Sunday, December 7, 2014

Let's crown five outright Power Five Champs in 2014 with first College Football Playoff

Cedar Rapids, IA -- The new four team playoff creates a better Bowl System. It also provides for a fixed +1 system for a NCAA FBS Championship Game, which structures better than the old BCS system.

The season becomes more interesting with the CFP. The final bowl picture is better handled with 12 teams slotted into six bowls.

The final result should better bowl match-ups with the Top 12 teams matched up. The outright conference team can also be crowned for each Power 5 conference.

The top Two Bowls get a +1 system. It is a bowl system with the top two rated bowls getting a title game (+1).

Iowa fans despite the disappointment can get a great bowl opportunity, since we play in the B1G. As long as you are bowl eligible, the bowl selection process should provide far mar balanced match-ups.

The idea of Iowa vs. Stanford is great. Neither team had the type of season they wanted. But, 15 practices can award each with an opportunity to spring into 2015 with some momentum.

This is a better bowl system with a +1 for top two bowls. The BCS didn't create good match-ups, outside the picking of #1 vs. #2.

So, who should get Top 4 spots?

But, ultimately the Top 11 Power 5 teams and Top non-power conference team will get slotted into a better bowl match-up, than the old BCS.

Baylor vs. TCU would be a good rematch. Not the same as OU vs. Nebraska, but who would be #1 on a neutral field? Who is the outright Big 12 champion for 2014?

Are either worthy of #1 - no.

The Committee should reward Ohio State, since injury hurt them in their lone non-conference loss. The QB injury hit them 2 times and they appear for the most part as plug and play team. They went undefeated In conference play and outright champion.

Let Baylor (8-1) and TCU (8-1) play for a Big 12 outright champion game in this year's bowl picture.

Sugar - Alabama (8-1) vs. Florida State (9-0)

Rose - Oregon (8-1) vs. Ohio State (9-0)

Conference titles matter and the four above won outright titles.

The new system is a great way to preserve and improve bowl system, unlike BCS, and allow for a +1 Game.

TCU vs. Baylor on neutral field would crown an outright Big 12 winner. Let's see the real champion is in 2014.

peace

TCU hadn't played ISU yet, which hurt them in SOS. It helped them previous in the weekly rankings.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Ranking the B1G West ahead of Big Ten Title Game: Ohio State vs. Wisconsin

Clear #1 - Wisconsin

No one is a clearly competitive enough to put at #2 in the B1G West

Not giving 2015 to Minnesota. Nebraska will have a new leader. Iowa has not performed well enough, since division play was established in Big Ten.

Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska have all failed to dethrone Wisconsin this year. Nebraska wasn't close.

Minnesota hasn't beat Minnesota, since 2003. Iowa won a B1G co-championship in 2004. Nebraska hasn't won anything, since 1999.

Mike Riley beat UW at Oregon State. He also got shutout the last game at UW. But, he is moving to Nebraska and the game will have even more importance.

Jerry Kill has beat Iowa and Nebraska, but never Wisconsin or did he win at NIU?
Wisconsin vs. Ohio State.

The Badgers have won B1G Title Games, as Michigan State did last year, after losing first to Wisconsin in the first ever Big Ten title game.

Ohio State has played in one.

Neither Michigan nor Ohio State have won a B1G title game.

Ohio State is there again. Can they join Wisconsin and Michigan State?

Northwestern is the only B1G West team to beat Wisconsin this year, so there is clearly some cink in the armor for the Badgers.

Northwestern can't beat Illinois this year. Illinois may be home for the holidays with the Wildcats and Purdue.

On Wisconsin.

They are #1. But for how long in the Big Ten? They are the favorite today?

Does Ohio State finally become top B1G dog or is probation still holding them back like the miss fire in the Tressel era and 2011 with probation?

2011 - On Wisconsin
2012 - On Wisconsin
2013 - Michigan State
2014 - Ohio State or Wisconsin
2015 - ????

Kirk Ferentz 2015-2017.

The window of opportunity is closing, but not closed for Iowa.

Here's to better days ahead for the Hawkeyes. Here's to the B1G West.

peace

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Seven Year Itch: Nebraska coach Bo Pelini at 9-3

Lincoln, Nebr. - - Nebraska makes change again in football leadership, after another 9-3 regular season and no conference title.

“Coach Pelini served our University admirably for seven years and led our football program’s transition to the Big Ten Conference,” Nebraska A.D. Shawn Eichorst said. “We wish Coach Pelini and his wonderful family all the best and thank him for his dedicated service to the University.”

Bo Pelini was completing his seventh season at Nebraska. He was 9-3, same record as former head coach Frank Solich, when he was fired at the end of the 2003 regular season.

"I fully support Shawn's decision to make a change in the leadership of our football program, and wish Bo and his family all of the best," NU Chancellor Harvey Perlman said in a statement. "I am confident that Shawn will find the best coach, teacher and fit for this University and for our football program."

Nebraska hasn't had a conference title in football, since the 1999 Big 12 title.

Check out @Huskers's Tweet: https://twitter.com/Huskers/status/539083102748819456

Friday, November 28, 2014

#23 Creighton faces Ole Miss tonight in Emerald Coast Classic

Niceville, FL - - #23 Creighton (5-0) continues play in the Emerald Coast Classic when it plays its first games of the season away from CenturyLink Center Omaha this weekend.

First up is a Friday evening game vs. Ole Miss (3-1). Tip-off at The Arena (2,200) in Niceville, Fla., is set for 7:30 pm Central.

Creighton has never faced Ole Miss in this Big East vs. SEC match up. The winner will face the winner of the Cincinnati vs. Middle Tennessee State game on Saturday night on CBS Sports Network (Direct #221).

Creighton has opened the young season with five straight wins, posting home victories over Central Arkansas (104-77), Chicago State (84-66), No. 18 Oklahoma (65-63),   North Carolina Central (65-45) and Eastern Illinois (75-53).

The Bluejays have had a different scorer in each victory, and six men are averaging at least 8.0 points per game.

Two of those men are scoring in double-figures, a group led by sophomore SG Isaiah Zierden (13.8 ppg.), with senior C Will Artino (10.2 ppg. 6.0 rpg.) not far behind.

Doing a little bit of everything has been senior guard Devin Brooks (8.0 ppg., 6.2 rpg., 4.0 apg.), who leads the team in rebounding and steals and is second in rebounding while continuing to stuff the stat sheet.

Creighton returns 11 lettermen from last year’s 27-8 team that reached the third round of the NCAA Tournament for a third consecutive season. However, senior PG Austin Chatman (9.6 ppg., 4.6 apg.) is the only returning starter from that group.

The Bluejays are trying to replace the most victorious senior class in program history, as Grant Gibbs, Jahenns Manigat, Doug McDermott and Ethan Wragge combined for 107 wins as well as 5,934 points, 872 three-pointers, 1,062 assists and 2,250 rebounds at CU. All four men are now playing professionally, including McDermott in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls after he averaged 26.7 points per game and swept 14 National Player of the Year awards last winter.

Ole Miss has won three straight games since suffering a 66-65 overtime loss at the buzzer to Charleston Southern in its season-opener.

Jarvis Summers (14.3 ppg., 3.8 rpg., 3.8 apg.) leads the team in scoring, just ahead of Stefan Moody (11.8 ppg., 2.5 spg.) and LaDarius White (11.5 ppg., 4.3 rpg.).

The Rebels are averaging 72.0 points per game, despite making just 18 three-pointers on 23.4 percent marksmanship from long-range. Ole Miss has outrebounded teams by eight caroms per contest and owns 21 blocked shots in four games.

Greg McDermott (Northern Iowa, 1988) is in his fifth season as head coach at Creighton. He led CU to a 27-8 mark last year, and is 112-38 with the Bluejays. McDermott has previously been a head coach at Iowa State (2006-10), Northern Iowa (2001-06), North Dakota State (2000-01) and Wayne State (1994-2000). He owns a career mark of 392-233 in his 21st season and is 261-169 in his 14th Division I campaign. McDermott is assisted by Darian DeVries, Steve Lutz and Patrick Sellers.

Andy Kennedy (UAB, 1991) is 174-102 in nine seasons as the Ole Miss head coach, moving his career mark to 195-115 in 10 seasons when you include a year as Cincinnati’s interim coach. He was also previously an assistant coach at Cincinnati, UAB and South Alabama, and is assisted by Bill Armstrong, Tony Madlock and Todd Abernethy.

7-Foot redshirt junior center Geoffrey Groselle had the best game of his Bluejay career on Tuesday, finishing with 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting in just 12 minutes of playing time. His play earned him a pair of standing ovations from the more than 17,400+ fans at CenturyLink Center Omaha.

Groselle had owned just 44 career points in the first 36 games of his career before his outburst. Groselle has made 26-of-34 career field goal attempts, good for 76.5 percent.

Creighton has used three men who alternate playing time at the “5” position for most of this season, Artino, sophomote Zach Hanson and Groselle.

While none of them have stats that might jump off the page individually, as a collective group they’re tough to beat, combining for 20.8 ppg. and 11.0 rpg. in 39.6 minutes per game, all while shooting 64.1 percent from the floor.

Name    MPG    FG-FGA    RPG    PPG
Artino    19.0    19-35    6.0    10.2
Hanson    12.8    10-15    3.8    5.2
Groselle    7.8    12-14    1.2    5.4
Total    39.6    41-64    11.0    20.8

Creighton will bring a balanced attack into the game against Ole Miss. Creighton owns six players who are averaging 8.0 points per game or more this season.  Eight players have scored 12 or more points in a game this year, and CU has seen a different leading scorer in each contest.

Creighton also has seven different players with five or more rebounds in a game this year. The Bluejays have had a different player with 10 or more rebounds in four games this season after only having three players with double-figure rebound totals (McDermott, Gibbs, Artino) all last season.

Three of those men (Chatman, junior James Milliken, Brooks) are guards. Chatman has been Creighton’s outright leader in rebounding two of his past three games after doing that just once in the first 108 games of his career.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving #Hawkeyes #Jays #Cornhuskers #Panthers

Cedar Rapids, IA -- We have reached the point in the athletic calendar where College Football is winding down and College Basketball has tipped off another regular season.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

The Iowa Hawkeyes (7-4, 4-3 B1G West) will host the Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-3, 4-3 B1G West) on the gridiron of Kinnick Stadium on Black Friday. It will be a 11 a.m. start televised on ABC.

Both, the Iowa and Nebraska basketball programs are off to a slower start with each experiencing a loss already on the books. Iowa is 4-2, while Nebraska is 3-1.

In football, some Hawkeye fans and even more Cornhusker fans are getting restless, tired and frustrated with their head coach's lack of high success. Neither Kirk Ferentz or Bo Pelini have won a conference title in the last ten and seven years, respectively. Ferentz did win in 2002 and 2004 at Iowa. Pelini is enjoying his seven year itch at Nebraska.

Remember, change for the sake of change often doesn't bring fruit in the Heartland. The Hawkeyes and Cornhuskers will enjoy their border way on Black Friday. Iowa won last year in Lincoln 38-17, but haven't won at Kinnick over Nebraska in 33 years.

At the present time, neither is ranked in the Top 25 in either sport.

Both will be heading south for the bowl season, but this game was hopefully for a division title on the line, but will have to wait for next season?

The B1G West title will be determined Saturday, as Minnesota @ Wisconsin is played for Paul Bunyan's Ax. The winnet will earn a date in the Big Ten title game with Ohio State. We expected the Golden Gophers to win, but with RB David Cobb's injury, the Badgers are likely in a good position for a date with the Buckeyes.

Creighton men's basketball is off to a 5-0 start, as head coach Greg McDermott turned 50 on Tuesday night with the Jays' fifth win of the season. Last week's win over then #18 Oklahoma at CenturyLink placed the Jays at #23 in this week's AP Poll.

With only one returning full-time starter, senior PG Austin Chatman, the new look Jays have seen five different players step up to lead the Creighton scoring chart in five straight games. Last year, NCAA player of the year Doug McDermott lead Creighton in scoring in all but three games.

The Jays men's soccer team beat Oregon State on Sunday to advance to the Sweet 16 of the College Cup. The women's volleyball team is still playing, after a successful Big East season.

Iowa State football plays West Virginia on Saturday at Jack Trice for Senior Day. It has been a long journey a 2-8 season and zero Big 12 victories. Time is running out, but the Cyclones won the Cy-Hawk Trophy, so Life's Good for Paul Rhoads and his program in Ames.

Iowa State (3-1) men's basketball is in good hands with coach Fred Hoiberg. The Cyclones fell to Maryland in Kansas City ahead of Thanksgiving.

The Cy-Hawk Game will be in Iowa City in December. Creighton at Nebraska will be another good intra-state basketball game coming in December. Both games will be televised by the Big Ten Network.

The University of Northern Iowa Panthers open the FCS Football Playoffs in the UNI-Dome hosting Stephen F Austin. The winner travels to Illinois State in the next round of the Playoffs.

On the hardwood, the Panthers are 6-0 and appear to have a good unit for the 2014-15 season. The Panthers received 17 votes in the latest AP Basketball Poll. They are coming off a 61-42 victory over Northwestern in Mexico on Wednesday night.

The smell of Thanksgiving is in the air, as the Detroit Lions continue the tradition of the NFL on this Holiday hosting the Chicago Bears (5-6) indoors. However, it is the Green Bay Packers (8-3) that now lead former Hawkeye Jim Caldwell's Lions in the NFC Central Division.

Enjoy the turkey and the festivities everyone!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Creighton overcomes 18 point deficit at home to defeat #18 Oklahoma 65-63

OMAHA, Neb. - Down 42-24 early in the second half, the Creighton men's basketball team came all the way back to defeat No. 18 Oklahoma 65-63 on Wednesday, Nov. 19, before 17,393 fans in Omaha.

Creighton moved to 3-0 on the season with the second-largest comeback victory in CenturyLink Center Omaha history, while the Sooners dropped to 1-1. 

Austin Chatman had 17 points, a career-high 11 rebounds and six assists in the Bluejay victory and keyed the second-half charge after CU fell behind 42-24 with 18;30 to play.

Creighton mounted a 24-4 run to take its first lead of theg game at 48-46 on an Isaiah Zierden three-pointer with 11:35 remaining. The teams exchanged seven leads in the second half, but Creighton took the lead for good with 49 seconds left when Zach Hanson tipped in a Devin Brooks miss to make it 63-61. OU's Jordan Woodard would miss a go-ahead three-pointer and Austin Chatman was fouled with 24 seconds left. Chatman sank both for a four-point margin.

OU got within two points on a pair of free throws by Isaiah Cousins with 5.0 left before Brooks was fouled with four ticks left. He would miss both and OU called timeout with 3.6 to play.

Following timeouts by both teams, Woodard drove upcourt and missed a contested fallaway three-pointer at the buzzer as the home crowd roared.

Oklahoma star Buddy Hield scored the game's first seven points as the Sooners raced to leads of 7-0, 28-18 and 33-20 before settling for a 35-24 lead at the break. Creighton shot a paltry 24 percent (6-25) in the first half and were outrebounded 24-17 by the Sooners.

TaShawn Thomas had four points and Ryan Spangler a three-pointer as OU opened the second half with another 7-0 run to make it 42-24. A Bluejay timeout sparked the greatest comeback victory in the five-year tenure of Greg McDermott at Creighton.

The 24-4 run took just 6:37, and started with a three-pointer from Toby Hegner and followed with threee-balls from Zierden and Chatman before a Zach Hanson three-point play made it a 12-2 run and trimmed the deficit to single-figures at 44-36 with 15:26 left. The onslaught continued despite two timeouts from OU coach Lon Kruger. Hoops by Brooks and Chatman got CU within four before a Hield tip-in made it 46-40 OU wiht 13:18 left. But Hegner drained a three-pointer, and Hanson another jumper before Zierden's three-pointer gave CU its first lead at 48-46 with 11:35 left.

Neither team led by more than four points the rest of the game.

In addition to Chatman's first career point/rebound double-double (17 & 11), Hegner and Zierden both scored 11 points. Creighton shot 37.5 percent for the game and 8-for-26 (30.8 percent) from three-point range, while also sinking 15-of-21 foul shots.

Hield led all scorers with 21 points for OU before fouling out with four seconds left., while Ryan Spangler had 11 points and 11 rebounds for the double-double. Houston transfer TaShawn Thomas had 14 points and six rebounds as well for the Sooners. Oklahoma shot 35.5 percent for the game, including 8-of-24 percent from downtown (33.3 percent), while making 11-of-14 free throws. OU owned a 44-37 edge on the glass.

The Bluejays return to action on Sunday, Nov. 23 as Creighton begins play in the Emerald Coast Classic against North Carolina Central at 3:00 pm.

NOTES: No. 18 Oklahoma was the highest-ranked non-conference opponent to play Creighton in Omaha since the Bluejays overcame a 37-19 deficit to defeat No. 17 Western Kentucky on Nov. 27, 2001 ... Creighton improved to 21-119 all-time vs. AP Top 25 teams, including a 4-2 mark at CenturyLink Center Omaha, and a 7-3 mark at home since 1998-99 .. Creighton has won 25 straight regular-season home games vs. teams from the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, BIG EAST, Pac 12 and SEC dating to 1996-97 ... The win extended Creighton's home win streak to 21, but this was the first time the Jays had trailed in the second half of that streak ... Isaiah Zierden has scored in double-figures in all three games this season after doing so just three times as a freshman ... Creighton improved to 47-0 all-time in regular-season home games on or before Nov. 26th ... Oklahoma has lost 12 straight games in front of 14,000+ fans, while Creighton is 22-1 in its last 23 games before such crowds ... Creighton has started 3-0 or better in 15 of the last 17 seasons ... Creighton's only larger comeback win at CenturyLink Center Omaha came on Jan. 28, 2006 vs. Wichita State when CU trailed 25-6 and won 57-55 at the buzzer ... Creighton's 21-game home win streak is tied for the fifth-longest active streak nationally ... Creighton was just 1-8 last year when trailing at half, but is now 1-0 this season ... Creighton's previous largest comeback win under Greg McDermott was 17 points at San Diego State on Nov. 30, 2011.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Creighton men qualify for 22nd NCAA Soccer Tournament in 23 years

OMAHA, Neb. – The Creighton men’s soccer team earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the 22nd time in 23 seasons when pairings were announced on NCAA.com on Monday afternoon.

No. 12 seed Creighton (14-3-2) will face the winner of a first-round contest between Denver (11-7-1) and Oregon State (11-7-1). The Bluejays will host a second-round match in the 48-team tournament on Sunday, Nov. 23 at 12:30 p.m. CT inside Morrison Stadium. Creighton is 3-0-1 all-time against Denver and 1-0-1 against Oregon State.

Creighton, 10-2-0 at home this season and is 11-2-0 all-time in NCAA Tournament matches played at Morrison Stadium. The Jays were one of four BIG EAST squads to make the 2014 NCAA field joining No. 8 seed Georgetown, No. 11 seed Providence and Xavier. CU owns a 2-3-2 record against fellow NCAA Tourney teams this season.

The Jays came into Selection Monday at No. 9 nationally in the latest RPI released by the NCAA on Nov. 9.  The Bluejays’ at-large selection is their second consecutive since joining the BIG EAST Conference.

Creighton is now 28-18-6 overall in the NCAA Tournament all-time. The Bluejays have advanced to at least the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals in six of their last 11 appearances. The Jays have made five total NCAA College Cup appearances (1996, 2000, 2002, 2011 and 2012).

Elmar Bolowich, the head coach of the Bluejays, recently guided teams to five consecutive NCAA College Cup appearances (Creighton – 2012, 2011 and North Carolina - 2010, 2009, 2008) and won a national title with the Tar Heels in 2001. This will be Bolowich's 19th NCAA Tournament appearance as a head coach.

Creighton won its first BIG EAST men’s soccer regular season title this year with a 7-1-1 conference record and 14-2-2 mark overall. The Jays blanked 18 of 19 opponents in the first half this season and only once surrendered more than one goal in a match this year. CU posted 10 shutouts this season and allowed only 10 goals through 19 matches in 2014.

CU ranks at No. 3 nationally with a team goals against average of 0.51. The Jays rank No. 11 in shutout percentage at 0.53 and are No. 13 in save percentage at 0.836.

CU sophomore forward Fabian Herbers earned a unanimous selection from the BIG EAST coaches as the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year. Junior Timo Pitter claimed BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year honors while Creighton’s coaching staff shared BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year honors with Xavier.

Herbers, Pitter and senior Jose Ribas were unanimous All-BIG EAST First team selections this season. Additionally, freshman Lucas Stauffer was also a unanimous selection on the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team.

Pitter and Herbers were also named to the BIG EAST All-Tournament Team following the Bluejays’ 1-0 downfall to Providence in a conference semifinal on Friday.

Ticket Information

Men’s soccer season ticket holders can purchase their regular season seat locations for Sunday’s second-round match by stopping by the Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center Ticket Office today from 2 p.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Season ticket holders can also purchase their regular season seat locations for Sunday afternoon’s second-round match by stopping by the Wayne & Eileen Ryan Athletic Center Ticket Office tomorrow through Thursday from 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and on Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Seats not purchased by season ticket holders by 12 p.m. on Friday will be made available to the general public starting at 1 p.m. on Friday. If season ticket holders are not able to purchase their season ticket locations during the allotted dates and times listed above, they are welcome to send someone down on their behalf to the Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center Ticket Office to fill out a short order form and purchase the tickets.

Ticket prices for the second-round NCAA match are $20 (upper level adult reserved), $12 (upper level youth reserved), $10 (lower level adult reserved), $9 (lower level adult general admission), $7 (lower level youth reserved, ages 3-18) and $6 (lower level youth general admission, ages 3-18).

Starting tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. fans that are not season ticket holders can purchase available tickets to the second-round match at all Ticketmaster locations (Baker’s, Younkers), Ticketmaster online at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster and charging by phone at 800-745-3000.

Parking Information

Men’s soccer supporters who received a packet of 2014 parking passes to Morrison Stadium’s Lot S or Lot C should use the one marked “Match 16 - NCAA Round 2” for entry to that area on Sunday.
Should Creighton win its second-round match Sunday afternoon and earn the chance to host a third-round match, that match would be played on Sunday, Nov 30 at 1 p.m. inside Morrison Stadium.