Weird weekend. No work, but a 3.75 hour KU game kind of messed up Saturday, and then preparations for hosting some friends Sunday afternoon/evening kind of wiped out all the day games. So this will be very heavy on KU, a healthy dose of Colts, and a few random thoughts on the other games.<!–more–><strong>Saturday</strong>
KU – Southern Miss. Closer than I would have liked, but I think it’s a solid win. It’s funny how after being mediocre for most of my life, the 2007 KU season still has me a bit jaded and I’m frustrated when KU doesn’t score on each possession. There are still plenty of wrinkles to be ironed out – more consistent play from the O-line, pressure on the quarterback, receivers dropping balls – but the important thing is that KU made it through the non-conference schedule undefeated and can now focus on the true goal for this season: winning the Big 12 North.
Having seen them the last two weeks, but not having seen either Nebraska or Missouri, it’s tough to gauge just how much improvement is needed to get the 5-6 wins necessary to win the division. Getting Jake Sharp back (hopefully) in two weeks should help the offense some. Having two weeks to focus on practice and health won’t hurt, either. One of the frustrating things about college football is how coaches don’t show much early in the season. The playbook is often dramatically cut down for opponents that will struggle to keep within 30 points. Some even continue with the trimmed options until conference season begins. So you’re never really sure if you’re seeing everything your team has, or if there are still arrows in the quiver that will correct the apparent deficiencies. Missouri is probably a little better than I expected, although I didn’t expect them to drop off as much as some did. Nebraska seems about as good as I expected. It should be a fine three-way battle for the division, with the KU – Texas Tech game on Halloween incredibly important to KU’s hopes.
My annoyance of the day, other than the officials who had trouble deciding what was and was not a personal foul (going both ways), was the announcing team. Joel Meyers always annoys me with his need to either compare a KU player to an MU player (It was Kerry Meier and Chase Coffman this week), or reference a recent Mizzou game. Joel, we know you’re a proud Tiger alum. That’s cool. But chances are, unless KU is playing MU, there aren’t a whole lot of Mizzou fans tuned in. We don’t care about Blake Gabbert’s stats Friday night.
And then there’s the analyst. I’m forgetting his name, and not wasting the time looking it up, but he’s been doing Big 8/12 games forever. He’s not a bad analyst, but his overuse of the term “I can’t even tell you…” drives me bonkers. Examples: “I can’t even tell you how much time Todd Reesing had to throw on that play.” Then he proceeds to tell us, for the next 30 seconds, exactly how much time he had, going as far as counting the time off, backyard football-style. “I can’t even tell you what a big play that was.” Why not? You’re a fucking analyst that once played the game. It’s your job to tell us!
Yeah, I was a little extra cranky. The girls were driving me crazy Saturday.
I love Gale Sayers. I’d love to have a 1960s style KU jersey with his name on it. I’ve talked to people who have met Gale and say that, one-on-one, he’s a very friendly and interesting person to talk to. But for the second straight week, he offered up an atrocious interview on the KU telecast. Whatever charisma he has in individual settings is apparently lost when he gets on camera. Keep him shaking hands and asking for athletic department donations and off the broadcasts.
I love the spread offense and what it’s done for college football. Combine it with kids being more athletic these days, rules changes, and changes in scholarship limits and it’s given us a wide-open game that is exciting to watch and narrows the gap between the good and very good teams. But….these 3 1/2-4 hour games are killers. When the Colts were clicking on all cylinders a few years back, their games routinely ended well under three hours after kickoff. It is just brutal watching a game that begins at noon and you’re finally starting the lawn mower at 4:00. It also makes it difficult to watch any of the late afternoon games if you have things that need to be done.
What the hell is Purdue doing? They just called a timeout that gives Notre Dame two chances to score, rather than one, with under 40 seconds to play.
Watching the Penn State – Iowa game Saturday, I was struck by what a weird thing talent is. The Penn State quarterback is big, fast, and a fantastic athlete. But he can’t throw the ball to save his life. When he wants to go downfield, he just lobs it in the general direction of the receiver and hopes he can out jump the defense. It makes me appreciate Todd Reesing even more.
Yep, Notre Dame just scored. I’ll be eager to read the explanation for that timeout tomorrow.
Strange that the same weekend the University of Oregon broke out their old school, normal uniforms – rather than one of the 88 combinations they can build from their standard, hideous uniforms – the Seattle Seahawks busted out perhaps the worst uniforms in NFL history. As great as the AFL throwbacks are, those putrid Seattle uniforms might cancel them out.
I’m no fan of the drama queen in Minneapolis. But that game-winning TD pass was awesome. A laser of a throw, a fantastic catch, and a better job by Greg Lewis to get both feet down. That’s one of those plays that they probably practice all the time and nev er pull off in practice, but in a game situation it just clicks. I don’t care who threw the ball, that was one for the ages.
I have a firm policy against rooting for New York teams, but these Jets are sexy. Subway Super Bowl?
Hell of a performance by the Colts Sunday night. The big play offense was clicking. The defense did a fantastic job getting pressure on Warner and containing the running game. Everyone expected a big Arizona letdown this season, but they’re still a quality team, especially at home. To do that, with tons of injuries on defense, is a sign that the Colts could well be in position to go deep into the playoffs in a year that appears to be wide-open in the AFC. Bonus points for Peyton getting his young receivers into the act consistently. If Anthony Gonzalez can come back healthy, that’s going to be one difficult to defend offense. Oh, and Donald Brown is fast.
Why did it take so long for teams to start changing their defense at the line against Peyton Manning? Oh, I guess because after two plays he’ll go no-huddle on your ass and work you over. Nice idea by Arizona, and perhaps something more teams should do at various times during the game.
Adam Vinatieri is officially washed up. He helped the Colts get a ring, which was the reason they brought him here, but dude sucks now.
As I finish this up on Monday, I’ll just comment that this Monday night game sucks as well.