- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports2 days ago
EL PASO, Texas – To say Lubbock is in the middle of nowhere sounds derisive. It shouldn't though.
There is something to be said for the middle of nowhere, or at least the middle of West Texas, what with the oil derricks and cattle farms and rugged landscapes and vast open land and big-time sunsets and "the people," Kliff Kingsbury said. "The people are so friendly, I got that the first time I visited. It's why I went here."
It's a pretty nice place to live if you're not concerned about how quickly you can drive to some big city.
At the center of it all is Texas Tech in general and Texas Tech athletics in particular and Texas Tech football most specifically.
And in the center of that is Kingsbury, who has loved Lubbock and Tech since he first laid eyes on it coming out of New Braunfels, a small – especially when he was growing up – town outside of San Antonio. He played quarterback for the Red Raiders from 1998-2002.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports3 days ago
On Wednesday, the NFL hired former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III to look into the league's investigation of Ray Rice.
It may be the first smart decision the NFL has made since the Rice scandal became a Roger Goodell scandal.
What the NFL needs most is for the wildness and unpredictability of this incident to slow down. Goodell, no matter how much he did or didn't botch the Rice case, never saw this coming, never believed it would be a threat to his empire or job security. The clumsy way the usually professional league office has reacted is proof of that.
Modern society loves demanding the instantaneous firing of anyone and everyone. It wants its pound of flesh – now. It is a trend whipped up by social media, especially the nuance-void, echo chamber of Twitter. That enflames the mainstream media even more, and thus everything circles on into a vortex of outrage.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports4 days ago
Roger Goodell's competence is shot. His credibility isn't too far behind.
Whether his employment as NFL commissioner follows likely hinges on if the Ray Rice scandal continues to flare up and damages the league in a tangible, long-term way (i.e. revenue).
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that law enforcement had, indeed, sent the NFL surveillance video of former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice punching his then girlfriend in a casino elevator. The wire service reported hearing a voicemail from an NFL employee confirming the receipt and apparent viewing of the video.
"You're right," a female from the NFL said on an April 9 voicemail. "It's terrible."
The report counters Goodell's repeated claims that the NFL was stonewalled by law enforcement when it sought the tape. Thus, he claimed, neither he nor anyone at the league offices saw the depraved footage when Goodell handed down a meager and much criticized two-game suspension early this summer.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports5 days ago
Roger Goodell always looked the part: tall and handsome, with the perfect blond locks and the expensive tailored suits. This guy, no doubt, casts a presence. He was trained for power, the son of a U.S. senator, raised in Westchester County affluence, joining the NFL offices right out of college with upward mobility as the end game.
He rose through the ranks, assuming the commissioner's job in September 2006 at just 47 years old, and with the title came everything: money, influence, fame, private jets, luxury boxes, an Augusta National membership, open doors everywhere he went.
This was the dream job for Goodell and he was the dream candidate for the NFL, a guy who looked so likeable on television yet would win brass knuckle, long-term labor battles and weekly discipline disputes with the players, all without getting a hair out of place.
Only now it's all come undone; now it's all falling apart for Roger Goodell.
Ray Rice, the former Baltimore Ravens running back, beat his then-fiancée last offseason in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino, and Goodell's vaunted security team and his own much-hyped hammer of discipline did little to nothing about it.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports5 days ago
Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated joins this week’s Dan Wetzel College Football Podcast. Andy is a return guest and writes the weekly column “Punt, Pass and Pork,” which deals with college football and barbeque.
This week’s topics include, but are not limited to:
• The implosion of the Big Ten and how the league can get itself out of this malaise.
• Whether Michigan State can climb back into playoff contention and why, if they are a suitable choice, it’s important for the future of college football that they aren’t significantly punished for losing at Oregon.
• Is Brady Hoke doomed at Michigan?
• How good is BYU and can it really contend for a playoff spot with its schedule?
• Why there are so few good games this weekend when every college administrator and television executive is so quick to talk about their individual and collective marketing genius.
• Georgia at South Carolina is the best game of the weekend on paper. Are the Bulldogs so good they can roll through a place that’s become a house of horrors for them?
• Did USC AD Pat Haden really do anything that wrong?
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports6 days ago
DETROIT – Eli Manning threw a whopping 27 interceptions last season, but this was supposed to be a new year. The New York Giants' first-team offense failed to score a touchdown in the preseason, but this was supposed to be the real stuff.
Only there was Manning in the third quarter here against the Detroit Lions, already trailing 20-7, already with one pick under his belt. Near his own goal line he was scrambling from the rush when he spied Victor Cruz way downfield. Slightly off-balance, he chucked a pass across his body that predictably floated in the air.
Free safety Glover Quin made an easy break on the ball and leapt in front of Cruz for another interception. A few plays later Detroit scored again, en route to the 35-14 blowout that no matter all the talk of a new year, a new offensive system, a new/old Eli, sure felt a lot like 2013.
"Just a bad decision by me," Manning would say later.
What about the first interception – a terribly off-target shot at tight end Larry Donnell, who may have had no idea it was even coming – that linebacker DeAndre Levy scooped?Sun, Sep 14Arizona25 - 14NY GiantsGame Recap
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports6 days ago
Ray Rice, in this pathetic story that began with the Baltimore Ravens running back punching his then-fiancée/now wife in the jaw, watching her slam her head against a metal elevator rail, hardly caring and eventually dragging her completely knocked-out body outside, isn’t even the one with the most explaining to do.
Rice was arrested and charged for the assault, which was captured on a video acquired by TMZ, but the charge is slated to be dismissed after the completion of a diversion program.
Rice should’ve been suspended by the NFL for more than a meager two games for the incident that took place in an elevator at an Atlantic City casino. He wasn’t.
ARLINGTON, Texas – The swaths of red, San Francisco 49ers red, spread and leached through the stands at AT&T Stadium. It was all over the end zones. It dominated the third deck and standing room areas. It even scattered through the most expensive club seat sections.
Red here. Red there. Red everywhere.
It didn't just speak to the traveling might and national appeal of the Niners. It wasn't just about the power of a Super Bowl contender that would cruise to a 28-17 victory that was far more lopsided than the score suggests.
It also said plenty about the willingness of Dallas Cowboys fans to unload their tickets, or never bother to buy them, for the opener of a season that seems to carry so little promise.
Fifty-percent red? Sixty-percent red? Whatever it was, the number was big, shockingly big for the first game of the season when seemingly every team has hope and the excitement of a live game and a full tailgate is in full swing.
Jerry Jones said he didn't notice.
"Did you count," he asked of the number of Niners fans in attendance?Sun, Sep 14Dallas26 - 10TennesseeGame Recap
AUSTIN, Texas – The beat-down done and over, Bronco Mendenhall stood out in the middle of Darrell K. Royal Stadium here, its 100,000 seats now cleared out ... except for the raucous BYU fans.
The Cougars coach wore a small grin that spoke to profound pride. He took time to slowly circle around, staring at each corner of the cavernous place, at the entire scene. His program's fans had flooded the front rows as his players ran a victory lap, slapping their hands and basking in a moment – BYU 41, Texas 7 – that college football's power brokers would tell you couldn't or shouldn't occur.
"I just was so happy for our team," Mendenhall said later. "It was a great night for BYU. A great night. So much about leadership, there is a lonely element to it. So it is fun to look up and see so many people enjoying themselves."
AUSTIN, Texas – Overwhelmingly, the two most popular football teams in Texas are the Dallas Cowboys and the Texas Longhorns.
There are a lot of football fans here, so it's not like Texas A&M or the Houston Texans or Baylor or UTEP or even those high schools with 20,000-seat stadiums, like in Mesquite and Odessa, are without support.
Still, it's the 'Horns and 'Boys that are the traditional obsessions around here. If you are into one, there’s a good chance you also like the other. Not universally, but there’s plenty of crossover.
They love big in Texas and these are the teams with the big histories, big stages and big expectations.
And right now, bad realities.
On the eve of a Dallas season that offers little promise, Texas was humiliated by BYU, 41-7. It was a dispiriting whipping that offers a thud to whatever momentum new coach Charlie Strong had created.