Posted on: October 1, 2009 12:21 am
Again a day late, but this time it was by choice. See, I knew I was going to be long winded on a couple of topics very near and dear to my heart, the Bucs and the Gators (hence, the name BuccinGator). Wanted the extra time to collect my thoughts and make sure I got everything out there. So without further ado, 10 things ...
1) The Ol' Ball Coach shuts down Ole Miss- I'll start with the Thursday night game. Now, I'm not going to jump on the Ole Miss was overrated band wagon. In a year where many a team already has one loss, they were just beneficiaries of everybody else losing earlier in the year and their starting ranking which was probably a little too high based on what they did last year and returning Jevan Sneed. But while SEC detractors point to this game as a sign of how the SEC is overrated and not that good, I point to this game as a sign of why the SEC is so great. You better bring your A game every week, and you better be ready to play against some slobberknockering defenses. I'm still a big Houston Nutt supporter (and Arkansas fans, check out how his replacement did this week. More on that later), and I still like Jevan Sneed, just think it was a case of where they ran up against an equally matched South Carolina squad in their stadium, and got outplayed. While Ole Miss was overrated through mostly no fault of their own, the fact is that South Carolina was probably more underrated.
2) Big 10 replay officials trying to overtake Pac 10 as being the most boneheaded and ignorant of the rules- Wow. What in the world is the point of having a replay system if it's not even going to be used properly? Come with me, my little chickadees, to last year, ironically involving the Michigan Wolverines. Forgot which side of the play they were on, but there was an absolutely ridiculous call that thankfully had no bearing on the outcome of the game against Michigan State in which a receiver was awarded a touchdown because his foot smooshed the pylon, which the replay official THOUGHT was in bounds. Nevermind the fact that 98% of the receiver's shoe was clearly Oscar Bravo. Now, spin it forward to Saturday afternoon, where an Indiana University receiver and Michigan defender CLEARLY had dual possession of the ball upon hitting the ground and then the defender wrestled the ball away and was awarded the interception. Even in the pros, where the ground does not end a play, the tie goes to the receiver. And no, Michigan fans, there is nothing in the rule that deals with who has "more" possession or whatever else you were trying to argue. I don't care if the defender has the ball locked to his chest, if the receivers hands are around the ball, that's it. And to me, it definitely appeared that the IU receiver had the better possession until it was ripped out ON THE GROUND when the play is over in college. Point is it's a moot arguement, and the rule clearly states that it should have been IU's ball. Their coach had every right to chuck his gum a la "Mr. Perfect" Curt Henning, and they should have had the chance to see if they could produce the winning drive. Now we'll never know.
3) The running of the Bulls D-Line- Daggummit!!! The Seminoles just had absolutely no answer for the University of South Florida's D-Line. And it's nice to see others step up and make plays while George Selvie is getting double and triple teamed. They just decimated the Seminoles offense and forced four fumbles. And the Seminoles secondary was non-existant on several plays. It doesn't help that your best secondary guy is a smurf who plays 10 times his size. I love Greg Reid, but all teams have to do is throw it whereever he's not. And even if he's there, he can get picked on in goalline situations where his height becomes a true disadvantage. The Noles need to solve their inconsistancy on offense, showing up only on odd numbered games (which bodes well for my Gators as they are game number 12). Defensively, they are consistant, though. Consistantly bad. Going to be a long year for the Noles, who are still expected to win the Atlantic Division and make a trip to Tampa. For the Bulls, though, this was a huge win for recruiting. I hope both they and Cincy can stay undefeated heading into the upcoming Thursday night game here in Tampa. The Big East could use the positive exposure that that game could bring them.
4) The "U" downgraded to a Tropical Storm- Again, I'm not going to jump on the Miami was overrated bandwagon, as I think it's great what they are doing, winning two games when many expected them to be "0-4 out the door." I think they are still in for a solid year. Just obviously were not ready to make that next step in a true return to national prominence. Great game turned in by the Hokies.
5) Razorbacks hog-"Tide"- Again, I am not a huge Nick Saban fan, but you have to be impressed with what he is doing in Tuscaloosa. Moreover, I love each and every time anybody, and I do mean anybody (okay, well maybe not Lane Kiffin, but it's close) in the SEC can put a beat down on that despicable turncoat of a man that coaches the University of Arkansas. Sure, Saban is a bit of a turncoat himself, but what he did is Mother Teresaish compared to Petrino, especially what that waste of humanity did to the Falcons, a team that I am by no means a fan of. Razorback fans, I hope every year you finish behind Ole Miss in the standings.
6) Rookie head coach makes a mistake most Pop Warner league coaches wouldn't make- Okay, I am officially convinced that the football gods are out to get me by putting a horrible Notre Dame football team into a BCS bowl game to be slaughtered. Last week it was Michigan State icing it by throwing a pick. This week, with no timeouts left and after being stopped on a running play and starting to scramble around in an effort to clock the ball which would have brought up third down with under 30 seconds left, Perdue gift wraps the game by calling a timeout FOR Notre Dame. For what??? To get the right personnel on the field?? You already had the right personnel on the field the previous play, and if you SERIOUSLY wanted to make changes, let Notre Dame clock it, and THEN you can run out a new unit. That kind of absurdity can't even occur at a high school head coaching level, much less the collegiate level. It's not often coaches truely win or lose games for you, but in this case, Perdue's coach singlehandedly blew it by not being aware of the game situation.
7) Some general NFL musings- I can't pick a Bengals game right, so the Browns will probably win this week. Brett Favre ripped my heart out and cost me my overall lead in my Pick 'Em pool. But what a play. The Vikings got him to make those plays in exactly those types of situations. Still hate his guts, though, for the stunts he's pulled, especially this offseason, but have to give credit where credit is due. The Patriots grounded the Falcons, showing they still have some work to do. The Lions beat the Redskins in a game I called correctly. Even though they were 0-2, the Lions were playing better football than the Deadskins, and it showed on Sunday. Now even worse, the Deadskins play my Suckaneers this Sunday in the Toilet Bowl. Ugh! And finally, Jake Delhomme is finished. Yes, the pick six was Steve Smith's fault, but there was absolutely NO reason for Fake to be throwing it there IN THE FIRST PLACE. He was well covered and would have been tackled immediately in a situation where the Panthers needed to have a sense of urgency.
8) Hey, hey, hey, we're the Suckaneers- Oh my god. I've slipped back into the seventh circle of Lemon [sic] Bennett hell with my favorite NFL team. And Bucs fans have nobody to blame but themselves and the atrocious sports media we have down here in my fair city (although many are still trying to blame Jon Gruden). The media here wants to be coddled to, and got it for years from Tony Dungy (who to be fair is a great coach and even better human being) and Rich McKay (who I can't say the same for). Then came in brash Gruden who wouldn't bend to their every whim. So they began running stories, began sowing discontent, and everybody down here bought it (except for the one piece of decent media, the Pewter Report, who told it like it was the whole time, good or bad). Then Gruden gets the axe, which I didn't have too much of a problem with, except that you need to replace him with a Shannahan or Cowher. Then came the whole Derrick Brooks debacle, which if Gruden had done, people here would have been screaming bloody murder against him. Look I still hope Morris succeeds, but it is obvious this coaching staff is coaching very poorly and are currently in way over their heads. And hopefully Buc fans will now pull theirs out of the sand and realize what a great job Gruden did with what little talent he had. I know this team is rebuilding, but they were one fourth quarter defensive collapse in ANY of the last four games in which they were tied or had a lead in EVERY SINGLE ONE of them away from making the playoffs last year. To take this many steps back is inexcusible. I had this team pegged for 4-12, but now I'm thinking 2-14 is more in line. And the yahoos down here were actually psyched after the Cowboys loss, spewing 8-8 or 9-7 and how great the offense is and how they'd been waiting for something like that for years. Well, I for one was not buying it, and they were exposed by the Giants this week. Fans forget, this team was 14th in total offense last year, which is respectable, especially when you can throw the type of defense out there we had thrown from 1997 through the first twelve games of 2008. Now the defense is just plain horrible. And the offense, I'm afraid fans will realize, is more in line with the 25th overall ranking they have right now than the 4th overall ranking they had going into the game, although with the D it's not likely to matter much. Oh, and yeah, Jon Gruden was the one holding Michael Clayton back. Since week one, he has TWO receptions and dropped a sure touchdown. Yup, all Gruden's fault. Clayton is a great receiver and worth every penny the Bucs spent on him this offseason. Buc fans, reap what you sow!!!! And to further my attack on the media, and why I think this area does not deserve baseball, the St. Pete times runs a horrid article on the Rays about a week ago saying how Jason Bartlett and Carl Crawford's best value (along with one other player) lies in trading them? Are you FREAKING kidding me? Bartlett, your team MVP, and Crawford, who you dumped Scott Kazmir's salary just so you could keep him? And even at $10 million, which I think is ridiculous, in MLB terms is a bargain for a player of Crawford's talents. Yeah, let's just go back to the dark ages of finishing last every year and drawing 5,000 fans a night. Not like they had a winning season this year, right?? What's that, they did?? Could have fooled the press down here who got spoiled by a World Series appearance last year. People down here want to make me vomit. We are the biggest bunch of front running bandwagoners, and sadly, we're probably the best sports market in the state as Miami and Jacksonville are worse. Pathetic!
9) ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!!!!!!- I am so sick in the aftermath of the UF-Kentucky game of EVERYTHING that is coming out, that I feel like being concussed. Everybody just needs to get off of everyone's cases right now, because everything that has been said is absolutely ludicrous. As soon as I saw a replay, I knew exactly what had happened, and just became concerned for how bad of a concussion Tebow had. Don't know why it took like 10 for most people to realize it was hitting the right tackle's knee coming down who was being blocked back into him, and not the hit that caused the damage. The first person people need to get off the case of is the Kentucky blitzer (pretty sure it was an LB) who hit Tebow. You have clowns like Dennis Dodd on this site running articles about whether or not it was a clean hit. Are you freakin' kidding me? Why not just have QB's wear dresses and play two hand touch? And again, it wasn't the initial hit that was the problem. It was a very clean football play. The second person people need to get off the case of is the UF left tackle. People, he was blocking the man he was supposed to block. In football, you block inside out. In that situation, the blitzer is TEBOW'S responsibility to pick up, and he didn't do it. And if there was going to be a shift of the O-lines responsibilities pre-snap had the blitz been recognized, that would have fallen with either Tebow or the Pouncey twin that plays center, not the left tackle. The third person people need to get off of is Urban Meyer. The suggestion that it's the way Tebow plays and he runs to much is beyond ridiculous. I must have missed where Tebow was injured on a running play. I could have swore it was a pass. And his style of play is irrelevant of the situation in which he got hurt. Even a pocket passer like Peyton Manning would have been injured whiplashing his head and neck on the leg of an O-lineman. Give me a break. Tebow gives as much punishment, if not more so than he receives. And the fourth person is Tebow himself. Everybody's suggesting after this that he needs to change his style of play and this and that and the other. That would be the absolute worst thing he can do. You have to dance with the girl that brought you there. If you really want Florida to become more of a passing team, just play John Brantley. And enough with all the talk of Tebow and the LSU game and putting the national title above the kids health and whatnot. It may surprise most people, but the decision for Tebow to play or not play this week won't come from Tebow or Urban Meyer, it will come from the UF medical staff, which I have every faith in making the correct call one way or the other. And if Brantley has to play, I'll take my chances. Obviously Tebow's leadership will be missed, and the style will be different, but if that's how they have to go, if we lose, we lose. I still think UF has a shot to win even with Brantley at the QB spot, although obviously I would prefer Tebow. Oh, and to top it all off, watching ESPNU on Sunday, they had reaction from a Gator fan at a Gainsville bar. Here's what this genius had to say. He talked about how upset he was that the UK players and fans were being all disrespectful cheering and celebrating when Tebow went down. Um, excuse me? Just exactly what game was this chuckle head watching? Was it some different feed than the one from ESPN2 that I saw? This wasn't the FSU game where the fans (surprisingly in my book, as I always thought FSU has great fans) were actually cheering when Percy Harvin went down. Hell, I could have swore I was watching a UF home game as the 15,000 Gator fans in attendance were making far more noise than the Wildcat fans. Want proof of that, watch a replay of the Chris Rainey punt block for TD. No, the Kentucky fans weren't celebrating, and the only players celebrating were the one who got the sack and one of his teammates in the immediate aftermath. Afterall, he had just made a great, CLEAN, football play. It wasn't like when the Gator bench emptied, the Kentucky players were on the field dancing around a la, "Ding, Dong, the Witch Is Dead." Come on ESPN, you broadcast the game. You have to do a better job editing your pieces. I'm sure there were other Gator fans at that bar with better comments than what this moron came up with. All in all, though, this whole situation and experience just further enhances my dislike of most of the media. But that's why knowledgable people stop by my blog, right?
10) A look at the week ahead- The things I am looking forward to this week are the Buccaneers Redskins game, the start of the NHL season! The puck drops for real tomorrow night. Woo hoo!!! Look for some ice talk to kick in on my blog. Anyway, to football, give me LSU Georgia and Oklahoma Miami, and in the pros Jets Saints (go Jets, if nothing else than to shut the Aint fans up), Steelers Chargers to see if the Steelers can regroup, and the MNF game of the Vikings and Packers for obvious reasons.
Bonus parting shot- Great job by the Cal Berkley Bears setting up their matchup with USC this week. They go into Eugene against a struggling Ducks team and get absolutely SMOKED. And thanks to Ole Miss, Penn State, Cal, and Miami for letting USC jump right back up in the polls, despite losing to a team that just got smoked by Stanford.
Tags: Alabama Crimson Tide, Arkansas Razorbacks, Bad Media, bad officiating, Big Ten, Bobby Petrino, Carl Crawford, Concussion, Derrick Brooks, dual possession, Florida State Seminoles, Houston Nutt, Indiana Hoosiers, Jason Bartlett, Jevan Sneed, John Brantley, Jon Gruden, Kentucky Wildcats, Media, Miami Hurricanes, Michael Clayton, Michigan Wolverines, NFL, Nick Saban, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, officiating, Ole Miss Rebels, overrated, Perdue Boilermakers, replays, SEC, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Rays, Tim Tebow, University of Florida Gators, Urban Meyer, Virginia Tech Hokies
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.
Tags: ACC, Altanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Charlie Weis, Drew Brees, Foot Fault, FSU Seminoles, Houston Cougars, Jake Delhomme, Jim Tressel, Johnathan Crompton, Lee Corso, Melanie Oudin, Michigan Wolverines, Mike Gundy, New Orleans Saints, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Pete Carroll, Reggie Bush, Rules, Safety, Serena Williams, Southern California Trojans, Tate Forcier, Tennis, Todd Blackledge, Tony Gonzalez, tOSU, Upset Alert, US Open
Posted on: November 25, 2008 6:49 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2008 10:33 pm
Well, here we are at Thanksgiving time, and as we all get together with family and friends and enjoy our feasts, I realized after this huge week in sports, that I had way too much on my mind to fit into merely ten points. So I present to you this week, a baker's dozen of items that I felt worthy of discussion (and I combined things to limit it to that). So while we all ponder on what we are truly thankful for, let me mention that I am thankful for being given a forum to express my opinions (even if they are not those of CBS. They should be, though, darn it!), and for those of you who have found your way to reading my thoughts on a weekly basis. While many of you have found your way here through iamyo's blog http://iamyo.blogs.sportsline.com/m
1) Gotta give the love - While I admit that like all of us, I have my biases, I do my best to be as even handed as possible. There really isn't any team I hate, although there are a few owners or coaches who would fall into that category. No, if you see a team listed under my hated section, it is most likely the fan base of said team that has earned them their spot there. As any of you who have read my blog before know, the New Orleans Saints fall into this category. But, I have to give credit where credit is due. That was a phenominal performance in what was, quite frankly, a must win game. Your defense (for once) stepped up to be HUGE (and please tell me I did not see Sedrick Ellis celebrating a sack by doing the "Pee Wee Herman")! Packers fans, what happened to your defense? And while A Rod 2 (or A Rodge) has been having a good year, quite frankly the fact remains that you are 5-6, while the guy your management ousted is 8-3 (more on them in a bit). I know this move was made for the future, but Brett had 1, maybe two years left. I think you would have been better off this year had you kept him. For his part, though, A Rod 2 reminded me very much of one Jet Favre last night. Rifling it into receivers when finesse was needed. Making Jason "Toast" David look like a pro bowler. 3 costly picks (where have we heard that before?). The fact is Favre's numbers are better, with a better QB rating, and most importantly, a better W-L. This leads us to ...
2) B b b bretty and the Jets - Speaking of huge wins, knocking off the only previously undefeated team definitely falls into that category. Of course, it helped that the Titans inexplicably ran the ball a grand total of 11 times, only one of which went to powerhouse LenDale White. Coupled with the Giants dismantling of the Cardinals, could this be the year of a subway Super Bowl? I'm still not totally sold on the Jets. Memories of the Raiders game keep popping into my head. But still, it just might happen. Now, speaking of the Raiders and giving credit where it is due ...
3) Just win baby - I have been very hard on the Raiders this year as well. Most of this comes from my disdain of owner Al Davis, who I still feel is too meddlesome and has lost all touch with reality. Does anybody want to win the AFC West? You have the Broncos pulling off this near weekly defensive debacle, and the Chargers who just seem to find ways to lose the game on the last possession. I mean, shoot, even Oakland is only 3 out with 5 games to go. Stranger things have happened. I seriously think 8-8 wins this atrocious division.
4) Cry Iggles Cry - Wow. As Andy Reid was watching his playoff chances being constantly turned over by one Donovan McNabb, who was responsible for 7 in the last 2 games (well, game and a half), Reid decided it was time to pull the plug and throw Kolb to the wolves that are the Baltimore Ravens defense. He went out, and produced very similar numbers, including throwing a pick on second and goal from inches away that was returned for a record 108 yards by Ed Reed. What on earth are you doing throwing it to the back middle of the end zone on second and short? I realize you have little running game (especially power running game), but still, damn! Ever heard of a QB sneak? A hand off to the FB? I realize the problems in Philly go far deeper than McNabb, but trust me, had Kolb shown any signs of being able to move the team/score/not turn over the ball, he would be starting Thursday night and not McNabb.
5) More NFL Musings - Wow, what a great week, I've already hit on the four games I wanted to go heavy on, and I still have a lot of thoughts. Huge win for the Cowboys and Tony Romo. They are back in the playoff picture. Huge win by the Patriots over the Dolphins. And what a game for Matt Cassel (a $14 million game, maybe). Memo to the Dolphins and 49ers. You just might want to consider giving safety help to whoever is covering Randy Moss and TO. They consistantly torched your single coverage all game long and you still made no adjustment. Also have to give a quit yer b$%!hing to Dolphins NT Jason Ferguson who accused the Patriots of running up the score. Hey buddy, you're a NT. They were running run plays. Maybe you should concentrate on stopping them instead of wanting them to do it for you. No team can blow a lead like the Detriot Lions, watching a 17 point first quarter advantage evaporate in 35 unanswered allowed, 21 of which were in the 2nd quarter alone. 0-16 is still possible. The Bucs might wish they were back in the old NFC Norse, going 4-0 against them this year. Huge props to the Falcons. Panthers fans should be worried because this is 3 bad games in a row. You just finally ran into a team that could finish you off. Bucs and Saints fans thank you, Falcons. It's amazing the turnaround. Instead of rebuilding, they are just recovering from the worst head coach of all time. How Rich McKay still has a job with the team (yes, I know he's not the GM anymore, thank god) is beyond me. And also, is the NFC South the best division in football? I'm really starting to believe that it is. Case in point, the aforementioned Saints, at 6-5, are in LAST PLACE.
6) Turkey games on Thanksgiving day - One of the things I've always looked forward to on Thanksgiving was being able to sit down in front of the television and enjoy a day of NFL football. Well, unfortunately this year, I see three quality teams playing against three teams in tail spins. Don't get me wrong, I'll still watch, I'm just not likely to be very interested.
7) Boomer Sooner - Wow! Didn't see that blow out coming. What was Oklahoma able to do defensively that Texas and Oklahoma State were not? This game had huge implications on not only the BCS, where Texas holds a very slim lead at number 2, but the Big 12 south picture as well. We all know by now that if there is a three way tie, it is the BCS standings that will determine who wins the south, and I have a feeling that by beating Oklahoma State, the Sooners would be that team. Of course, the amusing thing is, and a point that is not receiving much discussion, that Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech all have to hope the team they beat is not the victim of an upset this week, otherwise the arguement is moot. Should one team get upset, it would go to head to head, which Texas would win if Tech loses, Oklahoma would win if Texas loses, and Tech would win if Oklahoma loses. Wouldn't that be interesting?
8) Orange you glad the 'Cuse won - One thing I am overly thankful for this holiday season is the fact that I will not have to watch the Fighting Irish on January 1st playing in a bowl game they do not deserve to be in getting their 10th straight loss by a team that, simply put, is vastly more talented. I was extremly worried, and somewhat in disbelief when I heard the reports that both the Cotton and Gator bowls would be interested in taking a 7-5 Irish team, just because they draw well and get good ratings. Well, after getting beat by what just might be the worst BCS school not located in the state of Washington, the Irish will take their trip to El Paso and like it. Funny thing is, this might be the best thing for all parties involved. From what I hear, the El Paso area is heavily catholic, and as I have said, Notre Dame draws well and gets good ratings. But they will be matched up against a PAC 10 team, and might be able to put up a decent game, and not one I will have turned off by half time. Also, didn't Notre Dame fire Bob Davie and Tyrone Willingham for similar (actually, probably slightly better) performances as Charlie Weiss? I said last week he did nothing to get of the hot seat, and this definitely doesn't help matters. And Irish fans, turn your snowballs on your coach, or better yet, your administration for acting like this is okay. Anyway, for us fans of the sport of college football, and not just our favorite teams, thank you, Syracuse, from the bottom of out hearts. UPDATE: It has come out that Mike Tranghese (god I hope I spelled his name right), Big East commissioner, has made it VERY PUBLICLY KNOWN, that the bylaws for the conference tie-ins clearly state that a 6-6 Notre Dame team cannot be taken over a 7-5 Big East member institution. That means that if Rutgers beats Louisville, The Irish are on the outs at the Sun Bowl. As J. Darin Darst has pointed out, this leaves the Irish with very few options. It's a good read. http://www.sportsline.com/mcc/blogs
9) USC no longer fears the Big 10 - It started coming out that some of the Los Angeles media, and some USC fans and even Pac 10 fans are hoping that Oregon State beats Oregon (which will be harder without the services of Jacquizz Rodgers most likely) so that they can enter the BCS as an at large and face a Big 12 team or an SEC team. First off, I find it highly amusing, considering all you hear about is the tradition of the Rose Bowl. Secondly, I find this to be a HUGE slap in the face to the Nittany Lions of Penn State, who are not at all a bad team (as evidenced by their beat down of Michigan State this week). The Nittany Lions have had a phenominal season (remember, they were supposed to be a middle of the pack Big Ten team this year. On the flip side, though, congrats to Michigan on their first 9 loss season in history. WVU fans are laughing at you. And Rich Rod looks like a bigger clown every time he opens his mouth. And wasn't Wisconsin supposed to contend for the Big 10 title? I thought I saw them need three missed PAT's to beat an FCS Cal Poly team this week in OVERTIME. Horrible. But I digress). PSU would give USC as much as they could handle (although I do think USC would win). Be careful what you wish for, USC fans. You might not like the results if you get it. It's also ironic that tOSU hopes USC ends up in the Rose Bowl so THEY can get into a BCS game.
10) Somewhere, David Letterman and Jason Whitlock are smiling - As one of the games I gave you to look forward to last week, I gave you Ball State versus Central Michigan (also noting that Ball State was probably wishing it was Michigan on their schedule instead of Central Michigan. I believe that still might be true.). Boy, did it live up to my billing (shameless pat on the back). That was one of the better college football games I've seen (not Texas Tech versus Texas good, but good none the less). The road doesn't get easier for the Cardinals, as they face Western Michigan and then the MAC championship game (assuming they win. They need the win to make it). Congrats Ball State. One of the true feel good, come out of nowhere stories of the year.
11) Is the NBA trying to outdo the NFL - Wow, two midseason coaching changes. P.J. Carlissimo was dumped by the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Eddie Jordan just got the axe from the Wizards. And here I thought MLB was the sport with the midseason ousters.
12) The "One and Done" Rule needs to be abolished - Dick Vitale said something during the UCLA versus Michigan broadcast that made a world of sense to me. He said that the NBA should allow high school kids the opportunity to be drafted, but if you choose to go to college, or simply not drafted, you should have to stay three years a la college football. He asked if we were dumb enough to think that the Greg Oden's or Kevin Durant's (I throw their names out because I am ignorant of this years freshman phenoms) were actually taking their educations seriously knowing this was just a stop off on their way to guaranteed NBA millions. Plus, it would benefit the stability and quality of both sports. Dicky V, amen, brother, amen!
13) Weekly look ahead - The games I'll be looking forward to this week are FSU Florida (duh), Alabama Auburn (hey, it's still the Iron Bowl, and as a Gator fan, I have to root for Bama), and obviously, Oklahoma Oklahoma State. In the NFL, give me Bucs Saints and Steelers Patriots (and some better games on Thanksgiving, PLEASE!)
Tags: 0-16?, Aaron Rodgers, AFC West, Al Davis, Andy Reid, Atlanta Falcons, Ball State Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, BCS, Big 12 South, Big Ten, Bob Davie, Brett Favre, Carolina Panthers, Charlie Weiss, Coaching Changes, Cowboys, David Letterman, Detriot Lions, Dick Vitale, Donovan McNabb, Ed Reed, Eddie Jordan, Eligibility, Green Bay Packers, J. Darin Darst, Jacquizz Rodgers, January 1st Bowl Games, Jason David, Jason Ferguson, Jason Whitlock, Kevin Kolb, MAC, Matt Cassel, Michigan Wolverines, NBA, NBA Draft, New Orleans Saints, NFC South, NFL's Thanksgiving Slate, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, NY Jets, Oakland Raiders, Oklahoma City Thunder, Oklahoma Sooners, Oregon State Beavers, P.J. Carlissimo, PAC 10, Penn State Nittany Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, Randy Moss, Rich McKay, Rich Rodriguez, Rose Bowl, Subway Super Bowl?, Syracuse Orangmen, Tennessee Titans, Terrell Owens, Texas Longhorns, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Tony Romo, Tradition, Tyrone Willingham, USC Trojans, Washington Wizards, Wisconsin Badgers