College basketball season is almost upon us. That means it's time for the University of Kentucky to make another one-and-done run at the men's national title. And ESPNU was allllllll over it with a national cable broadcast of ... practice. Let us repeat that, just so we're clear: ESPNU carried live coverage of the University of Kentucky's men's basketball practice over the weekend. And a Louisville newspaper wrote an analysis of said broadcast/practice: Takeaways from UK's Live-TV Practice. If it was not apparent before, it is certainly beyond official now: The ESPN family of networks has WAY too much time on its hands. Because, seriously. We're talking about practice. University of Kentucky men's basketball practice, sure. But it was practice. Not a game. PRACTICE. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d29VsG35DQM]
[caption id="attachment_1312" align="aligncenter" width="474"] Texas shocked Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry Saturday, but all that did was raise the question: Where was that performance against everyone else? Smack Zone illustration: Steve Hill.[/caption] OK, we'll own it. We were wrong about the outcome of the Red River Rivalry. We incorrectly wrote off the Texas Longhorns, and they came out Saturday and put it on the Oklahoma Sooners, 24-17. Good job, Longhorns. You deserved to win and you can bask in the glory of another upset of your biggest rival. Too bad you still suck. What? You won, sure. Congratulations. You're 2-4, 1-2 in the Big 12. You still lost to Notre Dame and Texas Christian by a combined score of 88-10. Yes, Coach Charlie Strong body-surfed his way out of the Texas State Fairground Saturday, and his players could congratulate themselves for "winning one for Coach." That can work -- once or twice. College football is great because occasionally, the young men who strap it on can get motivated to play above their collective ability and shock the world. In the long run, though, talent defeats motivation. That's how the Longhorns used to win: They had better players than the other guys. Now? Not so much. Oh, and here is the bottom line when it comes to the Red River Rivalry: As long as victories by Texas are considered "upsets," the Longhorns are a long way away from their former national prominence.
It's a foregone conclusion that Florida State is going beat the hell out of the University of Miami football team Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium. But the burning question this week at the Golf Channel was which of the two schools could produce the more impressive array of trick shots? Here are the videos, posted today by the Golf Channel's Morning Drive show. We'll share our preference below.
Fear the Spear! And the trick shots! @FSUGolf is looking for this week's #MDTrickShots crown over Miami. #MIAvsFSU https://t.co/daH3xZJuf1 — Morning Drive (@GCMorningDrive) October 9, 2015Both are pretty cool. But yeah, FSU wins this, too. [caption id="attachment_1268" align="aligncenter" width="474"] Click to get the shirt, Noles fans![/caption]
By Erez Ladetzky, Smack Zone Contributor Now that both wildcard games have been played, it is on to the division series. The most intriguing matchup looks to be the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Both teams boast ridiculous pitching with pop in their lineups. The opening game pits Jacob deGrom against Clayton Kershaw. If you like 1-0, 2-1 type of games, you will want to tune in to this one. On the other hand, maybe not. Kershaw is one of the most proficient and dominant regular season pitchers of this generation. If he can figure out his postseason struggles, he can be considered one of the all-time greats. That is a big IF. For whatever reason, Kershaw doesn’t show up in the playoffs. He has a 1-5 career record in the postseason with a 5.12 ERA. No that is not a typo, Clayton Kershaw has a 5.12 ERA in the postseason. The Dodgers have home field against the Mets and are favored to advance. This will be a big test for the team, and for Kershaw’s psyche. The Mets have arguably the best young pitching rotation in baseball, with deGrom, Harvey, Syndergaard and Matz. The worst thing that could happen to Kershaw is to yet again fail in the postseason, and also get outdueled by these young hurlers. We are close to finding out what Kershaw’s legacy will be. So far, he and Andy Dalton look to be very similar players in their respective sports. Kershaw isn’t getting any younger, he needs to step up now. Regular season accolades are nice, but postseason wins and performance mean more. In sports, the postseason is where a player’s legacy is made. So far, Kershaw’s isn’t looking too pretty.
[caption id="attachment_1285" align="aligncenter" width="474"] Hey, everybody! It's FSU-Miami week! Um ... hello? Anyone? Hello?[/caption] They say a contest can only be considered a true rivalry if both teams have a realistic chance to win any given year. Oh, the tide might shift in favor of one team or the other every decade or so, but in general, rivalries tend to balance out over time. It is with this truism in mind that we remind everyone that this is, in fact, Florida State-Miami week. Cue the crickets. [caption id="attachment_1268" align="alignleft" width="300"] Click to get the shirt, Noles fans![/caption] It used to mean something. It used to mean a hell of a lot, in fact. Now? Meh. The No. 12 Seminoles bring a five-game win streak against the Hurricanes into Saturday's meeting in Tallahassee. That's two shy of the longest win streak by either team in the 59-game history of the series (Florida State won seven in a row in 1963-72). The most newsworthy thing about the U these days is Al Golden's immediate future with the program. In fact, a victory at the Doak might be the only thing that saves Golden's job. Um ... yeah. Good luck with that. Still, the Hurricanes can claim with pride the all-time lead in the series at 31-28. And Miami's five national championships still make the Canes the Kings of the Sunshine State. Oh, and Noles fans, lest you get a little full of yourself heading into the weekend, here's a little reminder of one reason why the Canes have won those five national titles. Two words: Wide. Right. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYTp7IbZ2uY]