Early in conference play the Big East sure is living up to it’s advance billing. The conference is so tough, and it is beating itself up. Tonight it was Georgetown that totally beat up on Syracuse. That creates some upheaval in the standings and the rankings, as Syracuse was higher ranked coming into the game. The single most telling game coming up this weekend will be when Louisville hosts Pitt. The Panthers are the top ranked team in the country, and it’s hard to dispute that they deserve it. Louisville has had a few rough patches this year, but I had them tabbed as a Final Four team coming into the season, and I’m not wavering on that yet. They have won four in a row,including a win at Villanova and a big win over Notre Dame in their last two. They are finally playing up to their potential, and Samardo Samuels is showing why he was such a highly touted recruit. Pitt has looked almost flawless, but they haven’t been challenged at all, with Georgetown being their only top rate opponent. This is going to be a very tough game, and the winner is going to be a formidable force in the Big East.
Surprising news on the college football front today – Sam Bradford is returning to Oklahoma and Mark Sanchez is going pro. That’s the opposite of what I expected on both fronts, and probably the opposite of what I think is best. I don’t think that Sanchez is consistent enough to be ready. Bradford, on the other hand, is a natural. He’s also losing most of his offensive line and two top receivers. I love Bradford’s reason – he loves playing at Oklahoma, doesn’t really follow the NFL, and wants to keep playing at the place he has dreamed of playing at all of his life. I get that. I just don’t think that there is a lot of upside for Bradford. It would be different if he was in a place like Texas or Florida where the core is returning. It seems hard to believe that Oklahoma will do as well as they did last year, so Bradford may have missed his peak. Still, I can’t wait to watch him.
Big hockey game tonight, with Washington beating Pittsburgh 6-3. It’s not too often that the three best players in a sport are all in the same game, but that was the case here. All three players did their part, with three goals and three assists betweenOvechkin, Malkin and Crosby. The biggest outcome of the game, though, was a number of reasons for Pittsburgh fans to be concerned. First, Sidney Crosby left the game late with a knee injury. He wasn’t limping after the game, and he says he thinks he’ll be okay, but this still isn’t good news. More significantly, this game was a clear reminder that Pittsburgh is just not that good. With the loss they are just one game above .500, and they currently aren’t even in the playoffs. The team is deeply troubled, and I expect some significant changes soon before things get out of control. I can’t help but think about how good Pat Quinn would look behind the bench of that team. He’d be able to connect with the young stars, and he would be a big step up from Michel Therrien. Therrien was questionable to come back this year. Obviously he shouldn’t have been brought back.