You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2008.

First and foremost, I would like to apologize to everyone who relies on this site for LSU information.

I could tell the big, long story. But I have had internet problems and have been kept away from posting here.

But I went home for the weekend and have my problems fixed on Monday, so things should be back to normal, sooner, rather than later and we should be ready to rock ‘n’ roll again.

With that being said, I am back . . . just like the LSU defense, who stopped South Carolina cold in the second half of last night’s 24-17 win.

I did not get to address the Florida game with you guys, but that was a low point of Les Miles’ career at LSU. He was down on himself, the players were down on themselves and LSU had no where to go but up.

But LSU again dug a 1st half hole tonight in Columbia before controlling every aspect of the 2nd half to close out the win.

This is a big win for LSU, not just in the standings, but in how they did it.

1. The second half defense was ‘LSU defense’ – 40 total yards for USC and negative rushing yards. Controlling the line of scrimmage, dominating time of possession and letting LSU’s offensive line wear out the USC defense.

2. double your pleasure, double your fun – Let’s face it. The dual quarterback system LSU is running will not go away. The players need to realize it. The fans need to realize it. And LSU played 2 flawless quarters with the system in the 2nd half and it worked like a charm.

3. Loaded guns – From Keiland Williams to Terance Toliver to Chris Mitchell to Trindon Holliday to Richard Dickson, LSU used all of their offensive weapons and did everything they could to pull out a road SEC win.

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The focus will now slowly shift to LSU’s next game with Georgia. The Dawgs beat Vanderbilt at home — although they were not overly impressive doing so.

This will be an evenly matched game and I see it coming down to who makes the least mistakes, something that is not a strong suit of either team.

LSU is one of the worst teams in terms of giveaway/takeaway ratio, while Georgia is the worst penalized team in the country.

So don’t expect a football clinic next Saturday, but do expect to see some fabulous and tremendous athletes out there flying around what will be a jam packed Tiger Stadium.

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Another college football day is in the books. With the BCS coming out tomorrow, let me give to you my Top 10.

1. Texas – Will be hard to beat these guys the rest of the way.

2. Penn State – Real test comes next week.

3. Alabama – How long can they ‘win ugly’ and get away with it? Answer: if they play that way at Tennessee, they get loss #1 of the year next weekend.

4. USC – 69-0.

5. Florida – If they play the way they did against LSU every week from here on out, no one will approach 21 points of them — including Georgia.

6. Oklahoma – This team can put up 700 yards total offense on anyone. But they can also give up 550 total yards offense to anyone, too.

t7 Texas Tech

t7 Oklahoma State – overrated Big 12 teams who will both have multiple losses by the time the season ends.

9. Ohio State – Quiet, quiet Ohio State demolished Michigan State on the road. They can’t possibly get back into the title game, can they?

10. Tulsa – I don’t really think Tulsa is the 10th best team in the country. I only put them in there to brag on their sick offense, which is averaging well over 50 points per game this season. Some of the things they do with the football are just insane.

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The Saints play a damn-near make or break, do-or-die October game today against the Panthers. With a win, the Saints would be 4-3 and would be right with the pack in the NFC South, while holding wins against Tampa and Carolina — their two biggest competitors for the title.

For the Saints, the outline is pretty clear. Their defense is subpar at best. But their offense is an A+. So expect a shootout between Drew Brees and Jake Delhomme and a lot of long strikes from guys like Devery Henderson and Steve Smith.

But what I think gives the Saints a small edge is the returns of Marquis Colston, Jeremy Shockey and David Patten — all of whom are expected to return after missing multiple weeks with injuries.

What was previously a really good offense I think will now become a great offense and I expect to see the Saints drop 24-31 again tomorrow.

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That’s all for now, but I am so glad and happy to be back!

I can not wait to tear it up with you guys in the coming weeks!

Well, a couple days after Ricky Jean-Francois said LSU would relish the opportunity to take Tim Tebow out on Saturday, Tebow responded yesterday.

Tebow mostly took the high road and said the ‘company line’ of things fed to him by the Florida sports information department, saying that Saturday will be a tough game on both sides and that Florida hopes to make amends for last season’s tough loss to the Tigers.

Did I really expect anything dirty to be said by Florida? Nah, I didn’t. But it sure would have made things fun. I mean, we all know what the Gators players are saying amongst themselves regarding Francois and we all know what they are thinking when they are asked these questions. So why don’t just one of them come out and say it?

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With the Jean-Francois volcano seemingly cooled, the focus is now more on the field — where it should be.

Here are my keys to victory for both sides.

Keys for LSU:

1. Stop Florida’s periphery players – Forget Tebow. LSU has to stop Harvin, James, Demps and the rest of the crew. Tebow won’t beat LSU running in 3-4 yard intervals down the field. If LSU stops Florida’s edge players, there is a good chance they will stop Florida’s entire offense.

2. Sounds execution – LSU can move the ball on Florida’s defense — which has 0 seniors on the entire unit. But the Tigers have to avoid the petty mistakes that plagued them in their 2006 23-10 loss in the Swamp. LSU moved the ball in that game, too, but 5 turnovers sealed their fate.

3. Tackling fuel – LSU is coming off a bye and they have to make sure they do not have any rust in some of the ‘smaller things’, especially tackling. When you face a team with so many impact players and so many players who can go 80 yards for a touchdown anytime they touch the football, you have to tackle.

Keys for Florida

1. Short yardage – Florida goes out of the shotgun every play. No, seriously, I mean it. Literally every play. Because of that, sometimes when they have 3rd and short, they have problems moving the chains. (see also: Ole Miss stuffing Tebow on 4th and 1 to lose the game). Third down conversions may determine the winner or loser of this game.

2. Special special teams- The Gators have to be special on special teams. They have to contain Trindon Holliday and get Brandon James on the edges and allow him to work his magic.

3. Scott stoppers – The best way to cripple LSU’s offense is to stuff Charles Scott on first and second down and force the Tigers into 3rd and long situations. If Scott goes for 100+ for the fifth-straight time this season, it spells trouble for Florida.

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The pick’em game was competitive again, here are our standings.

Cody: 8-7

Casey: 10-5

Fischer: 9-6

Boura: 11-4

Here are the overall standings:

Casey: 42-33   56%

Boura: 33-27  55%

Cody: 41-34  54.66%

Richard: 40-35  53.33%

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Headlines:

Auburn fires offensive coordinator Tony Franklin – So much for the spread offense, huh? This is nuts. How could they have expected the spread to work this soon with a roster full of guys not recruited to play in that offense? Why don’t Michigan just fire Rich Rodriguez, too. Michigan has a few losses. That’s unacceptable! All sarcasm aside, this is showing the desperation inside of the Auburn program as Alabama has overtaken them as the Western Division’s No. 2 program.

Dice-K to start Game 1 for Sox in ALCS – Sox over Rays in 5. Book it.

Lance Armstrong cleared for comeback race – I just don’t get it. Why would Lance Armstrong subject himself to the testing, the criticism and everything else? Cyclists do not make the 7-8 figures other athletes do. Home-boy Lance must really love what he is doing.

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YouTube Video of the Day:

Blast from the past.

That’s all for me. Have a great Thursday!

Tiger fans,

Sorry for the off-day yesterday. For the second day in a few weeks, I had cable problems, so I was unable to post an update.

But anywho, the initial shots have been fired prior to LSU and Florida’s kickoff on Saturday night as LSU junior defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois said that he embraces trying to “take Tim Tebow out of Saturday’s game”.

The LSU Athletic Department quickly ended speculation on the incident and clarified Jean-Francois’ comments, but these are the types of things that make college football fun.

So do I think Jean-Francois is a cold-blooded head hunter? No. I don’t.

But I also think this rivalry game will be so much more intense and so much more fun thanks to Jean-Francois’ comments.

But first and foremost, if LSU loses this game, I don’t want hear anyone blaming Ricky Jean for the loss.

If Florida needed Jean-Francois to talk in order to give them motivation, then Florida has no ambition.

The Gators will be ready to play this game no matter what is said between now and then and it’s pretty silly to think otherwise.

Either way, I expect a ‘car wreck’ between these two teams and it should be a ton of fun.

Much more on this game later in the week.

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Last night, the Saints dropped to 2-3 in a heartbreaking loss to the Vikings.

The Saints, gang, are a hard bunch to figure out.

They play great in spurts and terrible in spurts.

They can’t run the ball a lick. But they are the best passing team in the nation.

They can’t guard the pass. But they shut down Adrian Peterson. They are a hard gang to figure out.

I sum it up like this: I am a Cowboys fan. Everyone know that. But I sum it up like this: The Saints do not necessarily have winning players. They just don’t.

I watch week in and week out teams like the Cowboys and the Colts play poorly but still eek out wins because they have ‘winners’ who will them to win.

But with the Saints, it seems like they have to play perfect to win. And that’s a problem.

We’ll see how they deal with it between now and then. I see an 8-8 season in the cards, though.

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NFL Power Rankings:

1. Tennessee Titans – Each week this team continues to prove me wrong. No more.

2. New York Giants – The Giants looked so great Sunday against the Seahawks. How will Plex’s return affect their chemistry?

3. Dallas Cowboys – I’d rather win ugly than lose pretty, not that beating anyone in the NFL by 9 is ugly.

4. Washington Redskins – Maybe these guys are for real afterall.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers – Impressive win at Jacksonville minus Willie Parker.

6. Buffalo Bills – Not so hot game last weekend on the left coast — but that was without their QB.

7. New England Patriots – Cassel + Moss = success. Finally the Pats realized that.

8. Carolina Panthers – I told you guys last week. I just like the way this team is built. I do not know why. I just do.

9. Chicago Bears – Strong running game + good defense + no Grossman under center = NFC North Champions

10. Miami Dolphins – The Wild hog? Seriously? Well, so far so good for the Dolphins.

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More on the LSU/Florida game tomorrow.

Tigers,
The LSU football team moved down in the polls from three to four, following Missouri’s landslide win against Nebraska in Lincoln.

I’ve been hearing the people on the streets and the local talk radio and all of that good stuff and people have been making a big deal about LSU’s being ‘jumped’ by Alabama and I am sure it will be the same this weekend as they were ‘jumped’ by Missouri.

Do you want to know my thoughts on it all? I could care less! I really couldn’t.

First off, LSU will play Alabama later this year, so if LSU is really better than Alabama, they will have a chance to prove it.

Second, Oklahoma (or Texas) will play Missouri in the Big 12 Title Game (assuming Missouri wins out), so one of those two teams will also have to lose.

Long story short is that if LSU takes care of the eight games left on its schedule, then the SECCG, everything else will take care of itself . . . I promise.

Until then, worry more about Florida, South Carolina and Georgia in three-straight weeks than you do LSU’s position in the poll — because as USF proved last year. Being #1 or #2 right now means nothing if you don’t finish well.

I also want to point out that LSU’s record playing as “number one” wasn’t exactly so great last year, as both of their losses came with that bulls-eye tagged on their backs.

I say it’s better to lay low now than to have the bulls-eye every week.
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The NFL week was wild and crazy (as it always seems to be). Here are five basic observations I made about what I saw.

1. The Falcons are not nearly as bad as the media wants you to think – Matt Ryan does just enough to keep the game close behind a very strong running game.

2. The Bengals will win their share of games – You can not play tight with the Cowboys and go to overtime with the Giants and be a bunch of scrubs.

3. Pats look ‘back’ – They used their bye week to revamp their passing game and get Randy Moss involved again. I still say they win the AFC East (sorry Bills fans).

4. NFC East is rough – The Giants are unbeaten. The Redskins are 4-1. The Cowboys are 4-1 and the Eagles are in dead last at 2-3. It’s insane how good this division is.

5. Year of the Cardinal – The Cardinals will win the NFC West. The Seahawks reign at the top is done. And Kurt Warner is firing at all cylinders
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Here are my SEC power rankings for this week:

1. Alabama – Won ugly, but mark my words, Kentucky is the most underrated SEC team and will beat Vanderbilt later in the season.

2. LSU – Bye week
3. Vanderbilt – One win away from bowl eligibility and now 3-0 in the league.
4. Georgia – Bye week
5. Florida – Solid rebound after poor start on offense at Arkansas
6. South Carolina – The Cocks finally played to their expectations Saturday and beat Ole Miss on the road.
7. Kentucky – There is no shame in losing by three to the nation’s #2 team after spotting them 14 points in the first 5-6 minutes.
8. Auburn – I love how Auburn pounded Vandy in power formations to get a lead, then chose to lose in the second half with their ‘spread attack’.
9. Ole Miss – Very DiNardo-days-like. Win in a big game, then give it back the very next week at home to an average team.
10. Tennessee- Had a chance to make a statement that they were not as good as their 1-3 record indicated. But ended up just beating Northern Illinois 13-9 *yawn*
11. Mississippi State – Bye
12. Arkansas – Another big-time loss for a reeling program

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Headlines:

Phils advance to NLCS to meet Dodgers – Should be a good series. Wonder if Lidge will choke it away?

‘Wild Fin’ leads Dolphins to win – How long will this work. I don’t think it will indefinitely. But so far, so good for Miami.

Titans still unbeaten, top Ravens – Is Kerry Collins the early NFL MVP? Think about it. I know his numbers are not pretty. But he has steered the ship right in every thunderstorm. Personally, my vote right now goes to Brett Favre, but I can see Collins creeping into the discussion slowly once people realize how good Tennessee is and how unlikely it is that they are 5-0.

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YouTube Video of the Day:

Tiger fans,

This is a bit of a ‘different’ post, because there is no LSU game to recap. But I was a spectator of many sports for many hours today. Here are 10 things I learned.

1. David does beat Goliath sometimes – Kimbo Slice lost to the tomato can’s replacement. And not only lost, lost in 12 seconds. Anything can happen in sports.

2. Alabama is not that good – They’re a good team. Better than I thought they would be. But they’re not on the top-tier level yet. And to be honest, they really are still a way’s away from that level.

3. Notre Dame love – They are 4-1 now and are all freshmen and sophomores. I am not trying to say they are contenders for anything this year, but they have a chance to be special next year.

4. Florida State/Miami – This rivalry means NOTHING now. And that’s sad. Sure, it means a lot to the players and the coaches. But the two teams played a memorable, 41-39 shootout and you have to wait until the last 2-3 mins of SportsCenter to see the highlights.

5. Auburn = done – Auburn now will not win the West. They need LSU to lose 3 times in their next 4 SEC games and Bama to lose twice. AKA it won’t happen.

6. Vandy = soon to be done – Guys, they’re good. But they’re not as good as Georgia and Florida. We’ll find that out soon enough.

7. UNC awaken – From 1998-2002, LSU awoke from their ‘sleeping giant’ status and became a college football power. UNC is in the process of doing that right now. They have a great coach, great facilities and a weakened ACC that will help their cause.

8. Pryor commitment – Terrelle Pryor is a stud. He really is. He willed OSU to the win at Wisconsin and will be a force to be reckoned with for the next 3-4 seasons.

9. Cubbies = cursed – The Cubs are cursed. Not by some mystical, super power that prevents them from winning. But rather by their own mental state that doesn’t allow them to succeed. When the going gets tough, the Cubs do not say “let’s do this,”. They rather say, “Here we go again.”

10. 15 still standing – Some teams have played 5-6 games and the season is being close to half done. Things should be narrowed down, right? Wrong. I can write down right now 12 teams who I think have very real shots of making the BCS National Title Game with 4-5 more who are outside sleepers.
Either way, it was a useful day to gather info about more teams we do not see every Saturday when we are out tailgating for the LSU games.

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For those wondering, the LSU staff is on the road recruiting this weekend and the players have been given the weekend off. So the majority of the guys used this weekend to return home to recharge their batteries before a fierce practice week beginning Monday.

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Headlines:

Brew Crew win, extend series – This is danger zone. The Phils beat Sabathia once. If they don’t win tomorrow, they will have to try to beat him twice. That’s not easy to do considering that since mid July when the trade was made, he only had one loss as a Brewer prior to Thursday’s defeat.

Lawrence Phillips gets 10-years in prison – Douche-bag. Had the entire world in the palms of his hands. But rather chose to give it all away. It’s one thing to get arrested once. Twice. Hell, you can probably get away with making a major mistake three times. But Phillips has been in and out of jail since college and that’s sad.

OJ loses big in Vegas – Those who do not believe in Karma. Do not believe in fate. Do not believe in God, religion or ‘spiritual justice’, got a big setback to their cases with this one. OJ may have gotten away with the big dog in 1995. But now, this lesser offense will probably land him in jail — forever. I am not God and I was not there in 1995, but if he did indeed do it. Or if he indeed knew about it and did nothing to stop it, then the world is a better place tonight than it was 48 hours ago.

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YouTube Video of the Day:

In just 12 seconds, Kimbo Slice goes from worldwide beast, feared by everyone and considered by some as the biggest bad ass on the planet, to a scrub who lost to a guy with pink hair.

That’s all I got.

Take care, folks.

The good news is the weather forecasts say this will be a beautiful weekend of lower 80s weather and sunshine.

The bad news is there is no LSU game to tailgate for to be outside for. To double compound the problem, there is also no Saints game this weekend as they play on Monday night.

So as a result, we have a long weekend of either:

1. Watching SEC football – Scouting LSU’s future opponents and ‘scouting’ just in case Les Miles calls and asks us for a gameplan one day.

2. Watch national football – Those of us who go to a lot of the LSU games do not get chances to see teams like Notre Dame or USC because a lot of times, they play at the same time as LSU. So this weekend is a chance to watch the rest of the country’s best.

3. Spend time with family and friends – This is the option I am choosing, combined with #1 and 2 mixed in, also. It’s beautiful weather. Go out and have some fun somewhere with the loved ones. I bet there are a lot of fall weddings scheduled for this weekend around Louisiana as a lot of people did not want to schedule their big day on a night that LSU has a big game. That type of dedication is what I love most about this state.

But there is football being played this weekend, so here are my SEC picks.

Florida 44

Arkansas 9

S. Carolina 24

Ole Miss 20

Kentucky 17

Bama 31

Auburn 31

Vanderbilt 13

Northern Illinois 10

Tennessee 28

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The Saints got another body shot today when it was announced that Sedrick Ellis injured himself in practice on Thursday and will miss 2-4 weeks.

I tell you, the Saints are a resilient bunch. They are 2-2, despite having injuries to their 2 best receivers, their left tackle, their defensive tackle, their best cornerback and others.

The NFL season is like a big, heavyweight prized fight — it doesn’t seem like body blows have much of an impact until the later rounds of the fight. And I just think the Saints will have problems staying afloat for a 16-game schedule if they can’t get healthy soon.

The Ellis loss is especially costly when you know you will have Adrian Peterson blowing through the middle of your defense this weekend. That’s not the best time to lose your best DT.

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I’ve been giving progress reports, so I will finish that up today.

Cornerbacks:

The LSU DB’s are hot and cold . . . hit or miss. In one regard, they got sliced up by Mississippi State last weekend. On the other hand, they did rise to the occasion and pick off a few passes against Auburn. So the positive thing is that they are all young and should progress as the season moves on. But until then, when passes are in the air, LSU fans have reason to hold their breath.

Grade: C

Special Teams:

I have to say, having an actual special teams coach is a very welcome sight after having a linebackers coach call the shots for the unit the past few seasons. Joe Robinson has helped the return teams, coverage units and also punting in his short time at LSU. And if it were not for winning special teams, LSU would have probably lost to Auburn.

Grade: B+

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Rays rally to beat Sox – It did not look good early. But the resilient Rays just keep on finding ways to win.

Mets Manuel gets 2-year deal – Good move. The team was 6-feet under when he took over and rallied to miss the playoffs on the final day of the season.

Heat sign PG Livingston – What a comeback for a home-boy who damn near had his leg fall off. (see YouTube video).

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YouTube Video of the Day:

More power to you, brother.

WARNING: THIS VIDEO CONTAINS A GRAPHIC, HORRIFIC INJURY.

IF SUCH THINGS MAKE YOU QUEASY, DON’T WATCH!

Have a good weekend!

Another one bites the dust.

Defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis is the latest to join the Saints’ walking wounded, injuring himself in practice yesterday.

He is expected to miss 2-4 weeks.

He joins Marquis Colston, Jeremy Shockey and countless others to see time on the injured list for the Saints this year.

What this means in the immediate future is that the Saints will be short-handed against one of the best rush offenses in the NFL.

Not good.

More on this tomorrow.

LSU fans,

I do not know about you, but I have the bye week blues. Not having a game to look forward to is a bummer.

But the bye week comes at a good time for LSU in that they will be able to return to the field next weekend fully healthy, while also being able to put in a few extra wrinkles and tricks before next weekend’s Florida game.

A question I’ve been getting asked a lot lately is about co-defensive coordinators Doug Mallory and Bradley Dale Peveto.

A lot of fans have expressed concerns with the way these guys are handling their jobs after the LSU defense had a bit of a hiccup this weekend, allowing 24 points to Mississippi State.

But my message to you is to cut these guys some slack.

First and foremost, anytime you replace Glenn Dorsey (who won every major award last year), Ali Highsmith, Luke Sanders, Chevis Jackson, Johnathan Zenon, and Craig Steltz off a defense, you’re bound to have a few hiccups here and there.

That’s 6 starters out of 11 — all of which are in the NFL now, so that’s a lot of talent to lose off a squad.

But with that being said, guys like Jai Eugene, Chris Hawkins, Kelvin Sheppard, Perry Riley, etc… have all stepped up to the plate and played well. The unit just does not have the cohesiveness yet that the 2006 and 07 units had.

You have to remember that guys like Highsmith, Dorsey, Zenon and Jackson all started for 2-3 years. So by the time they were all seniors, they had been playing together for around 30 or so games.

These current guys have only been playing together as a unit for 4 games. So give them time. They will be fine.

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With that being said, let’s continue my progress reports, today with defensive line and linebacker.

Defensive line:

Tyson Jackson, Ricky Jean-Francois, Charles Alexander, Kirston Pittman

Tremaine Johnson, Al Woods, Drake Nevis, Rahim Alem

Marlon Favorite, Lazarious Levingston.

That’s 10. Count ’em, 10 defensive linemen who can all see time in a game and all start for probably 95% of the teams across the country.

The LSU defensive line dominates games week in and week out and this is the strength of the team.

Grade: A

Linebackers:

The LSU linebackers have done a pretty good job this season, despite losing their heart and soul Darry Beckwith to an injury in the North Texas game.

But guys like Riley, Sheppard and most importantly Jacob Cutrera have stepped up to help close the void of Beckwith’s absence.

But make no mistake about it, LSU needs Beckwith if they want to wear rings again at the end of this season, so let’s keep our eyes on how well he will able to play once he returns from his injury.

Grade: B-

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Three baseball game ones are in the books and it was a bad day to be in the NL Central as both the Cubs and the Brew Crew fell in defeat.

The Cubs lost for the exact reason I called their downfall: starting pitching as starter Ryan Dempster was yanked out of the game in the fourth inning after giving up a grand slam home run to James Loney to put the Dodgers ahead for good.

The Dodgers on the other hand, rode Derek Lowe for six innings of two-run baseball with their only blemish coming on a 2-run second inning home run by Mark Derosa.

The Cubs now give the ball to their ‘horse’ Carlos Zambrano today in a must-win game. The problem with that is that Zambrano has been anything but good in his last few outings, giving up 13 runs in his last 6 1/3 innings pitched of the season.

The Phillies took down the Brew Crew 3-1 thanks to 8 dominant innings by Cole Hamels. That series also heads to a Game 2 tomorrow with the best pitcher in the game, CC Sabathia taking the hill against Brett Myers. Again, I do not want to state the obvious, but major must-win for the Brewers. They can not afford to lose anytime Sabathia pitches this postseason, much less when they are down 1-0 in a series.

In the AL, the Bo Sox took a 1-0 lead in their series with the Angels thanks to seven dominant innings from Jon Lester.

This is the beginning of the end for the Angels in my opinion as it’s just too hard to flip the switch ‘on’ after it’s been off for so long. With Dice-K, then Beckett lined up back-to-back now, I am liking my prediction of a sweep in that series.

Like Manny, Jason Bay also hit a dinger in his first postseason game with his new club.

Game two of this series is Friday with Game three being played Sunday. That’s such a huge advantage for the Sox as the extra down-time will neutralize the Angels’ pitching depth, which is their only advantage in this series.

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Pick’em Standings:

Another week is in the books. Here is how we did this week.

Richard: 6-9

Cody: 9-6

Casey: 6-9

Boura: 7-8

Total:

Cody: 33-27

Casey: 32-28

Richard: 31-29

Boura: 22-23

What a tight stretch run this will be.

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Headlines:

Bulls Gordon accepts 1-year tender – It’s a shame the Bulls are mistreating this dude. It really is. It’s their loss, because now he will be unrestricted and will definitely leave this offseason.

Patriots deny tampering with Moss – Patriots? Cheating? Never!

Boise beats La Tech 38-3 – I do not have much to say about this game, because it was a blowout. I just think it’s interesting that La Tech coach Derek Dooley is also the Bulldogs’ Athletic Director. That’s kind of odd. Especially for a guy who is as young as he is.

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YouTube Video of the Day:

Tiger fans,

Short update today, because there just really is nothing going on.

LSU has no opponent to prepare for, so all we really have is down time between now and next week when the Florida hype begins.

LSU is doing two things primarily this week.

1. Lick Wounds – Darry Beckwith, Charles Alexander, Ricky Jean-Francois are the notable walking wounded. But really the entire LSU team is a little beat up after such a physical game with Mississippi State. But LSU coach Les Miles did say he expects everyone who played last week to be ready this week and also said that Darry Beckwith is a “likely to probably” for the game and that Andrew Hatch will be ready also.

2. Housekeeping and extra Gator prep – The first half of this week will be internally focused. Whether it’s fixing pass coverage schemes or whether it’s forcing more turnovers, or whatever the issue may be, the front end of the week is dedicated to fixing the problems that have arisen from the first four games of the year. The second half of the week will be a little extra homework geared toward stopping Florida’s potent offense. LSU has had a ton of experience stopping the spread offense, having faced it in three of their four games this year, but no one runs that offense the way Florida does, so it will be a huge challenge to LSU.

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With that being said, here are 2 more position grades 1/3 through the season.

Wide receiver:

The wide outs looked inconsistent early. But that was primarily because of the inconsistent play of the quarterbacks. With Jarrett Lee’s emergence, they have looked the way they should look — dominant. What is interesting to me is the role reversal we’ve seen at the position this year. I think people expected Demetrius Byrd to be the undisputed #1 after his heroics last year. But instead, Brandon LaFell has emerged as the team’s go-to-guy with Byrd serving as a complimentary receiver/deep play threat. I think the LSU unit is good, but could become great if guys like Terrance Toliver, Chris Mitchell, Jared Mitchell and Trindon Holliday keep making plays in the stretch run of the season.

Grade: B

Offensive Line:

If Charles Scott is a Heisman Candidate in your eyes, then you have to also give dap to the LSU offensive line, who has opened up canal-sized holes regularly. The thing about the LSU O-Line is there is no weakness. Most units have one guy who you can point to as the sore-spot. But out of Ciron Black, Herman Johnson, Brett Helms, Lyle Hitt and Joe Barksdale, you tell me who is the weak link? Answer: None of them.

Grade: B+

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Tomorrow is the first day of October, so consequently, it’s the start of one of my favorite things — the MLB Playoffs.

I do not know how many of you are true-blue baseball fans like myself, but even if you’re not, I encourage you all to keep your eyes on the MLB postseason.

It’s like the NHL Playoffs, in that every game is lights-out and every series is highly competitive.

With all the MLB butt kissing complete, here are my first round picks.

NL:

Cubs vs. Dodgers

The Cubs are the sexy pick, because they were so good during the season. But I just have major problems with their pitching depth.

1. Game 1 starter Ryan Dempster has not ever done it as a starter on this grand a stage

2. Carlos Zambrano has been freakishly inconsistent since his no-hitter

3. Rich Harden throws tons and tons of pitches and has problems going deep into ballgames.

So, I think the curse will continue and Joe Torre will be able to work his magic to get the Dodgers into the NLCS.

My Pick: Dodgers in 4

Phillies vs. Brewers

This one is tough. I do not think the Brewers will lose any game CC Sabathia pitches. But I also do not know if they can win any other game he doesn’t pitch. I am not madly in love with the Phillies, by any means. But because I do not know what Ben Sheets will be able to do (if anything), I will go with the Phillies.

My Pick: Phils in 5

AL:

White Sox vs Rays

The Rays are the Cinderella story of the world, overcoming all of the odds and making the playoffs. But with that being said, they have run into a real bad matchup in the first round in my opinion. The Sox are not a beautiful team on paper. But they have a lot of guys who have the ‘it’ factor come this time of the year, including Ken Griffey and Jermaine Dye. I love the Rays’ story. But I just think they do not have enough experience on this kind of stage.

My Pick: Sox in 4

Red Sox vs. Angels

Alas, my bold pick of Round 1. The great thing about the baseball playoffs is that I can see myself going 4-0 in these picks. But I can just as easily see myself going 0-4. The MLB playoffs are so incredibly balanced. But with that being said, I think this is the most balanced matchup of them all. I think the Angels are the best team in baseball. But I also think teams who have to play ‘meaningless’ baseball for 45 days or so like the Angels have, have a hard time flipping the switch back onto the ‘on’ side. Looking at the pitching matchups, I honestly think they all favor the Bo Sox on paper, so I will go on the limb and call a sweep.

My Pick: Sox in 3

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Headlines:

Kiffin fired as Raiders coach – I admire Kiffin for being able to coach in Oakland as long as he did. But if he is guilty of some of the things Al Davis says he’s guilty of, then I sort of side with the Raiders owner on this one. And that is a first for me, because I think Davis is hands-down the worst owner in all of sports right now.

Bengals sign RB Benson – How perfect is it for a team of misfits and criminals to sign another one of their kind? All joking aside, I think Benson is a decent enough back who got a bad wrap in Chicago and is a decent pickup.

Phils Burrell hurts back in BP – This is a story to keep an eye on. Burrell adds depth to the middle of that Phillies order to back up guys like Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. They need him to be healthy.

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YouTube Video of the Day:

I don’t think the curse will end. But I’ve been wrong before.

Happy October, folks!

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