Friday’s 6-pack, Quote, Quiz of the Day

We have basketball info every day…….Writeups on top 13 college football games for this weekend are posted on CF page……..NFL stuff is posted on the NFL page

Friday’s 6-pack
— Boise State is 8-4-1 vs spread in its last 13 road games.
— Missouri covered only one of its last six road games.
— Oregon State covered one of its last nine Pac-12 games.
— Boston College is 16-3 vs spread in its last 19 regular season games.
— UL-Lafayette covered six of its last seven games.
— Fresno State is 18-4-2 ATS since Tedford became coach. 

Quote of the Day
“The word “listen” has the same letters as the word ‘silent’”
Unknown

Friday’s quiz
Where is Gonzaga University located? 

Thursday’s quiz
Portland Trailblazers have excellent guards, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum; Lillard went to college at Weber State, McCollum went to Lehigh. 

Wednesday’s quiz
LSU’s basketball arena is named after the late Pete Maravich. 

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

13) Annual tradition here in not-so-beautiful upstate New York. When it snows outside, and it is snowing now, I get on the Interweb and price condos in Las Vegas, where snow is merely a rumor. 

Snow is the only bad part of living here; nothing is quite as much fun as getting up on a step-ladder to sweep the snow off my satellite dish. 

12) Last year at this time the Miami Marlins sold off their whole outfield; Stanton, Ozuna and Yelich. Wonder what the odds were that of those three guys, Christian Yelich would be the MVP this season? He had a great year, leading Milwaukee to a playoff berth.

11) San Diego Union-Tribune writer John Maffei is the only one out of 30 voters who didn’t vote for Jacob deGrom for the NL Cy Young Award. Mr Maffei values W-L record as a stat, so deGrom’s 10-9 record for a dismal Mets team didn’t impress him much.

10) UConn 83, Syracuse 76— Huskies made 12-21 behind arc; Syracuse was playing without G Howard; things aren’t as easy when you play away from home.   

9) DePaul 72, Penn State 70 OT— Nittany Lions jumped out to 11-0 lead, trailed 36-31 at half, then forced OT, where they missed wide open, game-tying jumper at end of OT. DePaul is 3-0 for first time in ten years. 

8) Ohio State 69, Creighton 60— Second quality road win for the young Buckeyes, who won at Cincinnati last week. 

7) Seahawks 27, Packers 24— Seattle outrushed Green Bay 173-48; Packers converted only 3-11 third down plays. 46-yard FG Crosby missed when Packers led 7-0 turned out to be painful. 

6) Houston Rockets and Carmelo Anthony parted ways after 10 games; who thought this pairing was going to be a good idea? Anthony didn’t want to come off the bench, but when you get older and your skills decline, what did he think was going to happen? 

5) Lakers’ G Rajon Rondo broke his hand, is out 3-5 weeks.

4) Former LSU football coach Les Miles took a one-time lump sum payment of $1.5M from the school, reduced from the $6.5M he was scheduled to get over the next five years, but that tells me that Miles is going to be a head coach somewhere else next season. If he took the $6.5M, he would’ve had to stay out of coaching until 2023.

3) Someone on Twitter posted a list of their ten favorite airports, and it started a firestorm of responses; since I only fly to one place, and it is usually a non-stop flight, my list is short: 

1) Las Vegas
2) Albany
3) Baltimore (sometimes my flights stop there; they have a Chick-fil-A)

2) Cal Bears postponed their basketball game with Detroit Mercy Thursday night because of poor air quality in the area due to the wild fires. San Francisco also postponed Friday night’s home basketball game with Arizona State. 

1) Jim Boeheim has been the basketball coach at Syracuse for 43 years; he played for the Orange, was an assistant coach there before being head coach. Boeheim’s son Buddy is a player for Syracuse now; how the hell do they spell the kid’s last name wrong on his orange jersey? 

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

13) Lot of college basketball games in November are awful; mismatches and teams just scheduling easy wins, but Tuesday I was highly entertained by two excellent games. 

Memphis-LSU was great entertainment; Penny Hardaway will build a power with the Tigers, and LSU has a strong young team, also. Both teams played fast and played well. 

Georgetown-Illinois was fun to watch; Illini PG got a concussion during the afternoon walk-thru and didn’t play, which brings up a pet peeve of mine. 

12) Some coaches are insane; they have these “walk-thrus” on game day but there are guys who turn them into practices— put it this way, you can’t get a concussion while walking. Having a practice on game day takes energy away from the game, which is all that matters. Getting your point guard hurt during a practice on game day is bleeping stupid. 

Patrick Ewing’s team has upgraded its talent in his second year on the job, but they got a gift here when the other team’s point guard got hurt. 

11) Draymond Green’s one-game suspension cost him $120,000, which is pocket change to Green, but the public nature of it makes it way more significant than that. Green has been the heart of this Warrior dynasty; the most important player isn’t always the best player. 

10) Chiefs-Rams line is now 3.5, moving up from 2 or 2.5 when game was scheduled to be played in Mexico City. Total doesn’t seem to have moved, staying at 63.5, the highest NFL total ever. 

9) Michigan 73, Villanova 46— Some alum gave Villanova so much money they named their gym after him, then they had FS1 interview him during the game. Too bad he couldn’t play; Michigan avenged (somewhat) their loss to Villanova in the national title game last April. 

This game was 44-17 at halftime. Wow. 

8) SEC decided to make Nashville the permanent home of its conference basketball tourney, signing a deal to keep the event in Music City thru 2035.

7) IUPUI 76, Boston College 69— Jaguars from the Horizon League were 16-point underdogs; a 6-3 guard named Camron Justice torched the Eagles for 29 points. 

6) Magic 111, 76ers 106— Philly led by 16 early in 4th quarter, losing Jimmy Butler’s debut with the 76ers. Orlando is 7-8 and appears to be an improved team- their last winning season was seven years ago. 

5) Timberwolves 107, Pelicans 100— Minnesota’s first game with Saric/Covington; from this point on, their record will be measured against Philly, because of the big trade. 

4) Pistons 106, Raptors 104— Reggie Bullock scored on an out-of-bounds play at the buzzer as Dwane Casey won his return to Toronto after the Raptors fired him last spring, despite a regular season record of 320-238 (21-30 in playoffs). 

3) Radford 63, Notre Dame 60— Not as big an upset as we’d think; Radford won the Big South LY, won a play-in game, then lost to Villanova in NCAA’s. Highlanders were only a 12.5-point underdog; they’re in top 20 nationally in experience, top 50 in minutes continuity and they play a slow tempo, so they’re hard to guard. 

2) Singer Billy Idol became a US citizen this week; good to see people who are so happy when they become citizens. This country was built by immigrants, something we shouldn’t forget. 

1) NFL flexed the Steelers-Raiders game out of the Sunday night slot on December 9 (Week 14) and instead will show Rams-Bears on NBC. Should be nice and balmy in Chicago for a night game on December 9th. Do they think of the fans in Chicago who pay to go to these games?

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

13) Monday night’s Rams-Chiefs game was moved from Mexico City to Los Angeles, after the NFL determined the field in Mexico City wasn’t up to NFL quality. Player safety took precedence over the almighty buck, which is the way it should be. 

12) Random fact that doesn’t matter for Monday night’s game anymore; the altitude in Mexico City is 7,350 feet. Denver’s altitude is 5,280 feet, which is why the Broncos play in Mile High Stadium, at least thats what it was called before corporate sponsorship was invented. 

11) Congrats to the great Bob Melvin, who was named AL Manager of the Year Tuesday night. I watch the A’s play every night; you have no idea how great a job he did, leading the team with the lowest payroll in baseball to the playoffs this past summer. Well deserved award!!!

That said, Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash was also awesome this season, winning 90 games with a Rays’ squad that doesn’t exactly spend a lot of money either. 

10) Eli Manning’s career W-L record in regular season games is 113-110; he is the only NFL QB ever with 100+ wins and 100+ losses for the same team. 

Question for Giants’ fans out there: Who do you think was a better Giant, Eli Manning or Phil Simms? I’m curious what you think- e-mail me at ffib13@gmail.com 

9) If you’re debating whether Manning is a Hall of Famer, keep in mind that Joe Namath (62-63-4) is only Hall of Fame QB with a losing record- he won only two playoff games, one Super Bowl, albeit the Super Bowl that forced the AFL/NFL merger. By way of reference, Jim Plunkett was 72-72 and also won two Super Bowls- he isn’t in the HOF. 

8) Brooklyn Nets’ star Caris LeVert hurt his foot in Minnesota Monday night; the injury was so gruesome, there were teammates in tears on the Brooklyn bench, but it turned out relatively well. LeVert dislocated his foot, won’t need surgery and could return later this season. 

7) That didn’t take long; former Browns’ coach Hue Jackson is going to join the Cincinnati Bengals‘ coaching staff immediately; his title on the Bengals’ staff is unknown right now, but he joined the team Tuesday.

Bengals have a bye this week; they play the Browns play a week from Sunday, and then again in Week 16- those games figure to be very interesting.

6) Penny Hardaway is going to create a monster program at Memphis; not only is he a legend at Memphis he has two former NBA players (Sam Mitchell, Mike Miller) on his coaching staff, as well as another former Memphis Tiger (Tony Madlock). Memphis is a hotbed of high school talent; hard to believe Hardaway isn’t going to dominate the recruiting there. 

Memphis-LSU game on SEC Network Tuesday night was great fun. 

5) Golden State Warriors have dissension? Apparently, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant got into it late in Monday night’s loss to the Clippers, and the dispute spilled over into the locker room after the game. Green was then suspended for Tuesday night’s game. 

I’ve said this before, but seems like in a league where most everyone is really rich, the NBA has an awful lot of angry people. If the Warriors can’t get along, who can? 

Durant wasn’t happy on the Thunder, who were a very good team; now he’s not happy on the Warriors, who are a stacked team. Maybe he can go to China and score 50 a game like Jimmer Fredette and make all the decisions- maybe he’d be happy then. 

4) Sacramento Kings beat the Spurs 104-99 Monday night, ending a 14-game losing streak against San Antonio. Kings are 8-6 and appear to be vastly improved, and they also seem to be enjoying the experience. Good for them. 

3) Le’Veon Bell didn’t report to the Steelers by 4pm Tuesday, cannot play in the NFL this season; he forfeits all of his $15M salary, hoping to clean up as a free agent this winter. We’ll see how that works out for him. 

2) Alabama is playing The Citadel in football this weekend; this is pathetic, that a team as good as Alabama is playing a I-AA team. Play a Sun Belt team, play a MAC team. Have some guts and play someone who can challenge you. This is embarrassing. 

1) Nathan Peterman’s NFL career has mercifully come to an end, after the Bills cut him. Not sure what took them so long, but Josh Allen is almost ready to play again, so Peterman was released.

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

13) According to people who know such things, Rams-Chiefs’ total of 63.5 Monday night in Mexico City will be the highest total in NFL history.  

Of the 14 NFL games that have had totals of 58+, 11 games went over, 3 stayed under- the favorite won 13 of the 14 games SU. 

Previous highest total was 62 (Rams-49ers in 2000). 

12) Before this year’s schedule was made, Rams-Chiefs both requested to play in Denver this past week, to get ready for the high altitude in Mexico City; the NFL obviously turned both teams down. Rams are practicing at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs this week, so they’ll be cold but maybe it’ll help on Monday night. 

Rams by the way, appear to be playing a preseason game next summer in Hawai’i. 

11) Brook Lopez is a 7-foot center for the Milwaukee Bucks; in his last two games, Lopez is 14-25 outside the arc- he made six treys in the third quarter alone Sunday in Denver.

This is all very strange; in his first eight years in the NBA, Lopez was a combined 3-31 behind the arc, which made sense, the guy is a 7-foot center. But then he worked on his shooting. 

In the last three years, here are Lopez’ 3-point numbers, in his 9th-11th years in the NBA:
2016-17: 134-387, 34.6%
2017-18: 112-325, 34.5%
2018-19: 39-93, 41.9%

10) Sounds the Baltimore Ravens will ask coach John Harbaugh to take a hike after this season; curious to see what direction they’ll go in from here. Would Harbaugh be a good fit at USC, or is former Cal coach Jeff Tedford (Aaron Rodgers’ college coach) the front runner there? 

Would the Jets dump Todd Bowles and hire Harbaugh if he was available?

9) Louisville fired football coach Bobby Petrino Sunday morning; this is the Cardinals’ first losing season since 2009, but it has been a dreadful season. Louisville lost its last seven games, is 2-8- they’re 1-8 vs spread, so they’ve been non-competitive. Petrino will get $14M to go away; the rich boosters that pay the tab for this stuff must be very impatient people. 

News of the firing came during Petrino’s TV show Sunday morning and ran on a crawl on the bottom of the screen, which seems a little bit cold-hearted. 

Then again, if Rick Pitino wins his legal claim with Louisville they could owe him $44M, which means the school would owe $56M to coaches…..who don’t work there anymore. 

8) First true road game for Duke’s basketball team is on the 8th……..of January. They play five games on neutral courts before then, but zero true road games. 

7) New Jersey Giants cut OL Patrick Omameh, who signed a three-year, $15M contract in the offseason; pretty big blunder, but maybe they think signing Jamon Brown off the scrap heap makes up for it, at least partially. 

6) Jimmer Fredette scored 75 points in a Chinese League game Sunday; his team lost 137-136. He was 7-10 on the arc, 17-24 inside the arc. wonder how many points his guy scored? 

5) Some good news: 48.5% of eligible voters showed up and voted last week, the highest midterm turnout in any election since 1966.

4) Paul Pierce said on TV the other day that Duke could beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, which is an interesting debate. I would disagree with him on that, but the fact that it is even a debate is sad for Cleveland basketball fans.

3) Florida voted down greyhound racing earlier this month; I went to the dog races couple of times in Florida, never understood why anyone would wager on them. Fun to watch, it was a decent afternoon out, but horse races are a lot more fun.

2) Lions’ QB Matthew Stafford turns 31 in February; he is a good player, but this is his 10th year in the NFL and his career playoff record is 0-3. His regular season record is 63-71. He makes $27M a year. 

My question is this; if you’re trying to make the Lions better, do you trade Stafford for draft picks and try to strengthen the rest of the team? Stafford could still bring a pretty good haul in a deal- look around, good QB’s aren’t exactly everywhere, or does Detroit commit to Stafford for the rest of his career and hope that suddenly everyone around him starts playing better?

1) West Virginia’s basketball team has a freshman guard from Wisconsin named Jordan McCabe; when the kid was 12 years old, his dribbling skills were so advanced that he appeared with the Harlem Globetrotters one night, and also did his dribbling thing on the Ellen TV show. 

Not a lot of people can say they worked for Ellen DeGeneres and Bob Huggins.

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday

Cowboys 27, Eagles 20— Home side has now lost nine of last 11 series games; Dallas won five of last six visits here. With seven weeks left in the season, Redskins have a 2-game lead in the NFC East. Cowboys are 4-0 when they score 20+ points, 0-5 when they don’t; they ran ball for 171 yards in first game with their new OL coach. Eagles are 0-4 as home favorites this year. 

Rams 36, Seahawks 31— About 20 Rams players/coaches had to evacuate their homes this week because of the wild fires; the team didn’t practice on Friday, but did enough here to move to 9-1. Seattle ran the ball for 273 yards; they’re only NFL team that runs the ball more than they throw it. Costly win for the Rams; looks like WR Cooper Kupp tore his ACL.

I wasn’t going to mention this if the Rams lost, but since they won, hopefully the NFL will grade referee John Hussey very poorly for this game- he gave Seattle their third TD by throwing a flag on Rams’ DE Fowler when Fowler complained about being held after a 3rd-and-11 pass that fell incomplete. Fowler was walking away but the referee wouldn’t walk away and threw a flag that amounted to a turnover in Rams’ territory at a key point in the second half. 

Titans 34, Patriots 10— When your division rivals are three of the worst organizations in the NFL, you can afford to lay an egg now and then. Tennessee DC Dean Pees spent six years with New England— his defense was brilliant, holding Patriots to one TD and only 284 yards. New England ran ball for only 40 yards, was just 3-15 on third down. 

Right now, looks like the Patriots might be battling Pittsburgh for the #2 seed in the AFC and a first-round bye in the playoffs. Tennessee is a game behind Houston in the AFC South. 

Browns 28, Falcons 16— Rookie QB Mayfield completed his first 13 passes, finished 17 of 20 for 216 yards, as Cleveland played their best game in a long time, ending Atlanta winning streak at three. Rookie RB Chubb ran 92 yards for a Cleveland TD; Browns ran ball for 211 yards, had three TD drives of 80+ yards. 

Bills 41, Jets 10— Matt Barkley started his first NFL game in two years, got his 2nd career win (2-5) as a starter, as Buffalo crushed the Jets, outgaining them 163-1 in the first quarter. Jets now have two TD’s on their last 35 drives. 

Friends of mine who are Jets fans were clamoring for Todd Bowles to be fired during the Jets’ bye week (this week). Buffalo outgained them here 451-199, playing with a QB they signed off the street a few weeks ago. 

Saints 51, Bengals 14— New Orleans won its last eight games and they scored 40 points in the game they lost; this was a total ass-kicking, as New Orleans ran for 244 yards, threw for 265 more and led 35-7 at halftime. 

Bengals/Titans are tied for the second Wild Card spot in the AFC, but this was a discouraging game, a total no-show; Cincinnati has lost three of its  last four games- good teams don’t lose this badly at home. New Orleans covered its last seven games. 

Redskins 16, Buccaneers 3— A very unusual boxscore:
— Tampa Bay outgained the Redskins 501-286
— Fitzpatrick threw for 406 yards, but Tampa Bay scored 3 points.
— Bucs had ball in red zone on five different drives; they turned ball over twice, missed two FG’s and kicked a FG.
— Tampa Bay was -4 (0-4) in turnovers, usually a recipe for disaster.
— Washington has allowed 17 or fewer points in all six of its wins; they’re 0-3 allowing more than 20 points, but have a 2-game lead in the NFC East.

When Dirk Koetter is applying for his next coaching job this winter, he’ll have to explain how his offense gained 501 yards but scored only three points. In their last seven games, Buccaneers are an incredibly bad minus-21 in turnovers- thats only seven games!!! 

Steelers 52, Panthers 21— Home teams are 8-2 on Thursday night games; think it is a big advantage to be at home with the short week. 

Steelers won/covered their last five games; they scored on a 75-yard pass with their first play of the game, after Carolina had taken a 7-0 lead. Panthers are two games behind New Orleans in the NFC South, but they play the Saints twice in the last seven weeks. Carolina +11 in TO’s in their wins, -5 in losses- they were -2 in this game.

Packers 31, Dolphins 12— Miami was in red zone three times, kicked two FG’s; they didn’t score an offensive TD for second week in a row (20 drives). Dolphins lost their last four road games, by 31-10-19-19 points- they’re 3-9 vs spread in last 12 games as road underdogs. Green Bay was in red zone four times, scored four TD’s. Packers are now 19-12-2 in their last 32 games as HF.

Colts 29, Jaguars 26— Indy scored 37-42-29 points in winning last three games, after a 1-5 start; Colts didn’t score in second half here, holding on for dear life after leading 29-13 a minute before halftime. Vinatieri missed a 52-yard FG that would’ve covered the spread with 2:53 left. Over is 5-1 in the Colts’ last six games. 

Jacksonville’s offense showed some life, but they’ve lost five games in a row, and were outscored 97-23 in the first half of those games. 

Bears 34, Lions 22— Chicago threw for 348 yards, was +3 (3-0) in turnovers; they’re 4-1 at home this year, 4-0 as HF. Bears averaged 11.2 yards per pass attempt- their defense sacked Stafford six times. Chicago kicker Parkey missed two FG’s, two PAT’s; last guy to do that (Cleveland’s K in Week 2) got cut after that game. 

Lions fired their special teams coach Monday, so they’ve got issues in their building; Detroit ran ball for only 76-66-34 yards in their last three games; they allowed 16 sacks in their last two games- maybe the OL coach should’ve been canned instead of the special teams guy. 

Chiefs 28, Cardinals 16— Since 2000, Chiefs were 23rd NFL team to be favored by 17+ points; those teams went 8-13-2 vs spread (they all won SU). KC was +2 in turnovers, won field position by 12 yards; Arizona holding them to 26 points seemed like a win for Arizona. 

Chargers 20, Raiders 6— Chargers won their last six games; they’re 5-0 outside LA, holding Oakland without a TD here. Raiders had ball on 2-yard line on their first drive after faking a punt for a first down, but they went for it on 4th down and got stuffed. 

Under Lynn, LA is 4-1-1 as road favorites, 3-0 this year- they held last five opponents under 20 points. Raiders lost last four games; they’re 3-7-1 vs spread in last 11 games as home underdogs. 

When you get to the red zone three times and score only three points, that not good. 

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

13) Oklahoma 48, Oklahoma State 47— State scored with 1:07 left but went for two points and the lead, maybe because their kicker missed the PAT on their previous TD. 

We’ve talked about this couple times already, but I’m not a fan of going for two points and the win, yet every ex-player on TV applauds when a coach does it. There is a time to be conservative, to keep your team on national TV playing an exciting game (recruiting, anyone?!?!?!)

OSU had 39 first downs, gained 640 yards but lost. Entertaining game. 

12) Texas 41, Texas Tech 34— Longhorns led 34-17 with 7:00 left, but Tech rallied to tie the game with 1:45 left. Texas then drove the field and threw the GW TD pass with 0:21 left. 

11) Northwestern 14, Iowa 10— Wildcats are 0-3 in non-conference games, losing to Duke, Akron and Notre Dame, but they’re 6-1 in conference and clinched a spot in the Big 14 title game with this win. Four of their six conference wins are by four or fewer points; this will be their first-ever appearance in the Big 14 championship game. 

Iowa threw 41 passes, ran ball only 22 times, converted 3-13 third down plays; they’ve lost three games in a row after a 6-1 start. 

10) Pitt 52, Virginia Tech 22— Panthers won their third game in a row; they had TD plays of 73-78-97 yards, and averaged 13.9 YARDS PER PLAY in this game. Virginia Tech lost its last three games, allowing 44 ppg, and is now 4-5. 

9) Old Dominion 34, North Texas 31— Mean Green led 28-0 with 3:00 left before halftime, but let this game get away on the road, slip to 7-3. 

8) Florida 35, South Carolina 31— Gamecocks led 31-14 with 16:00 to play, but Florida went on TD drives of 75-89-66 yards to pull out the win and improve to 7-3. 

Georgia 27, Auburn 10— Auburn coach Gus Malzahn is in the first year of a 7-year, $49M contract; his Tigers are 6-4 and haven’t played Alabama yet, so they’re going to be 7-5 heading into their bowl game, which won’t be a great bowl (their other game is vs Liberty).

Not going to be a great winter on the plains for coach Gus.  

7) Upsets of the Week:
— UNLV (+22.5) 27, San Diego State 24
— Wake Forest (+19.5) 27, NC State 23
— Old Dominion (+14.5) 34, North Texas 31
— Minnesota (+12) 41, Purdue 10
— Northwestern (+11) 14, Iowa 10
— Bowling Green (+7) 24, Central Michigan 13

6) Indiana 34, Maryland 32— Terrapins ran ball for 59 times for 353 yards, outgained Indiana by 168 yards but lost- thats what four turnovers (-3) will do to you. 

Ohio State 26, Michigan State 6— Buckeyes’ punter Drue Chrisman pinned Spartans inside their own 6-yard line five times in the second half; he was interviewed on TV after the game. MSU completed less than half its passes for third time in last five games. 

5) UAB 26, Southern Miss 23 OT— UAB didn’t have a football team in 2015-16, but people fought to bring the team back and now in their second year back, the Blazers are 9-1 and are a hell of a story. Good for them. 

4) Arizona State 31, UCLA 28— Herm Edwards’ Sun Devils are 6-4, become bowl-eligible. 

3) Washington State 31, Colorado 7— Coogs ran 94 plays, injury-riddled Colorado ran 54; Buffaloes lost their last five games after a 5-0 start. Wazzu is 9-1 and rolling, in a story that is really interesting, in both happy and tragic ways. 

This time last year, Wazzu’s QB was Luke Falk, who is on the Miami Dolphins now. The young man who was penciled in to be his replacement this year (he threw 129 passes off the bench) took his own life after last season, in an unspeakable tragedy. 

Gardner Minshew was going to transfer from East Carolina to Alabama, with hopes of being a grad assistant coach in 2019; he knew he would sit the bench in Tuscaloosa this year. But when Washington State needed a QB, Minshew went to Pullman instead and is now having the time of his life. Life is weird sometimes. 

2) San Diego 56, Davidson 52— This I-AA game had some interesting stats:
— Davidson ran the ball 73 times for 789 yards, gained 852 TY.
— San Diego was 24-36 passing for 556 yards; they gained 625 TY.
— Toreros averaged 15.4 yards per pass attempt.
— Davidson had three TD runs of 80+ yards, in the first quarter alone.
— Davidson led 31-7 early in the second quarter.
— San Diego threw the game-winning 20-yard TD pass with 1:43 left. 

1) Eastern Michigan 27, Akron 7— EMU has a gray football field, much like Boise State has a blue field; when I watch clips of EMU home games on my laptop, it looks like the game is in black-and-white, except for the players. Weird.

Akron had six first downs, four turnovers, only 90 total yards. Eastern is bowl eligible

Saturday’s List of 13: Clearing out a cluttered mind……..

13) Last summer, CBS Sports polled more than 100 coaches asking them to identify the most powerful person in college basketball; Mike Krzyzewski, John Calipari and Big 14 commish Jim Delany finished 1st-3rd, and a guy I never heard of finished 4th. 

Bret Just used to be a high school coach; now he’s an agent for three NBA coaches, two NBA GM’s, Geno Auriemma and a bunch of other college coaches, including Andy Enfield, Chris Beard, Frank Martin. There is a tournament in Kansas City in a couple weeks where all four coaches are Just’s clients. 

Influential guy, the Scott Boras of basketball coaches. Now I know his name. 

12) Texas 73, Arkansas 71 OT— Longhorns’ Kerwin Roach stuck a 3-ball in transition with 0:01 left to tie the game 63-all, after Texas trailed almost the whole game, which was played on a military base at Fort Bliss in Texas. 

11) Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco has a hip injury and may not play next week against the Bengals. Rookie Lamar Jackson would start if Flacco can’t.

10) Dez Bryant signed with the Saints Wednesday, then tore his achilles in practice Friday. 

9) Five biggest upsets in college football so far this season:

Old Dominion (+27.5) 49-35 over Virginia Tech
Oregon State (+24.5) 41-34 over Colorado
BYU (+22.5) 24-21 over Wisconsin
Akron (+21.5) 39-34 over Northwestern
Wake Forest (+19.5) 27-23 over NC State

8) Pretty cool Thursday night on the Clippers-Blazers TV broadcast; with TV guy Ralph Lawler retiring after 40 years behind the mike, Lawler’s wife Jo joined her husband and Corey Maggette on TV for a few minutes during the second quarter, which led to a lot of laughter. 

It has been great fun listening to Mr Lawler’s good natured broadcasts over the years on NBA League Pass. It helps that the Clippers are improved under new owner Steve Ballmer. 

7) Obscure Stat of the Day: Since 2000, 54 NFL teams scored 50+ points in a game; those teams went 52-1-1 against the spread. The ’13 Cowboys (-7)  beat Denver 51-48 but did not cover.

6) There is a great article about friendships in the NBA on thescore.com  If you follow the NBA or sports of any kind, this is interesting information. 

5) JJ Redick plays for the 76ers but lives in Brooklyn with his wife and kids, which seems odd. He must like riding on trains, assuming that is how he commutes. 

4) Learned something yesterday about the wild fires in California; fires move faster going uphill because the wind goes with it; not so much going downhill. 

Scary stuff, watching houses and towns in danger of being destroyed. Hope everyone is OK. 

3) Stony Brook 83, South Carolina 81— Seawolves beat George Washington in their opener, pulled a second upset here. Good news for the America East Conference.

2) Joe Mauer retired after 15 years in the big leagues. I happened to be watching the Twins’ last home game in September; when Mauer went to 1B, his kids went out there too— you kind of figured that was it for Mauer, at least in Minnesota. 

1) Jim Calhoun coached his first game for the St Edward’s Bluejays last night; the 76-year old Calhoun is now a D-III coach, six years after he left UConn. St Edward’s was an all-girls’ school until this year.

Calhoun got T’d up in the first half Friday; his team was down 11 at the half, but rallied to beat William Paterson 79-74.

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

13) ESPN’s Mark Jackson is much better as an analyst in a 2-man booth than a 3-man booth; he tells some terrific stories when he has more airtime. 

In 1986, Jackson led the nation in assists; one of his teammates (Walter Berry) won the Wooden Award, symbolic of the year’s best college player, so obviously St John’s must’ve had a damn good season (they went 31-5), but this was the year after Chris Mullin went to the NBA and apparently there were internal issues with the team. 

In their fifth game of the year, St John’s was nursing a late lead and Jackson was dribbling so he would get fouled, make foul shots and preserve the lead, but Berry wanted the team to give the ball to him so he could score more, and from that point on, from the end of the fifth game to the 36th game, Berry and Jackson never spoke again that season. You just never know. 

12) Monday night, Enes Kanter had 23 points, 24 rebounds off the bench for the Knicks, as well as seven assists. Kanter is the first NBA player since Charles Barkley in 1986 to have a 20-20 game, and also have 5+ assists, in a game he didn’t start. 

11) In the Atlanta Hawks’ arena, you can get your haircut during the game. Not sure why you would pay major bucks to watch an NBA game, then spend even more money to not watch the game while they cut your hair. Then again, I don’t have much hair to cut.

10) Speaking of the Hawks, Atlanta coach Lloyd Pierce was a college teammate of Steve Nash in his playing days at Santa Clara.

9) Kansas City Chiefs outscored opponents 93-20 on the first drive of each half; thats 18 drives for each team. 

8) Miami Dolphins are only NFL team that hasn’t scored a point on their first drive of a game this season: nine drives, 42 plays, 198 yards, no points. No bueno. 

Jets kicked only one FG on their first drive of a game, but they also gave up a defensive TD, so they’ve actually been outscored 7-3 on their game-opening drives. 

7) Minnesota Vikings are playing better recently; in their last three games, the Vikings scored TD’s on their first drive of the game, going 68-91-65 yards for those TD’s. 

6) Rich Gannon was working the Charger-Seahawk game Sunday; Sebastian Janikowski was kicking for Seattle. Way back in 2000, Janikowski’s rookie year in Oakland, Gannon was the first holder Janikowski had during preseason, but Gannon said he was so bad at holding, they told him to forget about it and make punter Shane Lechler the holder. 

5) Boise State is a home underdog to Fresno State tonight, first time the Broncos have been a underdog on the Blue Turf since 1999. 

4) Pittsburgh Steelers are only team in NFL with only one divisional game left. Everyone plays a divisional game in Week 17. 

3) Last time Alabama had a Senatorial election, Nick Saban got 19,000 write-in votes. If he ever somehow got elected, Saban would have to decline; quite a pay cut from the $8M a year Saban makes now to the $175,000 or however much a senator makes. 

2) How would you like to be the person who ran for assembly in Nevada, and lost to a dead guy? 

72-year old Dennis Hof owned a brothel that was featured on the HBO show Cathouse; he passed away October 16, but he still won an election Tuesday in Nevada’s 36th Assembly District against Democratic educator Lesia Romanov. 

1) Le’Veon Bell posted a couple of Tweets this week with the text upside down; not sure how or why he did that, but it does look pretty cool. 

If Bell doesn’t report to the Steelers by 4:00 Tuesday, he can’t play this year, so he won’t make any of his $14.55M salary and he defeats the purpose of his holdout. Hopefully he is getting good advice, but that doesn’t seem too likely, unless he just doesn’t want to play anymore.

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

13) So I’m voting Tuesday and this guy voting next to me had his daughter with him- she is maybe 6, 7 years old. As he is voting, the little girl says “Thats not who mommy voted for” and the guy says “Daddy isn’t going to vote for everyone Mommy voted for” and then the little girl and dad start arguing, with the little girl wanting mommy and daddy to agree on everything. 

Quality entertainment. And for free. 

12) Sunday was a rough day for Nevada sports books; every NFL team that the public supported covered the spread. A guy who is a 25-year veteran of working in Las Vegas said it was one of the 10 worst days Nevada sports books have ever had in sports wagering.

11) Times have changed; the Cowboys willingly wore blue jerseys at home Monday night. There was a time when Dallas went on the road, opposing teams would wear white at home, to force the Cowboys to wear the blue jerseys that they didn’t seem to like wearing. 

10) New Mets’ GM Brodie Van Wagenen is making $10M for four years. He was the agent for the Mets’ two best players, Jacob deGrom and Yoenis Cespedes. He was also Tim Tebow’s agent; Tebow is expected to start next season at AAA Syracuse. 

9) Lot of NBA teams have cameras over the baskets, which provide great replays of action around the rim; the funny thing is that they then put advertising on top of the backboards, so you see it when those replays are shown. Wonder how much they charge for that? 

8) The NBA is more fun to watch now than it has been in a while; lot more passing, solid shooting. The success Golden State is having has influenced the game in a positive way. 

7) Toronto Argonauts fired coach Marc Trestman after a 4-14 season, but his Argos won the Grey Cup LAST YEAR. 

Trestman won two Grey Cups coaching Montreal from 2008-12, then went 13-19 in two years coaching the Chicago Bears. He later was an OC for the Baltimore Ravens, but was fired during the 2016 season. Mr Trestman could write a very interesting book. 

6) Not that I’m bitter or anything, but I see DeAndre Ayton and Allonzo Trier playing major minutes in NBA games this fall, but when I picked Arizona in their first round NCAA game last March, they lost by 21 to a freakin’ MAC team. No bueno!!!! LOLOL

5) Miami, Florida, Florida State all went 0-2 the last two weekends. 

That is the FIRST time that has EVER happened. 

4) San Francisco Giants hired GM Farhan Zaidi as their new GM Tuesday. 

For the past four years, Zaidi  was GM of the rival Dodgers; before that, he was the assistant GM to Billy Beane with the A’s. 

3) Jamal Murray scored 48 points for Denver Monday night; he took a shot late in the game, trying to get to 50, and the Celtics get all offended, like Murray isn’t supposed to try and put the ball in the basket. Thats what he gets paid for. 

You don’t want him to score 50? Guard his bleepin’ ass, don’t let him get to 40!!! Don’t run your mouth after the game, move your feet during the game.

2) Guy at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City put $6 down on a 12-team parlay this weekend and he hit it, with Titans (+5) clinching his $9,600 payoff. Well done!!!

1) Chicago Blackhawks fired coach Joel Quenneville, who won three Stanley Cups in Chicago, the last one in 2015. He’s the second-winningest coach in NHL history with an all-time record of 890-532-214. Sounds like a guy who won’t be unemployed too long. 

Wednesday’s Den: Wrapping up Opening Night in college hoop

13) Kansas 92, Michigan State 87— Jayhawks led this game the whole way, were up 50-36 at halftime, but Spartans fought back late and made the Kansas fans sweat. 

Dick Vitale started his 40th season on ESPN with this game; he surprised me by saying that he thinks college basketball season starts too early, and shouldn’t begin until after Thanksgiving Day. Don’t think I agree with that; after Thanksgiving would be too late. 

I liked the early season basketball marathon ESPN used to run for 24 hours, but they’ve done away with it now. That would’ve been early next week. Who needs sleep? 

12) Duke 118, Kentucky 84— Blue Devils led this game 34-13 at one point, and then it got worse; impressive display by a very young Duke team- game was 59-42 at halftime, 85-52 with 12:22 left. Wildcats don’t get whacked like that very often. 

11) Texas Southern 72, Baylor 69— When you pay an opponent to come to your gym and play, they’re not supposed to win. Last year, Texas Southern played its first 13 games on the road- their first home game was New Year’s Day. TSU started last year 0-13, lost by 31 at Baylor, but the Jonny Jones era gets off to an excellent start here. 

10) Arizona State 102, Cal State-Fullerton 94 2OT— Titans made NCAAs LY but weren’t given a big chance here; Ahmad/Allman combined for 64 points, but no other Titan scored more than 11 points- they’ll need a third scorer to emerge. 

ASU was only 26-44 on foul line; they took 18 more FT’s than Fullerton. 

9) North Carolina 78, Wofford 67— This game was tied 46-all with 10:30 left, but reality set in down the stretch. Credit to Roy Williams for going to Wofford’s gym and playing a real road game— it’ll make the Tar Heels better. Wofford has to be encouraged by this game. 

More teams need to have some guts and play some true road games. 

8) Georgia State 74, East Tennessee State 68— Couple of solid mid-majors hooked up here; ETSU had 27 offensive rebounds, but were just 4-23 on arc, 17-27 on charity stripe. Four Georgia State starters played 35:00+, so not a lot of depth there. 

7) Bills-Jets total this week is 36.5; it is the lowest NFL total since 2012. 

6) Penn 72, George Mason 71— Quakers win a nail biter despite going 6-18 on the foul line. 

5) Stony Brook 77, George Washington 74 OT— GW led this game 22-0 but lost; not exactly the best way to start your season. Stony Brook’s first points came 10:14 into the game; they were only 6-26 on arc, 17-27 on foul line, but they out-rebounded the Colonials 46-38, who were 16-34 on the foul line in at overtime loss. 

4) Providence 77, Siena 67— Friars made 13-25 on arc, Saints 12-28 in relatively foul-free game; only 20 FT’s were tried in this game. Siena started a soph and two frosh in coach Christian’s Siena debut; they have to be somewhat encouraged by this game. 

3) There are now 353 Division I basketball teams; Cal Baptist (WAC) and North Alabama (Atlantic Sun) are the two new teams this season. 

2) Boston College 73, Milwaukee 53— BC was down 10 at the half in this game; they outscored the Panthers 46-16 in second half. 

1) Louisiana Tech 71, Wichita State 58— Could be more of a rebuilding job than people thought for the Wheatshockers- they were a 10-point favorite here. 

Tuesday’s List of 13: Happy Election Day– go vote!!!!

13) Today is Election Day; please go vote, if you already haven’t done so. Its our job as American citizens to go and make our voices heard- its one of the great parts of living in a democracy. Plus, sometimes they have bake sales at polling places so you can get fairly cheap cupcakes or donuts. 

Go vote!!! (After you read the rest of this……)

12) There is a TV program on WeTV called “Love After Lockup”; it is described this way:

“Couples meet their potential future spouses for the first time once the bars are removed from the relationship.” In other words, once the future spouse gets out of jail. 

What could possibly go wrong? 

11) Friday night in the CFL, after Ottawa scored a TD to grab a 23-9 lead with 0:59 left in the 3rd quarter, an Ottawa offensive lineman went to the front row of the stands, grabbed a can of beer from a fan, and chugged the beer— during the game!!!!

When I saw the clip, I figured it was just before the end of the game, but it wasn’t. Yikes.

10) There is a dog walking app called WAG; you pay someone to walk your dog for you. They get the keys to your house, they walk little Scruffy around the block, you can follow their progress on the app, and everyone is happy. 

In this day and age, if you think I’m giving the keys to my freakin’ house to some stranger who walks dogs for a living, then you’re bleepin’ goofy. There isn’t anything all that valuable here, but it is valuable to me. I’d get the dog a treadmill like George Jetson before I paid someone.

9) Sig Mejdal is a former NASA engineer and blackjack dealer who worked on the analytical team that helped the Houston Astros win the World Series LY; he’s let his contract with the Astros run out and will now look for another job. 

NASA engineer and blackjack dealer? Sounds like an interesting guy.

8) I’m not a big Tom Cruise fan, but his best movie (in my opinion) by far is A Few Good Men, with Risky Business 2nd, and then probably Cocktail.

The scene where Jack Nicholson testifies in court: “You can’t handle the truth!!!!” is still one of my favorite movie scenes ever. 

7) ESPN’s Mike Breen had a tremendous euphemism as he tried to gently rip the Washington Wizards in their loss Friday night: “…….just a lack of consistent intensity”

Oklahoma City had 110 points AFTER THE 3RD QUARTER; Wizards weren’t trying real hard, which is why they’re 2-7 this season.

6) Mark Jackson told a neat story during the Wolves-Warriors game Friday night; when he was coaching Golden State, Jackson brought college teammate Chris Mullen in to work with then-rookie Klay Thompson on footwork, how to use screens, stuff like that- it obviously helped. 

When Thompson was playing at Washington State, you wouldn’t have figured him to be a star in the NBA, but he sure is now.

5) “Its not who starts, its who finishes.” Lot of basketball coaches say that to subs who might have their feelings hurt when they come off the bench instead of starting. 

Actions speak louder than words; JJ Redick hasn’t started a game yet for the 76ers, but he is 4th on the team in minutes played, second on team in shots taken and scoring (18.4 ppg). And his $12,250,000 salary (#3 on team) speaks pretty loudly, too.

4) Arizona Cardinals cut QB Sam Bradford, who has earned roughly $129M in his football career, while accumulating a career record of 34-48-1. Arizona wound up paying him $13.5M and he only played three games for them. No bueno. 

Bradford is better than any QB Buffalo has, but he’d last about 10 minutes behind that offensive line, thats 10 minutes of regular time, not game time.

Bradford had some success playing for Giants’ coach Pat Shurmur when Shurmur was OC up at Minnesota, so there are rumors Bradford could be heading to the Big Apple. 

3) A big reason of why college basketball has changed so much in the last decade; freshmen played 81.2% of Kentucky’s minutes last year- freshmen played 67.5% of Duke’s minutes. 

In the last four seasons, of the 20 freshmen Kentucky had, 12 of them stayed only one year. 11 of Duke’s last 19 freshmen have left school after one season. 

If you’re good enough to start for Kentucky/Duke, you probably already have one eye on the NBA, so it becomes difficult to tell who is invested in playing college ball and who is counting the minutes until they can bolt college and go to the NBA Combine.

2) Average ticket prices and team payrolls this past baseball season:
Red Sox $206M payroll, $56.97 average ticket
Astros $172M payroll, $40.25 average ticket
Bronx Bombers $161M payroll, average ticket $47.62
Indians: $137M payroll, average ticket $30.04

1) Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt hosted a 4-minute video last week urging all Americans to go vote on November 6th- it was a little odd seeing actors speak as themselves, we’re so used to seeing them play different roles.

But their point is valid— please go vote!!!!

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

Saints 45, Rams 35— New Orleans had 18 first downs, three TD’s on its first 32 plays in this game; then they blew a 35-14 lead- wild game, but they pulled away late. Saints have won their last seven games; average total in their four home games is 67.3. 

Former NFL ref Gene Steratore posted this Sunday morning:

“Through Week 8, the average number of penalties accepted per game is 13.4- that is the fewest since 2013. Despite what most may think, the refs are letting them play this season.”

Vikings 24, Lions 9— Minnesota is now 10-0 vs spread (9-1 SU) in its last nine pre-bye games; they’ve won four of last five games. Yardage in this game was just 283-209, and game was indoors. Under Zimmer, Minnesota is 21-7 as home favorites, 3-2 this year.

Vikings sacked Stafford 10 times; in its last two games, Detroit has run ball for 34-66 yards. Obviously, they’ve got some issues on the offensive line. 

Chiefs 37, Browns 21— Cleveland looked better on offense with Kitchens calling plays, but Kansas City has it rolling right now- KC averaged 10.6 yards/pass attempt, had an 11-yard edge in field position. Chiefs had a 499-388 edge in yardage. 

Chiefs won/covered 8 of their last 9 games; they’re 10-3 in last 13 games as road favorites.  Cleveland is 6-16-1 in its last 23 games as a home dog; they lost last four games, giving up an average of 33.5 ppg. 

Steelers 23, Ravens 16— One of key plays in this game was a 22-yard pass by backup QB Dobbs to Smith-Schuster when Steelers were backed up on own 5-yard line with 20-13 lead and 12:35 left to play- drive ended in a clinching FG. It was Dobbs’ only play of the game. This was just second win for Steelers in their last six visits here. 

Pittsburgh converted 10-16 on third down, outgained Baltimore 395-268 in a game with no turnovers. Ravens lost their last three games, are 4-5 heading into their bye week. 

Panthers 42, Buccaneers 28— Three of Carolina’s six TD’s came on drives of 42 or fewer yards; Panthers ran ball for 179 yards, are looking strong- they’re a game behind New Orleans in NFC South- teams have two meetings coming up. 

In their last six games, Bucs are an astounding minus-17 in turnovers. Over is 7-1 in Tampa Bay games; hard to believe the Bucs won’t be cleaning house again when this season ends- they allowed 30+ points in five of their last six games. 

Dolphins 13, Jets 6— This was an unusual boxscore:
— Jets’ offense ran 64 plays; they were outscored on those 7-6 by Miami’s defense.
— Neither team scored an offensive touchdown.
— Total yardage was 282-168, Jets- Miami had only 7 first downs.
— Teams combined to convert only five of 29 third down plays.
— There was only one play the whole game inside either team’s red zone.
— Not many team go +4 in turnovers and score only 13 points. 

Bears 41, Bills 9— This was an even more unusual boxscore:
— Chicago led 28-0 at the half; their defense scored two of the TD’s.
— The other two first half TD’s came on drives of only 37-23 yards.
— Total yardage was 264-190 Bills, and they lost by 32 points.
— Bills turned ball over four times (-3); Bears had 18-yard edge in field position, and thats not counting their two defensive TD’s.
— What Buffalo has done this year is just astoundingly bad; they made the playoffs LY for first time in 19 years, but quickly traded LY’s QB and are now the worst team in the NFL.
— New England’s three AFC East rivals scored a total of 28 points Sunday. 

Falcons 38, Redskins 14— Atlanta was 10-13 on third down in this game; they’ve converted 42 of last 68 third down plays- this was their first win in three outdoor games this season. 

NFC East teams are 1-8 vs spread as non-divisional favorites this season. Washington leads that division with an unimpressive 5-3 record. 

Texans 19, Broncos 17— Houston is first team since the 1970 New York Giants to start a season 0-3, then win their next six games. Broncos missed a 51-yard FG wide right in the last minute. 

Denver lost six of its last seven games, appears headed to its first consecutive losing seasons since the mid-70’s- they’re 2-5-2 in last nine games as home favorites. Under is 4-1 in last five Houston games, 6-2 in last eight Denver games.

Chargers 25, Seahawks 17— Seattle is now 1-8 vs spread in last nine games as home favorites. Chargers won their last five games overall- they won here despite converting on only 2-9 third down plays, and missing three of four PAT’s. Bolts are now 4-0 outside Los Angeles. 

Patriots 31, Packers 17— Game was tied after three quarters; Green Bay had the ball on the New England 28-yard line- they were driving. First play of the fourth quarter, Aaron Jones loses a fumble, and that ended that- Green Bay was useless the rest of the game. 

New England won its last six games, is 5-0 at home (4-1 as HF)- they’re 26-12-3 vs spread in last 41 games as a home favorite.

Mike McCarthy played college football (TE) at Baker University in Kansas; his dad was a fireman and bar owner in Pittsburgh. He is 134-82-2 as an NFL head coach, but he’s had Favre/Rodgers as his starting quarterbacks during that time. Pretty good gig.

Hell, what would Jeff Fisher’s record be if he had Favre/Rodgers? Fisher went 178-171-1 as an NFL head coach, with no one near as good as Favre/Rodgers at QB. 

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

13) Auburn 28, Texas A&M 24— Talk about gagging a game away; with 7:14 left, A&M led 24-14 and had the ball on the Auburn 43. The ESPN TV guys were talking about running the ball and about clock management, taking time off the clock, but the Aggies threw an INT on the very next play. Not good. 

Game completely swung on that play; Auburn had TD drives of 71-58 yards in the last 6:00 and pulled out a game that looked lost midway thru the 4th quarter.

12) West Virginia 42, Texas 41— This was a tremendous game, too bad Gus Johnson had the play-by-play and went into his hysterical act with both TD’s late in this game. He calls the action well, but if the game is close at the end, it always has to become about him and his screaming. 

West Virginia trailed 41-34, but scored a TD with 0:16 left; Mountaineers went for 2 and the win— QB Will Grier ran it in for the two points. 

I’ve said here before that I’m not a fan of going for two points in that situation, but Grier is a senior QB and coach Holgorsen trusted him to get the two points, and he did. 

11) Georgia 34, Kentucky 17— Swift/Holyfield both ran the ball for 100+ yards as the Dawgs KO’d Kentucky and clinched the SEC East title- Georgia plays Auburn next week. 

Kentucky RB Benny Snell Jr is very good; his dad was a RB for the Las Vegas Outlaws in the XFL  in the one year that league existed. Snell’s granddad is cousins with Matt Snell, a terrific RB who helped the Jets win Super Bowl III.

10) South Carolina 48, Ole Miss 44— Teams played so little defense, it looked like they were auditioning to join the Big X. Ole Miss didn’t punt until midway thru the third quarter. 

Rebels gained 616 yards but lost; Gamecocks averaged 11.3 yards/pass attempt and won. 

9) Michigan State 24, Maryland 3— Terrapins’ offensive line were the people who were upset about coach coach DJ Durkin being re-instated this week; they helped get him fired the next day, but the OL was useless in this game. Maryland ran 53 plays for a total of only 100 yards. 

8) Central Florida 52, Temple 40— UCF is 8-0, but when you’re trailing Temple 34-28 at the half and the Owls get 35 first downs against you, you’re not going too impress the pollsters who may not want to be impressed in the first place. 

7) Upsets of the Week:
— SMU (+13.5) 45, Houston 31
— Illinois (+9.5) 55, Minnesota 31
— Duke (+9.5) 20, Miami 12
— Pittsburgh (+7.5) 23, Virginia 13
— Baylor (+7.5) 35, Oklahoma State 31
— Tulane (+7.5) 41, South Florida 15
— UL-Monroe (+7) 44, Georgia Southern 25
— Arizona State (+7) 38, Utah 20

6) Clemson 77, Louisville 16— Two years ago, Louisville was -2.5 at Clemson, but lost 42-36; they were +39 in this game and didn’t come close to covering. Even Dabo Swinney’s son scored a TD, his first-ever college touchdown. Clemson ran the ball for 492 yards, which is just total domination. 

5) Ohio State 36, Nebraska 31— OSU fans are spoiled; Buckeyes trailed 21-16 at halftime, got booed off their home field- not much enthusiasm for a team that is now 8-1. 

4) NC State 47, Florida State 28— Seminoles were 5-6 LY; they’re 4-5 this year. From 2012-16, FSU was 59-9; what the hell happened? 

3) Purdue 38, Iowa 36— Boilermakers kicked a FG with 0:08 left to win the game after blowing a 35-23 fourth quarter lead. Iowa tried and failed on a pair of 2-point conversions earlier in second half, otherwise this might’ve been an overtime game. 

Purdue has won five of its last six games after an 0-3 start. 

2) Oklahoma 51, Texas Tech 46— Tech led 31-28 at halftime, but apparently their QB Bowman got drilled in the head with a football while warming up for the second half and went back to the locker room for evaluation- he didn’t play in the second half, or return to the sidelines. 

1) Michigan 42, Penn State 7— Wolverines’ defense is really good; in their last six games, Michigan has allowed 12.5 ppg, only 185.8 ypg. Notre Dame/SMU are only two teams that gained more than 300 yards against the Wolverines this season.

Penn State lost three of last five games; they’re 0-3 when scoring less than 30 points. 

Saturday’s List of 13: Clearing out a cluttered mind……

13) Since 1950, NFL QB’s with 250+ passing yards, 3+ passing TD’s and no INT in their NFL debut: 

— 1961, Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton
— 1986 Hall of Famer Jim Kelly (played in USFL before NFL)
— 2018 Nick Mullens, Thursday night

12) Golfer Bryson DeChambeau will go against the grain this coming season and putt with the pin in the hole, in every tournament except the US Open, where apparently the flagsticks are thicker than at regular Tour events.

DeChambeau said this: ”It depends on the COR, the coefficient of restitution of the flagstick. In U.S. Opens, I’ll take it out, and every other Tour event, when it’s fiberglass, I’ll leave it in and bounce that ball against the flagstick if I need to.”

Alrighty then. 

11) South Carolina Gamecocks will play a home football game vs Akron December 1 to make up for the game vs Marshall that was canceled on September 15 due to Hurricane Florence.

10) Cubs traded lefty P Drew Smyly to Texas for a couple of broken bats, then picked up Cole Hamels’ $20M option for next season. 

9) Clayton Kershaw had two years for around $71M left on his Dodgers contract; they tore that up and now he has a three-year, $93M deal- its good to be him. 

8) Oakland A’s won 97 games this year but had only one bunt hit the whole season, by Jed Lowrie in Minnesota. 

Since 1988, they’re just second team (’95 Cardinals) to go whole season with only one bunt hit.

7) How does Joe Girardi not have a managing job in the major leagues? 

11 years experience, a record of 988-794, albeit only 28-24 in playoffs with Bronx Bombers. His one losing season was in 2006 with the 78-84 Marlins, who went 71-91 the year after he left. 

The most fascinating part of modern baseball is the internal tug-of-war between analytics people and old-school baseball people— who/where are the decisions made? Interesting stuff. 

6) College basketball starts Tuesday night; research is in full swing. 

Last year, the Penn Quakers won the Ivy League tournament and got a 16-seed in the NCAA tournament, the Ivy League’s first 16-seed since 1989. Ivy teams had been on an upswing, but when upsets happen in the conference tournament, you get lower seeds in the NCAA’s.

5) Tom Crean is the new basketball coach at Georgia, which is a tough place to win; in the last 25 years, Tubby Smith, Jim Harrick, Mark Fox among others have swung, mostly missed trying to make the Dawgs winners at a school that is football-centric- they drew 80,000 fans for the spring football game. 

Crean is a good coach; when he was at Marquette, his first booster meeting drew 17 people, not a good start, but then he recruited Dwyane Wade and wound up in the Final Four. 

Georgia hasn’t won an NCAA tournament game since 1996; this will be fun to follow. 

4) Kentucky spent $19,180,059 on men’s basketball in the latest fiscal year; Georgia spent $6,237,492, so you get the idea of the scope of Crean’s job. 

3) Mid-American Conference (MAC) hasn’t had an at-large team in NCAA’s since 1999, but this could be the year; league is expected to be stronger than it has been in years. 

2) Missouri Valley teams won their last nine first round games in NCAA tournament. 

1) Looking for an improved NBA team that is fun to watch on League Pass? Sacramento Kings won their last five games, are fun to watch- they scored 146 points in their last game and six of their nine games have been on the road.