1. Saints: This is the fourth straight game they have had to come from behind but yet they have yet to lose. This game was a lot closer than it should have been, and ill admit I was fully expecting Brees to throw 7 TD’s and sit out the second half. In the end though it wasn’t given to them, they earned it. This is not something that can be said about the number two team.
2. Colts: Apparently Belichick was in a giving mood on Sunday, because he gave the Colts the win. Why would you not just burn out the clock with the lead? Why would you not punt the ball and make Manning drive the 70+ yards in less than two minutes and earn it?, He had been mistake-prone all day and a score was anything but a given. A magic 8 ball makes better coaching decisions then that.
3. Vikings: Favre: 20 for 29, 344 yards, one TD, and no picks.
4. Cincinnati: 5-0 in the last 5 road games and 5-0 in the division. Very impressive.
5. Packers: Look, I do not like this team at all. They have a horrible front line, Rodgers (above) takes a hit more than Lindsey Lohan (me being culturally relevant), and they lost to the Bucs last week…..THE BUCS. But they did beat the Cowboys this week. In fact, the Cowboys almost got shut out for the first time in forty……let’s say three, 43 games. So they can thank all the other top-tier teams for not impressing me this week.
I feel I need to weigh in on this whole fine-gate. To review: Bears QB Jay Cutler was fined $20K for berating an official (whining), Chad Ochocinco was fined $20K for waving a one dollar bill in front of an official while they were discussing a call (funny), and Bears Tommy Harris was fined $7.5K for punching an opposing player in the face (F’n Awesome).
Now I didn’t see the video for Cutler so I have no way to argue it, and even so he deserves to be fined for those five interceptions he threw last Thursday. Mr. Spanish 85 waved a dollar bill at a grouping of refs (I wonder what you would call that….a stripe of refs?) and was fined $20k. He did not actually get in the referees’ way nor did he try to get their attention at all. Now if the league wanted to fine him a few thousand for being an obnoxious douche then I’m ok with it. Now, I did see the Tommy Harris punch. If you were to make that kind of punch anywhere else, they would have grounds to arrest you and press charges. All it takes is one punch to the right spot and you can mess someone up pretty good. Especially considering the other two fines that were imposed. The NFL is trying to be marketable to everyone, everywhere. Is this really what you want people to see?
Now separate but still related is the Brent Celek (TE, Eagles) incident. Last week against the Cowboys Brent (scored me major fantasy points, seriously him and Brees are my whole team) felt the urge to show he had a little captain in him. For those of you unaware of what I mean…..well…..I choose not to speak to you. Now the NFL has a strict policy prohibiting players from “wearing, displaying, promoting or otherwise conveying their support of a commercially identified product during a game while they’re on the field,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told Yahoo! Sports. So a guy can directly promote violence like Mr. punchy mentioned above but indirectly promoting rum is wrong? Kind of hypocritical when I see a hundred Coors commercials during the Monday night game, don’t you think?
- Vince Young is 3-0 this year and has led the unleashing of the most explosive runner in football, Chris Johnson. If you take it on a weekly basis, they have the skill level to be in the top third of the league. But no matter what happens, this will be a season of what could have been.
- Mike Zimmer (Defensive Coordinator, Cincy) is quickly becoming a head coaching candidate.
- Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are two of the most underrated RB’s in the league and it may be hard to notice since they’re both on the same team (Miami).
- The Tennessee Titans Bud Adams $250k fine for flipping the bills and their fans the double bird may be the most amusing quarter million ever spent.
Well, I’m in the mood to be edgy (or just lazy) and am going to skip the top five and get into the heart of the matter.
The top six teams in the BCS rankings all hold undefeated records with three weeks to go. This has never happened before….ever. Florida, Alabama, Texas, TCU, Cincinnati, and Boise State are creating the biggest headache for BCS officials. Presumably, barring some seven seals scenario, the two title contenders will come out of the top three; well, that’s easy enough. The problem is with the remaining three. If the season were to end today the remaining three would be like this: Boise State in the Fiesta, TCU in the Orange, either Florida or Alabama (whoever lost their matchup) in the Sugar Bowl, and Cincinnati in one of the non-BCS bowl games. We would definitely have an undefeated team out of the Championship game and possibly have up to three others out of the other bowl games. Can you imagine having four undefeated teams with one of them declared a champion even though they didn’t play any of the others?
OTHER OTHER NEWS
- The Stanford Cardinals scored another half-century against a Pac-10 favorite for the second straight week. This team seems to be hitting their stride, a few months too late.
- The Virginia Tech Hokies have lost the coin toss in all 10 games this season. It’s not really news, but it’s a fun fact nonetheless.
- The Michigan Wolverines are on pace to set a new school record, for points allowed in a season. Current record was set…..shuffles papers….last year at 347. That averages to almost 29 points a game.
- North Carolina is 7-3. They play football?
THE DON KING CORNER
Somehow I missed mentioning this last week which is a surprise considering how excited I was for it. Manny Pacquiao defeated Miguel Cotto in the 12th round with a TKO for the WBO welterweight title. That makes Pac Man’s 7th title in the 7 separate weight classes between 112 and 147 lbs. Not bad considering he weighed 106 when he turned pro. Now the cards may read a 12th round TKO, but the fight was over in the fourth — the rest was just pleasantries. A right hook and a left jab put the previously only once-defeated Cotto out of the game. Manny proved he can hang with the welterweights, but more importantly, that he can take a heavy-handed punch. SO, now that he has cemented himself as the pound for pound best fighter in the world, who do you face?
Enter Floyd Mayweather. Ever since returning from his short-lived retirement earlier this year and hand-picking his opponent, this fight is all that the boxing world has talked about. Well, now that Manny has his record seven titles and Mayweather has his undefeated record, it’s time to give the people what they want. It’s being reported over different outlets that this fight will happen and the contract will be made by the end of summer next year.
What is my opinion on the fight you ask? Well, Mayweather is tactical. He positions, then throws a few punches and then backs away to reposition. Manny like to get in close and just destroy you. In the Cotto fight he was 2 to 1 on punches landed. His hands are the fastest in the game (seriously, YouTube it: it’s impressive) and you just cannot fully be prepared for it. Oddsmakers are already setting the line for the fight at Pacquiao at 8 to 5. Personally I think the line should be closer to 7-6 but my money would be on Pacquiao by TKO sometime around the 8th or 9th.
Also this weekend was UFC 105 from England. The free televised event saw Randy “The Natural” Couture score a controversial win over Brandon “The Truth” Vera. Just for the record, I predicted this win last week. The 46-year old Couture…no way…..wikipedia…….Randy Couture….favorite food…birthplace….favorite move…Roadhouse?…..age….wow… yes the 46-year old Couture won his seventeenth fight of his hall of fame career. The bad part about this is that Randy is just prolonging the inevitability that is retirement. Vera hasn’t been good for a year and a half and should not be headlining a fight. I like to watch RC fight but that’s more out of nostalgia and the ability to point out to my dad what a guy five years younger than him is doing.
Also on the card we saw Dan Hardy beat Mike Swick by decision and Michael Bisping beat Denis Kang by 2nd round TKO. And once again I went 2-1 on my picks for a UFC event.
This weekend we see UFC 106 emanate from Vegas on PPV.
The card is actually a rather impressive one. In his return to the UFC, Tito Ortiz will face Forrest Griffin in the Main event. These previous light-heavyweight champs are facing each other for a second time with Ortiz getting the split decision win the first time. Both men need this win. Griffin is coming off of back to back losses to Rashad Evans and an embarrassing loss to Anderson Silva two months ago. Tito on the other hand hasn’t won a fight in nearly three years. Take into consideration that his last fight was over a year ago against current champion Lyoto Machida, a fight where Tito almost submitted him with a triangle choke. Both men need this fight.
Also fighting is Josh Koscheck vs. Anthony Johnson in a meeting of top welterweights and Karo Parisyan will face Dustin Hazelett in what could be a very technical battle. Also worth a mention is Antonio Rodrigo Noguiro’s brother, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, making his UFC debut against Luiz Cane.
NCAA BASKETBALL EDITION
By the time you read this we will already be balls deep (pun!) in the season, but since I neglected to do it last week, we need to do a preseason top 10.
1. Kansas: Bill Self finds himself with an easily eight-deep team with every player wanting minutes. This will allow the Jayhawks to apply a constant pressure which will only make there stiff D even better. Expect them to have another 25+ win season.
2. Michigan State: They may have lost two starters from last year, but they still have the Big Ten POY in Kalin Lucas leading the team. Every one of those starters know what it takes to make it to the big dance and they are more focused then ever.
3. Texas: With two top 10 recruits, an academically eligible point guard in J’Covan Brown, and Florida transfer G Jai Lucas (seriously with the names?) who shoots 32.8% from deep means this team will be able to more evenly spread the scoring around compared to last year. I give the early odds-on favorite to this team to take it all.
4. Villanova: The team hasn’t changed a whole lot from last season except to add more wings to help out Scottie Reynolds. Keep an eye on Corey Stokes, he shoots over 40% from the three-point line.
5. North Carolina: Retuning Champions…..Yankees of the NCAA…’Nuff said.
6. Kentucky: They have plenty of players on this team that are on the verge of breaking out, the problem is whether or not they do. I’ll admit I am not overly confident in putting them this high, this is purely a result of peer pressure.
7. Oklahoma: This team’s success will rest squarely on the shoulders of 6′-9″, 296-pound Keith Gallon. This team is going to try and beat you on the run. They have the most intense conditioning schedule there is and as long as Gallon can get back and forth, they will win.
8. Purdue: The Big Ten’s most well-rounded player, Robbie Hummel, is healthy this season. Considering last season he wasn’t healthy and still had 12.5 ppg and 7 rpg. The Big Ten has something to worry about. As long as the guards practice their three-pointers, this team can play 90 miles away in Indy for the National Championship.
9. Duke: I had UNC in here so I had to add their doppelganger. The scary thing about this team is that they only have three scholarship guards. This means that they will not be able to pressure other teams as much as they’re used to. Which may be ok since Kyle Singler is getting moved back to the perimeter where he belongs, and can rain the J’s.
10. Illinois: Alright, I may not be serious here but I think they have a top 25 team this season and can scare a few bigger teams.
I’ll admit, it was a dismal week in my pro football picks but perfect in my college.
8-6-2 NCAA FB
Boise State (-23) over UTAH STATE: Squash
Ohio State(-12) over MICHIGAN: Muck Fichigan
Purdue (-3) over INDIANA: I flipped a coin
TCU (-31) over WYOMING: TCU is playing perfect football.
LIONS (-3) over Browns: For those of you who wanted to know for sure who the worst team is.
VIKINGS (-9) over Seahawks: The farewell tour continues.
Saints (-11) over BUCCANEERS: This should be a game that the Saints don’t have to come from behind.
Cardinals (-8) over RAMS: Sorry, not today Rams fans.
Titans (+4.5) over TEXANS: Someone give the Titans owner some gloves.
Forrest Griffin over Tito Ortiz: This is gonna be one heck of a fight.
Josh Koscheck over Anthony Johnson: This could go either way.
Karo Parisyan over Dustin Hazlett: Again, not sure
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira over Luiz Cane: Pretty confident in this one.