Monday, November 1, 2010

Tricked or Treated?

Halloween weekend had its share of tricks and treats.  It also revealed scary realities for some teams.  There is just one month left of regular season college football and the NFL is halfway through it season.  November is here, but let's look at how October ended.

College Weekend
Just when I was ready to inform you that for the first time in October, the #1 team won and stayed at the top spot, the BCS tricks me with me a new #1.  Despite, Auburn pounding Ole Miss 51 – 31, the Tigers dropped to #2 in the BCS.  Oregon moved to #1 after beating #24 USC 53 - 32. 

The BCS is a hodgepodge of the Harris Interactive College Football Poll, USA Today Coaches Poll and computer rankings.  In spite of all of the science that is used in the BCS methodology, the process still seems unscientific and subjective.  This is why we end up with quirky situations like a 9-0 team (Auburn) losing the top spot after a win or a one-loss team playing in the championship game over undefeated teams.  I guess Oregon’s victory over a ranked opponent was more impressive than Auburn’s victory over an unranked team this weekend.  It will get messier during the final month of the college regular season. 

The team to watch is Alabama.  At 7-1, #2 in the SEC West and #6 in the BCS, they still have to play LSU #10 and Auburn #2.  If the Crimson Tide continues to roll over its opponents, beat an undefeated Auburn at the end of the season and win the SEC Championship game, they could land in one of the top two spots.  EVEN if TCU #3 or #4 Boise State are still undefeated. 


Alabama surviving the SEC (playing seven ranked opponents) with only one loss illustrates a stronger team to the humans behind the polls and computer rankings, in comparison to TCU going undefeated in the Mountain West Conference (MWC) and playing only two ranked opponents.  This will become more likely this weekend when TCU #3 and Utah #5 play.  I don’t know who will win, but I do know that the loser will drop.  This puts Alabama in a position to get in the top 5 in the BCS.  A win against LSU on Saturday will get them to at least #5.

NFL Week 8
In the AFC, the New England Patriots took the lead in the conference with a 28 – 18 victory over the Minnesota Vikings and their former star receiver Randy Moss.  Scary game for the Vikes.  Favre struggled and ended up out of the game with eight stitches in his chin.

In the NFC, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is back to himself.  After an embarrassing loss last weekend and a scary start yesterday, he ended the game with over 300 passing yards and 2 touchdowns.  In the second half he only missed two passes.  Meanwhile, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could not get one touchdown pass.  It reminded me that the Saints do have the third ranked defense in the NFL.  New Orleans beat Pittsburgh 20 – 10.

Donovan McNabb was benched in the Washington Redskins loss to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.  Calvin Johnson, a.k.a Megatron, and Matthew Stafford treated Lions fans to a 37 – 25 victory. 

The New York Jets could not handle the Green Bay Packers defense.  They lose at home without scoring a single point.  Scary.  Packers win on the road 9 – 0.  If you forgot the Packers have last season’s defensive player of the year, Charles Woodson.

The Dallas Cowboys can no longer trick anyone into thinking that they are a good team.  The Cowboys were already off to one of the worst starts in the franchise’s history.  Now their starting quarterback, Tony Romo, is out after breaking his collarbone last Monday.  His replacement, Jon Kitna, is old and has not played in a NFL game in two seasons.  It showed yesterday.  The scariest moment came when he collided with Marion Barber trying to hand off the ball.  I don’t think I have seen that type of confusion in Pee Wee in football. 

The San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos went to the other side of the pond and played at Wembley Stadium.  49ers fans were treated to a different quarterback, a different country, a different team and a different outcome.  Troy Smith in only his third start as a NFL quarterback ran for a touchdown and passed for a touchdown, treating 49ers fans to a 24 – 16 win over Denver, their second of the season.  

Are you ready for some football?
Tonight Monday Night Football is a rematch between the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts.  In the season opener, Houston won 34 - 24.  The Colts are without a couple of offensive threats, wide receiver Austin Collie and running back Joseph Addai.  However, they are coming off of a Bye week and they still have Peyton Manning.  He is rested and at home.  I expect him to make good things happen.  The league’s last ranked defense going against the older Manning brother is a scary thought.  I’m going with the Colts.

MNF is at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.  If you’re in DC, you can join us at Degrees in the Ritz Carlton-Georgetown. 

Heels & Helmets

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