Monday, October 27, 2008
WHO WAS AWESOME
1. Gopher football. I’m sure you spent most of your weekend trying to figure out where I would put them, in the awesome category or the suck category. Would I concentrate on the win on the road at Purdue, a tough place for the Gophers traditionally, and a road win in the Big Ten is never an easy task? Or would I concentrate on the ugliness of the game, and how Purdue is not only terrible, but the Gophers were facing a third string quarterback for a good chunk of the game, a guy I’m almost certain doesn’t belong anywhere near a D-I football field? Well, a 7-1 record, 3-1 in the Big Ten, and a #20 ranking nationally have me feeling pretty awesome. Please don’t F this up.
2. Penn State. Staying in the Big Ten, the Nittany Lions let everyone know they truly are the class of the Big Ten by the hated Buckeyes in Columbus 13-6 on Saturday, thanks in part to a late fumble by the right-handed Vince Young, QB Terrelle Pryor. I’m not exactly sure how high of praise “The Class of the Big Ten” really is, but look out, because they’ve picked up three #1 votes in the USA Today poll. The true good news here is that we won’t have to watch Ohio State get their asses kicked in the national championship game, we just might have to watch Penn State get their asses kicked instead. Also, I don’t know if this is true but I heard it somewhere that if Penn State goes to the championship game and the Gophers win out they go to the Rose Bowl. That would be pretty cool. I once won a chili cook-off and kicked a 40 yard field goal at the Rose Bowl.
3. Ryan Howard. Not the guy from The Office, things aren't so good for him right now, but the big fat slugging first baseman for the Phillies. After a very bad game one in which he looked mostly lost and confused and reminded me a lot of the Manatee, Craig Smith, he seems to have figured out Rays pitching, culminating in last night's 3-4 performance with 2 homers and 5 rbi, including an absolute laser of a homerun in the 8th. He has Philly on track for the win, as well as probably being the favorite for MVP at this point. Might as well toss Philly starting pitching in here as well, with Hamels (7ip/5h/2er), Myers (7ip/7h/3er), Moyer (6.1ip/5h/3er), and Blanton (6ip/4h/2er and a HR himself) pretty much dominating the Rays' bats. Congrats to the Phillies.
4. Texas Tech. You know, whenever there’s a gimmicky offensive team in college football it’s hard to take them too seriously. Whether it’s Houston or Hawaii and their super run-and-gun or Air Force with their wishbone/flexbone attack, I never really consider them a top team, no matter the record or the ranking, but it’s looking like this year’s version of the Red Raiders might be different. This weekend they beat a very good Kansas team in Kansas to the tune of 63-21, running their record to 8-0, 4-0 in the Big Twelve. The true test is still ahead, as their next four games are vs. #1 Texas, #7 Oklahoma State, and at #4 Oklahoma, and that’s where we’ll find out if their QB Graham Harrell (#1 in NCAA in Passing Yards and completions, 28 TDs vs. 5 INTs) is more Andre Ware or more Drew Brees.
5. Tyler Thigpen. If you happened to watch the Chiefs/Jets game, first of all you were probably really bored, but in contrast to Brett Favre (more on this below) you would have seen Tyler Thigpen look like an actual, competent NFL quarterback. He ended up 25-36 for 280 yards and 2 TDs with no interceptions, and more so even that that was making good decisions and showed good accuracy and arm strength. He may very well have even led the Chiefs on a fourth quarter drive with under 2 minutes remaining for the win except for a non-call on a fourth down possible pass interference. Basically, he looked like the kind of guy who could be a QB of the future for a team. If only the Vikings had drafted him, like in the seventh round or something. What? Oh. Go T-Jax!
1. Brad Johnson. Holy noodle arm, watching him try to play QB is just painful. I knew he was a cranky old man at this point and I expected the Cowboys to slow down, but not to stop completely. Owens is worthless now. So is Witten. Barber still gets a few yards, but with 13 in the box on every play because BJ can’t throw, the going is tough. On any third down longer than 8 yards, they either run a draw, a screen, or Johnson ends up dumping it to a check down guy 3 yards down field, who then runs to just short of the first down before being tackled. Sound familiar, Vikings fans.
2. Brett Favre. As long as we’re on the subject of bad, old quarterbacks, Favre was vintage Favre on Sunday. No, not the “fourth quarter comeback”, although that’s all I heard from the announcers all day, I’m talking about the poor decisions and interceptions thrown right into the defenders arms. Favre had three of those, and I can’t adequately describe how poor these throws were, including one that the Chiefs took back for a TD, as well as another one right in the linebackers arms that was dropped. Look, he threw three picks to a team that had three thus far in the season, he had an INT returned for a TD in the fourth, losing the lead, and on the TD to take the lead back he horribly underthrew Laveraneous Coles who made an incredible catch to win the game. But all you heard about was the fourth quarter comeback and what a great throw he made by intentionally underthrowing Coles, although I’m 99% sure he was actually supposed to lead him and he made a great play. The media love for Favre continues, any other QB would have been ripped to shreds for this performance. I also heard he’s hooked on pain pills and young Asian boys.
3. Northwestern. I think pretty much every knew Northwestern was pretty much a sham at 6-1, but Saturday’s loss to Crapdiana pretty much seals the deal for any believers out there. Pretty much tells you the state of the Big Ten right now when this team is in fifth.
4. Big 12 Defenses. I always thought of the Big 12 as kind of a smashmouthy type of conference, but clearly that is not the case this season. The lowest scoring game in the conference this weekend was 28-24. In terms of scoring offense, Oklahoma is #2, Texas Tech #3, Missouri #4, Texas #5, Okla State #6, and K State #13. In passing yards, Tex Tech is #1, Oklahoma #3, Missouri #4, Kansas #8, Texas #11, Nebraska #12, and K State #13. That’s a lot of ball slinging, and a whole hell of a lot of fun to watch. Will be interesting to see if it’s just good offense, or bad defense once bowl season rolls around.
5. Evan Longoria. He's still a stud, he's still handsome, and it's a very small sample size no doubt, but Longoria has looked completely befuddled at the plate and in the field in the series. He's currently running at 0-16 with 9 strikeouts, and a whole bunch of fielding plays that he should have made, even if they don't show up as errors. I'm not exactly ready to give up on him or anything, but it would do him well to get a couple of hits tonight at least, so this isn't hanging over his head all offseason.