Texas

Kenosha, Wis. is most interesting story in 1st round of NFL Draft

Something unique took place in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday that hasn’t happened since 1997.

When Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes was selected No. 11 overall by the Minnesota Vikings and Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon was taken No. 15 by the San Diego Chargers, it marked just the fifth time since 1990 that high school teammates were drafted together in the opening round.

Waynes and Gordon starred on opposite sides of the ball at Bradford High School in Kenosha, Wis., home of Heisman Trophy winner Alan Ameche of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and former NBA All Star Nick Van Exel.

(Click here for a video feature on Waynes and Gordon via Big Ten Network)

The Big Ten rivals are the first set of high school teammates to earn such a distinction since Texas cornerback Bryant Westbrook was drafted No. 5 overall by the Detroit Lions and Nebraska cornerback Michael Booker went No. 11 overall to the Atlanta Falcons. Westbrook and Booker played together at El Camino High School in Oceanside, Calif.

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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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New film analyzes origins of “Dixie” and its relationship with the South

The history of the song “Dixie” is the subject of an Intersection Films production bearing the same name by Ryan Kelley and Trent Reeves.

It’s a documentation of the origins of the song, its relation to the South, and the people who’ve preserved it in some form or fashion throughout each passing generation.

It’s also a look into how “Dixie” became a rallying cry for those opposed to the desegregating times of the late 1950s and 1960s and the connection it began to have with that of the Confederate flag.

Was “Dixie” in fact written by Dan Emmett of Mount Vernon, Ohio, who went on to pioneer the blackface minstrel shows of the mid-1800s? Or was it a nearby family of former slaves – Ben and Lou Snowden – who taught him the tune that he would eventually make famous?

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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 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 11)

Did you see the College Football Playoff rankings that were released Tuesday? Looks like there’ll be plenty to complain about by the time this whole thing concludes at the end of the regular season. Quick question: Will Nebraska (8-1) or Duke (8-1) ever crack the Top 10? They’ll likely need to win their conferences for that to happen. Here’s the updated Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings…

#1 (1) Florida State (9-0) – Won 34-20 vs Virginia
#2 (2) Mississippi State (9-0) – Won 45-16 vs Tennessee-Martin
#3 (4) Oregon (9-1) – Won 51-27 at No. 17 Utah
#4 (5) Alabama (8-1) – Won 20-13 at No. 16 LSU
#5 (10) Baylor (8-1) – Won 48-14 at No. 15 Oklahoma
#6 (6) TCU (8-1) – Won 41-20 vs No. 7 Kansas State
#7 (–) Arizona State (8-1) – Won 55-31 vs No. 10 Notre Dame
#8 (–) Ohio State (8-1) – Won 49-37 at No. 8 Michigan State
#9 (3) Auburn (7-2) – Lost 41-38 vs Texas A&M
#10 (–) UCLA (8-2) – Won 44-30 at Washington

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Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings (Week 9)

The first version of the official College Football Playoff rankings rolled out Tuesday. There will be plenty of changes to that list throughout the remainder of the season and it’ll be fun to see how the committee weighs each team as it decides upon the four programs most deserving of playing for a national title. This week the top four teams according to the College Football Playoff consist of Mississippi State, Florida State, Auburn and Mississippi – in that order. Here’s how the Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings shape up this week:

#1 (1) Florida State (7-0) – Did not play
#2 (2) Mississippi State (7-0) – Won 45-31 at Kentucky
#3 (4) Oregon (7-1) – Won 59-41 at California
#4 (6) Auburn (6-1) – Won 42-35 vs South Carolina
#5 (3) Mississippi (7-1) – Lost 10-7 at No. 24 LSU
#6 (7) Alabama (7-1) – Won 34-20 at Tennessee
#7 (5) Notre Dame (6-1) – Did not play
#8 (9) TCU (6-1) – Won 82-27 vs Texas Tech
#9 (8) Michigan State (7-1) – Won 35-11 vs Michigan
#10 (10) Kansas State (6-1) – Won 23-0 vs Texas

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Carnahan Coverage: Orlando City Soccer Club preps for Major League Soccer Expansion Draft

There’s so much to be done before the Orlando City Soccer Club even steps foot on the pitch as a Major League Soccer participant at the start of the 2015 season. Among the many obstacles to navigate is the MLS Expansion Draft on Dec. 10 as Orlando City joins New York City FC in each selecting 10 players from those made available by current clubs.

( – Click here to read J.C.s story for MLSSoccer.com about OCSC preparing for Expansion Draft – )

Orlando City currently has just 10 players under contract for 2015 after defender Luke Boden and midfielder Harrison Heath finalized contracts with the club on Monday. Boden has spent the past four seasons with the Lions while Heath joined Orlando City near the end of the 2014 USL PRO season.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s story for MLSSoccer.com about Boden and Heath signing contracts – )

George O’Leary and UCF Still Having Trouble Filling Out Schedules

UCF football’s announcement last week that they’d agreed to a home-and-home series with Stanford of the Pac-12 drew modest interest from college football fans. UCF coach George O’Leary didn’t appear to be too excited about it either at his weekly press conference earlier this week at Bright House Networks Stadium.

O’Leary was asked Monday if the new agreement, which sends UCF to California in 2015 and Stanford to Florida in 2019, might mean the Knights have plans to expand recruiting coverage to the West coast.

“No. I don’t see us recruiting more on the West,” he said with a tone that matched his disinterest in the topic. “It’s obviously a great opponent, [but] I’d much rather see us get opportunities to play teams that have some relative to recruiting for us. There’s a lot of teams from the Midwest, to the East, to the South that would be great opponents.”

But O’Leary’s never been blind to the fact that mid-major’s such as UCF are in no position to avoid these types of match-ups, even if they do make for a grueling road trip for both players and fan base.

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Carnahan Coverage: Orlando City’s Adrian Heath Has Come a Long Way

It’s been exciting to cover the Orlando City Soccer Club the past few years during their rise from minor league franchise to members of Major League Soccer. What’s made the journey worthwhile though is hearing from head coach Adrian Heath, who has never met a question he didn’t have a meaningful answer for.

Last week I wrote a profile piece on Heath for MLS, featuring quotes from team president Phil Rawlins and Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer. I hope it sheds a some light on the England transplant and gives fans the chance to learn a little more about the leader of the Lions.

( – Click here to read my feature on Adrian Heath at MLSSoccer.com – )

State of Florida Produces 9 Former Prep Players In NFL Draft

That brief moment of excitement I feel each year when preparing to watch the NFL Draft doesn’t linger for too long. I’m usually ready to channel surf or dip in and out of the room by the eighth pick. But this year I realized it’s all in the way you approach it.

I spent much of the draft last night in a recliner with a laptop, smartphone and remote control nearby. First thing I realized was that ESPN has been ruining this event for me for years. It wasn’t until I committed to the NFL Network’s broadcast that I no longer had the urge to throw my television through a wall due to the rabid jaw-flapping.

Then I got caught up in the information overload world of Twitter and Facebook, reading and responding to online posts about fan’s draft triumphs and despair, with plenty of doses of humor thrown in at each other’s expense.

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Champions: Connecticut Win Means Justice Served For UK’s John Calipari

UConn’s improbable run to the NCAA men’s basketball national title was more than a historical feat that wrapped up another March Madness on Monday in front of more than 70,000 spectators in Arlington, Texas.

It was a begrudging battle between right and wrong. Between good and evil. Between overwhelming expectations and equally underwhelming expectations.

While Connecticut became the first 7-seed to ever claim the championship with a 60-54 win over No. 8 Kentucky, college basketball fans went to bed at ease knowing all things in the world of college hoops were briefly back to normal.

UConn head coach Kevin Ollie, in just his second season, outgunned controversial counterpart John Calipari in his first trip to The Dance as the main man in charge.

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