Monday, October 6, 2008
1. Missouri Football. Guess who is a legit National Title Contender? That’s right, they came into the week ranked #4, and rushed Nebraska in such convincing fashion that they leapfrogged LSU to get to #3. They killed the Cornhuskers (note: I once stayed in a hotel in Lincoln called “The Cornhusker.” It sucked) 52-17, rolling up all 52 points in the first three quarters before handing the offense over to Jonathan Moxon and his Dummy-Os. Chase Daniel continues to be awesome, completing almost 80% of his passes for three TDs and no picks, as he basically could have done pretty much whatever he wanted at any time. I remember when Nebraska was dominant. Remember Touchdown Tommie Frazier? Long time ago.
2. Vanderbilt Football. Speaking of teams that were non-factors and have recently become good, the Commodores are suddenly on the radar in a big way. They beat the #13 Auburn Tigers this weekend 14-13, moving to 5-0 and jumping up in the rankings to #13 themselves. I watched some of this game, and if you need a symbol for their turnaround, Auburn had the ball, first and goal on Vandy’s one yard line. They ran it up the middle, right at the defense, four times, and were turned away by Vandy’s defense all four times. It was truly awesome. Not as awesome as my “W” shirt, but awesome nonetheless.
3. Matt Ryan. Dude, this kid is the real deal for the Falcons. I’ve watched two of his games, coincidentally two of his good games, but he seems like he is going to be an absolute star. Not just because of his physical abilities but he just has a presence about him that is very un-rookielike. I know it goes against my nerd/math/stats self to evaluate a player based on something subjective, but good old fashioned scouting does still have it’s place. And according to this grizzled scouts eye, this kid is going to be a star. And I should know, I helped recruit Ryan Dunn to play for Chatham.
4. NFC East. I'm not nearly the first to say this, but the NFC East is definitely the class of the NFL. The Cowboys started the season as a Super Bowl favorite, and despite struggling with the Bengals yesterday and scaring everyone still alive in Survivor Leagues, they still are. The Giants were maybe the least regarded defending champion in history, and even after losing both defensive ends from last year's team they are stomping on people, beating the Seahawks 44-6 even without Plaxico to move to 4-0. And the Redskins came up huge, winning at the overrated Eagles' place to get to 4-1, even with Jason Campbell as the quarterback. I don't now how this happens either, but Campbell is putting together a hell of a year, and has yet to turn the ball over.
5. Manny Ramirez. Just killed the Cubs, going 5-10 with 2 homers, 3 rbi, and 4 walks to post an OPS of 1.743 for the series. I love Manny, and Bill Simmons had a really nice article about him that I'm far too lazy to link to but do yourself a favor and go find it on ESPN - plus you'll kill a good fifteen minutes. I fully expect him to kill the Phillies now. And speaking of the Cubs.....
1. Chicago Cubs. I was really hoping to be able to write Chicago baseball altogether instead of just the Cubs, but the Fag Sox got lucky and managed to beat Garza and the Rays yesterday. We’ll focus on the latest Cubbie collapse instead. The best winning percentage in the majors and the biggest run differential would lead you to believe they would likely be their in the World Series, but no such luck. I don’t even know how people can be Cubs’ fans. It’s like waking up every morning and getting kicked in the nuts – only you have the choice to stop getting kicked, but you choose to allow it to happen every day. Special shout out to Alfonso Soriano, who managed to go 1-14 in the series with four strikeouts, and flailed at pretty much every pitch that was chucked up there. He makes Delmon Young look like Ricky Henderson with his plate discipline.
2. Gopher Football. Sure they won, and they even covered in a 16-7 win over Indiana, but holy crap was this ugly. It was actually the first extended amount of time I’ve watched the Gophers this season, and let me say, whatever the opposite of impressed is, that’s what I was. A non-existent offense with a QB who can or won’t look at more than 1 receiver on a play and a defense, that despite shutting Indiana down, looked more lucky than good. But hey, that gives them five wins, just one away from qualifying for a bowl game and satisfying a whole bunch of people with low expectations. And they really need to find themselves a running back who can, you know, run. FOUNTAIN of YOUTH!!11!!1!11
3. Sage Rosenfels. After playing a hell of a good game and pretty much having the win against the Colts locked up, Sage went into complete meltdown mode, fumbling twice and throwing an interception to give it away like a cheap $20 whore. A fumble the Colts returned for a score, another fumble that led to a silly catch by Reggie Wayne for the lead, and an interception tossed while trying to make a last ditch comeback were epic. It’s not often you can see someone light himself on fire like that. It was spectacular.
4. San Diego Chargers. A loss to Miami? A 2-3 record? How are these guys supposed to contend for a Super Bowl crown when they suck this badly? Tomlinson just looks slow and hesitant this season, and it makes me really nervous. Granted, they did the same thing last year so did LT and they ended up just fine, but this year seems different. No zest. Expect to see a sideline altercation at some point between LT and Rivers. I just can’t decide if that would be the spark they need, or the beginning of the end. Oh well, at least they aren’t……
5. Detroit Lions. Garbage. The finally, and I mean finally got rid of Millen but still embarrassed themselves against the Bears. How does this happen to a team? They benched Kitna, and the guy they turn is someone nobody’s ever heard of – you’d think finishing last that often they’d have some kind of future stud QB stashed somewhere. Calvin Johnson needs to get himself traded before he ends up killing himself. Seriously, that franchise might be the worst in all of sports. If Barry hadn’t played there that team would be in San Antonio or Los Angeles right now. Truly putrid.