Archive for December, 2012

2012 Illinois vs Auburn

Posted on December 29, 2012. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Fighting Illini defeat SEC’s Auburn Tigers…..

December 29, 2012

FINAL: Illinois 81, Auburn 79.

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The 12th-ranked Illinois team gets back on track snagging a victory today against SEC’s Auburn Tigers at the world-famous United Center.

Sophomore Tracy Abrams leads all players with 27 and 8 rebounds. What a difference a year makes? In last years’ contest here at the United Center, he didn’t have any points but this year, he’s hot 4-7 from the floor, 2-3 from behind the arc, and perfect at the charity stripe 6-6.

“I was pushing the ball more than I did in any other game of the season,” Abrams said. “We’ve been pushing the ball lately in practice. I wanted to start the game like that.”

His teammate, Brandon Paul added 13 to seal the deal.

“We have a lot more weapons and a lot more confidence,” said Paul after the game.

Auburn is led by the play of Frankie Sullivan who knocked down 18. One stat the Tigers dominate with in the first half was boards 20-12, of which they are beating Illini 8-3 on offensive grabs.

So, can the Illini hold off the stingy Tigers and get their first victory here at the United Center in their last three games? Stay tune….

The Fighting Illini come into this contest tied for tops in the nation with 9.8 3-pointers per game, and with leading scorer Brandon Paul (19.2) are focused to get back to their style of play and become more efficient from beyond the arc.

“We just have to get a little better with the execution stuff,” coach John Groce said.

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On the other side of the court, Auburn comes in 5-6 record, of which their last four games against Grambling, Furman, Tennessee Tech and Winthrop, limited them to a combined 17 of 83 (20.5 percent) from 3-point range in winning three of their last four.

“Illinois is a very talented team coming off a tough loss to Missouri,” Auburn coach Tony Barbee said. “The entire team is capable of making 3-point shots and can go off.”

Guard Frankie Sullivan, the team’s scoring leader (16.9), will try to build off a 22-point effort after nearly leading the Tigers to a comeback victory from 16 down.

“It is very exciting,” said Sullivan of playing the Illini. “We have an opportunity to put a good win on our resume. It is going to be a great challenge, and we will be up for the challenge.”

Chris Denson, another high-scoring guard, has given the team a boost after being academically ineligible the fall semester. The junior has averaged 17.0 points while shooting 57.5 percent from the floor in his first four games after finishing with 18 on 6 of 13 shooting against the Eagles.

This is the last non-Big Ten contest for Illinois before they open up conference play at Purdue on Jan. 2.

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FUN FACTS

Illinois defeated Auburn in the only other meeting between the teams, 107-103 in overtime in the championship game of the Illini Classic on Dec. 12, 1987.

While the Illini have dropped three straight and five of six at the United Center, the Tigers have lost eight straight overall against ranked opponents.

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How To Help Your Recruiting As A High School Player

Posted on December 23, 2012. Filed under: Basketball, Boys High School Basketball, Football, Girls High School Basketball, High School Basketball, NCAA Sports, Sporting News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Recruiting info…

December 21, 2012

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This post isn’t for the player who is ranked in the top 200 in the country and being courted by dozens of school for your services. This is more a guide for the player who’s on the borderline of being a recruited D1/D2/D3 basketball player and wants to maximize their talents to help them land at a school. This is also for the coach who wants to give their player or players the best opportunity to get recruited by colleges and hopefully play college basketball at some level.

Everyone will tell you that they are an expert of how to get a player recruited to a college. To be honest there are no experts. I’ve been around high-level basketball for almost 20 year now. I’ve been around every facet from coaching AAU/High School, running scouting services, pro basketball assistant coach, player development coach, and a consultant for various players and coaches from high school to the NBA. In this time I’ve gained a lot of knowledge on how players should market themselves to play in college. First off lets just getting something out there, if you don’t have the talent to play in college most likely you wont play in college. Basketball is a talent business, coaches have jobs to do and their bosses have expectations on their winning. They are looking for players that can help them, not players with very limited talent that can’t get in a game for them.

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Rule 1 – Develop a skill that a coach actually can use.- I go around the country in the summer and speak at various camps. A lot are camps that invite college coaches to watch players play games to recruit them. I’ll be honest most of the camps at least 65% of the players don’t have a single skill that college coaches want to see. Unless the game is a nonstop fast-break drill they have no idea how to function on a basketball court. In a half-court game they can’t handle the ball, make a shot, guard anyone, or even set a screen. Most of their game consists of dribbling around for 20 seconds trying to get to the basket or jack up a terrible shot. Some of them have size for their position, but think by scoring 20 points on 20 shots that is their way to play the game. If they don’t have the ball they just stand there calling for the ball, the thought never gets in their head to cut to the basket or screen for someone.

You don’t have to be great at everything, but you should have something to hang your hat on. Shot maker, passer, rebounder, post scorer, defender, shot blocker are all acceptable skills to have. Again, you don’t have to master all of them, but you should be very good at one of those things.

Rule 2 – Be good enough to be a starter on your high school team- Sounds silly, but believe me there will be kids who sit their bench of their high school team upset that colleges don’t recruit them. Unless your team has 5-7 really good players on your team that play ahead of you there’s really no excuse for a recruited player not to start for their high school team. Just like I mentioned before college coaches are looking for players who are difference makers at the high school level. If you can’t start for your high school team by the time you are a junior or senior how do you expect to make an impact at the college level. There are some exceptions if you play for a team like Oak Hill Academy(VA), or a highly regarded prep school team where you have many division one players playing ahead of you. But for the most part you need to look yourself in the mirror. If you don’t get it done every day to be a starter for your high school team it will be tough to help yourself in recruiting.

Rule 3 – Find an AAU team in your area that fits you. AAU Basketball is such an important tool for players these days. It’s a staple for college coaches to do most of their recruiting at AAU tournaments and events in the evaluation periods. Do some research on the programs in your area. Make sure that the coach and program is reputable, and they play in events in the live recruiting periods. They don’t have to go to every big time event, but it would be good to play in events that will give you exposure to college coaches and scouts. Besides going to a lot of events make sure that the team that you play for has a good coach and players that you can get a long with and want to play with. Don’t just run out and join a team because of their name do some homework. Selecting an AAU team is almost as important as selecting a college. It needs to be a good fit for you.

Rule 4 -Don’t hire Recruiting Consultants that claim will get you a scholarship, do it yourself.- I’ve seen so many of these companies that claim to help kids in their recruiting. Kids waste thousands of dollars in the course of four years to these companies that claim to be helping you get recruited. Basically all they do is what you can do for yourself and make a profile get video and send your name along with hundreds of others to every school in the country. To them you are a number and basically all they do for you is make you a very expensive portfolio and profile. They aren’t bad people but again coaches won’t pull triggers on scholarships based on what these people say. Yes, some will look at their lists and see if there are any kids that may fit certain academic requirements or put up a lot of points and aren’t on their lists but for the most part aren’t going to take a kid based on what these companies say. The problem with these companies is they will take anyone’s money regardless of skill level. If I was 5’1 240 pounds and play 0 minutes a game they will take my money, develop a profile, and market me to coaches. How can you take a company like that seriously when you give them your hard earned money and are a college prospect when a kid like that is on the same list as you. They are biased towards anyone who signs up for their most expensive package, not necessarily towards the most talented players. Your talent will get you into a school, not a fancy profile.

Rule 5 – Develop your marketing strategy, be prepared and start early.- Ok so the first thing you do is prepare a profile of yourself. Have all of your information on it as far as your name, contact information, basketball statistics, and academic information. On your academic make sure you have your GPA, classes taken, and SAT/ACT test scores if you have taken them yet. It doesn’t have to be that long , just something that paints a picture of who you are. Also have your high school and AAU schedules if you have them to add to this profile. Make a DVD of yourself playing. Cut up about 3 minutes of highlights as well as three of your best halves of basketball that you played for your high school or AAU team. Make sure they are halves where you were a difference maker and they can see your best traits. Don’t make a DVD of all highlights or give them game film where you were just average. I would say the best thing to do is to have a 3-5 minute highlight with three good halves on them. Have this profile and DVD ready as early as your sophomore year and keep it updated throughout your high school career. If possible have the videos uploaded to a file sharing site so you can email the video link for people to see. Also for your profile scan it to a PDF file as well. This will allow you to email this information to coaches to get to them faster and will be a less expensive way than paying for postage, copies, and DVDs. Use technology to your advantage.

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Rule 6 – Have trust in your high school and AAU coaches to help you with your recruiting. The first two people that college coaches will come to when inquiring about you is your high school coach and AAU coach. They are the people who know you as a player the best. They also can vouch for your character and habits, good or bad. It is important to consult with them s far as your strategy for getting recruited as most times they’ve dealt with players in the past that were recruited and know how to help. I think it’s extremely important to develop good relationships with both your high school and AAU coach as it just helps with the whole process. You should never be on bad terms with them. There will be times where they will get on you and there will be friction on the court, but off the court there should be a bond. As far as your exposure is concerned they can mail a lot of your DVDs and profiles out to coaches as colleges would accept these items from your high school/AAU coach rather than a family member or in some cases yourself. Your coach is such an important person in this process to help you, never take them for granted. In most cases they have spent a long time developing their reputation as well as relationships with many college coaches along the way. They can be such an asset to you so developing chemistry and a bond with them is so important. In some cases your AAU coach may be closer to you than your high school coach or vice versa. Everyone’s situation is different, but understand that both can help you and you should consult with them and be on the same page.

Rule 7 – Attend the right camps and showcases- There are a million camps and showcases out there which is great for getting kids exposure, but produce a lot of money making scams as well. Again, it’s all in the research. Make sure that these events are NCAA Certified for Division 1 coaches to attend. Make sure that coaches regularly attend this camp or showcase. Like I said some of these camps do a great jobs getting good players and attracting coaches as well as having detailed lists to distribute the participants to coaches and scouts. Some prey on players and parents promising exposure where they take your money give you a shirt and laugh all the way to the bank. Just be careful, as there are a lot of sharks out there wanting to take your money and sell you on a dream. Just like anything else there are good people trying to help and not so good people trying to steal money from you. There are so many ways to find information on events so use Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc to help you find out which one to attend. There are plenty of companies that put on great events. Make sure that the event will put you in good position to get the right exposure for your game. Understand though at these events that most of the players are out for their own betterment and there isn’t a lot of passing or team ball being played. In drill stations and workouts players are usually fine, but get some college coaches in the stands and all of that team unity is thrown right out the window. Just understand that going in and try to play through that. In these camps it always helps to play hard on both ends of the floor. Show aggressiveness especially on the defensive end. When shots come to you great, but don’t force them. Show them you have a skill even if you don’t get that many shots and scoring opportunities show them that you know how to play. Coaches wont expect you to take over in environments like that as they’ve been through the recruiting trail before and know what to expect in venues like this. A bunch of players thrown together that don’t know each other they expect it to be a little bit ragged and expect players to jack bad shots in order to be seen. Just make sure you play hard and show a skill. Especially big men exposure camps and showcases you will very rarely get the ball so show the ability to run the floor, protect the paint, and rebound. You wont get the ball much form the guards so keep your head up and keep playing hard.

Rule 8 – You are always being evaluated make sure you are always ON- Scouts and college coaches pay attention to everything. You never know when people are watching you. Good body language is always important. It doesn’t matter if you get 20 shots in a game or 2, never show bad emotion. Coaches and scouts are just looking for a reason to cross guys off a list or have a bad comment next to someone. There are two things that you totally have control of and that is your effort and your attitude. If you play with those two things it doesn’t matter what you put up stat wise you will show well in a game. Make sure every game you play whether it is for your high school, AAU, or camp team that you play aggressive and show a good attitude. If you have talent it will show up on the stat sheet, but some nights you wont shoot well and some of the things that you will have to do wont show up on the stat sheet. Hustling for loose balls, shutting down the player you are guarding, and rebounding are all things you can do without the ball in your hand. You never know who’s watching your games as it could be a talent scout, reporter, or college coach. Always give your best it doesn’t matter if you are winning or losing always be on. Think of it as your Job like an NBA player. Just because DeRon Williams is on a losing team it doesn’t stop him from competing and playing hard every night. You need that mentality. Scouts are very important and they are everywhere. Always assume they are watching. When you are on the bench clap for your teammates never sulk and hang your head. People evaluate you when you are in the game as well as out.

Rule 9 – You have to take care of your academics- Here is a great way to not be recruited and that’s to get bad grades. Basketball recruiting is so competitive there are so many players battling for not so many spots. You need to take care of the classroom and get your work done. With all of this competition for spots coaches will cut players from their lists if you are as good talent wise as another player but they are completely eligible academically and you have all D’s. You just found out the hard way that you need to take care of your grades. So many players fall off the basketball map because they can’t get eligible to play. Take your academics seriously like you do your game. You don’t want to have to go to prep school or junior college because you can’t get eligible. If you are a player that needs exposure and no one knows you and finally get to see you and find out your grades are bad they will just move on. It’s not very difficult to get acceptable grades in high school. You don’t have to get all A’s, but B’s and C’s shouldn’t be all that tough to attain. It’s hard enough proving yourself as a player, but don’t work 4 hours a day on your basketball skills just to not make it academically because you didn’t put that extra hour a night in studying. Colleges can’t afford to take a chance on you if they have to hold your hands for 4 years to stay eligible. Develop good study habits early and stay on your academics. You want to develop reasons for coaches to want to take you not reasons to cross you off their list.

Rule 10 – Find a good balance of playing and skill development during the off -season. Workout guys will always tell you that there is too much playing during the off season and not enough workout time. AAU coaches will tell you there is too much working out and drills and not enough playing that playing is the key. I say you need both and have to make time for them in your routine. Sure getting in the gym is important there is no doubt about that. You should make time to develop your skills there definitely isn’t enough of that being done by players today, but you need a platform to test the skills that you work on in your drill sessions. You can’t be just a workout wonder where you are in the gym all the time, but don’t prove it against talent. You will see more coaches and scouts at games more than you will see them in gyms watching workouts. You need to work on your game and then test it against the best competition that you can. This wont get you better exposure , but it will improve your product for when you get exposure. I think it’s a very important trait to have as if you don’t develop your talent then coaches will always look for better players. Even if your AAU team plays a lot during the summer, make time to get shots up on off days just to keep yourself sharp. A healthy combination of games and skill development will help you work on new things and showcase them in actual came situations.

Rule 11 – Keep your family in check No doubt the most important people in your life are your parents and your family. They looked out for you and cared for you, but most importantly want the best for you. That being said unless they coached high school or college basketball they should have very little to nothing to do with your recruitment. I say this with the most all due respect, but I’ve seen family members hurt recruits a lot more than help them. Starting with the high school/AAU coach calling them up and complaining why their son/daughter isn’t playing enough and questioning their coaching style. This isn’t what coaches want to deal with and it’s hard for them to put you in a good situation when your parents are calling them every day second -guessing them. This will put a strain on your relationship with them even if you don’t say anything to them directly, believe me your parents have already done enough. Also having parents call up college coaches and tell them they should be recruiting you won’t help the situation either. This will give them a little taste on what to expect if they have you on their team. Your family raised you and always have looked out for you. Even when parents interfere I think it’s just their way of looking out for you. You have to sit down and talk to them about keeping their comments in house and never having interference with your coach as it will hurt you more than help you. I know its hard for a parent or family member not to defend their children when they feel they are getting mistreated. But your recruitment process has a lot of moving parts and for some they don’t have any room for mistakes. Make sure that your family is on the same page on what they should do and what they shouldn’t as it cold prove the difference between you succeeding and failing with your recruitment process.

The most important thing for you to understand with the recruitment process is you hold all the cards in this. It doesn’t matter how many camps you go to or what AAU team you play for college coaches are going to judge your talent. In the end if you don’t have a skill to get into a game a coach can’t use you. In some cases a coach’s job is on the line and a recruiting class will make or break them. They aren’t going to take a chance on a player that doesn’t have enough talent to help them. Many players handle this process all wrong that they go to all of these recruiting events and play on all of these teams when to be honest they stink as a player and have no talent. You have to develop your talent as a basketball player first to put yourself in a position to be recruited. I don’t care if you follow my rules or not, if you have no talent then there’s no reason to try. Develop your game first and then work on marketing it.

However you handle your exposure make sure you sit down and have a plan of attack. Understand that there are thousands of players just like you trying to get what you want. You have to prepare yourself for this and not leave any stone unturned. There will be a lot of people along the way promising you the world, most of those people aren’t out for your best interest. Have a plan of attack and stick to it. Lack of preparation is an almost guarantee for failure. Stay on course and for the most part you control your own destiny, not someone else.

The last part to this post is that basketball isn’t for everyone. Everyone wants to play at the highest level and go on to big things. Some have the talent to play basketball after high school and some don’t. It doesn’t matter how hard you try to market yourself in the end if you don’t have the talent then it will be hard to get recruited. Take care of getting your game to a level of a recruited athlete and then let the rest take care of itself. If you try to market yourself as a college prospect and don’t have the talent that is like trying to sell a car without an engine in it. In the end it is about your talent not how hard you can sell yourself.

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2012 Bowl Season overview

Posted on December 19, 2012. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2012 Bowl Season overview…

December 19, 2012

And now the best regular season in sports gives way to the worst postseason in sports.   Bowl season is upon us. And it is a mess of unprecedented proportion.

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Mark Richt and the Bulldogs are headed to the Capital One Bowl to face Nebraska. (AP) Yeah, the BCS championship game is awesome. Notre Dame vs. Alabama is a sports fan’s dream. And a sports writer’s dream. And a TV executive’s dream, too. The ratings will be absurd.

The Fiesta Bowl is great, too. If not for the night of Nov. 17, Oregon-Kansas State might have been the national championship game.   But after that? It’s a joke.

Bowl season is always a mess because the bowl system is a ridiculous, unsatisfying conclusion to the college football season. Bad matchups, long layoffs, too many 6-6 teams, coaching turnover and decisions designed to make money, not sense, shortchange the fans.

Three teams in BCS bowls that aren’t ranked in the AP top 15. Take a bow, Northern Illinois (16th), Louisville (22nd) and Wisconsin (unranked). You don’t have to apologize for appearing in marquee bowls like the Orange, Sugar and Rose – but we don’t have to pretend we’re happy you’re there, either.   Who is excited for Florida State-Northern Illinois in the Orange? I mean, other than nobody? NIU must take 17,500 tickets for the game, but its season average attendance is 15,670. Enjoy that vat of red ink you’re diving into, Huskies.

Making that game even more enticing is the fact that NIU coach Dave Doeren left the school faster than Kim Kardashian left Kris Humphries. He went from winning the Mid-American Conference championship game Friday night to being announced as the new coach at North Carolina State Saturday afternoon. He won’t be around for the Orange Bowl, with the Huskies promoting offensive coordinator Rod Carey to head coach.

The Florida-Louisville matchup in the Sugar Bowl might yet feature an interim coach of the Cardinals. Charlie Strong reportedly has interviewed for both the Auburn and Tennessee jobs, although he has denied both reports. Even if he’s still coaching Louisville, his team is far less impressive than some that were kicked to the BCS curb – namely Oklahoma.

Then there’s the mockery that the Big Ten has perpetrated all season, culminating with the 8-5 Badgers showing up in the Rose Bowl.

Are you setting the DVR for East Carolina vs. Louisiana-Lafayette in the New Orleans Bowl? How about canceling all plans with the significant other because you just can’t miss Rice and Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl? Won’t sit down to Christmas Eve dinner until the Hawaii Bowl between SMU and Fresno State is over? Well, we’re with you.   Here are all 35 bowls, ranked from absolute must-see TV to must-see-a-psychiatrist if it’s on your TV:

1. BCS Championship Game (Jan. 7, Miami): Notre Dame (12-0) vs. Alabama (12-1)  We’re not going to lie: There’s a good chance this isn’t a shootout. But this should be a great game between two hard-nosed teams with great defenses, and there’s a heck of a lot of history among the two programs, too.

2. Fiesta Bowl (Jan. 3, Glendale, Ariz.): Oregon (11-1) vs. Kansas State (11-1)  This is a game of old-school football vs. new-school football. Kansas State will try to pound the ball with quarterback Collin Klein while Oregon will use a bunch of different weapons to keep the Wildcats on their toes.

3. Cotton Bowl (Jan. 4, Arlington, Texas): Texas A&M (10-2) vs. Oklahoma (10-2)  It’s not A&M and Texas, but it’s a matchup of former Big 12 rivals. In terms of quarterbacks, one team had a potential Heisman candidate and the other has this year’s probable winner.   ]

4. Chick-fil-A (Dec. 31, Atlanta): LSU (10-2) vs. Clemson (10-2)  These are two teams that could have been in BCS bowls were it not for ill-timed losses. Even though it’s not a BCS bowl, it’s still one of the best games on the docket. Clemson brings the offense while LSU brings the defense. This one should be fun.

5. Sugar Bowl (Jan. 2, New Orleans): Florida (11-1) vs. Louisville (10-2)  This could be a great matchup of agile quarterbacks, but if Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater isn’t healthy, this game could be a blowout.

6. Rose Bowl (Jan. 1, Pasadena, Calif.): Stanford (11-2) vs. Wisconsin (8-5)  If you’re a traditionalist, this game between the Big Ten and Pac-12 champions is gold. Wisconsin comes in after thrashing Nebraska in the Big Ten championship game, while Stanford has been consistently strong all season.   [Related: Oregon vs. Kansas State in Fiesta Bowl is intriguing]

7. Holiday (Dec. 27, San Diego): UCLA (9-4) vs. Baylor (7-5)  Pac-12 runner-up UCLA should have nice crowd support for this bowl, and it may be a wild game against a Baylor team that ranks first in FBS in total offense and 119th in total defense.

8. Alamo (Dec. 29, San Antonio): Texas (8-4) vs. Oregon State (9-3)  Oregon State had one of the best turnarounds in the country going from 3-9 to 9-3 and has been one of the most entertaining teams to watch this season. As for Texas, you never know what you’re going to get or who’s going to be quarterbacking it. Still, this could end up being a great, tightly contested game.

9. Capital One (Jan. 1, Orlando): Georgia (11-2) vs. Nebraska (10-3)  This game had the potential to be one of the best of the bowl season, but Nebraska’s lackluster performance against Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship might have ruined it. Georgia expended a lot of energy in the SEC title game against Alabama and despite a fantastic season, has no BCS bowl to show for it. This is a poor substitute.   (US Presswire)

10. Outback (Jan. 1, Tampa): South Carolina (10-2) vs. Michigan (8-4)  Both teams had preseason Heisman Trophy candidates and neither worked out, but both programs remained solid despite adversity. Michigan’s Denard Robinson is one of the more exciting players on the field this bowl season.

11. Orange Bowl (Jan. 1, Miami): Florida State (11-2) vs. Northern Illinois (12-1)  Many don’t think NIU deserved a BCS bowl berth and they’re probably right, but the Huskies might be more motivated to play the game than Florida State. Both teams will be missing a coach in this game — NIU head coach Dave Doeren took the N.C. State job while FSU defensive coordinator Mark Stoops took the head-coaching job at Kentucky.

12. Gator (Jan. 1, Jacksonville, Fla.): Northwestern (9-3) vs. Mississippi State (8-4)  Northwestern is having an exceptional season while Mississippi State is trying to end on a high note. The Wildcats exceeded expectations and have a chance to win 10 games for the first time since 1995. Mississippi State started 7-0, but won just one game down the stretch.

13. Las Vegas (Dec. 22, Las Vegas): Boise State (10-2) vs. Washington (7-5)  Boise State, having narrowly missed out on a BCS bid, is going for a Las Vegas Bowl win for the third straight season against a Washington team that has wins against Stanford and Oregon State.

14. Idaho Potato (Dec. 15, Boise, Idaho): Utah State (10-2) vs. Toledo (9-3)  Utah State is a balanced, solid team that does just about everything well. Its only two losses came at Wisconsin and at BYU by five combined points. USU will face a Toledo team that lost two of its last three but is still potent.

15. Military (Dec. 27, Washington, D.C.): San Jose State (10-2) vs. Bowling Green (8-4)  San Jose State took Stanford to the wire in a three-point loss, a sign of things to come for the Spartans, and they get a tough test against Bowling Green, which ranks in the top 10 nationally in yards allowed and points allowed.

16. GoDaddy.com (Jan. 6. Mobile, Ala.): Kent State (11-2) vs. Arkansas State (9-3)  This is actually a good game if you like offense. Both of these teams can put points on the board early and often, and if you like running backs, Kent State’s Dri Archer is one of the best.

17. Buffalo Wild Wings (Dec. 29, Tempe, Ariz.): TCU (7-5) vs. Michigan State (6-6)  TCU fared well for its first season in the Big 12 while Michigan State was a disappointment. Both of these teams had their worst seasons since 2007 and ’09 respectively.

18. New Mexico (Dec. 15, Albuquerque, N.M.): Nevada (7-5) vs. Arizona (7-5)  The first matchup of the bowl season should be entertaining. Nevada is 105th in total defense in FBS, but that’s still better than Arizona, which is 116th. Points will be plentiful.

19. Poinsettia (Dec. 20, San Diego): BYU (7-5) vs. San Diego State (9-3)  The meeting between a pair of old Mountain West rivals pits a BYU team that rode its strong defense to seven wins against an Aztecs team that won its last seven games.

20. Music City (Dec. 31, Nashville): N.C. State (7-5) vs. Vanderbilt (8-4)  Vanderbilt overachieved while N.C. State underachieved and ultimately fired its coach. A win would give Vandy nine wins for the first time since 1982.

21. Pinstripe (Dec. 29, Bronx, N.Y.): Syracuse (7-5) vs. West Virginia (7-5)  Both of these teams are among the best passing programs in the country and both play little defense. That should make for a high-scoring and highly entertaining game.

22. Liberty (Dec. 31, Memphis): Tulsa (10-3) vs. Iowa State (6-6)  These two teams played in the season opener and Iowa State came away with a 38-23 win. Tulsa should give the Cyclones a better game this time around.

23. Russell Athletic (Dec. 28, Orlando, Fla.): Rutgers (9-3) vs. Virginia Tech (6-6)  The Scarlet Knights are probably disappointed to land here after blowing a chance for a BCS game in the season finale, and Virginia Tech’s whole season has been a disappointment with just six wins.

24. Kraft Fight Hunger (Dec. 29, San Francisco): Navy (7-4) vs. Arizona State (7-5)  These programs are moving in two different directions. ASU had a rough second half of the season while Navy thrived after a rough start. Arizona State will need the month to prepare for Navy’s option.

25. Independence (Dec. 28, Shreveport, La.): Louisiana-Monroe (8-4) vs. Ohio (8-4)  Lousiana-Monroe, whose upset of Arkansas was a great story early this season, will play in a bowl for the first time in program history. It will face an Ohio team that was ranked for the first time since 1968 at midseason but lost its last three games, all by double digits.

26. Compass (Jan. 5, Birmingham, Ala.): Pittsburgh (6-6) vs. Ole Miss (6-6)  Both of these teams came on late to make a push to get to six wins and both will be eager to finish with a winning season in the first year for both Pittsburgh coach Paul Chryst and Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze.

27. Belk (Dec. 27, Charlotte, N.C.): Duke (6-6) vs. Cincinnati (9-3)  The Blue Devils are back in a bowl for the first time since 1994, but come in on a four-game losing streak and face a Bearcats team that is 12th in the nation in scoring defense.

28. Beef ‘O’ Brady’s (Dec. 21, St. Petersburg, Fla.): Ball State (9-3) vs. UCF (9-4)  Ball State was 3-3 before an overtime win sparked a six-game winning streak, and it will face a UCF team that lost a shot at the C-USA title in a heartbreaking overtime loss to Tulsa on Saturday.

29. Hawaii (Dec. 24, Honolulu): SMU (6-6) vs. Fresno State (9-3)  Coach Tim DeRuyter’s first season with the Bulldogs resulted in a share of the Mountain West title, and Fresno State will go against an SMU team that got a win in its season finale against Tulsa to get eligible.

30. Sun (Dec. 31, El Paso, Texas): USC (7-5) vs. Georgia Tech (6-7)  This is not where anyone expected USC to be at the end of the season and playing a team with a losing record is almost insult to injury. USC was supposed to be playing for the national title while Georgia Tech lost in its conference championship game and needed an exemption waiver by the NCAA.

31. Heart of Dallas (Jan. 1, Dallas): Purdue (6-6) vs. Oklahoma State (7-5)  Oklahoma State is unlike any team Purdue has faced this season with its up-tempo style and ability to put points on the board quickly. Purdue will be without its head coach Danny Hope, which might leave the Boilermakers uninspired.

32. Meineke Car Care of Texas (Dec. 28, Houston): Minnesota (6-6) vs. Texas Tech (7-5)  Texas Tech is second in the nation in passing offense, but its defense slipped after a great start to the season. Minnesota fattened up its record before conference play, then got bowl eligible despite going 2-6 in Big Ten play.

33. New Orleans (Dec. 22, New Orleans): East Carolina (8-4) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4)  East Carolina won five of its last six games, and will be going against a Louisiana-Lafayette team that beat San Diego State in last year’s New Orleans Bowl on a field goal as time expired.

34. Armed Forces (Dec. 29, Fort Worth, Texas): Rice (6-6) vs. Air Force (6-6)  Air Force knows this bowl well, as it is the Falcons’ fourth appearance in the game in six years, while Rice is in just its third bowl game since 1961. It’s just hard to get too excited for a game between a pair of .500 teams.

35. Little Caesars Pizza (Dec. 26, Detroit): Western Kentucky (7-5) vs. Central Michigan (6-6)  Central Michigan was like the final at-large team to get into the NCAA tournament, with a 6-6 record after a 3-6 start. Western Kentucky was barely in the field, too, losing three straight before a one-point win against North Texas in the finale.

2012-13 College Football Bowl TV Schedule

Note: All times Eastern Time (ET). All games except for the Hyundai Sun Bowl and AT&T Cotton Bowl are also available at WatchESPN.

Gildan New Mexico – Nevada vs. Arizona, University Stadium, Albuquerque, New Mexico Saturday, December 15, 1:00 p.m., ESPN

Famous Idaho Potato – Toledo vs. Utah State, Bronco Stadium, Boise, Idaho, Saturday, December 15, 4:30 p.m., ESPN

S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia – BYU vs. San Diego State, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California, Thursday, December 20, 8:00 p.m., ESPN

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg – UCF vs. Ball State, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida, Friday, December 21, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

R+L Carriers New Orleans – East Carolina vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana, Saturday, December 22, 12:00 p.m., ESPN

MAACO Las Vegas – Washington vs. Boise State, Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada, Saturday, December 22, 3:30 p.m., ESPN

Sheraton Hawaii – Fresno State vs. SMU, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii, Monday, December 24, 8:00 p.m., ESPN

Little Caesars Pizza – Western Kentucky vs. Central Michigan, Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan, Wednesday, December 26, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman – San Jose State vs. Bowling Green, RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C., Thursday, December 27, 3:00 p.m., ESPN

Belk – Cincinnati vs. Duke, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina, Thursday, December 27, 6:30 p.m., ESPN

Bridgepoint Education Holiday – Baylor vs. UCLA, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California, Thursday, December 27, 9:45 p.m., ESPN

AdvoCare V100 Independence – Ohio vs. Louisiana-Monroe, Independence Stadium, Shreveport, Louisiana, Friday, December 28, 2:00 p.m., ESPN

Russell Athletic – Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech, Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida, Friday, December 28, 5:30 p.m., ESPN

Meineke Car Care of Texas – Minnesota vs. Texas Tech, Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas, Friday, December 28, 9:00 p.m., ESPN

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces – Rice vs. Air Force, Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, December 29, 11:45 a.m., ESPN

New Era Pinstripe – West Virginia vs. Syracuse, Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, Saturday, December 29, 3:15 p.m., ESPN

Kraft Fight Hunger – Navy vs. Arizona State, AT&T Park, San Francisco, California, Saturday, December 29, 4:00 p.m., ESPN2

Valero Alamo – Texas vs. Oregon State, Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas, Saturday, December 29, 6:45 p.m., ESPN

Buffalo Wild Wings – TCU vs. Michigan State, Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona, Saturday, December 29, 10:15 p.m., ESPN

Franklin American Mortgage Music City – North Carolina State vs. Vanderbilt, LP Field, Nashville, Tennessee, Monday, December 31, 12:00 p.m., ESPN

Hyundai Sun – USC vs. Georgia Tech, Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas, Monday, December 31, 2:00 p.m., CBS

AutoZone Liberty – Iowa State vs. Tulsa, Liberty Bowl, Memphis, Tennessee, Monday, December 31, 3:30 p.m., ESPN

Chick-fil-A – LSU vs. Clemson, Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia, Monday, December 31, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

TaxSlayer.com Gator – Mississippi State vs. Northwestern, Everbank Field, Jacksonville, Florida, Tuesday, January 1, 12:00 p.m., ESPN2

Heart of Dallas – Purdue vs. Oklahoma State, Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas, Tuesday, January 1, 12:00 p.m., ESPNU

Outback – South Carolina vs. Michigan, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida, Tuesday, January 1, 1:00 p.m., ESPN

Capital One – Georgia vs. Nebraska, Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, January 1, 1:00 p.m., ABC

Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio – Wisconsin vs. Stanford, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California, Tuesday, January 1, 5:00 p.m., ESPN

Discover Orange – Northern Illinois vs. Florida State, Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida, Tuesday, January 1, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Allstate Sugar – Louisville vs. Florida, Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana, Wednesday, January 2, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Tostitos Fiesta – Oregon vs. Kansas State, University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona, Thursday, January 3, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

AT&T Cotton – Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma, Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas, Friday, January 4, 8:00 p.m., FOX

BBVA Compass – Pittsburgh vs. Ole Miss, Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama, Saturday, January 5, 1:00 p.m., ESPN

GoDaddy.com – Kent State vs. Arkansas State, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama, Sunday, January 6, 9:00 p.m., ESPN

Discover BCS National Championship – Notre Dame vs. Alabama, Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida, Monday, January 7, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

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Mediocrity Bowl Games

Posted on December 19, 2012. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Do Too Many Bowl Games Reward Mediocrity

December 18. 2012

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Over the last few years the critics of the football bowl games have consistently harped on two issues: 1) the inherent unfairness of both access to the bowl games and the revenue share that favors BCS conferences; and 2) the amount of money being left on the table by not having a BCS playoff system. Both of these criticisms are justifiable and may very well carry the day in moving toward a playoff because of antitrust concerns and the need to maximize revenue. However, there is another argument that needs to be considered and that is the simple fact that at least 21 bowl games involve football teams that have mediocre records, which begs the question of why average teams are being rewarded with postseason play?

Of the 70 teams playing in the 35 bowl games only 28 of those teams had won 9 or more games prior to their bowl appearance. Winning 75% of your games (9-3) seems to be a reasonable standard to meet in order to justify a postseason appearance based on having a successful season. This standard suggests that only 14 bowl games deserve to be played. Therefore, based on this season’s records, 21 of the bowl games are simply rewarding mediocre football teams with a postseason trip. Sophisticated fans understand this fact, which helps explain both poor ticket sales and attendance for many bowl games, and poor television ratings as well. Believe it or not this year 14 schools will play in a bowl game after finishing 6-6;  and, remember in many cases one of those wins came against an FCS school.

In a pattern reminiscent of recent years many schools around the country are having trouble selling out their ticket requirements. This dilemma results in universities having to pay six or seven figures for the privilege of sending the football team to a bowl game that is poorly attended and poorly viewed on television.

A recent Bloomberg.com article had an insightful quote: “Bowls have become network-owned, commercial enterprises, in some cases, pitting average teams in money-losing bowls for the benefit of a few,” said Charles E. Young,  president emeritus at the University of Florida and a member of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. “I think the losses are higher than anyone knows.”

Over time the historic relationships with the established and largely commercially successful bowl games have given rise to economic endeavors by visitor and convention bureaus to attract economic activity and the need of networks to find sports content for programming purposes. These twin factors have taken a previously limited number of successful bowl games and attempted to stretch the concept to the position we find ourselves in now. When you add compensation packages for coaches, athletic directors and commissioners that reward bowl appearances you have created the type of conflict of interest that may lead to bad decision making.

The weight of the current bowl product in the marketplace is starting to foment change. As the case for change builds over time, universities should not forget that as educational institutions they should be teaching lessons about demanding excellence and not accepting or rewarding mediocrity from their students, student-athletes and teams. A good place to start would be to rid post season football of undeserving teams because it is sending the wrong message, and people are starting to notice.

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2012 CSU vs DePaul

Posted on December 5, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Chicago State plays host to DePaul

December 5, 2012

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Chicago State men’s basketball (2-7) hosts Big East member DePaul (4-3) on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 7:05 p.m. CT. The game will be aired live on Lakeshore Public Television and ESPN3.com. It will be DePaul’s first ever visit to the Jones Convocation Center. DePaul defeated Auburn 80-76 on Friday. Chicago State fell 71-57 at SIUE on Saturday.

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SERIES HISTORY
Coming into this game, DePaul leads the all-time Division I series between the Blue Demons and Cougars 10-0. The two clubs met last season with DePaul pulling out a 102-95 decision at Allstate Arena on Dec. 10, 2011.

Chicago State’s non-conference opponents posted a combined record of 321-315 last season. The Cougars’ Division I non-conference foes averaged 16.5 victories last season.

COUGARS ARE HEADED TO THE WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE!

The ever-changing Western Athletic Conference is adding Chicago State University next July, meaning the league will keep its automatic qualifying berths for the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments for another year.   Chicago State joins Cal State-Bakersfield, Grand Canyon, Idaho, New Mexico State, Seattle and Utah Valley in the WAC, which is losing the University of Denver to the Summit League next year.   Leagues need seven schools to maintain their AQ status for NCAA basketball tournaments, but because Grand Canyon is in the process of moving up to Division I, it is ineligible for NCAA postseason bids next year.   The WAC has a two-year grace period in which it can have six Division I schools, however, so it maintains its AQ status for 2013-14 with the addition of the Cougars. For more visit http://www.gocsucougars.com/news/2012/12/4/GEN_1204120253.aspx

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