Wednesday’s Den: Mid-week musings…….

13) Miami Hurricanes are paying U of Oregon $9M, which was the buyout in Mario Cristobal’s contract with the Ducks. Cristobal will make $8M a year with Miami.

12) McNeese State football coach Frank Wilson quit this week, will join Brian Kelly’s staff at LSU as an associate head coach. Wilson was an assistant at LSU from 2010-15, then became head coach at Tex-San Antonio, where he went 19-29 before being shown the door there.

Wilson is regarded as an outstanding recruiter, especially in Louisiana; he is going to have to recruit a QB- LSU’s QB Max Johnson hit the transfer portal Tuesday night.

That leads me to a question: when a newly-hired coach talks to his new team, and obviously tells some of them that they’re going to be replaced, or that their starting spots aren’t guaranteed, what are those conversations like? What %age of them are civil? Some of them have to be at least a little contentious, yes?

Max Johnson’s dad played in the NFL, was the Buccaneers’ QB in a Super Bowl. Jake Johnson is his brother, a highly-touted tight end recruit who is also leaving LSU. That would be excellent really TV, to hear those conversations.
11) Right now, if they held voting for college basketball Coach of the Year, I’d vote for Minnesota coach Ben Johnson, whose Gophers are off to a 7-0 start.

They only have one top 100 win, but when Johnson was hired by Minnesota, he had one player on the team— 10 other guys transferred, and an 11th one is hurt and won’t play this season. To cobble together a squad quickly, and have that team be successful, is really difficult.

10) Several college basketball leagues are playing 20-game conference schedules now; big part of the reason why is that these leagues have their own TV networks- they need games to provide programming for those networks.

It is also better for fans than seeing big-name schools play cruddy opponents in December.

9) James Madison 52, Virginia 49:
— Huge win for JMU’s program- they opened a new 8,500-seat arena.
— Dukes are now 1-11 against their in-state rival.
— 6-4 Virginia  has losses to Navy/JMU; they were 4-26 on arc.

8) When the Bills lost at home to New England Monday night, Buffalo had a 17-yard edge in field position, an unusually big margin. Teams with a 17-yard edge in field position almost never lose; so far this season, teams that won field position by 10+ yards are 46-6 SU.

7) NFL stuff:
— Rookie Davis Mills (0-6 as starter) figures to start this week for Houston.
— Giants have QB injury issues; Jake Fromm may play in his first NFL game Sunday against the Chargers. Few weeks ago, Fromm was Buffalo’s 4th-string QB. He was a 5th-round draft pick out of Georgia in 2020.

6) NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers are a surprising 19-6 ATS as an underdog this season, 13-3 as a road dog.

5) Starting January 15, unvaccinated NBA players can’t travel to Canada, which obviously means unvaccinated Raptors can’t play at home either.

4) Michigan was pounding Iowa 35-3 in the Big 14 title game Saturday night; they scored another TD with 1:25 left, making the final margin 42-3. I’m guessing that touchdown will be remembered by the Hawkeyes; usually, there is something of a code about running up the score. Something to tuck away for the future.

3) PNC Arena in Raleigh is a busy place; Louisville-NC State played a basketball game there at 2:00 Saturday, then at 7:30 that night, Sabres-Hurricanes played an NHL game there.

On TV, they said it takes 90 minutes to switch the arena from basketball to hockey.

2) There are murmurs on the Interweb that Max Scherzer wants the Mets to hire Buck Showalter as their new manager; owner Steve Cohen is apparently on board with that.

1) Was daydreaming yesterday and thought of a weird rule change that would make football more interesting. 

On kickoffs, if a kicker boots the ball thru the uprights 75 yards away, his team gets a point. It would add some interest to kickoffs, for sure. 

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.