Monday, October 31, 2011

Week in Review - 10/31/2011

You know you've missed it. 


1.  Gopher football.  Awesome is probably a bit strong, but when the team is looking, convincingly, like they're unlikely to win another football game all year and there's no reason to root for them to lose because, it turns out, there's no draft picks in college football, this win is a bit of a relief, and the fact that it comes against Iowa, even in a down year for them, makes it all the sweeter.  I thought the storming of the field was a bit much and kind of embarrassing, but I'm probably not the right person to make that judgement (full disclosure:  I watched maybe 10 minutes of the game).  For those sickos that live and die with the Gopher football squadron, perhaps this was a "storm the field" worthy event.  Too each is own, even the weird psychos.

2.  Case Keenum.   You know the drill with Houston QBs by now - or at least you should - and Keenum is the latest big numbers Cougar QB, and Thursday against Rice might have been his magnum opus as he threw for 534 yards and 9, yes 9, touchdowns, an NCAA record, all while setting the all-time record for career TD passes.  So yeah, he puts up huge numbers, no doubt.  But there's a reason Andre Ware and David Klingler flamed out in the NFL and Kevin Kolb seems to be heading in that direction.  There's a reason Timmy Change and Colt Brennan and Graham Harrell aren't playing on Sundays and Ty Detmer was a career back-up.  Gimmicky offenses can put up big numbers and even win games when you aren't playing great teams, but NFL success is certainly not tied to it - and may even be inversely proportional.  That being said, Houston has perfected this system and used it for years, and it's god damn fun to watch. 

3.  Justin Blackmon.  Oklahoma State has a big-time offense.  They're third in the NCAA in total offense, fourth in passing offense, and second in points scored.  So yeah, they're putting up big numbers.  That's why when one player accounts for over half the team's catches and more than 62% of their passing yards, which Blackmon did with his 13 catch-172 yard-2 TD game in a 59-24 win over Baylor, it's worth mentioning.  Of course, it's not like this is out of the ordinary for Blackmon, who is top-3 in the Big 12 in catches, yards, and touchdowns and is 4th, 14th, and 2nd in all of NCAA D-I.  He's an interesting case because he clearly is in a class above college d-backs, but scouts say he lacks the true speed that a top flight NFL receiver needs and the stats bare that out - his ypc of 11.3 is 28th in the B12 and 275th in D-I.   He could end up an NFL star, a possession receiver, or even a complete washout and I wouldn't be surprised at this point.  If I had to bet I'd lean star, but those ypc and 4-time measurements are a concern.  For now though, he's nearly unstoppable.

4.  Cam Newton.  It's not often that I admit I'm wrong - mainly because it hardly ever happens - but I missed the boat on Newton big-time.  I thought Auburn tailored their offense to fit his talents so much that he wouldn't have a shot at transitioning to an NFL scheme because you actually have to make more than one read.  Even after he burst on the scene with that 400 yard passing game I figured it was just fluky, and still was in that camp when he did it a second time.  All season he's put up good numbers and I've convinced myself it was fake somehow, but after watching him on Sunday there's no doubt in my mind that he's got a real shot to be a star, and at worst will be a quality NFL QB.  I suppose there's still a chance he ends up more Kordell Stewart than Randall Cunningham (because we can only compare black QBs to black QBs, you see), but he is already one hell of a QB.  

5. Steven Jackson.  The Rams picked up their first win of the season on Sunday and did it in pretty impressive fashion, taking out an awfully good Saints team 31-21 and doing it with A.J. Feeley playing quarterback.  Of course the reason they were able to pull it off had very little to do with Feeley, and mainly happened because Jackson pulled a Kirby Puckett moment and put the whole team on his back.  Jackson rushed for 159 yards and 2 TDs and added 32 more yards receiving, all of which means he ended up accounting for over half the Rams yards in the game.  I don't really have anything interesting to add, just thought it was notable because I've had Jackson on a couple of my fantasy teams and he's been pissing me off all year.  Nice to see him do something.  Jerk.


1.   Ron Washington.  I don't know how else to say it, but this guy is a terrible game manager, more married to old school ways than even Ron Gardenhire, which is extra funny because he was actually a coach on those Oakland A's teams when Moneyball was written.  And even if you forget all about his constant infatuation with sacrifice bunts and stealing bases/hit and runs, he made some just horrible calls.  After the rainout he could have saved Derek Holland and pitched him in Game 7 - following up his nearly complete game shutout in Game 4 - but instead used him in relief (instead of Mike Adams or Mike Gonzalez, relief specialists they traded for at the deadline) and used a shaky Matt Harrison in Game 7 instead.  Then there's the constant use of Alexi Ogando out of the pen despite the clear evidence that he was gassed, Esteban German being used as a pinch-hitter more than Mitch Moreland, and Mike Adams pitching fewer innings than Darren Oliver.  I wouldn't blame him for the Rangers losing, after all they have to play the games and it's not like he can run for Ian Kinsler or tie a rope around his waist to keep him from getting picked off like those weird parents who put their kids on leashes and they make them all cute like a monkey backpack but we all know it's a leash you weirdo, but he sure didn't help.

2. Wisconsin.  It's so sweet.  The dirty dirtball Badgers, looking by all rights to be a legit contender to make the BCS National Championship game (where they would have no doubt gotten embarrassed) just straight blew everything to hell.  Two weeks ago they lost at Michigan State on that hail mary which was sweet as your mom's ass and knocked them pretty much out of national title contention, and just to make sure this season goes down as a complete disaster in Sconnietown they lost on Saturday against a super crappy Ohio State team.  That, of course, gives them two losses and essentially knocks them completely out of any kind of BCS bowl contention.  All that has to happen now is Green Bay to not win the Super Bowl and the Badger hoop team to miss the tournament and you gotta call it a pretty good year.  Yes, apparently it's come to this.

3. Kevin Kolb.  Oh my god this guy is terrible.  I mean, he's just awful.  I got to see a little bit of the Zona/Baltimore game and he holds the ball too long and then makes terrible decisions/throws when he does finally get rid of it.  Even worse, when Peyton went down I needed a QB for my keeper league team and after getting snaked on Stafford I ended up going for Kolb as my "QB of the future."  Christ on a cracker that isn't working out.  I've since traded for Sam Bradford but since he's been in a walking boot (I don't even know what that means - as Nancy Sinatra said all boots are made for walkin') for two weeks I've actually started Christian Ponder over Kolb.  And now, after finally getting to watch him, he's about to be cut and we're going to roll with Ponder until Bradford gets unhurt.  WHAT A GREAT DRAFT PICK BY ME THAT WAS! 

4.  Tony Romo.  Is it just me, or does Romo play well against crappy teams and then always fall on his dick whenever he's playing anybody good or in a big game?  This goes all the way back to the time he dropped that snap in the playoff game, but he might have saved his best for tonight against the Eagles, a prime time that was supposed to be a big chance for Dallas to make a statement - and I suppose they did.  He was just garbage.  Other than a bunch of late, garbage-time yards and a fluky 70-yard touchdown he did nothing, and he's killing Dez Bryant, maybe the most talented receiver in the game.  I almost hope they somehow manage to make the playoffs just so we can watch Romo destroy all Cowboy fans' hopes and dreams.  Because that's always fun.

5.  Tim Tebow.  This experiment can't go on for too much longer, can it?  He's just terrible.  I get the allure, both from a skills standpoint as well as a PR/publicity/marketing standpoint and there are an enormous amount of people out there (and Jesus) who desperately want him to succeed.  But it's just not going to happen.  He's terrible.  He's what I thought Cam Newton was going to be.  His accuracy on his throws is far below Michael freaking Vick, and I'm pretty sure if he and Terrelle Pryor had an "accuracy-off" Pryor would actually win, probably the only person in America he could beat.  There's basically no chance the Broncos win another game if they stick with him.  

And I will always be thankful to sports jesus, who makes sure that just as the World Series is ending and you feel all sad about it, you don't have long to feel bad because the only other sport that matters, college basketball, is already here.  Yeah, that's right.  You might not even be aware of it, but both Michigan State and Missouri played (and won) exhibition games on Sunday heralding the beginning of the college hoops season.  (NOTE:  I'm sure other teams played too, these are just the two I am aware of).  Of Note:  MSU's freshman power forward Branden Dawson had a nice debut, leading the team with 15 points and 9 rebounds (and 14 field goal attempts) while Draymond Green seems already settled in the dude they run the offense through, going for 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists, which shouldn't really be a surprise because he's awfully damn good.  Seriously, we're gonna see at least a couple triple-doubles out of him this year.  With no real point guard he's going to basically run that team.  You could do a lot worse.

Finally, because I haven't talked nearly enough cooking lately and with college hoops firing up I probably won't, here's a pretty stellar Jamaican Jerk rub I used over the weekend:

1 T Coriander
1 T Brown Sugar
1 T Ginger
1/2 T Onion Powder
1/2 T Garlic Powder
1/2 T Salt
1/2 T Cayenne Pepper
1 t Black Pepper
1 t Thyme
1/2 t Cinnamon
1/2 t allspice
1/2 t cloves

Combine, throw it in a baggie/bowl with some wings or drumsticks and coat, then toss in a crockpot on low for 3-5 hours.  The ginger smells really strongly and you'll end up worrying you're making ginger wings, but they end up just fine.  Give 'her a shot.

Also Happy Halloween, jerks!  I hope at least one of you gets hit by a truck.

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