Happy Monday, newsletter readers! It's Shanna McCarriston back to give you the sports news of the weekend. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday filled with lots of good company and good food.
I am thankful for some great football we had over the weekend, especially the Patriots defeating the Titans in what could be a playoff preview. But we won't just be focusing on NFL today -- we also have a lot of MLB news to get to, as well as a look back at a crazy college football weekend.
CBS Sports HQ Newsletter
Your Ultimate Guide to Every Day in Sports
We bring sports news that matters to your inbox, to help you stay informed and get a winning edge.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Let's get to it.
Good morning to everyone but especially to...
The Bengals hosted their AFC North foes the Steelers on Sunday in what ended up being a historic win for the home team. The 41-10 blowout win matched Cincinnati's largest margin of victory over Pittsburgh ever.
- It is also the first three-game win streak for the Bengals over the Steelers since 1990
- The win marks the Bengals' first season sweep of the Steelers since 2009
With the win, the Bengals improved to 7-4 and the Steelers fall to 5-5-1. The Bengals started with a touchdown early and from then on, they did not let up. Joe Burrow finished with 190 passing yards, one interception and one touchdown, while teammate Joe Mixon ran for 165 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
CBS Sports' own Bryan DeArdo broke down why the Bengals won and why the Steelers lost. Let's focus on Cincy:
- DeArdo: "The Bengals' defense, which played with a lead throughout the contest, quickly made Pittsburgh's offense one-dimensional ... Cincinnati's defense also came up with two first half interceptions of Roethlisberger that led to 10 points. Trey Hendrickson's forced fumble of Roethlisberger in the third quarter set up Evan McPherson's second field goal of the contest."
Not only did Sunday's game further prove that the Bengals are legit, but it raised even more questions about the Steelers and their future. Once a divisional favorite, the Steelers are now sitting in last place.
The Bengals earned an A+ on the day, while the Steelers got an F. Check out the rest of our NFL grades from Sunday right here.
- Elsewhere in the AFC North, the Ravens overcame four Lamar Jackson interceptions as their defense dominated in a 16-10 win over the Browns. Baltimore remains the No. 1 seed in the AFC at 8-3
- Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette had three rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown in Tampa Bay's 38-31 win over the Colts.
- USC hired Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley as their new head coach. The 38-year-old spent the last five seasons leading the Sooners.
Marcus Semien, Kevin Gausman get paid; Max Scherzer to the Mets? 💰
There may be an MLB lockout coming (more on that in a minute), but players are still signing contracts. On Sunday, there was some serious movement in the free agent market.
- The Texas Rangers and free agent middle infielder star Marcus Semien agreed to a seven-year deal reportedly worth $175 million. Last season he was a free agent and took a one-year deal with the Blue Jays in hopes of getting something bigger this offseason. It paid off
- It was a great Sunday for Rangers fans, as the team also agreed to a four-year, $56 million deal with free agent starting pitcher Jon Gray. In seven years with the Rockies (which means pitching in Coors Field...), the former number three overall pick went 53-49 with a 4.59 ERA and 1.34 WHIP
- The Blue Jays no longer have Semien, but they've spent their money elsewhere and are in agreement with right-hander Kevin Gausman on a five-year, $110 million contract
- The Minnesota Twins agreed to an extension with center fielder Byron Buxton for seven years and $100 million. The 27-year-old was set to be a free agent following the 2022 season
The Rangers struggled last season with a dismal 60-102 record, one of the worst in the league, and both of those signings show their level of aggression heading into the next year.
While those were big signings from yesterday, it was not even the biggest MLB news of the weekend. That honor goes to the Mets and Max Scherzer. As of last night, the Mets were reportedly "close to finalizing a deal" with Scherzer. The team's offer is reportedly a multi-year deal with "around" $40 million per year.
As of Monday morning there is nothing new to report on the Scherzer to the Mets front, but you are still free to imagine a 1-2 punch of Jacob deGrom and Scherzer in the same rotation.
College football recap: Jim Harbaugh finally did it 🏈
A LOT happened from this weekend of college football, and I mean a lot.
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh finally can add "beat Ohio State" to his resume. His Wolverines beat the Buckeyes, 42-27, on Saturday. With the victory, the Wolverines are expected to take the No. 2 spot in the College Football Playoff from Ohio State. In the latest AP Top 25 poll, Michigan did the same and replaced Ohio State as No. 2. Georgia is still expected to stay at the No. 1 spot.
Before we get the next official College Football Playoff rankings, here is a look at the new projected top four, courtesy of our own Jerry Palm, along with grades from their respective Saturdays assigned by our expert Barrett Sallee:
- No. 1: Georgia, A
- No. 2: Michigan, A+
- No. 3: Cincinnati, B
- No. 4: Oklahoma State, A
You'll notice a usual suspect, Alabama, is not in that list above. They have simply not played up to their standards of late. The Top 25 poll has Alabama currently at No. 4 and they earned a C+ for their Week 13 performance -- a wild 24-22 win over Auburn that took four overtimes to decide.
There are other games to look forward to beside the National Championship, of course, so you can take a peak at predictions for Bowl games right here.
Answering questions about the potential MLB lockout ⚾
A lockout that has been dreaded for quite a while is expected this week in Major League Baseball. The current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires at 11:59 p.m. ET on Dec. 1. If the owners do lock out the players, the lockout will continue until a new CBA is agreed upon. It has been a while since the last work stoppage in MLB, which took place in 1994-1995 (I wasn't even born then!)
There are a lot of questions about how the lockout could impact free agency, the season and trades. Because it's been so long since one took place, let's turn to our MLB expert R.J. Anderson to answer some of those questions.
- Can free agents sign during the lockout?: No. Players will have to wait until after the new CBA is ratified to sign with a team (this helps explain the rush of signings we saw yesterday.)
- What about Seiya Suzuki?: Suzuki is an outfielder with Nippon Professional Baseball's Hiroshima Toyo Carp and is a top free agent. Typically, teams would have 30 days after Suzuki was "posted" to reach a deal or he would stay in Japan, but it is likely his window would be paused until the lockout is over ... if it comes to that
- Can teams make trades?: Teams can swap prospects and the minor leagues will not be as affected because their players are not members of the MLB Players Association.
- How long will the lockout last?: If only we could predict the future, we could give a confident answer. While we cannot do that, we can at least say that insiders who have talked to CBS Sports said it will be months.
For more info on the lockout, click here.
What we're watching Monday 📺
- 🏈Seahawks vs. Washington Football Team (Pick) at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN