Sunday, November 19, 2017

On TV This Week 11/19 - 11/25


By Raven Williams, @nevaRWilliams

SUNDAY 11/19

NFL
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys (NBC, 8:20pm)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Boise State vs. Iowa State (ESPN 2, 7:30pm)
Temple vs. Clemson (ESPN 2, 9:30pm)
---
2017 American Music Awards, hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross (ABC, 8pm)

Search Party, PREMIERE (TBS, 10pm)



MONDAY 11/20

NFL
Atlanta Falcons @ Seattle Seahawks (ESPN, 8:15pm)

NBA
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Detroit Pistons (FOX Sports Ohio, 7pm)
Indiana Pacers @ Orlando Magic (NBA TV, 7pm)

NHL
Columbus Blue Jackets @ Buffalo Sabres (FOX Sports Ohio, 7pm)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Molloy @ St. John's (FOX Sports 1, 6:30pm)
Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma State (ESPN 2, 7pm)
Creighton vs. UCLA (ESPNU, 7pm)
Hampton @ Xavier (FOX Sports 1, 8:30pm)
Notre Dame vs. Chaminade (ESPNU, 9pm)
Baylor vs. Wisconsin (ESPN 2, 9:30pm)



TUESDAY 11/21

NBA
Chicago Bulls @ Los Angeles Lakers (NBA TV, 10:30pm)

NHL
Edmonton Oilers @ St. Louis Blues (NBC Sports, 8pm)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Legends Classic, Final: (ESPN 2, 6pm)
(ESPN 2, 8pm)
(ESPN 2, 10pm)
(ESPN, 10:30pm)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Kent State @ Akron (ESPNU, 7pm)

SOCCER
MLS: Toronto FC @ Columbus Crew SC (ESPN, 8pm)
MLS: Seattle Sounders FC @ Houston Dynamo (FOX Sports 1, 9:30pm)
---
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, FINALE (A&E, 8pm)

The Challenge: Dirty 30, FINALE (MTV, 9pm)
Dancing With The Stars, LIVE FINALE (ABC, 9pm)
Who Killed Tupac?, PREMIERE (A&E, 9pm)

The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars, PREMIERE (MTV, 10pm)
Chicago Med, PREMIERE (NBC, 10pm)
Checked Inn, PREMIERE (OWN, 10pm)
Tosh.0, FINALE (Comedy Central, 10pm)
The Jim Jefferies Show, FINALE (Comedy Central, 10:30pm)



WEDNESDAY 11/22

NBA
Brooklyn Nets @ Cleveland Cavaliers (FOX Sports Ohio, 7pm)
Golden State Warriors @ Oklahoma City Thunder (ESPN, 8pm)
Los Angeles Lakers @ Sacramento Kings (ESPN, 10:30pm)

NHL
Calgary Flames @ Columbus Blue Jackets (FOX Sports Ohio, 7pm)
Chicago Blackhawks @ Tampa Bay Lightning (NBC Sports, 7:30pm)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
(ESPN 2, 8pm)
(ESPNU, 10pm)
(ESPN 2, 10:30pm)
---
iHeartRadio Music Festival Night 1 (The CW, 8pm)
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (ABC, 8pm)
The Wall, FINALE (NBC, 8pm)
Forged In Fire: Bladesgiving, PREMIERE (History, 8pm)

A Saturday Night Live Thanksgiving Special (NBC, 9pm)
The Shannara Chronicles, FINALE (Spike, 9pm & 10pm)

Stan Against Evil, FINALE (IFC, 10pm & 10:30pm)



THURSDAY 11/23

NFL
Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions (FOX, 12:30pm)
Los Angeles Chargers @ Dallas Cowboys (CBS, 4:30pm)
New York Giants @ Washington Redskins (NBC, 8:30pm)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Portland State vs. Duke (ESPN, 4:30pm)
Arkansas vs. Oklahoma (ESPN 2, 5pm)
Butler vs. Texas (ESPN 2, 7pm)
Arizona State vs. Kansas State (FOX Sports 1, 7:30pm)
Connecticut vs. Oregon (ESPNU, 9pm)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Mississippi @ Mississippi State (ESPN, 7:30pm)
---
30th Anniversary of Soul Train Special (BET, 10pm)



FRIDAY 11/24

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Miami @ Pittsburgh (ABC, 12pm)
Navy @ Houston (ESPN, 12pm)
Baylor @ TCU (FOX Sports 1, 12pm)
Missouri @ Arkansas (CBS, 2:30pm)
South Florida @ UCF (ABC, 3:30pm)
Iowa @ Nebraska (FOX Sports 1, 4pm)

Virginia Tech @ Virginia (ESPN, 8pm)
Texas Tech @ Texas (FOX, 8pm)
California @ UCLA (FOX Sports 1, 10:30pm)

NBA
Charlotte Hornets @ Cleveland Cavaliers (FOX Sports Ohio/NBA TV, 8pm)
Chicago Bulls @ Golden State Warriors (NBA TV, 10:30pm)

NHL
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Boston Bruins (NBC, 1pm)

NFL
A Football Life: Joe Gibbs (NFL, 9pm)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
(ESPN 2, 7pm)
(FOX Sports 1, 8pm)
(ESPN 2, 9pm)
---
iHeartRadio Music Festival Night 2 (The CW, 8pm)
Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas (NBC, 8pm)
Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town (ABC, 8pm)
Frosty The Snowman (CBS, 8pm)
Frosty Returns (CBS, 8:30pm)
DreamWorks' Trolls Holiday (NBC, 8:30pm)

Grammys Greatest Stories: A 60th Anniversary Special (CBS, 9pm)
Savage Kingdom: Uprising, PREMIERE (NatGeo Wild, 9pm)

The Rap Game, PREMIERE (Lifetime, 10pm)



SATURDAY 11/25

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Ohio State @ Michigan (FOX, 12pm)
Georgia @ Georgia Tech (ABC, 12pm)
Florida State @ Florida (ESPN, 12pm)
Indiana @ Purdue (ESPN 2, 12pm)

Alabama @ Auburn (CBS, 3:30pm)
Wisconsin @ Minnesota (ABC, 3:30pm)
Penn State @ Maryland (Big Ten, 3:30pm)
Iowa State @ Kansas State (ESPN 2, 3:30pm)
West Virginia @ Oklahoma (ESPN, 3:45pm)

Oregon State @ Oregon (ESPN 2, 7pm)
Clemson @ South Carolina (ESPN, 7:30pm)
Notre Dame @ Stanford (ABC, 8pm)

NBA
New York Knicks @ Houston Rockets (NBA TV, 8pm)

NHL
Washington Capitals @ Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL, 7pm)

SOCCER
Premier League: Liverpool FC vs. Chelsea FC (NBC, 12:30pm)

MMA & BOXING
BOXING: Sergey Kovalev vs. Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (HBO, 10pm)

OTHER SPORTS
FIS Alpine Skiing: Women's World Cup Giant Slalom (NBC, 3pm)
Figure Skating: ISU Grand Prix Skate America (NBC, 4pm)
The National Dog Show (NBC, 8pm)
---
MOVIE: Kong: Skull Island (HBO, 8pm)
MOVIE: The Comedian (Starz, 8pm)

Lip Sync Battle: Soul Train Special (BET, 8pm)
Robbie The Reindeer In Hooves Of Fire (CBS, 8pm)
Robbie The Reindeer In Legend Of The Lost Tribe (CBS, 8:30pm)

The Story Of Santa Claus (CBS, 9pm)

Saturday Night Live; (NBC, 11:30pm)

Weekend 3 Count 11/19/17


By Brandon Albright, @B_Rock1978

Wrestling Lockup with Brandon, brought to you by Triple Threat CLE brings you the Weekend 3 Count. W3C brings you wrestling news, rumors and recaps from around the wrestling world. You'll find news rumors and recaps involving WWE, NXT, Impact, ROH, Lucha Underground, NJPW, House of Hardcore, NWA, ICW, CZW, FIP, PWG, AAW, EVOLVE, PROGRESS, SHINE, SHIMMER, BEYOND and any Indy promotion that I find an interesting story or a cool discovery in. Be sure to check out the W3C every Sunday afternoon at @TripleThreatCLE

** Theme Song of the Week **
This week's theme song is "Greatest Show On Earth" by Kid Rock which is this year's theme song for WWE Survivor Series.



*** WWE ***

- Triple H Returns: Triple H arrived this passed week on RAW, took over an injured Jason Jordan's spot on Team RAW and announced that he will compete in the 5-On-5 Men's Elimination Match at WWE Survivor Series.

- New Champion Crowned On Smackdown Live: This past week on Smackdown Live, Charlotte defeated Nattie Neidhart to become the new WWE Smackdown Live Women's Champion.

- RAW Attacks Smackdown Live: RAW finally got some redemption from the attack Smackdown Live pulled off three weeks ago on RAW. Kurt Angle led Team RAW onto Smackdown Live this week and completely destroyed Shane McMahon and the entire Smackdown Live roster.

- James Ellsworth Released: WWE announced this week that they have released James Ellsworth from the company. Ellsworth was signed after becoming an underdog favorite. Ellsworth pulled off three straight victories over AJ Styles before turning heel and becoming Carmella's manager/errand boy.

- Survivor Series Recap: Just a reminder if you miss tonight's WWE Survivor Series event, I'll have the full recap for you on Monday afternoon.


** 205 Live Recap **

- Tornado Tag Team Action: Jack Gallagher and Brian Kendrick teamed up this week to kick off 205 Live against Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann in a Tornado Tag Team Match. Alexander's Lumbar Check gets countered as does Kendrick's Captain's Hook submission. Alexander is able to finally hit the Lumbar Check on Kendrick and get the victory for his team. 

- Mustafa Ali battled Ariya Daivari: Daivari and Ali battled it out in the second match of the night. Daivari hits a splash on Ali but can't put him away. Ali plants Daivari and then hits the 054 to grab the victory.

- Kalisto's Birthday Celebration: The biggest story throughout the show was that it was Kalisto's birthday as he battled Drew Gulak one on one in the main event. Kalisto goes to finish off Gulak, but Gulak tries to distract Kalisto by singing Happy Birthday to him. Kalisto isn't buying the distraction, hits Salida Del Sol and gets the victory. Enzo Amore and Drew Gulak attack Kalisto after the match. Kalisto fights back, lays out Gulak and chases Enzo backstage, where he dumps birthday cake on Enzo and lays him out to end the show.


*** Impact Wrestling ***

** Impact TV Recap **

- "Six Man Tag Team Match": Sonjay Dutt, Dezmond Xavier and Garza Jr. defeated Taiji Ishimori, Caleb Konley and Trevor Lee, by pinfall after Xavier hits a corkscrew senton on Konley.

- "Impact Grand Championship Match": Ethan Carter (c) defeated Fallah Bahh. Bahh took the first round by judges decision, going up 1-0. EC3 took round two by judges decision tying things at 1-1. EC3 scores the pinfall on Bahh in round three to retain his title after getting a cheap pinfall with his feet on the ropes.

- "Six Man Tag Team Match": LAX (Santana, Ortiz and Homicide) defeated oVe and Sami Callihan, by pinfall after Santana and Homicide hit a power bomb/blockbuster combo for the pinfall.

- Dan Lambert Promo: Lambert mocks Moose and pro wrestling forcing Moose to interrupt and start unloading on Lambert. Bobby Lashley and American Top Team hit the ring and attack Moose. James Storm hits the ring and busts a beer bottle over an ATT members head and helps Moose clear the ring. Storm says wrestling will be around long after Lambert is gone, recaps his time with Impact Wrestling, takes pride in being a pro wrestler and says that's something ATT will never understand. 


- Gail Kim Makes A Special Announcement: Allie immediately interrupts Gail Kim in the ring. Gail talks about growing up in Canada, watching wrestling and how much respect she had for Trish Stratus, Lita, Molly Holly, Awesome Kong, and Taryn Terrell for helping her along the way. Gail announces that she is vacating the Impact Knockouts Championship and officially announcing her retirement from wrestling. Gail thanks everyone to close out the segment.

- Grado gets confronted by a Mountie and deported into Canada.

- "Impact World Heavyweight Championship Match": Eli Drake (c) defeated Petey Williams by pinfall after countering the Canadian Destroyer and hitting the Gravy Train for the win. 


*** RING OF HONOR ***

** ROH TV Episode 321 Recap **

- Deciding A Number One Contender: This week's show kicked off with a #1 Contenders Match to determine the next competitor for the ROH Television Championship as Punishment Martinez battled Josh Woods. Martinez hits the South of Heaven choke slam on Woods to get the victory.

- Marty Scurll Challenges Jay Lethal: Jay Lethal says that everytime he focuses on getting the world title back someone gets in his way. Lethal has a victory over Cody Rhodes and wants his title shot. Marty Scurll interrupts and says Lethal is one of the best wrestlers he's always wanted to face, but he wanted the “villainous” Lethal, not the one who shakes hands and shows compassion. Scurll says that that Lethal was unbeatable, but since he doesn't want to be that guy anymore, he may as well go back to being Black Machismo. Scurll says he has been given the chance to chose his opponent for ROH Final Battle and chooses Lethal. Lethal accepts the challenge.  

- Jay Briscoe Screws Over His Brother: The second match of this week's show saw ROH Television Champion Kenny King defend his title against Mark Briscoe. Just as the bell rings, Jay Briscoe arrives at ringside and tosses a white towel into the ring, forcing the referee to call a forfeit on Mark Briscoe and allowing Kenny King to retain his title.  

- Punishment Martinez Targets Kenny King: After the ROH Television Championship Match, Punishment Martinez arrived and attacked Kenny King. Shane Taylor hits the ring and begins brawling with every one involved as well. 

- Coleman’s Pulpit With Shane Taylor: Caprice Coleman returned with this week's edition of Coleman's Pulpit. Taylor is asked why he's so violent now. Taylor says he's always been violent, but now it's about taking opportunities. Taylor also states that he has no problem taking money to do others dirty work. 

- The Best Friends Fight Off An Addiction: The main event of the night saw The Best Friends, Trent and Taylor battle Christopher Daniels and Kazarian in tag team action. The Addiction get a near fall with a neck breaker/power bomb combo. Trent hits a senton and Taylor hits the Awful Waffle to grab the victory.

- ROH Network Coming: ROH announced this week that in 2018 they will begin streaming the ROH Network. It hasn't been revealed as to what content will be available as of yet on the new network.



And that's this week's W3C! Join me every Sunday afternoon as I bring you news, recaps and rumors all around the wrestling world!

NXT Takeover: War Games Recap


By Brandon Albright, @B_Rock1978

What's up wrestling fans, last night NXT presented NXT WarGames on the WWE Network live in Orlando, Florida at Full Sail University. For the first time in 20 years the double ring steel cage, which has been known to shorten careers, made its presence felt.

** NXT WarGames Card **

** WarGames returned with The Undisputed Era, Roderick Strong/The Authors of Pain and SAnitY all battling inside the double ring steel cage match.
** NXT World Champion Drew McIntyre defended his title against Andrade "Cien" Almas.
** Kairi Sane, Ember Moon, Peyton Royce and Nikki Cross battled in a Fatal Four Way Match to determine a new NXT Women's Champion.
** Aleister Black battled The Velveteen Dream.
** Kassius Ohno battled Lars Sullivan.

** NXT WarGames **

- Kassius Ohno vs. Lars Sullivan: The first match of NXT WarGames kicked off with Kassius Ohno battling the undefeated in singles action, Lars Sullivan. The match closes out with Lars missing the diving headbutt and then trades shots with Ohno. Ohno unloads kicks, a blow to the jaw and then an elbow to the head of Lars. Ohno hits a flying elbow to the back of the head on Lars, but Lars is still standing. Ohno connects with a Cyclone Kick for a near fall. Ohno unloads stomps and a senton for a near fall. Both men trade shots until Ohno lands a discus elbow on Lars. Lars ducks a second attempted discus elbow and nails the Freak Accident on Ohno to score the pinfall.
Winner: Lars Sullivan, by pinfall.

- Aleister Black vs. The Velveteen Dream: The second match of the night saw Aleister Black battle The Velveteen Dream. Dream had been spending the entire feud trying to get Black to say his name, but Black has refused to say it. The match closes out with Black unloading kicks and a knee to Dream. Black hits a splash and a springboard moonsault for a near fall. Black counters a DVD and lands a kick until Dream hits the DVD for a near fall. Dream tries a Super DVD, but gets his leg kicked out from under him by Black. Black hits a running knee and gets a very close near fall. Dream catches Black and hits a modified DDT for a near fall. Dream climbs the ropes, dances, leaps off and eats a Black boot that sends Dream into the ropes tying him up in them. Black drills Dream with a boot while tied up, but Dream gets loose and nails a super kick on Black. Black lands a knee to the face of Dream getting Dream to talk trash. Black hits the Black Mass kick on Dream and scores the pinfall.
Winner: Aleister Black, by pinfall.

- After the match, Aleister Black sits Indian style next to Dream and says "Enjoy Infamy, Velveteen Dream", finally saying Dream's name.

- "NXT Women's Championship Fatal Four Way Match": Ember Moon vs. Peyton Royce vs. Kairi Sane vs. Nikki Cross: The third match of the night saw the Fatal Four Way Match to crown a new NXT Women's Championship after Asuka had to vacate the title due to injury. The match closes out with Ember breaking up a Kairi submission and then trades shots with Peyton. Ember plants a forearm on Kairi, but Kairi ducks a clothesline and spears Peyton. Kairi hits a spinning back fist on Ember, but gets cut off by Ember on the ropes. Ember, Kairi and Peyton all hit a tower of doom suplex off the ropes, putting all three down. Nikki nails a cross body block on all three ladies, unloads on all three and gets it down to just her and Ember in the ring.
Ember nails a boot, but gets nailed with a forearm while trying to slingshot at Nikki. Nikki with a neck breaker on Ember and gets a near fall. Peyton rushes in, hits a fisherman's suplex on Nikki, hooks the leg and gets a near fall. Kairi hits an Alabama Slam on Peyton, slamming her on top of Nikki. Kairi climbs the ropes and hits the InSane Elbow on both Peyton and Nikki, but Ember stops the pinfall. Peyton crotches Ember on the ropes and then sends Kairi to the floor with a knee. Peyton and Nikki go at it when suddenly Ember leaps off the ropes and hits both Peyton and Nikki with the Eclipse Stunner. Ember covers Nikki, scores the pinfall and walks out the new champion.
Winner: Ember Moon, by pinfall, to win the NXT Women's Championship.

- After the match, NXT GM William Regal and former NXT Women's Champion Asuka present the title to Ember. 

- "NXT World Championship Match": Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Andrade "Cien" Almas: After weeks of demanding a world title shot, Almas finally received it tonight after jumping Drew McIntyre and getting his attention. The match closes out with Almas hitting a double stomp and then double knees for a near fall. McIntyre hits a sitdown power bomb on Almas for a near fall. McIntyre trades offense and then hits the Future Shock DDT on Almas for a near fall. Almas counters a Super Celtic Cross and sends McIntyre face first into the turnbuckle. Almas hits the Drive Thru knee and gets a near fall. Almas gets upset that he can't pin McIntyre, rolls outside and grabs the title. The referee stops Almas and misses Zelina Vega spike McIntyre into the mat. Almas grabs McIntyre, hits the Hammerlock DDT and still only gets a near fall. McIntyre drills Almas with the Claymore Kick and covers, but Vega puts Almas' foot on the ropes. McIntyre misses a second Claymore Kick and crotches himself in the ropes. Almas hits a Hammerlock DDT on McIntyre off the ropes and scores the upset pinfall to win the title.
Winner: Andrade "Cien" Almas, by pinfall, to win the NXT World Championship.


- "WarGames Match": Undisputed Era vs. The Authors of Pain and Roderick Strong vs. SAnitY: Eric Young, Adam Cole and Roderick Strong started things off inside the cage. Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly were next in. The Authors of Pain entered second and finally SAnitY entered last to start WarGames. Killian Dain tossed weapons and tables into the ring while Wolfe unloaded on everyone with a night stick. O'Reilly misses a chair shot and hits himself on the ricochet. Wolfe scoop slams Cole on a garbage can. Dain unloads on AOP and hits senton dropkicks on both. Dain hits a Cross body off the ropes, taking everyone out and gets a near fall on Akam. Cole and Fish try to unload on Dain, but Dain hits a Michinoku Driver on Cole on top of Fish for a near fall.
Dain tosses Fish and O'Reilly into the cage wall and then hits a Samoan Drop and Fallaway Slam on both Strong and Cole. Dain and Rezar trade shots in between both rings. Dain and Akam trade boots and then Akam gets a near fall power slam. Young hits a suplex on Cole, but Cole returns with an enziguri. O'Reilly wraps a steel chain around Wolfe's face and arm and applies an armbar submission, but Young makes the save with a flying elbow. Fish hits a moonsault on Young and all nine men are down. AOP hit a Super Collider, with Dain stuck in the middle. Young grabs Rezar off the ropes and hits a DVD on Akam. Cole and Strong trade shots until Strong unloads back breakers on his knee on everyone. Strong with a high knee and an Angle Slam on Dain for a near fall. All nine men brawl on the cage wall in between both rings until a double tower of doom hits on both sides with Cole the only one still standing.
Cole gets crotched by AOP as they set up two tables. Wolfe and Young jump AOP as Cole climbs the cage wall. Wolfe hits a super german suplex on Akam, putting them both through two tables. Dain clotheslines O'Reilly, places a garbage can by his face and hits a coast to coast off the ropes. Cole stands on top of the cage as Strong climbs up and trades shots with him. Strong superplexes Cole off the top of the cage and on top of the other seven men in the ring, laying all nine men out again. AOP hit The Last Chapter on Dain. Fish and O'Reilly hit Total Elimination on Akam. Young and Fish battle while Wolfe and O'Reilly battle. Strong sends Cole into the cage wall. Young with a wheelbarrow suplex on Strong into the cage wall. Cole lands a kendo stick shot on Young and then knees a steel chair into Young's head to finally score the pinfall.
Winners: The Undisputed Era, by pinfall.


Saturday, November 18, 2017

Buckeyes Preview 11/18/17: Illinois Fighting Illini @ Ohio State


By Jason Disantis, @JasonInCLE


After getting blown out by an Iowa team that was an 18-point underdog the hopes and dreams of a National Championship seemed all but lost for the Buckeyes. It was Ohio State’s second loss of the year and put them firmly behind a host of undefeated and one-loss teams. Despite the playoff hopes of the Buckeyes turning grim they were still in control of their Big Ten destiny. If they won out they would be playing for a Big Ten championship.

For many fans last week’s game against No.12 Michigan State was more than just a game. It was a picture into the minds of these Buckeye’s.

One of the biggest criticisms of former Buckeye coach John Cooper was that he sold Ohio State as a path to the NFL. As a result, his players didn’t always love or care about winning for Ohio State. Their focus was on making it pro. I have heard former players say that was the reason they lost to Michigan every year, despite being more talented.

With National Championship hopes almost gone, a question loomed of whether or not this Buckeye team would show up against Michigan State.

How much did they care about a Big Ten championship? How much would players from Florida or Texas care about winning for Ohio State? Remember, head coach Urban Meyer has expanded his recruiting for Ohio State farther beyond the walls of Ohio than any coach before him. And while he has been rewarded with possibly the most talented team in the nation for his efforts, the question of love for school remained.

Last week that question was answered with an emphatic statement not just to the Big Ten, but to the rest of the nation with a 48-3 dismantling of Michigan State.

From the opening drive the Buckeyes dominated the Spartans. It was easily Ohio State’s best and most balanced game this year and continued their path to a Big Ten championship.

“Credit to the leadership and the young guys following our lead,” said junior defensive end Sam Hubbard. “We had a meeting early in the week talking about the Big Ten standings and what we needed to do from here on out. It was mentioned that if we won this game we would swap as head in the Big Ten East and that was our focus.”

The other question many Buckeye’s fans had was answered Tuesday night: Will the two-loss Buckeyes have a shot to get back in the playoff hunt?

Ohio State sat at No.13 before last Saturday but with a big win and Georgia and Notre Dame both losing on Tuesday night the rankings committee moved them all the way up to No.9. It was a jump that, depending on who you talk to, gave the Buckeyes a shot to get back in the playoffs.

1. Alabama
2. Clemson
3. Miami
4. Oklahoma
5. Wisconsin
6. Auburn
7. Georgia
8. Notre Dame
9. Ohio State

Without breaking down everyone’s schedule I’ll give the cliff-notes version of how Ohio State can get back to the playoff.
Obviously Ohio State needs to win out which would put them above Notre Dame and Wisconsin (moves them to #7). If Alabama wins out it means Auburn would get a third loss and Georgia would again lose (moves them to #5). Clemson and Miami will most likely play in the ACC championship game and the committee would have to drop the loser of that game just one spot to keep them in the top 4 and keep Ohio State out. Unless Clemson and Miami play a triple overtime greatest college game in history it would be tough to keep Ohio State out at that point.

So to put it simply, if Ohio State and Alabama win-out there is a real good chance the Buckeyes will find themselves in the playoff.




But all of this talk about playoffs and Big Ten championships means nothing if the Buckeyes can’t take care of business against the 2-8 (0-7 Big Ten) Fighting Illini of Illinois. And head coach Urban Meyer knows it.

“There will be zero conversation around here [about the playoff], especially when you guys talk to the players there will be zero conversation about what happened before and what’s going to happen in the future,” Meyer said. “Zero.”

After starting the year 2-0 second year head coach Lovie Smith and the Illini have dropped 8 straight. At this point in the year the only motivation the Illini have is playing spoiler and Smith is pushing that mindset.

“I think the guys are looking for a great opportunity,” Smith said. “Where we are in our season, two games left to go… you’re last road game is playing against a team like this?”

As the Buckeyes prepare for their last home game of the season the focus is on Illinois. Not Big Ten Championships. Not National Championships. All of that stuff will take care of itself as long as Ohio State takes care of business.



What: Ohio State Buckeyes vs Illinois Fighting Illini
When: Saturday November 18, 2017 at 3:30 PM ET
Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
Watch: ABC
Spread: OSU -41
Over/Under: 54
Money Line: OSU -16964, IL +27500

Friday, November 17, 2017

Podcast Special 11/17/17: WWE Survivor Series & NXT Takeover: War Games Preview


By Raven Williams, @nevaRWilliams

You can now download the latest episodes of "TripleThreatCLE.com's Podcast"!

Subscribe to us, on New Cleveland Radio iTunes here!

WWE Survivor Series Preview


DOWNLOAD: Survivor Series 2017 & NXT Takeover War Games Preview

SoundCloud Stream Here

WWE Survivor Series Preview


By Brandon Albright, @B_Rock1978

What's up Triple Threat CLE fans, I'm back with your WWE Survivor Series preview for this Sunday night's pay per view, live at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. This year's WWE Survivor Series will be the annual RAW vs. Smackdown Live event with both shows competing against each other in matches. WWE Survivor Series will be live on the WWE Network. If you can't see the show be sure to check back with Triple Threat CLE this Monday afternoon, as I will have the full recap of the show.


- WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar vs. WWE World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles: WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar has been dominate since winning the title at Wrestlemania 33 against Goldberg. Lesnar has defended the title against guys like Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman and come out on top. Over on Smackdown Live, WWE World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles dethroned the former champion Jinder Mahal two weeks before WWE Survivor Series to grab the match against Brock Lesnar. This match is being hyped as a Rocky movie come to life with the bigger champion Brock Lesnar battling the underdog champion AJ Styles. Which superstar will leave as the better world champion??


- WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. WWE United States Champion Baron Corbin: The Miz has been running Monday night's over on RAW as the WWE Intercontinental Champion for the past few months. Over on Smackdown Live, Baron Corbin defeated AJ Styles to win the WWE United States Championship to earn this spot. Miz and Corbin have been taking verbal shots at each other on social media with The Miz calling Corbin a joke of a champion and Corbin making comments about Miz's wife Maryse and their unborn child. Which superstar will leave WWE Survivor Series as the better mid card champion??


- WWE RAW World Tag Team Champions Sheamus and Cesaro vs. WWE Smackdown Live World Tag Team Champions The Usos: The Usos have been running Smackdown Live as the tag team champions, fending off The New Day in title matches. Over on RAW, two weeks before WWE Survivor Series, Sheamus and Cesaro defeated Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins to become the new WWE RAW World Tag Team Champions, after The New Day caused a distraction and faked another RAW takeover. Which tag team will leave WWE Survivor Series as the better tag team champions??


- WWE RAW Women's Champion Alexa Bliss vs. WWE Smackdown Live Women's Champion Charlotte: Alexa Bliss has been running things over on RAW the past few months as the WWE RAW Women's Champion, recently just defeating Mickie James in a feud. Over on Smackdown Live, just five days before the WWE Survivor Series, Charlotte defeated Nattie Neidhart to win the WWE Smackdown Live Women's Championship. The self proclaimed Queen of RAW Alexa Bliss now must face a woman that earned the Queen nickname long before her, Charlotte. Which female superstar will leave WWE Survivor Series the better women's champion??


- "WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match": Enzo Amore (c) vs. Kalisto: Enzo Amore and Kalisto have been in a heated feud for the past month as both men traded the WWE Cruiserweight Championship back and forth. Can Kalisto pull off the victory and regain the championship from Enzo? Will Enzo continue to reign as the master of talking smack and backing it up and retain his championship??


- The Shield vs. The New Day: The New Day arrived on Monday Night RAW two weeks ago and distracted Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins during their WWE RAW World Tag Team Championship Match against Sheamus and Cesaro. The distraction cost Ambrose and Rollins their titles during the chaos. Roman Reigns returned to action one week before WWE Survivor Series and along with Ambrose and Rollins challenged The New Day to a match. The New Day accepted the challenge from The Shield on social media to make this match official.


- "Men's 5-On-5 Elimination Match": Team RAW (Kurt Angle, Braun Strowman, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe and Triple H) vs. Team Smackdown Live: (Shane McMahon, Randy Orton, Bobby Roode, Shinsuke Nakamura and John Cena): Kurt Angle was chosen as the leader of Team RAW by Stephanie McMahon and ordered to win or else lose his job. Angle chose Strowman, Balor, Joe and Jason Jordan as his original four. Jordan suffered a leg injury and after Angle was insulted by Stephanie for choosing Jordan, Triple H returned. Triple H kicked Jordan off the team with a Pedigree and took over Jordan's spot. Over on Smackdown Live, Shane McMahon has been hell bent on making Smackdown Live the A Show over RAW. Shane took the team leader spot, as Orton, Roode and Nakamura won Qualifying matches to get their spots. With the fifth spot still open, Shane grabbed the WWE franchise John Cena for the last spot. 


- "Women's 5-On-5 Elimination Match": Team RAW (Alicia Fox, Nia Jax, Bayley, Sasha Banks and Asuka) vs. Team Smackdown Live (Becky Lynch, Naomi, Tamina, Carmella and ????): Smackdown Live's team of five were picked right from the start by Shane McMahon as his top five women on the Smackdown Live roster right now to represent them. Over on RAW, Alicia Fox won the team captain spot and then chose Nia Jax, Sasha Banks and Asuka as her first three. Bayley would go on to defeat Mickie James and Dana Brooke in a Triple Threat Match to earn the fifth and final spot on the team. One week before the pay per view, Charlotte defeated Nattie Neidhart to win the WWE Smackdown Live Women's Championship which took Charlotte off of Team Smackdown Live. It was announced that the fifth member of the team will be announced at the pay per view.

Spread Offense 11/17/17: College Football Playoff Breakdown


By Pat Luhta, @PLuhta


So I'm here to switch up things a bit in my weekly college football article. Due to lack of marquee games this week, I'll be breaking down the college football playoff picture instead of doing a week 12 preview. But before I get to that, here's MY current top 10 ballot.


WEEK 12 TOP TEN

10. USC (last week: NR)
9. Notre Dame (last week: 4)
8. Ohio State (last week: NR)
7. Wisconsin (last week: 9)
6. Georgia (last week: 2)
5. Auburn (last week: 8)
4. Oklahoma (last week: 5)
3. Clemson (last week: 3)
2. Miami (last week: 6)
1. Alabama (last week: 1)


PLAYOFF PICTURE BREAKDOWN



There is currently only one team that has locked in a playoff spot, the Alabama Crimson Tide(barring a crazy upset by Mercer this weekend.) Alabama plays Auburn to end their regular season, if they win then they go on to the SEC championship game to face Georgia. If they lose, then Auburn goes to the SEC championship game. So there’s 3 scenarios for the Crimson Tide, they either win out, beat Auburn and lose to Georgia in SEC title game, or lose to Auburn and not qualify for the SEC title game. All 3 situations give Alabama a max of 1 loss, and they aren’t dropping them from #1 to out of playoffs over a loss to either Auburn or Georgia.
So Alabama is in, so where does that leave us as far as the other 3 playoff spots are concerned?

There are a total of 6 teams that currently control their own destiny, meaning if they win out then they are in. Miami, Clemson, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Auburn and Georgia are the 6 teams vying for 3 remaining playoff spots, if they win out then they punch their ticket but if they lose than they are all but out of it, and a few teams may end up playing each other in what could amount to elimination games. Miami vs Clemson is set for the ACC title game, and there’s a possibility that Auburn vs. Georgia could meet in the SEC title game, so championship weekend could shape up to be a playoff weekend in itself.

Miami is the team that potentially has a “get out of losing a game” free card, but only if they lose to Clemson in the ACC title game. Losing to Virginia or Pitt could take destiny out of their hands, losing to either of those teams then following it up with a loss to Clemson and they are eliminated. The committee was skeptical of the Hurricanes up until the past 2 weeks, and after handily beating Virginia Tech and Notre Dame they have won their respect so Miami losing a game would not be as damaging as the other teams that control their destiny.

Clemson on the other hand, has to win out or else they are at the mercy of how other teams’ fare . They face the Citadel(haha ok then), at South Carolina in the Palmetto State rivalry and then Miami in the ACC title game, and while Tigers fans probably don’t want to hear this, Clemson’s only shot at losing a game and still making the playoffs is a loss to South Carolina. If they lose to the Citadel then they fall too far to make up the ground and if they lose to Miami in the ACC title game then the committee won’t be selecting a 2 loss team that didn’t win their conference. So Clemson needs to win out to ensure their spot, but if they lose to South Carolina then beat Miami to become ACC champs, then they still have a shot.

Georgia is somewhat in the same boat as Clemson is, but they need to tread very carefully these next two games. After their 40-17 loss to Auburn, the committee dropped them from #1 all the way to #7, so needless to say there’s now some skepticism. Another loss likely takes them out of the playoff race, but winning the SEC title might be enough to salvage their chances and get a playoff spot. The SEC championship is a must though, if Georgia beats both Kentucky and Georgia Tech but then loses to either Alabama or Auburn in the SEC title game, then they are out.

The other 3, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Auburn, are all in a win out or be out situation.
Auburn has a shot to be the first ever 2 loss team to make the playoff. If they beat Alabama then go to the SEC championship game and beat Georgia(again) then there's no way that the committee can leave them out despite the 2 losses on their schedule. But at the same time, one loss the rest of the way and they are done so they would need to run the table and beat UL-Monroe, Alabama and then Georgia in order to get in.

Oklahoma has to run the table, because the committee has tipped their hands at how they feel about the Big 12. Aside from Oklahoma, only TCU and Oklahoma State remain in the top 25 so the Big 12 is not well represented at all, which puts Oklahoma in a must win situation despite only having 1 loss currently. Fortunately, Oklahoma has 2 very winnable games left in regular season with Kansas and West Virginia on their schedule and will likely be facing either TCU or Oklahoma State in the Big 12 championship game, 2 teams that they've already beaten. The opportunity is right there for them to take advantage of, but they have to take care of business or no playoffs for them.

As for Wisconsin, they are currently undefeated but sitting outside the top 4 playoff rankings. Their lack of schedule strength is what is holding them back, a 7-3 Northwestern team is their best win on the season. If they lose just 1 game then do not expect the committee to show mercy on them, they'll be dropped far enough that they won't be able to climb back up in time. Only possible chance for them to sustain a loss and make the playoffs would be for them to lose to Michigan but then beat Minnesota and win the Big Ten championship against Ohio State or Penn State, but even then it's a long shot.

This is the situation with Wisconsin and why I haven't given them much credit and still have them at #7 in my top 10 ballot, it's not so much their lack of schedule strength as it is their lack of impressive wins. I don't fault Wisconsin for their schedule for the most part, they can only control their non-conference schedule so the fact that the Big Ten schedule rotation got them to avoid Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan State while getting Michigan at home along with the B1G West being down right now is not on Wisconsin. The problem that I have with Wisconsin is that when they play these bad teams, they aren't really showing that dominance the other teams show when they play bad teams. 33-24 to Northwestern, 38-17 to Nebraska, 17-9 to Purdue, 38-13 to Maryland and 24-10 to Illinois doesn't jump out as a team that can take on an Alabama or Clemson and put up a fight for the national title. Their opportunity to show it is coming though, if they can run the table and end up 13-0 in a power 5 conference then there's no chance of them being left out.

Then there are a few teams that are still alive in the playoff hunt, but need to win out plus get some help in order to make the final 4. Ohio State, Notre Dame, Penn State and USC are all still in the running, but destiny is out of their hands.

Notre Dame might end up being the biggest long shot of the 4 to make the playoffs simply because they do not have a conference championship game. They play Navy this week and Stanford in the regular season finale, then they have to sit back and wait while all other playoff contending teams play the following weekend. The Fighting Irish need to hope that it goes chalk with Alabama, Miami and Oklahoma winning out, Wisconsin to lose a game and not win the Big Ten, and the B1G East winner to lose a regular season game but beat Wisconsin. That’s basically what Notre Dame is up against, so that loss to Miami last Saturday could very well have been a playoff eliminator.

Remember when I said that Notre Dame might be the biggest long shot? Well Penn State just said “hold my beer” on that statement. The Nittany Lions need to win out, but due to the Big Ten tiebreakers, they also need Ohio State to lose both of their games and Michigan State to lose at least 1 of their remaining 2 games. The Problem? Ohio State is hosting Illinois, who is currently a 41 point underdog to the Buckeyes, and Michigan State hosts Maryland and then goes to Rutgers. In that scenario, then Penn State would have 2 conference losses while OSU and MSU would end up with 3, and if then they would either have the tiebreaker with Michigan if the Wolverines beat both Wisconsin and OSU or if Michigan loses to Wisconsin then they would sit alone top the B1G East division. Even after all of that, they would need some chips to fall their way with teams that control their destiny losing. It all starts this weekend though, Penn State needs to be rooting for Illinois big time, because if the 41 point underdog can somehow pull this game off then doors begin to open, but if they lose to Ohio State then that door is slammed shut.

USC is already in their conference championship game, so all they can do is win out by beating UCLA then whoever they face in the Pac-12 title game. The best case scenario is for them to face Washington State, who is currently in a 3 way tie in the North division, so they can avenge one of their 2 losses on the season and make a case to the committee that to not look at the 3 point loss on the road but rather a neutral site win is more indicative of USC. From there they’ll just have to wait it out, hope for some upsets and see how it plays out. They’ll really want Ohio State and Auburn to lose, those 2 schools are ranked the highest of all 2 loss teams so USC will need them to lose in order to jump them in the rankings(Penn State is also ranked higher but a conference championship for USC will leapfrog them over PSU). Right now, all USC can do is win out and use their Pac-12 title as a bargaining chip incase some chaos were to happen.

As for the Ohio State Buckeyes, well let's just say that Ohio State fans are going to be required to do some things that will make them feel a little disgusted about. This is going to be tough for me to write since I am a Buckeyes fan but...here goes...Ohio State needs to be HUGE Alabama Crimson Tide fans the rest of the way. I know, I know, "yuck!" comes to mind here but OSU cannot afford to have 2 teams from the SEC make it so they need Alabama to first knock out Auburn in week 13 then knock out Georgia in the SEC title game. Aside from wanting Alabama to win out, and fortunately this isn't a guaranteed necessity, OSU may also want to pull for Michigan this Saturday against Wisconsin. I'm almost positive that 1 loss eliminates Wisconsin(meaning OSU beating an undefeated Wisconsin team in B1G title game knocks them out), but Wisconsin losing once before the title game and OSU handing them their 2nd loss will remove all doubt. Miami losing once before the ACC title game means that automatically either the Hurricanes or Clemson will suffer the 2nd loss, but if they are still undefeated heading into the ACC title game then they need to beat Clemson. If that happens then Alabama, Miami(or Clemson/Miami winner if Miami loses before ACC title game), Oklahoma and Ohio State are the 4 teams, that's what the Buckeyes need to get in. So Ohio State needs to run the table and win the Big Ten, and root for Alabama(big time), Michigan(possibly) and either Clemson or Miami to be a 2 loss non conference champ along the way.

So there you have it, a complete breakdown of what teams need in order to make the playoffs. The playoff picture is becoming clear, but knowing college football means knowing to expect chaos these next few weeks.

Browns Preview 11/17/17: Jacksonville Jaguars @ Cleveland Browns


By Katelin Marshall, @KatelinKnowsCLE

The still winless Cleveland Browns host the (6-3) Jacksonville Jaguars. The weather is going to be cold this weekend and the running game is going to be extremely important for both teams. The Browns lost pro-bowl linebacker Jamie Collins for the season last week.


Browns Offense vs Jags Defense


The Browns need to have success running the ball this week and they can't give up on it. The Jags defense is the best when it comes to defending the pass but against the run they are ranked 25th. The running game for the Browns actually had some success last week. Isaiah Crowell ran for 90 yards and a touchdown and both DeShone Kizer and Duke Johnson ran for just over 50 yards. This is how the Browns are going to have to play offensively going forward. They need Crowell and Johnson to average around 120 yards between them and then also take what the defense gives them when it comes to Kizer.

The passing game is getting some help with the return of Corey Coleman. Coleman will be active for the first time since breaking his hand against the Ravens. Kenny Britt finally decided to show up last week even if it was just for two catches and a touchdown. The issue with passing game is guys like Duke Johnson and Seth DeValve are first and third on the team in catches. Second is Ricardo Lewis who has 25 catches but let's be 100...He's barely a NFL receiver.



Browns Defense vs Jags Offense

The Jags offense could be without a number of playmakers this week. Rookie Leonard Fournette has missed some games due to injury and has been limited in practice this week. Also for the Jags, both starting receivers Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee have been absent from practice due to injuries. Even if one of the receivers can't go expect for Fournette or Chris Ivory to get plenty of snaps. Sunday won't be kind to the quarterbacks. And with Kizer and Blake Bortles under-center each team should just play it safe.

For the Browns defensively, expect James Burgess to get the bulk of the snaps with Collins out. Also Jabrill Peppers' role on defense could expand a bit more with the Collins injury. It will be interesting to see if Gregg Williams puts Peppers in at linebacker like the Cardinals do with Deone Bucannon.




Five Guys to Watch


1. DeShone Kizer: I'm curious to see if Hue Jackson continues to put Kizer in favorable positions. He's done so the last two games and it's worked out for the most part. Now if only someone playing receiver can go out and actually make a big play consistently.

 2. Emmanual Ogbah: Ogbah is actually one of the best run stoppers in the game and he is one of the big reasons the Browns rank 4th in rush defense. With terrible weather Ogbah need to be on the field as much as possible in order to limit Fournette or Ivory.

3. Joe Schobert: If I would have told you that Schobert would be leading the Browns in tackles this season last year no one would have believed me...but its true. Schobert cutting weight and moving to middle linebacker has given him a NFL career. Again with a run heavy game plan Schobert will have his name called multiple times.

4. Corey Coleman: I am so glad Coleman is back. Yes, he probably won't get 12+ targets this week but with Coleman back the Browns have a reliable receiver going forward. And I'm sure Kizer can't wait to use his favorite toy again.

5. Jabrill Peppers: Peppers is on the list because of what I said above. He is really good near the line of scrimmage and its something to keep an eye out for if Gregg Williams starts using him as the linebacker hybrid he really is.




Injury Report:

Weather Report:

Betting Line (as of 11/16/17): Jacksonville -7.5


Predictions: Jacksonville 17 Browns...20!

I have a weird feeling about this game. With the terrible weather and all the shit talking the Jags have said this week, it seems like the perfect game for the Browns to win. IF they can take care of the football and not have any stupid mistakes in the redzone...The Browns have a really good chance of upsetting the Jaguars.