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Hey, don’t hate on the Gator Bowl. “In a normal season, OSU would be celebrating being undefeated this deep into a year. In a normal season, OSU would be licking its collective chops over needing just a win over Wisconsin next weekend to clinch one of the two spots in the Big Ten Championship game. In a normal season, OSU would be celebrating Notre Dame stubbing its toe and calculating how that would impact a push upward in the next set of BcS rankings.
Thanks to the aforementioned arrogance, this is not a normal season. Instead, and aside from the wins, development and shot at a trophy for winning their division, it’s a hollow one.
That’s it, given what could’ve been. No Big Ten title or BcS bowl or even a long-shot at BcS crystal.
Take a bow, Gene Smith. Buy another bow tie and celebrate, E. Gordon Gee. The best the B1G has to offer in 2012 will be on the sidelines thanks to the collective egos involved in last summer’s inexplicable decision.” [John Taylor/College Football Talk]
Ah, what might have been. “ Grady Sizemore and former Cavaliers big man Brad Daugherty both made their pro debuts at the age of 21 and played their final games (at least for now in Sizemore’s case) at 28. That’s eight seasons a piece in a Cleveland uniform—following remarkably similar career trajectories that carried the eventual fates of their respective franchises right along with them.
Of course, it wasn’t Father Time, or “diminishing skills,” or any easily identifiable on-field tragedy that pushed these popular stars out of the limelight. It was the slow, gradual betrayal of their own bodies—the same muscle and bone that they’d each spent their lives crafting into machines of their trade. Once the pictures of durability, Sizemore and Daugherty wound up as Cleveland’s unlikely poster children for how fleeting athletic success can be—and how damaging the loss of a central star can prove for a team.” [Andrew Clayman/The Cleveland Fan]
Wanna see Kevin Durant break Sasha Pavlovic’s ankles? Sure ya do. [Pro Basketball Talk]
I like Trent Richardson. He’s good. “This performance came only a few days after speculation led people to wonder if Richardson’s rib injury (sustained against the Bengals on Oct. 14) would force the Browns to shut him down through the Week 10 bye. While he continues to deal with the lingering effects of the injury, he showed he was still capable of dominating one of the league’s top rush defenses.
Before Sunday’s performance, there was somewhat of a nervous anticipation regarding Richardson. It’s not that nobody thought he could do it — there have certainly been glimpses of his immense talent this season — but most people were simply waiting to actually see it. After all, the Browns still rank near the bottom of the league in rushing yards per game — 29th to be exact.
That, of course, is also an indictment of constantly playing from behind, but Richardson’s presence was supposed to move the Browns away from the usual rushing offense basement dwellers.
After getting more than 20 carries for the first time this season, it would appear that Richardson will actually be able to do that. As the Browns’ offense continues to improve, so too will Richardson’s ability to exceed those expecations.” [Steve Dimatteo/Pro Football Weekly]
I will say that this year’s Browns offense actually looks like a real, honest-to-god, NFL offense. Kinda neat. “For such a long time, the Cleveland Browns never quite knew who their quarterback was.
That has been only half the problem in one of the league’s traditionally weak passing games.
The other half has been chronic uncertainty about who the quarterback is supposed to throw to.
Change is in the air as the Browns get ready to try to throw Baltimore for a loop.
• Passing philosophy:
One thing Mike Holmgren promised would change when he took over as president was a step out of the stone ages.
Progress has been made. The Browns trailed opponents in passing yards 4,149-2,255 in 2009 and 3,709-3,203 in 2010. Mostly behind Colt McCoy in 2011, they actually led their foes in passing yards 3,300-3,158.” [Steve Doerschuk/Canton Rep]