clemson secures place in history

(AP) — Dabo Swinney kissed the championship trophy and proclaimed this Clemson team the greatest of all time.

He’s got a case.

With stunning ease — and a freshman quarterback — Clemson toppled college football’s greatest dynasty again to become the first perfect playoff champion.

Trevor Lawrence passed for 347 yards and three touchdowns and the second-ranked Tigers beat No. 1 Alabama 44-16 on Monday night in the College Football Playoff national championship game.

In the fourth consecutive playoff meeting between the Tigers and Tide, Clemson evened the series and beat ‘Bama for the national championship for the second time in three years. Clemson is the first college football team to finish 15-0 since the 1800s, and the first team since the playoff started five seasons ago to get through a season unscathed.

“I mean, our guys had the eye of the tiger, but I’m so proud, and then for our seniors to be able to go out 15-0 and truly be the best ever — there was a lot of talk about best ever all year long,” Swinney said, talking about Alabama. “We were never in that conversation. But tonight, there’s no doubt. First 15-0 team, to beat Notre Dame and to beat Alabama to do it, this team won 13 games by 20 points or more and led by an unbelievable group of seniors, amazing group. I’m just thankful to be a part of it.”

Alabama coach Nick Saban and the Tide (14-1) were looking for a sixth national championship in 10 years, trying to add to an already unprecedented run in the sport. Instead, Clemson crushed Alabama, becoming the first opponent to beat the Tide by more than 14 points since Saban became coach in 2007.

Swinney’s Tigers sealed their status as a superpower, no longer just 1A to Alabama’s 1.

“We’re 15-0, we beat the best team ever, nobody’s taking that away from us,” Clemson All-American defensive tackle Christian Wilkins said.

Two seasons ago it was Deshaun Watson dethroning the Tide with a last-second touchdown pass. Clemson’s new star quarterback didn’t need the late-game heroics. The long-haired Lawrence cut though Alabama’s defense with the help of another fabulous freshman. Justyn Ross made a juggling grab, a one-handed snare and broke a 74-yard touchdown about midway through the third quarter that made it 37-16 and had Swinney high-stepping down the sidelines.

Ross, who scored two touchdowns in the semifinal rout of Notre Dame, had six catches for 153 yards against his home-state team.

Swinney takes a different approach than Saban, running a more fun-loving program than Alabama’s all-business organization. But the results have been every bit as good. And on Monday night at Levi’s Stadium, in a championship game played more than 2,000 miles away from Clemson’s South Carolina campus, the Tigers were way too much for an Alabama team that had spent the season mauling its opposition. The Tide won their first 14 games by an average of 31 points.

Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa threw two crucial interceptions in the first half, the first returned 44 yards for a touchdown by A.J. Terrell to put Clemson up 7-0. The Tide came in scoring 48 points per game, but was shut out over the final 44 minutes by an opportunistic Clemson defense.

Saban lamented numerous mistakes: blown coverages on third down (Clemson was 10 for 15), stall outs in the red zone and special teams mishaps, including a fake field goal that flopped on the first possession of the second half.

He laid the blame on himself. The Alabama program has set a championship-or-bust standard under Saban, but he didn’t want this season looked at as a failure.

“One game doesn’t define who you are,” Saban said. “But I also told the players that sometimes we learn more when things don’t go well, when we lose.”

Tagovailoa, the sophomore who came off the bench to win the championship game last year for the Tide, went 22 for 34 for 295 yards and two touchdowns.

“We had a great season, but five words: Good is not good enough,” Tagovailoa said. “We didn’t finish the way we wanted to finish. We didn’t do the things we needed to do to execute and be successful in this game, and that’s all it is.”

The Heisman runner-up was also the second-best quarterback on the field in the championship game. Lawrence finished 20 for 32, and went 18 for 25 for 277 yards over the final three quarters.

The teenager who took over as the starter four games into the season raised the Tigers’ play, giving them an explosive offense to match a suffocating defense, led by All-American linemen Clelin Ferrell and Wilkins.

“Just these seniors, just taking me in, and they kind of dragged me along until I got my feet under me, and they just — they’re awesome people as well as players,” said Lawrence, the first freshman starting quarterback to lead his team to a national title since Oklahoma’s Jamelle Holieway in 1985.

Clemson hit Alabama with a 31-point first half, capitalizing on the Tide’s mistakes and unleashing Lawrence’s rocket arm.

Tagovailoa threw a second interception in the second quarter, this time into triple coverage, and Trayvon Mullen’s 46-yard return put Clemson in Alabama territory. That led to Travis Etienne’s third touchdown of the half, a 5-yard shovel pass from Lawrence.

With a chance to stamp itself as the best team in Saban’s remarkable 12 seasons at Alabama, the Crimson Tide played maybe the worst half of the coach’s tenure. The 15-point halftime deficit was the largest the Tide has ever faced under Saban.

Alabama seemed panicked in the third quarter, running a fake field goal into a waiting Clemson defense instead of kicking from 40. Three plays later, Lawrence faced down a pass rush and slung a pass to Ross, who was alone after Alabama defensive back Saivion Smith went down with an apparent leg injury.

Ross sprinted away and the shocking rout was on.

Almost as shocking as Clemson, a program that promoted an obscure receivers coach to lead the program 10 years ago, climbing over the traditional powers to the top of college football. Clemson finished No. 1 in the AP poll for the third time.

“Our goal is not to win a national championship. People don’t believe that. Our goal is to win the closer right there. The national championship is just a byproduct of that. It’s never been my goal,” said Swinney, who now has as many titles as Hall of Famers Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno. “I don’t measure teams by that, and I know we’ve got some rabid people that that drives them crazy, but I measure our team based on did we get better, did we reach our potential

Browns eye the Present and Future

By Ryan Mouser

The Cleveland Browns announced today that they have fired Head Coach Hue Jackson following their 33-18 loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers. While this had been a long time coming as this loss dropped Hue Jackson’s record to a horrific 3-36-1 record, they also choose to do away with Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley who had conflicts with the head coach. Parting with these two makes a lot of sense for new

GM John Dorsey as Hue Jackson was not his hiring and Todd Haley was someone that Jackson bought in. This will allow Dorsey to find a coach he can pair with franchise quarterback and number 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield. With doing away with the coaches this allows Dorsey to get a jump on the coaching search immediately instead of waiting another 8 weeks. Although the first place he should begin to look is the exact place where he found the guy he deemed to be his quarterback and that’s out in Norman, Oklahoma and his name is Lincoln Riley.

Riley took over the Sooners head coaching spot just 2 seasons ago after Bob Stoops retired and he and Baker together led the Sooners all the way to the Playoffs Semifinals in a close overtime loss to the Georgia Bulldogs. That year with Riley, Baker went on the win the Heisman  trophy and throwing for 4627 passing yards, 43 touchdowns and a 70.5 completion percentage. With the Browns looking to match Baker with a head coach that will help him to develop into the franchise cornerstone they drafted him to be, why  not rekindle the relationship that led Baker to have his best season ever and a season which gained him the status of being taken number 1 overall.

GWL Ceases Operations

By Chandler Guadagnin

Three years after it began, it has come to an end. On Thursday morning, Great West League officials announced that the league will suspend operations, effective immediately. The GWL, a collegiate wood bat summer league, began in 2016.

In it’s short life span, the league consisted of 10 teams (6 a year); namely the Chico Heat, Lincoln Potters, Medford Rogues, Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox, San Francisco Seals, Klamath Falls Gems, Lodi Crushers, Sacramento Stealth, Yuba City Bears and Portland Pickles. Only the Heat, Rogues and Gold Sox remained in the league for the entirety of it’s tenure.

In addition to a revolving door of teams, a fluid number of regular season games and an inconsistent playoff format, sources close to KPAY Sports cited a number of issues that, ultimately led to the GWL’s downfall. Reportedly sources stated that both Klamath Falls and San Francisco failed to meet any of their financial obligations for 2018. In addition, the Lincoln Potters, allegedly refused to pay for the umpires used for the 2018 season.

According to the Heat front office, the team searched for other options, to continue play in Summer of 2019. However, the several alternatives they researched were implausible for several different reasons.

It was great to have baseball back in Chico; however short it was. Thank you to the Chico Heat for bringing back baseball. Thank you to the many players who decided to call Chico home for their summer. Most of all, thank you to the loyal fans who cheered so hard from home and in the stands.

Official Press Release

Breaking: Potters Leave GWL

By Chandler Guadagnin

On Wednesday afternoon, the Lincoln Potters announced that the club is leaving the Great West League for the California Collegiate League in 2019.

Lincoln has spent the past two seasons as part of the GWL, compiling an overall record of 72-46. In each campaign, they made it to the post season, posting a record of 2-4.

A 2018, that saw them set a mark of 35-25 (2nd in GWL), culminated in a Championship Series sweep at the hands of the Chico Heat. This is not the first time that a team has left the Great West League.

Following the 2016 season, both the Lodi Crushers and Sacramento Stealth ended their tenure in the league. They were replaced by the Lincoln Potters and Yuba City Bears. At the conclusion of 2017, both of the Portland Pickles and Yuba City Bears bid farewell. Before the Summer of 2018, Yuba City and Portland were replaced by the Klamath Falls Gems and San Francisco Seals.

Teams are not the only thing that have changed from year-to-year, since the league’s inauguration in 2016. The league has made changes to the playoff format each year. In 2016, only the top two teams advanced to the postseason; which, consisted of a best of 3 championship. The next year, the playoffs expanded to 4 teams and 2 rounds. This season, the regular season division winner, received a bye straight to the Championship Series. The second and third teams in the standings, matched up in a best of 3 semifinal set. That was later reduced to a one game winner-take-all semi.

The Great West League needs to get consistent soon, or the league will evaporate completely.

Source: www.lincolnpotters.com

Statistics courtesy of www.pointstreak.com

 

2018 MLB Playoff Schedule

By Chandler Guadagnin

With the Major League Baseball playoffs soon approaching. Here is a visual breakdown of the schedule:

*If necessary

AL Wild Card

Athletics 2 FINAL 7 Yankees
NYY TO ALDS

The AL Wild Card Game can be seen on TBS

NL Wild Card

Rockies 2 FINAL/13 1 Cubs
COL TO NLDS

The NL Wild Card Game can be seen on ESPN

AL Division Series

Game 1 Indians 2 FINAL 7 Astros
0-1 1-0
Game 2 Indians 1 FINAL 3 Astros
0-2 2-0
Game 3 Indians 2 FINAL 11 Astros
HOU TO ALCS

 

Game 1 Yankees 4 FINAL 5 Red Sox
0-1 1-0
Game 2 Yankees 10 FINAL 2 Red Sox
1-1 1-1
Game 3 Yankees 1 FINAL 16 Red Sox
1-2 2-1
Game 4 Yankees 3 FINAL 4 Red Sox
BOS TO ALCS

The ALDS can be seen on TBS


National League Division Series

Game 1 Braves 0 FINAL 6 Dodgers
0-1 1-0
Game 2 Braves 0 FINAL 3 Dodgers
0-2 2-0
Game 3 Braves 6 FINAL 5 Dodgers
1-2 2-1
Game 4 Braves 2 FINAL 6 Dodgers
LAD TO NLCS

 

 

Game 1 Rockies 2 FINAL/10 3 Brewers
0-1 1-0
Game 2 Rockies 0 FINAL 4 Brewers
0-2 2-0
Game 3 Rockies 0 FINAL 6 Brewers
MIL TO NLCS

Games 1-3 of NLDS can be seen on FS1 or MLBN.

Games 4 and 5 of NLDS can be seen on FS1.

AL Championship Series: Best of 7

Game 1 Astros AT Red Sox Oct 13
RHP Verlander TIED 0-0 LHP Sale
Game 2 Astros AT Red Sox Oct 14
Game 3 Red Sox AT Astros Oct 16
Game 4 Red Sox AT Astros Oct 17
*Game 5 Red Sox AT Astros Oct 18
*Game 6 Astros AT Red Sox Oct 20
*Game 7 Astros AT Red Sox Oct 21

The ALCS can be seen on TBS

NL Championship Series: Best of 7

Game 1 Dodgers 5 FINAL 6 Brewers
LEADS 1-0
Game 2 Dodgers AT Brewers Oct 13
LHP Ryu LEADS 1-0 LHP Miley
Game 3 Brewers AT Dodgers Oct 15
Game 4 Brewers AT Dodgers Oct 16
*Game 5 Brewers AT Dodgers Oct 17
*Game 6 Dodgers AT Brewers Oct 19
*Game 7 Dodgers AT Brewers Oct 20

The NLCS can be seen on FOX or FS1

World Series: Best of 7

Game 1 NL AT AL Oct 23
Game 2 NL AT AL Oct 24
Game 3 AL AT NL Oct 26
Game 4 AL AT NL Oct 27
*Game 5 AL AT NL Oct 28
*Game 6 NL AT AL Oct 30
*Game 7 NL AT AL Oct 31

The 2018 World Series can be seen on FOX.

This article will be updated as the postseason unfolds, up to the World Series. Scores are updated every 3 innings.

The schedule can also be viewed on www.mlb.com

Jimmy G done for the year; Giants revamp front office firing Evans

 

(AP) — Jimmy Garoppolo’s addition last season immediately turned around the fortunes of the San Francisco 49ers. Now the 49ers will have to go back to life before Garoppolo for the rest of the season.

The Niners announced Monday that Garoppolo tore the ACL in his left knee while making a cut late in a loss at Kansas City, sidelining him for the rest of the season.

“It is very unfortunate,” coach Kyle Shanahan said. “I’m not going to sugarcoat it. It was hard waking up today. We were down and disappointed about it because we were looking forward a lot to playing with Jimmy this year and going through the good and the bad knowing that he’d benefit from all of it. Now we don’t get to do it. I know Jimmy is really down about it and so are we but it’s still going to be all right.”

The injury deals a serious blow to the 49ers (1-2), who had planned their rebuild around Garoppolo and now must turn again to C.J. Beathard at quarterback.

Garoppolo will undergo surgery in the next week or two after the swelling goes down and should be ready to play again next season. The 49ers are planning to promote Nick Mullens from the practice squad and also will bring several veterans in for tryouts this week, including Tom Savage, Kellen Clemens, possibly T.J. Yates and Matt Moore.

One quarterback who won’t be brought in is former 49ers starter Colin Kaepernick, who opted out of his contract with San Francisco in March 2017 after Shanahan decided he wanted to go with a style of offense that didn’t fit Kaepernick’s game.

“That’s what I said last year and it’s the same situation now,” Shanahan said. “I always look into what style of offense I want to do and what style of offense we’ve been doing the last two years.”

The Niners struggled with Beathard and Brian Hoyer last season before the midseason addition of Garoppolo changed their fortunes. San Francisco won the final five games last year after Garoppolo took over as starter and the team rewarded him with a $137.5 million, five-year contract.

The 49ers will have to wait another year to earn dividends on that investment. Garoppolo got hurt in the fourth quarter of a 38-27 loss Sunday when he was scrambling toward the sideline and decided to cut up field instead of going out of bounds.

Garoppolo’s left knee buckled just before Kansas City cornerback Steven Nelson delivered a big hit, ending what was supposed to be his first full season as a starter after just three games.

Shanahan said the play should serve as a reminder to quarterbacks about the importance of protecting their bodies.

“That’s something that Jimmy will probably look at differently going forward because now he’ll remember this the rest of his life,” Shanahan said. “Nothing against him. This happens with everyone. You see it every Sunday. It’s a reminder for everyone why it’s an obvious coaching point.”

Expectations were high in San Francisco this season that the team could end a four-year playoff drought after Garoppolo had a full offseason to immerse himself in Shanahan’s offense. But with Garoppolo and new running back Jerick McKinnon both knocked out for the season with torn ACLs in September, those high hopes have been put on hold.

Garoppolo had completed 59.6 percent of his passes with five TDs, three interceptions and an average of 8.1 yards per attempt for a 90 passer rating. While he hasn’t been quite as efficient as he was late last year after being acquired at the trade deadline from New England for a second-round pick, the Niners offense has been far more potent than it was before he took over as quarterback.

Beathard started five games as a rookie last year, completing 54.9 percent of his passes with four touchdowns, six interceptions, 19 sacks, 6.4 yards per attempt and a 69.2 passer rating that was second lowest in the NFL.

Beathard threw a touchdown pass to George Kittle on his first snap Sunday only to have it negated by a penalty and wasn’t in for any other plays in the game.

“I have a lot of confidence in C.J.,” Shanahan said. “I think C.J. got a lot of experience last year. We liked him a lot coming out of college. … He got thrown into as tough a situation as I could imagine a rookie quarterback being thrown in and the guy didn’t blink.”

NOTES: CB Richard Sherman will miss a couple of weeks with a strained left calf. … RB Matt Breida hyperextended his knee and is questionable this week. … RG Mike Person will be questionable with a sprained knee.

(AP) — Bobby Evans was fired Monday as the San Francisco Giants’ general manager.

The team said Evans will be reassigned, with responsibilities to be determined.

The move came as the Giants began the final week of the season at 72-84, their second straight losing record.

“I made the decision, really,” CEO Larry Baer said. “At this point, we needed to take a fresh approach to baseball operations.”

The club will start a search for a new head of baseball operations.

“We’re looking for someone that sort of is the ‘next gen’ general manager, if you will,” Baer said.

“People will say ‘new school versus old school,’ people will say ‘analytics versus scouting,’ and I think that the new, next-generation general manager is able to do both, and will bring both to the mix.”

Evans was hired by the Giants in 1994, became vice president of baseball operations in 2009 under general manager Brian Sabean and was promoted to GM in April 2015 when Sabean became executive vice president of baseball operations.

“He’s a big part of our family tree,” Sabean said. “I came into the organization in ’93 and I believe Bobby shortly thereafter in ’94. We’ve not only grown together in endeavors professionally with the Giants, we’ve grown together as people and it’s a big part of your lifetime.”

The Giants won World Series championships in 2010, 2012 and 2014. They made the playoffs again in 2016, but are 166-224 since taking a major league-best 57-33 record into the All-Star break that year.

Baer said the team is open to female candidates.

“Sure,” he responded. “I haven’t considered anybody yet, since we’re just making this announcement now, but we would consider, of course, females.”

Baer deflected the notion that the Giants were blaming Evans for their recent struggles.

“Brian Sabean and Bobby Evans at the helm over 26 years, I would match their record with pretty much anybody in the sport and even beyond the sport,” Baer said. “So when we start talking about blame and start talking about that kind of thing, I mean I understand the question . you want to blame the last year and this year to some extent, but I don’t step back and think of this in terms of blame, I think of this in terms of it’s been an incredible run, an incredible journey, but it is time now to create the next — to create the blueprint of the future.”

 

Fred Ludwig Steps Down

By Chandler Guadagnin

According to the Chico Enterprise Record, Chico Heat skipper, Fred Ludwig has announced via Facebook, that he has decided to step down as manager of the Heat.

“What an amazing three seasons coaching/managing the Chico Heat,” Ludwig wrote. “Two Great West League Championships, gameday memories that will never be forgotten, and bonds that will never be broken. To the Chico Heat ownership, management, host families, boosters, sponsors, the greatest fans in the Great West League, City of Chico, and of course our radio guys, Thank You. Thank you for your all your support. To all the coaches and players, thank you for your dedication to the team and grinding it out together. I will never forget you guys. I look forward to watching many more games and championships from the stands.”

Ludwig spent three seasons at the helm of the Chico Heat. Over that span, the Heat went 115-59 (.661), including a record-setting 43-14, 2018 campaign.

Statistics courtesy of www.pointstreak.com

Official: Cutch to Yankees

By Chandler Guadagnin

According to Buster Onley of ESPN, the Giants have dealt Andrew McCutchen to the New York Yankees, in exchange for two prospects. This season McCutchen hit .255 with 15 home runs, 55 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. Cutch led San Francisco in both home runs and stolen bases.

Update: The Giants have announced that they have received INF Abiatal Avelino and RHP Juan De Paula.

Avelino, New York’s 23rd ranked prospect, split time between Double and Triple-A. In 122 games, Avelino hit .287 with 36 extra-base hits (15 home runs) and 25 stolen bases.

In 10 appearances (9 starts) with short-season Staten Island, De Paula (ranked 26th) threw to the tune of a 1.71 ERA; posting a 2-2 record.

Statistics courtesy of www.mlb.com and www.knbr.com

BitOBaca Show is back as new voice of High School Football is introduced

 

The BITOBACA Show is back on the KpaySports APP and KpaySports.com. Join me every Wednesday at 9am PT as I take you on a journey of local and national sports.

LISTEN TO BITOBACA PODCASTS HERE:
http://kpay.com/podcasts/bitobaca-is-back!

This Wednesday we talk with the new voice of high school football on KpaySports Mike Vislofsky. Mike moves from the studio to the sidelines calling games.

Mike is a sports enthusiast who is now realizing his dream all while dealing with Tourette’s Syndrome. Mike will tell us what its like calling a game with Tourette’s and really opens up about Tourette’s and how he has embraced it as part of his journey. Wednesday morning at 9am on the KpaySports APP and KpaySports.com

(Pictured Mike Vislofsky, Voice of High School Football on KpaySports)

LISTEN TO BITOBACA PODCASTS HERE:
http://kpay.com/podcasts/bitobaca-is-back!