Looking Back on Turkey Day

There was a lot of good sports action yesterday. Here’s a look at the biggest stories to come out of the day:

1. Detroit has a long, long, long way to go. There were a couple of good things going on in their game against Green Bay, but not many. Matthew Stafford looks like a deer in the headlights, and I can’t imagine that getting chased around the field before throwing yet another interception is helping him become a better quarterback. I’m not writing the guy off yet, but this isn’t positive.

2. It was nice to see Denver bounce back and end their losing streak, but I put that game more on the Giants than the Broncos. New York just isn’t a good team right now. They play with little confidence, Eli Manning doesn’t seem to trust his receivers or have a rapport with them, the running game is a shadow of what it should be, and the team is just plain troubled. The Giants are now two full games behind the Cowboys, and I don’t see them doing anything to close that gap. At this point they are not a playoff team.

3. It was a very good day for the Big Ten on the hardwood. Michigan needed overtime to get past a very feisty Creighton team, but they looked very strong in that overtime period. Manny Harris showed yet again just how good he is – he was one rebound away from just the third triple-double in Michigan history, and he already has one this season. The concern for the team is their point guard play. Darius Morris, a true freshman, is being pointed to as the man to run the offense, but he didn’t have a single assist and he just doesn’t look ready for the big time at this point. He’ll need to learn in a hurry if this team wants to go as far as they can. Michigan’s success was followed up by a huge win for Minnesota – they upset Butler at the 76 Classic in Anaheim. The Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead, but Minnesota fought back to take the lead for good. Minnesota isn’t a flashy team, but they are very well coached, and they have some nice pieces that will help them be fairly effective season. Colton Iverson is a particularly nice player – the sophomore had 13 points and 11 rebounds in just 18 minutes off the bench. Every time I see a Big Ten team play this year I become more and more excited. This is a great, deep conference that is going to be an absolute war. We won’t know until conference play starts, but I am reasonably convinced that the Big Ten is the best conference in the country right now. It’s about time that that is true about a sport again – the conference is too good to be as bad as it has been for the last few years.

4. Colt McCoy just made it very interesting for Heisman voters. He was an absolute beast on the field – as good as he has ever been. He completed 60 percent of his passes for 304 yards and four touchdowns – without an interception. As if that isn’t enough, McCoy also carried the ball 18 times for a stunning total of 175 yards and a touchdown. McCoy was brilliant, and he needed to be – Texas A&M played a very tough game behind underrated QB Jarrod Johnson, who completed 79 percent of his passes for 342 yards and four TDs with an interception. Johnson also ran for 97 yards. He’s only a junior, so it will be exciting to see what Johnson can do next year.

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