Wimberly was deserving of first team selection | NevadaAppeal.com

Wimberly was deserving of first team selection

Joe Santoro

Sports fodder for a Friday morning … The Mountain West should be ashamed of itself for disrespecting Brandon Wimberly of the Nevada Wolf Pack this week. Wimberly was given a slap in the face when the Mountain West coaches put him on the all-conference honorable mention list. Honorable mention? That's like winning best shoes at the Miss America contest. Wimberly was second in the conference with 97 catches. He was the toughest player in the conference. He had to play with three different starting quarterbacks this year. He caught at least one pass in every game of his college career. He fought back from a near-fatal gunshot wound two years ago. Wimberly is a symbol of what college football is about. He should have been named first team.

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Did the Wolf Pack really miss out on anything important by not going to a bowl game this year? Would you be excited for a match up against North Texas in the Heart of Dallas Bowl? How about a battle against Buffalo at Boise? And nobody in Northern Nevada would be thrilled to go to Albuquerque again to play anyone let alone a 6-6 Washington State team. The only mildly interesting Mountain West bowl is Fresno State against USC in Las Vegas. Do you think Northern Illinois is pumped up to play Utah State after they let a BCS bowl slip away? And nobody wants to see a coach-less Boise State take on Oregon State in Hawaii. The Pack is better off getting a head start on recruiting.

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This would have been a great season for college football to begin its four-team playoff. We would have had another Auburn-Alabama game to drool over. The other semifinal would have been Florida State against Michigan State. Of course, an eight-team playoff would be even better. We would have Florida State against Missouri, Auburn-Ohio State, Alabama-Baylor and Michigan State-Stanford in the first round. But, hey, enjoy those 34 bowls that don't mean anything.

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What does it take to get fired as the Washington Redskins head coach? Mike Shanahan sure doesn't know the answer to that one. Shanahan tried to get fired this week by benching quarterback Robert Griffin III for the final three games of the regular season. Who benches a player so he can be healthy for the off-season? This is a league that gets nervous when starting quarterbacks don't play in the last game of the regular season just to make sure they are 100 percent for the playoffs. Shanahan obviously can no longer be Griffin's head coach. And you know the Redskins aren't getting rid of Griffin. The Redskins should have dumped Shanahan this week.

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We will find out all we need to know about the Wolf Pack men's basketball team the rest of this month. The Pack has three very winnable games at home against Nebraska-Omaha, Iona and Long Beach State before it opens Mountain West play in January. They need to win at least two of those three games to show that they will at least be competitive in league play this year.

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Pack coach David Carter is doing a wonderful job guiding this short-handed team so far. The Pack is just 4-6 overall but three of the losses were to California, UCLA and Missouri. Carter really has just four players — Deonte Burton, Michael Perez, Jerry Evans and Cole Huff — that have been productive and consistent from night to night and are worthy of more than 15 minutes a game. The minutes will start to pile up on those four guys and fatigue and frustration will set in, like we saw last year. For this team to do anything noteworthy this year, Marqueze Coleman and D.J. Fenner — the future of the program, by the way — have to assert themselves.

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Major League Baseball is doing the right thing by taking steps to eliminate home plate collisions. Runners now just run into catchers with their shoulders like they are a free safety trying to take the head off a wide receiver. That has to stop. You can't run into goalies in hockey. You can't tackle players in the lane in basketball. Heck, you can't even touch them in college basketball. You can't launch yourself at defenseless receivers in football. Why should you be allowed to do it in baseball? Catchers should not be allowed to block the plate without the ball and runners should be required to slide and never be allowed to hit a catcher at or above the knee. This is an easy fix.

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Once again, it seems the Boise State Broncos have made an excellent hire for its football head coaching position. They lured former Boise offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin back to town to take over for the departed Chris Petersen. Harsin went to high school in Boise and was a Boise assistant for 10 years during the program's golden era (2001-10). He also got valuable head coaching experience last year at Arkansas State. He's the perfect fit for the Broncos. Boise won't have to get worse next year before it gets better the way the Pack did this year.