Feb. 10, 2017
"The Stack" 2-8-17
The Stack is back on this Wednesday and we don’t have a lot to talk about today. Kind of keeping a low profile until the end of February and March when the real action starts with March Madness. Let’s take a look and see what’s in “the stack” for today, Wednesday, February 8th:
Steve Sarkisian named new Falcons OC
Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was unsurprisingly named head coach of the San Francisco 49ers on Monday. That left the Falcons in need of a new offensive coordinator. Rather than staying in house, the Falcons went to the college ranks in neighboring Alabama tabbing Steve Sarkisian as their new offensive coordinator. It’s a rather surprising move. The last thing the team wants to do is install a new offense that Matt Ryan and company would have to learn. Fortunately for them, the style of offense Sarkisian runs is very similar to what the Falcons run and the terminology is very similar. That is good news for a Falcons team that is still reeling from a devastating Super Bowl loss. The Super Bowl hangover will last throughout the season next year. Sarkisian can maybe help them get over that hangover…if he is still sober. Low blow Stacken. Low blow. Sarkisian has gotten the help he needs and landed in Alabama with Nick Saban. That’s pretty good. Now he makes the big jump back to the pros as offensive coordinator of the most explosive offensive team in the NFL this past season. A lot of expectations on him.
Speaking of Alabama and Nick Saban, there are some rumors and speculation that the team may look towards Chip Kelly to replace Sarkisian. Wouldn’t that be something?
Bruins fire Claude Julien
The Boston Bruins, on the day that the New England Patriots were celebrating another Super Bowl victory with a parade in Boston had to get the news out early in the day that they were firing head coach Claude Julien. Julien was in his tenth season with the team and made two Stanley Cup Final appearances with the team, winning it all in 2011. The Bruins though have been underachieving over the last few years and have been inconsistent at best this year and that led to the need for a change. Assistant head coach Bruce Cassidy will take over on an interim basis. We’ll see if this change can spark the Bruins and get them going in making a playoff push. I have my doubts.
Alabama-South Carolina go four overtimes
It wasn’t quite Kemba Walker and UConn over Syracuse in the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden, but Alabama and #19 South Carolina put on quite the show last night. Alabama outlasted South Carolina to win 90-86 in quadruple (that’s four) overtime. That game probably never should have gone to overtime in the first place. Alabama was soundly beating South Carolina throughout the entire game. They were up 32-16 at half and up by 12 with four minutes remaining. The Gamecocks shot terrible from the field all night, but stayed in the game thanks to their ability to get to the free throw line. The disparity was quite large. They had 50 free throw attempts compared to just 33 for the Crimson Tide. Sindarius Thornwell from South Carolina had 33 attempts by himself, making 25 of them. Ultimately, Alabama would win the game and while this was kind of entertaining, the number of misses and trips to the foul line made this game difficult to watch for long stretches. South Carolina should still make the NCAA Tournament. Alabama remains on the bubble and seemingly a long shot.
NFL Hall of Fame class unveiled
Saturday night of Super Bowl weekend, a bunch of sportswriters gathered together to try and figure out who would be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, in the NFL Hall of Fame this year. The Hall-of-Fame inductees have one notable player not joining them this year, but hopefully will next year. That would be Terrell Owens who despite all of the amazing numbers he put up in his career was not selected in his first year on the ballot in large part one has to think due to his antics on and off the field throughout his career. That shouldn’t be any excuse to keep him out, but like baseball writers with steroids, apparently NFL Hall-of-Fame voters have a personal vendetta against Owens because of his actions. Maybe that will extend to Randy Moss next year. Or perhaps they were waiting to put Owens and Moss in Canton together. The 2017 NFL Hall of Fame class includes:
LaDainian Tomlinson (RB)
Kurt Warner (QB)
Terrell Davis (RB)
Morten Andersen (K)
Jason Taylor (DE)
Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys owner)
Kenny Easley (S)
Tomlinson was a slam dunk pick. He scored so many touchdowns with the Chargers and was the best back during his time. Warner’s story makes him a good choice, but it was his play for the Greatest Show on Turf and also making it to a third Super Bowl with the Arizona Cardinals that gets him in. Davis had some good years in Denver, but the overall body of work may not be there. Andersen getting in is a bit of a surprise, but is great news for guys like Adam Vinatieri. Andersen has the most points in NFL history. He was the best kicker of his time. Taylor was a tremendous defensive end for the Dolphins. Jones, what else needs to be said about the Cowboys owner and Easley was a phenomenal safety during his playing days. It’s a good class. There were just maybe a few guys left off the list that should not have.
Coming up later this week: Reaction to top stories and headlines in sports