College basketball has seen its first major upset of the 2019/2020 season – – and Thanksgiving is still a week and a half in the future. Kentucky won its first two games of the season and one of those wins came over Michigan State – the team that had been ranked #1 in the pre-season polls. The Wildcats moved up to #1 on the basis of that win and followed up with a glorified scrimmage at home against Eastern Kentucky that produced a 42-point win. Next on the menu was Evansville and here is what went down:
- Evansville had lost its last 33 games on the road against Top 25 teams.
- Kentucky had won its last 39 games at home against unranked out-of-conference opponents.
- The last time Kentucky lost to an unranked team from one of the small-time conferences while ranked #1 in the country was way back in December 1950.
- Last night, Evansville beat Kentucky in Kentucky 67-64.
I did a rant recently about young NFL QBs and I want to follow up on that topic this morning with a few specific observations. Lamar Jackson (Ravens) has demonstrated his commitment to professional football and none of it has to do with his performances in games so far this year. Here is why I make that statement:
- Do a Google Images search for “Lamar Jackson Louisville” and look at his arms and legs in photos before he left to join the NFL in 2018.
- Compare the musculature on his arms and legs then and now.
- Mr. Jackson has spent a significant amount of time in the weight room preparing his body for the profession of “NFL QB”. He has added plenty of lean muscle to his upper body and to his legs.
Then next young QB on my list for this morning is Ryan Finley of the Bengals. He got his first start of his NFL career with Andy Dalton taking to the sidelines and to clipboard and baseball cap duties. Finley did not have an auspicious beginning; he gave up a Pick-Six and lost a fumble that resulted in a Scoop-and-Score. Those two turnovers led to 14 points for the Ravens and that was enough to win the game right there; the Ryan Finley led offense for the Bengals could only score 13 points last Sunday.
Now I want to explain why the Bengals did the smart thing in starting Ryan Finley last week. The Bengals are 0-9 they are on track to have the overall #1 pick in the draft – – or certainly one of the top 5 picks. There are more than a few decent QB prospects in this year’s eligible draft class and that means the Bengals need to know what they have in Ryan Finley as a young QB who might be their team leader somewhere down the road. That means that the Bengals’ braintrust must come to a conclusion about Ryan Finley’s long-term prospects as an NFL QB prior to the completion of the 2019 season.
Finley started last week, and the Bengals have 7 game remaining after that one. That sample will have to suffice for the Bengals to make their decision as to whether they draft a QB next year or possibly take Chase Young – the standout defensive player in the draft. The Bengals as a team need a significant make-over; it would be foolhardy for ownership and the Front Office there to think that a single off-season is going to turn this roster into a playoff team. So, it is imperative for them to try to understand Ryan Finley’s long-term viability as an NFL QB.
There is another nugget of information contained in last week’s decision by the Bengals to bench Andy Dalton in favor of Ryan Finley:
- Memo to Bengals’ Fans: It wasn’t Andy Dalton’s fault that the team was 0-8.
While on the subject of Bengals’ fans, here is an item from Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:
“Scientists are experimenting with psychedelic drugs in an effort to erase bad memories and thus prevent the triggering of depression.
“Rumor has it they plan to test it out on Bengals fans.”
Meanwhile in DC, the Skins announced that Dwayne Haskins will start the remaining 7 games of the 2019 season for the team. The Skins now hold the #2 pick in the 2020 Draft and their situation is precisely what is facing the Bengals. They took a QB in the first round last year; he showed that he was not ready to be a starter in 2019 but the team has to have enough film in the can to decide if he is the QB of the future – – or not. This decision could well be clouded by the reports that the “football people” in the organization did not want Haskins in the first place but that the “owner” demanded the team take Haskins.
Without referring to my college football notes from TV viewing so far this year, here are the QBs available off the top of my head in alphabetical order for those teams at or near the top of the NFL Draft:
- Joe Burrow – LSU
- Sam Ehlinger – Texas
- Jake Fromm – Georgia
- Justin Herbert – Oregon
- Jalen Hurts – Oklahoma
- Kellen Mond – Texas A&M
- Tua Tagovailoa – Alabama
Finally, here is a comment from Greg Cote of the Miami Herald:
“O.J. McDuffie, Roberto Luongo and Tamara James are newest inductees into the Broward Sports Hall of Fame. If I have to explain who they are, they probably shouldn’t be in.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………