$0.02: Root for college football chaos
Summit County CO, Colorado
SUMMIT COUNTY, Colorado ” There they sit, perched in succession atop college football’s rankings, three hollow ovals in the loss column with another a few rungs down.
Yup, we’re almost to November, two-thirds through the regular season, and still four major college programs remain undefeated: No. 1 Texas, No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Penn State and No. 6 Texas Tech ” which hosts Texas on Saturday night in Lubbock.
Do your brain a favor and stop trying to figure out which of the three remaining unbeatens after Saturday will continue to win out. Instead, root for the good of the sport and hope they all do ” or none of them do.
The powers that be in college football have made it quite clear we’re never going to get a playoff as long as the Bad College System continues to work. And if we end up with two undefeated teams and a boatload of one-lossers, the BCS and all its loony backers win.
In other words, we need chaos to ensue ” again ” before anything can change. If that can’t come via three undefeated teams, then let’s hope we end up with 10 one-loss squads fighting for two title-game spots, each arguing its sole defeat was less damaging than all the rest.
What a stupid reality we’re left with each season. …
I had to file this column before Game 5 of the World Series had been played, so there’s a chance we already have a new world champion as you read this (or maybe the Rays’ bats woke up and we’re going back to Tampa).
Regardless, the whole plot going into the series revolved around power and starting pitching ” for both teams. I can’t think of a time when we had two clubs more identical in style playing for the world title than the Phillies and Rays.
The question, then, was which upstart could continue to hit all its home runs and get seven strong from its starters night in and night out? The Fightins have risen to that charge, thanks in no small part to Ryan Howard.
I swear, when that guy is on, blasting pitches high and low, inside and out, to distant reaches across the stadium, you try finding a hitter more feared by the pitchers trying to get him out. …
Catch the Breeders’ Cup? Defending champion Curlin, the overwhelming favorite (drawing 9-10 odds) much the same way Big Brown stood before the Belmont last summer, finished fourth. He was upset by a 13-1 longshot from England, Raven’s Pass.
None of which helped racing’s current state. Like boxing, particularly the heavyweight division, horse racing needs a hero to emerge and thus garner interest from people who don’t otherwise care. Without such a figure, upsets, as exciting as they are to those who follow the sport, destroy any hope of mainstream appeal. …
Eli Manning, who not all that long ago was criticism’s best friend and a threat to the Manning family’s NFL quarterback reputation, is now 20-5 in his last 25 starts, postseason included. He suddenly seems to find tiny ways to win that no one else in the league can find. …
Suffice it to say you have not wanted to play Andre Johnson and the Texans the past four weeks. Johnson, the 6-foot-3, 223-pound cheetah from Miami, leads the NFL in catches (56) and receiving yards (772) thanks to an average of 10 catches and 148 yards the past four games, the last three of which once-moribund Houston has won. …
Before the game of football turned to short passes and the West Coast offense, a receiver’s value was often measured by how many yards he averaged per catch. The magic number was always 20.
Only three receivers in the NFL’s current top 50 average that number now, but you can bet every safety in the league knows where they are at all times. They are: New Orleans’ Devery Henderson (18 catches, 499 yards, 27.7 average), Buffalo’s Lee Evans (31 for 637 and a 20.5 average) and Detroit’s Calvin Johnson (29 for 588 and a 20.3 average). …
In parting, classic commentary from Chris Berman on ESPN Sunday night, describing the end of the Saints-Chargers game in London. Saints QB Drew Brees, his team up 37-30 with time winding down, took a safety on purpose, running backward for 20 yards before throwing the ball out of the end zone.
Berman, ever on top of the moment, quipped: “The British, trying to learn football. How do you explain this?”
Breckenridge resident Devon O’Neil’s $0.02 column runs Tuesdays. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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