Articles By Athlon Sports

Path: /news/willis-mcgahee-and-knowshon-moreno-injured-lance-ball-your-new-best-friend
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When Knowshon Moreno went down with a knee and Willis McGahee left with a hamstring in the Broncos weird win over the Chiefs, there was only one running back left on the team (not named Tim Tebow) to carry the league's heaviest rushing load: Lance Ball.

You should get to know Lance Ball because if there's one rushing attack you probably want a piece of, it's the Denver Broncos.

By now you know that Time Tebow completed only two passes in Denver's win over the Chiefs. And it doesn't take a brain scientist (or a rocket surgeon) to figure out that means that the Broncos are run first, second and third team.

The extent of McGahee's injury seems to be mild. According to reports, he could have come back in the game, but we all know how hamstring's can come back to haunt a player, especially a running back.

You can almost predict that McGahee's hammy will act up at some point on Thursday's game and cause him to miss anywhere from a few series to a quarter or half or more.

Knowshon Moreno, on the other hand, has already been ruled out of this Thursday's game against the Jets.

Which leave Lance Ball as, at worst, the #2 rusher on a team that will run the ball 50 times. Even if McGahee is 100% healthy, Lance Ball will get plenty of chances. He proved he can carry the load against the Chiefs when he posted 96 yards on a whopping 30 carries. 

Tebow will get his share of carries, but I would look to Lance Ball as an easy RB#2 going into this week, even against a supposedly stingy Jets defense.

With the game against the Chiefs, Lance Ball had more carries in one game than he did combined all season. Which means his legs are fresh enough to take an extended number of carries, especially if Fox wants to lessen Tebow's load to try and lower his chances of getting injured.

We'll keep you updated on the status of McGahee, but with the insanely elevated number of rushes the Broncos call, the second option at running back could easily get more carries than the first option of more balanced teams.

And at the end of the day, you want your fantasy players to touch the ball as many times as possible, right? You can't score if you don't get the ball, and if there's one thing that's for sure this week, Lance Ball will live up to his name and get the ball.

Ball has fantasy worth until Moreno comes back. Even then, with McGahee's hamstring injury, it's a situation you want to keep close tabs on as the fantasy playoffs get closer.

Teaser:
<p> If there's one running attack you want a piece, it's the Denver Broncos</p>
Post date: Monday, November 14, 2011 - 11:39
Path: /fantasy/matt-schaub-has-serious-foot-injury-out-season
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The Houston Texans can't catch a break. Or maybe they're catching too many.

After suffering through injuries to seemingly all their star players, the news got even worse this week when head coach Gary Kubiak revealed that quarterback Matt Schaub has a Lisfranc foot injury. Which, for all you non-doctors out there, a Lisfranc injury is usually a fracture to one of the tarsas or metatarsals, which are basically the bones right behind the toes.

This is not good news. If his foot is broken, then he's put for the rest of the season, as would be the Texans' chances of doing anything in the playoffs (even if they made it to the postseason).

It's hard to remember a team that has suffered serious injuries to so many of their star players. And then still kept winning.

After suffering various injuries to Arian Foster, Mario Williams and Andre Johnson, it seemed like the Texans' had weathered the injury storm and were still contenders to be one of the best teams in the AFC come January. 

Andre Johnson, who had missed several weeks with a hamstring injury was scheduled to get back on the field after their bye week this Sunday. At that point, the Texans thought they would be back at 100% with their three offensive weapons (Schaub, Foster and Johnson).

Schaub is going to see a specialist this week, but it doesn't look good. Kubiak refused to give a timetable for his return, but the chances of him missing the season seem to be better than 50-50. The best case scenario would be Schaub suiting up around the time of the playoffs.

Matt Leinart, not necessarily a name that instills a lot of confidence will take the reigns at quarterback while Schaub is out. On the good side, Leinart has two solid weeks to work with the fist team and learn the offense as best he can.

And he's inheriting one of the most explosive offenses in the league with a running game that can carry almost any running back with the powerhouse tandem of Foster and Ben Tate. And it looks like they'll need to lean heavily on them while Leinart figures things out. Could we see a Broncos-esque running attack in the next few weeks? 

The short answer is, don't expect much out of Leinart until you see something. He's not going to put up Schaub-like numbers, so don't take a flyer on him unless you're in a two-quarterback league and you're dealing with an injury or one of your quarterbacks is named Colt McCoy.

Teaser:
<p> The Texans' quarterback will miss several weeks at the minimum with a foot injury</p>
Post date: Monday, November 14, 2011 - 10:14
Path: /news/arkansas-joe-adams-has-greatest-punt-return-ever-video
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Arkansas senior Joe Adams had one of the greatest punt returns in the history of punt returns against the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday.

Never before has a punt return gone from so stupid, because Adams started running backwards, then sideways, then backwards again, to so brilliant when he made a few cuts to make a few Volunteers miss and then finally break away to take it all the way to the house.

It's hard to say how many yards he actually ran during this punt return, but it seems like he ran anything but forward at least as many yards as he went upfield.

It's hard to say if this is more of poor defense and bad tackling than brilliant punt returning skills, but you can't take anything away from Arkansas' Adams for this punt return. He probably should've been tackled a few times, but the fact that he had such little space and juked his way to a touchdown makes this one of the greatest punt returns in history.

Teaser:
<p> The Razorback Joe Adams has the greatest punt return ever against the Tennessee Volunteers</p>
Post date: Monday, November 14, 2011 - 02:54
All taxonomy terms: balltribe, News
Path: /news/every-sports-fan-should-know-about-balltribecom
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Untitled from Adam Kingsley on Vimeo.

If you don't know about Balltribe.com, well, you should. Balltribe aggregates all the sports content you want, from breaking news to funny videos and features from around the sports world. It takes all the sports sites you read and follow, takes out all the content you don't want, leaving you with nothing but the most interesting content about sports. Balltribe is like an old 49er who's panning for gold, except, instead of sifting through dirt and muck, he's sifting through the sports world to bring you the golden nuggets of sports news and features you want.

Teaser:
<p> A great sports aggregator that has everything sports fans need</p>
Post date: Monday, November 14, 2011 - 01:51
Path: /news/frank-gore-fine-according-harbaugh-pick-kendall-hunter-anyway
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Frank Gore, according to San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh is apparently "Fine" after suffering a knee injury against the New York Giants on Sunday.

The 49ers coach was emphatic that Gore will play next week, and the knee injury that kept him out of the majority of the second half is not serious. And that he wasn't put back in the game for precautionary reasons.

OK, fine, sounds great right? Hang on a second.

Gore, who has a history of injury problems that usually cost him anywhere from a couple of games to half a season is one of those fantasy players that always has owners waiting for the other shoe to drop. 

But so far, this season has been different. Gore has been one of the most productive backs in the league, carrying the 49ers to an unbelievable 8-1 record. Harbaugh is all but assured of winnin coach of the year, and Frank Gore is in the discussions for MVP.

And while that's all well and good, every Frank Gore owner has wondered when the injury bug would hit. And when he didn't come back in the Giants game, everyone assumed the worst.

Whether Gore is actually fine and will be good to go next remains to be seen, but fantasy owners should pick up his more-than-capable backup, Kendall Hunter off waivers.

Hunter has proven himself to be a #1RB in waiting and he proved it by putting up 40 yards and a touchdown, to go along with one catch, in the game against New York. 

And Hunter is worth owning even if Gore is 100%, because the 49ers have already openly discussed limting Gore's role to save on wear and tear leadign up to the playoffs.

And it makes sense. If history is any lesson, Gore can't take the weekly pounding he gets. Hunter is a rookie with fresh legs. And given the fact that the 49ers have all but wrapped up the NFC West with half the season to go, why not see what Kendall can do, while resting the most important player on your offense.

Go get Hunter, and I'd dare say he's worth a start next week against Arizona, no matter what Harbaugh or Gore say this week.

Teaser:
<p> The 49ers running back missed the second half of the Giants game</p>
Post date: Monday, November 14, 2011 - 01:19
Path: /news/desean-jackson-reportedly-inactive-today-being-late-team-meeting
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DeSean Jackson will reportedly be inactive today after showing up late for a team meeting on Saturday, multiple sources are reporting.

This will be a huge, unexpected blow for fantasy teams, as well as the Eagles passing game looking to get back on track after losing a very important game to the Bears last week.

This was exepcted to be a big bounceback week for Jackson as well, who only tallied two catches for 16 yards last week against the Bears.

This week was expected to be much different, with a game at home against the Cardinals who have the 27th ranked passing defense in the league. Most fantasy experts had moved DeSean Jackson up and were expecting the entire Eagles offense to put up the points that most had been expecting them to put up all season.

Exactly what team meeting he missed or why he missed it is still unknown. We'll update this story as we learn more about the situation. It must have been an egregious error on DeSean's part for him to be inactive for the whole game, and not just a quarter or half.

In the meantime, expect more out of Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant to fill the hole left by Jackson's absence. With 3rd string wide receiver Riley Cooper seeing a few more balls thrown his way. The Eagles desperately need to win every game remaining in their season if they are to continue to have any chance at a playoff berth, so Maclin and Avant just went from being #2 and #3 WR's to being #1 and #2 wide receivers on one of the most explosive passing offenses in football.

Start both Avant and Maclin with lots of confidence.

Teaser:
<p> The Eagles will be without their star wide receiver today</p>
Post date: Sunday, November 13, 2011 - 09:00
Path: /mlb/athlon-sports-2011-al-cy-young
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With the World Series in the rear-view mirror and the hot stove just beginning to heat up, it's time to hand out some awards to this year's best performers on the diamond. The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) started handing out theirs today by announcing the AL and NL Rookies of the Year. And while no Athlon editors are members of the BBWAA, here's how four of us — Charlie Miller, Braden Gall, Patrick Snow and Mark Ross — would have voted if we did have a ballot to cast.

AL Cy Young

Let's face it. This is the Detroit Tigers' Justin Verlander's award this season and it's not even close.  There's no doubt that Verlander is going to run away with the voting for the AL Cy Young. It's more a question of who finishes behind him and in what order, and how Verlander fares in the AL MVP voting.

Even with Verlander the undisputable, clear-cut winner, there were several other pitchers who had outstanding seasons on the mound, including Boston Red Sox starter Josh Beckett, Verlander's Detroit Tigers teammate closer Jose Valverde, the Los Angeles Angels' starting duo of Dan Haren and Jered Weaver, New York Yankees teammates Mariano Rivera and CC Sabathia, Tampa Bay Rays starter James Shields, Texas Rangers ace C.J. Wilson, and Toronto Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero.

Contenders' Stats:

Josh Beckett, SP, Boston Red Sox: 13-7, 2.89 ERA, 193 IP, 52 BB, 175 K, 1.03 WHIP, 30 GS

Dan Haren, SP, Los Angeles Angels: 16-10, 3.17 ERA, 238 1/3 IP, 33 BB, 192 K, 1.02 WHIP, 34 GS

Mariano Rivera, RP, New York Yankees: 1-2, 1.91 ERA, 44 SV, 61 1/3 IP, 8 BB, 60 K, 0.90 WHIP, 64 GP

Ricky Romero, SP, Toronto Blue Jays: 15-11, 2.92 ERA, 225 IP, 80 BB, 178 K, 1.14 WHIP, 32 GS

CC Sabathia, SP, New York Yankees: 19-8, 3.00 ERA, 237 1/3 IP, 61 BB, 230 K, 1.23 WHIP, 33 GS

James Shields, SP, Tampa Bay Rays: 16-12, 2.82 ERA, 249 1/3 IP, 65 BB, 225 K, 1.04 WHIP, 33 GS

Jose Valverde, RP, Detroit Tigers: 2-4, 2.24 ERA, 49 SV, 72 1/3 IP, 34 BB, 69 K, 1.19 WHIP, 75 GP

Justin Verlander, SP, Detroit Tigers: 24-5, 2.40 ERA, 251 IP, 57 BB, 250 K, 0.92 WHIP, 34 GS

Jered Weaver, SP, Los Angeles Angels: 18-8, 2.41 ERA, 235 2/3 IP, 56 BB, 198 K, 1.01 WHIP, 33 GS

C.J. Wilson, SP, Texas Rangers: 16-7, 2.94 ERA, 223 1/3 IP, 74 BB, 206 K, 1.19 WHIP, 34 GS

Athlon's Winner: Justin Verlander, SP, Detroit Tigers

Here's how the Athlon editors voted

Charlie Miller's ballot:

1. Justin Verlander
Verlander turned what was a hotly contested race two months ago into a runaway. It’s not so much his 24 wins that are impressive, but he logged more than 250 innings, had 250 strikeouts and allowed just 231 baserunners via hit or walk.
2. Jose Valverde
The Tigers’ closer is among the elite firemen in baseball now. He had a perfect 49-for-49 season in save chances.
3. Jered Weaver
It was tough pitching for one of the weakest offenses in the AL. The Angels plated four runs or less in 11 of his 33 starts. Six of Weaver’s seven no-decisions were one-run games; three wins, three losses.
4. James Shields
Shields was a badly needed workhorse for the Rays, logging 249.1 innings. His 16-12 record isn’t all that impressive, but the Rays won all five of his no-decisions, making them 21-12 in his starts. And his team provided just two runs or less 12 times.
5. CC Sabathia
The Yankees were 22-11 in his starts, but let’s face it, in 10 of those starts, the Yankees plated eight runs or more. He failed to complete the sixth inning just twice.
6. C.J. Wilson
7. Dan Haren
8. Josh Beckett
9. Mariano Rivera
10. Ricky Romero

Braden Gall's ballot:

1. Justin Verlander
Leads league in IP (251.0), wins (24), strikeouts (250), WHIP (0.92) and BAA (.192). Enough said.
2. Jered Weaver
CC-lite statistically, but doing it with much less support around him. Sick 2.41 ERA and 1.01 WHIP.
3. Jose Valverde
A perfect 49-of-49 in save opps for the Central Champs is no easy feat.
4. CC Sabathia
Second in the AL in wins with 19 and strikeouts with 230 and fourth in innings with 237.1.
5. James Shields
Pitched 249.1 innings with nasty ratio 2.82 ERA and 1.04 WHIP with astonishing 11 complete games.
6. C.J. Wilson
No. 1 workhorse for the best team in the American League.
7. Ricky Romero
Wildly underrated 2.92 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 15 wins in 225 IP in brutal AL East.
8. Dan Haren
Third in AL in innings (238.1) with 16 wins, 192 strikeouts and nast 1.02 WHIP.
9. Mariano Rivera
Second in the AL in saves (44) with 1.91 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and one pitch at age 41.
10. David Price
Tossed 224.1 innings with 218 strikeouts and a 1.14 WHIP for team that surged into playoffs.

Patrick Snow's ballot:

1. Justin Verlander
This one is about as easy as it gets. The Tigers’ ace led the American League in ERA (2.40), wins (24), innings pitched (251) and strikeouts (250). Verlander also had the only WHIP under one among AL starters at 0.92. He was absolutely dominant this season and was a catalyst in propelling Detroit to the AL Central crown and an ALDS victory over the Yankees. Verlander is a lock for the Cy and will also get heavy AL MVP consideration.
2. Jered Weaver
3. Jose Valverde
4. James Shields
5. Mariano Rivera
6. Dan Haren
7. CC Sabathia 
8. C.J. Wilson
9. Josh Beckett
10. Ricky Romero

Mark Ross' ballot:

1. Justin Verlander
Besides winning the pitching Triple Crown (wins, ERA, strikeouts) in the American League, Verlander led the majors in wins (24), innings pitched (251), strikeouts (250), WHIP (0.92) and opponents’ batting average (.192). Oh yeah, he also threw his second career no-hitter in May. Talk about dominant.
2. James Shields
Shields led the majors with 11 complete games and was second with four shutouts, which was tops in the AL.  He won 16 games and came up big time and time again down the stretch as the Rays chased down the Red Sox and won the Wild Card.
3. Jered Weaver
Finished just behind Verlander for the AL ERA title at 2.41, was third in wins (18) and second in WHIP (1.01). He started the season by winning his first six starts with a 0.99 ERA and went 8-1 in June and July with a 1.65 ERA.
4. Jose Valverde
A perfect 49-for-49 in save chances as he carried the load in the Tigers’ bullpen on their way to winning the AL Central.
5. CC Sabathia
Second in the AL in wins (19) and strikeouts (230), Sabathia also posted the lowest ERA (3.00) of his three-year Yankee tenure.
6. Dan Haren
7. C.J. Wilson
8. Josh Beckett
9. Ricky Romero
10. Mariano Rivera

Other Baseball awards-related content:

American League Rookie of the Year

National League Rookie of the Year

AL & NL Managers of the Year

National League Cy Young

American League MVP

National League MVP

Teaser:
<p> Athlon editors cast their vote for the American League's best pitcher this season</p>
Post date: Friday, November 11, 2011 - 15:43
Path: /mlb/athlon-sports-2011-nl-rookie-year
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With the World Series in the rear-view mirror and the hot stove just beginning to heat up, it's time to hand out some awards to this year's best performers on the diamond. The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) will make their announcements starting Monday. And while no Athlon editors are members of the BBWAA, here's how four of us — Charlie Miller, Braden Gall, Patrick Snow and Mark Ross — would have voted if we did have a ballot to cast.

NL Rookie of the Year

Unlike the American League, the pool of quality candidates for this year's National League Rookie of the Year was considerably smaller. All of the leading contenders hail from the NL East, headlined by the Atlanta Braves duo of reliever Craig Kimbrel and first baseman Freddie Freeman, along with their teammate starter Brandon Beachy, Philadelphia Phillies starter Vance Worley, and Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa.

Contenders' Stats:

Brandon Beachy, P, Atlanta Braves: 7-3, 3.68 ERA, 141 2/3 IP, 46 BB, 169 K, 25 GS

Danny Espinosa, 2B, Washington Nationals: 158 G, .236, 72 R, 29 2B, 21 HR, 66 RBI

Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves: 157 G, .282, 67 R, 32 2B, 21 HR, 76 RBI

Craig Kimbrel, P, Atlanta Braves: 4-3, 2.10 ERA, 46 SV, 77 IP, 32 BB, 127 K, 79 GP

Vance Worley, P, Philadelphia Phillies: 11-3, 3.01 ERA, 131 2/3 IP, 46 BB, 119 K, 21 GS

Athlon's Winner: Craig Kimbrel, P, Atlanta Braves

It's no surprise that Kimbrel got all four first-place votes since he will most likely run away with the BBWAA voting as well. What is a little more surprising, however, is that all four Athlon editors' ballots turned out exactly the same — Kimbrel, followed by Freeman and then Worley. Nice to see they can agree on some things.

Here's how the Athlon editors voted

Charlie Miller's ballot:

1. Craig Kimbrel
Converted 25 consecutive save opportunities during the meat of the schedule. Kimbrel anchored the best bullpen in the NL.
2. Freddie Freeman
3. Vance Worley

Braden Gall's ballot:

1. Craig Kimbrel
Kimbrel set an MLB rookie record with 46 saves this season and finished tied with John Axford for the NL lead. His 127 strikeouts in 77 innings pitched (14.8 K/9) made him only the fourth player in history to post at least 30 saves and a K/9 rate over 14.0 (Carlos Marmol 2010, Eric Gagne 2003, Billy Wagner, 1998, 1999). Kimbrel enjoyed a 37.2 scoreless inning streak from June 14 to September 8 to lead Atlanta to a big Wild Card lead. We just won’t talk about his last six outings.
2. Freddie Freeman
From the batter’s box, there isn’t really any NL competition for Freeman. He led all NL rookies in batting average (.282), hits (161), doubles (32), homers (21), RBIs (76), on-base percetange (.346) and slugging (.448). He was the stabilizing force in the heart of the Braves order and was arguably their most consistent hitter in 2011.
3. Vance Worley
Worley had the benefit of learning from four of the best to play the game, but that does very little to diminish his NL rookie-best 3.01 ERA (minimum 15 starts). And when it counted, Worley posted a 2.83 ERA over his final 17 starts of the season.

Patrick Snow's ballot:

1. Craig Kimbrel
The Braves’ fireballer was dominant for most of the season, including a 38-game scoreless streak from June 14 to September 8. During that amazing run, Kimbrel had two wins and 25 saves in 37.2 innings pitched while striking out 67 batters. The young righty tied for the NL lead in saves with 46 and set the MLB record for rookie saves in the process.
2. Freddie Freeman
3. Vance Worley

Mark Ross' ballot:

1. Craig Kimbrel
Kimbrel set the single-season record for saves by a rookie with 46. He struck out 127 and gave up just 32 walks in 77 innings. With the exception of a rough patch at the end of the season and three games over a two-week span in May, Kimbrel was as close to automatic as it comes. From June 14 to September 8, Kimbrel threw 37 2/3 scoreless innings, collecting two wins and 24 saves in those 38 appearances.
2. Freddie Freeman
Given the starting job at first base in spring training, Freeman struggled at the plate out of the gate, hitting just .217 with three home runs and eight RBIs through April. He started turning things around in May, batting .312 and found his power stroke during the summer, when he hit 10 home runs with 35 RBIs in June and July combined. The 21-year-old led finished the season leading all NL rookies in batting average (.282), hits (161), doubles (32), home runs (21), RBIs (76), on-base percentage (.346) and slugging percentage (.448).
3. Vance Worley
Used sporadically at the start of the season, Worley became a regular in the Phillies’ starting rotation in the middle of June and thrived in the role. For the season, he went 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA in 25 appearances, 21 of them starts. In a three-month stretch between June and August, Worley went 7-0 in 14 starts with a 2.30 ERA.

Other Baseball Awards-related content:

American League Rookie of the Year

AL & NL Managers of the Year

American League Cy Young

National League Cy Young

American League MVP

National League MVP

Teaser:
<p> Athlon editors name their choice for the National League's top rookie</p>
Post date: Friday, November 11, 2011 - 11:55
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-great-rivalries-florida-state-vs-miami
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This profile of the Florida State and Miami college football rivalry originally appeared in Athlon's 1992 Big Ten Football annual. As the rivalry is renewed this week, we thought it was relevant to take a look back at the history of this epic showdown.

Florida State vs Miami: One of College Football's Greatest Rivalries

Bill Peterson, former Florida State coach, may have put it best with one of his malaprops.

"These are the kind of football games," he said before a Florida State-Miami game, "that coaches strive on."

It is a series that Miami certainly has thrived on lately. But then, the Hurricanes have thrived on just about every team that has gotten in their way while winning four national championships in the past nine seasons.

Florida State has strived better than any during that span. The Seminoles have beaten Miami twice in those nine years. But three times they have lost by a point, falling 17-16 in 1983 and 1991, and 26-25 in a memorable 1987 shootout.

"It's funny--well, it's not funny," says Florida State coach Bobby Bowden. "Miami was the team of the '80s. With about two more points a game (against Miami), Florida State would have been the team of the '80s."

Incredibly, in a 35-game series that Miami leads 21 to 14, there have been six one-point decisions. Florida State has lost all of them. 

The others: 7-6 in 1959 and 1962, and 10-9 in 1980.

Bowden has been the victim of four of the one-point defeats. Two may have cost him national titles.

In a talk at Miami earlier this year, Bowden jested about his national-championship frustration as he waved a hand.

"I solved that business," he said, "I got me one of them rings."

Bowden moved his hand to eye level and read what he said was the inscription: "National champions 1991, '92, '93, '94. Love, Mother."

Bowden has been more involved in this series than any other coach on either side. His record against the Hurricanes is a frustrating 6-12, including 1-1 during his time at West Virginia.

During Bowden's 16 seasons at Florida State, Miami has had five head coaches. He lost to the first two (Carl Selmer and Lou Saban) as well as the last three (Howard Schnellenberger, Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson).

When Bowden took over at Florida State in 1976, he inherited a team that had gone 4-29 in the previous three seasons. In his second game, Miami blew out the Seminoles 47-0.

"I was thinking we were finally going to win a game," says Bowden, noting that Miami had gone 2-8 the previous year. "They kick off. We fumble. They score. They kick off again. We throw a pass. They intercept. They score again. It wss 27-0 in the first quarter. At the end, it was 47-0. It could have been 100-0."

Bowden's teams got better. But Miami was usually a little better.

Twice in the last four years, Florida State has been a consensus preseason choice to win it all. Each time Miami got in the way.

Last year the Hurricanes dealt the Seminoles their first loss after 16 straight victories, including 10 straight that season. Bowden believes his team was so devesstated by disappointment of a game it lost when a last-minute field goal sailed wide right by inches that it precipitated the 14-9 defeat by Florida in the last regular season game.

A difference of inches mught summarize most of the unusal games between these two. But more than inches mark this relationship.

"This series with Miami," says Bowden, "differs from others in the fact that it has gained as much national prestige as any collegiate game in the country. The implications in the last five years have been greater than, say, Ohio State-Michigan, Auburn-Alabama, Southern Cal-UCLA, Notre Dame-Southern Cal--or any others you can name."

With such national impact, Bowden wonders if the series with Florida, Florida State's historic blood rival, is as big as it once was.

"To me, I don't know," he says. "To me, Miami is now our No. 1 rival instead of Florida. From my standpoint, developments have shifted the center of gravity to Miami, not Gainesville."

Miami seems ot have had the fates on its side. Strange things happen when these two play--bad thigns for Bowden's Seminoles.

"Wide right" last season was a notable example.

Bowden's first one-point loss tot he Hurricanes, in 1980, came whent he Seminoles suddenly found themselves without a center. In the previous game, the top two centers were lost to injury.

"We started a guard at center," Bowden recalls. "He couldn't snap. We had 10 center-quarterback fumbles. Miami got five of 'em."

Florida State lost when Miami nose tackle Jim Burt managed to get his helmet int he way of a late two-point pass following a touchdown. The receiver was open.

The Seminoles also had the acute trouble with inexperience at center when Miami romped 31-0 int he 1988 opener. Misfortune at that position seems to be a common thread in defeats by the Hurricanes.

"I guess I've lost as much sleep over losses in '87 and '91 as any games in my 38 years of coaching," Bowden says. "You look back at such weird things, One time I had a center snap the ball over the kicker's head before the holder was ready."

Instead od an early field goal that may have made a difference, the ball sailed 51 yards downfield. And Miami was the team that got a field goal and a 3-0 lead (this was in 1987.)

"In the same game, we were threatening to score when we had a fumbled exchange," Bowden remembers. "One of our guys inadvertently kicked the ball right to their safety, who fell on top of it."

Florida State built a 19-3 lead int he third quarter, but Steve Walsh threw three late touchdown passes and completed 2-point passes after the first two.

"I cannot explain it," says Bowden, referring mainly to the losses in '87 and '91, "except there was magnificent play by Miami. Still, we were playing in Tallahassee and got a good lead both ti mes. I think we had better ball clubs. And yet we still got beat.

The home field has often seemed a disadvantage in this biarre series.

There was a time when Florida State seemed to own the Orange Bowl, a time when the Seminoles won eight straight over ther Hurricanes.

From 1963 through 1972 the two played seven times. During a period when the Seminoles were not drawing particularly well at home, they agreed to play every year at Miami in quest of a bigger payday.

Peterson, who coached Florida State for 11 seasons, won those first five games in the Orange Bowl, sometimes flying his team down the morning of a night game and returning home immediately after.

Florida State's odd Orange Bowl dominance continued under two coaches who followed Peterson. Larry Jones won there in '71 and '72. But in 1973 te Seminoles were beset by the hardest of times, going 0-11 under Jones, who was fired. Under a new coach, Darrell Mudra, the losing streak climbed to 20. Naturally, Florida State halted its losing run in the Orange Bowl, winning 21-14 in '74. The Seminoles' lead in Orange Bowl vicotries has dwindled in the wake of recent Miami dominance, but they are still ahead, 12 to 11, in games played there.

By 1973 the rivalry had become a genuine home and home series. Only two of the first 6 games, in 1957 and 1959, had been played in Tallahassee, and Miami won both.

And Miami continued to win in Tallahassee. Not until Bowden prevailed 4023 in 1979 did Florida State beat Miami in Tallahassee's Doak Campbell Stadium. That was the year Howard Schnellenberger came aboard as Miami's coach.

Miami has won 10 of 12 in Tallahassee.

"I don't think Tallhassee is an easy place to play," Schnellenberger says. "In fact, it is very tough there. First of all, you are playing a great football team every time you go to Doak Campbell Stadium. And the fans are loud. Not a whole lot of other people there, you know, have won going in there."

Nor does Bowden consider the Orange Bowl a piece of cake, though he's three of his five Miami victories there.

"It may be as tough a place to play as there is," he says, "now that they've got bigger crowds that are really into it."

Not many realize that football was in serious trouble at Florida State and Miami in the years immediately preceding the arrivals of Bowden and Schnellenberger.

J. Stanley Marshall, then Florida State president, had spoken of the possibility of the school giving up football unless supporters came up with quick money following the disastrous season of '73. Miami, its Orange Bowl crowds down alarmingly, seemed in even greater danger of giving up football, just as it did basketball for 14 years.

"I remember both programs were about to sink," Bowden says.

Suddenly, things changed.

One year Schnellenberger asked Bowden to fly to Miami to help hype the Orange Bowl turnout, possibly an unprecedented request to a visiting coach during the week of the game. Bowden did fly down the Monday before the teams met Saturday.

"Obviously we were trying to generate interest in Miami," Schnellenberger says. "We had a joint press conference. We had a weigh-in, kind of like boxers before a main event. I guess I weighed in a lot more than he did. But it worked out real well."

The next year Schnellenberger flew to Tallahassee on the Monday before the game. In a boxing ring, the two squared off with gloves on. The scene got lots of media exposure.

On another occasion the two posed as poker players, with an overhead camera showing each had a royal flush.

The two constitute a mutual-admiration society that has hardly diminished in strength through changing times.

"Howard is close to being the best coach in the country," Bowden sayus, "Back then, I mean, as well as now."

Schnellenberger, who has been coacing at the University of Louisville for the last seven seasons, says he patterned much of what Miami was doing when he was there after what Bowden already had begun at Florida State.

"I was impressed with the way they handled their marketing, how they selectively enlarged their stadium, never to exceed known demands, never making it too big," Schnellenberger says.

"And I had the greatest respect for Bobby, personally. A guy you've got to like--non-pretentious, never gives the appearance of being self-serving or egotistical. He exemplifies for me what a college coach should be. Probably it never has veen calculated, the impact he has had not only on the athletic department but the university itself."

Notably because of Bowden and Schnellenberger, perhaps partially because the two schools are nearly 500 miles apart, Miami vs Florida State evolved into an uncommonly friendly rivalry. Florida State seems always to have appreciated the fact that it was Miami that stuck its neck out and gave the Seminoles their first shot at a major college opponent.

An all-female school for several decades, Florida State enrolled men for the first time in 1946. A year later it fielded its first football team.

In 1951, the year after the Seminoles had gone 8-0 against opponents that included Troy State and a Howard (now Samford University) team on which Bowden played quarterback, Miami met Florida State int he Orange Bowl, winning 35-13.

Florida State has played Miami most years since and more times than any other opponent. Florida did not consent to play the Seminoles until 1958, and then onlyafter the threat of legislative action to force them to do so.

In his five years at Miami, Schnellenberger beat Bowden three times, including twice by a single point. His 17-16 victory in late 1983 provded the springboard to a national-championship victory over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl.

"More times than not the winner of the htis game has gone on to spectacular things," Schnellenberger says. "I don't know that any series has had more direct impact ont he national championship. And I don't know of any decided so many times by one point. But maybe this series is especially outstanding because of the great respect the teams and fans have for each other, because of the great sportsmanship after the fact."

Johnson, who replaced Schnellenberger at Miami, began inauspiciously against Florida State. In 1984, Bowden won the first challenge by a startling 38-3. In the Orange Bowl, of course. Whereupon Jonson won the next four games.

"I guarantee you on thing," Bowden slyly told alumni clubs int he spring following the 1988 game, "I'll never lose to him again."

Johnson had just accepted an offer to coach the Dallas Cowboys.

Miami's present coach, Dennis Erickson, thinks Bowden reminds him a bit fo Schnellenberger with his all-around strength as a coach. 

There's a thought that many a coach might have won national titles with the talen Miami has fielded in the past decade.

"Not in my opinion," Bowden says. "Miami's had extraordinary talent. But the coaches they've had have been amazing, too."

Teaser:
<p> Bobby Bowden and Howard Schnellenberger talk about the Seminoles-Hurricanes rivalry</p>
Post date: Friday, November 11, 2011 - 11:48
All taxonomy terms: Ashton Kutcher, Twitter, Overtime
Path: /overtime/ashton-kutchers-other-uninformed-sports-tweets
Body:

Earlier this week, Ashton Kutcher made a mistake over Twitter. Having not heard about the Penn State scandal, he tweeted "How do you fire Joe Pa? #insult #noclass as a Hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste". And then he was railed by his 8 million followers for not being aware of WHY Joe Pa was fired. How he hadn't heard about the scandal as of Wednesday, well, that's another issue. But because of his gaffe, which he's repeatedly apologized for, Ashton has quit Twitter altogether. That seems like a bit of a rash move (we all make mistakes), but we thought we'd have a little fun with it with a few more of Ashton Kutcher's uninformed sports tweets.

 

 

 

 

 

And here's a few tweets from history...

 

 

 

Teaser:
<p> Here are a few other tweets about sports from Ashton Kutcher</p>
Post date: Friday, November 11, 2011 - 09:05
Path: /nfl/nfl-2011-midseason-awards
Body:

Halfway through the NFL season, nobody is surprised about who is sitting atop the NFL standings, but the Green Bay Packers may be the only thing not surprising about the NFL this season. Teams like the 49ers and Bengals are on top, the Patriots are fading, and the “Dream Team” Eagles are a mess.

And even without Peyton Manning, who would’ve guessed the Indianapolis Colts would be running away with the race for the first overall draft pick and the rights to Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck?

Rookie quarterbacks and rookie coaches are thriving. Some forgotten players have been revived. Some coaches thought to be on the hot seat are having remarkable years. There’s a long way to go, of course, but it’s been quite an eventful first half of the NFL season.

Here are some well-earned midseason awards:

MVP: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

He’s having a scary good season, completing 72.5 percent of his passes and he’s on pace to top 5,000 passing yards and maybe throw 50 touchdowns. On top of that he has thrown just three interceptions and has the defending Super Bowl champions looking unbeatable at 8-0. But will they go undefeated in 2011?

Offensive MVP: Wes Welker, WR New England Patriots

Sure, you could find another quarterback to give this to, but he’s got 66 catches for 960 yards and five touchdowns, which is crazy considering he’s 5-9 and his quarterback – Tom Brady – isn’t having his finest season. He’s the most underrated and dangerous offensive weapon in the league.

Defensive MVP: DeMarcus Ware, LB, Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys defense isn’t just built around him. He’s pretty much it. And he’s got 12 sacks, which puts him a half-sack behind Minnesota’s Jared Allen and on pace to break Michael Strahan’s single-season record, which he’s been aiming for for several years.

MVNP (Most Valuable Non-Player): Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts

Is there any doubt? Take him out of the Colts lineup and they look like a Division II college team trying to find a way to compete with the big boys. They’re 0-8 without him and everyone thinks they’d be .500 or better if he hadn’t missed the season with a neck injury.

Rookie of the Year: Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers

Forget about the people – scouts, fans, personnel people, coaches, and others – who weren’t sure he’d be a big-time quarterback in the NFL. He’s simply changed the way rookie QBs are perceived. Sure, he’s struggled – a little – but he busted onto the scene with a pair of 400-yard games to start his career and he’s thrown just nine interceptions in eight games, which is probably nine fewer than most people expected.

Coach of the Year: Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco 49ers

He didn’t have an offseason to install his system and inherited a quarterback in Alex Smith that most people thought was a bust, and somehow the 49ers are 7-1. And don’t chalk this all up to the weak NFC West, either. They’ve won at Cincinnati, at Philadelphia, and at Detroit and pounded the Buccaneers at home. Those are four big-time wins.

Worst coach: Jack Del Rio, Jacksonville Jaguars

Playing quarterback roulette just before the start of the season was one good way to kill the year before it started, and it’s only gotten worse. Years of mediocrity have bottomed out with a 2-6 start, and everyone knows a change is needed before the rebuilding can start.

Biggest Bust: Donovan McNabb, QB, Minnesota Vikings

So, maybe his awful year in Washington last year wasn’t such a fluke. He was terrible from the start in Minnesota and not surprisingly lost his job to rookie Christian Ponder. It’s the end of the line for a player who never got the credit he deserved, and an unfitting end to an underrated career.

Biggest Surprise: The Buffalo Bills

Chan Gailey was a respected coach, but nobody thought he’d be able to turn QB Ryan Fitzpatrick into a dangerous weapon so quickly. Some even thought running back Fred Jackson might get pushed for carries by C.J. Spiller. No one thought, though, the Bills would be 5-3 and tied with the Jets and Patriots atop the AFC East.

Biggest Non-Surprise: DT Albert Haynesworth getting cut

How many teams have to give up on Haynesworth and his attitude and work ethic before the rest of the NFL finally gets the hint? Let’s see. There’s the Titans, the Redskins, now the Patriots … Hey Tampa Bay, good luck with that.

Game of the Second Half: Green Bay at Detroit, Thanksgiving afternoon

The upstart Lions, trying to prove they’re for real, standing in the way of what likely will still be the Packers’ perfect season – and in front of a national television audience? The turkey can wait until this one is over.

Super Bowl prediction (revisited): Green Bay Packers over Baltimore Ravens

My preseason prediction was for a Saints-Patriots Super Bowl and that still most definitely remains in play. The Patriots don’t look like their dynastic selves, though, and the Saints have been a bit up and down, too. Halfway through the season, it’s hard to ignore the Packers and their quest for back-to-back titles. Over in the AFC beware the Ravens, who have had their struggles but still remain 6-2 and have all the ingredients to rise above a tight and talented back.

By RALPH VACCHIANO

Teaser:
<p> Aaron Rodgers is a no-brainer for MVP, but who's the Most Valuable Non-Player?</p>
Post date: Friday, November 11, 2011 - 06:50
All taxonomy terms: Oakland Athletics, Ryan Sweeney, MLB, Overtime
Path: /mlb/oakland-ryan-sweeney-must-have-great-range
Body:

We found the Oakland A's current depth chart on MLB.com and it seems like we've been underestimating Ryan Sweeney's defensive skills. I don't remember anything in Moneyball about saving on salary cap money by having one outfielder, but this may be the only way the A's can afford to be in the running for Albert Pujols.

As a side note, holy crap that is a really, really, crappy offense.

Teaser:
<p> Ryan Sweeney has the outfield covered</p>
Post date: Friday, November 11, 2011 - 02:52
Path: /mlb/2011-al-rookie-year
Body:

With the World Series in the rear-view mirror and the hot stove just beginning to heat up, it's time to hand out some awards to this year's best performers on the diamond. The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) will make their announcements starting Monday. And while no Athlon editors are members of the BBWAA, here's how four of us — Charlie Miller, Braden Gall, Patrick Snow and Mark Ross — would have voted if we did have a ballot to cast.

AL Rookie of the Year

The junior circuit certainly didn't lack for candidates when it came to this year's top rookie. The group of lending contenders consists of a trio of quality starting pitchers in the Tampa Bay Rays' Jeremy Hellickson, New York Yankees' Ivan Nova and Seattle Mariners' Michael Pineda, along with the Kansas City Royals' Eric Hosmer and the Los Angeles Angels' Mark Trumbo, both first basemen.

While this quintent is largely considered to be the frontrunners for the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year award in the AL, there are still plenty of other names that are worthy of consideration, names like Mariners second baseman Dustin Ackley, Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia, Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings, Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie, Angels reliever Jordan Walden, and Oakland A's second baseman Jemile Weeks.

Contenders' Stats:

Jeremy Hellickson, P, Tampa Bay Rays: 13-10, 2.95 ERA, 189 IP, 72 BB, 117 K, 29 GS

Eric Hosmer, 1B, Kansas City Royals: 128 G, .293, 66 R, 27 2B, 19 HR, 78, RBI

Ivan Nova, P, New York Yankees: 16-4, 3.70 ERA, 165 1/3 IP, 57 BB, 98 K, 27 GS

Michael Pineda, P, Seattle Mariners: 9-10, 3.74 ERA, 171 IP, 55 BB, 173 K, 28 GS

Mark Trumbo, 1B, Los Angeles Angels: 149 G, .254, 65 R, 31 2B, 29 HR, 87 RBI

Athlon's Winner: Jeremy Hellickson, P, Tampa Bay Rays

Hellickson got three of the four first-place votes and one second-place vote, making him the winner and the only one to appear on all four ballots. Nova received the other first-place vote along with two votes for second. The other second-place vote went to Trumbo, which was the only ballot he appeared on. Hosmer received three votes for third with the other one going to Pineda.

Here's how the Athlon editors voted

Charlie Miller's ballot:

1. Ivan Nova
Nova won 16 of his 20 decisions and gave the Yankees’ rotation a badly needed lift.
2. Jeremy Hellickson
3. Eric Hosmer

Braden Gall's ballot:

1. Jeremy Hellickson
The Rays rookie led all Major League rookies in ERA (2.95), innings pitched (189.0), games started (29), quality starts (20) and opponents batting average. In fact, his .210 BAA is third in the majors behind only Justin Verlander (.192) and Clayton Kershaw (.207). It was the lowest qualified (162.0 IP minimum) AL rookie ERA since Kevin Appier’s 2.76 in 1990. Over his last eight starts – as the Rays surged into the postseason – Hellickson made seven quality starts allowing more than two runs only twice with a 2.30 ERA and a .195 BAA over that span. The last four of those starts came against Boston and New York.
2. Mark Trumbo
Filling rather large shoes after the loss of Kendrys Morales, Trumbo led all American League rookies in home runs (29), RBIs (87) and games played (149) by a fairly wide margin. Batting in the heart of the order for much of the season, Trumbo not only kept the Angels in the AL West race, but pushed his team to within 1.5 games (Sept. 10) of the eventual AL champion Texas Rangers. His 29 bombs were the most by a AL rookie since Nomar Garciaparra hit 30 for the Red Sox in 1997.
3. Michael Pineda
The Mariners' 6-foot-7, 260-pound hurler was the front-runner for the AL ROY award at the halfway mark, carrying a 2.65 ERA into July. He led all AL rookies in strikeouts (173), finished second in the AL with a 9.1 K/9 rate and was eighth in the AL with a very stingy 1.09 WHIP. When compared to other ROY candidates Jeremy Hellickson and Ivan Nova, Pineda had easily the least amount of support at 5.16 runs per game (Nova 8.82 No. 2 in AL, Hellickson 6.43 No. 19 in AL). Pineda was a 2011 All-Star having never played in a game prior to this season.

Patrick Snow's ballot:

1. Jeremy Hellickson
He had 13 wins compared to Nova’s 16, but the Rays’ righty wins out in every other category. Hellickson's 2.95 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and .210 opponent’s batting average were among the best in the AL. Nova had more wins with his supreme run support, but Hellickson had the overall better rookie campaign.
2. Ivan Nova
3. Eric Hosmer

Mark Ross' ballot:

1. Jeremy Hellickson
His numbers may not jump out, but he was consistent all season long going 13-10 with a 2.95 ERA over 189 innings pitched. He made 29 starts, 20 of them being quality starts and he held opponents to a .210 batting average, which was third in all of baseball behind only Cy Young contenders Justin Verlander and Clayton Kershaw. He got better as the season went on, going 5-3 with a 2.64 ERA after the All-Star break, including a 2-0 record with a 2.67 ERA in five September starts when the Rays made their late-season push for the AL Wild Card.
2. Ivan Nova
Outside of C.C. Sabathia, Nova was the Yankees’ most productive starter. He led all rookie pitchers with 16 wins and finished with a respectable 3.70 ERA. After a rough April (1-2, 5.82 ERA in five starts), Nova found his groove and settled in, going a perfect 8-0 with a 3.18 ERA after the All-Star break and winning his final 12 decisions overall.
3. Eric Hosmer
Hosmer made his debut in May and with the exception of a rough June, the 21-year-old showed Royals fans a glimpse of the type of middle-of-the-order production (.293, 66 R, 19 HR, 78 RBI in 128 games) they can look forward to from their first baseman for many years to come.

Other Baseball awards-related content:

National League Rookie of the Year

AL & NL Managers of the Year

American League Cy Young

National League Cy Young

American League MVP

National League MVP

Teaser:
<p> Athlon editors cast their ballots for this year's best rookie in the American League</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 17:17
Path: /college-football/jerry-sandusky-rising-star-most-hated-man-america
Body:

This article on Penn State assistant head coach Jerry Sandusky originally appeared in our 1987 college football annual. Given the horrific, recent tragic events surrounding allegations against Jerry Sandusky, we felt our archival pieces pertaining to Jerry, Joe Paterno and Penn State are worth revisiting to show how revered Sandusky was, not only at PSU, but in the world of college football.

1987 Assistant Coach of the Year: Jerry Sandusky, Nittany's Defensive Lion

On the morning after Penn State had won its second national championship of this decade, what everyone wanted to know from Joe Paterno was exactly how the Nittany Lions' defense had so thoroughly defused Miami's high-octane offense. Paterno sipped his coffee, blinked owlishly and responded: "I don't know exactly. Jerry hasn't explained to me the details of what we were doing yet."

He was only half kidding.

Jerry is Jerry Sandusky, a cerebral, aw-shucks-humble, relentless watcher and analyzer of films, and, most importantly, the defensive coordinator for the Lions.

Penn State, of course, is to linebacking what Juilliard is to piano playing, and for the better part of two decades the man who has been responsible for turning out all those concertmasters in cleats at Lineback U has been Sandusky.

No one in sports is quite so anonymous as an assistant football coach, but on the day after Penn State had beaten Miami in the Sunkist Fiesta Bowl, Paterno was going out of his way to make sure that Sandusky was being made known nationally.

Sandusky is honored now by Athlon as 1987's Assistant Coach of the Year. He becomes the second such award recipient, succeeding Ken Donahue of Tennessee.

Sandusky has sent 21 linebackers to the NFL. Seven played last fall. He has developed eight first-team All-Americ backers. But what has endeared him even more to Paterno is his ability to conjury up defensive magic in th ebiggest games against the most celebrated opponents.

When Penn State's defense shut out Miami quarterback Vinny Testaverde--zero touchdowns, five interceptions--it was just one more in a long line of throttlings dreamed up by Sandusky.

A few more memorable examples of Sandusky's defensive game plans:

  • When Penn State won its first national championship in 1982, it did so by beating the splendiferous Herschel Walker and Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. When the game was on the line, Walker got the ball--a pitch and a sweep. He also got stuffed. The interference was strung out and Walker was smothered by four tacklers. Sandusky: "The key with a back as powerful as Herschel is to keep him from getting turned upfield. Once he gets his shoulders squared to the line of scrimmage, it's all over. He gets headed upfield and it's a runaway truck. You have to pursue and not let him get squared up." Ovediently, the defense kept Walker running laterally. Penn State 27, Georgia 23.
  • The only time in his collegiate career that Marcus Allen failed to rush for 100 yards as a starter was against Penn State in the 1982 Fiesta Bowl. Sandusky: "Marcus is a great reader. He sits back there in the I-formation and knows where the holes will open up. We tried to confuse him with some false reads and also to get penetration so that we could disrupt the play before it ever got started. It's important to take away the interference before it ever forms." Penn State 26, Southern California, 10.
  • Dan Marino had already put up two touchdowns and was driving Pitt in for a third on Nov. 28, 1981. It was 14-0, and still Penn State insisted on sitting back in that eight deep defense. Suddenly it would all make sense. There was an interception by the Lions. And another. Marino, in stages, became confused, uncertain, tentative. He would cok and aim, and then cock again. He never dented Penn State's defense again. The Nittany Lions ran off 48 unanswered points. Sandusky: "Most of the time we only rushed three because we felt he was a more dangerous passer when he was flushed from the pocket. With eight in the secondary, we could really disguise our coverages." Penn State 48, Pitt 14.

Those are some of the more recent of Sandusky's defensive triumphs. None, however, is more pristine than the 14-10 victory over Miami in the Fiesta Bowl. Testaverde, like Marino before him, was befuddled by Sandusky's cleverly camouflaged defensive alignments. Testaverde had thrown 116 straight passes without an interception in 1985 and 114 last season. Yet the Heisman Trophy winner was intercepted five times by Penn State.

"He was just throwing by the numbers," Paterno said. "He didn't expect anybody to be there. Jerry did another remarkable job."

Sandusky, typically, had gone half-blind looking at Miami films, and finally one bleary-eyed morning had concluded that if Miami's receivers were jammed at the line, they tended to lose interest in running their routes, and that if they were whacked with gusto when they did catch the ball, their enthusiasm for future plays tended to wane quickly.

"Coach Sandusky told us that if we'd lay a good lick on their receivers when they caught the ball, then their arms would get about eight inches shorter," says cornerback Duffy Cobbs. "He was right, but then he always is. Every play it seemed Vinny was staring me right in the eyes. We'd be faking man-to-man coverage and I'd be saying to myself, 'I hope he believes it, I hope he belives it." He'd chuckle just before the snap, and we'd all think, 'Good, and switch to a zone."

Adds Shane Conlan, the latest, and acclaimed as the best, of the Penn State linebackers: "All week they kept going on and on about how great and fast their receivers were and how short and slow our defensive backs were, but I just smiled to myself, because I knew they'd never been hit by them. Those little guys will rock you. I thought that was the key to the game. We didn't say much but we were confident because we knew Coach Sandusky would come up with a way to stop them.

After all these testimonials, the wonder is that Sandusky is not a head coach somewhere. Surely someone has tried to lure him away from Happy Valley. The answer is that college and pro teams alike have tried.

"Many people have talked to me about him," Paterno says. "He has great teaching ability and a gift for setting up the sort of drills that teach the kids to execute all of the things we ask them to do as linebackers. Jerry has been reluctant to talk to anybody about a head coaching job, though, because of all the commitments he has in this community."

Ah, yes, the commitments. They, more even than his defensive genius, are what set Sandusky and his wife, Dottie, apart from the crowd.

The Sandusky's were unable to have children of their own, so in 1969 hey adopted a son. Later they adopted another child. And then another. And another. Six, finally. And then they began to raise foster children. As the family grew, the Sanduskys dreamed about starting a group home for troubled youngsters.

That dream has since become a reality--a house for six children at a time, and 20 acres of land only two miles from Beaver Stadium. It is known as The Second Mile, as in Matthew 5:41: "And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain."

Part of the finances come from the sale of a manual written by Sandusky: Developing Linebackers the Penn State Way.

Says Paterno: "Jerry and Dottie are special, special people. We're all so proud of what they have done, and certainly would hate to lose them. But at the same time, I'd hate to see him lose his chance to be a head coach."

Says Sandusky, shrugging: "There was a time when I really was interested in becoming a head coach. After all, that's what everyone in this profession aspires to. But the timing never really seemed quite right, and then we had so many things developing with our own family and with the house. We believe in the saying that it's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that is important. If it's meant to be, then it will happen."

It is, his associates testify, Sandusky's nature to be happy only when he is helping others. Which would seem to be the essence of an assistant coach.

"We recruit an awful lot of linebackers," Sandusky says. "Those kinds of kids are usually leaders, outgoing, the ones the other kids turn to for leadership."

Interestingly, when he played football, first at Washington (Pa.) High School and then at Penn State, it was not as a linebacker. He lettered three years at Penn State and was a starter in 1964 and 1965 at defensive end. He graduated in '66 and a year later received his M.Ed. degree from Penn State. He was an assistant coach for one year each at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa, and Boston University before returning to Happy Valley.

In 1969, Sandusky's first year as Penn State linebacker coach, Dennis Onkotz became a first-team All-American. It was the start of a trend.

Will Sandusky be a career assistant coach? Or, one day, will there be a team identified as his and his alone? Some speculate that he will be Paterno's successor. Paterno, who is 60, said after the Fiesta Bowl that he would coach "for another four years, maybe five, but no more than that."

Would Sandusky's loyalty then be rewarded?

There is precedent. For 16 years Rip Engle had an assistant on his Penn State staff who was skinny, wore thick glasses and was bright, and everyone wondered why he never took a head coaching job. Joe Paterno always answered that he was happy just being in Happy Valley. Jerry Sandusky says the same thing.

He has always been so selfless that you can not help but believe him.

This originally appeared in Athlon's 1987 college football annual.

Other Penn State Scandal Content:
Penn State and Joe Paterno Failed Miserably - Braden Gall
Joe Paterno: Paternal Failure - Nathan Rush
Mike McQueary Should Have Pulled a Sinead O'Connor on the Church of Penn State

Teaser:
<p> Jerry Sandusky was supposed to have a legendary career.&nbsp;</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 14:22
Path: /news/mike-mcqueary-should-have-pulled-sinead-oconnor-church-penn-state
Body:

In 1992 Sinead O'Connor stood on the stage of Saturday Night Live, held up a photograph of Pope John Paul II, sang the word "evil" and ripped up the photo to protest child abuse by the Catholic church.

And from that point on, her world came crashing down.

The hateful, vitriolic response to her act reverberated around the world. O'Connor was vilified in the media, received death threats and hated by Catholics and non-Catholics everywhere. Her career was never the same.

But the sad fact was she was right. Years later, the Catholic church was embroiled in a scandal of epic proportions that included thousands of molested children and cover-ups.

Fast forward ten years and a young assistant coach at Penn State named Mike McQueary was faced with a similar situation. Having allegedly witnessed Jerry Sandusky abusing a child first-hand in a shower, he had a decision to make.  Should he tell the world about this monster in the midst of Happy Valley, exposing a flaw in the pristine image of everything Joe Paterno and Penn State stood for? Or should he pass the buck up the chain of command and then sit on his hands?

Having seen the world's knee-jerk reaction and complete destruction of Sinead O'Connor's career when she took called into the question the Pope, McQueary surely had to hesitate in how he would handle the situation.

Why? Because up until a week ago, Joe Paterno was the Pope of college football.

McQueary knew that going to the authorities about Sandusky would have been the equivalent of tearing up a photo of the Pope on live television. He would have been vilified in the media and by Penn State and Joe Paterno fans everywhere. His career would have been over and he would have been responsible for tarnishing the once-pristine legacy of Penn State's grandfatherly coach.

Witnessing an horrific act and being told about it are two very different things. One would like to think that if you witnessed a young boy being sodomized by Jerry Sandusky, you would have a much stronger reaction than someone who was notified of it.

What Mike McQueary did first, by calling his father and telling Joe Paterno, was completely understandable. No one can fault him for that given the craziness of what he witnessed. Should he have stopped it, ideally. But it's easy to say exactly what you would do if you had seen a person of Sandusky's stature doing that. 

But when McQueary continued to see Jerry Sandusky on campus, dealing with young children, the protocol should have gone out the window, and he should have pushed to have Sandusky and his dealings with children stopped.

Mike McQueary had a moral obligation to see that Joe Paterno was not acting appropriately and take action to go around him, as tough as that would have been. But from everything that has come out, from the 1998 showering incident, to the 2000 oral sex incident to the 2002 alleged sodomy and showering incident that McQueary himself witnessed, Joe Paterno, the face and king of Penn State also had to know. Given the number of allegations and Joe Paterno knew and brushed it aside. For him to look the other way and let Sandusky still come on his campus (and it was HIS campus) is sickening.

As much as he was loved, Joe Paterno had lost his moral authority.

It may have meant the end of McQueary's career, but when the truth comes out and we find out that he let the culture of cover-up go on, he's as culpable as Joe Paterno, Graham Spanier and everyone else in the Penn State organization that swept this under the rug.

And I'm not saying this would have been an easy decision to make. Look at the current backlash to the decision to fire Joe Paterno.

Given all the unspeakable facts that have come out and how Penn State fans STILL reacted with riots on campus and overturning of cars, just imagine if all that hate and anger was targeted at one man, with no horrific details of oral sex and sodomy in a grand jury report to point to.

Mike McQueary would have gone the way of Sinead O'Connor. Alone, hated, and his career would be over, until his small vindication when the truth finally did come out.

But there's one big difference in this story. Sinead O'Connor had the courage to speak out against horrible acts of child abuse. Mike McQueary, sadly, did not.

Teaser:
<p> Joe Paterno did not stop Jerry Sandusky's alleged abuse, so Mike McQueary should have</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 12:50
Path: /news/joe-paterno-deserves-pay-his-inaction
Body:

I remember where I was Ronald Reagan was shot. I remember where I was when the space shuttle Challenger disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean. I remember where I was when two airplanes hit the Twin Towers. I remember where I was when Twitter blew up with rumors that Osama Bin Laden had been killed.

And I will always remember where I was when I finally read the grand jury report on the Jerry Sandusky case — sitting on my couch waiting for the Penn State Board of Trust press conference to begin. Up to that point, I had been reluctant to actually read the report. I knew, or at least thought I knew, the details. I didn’t. Until you actually comb through the report, you have no idea how horrific this case truly is. We’ve seen far too many scandals in collegiate sports over the years. This is the worst. It’s not even close.

Joe Paterno had to go. Right away. And if you disagree, you are wrong. The second he decided not to call the police after he was made aware of the now-famous “shower incident” in 2002 he lost the right to go out on his own terms. He’s fortunate that he lasted this long.

Late last night, over IM, I had a conversation with a friend. We both agreed that there is no way Paterno didn’t know that Sandusky was a pedophile. It’s hard to believe that you can work with a man for three decades and not realize that he is having inappropriate contact with young boys. Most people are pointing to the shower incident, in ’02, as the time when Paterno first became culpable.

But it goes back further than that. There were previous signs that something wasn’t right with Sandusky — he admitted to a boy’s mother in 1998 that he had showered with her son!

Paterno simply had to know. Shame on him.

So now, one of the most revered coaches in any sport, is out of a job. Thankfully, the Penn State Board of Trust didn’t give Paterno the dignity of finishing the season as the head coach at Penn State.

This might sound cruel, but as a father myself, I think Paterno deserves to suffer. He has to live with the decisions he made — or didn’t make. It’s unfortunate that a man who helped so many for so many years will be remembered for this tragedy. But it’s his own fault. With one phone call to the police on any number of occasions over many years, Paterno could have put an end this horrific episode.
 
By Mitch Light

Teaser:
<p> The Penn State coach had to know about Jerry Sandusky. And he had to do something.</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 11:50
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-rankings-week-10
Body:

We rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Website can give you. Click here for all of our fantasy football rankings each week.

These rankings are our suggestions, but of course as always: You are responsible for setting your own lineup.

2011 NFL Week 10 Fantasy Football Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Athlon Sports Week 10 Waiver Wire

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

DEFENSIVE SCORING
0 points allowed = 12 points
1-6 points allowed = 10 points
7-13 points allowed = 8 pts
14-20 points allowed = 6 points
21-27 points allowed = 2 pts
28+ points allowed = 0 points
Safeties = 2 points
Fumbles recovered = 2 points
Interceptions = 2 points
Sacks = 1 point
Defensive/Special Teams TDs = 6 points

KICKER SCORING
PATs = 1 point
39 yards and under = 3 points
40-49 yards = 4 points
50-59 yards = 5 points
60+ yards = 6 points

Teaser:
<p> Athlon Sports ranks all the positions for Week 10 of the fantasy football season</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 05:56
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-kicker-rankings-week-10
Body:

We rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Website can give you. Click here for all of our fantasy football rankings each week.

These rankings are our suggestions, but of course as always: You are responsible for setting your own lineup.

2011 NFL Week 10 — Kicker Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Athlon Sports Week 10 Waiver Wire

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system

PATs = 1 point
39 yards and under = 3 points
40-49 yards = 4 points
50-59 yards = 5 points
60+ yards = 6 points

Rk Player Team OPPONENT
1 Mason Crosby GB vs. MIN
2 John Kasay NO at ATL
3 Dan Bailey DAL vs. BUF
4 David Akers SF vs. NYG
5 Billy Cundiff BAL at SEA
6 Jason Hanson DET at CHI
7 Sebastian Janikowski OAK at SD (Thursday)
8 Nick Novak SD vs. OAK (Thursday)
9 Neil Rackers HOU at TB
10 Robbie Gould CHI vs. DET
11 Stephen Gostkowski NE vs. NYG
12 Matt Bryant ATL vs. NO
13 Alex Henery PHI vs. ARI
14 Nick Folk NYJ vs. NE
15 Josh Scobee JAC at IND
16 Mike Nugent CIN vs. PIT

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 05:51
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-wide-receiver-rankings-week-10
Body:

We rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Website can give you. Click here for all of our fantasy football rankings each week.

These rankings are our suggestions, but of course as always: You are responsible for setting your own lineup.

2011 NFL Week 10 — Wide Receiver Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Athlon Sports Week 10 Waiver Wire

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system

All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Rk Player Team OPPONENT
1 Calvin Johnson DET at CHI
2 Greg Jennings GB vs. MIN
3 Mike Wallace PIT at CIN
4 Vincent Jackson SD vs. OAK (Thursday)
5 Steve Smith CAR vs. TEN
6 Wes Welker NE at NYJ
7 Dez Bryant DAL vs. BUF
8 Roddy White ATL vs. NO
9 Larry Fitzgerald ARI at PHI
10 Hakeem Nicks NYG at SF
11 Dwayne Bowe KC vs. DEN
12 Jeremy Maclin PHI vs. ARI
13 Anquan Boldin BAL at SEA
14 Marques Colston NO at ATL
15 Brandon Marshall MIA vs. WAS
16 A.J. Green CIN vs. PIT
17 Julio Jones ATL vs. NO
18 Brandon Lloyd STL at CLE
19 Steve Johnson BUF at DAL
20 DeSean Jackson PHI vs. ARI
21 Santonio Holmes NYJ vs. NE
22 Jordy Nelson GB vs. MIN
23 Mario Manningham NYG at SF
24 Antonio Brown PIT at CIN
25 Percy Harvin MIN at GB
26 Michael Crabtree SF vs. NYG
27 Mike Williams TB vs. HOU
28 Sidney Rice SEA vs. BAL
29 Plaxico Burress NYJ vs. NE
30 Eric Decker DEN at KC
31 Victor Cruz NYG at SF
32 Pierre Garcon IND vs. JAC
33 Steve Breaston KC vs. DEN
34 Jacoby Ford OAK at SD (Thursday)
35 Greg Little CLE vs. STL
36 Laurent Robinson DAL vs. BUF
37 Torrey Smith BAL at SEA
38 Jabar Gaffney WAS at MIA
39 Lance Moore NO at ATL
40 Reggie Wayne IND vs. JAC
41 Nate Washington TEN at CAR
42 Deion Branch NE at NYJ
43 Earl Bennett CHI vs. DET
44 James Hill JAC at IND
45 Michael Jenkins MIN at GB
46 James Jones GB vs. MIN
47 Kevin Walter HOU at TB
48 Jerome Simpson CIN vs. PIT
49 David Nelson BUF at DAL
50 Denarius Moore OAK at SD (Thursday)
51 Davone Bess MIA vs. WAS
52 Jonathan Baldwin KC vs. DEN
53 Damian Williams TEN at CAR
54 Doug Baldwin SEA vs. BAL
55 Early Doucet ARI at PHI
56 Braylon Edwards SF vs. NYG
57 Mike Thomas JAC at IND
58 Titus Young DET at CHI
59 Nate Burleson DET at CHI
60 Johnny Knox CHI vs. DET
61 Jacoby Jones HOU at TB
62 Arrelious Benn TB vs. HOU
63 Patrick Crayton SD vs. OAK (Thursday)
64 Jason Avant PHI vs. ARI
Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 05:48
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-running-back-rankings-week-10
Body:

We rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Website can give you. Click here for all of our fantasy football rankings each week.

These rankings are our suggestions, but of course as always: You are responsible for setting your own lineup.

2011 NFL Week 10 — Running Back Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Athlon Sports Week 10 Waiver Wire

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system

All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Rk Player Team OPPONENT
1 Arian Foster HOU at TB
2 Adrian Peterson MIN at GB
3 LeSean McCoy PHI vs. ARI
4 Matt Forte CHI vs. DET
5 Maurice Jones-Drew JAC at IND
6 Ray Rice BAL at SEA
7 Fred Jackson BUF at DAL
8 Frank Gore SF vs. NYG
9 Michael Turner ATL vs. NO
10 Steven Jackson STL at CLE
11 DeMarco Murray DAL vs. BUF
12 Willis McGahee DEN at KC
13 Chris Johnson TEN at CAR
14 Michael Bush OAK at SD (Thursday)
15 Ryan Mathews SD vs. OAK (Thursday)
16 Shonn Greene NYJ vs. NE
17 Rashard Mendenhall PIT at CIN
18 Darren Sproles NO at ATL
19 LeGarrette Blount TB vs. HOU
20 Cedric Benson CIN vs. PIT
21 Beanie Wells ARI at PHI
22 BenJarvus Green-Ellis NE at NYJ
23 Mike Tolbert SD vs. OAK (Thursday)
24 Roy Helu WAS at MIA
25 Jonathan Stewart CAR vs. TEN
26 Jackie Battle KC vs. DEN
27 Marshawn Lynch SEA vs. BAL
28 James Starks GB vs. MIN
29 Reggie Bush MIA vs. WAS
30 Brandon Jacobs NYG at SF
31 Ben Tate HOU at TB
32 Pierre Thomas NO at ATL
33 DeAngelo Williams CAR vs. TEN
34 Maurice Morris DET at CHI
35 Chris Ogbonnaya CLE vs. STL
36 Daniel Thomas MIA vs. WAS
37 Delone Carter IND vs. JAC
38 Chris Ivory NO at ATL
39 Donald Brown IND vs. JAC
40 LaDainian Tomlinson NYJ vs. NE
41 Joseph Addai IND vs. JAC
42 Marion Barber CHI vs. DET
43 Ryan Grant GB vs. MIN
44 Kendall Hunter SF vs. NYG
45 Javon Ringer TEN at CAR
46 Keiland Williams DET at CHI
47 Thomas Jones KC vs. DEN
48 Knowshon Moreno DEN at KC
Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 05:45
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-quarterback-rankings-week-10
Body:

We rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Website can give you. Click here for all of our fantasy football rankings each week.

These rankings are our suggestions, but of course as always: You are responsible for setting your own lineup.

2011 NFL Week 10 — Quarterback Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Athlon Sports Week 10 Waiver Wire

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system

All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Rk Player Team OPPONENT
1 Aaron Rodgers GB vs. MIN
2 Cam Newton CAR vs. TEN
3 Michael Vick PHI vs. ARI
4 Drew Brees NO at ATL
5 Philip Rivers SD vs. OAK (Thursday)
6 Tom Brady NE at NYJ
7 Tony Romo DAL vs. BUF
8 Matthew Stafford DET at CHI
9 Eli Manning NYG at SF
10 Ben Roethlisberger PIT at CIN
11 Tim Tebow DEN at KC
12 Matt Schaub HOU at TB
13 Matt Ryan ATL vs. NO
14 Jay Cutler CHI vs. DET
15 Mark Sanchez NYJ vs. NE
16 Matt Cassel KC vs. DEN
17 Joe Flacco BAL at SEA
18 Carson Palmer OAK at SD (Thursday)
19 Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF at DAL
20 Josh Freeman TB vs. HOU
21 Sam Bradford STL at CLE
22 Matt Hasselbeck TEN at CAR
23 Andy Dalton CIN vs. PIT
24 Christian Ponder MIN at GB
25 Alex Smith SF vs. NYG
26 Colt McCoy CLE vs. STL
Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 05:41
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-tight-end-rankings-week-10
Body:

We rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Website can give you. Click here for all of our fantasy football rankings each week.

These rankings are our suggestions, but of course as always: You are responsible for setting your own lineup.

2011 NFL Week 10 — Tight End Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Athlon Sports Week 10 Waiver Wire

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system

All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Rk Player Team OPPONENT
1 Jason Witten DAL vs. BUF
2 Jimmy Graham NO at ATL
3 Antonio Gates SD vs. OAK (Thursday)
4 Jermichael Finley GB vs. MIN
5 Aaron Hernandez NE at NYJ
6 Rob Gronkowski NE at NYJ
7 Owen Daniels HOU at TB
8 Greg Olsen CAR vs. TEN
9 Fred Davis WAS at MIA
10 Brandon Pettigrew DET at CHI
11 Tony Gonzalez ATL vs. NO
12 Dustin Keller NYJ vs. NE
13 Kellen Winslow TB vs. HOU
14 Jake Ballard NYG at SF
15 Vernon Davis SF vs. NYG
16 Brent Celek PHI vs. ARI
17 Heath Miller PIT at CIN
18 Scott Chandler BUF at DAL
19 Jared Cook TEN at CAR
20 Visanthe Shiancoe MIN at GB
21 Jermaine Gresham CIN vs. PIT
22 Jeremy Shockey CAR vs. TEN
23 Daniel Fells DEN at KC
24 Benjamin Watson CLE vs. STL
25 Marcedes Lewis JAC at IND
26 Ed Dickson BAL at SEA

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 05:31
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-football-defensespecial-teams-rankings-week-10
Body:

We rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Website can give you. Click here for all of our fantasy football rankings each week.

These rankings are our suggestions, but of course as always: You are responsible for setting your own lineup.

2011 NFL Week 10 — Defense/Special Teams Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Athlon Sports Week 10 Waiver Wire

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system

0 points allowed = 12 points
1-6 points allowed = 10 points
7-13 points allowed = 8 pts
14-20 points allowed = 6 points
21-27 points allowed = 2 pts
28+ points allowed = 0 points
Safeties = 2 points
Fumbles recovered = 2 points
Interceptions = 2 points
Sacks = 1 point
Defensive/Special Teams TDs = 6 points

Rk Player OPPONENT
1 Baltimore Ravens at SEA
2 Philadelphia Eagles vs. ARI
3 Houston Texans at TB
4 San Francisco 49ers vs. NYG
5 Pittsburgh Steelers at CIN
6 Green Bay Packers vs. MIN
7 Dallas Cowboys vs. BUF
8 New York Jets vs. NE
9 Cincinnati Bengals vs. PIT
10 Jacksonville Jaguars at IND
11 Chicago Bears vs. DET
12 Detroit Lions at CHI
13 New York Giants at SF
14 San Diego Chargers vs. OAK (Thursday)
15 Washington Redskins at MIA
16 New Orleans Saints at ATL
Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 05:04
Path: /news/joe-paterno-has-been-fired-penn-state
Body:

Joe Paterno has been fired from Penn State University. In the wake of the sexual abuse scandal involving his assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, the longest tenured coach in college football's career is now over.

The Penn State board of trustees voted unanimously to remove Paterno as well as PSU president Graham Spanier, from their jobs "effective immediately." Tom Bradley has taken over as interim head coach.

Two weeks ago, this would have been a stunning end to the lion of college football.

But today, it's not surprising.

As the unthinkable details of this scandal emerged over the last week, it became clear that this tragedy was bigger than football. Paterno's dealings with the media this week have verged on callousness. When speaking to students gathered outside his home, he referred to Jerry Sandusky's abused children as "victims or whatever they want to say" in a veiled attempt to call into question their victimhood.

Then, in a statement released on Wednesday, Joe Pa felt the need to spend one paragraph of a five paragraph statement telling the board of trustees that they should not be investigating him, instead of treating this delicate situation with humility and honesty.

And once again, to make matters even worse, Penn State students acted like, for lack of a better word, idiots, by protesting the decision to fire Paterno. There was a total lack of leadership as a legal and moral tragedy took place on Penn State's campus. And the lack of action and negligence is inexcusable. Defending this man and protesting this decision puts a further black mark on this already unprecedented scandal.

The legal ramifications of this story are far from over. There will be lawsuits, there will be more arrests, and there will be more horrible details that emerge. 

Paterno, who is the winningest coach in college football history, said he would retire at the end of the season in an effort to ease some of the pressure being put on him. But clearly, his lack of leadership and inability to act on this horrific tragedy, it was clear he wasn't calling the shots anymore. And the Penn State Board of Trustees should be applauded for making the difficult decision they made today.

Teaser:
<p> The legendary coach has been fired for the scandal surrounding the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse allegations</p>
Post date: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 20:03
Path: /news/joe-paterno-addresses-penn-state-students-makes-bad-situation-worse-video
Body:

Somehow the Penn State story just got even worse. After a weeping Joe Paterno reportedly spoke to Penn State students outside his living room window about the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse allegations, he came out, seemingly all smiles and addressed a student body that had formed on his lawn. While the students were chanting and holding up signs showing support for the only college football coach they've known for 46 years, Joe Pa quieted them down and said the following:

"It's hard for me to tell you how much this means to me. I've lived for this place, and I've lived for people like you guys and girls, and I'm just so happy to see that you could feel so strongly about us and about your school. The kids that were victims or whatever they want to say, I think we all ought to say a prayer for them. Tough life, when people do certain things to you. Anyway, you've been great. Everything's great, all right."

Now I think we know why Tuesday's press conference was cancelled. By saying things like "the kids that were victims or whatever they want to say" is not a great way to frame the children who were sexually abused. And the scary thing is, discrediting or attacking the victims is PR 101 in political scandals. But this is not a political scandal. This is bigger than Penn State, it's bigger than Joe Paterno and it's bigger than college football. These are unspeakable accusations and to call into question the victims, and to subtly point the finger is unforgivable. 

To not speak with the utmost delicacy here is to only come across as defensive at best and heartless at worst. Maybe this is all a big set up for the senility defense. Either way, Joe Pa made an already horrific situation worse by what he did last night.

Whether he likes or knows it, Joe Paterno will no longer be the head coach at Penn State within two weeks (if not much sooner). But his words on Tuesday night paint the picture of a man who isn't ready to have the biggest thing he loves taken away from him. And when people feel like they are painted in a corner they don't want to be in, they start taking swipes at what they think is responsible for painting them in that corner.

But this is not the time to create an adversarial position with the victims. If Joe truly understands what happened, he would not refer to those children as "victims or whatever." He would express regret. He would show himself to be human. Instead, he called into question the people who were wronged the most, which is a subtle defense not only of himself, but of Jerry Sandusky as well. And there is no more indefensible person in America right now.

Joe Paterno, who once stood for class in a league known more for cheating and lying, is tarnishing his legacy, one word at a time.

And on another note, I'm not sure why the kids were chanting his support. This isn't a Jim Tressel situation. This isn't about tattoos. This isn't even about cheating. This is the most heinous act imagineable. And anyone who holds up a sign showing support for Paterno, given the facts that we currently know about his lack of action is foolish. Yes, I understand we don't have all the facts in the story, but given the gruesome details we do know, even the most ardent supporters of Joe Paterno and Happy Valley should wait until we know more before making a "I HEART Joe Pa" sign and marching on campus. 

If 1% of the details we've heard are confirmed true, you will look even stupider than you do right now.

Teaser:
<p> The Penn State coach somehow made things worse after talking to students on his lawn</p>
Post date: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 01:42

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