Terps routed in Bay Area

By Jeremy Kahn

SANTA CLARA-Randy Edsall is probably not really happy about the result of the 2014 Foster Farms Bowl for his Maryland Terrapins.

Kevin Hogan, who went to high school not far from the Maryland campus at Gonzaga Prep in Washington D.C., while growing in McLean, Virginia threw two touchdowns on 14-for-20 passing with 189 yards passing, as the Stanford Cardinal defeated the Terrapins 45-21 at Levi’s Stadium.

Devon Cajuste caught both of Hogan’s touchdown passes, while Austin Hooper caught five passes on the night, as the Cardinal finished the season with eight wins.

Remound Wright, who scored four touchdowns against their cross-bay rival California Golden Bears on November 22 scored three touchdowns in the first half.

After the Terrapins tied up the game in the first quarter, the Cardinal simply throttled the Terrapins, as they scored 35 unanswered points in the first ever meeting between the two programs.

Wright got the Cardinal on the board on their initial series, as the Cardinal took nearly seven minutes off the clock, as Wright scored from one yard out.

Wes Brown tied up the game for the Terrapins, as he scored from one yard out, but then the game turned to the Cardinal.

Wright scored two straight touchdowns, and then Hogan and Cajuste connected for two consecutive touchdowns.

Fifth-year senior Ricky Seale scored for the Cardinal just eight seconds into the fourth quarter to give the Cardinal a 35-point lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, sophomore William Likely returned the Jordan Williamson kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.

It was the fourth touchdown of the season for Likely.

It was an off night senior C.J. Brown, as he went 15-for-27 with 205 yards passing and an interception.

Brown closed out the scoring, as he scampered in from two yards out with just under three minutes remaining in the game.

Stefon Diggs caught 10 passes for 138 yards, as he returned to the field for the first time since November 1.

Diggs was forced to miss the Terrapins last three games with a lacerated kidney.

This is the third straight win for the PAC-12 in the Foster Farms Bowl after the Arizona State Sun Devils won in 2012 over the Navy Midshipmen, and in 2013, the Washington Huskies defeated the Brigham Young Cougars.

Sharks lose third in a row

By Ivan Makarov

SAN JOSE, CA — A series of mistakes by the San Jose Sharks three minutes into the game lead to Vancouver Canucks scoring the first goal and taking the game from there on.

First it was Sharks defenseman Brandon Dillon who made a poor breakout pass from his zone. His teammate Justin Braun failed to intercept a pass inside his zone, fanning on the chance. Lastly it was Dillon again who was late on the rebound and allowed Vancouver’s Bo Horbat to shoot on what was an open net at that point.

Joe Pavelski had a great chance to tie the game few minutes later as he got a breakaway chance. Alex Elder found no other option to stop him but with a trip from behind, which earned a penalty shot. Pavelski picked up some good speed on his attempt, but couldn’t put the puck into the net, hitting the post instead.

Canucks took the two goal lead in the game in the early minutes of the second period when Jannik Hansen scored his ninth goal of the season. It was not the one Sharks would want to remember — as Hansen just left the penalty box moments before and got behind the defense on a breakaway. Stalock didn’t seem to be ready and was out too far, giving Hansen open top corner, where he sent the puck with a laser of a wrister.

Just a minute later, just like after the first goal, Sharks got another penalty shot awarded to them, when Joe Thornton was tripper by Tyler Tanner on his breakaway chance. Unlike Pavelski, Thornton didn’t miss, sending the puck high and right next to the goal post. His wrist shot was so powerful that Miller did not have time to react and turned around after the puck went in, looking both ways, not sure where it went in. Thornton doesn’t often appear in shootouts, but he’s now a perfect 2-for-2 in his penalty shot attempts during his NHL career.

Radim Vbrata returned the Cunucks to two goal advantage in game when he scored from around the face-off circle on a nice pass by Henrick Sedin. The puck bounced into the net off Stalock’s glove.

Whatever energy Sharks needed to get back in the game they did not get, and 3-1 was how the score remained despite Sharks’ power play chances and advantage in shots on the net.

“I didn’t think we were particularly good, and the score indicated that,” said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan after the game. “For me there’s a price that the team has to pay to win, and right now we’re not reaching deep enough.”

This was Sharks’ third loss in a row, all against divisional opponents. They can right their ways the very next day when they travel to Anaheim to face the divisional leader the Ducks.

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Harbaugh gets to ring in New Year standing on the shoulders of Michigan as new coach

by Amaury Pi Gonzalez

SANTA CLARA–Jim Harbaugh who is so well renowned with the San Francisco 49ers, Stanford Cardinal, and now is head coach with the Michigan Wolverines and brings that Midas touch. He has 44 wins with the 49ers and five playoff wins, gone to three championships and a Super Bowl with the 49ers and he’s a turn around kind of artist. He’s familiar with the University of Michigan and he will bring his assistant coaching staff with him and he will recruit some talent. This is a good deal for Harbaugh.

The 49ers fans they haven’t done a survey of the Bay Area and if they do a survey losing Harbaugh is not a popular move by the 49ers. Harbaugh was well liked by the fans and remember last year they said “whose got it better than us?” that’s what the fans saying was about bragging rights of having Harbaugh. He is a good coach, it’s a fact every place he’s been he wins. This is just more than just winning on the field, 49ers CEO Jed York mentioned a couple of days ago he wasn’t happy with the scandals, the 49ers are a very proud organization their not perfect there’s scandals in every sport.

There’s scandals going on in the NFL York didn’t blame Harbaugh but in a way indirectly he was saying he didn’t like the way things were going in the last few years that the team has been having scandals off the field. This is the grand prize for Jim Harbaugh becoming the new head coach at Michigan we have to congratulate him. It’s a good situation and he’s a young man and he can come back after three or four years and coach another team. He’s won every place he has been.

Harbaugh is a guy who changes stuff he’s a turn around kind of operator and he can do that in Michigan, the program there has been running out of steam in the last seven years. So good for Harbaugh and the 49ers are not that popular right now and the thing about the 49ers is not only Harbaugh, Michael Crabtree, Frank Gore, or somebody else might want to leave and not return next season. The Niners might start rebuilding a little bit.

You can’t beat that Harbaugh is going back to where he is loved, he went there to school his alma mater and he’s making all that kind of money this is a perfect situation. Sentimentally and emotionally he’s got everything, it’s kind of an irony a guy who just a few months ago the 49ers season got underway. The 49ers were one of the teams that were expected to win the Super Bowl and he finished 8-8 and they couldn’t even smell the playoffs.

For him to finish 8-8 this season and get that deal with the Wolverines his alma mater and getting $35 million for seven years sentimentally and financially he can not do any better than this. Actually he’s the guy who should be saying “who has it better than me?” He has it very good right now. It’s like the political race for president and the recent polls show for example Hillary Clinton for the Democrats and Jeb Bush for the Repbulicans. Clinton and Bush are name recognition and this is what Harbaugh has in the sports field and that’s name recognition.

Listen to the rest of Amaury’s podcast below and Amaury Pi Gonzalez does News and Commentary each week on http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Sac Kings podcast & commentary: Games in review Brooklyn put muscle to Kings on Monday and Kings thrill crowd with OT win over NY

by Charlie O Mallanee

SACRAMENTO–The Sacramento Kings last loss on Monday night in Brooklyn was particularly painful for the team in the fact that they were looking at going in against a team that had an equal record. A Brooklyn Nets team that had two of it’s stars Deron Williams and Brook Lopez that had been injured and had been sitting on the bench. They could go in there and have a really decent chance to come away with a victory. The first quarter they looked alright because the Kings were up 28-27.

But then came the second quarter and they fell apart, they only scored 16 points in the quarter all the scoring came from basically three people, the Kings DeMarcus Cousins had seven points, Rudy Gay had six, and Nick Stauskas had a three point bucket and that was their entire scoring for the period. In the second quarter they turned the ball over seven times and it was good for ten points it was a particularly painful quarter and they went to half time down 13 points 57-44.

They came out of the third scoring 25 points a piece and the Kings actually outscored the Nets 30-25 in the fourth quarter. They were too far down and they ended up losing it 107-99 in Brooklyn. The key stat for the entire game the Kings turned the ball over 21 times and the Nets were able to pick up 25 points because of those turnovers. You can’t turn the ball over that much in the NBA and win a game.

In the game that was played on Saturday at Sleep Train Arena to beat the New York Knicks in overtime that was one of the most entertaining basketball games that I’ve been to in years. In fact I thought I had a flashback to my first NBA game in Cincinnati with the Royals and the Celtics a number of years ago. All offense and no defense on either team it was 117-117 in regulation the Kings went onto win 135-129. The fans at Sleep Train were thrilled that they won.

It was a game that had some very alarming moments in the sense that the Kings led the game the entire way later the Knicks would tie it up in the closing seconds of the game. The Knicks took their first lead in the game in overtime and it’s really tough when you never have relinquished the lead in the game and you realize your on the brink of losing that game in overtime. Also with the lack of defense has to be very concerting of a great concern to both the management and the coaching.

It’s one thing to go out and put up 107 points in regulation, you have up 107 points to a Knicks team that have been averaging 94 points a game. Also the Knicks were playing without Amar’e Stoudemire beause Stoudemire has been off for three games in a row with knee soreness. The Knicks were missing one of their key elements as well. So after a great win, a very exciting win the crowd in Sacramento was just off the hook as you can well imagine.

It has a lot of concerns because of the fact there was a lack of defense, now they did pick up the defensive effort in overtime and went on a 9-0 run which set up the victory. Crazy game Cousins 39 points, Gay 29, and Collison with 27. So the Kings really led by those three players and again entertaining basketball but it’s the kind of basketball you cannot keep on in a consistant basis. Proven by what happened in what happened in New York or Brooklyn.

Charlie O continues his commentary below click on the podcast. Charlie O covers Sacramento Kings basketball for http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Kings Can’t Contain Plumlee, Drop To Brooklyn

By Shawn Whelchel.

The Sacramento Kings dropped the first game of their four game roadtrip to the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night, after sloppy play and a lack of bench scoring neutralized a big night from DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay.

Gay led all scorers in the game with 25 points on 9-of-21 shooting, while Cousins continued his strong play, following closely behind with 24 points on an efficient 9-of-12 shooting from the field, accounting for 49 of the Kings 99 total points.

But while four out of five starters finished Monday’s contest in double digits for the Kings, the bench failed to provide the necessary support during their minutes on the court, adding just 19 points while contributing to the losing effort.

Nets center Mason Plumlee continues to shine in place of Brook Lopez, who has been reserved to a bench role as of late, as he dumped in 6-of-7 attempts good for a team high 22 points on the night.

The Kings continue to hurt themselves with sloppy play, as a total of 21 turnovers on the night led to 25 points for the Nets at home. Brooklyn’s bench also outscored the Kings by 19 points.

Despite the lack of bench play, the Kings pulled to within 5 points with just over five minutes to go in the fourth quarter. But the defense couldn’t hold off the Nets, who used a pair of runs to solidify their victory over the visiting Kings for their 14th win of the season.

The Kings will take on the Celtics on Wednesday, December 31 at 10 a.m.

Cardinal Poised for Pac-12 Play With Romp of Arkansas Pine Bluff

By Matthew T.F. Harrington

STANFORD, Calif. — If Monday night’s contest against the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff was the barometer to gauge the Stanford’s readiness heading into the start conference play, consider the Cardinal prepared…and then some.

The Cardinal romped its guests from the Southwestern Athletic Conference 74-39 at Maples Pavilion, at one point leading 19-1, riding an absurd shooting touch and airtight defense to the blowout victory.

Stanford (8-3) has now made statements in back-to-back contests after losing to BYU earlier this month. In the most recent outing, the Cardinal picked up the biggest decision it has posted this season. Stanford upset ninth-ranked Texas 74-71 in overtime in Austin the day before Christmas Eve.

“With Texas, it was more than getting a resume win, it was knowing we belong,” said Cardinal guard Anthony Brown. “Knowing we’re a tournament team, especially for the younger guys. It’s their first opportunity to get a big signature win. It gives you a little bit more confidence.”

Monday night, the men in home whites made it far less interesting.

“Coming off the Christmas break, you never know what’s going to happen,” said Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins. “You never know where your team is going to be. We were pretty sharp.”

Stanford, prepping for its initial Pac-12 contest against Washington State on Friday, displayed all the hallmarks of a dominant squad against UAPB (3-11), exceling on both sides of the ball.

“Defensively we did a good job,” said Brown. “Obviously it’s nice to get a win before heading into conference. It’s important to have momentum heading into the Pac-12.”

In terms of confidence, the Cardinal shot 51 percent from the field.

“You have nights where you hit them all and nights where you miss them,” said Dawkins. “That’s just part of our game. I’m just looking at the quality of shot, that’s what I grade. I thought our guys took great shots, not good shots.”

Defensively, Stanford suffocated the Golden Lions to only 13 baskets on 41 attempts from the floor, forcing 25 turnovers while swiping 13 steals.

“I’m really proud of us defensively,” said Dawkins. “That’s something we really hang our hat on. They have a lot of guards, perimeter guys who can beat you off the dribble and make plays. We did a really good job on containing penetration. We challenged a lot of shots. To hold any team to 39 points, I don’t care who you’re playing against, you’re doing a heck of a job defensively.”

Want three-point shooting? The Cardinal received it in droves, hitting 11 shots from beyond the arc. Worried Stanford’s depth behind the starting five won’t produce if called upon? Five different reserves combined to post 24 points, including a thunderous dunk from junior Rosco Allen that drew many a gasp of awe from the Maples crowd.

“Every minute is important,” said Brown. “There will be games where the score is close and we can’t give up runs. There might be a time in the game where people are in foul trouble and the bench has to produce.”

About the only thing Stanford didn’t do well was manage the ball, turning it over 14 times. That may just have been because the Cardinal owned the rock all night and had more chances to cough it up by sheer volume or due to some bench players gaining an increased role.

“I think they’re in the top ten or so in steals even though they play zone,” said Dawkins of Pine Bluff. “I thought we did a really good job of valuing the basketball against a team that plays the zone as good as anybody.”

Fifth-year senior Anthony Brown led the baller barrage with 16 points, including an eye-popping four treys hit on five attempts. In fact, Brown came just one first-half three shy of matching Pine Bluff’s total field goals made in the entire period (5).

Teammates Stefan Nastic (13) and Chasson Randle (11) joined Brown in double-digit scoring, all despite seeing somewhat limited minutes with the rout firmly on. Golden Lions star Marcel Mosley posted a game-high 25 points, including 17 second-half tallies.

The Cardinal don’t expect to have it this easy when the welcome the Cougars to The Farm Friday afternoon, nor do they expect Sunday’s contest against no. 19 Washington to be uneventful.

“In our conference, every night is going to be the same,” said Dawkins “It’s going to be a grind every night. All these coaches and teams have pride. They come to compete, so we have to do the same.”

Thanks, but no thanks: 49ers win, then dismiss Harbaugh after four seasons

Harbaugh goodbye

By Morris Phillips

First, the 49ers attempted to trade Jim Harbaugh in the off-season, hardly a gift after three straight conference championship games and a Super Bowl appearance.  Then they didn’t quell the talk during the season, saw the team suffer injuries and falter, and Jed York sent that pointed tweet after the loss to the Seahawks.

So the complicated stage was set for Sunday when after the season-concluding win over Arizona, 20-17, the organization announced coach and team would split via mutual agreement after four seasons together.  Harbaugh, just minutes prior to the announcement, said this of his tenure:

“I thought we accomplished great things. Tremendous football.  So many people to thank for that.  So many people worked so hard to construct where this football team is.  Feel great to be a part of it.  Feel it’s been signature years in my life and I have much gratitude for everyone involved.”

Now that it’s over, how did things deteriorate so within the inner sanctum of the team?  Although it’s who knows for sure with all of the players involved being so tight lipped, it probably centers around critical personnel decisions regarding players and assistant coaches that did or didn’t go as the disposed coach would have liked.  Supposedly, the organization wanted offensive coordinator Greg Roman released, while Harbaugh demanded he stay.

If that disagreement indeed took place, it was one of only many.  Throughout, Harbaugh gained the reputation of being argumentative and dismissive, in direct issue with the organization’s other stars, GM Trent Baalke, owner Jed York and likely team president Paraag Marathe as well.  Over time, a division grew wider and Baalke, York and Marathe decided they would undertake the challenge of replacing Harbaugh with someone just as good–and as unlikely as it will be–just as successful.

Who that someone will be is tomorrow’s news, just as the fates of Frank Gore, Justin Smith, Michael Crabtree and others who have been critical players in the team’s previous three seasons will be major storylines.  What’s undeniable is that in a 32-team league where the stakes are this high, and the resources this even, the 49ers could just as easily lapse into mediocrity over the coming years as continue an upward arc and form a Super Bowl champion.

Gore knows all too well.  He spoke eloquently (for him) about how Harbaugh allowed him to develop from a great player into a great player that won.  The last four years have transformed Gore from a cornerstone player on subpar teams into a likely Hall of Famer.  Along the way, through Harbaugh’s admiration for Gore, we learned how brilliant a leader and prepared a competitor the veteran running back is.

“I like how he approached the game of football.  My best years, they were with him,” Gore said of Harbaugh.  “He was here and we won.  I just wish him the best.  I know whatever team he goes to, whether it’s NFL or college, he’s going to be fine.”

On Sunday, Gore made a definitive pitch for another contract by giving the Cardinals’ defense fits with 25 carries for 144 yards rushing.  It was the second straight week Gore was fantastic, following a concussion he suffered three weeks ago in Seattle.  Not surprisingly, the offensive line without Alex Boone, but with Joe Staley, Mike Iupati and Anthony Davis was settled and staunch.

Accordingly, Colin Kaepernick played unencumbered, finishing with two touchdown passes, no picks and just one sack.  In a season in which the 49ers’ established a new franchise worst for sacks allowed, the protection afforded their quarterback against a ferocious defensive front may have been the most hopeful sign of the day.

Trailing 7-0 in the first quarter, it was Kaepernick extending a play by escaping the pocket, who found Anquan Boldin on a pass-run play that would cover 76 yards and tie the game.

Then in the third quarter—after the 49ers were made to trail again by an Arizona quick-strike drive before the half—Kaepernick threw to a wide-open Bruce Miller in the back of the end zone for the game’s only scoring play after halftime.

The 49ers’ defense came up with a pair of timely interceptions of Ryan Lindley, who started for Coach Bruce Arians after the Cardinals put up a smoke screen during the week that said rookie Logan Thomas would go for a struggling offense that was outclassed twice by Seattle in recent weeks.  Lindley made some big throws to Michael Floyd and was productive for a half, but he was picked off by Chris Culliver in the third quarter, and then again by Craig Dahl as the Cardinals sought a late, game-tying field goal or more.

The 49ers finished 8-8, giving Harbaugh and team four consecutive non-losing seasons and a much-needed send off into the off-season.  As expected, the announcement of Harbaugh’s fate was almost immediate, following his departure from his post-game press conference by less than two minutes.

The former Stanford coach is expected to accept a lucrative offer to coach Michigan, his alma mater, with an announcement that could come as early as Monday.

Cal Upset By CSU Bakersfield in Pac-12 Tuneup

By Matthew T.F. Harrington

BERKELEY, Calif. – Entering play Sunday evening the California Golden Bears had only felt the sting of defeat twice this season, with the pair of losses coming against teams ranked in the top ten in the country. Add to the likes of Wisconsin and Texas another team that may never again find themselves in the same sentence as these two perennial powerhouses of the hardwood; CSU Bakersfield.

Cal (10-3) fell behind early, then watched as Bakersfield clung to the advantage for dear life, pulling off the 55-52 upset win at Haas Pavilion for just their third victory of the season. Bakersfield (3-10) adds Cal as a strange bedfellow alongside previous conquests Delaware and Idaho State.

“I always talk about ‘You respect all your opponents’,” said Bears coach Cuonzo Martin. “Don’t get consumed with what’s on the front of the jersey or the record. I told our guys before the game, I wrote it on the board, all it takes is one night. Don’t fall asleep We paid for it.”

Cal suffered due to its inability to hold onto the ball, turning the ball over 18 times.

“That’s unacceptable,” said Cal forward David Kravish on his team’s ability to handle the ball. “That’s 18 possessions we didn’t have. That’s 18 shots we didn’t get to put up. They took advantage of it.”

Also of consequence was a lackluster effort from the charity stripe where the Bears went 14 for 24.

“You shoot 14 of 24 from the free throw line, that’s a problem,” said Martin. “It’s a matter of confidence and feeling good. The best way to feel good about your shot is to see the shot go in.”

The Roadrunners dominated California in the early going, yielding only two home field goals over the first ten minutes of play for a 17-5 Bakersfield lead. Cal managed ultimately went into the locker room trailing by ten points at 30-20 at the half.

“We came out flat in the first half,” said Kravish.”That’s been a pattern we’ve set for ourselves for a while now. We came out flat, we .put ourselves in a whole and then we think we can just turn it on.”

Kravish and his teammates don’t know what the cause is for their slow start, but didn’t want to put the blame on a short break for the holidays.

“IT’s not in our DNA,’ said Kravish. “It’s not in what we do in practice every day. The energy level has to be there every day. I don’t understand why. The energy was high.”

Over the first period, the Bears turned the ball over 13 times. They went 7 for 19 from the field in their second worst first half point output this season. Cal previously struggled to a 15-point first half in a 45-42 win against Wyoming earlier this month in an 8-turnover total victory. They scuffled with the shooting touch in that contest as well, hitting 6 of 23 attempts from the field.

Bakersfield’s center Aly Ahmed dominated in the first half, notching 14 points over the first 20 minutes to put him well on pace to break his career-high of 26. The junior from Alexandria, Egypt managed to bully his way in the post, dominating Christian Behrens in isolation. Over the final 20 minutes, the Bears managed to find the solution to stop Ahmed, limiting him to just 5 second-half tallies.

“It’s post defense,” said Martin. “Being aggressive, being physical. In the second half, we did a good job defending the post. That’s what it is. You have to be physical, be aggressive, set a tone, do your job. Do your work early.”

With Bakersfield’s star stymied and turnovers cut down from 13 in the first half to 5 in the second, the Bears slowly chipped away at the ten-point deficit. The home team found themselves trailing by only six at 50-44 with just over a minute left to play.

Kravish got the ball and put up a lay-up, then Sam Singer stole the inbound pass and dished the rock to Tyrone Wallace for the bucket to bring Cal within two at 50-48 with 1:11 left.

Wallace finished the night with a Bears best 17 points, but his foul on Brent Wrapp with 28 seconds left allowed the Bakersfield guard to net a pair of free throws and push the lead back to four points.

Wallace then hit a pair from the Charity stripe of his own, but Wrapp was sent to the line once again. He converted on one of two to keep Cal within three with 17 seconds left and the final game-tying chance. Jordan Mathews instead turned the ball over, forcing Cal to foul to regain possession.

Aly Ahmed hit both free throws to put Bakersfield up by five, but Wallace dunked home the final basket for the 55-52 final.

When piecing together the schedule, Martin wanted to use this game to build confidence heading into Pac-12 play against Washington. Instead, the Bears will be using January 2nd as a reset button.

They won’t be the only team looking to put non-conference play behind them though. The Huskies fell to Stonybrook in a monumental upset Sunday night.

“Washington lost a game at home tonight,” said Martin. “Every game is important. You take it one game at a time. That’s what I consume myself with. You want to win the game, you want to protect home court. But it’s back to the drawing board against Washington.”

49ers podcast: Niners ready to move on without Harbaugh; sources say assistant coach Shanahan could be in the mix

by Morris Phillips

SANTA CLARA–Jim Harbaugh who completed coaching his final game as head coach with the San Francisco 49ers defeating the Arizona Cardinals to close out a four year run and is headed to Michigan to coach there next season and will be the highest paid college coach in the NCAA at $49 million for six years worth of work. Harbaugh lands on his feet and he did not get along with the 49ers brass and thus one of the biggest reasons why he’s out as coach.

In a unusual way to say goodbye to someone that bickered with the head coach on and off during Harbaugh’s tenor the 49ers CEO Jed York and General Manger Trent Baalke came on the sidelines after the game to give Harbaugh a huge goodbye hug. Not bad for someone whose bosses’ felt didn’t deserve a contract extension. The 49ers have a front office of stars with Baalke, Jed York, owners John York and Denise DeBartolo, and team president Paraag Marathe.

The 49ers brass feels justly that they’ve been a big part of what the 49ers have enjoyed in the last four years under Harbaugh and they are going to challenge themselves to get a better football coach or just as good as one as Harbaugh. Kyle Shanahan the Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator whose in his first year with the Browns has been name dropped according to sources as a candidate. The choice won’t be easy but that’s what the 49ers are challenging themselves to do.

As far as the biggest distractions are concerned you just can’t get away from former 49er Ray McDonald who was arrested this season for domestic violence and eventually released by the team for allegations of sexual assault and Aldon Smith was suspended by the team for nine games for illegal weapons charges and DUI. If your trying to win a championship and if your trying to be a great football team professionalism is first and McDonald and Smith really let the team down.

The 49ers really need to do some soul searching in terms of where their heads really are at in terms of getting the job done on the field based on what their doing off the field. Distractions are huge, it’s a distraction for the team and greater than the distraction you just wonder how you play championship football when you have all this other stuff going on. The real simple observation in terms of distraction maybe what outweighed them is just that this football team is fast. The 49ers are fast based on the way that they played which was physical and just like what Harbaugh wanted them to do by injuries and it all added up. Injuries had a real cumulative effect of what the team did on the field with it’s physical play to get to where they are now.

Stanford Cardinal in the Foster Farms Bowl at Levis Stadium: With Stanford University you just feel like great things are coming head coach David Shaw has made it very clear that he’s staying on board and he’s not going anywhere. He’s coming back and his first three years as head coach have been dynamite. He got the Rose Bowl championship in 2013 and won and then a second trip to the Rose Bowl in 2014 and lost that one. The NFL are looking at the Cardinal and to see if they can retain some of those guys.

The Cardinal are going to make a run at the championship and the Pac 12 Championship next season again in 2015, this is a really solid college football program their having the game at Levis Stadium and for hosting the Foster Farms Bowl and the future is looking very bright. The size of the crowds when comparing venues for the Foster Farms Bowl hasn’t changed between AT&T Park and Levis Stadium. So with the venue change (this being the first year at Levis Stadium) your going to have a partially empty football stadium on Tuesday night.

An empty stadium doesn’t necessarily look good with the local team involved and they might draw around 40,000 fans for that game and maybe they’ll get 50,000. Once again Levis Stadium in Santa Clara is not a hotbed for college football and Maryland who faces Stanford doesn’t draw the local sports crowd. So it’s a match up on Tuesday between the Stanford Cardinals and the Maryland Terrapins at Levis Stadium for the Foster Farms Bowl.

Click below as Morris Phillips continues his podcast and covers the San Francisco 49ers and Cal Bears for http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Local kid does great in win

By Jeremy Kahn

With the playoffs all wrapped up, there was only one more thing that the Denver Broncos needed to accomplish in their season finale, a first-round bye.

Vallejo native C.J. Anderson score three touchdowns, as the Broncos simply demolished the Oakland Raiders 47-14 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

With the victory, the Broncos clinched a number two seed in the AFC and a first-round bye after the 33-point victory.

Connor Barth kicked four field goals, while Peyton Manning failed to throw a touchdown for the second time in the last four weeks.

Despite not throwing a touchdown, Manning went 21-for-37 for 273 yards passing on the afternoon.

This was the Raiders 11th consecutive loss on the road, as they finished the season with an overall record of 3-13.

Anderson carried the ball 13 times for 87 yards, while Ronnie Hillman returned for the first time since November 9, as he carried the ball 15 times for 56 yards.

Hillman was out with a sprained left knee.

It was a record setting day for Demaryius Thomas, as he caught eight passes for 115 yards.

Thomas ended the season with 1,619 yards receiving, breaking Rod Smith’s 14-year old of 1,602 that was set in 2000.

Derek Carr’s rookie season ended with a subpar afternoon, as he went 18-for-36 for 158 yards, a touchdown and a interception.

Latavius Murray carried the ball just 10 times for 37 yards.