We here at Random Thoughts Illustrated are still working through our fall lineup of posts and are happy to introduce you to our new feature column: The Weekender. This is your place to catch up on everything that happened this weekend and what it all means. And this weekend had plenty to offer so let’s get into what’s good, what’s bad and what’s to look forward to next weekend!
The Rising (The Good)
The SEC, Big XII, ACC & Pac 12 – The AP Top 10 all come from those 4 conferences and each conference has at least 2 schools in the Top 10. Of course that will change this week as the loser of the FSU-Clemson game is likely to fall out of the Top 10.
NFL Rookie QB’s – 4 of the 5 rookie starting QB’s in the NFL have recorded their first professional win in their first two weeks. Russell Wilson and Ryan Tannehill were efficient and solid this weekend while Luck, RGIII, and Weeden were all very impressive.
Apple – When analysts are throwing out the possibility that your new phone could potentially add as much as half a percentage point to the country’s GDP in the fourth quarter, you MIGHT be doing something well.
Jimmie Johnson – Week one of the NASCAR playoffs and Jimmie finishes in the top 2. When you’ve done it 5 times there’s a good chance you’ve figured out when to peak, and the #48 seems poised to make a serious run at #6.
Atlanta Braves & Oakland A’s – The teams are a combined 15-5 in their last 20 games as they tighten their grips on the top Wild Card spots. The Braves recorded a 3 game sweep of the 1st place Nationals over the weekend in a big statement that they will not be melting down like last season.
Notre Dame – They moved from the crumbling Big East to the surprisingly stable ACC in most sports and then beat a Top 10 team for the first time in years and are now knocking on the doorstep of joining the Top 10. A win over Michigan this week and they will assuredly be joining a group that they haven’t seen in a good while.
Penn State – At least they got their first win.
Parity in the NFL – There are 20 teams with 1-1 records and only 5 winless teams. That number will assuredly go down after the Saints beat…er…play the Chiefs.
We Are The Fallen (The Bad)
The Big Ten (plus 2) – Three weeks into the season and only 3 schools are undefeated. Something tells us that Minnesota and Northwestern won’t keep that up for long (and still aren’t even ranked) which only leaves Ohio State. Oh, and did you forget that Ohio State is ineligible for the postseason this year? (And even that would be ignoring that they would have lost if Cal could find a kicker west of the Mississippi) Yeah… not a banner year.
The Kansas City Chiefs – Last year following the Bills game the folks at RTI published a faux New York Times Obituary. In a complete moment of symmetry, I nearly posted the EXACT same obit today. Once again following a beat-down by the Bills, the Chiefs season is done. And sadly, this one could end much worse than last year’s based on the strength of schedule.
Roger Goodell – At this point Roger should consider laying low for a while. He’s got a work stoppage, a flip-flop on head injuries that made politicians proud, a flogging from the courts over his overuse of power, and a ridiculous referees lockout on his record. He’s not exactly racking up the marks in his favor. Lucky for him there’s always…
Gary Bettman – REALLY?! Less than 10 years after a brutal lockout that cancelled an entire season you couldn’t work things out to avoid another one?! The past couple of years hockey was finally showing signs of recovering with exciting games, new stars, and thrilling postseasons and through a complete lack of foresight and leadership they are once again locked out. This is BRUTAL. I can only hope that for those who love the puck, this one doesn’t drag on nearly as long.
Mannings in the First Half – This was not exactly a stellar week for the Brothers Manning in the first half of games. 6 INT’s is pretty brutal. Now both came back strong as the games went on, but you can rest assured that neither one was real happy when the final whistle was blown.
USC – After finally being past their postseason ban they came into the season with their Senior QB and lots of preseason National Championship hype and they wouldn’t have to face Andrew Luck. The chips were falling into place until they found out that Stanford had a good bit more than Andrew Luck on their roster. I feel a little bad for Matt Barkley, but seeing Lane Kiffin and the Trojan fans upset doesn’t hurt me at all.
NFL Replacement Refs – Let me first acknowledge that these gentlemen are in over their heads. They are being asked to do a job they aren’t ready for. It’s as if the world were watching as I try to fly a Blackhawk helicopter. It won’t be pretty. In week 1 they did a serviceable job. This week? Let’s just say they gave the locked out refs a bit more leverage. Phantom calls, missed calls, replays misinterpreted, rules unknown, incorrect information given on the field (see: Reason a Stanford Grad spiked the ball with the clock stopped), QB’s not protected… There was nothing to like. As Sir Topham Hatt would say, “They’ve caused confusion and delay” and he would be very cross. (Wow… kids really impact your TV/Movie references)
JR Motorsports – It’s gotta be pretty tough to fire your Uncle. Having to fire your Cousin 2 weeks later? Even less fun. Can’t say that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is having much fun right now on the team ownership side of his racing career. The best news for him is that his driving career is at a much better place.
The Skillet (What’s Hot this coming Weekend)
- Michigan @ Notre Dame – Will ND join the Top 10 or will Michigan expose them?
- K-State @ Oklahoma – Was K-State’s dominance over Miami who they are or was the sluggish performance against North Texas more of the truth?
- Clemson @ FSU – Will Florida State finally live up to the “We’re Back!” mantra we’ve been hearing out of Tallahassee?
- Sprint Cup @ New Hampshire – Will the Hendrick Motorsports drivers continue to run strong at NHMS or will Keselowski & Hamlin stake their claim for the young guns?
- A’s @ Yankees – Can Oakland lock down the top Wild Card or will NY finally get some separation from Baltimore?
- White Sox @ Angels – Can the Sox put a stranglehold on the Central or will the Angels keep hope for a miracle alive?
- Dodgers @ Reds – Will the trades around the deadline finally pay dividends for LA or will Cincy clinch the Central?
- Orioles @ Red Sox – Can the Sox play spoilers or will they find a new way to annoy the Yankees and propel the Orioles to greater heights?
- Falcons @ Chargers – Which 2-0 team can keep their roll going against a tough opponent?
- Patriots @ Ravens – Two hard-luck losers from Week 2 face off in an extremely important prime-time affair. Can the Pats line withstand the Ravens’ D?
Most Importantly – Happy Birthday to the Official Father of the Swami & Guru!
Categories: Sports General