Monday, September 18, 2006

Monday Musings

What a tremendous weekend of football. We learned a lot, and we have a lot of new questions. For example:

  • During last year’s baseball playoffs I went on a long tirade about my disdain for any type of instant replay system. In my view, sports are games played by humans, officiated by humans, and therefore, we should have to live with the decisions made by humans…good and bad. I understand I’m in the minority on this one, and I certainly understand the argument against my position. So, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that replay is now a part of sports (at least basketball and football). What I haven’t resigned myself to is the fact that the people running the replay booths can’t seem to get it right. I’m not sure anything infuriates me worse than watching the replays of an important play and realizing that the refs on the field were CLEARLY wrong only to hear the ref come back and say that “no indisputable video evidence” exists to overrule the call on the field. I’m sorry, but this is horseshit. Never has this been a bigger problem than this week’s Oregon vs. OU game. I won’t rehash the calls, because I know you are all painfully aware of them, but suffice it to say, that game was not decided by the kids on the field. No, it was decided by the old dudes in the replay booth lacking the stones to do what was right in a hostile environment. Honestly, I’ve never in my life seen a team screwed worse than OU was screwed this weekend. The entire point of replay is to fix mistakes and keep teams from getting screwed like OU did. If, however, that is not how it’s going to be used, then please, for the love of God, get rid of it. If it’s done right, I still won’t like it, but I can live with it. If it’s done like it was Saturday in Eugene, I just don’t see the point.

  • It kills me to say it, but when you have a team go out and lose at home to Southern Miss, one of your powerhouses get destroyed by a Big East power, another struggle for three quarters at home with Troy, another go to overtime with a I-AA school, and another go to overtime at home with BYU, your conference is down…really down. I am, of course, talking about the ACC. I’m not sure exactly what is going on, but I do know that when Wake Forest beating UConn is your marquee victory of the weekend, it’s not exactly a banner year.

  • What does Clemson beating FSU in Tallahassee really tell us? I mean, FSU gained 2 yards on the ground against a Miami defense that looked as thin as Nicole Ritchie at Louisville, they trailed Troy in the 4th quarter at home, and now, they lost to a team that can’t kick an extra point. So, is Clemson good, or is FSU average at best? I’m reserving judgment for now, but I’m leaning toward the latter.

  • How did Texas Tech only score 3 points against TCU? Seriously, if anybody watched the game and can provide me an answer, I would really appreciate it.

  • I’d like to congratulate Bill Callahan who apparently was the valedictorian of this year’s class at the Chan Gailey School of College Coaching. Are you kidding me? In all honesty, not even Gailey has ever been as absurdly conservative as Callahan was Saturday night against S.C. I’ve never before seen a coach so clearly not care about winning a football game; but instead, solely focus on keeping the game respectable and not getting anybody hurt. If I was a Nebraska fan (and, I would never cheapen myself to that level), I would be furious. He not only never gave his team a chance to win, but he never intended to. That is what you get when you bring in an old NFL retread to run your program. They come from an environment where you expect to lose some games, and you can afford to lose some games. That just doesn’t work in college. Sure, Nebraska has made strides under Callahan, but he must be held accountable for what he did Saturday night.

  • One final observation from college football: With Clemson vs. FSU, UF vs. UT, and USC all going on simultaneously, never before has there been a greater collection of hotter cheerleaders on network television at the same time. I haven’t enjoyed watching football that much in quite a while.

  • I can’t tell if it’s the Atlanta Falcons or the ’96 Nebraska Cornhuskers, but I like it. I know we are only two weeks into the season, but man, it’s really nice to see Mike Vick being Mike Vick again. He’s dropping back, going through his progressions, and if nobody is open, he’s taking off and running with conviction. We are even mixing in a little Woody Dantzler style option out of the shot gun. Not to mention, we are back to the days of where any third and less than 10 yards is almost an automatic conversion with Vick’s feet. Again, it’s only two weeks in, but it looks like ’06 is going to be a fun one in the Dome.

  • Ladies and Gentlemen, I’d like to officially announce the arrival of Eli Manning in the realm of elite NFL quarterbacks. Sunday’s fourth quarter comeback on the road at the Linc was the type of quarter that launches careers and Super Bowl seasons. And yes, I’m biased, but I think the G-men are off and running.

  • With a decent showing in week 1 and an impressive victory in week 2, is it possible that the Niners aren’t that bad? Is it possible Alex Smith might be a good quarterback? Is it possible that Frank Gore might be the real deal? Only time will tell, but it’s a good sign for the Niners that I’m even asking these questions.

  • Yes, I’m keenly aware that I picked the Redskins to go to the Super Bowl and they are now 0-2. On the bright side, they have Houston on the schedule next week, and I can’t think of a better place to get healthy.

  • Speaking of the Texans, circle this date on your calendar: December 3, 2006. That’s the day the Texans visit Oakland, and the #1 overall pick in the draft is going to be on the line.

  • And finally, speaking of the Raiders….I don’t even have a joke here. The word disaster doesn’t even come close to sufficiently describing what is going on with this team. The only compelling question left for the Raiders if whether they can score a touchdown before the Bucs. It’s too bad the Bucs and Raiders don’t play each other, or we might have a chance to witness the firs 0-0 time of our lifetimes.