Tagged with "Football"
Musings From The Hoodwood 9-23
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL College Football MLB

Jameis Winston...is the boy really that clueless???

 

Greetings from the Hoodwood, where its hard for the locals not to be disillusioned with the state of the NFL today

 

Goodell’s continued fumbling

I dunno, Roger Goodell just seems to make one mistake after another. He hasn’t made a faux pas in the classic sense but his continued bullheaded and almost tone deaf attitude to the growing crisis that is developing in the NFL is just amazing. Goodell to me comes off as someone that just doesn’t get it. His smug, I am the football god mentality wore thin with me a long time ago. It just annoyed me to no end that when all this mess with Rice and Peterson was going on that Goodell seemed distant, even standoffish. It just amazed me that the head man of such a pub conscious league like the NFL would be so quiet and then just now be giving a full press conference like he did late last week.  I honestly think that the NFL has overplayed themselves so much that the media and fan backlash will be palpable.

Clueless Jameis?

There was a point in time where I really liked Jameis Winston. He shows poise beyond his years, played a cool yet focused game and seemed to just “get it” having a shockingly calm media presence. But as time has worn on the shine has worn off and Winston is behaving like another version of Johnny Football, an entitled brat who just doesn’t get how lucky he is. Winston, as you know was supposed to be suspended for the first half of their big game against Clemson for shouting obscenities in a student union cafeteria. I wasn’t perturbed by that. I know I did some pretty nutty things in college, my soundtrack was often very expletive laced. But Winston being as high profile a player and campus personality should have known better and known that the microscope was on him at all times. He cant get away with the antics that I would have. Winston compounded his error by lying to his coaches about what happened and getting the suspension lengthened to a full game. Winston further compounded his error by then dressing in full uniform and pads and warming up before the game. He had to be told by Seminole coach Jimbo Fischer that he needed to go back into the locker room and get out of the pads. He did and was a visble cheerleader on the sidelines but did not play in the Noles thrilling 23-17 OT win over the Tigers. Fischer said in a later press conference that Winston’s suspension “hit home” and that he was the starter in the Noles next game against NC State. Winston has had a few minor run ins and was of course under investigation for sexual assault but has never been arrested. Winston’s antics may have likely cost him millions of dollars as teams may be reconsidering making him the face of their franchise going forward, especially with the mess that is going on in the NFL. Many teams may eschew the talented though troublesome QB just to save themselves that much money in bad pub.

Is Michigan really that bad?

It’s a really sad time in Ann Arbor, it seems that the once deeply respected Maize and Blue is turning into another Big Ten (plus 4) also ran. After being humiliated by Notre Dame in their final meeting of the foreseeable future the Wolverines retreated home to beat up on some non-con victims ahead of their conference schedule. All seemed to be going to form as the eased past a winless Miami-Ohio and sert their sights on Utah. The problem was that the Utes weren’t rolling over and taking the L like a patsy. Taking the fight to the Wolverines in the Big House the Utes dominated the Wolverines in the run game, They hounded QB Devin Gardner into a host of mistakes and when it was all over had a stunning 26-10 win in front of a stunned sullen Michigan crowd expecting another walkover  win. The Michigan offense is nearly nonexistent and wins have suddenly become tougher to get the Maize and Blue and 3-7 in their last ten and have one touchdown in their last three games against teams in the Power 5 and that was a meaningless late bowl game score in a loss to Kansas State. The grumbling for head coach Brady Hoke’s head are getting louder especially with hated rivals in Michigan State, Ohio State and Notre Dame looking so much better. The calls for a really big name like a Les Miles or Michigan man Jim Harbaugh to come back to his alma mater are starting to grow more fervent. The coaches and players are all saying the same thing that Hoke is their guy and that they are dedicated but the natives are getting restless and if they lose the little brown jug to Minnesota next week, the catcalls will most certainly get louder.

Phat Dap or Head Slap? You decide

This week I cant decide if I want to give KTVA reporter Charlo Greene dap or a slap for her antics here, watch the full report and you decide

 

reporting a story then quitting on air at its conclusion and finding out that she was the owner of the company in question. Im not a weed smoker but wouldn’t down someone who does. But could be called a ballsy play or just crazy.I felt kinda bad for Alexis Fernandez who was caught totally off guard by the move and stammered through the rest of the report

 

Quick Hits

Indiana gets beat by Bowling Green, then goes to Mizzou and upends the Tigers meanwhile BG goes to Wisky and get run over literally by the Badgers…can you explain this to me?

My beloved Bearcats struggled to beat neighborhood rival Miami, I thought that they could catch Ohio State napping, but they had two weeks to prepare and after Gunner Kiels wow debut wont be caught unaware. Im going but I have a bad feeling.

Could Cousins push RGIII to the trading block?

How did the Braves fall off that fast?

Why is one of my fantasy teams 0-3 and one of the higher scoring teams while my 3-0 team hasn’t cracked 90 points in any win?

Posts on Thursday and Friday until next post fellow sports fans!

LSU/Miss. St. Post-Game Reaction
Category: NCAA
Tags: AUBURN COLLEGE FOOTBALL LSU MISSISSIPPI ST. WISCONSIN

I did pick LSU #10 going into the season and #7 most recently, and I had not ranked Mississippi St.; but I can’t say I’m shocked by this outcome. I especially wasn’t surprised it came down to the last play, but I was surprised by the margin in the visitors’ favor after three quarters.

You can only beat a rival like that so many years in a row. I know they’ve had some bad teams in that stretch, but they’ve also had good teams and LSU has at least had mediocre teams who could have easily lost.

I did think the streak would end in Starkville, so the idea of it being at home and at night gave me some hope. On the other hand, I heard one of the announcers today pick Mississippi St., and I didn’t really have an argument with the points he made.

Even though the Bulldogs had not played anyone (which is why I hadn’t ranked them, along with the fact that they had just barely qualified for a bowl game last season), I was concerned by the apparent strength and versatility of their offense. The Mississippi St. offense had given LSU problems in the past, although before they had similar plays with a two-quarterback system.

It’s nice to have location and recent history in your favor, but you have to make plays. Too many times, LSU just didn’t make them even though opportunities were there. I was disappointed that the players seemed to allow themselves to get discouraged similar to the way they did against Wisconsin. But on the other hand, I have to give some credit for responding late even though, unlike against Wisconsin, it was not enough.

That said, if the coaches want the players to make the right plays, they need to make the right calls are made. You might look at the game summary or whatever and conclude LSU was just never in it until it was too late, but that’s not the case. I would admit they didn’t get the offense going the way it should have been until too late though.

There were good calls that gave LSU a first and goal at the 2 (after the opening touchdown by the Dawgs), but I don’t consider four runs up the middle good play-calling after that point. You have to do something to spread out the field (pitch, bootleg, play action, something) at some point. You know, kind of like how Mississippi St. gained yards against LSU and how Wisconsin gained yards against LSU despite an almost complete lack of a passing game in Week 1.

This failure would keep the Tigers scoreless until the waning minutes of the first half. Seven points rather than 0 right there would have been huge.

The comeback from 17-0 and 17-3 at the half did not materialize, but it could have. After the LSU defensive touchdown to open the first half, the Tigers had a great chance at a stop on 3rd and 11. So without making it a full blitz, LSU rushed into the backfield (and then just stood there), and the second Mississippi St. got the ball out of the backfield, they just needed one halfway-decent block to get a first down. Then, they drove to the end zone.

That first stop is just huge against this kind of team. LSU would have had so much momentum having the ball (and probably at least satisfactory field position) down by only 7, not counting the missed opportunity for points in the first half.

Then the Bulldogs scored again and would lead by as much as 24, but who knows what would have happened if LSU had gotten the ball back right away before the first State touchdown of the second half? Think about how much of a break the Mississippi St. defense got. LSU had the ball to end the first half, but deep in their own territory, the Tigers decided to let the half expire, so that didn’t tax the State defense. Then they had halftime, then Mississippi St. had the ball, then LSU scored on a turnover and gave the Bulldogs the ball back, then a long drive followed that. Even if LSU doesn’t score on that possession, that still could have tired the defense somewhat and led to more success (and sooner) later on in the game.

Dak Prescott rolls out on third and 7 before putting the Bulldogs up 31-10.

Dak Prescott rolls out on third and 7 before putting the Bulldogs up 31-10.

(Apologies for the picture. No matter what I did, I couldn’t make it larger on Wordpress. I'll try to post it directly on the bottom.)

This was not only Mississippi St.’s first win against LSU since 1999, it was only the second since 1991 (and LSU was terrible all but three years of the 1990s). 1991 was also the last time the Bulldogs won at Tiger Stadium. I believe I was there, actually. I wonder how much the ticket prices have increased since then.

This was also only LSU's second home loss since October 2009 (the other was by four points to Alabama in 2012).

Anyway, hopefully this is a learning experience for the players, but John Chavis and Cam Cameron shouldn’t need learning experiences at this point. I hope they learned something anyway. Maybe LSU should just pretend they’re already down three scores when the game starts from now on. I’m not just talking about the offense. Mississippi St. was held to three points in the final 24 ˝ minutes

This might not be LSU’s year being that the new quarterbacks and mixture of old and new running backs are not coming along as LSU fans hoped, but it’s also not over. Auburn lost to a team that finished with three conferences losses early last year and then went all the way to the national championship game. That team was LSU.

On another positive note, this is by far the most traffic my site has ever gotten in a single day. There are three hours left in the day here on the West Coast, and I’ve almost tripled my previous record.

Related:
LSU/Mississippi St. Rivalry blog (now updated)
LSU/Mississippi St. Notes and Week 3 Top 25
LSU Adds to Winning Streaks in Opener (Wisconsin post-game)

...For earlier access to my blogs, archives, etc., you can follow my wordpress site or my page on facebook.

Sunday Musings #165
Category: User Showcase
Tags: NewEnglandPatriots WNBA FantasyFootball CincinnatiBengals HighSchoolSports AlabamaCrimsonTide BostonCollegeEaglesFootball Bowling
 
 
While glad to be back online at home...
 
NFL
 
New England Patriots - Now I know that the annihilation of the Minnesota Vikings by the Patriots came while the best player on the Vikings (Adrian Peterson) was banned from the game by the team, but a 30-7 victory no matter how it comes is always a good thing. In that respect I'm very pleased with the result. But given that the offense is still mostly out of sync, there is definitely cause for concern.
 
According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, 34 of the 50 points the Patriots have scored through two games have come after the defense has forced a turnover. And the defense most definitely played a huge role in the game against the Vikings. They grabbed four interceptions off of the arm of Vikings QB Matt Cassel (including the one seen below by Logan Ryan).
 
 
 The defense also forced a fumble while sacking Cassel (see below) six times.
 
 
The defensive line shut down the Vikings run game to just 54 yards.
 
After a lackluster to poor showing in the first game, the offensive line did a much better job of protecting Tom Brady (gave up one sack) and opening up holes for the run game. Unfortunately for Brady, with the offense unable to fire on all cylinders, he was just 15-22 for 149 yards and a TD (to Julian Edelman, see below). While the win is the thing, given Brady's desire, the fact "his" offense isn't lighting things up at the start of the season has to be galling to him.
 
 
Stevan Ridley (see below) had a good day, leading the team in rushing with 101 yards and a touchdown.
 
 
The biggest problem for the Patriots is not the offense though. Rather it is the team's impression of the Oakland Raiders. Against Minnesota, they got called for 15 penalties. This includes lineman Nate Solder somehow managing to get called for 3 penalties total on back to back plays. Bill Belichick doesn't like his teams to get even one penalty so fifteen yellow flags no doubt caused a lot of sleepless nights leading up to today's game as the coaching staff figures out how to get the players to stop shooting themselves in the foot.
 
Cincinnati Bengals - While most of the headlines the last couple of weeks have involved players getting into a bunch of legal trouble, there have actually been some good stories coming out of the league. The best one has to be the story of Devon Still and how the Bengals have helped him deal with his daughter's cancer diagnosis. You can read the article HERE.
 
 
COLLEGE FOOTBALL
 
BYU - The school announced they will retire Jim McMahon's #9 in a ceremony on October 3rd. I was a big fan of his when he was with the Chicago Bears and I'm happy to see him getting this honor. I know that he's not the guy he once was due to the cumulative effect of his injuries from playing the game but I remain a fan. You can read more on the ceremony and how he completed the course work necessary to finally graduate from BYU HERE.
 
Florida State - If you needed even further proof that FSU quarterback Jameis Winston is a complete and utter freaking moron with no common sense whatsoever, you should check out this article and have his idiocy confirmed. And if your Heisman Trophy winning QB who has had to dodge shoplifting and a rape investigation already, manages to get into trouble for spouting off a phrase that is likely considered offensive by many who heard it, how does the head of the football program react?
 
The school originally suspended him for the first half of this weekend's game against Clemson. But late Friday night came the announcement that Winston would be suspended for the entire game. Call me suspicious but I think his benching for the whole game has more to do with the uproar surrounding what he said rather than the statement the school put out that read in part: "Based upon the results of the continuing investigation of Tuesday's incident involving Jameis Winston, we have decided to not play him for the entire game against Clemson on Saturday night."   
 
Additional reporting in this article has the suspension being extended for the whole game after the school's administration discovered Winston hadn't been entirely truthful with them. I would guess you could read that as they found out he outright lied to them.
 
At this rate, when Winston kills a family of five while out drunk driving, he'll smile for the cameras, pretend that he's sorry, and get drafted in the first round of the NFL. The guy is a ticking time bomb and people should run as far away from him as possible.
 
Some people might say that this is a major overreaction to a college student acting like a college student. And if it wasn't the Heisman trophy winning starting QB of a major college football team, they'd probably be right. But with the history that Winston has, he has no margin of error and has to wake up, smell the coffee and start acting like an adult and not a bad imitation of any number of characters you could name from the movie Animal House.
 
Alabama - Last Week: The Crimson Tide rolled to a 3-0 record with their 52-12 shellacking of Southern Mississippi. Bama outgained Southern Miss 547-263, including a 333-56 edge in the rushing attack. Kenyan Drake scored 3 touchdowns on the day. Amari Cooper (pictured below) was the prime target in the passing game for the Tide. He finished with 8 catches for 135 yards and score.
 
 
QB Blake Sims (pictured below) was 12-17 for 168 yards and 2 TDs. He also ran for 46 yards and TD.
 
 
It is funny that Alabama is 3-0 and yet if you read everything online and listen to the talking heads, they aren't in consideration for the 4 playoff spots. The strength of schedule arguments are definitely going to be used to hurt Bama's chances to get into the playoff.
 
This Week: The Crimson Tide played host to Florida yesterday and almost in spite of themselves came away with a resounding 42-21 victory. But I can't imagine Nick Saban is going to be overly happy about the win when there is so much that went wrong that he can obsess over.
 
In the first half, Alabama had 3 fumbles lost and it helped Florida hold a 14-7 lead at one point. The Bama players just couldn't seem to hang on to the ball. And you can add in an interception for a total of four turnovers for the Tide. When you factor in 11 penalties for 80 yards, I'm amazed Saban didn't just lose his mind right there on the sideline.
 
In between some rather large mistakes though, Alabama did at times manage to look rather amazing. Blake Sims had a pretty good day for himself. He was 23-33 for 445 yards (2nd most in school history) and 4 touchdowns. Two of those scoring strikes were huge plays dialed up by offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin and they were beauties. Sims (pictured below 1st) hit running back Kenyan Drake for an 87 yard TD score and then followed that up with a 79 yard pass to Amari Cooper. Cooper (pictured below 2nd) was so wide open on the play, I think the closest defender was at least 20 yards away. He finished the game with 10 receptions for 201 yards and a total of 3 touchdowns. 
 
Derrick Henry led the rushing attack with 111 yards and a TD run.
 
The defense for Bama held the Gators to just 200 total yards of offense and had 2 interceptions. And while practice this coming week is likely to strongly reinforce the no turnovers, no penalties aspect of the game, it is nice to see Alabama at 4-0.
 
 
 
Boston College - LAST WEEK - Last Saturday, I was on a date while the BC Eagles played on national television against #9 USC. Let's be honest, there's very few people who can truly say they expected to see the Eagles up 20-17 at the half. Especially since they started the game down 10-0. But even fewer could've kept a straight face if they told you they foresaw the Eagles upsetting the Trojans 37-31.
 
I got to see the end of the game and I'll tell you, it was just so thrilling to see Alumni Stadium filled, the place rocking and the fans storming the field after the game was over. BC is probably always going to see their football team fall under the "Just Another Program" designation in the world of college football but it is always extremely satisfying when they rise up to knock the premiere programs off their perch once in a while.
 
The school honored 9/11 hero and alumnus Welles Crowther at the game and some of that emotion must've rubbed off on the team. After getting whipped by Pittsburgh last week, the Eagles just dominated USC. Yes the score was close but make no mistake, Boston College owned this game.
 
It was the offensive and defensive lines that shined brightly in the game. The defensive line held USC to just 20 rushing yards on the night.
 
 
And while the secondary gave up 317 passing yards and four TDs to Trojan QB Cody Kessler, it wasn't enough to offset the defense sacking him 5 times.
 
 
As for the offensive line, they steamrolled the USC defense and opened up holes all game long. The BC rushers hit those holes and racked up 452 net yards. For those keeping score, that's 452-20 in rushing yards! And if that wasn't enough, Myles Willis, Sherman Allston and John Hilliman (pictured below) along with QB Tyler Murphy racked up 5 TDs on the ground as well.
 
 
Speaking of Murphy (pictured below), he didn't have an especially good night throwing the ball. And while he didn't HAVE to do so, I think people are going to expect a bit more than 5-13 for 54 yards with a sack and an INT if BC wants to return to a bowl this year. But on this night, he tossed in a career high 191 rushing yards and all was mostly forgiven (until the first practice after the game, I'm sure).
 
 
The surprising win and the effectiveness of the Eagles in the game caught the eye of the ACC because Murphy was named Offensive Back of the Week while Andy Gallick (Offensive Lineman of the Week) and Josh Keyes (Linebacker of the Week) also picked up awards. You can learn more about Gallick (pictured below) HERE.
 
 
By the way, if you want to learn more about who Welles Crowther was and why he is a hero of 9/11, you can check out this ESPN Outside the Lines video. I saw it when it premiered on the network and it was pretty amazing.
 
 
One final note about the BC Eagles focuses on Barry Gallup. You can learn more about why he is called "The Heart of BC Football" HERE.
 
THIS WEEK - Fear of a letdown after the emotional win by BC over USC was put to rest relatively early in the game. While Maine scored first to take a 7-0 lead (their first touchdown against BC since 1915 according to one recap article I read), BC just steamrolled the Black Bears on their way to a 40-10 victory. BC improves to 3-1 on the season.
 
QB Tyler Murphy (pictured below) was leading the nation's quarterbacks with 401 rushing yards coming into the game and he added 99 more yards to that total. He ran for two touchdowns including a big 71 yard scamper. In the passing game he was 11-18 for 130 yards with an interception. He hit Josh Bordner for a 48 yard TD pass.

 

Once again the rushing attack was the big story of the BC offense. Marcus Outlow led the run game with 107 rushing yards, but it was John Hilliman that really stood out. He had career highs in carries (21) and yards (98) with two touchdowns. In all, BC had 413 rushing yards to help give them a 513-139 edge in total yards.
 
The BC defense had 2 interceptions and once again stymied their opponent's run game. Maine managed just 16 total yards on the ground because the BC defense (pictured below) just swarmed any runner that carried the ball.
 
 
 
You can see highlights of the game below.
 
 
USA BASKETBALL
 
USA Basketball found itself in a bit of a brouhaha this week when an article by Yahoo Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski called out coach Mike Kryzewski for using his position as the national team coach as an unfair recruiting advantage in his "real" job coaching at Duke. Here's that article.
 
The article prompted Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim (an assistant on the national team) to speak out in defense of Coach K. And on Thursday, Kryzewski himself addressed the situation himself. Click HERE for that story.
 
I think it is a bit of BS to think being the national team coach is an unfair advantage in the college basketball recruiting wars. It is likely AN advantage, but not an unfair one. Particularly when you consider that Coach K (as Tony Kornheiser said Thursday on ESPN's Pardon The Interruption) can walk into any recruit's living room and say "I've got four national championships, what's your guy got?" And he doesn't even have to bring up the national team to do that. Those titles are just his Duke titles.
 
 
WNBA
 
New York Liberty assistant coach Katie Smith has posted her second blog where she talks about her downtime. You can check it out HERE.
 
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
 
Do you remember that 1983 TV movie starring Helen Hunt called Quarterback Princess? She played a girl that went out for her high school team as a quarterback and along the way also ended up as the homecoming queen.
 
 
Well this week we have another story along those lines. She's a kicker instead of a QB but 17 year old Mary Kate Smith of Mississippi will be crowned homecoming queen and then turn right around to suit up for the football game. You can read about her in this article.
 
 
As for the area teams I follow:
 
Wareham Girls Varsity Soccer - The team lost to Seekonk 8-0 and to Bourne 7-0 to fall to 0-6. They have now lost 42 games in a row. The JV didn't do any better against Bourne. They also lost 7-0.
 
Upper Cape Girls Soccer - The Rams picked up a 6-0 win over Old Colony, but on Friday night they lost to Norfolk Aggie 5-2. They are 2-3-1 (1-1 in conference) so far this season.
 
Upper Cape JV Football - The Rams lost to Diman Regional 20-12 to drop to 0-2 on the season.
 
Wareham Boys Soccer - The boys team dropped games to Seekonk and Bourne by identical 7-0 scores.
 
Wareham Field Hockey - The girls picked up their first win of the season with a 3-0 win over Case, but closed out their week with a 6-0 loss to ORR to stand at 1-6 on the season.
 
Wareham Varsity Football - Despite building an 18-0 lead over Seekonk in the second quarter, the Vikings suffered a heartbreaking defeat when the Warriors scored the winning touchdown with 4 seconds left in the game. After building that early lead, Wareham went down 21-18 but scored with to take the lead with 26 seconds left in the game. But two quick long completions by Seekonk stole the game out from under the Vikings.
 
Five lost fumbles in the game didn't help Wareham either. My ex-player Josh had a great first half as he racked up 103 yards including a 28 yard TD run on offense. He also had 2 sacks on the defensive side of the ball. But in the second half, he was held to just 1 yard on 10 carries as well as a 13 yard reception on the final Wareham drive.
 
Wareham falls to 0-2 on the season.
 
Wareham Girls Volleyball - After beating Seekonk 3-2, the Vikings dropped a 3-2 heartbreaker to Bourne. They are 3-4 on the season now. Against Seekonk, Rae-Lyn had 7 kills and 13 digs. In the loss to Bourne she had 8 kills, 17 digs and 8 service aces. Meanwhile, Erica had 5 kills and 12 digs in the Bourne match.
 
They had a nice bit of coverage in the local paper this week including some more photos from their earlier match this season against GNB Voc-Tech. Rae-Lyn and Erica were featured in a number of shots and here are a couple of them. (All the volleyball photos here are by the Wareham Courier's Adam K. Ellis.)
 
Rae-Lyn (#9):
 
 
Erica:
 
 
And this one of her killing the ball was on the front page of the Wareham Courier this week:
 
 
FANTASY FOOTBALL
 
I was fully expecting to lose both leagues I'm in during Week 2, but for a change I have to be thankful to a Philadelphia team. The Eagles got a come from behind victory on Monday night and it was thanks to the Foles (Nick) and Sproles (Darren) show. And as luck would have it, I have both of them on one of my teams and picked up a come from behind victory of my own. So once again I split the two leagues.
 
TEXAS RANGERS
 
In last week's column I made mention of the resignation of manager Ron Washington and how I hoped it wasn't due to drugs since he'd been caught using them before. On Thursday it was sort of revealed by Washington that he cheated on his wife. I say sort of because he didn't come out fully and say so but what little he did say seemed to point in that direction. You can check out this article for more.
 
BOWLING
 
I made mention earlier in the column that I was out on a date while Boston College was on TV. My girlfriend Julie and I went out to dinner at this restaurant neither of us had eaten at before called Matt's Blackboard. Our meals were really good and we look forward to going back there again soon. The second half of the date ended up being some time at the lanes.
 
Yes readers, I went BOWLING! Previously, I'd only been bowling once and I was so bad at it that the 5 year old boy in the lane next to me had a better score. This time around it was the small ball (candlepin) type of bowling and while I won't be joining the PBA anytime soon, it ended up being an enjoyable time for the both of us. We rolled three games, and laughed at ourselves when we threw a gutterball, and heckled ourselves when we failed to convert on that one last pin left standing.
 
But as I said, we had a good time and we'll probably do it again. Oh and yes, we had to do the whole rented shoes thing. Want proof?
 
 
MISCELLANEOUS
 
Music - The fact that I prefer my music to come in physical form (a CD) instead of digital is something I usually get called a stick in mud for. But it appears Japan is kind of like me, they prefer the CD to digital. You can read more HERE.
 
The new Robert Plant CD lullaby and...The Ceasless Roar came last week and I added it to my pile of new music to listen to and review at some point.
 
 
In the meantime however, you can check out a CD review I was able to do up for the latest disc from the progressive rockers Uriah Heep. The album is called Outsider and I think it is one of the better albums I've heard this year. The review can be read in full via this Pop-topia.com link.
 
 
Comic Books - A couple of comics came out last week that I wanted to make mention of. DC Comics released the collected edition Showcase Presents: Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew. Yes it is a funny animals type of book with humor and puns, etc. But it is also one of my most fondly remembered series from the 1980's. When I saw that the book had been schedule to come out, I knew I was going to buy it.
 
 
The other comic I wanted to mention is the first issue in the new series called Copperhead. The selling point of the book is "Deadwood in Space". It doesn't quite do justice to the rather superb opening installment. Writer Jay Faerber has usually managed to entertain me in the past on books like Teen Titans, Noble Causes, Dynamo 5 and Firebirds so I was really happy to see he was the creator on this book. And one of the main characters has the best name of the year in comics: Budroxifinicus!
 
 
Conventions - I was already looking forward to going to this year's Rhode Island Comic-Con. They had scheduled guests I wanted to see/meet like Walter Koenig (Star Trek/Babylon 5), Mark Sheppard (Firefly/Doctor Who) and Colin Baker (The 6th Doctor on Doctor Who). But this week brought the announcement of Gigi Edgley (Farscape) and I'm pretty much over the moon about the possibility of meeting her!
 
 
TV - While a few shows for the new fall season have already started, the real start to the new season gets into full swing starting later tonight. CBS has the new show Madam Secretary and the returning series The Good Wife that will draw my eyeballs tonight.
 
This week saw the release of the sixth season of Castle on DVD. Being a huge fan of the show, I ordered it promptly and it arrived in my mailbox on Friday. Whoo Hoo! Even more exciting is the fact that I've gotten Julie into watching the show and after the first four episodes she loves it.
 
 
 
Movies - Despite the company effectively going out of business, did you know that there are actually still some Blockbuster stores still in operation? They might be kind of "In Name Only" stores, but this story was pretty interesting.
 
The official trailer for The Hunger Games - Mockingjay Part 1 has been released and you can check it out below.
 
Sports Friday with Hal: The NFL Week Three
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Football Free agency draft news notes

 

Greg Hardy.

Ray McDonald.

Adrian Peterson.

Jonathan Dwyer.

 

There, that’s it. Not talking about those idiots anymore. They’re taking away from this fantastic football season and that is a shame.

 

So many great games to date, so many great games to come:

 

Matt Ryan is back to being elite. No he’s not. Wait, maybe he is. Tune in next week because with Julio Jones, Harry Douglas, and Roddy White that offense SHOULD be putting up sick numbers. Heck of a performance in week one and now week three (as it is on in the background) tearing apart Tampa Bay. Breakout star tight end Jordan Reed has been hurt and 2011 fifth round draft pick Niles Paul (who had four receptions last year, eight the year before, and just two in 2011) pulls down eight passes in week two for 99 yards and a touchdown. Crazy!

 

That RGIII injury? OUCH. My ankle hurt just seeing the replay. How about Kirk “Kissing” Cousins stepping in and the offense playing better without Griffin? Robert Griffin III looked efficient but not spectacular. Cousins had a big-game kind of day and just looks right for the role sitting in the pocket and finding everyone EXCEPT DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon seemingly. Yes, it was Jacksonville (why oh why did I go on record about the “huge improvement on defense” for the Jags?) but impressive none the less.

Speaking of the Jaguars, owner Shad Khan (cue the William Shatner cue the Star Trek II “KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNN!” clip) fired manager number three in just over a year across the pond as disappointing Fulham was relegated last year and losing to Nottingham Forest (yah, that’s as bad as it sounds...being beaten by the merry men!). I would not want to be head coach in Jacksonville with that track record for an owner. The Jags are 0-2, scored 27 total points in two games, have given up 75 points, top wide receivers Justin Blackmon and Ace Sanders are suspended, tight end Marcedes Lewis is on injured reserve, second-round draft pick Marqise Lee is out with a hamstring injury, and week one star receiver Allen Hurns is doubtful to play with an ankle injury. Current top receiver Cecil Shorts has not played yet after pulling down 66 catches last year and is still questionable for Sunday. That is rough. At least they’re sitting first-round pick Blake Bortles rather than run him out with no receivers to throw to on Sunday.

 

Super Bowl rematch in week three? Yes! Denver looking shaky but still winning both games...Seattle losing to San Diego as the Chargers picked apart the defense. Did not hear much in the offseason about Seattle’s losses on the defensive line, but Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett can’t do it all every week. Bruce Irvin needs to show up--he’s skated as a first round pick in 2012 for the Seahawks due to their other great personnel moves. Irvin is on the hot seat now. Chris Clemons and Red Bryant in Jacksonville, Clint McDonald in Tampa Bay … that’s a lot of players lose in the middle of the defensive line. Tony McDaniel and Brandon Mebane are run-stuffers, linebacker K.J. Wright does not rush the quarterback, and youngsters Jordan Hill, O’Brien Schofield and veteran Kevin Williams have not contributed much in the pass rush. Are there cracks in the defense in Seattle? Stay tuned.

Speaking of Thursday Night Football on CBS...

I LOVE IT!!!  Nothing better than primetime football on free TV.

 

The commercials for Tea Leoni in “Madame Secretary”?

Not so much of a fan. I predict six episodes and it is never seen again.

 

The Cincinnati Bengals have been the most complete team looking strong on defense (shutting down the Falcons last week looks even better with the Falcons destroying Tampa Bay Thursday Night) and doing enough on offense without wide receiver A.J. Green and tight end Tyler Eifert hurt last week. Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard are a dynamic duo at running back and getting back to health makes Cincinnati a favorite...up until the playoffs when Andy Dalton will find a way to lose the game. That said, the Bengals--in week three--and being 2-0 are already having trouble getting to the 85% threshold to avoid a blackout? Seriously? Thumbs down, Cincy...not like anyone is going to watch the Reds trying to hold off the Cubs for last place in the NL Central these next few weeks!

 

OK, that’s all for today. Have a great weekend, all!


 

Week 3 Top 25 + LSU/MSU Notes
Category: NCAA
Tags: ALABAMA ARIZONA AUBURN BOSTON COLL COLLEGE FOOTBALL ECU Virginia FLA ST. LSU MISS ST. MISSOURI OKLA OKLA ST. UTSA OREGON

I’ll get my few comments about the LSU/Mississippi St. series out of the way. If you haven’t yet, please check out my Rivalry post about the series, which despite being played annually (in fact, it is LSU’s most-played series) has not resulted in a win for the Bulldogs since 1999. Even in the bad LSU years that preceded that game (such as the 2-9 team in 1992), the Tigers won, usually in convincing fashion. That is my most popular post over the last year. Judging by search teams such as “has mississippi state ever won against lsu” (now that would be a streak if the answer were no), “mississippi state losing streak against lsu”, etc., it’s at least in part due to interest in how well the Tigers have done over the last 20-25 years in the series.

Les Miles isn’t exactly on the hot seat right now, but Glenn Guilbeau had an interesting take on what losing to Mississippi St. has meant for coaching careers at LSU.

Speaking of Les, he mentioned a couple fun facts during his press conference. When the Tigers held ULM scoreless with less than 100 yards of offense, that was the first time since 1941 that the Tigers recorded consecutive shutouts at Tiger Stadium. In 1985, the Tigers had consecutive shut-outs during conference play; but the two games were separated by a bye week, and the second game was on the road. LSU finished in second place in the SEC the latter year (among teams eligible for the title), just a half-game behind Tennessee.

Gerry DiNardo (left) could no longer figure out how to beat anyone in 1999 but nearly upset one of Jackie Sherrill's best teams anyway. LSU has not lost to the Bulldogs since.

Gerry DiNardo (left) could no longer figure out how to beat anyone in 1999 but nearly upset Jackie Sherrill’s Bulldogs anyway. LSU has not lost to Miss. St. since.

Week 3 College Football Rankings 2014

(Teams new to the rankings have logos posted below. I was in more of a retro mood today, especially given some of the teams below.)

Rank/team/previous
1 Auburn 1
2 Oregon 2
3 Oklahoma 3
4 Florida St. 4
5 Alabama 6
6 TX A&M 8
7 LSU 7
8 Notre Dame 10
9 Ole Miss 12
10 BYU 11
11 S Carolina 18
12 Penn St. 24
13 Georgia 5
pitt
14 Pittsburgh –
ECU
15 E. Carolina –
BC
16 Boston Coll. –
UCLA
17 UCLA –
18 Va. Tech 9
UVA
19 Virginia –
20 USC 14
21 Louisville 15
22 Ohio St. 19
arizona-logo
23 Arizona –
Missouri_Tigers_Helmet
24 Missouri –
9159_oklahoma_state_cowboys-mascot-2001
25 Okie St. –

Out of rankings: (13) Clemson, (16) Mich. St., (17) Stanford, (20) Arizona St., (21) Baylor, (22) Florida, (23) Duke, (25) N. Illinois

I haven’t become too much of a purist this week (although you can check out my completely objective top 10 here), but I decided you actually have to have beaten somebody of substance to be on this list. I was a little bit liberal with that, especially in the case of Oklahoma St., but UTSA nearly beat Arizona and had a 6-game winning streak going into the Arizona game. This policy will help ease the transition into the computer system.

I also opted against ranking any team ahead of a team that beat them. I think that makes sense this early. The likes of East Carolina, Boston College, and Virginia might be flukes, but if we find that out later, so be it. When teams down the win chain start to beat the higher teams (for instance, maybe Louisville beats Boston College and USC beats UCLA) is when it gets tricky, and that’s when I resort to my objective system.

If you’re a little hazy, I’ll go through the main ones (best wins of the lowest ranked team in parentheses):
Texas A&M > S. Carolina > Georgia (> Clemson)
Pittsburgh > Boston College > USC (> Stanford)
UCLA > Virginia > Louisville (> U. Miami)
East Carolina > Virginia Tech > Ohio St. (> Navy)

Earlier rankings:
Preseason
Week 1
Week 2

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