the transfer window of European soccer is about to begin, it appears. The initial period of teams throwing out feelers to see what response they will get is now starting to end and the serious offers are starting to flood in… and out, for that matter.

Tottenham Hotspurs seem increasingly likely to buy Robert Soldado from Valencia and Valencia in return are at Manchester United’s Javier Hernandez as a replacement for the 28 year old Spanish striker.

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Red Sox acquire Jake Peavy from White Sox

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The Boston Red Sox sent Cleuluis Rondon, J.B. Wendelken, and Francellis Montas to the Chicago White Sox; OF Avisail Garcia was traded from the Detroit Tigers to the Red Sox to the White Sox. So it’s a three team deal: Red Sox, White Sox, Tigers.

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Brandon Jennings saga over for Bucks as he’s dealt to Detroit for Brandon Knight

Brandon Jennings

Disgruntled point guard Brandon Jennings finally has a new home as the Milwaukee Bucks deal their point guard to the Detroit Pistons for Brandon Knight and two other players.  The trade makes sense for both sides as the Bucks rid themselves of their unhappy floor leader while the Pistons add another big name player this off-season.

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