Second-place Heisman finish motivates Te'o, Notre Dame


Second-place Heisman finish motivates Te'o, Notre Dame

Maybe things were going too well for Notre Dame in the last few days. Manti Te'o won every award he was up for -- six in total, setting a new NCAA single-season record for a top-flight college football player. The reality of being 10-point underdogs to Alabama had set in a while ago. What was left to fuel the world-against-us mentality that Notre Dame so proudly carried through 12 games this season?

Their best player finishing second for the Heisman Trophy, apparently.

Plenty of Notre Dame players took to twitter after Johnny Manziel was awarded with the Heisman Saturday night to express their displeasure. Linebacker Carlo Calabrese tweeted "Thats bull. End of story." Braxston Cave, T.J. Jones, Jarron Jones and Kendall Moore all used the hashtag pissed. Nobody was in the business of taking shots at Manziel, but the thought that Te'o wasn't honored as the best player in the country clearly rankled the team.

Te'o took a different route to come to the same result: An added push for the next month of practice.

"Its motivation," Te'o told reporters in New York. "I always wanted to be the best. I just use that as motivation too, you know. Just be the best I can be. Obviously I have a lot of work to do. Im just excited to get back and get things cranking."

Te'o's been away from Notre Dame for nearly a full week, and missed the team's first bowl practice and awards ceremony on Friday. The travel schedule weighed on Te'o, taking him from Charlotte to New York to Houston back to New York in the span of only a few days. The early-morning flights and glad-handing will be replaced by tackles and a few finals to wrap up.

"Im relieved that its over," Te'o said of his exhaustive awards tour. "Im excited that I get a chance to prepare for Bama. Heisman Trophy or National Championship, Ill take the National Championship 100 times out of 100. And I want to get back with my brothers, I saw them on TV last night during that awards show and I missed them. Its time for me to go back home and be with my guys."

ESPN ranks Derrick Rose No. 36 in its World Fame 100 list


ESPN ranks Derrick Rose No. 36 in its World Fame 100 list

Yes, Derrick Rose Stans. Your boy still has plenty of relevance in the sports world.

ESPN released its third annual ranking of "the biggest names in sports," and the Timberwolves point guard ranked No. 36 on the list. ESPN formed the list based on a formula that took three factors into account:

1. Search score, "which measures how often a name is searched"

2. Endorsement dollars, with sources using ranging from Forbes to ESPN contributors

3. Social media followers, with ESPN taking only the platform in which the player had his or her most followers into account.

Rose's search score wasn't all that impressive, ranking 15 - the average on the top 100 list had a score of 35. But with Bulls fans, NBA fans and now of course Timberwolves fans chiming in on his game, Rose's name came across plenty of timelines and search engines.

Rose's $14 million in endorsements - primarily from that massive Adidas deal - was better than the average $12.6 million of the top 100 athletes.

Rose's top social media page is on Facebook, where he currently has more than 10.7 million likes. This, as ESPN notes, is largely due to the international following Rose and so many other NBA athletes have built up over the years.

In 2016, Rose ranked No. 30 on the list. In 2017 he was No. 33 on the list, so while he isn't trending in the right direction there's no denying his presence in the sports landscape. Love him or hate him, Derrick Rose still matters.

The only NBA players above Rose on the list were LeBron James (No. 2), Kevin Durant (No. 7), Stephen Curry (No. 9), James Harden (No. 24), Kyrie Irving (No. 27), Dwyane Wade (No. 31) and Russell Westbrook (No. 34). NBA players below Rose included Carmelo Anthony, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Isaiah Thomas, and Cameron Payne.

OK, not Cameron Payne. He must have been No. 101.

Tarik Cohen was NFL's best big-play RB in 2017

Tarik Cohen was NFL's best big-play RB in 2017

Tarik Cohen's rookie season with the Chicago Bears was an impressive blend of running, receiving and special teams play. He quickly became a household name. The combination of his diminutive frame and oversized personality made him a fan favorite, especially when he started gaining yards in chunks.

In fact, of all running backs with a minimum of 80 carries last season, Cohen had the highest percentage of runs that were 15 or more yards, according to Pro Football Focus.

Cohen will have a big role in new coach Matt Nagy's offense this season because of everything he offers a play-caller. He's a weapon as a receiver out of the backfield and can chew up yards on the ground like any traditional running back. He's a hold-your-breath talent who can turn a bad play into a touchdown in the blink of an eye.

Cohen had 370 rushing yards, 353 receiving yards and three offensive touchdowns in what can be described as a limited role last year. John Fox and Dowell Loggains didn't seem to ever figure out how to best use Cohen's skill set. That should be no issue for Nagy and Mark Helfrich, the team's new offensive coordinator, who both bring a creative offensive approach to Chicago.

Jordan Howard will be the starter and will do most of the heavy lifting. But Cohen is going to have a much bigger role than he had as a rookie, and that should result in more big plays and points on the board.