Saturday, November 28, 2015

HEISMAN WATCH/RANKINGS #2

By: Connor Glowacki

We are approaching the end of the college football season and are only weeks away from crowning a new winner for the Heisman trophy. With a weekend full of exciting matchups on the way, here is 'CKG, From The Sidelines' updated Heisman rankings.

1.) Alabama Running Back Derrick Henry
2015 Stats: 249 Carries. 1,526 yards. 21 TDs.
Year: Junior

Image result for derrick henry
Photo courtesy of Sporting News.
     In a year full of talented running backs crowding the top of the Heisman field, Henry has been the sole back to emerge as the frontrunner. He has scored at least one touchdown in every single game this season, run for over 125 yards in seven games and has been the most consistent out of all of the Heisman candidates. It doesn't hurt that Alabama is also currently ranked second in the College Football Playoff.
     Like wide receiver Amari Cooper a year ago, Henry is the number one offensive threat for the Crimson Tide and has still been able to display physical toughness and breakaway speed against defenses.
     If Alabama beats Auburn in the Iron Bowl on Sunday and make the College Football Playoff, Henry should continue the tradition of Alabama running backs winning the coveted trophy.

2.) Oklahoma Quarterback Baker Mayfield
2015 Stats: 226/329. 3,209 yards. 33 TDs and 5 INTs. 120 carries. 343 yards. 6 TDs.
Year: Junior

Image result for baker mayfield
Photo courtesy of Dallasnews.com
     I originally had Mayfield making the Heisman Top 4 in our last Heisman watch in September and the junior quarterback has taken his game to a whole new level to put Oklahoma at number three in the College Football Playoff.
     Mayfield has maintained a 68% completion percentage and has shined in the brightest moments. In games against ranked teams like TCU and Baylor, Mayfield has thrown five touchdowns to just one interception.
     He reportedly suffered a concussion against TCU, which limited his statistical offering, but if he plays and leads the Sooners to a victory over rival Oklahoma State and keeps the Sooners in the College Football playoff, Mayfield might steal the Heisman trophy away from Henry.

3.) Clemson Quarterback Deshaun Watson
2015 Stats: 241/344. 2,944 yards. 26 TDs and 10 INTs. 118 carries. 642 yards. 6 TDs.
Year: Sophomore

Image result for deshaun watson
Photo courtesy of Sporting News
     There is no doubt that Watson deserves to be in the top tier for this year's Heisman trophy. Watson leads the number one team in the College Football Playoff rankings and has done it with an impressive 70.1% completion percentage and an ability to combine his passing skills with his athleticism to run the football.
     But the thing that I think will hold back Watson from winning will be a weaker schedule, compared to other finalists in the field. You can't blame Watson for  the conference that his university plays for, but would his numbers be as great if he played in the same conferences that Henry or Mayfield play in week after week?
     He'll come back for his junior season next year and will probably be THE Heisman frontrunner, but right now Watson should just enjoy the ride he and the Clemson Tigers are on.

4.) LSU Running Back Leonard Fournette
2015 Stats: 239 carries. 1,582 yards.  17 TDs.
Year: Sophomore

Image result for leonard fournette
Photo courtesy of BleacherReport
     I know that Fournette has had three subpar games that have accumulated into LSU's three game losing streak. After rushing for at least 150 yards in his first seven games of the season, his total of 230 yards in the past three games is disappointing. But consider this.
     LSU's passing game has been completely nonexistent and can't take any pressure off of Fournette and the ground attack. When defenses start packing as many as nine defenders in the box, Fournette isn't going to always be able to carry the team on his shoulders at the position that he plays.
     AND he still has more yards than Henry even with the three game losing streak. His Heisman chances might have to be delayed for a season, but if LSU beats Texas A&M on Nov.28 in Les Miles' swan song and Fournette has a huge game, he could be back in the running.

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR:

5.) Stanford Running Back Christian McCaffrey
2015 Stats: 260 carries. 1,546 yards. 7 TDs. 34 receptions. 416 yards. 3 TDs.
Year: Sophomore

6.) Navy Quarterback Keenan Reynolds
2015 Stats: 33/68. 652 yards. 5 TDs and 0 INTs. 201 carries. 1,009 yards. 18 TDs.
Year: Senior

7.) Florida State Running Back Dalvin Cook
2015 Stats: 185 carries. 1,475 yards. 16 TDs. 19 receptions. 207 yards. 1 TD.
Year: Sophomore

Are Henry and Mayfield the favorites to win the 2015 Heisman? Can Fournette make a comeback?

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below or sharing your thoughts on Twitter @ConnorGlowacki.


Friday, November 27, 2015

LES MILES ERA LIKELY OVER AT LSU

By: Connor Glowacki

Image result for les miles
Photo courtesy of wcbi.com
     According to various media reports, LSU's game on Nov.28 against Texas A&M will be the last one with head coach Les Miles in charge of the program. Miles reportedly spoke to the LSU Gridiron Club, a booster organization, on Nov.27 where he indicated the Texas A&M game would be his last with the program.

According to ESPN, sources have indicated to the media organization that boosters have already agreed to a $15 to $20 million buyout with Miles and his staff.
     The source also said that current Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher is currently the top target in LSU's upcoming search and even though a decision hasn't formally been announced, LSU leadership is reportedly heavily in favor of a change.

     It's been a roller-coaster of a season for the LSU Tigers who at one point were the second ranked team in college football with an perfect 7-0 record and a Heisman frontrunner in sophomore running back Leonard Fournette. Since then, the Tigers have lost three straight games, the first time this has happened for the program since 1999 and are currently stuck in fourth place in the SEC West. Due to struggles over the last few seasons, speculation of Miles' job security dramatically increased during the losing streak.

     Since becoming head coach of LSU in 2005, Miles has won a national championship title and two SEC championships. He has also won 77.5 percent of his games, which is the best winning percentage for any coach in the modern era at LSU.


Is LSU making the right choice with a reported change?

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below or send me your thoughts on Twitter @ConnorGlowacki.

Monday, November 16, 2015

SPORTS ROUNDUP (WEEK OF NOV.8)

By: Connor Glowacki

This edition of 'Sports Roundup' focuses on Missouri, Ronda Rousey and the craziness of college football, with a little of my opinion mixed in.

*RONDA ROUSEY

Image result for ronda rousey holly holm knockout
Photo courtesy of eonline.com
     In what many are calling one of the most shocking upsets in the history of MMA, Holly Holm knocked out Ronda Rousey in UFC 193 in the second round with a powerful kick to the head on Nov.8.
     Holm, a veteran boxer from New Mexico moved to a perfect 10-0 record with the victory. Rousey, a former judo olympian had won all 12 of her previous MMA fights and a win over Holm would've given Rousey her seventh straight championship belt.
     Holm landed some vicious early shots to Rousey's head as the fight started and continued to dominate in the second round with an insane kick to the head that dropped Rousey to the floor.
     This is Rousey's first loss of her MMA career, but I think it's important to remember that some of the greatest fighters of all time, specifically Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, both lost at some point and then came back and fought with a vengeance.
     Maybe Rousey got a little too cocky for her own good, but the fact that mainstream public is playing any attention at all to women's MMA is a testament to what Rousey has accomplished. And that might be more of a victory in itself.

*COLLEGE FOOTBALL CRAZINESS

Image result for oklahoma baylor
Photo courtesy of USA Today.
     Four teams in the top 10 lost this past weekend in college football. Sixth ranked Baylor lost to 12th ranked Oklahoma 44-34, thanks to 166 rushing yards and two scores from Sooners running back Samaje Perine, ninth ranked LSU lost for the second week in a row, and seventh ranked Stanford and 10th ranked Utah lost to unranked Pac-12 teams.
     But the big surprise to me was LSU running back Leonard Fournette failing for the second week in a row to accumulate 100 rushing yards.
     Yes, his incredible pace that he began the year was never going to be maintained, but with running backs Derrick Henry and Ezekiel Elliot putting up more consistent performances at this point, Fournette is in no way a lock now for the Heisman.

*UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI

Image result for university of missouri protests
Photo courtesy of MSNBC.
      After months of protests due to racism/racial tension not being adequately handled on campus, the university's president Tim Wolfe resigned, in part, because of the football team's decision to boycott their game against BYU on Nov.14.
     This is a story that transcends sports due to the aspects of race, culture and politics all around. It's just a shame that it took the football team and the chance of the university losing millions of dollars for change to start taking place.
     If the football team hadn't of intervened and the graduate student died from his hunger strike (thankfully, this didn't happen), what would have been the university's response?


What were the other big sports stories of last week?

Let me know by leaving a comment below or on Twitter @ConnorGlowacki.

Friday, November 6, 2015

COLDPLAY TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM, 'A HEAD FULL OF DREAMS', IN DECEMBER

By: Connor Glowacki

Image result for coldplay
Photo courtesy of Pitchfork
     Just one year after the release of the melancholic and partially break-up inspired album 'Ghost Stories', British rock band Coldplay announced today (Nov.6) that they will release their seventh album, 'A Head Full Of Dreams' on Dec.4.

     According to a release, the new album was recorded in Los Angeles, Malibu and London and was produced by Stargate and Rik Simpson. Both producers were involved in Coldplay's two most recent albums, 2011's Mylo Xyloto and 2014's 'Ghost Stories'.     And unlike 'Ghost Stories', 'A Head Full Of Dreams' will feature guest appearances by Swedish pop singer Tove Lo, British rocker Noel Gallagher, and, perhaps a surprise, pop star Beyonce.

     In an interview with Sirius XM radio this week, frontman Chris Martin said, "We just wanted to make this big, colorful, joyful thing called 'A Head Full Of Dreams'. This is an interesting bit of information due to the fact that 'Ghost Stories' was reportedly partially inspired by Martin's 'conscious-uncoupling' with his ex-wife Gwyneth Paltrow.

Image result for coldplay a head full of dreams cover art
The cover art for 'A Head Full Of Dreams'.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
And since the release of 'Ghost Stories', there have been rumors that 'A Head Full Of Dreams' could be Coldplay's final album.

The band also released the first single from the album today called 'Adventure Of A Lifetime' that can be immediately heard and downloaded when the album is pre-ordered on itunes.

Tracklisting for 'A Head Full Of Dreams':

1.) 'A Head Full Of Dreams'
2.) 'Birds'
3.) 'Hymn For The Weekend'
4.) 'Everglow'
5.) 'Adventure Of A Lifetime'
6.) 'Fun'
7.) 'Kaleidoscope'
8.) 'Army Of One'
9.) 'Amazing Day'
10.) 'Colour Spectrum'
11.) 'Up & Up'

How do you feel about a new Coldplay album, and possibly their last one as a band?

Are you excited? Interested? Don't Care?

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below or on Twitter @ConnorGlowacki.