The weather might be getting colder but the hot seat is getting red hot in the NFL. On this episode I give you my top five coaches on the NFL hot seat and discuss why they will likely be gone by the end of the season. Did your team’s head coach make the cut? Check it out and make sure to follow and subscribe for all the latest content.
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NFC East 2018 Preview
With the 2018 NFL season approaching Rich Sports Talk is previewing each division on the Rich Sports Talk Podcast. On the first episode of this segment let’s break down the NFC East which in my opinion is the most interesting division in the NFL this season. Will the Eagles win the division or will the Cowboys claim the NFC East? Where will the Giants fall after their busy offseason and will Alex Smith elevate Washington? Check it out on the latest episode below and remember to like and subscribe for the latest content and so you don’t miss the other division previews.
Can Penn State Fix the Big 10 After Ban?
With the news that Penn State will have both full scholarships and playoff rights returned to the program next season, the question now is can the Nittany Lions save the Big 10 Conference. While the Big 10 still remains one of the power conferences in college football, it has been losing ground over the past decade. Conferences such as the Pac 12, ACC, and Big 12 have all significantly improved in terms of talent and yearly recruiting. These three conferences have even begun to close the gap on the best conference in the land, the SEC. While the rest of college football is on the upswing, the Big 10 has been heading in the wrong direction.
After this past weekend the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan State Spartans have gone from favorites to compete in the college football playoff to long shots. The reason? The strength of schedule is the biggest concern especially with the quality of teams in the conference. While the Spartans at least played a national power like Oregon, Ohio State continues to schedule cupcake non conference games which makes a loss even more devastating. Now with both schools having one loss apiece it now looks like both teams will now have to run the table if they want any shot at making the playoff.
How does Penn State help the fledgeling Big 10? Despite the limitations set by the NCAA the Nittany Lions have been able to still have very good recruiting classes and more importantly continue to win. Already off to a 2-0 start this season if Penn State can return to being a consistent top 25 program over the next few seasons they could bring back some much-needed respect to the Big 10.
Let’s face it, outside of Michigan State and Ohio State everybody else in the conference has just been average at best. Rutgers could be a dark horse program that may eventually boost the conference, but right now as a whole especially is average at best. With the Michigan Wolverines being a disaster while Wisconsin and Nebraska have stalled over the past few seasons.
One thing that Penn State does over it’s fellow conference opponents is some very good young quarterbacks coming into the program through recruiting including one of the best young signal callers in the country Christian Hackenberg. Despite Hackenberg getting off to a slow start this season, you can expect to hear his name associated next with the NFL Draft.
Penn State has weathered the storm admirably and has continued to build a very good program despite their limitations in recruiting. Now with their full scholarships all back it could be time for Penn State to go from surviving to thriving.
Connecticut #1 in all of college sports?
In a span of 24 hours the melting pot of college basketball wasn’t Dallas or Nashville, but Storrs Connecticut. For the second time in history the UConn men’s and women’s basketball teams are the National Champions at the same time. The school is now an incredible 13-0 in National Title games with four men’s championships and a record best nine National Championships for the women. 2014 will be remembered for the historic run of the men’s team after going through the ringer the previous season and the sheer dominance the women’s program which once again ran the table with 40 wins. After this week the main question shouldn’t be about UConn’s dominance, but the state’s dominance as a whole. Is Connecticut becoming one of if not the best state in the nation for college sports?
I can already hear the yelling and screaming already. What are you nuts? Connecticut the best state for college sports? Blasphemous! But is it? In the span of twelve months the state has won 4 National Championships. Last year, Yale won the hockey National Championship to go with the three championships the Huskies added, two in basketball one in field hockey. We all know about basketball. The UConn men remain one of the best programs in the country, and the women are in a league of their own. However, the nutmeg state has become a hotbed for college hockey. Last year both Yale and Quinnipiac made it to the finals in hockey and both have been perennial powers for years with consistent top 15 rankings in the country. With UConn hockey moving into Hockey East and steadily improving, the question is becoming when not if another team from the Constitution state will win the National Championship.
Yeah, but what about football? True Connecticut is not a football state, this isn’t Alabama with the Crimson Tide and Auburn. I think that is pretty obvious, but across the board the other sports in this state prove that Connecticut is the cream of the crop in college sports. Field Hockey? UConn won the National Championship in 2013. Baseball? UConn reached the regionals for the first time in 2013. Along with these national appearances the Connecticut schools have won numerous conference championships across the board.
With already established powerhouses, and strong up and comers, the Nutmeg state could soon be more than just the center of college basketball, but the NCAA universe as well. With some of the greatest underrated fan bases in the country, it’s not hard to see why Connecticut loves it’s college teams. With dominance in basketball and hockey, if Connecticut can establish another team or teams that become perennial powers, it will be hard to argue that Connecticut is not a great home for college sports, but “the home” for college sports.
College Hockey Key for Hartford Whalers Return
In a recent interview Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy recently revealed that there are at least three groups that want to purchase an NHL franchise and relocate it to Hartford. While there are numerous obstacles such as the NHL brass and the arena situation in Hartford, one major key for a pro team to call Hartford home is actually hockey at the college level. True a new arena is a necessity despite the 35 million dollars in upgrades Malloy has said will be going into the aging XL Center, but at the end of the day it will be the interest in hockey that will get the NHL back. Arenas can be built, teams can be bought, but fan support needs to be earned.
While Governor Malloy has made it clear that a new arena is one of if not the biggest necessities for an NHL team, he believes that college hockey is the key component in making Connecticut a major hockey market. With so many professional teams in the area and minor league teams, it is a difficult sell to fans to watch the Wolf Pack in Hartford. It’s like asking college kids to have alcohol less beer at a party, not exactly a tempting offer. With the UConn
hockey team entering Hockey East next season, Malloy has said that if UConn can become a big draw in Hartford, it could be a key factor in proving that the state can support an NHL team. With the success of the Quinnipiac and Yale programs becoming key players on the national stage, if UConn can become a top tier program with drawing power, then Connecticut could be the home of some of the best college hockey in the country. If UConn can get great support, Malloy feels this will be a huge step forward in attracting the NHL back to the Insurance Capital. Malloy has been on record stating: “If you want NHL hockey back in Hartford, then you need to support UConn hockey”.
If Nutmeggers can support the three college teams on consistent basis with great attendance, that could make up for the lackluster attendance at Wolf Pack games and allow the NHL to have a franchise in Hartford. If anything, the fact that the Whalers are still being talked about despite leaving in 1997 just proves how much the franchise meant to the state. With fan trips to games, including some recent ones to Islanders games, the Whaler fans base is strong and ready for a team. Now with groups within the state bidding on other NHL
franchises and a governor who has already proven that he wants a team back in Connecticut, it is now on up to the Whaler Nation to take over. If we can prove that we support the great college teams that the state is providing while continuing to show support for the green and blue, the NHL will have to listen. With the Success of the Winnipeg Jets and a few teams that could be looking for new homes in the coming decade, why not Hartford? With the new realignment Hartford would be a perfect fit in the Metropolitan or Atlantic divisions. While there is still a long road ahead for a Hartford Whalers return, if the Whaler fans continue there support for the state’s college teams the question could be when not if the NHL comes home to Hartford.
To see the entire Governor Malloy interview (click here)
Why Nick Saban shouldn’t coach in the NFL again
College football has been slammed by a red tidal wave for the past five years. More specifically, the Alabam Crimson Tide. As they continue to be the premier team in college football they owe their dominance to their architect and leader, Nick Saban. All great empire’s have had supreme rulers at the helm. Rome had Caesar, France had Napoleon, and the Yankees had George Steinbrenner. Nick Saban towers over the college football landscape, from his throne in Tuscaloosa. The emperor of college football, with three national championships for Alabama has concurred every mountain and obstacle college football has thrown at him. However, this doesn’t mean that Saban should abandon his kingdom to stake his claim in the NFL.
Many feel that Saban has accomplished everything that a college coach could dream of. Multiple national championships, championships at different schools, and built a college football super power. Despite his accomplishments, Saban shouldn’t coach in the NFL, unless he is completely committed. He’s been there before, two years with the Dolphins with a sub par 15-17 record that gave him a bad reputation as the so-called “Nicktator” in Miami. NFL teams aren’t also banging down the door for Saban either, and they shouldn’t. He’s already had a chance that ended in mediocrity and scandal when Saban signed with Alabama despite still being under contract with the Dolphins. Now why would a team take a shot on Saban? He’s already proven that if it doesn’t work out, he will look to find the next best opportunity. Plus why should he leave college? He just signed an extension that will pay him over seven million dollars a year. He has a higher salary then mostNFL coaches. If anything, if Saban really wants a so-called challenge it should be at another school. Say he wants to get out of Bear Bryant’s shadow, go do something that
no coach has ever done, win a national title at three different schools. With only tepid interest from NFL team’s and Saban’s poor handling of both the media and professional athletes, why go be mediocre in the NFL when Saban could become a college legend. Heck he’s already won four and likely on his way to his fifth National Championship. Saban is in striking distance of the coaches record for most national titles, including Alabama’s Bear Bryant’s mark, which is six. If he does go to another school he will have won three National Championships at three different schools and when it’s all said and done Saban has a great opportunity to win the most National titles of any coach in history.
While on paper Saban looks like an NFL ready coach, he is not. He may churn out the top prospects and titles, but it’s not that easy in the NFL. Saban can’t recruit the best players like in college and he has to win over professional athletes. Those tirades may work on college kids, but not on NFL veterans. They know what to do, they don’t need someone screaming in their ear every five seconds. True, Saban is a great defensive mind, but his lack of a creative offense makes him a difficult hire. Don’t forget, Alabama’s talent level is head and shoulders above everybody else in college football, just look at last years championship game. In the NFL, Saban will be on a level playing even or below the playing field depending on what team hires him. He won’t have the most talented team, and most likely have one of the least talented teams if a team were to hire him. Without the talent, Saban faces a difficult challenge just to be competitive. Let’s see if I was Nick Saban do I want the best team in college football or one of the worst teams in the NFL? Look, Saban might want to prove he is an NFL coach and might go that route, but I believe that he’s tried that already and with the lack of success in the pros ultimately means that we won’t see Saban in the NFL again. As long as he is coaching, there will always be rumors of the Nicktator returning to the NFL, but that is highly unlikely. If anything, listen to the college rumors around Saban. I see Saban “Hooking them horns” long before patrolling an NFL sideline. Whether he chooses to continue to build his Alabama empire, or take on a new challenge at Texas, one thing is for certain, Saban will try to be the greatest college coach ever. Sorry NFL, the big fish is going to stay in the small pond. Do you think Saban will return to NFL? Take our poll and comment below!