Will the real Titans please stand up?

All season long the one consistency of the Titans has been the inconsistency of their play on the field. They are consistently inconsistent much to the fan’s dismay. The past 3 games starting with Carolina, Titans fans have seen the best and worst of the Titans. The last 3 games have actually summarized the entire season so far for the Titans as far as the lack of consistency from the team from one game to the next. In fact, the Titans have only won back to back games once this season when they beat the Ravens in dominating fashion and then barely got by the Denver Broncos, who were at the time led by Kyle Orton, but since then has been let go by the organization and now led by Tebow Time.
The Titans have struggled all season to establish any kind of identity both on offense and defense. One week the defense will look a team with 11 pro bowlers forcing turnovers and stops all game long, much how they did against Carolina in a dominating 31-3 performance. However, other times the defense will get beat all day long on the ground and through the air, much like they did against Atlanta a week ago. It appears that the defense is having a hard time getting on the same page with each other on a regular basis, and it’s not clear what the reason for that may be. It could be just that this is a new defense with a new defensive coordinator and there are a bunch of new faces that are playing a big role for the defense. With all the inconsistencies that do exist on defense, the one main consistent play Titans fans are excited about is coming from the “U” rookie Colin McGrath at the middle linebacker position. The last 3 games since McGrath has pretty much taken over for Ruud, averaging about 11 tackles a game, not to mention “C-Pimp” (what his teammates call him) came up with a huge pick this past Sunday against the Bucs late in the game.
Aside from the defense, the offense is just as guilty of not having any type of identity. Just as you think we are a passing team, CJ rushes for over 130 yards against the Panthers. Then the following week, Johnson, one of the highest paid players in the league, rushes for a whopping 13 yards on 12 carries against the Falcons. Against the Falcons the Titans struggled all game long in basically every phase of the game. The only positive came when Jake Locker replaced an injured Hasselbeck and got the opportunity to gain some real NFL experience throwing 2 touchdowns to Nate Washington keeping the outcome at least within the spread. Locker’s performance no doubt gave Titans’ fans positive hope about the future of the franchise. As bad as the Titans played against Atlanta it was good to see that they never quit, despite everything that could have and did go wrong for the team that Sunday.
The last game the Titans played was right in tune with how the season has gone. Good one game, bad the next, and then they play well enough to win the next one. It’s been every other week kind of season for the Titans this year. As sloppy as the game was on Sunday, the Titans stuck together and found a way to win. This game had a little bit of everything, from a ton turnovers to huge special team and defensive touchdowns from both teams. Tommy Campbell finally shined in the spotlight on the way to his first NFL touchdown on a kick off return off a reverse from Marc Mariani. It really was a great play from the special teams

The end of an era in University of Memphis athletics

Tiger fans have long been clamoring for R.C. Johnson to retire, and at Monday’s press conference, after 16 long years of ups and downs, he did just that.  Johnson was not the only member of the athletic department to bid farewell on Monday, as head football coach Larry Porter was fired after two seasons.

Memphis president Dr. Shirley Raines and Johnson fielded questions about the football team’s future with ease at the press conference, but finding a new coach and new AD will be anything but easy.  A hiring firm will be used to aid in this process, and the list of coaching possibilities range from first year coach Hugh Freeze to freshly fired Houston Nutt.

Mr. Johnson’s decision to retire was one that he has been thinking about for a while. “It was not really difficult. I love the university and enjoyed my time here. But I knew this was coming,” he said.  While there are plenty of R.C. detractors out there they had no effect on his decision to retire at the end of June.  In fact, he can not pin point one incident that made it clear that it was time for him to retire.  “It was just a process… my wife and I are not getting any younger, I have been doing it a long time. You know 33 years to be an athletic director is quite a while,” he said.

However, before he leaves his last task will be aiding in finding a new Tiger football coach to replace Coach Porter.

Mr. Johnson stated several times during the press conference that the 44-7 loss to Southern Miss in the Tiger’s finale had nothing to do with the decision to fire Coach Porter.  Rather, the decision was made because the program was not making the progress that it needed to make in Porter’s short two year tenure.  “It was not just the last game,” he said, “it is an ongoing process and we continued to evaluate the program.”

Since Larry Porter took over as head coach two years ago the program has struggled tremendously.  The Tigers have gone a woeful 3-21 in his tenure and have struggled to be competitive in their games, losing by an average margin of 27 points.

The decision to let Coach Porter go was made especially difficult because he was an alumni and cared deeply about the program, “Most of the time when you have to let a coach go it is generally pretty clear cut,” Johnson stated, “this time it was not. I do not know if there is a right or a wrong, but you have to do what you think is best.”

When asked about what type of qualities Memphis is looking for in a head coach, Johnson had no definite answer, but he made it clear that Memphis wants the best possible candidate.  “In the grand scheme of things you would love to bring in Vince Lombardi… it’s a matter of getting someone in here that can do it, maybe not a big name. In an ideal word you try to do that so you can get a big splash,” he said.

While we do not know who the head coach will be or the name of the next AD, we do know that it is going to be an interesting offseason for the Tiger football program.

Click here to read All Shook Up: R.C. Johnson in his own words.

Click here to read Fantasy Shirley: A Real Interview with a Fake University President.

Click here to read 5 Reasons Why Memphis Should and Should Not Hire Houston Nutt.

CJ Hurt covers college football for MemphiSport.  Follow him @churtj09 for live tweets from different college football games throughout the Mid-South.

 

 

 

Alexis Grace visits MSL in studio

Current The Q morning show host and former American Idol contestant Alexis Grace joined Kevin Cerrito in studio on MSL to talk about singing the National Anthem at opening night of the Grizzlies season, being single, American Idol, and much more.

AUDIO: 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Click here to download the Alexis Grace interview from the November 26, 2011 MSL

 

Click here for more MSL interviews.

Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter host MemphiSport Live (MSL) every Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm on Sports 56 WHBQ. MSL was voted 3rd Best Sports Radio Show in the 2010 & 2011 Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis poll. 

Follow the MSL hosts on Twitter @cerrito @marcus_hunter

 

MSL: 11.26.11

Hour 1:

Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter talk about the end of the NBA lockout and what it means to fans of the Memphis Grizzlies. Also, current The Q Morning Show host and former American Idol contestant Alexis Grace stops by in studio to talk about singing the National Anthem,  being single, American Idol, and much more.

AUDIO: 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Click here to download Hour 1 of the 11.26.11 MSL

Hour 2:

Alexis Grace remains in studio as everyone talks about “Where they were when they heard the NBA lockout was over.” Also, Memphians editor Richard Murff joins Kevin Cerrito in studio to talk about his new book. Plus, the guys talk the NBA lockout and “Turkey Day” during Woohoos and Boos.

AUDIO:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Click here to download Hour 2 of the 11.26.11 MSL

Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter host MemphiSport Live (MSL) every Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm on Sports 56 WHBQ. MSL was voted 3rd Best Sports Radio Show in the 2010 & 2011 Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis poll. 

Follow the MSL hosts on Twitter @cerrito @marcus_hunter

Big weekend for Kings

Well finally hockey is back. It seemed like the Kings just disappeared. I’m so full of turkey, I’m going to bust.

It’s a big test for the Kings this weekend. First they have to play three games in three days. Second, they will get ripped by me after the three games if they don’t start playing some good hockey.

Your Mississippi RiverKings SIT AT THE BOTTOM.(2-4-0).

Lets get at it: Mississippi is in Knoxville, tonight, Starting time for tonights game is 6:35 p.m.

Saturday: A rematch against the Bears at the DeSoto Civic Center, 7:05 p.m.

Sunday: Columbus is in town and that game goes at the DCC, the starting time for that one is 3:05 p.m.

A few trades this past week. Coach Derek Landmesser made two trades.

The Kings’ picked up goalkeeper David Wilson from Augusta. Get this he was traded to the Mississippi RiverKings for cash. (I didn’t think we had any cash) Plus we got defenseman Chris Pontes from Pensacola. Kings Ryan Ramage got the axe and now he is in Pensacola.

Deven Stillar has signed a 3 game tryout with the Kings. He played one game with the Bucks of the CHL this season.

He plays right wing, and he didn’t have bad numbers in junior hockey. 65 points last year with the Flin Flon Bombers, the year before that 56pts. with Fin Flon and 52pts. the year before that with the Melfort Mustangs. Those three teams are in the SJHL. The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in Canada. Good luck to him !!

Away game watch party, tonight at the Spot in Hernando.The party begins at 6:35 p.m.

Joe Sports thoughts on this triple header coming up:

The Kings have to at least get four points this weekend. Hey we only have to win two of three.

As I said at the beginning of the season, I would give this edition of the Kings 7 games. They got lucky, because now I’m giving them the weekend also. 9 games total. I will have my report card  ON THIS TEAM next week.

Games: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9- The Kings are 2-4.

 That’s the way I see it and I’m Joe Sports.

Have something to say to Mr.Sports.

Email me at:

joesports@ymail.com

Watch Live at America One…

http://www.b2livetv.com/upcoming_events.asp?q=l&value=sphl

Listen Live at

www.pirateradiostudios.com

SPHL standings

http://www.pointstreak.com/prostats/standings.html?leagueid=215&seasonid=7619

Game Day: Friday.

http://www.pointstreak.com/prostats/pregamenotes.html?gameid=1674129

Saturday:

http://www.pointstreak.com/prostats/pregamenotes.html?gameid=1674132

Sunday:

http://www.pointstreak.com/prostats/pregamenotes.html?gameid=1674135

 

  • Upcoming Games:
Fri., November 25 Huntsville at Columbus

7:30 p.m.

Fri., November 25 Pensacola at Augusta

7:35 p.m.

Fri., November 25 Mississippi RiverKings at Knoxville

7:35 p.m.

Fri., November 25 Mississippi Surge at Louisiana

8:05 p.m.

Saturday: A rematch against the Bears at the DeSoto Civic Center, 7:05 p.m.

Sunday: Columbus is in town and that game goes at the DCC, the starting time for that one is 3:05 p.m.

 

Who should replace Houston Nutt at Ole Miss?

Ole Miss made the decision to fire Houston Nutt after his fourth year as head coach, a decision that surprised no one. Nutt was successful early on in is tenure at Ole Miss, but his performance these last two years have been abysmal. He is only 10-20 in SEC play during his four year tenure at Ole Miss, and he is currently riding a 12 game conference losing streak. Combine that with the fact that he has lost his last two meetings with arch rival Mississippi State and you have a situation where he has to be replaced as the Rebel’s head coach. Ole Miss fans are on pins and needles in anticipation, and cannot wait to see who the next football coach for Ole Miss will be. Here are 5 coaching candidates that the Rebels should pursue:

1. Mike Leach
With an overall record of 84-43 in is ten years with Texas Tech, Mike Leach is a no brainer and should be at the top of any Rebel fan’s wish list. He has never had a losing season and has a bowl record of 5-4. Mike Leach’s air raid offense is exciting, and his teams are always able to post huge numbers while out scoring opponents. Add to his already impressive resume a 19-11 record against his top three rivals (Texas, Baylor, and Texas A&M) and you have a coach who is established and ready for the bright lights of SEC football.

2. Rich Rodriguez
While Rich Rod’s last coaching gig did not end particularly well he is still a good coach and a good fit for Ole Miss. In his ten years as head coach of a FBS team (West Virginia and Michigan) Rich Rod has four conference championships, a record of 75-48, and his teams have gone to two BCS bowls with wins over Georgia in the 2006 Sugar Bowl and a win over Oklahoma in the 2008 Fiesta bowl (although Coach Rodriguez left to coach Michigan before the Fiesta bowl game). He has proven that he can win with his spread offense and should be near the top of anybody’s list of coaches.

3. Gus Malzahn
Malzahn is being touted as the greatest offensive mind in college football today.  He has no head coaching experience, but he is being highly sought after because his explosive offense helped lead Auburn to a national title last season.  There are two problems with trying to land Malzhan, the first of which is his salary.  He makes over $1.3 million as an assistant at Auburn, so he is very comfortable financially and he can wait for the best coaching job to open up.  The second problem with landing Malzahn is that he is becoming an extremely hot commodity.  His name is already coming up in the North Carolina search, and will continue to come up when the caching carousal begins to turn full speed at the end of the season.  However, landing Malzahn will certainly rejuvenate a fan base that needs some excitement after the past two seasons.

4. Hugh Freeze
Coach Freeze is currently leading Arkansas State to their best season ever and is another top notch coach that Ole Miss should try to land. While he does not have the head coaching experience of a Leach or Rodriguez, he has proven that he knows his way around a football field with this year’s Arkansas State team.  His quick paced offense is currently 25th in the nation in passing yards and averages more than 30 points per contest.  Contrary to Malzahn, Freeze is not as financially well off, and he is in fact the lowest paid football coach in the FB.  even though he is a head coach he makes nearly 800K less than Malzahn who is only an assistant coach.  Luring Freeze away from Arkansas State should be easy to do for Ole Miss, but he lacks the big name that they need to excite and rejuvenate their fans.

5. Charlie Strong
Charlie Strong has been itching for a chance to be a head coach in the SEC for years now, and Ole Miss would be lucky to land a coach with his defensive prowess.  He is currently the head coach at Louisville, where his defense ranks 23rd in total defense and is giving up a mere 18.6 points per game.  Coach Strong is very familiar with the SEC having been a defensive coordinator for ten years in the conference, and he knows exactly what it takes to win in the nation’s toughest conference.  Also, he has two national titles under his belt from his years at Florida, where his defenses ranked amongst the best in the nation.  Perhaps the best attribute that Coach Strong has is the fact that he is African American.  The Rebels have always struggled with the public perception involving the university an its race relations.  Hiring an African American football coach be a way to move beyond the school’s controversial past.

Click here to read 5 Reasons Why Memphis Should and Should Not Hire Houston Nutt.

Click here to see where Ole Miss ranks in MemphiSport’s latest TAMs Rankings.

CJ Hurt covers college football for MemphiSport.  Follow him @churtj09 for live tweets from different college football games throughout the Mid-South.

Tiger Basketball Weekly Player Ratings: Week 1

Memphis opened its season with a convincing 97-81 victory over Belmont on Tuesday, validating its No. 10 ranking in both the AP and USA Today polls. Many pundits had previously testified that the Tigers might be unworthy of such a high place in the court of public opinion since there were so many unknowns about Josh Pastner’s still very young team. But if the opening win served to suggest that the U of M is among the nation’s elite at this point, this week should open even more eyes as to where exactly Memphis fits in among those top programs.

The Tigers will face some tough completion at the Maui Invitational in the likes of an undefeated Michigan team along with the possibility of going up against perennial powerhouses Duke and Kansas. No matter how Memphis fares during the tournament, the nation will learn something about this team, as will the Tiger fans and players. But before that takes place, let’s take a quick look back at some individual performances during the past week. Here are the Memphis basketball player rankings for the first week of the season (Nov 13-19)…

Player ratings (1 = lowest, 10 = highest):

Will Barton: 7 – Barton had a subpar first half against Belmont compared to what the sophomore is capable of. He bounced back to have a solid second half and quietly wound up leading the Tigers in scoring with a game high 23 points. It says something about Barton that he can have a bit of an off game and still be so prominent in the box score.

Joe Jackson: 8 – The local hero came up huge on a big stage Tuesday, finishing with 20 points and 7 assists while committing only 2 turnovers. He looked every bit the leader that Memphis needs him to be, making all the right decisions and consistently putting pressure on the Bruins’ defense.

Wesley Witherspoon: 9 – It’s hard to imagine Witherspoon having a better game this season than he did in the Tigers season opener, and it would be almost impossible for him to eclipse his performance in the first half, where he scored 16 of his 22 points on a perfect 6 for 6 from the field, including 3 of 3 from three point range. The senior finished with 22 points and produced a nearly flawless performance. The one chink the armor came from the free throw line, where he managed to convert only 3 of 6.

Adonis Thomas: 6 – Thomas looked lost at the college level in the first half but came back to finish with a solid 12 points in 20 minutes. Whereas he was extremely tentative prior to the intermission, the newcomer showed an attacking mentality after the break. Overall, it was a respectable debut that he should be able to build upon.

Charles Carmouche: 7 – The senior produced the kind of steady performance Memphis has expected from him as he filled up the stat sheet with 8 points, 5 assists and 5 steals. The Tigers will take that line any night.

Tarik Black: 3 – The Tigers big man had a pretty disappointing game as he got into early foul trouble that kept him glued to the bench for most of the game. He did provide a spark in the latter stages of the second half when he finished an alley oop on a feed from Jackson that helped energize the crowd and put an end to a Belmont run, but if Memphis is to have the kind of season it wants, Black cannot afford to repeat this kind of performance.

Chris Crawford: 4 – Crawford slipped on the Maui Invitational logo shortly after entering the game early in the first half, and though the injury did not appear serious, it clearly took the Sheffield High product out of his comfort zone. He never appeared to fully recover and couldn’t get really get into the flow of the game, scoring only 2 points on 1 for 5 shooting.

Stan Simpson: 5 – Simpson, like Black, got into early foul trouble but managed to make some contribution. He played 13 minutes, scoring 4 points and collecting 2 rebounds.

D.J. Stephens: 5 – The junior forward played only 3 minutes but provided energy from the bench just as he always does.

Antonio Barton: 5 – Barton produced 3 assists in only 13 minutes and failed to score but played the role the Tigers expect of him as he ran the team and avoided mistakes. With the day Jackson had, Barton needed only to provide solid minutes from the bench.

Click here to read The Will to Win: The 2011-12 Memphis Tigers in their own words from the November 2011 issue of MemphiSport.

Please feel free to comment on this story using the form at the bottom of the page.

Michael Jones is the Tiger basketball beat writer for MemphiSport. You can follow him via Twitter @MemphisMJ.

Photo by Justin Ford.

SNL meets MSL: Memphis’ own Chris Parnell on MSL

Germantown High School graduate and TV star Chris Parnell  joined Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter on MSL to talk about his time on SNL, the differences between the SNL doctor and 30 Rock’s Dr. Spaceman, the Indie Memphis Film Festival, Turbo Man dolls, and much more.

AUDIO:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Click here to download Chris Parnell’s interview from the November 19, 2011 MSL

Click here to listen to 30 Rock’s Grizz and Dot Com on MSL.

Click here for more MSL interviews.

Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter host MemphiSport Live (MSL) every Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm on Sports 56 WHBQ. MSL was voted 3rd Best Sports Radio Show in the 2010 & 2011 Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis poll. 

Follow the MSL hosts on Twitter @cerrito @marcus_hunter

MSL: 11.19.11

Hour 1:

MMA fighter Patrick “The Leprechaun” Burkett and V3 Fights VP Rick McCracken join Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter in studio to talk about the upcoming event at Minglewood Hall, Rampage Jackson, Sid Vicious and much more. Also, the guys talk about the Tiger basketball throwbacks, the possible LSU vs. Alabama national championship game, the latest on the NBA lockout and more during the Starting 5. Plus, the guys breakdown Lee Corso’s explicit language on ESPN.

AUDIO: Click here to listen to Hour 1 of the 11.19.11 MSL

Hour 2:

MSL meets SNL when Germantown High School graduate and TV star Chris Parnell joins Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter to talk about his time on SNL, the differences between the SNL doctor and 30 Rock’s Dr. Spaceman, the Indie Memphis Film Festival, Turbo Man dolls, and much more. Also,  another edition of Hang Up & Listen. Plus, the guys debate Tim Tebow skills and MLB not honoring Back to the Future during Woohoos and Boos.

AUDIO: Click here to listen to Hour 2 of the 11.19.11 MSL

Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter host MemphiSport Live (MSL) every Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm on Sports 56 WHBQ. MSL was voted 3rd Best Sports Radio Show in the 2010 & 2011 Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis poll. 

Follow the MSL hosts on Twitter @cerrito @marcus_hunter


Former Memphis quarterback Danny Wimprine talks Tiger football on MSL

Former Memphis QB Danny Wimprine joined Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter on MSL to talk about his retirement from the AFL, the Golden Age of Tiger football, and the current state of the program.

AUDIO:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Click here to download Danny Wimprine’s interview from the November 12, 2011 MSL

Click here for more MSL interviews.

 

Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter host MemphiSport Live (MSL) every Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm on Sports 56 WHBQ. MSL was voted 3rd Best Sports Radio Show in the 2010 & 2011 Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis poll. 

Follow the MSL hosts on Twitter @cerrito @marcus_hunter