For the first time since its inception, a team from the American Athletic Conference will be participating in the College Football Playoff. The Cincinnati Bearcats won the AAC title on Saturday night, improving their overall record in 2021 to 13-0.
The Bearcats ended up as the 4-seed in the playoff and have a date with Alabama in the semifinals on New Year’s Eve. A Cincy win over the Crimson Tide would likely be one of the biggest upsets in sports this year.
A lot of people aren’t giving the Bearcats a snowball’s chance in Hell of beating Bama, and over on The Pat McAfee Show, Pat and the crew had a little fun with the obvious claim.
“Well no shit! It’s number 4 versus number 1 every year in college football. That’s what happens,” McAfee said Monday.
After congratulating Cincy and head coach Luke Fickell on the accomplishment, Ty Schmit did his best Paul Finebaum impersonation to make the argument that the Bearcats and Tide actually match up pretty well.
“Nick Saban comes out and lays eggs in these games sometimes,” Shmit said mimicking the SEC Network host’s voice. “So if you like Cincinnati, they might play Alabama pretty well.”
“I did not know we had Finebaum on the show this whole time,” McAfee joked.
Cincinnati and Alabama meet in the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas on Dec. 31.
Jeff Rickard Out At WEEI
“In the memo, new Audacy Boston market manager Mike Thomas says that the station will be naming a new brand manager in the future.”
Jeff Rickard’s tenure in Boston did not last long. Chad Finn of the Boston Globe tweeted yesterday that the WEEI brand manager has left Audacy and intends to return to Indianapolis.
Rickard was announced as the new brand manager of the legendary Boston sports talker in August. He left his role as morning show host and PD at The Fan in Indianapolis at that time.
In the memo, new Audacy Boston market manager Mike Thomas says that the station will be naming a new brand manager in the future.
In the meantime, Ken Laird has been promoted to operations manager for the station. Laird announced yesterday that this means he is leaving the Greg Hill Show, which will be on the lookout for a new producer.
David Ortiz On WEEI: Everyone Knows Dan Shaughnessy’s An A-Hole
“He didn’t seem to take the slight personally. He also didn’t seem to think it mattered.”
You don’t have to guess how David Ortíz feels about Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy. He is more than happy to tell you if you ask.
On Wednesday, the Hall of Fame candidate was a guest on WEEI and afternoon host Lou Merloni asked. He wanted to know how Ortíz felt about Shaughnessy saying he would never vote for the Red Sox slugger to be enshrined in Cooperstown.
“You know that Dan Shaughnessy has been an asshole to everybody,” Big Papí responded.
He didn’t seem to take the slight personally. He also didn’t seem to think it mattered.
“What can I do? Dan’s not gonna stop anything. He’s just one guy that didn’t vote for you, and there’s nothing you can do about it. But I mean, this is a guy who likes giving a hard time to everyone, so you’ve got to love him that way.”
For the record, according to BBHOFTracker.com, Ortíz has received more votes than anyone else on the ballots of the writers that have made their votes public. Time will tell if that holds up and he meets the 75% threshold for induction.
Dan Shaughnessy released his Hall of Fame ballot last week along with the rest of the Boston Globe staff. He only voted for Jeff Kent. He was the only one not to vote for Big Papí
David Ortíz will find out next week if he is in. He is one of four players with the numbers that make one think it makes sense for him to be in the Hall of Fame, but a cloud of doubt over him because of his past use of performance enhancing drugs.
Tim Kurkjian: There Is No Right Way To Vote For The Hall Of Fame
“If I just said, look I’m not voting for anyone that has a connection to PEDs, that would be easier.”
The results of the Baseball Hall of Fame vote will be revealed next week, and ESPN MLB writer Tim Kurkjian has been on the fence about a lot of the players on the ballot.
Speaking Wednesday with Tim McKernan of 101 ESPN in St. Louis, Kurkjian said having the opportunity to elect some of baseball’s greatest players to the Hall of Fame is not lost on him. But the task of choosing players with ties to performance-enhancing drugs has been hard.
“It’s the greatest privilege I have,” he said of being a voter. “I love it, but it’s really, really difficult. I don’t think there are any right answers anymore.”
Kurkjian himself will be honored at the induction ceremony, and will be enshrined in the media wing as the winner of the Baseball Writers Association of America Career Excellence Award.
In the lead-up to the results of the voting, ESPN’s Outside the Lines is presenting a series on the Hall of Fame cases for five controversial candidates: Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.
McKernan asked Tim Kurkjian what his voting process was, and if he considers voting for players on a case-by-case basis. Kurkjian said that was indeed the case given how each player’s ties to banned substances is different, and that in his mind, doing it that way is the most balanced way of voting.
“If I just said, look I’m not voting for anyone that has a connection to PEDs, that would be easier,” he said. “But I do care, and I’m kind of trapped in the middle as I so often am.”
Some of the other voters have a more hard-lined stance. Guys like Bonds, A-Rod, Mark McGwire and others will never get a particular writer’s vote simply because they admitted to using PEDs. But Kurkjian said that’s not how he does it.
He also said others should model how he votes.
“I’m not suggesting it’s the right way, because I’m not sure there is a right way,” he said. “I just don’t think I’m wrong in what I’m doing. I’m doing the best I can, and it is a very difficult assignment these days.”
ESPN’s series will conclude on Wednesday with reaction to the results of the hall of fame vote. Tim Kurkjian will be a part of the series.
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