Out of rankings: (8) Washington, (23) Florida, (25) N’western
Many of you probably know where to find my other blogs (such as more detailed rankings discussion) by now, but if you need specific directions, let me know. The above is my first purely mathematical ranking.
While forewarning everyone that this is a shorter version than usual this week...
MORE IDIOCY FROM A FORMER PLAYER
A couple months back I had linked an article about an ex-player of mine that got arrested for drugs. The story was made more sensational because two women were also arrested and one of them had her 10 year old daughter in the car at the time of the drug deal.
Well, the ex-player of mine obviously hasn't learned his lesson because he got arrested again. I know that I played no part in his life decisions but it galls you to know that someone you had a hand in coaching learned nothing of what you tried to teach either on the court or simply by example.
Minnesota - The Golden Gophers lead off the college football recap for the second week in a row. But once again it isn't due to anything they did on the field.
No, it is because Jerry Kill made news again this week. After suffering his 5th game day epileptic seizure before last week's game at Michigan, the coach announced he is temporarily stepping away from his coaching duties to focus on the treatment and management of his epilepsy.
This is a good thing because the seizures were becoming a big distraction to the whole team. You always hope for the health of the person but it seems that this last seizure finally got through to the coach that he needs to address things more thoroughly if he hopes to continue coaching.
Boston College - I suppose I should've known better but I allowed my hopes to rise as I watched the Boston College Eagles play #3 Clemson this afternoon. And play is definitely what they did for the 3 plus quarters.
With Clemson unable to hold on to the ball in the first half and not really able to mount much in the way of offense, the Eagles held a 14-10 lead in the fourth quarter. But the Tigers scored a TD to go ahead and on the next possession, BC quarterback Chase Rettig displayed an unbelievable lack of presence of mind as he fumbled the ball as he was getting sacked deep in BC territory. Clemson scooped up the ball and ran it into the end zone to go up 24-14 and effectively cap off the game.
There was time left in the game, but it wasn't to be as the score held up and BC's lack of overall ability to stop Clemson when it mattered most came back to bite them in the tailfeathers.
It ruined what had been a really good game for the Eagles. The defense did bend in giving up 496 yards in total offense but it didn't break until midway through the fourth quarter. They held that high powered Tajh Boyd led offense to just 3 points in the first half.
Chase Rettig hooked up with receiver Alex Amidon for a beautiful 69 yard TD pass that put BC up 14-10 in the third quarter. Rettig finished with 192 yards passing, 121 of which were completions to Amidon.
Andre Williams ran for 70 yards on the day, but it was Myles Willis (pictured below) who had the best run of the day for the Eagles with a 38 yard TD dash.
The Eagles are trying to compete and while they are falling short against the best parts of their schedule, I think it is to the credit of coach Steve Addazio that they are in these games at all. You can see his enthusiasm on the sideline and even from a distance, it is infectious.
Alabama - The first half of the Alabama game against Kentucky saw two lost fumbles by the Crimson Tide in the first quarter.
But then came absolute domination by Alabama in the second quarter. The Wildcats must not have known what hit them as they went to the lockerroom for halftime down 24-0. And the thing of it was, it was just Bama being Bama. There isn't anything particularly flashy about what they were doing to Kentucky in the first half.
On the final score of the half, there was a false start penalty called on one of the linemen and Nick Saban just went ballistic on the guy. Before the ESPN cameras cut away from the tongue lashing, I found myself glad I wasn't much of a lip-reader.
In the second half, the Alabama defense "slacked off" a bit and gave up a touchdown to Kentucky. But that was pretty much it as the Crimson Tide rolled their way to a 48-7 victory.
A.J. McCarron (pictured below) threw for 359 yards and a TD while running backs T.J. Yeldon (124 yards, 2 TDs) and Kenyan Drake (106 yards, 2 TDs) helped control the game on the ground.
The defense held Kentucky to just 170 total yards of offense, including just 76 passing yards.
In other news, the early games yesterday featured a couple of stunning results but before we get to that, there was the 50-25 victory by Army over Eastern Michigan. Beyond the Army-Navy game, I usually don't pay much attention to the service academies during football season unless they happen to play one of my teams. But I saw the highlight package info on TV that running back Terry Baggett (pictured below) had one heck of a day for himself. He ran 18 times for a school record 304 yards and 4 TDs.
The game that has occupied the thoughts of a lot of people on the two blog sites I am a part of was the Red River Shootout between Texas and Oklahoma. It was largely assumed that given the questions surrounding the Longhorns and coach Mack Brown's status that Oklahoma would steamroll those in the burnt orange uniforms.
But you know what they say about assuming.
I caught the second half of the game and Texas just absolutely owned this game. They won 36-20, but other than a pick six INT for the Sooners, there really wasn't much in the way of competition for Texas over the last 30 minutes.
The win will quiet the cries for Brown's dismissal or resignation for a few days and it gives the seniors their first win over Oklahoma. So it is a good night for those deep in the heart of...
Just when you thought Georgia was going to round the bend and take their spot among the "true" title contenders in the SEC, they run into a fired up Missouri team and fall flat. The Tigers, though ranked, pulled off a big upset 41-26 and improved to 6-0 on the season.
It didn't come easy though. They were up by 18 points in the 1st half on Georgia but the Bulldogs pulled to within 28-26 before Missouri pulled away for good.
Wide receiver L'Damian Washington (pictured below) was huge for Missouri with 7 catches for 115 yards and 2 TDs.
The biggest question surrounding Missouri now will be the status of quarterback James Franklin (pictured below). He left the game with a shoulder injury. The early reports are that it is a separated shoulder (his throwing shoulder) and coach Gary Pinkel has said he'll be out for a while. Later reports have it being as much as 6 weeks, if not more. (ESPN is reporting this morning that he's out for the year.)
In a battle of winless teams, UMass got their first win of the season by knocking off Miami (OH) 17-10.
Baylor beating Kansas State wasn't a huge surprise, but the fact that the Bears managed to put just 35 points on the board was a big surprise considering how explosive Baylor has been in previous weeks.
Another upset on the day was the 35-6 Wisconsin win over #19 Northwestern.
Penn State had a 21-10 lead but blew that, then rallied to force OT against #18 Michigan. But that wasn't the end of things as the game went into four overtimes before Bill Belton ran for a 2 yard TD as the Nittany Lions upset the Wolverines. They were aided by a pass interference penalty in that fourth OT on the play before the TD.
Of course, the biggest numerical upset on the day was the Utah 27-21 defeat of #5 Stanford.
BOSTON RED SOX
So I watched Game 1 of the ALCS last night, trading off during commercials with the Alabama football game.
And it was an intense game to say the least. Unfortunately for me and other Red Sox fans, the game was a mostly one sided affair as Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez (pictured below) completely dominated the Red Sox lineup for 6 innings. He gave up no hits and struck out 12 in such a fashion that it looked like a Little League team against him.
Making things even worse was that four relievers for the Tigers combined to hold the Red Sox to just one hit (a ninth inning single by Daniel Nava). The Tigers bullpen struck out 5 more batters for a total of 17 on the night. It looked like a Little League team trotting to the plate to face the Tigers.
Despite their inability to get a hit in support of Jon Lester (pictured below), the Red Sox actually had a few chances to score runs thanks to walks and wild pitches. But they left 8 men on base and just could not find any groove. Lester pitched 6 1/3 innings and scattered 6 hits. He pitched pretty good, but it wasn't enough.
The Red Sox will now have to regroup fast as they play the Tigers again tonight. They suddenly find themselves in a desperate situation. They have to win Game 2 or they are going to be heading to Detroit with a huge hole to dig themselves out of.
It was masterful performance by Sanchez to shut down Boston. Now the Red Sox need to come up with something a bit different to knock Detroit off their game and even the series.
Congratulations go out to the Minnesota Lynx. They swept the Atlanta Dream to win the 2013 championship. It was their second win in three years. I was sort of rooting for them to win because I like coach Cheryl Reeve from her days with the Detroit Shock.
Once again, I went 1-1 in my two fantasy leagues last week. I'm a model of mediocrity it would seem.
You can also check out the official lyric video for the new Place Vendome song "Power of Music":
TV - For those who enjoy The Walking Dead, this is just a reminder that the season premiere of both the TV show and the after show Talking Dead are on AMC tonight starting at 9pm!
Books - I finished two pretty good books this week. The first was a dark twisty thriller called The Wicked Girls. The author, Alex Marwood, crafts a tale about two British women who murdered a child when they were 11 and then fast forwards 25 years to learn more about what happened to them. She manages to make you feel both repulsed and sympathetic towards the two main characters which is a neat trick considering the crime.
The other book is the David Baldacci spy/political thriller The Hit. It is the second story to feature government hit man Will Robie. He's assigned to track down Jessica Reel, another government assassin when she goes rogue and kills her handler and others. But things aren't quite what they seem and Robie is left to figure things out for himself.
Alabama was #2 in both polls where it was not #1. Oregon was only #2 in one poll, so that’s why the gap is more than one point. Clemson is third in every poll but two of them (2nd and 5th), so they’re not far behind Oregon. Stanford was the most uniform top-5 team, with four 4th-place votes and one #2. Ohio St. varied from #3 to #7, but Florida St. was either 5th or 6th in ever ranking. LSU finished ahead of Oklahoma by being in the top 10 of every ranking. Texas A&M varied from #6 to #20, but the Aggies finished ahead of the more consistent Hurricanes.
Consistency seems to come from actually beating a good team. Washington was edged by South Carolina since the Huskies were as low as #22 in one ranking. Nos. 16 to 18, 20, and 21 weren’t particularly remarkable apart from being close. Baylor, Northwestern, and Virginia Tech each appeared in at least one top 15 but they each failed to appear in at least one ranking. Northern Illinois was ranked by everyone but no higher than #22. Oklahoma St. prevailed for #25 because they appeared in three rankings, while Auburn only appeared in two. The rest appeared in one apiece.
I repeat, we DID have a Notre Dame fan voting. Such modesty.
First, I just wanted to ask again for top 25 rankings from any others who want to submit them. I'm compiling them from a few sites (mostly from former TSN users). I'll post those probably some time around mid-day (Pacific time) on Thursday, but I'd like to get them by in the next day or so. If you send a listing, please mention your favorite team so I can include that.
I do have my computer ratings up. However, I decided on one more transitional week to my top 25. The order of the teams is still too far off of the way I have it, and next week is a huge week in the SEC (LSU/Florida, Georgia/Missouri, Texas A&M/Ole Miss) in addition to other games such as Washington/Oregon, Oklahoma/Texas, Louisville/Rutgers, Wisconsin/Northwestern, and USC/Arizona. USC and Texas have had disappointing years so far, but they still have a chance to win their respective games.
I’m confident I will feel a lot more comfortable in standing by whatever comes out of the computer formula after these games than I am with the way it is now. This week seemed more about teams just confirming their status as top teams (barely, in a few cases) rather than sorting out the top teams relative to one another.
I also updated my LSU/Miss. St. Rivalry entry. Without further ado, here are my rankings.
Minnesota - The team played without head coach Jerry Kill as they visited Ann Arbor to face the Wolverines. The reason for this is because Kill had a seizure on Saturday morning. This is the fifth such seizure he's suffered since taking on the head coaching job with the Gophers. I mentioned this previously when he had the fourth seizure, but it bears repeating. How long can this go on? It would seem to me if you have seizures on game day, you are endangering your health by remaining as coach.
Boston College - Earlier in the week, thanks to the government shutdown, it looked like the Eagles game against Army was going to be canceled for this weekend. But you don't take away football from people when you are trying to distract them from how bad their leaders are screwing them over and the game went on.
And thankfully, the Eagles caught fire offensively behind the stellar contributions from running back Andre Williams (pictured below). He ran the ball 30 times for 263 yards (career high) and 5 touchdowns (tied school record). Three of the TD runs came on runs of more than 30 yards. His rushing total was one yard short of the school record held by ex-BC star Montel Harris.
The defense was pathetic on both sides but BC's was just a bit better so that their offense kept them far enough ahead. Chase Rettig was a game managing efficient 11-13 for 203 yards and a TD. Five of those completions went to Alex Amidon for 122 yards.
After dropping their last two games in blowout fashion, BC got back on the winning track and raised their record to 3-2. The win helps them surpass their win total from all of last season.
Of course, the defense giving up 427 yards to Army is cause for concern.
Alabama - In blowout games, you usually don't see Bama QB A.J. McCarron during the fourth quarter. So what does it say about the quality of Georgia State when McCarron didn't even finish the first half before being pulled. He had 4 TD passes as the Crimson Tide just annihilated Georgia State 45-3.
The Alabama defense gave up just 175 yards of total offense, including only 15 rushing yards. This is another one of those games where the stunningly out of their depth school prostituted their players in search of a big game check.
I can only imagine the begging and pleading coach Trent Miles must've been doing in the pic below for Nick Saban not to completely steamroll his team.
I watched the second half of the Florida State-Maryland game and Jameis Winston was on fire against a thoroughly outgunned Terrapin defense. Winston threw for a career high 393 yards and 5 TDS. And he could've had a lot more but got pulled from the game. But when you win a game 63-0, getting an early hook isn't much of a surprise.
Indiana ended their 16 game losing streak against Penn State yesterday in a stunning blowout 44-24. The Nittany Lions defense is not quite as good as it was last year it would seem. I generally root for Indiana in college basketball but it was nice to see their football team do something noteworthy for a change. Of course, it was a bit of a bummer to see Penn State lose because I like coach Bill O'Brien.
I have a feeling that Kansas coach Charlie Weis might not be the top dog for the Jayhawks much longer. If losing to Texas Tech 54-16 wasn't bad enough, how in the world do you justify a fake punt on 4th and 13 from your own 16 yard line. The Jayhawks actually led 10-0 in this game but just got hit with a really big meat tenderizer the rest of the way.
The Georgia-Tennessee game was a 34-31 OT victory for the Bulldogs. Georgia was amazing in coming back not only from being down 31-17 but battling through a number of injuries during the course of the game. I know everyone but me is sick of the talk about the SEC being the best conference but this game served as yet another example of why this is a statement of fact and not fanatical delusions.
BOSTON RED SOX
I wish I could say that I saw the first game of the ALDS with the Red Sox and Tampa Bay, but I was out at a soccer match and thus missed most of the game. But I caught the end of the game and the blowout of Tampa Bay was quite magnificently done. Jon Lester pitched beautifully and the offense was taking advantage of everything the Devil Rays threw at them.
Of course, with game 2 later this afternoon, I'm found myself hoping the Red Sox didn't blow their offensive load behind Lester and had nothing left over for John Lackey. At least initially, the Sox did have something left in their run scoring tank. They put two runs up in the bottom of the first inning including a solo homer from David Ortiz. But Ortiz and the Red Sox weren't done as Big Papi homered again late in the game as Boston took a 2-0 lead in the series, 7-4.
Lackey pitched well for the most part and Koji Uehara shut the door on the Rays in the 9th inning. But they are getting hits and help from everyone entering the game for the Sox.
I have to say that I was worried about this game because David Price was pitching for the Rays. But the Sox knocked him around in a way that they haven't done before when facing him in Fenway Park.
It is likely going to be tougher when the series goes to Florida but I'm cautiously optimistic that Boston can take the series.
It has been going on for a long time now, but the battle over trying to force a name change on the Washington Redskins got another big supporter when President Obama weighed in on the topic. He favors a name change.
Yes, the commander in chief has time to devote part of an interview to something like this while the government shutdown continues on.
It isn't as if this isn't something that should be talked about. I don't agree with those who want the name changed by any means necessary but the conversation is worthy. But in comparison to getting the government back up and running, President Obama (or any politician for that matter), should not be giving a moment's thought to the name of the Washington NFL franchise.
And while we are on the topic, I think it is ridiculous of news organizations to refuse to call the team the "Redskins". Whether they agree or not, that is the name and calling them "the team from Washington" is brutally stupid.
In news on the New England Patriots, it has been announced that TE Rob Gronkowski will not be playing in their week 5 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
It was another 1-1 week for me this past Sunday. I was close to going 2-0 but the Monday games saw my opponent rally past me for a very narrow point margin victory.
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
One note of interest that only happened yesterday was Upper Cape's football team beating Old Colony 43-20 to even their record at 2-2.
TV - There was some news this week about the Fox miniseries event 24: Live Another Day. The return of Jack Bauer will be set in London and two former cast members have been announced as returning. Kim Raver will be back as Audrey Raines and William Devane will return as her father James Heller.
The first fall TV show to be canceled was ABC's Lucky 7, and no one is really all that surprised.
I was both extremely surprised and pleased when I read the news that after 7 years since the release of Season 4, the fifth season of NYPD Blue will be released in late January 2014.
The fourth season premiere of The Walking Dead is Sunday October 13th. But if you can't wait for new content, you can check out the three part webisode series AMC posted online on their website and on Youtube. It is called "The Oath". I liked the story until the preposterously stupid ending. And it ties into the main series in creepy and cool way.
Music - Finally got my hands on the new Fates Warning CD Darkness in a Different Light this week. I've heard two tracks from the album but once I get to doing a full review I'll post the link in a future Sunday Musings.
I also just pre-ordered the new Metal Church album Generation Nothing. I got the special CD and T-shirt bundle. And there will be a review of that CD as well.
Books - I finished the Lorna Barrett mystery novel Chapter & Hearse this week and was kind of disappointed. It took a long time to get where it was going and when they finally arrived, it seemed like everything was rushed.
I also got the new issue of Mystery Scene Magazine. It does a really good job of author interviews, news and reviews. And the new issue printed a letter to the editor that I submitted.