The Stack returns on this Thursday, a cold Thursday in the upper Midwest, with a few items to talk about. There's Thursday night football as well, so we'll preview that too. Now, let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Thursday, December 5:
Mike Tomlin fined
The NFL has levied their punishment against Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin for his actions in last Thursday night's game against the Baltimore Ravens. If you recall, Tomlin went into the restricted zone (aka the white area) and seemed to try to get in Ravens kick returner Jacoby Jones way before quickly getting stepping aside. Jones was caught from behind, preventing a touchdown. Tomlin apologized profusely on Monday and said that he was simply looking at the scoreboard and lost his position on the sidelines. The video and photos don't necessarily back him up. It's been a hotly contested and debated situation and the NFL has fined Tomlin $100,000 for his actions. Tomlin will not appeal the fine. The NFL also has reserved the right to strip the Steelers of a draft pick, but will wait until the draft order is set to do that...if they even do it. Is that a sufficient penalty? Some people say yes. Other people think it's too harsh or not good enough. Coaches are held to another standard however. Bill Belichick was fined $500,000 for "Spygate" and the Patriots lost their first round draft pick. The Saints lost some draft picks for "Bountygate" and head coach Sean Payton was fined and suspended so there is a precedent. While Tomlin's actions were perhaps not quite as egregious as some in the past, it still doesn't look good. Don't be surprised when the NFL takes away a draft pick from the Steelers. It's the right call and absolutely would have been the right call had the Ravens lost that game. Perhaps the officials should do their job too.
UNC upsets #1 Michigan State
College basketball is full of upsets and the number one team in the country doesn't stay at the top for long. We saw that last night as UNC went into Michigan State and knocked off Sparty 79-65 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. UNC was the better team last night. They outrebounded Michigan State. They scored points in the paint. They forced 14 turnovers. UNC showed how good they can be last night. They've now beat #1 Michigan State and previously #3 Louisville on the year. They've also lost to Belmont and UAB. Go figure out the Tar Heels. I don't even think they know how good they are. If they're good enough to beat the number one team in the country that sound though, they showed how much potential they have. It's now all just about playing consistently.
Jameis Winston investigation results come out today
In what could impact not just the Heisman Trophy race, but also Florida State's season and future, the findings of the investigation of sexual assalut charges against quarterback Jameis Winston will be announced today by State Attorney Willie Meggs. Given what has allegedly happened already with the case, any finding that would press charges against Winston would be surprising. Reportedly, the victim and her family went to police who said they didn't want to press charges because Tallahassee is a football town. If that doesn't give some indication as to how screwed up this whole deal is, I don't know what will. Hopefully this investigation was conducted in true professionalism and was completely unbiased. The impact will be felt near and far and if Winston doesn't get charged with a crime, hopefully whoever did do the crime against this young woman will eventually be brought to justice. If Winston did do it and he gets away with it, he'll have to live with that the rest of his life and karma will catch up to him. He is a runaway for the Heisman Trophy. If he is charged with sexual assault, how will that impact the Heisman race? Have to think many people won't vote for him then. Does that mean someone like Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch wins it? Possibly. We'll have to wait and see how it all goes down. Press conference is scheduled for today at 2 PM ET.
Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars 8:25 PM ET NFL Network
The battle for the number one overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft kicks off week 14 in the NFL tonight. The Texans currently would have the number one pick with a 2-10 record. The Jaguars had firm control of that pick until the past four weeks in which they've gone 3-1. The Teddy Bridgewater sweepstakes are up for grabs here tonight. The Texans have lost ten games in row yet are favorites in this game. Flat out toss up. Not sure who is going to win, but if I have to make a pick...
Prediction: Texans 20 Jaguars 17
Coming up Friday: NFL Week 14 preview and predictions