Saturday, October 24, 2009

Canada Deserves More NHL Teams

Hard to argue with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who would like to see more NHL teams in the land of the maple leaf.

Canadian fans watched two franchises relocate to the U.S. -- Quebec to Denver and Winnipeg to Phoenix (now Glendale, Ariz.) -- in the mid 1990s, and BlackBerry mogul Jim Balsillie was thwarted in his attempts at bringing an American franchise to Hamilton, Ontario.

You probably could build a hockey rink in the middle of nowhere in Canada, and the team would sell out every game.

Of course, a fan base has never been the problem in Canada. The Quebec Nordiques and Winnipeg Jets did very well, thank you, drawing fans to their respective arenas.

(Continue to Through the 5 Hole)

A Big House Divided

Big House
There's a disconnect in the family.

Rich Rodriguez is deep into his second season as Michigan coach, but a group of former players continue to express their dissatisfaction with his hiring, which broke the Bo Schembechler lineage.

That group, which supported the hiring of former Schembechler disciple Les Miles as coach, may never be happy. They continue to express displeasure over Rodriguez's first team that finished 3-9, ending Michigan's bowl streak of 33, and an investigation that was launched into alleged misconduct regarding NCAA practice rules.

Then there is Lloyd Carr, the former coach who hasn't publicly supported Rodriguez and his staff.

(Continue to The Wiz of Odds)

Tide Will Rise in Defensive Battle

The annual college football game between Alabama and Tennessee used to be dubbed “The Third Saturday in October” because from 1928 through 1994 the game was always played on that date, except for 1943 because of World War II. But when the Southeastern Conference expanded its schedule, the game started winding up on the fourth Saturday in October. This will be on the fourth Saturday in October for the ninth time in the last 14 years when the Tide and Volunteers meet in Tuscaloosa at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Despite tradition being shoved aside, there’s still something special about the Alabama-Tennessee football rivalry. This year’s game has the added luster of Alabama (7-0, 4-0 SEC) being ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll. So, the Vols (3-3, 1-2) can make their season by knocking off the Crimson Tide.

(Continue to Rue's Rant)

Shaky 'D' Overshadows Clausen's Season

We've been reading this week how Jimmy Clausen would have jumped up the list of Heisman Trophy contenders had he pulled off that comeback against Southern California.

It's funny, but we never thought of Clausen as a Heisman candidate, and that's probably because were so annoyed with a defense that still can't stop anybody.

Yes, the Irish made a spirited rally against the Trojans last week, but here's the bottom line - they allowed a freshman quarterback to put up 34 points. They gave up two many easy drives, as USC - at times - sliced through Notre Dame's defense like it was butter.

(Continue to Bob Birge's Irish Eyes Are Smiling)

Can KU Hang with Oklahoma?

Sam Bradford will not show up on the field for Oklahoma Saturday in Lawrence. The question is: Will the KU defense?

Ever since the remarkable 2007 Orange Bowl season the KU defense has been questioned. It was the easy scapegoat for the 8-5 campaing last year, and again this season after the Jayhawks gave up 70 points in the first two Big XII contests.

The 'Hawks defense has yielded 26.3 points per contest since defeating Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl. That number isn't terrible until you hold it up under the microscope and do some comparing. If you throw out non-conference games through that stretch, the KU defense is allowing another 10 points per game. Also, during its Orange Bowl run the Jayhawks only gave up a stingy 16.1 points per game.

(Continue to Inside Jayhawk Nation)

Surviving Trap Week

This week may be the calm before the storm. On Halloween, some of this year's BCS title contenders will be facing virtual elimination games. This week, their goal will be to get by overmatched opponents in the so-called "trap games" without suffering any damage.

Florida has the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party next week (I know the schools now frown upon the moniker, but since when do I give a flying fig about the eggheads and their pusillanimous sensitivities?). Mind you, Georgia is more poodle than Bulldog this year, but the game in Jacksonville is always a big deal. The Gators had better not overlook Mississippi State, though, as it's now coached by Dan Mullen, their erstwhile offensive coordinator. Take this game lightly at your own peril, see Exhibit A: Sarkisian, Steve vs. USC.

Alabama has Halloween off to go trick or treating, but it gets LSU the following week. The Tigers may be the final stumbling block for the Tide's return to the SEC Championship Game and another shot at the BCS title. This week, they welcome Lane Kiffin to Tuscaloosa as part of his ongoing Southern Hospitality Tour.

(Continue to BCS Guru)

Jordan's Son Embroiled in Sneaker War

Marcus Jordan needs to know he ain't Michael Jordan. The dude has been cursed to live all his life in his father's gigantic shadow, an unsettling prospect for any aspiring athlete.

Hasn't he been there long enough?

At some point, Marcus Jordan has to stand on his own merits.

That time is now.

But it seems like the sawed-off Jordan, a freshman guard at the University of Central Florida, has put the university in a tough spot because of his refusal to wear adidas, the brand of sporting gear that the basketball program there is contracted to wear.

(Continue to Justice Is Served)

Waiting on a Beer and an Upset

Is there a better time of year than the fall?

The leaves on the trees outside the Grill Room's swinging, double-doors are turning all shades of red and gold. The endless baseball season is rumored to be close to an end, and, no kidding, we even saw frost on the pumpkin this morning!

Best of all we are stuck right in the middle of another wonderful football season, and don't care if we ever get out. It just smells like football doesn't it?!

So, as we wait for the Pfungstadter Bier truck to deliver their liquid gold, and ready the joint for another busy weekend of America's game here in Germany, we'll throw a couple of appetizers at you to munch on ...

(Continue to The Grill Room)

Remembering Payne Stewart

This Sunday will mark the 10th anniversary of the tragic death of Payne Stewart and as I will be traveling this weekend I wanted to take a few moments to mark this sad event.

Stewart had capped a great year for his career in 1999 by winning the U.S. Open at Pinehurst and helped spur the U.S. to a Ryder Cup win three months later. Then, just one month later, Stewart left his Florida home to head for a meeting in Dallas, Texas (ironically, the same city where I will be spending this weekend) before heading down to Houston to play in the season-concluding Tour Championship.

As we all know, neither Stewart, his agents Robert Fraley and Van Ardan, the pilots Michael Kling and Stephanie Bellegarrigue, nor Bruce Borland, who was a golf architect with Jack Nicklaus' golf course design firm, made it to Dallas that day.

(Continue to Par for the Course)
Advertise on World Sports Blogs | Join World Sports Blogs

Copyright © 2010 World Sports Blogs | WoodMag is Designed by Ipietoon for Word Press Template