...Got a barrel that's blue and cold
Ain't no good for nothin'
But put a man six feet in a hole
Just three weeks ago, in this space and countless (real) media outlets around the nation, Auburn kicker John Vaughn was dead and buried after missing 5 field goals in an OT loss to LSU. Well, Mr. Vaughn, I salute you for stepping up and making the huge kick against Georgia Saturday night. Yeah, it was a chip shot, but if you saw Tommy Tuberville's post-game interview, I don't think anyone on the Auburn sideline was taking that kick for granted, not the way things have gone for Johnny V all season. Here's hoping the kicker was “rewarded” for his effort late night...
It's coming down to the wire for the Heisman, and here are one guy’s humble choices to head to NYC…
Vince Young (has all the momentum in the world while playing Pop Warner teams):
155-of-244 passing, 2,414 yards, 22 touchdowns, 8 interceptions
117 rushes, 774 yards, 8 touchdowns
Matt Leinart (Herm Edwards is gonna love this kid):
211-of-318 passing, 3,017 yards, 23 touchdowns, 7 interceptions
35 rushes, 34 yards, 5 touchdowns
Reggie Bush (needs a dynamic SportsCenter highlight play to regain early season pub):
140 rushes, 1,104 yards, 11 touchdowns
28 receptions, 315 yards, 2 touchdowns
16 punt returns, 162 yards, 1 touchdown
Brady Quinn (perhaps a homer pick, but he at least needs to be in the conversation…that Michigan State loss becomes worse by the week):
217-of-330 passing, 2,931 yards, 27 touchdowns, 5 interceptions
51 rushes, 99 yards, 1 touchdown
[Believe it or not, there’s a QB in the land with better passing numbers than all of these guys – Drew Olson of UCLA (218-of-322 passing, 2,909 yards, 30 touchdowns, 3 interceptions). Unfortunately, UCLA’s drubbing at the hands of Arizona might’ve caused many writers to ignore the Bruins this week, missing Olson’s 510 yard, 5 TD performance. It’s OK Drew, everyone has forgotten about my favorite guy Maurice Drew as well. Now, if you go out and beat USC in an Arena Football shoot-out the writers might just need to rethink those votes.]
After looking at the numbers, it’s hard NOT to pick Leinart. He’s the superstar QB of a team that’s won 32 straight games, he has phenomenal numbers AND he was last year’s Heisman winner. HOWEVAH, Bush and Leinart are going to split some votes (and heck, LenDale White might steal a few votes too), and Vince Young will benefit big from this. Right now, November 14, 2005, I’m handing the Heisman Trophy to Vince Young.
How happy is Steve Spurrier today? After what can only be described as an unmitigated coaching disaster in Washington, Spurrier returned to college football and the SEC, taking over the reins from Lou Holtz at South Carolina. Spurrier could've been outcoached by Radio while leading the Skins...in the last two weeks he's beaten his nemesis Phatty Phil Fulmer and new Florida hotshot Urban Meyer. You think the 'ol ball coach isn't loving every minute of this? South Carolina's won 5 SEC games in a row (ranked #19 in the AP poll today) and still has an outside shot of making the SEC title game (of course their fate is in the hands of Kentucky, but whatever, there’s a slight chance).
OK, I'll say it - the Minnesota Golden Gophers are the Denver Broncos of college football. Just like Mike Shanahan in Denver, the coaches in Minnesota seem to be able to plug any back into the system and produce a 100 yard performance. Shanahan’s given us Terrell Davis, Olandis Gary, Mike Anderson, Clinton Portis, Reuben Droughns, Quentin Griffin and Tatum Bell in recent years. Glen Mason and Minnesota, in just the last 2 years, have produced Marion Barber III (stealing Julius Jones’ job in Dallas), Laurence Maroney, Gary Russell and, yesterday, some kid named Amir Pinnix (32 rushes for 206 yards). If I knew who their OL coach was I’d throw him a bone, but I’m too lazy to look it up.
There has been a ton of talk this year about how dreadful the NFC North is. Well, let me submit that the AFC East, despite housing the defending Super Bowl champs, is an equally dreadful division. New England is the only team above .500, and they barely beat Miami yesterday. The Patriots are 5-4 despite being outscored by 33 points this year. The starting QBs in the AFC East (minus the handsome Tom Brady) – Gus Frerotte, J.P. Losman (I’m assuming he stole his job back yesterday) and Brooks Bollinger. Yikes. The Jets are 2-7, and really, I don’t see any way they finish better than 3-13 (if they’re lucky). There is no way the Pats don’t win this thing, but don’t be surprised if they limp in at 8-8 or 9-7.
Biggest mismatch to hit the court this year? Anyone vs. the Raptors? Nope. Larry Brown vs. Stephon Marbury? Nope. It’s the team of Greg Anthony/Dopey/Happy/Grumpy/Doc vs. Dee Brown/Bashful/Sleepy/Sneezy/Doctor J. Is Rob Babcock making Anthony’s personnel decisions? Passing up Julius Erving for a dwarf with an untradeable max contract in Doc? Unforgivable. And Anthony already has the Lamar Odom of dwarves. What a HORRIBLE mismatch. Dr. J is going to crush these guys.
Now, not having the DirectTV package, I am often subjected to some miserable football games on Sunday, most often involving the Brian Billick-led Baltimore Ravens. Well, I did get the rotten Ravens yesterday, but I was luckily able to ignore them as Fox showed the Giants/Vikings game (and that Skins/Bucs game was one of the better regular season games in recent memory). Not a lot to be said, as the mocking of the Giants effort and “special” teams has already been done by this blogosphere’s Giants fan. But can we talk about this list that Antonio Pierce keeps, of the 31 linebackers taken ahead of him in the 2001 draft (he was an undrafted free agent)? He apparently gets great joy out of crossing their names off the list each time one of these guys leaves the league...anyone else getting that “Steve Buscemi in Billy Madison” vibe from Antonio?
The MLS Cup is poop.
More on the Wiz later in the week...for now, I'll just say Gilbert Arenas is an absolute animal...I saw him single-handedly destroy the Spurs Saturday night…