Day: January 1, 2018

Michigan’s Outback Bowl Collapse Puts an Asterisk on the Big Ten’s Dream Postseason – Sports Illustrated

The conference’s lone bowl loss won’t go unnoticed. Michigan’s inability to corral a mediocre SEC opponent will embolden the growing chorus of critics of Jim Harbaugh, who has yet to lead the Wolverines to a finish better than third in the Big Ten East and has posted a 3–6 record against division contenders Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan State (including 0–3 in 2017). To a certain subset of college football observers, Harbaugh hasn’t backed up his off-field antics with enough on-field accomplishments, and this defeat ensures he’ll enter next fall feeling a lot of heat both within the Michigan community and beyond it.​

Though the Big Ten’s 7–1 run this December and January might be reflective of the league’s improvement, those wins are only a small part of the argument over league supremacy. This isn’t close to the end of the story. A glittering postseason record helps the Big Ten’s case, but odds are it’ll have a more difficult time in bowls a year from now.

The Big Ten had already done a lot to repair its reputation. A league long pilloried for its conservative offenses and lack of top-end speed is now home to a perennial national title contender (Ohio State) and arguably the most challenging division in the Power 5 (the East), and this year it tied the SEC for the most top-10 teams in the final playoff rankings (three.)

As for the rest of the Big Ten, context is required to better understand those favorable results. Bowl matchups rarely pit evenly matched teams in locations that offer no advantage to either one, and the Big Ten had a pretty favorable slate to work with in December and January. According to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, the conference’s teams were favored in six of their eight contests.

The Big Ten never had a chance to win the national championship this year. When the College Football Playoff selection committee selected Alabama as the No. 4 seed instead of Ohio State (which was ranked fifth) in December, it ensured all of the conference’s teams would be sitting at home on the night of Jan. 8 when two teams squared off in Atlanta for the title.

The Big Ten should take a bow. It deserves the plaudits coming its way. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking its 2017-18 bowl performance settles the question of which conference currently rules the Power 5.

Bowl records often serve as fodder in the “best conference” debates that take place every year because they offer convenient inter-conference data points, but they’re only one of several ways to gauge conference strength. Two others that don’t flatter the Big Ten: National titles this half-decade (none) and a respected power rating like S&P+ (third entering bowl season).

Florida in position to flip Alabama LB commit Quay Walker – SECcountry.com

Walker came close to flipping to Georgia in December and signing early, but couldn’t get his paperwork ready in time. Tennessee is now in the mix with Pruitt becoming the Vols head coach and Auburn also has a shot.

“I don’t know why he’s so confident. I don’t know where I’m going yet,” Walker said. “That’s my brother. I love Trey. That might play a big role in it, too. But at the same time, I gotta do what’s best for me.

“I first met Trey when I went to the Rising Seniors game in Georgia. Me and him just built [a relationship] ever since then. I got his number. We hit each other up and talk on the phone every now and then.”

“Florida is a school that I’ve been liking,” Walker said. “They offered me back when Coach Collins was there. Florida is my dream school. No one knows that.”

Then there’s Florida.

But after Monday’s practice, Walker decided to speak with SEC Country about his recruitment and where things stand.

Carrie Underwood Required More Than 40 Stitches in Her Face After Recent Fall – Entertainment Tonight

Carrie Underwood Reacts to Husband Mike Fisher Retiring From NHL: ‘I’ll Miss Watching You Play’

Carrie Underwood Hospitalized After Breaking a Wrist, Suffers Multiple Injuries

Underwood revealed in a post to her fan club members that in addition to having surgery on her wrist, she required stitches on her face. “There is also another part of the story that I haven’t been ready to talk about since I have still been living it and there has been much uncertainty as to how things will end up,” she writes. “It’s crazy how a freak random accident can change your life.”

Carrie Underwood is ready to say farewell to 2017!

After the fall, the 34-year-old artist canceled a benefit show in Nashville and husband Mike Fisher returned home early from a hunting trip. In her recent post, Underwood says that seven weeks after the incident, she’s healing but “not quite looking the same.”

As she continues to recover, Underwood says she’s is optimistic about what the new year holds for her. “I am determined to make 2018 amazing and I want to share things with you along the way,” she writes. “And when I am ready to get in front of a camera, I want you all to understand why I might look a bit different.”

Detailing the injuries, Underwood continues, “In addition to breaking my wrist, I somehow managed to injure my face as well. I’ll spare you the gruesome details, but when I came out of surgery the night of my fall, the doctor told [Underwood’s husband] Mike that he had put between 40 and 50 stitches in.”

West Virginia lawmakers predict quicker and easier decisions for 2018 – The News Center

The News Center

West Virginia lawmakers predict quicker and easier decisions for 2018
The News Center
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WTAP) – The past 2 years have meant tough decisions for West Virginia lawmakers, but they expect 2018 to be very different. Legislators predict with the improving economy and tax collections, next year's budget will be passed before
What MAGA looks like: A report from West VirginiaAmerican Thinker (blog)

all 2 news articles »

With new year, California’s recreational pot laws take effect – Fox News

California joins states such as Colorado — as well as Washington, D.C. — where pot is permitted for recreational purposes even as the federal government continues to regard the drug as a controlled dangerous substance, like LSD and heroin.

Twenty-nine states have adopted medical marijuana laws, while seven other states have legalized recreational use of pot.

The new state laws — approved by voters in 2016 with the passage of Proposition 64 — were met with joy by some Californians who swapped their champagne glasses for blunts of pot on New Year’s Eve.

As part of regulations paving the way to recreational pot in California, other strict laws will take effect on the strains known as Sweet Skunk, Trainwreck and Russian Assassin.

The new year in California brings broad legalization of recreational marijuana – a much-anticipated move two decades after the state was the first to allow the use of the drug for medicinal purposes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Some business owners are also concerned that once the state starts fully regulating the industry, there could be a shortage of state-approved cannabis in California.

National trend

In Boston, 4 hospitalized from American Airlines flight – MassLive.com

In Boston, 4 hospitalized from American Airlines flight

American Airlines airplanes are parked at their gates at JFK International airport in New York in this file photo. A passenger scheduled to be on a flight from New York's La Guardia Airport Tuesday to Dallas Fort Worth was asked to leave the plane when

and more »

Clippers open new year with improved health and a three-game winning streak – Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

Clippers open new year with improved health and a three-game winning streak
Los Angeles Times
“It's a pretty encouraging place to be,” Griffin said. “But we still have a lot of work to do. Being (1½) games out is more than I think people might think. Teams aren't just going to stop winning. We have to play other teams. We have to play good

and more »

Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus faces long absence with knee ligament injury – The Guardian

The Guardian

Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus faces long absence with knee ligament injury
The Guardian
The pain is etched on the face of Gabriel Jesus after the Manchester City striker suffered a knee injury during the 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Photograph: Clive Rose/Getty Images. Manchester City. Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus
Man City striker Gabriel Jesus has injury fears confirmedManchester Evening News
Manchester City striker Garbiel Jesus suffers collateral ligament damageMetro
Manchester City v WatfordBBC Sport
.co.uk -Express.co.uk -Daily Star -Mirror.co.uk
all 75 news articles »

UCF finishes perfect season with a win over Auburn – Orlando Sentinel

UCF lead 13-6 at halftime before Auburn rallied to take a 20-13 lead before the Knights rallied on their own.

The Knights took the lead with two touchdown passes by McKenzie Milton.

“I’m just happy for these guys,” Scott Frost said to after the game. “They’ve worked their tails off and I’m so happy for the success that they have had.”

Auburn cut the lead to seven and after UCF’s second missed field goal in the second half, the Tigers drove down to UCF’s 21 before Antwan Collier sealed the game with an interception in the end zone.

““This is a team that was 0-12 two years ago. They had nowhere to go but up, but I can’t believe how far up they went,” Frost said.

UCF’s offense was the talk all season long, but it was the defense that came through big on Monday, sealing a 34-27 Peach Bowl win with an interception in the game’s final seconds to cap a perfect season.

The win gives UCF its first-ever 13-0 season.

Hitting Otis Anderson and Dredrick Snelson for scores to put UCF up 27-20

Frost and his staff stuck around to coach the Knights in the Peach Bowl after he took the head coach job at Nebraska.