The Yankees and the Cubs lost their first two League Championship Series games on the road and face “must-win” games at home. Both teams have seen their bats go silent; the Cubs have 7 hits in 2 games; the Yankees have only 10 hits in 2 games. I have been saying for much of the MLB season that the Astros were fun to watch; if José Altuve’s mad dash home to win Game 2 of the ALCS does not convince you they are fun to watch, I would have to conclude you just don’t like baseball.
It was a wild and wacky weekend in terms of football outcomes so let me begin with college football. The schedule did not provide many games where both squads were ranked so the upsets last week were even more stunning than usual:
- Syracuse 27 Clemson 24: Just about everyone had Clemson running the table this year and meeting Alabama in the CFP championship game for the 3rd year in a row. If Clemson was going to lose a game, it certainly would not have been to Syracuse. Except it was – and it happened last weekend. To make it worse, Clemson QB, Kelly Bryant had to leave the game with a concussion.
- Cal 37 Washington St. 3: This was not a fluke; Cal held Wash St. to 257 yards passing and only 23 yards rushing. One DL for Cal, Ross Bowers, recorded 9 sacks in this game and Cal intercepted Luke Falk 5 times.
- Arizona St. 13 Washington 7: Arizona St. held the Huskies to 139 yards passing in the game and 91 yards rushing. Washington missed two field goals in the game and both were less than 30-yard attempts. The importance of the Apple Cup game took a hit this weekend.
- LSU 27 Auburn 23: Auburn was looking at a “1-game season” in their game against Alabama but LSU came back from a 20-0 deficit in the second quarter to win the game. Auburn QB, Jarrett Stidham was held to 9 for 28 for 165c yards in the game.
- Memphis 30 Navy 27: This was the first loss of the season for the Middies and that makes 5 undefeated teams that lost that status this week. Wow!
- Oklahoma beat Texas in their rivalry game and – looking ahead – the Oklahoma/TCU game is one to circle on the calendar.
- Speaking of TCU, they avoided losing their undefeated status this weekend beating K-State by 20 points at K-State. TCU is a good football team…
- Miami stayed unbeaten too with a come-from-behind-win over Georgia Tech. The Hurricanes were down 11 points in the third quarter and rallied to win by 1 point.
- Speaking of comebacks, W. Virginia trailed Texas Tech 35-17 in the middle of the third quarter. Then things changed and the Mountaineers won the game 46-35. Yowza!
- Iowa St. followed up on their upset of Oklahoma last week by trouncing Kansas 45-0. It is never a shock to see Kansas get stomped in a football game; but still, someone might want to check the contents of those Gatorade jugs on the Iowa St. sidelines…
- Boston College beat Louisville 45-42. Yes, BC scored 45 points in a single football game; normally, that takes about 10 quarters for them to accomplish. Louisville has now lost 3 games and Lamar Jackson can forget about repeating as the Heisman Trophy winner.
- Carolina beat Tennessee 15-9 in Knoxville, TN. That makes the Vols 0-3 in the SEC and I suspect that there are some Tennessee boosters that are calling to find out just how much “buyout money” there is in Butch Jones’ contract.
- And just to show that there is some stability in college football, Alabama beat Arkansas 41-9 and in doing so held Arkansas to 27 yards rushing for the day.
I guess the NFL teams checked the Sunday morning papers and figured that this was “Upset Week” and wanted to get in on the action. Ten underdogs covered on Sunday out of twelve games.
- The Dolphins trailed the Falcons 17-0 at the half and came back to win the game 20-17. Forget the Falcons’ epic collapse in the Super Bowl last year; that was last year. In the 2017 season, the Falcons have been outscored in the second half 72-40 and they have already lost 2 home games. Meanwhile, the Dolphins with their dink-and-dunk offense and Jay Cutler at the helm are 3-2 – – same as the NFC defending champion Falcons.
- The Skins narrowly beat the Niners 26-24. Remember, I said the Skins tend to play down to the level of their opponent; they were 11.5-point favorites at kickoff and did not come close to covering.
- The Saints beat the Lions 52-38. Halfway through the 3rd quarter, the Saints led 45-10 and then the Lions got on a roll and almost made a game of it.
- The Pats beat the Jets by a TD and there was a most controversial booth-review and the overturning of a call on the field that would have given the Jets the tying TD. Instead it was ruled a touchback giving the Pats the ball at their 20-yardline. It changed the game.
- It took overtime, but the Bears beat the Ravens. Mitchell Trubisky won his first NFL game as a starting QB.
- The Cards led the Bucs 31-6 at the end of the 3rd quarter and Jameis Winston was on the sidelines. So, Ryan Fitzpatrick put 27 points on the board in the 4th quarter to make this a game; the cards did prevail 38-33.
- The Chiefs were the only undefeated NFL team as of Sunday morning. Then the Steelers showed up in KC and beat the Chiefs 19-13. The Steelers’ defense held Chiefs’ RB, Kareen Hunt, to 21 yards on 9 attempts.
- The Chargers beat the Raiders 17-16 even though Darek Carr returned from his back injury.
- The most surprising result of all, however, was the Giants going to Denver and beating the Broncos 20-10 – and the score looks closer than the game really was because of a late TD by the Broncos.
Finally, I mentioned above that Lamar Jackson was not going to repeat as the Heisman trophy winner and that brought to mind this comment from Brad Dickson in the Omaha World-Herald regarding another potential Heisman candidate:
“Oklahoma State punter Zach Sinor has launched his own Heisman Trophy campaign. What would it take for a punter to win the Heisman? First, an offense that stinks a lot.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………