Football

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Orlando Magic, Doc & Austin Rivers, Jameer Nelson, Orlando City Soccer Club, Cardale Jones, Pacquiao-Mayweather

The Orlando Magic beat a team with a winning record for just the fifth time this season when they knocked off Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. On Saturday’s show we talked about where the Magic currently stand while also touching on the recent L.A. reunion of Doc and Austin Rivers, who won two state basketball titles at Winter Park High School. Speaking of reunions, former Magic player Jameer Nelson has been making the rounds as of late in a bit of an unusual way as he’s now with his third team this season.

( – Click here to listen to more on Orlando Magic, Doc & Austin and Jameer Nelson – )

The Orlando City Soccer Club made it’s first-ever MLS SuperDraft selection Thursday when the Lions selected Connecticut forward Cyle Larin while UCF forward Romario Williams was taken third overall by the Montreal Impact. We opened the final segment of the show Saturday talking about Major League Soccer before touching on the decision of quarterback Cardale Jones to return to Ohio State. We also shared some thoughts on boxers Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao finally meeting in the ring.

( – Click here for more about MLS SuperDraft, Cardale Jones & Mayweather-Pacquiao – )

Carnahan Coverage: Linebacker Withney Simon still awaiting first scholarship offer

ORLANDO, Fla. – He’s done all that’s been asked of him yet Orlando Jones High School’s Withney Simon, the No. 2-rated linebacker in Central Florida, is unsure of his football future.

I caught up with Simon following the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl earlier this month at the Florida Citrus Bowl and asked him about his college options. He said that although he’s got the grades to qualify for football at the next level, he’s a bit surprised at how little interest he’s garnered from college programs.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s feature on Withney Simon for Orlando Sentinel – )

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Future looking bright for Urban Meyer and Ohio State Buckeyes

It’s not exactly a rags to riches story, but what Ohio State’s football team accomplished down the stretch this season is worthy of its “us against the world” tagline.

Hailing from the under-appreciated Big 10, the Buckeyes not only navigated the negative perceptions of its conference affiliation unbuttered, but did so after being embarrassed at home against Virginia Tech in their second game of the year.

By the end of the season Ohio State was forced to turn to the third quarterback on their roster in the conference title game against Wisconsin, a game in which they needed to win in order to be considered for the inaugural four-team College Football Playoff. The same story played out in the semifinals against Alabama, and finally in the National Championship against Oregon.

( – Click here to watch every touchdown scored Monday between Ohio State and Oregon – )

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Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Talking baseball & football hall of fames

Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio each were named to the Baseball Hall of Fame this week despite the arrogance of the very people that have covered the sport over the years. The Pro Football Hall of Fame also announced the 15 finalists for its Class of 2015, which will be finalized on Jan. 31.

( – Click to listen to J.C. and Chris talk about baseball & football halls of fame – )

NFL Playoffs 2015: Previewing The Wild Card Weekend

The regular season is in the books and the National Football League’s Wild Card weekend will be here before we know it. Or in other words, before we can fully recover from our New Year’s festivities.

The New England Patriots (12-4) and Denver Broncos (12-4) finished the regular season by claiming the top spots in the AFC while the Seattle Seahawks (12-4) and Green Bay Packers (12-4) hold those same positions in the NFC.

On Saturday it’s Arizona at Carolina and Baltimore at Pittsburgh followed by Cincinnati at Indianapolis and Detroit at Dallas on Sunday in matchups that’ll advance winners to the divisional round.

Below is a breakdown of the wild card games this weekend. My predictions are included at the conclusion of each summary.

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Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Interview with UCFSports.com publisher Brandon Helwig

The UCF Knights football team capped its regular season with a miracle in the closing seconds on the road against East Carolina, when Justin Holman connected with Breshad Perriman on the game’s final play to help wrap up a share of the American Athletic Conference title for the second year in a row.

UCFSports.com publisher Brandon Helwig was there to see it all play out firsthand and he’ll be in St. Petersburg on Friday when the Knights take on North Carolina State of the Atlantic Coast Conference in the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl.

On Saturday Helwig joined the show to talk about UCF’s big win at ECU, to preview the upcoming bowl game, and touch on how much longer he thinks head coach George O’Leary might continue coaching and whether the Knights have a realistic chance at improving its conference affiliation in the near future.

( – Click here for J.C.’s interview with Brandon Helwig of UCFSports.com – )

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Carnahan Coverage: Central Florida All-Star Game & Orange County Senior Bowl video highlights

Florida’s high school football season came to an end this past weekend. While the remaining handful of teams were prepping for championship matchups at the Florida Citrus Bowl, plenty of other kids were playing in their final prep game as part of local all-star teams.

I shot video of both the Central Florida All-Star Game and Orange County Senior Bowl last week for the Orlando Sentinel. View the results at the links below.

The West broke a five-year losing streak in the 16th Central Florida All-Star Game at Lake Brantley High School on Thursday, winning 28-17.  (Orlando) East River High School’s Tanner Hearn and (Orlando) Boone High School’s Logan Smith each threw for two touchdowns. Smith’s high school teammate Adam Anderson caught two TDs in the first half and was named West Player of the Game.

( – Click here to see J.C.’s highlights of Central Florida All-Star Game – )

In the 21st edition of the Orange County Senior Bowl on Wednesday at West Orange High School in Winter Garden, Gunner Ballant threw for two scores on his home field and (Apopka) Wekiva High School’s Jarvis Scott scored twice to help the West beat the East 36-20.

( – Click here to see J.C.’s highlights of Orange County Senior Game – )

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Scott Sargent of WaitingForNextYear.com talks start of Johnny Manziel era

It’s Johnny Football time in Cleveland.

The slim postseason chances the Cleveland Browns still have now rest solely on the shoulders of rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel, who will get his first NFL start Sunday in place of Brian Hoyer against the Cincinnati Bengals. Manziel will become the 21st different starting quarterback for the Browns since the franchise returned to the league in 1999.

I talked to Waiting For Next Year co-founder Scott Sargent on Saturday about the impact Manziel may have on the franchise over the final three weeks of the season and beyond. We also attempted to pinpoint which of the previous 20 starters at quarterback are most beloved by Browns fans. The only problem: there’s just not too many good ones to choose from.

( – Click here to listen to J.C. and Scott talk Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns – )

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Notre Dame alum and NFL first-round pick Jeff Faine talks about football past and helping foster kids

Jeff Faine was one of the fortunate ones.

Just seven days after being born Faine was adopted by parents who provided stability for a lifetime, ensuring he’d never be shuffled between foster homes throughout his childhood.

After a four-year career as a student-athlete at Notre Dame, the 2003 NFL Draft pick (21st overall) embarked on a 10-year professional playing career. Today he helps kids aging out of the foster care system by giving them a chance to transition positively into adulthood at The Faine House, which opened its doors a little more than a year ago.

Faine joined the show Saturday morning to talk about The Faine House and his playing days at Seminole High School in Sanford, Fla., with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and in the National Football League while with the Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cincinnati Bengals.

( – Click here to listen to J.C.’s interview with Jeff Faine on AM 740 The Game – )

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Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings (Week 14)

Injuries to quarterbacks at Baylor and Ohio State have finally moved TCU into the No. 4 spot in this week’s Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings. But how the power conferences are eventually decided this weekend will play a role in whether TCU can maintain their position. There’s just one more round of games left before the final four spots are officially wrapped up.

#1 (1) Florida State (12-0) – Won 24-19 vs Florida
#2 (2) Alabama (11-1) – Won 55-44 vs No. 15 Auburn
#3 (3) Oregon (11-1) – Won 47-19 at Oregon State
#4 (6) TCU (10-1) – Won 48-10 at Texas
#5 (4) Baylor (10-1) – Won 48-46 at Texas Tech
#6 (5) Ohio State (11-1) – Won 42-28 vs Michigan
#7 (–) Arizona (10-2) – Won 42-35 vs No. 13 Arizona State
#8 (–) Georgia Tech (10-2) – Won 30-24 at No. 16 Georgia
#9 (10) Wisconsin (10-2) – Won 34-24 vs No. 18 Minnesota
#10 (7) Mississippi State (10-2) – Lost 31-17 at No. 19 Mississippi

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Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Cowboys Stadium engagement, speeding ticket, Thanksgiving shame, NBA news, and more

I took a road trip to the Fort Worth-Dallas area this past week. A few days before starting the journey I decided to buy an engagement ring and plan a proper way to propose to my girlfriend of many, many years.

That proposal took place in an end zone at Cowboys Stadium on the final day of our trip as our 2-year old son ran wild on the field. Our final day in the area proved much more rewarding than my first night in east Texas, which resulted in a hefty speeding ticket.

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Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings (Week 13)

Not much has changed from a week ago in the Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings. FSU is still the only unbeaten from a power conference at this point in the season. The other unbeaten team barely hung on to win Saturday as Conference USA’s Marshall improved to 11-0 with a 23-18 win over UAB. Maybe one day we’ll see a team such as this get a shot at making the playoffs. Colorado State (10-1) of the Mountain West is the last remaining team left with one loss not listed below after winning 58-20 over New Mexico behind running back Dee Hart, an Alabama transfer. Would be interested in seeing Hart get a chance to run against Bama at the end of the season.

Here’s the rankings for this week:

#1 (1) Florida State (11-0) – Won 20-17 vs Boston College
#2 (2) Alabama (10-1) – Won 48-14 vs Western Carolina
#3 (3) Oregon (10-1) – Won 44-10 vs Colorado
#4 (4) Baylor (9-1) – Won 49-28 vs Oklahoma State
#5 (5) Ohio State (10-1) – Won 42-27 vs Indiana
#6 (6) TCU (9-1) – Did not play
#7 (7) Mississippi State (10-1) – Won 51-0 vs Vanderbilt
#8 (10) UCLA (9-2) – Won 38-20 vs No. 19 USC
#9 (–) Georgia (9-2) – Won 55-9 vs Charleston Southern
#10 (9) Wisconsin (9-2) – Won 26-24 at Iowa

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Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings (Week 12)

Just one college football team remains unbeaten from a power conference at this point in the season as the defending national champion Florida State Seminoles strengthened their hold on a postseason bid Saturday night. The other three spots are up for grabs between six teams with only one loss. Aside from FSU, Marshall (10-0) of Conference USA is the lone remaining unbeaten while the only other team with one loss not listed below is Colorado State (9-1) of the Mountain West.

This week’s Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings:

#1 (1) Florida State (10-0) – Won 30-26 at Miami
#2 (4) Alabama (9-1) – Won 25-20 vs No. 1 Mississippi State
#3 (3) Oregon (9-1) – Did not play
#4 (5) Baylor (8-1) – Did not play
#5 (8) Ohio State (9-1) – Won 31-24 at No. 25 Minnesota
#6 (6) TCU (9-1) – Won 34-30 at Kansas
#7 (2) Mississippi State (9-1) – Lost 25-20 at No. 5 Alabama
#8 (–) Mississippi (8-2) – Did not play
#9 (–) Wisconsin (8-2) – Won 59-24 vs No. 16 Nebraska
#10 (10) UCLA (8-2) – Did not play

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Melvin Gordon sets new FBS record with 408 yards rushing in one game

The rush toward the Heisman Trophy took a new and intriguing turn in favor of Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon over the weekend.

On Saturday Gordon set a new Football Bowl Subdivision record by rushing for 408 yards on 25 carries – in just three quarters of work – in a 59-24 win over No. 16 Nebraska. The previous mark of 406 yards was set by TCU’s LaDainian Tomlinson against UTEP on Nov. 20, 1999.

Gordon also scored four touchdowns, the last of which broke the rushing record and made the two fumbles he lost earlier in the game seem like a distant memory. Of his 25 carries, five went for at least 40 yards.

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Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Interview with Danny Morales, local sports update, college and pro football talk

A friend from back home succumbed to a long illness earlier this week and I felt it was only right to dedicate this week’s edition of Carnahan Chronicles radio to his memory. See you when we get there, Jason Vann.

This week the show got underway with talk about the opening round of the high school football playoffs in Florida and the lone remaining girls volleyball team from the area still playing for a state title. I also gave mention to the UCF women’s soccer team hosting a match this weekend in the first round of the NCAA postseason and interviewed Valencia Voice editor-in-chief Danny Morales about UCF football’s win Friday over Tulsa.

( – Click here to listen to J.C. dedicate show, talk local sports, and interview Danny Morales – )

Producer Chris Vazquez joined me to talk about the biggest college and pro football games of the weekend, but the conversation took a bit of a turn each segment as we zeroed in on a couple topics that’ve created debate in our respective circles.

The first was whether the Florida State-Miami game is an even bigger rivalry for fans of the Seminoles than Florida State-Florida. The other was whether the Cleveland Browns should invest in Brian Hoyer or Johnny Manziel as the franchise’s quarterback of the future. Not sure we came to a clear conclusion, but talking it out is a good step in the right direction.

( – Click here to listen to J.C. and Chris talk FSU-Miami and college football this week – )

( – Click here to listen to J.C. and Chris talk Cleveland Browns QBs & NFL games this week – )