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Tuesday Morning Brews (12/30/14)

Each day to be a champion. Some days are just more important than others.

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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix

Beautiful, glorious and sacrificing self for renewal,
you build a pyre and set yourself ablaze.
For the sake of self.
Red bird of fire come forth through your ashes a new bird
shedding the old self which no longer is needful.
You embrace your new strength and fly to new heights of the sky
to the city of the sun and give the ashes
unto the alter of the sun god for your immortality.
Embrace yourself for you are a child of the sun
and will live eternal through birth, death, and renewal.
The spirit never dies!

~Rebecca Wiles-Thomas

Hitting the Links Is Still Dazed

They Look at Us

Joey Bosa, Luke Fickell and Michael Bennett offer their thoughts about TTUN.

NFL Draft Claims Duke JohnsonAlso Miami's LT Ereck Flowers

Duke Johnson's mother recently made some controversial statements, that most of the team would leave because of Al Golden if it weren't for NCAA penalties. Golden has regularly produced some talented pro prospects in his four seasons but only a 16-16 conference record. Golden's loss to Spurrier earlier this week meant the third losing season for Miami since 1980.

"We are what our record is," said Golden after the 24-21 loss. "But in so many ways, we're better than that."

Penn State's Donovan Smith Leaves, Too | ...& Tevin Coleman...& Maxx Williams

Of the three, Coleman is obviously the biggest blow but Donovan Smith's departure is not far behind. Minnesota needs to start using a reliable pass game, but they have more mini-Maxxes that they can lean on next season - players who are similarly reliable, sturdy, deceptively quick, and not very flashy.

Leonte Carroo Stays For Senior Year | Same for Auburn's D'haquille 'Duke' Williams

The injection of new blood at QB (sorry, Gary Nova) and the return from injury for Paul James will mean that the B1G East will be as deep as it is blue-blooded.

Saying Goodbye to Jason Baum

This writer fills in some blanks about Rutgers' P.R. director's departure.

Four Things: Michigan State's Coaching Transition

In response to losing Pat Narduzzi, Mark Dantonio simply promoted secondary coach Harlon Barnett and linebackers coach Mike Tressel. It's not the first subdued coaching change in the Dantonio era, but it's likely to be an effective and stable transition for next season.

The Value of the Big Ten

The Big Ten East should be a cauldron next year, between Harbaugh's Wolverines, Meyer's Buckeyes, and Dantonio's Spartans. Don't count out Franklin, either, to find some solutions on offense. That level of competition and those high-profile matchups will only encourage the incoming stream of talent, whether that's East Coast recruits or talented assistant coaches.

Rutgers Crushes North Carolina

There were a lot of interesting quotes in the game recap, from Kyle Flood talking about the program's relationship with the NYPD to a reincarnate Dennis Green: "They did exactly what we expected them to do in every phase of the game. We just didn't stop them," was the Tar Heel's coach, Larry Fedora, afterward.

Grading Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech

A bowl game was a big step, but the players have to take their off-season seriously and live with the bitterness of this loss. Believe it or not, another step forward in 2015 would put them in the upper end of the Big Ten West.

Scrappy In Victory, and Defeat

Penn State delivered three blowout wins this year, against Temple, Massachusetts and Akron. Their other four wins came by a combined 12 points. James Franklin also got blown out by Northwestern and Michigan State, but their other four losses were by a combined fifteen points, seven of those in an overtime loss to OSU. Week to week, this was a difficult team to bet on.

Potpourri from Nebraska's Defeat to USC

From the image of Mike Riley sitting in the stands (a rare chance to be an ordinary fan) to the grittiness and ugliness of the wins that so often came NU's way, there was a lot to digest after another four-loss season.

Jim Harbaugh's Resume

Mr. Khaktastic leaves the NFL with the fifth-best winning percentage all time.

Arkansas-Texas Box Score

Arkansas' Jonathan Gray announced he'll return as well, so Bret Bielema will have almost all the same cast of players back on offense. This Razorbacks squad is what Texas wants to be, and they pulverized the Longhorns into a very fine powder in NRG Stadium (formerly Reliant Stadium), in Houston, Texas.

Two yards rushing for the Longhorns. Only 43 offensive plays, to 73 for Arkansas. And those 43 plays produced a net of 45 yards, after offensive penalties. Absolutely disheartening for a team that wants to win with toughness... or any other kind of team.

Alabama-Eleven Warriors Trash Talk

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