As one college sport nears its post-season, and another makes its way through the pre-conference schedule, it is only natural to expect a little disorder. Add in a little professional stuff and the result bears the resemblance of chaos.
Early season hoops tourneys and non-conference games certainly whet the appetite of many an eager fan. Some coaches might not possess the same vigor for these match-ups. Oregon’s Ernie Kent looks to life after Aaron Brooks as his Ducks seek to build off their Elite Eight finish last season. The Gaels of St. Mary’s had a different idea in mind as they topped the #12 Ducks 99-87.
The hoopsters aren’t the only team struggling on the Eugene, Oregon campus: the Duck gridiron gang is having a difficult time arguing that one man doesn’t make a team. After rising to #2 in the polls Oregon lost Heisman trophy-candidate, quarterback, Dennis Dixon, to a season-ending knee injury, and this weekend the Ducks lost to UCLA 16-0.
The Ducks’ loss has opened the way for the once-left-for-dead USC Trojans who have also shown one player can make a difference. After looking average in a loss to Oregon earlier this season the Trojans have since answered their own ‘Booty’ call. QB, John David Booty, has returned from a broken finger on his throwing hand to lead the Trojans back into the BCS hunt. Thanksgiving night’s trouncing of Arizona State served notice that the Trojans are back. This came after close calls earlier this season against Washington and Arizona, and the upset loss to the Stanford Cardinal who converted a fourth and ten to win the game.
The Cardinal didn’t need to convert a fourth and ten Saturday against 2 and 10 Notre Dame. Instead they needed to convert the four field goals missed in a 21-14 loss.
The Buffalo Sabres have reeled off four wins in a row including an upset of the first place Ottawa Senators.
#4, Brett Favre – is doing his level best to make sure all of us forget his recent retirement soap operas. He has led the Pack to a 10-1 record. He also played his part in one of the more entertaining turkey days of recent history. 20 in a row? Good Lord!!!!!
20 is two less than the number of punts attempted this season by Chris Hanson of the New England Patriots.
20 is the age of Jimmy Clausen who, along with Robert Hughes and Duval Kamara, offers hope when the Irish open practice next Spring.
Hope springing eternal is something the Angels of somewhere-in-the-state-of-California-not-exactly-sure-where will be looking for. The Angels signed Torii Hunter to a multi-year deal because “they needed to protect Vladdy” in the lineup. Hmmmm….didn’t they just trade Orlando Cabrera who batted .301 last year? And didn’t Hunter bat .287?
The Irish football team wasn’t the only ND squad to ‘wake up the echoes’. The ND women’s soccer team was one of three schools to upset #1 seeds in the Women’s College Cup. Coach Randy Waldrum’s Lady Irish knocked off the North Carolina Tar Heels. Meanwhile the UConn Huskies took down Stanford, and Penn State lost to West Virginia.
The folks of Morgantown enjoyed this past weekend because not only did their Mountaineer women’s soccer team advance, but West Virginia football should ascend to the #1 spot in the country vacated by LSU. The Tigers took a rapping from ‘Run DMC’ – Darren McFadden and the Arkansas Razorbacks. The Mountaineers throttled Big East rival, UConn, 66-21. Only Pitt stands between the Mountaineers and a trip to the national title game.
West Virginia is finding life in the Big East to be to their liking since the defections of Boston College and Virginia Tech. Those two former Big East schools will battle for the ACC title next weekend (Maybe the Big East isn’t so weak after all). The winner earns a BCS berth. The last time the Hokies looked this good on the gridiron they were singing the praises of Michael Vick. Now he is singing this:[youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=mc5sDt4ppnE]
The King makes his debut on the Clipboard.
If West Virginia can pull this off their opponent is still up for grabs. Missouri and Heisman hopeful, Chase Daniel, knocked Kansas from the ranks of the unbeaten. Only the Warriors of Hawaii remain undefeated, and they don’t stand a pineapple’s chance in hell of getting a sniff of the title game. Mizzou plays Oklahoma for the Big 12 title and a chance at the national title game. Hawaii upended Boise St. 39-27. The same Boise St. who rocked the Sooners in last year’s Fiesta Bowl.