It’s Tuesday so this must be Belgium? Not exactly. Here in Curmudgeon Central, Tuesday means it is time for “Tuesdays With The Sorries”…
Some of the sorry performances in college football from last weekend were not downright embarrassing – such as when Idaho lost 70-0 – but one that jumped out at me was the loss by East Carolina against NC State. East Carolina had upset VA Tech and then WVU before winning a close game at Tulane. They had climbed to #15 in the polls and had been identified as one of the teams that might get into one of the major BCS Bowl games in January. NC State enjoys no such esteem this year; still, ECU found a way to lose on Saturday. Their margin for error in terms of getting to a New Year’s Day game has just been consumed. If they continue to harbor any such aspirations, they will need to blow away everyone else on their schedule – - which they might do because the rest of their schedule is anything but fearsome.
Oregon was supposed to be #17 last Saturday. They lost to Boise State at Oregon. That is not good. What is worse is that Oregon allowed a redshirt freshman QB to throw for 386 yards as a way to lose the game. Bad.
Notre Dame was supposed to be “back” on the basis of two wins to start the season. Last weekend they lost to Michigan State; and in the process, they committed 3 turnovers, missed two field goals and allowed a Spartan running back to gain 201 yards. Not good.
Temple should never have had to play Penn State in the first place but the score of the game, 44-3, may not indicate just how lopsided the game was. Temple gained 16 yards rushing on 28 attempts; that is about 21 inches per carry. Throwing the ball was not all that effective either; they gained only 122 yards in the game. Meanwhile, Penn State gained over 500 yards on offense. Miserable.
Florida State lost to Wake Forest 13-3. Scoring only 3 points is bad enough but the Seminoles committed 7 turnovers and 12 penalties in the game. Horrible.
UCLA came off their 59-0 pasting at the hands of BYU and you might expect the team to have come out fighting. Forget it. They lost at home to Arizona – - a team that had just lost to New Mexico. Very bad.
Tennessee lost to Florida – - again. And this time they managed to score all of 6 points. Ugly.
Rutgers lost to Navy and while that is not a horrid thing to have happen to a team, Rutgers now opens the season at 0-3. In addition, after the QB tossed a late game INT, one of his teammates must have said something to him that was “less than supportive” and perhaps caused a bruise to his self-esteem because the QB took a swing at his teammate on the sidelines. Clearly, a sign of team spirit here. Awful.
Moving up a level to the NFL, the New England Patriots need to be on the list this week. Miami was a 12.5-point underdog in that game and they won the game by 25. Double-digit underdogs sometimes win, but I cannot recall a situation where they won by twice the “double-digit” spread against them. Ronnie Brown had a great day and if all you did was watch the highlights, you might think that is all that Miami did to win the game. Not so. Chad Pennington was 17-20 for 226 yards with no turnovers and no sacks. Very bad.
The Houston Texans suffered a “pancaking” at the hands of the Tennessee Titans. Matt Schaub was harassed into an embarrassing stat line of 17-37 for 188 yards with zero TDs and 3 INTs. Brutal.
The Chicago Bears led the Tampa Bay Bucs by 10 points with 6:38 to play. The Bears’ defense supposedly carries that team. The Bucs’ offense is not awesome. Nonetheless, the Bucs came back to tie the game and then win in OT. Brian Griese – the poster child for “Journeyman QB Status” – threw the ball 67 times in the game, completed 38 of the attempts for 407 yards against a “dominating defense”. Horrid.
The Cleveland Browns appear to be on the verge of demonstrating that their 10 wins last season was indeed a scheduling quirk. The Baltimore Ravens turned two of Derek Anderson’s INTs into touchdowns in less than a minute in the third quarter of the game. Anderson had a bad day but look at the protection he got and you might conclude that there was more blame to be shared there. Anderson was 14-37 on the day gaining 125 yards. He was sacked 4 times and threw 3 INTs. His passer rating was an embarrassing 22.9. Putrid.
Now we get to the usual suspects in “Tuesdays With The Sorries”. The Detroit Lions gave up 130 yards rushing to Frank Gore and 370 yards of offense to the 49ers. The Lions’ defense has given up 113 points so far this year; that puts them on a pace to give up 603 points for the season, which would surpass the NFL record for most points allowed in a season by 70 points. Awful.
The KC Chiefs started their third different QB in three games; I cannot recall any team ever doing that in the past. Rookie Tyler Thigpen started out the game 1-10 for minus-1 yards passing; his first completion for a gain was in the second quarter of the game. After that first completion for a gain, he threw his second INT of the day. He later threw another INT, which was returned for a TD by the Falcons. Shudder…
Not wanting to be left out, the St Louis Rams played their way into today’s rant. In the process, QB, Marc Bulger, was held to less than 200 yards passing for the third straight game this season. The previously winless Seattle Seahawks won comfortably 37-13. The Rams are 0-3; they are losing games by an average of almost 30 points this season. The Rams’ defense has been even more pathetic than the Lions’ defense mentioned above. The Rams are on pace to allow 618 points this season which would surpass the NFL record for most points allowed in a season by 85 points. Fetid.
Finally, here is a comment by Bears’ kicker, Robbie Gould, to the Chicago Tribune on the subject of what the final team cut downs meant. Remember this the next time you hear how a football team is like a family:
“There will be a lot more room on the plane.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…