WHO WAS AWESOME
1. Jahvid Best. Best running back in college football? I haven't watched enough to say for certain, but the guy looked damn good. It's been a long time since I've watched a college running back live with that kind of speed, that kind of shiftiness, and that kind of vision. He ended up going for 132 yards and a school record five TDs, and honestly it probably could have been worse. For some reason the Cal coach kept taking him out on third down, even though he showed early that he has excellent hands. Whatever.
Overall you have to be pretty pleased with the Gophers. They hung right with a top 10 team until the last ten minutes or so, and if not for a false start penalty on Cal that nullified a drive ending sack, who knows what could have been? After the last two games, I'm very impressed with the Gopher defense. Obviously Cal's 417 total yards don't look good, but in the second half the team really tightened up and played well enough for the Gophers to pull off the upset - they just fell a bit short.
What's going to help more in the long run, this loss or a fifty-point win over LA-Monroe? Yep, this was an excellent loss, if there is such a thing. And Eric Decker is a full-grown stud. Great game by the Gophers, and if they play this way throughout the Big Ten season they can pull off a top 3 or 4 finish.
2. Mike Cuddyer. Ok, so he only had two hits in the Detroit series, and losing the third game kind of kills the vibe just a bit, but the Twins did what they had to - win at least two over Detroit - and Cuddyer was a big reason in both games. His home run in the first game gave the Twins the lead, and his homer in the second game took it from a close nail-biter to a big Twins win. Going into the weekend, Cuddy had gone 8-16 with two homers and 8 rbi since Morneau went down, and played the slugger this weekend as well. He's not Mauer, Morneau, or Kubel, but if he can keep hitting like this he gives the Twins another big bat that they sorely need, especially with Morrneau on the shelf. Yes, his mastery of the strikezone rivals Delmoney's and he strikes out like Adam Dunn without all the walks, but the Twins need him and he has so far risen to the occassion. Keep it up friendo, keep it up.
3. Landry Jones. Sam Bradford who? Sure, it's Tulsa, but nevertheless it's a school record 6 TD passes for Jones, to go along with the 336 yards he tossed for in the Sooners' 45-0 victory. In total, the Sooners have beaten their last two opponents 109-0 with Landry at the helm, tossing 9 TDs against just 1 pick. It will be more than a little illuminating when Oklahoma takes on Miami next week, since they are a bit better than Idaho State and Tulsa. Is Landry like, really freaking good, or is he just able to destroy shitty teams? We should learn a bit next week. Also, nice name.
4. Frank Gore. Gore, a superstud like I told you, went off for over 200 in just over a half of football yesterday against the Seahawks, helped by both a 79 yard TD run and an 80 yard TD run. He inexplicably didn't get much after that, finishing with just 207 yards for the game, but he didn't need to. The 49ers coasted to a 23-10 win, with Seneca Wallace even coming in for an injured Hasselbeck, as they continued their march to the NFC West Division Title - as I predicted. Gore also led the team with 5 catches and 39 receiving yards, but that's mostly because Shaun Hill has an Adam Weber-like Noodle arm and didn't complete anything longer than 17 yards (that one went to the "next great TE" Vernon Davis - how's that one working out?)
5. Andre Johnson. I've talked him up here before (not solely because he's on my keeper fantasy team), but he had another monster week, catching 10 balls for 149 yards and two touchdowns, including a hell of a catch that involved tipping the ball to himself and a tightrope act on the sideline. He's basically the AP of receivers, fast enough to run by you, strong enough to overpower you, and with maybe the best hands in the league. You can go ahead and have your Larry Fitz or your Randy Moss, I'd take Johnson in a heartbeat. Chris Johnson was also big in that game for the losing Titans and could be here for his almost 300 total yards and 3 scores, but I don't really care about him.
1. USC. When you are the juggernaut of the west coast, I think it would be prudent to recruit a quarterback or two. Instead, the Trojans - loaded everywhere else - have had to rely on freshman Eric Barkley, who has been outstanding. But he was hurt this weekend and couldn't play, and USC was kind of screwed. They turned to sophomore Aaron Corp, who made his first career start and did, well, nothing. He ended up 13-22 for just 110 yards and a pick, and couldn't lead the Trojans to anything other than a field goal after the first quarter. I've read some reviews of Corp's play, and it seems he was the Jake Delhomme of college QBs. Washington chipped away at the 10-0 a little at a time, and finally ended up winning on a 22-yard field goal with 3 seconds left. Which is awesome, because USC is just a bunch of homos.
2. Michigan QBs. You probably think it's a bit weird to put anything Michigan related here since they beat the feared Eastern Michigan Somethings (Eagles? Maybe. I don't know.) And maybe it is, since the Wolverines rushed for 380 total yards whilst stomping the crap out of the maybe-Eagles, but - and I didn't exactly watch the game - I'd be pretty nervous about this kind of QB performance. Michigan goes with a two-headed QB approach, Tate Forcier the white passer, Denard Robinson the black runner, but it seems neither one of them can pass for shit. Forcier was just 7-13 for just 68 yards, while Robinson was 0-4 with 2 picks (and 60 yards rushing.) Look, they won 45-17, so there's really not much to complain about, but I'm going to go ahead and do it for them. I'm good at that kind of thing.
3. Green Bay Packers. I have no idea why I picked these jerks this week for our Survivor pool. I mean, I know why, I just really wish I hadn't. There were three pretty obvious picks this week: Green Bay at home against Cincy, Washington at home against the Rams, and the Vikes on the road against Detroit. I won't pick a road team, especially against a division foe, so the Vikings were out. And how could I possibly pick a team led by Jason Campbell, even against a crappy St. Louis team? Green Bay was the obvious pick, even though I had said before the season started that the Bengals would be pretty good this year. I thought the Packers were supposed to be super good and all that? No? I'm such an idiot. Out of survivor in the second week. Ugh.
4. Milton Bradley. Suspended for the season by the Cubs after telling a reporter "It's easy to see why they haven't won here in 100 years" and that the Cubs and Chicago were not a "positive environment." This shouldn't really be shocking, the guy is insane. The Cubs took a chance by giving a known head-case a 3 year, $30 million contract this off-season, but it now looks like they are going to have to find somebody willing to take him off their hands after a season full of meltdowns, including being sent home during a game after going after manager Lou Piniella. Of course, this is the same guy who tried to be like Ron Artest and go after a fan in the stands when he was a Dodger. It's too bad, the guy is an excellent lead-off hitter when he's not hurt or suspended, and even this year when he can't hit much he's still sporting a .378 OBP (and led the league last year at .436). Nice job basketcase. I think he should retire and join up with Carl Everett to have their own talk show. I'd watch.
5. Texas Rangers. This is mostly just rumors at this point, but the Rangers should probably get a spot here just for suddenly being 8 games back of the Wild Card when they were right in the thick of it most of the year. Kevin Millwood has a $12 million option for next year, that automatically kicks in if he gets to 180 innings pitched. He would probably only get about $5-$6 a year as a free agent, so obviously this would be big for him and crappy for the Rangers. He is sitting at 175.2 ips this year right now, and pitches tonight - or does he?
The Rangers are broke. They had to borrow $15 million from MLB this year just to cover expenses. According to fan accounts, they have stopped watering the field because they can't afford the water bills. They also don't have any more Ranger mini-helmets for those ice cream sundaes. They have Astros, Brewers, and other teams, but they ran out of Ranger helmets and won't order more. Nolan Ryan is drawing a paycheck month by month, and has said he expects not to be paid after October. I'm sure there are more stories like this if you look around. The rumor now is that the Rangers may sit Millwood the rest of the year in order to avoid paying him the option, which would surely cause the player's union to file a greivance (I think his agent is Scott Boras, of all people) and cause some serious issues. Even worse, rumors are that since their financial situation is so dire, MLB and Bud Selig may be the ones ordering Millwood shut down, and I can't imagine what kind of shit storm that is going to set off, especially with the Labor Agreement needing to be renewed soon (I can't remember exactly when).
The team executives and manager all say that they aren't going to shut Millwood down, and I would say it's pretty unlikely that they do, but this financial mess is going to cause major issues at some point.