SPORTS BLOG 11-29
Today we have a mixture of sports news to talk about.
Let’s start with the SEC. Arkansas blew a lead late and could not come back to win at Missouri yesterday losing 21-14. This means MIZZOU will be playing for the SEC Championship next week in Atlanta. Is there any winners here? Well me I guess. Because my article posted weeks ago painted a picture of how the SEC gets shutout of the playoffs. For this to happen 3 things need to happen. Ole Miss wins at home today against Mississippi State. I don’t think the Rebels win today but this is a rivalry game and Ole Miss can at least get some satisfaction by derailing Miss St and knocking them out of the playoffs. Georgia tech beats Georgia between the hedges. Georgia lost already this weekend when the Razorbacks lost to Mizzou eliminating the bulldogs from the SEC title chase. Now conceivably Georgia with another win can climb the rankings with a few more losses by several teams some of which play losable games. What is their mindset right now? We’ll see today. And Missouri shocks Alabama in the SEC Title game after the Tide win the Iron Bowl today against Auburn. So every SEC team will have 2 losses including the champion Missouri Tigers. So once again does the committee take a 2 loss SEC team who either lost their last game played or Mizzou who is so far down the rankings (17)they can never crack the top 4. I mean they beat Arkansas who was favored in the game and they are not ranked. I can’t wait to see how this plays out.
I think Oregon was a loser yesterday. The one team that has their number is staring them right in the face for the PAC 12 Title. Arizona has beat them twice in a row. The Ducks first must win today in Corvallis which will not be easy. They should win but are the Wildcats in their heads and does this show today against the Beavers.
Two NFL teams who are big losers are the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys. Both got blown out at home to division rivals. Let’s start with the Cowgirls who got a huge reality break. Tony Romo was healthy. Dallas was coming off a very big win at NY 4 days earlier. Their vaunted offensive line was man handled and couldn’t run the ball effectively. Romo could not convert third downs and the frustration showed on the sidelines. Defensively we saw what we expected all long from this over rated defense. The Giants moved the ball 4 days earlier and the Eagles could have scored 50 but Chip Kelly chose not to keep the pace up and settled for methodically bleeding the clock in the second half. No doubt not wanting to show all his tricks before the second meeting in 2 weeks. Plus why embarrass the Cowgirls before they play again in 2 weeks. The Dallas fans are very quiet but the Eagle Fan is very cocky and arrogant right now.
As for the 49ers it appears more and more that the Jim Harbaugh era will come to an end. To me that is a mistake. The Seahawks got an early lead and their defense put on a clinic that reminded us that they are the defending champs. Right now the road does not go through Seattle which is an issue but they have completely gotten back on track. The Niners are in danger of not making the playoffs. One good thing for them is that the NFC right now only has 4 teams that can make the wild card games. But the bigger issue is has Colin Kaepernick regressed? I have never been in favor of a running Quarterback. I think defensive players are too big, too fast and too strong for quarterbacks to keep taking hits every game. It’s one thing to be Aaron Rodgers who runs when he needs to and is mobile enough to move around and out of the pocket. But when your mentality and what got you here is to take off and run instead of taking the hit in the pocket to complete a pass that won’t work long term in the NFL. Russell WIlson, RG3, Cam Newton and Kaepernick all have regressed from their rookie season. Sure they have their moments but that style does not play well in the NFL long term. One thing for sure is that the Niners must get their QB and offense turned around other wise they aren’t going anywhere this year.
Ray Rice won his appeal and has been reinstated and can be signed by any team in the NFL right now. I am not going to talk about what he did or did the punishment fit the crime or who was right or wrong because I am tired of it. Clearly we know the NFL and specifically Roger Goodell must work with the NFLPA to get a process in place that works for everyone.
But this is significant because Rice can be a difference maker if a team in contention signs him. I mean is Rice going to sign with a last place team? He probably will sign a contract with a team for the rest of the season and then be a free agent in the off season. He is a player that can make an impact down the stretch and in the playoffs. The Colts recently lost Ahmed Bradshaw. The Broncos have injury problems with their backs. The Saints miss Sproles and can Rice do some of what he did? And more importantly does any NFL team sign him and no doubt have to hear a lot of backlash form the various groups and people who think he should never be allowed to play again? My guess is that he does get signed.
Billy Beane is at it again. No one is better than getting more for a player at his peak than Beane. The A’s traded Josh Donaldson to the Blue Jays for Brett Lawrie and 3 minor leaguers. Does anyone doubt that the minor leaguers Beane got will be good players while Lawrie becomes a mainstay for a few years. Franklin Barreto is a shortstop ranked 5th on the Blue Jays top 10 list according to Baseball America. Kendall Graverman and Sean Nolin are both nearly ready Major League starting pitchers. So Beane goes back to his roots stock piling pitchers. My hunch is that he has other deals up his sleeve maybe trading Jeff Samardzija. Aside from the Yeonis Cespedes/Jon Lester trade does anyone really doubt the genius of Billy Beane.
As for the Blue Jays they added a big power bat to go with Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. Jose Reyes is still productive and Russell Martin was added too. There is a hole in the outfield where Melky Cabrera patrolled last year that has to be filled. With the emergence of Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman it appears the Jays are going for it with a suddenly wide open American League.
One thing for sure is the MLB hot stove is cooking and there promises more to come.