Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sports Saturday

Taking a break from politics, let's talk about my first love: football. I need to get settled down before TCU tees it up against New Mexico tonight. We're talking BCS in Fort Worth this year. But what else is new?:

Bad start to the football season for fans in Virginia. The Cavs' loss wasn't entirely unexpected - it's just tough to swallow getting rolled like that in the home opener. On the other hand, USC - and first-year starting quarterback Mark Sanchez in particular - looked mighty impressive.

As for the Hokies, they're always prone to the occasional upset because of their perennially anemic offense. Sean Glennon at quarterback? Yuck. Off top, I'm struggling to think of an offensive gamebreaker they've had since Michael Vick was on the yard there.

Beanie Wells was about the only person Ohio State couldn't afford to lose to injury. And it happened in today's blowout against Youngstown State. If he's not ready to go against USC in a couple weeks, the Buckeyes might get rolled out of L.A.

I'm still not sold on Florida as a national championship contender. The Gators need someone other than Tebow to get those tough yards on 3rd-and-short.

Speaking of the spread, having watched most of that Utah-Michigan game, I was once again reminded why I'm not a big fan of that offense. The spread requires a dynamic quarterback and, if you don't have one, you might as well be running in place. The Wolverines might as well be running backward. Look at Oregon after Dennis Dixon went down last fall. Check out West Virginia in games where Pat White goes out of the game - think about the Mountaineers' loss to Pittsburgh. Imagine Florida if Tebow gets seriously nicked up. Not to be a cheerleader for the Trojans and Pete Carroll, but USC will almost always have a scary offense despite the relative talents of its quarterbacks. There's a huge gap in ability from Carson Palmer to Mark Sanchez to John David Booty to Sanchez. But the Trojans have remained tough to stop over the years because they're committed to a two-back offense and a timing-based passing attack that can handle the occasional drop in skill under center. That's just not the case for a spread attack in most instances. And I never want to be beholden to one player, if I don't have to be.

Can you imagine how frustrated Ryan Perriloux must be this weekend? Think about the opportunity he lost when he was booted out of Baton Rouge. Having covered a game at Tiger Stadium before, it must feel like a mighty big fall to be playing in the relative obscurity of Jacksonville, Ala. I hope Perriloux can keep his head about him, something he failed to do given chance after chance at LSU.

Btw, I saw that the Bengals cut Rudi Johnson earlier today. Wow. I hope he can get a good deal on that four-bedroom, seven-bathroom pad in Cincinnati in this market. The Bengals are in trouble themselves. Put it this way: there's no way in hell I'll be picking Chris Perry in my fantasy draft.

If business truly is "very strong" for the LPGA, then I have even more problems understanding their recent insistence on all international members being able to speak English by the end of 2009. Can you imagine if the NBA handled its international players in the same way?

Ok. I'm trying to decide if I have more to say about Sarah Palin or not today. I still can't get over this, for some reason.

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