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Tag:NFC South
Posted on: December 2, 2008 7:14 pm
Edited on: December 4, 2008 10:51 am
 

10 Things I Learned The Week of Dec. 1st

Ah, December.  The time of year that brings us the presents of college conference championship and bowl games and the NFL playoff push.  As we plow (well, not us here in Tampa) our way toward the end of another fantasic year, I bring you my regular reflection of the week that was in sports.

1) I warned you - Meatloaf once said (sang) to not feel sad, cause two out of three ain't bad.  Well, that I was on the Thanksgiving Day NFL games, although I was 3 for 3 on my prediction of them all being turkeys.  But honestly, could we all not see it coming (except for the Eagles debacling {thanks, Emmitt} the Cardinals, and even that wasn't that much of a stretch)?  The NFL either needs to do a better job scheduling, or start rotating the games (or both).  With the parity in the league on an almost yearly basis, the latter just might be easier than the former.

2) Thank you, Clifton Smith and Reggie Bush - Still in the spirit of giving thanks, I would personally like to thank Bucs return man Clifton Smith and Saints return man Reggie Bush.  On a day where a sloppy field led to a field position battle, these two single-(double?)handedly flipped the field in the Bucs favor.  Both of Tampa's second half TD's were set up by great returns by Smith, one on a kickoff, the other on a punt, because he does this fascinating thing called running north.  Bush, on the other hand, had two punt returns for the awesome total of NEGATIVE SIXTEEN yards.  And I don't want to hear anything about it was his first game back from injury.  If you saw the returns, his first move was backwards, and then sideways.  Reggie, this is the NFL.  Everybody has your speed.  This sets up a huge game this week for the Buccos (more on this later).

3) Storming the Cassel - Wow, here were the Patriots drives in the second half.  Punt, fumble, fumble, pick, pick, end of game.  And this doesn't even count the kickoff they fumbled away.  Not going to win too many games doing that.  After two straight weeks of 400 yard performances, that even had me wondering if Cassel had cashed a $14 million lottery ticket (the amount he'd make as a franchised QB), he came back to earth in the face of a tough defense and looked more like the guy I saw in the preseason on NFLN against the Bucs where everybody wondered what would happen if Brady went down.  Thanks to the Jets losing (horribly at home to a Broncos team that had lost horribly a week before), the Pats still have a shot at the division, but are definitely on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoffs.

4) Cancel my Cable subscription - Ah yes, after a flukey week where I had to give love to both the Saints and Raiders, everything is right in the world, and I can go back to ripping them to shreds.  What was Cable thinking calling for a fake FG to 865 pound kicker Sebastian Janikowski (emphasis on the "kow") on fourth and ten, that looked like it was going to be a run no less?  Instead, Sebas (who does look and act like an ill-tempered, mutated sea bass.  Dr. Evil, eat your heart out) couldn't handle the flip from the holder, and it was returned for a Kansas City touchdown.  Instead of letting the kicker with the strongest (even if not the most accurate) leg in the league most likely put you up 6-3, you go down 10-3 and the wheels fall off from that point on.  I'm sure Al Davis called that play down himself.

5) Iron defeciency - Man, has the Iron Bowl lost it's luster.  They may as well call it the Rust Bowl, now.  After six straight losses in the series, the Nickonator and his Crimson Tide manhandled a clearly overmatched Auburn Tiger team.  Fact is, this game has just not been as competetive most of these last seven years, although now the balance of power has at least shifted.  Maybe next year this game can return to national prominence.

6) 3 in a row at Ron Zook field at Doak Campbell stadium - Another rivalry that has lost its luster, although showed signs of returning to prominence next year is the UF-FSU series.  FSU will be a great team to watch ... next year, but this year were clearly overmatched.  I'd hate to think about what would have happened had the weather been good.  Of course, had the weather been good, Harvin wouldn't have gotten hurt (and thank you FSU fans for your Eagle fan impressination impersonation {man, I just pulled an Emmitt.  Guess I was caught between that and impression} when that happened.  I have the utmost respect for your coach and program, and but quite frankly, that was WAY beneath you and quite honestly, unexpected).

7) Absolute Bedlam - The annual Bedlam game produced just that, not only on the field where 102 total points were dropped, but in the BCS (more on that later).  The Sooners have scored 60+ now in four straight games, which I hope their fans realize by now is the byproduct of both a phenominal offense, and subpar defense.  It set the stage for what we all knew would happen Sunday where the Coaches were forced to reveal their votes, and the Longhorns jumping the Gators in some coaches efforts to try to avoid a perceived travesty of leaving Texas out of Kansas City due to the head-to-head win (there are solid arguements on both sides, but in the end, I think the correct team is playing Missouri).  The Big 12 put undue pressure on the people who make up the BCS due to their strange conference tie-breaker system.  Most conferences that use the BCS as a guideline do so to kick the bottom team out and then go to head-to-head.  In that case, Texas would have come out on top (hence the great arguement for them).  The Big 12 was one of the conferences strongly opposed to the "and 1" system proposed this year by ACC (and BCS head) commissioner John Swafford and SEC commissioner Mike Slive or any form of a playoff.  Now they might be rethinking it.  And they will definitely rethink their conference tie breaker.  Even Stoops is against it.

8) The B(C)S keeps getting deeper - My regular readers know where I stand on the whole BCS mess and the need for a playoff system, but I read a great blog by the user HuskerTex who I met on the official OU-OkSU game thread.  It is one of the best thought out, put together, and informative blogs I've seen on this site.  It is a great history of the BCS, and the controversies and backstories, some of which I had even forgotten about.  It is a great read, and I highly recommend it to all of my regulars, and to those of you who happened to stumble across my weekly rantings as well.  Here's the link: http://huskertex.blogs.sportsline.c
om/mcc/blogs/entry/6286615/12007228

9) Finally, an MNF game that means something - This is where I would usually put my weekly look ahead, and that's what this will be, despite the title.  But I do want to hit hard and heavy on one game in particular, and its implications.  When Disney ponied up the money years ago to get the rights to MNF and move it to ESPN, I doubt they foresaw SNF eventually (actually, that very same year) becoming the premier game of the week with the premier matchups.  It seems the NFL schedules it this way to begin with, and recently it has become more so with the advent of flex scheduling.  ESPN is probably thanking its lucky stars that it finally has a game that means a lot when the 9-3 Buccaneers visit the 9-3 Carolina Panthers for first place in the NFC NASCAR division (which I still say is best top to bottom and is in line right now for 3 playoff teams).  This game is giant for both teams, but mostly for the Panthers, and here's why.  First off, the NFC South teams have been almost unbeatable at home going 22-2, including both the Bucs and Panthers at 6-0.  But the Panthers must hold serve, and here's why.  First off, if the Bucs win, they will have swept the Panthers and will be a game plus the tiebreaker up.  This means they will only need to go 2-1 in their last three to secure a first round bye.  But the main reason is the schedule.  The Bucs last two home games?  Visits by AFC West doormats San Diego and Oakland.  The Panthers, conversely, have games remaining against the Broncos, Giants, and Saints, and would have to win the last two to force the tie break against the Bucs to common opponents and the other obscure ones (assuming the Bucs beat the Falcons in Atlanta, which might not happen because Atlanta is hot).  As you can see, they have a much tougher road to hoe regardless.  The other NFL games I'm looking forward to are Dallas Pittsburgh and Baltimore Washington.  And I am looking forward to the entire CFB slate.

10) Buccingator's confernce championship predictions - In the ACC Championship game, I like BC over Virginia Tech 24-20, in the BCS semi-final, er SEC Championship Game I like Florida over Alabama 31-13, and in the Big 12 Championship I like Oklahoma over Missouri 63-38.

Posted on: November 25, 2008 6:49 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2008 10:33 pm
 

10 (plus 3) Things I Learned the Week Of Nov. 24

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
cc/blogs/view/10646011
, for those of you who followed a tag, or have me as one of your favorites, I encourage you to return the favor.  Currently, he is running a contest of the worst songs of all time.  So, I hope you enjoy this week's installment, guaranteed to be more powerful than tryptophan!!!

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
/entry/5814809/11914863

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!)

Posted on: October 14, 2008 6:38 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2008 11:25 pm
 

10 Things I learned the week of Oct. 13th

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 Statue er, Brad Johnson at QB, behind that line that failed to protect Romo from the Cardinals?  And with the Rams, Bucs, and Giants as their next three games?  And how long before T.O. melts down?  Romo would try to placate him.  Johnson will do no such thing.  He'll try to get the ball to the open man, whoever that is.  But, it might be hard to deliver the ball from his butt.

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.

 

Posted on: September 24, 2008 6:22 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2008 9:24 am
 

10 Things I learned the week of Sept. 22nd

1) Saints still have no D and no north south running game - As a Bucs fan, I always love a chance to pile on the team with the most ridiculous fans in the NFC South who somehow think they have a tradition of winning and are clearly superior to the rest of the teams based on two years ago.  All I heard was we fixed our D.  Well after 3 weeks, WRONG!  You are one horrible Jeff Garcia read/pass away from being 0-3.  On the play where Fujita picked him off, he had TWO receivers wide open in the end zone and didn't see either one for some inexplicable reason.  But hey, you made the plays and won the game.  Secondly, I got in heated discussions about Reggie Bush being a bust.  While I may have been premature in that assessment, I was correct on two other things fans refused to take off their black and gold colored glasses to see.  1) Without a north south running game, your offense is predictable and one dimensional.  You still lack this key component.  2) Reggie Bush is, and will always be a WR who lines up behind the QB.  They should just make the change and be done with it.  And he still dances too much.  Bust, no.  But does he make the Saints a winner, no.  Cheer up, Saints fans, you still have to play the Chiefs, Raiders, and Lions.  There's 3 wins right there.  Oh, but the Bucs and Panthers still have to play the Lions, Raiders, and Chiefs, too.  Nevermind.

2) The balance of power has shifted - For years, the AFC has been the dominant conference.  That has now shifted to the NFC, and specifically, the East.  You could have 3 teams from that division making the playoffs again this year, especially since they all play the Bengals, Browns, and Rams.

3) "Lee"ding your team to a dramatic win - In my first segment of this blog, I commented on whether UCLA threw Craft's jersey over another kid.  Well, did LSU do the same thing this week?  It's amazing the difference in performance between the two halves.  Hat's off to LSU for that outstanding victory on the road.

4) The Pac 10 is done - I commented on their horrific record against the Mountain West here last week, but after Boise State beat Oregon on the road (yes, I realize the Ducks had their 24th string QB in there), stick a fork in this conference.  USC fans should really worry.  While I doubt it will be enough to keep them from Miami on Jan 8th, they will be heavily penalized in the computer polls for their schedule, especially when compared to a potentially undefeated SEC or Big 12 team.

5) Look Ma, 67 pass attempts and no grass stains - How did the Bears stack the box and force the Bucs to pass on nearly every down, and not get a sack?  The only times they even got pressure on him was via the blitzing LB.  I guess they react much better to run plays than pass plays.  Give a QB time, and he will shred you, whether he's Joe Montana or Joe Schmoe.  Kudos to the Bucs O Line, who was still without Davin Joseph.

6) The face of frustration - As a Gator fan, nothing made me feel better than watching Tennessee make mistake after mistake, and then showing coach Phillip's facial expressions on the side line.  And what was up with Crompton thinking they should have won that game?  It was 17-0 before they could blink (or move the ball for that matter).  While I don't "hate" Tennessee (although their band could learn a couple more songs than playing Rocky Top 265,326 times a game, although I think I heard it less than 10 times in this game), I do "hate" Fulmer.  The only good thing is he has a losing record against the Gators.  In fact, in recent history, this is starting to reach Georgia levels.  And Georgia (who I do hate), appears to be turning it around under Mark Richt (who I love, go figure).  I'm also looking forward to a peed off Auburn team continuing the Volunteers woes this week.

7) Another coach I love to hate in the SEC - While I have no love for Nick Saban, I loved seeing his team go into Arkansas and CRUSH the Razorbacks and Bobby Petrino.  Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

8) Weekly Kiffin death watch - a few people have noted this story has started to reach Favreian levels.  The problem is Davis wants Kiffin gone, but doesn't want to pay him.  Kiffin has made it clear (and rightfully so) that he won't quit, and Davis' lawyers I'm sure have explained to him that they have no legal recourse if they fire him.  This is a no win situation, for Kiffin, Davis, but most of all, for the Raiders team.  And what's up with Rob Ryan's act?  Aren't you the DC?  Want to actually get your team to, oh I don't know, DEFEND SOMEBODY!!!!

9) A look ahead - I am really looking forward to the Bama Georgia game between the hedges this week.  With Bama's great start, this should be a fun game.  Off the tails of the Tiger bowl, this looks like another epic ESPN SEC showdown brewing.

And finally (expect to see this again next week) ...

10) "Rays"ing the bar - Congrats to the Tampa Bay Rays securing their first postseason birth in franchise history.  This team is absolutely fun to watch, and will be a force in the MLB playoffs, especially at the Trop.  With a magic number of 2 (yes, I know as of 9/22 it was 4, I can break my own rules every once in a while), I look forward to congratulate them on winning the East on my post for the week of Sept. 29th.  Go Rays!!!

 
 
 
 
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