Some random thoughts of things from my notebook.
CHARGERS…Final home game in the futbol stadium they use to play football in. Think there will be a few fans wearing Silver & Black in Carson on Sunday, even thought Jon Gruden’s arrival hasn’t done much for the Raiders? The Bolts are (11-10) in home games as they wrap up year three in Carson. Any sentimentality heading to the final game there on Sunday?
..RB-Melvin Gordon..No good memories in Carson-cannot wait get out
..WR-Keenan Allen..We play 16-road games a year.
..Coach Anthony Lynn…Reminds me of a Texas high school stadium.
PADRES….AJ Preller, the once famous Rock’N’Roll GM, is like a kid in a candy store in the offseason. Likes the Good & Plenty, likes the Hershey’s chocolate, likes the M&Ms, likes the Chuckles. Wants to acquire every player on the trade block, wants to sign every free agent. Lots of talk-few deals, just don’t know that his team is better now than last year, but at least it will be different.
AZTECS….They say all the right things about going to the New Mexico Bowl, but the reality is, this is a rinky dink bowl, in a city that does not support its own team, the New Mexico Lobos. So what is there to get excited about, playing infront of 11,000 fans in Albuquerque. This team deserved to be in a bigger bowl against a named opponent they could send their nationally ranked defense out against.
MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE….Not sure how, why Craig Thompson keeps his job as Commissioner of a conference that is off the radar. Quality teams like Boise and SDSU, a great season from Air Force, all these upset wins over Power 5-teams, and they wind up in second tier bowls against second tier teams. Add in this TV contract they are about to sign with FS1-CBS, rather than ESPN, that means schools will get just 3M each. For comparisons, from the SEC to the Big 10-Big 12-ACC-PAC 12, those schools get anywhere from 21M (Pac 12) to 61M-SEC. Can you say rinky-dink again.
HOLIDAY BOWL…Will be a good matchup, USC-vs-Iowa, with the matchup of all that Trojans offense vs the Hawkeyes street tough defense.
USC…All the negativity directed at coach Clay Helton, has now hurt the USC recruiting drive. Wednesday’s national letter of intent signing day was more about defections that five star recruits. The fans, the alumns, and to some degree the media all have blood on their hands on this one. USC did sign 6-offensive lineman.
UCLA…Chip Kelly went (7-17) over two years, and his defense was ranked 112th out of 130-Division 1-teams, but he had a good recruiting run. He signed 10-on defense to start fixing all that is wrong in Westwood. He better start winning soon, after being crowds at the Rose Bowl plunge to all time lows.
SDSU…The picked up a USC transfer QB via the graduate transfer route, and watch to see in spring ball if Jack Sears wins the starting job away from the hot redshirt freshman Cam Baker. Also watch to see how many of the young backups start to transfer out.
AZTECS….Another Rocky Long assistant leaves for a head coaching job. Blane Morgan, the QB-coach, with good credentials, goes home to Texas to take over the Lamar job. And former Defensive Coordinator Danny Gonzalez is going back to be the new head coach at New Mexico. And off the Long-tree, congrats to Bobby Hauck for fixing the Montana Grizzlies, and getting them to the 1AA playoffs and winning an opening round game.
AZTECS….They start playing Big Boy basketball this weekend, with Utah, then the move into the conference schedule shortly after that. This is not a strong MWC league, and if Brian Dutcher can keep this team healthy, they have every component to have a tremendous season. Shooters, rebounders, rim defenders, and a mean street defense. Might this be a 30-win team considering how substandard the conference is? Stay tuned.
USD….This has been a better start than I thought possible, but still ahead are all the landmines that are the West Coast Conference schedule, Gonzaga, St Mary’s and the like. But Sam School has the transfers playing hard, playing together, so maybe they are a player somewhere in the middle of the WCC.
GULLS…A struggle, a lousy start, a hot streak, and now the bulk of their young players have been taken up by NHL Anaheim Ducks. Neither team can score goals. Maybe we should have expected this, the bane of being a minor league team, but this looks more like a team of AHL-journeyman than a team of NHL prospects. Might be a very disappointing hockey season.