Falcons John Abraham on Arrest Bad Timing

Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Abraham has keen timing when it comes to rushing the edge to attack the quarterback. His timing Monday off the field was not so good.Abraham was arrested in front of a Midtown building where he owns three condominiums, charged with obstruction of justice.“I really can’t talk about the situation because we are still going through some legal things, here and there,” Abraham said to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I’m just happy that everybody that knows me and knows what kind of person I am, know the things that I do, so I’d like to kind of leave it at that. I’m just trying to move on to football, continue to be the leader that I’ve been, do the same things and get ready for Carolina.”Abraham was reluctant to share his story with the AJC. But he did say to the newspaper: “At this moment, I don’t want to talk about my side of the story. Once we get everything verified and get everything going the same way, because we still have a legal situation that we need to get cleared up. Sometimes, it’s just bad timing. I’m not going to fault anybody at all. Sometimes things happen in life. Sometimes trying to do the right thing, [doesn’t] end up being the right thing.”Police were responding to a call about a woman threatening to jump from one of the buildings when Abraham refused to exit the scene, according to John Chafee of the APD’s Public Affairs Unit said . Chafee said police charged Abraham with obstruction of police and obstruction of fire fighters.Chafee said the charges are misdemeanors. Abraham was booked at the Fulton County Jail and was released early Tuesday after posting $7,500 bond.Chafee said the woman did not jump and was uninjured. She was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. It is not known if Abraham knew the prospective jumper or if he was just trying to return home.According to a copy of the police report, Abraham entered the restricted area and was confronted by a firefighter who “repeatedly ordered him to leave the scene.”Nearby officers then responded and ordered Abraham to leave, according to the police report. The report says Abraham “refused and insisted on continuing [farther] into the scene” at which point police arrested him.Abraham was “obviously intoxicated,” the arresting officer wrote in the report.“Like I said, sometimes you just try to do the right thing and don’t worry about that,” Abraham said. “Like I was saying, I’m not trying to knock anybody for trying to do what they were doing. Like I said, it happened. I can’t really go into detail with exactly what’s going on, everybody likes to say this and that. …it was a situation.”Abraham is the second Falcons player to be arrested in the past weeks.Gwinnett County police arrested running back Michael Turner early last Tuesday on charges of DUI and speeding.“I got to talk to [head coach] Mike [Smith] and a lot of people in the organization and people that know me. …it was an altercation and hopefully we can get it out of the way as soon as possible,” Abraham said.The Falcons are 3-0, one of only three undefeated teams in the NFL.“I’m trying not to harp on what happened,” Abraham said. “I’m trying not to, but I will say it was bad timing.”Finally, Abraham wouldn’t admit to making an error in judgment.“I can’t say I did or didn’t,” Abraham said. “I’m just going to keep saying it was bad timing. I can’t say exactly what happened. Like I said, we’re going to try to work through it.” read more

Keyshawn Johnson Defends Magic Johnson Against Claims That He

If you’re going to publicly weigh the pros and cons of what a man has done then weigh both, not just the part that supports your argument…— Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) February 23, 2017 Dan Le Batard said Magic Johnson’s skills don’t fit his new role with the Lakers, which Keyshawn Johnson found bigoted. (Screenshot/Twitter)Dan Le Batard quickly responded to Keyshawn Johnson and Michael Wilbon, who both criticized him for saying Magic Johnson is unqualified to lead the Los Angeles Lakers’ basketball operations.Speaking on “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” show Friday, Feb. 24, Le Batard stood by his assessment.“It sounded like I was saying that [Magic Johnson] only gets jobs because he’s famous and charming,” Le Batard said. “People made the argument, ‘He’s a good businessman.’ Well, of course, he’s a good businessman. So is James Dolan, so is the owner of the [Sacremento] Kings [Vivek Ranadive], so was Donald Sterling. I was talking about, is it a translatable skill set? You’ve seen Magic Johnson’s tweets, they’re obvious. He’s not a basketball visionary when he’s raving about [Shanghai Sharks guard] Jimmer Fredette.”On Thursday, Feb. 23, Le Batard said Magic Johnson has not proven successful in any of his post-basketball endeavors. He concluded the charitable NBA great had no business being promoted from his advisory role Tuesday after the team terminated General Manager Mitch Kupchak.“Magic Johnson is charming,” Le Batard said. “But Magic Johnson was given a late-night television show because he’s famous and charming. Failed in 11 shows. Magic Johnson was given a head coaching job of the Lakers because he’s famous and charming. Failed in 16 games.”Keyshawn Johnson responded to Le Batard’s claims on “ESPNLA Mornings with Keyshawn, Jorge & LZ” later that day and defended Magic’s short-lived late-night talk show gig.“I can’t tolerate this dude!” the retired NFL wide receiver said. “I can’t tolerate him saying these things about Magic Johnson because his facts are completely wrong! He got a talk show coming out of the NBA because they were trying a late-night talk show with African-Americans … The talk show business is hard! How many people fail at it?”Johnson then implied Le Batard’s stance was founded in racism, an assertion co-host Jorge Sedano disagreed with.“I’m going to read between the lines,” Johnson said. “I’m going to read between the lines on this one. To me, he’s saying ‘because he’s a Black dude,’ that’s the way I look at it …”Michael Wilborn, co-host of ESPN’s “Pardon The Interruption,” tweeted in defense of Magic Johnson’s business acumen, saying Le Batard should have considered all aspects of the Hall of Famer’s career into account and not just his failures.So LeBatard bases Magic’s worthiness on a failed talk show and failed coaching career but not the 25 years since of success in business?— Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) February 23, 2017 read more

Kaepernicks ExTeammate Eric Reid Files Collusion Grievance Against NFL

Free agent safety Eric Reid watches Stanford NFL Pro Day in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL players’ union says former San Francisco 49ers Eric Reid filed a grievance against the league, alleging that he remains unsigned as a result of collusion by owners.Reid had joined former teammate Colin Kaepernick two seasons ago in kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality.Kaepernick wasn’t signed for the 2017 season following his release in San Francisco. Reid continued the quarterback’s protests. The 26-year-old safety became a free agent this offseason when his rookie contract with the 49ers expired.Our union is aware that Eric Reid and his legal representatives filed a collusion claim, which will be heard through the arbitration process as spelled out in our collective bargaining agreement,” the NFL Players Association said in a statement Wednesday. “Our union supports Eric and we are considering other legal options to pursue.”Kaepernick previously filed a collusion grievance. read more

The Timberwolves Might Have Too Many Stars

MINNEAPOLIS — It would take days to compile a full list of all the things the Timberwolves have done wrong during their 13-year span wandering the basketball wilderness.Management has had long stretches of gross ineptitude. That lack of direction partly explains why the Wolves have cycled through eight coaches in the 13 seasons since they last made the playoffs, including two different men who each held the job twice. Aside from the lack of continuity, there are also the mind-numbingly bad picks. The 2009 draft was especially awful: Minnesota selected two different point guards, Ricky Rubio and eventual washout Jonny Flynn, ahead of a guy named Steph Curry, who’d go on to win two MVPs while becoming the greatest jump shooter in NBA history.So it doesn’t take much to see why this season — with newly acquired All-Star Jimmy Butler, a handful of solid vets and some of the NBA’s best young talent — is one of the most anticipated campaigns in Timberwolves history. But look closer, and there may be slight cause for concern: Minnesota, owner of the NBA’s longest playoff drought, might suddenly have too much star power on its roster.The Wolves boast a ton of individual scoring but don’t necessarily have a surplus of players known for facilitating an offense. Consider the fact that the team’s Big Three is made up of Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins — a trio in which each player logged usage rates of 25 percent or higher last season.While it’s not unheard of for an offense to be this reliant on a set of three players — the Warriors and Cavaliers both did it last season en route to the Finals — it’s still unusual from a historical standpoint. Even as the notion of the superteam has spread throughout the league, there have been only six instances of three separate players logging 25 percent usage rates for the same team over the past 25 seasons,1While playing 30 minutes per game and at least 50 games that season. according to ESPN Stats & Information Group. 2016-17CavaliersLeBron JamesKyrie IrvingKevin Love SEASONTEAMPLAYER ONEPLAYER TWOPLAYER THREE 2008-09MavericksDirk NowitzkiJason TerryJosh Howard 1999-2000BucksRay AllenGlenn RobinsonSam Cassell 2001-02BucksRay AllenGlenn RobinsonSam Cassell 2016-17WarriorsKevin DurantStephen CurryKlay Thompson 2007-08SpursTim DuncanTony ParkerManu Ginobili Still, it’s hard to know whom, if anyone, the Wolves actually compare to — especially now, after having moved Rubio, a pass-first guard who managed to keep his high-scoring teammates fed most nights.“I get people involved, but he was a fan favorite, and I hear that every day. Seriously, I do,” said Jeff Teague, the Wolves’ new starting point guard, who gets in the paint and scores more than his predecessor. The 29-year-old, one season removed from a career-high 26.6 percent usage rate himself, said he’s been studying film to learn where his new teammates prefer the ball. Teague also cited his experience leading a highly balanced Atlanta Hawks’ offense as reason for optimism in Minnesota.Figuring out the proper pecking order won’t get a whole lot easier when Teague heads to the bench, either. Three-time Sixth Man of the Year winner Jamal Crawford, who led the NBA in percentage of time going 1-on-1 last season, figures to be a primary ballhandler when he enters the game as a reserve. All of which raises a question about how this team’s offense — which fell from a top-five team in assist rate with Rubio on the floor to a bottom-10 club with him off the court last season — will move the ball with so many scoring specialists sharing the court at once.There are a ton of kinks for this team to work through — all things considered, the Timberwolves’ defense could still be pretty bad — but to be fair, the Wolves also have a handful of factors that could play to their advantage. Unlike the LeBron James superteams that struggled out of the gate in Miami and Cleveland in 2010 and 2014, Butler is the only true star joining Minnesota this offseason. And because Towns and Wiggins have played alongside each other the past couple of seasons, the trio’s growing pains may not be as extreme to start.2Towns connected with Wiggins for seven outlet passes of 60 feet or farther last season, second in the NBA only to Kevin Love — the outlet-pass king — and LeBron James. Could Minnesota be the NBA’s next three-headed monster?Teams with three players who posted at least 25 percent usage over the season, since 1992 Among players with at least 30 minutes per game, minimum 50 gamesSource: ESPN Stats & Information Group Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/wigginstotowns.mp400:0000:0000:11Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/townstowiggins.mp400:0000:0000:12Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Beyond that, Butler is already familiar with Tom Thibodeau’s highly tactical schemes, having played for him in Chicago for the first four seasons of his career. “We’re very fortunate, because everybody already knows the system, which expedites the process 10-fold,” Towns said.Thibodeau suggested that he wasn’t concerned about who would create looks for whom in this offense. Striking the balance among several talented scorers “is a challenge that all good teams face,” he said. Thibodeau thinks Butler (who, at 5.5 assists per game last season, has upped his assists per game every year) is one of the best playmaking shooting guards in the NBA, and that Crawford, for all his 1-on-1 tries, is a tough cover when defenses trap him in pick-and-rolls.3Crawford averaged more points per possession than any other NBA player when teams trapped him in pick-and-roll scenarios last year, according to Synergy Sports.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/jamaltrappedagain.mp400:0000:0000:07Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/crawfordwhiletrapped.mp400:0000:0000:07Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.“Everyone has to play for each other, to sacrifice, and put the team first,” Thibodeau said. “So if you’re a primary scorer, and the second defender comes, without hesitation, you have to hit the open man. You have to trust each other.”And again, offense isn’t Minnesota’s chief concern. By all accounts, the Wolves should finish top 10 in the NBA on that side of the ball — but that’s a necessity for them to compete considering how bad their defense could be. The Wolves blew 22 double-digit leads and tied for fourth-worst in the association on that end last season. Butler and Taj Gibson could help the Timberwolves improve slightly on defense (though Rubio to Teague is a downgrade), but expecting a complete turnaround might be asking too much of Wiggins and Towns, who, despite being cornerstones, are still just 22 and 21 years old, respectively.This shoddy defense gives the Timberwolves’ offense very little margin, particularly late in games, when the club’s fourth-quarter offense goes stale and Minnesota becomes too reliant on perimeter jumpers with heavy, fatigued legs.The question of who will get the ball in crunch time looms large, especially for a team that somehow lost a whopping 30 games that were within 5 points during the final five minutes of play.“Obviously I think I’m a great scorer, and that I’m a great weapon. I think of myself as a No. 1 option,” Wiggins said. “We all think we’re the No. 1 option. Not in a selfish way. It’s more that we just know what we can do.” read more

NBA Free Agency Diary Fine Lets Pretend Kawhi Is On The Lakers

Keep track of the chaotic NBA offseason with our Free Agency Diary. Troy Daniels01500015-0.4-2.6-3.1 With Kawhi, the playoff Lakers would have major star powerProjected full-strength playoff depth chart for the 2019-20 Los Angeles Lakers, based on CARMELO plus/minus ratings YearTeamBest Players by Wins CreatedTeam Wins Created PLAYERPGSGSFPFCTOTALOFF. +/-DEF. +/-TOT. +/- 240+5.2+3.28.4 EXPECTED MINUTES PER GAMEPLAYER RATING Kawhi Leonard01485027+3.2+0.94.0 Dear NBA Diary,With each passing day that Kawhi Leonard remains unsigned, it seems like the media speculation only intensifies that he’ll join the Los Angeles Lakers. Why? For starters, Leonard is from the area originally, and the Lakers have been mentioned as a prime destination for Leonard going back years. Plus the Lakers themselves also seem to be mega-confident about their chances. Of course, the Raptors (the team Kawhi literally just won the title with) and Clippers (L.A.’s other team) are also reportedly pushing hard for his services, so nobody truly knows how real this Laker hype is. (Some reporters have even gone as far as to track Leonard’s flights across the country, looking for any possible clues about his decision, while ESPN’s Jalen Rose said Wednesday that he was “99 percent hearing” Leonard would return to Toronto. Again, who knows?)But but let’s say the Lakers’ dreams come true and Kawhi agrees to play with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. (My colleague Chris Herring wrote on Tuesday about how the Lakers have basically gambled their entire offseason on Leonard, so they’d better hope this happens.) Our CARMELO projections think the resulting team would have the league’s third-best regular-season offense and fourth-best overall roster — even while giving 24 of its 240 minutes per game to generic “replacement level” placeholders. Such a team would have a CARMELO rating of 1621, which roughly equates to 52.8 wins per 82 games.That number ranks second-best in the Western Conference, trailing only the Houston Rockets (59.8). But the real damage done by the hypothetical LeBron-AD-Kawhi Lakers would occur during the playoffs. As part of our spruced up CARMELO projections for 2019-20, we have added a “playoff adjustment” for individual players. We’ll have more on how this works soon, but it essentially gives extra credit in the playoffs to players who have a history of elevating their games during the postseason — and penalties to those who have a history of underperforming. And as it happens, both James (who gets a bonus of 1.5 points per 100 possessions in the playoffs) and Leonard (who gets a bonus of 0.8 points per 100) rank among the NBA players who improve most during the postseason.That’s why the team L.A. would hypothetically roll out in the playoffs rises to a CARMELO of 1717 and closes the gap versus Houston (1744 playoff CARMELO) for the best in the West. CARMELO team rating:1717 Replacement-level C000099-1.7+1.3-0.4 LeBron James1001910039+4.7+1.76.5 Alex Caruso20000020-0.9+0.8-0.1 Either way, the Lakers would make history in how they were created if they were to get Leonard. When the original Kawhi-to-L.A. rumors started flying last summer (at that time potentially teaming him with James and Paul George), I wrote about how the resulting Big Three could create a new paradigm — one forged from scratch. This prospective Big Three of James/Leonard/Davis would fit the same bill. If the Lakers win 60 games, they would instantly rank among the best teams (by the sum of team consensus Wins Created) since the merger whose three most valuable players all made their NBA debuts with other franchises: * An estimate of a player’s value based on an average of wins generated via Box Plus/Minus, Win Shares and Player Efficiency Rating.Source: Basketball-Reference.com 1999MIAA. Mourning • T. Hardaway • T. Porter57.2 Replacement-level PG18000018-0.7-1.0-1.7 Anthony Davis00013940+2.2+3.65.8 Talen Horton-Tucker0930012-2.3-0.9-3.2 2006DETC. Billups • B. Wallace • R. Wallace60.5 Jared Dudley00213015-1.6+0.4-1.2 Zach Norvell Jr.01000010-1.8-1.4-3.2 Kyle Kuzma001619035+0.4-0.9-0.5 Will the Lakers join this list of teams made from scratch?Best teams (by total consensus Wins Created* per 82 games) whose best three players all made their NBA debuts with other franchises 2000PORS. Pippen • S. Smith • R. Wallace60.4 1997ATLM. Blaylock • C. Laettner • D. Mutombo58.2 2008DETC. Billups • R. Wallace • R. Hamilton61.7 Expected wins:61.3 Team total All of this depends on Kawhi actually signing with the Lakers, of course. And if his free agency has taught us anything so far, it’s that the famously inscrutable Leonard isn’t giving anything away, even as the media hype builds around him. read more

The 2016 Cubs Were Only The 70th Most Dominant Team Ever

Chicago was outstanding at the beginning of the season and was briefly on pace to be one of the greatest teams of all time. After a 25-6 start — on pace for 131 wins! — they cooled considerably and actually had a losing record (28-29) in their next 57 games before the All-Star break. They closed out the season on a 50-23 run, a 110-win pace, but those midseason blues cost them a chance at the record books. Here’s how their Elo rating fluctuated over the course of the season, with the Indians added for reference:There’s some good news for the Cubs, though. For one, they won the World Series, the first for the team since 1908. Who cares about their Elo rating! But it’s also a lot harder to dominate MLB than it used to be. The best teams in baseball history, in terms of how well they performed in the league at the time, mostly come before the 1960s. Chicago is just the third team of the 2010s to crack the top 100 and the first Cubs team to do so since the 1930s: In fact, the 2016 Cubs were the most dominant baseball team since the 2009 Yankees, who ranked 33. Chicago might not be one of the greatest baseball teams in baseball history, but it’s one of the best in recent memory, and with a young, talented roster, there’s no reason to think they couldn’t match or beat their performance in 2017. Back at the start of the season, we ranked the dominance of every team in every season of MLB history using Elo ratings, a measure of relative team strength. The 1939 Yankees came in first, the 1906 Cubs second. Now that 2016 is done, where did this season’s Cubs place?Our updated rankings are below, but you’ll have to scroll a bit to find the 2016 Cubs: They came in 70th. read more

Buckeyes stay unbeaten in Big Ten with overtime win

The No. 24 Ohio State women’s soccer team (12-2-1, 6-0-0) got off to a slow start, but found a way to remain unbeaten in Big Ten play with an overtime win over No. 15 Minnesota (10-4-2, 2-3-1) Sunday. “Each win is just so exciting,” OSU coach Lori Walker said. “I’m very proud of my team for sticking with it today after we didn’t play our best soccer.” After a scoreless first half, the Golden Gophers got off to a 1-0 start when forward Tamara Strahota caught Buckeye goalkeeper Rachel Middleman out of position and converted on an assist from midfielder Molly Rouse in the 57th minute. Minnesota kept the ball in Buckeye territory for the majority of the second half, but OSU forward Paige Maxwell shifted momentum when she scored her eighth goal of the season off of an assist from defender Liz Sullivan to tie the game up in the 82nd minute of regulation. The difference-maker came in the first minute of overtime when midfielder Lauren Steuer passed the ball to a sprinting Lauren Granberg in stride, who then beat Minnesota goalkeeper Cat Parkhill for the game-winner. Granberg said she went into overtime looking to make up for a missed opportunity late in the game, which would have given the Buckeyes the lead close to the end of regulation. “That was huge,” Granberg said. “I had a chance at the end of regulation and I didn’t finish, so I knew I had to go into overtime and get it done for my team.” The game was a physical one, with both teams combining for 19 fouls. Walker said she was happy with the way her team responded and that games like this bring out the best in her team. “Minnesota is a team that plays hard, but they play clean,” Walker said. “Those are the kind of teams we play our best soccer against.” The win keeps OSU in sole possession of first place in the conference, with four games remaining on the schedule. Granberg said that despite remaining undefeated in conference play, the team isn’t looking ahead to a potential Big Ten championship. “It was a big win for us,” Granberg said. “But we just need to concentrate on our next opponent and focus on that because we haven’t won anything yet.” read more

Strings attached Terrelle Pryor cleared for draft assessed punishment by NFL

Former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor was declared eligible for the NFL supplemental draft, now scheduled for Monday, in a Thursday announcement by the NFL.Pryor has also been assessed a punishment by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and, if drafted, will be suspended from games and practices through Week 5 of the NFL season, according to an NFL press release.After begin drafted and signed to a contract, Pryor would be allowed to fully participate in the remainder of preseason, though.David Cornwell, Pryor’s attorney, did not immediately respond to The Lantern’s request for a comment.After initially agreeing to a suspension for the first five games of OSU’s upcoming season, Pryor departed the university on June 7 to pursue a professional football career. His departure came just days after former head coach Jim Tressel was forced to resign from his position. Pryor was then declared ineligible for intercollegiate athletics in a July 26 letter from OSU athletic director Gene Smith.The NFL press release, which confirmed that all 32 NFL clubs have been informed of Pryor’s draft eligibility, said:“NFL clubs were informed that Pryor made decisions that undermine the integrity of the eligibility rules for the NFL Draft.  Those actions included failing to cooperate with the NCAA and hiring an agent in violation of NCAA rules.  This resulted in Ohio State declaring him ineligible to continue playing college football. Pryor then applied to enter the NFL after regular draft.  Pryor had accepted at the end of the 2010 college football season a suspension for the first five games of the 2011 season for violating NCAA rules.“In his decision allowing Pryor to enter the Supplemental Draft, (Goodell) determined that Pryor will be ineligible to practice prior to or play in the first five games of the NFL regular season after he signs.  Pryor may be selected in the Supplemental Draft, negotiate and sign a contract with an NFL club, and fully participate in the remainder of the preseason.”From his Twitter account, @TerrellePryor, Pryor tweeted at approximately 9:30 a.m.: “God bless and thanks for support! Time to have a little fun!!”Pryor joins five other players in Monday’s draft, which is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. read more

Jordan Sibert to transfer from Ohio State

Former Ohio State men’s basketball guard Jordan Sibert was released from his scholarship and will seek to transfer from the university, an OSU spokesman announced Monday. He plans to continue his basketball career at another institution, but hasn’t decided where he will transfer. “I’ve decided to transfer after discussing my future goals with family and my coaches,” Sibert said in a press release. “I would like to find a school where I can make an impact on the court. I will miss my teammates, my coaches and the fans. I will always be a Buckeye.” Sibert, who attended Princeton High School in Cincinnati, played two years under coach Thad Matta and averaged 2.5 points and 1.4 rebounds in fewer than 10 minutes a game. Sibert started the season as one of the first players Matta used off the bench, but about midway through the season, freshmen guards Sam Thompson and Shannon Scott started seeing more playing time and Sibert’s minutes declined. Matta said he supports Sibert’s decision. “Jordan has worked to improve since he became a Buckeye two years ago,” Matta said in a release. “He has represented our program well and we wish him the best.” Sibert is the second Buckeye that will transfer from the OSU basketball team that went 31-8 and reached the Final Four during the 2011-12 season. Former sophomore forward J.D. Weatherspoon also announced his plans to transfer Monday. read more

Urban Meyer named Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year finalist

After leading Ohio State to a perfect season, Urban Meyer is a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, according to the Football Writers Association of America. In his first year in Columbus, Meyer led the Buckeyes to a 12-0 record and their first undefeated season since 2002. His nomination for the honor, which is given to college football’s best coach, isn’t anything new. Meyer, who is the sport’s second-winningest active Football Bowl Subdivision coach, won the award after leading Utah to a 12-0 mark in 2004. While at Florida, Meyer was nominated for the accolade in 2008 – a season that saw him lead the Gators to a national championship. Meyer joins Gary Andersen (Utah State), Dave Doeren (Northern Illinois), Brian Kelly (Notre Dame), Will Muschamp (Florida), Bill O’Brien (Penn State), David Shaw (Stanford), Bill Snyder (Kansas State) and Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M) as finalists for the award. Fellow Big Ten coach O’Brien was named the conference’s Coach of the Year on Nov. 27 after guiding the Nittany Lions to a 8-4 record this season. Among the nine coaches, only Meyer and Kelly led their respective teams to 12-0 records. While OSU is barred from the year’s postseason because of NCAA violations and subsequent penalties, the Fighting Irish are scheduled to play Alabama (12-1) in the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 7. 2013. Meyer’s Buckeyes are ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press top 25 poll behind No. 1 Notre Dame and the No. 2 Alabama. read more