(note: Weekend Review will now include the entire previous week's events, due to college basketball being awesome and taking place all week not unlike stupid football)
WHO WAS AWESOME
1. Iowa football. I wasn’t exactly sure if I should mention this as Iowa being awesome or Penn State sucking, but I decided to put it here mainly because of the performance of Shonn Greene, who also gets points for finding yet another way to spell the name Shawn – every time I think all possibilities have been explored, someone comes up with another one. Anyway, Greene was the main offensive reason the Hawkeyes managed to knock of #3 Penn State 24-23 on a last second field goal. Greene ran for 117 yards and two TDs, and has exceeded 100 yards in every game this season, putting him third in the country in rushing yards and well on his way to becoming sort of a darkhorse Heisman contender.
2. Adrian Peterson. Sweet fancy Moses this guy is just ridiculous (the Vikings’ one, not the Bears’ one if he still exists). It’s been said before, but his combination of size, vision, speed, and quickness is probably even better than LaDainian Tomlinson’s was before he decided to start doing his Shaun Alexander impression this season. On the final drive for the Vikings, AP ran and caught for 64 of the team’s 69 yards, culminating in what turned out to be the game winning 29 yard TD run. But it just doesn’t do the guy justice to talk about his stats, he is simply incredible to watch. Remember when the Vikes had Culpepper and Moss, and you never wanted to miss a play because they could score at anytime from anywhere on the field? That’s what Peterson is like, and I can’t remember a running back like that since Barry Sanders.
3. Atlanta Falcons. I’ve written about this team here before, but I just can’t get over how good they have been this season, moving to 6-3 on the year after beating the Saints 34-20 yesterday. Rookie QB Matt Ryan is looking like the next Peyton Manning, and with high quality skill position players in RB Michael Turner and WR Roddy White, this team could be a contender for years. Turner is third in rushing yards this season, White is fourth in receiving yards, and Ryan has a better QB Rating than Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger. Speaking of Peyton Manning….
4. Indianapolis Colts. Are the Colts back to being a Super Bowl contender? I say yes after going into Pittsburgh and beating the Steelers 24-20, bringing them to 5-4. They won't catch the 9-0 Titans for the division crown, but they are right in the Wild Card race and, if they make it, will be a very dangerous wild card team. After a very bad start to the season that included two pretty "lucky" wins over the Vikings and Texans, Peyton and the rest of the team seem to have hit their stride. A pretty easy schedule the rest of the way that includes Detroit and Cincinnati has the Colts in a very good position.
5. The BCS Title Game. Obviously it hasn't happened so it wasn't awesome, but the circumstances got awesomer with Penn State's loss to Iowa on Saturday. This essentially guarantees the title game will be between a team from the SEC and a team from the Big 12 (or possibly USC) and should make for a very entertaining and competitive game with the two best teams in college football, rather than an awesome team taking on the weak big 10 representative and kicking the crap out of them yet again.
1. Gopher football. Omg omg omg omg. You guys, seriously. What the holy hell? As I said last week, I expected them to lose at least one of their last four, but I didn’t expect them to drop back to back games at home against bad teams. And to score just 6 points against the horrible Michigan defense is embarrassing. It’s beyond embarrassing, there’s just no word invented to describe it. And it’s not even like they were at least moving the football and then made mistakes and turnovers, they couldn’t get anything going all game and didn’t even bother to get a first down until almost halftime and ended up with less than 200 total yards against the same team that let Purdue rack up over 500 the previous week. I picked a hell of a game to go to. And to make it worse, the crazy lady who sits next to us wouldn’t even say anything crazy. I kept trying to talk to her and get her to say something weird, but her answers were all normal and rational. She must have gotten on some kind of medication and that sucks. Just a horrible day all around.
2. Tennessee football. Not the Titans, they’re good, I mean those guys who wear orange and used to be awesome and now suck worse than the Gophers. The program has managed to completely collapse, leading to the school forcing long time coach Phil Fulmer out at the end of the year, and culminating this week in an embarrassing loss to Wyoming at home, 13-7. Wyoming is dead last in college football in scoring, but managed to put up just enough for the big upset. How bad is Wyoming? Tennessee was favored in this game by 28 points, and Tennessee sucks. They have just three wins on the year and got destroyed by South Carolina last week, but were still favored by 28 against Wyoming. That’s how bad Wyoming was, and that’s how embarrassing this loss is. Truly rock bottom.
3. Notre Dame. It’s been easy to pick on the Irish the last few years, but I can’t lay off any longer. Like Michigan and Tennessee, this is another formerly great program that has just imploded. They are 5-4 this year, so it kind of looks like they are turning it around, but that schedule is laughable. Being an independent, they can mess around with their schedule and get it to their liking, and this year’s is a joke. The five wins are against Washington (0-9), Stanford (5-5), Purdue (3-7), Michigan (3-7), and San Diego State (1-9), five of the worst teams in the country. When your best win of the season is against Stanford, you’ve had a bad year. And with Navy and Syracuse still on the roster, the Irish will be heading to a bowl game and everyone will think things are wonderful again but trust me, Notre Dame sucks and their stupid quarterback Jimmy Clausen sucks (4 INTs Saturday vs. Boston College) and is only a sophomore, so it will be at least three more years before they get good again.
4. Vikings special teams. Specifically punt coverage. It's an embarrassment, as Green Bay's Will Blackmon returned yet another punt for a TD against them, bring the season total to 27 against the Vikes. I have no idea if it's the personnel, the special teams coach, or Childress, but something needs to change in a big way. And don't give me the whole "Heath Farwell is out for the year" BS. Who cares? It's Heath Farwell, a ninth string linebacker. It has gotten so bad, that earlier in the game Blackmon fielded a punt two yards deep in his own endzone. Normally a very stupid move, but against this team, why not go for it? It didn't work, but it certainly could have.
5. College Basketball. Obviously, college basketball doesn't suck, it's awesome, but whoever makes programming decisions sucks. The season starts tonight, with the Duke region of the coaches vs. cancer classic. Two games will be played this evening, Georgia Southern vs. Houston and Duke vs. Presbyterian. However, whoever is in charge of these kind of things isn't putting either game on TV, or at least regular TV people get, as the Duke game is on ESPNU, the Houston game is on nowhere despite being the more interesting game of the two. Why? Well ESPN has the Monday Night Football game tonight, but guess what is on ESPN2: a World Series of Poker marathon. Isn't this whole stupid poker craze over? Sure, I got hooked for a while, but then I realized it was really stupid to be watching people play cards. And now it's being televised over college basketball. Looking ahead, there are basketball games all week, and none of them are on anything other than ESPNU or ESPN360, which works for nobody. I blame you America. The terrorists have won.