September 5th, 2016
Ok Trojan honks. I don’t think you can use the sanctions as an excuse anymore. USC got obliterated by Alabama on Saturday in it’s season opener by a score of 52-6. Did you really think that Lane Kiffin was going to milk the clock when he was up big against the school that fired him? Of course not! He was going to make sure that he rubbed salt in the wound. The Trojans played so poorly and so undisciplined, I really don’t know exactly how good or bad the team is right now. Max Browne played more like Charlie Brown, totaling just over 100 passing yards, while his receivers could create no separation whatsoever from the Crimson Tide secondary. The Trojans need to just throw out the tape and pretend like that game never happened. Jabari Ruffin should be thrown off the team or at least suspended for the classless stunt he pulled. At least to the Trojans credit though, Osa Masina and Don Hill were sent home after being under investigation for sexual assault. Had anything like that happened to Alabama players, like Hootie Jones and Cam Robinson a few months ago, Nick Saban would have found a way to have them on the field. ‘Bama is also becoming the new football factory for rejected USC coaches, since they might add Steve Sarkisian to their staff. This could easily be a 1-3 start for SC, so the Trojan faithful better have some patience with Clay Helton, or else they are going to jumping off the roof of fraternity houses on 28th street. I knew I had seen Max Browne somewhere before…..
Then there’s the Bruins who found a way to disappoint again. Josh Rosen looked like a guy who fell in love with his own hype, yet got a big slap in the face when he threw three interceptions. The receivers dropped more balls than Times Square, and UCLA’s running game disappeared like David Copperfield. This is getting to be a very tired story for Jim Mora’s talented recruiting class. They can’t find a way to win when it really matters. I realize that A&M is a very good team at home, but they are likely going to be a 5 loss team in the SEC. The Bruins failed to pay attention to detail, and they found themselves playing catch-up for most of the day. Of course Mora is going to try and sell us on the idea that the comeback showed a lot of character. However, this team looks ticketed for another middle of the road finish, that will once again make you think they are capable of achieving so much more. The Mora era started off so promising, but now it’s just starting to feel like more and more underachievement with every game that goes by.
Elsewhere around college football, nobody breaks their fans hearts like Notre Dame. The Irish suffered a devastating overtime loss at Texas in their opener, which already kills their chances at the College Football Playoff. The team has some talent, but their secondary was awful against Texas. I guess that’s probably because their entire secondary was kicked off the team for being idiots. I think we’ve seen enough of the two quarterback rotation though. Deshone Kizer is the guy. It wasn’t the best weekend for the Pac 12. UCLA and USC took their lumps against the SEC, while Oregon struggled to win against Davis, as did Stanford against KSU. Oklahoma and LSU are looking overrated early, while Wisconsin and Houston should surge up the polls. Speaking of LSU, they came away from this weekend with one loss and one murder…..
To baseball where the Dodgers have opened up a 3 game lead on the Giants in the NL West. That’s right folks, the Giants have been literally the worst team in baseball in the 2nd half. Just how bad? The Dodgers have no starting pitching, a 3rd baseman who plays half the time, a 2nd baseman who sits against lefties, a left fielder who is really a 2nd baseman, a center fielder who can’t make contact, no right fielder, and Andrew Friedman as the head of their front office. I like how the Josh Reddick acquisition was such a failure that the Dodgers were forced to bring up Yasiel Puig just a few weeks after sending him down. I was really impressed with Jose DeLeon’s MLB debut yesterday. He might not be Clayton Kershaw, or have the upside of Julio Urias, but he has the potential to be a front line starter for the Boys in Blue at some point. Speaking of Kershaw, if all goes well he should be back in the rotation on Friday, which will put him in line to get a couple of starts agains the Giants before the season is over. I also found it hilarious that former Dodger owner Frank McCourt not only bought French soccer club, Marseille, but that the club made a statement that described his ownership with the Dodgers as a tremendous financial success. How many of you fell out of your chair laughing when you read this? There is a sucker born everyday in this world.
Can the Angels go five minutes without another starting pitcher getting hurt? The latest is Matt Shoemaker, who took a 105 mile an hour line drive off of his head yesterday in Seattle. Shoemaker is suffering from a small hematoma and skull fracture after the incident. Who knows what his prognosis will be after his CT scan, but they will obviously have to be very careful with him for a while. As if the Halos needed more bad news, promising pitching prospect Nate Smith is now suffering from elbow soreness, and is awaiting the results of an examination. I’m no pitching expert, but the question has to be asked about how the Angels are building their pitching staff, if potentially four of their starters have elbow issues. The Halos are also finding a way to win meaningless games against teams they should be losing to at this point in the season, which would help improve their draft position. Considering the Angels have by far the worst farm system in baseball, I’d say tanking should have been something they considered strongly months ago.
To the NFL, where the Rams have trimmed their roster down to 53, and are ready to start the regular season one week from today against the 49ers. I hate to panic about the Jared Goff situation, but this is the NFL, where from week to week you have no choice but to do so. Even if he’s improved a little, Goff is barely a third string quarterback in the NFL, and even more devastating is the fact that he looks totally unworthy of the truck load of draft picks the Rams gave up for him in April. The Rams could have gotten the same type of player by staying at #15 and taking Paxton Lynch, or Dak Prescott, who looks a lot better than Goff right now. Actually, if the Rams were smart, they could have traded Goff to Minnesota after Teddy Bridgewater went down with a knee injury, and gotten a bunch of those draft picks back. As for the season, the team is talented, but the schedule and the division is just too tough right now. The winning streak against Seattle seems like an anomaly that is bound to correct. I’m thinking this team goes 8-8, and settles for 3rd in the NFC West.
As for the rest of my NFL predictions, my AFC division winners are Kansas City, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and New England. In the NFC, I’ve got Arizona, Carolina, Green Bay, and Dallas. The wild cards in the AFC are Pittsburgh and Oakland, while in the NFC, they are Seattle and Minnesota. I’ll take Cardinals over the Steelers in the Super Bowl.
I still think Colin Kaepernick’s decision to not stand for the national anthem is a poor one. Nobody is talking about police brutality, race, and how we can improve upon community relations. Instead, all we are talking about is how offended we are that he would do such a thing, along with wearing those silly socks he has of police officers looking like pigs. While I respect the guys right to protest, Kaepernick isn’t good enough anymore to make such a stand be really meaningful. On the other hand, you’ve got NBA players like Carmelo Anthony, Lebron James, DeMarcus Cousins, and Dwayne Wade who are driving the conversations at the community level, as opposed to taking some silly stand during the national anthem.
With the NFL preseason in the books, the Cleveland Browns have officially been eliminated from the playoffs. Teddy Bridgewater can really learn a thing or two from newly acquired Sam Bradford, a veteran QB who has plenty of experience on the injured list. He might even injure himself while packing for Minnesota. At least Viking fans should be thankful their QB won’t be Mark Sanchez. The Cowboys acquired him. I hear the Broncos were willing to trade Sanchez for an $8.47 store credit at the nearest Denver Game Stop.