An entertaining look at sports
Clearing my mind and notebook while admitting my interest in this World Series has waned considerably since the high drama of Game 2:
Considering I picked sixth-ranked Ohio State to upset second-ranked Penn State Saturday night, I’m hardly surprised by the logjam of teams still vying for one of four playoff spots.
The first of six College Football Playoff rankings between now and the end of the regular season will be released Tuesday, which means we’re still a long way from settling the debates.
But there are a few things we know.
Miami (7-0. 5-0) and defending champion Clemson (7-1, 5-1) are the clear favorites to square off in the ACC’s title game with the winner advancing to the four-team national championship playoff.
In the SEC, it’s going to come down to either Alabama (8-0, 5-0) or Georgia (8-0, 5-0).
And in the Big Ten, Ohio State (7-1, 5-0) and Wisconsin (8-0, 5-0) are now the top contenders with Penn State needing some help to get back into contention. And yeah, that can happen.
Meanwhile, outside of those three power conferences, the most likely contenders to slip into the final four are independent Notre Dame (7-1) and Oklahoma (7-1) from the Big 12.
Despite the SEC and Big Ten expected to hog the top four spots in the polls this week, I don’t believe any conferences will merit having two teams in the playoff. I also don’t think a third straight matchup between Alabama and Clemson is in the cards this January.
My projected Top 10:
2. Notre Dame
4. Ohio State
7. Penn State
They said it
Mike Bianchi of Orlando Sentinel: “Coach Adam Gase was hired two years ago to fix Miami’s offense and to make the Fish explosive and fun to watch, but last I checked the Dolphins offense was ranked last in the NFL. Who does Gase think he is — Jim McElwain?”
ABC comedian Jimmy Kimmel when four dogs failed drug tests at this year’s Iditarod: “These are the same drugs Santa uses to make his reindeer fly.”
Dwight Perry of Seattle Times: “Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh went to a Wolverines diving-team practice and — fully clothed — leapt off a high board. Witnesses say he was plummeting even faster than his team in the polls.”
RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com: “Apparently George Foreman’s no-holds-barred challenge fight with Steven Seagal isn’t going to happen. They both tested positive for Geritol.
Comedian Steve Hofstetter via Twitter: “The NFL needs to install safety netting around the stands. When Joe Flacco’s head came off, it almost hit some poor kid in the 5th row.”
Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com: “Joe Torre and MLB admit now that blown call in NLDS game five led to the Cubs scoring 2 runs that should never have scored. And Washington lost 9-8. Does this mean the Nats should rehire Dusty Baker?”
TBS comedian Conan O’Brien: ““The Los Angeles Dodgers won the first game of the World Series. The game was the fastest World Series game in decades. Fans in L.A. were at the game for 2½ hours, and in traffic for 5½.”
Brad Dickson of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald, after Kansas totaled just 21 yards of offense in its 43-0 loss to No. 4 TCU: “A running back who gained minus-18 got the game ball.”
Rick Pitino’s persecution complex is spinning out of control.
The former Louisville basketball coach insists he knew nothing about a recruiting scam allegedly funded by Adidas that has implicated at least one of his assistants and an incoming freshman. Furthermore, he believes interim president Greg Postel and the board of trustees fired AD Tom Jurich without cause by alleging there was a lack of oversight of the basketball program.
Lack of oversight? Hey, what do you call Jurich’s agreement that Pitino should receive 98 percent of the millions Adidas was shoveling to the school for an apparel contract?
Anyone still wondering who was in charge – Pitino or Jurich?
It doesn’t matter now. It’s all in the hands of the lawyers as Pitino seeks to salvage the $7 million salary he was counting on receiving through 2026.
“I had no part – active, passive, or through willful ignorance – in the conspiracy described in the complaint. I had no reason to know about the conspiracy described in the complaint, and no reason to know about the complicity of any UL assistant coach or staff member in any bribery conspiracy,” Pitino stated in a written response after he was fired.
He has suggested this is nothing more than a vendetta against his program by Postel and several members of the board of trustees.
“(They are) hurting everything about the University of Louisville, and quite frankly, the people behind this aren’t Louisville fans,” Pitino recently told WHAS radio host Terry Meiners.
Seriously? Ricky P might want to read his Wikipedia page to be reminded that this isn’t the first time Louisville’s program has had its reputation tarnished during his 16 years at the school.
Stat of week
As pointed out by Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times, the Arizona Cardinals were shutout 33-0 by the Los Angeles Rams in London the same day the Denver Broncos were blanked 21-0 in Los Angeles by the Chargers. The games were played 5,447 miles apart.
Too competitive for his own good, Kansas City Chiefs running back Charcandrick West rolled to a 148-0 victory when a 7-year-old boy challenged him to a game of Madden NFL 18.
The 26-year-old West even bragged about it on Twitter, posting video of his vanquished challenger pouting. “So what I’m suppose(d) to do … he said he knew how to play and could beat me,” tweeted West.
What should he do? For starters, until West grows up, he should promise not to have any kids of his own.
Four-time Iditarod champion Dallas Seavy has come under scrutiny after four of his sled dogs tested positive in March for the banned substance tramadol after his second-place finish this year.
It’s the first time since the 1,000-mile grueling race instituted drug-testing in 1994 that there has been a flagged result. But even a race veterinarian questioned why the opioid painkiller was on the banned substance list since it is more likely to cause drowsiness and has no known performance-enhancing benefits.
Officials have announced Seavy won’t be suspended because of lax security at feeding sites, which means one of his competitors could have done the doping.
Meanwhile, the grueling nature of the race has again come under fire because of the deaths of five more dogs, bringing the total to 150 in the race’s 44-year history.
Fark.com: “At Detroit’s new arena, they are dressing people up as seats for Halloween.”
TheOnion.com: “Rams simulate playing Giants by pumping crowd groans into speakers.”
SportsPickle.com: “Venezuelan health records reveal Jose Altuve is actually 6-foot-4.”
TheKicker.com: “Trump calls Ravens to remind them ‘Flacco knew what he signed up for.’”
Fark.com: “Tiger Woods set to take a mulligan for his DUI arrest.”
TheKicker.com: “Dolphins offense honors Cutler by taking collective nap on field.”
SportsPickle.com: “Study: Youth participation in football dropping as more parents fear their sons could develop into Browns QBs.”
TheOnion.com: “Eagles ask fans to throw bottles responsibly.”
Have you ever seen video of supermodels stumbling down a runway in stiletto heels, usually wearing outfits that have more feathers than a prancing peacock?
Well, Irene Sewell just shamed them all by setting a Guinness World Record for completing a marathon in high heels. The former ballroom dancer completed the 26.2-mile “7 Bridges Marathon” in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Oct. 15 in under seven and a half hours – breaking the record with two minutes to spare.
Sewell, 27, said she did most of her training in running shoes, but over shorter distances she did try out six different pairs of high heels that met the required Guinness height of 2.75 inches.
“My biggest secret weapon was wearing moleskin on the bottom of my feet,” Seawell told People. “That stuff was incredible and I’m definitely going to use it when I go out dancing or to clubs on the weekend.”
England’s Under-17 soccer team rallied from a 2-0 deficit to claim a 5-2 victory over Spain in that age-group World Cup Saturday.
Rhian Brewster, who had a hat trick against the U.S. in the quarterfinals and another against Brazil in the semifinals, finished as the tournament’s top scorer with eight goals. Meanwhile, Phil Foden was named the player of the tournament in India.
The U-17 title adds to the Brits’ age-group medal haul in 2017. England also won the Under-20 World Cup in June by beating Venezuela 1-0.
The success at the youth level should fuel hopes for the senior national team ahead of the 2018 World Cup next summer in Russia. England’s only senior Cup title was won in 1966.
Perfection picking college football games in at any of my three favorite conferences eluded me this weekend.
In the ACC, a 5-2 effort left me with a season record of 54-14 (79.4%). I matched that success in the Big Ten, which raised my season mark there to 55-14 (79.7%). Meanwhile, in the SEC, a 4-2 weekend brought my season total to 54-16 (77.1%)