Patrick Andres

Michigan State, Big 12 Battles Add Intrigue to Complicated Playoff Picture

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My dad, an Ohio State graduate and fan, went to take down his Buckeye inflatable after OSU’s 17–14 loss to Michigan State Saturday and found it had fallen on its side and was buried in three inches of snow. That image was a fitting metaphor for Ohio State’s performance. The Buckeyes have been ridiculed as frauds all year by many, including their own fans. And they finally showed their weakness in falling to the Spartans.

Ezekiel Elliot was underused and ineffective, rushing 12 times for just 33 yards. Quarterback J.T. Barrett was just 9 of 16 passing for 46 yards. This led to multiple missed opportunities that, combined with stifling defense by Michigan State, knocked Ohio State from the ranks of the unbeaten and vaulted the Spartans into an already-crowded field of one-loss teams.
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Islanders Star Kyle Okposo Helps Launch New Toy Rinks

  • Puckhead
  • Lauren Shute
  • November 23, 2015, 12:05 PM

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New York Islanders alternate captain Kyle Okposo is one of the team’s core young players. Along with captain John Tavares and Frans Nielsen, Okposo has helped the Islanders become a perennial postseason team and a legit threat in the Metropolitan Division.

Last week, Okposo stopped by the NHL Store to help unveil a new line of toy hockey rinks created by OYO Sports that work with the company’s line of NHL minifigures. Before the event, Okposo talked with SI Kids about the new OYO rink, what toys he played with as a kid, how he’s adjusted to playing in Brooklyn, and what the Islanders have to do to make another run at a Stanley Cup.
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Fantasy Football 2015: Playoff Prep — Give These Defenses a Shot

  • Fantasy Fix
  • Michael Beller
  • November 23, 2015, 10:00 AM

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There are just two weeks remaining in the typical fantasy regular season. We’ll be following our usual publishing schedule during the week, but our Sunday postgame columns over the next few weeks will cater to the playoff-bound owners. Those of you who have clinched berths in the postseason should already be thinking about how to have your team at its best from Week 14 through Week 16. We’ll help you get there by looking at the schedule during the fantasy playoffs and highlighting the players who have the best matchups at their respective positions.

Perhaps the easiest way to get a leg up for the playoffs is by focusing on defense. The only people who can really afford to stash defenses for weeks in the future are owners who are safely in the playoffs. Owners who are still in need of a win or two to get in can’t really burn a roster spot for a defense on their bench. If you can afford to take this strategy, you’ll likely have no competition for an extra defense or two on the wire. It could also prove to be the difference between winning and losing in the playoffs.

You may not be able to pick up all of the defenses below, but pounce on any if you can. Their matchups could turn them into playoff heroes.
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Burning Question: Can Rules Bend Without Breaking?

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When New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady faced a four-game suspension for his alleged role in deflating footballs, support came from an unlikely source: Richard Sherman, the Seattle Seahawks' star cornerback and Brady's nemesis in Super Bowl XLIX.

"Everybody does their things a little differently, but at the end of the day, it's handled between the lines," Sherman said to ESPN.

Sherman's stance was surprising not just because the Patriots had recently denied the Seahawks back-to-back championships. It was the latest in a long list of cheating allegations and rumors that have followed the Patriots, even predating Spygate, the 2007 incident in which New England was caught illegally videotaping the New York Jets' coaching signals.
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Fantasy Football 2015: Week 11 Risers and Sliders

  • Fantasy Fix
  • Michael Beller
  • November 20, 2015, 11:34 AM

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High-profile quarterback injuries have struck more teams this year than any in recent memory. From Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh to Peyton Manning in Denver and Andrew Luck in Indianapolis, a number of AFC contenders have had to make due without their most important player for significant portions of the season. One NFC team has been part of that unfortunate club as well, but that player will finally make his return in Week 11. Somehow, his team is still realistically in the playoff hunt, despite a brutal seven-game losing streak in the time he's been out. That quarterback helps kick off our Risers heading into Week 11. On the other side of the coin, Manning’s injury, and the uncertainty surrounding his replacement, pushes down his top two receivers.
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Bryce Harper, Josh Donaldson Named 2015 MLB MVPs

bryce harper josh donaldson 2015 mlb mvp

NEW YORK (AP) — Bryce Harper began this season with one personal goal - and it had nothing to do with homers, RBIs or awards.

"All I wanted to do was stay healthy and stay on the field every day," he said.

Harper did that, and a lot more. The Washington slugger put behind his injury-plagued past and put up huge numbers, becoming the youngest unanimous MVP winner in baseball history when he captured the NL honor Thursday.

Toronto third baseman Josh Donaldson took the AL MVP after helping to boost the Blue Jays back into the postseason for the first time since 1993.
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Jake Aron

Texas Rangers and Clayton Kershaw Announce New MLB Urban Youth Academy

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On Tuesday, Major League Baseball announced plans Tuesday for its eighth Urban Youth Academy. The new facility will go up in Dallas with the help of the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.

Kershaw, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, Texas Rangers pitcher Derek Holland, Rangers co-chairman Ray Davis, and MLBPA executive Omar Minaya were among those who attended a news conference announcing the plans. 
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