Saturday, September 27, 2008

Post-Loss Update, Cont'd: Then Again...

Then again, I could be a Georgia fan.

On second thought: Nah. Florida took it worst today.

-- D.S.

Post-Loss Update 5: Madness Sets In

After the game, I had taken off my Tebow jersey (yes, I own one -- two, actually... 3 if you include the quasi-jersey "jersey-as-a-T-shirt") and put it in a crumpled mess back in the closet, wondering if it was too tainted to wear anymore this season.

Now, I have put the jersey back on and am about to go walk the streets of my neighborhood (actually, going on an errand, but still...), ready to shoulder any/all mockery that might come my way -- because for some reason I feel like I either deserve it or should have to take it.

(At this rate of manic reaction, I cannot wait to see what I am doing in an hour or so...)

-- D.S.

Post-Loss Update 4: Worst Loss Ever?

With 2 hours to continue to dwell on it, I would rank this as the most disappointing loss of my 8-year Florida fandom.

Last season's loss at LSU was tough, but it was to a national champion team in their house.

The loss to Georgia last season was a shellacking -- it was hard to say "Shoulda won."

The season-killing loss in '01 to Tennessee? In my rookie year, I don't think I knew enough to suffer as much as the moment merited.

The losses of the Zook Era? Eh: Hard not to say, "Eh, sort of unsurprising."

The loss to Auburn in 2006 was about as bad as I've ever felt about a Gators loss -- but in hindsight, the national championship wiped that one clean.

This one, though? Gut-wrenching. No. 1 on my list.

(Yes, this will continue...)

- D.S

PLU 3: Self-Help vs. Self-Medicating

I don't know what stage I'm in, but here's where my head is at right now: Dwelling on Florida's final play:

Heading into Florida's last play, it was 4th and 2 on the 31 with 55 seconds to go, down 1. They could try a 48-yard FG with either the kicker on the field when the game-tying XP was blocked or an untested true freshman kicker with a cannon leg. OR, they could go for "Tebow Time" and let Tebow go for the 2 yards they'd need for 4 more downs and inevitable better field position, for either the winning kick or a winning TD.

At the time, I was adamantly for the Tebow play -- give it to your best guy (well, besides Harvin) and let him make a play. Of course, Houston Nutt knew this too. And, now, I'm wondering if they shouldn't have tried the FG. Now, if they had missed the FG, I would be saying, "They should have gone with Tebow." So, in the end, I'm comfortable with the decision, but still struggling with the final result. In watching the replay -- ad nauseum -- sending Tebow up the middle was the mistake, because if he had bounced to the outside, there was no way a single Ole Miss defender was going to stop him from getting the 2 yards. Up the gut, however, it was 1 on 8.

(What happened to "Back Monday" you ask? Meh: Self-help through blogging rules.)

-- D.S.

Post-Loss Update 2: Bargaining

Now, I could make an argument that Florida's BCS title-game hopes aren't entirely shot. But after watching this game, the idea of a 12-1 season with an SEC title -- having to still beat LSU, Georgia and the SEC West champ -- seems ludicrous.

Not to take anything away from Ole Miss or diminish Florida's 3 turnovers (their first 3 turnovers of the season, incredibly -- which, naturally, turned into 10 Ole Miss points). But let's be real here -- this bearishness is what I'd project if I wasn't a Gators fan.

(No, I have not been able to stop blogging, as promised above. It's therapeutic, I guess. Cripes, I remain so freaking disappointed.)

-- D.S.

Post-Loss Update 1: Nevermind

The post below was a cop-out. I deserve your schadenfreude. I will post your comments, of course. Cripes, I feel awful.

Florida Loses to Ole Miss at The Swamp

Yes, I'm devastated.

I will follow my own protocols: BCS championship hopes? Over.

Back Monday. Maybe.

-- D.S.

Saturday 09/27 Quickie/CFB Live-Blog

CFB Saturday ramping now: God bless ESPN Game Plan. Florida-Ole Miss will keep me busy from 12:30-4, then skimming around the country, then the biggies in primetime.

MLB Playoff Push: Brewers take lead for Wild Card, Mets choking it away, Phillies close in on NL East, Rays win AL East (!), White Sox can't take advantage of Twins loss.

Mariners GM search: Kim Ng? I'm so totally backing this. First woman GM in major pro sports? Now THAT is a barrier being broken.

So much for Kevin Johnson's bid for mayor of Sacramento...

NBA: Jason "White Chocoloate" Williams is retiring? Already? He is one of the most exciting -- if limited -- players of the last decade in which he was a pro.

CFB Last Night: UConn survives Louisville, barely. Enough to keep them in the Top 25? Perhaps not...

So wait: Lance won't come back in January?

-- D.S.

Friday, September 26, 2008

NFL Week 4 Preview and Picks

Tied for 69th out of 175. Still upper half!

BENGALS (-3.5) over Browns
Vikings (+3.5) over TITANS
Broncos (-9.5) over CHIEFS
49ers (+6.5) over Saints*
Cardinals (+2.5) over JETS
Packers (+1.5) over BUCS
Falcons (+7.5) over PANTHERS*
Texans (+7.5) over JAGUARS*
Chargers (-7.5) over RAIDERS
Bills (-8.5) over RAMS
COWBOYS (-11.5) over Redskins
Eagles (-3.5) over BEARS
Ravens (+7.5) over STEELERS*

* - Pick to actually win the game.

College Football Week 5 Preview and Picks

It will be hard to top the USC shocker. BTW, this is must-read analysis on USC in context. (And still more, from the CHFF crew.)

(1) USC over Oregon State -- HAPPY TO BE WRONG.
(2) Oklahoma over (24) TCU -- Prove-It Game.
(3) Georgia over (8) Alabama -- Game of the Week
(4) Florida over Ole Miss
(5) LSU over Mississippi St
(7) Texas over Arkansas
(9) Wisconsin over @Michigan
(12) Penn State over (22) Illinois -- GOTW Jr.
(13) South Florida over @NC St
(14) Ohio State over Minnesota
(15) Auburn over Tennessee
(16) Wake Forest over Navy
(17) Utah over Weber State
(20) Clemson over Maryland
(23) East Carolina over Houston
(25) Fresno State over @UCLA

Other Interesting Games:
UConn over Louisville -- Friday
Northwestern (4-0!) over @Iowa
Miami over UNC
Colorado over @Florida State
Purdue over Notre Dame

Friday 09/26 A.M. Quickie:
USC Lost! USC Lost! USC Lost!

Forgive my glee. But, come on: How can you NOT find last night's USC loss at Oregon State -- killing USC's BCS hopes in one glorious primetime weeknight meltdown -- to be utterly amazing?

I don't want to hear "USC" and "BCS" again this season -- unless you are commenting how USC ain't gonna be in the BCS [title game]. (Quite a 180 from "USC and Everyone Else" after the OSU game.)

Speaking of that, I end my SN column today with what I think could be one of my more thoughtful points -- because I've spent a lot of time over the last few weeks ripping both Southern Cal AND Ohio State.

Ohio State takes a lot of crap -- a LOT -- for losing in the big games to the best teams. Maybe that's fair criticism.

But USC loses in the small games to the mediocre teams -- they have done it for three years running (Oregon State last night, Stanford in 2007, UCLA in 2006 -- Oregon St in 2006, too.)

And, I would argue, USC's failure is FAR more humiliating and diminishing than Ohio State's. It's not even close, actually.

At least Ohio State has MAKES the title game before getting beat. USC can't even get that far, because they're choking on the chicken wings that make up their schedule. (Oregon St beating USC doesn't prove the Beavers/Pac-10 are good as much as it proves USC was not great.)

Truly: This has to be the end of USC's season, as far as consideration for the BCS title game goes. They didn't lose to a fellow power -- they lost to a 1-2 team that lost to Penn State by 30. That lost to Stanford.

I know there will be plenty of "Hey, at least they lost early in the season!" No. No. No. Even if the Big 12 or SEC champ finishes with 1 loss each, both will have a stronger BCS claim than USC. Others will, too, obviously depending on who their 1 loss was to.

But -- there I go -- presuming that an 11-1 USC is even relevant, is even deserving of being discussed at all, let alone as a contender. (Or presuming they'll go 11-1.) Here's the reality:

USC is a 2-1 team that is 0-1 in its conference, with one win over a terrible Virginia team that will likely lose to Duke tomorrow and a then-overrated Ohio State team that may be only the 3rd-best team in its own conference.

But if Ohio State was overrated, what does that make USC? Not just overrated.


At least for this season.

Complete SN column here.

UPDATE: I swear I didn't see Doc Saturday's late-night post about this very topic until just now. Great minds? Meh: He says it more eloquently. I am just content with an original thought.

-- D.S.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Why USC Can't Win Tonight

If USC dismantles Oregon State (as they should), it's easy for people like me to point to and say it was because the Beavers sucked, just as much as it was USC being awesome -- more proof that USC's schedule is too easy to legitimize their place in the BCS ahead of a Big 12 or SEC champ.

But if it's a close game, then USC can't put away the puff-pastry on their schedule; more evidence that they are hardly a "lock" to be in the BCS title game in the event there are three unbeaten conference champs between USC, the Big 12 and the SEC.

Obviously, USC will try to rack up style points. But it's a real conundrum.

-- D.S.

White Sox Scheduling Question Answered

How will the Twins and White Sox reconcile the extra game that Chicago needs to play to have a full 162-game season?

From Adam Solarz: "Hey Dan- Just thought I'd let you know that in the awful event that the Sox continue choking this thing away and the race is within a half game after Sunday, Detroit will come to US Cellular for a one game road trip. It's intirguing to think if Detroit will either have the "our playoffs" attitude or if Miggy will stuff his face with pizza, Granderson will have a family reunion, and Kyle Farnsworth will duplicate his legendary Wrigleyville parties.

"Also of note, if the Twins & Sox are tied after all 162, the White Sox won the coin flip for home-field in the one-game playoff (enormous considering the Twins are 7-1 against us in the HHH Dome and we are 7-2 against them at the Cell)."

Love the rapid-response.

-- D.S.

Thursday 09/25 A.M. Quickie:
Mets, Twins, USC, Millen, Yo Gabba, More

My knee-jerk reaction is that last year's Mets collapse is infinitely more brutal than this season's drip-drip-drip into oblivion. But I'm not so sure. What do you think? I'm legitimately stymied.

This didn't make today's SN column, but it's one of this blog's most recurring Big Topics:

Would you rather be a fan of a team that is a consistent contender but consistently falls short, or a team that wins a couple of championships over a decade, but otherwise stinks?

I never get tired of this discussion, and I'm not sure it ever gets resolved. I see the points of both sides -- but I also use it as a defense of the Marlins as one of the best-run teams in baseball.

Anyway, I should know this but I don't: How will the Twins and White Sox reconcile the extra game that Chicago needs to play to have a full 162-game season?

It's a moot point if the White Sox win tonight, then win 2 of 3 in their season finale this weekend. But based on the last two nights, that's no guarantee.

Meanwhile, USC gets the national stage to itself tonight -- yeah, sure, keep arguing that Oregon State is not to be dismissed as yet another cupcake on USC's conference schedule.

You got my insta-take on Matt Millen yesterday. I'm sure Lions fans still can't believe it's true.

Finally, Amare Stoudemire immediately jumps into my "Players I Root For" list, if only because he made a guest-appearance on my favorite toddler-TV show, Yo Gabba Gabba, yesterday.

Here is the complete SN column. More later.

-- D.S.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Alabama on Georgia: Best Trash-Talk Ever

"They are going to a MF-ing funeral." -- Alabama strength coach Scott Cochran, on why Georgia's "blackout" styling this weekend will be apropos.

God bless you, YouTube, for bringing what would have otherwise been unseen footage to the laptops of fans everywhere -- particularly in the state of Georgia. I cannot wait for this game.

Spencer's alter-ego, Orson, of course, has the perfect take-out on it.

BlogPoll Week 4 Results: I Am Not Alone

Here are the Week 4 BlogPoll results from the entire group, combined. As it turns out, I was not the only one to vote LSU at No. 1 -- there was one other hardy soul.

Worth noting:

- USC reigns supreme (again), with my No. 1 choice (LSU), coming in at No. 5.

- The group consensus agrees with me that Mizzou falls behind the SEC trio.

- Look at Vandy at 19! (As always, "Dr. Saturday" Matt Hinton's ballot is worth looking at.)

- East Carolina gets the pity vote at 25 (I had them unranked). Meanwhile, Clemson earns their way back in.

- BCS-Busters: BYU 11 (tad low, imho); Utah 16 (tad low again); Boise State/TCU 20/21 (not bad at all).

- Looking ahead: Georgia/Bama? Something's gotta give. Oklahoma actually could bolster its cred with a win over TCU, which would be OU's first real quality win of the season. And if they lose? (What: At home? Wow, that would be kind of awesome.)

-- D.S.

Dolphins, Ronnie Brown and the Wildcat

Because all things have to come back to Tim Tebow...

I was pondering Ronnie Brown's performance on Sunday -- he scored 4 TDs (3 run, 1 pass) from 6 direct-snaps (then added another rushing TD from a standard formation).

(1) I'm wondering if we'll see this pop up as a mini-trend in the NFL. Certainly McFadden and LaDainian can pull it off, as can some other RBs. If it baffles Belichick, it makes sense to try.

(2) I'm wondering if this is suddenly Tim Tebow's place in the NFL. I think he can be an every-down QB, but I appreciate that many of you disagree with me. Let's stipulate to it then.

Isn't it possible that Tebow could be installed as a "red-zone specialist," able to either run it in himself (much like Brown, either between or around the tackles) or make the pass?

Now, I'm not sure how many QBs want to specialize in being a "Between-the-2os" QB, giving up the TDs and red-zone opportunities to another guy. (But Pennington sorta did, right?)

Tebow may not reinvent the QB position -- at least not the full-time QB position. But what if he reinvents the position by turning "Red-Zone QB" into a skill-position of its own? (And imagine his fantasy value...)

Let me throw this theory out there, then we can all laugh and file it away for later: I have long suspected that Bill Belichick wants to draft Tebow, (a) because he's tight with Urban Meyer and (b) because as the consummate Xs and Os guy, Belichick is intrigued by the potential described above. Maybe not every drive that lands inside the 20, but often enough to make a difference.

I suspect that after what Ronnie Brown did to his defense this weekend -- over and over and over again -- Belichick will be even more keen to make a move to somehow acquire Tebow.

(But, cripes, can you imagine if the Patriots drafted Tebow? Oh god: Then I'd have to become a Patriots fan. See: Now I'm sure this is going to happen, if only to provide the maximum schadenfreude for the rest of you.)

-- D.S.

Matt Millen Fired: Great Day For Fans

Matt Millen was fired. Or finally fired, I guess you might want to say. Makes you wonder why today versus last week versus last month versus any one of the last few seasons.

But the important part is that he's gone. "Fire Millen" is now a pleasant widespread grassroots memory. As for Millen, I'm sure there is a cushy TV gig waiting for him.

Lions fans, your team may not be much better. But the future looks brighter.

-- D.S.

Darren Rovell Tries To Avoid Game Result

This is Darren Rovell's story. I can relate.

Wednesday 09/24 A.M. Quickie:
Yankees, Red Sox, NL East, Lance, More

Yes, we can cheer the Yankees not making the playoffs after a 13-season run, as I do in the lead of today's SN column. But that's the thing about schadenfreude:

Ultimately, it comes from a place of begrudging appreciation. Loathing something so much that you create the energy to celebrate its misfortune? Cripes: Some people would call that respect.

This is something that teams should aspire to -- it transcends mere championships. You are so relevant that people cheer your failure. People bother to cheer your failure, I should say.

And so Yankee-haters will laugh today. Yankee fans will mutter "Call me when your team goes to the playoffs 13 straight times...."

And we'll all agree to hate the Red Sox.

The worst thing that could happen to the Yankees is not that they miss the playoffs -- but that they become irrelevant. They just took their biggest step yet in that direction.

(Damn: I kind of wish I used the above lead item as the actual lead item in my SN column today. I must have needed it to marinate for a few hours, to reach true clarity.)

Meanwhile, you won't be able to escape Lance Armstrong's official return today, announced at the Clinton Global Initiative.

(I didn't mention this earlier this week: I was at a midtown hotel two nights ago and actually walked in 10 steps behind Bill Clinton -- it was a hell of a star-sighting. Oh, and then I believe I was sitting 10 feet from Wade Boggs, who was at the hotel bar. At least I think it was Wade Boggs.)

The Mets need Johan to pitch on no-day's rest for them to close out a playoff spot for themselves; isn't that what CC Sabathia is about to do for the Brewers? (Essentially. Obviously, I'm using hyperbole in both instances.)

Meanwhile, the Twins need to win tonight or tomorrow (or, ideally, both nights) to make this weekend interesting. If they lose tonight, the pressure is on them, not the White Sox.

The Rays' ALDS games are sold out. See: The fans might not show up for the regular season, but they know something as special as the playoffs when it smacks them in the face.

(BTW, see the column for my argument that the Rays have officially completed the greatest regular-season turnaround in sports history. Not just MLB, but -- even if you think the Celtics are the greatest NBA turnaround ever, again, for a regular season -- all of sports.)

I don't really care about Beanie Wells' status for Saturday. Can't they just let Terrelle Pryor have Beanie's carries, just like he's taken Boeckman's throws?

Meanwhile, of course USC is saying they are taking Oregon State seriously -- they need to try to artificially inflate their creampuff conference schedule as much as possible, to deflect the reality that their schedule isn't nearly as difficult as the one the Big 12 and SEC champ will survive.

A couple of other posts coming throughout the day, including the reveal of this week's BlogPoll results (not my ballot, but the entire group) -- along with an examination of the Ronnie Brown "Wildcat" phenomenon and its implications.

Complete SN column here

-- D.S.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Why Is Michael Vick In Jail?"

Chris Rock on Michael Vick and Sarah Palin (by way of Hillary Clinton). Hilarious.

BlogPoll Top 25 Week 4 Final Version

Aside from questions about ranking LSU ahead of USC (which I'm not changing), I didn't see any strong arguments to change my original ballot this week, which means I'm (a) doing something right; (b) swaying you into buying into my arguments; or (c) lost your attention completely.

One item: Penn State. Depending on the result of this weekend's game vs. Illinois, Penn State has a spot for itself in the Top 10 -- especially given that the Georgia-Alabama loser will inevitably fall out of the Top 10. I rank USF ahead of Penn State on the strength of the Bulls' win over Kansas. The biggest knock on Penn State is simple: Who have they played?

-- D.S.

Tuesday 09/23 A.M. Quickie:
Chargers, Phillies, AL Central, Merkle, More

I'm not sure "The Chargers are back!" After all, they WERE playing Brett Favre's Jets, who are hardly world-beaters at this point.

But I'm not above advancing a fairly flimsy theory in today's SN column that between the last-second loss to the Panthers and the last-second screw-job against the Broncos, the Chargers are energized.

More energized than they would be if they entered last night's game at 2-0. Energized enough to ride a Hochuli-sized chip on their shoulder all the way to the AFC title.

Two words: Antonio Cromartie. (I have to relate this, so if you hate hearing about other people's fantasy teams, skip down. I was down 40 points in my fantasy matchup last night, heading into the game. I had Cromartie and my league scoring earned me 36 points from him -- I went from blowout to oh-my-god-I-might-win to damn-losing-close-hurts-worse-than-getting-blown-out. That said: I am more than happy to argue Cromartie as the NFL's best defensive player right now. UPDATE: As one Commenter pointed out, I am blindly biased -- Cromartie was torched by Brandon Marshall -- another of my fantasy players -- in Week 2.)

Meanwhile, the Phillies feel like a lock for the playoffs. The Mets feel like chokers, but the Brewers' own chokery may be just enough for the Mets to back into the Wild Card.

You have to love a head-to-head match-up for the lone remaining contested AL playoff spot in the Central -- White Sox at Twins, with Minnesota in a precarious position: They have to win 2 out of 3 to even make this weekend a small hope. Now: Sweep all 3, and all of a sudden things get interesting. But even if the White Sox win once, Chicago is in a great position.

Bill Ford Jr. should earn a ton of credit from Lions fans for publicly crapping on Matt Millen. But give me a break that he can't influence the decision to actually get rid of him.

Merkle's Boner: There. I said it. Get your giggity-giggles out, then appreciate the magnitude of a screw-up so epic that its footprint lasted 100 years. (Consider: In 2103, will fans still be talking about Steve Bartman? As large as the name looms now, I don't think so.)

Last call to weigh in on this week's BlogPoll ballot, found in the post below. I'll post my final edition around noonish.

Complete SN column here.

-- D.S.

Monday, September 22, 2008

CFB BlogPoll Top 25 Week 4 Ballot, Take 1

LSU is No. 1. At least on my ballot. And I'm surprised that their win at Auburn didn't nudge them up the "mainstream" polls. It's only the best single win of a season only four weeks old.

1 LSU 5
2 Southern Cal 1
3 Oklahoma 1
4 Georgia --
5 Florida --
6 Missouri 3
7 Texas --
8 Brigham Young --
9 Texas Tech 1
10 Alabama 4
11 South Florida 2
12 Penn State 1
13 Utah 3
14 Wisconsin 2
15 Boise State 8
16 Wake Forest 1
17 Auburn 2
18 Ohio State --
19 Kansas 6
20 Fresno State 6
21 Connecticut 2
22 Ball State 2
23 Vanderbilt 3
24 TCU 2
25 Oklahoma State 4

Dropped Out: East Carolina (#13), Nebraska (#20), Oregon (#22).

As always, let me know where I'm off (or way off). Those of you who have done this all season know that I totally buy into good counter-arguments. Please keep in mind that, in general, I like to reward non-BCS teams in the 21-25 spot ahead of comparable BCS teams with similarly weak non-conf schedules.

-- D.S.

Monday 09/22 A.M. Quickie:
Pats, Cowboys, Felix Jones, LSU, Rays, More

I couldn't help myself: I couldn't contain my schadenfreude over the Pats' Worst. Home Loss. Ever. yesterday. (At least of the Belichick Era, which is pretty much when the Pats' relevancy began. Just ask their fans.)

It leads today's SN column, which couldn't be more loaded -- and I know I've said that two days in a row, but Fridays and Mondays are just sort of like that.

But it's not all gleeful Pats talk. There's Ronnie Brown worship. It was the best day of his career -- perhaps the Dolphins should consider playing him at QB more than just a handful of times.

And then there's Felix Jones. Everyone loves Felix Jones. How can you not love Felix Jones? Every time he touches the ball, there's a chance he'll take it to the house. Most popular rookie? By far.

The SN column has the rest of the big NFL storylines from yesterday.

Meanwhile, I'll dig into college football later this morning when I release the "1.0" version of my BlogPoll ballot, but I find it odd that no AP voters agree with me that, as of today, LSU is No. 1.

(What a set-up for next week's huge game between Georgia and Alabama. Meanwhile, USC plays Oregon State -- yup, another excruciatingly tough game for the Trojans.)

The Rays are in the playoffs. Yes, they can still bolster their HFA opportunities, but they're in the playoffs. What I like most about the Rays making the playoffs after their short miserable history is that it should allow every/any fan to say: "My team has no excuse." That's amazing for baseball -- far more amazing than the Red Sox or Cubs spending like crazy to break curses.

Meanwhile, I'm not sure it's worth looking at the NL playoff picture until Friday, because I think the Phils and Mets need to work some things out this week -- and the Brewers, too.

Sorry: Can't get excited about the Ryder Cup. (Slightly more interesting: Kyle Busch's implosion in the NASCAR Chase. This is the equivalent of a 1-seed losing in the first weekend -- if not to the No. 16 seed -- of the NCAA Tournament.)

Goodbye, Yankee Stadium. Perhaps good riddance, too. I do like the look of the new place, however. And the Yankees will move into it with the stank of this season still attached to it.

Again: Felix Jones.

Complete SN column here
. BlogPoll ballot coming at 11:30-ish.

-- D.S.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday 09/21 (Very) Quickie

In usual years, the Cubs clinching a playoff spot would be the biggest baseball news -- even if it doens't have the novelty of years past (they ARE defending NL Central champs), it's still The Cubs Are In The Playoffs.

But not this year. Not with the Rays -- the RAYS -- making the playoffs, one of the most remarkable worst-to-playoffs turnaround stories in baseball history.

I said this yesterday, and it's my mantra for the next 6 weeks: If you don't have a rooting interest in the playoffs, how could you NOT root for the Rays?

Now, on to CFB:

LSU grabbed the "Best Single Win of the Year" title, beating -- surviving -- Auburn at Auburn. This carries significant weight in my BlogPoll balloting.

Knowshon Moreno + Defense = Georgia's bonafides as a national-title contender.

Florida's defense suddenly is the team's strength (along with Brandon James and the return game), with the offense a bit of a clunky ride right now. (Good sign: Emmanuel Moody emerged -- for the first time in the Meyer Era at Florida -- as an RB they can ride for tough yards.)

Speaking of "eras," the Terrelle Pryor Era is here, and it's as spectacular as advertised.

Prove-It Game of the Week: Wake Forest proving not only that they belong at the top of the ACC, but that they own Florida State. Imagine telling an FSU fan 10 years ago that they would be owned by Wake...

BCS-Buster Watch: So much for East Carolina, but BYU is still steamrolling along. Don't forget about Utah (which gets BYU in a head-to-head match-up the final week of the season that may be for a BCS bowl game); Fresno State and Boise State (who also play each other, which will settle things a bit); TCU and Ball State, too.

Speaking of Boise State, and I said this yesterday: No offense to BSU, but USC's schedule just got that much more unimpressive, as compared to the SEC and Big 12.

More MLB: Phillies reclaim NL East lead... K-Rod notches save no. 60 (and that may be the barrier we never see broken)... CC loses again? Man, now he won't even get "runner-up" status in the NL Cy race... Halladay wins 19th...

Ryder Cup: I know it's supposed to be a dramatic finish and all, but I still can't get excited about it.

It's the last day of Yankee Stadium as we know it. For all those except Yankees fans, good luck ignoring it.

Don't forget to go set your fantasy rosters...

-- D.S.