Friday, September 04, 2009

Friday 09/04 Quickie: Blount, CFB Top 25,
Vick, Goodell, Pedro, Red Sox, Weis, More

There is something about an athlete on the field breaking the invisible barrier between player and fan. Not "Lambeau Leap," but more "Boise Battlin'."

LeGarrette Blount is the No. 1-ranked term on Google Trends this morning because he broke through that wall -- and fans are mesmerized by that. It is the must-see video; it is the must-discuss sports-news topic.

Blount's freak-out -- which he apologized for and will likely miss a few games for -- eclipsed two things: (1) Boise staking its claim to a BCS bowl spot, and (2) Oregon's surprisingly atrocious offense.

As I reference in the lead of today's SN column, one game's worth of data is better than the paper prognostications of the preseason. But we will have a lot better understanding of whether Boise shut down a prolific offense -- or just took advantage of an overrated team -- by the end of the season.

Regardless, Boise gets a "quality win" check in its box -- and, from the WAC, a desperately needed one, even if they go unbeaten. That's better than most of the Top 25 will get this weekend.

Speaking of the CFB opening weekend, I'm all about the chalk -- I'll take every ranked team to win, and in the couple of matchups between ranked teams, I'll take the higher-ranked team (Oklahoma over BYU, Bama over VA Tech, OK St over Georgia).

Well, except in one game: I am picking Nevada to use its "pistol" offense to out-gun Notre Dame, which appears to have a fine offense but an unproven D.

Among unranked teams, I'll take Western Michigan over Michigan -- this one seems too easy. Michigan starts freshman Tate Forcier at QB. WMU starts super-senior Tim Hiller, running one of the best offenses in the country. So even if WMU's D is rebuilding, Michigan has yet to prove they can score efficiently -- and their D won't keep up with WMU.

Meanwhile, if all Mike Vick does is score one red-zone, Wildcat TD per game -- even on 1 or 2 plays per game -- wouldn't that be more than enough to value him? I look at last night's TD -- rather than the sacks, INT or lost fumble. He won't play that many downs in a game the rest of the season.

There's a lot more in today's SN column, but the big thing is: College football is back. Enjoy tomorrow's games everyone. We will have the usual open-thread throughout the day.

If you're taking off for the long weekend, have fun and be safe -- I will be checking in throughout the weekend, so feel free to check in!

-- D.S.

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