A review of the past weekend’s action in college football and the NFL
Taking one final look at the BCS standings: the prophecy of SEC domination is beginning to take over, the Big 12, the Pac 12…will all bow at the altar.
I want to be a West Virginia fan. Open a dude ranch. Set my couch on fire while spitting out moonshine and reading the Book of Revelation. Drink some PBR and spend half the day tending to the livestock. I get the LSU loss, makes sense to lose with the pressure of a home game against the second best defense in football in primetime but Syracuse? They don’t do anything well, except expose that 3-3-5 stack for all it’s worth. A million passing yards, man coverage failure, beat on slants, beat deep and time to take a long hard look in the mirror and settle with the Snapshot Progressive Savings bowl. Let’s say they finish 9-3, which is two losses too many for the Big East. 2nd place and a weekday bowl game that makes football freaks sick.
It is going to get ugly for a second straight year in Texas. They have some pieces for the future on defense, but Mack Brown might make it only a few more if they don’t at least make it through the season with less than 5 losses. Texas Tech, Kansas State and Texas A&M will take 2 out of those 3 with ease, look for more recruits to find other Texas area schools as the days of National Championships are over for the next decade. The power is shifting. Move over Cowboys, we have another candidate for team most hanging on to their own history. The fat old businessmen are simply getting drunk on Saturdays and not caring about the outcome of the game. Betting is over and the Longhorns are looking like fools.
Auburn has officially gone to hell. The Cam Newton factor may have singlehandedly won them at least 3 road games last year. They did not have the overall talent to win a National Championship, and are sitting at the bottom of the SEC West, hoping for some sort of magic to hobble them through the rest of the year as a 5 loss team. They may play in Alabama, but they are not Alabama. Clemson set the wheels in motion, and LSU buried any chance of relevance for the next 2 years. Nobody cares about Auburn anymore, and nobody will by the start of next year. Michael Dyer will always be the runner up to Trent Richardson,
Will Georgia beat Florida? That’s going to be the type of game where you hope each team beats each other into the ground, akin to a Giants/Patriots, or a Packers/Steelers game. How they made it by Tennessee and Mississippi State perplexes me but they will probably get one over on Auburn, who will be scraping themselves off the floor by November 12th. If South Carolina loses Lattimore, all bets are off on the SEC East.
Arizona State Sun Devils, one of the PAC 12 phantoms that rises out of the woods and goes backwards towards the latter half of the season. They just may go undefeated through the rest of the year, but two losses keep them on the edge of the highly overrated PAC 12 conference. There is nothing I care about concerning this team, though I am sure USC is probably a better team. Unfortunately Reggie Bush ruined the beauty and sun kissed finesse of USC for the next few years.
I will root for Texas Tech for years to come. One because they are the reason for Michael Crabtree. Two because they knocked off Oklahoma. Three, because they average 383.7 passing yards per game. The only caveat to Texas Tech is of course the second half of their schedule. Texas will summon enough pride to keep that game close. Oklahoma State will outgun them, and Baylor will attempt some sort of dramatic 500 yard passing high note against a defense that averages 30.7 against it.
What I saw from the Indianapolis defense last night was not surprising. Greatest offense in the NFL against a secondary with a large majority of undrafted, third tier players? Not much of a contest. Small linebackers who can’t defend receivers, can’t stop the run, and can’t tackle in space? Indianapolis hash them. Defensive line? Freeney and Mathis are two of the best defensive ends who happen to be two of the smartest in the league. But when a quarterback can get away from the pocket and throw, defensive ends can’t do much. Especially when they start throwing the occasional power run and play action pass. If your secondary can’t give you three seconds to get the sack, all that effort goes to waste.
The Miami Dolphins are God’s way of punishing the Miami Heat. I was once invited to a Dolphins game. Reggie Bush might keep you awake, Brandon Marshall will make some big catches. But they can’t finish games once they get stopped through the air. Chad Henne would have got them 4 wins, but there is no stopping the insanity for Andrew Luck, who will in fact decline Miami’s invitation if it is given. What’s there to be excited about. A 20th ranked defense? A bunch of overrated wide receivers? No great tight end? Miami could do best by trading the Luck pick for two first rounders and two second rounders, beefing up their secondary and receiving core. They’ll be able to get someone decent at QB in the second or third round.
Now for the sorriest team from the sorriest division of the sorriest coast of professional football. The Rams are not worthy of the old Rams colors. They are second tier talent across the board. They are the 8-8 team without a highlight reel, and Sam Bradford is going to need some help at receiver. He needs a big playmaking receiver to sit across from Brandon Lloyd while Pettis and Salas grow into starters. Amendola will be relegated to the slot and Lance Kendricks will finally take over at tight end. They need secondary help and they could use some offensive lineman to keep Bradford upright. They will make do on their defensive line although Spagnolo is itching for a first round defensive lineman to accompany Robert Quinn.
Minnesota proves my theory of hedging your bets on an aging quarterback to be disastrous for twice as many years as he plays. Brett Favre for two years? Four year recovery time for any sort of playoff run. Look at the Vikings closely. Is Adrian Peterson the best running back in the NFL? There’s no way to judge that. Without Favre, the Vikings are going against a stacked box all day. When Favre was there, everyone defended the pass. Hell of a change for the offensive line. There’s going to be nothing to like about this team by the end of the year. Peterson would break all sorts of record on either the Packers, Saints or Ravens. Sadly, he will stay in Minnesota and freeze his ass off.