Saturday, October 22, 2005Around the State/ACC
FSU (5-1) at Duke (1-6): No better way to get over a loss than to play Duke. It's going to get pretty ugly and it's going to get ugly quick but look for a more "equal" rep set from the FSU quarterbacks now that Drew Weatherford has a loss on his record. FSU 52-7.
FAU (1-6) at Arkansas State (3-3): A little surprising as many people (myself included) expected this game to be for at least a top spot in the Sun Belt. Arkansas State is there and should beat a fairly weak and tired Owl squad. Arkansas State 31-16.
Virginia (4-2) at North Carolina (2-3): Seems like some people aren't buying into the Cavaliers a week after their upset win over Florida State. The truth is they aren't as good a road team, but really..who is? In the end they will squeeze out a victory. Virginia 24-21
Temple (0-7) at Clemson (3-3): This is gonna hurt, but I give the kids at Temple credit. They try as hard as they can every week. I hope they get rewarded wit a win soon. Clemson 59-7.
N.C. State (2-3) at Wake Forest (2-5): The Deacons all but ended their bowl chances with a loss to Boston College last week, but they are excellent in a spoiler room. Meanwhile N.C. State must get to a bowl and probably win it to get Chuck Amato off the hot seat. Wake Forest 31-24.
Thursday, October 20, 2005Tech-Maryland
-- (VT 0, Mary 0) Mike Imoh's major is apparel, that still cracks me up. I think he chose apparel over 'food digestion' and 'ceramics'.
-- (VT 0, Mary 0) Big play for the Terps QB but he jacked up his shoulder in the process. He's going stay in.
-- (VT 0, Mary 0) If Tech wins out they should go to the Rose Bowl. Four out of their last five games will be Boston College, Miami, at Virginia (grrr) and probably Florida State. That's a murder's row if there ever has been one. Texas' best remaining opponent might be Baylor.
-- (VT 0, Mary 0) Going for it on fourth? I wouldn't do that if I were you fridge.
-- (VT 0, Mary 0) Terps decide to punt (smart move) as Hollenbach goes to the locker room and takes the Terps' shot at victory with him. Bye Sam...bye victory.
-- (VT 7, Mary 0) Vick breaks off a few runs and the Hokies grab the lead. Maryland's fans got quiet with the quickness too.
-- (VT 7, Mary 0) Another three and out for the Terps and you wonder how they are going to keep Virginia Tech from taking control of this game. May I suggest an interception?
-- (VT 7, Mary 3) Tech blows two gold opportunities to extend their lead to double digits and the Terps keep hanging in there.
-- (VT 7, Mary 3) BTW I'm seriously considering a purchase of Blitz: The League. Any reccomendations?
-- (VT 14, Mary 3) Hollenback throws another pick and it's becoming painfully obvious that Maryland can't break anything on Tech's defense and Maryland can't stop Marcus Vick.
-- (VT 14, Mary 3) Just as I declare this Vick makes me look like a fool and throws a horrible interception. Thanks.
Two FSU LBs Are Butkus Semifinals...
...and surprisingly only one Buckeye when I thought Ohio State had possibly the greatest linebacking core ever seen on this earth...
Personally I think that Nicholson's got a damn good chance of making the final three because he's already been National defensive player of the week once. Sims probably won't make the final cut.
Congrats guys. [Link]
...moves up the KC-Miami game. [Wire] Make the appropriate changes in your fantasy teams and football eliminators.
Meanwhile other games (USF-West Virginia, Miami-Ga. Tech) have been rescheduled. Now only if my office will give us early deadlines Saturday.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005Report That Bamberger...
But affecting the outcome of a golf tournament because you believe a rules violation has taken place goes way above and beyond the role of the sports press. And by the way, governing bodies of golf that allow television viewers to call in and report possible rules violations also ought to cease and desist in permitting such nonsense.
Three days after the loss, Bowden says he would've, should've gotten Lee in the game and was going to replace Weatherford, but go figure Weatherford leads the team to the touchdown.
"Daryl said, 'Let's go with Weatherford one more time,' " Bowden said. "He took it all the way down for a score. I never got him in. If we had gotten ahead, our plans were to get him in the game."
Right and if I had picked the right seven numbers, I would've won powerball. The good news is Lee was surely get mop-up duty against Duke.
Weatherford Almost Pulled (And I'm the Pope) [DB News-Journal]
Tuesday, October 18, 2005The Great Obscure NFL Trade
The Chargers acquired A.J. Feeley for Cleo Lemon & conditional draft choice. [FoxSports]
Feeley was actually worth a draft choice? Only if Heather Mitts is going with him.
My question is does anyone learn of these trades or accidentally stumble upon them. I can't believe that's an A.J. Feeley trade watch out there.
(Edit: There's a better photo)
Albert Saves the City
The good thing is that Houston stays cursed and is probably DOA right now. The bad thing is people will still believe Tony La Russa is a great "big game" manager.
Fourth Time is Charm for Pujols [Post-Dispatch]
1. Southern Cal - Some are questioning the Trojans, I feel like they are a stronger #1 after Saturday than I did before.
2. Virginia Tech - Why are they ahead of Texas? Because a) In a matchup home or away the Hokies would beat them and b) they've had more impressive victories in a better conference.
3. Texas - That being said I have no problems with the Horns.
4. Georgia - The Bulldogs quietly have all the tools to be in Pasadena.....
5. Alabama - ...which the Crimson Tide may eventually find out.
6. Louisiana State - Probably a little high, but I do believe the Tigers are better than both Alabama and Auburn as long as Les Miles doesn't get in the way.
7. UCLA - Speaking of high. I like this team's heart.
8. Florida State - I expect another drop or two as long as Weatherford is quarterback.
9. Miami (Florida) - Miami could've hung 70 if they tried...They didn't try.
10. Notre Dame - Now you know, sometimes it takes a push.
11. Texas Tech - Another big jumper. I'm excited about their game against Texas. It's definitely hitting the over.
12. Boston College - Struggling against Wake Forest now that Cory Randolph is QB again is nothing to be ashamed of.
13. Auburn - Quietly moving up headed towards showdowns with Georgia and Alabama
14. Ohio State - Troy Smith will be fine as quarterback if Jim Tressel would take the shackles off of him.
15. Oregon - Another Pac-10 team that has rebounded from a loss to USC. And to add to an argument at EDSBS...Oregon is two touchdowns better than Colorado.
16. Penn State - I think this week they proved to me that they were legit. It took a loss, but they showed their heart and talent.
17. West Virginia - The triple-OT win against Louisville is forgotten in this week of classics. Big one against South Florida this week.
18. Fresno State - The Bulldogs continue a slow climb as they prepare for USC in November.
19. Michigan State - John L. Smith....John L. Smith....my favorite coach.
20. TCU - Another slow climber week to week. I don't see many more oportunities for a loss on their schedule.
21. Wisconsin - Another forgotten classic from the weekend. A lucky win and a terrible loss for Minnesota.
22. Nebraska - People thought I was crazy for ranking them to start the season, but they have proven that they are around a fringe Top 25 team.
23. Virginia - The biggest win in Al Groh's career and it might've saved Al Groh's career.
24. Northwestern - The drama department is throwing up some serious offense. They'd be in the Top 20 if the officials didn't hose them in their loss to Penn State.
25. Florida - Only out of respect for Charlie Strong.
Monday, October 17, 2005Wie Errs, Bamberger Tattles
As if being freezed out by MLB beat reporters for being wasn't enough for SI reporter Michael Bamberger, he just became public enemy #1 in the LPGA when he tattled on the tour's ratings darling, Michelle Wie, for a bad drop she did the day before. [Link]
Now if Bamberger's moral fiber would have struck him Saturday when she did the drop, she would've just been penalized.
The mistake costs Wie a cool $53K+ but money isn't an object to her, the LPGA will never give her the income NIKE and SONY will, but she's going to have to deal with the stigma of cheating in her first event. [Alternate Link]
Fortunately she isn't a cheater, she made a mistake. Bill Romanowski is a cheater and Michael Bamberger became part of the story, a big no-no for a reporter. Bamberger knew the rule on Saturday and chose to wait because he wanted to be the story. He even got quoted in the AP story. I hope he's proud of himself.
Report Card: Offense
Quarterbacks: Drew Weatherford started out well, hitting 14 of his first 16 but only hit 21 of 43 after that and added a couple of interceptions. He was off most of the night and only completed a few passes that weren't dump offs or check down. Virginia challenged him to throw over their zone and he showed that he doesn't have the physical capabilities to do so. His throws seem to die after 20 yards of flight. Virginia dropped three more interceptions, smooth he wasn't. Grade: D
Running Backs: Lorenzo Booker broke a sweep for a 68-yard touchdown and...and....well that was about it. A team that FSU has averaged OVER 270 rushing yards/game since 2000 basically gave up on their winning ticket. Unbelievable. Grade: D
Wide Receivers: Chris Davis had an excellent game and a highlight-reel quality touchdown off of a short catch. De'Cody Fagg went down with an arm injury, but Willie Reid also had a strong game. Greg Carr caught a two-point conversion. Fred Rouse got into a shouting match with the coaches, but it was short lived and Rouse got considerable PT in the second half. 10 different players caught the ball (13 if you count the interceptions). Grade: B+
Offensive Line: Awful. Cory Niblock made a great block on Booker's touchdown run and spent the rest of the night getting flagged for holding or bitchslapped by Virginia's pass rush. His holding call took away a touchdown from Leon Washington. The rest of the line wasn't much better as the injury to Meinrod is already being felt. Grade: D-
Special Teams: Gary Cismecia continued his run of missing field goals inside 35 yards. Chris Hall did not have one of his best punting games either. Punt returns was hampered by three block in the back penalties. Grade: F
Report Card: Defense
Defensive Ends: Kamerion Wimbley got a couple of sacks and did a great job much of the night, the problem was Hagans started timing the rushes a slipped away in the final seconds. I can't fault the effort and at some point during the game one of the linebackers should've been a spy for the quarterback to help them out. Grade: B-
Defensive Tackles: Gave up 20 yards of rushing on 28 carries, I really can't fault that no matter how hard I try. Not much pressure coming from up the middle, but Hagans was rolling out quite a bit so it didn't matter. Grade: B
Linebackers: Maybe the worst game this unit has ever played. A.J. Nicholson had nine tackles and an interception that was called back due to one of the many penalties the Seminoles had. Ernie Sims was a disaster, aimlessly freelancing and missing tackles like Lavar Arrington. He drew two late hit personal fouls in the third period and avoided a third when he rolled over teammate J.R. Bryant's knee instead. Horrible discipline. Grade: D
Cornerbacks: Finally Gerard Ross was dropped on the depth chart, but the Cavaliers made Tony Carter's life a living hell. He was constantly picked on and won a couple battles but lost many and got flagged for pass interference twice. J.R. Bryant did a little better in his first start, but with Hagans buying himself time, neither corner could cover for the extra seconds they needed to. Grade: C-
Safeties: Part of the reason the corners struggled so much is because the safeties didn't do a lot to help them and we're consistently out of position. Kyler Hall played his worst game of the year and Pat Watkins still seems to be hampered by injury. Grade: D
We'll start with the games I watched in order from first to last.
Wisconsin-Minnesota: Laurence Maroney is a badddddddd man. I'd say he'll be a top 10 pick next year. He's got the perfect NFL frame for a running back and he's just going to have a long, successful professional career. For whatever reason Glen Mason's team can't get past these points, I hate to call the Gophers chokers, but they always lose a fluke game like this and go into a second-half season meltdown. Wisconsin is a better team than I thought especially when Stocco is passing well. Defensively the Badgers are pretty awful, but they don't give up.
Ohio St.-Michigan St.: John L. Smith is a man after my heart. I often times think it's "coach speak" to hear a coach say "it's the coaches fault...we didn't do a good job of coaching them...etc", but in Smith's case I swear he was going to rip his special teams coach a new one. Ohio Stgate would be much better off on offense if Jim Tressel would leave Troy Smith alone. The kid does know how to get the ball to his skilled players. And I continue to say that Santonio Holmes is a much better receiver than Ted Ginn Jr.
LSU-Florida: Whatever Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong is making this year it's not enough. Urban Meyer should donate half of his fat (undeserved) contract to Strong for trying to save his ass. Meyer was crying in the press conference, but not half as much as Gator fans cry when they see that offense. It's time for him to grow up and learn words like "I-formation" and "max protection" or next year will be a carbon copy. The LSU defense has bounced back from the Tennessee loss, but JaMarcus Russell needs to be MUCH better in his decision making. He's got some Rix in him...for sure. Joseph Addai is a stud. I wonder what was the last time a team was +5 in turnovers and didn't win the game?
Michigan-Penn St.: With this loss Penn State proved they are for real. It was a tough loss to take though, almost brutal because they were so close. Gotta love the final play call though, a skinny post, so simple, so basic, so hard to cover when the receiver is 6'5. And give Henne credit, he put that one on the money, it was a tough throw to make under the circumstances. Well see what happens to Penn State now that Derrick Williams is sidelined for a while with injuries.
USC-Notre Dame: Reggie Bush just took the iniative and it works. The Notre Dame clockkeeper did the right thing and tried to grab this one. What a fourth down play, only one quarterback would have the balls to audible and notice the man-to-man coverage. Seriously, how many QBs would actually notice that? Neither QB brought their 'A' game but Brady Quinn played his heart out. Notre Dame needed a stronger game from its feature back. Down the stretch Reggie Bush extended his Heisman advantage by proving that he could do anything.
FSU-Virginia: I'll have grades today....And I'm not being generous this week.