TMG Newsmaker of The Week: Charlie Strong

His team has allowed 99 points in its last two games and lost them both. The shine from a wild opening game win over Notre Dame–in which Texas allowed 47 points–and won–has long disappeared. After the Longhorns’ last defeat–a 49-31 loss to Oklahoma State–Texas athletic director Mike Perrin said the entire athletic program will be evaluated. There  has been almost daily speculation about the possibility that Houston head coach Tom Herman, could be headed up the road to Austin next season. There has already been a mid course correction by a Power 5 conference which fired head coach LSU Les Miles last week. And next up for Texas, is the Red River rivalry against an Oklahoma team that has had its own problems. Small wonder that Texas coach Charlie Strong is working in a crisis mode, wondering if Texas will follow the path chosen by LSU. For that reason, Charlie Strong is’s Newsmaker of The...

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TMG Newsmaker of the Week: Lamar Jackson

In some pre-season projections, he wasn’t even first team all conference.  He wasn’t even second team all conference.  And his team wasn’t even regarded as a contender in its own division. It’s not that way anymore for Lamar Jackson and the No. 3 ranked Louisville Cardinals. Win four games, including a 63-20 romp past Florida State, will certainly change opinions. But even more impressive are the numbers that Jackson, the Cardinals sophomore quarterback, has posted.  Numbers which are hard to project for a TEAM, much less an individual. Numbers like 25 touchdowns (13 passing, 12 running) have made Jackson, who was behind Clemson’s Dehaun Watson and Miami ‘s Brad Kaaya in pre-season all ACC conference QB selections, the Heisman front runner. Next up for Jackson is a game in Death Valley, at Clemson (and Watson) on Saturday night.  It might be a reality check, but it also might be more of the same. Coming off  another highlight film–7 TDs–in Louisville’s 59-28 win over Marshall last week–Jackson is’s Newsmaker of the Week....

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TMG Newsmaker of the Week: Dave Plati

A week ago, Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh created a stir when he refused to release the team’s depth chart before the Wolverines game against Colorado. In response, Dave Plati,  veteran Colorado Sports Information Director and long time friend of the management at, did what he was supposed to do: he provided information in the form of a celebrity depth chart. Such figures as: WR–Elwood Blues and Jake Blues, Nose Tackle Vito Corleone and Lucca Brazzi and Right Guard–Gillette Sure filled the two deep list provided by Plati. It was all in good fun at the expense of Harbaugh, who didn’t appreciate the humor. So be it. Loosen up a little bit, Sparky. It’s only a depth chart, not the actual game. “”It took me maybe 30 minutes in a few here and a few there … missed some good ones because I did it so quick!,” said Plati in an email-response to TMG Sports. The response was so positive and overwhelming that Plati continued the process in a modified version this week for Colorado’s Pac-12 game against Oregon. “”I  am going to do a “celebrity depth” position of the week,”’ wrote Plati, who designated Felix Unger and Oscar Madison to fill the position of Media Back. For this and much more, is delighted to designate Dave Plati as our Newsmaker of the...

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TMG Newsmaker of the Week: The Service Academies

Remember the days when Army, Air Force and Navy were major players in college football? No. Ok. A Jerseyguy doesn’t really remember either, although he does recall Navy under Roger Staubach (a Cotton Bowl team) and Joe Bellino and Army with Pete Dawkins and Bill Carpenter (The Lonesome End)–barely. Air Force not so much. And Navy has had quality teams the past several years under the guidance of Ken Niumatlolo. But for the most part, the service academies have been schedule fillers for most college football opponents. So it was with more than a degree of interest that a Jersey guy checked the records of Air Force, Navy and Army after the first two weeks and saw 2-0, 2-0, 2-0. Some more snooping provided this tidbit. The last time this happened at the start of the season was 1996.  And, it looks promising for each academy to go to 3-0.  Navy travels to Tulane this week (winnable),  Air Force travels to Utah State (winnable) and Army travels to UTEP (winnable), although the Cadets must deal with the death of their classmate and teammate, cornerback Brandon Jackson, who was killed in a car accident last weekend. The streak can’t last after that since Air Force plays Navy on Oct. 1. For this accomplishment and much more, is proud to make the service academies our Newsmaker of the...

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TMG Newsmaker of the Week: Nick Saban

In his hey-day former Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne was known for more than his X’s and O’s skills. Dr. Tom also set up a quasi Boys Town for wayward souls in Lincoln. Osborne had numerous rehab projects, including the troubled, but talented running back Lawrence Phillips. Now we have Alabama football coach Nick Saban, who seems to be setting up a halfway house for football coaches who need reprogramming. A few years ago, Saban provided a port in the storm for former USC football coach Lane Kiffin, who has had a brilliant run as the Tide’s offensive coordinator and now seems ready to go out on his own again. St. Nick has extended an invitation to Kiffin’s successor at USC, Steve Sarkisian, who was fired after admitting he had an alcohol abuse problem.  “We’re glad to have him as part of the organization,”’said Saban, who hired Sarkisian as an “analyst”. “Hopefully he will be able to get back on his feet professionally and this will be beneficial to him.” With that in mind, has learned that Saban reportedly is also considering helping other souls looking for new direction. Included are: Former Illinois coach Tim Beckman, former Baylor coach Art Briles, each of who had non-football issues involved in their dismissal.  St. Nick also reportedly will give courtesy interviews to former Congressman Anthony Weiner, and  is ready to...

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TMG Newsmaker of the Week: ESPN

It’s a good thing ESPN didn’t open its college football coverage this season with Brent Musburger calling the play by play on the California vs. Hawaii game in Sydney, Australia. Musburger, you remember, had a signature opening, “You are looking live at ….when he did his opening shots. Musburger could have said that, of course, but he would have been forced to amend that to “You are looking live at Sydney, and so am I”’ because ESPN televised the game with its play by play crew in the United State, a fact that the world wide leader did not mention directly. In actuality, the Dalai Lama in his exile in residence in India, was 3,000 miles closer to the action than the ESPN crew of Allen Bestwick, Warren Smith and Mike Bellotti, watching the action at ESPN headquarters. Oh,, they talked about the weather, showed tailgate scenes and commented on the action with few blips.   Calling games from studios is not new. It saves money. ESPN has done it before at other venues in other sports, but seldom in college football (to our knowledge) and on its main ESPN network. And certainly not in the unofficial opening of the televised college football season. I remember as kid in New Jersey listening to the great Les Keiter “recreate” San Francisco games on the radio for his listeners on the...

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TMG Newsmaker of Week: LSU athletes and staff

It was a story which tugged your heart, because it was so sad and because it had happened before to  many of the same people in the same state. The rains which have hit Louisiana in the last few weeks were biblical, some places received nearly 32 inches, which if it were a blizzard would be more than 300 inches of snow. At least 13 lives were lost and more than 40,000 homes were damaged. And this wasn’t even a named storm. In the aftermath, aid and support came from various places, some visits perhaps prompted by politics, as in Donald Trump’s and President Obama’s. But the support, which also had significant meaning, was that provided by the athletic teams and staff at LSU.  Baton Rouge was in the middle of the storm area (19 inches of rain). LSU athletes helped the victims clean out houses, find personal belongings and just offered a friendly and sometimes familiar face to people who needed it the most. For these actions, the LSU athletic teams and staff are the Newsmaker of the Week....

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TMG Newsmaker of the Week: The Big 12 Presidents

At first, it made sense.  The Presidents were acting like Presidents.  They talked about academics as well as athletics. They talked about finances. They talked about the future and the concept of expanding a league from 10 to 12 to possibly 14 schools. A list of six possible candidates emerged. Each had some positives, each had some negatives. But the process was sound. And then…The six schools doubled to 12 and then it went to 18 and then to 20.  The list went from California to Carolina. It went to Vegas, it went to New Mexico, it went to Arkansas. Arkansas State to the Big 12? East Carolina? Temple? UNLV? New Mexico? Are you serious? The thought process of how this would work in terms of travel, in terms of fans, in terms of anything,  was confusing, to say the least.. No one, and I mean no one, seemed to be knowing what was going on. Big 12 expansion became a punch line for all sorts of jokes. . For this, and for a variety of other reasons, the Big 12 Presidents are TMG’s Newsmakers of the Week.    ...

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U of Fla. and Tim Tebow

Some good news and bad news from the University of Fla. First the bad news. Last winter,  a woman brought sexual assault charges against two University of Florida football players, Antonio Callaway and Treon Harris. The University reacted by suspending both players. Harris has left school, while Callaway maintains his innocence and remains in school. As part of the case, a Title IX hearing is scheduled for this week. The normal procedure is for an impartial party to preside over the hearing.  The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.  ...

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TMG Newsmaker of Week: Mike Aresco

He could have danced around the issue. He didn’t. He could have downplayed its significance. He didn’t. American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco went into this week’s AAC football media day festivities knowing that the focus would be on the stability of his conference, with a raid from the Big 12 appearing inevitable. Aresco, who has been commissioner of a league which started as the Big East football and basketball conference and then morphed into the AAC when the Catholic 7 segment of Big East basketball broke away, actually used the term “elephant in the room.”. And then he switched to the schools that are still part of the AAC. In doing so, Aresco mentioned Condoleeza Rice, John F. Kennedy, Paul Bear Bryant and the Broadway play Hamilton. I was sitting next to my friend, ESPN’s Ivan Maisel at the AAC meetings in Newport as Aresco went on his tour of historical figures. Maisel tweeted the references and I thought back to the famous speech in Animal House in which John Belushi gave a pep talk to the boys from Delta House and talked about the Germans bombing Pearl Harbor. Like Belushi, Aresco was on a roll as he talked about a future for his conference which he viewed with glasses which many suggested could be rose-colored in tint. No one, including Aresco knows how this will play...

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