Sugar Bowl – 3 Best Storylines


by Ricky Winnor

1 –Can Oklahoma Simply Make The Game Close?

The best thing to say about the 2014 Sugar Bowl is that it is a matchup of two classic schools in college football, two programs that convey a lot of history, tradition and excellence. Yet, Oklahoma’s name isn’t accompanied by the same on-field strength that Alabama can point to. Alabama was a legitimate national championship contender. The Crimson Tide came so close to a perfect regular season, but they were upended by Auburn on a 109-yard field goal return for a touchdown on the final play of the game, one of the most improbable occurrences in the long history of college football. Alabama led the game, 21-7, and had numerous chances to put the game away in the fourth quarter. 
Head coach Nick Saban inexplicably passed up a chip-shot field goal that would have given his team a 10-point lead midway through the fourth quarter. Everything about the game pointed to an Alabama win… until the very end, when Auburn scrambled to tie and then ran back a field goal into the history books. Alabama is a colossus in college football, even with that loss on its back. Oklahoma got trampled by Texas and roughed up by Baylor. The Sooners did extremely well to win 10 games this season in the face of a lot of injuries, but their defensive front seven will still be without a top lineman, Jordan Phillips, and an elite linebacker, Corey Nelson. 
How will Oklahoma possibly be able to withstand the acknowledged physical power of Alabama in the trenches? How will Oklahoma quarterbacks Blake Bell and Trevor Knight (whoever winds up starting this game) be able to hold up under the pressure they’re likely to receive from Alabama’s front four? How will Oklahoma’s receivers get open? How will Oklahoma’s running backs find holes in Alabama’s defense? How will Oklahoma’s defensive line be able to generate enough pressure on Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron? There is simply no matchup on the field where Oklahoma appears to have an advantage. This feels like a mismatch, and it’s up to Oklahoma to change a lot of minds.

2 –Being Disrespected: Oklahoma’s One Hope

The best online betting software makes your life somewhat easier, and that’s important. Yet, the real thing that makes your life easier as a bettor is to win. Alabama seems like the obvious choice, but one thing that does happen in bowl games is that an underdog plays with a ton of passion and flies around the field because it thinks it is being disrespected. Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops has made a lot of harsh statements about the SEC over the years. Now he gets to face an SEC team in a bowl game, and you know his team will be fired up. Will this be able to shift the balance of power?

3 – The Alabama Letdown Factor

When you go to,you grow in understanding. Alabama will try to grow in this game by showing that it can play with pride and determination even after being denied a chance to compete for a third straight national championship. If Alabama sulks through this game, the Crimson Tide could lose. We’ll see if this team is ready to regroup.

The Top Contenders For the 2013-14 NHL General Manager Of The Year Award


The top sports betting sites think it is about time for the panel that votes for the General Manager of the Year Award in the NHL to dig a little deeper and really recognize top talent. Last season was only the fourth time this award was handed out and it was given to Ray Shero of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Shero built that Penguins’ franchise into the juggernaut it is some time ago. This season, there are several general managers that deserve recognition for the jobs they have done. Only one can be crowned the General Manager of the Year and the folks who frequent the website are hoping to see a real NHL mastermind get the award this season.

George McPhee – Washington Capitals

Just when you think the Washington Capitals are going to sink to the bottom of the league standings again, along comes new players to boost the team to the top. George McPhee has been the man behind the curtain for the Capitals since 1997, but his string of personnel moves over the past four or five years have been pretty brilliant. One of the things that McPhee has become renowned for is not sticking with a player or coach for longer than is necessary. Semyon Varlalmov and Dale Hunter will attest to that. McPhee makes some very good moves and it is about time he is recognized for them.

Stan Bowman – Chicago Blackhawks

In 2009, the NHL was all but dead in Chicago. Fans were flocking to see the surging Chicago Bulls of the NBA, but almost no one cared about the Chicago Blackhawks. Four years later, Stan Bowman has two Stanley Cups to his credit and a roster that threatens to win another Cup. The mere fact that Bowman has been able to retain a roster full of superstars speaks volumes to his abilities as a general manager. The guy that put together the most dominant team in the NHL for the past three years deserves recognition.

Dean Lombardi – Los Angeles Kings

The Los Angeles Kings seemed to burst onto the scene two seasons ago and steal the Stanley Cup. The truth is that Dean Lombardi carefully put together a roster of players and a coaching staff that will keep Los Angeles competitive for a long time. It is no accident that Lombardi put Jonathan Quick, Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar on the same team. The man knows talent and he also knows how to blend that talent together into a winning team.

Chuck Fletcher – Minnesota Wild

The more that Chuck Fletcher does to improve the Minnesota Wild, the more impressed people are with his skills as a general manager. The Wild have made some pretty savvy moves over the past couple of years, but it isn’t just the moves that Fletcher has made that should earn him this honor. It is his ability to stay out of the talks with big name players who want more money than they are worth that should also rank him high in the voting.

Author Bio:

Rick Tildor is a sports expert and betting enthusiast who loves to swap predictions with fellow fans on his blog. While recently searching for the top sports betting sites online, he came across and was extremely impressed by their services. He highly recommends their website,, to anyone interested in maximizing their live online sports betting experience.


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