Saturday, October 27, 2007

Knee-Jerk Reactions

Some knee-jerk reactions from the Sooners' off week...

Nebraska came to play. They led Texas for most of the game before Jamaal Charles broke two long runs in the fourth quarter, and the Longhorns held on for a 28-25 win. KU, K-State, and Colorado better not pencil the Huskers in for an easy W just yet. However, the Bill Callahan death watch is still on.

The UConn Huskies are still in first place in the Big East. It wasn't real long ago that UConn was in the Yankee Conference and South Florida didn't have a team. There they were today in East Hartford, playing for at least a share of the Big East lead. UConn got a big 22-15 win over the Bulls, the biggest win in the history of the program. The biggest beneficiary of that result, though, was West Virginia. The Mountaineers have the one conference loss to South Florida, but are plowing through the rest of their opposition. Today, they beat Rutgers, 38-3.

Say goodbye to the Florida Gators. They went out and lost to their archrival Georgia Bulldogs, 42-30. The Gators now have three losses in the conference. The way the SEC is cannibalizing itself, the Gators may have an outside chance at the SEC championship game. But, that is doubtful.

Elsewhere in the SEC, the Kentucky Wildcats were very flat today. They lost at home to Sly and the Family Croom, aka the Mississippi State Bulldogs. MSU won decisively, 31-14. The Cowbell Crew still has a good chance to play in a bowl this season.

Also, say goodbye to the USC Trojans. The Condoms went up to Eugene and lost to the Oregon Ducks, 24-17. Oregon still has a good shot to end up in the top two in the final BCS rankings at season's end. USC is looking at going some place like the Holiday or Sun Bowl.

Finally, George Washington is dead. The horse, that is. He was euthanized after an injury in today's Breeders Cup.

More later...

Friday, October 26, 2007

NFL Picks, Week 8

We are almost halfway through the NFL season. We have a good idea of who is good (New England, Indianapolis), who is bad (St. Louis, Miami), and who is in the middle (a bunch of teams). The NFL goes overseas this weekend, as the Giants and the Dolphins play each other in jolly old London, England.

Last Week: 11-3
Season: 68-35

New York Giants vs. Miami at Wembley Stadium, London: The NFL invades the land of the English Premier League with a not-so great matchup. The Giants are looking pretty good. The Dolphins look like a team that would be better left in England as a new team in NFL Europe. Oh, yeah, NFL Europe no longer exists. The Dolphins will have to return to Miami after the game. Pick: Giants

Indianapolis at Carolina: The Colts march into Carolina with an undefeated record, one week before their titanic matchup with the Patriots. The Panthers are 4-2 while starting three different quarterbacks. This week, the ageless Vinny Testaverde will start at QB for Carolina. The Colts will take care of business this week. Pick: Indy

Detroit at Chicago: The Lions are shocking the world with their 4-2 record. The Lions definitely have more offense than the Bears, but they are also going into the great outdoors of Soldier Field. I don’t trust this dome team outside. Pick: Da Bears

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati: The Bengals have a good offense, but run into a team with a good defense. Plus, Pittsburgh has a good enough offense to outscore Cincy. Look for Ben Roethlisberger to light up the Bengals in his return to Ohio. Pick: Pittsburgh

Philadelphia at Minnesota: The Eagles have stumbled on some hard luck, while the Vikings seem to be headed nowhere in spite of their two-headed running back monster of Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor. The Vikes are a different team at home. Pick: Minnesota

Cleveland at St. Louis: The Rams once played in Cleveland. St. Louis is stuck with them now. This game is not sold out, meaning this game will only be seen on TV in southern Missouri and northern Ohio. Can you blame the good people of St. Louis for not wanting to spend their hard-earned cash to see an 0-7 team? RB Steven Jackson should be back for the Rams, but that won’t be enough. Derek Anderson continues to light it up for the Browns. Pick: CLE

Oakland at Tennessee: The Raiders are rather unpredictable. So are the Titans, who expect Vince Young to return this week. The Titans won’t need eight field goals this week. Pick: Tennessee

Buffalo at New York Jets: Ugh. This qualifies as the Suck Bowl. The Bills got back in the win column last week. Every dog has its day, and Sunday is the Jets’ day. Pick: Jets

Houston at San Diego: This game was rumored to be headed everywhere from Phoenix to Houston to Dallas to back to San Diego this week. Thankfully, Qualcomm Stadium will be used for football on Sunday, and not as a shelter. The Chargers have been whipping themselves back into shape. In spite of this week’s chaos, they should be able to handle the Texans. Pick: San Diego

Jacksonville at Tampa Bay: The Battle of Florida. Or, two-thirds of it, anyway. The Jags are down to a second-team quarterback, Quinn Gray. The Bucs are much better at home than on the road. Pick: Bucs

Washington at New England: The Redskins may as well be the Washington Generals this week. You can’t stop the Patriots. You can only hope to contain them. Pick: Pats

New Orleans at San Francisco: The Saints are on the way back. The Niners are not. I’m glad I won’t get stuck watching this stinker. Pick: New Orleans

Green Bay at Denver: The Monday Night special gives us a rematch of Super Bowl XXXII. Brett Favre still plays for the Packers. John Elway does not play for the Broncos. The Broncos saved their season last week by beating Pittsburgh. Can the Broncos do it two weeks in a row? I don’t think so. Pick: Green Bay

Bye: Dallas, Kansas City, Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Seattle

Bonkers In Beantown

Every once in a while, a city and a region hits the jackpot with their sports teams. Right now, it's Boston's turn. This is quickly turning into the Year of Chowder. (I'm not from there, so I'll call it chowder. The natives call it chowdah)

The Boston Red Sox are two wins away from another world championship. They have dominated the Colorado Rockies in the first two games of the World Series. The Series now shifts to Denver, but I'd be shocked if this series went back to Boston. The modern-day Red Sox are different from the old Red Sox, so I don't expect a choke here.

The New England Patriots are dominating the National Football League. They've pounded bad teams and good teams. Tom Brady is lighting up the scoreboard for fantasy owners everywhere. Only the Indianapolis Colts stand between them and a fourth Super Bowl in eight years.

Boston College is an Ohio State loss away from the #1 ranking in the BCS. The Eagles pulled a win out of the bag Thursday night at Virginia Tech, overcoming a 10-0 deficit in the last five minutes of the game to win 14-10. The Eagles are good enough to run the table in the ACC and remain in the top two of the BCS standings. That would give them a spot in the BCS National Championship Game.

The Boston Celtics made some blockbuster deals over the off-season in an attempt to return to greatness. They now have Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to go along with Paul Pierce and a bunch of other guys. They will contend for the Eastern Conference championship in the NBA.

The Boston Bruins are currently in 4th place in the NHL Eastern Conference. It's a long season, and any team can get hot in the playoffs.

It's an exciting and wicked* time for the home of Legal Sea Foods and Papa Gino's Pizza. Beantown and all of New England are sticking their chests out, for good reason. The Hub is rocking.

*In New England, the word wicked=good.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ugly Uniform of the Day

Today's UUOTD is found in Kingston, Rhode Island. This uniform is worn by the Rhode Island Rams.

How many shades of blue can you mix with white for a uniform? And, what's with the baby blue ram's horns?

This thing is U-G-L-Y.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

College Picks, Week 9

That’s 9, as in 9 lives. Cats have 9 lives, and there are some college football teams that would like to have 9 lives, as well. Actually, with the chaos that is the 2007 season, there are plenty of one-loss teams with the possibility of redeeming themselves in the BCS National Championship Game.

Last Week: 12-8
Season: 105-55

Oklahoma vs. Open Date: This one doesn’t count, as the Sooners take the week off. Open Date has never won a game. Pick: OU

Kansas at Texas A&M: The Fighting Manginos are flying high at 7-0. The Aggies are 6-2, but you’d never know it. The Ags will be underdogs in their last four games, and the real estate agents are banging on coach Dennis Franchione’s door. The Ags aren’t that bad, but they aren’t that great. For now, this is the year of the Jayhawk. Pick: KU

Colorado at Texas Tech: The Buffs appear to have peaked with their upset over OU a few weeks back. Few teams go into Lubbock and win. It’s hard. It's savage. Give me the Red Raiders. Pick: Tech

Nebraska at Texas: The Cornhuskers are playing out the string. They got royally kicked last week at home by the Fightin’ Texas Aggies. They now head down to the Forty Acres to take on the Longhorns. Good luck with all that. Pick: Texas

Iowa State at Missouri: The Cyclones played really hard last week in a 17-7 loss to OU. Their murderers’ row of a schedule continues with a trip to Columbia. This game is for the Telephone Trophy. The Tigers have been whipping all comers at home. This one won’t be pretty. Pick: Mizzou

Baylor at Kansas State: Zzzz. One more week in the countdown to a coach search in Waco. K-State should handle the Bears with ease. Pick: KSU

USC at Oregon: The Trojans have a chance to jump back into the national consciousness with a win at Oregon. The Ducks have jumped to #5 in the BCS rankings. Autzen will be louder than ever on Saturday. Pick: Oregon

Cal at Arizona State: What has happened to Cal? The Bears had a chance to be #1 in the nation, and promptly dropped two games to Oregon State and UCLA. The Fighting Sun Devils are undefeated and #4 in the latest BCS rankings. Pick: Arizona State

Ohio State at Penn State: Toughest game and trip to date for the top-ranked Buckeyes. Saturday Night Football on ABC. Over 100,000 blue-and-white clad fans in Happy Valley. This is a crazy season. #1 won’t stay #1. Pick: Penn State

West Virginia at Rutgers: Mountaineers are cruising right along, and now have a chance to win a Big East championship thanks to Rutgers’ upset of South Florida. Rutgers isn’t quite what they were last year, and probably doesn’t have enough to pull two consecutive upsets. Pick: West Virginia

South Florida at UConn: Battle for first place in the Big East. UConn is the only undefeated team remaining in conference play. But, UConn’s 6-1 record has been greatly aided by missed calls in wins over Temple and Louisville. The Huskies could well be 4-3 at this point. USF is coming off of a loss at Rutgers, and is glad this game is not played in November. My gut tells me to go against the warm-weather team going north, but UConn has been doing it with smoke and mirrors all year long. The mirrors break this week. Pick: South Florida

Indiana at Wisconsin: Three weeks ago, Wisconsin was the #5 team in the nation. Two losses later, the Badgers aren’t ranked at all. Indiana is still looking for win #6, which would make them bowl-eligible for the first time in forever. A red team is guaranteed to win this game. Pick: Wisconsin

Boston College at Virginia Tech (Thursday): Eagles are #2 in the nation as they visit Blacksburg for an old Big East rivalry transported to the ACC. Hokies have bounced back with a vengeance after being slammed at LSU early in the season. Pick: VT

Boise State at Fresno State (Friday): WAC showdown, with the winner surviving to battle Hawaii for a conference championship. When we last saw Boise, they were trading points with Nevada in a 69-67 quadruple overtime win. Fresno is looking good this year. Advantage goes to Fresno for their green field. Pick: Fresno State

Georgia vs. Florida at Jacksonville: The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party resumes. The Gators are the best two-loss team in the country. Plus, no matter how good either team happens to be, the Gators find a way to win this one, at least in recent years. Pick: Florida

Clemson at Maryland: Two inconsistent teams that define an inconsistent conference. Clemson hung 70 on Central Michigan, but have stumbled against ACC teams. The Terps lost a heartbreaker to rival UVa last week. Pick: Maryland

South Carolina at Tennessee: Steve Spurrier vs. Phil Fulmer. Spurrier has Fulmer’s number, and always has. But, the Gamecocks committed the unforgivable sin of losing to Vanderbilt last week. Vols got spanked by archrival Alabama last week. Vols win in spite of the coaching matchup. Pick: Tennessee

Northwestern at Purdue: Purdue always beats teams like this. It’s the big boys in the Big Ten they have problems with. Pick: Purdue

Louisiana Tech at Utah State: This is an awful matchup. But, it’s an even matchup. Tech has won two games, while Utah State has not won a game in over a year. They’re charging money to see this one. Pick: Utah State

Michigan State at Iowa: Spartans are improved under new coach Mark Dantonio. Hawkeyes are struggling big-time. But, the game is in Iowa City, where the Hawkeyes shocked previously ranked Illinois two weeks ago. Pick: Iowa

Tiffin at Hillsdale: Did you know that Hillsdale College does not accept government aid of any kind? They won’t need any help on the gridiron this week. Pick: Hillsdale

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Message Board Thread of the Day

It's been a long time since there's been a Message Board Thread of the Day, but this one is priceless.

This is a post from, a Mississippi State fan board. The post describes a Bulldog fan's trip to Morgantown, West Virginia. MSU got whipped in their trip to the Mountain State last weekend.

LSU fans, please forgive me...

According to this poster, it's pretty bad when a place makes LSU look like Buckingham Palace.

Ugly Uniform of the Day

The West Virginia Mountaineers have been doing some funky things with their uniforms this season. They have mixed and matched all forms of white, blue, and gold.

This combination they wore last week against Mississippi State is putrid. They need to keep the gold jerseys in the closet. They look better in blue at home and white on the road. The font used for the numbers looks like something out of Star Trek.

Nike has opened up a big can of worms with this style.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Baseball Is A Talking Sport...

...and people in New England and the Rocky Mountains are still talking about it.

The Boston Red Sox completed their almost expected comeback Sunday night, creaming the Cleveland Indians, 11-2, in game 7 of the American League Championship Series. CLE had a 3 games to 1 lead before the Red Sox came back to win the series. Executives at Fox are very happy, as the Red Sox are one of the most popular teams in baseball. People in Cleveland continue to suffer, as bad things continue to happen to Cleveland teams. The city of Cleveland has not celebrated a championship since before I was born.

On the National League side sits the Colorado Rockies, winners of an amazing 21 of their last 22 games. The Rockies won a play-in game against San Diego to earn the wild card berth. They then swept the Phillies and Diamondbacks to win the National League pennant.

The World Series begins Wednesday night in Boston. I expect the Rockies to go cold after their 8 day layoff. I also won't be surprised to see a game snowed out in this series. Denver had their first snowstorm of the year on Sunday.

In spite of all that: Go Rox!

NFL Highway, Week 7

That's my wife's pink Tony Romo jersey. Women love Tony Romo.

There is always something worth mentioning on the NFL highway. This week included a record-setting performance, and more excellence from the league's best team.

The Dallas Cowboys held Adrian Peterson to 63 yards rushing and a touchdown, and used a blocked field goal return for a touchdown to cinch a 24-14 win over the Minnesota Vikings. Tony Romo threw for 277 yards and a touchdown for Dallas.

The game of the day was in Space City between Houston's old team and Houston's new team. The Tennessee Titans were without Vince Young, but that didn't matter. Kerry Collins led the Titans to a 32-7 lead. QB Matt Schaub had been knocked out of the game for the Texans. Backup Sage Rosenfels led the Texans to an improbable comeback, and the Texans went ahead, 36-35. Rob Bironas kicked a 29-yard field goal to win the game for the Titans, 38-36. Bironas kicked a league record 8 field goals. If the Titans would have scored a touchdown every time they kicked a field goal, they would have scored 70 points. The Texans had very little defense on Sunday. The hearts of Houstonians were broken once again, and Vince Young didn't even do it this time.

The Buffalo Bills keep fighting on, and it worked out for them on Sunday, as they defeated the Baltimore Ravens, 19-14. The Ravens were hampered on offense, starting six backups. The Bills had lost two earlier games on the last play, and were glad to escape with a W.

Don't look now, but the Detroit Lions have a winning record. The Motor City Madmen moved to 4-2 with a 23-16 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Calvin Johnson recovered a fumbled Jeff Garcia snap and took it 32 yards for the winning score.

Poor Miami. The Dolphins aren't very good, and they had to play the Patriots on Sunday. Tom Brady threw six touchdown passes as New England pasted the Dolphins, 49-28. The Patriots are a well-oiled killing machine. Only injury and the Indianapolis Colts can keep them from the Super Bowl. There was one bright light in the wreckage for the Dolphins: Patrick Cobbs became the first graduate of Tecumseh High School to score a touchdown in an NFL regular season game. That's my alma mater. He used to live around the corner from my parents.

The San Francisco 49ers are having serious problems due to the injury to QB Alex Smith. The New York Football Giants flexed some muscle yesterday, pounding the Niners, 33-15. In the third quarter, Osi Umeniyora sacked Trent Dilfer, forcing a fumble which he returned 75 yards for a touchdown. The Cowboys better look over their shoulder, because the Giants are right behind them.

The New Orleans Saints continue to claw their way back to respectability. Reggie Bush scored the game winning TD on a screen pass as the Saints beat the woeful Atlanta Falcons, 22-16. Rowdy Roddy White caught eight passes for 110 yards and a touchdown for the sorry Falcons.

The one-armed bandit was present in Washington, as Kurt Warner played with a large elbow brace. The Cardinals barely missed out on a comeback victory, as the Redskins escaped with a 21-19 win. The Cardinals led in every statistical category. This includes turnovers and penalties, giving the Redskins the chance to win the game.

At McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, the Kansas City Chiefs continue their improbable season, claiming first place in the AFC West with a 12-10 win over the Oakland Raiders. The Chiefs now have an embarrassment of riches at RB, as Priest Holmes is set to join Larry Johnson in the Chiefs' backfield.

There was another shootout in Cincinnati on Sunday. The Bengals came out on the right end of this one, outscoring the New York Jets 38-31. Unknown Kenny Watson rushed for 130 yards and three touchdowns for the orange and black. The Jets are now 1-6.

The Chicago Bears continued to save their season on Sunday. As they sat on their own 3 yard line late in the 4th quarter, QB Brian Griese's helmet lost its audio from the coaches' box. He may want to do away with the helmet radio, as he promptly led the Bears to a 97 yard game-winning drive, and the Bears beat the Eagles 19-16. The Eagles continue to sit in last place in the NFC East.

The sorry St. Louis Rams fell to 0-7, as they were drilled by the Seattle Seahawks, 33-6. The Rams will be an underdog in every game from here on out. They have a chance to go 0-16. They really need to get RB Steven Jackson back.

The Denver Broncos rescued their season in the Sunday Night extravaganza, using a 49-yard field goal by Jason Elam to win the game, 31-28. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 290 yards and 4 touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions and was sacked four times.