Every Thursday Sports Grind Entertainment will present you with the Mama Margie’s Major Meltdown. The recipient of this honor goes to Manti Te’o whose relationship with a deceased girlfriend was central to the narrative of his Heisman Trophy campaign and Notre Dame’s unbeaten regular season, was the victim of an elaborate hoax, the school said Wednesday after a Deadspin story alleged the woman never existed. Te’o had talked openly during the season about his supposed relationship with a former Stanford student named Lennay Kekua, whom he claimed in a South Bend Tribune article to have met in 2009 after a football game. Kekua was said to have lost her battle with leukemia on Sept. 12, just hours after Te’o learned that his 72-year old grandmother had passed away.
The story of how Te’o dealt with massive personal tragedy became front and center in his rise to national consciousness. In interviews with Sports Illustrated and on the Jim Rome radio show, Te’o described talking to her by phone through the night as she dealt with the pain of chemotherapy treatments. Deadspin’s report, however, showed that there were no records of Kekua’s death, nor any records that she was a student at Stanford. According to Deadspin, the photos on Kekua’s Twitter account belonged to another woman, who was not named.
Te’o's statement contradicted the suggestion by Deadspin that he may have been in on the hoax along with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, a friend of Teo’s who had allegedly provided the picture of the woman.
Outfielder Jai Miller, who had brief stints with three major league clubs, has decided to quit baseball so he can play college football for Alabama, AL.com reports.
Miller, who committed to play football at Stanford out of high school, instead signed with the Florida Marlins after being selected in the fourth round of the 2003 MLB Draft. He played in more than 1,000 minor league games from 2003 to 2012, hitting .239/.326/.397 with 137 home runs and 125 stolen bases.
But his major league career was limited to 28 games over three seasons with the Marlins, Kansas City Royals and Oakland A’s. During his 2011 stint with the A’s, Miller went 3-for-12 with a homer and two RBIs after being called up in September.
He was traded to the Baltimore Orioles before last season, but hit just .196 over 312 at-bats in the minors and never got called up.
The 27-year-old native of Selma, Ala., is expected to start out playing safety for Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide squad, AL.com reports.
“I think the desire was there on both sides to get him back into football and see what he’s capable of doing,” Miller’s brother-in-law, Matthew Elliott, told BamaOnline.com. “If the opportunity is there for him to play professional ball, then the best situation for him would be to play for one of the best coaches in the game and that would be coach Saban on the defensive side.”
Miller was heavily recruited as a wide receiver out of high school, landing offers from Alabama, Auburn and Georgia Tech in addition to Stanford. He also was a top basketball player and was expected to be a combo guard for the Cardinal hoops team.
Michelle Wie celebrated her graduation from Stanford University on Sunday in Palo Alto, Calif. Her major was communications, but she already has a job lined up in another field: pro golfer on the LPGA tour. Wie enrolled at Stanford in September 2007, but never took courses full time because she also was chasing tournament victories.
The next course of interest for Wie will be in Waterloo, Ontario, for the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, Thursday-Sunday.
The former teen phenom had seven top-10s in majors before she turned 17 but hasn’t registered one since the 2006 U.S. Women’s Open. She has two LPGA victories.
Former Stanford star Mark Madsen is coming back to the school as an assistant basketball coach.
Coach Johnny Dawkins said that Madsen will replace the retired Dick Davey on his staff. Madsen primarily will work with post players.
Madsen helped lead the Cardinal to four NCAA tournament appearances and the 1998 Final Four during his collegiate career. He averaged 10.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game in his career and earned the nickname “Mad Dog” for his aggressive style.
He played nine years in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves, winning two championships in Los Angeles.
Madsen spent the past two years on campus completing his MBA and accompanied the team on a trip to Spain last September.
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis has a way of pumping up people just for about anything. Whether is lacrosse, Stanford basketball or as in this case getting ready for the new Madden game.
baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis has definitely stumbled upon a life after football with his motivational talks to college teams in the recent months. First it was his speech he gave to the Stanford men’s basketball team in the NIT finals and now Loyola University Maryland’s men’s lacrosse team before a practice prior to the Greyhounds NCAA Quarterfinals game.
A Texas-based card company has sued No. 1 NFL draft pick Andrew Luck, claiming its First Amendment right to produce trading cards with his image.
Leaf Trading Cards LLC filed the lawsuit April 20 in Dallas County court. The company said it uses images of Luck from the 2008 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, a high school all-star game played in San Antonio to which it has the rights.
Leaf said it brought the suit after the Stanford quarterback’s attorney demanded the company stop selling the cards, as they infringed on Luck’s “publicity rights,” the company said in a statement.
“Leaf Trading Cards is disappointed that it was forced to submit this matter to the judicial system,” Leaf attorney O. Luke Davis III said in a statement released by the company. “We are confident, however, that the court will find that Leaf has the right to produce and sell the Andrew Luck trading cards.”
The company hasn’t indicated if it will seek damages from Luck, but by filing a declaratory judgment, the company may only attempt to assert the right to produce the trading card.
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis knows how to deliver a pregame inspiration speech and he did that for the Standford Cardinal men’s basketball team who took on UMass in the semifinals of the NIT tournament. Stanford went on to win the matchup 74-64, advancing to the NIT final for the first time since 1991, the year the Cardinal won it all.
Tiger Woods hopes to begin the New Year a winner as he announced on his website that he’ll be an honorary captain for Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl.
“I will attend the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2 in Arizona to watch Stanford play Oklahoma State. Cardinal head coach David Shaw asked me to be an honorary team captain, and I happily accepted. For Coach Shaw to think highly enough of me to be involved in the game and be able to talk to his kids is very special.”
“I’m very close to Stanford. They’ve done so much for me in my life. Everyone knows Coach Shaw and I had a class together. We go way back. It’s neat to be able to come back and help him any way that I can.”
Phil Simms, on Showtime’s Inside the NFL said Peyton Manning will decide if the Indianapolis Colts want Stanford’s Andrew Luck. Simms says, forget what Colts owner Jim Irsay thinks,
“There is no way if Peyton Manning is given a clean bill of health, I’m going to go on that assumption, that he is going to let them draft Andrew Luck.”
Simms suggests, that’s because Manning might then find it hard to keep his job: “In this day and age, even with Peyton Manning, people would be crying, ‘We’ve got to see Andrew Luck.’ “
Cris Collinsworth, on the show, disagreed: “I would draft Luck. I just don’t think you could take a chance on missing the next franchise quarterback.”
And Simms suggests NFL on-field free speech is gone: “You can’t say anything on the field anymore. Players go running to the press. They tweet it and they cry about everything. … You would turn around and yell at the fans. I yelled at fans everywhere. If you do that now you’d get fined by the league, probably suspended, and of course the fan would sue you.”
Miami Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby is understandably offended by “Suck for Luck” talk. His team is 0-5, it needs a quarterback, and many Dolphins fans hope the team loses enough games to earn the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft. That would allow the Dolphins to pluck Andrew Luck, Stanford’s star quarterback.
Just the idea that Dolphins fans are hoping that the team keeps losing infuriates Dansby.
“Man, we got 11 games,” Dansby told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “What are you talking about? We can’t look at next season. We’ve got 11 games. We can win ‘em out, and then what? Then you’d be biting your tongue. Those guys that are saying that are fair-weather fans. They’re not real Dolphins fans.
“It’s not right, bro. It’s not right. We put too much into this, man, to have the fans say that—period, point blank—or even promote that campaign. It’s kind of sad.”
However many Dolphins fans have already given up on this season.
Philadelphia Phillies rookie outfielder John Mayberry Jr. has been trying to get him a date with model, Hollywood actress, and mermaid in Pirates of the Caribbean Antoinette Nikprelaj. Here’s the e-mail that Mayberry’s representatives at CAA sent out to Nikprelaj’s agent on his behalf:
“I imagine you’re familiar with CAA and some of our clients, as we work with Ryan Howard, Roy Halladay, Buster Posey and Andre Ethier among others. I hate to even be sending you this e-mail, and I’m quite embarrassed to say the least, but we have a young client on the Philadelphia Phillies who asked us if we knew any agents at Innovative Artists and could connect him to Antoinette Nikprelaj.
I know you’re not a dating or set-up service, but John Mayberry Jr. would love to meet Antoinette or invite her to a baseball game sometime. Would this be possible? Here’s a bio of John to give you some more info on him (he’s a great guy, down-to-earth, humble, Stanford-educated, etc.) Thanks for considering this as you know how this business is and servicing clients.”
Turns out though Nikprelaj is married and has a daughter. However the fun didn’t stop there as word circulated around the team clubhouse and teammate Hunter Pence took to Twitter to see if he could help Mayberry out in dating scene by tweeting out:
“So does anyone want a date Mayberry?….He’s Stanford educated….”
It turns out Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck doesn’t have to go to the NFL to become a millionaire, all he has to do is get hurt next year and he could collect up to $70 million. Luck has taking out a multi-million dollar insurance policy, that will dwarf the policies other players like Tim Tebow have had in the past.
Luck has secured a $5 million policy offered through the NCAA to cover any potential debilitating injury, and will add more once a new NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement is approved.
Luck threw for 3,338 yards and 32 touchdowns as last year’s Heisman Trophy runner-up, and led the Cardinal to an Orange Bowl victory over Virginia Tech. Had he decided to leave school early, he would have been projected as the No.1 overall pick in the April draft.
“The insurance program with the NCAA is a terrific thing,” Oliver Luck said. “You add that with the supplemental insurance, and you have some security.”
This game goes down on the ESPN network and it features the Stanford University Cardinal taking on Virginia Tech Hokies in the 77th annual Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Stanford, 11-1, 8-1 Pac-10, Cardinal established new school records for wins on the seasons and within conference as well as making their first trip to the Orange Bowl. Head coach Jim Harbaugh has a well balanced team but a stud under center in junior quarterback Andrew Luck. The Stanford offense he controls has been unstoppable tallying 40 points per game as he completes 70.2 percent of his throws for 3,051 yards and 28 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Luck also tucked the ball at times and rushed for 438 yards with 3 touchdowns. Luck’s favorite target is Doug Baldwin, who caught 56 passes for 824 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Luck is not the only one to benefit in Harbaugh’s pro style offense as tailback Stepfan Taylor has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark this year, averaging almost 5 ypc, while scoring 15 touchdowns. In college football it’s hard press to find a better offensive line week-in-week-out than Stanford’s which is headlined by First-Team All-American center Chase Beeler.
Virginia Tech, 11-2, 8-0 ACC, Hokies are making their fourth trip to the Orange Bowl, but it didn’t look remotely possible early on in the season when the team dropped its first two games of the 2010 season, falling to Boise State and then to Division II opponent James Madison. Head coach Frank Beamer rallied the team as Tech went on to win 11 straight games, closing out with a win over Florida State in the ACC Championship Game.
The Hokies are balanced offensively like Stanford and have a quarterback who deserves shine just like Luck in Tyrod Taylor, who completed 60.6 percent of his throws for 2,521 yards with 23 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He too is a dual threat to run the ball as he has rushed for 637 yards and 5 touchdowns.
The Hokies backfield is stocked with talented runners that contributed this year, led by Darren Evans 817 yards and 11 touchdowns followed by David Wilson 616 yards 5 touchdowns. Ryan Williams added 473 yards on the season but also crossed the end zone 9 times.
Wideouts to keep on eye in the Hokies offense is Jarrett Boykin, 763 yards 6 touchdowns and Danny Coale, 640 yards 3 touchdowns.
This marks the first ever meeting between these two schools.
PICK: Stanford University Cardinal
Top-ranked Connecticut’s record 90-game winning streak in women’s basketball ended last night when No. 9 Stanford outplayed the Huskies from the start in a 71-59 victory at Maples Pavilion. Stanford hasn’t lost in 52 games at home.
UConn head coach Geno Auriemma hadn’t witnessed his team lose a game since the 2008 NCAA semifinals which came at the hands of Stanford 82-73 in the Final Four.
Last week, the Huskies topped the 88-game winning streak set by John Wooden’s UCLA men’s team from 1971-74 by beating No. 22 Florida State 93-62, then won their 90th in a row this week at Pacific.
Stanford hasn’t lost at home since a 68-61 upset by Florida State in the second round of the NCAA tournament in March 2007.
Phoenix Suns Channing Frye lost a bet with teammate and Stanford alumni Josh Childress who would win between Stanford/Arizona football game. Stanford won 42-17 two weeks ago. Well Twitter got a look inside the team plane as Childress manned up and rode the flight in a Stanford Snuggie.
This game goes down on the Versus network and it features Stanford University Cardinal taking on the University of Washington Huskies at Husky Stadium.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh takes his Cardinals up to the Pacific Northwest with a 6-1 overall record and 3-1 in the Pac-10. Stanford struggled a bit at home against Washington State but pulled away to a 38-28 win last weekend. Stanford hasn’t scored fewer than 31 points in any game this season, as they have a big time offense. The Cardinal are bowl-eligible in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1995-96.
Stanford is racking up 42 points per game and the man at the center of it is junior quarterback Andrew Luck, 1728 yards 19 touchdowns 5 INTs, is completing 66.5 percent of his throws. Luck has also rushed the ball for 253 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Stanford offensive line has only permitted three sacks through seven games. Sophomore Stepfan Taylor, 624 yards 5 touchdowns, is a big time weapon for Luck as he is averaging 5 yards per carry. Senior wide receiver Doug Baldwin, 402 yards 6 touchdowns is who Luck often looks for when he airs it out.
Head coach Steve Sarkisian has his Huskies below .500 on the season at 3-4 and 2-2 in the Pac-10. Washington was crushed on the road by Arizona 44-14 last weekend and that came without starting quarterback Nick Foles in the lineup.
The offense is lead by senior quarterback Jake Locker, 1614 yards 14 touchdowns 4 INTs, has a rough time this season as he is only completing 56.5 percent of his throws. The big Locker was expected to do more with his legs as well is only averaging just 3.7 yards per rushing attempt. Locker does have a dynamite running back in sophomore Chris Polk, 636 yards 4 touchdowns, while junior Jermaine Kearse, 670 yards 10 touchdowns, leads the receivers.
Senior linebacker Mason Foster is a real standout on the defense with 82 tackles.
Washington holds a narrow 40-36-4 series advantage over Stanford but the Cardinal have won the last two meetings.
PICK: Stanford University Cardinal
Last year FOX College Sports sideline reporter, Samantha Steele suffered a concussion when she took a hit from fellow camera hog Yogi Roth in which she suffered a concussion while they where in Palo Alto, California.
She’s back at the scene of the crime for this weeks Stanford game and has asked Twitter for any suggestions on how to get revenge back on Roth.
Here’s one, get him back to your room at the Holiday Inn and cut his disco stick off.
Stanford University Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck went 20-24 for 285 yards and 3 touchdowns in their 37-35 victory against Southern California on Saturday night. Perhaps his biggest impact didn’t come from the 83.3 percent of his passes being completed but from his primetime hit he laid on Trojans cornerback Shareece Wright, who recovered a fumble by Stepfan Taylor late in the second quarter.
Every Tuesday Sports Grind Entertainment presents you with the Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin Player of the Week. This week the recipient of this prestigious honor goes to ALL-SGE-NCAA Football Team member and University of Oregon Ducks running back LaMichael James. The elusive back rushed for 257 yards on 31 carries and scored 3 touchdowns in a primetime showdown against Stanford University on Saturday night.
James 257 yards was the second most ever in the history of Ducks football. James was able to gain yards in bunches as he ripped off seven runs of 10+ yards and two runs of 20+ yards to finished the night averaging 8.3 yards per carry in the 52-31 defeat of the Cardinal. The win at home for the Ducks also helped leap them over Boise State in the national polls from number 4 to 3 overall.
Congratulations LaMichael James you are this weeks Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin Player.
Last year on December 12 we posted here, the students at Oregon who came up with the classic rap “I Love My Ducks”. Now with a big matchup against Stanford tonight in primetime the students are back with what surely will go down as another classic. Props to the guys for getting former quarterback Joey Harrington to make an appearance.
This game goes down on the ABC network and it features the Stanford University Cardinal taking on the University of Oregon Ducks in Eugene.
Head coach Chip Kelly has his Ducks entering this matchup undefeated (4-0) and 1-0 in the Pac-10. Oregon has defeated Stanford by an average of 26 points over the past four meetings in Eugene. Oregon leads the nation in averaging 57 points while ranking third in the nation with rushing at 321.8. Most of those yards can be accounted by ALL-SGE-NCAA Football team member sophomore LaMichael James, 455 4 touchdowns, who is my eyes the best running back in the country. James is averaging 7.8 yards per carry but doesn’t have to shoulder the load by himself as he has the sophomore quarterback Darron Thomas, 822 yards 10 touchdowns 3 INTs, who can take off some of the slack. Thomas though only has completed 54.7 percent of his throws. Senior wide receiver Jeff Maehl, 254 yards 3 touchdowns, is Thomas favorite target down field.
The Ducks defense ranks third in the nation with 11 points allowed per game and already has shutout two teams this year. The Ducks are a takeaway machine on the defensive side already with 9 interceptions and 9 fumble recoveries to go with 11 sacks. Sophomore safety John Boyett leads the team with 25 tackles and senior linebacker Casey Matthews,16 tackles one sack 2 INTs and 3 fumble recoveries, has come big at major points this season.
Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh brings his team into Eugene undefeated as well with a win in conference play too. Stanford is seeking its first 5-0 start to a season since 1951. Harbaugh has my Heisman Trophy prediction in junior quarterback Andrew Luck, 912 yards 11 touchdowns 2 INTs, under center who was just sacked for the first time last week against Notre Dame, their first win in South Bend since 1992. Luck has completed 62.7 percent of his throws with senior wide receiver Doug Baldwin, 222 yards 3 touchdowns, as his favorite target. Sophomore Stepfan Taylor, 265 yards one touchdown, and sophomore Tyler Gaffney, 152 yards 3 touchdowns, lead the rushing attack. Stanford is averaging 48 ppg with over 200 yards both on the ground and through the air.
The Stanford defense is holding opponetts to just 13 ppg and 256 yards of total offense. Junior linebacker Chase Thomas, 19 tackles 4 tackles for loss 3.5 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries, is the playmaker on the defensive side.
Stanford leads Oregon in a series that dates back to 1900, 44-28-1 which includes last years win 51-42 at Stanford Stadium.
PICK: Stanford University Cardinal
This game goes down on the ESPN2 network and it features the Wake Forest University Demon Deacons take on Stanford University Cardinal at Stanford Stadium.
Stanford is in search of their first 3-0 start since 2001 after blanking UCLA, 35-0, in its Pac-10 opener. Cardinal coach Jim Harbaugh one of the nations best passers under center in junior quarterback Andrew Luck, 467 yards 6 touchdowns and zero interceptions, who is lights out with his arm. Luck was without two offensive weapons against UCLA in senior running back Jeremy Stewart and junior wide receiver Chris Owusu with both being questionable for this game.
The defense stole the show for the Cardinal last weekend as Stanford posted its first road shutout since a 17-0 blanking of Oregon in 1974. The Cardinal’s dominated from start-to-finish, holding UCLA to just 233 total yards while forcing 4 turnovers. Junior defensive back Michael Thomas finished with 5 tackles and even scored on 21-yard fumble return.
Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe is turning to freshman quarterback Tanner Price, who is going to make his first collegiate start. Sophmore quarterback Ted Stachitas began the season as the starter but bruised his non-throwing hand during a 54-48 win over Duke to open ACC play. Price stepped up in Stachitas absence and passed 12-19 for 190 yards 3 touchdowns 1 INT and rushed for 56 yards one touchdown.
The Deacons have rolled up 644 rushing yards while scoring at least 50 points in consecutive games for the first time in school history. Red-shirt freshman Josh Harris, 124 yards 2 touchdowns, and sophomore wide receiver Chris Givens, 159 yards one touchdown, have been a major factor to helping the Deacon achieve such mark..
Defensively Wake Forest was exploited in the shootout with Duke racking up 487 total yards, including 358 through the air. However the Deacons have already created 4 INT’s as senior safety Alex Frye has two of them. Junior defensive end Kyle Wilber,7 tackles,3 sacks 5 tackles for loss is the real gem on the line for the Deacons.
The Deacons won the first-ever meeting between these schools with a 24-17 victory in Winston-Salem last year.
PICK: Stanford University Cardinal
This game goes down on the ESPN network and it features the Stanford University Cardinal taking on University of California Los Angeles Bruins at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
Stanford vaulted into the national rankings following a convincing 52-17 victory over Sacramento State in the season opener. Head coach Jim Harbaugh is trying to improve upon last year’s 8 win season. The Cardinal ranked last year 11th nationally with 35 ppg but again will have to improve on those numbers without Toby Gerhart.
The offense accounted for 529 total yards against Sacramento State, including 316 yards through the air from junior quarterback Andrew Luck set a personal best with 4 touchdowns in the victory, while his 316 yards were the second-highest total of his career. Senior wide receiver Doug Baldwin hauled in four passes for a career-high 111 yards and 2 touchdowns. Stanford will be without starting tight end Levine Toilolo, who will miss the rest of the season after tearing the ACL in his right knee on the second play of last week’s game.
Defensively the Cardinal allowed just 167 yards of total offense, which is the fewest since 2006, when they allowed 161 total yards against Washington. Two Hornets quarterbacks combined to throw for 113 yards and were sacked 3 times, while the rushiung attack was held to a 1.8 ypc. Senior linebacker Max Bergen lead the defense with 8 tackles and a forced fumble, while juinor defensive back Chase Thomas had 2 sacks.
Meanwhile, UCLA was upended by Kansas State last weekend, 31-22. The Bruins struggled on both sides of the ball, although they put together a late rally to nearly pull off the win. UCLA plays three of its next four games at home.
UCLA opened with a 31-22 loss at Kansas State and sophomore quarterback Kevin Prince had a day to forget as he was 9-26 for 120 yards with one touchdown 2 INTs. Head coach Rick Neuheisel does have a solid option in the kicking game though as senior kicker Kai Forbath has connected on 40 straight field goals from 50 yards or closer. Forbath was tops in the nation last year in the field goal department and was an ALL-SGE-NCAA Team member.
On the defensive side of the ball the Bruins need to step up in stopping the rush as they watched Kansas State running back Daniel Thomas put up a career high 234 yards 2 touchdowns last week. Junior safety Rahim Moore is definitely the key to the Bruins defense and very well onto the next level after coming off a season in which he led the nation with 10 interceptions.
UCLA owns a 45-32-3 edge in the all-time series with Stanford, although the Cardinal notched a 24-16 victory last season at Stanford Stadium to end a five-game slide versus the Bruins.
PICK: University of California Los Angeles Bruins