Last Week: New England Patriots 38 Who Dey? 13
NFL News and Notes
*A lot of people in the media have spent the first few weeks of the NFL season doing what they do best, jumping on and off bandwagons. Carolina was awful at 0-2, but now they are a Super Bowl contender again at 2-2. The Jaguars were king of the world after their Monday Night win made them 2-0, but now they are mortal again after dropping two straight. I had the Redskins buried after looking offensively anemic early on, and...oh wait, I still think they are garbage. But you get my point. Feel free to make all the predictions you want from week to week, but like I've always said, it's pointless to try and peg a team this early on in the season. That's what makes picking winners each week so hard and this league so great. There is so much balance that from week to week the power structure seems to go through a decent sized shift. Next week I'm sure there will be a new group of teams that either continue to rise from the dead or fall into Bolivia.
*Apparently where Albert Haynesworth comes from, it's chill to stomp on somebodydies skull with metal spikes. That's really the only reasoning I can think of as to why else he would have done that. I'd have to guess that where he comes from, cutting someone's face with the bottom of your feet is equivalent to slapping a guy a high five. Otherwise, he's just an idiot. Did he really somehow think he was going to get away with that? There are so many cameras out there these days that ESPN aired a college game using 3 different TV channels, and he thinks someone won't see him trying to pop a guys eye out with his size 15? So, a day after his action the NFL handed down a 5 game suspension to the big fella. I feel the punishment fits the crime. I mean Haynesworth doesn't have a history of doing stuff like this, and he seemed apologetic in his remarks, so I think we chalk this one up to incredibly bad judgment in the heat of the moment. What's interesting is that Titans coach Jeff Fisher said he would make sure Albert got an appropriate punishment if he didn't feel the NFL dealt with it properly. Kinda easy to say that when your team has no chance of making the playoffs, but let's see if Fisher decides to make a move.
My NFL Picks
*Eh, another less than stellar week, but hey I still haven't slipped below .500 which is always a good sign. Plus, I started out worse than this last season and ended up the a great record, so I'm keeping the faith. Once I start winning there is no turning back baby! Until, that is, I inevitably go 1-5 or 0-6, then feel free to call me out when you see me.
Minnesota Twins vs Oakland A's
St. Louis Cardinals vs San Diego Padres
2006 MLB Awards
AL Cy Young: Johan Santana (19-6/2.77 ERA/245 K/ 233.2 IP)
AL Rookie of the Year: Jonathan Papelbon (4-2/35 Saves/.92 ERA/75 K/68.1 IP)
AL Manager of the Year: Ron Gardenhire (96-66, .593/Central Division Champions)
NL Cy Young: Brandon Webb (16-8/3.10 ERA/178 K/50 BB/235 IP)
NL Rookie of the Year:
*There are a lot of ways I could have gone with this one. Most people would have picked Ramirez's teammate Dan Uggla, but the explosiveness that Hanley brings with his speed and surging power gave him the edge. And it didn't hurt that he was one of the best players in my upsidedown fantasy league this year.
NL Manager of the Year: Joe Girardi (78-81, .481)
*On the verge of being fired, Girardi nearly led a team with a payroll lower than 4 players on the Yankees and an average age close to 23 to a playoff berth. You think he's going to get hired again? For his sake I hope it's not the Cubs, but I guess if anyone can start to turn that situation around he can.
Unfortunately, right in with all the talk of the 2006 chase for the World Series, comes more steroid allegations. And just like before, the reports are leaked government documents, and the person at the center is a rat, someone naming names because they got caught red handed. This time though, it's not Rafael Palmeiroid, it's Jason Grimsley. Sure, you remember him from such media incidents as "getting kicked out of the league for juicing" or "suing the Diamondbacks after he got caught juicing for the rest of his salary". According to a federal affidavit, Grimsley told investigators that he personally knew that Miguel Tejada, Roger Clemens, Jay Gibbons and Brian Roberts had or still used steroids/human growth hormone. Does he have any proof? Who knows. Did he even say those things? Well Grimsley is claiming to his friends that investigators put words in his mouth and he never called out these players, and his lawyer has stated that the story was inaccurate. Whatever his intention, the names are out there now, and it's not the first time for either Clemens of Tejada. Tejada was called out by both Jose Canseco and Rafael Palmeiro, while Clemens has always been under slight suspicion. And while I have no proof or real hatred toward the Rocket, I have always said privately that if I were starting a steroid investigation, he would be one of the first pitchers I went to. Whether right or wrong, when I look at Clemens, not only do I see possibly the greatest right handed pitcher of all time, I see a guy that has constantly defied the odds. Despite being one of the oldest starters in the game, Roger appears to have the largest and strongest legs in the history of the world. We all want to look at guys arms and shoulders when we talk about steroids, but a pitcher like Clemens gets all his power from his push off the mound, hence the Starr Jones sized thighs. Like I said, I'm not accusing Clemens of anything, because I have no proof, but is he above being thrown into the conversation? Definitely not. How about the theory that he sat out the entire first half of this season on a "secret MLB steroid suspension"? That probably doesn't hold any weight. But imagine the reaction if it does surface that MLB knew about Clemens. All this time they were all over Bonds, letting him be the media black sheep, while they let their golden boy tip toe through the minefield with no real consequences. I'm sure that wouldn't spark any major controversy. No matter the truth, I doubt this is the last time players names are going to be thrown about like this by others that have been caught. It's unfortunate if you are named and you didn't do anything, but why don't these guys speak out? Instead of denying claims or refusing to acknowledge the reports, speak up and fight back! I know if someone called me out like that I wouldn't be sitting back and taking it lightly. Sometimes saying nothing is just as bad as admitting you're guilty, at least to the public. This really sucks for Roger if it's all just a lie, but if it's true even in the slightest bit, it would totally taint all of baseball from the late 80's up until the present.
*Ohio St. more than took care of business this week with their 38-17 dismantling of #13 Iowa, keeping them safe at the top for another week. The only real stumble this week came from the Virginia Tech Hokies, who were blasted from the top 10 by a 38-27 loss at home to Georgia Tech. Big conference teams like OSU, Auburn, Florida, West Virginia, USC, Georgia, Oregon and Michigan still have to feel they have a legit chance to play for the National title so every week is crucial for them. With so many top contenders still undefeated, it makes life even tougher for teams like LSU, Texas , Oklahoma and now Virginia Tech who already have one loss. But things tend to sort themselves out more often than not, so expect in 3-4 weeks the log jam at the top will be more or less sorted out. In news outside the top 25, Illinois won a conference road game for the first time since 2002 and their first conference game period since 2004 with a win this weekend over Michigan St. First, John L. Smith and his Spartans blew a 16 point 4th quarter lead to lose to Notre Dame, and now they have lost at home to an Illinois team that has only one win this year over Eastern Illinois. The Illinois players even went through the trouble of planting their flag at midfield, much like Michigan St. did last year when they won at Notre Dame. Ain't irony a bitch? John L. Smith might as well start packing his bags. They should have Steve Mariucci in there by the start of next season, I'd be shocked otherwise. And finally, I am going to apologize to Greg Robinson and his Syracuse Orange. I'm not admitting to liking this team, or the coach for that matter, but seeing as I like to rip on them so much, I thought I'd at least mention them a little when they start to win. They have actually put together three straight wins, and this is after blowing a chance to beat Iowa. Next up, though, is a brutal stretch against Pitt, Louisville and West Virginia, so I would expect this streak to end. But hey, Rome wasn't built in a day, and if the Orange can grab any one of those 3 games, I might have to start giving Greg Robinson his due.*
College Football Top 10
1. Ohio St. (5-0) 1
2. Auburn (5-0) 2
3. West Virginia (4-0) 3
4. Florida (5-0) 4
5. USC (4-0) 5
6. Michigan (5-0) 7
7. Georgia (5-0) 8
8. Notre Dame (4-1) 9
9. LSU (4-1) 10
10. Texas (4-1) NR
just missed: Oregon, Louisville, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Georgia Tech
dropped: (6) Virginia Tech
Games to Watch this Week
LSU @ Florida
*This is a real put up or shut up game for both Florida and LSU. People want to talk about how Florida isn't nearly as good as their record, but if they beat the Tigers they will still be controlling their own destiny in national championship run. As for LSU, if they lose to Florida after already losing to Auburn, they will be lucky to call themselves one of the top 5 teams in the conference period. The SEC is so deep this year, that every game has the chance to totally break your season, and this is one of them.
Texas @ Oklahoma
*Another year, another Red River Shootout where both the Sooners and Longhorns are both ranked in the top 25. It may not be the all hyped matchup that it's been the past two years, but that's because for once they aren't both ranked in the top 10. This game still means a good deal for both squads. Aside from being a conference game, Oklahoma wants to show it's completely rebounded from that Oregon debacle, and Texas QB Colt McCoy and crew want to get their first signature win in the post Vince Young era.
Tennessee @ Georgia
*Two top 25 teams meeting and it's barely the second best game in the conference this week. Georgia has looked about as bad as a 5-0 team can look the past 2 weeks, barely beating a 1-3 Ole Miss team and squeaking past an 0-5 Colorado team 14-13. The Volunteers have already proven they can hang with good teams with a win over Cal and a 21-20 loss to the Gators, and they want to prove they are the consensus #3 team in the SEC behind Auburn and Florida. A loss here for Georgia could expose them as frauds, while a win will continue to legitimize them as a top 10 team and a major BCS bowl contender.
Oregon @ California
*The Oregon Ducks are still looking for respect. Weeks after that whole mess against Oklahoma, Oregon is still undefeated. And if they get by the Bears this weekend, should have smooth sailing until a matchup with USC on 11/11. It also would be great for their confidence, as I'm sure a bunch of them still feel maybe they got lucky and shouldn't have won that Oklahoma game. Cal, meanwhile, has been more impressive each week since being embarrassed by Tennessee on opening night, and wouldn't mind adding to their streak of 20+ point victories which currently stands at 4.
Missouri @ Texas Tech
*Missouri crept into the top 25 this week and immediately have to go on the road and play a Texas Tech team fresh off beating the undefeated A&M Aggies. Missouri is undefeated at 5-0, but it's possible the best team they have faced so far is the 0-5 Colorado Buffaloes last week. I mean with cream puffs like Ohio and Murray St. on the schedule, almost anyone could crack the top 25. This is by far and away their biggest test of the season. Tech on the other hand has had only one loss, a 12-3 decision @ TCU, and should look to build their resume with a home win this week over a ranked opponent.
Week 4: Open Back Door 87 Grundle Ni**er AIDS 47
Record: 2-2-0, 7th place
Next Week vs HeHateMe (0-3-1)
*The difference this week, was touchdowns. Stephen Jackson and Willis McGahee had their lowest rushing yard games of the season, but scored season highs in points because of? Touchdowns. It also didn't hurt that my new look WR corps of Bernard Berrian, Jericho Cotchery and Terry Glenn combined for 227 yards and 4 TDs. This week, Whitey stands in my way of climbing over .500 and into the playoff picture for the first time all season, but I'll have to do it without Mike Vick and Warrick Dunn. While they didn't do much this week, they've been two of my more reliable scorers. Hopefully new pickup Doug Gabriel and backup Jake "if I score negative points again Rooch might fly to Denver and kill me" Plummer can get the job done just enough to squeak it out.