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 19, 2008 1:04 am
Edited on: November 19, 2008 10:13 pm
Yea! I'm posting on time! Just got back from the Lightning game (well not just, stopped by Iamyo's blog to vote on songs, first), so that's where I'll lead off after the big news coming down on Friday. And thank you NFL for making it very easy for me to come of with ten topics after what I thought was going to be a blah weekend (or curse you NFL for making me make some tough decisions to keep it to ten, depending on how you want to look at it).
1) So long, Mullet - No, this is not going to be a good-bye and good ridance point. Instead, this is going to be a rip owner Oren Clueless point. First off, you didn't give the man enough time. Despite the team's poor performances, they were only 6 points out of first at the time. Secondly, way to show some cajones (not). Great job letting the inmates run the asylum. Thirdly, it's absolutely beautiful that you are paying TWO coaches not to coach now. Guess Saw VI is already in production. Gotta get that money somewhere. Plus, it's not like the team is performing much better now that Melrose is gone. In the game tonight, I saw too much cross ice passing, no players in posistion for rebounds (which Vokoun gave up a ton on the FIFTY shots he faced), and a goalie who makes all the spectacular saves, but gives up the softest goals I've ever seen. Two of the Panthers three goals tonight were on shots from the blue line, and the third was a soft shot from in front of the net in which he was horribly off balance. Plus, he commits too early. That's why they lost in the shootout. If the one Panther player doesn't lose control, he would have allowed goals on both shots. Plus, why can't the Lightning players score in shootouts? This should be an area they excel in. This team has some major problems, and I don't think anybody in the organization knows how to fix them. Oh, and one more thing, why is St. Louis on the point on the power play? Did he develop a 100+ MPH slap shot I don't know about. His two greatest assets are his agility and his ability to steal the puck, and they are being wasted back there.
2) I always wondered what the "T" in the standings stood for - Just like Donovan McNabb, I had no idea NFL games could end in ties. I thought they settled it like soccer and lined up five receivers in the end zone, sent out one DB, and the QB had to see how many he could complete from the 20 yard line. If it was still tied after that, they back up the QB's five yards until one QB hits his receiver and the other doesn't. You are the leader of an NFL franchise. You have played this game for many years. And you didn't know one of the most basic rules???? A rule that was explained to you during the OT coin toss???? A coin toss you were present for as a captain of the team???? And you hope the Super Bowl doesn't end this way???? This is all absolutely inexcusible. This is the same QB and same head coach that faced a 10-6-1 Atlanta Falcons team in the 2003 playoffs (for the 2002 season) on their way to getting their butts handed to them by the better looking Barber twin. What the heck did they think the -1 stood for? That Atlanta suffered a rainout at some point? That they didn't have enough healthy players to continue one game? McNabb is a joke.
3) Caveat Emptor - Unfortunately, I didn't know the latin phrase for "Let the bettor beware." I couldn't believe (especially with today's economy) that $100 million was bet on the Steeler game against the Chargers. And because an NFL officiating crew outthought themselves and applied a proper rule improperly, and changed a correct call to an incorrect call, 2/3 of those millions were swept away into the Vegas economy (maybe the housing market out there will improve, now). Now, I have no sympathy for those that thought they had won and instead held a worthless ticket. There's always a chance of that when you gamble. My concern is, though, that these lost points MAY end up coming back in a tie breaker for the playoffs. Doesn't happen often, but I remember one year (I want to say 1998) where it did. It was a tie breaker between the Packers, Cowboys, and one other team. I remember hearing the experts breaking down how the Packers had a +8 differential while the Cowboys had a -24, so they had to make up 32 points, or whatever it was. Anyway, how is it that people that should INHERITANTLY knows the rules (players, coaches, referees) don't (or at the very least, apply them incorrectly). This is becoming appalingly scary. Thanks to the gaffe, though, it was the first 11-10 final in NFL history.
4) Um, say what? - Is there something in the water in Minnesota (maybe it's all them lakes) that makes people see things differently from the rest of us? First, there was a columnist for the Star-Tribune who called the offensive PI call on Bobby Wade near the end of the game questionable at best. Questionable at best? There was absolutely NO question about it. If he doesn't interfere with Aqib Talib, Talib has an easy pick. Fortunately, most of the people up there told him to take his homer glasses off. Now, Brad Childress comes out today and says that not only does he believe that DE Ray Edwards shouldn't be fined, but he thinks Jeff Garcia should have been flagged for intentional grounding. Um, coach, want to watch the replay again? You can do it without slow motion, since you said that's what was making people draw the conclussions they were drawing. First off, Edwards hit Garcia SECONDS (not a second, SECONDS) after he released the ball taking close to three steps to get there. That's the very definition of roughing, and has been for years. That was in the books long before all this driving into the turf, leading with the helmet, going low on a QB stuff began. And then he said Garcia should have been called for intentional grounding because he left the pocket, then went back in? Coach, you might want to check the rule book again. I don't think there's anything in there for that. Another case of someone who should know the rules who doesn't. No coach, you're more worried about Edwards possibly getting suspended, and being without your ENTIRE starting defensive line. Oh, and great play calling late in the game, too. Way to shut down the best RB in the league FOR US.
5) Keep on Rolling - No, I'm not talking about Alabama, who scared me to death in the first half before they woke up and took care of business in the second. I'm talking about the University of Florida Gators, who have just been on a phenominal tear since dropping the game to Ole Miss. After that game, Tim Tebow promised that you would never see anybody work harder, and he's lived up to it, with the rest of his teammates joining him. In the last three games, they have made three of the best defenses in the nation look silly. They force you to try to run gimmicks to beat them, as Spurrier did with the kickoff throwback that blew up in their face. In the Vandy game, the only way Vandy's defense got off the field in the first half was with the help of a blind replay booth. By the way, Florida has scored on all but two of its red zone trips this year, one on the aforementioned Harvin fumble that was a TD (or at the very least not a fumble), and one when they took a knee in the Tennessee game. That's SCARY effeciency. I know some of this is due to the SEC being down this year. Even as an SEC honk, I can admit it. This is mostly due to a huge drop in the QB play this year. But hey, they're still clearly the second best conference, without there even being a close third. Some down year.
6) A look back - Several weeks ago, I wrote this in my blog: Commodore 64's - If you were to suggest to Vanderbilt fans that this would be their record after 10 games this year, I'm sure most of them would have been ecstatic. Well, they'll have to go 1-4 during the next 5 in order NOT to top it. ... Well, they did only go one and four in their next five, but in doing so, secured the aforementioned 6-4 record and their first bowl game since 1982. Congrats Commodores, from a Gator.
7) Tiger scare - Does Troy have any concept on how to finish a game? You were up 31-10 going into the fourth quarter, and you allow LSU to drop a 30 spot on you in the quarter???? How on earth does this happen? More importantly, though, how does LSU get down 31-3 to a Troy to being with? Did the Bama game take that much out of you? Or did your coach just not perpare you for this team. I have no problems with Les Miles. I think he's a great coach. But when a team is unmotivated and/or unprepared, that falls squarely on the coach's shoulders, no matter what level of football it is.
8) Speaking of poor coaching ... - Who is the special teams coach for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish? If there was one going into the Navy game, there should not have been one coming out of the Navy game. How do you just stand around and watch what's going on, like they did on the second one. Allowing one onside kick is a fluke, allowing two is unforgivable. Way to hang on to win a game that, quite frankly, you deserved to lose. Doesn't seem like that hot seat cooled off too much for Charlie Weiss after that one.
9) Speaking of poor coaching ... - Yes, I know I just used this as the title to the previous point, but it fits here as well, especially when talking about an unprepared and/or unmotivated team. This time, I give you, the University of Ketucky basketball team. Did they really just lose to VMI, a year after coming off a loss to Gardner-Webb? Yes, I know upsets happen, but this level of upset should not happen to this storied of a team two years running. Kentucky at 18-11 no more deserved to be in the NCAA tournament last year than my Gators did, but one of them made it. And now they're well on their way to potentially not making it this year. And UK basketball fans, what's your deal? Gary Parish writes one little article about you that you don't like, and you go flying off the handle? I'll give you this link to one of my responses: http://www.sportsline.com/mcc/blogs
10) Weekend look ahead - The games I'm looking forward to this weekend are UF versus The Cit ... ah, who am I kidding? Give me Texas Tech Oklahoma, Ball State Central Michigan on Wednesday to see if they can remain undefeated (actually, Ball State might be wishing it was Michigan and not Central Michigan on their schedule), Penn State Michigan State, and in the NFL, New England Miami (who would have thought I'd be saying that after last year?), New York Giants Arizona, and Atlanta Carolina. As you can see, a fantastic weekend to make up for last one.
Tags: Aqib Talib, Berry Melrose, Bobby Wade, Brad Childress, Chargers, Charlie Weiss, Donovan McNabb, Gary Parrish, Gators, Hot Seat, Jeff Garcia, LSU Tigers, Martin St. Louis, Mike Smith, Minnesota Vikings, Navy, NHL, Notre Dame, Officiating, Onside Kicks, Overtime, Philadelphia Eagles, Poor Coaching, Ray Edwards, Roughing, Rules, SEC, Special Teams, Steelers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Ties, Troy, University of Kentucky, Vanderbilt Commodores