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Sports Today: Against all odds, NFL gets something right

Published: Thursday, December 07, 2017 @ 10:17 AM

Bengals free safety George Iloka intercepted a pass against the Redskins last season in London. More recently, he made a pass at his girlfriend, Gaby Barcelo, and she accepted his singing video proposal and agreed to marry.
Getty Images
Bengals free safety George Iloka intercepted a pass against the Redskins last season in London. More recently, he made a pass at his girlfriend, Gaby Barcelo, and she accepted his singing video proposal and agreed to marry.(Getty Images)

Well, at least the NFL hasn’t gotten everything wrong this week. 

The league was correct to overturn George Iloka’s suspension

A few minutes before we found out that news, I suggested to another reporter in the Bengals locker room the appeal probably consisted of the team sending multiple versions of the same hit from any other week of the season that might draw a flag but don’t result in suspensions. 

Marvin Lewis implied that’s pretty much what they did, and apparently it worked. 

The suspension of Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was upheld, although I tend to think it should not have been, either. 

RELATED: The NFL gets dumber by the day

By rule, both hits were penalties. Maybe they allowed the suspension to stand on Smith-Schuster because of the taunting, which should be punished but not that severely. 

Those decisions apparently led Steelers safety Mike Mitchell to go on a bit of a tirade for reporters in Pittsburgh. 

(Warning: Some NSFW language) 

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve always viewed Mitchell as one of the guys who goes over the edge too often. There are hits he has delivered that look more like he was going for the head than the ball. 

There are players who don’t understand there can be a difference, however fine the line might be, and he is one of them. Iloka has flirted with the line, too. 

Nonetheless, Mitchell makes some good points. 

»RELATED: Bengals Weekend Forecast: First look at the Chicago Bears

As I wrote earlier this week, some safety measures are good but we’ve gone overboard. 

Obviously, there’s still a lot of confusion with how punishment is handed down, too. 

Good thing the same afternoon we found out Roger Goodell will still be the commissioner for another five years and the NFLPA is considering adding the disastrous college football targeting rules to the NFL rather than trying reforms that might actually work… 

I certainly feel bad for John Ross. 

It’s not his fault he can’t stay healthy nor that the Bengals drafted him when they should not have. 

I felt at the time the No. 9 pick in the draft would have been better spent on a defensive difference-maker (based on the best players available) or traded to get into position to take an offensive lineman (there were none good enough to draft at that spot). 

They ended up fixing improving the defense with some later picks, but the offensive line is still in terrible shape. 

The clinching problems with drafting Ross, though, was the depth already at that position. 

Assuming he was healthy when they said he was, Ross still had to be better than the other six guys to be active on game days because only so many can be. 

But hopefully this is just a tough opening chapter to a great story for Ross, who really is fast and seems to be a very thoughtful young man who just ended up in a tough situation… 

The Dayton Flyers got back into the win column with a 79-66 decision over Tennessee Tech

The big guys (Josh Cunningham and Kosas Antetokounmpo) both had double-doubles and Darrell Davis had 19 points. 

That’s a pretty good formula for success. 

Jalen Crutcher didn’t do much from a scoring standpoint, but he handed out seven assists (with four turnovers), and coach Anthony Grant got another 14 points apiece from Trey Landers (glue guy growing into a larger role) and Jordan Davis (intriguing freshman). 

What’s not to like?… 

One also has to admire the confidence of Cole Gentry. 

Who is Cole Gentry? 

If Wright State is going to have another 20-win season, he’ll probably be a big part of it. 

The South Dakota State transfer becomes eligible next week, and he has big goals in mind for the Raiders

“The goal is always the same — win the conference. And we definitely have the pieces to do it,” Gentry said. “It’s a matter of execution and game-planning. But we definitely have the guys capable of winning the championship, and that’s what we’re expecting to do.”

After losing top scorer Mark Alstork to a graduate transfer (he’s at Illinois), the Raiders are off to an uninspiring 5-4 start, but the preseason doesn’t matter a whole lot considering the Horizon League is only going to get one team into the NCAA tournament anyway. 

Gentry figures to change how coach Scott Nagy’s team is able to play by the time conference play begins, and it will be interesting to see the results… 

Lastly, congratulations are in order for Kelsey Mitchell. 

The senior from Cincinnati became the all-time leading scorer for Ohio State women’s basketball last night as the Buckeyes trounced Florida 103-77. 

She passed Katie Smith earlier this season and broke Jantel Lavender’s record (2,818) against the Gators, finishing the night with 2,840 points. 

Next up is the Big Ten record of 3,093 set by Rachel Banham of Minnesota two years ago. 

Mitchell still has an outside shot at catching Kelsey Plum, who set the NCAA career mark of 3,527 at Washington last season. 

LOOK: These reflective Louisville uniforms are the most creative of 2017

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 11:07 AM

Louisville is getting decked out in some of the most flashiest uniforms, literally, that you’ll ever see.

The Cardinals are squaring off with Memphis on Saturday in the Gotham Classic from Madison Square Garden.

Louisville (7-2) is aiming for its second four-game winning streak of the season. A few hours before tipoff, the Cardinals revealed quite the snazzy set for their trip to the Big Apple.

Click play and witness the magic of technology:

These have to be the most creative uniforms of 2017.

In the first game of the Gotham Classic from Louisville, the Cardinals routed Bryant 102-59. The Gotham Classic concludes with a Louisville home game on Dec. 20 vs. Albany.

Kory Taylor commits to Purdue: Boilermakers land 2018 WR

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 11:03 AM

Purdue football-Kory Taylor-recruiting-2018

The Boilermakers added another player to their 2018 recruiting class on Saturday morning, as 3-star wide receiver Kory Taylor announced that he is committed to Purdue.

Taylor, a native of Hilliard, Ohio, made the announcement on Twitter.

See the tweet below:

The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Taylor played his high school ball in his hometown at Hilliard Bradley High School.

Taylor received scholarship offers from 21 schools, including Minnesota, Rutgers, Louisville and Iowa State. However, he ultimately chose Purdue after visiting the school on Friday.

According to 247Sports, Taylor is ranked No. 23 among all Ohio wide receivers in the 2018 recruiting class, and No. 97 overall among all receivers.

The post Kory Taylor commits to Purdue: Boilermakers land 2018 WR appeared first on Land of 10.

Alabama will pay almost $3 million for two non-conference games next season

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 10:57 AM

Alabama will pay a pretty penny for two of its non-conference games next season.

The Crimson Tide’s matchups against Arkansas State and Louisiana will total just shy of $3 million for them to come to Bryant-Denny Stadium, according to Chandler Rome of The Anniston Star.

Alabama’s game against Arkansas State on Sept. 8 will cost $1.7 million, while the Sept. 29 meeting with Louisiana will see the school send $1.25 million.

The matchup with the Red Wolves will be the third between the two schools, with the last one coming in 2008, a 35-0 win for the Tide in Nick Saban’s second year coaching in Tuscaloosa. Meanwhile, it will be the first time Alabama has played Louisiana in football.

For comparison, two of Alabama’s non-conference opponents this season also netted about $3 million as the school reportedly paid Colorado State $1.5 million and Fresno State $1.4 million. Mercer of the FCS got $900,000.

Mark Dantonio passes on answering awkward question about Jim Harbaugh’s khakis

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 10:43 AM

Mark Dantonio was on the west coast earlier this week doing some interviews in the lead up to Michigan State’s meeting with Washington State in the Holiday Bowl. There was one question that caught him off guard — and it had to do with a rival coach’s pants.

Toward the end of an joint interview with Washington State coach Mike Leach on San Diego’s KUSI, Dantonio was asked about an autographed pair of Jim Harbaugh’s khakis that were up for auction at a Michigan banquet. KUSI’s Brandon Stone asked the Spartans’ head coach how much he thought the signed trousers sold for at the auction.

Dantonio, who has been in a war of words with Harbaugh during the last two weeks, sidestepped the question, saying “it’s sort of irrelevant to this conversation, really. I’ll pass on that one.”

Leach, one of the most colorful coaches in college football, stepped in and made things a little less awkward, but it was still a peculiar exchange.

Here’s the video. The khaki question comes around the 7:00 mark.

The starting bid for the khakis in question was $900 and the pants received no bids at the auction.