PAC-12 gets time to shine in week 4

Here is your viewer’s guide or what I call a navigation solution for week 4.

View guide 9 26

Big week in the PAC-12 with two games between ranked teams. TCU has a dangerous trip to Texas Tech as Big-12 play revs up as well.

Michigan and Texas have an opportunity to prove they can return to glory Saturday afternoon.

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What to watch in College Football Saturday Sept. 19

Navi Sol Sep. 18Should be a great week 3 of football with the SEC leading the way. The noon slate is weak but the evening is loaded with quality games.

Auburn at LSU and Ole Miss at Alabama are must sees. Throw in the fact that Kentucky might beat Florida for the first time in my lifetime and it could be a great Saturday night.

2015 NBA Draft Diary

Karl-Anthony Townsdraft logo
Do I like him as a player, absolutely? Do like him in Minnesota? Uuuuuh. Not really. He’ll have to post up against the best right away in the Western Conference.
This team belongs to Andrew Wiggins. Will Towns create enough space for him in the paint? Will the No. 1 pick like being a guy who is a second banana on the team?

D’Angelo Russell
The Lakers draft who they must feel is a replacement for Kobe Bryant. Why else would they make this move? How much better is he than other guards in the draft though, like Cameron Payne or R.J. Hunter. Seems high for the No. 2 pick and higher still for a guy ahead of Okafor.

Jahlil Okafor
The Sixers take Okafor and this has to be a trade. The Sixers have spent three straight lottery picks on big men now. And this is what Philadelphia has been tanking for? Yet none of the ESPN guys are ripping the Sixers.
Okafor does not look happy in his interview. Did not mention Philadelphia only a standard happy to be in the league quote. Get him on a better team ASAP.

Kristaps Porzingis
The Knicks take a big from Lativa. That’s all I know about him. That and Knicks fans hate the pick. Shocker.

Jay Bilas says he is a light rebounder and needs to put on weight. Not good.

Mario Hexonja
Magic take a shooter from Spain. Will take some shuffling in the Magic backcourt but could be a big help.

Willie Cauley-Stein
The Kings take a Kentucky buddy of DeMarcus Cousins as an attempt to make him happy I suppose. He is the best defender in the draft and that will give him minutes. Also give him a chance to make up for his offense. The Kings need help in other places but if this is what they need to do keep Boogie happy then it’s hard to trash the pick despite it being a reach.

Emmanuel Mudiay
Love the pick here for the Nuggets. Could end up being the best player in the draft and that’s awesome with the seventh pick. Fantasy owners will love him as he will get minutes right away. Especially if the Nuggets trade Ty Lawson. Mudiay was the top guard a year ago and fell because he played in China. When a player goes overseas to play ball there is no way he will take the NBA for granted and that means a lot for a player’s development.

Stanley Johnson
Over Justise Winslow? Really Detroit? The Pistons struggled to space the floor the past few years so they bring in a 3 who can’t shoot. Nice. He can defend, but where is the scoring going to come from the Pistons?

Frank Kaminsky III
Frank the Tank goes to Charlotte where they have bigs. Maybe this is a pick to replace Al Jefferson? Needs to improve his defense if he is going to see big minutes. Looking for this pick to get traded. Maybe to Boston.

Justise Winslow
Leave it to the Heat to grab a player at No. 10 everyone wanted. He can defend multiple positions and get to the rim. Shooting is a skill that can improve overtime but his defense and ability to draw fouls will make him a force. Darn you Pat Riley.

Myles Turner
As a Pacer fan I don’t like the pick. This seems like a move in case David West doesn’t come back. Turner has to prove he can defend and get big minutes. He only started seven games for Texas. Wish Indiana went Cameron Payne here.

Trey Lyles Utah takes Trey Lyles out of Kentucky. Yep. Utah has good players in the front court so this doesn’t make sense.

Devin Booker
Phoenix takes Booker, maybe the best shooter in the draft. This is a steal for Phoenix. Shooting is always easy to implement into a team and boy can he shoot.

Cameron Payne
I love mid major players and Payne is a great pick. A steal at 14. Could replace Reggie Jackson immediately for the Thunder. Murray State is here to save the day in OKC.

Kelly Oubre Jr.
Atlanta takes a wing in Oubre from Kansas. The Hawks needed some defense in that spot with Kyle Korver being a matador.
Whoops, he just got traded to the Wizards.

Terry Rozier
A team loaded with guards took Terry Rozier, a point guard. Trade bait.

Rashad Vaughn
Jalen Rose compared Vaughn to Dion Waiters. Not exciting. But any Mountain West player selected in the first round is a good pick in my book. Yea mid-majors. Wish Vaughn the best at Milwaukee.

Sam Dekker
Houston takes Dekker, a team that shoots 3s took a quality 3-point shooter. Reasonable.

Jerian Grant
Supposedly this pick is going to New York meaning Grant will be operating in a talent wasteland. Very few players could survive there but Grant is a fighter and we saw that in the tournament.

Delon Wright
The Raptors take a point guard to make up for how badly Kyle Lowery played in the playoffs. The odds of him starting there are small but that is what happens in this stage of the first round. Though other guys might have been more appealing here.

Justin Anderson
A guy who can defend most positions will give Dallas immediate help athletically. Love this pick for the Mavericks.

Bobby Portis
This a high value pick for the Bulls as Portis can help the team soon with his rebounding and effort. Wish he took Arkansas a little further in the tournament, but it is hard to complain about him right here.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Portland grabs a defensive stalwart in Hollis-Jefferson. So what if he struggles from 3. That can improve. This is a good pick for Portland who already have the scoring punch from Damian Lillard.

Tyus Jones
Cavaliers take Tyus Jones but ship him to Minnesota for two second round picks. Going from playing with LeBron to playing in Minnesota has to be depressing.

Jarell Martin
Memphis needs offense and selected a guy who averaged 17 and 9. I’ll take that at pick No. 25.

Nikola Milutinov
Don’t know him but he was drafted by the Spurs so…

Larry Nance Jr.
Wyoming! Can’t remember a guy from that school going in the first round but it’s nice to see. He’ll have his work cut out for him in LA though. Turns out Theo Ratliff was drafted in the first round in 1995. Been awhile.

R.J. Hunter
A big steal in the draft. Boston continues to draft guards so I see some moves coming.

Chris McCullough
The Nets are happy to take anyone as Boston and Atlanta has all of their picks.

Kevon Looney
Going to the Warriors has to be a great feeling. Golden State needs some size and Looney can help in that regard.

So Many Sports, So Little Time

With college basketball starting up we have four college sports in action this weekend. Welcome to November.

Soccer is having its first round of its big dance for the women and conference tournaments for the men this weekend. Volleyball is having regular season races nearing the finish line and we all know what’s at stake for college football teams this month. Saturday is huge for the SEC with Mississippi State and Alabama but the ACC and Big Ten have key games as well. Minnesota hosting Ohio State has upset alert written all over it and so does Florida State at Miami.

Here is my viewing guide as there is plenty to choose from over the next few days.
Solution 11-14-14

Saturday Reaction: Clemson, Big 10 and Mother Nature

It was a huge night of college football as the defending national champion was tested. While the story is and will continue to be Jameis Winston the real story should be how Clemson blew this game. Missed field goals and a bad fumble kept the Seminoles in it and now we have to listen to Winston talk for the next few months.

Coach Jimbo Fisher’s quote “We know how to win” at the end of the game on ABC is a stretch. Clemson helped FSU with a slow developing play call on fourth and one. The Tigers had a 407-318 lead in yards and still lost.

Florida State is still in the driver seat for the ACC title and a playoff spot. For college football as a whole though, Winston will continue to be a bad distraction. People don’t change this quickly and I’m bracing myself for the next bad report out of Tallahassee.

Winner: Sean Maguire, Florida State quarterback

Congratulations to Maguire for keeping the Seminoles alive for another national title. He did throw more picks (2) than touchdowns (1) but his 305 passing yards were unexpected for a guy who threw just 116 yards last season. That was probably in garbage time too. Florida State fans will always have respect for Maguire for years to come.

Loser: ACC

The conference looks weak outside of Florida State right now. North Carolina was rolled over by East Carolina in embarrassing fashion. Syracuse, Miami and Pittsburgh lost to Big Ten schools. The best win the conference had today was Duke over Tulane. Not going to move the needle with that one.

Winner: Samantha Ponder

Ponder gave a great take on Winston during College Gameday as she explained why his suspension was warranted. It was probably the best I’ve heard and that’s with everyone in the media giving their two cents. Please give her more time than David Pollack ESPN.

Loser: Florida State University

The school originally suspended Winston for just the first half of the Clemson game but changed course to a full game late Friday night. Nothing good is announced on a Friday night. The school came across as suspicious and incompetent. Better to stick to your original decision to than to try and sweep a new choice in past newspaper deadlines. It was bad public relations coming from a school that appears to not have any.

Winner: Mother Nature

Several games have been delayed due to lightning this year and more were impacted this week. Michigan vs. Utah, Illinois vs. Texas State and Toledo vs. Ball State were games that were severely delayed.

Loser: Michigan Athletics

Well this tweet from the Michigan Golf Club sums it up.

Should note that the golf club is not a varsity sport for Michigan but yeah, that’s disrespectful of the athletics department if that’s true.

Winner: Indiana

The Hoosiers got there first win against a Top 25 team under Kevin Wilson today after six unsuccessful tries. IU went into Columbia, Missouri and knocked off the No. 18 Tigers 31-27. This was huge for the Big Ten as the Hoosiers are the only school in the league with a win over an SEC school this year. SEC fans will go back to disowning Missouri on a convenient basis. Today, the Tigers are back in the Big 12.

Is the New SEC Network a Guaranteed Success?

The talk shows are coming, the talk shows are coming.

The talk shows are coming, the talk shows are coming.

The launch of the new SEC network is only 2 weeks away and the signs are pointing up. With a partnership through ESPN it seems inconceivable for the network to fail. I know Big 10 country would love to see nothing more than the SEC struggle at their network but that is unrealistic. Whether you’re pro SEC Network or think it’s a money grab for cheating football teams, here are the pros and cons of the television channel.

Pro: If the Big Ten Network can succeed, imagine what the SEC can do as an ESPN affiliate.

The Big Ten Network has been around since 2007, and it feels crazy to think it’s been around for that long. BTN was a partnership with FOX Sports and that’s important to note. FOX Sports 1 wasn’t even around to help promote it yet BTN has powered through some ups and downs.

Now imagine if BTN had the ESPN machine promoting the channel through SportsCenter every hour, or during Monday Night Football. Heck, even on ABC. That’s a huge resource and I haven’t even mention espn.com being loaded with SEC Network promos too. While BTN programming may be hidden on an obscure channel, the SEC Network will be loud and proud with ESPN.

Con: The SEC does not have enough content to fill a 24/7 network 365 days a year.

That is correct, but neither does BTN, ESPN, CNN nor practically every other 24/7 network for that matter. These television stations have mastered the art of filling time and SEC network will do the same. BTN replays games from previous seasons most of the time and somehow that has been enough. A 5-year-old football game beats “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” any day.

Pro: Live sports

Live sporting events, particularly football, are ratings gold and almost impossible to mess up. Well unless you’re FOX Sports 1. Here’s a breakdown of the event programing.

That seems kind of small on the women's side don't you think?

That seems kind of small on the women’s side don’t you think?

Con: These events were already on television anyway

For football that is true. Even the Kentucky Wildcats and Vanderbilt Commodores have had their football games on some platform. The SEC network will steal some games away from ESPNU and will of course wipe out ESPN3. Basketball games, however, are tougher to find and the SEC Network will serve fans greatly during the conference tournaments in both men’s and women’s basketball. The question will be the other sports like soccer and volleyball. Will the SEC faithful watch those too?

Pro: SEC fans see their league as a family

Note that they are not chanting L-S-U after winning the title.

Con: Are there enough basketball fans?

Kentucky and Florida will have the bulk of their basketball games on bigger networks like CBS. Once you get past Vanderbilt and Tennessee you start running into a lack of depth on hardwood. Will people watch South Carolina and Auburn tangle in hoops in a primetime setting? That remains to be seen. The SEC really needs schools like LSU, Arkansas, and Mississippi State to be a tourney team on a regular basis. Maybe Missouri can find its way to being a basketball power too. If it’s just Kentucky and Florida carrying the other 12 schools, it might hurt the network during the first three months of the year.

Pro: The SEC does not have many professional teams to worry about.

Atlanta is the only city in the South that’s loaded with professional sports teams and that hurts Georgia Tech more so than UGA. South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Kentucky are states where college ball is in charge. LSU is right up there if not greater than the New Orleans Saints in terms of fan support. The Florida Gators don’t have to worry about the Jacksonville Jaguars or even the Tampa Bay Buccaneers eating away its media attention. Contrast that with most other regions like the Midwest and Northeast. The Southeast is unique in that its college teams are more popular than the pro guys.

Con: Talk Shows?

This is really the only thing that could derail the network in my opinion and that’s just it; having too many opinions.

If the network tries to fill time with people calling in and saying “Roll Tide This” and “War Eagle That” than it will get old and get annoying quick. I would rather watch a SEC women’s soccer game than have Paul Finebaum talk about Nick Saban vs. Les Miles.

Cutting the chatter to a minimum and showing as much live sports as possible is really what fans want. There will be plenty of time to chant S-E-C, just save it for the games.

The NCAA Continues to Stick to its Guns

Or on and off the lake.

Or on and off the lake.


On Sunday the NCAA had the national championship in women’s rowing just minutes away from me in Indianapolis. When I asked a friend if we should get tickets to a women’s rowing event I was met with some strange looks. I might as well have proposed watching the “Twilight” trilogy in one sitting. So I sat this one out.

Ohio State repeated as the Division I champ and congratulations to the Buckeyes. The Ohio State women’s rowing team is also the banner photo for the NCAA’s Facebook page. Here the phrase “Champions on and off the court” is displayed symbolizing academic success.

The NCAA is once again fighting to the bitter end that all of its athletes are students first. Highlighting a women’s rowing team is not going to go very far to persuade the masses that only see the football and basketball players skipping class. At this point, the campaign is comical.

Perhaps a better campaign would be “Providing Opportunities for the Youth of America.” That’s cheesier than a superhero movie but it allows the NCAA to claim credit for those who graduate while still being illiterate. Looking at you SEC football.

Here are some other things I noticed this past week…

CBS Makes Some Changes

Speaking of the SEC, CBS is trying to solidify their alpha dog position on the conference. CBS sports announced that Adam Zucker will be replacing Tim Brando on their College Football Today. A show that serves as a pregame for their SEC game of the week. Allie LaForce is taking the place of Tracy Wolfson as the lead sideline reporter in that game. Could this be a preemptive move to go younger to combat ESPN’s launch of the new SEC Network? The timing can’t be a coincidence.

Flooding on the Field

McNeese State had a wonderful 2013 college football season. It made the FCS playoffs and crushed FBS South Florida 53-21. Lets hope a little water doesn’t stop their momentum.

Only a marketing guy could turn a flooded football field into a chance to sell season tickets. Not sure if it will work but at least they’re trying hard. Just good luck kicking a field goal in that lake.