Kentucky has a depth problem, and the echoes of 2014 linger

Sure, John Calipari has never had a recruiting class ranked lower than second at Kentucky. It’s also true that whenever Calipari has struggled, he has usually been able to right the ship before it was too late. This dynamic was never more apparent than in 2014, when Calipari took an eighth-seeded team to the national championship […]

West Virginia beats Iowa State, but continues to live on the margins

Following Tuesday night’s epic victory at Iowa State, West Virginia seems to be an enigma. It’s par for the course — not entirely in a bad way, to be sure, but volatility is never comfortable. That’s how diehard fans get ulcers. At least the aches and pains produced by the Mountaineers usually emerge in moments […]

Winners and losers at the Senior Bowl: buying and selling NFL draft stocks

With the Senior Bowl wrapping up in Mobile last weekend, several players took advantage of their last opportunity to impress before the NFL Combine. Some of these players improved their draft stocks tremendously. However, on the other end of the spectrum, some had such a poor week that their draft standings plummeted. Here are the […]

Butler continues to struggle against formidable Big East opponents

There is no question that Butler has become a national power over the past decade, having reached two national title games while thriving under its third head coach in that span. Joining the Big East was a huge jump forward for the Bulldogs, and their success has translated into postseason play and opportunities. However, so […]

What’s the matter with Kansas? Nothing Bill Self can’t fix

With Saturday’s seven-point win against an improved TCU squad, Kansas appeared to be in the fast lane to another conference title. However, with Tuesday night’s blowout loss to Oklahoma State, the Big 12 seems to be as balanced it has been in recent years. Coming into Monday, there was a four-way tie atop the conference […]

Iowa State gets much-needed win over Oklahoma

For the third time this season, the No. 1 team in the country went to the state of Iowa and fell. In this case, it was a game that rescued a team’s season. * Northern Iowa has plummeted ever since beating No. 1 North Carolina in Cedar Falls last November. The Panthers have lost their […]

Indiana engineers a resurgence on defense

The Indiana Hoosiers haven’t yet encountered the toughest stretch of the Big Ten schedule, but they are riding a 10-game winning streak. A season which appeared to be in pronounced peril a month ago stands on much more solid ground today. Weirdly, an injury could have unlocked the key for the Hoosiers and their defense. […]

Alabama-Clemson showcases second-tier NFL draft prospects

In a national championship game that featured some of the top defensive prospects in the nation, a low-scoring contest was inevitable, right? Not so fast, my friend. It was offense that took over in Alabama’s 45-40 victory on Monday night to claim the national championship. Another curveball: most of the huge names, outside of Derrick […]

Alabama sticks to the game plan and reaps the rewards

Each team entered the Cotton Bowl with a different game plan. However, one was clearly more effective than the other. Despite the fact that Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry entered this game with 90 carries in his past two games combined, the Tide’s coaches were convinced that the way to beat Michigan State was with […]

Alabama must lean on its strengths to beat Michigan State

As the only team making the College Football Playoff for the second straight season, Alabama is attempting to do what it couldn’t in its first go-around: advance to the national championship game. If the Crimson Tide are going to play on Jan. 11 in Glendale, they will need to excel in what they have done […]

Michigan State is doing everything it wants to do… quietly

Michigan State enters play this weekend as the undisputed No. 1 team in the nation in college basketball. The Spartans are 11-0 and have answered the bell every time it has rung. They are an experienced unit. Last season’s group went deep into March and cracked the Final Four in April despite limited expectations. The […]

The year of experience in college basketball

While the recent trend in college basketball has slid toward immediate success for incoming freshman classes such as those at Kentucky and Duke, the 2015-’16 season is calling to mind the 2014-2015 season’s penultimate game, and its most memorable event. Last season, in the second national semifinal, experience prevailed: A seasoned Wisconsin team knocked off […]

The Heisman finalists (and other candidates) as NFL draft prospects

In its 80-year history, the Heisman Trophy Award has offered mixed signals in terms of success at the NFL level. Of the three Heisman finalists this season, winner Derrick Henry will certainly have some NFL buzz in 2016. However, with his size, there are some limitations which have to be acknowledged. Henry has excellent burst […]

Will a No. 10 seed in the NCAA tournament save Tom Crean again?

This all sounds very familiar. Clear deficiencies with the Indiana basketball program raise the question:  Will another trip to the Big Dance — even with a “road team” seed (meaning road jerseys are worn in the first round as a lower seed) save the coach’s job again? Last season, Indiana struggled during various stretches, just […]