THE WEATHER REPORT

How winter conditions could impact select NFL, college football games

Winter is coming to football. Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

This weekend a blast of winter will envelop the Central and Eastern parts of the country making for some very cold football games.  Due to this I have expanded the coverage to include notable college games this weekend. With the NFL slate there are not any games that will be affected by the usual suspects of rain, wind or snow – however I am including a few games where the cold may have an impact only because the visiting team will be somewhat of a fish out of water.  Lets dive in:

Saints @ Bengals (noon Sunday) – Temperatures in Cincinnati will be in the mid to low 40s for this game. I am only mentioning it due to the fact that as a southern dome team the Saints are not accustomed to playing in these conditions.  However, the Saints seem to be such a well-oiled machine with a formidable ground game that the impact of temperatures will likely be negligible.

Falcons @ Browns (noon Sunday) - The temperature will be hovering in the upper 30s with the windchill right at 30 degrees for this game in Cleveland.  Similar to the game I mentioned above the Falcons, like the Saints, are not accustomed to these conditions. However the fact that they are playing the Browns may help offset some of the detriment of the cold temperatures.

Dolphins @ Packers (3:25 PM Sunday) – This is the ultimate fish out of water game.  The tundra of Lambeau will be living up to its name with game time temperatures in the mid to low 30s with a small chance of snow.  Due to these conditions and the Dolphin’s talent level I believe the cold will have a real impact here.  To Aaron Rodgers these conditions are likely downright refreshing, but for the Dolphins it will likely be quite a shock to the system. Look for the Dolphins to try to keep it on the ground as much as possible, especially with Osweiler under center.

College Special

I have highlighted too many games here to give individual breakdowns but below you will find a summary of the notable conditions so that you can make or adjust any wagers accordingly. Take note – wind will be an issue at many games on Saturday.

TCU @ West Virginia – Mid to low 30s. Slight chance of snow. Wind 14 MPH gusting to 25 MPH.

Ohio State @ Michigan State – Low 30s. Chance of snow early in the game. Wind 17 MPH gusting to 30 MPH.

Wisconsin @ Penn State – Mid 30s. Wind 15 MPH gusting to 40 MPH.

Baylor @ Iowa State – Temperature in the upper 20s with a windchill in the upper teens.

Virginia Tech @ Pitt – Mid 30s. Chance of snow. Wind 16 MPH gusting to 35 MPH.

Purdue @ Minnesota – Temperatures in the upper 20s with a chance of snow late.

Temple @ Houston – Low 50s with rain.

Florida State @ Notre Dame – Temperature in the mid 20s.

Texas @ Texas Tech – Mid 40s. Wind 14 to 20 MPH.

Clemson @ Boston College – Upper 30s. Wind 15 MPH gusting to 45 MPH.

If you are looking for information on any other games feel free to reach me on Twitter @stephenuzick.

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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