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Urban Meyer to the rescue

Former Florida head football coach Urban Meyer attends a news conference naming him the new head coach at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio November 28, 2011. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

All the rumors turned out to be true.

We’ll have much more to say about this, but Urban Meyer hit it out of the park in the news conference where he was introduced as the new head football coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Fans are excited, as we should be.

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Browns win a squeaker over Jacksonville

It was shaping up to be another heartbreaking loss for the Browns, but the defense held on in the red zone in the final minutes to preserve a 14-10 victory over the Jaguars.

Phil Dawson tried a field goal with around three minutes left, and it looked like it was good as he sailed it over the upright. But it was ruled no good, and the Browns would have lost had Jacksonville gotten into the end zone.

The Jaguars aren’t very good, but their defense isn’t bad, and the Browns offense definitely looks like it’s improving, so that’s a good sign. Colt McCoy threw a brutal interception, but he was fairly accurate for most of the day as the Browns moved the ball consistently.

Now let’s see how they do as the schedule gets tougher.

Urban Meyer close to a deal with Ohio State

University of Florida head coach Urban Meyer stands on the sideline during the second quarter of their Southeastern Conference NCAA football game against the University of Georgia in Jacksonville, Florida October 31, 2009. REUTERS/Daron Dean (UNITED STATES SPORT FOOTBALL)

Everyone is reporting it now. SPORTSbyBROOKS.com got things going with a detailed report on discussions between Meyer and Ohio State. There was nothing new about the rumors of course, but Brooks had details on the status of the discussions. SI linked to it, and then ESPN felt compelled to ask Meyer during the Michigan game yesterday about the rumor. Meyer issue a non-denial “denial” that only fueled the story even more. ESPN then issued their own report on the discussions between Meyer and Ohio State, but unlike SI they wouldn’t credit Brooks.

Bottom line – this looks like it’s going to happen. Luke Fickell isn’t going to be the head coach next year, and the Buckeyes have clearly targeted Meyer, and he seems to want the job.

Cancellation of NBA Season Looms Larger By the Hour

The NBA Players Association has rejected the “final” offer of the league and its owners out of hand and will take the matter to court. The Players Union voted to disband which paves the way for legal action against the league. This comes after two years of fruitless negotiations between the players and owners in which neither side seems willing to budge as the owners have decided to pursue a hard line approach in order to address the fact that most NBA teams are gushing red ink and are unable to compete with large market teams. That fact is illustrated by the large NBA basketball lines that are season on the board each season.

The players union will file an antitrust suit against the league as executive director Billy Hunter seeks what he calls “due process” for his players. NBA commissioner David Stern calls the entire affair a “tragedy” and that the move by the players union is a big “charade” that threatens the possibility of a season taking place.

The player’s rejected what was called an “ultimatum” by Stern on the first week that paychecks would have been sent out. The union is determined to risk losing an entire season rather than cave in to the owners demand for a roughly 50/50 split in revenue which would be a drastic cut for the players who are currently at 57 percent of the revenue. The owners are also taking a hard line on such free agent issues as a luxury tax for big spending teams.

Stern said that the league is entering a “nuclear winter” and that players should question just what it is that their union is doing. The NBA has been on offense as far as lawsuits and has filed one that would make the lockout legal and could also make all contracts null and void. Stern said the NBA’s final offer was the best that was going to be available and that the player’s should accept it rather than face the consequences of a lost season and the decertification of their union.

The situation has been described as “horrible” and that there is little hope of a quick resolution. The possibility of a lost season is real. The NBA regretted the last deal it made with the players union in 2005 almost before the ink was dry as the league has been losing money as a whole with several mid to small market franchises in serious trouble. It all makes for a sad situation and unfortunately it may be some time before NBA basketball lines are on the board.

Another tough game for the Browns

Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy shows his frustration after being sacked against the Houston Texans in the first half at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas on November 6, 2011. The Texans defeated the Browns 30-12. UPI/Aaron M. Sprecher

Colt McCoy and the Browns were dominated again this week, as things seem to be getting worse. I guess we can expect another week of emotional primal screams from the fan base and the so-called experts on talk radio.

I’m not going to panic. This is a young team that’s also battling through a rash of injuries. How can we expect to win with two running backs who were not on a roster a month ago? I hear some people blaming Mike Holmgren, but going into the season they had Peyton Hillis, Montario Hardesty and a newly signed Brandon Jackson ready to go. Then Jackson got hurt, Hillis turned into a flake and Hardesty got hurt as well.

I’m not trying to find excuses. I’m just being realistic. If you’re one of those fans already calling for the coach’s head, then emotions have gotten the better of you.

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