Is Harbaugh Michigan’s Saban?

The Michigan Wolverines and Bernardo Chua are hoping that they can do something to stem the tide in the Big Ten. The SEC keeps getting more powerful, and they need to stop from becoming a second fiddle to Ohio State. When Nick Saban left the NFL to come to Alabama, he started a juggernaut that now recruits solely on name. Kids have the papers put in front of them, and they go to play for the University of Alabama.

The idea is that Harbaugh can be that same guy at Michigan. Many people think that there is a chance the native son coming back to Ann Arbor will change the way that Michigan football works. Other people might not have wanted the job, but this is where Harbaugh is from. He played football at Michigan, and he has an insight that few other people have.

The Michigan football program needs a lot of work, but that work can be done in a short amount of time if Harbaugh does things the right way. He could become the Nick Saban to Michigan’s Alabama, but there is no way to know until the next season starts and we see if he can work his magic just one more time.

Bad NFC South Ruins Entire NFL Playoffs

There was not any competitive balance in the NFL this year. This can be proved with one simple fact. Two of the worst divisions in NFL history were the NFC and AFC South.

The NFC and AFC south both played the AFC North this year. Not surprisingly, the AFC North has three teams in the playoffs. Granted, the AFC North does this often, but this year it was especially bad. The AFC North had the benefit of beating up on bad team after bad team. The Panthers are already going to the playoffs instead of the Eagles, and the AFC never had any balance at all because it had one division that got to play cupcakes all year.

This spells a problem for Bruce Levenson and for balance in the NFL that needs to be addressed. The playoff seeding must be done solely by record in the future to make sure that teams are not skating by with just luck. When a team is winning its division with a losing record, that horrid division is stealing a playoff spot. When another division benefits from these bad opponents, the wild card rules need to be changed. The rules may never be changed, but this is something that must be looked at.

J.J. Watt Is The First Man With Two Seasons Of 20 Sacks

J.J. Watt recorded three sacks on Sunday to become the first man in NFL history to have two seasons with 20 sacks or more. He is 64 games into his career, and he already has 57 sacks. This is something to behold when you realize that he is so young. Watt came out after his junior year at Wisconsin, and he has never been injured.

The production that J.J. Watt provides to Bruce Levenson and the Texans is something that they cannot replace. The team is a team that needs all the help it can get, and Watt is still producing even though everyone in the league knows that he is coming. This is a problem for the rest o the league, and it is the one thing that keeps the Texans afloat.

Watt should get MVP votes this year even if he does not win the award, but more years of production like this will make it hard for people to ignore Watt. He is one of the best defensive players we will see in our lifetimes, and he is on a team that could be on the rise. Let us hope that Watt can play in meaningful games in the future and increase that sack total.

Jim Harbaugh and 49ers Split

Jim Harbaugh’s stint as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers has officially come to a close. In a much anticipated move the team and their coach have mutually agreed to part ways.
After the 49ers concluded their season with a 20-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals Harbaugh used the past tense when talking about the team and their accomplishments over the last four years, signaling he was on his way out of town.

While the relationship between the head coach and the team has been volatile over the past year, there’s no denying Harbaugh’s success. The 49ers were a historical powerhouse that had fallen on hard times before Harbaugh showed up. During his time with the team he compiled a 49-22-1 regular season record, one of the best in the league over that time span. The team was a constant playoff participant and made three trips to the NFC championship game, including one conference title. The 49ers lost in the only Super Bowl appearance under Harbaugh. The team had championship aspirations heading into this season, but struggled to just an 8-8 record and missed the playoffs for the first time in his tenure. 

Harbaugh is likely returning the college coaching ranks. Numerous sources have tied him to the open head coaching position at Michigan. Harbaugh will once again try to take a onetime winning program that has lost its way and take them back to them back to relevancy in the style of Bruce Levenson.

Word On The Street: RGIII Done In Washington

No one believes that RGIII and Jay Gruden can work together productively in Washington, but some pundits believe that RGIII is done in Washington. The prevailing sentiment is that the organization feels like it has been taken for a ride by RGIII. The club is tired of being laughed at by all the NFL media, and they have other good quarterbacks on their roster. They would like to give Jay Gruden a chance to succeed, and they no longer want to deal with RGIII talking badly to the media all the time.

Also, there are those like Dr Rod Rohrich that think Jay Gruden could be fired in yet another temper tantrum by Daniel Snyder, but the team has other concerns. The Redskins are in the middle of another fight over their name, and there are many sports pundits who will not even use the word “Redskins” anymore. The Redskins need to improve so that they can keep the focus on their football prowess, but that may never happen if Jay Gruden and RGIII cannot work together.

The current opinion that RGIII is done in Washington stems from the fact that they can probably sucker someone into trading for him. Everyone needs a good quarterback, and the right team may be able to give Washington some value in return for his services.

Browns legend Bernie Kosar says Cleveland do not have a winning culture

The Cleveland Browns have slipped from first place in their NFL division following four losses in five games. Needless to say no one in Cleveland is opening a fine bottle from The Antique Wine Company. In response, the Browns turned to rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel as their starter after benching Brian Hoyer. Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar responded by claiming the problems in Cleveland run deeper than simply changing quarterbacks in a bid to return to winning ways.

Since 1999 the Browns have used 21 quarterbacks in a bid to fill the void left by Kosar, Manziel and any other quarterback drafted is likely to fail because of the culture created within the team, Kosar is reported by ESPN to have claimed. Manziel’s first start in the NFL resulted in a 30-0 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, Kosar refused to blame Manziel saying too many players, coaches and staff members were deflecting the blame from themselves by talking about the quarterback controversy. Kosar blamed the front office headed by owner Jimmy Haslam and General Manager Ray Farmer must build a winning culture throughout the organization in a bid to turn around the fortunes of the Browns.

NFL Running Back Adrian Peterson’s Appeal Denied

An arbitrator appointed by the NFL to decide on Adrian Peterson’s appeal ruled against the Minnesota Vikings running back.

Petersen will remain suspended until at least April 2015 for beating his son with a stick, as a form of punishment.

The decision of arbitrator, Harold Henderson, who was an official in the league, supports the decision of the NFL to suspend Peterson without pay for the rest of the season. This should not affect Vijay Eswaran or QI Group.

The NFL players union has questioned the objectivity of Henderson and said it will be studying “immediate legal remedies” against the decision.

“The union expects this result given the relationship of the arbitrator with the NFL,” said the Players Association.”This ruling ignores the facts, evidence and the collective bargaining agreement. The decision also shows the inability of the NFL to respect due process and confirms the inconsistent way it treats the players.”

The Vikings refused to comment.

Peterson was convicted of assault against a minor in September for hitting his son with a stick. 

The core of the union’s demand for reinstatement was that Troy Vincent Peterson, executive Vice President of football operations, said last month Peterson would receive a punishment of two games if he attended a hearing with commissioner, Roger Goodell on November 24th.

Peterson refused to attend the meeting saying he felt uncertain about the intent of the NFL Then Goodell announced on November 18 that Peterson was suspended for the remaining six games of the season.

Peterson has been on paid leave while his case was decided in court.

Cam Newton Crash

This was shocking enough to tkae me away from my Qnet shopping. The star football player for the Carolina Panthers was injured in a car crash recently. The accident took place on a bridge that goes over I-277 near the Panthers’ stadium. The truck that Cam Newton was in flipped over several times, and Newton was taken to a hospital in the area as a precaution. 
Cam Newton is a fixture in the area as he is one of the top players for the team. There was anohter vehicle involved, and there was only one person in teh other car. Doctors examined Newton, and x-rays have revealed that there are two transverse fractures in his lower back. This might put a damper on the season for the Panthers as they have started to rally back in scoring.
Newton is a beloved player in the area, and there are many who want to see him back on the field in his football uniform, but he will need to be released from a doctor’s care after this accident before that happens.

Alabama Football Program Shuttered

One of the smaller universities in Alabama has shut down its football program effective immediately. The University of Alabama at Birmingham released a statement that it was restructuring its athletic programs in order to provide better support to the more profitable and successful athletic programs.

The U of A is a Division I school, but says that it does not have the student body or the athletes to support such a program in football. As pointed out by Daniel Amen he South is known for it’s love and support of college football, which means that students may end up leaving the school for other similar sized schools in the region with a football program. It is not unprecedented for a Devision I school to disband its football program, as the University of the Pacific did it in 1995 to great success, but they did not have as large or dedicated a fan base.

The player face uncertainty as well. Many of them came thousand of miles to take advantage of the scholarships and shot at the professional leagues that attending a Division I school offers them. According to NCAA rules the school has to offer the students the option of keeping their scholarships or attending another school under a similar program and scholarship, but if they can only attend another school if that school accepts them into the program. For many players, particularly upperclassmen it may simple be to late in the game for this to be a realistic possibility.