By Liam Day
The Glenelg Varsity Girls Lacrosse team went into this season ranked number one in the state and twelfth in the entire Nation. The Gladiators ended their back-to-back State Championship season knowing the following year would be much more difficult, but the powerhouse team, coached by Nicole Trunzo, kept their expectations high.
By Liam Day
In recent years, Howard has been Glenelg’s toughest competition having lost in three of their previous four meetings against the Lions. Coming into the season, the Gladiators had high expectations after a State Championship appearance and only gaining more talent from last season.
By Chase Hensing
The Los Angeles Angel’s new super star from Japan, Shohei Ohtani, has taken over the league in the first week of MLB baseball. In Japan, Ohtani put up amazing numbers with over a .300 batting average and twenty homeruns. Many baseball fans are eager to see if he will live up to the hype.
By McKenna Rueter
Ready to rumble? Glenelg High School is conducted a Staff Sumo Wrestling Tournament on April 4th during GLAD time in order to raise money for Grassroots. This organization is Howard County’s only 24 hour and seven day a week crisis center and provides a significant amount of resources for families throughout Howard County and right here at Glenelg.
By Ryan Hack
The NFL free agency period began on 14 March 2018, and many teams immediately jumped on players to bring onto their team. Players received contracts larger than ever before, and some players even changed the entire course of NFL free agency with their signings. The extremely active free agency this season has led to many teams changing their draft board and needs as a result.
By Chase Hensing
The Los Angeles Angel’s new super star from Japan, Shohei Ohtani, has taken over the league in the first week of MLB baseball. In Japan, Ohtani put up amazing numbers with over a .300 batting average and twenty homeruns. Many baseball fans are eager to see if he will live up to
By Garrett Athey
Baseball is officially back with spring training coming to an end and Opening Day starting on March 29th. The offseason was full of interesting moves by teams looking to improve from last year and make the playoffs. Spring training gave teams the opportunity to assess all the
By Philip Johnson & Torin Alexander
Money makes the world go round. Most people associate money and sports with gambling, but throughout history, and especially as of recently, a different kind of scandal has swept across the college basketball landscape, making many question the integrity of the sport. Now people like to believe high school athletes choose the school they go to because of personal preference, that's far from the truth in some cases.
By Justin Robertson
Shortly after the tragic mass shooting that took place at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, millions of people around the globe offered their condolences for the victims and their families. However, for some, condolences are not enough, as they want change to...
By Matt Lipp
It was an offseason for Glenelg Baseball that will bring major change to the program. A coaching change was made to bring in a whole new staff led by Head Coach Steve Tiffany. With multiple starters returning, Coach Tiffany will have a strong roster to work with in his first year at Glenelg.
By Philip Johnson & Liam Day
When someone hears Glenelg sports, what is the first thing they think of? To a lot of people, it’s lacrosse. The school has historically been great at the sport with seven state championships between the boys and girls. This season marks one uniquely special for the Gladiators because both teams have a shot at winning the Maryland Class 2A State Championship.
By Liam Day
The NBA has been growing quickly in popularity surpassing the NFL. The one problem fans see with the NBA is the Stacked, Golden State Warriors. After finishing an NBA record, 73-win season, the long-time underdog signed a top five player in Kevin Durant. While some fans at first were interested to see how the team would play, the pure dominance of the team over everyone in the NBA has turned them into a villain. Now, on Wednesday January 31st, LeBron James announced that he is opened to contract negotiations with this rival team this coming off season. I unlike most every basketball fan in the world, am not taking this seriously at all.
One of the most obvious reasons that this deal will NEVER happen is money, is because of money. If the Golden State Warriors decided to try and sign LeBron James, they would have to offer him a max contract which they have already invested in Steph Curry. NBA fan at GHS Mohith Konduru said, “LeBron needs to go to 76ers, no one in the East could compete. “As Curry has just signed his 200 million dollar contract, his cannot be negotiated, but Kevin Durant’s can. To afford LeBron, the Warriors would have to release All-Star Klay Thompson to save cap space, also they would have to ask Durant to take ANOTHER pay cut after taking a huge one last season to give Steph Curry his max contract. The NBA does not allow any team to exceed a $129 million tax limit. Without the signing of LeBron, Golden State’s projected tax is $123 million dollars. This shows that the Warriors have no room for the King in Golden State. They would be selfish to ask the former MVP Kevin Durant to take another pay cut after he took one for the team in 2017.
LeBron James has imprinted his name on the list of all-time NBA greats already. Taking the easy way out to win titles known as the “Kevin Durant road” would ruin his legacy forever. James has experience with taking backlash from fans when he left Cleveland originally to go the Miami Heat to join Dwyane Wade. ESPN reporter Stephen A. Smith went off, “If you even THINK of going to the Golden State Warriors, your legacy is tarnished forever.” Some people are curious to see how this absolute super-squad would play. Could they go 82-0? Sophomore at Glenelg, Ryan Cauley said, “If LeBron goes to Golden State I’m going be a Warriors fan.” The NBA would basically lose all interest because there would be no competition.
All NBA fans and people at GHS have erupted at LeBron for even announcing this not even thinking about how it would be possible. Although it seems like every single player in the NBA is out for money and an easy ring, LeBron James would never go to Golden State. Without a doubt, the Warriors would become an absolute All-Star team with LeBron. However, purely being able to afford him, and losing the respect of the NBA keeps the Warriors from even wanted to add the “King of Basketball” to their squad. LeBron James is on the path of chasing Jordan and taking a road like this would simply ruin his career.
By Reagan Ahlquist & Garrett Athey
Over the past decade, the Washington Redskins have been in search for a franchise quarterback to lead the team. At times, the organization had all the parts of a good team filled, except for a defining quarterback. The franchise thought they had their leader in Robert Griffin III, the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner. The team drafted him in the first round and Griffin led the team to the playoffs in his first year, but never repeated the success in the following years. After Griffin, the team thought another draft pick, Kirk Cousins, was destined to lead the team to victory. Cousins led the Redskins to the playoffs in 2015, but could never do it again. Many fans questioned whether the team should move on from Cousins or keep him and see if he could repeat the success of that 2015 season.
But now, the Redskins think they have their missing puzzle piece after entering a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs. The Redskins recieve Pro Bowl quarterback Alex Smith from the Chiefs in exchange for a third round draft pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller. Smith is coming off the best season of his career and is getting a four year contract from the Redskins with $71 million guaranteed. Washington fans have mixed feelings about the trade. Some are thrilled with the addition of an experienced quarterback who is a proven winner. Others were satisfied with Kirk Cousins and hate to see star cornerback Kendall Fuller leave the team.
As a Redskins fans we find the trade to be a poor decision. When we had first heard of the trade we was all for it; we thought that Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen had a plan for once. We thought we would trade a late pick for Alex Smith and then draft a rookie quarterback and let him sit the bench for a year as he developed. Then Alex Smith would retire or leave and then the Redskins have their quarterback of the future. But having a logical plan for the future is not the Redskins way, instead we give Smith an extension until he is 38 years old. Not only does Washington have Smith until he is an old man, but they traded away a third round pick and Kendall Fuller. We could live with a third round pick, but trading away Kendall Fuller was idiotic. Kendall Fuller was rated the top slot corner in the league by Bleacher Report, and he led the league in least amount of yards allowed per reception. Fuller was arguably the best defender for the Redskins this season, and now he is on the Kansas City Chiefs.
We am not the only person that shares this opinion about the trade. Glenelg students, like Senior Glenn Brown, who said, “It was an awful trade because Alex Smith is getting old and they paid him for the next four years and let go of one of the top slot corners in the league.” Brown has the same opinion about the trade as me and for the right reasons because the Redskins are not thinking about their future.
Other people have different opinions of this trade though. Glenelg Senior, Andrew Considine, said, “It was a good trade because the Redskins would have had to franchise tag Cousins and it would have been worth over thirty million a year and nobody is worth that”. We do agree that paying Cousins that much money would be unwise and damaging to the franchise. Cousins will most likely get the biggest offseason deal in NFL history, and the Redskins do not have to break the bank to get him anymore. But to replace him with a quarterback who will be with the team until he is thirty-eight is not the right plan. And to trade away a valuable defensive player was not worth it. The Redskins would of been better off signing a cheap veteran, or using Colt McCoy, the backup quarterback, for the year and draft a rookie and let him sit and develop for the future. As fans, we only hope this trade does not damage the franchise too bad.
By Liam Day
Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, Roger Staubach. All of these greats have one thing in common, the prestigious award of the Hall of Fame enshrinement into Canton, Ohio. Most people wouldn't even know of these athletes if there wasn't a Pro Football Hall of Fame. This year, there will be multiple first ballot Hall of Famers to to take the final step to greatness. I will be naming the five greats that should be announced this coming August.
Among the final 15 players to be inducted, only five will be chosen this year. A few first ballot Hall of Fame defensive players should already have their spot reserved. These two are considered to be the scariest linebackers of all time. Ray Lewis played his whole career with the Baltimore Ravens, bringing them two Lombardi trophies, two Defensive Player of the Year awards, and 13 Pro Bowl appearances. He has been an inspiration in the league by his speeches, his most famous being, “Wins and losses come a dime a dozen. But effort, nobody can judge that...because effort is between you and you.” The other fearsome backer is Brian Urlacher. He was also a 13 year loyal team member for the Chicago Bears. He earned himself multiple awards including Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, eight Pro Bowls and has the Bears franchise record for all-time tackles.
The only offensive player in my opinion that should have a red carpet waiting for him in Canton is wide-receiver, Randy Moss. When it comes to greatness, Moss has everything you could possibly ask for. He has the third most 1,000 receiving yard seasons, the record for most touchdowns in a season, six Pro Bowls, and has implanted his name in the Minnesota Vikings’ Ring of Honor. New York Times Sports Writer, Victor Mather said, “New nominees always tend to have an edge, and Moss and Lewis look particularly compelling.” Not to mention he has established his own signature move called, “getting Mossed.” He now has his own segment on SportsCenter where he highlights the week's best “Mosses”. Glenelg High School Sophomore, Nate Swales pointed out, “People don't even realize that he was the one who created that term when they use it. He’s 100% a Hall of Famer.” Randy Moss deserves to be a first ballot Hall of Famer without a doubt, but there are a few players that aren't so sure they will take their final step this year.
Now that I’ve given my obvious picks for this years inductees, only two more spots remain and 12 other players to choose from. One of my picks is Eagles Safety, Brian Dawkins. Dawkins has made it to nine Pro Bowls in his 15 year career. Quarterback, Donovan Mcnabb was a long-time teammate of Dawkins and he simply stated, “Dawkins played during the same time period as Troy Polamalu, Ed Reed, and before Eric Berry, who’s only played five full seasons by the way, and is measurably better than all of them.” With almost 40 interceptions and over 1,000 tackles, Brian Dawkins statline alone should compare to those of a HOF safety. GHS Freshman, Greg D'Ascenzo, said, “Brian Dawkins is a top five all time Safety, he could literally do everything.” He is also the only safety in NFL history to have 25 or more interceptions, sacks, and fumble recoveries. Taking a look at the less glamorous positions, one of the more important aspects of a Hall of Famer that is overlooked is consistency over a long career. Offensive guard, Steve Hutchinson, did this over a 13 year career earning him seven trips to the Pro Bowl and being on the NFL All-Pro team five times. Although offensive lineman struggle to make in these inductions with not many stats to look at, Hutchinson was a top tier linemen for his whole career.
The Hall of Fame induction often has one pick that shocks the crowd. Assuming that doesn't happen this year, these five players should be enshrined this coming August.
By Philip Johnson
Was that a game or what? The Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs put on a performance for the ages in the College Football Championship. The two powerhouses did battle in Atlanta on January 8th, and what a spectacle it was. A 26-23 overtime victory for the Tide delivered head coach, Nick Saban, his sixth National Championship, this being his fifth with Alabama. Several players delivered critical plays in this iconic game. For two teams that heavily rely on the run, all the headlines after the game were about the quarterbacks. Two true freshmen led their teams and turned what many thought would be a boring slugfest into one of the most exciting games ever played. While a championship game is always the focal point of a season, what happened in Atlanta was a classic that no one saw coming.
For the Tide, it was their sixth trip to the National Championship in the last nine years. Winning made them the fastest any team has won five championships since 1936! The Tide were coming off a dominant 24-6 revenge win in the Sugar Bowl over the Clemson Tigers. The Tigers defeated the Tide in the last second of last year's championship. For Saban, he would be facing off against one of his former assistants in Georgia coach Kirby Smart. However, Smart brought a better team against the Tide than any of Saban's former assistants. Unfortunately for Smart, Saban was 11-0 against his former assistants and this victory made that 12-0.
The Bulldogs were coming off a thrilling 54-48 win over the Oklahoma Sooners in the Rose Bowl a week earlier, and were making their first Championship game appearance since 1980. Smart, in his second year as head coach, rode his two headed monster of a backfield in Sony Michel, and Nick Chubb to the tune of a 13-2 record. But coming into the game, Smart and the Bulldogs knew that with Alabama’s stout defense they would have to put the game on the shoulders of Freshman quarterback Jake Fromm; who delivered a solid performance throwing for 232 yards and a touchdown. However, an errant throw on 3rd and 3 late in the fourth quarter gave the Tide the ball back, which lead to their game tying touchdown. “The big stage that Fromm was on might have gotten into his head,” said Glenelg football player Cory Wilson. With the loss comes the ends of the careers for Sony Michel and Nick Chubb who were statistically the second best running back duo in college football history. But with very impressive performances from running back De’andre Swift, Jake Fromm, and receiver Riley Ridley, things are looking up for the Bulldogs future.
Trailing 13-0 at halftime, Saban made the bold move to switch quarterbacks. Jalen Hurts, a Sophomore who was the starter and has a 25-2 record as the Tide’s QB was playing poorly and his run first mentality played right into the hands of what Georgia wanted. Backup Tua Tagovailoa was handed the reigns and proceeded to put himself in the annals of college football history. Some already knew Tagovailoa would be great. Glenelg football player Chris Barlow said, “I watched him in the spring game and he was the best player on the field.It was just a matter of time before he showed the world what he could do”. The left handed gunslinger from Hawaii threw for 166 yards and three touchdowns including the game winner. Midway through the 3rd, Tagovailoa faced a 3rd and 8 with the Tide desperately needing a score. He pulled a Houdini act as he scrambled to his right, broke four tackles, reversed field and ran for the first down. All the effort paid off later in the drive when he hit another Freshman, receiver Henry Ruggs, for a 16 yard touchdown. Late in the fourth quarter, on 4th and 4, he found Junior receiver Calvin Ridley in the back of the end zone for the game tying score. Tagovailoa was an afterthought coming into Monday night in Atlanta. But there he was, in overtime, throwing a 41-yard walk-off touchdown to DeVonta Smith.
The win gave Nick Saban his 6th championship tying him with former Alabama coach Bear Bryant for the most all time. However, almost anyone will admit Saban has now surpassed Bryant. After a season riddled with injury at every position, and being down double digits in the championship with a Freshman at the helm. The Tide still pulled through. College football fans have been spoiled the last few years with dramatic championship games and storybook endings. But what the Tide and the Bulldogs did in Atlanta will be remembered forever.
By Alex Long
Pyeongchang, South Korea will be hosting the 2018 Winter Olympic games beginning on February 9 and ending February 25. The Winter Olympics began all the way in 1924 where they were first hosted in Chamonix, France. The first games only features twelve events spread across six sports. Of the three hundred athletes, only thirteen were women and they were all figure skaters. Needless to say, the olympics have come a long way to today.
Noteworthy this year is that Russia will not be participating in this year. The decision to bar Russia from the Winter games was made after the alleged state-sponsored cover up of doping up it’s athletes came to light. Although the International Olympic Committee’s reports said that they had not found any evidence that the Kremlin was aware of the coverup, the athletes are not allowed to compete under the nation’s symbols. Some of the Russian athletes will still be able to compete however, just under the neutral Olympic flag.
The International Olympic Committee has added some new events to the games this year. They have added big-air snowboarding, freestyle skiing, mass-start speed skating, and mixed doubles curling. Senior Jared Rezeppa says, “The new events are great, but I would still like to see Synchronized Skating added.” As it would add a cool element to skating that most people haven't seen before. This means that the 2018 Winter Olympics will have one hundred events in seven sports in total.
This year, the medals have been designed by Lee Suk-woo, a South Korean designer. The medals showcase a design based off of tree trunks, and 3D letters from the Korean alphabet. Junior Delaney Smith, an Art 4 AP student says that the medals are, “sleek and cool.” They are a minimalistic design that has never been done before. The mascot is a white tiger named Soohorang and has great value to Korean history and culture as a guardian. According to the Olympic Games website, “Sooho” means protection and symbolizes the protection offered to the athletes and other participants of the games. “Rang” comes from the Korean word for “tiger” and is also the last letter of a traditional folk song from the Gangwon Province, where the games are hosted. The website says, “Soohorang not only has a challenging spirit and passion, but is also a trustworthy friend who protects the athletes, spectators and all the participants of the Olympic Games.” Choosing a mascot with guardianship qualities was important as there are safety concerns regarding the fact that South Korea is so close to North Korea.
Many countries have threatened to withdraw from the games due to the concerns, in response to the threat, South Korea is stepping up their security before the games, and according to ABC News, has already deported at least 17 foreigners who could have posed a terrorist threat to the games. Overall, everyone is excited for a safe, challenging Winter Games.
By Garrett Athey
The 2017-2018 National Football League season has officially ended and it is now time for the playoffs. The top six teams from both the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC) will compete against each other. The teams from the National Football Conference include the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, and Atlanta Falcons. The American Football Conference teams are the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans, and Buffalo Bills. Their ultimate goal is to reach the Super Bowl and win the championship.
The first game of the playoffs was the Tennessee Titans, a wildcard team, at the Kansas City Chiefs. Tennessee finished the season with a 9-7 record and second in the AFC South. The team was led by quarterback Marcus Mariota and running back DeMarco Murray. However, Murray was not be able to play against the Chiefs due to a knee injury he sustained. The Chiefs on the other hand clinched the AFC West title and got home field advantage for the first round. Quarterback Alex Smith had one of his best seasons this year and got help from rookie sensation Kareem Hunt who was dominant at running back. Kansas City also had a good season this year which helped them end with a record of 10-6. Tennessee ended up beating the Chiefs after coming back from an 18 point deficit. The Titans will go on to face the Patriots in New England for the second round.
The Atlanta Falcons, another wildcard team, were in Los Angeles against the Rams for the second game of the playoffs. Atlanta finished third in the NFC South behind the Saints and Panthers and had a 10-6 record. The Falcons are looking to return to the Super Bowl after losing last year to the New England Patriots. The team is led by last year’s MVP quarterback Matt Ryan and star receiver Julio Jones. On the other side of the field was the Rams who clinched the NFC West along with home field advantage for the first round. The Rams had star running back Todd Gurley, who had a MVP caliber season, lead them to the playoffs. On the defensive side, the Rams had defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who is almost impossible for anyone to stop. However, the Rams did not have enough to beat the Falcons and lost the game to Atlanta, who will go on to play the Eagles in Philadelphia for the second round.
The next game of the playoffs was the Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville to face off against the Jaguars. The Bills have not made the playoffs in seventeen years, but finished behind New England in the AFC East with a 9-7 record, clinching a playoff spot. The Bills have quarterback Tyrod Taylor and running back LeSean McCoy to thank for their success. The Jaguars are looking to beat Buffalo though as they face a similar playoff drought. Jacksonville has not been to the playoffs since 2007, but they won the AFC South title this season and finished with a record of 10-6. The Jaguars have an outstanding defense that shuts down their opponent, and a fantastic rookie running back in Leonard Fournette. Jacksonville earned a victory over the Bills and will travel to Pittsburgh in the next round to battle against the Steelers.
The final game of the first round of the playoffs included the Carolina Panthers at the New Orleans Saints. These two teams are division rivals, but New Orleans finished ahead of Carolina and clinched the NFC South title this season. Carolina took second place but finished the season with the same record as the Saints at 11-5. The Panthers are always relying on quarterback Cam Newton who was a previous MVP of the league and carries the team to victory more often than not. The Saints have their star quarterback, Drew Brees, to thank for their successes as well. Brees is always breaking records and winning games, but this year he had some help on offense with the team’s amazing rookie running back, Alvin Kamara. New Orleans was able to get the win against the Panthers and will face off against the Vikings in Minnesota for the second round of the playoffs.
As for Super Bowl favorites, decisions are split as to who will win the big game. Some feel that the AFC will win the championship, like Senior Austin Steckler who said, “The Patriots will win because Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time and no one can stop him.” The Patriots are last year's Super Bowl champions and are favored to return this year because they kept a majority of the players from last year. Not to mention that the AFC is thought to be pretty weak this year in terms of the teams that are in contention. Others believe the NFC is destined to win the Super Bowl this year, like Senior Calvin Geisbert who said, “Minnesota will win the championship because of their great defense.” The Vikings have one of the best defenses in the NFL that constantly causes problems for opposing offenses. All in all, the Super Bowl will be a spectacular event for all to enjoy, whether it be for the game, or the always funny Super Bowl commercials.
By Liam Day
After one-and-a-half seasons as the New York Giants head coach, Ben McAdoo has been fired as of December 4th immediately following the Giants’ tenth loss of the season. The decision was foreshadowed by the Giants after McAdoo benched two-time Superbowl MVP Eli Manning. While most fans were upset by this, some believed that it needed to happen. Sophomore Justin Robertson said that “Eli’s career is over, he has been overrated as a starter for the last five years.” Along with McAdoo, general manager, Jerry Reese, was fired simultaneously as he has not drafted a truly successful player since Odell Beckham Jr in 2014. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will take over as head coach at least for the remainder of the season.
The obvious question being asked by fans is why not just wait until the end of the season? The decision wasn't made to alter the outcome of the disappointing season for the Giants, but more to appease fans infuriated with the direction the team was going and the benching of their franchise quarterback Eli Manning. John Mara told the media following the decision on Monday that, “We [Steve Tisch and Mara] agreed that wholesale changes needed to be made to this organization to get us back to the team that we expect to be. We also agreed that it was pointless to wait any longer to make these changes.” Waiting any longer would have resulted in empty stadiums for the remaining three home games.
McAdoo was successful and the Giants had no intention of finding a new coach after the Giants finished 11-5 in the previous season. Despite a first round loss, the drafting of speedy tight end, Evan Engram, and signing of Pro Bowl receiver, Brandon Marshall, the Giants had been projected to greatly improve on their lacking offense from 2016. They were even often mentioned as favorites to take a trip to the SuperBowl. Huge NFL fan, Nate Swales said, “The Giants and the Steelers were my Superbowl pick.” Giants fans along with the rest of the NFL were shocked to see the outcome of the 2017 season. Left with no excuses for such a disappointing season, McAdoo was obviously not getting the job done in New York. Stephen A. Smith, a reporter for ESPN, agreed with the firing, lashing out on Mcadoo in saying, “He has vacillated between incompetent, unprofessional, laughable and then some. The manner in which he has conducted himself and this franchise has been far less than stellar.” Many of Mcadoo's in-game decisions were poor as well. Running the ball countless times of third and long and giving up games when they went down early infuriated fans leading to surges of “BOOOS” throughout Metlife Stadium.
While the Giants’ season at this point is beyond over, the final few games will determine what direction the team will take entering the 2018 offseason.
By Mason Steinberg
If you ask the average NFL fan who the best team is in the AFC there is not much debate. Senior Ryan Davis said, “ It’s the Patriots or Steelers, no doubt.”The Patriots are the model of consistency for the NFL; they have won their division thirteen out of the last fiveteen seasons. They have also won two out of the last three Super Bowls, and the last three matchups with the Steelers. The Steelers have the most explosive offense in the league with the top running back Le'veon Bell and top receiver Antonio Brown. Senior Garrett Mills agreed with Davis, “Anyone can beat anyone, but I’d say the Steelers or Patriots have the best shot of winning it all”. However, neither team has been dominant with the Steelers barely squeaking by the lowly Indianapolis Colts and the Patriots losing to the Miami Dolphins. This opens the door for a surprise team to win the AFC. While the two favorites are established, there is much debate over who the most dangerous team is.
The hottest team in the league is the L.A Chargers, who have won four straight games. They have an elite quarterback in Phillip Rivers and a strong defense headlined by pass rusher Melvin Ingram and cornerback Casey Hayward. The Chargers look like they will win the AFC West and no team will want to face them in the playoffs. The Jacksonville Jaguars have the best secondary in the league, led by brash cornerback Jalen Ramsey who is rated the number two corner in the league by Pro Football Focus. While many insiders around the league continue to doubt them, they continue to defeat elite competition such as the Steelers and Seahawks.
The Baltimore Ravens have one of the elite defenses in the league, they have shutout their opponents three different times this year. Only four other teams in NFL history have accomplished this feat, and three of them have won the Superbowl. They also have inconsistent quarterback Joe Flacco, who when playing well, can lead his team to a championship like he did in 2012. The NFL playoffs are extremely unpredictable and the whole country will be on edge as they watch who will come out champion.
By Garrett Athey & Reagan Ahlquist
The college football season has come to an end, so bowl games are starting up. While the top four teams include Alabama, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Clemson battle which will play in the championship games, other outstanding teams will also compete in bowl games, which are held for teams that had an exceptional season to compete against each other in the postseason. Some of the most intriguing games this year include the Peach Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl, and Cotton Bowl. These games will feature the teams that had great seasons, but were just short of reaching the playoffs.
The Peach Bowl has No. 7 Auburn competing against No. 12 Central Florida taking place in Atlanta, Georgia. Auburn had three losses all season, but one was in the Southeastern Conference Championship against Georgia. The loss to Georgia dropped them down below the top four teams and out of playoff contention. However, Auburn did defeat previously undefeated Alabama during the regular season, proving they are capable of defeating any team. On the other side, Central Florida finished off their undefeated season after winning the American Athletic Conference Championship against Memphis. Some fans feel that Central Florida was snubbed by the committee because they never lost a game this season, but were not selected to play in the playoffs. Although Central Florida was undefeated, they had a pretty easy schedule and never faced a top ten team all season. They also had some close wins against easy opponents which kept them out of the playoffs. Senior Connor Hughes said, “Auburn will win because they have more losses, but they played harder teams and had more quality wins.” Auburn will have a better chance at winning the game as long as their standout running back Kerryon Johnson who was the SEC Offensive Player of the Year.
The Fiesta Bowl features No. 9 Penn State against No. 11 Washington who will battle it out in Arizona. Penn State had a good season, only losing two games to Big Ten rivals Ohio State and Michigan State. They were led by star running back, Saquon Barkley, who had a breakout season and was considered to win the Heisman. On the other hand, Washington also lost two games to Pac-12 rivals Arizona State and Stanford. Quarterback Jake Browning has been the successful leader of this Washington team, leading them to a bowl game this year and the playoffs last year. As for who will win, Senior Brenden Rose said, “Penn State because Saquon Barkley is an absolute monster who will lead his team to victory.” Washington will put up a good fight for Penn State and the game will be a joy to watch.
No. 6 Wisconsin will be facing No. 10 Miami for this year’s Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Wisconsin finished the regular season with a record of 11-1, and their only loss was to Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship game. Wisconsin was led by their defense, which was the best in total defense. Down South, the “U” is back, as for the first time since 2013, Miami is ranked again. Miami leads all of college football in turnovers, thanks to their new motivation with their turnover chain. Wisconsin is favored in this matchup by -5.5 odds according to OddsShark, but many analysis will not be surprised if Miami pulls off the upet.
No. 5 Ohio State will be facing off against No. 8 University of Southern California (USC) in this year’s Cotton Bowl taking place in Texas. The Ohio State Buckeyes were controversially not included in the college football playoffs after finishing the season 11-2, including a victory in the Big Ten Championship. USC finished with a record of 11-2, led by standout quarterback, Sam Darnold, who is a projected first round draft pick if he decides to leave. This game will be a tough matchup for both teams, but Ohio State should have the upper hand according to Glenelg Senior Austin Steckler who said, “Ohio State is the better team. They should have made the playoffs and were overall dominate all year.” This game will be an exhilarating match between two quality teams as they battle to take home the hardware for the Cotton Bowl.
When the college football season coming to an end, fans have some exciting bowl games to look forward to. These eight teams will be battling for their last game of the season, and for some players, the last game of their careers.