None of the MLB playoff series has ended so I will devote today’s rant to a look back at football happenings over the weekend. I’ll start with college football. THE upset of the day – and perhaps the season to date – was Iowa St beating third-ranked Oklahoma at Oklahoma. Iowa St. had not beaten Oklahoma anywhere since 1990. There are two interesting things to come out of that game:
- If the Big 12 has a hope of getting one of its teams into the CFP, it will have to be TCU because I doubt that a one-loss team from the Big 12 will make it. The Big 12 simply does not have sufficient depth of good teams for its conference winner to sport a top-shelf strength of schedule. Ergo, that champion had best be undefeated – – and as of today, that means TCU. Oklahoma hosts TCU on November 11 …
- Iowa State has a player – Joel Lanning – who did something a tad unusual in this game. He played 13 snaps on offense as a backup QB; he played 8 snaps on special teams; he played 57 snaps on defense as a linebacker. At QB he generated 60 yards offense running and passing; on defense he forced a fumble and recorded a sack. Too bad the folks who make Swiss Army knives to not offer a college football award at the end of the season…
Western Michigan beat Buffalo 71-68. This game is interesting because it went to 7 overtime periods to reach a conclusion.
Miami beat Florida St. 24-20 on a touchdown with 6 seconds left on the clock. Miami remains undefeated while Florida St. drops to an uncharacteristic 1-3 on the season.
LSU bounced back from its embarrassing loss to Troy to beat Florida 17-16 at Florida. That windiness in Baton Rouge has nothing to do with Hurricane Nate; that was Ed Orgeron exhaling; his job is safe for another week.
Arkansas was steamrollered by South Carolina, 48-22. Arkansas is now 2-3 and still has to play Alabama, Auburn and LSU. Good luck with that…
Arizona backup QB, Khalil Tate, came into the game in the first quarter. Here is all he did:
- On 14 carries, he gained 327 yards rushing.
- He was 11 for 12 passing for another 152 yards.
- He accounted for 5 TDs as Arizona beat Colorado 45-42.
- I wonder if gets the start this week…
It is no surprise that Ohio St. clobbered Maryland last week. The stat of the game should be that Maryland’s total offense for the day was 66 yards. That is “Rutgersesque”…
Michigan St. beat Michigan 14-10 in Ann Arbor. Since arriving at Michigan, Jim Harbaugh’s teams are 1-4 against Michigan St and Ohio St and will face Ohio St. at the end of this season.
After Washington St. beat USC a week ago, the students stormed the field. Here is how Cougars’ coach, Mike Leach, described the scene according to Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:
“It’s like Woodstock, except everybody’s got their clothes on.”
Looking at the dregs of the college football season so far:
- UNC and BYU are both 1-5. That is atypical for both schools.
- Here are some other teams that are 1-5; there are not a lot of surprises here. Bowling Green, Kent St. Nevada, Rice, Tulsa.
- Rutgers is 1-4; they had last week off.
- UConn is 1-4 but have lost to Memphis by 39 points and SMU by 21 points.
- Baylor is 0-5 to date.
- Residing in “0-6 Land”, we find UMass, UNC-Charlotte and UTEP.
In NFL happenings, I have now heard Tony Romo do 3 games for CBS and I like him. He and Jim Nantz seem to have developed a rhythm and rapport very quickly; Romo has a long career in broadcasting ahead of him if he wants to do that.
With Marcus Mariotta nursing a hamstring injury, the Titans signed a backup QB off the waiver wire. Here is what Bob Molinaro of the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot had to say about it:
“The agenda: In need of a quarterback after the hamstring injury to Marcus Mariota, the Tennessee Titans signed Brandon Weeden after working out four quarterbacks who shared one key qualification: They are not Colin Kaepernick.”
- For the record, the other three QBs invited for a workout were Matt Barkley, Matt McGloin and TJ Yates.
The Eagles beat the Cards 34-7 and the score is reflective of the dominance of the Eagles. There are some mediocre offensive lines in the NFL this year and the Cards’ OL is among the “most mediocre” of the lot.
The Jags beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh 30-9. There are three stats from this game that jump out:
- Ben Roethlisberger threw the ball 55 times and LeVeon Bell ran the ball only 15 times. That is not “Steelers football”.
- Ben Roethlisberger threw 5 INTs in the game.
- Blake Bortles – the winning QB – threw for a total of 96 yards in the game.
The Dolphins beat the Titans 16-10; the Titans went with Matt Cassel at QB and not newly signed Brandon Weeden. Cassel threw for all of 141 yards and a TD in the game and – believe it or not – Cassel won the QB duel. Dolphins QB, Jay Cutler, was the winning QB throwing for 92 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT.
The Chargers won their first game of the year beating the still-winless Giants 27-22. The Giants lost Odell Beckham, Jr. to an ankle fracture and saw their other two starting WRs, Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard leave the game with leg injuries. The Giants also have no running game to speak of; this team is in significant trouble; what looked like a playoff team in August now looks certain to accumulate double-digit losses.
Cam Newton and the Panthers’ offense shrugged off all of those dreaded “distractions” from the last week and beat the Lions in Detroit. I did not see the game, but Newton’s stats (355 yards and 3 TDs with 0 INTs) are impressive.
The Browns lost at home to the Jets by 3 points. The Browns turned the ball over in the Red Zone 3 times in this game plus they missed two very makeable field goals. If you look at the Browns’ remaining schedule, things look mighty bleak…
The Niners lost again this week and it was an OT loss again this week to the Colts. The Niners and Giants will meet on Nov 12 in SF; that could be a “Bagel Bowl” – a game where both teams have 0 wins going into the game and the best thing to root for is a 0-0 tie game.
The Texans lost to the Chiefs in a shootout on Sunday night but the bigger losses for the Texans were injuries to JJ Watt and Whitney Mercilus. Both could be lost for the season. Deshaun Watson played well against a good Chiefs’ defense; he is going to be a solid NFL QB.
The Ravens beat the Raiders 30-17. With 11 minutes to play in the 2nd quarter, the Raiders trailed 21-3; with EJ Manuel at QB, the Raiders are not going to come back from that sort of deficit against a decent defense; the game was effectively over at that point. The Raiders are 2-3 and unless Derek Carr can come back and play effectively very soon, the Raiders’ season may be effectively over before Halloween.
The Seahawks beat the Rams 16-10; the Rams had been averaging more than 30 points per game until Sunday. The Seahawks’ offense continued to sputter here; Russell Wilson’s passing yardage did not reach 200 yards and the Seahawks’ leading rusher was Thomas Rawls with 8 rushes for 20 yards.
Aaron Rodgers worked yet some more magic in Dallas leading the Packers on a game winning drive that started with 1:13 left to play and ended with 11 seconds left on the clock. If these teams me3et in the playoffs, it will almost surely be in green Bay. Given the way Rodgers has played in Dallas over the years, that may be to the Cowboys’ advantage.
Finally, after Nebraska beat Illinois in a Friday night game in Lincoln, NE, Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald had this to say;
This was the first Big Ten Friday night conference game. Which has about the same historical significance as the first Poulan Weed-Eater Bowl.
I’m not $ure why the Big Ten agreed to play TV game$ on Friday night$.
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………