Monday, September 08, 2008

Monday 09/08 A.M. Quickie:
Brady, NFL Wrap, CFB Wrap, MLB Wrap

As far as unpredictability goes, you couldn't ask for much more of a great start to the NFL season than what we got yesterday:

*The Brady injury (obviously)
Leads my SN column and, well, everyone else's
*Michael Turner's sick game
*Delhomme's buzzer-beater
(To beat the Chargers, no less)
*McNabb's sick game
*Rookie winners: Forte, Flacco, Ryan, DeSean
*Um, the Brady injury

There's more: All I know is that my predictions were almost as bad as the performance of my fantasy teams.

I know last week I cautioned that the Giants in '07 were the poster guys for not worrying too much about Week 1 (um, unless you're a Pats fan), but it sure portends an interesting season ahead.

(And that doesn't even count tonight: Aaron Rodgers vs. a Vikings team some think can contend for an NFC title, plus the Broncos vs. the McFaddens. At the risk of jinxing my fantasy teams, I think McFadden has at least one "ooh" moment tonight.)

In college football, it's all about East Carolina. (Well, when we're not dinging Ohio State and downgrading BYU for the sins of the officials, rather than the Cougars.)

Here's the big point: If ECU was a "name" team with those two wins it has earned so far -- particularly totally shutting down WVU -- it would be ranked No. 1. Instead, somehow the AP ranks 13 teams ahead of them. If "what you do this season" matters more than reputation (and it should), they should be a lot higher than 14th. (And the coaches have them at 20th!) Where do I rank the Pirates? Check back at noon, when I'm releasing version 1 of my BlogPoll ballot for your review/comments/suggestions. Needless to say, they're higher than the AP puts them -- but are they higher than Ohio State? Check back.

As I mentioned, I was in Chicago over the weekend, but I think I got out just in time -- I wouldn't have wanted to see the reactions on the fans' faces after yesterday's can't-help-but-wonder-if-it's-an-omen loss to the Reds, where the Cubs lost a 2-run lead in the 9th behind Kerry Wood. They get today to think about it, then head to St. Louis for a hugehugehuge 3-game series vs. the Cards.

Meanwhile, the Yankees' season just got worse: 4th place? That's not just missing the playoffs, but settling into the bottom of the division.

And the Dodgers showed up big this weekend, sweeping the D'backs. And with the Cubs struggling and the Mets/Phillies being a complete X-factor, it looks like the NL is entirely up for grabs -- before the AL champ destroys them in the World Series.

Here's your candidate for Biggest Series of the Year: Rays-Red Sox, starting tonight, with the Rays suddenly reeling and the Sox a mere 1.5 games behind. Boston will need to sweep to exit the series on top in the AL East -- and the last time they played, it was the Rays who swept -- but I fully expect it to happen. THEN we'll see what the Rays are made of.

There's a ton more in the SN column today. Check it out here. Top 25 ballot coming at noon ET. More later.

-- D.S.

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