The Sports Broadcast

A blog about sports broadcasting from the great state of Florida. They report. I decide.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Good News and Bad News

The bad news first: the Empire won again, putting my OBTFTP on the ropes. Johan Santana likely will be enough to win Game 4, but Radke is going to have to to better if he plans on pitching the Twins into the LCS in the Stadium. C'mon guys, fight the power!

The Red Sox went ahead and swept the Angels. Everyone knew if was going to happen, so they went ahead and decided to make it interesting by using extra innings to win on a David Ortiz walk off homer. They even managed to bring in Drama King Derek Lowe in at the end of a game, reminding everyone of his adventures back in 2001 when he was Boston's closer. If Bud Selig was into the tinkering-with-everything thing to the extent David Stern is, then he'd probably write the game to go exactly how it did, complete with Vladimir Guerrero grand slam and all to promote one of the game's best players who is relatively untapped marketing-wise. The Red Sox look unstoppable, especially because Schilling only pitched once in the ALDS, opening the possibility for him to start Games 1, 4, and 7 if necessary in the LCS, along with Pedro pitching 2 and 5. People en masse will be picking the Sox to go to the World Series and when it looks like a "cursed" team will break the "curse" (which as I said before requires a World Series win, not just attending the Series) ratings go up.

The good news now: tomorrow is by far the best college football weekend thus far. There are no less than six games highly important games that all could play significant roles in deciding future conference champions and most definitely will go a far in determining the future national champion. The Rematch I, Cal at USC appears to be the biggest, since the winner has an excellent shot at running the table in the conference and being undefeated overall (though Arizona State probably will have something to say about that). Cal has a chance to prove conclusively it is a real contender, while USC tries to prove its lack of depth at receiver will not hinder them in quest of another title. I'm serious about that - watch to see how the lack of receivers for USC affects them and how many times QB Matt Leinart just dumps it off to RB Reggie Bush. Don't be surprised to see the Golden Bears pull it out.

If Cal-USC is the number 1 game of the weekend, then Oklahoma-Texas is Game 1-A. Bob Stoops knows a thing or two about winning border wars as he has not lost to Texas yet, and he contributed to Florida's 13-of-14 streak over Georgia as defensive coordinator. I have respect for Mack Brown and Texas, but they just never seem to be able to win big games. I have to give the Sooners the edge. With nos. 1 and 2 out of the way, that brings up no. 3 Georgia who gets Tennessee at home. It's not going to be pretty, or close. I promise, Tennessee isn't that good. Really. I will continue to say this all year. The Vols just aren't a good team.

Next on the list are two Big 10 showdowns, Minnesota at Michigan and Wisconsin at Ohio State. The UM-UM game ironically will be decided by the QBs because though both teams prefer to run all day, both defenses are fairly adept at stopping the run. If the QBs do decide the game, Brian Cupito will be the difference in a Gopher triumph over Chad Henne and the Wolverines. Michigan has better receivers, but Cupito has more experience and is not subject to freshman mistakes that can happen inexplicably at anytime, anywhere as Henne is. Ohio State's running game just is not getting the job done, and the loss to Northwestern proves it. The Buckeyes must either make a dramatic turnaround on the ground or else go against everything Jim Tressel believes in and air it out against the Badgers. Ohio State is better at home than away (the Northwestern loss was at Northwestern) so the Buckeyes will probably pull it out in a squeaker.

The final big game, in Prime Time under the lights, is the Rematch II - LSU at Florida. LSU is an angry and humiliated team due to starting 3-2 and is very lucky not to be 2-3 (why would Oregon State allow the kicker to wear number 13 anyway?). They aren't looking as much to avenge last year's only loss as they are trying to regain shreds of dignity that were cast to the wind at the hands of Georgia. Still, there's not much a team can do when it has nothing at quarterback and the secondary is as exploitable as David Greene showed it to be. There will be a lot of fight in the Tigers, but effort alone will not be enough to propel them to victory. It will be close (Ron Zook has been known to go into run-out-the-clock mode in the second quarter if he has more than a 10-point lead) but as LSU is the only team the Gators have been able to close properly under Zook, Florida will come out victorious at the end by a final score similar to but slightly higher than last year's 19-7 barn burner.


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