Sunday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a sports Saturday……

13) Oklahoma State 41, Texas Tech 34— OSU’s kicker clanked two really short FG’s off the right upright, but the Cowboys overcame all that and scored a TD with 1:12 left to send the fans home unhappy in Lubbock. Good ballgame, except for Gus Johnson’s occasional screaming on FOX.

12) Florida State 26, Wake Forest 19— Seminoles ran opening kickoff back for a TD, it was called back by a penalty. From that point on, Wake outgained them 367-270 but FSU hit a long pass in the last minute to win game. If you knew nothing about reputations/teams and just watched this game, you could have easily thought that Wake Forest is the better team.

11) Troy 24, LSU 21— Troy State is in Alabama; they play in the Sun Belt; they got a check for $985,000 to come and be a patsy to help LSU get ready for SEC play. Problem is, they won.

Last year, LSU fired Les Miles, who was 62-28 in SEC games while coaching the Tigers. LSU then hired Ed Orgeron, who is 7-24 in SEC games in 4+ years as coach at Ole Miss/LSU. This was administrative malpractice, replacing a really good head coach with a career assistant.

Don’t believe me? Go find the book Meat Market, written by Bruce Feldman; it details one of the recruiting periods during Orgeron’s tenure at Ole Miss. If you read that book and think Orgeron should be an SEC head coach, then we’ll agree to disagree.

10) Upsets of the Day— wasn’t a big day for surprises:
Troy +20.5 won 24-21 at LSU
Maryland +13 won 31-24 at Minnesota
North Texas +8.5 won 43-28 at Southern Mississippi

9) Washington State 30, USC 27— One of season’s best games ended way after midnight Friday night. Three of USC’s five starting offensive linemen are hurt and they don’t have a week off until November, which will make Sam Darnold’s season a lot more difficult.

8) Maryland 31, Minnesota 24— Terrapins win here as a 13-point underdog with their #3 QB playing- their top two QB’s are out for the year.

7) Florida 38, Vanderbilt 24— Two starting QB’s here are both sons of NFL coaches; Florida’s Luke Del Rio is the son of the Raiders’ coach, Vandy’s Kyle Shurmur is the son of the Vikings’ offensive coordinator. Del Rio broke his collarbone here, is out for the year.

6) Georgia 41, Tennessee 0— If you’re an aspiring college football coach and you’d like to coach in the SEC, send your resume to:

Athletic Director
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville, Tennessee 37996

Believe me, you couldn’t do any worse than the guy who has that job now.

5) Stanford 34, Arizona State 24— Bryce Love ran for 301 yards and three TD’s.

4) Utah State 40, BYU 24— This is the worst BYU team I can remember; they need to get into a league, makes your schedule more balanced. Cougars turned ball over seven times in this game; that makes it difficult to win.

Maybe when the Raiders’ dome gets built in Las Vegas and UNLV moves into it, they and BYU can join the Big X or the Pac-12 as a western tandem.

3) Clemson 31, Virginia Tech 17— It is October 1st; Tigers have already won at Louisville and Virginia Tech; they beat Auburn at home. How do you win as much as Clemson has the last few years and remain somewhat under the radar?

2) NFL Network has a pregame show that starts at 7am Sunday; I get that some people are awake on Sunday morning, whether it be for work or church, but do people really get up on Sunday morning and watch TV? At 7am? College games don’t get over until 2am or so on Saturday night— got to sleep sometime.

1) No drama for the last day of baseball season; Colorado-Arizona and Minnesota-New York are the two Wild Card games. There are probably executives at ESPN that don’t even know that there are major league teams in Denver/Phoenix, Lord knows they never show ‘em on TV.

Saturday’s List of 13: things I’m looking for this weekend…….

13) Last seven times the Dallas Cowboys played on Monday Night Football, they lost the following week; four of those games were at home. Cowboys-Rams is an interesting game Sunday afternoon.

12) Underdogs covered five of last six Colorado-UCLA games; Buffs’ win LY was their first in last six games against the Bruins, who allowed 106 points in losing the last two weeks.

11) Giants are 0-3; they visit Tampa Bay, where Bucs’ offense is struggling big time. Loser of this game will be looking for the panic button.

10) Navy beat Tulsa the last two years, 42-40/44-21; Middies covered six of their last seven games as a road favorite. Tulsa is 2-8 in its last 10 games as a home underdog.

9) Another 9:30am game from England; but Saints-Dolphins might be worth getting out of bed to watch. Miami’s travel schedule this season has been ridiculous; their first home game of the season will be next Sunday, October 8th.

8) Ole Miss covered nine of its last 12 games with Alabama, winning two of last three SU. Wager against the Crimson Tide at your own risk.

7) Ravens looked terrible in London last week, now they play their rivals from Pittsburgh without benefit of a bye week after the trip over the pond. Baltimore has done well against the Steelers recently; this will be interesting, with both teams coming off a loss.

6) Road team won last seven Buffalo-Kent State games SU; Bulls won their last five visits here. Kent State is 0-3 vs I-A teams this year, outscored 119-6.

5) Jacoby Brissett is starting his 4th NFL game (for 2 teams), but Sunday night in Seattle will be his first NFL road start. Tough environment to play in, against a very good defense.

4) Underdogs covered last five Georgia-Tennessee games, with average total in last five, 72.2. Vols beat Georgia the last two years, after trailing both games by 17 points.

3) Winner of Jets-Jaguars will be an “early season surprise”. Jacksonville crushed the Ravens last week; how come teams don’t take the bye week after London games anymore?

2) Middle Tennessee won its last nine games with Florida Atlantic; they beat the Owls 77-56 LY, gaining 757 yards, 495 on the ground. I’m guessing FAU has this game circled on the calendar.

1) 0-3 Bengals visit Cleveland; Marvin Lewis needs a win here. Cincinnati played well last week at Lambeau Field, but they need a win, not a moral victory, and they need a win this week.

Friday’s List of 13: Random stuff with weekend here……..

13) First of all, congrats to the Minnesota Twins for making the playoffs this season; they lost 103 games last year. No team had ever made the playoffs when they had lost 97+ games in the previous season. Excellent accomplishment.

12) NBA changed how their draft lottery will work, to discourage tanking; right now the top three teams have these percentages of getting the #1 pick:
1) 25%, 2) 19.9%, 3) 15.6%

Under the new system, the top three teams will each have a 14% shot at the #1 pick.

11) JD Martinez made $11,750,000 this season; he is hitting .418 in September, with 16 HR’s and 36 RBI and is a free agent after this season. He is going to make a freakin’ fortune this winter.

10) There were rumors on the Interweb Thursday that Clemson coach/Alabama alum Dabo Swinney might replace Nick Saban when Saban retires from the Crimson Tide.

I’ve said this here before; replacing Saban in Tuscaloosa will be like replacing John Wooden at UCLA or even replacing Bear Bryant at Alabama 35 years ago. A rabid, spoiled fanbase. Very, very difficult job.

9) Oakland A’s extended manager Bob Melvin’s contract thru 2019, which is excellent news; A’s were 46-35 at home this year, have a decent nucleus of young position players. Not sure their starting pitching will be good enough to contend next year. One can hope, though.

8) Seattle Mariners have used 40 pitchers this season; 17 of them started at least one game.

7) Arizona Wildcats lose 6-5 swingman Rawle Atkins for 8-12 weeks with a broken foot; he was supposed to be one of the Pac-12’s best players this winter.

6) Tigers’ utility guy Austin Romine will play all nine positions for Detroit Sunday, which is pretty cool. Bert Campaneris of the A’s was the first player to do that, in 1965.

5) Sam Saunders shot a 59 at the web.com championship Thursday; Saunders is Arnold Palmer’s grandson.

4) Chris Fallica of ESPN points out that there are only six college football games this week that have a spread less than 7 points. 27 games have a double digit spread.

3) Packers 35, Bears 14— Long time ago, I met John Fox; good guy. Too bad he’s going to get fired before New Year’s Day; the Bears turned ball over four times, are  -7 in turnovers in two bad road losses. They’ve got a rookie QB sitting on the bench who might as well be playing, much like the Rams with Jared Goff last season. Chicago will hire an offensive-minded coach (Jim Bob Cooter??) to mentor Trubisky next year.

2) Clippers are having training camp in Hawai’i, the Nets at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. Nothing against the Naval Academy, but advantage, Clippers.

1) NBA preseason games start Saturday night, which is good news. Will be better news when the games count for real, in a couple weeks.

Thursday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but…….

13) I would suggest that one change basketball should make is letting kids go right from high school to the NBA; it used to be this way— Lebron James, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant didn’t go to college.

You’re never going to totally eliminate corruption in something that is so popular and is a huge moneymaker, but this would take the most lucrative layer of corruption away from the sport.

The NCAA tournament was still really popular when players could go straight from high school to college. I think this would help both the NBA and college ball.

12) Finally heard a good chunk of a game with Tony Romo as analyst; he is enthusiastic, and he does something I like that other hate— he chimes in during the play, if he sees something.

“He’s got him!!!” Romo might say as he sees a play develop. I like that; Jon Gruden does it a little bit sometimes, I wouldn’t mind more of that.

11) Brent Musburger came out Tuesday and said he didn’t like that at all, the chiming in during a play. Thats what makes the world interesting, that we can disagree and Brent was a play-by-play guy after all.

Bottom line is this: CBS made a good move making Romo a game analyst.

Some statistical knowledge from the first three weeks of the NFL:
10) Best red zone offense (based on pts/possession):
1) Chiefs 6.00 2) Rams 5.86 T3) Packers/Raiders 5.67

Worst red zone offenses:
32) Bengals 2.88 31) Cardinals T29) Dolphins/Giants 3.75

9) Best “black zone” offenses (drives that start 75+ yards from end zone)
1) Titans 3.54 2) Rams 3.40 3) Chiefs 2.95 T4) Vikings/Saints 2.94

Worst black zone offenses (teams lose points if you give up a pick-6):
32) Colts 0.42 31) Browns 0.77 30) Bengals 0.84 T28) Ravens/Bills 0.85

8) Teams with most plays of 20+ yards:
T1) Rams/Patriots 20 3) T3) Cardinals/Vikings 19 T5) Saints/Broncos 15

7) Teams that have allowed the most plays of 20+ yards:
32) Saints 22, 31) Colts 21, 30) Patriots 18, T28) Jets/Rams 16

6) Someone in Las Vegas bet $340K on the money line on the Steelers last week; all they had to do for the guy to win was beat the Bears, but they lost it overtime. Thats a bad day.

5) Arizona Cardinals’ kicker/punter are a combined 77 years old.

4) Saw a cool thing on Twitter this week: 79-year old Jerry West on the court, helping Sam Dekker with his jump shot at Clippers’ training camp out in Hawai’i.

Who better to help a player with skills than one of the greatest players/executives of all-time?

3) Auburn had sold out its basketball season tickets for this season, but now their program is in trouble, the school is offering refunds to season ticket holders. Bruce Pearl is expected to quit/be fired soon.

One of their best recruits for 2018 has already de-committed, a 6-10 forward from Georgia.

2) Rick Pitino was making $7.76M a year at Louisville; what does he do now? TV work? Would another NBA team take a chance on him (doubtful)? I’d enjoy hearing him on TV, but I’m guessing he is just going to disappear for a while, until this whole mess plays out.

1) Last question today about the college basketball issue: Do the players’ families who took the money from coaches get nailed by the IRS for tax evasion?

Wednesday’s List of 13: College hoop makes news, for the wrong reasons

13) What a year this has been.

If you read this site a lot, you know I love college basketball; this week, four assistant coaches at big schools (Arizona, Auburn, Oklahoma St, USC) were arrested by the FBI in connection with a federal corruption investigation, and that might only be the tip of the iceberg in a three-year FBI investigation that focused on coaches being paid tons of cash to steer NBA-bound players toward sports agents, financial advisers and apparel companies.

The scumweasel shit has hit the freakin’ fan. Oy.

12) This isn’t an NCAA thing, where the NCAA gets so mad at Kentucky that they put Western Kentucky on probation (to borrow an old Jerry Tarkanian line). This is serious.

This is the F. Bleepin’ I. As in unlimited resources to uncover whatever hideousness lies beneath the surface of the investigation. You can lie to the NCAA, but lying JUST ONCE to the FBI is a freakin’ felony, so the truth is going to come out and a lot of it will be ugly.

11) This is nothing new; what is new is the FBI being in charge of the investigation.

Spike Lee’s 1998 movie He Got Game showed a lot of this stuff; Nick Nolte was in Blue Chips in 1994, which touched on a veteran coach cheating to get better players.

This is nothing new except for the arrests and all that.

10) Six non-coaches were also arrested, including Jim Gatto, director of global sports marketing at Adidas, who helped funnel money to players’ families.

As Alfre Woodard’s character (mother of a big recruit) said to Nick Nolte in Blue Chips, “They may be the rules, but they’re not my rules.”

Recruits families have had their hands out for decades. What happens next? Stay tuned.

9) Of course, this all happens the day after my Blue Ribbon Yearbook shows up on my IPad; lot of it is going to be irrelevant, starting with the rumor than Rick Pitino may be gone at Louisville as early as Wednesday morning. Who knows what other schools will wind up getting torched by the scope of this investigation— the report was 100 pages long.

Part of the investigation centers on a players’ family asking for/getting $100K for their son to sign with the Cardinals.

8) From CBSSports.com:

“Andy Miller, a prominent agent with the company who represents Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, Myles Turner, Austin Rivers and many others, reportedly had his computer confiscated by the FBI.”

Christian Dawkins was fired by Miller’s agency in May; he is connected to many of the coaches who were arrested.

7) How did all this start? More from CBSSports:

“A financial advisor (now revealed as Martin Blazer, per multiple reports), who was charged in 2016 by the SEC with fraud, became cooperating witness after those charges were filed. The witness informed the FBI, as means of cooperation, that he could bring light to fraud and corruption in the world of college recruiting because said witness had been party to it in the past.”

In other words, if you’re a writer for the Showtime series Billions, you sit back with your feet up, hit copy/paste a few dozen times, change some names and you have a whole story arc for your show already finished. Real life is stranger than fiction.

6) Wonder how many college coaches had IT guys scrubbing their hard drives Tuesday. That goes for agents, investment weasels and I guess people who work for sneaker companies.

5) I watch a lot of late night TV: CSI, Law and Order, Billions, Ray Donovan. Once someone gets charged with a crime, he amazingly becomes much more willing to rat out others who might get his sentence lessened. Funny how that works.

Will be interesting to see how much farther this will go.

4) Some good news: Dallas Mavericks lent JJ Barea their team plane Monday so he could deliver supplies to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico. Barea is bringing his mother/grandmother back to this country. Good for Mark Cuban for doing that.

3) Random question; If Gregg Popovich ran for President in 2020, wouldn’t he win? He went to the Air Force Academy, he is a respected leader and a no-nonsense guy. I’d vote for him.

2) It was 89 degrees in beautiful upstate New York Tuesday; today it will once again approach 90, then things will go back to normal and it will get cool, as September ends.

2017 is going to go down as a year with a lot of news, but not a lot of it good news.

1) Carolina Panthers’ owner Jerry Richardson is a different guy; he fired his kids, he’s had a heart transplant, and now, he is the only NFL owner who isn’t supporting his players coming out and speaking about recent political events. The players aren’t happy; apparently there was a meeting in Charlotte about all this Tuesday.

Panthers have a minority QB and a minority coach who is the son of a military veteran; this will be worth watching. Things far less important than this have fractured teams.

Tuesday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but…….

13) Week 3 NFL betting summary, from ESPN.com:

“Ten of Sunday’s 13 underdogs covered the spread, with six teams pulling outright upsets. For some bookmakers, it was their most lucrative NFL Sunday ever. For the betting public, it was a multimillion-dollar defeat.

On an average NFL Sunday, sportsbook operator CG Technology will win 4-6 percent of the amount wagered. This Sunday, CG Technology kept more than 16 percent of the money bet on the NFL at their sportsbooks, according to vice president of risk Jason Simbal.”

12) College football trends: Home favorites in conference games: 7-18 vs spread. Home underdogs in conference games: 8-13, making home teams 15-31 in conference games.

11) Phil Jackson stole $12M a year from the Knicks, but couldn’t manage to trade ball-stopping gunner Carmelo Anthony. His replacement got rid of Anthony pretty quickly. Well done.

10) Twins’ OF Zach Granite is the first major leaguer since 2001 to pinch-run, then hit a home run later in that same inning.

9) Why doesn’t Tulane’s football team wear green uniforms? They’re the Green Wave, but they wear these awful light-blue jerseys. Things like this bother me.

8) Oakland A’s are 41-39 in games that rookie 3B Matt Chapman has played in this year; they are 31-45 in all their other games.

7) Toronto Blue Jays pulled the hidden ball trick on Todd Frazier Friday night, which doesn’t happen very often.

6) Cincinnati 2B Scooter Gennett is only second player ever to hit four HR’s in a game, in the same season where he hit four grand slams.

5) George Clooney once sold insurance door-t0-door; I’m guessing there were some very happy housewives when they opened their door and saw him standing there.

4) WB Mason sells a kit that prevents thieves from breaking into your safe with a magnet. Who knew that people could break into a safe that way? Now I’ll be queasy putting my stuff into the safe in my hotel room when I go to Las Vegas.

3) Detroit Lions signed coach Jim Caldwell to a multi-year extension, making it pretty likely that offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter will be elsewhere next year, since he figures to be a popular candidate to fill head coaching vacancies……like maybe at Tennessee, where Cooter was a backup to Peyton Manning. The locals are not thrilled with current Vols coach Butch Jones.

2) Dodgers cliched the NL West the other night; saw some ads right after that to buy NL West championship gear. Why would anyone buy this stuff? Dodgers have won the NL West five years in a row and 7 of the last 11 years, but haven’t been to the World Series since 1988.

World Series Championship gear is what you would ideally like to buy, or at least NL Champs gear.

1) Cowboys 28, Cardinals 17— Arizona scored only 10 points on four trips to red zone, bungled game management in last minute; down 28-17, they could’ve kicked FG with 0:45 left to keep game alive, but went for TD and failed. Dallas ran 30 fewer plays (75-45) but Prescott kept plays alive with his feet and WR Butler had two big catches for 90 yards.

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday…….

Lot of great finishes in the early NFL games Sunday; from 4:00-4:20, there were four games that came right down to the end………good drama.

14) Falcons 30, Lions 26— Detroit appeared to score go-ahead TD with 0:08 left, but he was ruled down a foot short and because of a (bad) rule, there is an automatic 10-second run-off when a replay reversal happens on a play where the clock would’ve kept running, which cost Detroit a chance to win the game on the last play. Very poor rule.

Matt Ryan threw three picks; Falcons are first team this season (1-17) to win when going -2 or worse in turnovers.

13) Eagles 27, Giants 24— Rookie kicker Elliott kicked a 61-yard FG to end a wild 4th quarter; Eagles led 14-0 after three quarters- Giants had gained 206 yards on 44 plays in the first three quarters, but then scored TD’s on first three drives of 4th quarter, gaining 166 yards on only 11 plays.

New York had 14-yard edge in field position; they’re only 2nd team this year to have a 10+-yard advantage in field position but lose (2-13). Giants ran ball 17 times for 49 yards.

12) Bears 23, Steelers 17 OT— Chicago drove 74 yards on four plays to win the game in OT, even though they blew a 17-7 halftime and lead threw for only 84 yards.

This was an odd game; Bears blocked a FG on last play of the first half, they were going to score a TD on the runback, but the selfish jerk with the ball stopped and posed on the 1-yard line and two Steelers stripped him of the ball, which wound up costing the Bears four points.

11) Patriots 36, Texans 33- -New England drove ball 75 yards on 8 plays, scoring GW TD with 0:23 left, saving a lot of people’s survivor pools from extinction.

Houston has to be really happy with rookie QB Watson; they averaged 8.3 yards/pass attempt, outgained Patriots 417-396, so the Texans have found themselves a quarterback.

10) Jaguars 44, Ravens 7— Wow. Jacksonville actually ran a fake punt when they led 37-0; would like to know the backstory there. Total no-show for Baltimore, which was +7 in turnover ratio in its two wins, but they were -3 in this game. Ravens averaged 1.8 yards/pass attempt.

9) Colts 31, Browns 28— Two rookie QB’s started on the road this week; their teams scored 33-28 points, even if both did lose. Kizer threw three picks; Browns were -2 in turnovers; Colts averaged 9.0 yards/pass attempt. Brissett had 200+ passing yards at halftime.

8) Jets 20, Dolphins 6— Jets beat Miami for the 6th straight time; Dolphins didn’t score until the very last play of the game, then missed the PAT, which didn’t matter. Miami was 1-12 on third down, ran ball only 15 times for 30 yards. Jets gained 9.3 yards/pass attempt.

7) Bills 26, Broncos 16— Buffalo had a 16-yard edge in field position; three of their 11 drives started in Denver territory, but they scored only 6 points on those drives. Denver had only one TD on three red zone drives. Impressive win for the Bills. Underdogs were 11-3 vs spread in the games Sunday, and the Falcons (-3) were damn fortunate to cover their game.

6) Saints 34, Panthers 13— Carolina didn’t allow a TD in its first two games, gave up 34 points here. Panthers have scored only three TD’s on 28 drives this season; Newton threw three picks in this game, averaged only 4.2 yards/pass attempt. New Orleans started three drives in Carolina territory, won field position by 13 yards.

5) Vikings 34, Buccaneers 17— Backup QB Case Keenum was 25-33/369 yards, as Vikings beat a flu-ravaged Bucs’ squad. Tampa Bay ran ball only nine times for 26 yards- they had only six 3rd down plays the whole game (1-6), as Winston threw three INTs (-3).  20 of 30 NFL teams went over their individual over/unders this week; offenses are starting to catch up with defenses.

4) Titans 33, Seahawks 27— Tennessee ran 10 plays in the third quarter for 204 yards and three TD’s, breaking open a 9-7 halftime lead. Seattle is 2-5-1 in its last eight regular season road games; Titans ran ball for 195 yards. This was 7th NFL game this year with no turnovers in it; the underdog won four of those seven games.

3) Chiefs 24, Chargers 10— KC’s first two TD drives were 43-34 yards; Rivers threw three picks. Chiefs led 17-10 at the half, then second half was scoreless until Hunt’s 69-yard TD run ended things with 1:49 left. Bolts could just as easily be 3-0, but they scored 10 points in three red zone drives. Last two weeks it was the kicker’s fault; their QB failed them here.

2) Packers 27, Bengals 24 OT— Hard to believe, but Aaron Rodgers is now 1-7 in his career in OT games; that is your Stat of the Day. Bengals led this game 21-7 after a pick-6, second week in row Packers gave up a defensive TD. Green Bay tied game with 0:17 left in regulation. Bengals left it all on the field here, but now they’re 0-3.

1) Redskins 27, Raiders 10- Ugly performance by Oakland: 7 first downs, 0-11 on third down, only one play longer than 11 yards the whole game- they ran ball 13 times for 32 yards, as the Redskins led 14-0 at the half and jogged to an easy win.

Sunday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a sports Saturday……..

13) TCU 44, Oklahoma State 31— Horned Frogs score a TD with 2:37 left to go up 43-31; they kick the PAT— why?!?!?!? At that point, 44-31 is the same as 43-31, but 45-31 is a lot better.

Up 44-31 with 2:37 left, Oklahoma State could’ve still scored two TD’s to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, and then would some faces be red. It didn’t happen, but as a coach, you have to guard against all kinds of unlikely events.

12) Florida 28, Kentucky 27— Talk about a gut punch; Kentucky led this game 27-14 with 8:30 to play, but let it slip away in last minute— they’ve now lost 31 games in a row to Florida. Wildcats cover the spread here, just 2nd time they’ve done it in last 11 series games, but this game will sting a lot longer than most losses do.

Wildcats ran the ball into field goal range with 0:05 left to play, but a holding call against them nullified the run and pushed them out of field goal range. Kentucky gets favorable calls in basketball, but not in football.

Kentucky missed a 57-yard field goal on the last play of the game.

11) Texas A&M 50, Arkansas 43 (OT)— A&M is playing a ton of freshmen; this was a wacky game that was fun to watch, if you didn’t care who won (or covered). Arkansas led 21-7 in the second quarter.

10) South Carolina 17, Louisiana Tech 16—- WR Edwards made a great catch on a 41-yard bomb that set Gamecocks up for a short FG that won game with 0:05 left.

Tech coach Skip Holtz once worked for his dad at South Carolina, but was passed over for the head coaching job when the Gamecocks hired Steve Spurrier (wise move) to replace Lou Holtz. This would’ve been sweet revenge for Skip, but it wasn’t to be.

9) Central Florida 38, Maryland 10— Terps have played three games, are already down to their #3 QB, which is a disaster. This isn’t the NFL, where you can go sign another QB if you need one. Maryland may be installing a Wildcat package soon with a RB or WR-turned-QB.

8) UL-Monroe 56, UL-Lafayette 50 (OT)— Warhawks blew a 43-22 lead with 8:00 to play in game, but won in OT, beating their in-state rivals for just second time in last 10 meetings. There were 1,119 yards of offense in this game, with no turnovers.

7) Idaho 29, South Alabama 23 (OT)— These teams are in same league, despite being located 2,578 miles from each other. How did that happen?

Idaho’s QB is Matt Linehan, whose dad Scott is the Dallas Cowboys’ offensive coordinator.

6) Upsets of the Week:
Arizona State (+15) 37, Oregon 35— Week’s biggest upset happened after midnight.
TCU (+13) 44, Oklahoma State 31— What a difference a week makes for OSU, who led 49-14 at halftime last week.
Virginia (+12) 42, Boise State 23— Big upset on Friday night.
NC State (+11) 27, Florida State 21— Seminoles are 0-2 for first time since 1989.
New Mexico (+10.5) 16, Tulsa 13— Tulsa lost 54-51 last week. No bueno.

5) Tennessee 17, UMass 13— Vols were a 27.5-point favorite; they won, but this still ain’t going to sit well with the fanbase. UMass had been 0-4 against the spread before covering here.

4) Marlins 12, Diamondbacks 6— Giancarlo Stanton hit his 57th home run.

3) San Diego State 28, Air Force 24— Most of first half was played in a monsoon, until game was finally stopped for an hour because of lightning, with Air Force leading 9-0. Rain stopped after the delay and game became more normal.

Look at the Stanford score down below; Aztecs held Cardinal to 8 first downs last week.

2) Penn State 21, Iowa 19— McSorley threw a 7-yard TD pass on the last play of the game, as the Nittany Lions avoid an upset in Iowa City.

Total yardage in game was 571-273 Penn State; those last seven yards were the difference.

1) Stanford 58, UCLA 34— It is September 24 and UCLA has already allowed 44+ points in three games this season. Gonna be a long season in Westwood; when does hoop practice start?

Saturday’s List of 13: Random stuff with weekend here…….

13) Could the NFL make the Chargers go back to San Diego in 2018-19, until the new stadium in Inglewood is ready? There were rumblings on the Interweb Friday that this is a possibility, after the Dolphins-Chargers game didn’t sell out a 27,000-seat stadium last week.

12) This will be the 13th year in a row that the American League beats the National in interleague play.

11) Detroit Tigers fired Brad Ausmus Friday; he’ll finish out the last ten days of the season, but the soon-to-rebuild Tigers will have a new skipper to oversee the rebuilding process.

10) Vikings’ oft-injured QB Sam Bradford (knee) is out for Sunday’s game with Tampa Bay. Case Keenum will start for Minnesota.

9) Toronto gave pitcher Marco Estrada $13M for next year, making you wonder what Sonny Gray will be making after his arbitration hearing this winter.

8) Miami OH led Cincinnati 17-14 in a rivalry game LW; RedHawks had lost 11 games in a row to their rivals from the Big East, so winning this game would be a big deal for Miami.

Miami had the ball 3-and-7 on its own 8-yard line after a delay penalty backed them up on 3rd-and-2. With roughly 1:15 left, Miami then tried a pass, which was picked off and run back 14 yards and run back for the TD that gave Cincinnati their 12th win in a row over Miami.

Oy.

7) Clemson lost its kicker to a torn ACL that happened in practice Wednesday; a teammate rolled up on his leg during a kicking drill.

6) 49ers have 17 players who were on another team LY; they also have 15 rookies, three more than any other NFL team.

5) There is actually a movie called I Spit on Your Grave, which sounds like an epic love story; imagine my surprise when I realized that at least two sequels to this film classic have been made.

4) South Florida 43, Temple 7— Owls had 7 first downs and 6 turnovers. Yikes.

3) Paradise Jam college basketball tournament will be moved from the Virgin Islands this fall because of the hurricane damage- they haven’t announced where it will be held this season.

2) NL Wild Card update:
— Cardinals 4, Pirates 3— Good time to be playing the free-falling Pirates.
— Cubs 5, Brewers 4 (10)— Three brutal losses in a row for Milwaukee.
— Rockies 4, Padres 1— Colorado leads Wild Card race by 1.5 games.
— Dodgers clinched the NL West last night.

1) AL Wild Card update:
— Twins 7, Tigers 3— Paul Molitor is AL Manager of the Year.
— Astros 3, Angels 0— Verlander was great acquisition by Houston.
— A’s 4, Rangers 1— Only teams above .500 in AL are the playoff teams.

Friday’s List of 13: Things I’m looking for this weekend……..

13) NYC radio talkshow host Don LaGreca went on an epic rant this week, ripping sabermetrics and the Giants’ offensive line. For LaGreca’s sake (and his vocal chords) we’re hoping the Giants protect Eli Manning better in Philly Sunday than they did in their first two games.

12) San Diego State just beat a couple of Pac-12 squads (ASU/Stanford); now the Aztecs visit the Air Force Academy to play an opponent they’ve beaten six times in a row. Trap game?

11) Carolina didn’t allow a TD in winning its first two games; now they host a Saints’ squad that is 0-2 for the 4th year in a row and is trying to avoid being 0-3 for the 3rd year in a row. Chances are no matter what, Drew Brees will at least hang a TD or two on the Carolina defense.

10) Purdue is obviously much-improved under new coach Brohm, but exactly how much better? Boilermakers host Michigan this week; Wolverines are 3-0, but have scored only one TD in 20 red zone trips, which is no bueno.

9) Cleveland Browns as a road favorite? If I owned the Indianapolis Colts, that would make me unhappy. Jacoby Brissett gets his 3rd NFL start; his team scored 0-13 points in losing his first two NFL starts. If Colts lose this game, they’ll be looking for a new coach soon.

8) USC just beat Stanford/Texas; they have a Friday night game at Washington State up next, which makes this week’s game at Cal a trap game of sorts. Cal has already upset UNC and Ole Miss, but they also got shredded by the passing game of I-AA Weber State, which opens up the possibility that Trojan QB Darnold could light up the scoreboard in Berkeley.

7) Seattle Seahawks scored 10 or less points in five of their last nine road games; sounds like there is tension between offense/defense in the Seattle locker room. Visit to Tennessee this week is going to be an interesting game. Seahawks struggled to get by the 49ers at home last week.

6) Michigan State lost 7 starters on both sides of the ball from LY; young Spartans opened year with wins over a couple of MAC teams, but now Notre Dame visits with an offense that ran ball for 400+ yards each in wins over Temple/BC, but was shut down in loss to Georgia. Can MSU shut down the Notre Dame running game?

5) Chiefs opened season with a huge win at Foxboro then a home win over Andy Reid’s old team, the Eagles. Now KC heads west to play a Charger team they’ve beaten six times in a row; Bolts are 0-2 with two tough losses where a competent kicker could’ve changed the outcome. What kind of a crowd will the Chargers draw in their second home game in Carson?

4) Mississippi State crushed LSU 37-7 last week; can they build on that and win at Georgia?

3) Who is playing QB for the Vikings? Backup Case Keenum isn’t a horrible backup; he went 4-5 starting for the Rams LY, but if Minnesota has any aspirations of playing in a Super Bowl in their home stadium they need Sam Bradford’s knees to be healthy. Good luck with that.

2) Nebraska fired their AD this week, which has to make the football coach nervous. Huskers host lowly Rutgers this week; Nebraska better start winning lot of games, or the coach can start packing his bags and follow the AD out of Lincoln.

1) Cowboys-Cardinals Monday night should be a good one. Home opener for an Arizona squad that was shaky in its first two games on the road; how many locals bought tickets and how many Dallas fans did?

Thursday’s List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud……

13) Opening Day payrolls this season:
Toronto Blue Jays: $163,381,937. Record: 71-81
Milwaukee Brewers: $63,061,300. Record: 82-70

12) Phillies 7, Dodgers 5— Bigger news: After the game, Corey Seager left the Dodgers’ clubhouse limping, with medical/training staff.

11) Angels are 15-2 this season when Parker Bridwell is their starting pitcher, 61-72 when anyone else is the starting pitcher.

10) Marlins 9, Mets 2— Giancarlo Stanton hit his 56th homer of the season.

9) Diamondbacks’ star 1B Paul Goldschmidt has apparently seen the movie Billy Madison over 100 times; I’ve never seen it myself, so now I have to.

8) Royals 15, Blue Jays 5— Mike Moustakas hit his 37th homer, setting the all-time single season record for the Royals, previously held by Steve Balboni.

Some college football trends for this week:
7) Washington Huskies coach Petersen is 27-13 vs spread as a road favorite.

6) San Diego State won its last six games vs Air Force (5-1 vs spread).

5) Texas Tech covered seven of last nine tries as a road underdog.

Elsewhere in the world…….
4) Richard Sherman makes $13,631,000 this season to play football; he is a smart guy, went to Stanford, but he can’t seem to stop biting the hand that feeds him:

“From what I understand, the rule is for the gamblers, for Vegas, to make sure that the odds and everything are what they’re supposed to be, which is apparently what the league is concerned about when talking about injuries and things like that. So maybe somebody should look into that, because I thought we weren’t a gambling league and we were against all those things. But our injury report is specifically to make sure the gamblers get their odds right.”
Sherman, talking about NFL injury reports

So now Sherman is Captain Obvious; not sure what his point his, unless he is going to want the players to get a piece of the pie when gambling on the NFL becomes legal.

3) Interesting discussion on Inside the NFL this week on Showtime: Ray Lewis/Boomer Esiason were talking about how the lack of practice reps in the summer is hurting offensive play. Phil Simms called college football “flag football”, saying that spread offenses have hurt offensive line play in the NFL, as those players move on to the pros.

2) NL playoff race:
Giants 4, Rockies 0— Rockies lost 5 of last 7 games, are looking shaky.
Pirates 6, Brewers 4— Adam Frazier’s walk-off HR keeps Colorado atop Wild Card standings.
Rays 8, Cubs 1— Chicago’s 7-game winning streak comes to an end.
Cardinals 9, Reds 2— Big night for St Louis; everyone above them lost.

1) Padres’ backup catcher Rocky Gale hit his first big league homer in the 2nd inning last night, in his 12th MLB at-bat. The joy on his face was so obvious, it was outstanding; most times, guys try to play it cool as they round the bases, but Gale was just beaming— great to see.

Wednesday’s List of 13: Mid-week musings…….

13) How bad have the Colts been? They’re a home underdog to Cleveland this week. Browns have been a road favorite once the last 4+ years, but over the last decade, they’re 5-2 vs spread when favored on foreign soil.

12) A’s 1B Matt Olson homered again; he’s homered in five straight games and in 15 of his last 21 games. He looks like a keeper, both him and 3B Matt Chapman, a superior defensive player. Since August 11, Olson has 34 RBI in 36 games.

11) Rams’ OC Greg LaFleur, 49ers’ DC Robert Saleh will match wits in Santa Clara Thursday; they were roommates as grad assistants at Central Michigan in 2004, so lot of familiarity there.

10) Buffalo Bills didn’t have any plays longer than 15 yards at Carolina last week; the other 31 NFL teams combined for 111 plays of 20+ yards- thats 3.6 plays of 20+ yards, per team.

9) Thru two weeks, NFL teams that are +2 or better in turnovers are 12-0.

Teams that won field position by 10+ yards are 10-1.

8) Still can’t believe the Tennessee Volunteers allowed a 63-yard TD pass on the last play of a tied game, and with no safeties in the picture. Booster club luncheons in Knoxville must be a lot of fun this week.

7) Pirates have scored a total of nine runs in their last seven games. No bueno.

6) In 2013, Matt Harvey went 9-5, 2.27 in 26 starts, then missed all of 2014 with injuries; in 2015, he was 13-8, 2.71 in 29 starts. Writers in New York City were readying his plaque for Cooperstown.

In 2016-17, in 34 combined starts, Harvey is 9-16, 5.68- his WHIP this year is 1.67, which is really terrible. The plaque for Cooperstown is on hold- the Mets will tender him an offer for 2018, since he is a free agent next fall— guys in their option year tend to be rejuvenated.

5) Pac-12 football teams are 2-9 vs spread as home favorites vs non-Pac-12 opponents so far this season…..…Conference USA road underdogs are 3-10 outside their own league.

4) UNLV’s basketball program offered 8th grader Richard Isaacs Jr a basketball scholarship this week, after Runnin’ Rebels assistant Andre LeFleur saw him play in the invite-only EBC Las Vegas Camp at the Tarkanian Basketball Academy last weekend. LeFleur’s son was also playing in that event.

Isaacs averaged about 25 points per game playing for Becker Middle School last season, and had a few 30-point games with Vegas Elite’s 14U team during this past AAU season.

Never, ever did I think I’d be quoting middle school scoring stats, but that is today’s world.

3) Kansas City’s Alex Gordon hit the 5,694th homer of the season last night, breaking the single-season MLB record. Scooter Gennett hit the 5,700th homer, if you keep track of stuff like that.

2) Red Sox 1, Orioles 0 (11)— Teams played a 10-8, 11-inning game Monday night, so of course no one scored in this game until extra innings. Baseball is weird sometimes.

1) NFL has a game from England on at 9:30am this Sunday (Ravens-Jaguars) but it isn’t on TV, just on Yahoo? Do they not want us watching the game? I mean, I’m perfectly glad to sleep thru it and check the boxscore when I normally wake up but if they put the game on TV, I’d get up, go to McDonald’s, get a nutritious breakfast and watch. If not? So be it.

Tuesday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but……..

13) Lions 24, Giants 10— Detroit broke game open with an 88-yard punt return for a TD; they’re 2-0 while Giants are 0-2, having scored only one TD on 18 drives so far this season.

One thing thats going to be an issue in Detroit, if they have a good season this year; Jim Caldwell doesn’t have a contract past this season. Think about Tampa Bay/Lovie Smith, when he got fired because Bucs’ brass liked the job OC Dirk Koetter was doing with franchise QB Jameis Winston- they didn’t want Koetter leaving, so they made him head coach.

Same thing could happen in Detroit if OC Jim Bob Cooter becomes a hot name on the coaching carousel; if the Lions want Cooter/Matthew Stafford to stay connected, they may have to make Cooter the head coach to keep him in the Motor City. Stay tuned.

12) Obscure Lions’ trivia: Cooter was Peyton Manning’s backup QB at Tennessee.

11) Matthew Stafford is now 53-58 as an NFL starting QB, plus 0-3 in playoff games. Detroit was 0-16 the year before they drafted him.

Jon Gruden called him “a great quarterback” last night. I’m not disputing that at all, just repeating his words. Stafford has attempted more passes per game than anyone in NFL history— I wouldn’t have guessed that.

10) Archie Manning (Peyton/Eli’s dad) was a great college football player at Ole Miss; he was just like Steve Young, except he threw righty instead of lefty. Otherwise, the same; great mobility, solid passer, but in the NFL, Archie Manning played 11 years for the then-putrid New Orleans Saints. No bueno.

There was was no free agency back then; Manning got pummeled playing on a horrible team; his record was 35-91-3 as a starter for New Orleans, which is probably why Archie orchestrated Eli’s trade from San Diego to the Giants after the 2003 draft.

9) My point is this: football is a TEAM game; no one player makes a team great. I’m reading lot of media nitwits who follow the “narrative flowchart”:

— Team A won: Team A’s quarterback is on the upswing.
— Team A lost: Team A’s quarterback was a lousy draft pick, or is over-the-hill.

It is just lazy commentary; developing players is a process, it takes years to become a great player. Matthew Stafford is under .500 in his career, but Jon Gruden says he is a great QB, and that’s good enough for me.

8) Arizona Wildcats have a 26-year old freshman QB named Donovan Tate who was drafted 22 spots above Mike Trout in the 2009 baseball draft- he was the third player taken.

San Diego Padres gave Tate a $5M+ signing bonus in ‘09, then watched his struggle with injuries and off-field problems ruin his baseball career. Now Tate is trying football and is a backup QB now— he is the son of former Georgia running back Lars Tate.

7) Atlanta Braves are moving their spring training HQ from Kisssimmee to Sarasota; they’re having groundbreaking on the new facility in October.

6) Everyone was a kid once: ESPN’s Jon Gruden hit a home run in Little League off of John Parry, the referee in the Lions-Giants game last night.

5) At one point in his career, Andy Reid was the offensive line coach at UTEP. He’s come a very long way since then. Offensive line coach at UTEP is not usually a stepping stone to the NFL.

4) Record for most total home runs in a season is 5,693, which figures to fall late this week.

3) Weird stat: the NFL quarterback with the most wins in FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, home of the Browns, is Ben Roethlisberger, with 11. He obviously plays for the Steelers, which is bad for the Browns.

2) No baseball team has ever made the playoffs after losing more than 97 games the previous season. Minnesota lost 103 games last season and right now, they hold one of the AL Wild Card spots, so they could make some history soon

1) Had a great weekend in Philadelphia the past few days; very underrated city. Saw the A’s play three games, had some cheesesteaks, visited with friends. Good stuff, very much appreciated.

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday…….

14) Broncos 42, Cowboys 17— Broncos scored TD’s on five of their first seven drives. Denver was 9-15 on 3rd down, had 26 first downs and ran ball for 178 yards, while holding Dallas to 40 rushing yards in a surprisingly easy win. Cowboys had ball in red zone twice in 4th quarter, but lost ball on downs once, had a 103-INT return for a TD against them on the other drive.

13) Chiefs 27, Eagles 20— Andy Reid is now 2-0 against his old team; Kelce caught 8 passes for 103 yards on only 10 targets as KC opens 2-0. Philly gained 406 yards, had 27 first downs, converted 8-15 on 3rd down, but Wentz was sacked six times and Philly turned over twice (-2)- they scored only 20 points on five red zone drives.

12) Patriots 36, Saints 20— Brady threw for 177 yards in the first quarter here; Buffalo gained 176 yards in their whole game. This game was 30-10 at the half, so Patriots took their foot off the pedal at halftime and coasted to an easy win. Total yardage was 555-429; NE was 6-12 on third down; seven of their 10 drives wound up in the New Orleans red zone.

11) Cardinals 16, Colts 13 OT— Brissett’s only INT in his second NFL start was on the first play of OT, which set the Cardinals up to kick a FG without getting a first down. Arizona was down 13-3 with 8:00 left, but tied game with 3:25 left in regulation- they had 389-266 edge in yardage, but scored only six points on three red zone drives.

10) Titans 37, Jaguars 16— Tennessee ran for 179 yards, held Leonard Fournette to 40 yards on 14 carries.  Titans scored TD’s the last four times they had the ball, with three of those drives less than 50 yards. Jaguars now head to England for a game with the Ravens next week.

9) Ravens 24, Browns 10— Baltimore opens season with pair of divisional wins, allowing only one TD on 23 drives. Browns gained 386 yards, but turned ball over five times (-3) in rookie QB Kizer’s first NFL road start. Ravens had a 12-yard advantage in field position.

8) Steelers 26, Vikings 9— Sam Bradford (knee) was a late scratch; Case Keenum played QB for the Vikings, who were outgained 335-237 in this flagfest, where both teams had 10+ penalties. Steelers had a 14-3 halftime lead, then kicked four FG’s on five second half drives. Teams were a combined 8-28 on third down.

7) Panthers 9, Bills 3— Total yardage was 255-176 in this pitchers’ duel with zero turnovers in it. Buffalo had one first down in first half, never got inside the Carolina red zone. Panthers had 12 first downs in first half, had a 10-yard edge in field position; they kicked FG’s on all three red zone drives.

6) Buccaneers 29, Bears 7— Mike Glennon was Tampa Bay’s backup QB the last four years; the Bucs kicked his butt here, forcing four Tampa Bay turnovers (+3) in a game they led 26-0 at the half. Glennon did throw for 301 yards but also two picks. Both teams were 50%+ on 3rd down; teams combined to score 27 points on eight red zone drives, which killed the over bettors.

5) Dolphins 19, Chargers 17— Rookie kicker Koo missed 43 and 44-yard FG’s wide right in the last minute of each half, as Chargers lost their home opener in their temporary home, ironically a soccer stadium. Koo also missed the gem-tying FG Monday night in Denver.

Miami kicker Pankey was 4-4 on FG’s; Dolphins won despite kicking three FG’s on three red zone drives, not exactly an ideal performance. Teams combined to go only 7-21 on 3rd down.

4) Seahawks 12, 49ers 9— Seattle has offensive issues; they drove 82 yards on 10 plays for the game’s only TD with 7:06 left, Seattle’s only TD on 20 drives this season. Seahawks have scored one TD, kicked four FG’s on five red zone drives; they gave up 159 rushing yards to the 49ers, who still haven’t scored a TD this season (four FG’s on 21 drives).

3) Raiders 45, Jets 20— WR Crabtree caught three TD passes, as Oakland jogged to an easy win in their home opener, outgaining the Jets 410-271. Raiders scored four TD’s, kicked a FG on their last five drives; they had a 9-yard edge in field position, starting three of their last five drives in Jet territory. Oakland also ran the ball for 180 yards.

2) Redskins 27, Rams 20— Washington grabbed early 13-0 lead, Rams fought back to a 20-all tie, but Washington drove ball 70 yards in ten plays for GW score with 1:49 left. Thompson had a 61-yard TD run for the Redskins just before the half that made the Rams’ climb a little more uphill. Despite Aaron Donald’s presence, Redskins ran the ball for 229 yards. Both teams are now 1-1.

1) Falcons 34, Packers 23– Atlanta is now 2-0 as they head to Detroit next week; this was the regular season opener in their new stadium. Packers were without both their starting OT’s, which makes it harder to protect Aaron Rodgers, who threw an awful lateral that was run back for a Falcon touchdown.

Sunday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a college football Saturday

13) USC 27, Texas 24 (OT)— Longhorns kicked FG to go ahead 17-14 with 0:45 left but Sam Darnold drove the Trojans 52 yards in nine plays for the tying FG at the gun to force OT. This was USC’s first OT win since 2001. Total yardage was 468-366, Trojans.

LA Coliseum workers had only 13 hours to change the field from USC colors to LA Ram colors for the Rams-Redskins game in the Coliseum Sunday.

12) Florida 26, Tennessee 20— Butch Jones is just an awful game coach; watch the replay of Florida’s 63-yard walk-off TD pass that stunned Tennessee— how in the name of Johnny Majors do the Vols not have any safeties deep to prevent WR’s from getting behind the secondary? There is a proper time to play a prevent defense!!!

I repeat; Florida threw a 63-yard bomb to a WR who was single-covered on the last play of the game; where the bleep were their safeties? The only other Florida receiver in the picture was also single-covered— there is more to coaching than recruiting good players. On game day, you need to steer them to victory— Tennessee’s coaches let their players down here.

Tennessee also missed three FG’s in this game; go recruit a kicker.

11) Memphis 48, UCLA 45— Up 3 points with 3:01 left, Memphis eschewed a 33-yard FG and tried a fake, which backfired miserably. That told me this: Memphis had zero faith that its defense would protect a 51-45 lead with 2:55 left, but that defense protected a 48-45 lead and Memphis get itself a marquee win.

Why Memphis’ coaches had little faith in their defense; UCLA’s Josh Rosen was 34-56 for 463 yards, with four TD’s and two INT’s.

10) Vanderbilt 14, Kansas State 7—This was the first time ever (81 years of the AP poll) that both Memphis and Vanderbilt beat ranked opponents on the same day. Wow.

9) San Diego State 20, Stanford 17— How ironic was it that on the night before the Chargers’ first home game in Los Angeles since 1960, the lights went out at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium in the last 5:00 of a 17-13 game? Aztecs drove for the winning TD as soon as the lights came back on.

San Diego State is 3-0, with consecutive wins over Pac-12 teams. Good for them.

8) Clemson 47, Louisville 21— This was a beatdown; Tigers led 33-7 after three quarters. Dabo Sweeney has built a powerhouse program at Clemson— right now, they’re the best team in the country, even with a new quarterback.

7) Oklahoma State 59, Pittsburgh 21— Cowboys led 49-14 at HALFTIME. On the road. OSU scored the first seven times they had the football. Mason Rudolph threw for 1,037 yards in two games against Pitt, last year and this year.

6) Texas Tech 52, Arizona State 45— Game was delayed an hour by lightning, then Red Raiders jumped out to a 21-3 lead, 35-17 at the half. Arizona State stormed back to tie game; Tech got the game-winning TD with 1:55 left.

ASU beat the Red Raiders 68-55 last year, so sweet revenge for Kliff Kingsbury.

5) Northern Illinois 21, Nebraska 17— Huskies led 14-0 at the half, scoring two defensive TD’s, then held on for dear life. The natives are officially restless in Lincoln after this loss.

4) Kentucky 23, South Carolina 13— Upset in the SEC; Wildcats are 3-0. Good for Mark Stoops.

3) California 27, Ole Miss 16— Golden Bears are 3-0, despite trailing all three games in the second half. Cal has a win over an ACC team (UNC) and now an SEC team.

2) Purdue 35, Missouri 3— Mizzou has a horrendous defense. Boilers outgained the Tigers 477-203. Mizzou allowed 109 points in its first three games, and one of those was against a I-AA team- they lost 31-13/35-3 to I-A opponents.

1) Mississippi State 37, LSU 7— If you read this space regularly, you know that I’m a big fan of former LSU coach Les Miles. Anyone who thinks that firing Miles and hiring Ed Orgeron was a good idea is clueless. Orgeron is 7-25 as a head coach in SEC conference games., most of which happened when Coach O was the head coach at Ole Miss.

Seven and twenty-five!!!!