Hall of Fame Recap + College Football News and Notes






By Jim Hurley

In case you had lost count, it had been 181 days since we last witnessed an NFL game (see Baltimore 34, San Francisco 31 in Super Bowl XLVII) but Football was back on the big stage this past Sunday night after six full months away …no wonder why you’re all in such a good mood today!

The National Football League was front-and-center all this past weekend long in bucolic Canton, Ohio as the Pro Football’s Hall of Fame welcomed in its 50th annual class with folks such as Jonathan Ogden, Warren Sapp, Cris Carter, Larry Allen, Curley Culp, Dave Robinson and coach Bill Parcells all getting enshrined, and so the NBC broadcast was all jazzed up with sideline/booth interviews with all the Hall of Famers and you even got a decent game to boot.

Okay, so the Dallas Cowboys’ 24-20 triumph over the 3-point favorite Miami Dolphins wasn’t always a thing of beauty – these Hall of Fame Games rarely are – but while the likes of Cowboys QB Tony Romo and Miami’s new WR Mike Wallace sat it out, we all got a little glimpse into what may well lie ahead for both of these teams that have combined to win – get this – a grand total of one playoff game the past 10 years.

And that would be Dallas 34, Philadelphia 14 way back in the 2009 season – geez, talk about a rotten last 10 years for these once-proud organizations!

In the Hall of Fame Game win by the ‘Boys, it was interesting to see the stepped-up tempo that the Dallas offense played as head coach Jason Garrett – yes, very much on the Jerry Jones hot seat this season – surrendered play-calling duties to new offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Bill Callahan and the NFC East team played with a more frenetic pace than usual.

Good for them!

No doubt you had to like what you saw from both Dallas’ first-round draft pick C Travis Frederick (a mature kid and stellar blocker from Wisconsin) and an offensive backfield that showed a little kick too with RBs Phillip Tanner (10 carries for 59 yards rushing) and Joseph Randle (13 rushes for 70 yards) both proving to be tough hombres to take down, but the real star of this night was a Cowboys defense that played with great enthusiasm under new/old defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.

True, Dallas DE Frank Selvie (among others) simply ate alive the Miami left tackles on this night – guess Jake Long (now with the St. Louis Rams) is gonna be missed much by this AFC East squad! – and so you gotta believe second-year Dolphins’ head coach Joe Philbin will be going back to that proverbial drawing board to come with ways to help out his LTs or else QB Ryan Tannehill (2-of-5 passing for 11 yards) will be spending much of his Sunday afternoons this fall flat on his back.

And here’s another reason the Dolphins likely won’t be a .500-or-better team for the fourth year in a row:

Even if the aforementioned Wallace can be a major down-field factor, there’s not a whole lot of star power at the other wide outs, although you did have to be sold on Iowa rookie WR Keenan Davis, who showed some good hands/toughness on his five-yard touchdown grab in the fourth quarter.

Last year Miami wide receivers registered only three touchdowns overall and thus the multi-million dollar free-agent signing of Wallace from Pittsburgh was a no-brainer, but a summertime groin injury has limited Wallace’s reps in practice and he didn’t even have as uniform on for this Hall of Fame Game – ugh!

Hey, there’s plenty of NFL Preseason News/Notes & Preview to bring your way all month long, so keep it right here at jimhurley.com and make sure to cash in with all the NFL Preseason Sides & Totals Winners with a full card on tap this week/weekend beginning with Thursday’s six games, including Super Bowl champion Baltimore at Tampa Bay, Cincinnati at Atlanta and Denver at San Francisco. There’s Preseason Week 1 games right through the weekend, so make sure you hook up with Jim Hurley – America’s #1 Handicapper!

In fact, Jim and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers also will be banging out loads of Major-League Baseball Winners all summer long and so check with us right here online at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453.

Check in with us any time after 1 p.m. Eastern time for weeknight NFL and MLB action, any time after 11 a.m. ET for the weekday Baseball games and after 10 a.m. ET for Saturday/Sunday/Holiday Winners.

Just go ahead and pile up the greenbacks while you’re kicking back this summer of 2013!


Need an autograph?

Sounds like Texas A&M quarterback and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel can get you one of his anywhere and any time – for the right price.

No question that this has been an active and not-always-positive off-season for the Aggies’ mega-star player but now he appears to be in some very hot water concerning this latest autographs-for-money caper that allegedly happened and now allegedly could cost him his college eligibility but no one – especially from the always-stuffy NCAA offices – should be too quick to kayo “Johnny Football” from the college football landscape just yet.

We will editorialize here for just a moment:

It’s pretty ironic that Manziel’s latest off-the-field woes have been documented by ESPN’s Outside the Lines show that also this calendar year took down the likes of Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice.

The irony we describe here comes in the form of Manziel, who was one of ESPN’s real favorites last year en route to Texas A&M’s splendid 11-2 season, and it sure seems that Manziel gave generously of his time to the likes of ESPN’s Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and others... yet here’s a case of a media outlet building up a player and then systematically tearing ‘em down.

Don’t get us wrong:

If Manziel violated any silly NCAA rule, then he’s gonna pay – one way or another – but ESPN and its “reporters” seemingly can’t wait to drag “Johnny Football” down after last year building him up to be one of the most popular college football players in the past 50 years.

We’re not kidding because – ask us – and Manziel is right there with the historic likes of Herschel Walker, Tim Tebow, Archie Griffin, Vince Young and O.J. Simpson (among others we failed to mention here) as “Mount Rushmore” types in the sport, and yet the all-sports cable network is gonna puff out its chests when and if it possibly brings Manziel down.

Great work, guys!

In other College Football News & Notes …

Strange but true: there’s already been a coaching casualty and the college football season hasn’t yet started.

Hawaii head coach Norm Chow – who didn’t exactly distinguish himself last year with a 3-9 SU (straight-up) record after finally landing a head-coaching gig – axed offensive coordinator Aaron Price last Friday, and so it’s fully expected the offensive-minded Chow will now serve double-duty.

Okay, no major shakeup in the scheme of things here but Chow’s team averaged only 21.2 points a game last year, and there had been off-season talk that the Warriors were gonna jazz up their offense in this upcoming 2013 season.

Word to the wise for Mr. Chow:

You better have a more productive/explosive offense and you better win at least five games, or else someone in the school hierarchy is gonna fire you next winter …

One other second-year head coach in the college football universe that better win this year is Illinois boss-man Tim Beckman, who “guided” his Big 10 club to a 2-10 SU season a year ago.

Beckman also has an offensive pedigree from his days at Toledo, but his Illini last year ranked a rotten 121st overall in total offense (95th rushing and 105th nationally in passing offense) and scored more than 21 points just once in eight league games – a 52-22 loss at 25 ½-point fav Ohio State back on November 3rd.

Maybe the off-season hiring of former Western Michigan head coach Bill Cubit to serve as the new Illini offensive coordinator – and Cubit’s emphasizing a quick-release passing offense – will help but keep in mind this marks the fourth different O-coordinator for QB Nathan Scheelhaase in as many years at Champaign.

Note that Beckman’s bunch will play its first four games at home this year – versus Southern Illinois, Cincinnati, Washington and Miami (Ohio)-- and the Fightin’ Illini also get to play Big 10 home games against the likes of Wisconsin, Michigan State, Ohio State and Northwestern... so there’s nothing that says this Illinois team can’t win half of its dozen games this season, and if you want to keep an eye on someone here than check out LB Jonathan Brown, who missed much of last year with an injury.

NOTE: More College News/Notes coming soon right here at Jim Sez.


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