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Waddell departs Towson for Senior Associate AD post at Arkansas

Posted on 20 May 2013 by WNST Staff

FAYETTEVILLE – Towson University Director of Athletics Michael Waddell has been named Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Operations and Strategic Communications at the University of Arkansas it was announced by Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long on Monday.

Waddell will join the athletic department’s senior leadership team and oversee the department’s external areas including marketing, licensing, media relations, public relations, ticket operations and RazorVision. He will also be the department’s liaison with the new SEC Network leading the program’s strategic engagement with the new television channel and digital platform.

Since October 2010, Waddell has served as the Director of Athletics at Towson University in suburban Baltimore, Maryland. At Towson, Waddell was the lead administrator for the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) program which features more than 500 student-athletes and 150 coaches and staff. During the 2012-13 season, the Tigers claimed six (6) CAA Championships, had four (4) coaches named CAA Coach of the Year, five (5) student-athletes named CAA Player of the Year, nine (9) All-Americans and more than 53 named to All-Conference status, while also having 131 student-athletes achieve a 3.5 GPA or higher and while engaging the Greater Baltimore Community with more than 10,000 hours of service. Waddell also positioned Towson as one of the country’s most progressive programs in the areas of marketing, communications and corporate sponsorships, including soon to be naming rights for Towson’s new 5,200-seat venue which will open next month and a new multi-year footwear and apparel agreement with Baltimore-based Under Armour.

“Michael is a tremendous addition to our administrative team and will provide Razorback Athletics an informed perspective to help our program capitalize on the valuable exposure opportunities we will have moving forward,” Long said. “With our program’s continued success and the launch of the SEC Network, it is important that we strategically coordinate our messaging to effectively tell the story of Razorback Athletics and the extraordinary success of our more than 460 student-athletes. Michael’s proven leadership and diversified experience within intercollegiate athletics will enable us to bring all of our external communication and marketing resources together to accomplish that goal.”

During his tenure at Towson, Waddell developed a program motto of “EXPECT SUCCESS,” that quickly helped re-shape the department and led to many accomplishments of the program on and off the field. The 2012-13 men’s basketball team capped off a dramatic reformation, going from 1-31 in 2011-12 to 18-13 this season, the biggest one-year turnaround in the history of college basketball.  Early in his tenure, Waddell negotiated a multi-media rights partnership with CBS Collegiate Sports Properties and expanded the department’s development staff leading to record totals in annual giving over the last two years.

In 2010-11, Towson Athletics embarked on “telling its own story” with a new technology-first approach starting with its web presence and the addition of more video content and daily features on the student-athletes and coaches. The results was an increase of 500 percent of page views to the department’s website and an increase of more than 200 percent of the site’s unique visitors.

“I am excited to join the Arkansas Razorback Family and to work with the outstanding student-athletes, coaches, administration and staff at the University of Arkansas,” Waddell said. “The opportunity to work with a program that has a rich, long-standing tradition and for an athletics director in Jeff Long who has proven to be one of the most innovative and proactive in all of college athletics is something that I am eager to engage. I am looking forward to working with this outstanding team to take advantage of emerging opportunities to share our story of success and position the University of Arkansas at the forefront of college athletics.”

With his leadership, Towson developed one of the nation’s most comprehensive class attendance policies which led to increased academic performance including a program-wide GPA of 3.07. Towson also implemented a new structure to the areas of Sports Medicine and Strength and Conditioning by integrating the two areas for improved cohesiveness placing Towson at the forefront of student-athlete care.

Prior to being named the athletic director at Towson, Waddell spent five years as a Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Relations at the University of Cincinnati. At Cincinnati, Waddell’s primary responsibility was to oversee the revenue generating areas that included marketing/fan development, ticket sales/customer service, sports communications, game day programming, and information technology. He coordinated all of Cincinnati’s football bowl planning, including back-to-back BCS Bowl Appearances in 2009 (FedEx Orange Bowl) and 2010 (Allstate Sugar Bowl).

Acclaimed for his marketing strategies, 10 of the Bearcats’ top 11 all-time largest football crowds were recorded on his watch. Football season tickets sales rose 122 percent, attendance was up 83 percent and overall season tickets revenues grew by 170 percent.  Waddell was Cincinnati’s liaison with IMG College – the multimedia and corporate sponsorships rights-holder for UC athletics; adidas – the Bearcats’ official footwear and apparel outfitter; and with ESPN, the exclusive television partner of the Big East. His efforts in renegotiating Cincinnati’s multimedia sponsorships agreement resulted in a net gain of $14 million over the term of the IMG College agreement.

Developing the UC website as a communications and recruiting tool was a focus. The site was redesigned, adding video, audio and a handful of bloggers producing original content on a daily basis. Traffic to the site increased 247 percent in his last three years with the program.

Prior to his Cincinnati assignment, Waddell served as the Associate Athletics Director for External Relations at the University of Akron where sports marketing revenues increased more than five-fold during his tenure through the creation of the “Team Akron” corporate patron program.

In 2006, Waddell received the Sales & Marketing Executives International’s Distinguished Sales & Marketing Award. His “Fear the Roo” campaign at Akron won the NACMA’s 2005-06 “Best of Show” as the nation’s top collegiate sports revenue generating initiative.

During his tenure as Akron’s Interim Director of Athletics the school made its first and only postseason football bowl appearance in the 2005 Motor City Bowl while its No. 1 ranked men’s soccer team also advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight before bowing out to eventual national champion Maryland.

Before joining the Akron staff, Waddell served as the director of marketing and broadcasting at the United States Military Academy at West Point where he was responsible for the development of all athletics corporate partnerships, marketing, promotions and multimedia development. He created the Army Sports Radio Network, securing WABC-770 AM in New York City as the flagship station.

From 1997-2000 Waddell, a North Carolina native, was the Director of Athletics external operations at Appalachian State. His tenure was marked by the signing of a 100,000-watt WKBC-FM as the flagship radio for Mountaineer football and basketball. His 1999 football marketing theme “Rock Solid” spawned Kidd Brewer Stadium’s nickname “The Rock” that has been adopted as part of ASU tradition.

Waddell received his B.S. degree in Sport Management from Guilford College in 1991, where he was also a two-time letterwinner in football. He earned his M.S. degree in Sport Administration from the prestigious Ohio University graduate program.

Waddell began his career in athletics in broadcasting at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Virginia, where he was also the Director of Sports Marketing for Charlottesville Broadcasting Corporation. He is an active member of the NACDA and is a founding member of the Cincinnati Sports Professionals Network.

Waddell and his wife, Heidi, have two children; Drew and Caroline.

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Ranking the Ravens’ biggest special teams needs

Posted on 17 February 2012 by Luke Jones

As the start of free agency moves closer and teams prepare for April’s draft, the Ravens continue to evaluate their needs in all three phases of the game.

Earlier in the week, I looked at Baltimore’s biggest needs on offense as well as essentials for the defense. In the conclusion of a three-part series, we finally take a long at the often-forgotten but always-important phase of the game: special teams.

Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron undoubtedly receives the most criticism among the coaches on the Ravens staff, but special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg may deserve the most heat after a disappointing 2011 season. According to footballoutsiders.com, the Ravens’ special teams ranked 30th in the league in a percentage contrived from efficiency in field goals, kickoffs, kickoff returns, punts, and punt returns.

Looking from a more simplistic stance, Rosburg’s units struggled in both kickoff coverage (31st) and punt coverage (24th) and allowed three returns for touchdowns. In the return game, the Ravens ranked ninth in kickoff return average and 19th in punt return average, rarely getting a significant spark from either group as injuries and ineffectiveness forced them to shuffle returners in and out of the lineup.

Kicker Billy Cundiff converted only 75.7 percent of his field goal attempts, ranking 28th in the league. The 2010 Pro Bowl kicker made only one of six attempts from 50 or more yards and was only 11-for-20 away from M&T Bank Stadium — where he was perfect on 17 attempts. And that’s not even taking into account his heartbreaking 32-yard miss in the closing seconds of the AFC championship game that would have sent the Ravens into overtime against New England.

If you’re looking for a bright spot, punter Sam Koch ranked 10th in punt average (46.5 yards) but 19th in net average, which was affected by the Ravens’ suspect coverage.

While it’s difficult to target a laundry list of special teams’ needs from a position-by-position standpoint — the units simply need to improve across the board — but two positions stand out this offseason.

1. Kicker

Before you get carried away, this isn’t the pitchfork mentality we’re talking about here. Cundiff isn’t going anywhere for now. However, his disappointing season topped off by the most devastating moment in the 16-year history of the franchise can’t be forgotten as the Ravens assess their special teams.

To their credit, the organization and Cundiff have handled the miss with as much dignity as can be expected, with no one publicly questioning whether the Ravens should have kept veteran Shayne Graham to kick in the postseason. It’s been a credit to coach John Harbaugh and the family atmosphere in the locker room.

But what everyone is thinking privately is a different story. In his defense, Cundiff battled a left calf injury late in the season, but it doesn’t excuse what was a very inconsistent year after signing a five-year contract last January. For a kicker without a proven track record beyond his Pro Bowl season a year ago, Cundiff may have reverted back to the inconsistent performer seen early in his career.

The Ravens need to bring in another kicker to seriously compete against Cundiff during the preseason. The organization will keep Cundiff for now in hopes of avoiding the situation in which they found themselves in 2009 after parting company with Matt Stover. Neither Steve Hauschka nor Graham Gano were fit for the job, forcing the Ravens to scramble during the regular season until they settled on Cundiff.

It needs to be a serious competition, whether the Ravens elect to find a rookie coming out of college such as Randy Bullock of Texas A&M or a veteran on the open market. Graham wasn’t good enough to win the competition against Cundiff two years ago and has struggled with long-distance kicks in recent years, so it makes little sense to bring him back for the competition.

Even if Cundiff performs admirably in the preseason and wins the battle, the Ravens and their fans simply won’t know whether he’s recovered from the disappointment in Foxborough until he finds himself in another late-game situation. It’s difficult to envision the Ravens ever fully trusting Cundiff again, but they’ll at least give him a chance in the preseason before moving on for good.

2. Kickoff-Punt Returner

The Ravens had 10 different players return kickoffs — three of those only returned squibs or pooch kicks —  in 2011 and never found stability at the position. Second-year return specialist David Reed was demoted after two fumbles on returns against the Seattle Seahawks and then tore his ACL when he finally earned another opportunity to handle kickoffs.

While Reed will certainly find himself in the mix if he proves healthy in recovering from the knee injury this offseason, the Ravens must look to add an impact returner, preferably someone who can handle both kickoffs and punts to allow Lardarius Webb to focus solely on his duties at cornerback. Field position is critical, and the return units rarely aided the Ravens offense in setting it up on a shorter field.

Of course, the new kickoff rule limited many returners across the league, but the Ravens cannot settle for a returner downing the ball in the end zone constantly as they did down the stretch with reserve safety Tom Zbikowski this past season.

The Ravens could look to the draft for a returner such as Arkansas receiver Joe Adams in the middle rounds, who could add depth in both areas. One name to keep an eye on in the preseason is receiver Phillip Livas, who was signed to the practice squad in the final weeks of the season. Though only 5-foot-8, Livas was a record-setting return man at Louisiana Tech and could be a sleeper to watch in the preseason.

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Navy Battles Army Saturday at FedEx Field

Posted on 09 December 2011 by WNST Staff

2011 Navy Football Game Specifics
Game 12 Army (3-8) vs. Navy (4-7) presented by USAA
Date and Kickoff Dec. 10, 2011 at 2:30 pm ET
Location Landover, Md. | FedExField (82,000)
Television CBS
TV Talent Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Gary Danielson (analyst), Tracy Wolfson (sideline)
Army-Navy Rivalry Click here for more information

Setting the Stage
• Army and Navy will meet for the 112th time and for the first time inside the Capital Beltway when they square off on Saturday, Dec. 10 at FedExField (82,000) in the annual Army-Navy Game presented by USAA.  Kickoff is set for 2:40 pm (ET).
• CBS Sports will broadcast the game around the world on the American Forces Network with Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and Tracy Wolfson calling the action.
• CBS Radio/Westwood One will also broadcast the game around the world on American Forces Network with John Tautges on the play-by-play and Eddie George handling the color commentary.
• CBS Sports Network will provide complete coverage surrounding CBS Sports’ broadcast of The Army-Navy Game presented by USAA. The Network will air two special editions of INSIDE COLLEGE FOOTBALL on Saturday prior to the game, INSIDE COLLEGE FOOTBALL: ARMY-NAVY MARCH-ON SPECIAL (11:00 am-12:30 pm, ET) and INSIDE COLLEGE FOOTBALL: ARMY-NAVY TAILGATE (1:00–2:00 pm, ET).  Hosts Adam Zucker and Molly Qerim will be joined at FedExField by analysts Randy Cross and Brian Jones, as well as special guests from the academies.
• The MARCH-ON SPECIAL features the procession of the Brigade of Midshipmen and Corps of Cadets as they march onto FedExField, while the ARMY-NAVY TAILGATE previews the game with in-depth news and analysis.
• PRELUDE: THE MAKING OF A GAME OF HONOR, a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of the SHOWTIME documentary A GAME OF HONOR, airs at 12:30 pm, ET on Saturday.

Pregame
• Army’s Corps of Cadets will march-on at 11:24 am, followed by Navy’s Brigade of Midshipmen at 12:04 pm.
• The Navy Leap Frogs and the Army Golden Knights will jump at 2:19 pm.
• Navy’s fly-by will take place at 2:36 pm, followed by Army’s at 2:37 pm.  Navy’s fly-by will feature four F-18s from Naval Air Station in Oceana, Va.  Army’s fly-by will be four Apache helicopters from the Pennsylvania Air National Guard.

Army-Navy Storylines
• Navy enters the game having won 11 of the last 12 contests against the Black Knights, including each of the last nine. The nine-consecutive wins marks the longest streak in series history by either team.
• The Mids have won nine in a row in dominant fashion, outscoring the Black Knights, 322-91 (35.8-10.1).  The closest game was in 2006 when Navy defeated Army, 26-14, in Philadelphia.  The Mids have won the last two games by 14 points.
•    A win on Saturday would make Ken Niumatalolo just the fourth coach in school history to start his career 4-0 against Army. Paul Johnson went 6-0 against West Point (2002-07), Wayne Hardin won his first-five games (1959-63) against Army and George Welsh won his first-four contests (1973-76).
• Five of Navy’s seven losses this year have come by a combined total of 11 points. The Mids are just 1-5 in games decided by eight points or less. The five losses in close games are tied for the third most in the country.
•    Four of Navy’s 2011 opponents are either ranked (South Carolina and Southern Miss) or receiving votes (Notre Dame and Rutgers) in the top 25 polls.
•    The Mids have played the nations’ 29th-toughest schedule based on the cumulative records of their opponents to date (58-46, does not include Delaware or Army).
•    Eight of Navy’s 12 opponents have winning records and seven are bowl eligible.  Two of Navy’s four opponents that are not bowl eligible, East Carolina and San Jose State, finished with a 5-7 record.
• Navy is No. 1 in the country in fewest penalties per game (2.4) and penalty yards per game (20.9).  Army is tied for third in the country in fewest penalties (4.0).
• Navy has missed or fumbled the snap on at least one kick (PAT or field goal) in eight of its 11 games this year, including five-straight contests in the month of October.
•    Navy is just 16-15 (.516) away from the friendly confines of Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium under Niumatalolo, including a 2-4 (.333) mark this year.
• The Mids are 7-9 (.438) under Niumatalolo with more than one week to prepare, but 3-0 (1.000) against Army.
• Navy is 1-5 (.167) in games decided by eight points or less this year and 13-13 (.500) over the last four years.
• In Navy’s four wins this year, it has outscored the opposition 91-17 in the first half (36-0 in the first quarter, 55-17 in the second quarter).
• In the Mids’ seven losses this year, they have been outscored, 152-66, in the first half (59-10 in the first quarter, 93-56 in the second quarter).
• Navy is 4-2 (.667) in 2011 and 26-4 (.867) over the last four years when scoring first.  The Mids are 0-5 in 2011 and 5-17 (.227) over the last four years when the opponents score first.
• The Mids are 4-0 this season when leading after the first quarter and 0-7 when tied or trailing after the first quarter.  Under Niumatalolo, the Mids are 20-3 (.870) when leading after the first quarter and 11-18 (.379) when trailing or tied after the first stanza.
• Navy is 4-3 (.571) when leading after three quarters.  Entering this season, the Mids were 22-0 under Niumatalolo when taking a lead into the fourth quarter.
• Navy has made 43 trips inside the red zone in its 11 games this season, scoring 33 times (.767), including 27 touchdowns (.628).  The Mids are tied for 86th in the country in red zone offense  (Army is also tied for 86th).
• Navy has played five games this year where it has rushed for less than 300 yards and lost all five.  It is 4-2 (.667) when rushing for more than 300 yards.
• An opposing running back has rushed for over 100 yards in a game against the Mids in eight of 11 contests this year.  In the previous three years, Navy surrendered only nine 100-yard rushing games to opposing running backs.
• Senior defensive end Jabaree Tuani has produced 42-career tackles for a loss, which is tied with David Mahoney (2003-06) for the second most in school history.  He is just two behind record-holder Andy Person (1992-95).
• Tuani has recorded 16 sacks over his four-year career, which is tied with Tyler Tidwell (2004-06) for third on the Mids’ career list.

Close Games In The Army-Navy Series
• 53 of the 111 Army-Navy games (.477) have been decided by eight points or less.  Army has won 24 of those 53, while Navy has scored 22 victories and seven have ended in a tie.
• The last time an Army-Navy game was decided by eight points or less was in 2000 when the Mids defeated the Black Knights, 30-28.

Scouting Army
• Army is 3-8 on the year with victories over Northwestern (21-14), Tulane (45-6) and Fordham (55-0).
• The Black Knights have losses against Northern Illinois (49-26), San Diego State (23-20), Ball State (48-21), Miami of Ohio (35-28), Vanderbilt (44-21), Air Force (24-14), Rutgers (27-12) and Temple (42-14).
• Army comes to Landover with the nation’s top-ranked rushing offense (350.9 yds/gm).  The Black Knights last won the rushing title in 1998 (293.8).  Army’s average of 350.9 yards per game would be the most by a team since Nebraska in 1997 (392.6).
•    The Black Knights are 13th in the country in pass defense (178.1).

The Last Time … 
Navy 31, Army 17    Dec. 11, 2010 | Philadelphia, Pa.
• Senior safety Wyatt Middleton’s 98-yard fumble return for a touchdown with 1:03 remaining in the second quarter turned what was shaping up to be a close game into a rout as Navy rolled to its ninth win of the year and ninth-straight win over Army, 31-17, at a sold out (69,223) Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.  The 98-yard fumble return was the longest in school history and longest in an Army-Navy game.
• Navy had jumped out to a 17-0 lead as Joe Buckley nailed a 36-yard field goal and quarterback Ricky Dobbs threw touchdown passes of 77 yards to John Howell and 32 yards to Brandon Turner.  The touchdown pass to Howell was the longest pass play in series history.
• The Mids were in total control of the game midway through the second quarter until a pair of Dobbs turnovers gave Army life.
• Dobbs fumbled the ball on first down from his own 23 and it was recovered by Army’s Josh McNary.  Six plays later, Army quarterback Trent Steelman hit Malcolm Brown with a five-yard touchdown pass to cut the Navy lead to 17-7. It was Army’s first touchdown against the Midshipmen since the fourth quarter of the 2006 game.
• Three plays later, Dobbs gave the ball back to Army again as he was stripped by McNary and Stephen Anderson recovered the loose ball at the Army 48.
• The Black Knights methodically moved the ball down the field, taking it 49 yards in 11 plays.   On first and goal from the Navy three, Steelman tried to power his way into the end zone, but senior linebacker Tyler Simmons and senior outside linebacker Jerry Hauburger met Steelman at the two-yard line and Simmons’ knocked the ball from Steelman’s hands.  The ball popped up in the air and flew right to Middleton who raced 98 yards for the back-breaking touchdown.
• Army took the opening kickoff of the third quarter and drove 47 yards on 12 plays with Alex Carlton capping the drive with a 42-yard field goal to make the score 24-10.
• Navy put the game away with a 13-play, 87-yard, 9:03 scoring drive to start the fourth quarter with slot back Gee Gee Greene waltzing in from the 25 to make it 31-10.

Service Academy Dominance
• Navy has amassed a 74-40 (.649) overall record in the last nine years, while Air Force is 62-48 (.564) and Army is 30-77 (.280).

Dominant Era in Army-Navy History
• Navy’s 31-17 victory over Army was its ninth-consecutive win over the Black Knights, the longest streak in series history by either team.
• The Mids have won those nine in a row against Army in dominant fashion, outscoring the Black Knights, 322-91 (35.8-10.1).

Our Nation’s Future Leaders
• Navy’s 33 seniors received their service assignments on Nov. 30. Graduates of the Naval Academy serve a minimum of five years in the Navy or Marine Corps, while pilots serve eight years upon earning their wings.
•    25 seniors will be commissioned Ensigns in the United States Navy (11 Surface Warfare, five Naval Flight Officers, three Surface Warfare Nuclear,  two Intelligence, one Supply Corps, one Submarines, one Pilot and one Special Warfare), while eight will be commissioned 2nd Lieutenants in the Marine Corps (seven Marine Corps Ground and one Marine Corps Pilot)
• Graduation for the Class of 2012 is Tuesday, May 29.

Service Assignments For The Class of 2012
Player, Service Assignment
Brian Ackerman, Surface Warfare (Nuclear)
Bruce Andrews, Supply Corps
Ryan Basford, Surface Warfare
Thomas Batchelder, Surface Warfare
Brian Blick, Marine Corps Ground
Max Blue, Marine Corps Ground
Alex Boddiford, Surface Warfare
Hal Bowron, Surface Warfare
Brady DeMell, Surface Warfare
Delvin Diggs, Suface Warfare (Nuclear)
Neil Doogan, USMC Ground
Eric Douglass, Surface Warfare
John Dowd, Submarines
Zach Dryden, Surface Warfare
Doug Furman, Navy Pilot
Mason Graham, Marine Corps Ground
Hal Hunter, Intelligence
Caleb King, Naval Flight Officer
Jared Marks, Marine Corps Ground
John McCauley, Surface Warfare
Kwesi Mitchell, Naval Flight Officer
Gary Myers, Naval Flight Officer
Torri Preston, Marine Corps Ground
Kriss Proctor, Naval Flight Officer
Aaron Santiago, Surface Warfare (Nuclear)
Jarred Shannon, Surface Warfare
Eric Stein, Naval Flight Officer
Mike Stukel, Marine Corps Ground
David Sumrall, Intelligence
Jon Teague, Marine Corps Pilot
Alexander Teich, Special Warfare (SEAL)
Jabaree Tuani, Surface Warfare
David Wright, Surface Warfare

President At The Army-Navy Game
• With this year’s game being played in Washington, D.C., it is appropriate to look back at past Army-Navy games attended by the President of the United States.  It is expected that President Barack Obama will attend this year’s game.
• Eight different Presidents have attended the Army-Navy game a total of 18 times.  Harry S. Truman attended the most Army-Navy games, going to seven straight from 1945-1951.  Teddy Roosevelt was the first President to attend an Army-Navy game, as he attended the 1901 contest.
• Only once have both the President and Vice President attended the Army-Navy game.  In 1961, President John F. Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon Johnson were on hand in Philadelphia.
• Navy is 7-9-2 in games against Army in which the President attends and has won the last two.
• The last time the President attended the Army-Navy game, the Mids dealt Army a 34-0 loss in Philadelphia in 2008 with President George W. Bush looking on.

President Of The United States At The Army-Navy Game
Year    President    Result
1901    Theodore Roosevelt    Army, 11-5
1905    Theodore Roosevelt    Tie, 6-6
1913    Woodrow Wilson    Army, 22-9
1924    Calvin Coolidge    Army, 12-0
1945    Harry Truman    Army, 32-13
1946    Harry Truman    Army, 21-18
1947    Harry Truman    Army, 21-0
1948    Harry Truman    Tie, 21-21
1949    Harry Truman    Army, 38-0
1950    Harry Truman    Navy, 14-2
1951    Harry Truman    Navy, 42-7
1961    John Kennedy    Navy, 13-7
1962    John Kennedy    Navy, 34-14
1974    Gerald Ford    Navy, 19-0
1996    Bill Clinton    Army, 28-24
2001    George W. Bush    Army, 26-17
2004    George W. Bush    Navy, 42-13
2008    George W. Bush    Navy, 34-0

Future Army-Navy Sites Announced
• The city of Philadelphia has been synonymous with the Army-Navy football classic over the years, hosting 82 of the previous 111 service academy battles. Army and Navy will be building on that rich tradition in the years ahead with Philadelphia serving as the host of “America’s Game” for four of the next seven years at Lincoln Financial Field (2012, 2013, 2015, 2017).
•    It was also announced that for the first time in series history the game will be played on the doorstep of the nation’s capital as the 2011 Army-Navy game presented by USAA will be played at FedEx Field, while the 2014 and 2016 games will be played at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium.
•    The process for securing a long-term home for future Army-Navy football games officially began in August of 2008 with the service academies distributing a formal “Request for Proposal.”
•    The first Army-Navy game was played in 1890 at West Point and the second in Annapolis one year later. In 1899, Philadelphia’s Franklin Field became the game site. The “City of Brotherly Love” has dominated as host city for the Army-Navy game since that time. There have been 14 different venues that have played host to the event, four of those located in Philadelphia and two in Baltimore.
•    Municipal Stadium, renamed John F. Kennedy Stadium in 1964, has housed the game the most times – 41 in all – that included 35 straight games between 1945 and 1979. It was first played there in 1936.
•    Franklin Field ranks second on the list of Army-Navy game sites with its total of 18, followed by Veterans Stadium with 17 and the Polo Grounds in New York City with nine. “The Vet” first hosted the game in 1980 and did so through 2001 with all but five exceptions.
•    Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia has hosted the game seven times (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010).
•    Army has also battled Navy at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., in 1983; at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., in 1989, 1993, 1997 and 2002; and at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore in 2000 and 2007.
•    For the 16th-straight year, CBS Sports will televise the Army-Navy classic to a national and worldwide (via American Forces Network) audience on Dec. 10. The Army-Navy game will be the only major college football game played the second Saturday in December.

Showtime And CBS Sports Team Up To Produce All-Access Docu-Drama On Navy And Army Football
• SHOWTIME Sports and CBS Sports are teaming up for A Game Of Honor, a two-hour exclusive docu-drama revealing an unprecedented look at America’s two oldest military academies – The United States Military Academy and The United States Naval Academy. As the midshipmen and cadets prepare to serve their country and participate in a rivalry unmatched by any other in sports, the Army-Navy football game presented by USAA, SHOWTIME will capture an all-access look at their unique season-long journey. The in-depth docu-drama will be co-produced and promoted by SHOWTIME Sports and CBS Sports in conjunction with CBSSports.com and will premiere Dec. 21 on SHOWTIME, 10 days after this year’s Army-Navy game on CBS, Dec. 10.
•    SHOWTIME will have behind-the-scenes access to both academies and their respective football teams for six months leading up to the Army-Navy game, as well as during the game and immediately following. With so many stories to tell, SHOWTIME will air exclusive content across multiple CBS platforms including a special preview show about the making of the documentary on Wednesday, November 23 on SHOWTIME; with a network television premiere of the preview show on CBS Sports on Dec. 3. In addition, CBSSports.com will air an exclusive 10-episode weekly original web series beginning Oct. 17.
•    The docu-drama and web series will capture the personal stories of this unique group of men who are rivals on the football field and brothers in arms on the battlefield. As the young men at Army and Navy endure a much different athletic experience than other Division I football players, A Game of Honor will capture the dedication, discipline and determination demanded of the cadets and midshipmen who are members of these storied football programs. A Game of Honor reveals their unique journey from summer training to the demands of an elite classroom education to the weekly preparations for the football field, all while training to serve their country in a time of war. This rigorous passage culminates with the playing of the annual Army-Navy game, this year from the nation’s capital in Washington, D.C.
•    CBS Sports’ Creative Director, Pete Radovich, who also serves as coordinating producer for the Emmy-Award winning SHOWTIME series Inside the NFL, will serve as director of the series. Radovich will co-produce with CBS Sports Coordinating Producer Steve Karasik.
•    “We are honored to broadcast the Army-Navy football game every year on CBS Sports and thrilled to team with SHOWTIME, CBSSports.com and our long-standing partners at the Naval and Military academies on ‘A Game of Honor,'” said Sean McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports. “Using unparalleled access provided by the academies, this project allows us to go in-depth across multiple CBS platforms to tell inspiring, compelling and unique stories — both on and off the field — about the 2011 cadets and midshipmen.”
•    “Teaming up with CBS on any production or project has always resulted in a big time and first class end result,” said Navy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk. “This venture could not be more well received by the Academy and the Athletic Department. The story to be told will be emotional, motivating, inspiring, and featured in a way that it will bring an even greater appreciation for some very special people who are some of our nation’s and intercollegiate athletics’ finest leaders.”

Navy Partners with Nike for Army-Navy Game Uniform
•    Before their fight songs ring throughout the stadiums and they storm the fields, nine of the top college football programs will lace their cleats and buckle their chin straps while donning uniquely designed, highly advanced Nike uniforms for at least one game during the 2011-12 season.
•    The fully integrated uniform system, which the University of Oregon debuted during the 2010 BCS National Championship Game, incorporates the latest in performance innovation and design from the world’s most renowned athletic outfitter.  The redesigned base layer facilitates the uniform’s overall innovation, delivering the ultimate in lightweight protection for maximum speed. Strategically placed seams, pads and cooling zones also help minimize distraction and optimize protective coverage.
•    The teams selected to sport the 2011 Nike Pro Combat system of dress uniforms include Army, Boise State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan State, Navy, Ohio State, Oregon, and Stanford.
•    While each school’s uniform delivers the same superior lightweight performance and protection, each will tell a different story through its design. Nike worked closely with each university to bring relevant elements of the school’s rich heritage into a distinguished, modern uniform design. The uniforms capture each team’s unique character.
•    “The support and positive relationship that Navy athletics has enjoyed over the years with Nike is extraordinary.” Navy Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk said. “Being a part of this exciting initiative further illustrates the mutual respect that is so much a part of the way we present our product.  The Midshipmen are inspired by the technical innovations and appearance that Nike puts forth through the presentation of their equipment and apparel.  Nike continues to motivate all of our teams to compete at the highest level with great success.  This year, the Army-Navy Game will be a showcase for the direction that our partnership will be heading in the future.”
•    The integrated uniform system provides enhanced durability and innovation from the inside out.  Robust padding without the bulk offers optimal low-profile impact protection specifically throughout the crucial “hit zone” between the knees and shoulders. Nike Pro Combat Deflex padding has also been integrated in the hip and knee areas of the pant for crucial impact protection that stays in place. The base layer now features customizable protection, incorporating a thin, incredibly strong carbon fiber plate that can be placed on the thigh padding where needed.
•    The uniform system design also emphasizes improved thermoregulation, including the Nike Pro Combat Deflex padding layer, which is constructed with fabric selected for its ability to help keep the body cool and wick away sweat – making the uniform, and player, lighter and dryer. The jerseys are made of four-way stretch woven twill that sheds moisture. A Flywire collar eliminates two layers of fabric for improved breathability, providing a more stable anchor to keep the jersey in place.

Dowd A Finalist For The William V. Campbell Trophy
• Navy senior guard John Dowd is one of 16 college football players named to the 2011 National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete Class and is now a finalist for the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes an individual as the nation’s premier scholar-athlete.
•    The NFF’s National Scholar-Athlete program, launched in 1959, is the first initiative in history to award scholar-athletes postgraduate scholarships for their combined athletic, academic and leadership abilities. This year’s class members find themselves in good company, as past National Scholar-Athletes include former NFL standout Derrick Brooks (Florida St.); actor Mark Harmon (UCLA); NASA astronaut Leland Melvin (Richmond); former Dateline NBC anchor Stone Phillips (Yale); chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters Tournament, Billy Payne (Georgia); famed NFL quarterback Steve Young (BYU); and Heisman Trophy winners Terry Baker (Oregon St.), Gary Beban (UCLA), Doug Flutie (Boston College) and Tim Tebow (Florida).
•    Each finalist will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship at the 54th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 6 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, and one of the 16 will be announced as the 22nd recipient of the William V. Campbell Trophy. Named in honor of Bill Campbell, the chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia and the 2004 recipient of the NFF’s Gold Medal, the award comes with a 25-pound bronze trophy and a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship.
•    Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a grade point average of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first-team player and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. The 127 semifinalists for the award were announced on Sept. 29.

Dowd Named One Of 10 Finalists For The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award
• Navy senior offensive guard John Dowd has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2011 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.  Dowd is a three-year letterwinner and two-year starter at offensive guard for the Mids and carries a 3.91 GPA in Mechanical Engineering.  He is a two-time Academic All-American and has a chance to become the first Navy football player in school history to be named a First-Team Academic All-American in consecutive years.
•    An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
•    Fan votes, which were conducted through Dec. 5, will be combined with media and Div. I FBS head coaches’ votes to determine the winner.
•    Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the Senior CLASS Award® winner during the 2011 football bowl season. Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs won the award last year.

Football Bowl Subdivision Finalists For The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award
Emmanuel Acho, Linebacker, Texas
Jake Bequette, Defensive End, Arkansas
Drew Butler, Punter, Georgia
Kirk Cousins, Quarterback, Michigan State
Austin Davis, Quarterback, Southern Miss
John Dowd, Guard, Navy
Chase Minnifield, Cornerback, Virginia
Dan Persa, Quarterback, Northwestern
Nate Potter, Offensive Tackle, Boise State
Dawson Zimmerman, Punter, Clemson

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Navy G John Dowd Named Candidate for Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award

Posted on 24 August 2011 by WNST Staff

ANNAPOLIS, Md.—Navy senior offensive guard John Dowd was selected as a candidate for the 2011 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I FBS senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.   Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs won the award last year.

Dowd, who started all 13 games last fall at right guard, was named a 2010 ESPN First-Team Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Director’s of America. He was the first Navy player since 1980 and just the fifth in program history to receive first-team recognition.  Dowd, who carries a 3.91 GPA in Mechanical Engineering, will have an opportunity this fall to be Navy’s first two-time First-Team Academic All-American in football in school history.

The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.

Football Bowl Subdivision Candidates
Emmanuel Acho, Linebacker, Texas
Jeff Allen, Offensive Tackle, Illinois
Jake Bequette, Defensive End, Arkansas
Tony Bergstrom, Offensive Tackle, Utah
Michael Brewster, Center, Ohio State
Drew Butler, Punter, Georgia
Kirk Cousins, Quarterback, Michigan State
Jared Crick, Defensive Tackle, Nebraska
Austin Davis, Quarterback, Southern Mississippi
Jeff Demps, Running Back, Florida
John Dowd, Guard, Navy
Michael Egnew, Tight End, Missouri
Alan Gendreau, Placekicker, Middle Tennessee State
Kevin Goessling, Placekicker, Fresno State
Chandler Harnish, Quarterback, Northern Illinois
Aaron Henry, Free Safety, Wisconsin
Joe Holland, Linebacker, Purdue
Jared Karstetter, Wide Receiver, Washington State
Case Keenum, Quarterback, Houston
Chase Minnifield, Cornerback, Virginia
Dan Persa, Quarterback, Northwestern
Tauren Poole, Tailback, Tennessee
Nate Potter, Offensive Tackle, Boise State
Matt Reynolds, Offensive Tackle, BYU
Adrian Robinson, Defensive End, Temple
David Ruffer, Placekicker, Notre Dame
Will Snyderwine, Placekicker, Duke
Nate Stupar, Linebacker, Penn State
Bobby Wagner, Linebacker, Utah State
Dawson Zimmerman, Punter, Clemson

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Navy Announces 2011 Football Recruiting Class

Posted on 30 June 2011 by WNST Staff

ANNAPOLIS, Md.-Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo released the names of the 2011 Navy football recruits on Thursday evening as 52 prospects representing 16 states went through induction ceremonies and began plebe summer.

“We are very excited about the group we have coming in this year,” said Niumatalolo. “If they work hard and do the things they are supposed to do in Bancroft Hall, in the classroom, in the weight room and on the practice field they have a chance to be a part of something special.”

The state of Florida produced the most prospects with eight, while six incoming recruits hail from Texas.  Georgia, Tennessee and California produced five prospects each.

Navy football season tickets are currently on sale at the Ricketts Hall Box Office, by calling 1-800-US4-NAVY or by logging on to the web at www.navysports.com. Navy opens the 2011 campaign on Sept. 3 against Delaware.  The Mids will play five games at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium this fall, including an Oct. 1 date with Air Force, and will play host to Army at FedExField in Landover, Md.

NAVY FOOTBALL CLASS OF 2015
Name                          Position            Hgt.            Wgt.            Hometown/High School
Kody Akers                QB                   5-10            190            Delaware, Ohio/Rutherford Hayes
Colin Amerau             PK                    6-2            185            Alexandria, Va./Mount Vernon
Adrian Barnaby                        DL                    6-1            275            Deltona, Fla./Trinity Christian Academy
DJ Beard                        DB                        6-0            180            McDonough, Ga./Ola
Pablo Beltran              P/K                   6-2            200            Humble, Texas/Atascocita
Jimmy Britton                        DB                        6-2            210            Togers, Ark./Heritage
Greg Bryant Jr.                        QB                   6-2            185            Fayetteville, N.C./Jack Britt
Allen Caldwell                        DL                        6-3            250            Crestview, Fla./Crestview
Joe Cardona                        LS                    6-3            200            El Cajon, Calif./Granite Hills
Ruben Carson              SB                    5-8            170            Hoover, Ala./Hoover
Noah Copeland                        FB                    5-10            205            San Antonio, Texas/Brandeis
Kyle Cregge              OL                    6-2            279            Alpharetta, Ga./Milton
Aaron Davis                DL                    6-0            265            Manvel, Texas/Dawson
Jordan Drake                        OLB                        6-4            210            Douglasville, Ga./Chapel Hill
Brendan Dudeck             QB                   6-0            188            Hamilton Square, N.J./The Hun School
Chris Ferguson                        DB                   6-2            195            Angier, N.C./West Johnson
Tanner Fleming                        OL                    6-2            260            Deltona, Fla./Deltona
Parrish Gaines                        DB                        6-2            185            Smyrna, Tenn./Smyrna
Daniel Godkin              DL                    6-4            230            Las Vegas, Nev./Palo Verde
Bradyn Heap                 OL                    6-3            265            South Jordan, Utah/Bingham
John Hendrick                        QB                        6-1            185            Tampa, Fla./Sickles
Sam Holguin                        WR                        6-3            195            Pacific Palisades, Calif./Saint Monica
Dale Howard             DL                    6-0            275            Baxley, Ga./Appling County
George Jamison             DB                   6-0            190            Memphis, Tenn./Evangelical Christian
Chris Johnson                        OLB                        6-1            205            Cape Coral, Fla./Cape Coral
Eric Johnson             SB                    5-10            185            Fayetteville, N.C./Jack Britt
James King                 WR                  6-2            195            Orinda, Calif./Miramonte
Anthony Lewis                OLB                 6-0            210            Salt Lake City, Utah/Cottonwood
Carrington Lewis             OLB                 6-3            197            Helena, Ala./Pelham
Marcus Lewis                SB                    5-8            170            Cape Coral, Fla./North Fort Myers
Austin Marshall                        OL                    6-3            300            Rossville, Tenn./Evangelical Christian
Isaiah McElrath                        DL                    6-2            280            Milton, Fla./Pace
Brice Musgrove                        DL                    5-11            275            Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill
Chris Nurthen             DL                    6-3            226            Phoenixville, Pa./Great Valley
Nate Otto                        OL                    6-2            265            Houston, Texas/Clear Lake
Togasii Peko                        DB                        6-0            177            Henderson, Nev./Bishop Gorman
Maika Polamalu                        FB                        6-0            200            Pottstown, Pa./Pottsgrove
AJ Pouncy              DB                   6-1            190            Humble, Texas/Atascocita
Paul Quessenberry            DL                    6-2            230            Carlsbad, Calif./LaCosta Canyon
Lonnie Richardson            DB                   5-11            195            Wallingford, Pa./Strath Haven
Vinny Rider                DL                    6-4            260            Athens, Ohio/Athens
Dan Ring                        DL                        6-2            270            Lighthouse Point, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons
Shakir Robinson                        DB                        5-10            190            Brunswick, Ga./Brunswick
Quinton Singleton            FB                    6-0            190            Manning, S.C./Scotts Branch
Will Strauss              OL                    6-5            245            Brentwood, Calif./Heritage
Josh Tate                        DB                   5-11            180            Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood
David Thurston                        LB                    6-1            225            Broomfield, Colo./Arvada West
Obinna Uzoma                        OLB                        6-3            215            Wake Forest, N.C./Knightdale
Kody West                 QB                   6-2            195            Murfreesboro, Tenn./Riverdale
Geoffrey Whiteside            SB                    5-10            177            Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Hartley
Ryan Williams                        SB                    5-8            170            Helena, Ala./Pelham
Jake Zuzek               OL                    6-0            290            Brookhaven, Pa./West Philadelphia Catholic

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Mallett Must Mature Mentally Both On and Off the Field

Posted on 20 April 2011 by Brian Billick

Outside of Cam Newton, Ryan Mallett is the most intriguing quarterback in the draft.  His talent is obvious.  He has a huge arm, and the skill-set to make all the throws in the NFL.  As far as physically talent, outside of foot agility, he has all the tools to be successful at the next level.

Mallett will need to mature most on the mental side of the game.  For a professional athlete, especially a franchise quarterback, this mental maturation process is both off the field and on the field.  Off the field, his character has been dissected and his unwillingness to answer drug related questions at the NFL Combine only fueled the fire.  To me, this is awfully reminiscent of Ryan Leaf as he struggled to find his way in the NFL.  I hope that Mallett can mature and handle the media attention that goes along with being a professional quarterback, right now, i questions if he can.

On the field, his mental development needs to occur in the film room.  On tape, he missed blitzing schemes in which his lineman were out manned and he needed to throw the ball “hot”.  He will be counted on the check out of plays that are already set up to fail just by the pre-snap alignment of the defense.  He will need to read elaborate coverage schemes by NFL defenses, and make good decisions as Pro Bowl pass rushers are in his face.  In order to do all these things, he will need to spend hours and hours in film study and commit himself to nothing other than football season after season.  I am not sure he is mentally prepared for that right now.

Again, he has all the physical skills needed to be successful, and maybe is the most pro-ready quarterback just from a physical attributes perspective.  He played in a pro-style offense at Arkansas, and the throws he made as an amateur will translate very well at the next level.   I would like to see him develop lighter feet in the pocket and use his size like Ben Roethlisberger to make it difficult to bring him down in the pocket.

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ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 07: Quarterback Matt Ryan  of the Atlanta Falcons celebrates after a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Georgia Dome on November 7, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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Blog & Tackle: Ravens-Falcons could be Super Bowl XLV preview

Posted on 09 November 2010 by Chris Pika

Halfway through the NFL season, there is no clear-cut favorite in each conference to make it to the Super Bowl. Two of the major contenders will play Thursday night in the Georgia Dome in a possible preview of Super Bowl XLV — the 6-2 Ravens and 6-2 Falcons.

Both teams are very similar. Both clubs are 4-0 at home and 2-2 on the road, both will come into the game with a two-game win streak and a 4-1 mark in the last five games.

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 07: Quarterback Matt Ryan  of the Atlanta Falcons celebrates after a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Georgia Dome on November 7, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Both are quarterbacked by young, impressive players who could have just as easily been switched as to where they were drafted. Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan are both solid characters on the field and solid citizens off of it who share almost identical nicknames — “Joe Cool” and “Matty Ice”. One had a playoff-ready team when he took over in the huddle, and the other had to become the face of the franchise almost immediately after a tumultous period in which the previous starting QB was indicted and the head coach bailed for Arkansas. You could put either man in the other’s huddle, and see the same results.

Both have a strong primary target at wide receiver. Atlanta has Roddy White, who was injured in Sunday’s win against Tampa Bay. White is one of the most-exciting deep-ball receivers in the game right now. Baltimore has veteran Anquan Boldin, who has provided Flacco with a legitimate vertical threat for the first time in his short career.

Safety valves? The Ravens have ultra-versatile back Ray Rice, who leads the team in rushing, and is Flacco’s second-favorite receiver. The Falcons counter with maybe the modern game’s finest tight end, Tony Gonzalez, who can still use his big frame to block and is Ryan’s second-favorite receiver.

The running backs? Baltimore uses the three-headed backfield of Rice, Willis McGahee and Le’Ron McClain to wear down opposing defensive lines, especially in the second half. Atlanta has a big bruiser, Michael Turner, who has bulldozed his way to big yardage all season.

Overall on comparison of the two teams on offense, Atlanta gets 22 more yards per game, converts 13 percent more of its chances in the red zone, 17 percent more in goal-to-go situations and has scored 2.6 points more on average than the Ravens.

The Falcons may need every bit of those numbers as the two teams are markedly different on defense. The Ravens give up 36 yards less overall, 45 less passing yards and 1.9 points less on average than Atlanta.

Baltimore Ravens safaety Ed Reed runs with the ball after intercepting a pass from Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne in the fourth quarter of their NFL football game in Baltimore, Maryland November 7, 2010.  REUTERS/Joe Giza (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

What the Falcons don’t have is the trio of all-world veteran defenders in safety Ed Reed, linebacker Ray Lewis and defensive end Haloti Ngata. They do have tough veteran defensive end John Abraham, who is paired with young DE Kroy Biermann, safety William Moore and linebacker Curtis Lofton.

The special teams edge belongs to the Ravens as punter Sam Koch and kicker Billy Cundiff have pinned opponents deep in their own end consistently. Atlanta’s punter/kickoff specialist Michael Koenen does not get the distance that either Koch or Cundiff does, but kicker Matt Bryant is a solid indoor kicker, as he has not missed a field goal in the Georgia Dome in 2010.

Coaches? One is John Harbaugh, who has made his team into a disciplined well-oiled unit after taking over for a very successful longtime coach who won a Super Bowl, and the other, Mike Smith, is related by marriage to that Baltimore Super Bowl-winning coach and who had to steady a team and a franchise after it was abandoned by his predecessor.

Sounds like the type of marquee game the NFL loves to showcase on their own network, and the country will see what these two teams are made of Thursday night.

It will be entertaining, it will be bruising, it has a chance to be high-scoring, and most importantly, if you happen to miss it on TV (for only catastrophic reasons), you might get to see the rerun on February 6 on a much-bigger stage in North Texas.

For up-to-date Tweets on the NFL and the Ravens, please follow me on Twitter (@BlogAndTackle). For more national NFL stories, please visit my personal site at BlogAndTackle.net.

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Blog & Tackle: Want baseball drama? Find it at the CWS

Posted on 14 June 2009 by Chris Pika

If you miss baseball games that mean something this time of year (and what Orioles fan doesn’t?), check out the College World Series.

College baseball is not as big in the Northeast as it is in other parts of the country, but a lot of talent that you see in the big leagues comes from the power schools, such as Texas, LSU, Cal State-Fullerton, North Carolina, Arkansas, Arizona State — all of which are in Omaha. First-timers Virginia and Southern Miss round out the field. A total of 40 players in the CWS were selected in the receent MLB Draft.

The emotion shown by the players and the atmosphere in front of 24,000-plus each game in Rosenblatt Stadium is something to see. I worked the Atlanta regional that Southern Miss advanced to the Super Regional, where they beat Florida to go to Omaha, and the Golden Eagles are as scrappy as any team in the CWS. By the way, the Orioles’ own Matt Wieters was a pretty fair college player at Georgia Tech in 2008, and we know his story over the last year.

The college game, despite what some think of the aluminum bats, is played at a very high level and well worth your time in front of the tube over the next 10 days.

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No surprise

Posted on 14 January 2008 by WNST Interns

Razorback running backs, Darren McFadden and Felix Jones have just announced that they are going pro and skipping their senior season at the University of Arkansas.  Good luck to these Hogs in the draft.  Razorback fans will never forget the memories they created over the last three years.  One of the greatest college backfields in NCAA history. Whoever drafts either one of these backs are getting a special player.

Cheers from Little Rock!

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Razorback Soap Opera

Posted on 30 November 2007 by WNST Interns

Well what a week in the life of Houston Nutt and the Arkansas Razorbacks.  The Hogs upset the #1 LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge on Friday, which was an epic game to witness, and head Hog resigns as coach on Monday night!

What gives??  Well this was coming for weeks.  Nutt and his motley fools of coachs have endured email-gate with a booster and Nutt’s wife, the O-coordinator, Gus Malzahn resignation, err firing, and the Springdale, AR star recruits exodus to So Cal.  The resignation press conference was feel good TV.  Chancellor John White sang Houston’s praises and guaranteed to undo the “Golden Handcuffs” from Houstons’ contract and have the Razorback Foundation pick-up the tab of $3.65 million as Nutt’s goodbye gift.  Next on the mic was good Old Houston Nutt.  His heart bled Arkansas red and he was resigning for the good of the program and his resignation was needed for Ark. to progress as an SEC contender.  The time was right for him and his family to move on after 10 years as head Hog.  All the blah blah you can stomach.  Now we find out that Nutt and agent had already had the Ole Miss job in the bag right after the LSU win, nowing that Ed Orgeron was fired on Friday from Ole Miss.  So Nutt resigns, has public lovefest and get paid 3.65 million and get’s a raise to take the Ole Miss job.  A job he had in the bag before the press conference and before it was reported by ESPN and other’s on Tuesday morning of this week.  Wow, just another day in the South and the SEC.   Good Luck Rebels, you got a real winner on your hands now!

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