Happy New Years Eve to all of my readers. This New Years Eve has also seen a fair amount of sports news, so let’s get to it:
Ravens Fire Billick:The Baltimore Ravens fired head coach Brian Billick today, after the Ravens finished the year at 5-11. After a 13-3 season last year, the Ravens underachieved this year and Billick has taken a lot of the blame. The team even lost nine consecutive games before finishing with a 27-21 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers yesterday. Since the Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2000, they have won only one playoff game. Less than a year ago, Billick received a contract extension through the 2010 season and stated a couple weeks ago that he would be back for 2008. Owner Steve Bisciotti had other ideas. “I just changed my mind. I can’t explain it to you. It’s the toughest decision I’ve had to make” the owner said Monday. The Ravens were a disappointment this year and someone had to take the fall. Unfortunately, it was Billick’s turn.
McGrady Out For A Few Weeks:Though it looked like the injury would only need a couple days to heal, Tracy McGrady’s left knee has not gotten any better. The Houston Rockets are coming to a tough stretch in their schedule playing at both Boston and Orlando this week. It looks like McGrady will miss those games and more as he could be out as many as three weeks.
College Basketball Poll Released: Week 8 of the AP and ESPN/USA Today Top 25 polls were released today, and the top five teams did not change. After losing to Dayton this week, the Pitt Panthers dropped seven spots while Dayton climbed into the Top 25 in the number 23 position. Mississippi has started the year undefeated and jumped up six spots to the number 18 position. Texas dropped from number 9 to number 14. Dropping out of the Top 25 were Miami (FL), BYU, and West Virginia while St. Mary’s and Wisconsin joined Dayton as newcomers to the Top 25. Check out my new Top 25 on my college basketball page.
College Football Bowls In Full Swing: A lot of bowls on New Years Eve, so here are the highlights from them. Cal came back from a 21-0 deficit to beat Air Force 42-36 in the Armed Forces Bowl. Air Force QB Shaun Carney got injured in the beginning of the 4th quarter and Air Force never had a chance after that. In the Sun Bowl, Oregon massacred 21 South Florida 56-21. This is the same Oregon without QB Dennis Dixon who had not won in three games. Running-back Jonathan Stewart rushed for 253 yards and the Ducks outscored South Florida 38-7 in the second half. How South Florida ever go to number 2 in the country is beyond me. Fresno State defeated Georgia Tech 40-28 in the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl. Currently, Kentucky leads Florida State 28-14 and Oklahoma State is up 21-3 on Indiana. The game of the day is starting in 10 minutes when number 15 Clemson and number 23 Auburn face off in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.