Meyer to FSU rumor is all hooey

by Gary Shelton on October 22, 2019 · 0 comments

in general

Could Taggart face a buyout?/ANDREW J. KRAMER

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

I love rumors. I mean it. If I were still single, I would ask rumors out on a date.

I love the ones that suggest that John Wayne was on the grassy knoll, and that we faked the Moon Landing, and that Brad and Angie and secretly Russian spies.

Then there is this one.

Urban Meyer to Florida State.

I love this rumor. Oh, I don't believe it for a second. It's one of those connect-the-dots-rumors that doesn't sound like it came from a real source but from from a blogger's imagination. Let's see. A once-proud football power has fallen on hard times, and therefore it will reach out to the most attractive coaching name out there. The fact that Meyers used to coach across state makes it even more delicious.

But it isn't happening. And the whole world (except for said blogger) knows it.

For one thing, it would cost FSU, a school with limited funds (most are) a fortune to pay Willie Taggart not to coach. The last number seems to be $17 million. Now, I can understand the urge not to watch Taggart lose any more, but not for that price.

Then there is this. You'd have to pay another fortune to Ohio State to buy Meyer out. According to reports, that 's $10 million if it happens before January 31 of next year and 4.8 if it's afterward.

Then you'd have to pay Meyer himself.

Then you'd have to pay his staff.

So what are we talking? $45 million or so? More?

And who knows if Meyer even wants the job?

Remember, this is Easy-Way Urban, the guy who coaches where he has his advantages. When he went to Florida, he had a great deal of advantage (money, alumni, history, facilities). When he went to Ohio State, he had even more. Urban isn't a ground-up guy. The guess is that he'd rather go to a ready made school like Southern Cal or, if it were to come open, Oklahoma.

Then there is this: Would FSU even want Meyer? Remember his record of players and their arrests? Remember when he suggested that he wouldn't tolerate a player like Jameis Winston the way FSU had done (even thought Meyer's entire career is about tolerance).

Hey, when Meyer was at. Florida, he drove FSU fans crazy.

So now, in the name of winning, are the Seminoles supposed to decide that Meyer is their kind of guy, after all.

Look, before it is over, you will see a lot of names connected with the FSU job. And you'll see Meyer's name linked with the very best ones.

But FSU? And Meyer?

I'll believe that Michael Jackson was Batman first.


Will the Bucs ever be better than they are?

by Gary Shelton on October 21, 2019 · 0 comments

in general

Is the Bucs' franchise really cursed?/JEFFREY S. KING

Monday, 4 a.m.

Here in the land of the Damned, not much changes.

Yesterday is like the day before. Last week is like the week before that. Last year is a lot like last year.

We talk about a better day, and we share hope, and we see other teams change their fortunes. But here, the days blur together. The weather doesn't change. The stock market is the same. And the NFL team usually loses.

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It is the curse of living in Tampa Bay. The Bucs are usually dreadful. There is often a new coach, and occasionally a new quarterback, and sometimes, a new uniform. But the scoreboard rarely changes.

Through the life of this franchise, there have been three little bumps of hope. John MccKay once made the playoffs three time in four years. Tony Dungy once made them four times in six years. Jon Crude made them three times in six years.

And nothing.

It has begun to feel like a curse, like Sissyphus rolling that boulder up the hill for all eternity. Is this our lot in life? Are we doomed to be a bottom feeder?

Aside from Cleveland, perhaps, has any NFL team been rougher on its fans? Does t ask for more and offer less?

Except for those years, every coach has been the same, and every quarterback, and every defense. The team always moans about its turnovers, and its penalties, and its injuries -- because that's what you talk about when you're not talking about winning

But ask. yourself this: Are the Bucs, 2019, really any better than the Bucs, 2018?

Oh, perhaps you like Bruce Arians, who sounds a lot more like a head coach than Dirk Koetter did. But Arians is 2-4 (Koetter was 3-3 a year ago), and his quarterback throws it to the other team too often, and his secondary is horrible Sound familiar?

Other teams change their fortune. There was a time the Saints were a dreadful team. And the Rams. Even the Patriots. But they change. The Bucs don't change.

Around here, fans live for the draft. They dream of third place. And they wait for the next guy.

Vinny Testaverde turns into Trent Dlfer, and he becomes Josh Freeman, and he becomes Jameis Winston. Leeman Bennett becomes Ray Perkins who turns into Sam Wyche who is born again as Lovie Smith. Booker Reese, Sabby Piscatelli, Alvin Harper and Roberto Aguayo are the backup dancers.

So will it go on forever? For goodness sakes, this is the NFL, which does more to help its bottom feeder teams than anyone with a common draft, a salary cap and a weighted schedule.

Common sense would tell you it will take one special guy, a general manager or a coach, to grab this franchise by the lapels and shake. That was, the team can find the right quarterback. It can build a proper defense. It can put one step in front of the other.

Maybe someday, it can walk.


Avs don’t need a lot of shots to bury Bolts

by Gary Shelton on October 20, 2019 · 0 comments

in general

Hedman scored a goal for the Lightning./ANDREW J. KRAMER

Sunday, 4 a.m.

What’s so great about home ice?

Especially when the opponent is the undefeated (in regulation) Colorado Avalanche?

The Aves clobbered the Lightning in only its second home game of the season Saturday night, winning 6-2 despite being badly outshot. Tyler Joust had a hat trick to lead the Avi, who scored three times in a three-minute burst in the second period to take over the game.

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USF defense run over in loss to Navy

by Gary Shelton on October 20, 2019 · 0 comments

in general

Cronkrite was held in check by Navy./ © 2019 Joe Mestas Seq# 0552

For a team representing the Navy, who knew it would be so good on the ground?

Navy overwhelmed the University of South Florida Saturday, rushing for a staggering 435 yards in a 35-3 victory. Navy completed only one pass all day (two of starter Malcolm Lewis' three passes were intercepted) but ran so efficiently the Bulls never had a chance.

Lewis ran for 188 yards on the afternoon

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The Midshipmen ran for touchdowns of 67, 58, 21 and 26 yards.

USF's own offense gained only 264 yards. Jordan Cronkrite, who had averaged more than 150 yards the last two games, was held to 76 yards.

“If you look at the first half, we gave up three big plays," said USF coach Charlie Strong. "The quarterback, we allowed him to just run up and down the field on us. Then, we couldn’t move the ball on offense. When that happens to you, this is the result that you get.”

USF quarterback Jordan McCloud was obvious hampered by injuries.

“He’s trying to battle through it," Strong said, "but he’s not healthy and we have to get him healthy. Once we can get him healthy, then he’s gonna be able to execute and do the things that we need him to do.”

Florida 38, South Carolina 27: The Gators continued to be a fourth-quarter team Saturday.

Trailing 20-17 after three quarters, Florida scored three times in the final period -- all on Kyle Trask touchdown passes -- to come away with a win over the Gamecocks.

It was the sixth time Florida has won under Dan Mullen when trailing going into the final period.

Trask threw for four touchdowns on the afternoon.

After a week off, Trask will bring Florida to a final, defining stretch with games against No. 10 Georgia, Vanderbilt and SEC East-leading Missouri in the chase for a spot in the SEC title game.

“Florida-Georgia, it’s going to be a big one,” said Florida coach Dan Mullen after the game. “It feels great; I love it! You want to head into November in control of your own destiny. That’s where we want to be and that’s where we expect to be at Florida.”

Georgia Tech 28, Miami 21:How ugly can a defeat be?

For Miami, this one will about do.

The Hurricanes self-destructed on several levels Saturday in their overtime loss to the Yellow Jackets. Miami gave up a fake punt for a Tech score, had a fumble returned for another and had a winning field goal blocked in the last second of regulation.

It was only the second win of the season for Tech.

Miami matched its worst seven-game start (3-4) in 22 years. The Hurricanes missed three more field goals, all from relatively close range.  Turner Davidson missed a 34-yarder in the second quarter, Bubba Baxa missed a 27-yarder late in the fourth and then Davidson's 25-yarder at the end was blocked by Owens.

"We will stay unified in our locker room," Miami coach Manny Diaz said. "We will stay together. We will go to Pittsburgh next week and we will compete the way the Miami Hurricanes compete."

Cam'Ron Harris rushed for 158 yards for Miami. Jordan Mason had 141 rushing for Tech.

The Hurricanes play Pitt next week.

Wake Forest 22, FSU 20: Ricky Aguayo missed a 50-yard field goal with 2:13 left to play, and the Seminoles fell to 3-4 on the season.

Wake Forest trailed 20-19, before hitting a field goal of their own by Nick Sciba from 25 yards out.

Cam Akers rushed for 157 yards in the game, but the game was dominated by the quarterbacks despite a heavy rain. James Blackmon threw for 280 yards for FSU, while Sam Hartman threw for 308 yards for the Deacons.

FSU is at home against Syracuse at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.


Predictions: Gators prepare for final push

October 19, 2019 general

Saturday, 4 a.m. They have been in the top 10 all season. They have a top 20 defense. Their backup quarterback has become an impact player. But how good are the Florida Gators? After coming offa 42-28 loss to LSU, it’s an easy question to ask. Ahead on the schedule are South Carolina, which is […]

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Lightning holds off Bruins for shootout win

October 18, 2019 general

Friday, 4 a.m. Hey, Lightning. Your expectations are showing. That’s how it is with the Tampa Bay Lighting. Every game, every decision is seen as part of the whole. Every success is measured by how much better it could have been, and every failure is treated like a Greek tragedy. For instamce. after a high-leverage […]

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Winston hasn’t changed, and he hasn’t grown

October 17, 2019 general

Thursday, 4 a.m. Excuse me, porter. This is my stop. I know, I know. We’re halfway to the destination. But here is where I get off. Here is where I depart the Jameis Winston Express. We all have our departure points, don’t we? A great many people have gotten off the train before me. A […]

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Stamkos leads Lightning to a win over Montreal

October 16, 2019 general

Wednesday, 4 a.m. First, he lectured them. Then he led them. And just like that, Steven Stamkos had provided further argument that he remains a leader of the Tampa Bay Lightning. After the Bolts’ lifeless loss to Ottawa on Saturday night, Stamkos chided other members of the Lightning. Then, on Tuesday night, he scored a […]

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Looking back on Bucs’ loss to Panthers

October 15, 2019 general

5 Thoughts Maybe it’s just me, but any time the Bucs plan a stinker like Sunday’s, they can play it in Europe. The Ukraine is dying for meltdowns like that. 2. I’ve seen enough of Bobo Wilson returning punts. You wonder when a guy is nicknamed “Bobo” instead of “ghost” or “speedy.” 3. Does Vernon […]

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Winston has horrible game as Bucs clobbered

October 14, 2019 general

Monday, 4 a.m. Here’s an idea: Why doesn’t England just keep him? After all the failures, after all the turnovers, maybe the Bucs shouldn’t save a seat for Jameis Winston on the plane home. Maybe they should leave him here with the rain and the traffic. Have you seen enough of Winston? There is a […]

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