Archives for September 2013

Have the San Francisco 49ers turned their season around?


There’s a lot of pressure on this San Francisco 49ers team to perform this season. Having risen to one of the best outfits in 2012, they came agonizingly close to a Super Bowl victory last February before young Colin Kaepernick froze in the chilly New Orleans air.
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Joe Girardi leading Cubs Manager candidate as Sveum axed


It’s rather likely right now that Joe Girardi will leave the New York Yankees in order to manage the Chicago Cubs? It was reported last Friday that if the Cubs were interested in talking to Joe Girardi, he certainly would listen.

Also, the consensus surrounding the Cubs was that they would not fire Dale Sveum until/if they knew Girardi was ready to come to Chicago. They just fired Sveum minutes ago.

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Obligatory Peyton Manning is God article


It’s a Peyton Manning love fest all around. All talk of the NFL these days eventually leads to Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, and how he’s reaching the top his game right now. He’s currently a demigod and the numbers back that up. His offense put up 52 points on Philly in a convincing win; Peyton throwing for 327 and 4 TDs.

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Vegas doesn’t see Pat Fitzgerald as Lane Kiffin successor

pat fitzgerald-fitzerland

Despite all the speculation by local and national media about Pat Fitzgerald being a strong candidate to replace Lane Kiffin at USC, Vegas seems to think otherwise. Now that Lane Kiffin has been axed, and the Trojans gig is now open, all that Pat Fitzgerald to Troy chatter is probably no signal, and all noise.

And believe I’ve been up to my ears in Pat Fitzgerald leaving to coach elsewhere noise. Even though it’s hard to imagine him leaving before the new lakefront facility is completed. And even then, remember Fitz is a NU alum with very strong ties to the school. If he turned down Michigan, he can turn down USC.

According to, the favorite to replace Kiffin is current Denver Broncos defensive coordinator and former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio.

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#48 Purdue Boilermakers: College Basketball 111 in 111

purdue boilermakers

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 Purdue Boilermakers streak of six straight trips to the NCAA Tournament ended last season as they finished with a losing record for the first time since Matt Painter’s first year as head coach. The Boilers should be slightly improved this year but with another stacked Big Ten Conference, a return to the tourney is in sight but far from a given.

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Has the David Moyes era been a total disaster for United?


The 4-1 defeat Manchester United suffered to City in the Manchester Derby was as bad or worse than any loss David Moyes suffered in his many years leading Everton. Don’t take my word for it, he said it himself.

“I’ve been here many times with Everton and don’t think I’ve suffered a defeat like this with Everton in my time,” David Moyes said.

Ok so that match was a disaster, but what about the entire decision to bring him to Old Trafford? Was that a huge mistake? Should United have gone with Jose Mourinho instead? Who supposedly cried when he was rejected for the United job.

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Danica Patrick finishes 29th yet AGAIN


Danica Patrick finished 29th in the AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. This now drops her to 28th in the points standings.

Right there at her average finish. Danica has been pretty consistent finishing in that 25-29 area. And the arithmetic mean of her placements have been 27. Danica Patrick, who started 31st, battled through a tight-handling condition early in the race. That problem caused her to drop as low as 38th in the running order. (There are only 43 cars in each race)

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Twitter reacts to Detroit Lions WHUPPING Chicago Bears

Ndamukong Suh

Finally, people in my hometown can come back to Earth. The meathead contingent of the Chicago Bears fanbase has been way-over-top lately. I seriously thought the most unreasonable cadre of Chicago Bears Nation was ready to record Super Bowl Shuffle Remix ’13. Not anymore after today.

Now that the Detroit Lions have put the whopping stick on them, here’s a sampling of people reacting to the Chicago Bears train wreck in Detroit. I saved my own commentary for the end.

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USC fires Lane Kiffin, what about Layla Kiffin


As you’ve heard, USC fired college football Coach Lane Kiffin in the middle of the night. So we’re concerned about his wife Layla Kiffin. How is she taking the news? Does she need consoling? How will Layla Kiffin stay in the public spotlight as her husband’s career slides downhill?

We need to make sure Layla Kiffin continues to be photographed regularly, and those photographs are published. (more Layla Kiffin pics)

Related: Jen Bielema vs. Layla Kiffin

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Big Ten power rankings: guest Tweet edition


The pictures for this Big Ten power rankings honor history. Yes I witnessed history today for the Big Ten, and not in a good way.  Purdue gave up the most points in the history of Ross-Ade Stadium (opened its doors 1924) and the 31 point differential in their 55-24 loss to Northern Illinois is tied for the worst ever loss for a Big Ten team against a MAC school. (Toledo-Minnesota in 2001)

Also NIU became the first MAC team to ever beat two Big Ten schools in the same season. Congrats Boilers! You’ve earned the #12 slot!

Last week, my usage of guest tweeters for the Big Ten power rankings was quite popular, so we’ll do one for every single team team this week. And note: the JIM PHILLIPS ACCOUNT IS A PARODY, NOT REAL. Likewise for Vodka Samm (Samantha Goudie)

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ESPN College Gameday coming to Northwestern vs Ohio State


It’s official, ESPN College Gameday will visit Ryan Field in Evanston for Northwestern vs Ohio State. It was just announced minutes ago that the NU vs tOSU college football tilt will be the featured game on the premier college football kickoff show.

Here’s why ESPN College Gameday chose Evanston.

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NFC North gut check: Chicago Bears rule the roost

Chicago Bears nfc north

Through three weeks the NFC North has been up-and-down as a division can get. Coming in to the season, we all thought the NFC would dominate the AFC, but that hasn’t necessarily been the case.

In fact, the NFC North is 2-2 against the opposing conference in large thanks to the Chicago Bears who have defeated their two AFC teams.

Let’s take a closer look in to the division and give you The Sports Bank perspective on where the NFC North currently stands:

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