Call it manipulation, call it communication, Johnathan Thurston is a clear admirer of Cameron Smiths ability to deal with NRL referees.As he prepares to lead North Queensland into a blockbuster NRL qualifying final on Saturday against Smiths Melbourne, Thurston has hailed his State of Origin teammate as the best in the game at getting his message across to match officials.Smiths blow-up with referee Ashley Klein during the Storms shock round 25 loss to Brisbane aside, the wily skipper is renowned for his methodical conduct when it comes to referee-captain discussions.Thurston says its something hes definitely tried to take on board from playing alongside and against Smith.Ive tried to. Smithys always been cool, calm, collected, Thurston said.No matter what the scoreboard shows he doesnt show too much emotion.Every referees different. They show the respect to the captains and youve just got to pick your times to talk to them.Theres no better person in the comp that does that than Smithy. If I get that opportunity I need to take it as well.Thurston has declared himself a certain starter for Saturdays clash, despite a corked calf picked up late in last Saturdays 32-16 win over Gold Coast in Townsville.The playmaker is also backing prop Matt Scott to prove his fitness despite training separately from the team on Wednesday as he continues to recover from a broken finger.I havent spoken to him since he ran out there but he should be there, Thurston said.The Cowboys depart for Melbourne on Thursday and will have their final training session at AAMI Park on Friday.Thurstons men defeated the Storm at the venue in last years finals series but have been beaten twice by their opponents this season.The Queensland and Australia star says theres no doubt about the challenge that lies ahead.Travelling to Melbourne is always a big challenge. Theyve built a fortress down there, he said.Defensively theyre strong, the best in competition.Its the business end of the year and its a good challenge for us to see where were at both physically and mentally. Cheap Adidas Maple Leafs Jerseys . -- Jimmie Johnson held off a teammate, passed a pair of Hall of Famers, and dominated once more at Dover. Cheap Maple Leafs Jerseys China . Spiller left Week 3s 27-20 loss to the New York Jets with a thigh injury, but fully practiced with the team all week and expects to be ready to go on Sunday. http://www.cheapmapleleafsjerseys.com/ . -- There were a lot of firsts for the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night. Wholesale Maple Leafs Jerseys . LOUIS -- Mike Smith is used to facing plenty of shots, so this was nothing new. Cheap Toronto Maple Leafs Jerseys . Shot outdoors against the stunning backdrop of Banff, Alta., the networks 30-minute original production airs tonight at 8pm et/5pm pt on TSN2. The four All-Star teams will play for $100,000 in prize money during TSNs annual skins game, airing live this weekend on TSN from The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre. From the College Football Playoff to below .500: Its been a stunning fall in 2016 for Michigan State.The Spartans lost to Illinois on Saturday, their seventh straight defeat, and theyre now assured of a sub-.500 season. Michigan State almost certainly will miss the postseason for the first time since 2006, the season before Mark Dantonio took over as coach. The Spartans (2-7) can only make a bowl if there arent enough six-win teams to fill the 80 slots.There are 48 teams that are bowl eligible so far, and 19 that cannot become bowl eligible by reaching the .500 mark.Michigan State, which played in the national semifinals last year, has been arguably the most disappointing team in college football this season. Oregon (3-6) and Notre Dame (3-6) may soon join the Spartans in the seven-losses-or-more club, but Michigan State reached that dubious level first.Another big name fell into that group Saturday when Arizona (2-7) lost 69-7 to Washington State.Here are the 19 teams that cannot reach the .500 mark, aand thus wont go to a bowl unless sub-.dddddddddddd500 teams are needed to fill open slots:ArizonaBowling GreenBuffaloConnecticutFlorida AtlanticFlorida InternationalFresno StateGeorgia StateIowa StateKansasMarshallMassachusettsMichigan StateMissouriOregon StateRiceRutgersSan Jose StateVirginiaHere are the 48 teams that have already clinched bowl eligibility:Air ForceAlabamaAppalachian StateArkansasAuburnBaylorBoise StateClemsonColoradoFloridaFlorida StateHoustonLouisiana TechLouisvilleMemphisMichiganMiddle TennesseeMinnesotaNavyNebraskaNew MexicoNorth CarolinaOhioOhio StateOklahomaOklahoma StateOld DominionPenn StateSan Diego StateSouth FloridaSouthern CaliforniaStanfordTempleTennesseeTexas A&MToledoTroyTulsaUtahVirginia TechWake ForestWashingtonWashington StateWest VirginiaWestern KentuckyWestern MichiganWisconsinWyoming---Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtristerCheap NFL JerseysWholesale JerseysWholesale NFL JerseysJerseys From ChinaWholesale NFL JerseysCheap NFL JerseysCheap Jerseys ' ' '