"The Stack" 11-17-16

By ndstacken
Nov. 17, 2016

Gregg Popovich, Stan Van Gundy and Steve Kerr all had strong words regarding the election last week.
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Stack is back on this Thursday and hopefully everyone got a chance to read our college basketball preview post yesterday.  Have I mentioned how glad I am that college basketball is back?  We will be talking college football today and more so let’s get right to it and see what’s all in “the stack” for today, Thursday, November 17th:


College football weekend forecast


The college football season is winding down in a hurry.  After this week we only have one more week until the conference championships.  #5 Louisville at Houston tonight (8 PM ET ESPN) had a lot of intrigue until a few weeks ago when Houston lost to Navy and SMU.  Not good Houston.  There are a few other games of intrigue this week. One of them is not Morgan State at Army, but if Army wins they can become bowl eligible.  Go Army!  #11 Oklahoma State visits TCU (Noon ET, FS1).  That’s nice, but it doesn’t do a whole lot for me.  #23 Florida at #16 LSU is a make up game from Hurricane Matthew and the game is now in Baton Rouge when it was supposed to be in Florida, but they’ll just switch for next year’s game.  Too bad it’s on the SEC Network at Noon ET.  Can the #17 team in the country win this week?  The #17 ranking has not been kind and the #17 team hasn’t won since week 4.  Florida State is #17 this week and they visit Syracuse.  It isn’t going to be an easy win.  #14 Virginia Tech visits South Bend and Notre Dame (3:30 PM ET NBC).  That’s nice.  The SEC all decided to take a week off and play schools from the FCS for the most part.  Finally at 8 PM ET on ABC it’s a Big 12 clash between #9 Oklahoma and #14 West Virginia.  Oklahoma still has an outside shot at a playoff spot, but they need to win this one.  Afterwards, end your day with #13 USC at UCLA (10:30 PM ET ESPN).  We’re bound to see some upsets on Saturday.  Just don’t know which ones.  Should be another great Saturday of college football action.


Sports world comes out against Trump


After Donald Trump won the election to become the next leader of the United States last Tuesday, plenty of protests sparked up across cities in the United States.  This country was hurting.  It is still hurting and will continue to hurt for a long time until Trump shows he can unite a divided country that is filled with fear and racism.  A few celebrities have already voiced their displeasure regarding the situation.  In the sports world it is mainly people within the NBA who have spoken up significantly.  I can only say shame on the folks within the NFL for not voicing their concerns more.  It indicates to me that either the league is telling them to keep hush or they aren’t nearly as upset with what has happened as folks in the NBA are.


Kudos to the NBA, specifically head coaches Stan Van Gundy (Detroit), Gregg Popovich (San Antonio) and Steve Kerr (Golden State) and players like LeBron James for speaking their minds on this.


Van Gundy said in remarks last week that Trump is “brazenly racist.”  Seems like a fairly accurate statement.  Popovich said, “I’m a rich white guy, and I’m sick to my stomach thinking about it. I can’t imagine being a Muslim right now, or a woman, or an African-American, a hispanic, a handicapped person, how disenfranchised they might feel. And for anyone in those groups that voted for him, it’s just beyond my comprehension how they ignore all that.”  He added, "We are Rome."  Kerr said, “The man who’s going to lead you has routinely used racist, misogynist, insulting words. That’s a tough one.”  


There are athletes who are trying to show their support and say OK, the election is done now let’s give Trump a chance.  Former Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown and former NBA player and current NBA on TNT analyst Charles Barkley have each said that we need to give Trump a chance.  I understand where they are coming from, but I need him to prove it before I see it and putting guys like Steven Bannon in his inner circle, a white nationalist, does not seem like a good first step.  LeBron James also posted on Instagram last Wednesday saying we need to have faith.  Kudos to James, other players and to those three coaches above for speaking their minds.  I wish others would speak up to.  I have so much more admiration for Popovich now than I had before and Van Gundy and Kerr have both earned major points with me.  Great job NBA.  Time for other athletes and coaches in other sports to follow suit.  I’m guessing this won’t be the last time that some coaches and players speak out against Trump over the next four years.


New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers 8:25 PMET NBC and NFL Network (streaming live on Twitter)


Both teams are coming off of devastating losses last week.  Which team can really recover?  It’s hard to believe the Panthers are where they are with the talent that they have.  Their secondary was torched by the Saints when they two teams met earlier this season.  The Saints are playing better football since then.  Drew Brees will have a pretty big day and the Saints go into Charlotte on a short week and take down Cam Newton and the Panthers.

Prediction: Saints 34 Panthers 31


Coming up Friday: Week 11 NFL preview and predictions

Listen to this week's "The Sports Block" podcast here.