NFL riding high heading into Super Bowl weekend

Is everyone over those stories about the NFL being in decline? Sure, they had some serious controversies last year with the protests, and the NBA was on fire with the Cavs – Warriors battles. College football also created quite a buzz with their new playoff as well starting in 2014.

But suddenly we’ve seen the ratings do a u-turn. NFL ratings are back up again this year, while the NBA is suddenly dipping as the Lebron James versus the Warriors story starts to get old. Superteams are good for a sport . . . but only for a while. Aren’t you sick of the Warriors stockpiling all stars? Meanwhile, the College Football Playoff has lost a little of its luster with Alabama and Clemson being annual locks to play in the final four.

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Ohio State whips Michigan . . . again!

The greatest rivalry in college football produced another fun game (for Ohio State fans) while the overall rivalry is suffering a bit. Michigan isn’t holding up its end of the bargain.

The isn’t The Ten Year War. Urban Meyer is 7-0 versus Michigan. Jim Harbaugh is 0-4 against the Buckeyes.

Michigan was favored on the road against a Buckeye team that had all sorts of drama, not to mentioned a defense that has been royally screwed up by Greg Schiano. There was plenty of smack talk coming from Michigan players and fans, but that ended badly for them yesterday.

This bet365mobilearticle from Bob Wojnowski gives a good overview of the problems with Jim Harbaugh’s program. Harbaugh’s basic offense that relies on power running works well against lesser opponents but just doesn’t cut it against a talented team like the Buckeyes.

Three top-ten teams fall this weekend

The ranks of the undefeated are starting to thin out.

First, the Big 12 showed again how pathetic college defenses can look as Texas defeated rival Oklahoma 48-45 to hand the Sooners their first loss of the season. Texas almost squandered a huge lead but then let the Sooners tie it up late. They sealed with win with a 40-yard field goal from freshman Cameron Dicker.

Meanwhile, Ohio State transfer Joe Burrow had LSU ranked in the top ten without a loss heading into Florida, but the Gators sealed the win with a late pick 6.

Finally, Auburn was handled on the road against Mississippi State, 23-9.

ESPN’s “Get Up” disaster

Greeny

ESPN’s theory behind “Get Up” had some merit, but this venture was risky from the start. Executives must have believed that Mike Greenberg had the type of on air presence that could anchor a “Today” type morning show for ESPN, yet they had to break up the incredibly successful “Mike & Mike” duo to make it happen. We won’t rehash all of that drama, but it now appears that this experiment is doomed to fail.

Michelle Beadle is leaving the program on August 29th, as she declared she will no longer watch college or pro football. She’s certainly entitled to her opinion on recent scandals, but this isn’t the type of attitude that could work for an ESPN morning show that needs to draw football fans to survive.

With her departure, the hoped-for on-screen chemistry among Beadle, Greenberg and Jalen Rose won’t have a chance to materialize. That may be a blessing in disguise for ESPN, as the show has failed to develop a loyal following with these three hosts. All are pros and bring a lot to the network, but Greenberg in particular comes across as much less interesting without Mike Golic as his sidekick.

With Beadle leaving and critical football season about to begin, ESPN had an opportunity to re-imagine this struggling show. Yet they chose to replace Beadle with a rotating cast of Maria Taylor, Laura Rutledge, Jen Lada, and Dianna Russini. This makes little sense unless you’ve decided that “Get Up” cannot exist without a female host. Does anyone really think football fans will be anxious to hear what these hosts will say on Monday morning about the games? Each of these hosts has talent, but what do they bring to a conversation about football? What about betting fans who obsess about odds and look for serious betting info like they might find online at Novibet live betting. It’s hard to imagine serious sports and betting fans sticking with this show.

I’m betting that more fans will be happy to tune into Golic & Wingo over this failed experiment.

R.I.P. Keith Jackson

Keith Jackson, the voice of college football for so many years, has passed. Here’s his call on the last play when the Ohio State Buckeyes defeated Miami for the 2002 National Championship.

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