To say that it was an interesting week in college football would be a monumental understatement. Plenty of teams ranked very highly were crushed this week. One of those teams – Georgia – added insult to injury for me. Every year when we go to Las Vegas, I pick a 10-team teaser card. Yes, I know it is a sucker bet; but I do it for fun. I also pick a 10-team parlay card. I had seen Georgia earlier this year twice and I liked them against Auburn; so, I put the Bulldogs on both cards. Here is the result:
- 10-Team Teaser Card: I got nine games right and missed out with a selection of Georgia +6.5
- 10-Team Parlay Card: I had 7 college games for Saturday and missed out with a selection of Georgia – 2. [Aside: I have to admit that I would have lost anyway because I missed two of the three NFL games I had on that card for Sunday.]
Other big surprises from last Saturday – at least for me – were:
- How dominant Miami was over Notre Dame. I expected a close game.
- How the Oklahoma defense stopped the TCU offense.
- How good the Clemson defense looked.
- How bad Michigan State looked.
I’ll summarize reactions to Sunday’s NFL action this way:
- Forget Ezekiel Elliott’s absence; the real missing piece for the Cowboys was LT Tyron Smith; his replacements were horrible allowing 6 sacks of Dak Prescott. [Aside: The play caller(s) for the Cowboys seemed not to recognize the need for a back or a TE to that side of the formation on passing downs; those replacements were left alone out there long after it was clear neither could block the opponent’s defensive end.]
- The Skins scored 30 points on the Vikes’ defense – – and managed to lose the game. No excuses; this loss must be hung around the necks of the defense.
- The Niners beat the Giants. Do you remember less than 2 years ago when the Giants’ Front Office was being praised for “winning the Ben McAdoo sweepstakes”? They fired a two-time Super Bowl winning coach to get this guy?
- The Saints are for real. They went to Buffalo and played outdoors and pushed the Bills around on offense and defense. They scored 47 points and Drew Brees threw for less than 200 yards and zero TDs.
- The Browns are not only monumentally inept, but they are equally dumb regarding “football smarts”.
- If Tom Savage is the answer at QB, I cannot think of the question.
The contretemps between Jerry Jones and Roger Goodell escalated when Jones hired David Boies to represent him as he threatened to sue the league over Goodell’s contract extension. You can read the details of all that fury in a dozen places. I find it interesting that other owners are taking clear stances against Jones in a public way here; that is not the typical behavior within the “Billionaires’ Club”/NFL Owners Club. As in all disputes of this type, there is merit on both sides of the argument. However, I wonder if …:
- Is Jerry Jones really angry about the amount of money that is likely to be deposited into Roger Goodell’s exchequer or does Jerry Jones see himself as the 2017 version of Bud Selig?
- Might Jones be angling to turn over control of the Cowboys to his kids and assume the rule of NFL Commissioner for himself?
- Just a thought …
Let me throw out another “against the grain” thought regarding an NFL team:
- Who was it in the Raiders’ Front Office who thought it was a great idea to sign Marshawn Lynch?
- So far, “Beat Mode” has looked more like “Cuddly Bunny Mode”. In 8 games this year – remember he was suspended for one game – Lynch has rushed for all of 323 yards on 86 carries.
- The offensive coaches are not using him very much (10.75 rushes per game) and he is not delivering big returns (3.75 yards per carry).
- Yes, Marshawn Lynch’s stats are better than the guy he replaced – Latavius Murray (317 yards on 95 carries for the Vikes) – but that is damning by faint praise.
In the CFL, they are down to the “Final Four” in the quest for the Grey Cup. This weekend, the Saskatchewan Roughriders will take on the Toronto Argonauts in Toronto and then the Edmonton Eskimos will travel to Calgary to take on the Stampeders. The Grey Cup game will be held in Ottawa on November 26th; the Ottawa RedBlacks were eliminated from the CFL playoffs last weekend by the Roughriders. This being Canada’s sesquicentennial, it is fitting that the game be held in the Canadian capitol city.
The game is officially sold out; temporary stands were put in either end-zone to accommodate ticket demand for the game and those were sold out more than a month before kickoff. The tradition in Canada is to hold a weeklong festival prior to the Grey Cup game in the host city. [Aside: That has to be a better idea than what the NFL does in the week leading up to the Super Bowl.] Like the NFL, the Grey Cup Game has a halftime show; this year, Shania Twain will be the headliner. The Grey Cup game will be telecast in the US on ESPN2 on Sunday night 26 November starting at 6:30PM EST. The NFL game that night will be Green Bay at Pittsburgh and that game may not be all that interesting. Keep this in mind …
Finally, here is an observation from Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:
“Ex-pitcher Livan Hernandez has filed for bankruptcy, claiming he has less than $50,000 to show for the $53 million he earned in a 17-year career.
“Alert statisticians immediately credited him with a blown savings.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………