"It's called the CBS Sports Classic, and it's going to be an annual event featuring four of the biggest programs in college hoops history: Kentucky, North Carolina, UCLA and Ohio State."
-Matt Norlander, CBS Sports
In similar fashion to the Champions Classic, four top college basketball programs will be going head-to-head on national television during the 2014-2015 season and beyond in the newly created CBS Sports Classic. Four different regions of the country are covered by four programs that total 25 NCAA Tournament championships -- nearly a third of all title-winners.
Those teams include Kentucky, North Carolina, UCLA, and Ohio State. Kentucky is the only team of the four that will also compete in the Champions Classic (along with Duke, Michigan State and Kansas). It all starts next season in round-robin fashion when the Buckeyes will take on North Carolina at the United Center in Chicago on Dec. 20th while UCLA and Kentucky will face off.
The following year, on Dec. 19th, Ohio State will play Kentucky, and North Carolina will play UCLA at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The third stop will be in Las Vegas on Dec. 17, 2016. That round will feature Kentucky vs. North Carolina and UCLA vs. Ohio State.
"I think we're going to keep it central. It's too hard. In basketball, you have 14 fan bases. With football, you have two fan bases involved in the championship game. Out of respect and common sense, you don't want to move it to a place where 100% of the people that are involved are going to have to come from someplace else."
-Jim Delany, Big Ten Commissioner
During a Q&A session, Jim Delany provided some slight shade to recently joined Big Ten members Maryland and Rutgers. In response to a question of potentially moving the football championship game out east, Delany said the quote above. While not directly mentioning the programs by name, with the new "market" being out east, it's clear what Delany thinks of the chances of Maryland and Rutgers actually making the championship game.
I can't really say I disagree with Delany's statement, though, but it does add a little humor to the story. I actually think both programs can compete, but I do think it's unlikely that either of them make the title game in the first year or two. Can't blame the guy for being honest!
"Ohio State football signee Parris Campbell Jr. says he will not redshirt during his freshman season and that he also hopes to run indoor track for the Buckeyes next year. Campbell also said he wants to run indoor track at Ohio State. 'I still want to be able to do both sports because I love both of them,' he said."
-Joe Noga, Northeast Ohio Media Group
The Ohio State signee from the class of 2014, Parris Campbell, has plans of not redshirting during the upcoming football season in Columbus, as the coaching staff told him to be ready to play at slot receiver in the fall. Coach Meyer and the staff will be trying Campbell out a receiver first, but Campbell can play multiple positions, including running back.
Being versatile is only going to help Campbell's cause when trying to get playing time, and his speed is helping that versatility along nicely. Campbell recently ran a 10.47 in a 100-meter dash, a time that surprised even Campbell. Many players before Campbell have come to Ohio State and done two sports, most recently Devin Smith running track in the spring while playing football in the fall.
"'They all have the ability to play in the NFL,' Ohio State offensive line coach Ed Warinner said. 'So No. 1, I hope they get that opportunity. No. 2, I hope they get it with a team that needs their skill set, because part of making it to the NFL is getting to the right team where what you're good at is what they do.'"
-Bill Rabinowitz, The Columbus Dispatch
One of the main reasons Ohio State had so much success in the running game last season (other than the two-headed monster of Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde) was because of the experienced offensive line that included Jack Mewhort, Corey Linsley, Andrew Norwell and Marcus Hall. With all of them looking toward their life after Ohio State, only Mewhort is a for sure thing in Thursday's NFL draft.
Linsley has a decent shot at being picked in the later rounds of the draft, but Norwell and Hall will most likely be looking to sign with a team as a free agent. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, either. As coach Warinner said above, it's important to land with a team that they will feel comfortable with in learning the system and beyond. Hopefully teams will look at the success this offensive line had during the past two seasons and consider picking them up.
STICK TO SPORTS
- A man in Florida is trying to marry his porn-filled Apple computer to protest gay marriage. Uh, okay.
- Just in case you haven't gotten enough of the Jameis Winston stealing crab legs story, Taiwanese animators have you covered.
- If the APR (Academic Progress Rate) is your thing, by all means, help yourself.
- Kevin Durant won his first MVP award last night, and if you missed the emotional speech, it's well worth watching.
- With the Wizards pulling off an upset victory over the Pacers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, head coach Randy Wittman owes the team a dunk. What could go wrong?