ST. LOUIS, MO
St.Louis University ended their search for a head coach and hired recently dispatched Travis Ford. Ford time ran out while coaching at the University of Oklahoma State for eight seasons. I like the hire of Travis Ford for several reasons. One is he is very familiar with the territory in the region. The Kentucky native started his collegiate career playing for then former Missouri Tigers head coach Norm Stewart for only one season. The 5-foot-9 Ford won Big Eight Freshman of the Year and looked like he was going to be a fixture in the Tigers lineup, but he transferred to his home state school the Kentucky Wildcats. He sat out a year and closed out his collegiate career with back to back SEC Tournament MVP awards. Another reason I think this is a good hire for Saint Louis University is that he knows the Atlantic-10 Conference very well posting a 62-35 record while coaching at UMass for three seasons, which led to him accepting the same position as head coach for the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Big-12.
Now even though I like the hire doesn’t mean that there aren’t any concerns. While he coached at Oklahoma State his non-conference record was not a pretty sight. He went 55-65 and only once won more than 10 games in a conference. And that one time when he did have over 10 victories his team just unraveled in that 2012-13 season that featured now Boston Celtics point guard Marcus Smart and a very athletic Markel Brown who posterized the Missouri Tigers before they exited the Big-12 and landed in the SEC conference.
The hire of Travis Ford is a big upgrade from now fired coach Jim Crews. It was very painful to watch SLU play basketball under Crews. There is no real description of what of what they were trying to get accomplished on offense. You couldn’t even say they were vanilla on offense, because even vanilla has a flavor. This team labored in half court sets and often looked confused or fearful of taking uncontested shots. No defensive intensity, nothing in transition, and a slam dunk was as common as a Bigfoot sighting. There are plenty of athletes already on the team roster presently, they just need to be coached up better. And I’m interested to see how the adjustment period will be for not just Ford, but for the remaining players and newcomers to the program.
And it sure didn’t take long for some in the St.Louis media to say that he needs to recruit. Really? All coaches have to recruit and that’s something that Ford has. He has that proof of performance when it comes to recruiting. He managed to land some major recruits at his most recent job. I have no doubt that he’ll be able to recruit at SLU, but for the meantime he is what these players need. Plus you have to always keep in mind that sometimes as a coach you can stay at a place to long and the message start getting stale.
The Saint Louis Billikens instantly became more competitive with this hire and the timing of the hire was perfect for SLU. Because, had the Missouri Tigers dispatched Kim Anderson, Ford would’ve made a good fit there for the same reason why I feel he was the right hire in this case. Now SLU have themselves a head coach and the spirit is renewed about the possibility of the program returning to respectability and being taken serious instead of being looked at in such a condescending manner. Maybe even carry the mantle as the top college program in the state of Missouri for the first time since bread was sliced. Especially, with the direction of where NCAA men’s basketball is heading with the rise of Mid-Major schools versus the larger programs with one and done players. Travis Ford needed to have a reboot. And SLU needed a reboot. We’ll see how they start walking in those boots this fall. For more sports, follow me @thelegendkil and @NTheZoneShow.
Photo courtesy of Fox2Now.
Time for the 14th edition of The A-Train Rant…hope your sports weekend was good, here at A-Train’s home…umm hell no.
That’s why I’m hear to rant about it…enjoy.
PRE-RANT: I always look forward to what Kevin Slaten has to say about Missouri sports…ALWAYS. Some things I like, others I don’t. He can be sane, he can be crazy. He’s entertaining. He makes sure you have something to say (if you listen to him). Check out “Slaten Unleashed” on TalkSTL.com every weekday from 3pm-6pm. Sometimes it’s good to be antagonizing, other times not. Still a sight to see each weekday afternoon.
- I’m cheering for Florida State in the national championship. Auburn did what they had to do in the SEC title game but I’m going against them.
- Welcome back, Kobe Bryant. Am I being nice to Jellybean? In this case, yes. Just hope it doesn’t bite him in his ass making this triumphant return and winds up going back on the shelf.
- Speaking of injuries, I would be happy that Rob Gronkowski got hurt…but I can’t. The reason is because you’re seeing a long trend of top players get hurt. I understand football players take pain and so do other athletes, but when is it smart to comeback and play again?
- I had no idea that baseball managers could get in the Hall of Fame so easily…Tony LaRussa, Joe Torre, and Bobby Cox are in.
- I guess I’m supposed to be thrilled for the Lambs (yeah I called them that) right now. Thanks to a friend, I understand Jeff Fisher. He has no control of his damn team. Several games this season, this bum ass team decides they want to fight their opposition. FOR WHAT? Is that supposed to fire up the team? In at least 4 of the games I saw they got in fights and grabbed a plethora of penalties. No control whatsoever. NONE. I understand this team has no QB, yeah no quarterback and I guess those draft picks are looking nicer every day. Thanks Washington.
- Mizzou football will be in great shape, the day they get a different coach. Pinkel can’t win big games. He sucks bad. Last 2 conference championship games he’s been in, he gets smoked. Then has no idea how that ever happened. However, Mizzou had an unforgettable season, can’t take away what they did.
- Speaking of Mizzou, shoutout to CBS Sports for having a Mizzou Saturday…great win for the Men’s program beating 18th-ranked UCLA.
- Cano and Ellsbury got paid. I still hate Cano.
- Good bye, Roy Halladay. Halladay announced his retirement after 16 seasons. I will never forget his 2010 season, Halladay threw a perfect game and then a no-hitter in the postseason. Shame he didn’t get a ring while in Philly. He had no chance in Toronto. NONE.
- The death of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling is near, they lost their biggest acquisition in AJ Styles.
- Please Daniel Snyder, do us all a favor and put Mike Shanahan out of his misery.
- Rudy Gay going to the Sacramento Kings does nothing for them. You got a bighead jackass in DeMarcus Cousins. Unless both can work together as a tandem, I don’t think it will work out in Sac-town.
- The Super Bowl being in New York City is hilarious…you asked for this one. “Cold weather is where the game is supposed to be.” Because of this, now you have restrictions. No tailgate parties at Meadowlands Stadium. Enjoy.
- Keith Olbermann (whom I have caused a response with on Twitter) had this to say about cheating. I hear a lot about it. Shoutout to Solomon Alexander for this but it’s great. Enjoy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5N1XoJq_fk
That’s all I can think of for now.
More to come.
Don’t forget N The Zone TV is coming soon and Beyond The Ropes podcast is LIVE every Monday night after Raw.
What’s good! After a wild weekend of fun, excitement and atrociousness. I want to start this “END OF THE WEEKEND” rant with a little fun and excitement, yet reality. Then I’ll give a piece of my mind to a certain Cardinals player.
- The St. Louis Rams have a great defense, I applaud Jeff Fisher for his defensive scheme, 9 sacks said a lot against Arizona QB Kevin Kolb on Thursday night. Hope Mr. Kolb found his teeth after that game.
- Now while the Rams have shown promise to getting over .500 for the first time since ’06, they still haven’t won a road game yet. Convince me, then I’ll yell, “We going to the Super Bowl this season!” I should make a bet.
- To the Atlanta Braves fans (at Turner Field)…if you want to throw things on the field, throw them at your own damn team! Their defense was THE reason they lost that “one-game playoff.” Either way it went, that “infield-fly” rule wasn’t going to save the season.
- Speaking of the Braves, Chipper Jones played his final game as a MLB player. Funny thing was he knew the Braves were going to lose to that game…WEEKS BEFORE the playoff game. Damn fine way to go out on the bottom!
- This year’s baseball playoffs are PURE CRAPOLA! And I stand on that. Even if the Cardinals win it all again, this format to the playoffs is a piece of sh**.
- Bud Selig loves to ruin the game of baseball. That’s all from that.
- Cam Newton is starting to understand what a sophomore slump really is…at least I think so. Losing to the Seahawks shows you that..(CLEARS THROAT) THE NFC WEST IS THE BEST! Everybody else, just get over it.
- Looks like my prediction about Alabama beating the tar off Mizzou by at least 35 is really coming into play. I might watch just to see what happens. Mr. Pinkel, you have one more year left. **WAVES**
- Hey Green Bay Packer fans…the Rams are better than your team.
- RGIII…how does it feel to be knocked on your ass at home. I told you that you were going to get it. Welcome to the NFL.
- Long live Chuck Pagano!!!
- 3 teams in the SEC are in the Top 5…waiting on the hatred once again from fans outside of the S.E.C.
- If Miguel Cabrera doesn’t win the AL MVP in a landslide, all the voters should give up their voting rights…to the fans.
- After all of this, I have to talk about the St. Louis Cardinals. **Sighs** First off, congrats for getting to the Division Series.
- Finally…MATT HOLLIDAY SUCKS, HE’S NOT CLUTCH AND HE NEVER WILL BE! Cardinals paid this ridiculous idiot of a player over $126 million, and got completely suckered by Scott Boras. Yeah, he hit a home run in the Wild Card game…the Wild Card game. Yet, when the chips are down, he plays just like he has played previously…horrible. Oh, everybody else played like crap from the 7th inning on in this series against the Nationals but I want to focus on the $126 million DOUCHE. For those that don’t remember, this is the same guy who couldn’t play a Game 7 in last year’s World Series, because he was “hurt.” Now for a guy that is 6’4″, 230 lbs, and has received hitting advice from (get this) Mark McGwire. He should be the best damn player on this team, he should be driving in runs like Miguel Cabrera did. He mustered 102 runs batted in this season, which is great, but you and I know he’s much better than this. So you telling me, the fans can’t get the guy who batted .340, hit 36 home runs, and drove in 137 runs back in 2007??? The fans can’t get it. Yet, some imbeciles want to say he’s clutch. You wouldn’t know that truth if it slapped you in the face. Now let’s go back to all of those fans that said, “Oh, we don’t need Albert Pujols anymore.” AND “Let him rot in Anaheim.” AND my personal favorite, “F*** Pujols.” They could sure use that in the lineup right now especially after the man who has taken his spot in the lineup is supposed to be…that guy. What a joke. Yet, I’m cheering for him. Thanks for suckering me, Matt. You are doing a tremendous job.
- When is hockey coming on again?
I’m done. More to come soon.
Thoughts? Concerns? Ideas are welcome. Please reply below.
The A-Train…aka The Mad Redbird
It’s time for another great rant coming from the A-Train…you should love this one. Here we go.
- Josh Morgan…you are “The A-Train Rant” DUMMY OF THE WEEK, WEEK, WEEK! Hope and pray that Mike Shanahan give you the pink slip and tell you, “Today is your last day as a Redskin, please turn in your playbook.”
- Speaking of football, good win for the Jeff Fisher and the St. Louis Rams. Got that first win and RGIII took his first loss, also means that you shut up John Madden…at least for this week.
- Andrew Luck is a beast? Too soon???
- Good Sunday to have Cardinals at the end of it. The St. Louis baseball team beat the Dodgers keep a one game lead for the second wild card spot (may have meaning after all). Shoutout to the Arizona football team (too young to really remember the team being in St. Louis), going into Foxboro and knocking off the New England Patriots in their home opener. 1st time any team has beaten the Pats on their home field for their opener. Tom Brady still wondering, “We lost to Arizona? In our home opener?” Yeah, Tom. You did.
- Mizzou will be get the tar and feathers beaten off them for the next two weeks. They are about to learn what the SEC really feels like.
- Speaking of the SEC, one of those teams will be in the national championship, again. If not careful…it’s LSU/Bama part 2. People will hate that for life! I for one, would love it all over again. Just keep showing how flawed the NCAA system really is.
- After watching Peyton Manning against the Falcons, (BOLD STATEMENT TO MAKE) I think Eli Manning will be better than his brother. At least he’s got one thing on Peyton…more Super Bowls.
- The New Orleans Saints need some serious help. But thanks Roger, you screwed up not only them but the NFL as well with your patty cake approach to protect your precious golden-arm quarterbacks. In the illustrious words of Tia and Tamera, “GO HOME ROGER!” I know it was bad. So what!
- Back to the NFL, these replacement refs have got to go. I tried to support them last time and now I can’ t take it anymore. I think it was FoxSports.com columnist Jason Whitlock that said on Twitter…”the refs don’t understand the NFL philosophy.”
- LA Lakers center Dwight Howard had stated through “a source” on ESPN.com that he never wanted to be hated…Brother, that’s all you did was cause hate. People will hate you regardless. If you are successful or better yet, just because you are black. Yeah I said it. The race card still plays in this world that you and I live in. It’s sad, but true.
- Speaking of LA Lakers, Ron Artest (I refuse to call him Metta World Peace) said that he believes the Lakers can go 73-9. Hey Ron, why don’t you just say 82-0? I mean you got the right coach to do it, right? You got Phil…eh…Mike Brown to do it. Plus all those injury-plagued players on your team like Pau Gasol and hell, even Kobe Bryant. What other bums, I mean players do they have…well there is Steve Blake, Jordan Hill, and my favorites Dwight Howard and Steve Nash. Looks like you got all the right pieces in place. All you have to do now is get past the Spurs and Thunder and the Miami Heat (paper champs) and you’re in. Well, that was a good dream to not see unfold. I know we have a season coming up but that damn sure won’t happen. Sorry Laker fans. Keep dreaming!
- Oh yes…this is a must. After watching Night of Champions I have come to the conclusion that the WWE wants CM Punk to fight The Rock at Wrestlemania. Just to give this idiot the main event he deserves. Otherwise, he’ll lose the belt at Hell In A Cell. (SIDEBAR NOTE) Good to know that Jerry Lawler is OK and released from the hospital. It would have been a sad day if it was more severe. Now lay off the ropes and just commentate.
ONE LAST THING…SHOUTOUT TO MY HOMEY Twillie Cottingham celebrating a birthday today! Make sure you follow her @MissESPN34…fellas, if you looking for a lady who knows her sports…she’s one of them. Die-hard fan! (She’s going to hurt me for this)
I’m done. More to come soon. Hopefully a radio show soon. Stay tuned.
Please post your comments below. Greatly appreciate it. Bad comments (that will depend on how I feel) will get the boot.
This sports rant is dedicated to the fans of the Missouri Tigers football team and St. Louis Rams fans…
HERE WE GO!
- If the Tigers continue to play like they did against Georgia, Gary Pinkel should resign at season’s end…atrocious.
- Gary Pinkel is going to get James Franklin killed against SEC opponents with his “play-calling.” Ever figured why Kevin Slaten can’t stand you. He is going to have a field day on his radio show tomorrow. In the words of Bart Scott, “CAN’T WAIT!”
- Speaking of James Franklin, he and his center need to be on one accord and stop playing the game like he has a Nerf football in his hands. What the hell? You playing with the big boys. Leave that Big 12 crap alone.
- Again to Mr. Franklin…do you remember who you are playing for? You play for the Tigers, not the Bulldogs. I couldn’t believe you let Mr. Jones of Georgia do you in the butt like he did Saturday night. My favorite play of yours, the INT you threw dead to him. Brilliant. Just freaking brilliant. You might as well stayed in the Big 12 with that disgrace.
- Back to you, Mr. Pinkel…how in the blue hell do you do to make a call such as a fake punt run on 4th and 11 in your own territory? Who are you? Did you forget that you are playing with the best conference in college football? Trickery doesn’t usually work well on an SEC opponent. SO DON’T TRY IT THERE! Good luck against South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Alabama…they are licking their chops waiting on your team. You are about to be SEC dog meat!
- Moving on to the Rams fans…I know that you have suffered long enough, a 2-14 season spoke volumes. You might have said, “I don’t care about the Rams this year” OR “this could be something different.” It is different.
- Even though it was a loss, it brought promise. The team did get 3 INTs on QB Matthew Stafford…but it went downhill in the 2nd half and the Lions beat you are on a 4th quarter drive.
- Rams offense…you need help desperately!
- Jeff Fisher, you need to teach that team how to close out a game or you be just like Steve Spagnuolo was last season…out of a job.
- RGIII comes to St. Louis next week…find a way to stop him. He’s a winner and he could beat the sleeves of a team if not careful. Choose wisely who will knock off this high profile rookie.
MORE RANTING TO COME! REPLACEMENT REFS ALREADY IRK ME AND ROOKIE QBs DEBUT…NEXT TIME!
GOOD DAY ALL!