Monday, November 13, 2006

Monday 11/13 A.M. Quickie:
Bears Showtime in Primetime

Complete NFL Wrap-Up coming later this morning, but a few thoughts on yesterday's games:

(1) Devin Hester's 108-yard TD return off of a Giants missed FG was the Play of the Year in the NFL. (Sort of like how Nathan Vasher's similar play was the Play of the Year in the NFL in 2005. Coincidence?)

(2) The Chargers' 21-point comeback (via 42 points in the second half) was the Half of the Year in the NFL. Not quite sure if that's an actual award, but it was an absolutely sick game, particularly from Philip Rivers. Any more doubters about him? Didn't think so.

(3) Who had protege-turned-nemesis Eric Mangini beating Bill Belichick in Foxboro? The student has become the master, and you could tell by the look on Darth Hoodies' face as he refused to look Mangini in the eye (let alone say anything) during the post-game handshake that Bill B. didn't think it would happen.

More NFL later this a.m.

BCS Update: USC leap-frogs Florida. You can read the post below for my expanded take on all things BCS. It looks like the USC-Notre Dame winner has the inside track on the second BCS title-game spot (provided that USC beats Cal next week, which is a strong possibility but no gimme).

FanIQ has the type of column I love to see: A detailed analysis of individual AP voters' ballots. They've ID'ed some really f'ed up ballots that make you question why these folks get to be part of a group that determines its own national champ. It's worth a look.

(Meanwhile, I was thinking about the strength-of-schedule hit that BCS No. 4 Florida will take for playing Western Carolina this Saturday, and I had an idea: What if they paid WCU to NOT play the game? Not a forfeit. Just a cancellation. I'm sure the Gators fans would understand; computer rankings would never know; and how could poll voters begrudge them a move to reject the type of cupcakes that ice the other contenders' schedules?)

Ohio St-Michigan Countdown: Yes, you WILL be completely sick of this story by, say, Wednesday. But it's the closest thing college football will get to an actual playoff: The winner will be in the national title game. (It remains to be seen if the system is so broken that it would allow for a ridiculous rematch in the national-title game. Honestly, that would suck.)

MLB Awards Season! Today: Rookie

AL: If it wasn't for injuries, the race between Verlander, Liriano and Papelbon would have been epic. (And remember my mid-summer obsession with Liriano?) But the winner/survivor was easy to pick. My ballot:

1. Justin Verlander
2. Francisco Liriano
3. Jonathan Papelbon

NL: Ryan Zimmerman might have the best career, but this season, the success of the "AAA Marlins" was remarkable, making the NL award a run-off between a Florida's ace pitcher and one of its top hitters. My ballot:

1. Dan Uggla
2. Josh Johnson
3. Ryan Zimmerman

MLB GM Meetings begin today: The guy everyone wants to talk to is Marlins GM Larry Beinfest, who will determine where (if anywhere) Dontrelle Willis is traded.

Manny Acta to manage Nats: Great hire to go the opposite direction of Frank Robinson's old/stodgy and import Acta's young/fresh. He's only 37. He coached a few of these players (as the Expos) earlier this decade. And he brings a winner's vibe from the Mets.

Aramis Ramirez re-signs with Cubs: For whopping 5Y/$73M, putting him in the "cornerstone NL 3B" category with others like David Wright and Ryan Zimmerman. That the Cubs re-signed Kerry Wood is almost an afterthought.

CBB: Virginia shocks No. 10 Arizona. (But not really, given that Virginia had all the energy from opening a new arena in Charlottesville. Still, wasn't this Zona team supposed to be a Final Four contender? (I recognize I haven't done much CBB previewing. More on that this week.)

Duke wins opener: Most notably, three Duke frosh accounted for 42 of Duke's 86 points. (12 points on four 3's from my favorite CBB frosh of the year, Jon Scheyer, who is apparently the new Redick. You can appreciate my conflicted feelings -- on so many levels -- about this.)

NBA: I'm still getting over Michael Redd's sick scoring binge from the other night. Meanwhile: (1) Yao is sizzling. His 34/14 last night gives him 69/31 over the past two games. (2) Could Kevin Martin (24 pts last night, 24 ppg in 2006) be this year's most unlikely All-Star? (3) The Clippers won their 5th straight – hottest team in the NBA... again?!

-- D.S.


RevScottDeMangeMD said...


I will NEVER get sick of OSU/UM mentions...keep them coming.

God Ann Arbor is a filthy skank.

Brian in Oxford said...

I wasn't surprised by the Pats' post-Colts hangover, especially against a team who was lying in wait with a coach who knew what to expect, anyway. The big concern for the Pats should be their third down defense....the Jets picked up every conversion they needed to in the second half.

Too bad college football got rid of ties in the first place. Imagine what the fallout of an OSU-UM tie could have been (read: they could "agree" for the tie and play it out for real in January)

jhawkjjm said...

Anyone else notice that Div II announced their college football playoff bracket yesterday? They play 11 games then have a 24 team playoff (top 2 seeds in the 4 regions get bye's). Oh wait, these schools aren't ruled by the $$$ coming from bowl games. That is why there'll never be a Div-1 playoff.

Mikepcfl said...

Come on, the refs in the Ravens/Titans game were all for the Titans. They didnt call any of the cheap shots the Titans gave. The late hit on Musa Smith sent him off the field on a back board. They did miss one fumble, but when your kicker cant make chip shot field goals, you deserve to lose.

Mega said...

If Michigan loses to OSU, how could ND leapfrog them to get to the title game? Didn't ND get COMPLETELY BLOWN OUT by Michigan earlier this season?

Sometimes, actually almost all the time, I don't understand how college rankings really work. Do any of us?

Great game by the Bears last night. I don't want to hear the injury excuses. Anyone still want to question Chicago as the team to beat in the NFC?

Hester's return is something I'll remember for years, just like when I saw Vasher's return.

Brave Sir Robin said...

I'll question the bears being the team to beat in the NFC. They should have lost to the Cardinals and did get blown out by the Dolphins. Just because Rex Grossman didn't turn into Aaron Brooks against a decimated defense is no reason to celebrate.

THere are no teams to beat in the NFC.

Anonymous said...

New CFB Ladder Rankings have been posted for Week 11 (I consider the preseason to be Week 0).

On a different note, but along the same subject. Take a look at the upcoming schedule in the next couple of weeks for the BCS teams.

1 vs 2
3 vs 5
4 vs 7
6 vs 8

How's that for some playoffs?

TBender said...

Dan, if Florida even announced they were thinking about cancelling the game, I'd say they'd deserve to be dropped from BCS consideration. They scheduled the game, now they live with the fallout.

Note to NCAA: Do us a favor, stop allowing I-A schools to schedule I-AA schools.

TBender said...

SVY, don't forget that I-A would have their playoffs during winter break when classes aren't even in session.

dawg gone round the world said...

Now, I'm a UGA fan of course, was there saturday for the big win. I know it's cliche to say it, but i knew we could win that game. Everyone else seems to think it's a stunner, a complete shock, but I just don't get that.

UGA has had very highly ranked recruiting classes. Talent galore, with tons and tons of athletes all over the place. Turnovers and lack of execution have killed us this year, but it there have been a handful of plays that just didnt' go our way all season long that hamstrung us.

What are y'alls thoughts on how big a shock this is, considering this team did win the SEC last year.

Anonymous said...

I think USC loses to Cal, then beats Notre Dame. Arkansas runs the table, and plays OSU in the NC game.

How's that for some playoffs?

It's not very good considering you would have #1 vs. #2 in the first "round." This whole, "the regular season is a playoff" argument still makes no sense to me.

marcomarco said...

How about some props for the "King of Dud's", Reggie Bush.

That TD leap was sick.

Sheldiz said...

to be fair, the ravens did all they could to throw that game away and tennessee STILL couldn't put it away... you don't see Third and 35 too often at this level. Especially when the first fifteen penalty yards were for unsportsmanlike conduct by the COACH. Sure, there were some crappy calls, but i don't think tennessee can blame the officiating for that loss.

NA said...

Speaking of inexplicable calls made by referees. What about the Roughing the passer penalty in the Steelers V. Saints game?
The lineman literally grabbed Drew Brees's foot... HIS FOOT! And they call a roughing the passer penalty.

HIS FOOT!!!! He didn't pull it, I think even Brees wa surprised to see the flag on that one.

I didn't like the call in the Jets game either (partially because i'm a Jet fan) but I at least could understand where it was coming from.

Mikepcfl said...

As a Ravens fan, I know they were lucky. Even I admit the fumble call was BS. Sometimes teams just have lucky seasons.

But as for the roughing the passer call against the Steelers. I have to think that the Palmer injury last season had something to do with that call. The ref had to have the shot on Palmer in the back of his mind when he saw the Steeler lineman go low on Brees, even if he didnt actually hit him.

TJ said...

I have a hard time believing Notre Dame would jump a one-loss UF--or even an undefeated Rutgers--especially if Michigan loses to OSU. I understand that you're "the season is a de facto playoff" theory makes you want to think of ND-USC as a national semi-final, but I think it takes Arkasas and Florida and Rutgers and OSU losing for ND to get a shot--and even then, there's the "do we really want a rematch" question.

rukrusher said...

Nice to see people are finally saying RU needs to lose for them to be jumped. For the first 10 weeks an undefeated Rutgers was not a factor, now at least people are worried about an undefeated RU.

Anonymous said...


unless you saw the 'Skins and 'Boyz 2 weeks ago

in case you didn't... Sean Taylor came untoughed straight up the middle on a safetly blitz at Tony Romo. Taylor dove head first and his shoulder/helmet hit his abs/upper thigh area. As Romo was going down he threw the ball away. The ref called two fouls on the play Roughing The Passer AND Intentional Grounding.

The look on Joe Gibbs face on the sideline was hilarious. He looked like he was watching gravity reverse itself, pigs fly, Peyton Manning win a Super Bowl, whatever.

After the game Gibbs was asked about that call and said he didn't even know that was a possibility.

The Elias Sports Bureau reported that the only other time that someone was called for ROUGHING THE PASSER and INTENTIONAL GROUNDING on the same play was this time that Warren Sapp picked up a QB and body-slammed him while the guy was trying to get rid of the ball.

Bryan said...

ND Fan here....and an undefeated Rutgers def. deserve to be in the Title Game, over Florida, Arkansas, USC, and (yes) Notre Dame. The fact is an undefeated team from a BCS conference ALWAYS deserves to be in the title game if there are only 2 unbeatens. (Boise St doesn't count b/c they are NOT in a BCS conference)...

Anonymous said...


On The Herd with Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio Colin was having a session called "you give me circumstances, I give you a title contender" where people called up and gave him scenarios and he said who played the OSU/MICHIGAN winner.

This guy called up and started off with "What if Purdue had gone undefeated, and Boise State..." Colin then cut him off and said this...

"If Pudue was unbeaten is like if Purdue was the Colts, and if mayonaise was mustard, and if relish was a batman costume, would superman still be alergic to kryptonite? Or maybe that's unfair and it's more like if halloween was in december, and christmas was in june, would valentines be in july?"

He said all of this in a nerdy/dorky voice and it was SOOOO FUNNY.

TBender said...


Let us just hope that the Really Good Reggie Ball shows up vs UGA to balance out the Really Bad Reggie Ball from this week.

Anonymous said...

I hate Colin Cowherd. If this example of plagiarism on his show weren't enough, his original thoughts are so wrong and weakly argued as to reach the point of (unintentional) comedy.

Anonymous said...

i acually don't like him most of the time but i happend to be listening and this instance was really funny

Anonymous said...

What's hilarious in that M Zone Wonderlic test that Cowherd plaigarized, there's a question about College Gameday going to Arkansas. I guess we actually found the answer to that this past Saturday.

CorrND said...

Why do people not understand how the football polls work? Because they believe this to be true:

If X beats Y and Y beats Z, X will beat Z.

When Z beats X (hello SEC!) people start bitching because the poll system has no good way of dealing with it except to move Z up and X down according to the result. Just accept that polls are imperfect and move on.

Christian Thoma said...


I think the problem most people have is when Team X beat Team Y last Thursday, Team Y beat Team Z the Thursday before, yet Team Z is ranked ahead of Team X even Team X has one fewer loss.

Kevin said...

Francisco Liriano: 98.2 IP, 11-3, 1.92 ERA, 112 SO
Jered Weaver: 123 IP, 11-2, 2.56 ERA, 105 SO

Yet Liriano will probably come in second, while Weaver has recieved no discussion whatsoever.

Probably due to what I call the Dontrelle Willis Theory - if a player (esp. a pitcher or a rookie) has a great September, it will go virtually unnoticed b/c all members of the media pick their ROY/Cy Young favorites in August. I'm not saying Weaver should win or be ahead of Liriano, but he should at least get some consideration...

(The Dontrelle Willis Theory explained:

Anonymous said...

People, people: a poll is supposed to determine who the pollster thinks will beat whom if the game happened today. This X>Y>Z crap can't fly when you consider that upsets happen. Now, I am in no way defending any and all polls, because some of them are stupefyingly wrong, but shoddy logic is being used when you assume that one game can define a team's abilities.

The only way to be certain that one team is better than another is for those teams to play their best on a neutral field without injuries, and with a roster that has been figured out by the coaches. This is why Arkansas is currently not *necessarily* worse than USC, and it's why two teams that have not played each other can only be judged on their team's perceived qualities, not on one win here or one win there. I'm talking about Rutgers and WVU.

I've said it before: the transitive property is for algebra, not college football, and you've got a lot of explaining to do if you believe otherwise.