WHO WAS AWESOME
1. Jacob Edward Peavy. Great googily-moogily, how much does it suck that this guy is going to be in the AL Central until like, 2012 or something? In just his second start back from injury (since June 8th) he came out and completely shut down the Tigers Friday night, going seven scoreless innings allowing just six hits and striking out eight. The Sox (well, more accurately the Twins) needed him to throw that well too, since the White Sox bats weren't working against Tigers' starter Eddie Bonine who nobody has ever heard of. Bonine no-hit the Sox until their were 2 outs in the sixth, which is when Brandon "0 homers in the derby" Inge kicked away a routine groundball, letting Alex Rios reach. The next batter was David Beckham, who went yahtzee for the Sox first hit and gave them the 2-0 lead - which would also be the final margin. Anyway, this really sucks that Peavy is on the White Sox. AL pitchers are supposed to go over to the NL and dominate, not the other way around. It's going to be frustrating watching the Twins flail away against him.
2. Phil Mickelson. Well this was pretty unexpected. I thought Mickelson was essentially done for the year after the whole double cancer issue, and his play was showing it, but he came up huge and won the Tour Championship this weekend. He didn't have a finish in the top-25 in the five tournaments since the US Open, and started slowly this weekend with a 73 (+3) on Thursday, but he got better each day, closing it out 67-66-65, good enough for nine under par and a three shot win over a Tiger, not to mention an extra $1.35 million in the bank. Tiger ended up the winner of the $10 mil and the Fed Ex Cup, but this is a good win for Phil not only to build on, but to remind everybody that he's still the second best golfer in the world. I'm thinking 2010 might end up being a big year for him.
3. South Florida. Huge win over #18 Florida State on Saturday in Tallahassee, fueled by two major parts - QB B.J. Daniels and their defense, particularly the defensive line. The Bulls defense held the Seminoles to just 7 points and 16 rushing yards in their 17-7 upset, while sacking FSU QB Christian Ponder five times, forcing (and recovering) four fumbles, and putting so much pressure on the QB that FSU had to abandon anything down field. Daniels is an even better story - making his first career start, replacing four-year starter Matt Grothe who is now out for the season with an injury. Not only that, the Seminoles recruited Daniels but told him they wanted him as a WR, not as a QB, but he certainly showed them, tossing for 215 yards and 2 scores while rushing for 124 yards. It was the first time since 1986 FSU as allowed an opposing QB to run for over 100 yards, and is the first win over Florida's big three schools for the Bulls. I have a feeling they had a good time that night.
4. Zack Greinke. Seeing as the Twins' were fortunate enough to miss Mr. Greinke all season long, I never really got to see him pitch. Now that I have, holy dear god. This guy is ridiculous. His fastball is in the upper mid-nineties and tails about a foot, his curve falls off a cliff, and his change had guys lunging like Cuddyer after a slider in the dirt, but I'm talkiing good hitters like Kubel and Span. He shut down the Twins Sunday, and his season numbers are now a 16-8 record, a 2.06 ERA, and a 1.07 WHIP, and he's either first or second in every meaningful pitching category. Honestly, him losing the Cy Young might be a bigger travesty than Mauer losing the MVP. This one is a true test of how stupid award voters are, which makes me very nervous for Greinke. Here's hoping they make the right choice. Oh, and just for kicks, his ERA in September is 0.35. No lie.
5. Greg Lewis. That catch was sick. Absolutely gorgeous. I'll admit, when the Vikes picked up Lewis my reaction was to make a dismissive wanking motion, but it turns out I was dead wrong. Favre is the hero here, no doubt, for a great play on that finale as well as for leading the team on the game winning drive - one which T-Jax couldn't have pulled off - but if Lewis doesn't make that ridiculous catch that's the ball game, the Vikes are 2-1, and everybody is freaking out and wondering if the team sucks now. And speaking of sucks, it really sucks that Frank Gore is hurt. Not just because he is on my fantasy team either. Ok just kidding. That's pretty much the whole reason.
Here is Lewis's catch. If you haven't seen it, you need to watch it. If you have, are you telling me you don't want to see it again?
1. Ole Miss. I had no idea Ole Miss was ranked #4 in football. I thought the only time they were good was when Eli Manning was slinging the pill all those years back and that they had faded back into mediocrity. Apparently not so, but they may be heading that way after laying an absolute egg and losing 16-10 to the unranked Gamecocks of South Carolina on Thursday. After looking into it, it turns out that this is the highest ranking the Rebels have had since 1970, and also that their QB, Jevan Snead is thought of as one of the best QBs in college football. He certainly didn't play like it, putting up a Jake Delhomme of a day, completing just 7 of 21 passes for the game and leading the Rebs on a drive of more than 49 yards just once. Oh well, another top 5 teams bites it. Maybe this will help get a non-BCS team like Boise into the championship game. Plus, I finally get to post this picture of Ole Miss chicks I've been holding onto.
2. Cal. Yikers, there isn't a font big enough to post this OOF, an embarrassing, emasculating, and disembowling loss 42-3 against the terrible Oregon Ducks. The Bears scored first, going up 3-0, but the the Ducks reeled of 42 unanswered on their way to gaining more than double the yards of Cal. Jahvid Best, who you probably remember shredding the Gophers, gained just 65 yards. What's weird is that Cal didn't really even turn the ball over - just one fumble - they just couldn't do anything. They had the ball 14 times and couldn't muster a single drive over 50 yards; the only reason they even scored was because Oregon fumbled the opening kickoff. Just wow. Just a horrid performance on both sides of the ball.
3. Tampa Bay. Guess how many yards Tampa Bay gained Sunday against the Giants. Nevermind, it's impossible to even guess - it's 86. 86 yards. Eighty-six. And that's the entire game, mind you, not just a half or a quarter or a drive. Byron Leftwich, Tampa's QB and the guy I just picked up to be my backup QB, completed just seven of 16 attemps, for a huge total of 22 yards and a pick before being pulled for Josh Johnson who I have never heard of. Johnson was much more effective, completing four of ten for 36 yards, and also rushing once for a gain of 15. Funny thing about that 15 yard gain is that it made Johnson the leading rusher for the Bucs on the day. That vaunted three-headed monster at RB of Earnest Graham, Cadillac Williams, and Derrick Ward racked up a grand total of 13 yards, with Caddy leading the way with eight. Needless to say, they scored 0 points and are starting to look like they're going to give the Rams, Browns, and Raiders a run for that first overall pick in 2010, or as I like to call it, "The Sam Bradford Sweepstakes."
4. Jamarcus Russell. Remember when the Raiders took Russell first overall in the 2007 draft and everybody was like "Dude, what? This guy isn't a first overall type. There's way better guys like, oh, say Adrian Peterson available. If you really need a QB, trade down and take Brady Quinn at least. Good god, you're not really going to take J-Russ first are you?" Well, it keeps looking more and more like everybody was right. Russell laid his latest bomb on Sunday, completing 12-21 passes for a grand total of 61 yards (and 2 picks). That's five yards per completion. Five. I don't even know how that is possible. I wish I would have watched this game. Was it a series of shovel passes? Failed screen after failed screen? I'm stumped. That gave him a QB rating of 22.6, which will really drag down his season rating of 46.6 coming into the game. The best part? He's making north of $16 million this year. Awesome.
5. Francisco Liriano. Let's just go ahead and shut it down guys, it's over for Franky. In case you missed it, he decided he didn't even want to get out of the second inning against KC on Sunday, mainly because he once again refused to throw strikes and when he did people like frickin' Yuniesky Betancourt hit it eight billion miles. He needs to work his ass off this winter and figure something out, because his career is about thisclose to being over right now. Assuming he doesn't pitch again this season (please god), his final numbers are 5-13 with an ERA of 5.88 and a WHIP of 1.56. I don't have the time or inclination right now to get further into his numbers (Sidler, you still alive?), but things really aren't good. He's like the Jamarcus Russell of pitchers.
So that'll do it. Honorable mention for sucking to Terrell Owens, who didn't have a catch yesterday because he's gay.
I am off to the Detroit City tomorrow, and will be spending two nights in the toilet bowl of america - including one night when I'll be at Comerica Park to no doubt watch the Twins lose. For now I leave you with this awesome picture of Baby Dawger and WonderbabyTM.