Saturday, September 13, 2008

CFB Saturday Random Notes

USC-Ohio State:

There's not much to say -- Ohio State is getting their asses handed to them, even more than either of the past two national-title games.

If I was Terrelle Pryor, I'd wonder what the hell I was thinking signing with Jim Tressel, given how stubborn Tressel seems to be in continuing to play Boeckman, even though USC is destroying him.

(UPDATE: Looks like Tressel is finally going to give Pryor consistent snaps. Given that OSU's national-title hopes are over tonight, he should consider splitting QB snaps more evenly -- or even more in Pryor's favor -- for the next 9 games, too.)

There is no reason for Pryor NOT to be playing -- except that Tressel is proving, once again, how unimaginative he is, particularly in the face of a superior opponent. At this point, please consider that Virginia gave USC a much tougher game than Ohio State. Virginia.

I think Ohio State has played its way out of any chance of being in the BCS title game, even if they win every other game this season by 40 points. Oh, wait, as I type this, another easy USC TD... go figure. This is an embarrassment for OSU -- and a clinic for USC.

No team in the country is close to the Trojans right now. They look so freaking good. So I guess it'll be USC playing/beating whoever in the BCS title game -- Missouri? Oklahoma? SEC champ?

Late-afternoon games:

Georgia-SoCar update: I think that even if/when Georgia wins, they'll drop in the polls. That's both fair and unfair: Fair in that they certainly haven't looked great on offense (and playing D on South Carolina is hardly THAT challenging); unfair in that South Carolina isn't a bad team -- in fact, they have a very good D -- and playing on the road in the SEC is always tough.)

Cripes: I thought Michigan's defense was supposed to be the one thing that didn't suck. They're making Notre Dame look like USC. UPDATE: Cripes, Michigan is awful.

I'm one quarter into Georgia-South Carolina, and I can't tell if SC's defense is that good or Georgia's offense is that overrated.

(NOT overrated: Knowshon, who is the best "conventional" running back I have seen in college football in a long time -- so Reggie Bush doesn't count. There is NO way Knowshon doesn't jump to the NFL after this season -- he's already the best RB in college football, and he has limited mileage on the tires.)

BYU is en route to cementing itself as the BCS-Buster to beat. Absolutely a Top 10 ranking, if they keep up this shellacking of a UCLA team that beat Tennessee...

At some point, BYU stops playing against their opponent on the field and start competing with BCS voters' expectations -- the bigger the rout, the better they'll do in the polls.

If East Carolina doesn't beat Tulane convincingly, do they drop in the polls and lose their mojo? (Um: And if they don't beat Tulane at all, what a complete flop. FINAL: OK, so ECU won...but only barely. What happened to the giant-killer who crushed West Virginia? Today was enough to drop them in the polls, particularly given how high I had them -- 8th.)

Wow, think Oregon was overrated much? We only had one game to judge Purdue, but they certainly didn't seem like world-beaters. Between the Ducks and Bruins, the Pac-10 rep is taking a beating today, regardless of how well USC plays against Ohio State tonight...

UPDATE: Well, Oregon can turn it around. From "crushed by a mediocre Big Ten team" to "big win on the road against an underrated Big Ten team." Obviously, only if they win...

Early-afternoon games

Headliner: I think Chase Daniel is going to vault Knowshon Moreno for the lead on my Heisman ballot, regardless of what Moreno does on CBS to South Carolina later this afternoon...

(And Jeremy Maclin may be the most dynamic do-anything player in the country. We'll see what Joe McKnight does tonight, I guess...)

God, did Tennessee and its fans (looking at you, Clay Travis) need this big cushion-y win today, heading into next week's season-maker/-breaker at home vs. Florida...

Illinois fans can't possibly be happy about a near-miss vs. LA-Lafayette...

I'm stumped by Oklahoma State: I had them ranked after Week 1, then dropped them out after Week 2. Now they're rolling it up again on a cupcake in Week 3. I'm waiting on Big 12 season...

David Cutcliffe has Duke going in the right direction...

Northwestern: 3-0 in the non-conference for the first time in about a century...

So much for Cal's early-season momentum. Heading into this game, Maryland was a punchline...

If Ball State holds on to beat Akron and doesn't make my Top 25 this week, they certainly are among the non-BCS teams on the radar (call it a very serious "Also Receiving Votes" team)...

Saturday 09/13 (Very) Quickie

If tonight's USC-OSU game can be half as dramatic and exciting as last night's South Florida win over Kansas, we will be all set.

(In terms of impressive single wins this season, I'd put USF's in the Top 5 -- USC-OSU winner, East Carolina over West Virginia, UCLA over Tennessee and I'll leave open one slot because I know I'm overlooking someone. But I think USF vaults into the Top 10 -- at least my Top 10.)

Meanwhile, Beanie Wells won't play tonight. Yeah, right. I'll believe it when I see it, but if it's just some Jim Tressel attempt at mind-games, it will just make USC angrier.

For those of you who thought that my call-out of the Vince Young situation the day after as suicide-related was inappropriate, even his therapist says "suicide" was a concern.

Brandon Webb wins 20th: He's the first NL pitcher to get to 20 wins, but I'd still rank him in Cy balloting behind both CC Sabathia and Tim Lincecum.

Cliff Lee wins No. 22: Now, here there is no debate about who will win the AL Cy. It's a pretty remarkable season Lee is putting together (even if he is feasting on crappy teams).

And that was mostly it for MLB last night -- rain everywhere. (But not enough that the Red Sox couldn't beat the Jays, putting one more game between them and their AL East rival for the Wild Card.)

SNL Tonight: Michael Phelps hosts the season premiere. I am maintaining very low expectations, but I certainly hope Tina Fey is going to be doing Sarah Palin.

Business: The Giants and Jets are not talking with German company Allianz about stadium naming-rights anymore. It was bad enough that they started talking with them in the first place.

More later.

-- D.S.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Onion Genius: Jaguars Coin-Toss

I'm late on this, I know. But if you haven't seen the Onion video about the Jaguars coin-toss, it is amazing.

NFL Week 2 Picks and Preview

10-6 a week ago, in my new attempt in picking with spreads. This week:

BENGALS (-1.5) over Titans
Saints (+0.5) over REDSKINS
Bears (+3.5) over PANTHERS
Bills (+6.5) over JAGUARS*
LIONS (+2.5) over Packers
Raiders (+3.5) over CHIEFS
Giants (-8.5) over RAMS
Colts (-1.5) over VIKINGS
SEAHAWKS (-8.5) over 49ers
Falcons (+8.5) over BUCS*
Pats (+2.5) over JETS
Dolphins (+6.5) over CARDS
BRONCOS (+2.5) over Chargers
Steelers (-5.5) over BROWNS
TEXANS (-4.5) over Ravens
COWBOYS (-6.5) over Eagles

Home teams in ALL CAPS
* - Team will win but not cover.

Posts all weekend, as usual, both mornings and definitely throughout the CFB and NFL days.

-- D.S.

TechCrunch on Ultimate Football Network

Ultimate Football Network is definitely a company to watch. The info-aggregation feature is valuable today, but easily commoditized (except all the main players want you to use THEIR info, not necessarily ALL/BEST info), but being able to import and manage your teams on another platform -- say, the platform of the company that acquires UFN? -- is a game-changer. Again, the refrain: Portability matters. -- D.S.

CFB Week 3 Top 25 Preview and Picks

You can see my take on USC-OSU in the post directly below. Meanwhile, there's a bunch of other great games, starting with Kansas-SoFla tonight in Tampa. With that HFA and the WAC refs, I'm liking Fresno State over Wisco; elsewhere on the BCS-Buster beat, I think BYU takes care of UCLA, in a win that adds to the Cougars' resume. Notre Dame-Michigan? Ugh: Please.

(1) USC over (5) Ohio State - GOTW (Duh)
(2) Georgia over @South Carolina
(3) Oklahoma over @Washington
(6) Missouri over Nevada
(7) LSU over North Texas
(8) Texas over Arkansas PPD
(9) Auburn over @Mississippi St
(21) Fresno State over (10) Wisconsin -- Upset Special
(11) Alabama over Western Kentucky
(12) Texas Tech over SMU
(19) South Florida over (13) Kansas - Friday (Non-USC/OSU GOTW)
(14) East Carolina over @Tulane
(15) Arizona State over UNLV
(16) Oregon over @Purdue -- Intriguing
(17) Penn State over @Syracuse -- Beating of the Week
(18) BYU over UCLA
(22) Utah over @Utah St
(23) Cal over @Maryland
(24) Illinois over LA-Lafayette

Non-Top 25 Games of Intrigue:
Michigan over Notre Dame -- Sigh.
Georgia Tech over @VA Tech -- Another GT gut check
Iowa over Iowa State -- Crazy early-season rivalry game!
Vandy over Rice -- Winner is 3-0

Friday 09/12 A.M. Quickie:
USC-OSU, Cassel-Favre, K-Rod, More

USC is going to beat Ohio State, but I'm going to stop pushing this as a "de facto playoff" game. (Although I will still argue that it represents why the college football regular season rules.)

Because, as I pointed out back before the season started, losing this game likely doesn't hurt that team's chances of being in the BCS title game.

For the winner? Obvious returns: They take the pole position for one of two BCS slots; in the event three BCS-conference teams all go unbeaten, this game's winner gets not an edge, but THE edge.

For the loser? Let's say it's Ohio State. First of all, if/when they win out and go 11-1, they will have a pretty good on-paper resume -- Big Ten Champ, only loss to the nation's No. 1 team on the road without the use of their best player.

If there is another BCS-league unbeaten besides the winner of this game (again: assume USC for the sake of argument), OSU is S.O.L.

But if USC is the only unbeaten, only a 1-loss SEC champ would likely have more cred than a 1-loss Ohio State. (With a 2-loss SEC champ, like a year ago? OSU's dream scenario.)

Even if OSU loses. Even if OSU loses BIG (as I predict they will). You can expect for Buckeye Nation (led by spokesperson Kirk Herbstreit) to lay low for a little while, then begin the lobbying as soon as they obliterate Michigan to finish off an 11-1 season.

"Oh, we played that USC game without Beanie Wells. It's a totally different team now. A better team. The No. 2 team in the country. It's not a rematch -- it's the game you thought you'd see back on September 13."

File it away. This will happen. So, at least for now -- for this particular Ohio State team -- this notion of "Each week is a playoff" simply doesn't hold up.

(Now, if Ohio State manages to win without Beanie at USC? Hell, I'll stick them at No. 1 and give this team a completely clean slate -- no holding 06 and 07 BCS title games against them.)

Complete CFB Top 25 picks coming at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Meanwhile, there's Pats-Jets. (Week 2 NFL picks coming this afternoon.) There's K-Rod. There's Ike. Here's the complete SN column for today.

-- D.S.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thursday 09/11 A.M. Quickie:
Rays, Manny, USC, VY, More

Is it possible that last night's win was the Rays' best yet this season? Yes: In the rubber match of a series at Fenway (0-7 in '08 before the series began), up 4-1 in extra innings with the Red Sox up, no outs and bases loaded.

This was it: The moment the Rays would crack, triggering a season-ending fold and the end to the Cinderella season...

Not quite.

Instead, (SN column lead alert!) it was a stirring affirmation that this is one of Those Years -- the Rays won't be denied. (Now, they might not go anywhere in the AL playoffs, but that's besides the point.)

K-Rod: What's the over-under on his final saves total? I think that breaking the "60" barrier is reasonable. Don't think he'll get to 70. Very curious if we'll look back in 10 or 20 years and register this as an unbreakable record -- not quite "56," but up there...particularly for the "modern" era.

Meanwhile, I think I might be more intrigued about this weekend's Pats-Jets game than any regular-season NFL game in a long time. (See that post earlier this week about how the Pats have gone from a team I can't stand to a team oozing pathos.)

If Vince Young wants to pretend like there's nothing wrong, that's fine with me -- but it's not like we all don't know what's been happening this week.

Beanie Wells at 75 percent? Not good enough. This won't happen, but to have any chance this weekend, Tressel needs to lose his conservative stylings and unleash Terrelle Pryor -- make Pete Carroll remember Vince Young (back before VY was, y'know, "off.")

More later. Complete SN column here.

-- D.S.

UPDATE: Couldn't bring myself to put this in its own post. On 9/11 seven years ago, I was in Boston at business school. In the days following the tragedy, I wrote this column for the b-school newspaper. I linked to this a year ago; I read it every year to remind myself of where I was in the wake of the attacks. It isn't meant to be some sweeping perspective; it was specific to the context of the community. Continued condolences to all who lost family, friends or colleagues.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

BlogPoll Week 2: The Final Edition (Group)

This week's BlogPoll Top 25, complete with the usual brilliant analysis and commentary from poll administrator Brian Cook of MGoBlog.

Let's compare!

DS No. 1: USC
BP No. 1: USC

DS 2-5: UGA, Okla, Mizzou, Fla
BP 2-5: UGA, Okla, Fla, Mizzou

DS has Ohio State: 12th
BP has Ohio State: 6th

DS has East Carolina: 8th
BP has East Carolina: 10th

DS apparently overrates: BYU (11th)
BP has BYU at: 21st

Similarly: DS Utah (17th); BP Utah (22nd)

DS ranks that BP doesn't: Georgia Tech (22nd)
BP ranks that DS doesn't: Fresno State (23rd)

Once again, I always defer to the wisdom of the crowd, but they're undervaluing the non-BCS teams (BYU, Utah), even if I'm undervaluing Fresno by not even ranking them. I'll rank Fresno State as soon as they beat Wisconsin in Fresno with WAC refs. I'm obviously out of the mainstream in punishing Ohio State. Right now, Florida's defense is much better than its offense, but I think Mizzou would put up enough points to score more than the Gators.

-- D.S.

Wednesday 09/10 A.M. Quickie:
Rays, Merriman, Wells, Lance, More

I am an unrepentant Rays bandwagoneer -- I don't claim "true" fandom, but I absolutely value them for what they are proving this season: Any team can be a winner, even the worst.

I'm not worried about their tenuous hold on the AL East lead (now 1.5 games ahead of the Red Sox) -- Joe Maddon had it right: "9=8."

"8" represented playoff spots. He didn't say "Win the AL East." Really, in the Wild Card Era of baseball, all that matters is making the playoffs. That's the lead of today's SN column.

It would help the Rays to have home-field advantage -- if only because they have MLB's best record at home (and for the added game of trying to guess, based on attendance during this Cinderella season, how many empty seats they'll have for a playoff game).

But, really, all that matters is making the playoffs. At that point, anything can happen. Favorites fall short; longshots come in. Teams get hot; statistical significance is reduced to irrelevance.

I spent way too much time early this morning going over the Rays' remaining schedule: 13 games. After tonight, a 4-game series at home vs. the Twins, then 8 on the road at Baltimore and Detroit.

With a 7-game lead on the Wild Card contender directly behind the Red Sox, the Rays would have to defy more than 150 games of statistical significance that they are a .600 baseball team to miss the playoffs.

Even going 3-10 wouldn't necessarily blow their chances; the Twins (or, perhaps more likely, the Jays) would have to pull a Rockies and win the vast majority of their games. Perhaps they can; again, they would need the Rays to fold like they haven't all season.

I suck, obviously. Leaving the content up behind the strikethru to publicly shame myself.

Whatever: "9=8." If the Rays focus on the next 9 innings, every night for the next 13 games, they will be one of 8. And that's all that matters.

There's a ton more in today's column:

I love Lance's return: Great drama, if headed for overkiill. It's an interesting argument between Lance, Tiger and Phelps, but Lance is certainly in the discussion for America's most beloved athlete.

Was Vince Young going to kill himself? No. (Well, we think not.) But obviously the Titans management thought it was a very distinct possibility. And that is SO freaky.

UPDATE: Read this tick-tock on the last 48 hours for VY. As arguably the greatest college QB of the ESPN Era, it is painful to watch him struggle in the NFL. You have to wonder if his career will ever bounce back; I think that at a minimum, he needs to get out of Tennessee and onto a new team, a fresh start. (But what if his particular set of skills will never let him be a particularly productive NFL QB?) Ah, for the days of this.

Shawne Merriman is the new Tom Brady! (Not quite, but season-ending surgery of incredibly valuable players is totally the new hotness!)

Beanie Wells will play against USC on Saturday: That's great. How MUCH will he play? How EFFECTIVE will he be, particularly against that vicious USC D? This won't end well.

UPDATE: Must-see video promoting the USC-OSU game. Garrett Lambert: I salute you.

Would Cavs fans still want LeBron after 2010 if they thought that he didn't particularly like Cleveland teams? He's a Yankees fan AND a Cowboys fan. (Cripes: What a front-runner.)

I'm sure Cavs fans are willing to forgive basically anything if he re-signs -- as they should -- but what an amusingly complex relationship LeBron has with the die-hard fans of Cleveland.

(BTW, I'd rank Cleveland as the top fan base in all of sports, for towns with teams in all three major pro sports leagues.)

More later, including the week's official BlogPoll results. Be interesting to see how I diverge.

Full SN column here. (8 months in, I'm curious: Do people realize that while I will often write about the same news storylines in the column and on the blog in this morning post that links to the column, I actually try to make this morning post as original as possible?)

-- D.S.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Greg Lindsay, Jeopardy Champion

A recap of the episode, along with the viewing party, courtesy of Fishbowl NY's Noah Davis. He does it justice, but it felt a lot like watching my favorite team win a championship on a buzzer-beater. Yes, really. -- D.S.

BlogPoll Top 25 Ballot, Take 2:
Top 10 Stays, BYU Ends Penalty

After putting BYU in my preseason Top 10 and strongly considering Biff's arguments in the BlogPoll 1.0 comments below, I took them out of exile and back up near the Top 10. Meanwhile, more Commenter influence: Arizona out, Cal in. (Oklahoma St squeezed out...only for now.) See: If you comment, I listen!

1 Southern Cal --
2 Georgia 1
3 Oklahoma 1
4 Missouri 3
5 Florida --
6 LSU --
7 Texas 3
8 East Carolina 18
9 Auburn --
10 Wisconsin 2
11 Brigham Young 2
12 Ohio State 10
13 Kansas 3
14 Texas Tech 3
15 Wake Forest --
16 Penn State 3
17 Utah 1
18 South Florida 1
19 Alabama 5
20 Arizona State --
21 Oregon --
22 Georgia Tech 4
23 Illinois 3
24 UCLA 1
25 California 1

Dropped Out: West Virginia (#8), Oklahoma State (#22), Connecticut (#24), Northwestern (#25).

Tuesday 09/09 A.M. Quickie:
Cassel, Brady, Rodgers, Cutler, Lance

Matt Cassel-Sarah Palin '08! There's your dream ticket for the fall.

They are actually remarkably similar -- a conceit that leads today's SN column. They are the most pivotal figures in their respective sports this season.

Meanwhile, after OD'ing on Brady yesterday, I was struck by a new sensation (this isn't in the column):

The team is so much more likeable now. There is intrigue. There is uncertainty. There is creativity. Everything they lacked over the past 8 years.

I'm obviously no Pats fan, but I find myself rooting for Cassel to do well -- for Bill Belichick to push the boundaries of NFL Xs and Os to turn this team into a playoff winner.

Similarly, I find myself with the same feelings about the Packers. As all of you know, I don't care much for Brett Favre. But this Aaron Rodgers guy? Hell, after last night, what's not to like?

He is silencing the doubters and the haters -- the Favre-lovers -- and making his own way. Again: I find myself rooting for him to do well.

(I have always had a soft spot for Jay Cutler -- after watching highlights of last night, it's obvious he's in for a monster year. Royal dominated -- and that was without Brandon Marshall drawing the other team's best DB. And Scheffler looked like he's ready for a break-out, too. The only problem was that Darren McFadden didn't go crazy like I had hoped he would; my various fantasy teams, where I bet big on D-Mac, suffered.)

And so I find myself so conflicted: Pathos for the Pats and Packers, two teams I have historically disliked intensely. How odd....

Complete SN column here, including a look at why it might be time for the Rays bandwagoneers to panic; for Lance Armstrong to return; and for everyone to tune into Jeopardy tonight.

-- D.S.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Why Darren Rovell Rules: Brady's Injury to Cost $150 Million in Fantasy Winnings

Tom Brady's injury represents a $150 million swing in fantasy football winnings.

This Week's BlogPoll Top 25 Ballot, Take 1

I punished Ohio State and put BYU in the "UR" penalty box -- for at least this week. Also, I am in a no-win situation with East Carolina: Based on my logic for putting them 8th, I should probably have them 1st. But I don't have that kind of fortitude; hopefully, a Top-10 ranking satisfies.

1 Southern Cal --
2 Georgia 1
3 Oklahoma 1
4 Missouri 3
5 Florida --
6 LSU --
7 Texas 3
8 East Carolina 18
9 Auburn --
10 Wisconsin 2
11 Ohio State 9
12 Kansas 4
13 Texas Tech 2
14 Wake Forest 1
15 South Florida 2
16 Utah 2
17 Alabama 3
18 Penn State 1
19 Arizona State 1
20 Oregon 1
21 Georgia Tech 5
22 Illinois 4
23 UCLA --
24 Arizona 2
25 Vanderbilt 1

Dropped Out: West Virginia (#8), Brigham Young (#13), Oklahoma State (#22), Connecticut (#24), Northwestern (#25).

Meanwhile, among other reasons that Knowshon Moreno is leading my Heisman ballot.

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.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sunday 09/07 (Very) Quickie

I hate the excessive celebration penalty in college football -- have hated it for as long as the NCAA and officials have wanted to crack down on it. And it is inconsistently applied -- this year, worse than ever.

Yes, Washington QB Jake Locker should have known better than to throw the ball into the air. Period. Because of that, he put himself and his team in a position to have the new rule applied to them. (The UW kicker also should have made it.)

That said, the refs should have applied a modicum of judgement here and let it go. With virtually no time left. On a game-tying TD. In a game with massive BCS implications. On the home field of the team that scored. I mean, this couldn't have been worse.

I'm not saying that Washington would have won in overtime -- BYU's offense seems MADE for overtime. But Washington had earned the chance to have the game go there -- the refs screwed up.

This new emphasis on clamping down on celebrations was bound to cause a massive problem sooner or later. I guess I'm just glad it's sooner -- hopefully, the scrutiny today and this week will pressure refs to swallow their whistles in all but the most egregious instances.

That may be the only good thing to come out of this.

Meanwhile: Yes, I'm dropping Ohio State on my Top 25 ballot... Wow, how high does East Carolina deserve to be after putting together the best pair of wins in the country this season... Good to see some things don't change: Notre Dame still isn't very good... Again: There is no way Tim Tebow wins the Heisman this season... Your new Heisman leader: Knowshon Moreno...

More later, but I'm traveling today...

-- D.S.