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Sports Then and Now

College Football Preview: Not So Fast Alabama 2

Posted on September 03, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Nick Saban has Alabama poised for another run, but can they repeat as champions?

After romping through an undefeated 2009 season, many experts have ordained Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide as the team to beat again in 2010. While Alabama will again be formidable, it will be hard for them to overcome the loss of most of the defensive stars that carried them past Florida and Texas and to an undefeated record a year ago.

While last season there was little question that Alabama, Texas and Florida were the undisputed best teams in college football (unless of course you are a fan of TCU and Boise State), in 2010 it may be a little harder to gauge which college teams are the cream of the crop.

Across the board, college football teams lost a plethora of talented players that must be replaced in 2010. The teams that are able to rise from the pack in 2010 will be those that have new players and former backups ready to play at the highest level.

Below is a look at the major conferences in Division I-A (Bowl Championship Subdivision): Read the rest of this entry →

Superstar College Coaches Have Their Own Rules 6

Posted on March 27, 2010 by Dean Hybl
Cornell v Kentucky

While John Calipari may be on the verge of his third Final Four, according to NCAA records, his teams have never been there.

As the amount of time superstar athletes spend in college has dwindled over the last couple decades, the NCAA and high profile member schools have recognized that it is coaches and not the players that will ensure long-term success and continued billion dollar television payouts.

What that has created is a culture where often the most powerful person on campus is not the President or even the Athletic Director, but instead the marquee football or basketball coach.

The salaries for top-level head coaches have grown to the point where many of them are paid more money than it takes to run some entire departments at the colleges they represent.

These mega-salaries have come with a price. The pressure on coaches to win now is so great that it appears the days of coaches staying 20 or 30 years at the same institution is going the way of the two-handed bounce pass.

While there still are a few coaches enjoying success that have been at the same school for more than two decades like  Joe Paterno and Frank Beamer in college football and Jim Boeheim and Mike Krzyzewski in basketball, they are becoming the exception, rather than the rule.

Instead, the hot coaches are those like Lane Kiffin, Nick Saban and John Calipari who are little more than mercenaries hopping from job to job and pillaging all the riches during their stop.

The tale of Calipari, who is poised to reach the final four with a young Kentucky team that features a number of freshmen seemingly destined to spend just one year in college basketball, is a perfect example of how while schools certainly want to run a clean program, the most important thing is winning on the court. Read the rest of this entry →

College Football Week Three Review: What A Great Day! 19

Posted on September 20, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Tyrod Taylor and the Virginia Tech offense struggled until the last minute, then pulled out a dramatic victory.

Tyrod Taylor and the Virginia Tech offense struggled until the last minute, then pulled out a dramatic victory.

It will be pretty hard for the rest of the college football season to have an afternoon like we saw this Saturday. If you were lucky enough to be sitting in front of the TV or at a sports bar for the games that started at 3:30 p.m. EDT, you really got a treat.

Just picking which game to focus on was quite a challenge. Though the Virginia Tech/Nebraska game was the only one pitting top 25 teams, there were several other intriguing games during the time period on national television including Oregon/Utah, Notre Dame/Michigan State, USC/Washington and Florida/Tennessee.

As it turned out, all five games went down to the wire with big plays deciding the outcomes.

For 58 minutes it appeared that Nebraska would get its first road win in more than a decade against a ranked opponent. They led 15-10 and had an anemic Virginia Tech offense pinned deep in their own territory.

Read the rest of this entry →

Is Tim Tebow a Starr in the Making? 1

Posted on July 24, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Despite winning two National Championships and a Heisman Trophy, many still question whether Tim Tebow is an NFL caliber quarterback.

Despite winning two National Championships and a Heisman Trophy, many still question whether Tim Tebow is an NFL caliber quarterback.

Regardless of whether you are a fan of the Florida Gators, it is hard not to like and appreciate the drive and talent of their star quarterback, Tim Tebow.  Yet, even as he enters his final season guiding the preseason national championship favorites, Tebow continues to have detractors that question whether he can be successful at the next level.

While there may be better college football players, Tebow epitomizes all that is positive about college athletics.

A solid student, he is the son of missionaries and has spent time participating in mission trips to the Philippines.

On the field, he plays the game with the type of passion and determination that hearkens back to days gone by.

In his three collegiate seasons, Florida’s number 15 has risen to a level where he is rightfully being compared to the all-time greats in college football history.

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

      Read more »

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