As always, there is a lot happening in the world of sports. We’re giving you a college football playoff game preview and other riveting highlights so you have something other than your New Year’s Resolutions to talk about while counting down to 2016.
3-2-1, Happy New Year,
The LNG Team
NBA (National Basketball Association)
- Not even close. The starting line ups for the NBA All-Star game are voted by the fans. Kobe Bryant is in the lead since he announced retirement. The player with the second highest number of votes is more than 200,000 votes behind Bryant.
Let your voice be heard. Vote by clicking here. Voting ends January 18th and the game is on February 14th.
- Bear attack. Memphis Grizzlies’ guard Matt Barnes has been suspended two games for incident in the off-season when he found out via FaceTime with his kids that former teammate and current New York Knicks coach, Derek Fisher, was romantically involved with his ex-wife and physically confronted him.
- For all the NBA scores, click here.
NCAA Football (College)
- The final four. Two of the New Year's Eve football games are the most important games of the season as these are the playoff games which determine the two teams who will play in the National Championship Game. The winners will play for the glory on January 11 in University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ.
- Orange Bowl
- University of Oklahoma Sooners (#4) play University of Clemson Tigers (#1) in Miami in the Orange Bowl at 4 pm (EST) on the 31st on ESPN. Oklahoma is currently favored to win the game by three points according to Las Vegas sports books.
- University of Oklahoma Sooners
- Oklahoma is the Big 12 Champion after a 12-1 season (wins – loses). Their one loss came to bitter rival University of Texas (5 - 7).
- They feature an explosive offense lead by quarterback Baker Mayfield (who finished fourth in Heisman voting).
- Clemson Tigers
- Clemson won the ACC championship with an undefeated season. Clemson is known for their strong defense and potent offense. Quarterback Deshaun Watson is a sophomore who finished third in Heisman voting.
- Clemson’s defensive coordinator, Brent Venables, won a National Championship while working under current Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops, at Oklahoma from 1999-2011.
- The x-factor
- Clemson suspended three players Tuesday due to failed drug tests. Most notable player Deon Cain who is second leading receiver on the team.
- Cotton Bowl
- Michigan State Spartans (#3) will play University of Alabama Crimson Tide (#2) in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas at Cowboys Stadium at 8 pm (EST) on ESPN. Alabama is currently favored to win by 10 points in Las Vegas sports books.
- Michigan State Spartans
- Michigan State finished 12-1 winning the big 10 conference. The team is led by a strong defense and senior quarterback Connor Cook.
- Alabama Crimson Tide
- Alabama finished 12-1, winning the SEC conference. They feature a strong defense. The running game is led by Heisman winning running back, Derrick Henry. Alabama’s head coach Nick Saban Is considered by many the best coach in college football.
- Notable bowl games (all times are EST)
- December 31st
- Houston (#18) vs Florida State (#9) in the Peach Bowl, 12 pm on ESPN
- Oklahoma (#4) vs Clemson (#1) in the Orange Bowl, 4 pm on ESPN
- Michigan State (#3) vs Alabama (#2) in the Cotton Bowl, 8 pm on ESPN
- January 1st
- Northwestern (#13) vs Tennessee (#23) in the Outback Bowl, 12 pm on ESPN 2
- Michigan (#14) vs Florida (#19) in the Citrus Bowl, 1 pm on ABC
- Ohio State (#7) vs Notre Dame (#8) in the Fiesta Bowl, 10 pm on ESPN
- Stanford (#6) vs Iowa (#5) in the Rose Bowl, 5 pm on ESPN
- Oklahoma State (#16) vs Ole Miss (#12) in the Sugar Bowl, 8:30 pm on ESPN
- December 31st
- For all of the college football scores click here.
- Orange Bowl
NFL (National Football League)
- You’re Fired. Typically, NFL head coaches will be fired on what is called "Black Monday," the first Monday after regular season (January 4th). Start updating those resumes.
- No longer a soaring eagle. Philadelphia Eagles fire head coach Chip Kelly with one game remaining in the season. The Eagles season was a big disappointment as they missed the playoffs this year when they were expected to be Super Bowl contenders. Kelly was not only the head coach but was also in charge of all personal moves on the team which ultimately lead to his demise after three seasons.
Don't feel bad for Kelly as the Tennessee Titans are in need of a coach and it just so happens their starting quarterback Marcus Mariotta was brought to prominence under Kelly during his time at the University of Oregon.
- For all of the NFL scores, click here.
- In Men’s College Basketball, University of Iowa (unranked) beats #1 ranked and undefeated Michigan State at home (83-70). While this is big, it’s not an indicator of the season as Michigan State is without their best player Denzel Valentine, who is for a month with a knee injury.
- New York Yankees have traded for the Cincinnati Reds all-star closer Aroldis Chapman. Chapman is known for pitching extremely fast, consistently throwing over 100 mph. Although this is a risky move due to domestic dispute that took place in October. No charges were filed but the disciplinary sentence from MLB has not been determined.
- The Rose Bowl is played between the champions of the PAC 12 and Big 10, unless the champion is playing in the final four. In this case the Big 10 Champion is Michigan State. Therefore, Iowa is playing in the Rose Bowl.