By Nick Vespasiano
Yesterday, Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota elected to return to Eugene next season. The redshirt sophomore was considered one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2014 NFL draft. He entered the 2013 season a Heisman hopeful but saw it slip away with losses to Stanford and Arizona.
Despite being out of the Heisman race for 2013, Mariota has completed 63.1 percent of his passes for 3,412 yards, 30 touchdowns and four picks. He also has 582 yards on the ground and nine scores. Those are Heisman numbers but his team’s two losses are keeping him out of contention.
This decision comes as a surprise to me. Running back De’Anthony Thomas is likely entering the draft, number one receiver Josh Huff is a senior, and last season Chip Kelly abruptly bolted for the Philadelphia Eagles. Mariota could be vying for a better draft position. The upcoming NFL draft will feature quarterbacks like Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, Clemson’s Tajh Boyd, Alabama’s A.J, McCarron, and Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel. Despite the competition he would have faced in the next draft, he was widely considered a potential first round pick. Perhaps he’s just loyal to his Ducks.
Mariota should be an early Heisman favorite yet again heading into the 2014 season. Other players who are ineligible for the 2013 draft with legitimate 2014 Heisman ambitions include Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, Georgia running back Todd Gurley, Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon, and my favorite, UCLA linebacker/running back Myles Jack.
Draft eligible but returning next season is Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty who should be on the short pre-season Heisman list. UCLA’s star quarterback Brett Hundley and Ohio State’s Braxton Miller have yet to make decisions on next year’s draft.
Nick Vespasiano is a senior English major at St. Olaf College and aspiring sports writer. He was raised in Minnesota, favorite teams are the Vikings, Wild, and Twins. Favorite athletes are Randy Moss and Jaromír Jágr.
By Brett Malamud
This is the first of a weekly article that will provide you with the most intriguing games in sports for the upcoming week. If yesterday’s football games proved anything, it was that this is going to be an exciting week in sports. So let’s get to it! Here is the first installment of Stay Tuned:
With the first week in the books, the second week of the NBA season looks to be just as exciting.
Chicago Bulls vs. Indiana Pacers, Wednesday November 6th 7:00 PM EST, ESPN
Two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference square off in a showdown in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Derek Rose goes head to head against Paul George and the undefeated Indiana Pacers. This one is a must watch.
LA Clippers vs. Miami Heat, Thursday November 7th 7:00 PM EST, TNT and TSN
The Clippers head into South Beach after the Heat’s rough week last week. The Heat opened up the season going 2-2, and they’ll try to pick up the pace moving forward.
Division standings are starting to take form, as we are now one month into the season.
NY Islanders vs. Washington Capitals Tuesday November 5th 7:00 PM EST, MSG+ and CSN-DC
Two of the brightest stars in the NHL will face off in this epic battle at the Verizon Center. John Tavares leads the Islanders into Washington, where Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals sit at .500 on the season. Only one point separates the teams in the standings, so it should be a good battle.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. NY Rangers, Wednesday November 6th 7:30 PM EST, NBCSN, TSN2, and RDS2
The Rangers and the Penguins have had bad blood for a while now, and Wednesday night should be no different. Watch these division rivals square off and Madison Square Garden come alive in this week’s Wednesday Night Rivalry.
Montreal Canadians vs. Ottawa Senators, Thursday November 7th 7:00 PM EST, CBC and RDS
There’s nothing as wild as a Canadian clash. The Habs head to the capital city to take on Erik Karlsson and the Senators. A must watch game in Canada.
This Friday marks the start of the college basketball season and there are a few games to stay updated on.
(18) UConn vs. Maryland, Friday November 8th 6:30 PM EST, ESPN2
This is sure to be a good game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. A small Maryland team took a hit, losing 7’1” center Alex Len. The Phoenix Suns selected Len fifth overall in this year’s NBA draft. Maryland will face a tough test though, going up against a much bigger UConn Huskies team.
Georgetown vs. (19) Oregon, Friday November 8th 8:00 PM EST, ESPN
Coming off a first round loss to Cinderella story Florida Gulf Coast in last season’s NCAA tournament, it’ll be interesting to see Georgetown without Otto Porter, who was selected by the Washington Wizards as the third overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft. They face number 19 ranked Oregon in the Armed Forces Classic in South Korea
(3) Oregon vs. (5) Stanford, Thursday November 7th 9:00 PM EST, ESPN
Not much needs to be said here. The Ducks take on the Cardinal in a heated rivalry matchup.
(13) LSU vs. (1) Alabama, Saturday November 9th 8:00 PM EST, CBS
The Tigers head into Tuscaloosa to go up against the Crimson Tide what should be the college football game of the week
Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy