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The Cowboys feel they have the right roster in place to contend for a title, and Jones alluded to poor coaching with some remarks he made after Sunday’s loss to the New England Patriots. Dallas spent huge money on an extension for Ezekiel Elliott and believes Dak Prescott is a franchise quarterback, so Jones is obviously upset with the underachieving.Despite all that, the Cowboys remain in first place in the NFC East with a record of 6-5. Losing to the Patriots probably didn’t irritate Jones as much as some of the egregious coaching blunders late in the game.
Last season was a disaster for the Pac-12.
For much of the year, there was a question of whether the conference would have even two teams in the NCAA Tournament.was the only sure bet, while the conference's top hoops programs, and , went a combined 34-31. had the Pac-12 ranked seventh, behind the other five "power" conferences and the AAC.
Three Pac-12 teams eventually made the field of 68, but they were seeded No. 9 (Washington), 11 (), and 12 ( ).
Oregon, which got hot late in the season and won the conference tournament, saved some face for the Pac-12 by reaching the Sweet 16, in which it lost to eventual champion Virginia by only four.
Santana Moss reveals he drank Hennessy before game to play through injury
Santana Moss was willing to do whatever it took to get on the field for an important game during his 14 NFL seasons, and the former wide receiver has given us a somewhat troubling glimpse into that now that he has retired. © Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty ImagesMoss got together with Master Tesfatsion of Bleacher Report for the latest installment of the highly entertaining “Untold Stories” series, and he shared a story about the time Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder pressured him to suit up for a game against the divisional rival Dallas Cowboys in 2007.
It's safe to say that things can only get better in 2019-20. And they should.
Arizona is back in the top 25, Oregon has a strong squad, andis a team on the rise. Here's your Pac-12 preview with conference play just a few weeks away:
Five key questions
Between Oregon and Arizona, does a legitimate national contender emerge?
Oregon lost five of its top seven contributors in terms of minutes played but brought in a solid recruiting class and a couple of transfers, and it returned arguably its most important piece in senior guard.
Pritchard, who was on Oregon's Final Four team as a freshman, has elevated his role in the Ducks' offense from being a significant piece to the major contributor. In Oregon's first nine games, he has averaged 18.8 points, 6.1 assists, and 4.2 rebounds.
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Head coach Dana Altman has surrounded Pritchard with quality shooters, none who fit that bill more so than New Mexico transfer, who is shooting 51.1% from 3-point range so far. While last year's team had to rely on defense and played more zone than any of Altman's previous Oregon squads, this iteration ranks eighth in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency, according to KenPom.
Meanwhile, Arizona appears to be back after enduring its first losing season in Pac-12 play since 2007-08. The Wildcats, 9-1 entering this week, scored an impressive win over Illinois and have lost only a road tilt with Baylor, a top-20 team. Two freshmen, in particular, have injected offense into Sean Miller's lineup:and .
Mannion, a potential top-10 pick next June, is averaging 15.3 points and 5.7 assists per game. Nnaji, a 6-foot-11 post, is one of the most efficient finishers in the country. He's shooting 74.4% (61-of-82) on 2-pointers.
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Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll orchestrated the sweetest drive of Buffalo's 8-3 season off the field following Sunday's 20-3 win versus the Broncos (3-8).
If the Pac-12 has a Final Four team, it'll likely be one of these two programs. The conference hasn't produced a national champion since Arizona in 1997.
How far can Tyler Bey take Colorado?
There has been no better defensive rebounder this season than. The 6-foot-7 junior has a defensive rebounding rate of 36.7% when on the floor, the best among those who have played at least 40% of their team's minutes.
Between Bey and point guard, Colorado has two of the better, more experienced players in the Pac-12. It's why head coach Tad Boyle's team is ranked for the first time since 2014, and why it's a sneaky choice for the conference title.
The Buffaloes suffered their first loss at Kansas on Saturday, 72-58, but had been one of the better defensive teams in the country prior to that defeat. Colorado has forced a turnover on 25.4% of its opponents' possessions, good for the 14th-best mark in the nation. Bey, whose steals per game average has risen from 0.8 last season to 2.4 this campaign, is at the center of the chaos.
This is only the fourth season in the last 50 years that Colorado has been ranked in the AP Top 25. Bey and Wright will determine whether the team also records its first NCAA Tournament win since 2012.
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Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens created headlines leading up to his team’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers when he decided to wear a T-shirt that read “Pittsburgh Started It."Mayfield was asked about Kitchens wearing the shirt and whether or not it may have motivated the Steelers, and he defended the head coach with a lighthearted response. His wife Emily, however, was not amused. She criticized the media for asking about the shirt.
Will Mike Hopkins' program take the next step?
Washington hosted Gonzaga on Sunday in a game that showcased the Huskies' potential - and how far they still have to go. Freshmenand combined for 36 points, and junior displayed a knack for hitting big shots late. But UW also turned the ball over 16 times, including eight by Kentucky transfer . Gonzaga pulled away to an 83-76 win.
The Huskies won 27 games and the conference last season in Hopkins' second year. They also reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time in eight campaigns to snap a somewhat unfathomable cold streak.
Aided by the No. 11 recruiting class, according to the, and the addition of Green, the natural next step for Hopkins' program would be to reach the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament.
Washington plays its 2-3 zone defense well enough to get there, but it will eventually need to develop a more efficient offense. The Huskies rank 242nd in turnover percentage and shoot just 31.9% from 3-point range.
Is this the year Jerod Haase and Stanford turn the corner?
Five seasons ago, Haase led 14th-seeded UAB to a stunning upset over Iowa State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. That win raised Haase's profile, and he replaced Johnny Dawkins as the head coach ata year later.
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Haase is now entering his fourth campaign with the Cardinal and is still looking for a return to the NCAA Tournament. His Stanford teams went just 25-29 in Pac-12 play during his first three seasons.
But could this be the year?
In one of the more under-the-radar results of nonconference play, Stanford blew past a good Oklahoma team by 19 points at a neutral site. A day later, the Cardinal lost to Butler - which is 9-0 and one of the surprise stories of the season so far - by just one.
Two players are worth following as Stanford tries to reach the tournament for the first time in six years. Six-foot-9 junioris the main reason Stanford has been great at scoring inside, as the German is averaging 16.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Freshman is the Cardinal's diminutive backcourt threat. He's scoring 15.7 per game and shooting 41.5% from three.
How fast does UCLA improve?
Mick Cronin stalking thesideline was a disorienting visual on its own. Now, for the first time since 2010, it appears Cronin is coaching a team that is unlikely to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
After nine consecutive tournament bids with what became an extremely stable Cincinnati program, Cronin is facing a challenge in taking the Bruins back to the Big Dance. UCLA already suffered a home loss to Hofstra, and KenPom has the Bruins rated 112th nationally behind a number of mid-majors, including UNC Greensboro, San Francisco, and Bowling Green.
Each of Cronin's last nine Bearcat teams ranked in the top 30 in adjusted defensive efficiency, but UCLA is 173rd.
So, how quickly can this team show improvement? The belief here is the UCLA we see in February and March is better than the one that has started 0-3 against top-150 teams.
The Bruins are inexperienced, as, despite playing two seniors and one junior, they are led by a pair of sophomores inand . At 6-foot-10 and 6-foot-9, respectively, Hill and Riley make UCLA one of the better rebounding teams in the country. However, the Bruins haven't been great at much else. They get only 20.6% of their points from threes, which ranks 341st of 353 Division-I teams.
More in this series
- Big 12 preview (Tuesday, Dec. 10)
- Big Ten preview (Wednesday, Dec. 11)
- SEC preview (Thursday, Dec. 12)
- ACC preview (Friday, Dec. 13)
- Big East preview (Monday, Dec. 16)
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Canada to ban vaping ads aimed at youth .
Concerned by a sudden rise in youth vaping, Canada's health minister on Thursday announced a ban on advertising for vaping products targeting young people. Marketing of the products would be allowed only in specialty shops, businesses and websites accessible by adults, and banned elsewhere, including convenience stores and billboards. Ottawa also proposed mandatory health warnings on vaping product packaging, which would have to be made childproof, and limiting their nicotine content."The latest statistics -- which show that vaping has doubled among high school students -- are alarming," Health Minister Patty Hajdu said.