Blog Entry

10 Things I learned the week of Sept 15th

Posted on: September 15, 2009 6:32 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2009 7:03 am
Well, week 1 of the NFL season is in the books, with a lot of close games decided in the last two minutes (stupid Bungles costing me a shot at winning week 1 of the pick 'em pool I'm in).  Here is the next weekly installment of 10 things I gleaned from the sports world in general.

1) How 'Bout Them Cowboys?- Well, one week after defeating the Georgia Bulldogs at home, The Oklahoma State Cowboys come out and lay an egg against the Houston Cougars.  What, were they looking ahead to that epic clash against Rice?  Indefensible.  I love Mike Gundy, but whenever a team fails to get up for a game, it falls squarely on his shoulders.  And how about the set of stones on Lee Corso?  He picked this upset on ESPN's College Gameday.  Kirk Herbstreit had to check and make sure the coach was actually picking them to win outright, and not just putting Okie State on upset alert (which it seems Herbstreit had them there as well, just didn't think there was any way they'd lose that game at home without even an opponent to "Look Ahead" to).  The one week dream of challenging for a national title is dead (unless Oklahoma loses one more, Texas would likely have to lose two, and several other things would have to break their way).  I know they're not completely out of it yet, but you can't come out of this game as say Oklahoma did last week losing to BYU on a neutral field.

2) A shot at Todd Blackledge- This is something I never thought I'd do, especially since when it comes to college football colormen, he's probably second only to Gary Danielson in my book, but not knowing a basic rule WHEN YOU'VE PLAYED THE GAME is inexcusable.  I gave him a pass last week for not being able to analyze the situation of everything that had happened after FSU's missed PAT (more on the Noles in a bit), but this I cannot forgive him for.  Come with me to this week's UCLA-Tennessee game which he was calling.  3rd down from their own 1 yard line late in the game up 19-13.  UCLA's quarterback falls asleep in the end zone and dives trying to avoid the safety.  Blackledge starts screaming for a booth review because part of the ball was out past the goal line.  Here's the problem.  THE GOAL LINE IS PART OF THE ENDZONE.  EVERYTHING ALONG THAT PAINTED STRIPE IS IN THE END ZONE.  Whereas you simply have to break the plane to get a TD, to avoid a safety THE ENTIRE BALL MUST BE OUTSIDE THE ENDZONE.  Clearly A LOT of the ball was still in the end zone on that play.  Safety.  I do have to give credit to Blackledge and Nessler for explaining what UCLA would have liked to do in that situation with running as much clock as possible which would have required them getting it to fourth down (although I wouldn't even bother sending the punt team in.  I'd have the QB take the hike from under center and have him run around as much as he could.  You risk snapping it over the punters head [see South Carolina versus Georgia, Southern California versus Ohio State]).  I was kind of hoping Tennessee would win that game so that maybe they would come into the swamp this week with a false sense of confidence and maybe bravado.  But, thanks to Crompton, and his three picks (god I hope he starts this week), that didn't happen.  On a side note, how many safeties were there this week?  I could count four in just the games I watched at least a part of.

3) Tressel logic: p->q=F- I sure wish somebody would explain to me why for somebody with the reputation of being as conservative of a coach as he is gets these quirky moments at the worst times, especially in big games.  I still remember his decision on January 8th, 2007 of after being absolutely blown up on a third and one from his own 29 down 10 and possibly still in the game of going for it on 4th and 1, getting stuffed, and eight plays later it's 34-14 (I still thank him for that, by the way).  Now, come forward to Saturday night.  Late in the first half, up 3, ball again deep in your own territory.  And you're throwing downfield???  His explanation to Holly Rowe was you can never have enough points, especially against USC or something to that effect.  While true, there is a way to go about this (which Pete Carroll, coincidentally, followed to a T to tie it up and almost go in up 14-10).  You don't take your shots downfield there.  You run and use short passes to try to get down to about the 50.  If you don't go anywhere, the clock has very little time on it.  If you get to around the 50, you start thinking FG, and maybe open up intermediate routes and quicken the pace.  Should you get down to the 20-25, then you start thinking TD.  This tried and true method has worked many a time.  Carroll was perfectly happy to try to get off the field only down 3 and regroup in the locker room, but tOSU fell asleep on defense, allowed a run to about midfield, and you all know what happened from there.  Tressel needs to learn to dance with the girl that brought him there, because if you're not good enough to win with talent alone, strange decisions like this will almost never help, and often hurt you instead.  Something similar happened to Charlie Weis at the end of the ND game ...

4) May the Forcier Be With You- Thank you Michigan, from the bottom of my heart!!!  For those of you who followed me last year, you know my opinion of the ND Fighting Irish, or more specifically, their fans.  God, they were getting full of themselves based on what?  Two wins over Hawaii and Nevada?  It all came crashing down this week, and made people like the four letter network's Lou Holtz and Shaun King look ridiculous.  I said after the Hawaii game last year that Notre Dame would go 9-3 this year due to their soft schedule, return to a BCS bowl where they would be completely over matched, and get blown out starting their new 9 game bowl losing streak.  I've seen nothing to change this (altough they may not lose less than 4 games, which would be fine by me).  And to Michigan, I hope this is a sign you are turning things around after last year's debacle.  Your D still needs major work, but Forcier is fun to watch, and will keep you in most games this year.

5) Tough start for the Almost Competitive Conference- Sorry, Bradman, but after watching FSU go into the last minute against Jacksonville State, there is no denying that the ACC is off to a rough start.  The good news is, they were off to a bad start last year, and ended up rebounding and sending 10 teams to bowl games.  You can't lose two and nearly a third game to FCS competition, though.

6) Fake Delhomme strikes again- Suprised John Fox didn't break down into a "Playoffs?" rant after that performance.  Jake is responsible for a whopping ELEVEN turnovers in his last two games, which simply cannot happen in the NFL.  This might be the begining of the end.

7) Is it okay to call Bush a bust now?- Something that will likely get lost in the Saints throttling of the Lions and Brees' SIX touchdown passes (and Stafford's three picks) was what Reggie Bush did.  Or more specifically, what he didn't do.  I have said all along that this guy is playing the wrong position in that same way the Mike Vick was a RB lining up with his hands under the center's butt, Bush is a WR lining up behind the QB.  In a game in which Pierre Thomas didn't play due to injury, Bush had his obligatory 5 receptions for 50 some odd yards, but only achieved 18 yards rushing.  Saints fans will turn a blind eye and say it was because of how effective Mike Bell was running the ball, but, you must remember that you drafted this guy SECOND overall, not in the second round, and are paying him the money as such.  You HAVE to get more production from him than just a receiving threat that once in a blue moon breaks the big play.

8) The Falcons continue the momentum- In my look ahead point last week, I pegged this game for this reason.  It was a huge win by the Falcons to establish forward momentum into this season in the hopes of stringing back to back winning seasons together for the first time in franchise HISTORY.  I'm POed, though, because in my real fantasy league, I have three Falcons on my team (and no Bucs, which is painful for me, but, can't pick with your heart) and ironically started the wrong one (one's Elam, my kicker, so he doesn't count).  Never would have guessed that Tony Gonzalez would out perform Michael Turner, but maybe I should have.  Tony looks to be a HUGE pick up for the dirty birds (and hopefully for me as well).  By the way, in my real league, TE's are optional and are considered a receiver and not their own position, so there was a huge risk/reward factor.  And I won by two, so all in all it wasn't too bad.  Just wouldn't have had to sweat out Nate Kaeding last night.

9) Take this ball and shove it down your bleeping throat, I ain't playin' here no more- Wow!  Talk about two people who have to know the situation and have to handle it WAY better than what they did.  First, the lineswoman cannot make that call in that situation unless it is obvious.  Honestly, Williams was unlikely to come back, but now we'll never know.  And Serena, you CANNOT let your flustrations get the best of you and you ABSOULTELY must handle yourself in a more professional manner.  Come on.  Bad calls happen in every sport.  Lou Pinella may kick some dirt, but I doubt he's out there threatening to shove a baseball down an umpire's throat.  Two wrong's never make a right (although two Wright's did make an airplane), but in this case, Serena's wrong far outweighs that of the lineswoman.  While I'm talking tennis, last week I said I was looking forward to how far Melanie Oudin could go.  Then comes the story on the day after she's ousted that her mom is having an affair with her coach.  Apparently, divorce paperwork was filed by Melanie's dad nearly a year ago, and somehow the story is just now breaking.  I'm glad it didn't break during the tournament, but you do have to question the timing of it.  And way for yet another tennis parent to get in the way of their kid's career.  We should be celebrating Melanie's accomplishment's, not putting her in tabloids.

10) The look ahead- The things I'm looking forward to this week are UF Tennessee (obviously) to see if Monte Kiffin can keep the game within 50 (seriously doubt he can cash the check his kid's mouth wrote), Notre Dame Michigan State to see which team can bounce back, Nebraska Va Tech to see if the Huskers are for real (or if the Hokies potentially aren't), and Texas Tech Texas in a rematch of an absolute classic last year, and in the pros, the Giants and Cowboys to see how many punts hit the scoreboard (and it should be a good game).

Moo, your Mizzou Tigers took nearly the whole game to wake up against Bowling Green.  What was up with that?  Using cyclical logic (which would give us an FCS team winning the title every year) that makes Bowling Green much better than the Fighting Zooks.

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: September 19, 2009 11:22 am

10 Things I learned the week of Sept 15th

Thanks everybody for the comments.  I'm glad to run this forum for fans and friends.  Looking forward to a great weekend of football.  Haven't been around much getting ready for my son's 11th birthday and helping a friend at work get ready for a party.  I'll be back more regularly next week.  Bigred, glad to see you agree on Bush.  The one thing I will say in his favor is that he does give D.C.'s nightmares and you have to prepare and account for him on every play.  That being said, he has yet to remotely earn his paycheck.  And the one thing I keep reminding Saints fans who defend him to the end is that he was the SECOND pick OVERALL.  To me, he's playing like a second or third ROUNDER.  There's lots of people in that draft outperforming him, including as you said, Mario Williams.

Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: September 17, 2009 2:07 pm

10 Things I learned the week of Sept 15th

@Moo: I hope that's the case, but we've seen how long Bob McNair lets his struggling subordinates stick around (Casserly, anybody?).  What's really funny is that Kubiak has this dink-and-dunk offense installed to protect Schaub from getting David Carr'd into oblivion (and further injury), and not only does it NOT work, the long passes don't work all that often because the line is terrible (especially Chester Pitts and whoever that joke of a center is).  So basically, the opposing defense sniffs out the short stuff and the Texans' line doesn't give Schaub enough time for the longer stuff.  And Schaub still can't avoid getting hurt.  What a mess.

I guess the defense isn't that bad, but when they're on the field as long as they were, they're obviously going to give up some points.  Then again, that pass to Chansi Stuckey was pretty much inexcusable.

@Buc: Delhomme was hilarious on multiple levels.  Not only was his terrible play sinking his team, it was sinking one of my fantasy teams since I was up against a guy that had the Eagles defense.  Ouch!

I think we can call Bush a bust too.  Mario Williams may not be that great, but at least he's taken steps to improve.  If Bush has improved, I must have missed it.

I'm looking forward to Texas-TX Tech to see if the Longhorns can tackle in the last 30-40 seconds.  And Giants-Cowboys, just because I want to see the Giants get crushed (and I freely acknowledge that if anyone is going to get crushed, it'll probably be the Cowboys).

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: September 17, 2009 1:58 am

10 Things I learned the week of Sept 15th

Kansas and Nebraska Mizzou fans are getting awfully lippy here recently.There, fixed it!

Since: Nov 17, 2008
Posted on: September 16, 2009 9:35 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Oct 31, 2008
Posted on: September 16, 2009 1:57 pm

10 Things I learned the week of Sept 15th

6) Fake Delhomme strikes again- Suprised John Fox didn't break down into a "Playoffs?" rant after that performance.  Jake is responsible for a whopping ELEVEN turnovers in his last two games, which simply cannot happen in the NFL.  This might be the begining of the end.=[
LOL. Oh well, still GO PANTHERS!
Enjoyed the read on this week.... Ecspecially the color commentator, how stupid, I hate when a play by play or color talks about something but doesn't know the ACTUAL ruling....

Since: Dec 7, 2007
Posted on: September 16, 2009 1:15 am

10 Things I learned the week of Sept 15th

Buc, all excellent points.  good observations, especially about Tressel and Reggie Bush.  Can't argue with any of them.

1.  Mizzou can't take any opponent lightly.  Treat 'em all like they were the Gators. 

2.  Houston Texans better have gotten that performance out of their system or they'll be a new sherriff in town in 2010.

3.  Ryan Succop has a leg on him to say the least.  Great job by the last man in the 2009 draft.  KC hasn't had a kicker who can consistently reach the end zone on kickoffs for quite awhile.

4.  Never try to fly out of Columbus, Ohio the Sunday after a OSU and USC game.  On short notice, seats are rare and expensive.

5.  Apparently the new off season conditioning worked for Brodie Croyle.  He didn't get hurt against the Ravens.

6.  Kansas and Nebraska fans are getting awfullly lippy here recently.

7.  Tennis players are human and melt down just like the rest of us.  How many times have we yelled at someone at work.

8.  There are no super teams as we head towards the MLB playoffs.  this year will be wide open.

9.  If Zack Greinke can win two more games and keep his ERA under 2.25, he should win the AL Cy Young.  Should and will, two different things though.

10.  That I had a horrid week picking against the spread and my Fantasy team may not be as good as I hoped.

Thanks for the forum buc.  Appreciate the comments.

Since: Jul 21, 2008
Posted on: September 15, 2009 7:38 pm

10 Things I learned the week of Sept 15th

One thing I learned this week:

Good griefm the Texans suck again!

An observation on the Serena episode (and others...including the music industry's biggest jackass Kanye West):

Is it just me or do the words "I'm sorry" no longer mean a thing. I'm sorry I bet on baseball. I'm sorry I took steroids. I'm sorry I made an ass of myself, got caught and/or made my sponsors mad and am in danger of losing my free ride if I don't apologize.

"I'm sorry" has become as believable as "I'm retiring".

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or