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: October 14, 2008 6:38 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2008 11:25 pm
Wow, one of the great things about being on vacation is I get to post my blog on time. Here goes this week's edition. Hope you all enjoy. And hope I can keep it to ten.
1) Game Over - Well, it just came down that Roger Goodell has suspended Adam Jones for at least 4 games. I still hang on to two contentions that I've been hearing from Cowboy apologists. One, they are hanging on to that allegedly the bodyguard started this and that it was a "verbal" altercation, even citing the police report. Well, first off, even if it is the bodyguard that started it, it's Jones' previous behavior that made the bodyguard necessary and even if he started it, Jones HAS to realize with the short leash he's on, he has to be the better man and just ignore it. Now, on to this being a "verbal" altercation, my response to that is, man when your heard as a kid that words can hurt, I guess they really meant it. Jones showed up at practice Wednesday with obvious facial bruising. Man, those F-Bombs can be rough on the complexion. Also, how big of an idiot is Jerry Jones for not stepping up and doing SOMETHING in the first place. If he does do something to Adam, I don't think Goodell comes down as hard. He still comes down, but now it's a MINIMUM of 4 games. And Jones non-chalantly acted like this was no big deal. Of course it's a big deal, and thinking that nothing was going to happen shows that Jerry just might be as senile as good old Al Davis.
2) Basic Cable - Yup, it was all Lane's fault. The Raiders went out and proved that by performing WORSE than what they were doing. First off, it was the Raiders D that was choking away games, and yet Rob Ryan is still employed. Also, great job by Cable throwing JaMarcus Russell under the bus today. It's obvious he's Al's puppet. And this also proves that Al was on a senile rant in his goodbye speech to Lane. Remember, Lane was the one who didn't want Russell. Well, last week we found out they were still talking, and this week, Al, via Cable, throws JaMarcus to the wolves. The Raiders are a mess.
3) Wild week in the NFL - Last second finishes. Big time upsets. And an impressive, impressive victory by my beloved Buccaneers. Big props to the Rams, Browns, and Falcons as well.
4) NFC NASCAR division - I'm starting to wonder if this isn't the best division in the NFL. The south's only loss was to a team from the south, while the NFC East was inexplicable playcalling by the 49ers away from pulling the 0fer. Guess only time will tell.
5) Hook 'Em Horns - What a great game turned in by Colt McCoy and Texas this week. They fought hard the whole game and were rewarded with a win. While I would have ranked Alabama ahead of them, I can't find an arguement against them being number one. Their upcoming schedule is brutal, so we'll see if they can hold on to it. Meanwhile, why is Oklahoma still a top 5 team? Yes, I know they lost to number 5 Texas on a neutral site, but still. I would have them around number 7 myself. And Sooner fans, your season isn't done, yet, although you will need two losses by Texas. I know there is no rule saying you have to play in your conference championship game to play in the BCS title game, but it will most likely be a case of out of sight, out of mind.
6) How 'bout them Cowboys - No, not the ones from Dallas. The ones from Stillwater. I haven't seen very many better defensive performances this year. Nobody thought anybody would be able to harass Chase Daniels into a bad game. Absolutely outstanding. And now maybe people will recognize Mike Gundy for the good coach he is, and not his press conference blow up at that reporter who ran a bad story.
7) It's great to be a Florida Gator - Wow. Didn't see that blow out coming. LSU looked lost against their first real defense they've played all year. And wow, what a difference a running game that doesn't rely on Tim Tebow makes. Rainey and Demps look fantastic. The fan piece on the expert picks section of this site said that this game would catapult Charles Scott to the Heisman. Oooh, so close. What, did you think he was going to put up 200 yards and 4 TD's against this defense (similar to what some Georgia fans thought Knowshon Moreno was going to do to Alabama)? The defenses in the SEC are just too darn good. With Vandy losing this week, I'd love to see an Alabama-Florida SEC championship game, especially if at least one of them has a shot at the BCS title game.
8) Are the Cowboys ready to implode? - No, not the ones from Stillwater. This time I am talking about the team from Dallas. Injuries are starting to mount. And now they have to go with
9) Madden not making the trip to Tampa - John Madden is taking a two week vacation, citing not wanting to make another cross country trip. Madden's idol Brett Favre called him a wuss. He had called nearly 300 games in a row.
10) My Apologies to Phillies fans - Well, I knew that pick had a decent chance to come back and haunt me. Even mentioned it in my post. I know they still have to win one more game, but I think it's clear that Philly is indeed the better team and should move on. And what a melt down by the Dodgers. I still love Joe Torre, but he made some extremely questionable decisions last night. Meanwhile, what a huge win by the Rays knocking around Lester. Hey, Papi, do the Rays still look scared to you. Despite the baserunning mistake by Upton, what a performance he has put on this post season. He cleared the park on that shot (and Baldelli would have, too, if not for the Sports Authority sign). Still a long way to go in this series, though. Being able to beat Wakefield tonight would be huge. If not, wow, what a series.
Tags: Adam Jones, Al Davis, B.J. Upton, Brad Johnson, Chase Daniels, Colt McCoy, Dallas Cowboys, David Ortiz, Florida Gators, JaMarcus Russell, Jerry Jones, John Madden, Los Angeles Dodgers, LSU Tigers, Mike Gundy, Missouri Tigers, NFC South, NFL, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Philadelphia Phillies, Raiders, Rob Ryan, Roger Goodell, Tampa Bay Rays, Terrell Owens, Texas Longhorns, Tim Wakefield, Tom Cable, Tony Romo