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Stuff Spooky is looking forward to this weekend…….
– Texas A&M upset Alabama last year, on its way to winning its freshman QB a Heisman Trophy; now Alabama comes looking for revenge, having covered 15 of its last 21 as a road favorite, but with an inexperienced OL. Interesting game.
– 49ers-Seahawks is the Sunday night game, an intense rivalry, in part because the coaches don’t like each other. Harbaugh’s Stanford Cardinal once upset Carroll’s USC team as a 42-point underdog, and that is not a misprint. 42-point dog.
– South Carolina lost between the hedges last week against Georgia, now host a Vanderbilt squad that isn’t a pushover anymore. “They have fast guys now. They never used to have fast guys” was Spurrier’s comment after last years game in Nashville.
– Terrelle Pryor’s first road start wasn’t bad, 217 passing yards, 112 more on ground. Now Oakland is a 6-point home favorite over a Jacksonville squad that didn’t score a point on offense last week. How many times will the Raiders be favored to win this year? Big opportunity for both sides.
– Chip Kelly’s offense ran 53 plays Monday night, just in first half, then took foot off gas pedal in second half; will McCoy get 31 carries again? Can Vick stay healthy for 16 games playing at this pace? Chargers looked awful against Houston’s no-huddle offense late Monday night, not a good sign for this game.
-- UCLA visits Nebraska after upsetting the Cornhuskers 36-30 (+5) LY; both teams have experienced QBs. Mora probably has coaching edge, but the Huskers covered seven of last nine as a home favorite.
– Texas fired its DC after one dreadful game last week; former Syracuse coach Greg Robinson, never considered much of a mastermind, is his replacement. How are the defensive players supposed to react when their coach gets canned after one bad game? This doesn’t happen much in college ball, I’m looking forward to see how the Texas defense plays against a pretty good Ole Miss team that the Longhorns pounded 66-31 LY.
– Andy Reid might win AFC Coach of the Year before September ends; his Chiefs host a Dallas squad coming off a big divisional win but with Tony Romo’s ribs hurting. This is a tough game for Cowboys to win. Arrowhead crowd will be very loud. After 14 years in black, Reid looks odd wearing red.
– Bengals are -7 over the Steelers Monday night, most point they’ve been favored by in this series since 1989. Pitt is crippled on offensive line with C Pouncey out for year. Hard to win with a crippled OL.
– This is probably last time the Manning brothers play each other, unless they meet in a Super Bowl; Giant defense was porous last week, now faces a QB who threw seven TD passes last week. Eli also threw seven TDs, just that two of the seven went to the Cowboys. John Fox is an old Giant assistant. Front running nitwits will start questioning Coughlin if Denver makes Big Blue 0-2. Archie Manning is probably playing the over. So am I.
-- Washington bashed Boise State at home, now goes to Chicago with its senior QB to face an Illinois squad that pummeled Cincinnati at home last week. Pretty good intersectional game.
-- Texas Tech football coach Kliff Kingsbury is a better man than I am, Thursday night, game tied with 5:00 left against TCU. One of his players scores a TD with 4:56 left to put Tech ahead, only he drops the ball in a cool-guy move, but he drops it on the half-yard line, and TD doesn’t count. Not only doesn’t it count, but Tech got a 15-yard penalty for celebrating the TD-that-wasn’t, so now they’ve got the ball on the 16-yard line. Somehow, Kingsbury doesn’t flip out on the kid (I’m assuming someone did behind closed doors afterwards) and Tech scored again and wound up winning 20-10. Maybe that’s the lesson Bobby Knight taught coaches; in Youtube/Twitter era, it is bad for recruiting to flip out in the public eye, even if you’re right to do so. In any event, tremendous composure by Kingsbury.
-- Patriots had 11 penalties, nine first downs Thursday; their offensive coaches have to teach remedial receiving to this band of WRs, who will get better as time goes on. Brady has leaned heavily on his TEs the last few years, but has no one there to lean on now, so it’ll be Edelman until one of the young WRs emerges as a star, and one of them will.
-- How about Bucs’ backup QB Mike Glennon? He is the kid NC State played at QB after coach O’Brien told Russell Wilson he could take a hike for his senior season (Wilson was a star with the Badgers and now Seahawks) and now he looks like he’ll be the guy who becomes Tampa Bay’s starting QB when Greg Schiano runs Josh Freeman out of town. Freeman had been a team captain two years running; you think suddenly his teammates didn’t vote him a captain this year? Think again. Schiano better be careful, or he’ll lose his team and then his job.
-- Joe Girardi is a free agent after this season; think he’ll want to stay in the Bronx? If he wanted to go to the Cubs (he and his wife are both from that area) would Theo Epstein fire Dale Sveum and hire Girardi? Girardi really has done a good job this season, but not sure the long-term prospects in the Bronx are all that great, with expensive, aging players clogging up the payroll.
-- I love players who play with exuberance/enthusiasm; so what if Jose Fernandez flips his bat after a home run? If you don’t want him flipping his bat, then don’t let him hit a damn home run!!!! I enjoy watching Puig play for the Dodgers; his countryman Cespedes isn’t as demonstrative (maybe because he’s 4-5 years older) but these Cuban players who have made it to the majors are very good and adding a lot to the game. Puig is liable to throw the ball anywhere at any time from RF and boy does he have a cannon. Cespedes should be playing CF but has adjusted well to LF. How the A’s outbid everyone for him is a mystery but its also one of the main reasons Oakland is doing as well as it has the last two years.
-- Credit where credit is due department: To former used car salesman Alan R. Selig, for the second Wild Card idea. It has revitalized September baseball and created interest throughout the month, where in many years, there hadn’t been any. Now if we could just get a salary cap and get rid of the DH………
-- The media talks way too much about the Jets/Mark Sanchez, but not nearly enough about how Rex Ryan lost 120 pounds; that’s a tremendous achievement and he deserves a lot of credit for it. If I’m a Jet fan which I am not, the first two games encourage me; Smith is a better QB than I thought he would be. They still need better RB’s/WR’s to give him some help. The defense is playing its butt off.
-- Tom Brady was just 6-21 passing Thursday when he targeted someone other than Julian Edelman. The extra three days they have before their next game will benefit those young Patriot WRs, who need a lot of repetitions in both practice and games.