31
Oct
07

kitna knows something we don’t

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Remember when Jon Kitna became the laughing stock of the NFL off-season?

“I’ll keep to myself what I think we actually will win. But it’s more than 10 games,” Kitna said during a June appearance on WDFN-AM in Detroit.

Quite a lot of confidence coming from the man who quarterbacked his team to a 3-13 record the previous year.  But, lets give Kitna a break, he was a very underrated player, just ask Lions WR Roy Williams.

While declaring the Detroit the best 2-6 team in the NFL last season, and predicting that the Lions would win the rest of their games, Williams threw in his two cents on Kitna, saying he’s the best quarterback in the league.  By the way, the Lions lost their next seven games.

However, Williams hasn’t jumped off the Kitna bandwagon, and the Detroit quarterback is on his way to meeting his prediction.

“Other teams can have their Brady’s and Manning’s, but we’ll take Jon Kitna anyday,” Williams said after a Lions win this season.

The Lions are off to a quick 5-2 start, good for fourth best in the NFC.  Kitna predicted more than 10 wins, so we’re assuming he plans on winning at least 11.  Don’t look now, but Detroit is on pace for 11 or 12. 

Is it possible the Lions actually meet Kitna’s prediction?  Only time will tell with Denver, NY Giants, Dallas, Green Bay twice, San Diego and Kansas City still on the schedule.  But hey, maybe Kitna knows something we don’t.

18
Oct
07

Ranking the College football unbeatens: The SportsGarage top 6

1.  USF (6-0) – The Bulls not only started the season unranked to climb to No. 2 in the BCS, but they’ve had a tough road to get there.  South Florida boasts wins at Auborn and at home against West Virginia.  Not an easy thing to do.  The next three games will be the true test for USF as they play at Rutgers (4-2), at UCONN (5-1) and at home against No. 23 Cincinnati (6-1).  If they can escape those three games unblemished, they have no excuse for losing one of their final three against Syracuse (1-6), Louisville (4-3) and Pitt (2-4).

2. Ohio St. (7-0)  – The leftover players from the should-have-been champions feel like they’ve got something to prove, and they’re off to a good start.  Once again undefeated and havent even played a close game.  They’ve won every game by at least three scores.  However, the Buckeye’s toughest games have been against Washington and Purdue, who are both suddenly failing to meet expectations.  Don’t pencil OSU into your BCS title game yet, their final four are against Penn St., Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan, all of whom are currently 5-2.

3. Arizona State (7-0) – The arrival of head coach Dennis Ericson from Idaho has brought the Sun Devils something to get excited for.  At 7-0, ASU finds itself in an unfamiliar position.  Having already beaten Colorado, up-and-down Oregon State, and a Stanford team that knocked off USC, the Devils can’t be satisfied yet.  Their next four? How about No. 12 Cal (5-1), at No. 10 Oregon (5-1), at UCLA (4-2) and No. 14 USC (5-1).  Oh and by the way, don’t hand ASU a win against unranked UCLA quite yet, the Bruins are the only other team undefeated in Pac-10 play.

4. Boston College (7-0) – Led by heisman trophy frontrunner Matt Ryan the Eagles are enjoying their nice start.  The problem is, the only way they get into the BCS title game is if somebody ahead of them stumbles.  Right now, they might be ranked ahead of ASU in the BCS, but if both teams keep winning, the Sun Devils strenght of schedule puts them ahead of BC.  The Eagles havent played anybody yet, and No. 11 Virginia Tech (6-1) is really the only tough game they have left, considering Florida State and Miami are only the third and fourth best teams in Florida.  If play A (BCS No.’s 1, 2, or 3 losing) fails, plan B is to win every game by 35, that can always help negate an easy schedule.

5. Hawaii  (7-0) – Colt Brennan decided to bag the whole heisman trophy thing.  Maybe throwing 4 or 5 pics a game is more fun.  Either way, the Warriors are still undefeated.  The reason they’re not even sniffing BCS talk is their schedule, which is the easiest in college football.  The only reason they’re ahead of Kansas in the SportsGarage top 6 is because they’re closest road game is a 2,500 mile trip.  Their farthest conference game is flirting with 5,000 miles, when they went to Ruston, LA to take care of LA Tech 45-44.  It’s not easy for the Warriors to win on the road, but they do.

6. Kansas  (6-0) – It’s cool for Jayhawks fans to have something besides basketball to cheer about this time of year, but in a few weeks, there won’t be a word spoken about this football team on campus.  Seriously, what kind of a non-conference schedule is Central Michigan, SE Louisiana, Toledo, and Florida International?  It sounds more like a Duke Basketball schedule.  With only one win even worth mentioning, a 30-24 victory over Kansas State, the Jayhawks face a few more tests before seasons end.  They still play at Colorado, at A&M, at home against Nebraska, and a few weeks later, they finish the season with No. 16 Missouri.  We won’t be talking about Kansas football by then. 

27
Sep
07

Carlson attacks Reid, Gundy Attacks Carlson

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(Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy’s full press conference can be seen below) 

Below is the full column written by The Oklahoman’s Jenni Carlson that set Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy off on the paper and the editor.  In her article, Carlson says OSU quarterback Bobby Reid was benched because of his attitude, despite being the best signal-caller on the roster.  Carlson wrote “Does he have the fire in his belly? Or does he want to be coddled, babied, perhaps even fed chicken?”  Carlson also accused him of threatening to transfer.  “Word is that Reid has considered transferring a couple different times, the first as early as 2005.  Reid, then a redshirt freshman, was facing competition from returner Donovan Woods, and apparently, Reid considered leaving OSU just because he had to compete for the spot.”

OSU coach Mike Gundy took exception to the article, and had strong words for Carlson and the paper after last week’s game.  In his press conference, which can also be seen below, Gundy calls the paper and the editor garbage, and says that three-quarters of what was put in the article was untrue.  Without further ado, here’s both sides of the story.

REID IS STILL THE MOST TALENTED SIGNAL-CALLER, BUT ATTITUDE IS REASON FOR CHANGE

Jenni Carlson

Oklahoman

STILLWATER — Bobby Reid stood near the team charters last Friday night, using his cell phone, eating his boxed meal.

It would’ve been normal post-game activity but for one thing.

His mother was feeding him chicken.

Which brings us to the quarterback switch-a-roo at Oklahoma State. 

Don’t see the connection?

Let me explain. Cowboy coaches have gone full-speed ahead with the Zac Attack, opting to start Robinson over Reid a week ago, then sticking with him against Texas Tech today even after an embarrassing loss at Troy. Weren’t we being told just last week that Reid was still the guy? All the weight with which Cowboy coaches were backing Reid has totally shifted to Robinson.

The change seems sudden.

Thing is, it may not be as abrupt as it looks. If you believe the rumors and the rumblings, Reid has been pushing coaches that way for quite some time.

Tile up the back stories told on the sly over the past few years, and you see a pattern that hasn’t always been pretty.

Word is that Reid has considered transferring a couple different times, the first as early as 2005. Reid, then a redshirt freshman, was facing competition from returner Donovan Woods, and apparently, Reid considered leaving OSU just because he had to compete for the spot.

Reid‘s nerves have also been an issue. Earlier this year, he told our Andrea Cohen about his game-day emotions.

“I get sweaty palms. I get the butterflies in my stomach. I sweat lot,” he said then. “I’ve been playing this game for 15 years. And I can honestly say every game I’ve played in, I’ve been nervous. It’s not so much me being scared; I just get to a point where I start worrying about a lot of things I can’t control.”

A lot of guys get nervous, some even puke before games. How you handle the nerves is important, though, and Reid hasn’t always managed them well. He has gotten off to some extremely slow starts, putting the Cowboys in some holes. Some, they dug out of, with Reid often wielding the biggest shovel, and some, they couldn’t.

Then, there have been the injuries. No doubt some of Reid‘s ailments have been severe, including an injured shoulder that required surgery and forced him to redshirt. Other times, though, Reid has been nicked in games and sat it out instead of gutting it out.

Injuries are tricky, of course. You don’t want a guy to put himself in harm’s way if he’s really hurt, and yet, football is one of those sports in which everyone plays hurt. Aches and pains, bumps and bruises are part of the gig.

Reid‘s injury against Florida Atlantic — whatever it was — appeared minor but just might have been the thing that pushed Cowboy coaches over the edge. Even though Mike Gundy said last week that Robinson got the nod because he had the better week of practice, insiders say that the coaches decided to bench Reid early in the week. The bottom line: The switch is less about Robinson’s play and more about Reid‘s attitude.

“The coaches made a decision,” Reid told our Mike Baldwin after the Troy game. “I just have to go with it, get better and get back on the field.”

There’s something to be said for not being a malcontent, but you can almost see Reid shrugging his shoulders as he says those words. Does he have the fire in his belly?

Or does he want to be coddled, babied, perhaps even fed chicken?

That scene in the parking lot last week had no bearing on the Cowboys changing quarterbacks, and yet, it said so much about Reid. A 21-year-old letting his mother feed him in public? Most college kids, much less college football players, would just as soon be seen running naked across campus.

And what of the scene television cameras captured earlier that evening of Reid on the sidelines laughing with assistant strength coach Trumain Carroll? The same cameras showed him throwing his cap in disgust after a missed play earlier, but to be laughing in the final minutes of an embarrassing loss is bad form.

A lot of people have been saying Gundy lost his cool, and went overboard, but the fact is, he did exactly the right thing.  He made sure the media was not going to get away with downgrading his players.  He set the precedent that his team and players come first.   And, if he didn’t already have it, which would surprise me, he gained the respect of everybody involved with Oklahoma State football, and nearly every college football spectator.  

24
Sep
07

don’t bench donovan

(Donovan’s beautiful performance in his ugly uniform)

As a fantasy football rookie, I figure it’s best to play it safe until I learn the ropes a little bit.  And after the first two weeks of the season, my backup QB, Matt Schaub, was slightly out-performing my starter, Mr. Donovan McNabb.  So the safe thing to do? Bench Donovan.

 Don’t Bench Donovan.

McNabb punished me by putting up 381 yards,  4 touchdowns and no pics, with a completion percentage of 80.8 and a passer rating of 158.3. 

That was good for 30.94 fantasy points in a league where the first person to 120 usually gets the W.

Just to add insult to injury, he did it in those disgusting baby blue and yellow uni’s in a 56-21 romping over my previously unbeaten Lions. 

So, how did Mr. Schaub perform for me as a starter? Well, lets say he was ‘nervous.’  Matt came out with a pretty basic 236 yard performance with a touchdown and two pics.  He got me 11.94 points, pretty dissapointing considering I left 30 on the bench. 

So Tuesday morning, when it comes time to pick my week 4 starters, guess who’s going to be my number 1 man?  Don’t bench Donovan.

18
Sep
07

man dies from playing video game

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A man in southern China died after playing an online video game for three days straight at a cyber cafe.  The man reportedly died of exhaustion from being on the internet too long. 

The report didn’t say what game the man was playing, but I think it’s safe to assume it wasn’t solitare.  We all know somebody who can spend eight hours or more playing World Of Warcraft (aka WOW) online at least a few times a week.  I’ve always made the argument that WOW is worse than drugs, and soon I might find some followers.  If you’ve ever been around a WOWer away from a computer for an extended period of time, you understand what I’m talking about.  The addiction takes over the person.  This guy probably didn’t leave his seat or move his eyes for 72 consecutive hours, and it killed him.  All I have to say to that is, wow. 

30
Aug
07

college football week 1 preview

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(LSU QB Matt Flynn) 

It’s week 1 of college football, and the season kicks off with a Thursday night line-up highlighted by an (2) LSU at Mississippi St SEC matchup.  Of note, (10) Louisville, (16) Rutgers, and (24) Boise St. also play Thursday, but against opponents not even worth naming on this site, so lets focus on LSU.

The Tigers are facing huge expectations this season, with their highest pre-season ranking in decades, but a vicious SEC schedule stands between them and a BCS championship game birth.  Much of that pressure will fall on the shoulders of senior QB Matt Flynn, who threw for all of 133 yards last season, after being a career backup.  However, much of that pressure may be relieved by LSU’s defense, which is being touted as maybe the best in the country.

On the other side of the ball, the MSU Bulldogs have failed to put together a winning season since 2000, and have lost seven straight to LSU.  In last seasons matchup, the Tigers took a 35-3 halftime lead before winning 48-17.  The Bulldogs expectations, as with their season ticket sales, are up this year, but don’t expect an upset of national-championship-minded LSU in week 1.

In non-conference matchups, the best game on the week 1 schedule has got to be (15)Tennessee at (12)Cal.  Last year the Vol’s thumped the Bears, but don’t necessarily believe they’ll do it again.  This will be a close game, and Cal will find a way to pull out the victory.

Other notable games on Saturday include Washington St. at (7) Wisconsin, Oklahoma St. at (13) Georgia, and Kansas St. at (18)Auburn.  Anticipate one of these ranked teams being upset at home in week 1.

It just wouldn’t be right to end the week 1 preview without mentioning the fierce battle that the top-ranked team is heading into Saturday.  (1)USC hosts Idaho in its season opener, and don’t sleep on Idaho.  Wait, nevermind, I take that back, do sleep on Idaho.  Here’s a quick pre-cap of the game.  USC scores ad TD within the first minute, be it kickoff return or 80-yard pass.  Idaho fumbles on the ensuing drive, USC capitalizes with an under 25-yard TD drive.  Repeat for 60 minutes.  The biggest questions in my mind are A) will USC be forced to punt even once in this game? And B) Will Idaho find a way to make it on the scoreboard.  The answers are NO and NO, unless USC fumbles in their own endzone. 

And that wraps up the college football week 1 preview.  It’s time to throw the steaks on the grill, tap the keg, and enjoy the season to come.

26
Aug
07

greatest quote of all time

Instead of actually writing something today, I’m showing you a mildly funny NFL Network commercial with the greatest quote of all time.  “Bears fans are crazy about Rex Grossman.  Crazy!”  This is basically a cop-out so I can get back to my homework, but if you don’t enjoy it you should find a new hobby.  Of course, if you’re reading this then you should probably find a new hobby, so it looks like a lose-lose situation for ya. 




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