ESPN College Game Day to Broadcast @BC

ESPN College Game Day to Broadcast @BC

Huge game this weekend (Boston Globe) for my alma mater and ESPN's crew will be doing their broadcast from the dustbowl in the center of campus:

ESPN's popular "College GameDay Built By The Home Depot" football show will originate from the "campus green" on the Boston College campus Saturday, the day of BC's inaugural Atlantic Coast Conference football game vs. the Florida State Seminoles. This will mark College GameDay's first appearance on the BC campus.

The campus green, affectionately termed "the dustbowl" by BC students, is a large, grassy area located behind McElroy Commons, the college bookstore, and alongside College Road. The stage will be set up to broadcast the popular show, which features host Chris Fowler and analysts Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit, from 10:30 a.m. until noon each Saturday during the college football season. Fowler, Corso and Herbstreit also will be seen throughout the day on ESPN from Alumni Stadium in various pregame, halftime and postgame segments.

• BC coach Jim O'Brien was the offensive coordinator at Virginia when the Cavaliers scored 33 points and handed FSU its first ACC loss in 1995, so he has an inkling about what's needed to move the ball against the Seminoles.

Boston College's coach is not Jim O'Brien, it's Tom O'Brien.  No respect for B.C.  See if this link works to get a live view of the dustbowl.

The rest of the Insider's take on B.C. after the jump.

ESPN Insider's take is wrong, literally:

From ESPN Insider:

Boston College
QB Quinton Porter is completing 76 percent of his passes, but that number will drop against an extremely fast Florida State defense. The key to winning for the Eagles in their ACC debut Saturday night is hoping their gargantuan offensive line fares better against a relatively inexperienced FSU defensive line than Miami did. If BC can run the ball effectively and keep FSU's linebackers involved near the line of scrimmage, then Porter may find some vulnerabilities in the Seminoles' pass defense. Miami had receivers wide open, at times, in the season opener, but no time for Wright to find them.

• BC coach Jim O'Brien was the offensive coordinator at Virginia when the Cavaliers scored 33 points and handed FSU its first ACC loss in 1995, so he has an inkling about what's needed to move the ball against the Seminoles.

• FSU TB Lorenzo Booker, a Southern California native, thought it sort of amusing that BC receiver/utility infielder Will Blackmon is from Rhode Island ("What kind of high school football do they play in Rhode Island?'' Booker wondered). Blackmon gets a chance to make an impression on Booker and the rest of the nation in one of the most high-profile ACC games this season. Here's a proposition, Will: Catch a touchdown pass, and return a punt for another score on Saturday, and you'll make it on the short list for this Heisman ballot.

xContinued from the Insider:

Florida State

The mood, karma -- something -- is different around the FSU locker room this season, so maybe it's futile comparing this group to a team that last year went 3-2 on the road. But if the Seminoles aren't more effective on offense than they were away from home last year, then Saturday night's game at Boston College is going to be an eye-opener.

Most FSU players don't seem convinced that BC can play at the Seminoles' level, despite an offensive performance against Miami two weeks ago in which FSU gained 170 yards. Asked how he feels about facing BC in the Eagles' first ACC game, Booker said, "We're Florida State. We feel like we should be welcoming everybody, whether they've been in 10 years -- then we need to let you know nothing's changed -- or you're just in, then we need to let you know about the years to come.''

Last year, FSU welcomed Miami into the ACC by losing to the Hurricanes in overtime at the Orange Bowl.

• The Seminoles have, however, designated this a "sod game," as a result of being an underdog on the road.

• FSU's defensive line is relatively inexperienced, with the exception of senior DT Brodrick Bunkley, but the group dominated against Miami, recording nine sacks. Saturday's game will be a tougher test against a BC line that returned five starters from a year ago.

• Bobby Bowden is tiptoeing around the fact that redshirt freshman Xavier Lee, whose mental blunders have caused him to be yanked after his first series in each of two games (though Lee returned later against The Citadel) is the backup QB. "I'm sure it's very deflating to have the reputation he's got, then to be put in the game late, taken out late,'' said Bowden, who already has met privately with Lee to stress patience (translation: "Don't go transferring on me'').

Phillies sign OF Daniel Nava, LHP Sean Burnett to minor-league contracts

Phillies sign OF Daniel Nava, LHP Sean Burnett to minor-league contracts

The Phillies made a couple quiet additions as the winter meetings ended, signing veteran outfielder Daniel Nava and lefty reliever Sean Burnett to minor-league contracts.

Nava, 34 in February, is a left-handed hitter who can play the outfield corners and first base. He came up with the Red Sox and became a fan favorite in Boston in 2010 as a 27-year-old rookie. Some Phillies fans will remember him for hitting a grand slam off Joe Blanton in his first major-league plate appearance.

Nava had a few decent years in Boston, the best of which was 2013, when he had 536 plate appearances and hit .303/.385/.445 with 29 doubles, 12 homers and 66 RBIs. 

Nava's numbers and opportunities have dropped every year since. He was designated for assignment by Boston in 2015, latched on with the Rays, signed the next year with the Angels and was traded late in the season to the Royals.

Over the last two seasons, Nava has hit just .208, albeit with an on-base percentage 99 points higher because of his 30 walks and 10 hit by pitches.

Burnett, 34, has spent five of the last seven seasons in the Nationals' bullpen. He had a 2.85 ERA in 283 appearances from 2009-12 and parlayed that success into a two-year, $7.25 million contract with the Angels. However, he barely pitched in 2013 and 2014 for the Halos because of an elbow tear. He returned to the Nats last season and allowed two runs in 5⅔ innings.

Burnett, perhaps more so than Nava, has a chance to fill a role with the Phillies if he can stay healthy. He's shown he can get outs at the highest level, posting a 2.38 ERA in 2012 with 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings and a 2.14 ERA with 8.9 K/9 in 2010. That was a long time ago now, and Burnett's fastball has dipped from averaging 90-91 mph to 88.

According to Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith, Burnett will receive a $1.25 million salary if he makes the team and can earn another $1.75 million in incentives based on his number of appearances.

Burnett has an opt-out date of March 26, meaning he can become a free agent a week before the regular season begins if it looks to him like he isn't in the Phils' plans.

Nava's chances at cracking the opening-day roster seem longer because the Phillies are expected to make more depth signings between now and the start of camp. They've prioritized finding some offense in the corner outfield and that could come in the form of more minor-league deals, a guaranteed contract or trade. One potential fit I examined last week was Mariners outfielder Seth Smith, a hitter more proven than Nava (see story).

These minor-league deals were commonplace for Phillies general manager Matt Klentak last offseason, when the only free agent he signed to a major-league deal was reliever David Hernandez. 

Last season, three players who were signed to minor-league deals with invites to spring training made the team on opening day: outfielder Cedric Hunter, utilityman Emmanuel Burriss and reliever James Russell.

Others, such as former closers Edward Mujica, Ernesto Frieri and Andrew Bailey, failed to make the team out of camp. Bailey eventually earned a call-up; the other two didn't.

Former Sixer Lou Williams lighting it up with Lakers off the bench

Former Sixer Lou Williams lighting it up with Lakers off the bench

Former Sixers point guard and Meek Mill collaborator Lou Williams is enjoying quite the run off the bench for the Lakers recently.

Over Los Angeles' last four games, Williams has posted totals of 40, 38, 24, and 35 points. 

The six-man is averaging 34.5 points per game over the stretch, and his 137 points are the most off the bench in a four-game span by any player since 1970-71, when stats were first recorded, per Elias Sports Bureau, via ESPN. Williams is now averaging 19.3 points this season, which is 4.4 more than his highest average with the Sixers.

Williams isn’t the only player who used to play for the Sixers that is playing well for the Lakers this year. Nick “Swaggy P” Young, who also comes off the bench, is averaging 13.3 points per game. Just a few weeks ago, Swaggy P stole a pass intended for Lou Williams, and then proceeded to hit a game winner against the Thunder. Swaggy P, however, is currently sidelined with a right calf strain, but is getting closer to a return.

"Lou Will" was also talked about last April during Kobe Bryant’s final NBA game, when he was beefing on Twitter with another former Philadelphia athlete, LeSean McCoy.