SportsNet - August 2012
The Big Ten has long been defined by impressive line play on both sides of the ball, and this year's recruiting efforts certainly fit that theme. Of course, it's hardly a surprise to see the league's top programs loading up on defensive ends when they have to contain dual-threat quarterbacks of the caliber of Denard Robinson or Taylor Martinez on a weekly basis.
Of all the outstanding freshmen heading to the Big Ten in 2012, this quintet represents the best of the bunch:
Noah Spence, Ohio State
Urban Meyer made his name as an offensive coach, but it's the defense that's getting the biggest upgrade in Meyer's first Buckeye recruiting class. Noah Spence is as good a pass rusher as any freshman in the nation, and pairing him at defensive end with senior John Simon will make Ohio State an intimidating test for any opposing quarterback.
Spence isn't just good for a defensive end: he's ranked as the nation's fourth-best overall recruit by ESPNU, and he's a good bet to put up numbers on a par with his considerable hype.
With the recent suspensions of Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon for testosterone usage, more and more people are calling for tougher punishments on those who test positive for PEDs. The most extreme idea is to implement permanent bans for a first offense, much like cycling did with their ban of Lance Armstrong last night.
Many people believe that this would eradicate PED usage as quickly as it eradicated gambling. After all, it is the most extreme punishment that can be handed out by Major League Baseball.
Here's the problem with this line of thought: the threat of a permanent ban did not immediately eradicate gambling from the sport. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
British newspaper The Daily Mail, have reported within the last ten minutes that Chelsea have completed the signing of Marseille right back Cesar Azpilicueta, the player will train with his new team mates on Friday morning.
The 22-year-old has signed a 5-year-contract and the fee is around £7 million. Azpilicueta will be available to face Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday and is expected to be officially unveiled by the club on Friday afternoon.
The Spanish international right back has been impressing pundits all around the world during his impressive spell in the French Ligue 1. A growing reputation is surrounding the young right back's ability to get forward to become an attacking threat as well as being solid in defence. He has a very dangerous right foot and an excellent crossing ability.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has been chasing the young starlet for the majority of the transfer window and has been pushing through the final touches of the deal this week.
Premier League is back. After the first week which had lots of exciting matches the second week promises to be a exciting one with Liverpool facing Champions and Newcastle facing Chelsea. Not to forget United play the first game at home. Here are the previews for this week's matches.
Swansea vs. West Ham
Swansea continued from where they left off last season. Spanish recruit Michu is again expected to play a big role in front of the home fans. Eyes will be on Scott Sinclair after he refused to sign a new contract. West Ham would have to be patient against Swansea side who regularly dominates possession. They have got easiest opening run amongst the promoted side and would like to notch up a few points before they face big boys of the league. Kevin Nolan would be the man to watch for West ham. Odds in favor of Swansea to pick another 3 points.
Aston Villa vs. Everton
The Boston Celtics finally signed Jeff Green to a contract believed to be four years in length and worth 36 million dollars. It was a foregone conclusion that Green would sign with the Celtics. They had a handshake agreement with him since shortly after the free agent signing period began on July 1st. The two sides were so confident that a deal would be completed, Green appeared at a July press conference with other free agent signees Jason Terry, Brandon Bass and Chris Wilcox to discuss the excitement each player has for the upcoming season in Celtics green.