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Dodgers (111 wins), Braves (101), Mets (101), Cards (93) out...
Add-on posted Wed. a.m.
--What a disjointed series…Cleveland and New York. Game 1 was last Tuesday. Stupidly, MLB didn’t schedule a game Wed. Thursday was rained out. Game 2 Friday. Games 3 and 4 were in Cleveland, Sat. and Sun., and then Game 5, back in New York, was rained out Monday.
But going back to Sunday, Gerrit Cole came through again for New York, his second straight solid performance, while Harrison Bader’s third home run helped sealed a 4-2 win, the Yankees staving off elimination.
Cole went 6 1/3, one run, in Game 1, which the Yanks won 4-1, and then in Game 4, Cole went 7 strong, 2 runs, and 110 pitches. That’s why they paid him the big bucks.
Cole was 13-8, 3.50, in the regular season, far from Cy Young material, but he threw 200 innings, 33 starts, and now he’s gotten the job done in the postseason.
But Monday night was a disaster in terms of the weather and the poor Yankees fans who came out, paid good money just for parking and any concessions, only to see the game postponed after a brutal 2 ½-hour rain delay.
The rain had passed through my area about 7:30 and our weather in most patterns is 30 minutes ahead, so I, like officials in New York, thought the game would be starting 8:30 or so, but then the system slowed down and it kept raining.
The league was in constant contact with the Yankees and Guardians and no one is really at fault, it was just a very unfortunate situation for the fans.
The good thing for the Yanks is that instead of a having a ‘bullpen’ day Monday, they could start Nestor Cortes in Game 5.
And Cortes gave his team five solid innings, 1 run, while Giancarlo Stanton hit a 3-run homer in the bottom of the first, Aaron Judge homered in the second, and the Yanks cruised, 5-1, though they lost left fielder Aaron Hicks for the remainder of the postseason with a knee injury, suffered in a collision with shortstop Oswaldo Cabrera.
So tonight, after a rather quick turnaround, in Game 1 of the ALCS, it’s Jameson Taillon vs. Justin Verlander down in Houston.
--Out in San Diego, the Padres faithful had virtually nothing to cheer for as the Phillies’ Zack Wheeler was masterful, seven innings, one hit, one walk, just 83 pitches, and the Phils shutout the Padres 2-0.
San Diego’s Yu Darvish was terrific, too, over seven innings but he gave up home runs to Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber.
Schwarber’s home run was historic, 488 feet, the longest ever at Petco Park, while Harper’s was his third in the last three postseason games, ninth of his career in 26.
Seranthony Dominguez and Jose Alvarado closed out the one-hitter for Wheeler and Co., though Alvarado got out of trouble in the ninth after a walk and error by Alec Bohm, getting Manny Machado to fly out to right and striking out Josh Bell to end the game.
--NFL owners are holding their fall league meeting in New York and following an investigation and an inquiry by the House Oversight Committee over allegations of a toxic workplace at the Washington Commanders organization, Colts owner Jim Irsay said there is “merit” to remove Daniel Snyder as the owner of the team.
“We have to look at all the evidence and we have to be thorough in going forward. But I think it’s something that has to be given serious consideration.”
A spokesman for the Commanders said Snyder would not voluntarily sell the franchise.
As I noted last time, according to ESPN, Snyder has collected dirt on fellow owners and league executives and would potentially publicly expose them if he faced the pressure of removal.
Snyder penned a letter to the owners denying the ESPN report.
According to league policy, there would need to be 24 votes from the other owners to approve Snyder’s removal through a sale of the team.
--The Arizona Cardinals traded for malcontent wide receiver Robbie Anderson, a day after he was kicked out of the game by the Panthers.
Arizona lost Marquise Brown for the season Sunday with a foot injury. He had 43 receptions for 485 yards and three touchdowns in the first six games of the season after being acquired in the offseason from Baltimore. The Panthers will receive late 2024 and 2025 draft picks.
Anderson, who is immensely talented but just a bad guy, had four frustrating seasons with the Jets (moments of stardom overshadowed by mediocrity) before signing with Carolina.
Sunday, Anderson got into a shouting match with the receivers coach, Joe Dailey, who told him to get off the field.
“No one is bigger than the team,” interim coach Steve Wilks said after a 24-10 loss to the Rams in his first game replacing Matt Rhule, who was fired the previous Monday.
Anderson said, “I was honestly confused. I wanted to be in the game.”
But this is a guy who it’s never his fault.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals are just 2-4.
All about 14 Syracuse at 5 Clemson (Noon, ABC) and 9 UCLA at 10 Oregon (3:30 p.m., FOX).
Also 17 Kansas State at 8 TCU and 24 Mississippi State at 6 Alabama.
7 Ole Miss can’t slip up at LSU. Ditto Wake Forest, which hosts Boston College, the Ferraro’s of Westfield, N.J., Lunch Bowl. B.C. alum Steve D. said our D-line has to yell “One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, Three Mississippi” before rushing their passer. I had to break it to him that Wake Coach Dave Clawson wasn’t going for that rule change.
--Just three events to go in the Champions Tour season and we had a special moment last Sunday at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary, N.C., I didn’t have a chance to report on.
At the SAS Championship, Fred Couples won the event running away, by six shots over Steven Alker and eight over Jerry Kelly.
What makes it stunning is Couples turned 63 earlier in the month and hadn’t won on the senior circuit since 2017.
What makes it even more stunning is that in winning his 14th career Champions Tour event, Couples shot 60 in the final round.
60! The dude had 12 birdies in his final 14 holes in posting his career-best 18-hole score. And to think he started the tournament off with a double-bogey 6 on his first hole.
Talk about coming out of nowhere, Couples had just one top-10 finish in his seven previous Champions starts in 2022.
“Today was just an unreal day,” said Couples, who became the third oldest player ever to win on the Champions Tour behind Bernhard Langer and Scott Hoch.
Freddie said, “I think it’s the best round I’ve ever played.”
And he did it with a replacement caddie, Griffin Flesch, son of fellow PGA Tour Champions player Steve Flesch. His regular caddie, Mark Chaney, was taking care of his mother back home. So Couples texted Griffin: “I said just get to Raleigh on Tuesday and we’ll have a good time, and we did.”
But with the three-event Charles Schwab Cup playoffs beginning this week, Couples won’t be part of it. He said he knows his body can only handle so much golf.
“My game can come and go. I’m done for the year.”
--Multiple reports have the four new “elevated” tournaments for the 2022-23 season on the PGA Tour as being the WM Phoenix Open, the RBC Heritage, Wells Fargo Championship and the Travelers Championship, making 13 events so elevated with purses of at least $20 million for all but one of them (the Sentry Tournament of Champions purse is $15 million) and guaranteed appearances by the game’s top players.
NCAA Men’s Soccer Rankings (Coaches Poll…thru Sunday)
25. Wake Forest
What happened to the Deacs? In two weeks, they fell from No. 1 to 25 after losses to Duke, Syracuse and William & Mary.
--The new NBA season started last night, Tuesday.
Boston beat Philadelphia 126-117, as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown had 35 points apiece, while Golden State defeated the Lakers 123-109.
Sports Illustrated has the Warriors over the Bucks in the finals. I just hope the Knicks are entertaining.
But in the current issue of SI, Michael Rosenberg had an outstanding piece on the power of the stars and their influence in the direction of a franchise.
“The difference between being the general manager of an NBA franchise and owning a fantasy team is you actually control your fantasy team. When GMs begin their careers, they envision themselves identifying talent in the draft, swinging smart trades and recognizing underappreciated value in free agency. By the time they settle into the role, the savvy ones realize that stuff is just a small fraction of the job. If they don’t realize it, they risk having conversations like this:
“ ‘I am telling you to….’
“ ‘Oh, O.K. then.’
“The modern-day GM is part scout, part concierge. They must deal with players who think they’re not playing enough – or, these days, who think they’re playing too much. They must settle disputes among teammates and satisfy agents who push for trades. They have to decide which players are so unhappy that they need to go, and which ones are only sort of unhappy and can stick around. They have to manage crises when players say something offensive and support the causes that their players champion.”
And it’s just unending. Witness Kyrie Irving and his refusal to get the Covid vaccine, which killed the Nets last season.
--The Ballon d’Or, which is awarded to the best footballer in the world, was handed out to Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, his first, and the second oldest player to win the award at age 34.
The Frenchman was rewarded for a magical 2021/22 season in which his team won both Spain’s La Liga and the UEFA Champions League and he finished as the top scorer in both competitions. He also won the UEFA Nations League with France.
Overall, he totaled 44 goals for Real Madrid and another six for France in 2021/22.
In the wake of Lionel Messi’s controversial Ballon d’Or victory in 2021, for the first time, players were judged on the European club season (August to July) and not based on the calendar year. Also, career achievements were no longer taken into consideration.
Sadio Mane (Liverpool and Senegal) was second in the voting, with Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne third.
--Following Sunday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, won by Joey Logano, his 30th career win as he punches his ticket into the finale in three weeks, NASCAR suspended Bubba Wallace for the next race after he spun reigning champion Kyle Larson and then confronted him afterward.
Wallace is the first Cup Series driver to be suspended for an on-track incident since 2015.
Bubba had led 29 laps in a car he believed capable of winning and reacted to a move by Larson by seeming to deliberately hook Larson’s car down to the apron in retaliation, but in the process sent Larson spinning into the path of Christopher Bell, a title contender who is part of the Toyota camp with Wallace.
That ended Bell’s race and dropped him to last in the eight-driver playoff standings.
Wallace then climbed from his car and confronted the much smaller Larson, shoving him multiple times.
Wallace issued an apology on social media Monday, but bad move by Bubba.
--The Breeders’ Cup Classic is coming up, Nov. 5, and Johnny Mac, our resident railbird, via Myrtle Beach (“Guys, don’t forget to tip your barmaids, they work hard too…”), sent me a clip of the amazing Flightline in the Grade 1 TVG Pacific Classic at Del Mar and let’s just say, there is your favorite…a 4-year-old with only five lifetime starts, but all dominating wins.
Another favorite will be Life Is Good.
Next Bar Chat Sunday p.m.
Add-on up top by noon, Wed.
[Posted early Sun p.m. prior to late sports action.]
Ole Miss Football Quiz: The Rebels finished AP final No. 2 in both 1959-60, and No. 3 in 1962. 1) Who was the coach of those teams? 2) Who is Ole Miss’ all-time leading rusher (1997-2000)? 3) Who is the all-time leader in passing yards? 4) Who is the leader in receiving yards (2016-18)? Answers below.
--Going back to last Tuesday, the Yankees won their ALDS opener against the Guardians at the Stadium, 4-1, New York only getting five hits, but home runs from Anthony Rizzo and Harrison Bader, while Gerrit Cole went 6 1/3 strong. Aaron Judge, though, was 0-for-3, 3 strikeouts and a walk.
Then Thursday’s Game 2 was rained out, so it was three days before the two teams hooked up again in New York and the Guardians prevailed, 4-2 in 10 innings.
Jose Ramirez led off the tenth with a terrific hustling bloop double between the shortstop and left fielder, and when Josh Donaldson threw it away, trying to get Ramirez at second, Ramirez hustled on to third. A bloop by Gonzalez and a hard-hit double by Josh Naylor* made it 4-2, Cleveland, and that’s how it ended up as Guardian closer Emmanuel Clase went the final 2 1/3.
*Harrison Bader, the ‘Gold Glove’ centerfielder, grossly misplayed the ball.
As for Aaron Judge, he was 0-for-5 with four strikeouts, making it seven in 8 at-bats.
Judge heard some boos from the Yankee faithful and who can blame them. Most of them paid a boatload of money to be there and Judge had sucked wind.
But some of the writers were like, ‘I can’t believe Yankees fans boo Aaron Judge after the year he just had…blah blah blah… Don’t be surprised if he chooses to play elsewhere in 2023…’
Oh puh-leeze. The Yanks are going to offer Judge more money than they did last spring, and Judge is concerned with his legacy, and he’d lose that going to the Giants (the presumed big bidder at this point).
But heading to Game 3 Saturday night in Cleveland, could Judge finally get his act together? Yes, after striking out his first plate appearance against Triston McKenzie, making it eight in 9 ABs, Judge unloaded a 2-run bomb off the Guardians’ hurler, tying the game at 2-2, and then the Yanks got home runs from Oswaldo Cabrera and Harrison Bader for a 5-3 lead after seven.
And that’s where it stood heading to the bottom of the ninth, when, shades of Game 2, Cleveland got two bloop hits, a solid single to left from Amed Rosario, an infield bloop hit from Jose Ramirez, and then a game-winning shot up the middle from Oscar Gonzalez, the Indians with five hits in the inning, all singles, for the spectacular come-from-behind 6-5 victory to put them up 2-1 in the series.
The last three hits were off Yankee relieve Clarke Schmidt, not closer Clay Holmes, and manager Aaron Boone is hearing it from fans today.
Yes, Holmes had struggled down the stretch of the regular season after a spectacular first four months, and he had a shoulder issue, but he was the best the Yankees had and he had thrown only 16 pitches the day before.
What Boone has to answer for is why Holmes never even got up the whole game. Boone said he didn’t want to use him a second straight day and third time in four after the late-season shoulder strain.
Holmes said he never conveyed that he was not available and “woke up [Saturday] prepared to pitch” and “I was ready to go and pitch if needed.”
Instead of Holmes potentially closing things out, the Yanks face elimination Sunday night, Gerrit Cole needing to be the savior to send the series back to New York for a Game 5.
You also have the issue of the Yankees offense…five hits last night, three of them homers. Cleveland had 15 hits…13 singles, 2 doubles.
The Yanks have 5, 6, 5 hits in their three games. Aaron Judge is 1-for-12.
The winner of this series will be heading to Houston for the ALCS, the Astros completing a 3-game sweep of the Mariners Saturday in Seattle, a 1-0 win in 18 innings, matching the longest game in playoff history, and at 6 hours, 22 minutes the third-longest in time.
Houston won it in the top of the 18th on a Jeremy Pena homer off Penn Murfee, while Houston’s Luis Garcia, a 15-game winner in the regular season, thew the last five innings in relief.
--Going back to Wednesday night in Los Angeles, the Padres evened their series at 1-1 with a 5-3 victory. The score was tied 3-3 after three innings as both starters, Yu Darvish for the Padres and Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers, went just five, allowing three runs each, Darvish giving up solo home runs to Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy and Trea Turner.
But then the Padres’ bullpen shut the Dodgers down the rest of the way, while Jake Cronenworth homered off Blake Treinen in the eighth to secure a 5-3 victory.
So the series headed to San Diego and Petco Park and, kind of out of nowhere, the Padres had a 2-1 series lead after Blake Snell and the pen scattered six Dodgers hit, San Diego winning Game 3, 2-1. Josh Hader has secured the two wins for the Pads with saves in the ninth, as hoped for back when they acquired him from Milwaukee at the trade deadline.
Trent Grisham, who hit .184 in the regular season, though with 17 home runs, blasted his third of the postseason in six games for what proved to be the winning run in the fourth off Andrew Heaney.
San Diego, which finished 22 games behind L.A. in the NL West during the season, is attempting to become the first team since the 1906 White Sox to win a postseason series against an opponent who won at least 22 more games in the regular season.
The Padres, who lost 14 of 19 to the Dodgers during the season, are also attempting to become the first team since the 1988 Dodgers against the Mets in the NLCS to have a winning percentage of .263 or lower against a single opponent and win a postseason series against them. [That 1988 series still haunts Mets fans, and their players, to this day.]
And late Saturday night, the Padres did it!!! Shocked the Dodgers, again, 5-3, to take the series 3-1.
San Diego was trailing 3-0 heading to the bottom of the seventh when they erupted for five runs against the Dodgers’ pen, with Josh Hader closing it out for a third straight game by striking out the side in the ninth.
Earlier, Joe Musgrove, just as he had done in the deciding game against the Mets last Sunday night, was clutch in giving up two runs over six innings against L.A.
As Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times wrote:
“The disaster unfolded in slow motion, a train wreck of an inning, of a playoff series, of a once-promising and historic 2022 season.
“The Dodgers entered the bottom of the seventh Saturday night leading the San Diego Padres by three runs.
“They ended the frame trailing by two, a combination of bad execution, puzzling decision-making and relentless Padres hitting paving the way for a 5-3 loss that eliminated the Dodgers from the playoffs.
“In their worst nightmares, they couldn’t have concocted a more harrowing scene.
“ ‘The shock factor is very high,’ manager Dave Roberts said. ‘Disappointment very high. It’s crushing.’….
“This wasn’t supposed to happen to this year’s Dodgers team.
“Not after they won a franchise-record 111 games, giving them the postseason’s top overall seed.
“Not after they talked about this being their most talented lineup, their deepest bullpen, their most complete team of the last 10 years.
“Especially not after Roberts brashly guaranteed a World Series title before the start of the season, when he said on a radio show that the Dodgers would be champions so long as ‘we play a full season and there is a postseason.’
“A full season will be completed. But the Dodgers fell woefully short of hanging around until the end.”
--So now San Diego will host the Philadelphia Phillies in Games 1 and 2 of an all-wild card NLCS on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. The Phillies beat the Braves 8-3 Saturday to win their NLDS in four games, including 9-1 in Game 3.
The Phillies are hitting with power, they have the ultimate leader in Bryce Harper, three solid starters, and there’s no reason why Rob Thomson’s boys can’t continue their march into the World Series.
As for Atlanta’s cocky Spencer Strider, it was great to see the Phils light him up in Game 3.
--Hall of Fame reliever Bruce Sutter passed away at the age of 69 the other day. He was recently diagnosed with cancer and in hospice.
Sutter was a six-time All-Star, leading the N.L. in saves five times with the Cubs and Cardinals, while winning the Cy Young Award in 1979 for Chicago. Sutter also finished in the top five in the CYA vote three other times. He posted 300 saves in a 12-year career.
And in an era when closers routinely got more than three outs, Sutter pitched more than 100 innings in a season five times. A good example of this was when he finished off Game 7 of the 1982 World Series for the Cardinals, tossing two perfect innings.
Sutter was the fourth reliever to be elected to the Hall, after Hoyt Wilhelm, Rollie Fingers and Dennis Eckersley. Mariano Rivera, Goose Gossage, Lee Smith and Trevor Hoffman have since joined the list.
College Football Review
[Comments written prior to release of latest AP Poll….]
There was no doubt 3 Alabama at 6 Tennessee was going to be a game for the ages. Bryce Young was back for the Tide, and the Vols’ Hendon Hooker was playing like a true Heisman Trophy candidate himself.
It didn’t hurt Tennessee’s chances that Alabama’s defense has been suspect for years and there would be 102,000 screaming fans at Neyland Stadium.
And so the game lived up to the hype, and then some, and we have one helluva race to see who qualifies for the College Football Playoffs.
Tennessee prevailed 52-49 on a Chase McGrath, ‘dying quail’ field goal of 40 yards as time expired; four minutes earlier, Hooker having led the Vols down the field for the tying touchdown at 49-49 with his fifth touchdown pass to receiver Jalin Hyatt (6-207-5…the five a school record).
Bama suffered from all manner of mistakes, and a critical late missed field goal by Will Reichard, though Bryce Young put himself back in the Heisman hunt after missing most of two games with a spectacular 35/52, 455, 2-0 performance.
But Hooker (21/30, 385, 5-1; 56 yards rushing) and his teammates were up to the task, coach Josh Heupel, in just his second season, having established himself forever in Tennessee lore.
Tennessee is 6-0, Bama falls to 6-1.
With No. 1 Georgia’s 55-0 demolition of Vanderbilt (3-4), and 9 Ole Miss (7-0) taking care of business in beating Auburn (3-4) 48-34, the Rebels rushing for 448 yards (three different runners with 100), we have the potential for two more titanic games.
For the SEC East, Tennessee at Georgia, Nov. 5.
For the SEC West, Bama at Ole Miss, Nov. 12.
With the SEC getting two of the four CFP bids, that leaves Ohio State, Michigan, and Clemson, for today…but 4 Clemson (7-0), 34-28 winners at Florida State (4-3), in a game that was 34-14 heading to the fourth quarter, takes on surprising 18 Syracuse (6-0) in Death Valley next week, the Orange winning their first six for just the third time since 1935.
Syracuse beat 15 North Carolina State (5-2) 24-9, but the Wolfpack announced before the game that preseason Conference Player of the Year, quarterback Devin Leary, was lost for the season due to a torn pectoral muscle. [A big potential break for Wake Forest down the road.]
As for the Big Ten, 5 Michigan (7-0) rolled over 10 Penn State (5-1) 41-17, in a game that was only 16-14 at the half, as the Wolverines superb running back Blake Corum had 166 yards on 28 carries and two touchdowns, while running mate Donovan Edwards had a career game, 16-173-2. Just like the old days…kind of refreshing.
2 Ohio State was idle. [As was 11 UCLA, 12 Oregon and 14 Wake Forest.]
As for other biggies, the Pac-12 suffered a big loss in terms of its CFP hopes, which had been looking up. 7 USC (6-1) lost at 20 Utah (5-2) 43-42 as the Utes’ star quarterback Cameron Rising converted on a two-point play at the end, Rising outshining the Trojans’ Caleb Williams in passing for 415 yards and rushing for 60 more, with three scores on the ground, coupled with two touchdown passes.
[The fourth quarter was epic: Utah went 79 yards in 10 plays for a 35-35 tie; Caleb Williams drove USC 90 yards in 11 plays to make it 42-35, and then Rising led the Utes 75 yards in 15 plays, capped by the two-point conversion.]
Had USC run the table until its biggie with UCLA down the road, and the Bruins had stayed undefeated, the winner of that one would have had a legitimate claim to a playoff berth…but no longer.
Meanwhile, 13 TCU is going to crack the top ten (most likely) with its huge 43-40 double overtime win over 8 Oklahoma State (5-1). The Cowboys were up 30-16 after three until the Horned Frogs roared back.
22 Kentucky (5-2) got its act back together, helped by the return of quarterback Will Levis in winning a biggie against 16 Mississippi State (5-2), the Wildcats’ defense holding social commentator Will Rogers to just 203 yards through the air. Kentucky also received 196 yards rushing from Chris Rodriguez.
The bloom is officially off the Kansas story, the Jayhawks falling to 5-2 as Oklahoma (4-3) snapped its shocking three-game losing streak, 52-42 in Norman, Dillon Gabriel throwing for 403 yards.
22 Texas (5-2) will move up a few more after beating Iowa State (3-4) 24-21.
And 24 Illinois (6-1) continued its Cinderella story as quarterback Tommy DeVito (formerly of Syracuse, via the Four Seasons), was a cool 25/32, 252, 1-0, for the Fighting Illini in a 26-14 win over Minnesota (4-2). The Illinois defense held the Golden Gophers to just 6 of 18 passing, 38 yards, and three interceptions. Eegads, that blows.
So much for 25 James Madison and its AP ranking, now 5-1 after a 45-38 loss at Georgia Southern (4-3), the Dukes from Harrisonburg committing four turnovers despite outgaining the Eagles 675-590.
North Carolina (6-1) should be ranked after a 38-35 win over Duke (4-3) on a late Drake Maye-led drive.
Johnny Mac is licking his wounds as his Coastal Carolina Chants lost their first, now 6-1, 49-21 to Old Dominion (3-3).
Stanford (2-4) officially put a fork in Notre Dame (3-3), 16-14 in South Bend.
I do have to note that in FCS (I-AA) play yesterday, in a first-ever meeting between North Dakota State (5-2) and South Dakota State (6-1) in which the teams were ranked 1-2, the Jackrabbits rallied back from down 21-7 midway through the second quarter before 18,603 in the Fargodome (Fargo, N.D.) for the 23-21 win over the Bison.
NDSU is 45-2 in their last 47 home games, and both of the losses have come to SDSU within the last calendar year.
[North Dakota State lost earlier this year to Arizona, 31-28, while South Dakota’s lone loss on the season was to Iowa, 7-3.]
Meanwhile, sticking in the FCS, Pete M.’s Colgate Red Raiders are 1-5 after falling to Army (2-4) 42-17, while the Fordham Rams are 6-1 after a 45-14 win over winless Stony Brook. Good seats available for the Ram Express. Helps to be a Jesuit.
And now…the new AP Poll!
1. Georgia (31) 7-0
2. Ohio State (17) 6-0
3. Tennessee (15) 6-0
4. Michigan 7-0
5. Clemson 7-0
6. Alabama 6-1
7. Ole Miss 7-0
8. TCU 6-0…up 5
9. UCLA 6-0
10. Oregon 5-1
11. Oklahoma State 5-1
12. USC 6-1
13. Wake Forest 5-1
14. Syracuse 6-0
15. Utah 5-2
16. Penn State 5-1
17. Kansas State 5-1
18. Illinois 6-1…good for them
19. Kentucky 5-2
20. Texas 5-2
21. Cincinnati 5-1
22. North Carolina 6-1…deserved
23. N.C. State 5-2
24. Mississippi State 5-2
25. Tulane 6-1…huh…first ranking since 1998! Gumbo’s on me….
Next Saturday, it’s all about Syracuse at Clemson, UCLA at Oregon…and a few potential ‘letdown’ games we’ll get into in the Add-on….
--New York football fans are beyond giddy tonight. [Huge party at global HQ of StocksandNews.] The Giants beat the Ravens (3-3) at MetLife Stadium, 24-20, to get to 5-1, as Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley led the way, and Wink Martindale’s defense contained Lamar Jackson when they needed to.
And like the Giants, the Jets’ players believe in themselves and their coaching staff, a team-defining 27-10 win at Lambeau Field over Aaron Rodgers and the Packers (3-3) to move to 4-2.
This one was 3-3 at the half, the Jets with only 80 yards of offense, but New York has proved to be a second half team and the defense held Rodgers to a mediocre 26/41, 246, 1-0, 88.1 line, while Zach Wilson passed for only 110 yards, but he was under control, and rookie Breece Hall rumbled for 116 yards and a touchdown on the ground
The Jets’ special teams also blocked a punt for a touchdown and earlier blocked a field goal attempt and it was just a total team effort, the Jets’ ‘D’ outstanding.
In other games…the Steelers (2-4) shocked the Bucs (3-3) 20-18, Tom Brady wishing he hadn’t come back for another reason and instead was in the broadcast booth, as his life is a freakin’ mess, Gisele not making things any easier for the man who supposedly had the world by the balls. Yup, he’s got gobs of money, but he ain’t sleepin’ well these days, that’s for sure.
Freakin’ Minnesota is 5-1 after a 24-16 win at Miami (3-3). The Vikings 5-1?! Time to whip out the timeless Kirk Douglas classic of the same name.
Joe Burrow and the Bengals got a needed win in New Orleans, 30-26, to get back to .500, 3-3, as Burrow was a cool 28/37, 300, 3-0, 126.0, plus a TD on the ground.
The Patriots (3-3) behind Bailey Zappe (24/34, 309, 2-0, 118.4) whipped/embarrassed the Browns (2-4) on the road, 38-15.
Matt Ryan threw it 58 times, completing 42 for 389 yards and three touchdowns as the Colts (3-2-1) beat the Jaguars (2-4), despite Trevor Lawrence going 20/22, 163, 1-0, 112.7, and Jacksonville rushing for 243 yards. As Tony Soprano would have said of the Jags, ‘Whaddya gonna do?’
Marcus Mariota led the Falcons (3-3) to a 28-14 win over the 49ers (2-4), Mariota an economical 13/14, 129, 2-0, 144.6, plus 50 yards and a TD on six carries. Always liked this guy. Bay Area fans always have the Warriors.
--Early on Thursday, an ESPN report detailed Washington owner Dan Snyder’s general awfulness as the owner of the Commanders.
One of the major revelations was how Snyder apparently has “dirt” on Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Snyder even called the NFL a “mafia,” to which an anonymous owner said all the other owners “hate” him.
Which we learned was important context for what Al Michaels said during the broadcast of the hideous Commanders-Bears game. At the start of the fourth quarter, Michaels went on a short tangent about how the rest of the league thinks Snyder should sell the team.
As Robert Zeglinski wrote for USA TODAY:
“Given that Michaels said these things as the camera specifically panned over to Snyder on national television and that Michaels himself be the ‘golden voice’ of the league – this is not a small development, to be sure:
“Oh, man. You can count on one hand the number of times a play-by-play broadcaster says an owner should sell a team during a game in front of a massive audience. And by ‘one hand,’ while I can’t confirm for sure, that number is probably more like zero.
“With Snyder apparently increasing the heat on key league officials, this is certainly a situation to watch if Michaels is spotlighting it on TV.”
--Rickie Fowler hadn’t won a PGA Tour event in 44 months, but found himself with a one-shot lead over Keegan Bradley, two over Andrew Putnam, heading to the final round of the Zozo Championship in Chiba, Japan.
And in the end it was Bradley who held off Fowler and Putnam, who tied for second one shot back as Bradley ended his own drought going back to 2018, his fifth PGA Tour title.
But a great week nonetheless for Rickie.
--Brooks Koepka won the LIV event in Saudi Arabia in a playoff with Peter Uihlein. Koepka said he finally felt healthy and that for a while, he was concerned his career was over. But now he’s frustrated LIV doesn’t get cranking again for months (save for the team event in two weeks at Trump Doral).
As in he clearly wishes he could play in some of the fall PGA Tour tournaments to keep it going.
What I want to know is why Kevin Na withdrew after a first-round 70 and Martin Kaymer after shooting 69-66. That’s not what the Saudis paid for…#Bonesaw
--Going back to last week’s race at the Charlotte Roval, NASCAR significantly penalized Cole Custer and his Stewart-Haas Racing team for attempting to ensure teammate Chase Briscoe advanced in the Cup Series playoffs by deliberately slowing to impede competitors.
Custer was fined $100,000 and 50 driver points, while SHR was docked 50 owner points, and crew chief Mike Shiplett was suspended indefinitely.
Custer slowed considerably on the backstretch during the final lap, as Briscoe, Austin Dillon and Erik Jones raced for position directly behind him.
Briscoe was one of eight who advanced out of the second-round playoff round from Charlotte. No penalties were issued to Briscoe or his team.
--Kurt Busch announced he will miss the rest of the season with a concussion and will not compete full time in 2023.
Making the announcement yesterday at his home track in Las Vegas, he choked up when he said doctors told him “it is best for me ‘to shut it down.’”
“I know I am not 100 percent in my ability to go out and race at the top level in the NASCAR Cup Series.”
Busch, 44, said Tyler Reddick will replace him in the No. 45 Toyota at 23XI Racing next season. Reddick was signed to the team for the 2024 season, but is no longer needed to complete his contract at Richard Childress Racing because RCR signed Kyle Busch for 2023.
Busch said: “If I’m cleared, maybe you’ll see me at a few select races” next season.
Busch was injured in a routine crash in July. Driver Alex Bowman, who was also injured this year, has missed three straight races and said he’ll be out two more with concussion issues.
Liverpool, after a dreadful start to the season, pulled off a mini-stunner, a 1-0 win today over Manchester City, Mohamed Salah with the lone tally. And the Reds held Erling Haaland scoreless!
Chelsea beat Aston Villa 2-0; Arsenal stayed on top, edging Leeds on the road, 1-0; and Newcastle picked up a big road point at Manchester United, 0-0.
Yesterday, my Tottenham Spurs beat Everton 2-0.
Table…9/10 of 38 played – points
1. Arsenal…10 – 27
2. Man City…10 – 23
3. Tottenham…10 – 23
4. Chelsea…9 – 19
--You know those daffy Kenyans that win every marathon? Well not so fast, Sheriff. Kenya’s Diana Kipyokei, winner of the 2021 Boston Marathon, was suspended on Friday after testing positive for doping at the race and allegedly obstructing an investigation.
The Athletics Integrity Unit said Kipyokei’s sample after winning in October last year had traces of triamcinolone acetonide. It is a glucocorticoid prohibited at races when an athlete does not have permission to use it as a medication.
The case has deepened suspicions the substance is a doping product of choice for athletes from Kenya.
Get this….the AIU said 10 Kenyans have tested positive for triamcinolone since the start of 2021, with only two cases in athletics from the entire rest of the world in the same period.
In a second triamcinolone case revealed on Friday, Kenyan marathon runner Betty Wilson Lempus was also suspended while under investigation for doping and tampering.
Kipyokei is also under investigation for “obstructing or delaying the AIU’s investigation through the provision of false information or documentation.”
The 28-year-old faces being banned for at least four years and stripped of her Boston win and $150,000 prize money.
$150,000?! Holy Toledo. I forgot it was that high. Kind of makes you want to put on the old running shoes and get hoofing again.
The Boston Athletic Association, organizer of the race, said, “Kipyokei’s result in the 2021 Boston Marathon will be disqualified, pending the completion of relevant athlete appeals processes.”
Kipyokei won the women’s race in 2 hours, 24 minutes, 45 seconds….24 seconds ahead of her Kenyan compatriot Edna Kiplagat.
Kiplagat, a two-time world champion in the marathon who turns 43 next month, is set to get her second Boston title. She also won in 2017.
Top 3 songs for the week 10/18/80: #1 “Another One Bites The Dust” (Queen) #2 “Woman In Love” (Barbra Streisand) #3 “Upside Down” (Diana Ross)…and…#4 “All Out Of Love” (Air Supply) #5 “He’s So Shy” (Pointer Sisters) #6 “Real Love” (The Doobie Brothers) #7 “I’m Alright” (Kenny Loggins) #8 “Xanadu” (Olivia Newton-John/ ELO) #9 “Drivin’ My Life Away” (Eddie Rabbit) #10 “Late In The Evening” (Paul Simon…C- week…your editor graduated months earlier and was a clerk/typist for an insurance brokerage firm behind St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Gotham. It’s at this company I met the great Manny R).
Ole Miss Football Quiz Answers: 1) Johnny Vaught was the coach of Ole Miss’ great teams, 1959-62, and from 1947-1970, and part of 1973, overall, with a school record 190 wins, just 61 losses and 12 ties. That is one helluva career, and he lived to 96. 2) Deuce McAllister is the all-time rushing leader with 3,181 yards, 1997-2000. Deuce then went on to have an outstanding 8-year career with the Saints, including four, 1,000-yard seasons. 3) Eli Manning is the Ole Miss passing leader with 10,119 yards (2000-03). 4) A.J. Brown holds the receiving mark with 2,984 yards (2016-18). Brown is carving out a solid NFL career, first with Tennessee and now the Eagles.
The 1962 Ole Miss team went 10-0, outscoring its opponents 247-53, but finished third behind No. 1 USC and No. 2 Wisconsin in both the final AP and UPI polls.
Add-on up top by noon, Wed.