Good morning everyone but especially to…
THE PURDUE BOILERS
Led by the shoo-in player of the year? Check. The first team to be unanimously No. 1 in the AP Poll this season? Check also.
#1 Purdue he received all 62 first-place votes in Monday’s AP Top 25 after batting Michigan And State of Michigan last week while then no. 2 Alabama be swept away by Oklahoma. Here are all the top five:
- 1. Purdue (prev. 1)
- 2. Tennessee (prev. 4)
- 3. Houston (prev. 3)
- 4. Alabama (prev. 2)
- 5. Arizona (prev. 6)
The Boilermakers also top the Coaches Poll and our Gary Parrish’s Top 25 And 1, thanks in large part to (like, 7-foot-4 wide) dominant center Zach Edey. Our own Matt Norlander watched Edey go for 38 points and 13 rebounds in the win over Michigan State and was impressed, to say the least.
Purdue also takes the top spot in our Jerry Palm’s latest Bracketology, e Jerry says the gap is growing. Also on its line 1 currently are Alabama, state of Kansas And Arizona. You can see his full field of 68 here.
Purdue’s eight-game hitting streak is the longest active by any major conference team, but the Boilermakers will have to be on top this week. They host a solid Penn State team tomorrow and then head to No. 21 Indiana over the weekend in a must-play game. If you want a sneak peek at all of this week’s must-play games from yours truly, click here.
And it’s not a good morning for…
BROCK PURDY AND THE SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
The dreaded back-to-back “isn’t that a good morning” hits the 49ers. One day after being crushed, 31-7, since Eagles in the NFC Championship Game, San Francisco found out Brock Purdi has a torn UCL in his pitching elbow, an injury sustained in the first quarter on Sunday. He will be out for at least six months.
- Purdy, the revelation of the seventh round rookie who he went 7-1 (including the playoffs) as a starterhe got hurt when Jason Reddick it popped and pushed through Purdy’s arm as he tried to throw, resulting in a fumble.
- Josh Johnson he replaced Purdy but then suffered a head injury, forcing Purdy back into the game even though he could not bowl the ball more than a few yards downfield.
- The six month timeline is an estimate for now, like Purdy is getting a second opinion about whether he needs surgery. The 49ers reportedly want him to have the surgery, and both sides are hoping he can avoid reconstructive surgery (aka Tommy John).
This is a big blow to the 49erswho are about to embark on a strange offseason, which we talked about on Monday. Three Spears had to undergo a second ankle surgery and the most accomplished quarterback on the roster, Jimmy Garoppolohe’s set to be a free agent, which means they’re in it no healthy, active quarterbacks under contract.
All three should be ready for next season, but that’s still far from ideal. The 49ers probably won’t (or at least don’t want to) re-sign Garoppolo considering the resources they have invested in Lance and the success Purdy has had. But now they have very little margin for error. What if Lance has to struggle again and Purdy – who will miss at least most of the offseason – isn’t right? With hours left in their season, the 49ers already have a lot of uncertainty regarding the upcoming season.
Not so honorable mentions
NFL playoff underdog rankings and how they can reach the next step
Making the playoffs is an impressive achievement, but not all playoff teams are created equal. Some entered the postseason with legitimate Super Bowl hopes and others (though they’d never admit it) were playing for the house money.
So which of the 12 teams that will lose this postseason is best positioned to make next year’s Super Bowl? Our own Cody Benjamin looked at that exact question, ranking them 12 to 1, and first place is no surprise.
- Benjamin: “1. Bengal — They’re the dull pick as they’ve now been to back-to-back AFC titles, but it’s hard not to trust them Joe Butter and Co. to return to the big stage at some point. … If they can finally assemble a sturdier front end, and presumably they have Ja’Marr Chase healthier for the course of a full season, they should hold control at the top of the AFC North.”
Each of the top three and four of the top five are AFC teams, but to find out who’s who, you’ll need to read up on the history here.
Speaking of teams that made the playoffs but didn’t make the Super Bowl, the Battery charger he took a big step forward in building next year’s squad by taking on the former Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore to the same role.
This is a very strong contract for the Chargers. In four years under Moore (2019-22), the Cowboys offense ranked in the top 10 in several major categories, including…
- Second in points per game
- Second in yards per game
- Fourth in expected offensive points added per game
This, of course, was in spite of Dak Prescott losing significant time in two of those four seasons. Basically, there’s a reason Moore has been a head coaching candidate for the past few offseasons. He now he gets to work with Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen And Mike Williamsamong others.
Expect more much needed downfield chances for Herbert. Over the past four seasons, the Cowboys have ranked 11th in aerial yards per target. Last season, Herbert was 31st in that category.
Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Hull dies at 84
Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Hull died on Monday at the age of 84. The official cause of his death is not known. The hull was a 12-time NHL All-Star during his 15 seasons with the Blackhawks from 1957-58 to 1971-72, and he led Chicago to a Stanley Cup title in 1961. His 604 career goals remain a franchise record.
- He won the Art Ross Trophy (top scorer) three times and the Hart Memorial Trophy (most valuable player) twice.
- Following his time with the Blackhawks, he joined the Winnipeg Jets of the World Hockey Association, where he would play until 1978-79. After the NHL and WHA merged, he played one last season with the Jets and the Hartford Whalers.
- Hull, nicknamed “The Golden Jet” for his blond hair and speed skating, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983, the same year the Blackhawks retired his number.
- Bobby Hull’s son Brett was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009. They are the only father-son duo to both win the Hart Trophy.
Off the ice, Bobby Hull faced allegations of domestic abuse from two of his three wives. His third wife, Deborah, filed complaints about a 1984 incident, but eventually dropped them. Hull also pleaded guilty to attempting to punch a police officer during his arrest. In 1998, Hull was criticized for saying that the black population was growing too fast in America and that “Hitler had some good ideas” but “went a little too far” in an interview with the Moscow Times.
In 2008, Hull was named a Chicago team ambassador. The team cut ties with him in 2022.
What are we watching on Tuesday
Inter v Atalanta2:30pm on Paramount+ Lakers to Knicks7:30pm on TNT No. 21 Indiana to Maryland9pm on ESPN 2 Pelicans at Nuggets10pm on TNT #22 San Diego State Nevada11 p.m. on CBS Sports Network