Daily Blog 2.0
Musings From The Hoodwood 12-9
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL NBA NHL College Football

How much longer will Johnny Football be on the sidelines?

 

Greetings from the Hoodwood where the locals are gearing up for the playoffs

College football: The chosen four

You now have the four teams that will compete in the the playoff for the initial college football championship all four teams have flaws in their own way yet have the tools and talent to be the last team standing in Jerry World next month

You have Alabama, SEC heavyweight, Nick Saban and his crew aren’t near the dominating team that they have been in years past but they still have the ruthlessly effiecent offense and the punishing defense. You wonder sometimes though if they mentally wander. But they made it through the rugged SEC with a few bumps but only 1 loss.

You have those wacky quackers from west with the myriad of unis. Led by Heisman finalist Marcus Mariota, Oregon is a high speed high scoring juggernaut who dominated the Pac 12 and avenged their only loss to Arizona with a devastating revenge beating in Santa Clara in the Pac-12 title game. This is a team that plays fast scores fast and never wears the same unis twice.

You have the defending champs, Florida State who is the only unbeaten team who dodged bullet after bullet in seemingly every game but got out every time with a win. Jameis Winston may be the most hated and polarizing college player in the game but he seems to get the win every time. The Noles have the nations longest win streak and will have gone better than 2 calendar years without a loss when they line up in Pasadena against the Ducks on New Years Day

Finally you have the school that makes sure you know it start with THE. Bullies of the Big Ten, Ohio State took a puzzling loss to a weak Virginia Tech and was seemingly written out of the national championship picture before the season turned to fall but grinding away he Bucks climbed back in behind the sterling play of JT Barrett who was thrown into action when senior QB an incumbent starter Braxton Miller was injured before the season started, but the Bucks jelled behind Barnett and rolled to another perfect Big Ten regular season, their 3rd straight but the in the season finale against hated rival Michigan Barrett suffered a gruesome ankle injury he was also lost for the year. The Bucks seemed to be the heavy underdog to the Badgers of Wisconsin behind their rugged run game. But the Bucks started fast and never let the Badgers up for air much less off the proverbial canvas and laid a frightening woodshed beating to the tune of 59-0, you can clown on my beloved Bearcats giving up 50 back in September, but they lead some in the game and were competitive in the game. Wisconsin was never close to being in the same area code much less competitive. The Bucks impressed the selection committee to bypass TCU and Baylor to get the final dance invite.

So did the committee get it right? I think given they could only take four, yes. You have the playoff winners of the four power conferences with title games. The co-champs of the Big 12 were left on the outside looking in. Baylor might have had more of a beef, they beat TCU in a wild shootout in October but shared the title with the Horned Frogs. Both teams were shunned. I think personally that it should be 8 teams, take the power 5 conference winners. Add three wild cards either the teams that get upset or the little conference champ that goes unbeaten. Play the tourney over three weekends, the first after the conference title games the semis on New Years day and the championship either on a Monday or the Saturday between the pro conference championships and the Super Bowl that would be a real lead into the Super Bowl fesitivities and use the big six bowls Cotton (at Jerry World) Fiesta, Rose, Orange, Peach/Chik Fil-A (in Atlanta) and Sugar and rotate the quarters semis and championship. Keep the other bowls as rewards for the other schools. You still have your fill of football and the major ones have their proper stage…Problem solved.

Phat Dap

To John Wall who played his usual beast self (26 points, 17 dimes) in a thrilling double overtime against the Celtics but revealed side many don’t get to see, getting very emotional revealing that he was playing this game with an especially heavy heart after losing a young friend to cancer. Wall played this game in her memory and broke down during the post game interview talking about losing his friend. Dap to Wall who showed a tender side.

Dap also to Southern Methodist Football who is arguably the worst team in college football and the only team in FBS yet to taste victory. The Mustangs played more often than not played like glue factory nags, getting beat by ridiculous scores. My beloved Bearcats toyed with them beating them 41-3, but they got beat by more lopsided scores. They were shutout twice, where they didn’t score more than 6 points in any of their first four and aside from a painful 14-13 loss to South Florida were never in any game. Until their last game against UConn, which looked like the same old same old when they fell behind 20-6 but the Mustangs rallied to score 21 unanswered to upend the Huskies and win 27-20 to avoid a winless season. The Mustangs not only avoid an ofer but they get out of the American conference basement since their 1-7 conference record matches UConn and they won their head to head matchup. The win wasn’t without its laughable difficulties, The Mustangs took three penalties late in the game trying to run out the clock in a victory formation. Ironically when the Mustangs came off their death penalty in 1989 their first win was a 31-30 decision over then Division II… UConn.

Head Slap

To the Cincinnati Bengals who melted down royally in the 4th quarter against the Steelers. I was a personal witness to the carnage, entering the 4th quarter of a tight 21-17 game with their hated divisional bullies cum rivals, the Bengals were riding high having just scored a touchdown on a long bomb from Andy Dalton to AJ Green, but after a field goal cut the Bengals lead to one, Andy Dalton fumbled on the ensuing possession and the Steelers cashed in four plays later on a run by LeVeon Bell and also converted a two point conversion. After a short possession by the Bengals the Steelers looked backed up after Kevin Huber landed a punt at the 6 yard line. A defensive hold might flip the field and make a tense game tenser. The Steelers had other ideas and Ben Roethlisberger threw a bomb to a streaking Martavis Bryant who had badly burned Bengals CB Leon Hall, Bryant caught the ball in stride and barreled down the sideline in front of a stunned Bengals bench into the end zone and the sound you hear was the Bengals back breaking from the Steelers kill shot. Bell finished the job with his 3rd touchdown score of the day and the Steelers rolled to a 42-21 win. The Steelers scored 25 points in the 4th. The Bengals never got close to the end zone and now the AFC North is once again in chaos. The Bengals are in trouble and their defense once a proud gem of the team, may have fueled their collapse.

Quick Hits

Scoring a game winning goal after losing a chunk of your ear? That’s why hockey players are inherently tougher. Kevin Cline of the Rangers lost a chunk of his ear on a high stick but had it reattached and game back later in their game Monday against the Pens and scored the game winner in OT…that’s stones brudda!

Im in two playoffs in my fantasy and won one of the first round games by .5 of a point…YEAH!

Johnny Football will likely get the start for the Browns and implode that team

13 in a row for the Warriors as they beat the Timberwolves…but they need to call up former Bearcat stud Sean Kilpatrick from the D-League Santa Cruz Warriors…just sayin…

Cordarelle Patterson…what happened to that guy?

I spot light the Sixers losing 17 in a row and they beat…the Timberwolves…sigh

My beloved Bearcats won their 5th conference title in 7 years but nearly gave me heart failure holding off Houston

Landon Donovan gets to ride off into the sunset with an MLS title, a fitting end for a classy player.

Until next post fellow sports fans!

Persistence Doesn't Help If You're Incompetent...and other stuff
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Browns Pats Revolution Galaxy MLS NFL

 

Cleveland Browniest.  Of all the ways to lose, the Cleveland Browns are the Cleveland-Browniest.  Lead for the whole game and come up 1. Point. Short.  On a proverbial last second Vinatieri kick - hey guys, better teams have had that happen too.  I mean when I say lead the whole game, I mean the whole freaking game - from 40-seconds in.  That said, losing by 1 to the Colts is no shame, it’s just how they did it.  And frankly, I think it demonstrates the Browns are legitimate - just not ready to be in “the conversation” just yet.  Of course, to add insult to injury, the Colts are carrying 4 guys the Browns released.  

 

Now, as soon as Coach Pettine announced Hoyer would be his starter against Indianapolis, I said to myself, “No set up or anything.”  Basically, if Cleveland didn’t win, there would be a Hoyer/Manziel controversy...but at least Hoyer was getting his shot.  So, like everything else Cleveland Browns, it worked out exactly the way the front office designed it.  Except, losing by 1 isn’t exactly a bad showing.  The Browns had a chance to win, and Hoyer was the guy under center for that.  That missed field goal would’ve been the difference.  But you’ve got a first year, 5th choice coach - he’s got no standing to give Hoyer much more of a chance.  Cleveland, pay attention, because at some point - it may not be next season, but it will happen - Brian Hoyer will beat Johnny Manziel in a critical game.  

 

And the whole controversy around Coach Harbaugh this season - as if rumors last off season around the Browns trading for him weren’t toxic enough - when word broke a little over a week or so ago that the 49ers were actively shopping to trade their coach, the wheels officially came off the ‘Frisco wagon.  The team that was humiliated 52-0 last week, humiliated the Niners this week.  This is what’s called a ‘self-fulfilling prophesy.’

 

Last Second Vinatieri Kick. I have to say, I watched that Vinatieri clip from Superbowl XXXVI and to this day, I still get goosebumps watching it. Here’s the whole drive.  A thing of absolute beauty….except for Madden’s commentary at 1:00 in...and especially 1:24.  At 1:56 or so he does hit the nail on the head - Brady was cool.  Even then.  Evidenced at 4:50 - he spikes the ball down, it bounces up and he catches it in his palm.  Cool.  Calm. Collected.  Yeah, I often sit around and analyze 12 year old championship games.

I

 

Near Misses - the other side of getting to “THE BIG GAME.”  It turns out that Sunday had a different team from New England playing another  team from Los Angeles (Okay, the Rams weren’t sitused in Los Angeles in the 2001 season, but at one point in their history they were and it’s that that helps me tell my story) - The New England Revolution challenged the LA Galaxy for the 2014 MLS - Major League Soccer - Cup.  

 

It took the Revs 7 years to make their first cup match, then went 4-times in the next 6 years - winning exactly zero times - and it took another 7, 2014, to get to another one.  The man who missed the deciding penalty kick in 2006 against Houston is now the head coach.  Landon Donovan, the US star left off the US National Team’s World Cup roster was playing his final game as a professional.  

 

It was 1-0 LA until Chris Tierney drilled one home in the 79th minute for the Revs.  Now, I’ve been a fan of the Revolution since the start - I went to their very first game.  So, it was painful when in the 112th minute, LA Scored the go ahead goal.  5 MLS Cup Championships for the Galaxy; 5 MLS Cup defeats for New England.  Painful to watch.  Let’s just say Kaiser Soze got the best of Daigo Kobayashi on this day.

 

So, let’s see - every wants to talk about the embarrassment of riches Boston/New England has had in sports since Brady spiked that ball with 0:07 remaining on that February in 2002 - and there’s been some amazing stories: Patriots win 3 Super Bowls in 4 years, the Red Sox go 86-years without a championship...then win 3 in ten years; the Bruins have won a Stanley Cup; The Celtics have won an NBA title….BUT….they also lost one; the B’s have also LOST one; the Revolution have LOST 5...yes 5...championship games; the Pats have lost 2 Super Bowls.  I mean, yeah, you have to get to the game to win it, but it still sucks to lose.  It sucks to lose 5 times.  Even the Bills and Vikings can’t say they’ve lost 5 times.  I mean hell, the Bills won 2 Consecutive AFL Championships.  It sucks to lose 5 times, but apparently if you only lost 4 times, you have a tradition of winning, “despite not prevailing” in the championship.

 

So that makes: 5 MLS Cups, 5 Super Bowls, 3 World Series, 2 Stanley Cup Finals, 2 NBA Finals.  17 Championship appearances.  Results: 8 Championships.  53% winning percentage.  

 

Okay, I’m looking for the bad in the good, but it still hurts to lose.  Even an MLS Cup….especially a Super Bowl...and a perfect season….on a helmet catch…by a second rate quarterback and a special teams player….not that I’m bitter or anything….

 

Catching Up.  I got the chance to connect with Sully and Lanz this week.  I don’t see either of those guys nearly enough, but what’s really bad is that I’ve seen Sully 2-3 more times since I last saw Lanz - and Frank lives maybe 45 miles from me.  We’re friends from back in the TSN days - I miss the camaraderie there, but I’m happy I met some wonderful people on that site - both virtually and in person.   

 

History Lesson.  Sometimes having a grasp on history can be useful... even if not everyone is in on it.  A final word.  Super Bowl XXXVI was pushed back a week - displacing an automotive dealers convention at the New Orleans Superdome - because the NFL season had been put on hold a week following September 11, 2001.  When we consider American tragedies, this is what we have a tendency to think of.  Lest it go unsaid, yesterday was the 73rd anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.   

 

As a young man, I could never really figure out why my dad was so against buying a Japanese car.  World War II was 50 years ago, Dad.  The older I get, the more I understand.  Both his brothers fought in the second world war.  He was 10 when Pearl Harbor was attacked.  I was almost 10 when Iran took 52 Americans hostage.  My daughter was 6 when the World Trade Center was attacked.  My boy wouldn’t be born for another 4 years.  9/11 is as distant to him as the start of the Vietnam war is to me.  Neither of them have an understanding of the Iranian crisis; only one of them have any understanding of 9/11.  I imagine how difficult it was for him to buy his last car - a Mitsubishi Galant.  Mitsubishi having been the company that built the Japanese Zeros that dropped the bombs on Pearl Harbor.  He had driven a series of Dodges through the 1980’s and 90’s- I guess he decided it was okay to just buy the Mitsubishi when he realized he’d been buying them branded as Dodges for the previous 10 years.

 

At any rate, if you didn’t take some time yesterday to remember, please do so today.

 
NASCAR Update And Other Fast Stuff 12-7-14
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NASCAR Tony Stewart Dale Jr Kevin Harvick Richard & Kyle Petty AJ Foyt

                        

WHOA DOGGIE!!! Lovin' that Bird. Welcome Gabbers & others to my NASCAR updates and other fast stuff. Is that a pretty car or what? Only ever saw these at car shows and not the red ones. Can you believe Richard Petty actually drove one of these in NASCAR races? Now THAT'S race on Sunday, buy on Monday advertisement.

Only 77 days, 15 hours and too many minutes till the Daytona 500. Sigh....

This was championship week in Las Vegas for the 16 Chasers. They got to do their burn out on the strip which seems to be a big hit for the drivers. They can't believe they'd be allowed to do donuts and burn rubber patches on the street. After the lap they do a talk show for the fans. Lots of verbal zingers being thrown around at each other. Marty Smith hosted it this year and they were quick to zing a few at him as well.

I didn't watch this year but if there's replays on You Tube I may have to watch. There was the awards banquet where Kevin Harvick did his speech. He brought his son with. Cutest 2 year old. I did catch a lot of the festivities on Twitter. Great sourse for newsy type stuff.

                

Dale Jr won the NMPA Sprint Most Popular Driver Award.......again.....for the 12th year in a row. The fans votes have spoken. He said it didn't feel real.

Harvicks pit crew was named most valuable pit crew. Keselowski got the pole position award. Lots of awards to go around.

Tony Stewart had surgery on his leg for the 4th time to replace the steel rod. He left for Vegas. Co-owner Gene Haas did the honors of speech's for that trophy Harvick brought in. He was proud of the fact that both Stewart and Harvick won the last race to get their championships. 

                

Brandon Marshal sent a picture of the tubes they took out of his chest on Twitter. Guess he's doing better. I think I could've done without that update picture. The Twitter picture is pretty cool though. Looks almost like an old timey tv set. Would've been cool if they put rabbit ears on it.

                

I guess the new joke is every body is trying to bust the internet. Elliott Sadler did his take on Ms Kar-trashians butt photo. Glad he didn't decide to wear the dress too. 

                  

So this would be Marcos Ambrose's new ride in Australia. He races in the Sidney 500 this weekend in the V8 Supercars Series. I kind of like this car better than the stock cars...cough cough cough...that NASCAR runs. Bet that baby handles WAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY better and is a whole lot more fun to drive. Marcos says he's ready to kick butt and get DJR/Team Penske to championship form.

Good luck Marcos.

AJ Foyt has finally been released from the hospital. He went in November 7th for triple by pass surgery and ended up with a lung issue. They had him on a ventilator so his lungs could heal. He will be 80 in January. He's happy to be home and says he's got a ways to go but he'll be ok.

Richard & Kyle petty got persons of the year award for their work getting Victory Junction up and running. It opened up in 2004. A hospital disguised as a camp for kids. It has served 20,000 kids and their families from 50 states and several countries free of charge. It was adam's dream that kids that were sick would be able to go to camp and not worry about their illness getting in the way of camp activities.

Adam was Kyle's son. He was an up and coming driver with promise when an accident during practice took his life. The Petty's built Victory Junction in his honor.

This year is the 10th anniversary for Victory Junction.

                

So here's a few facts of life. Besides paying your taxes and dying, I guess there's more to it than that.....

Sorry this was so short but my creativity was squashed due to whatever illness is trying to take over my body. Nasty head ache, chills and a runny nose. Every body at work has been passing it around and of course it's now my turn. Enjoy the pictures.

And I'm outta here......

Saturday's Slant on Rants - 12/6/14
Category: Daily Blog 2.0

Before I start today, I want to wish Sully a very happy vacation up in Bahhhhhhhhhhston.  Love the pic of Lanz, Mo, and Sully.  Nice to faces to the names.  As for me, you might see my ugly mug Tuesday, as tomorrow night I will be in Arco Arena cheering on my Sacramento Kings as they face Orlando.

Meanwhile, let me get some blasts off, and have a take on CFB tomorrow:

Rolling Stone Magazine.  Hey Rolling Stone, you ignorant buffoons, this should be the final nail in your commie coffin.  At least I hope so.

Hey Denver, eff you!  It’s official – I now hate you – not as much as I do Lower Alabama (err, Los Angeles), but I still hate you!  You have no respect for anything or anybody, so piss off. 

CFB.  Congratulations to Oregon who for sure locked up one of the four playoff spots last night, and judging by the ranking last week, it appears that they are on track to face the #3 seed, who my guess is going to be the Big 12 Champ.  

In the meantime, Alabama should have no problem with Missouri, TCU should have zero problem with Iowa State.  Where the fun begins is with Baylor/K-State and Florida State/Georgia Tech.  

Let's assume for the moment that Ohio State gets by Wisky because like I keep saying, Wisky can't win the big one.  

Hippies, Anarchists, or just plain dumb asses?  I got to thinking that with all this unrest, is this the last gasp of the hippie movement, are we looking at a new generation of hippies rising up all over again, but this time with more anarchist tendencies?  Or are we looking at the dumbing down of America?  I’m a history buff, which means I know nothing, but I wanted to see if the 2010’s are the newest version of the 1960’s, counterculture and all.

Let me start by saying I was born in 1964 – the last defined year of the baby boomer generation.  It also means that I have no real memory of what the hippies stood for, so I have to go to the dictionary and reference material to understand.  Thefreedictionary.com defines “hippie” as A person who opposes and rejects many of the conventional standards and customs of society, especially one who advocates extreme liberalism in socipolital attitudes and lifestyles.”  The definition went further to state “A young person of the 1960s who rejected established social mores, advocated spontaneity, free expression of love, and the expanding of consciousness, often wore long hair and unconventional clothes, and used psychedelic drugs.” 

I think a lot of the hippie attitudes were wiped out with the 1980’s.  Why?  Because a funny thing happened to the hippies of the 60’s…they were forced to grow up and face harsh realities, like having to earn a paycheck – they realized that like Dean Wormer in Animal House said “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life.”  That also meant they couldn't go shower challenged and live in a smoke-filled VW Bus for their entire lives.  Many went into civil service, community organizing, and some into politics – Obama being an example, and most got called “Sell outs.” 

Well, they sold out all right, they sold all of us down the proverbial creek without a paddle.  You see hippies, I think its great to have dreams, hell I think its great to dream of utopia, so long as you realize that it’s not realistic and that many don’t share your vision.  Unfortunately, we are now in an era where the hippies/yuppies are in charge and they honestly and truly believe they can drag us kicking and screaming into their version of utopia.  Morons.

But then again, whose fault is that?  We sheep elected these morons – even when we were warned exactly what they were gonna do.  But as with anything old, the hippie movement becomes new again, and I believe that it’s no coincidence that 50 years later, we are seeing a new counter-culture.  Why?  Because the next generation doesn't have time for the status quo and playing the game the way it's been played for 50 years.  They're tired of the bullshit, and they want things fixed and fixed now.  And really, why not?  Who actually trusts governments, lawyers, banks, the medical complex, the cops, or the courts anymore?  Sound familiar?  Sound like life back in the 60's?

Just look since 2008:  Jobs were lost, savings were wiped out, businesses went from a 65/35 full-time/part-time ratio to pretty much 65/35 part-time/full-time ratio - when they weren't sending jobs overseas.  The rich got richer (look at the incredible run of the stock market) and the poor got poorer.  Nobody addresses the true issues regarding medical care.  Nobody addresses the issues related to what I call “lawsuit-mania.” The media fills our heads full of non-sensical bullshit, teachers, administrators, and college professors worry more about tenure than actually getting kids the skills they need to survive, you know, reading, writing, math, science.  Do schools even have vocational training anymore?

Worse yet for “the establishment”, the middle class are sliding down towards the poor – and I believe that is still the case to this day, and it’s pissing a lot of folks off.  Ferguson, NYC, Chicago, Detroit are the tip of the iceberg, and I think we may be seeing the 60's all over again.  Where leaders screwed up is that now everybody is suffering and they can’t figure out how to fix it.  The status quo ain’t working and we are looking at even more disdain and distrust of things, and really no wonder.  Youth are taught – go to college to get that good high paying job.  Guess what?  Not even close - businesses don't want to pay.  They go to school only to find that they can’t get a job and are saddled with debt while stuck with limited options which if they’re lucky is something like a part-time job.  Even worse than the 60’s the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. 

Or is what we are facing now just being caused by a severe lack of common sense?

Weekly Grumble with IHM 12/5
Category: Daily Blog 2.0

 

  Hello Gabbers, and welcome to this week’s grumble with IHM. Been a crazy post-Thanksgiving week in the world of sports, and in the world in general… so let’s get right to it!

  A lot has been said about the Rams players who did the “Hands Up” salute before Sunday’s game… but I haven’t heard a lot of criticism levied towards the idiotic members of Congress who did the same earlier this week. Why is it we expect more out of a group of five football players than we do out of our Congressional representatives? In either case, it is simply the perpetuation of a lie… Brown’s hands were not up… three separate autopsies have disproven that claim… not to mention legitimate witness testimony to the contrary. Why are we perpetuating this anti-police agenda in the media? Yet, the second any of the asshats doing this… any of the five Rams players or any member of Congress… needs help, they’ll be on the phone, calling the very officers to help them that they condemn.

  Are there bad cops out there… of course there are. There are bad people in every line of work worldwide… they make up about 1% of those out there who protect YOUR asses every single day. The majority of police want one thing… to go home to their families at night after putting in an honest day’s work… just like the rest of us. Yet, we have celebrities, members of Congress, our President, and of course the lapdog media fools perpetuating the image of all cops being evil, bigoted people who want nothing more than to arrest and murder black folks. There was a time when I didn’t trust the police, either… back when I was a dipshit, dope headed kid carrying pot on me and constantly high… back when I was living wrong. Chances are if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re going to be just fine whether you encounter an officer of the law or not… regardless of what color you are.

  As for the “tolerant liberals” who support all the cop hating… they had another target this week as well. Seems they took a break from cop bashing and pushing the “white privilege” agenda to take a few shots at Darius Rucker… who sang the song “White Christmas”, at the tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Plaza… while protests for Eric Garner took place hundreds of feet away. Evidently these days a black man can’t sing a song about wanting snow on Christmas…

  In the world of sports, Thursday saw a few big changes in the college football coaching ranks, as Nebraska and Florida both hired new head coaches. Nebraska went with Mike Riley, the now former Oregon State coach, and Florida hired Colorado State’s Jim McElwain. Both solid hires… Riley is one of the few class acts in all of college head coaching, and a guy who truly cares about his players. McElwain is a great offensive mind who looks to fix a

  In this week’s action, we’ve got the ACC, SEC, Pac-12, and Big Ten title games going on with national championship implications on the line. Florida State takes on Georgia Tech, Alabama gets Mizzou, Oregon faces their nightmare in Arizona, and Whisky faces Ohio State, minus their Heisman candidate at QB. In the Big 12, Baylor faces a tough test in Kansas State while TCU faces Iowa State.

  Before I get into next week, I’d like to go back to last week and send some props to Michigan senior QB Devin Gardner, who showed a tremendous amount of sportsmanship and class in kneeling down to talk to Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett as team doctors attended to his broken ankle. It’s a rivalry game and all, but Gardner showed a ton of class in forgetting about the hate for a minute to console the injured opponent. The Ohio State University even sent a thank you letter his way for being such a class act.

  As it stands today, your playoff teams are Alabama, Oregon, TCU, and Florida State. After this weekend, we’ll see who is left standing, and who of the 5-8 teams takes advantage of any slips in this week’s action. Ohio State sits at #5, Baylor at #6, Arizona State at #7, and Michigan State at #8. Kansas State, Baylor’s opponent this weekend, sits at #9, and Mississippi State sits at #10.

  For me, the obvious dream scenario is seeing Alabama go down and having a college football playoff with ZERO SEC teams! But, as Jeff mentioned earlier in the week… what if both Baylor and TCU win this weekend? Baylor has the head-to-head win over TCU… and the same exact record… and the Big 12 has already bitched out and said they’d be named co-champions if both win out… so then what? How does a head-to-head win not equal a playoff spot for the Bears? If both teams get extremely lucky, one or more of Florida State, Bama, and Oregon lose and they get two playoff spots… but that’s not very likely. Maybe Georgia Tech has what it takes to finally be the team to beat Florida State… they’re sure as hell as vulnerable an undefeated team at this stage of the year that I’ve ever seen. Oregon’s lone loss this year was to the very Arizona team they face this week… and Alabama has looked beatable (mainly early in the season) at times. We’ll see how things shape up after the smoke clears this weekend.

  Over in the NFL… looks like the Ravens are in some trouble. Pro Bowl DT Haloti Ngata is out four games (or the rest of the regular season) for violating the NFL’s PED rules. Bad news for a team right in the thick of things in the AFC North; especially with a tough game against Miami on the schedule this week, and games against the Browns, Texans and Jaguars to finish out the regular season.

    The Lions prepare to host the Buccaneers this week, and hopefully the offense will still be on track after an extended layoff. Green Bay hosts a suddenly resurgent Atlanta Falcon team, fresh off a win over the Cardinals, on Monday Night Football. The Bears play Thursday night against Dallas (score wasn’t available yet when I wrote this), and the Vikings host the Jets.

  The “games of the week” this week include a division clash between the Steelers and Bengals, the Chiefs heading to the desert to face the Cardinals, and the Seahawks heading to the city of brotherly love to face the Eagles high flying offense. Of course, the Sunday night game between the Patriots and Chargers should be a good one as well… with Brady’s bunch looking to bounce back from a tough luck loss to the Packers.

   Speaking of the Chargers… former Chargers bust Ryan Leaf was released after a two year stay in a Montana prison this week.

  Over in baseball, the hot stove is still churning out the contracts… after last week’s big trade between the Blue Jays and A’s, we saw a few more signings:

 Nelson Cruz signed with the Mariners.

 Nick Markakis is an Atlanta Brave. The team also signed RP Jim Johnson.

 Torii Hunter is a Minnesota Twin.

 The Mariners traded OF Michael Saunders to Toronto for SP J.A. Happ.

 Colby Lewis is staying in Texas for another year.

 LHP Clayton Richard joined the Pittsburgh Pirates.

 RHP Luke Hochevar stayed with the Royals.

 Over in the NHL, the family of Gordie Howe reports that he has improved mental awareness as he recovers from a stroke.

  Martin Brodeur has signed a one-year deal with the St.Louis Blues and will start Thursday night’s game. He played 21 years in New Jersey, and this will be the his first career start for any other organization. Brodeur is the NHL’s all-time leader among goalies in games played, wins, and shutouts.

   In the NBA… the 76ers won a game! They beat the equally hapless Minnesota Timberwolves 85-77 Wednesday night to improve to 1-17 on the season.

  That’s all I’ve got for this week, folks. Thanks as always for reading and for any comments you leave on the way out… and enjoy your weekend, Gabbers!

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