Posted on: November 5, 2008 10:11 pm
Edited on: November 8, 2008 12:31 pm

10 things I learned the week of Nov. 3rd

Well here we are.  I opened this popsicle stand in August, and still going strong in November.  I hope I'm keeping you all entertained.

1) Partying like it's 1980 - In all seriousness, though, official congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies.  Great job in a great series.  Unfortunately, I think some of Maddon's quirky decisions may have cost him.  What I don't understand was some of the pundits saying the Rays had to win the series to validate their season.  Um, excuse me.  They validated their season when they made the playoffs.  What kind of moronic drivel is that?  Good luck to the Rays in 2009.  I see another playoff birth in their future.

2) So long Pavan"oh, no" - In a rare two take MLB week for me, the Yankees cut ways with Carl Pavano, and what a deal he was for them.  He was paid somewhere around $5 million per START and $10 million per WIN.  Phenominal.  That's what you get for overpaying for a career .500 pitcher.  Now the medical issues you couldn't predict (at least not this bad), but the results on the diamond, you should have known that before you ponied up ridiculous jack to get him.  Hell, I would have pitched more games for the Yankees nearly as well for 1/100th of what they paid him.  Investments in the housing and stock markets are outperforming the return that organization got on him.

3) The answer for the Pistons? - I'm not exactly sure if A.I. fits the style of basketball that Detroit plays.  This move really doesn't make sense to me except for maybe the cap room it will clear up once Iverson clears the books after this year.  Maybe someone with more basketball knowledge than me (which is pretty much everyone) can chime in and explain it to me.  To me, especially in the short term, this deal seems to favor the Nuggets (although I doubt it's enough to put them over the top).

4) One of the best games I've ever seen, period - Wow.  That was all I could say after watching the Texas, Texas Tech game this weekend.  One person on a thread in here wondered why the Texas defender didn't just play the ball.  Well, for those two of you who did not see that play at the very least on replay, it was because Harrell (who is now my frontrunner for the Heisman) read the defender who had his back to the ball the whole way, expecting the pass to go to the endzone.  He then threw a beautiful ball to the correct spot, short and outside, and the DB had absolutely NO CHANCE.  That was a pro caliber throw and catch.  Now, the kid could have tackled better, but it was going to be a first down with Tech still having a TO, so NO ESPN, the game would not have been over had he done that like the Scoreboard crew was insinuating (god I hope I spelled that correctly).  The clock stops on the first down, Tech calls their TO and attempts a chip shot (although in the college game, there really is no such thing, especially at the extreme angle the kick was going to be from).  I expect Mark May (who played college football) and Rece Davis to know the rules and the situation a little better than what they displayed on Saturday night.  Kudos to Crabtree for breaking away from the defender to get into the endzone as well, capping off a spectacular play.

5) Revenge is a dish best served with D - And two timeouts.  There was some Bama fan insinuating (there I go again) that what Urban Meyer did this year was FAR worse than what Mark Richt did last year.  If by far worse, you're talking about the beatdown they gave to each other over the past two years respectively, then yes, you are correct, it was far worse.  Otherwise, I'll direct you all to my response to said comment here http://www.sportsline.com/mcc/messa
.  Thankfully, Richt is far more understanding and classy than some Georgia fans, as was evidenced by his response to the media when asked about the situation.  All I know is this.  Florida is the best one loss team in football and playing the best football CURRENTLY.  If I was another team, I would not want the Gators on my schedule the rest of the year.  I will say this, though.  Florida does NOT deserve to make the BCS title game over an undefeated PSU team, even though I think UF is better.  The reason being, you HAVE to punish them for the fact they lost a game.  Now if Florida PLAYS an undefeated PSU, or PSU loses to say Michigan State, then that's another story.  I was amazed that my top 10 this week matched the AP top 10 exactly until number 10 where I have TCU ahead of Utah.  No, I wasn't already giving them the win, I just think they're better.  Their only loss is to Oklahoma.

6) So long Phillip - Unfortunately, as a Gator fan, I'm sad to see Philip go.  Reason being, I knew he gave us a decent chance to win EVERY game against his team.  The series was starting to reach Georgiaesque levels as far as being one sided in recent history.  The reason for this though was not the man's coaching, but his recruiting.  I'm fearful than the Vols will find somebody who can actually handle that end of things, now.

7) The bad teams stay bad - Well, all except for Cincinnati who were playing an equally pathetic Jaguars team.  The Chiefs had my Bucs down by 21 points at one point, only to find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and speaking of which, hoo boy, Detriot.  You're our last shot at an 0-16 team.

8) Chokeland Faiders - This team's so bad, they get their own point to themselves.  301 to -2.  That was how badly Oakland was outgained in the first half.  30 to 3.  No, worse than the final score, that was the first downs, of which Oakland had ZERO in the first half.  10.  Net passing yards by the Raiders.  I had only ten less yards than that sitting at home laughing my ass off at that debacle.  31.  Gross passing yards by JaMarcus Russell on 6 for 19, who played the whole game.  Somewhere, Lane Kiffin is smiling and Faider fans are anxiously awaiting for Al Davis to expire.  But hey, at least they're putting the "fun" in dysfunctional.

9) Weekend look ahead - The games I will be watching this weekend include Texas Tech Oklahoma State, Alabama LSU (which as a Gator fan I hope Bama wins), TCU Utah tomorrow night, Steelers Colts, and Saints Falcons to see which of those teams is for real, which I hope is Atlanta.

10) Buccingator's official NFL playoff predictions - Now that we are officially at the half way point of the NFL season, with every team having played 8 games (except for 4 that have played 9), here go my picks for the twelve teams that will be playing come January for a chance to visit my home town of Tampa, Florida on Feb. 9th.  In the AFC, I like the Patriots to hang on to the East, the Titans to win the South (duh), the Steelers to take the north, and the Chargers to luck into the West with no better than a 9-7 record.  For the wild card teams, give me the Ravens (even though they face a brutal schedule including all the teams from the NFC East), and I'll go with a team from the East, give me the Dolphins in a surprise.  The Bills have looked lost recently for some unknown reason and I just don't trust Jet Favre to be careful enough with the ball on what I think is a mediocre team.  In the NFC, I'll take the Giants to win the East, the Packers to squeak by in the North (with no better than a 10-6 record), the Cardinals in the West (another duh).  I'll take the Bucs as one of my wild cards, and the other will obviously go to a team in the East, so let's make it the Eagles, who I think edge out the Redskins.  But wait a minute, I haven't picked my division winner in the South, you might be saying.  Well, the easy thing to do is take the Panthers, who in the end I think will take it (especially if they can handle the Bucs in Carolina), but my official pick on my blog is ... the Atlanta Falcons.  Yes, the worst to first trend continues with a team that everyone thought would be rebuilding, but instead are just recovering from a horrible coach.  So there you have it.  I'll pick official playoff winners once the playoffs are set, but based on these picks, I'll go #3 Patriots over #6 Ravens, #5 Dolphins over #4 Chargers, #1 Titans over #5 Dolphins, #2 Steelers over #3 Patriots, #2 Steelers over #1 Titans.  In the NFC, give me #5 Buccaneers over #4 Packers, #6 Eagles over #3 Cardinals, #1 Giants over #6 Eagles, #5 Buccaneers over #2 Falcons (hey, how about that, two divisional matchups in the divisional round.  Wouldn't that be neat?) #1 Giants over #5 Buccaneers, and finally, in Tampa, Giants over Steelers.  There you have it, folks.

Posted on: October 8, 2008 6:04 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2008 11:36 pm

10 Things I learned the week of Oct. 6th

1) The beasts of the East - Well, if there was any doubt, it should now be clear that the best and toughest division in baseball this year was the AL East.  And this is most years, too.  This is now 5 out of 10 years that the ALCS is a matchup of two AL East teams.  This also proves that playing lots of games against superior competition makes you more playoff ready.  I have a feeling that despite this series likely going at least 6, the winner here will win it all.  I'll have my LCS predictions later.

2) If Pittsburgh can stay healthy, I think they'll win the AFC - I'll do my entire playoff predictions after week 9 when all the teams have played (at least) 8 games, but looking at it now, I feel safe with this one.  Everybody's favorites are struggling.  Indy needed a Sage Rosenfels collapse to avoid 1-3.  The Chargers just got physically dominated by the Dolphins.  The Patriots just simply aren't the same team without Brady.  The Bills were exposed this week.  Yes, I believe the Titans are for real, and their defense will give them the chance to be in every game, but top to bottom, a healthy Steeler team trumps all.  Of course, it won't matter because I think this is the year the NFC finally takes the Super Bowl (my apologies to my Giant friends who were probably wondering what I was smoking.  Meant to reference the NFC's recent lack of SB Champions.  I think it's 3 in the last 12 years).

3) Thursday night upsets - Do you think teams will be lining up to play on ESPN on Thursday nights after this year?  It seems to be cursed for the favorites so far.  Let's see if Clemson can get back on track by upseting Wake Forest this week.  Update: Nope.  It did get Clemson's starting QB demoted, though.

4) Huge week upcoming in college football - Wow.  We kick off with Oklahoma-Texas at noon, sprinkle in some other good games in between (including Tennessee-Georgia), and then cap it off with LSU-Florida at 8:00.  What a great day to be a fan of college ball.  The tv will be burning on Saturday.

5) NFL look ahead - The game I'll be looking forward to in the NFL is the Panthers-Bucs game.  And, I'm not just saying that because I'm a Bucs fan.  You have 2 good teams in a tough division playing a divisional game.  While I hate to use the term this early in the season, this looks like a must win for my Bucs.  Can't afford to let a very good Carolina team go up 2 games plus the tie break on you.

6) Slow news day - Unfortunately, I have no NFL firings to report this week.  One Detriot writer did try to get Rod Marinelli to quit this week, though.  That took marbles even suggesting that.

7) 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.  They are the only undefeated team in the Eastern division of one of the toughest conferences in college football.  What a story they've been so far.  That comeback against Auburn was huge.  Hopefully they can use it as a spring board like the USF Bulls did last year (although hopefully they won't choke midseason like the Bulls).  This is just one of the many, although probably most notable feel good stories of the year.  Ball State cracking the Top 25 is another one.

8) NHL's Euro Trip - didn't go so well for my Bolts.  They're already in an 0-2 hole before most teams have played their first real game.  Not the start to the season I was looking for.

9) My turn to pile on the Cubs - When does this team FINALLY go from being labelled "lovable losers" to simply losers.  What exactly is there to love about them anymore?  Nothing comes to my mind.  And when does losing translate into some fans using it as a license to be self entitled jerks?  At least the Yankees have won countless times and their fans appreciate the sport.  At least the Red Sox and White Sox have won 2 and 1 respectively, not just in my lifetime, but recently.  And when does your team's failures give you the right to stop appreciating the game?  I realize this doesn't apply to all Cubs fans, but there are a lot of you out there.  Thing is, as an impartial observer, even I fell into the trap of believing the the Cubs would at least win the NLCS (I would have never picked them against ANY of the AL teams except maybe the White Sox, and even then it's a maybe).  Most of the Cub fans deserve this misery.

10) LCS Predictions - Well, after going 2-2 in round 1, time to predict the LCSes.  As much as I don't want to count the Phillies out, especially the way Hamels is pitching and their hitters potentially getting 4 games in their friendly park, but I'm going to go Dodgers in 6.  For the ALCS, in game one it's Matsuzaka and his god like road pitching numbers versus the Rays and their god like winning percentage in the Trop with over 30,000.  Somethings gotta give.  I'm taking the Rays in a squeaker.  I think the Rays also take game 2 unless Beckett pitches out of his mind, or Kaz gets up to 100 pitches in 4 innings by walking too many.  I'm still taking Rays.  I think Boston takes game 3 easily with Lester on the mound.  I look for the Rays to take advantage of Wakefield in game four like they did earlier this year.  Boston takes game 5 to send it back to St. Pete.  Then back in front of the home crowd, Rays win game 6 to go to their first World Series.  It will be interesting if it goes 7, because I think the Sox would have a good chance of winning in St. Pete with Lester.  Hopefully it doesn't get that far.

Posted on: October 1, 2008 6:35 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2008 10:53 pm

10 things I learned the week of Sept. 29th

1) The Polls are full of "Bull"oney and the Razorbacks were "Nutt"s to get rid of Houston - Does anyone want to explain to me how on God's green Earth the USC Trojans are a top ten team?  Based on what?  Being previously gifted with the number one ranking?  Pollsters (especially those in the Harris poll, that has USC SEVENTH and unfortunately is factored in to the BCS) should hide their heads whole bodies in shame.  First off, USC pulling this garbage year after year is inexcusible, but then not to be punished for it?  I swear if I see USC in any bowl game not named Rose (providing they don't collapse), I'll throw a gigantic playoff rant on my blog.  Let's just compare USC to 4 other teams, shall we.  1) tOSU Yes, I know USC beat them head to head, and Trojan fans are going to get on me for suggesting this, but right now, I'd rank tOSU ahead of them.  Why?  Because tOSU only loses in the big games, not against teams they should beat up on (yes, I realize they struggled against Ohio earlier this year).  An based on Quizz's running, there's nothing that makes me think tOSU can't win a rematch on a neutral field with Wells back despite getting blasted earlier.  2) USF I don't care that they are USF and choked under the pressure of a premature number 2 ranking last year.  This team is undefeated and just crushed NC State on the road without their best defensive players.  3) UGA they just got beat by a VERY, VERY good Alabama team (more on them later).  How is that not better than choking against Oregon State?  4) UF yes, they got beat.  Yes, I wouldn't say Ole Miss is that much better than Oregon State.  And while I'm on Ole Miss, what was Arkansas thinking getting rid of Houston Nutt?  Um, he's BETTER than Bobby Petrino.  Ole Miss has a very bright future ahead of them.  I wish them well in the coming years.  Anyway, back to UF, AT LEAST THEY SHOWED UP TO PLAY AND DIDN'T EXPECT OLE MISS TO LIE DOWN JUST BECAUSE THEY WERE FLORIDA.  The reason Florida lost was because they put the ball on the turf 5 times.  No team that does that deserves to win against anybody.  But Florida is one blown defensive assignment (and that was the CB's fault, Raycom), or one Tebow overthrow away from winning that game.  USC was not at any point winning/going to win/gave you any confidence they were playing (other than a short spurt in the third)/gave you any indication that they were going to figure out Jacquizz Rodgers/okay, I think I made my point.  If I had to rate these 5 teams right now, I would have them in this order: 1) USF, 2) UGA, 3) tOSU, 4) UF, and a VERY DISTANT 5) USC.  Pollsters, please WAKE UP!!!  At least the Pac 10 schedule will weigh USC down in the computer polls.  Can't wait till those come out and USC fans wonder why their at 15 or less.  End of USC rant.

2) "Rays"ing expectations - Congratulations to the Rays on winning the toughest division in baseball by two games.  I expect good things from them this post season, and everyone will see what team baseball is all about.  Remember, defense does not go dry like hitting or go cold like pitching can on occasion.  I think they are poised to make a long run (more on this later).

3) Lane Kiffin Death Watch is mercifully over - Now that Lane is out from under the thumb of senile Al Davis, maybe he can concentrate on putting his life and career back on track.  Davis obviously has no pulse on his team not realizing that the players loved him and were playing hard for them (as several of them have come out and stated).  And who are Raider fans going to blame the next time their D chokes away a game?  NOTE: I forgot to mention that Al fired Kiffin "with cause," which is code for I'm going to try to be cheap and not pay you another cent.  UPDATE: It looks like Kiffin might end up sueing Al in addition to his greivance with the league.  Personally, I think Al has no shot with the grievance, since the burden of proof is on him, but I'll be interested to see where the lawsuit goes, especially since the burden of proof will be on Lane.  Personally, I hope he hits Al up for a lot of money.

4) The Scott Linehan Psychic Hotline - Before the game against the Bills, Linehan came out and said that if he lost, he felt he would be fired.  Well, the Rams lost, and Linehan was fired.  There were far more problems on this team than just Marc Bulger (or Linehan for that matter), but to alienate and lose your locker room, the move had to be made.

5) D's the Key - Defense wins championships.  This is true in any sport, and most so in football.  You hear it all the time, and yet people and the media always fall in love with offense and overlook bad D.  Well, look at the three undefeated teams in the NFL right now, and what do they all have?  Stellar D.  Yes, I know people will bring up soft schedules, but do you truly think that the Titans don't easily have a top 5 D and the Giants and Bills a top 10 D.  A top 10 D will give you a chance to win most games, and will definitely give you an excellent shot at not only making the playoffs, but doing something once you get there.

6) The NFC playoffs - In the NFC, you have two divisions that have no team under .500.  One of these two divisions has every team playing the Bengals, Browns, and Rams and has lost only one game against non division foes.  The other division has every team playing the Chiefs, Raiders, and Lions and has ALSO lost only one game out of division.  Then, you have two divisions that do not have a team over .500 (for those of you who can't figure it out, the first division is the East, the second the South, and then the North and West are the other two).  Not to sound too much like Hank Whinebrenner, but is it too late to strip them of their playoff spots and give them to the other two?  Maybe they'll turn it around, but if not ...

7) Roll Tide - I am extremely impressed at the start Alabama has gotten out to.  That win between the hedges was huge.  Unfortunately, the only chance of an SEC team going undefeated is Alabama or LSU, and they have to play each other, because the only team in the east without a loss that has played a conference game in Vandy.  Wouldn't it be something to see Vandy in the SEC championship game?  Could happen.  But I would also love to see an undefeated SEC team versus an undefeated Big 12 team (Oklahoma, Missouri) in Miami on Jan 8th.  That would be an epic game.

8) A Look ahead - The games I'm looking forward to this weekend (besides the MLB playoffs) are the Philly/Washington game in the NFL and the Auburn/Vanderbilt game in college.  Time to find out if Vandy is for real.  Go 'Dores!

9) It's faceoff time - For 4 teams (the Rangers, Lightning, Penguins, and Senators), the season kicks off this weekend overseas (for everyone else, it's next week).  If you live in/near an NHL city, I ask you to go and attend a game live.  Hockey is the greatest sport that few people south of the border care about.  Unfortunately, I think a lot of it is due to the fact that Hockey doesn't translate well to the TV, and most people just want to stay at home/go to the bar.  Watch one game live, and if you still don't like it, well then at least you experienced it once.  But a lot of people become hooked once they see their first live action.

10) My fearless (and perhaps biased) MLB playoff predictions - For the first round, I'm picking Phillies in 4 (CC gets Milwaukee's only win, and can't get the ball back to him), the Cubs in 4 (just too good of a staff.  Good pitching will silence good hitting, but Manny can mash), the Angels in 5 (having home field is key.  I think they both take one at the other's park, and then the Angels take game 5 at home), and the Rays in 4 (they steal one at US Cellular).  Then for the LCS's, I pick the Cubs in 5 (just better than the Phils.  Again, good pitching will silence good hitting), and the Rays in 7 (Rays match up well.  Rays take one in LA, Angels win one at the Trop, Angels win game 6 to force game 7, but then the Rays come up with game 7 on the road).  Then, in the World Series, I'm going Rays in 6 (Rays take all 3 at home, steal one in Chicago).  Yes, some of my personal bias may be coming through, but I seriously think it can happen this way.  We'll see how it goes.

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!!!

Posted on: September 2, 2008 7:30 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2008 1:18 am

Welcome to 10 things I learned this week.

Well, I'm going to try my first foray into this blogging thing.  Each week on Monday or Tuesday, I will do a blog entry on ten things that I learned from this week in sports.  It will be heavy on football during the season, and will get in hockey during it's season.  After football, college basketball will make more of an appearance.  I'll also occasionally mix in an MLB or NBA comment, but I am not as well versed in those sports.   Well, here I go.

1) I should've had an "E1" - Something Seth Everett of MLB.com said this weekend bothers me.  He said (without throwing the guy under the bus) that he knows of an official MLB scorer who was watching "Seinfeld" during a game, and they needed a ruling, and he had to watch the replay.  Maybe the guy in Pittsburgh was doing something similar, because LaRoche was only about half way down the line when CC got his hand on that baseball.  My Physics class taught me that CC's throw, if he fields it cleanly, beats LaRoche by 5 feet.  That's the definition of an E1 in my book.  And listening to this guy try to defend his call is laughable.  I know guidelines call for a quick decision, but I've seen many a time where during a game, an E is quickly changed to an H, or vice versa, when they get a better view of it.  That's what should have happened here.  I don't think baseball can go back and retroactively award CC a no hitter, but it never should have gotten to that point.  Just my opinion.

2) ACC fans want to know when basketball season starts - Could there have been a worse beginning to the college football season than what happened to the ACC, and specifically it's annointed best team Clemson, than the beat down by Alabama?  I read an ACC beat writer who lamented that looking at it, he still thinks Clemson is the best team in the conference, which is not  a good thing (unless you're an FSU fan).  Couple that with Va Tech losing to ECU and NC State getting beat down by a team that threw 4 picks, this leads to ...

3) A Mountain West team will be in a BCS bowl game - since the ACC will not have a highly ranked team this year, it will open the door wide open for the winner of the Utah BYU game (barring a major upset) to go play in likely the Fiesta Bowl.

4) South Carolina's best QB is pretty Smelley - Well, Spurier Spurrier (oops) finally made the right call and named Smelley as his QB.  After the other guy (and you get this name after throwing 4 picks) kept a bad NC State team in it for the first half, common sense took over, and now they have the correct guy behind center.

5) Crafting a Memorable Victory - Did UCLA throw Craft's jersey on some new kid at halftime?  The entire first half, he made bad reads, looked indecisive, and had no zip.  The second half, he made good reads, looked decisive, and had zip on his ball.  Whatever Nueheisel and Chow said to gently light a fire under this kid's butt, I want to know, because it definitely worked.  Big props to them.

6) Getting a read on the Big East - This conference was 0-4 against FBS teams (D1A for those of you still living in the past) and 4-0 against FCS teams this weekend.  The thing that scares me is looking at them, I can easily see an undefeated West Viginia team playing an undefeated USF team on Dec. 6th for a chance to go to the championship game.  This is not farfetched.  I am not aware of any roadbumps on WVU's schedule and the only problem games for USF are Kansas at home next week and a November meeting at Cincinnati.  Don't be surprised if this happens, and if it does, don't be surprised to have both teams entering that game in the Top 7.

7) Tim Tebow may not win the Heisman, and this doesn't upset me - Even as an obvious Gator fan.  The reason being, he has weapons he can rely on this year, including what appears to be the making of a running game without using Tebow as the primary runner.  All of this is good for UF, and will help their chances of getting an SEC and possibly a national title.

8) The Best Team I saw this week - despite the showings that UF and SEC bretheren Alabama put on this week, by far the best team I saw was USC (no, not you, Gamecocks, the one out west).  Their dismantling of (albeit an ACC member) January bowl game team from last year in their home stadium, coming across country to do it was very impressive.  The polls got it right this week.  Look out OSU.

9) Nothing good happens after 2 am - No, I didn't actually learn that this weekend, but it bears mentioning.  The tradgedy of Jags OLT Collier being shot just makes me wonder why people insist on staying out that late.  Plus, it appears that his celebrity (ergo money) MAY have made him a target.  Players of all pro sports need to realize there are people in this world that want nothing more than to take advantage of them.  I wish him a speedy recovery and hope he's able to play again.  Looking forward to the NFL season getting underway.  Go Bucs!  Update: Apparently, it wasn't money, but some guy mad at him because he got beat down by Collier before (perhaps even at the same place).  I still wish him the best, but I guess his machismo got the best of him one night, and the coward decided to take matters into his own hands by shooting him multiple times.  Second Update: Don't know if anybody checks back, but they finally made an arrest today (10/19).  Turns out I was right and that it was somebody he had beat up at the same night club back in April.  Unfortunately, Collier's career is over.  I wish him a speedy recovery and a long life.  Nobody deserves to be shot 14 times.

10) Catching some Rays - who would have ever thought that we would ever start a September with this being EXACTLY what the Red Sox and Yankees would have to do?  This has to be one of the most exciting teams to watch in the MLB.  Living in Tampa, I was here for the Super Bowl win by the Bucs, and the Stanley Cup win by the Lightning.  I have a feeling, within the next three years, the city across the Bay, St. Pete, will be home of the World Series champion Rays, and I'll be here to enjoy that to.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com