Army/Navy for the Commander-in-Chief Trophy
This used to be a very competitive series but the Middies have dominated of late winning 10 straight, all by double-digits except for last year. It’s been a disappointing season for Army who returned an unusually high 14 starters for 2012. Navy had gone to eight straight Bowls before missing last year going 5-7. The Midshipmen started 1-3 this year but have gone 6-1 since changing quarterbacks. Both teams beat Air Force this year which means that the winner here gets the Commander-in-Chief Trophy which is a big deal the military academies. Navy opened at -7.5 but has been bet down to a flat touchdown. The high/low opened at 57 but has been bet down to 55. Navy is 0-4 as a favorite this year. Army scored 34+ in their two wins and gave Orange Bowl bound Northern Illinois all it wanted before losing 41-40. The 113th meeting of this storied rivalry takes place at Lincoln Financial Field in Philly, kickoff is at 3:00 PM EST. Weather is partly cloudy with the temperature at game time expected around 58.
NFL News and Notes
Last week’s Jevon Belcher murder-suicide was back in the news on Friday as police released dashboard cam tapes of Belcher asleep in his car outside a woman’s apartment at 3:30 AM and then of police responding at Arrowhead Stadium five hour later after Belcher had killed his girlfriend and then turned the gun on himself.
The Heisman Trophy will be awarded tonight
At the sportsbooks, Texas A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel is now the prohibitive favorite to win the 2012 Heisman Trophy. Johnny Football threw for 3,419 yards for Texas A&M this season with 24 touchdown strikes and eight interceptions. Manziel also rushed for a team-high 1,181 yards and 19 more touchdowns. His quarterback rating for the season sits at 155.8.
Manti Te’o helped the Notre Dame defense allow a nation-low 10.3 points per game this season en route to the top spot in the BCS rankings. He is clearly the inspirational leader of the never-say-die refuse-to-lose Irish. Notre Dame will take on Alabama in the BCS Championship Game on January 7.
Klein has posted a QB rating of 156.1 this season for Kansas State with 2,490 passing yards, 15 touchdown strikes, and seven interceptions. Klein also ran for 890 yards and 22 more TDs. The award appeared to be Klein’s to lose before KState’s late season loss to Baylor. The Wildcats will play in the Fiesta Bowl against Oregon on January 3.
Johnny Manziel (QB Texas A&M) 1/10 (-1000)
Manti Te’o (LB Notre Dame) 7/2 (+350)
Collin Klein (QB Kansas State) 20/1 (+2000)
Sandusky wants better prison conditions
Former Penn State assistant and convicted child abuser Jerry Sandusky wants to be moved to a prison with less strict living conditions. Sandusky, 68, rates as a Level 2 inmate on a five-level security classification but is being kept under much more severe Level 5 conditions. He said Sandusky is alone in his cell for 23 hours a day during the week and around the clock on weekends. Sandusky has been allowed two phone calls a month, while other Level 5 prisoners get only one. Sandusky also has been issued a television would not be the case for a typical Level 5 prisoner. Sandusky is currently being held at Greene State Prison in southwestern Pennsylvania where most of Pennsylvania’s death row inmates are kept.
Lakers drop to 9-11 after getting thumped at OKC
The Oklahoma City Thunder outscored the Lakers 41-26 in the second quarter and then cruised to a 114-108 win over the Lake Show. Kevin Durant had 36 points and 9 boards and Russell Westbrook had 33 points and 8 helpers for the Thunder who improved to 16-4. Kobe Bryant had 35 in a losing effort while Dwight Howard had 23 points and 18 rebounds. The Lakers played without Pao Gasol who sat out his fourth straight game. The Lakers were never in it after the the first quarter and trailed by 14 after three quarters.
Pacquiao/Marquez IV weigh in
Manny Pacquiao and Juan-Manuel Marquez meet for the fourth time in eight years tonight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. While Pacquiao is 2-0-1 in the first three fights, many boxing pundits will tell you that Marquez won all three fights. The two have fought 36 rounds virtually dead even with Pacquia officially ahead 19-17 with the points 1024-1017. Pacquiao has scored four knockdowns but three came in the first round of the first fight. SP3 will have the result and a recap in tomorrow’s report.
Pacquiao/Marquez IV official weigh-in
MLB Hot Stove League
Nikkan Sports is reporting that the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Japanese Pacific League have inked Andruw Jones to a one-year deal that will pay him 300 million yen or about $3.5 million dollars. Jones, 35, has been a reserve for the Yankees over the last two years and has 434 lifetime home runs.
Free-agent journeyman outfielder Ryan Ludwick has agreed to a one-year deal to stay with the Reds. Terms were not disclosed but Ludwick had previously declined a $5-million mutual option for 2013. In 2012, 34-year-old corner defender batted .275/.346/.531 for the Reds with 26 homers in 125 games.
Henderson vs Diaz highlights UFC on Fox 5
MMA fans will be treated to one of the best cards from the UFC in a long time on free TV tonight on Fox as Ben Henderson defends his lightweight title against Nate Diaz. Henderson is a -160 favorite, Diaz is +135 on the takeback. In the light-heavyweight co-feature, Alexander Gustaffson is a -260 favorite over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Future Hall of Famer BJ Penn returns to Octagon as a +230 underdog to Rory MacDonald.
The main card weigh-in with stare downs
(NCAAB) Portland +24.5 over Kentucky (Saturday, December 8, 12:00 PM EST)
Free Pick record in December: 3-4