Sidelines: This week in sports

chantal-vallee

Chantal Vallee was hired by the Hamilton Honey Badgers (member of the Canadian Elite Basketball League) as their new general manager and head coach. She is the first woman to ever serve as the head coach and general manager of a men’s professional sports team. Vallee spent over a decade leading the Windsor Lancers women’s basketball team, including five straight national championships (2011-2015). The hiring of Vallee by the Honey Badgers is a huge step forward for women in professional sports. It is great to see a successful female head coach being recognized and given an opportunity on the men’s side of the sport.

The Cleveland Browns have had an interesting week. Prior to their road win over in-state rival Cincinnati (which also happened to be a win over their former head coach Hue Jackson, who is now a special assistant to Marvin Lewis for the Bengals), it was reported that the Browns are interviewing Condoleezza Rice for their head coaching job. While it’s great to hear that a woman may be considered for an NFL head coaching gig, there are also plenty of other names that have been rumoured for the Browns vacancy; Bruce Arians, Lincoln Riley, Jim Harbaugh and more.

Carolina Hurricanes celebrations, are they silly? Ultimately, it’s no one else’s place to have an opinion on what the Hurricanes do to celebrate their wins on home ice. They are a franchise that has struggled for a while. They’re just outside a wild card playoff spot, and if their fan base loves their celebrations, then that’s all that matters. People may think what they do is silly, but if they’re igniting a fan base who for the better part of the past few seasons hasn’t had anything to be really happy about, then it’s not silly for their franchise.

Ohio State throttled Michigan in their home stadium in Columbus this past Saturday. The Wolverines number one defense going into game 12 of the season gave up 62 points to the Buckeyes, allowing Dwayne Haskins to break multiple Big Ten regular season records.The Buckeyes now sit sixth, behind Oklahoma, and the top four now include Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Georgia. Assuming Alabama beats Georgia in the SEC championship game this weekend, the Bulldogs should drop out of the top four without a doubt. It would be extremely unfair to Notre Dame for them to be dropped out of the top four, but it also isn’t uncalled for if the committee makes some crazy decisions. Clemson will likely win the ACC championship, and at 13-0, they should remain in the playoff. The big question is: if Oklahoma and Ohio State both win their conference championships, who should get in? Both teams defenses have been sub-par this season, but overall, the Buckeyes have given up 310 points in 12 games. The Sooners have given up 394 — including 40+ in their past four games straight. The Sooners certainly have an argument for a “better loss” to Texas, compared to the Buckeyes loss to Purdue, but ultimately it is the Buckeyes who have the edge right now, and who should have the edge if it comes down to two 12-1 teams.

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