Cleveland sports fans are waiting. Thus, while we’re all waiting, the WFNY editors thought you might enjoy reading. Because you never know how long we might be waiting. So here are assorted reading goodies for you to enjoy. Send more good links for tomorrow’s edition to email@example.com.
Leading off, Urban Meyer has changed his mind and has decided to apply some sort of additional punishment to offensive lineman Marcus Hall, who won’t start tonight’s Big Ten Championship Game against Michigan State. Zac Jackson of Fox Sports Ohio says that it shows a different Urban Meyer than in past seasons, “It might be a one-drive suspension. It might be a hollow gesture. Whatever happens, it shows that Meyer knows people are watching, listening, waiting for the chance to feed him his own words or catch him with his guard down. Meyer knows he might need people on his side, too. The final BCS standings are going to be decided by voters in the coaches and Harris Polls on Sunday. Not that anyone is going to change a vote because Meyer chose to punish Hall, but there’s no need to give anyone any extra reason to potentially put Auburn very high in these upcoming final polls and Ohio State much lower than most. Just in case. ” [Jackson/FSO]
Over at Stepien Rules, Cleveland Jackson talks about Tristan Thompson and rebounding, “There is a predictive calculation being made there. He is not just tracking the basketball, it’s angle of trajectory and speed with his eyes. He’s measuring where it will go. He has always been capable of this. At Texas, in the one season he played college basketball, Tristan Thompson averaged an astounding 3.8 OFFENSIVE rebounds per game. He came into the NBA with a 38.5 inch vertical leap and a standing reach of 9 feet and one half inch. By extension, at least in theory, Tristan Thompson can touch an object 12 feet 3 inches above himself by jumping. ” [Stepien Rules]
I really enjoyed this Brian Phillips article on Grantland, talking about the importance of college football games that aren’t directly affecting the title game, “I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of days, though, about the overall indifference to a semi-important game I happen to care about. I think it’s good, every now and again, to remember what’s really going on in the muddle below the national conversation. We complain about the tyranny of the narrative all the time, or at least I do. But I don’t spenda lot of time imagining what might exist in its place. It’s useful to think about that, in the same way that a game you’re watching on TV can seem different, and more interesting, if you mute the commentary for a few minutes. Since we’re talking about college football, think about the old bowl system. Now, the bowl system has almost nothing going for it. It concentrates power in the hands of a mob of ancient pastel golfing cronies, it does a terrible job selecting a champion (even in the era of the BCS), it milks every dollar it can out of college football’s profile as a national sport while pretending it’s a regional sport for organizational purposes. But it does at least point back to the idea that a sport is a network of local circumstances, that the nodes on this network might only be vaguely affiliated, and that the story of a season doesn’t have to be the same story for everyone.” [Grantland]
The NFL Draft landscape for the quarterback position is evolving rapidly. Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner tackles some of the developments, “The fastest riser among the senior prospects has been Fresno State’s Derek Carr. I tweeted a few weeks ago how a talent evaluator I spoke to feels that Carr will land in the top 10 when it’s all said and done, and it would stun few at this point if Carr actually goes top five given the value of the position, Carr’s strong season and the remainder of the QB landscape. Another riser has been Central Florida’s Blake Bortles, who has shown some really intriguing skills in leading the Knights to a 10-1 mark, and on the verge of a BCS bowl bid. Bortles has the size, arm and athleticism for the position, he has shown more grit this season, and huge road wins against Penn State and Louisville (and Teddy Bridgewater) have proven his clutch gene and boosted his stock to where Bortles is expected to ask the draft advisory board to analyze the junior’s stock before deciding whether or not to declare. Another fine performance in, say, the Sugar Bowl, could make that decision a lot easier.” [Shutdown Corner]
Last but not least, do you need some Big Ten Title Game prep? Of course, you do! I’ll have my take for you later this afternoon, but here’s some stuff to get you started…