Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The Weekend in Review

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NCAA Football

Florida State 20, Wake Forest 17: Wait, where was I on this one? Was this on TV? Why did Florida State play so crapily when it wasn't raining? How did Xavier Beitia not miss the winning field goal?

Georgia 20, Arkansas 14: So, Georgia apparently isn't invincible. Or, maybe I'm just an idiot. But, Bullgod QB David Greene sure did up his draft stock with 382 passing yards in this one.

Texas 51, Texas Tech 21: Note: If ND goes 6-5 and accepts a crappy bowl bid versus Tech, RUN THE BALL! Texas ran for 351 yards, enough to overcome 403 passing yards from Texas Tech.

Michigan 16, Purdue 14: Hey, finally a big win on the road for Chad Henne. Meanwhile, Kyle Orton continues his Heisman-killing (and NFL career improving) campaign. Passing yards from his last four games: 385, 275, 235, 215. Those test must be really tough, huh?

Tennessee 17, Alabama 13: Watch a tape of this one, folks. Tennessee's run game can be contained. Freshman Erik Ainge can be contained. Meanwhile, Alabama got it together on the ground. The Vols are a beatable team.

LSU 24, Troy 20: So, when do the guys in the mustard blazers start passing out those cool little Fiesta Bowl stickers in Troy, Alabama?

Mississippi State 38, Florida 31: This was the straw that broke former Orville High head coach Ron Zook's back. Let the rumors start flying.

Texas A&M 29, Colorado 26: So, was this Colorado's week to show up or not? Either way, A&M looks to be on the right track.

Pitt 41, Rutgers 17: After a rough start, and a near loss to Furman, Pitt appears to be back on track, led by QB Tyler Palco.

tOSU 30, Indiana 7: Before you start praising the Buckeyes for getting back on track, know this: I watched this game, and Indiana looked like they have 11 Deion Sanderses running around on defense. Not so good.


Eagles 34, Browns 31: As my dad put it, "a loss is a loss." No matter how you look at this one, the Browns are still 3-4, and Terrell Owens is still making the front page of sports websites.

Chargers 17, Panthers 6: Say what you want, but the QB who actually wants to play for San Diego (Drew Brees) is getting the job done. They're 4-3. In a division where only the Broncos are playing well, I wouldn't be surprised if the Chargers make the playoffs.

Lions 28, Giants 13: I didn't get to see this one, but I know Ellen at least likes me to comment on the Giants. The stats were OK, but it looks like they just couldn't put it in the end zone. Detroit holding Tiki Barber to 70 yards on the ground helped, though.

Dolphins 31, Rams 14: What happened in this one? Field position. Only two of Miami's scoring drives were shorter than 50 yards. One of those drives that were longer ended with a 71 yard TD pass.

Chiefs 56, Falcons 10: If Atlanta had one bright spot in this game, it was Allen Rossum's 75 yards punt return TD.

Patriots 13, Jets 7: I missed the second half of this one, but apparently it didn't matter. Neither team could score after halftime, and the streak continues.

Packers 41, Cowboys 20: Highlight of this one? Tony Fisher's 8 yard TD pass, which was pulled in nicely by Bubba Franks. Terry Glenn was 0/1 passing in this game, begging the question: When was the last time two or more non-quarterbacks completed a pass in the same game?

Bengals 23, Broncos 10: Where did this come from? Cincinnati couldn't come close to a competent offense last week. The blame, perhaps, goes to Denver's defensive coordinator. The Bengals said, "I wonder what happens when we throw at Champ Bailey." It worked the first time, so they kept going that way. Meanwhile, there was no safety help for Bailey, probably because it's been assumed that he didn't need it. Test and ye shall be rewarded. Fail to adjust, and you will be punished.

MLB Playoffs

Red Sox over Yankees: Finally, I can talk about this one. And, finally, the Sox got the breaks. Of course, they weren't really breaks. They were a case of the umpires doing the right thing. When an umpire was out of position, or wasn't sure of a call, he was smart enough to swallow his pride and call a conference. I would have gone nuts if the would have called a forfeit after that A-Rod call. Seeing the riot geared cops was good enough, though. Now we know that re-enacting 10 Cent Beer Night in the Bronx would be a terrible idea. I appreciate the Sox playing the role of underdog, but waiting until Rivera is in in the 9th when you're down is a bit much. Boston didn't fear Mariano, and they were rewarded, twice. The pitching staff was dominant after the blowout, lead by gutsy work by Curt Schilling, a great start by Derek Lowe against a lax game 7 Yankees lineup, and the pleasant surprise of Bronson Arroyo's relief dominance. I was going to to rip on Mark Bellhorn (mediocre defense at second and all he does is walk or strike out - I can do that!) and Johnny Damon (I can hit .100, and I probably have a better arm!), but the few hits they had in this series were absolutely clutch. Speaking of Damon - you'v all seen those "Jesus is My Homeboy" shirts by now, right? Spotted a "Damon is My Homeboy" shirt in the Fenway stands - looks just like the real thing, only with a picture of Johnny Damon. Extremely well done. Meanwhile, the Yankees just rolled over and died. Is there some rule that, once you join the Yankees, you have to become a whiny jerk? Because that's what happened to A-Rod. Poor baby must be frustrated. My favorite (or least favorite) part of this series? The post game reactions from the Yankees. They were incredibly depressed, and it almost seemed as if they wanted everyone to be sorry for them. Yeah, right, like there aren't 27 other teams sitting at home right now.

Cardinals over Astros: Little was expected from the Astros, but they put up quite a fight. It was so close that, after the Sox were down 3-0, I was going to write that I wished that this series was the World Series. These teams were so evenly matched in this one. Carlos Beltran started on a tear. Brad Lidge was a workhorse - 7 scoreless innings, 14 K's, 1 hit, and two walks over the course of 4 games. Had the Astros won this, and had Beltran not been the talk of baseball, Lidge had a very good argument for series MVP. Meanwhile, I absolutely scared myself as my predictions from 2 weeks ago started to come true. I mentioned that Houston would make a series of it, but I didn't think it would be quite this close. I was also very pleasantly surprised when Brandon Backe put his money where my mouth is. Backe gave up a single hit in 8 innings of shutout ball in a game five win. With all that said, St. Louis was just too good, and they won a series where the road team never won a game.

Red Sox vs. Cardinals: Boston may have won the first two, but this series isn't over yet. St. Louis has a huge advantage at home. Not only are the Cardinals built for the National League game, but their manager is also built for it. Sure, David Ortiz at first can turn your hair gray, but can he be any worse than Manny Ramirez in left? Terry Francona may have managed in the NL with the Phillies, but with the trouble he had with substitutions in the AL, do you really think he will handle the double switch well? Take into account Tony LaRussa, who is a managerial GENIUS, and these next 3 games will be good ones.