Trash Talk: Patriots Have A Strange Kind Of Mascot

Sports mascots are ubiquitous. College mascots are a tradition I suppose, irrespective of redeeming value, but pro mascots – with the exception of the San Diego Chicken, the Phoenix Suns Gorilla and, maybe, the Philly Phanatic are totally lame. Seriously. Then there are those big headed sausages the Milwaukee Brewers have. Are those even mascots?

But mascots, like Tiger Woods, are only human. They have indiscretions:

A prostitution sting in Rhode Island netted an unusual John, or, rather, an unusual Pat—as in one of the men who plays Pat Patriot, the huge-foam-headed mascot of the New England Patriots. Robert Sormanti, 47, was among 14 charged; there was no indication he was wearing his costume when busted.

And this:

Pat the Patriot, beloved mascot of the New England Patriots and inspiration to Boston-area children since 1960, has been arrested in a prostitution sting. But it gets worse: Evidently Pat was caught answering a naughty ad on Craigslist. Placed by a policeman in Rhode Island.

Rumor has it that local prostitutes called Pat by his other nickname, “The Revolutionary Minuteman.” They did not mean it as a compliment.


See, now this is the problem with the media in today’s society; it is so shallow. Where is the discussion of the extreme team spirit of Sormanti and his willingness to get “up” for the big game against the Panthers? Bill Bel does not lose three in a row does he? Read more

Trash Talk: Old Man River Showdown

Um, we’re a bit tardy throwing up trash this week, seeing as how Pittsburgh already has a 31-17 lead on Cincinnati. Only, we’re not that tardy–the game in question is in the Big East, not the AFC North, where Pittsburgh has already lost twice to Cinci this year.

Florida v. Alabama. Anyway, the big game this weekend, if you’re a football fan rather than an NFL fan, starts in just a few hours. JimWhite has been gloating all year, and we’ll soon see whether his gloat continues. I’ll be rooting for ‘Bama, but I suspect JimWhite will still be gloating come dinner time. In rather curious news, there were reports last week that at least a few winning NFL coaches are determined to take Tebow in the first round, so maybe this won’t be the end of his illustrious football career. Any guesses on what winning NFL program wants him? Pittsburgh? Indy?

Vikings at Cardinals. Now, if you’re an NFL fan–and particularly if you’re bmaz–then the highlight of the weekend comes when Old Man River North, Brett Favray, heads down to the sunny clime of AZ to meet Old Man River South, Kurt Warner, in bmaz’ backyard. Of course, with so many prominent old farts in this game, it may come down to who actually plays. Warner is still questionable with a two-week old head injury. And Antoine Winfield may not be back yet for the Vikes, either (admittedly, Winfield is not quite as old as the other two). Meanwhile, Adrian Peterson apparently hasn’t gotten enough speed on the field this with Brett Favre around, so he took it upon himself to drive 109 MPH on surface roads in Minnesota (funny, he doesn’t actually get caught when he’s speeding on his day job). Then Bernard Berrian joined the fun. I think Old Man River North wins this, only because he’s playing more consistently than Old Man River South, and with the Cardinals this year, home field advantage doesn’t amount to much.

Dallas at Gents. Does anyone actually care about the NFC East anymore? Does anyone think these teams are more interesting than Favray’s team or Drew Fookin’ Brees’ team? Eh. I say the Gents start turning their season around with this one, if only because the NFC East seems destined to remain in turmoil right until the end of the season.

Titans at Colts. When you think about it, Vince Young has almost as long a win streak going as Peyton does at the moment, if you count last year’s playoffs and discount the 2007 playoffs. And someone is bound to beat the Colts–no matter how good Peyton is, the team as a whole just can’t compare with the NFC’s leaders. That said, I’ve been burned so many times by teams failing to put enough points up against Peyton in the first half (am I really the only one who has noticed the Colts don’t show up for the first half this season?), that I’ll say the Colts win this, if only to avoid jinxing the Titans.

Pats at Fins. Really, after the Saints kicked the living daylights out of the Pats last week, who really cares about the AFC East, either? And given that Joey Porter is questionable, it ruins one of the story lines I was looking forward to. You see, Brady got some press this week for his newly active role in the Player’s Union.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is taking on a more active role in the NFL players’ union, becoming the team’s assistant players’ representative. And while many high-profile players avoid speaking publicly about labor issues, Brady says he’s glad to publicly support the efforts of NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith.

“I’m excited to see DeMaurice Smith heading our union. He’s a great thinker and what we need,” Brady told the Boston Herald. “What’s upcoming is challenging for the players. We’re very short-term focused. That’s the nature of the sport. We need to have a leader who sees the bigger picture.”

Brady said he believes strongly that the players deserve to be fairly compensated for putting their bodies on the line, mentioning former Bills player Kevin Everett, who suffered a serious spinal cord injury on the field, as a reason he thinks the union needs to fight for players’ rights.

And I thought it’d be interesting to see how Porter responded to Brady’s defense of players’ safety given Porter’s jawing about Brady’s whining for calls earlier this season. Then again, Porter couldn’t match that jawing with decent play the last time they played, so maybe it’s just as well. The Pats have yet to win a real away game, and the Jets just pulled to 6-6 with a win against Buffalo on Thursday. Which means Miami really needs this win for a chance to stay in the hunt to win another division in turmoil.

Big Upset. Call me crazy, but I think we’ll see at least one big upset this week, with one of the loser teams (Detroit, Oakland, KC, ‘Skins, or Cleveland) surprising the winning team they’re playing (Cinci, Stillers, Denver, Saints, Bolts, respectively). It’s just that time of the season. Obviously Oakland’s done that already a couple of times this year, but Heinz Field is tough. And, with Pittsburgh now up 38-24 in Heinz Field, the Stillers had better win against Oakland tomorrow if they want to avoid playing second fiddle to the local college team in Pittsburgh.

Update: Then again, with Cinci coming from behind to beat Pitt 35-34, maybe Heinz Field will be the place for some surprises this weekend.

Trash Talk: I’m An Excellent Driver Edition

Well I woke up this morning and got myself a beer
The future’s uncertain and the end is always near
Let it roll, baby roll, let it roll all night long.

These are strange days indeed we live in. One minute it is a quiet peaceful day after Thanksgiving, not even the sound of sugar plums and OPR reports dropping, and the next thing you know all hell is breaking loose in the Woods. Tiger goes Rainman driving in the driveway, and Elin Woods shows she’s got some game with golf clubs too. Go figure. You knew it couldn’t be long before Gloria Allred and Mark Geragos were involved. Ugh. The Woods family, sadly, will all be crawling from this wreakage for a long time.

But there is, thankfully, football to occupy our time, so let’s get to the games.

Student Athletes: Right now, and in my backyard, my ASU Sun Devils have just lost, via a late game moronic muffed punt, to the hated UofA Wildcats in what, at one time, was one of the best and nastiest rivalry games in the entire country. No longer, strictly ho hum now. Another game that was always huge, but has lost some luster is Trojans v. Bruins, which is a late game tonight (Fox Sports here). It may not be what it used to be, but very well may be an interesting game tonight. By the way, both TCU and Boise State are going to finish undefeated; I say put em both in BCS bowl games; these are good teams and they have earned it far more than some SEC team with two losses, and more than any flunky Big-10 team.

National Favre League: Again, there area a bunch of simply lousy games not even worth discussing. But the good ones have a lot to chew on. First up is Pittsburgh versus the Ravens in Baltimore. The big news here is that Big Ben is out, not going to play because of concussion symptoms. When Roethlisberger himself is making the call, you know it is real, he is a tough dude. So Dennis Dixon, who was a legitimate Heisman candidate, if not frontrunner, two years ago at Oregon before he hurt his knee, will get the start. He is a great athlete and can throw the ball, but has almost zero experience; ought to be interesting. The Ravens are desperate and have to have a win, but have not been playing well. This is a tossup, with the slight edge to the Ravens.

Peyton and the Colts at Houston is notable too. Can the Colts stay undefeated? Can Houston win a big game at home? I’ll take the Colts. Da Bears visit Old Man River in the land of the Norske. The other really interesting game, however, is the Cardinals visiting the Titans. Kurt Warner looks fine in spite of the hit last week, so the Cards look to be at full strength. The Titans have been resurgent with Vince Young though and are back to playing Jeff Fisher football. The Titans are on a mission, the Cards have the division pretty much wrapped up already because the NFC west is so pitiful. I’ll take the Titans in an upset.

By far the biggest and best game this week is the Monday Night affair down in the Big Easy. If I had more dollars than sense, I would head down for some hurricanes at Pat O’Briens and a 48 hour partay ramble. You know the Who Dat nation is going to be amped up and ready to geaux. This has the makings of another Dolphins/Bears Monday Night game from almost 24 years ago to the day. With only the Redskins, Falcons, Cowboys, Bucs and Panthers left on their schedule, if the Saints can overcome the Pats, they very well may run the table. The Pats are really rounding into form at the right time of the year. You knew they would. Most importantly, the New England defense is gelling. Couple that with a healthy Wes Welker and Brady getting back to the QB he is capable of being, and, well, you just cannot ask for anything more out of a regular season game. As Keith Jackson would say, “folks, this is gonna be a good un”. Drew Fookin Brees and the Who Dats are at home in the dome; give them a microscopic edge.

Alright, that is the slate; what ya got? Been kind of quiet here the last couple of days, time to make some noise fellow knuckleheads!!

Talkin Turkey Trash

Here it is, another big bird day! That means football and we have some trash to talk.

Some Preliminaries: ESPN has been reporting that the Buffalo Bills and Mike Shanahan had a seven hour sit down, and there is serious interest on both sides; we shall see. In other Bills news, Jim Kelly thinks Trent Edwards is a nice guy, but is why the Bills are finishing last. Notre Dame has cancelled all of Charlie Weiss’ recruiting trips, that were already set up for after the Stanford game that ends the season. Not a good sign; put a fork in him and carve him up, this turkey is cooked. Oh, and former Eagles offensive lineman Jon Runyan is going to run for Congress in New Jersey – just as soon as he is through joining the Bolts for the rest of the season. Clearly more worried about himself and money than learning issues and actually doing the dirty work of being a politician, he ought to be the perfect Republican.

The Games: First up we have Cheesers at Kittens. Young Matthew Stafford’s willingness, make that determination in the face of his coaches, to get in for the last play of the game last weekend versus the Brownies, and win the game with a TD pass on the last play earned him the team, and its respect, for good. He was already the man; but boy did that seal the deal. He is a stud and threw for 422 yards and five, count em five, TDs last week. Stafford has a hurt non-throwing shoulder; if he can’t go, which is likely, Duante Culpepper will get the nod. The Packers also had a big win over the 49ers, but lost Al Harris and Aaron Kampman for the year in the process. The Pack’s O Line is getting healthier, and not a minute too soon for Aaron Rodgers, who has takin a lickin and kept on tickin this year. This should be a surprisingly good game, especially if Stafford can go.

Next up is da Rayduhs versus the ‘Boys. Yeah, I dunno what to think here. Both these teams are infuriating. Oakland has a great defense and should not have been nearly as lame as it has been on offense. They have some players, I just think Jamarcus Russell has been a lead weight around their neck. But he is benched, and Bruce Gradkowski is at the helm now, and they are responding. Dallas, on the other hand, is 7-3 but has just sucked. Seven godamned points against the Redskins? Come on man. The Cowboys need this game though, because the Giants might be waking up. It is in Dallas, the ‘Boys usually win Turkey Day games at home, so I will go with them. If this game was in Oakland I wouldn’t though.

Last, but not least, we have the aforementioned Gents traveling to Mile High to visit the Donkos. As RanDiego keeps saying, the Broncs really need to think about wearing them striped socks and butt ugly unis for the rest of the year; they are a good luck charm. Two things are crippling Denver lately; Kyle Orton is hurt and they got nobody else (Simms is nice, but really sucks) and their new defense has been seen and schemed now. Most of all, Brian Dawkins, the key and soul to the D, has been hurt with a neck injury. Dawkins should play, if he is up to speed, that makes a HUGE difference. Still, Eli is feeling better with his foot and the Gents are coming around. I’ll take them tonight.

In honor of turkey day, how could today’s music not come from the Yardbirds? Happy Thanksgiving folks, and my thanks to one and all for being our friends and partners in the never ending expedition that is Emptywheel.

Ari Fleischer to Pimp BCS

There’s much that can be said about this

The college football Bowl Championship Series has hired Ari Fleischer, the former press secretary to President George W. Bush, to help improve its image.


“Playoff advocates have had an easy ride where they have never been called on to explain exactly how they would create an alternative. There is tremendous division among playoff advocates,” said Fleischer. “While the BCS has its share of critics, once people see both sides of the issue, they will see why the system has its great support.”

And because a lot of folks are sliding into the Turkey holiday, I hereby give you an entire thread to say those things.

Trash Talk: Even Al Qaida Is Pimping The Cheesers Over Favre

Oh this is beautiful:

It seems that the Brett Favre-Green Bay Packers saga is such a worldwide phenomenon that it’s being used by detainees in American military camps.

According to a military official, detainees at a Wisconsin National Guard camp in Iraq are using Brett Favre as a manner of getting at the guard troops there.

“They know Favre by name,” said First Lieutenant Tim Boehnen, who is from New Richmond, Wis.

“One of the big words they know now is shenanigan. They’ll constantly talk about ‘Favre shenanigans,’ ‘He’s so good for the Vikings,’ and ‘The Packers have got to really feel bad about that one.’ ”

According to Boehnen, it started when troops there started decorating their camp in Packers colors.

Heh. I wonder how you say Ted Thompson is a big fat arrogant idiot in Arabic. And I wonder how the Cheeseheads respond; it’s not like there is much they can say back to the creative and pesky detainees in light of the ass whuppin Favre and the Vikes have laid on them twice. Even on the hallowed Frozen Tundra of Lambeau. Ouch.

In other tangential football news, Obama has been chucking the pigskin on the White House lawn with Drew Fookin Brees (thus today’s musical selection “They Call Me The Breeze”). From USA Today:

President Obama is exercising executive privilege to get youngsters off their butts, and to urge all Americans to volunteer for community service.
In a TV spot set to run on Thanksgiving Day, viewers will see New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees zinging a pass to an unseen player. As we look closer, we realize the receiver is actually President Obama. The playing field is the White House lawn. The defender is Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu.

The 90-second public service announcement is a joint effort between the NFL’s Play 60 campaign to fight childhood obesity and the president’s United We Serve public-service effort.

Pretty cool, and a worthy cause too. Football on the lawn at 1600 Pennsylvania; somewhere JFK, RFK Read more

Trash Talk: When NESCAC Offers the Best Game

BREAKING:From BSL in comments:

Final, Jeffs 26, Ephs 21: That will do it from Williamstown as the Jeffs finish off their perfect season at 8-0.

Here it is Saturday, mid-day, trying to catch up on Trash Talk, with some of the best games already played for the week and one NESCAC game–in progress–that might be the week’s highlight.

On Thursday, Mike Singletary’s Niners finally ended a nasty losing streak against Da Bears.

And last night, #5 Cinci beat West Virginia, but not by much.

Other than that, there’s not all that much going on, aside from the Buckeyes playing for first place in the Big 10.5 against the Stanzi-less Hawkeyes.

Except, that is, in the awesome Div III NESCAC, where an unbeaten Amherst College travels to Williamstown to meet a strong Williams team.

It’s always a big deal for Amherst College to beat Williams College, but in this, the 124th meeting between the two teams, the Lord Jeffs have more at stake than the bragging rights for knocking off their archrival.

The teams go at it Saturday at noon at Weston Field in Williamstown. The game will be televised on NESN.

With a victory, the Jeffs would claim their third 8-0 season, and their first perfect record in 25 years. They would also earn their first outright title in the New England Small College Athletic Conference.

From the rivalry standpoint, it would also be Amherst’s first win at Weston Field since 1985, and its first win over Williams since 2004. The last Amherst victory at Williamstown was also the first televised game in the series with the Jeffs coming on top 35-20.

Williams leads the all-time series 70-48-5.

A victory by Williams would mark the eighth time the Ephs have ruined the Jeffs’ quest for a perfect season.

I just missed that last unbeaten season, and it’s been a while since Amherst could really win these in Williamstown. So I’ll probably be updating you with bad news shortly. In the meantime, go Lord Jeffs!!

I was serious when I said that NESCAC game was one of the highlights. In the pro leages, here are some of the ho-hum games this week:

  • Detroit at Minnesota
  • Jacksonville at Jets
  • Drew Fookin Brees at Rams
  • Denver at ‘Skins
  • KC at Oakland

I mean, c’mon, KC at Oakland?!?!?!?! We’re supposed to watch that?

Which leaves just these four games of interest:

Atlanta at Carolina: Jake Delhomme was remembering how to QB until he met Drew Fookin Brees last week. That said, this is a Division game, the Dirty Birds want to stay in the hunt–for a wildcard, at least. So it might be interesting. Except for the fact that the Dirty Birds have finally gotten Michael Turner running again.

Cinci at Pittsburgh: Cinci’s actually a team this year, and with Baltimore struggling, the Bengals (cough) are the one thing that might challenge Pittsburgh in the Division. Cinci won their first game, in Cinci. But that’s different than playing at Heinz Field. Moreover, Ochocinco is bound to be hurting after having to pay $20,000 for a “bribe the ref with a buck” stunt last week.

Iggles at Bolts: This might be interesting. Then again, last time the Iggles traveled to the west coast they got embarrassed by the Raiders. Which leads me to believe the Bolts win this one comfortably.

Brady in Peyton’s home: Okay, there is one game worth watching–you just gotta wait until the night game to watch it. My instinct is to say that evil Peyton wins this one, it being indoors in Indy. Peyton got rid of his Pats boogeyman several years back, and the Pats–particularly their D–just aren’t all that good this year. Then again, the Colts have been winning, barely, for several weeks now, and they’re due to lose, barely. And they’re banged up, having finally discovered that Bob Sanders will never be healthy enough to do them much good. You know I’m rooting for BillBel in this game… let’s hope things go well for me in New England across the board.

Trashed: Formula One No Longer Made In Japan

As you all might know, we here at Emptywheel are car people. And one annoying thread ran common as a persistent undercurrent through all of our auto and auto bailout coverage over the last year, and that was how pitiful and incompetent the American marques were, how much they deserved their fate and how awesome the Japanese brands, especially Toyota and Honda, were in comparison. This was incredibly disturbing because, as rudimentary as rolling iron seems on the surface, the automotive industry is incredibly complex and vertically integrated; it simply is not amenable to to simplisms and truisms that were bandied about in those tumultuous days.

Sadly, it is a meme that persists even today in spite of the fact that all manufacturers, very much including those in Japan, are sucking air and taking on water. And, no, their cars are not that much better either, they have quality and safety problems too.

For all of its ballyhooed efficiency, quality control and supposed relative superiority, the Japanese auto industry always was built on the shoulders and technology of the American manufacturers; they wanted the sales sector of the Americans and the aura of the Europeans. Since the Japanese marques first started their meteoric rise in prominence in the 70s, the holy grail for them was to compete and win on the highest stage in the world. Formula One. But the wake of the global financial meltdown has trashed their fortunes, and their goals, every bit as hard as it pounded the American car business. The pursuit of the holy grail is over, first for Honda last December, and now for Toyota:

Toyota announced Wednesday that it would give up its prized Formula One racing team in an effort to slash costs, refocus the company on green cars and turn a profit amid continued weakness in the auto sector.

Toyota, the world’s biggest automaker, joins a growing exodus of Japanese auto companies from racing, highlighting the woes facing the country’s once cash-rich manufacturers. Honda pulled out of Formula One racing in December, while the tire-maker Bridgestone said this week that it would not renew its exclusive deal to supply tires to the series when its contract expires in 2010.

Subaru and Suzuki pulled out of the World Rally Championship before the season, citing concerns about the global crisis, while Kawasaki is quitting MotoGP, the top motorcycle competition.

“I hope you will understand that based on the current business environment we have no choice but to make this very painful decision,” Akio Toyoda, the Toyota president, said at a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday. “To all fans, I apologize from the bottom of my heart.”

Akido Toyoda literally cried as he made the announcement. Make no mistake, there was cause; he, Toyota and Japan had all lost face with the withdrawal from Formula One. The Japanese do not take Read more

Trash Talk: Big Dick Edition

image1Hey, if ya got it swing it; and that is exactly what the Big Dick in the White House did between January 2001 and January 2009. Obviously I am not talking about Georgie Boy Bush. I’m talkin Cheeeney (as Chris Matthews insists on pronouncing it). But the thing about big dicks is they are usually con men and liars. Guess that has been proved up again.

What with all that hard work late in the afternoon and early evening, it is time to take out the Trash. And we gots enough for a landfill this weekend.

Cheesesteaks v. Big Apple Boppers: Crossed you up eh? That is right, we lead with beisbol. Beisbol been berry berry good to me. So sez Chico Esquela. And it is World Series time, with the Phillies and Yanks tied up at one game a piece. The wisdom seemed to be the Yanks should just be crowned, but not so fast. Cliff Lee did a number on the Bronx Bombers in game one and Pedro, despite taking the loss, pitched a very good game in game two. A loss is a loss though, and they move on to the City of Brotherly Love now. Pettitte versus Hamels in game three Halloween night and back to Sabbathia and Cliff Lee Sunday. I figure Philly can win two of three, but then has two back in the Bronx. Not good for Broad Street, Yanks are gonna win the Series.

College Futbol: There is only one huge game this weekend, and it is the Quackers v. the Trojans. Game is at Autzen Stadium, and if you have never been there, you don’t know. Brutal place to be the road team. Seriously. And Oregon has been on a big roll since the opening loss to Boise State (Boise State should really get more love than they do). But USC has been rolling too, and the offense is starting to gel behind Matt Barkley. Kid is the real deal and he is just starting his career. If this game were at the Coliseum, it would be a no brainer; but in Eugene, it is a toss up. Hellofa game though. Georgia at Florida and South Carolina Gamecocks at Tennessee both ought to be excellent games. Lane Kiffin and the Volunteers do not have a great record, but they have played very well this year. If they had a quarterback worth a fuck, their record would be very different and they might even be at the top of the SEC. But they don’t. Even match with SC. Texas at Oklahoma State should be interesting; the Cowboys are going to miss Dez Bryant against a quality team like the Longhorns. Texas wins. Virginia Tech has already been upset tonight; they have been disappointing.

National Favre League: Let’s be real. There is only one game this weekend, and it is on the not quite yet Frozen Tundra. Old Man River returns to Lambeau. Nuff said. I have no real idea who wins this game, but it ought to Read more

Trash – Jerkin Crocus Edition

Well, I have had about enough of that Ayn Rand crap; time to let loose. At Casa de Bmaz, that means margaritas and rock and roll. Today I have whipped out an oldie, but very goodie. From Mott the Hoople’s 1972 classic album All The Young Dudes, its Jerkin Crocus, a thoroughly kick ass song that is mostly forgotten now. Let yer hair down and let’s get down to some football.

Pros: Hmmm, this Atlanta at Dallas game looks interesting. The Dirty Birds are on a roll, absolutely killed the 49ers that had looked so solid prior to last week. It was hard to find a flaw in their game. Dallas needs a signature win to make something of a season that looks shaky at best so far. I do think the ‘Boys are better than people give them credit for; but really do not seem particularly well coached or consistent. The way Dallas has been able to run the ball, and with the game in the new Jerry Dome you would have to give the edge to the ‘Boys. You would, but not me; I’m staying on the HotLanta train.

Two other games of note are New Orleans at Miami and Arizona at the New York Giants. Miamai looked really good last time out with Chad Henne passing, the wildcat offense and a solid defense. The Saints are killing people; the defense is lights out this year and we all know what Drew Fookin Brees can do and does do. There has even been a Reggie Bush sighting. This bodes ill for the Fish. The Cards that closed out the season last year and took the Steelers to the final seconds of the Super bowl have started to rear their ugly heads finally after a slow funk start. They will be running into a pissed off set of Gents still smarting from that egg they laid in the Superdome. It is in NY though and the Cards are famous for not traveling well to eastern cold climes; slight edge to the Gents but this could be a great game.

Oh yeah, there is one other game of interest. That Old Man River dude and his Norske friends are going up to Pittsboig to visit Big Ben and the Stillers. The Steelers have rediscovered their running game now that Rashard Mendenhall has taken over for No Longer So Fast Willie Parker, and Big Ben is throwing the ball all over the field with great success. And they get Troy Polamalu back for the first time in weeks. With Antonio Winfield likely out or hobbled in the Vike’s defensive backfield, it looks grim for the Purple People. Never count out the Old Geezer though. This is a tossup, could go either way and should be a great game. The rest of the matchups are too lame to bother going through.

College Joes: The game of the week is, believe it or not, TCU at BYU. Yeah, yeah, I know, but it really is. The Horned Frogs knocked the Cougars out of BCS Bowl contention last year; and kicked the snot out of them doing it. Bad. BYU would love to return the favor to the undefeated and 10th ranked Frogs this year. The game is in Provo and I will take the Cougs in an upset. Iowa at Michigan State is an upset special; nobody likes playing the Spartans, especially in Lansing. The surprising Hawks should survive though in their last big test of the year before they play Ohio State.

Oregon at Washington and Penn State at Michigan should also be good games. The ducks have been really tough since that initial loss at Boise State. Washington is playing much better this year under Steve Sarkisian, but the Quackers have way too much for them. The JoePas at the Wolvereenies on the other hand, is too close to call. On paper Penn State should win; but they don’t play these things on paper and Michigan could pull off an upset. Oklahoma at Kansas could be close too. Bradford is out and Mark Mangino fields a good squad. Sooners better stiffen up or they will get whacked.

Baseball: It is over. The Dodgers are Bums again and the Phillys are in the Series. It is over in the Junior Circuit too, the Halos just don’t know it. Now all we have to do is wait for a couple of weeks for the World Series to start.