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

13) I made a rare appearance in the Hannaford grocery store near my home Thursday; I eat out just about every day, so I don’t need a lot of groceries, but I had 5 or 6 items as I went to the checkout aisles. (If you must know, had Fig Newtons, Cherry Coke, hamburger rolls, Rice Krispies, hot dog rolls and milk.)

One aisle had 6 or 7 people waiting on line, so that wasn’t an option; I’m not fond of waiting on lines. The other aisle was the Express Aisle; 14 items or less. My kind of aisle, I was there.

I’m behind one woman in line, a woman with an entire shopping cart full of items. She starts taking the items out, and she obviously has more than 14, and thats counting the five 2-liter bottles of Pepsi as one item. She has 23 items; how do I know this? I counted them.

12) Now I’m annoyed, because it is just a lack of respect for anyone other than herself; she looks to be around 50, a normal suburban person, except for the fact that she is taking 23 items thru the Express Aisle (14 items or less). I look at the young kid working the register, debating whether to make a fool of myself and call her on this indiscretion. I would’ve laughed if the cashier had refused to wait on Ms 23Items- he didn’t.

I’m bailed out by two other aisles being opened up just as I was about to make a decision; rather than create a scene, I just scoot over to the next aisle— I was out of the store before Ms 23Items got her bags into her shopping cart.

11) In the larger scope of life, obviously none of this is important, but it points out how the basic respect we have for each other is decaying throughout society. No one cares about anyone except him/herself. We need to have more respect for other humans; it doesn’t cost anything, and it improves everyone’s quality of life. Less stress equals a better life.

Elsewhere in the world…….
10) Watching Justin Verlander pitch in the playoffs Thursday gave me the creeps; he’s made five playoff starts against the A’s and was 4-0, 1.23 in those games- the one game he didn’t win was when the A’s rallied from behind in the late innings to beat Detroit’s bullpen.

Verlander is two decent years away from being a Hall of Famer.

9) How offense in the NFL is changing; the receiving leader for 7 of the 32 NFL teams is a running back. Teams are running ball less but are using RB’s out of the backfield to beat linebackers in individual matchups.

His first two years in the NFL, Todd Gurley caught 64 passes for 515 yards (8.0 yds/rec) in 29 games, with no touchdowns. In four games this year, he’s caught 20 passes for 234 yards (11.7 yds/rec), three TD’s. Twice as many catches per game, 46% more yards per catch.

8) Tampa Bay Bucs lost Thursday night, but now they get 10 days off before their next game, which is especially helpful in their case, since they already had their bye week in Week 1, because of the hurricane damage in Florida caused their game with Miami to be moved to Week 11.

7) I’d love to see a team playing New England let the QB call his own plays, just in case they’re still doing any BS stealing signals (chances are they are). They couldn’t do it if the QB called his own plays- no signals to steal.

Of course, that would greatly reduce substitutions by the offense, but the coach could send in personnel groupings and let the QB pick what plays he wanted that used those groupings.

6) Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan owns a ship that is 312 feet long (almost an entire football field) and cost $200M to build. You can rent this ship, for $1.2M a week, plus expenses.

If you’re wondering, $1.2M a week works out to $7,142.86 an hour for the week.

5) Toronto Raptors signed 3rd-year guard Norman Powell to a 4-year, $42 million contract extension; Powell has started 42 games in two years, averaging 16.7 mpg in his 125 NBA games.

$10.5M a year to a guy who has played 16.7 minutes a game? Wow.

4) Was glad to find a Golden State-Minnesota game on TV live from China in the middle of the night Tuesday—game started at 2am Wednesday morning here in NY. The reason substitutes like Powell make $10.5M a year is that the NBA is wildly popular world-wide, which makes all the teams extremely profitable.

3) Charlotte Hornets’ Nicolas Batum tore ligaments in his elbow and will be out for six weeks or so. Batum averaged 15.1 ppg and 5.9 assists a game last year.

2) Former NBA star Walt Frazier still does Knicks games on MSG TV in New York City; he is very good. The other night, he was talking about how some NBA teams have only 3-4 preseason games this year, due to the shortened preseason.

Back when he played (late 60’s/early 70’s), Frazier said the Knicks played 16 preseason games, and sometimes traveled from City A to City B with their opponent, which had to be odd.

1) Washington Post reported this week that 78% of Americans do not own a gun; 19% of Americans own 50% of our country’s gun, while 3% of our population owns the other 50%.

3% of Americans own 50% of the guns. Think about that.

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

13) Green Bay won six of last seven games vs Dallas, beating Cowboys in playoffs two of last three years; they won 37-36/34-31 in last two visits to Big D. 4:25 game on FOX will be a big one, mainly because Dallas is 2-2 after going 13-3 last season.

12) Miami-Florida State was rescheduled to here after the hurricanes last month; now there is the threat of more rain. Miami scored 83 points in winning its first two I-A games, but they’ve lost their last seven games with Florida State.

11) Bengals got their first win last week; they led by 2 TD’s at halftime in Green Bay the week before, but lost in overtime. Cincy needs to beat the 3-1 Bills here; they’re 6-2-1 in their last nine pre-bye games. Bills have allowed only 13.5 ppg in their 3-1 start.

10) LSU had some players-only meetings this week after their loss to Troy State; players-only meetings are not a good sign. Neither is the AD meeting with the coaches during the week. Florida lost one of its QB’s for the year LW; Gators won their first three SEC games despite nine their players still under suspensions. This should be a very interesting game.

9) Something has to give in Swamp Stadium, with 0-4 Chargers visiting 0-4 Giants. 14 years ago, the Chargers drafted Eli Manning, but Manning’s family didn’t want Eli playing for San Diego, so the Chargers traded him to New Jersey. Otherwise, Ben Roethlisberger would’ve likely become a Giant instead of a Steeler.

8) Utah is 4-0, but three of their next four games are against Stanford, USC, Oregon, so we’ll know everything we need to know about the Utes after that stretch.

7) Jets will be a surprising 3-2 if they can beat the winless Browns in Cleveland this week. Jets ran ball for 256 yards last week. Browns are -6 in turnovers already; they allowed 9.0/8.0 ypa in their last two games.

6) Michigan State is 7-2 in its last nine games with Michigan (9-0 vs spread); Wolverines’ defense has allowed 13.5 ppg, and they’ve played a decent schedule so far. This is first road game for the Spartans, who are 3-1— both teams are really young.

5) Seahawks-Rams is suddenly a big game with playoff implications in the NFC West. If the good guy— I mean, if the Rams win, they’ll be two games ahead of Seattle.

4) It’ll likely be a somber crowd in Las Vegas for the San Diego State-UNLV game, the first big outdoor event in Vegas since the shootings Sunday night. Aztecs are 5-0 and on a serious roll. UNLV is 2-2; this will be a great test for them.

3) Arizona won five of last six games with Philly, winning 40-17 in last visit here two years ago, but Cardinals are only 2-2 this year, with FG wins over Colts/49ers- shaky. Eagles won their last two games by a total of five points- this should be a good game.

2) Washington State won its last two games with Oregon, 52-33/45-38; they’ve covered their last seven games against the Ducks. This is Wazzu’s first true road game, coming off their emotional win over USC last week.

1) Chiefs are the only unbeaten team left in the NFL; short week for them here. KC won/covered their first four games, scoring 14 TD’s on 42 drives- they haven’t turned ball over in their last 3 games. Houston found itself a QB with rookie Watson- they scored 90 points in last two games.

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

13) With Giants playing the Chargers this weekend, Eli Manning faces the team that drafted him; Manning then forced a trade to the Giants by saying he didn’t want to play in San Diego.

Ben Roethlisberger was also drafted in the first round that year: career playoff records of the three QB’s who are linked together in history:

Roethlisberger (last of the 3 taken) 13-7, Manning 8-4, Rivers 4-5.

Some NFL notes looking at how teams do on the first drive of each half:
12) Jaguars/Packers are the only NFL teams who scored on the first drive of all their games; three FG’s and a TD for both teams.

11) Bills-Bears-Colts are the three teams who haven’t scored on the first drive of a half; Falcons-Broncos-Giants are the three teams that haven’t allowed a point on the first drive of a half.

10) On the first drive of their 8 halves this season, Detroit Lions have run 41 plays for 109 yards, 3 points; they’ve been outgained 298-109, outscored 17-3 by their opponents on 1st drives.

9) NFL defines “explosive plays” as running plays longer than 11 yards, passing plays longer than 15 yards. Teams with the most this year: Patriots 48, Rams 43, Cardinals 39, Falcons 38

Teams with fewest explosive plays: Dolphins 13 (in 3 games), Ravens 17, Bengals 23.

8) From Gil Brandt: Since 1990, 28 of 196 NFL teams that started season 1-3 made the playoffs, with 2001 Patriots the only one of those 28 teams to win the Super Bowl.

Elsewhere…….
7) Toronto declined Jose Bautista’s option; he will be 37 in a couple weeks- he hit .203 this year. Will be interesting to see what kind of a contract he gets for next year.

6) According to covers.com, under has hit 55.1% of October NHL games the last four years.

5) 8 guys from last year’s NBA All-Star Game changed teams in the off-season; that seems like a lot.

4) Nevada Wolf Pack has 11 transfers on its roster; five are sitting out this season, six will be playing. Eric Musselman hasn’t recruited many freshmen in his tenure at Reno.

3) Former Purdue hooper Robbie Hummel retired from playing, will be an analyst for the Big Ten Network and ESPN.

2) Willie Reed signed a 3-year, $15M contract with the Miami Heat that was voided because he was represented by an agent who wasn’t certified by the NBA. Now he is on the Clippers, with a one-year deal for the minimum salary. Lot of leeches in the world, when there is money involved.

1) If you had the Chiefs as the last unbeaten team in the NFL, you’re a hell of a lot smarter than I am.

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

13) I’ll apologize up front if the first part of today’s Den is preachy or overly political, but I’m pretty sad about all the shootings in our country recently. This shouldn’t be happening.

The 2nd Amendment was written in 1791, 226 years ago. Bicycles hadn’t been invented yet, so some of the laws passed then are obsolete now.

Our gun laws are outdated; we need to ban automatic weapons and assault rifles and any guns that are only useful in wars. 58 people died for no reason Sunday night; little kids died a few years ago in a school shooting. This isn’t acceptable.

If you’re a hunter, you’re not killing a deer or a rabbit with a freakin’ assault rifle- they are used by people who are involved in a war. They should be illegal in our country.

12) The National Rifle Association (NRA) is really powerful; they’ve got lot of politicians in their pockets, which is why our gun laws are stupid.

At some point when the mourning is over in Las Vegas, our politicians have to do their jobs and put a lid on the horrible weapons that are killing our own citizens. Please?!?!?!?

11) It takes onions to be a policeman or a fireman, seriously. You have to have a lot of guts to to walk into the line of fire when everyone else is running away from it, so credit to the police in Las Vegas who saved a lot of people Sunday night.

No one is perfect; not all cops are perfect, but dammit, they do a hell of a job protecting us and deserve our thanks.  So….thank you!!!

10) Something I learned this week; When you donate blood, it expires after 42 days. So many people donated blood in Las Vegas this week, but six weeks from now, they’re going to need more. Giving blood doesn’t cost us anything and it is badly needed, so we should do that.

On to some of the fun things in life…….
9) Los Angeles Rams are first NFL team since the 1954 Giants to lead the NFL in scoring thru four games, when they finished last in scoring the year before.

8) JD Martinez is the first big leaguer since Johnny Bench in 1970 to hit 45+ homers in a season and not get hit by a pitch that season.

7) Detroit Lions are +9 in turnovers already, with 11 takeaways in four games; thats a lot.

6) San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard will sit out the whole preseason as he recovers from a quad injury. Regular season starts in two weeks.

5) NFL stashes a lot of its less attractive games in Weeks 5-7, during the baseball playoffs. Wth 256 games in an NFL season, they’re all not great games. How they make the schedule is a very interesting subject- their marquee games are in primetime or later on in the season.

4) Kermit Davis is the basketball coach at Middle Tennessee State, a very good mid-major team but not like they’re Gonzaga or VCU. Coach Davis makes $750,000 a year— that surprised me. MTSU must have some very well-heeled boosters who love basketball.

3) I enjoyed watching the Miami Marlins this season; with Stanton-Ozuna-Urena on my fantasy team, I watched just about all their games. Not the best team, but they seemed like a bunch of good guys who genuinely like each other and enjoyed playing ball together. Was fun to see.

2) One thing about baseball on TV; if you want to learn about your team, watch the first game of a series, with the OTHER TEAM’s ANNOUNCERS. TV/radio people talk before each series, to clue each other in on their teams, so all the broadcasts are more informed.

If Team B’s announcers say something that is critical of a player on Team A, chances are 95% it came from one of Team A’s announcers. Team B’s TV guys are slow to criticize the home team, but not so much when it comes to criticizing Team A and as a viewer, you can learn that way.

1) Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry both signed 5-year, $205M contracts; with an 82-game regular season, that means those two are both making $500,000 a game!!!!

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

13) Atlanta Braves’ general manager John Coppolella, who built baseball’s top-rated farm system, has quit amid an investigation into whether the Braves were weasels with the international signing rules.

Coppolella had the job for two years; he is the third executive to get into trouble in recent years. GM in San Diego has been suspended twice for his refusal to play by the rules. Someone in St Louis went to prison for four years in a corporate hacking scandal– he hacked the Astros’ computer system to gain information on the amateur draft. Oy.

12) Oakland Raiders’ QB Derek Carr is out 2-6 weeks with a broken bone in his back. Backup QB EJ Manuel lost his last five NFL starts- his last win as an NFL starter was in 2014.

11) Howard Schultz used to be the CEO of Starbucks and also owned the Seattle Sonics of the NBA; he is really rich. Schultz went to college at Northern Michigan, where he was the backup QB of the football team.

Starting QB of that team? Former 49ers/Lions’ coach Steve Mariucci, who now works on the NFL Network.

10) Chicago Bears are starting rookie QB Mitch Trubisky Monday night against Minnesota; he will become the 4th rookie QB who was drafted in the first round to make his debut on Monday Night Football. The first three:

1988— Jim Harbaugh
2006— Philip Rivers
2008— Aaron Rodgers

9) Over their first four games, Green Bay has started three different left tackles, three different right tackles, yet they’re 3-1. Very unusual turnover at that position, even more unusual for a team with that kind of turnover to be 3-1.

8) If Louisville fires its athletic director Tom Jurich, a clause kicks in for Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino, which could make it easier for him to leave the school.

Petrino’s buyout to leave Louisville gets cut in half if Jurich is no longer the AD. Cardinals will probably be hiring a new basketball coach next spring; they don’t want to be hiring a new football coach, too.

7) Pablo Sandoval hit a walk-off homer for the Giants Sunday; that win cost the Giants’ the #1 pick in next June’s draft. Detroit Tigers get it, instead.

6) Good time to be the agent for Twins’ manager Paul Molitor; he doesn’t have a contract for 2018. Cha-ching!$!$!$!$!

No team had ever made the playoffs after losing 97+ games the year before; Minnesota lost 103 games last season. Molitor is going to get a nice contract this winter.

5) In 2015, Miami Marlins thought so highly of pitching development expert Jim Benedict that they traded right-handed pitcher Trevor Williams to Pittsburgh for him; now Marlins’ new CEO Derek Jeter has already fired Benedict, while Williams is 7-9, 4.07 in 25 starts for the Pirates this year.

4) Glenn Johnson has been the PA guy for Washington State football for 38 years; he is a professor at the school. He is also the 4-term mayor of Pullman, Washington. Going to take several people to replace him when he decides to retire.

3) Fantasy baseball is interesting/weird; last winter, I had to cut a guy to get my roster down from 26 to 25 players, which we do every winter.

The guy I cut was Mark Reynolds, who wasn’t expected to start for the Colorado Rockies this year— this wasn’t a difficult decision, there was a thought he would wind up on a different team.

Because of injuries to Ian Desmond/David Dahl, Reynolds made the ballclub in the spring and wound up playing first base the whole year, hitting 30 homers with 97 RBI. Whoops.

2) Paradise Jam college basketball tournament will be moved from the Virgin Islands to the campus of Liberty U in Lynchburg, VA this fall, because of the hurricane damage in the Virgin Islands.

1) If you read this space a lot, you know I go on vacation in Las Vegas a few times a year; I love it there. Excellent place to visit, lot of great people, always fun stuff to do.

Was so sad Sunday night to see the carnage after a 64-year old guy lost his mind and started firing on an outdoor concert from the 32nd floor in the Mandalay Bay hotel, a place I’ve stayed- a terrific place, a very fun place.

Life is short; hug your loved ones and try to enjoy every day.

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

Saints 20, Dolphins 0— Miami has played three games; in LA, New Jersey and London; they have scored 2 TD’s on 29 drives- difficult to assess how much of this is ineptitude and how much of it is the distractions they’ve had so far, combined with the hurricane messing up life in south Florida. But they got shut out BY THE SAINTS!!!, a huge red flag. I honestly think backup QB Matt Moore is better than Jay Cutler.

Panthers 33, Patriots 30— Carolina had only 3 TD’s on 28 drives coming in; they had four TD’s on nine drives in this upset win. NE allowed 42-20-33-33 points in first four games, and three of those were at home, Under Rivera, Panthers are 20-9-1 vs spread as a road underdog. Since 2010, over is 39-20 in Patriot home games.

Rams 35, Cowboys 30—Dallas is now 0-8 in game the week after their last 8 Monday night games. LA scored 142 points in its first four games (12 TD’s, 14 FGAs on 41 drives); they’ve averaged 10.0/8.6/10.4/6.8 yards/pass attempt. Rams’ improvement on offense over last year is astounding- they also had a 13-yard edge in field position. Greg Zuerlein had seven FG’s for the 3-1, first-place Rams.

Lions 14, Vikings 7— Detroit has now won three of last four visits here; Lions’ only TD drive was 29 yards. Minnesota lost three fumbles (-3 in TO’s), also lost rookie RB Cook with a torn ACL. Vikings scored 9-7 points in their losses, 29-34 in their wins.

A bettor at the Mirage in Las Vegas made a six-figure first half wager on the Broncos; when that won, he rolled it over on the Seahawks -12 in the Sunday night game. I’m writing this during the 2nd half of the 4:00 games, so we’ll see how he makes out later on tonite.

Texans 57, Titans 14—Deshaun Watson was the 12th player taken in last spring’s draft; the Jets need a good young QB- they passed on him. Think a lot of teams would like a do-over on that draft.

NFL teams that turn the ball over five times almost never win. Titans had turned ball over once in their first three games, but were -4 in turnovers in this game. Houston has now scored 90 points in its last two games, both against good teams, and with a rookie QB.

Jets 23, Jaguars 20 OT— This was like old-time football; rushing yardage was 256-175, Jets, who scored two TD’s, on runs of 75-69 yards. Jaguars completed only 15-35 passes, averaged 3.8 yards per pass attempt, which is poor. Under Bowles, New York is 11-7 vs spread at home. Total yardage in this game was 471-311, Jets, but Jax did score a defensive TD.

Under is 11-9 so far this week, as far as individual team over/unders.

Bengals 31, Browns 7— Bengals have now beaten Cleveland six times in row, winning last three visits to Lake Erie, by 34-13-24 points. Under is 18-8 in Cincy’s last 26 road games. Cleveland is 3-11-1 vs spread in last 15 games as a home underdog; they missed a 48-yard FG when game was scoreless and things got worse from there- they averaged 3.9 ypa.

Steelers 26, Ravens 9— Ravens were +7 in TO’s in winning their first two games; they’ve been outscored 70-16 in two games since then. Under is 17-9 in their last 26 home games. Steelers ran ball for 173 yards here, after running it for only 207 yards in their first 3 games (69 ypg). Under is 20-7 in Pitt’s last 27 road games. Baltimore has only six plays of 20+ yards all season, 2nd-least in league.

Bills 23, Falcons 17— Key play of this game was a “fumble” that really looked like Ryan threw the ball as he was hit, but it was ruled a fumble/TD for the Bills. Buffalo has allowed only 13.5 ppg in its 3-1 start, giving up four TD’s on 42 drives; holding Falcons to 17 points on carpet is impressive. Atlanta is just 4-11 vs spread as a home favorite under Quinn. Six of the eight 1:00 games Sunday were won SU by the underdog.

Buccaneers 25, Giants 23— Giants are 0-4, running ball 64 times for 193 yards, scoring 7 TD’s on 41 drives- their last two losses were by total of 5 points. Big Blue has been outscored 53-17 in first half of games; they have 43-42 edge in 2nd half. 8 for 17 on 3rd down was much better than 11-34 in first three games. 0-4 Chargers visit Swamp Stadium next week. Bucs are 3-9 vs spread in last 12 games as a home favorite.

Eagles 26, Chargers 24— Philly ran ball for 214 yards, killed off last 6:44 of game by running ball for four first downs after Chargers closed to within 26-24. Philly is 3-1 despite playing only one home game so far; they were 9-16 on 3rd down, are 30-59 on 3rd down for season- very good. Chargers are 0-4 with three losses by 3 or less points; they visit 0-4 Giants next week.

Cardinals 18, 49ers 15 (OT)— There were no TD’s in game until Palmer hit Fitzgerald with 0:32 left in OT to end things. Each team had ball only once in 10:00 OT; 49ers ate up 7:36 and kicked their 5th FG of game to take 15-12 lead, but Arizona drove 75 yards in seven plays for the win. 49ers haven’t scored a TD in three of their four games; they scored 39 points in the other game, a 41-39 loss to the Rams.

Broncos 16, Raiders 10— There were ugly rumors on the Interweb over the weekend that the Raider O-line wasn’t happy that Derek Carr wouldn’t kneel for national anthem with his teammates last Monday night in Washington, so they tanked couple of plays so he would get clocked and “learn a lesson”. Hopefully those rumors aren’t true.

Carr hurt his back Sunday in Denver, was replaced by EJ Manuel. If he can’t play anymore, the Raiders’ season is screwed.

Broncos are 10-2 in last 12 series games; Oakland lost five of last six visits to Denver.

Seahawks 46, Colts 18—Game was tied in 3rd quarter, before Seahawks broke it open by scoring three TD’s in a 5:56 span- their defense scored two TD’s in the game. Seattle is 27-16 vs spread as a home favorite under Carroll; they’re 9-3 in last 12 games when laying double digits. Colts’ offense has allowed four defensive TD’s in two road games, losing 46-9/46-18.

In the second half, Seahawks ran 40 plays for 337 yards, scored four TD’s. In one half.

As for the guy in Las Vegas who bet six figures on Denver in the first half today, then doubled down on Seattle in this game, I’m guessing it is fun to be hanging out with him tonight.

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.