1) Minnesota might be the worst BCS Conference team I’ve seen since…well, Minnesota
The last time Gopher Football was relevant, Bobby Cox was their quarterback. Not the former Atlanta Braves' manager; but the age almost works.
The good news is the Golden Gophers found the end zone this week, and they didn’t need a Sherpa guide to do it. The bad news is both of their trips to paydirt came after they were already down by six touchdowns, and once again they didn’t even look competitive in a game against Big Ten competition. In two Big Ten games so far this season, the Gophers have been outscored by a total margin of 103-17.
2) I take that back, I forgot about Kansas
After six minutes, the Jayhawks led, 7-0. At the half, Oklahoma State was in charge 56-7. By the time it was over, Kansas gave up up 10 touchdowns and 600 yards in total offense.
3) Why The NFL Drives Me Crazy – Part 6,452
Seriously, this league gets more exasperating every year. First of all, There’s no clear cut great and complete teams anymore. I’ve spoke to this at length before, but honestly it’s getting worse.
Now, people keep trying to tell me that some teams are so great far too early in the season simply based on their won-loss record. I understand Detroit Lion fans are excited that their team is 5-0 for the first time since the Bobby Layne era, but let’s be honest…what happens in October doesn’t matter at all compared to what happens in January. Seriously, does anybody out there think the Lions are as good as the Packers? Does anybody think the Lions are better than the Patriots?
To illustrate my point, I’m going to use a phrase that makes my colon twist up like an over-used phone cord: “If the play-offs were to start today…” So, here’s what the post-season would look like (based on current play-off tie-breaking criteria)
- San Diego (bye)
- Buffalo (bye)
- New England (wild-card #1)
- Oakland (wild-card #2)
- Green Bay (bye)
- San Francisco (bye)
- New Orleans
- Detroit (wild-card #1)
- Tampa Bay (wild-card #2)
It is so plainly obvious this is NOT what the playoffs will look like come January. Yet, people get all whipped up saying ridiculous things based on what is happening a scant five games into the season. Again, I ask, does anybody really think Buffalo is the second-best team in the AFC? In fact, how many of the teams that I listed here won’t get a sniff of the playoffs?
4) What the Oklahoma Sooners have in common with the Detroit Lions
While thunderous and impressive, this still does not constitute a running game.
Primarily, this is a cautionary tale for both teams…both sides have a lot of positives, but those upsides are also obscuring some flaws that may haunt both of these teams later on down the road.
While both are 5-0 and have their fans at full-throat, neither team has played a “good” team yet. The Sooners have fatted up on the likes of a faded Texas rose and a fraudelent Florida State squad while the Lions won’t face a “good” team until the host the Packers on Thanksgiving Day.
The Hidden Weaknesses:
Both teams have at least one, and nobody seems to want to pay attention to them.
Oklahoma has a serious special teams issue. This came into play twice last Saturday against Texas, who gashed the Sooners’ kick coverage for two touchdown returns. If not for a penalty on the second return, Oklahoma would have surrendered more points to the Texas kick return team than the Longhorn offense could manage.
Both the Sooners and the Detroit Lions have fraudulent running games. Oklahoma did not generate much of a rushing game against the Texas defensive front, and the Lions had the same issue against the Bears. The problem is this is largely hidden by a few big runs by the Sooners’ Dominique Whaley and the Lions’ Jahvid Best. If you subtract any runs of 25 or more yards from the Sooners’ or Lions’ rushing totals, the lack of a real running game becomes apparent.
Any offensive coach worth his weight in Spam will tell you that while the “home runs” make for sweet fantasy football numbers (spoken as Jahvid Best owner), they do not make an effective running game. Teams that truly can run the ball can routinely get first downs on the ground.
5) The Philadelphia Eagles are finished
Not just this season, either. This team has a ton of talent, but it has a serious lack of leadership. At some point, Andy Reid lost control in Philadelphia, and unless he regains it soon, it may be time for the longest-tenured coach in the NFL to get a new mailing address…end of story.
6) The time to hit the “Panic Button” in Columbus is now
If you are an Ohio State fan, it’s time to get worried…very worried. You just watched your team blow a three-touchdown lead to a team that got smoked like a cheap cigar the previous week by Wisconsin. Not only does that mean you are arguably a third-rung team in the Big Tweleveten, but the Tattoo-gate story still just won’t go away.
When this first broke, I thought this wasn’t going to be a big story. Now, Jim “Cheatypants McSweatervest” Tressel is gone, as is Terelle Pryor. Devier Posey’s suspension has been lengthened, and the digging isn’t over yet.
7) Today marks the beginning of the end of the Tebow era
This isn’t about hating on Tebow, this is about why Tebow is now the starting quarterback in Denver. The perception is that John Fox and the Broncos’ organization caved to fan pressure. Nothing could be further from the truth.
This is actually a calculated move on the part of Fox and the Bronco front office which inherited Tebow from the previous regime. Think about it this way…
Fact #1: Tim Tebow isn’t an NFL quarterback…not yet, at least.
Fact #2: The Bronco fan base is desperate.
Fact #3: John Fox and John Elway aren’t “Tebow” guys, otherwise this move would have been made a while ago.
Fact #4: The Broncos spent a first-round pick on Tebow.
Fact #5: Tebow has a well-spring of unreasonable supporters who have been clamoring for his day under center.
So, what we have is a back-up quarterback so popular he once led the league in jersey sales before he ever having took a single snap; popular with everyone except his coach and general manager. We have an unpopular starting quarterback, but he a proven winner in the NFL. Its’ apparent that the fans won’t shut-up about their wanting Tebow, and Kyle Orton is a free-agent after this season anyway.
So, Fox and Elway took the opportunity Orton presented them this week. When he had the off day everybody has at some point, the Bronco leadership decided to launch “Operation Timmy Fail.” That’s right, the plan is to throw Tebow to the NFL wolves and wait for the impending disaster.
The only way to get the Tebow era over is to get it started. He isn’t going to get any more prepared in the remainder of this season before Orton blows town, so why not get the ball rolling now? Frankly, the Broncos have nothing to lose.
First of all, the Broncos are already terrible, so Tebow can’t do any harm to a team which isn’t going to see a playoff run anytime soon. If Timmy is in fact terrible, it gives Fox and Elway want they really want; to be free and clear of the Tebow phenomenon. If he succeeds, they get to be heroes for pulling the plug on Orton.
The trouble is it is pretty clear they are gambling on the former. Tebow is one of the most unprepared quarterbacks for this moment I’ve ever seen and the Broncos have made sure that is the case. The Broncos in turn are doing him a great disservice because they want him gone; they can’t cut him otherwise the Teb-o-philes will come after them with torches and pitchforks.
Frankly, I hope Tebow shoves this little scheme up Fox and Elway’s collective asses. He’s off to a nice start by managing to bring the Broncos back to a “puncher’s chance” to win against the Chargers. He has guts and the team clearly responded to him. I want him to succeed, but I think it is a long shot simply because he doesn’t have the tools to play the position…someday he may, but he doesn’t now.
8 ) #OccupyGameDay
This hashtag is the Twitter home of the movement launched by fans of the Dan Patrick Show against “The Mothership.” It’s all about sneaking references to the Dan Patrick Show into the background of ESPN’s College GameDay.
KEZI in Oregon ran a story on “Occupy GameDay” this week. Here is the text:
EUGENE, Ore. — Security at ESPN’s College GameDay in Eugene on Saturday will be on the lookout for more than the usual safety threats and foul language on signs. Now, they have references to radio host Dan Patrick’s broadcast to watch out for.
Last Saturday when GameDay was in Dallas, Texas for the Red River Rivalry between Oklahoma and Texas one sign in particular snuck through the crowd without oversight. The sign read: “Chris in Syracuse.”
For those unfamiliar with Mr. Patrick and the meaning of the term, the sign seems relatively harmless. For regular listeners of the show — and ESPN — the sign goes against what Patrick claims has been previously allowed in the crowd. On his show Patrick said that fans at the Oklahoma vs. Texas games were being turned away if they had signs or cutouts with obvious references to him or his show.
Patrick was an anchor at ESPN from 1989 to 2006 and his show was part of the ESPN family until 2007. He helped coin the nickname for ESPN’s flagship program SportsCenter with fellow anchor Keith Olbermann, calling it “The Big Show”. Patrick has stated several times that ESPN often does not allow current employees to appear as guests on his current radio show.
So what does “Chris in Syracuse” mean? The sign references a listener of Patrick’s show who calls in to offer his opinion on a daily basis. The caller — Chris, from Syracuse, New York — is part of the Dan Patrick Show canon of running gags and bits.
Patrick has made reference this week to the sign being held up on last Saturday’s show and seems to be encouraging his listeners to take part in trying to sneak past the College GameDay defenses repeating a simple message on today’s show, “Occupy GameDay. Eugene, Oregon.”
What signs and running gags can Eugene residents expect to see that may be related to Patrick’s followers? Here’s a list from the show’s WikiPedia page:
-Height and weight of a given person or player, a bit on the show.
-References to “Passion Bucket”, a running gag involving a quote from UCLA Bruins head football coach Rick Neuheisel.
-The quote “Against the Grain” a popular segment on the show.
-The phrase “What did we learn today?” another segment from the show.
-The “Best and Worst of the weekend” a segment from the show.
-References to “a well-listened-to radio show” a running gag based on a reporter reference to the Dan Patrick Show.
-References to “The Danettes” by group or by name (Patrick’s producers and employees): Paulie Pabst, Seton O’Connor, Andrew Perloff and Todd Fritz (Fritzy).
-References to nicknames on the show including: McLovin (Perloff), Sequin/The White Swan/Soft O’Connor (Seton O’Connor) Danny Jawface (Patrick).
-”ROAR!” the result of a lost bet on the part of O’Connor wherein he must shout “ROAR!” before speaking on microphone during the show.
As Dan himself says, we don’t condone this activity, but we do celebrate it. Considering this whole “What We Learned” bit is
completely ripped off from a respectful tribute to the Dan Patrick Show, what else could I say?
P.S. Jarrett Lee does eat boogers.