NFL AND NCAA HOOPS RUMOR MILL
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Obviously, it's a gigantic weekend on the field in the National Football League where we get it down to the "final four" teams with the Divisional Playoffs always a scream but there's some serious screaming going on 'round the league too ... and here's why:
Much of the loyal New York Giants' fan base continues to bellyache about the fact Tom Coughlin was fired after a dozen years on the job and eventually replaced by his offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo but now hear this:
The Giants - absolutely - just wanted the Coughlin Era to end. The team had suffered through four consecutive non-playoff seasons (including losing years the past three campaigns) and management had grown tired of Coughlin and his dictatorial ways.
Ask us and we tell folks we would've fired Coughlin after the 2013 season when the Jints started off the year at 0-6 SU (straightup) en route to a sour 7-9 season.
Why does everyone want to canonize Coughlin? His teams had one hot month in 2011 - and nothing else to show the past eight years after that first Super Bowl win.
It was indeed time to go! ...
Meanwhile, during this merry-go-round of head-coaching moves the past two weeks, it was good to see NFL "lifer" Hue Jackson land the head-coaching gig in Cleveland but no nibbles at all for former Atlanta Falcons' head coach Mike Smith? Hmmm, he may go the route of one-time Giants coach Jim Fassel and never get back into the league.
Meanwhile, on the College Basketball front we're getting a sense that there's a couple of major "overrations" around in #4 Michigan State and #6 Villanova.:
True, Sparty -- 16-2, 3-2 in the Big 10 while heading into Sunday's matinee tilt at Wisconsin - remains a defensive force but that 76-59 home loss against 9-point pup Iowa this past Thursday night was embarrassing stuff (hey, the Las Vegas line in that game kept moving up, up and away and so lots of folks were wrong!) and we believe this talent is vastly overrated - don't look for a Final Four this go-around from the East Lansing kids.
Villanova - 15-2 overall and 5-0 in the watered-down Big East while entering Saturday's game at long-time rival Georgetown - has nice offensive balance with five players averaging between 10-to-15 points per game but do you trust anyone other than Josh Hart (15.5 ppg) to be a last-second go-to guy?
Let's be frank: Villanova has been to just one Final Four under head coach Jay Wright and yet the forecasts in recent years (including this one) is that there's Final Four material on hand. We're not banking on the Wildcats getting there, okay.
Finally, we know it's a tad early to be talking up some mid-major coaches who might be in line to take over "power conference" jobs but keep your eyes on the following couple of gentlemen:
Mark Montgomery is the current head coach of the Northern Illinois Huskies (14-2, 3-0 Mid-American Conference) and he cut his teeth as an assistant at both Central Michigan and aforementioned Michigan State - if his club stays on this current path watch 'em get mentioned for some Big 10 jobs;
And Boise State's Leon Rice could be en route to bigger/better things as his Broncos (13-4, 4-0 in the Mountain West) have been an under-the-radar story. The 52-year-old Rice brought Boise State into the NCAA Tournament's "First Four" last year and it could soon be time to mention him as a strong choice to guide a Pac-12 team next season. Stay tuned.
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