After a few days off and some computer issues, The Stack is back. Not a ton of big news to talk about, but there are a few things piled up in the stack so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Thursday, February 7:
NFL awards thoughts
Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly won defensive rookie of the year at the NFL awards show Saturday night. An argument could be made for Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner, Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith or Green Bay Packers cornerback Casey Hayward, but when you have 164 tackles, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions, you deserve ROY.
Rookie offensive player of the year is a bit more interesting. Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III won the award and it's easy to see why. Over 3,200 yards passing and 800 yards rushing is awfully impressive and the limited number of turnovers makes RGIII's case for ROY, but think about what Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck did. The number one overall pick led the Colts to the playoffs and led them on several huge comeback wins. That's a lot of pressure stepping into Peyton Manning's shoes and Luck was more than good. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson made a late push with a terrific second half and he very easily could have and should have won ROY, but because of the slow first half of the season, then the voters thought RGIII was the better choice.
The selection of Colts interim head coach Bruce Arians is very reasonable. Given what he did to keep the Colts focused and keep the ship afloat amid head coach Chuck Pagano's leukemia diagnosis, Arians deserved head coach of the year. It's a major reason he is now head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier was definitely up for consideration considering he took a Vikings team that nobody gave a chance of making the postseason to the playoffs. But Arians is the reasonable choice.
MVP was down to two players...Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. And when you end up nine yards shy of the single season all-time rushing record, you deserve MVP and that is exactly what the voters thought in naming Peterson MVP. This really was a slam dunk case for Peterson. A man who tore his ACL and MCL in week 16 of the previous season, for him to come back and come up only nine yards short of one of the biggest records in NFL history, you deserve to be MVP and Peterson deserved this award. In a quarterback driven league, what Peterson did was absolutely remarkable. He got offensive player of the year award to boot while Manning won comeback player of the year, a small consolation prize compared to the MVP award.
NFL Hall-of-Fame inductee thoughts
A maximum of seven players can be inducted in the pro football hall of fame each year. This year, the max was reached. The following will be inducted in Canton in August...
- Bill Parcels (Giants, Jets, Patriots and Cowboys head coach)
- Warren Sapp (DT Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders)
- Cris Carter (WR, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins)
- Jonathan Ogden (OL, Baltimore Ravens)
- Larry Allen (OL, Dallas Cowboys)
- Curley Culp (LB, Kansas City Chiefs)
- Dave Robinson (LB, Green Bay Packers)
Both Culp and Robinson were senior votees. Parcells was the name that drew the most attention and was the name argued the most in the room amongst the writers and voters. In the end he got in as did Carter who finally got through the logjam of wide receivers. At the time he retired Carter was second in almost every major statistical category behind Jerry Rice. No doubt, Carter deserves to be in the hall of fame. Congrats to everyone who was voted in. See you in Canton in August.
College football national signing day
The first Wednesday in February is like a national holiday to big time fans of college football. That is the day when they find out just what type of recruiting class their favorite team brought in and whether or not it can send them to the top of the college football world. And on Wednesday, Ole Miss stole the show by getting the top ranked player, DE Robert Nkemdeche as well as two other players in the top 20. That's a pretty big haul for a team that was just 7-6 last year. Nkemdeche picked Ole Miss in large part because he wants to play with his brother. Not going to fault him with that choice. Ole Miss definitely got better Wednesday as did several others including Alabama (what else is new?), Ohio State, Florida and Notre Dame. Coaches and fans can take a deep breath now and exhale, but remember that national signing day doesn't necessarily make a program. You still have to execute on the field during games. But if you're a fan of the Ole Miss Rebels, you're feeling pretty good right now.
Pau Gasol out indefinitely
The news on Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol's foot is not good. Gasol has a plantar fascia tear and will miss minimum of 4-6 weeks. He injured the foot Tuesday night against the Brooklyn Nets. Given how fragile Dwight Howard has been with his shoulder, the Lakers could be in big trouble without a big man. Going to have to rely on Kobe Bryant much more. Bryant will be up for the challenge. THe Lakers have been playing better as of late, but this injury will really affect them.
And finally before I go, what has happened with the Kansas Jayhawks? They lost Saturday to unranked Oklahoma State at home, snapping a 33-game home win streak and last night they lost to TCU 62-55. TCU! They hadn't won a Big 12 conference game all year. In fact, this is their first Big 12 conference win in school history. In the words of famous Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi, "What the hell is going on out there?" The Jayhawks better figure it out and quick or there will be no Final Four in their future with how they've looked the last two games.
Coming up Friday: Reaction to top stories from Thursday