Wednesday, October 12, 2005

College/Pro Weekend Wrap-Up

College: 3-3 record in the Six-Pack this week. I learned a valuable lesson though. Never pick Rutgers. Losing is a part of their idenity. Like William Jennings Bryan.

Baylor: Much like Steve Carell, the Baylor Bears ended many years of tantalizing frustration and general ineptness against Iowa St. as they won their first Big 12 road game since the conference was founded. Now standing at 4-1, and having played just one home game, Baylor has a decent shot at making their first bowl trip since 1994.

Penn St.: Showed they can beat a Top-20 team... at home. This week is the real test. In only their second road game the Nits must go to the Big House to face a Michigan team coming off their first loss to Minnesota since 1986.

Northwestern: Dropped 51 points on previously unbeaten Wisconsin. Could the 'spread offense' be this generations version of the option? Remember good teams (Nebraska) used the option to have great seasons, and teams with inferior talent (the service academies) used the option to stay competitive when they were outmanned. Similarly, Southern Cal uses their spread offense to bludgeon opponents with their superior athletes and schools like Utah and Northwestern use the spread to conceal their talent deficiencies.

Kevin Smith: The Nebraska defensive linemen intercepted a pass against Texas Tech with 1:30 to go that iced the game. Instead of going down, he proceeded to run with the ball and promptly fumbled it back to the Red Raiders who would go on to score a touchdown with 12 seconds left to win the game. His biggest flop since Jersey Girl.

Arizona St.: The Southern Cal loss was forgivable, but if the Sun Devils want to be a player in the Pac 10 race, they must win their home games.

Travis Bell: The Georgia Tech kicker missed not one, but two short field goals (24 and 27 yards) last Thursday. The Yellow Jackets lost to NC St. 17-14. Maybe Tony Danza has some eligibility left?

NFL: Random Thoughts

1. Vinny Testaverde's return to the Jets played a very negligible role in their win. This is contrary to what Don Banks would have you believe. For starters, the Jets scored all of 14 points on Sunday. So their offensive struggles are definitely not behind them. Couple that with the fact that one of their touchdown drives started at the Tampa Bay 8 yard line after a Ty Law interception return and well, these ain't the Colts by a long shot. The Jets still have a long way to go, especially with Curtis Martin running this season like an exhumed Red Grange. Vinny Testaverde was no quarterback savior at 21, so a revival of Cotton Mather-esque proportions is extremely unlikely at 41.

2. Another New York team changed quarterbacks this weekend. Buffalo replaced J.P. Losman with 'Machine Gun' Kelly Holcomb. On the surface Holcomb had a nice game. 20-26 for 169 yards with 1 touchdown and no interceptions for a QB rating of 106.1. However, he fumbled thrice and the Bills managed only 20 points despite the fact that Dolphins' quarterback Gus Frerotte was treating the football like The Gideons treat copies of the New Testament. Why start Holcomb? What's the best that could happen? Buffalo sneaks into the playoffs with a 9-7 record and gets waxed in the first round. If this happens, you have learned nothing about your 'quarterback of the future'.

Final Thought: Was Green Bay's curb-stomping of New Orleans a glimpse of their potential for the remainder season, or merely a high note in a season of woe? Both sides have a legitimate argument. The optimist sees a 2 point loss to the 2-2 Browns, a 1 point loss to the 4-1 Bucs, and a 3 point loss to the 3-2 Panthers as evidence that the Packers are a few plays from a 4-1 start and control of the NFC North. A pessimist sees the victory over the Saints as a beat down of a nomadic team that even if they were able to play home games, would be at best mediocre. The answer will not be known for sometime, but there is this fact: the Packers at 1-4, are merely 1.5 games out of first place.

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