I’ll admit up front that I am not that excited about this week. I always find that there is a bit of a lull in week four between the heat of the non-conference schedule and the heart of the conference schedule. That means that there are a lot of games this week that do little to capture the imagination. Here’s a look at the few games that have interesting storylines this weekend. I’m only going to look at three games as I plan to save my enthusiasm for weeks full of interesting games. Let me again remind you that I am looking at these just from the perspective of interesting storylines. These are not in anyway meant to be picks:
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If you guessed that today we would be looking at the 0-2 teams then give yourself a pat on the back. There are ten winless squads, and those range from the absolutely inevitable to the absolutely shocking. We’ll go alphabetically agan:
The title says it all. That clock management in the last two minutes of West Virginia’s loss to Colorado was laughably bad. Stewart sapped the momentum from his team with his ineptness. The worst part is that they just signed him for six years so they are stuck with him. Good luck with that, Mountaineers.
Based on the title of this article a detective could probably figure out what we are going to look at tomorrow. Before then, though, let’s assess which of the 2-0 teams seem like they are for real, and which ones are lucky to be where they are. There are ten teams that have yet to lose. We’ll take a quick look at each of them, and we’ll do it alphabetically to avoid any claims of bias:
Stories about people are usually the most interesting parts of sports, and today we have all sorts of interesting people stories to keep us interested:
I’m not surprised to hear that the Vikings have decided to put Tarvaris Jackson on the bench. He hasn’t been helping his team at all so far, and the team has to do something now before it is too late to salvage the season. That seems ridiculous to say after just two games, but that’s how the league is. What I am surprised about, though, is that the team has name Gus Frerotte the starter for the rest of the seasonn. If the team was willing to get rid of Jackson that easily then why did they wait until now, and why didn’t they find a better option than Gus Frerotte? This move doesn’t give me a ton of faith in a coaching staff that I thought was ready for big things before the season started.
Time to look forward to what the football weekend has to offer again:
Worst NFL game of the week – I was tempted to go with Kansas City ay Atlanta, because the Chiefs are awful and the Falcons aren’t ready for prime time yet. The Falcons should be able to run and score some points, though, and that is always fun to watch. That rules out this game. Many would argue that it is Detroit at San Francisco, but my well documented soft spot for the Niners eliminates that possibility. Besides, San Fracisco isn’t as bad as people think. My choice is St. Louis at Seattle. The Rams are terrible and seemingly self-destructing, and even with two new additions today the Seahawks won’t have a full, healthy, operating receiver corps. They have looked listless so far, and I am not hopeful for a dramatic turnaround.
Excellent defensive display in the NFC East tonight. The line movement was interesting in that one, especially on the total. Three quarters of bettors were on the over, yet the total opened at 48 and dropped down to 46.5 or lower. A move like that generally indicates either that either a good deal of smart money is on the under, or that the books favor the under, so they want to do everything they can to encourage bets on the over. Either way, the books would have had a bad night on that front – the teams didn’t just go over, they obliterated the total.
The Pac-10 stinks. Sure, they have a ridiculously scary at the top that should cruise to an undefeated record, but beyond that there is pretty much nothing. All ten teams played this weekend, but only three won, and only two covered. The conference played the Mountain West four times this weekend, and neither won nor covered once. Two of their teams dropped out of the top 25, and there isn’t a team in there that appears to be a serious threat for anything. Oregon is the one team that is maybe promising, or at least they were until they lost yet another quarterback to injury. My beloved Big Ten gets a lot of abuse, but we look good compared to the Pac-10. And yes, I know about the Ohio State debacle, but I only barely consider them a part of the conference. The part of the conference that isn’t in Ohio went 7-2 on the weekend.
As we did last weekend, here’s a look at what I think are the most interesting top 25 games of the weekend. Not included on here is the obvious one – USC-Ohio State. If you’re not totally sick of hearing about that game by now then you are a better person than me. For the record, I think USC will win, but I think the line movement has been utterly ridiculous this week. It also doesn’t include perhaps the most interesting top 25 game of the week – Kansas-USF – because that one has already happened.
Greg Schiano should have taken one of the jobs he was offered before he quit looking like a genius at Rutgers. That loss to North Carolina last night was very, very ugly. Butch Davis is going to turn NC around, but not that quickly or dramatically.