Tag:Tennessee Titans
Posted on: October 26, 2011 12:57 am
Edited on: November 6, 2011 9:27 am
  •  
 

D.P. NFL Week 7 Flop 10 Poll

(Results independently verified by the accounting firm of Dewey, Cheetam, and Howe)

After an interesting week 7 that saw yet more teams come back from 10+ halftime deficits, you also had such high flying shootouts as the Cleveland Browns versus the Seattle Seahawks and the Monday Night debacle that could only be classified as football because of the punters, Josh Scobee, and Maurice Jones-Drew putting it around after his 20 drops.  How miserable was it?  Just three of Scobee's kicks outdistanced the ENTIRE Ravens offense.  Making it hard this week is the fact that only 15 teams in the NFL have a record of 3-3 or worse.  That means 17 teams possess winning records at the moment.  Anyway, this week we finally bid adieu to former permanent resident the Kansas City Chiefs, and last week's newcomer Cleveland.  They make way to welcome back familiar faces, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Seattle Seahawks.  And now, the Disassociated Press proudly presents, the week 7 NFL's Flop 10.

*The Flop 10 is voted on by 65 D.P. writers, two from each NFL city plus one from Los Angeles, just because it's L.A.  Teams get 10 points for a first place vote down to 1 for a 10th.  And the team in first is the biggest Flop (first place votes in parenthesis, just like this text).

Also receiving votes: Tennessee Titans 3 (Matthew Newsome of the Nashville Distiller laments, "It's bad enough that Chris Johnson has that huge new contract holding him back, but one of this team's bright spots so far this season, their defense, was suddenly eclipsed."), Kansas City Chiefs 7 (Pyle O'Pooh of the Fulton County Fullofit notes, "It's both disheartening and encouraging at the same time that the defense scored as many points as the offense.  The reason rumors were swirling of Carson Palmer getting the nod for the Raiders despite not playing in a year was not because they wanted to see what they got for two high draft picks, but because they knew what they didn't have in Kyle Boller."), Washington Redskins 15 (Thadeus Party of the D.C. Republicrat wonders, "If the answers are John Beck and Rex Grossman, do you really want to know the question?"), Cleveland Browns 56 (Leslie Bianchi of the Sacramento Wasp points out, "Each team in this contest scored a point for about every 7 minutes of ball possession, with the Browns holding just over a 2 to 1 edge.  The Saints scored a point for about every minute on the game clock ... by themselves.")

Number 10 - Philadelphia Eagles (2-4) 72 Pierre LaRoche of the Toronto Maple Syrup informs us, "You almost feel bad for the Eagles.  I mean, they didn't lose.  But then again, teams 'above' them not only not lost, but won."

Number 9 - Carolina Panthers (2-5) 102 Bull Lee of the New Orleans Times-Piconyou states, "Managed to stay off a lot of ballots early by losing close and exciting.  Will leave more ballots if they put together back-to-back wins."

Number 8 - Denver Broncos (2-4) 205 Arthur Pendragon of the San Diego Round Table says, "John Fox needs to get over the fact that he inherited Tim Tebow and find out just what he has.  Lost in Tebow's horrid performance for the first 55 minutes, was the nearly equally horrid playcalling that had the kid handcuffed worse than a capital murderer.  If Tebow is going to be damned, he needs to be damned for what he is, not what the coaching staff is forcing him to not be."

Number 7 - Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5) 249 Erin Livingston of the Houston Chronically Misinformed says, "Nothing says inept quite like the fact that I had as many first downs as the Ravens offense in the first half.  Jacksonville rode this and overcame M.J.D.'s fumbleitis to a stunning win against what many thought was a top 5 team."

Number 6 - Seattle Seahawks (2-4) 271 Catherine McCovey of the Seattle Coffeetable writes, "Last week I pointed out the winner of the Browns versus Seahawks game would be 3-3 and likely out of the Flop 10.  Well, in a game where neither team played like a winner, they both remained on my ballot."

Number 5 - Minnesota Vikings (1-6) 402 Albert Letterman of the Minneapolis Metro-Gnome proclaims, "Stop me if you've heard this one before.  So the Vikings walk into a locker room with a halftime lead ..."

Number 4 - Arizona Cardinals (1-5) 433 Emily Hirschbeck of the Philadelphia Perspirer opines, "Just imagine how much worse the Eagles would be if they hadn't jettisoned Kevin Kolb."

Number 3 - Miami Dolphins (0-6) 535 (5) Bill Crosby of the Windy City Gale-ery professes, "On a team full of celebrity minority owners, it figures the season would play out like a soap opera.  Now Tony Sparano is left twisting and turning worse than he did during owner Stephen Ross' ill-conceived effort to get Jim Harbaugh.  It's now likely a matter of time before they cut ties."

Number 2 - St. Louis Rams (0-6) 592 (15) Robert Moss of the Archway Journal pens, "Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages, as Josh McDaniels proudly presents, 'The Lamest Show On Turf.'  Yes, witness an offense so offensive, that a 10 point performance earns a spot right in between the bearded lady and the one-eyed man."

Number 1 - Indianapolis Colts (0-7) 633 (45) Doc Tor-Jones of the Indy Snakeoil Gazette chimes in, "The only thing missing from the Colts performance Sunday night, other than their entire defense ... and offense, was Dan Orlovsky running out of the back of the endzone."

D.P. Archives:
10/23/11 D.P. NFL Week 6 Flop 10 Poll
10/22/11 D.P. NFL Week 5 Flop 10 Poll (belated)
10/20/11 D.P. Announces End Of Production Strike
10/6/11 Predictions of the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse
10/4/11 D.P. NFL Week 4 Flop 10 Poll
10/01/11 The 2011 MLB Disassociated Team of the Year Award
9/27/11 D.P. Week 3 NFL Flop 10 Poll
9/27/11 "@JoeyCora, you're fired! #pinkslip"
9/26/11 Gopher Engineering Students To Fix Things Again


Posted on: October 4, 2011 10:22 pm
Edited on: November 6, 2011 9:10 am
 

D.P. NFL Week 4 Flop 10 Poll

(Results independently verified by the accounting firm of Dewey, Cheetam, and Howe)

After an exciting week 4 of NFL action in which two NFC East teams blew 20 point leads, this week's Flop 10 poll features some shuffling, but not much checking in or checking out.  The only team leaving is the Cincinnati Bengals, and they are being replaced by the Arizona Cardinals.  So, without further ado, the unveiling of the NFL Week 4 Flop 10*

*The Flop 10 is voted on by 65 D.P. writers, two from each NFL city plus one from Los Angeles, just because it's L.A.  Teams get 10 points for a first place vote down to 1 for a 10th.  And the team in first is the biggest Flop (first place votes in parenthesis, just like this text).

Also receiving votes: Atlanta Falcons 1 (Rachel Montgomery of the Tacoma Mountain Press offers, "Sorry, but any team who nearly makes Tarvaris Jackson look like a hero maintains a Top 10 spot."), Carolina Panthers 11 (Scott Johnston of the Tampa Post-Dispatch chimes, "Have you ever seen a fan base more excited over a 1-3 team?  It looks like the wins should start coming, just don't know if it will be this year."), Cleveland Browns 26 (Thomas Hudson of the Cincinnati Inquisitioner opines, "I tried pulling the ol' appendicitis to get more money trick with my boss.  Like Peyton Hillis, all it got me was a reduced work load and tighter deadlines.")

Number 10 - Arizona Cardinals (1-3) 54 Shelly Kingston of the Glendale Republic writes, "Victor Cruz giving himself up was nothing compared to the Cardinals defense giving themselves up on the last drive of the game."

Number 9 - Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) 118 Henry Ebert of the San Jose Venus Flytrap states, "For blowing a 20 point lead against the San Francisco 49ers, the Philadelphia Eagles win the NFL first quarter most overhyped team award.  The way that defense is playing, Cream Team might have been a more apropos moniker for them."

Number 8 - Seattle Seahawks (1-3) 204 Catherine McCovey of the Seattle Coffeetable proclaims, "Scored nearly half of their season point total against the Falcons, which is more of an indicator of the Falcons defense than the capabilities of this team."

Number 7 - Denver Broncos (1-3) 245 Samantha King of the Denver Mile High Snooze reports, "Last week I gave the definition of insanity and applied it to some of coach John Fox's playcalling.  Now I will talk about patterns.  This week, when asked about using the Tim Tebow package in short yardage, Fox responded, 'That, and we did it once and we lost yardage.  That wasn’t all on him by any stretch, but it didn’t prove to be beneficial, so we went in a different direction.'  Um, coach, one time does not a pattern make.  However running 6 times and gaining 5 yards in a crucial drive against the Titans does a pattern make.  Kyle Orton's shaky play has done nothing to quell the Broncos faithful from calling for Tebow.  If Fox doesn't get things moving in the right direction, the next thing Broncos fans will call for, is the coach's head."

Number 6 - Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3) 326 Larry Ewing of the Jacksonville Gator Times wonders, "Cutting David Garrard right before the season started now appears to be the last act of a desperate man.  Jack Del Rio might soon find his saddle blazing, and the axe falling."

Number 5 - Indianapolis Colts (0-4) 422 Paul Robisky of the St. Petersburg Senior Ledger confesses, "Last week I claimed Curtis Painter would need to produce the Sistine Chapel for the Colts.  While his performance was not museum worthy, it wasn't refrigerator worthy either.  The Colts offense at least more closely resembled the Colts offense of old.  Still, take away two big plays by Pierre Garcon, and Painter had a rough go of it, especially in crunch time.  With the game on the line, Josh Freeman excelled and Curtis crumbled.  Next week's game against the Kansas City Chiefs might be their best shot at exiting the 'Suck for Luck' sweepstakes for a while."

Number 4 - Kansas City Chiefs (1-3) 425 Rob Stone of the Kansas City Constitution notes, "Take heart, Minnesota Vikings fans.  At least you didn't blow a halftime lead this time.  Baby steps.  Baby steps.  Still, this team does not resemble anything that could win another division title."

Number 3 - Miami Dolphins (0-4) 548 (14) Paul Kennedy of the Long Island Register says, "How does that song of theirs go?  'Miami Dolphins.  Miami Dolphins.  Miami Dolphins really suck?'  Owner Stephen Ross gave the dreaded vote of confidence to head coach Tony Sparano saying, 'He remains the right coach for this team.'  Yeah, if you're planning on throwing this year away to draft Andrew Luck to replace Chad Henne."

Number 2 - Minnesota Vikings (0-4) 591 (22) Jessica Addison of the St. Paul Twin Cities Daily Journal laments, "As the old adage in professional wrestling goes, in order to be the man, you have to beat the man.  Well, the Vikings are clearly the worst team in the NFL after outsucking the Kansas City Chiefs who were being outscored by an average of just over 27 points per game before getting their first 'W' of the season.  Coach Leslie Frazier needs to seriously Ponder if it's not the correct time to bench Donovan McNabb, or relieve Bill Musgrave of some of his responsibilities.  Even Mike Martz figured out the balance thing this week.  The Vikings still haven't in 4."

Number 1 - St. Louis Rams (0-4) 601 (29) Tim Danielson of the Denver Journal points out, "At least Broncos fans can take some small solace in seeing how much Josh McDaniels is setting Sam Bradford back."

D.P. Archives:
10/01/11 The 2011 MLB Disassociated Team of the Year Award
9/27/11 D.P. Week 3 NFL Flop 10 Poll
9/27/11 "@JoeyCora, you're fired! #pinkslip"
9/26/11 Gopher Engineering Students To Fix Things Again

Posted on: September 27, 2011 8:57 pm
Edited on: November 6, 2011 9:11 am
 

D.P. NFL Week 3 Flop 10 Poll

(Results independently verified by the accounting firm of Dewey, Cheetam, and Howe)

So, here it is after week 3 of the NFL season, and while our more popular cousins give you the Top 25 in college football, we here at the D.P. realized the need for there to be a Poll for professional football.  Sure, most everything is decided on the field, but still there's that gray area of who really is better, the Green Bay Packers, or the Detroit Lions.  Well, you'll be getting none of that from us, as instead, we bring you those 10 teams who are the ones most capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.  And to the bottom two teams of this week's poll, I hear the ACC is still looking to expand.  So here they are, the NFL's Week 3 Flop 10*

*The Flop 10 is voted on by 65 D.P. writers, two from each NFL city plus one from Los Angeles, just because it's L.A.  Teams get 10 points for a first place vote down to 1 for a 10th.  And the team in first is the biggest Flop (first place votes in parenthesis, just like this text).

Also receiving votes: Carolina Panthers 6 (Jason Bolin of the Boston Hemisphere writes "This week the Panthers proved they could win dirty, by actually playing in that mudhole after the monsoon blew through), Atlanta Falcons 9 (Scott Johnston of the Tampa Post-Dispatch chimes, "Maybe Rich McKay can institute rules changes next year that will allow Matt Ryan to legally throw while his butt is in contact with the turf"), Chicago Bears 34 (Catherine McCovey of the Seattle Coffeetable opines, "I've seen better balance displayed by someone blowing a .10 on a D.U.I. stop than I've seen from the Bears offense this year.")

Number 10 - Denver Broncos (1-2) 65 Samantha King of the Denver Mile High Snooze reports, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.  Maybe somebody can explain that to John Fox who after being gifted the ball deep in Tennessee territory and a first down via an offsides penalty, executes 7 plays, one incompletion, and 6 Willis McGahee runs for 5 yards, the last of which was him being stuffed yet again on fourth and goal."

Number 9 - Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) 117 Dan Freeman of the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Gazette chimes in, "Dream team, huh?  Yeah, I saw a lot of this during this past N.B.A. season, too."

Number 8 - Cincinnati Bengals (1-2) 186 Stacy Billingsly of the Lexington Post Position pens, "The Bengals in their last 2 games have converted third downs at a rip roaring 9.5% efficiency, causing many Bengals fans to convert which channel is appearing on their television screens."

Number 7 - Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2) 247 Johnathan Lumpkin of the Los Angeles Periodical states, "The good news for the Jaguars, they hired cloud seeders before the game and held Cam Newton to his first sub 400 yard passing game.  The bad news, it looks like Tim Leiweke paid off Jack Del Rio to shelve his own passing game this year."

Number 6 - Seattle Seahawks (1-2) 308 Clark Isner of the Duval County Register proclaims, "Despite defeating the Arizona Cardinals, by virtue of the Jaguars benching Luke McCown, the Seahawks sport the worst starting QB in the NFL.  Yet, remarkably, they remain on pace for their second straight NFC West title."

Number 5 - Indianapolis Colts (0-3) 403 Paul Robisky of the St. Petersburg Senior Ledger confesses, "The Colts come into Tampa Bay looking for Curtis Painter to produce the Sistine Chapel.  Unfortunately for Indianapolis fans, what he produces will more likely resemble a preschooler's finger drawing.  Still you have to admire the fact that on Sunday night they appeared to not want to be in the 'Suck for Luck' sweepstakes."

Number 4 - Minnesota Vikings (0-3) 462 Jennifer Hochuli of the New York Daily Post proclaims, "I haven't seen a disappearing act this good since I saw Criss Angel in Las Vegas.  And somebody's definitely mind-freaking the Vikings coaching staff, especially offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave."

Number 3 - Miami Dolphins (0-3) 510 (1) Hugh Nevins of the Indianapolis Reaction asserts, "If Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano doesn't figure out soon what is wrong with his team, he'll soon be experiencing the Tony Soprano sensation where his season gets cut off mid"

Number 2 - St. Louis Rams (0-3) 583 (3) Lisa Trombetti of the Chicago Moon Times points out, "Things have gotten so bad for the once proud NFL state, that today, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) introduced a piece of legislation officially requesting the state officially be renamed 'Misery.'"

Number 1 - Kansas City Chiefs (0-3) 645 (61) Rob Stone of the Kansas City Constitution writes, "When can a defending NFL division champ have a moral victory?  When you are this year's version of the Kansas City Chiefs."

D.P. Archives:
9/27/11 "@JoeyCora, you're fired! #pinkslip"
9/26/11 Gopher Engineering Students To Fix Things Again

Posted on: November 27, 2009 4:16 pm
 

10 Things I Learned the Weeks of 11/16 and 11/23

As we reach the point in the year where we give thanks for what we are appreciative of, I'm giving thanks that after 2 of the busiest weeks I've had at work, I am now on a week's vacation, and have a chance to get caught up.  So this time, for the first time ever, I'm running two editions in the same post.  Now obviously I'm going to have to check back and try to remember everything I wanted to hit on.  I know Notre Dame is at the top of my list.  The LSU debacle from last week will definitely be there.  And the coaching carousel finally began to turn in both the NFL and NBA.  So sit back and enjoy two weeks and 20 tidbits worth of sports knowledge.

11/16-

1) And so it begins ...- After last year of watching "As the Lane Turns" and seeing Scott Linehan call his shot, the NFL's coaching front was very quiet.  The hammer finally fell on Dick Jauron of the Bills.  He was done in by the simply unrealistic expectations caused by the fast start that the team got out to last year.  It does go to prove just how important the QB position is in the NFL, and just what a lack of depth there is there currently.

2) ... again- Last year the first two coach firings in the NBA occurred about this time, and this year we already have one.  Byron Scott was let go by the New Orleans Hornets, and hearing some of the reasons as to why, they sound to me more like reasons as to why this move was made far too soon.  To me, it all seems like a power play by team president and NBA no-nothing Hugh Weber.

3) Even as one of the biggest ND haters- I was completely confused at the end of the Notre Dame Pitt game and exactly what the replay official saw.  To me, it seemed clear that Claussen's hand was firmly clutched around the football during the entire forward motion.  Now, I won't say the Domers got jobbed, as had the play stood (which IMO it should have), it would have been 4th and 16 and tough to overcome.  Remember, I'm of the mind that blaming losses on the officials is loser speak and I site that I have only seen two games where officials have difinitively decided a game, the Oklahoma Oregon game a few years back, and the Colorado fifth down game.  But to me, this was a clearly blown call.  Remember, it was called incomplete on the field.  I was watching an NFL game earlier this year where this exact play happened, and it was initially ruled a fumble and was OVERTURNED on replay to an incomplete pass.  Plus, several people have pointed out to me that the whistle blew before Pitt had possession of the "fumble," calling into question whether or not the play was even reviewable (at least to the point where Pitt could even be awarded the ball).

4) Jay Cutler is horrible- Watching the 49ers Bears game, it made me realize one thing.  The Broncos gave the Bears the worst fleecing sinec the Lions fleeced the Cowboys in the Roy Williams trade.  I mean, the trade would have been bad had it just been picks given up for Cutler, but throw in Orton, too.  And some Bears fans were asking what happened to their running game.  That's simple.  Jay Cutler.  Yes, the O-line is also not playing as well, but Forte didn't all of a sudden suck.  Jay Cutler thinks it's all about him.  And as far as building for the future, the Bears can forget about that one as well.  Somebody suggested they need to draft a great receiver.  The problem with that is they don't have a pick until at least the third round.  The Bears have no future.  They mortgaged it for Cutler (and Gaines Adams).

5) Pats 4th and out- I can understand where some people are coming from trying to defend coach Belichick's decision to go for it on fourth down late and on his own side of the field.  Afterall, it was essentially a playoff game and will go a long way toward deciding home field.  That one game represented a three game swing, two for the points in the standings, and another 1/2 each way for the tie breaker.  Still, to me it was very odd, and I'd much rather try to make Peyton drive much longer, no matter how well he had been driving it against you recently.  Huge win by the Colts.

6) Trojans defense snapped- I had pointed out going into the Oregon game that the prior two weeks the Trojans defense looked flat and were not playing up to USC standards.  Ever since then, they've done nothing to improve, proving that sometimes it is hard to just reload instead of rebuild, even if you are Pete Carroll.  The loses on defense over the years have clearly caught up, and this will be USC's first year not in a BCS bowl game in a long time.

7) Horned Frogs roll- TCU continued to roll, destroying their toughest remaining opponent in Utah by a 55-28 score.  Should Texas lose, or should Bama or Florida lose before the SEC Championship game, I can only hope the BCS does the right thing and sends the lizards to Pasadena on the 7th.

8) Houston loses another it shouldn't- As much as I like Case Keenum and the huge numbers he's been putting up this year, you cannot afford to lose to UTEP and UCF.  That just cannot happen, especially after beating Oklahoma State.

9) tOSU going to the Rose Bowl- By beating Iowa in overtime, Ohio State will be making it's first trip to Pasadena since something like 1999.  Hard to believe, but a lot of the years they won the Big 10, they went to the Championship game.  And remember, Penn State won last year.

10) Another reason I hate Gary Bettman- The Lightning were screwed out of a point on 11/14 while playing the Kings.  On what should have been a game winning goal by the Lightning in OT, the up ice official ruled that the Kings goalie was interfered with on the play and waved off the goal.  Here's the problem.  The Lightning player was clearly pushed in there by a Kings player.  How is this kind of play not reviewable?  Bettman either needs to revisit his horrible rules, or send these officials back to school.

11/23-

1) Hold that Tiger timeout- Wow, what a horrible series of play calling and clock management displayed by the LSU coaching staff at the end of the Ole Miss game.  You have it first and 10 at the 29 with around :40 seconds left and two timeouts.  First play: incompletion.  Okay, not too bad, although with two timeouts and in field goal range, you can run or use the middle of the field.  Second play: sack.  Cannot happen in that situation.  Now you're out of field goal range.  First timeout.  33 seconds left.  Next play, some ill-conceived screen play that loses like seven yards.  Now it's fourth and forever.  The clock is at 27 seconds.  Somehow, as you are discussing whatever on the sidelines, you let the clock run all the way down to 9 seconds before calling the timeout.  Now, you throw a hail-mary.  And in the most improbable situation, you complete it at the five, but there is only one second left.  And you are caught completely unready.  Your field goal unit is not ready to go, although there may have not been enough time to get them on.  So, your QB attempts a SPIKE??  With one second left on the clock???  And the great thing is in the hurry up confusion, it was discovered on video that Miles was the one telling him to spike it.  You have to run a play.  You have to hike it and throw it to the endzone.  Even in Death Valley, the final second runs off the clock on a spike.  It was clear the coaching staff was lost, and even more so on a play that was probably meant to go into the endzone ends up completed on the 5 instead.  It is your responsibility as a coach to be ready for every possibility, and to have your team ready.  One fan suggested they should have celebrated the play, as it would have stopped the clock.  Now, while I have no experience actually calling a college game with college rules, I'm pretty sure the clock starts on the ready for play just like it would normally.  He did have an interesting idea, though, as the clock WOULD stop as they march it off, and maybe have given them enough time to get the FG unit on.  Still, all in all, some of the worst coaching I've seen, EVER, and inexcusible from a BCS champion winning coach.  That last TO had to be called right after the screen play.  You have to extend the game.

2) Weis' swan song- I think the second consecutive loss on senior day by the Fighting Irish pretty much spells the end for Charlie Weis.  Afterall, his winning percentage is right up there with Davie and Willingham, and I can't remember the last ranked opponent he's beaten.  On the flip side, it was good to see the Huskies win their first game since losing Jasper Howard.  Seeing coach Edsall's emotions during the post-game was touching, especially knowing how heart-felt they were.

3) Some absolutely inexcusible NFL performances- Wow, Steelers lose to Chiefs (I know, Moo, you saw it coming the whole way).  The Bengals get a gift to move another game up, only they turnover the game against the Raiders on a late TD and then fumble the ensuing kickoff.  And the Cowboys take a late TD and only hang 7 on the lowly Redskins in a win.

4) The Jets crash land and the Broncos pull up lame- After starting off 3-0 and fueling speculation again of an all NY Super Bowl (the Giants haven't been performing much better), they have only won 1 of the last 7 and Sanchez is looking very much like a rookie.  And the Broncos after their 6-0 start have dropped 4 in a row and now find themselves looking up at the Chargers.

5) Redemption for VY- Ever since being forced back into the lineup by owner Bud Adams (who probably gave coach Jeff Fisher the double barrelled single finger salute in the process), the Titans have not lost a game and have suddenly found themselves back in the playoff hunt, although they probably dug themselves too deep a hole to begin with.

6) Oregon Arizona classic- In one of the most interesting games of the year that I could only see via ESPN360.com thanks to ABC thinking that because I live in Florida the Texas beatdown of Kansas would be more interesting to me, DESPITE the fact that their number 1 crew was at THIS game, Oregon won in double OT in come back fashion, setting up this week's rivalry week matchup with Oregon State with the winner getting a trip to Pasadena on Jan 1st to play tOSU.

7) Huskers Shuck Kansas State to win Big 12 north- Nebraska's defense again looked dominant in setting up a trip to Arlington to play Texas on Dec. 5th.  I'm looking forward to see how well the blackshirts match up against Colt McCoy and the Longhorns.  In an ironic twist, had K State won, they would have been playing against Texas.  By losing, not only will they not, but they also will not be bowling.

8) ACC Championship game set, too- I'm actually looking forward to seeing C.J. Spiller coming here to Tampa to take on Georgia Tech and the triple option.  The good thing is I think this game should sell better than last year's Va Tech BC game.  Short of getting FSU and/or Miami in the game, this was the best we could do, and should at least generate some more local interest as the teams are much closer.

9) To all the SEC haters- Yes, ramble on about how we are two deep (we are).  Pile on us for how we are down for the second year in a row (we are).  Get on us for scheduling weak teams late in the year (only because we start our conference season earlier than anybody other than the ACC, which starts out the gate).  The SEC has TEN, count 'em, TEN teams that are bowl eligible.  Yes, we might not have the great teams outside of UF and BAMA, but we have a WHOLE LOTTA good ones.  And we have to play eight games against said teams.  And I would argue that just about every conference is down this year.  That's why you had a C-USA school in the Top 15 for most of the year.

10) Turkey games on turkey day- I'll break my rule because I was going to get on this point anyway, but even the one slightly intriguing NFL game on Thanksgiving turned out to induce more yawns than the trytophan in your Thanksgiving turkey (unless you were a Broncos fan).  Honestly, I was watching the Texas Texas A&M game and just flipping between commercials.  The Lions sucked and have for years.  Then you match them up against one of the top 6 teams in the conference.  Conversely, you match up the Cowboys against the Raiders???  Seriously, the Raiders???  The NFL really needs to revisit it's Thanksgiving day policy, as "tradition" is quickly turning in to the "tradition" of people turning their TV sets off early.
Posted on: January 13, 2009 6:55 pm
Edited on: January 15, 2009 10:24 pm
 

10 Things I Learned The Week of Jan. 12th

Hello there sports fans.  Don't know how many of you caught it, but due to being ill, I initially ran a shortened version of my blog last week, but went back and updated it (and still missed on one thing I definitely wanted to hit on, which I shall do so this installment) on Saturday.  So if you like what you see here (and Bamaman, if you read this, I posed a question to you after I updated), please feel free to check back on the completed edition of last week (also feel free to check out all the rest if you're really bored and/or suffering from insomnia).  Here's the link: http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/
entry/10264446/12793505

1) Offense sells tickets, defense wins championships - Okay, so technically this should fall under things I relearned this week for the hundredth time yet some people still fail to grasp.  It doesn't matter the sport, but this is ESPECIALLY true in football.  Defense wins championships.  PERIOD, PERIOD, PERIOD.  First off, a huge kudos to the Oklahoma Sooners who came out and played an inspired game, especially on defense.  When the game was on the line, though, and Tebow went Tebow (more on him in a moment), they simply didn't have enough of an answer.  I am sick and tired of the know nothing media (and I know it's not all of them) wondering how in the world somebody's going to shut down this unstoppable offense when it's happened time, and time, and time again.  Thankfully, the public (60%), and Vegas, and people who have played the sport have figured it out.  I loved how in one thread an Oklahoma fan phooied off somebody (don't even think it was a Gator fan) who pointed out the line went off at UF -6 despite being at -4 1/2 all week, and opening at -3.  The OU fan said that Vegas moves the line based on the money coming in (correct) and that it was the public pushing it that way (incorrect).  The public pushed it from the initial 3 to the 4 1/2.  Most of that late betting, however, is sharp money coming in.  The TRUE experts had the game pegged right the whole way.  Also, I finally nailed a prediction of a low scoring game, and while not as big of a factor as I thought they could be, a wasted timeout, a false start penalty (which was later wiped out by a roughing the kicker call), and a blocked FG, special teams did come into play.  By the way, one of the most telling stats was third down efficiency, especially in the Red Zone.  Oklahoma was 2-4 in the Red Zone and came away with zero points on 2 of their trips.  The Gators, on the other hand, were 4 or 4 in the promised land and 12 of 17 overall.  Oklahoma just couldn't get off the field when it mattered.  Also, what was that play call right before the half where Bradford got picked by Major Wright?  Even if he completes that, he would have been tackled at the two yard line and time would have run out on the half because they had no timeouts left.  INEXCUSIBLE.  Don't know if that was coaching, or execution, but somebody needed to be held accountable for that.

2) The Play of the game - In line with the defense wins championships theory (fact in my book), the single biggest play of the game had to be Ahmad Black ripping the ball away from Juaquin Iglesias for one of the best interceptions I've ever seen.  The look on Bradford's face after that play was priceless.  He thought he had completed the pass and set his team up at the Gators 24 only to have his heart ripped out.  By the way, what were Thom Brennamen (sp?) and Charles Davis watching (more on this later).  It took them almost a minute to realize the Gators had come up with the ball.

3) A Gritty, Gutsy Performance - Huge Kudos to Percy Harvin, who must have been running on pure adrenaline with his slightly bummed ankle.  They said in pregame warmups, you could tell he wasn't 100%, but it sure didn't show on the field, ripping off two huge runs of 40+ yards, one from his own 3 yard line.  He singlehanded flipped the field twice, and ripped momentum back away from Oklahoma after they had tied the game at 14 early in the fourth quarter.

4) A repeat performance - Tim Tebow announced this weekend that he was returning for his senior season, which set off a tidal wave of Tebow hating on the boards.  Everyone was talking about having to go through another year of the Tebow lovefest from all the broadcasters.  Look at it from my angle, though.  The rest of us have to put up with another year of all the haters drinking their haterade.  While I admit some of the stories/attention is overblown, the fact is the kid is a phenominal leader, and a proven winner.  And no matter what you think of how he'll perform at the next level, what position he'll play, etc., you know that almost all of these people spewing their venom at the kid would die to have him as the QB of their team.  I have to believe that it's 75% jealousy, and 25% of tiredness due to media overkill.  Instead of hating on the kid, hate the media and check the mirror.

5) Fox's coverage of big game very apropos for the BCS - God, Fox's coverage of the BCS Championship game was horrible, and not even because of the reason most people pointed to, which was the perceived (and to some extent true) Tebowfest, which by the way wasn't nearly as bad as most made out and didn't even start until the second half when Tebow started to go Tebow on the OU defense.  You want to talk about love fests?  How about the love fest for the OU offense (offense sells tickets, remember?)?  Was there anything more utterly useless and annoying than the garbage of the OU time between snap clock and the quad screen that they went to dozens of times?  Also, did the producer ever hear of this thing fans like called game content?  You know, like mixing in a replay or three during the course of the game.  And did Brennamen and Davis miss Barry Alvarez that much???  I thought the three did an admirable job in 2007 broadcasting the BCS Championship game between tOSU and UF, but this game the duo was LOST.  Most notable of which was the goal line stand series where Brennamen was a down ahead the entire time and Davis did NOTHING to correct him (and seemed unaware of the down himself).  Yeah, that was a HUGE decision to go for it on 3rd and goal from the 1, NOT!  Also, were the people in the truck asleep all game.  Don't they have people who tell these guys stuff and spotters and crap?  How come ABSOLUTELY nobody corrected them that whole time?  Overall, an absolutely horrendous job by FOX.

6) Something I missed last week - Wanted to give Kudos to the Buckeyes for the great game they played against Texas in the Fiesta Bowl.  In fact, it was a shame that the tOSU coaching staff (most notably DC Jim Heacock {sp?}) cost that game for the kids who absolutely played their hearts out.  I actually felt bad for Buckeye fans getting their hearts ripped out for the third time, since it happened in this fashion.  Overall, an extremely hard fought, well played game by both teams, and one that proved A) the Buckeyes belonged and B) Texas deserved that #4 ranking in the AP that I predicted they would get.

7) Cry me a river - God, I could not believe the whining going on by Titans fans after their game against the Ravens.  Several threads popped up about the Titans getting jobbed and the botched delay of game penalty COSTING them the game.  Yes, it was a missed call.  But the penalties and the TURNOVERS, especially those in the red zone, COST the Titans the game.  As I tried to explain to the whiners, A) Delay of Game does not come with a loss of down, so what makes them think Baltimore doesn't just convert the first down anyway and the arguement is moot.  B) Say they do stop them, what's to stop the Titans from turning the ball over again and the Ravens winning, or the game going to OT and the Ravens winning.  Honestly, even if the proper call had been made, the Titans still had a better chance of losing than winning IMHO C) Todd Heap was still double covered on the play, so it wasn't like the Titans gave up and weren't playing defense.  Plus, I've seen situations where teams have gotten a play off after the clock hit :00 where they threw a pick.  Think the offense would have liked the 5 yard penalty in that case?  I later started a thread after the Steelers Chargers game making fun of said crybabies (which not all Titan fans were doing, just to be fair) and one blasted me that I'd do the same if it were my team.  Let me make this perfectly clear.  I will NEVER, EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE blame officiating on losing a game.  For one, that's loser speak in my book and for two, even with Ed Hochuli's blown call in the Chargers Broncos game that had a MILLION TIMES more to do with deciding the outcome of that game than some missed delay of game call EVER will, the Broncos were still faced with a 4th and goal from about the 10.  The Chargers still had a chance to make a play and win the game and did not.  That fact gets overlooked sometimes.  By the way, it came out Monday that the officials blew another call in the game, in FAVOR of the Titans.  The Ravens should have had a safety when Chris Johnson failed to get the ball COMPLETELY out of the endzone (it's the exact opposite of going in.  If the ball breaks the plane, it breaks the plane, TD wise or safety wise).  As it was put by the NFL when posed a question about that play, "The Ravens failed to challenge it."  In other words, it was a safety.  Of course, we won't hear about THAT one from Titan fans.

8) Fake Delhomme - Wow, I must have missed where the Panthers were secretly matched up against the Ravens or Steelers last week.  I could have swore both teams were in other games of their own.  But how else to you explain the sudden defensive dominance of the Cardinals (yes, some of it needs to be hung around Jake's neck like an albatross)?  Delhomme turned in the worst playoff performance since Rich Gannon decided the Bucs offense wasn't scoring enough so why not give their defense three touchdowns as well and only topped by the playoff game in which Jet Favre completed six passes to Rams players masquerading as Packers.  In other playoff debacle news, the Giants seemed absolutely content to just kick field goal after field goal (and not very successfully, I might add), and it ended up costing them big time.  A big congratulations to the Eagles.  Oh, and just as we had the NFL's first ever 11-10 game earlier this year when the Steelers had a TD taken away at the end of the game while beating the Chargers (in the regular season game), this was the NFL's first 23-11 final score.

9) Midseason Lightning report card - Well, we've hit the midseason point of the NHL, and my beloved Bolts earn themselves a big F, mostly due to their front office.  From the bold predictions which they seem destined to fall short of, to trading away Dan Boyle for basically a bag of Cheetos, and a roll of Mentos, to now doing nothing to quell rumors of Lecavalier to Montreal, I'm quickly getting sick of GM Brainless Lawton and owner Oren Klueless.  If they do trade Vinny, I might just become a Wings fan.  That's how despondent I'd be (j/k Diva, I'd never stoop that low ).  I'll give out complete NHL midseason report cards next week.

10) BuccinGators weatherman-like results and clueless conference championship game predicitions - Well, I finished bowl season a stellar 18-16, while pulling down 57.5% of the available points in my bowl pool, and am so far batting .250 in the NFL, going 1-3 each week.  So you may want to bet the opposite of what I say, but I am predicting (and praying for I might add) an all Pennsylvania Super Bowl XLIII here in Tampa.  I get the feeling, though, that the real Super Bowl is being played this week in Pittsburgh.  I could (EASILY) be wrong, though.  NFC Eagles 24, Cardinals 17.  AFC Steelers 13 Ravens 8.

Posted on: December 24, 2008 11:20 am
Edited on: January 13, 2009 9:01 pm
 

10 Things I Learned the week of Dec. 22nd

WARNING: No. this isn't going to be like Yo's surgeon general warning, although I can have my moments of wit and humor if you read some of my other work on here.  In fact, this is probably my one serious release.  No, just giving everyone a heads up that for the second time I will be breaking my own cardinal rule about cutting off the week's events on a Monday.  Last night's game between Boise State and TCU was too good to wait until next week to comment on.  And while I'm breaking my cardinal rule, congrats to my Bolts, who played their best game of hockey in a LONG LONG time last night against the Pens.  They were forechecking like it was 2004, and their passing was the crispest I've seen all year, and was usually right on target.  Anyway, here goes.

And so this is Christmas.  And what have I learned?  Another week over.  A new one's just begun.

1) Feeling a little "Horn"y - Wow.  What a game last night.  TCU's defense, despite what the idiots logged into the four letter network were saying for most of the game, singlehandedly won that game for the Horned Frogs, and kept them in it while their offense was doing everything they could to lose it for most of the first half.  Anyway, this game was one of those rare one's that lived up to the expectations, and quite honestly deserved a better date and venue than what they got.  This was a great matchup between two great teams.  Boise State fans, you should still be very proud of what your team accomplished this year, but if you want a reminder as to why tOSU is in the Fiesta Bowl (which I told you a couple weeks ago your venom was improperly directed in the first place), look no further than the stands.  University of Phoenix Stadium will be PACKED.  Trust me, I know.  In 2007, it was about 70% Buckeye fans.

2) A Giant Victory - Speaking of great games, I predicted the SNF game between the Giants and Panthers would be a classic and it did not disappoint. Have to give huge props to the Giants not only being able to come back the way they did in that game, but just absolutely decimating the Panthers run D much the same way the Panthers decimated my Bucs run D a couple weeks ago.  Thank you to Brandon Jacobs for helping me win my autodraft league here on CBS.

3) A "Titan"ic victory - In the same line, congrats to the Tennesse Titans who won a huge game against the Steelers and locked up home field advatage on the AFC side.  I'm still not quite sold that it won't be the Steelers or Ravens coming out of the AFC, but the Titans are a solid team who would represent well here in Tampa in February.

4) The resurrection of the Dirty Birds - Even though Minnesota outplayed the Falcons for pretty much the entire game, the Falcons did what they had to to come away with the W and secure a playoff birth.  What an amazing turnaround this year, a turnaround that should scare the bajesus out of (no, not the rest of the NFC, although they could make some noise, especially if they somehow win the division) the Arkansas Razorbacks.  Yes, you had a huge win over LSU at the end of the year, but your current head coach, that you ousted the better Houston Nutt for (good luck to him in the Cotton Bowl.  See Razorback fans, the COTTON BOWL) was the same head coach who divided and held back this Falcon team last year.  Bobby Petrino sucks, there's just no other way of saying that.

5) A "Bull"ish victory - I haven't been doing too well with my bowl picks so far this year.  2-4 right now, although I'd be doing a lot better if the games would have ended at the 28 minute mark.  I did score 32 points in my bowl pool with the USF Bulls, however.  This team showed flashes of the team they should have been.  One playing in a much better bowl than the St. Pete bowl.  If only they could have cut out some of the turnovers, especially the ones in the red zone.  What a different year this could have been for them.

6) A sinking ship - Boy, it looked for a moment like Navy was going to be up 20-0 at halftime, but one replay (where the correct ruling was clearly made), and all of a sudden, momentum shifted dramatically.  Navy goes on to allow a last minute TD drive, and go into halftime only up 13-7.  Then it was all over from there.  Still you have to be proud of the way this team played this year and has played in recent years.  They've become a perennial bowl team now.

7) So much for my Western Conference dream match - I still want to see Sharks Wings in a seven game series that means a trip to the Stanley Cup finals.  But shortly after I posted last week's edition, Diva's Wings DESTROYED the Sharks 6-0.  Huge win for them, and it pains me ever so to write that.

8) Let's see if anybody whines this year - Well, we arrive to the Christmastime tradition of the NBA on Christmas day, with some pretty good games scheduled.  I'm just more interested to see if some of the players whine about having to play on Christmas day instead of being with their families as some have done in the past (I want to say Shaq).  News Flash!!!!  You make Millions of dollars every year.  Sorry for the minor inconvenience.  Coming from someone who used to regularly have to work Christmas day despite having a 25K a year job, stop crying and work around it.  Usually when that happened, I had Christmas Eve off, so I'd just make that Christmas.  Or, I'd just go see the family when I got off.  If I could make it work, you can!

9) Weekly look ahead - Kind of a light week.  The two NFL games that mean the most (and should be good games) are the Cowboys Eagles and the Panthers Saints.  It kind of sucks knowing if the Bucs win, Philly is eliminated, but the Bucs would need Philly to beat Dallas to make it.  Oh well.  And unfortunately, the only bowl games that looks decent before the Dec. 31st ones are Northwestern and Missouri in the Alamo Bowl (which is a stretch) and Oklahoma State Oregon in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30th (which should be a good game)

10) Buccingator's continuing Bowl Predicitions - Let's see if I can start to do better than 2-4.

Hawaii Bowl (which I predicted last week, but will post again) - Hawaii 20 Notre Dame 17

Motor City - Central Michigan 31 Florida Atlantic 10

Meineke Car Care - West Virginia 20 UNC 14

Champs Sports Bowl - FSU 28 Wisconsin 10

Emerald Bowl - Cal 23 Miami 21

Independence Bowl - La Tech 24 Northern Illinois 20

Papa Johns - Rutgers 31 NC State 13

Alamo Bowl - Missouri 38 Northwestern 17

Humanitarian - Maryland 21 Nevada 20

Texas Bowl - Western Michigan 28 Rice 27

Holiday Bowl - Oklahoma State 34 Oregon 27

To all my friends, have a very merry Christmas, and a happy New Year.  See you next week.  I'm thinking about doing a year in review.

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 30, 2008 10:16 pm
Edited on: November 25, 2008 6:54 pm
 

10 Things I learned the week of Oct. 27th

Blah, another late posting by me.  Oh well, here goes.

1) Premature Prediticion - Well, thanks to my Bucs being offensively inept against a team with a decimated secondary (and Jeff Garcia cost us a second game in which he missed a wide open Joey Galloway on the last play of the game), Dallas now has hope.  Of course, Brad Johnson is on a short leash, with his backup being Brooks Bollinger.  Brooks Bollinger?  And you seriously can't maintain your depth chart spot in front of him.  Cowboy fans better hope Romo gets well soon.

2) Nittany Lionhearted - What a huge win going into Colombus and winning there for the first time in 30 years.  PSU will still need Texas or Alabama to lose (which could easily happen given their schedules AND CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES, cough, cough), but they look set up well to take a run at making it to Miami.  I would love to see Joe Pa there (although I'd much rather see a Big 12 versus SEC matchup), and hopefully he can put up a better show than tOSU has the last two years.

3) The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party - A lot is being of last year's stomp after Georgia's first offensive TD.  Honestly as a Gator fan, I don't see what the big deal is.  It should have served to fire the Gators up as much as it did Georgia.  Plus, if you need something like that to motivate you after losing 15 of 17, well then, more power to you (that's right Bulldog fans, win this week, and you'll have an awesome 25% winning percentage the last TWO DECADES.  Lose, and it's an even more impressive 20%).  Should be another classic game.

4) Gameday in Lubbock - ESPN's College Gameday makes it's first EVER trip to Lubbock, Texas this week.  It will be fun to see if Texas can slow down Harrell and Crabtree.  More interesting will be what Tech's defense does against Texas.  The Cowboys were able to slow them last week, and Tech held Reesing and the Jayhawks offense to 14 points.  That's a job well done.  Then again, Texas held Missouri completely in check for a half.  Should be one heck of a prime time game.  This is the kind of college football I live for.

5) Remember the Titans - Wow, this is starting to reach levels of the Patriots.  No, not in terms of the offense or going 16-0 or any of that.  I mean as far as locking up their division.  For all intents and purposes, it's over already, and it's Week FREAKIN' 8.  Wonder how Vince Young feels watching Kerry Collins lead this team.

6) NBA "I love this game" - Well, no, not really.  I owned up as much on my first post.  I honestly do not pay much attention to the NBA until playoff time.  I think it's inferior compared to the college game.  Even so, the season gets (got) underway on Tuesday.  With the closest team to me being the Magic, I hope they do well.  They should easily dispatch of their division, and hopefully can make a run in the playoffs.

7) Coming Attractions - Besides the college games I laid out, the NFL games I'm looking forward to are the Titans Packers, Giants Cowboys, and the Sunday night game which is an absolute must win for the Colts.  People thought (correctly) that this might be the year the Colts come back to earth, but my how far and how fast.  And so much for passing the torch to the Jaguars, who might be the WORST team in that division.  Next week I'll have my official NFL Playoff predictions.

8) Early Observations on the ice - Maybe I was too quick to get down on my Lightning.  Three of their early losses are against teams who right now look to be the best of the NHL, two regulation losses to the Rangers (which were both 2-1) and a shootout loss to Minnesota in which they failed to register a goal.  Like I said, though, this might not be that bad.

9) Bad officiating calls of the week - Did anyone see the play in the Michigan Michigan State game (of course you did, it's been replayed a zillion times)?  Have to give Big Ten commissioner Delaney credit for coming down hard on the replay guy, but how did he have his job in the first place.  First, aren't there TWO guys in the booth.  How did they both blow it so horribly?  Secondly, even if you think the pylon is inbounds/inplay/whatever the heck those guys thought, shouldn't they know to pretend it wasn't there?  It would have been bad enough if just a part of his foot came down out of bounds, but his whole FREAKIN' foot was out of bounds.  How did they think that touching the pylon, even if it is considered inbounds overrule the fact that his body was out of bounds.  That should have been an easy call, and they blew it, big time.  Not nearly as bad, but bad none the less was the call in the Atlanta Philadelphia game.  The call was less obvious, but the Falcons got screwed by the NFL replay rules.  The NFL needs to do one of the following to remedy this next year.  They need to either

A) Bring back the idea that if you have a challenge, but not a time out, you can use the challenge at the cost of a delay of game or even an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.  I know this has been kicked around, but for some reason not implemented.

B) Why does replay go to the booth at the 2 minute warning in the fourth quarter?  Fourth quarter timing rules kick in at the 5 minute mark, replay should go to the booth at the same time.  Or

C) Just use the college replay system.  The college replay system works (or at least would work in the NFL where you have better officials than in the Michigan Michigan State game or the Oregon Oklahoma game a couple years ago).  It does not extend college games ridiculously long, so why does the NFL think this will be the case?

10) The baseball weather service - Exactly what hack meterologist did Bud Selig contact in trying to play game 5 on Monday?  Everything I hear is that everybody knew it was going to rain.  It was extremely unfair to both teams and the fans of Philadelphia.  They derserved better than that.

As a final note, congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies.  You were clearly the better team and your series win was well earned.  More on this next week.

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