Week 14 TAM Rankings: Arkansas Up Two Spots After Shutout Win Over Ole Miss

state gloveIt is time to give serious kudos to Coach Bret Bielema and the Arkansas Razorbacks who notched their second straight conference win after going 0-17 the past three seasons.  Arkansas knocked off Ole Miss, giving them six wins on the year and making them bowl eligible.  The Razorbacks took a page out of the book of the infamous Land Shark defense and forced six turnovers in route to their second straight shutout victory against a divisional foe.

Poor Ole Miss.  They had an outside shot at a SEC West Title and a chance to jump into the College Football Playoffs.  However, the loss to Arkansas eliminated them from SEC Championship contention and the fact it was 30-0 just added insult to injury.

The Bulldogs pitched a shutout of their own against a nobody this week and are going into the Egg Bowl with all the momentum on their side (Vandy is the nobody that Mississippi State beat.  Since Vanderbilt is so bad they only get a parenthesis not their own paragraph this week.  Sorry ‘Dores fans.)

Tennessee gave Missouri everything they could handle, but ended up falling just short.  The Vols need to win their final game of the season to gain bowl eligibility.  Thankfully they get the same nobody Mississippi State just beat 51-0.

Memphis won this week, keeping their hopes at an American Championship alive.  All the Tigers have to do is beat UCONN and they will at least a share of the AAC Championship.

MTSU snapped their two game losing streak by knocking off Florida Atlantic in the waning moments of their contest.  With that win the Blue Raiders have become bowl eligible.

Arkansas State suffered their second straight loss as they watched Texas State run all over the field.  The Red Wolves gave up 370 yards on the ground in route to their 18 point loss.

Southern Mississippi managed to escape defeat this week thanks in large part to the Golden Eagles bye week.

It is thanksgiving weekend and there is one obvious choice for the TAM Game of the Week, Mississippi State vs. Ole Miss.  The famed Battle for the Golden Egg has lost some of its luster thanks to the Rebels downfall, but Mississippi State can still get a share of the SEC West Championship and remain in the hunt for the College Football Playoffs

Without further ado, here are week fourteen’s TAM Rankings…


The Mid-South is full of fans with allegiances to different area 
college football programs. Which FBS program in the three states surrounding the Memphis area is the best? To help end some arguments and start others, every week MemphiSport ranks all the college football teams in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi. We call it the TAM Rankings.

1. Mississippi_State_Bulldogs logoMississippi State (10-1):
Last Game: 
W 51-0 vs. Vanderbilt @ Davis Wade Stadium
Best Win: 
38-23 vs. Auburn @ Davis Wade Stadium
Worst Loss: 25-20 vs. Alabama @ Bryant-Denny Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams:
 2 (Southern Miss and Arkansas)
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A

2.  Arkansas logoArkansas (6-5):
Last Game: 
W 30-0 vs. Ole Miss @ Reynolds Razorback Stadium
Best Win: 
30-0 vs. Ole Miss @ Reynolds Razorback Stadium
Worst Loss: L 35-28 (OT) vs. Texas A&M @ AT&T Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: 1 (Ole Miss)
Losses Against TAM Teams: 1 (Mississippi State)

3.  memphis-tigers logo Memphis (8-3):
Last Game:
 W 31-20 vs. USF @ Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Best Win: 41-14 vs. Cincinnati @ Paul Brown Stadium 
Worst Loss: 28-24 vs. Houston @ Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: 1 (MTSU)
Losses Against TAM Teams: 1 (Ole Miss)

4.  ole_miss logo Ole Miss (8-3):
Last Game: 
L 30-0 vs. Arkansas @ Razorback Stadium 
Best Win: 
23-17 vs. Alabama @ Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium
Worst Loss: 30-0 vs. Arkansas @ Razorback Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: 3 (Memphis, Vanderbilt, Tennessee)
Losses Against TAM Teams: 1 (Arkansas)

5. University-Tennessee-Logo-2Tennessee (5-6):
Last Game: 
L 29-21 vs. Missouri @ Neyland Stadium
Best Win: 45-42 (OT) vs. South Carolina @ Williams-Brice Stadium
Worst Loss: 34-10 vs. Oklahoma @ Memorial Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: 1 (Arkansas State)
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A

6. Arkansas State Logo 2Arkansas State (6-5):
Last Game: L 45-27 vs. Texas Southern @ Bobcat Stadium
Best Win: 21-14 vs Utah State (OT) @ Liberty Bank Stadium
Worst Loss: 55-40 vs LA Lafayette @ Cajun Field
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: 1 (Tennessee)

7.   MTSU LogoMTSU (6-5):
Last Game: 
W 35-34 vs. Florida Atlantic @ Johnny Floyd Stadium
Best Win: 50-47 (3 OT) vs. Western Kentucky @ Floyd Stadium
Worst Loss: 36-17 vs. Memphis @ Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams:
 1 (Southern Mississippi)
Losses Against TAM Teams: 1 (Memphis)

8.  Vandy LogoVanderbilt (3-8):
Last Game: 
L 51-0 vs. Mississippi State @ Davis Wade Stadium
Best Win: 42-28 vs. Old Dominion @ Vanderbilt Stadium
Worst Loss: 
 41-3 vs. Ole Miss @ LP Field
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: 1 (Ole Miss)

9.  Southern Miss logo 2Southern Mississippi (3-8):
Last Game: 
L 12-10 vs. UTSA @ Alamodome Stadium
Best Win: W 26-20 vs. Alcorn State @ M.M. Roberts Stadium
Worst Loss: 12-10 vs. UTSA @ Alamodome Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: 2 (Mississippi State and MTSU)

 

SEE ALSO:


CJ Hurt covers college football for MemphiSport. Follow him 
@conradicalness for live tweets from games.

 

 

 

Former Memphis Grizzlies guard Wayne Ellington rejoins Lakers after murder of his father

DALLAS — As his eyes began to flood with tears, Wayne Ellington sat in front of his locker in the visiting locker room Friday night in the American Airlines Center and told reporters something his father had inspired him to do ever since he first picked up a basketball as a child growing up in the outskirts of Philadelphia.

Former Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard Wayne Ellington rejoined the Lakers Thursday, less than two weeks after the death of his father November 9 in the Philadelphia. Wayne Ellington, Sr. was found in his car with a gunshot wound to the head by an unknown assailant. (Photo by  Juan O'Campo/NBAE via Getty Images)

Former Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard Wayne Ellington rejoined the Lakers Thursday, less than two weeks after the death of his father November 9 in the Philadelphia. Wayne Ellington, Sr. was found in his car with a gunshot wound to the head by an unknown assailant. (Photos by Juan O’Campo/NBAE via Getty Images)

“I will get through it,” Ellington said. “Obviously, it’s a situation where you’ve got to get through it.”

Ellington was alluding to the death of his 57-year-old father November 9 in the Philadelphia. Ellington’s father — also named Wayne — was found in his car with a gunshot wound to the head by an unknown assailant, news that sent shock waves to Ellington and the Lakers organization moments before the team was about to face the Charlotte Hornets.

Ellington, 27, who signed with the Lakers after training camp in September, was granted an indefinite leave of absence, but rejoined the team Thursday, one day after the Lakers’ win at Houston.

Although Ellington participated in a pregame shootaround, Lakers coach Byron Scott told reporters before Friday’s game against Dallas that Ellington likely would not see action.

“He’s okay,” Scott said of Ellington. “I think he’s trying to get back familiar with us and familiar with his surroundings. I think the more he’s with us, the better he’ll be.”

Ellington was informed of his father’s death following the Lakers’ November 9 win over the Hornets at the Staples Center.

So far, no arrests have been reported.

Ellington He said he plans to dedicate the rest of the season to his father by writing his name on his sneakers.

Ellington He said he plans to dedicate the rest of the season to his father by writing his name on his sneakers.

While addressing the media Friday, a mostly teary-eyed Ellington recalled how instrumental his father had been during his basketball career, most notably during his days at the University of North Carolina and when he entered the NBA ranks after leading the Tar Heels to the national championship in 2009.

“You know, this is what he wanted for me,” Ellington said, when asked what memorable lesson his father taught him. “While at Carolina, you know, he was the guy who was always talking about tradition. He said when you go to Carolina, you look up and see all the banners. He was so ecstatic when I signed here before training camp. He was telling me how proud of me he is. He was saying, ‘You’re back in that same Carolina-type situation.’ He was like, ‘I really feel like this is the spot for you.’”

While several Laker players expressed their disappointment after learning of the death of Ellington’s father, the six-year pro said he was especially pleased with the support shown by Scott, the Lakers first-year coach for whom Ellington played during his brief stint with Cleveland last season.

Drafted 28th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2009, Ellington also played briefly for Memphis and Dallas.

“Coach Scott has been a great for me,” Ellington said. “He was great for me in Cleveland as well. When I played in Memphis, we had a lot of guys in the rotation. We were deep every night and I wasn’t playing as much. And then when I came to Cleveland and was playing for him, that kind of gave me a boost of energy, that boost of confidence. And that helped me and it was the same thing when I got here. He’s a guy who has tremendous confidence in me and I thrive off that.”

Besides Scott, Ellington said Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant contacted him regularly to show support during his nearly two-week absence from the team. Also, Ellington fielded phone calls from former Grizzly teammates Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph.

“He reached out almost every day,” Ellington said of Bryant. “It was unbelievable as our leader. Obviously, the season didn’t start off the way we liked. But we’re family here and (the Lakers) made me feel like that.”

While Ellington is expected to see action Sunday night when the Lakers host Denver, the Wynnewood, Pennsylvania native said he sensed earlier this week it was time to reunite with his teammates. He said he plans to dedicate the rest of the season to his father by writing his name on his sneakers.

Ellington has appeared in six of the Lakers’ 13 games, averaging 7.8 points and 3.2 rebounds. He scored a season-best 13 points in 25 minutes in an October 9 loss to Phoenix.

“It was just a feeling,” said Ellington, explaining his decision to return to the team. “And in talking to my family, they kind of pushed me as well. They wanted me to get back to doing what I love to do and to take my mind off of it. Being here has been a lot easier for me. So yeah, man, I’m leaving it all out there every single day, every time I step out there on that floor. I’m going to do something special for him.”

DrePicAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, send an email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Preview: Ole Miss vs. Arkansas

Ole_Miss_Walk_Of_ChampionsWhen you and I last visited, I told you that Ole Miss would beat Auburn in a close game that came down to the last series. I was wrong. Auburn beat Ole Miss on the second to last series and broke all the hearts of the Rebel faithful in one tackle and fumble. Not only were Ole Miss’ dreams of winning the SEC West and getting into the College Football Playoff almost* certainly squashed, but the number one Rebel receiver, Laquon Treadwell, was lost for the season to a leg injury that was absolutely stomach churning to watch happen.

Since then, Ole Miss made quick work of Presbyterian and had a nice bye week to rest up for their remaining two regular season games, at Arkansas and an Egg Bowl in Oxford against Mississippi State.

While many Rebel fans are looking at the Egg Bowl already, the Arkansas game is going to prove to be a tough one, much tougher than anyone could have imagined at the beginning of the season. There are plenty of columnists and reporters jumping at the chance to pick Arkansas for the upset.

Arkansas has had an interesting year. While they are clearly a step or two behind the rest of the SEC West, there are plenty of media personalities that believe they would be contending for the top in most other conferences. Such is life in the toughest division in college football, I suppose.

After easily handling their non-conference opponents but dropping every SEC contest in mostly close games, Arkansas went out last week and absolutely dominated LSU 17-0 in an extremely run-heavy game. Obviously Arkansas’ running game is strong if they were able to go at LSU’s stout defense and see those results. They have two running backs that split duties, but who would likely be the featured back at most other SEC schools. Both Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams could break the 1000-yard mark this year, which would be quite the statistic. To put that stat in perspective, Ole Miss’ two primary options at tailback have not combined for as many yards as Collins, the lesser of the two Arkansas backs in terms of yardage, has on his own. Bret Bielema’s hope of turning the Hogs into a run it up the middle team is slowly starting to come together. It will be interesting to see the jump they make between this season and next.

The Rebels, like I mentioned earlier, have had two weeks to heal up some of their battered players. Laremy Tunsil, Cody Prewitt, Trae Elston, I’Tavius Mathers, and Aaron Morris are all listed as probable for the game after suffering various injuries in the LSU and Auburn games. While their play will be hugely important, it’s hard to say how Ole Miss receiving corps will respond in their first SEC game since losing Treadwell. Vince Sanders, Quincy Adeboyejo, and Cody Core are going to have to step it up, especially since the Rebel running game is suspect and the Arkansas D-line is big and hungry to pull off another upset at home.

Not lost in all of the injury and heartbreak the Rebels and their fans have seen in the past month is Bo Wallace taking his rightful place as a premiere SEC quarterback. Aside from his late interception and late fumble against LSU and Auburn, respectively, he has played near flawlessly in conference competition, with those being his only turnovers in SEC play this year. (Compare that to Mississippi State QB and Heisman hopeful Dak Prescott, who has eight interceptions in SEC play.)  Based on Wallace’s great play, this Good Bo/Bad Bo talk should be dead until further notice. Wallace has led the Rebels to an unprecedented season. Fans should be excited to see what the next few games hold in store for him as he has a chance to break several Ole Miss offensive records.

There’s no doubt that on a slow SEC weekend, Ole Miss and Arkansas should provide some excitement. A high speed passing offense taking on a grind it out running offense. A team looking to continue a magical season matched up against a team fighting for a bowl berth and conference legitimacy. Two strong defenses looking to shut down opposing offenses in a late November battle. It has all the makings of a great game. And it’s supposed to be pouring rain in Fayetteville, which will make things all the more interesting,

After a great prediction run to start the season, I had some disappointing showings with the LSU and Auburn games. Hopefully I can get back on track this week.

Hugh Freeze and the Rebels win a tough, tough game. One Ole Miss running back will break out for a 100+ yard game, and the Rebel receivers play admirably in Treadwell’s absence, grabbing two touchdowns with Wallace rushing for the other. The defense will have a hard time with the Hogs’ running game, but they’ll get it together and make it tough for Arkansas to score.

Ole Miss 24 – Arkansas 14

* I say “almost” because technically Ole Miss is still alive to win the SEC West. If they win their remaining two games and Alabama loses to Auburn, then the Rebels will win the SEC West. If that somehow happens and they win in Atlanta, there is absolutely no way the College Football Playoff Selection Committee would turn the Ole Miss away from one of the semifinal slots.

Warner Russell covers Ole Miss Football for MemphiSport. Read his non-sports stuff over on The Wise Guise. Follow him on Twitter @uncle_warny.

Throwback Thursday: The road to BRAWL in the FALL

10818390_531720070297511_665618208036840631_oTonight at Minglewood Hall, Memphis Wildfire Wrestling presents BRAWL in the FALL.  Boy, things have really been heating up over the last few weeks.  With Bill Dundee teasing a “major announcement”, rumors of Jeff Jarrett appearing to address Brian Christopher’s challenge & my attempt to dethrone The King – tonight has all the ingredients to be nothing short of epic.

So, this week for Throwback Thursday – let’s take a look back at all of the events leading up to tonight’s big event.

BRIAN CHRISTOPHER CHALLENGES JEFF JARRETT

JEFF JARRETT JOINS MSL – WILL HE APPEAR?
STARR ATTACKS LAWLER – LAWLER ISSUES CHALLENGE Alternate View: Starr Attacks Lawler – Lawler Issues Challenge
DUSTIN STARR HANGS UP ON JERRY LAWLER
JERRY LAWLER TALKS ABOUT BRAWL IN THE FALL DUSTIN STARR & MARIA RESPOND MEMPHIS WILDFIRE WRESTLING ON GOOD MORNING MEMPHISFOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Six big matches are scheduled, plus a major announcement from “Superstar” Bill Dundee.  Doors open at 6PM for a special meet & greet with bell time happening at 7PM.  Get your tickets at the door or avoid the lines and order online HERE.
Dustin Starr is an active sports entertainer and regular contributor to MemphiSport and MSL. Follow him @DustinStarr.

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Justin Timberlake Asks His Fans To Stop Bothering The Guy Who Called Him A Bandwagon Fan

photo by Justin Ford

Photo by Justin Ford

A little over 48 hours after their original Twitter exchange, Justin Timberlake tweeted a message to his followers asking them to stop sending hate tweets to the guy who called him a bandwagon fan of the Memphis Grizzlies:

JT Tweet 2

 

Twitter: @cerrito
Email: kevin@memphisport.net

SEE ALSO: 

 

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors Pay Tribute To Memphis Grizzlies Player Vince Carter

During a timeout at the Memphis Grizzlies’ only road game in Toronto this season, the Raptors aired a tribute video to Vince Carter as part of the Canadian team’s 20th anniversary season celebration.

WATCH:

 

Twitter: @cerrito
Email: kevin@memphisport.net

SEE ALSO: 

Memphis Wins USA Today’s ‘Best NBA Destination’

Memphis is the “Best NBA Destination” according to the readers of USA Today.

Here is what the nation’s newspaper had to say about the Bluff City:

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 11.24.15 AM

 

View USA Today’s full list here: Memphis wins ‘Best NBA Destination’

Listen to November 2014′s “I Love Memphis” Podcast Bonus clip to hear a discussion on why Memphis deserved to win:

Twitter: @cerrito
Email: kevin@memphisport.net

SEE ALSO: 

Justin Timberlake Reacts To A Twitter User Calling Him A ‘Bandwagon’ Grizzlies Fan

Following the Memphis Grizzlies’ 119-93 win over the Houston Rockets, native Memphian and Grizz minority owner Justin Timberlake tweeted one simple word:

JT Grizzlies tweet

A clueless Twitter user almost immediately accused Timberlake of jumping on the Grizzlies bandwagon.

Here is how JT reacted:

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 10.56.06 PM

Twitter: @cerrito
Email: kevin@memphisport.net

SEE ALSO: 

VIDEO: Tony Allen Is Really Excited To Have Emojis On His Phone

Grizzlies guard Tony Allen spent part of his Sunday night trying to locate emojis on his Samsung phone. After going to Twitter for help, Allen found a way to access the collection of smiley faces and other small icons.

Watch how TA celebrated discovering emojis on his phone:

The dance my husband did when he realized he had emojis on his Galaxy phone. #Emoji

A video posted by Desi (@desirod42) on

Here is the Grindfather’s first tweet after learning he had emojis:

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 10.28.14 PM

 

Twitter: @cerrito
Email: kevin@memphisport.net

MSL’s Playing Hurt Podcast: College Football Awards Edition

heisman trophyJoin MSL and HardBashin producer CJ Hurt and Sports 56 producer and WUMR Sports Desk host Drew Barrett as they take you on a sports odyssey full of twists, turns, and a good time during MSL‘s Playing Hurt Podcast.

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