Peter Socotch

Who will be Oregon's opponent in the Rose Bowl? Here's the scenarios...

Who will be Oregon's opponent in the Rose Bowl? Here's the scenarios...

The Oregon Ducks are Rose Bowl bound. That much is clear. 

Ticket punched. Boom. 

Now, who will Oregon play? Minnesota? Penn State? Wisconsin? A team not in the Big 10?

The answer to that is a little more complicated.

Here’s a quick explanation and possible scenarios… 

The Rose Bowl Game is contractually obligated to feature the Pac-12 Conference Champion and the Big Ten Conference Champion.

However, the Ohio State Buckeyes, a Big 10 team, is currently undefeated, sits atop the College Football Playoff rankings and a 16-point favorite to win Saturday night’s Big 10 Championship vs. No. 8 Wisconsin (10-2).

Unless the Badgers pull off a colossal upset, the Buckeyes will be headed to the College Football semifinals, leaving the Big 10’s spot in the Rose Bowl open.

The Tournament of Roses website explains what happens in a scenario like this:

Should a team from the Big Ten or Pac-12 be selected to go to the College Football Playoff, the Tournament of Roses will traditionally select the next-highest CFP-ranked team from that conference.

The Tournament of Roses may only select a team from its partner conferences.

This rules out anyone from a different conference facing the Ducks on New Years Day. During the BCS era, an at-large team was able to play in the Rose Bowl. That is no longer an option. 

So, that leaves Penn State, Wisconsin and even Minnesota as possible candidates.

If Ohio State does as expected, they will not only advance to the CFB playoff, but hand Wisconsin its third loss of the season. 

The No. 8 Badgers’ ranking would drop and Penn State, current No. 10 in the CFB ranking, would slide up and surpass Wisconsin. 

There is, however, a caveat to that clause in the Rose Bowl contract.

“If the next-highest ranked team is in a ‘cluster’ of teams, meaning there is another team or teams from the same conference ranked within several spots of each other, the Tournament of Roses will select the team from that cluster that will result in the best possible matchup for the Rose Bowl Game,” said Rose Bowl Management Committee Chair Scott Jenkins.

So, even in a loss, Wisconsin could go to the Rose Bowl. Penn State appears to be in an ideal spot, having lost just two games this season, one of which was to Ohio State. Minnesota, whose last appearance in Pasadena came in 1962, is on the outside looking in. The Golden Gophers lost to Wisconsin 38-17 on November 30th and currently rank 18th. There’s a path, it just seems as if it’s a steep and rocky terrain to get there. 

We’ll see how the Big 10 Championship shakes out, but Oregon fans should be prepared for an Oregon-Penn State Rose Bowl match-up on New Year’s Day. 

One person who is probably looking forward to that possibility: Ducks wide receiver Juwan Johnson, who transferred to Oregon from Penn State this season.

Billboard in Utah congratulates Utes for PAC-12 Championship they didn't win

Billboard in Utah congratulates Utes for PAC-12 Championship they didn't win

We all make mistakes. 

Some people's mistakes are just more public than others. 

A digital billboard in Sandy, Utah, which is located about a half hour south of Salt Lake City made this gaffe. 

The screen reads Pac-12 Champions with Utah's logo and the PAC-12 Championship trophy.

It's not immediately known how long this was being displayed, but the timestamp on the tweet is from 9:22pm, which is roughly 30 minutes after the conclusion of the PAC-12 title game in which Oregon won 37-15.

Sewell brothers show family is bigger than football

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Brandon Kamerman/Twitter

Sewell brothers show family is bigger than football

As a battle waged on between the No. 13 Oregon Ducks and No. 5 Utah Utes, another was silently brewing.

Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell was playing across from his brother Nephi for the PAC-12 crown. 

It was inevitable. One of them was going to go home victorious, the other in defeat.

No matter the outcome, though, they would remain family. 

After the game, a touching moment was captured. 

The two were seen hugging and crying on the field at the conclusion of the game. 

Penei Sewell, a finalist for the Outland Trophy, comforted his brother Nephi, who transferred to Utah from Nevada and walked on. 

Some things are just bigger than sports. 

The Ducks are Rose Bowl bound, dashing Utah's hopes of a trip to the College Football Playoff.

Could Nate Tibbetts be considered for Knicks head coaching vacancy?

Could Nate Tibbetts be considered for Knicks head coaching vacancy?

The New York Knicks fired David Fizdale Friday, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. 

The Knicks also cut bait with assistant Keith Smart, per Woj. 

This news isn’t shocking. Fizdale's job security came into doubt when Knicks team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry held an impromptu press conference after a blowout loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers back on Nov. 10. In that presser, they said they believed in Fizdale and his coaching staff, but that they needed to see improvement after a 2-8 start.

With the Knicks now sitting at 4-18, they pulled the plug on Fizdale.

The Knicks are one of the worst teams in the NBA, going 17-65 last season. Quick math: Fizdale went 21-83.  

The Knicks are currently last in the Eastern Conference Standings, and have the second-worst winning percentage in the NBA.

For NBA head coaches, it always seems like you’re on the hot seat. 

Nearly half of the current NBA coaches have been with their team for less than two seasons. 

The longest tenured coaches in the league are as follows: 

  1. Gregg Popovich, Spurs: December 1996
  2. Erik Spoelstra, Heat: April 2008
  3. Rick Carlisle, Mavericks: May 2008
  4. Terry Stotts, Trail Blazers: August 2012

Since Stotts took over the head coaching duties in Portland, five Knicks head coaches have come and gone in a full-time or interim capacity. The next Knicks coach will be the 6th.

The usual suspects have shown up as the next head coach: 

Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, Tom Thibodeau, Jason Kidd…

But perhaps another person who could and should be considered: Trail Blazers assistant Nate Tibbetts.

Tibbetts, who was promoted to associate head coach during the offseason after David Vanterpool departed for Minnesota for the same role, has garnered attention for other head coaching vacancies. In 2016 and in 2019, Tibbetts reportedly interviewed for the head coaching vacancy in Memphis. He reportedly interviewed for the Atlanta Hawks opening in 2018. He was also considered for the Cleveland Cavaliers job. 

Could the Knicks be calling?

"He's earned a shot [at a head coaching job]," said ProBasketballTalk's Kurt Helin.

Oregon State's Kee Whetzel enters transfer portal

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IMAGN

Oregon State's Kee Whetzel enters transfer portal

Oregon State linebacker Kee Whetzel’s time at Oregon State has come to an end. 

The Clearwater, FL native took to Twitter to make the announcement. 

God moves in ways that I can’t explain. As much as I feel like I have unfinished business, there’s something compelling need to start a new chapter in my life. As of right now I will not be returning to Oregon State to go to school or play football I will enter The transfer portal and re-open my recruitment in search of a new home. My teammates will be dearly missed and I know the brothers I made will know where to find me. To Beaver Nation fans, you guys are amazing and I could never repay you for the great memories and support for the last three years. To the few coaches I connected with the last year and a half I appreciate you. I wouldn’t go back and change a thing. God‘s plan. Forever #GoBeavs -- Kee Whetzel

The junior safety was away from the Beavers program for more than a month earlier this season for personal reasons, something he shared via social media back in September.

In 24 games, including two starts, Whetzel registered 65 tackles, five for a loss and 4 sacks. 

Russell Wilson is authentically himself

Russell Wilson is authentically himself

Monday Night Football brought us so many gems: 'Baby Yoda' Russell Wilson, A touchdown celebration dance honoring the group New Edition, and Russell Wilson getting mic'd up. 

The video starts with Wilson in the huddle saying "Clear hearts, clear eyes, clear minds... let's go to work. One play at a time. Locked in. Let's go do this thing together. Whatever it takes."

Other bytes include: 

"One play at a time. No fear. No fear, baby!"

"Hey! Ho! Atta baby!"

"Thirty minutes of great football right here, let's go get it."

To some, the mic'd up experience was... Lame? Boring? Underwhelming? Cringeworthy?

If people were looking for Russ to say something salacious, to be a poor sport, talk smack, they'd have to look elsewhere. 

When you're as big of a star as Wilson is, people are always on the lookout to catch you slipping. They want to expose that maybe you aren't as genuine or respectful or authentic as you claim to be.

Thing is, with Wilson, this is just who he is. Sorry to disappoint...?

The internet was quick to correct back in defense of Wilson:

In NBC Sports' Headstrong series, Wilson talked about his positive mental tactics during a game. 

"This game is a lot greater than just a play. The reality is god blessed me to be able to play this game and to have great perspective on life and to be here."

"It reminds me to have a grateful heart."

And in case you were wondering if Wilson's speech when being mic'd up on MNF was a fluke, we submit to you exhibit B. 

Jusuf Nurkic's hat has the internet buzzing, wondering

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Trail Blazers

Jusuf Nurkic's hat has the internet buzzing, wondering

Jusuf Nurkic remains on the mend for the Portland Trail Blazers. The big man, who suffered a season-ending leg injury in March. He's regularly attending games and has had to dig deep into his closet to make sure he doesn't repeat any outfits.  

For Wednesday night's game, the Bosnian Beast showed up in a grey suit, plain white t-shirt and white sneakers with white socks. 

But, it was what he was wearing on top of his head that caught everyone's attention. 

His look was garnering a lot of pop culture comparisons.

One Twitter user compared Nurk's look to that of Ducky from Pretty in Pink

Another shared this gif of Porky from the Little Rascals. 

But, Nurk's stetson-style hat is sitting so far back on his head, it got us wondering how in the world it's not falling right off his head!

Here are three explanations: 

  • Glue-- Nurk has decided he and the hat have become one and it is now permanently apart of him.
  • Fear-- The hat is simply too afraid to fall off out of what the Bosnian Beast might do to it. 
  • Bobby pin -- This is the least probable answer and should not be strongly considered. 

Honorable mentions: Tiny minions holding on for dear life from underneath the hat; It's a kids hat and is on so tight it won't come off.

If we talk with Nurkic after the game, we'll let you know.

Presenting: 'Baby Yoda' Melo

Presenting: 'Baby Yoda' Melo

By now, you’ve undoubtedly seen Russell Wilson as ‘Baby Yoda.’

It took over Twitter during Monday Night Football and caught fire across all social media. 

The Seahawks have embraced 'Baby Yoda' Wilson. 

Russell Wilson did, too! 

But, who says it’s just the Seattle Seahawks that can have a little fun…?

We present to you, ‘Baby Yoda’ Melo. 

You’re welcome. 

A New Edition: Seahawks TD celebration becomes an instant classic

A New Edition: Seahawks TD celebration becomes an instant classic

NFL players are continuing to take touchdown celebrations to the next level. From squad photos, to keg stands, to boat rowing and more, touchdown celebrations have become just as much of a statement the touchdown itself!

And for a moment last night, the Seahawks traded in their shoulder pads and helmets to become a boy band. 

WATCH 

After Russell Wilson’s 60 yard touchdown pass to David Moore, he along with Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf and Jaron Brown busted a move.   

After the game, the players explained the meaning behind the dance. 

The Seahawks have a lot to bust a move over. They now sit atop the NFC West after their win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Russell Wilson's 'Baby Yoda' image steals the show on Monday Night Football

Russell Wilson's 'Baby Yoda' image steals the show on Monday Night Football

The Seattle Seahawks won in dramatic fashion in primetime Monday night, taking over the top of the NFC West in the process. 

But, who would have thought that a 'Baby Yoda' Russell Wilson would steal the show…

Yes, take a moment to re-read that last sentence. 

Prior to Monday night’s game vs. the Minnesota Vikings, Seahawks Blogger Josh Cashman, who goes by @CableThanos_ on Twitter, posted this image:

The internet immediately fell in love with 'Baby Yoda.' The phenomenon derives from the new Disney Plus show, "The Mandalorian,” which depicts baby Yoda from the Star Wars series.  

The Russell Wilson 'Baby Yoda' then took on a life of its own.  

People started sharing it all across social media. 

The Seahawks have embraced 'Baby Yoda' Wilson, too.

And then, Russell Wilson himself. 

Will you be retweeting and changing your Twitter avatar?