Word on the Street: Singletary won't return as head coach

Word on the Street: Singletary won't return as head coach

Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Singletary will not return as head coach

Former Bears linebacker Mike Singletary will not return as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers next season, according to reports out of CSNBayArea.com. The 49ers lost to the division rival St. Louis Rams 25-17 Sunday, effectively knocking the preseason NFC West favorite out of the postseason.

The 49ers are now 5-10 with one game left to play and there are reports that he may very well be fired even before the final game of the season. If not, it is confirmed the former Monster of the Midway will not be back next year. (CSNBayArea.com)
Cubs out of the running for Webb

Brandon Webb has reportedly agreed to a deal with the Texas Rangers, pending a physical. The Cubs were said to be out of the running for the pitcher's services before Sunday, when those talks were nixed before the Webb-Texas report.

A source claims Webb is closing in on a decision from both of the remaining teams. The veteran has not pitched since Opening Day of 2009, but has drawn interest this offseason as his shoulder is reportedly healthy. (ESPN.com and MLB.com)

Vikings-Eagles pushed to Tuesday night
Thanks to a horrendous storm on the east coast, the Philadelphia Eagles' matchup with the Minnesota Vikings that was originally scheduled for Sunday night has been moved to Tuesday night. The game will be played at 7 p.m. CST and televised still on NBC.

"Due to public safety concerns in light of today's snow emergency in Philadelphia, tonight's Vikings-Eagles game has been postponed," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. "Because of the uncertainty of the extent of tonight's storm and its aftermath, the game will be played on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET This will allow sufficient time to ensure that roads, parking lots and the stadium are fully cleared. The National Weather Service states that a winter storm warning in Philadelphia remains in effect until 1 pm on Monday."(Chicago Tribune)

Hawks regaining health

Marian Hossa and Viktor Stalberg will play in Sunday night's Blackhawks game against the Columbus Blue Jackts. Hossa hasn't played since he was hurt in practice on Nov. 29 with a lower body injury. Stalberg was injured Dec. 15 in a game against Colorado.

Patrick Kane is still sidelined and is going to evaluate how he feels after Monday's practice before making a choice about whether or not he will play Tuesday in St. Louis. (CSNChicago.com)

Vikings could play outdoors in '11

The Vikings must have enjoyed their outdoor game against the Bears last Monday night because there is talk of Minnesota playing outside for all of the 2011 season.

Sources say Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission is assessing the viability of the Vikings playing in TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota (where they played the Bears last Monday) for the entire season. (ESPN.com)

Bulls leading the way in home attendance

LeBron James left a void on the Cleveland Cavaliers when he took his talents to South Beach, but the fans are still packing the stands in the King's old castle. The Cavs have the second best home average attendance with 20, 562. Only the Bulls draw more fans at home. (NY Times)

Parity in the NFC North?

The Detroit Lions, who have spent the larger part of the decade in the NFC North cellar, have now won three straight games and sit at 5-10 on the season. The Lions were heralded as a much-improved team coming into the '10 season, but until recently, they hadn't shown much proof of that. But, after a win against the 7-8 Miami Dolphins (a team that was previously still alive in the AFC playoff picture), Detroit now has its best winning streak since 2007. (Chicago Tribune)

Hawkeyes going to Outback Bowl for fifth time, taking on Florida

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USA TODAY

Hawkeyes going to Outback Bowl for fifth time, taking on Florida

Iowa is going back to the Outback Bowl.

Yes, for the fifth time in the last 13 seasons, the Hawkeyes will wrap their campaign with a trip to Tampa and an appearance in the Outback Bowl. And for the third time, their opponent there will be the Florida Gators. That game kicks at noon on Jan. 2.

Iowa and Florida met in the Outback Bowl to conclude the 2003 and 2005 seasons, splitting those two matchups.

This time around, the Hawkeyes are coming off an 8-4 regular season, a disappointing follow up to their 12-2 campaign a season ago that started off a perfect 12-0 before postseason losses in the Big Ten title game and the Rose Bowl.

Kirk Ferentz has led his team to a bowl appearance in 14 of his 18 seasons, though Iowa has lost the last four of those games, without a bowl win since taking down Missouri in the 2010 Insight Bowl.

Iowa is 2-2 in its four previous Outback Bowl appearances, beating Florida, losing to Florida, beating South Carolina and losing to LSU.

As for the Gators, they own an 8-4 record, as well, after falling to Alabama in Saturday’s SEC Championship Game. Florida is known for its sluggish offense, one of the lowest-scoring teams in the country.

Start spreadin' the news: Northwestern to face Pitt in Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium

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USA TODAY

Start spreadin' the news: Northwestern to face Pitt in Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium

Start spreadin' the news.

Northwestern is heading to New York for its bowl game this season, specifically the Bronx, where it will battle Pittsburgh in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.

Though it isn't your typically warm bowl destination, the baseball-stadium setting should be pretty fantastic. The game will be played at 1 p.m. on Dec. 28.

The Wildcats reached bowl eligibility with their sixth win in the regular-season finale against Illinois. Northwestern is heading to back-to-back bowl games after missing out on the postseason in back-to-back seasons in 2013 and 2014.

This is just the 13th-ever bowl trip for the Cats, though it's their seventh in 11 seasons under Pat Fitzgerald. Northwestern has a 1-5 record under Fitzgerald in the previous six bowl games, though that win is one of just two all-time bowl victories by the program.

This season started slowly for the Cats, who lost upsetting home games to Illinois State and Western Michigan and started 1-3. But Northwestern turned things around with back-to-back road wins over Iowa and Michigan State and finished 6-6. The Cats' offense has been particularly effective this season compared to seasons past. Wide receiver Austin Carr took home Big Ten Receiver of the Year honors and is a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award after leading the conference in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches. Running back Justin Jackson was the league's leading rusher until getting surpassed by just a couple yards by both Wisconsin's Corey Clement and Penn State's Saquon Barkley, who both competed in Saturday night's Big Ten Championship Game, adding to their respective rushing totals.

Pitt has had a pretty noteworthy season. Despite having four losses, it beat two teams that finished ranked in the top five of the College Football Playoff rankings: No. 2 Clemson and No. 5 Penn State. The Panthers are coached by former Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi.