So Long And Thanks For All the Fish
Well, this is it, I'm packing it in. I appreciate every single person who clicked through to read this page, especially those of you who took the time to then send an email calling me a moron. Thanks to Bart for letting me tack on to his good name.
I'm striking out on my own in this crazy blogging world because, well, there's more stuff I want to talk about. I'm still a sports fan and I still want to talk about it, but I also want to talk about history, bad TV, punk rock, and politics. I don't think it's fair to do that here. So, if you've like reading over the past two years, please check out my new blog, Porch Monkeys, at mcvoyers.blogspot.com. Those of us in our dorm who used to stay out late talking politics, sports, and life were dersively called porch monkeys. I'm taking up the moniker in the time honored tradition of embracing insults and turning them into compliments.
I hope we've learned a few things, among them:
- International sports are cool. There's a big world out there, and there are more options than you can dream of.
- College sports are better than pro sports. I'm sorry, there's nothing better than your Alma Mater beating up on your buddy's Alma Mater. Pro sports can never duplicate this.
- Owners lie all the time. Owners have been complaining about spiraling salaries and no competitive balance since sports began. They are lying.
- Don't use stats like a drunk uses a lamppost, as support not illumination.
- Athletes are people. You don't know them and neither do I. We all thought Kirby Puckett was a great guy and now it turns out he's a borderline psychopath.
- The media is not only ignorant, they are proud of their ignorance.
Dave Bliss is going to hell.
posted by Poseur 9/30/2004 01:32:00 PM
NFL Week 3
Lets' get right to it, starting with every game's stat o' the game...
Falcons 6, Cardinals 3
The longest field goal was 30 yards long. That's some pretty bad red zone offense, people. And, out of curiosity, are the Falcons the worst 3-0 team you've ever seen? The teams each had 4 turnovers, and if Vick doesn't run for 58 yards on one of the last plays, neither would have had 250 yards of offense. Guh.
Ravens 23, Bengals 9
52 passes to 26 rushes by the Bengals? This game was in doubt when Cincy pretty much abandoned a pretty effective run game. And I rant about Boller a lot, but this is his second straight adequate start. 11-18 for 126 isn't terrific, but he's cut down on the turnovers and is letting the defense do the heavy lifting. Which is all the Ravens need him to do. It seems Billick has wised up to the fact Boller will never be a positive, but at least he can not be a negative.
Eagles 30, Lions 13
McNabb went 29-42 for 356. This game was effectively over midway in the second quarter. Harrington continues to progress as a starter (Look, ma! No picks!), but McNabb showed Detroit what an elite quarterback looks like. And the answer is: nothing like Harrington.
Texans 24, Chiefs 21
102 yards. That's how long Marcus Coleman ran after intercepting Trent Green, easily the biggest play of the game. Had KC just gotten a field goal, they go up 17-6 midway in the 3rd quarter. Trent Green gets some accolades for finally playing a good game, and the Chiefs get on with their season. Instead, KC's in an 0-3 hole, and instead of talking about his 3 TD game, Green's defending his one bad pass of the game.
Vikings 27, Bears 22
The quarterbacks combined line: 40/61 for 608 yards and two TD's. Culpepper playing well is old news, but Rex Grossman? Yes, the Bears played from behind all game, but they were never really out of it and Grossman made a lot of huge plays. The Vikings are one of the best teams in the NFL, so maybe the Bears aren't too bad. They are 1-2, but with some breaks, they could be 3-0. Which, with a dollar, can get you a cup of coffee. But not sucking is a forward step for Chicago.
Giants 27, Browns 10
3 turnovers to 0. You go +3, your chances of winning are pretty good. Throw in a 100-yard rushing game and an oh-so-close-to 300-yard passing game, and you're chances of winning big are pretty good. Which is what the Giants did. The Browns are one of the very worst teams in the NFL, and their week one win over Baltimore will look increasingly mystifying as the season goes on. I'm not sure what to make of the Giants, who are at least good enough to let other teams self-destruct. I thought they'd be among the league's worst, but that is obviously not the case.
Saints 28, Rams 25
Aaron Stecker rushed for 106 yards on 18 carries. Deuce who? The Saints thought their runnning game would go south without McAllister, but Stecker was brilliant while the Rams' backs combined for 59 yards on 14 carries. A wild, wild game which perfectly illustrates why squib kicks are stupid. After the Rams took the lead with 38 seconds to play, they gave the Saints the bell on the 40 yard line due to a squib kick. Even the Saints can drive 25 yards in 35 seconds. Just kick away, people. Have some faith in your special teams.
Jaguars 15, Titans 12
69 yards and 5:20. That's how far and how long the Jags final drive went. With 3 seconds on the clock, they gave the ball back to the Titans. And they didn't squib it. The amazing thing is that the drive took place right after Tennessee's long scoring drive to score their first TD of the game. It's no longer luck. The Jags are an incredibly tough team that will not die. The offense isn't impressive, but it works when it has to.
Broncos 23, Chargers 13
Denver had 37 yards rushing. And they still won. Hearst led the team with, get this, 13 yards rushing. Against the Chargers, this doesn't matter so much, but against a good team, the Broncos need to be able to the run the ball to protect the lead. Then again, their lack of an effective runner makes my "Patriots Lite" tag for them even more appropriate (pre-Dillon, of course).
Colts 45, Packers 31
5 touchdown passes in the first half. What else can you say? This is the stereotypical Colts win. Manning throws for what seems like a billion yards and the defense makes exactly one stop in the entire game. The NFL is offense-starved right now, so this game was a blast to watch, but really, people made fun of the Chiefs for having no D, why do the Colts get a pass? There a 40-year-old virgin Trekkies who could score on the Colts.
Seahawks 34, 49ers 0
Ken Dorsey went 19/32 for 152 yards and 2 INT's. Forget about the INT's for a second, this means Dorsey completed about two-thirds of his passes and still only could get 150 yards and 5 yards per attempt. That's awful. I'm at a loss to talk about the Niners, they just flat out stink. They ran their gameplan fairly well and still lost by 34.
Steelers 13, Dolphins 3
The Dolphins gained 169 yards on 59 plays. Monsoon or no monsoon, that's not good. You get the feeling Zach Thomas just wants to kill his offensive teammates. If the Fins were even an average team on offense, they'd be a playoff team. This defense is really, really good, but they will be forgotten all year because of how dreadful the offense is. The scary thing was that Roethlisberger looked like the seasoned vet, not taking too many chances in bad conditions. Four times the Steelers started in Dolphins territory, and that just can't happen.
Raiders 30, Bucs 20
100 career touchdowns. The game was awful, and the Bucs' offense is even more dysfunctional than Miami's, so let's talk about Tim Brown catching #100 in Oakland. Only four players have ever pulled this off, including the guy on the other sideline, Jerry Rice. This a truly a remarkable accomplishment, and it's a shame it didn't make more front pages. Brown is dwarfed by Rice, but he may be the second best receiver in NFL history.
Cowboys 21, Redskins 18
384 yards. 8-18 on 3rd down. 0 turnovers. And a loss? The Skins dominated the statline, only to come up short because they couldn't manage the clock. The Washington papers are ripping Brunell a new one, and while he did look lost at times, it avoids blaming the guy who actually lost the game: Joe Gibbs. Hey, he was the guy who insisted on Brunell anyway. But at the end of both halves, Gibbs horribly mismanaged the clock, costing his team the game. It's as simple as that. He's a great coach, but he has got to work on managing timeouts because he did an absolutely awful job of it.
posted by Poseur 9/28/2004 11:48:00 AM
Guillen walked off the field as the A's changed pitchers, tossed his helmet toward the side of the dugout Scioscia was standing in and walked to the opposite side of the dugout before entering. He tossed his glove against the wall.
Scioscia downplayed the incident, as did Guillen after the game.
Stoneman said the club advised the commissioner's office of Guillen's punishment and send a fax to the players' association. Stoneman said the decision was based on the team's opinion that Guillen violated the conduct provision in the uniform player's contract.
I don't buy it. There's something else going on here. It's not like the Angels woke up yesterday and just noticed Jose Guillen is a headcase. He's been a headcase for his entire career, so why start punishing him for it now?
And a full postseason suspension for throwing stuff? Are they kidding? Guillen probably wasn't even the only player that DAY to throw a childish temper tantrum. There is no way this suspension is simply about Guillen showing up Scioscia and generally acting like a baby. This isn't even a good lie. Come on, anaheim, come up with a better story than this, yo owe it to your fans to lie to them with a certain level of dignity.
posted by Poseur 9/27/2004 09:55:00 AM
Screw the Ryder Cup. The US versus Europe? Big deal. The format itself just tells you that the US is so dominant the only way other nations have a chance is if they band together as one team. Give me the Davis Cup, a tourney the US used to dominate, but now haven't been to the finals since 1997.
Until today. The US finished off Belarus to advance to the finals against Spain. And let's be honest, it will take a mammoth upset for the US to win. Not because the spanish arethat much better, though Ferraro and Moya are a pretty lethal combo. No, the real problem is the surface: clay. By virtue of their higher seed, Spain will host the finals in December and they get to choose the surface, which almost certainly will be clay to negate Roddick's power game.
But here is the problem with Davis Cup. After this huge win in the semis setting up a terrific final, we now must wait three months for the matches to be played. And that's just dumb. Speed up the format, people!
posted by Poseur 9/27/2004 09:36:00 AM
Blech, a pretty boring weeek. Almost no upsets, and teams are just beginning to play their conference slate. Next week is the Showdown Saturday.
Yay, Virginia beat the crap out of another lousy team!! While it's nice they are beating the snot out of the collection of losers they have played (a win is a win), perhaps they should beat a team with a pulse before we start crowning them God' gift to football. There's not a team in the Top 25 that wouldn't go 4-0 against Syracuse, Temple, Akron, and UNC.
Speaking of UNC, I think they just let up another touchdown to Louisville. Bowden Bowl Whatever was not quite the dud we thought it would be. Sure, the game was a dog as Clemson's not that good, but Florida State may have found a new QB. After Rix went down, Sexson went 17-26 for 165. Hello, new starter.
We still pretend the Big East is a major conference, but it's slipped behind C-USA and maybe the MWC this season. West Virginia pounded a 1-AA team, and UConn pounded Army, so that's sort of the same thing. But Pittsburgh needed OVERTIME to beat 1-AA Furman. Even worse, they scored 20 consecutive points to rally to win this game.
BC has a pulse, but they just lost to Wake. Wake's not a great team, but they play tough, but this does not qualify as their annual upset. Though BC did outplay them and by all rights should have won. Tough noogies. Syrcause still stinks and Temple may be even worse than orignally thought. Losing to Toledo? No big deal. Losing by 28? Big deal.
Remember when Iowa looked pretty good? It seemd like only two weeks ago. Oh, that's because it was two weeks ago. They are still reeling from that butt-kicking from ASU, but now they return home, where they are a much better team. And the next road trip is Penn St and Illinois. So the season's not lost just yet. It just looks that way right now. but stop turning the ball over!
No other surprises. Wisconsin had little trouble with Penn State which for some unknown reason was the Gameday crew's detination. what? Was the Memphis-UAB game too big of a game? Indaina reverted to their losing ways, and Minnesota could have beaten Northwestern by 50 had they tried in the second half, which they didn't. The only minor surprise was Illinois showing some signs of life before losing to Purdue. Which is good news for Purdue, it's good to have your letdown game be against a team as bad as the Illini.
Three games, only one of which was any good. Shock of all shocks, Texas is better than Rice! Who knew? And Baylor beat the snot out of North Texas, proving again to everyone just how bad the Sun Belt is.
Which gives me plenty of space to analyze Kansas-Texas Tech. Woo hoo. It was actually a decent game, watching the Jayhawks blow a 30-5 lead. For some unknown reason, they went for two after scoring point number 30 and failed. Then they were taught a lesson in why teams like Kansas should never try and rub things in. You are not good enough to act like jerks.
The tale of two halves in Palo Alto, eh? First things first, Teevens was 100% correct to go for it on fourth and two with three minutes left. It didn't matter where on the field USC got the ball, he needed a defensive stop period. This way, he at least had a chance to keep the drive going. But they were absolutely dominated in the second half, and watching the game, you just felt like it was a matter of time beofre USC won. Really, they had no business even being close. They play this game 100 times, USC wins by at least two touchdowns at least 75 times.
Also, we learned a very important lesson in Wazzu-Arizona. Either kneel the ball or run your normal offense, but don't run the ball into a stacked ten-man front to run out the clock. Gilbert Harris fumbled the ball, and Wazzu then went on to score the game-winning TD. Sucks to be a Wildcat fan. I'm willing to give UA a pass because, really, when was the last time they had to run out the clock? ASU played like crap and still beat OSU, who look like a team still reeling from their brutal opening schedule. Sometimes playing a tough schedule backfires like this, and OSU may completely implode now. If the Sun Devils beat Oregon, which seems likely, we'll have a matchup of undefeateds when they travel to USC.
Never, ever write off Arkansas. One of our preseason predictions is that the Hogs are always a threat, even when they have no apparent talent. They just dominated Alabama, forcing themselves into the early SEC West race.
How bad is the bottom of this conference? Vandy lost to Navy, who at least is a pretty good team. But Ole Miss losing to Wyoming? Mississippi State losing by 51? Kentucky at least showed some life in their loss to Florida, but they don't look like world beaters either. While the top of the conference is awesome, and it really is a deep middle, the bottom three teams are among the worst in the nation.
I usually don't mention C-USA, but their first full week of conference games was pretty exciting. USF beat TCU in double OT (you have to make those PAT's!!!), and UAB scored the winning touchdown with about 10 seconds left against Memphis. The conference race is wide open should Louisville stumble, so watching the #2-5 teams in the conference square off for early position was pretty fun. And that's not even considering a tough Southern Miss team that beat Tulane pretty easily.
But they all trail Lousville. Usually, beating UNC is no reason to brag, but C-USA needs all the good press it can get. They went into Chapel Hill against a team that was supposed to give them trouble, and just blew them out with ease. The Cardinals have moved into the Utah, Boise St, Fresno group of BCS-busters.
A huge week in mid-major land. Urban Meyer admitted to panicking when his team went down to Air Force, but Utah rallied and they got another win. That's the deal for Utah, just not looking past any opponent. On top of that, Wyoming scored a major scalp, beating Ole Miss. BYU came within a field goal of ending Boise State's winning streak, but the magic of the Blue Turf beguiled them. Still, a nice week for them, one that merits mentions due to the lack of big upsets.
posted by Poseur 9/26/2004 04:03:00 PM
The Wild Card Race
We haven't really handicapped the NL Wild Card because, well, it's a giant crapshoot. It's really just a matter of who gets hot in these last two weeks, overall team quality doesn't have a damned thing to do with it. Heck, in a two-week span, even the Diamondbacks can look good.
Despite all of the Boston-New York hype, that isn't much of a race. All of the action is in the NL. The Twins have already clinched, and it would take a 1964 Phillies-like collapse to prevent the same cast of characters in the AL: New York, Minnesota, and Oakland as your division winners with Boston getting the wild card. All right, Oakland's only got a 2.5 game lead over Anaheim, so that's kind of exciting, but I'm not holding my breath.
The action is all in the NL. The Dodgers are trying out their 1964 Phillies impression, slowly imploding down the stretch while San Fran and San Diego pick up ground seemingly every night. And while the Padres pretty much need to go as close to perfect as possible to even think about winning this thing, they at least get to take it to the Dodgers on the field.
So the Giants taking batting practice against the Astros was the lead story, the Padres big win over the Dodgers was just as big. The Cubs got to keep pace by beating a pretty mediocre Pirates team, one of those series you have to win to keep pace. A quick rundown of our contenders closing schedules...
Los Angeles (86-64). After they finish playing in Petco, LA travels to PacBell to face down the Giants. Then, they get a closing homestand against the rockies and then the Giants again. In case you have never heard of baseball, the Dodgers and Giants absolutely hate one another.
San Franciscio (85-66). Obviously, this home series against the Astros is huge. Winning game one opens up the possibility of a sweep, which would essentially eliminate Houston, but just splitting the next two days keeps the lead in the wild card. Sandwiched between the two Dodger series is a road trip to San Diego. Sure, it's a brutal road, but they control their own fate.
San Diego (81-70). They are four games down to San Fran and five and a half to LA. We're officially in Miracle Time. They need to pull out some sweeps. The only reason I mention them is because they play both teams they trail, as well as six games against the D-backs. Even if they win all 11 games, that gives them 92 wins, LA would have to go worse than 6-6 and SF worse than 7-4. That's lots of help. And not even considering the Central teams.
Chicago (84-66). Once they finish up in Pittsburgh, they visit the disfunctional Mets. Then they return to Wrigley to close against the Reds and then the Braves, who hopefully will spend the weekend setting their rotation and resting starters. No one's got an easier schedule.
Houston (83-68). Somebody needs to win two in a row. After the Giants, they get the Brewers, and then close at home against the Cardinals and then Colorado. So the next two nights are the 'Stros last chance to pick up ground against the teams they are chasing. They don't need as much help as San Diego, but they do need it.
Just for the hell of it, here's the pick. The Dodgers continue to collapse and the Giants win the division. The Cubs take the wild card. Really, I'm just guessing.
posted by Poseur 9/22/2004 08:56:00 AM
"I am accused of taking someone else's blood, but anybody who knows me would accept that I would never do such a thing," he said. "I know what I put into my body and what I don't. Cycling is very important for me but not everything. If was to think I had to do something like that I would rather put my bike away."
Dick Pound, head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), declared himself satisfied with the news.
"If it stays positive, then it will the first ever case of this form of doping being detected," he said in Montreal where he was attending WADA's executive committee meeting.
I'm pretty cynical about athletes in general. I don't think they are better human beings than the rest of us and I do everything I can to avoid putting them on a pedestal. They are people, too, and capable of the same stupid things we do on a daily basis. I'm rarely crushed when an athlete cheats, whines, or just acts like a jackass because, well, people do that sometimes. And they should get punished accordingly and we move on. Good people do bad things, and bad people do good things. Heck, most people aren't good or bad, they are just people.
That's a pretty long qualifier for me to say this: Tyler Hamilton is not just my favorite cyclist, he may be my favorite athlete in all sports. To me, he's always represented everything good about sports. This is a guy who dropped out of the Tour so he could mourn the death of his dog, Tugboat, even going so far as dedicating his Olympic gold to his former best friend. He's tough in competition (he rode the Tour with a broken collarbone, people) but friendly to the press, fans, and even his fellow cyclists. I feel like I know him.
So the announcement that Hamilton failed a drug test really hit me in the gut. I really want to believe him. He is my favorite, after all. And hopefully, the second blood test will come back negative and this will just be a misunderstanding. But that's just me hoping that it is so. What to do if he is a cheater, which I must admit, is a real possibility?
Does blood doping then invalidate all of the good things he has done? His Tour de France last year really was inspiring, even if he was doped. Doping doesn't take away that kind of pain he must have rode with. He really has been great to the fans, myself included. Do I turn him away if his tests come back positive? Do I lump him in with an unapologetic scumbag like Richard Virenque? Or do I forgive him and keep rooting for him?
This is a terrible time for Hamilton, but it's also a terrible time for fans of cycling. We simply don't need another doping scandal, particularly not one involving such a well-liked rider. For me, this hurts more than a positive test from Armstrong. As an unabashed fan of Tyler Hamilton, this is a real "say it ain't so, Joe" moment. I've never been as horribly letdown by an athlete as I am right now.
Anyone need a slightly used pedestal? I don't think I'm going to need it anymore.
posted by Poseur 9/22/2004 08:33:00 AM
NFL Week Two
The theme of the week is injuries. Kellen Winslow has a broken leg and may be out for the year, Tommy Maddox injured his elbow and is out for at least six weeks, Deuce McAllister is out 4-6 weeks with an ankle injury, and even Mike Brown is lost for the season as well. It was a rash of really bad luck. So let’s make all-too general assumptions about the games, led off with the stat of the game.
RAVENS 30, STEELERS 13
Roethlisberger 12/20, 176 yds, 2 TD-2 INT. Pressed into emergency duty, Big Ben started off lousy (0 for 2 and a pick), but settled down and gave the Steelers their first offensive spark of the game. Right now, I think Roethlisberger is already a better QB than Maddox, which isn’t saying much. He looked pretty good back there, facing perhaps the toughest D in the league.
LIONS 28, TEXANS 16
5 sacks by Detroit. The Texans outgained the Lions, possessed the ball more, and even converted more third downs. However, Detroit’s D made the big plays to neutralize a really huge day by Carr and Davis. The Texans are showing signs of life, but they have to win games like this.
PATRIOTS 23, CARDINALS 12
Rushing totals: Smith 13-31, Dillon 32-158. Yes, the Cardinals pretty much abandoned the run in the second half, but Emmitt didn’t exactly set the house on fire in the first. And Dillon was spectacular throughout. Brady had a pretty miserable day, but he chose a good week to do so, seeing as it was Arizona. The Cards did make this close, but they were thoroughly outclassed.
COWBOYS 19, BROWNS 12
Cleveland had 66 yards net passing. Garcia went 8/27 for 71 yards and 3 picks. It doesn’t take much to outdo that, but Vinny actually had a good game by any standard. The Dallas defense is really good, but they aren’t this good. I’m not sure the loss of Winslow is as big as people think it is.
PANTHERS 28, CHIEFS 17
KC had 281 yards of offense. That just won’t do it. The Chiefs need to put up points, lots of them, but they’ve been unable to move the football with any consistency in their first two games. The AFC West stinks, so the Chiefs can bounce back from their 0-2 hole, but they need to get some production from the offense.
GIANTS 20, REDSKINS 14
7 Redskins turnovers. Seven. I still don’t believe the Giants are any good, as they needed a complete self-destruction of the Skins to win this game, and even then, Washington had plenty of chances to win this game in the fourth. Heck, if Gardner doesn’t drop a touchdown catch, we’re talking about how the skins overcame all of those mistakes.
BEARS 21, PACKERS 10
Thomas Jones ran for 23-152 and a TD. Mike Brown’s 95 yard fumble return keyed the win, but it’s been a long time since the Bears had an effective running game. I’m willing to bet this game is a flash in the pan, but it was nice to see an actual ground attack in Chicago. As to the Packers, bad games happen.
BENGALS 16, DOLPHINS 13
The teams combined for 20 punts, 10 apiece. Easily the worst game of the day. ESPN sure can pick ‘em, eh?
COLTS 31, TITANS 17
The Colts scored 21 4th quarter points. And the first two touchdown drives were both 80 yards. With their backs against the wall, the Colts came through huge. By all rights, the titans should have won, but give credit to Indy. Manning and James earned those big paychecks.
FALCONS 34, RAMS 17
Vick ran for 109 yards, leading all rushers. He even had a nice day passing (14/19 for 179 and 0 INT’s). We pound the “Vick is Overrated” theme quite a bit, but it’s games like this that get him his reputation. But let’s add it up as one big line, counting rushes as pass attempts: 26/31 for 288 yards. That’s a great day passing, but Vinny Testeverte threw for 322 yards on 35 attempts. Carr went for 313 in 34. So it’s not like he’s outside the realm of “regular” QB’s. But Vick’s yards were more fun.
JETS 34, CHARGERS 28
Time of possession: Jets 36:47, Chargers 23:13. Folks, that ain’t close. The Chargers actually look like a decent team, maybe not playoff caliber, but certainly better than their preseason reputation. Despite the close score though, this game was dominated by the Jets. San Diego got the unofficial “make it close” score, but did I underestimate this team or what? And the real difference is Chad Pennington, who mat be the best QB in the NFL right now.
JAGS 7, BRONCOS 6
The Broncos outgained the Jaguars 356-176. That’s a two to one margin. Quentin Griffin is the goat for fumbling late, but come on. You gain 356 yards and can only manage two field goals? How on earth did the Broncos lose this game? They are better than this.
SEAHAWKS 10, BUCS 6
Seattle was 1-14 on 3rd down. Tampa wasn’t much better (4 of 15). This is the second ugly game both teams have played, Seattle winning two and the Bucs losing two. However, I think the reason is different. I think both teams have excellent defenses, but the Bucs have terrible offense while Seattle’s just got an inconsistent one. Tampa needs to find a way to score points.
RAIDERS 13, BILLS 10
Oakland was 8-15 on 3rd down. We go from a team that couldn’t convert to a team that couldn’t gain yards except on third down. 273 total yards, but eight times the Raiders managed to keep drives going. However, neither team looks any good.
EAGLES 27, VIKINGS 16
The Vikes were 37-47 (79%) passing and the Eagles 19 of 28 (68%). That’s an aerial display right there. And it didn’t mean diddly, as the running backs for both teams combined for 98 yards. I mean, run it just a little bit guys.
posted by Poseur 9/21/2004 10:24:00 AM
College Football -- Week Three
Just a strange weekend for kickers in the SEC. And a strange weekend period for the ACC.
UNC beat Georgia Tech. and not by a little bit, but 34-13. Sometimes we lose sight of the middle of the pack games because we're so busy focusing on the top dogs beating Directional City State, but this was a huge conference game. UNC showed a pulse, and GT, one week after looking like an upper-level team, looked downright awful. And the team they beat? Clemson got smoked by Texas A&M. Tommy Bowden needs to start working on his resume.
Those FSU, Miami, and Virginia pastings mean absolutely nothing. And Maryland had no business taking WVU to overtime, turning the ball over so frequently even they were shocked to still be in the game. So the Terps recent run of domination over WVU is over, but the Terps look like every other Terp team: brutal defense backed by a just-good-enough offense.
WVU's win is absolutely huge, but it also reveals huge holes in the Mountaineer team. They simply aren't a great team. Not only did Maryland turn the ball over five times, Novak missed a big kick, and that doesn't happen. WVU needed a horrible game from Maryland to just win in OT.
Pitt played Nebraska suprisingly tough, which i think says more about the Huskers than the Panthers. But break up Boston College! After looking so bad in ekeing out a win over Ball State, BC's looked great two straight weeks. They are the only team capable of beating WVU in-conference. not much of a chance, but a chance.
Northwestern won! So did Illinois! This is not a terribly good conference, so let's take happiness when something goes well. Nobody has played a conference game yet, and everyone has picked up at least one win. And Ohio state keeps winning super-duper ugly games. Exactly which deity has Tressel sold his soul to?
Still, it wasn't all smiles. What the hell happened to Iowa? Arizona State made them look like a JV team. And Michigan just looks terrible. Beating SDSU by three impresses nobody. Nobody. They are making me look stupid.
A pretty nothing week. Nebraska had trouble with Pitt (yawn) and Oklahoma had no trouble with Oregon. I'm completely underwhelmed. the only real surprise was that A&M sprang to life to blow out Clemson. so now no one has any idea if the Aggies are any good or not.
How often do games end with the potential game-tying touchdown denied just two yards from the end zone? Washington and UCLA lit up the scoreboard, and given their early results, means neither team can play a lick of defense. Still, the 37-31 shootout was perhaps the day's most entertaining game.
Arizona is still in a place where they can take moral victories. Yeah, Wisconsin took them 9-7, but at least it a hard-fought game. And for the love of God, can USC play a team with a pulse?
I cannot rationally discuss the LSU-Auburn game. I've long derided Jason Campbell, but he came through huge on Saturday, which I never thought he would be able to do. He earned the win and has every right to tell his critics, like me, to shove it. Really, he desrves tons of praise for his performance. OK, am I done being nice? What the hell kind of call was that? Let's put it like this, the CBS announcers kept saying personal foul because it was obvious THEY didn't know what the hell the penalty was either. And if you knew a player couldn't jump from one side of the line of scrimmage to the other during a field goal or PAT attempt, you're one of ten people in the nation. It was like losing on a technicality. It sucked.
There's broken furniture to prove it.
posted by Poseur 9/20/2004 10:49:00 AM