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Bowl projection roundup

Written by Sam Werner on .

So, understandably, the most common question I've gotten this week — in my chat and on Twitter — is what bowl Pitt will be playing in, and who the opponent will be. The best answer is "No one knows. We'll find out on Sunday." But here's a bit more context to fill that in with. First, here's a link to my story from Monday's paper about what Pitt's options are in terms of bowl selection. Second, here's a quick rundown of where some major publications have the Panthers slotted to go. Keep in mind that even the most sophisticated bowl projection is still just an educated guess at this point, and that things could change (possibly significantly) depending on Saturday's results, especially if Georgia Tech upsets Florida State. One thing I'd also like to debunk real quickly is that there's virtually no possibility of Pitt getting left out of a bowl entirely. It's just not going to happen. Even if the ACC has more teams than slots, other conferences won't, and Pitt will be able to get one of those. It wouldn't be a good look for the ACC to have one of its bowl-eligible teams left out of the postseason, so there's no way the league would let that happen. It was much more likely to have happened last year and still didn't.

Now, here are some projections:

ESPN: New Orleans Bowl (New Orleans; Dec. 20) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette OR Quick Lane Bowl (Detroit; Dec. 26) vs. Penn State

CBS: Military Bowl (Annapolis, Md.; Dec. 27) vs. East Carolina

FOX: Military Bowl vs. East Carolina

Sports Illustrated: Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl (St. Petersburg, Fla.; Dec. 26) vs. Cincinnati

Phil Steele: Cactus Bowl (Tempe, Ariz.; Jan. 2) vs. Washington

Sporting News: Camelia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.; Dec. 20) vs. Toledo

USA Today: Duck Commander Independence Bowl (Shreveport, La.; Dec. 27) vs. Arkansas

Yahoo!: Military Bowl vs. Cincinnati

SB Nation: Quick Lane Bowl vs. Illinois

NFL.com: New Orleans Bowl vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

So there you have it. Things are sort of all over the board, with the Military Bowl appearing to get the most love. I would say in that case, a matchup against East Carolina would not be good for Pitt. The Pirates play a spread system that could give the Panthers fits on defense, and I could see Shane Carden tearing up the Pitt secondary. But that's a discussion for another day.

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Schock on Adams: 'I hope he plays 700 in a row' - 12-03-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Two weeks shy of his 71st birthday, Ron Schock is still a hard worker.

Owner and operator of his own landscaping business near Rochester, N.Y., the former Penguins captain enjoys his line of work.

"It keeps me trim," said Schock.

That kind of mentality helped Schock become a successful NHLer in the 1960s and 1970s when there were fewer teams and fewer jobs. It also led to him being the Penguins' unofficial "ironman." From Oct. 24, 1973 until April 3, 1977, he played in 313 consecutive regular season games. That mark remains the franchise's record ... for the time being.

Assuming he's in the lineup tomorrow, right winger Craig Adams will tie the record when the Penguins meet the Vancouver Canucks at Consol Energy Center. Adams could break the record with Saturday's home contest against the Ottawa Senators.

Earlier this week, Schock, who was the franchise's third captain, talked about his record, his time with the Penguins and Adams.

What went into playing that many games in a row?

In order to play a bunch of games together, you have to be fairly lucky and injury free. It's a little bit of luck that comes with it.”

Was having that streak and record a point of pride for you?

"I actually considered myself a working player. It was a great pleasure to play and practice. I showed up for work hopefully on the road and home the same every night. I loved playing the game. The numbers of game doesn't particularly matter to me but it is somewhat of a milestone because not many people put that number [of games] together."

The streak came to an end before the 1977-78 season when you were traded to the Sabres. What was your reaction to the deal?

"I would think it would be anger. I actually thought at that particular time I would spend my playing days, the rest of them, in the Pittsburgh organization. I didn't expect to be traded. And it was an odd time. I was traded the first day of training camp, or the second day."

You were on a line here in Pittsburgh with Eddie Shack and Ken Schinkel which was popular for your last names.

"It was the days before all the foreign players and the names were like 'Smith.' It was hard to put the three [names beginning with S] together for the announcers."

How different was the game then compared to today?

The rules have changed a little bit but the players have also. The players are faster. The equipment is better. They're better trained than the players back then. There was a lot of open-ice play at that time. A lot of it today, I don't know how well an older player [from the 1970s] would do because its between the corners and along the boards. Lots of scrambles and close-in goals. You don't see the clear-cut plays. But I do like the rule changes that have come along. Getting rid of the red line a bit.

Do you still watch the Penguins?

"One of the teams when its on television up here I watch is the Pittsburgh Penguins because they're exciting. They move the puck and absolutely work hard. I met the new coach [Mike Johnson] at [owner Mario Lemieux's] golf tournament in the summer. Had breakfast with him. I liked him. I just knew the new guy would fit right in and he has. He went about it low key and [the players] play hard for him."

Are you aware Craig Adams has a chance at breaking your record? Are you sad to see it be broken after so many years?

"Oh, I hope he plays 700 in a row. Those records and things are kept track of more by the media than the particular player. I don't know if he can put together 500 more games there but I'd be happy for him. Now if everybody in the record book, they were going to pay $500,000 to, I may have a different opinion.”

Your former teammate, Jim Rutherford is now the general manager of the team."

"I always got along well with Jimmy. He came in and had to make some tough moves and tough choices and he did them. Maybe he was the right guy for that job."

Have you been to any games in Pittsburgh in recent years?

"Not in a while I haven't been to a game there. I have an open invitation from [former teammate] Pierre Larouche to come down and join him for a game any time I'm in town."

Are you retired or do you still work?

"I own a landscaping company and I still work. I'll probably work about … I don't know … three or four more years. I don't do too much in the winter and I find it very boring doing nothing. I'm not sure at the present time if I'm a good candidate for retirement. There's not enough for me to do."

How much have you kept tabs on the record over the years?

"I do know about the fellow approaching that record. A couple of people that were fans they mentioned it was in the paper. They sent me a copy of the little blurb about the record being in danger. ... If you do run in to him, tell him I said I hope he has another 500 good games in succession."

(Photo: Penguins Hockey Cards)

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Can't let it go? No worries as new Frozen short paired with Cinderella

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

frozenlogobvA new Disney short called “Frozen Fever” will open in theaters March 13, 2015, in front of the live-action “Cinderella.”

“Frozen Fever” will reunite Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf. It’s directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee and will have a new original song by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. It’s the first project reuniting the Oscar-winning team.

In the short, it’s Anna’s birthday, and Elsa and Kristoff are determined to give her the best celebration ever but Elsa’s icy powers may put more than the party at risk, according to an announcement made today by Disney.

As for “Cinderella,” it’s a live-action feature inspired by the fairy tale. It stars Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Madden, Stellan Skarsgard, Holliday Grainger, Derek Jacobi and Helena Bonham Carter. Kenneth Branagh directs a Chris Weitz screenplay. Below is an image from the new "Cinderella."

Cinderella - Ella and Prince

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Conner named ACC Player of the Year

Written by Sam Werner on .

Pitt running back James Conner was named the ACC's Player of the Year today, beating out Florida State quarterback and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston.

It caps off a historic year for Conner, who finished the regular season Saturday with 1,675 yards and 24 rushing touchdowns -- a new Pitt and ACC single-season record.

"I'm greatly honored and humbled to receive this honor," Conner said in a statement. "I want to thank my coaches, teammates and especially my offensive linemen who did such a great job blocking this year. I also want to thank the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association for selecting me for this award. Finally, I want to thank all of our great Pitt fans for their support. They share in this honor, too."

Conner finished with 16 votes in the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association's voting, besting Winston's 13.

Conner also picked up the league's Offensive Player of the Year award by a 23-16 margin over Winston. Earlier this week, he was named to the media's all-ACC first team, receiving the most votes of any player at any position.

"We are tremendously proud of James and all that he achieved this season," Pitt coach Paul Chryst said in a statement. "In addition to his production on the field, James has been an excellent teammate and leader. I know our entire program takes pride in James receiving this prestigious honor."

It's the second consecutive year a Pitt player has earned an ACC individual award, as defensive tackle Aaron Donald was the league's Defensive Player of the Year in 2013.

Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year, beating out Louisville safety Gerod Holliman.

Here's the full voting results, courtesy of ESPN:

Player of the Year (votes in parentheses)
1. James Conner, RB, Pitt (16)
2. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State (13)
3. Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson (8)
4. Gerod Holliman, S, Louisville (6)
5. Duke Johnson, RB, Miami (5)
t6. Rashad Greene, WR, Florida State (2)
t6. Justin Thomas, QB, Georgia Tech (2)
t6. Marquise Williams, QB, North Carolina (2)
9. Quayshawn Nealy, LB, Georgia Tech (1)

Offensive Player of the Year
1. Conner (23)
2. Winston (16)
3. Johnson (7)
4. Greene (4)
5. Thomas (3)
6. Williams (2)

Defensive Player of the Year
1. Beasley (24)
2. Holliman (20)
3. Denzel Perryman, LB, Miami (7)
t4. David Helton, LB, Duke (2)
t4. Nealy (2)

 

 

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Winter carrots!

Written by Doug Oster on .

winter carrots'Sunshine Mix' carrots from Renee's Garden Seeds are a wonderful winter treat. Photo by Doug Oster

The December garden continues to churn out produce. These 'Sunshine Mix' carrots from Renee's Garden Seeds were planted at the end of the summer and were never thinned.

If I would have taken the time to pull out the little carrots, these would have been much bigger. Still, I got some nice sized roots here.

The 'Sunshine Mix' produce pretty orange and yellow carrots. When they were dug, the sweet aroma was wonderful.

Maybe you left some carrots, radishes, beets or other root crop in the garden. If you did, get out there with a spade and take a look, you might be surprised at what you find.

These carrots will be a treat for the family tonight served raw. There's nothing like fresh food out of the garden, especially in winter.

Next post will be all about winter seeding. It's an easy way to be the first to pick spring crops.

 

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