Monday, September 20, 2010

Ten Things JJ Thinks He Thinks

My apologies for the lack of 10 Things the past few weeks. For about a month we had no internet at the house. Then the last two weeks I have been way to busy to put this together. Hopefully, I can stay on task and write one of these every week now. As always your thoughts, comments, praise and criticism is appreciated.

1. UGA Thoughts
Not really sure where to begin with this game. I did realize that the defense would sometimes have blown coverages in the secondary but the amount of issues and blown coverages has been alarming this season. I am starting to wonder if UGA needs to find its present day Will Muschamp or Kirby Smart to play safety and tell everyone what to do on every play. Another thing that bothers me is for the first three quarters of the game UGA only ran out of two formations. The I and the Wildcat. While we were having problems blocking the Razorbacks why not throw bubble screens out of a 3 or 4 wide set? What ever happened to the sprint draw out of the shotgun formation that was a staple since Richt arrived on campus in 2001?

Here are some quick thoughts/questions from me?
-Phil Steele ranked our offense line #1 in the country, when are we going to see that group?
-Washaun Ealey- You will never collect an NFL game check until you learn how to pick up a blitz. Your effort on our last offensive play may keep you from getting drafted in three years. Yes it was that bad.
-With our recievers struggling to get open in the first three quarters, how come we only had a tight end catch one pass. Tight End is where UGA has a competitive advantage in my opinion.
-Why does it seem Bacarri Rambo has regressed not progressed from last season?
-Aaron Murray might be a redshirt freshmen and make freshmen mistakes but I do know one thing: Mr. Murray will be a special QB.
-For the third straight game Grantham's defense has allowed less points in the second half than the first half. Now if we can correct the problem of allowing the opposing team to score in the last two minutes of each half like they did Saturday we might be in business.
-Drew Butler was awful punting on Saturday. If we get anything from him on his last kick, we probably have overtime in Sanford Stadium.
-I see alot of things I like about this team and the direction of the program. The only thing stopping us from blowing the lid off of this program are a lot of small details. It is the little things that make the biggest differences.
-Did anyone else notice UGA had 392 yards of total offense? By the way this was only 41 yards less that Arkansas's total.
-Why does Richt not use his 4th Quarter pep talk at the start of the game?
-Thinking about driving to Miss State-anyone want to ride with?

2. College Football Thoughts
a. For my money the Nebraska Cornhuskers were the most impressive team in college football Saturday. The famed black shirt defense might be back. They held Jake Locker to 70 yards passing only completing four passes in twenty completions.
b. The Cornhuskers also rushed for 383 yards and netted 533 total yards in a blowout win over Washington.The Cornhuskers put up 56 points, the most they've scored away from the friendly confines of Memorial Stadium since the 2000 Alamo Bowl. Just impressive. I am very intrigued with their October 16th contest against Texas in Memorial Stadium.
c. I know it was against Duke but the Crimson Tide were still impressive Saturday afternoon. Alabama's Mark Ingram is the first running back from a BCS conference to gain over 150 yards on fewer than 10 carries in the last five seasons.In fact, after 9 carries, Mr. Ingram had 151 yards.
d. Very interested to see if Saban can design some blitzes to get to Mallet. Something UGA could not do Saturday. The next three weekends will be big for the Tide. Trips to Arkansas and South Carolina with a visit from the Gators in the middle.
e. Speaking of South Carolina, they have to be thinking the SEC East is theirs to win. The one thing working against the Gamecocks is their schedule. They have to play at Auburn and at Florida, with Alabama and Arkansas both coming to Columbia. Not easy.
f.  Got to give some love to the Vandy who snapped a 10-game conference losing streak dating back to 2008. The Commodores have beaten the Rebels four of the past six seasons. Who ya with?
g. The more I try to figure out the Pac-10 the less it makes sense to me. UCLA dominates a Houston team beating them 31-13 just one week after getting woodsheded by the Stanford Cardinal 35-0.
h. We all knew the Oregon Ducks were good, but did we know Stanford and Arizona would be as good as they have showed early this season.
i. I am becoming a bigger Jim Harbough fan each week. His Stanford team was impressive this week putting up 68 points against Wake Forrest. I know it was Wake Forrest but 68 points is 68 points. Tough break for the Demon Deacons as this game started at 11:25 eastern time Saturday night.
j. Quick week for Wake as the probably did not arrive to Winston-Salem at 11:00 Sunday morning and will have to travel this weekend to Florida State. Interested to get the Captain's point of view on the Noles being 19 point favorites this weekend and if all the travel affected the spread.
k. How does 1-2 Notre Dame get a vote in the AP poll?
l. I know I mentioned Will Muschamp earlier this article but he really has an impressive defense in Austin. Saturday night his Longhorns held Texas Tech to 144 yards. This marked the first time Tech has been held under 150 yards since 1990, when Miami held the Raiders to 93 yards.
m.Earlier this week ESPN published a 6 part series of Pat Forde following Mack Brown and the Texas program. Very intriguing read
n. I would love to have the problems Florida has. I love how everyone is making a big deal out of the Gators going three games without scoring a first quarter touchdown. Did everyone think John Brantley would step right in and keep the offense rolling at the same rate as the last three years?
o. Let's not forget that 41 percent of the Gators team who traveled to Tennessee was either true freshmen or redshirt freshmen.
p. Watched majority of Auburn-Clemson while I was carousing Athens Saturday night. A good win for Auburn and I think Cam Newton is an unbelievable talent. However, I am not sold on the War Turkey's. We should know more about them this weekend when they play the Gamecocks.
q. How about the Michigan State-Notre Dame finish? We can break this one down from multiple angles but you got to respect Mike Dantonio and his fake field goal call. Here is a replay of the best play in college football this season so far. WOW.

r. This week the SEC has 6 teams ranked in top 15 of USA Today Top 25. That's never happened in either poll before since SEC expanded in 92. I am a big SEC homer but I have a hard time believing that of the 15 best teams in America, 6 play in the SEC.

3. NFL Thoughts
a. Did Tony Sparano really wear sunglasses inside the Metrodome yesterday?
b. Steelers had 7 first downs and 21 passing yards. And won. Titans 7 fumbles, 4 lost, and 3 interceptions. If Steelers' played defense like that last season maybe they would have gone a little better than 9-7.
c.. The Steelers 19-11 win only 3rd score like that in NFL history. and 2 yrs ago Steelers won ONLY 11-10 game in NFL History.

d. How good do the Packers look so far this season? I think best team in the NFL and their defense is also played well led by Clay Matthews. Matthews is first player in Packers history to have three sacks in two straight games.
e. Aaron Rodgers might be best QB in football and that is coming from one of the bigger Peyton Manning fans. On Sunday Rodgers was 19 for 29 for 255 yards and w touchdowns. He also rushed for a touchdown. 
Rodgers now has 10 rushing TD's since 2008.. most of any qb in that time frame
f. Why do the Bills draft CJ Spiller and not allow him to be a factor in the first two games. One offensive touch yesterday was preceded by 14 yards the week before. How does Lee Evans not catch one pass? How does Chan Gailey get hired as an NFL head coach?
g. I followed some of the Bears-Cowboys game and that was not a good loss for Mr. Jones Cowboys. Why do we always hear about how good the Cowboys are and then have to watch them blow assignments, commit multiple penalties and multiple turnovers. For a team that has $166 million in salary commitments 0-2 is not what Jerry Jones is looking for. Furthermore if you combine the salaries of Kansas City and Tampa you end up just shy of $166.
h. I am intrigued by these stats from Mr. Cutler: On throws of less than 10 yards downfield Cutler was 18-21 for 3 touchdowns and a rating of 143.8. On throws of more than 10 yards Cutler's was 3-8 with no touchdowns or picks and a QB rating of only 79.2.
i. Next Monday night becomes very intriguing as the Packers-Bears meetup for lead in the division. I bet Gruden is already going nuts in preparation.
j. I watched a good bit of the Jets-Pats game and when Brady hit Moss right before halftime I thought the game was over and the Pats were going to cruise but the Jets answered with 21 straight points. Who would have thought Mark Sanchez could have lead the Jets to 21 straight points?
k. Speaking of QB's who had redeeming performances you have to love how Matt Ryan rallied the troops with over 250 passing yards, 3 touchdowns and 117.3 QB rating. Ryan got killed this past week on Atlanta talk radio. It is weird how this town wants to run people out of town after one bad game on the road against a really good Steelers team.
l. Brandon Jacobs should be fined for throwing his helmet in the stands. What a moron. 
m. Did not see the Colts manhandling the Giants on Sunday night. Did the Giants not watch the Texans film where you line up and hit the Colts D in the mouth?
n.  Is Jim Caldwell's 15-3 start as head coach the best in NFL history?

p. For those wondering how important the first two weeks of the season are, please consider the following stats:
  • Teams that have started 2-0 have made the playoffs 64.1 percent of the time (107 of 167).
  • Teams that have started 1-1 have made the playoffs 40.7 percent of the time (111 of 273).
  • Teams that have started 0-2 have made the playoffs 13.0 percent of the time (22 of 169).

4. Baseball Thoughts
a. So far this season the Mets opponents have hit 12 grand slams. The Mets themselves have hit zero. I am not sure if this is the biggest discrepancy in history, but it is an intriguing stat nonetheless.
b. I ripped Dan Uggla alot this past season, no idea why I did that considering he is a Braves killer. Second, he is the first second basemen in history to have 4 plus 30 plus homer seasons.
c. How do the Rockies keep making playoff runs each September? It is not that easy to do what they do every October.
d. Carlos Gonzalez who might be one of the five best players in baseball was traded twice as a minor leaguer. How does that happen? The trades he was involved in are pretty interesting. In December of 07 he was traded by the Arizona Diamondbacks with Brett Anderson, Chris Carter, Aaron Cunningham, Dana Eveland and Greg Smith to the Oakland Athletics for Dan Haren and Connor Robertson.
e. The second major trade for Carlos Gonzalez was in November of 2008 when the Oakland A's traded Carlos Gonzalez with Greg Smith and Huston Street to the Colorado Rockies for Matt Holliday. I wonder if the A's have second thoughts about that trade?
f. Speaking of the A's, rookie Chris Carter of the went 0-for-3 on Sunday to extend his streak to 0-for-32 to begin his career.
g. The Cubs just completed a 9 game road trip in which they went 8-1. The 8-1 record on 9-game road trip was best in team history, which dates back to 1876.
h. On Sunday the Cubs ad one of the more scarier moments I have seen on the baseball field in a long time. Tyler Colvin (played at Clemson) was impaled by a broken bat in upper left chest.Click here for scary video (ht Deadspin).
i. The Pirates swept the Diamondbacks this weekend. It was only the second time that PIT has ever swept ARI (2-game sweep in 1998).How has that not happened before?
j. Before yesterdays game Jason Heyward was hitting .333 with .446 OBP, .962 OPS over last 57 games. In September games Mr. Heyward has a .507 OBP. That last number is unreal. 
k.The Braves came from behind to beat the Mets on Sunday, their 44th come-from-behind win this season. They trail only the Yankees (46) in that category.
l. How big is Andy Pettitte's return on Sunday for the Yankees? Words can not explain. The Yankees will probably go three man rotation for the playoffs using CC Sabathia and Pettitte as their #1 and #2. For their number three it will be a mixture for of Aj Burnett, Phil Hughes, and Mr Johnny Wholestaff. Very interesting to see if they can make this work.
m. How meaningless could the Red Sox-Yankees be the last three games of the regular season? Not want everyone had in mind when we first saw the 2010 schedule.
n. Everyone in MLB released their 2011 schedule this week. One thing that intrigues me is the Cubs visit to Fenway Park. This will be their first visit to the Fens since 1918. Hard to believe how close we were to a 2003 World Series of Cubs-Red Sox.
o. The Braves make interleague trips to the left coast visiting Anaheim and Seattle. Baltimore, Toronto, and Texas visit Turner Field next season.
p. Will the Rangers-Braves series be a World Series rematch? One can only hope.
q. We can worry about next year, next year. As of right now there are 4 teams with 3.5 games of the Braves. One of these teams (not the Braves) will win the NL West. Hopefully everyone out West can beat up on each other. However, the Braves just need to win and not worry about anything else. 
r. Here are how the schedules breakout: Braves: 3 @ Philly, 3 @ Washington, 3 vs Florida, 3 vs Philly. The Rockies have 3 @ Zona, 3 vs Giants, 3 vs Dodgers, 4 @ St. Louis. The Giants have 3 @ Chicago, 3 @ Rockies, 3 vs Zona, 3 vs Padres. The Padres have 3 @ Dodgers, 3 vs Reds, 4 vs Cubs, 3 @ Giants.
s. I do not know what all this means but Go Diamondbacks!

5. MLB Power 5
1. Minnesota-I know the Rays are half a game better and the Yankees are full game better but in my opinion the Twins are more of a complete team.
2. Yankees- 4 Big home games this week at home against the Rays before Boston comes to the Big Apple for 3 next weekend. The Bronx Bombers finish on the road with series at Toronto and at Boston.
3. Rays- No more off days as the Rays have a 4 game series in the Bronx this week before series at home against Seattle and Baltimore before going to KC for for games to finish up.
4. Phillies- Hopefully we will not see them here next week.
5. Rangers- Hard to believe the Rangers basically have same record as third place Red Sox and they are in first place by 9 games.

This week's song that Smoak and myself used to rock out to while youngsters in the greater Sylvania metropolitan area is The Verve Pipe's The Freshmen. I forgot how great this song is until I heard in Athens this weekend. This week's trivia question involves Vandy football. On Saturday Vandy broke a ten game SEC football losing streak. Who was the last SEC team that the Commodores beat before they beat Ole Miss? Bonus points if you can explain why Ole Miss fired David Cutcliff after the 2005 season.

6. College Power 5
1. Alabama-No team in College Football is rolling like the Tide. They may not lose until 2013.
2. Ohio State - Am I the only person who went to an SEC school that thinks Terrell Pryor is a legit talent?
3. Boise State- Would an undefeated Texas or Nebraska leap frog the Broncos at the end of the season. I say yes.
4. Texas- A road win with dominating defense is nothing to be ashamed of. The offense needs to get going.
5. Nebraska- The Big 12 North is such a joke. It will be worse with no Nebraska next season.

7. NFL Power 5
1. New Orleans Saints- Still #1 until someone can beat the man.
2. Green Bay Packers-Played two complete games. Their point difference of +34 is best in football. Very intrigued about next Monday night when they play the Bears.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers- If they keep getting defense like the past two weeks look out AFC.
4. Miami Dolphins- No other team has won two road games to start the season.
5. Chicago Bears-Are the Monsters of The Midway back?

8. Top Sporting Events I Want To Attend-US Soil
1. Super Bowl-What read blooded American male does not want to attend this event?
2. US Open-Tennis - Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing New York is the mecca for US Tennis. I lived in Queens for 15 months and did not once go to this tournament. Weak sauce by me.
3. Final Four- A great event usually held in a great city over a weekend in the best time of the year. (The Spring)
4. Kentucky Derby- Being born in Derby City, this is only natural.
5. Rose Bowl-The Granddaddy of them all. Very intrigued about tailgating at this stadium surrounded by the San Gabriel Mountains. What a beautiful scene.
6. BCS Championship Game - Bonus Points if the Dawgs are participating.
7. Alabama-Auburn- No two schools dislike each other like these two schools.
8. Michigan-Ohio St- Bo, Woody, The Big House, The Horseshoe. What great tradition.
9. Summer and/or Winter Olympics- In my opinion the Olympics capture everything in why we like Sports.
10. Beanpot Tournament - Random I know.

9. What I Read This Week

Couple good reads this week. The first one comes from the Washington Post and is written by retired Army Captain Blake Hall. Very moving article.

The second article comes from NY Times magazine and takes a look at NY Jets coach Rex Ryan. The NY Times followed Ryan for 5 weeks in writing this article. I am very fascinated by Ryan despite the fact I agree with him and his ways of doing things only about half the time. One thing we can not deny; he is a winner.

10. Non Football or Baseball Thoughts
a. I saw a couple of movie premiers last week and both were very good. The two movies were The Town and Wall Street: Movie Never Sleeps.
b. In my opinion The Town was the better of the two but you can not go wrong with either. Fenway Park was the setting for the final scene of The Town and all I have to say is AWESOME.
c. Jeremy Renner is really good in The Town and I would not be surprised if we see him up for a Supporting Actor award come the award season. 
d. This week also marks the start of a new television season. I am looking forward to a new season of How I Met Your Mother tonight. Speaking of HIMYM, I absolutely love all the reruns being shown WGN.
e. Another show that returns this week is The Amazing Race. This probably the second greatest thing on youtube right now.
f. This is probably the greatest thing on youtube right now.
g. What new show should I watch?
h. Hopefully when can get more random thoughts next week when my life is not totally consumed by Football and Baseball.
i. Who are we kidding?

Quote of The Week I
"We just sucked"
Tom Brady on the Pats performance Sunday. This is my thoughts on his haircut.

Text of The Week 

I deleted all of my texts like a moron on Thursday. Nothing appropriate from the weekend.So hear are few favorites from the website Texts From Last Night.

Come over and help me clean up your so-called "winter wonderland" that you made with the fire extinguisher in the kitchen last night.

she's on the floor slapping my dogs face with slices of pizza

I booked us a cruise for November. Lose 20 pounds and don't cheat on me before then.

Tweet of The Week

Comes from NFL Network Host @richeisen

Michael Vick with a touchdown pass and now Pac Man with a pick. I think 2006 is making it rain today.

Photo of The Week
How sick is that Team USA hat Santa is wearing? How sick is the hat Smoak is wearing? How about TMAC's antlers? By the way I can not find that hat for the life of me and good luck finding it for sale online.

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