Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dr. Ann McKee, Football’s Ally or Enemy?

Dr. Ann McKee is villainized by some as the woman who wants to kill football. McKee, a world class neuroscientist who has written widely on many neurodegenerative diseases including: Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Frontotemporal Degeneration, Corticobasal Degeneration and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). She is met with hostility by the NFL, and it could be because her eventual findings could lead to huge changes in the fast-paced, hard-hitting, game of football that we all love and pay big dollars for. Lets just say that the thought of a brainy, brawny, blonde women walking in and dissecting a major part of what is wrong (or right?) with their sport is not exactly welcome with open arms:

“This is a problem that is not going to be solved by (helmet) technology,” McKee said. “The helmet industry may improve, perhaps, conditions, but because the brain is floating inside your skull — and think of the skull as nature’s helmet — the helmet really protects the surface of the head. It doesn’t prevent that acceleration and deceleration that’s happening inside the skull.

“I don’t see that there’s any way of lowering the incidence of this without changing the way the game is played. I’m sure it’s going to be incredibly unpopular, but it’s going to have to be a game that maybe isn’t such a violent sport, that doesn’t have the thousands of sub-concussive hits that occur in every season.

“That’s what really distinguishes football from the rest of sports, the frequency of mild repetitive injuries. Maybe we change the type or number of practices, or maybe change the game entirely in a really unpopular way.”

McKee has dedicated most of her current time to solving CTE issues in military victims and athletes. So far she has found CTE in 70+ athletes, or 80% of those she has examined. For former NFL players, her mark is 18/19 brains infected with CTE, a disease that cannot be diagnosed until a victim is deceased.

People are starting to take notice. On June 13th  Pop Warner football banned head-to-head hits and limited contact in practice to 40 minutes a day. Before that, on May 2nd  Junior Seau was found dead from suicide, a gun shot to the chest. He let a suicide note behind, requesting his brain be sent to Dr. McKee for examination. She diagnosed CTE within 30 seconds of looking at his brain.

Before you are completely sold that McKee is poised to kill our beloved game of football as we know it, I would suggest that she actually may be trying to save football from itself.

Let’s be honest, how much longer can a game go on that is causing high rates of its former players to have all kinds of problems related to brain injuries such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, death, and CTE? How long can the NFL support a business that will be facing lawsuit after lawsuit and former employees either dead or crazy by the time they are 50?

The answer is in fundamental changes. Concussion awareness has risen in the past 3-5 years, but it is time for a change in the rules. The NFL needs to use research from scientists such as McKee to find the right way to keep the sport going. If kids are forced to play flag football until they are 14 then so be it. If contact has to be limited in high school to 1-2 times a week including game day, then that’s fine. If an NFL player has to take 11 tests to get back on the field after being concussed, then that is okay as well.  The argument that the players accept the various risks associated with head injures and play anyways is dead. Any industry continues to improve safety standards to maximize safety and usage of current technology. The NFL needs to speed up their improvements.

The game that many across America have accepted as their past time is in need of some fundamental and drastic changes. It is no longer okay to support the gladiator mentality, because it is no longer sustainable. It is time for the NFL and Roger Goodell to lose their bravado-filled, stubborn mind set, and accept the findings of their own staff, doctors, trainers, and scientists.

Recently, Terry Bradshaw, the former Steelers quarterback who now receives treatment for short-term memory loss at the Amen Clinic in Newport Beach, California, told Jay Leno: “In the next decade, we will not see football as it is.”

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College Football Week 1 Recap

Ninja Sports College Football Monday Morning Quarterback

ACC

Clemson showed that they don’t need Sammy Watkins to display their explosive offense.  Andre Ellington racked up 231 yards on the ground and DeAndre Hopkins set the school record for receptions in a game with 13.  While Tajh Boyd had to be frustrated with numerous drops, the Tigers still put up an impressive 528 yards against Auburn.  Miami (FL) Freshman RB Duke Johnson had plenty of hype surrounding him coming into the season and what a better coming out party than to have two 50+ yard rushing TDs in the Canes 41-32 victory over Boston CollegeJohnson finished the game with seven rushes for 135 yards including his two scoring runs, impressing the likes of NBA Champion LeBron James enough to have him tweet “Duke Johnson is the truth out there for the U! True freshman. #speedkills”.  Johnson and Ellington weren’t the only two ACC running backs to have big days, North Carolina‘s Giovanni Bernard set a career record with three first half scores, one rushing and two receiving, finishing with 93 yards on nine carries.  Granted it was against Elon, Bernard showed the ability many Tar Heel fans have anticipated bringing a sense of hope to the Tar Heel Nation.  FSU manhandled Murray State (surprise, surprise) 69-3.  With such a cupcake schedule, expect to see many more scores like this for weeks to come.   Ok, maybe not 69 points, but you get the idea.  FSU DE Bjoern Werner had a career day with four sacks (-28 yards), five tackles (-30), and a forced fumble at Murray State‘s two yard line.

Scores Around the ACC

NC State 21

Miami (FL) 41

Elon 0

W&M 6

Richmond 19

Tennessee 35

BC 32

UNC 62

Maryland 7

Virginia 43

Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech – 9/3

Miami freshmen RB Duke Johnson breaks free from a BC defender during an impressive debut.

Big 12

Oklahoma has plenty of work to do if they want to be taken seriously as a Big 12 contender.  It wasn’t until the fourth quarter with 2:55 to play when OU RB Damien Williams took a Landry Jones  handoff 65 yards to the house sealing the game 24-7 against UTEPOU‘s rush defense was real suspect as they gave up 177 yards to UTEP RB Nathan Jeffrey.  West Virginia is good.. Like scary good.  Geno Smith picked up where he left off last season tossing the rock for 323 yards and four TDs while running in a fifth as the Mountaineers trampled Marshall 69-34.  Texas, much like the Sooner’s, need to see a great improvement on the defensive side of the ball as the Longhorns gave up 345 yards to Wyoming.  Texas QB David Ash completed 20 of 27 passes without turning the ball over which has to encourage Mack Brown that he made the right QB decision, even if it is only one game into the season.  Oklahoma State displayed quite the rushing attack with nine rushing TDs

in an 84-0 rout of Savannah State.

Scores Around the Big 12

WVU 69

Tulsa 23

Savannah State 0

South Dakota S.17

Richmond 19

Marshall 34

Iowa State 38

OK St 84

Kansas 31

TTU 44

Kansas St 51

Wyoming 17

Oklahoma 24

SMU 24

MOSU 9

Texas 37

UTEP 7

Baylor 59

Geno Smith celebrates after throwing a TD against Marshal.

Big East

Ray Graham didn’t have quite the impact on Pittsburgh‘s offense as they fall to Youngsto.. YOUNGSTOWN STATE?!?!  What a debut for new Panther‘s coach Paul Chryst.  Not only did Pitt lose, they trailed the ENTIRE GAME!! Before the season, the Ninja didn’t think too highly of UCONN but with the way their defense played Saturday, they could b the toughest in the conference asthey beat UMASS.  Sure, it was UMASS who was playing their first game as an FBS team.  UCONN unrolled the welcome mat by holding them to three first downs and 59 yards.  Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib showed he’s got skills, mad skills.  Unfortunately, the Orange need more than just a good QB as they fell to Northwestern 42-41.  B.J. Daniels seems to have found his groove early this season as the Bulls of South Florida took care of Chattanooga 34-13.  Daniels threw for 265 yards and three TDs while running for another.  Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater picked up right where he left off last season taking care of SEC opponent Kentucky 32-14.  Bridgewater missed only two of his 21 attempts adding 232 yards to his stat book.

Scores Around the Big East

Umass 0

Villanova 10

NW 42

YSU 31

Chattanooga 13

Uconn 37

Temple 41

Syracuse 41

Pitt 17

USF 34

Rutgers 24

Kentucky 14

Tulane 12

Louisville 32

Teddy Bridgewater eludes the rush while easily handling Kentucky.

B1G Ten

The Nebraska Cornhuskers had quite the performance from QB Taylor Martinez as he threw for five TDs.  Martinez, known for his explosive speed and terrible throwing fundamentals, still looked like a left handed running back trying to throw right handed (can’t picture it? Click HERE).  Though his throwing motion needs a ton of work, he got the job done and put the ball where it needed to be.  Let’s be serious here, it was Southern Miss.  Whether he can keep it up against quality teams remains to be seen.  Taking pressure off of Martinez is All-American RB Rex Burkhead who showed his ability early on three carries including a 57 yard TD.  His day ended soon after it began due to a sprained MCL.  While running game is the topic, how can I not mention Le’Veon Bell from Michigan State?  This kid was absolutely dominant in MSU’s 17-13 scare against Boise State scampering for 210 yards and two TDs on 44 carries.  Liar Meyer’s tenure started in Colombus the way most Bucks fans expected in a 56-10 blowout of Miami (OH).  Braxton Miller showed some maturation in his passing game connecting on 14 of 24 passes for 207 yards and two TDs before being replaced by his back up.  Pedd State took a blow from Ohio falling 24-14.  Bill O’Brien’s debut didn’t quite go as planned as Ohio QB Tyler Tettleton had his way with the PSU defense throwing for 324 yards and two TDs while running in a third.  Fan’s up at Camp Randle can quit biting their nails as their beloved Badgers nearly let one get away against Northern Iowa 26-21.  Danny O’Brien had an impressive debut after transferring from Maryland going 19 for 23 for 219 and two TDs, including a 53 yarder to Jared Abbrederis.  Then there’s Michigan.  The biggest disappointment of the weekend.  The Ninja was hoping for at least SOMEWHAT of a competitive game.  Could this be another let down year for the Wolverines like 2007?

Scores Around the B1G Ten

Minnesota 30

Boise St. 13

Northwestern 42

Ohio 24

Miami (OH) 10

UNLV 27

Michigan St 17

Syracuse 41

Penn St 14

Ohio St 56

W Michigan 7

So. Miss 20

No. Iowa 21

E. Kentucky 6

Iowa 18

Illinois 24

Nebraska 49

Wisconsin 26

Purdue 48

NIU  17

Indiana St 17

Michigan 14

Indiana 24

Alabama 41

Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez throws on the run during a 5 touchdown performance against USM.

Pac-12

After week one, we still don’t have an idea on just how good USC really is after a 49-10 romping of Hawai’iOregon showed us they can still execute with a new quarterback in Marcus Mariota (18-22 200 3), whom some wondered how he would fare taking over for Darron Thomas.  While Mariota did impress (granted it was Arkansas State), De’Anthony Thomas stole the show catching two TDs and running for a third.  Stanford was really un-Luck-y  this week as they barely held off San Jose State 20-17.  Stepfan Taylor pretty much carried the load for the Cardinals as he rushed for 116 yards on 26 carries with one TD.  UCLA  RB Johnathan Franklin ran wild Thursday night as he had his way with Rice’s defense tallying up 214 yards and three scores.  The Bruins took care of business 49-24.  Keep an eye on them next week as they take on B1G Ten contender Nebraska.

Scores Around the Pac-12

N. Co. 0

UCLA 49

Wash St. 6

N. Arizona 6

San Jose St 17

Utah 41

Rice 24

BYU 30

ASU 63

Stanford 20

Cal 24

Colorado St. 22

Hawai’I 10

Toledo 17

San Diego St 12

Nevada 31

Colorado 17

USC 49

Arizona 24

Washington 21

Ark St 34

Oregon 57

Oregon’s offense celebrates one of many week 1 touchdowns.

SEC

 South Carolina survived an early scare vs Vandy in Marcus Lattimore’s return from knee surgery.  Lattimore ran for 110 and two TDs while the defense seemed to have trouble stopping the Commodores all game long taking it to the end.  Aaron Murray started his Heisman Trophy campaign with pretty solid numbers (15/26 258 3) against Buffalo (I know, it’s Buffalo).  Tyler Bray  was impressive on Friday as Tennessee took down NC State 35-21.  Bray, who some consider a Heisman candidate, threw for 333 yards and two TDs.  Florida nearly let one get away against Bowling Green, at The Swamp?! The Ninja didn’t see the Gators having a good year to begin with, but Bowling Green at home?! Sure, Mike Gillislee had a career day (148 yards and two TDs), but as a team, they should be very concerned in Gainesville and might want to buckle up for this roller coaster of a season they are about to encounter.  Zach Mettenberger and LSU seem to be just fine as they rolled past North Texas.  Let’s see how Mettenberger fares next week against a better Washington defense.  Tyler Wilson and the Razorbacks thrashed Jacksonville State 49-24.  Wilson starts off this year looking like the seasoned vet he is going 19 for 27 for 367 yards and three TDs.  Knile Davis returned rushing for 70 yards on 18 carries and a TD.

Scores Around the SEC

USC 17

NC St 21

Buffalo 23

Bowling Green 14

Clemson 26

Vanderbilt 13

Tenn 35

Georgia 45

Florida 27

Auburn 19

Jax St 24

North Texas 14

SE La 10

Cent Ark 27

Jackson St 9

Arkansas 49

LSU 41

Mizzou 62

Ole Miss 49

Miss St 56

Michigan 14

Kentucky 14

Alabama 41

Louisville 32

T.J. Yeldon bruises forward for positive yards as Alabama crushes Michigan.

Games to Watch Week 2

Miami (FL) @ Kansas State

Florida @ Texas A&M

Washington @ LSU

Nebraska @ UCLA

Georgia @ Missouri

Players to Watch Week 2

Keith Price, QB Washington @ LSU

Taylor Martinez, QB Nebraska @ UCLA

Joseph Randle, RB Oklahoma State @ Arizona

Tyler Wilson, QB Arkansas vs ULM

Matt Barkley, QB USC vs Syracuse

Duke Johnson, RB Miami (FL) @ Kansas State

TJ Yeldon, RB Alabama vs Western Kentucky

Todd Gurley, RB/KR Georgia @ Missouri

Ninja Sports Offensive Performance of the Week:

Le’Veon Bell, RB Michigan State

44 carries 210 yards 2 TD

6 rec. 55 yards

Ninja Sports Defensive Performance of the Week:

Bjoern Werner, DE Florida State

4 sacks, 5 tackles

Ninja Sports College Football Play of the Week:

Devin Smith, WR Ohio State

Ninja Sports Broken Record of the Week:

Sam Durley, QB Eureka College

739 Passing Yards

Ninja Sports Image of the Week:

Bell hurdles a defender while placing Michigan State on his back against Boise

Be Sure to Check Back Every Monday for All of Your College Football Updates

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2012-13 SEC Football Outlook

Aaron Murray and the Georgia Bulldogs are facing high expectations in Athens this season.

As the 2012 season kicks off, many analysts seem to think Alabama will pick up right where they left off, and why not,  right?  While Eddie Lacy takes over for first round draft pick Trent Richardson, the question surrounding the Tide is this: Can McCarron lead, again,  and not try to do too much?  Bama faces a couple of tough road conference games in which it will be tough to come out with the W, though with Nick Satan, err, Saban, is definitely more than capable of making it happen.

The Dawgs bring back Senior signal caller Aaron Murray who looks to put up Heisman Trophy Winning numbers in an offense featuring three skilled and experienced wide receivers in Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Conley, and Tavarres King.  The Dawg’s defense, whom was ranked fifth nationally,  returns nine starters to Todd Grantham’s relatively new 3-4 scheme in Athens.  Look for a vaunting defense to keep points off of the board while Murray is putting them up.

LSU turns to QB Zach Mettenberger after the departure of Jordan Jefferson.  If Mettenberger can live up to the hype, the offense should be better than last season as they also bring back a four-headed monster backfield with Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, Alfred Blue, and Kenny Hilliard who together combined for more than 2,300 yards and an astounding 30 TDs.  They have the talent to run the table, the question is whether the Tigers will step up or not.

Missouri and Texas A&M make their conference debuts coming from the defensive lacking Big 12.  Look for them to have somewhat successful years in their rookie seasons and spoil SEC contender’s hopes.  Keep an eye on Mizzou QB James Franklin as he has the tools to become a big-name-QB for the SEC with his arm as well as his legs.

Will Muschamp starts off season two in Gainesville after a disappointing first year.  Though Florida always has a talent filled roster, don’t look for them to impress too many people this season as they have yet to even name a starting QB, and seem to be  irrelevant in the SEC title race.  This could be a big year for the Gators and Muschamp as fans are getting restless and don’t want to accept mediocrity.

Arkansas returns top two of the SEC’s top players in RB Knile Davis and QB Tyler Wilson.  Wilson, you may remember last year, broke several of former Arkansas’ QB Ryan Mallett’s records and showed the Hogs offense can be a force to be reckoned with.  Look for their offense to carry the load and put up many points to carry the Razorbacks team through the season.

East West
Georgia 7-1 LSU 7-1
South Carolina 5-3 Alabama 6-2
Missouri 4-4 Arkansas 5-3
Tennessee 4-4 Texas A&M 5-3
Florida 4-4 Auburn 3-5
Vanderbilt 2-6 Mississippi St 2-6
Kentucky 1-7 Ole Miss 1-7

National Title hopes could be on the line 11/3 when Nick Saban and the Tide roll into LSU to face the Mad Hatter.

Games to Watch:

Sept. 15: Alabama @ Arkansas

Oct. 20: Alabama @ Tennessee

Oct. 20:  LSU @ Texas A&M

Oct. 27: Florida @ Georgia

Nov. 3: Alabama @ LSU

Nov. 10: Arkansas @  South Carolina

Nov. 23: LSU @ Arkansas

Nov. 24: Missouri @  Texas A&M

Nov. 24: Auburn @ Alabama

Championship: Georgia v LSU

Ninja Sports Preseason All-SEC Team 2012

Offense Defense Special Teams
WR Cobi Hamilton, ARK DE Sam Montgomery, LSU K Caleb Sturgis, Fla
WR Ryan Swope, Texas A&M DE Barkevious Mingo, LSU P Brad Wing, LSU
TE Philip Lutzenkirchen, AUB DT Jesse Williams, ALA KR Dustin Harris, Texas A&M
T D.J. Fluker, ALA DT John Jenkins, UGA
T Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M LB Jarvis Jones, UGA
G Chance Warmack, ALA LB Alonzo Highsmith, ARK
G Alex Hurst, LSU LB DeVonte Holloman SC
C Barrett Jones, ALA CB Johnthan Banks, MS ST
QB Tyler Wilson, ARK CB D.J. Swearingwer, SC
RB Marcus Lattimore, SC S Robert Lester, ALA
RB Knile Davis, ARK S Eric Reid, LSU

SEC Offensive Player of the Year: Aaron Murray, QB UGA

SEC Defensive Player of the Year: Eric Reid, S LSU

Check out our other conference outlooks:

Pac-12 Preview
Big 12 Preview
Big East Preview
ACC Preview
Big 10 Preview

 

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Ninja Sports Pac-12 Football Preview

Big 12 Preview
Big East Preview
ACC Preview
Big 10 Preview

Star Lotulelei will terrorize Pac-12 offensive lines this season

With the way things are shaping up, it looks a lot like 2005 in Troy as the Trojans are atop the AP Poll to start the season.  Much like the ’05 squad, the team is loaded with talent from the top of the roster to the bottom.  Resembling the players of the ’05 team are QB Matt Barkley (Matt Leinart), RBs Curtis McNeal and Penn State transfer Silas Redd (Reggie Bush and LenDale White), and WRs Robert Woods and Marqis Lee (Steve Smith and Dwayne Jarrett).  As you see, the possibilities for this USC team are endless.  The defense took a tough blow losing defensive end Devon Kennard to a torn pectoral muscle so look for T.J. McDonald and Hayes Pullard to step up big.

Chip Kelly’s high octane spread offense in Eugene continues to receive praise as they have averaged over 520 yards a game for the past two seasons.  Redshirt Freshman QB Marcus Mariota has received the nod to start week one for the Ducks after an intense seven month battle with sophomore Bryan Bennett.  Though Mariota is young, look for him to step in right away and make an impact taking over for Darron Thomas.  While Thomas had LaMichael James to help him lead the offense, Mariota will have Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas to share the load.  If the defense can hold strong for the whole season, USC better not blink because this team of olympic sprinters will blow by them if the Trojans aren’t at the top of their game.

The big question surrounding Stanford: Can they survive without Luck?  Coach David Shaw wasn’t very enthusiastic about naming Josh Nunes the starting quarterback earlier this week.  The offense that once relied on Andrew Luck seems to be focusing towards a run heavy style placing much of the load on running backs Stepfan Taylor and Anthony Wilkerson.  Stanford’s strength is definitely on the defensive side of the ball led by linebackers Chase Thomas and Shayne Skov.

Washington has great potential this season with an offense run by dual-threat QB Keith Price.  In case the name doesn’t ring a bell, Price is the QB who went toe-to-toe with RG3 in the Alamo Bowl last season where the two offenses combined for 123 points.  Though RG3 came out victorious, it was Price that played the better game completing 23 of 27 passes for 438 yards and four touchdowns.  Not only did Price throw four touchdowns but he ran for three more, accounting for seven total.  Expect to see “Teeth” (as his teammates call him for his award-winning smile in interviews) in New York within the next two years as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.  The Huskies may not win the conference this season, but they will be highly competitive and could play the spoiler roll for the Pac 12.

The main question posed by The Ninja:  Will this conference play any defense?  Last year’s numbers were quite ugly as half of the Pac 12 ranked 82nd or lower in total defense.

North South
Oregon 8-1 Southern Cal 8-1
Washington 7-2 Arizona State 5-4
Stanford 5-4 Utah 5-4
California 4-5 UCLA 4-5
Oregon State 2-7 Colorado 3-6
Washington State 1-8 Arizona 2-7

Keith Price will lead the Huskies into Oregon on 10/6

Games to Watch:

Sept. 15:  USC @ Stanford

Sept. 27:  Stanford @ Washington

Oct. 6:  Washington @ Oregon

Oct. 13:  USC @ Washington

Nov. 3:  Oregon @ USC

Nov. 17:  USC @ UCLA

Nov. 17:  Stanford @ Oregon

Nov. 24:  Oregon @ Oregon State

Championship:  Oregon vs. Southern Cal

Ninja Sports Preseason All-Pac-12 Team 2012

Offense Defense Special Teams
WR Robert Woods, USC DE Dion Jordan, ORE K Andre Heidari, USC
WR Marquess Wilson, WSU DE Wes Horton, USC P Jackson Rice ORE
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, WASH DT Star Lotulelei, UTAH KR De’Anthony Thomas, ORE
T Matt Summers-Gavin, CAL DT Justin Washington, ARIZ
T David Bakhtiari. CU LB Chase Thomas, STAN
G Carson York, ORE LB Patrick Larimore, ARIZ
G Sam Brenner, UTAH LB Shayne Skov, STAN
C Khaled Homes, USC CB Aaron Hester, UCLA
QB Matt Barkley, USC CB Nickell Robey, USC
RB Stepfan Taylor, STAN S T.J. McDonald, USC
RB Kenjon Barner, ORE S Marquis Flowers, ARIZ

Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year: Robert Woods, WR USC

Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year: Star Lotulelei, DT UTAH

2012-13 Pac 12 Football Preview

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2012-13 Big 12 Football Preview

Big East Preview
ACC Preview
Big 10 Preview

Last year the Oklahoma Sooners would have been 11-0 going into the Oklahoma State game if their defense would have been able to stop Texas Tech and Baylor in the fourth quarter. With Landry Jones turning down millions to come back and be a National Champion, expect the offense to be high powered as usual. The offensive line is anchored by Gabe Ikard and Ben Habern and promises to be a good one. Though the WR corps is thin and young, they have great potential. The Ninja’s only concern is whether Jones can stay patient with the youngn’s; if so, Oklahoma should handle the Big 12.

Looking to spoil Oklahoma’s title dreams is conference newcomer West Virginia. All the key parts to last year’s school-record setting offense return including the outstanding QB Geno Smith, WRs Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, and RB Dustin Garrison. The concern for the Mountaineers comes on defense where they are making a switch to a Base 3-4 with numerous freshmen in the mix for playing time.

Texas comes in following a disappointing season but Mack Brown is determined to get back on track. The speedy RB Malcolm Brown will carry much of the load and has that game-changing ability that he can flip on seemingly at any time. The defense is held down up front by two of the best defensive ends in the country; Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat. Their non-conference schedule isn’t too challenging as they play Wyoming and New Mexico.

The Heisman hopeful Collin Klein showed last season he was one of the best playmakers in the country. The o-line is in need of too much help for them to win the conference. Expect Klein to be running for his life. If the terrorizing linebacker Arthur Brown can lead a tough and disciplined K-State defense, expect them to spoil somebody’s title chances, and maybe even make a run of their own if Klein can put the offense on his back.

Oklahoma 8-1
West Virginia 8-1
Texas 7-2
Kansas State 6-3
Oklahoma State 4-5
Texas Christian 4-5
Baylor 3-6
Iowa State 2-7
Texas Tech 2-7
Kansas 1-8

Can Collin Klein and K-Sate upset Oklahoma early (9/24) or Texas late (12/1)?

Games to Watch:

Sept. 22: Kansas State @ Oklahoma

Oct. 6: West Virginia @ Texas

Oct. 13: Oklahoma @ Texas

Oct. 20: Kansas State @ West Virginia

Nov. 3: TCU @ West Virginia

Nov. 17: Oklahoma @ West Virginia

Nov. 24: Oklahoma State @ Oklahoma

Dec. 1: Texas @ Kansas State

Champion:

Oklahoma

Ninja Sports Preseason All-Big 12 Team 2012

Offense Defense Special Teams
WR Kenny Stills, OKLA DE Jackson Jeffcoat, TEX K Quinn Sharp, OK ST
WR Tavon Austin, WVU DE Alex Okafor, TEX P Quinn Sharp, OK ST
TE Jordan Najvar, BAY DT Jamarkus McFarland, OKLA KR Tyler Lockett, KAN ST
T LaAdrian Waddle, TT DT Nigel Nicholas, OKLA ST
T Blaize Foltz, TCU LB Arthur Brown, KAN ST
G Cyril Richardson, BAY LB Jake Knott, ISU
G Ben Habern, OKLA LB AJ Klein, ISU
C Gabe Ikard, OKLA CB Brodrick Brown, OK ST
QB Geno Smith, WVU CB Carrington Byndom, TEX
RB Malcolm Brown, TEX S Tony Jefferson, OKLA
RB Joseph Randle, OK ST S Kenny Vaccaro, TEX

Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year: Geno Smith, QB WVU

Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year: Jackson Jeffcoat, DE TEX

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2012-13 Big Ten Football Preview

Big East Preview
ACC Preview

Expectations are high in Ann Arbor as Denard Robinson returns with his number one target WR Roy Roundtree and a high powered offense ready to take over the B1G Ten. The dual-threat QB, who claims he could take Usain Bolt in a 40 yard dash, looks to put together a Heisman campaign much like former Nebraska QB Eric Crouch did in 2001 consisting of an irregularly high rushing numbers for a quarterback. Roundtree, who is coming off what some may say was a down year, returns for his Senior season and has changed his number to 21 in honor of Michigan legend Desmond Howard in hopes of having a dominant year. Look for Michigan to have a couple close conference games, but that isn’t going to stop them from making a title run.

The Urban Liar, excuse me, Meyer, era has begun in Colombus and it has Buckeye fans buzzing across the country. Meyer looks to bring his daunting speed-based offense to the B1G Ten which has traditionally hosted offenses with a smashmouth, run between the tackles approach. The jury is still out on Sophomore QB Braxton Miller as he didn’t impress to the likes of the Ninja last year, throwing for less than 2,000 yards (96.6ypg). In Miller’s defense, he did show an impressive ability to run the ball but even those numbers would need to improve for him to be the fit for Meyer’s offense. Also look for a big year out of TE Jake Stoneburner who has already had an impressive career but fits the same style of play that Aaron Hernandez did under Meyer at Florida.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers and Coach Bo Pelini look to finally win a conference title. Pelini has gotten them to the dance but that’s not good enough as the Husker nation isn’t one to tolerate mediocrity. All-American RB Rex Burkhead will carry much of the offensive load unless Taylor Martinez has corrected his horrific throwing style. NU’s defense has a few holes to fill, but don’t think that will keep them from disrupting the B1G Ten and making a push to win the conference.

Danny O’Brien, a Maryland transfer, takes over for the departed Russell Wilson. Accompanying O’Brien is stud WR Jared Abbrederis who many may remember more for his return ability in the kicking game. The offense will be anchored by All-American Center Travis Frederick who will help open some serious running lanes for record setting tail back Montee Ball. Reports out of Wisconsin claim O’Brien is picking up the offense no problem, and may replace Wilson just fine.

Legends Leaders
Michigan 8-0 Wisconsin 6-2
Nebraska 6-2 Ohio State 6-2
Michigan State 5-3 Penn State 5-3
Northwestern 3-5 Purdue 4-4
Iowa 2-6 Illinois 2-6
Minnesota 1-7 Indiana 0-8

Jake Stoneburner will look to have a big day for Ohio State against rival Michigan at The Horseshoe on Nov. 24th

Games to Watch:


Sept. 29:
Ohio State @ Michigan State

Sept. 29: Wisconsin @ Nebraska

Oct. 6: Nebraska @ Ohio State

Oct. 20: Michigan State @ Michigan

Oct. 27: Michigan @ Nebraska

Oct. 27: Michigan State @ Wisconsin

Oct. 27:
Ohio State @ Penn State

Nov. 10:
Penn State @ Nebraska

Nov. 24:
Wisonsin @ Penn State

Nov. 24:
Michigan @ Ohio State

Championship:

Michigan vs. Wisconsin

Ninja Sports Preseason All-B1G Ten Team 2012

Offense Defense Special Teams
WR Roy Roundtree, MICH DE William Gholston, MSU K Brett Maher, NEB
WR Kenny Bell, NEB DE John Simon, OSU P Brett Maher, NEB
TE Jake Stoneburner, OSU DT Jordan Hill, PSU KR Ameer Abdullah, NEB
T Ricky Wagner, WIS DT Kawann Short, PUR
T Taylor Lewan, MICH LB Mike Taylor, WIS
G Spencer Long, NEB LB Gerald Hodges, PSU
G Chris McDonald, MSU LB James Morris, IOWA
C Travis Frederick, WIS CB JT Floyd, MICH
QB Denard Robinson, MICH CB Micah Hyde, IOWA
RB Montee Ball, WIS S CJ Barnett, OSU
RB Rex Burkhead, NEB S Isaiah Lewis, MSU

B1G TEN Offensive Player of the Year: Denard Robinson, QB MICH

B1G TEN Defensive Player of the Year: William Gholston, DE MSU

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2012-13 Big East Football Preview

ACC Preview

West Virginia has departed and the other Big East teams couldn’t be happier. The Mountaineers would have been the clear favorite to take the conference had they remained.

Louisville returns 2011 Freshman All-American QB Teddy Bridgewater as well as Sophomore WR’s DeVante Parker and Eli Rogers who both showed tremendous ability last season; Parker with his size (6’3 205) and Rogers with his blazing speed. Taking some pressure off of the passing game will be Junior RB Dominique Brown, who Coach Charlie Strong claims is one of the “best in the country” when it comes down to falling forward and gaining positive yards. Look for Louisville (the lone Big East team in the AP Top 25) to take care of business, not only this year, but for a few more to come as Coach Strong continues to recruit extremely well and fill UL’s roster with talent from all over the country.

South Florida returns Senior QB B.J. Daniels who has had quite a hard time staying healthy during his career in Tampa. Accompanying Daniels is TE Evan Landi, who has WR athleticism and could be utilized much like Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez for the New England Patriots. With an above average defense lead by Redshirt Junior LB Devekeyan “DeDe” Lattimore, look for Coach Holtz’s Bulls to make the run at the Big East title if they can beat Louisville, or get some help from other Big East schools to potentially knock Louisville out of the hunt.

The loss of Zach Collaros in Cincinnati puts a question mark at the QB position. The Bearcats will turn to an unproven Junior in Munchie Legaux (6’5 205), who along with RB George Winn look to play spoiler to many Big East foes. With the slip up of Louisville or South Florida, the Cats have an outside chance at the Big East title.

Pittsburgh and stud RB Ray Graham look to continue the high powered rushing attack they displayed most of last season until Graham was injured. Before the injury, Graham averaged an impressive 119.8 yards per game at 5.8 yards per carry, and was among the top five RBs statistics wise. Like Daniels’ situation, if Graham stays healthy, Pitt’s offense could be in for a big year on the ground. Senior QB Tino Sunseri looks to rebound after a 10 TD-11 INT year, and who better to have returning than his favorite target WR Devin Street. The first two games will be a rough start for the Panthers as they open up September 1st versus Youngstown State, then play again five days later in Cincinnati for an early Big East match up.

Louisville 6-1
South Florida 6-1
Cincinnati 5-2
Pittsburgh 4-3
Connecticut 3-4
Temple 3-4
Syracuse 1-6
Rutgers 0-7

Ray Graham leads Pitt down to Florida to face USF on December 1st

Games to Watch:

Sept. 6: Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati

Oct. 13: Louisville @ Pittsburgh

Oct. 26: Cincinnati @ Louisville

Nov. 3: Connecticut @ USF

Nov. 9: Pittsburgh @ Connecticut

Nov. 23: USF @ Cincinnati

Dec. 1: Pittsburgh @ USF

Dec. 1: Cincinnati @ Connecticut

Champion:

Louisville

Ninja Sports Preseason All-Big East Team 2012

Offense Defense Special Teams
WR Alec Lemon, SYR DE Trevardo Williams, UCONN K Ross Krautman, SYR
WR Devin Street, PITT DE Ryne Giddins, USF P Pat O’Donnell, CIN
TE Ryan Griffin, UCONN DT Aaron Donald, PITT KR Matt Brown, TEM
T Justin Pugh, SYR DT Jesse Joseph, UCONN
T Mark Popek, USF LB DeDe Lattimore, USF
G Jake Smith, UL LB Khaseem Greene, RU
G Chris Jacobson, PITT LB Preston Brown, UL
C Mario Benavides, UL CB Kayvon Webster, USF
QB Teddy Bridgewater, UL CB Logan Ryan, RU
RB Ray Graham, PITT S Drew Frey, CIN
RB Matt Brown, TEM S Jarred Holley, PITT

Big East Offensive Player of the Year: Ray Graham, RB PITT

Big East Defensive Player of the Year: Logan Ryan, CB RU

Be sure to check out our other conference previews

ACC Preview

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2012-13 ACC Football Preview

acc football preview 2012 2013 florida state miami clemson virginia tech virginia north carolina

Clemson looks to repeat as ACC champions with the return of Tajh Boyd and the deadly Sammy Watkins. Though Watkins is suspended the first two games, neither of them are ACC games. Upon his return look for him to strive for a career day versus Florida State. He will be hungry to become even better than he was last season, and what a better team to do it against than FSU, who many see as the ACC favorite.

Keep an eye on Al Golden in his second year with the Miami (FL) Hurricanes as there has been a resurgence in the atmosphere down in Coral Gables. Though NCAA sanctions are looming over the Canes, it hasn’t stopped Golden from getting quality recruits, who along with the talented veterans, continue to impress the likes of the Ninja as well as analysts and coaches across the country.

Logan Thomas returns to lead the Hokies offense after an impressive 2011 season. The loss of two record setting wide outs (Jarrett Boykin and Danny Coale) looks to be crucial but if Thomas can get just a little bit of help from promising senior receiver Marcus Davis the Hokies will once again take the Coastal side handily.

This is a big year for Jimbo Fischer and Florida State as it is the “do or die” season for Jimbo’s first recruiting class. With such a talented roster across the board, look for a National Championship run, but it is likely their title hopes will diminish with Clemson dominating the Atlantic side of the conference.

Atlantic Coastal
Clemson 7-1 Virginia Tech 7-1
Florida State 5-3 Virginia 6-2
NC State 3-5 Miami (FL) 6-2
Boston College 2-6 Georgia Tech 5-3
Wake Forest 2-6 North Carolina 4-4
Maryland 1-7 Duke 0-8

Games to Watch:

Sept. 3: Georgia Tech @ Virginia Tech

Sept. 22: Clemson @ Florida State

Sept. 22: Miami @ Georgia Tech

Oct. 20: Florida State @ Miami

Oct. 20: Virginia Tech @ Clemson

Nov. 8: Florida State @ Virginia Tech

Nov. 24: Virginia Tech @ Virginia

Championship:

Clemson vs. Virginia Tech

Ninja Sports Preseason All-ACC Team 2012

Offense Defense Special Teams
WR Sammy Watkins, CLEM DE Brandon Jenkins, FSU K Dustin Hopkins, FSU
WR Allen Hurns, MIA DE Malliciah Goodman, CLEM P Dalton Botts, MIA
TE Matt Furstenburg, MD DT Joe Vellano, MD KR Sammy Watkins, CLEM
T Morgan Moses, VA DT Nikita Whitlock, WF
T James Hurst, UNC LB Bruce Taylor, VT
G RJ Mattes, NCST LB Steve Greer, VA
G Brad Linder, MIA LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, BC
C Dalton Freeman, CLEM CB David Amerson, NCST
QB Logan Thomas, VT CB Kyle Fuller, VT
RB Giovanni Bernard, UNC S Vaughn Telemaque, MIA
RB Orwin Smith, GT S Lamarcus Joyner, FSU

ACC Offensive Player of the Year: Logan Thomas, QB VT

ACC Defensive Player of the Year: David Amerson, CB NCST

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HardballTalk

According to Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com, MLB owners have approved the sale of the Padres to an investment group headed by San Diego businessman Ron Fowler. The sale was put to a vote today at MLB’s quarterly ownership meetings.

The sale price of the club ended up being $800 million, which includes a stake in the club’s television deal with FOX Sports San Diego. The new ownership group also includes former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley, his sons Brian and Kevin, nephews Peter Seidler and Tom Seidler, and pro golfer Phil Mickelson.

Outgoing owner John Moores originally purchased his majority stake in the Padres in December of 1994 for $94 million. Today’s transfer of ownership comes after Jeff Moorad’s attempt to purchase the team for around $500 million fell apart earlier this year.

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