The Michigan football team had a very fateful final point total in their win over Iowa on Saturday in the Big Ten Championship Game.
The Wolverines wore patches for their game against Iowa to honor the late Tate Myre. The patches were in yellow and blue and had Myre’s initials and football number (42) on them.
Myre was a star football player at Oxford High School in Michigan. He died at the age of 16 trying to stop the perpetrator of a fatal shooting at his high school. There were four hearts on the patch representing those who died in the school shooting.
Michigan dedicated their game to Myre and then went out and scored 42 points in a 42-3 win over the Hawkeyes. Their point total matched Myre’s number.
“I think God was with us,” coach Jim Harbaugh said.
Members of the Myre family also served as honorary captains for the game. For at least a few hours, Michigan football may have given the grieving family something nice to celebrate.
Archie Griffin received a very fitting welcome from Michigan fans on Saturday night.
The MVP award for the Big Ten Championship Game is named after Griffin and Red Grange. Griffin is the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner in college football history. Of course, Griffin played for Ohio State from 1972-1975.
Michigan fans may have respect for what Griffin accomplished as a player, but they treated him like the rival he is. When FOX’s Joel Klatt called on Griffin to hand out the Big Ten Championship Game MVP trophy to Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan fans knew exactly what to do. They booed.
That is a healthy reception and one that probably pleased Griffin, who was smiling. It’s a much better reception than he got from Connor Cook years ago.
Kenny Pickett scored a touchdown to open the ACC Championship Game for Pitt against Wake Forest on Saturday night, and he scored using a move that should be illegal.
Pitt had a 3rd-and-5 at their 42 just a few minutes into the game when Pickett felt some pressure and took off running. He saw some defenders converging on him as he approached the Wake Forest 40 and began to go into a slide motion. He started to slow down and tuck his right leg like he was giving himself up to slide.
Once the defense stopped pursuing, Pickett decided to keep running and scored.
That 58-yard touchdown helped give Pitt a 7-0 lead. They won 45-21.
That touchdown should never have counted. As soon as a player begins to give himself up, the play should be dead. Both college and pro football are trying to protect quarterbacks by penalizing defenders who hit them when they’re giving themselves up. If you are penalizing the defenders and ejecting them from games to discourage them from hitting a quarterback who is giving himself up, you can’t also incentivize quarterbacks to fake the slides.
Think about it this way: as soon as a punt returner signals a fair catch, they can’t advance the ball. As soon as a quarterback begins to slide, the play should be blown dead, just the same as a fair catch. Otherwise, you are completely putting a defender in the unfair position of choosing between risking a penalty or risking a touchdown.
The Chicago Bulls’ front office is no longer run by the infamous “GarPax” tandem (Gar Forman and John Paxson), but they are still finding ways to make negative headlines.
San Antonio Spurs forward Thaddeus Young ripped the Bulls this week for the way that they handled trading him. Young went to the Spurs this past offseason as part of the DeMar DeRozan sign-and-trade.
“It definitely caught me off guard,” Young said in an interview with Alex Kennedy of BasketballNews.com. “I actually learned about it in the parking lot of the Sports Academy in Frisco, Texas. I was leaving a session and my phone was going crazy. I’d seen that DeMar DeRozan had gotten traded to Chicago and I was like, ‘Why is my phone going crazy for this?’ Then, I dive a little deeper into it and I see that the trade included me, Al-Farouq Aminu, some picks and stuff like that.
“It definitely caught me off guard for the simple fact that I had just talked to my agent,” the veteran Young added. “My agent had just talked to everybody in Chicago. We were being told that I was coming back. And they guaranteed my salary the day before or two days before or something like that and then used it as trade bait. It is what it is. It happens. It’s part of the business. But the only thing I wish is that I had gotten the heads-up before I found out from social [media]. I was getting ready to gather my family up and get everyone ready and situated to come back to Chicago.”
The 33-year-old Young is a versatile forward who averaged 12.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game last season for the Bulls, his second with them. But he is now seeing sparse playing time on a rebuilding Spurs team. Young also expressed displeasure this week with his role in San Antonio.
There is little doubt that the DeRozan acquisition is paying off handsomely for the Bulls. He is averaging a stout 26.3 points per game, and Chicago has roared their way to a 15-8 reord. But Young obviously thinks that the Bulls acted unprofessionally with the way that they traded him. It is not the only criticism that they have faced from a player on last year’s team either.
There are few things Nick Saban hates more than “rat poison” from the media. But this week, he actually appreciated the rat poison.
Why? Because it finally worked in Alabama’s favor.
Alabama entered Saturday’s SEC Championship Game as a 6 or 7-point underdog against Georgia. The Crimson Tide’s offense struggled the week before against Auburn in the Iron Bowl, while Georgia’s defense has looked invincible.
All the talk that Bama was inferior to Georgia worked in Saban’s favor because it helped motivate his team. Saban said the rat poison from the media was “yummy.”
Is Saban saying things couldn’t have worked out better for his team? Maybe so.
The Tide will not necessarily be the favorites in the College Football Playoff either, which should work in Saban’s favor. Maybe the underdog status was all Saban needed.
Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Antonio Brown should probably be feeling fortunate that he only got suspended for three games from the looks of it.
Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported on Saturday that the NFL initially considered a six-to-eight game suspension for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver and the two other players who violated COVID protocol. That suspension would have potentially extended into the postseason.
The former Pro Bowler Brown got into hot water for misrepresenting his vaccination status with a fake vaccine card. Bucs safety Mike Edwards and free agent receiver John Franklin III were the other two players who were suspended along with Brown.
Brown will serve his suspension during Weeks 13 through 15. A six-to-eight game ban could have carried over into the conference championship round of the playoffs at the latest. While Brown thus appears to have gotten off easy here, there could be greater implications for him moving forward.
Photo: Oct 14, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Lane Kiffin has been a success story at Ole Miss, and the school is rewarding him with a contract extension.
Ole Miss announced on Saturday that they had agreed on a new contract with Kiffin.
The announcement comes at a time when Kiffin was being mentioned in connection with the Miami Hurricanes job. The extension suggests Kiffin’s side may have used the Miami rumor as leverage with Ole Miss, or that Miami is close to hiring a different candidate instead.
Kiffin went 5-5 in the COVID-shortened season last year. He has the Rebels at 10-2 this season, which is their best regular season ever (all the school’s past 10-win seasons were achieved with a bowl win).
Kiffin has brought attention, success, recruits, and a high-scoring offense to Oxford. Ole Miss trying to keep him around was a no-brainer.
Ole Miss fans! It’s time to jump aboard the Lane Train! This Lane Train shirt is a perfect gift for you or a friend – you can buy it here.
Photo: Sep 18, 2021; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi Rebels head coach Lane Kiffen at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports