Did Chick-fil-A Just Commit a Severe Recruiting Violation?

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(TigerNet.com)

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner.

Clemson fans voted early and often as kicker signee BT Potter was voted High School Blitz’s Anderson Player of the Year and will receive a $1,000 scholarship and free Chick-fil-A for a year.

“Thank you to everyone who voted for me, Potter posted on Twitter last night.

Clemson Bio: Considered the #1 overall kicker in the nation according to Chris Sailer …listed as the No. 2 kicker in the nation by Rivals.com…selected to the 2018 U.S. Army All-American game…four-year starter as placekicker at South Pointe high School… made field goals with 12 in 17 attempts as a senior…made 77-81 extra points for the high school state championship team of Rock Hill, SC…his most incredible stat was 117 touchbacks in 126 kickoffs…also handled the punting and averaged 37.1 yards per punt…in 2016 he made 11-15 field goals, including career long of 49 yards…made 49-54 extra points for 82 total points…averaged 39 yards a punt on 45 punts…had 77 kickoffs…as a sophomore in 2015 made 4-7 field goals, including a 43-yarder… made 40-45 extra points and scored 51 points for the year….as a freshman made 4-6 field goals and 45-51 extra points…for career, scored 304 points on 31-45 field goals and 211 extra points…helped the South Pointe team to a 15-0 record in 2017 and the state title…South Pointe won the South Carolina state title all four years…teammate with fellow Clemson commit Derion Kendrick at South Pointe… kicked a 67-yard field goal in a showcase event…played his high school football for Strait Herron…committed to the Tigers on 06/07/2017….recruited by Jeff Scott and Danny Pearman.

The $1000 can slide. But a years worth of Chick-Fil-A? Is that 52 coupon cards? Is that a meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a year? How do Sunday’s work out? So many questions so few answers.

Props to BT Potter for scoring 304 points in 4 years as an all around kicker for his high school, but he may be in some serious trouble here. Just before the 2017 season, news broke that Sophomore kicker at UCF would be committing NCAA violations by monetizing his YouTube channel. But here, we have Chick-Fil-A paying a college bound athlete in the broad daylight and nothing is done. Chick-Fil-A is clearly in making sure Clemson gets their top recruits. The #1 nationally ranked kicker may be the first of many that the the Anderson Chick-fil-A recruiting pipeline has brought to Clemson, who knows how many there could have been. If a small blog site like The Last Snap can catch this, imagine what the NCAA nerds can do with their investigations unit.

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ESPN Releases Post-Signing Day Way-To-Early Top 25

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(ESPN)

  1. Clemson
  2. Alabama
  3. Georgia
  4. Ohio State
  5. Oklahoma
  6. Washington
  7. Wisconsin
  8. Miami
  9. Michigan State
  10. Penn State
  11. Michigan
  12. Stanford
  13. West Virginia
  14. Auburn
  15. Virginia Tech
  16. TCU
  17. Southern California
  18. Florida State
  19. Boise State
  20. Mississippi State
  21. Notre Dame
  22. UCF
  23. LSU
  24. Texas
  25. South Carolina

We got, 4 ACC Teams, 7 SEC Teams, 5 Big 10 Teams, 3 Big 12 Teams, 3 Pac 12 Teams, 1 AAC Team, 1 WAC team and 1 Independent team. Pretty much what you expected out of a ranking. But why? Texas is ranked as usual and will move up in every preseason ranking and then in the first couple weeks will prove that they are mediocre, like every other year, and drop out of the rankings after Week 3. TCU lost QB Kenny Hill and 4 of their 5 starting linemen, USC lost QB Sam Darnold and their top RB and WR, Florida State has a new coach and we have no idea how Deondre Francios will play after his injury and in Willie Taggart’s system (not to mention the top 5 ranking last year, hah!), and Michigan had one of its worst classes in the Harbaugh era. And then why is UCF ranked? Yes they went undefeated last year, and yes they do have start QB Mckenzie Milton returning, but after keeping the Knights out of the playoffs, this ranking is worthless with the loss of Scott Frost.

I honestly don’t understand the reasoning behind a preseason ranking 202 days before the start of the season. Only helps the blue bloods listed in the top 10 and somebody that doesn’t watch CFB could have told you that.

And Classic ESPN to not include Oklahoma in the top 4 after the Sooners making it to the playoffs. We all know who the editors at ESPN wanted in.

Tweet at me or discuss in the comment section.

Illinois on National Signing Day

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National Signing day has come and gone and the Fighting Illini have the 50th best recruiting class of 2018. The Illini have struggled in recruiting in the last couple years and this is a direct outcome of a 2-10 2017 season. But none the less, the Illini have secured 2 stellar 4-star recruits, something Illinois hasn’t done since signing 4-star OT Gabe Megginson in 2015, who ended up transferring out of Illinois after being bench last year. After the end of last season, the Illini saw 8 seniors leave the team, which was expected after Lovie Smith used a record number of freshmen last year.

The Fighting Illini needed to fill key positions on defense and at the quarterback position.

4-Star Center Verdis Brown

The Chicago native spent his high school days playing center at IMG Academy in Florida. But, Smith intends to play Brown at defensive tackle in college, a position he played while at Mount Carmel. Brown is easily the best get this year and flipped his commitment from Florida State to the Illini during the early signing period in December. Brown adds depth and will play into Lovie’s defense, giving the Illini a run stopping ability, something they lacked last year, especially against run heavy teams in the Big 10.

4-Star DT Calvin Avery

 

Avery also signed with the Illini during the December Early signing period. Avery is Lovie’s highest ranked player according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings and held offers from every single football power house in America. Avery has the ability to stuff runs and sniff out plays early, often stopping plays in the back field. Paired with Verdis Brown, the Illini have a very powerful, and more importantly mold able group of young defensive backs that can make an instant impact.

The rest of the class is comprised of 3-star players. Out of all position players, the most important are the 3 QB’s that were recruited to the Illini this year.

3-Star QB MJ Rivers

Hudl Highlight Reel

Rivers is easily the best QB recruited to Illinois this year. The Dual-Threat QB from Frisco Texas threw for 4,7,27 yards in his final 2 years of school and added an astonishing 53 TDs. He also ran for 2,245 yards and 40 more scores in the same time frame, including 10 100+ yard games. Although he doesn’t have the same speed as Thomas, he is the most consistent passer that the Illini will bring into Champaign this year.

3-Star QB Matthew Robinson

Hudl Highlight Reel

Illinois was Robinson’s only Power-5 offer and was sniped from his commitment to Montana. The 6-1 QB is undersized, but has played well at Serra High school in California. In his two years as starter, Robinson threw for 4,470 yards and 42 TDs and ran for 572 yards and 8 more scores. Although he may not be a starter just yet, he adds another body to Illinois depleted QB depth chart, with Chayce Crouch quitting football and Jeff George Jr. transferring.

3-Star QB Coran Taylor

Hudl Highlight Reel

The Peoria native finally signed with the Illini on Wednesday and added another dual threat QB to the roster. In Taylor’s senior year, he threw for 1,546 yards and 18 TD and added 1,048 yards on the ground and 14 more scores. Taylor joins Robinson, Rivers and Illinois lone scholarship QB Cam Thomas

Bottom Line

It is pretty clear that the team has transitioned completely from the Beckman Era. Last year, the Illini had only 25 upperclassmen, 9 seniors that graduated and 16 juniors, of whom 8 transferred after last season. Last year, the Illini had 87 total true freshman starts and 16 true freshman starters, which were both the most in the NCAA last year. The lack of seniority had a huge effect on last years 2-10, 0-9 B1G campaign. But, this meant that this team got a lot of experience. The Illini came 2nd in the league in forced fumbles last year and only got better on defense.

What fans need to know, is that the Illini have been going through a complete rebuild after a disastrous 4 years under Beckman/Cubit. With every player from that era almost out of the roster, this is now completely Lovie’s team. This is a critical year for the Illini, and as much as I can tell, this was a very successful recruiting season. There is still a lot of work to be done during spring workouts and summer training. But realize that this team is definitely on an upwards trajectory.

Guide To Betting the College Football National Championship

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#3 Georgia Bulldogs and #4 Alabama Crimson Tide play in the 2018 National Championship game in Atlanta at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium at 7 PM Monday on ESPN.

#3 Georgia Bulldogs

Read the team preview here.

Georgia beat the Oklahoma Sooners in an exciting Rose Bowl where the Bulldog defense made key stops and won in a double overtime game in the Rose Bowl 54-48. The Bulldogs were led by a 326 yard- 5 TD night by Nick Chubb and Sony Michel overcoming a shootout led by Baker Mayfeild through the air and Sony Michel on the ground, each had over 200 yards and 2 TDs.

#4 Alabama Crimson Tide

Read the team preview here.

Alabama easily beat the Clemson Tigers in the Sugar Bowl, 24-6. The Alabama defense was back to full strength and allowed only 188 yards to a Clemson Offense that was averaging just under 450 yards a game. The month long resting period re-energized the Alabama defense, to have its best showing against an FBS team since beating Ole Miss 66-3 in early October.

Prediction

Lets see how the two teams stack up.

Alabama Rank Georgia Rank
Off. Scoring, points 37.9 12 36.3 17
Passing, yards 193.9 91 172.9 110
Rushing, yards 255.8 10 267.4 8
Turnovers 9 2 14 19
3rd Down % 42.1 45 46 9
Def. Scoring, points 11.1 1 15.7 5
Passing, yards 160.6 3 167.6 8
Rushing, yards 91.8 1 121.9 20
Tackles For Loss 89 31 87 36
Sacks 36 21 31 37
Turnovers Forced 22 40 19 59
3rd Down % 33.9 26 33.7 25

It is pretty clear who the better team is here. Alabama has dominated every team they have played in the nation. They have 2 shutouts and held teams to under 10 points 9 of their 13 games. Georgia on the the other hand isn’t far behind with 1 shut out and held teams to under 10 points in 7 of their 14 games.

Before the two seasons started, Georgia did however have the 2nd hardest schedule in the nation compared with Alabama’s 12th hardest schedule. This was due to the top 5 match up between #3 FSU and Alabama to start the season. After Week 1, Alabama had dropped to the 30th hardest schedule, while Georgia stayed with a top 10 hardest schedule for most of the season.

Yes, Alabama did impress in the Sugar Bowl and the Tide’s defense was rolling at full power against Clemson last week. But Georgia’s record is impressive. Georgia will need the functioning at full speed and will need another big game from Chubb and Michel against the nation’s best run defense. Georgia needs to have a great game blocking for the run. Nick Chubb cannot be held to only 4 runs of 5 or more yards for the stud RB to have a game defining moment against the Tide. However, Fromm is able to make changes at the line and understand situations. Great example is Sony Michel’s 38 yard TD run in the Rose Bowl.

Georgia would also need to contain dual-threat QB Jalen Hurts, who has completed 60% of his passes for 9.3 yards per attempt and 14 TDs and 1 Int. Hurt’s 276 passes have also been dropped by his receivers only 13 times on the year, which is an astonishing number since 54 percent of his passes have been made to receivers 10 or more yards down the field. Georgia does have the propensity to give up big plays on defense, and this will need to be cleaned up. Georgia need to bring pressure and force short plays from Hurts to have a chance.

Betting

The betting line opened last week with Alabama as a -4.5 point favorite and it has fallen by 1 point since and the total has stayed steady at 45.5 points. Around 65% of the public is on Alabama ATS and 59% have Alabama winning outright. The O/U is split 50/50. With Georgia basically playing at home, expect this to be a very close game. Best bets to make are as follows:

  • 1H Under 22.5 (-110)
  • Georgia +3.5 (+100) (if you can find anything above this, 100 percent take it)
  • Bama/Georgia 1st score anything but a TD (+135)

I will be live betting, so follow the twitter @thelastsnap_

NOTE: All stats were taken from CFBStats.com and CFBFilmRoom.com. All lines were taken from mybookie.ag at 10:30 PM on January 7th, 2018.

Coaching Carousel Round Up 2018 – Part 2

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It’s finally the post season for college football, and boy is this coaching carousel heading up. Tennessee’s football program is officially in flames, close to a month after firing Butch Jones. There has been a lot of moving around of coaches after championship weekend. Here is part 2 of the yearly coaching carousel.

Team Former Coach New Coach
 Arizona State Todd Graham Herm Edwards
 Arkansas Bret Bielema Chad Morris
 Florida Jim McElwain Dan Mullen
 Florida State Jimbo Fisher Willie Taggart
 Georgia Southern Tyson Summers Interim HC Chad Lunsford
 Kent State Paul Haynes OPEN
 Louisiana Mark Hudspeth OPEN
 Mississippi State Dan Mullen OC Joe Moorhead
 Nebraska Mike Riley Scott Frost
 Ole Miss Hugh Freeze Interim HC/OC Matt Luke
 Oregon Willie Taggart OPEN
 Oregon State Gary Andersen OC/QB Jonathan Smith
 Rice David Bailiff OPEN
 Tennessee Butch Jones OPEN
 Texas A&M Kevin Sumlin Jimbo Fisher
 UCF Scott Frost Josh Heupel
 UCLA Jim Mora Jr. Chip Kelly
 UTEP Sean Kugler OPEN

Arizona State

Previous Coach: Todd Graham

New Coach: Herm Edwards (ESPN Analyst)

Notes: ASU’s current AD was Edward’s agent back in the day, and Edwards hasn’t been on the sideline since 2008. The last team he coached was a 2-14 Kansas City Cheifs, with a total record of 54-74 in the NFL from 2001 to 2008. I have no clue what direction the Sun Devils are going, but this tweet sums it all up.

His first press conference was also quite bizarre. This will either go incredibly well or not well at all. Take a look:

Arkansas

Previous Coach: Bret Beilama

New Coach: Chad Morris (HC, SMU)

Notes: In the midst of hunting for a new football coach, Arkansas has hired Hunter Yurachek to be their new AD. Hunter will step down from the same position at the University of Houston. Familiar with the AAC, on his first day, Yuracheck, hired Chad Morris from SMU. Morris served as offensive coordinator for Clemson from 2011 to 2014. In three years at SMU, Morris took the team from 2-10 to 7-5 while increasing offensive ranking from 71st to 8th in the country. Arkansas should see a shake up of their athletic program and a new look to their football team at the start of the 2018 season.

Florida State

Previous Coach: Jimbo Fisher

New Coach: Willie Taggart

Notes: Taggart was only at Oregon for a year before leaving for Florida State. Taggart previously was the head coach at Western Kentucky and South Florida and has a record of 47-50. Taggart previously coached under Jim Harbaugh at Stanford. He has developed offensive talents such as Toby Gerhart and current USF QB Quentin Flowers, one of the most explosive players in the country, and USF RB Marlon Mack. Taggart is a Florida man and is returning home to family. FSU was ranked number 3 in the country to start the 2017 the season. The turn around for the Seminoles will be quick.

Kent State

Previous Coach: Paul Haynes

Head Candidates: 

Notes: Haynes went 14-45 in 5 seasons at the school, including a despicable 2-10 in 2017.

Louisiana

Previous Coaches: Mark Hudspeth

Head Candidates:

Notes: After going 9-4 each year for his first 4 seasons, Hudspeth was unable to control the team off-field and went 15-22 in the next three years. With attendance declining, the Ragin Cajun’s decided to fire Hudspeth.

Mississippi State

Previous Coach: Dan Mullen, hired at Florida

Head Candidates: Joe Moorhead (OC, Penn State)

Notes: Dan Mullen did leave Starkville quickly to coach at Florida, but, the Bulldogs were just as quick in hiring Penn State’s OC, Joe Moorhead. Moorhead has developed a deadly offense at Penn State and was key in the development of Trace McSorely and Saquon Barkley. Moorhead should be able to build of Mullen’s success and continue the strong recruiting needed in the SEC. Moorhead has ties to the northeast, which should be a great recruiting pipeline for the Bulldogs. Great hire at Mississippi State, especially with 20 returning starters next year.

Nebraska

Previous Coach: Mike Riley

New Coach: Scott Frost, HC UCF

Notes: Frost is coming home to Nebraska. In what may seem like a fairy tale, the Cornhuskers have landed their coach, one that may finally bring success back to the Big Red. In 2 years, Frost took 0-12 UCF to 12-0 and a spot in a NY6 bowl against Auburn and a AAC Championship. UCF was the highest scoring offense this year and was steam rolling over teams, with over 3 40-point victories on the season. After 3 terrible seasons in the B1G, Frost needs to bring back excitement to the program. A rebuild is taking place in Lincoln and will be very exciting to watch.

Oregon

Previous: Willie Taggart

Head Candidates: Kevin Sumlin, Mike Leach, Lane Kiffin

Notes: With Taggart leaving the program after 1 year today, the Ducks need to find a long term coach.

Oregon State

Previous Coach: Gary Anderson

New Coach: Jonathan Smith, OC Washington

Notes: Oregon State is not an easy place to coach, and definitely not an easy place to recruit. New coach, Jonathan Smith, will need all the help in bringing the Beavers out of a rut. Luckily, Smith has experience in recruiting from the area and has played in Corvallis as a 4-year starting QB for the Beavers. He helped build a strong offence at Washington, which he hopes to translate over to OSU. Something needs to change, before the the Beavers can be competitive in the PAC 12.

Rice

Previous Coach: David Baliff

New Coach: Mike Bloomgren

Notes: Bloomgren spent the last 7 season with Stanford as the offensive line coach. Bloomgren has shaped the offensive line that has led to Heisman level seasons for Andrew Luck, Christian McCaffrey and Bryce Love. The toughness of offensive lines at Stanford has allowed for consistent play from season to season.

Tennessee

Previous Coach: Butch Jones

Head Candidate: Greg Schiano, John Gruden, Mike Gundy, Lane Kiffin, David Cutcliffe, Jeff Brohm, Dave Doeren, Kevin Sumlin, 

Notes: As the list of coaches not wanting the head coach job at Tennessee continues to grow, the list of commits shrinks. In less than a month, Tennessee has 14 decommits including 5 start OT Cade Mays and 5 4-star players. Not a good sign in Rocky Top.

Texas A&M

Previous Coach: Kevin Sumlin

New Coach: Jimbo Fisher, HC FSU

Notes: Jimbo Fisher just got paid. Texas A&M gave Fisher a $72 million – 10 year deal that is all guaranteed. Insane deal for one of the best coaches in the country. We know that Fisher knows how to recruit, knows how to manage games and can take a team to the national championship. But if you were guaranteed to make $72 million in the next 10 years, would you be motivated to do your job?

UCF

Previous Coach: Scott Frost

Head Candidates: Josh Heupel, OC Mizzou

Notes: Scott Frost had a high powered offense at UCF. what better guy to use the current team than the OC at Mizzou, who develop QB Drew Lock lead the SEC in passing and TDs after a disappointing 2016 season.

UTEP

Previous Coach: Sean Kugler

Coach Candidates: Mike Price, Interm HC UTEP

Notes: UTEP lies in the small town of El Paso, on the border of Texas, Mexico and New Mexico. It is incredibly hard to bring players, even coaches to the school. UTEP needs to hire somebody that knows the area and can recruit from Arizona, New Mexico and the mainland of Texas, otherwise, they may stay at the bottom of C-USA.

Big 10 ACC Challenge Preview and Betting Lines: Day 2

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Huge Day for basketball and outside of the holiday tournaments, the ACC/Big 10 Challenge is one of the most fierce rivalries in basketball. With Wisconsin and Maryland losing yesterday, the Big 10 is down 0-2. Luckily there is a huge day for basketball today with a full slate of games starting at 6 PM CT.

Florida State (5-0) at Rutgers (6-0)

Neither team has had a standout win this year. Florida has a high powered offense scoring 91 points per game. Rutgers has a stout defense allowing only 47 points per game. Florida State plays at a much higher pace, averaging about 10 more possessions a game. However, Rutgers ranks 5th in the nation for turn over percentage averaging 11 turnover per hundred possessions, so at their pace, less than 10 a game. Both teams are going to try and control the pace of the game. But Rutgers will be unable to keep up with Florida State. Florida State wins 79-70.

Tip-off: 6 PM CT

Line: Florida State -4.5 over Rutgers

Northwestern (4-2) at Georgia Tech (3-1)

Northwestern has not done well against good competition. Northwestern was blown out by Texas Tech and lost to Creighton 92-88. Georgia Tech isn’t much better off, losing to UCLA to start the season. Georgia Tech is without start Josh Okogie who has been suspended since the beginning of the season. Georgia Tech wins a nail biter, 74-73.

Tip-off: 6 PM CT

Line: Over 128.5

#17 Louisville (4-0) at Purdue (5-2)

Purdue is coming off a terrible showing in the Battle for Atlantis, beating then (now unranked) Arizona for 7th place. Despite losing Rick Pitino, to violations, Louisville has started off strong. Purdue should be able to bounce back at home against their rival across the border. Purdue should play like a ranked team and stay competitive, Purdue wins 82-75.

Tip-off: 7 PM CT

Line: Louisville +8.5 over Purdue

Illinois (6-0) at Wake Forest (2-4)

Illinois has yet to be tested, but are 6-0 to start the Brad Underwood era of Illinois basketball. Wake Forest has struggled early dropping the first 3 games of the season to non-P5 schools, losing by double digits to Liberty. Illinois ranks 29th in the nation in offensive pace, at 77.3 possessions per 40 minutes, while the Demon Deacons rank 315th at 66.9 possessions per 40 minutes. If Illinois can force turnovers and push the pace, the Illini should be able to secure a win for the Big 10. Illini win 89-83.

Tip-off: 8 PM CT

Line: Illinois ML +120

Iowa (4-2) at Virginia Tech (5-1)

Iowa didn’t do well during the holiday tournament in the Cayman Islands, losing to UL-Lafayette and South Dakota State. Virginia Tech has outscored teams by 30, and lost to St. Louis in the 2K Classic in the Big Apple at MSG. Iowa has to come out strong to beat the past of Virginia Tech, who rank 9th in the country at 80 possessions per 40 minutes. Virginia also leads the nation in scoring (102 ppg) and effective FG percentage (67.7%). Tough game for Iowa, the Hawkeyes lose 90-75.

Tip-off: 8 PM CT

Line: Virginia Tech -8 over Iowa or the Over if you can get it under 165 points.

Illinois Basketball Game Day: Purdue Boilermakers

Time: 6 PM

Location: State Farm Center, Champaign, IL

Watch: FS1, FoxSportsGo

Listen: AM670 theScore

Illinois is coming of a 20 point defeat to #2 Michigan State on Tuesday night. The Illini are sitting at 13-16, and 12th in the Big Ten. Purdue, won a close one against Penn State on Sunday night. The Boilermakers are sitting at 24-5 and 3rd in the Big Ten and 9th in the country. This will be the last game at home for the Illini, who will be honoring their seniors on the Thursday night game.

Offense

Scoring the basketball has been an ongoing issue for the Illini. Against Michigan State on Tuesday, the Illini were within 3 points at half time, but opened up the second half by scoring just 1 point in the first 5 minutes allowing Michigan State to go on a 12-1 lrun. Illinois needs to have other players score than freshman PG Trent Frazier who has led the team offensively as of late. As an Illini fan, I’m very excited to see what he can do in the next couple years.

But in the last couple games, production from Mark Smith, Kipper Nichols and Mark Alstork has dropped. The three players were to be stars this year, which clearly hasn’t happened. This season is a rebuilding year and Coach Underwood still does not have his players running the offense. Even with the cards stacked against them, the Illini cannot fall flat against the 7th ranked offensive team and the 10th ranked defensive team according to basketball stats-guru, KenPom.

Defense

Purdue has bounced back from losing in the Battle of Atlantis to start the season to with 19 consecutive wins before to losing to Ohio State on a last second shot earlier this month. Purdue outmatches the Illini with 2 7-footers in the front court, something Illinois hasn’t seen all year. But the Illini are quicker, faster and have the motivation to get that final home court win on Senior night. But with nobody close to them in height, the Illini will have an incredibly hard time matching up with the two players that are a menace on both sides of the game. With the Illini drawn to the middle, Purdue will be free to shoot from beyond the arc. The Boilermakers rank 8th in the country while shooting 41.3% from deep.

Prediction

Illinois can’t matchup, and if they can’t score this one will be over quick.

Purdue 84 – Illinois 59

Move Over Michael Phelps, Elizabeth Swaney is the Best Olympic Athlete Ever.

Well, no. Swaney is probably the worst Olympic athlete to compete in the games. Take a look at her last place finish.

 

Impressive run. I would never be able to do that, yes even the 1 inch jumps. So how did she get there you ask?

(NPR)

It’s not easy to qualify for the Olympics, but it might not require super-human athletic ability either.

Take the case of Elizabeth Swaney: an American competing on the Hungarian team. Her two qualifying runs in the women’s freestyle skiing halfpipe event on Monday left many viewers wondering how she became an Olympian. While she did one alley-oop, she didn’t pull any spectacular tricks during her routine, barely even getting any air, and finishing in last place more than 40 points behind the 12th-place qualifier for the finals.

To be fair, it’s not that Swaney is a bad skier, but she’s certainly not at Olympic caliber, says CBS Sports reporter Pete Blackburn.

“It was a combination of determination and really gaming the system,” Blackburn tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson. “The field is not very deep in the women’s halfpipe, so she was she was able to enter events in which there were 30 or less competitors, and if you earn a top-30 finish in a World Cup event you score points through the International Ski Federation.”

After raising enough money through online crowdsourcing, Swaney was able to compete for two years and rack up enough points to qualify by performing very simple routines in several World Cup events– without falling. But at No. 34 in the rankings, her chances of reaching the Olympics were slim.

There are 24 spots available in women’s ski halfpipe for the Pyeongchang Olympics, but the maximum number of athletes each country can send to the Olympics for the event is four, according to NBC. Countries that dominate in women’s ski halfpipe, like the U.S., can only send their top four skiers, even though they had six skiers who qualified.

Some countries also didn’t use all of their spots because they didn’t have enough athletes that ranked high enough. Other skiers were forced to forego their spots due to injury. As a result, the list made it all the way down to Swaney.

Even though the 33-year-old from California is an American, Swaney was able to compete for Hungary because her grandparents were born there. Before that she skied for her mother’s home country of Venezuela.

“That’s not totally unheard of,” Blackburn says. “A lot of athletes do that, where they grew up in one place, but they represent another country because it actually increases their chances of going to the games. But those athletes are usually higher skilled and sort of world class athletes.”

While some considered Swaney’s appearance to be harmless, critics say she made a mockery of the Olympics and knocked out legitimate athletes. Others argue she manipulated a flawed qualifying system just to say she was an Olympian.

“It’s not some adult Disney world where you go to take selfies,” one commenter wroteon Swaney’s Instagram account. “The Olympics are a showcase of the BEST athletes in the world and Swaney made a mockery of that. She made a mockery of people’s life work. She made a mockery of halfpipe skiing in general. She did this so she could flaunt the title of Olympian. Unbelievable.”

The Hungarian Olympic Committee also told Reuters that the incident has prompted it to reevaluate the selection process.

“We, the Hungarian Olympic Committee, have to learn the lessons from this case, and we must consider rethinking our nomination procedures,” a Hungarian team spokesman told Reuters via email.

While Swaney’s road the Olympics is unusual, it’s not uncommon for athletes to lack the world-class talent that is expected of most Olympians. Tonga’s Pita Taufatofua – who notably marched through the frigid opening ceremony shirtless – finished 114th in in the 15km cross-country skiing event after skiing on snow for just three months.

Others have criticized Swaney’s Olympic dreams as the latest in slew of unusual, somewhat unrelated pursuits. When Swaney was 19, the Harvard graduate ran an unsuccessful campaign for California governor, losing to Arnold Schwarzenegger. The AP notes she only started skiing eight years ago after she failed to qualify for the Olympics as a skeleton racer.

“I want to show others that freestyle skiing is possible and it is never too late to get into this sport, and to help others to dream and to progress the sport in Hungary,” Swaney told Reuters on Monday. “I hope this can be a platform to inspire others.”

Bold move if you ask me. But hey if there are holes in the system, might as well abuse them. Swaney embodies the “fake it, till you make it” attitude and really exemplifies the rule that: there is no can, only do. A lot of us say that we can make it to the Olympics, if we tired, Elizabeth actually did it.

Also, she’s a total bad ass, check out her video below:

The 10 Best Juke Moves in College Football

10. Auburn WR Sammie Coates slams TAMU defender to get a first down.

9. Cal WR DeSean Jackson jukes every single one of Tennessee’s defenders.

8. Back in ’97, Florida WR Ike Hillard jukes 2 FSU defenders.

7. Penn State RB Saquon Barkley does 3 Iowa defenders dirty.

6. Georgia RB Sony Michel breaks a UNC defenders ankles.

5. USC RB Reggie Bush ruins a kid’s night on the sidelines.

4. Alabama RB Trent Richardson drops Ole Miss defender to the ground.

3. Virginia Tech WR Cam Phillips jukes 2 Notre Dame defenders.

2. Clemson RB CJ Spiller Torches Georgia Tech on the Sideline

1. WR/QB Braxton Miller was too good to just have 1 good juke at Ohio State.

Tweet @thelastsnap_ if you think you have any more.

Spring Training Starts on Friday and Baseball is Officially Back

So the Precious Pats lost to the Earnest Eagles or something like that, the NBA has been renamed  to the Now Buying Anyone, and the Blackhawks are in last in the central so who cares about hockey. Time for the best sport to take the main stage. It is time to grab a bag of seeds, sharpen some pencils and fill out scorecards. It is time to live, breathe, and enjoy baseball once again.

First things first. On Monday Major League Baseball released updates and changes to some rules to speed up pace of play, which is in line with Commissioner Manfred’s legislation so far. The main changes being made are to reduce the amount of time in between innings to 2:05/2:25/2:55 minutes, depending on the stage of play (regular season vs playoffs) and how the game is being televised (local vs national broadcasts). MLB also placed a limit on mound visits at 6 per game. For the casual viewer, mound visits can often seem unnecessary and excessive, so limiting these visits should help draw interest from the not-so-diehard fans and eliminate dead time. These changes shouldn’t impact the game too much and honestly I’m all for less commercials which both limitations will help. The only negative impact I can see this really having on the game is pitchers not getting to warm up fully when coming in, however if you aren’t ready to come out of the bullpen maybe you shouldn’t be taking the mound. This of course is coming from a guy who can hit maybe 70 mph on a good day while throwing out his back.

As for the blockbuster deals that have been slow to come until recently there is much to look over. The big four I’ll briefly touch upon are Shohei Ohtani, Giancarlo Stanton, Yu Darvish, and JD Martinez.

Ohtani, the highly touted Japanese superstar, looks to be a big move for the Angels. He bolsters what could be a really strong starting rotation (assuming everyone stays healthy). Ohtani, who some have compared to the great Babe Ruth, figures to DH for the Angels on days he’s not pitching, as he brings some serious pop at the plate in addition to his 100 mph fastball. Japan has seen its fair share of rags and riches, but Ohtani is already looking at riches starting off with a few million which will skyrocket depending on his success over the next couple of years. Time will tell if Ohtani’s success in Japan will translate to the Big Leagues.

Stanton on the other hand is already an established player in the MLB with almost unmatched power. Traded from the hapless Miami Marlins to the juggernaut New York Yankees, Stanton will have a chance to play alongside the reigning AL Rookie of the Year in Aaron Judge (who also brings some serious power to the plate). Watching the bomb brothers should be a fun activity for the year even if we all wish the Yankees would just crumble into nothingness for a few decades.

Darvish went from sunny Los Angeles (Dodgers) to the dark side, or the North Side, I should say, of the city I call home – Chicago. This move is especially interesting, given that he is going from one contender to another, as the Dodgers and Cubs have faced off in the NLCS each of the last two years. Darvish signed a gigantic $21 million a year contract that could turn out to be exactly what the Cubs need to regain their dominance in the pitching world replacing schmucks like Mike Montgomery (who will remain as the Cubs’ swingman in the bullpen) and the (maybe) has been Jake Arrieta.

Martinez has also made some splashes recently with his shows of power, hitting 29 home runs after being traded to the Diamondbacks halfway through last season. However I think that the Yankees will out hit Martinez’s Red Sox this year in the AL East, forcing them to compete for a wild card spot.

As for my team, the Chicago White Sox, who will be entirely dependent on the young arms and legs they have been stacking up for the last few years. My hope will be a contending .500 team this year, a Division title next year, and as I am often quoted saying, World Series Champs in 2020. That is all I will say for my good guys for now, but more will come as Spring Training gets going underway, and I will have more to say on that matter as I will be seeing (hopefully) Stanton and Judge next weekend play against the Phillies in Clearwater Florida.

Texas Football Makes a Rap Video For It’s New Class and It’s… Interesting

Now, if you follow football at the slightest, you know Texas loves their football. If you grew up in Texas, Friday was high school ball, Saturday’s were for the boys at universities like UT Austin, TCU, A&M and Tech and Sundays were for the Cowboys and Texans. But the support for UT football is like none other. Their fans are passionate, loyal and buy season tickets every year, despite the team disappointing the state of Texas year after year for the better part of the last decade. But with the recent Top 25 ranking, and a Top 25 recruiting class, Tom Herman and Co. have created a rap song, that features every one of their new recruits. Take a look:

This is the classic definition of Texas is back. Running high of a disappointing season, coming up with a great recruiting class and getting ranked 200 days before the season starts. The smells of the sticky late summer heat, barbecue and freshly cracked beers start coming back, don’t they. From today till Labor Day, we will be constantly reminded how Texas will be better this year and win the Big 12. I am excited for the “hook-em” posts, SportsCenter segments and every sports blog on the internet debating if Texas is back, only to look back at this moment in late December wondering where it all went wrong.

Texas is back folks. Get Excited.

UCF Football is Making Valentines Day Great Again

Savage move by the communications department of UCF. Yes, they lost their coach. Yes, they lost their entire staff. But, they did win the National Championship last year and are ranked by ESPN. Whoever is in charge of the communication’s team at UCF should really get a raise, because this is just trolling to 100 percent. I say let them live in the moment. The Knights were the first undefeated G5 team since Boise State in 2009, I say they’ve earned it. Let the boys be boys and bask in that glory. Haters gonna hate.

Besides, they already called for Bama, whats the worst that could happen?