Another weekend of Football and Baseball pennant chases has come and gone and we’ve learned a lot. So let’s break it down…
Kliff Kingsbury – This offseason it seemed like things were falling apart at Texas Tech. After the scandal-driven departure of Mike Leach, the Red Raiders brought in Tommy Tuberville to try to stabilize the program and keep it going at a high level. Things weren’t perfect and then he did what very few saw coming and left the Big XII’s Texas Tech program for Cincinnati…thought to many to be a downgrade. Enter former Texas Tech QB Kliff Kingsbury who had just finished a season as the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M, calling the plays the led to Johnny Manziel hoisting the Heisman trophy. He took the head coaching job and restored hope to the program. Thursday night, on national television, his team got their first big win of the season by beating Top 25 ranked TCU and are showing signs of righting the ship faster than expected. Don’t sleep on Kingsbury.
Alabama vs. Texas A&M – Yes, someone did have to lose this one, but while everyone was looking to see who would fold under pressure, neither program was willing to. Johnny Manziel and his Heisman Trophy reinforced how good he is with the best game of his college career against a very good defense. A.J. McCarron and his two National Championship trophies reinforced that flashy doesn’t win games…A.J. does. It was a rare game that fully lived up to the hype.
Jameis Winston – There’s a decent chance you have no idea who he is. There’s a REALLY good chance that won’t be the case by the end of his redshirt freshman season. Winston is the Quarterback of Florida State. In his first game he completed 25 of 27 passes (and one of the misses was completed, just out of bounds) over a very solid defense. In his second he finally hit some adversity and threw an interception in his first three passes. Of course then he finished by completing 13 straight passes for 184 yards and 2 TD’s before being pulled early as FSU ran away to a 50+ point victory. Keep your eyes on this one ladies and gentlemen.
Terry Bowden – The Akron Zips have won 3 games in the past 3 seasons. They came about 2 feet on a final pass from beating Michigan in The Big House. It would have been an even bigger upset than when Appalachian State beat Michigan. And yes, the coach of the Akron Zips is Terry Bowden…THE Terry Bowden. Am I the only person that wonders how good Auburn would have ended up being if they didn’t let their boosters run Terry out of town after he led the Tigers, a team on probation courtesy of his predecessor, to an undefeated season. And it so soured him that he didn’t coach again for over a decade. But the man can still coach.
The Denver Broncos – Last season at this point the Broncos were trying to get their feet under them at the beginning of the Peyton Manning Era. This season? They are already going 100 miles per hour. They eviscerated the Ravens and then blew out Eli and the Giants. Based on what I’m seeing, the only thing that could stop them is injuries. Otherwise, I’d bet on the AFC Championship game going through the Mile High city. (BTW… based on early feedback, you should set your DVR’s for The Book of Manning next week on ESPN)
The Seattle Seahawks – We all knew that they should be good. We didn’t all know that they would be able to make the 49ers look like the Jacksonville Jaguars (cut to Jags fans saying, “Hey, what’d we do to you?!”) in primetime. When you have a defense that can completely shut down that offense and have a home field advantage as strong as theirs, you are a force to be reckoned with. And unless something changes in a big way, I would bet on the NFC Championship going through the 12th Man in Seattle.
Matt Kenseth – With a new team, new crew, new sponsor(s), and new outlook the former Sprint Cup Champion has looked reborn. In the first race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, he looked like the favorite to win it all this year. While my personal bias and history both say that Jimmie Johnson is still a formidable foe, but the leader in the clubhouse has to be Kenseth.
We are The Fallen
Apparently there are a lot of folks that forget that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. You’ll see what I mean.
Texas (the College) – Wait, wait… you fired your defensive coordinator after a terrible performance, but the man you installed to replace him (Greg Robinson…yeah, Chiefs and Syracuse fans just shuttered) had the 110th ranked defense in the country the LAST time he coached your defense?! And you think this is a good idea?! Well Ole Miss did too!! Haa!! Mack may want to start reviewing the buyout parameters of his contract.
Texas (the Pro Team with a Star) – Wait, when the Cowboys wanted to improve their offense, they decided that the man behind the offensive line that brought you the butt-fumble, and the man who brought you the end of joy in Lincoln, Nebraska?! Excellent! Some of the play calling Dallas’ loss to Kansas City caused Cowboy fans to just shake their collective heads. And sadly… it won’t be the last time.
Texas (the baseball team) – They are seriously free falling. From having a lead in the division to sliding down the Wild Card race behind 7 straight losses and no one in Arlington is feeling confident. They need to right the ship in a hurry to avoid being another “meltdown” statistic.
Pac 12 Officials – I can’t even tell what really happened or didn’t happen at the end of the Wisconsin – Arizona State game, but the one thing we know is that it wasn’t right. Brutal. But on the bright side, still no Big X+II has ever won at Arizona State and it made the Swami beat the Guru again, so it’s not all bad!
Bo Pelini – On Saturday, I told my wonderful wife that I feel like Bo’s time at Nebraska is drawing short. If Nebraska fans want to get back to being a National Championship contender, I’m just not sure that he can do it. Of course, then he went and insulted Tommie Frazier who is only one step below Tom Osborne in Nebraska. Of course, then an old recording was leaked where he was insulting Nebraska fans. So NOW I’m going to say that I think I was right on Saturday. Bo’s time is likely drawing toward a conclusion. I’m not going to insult him and say he’s not a good coach, because he is a good coach. He’s just not a great coach.
Advice to Live By
Some Guys are so Good People Tag Themselves Out (click on the images to see them in action)