During the regular season, the New York Yankees hit the second-most team homers in the history of major league baseball.

During the regular season, the Houston Astros set the all-time record for team slugging average.

This was not the regular season.

Together they managed only 13 hits in 11 innings. That said, a walk-off homer is always thrilling in any season, regular or post-.

All of a sudden it’s one game apiece, with Gerrit Cole in the wings, waiting to extend his incredible streak of 18 wins in a row, counting the post-season. Did you remember that Cole started this season 1-4? After May 22nd, when he suffered his last loss, he was 16-0 with a 1.78 ERA and 226 Ks in only 147 innings (13.9 per 9 innings!). He then added two more wins in the post-season.

His streak is almost identical to what Doctor K did in the 1985 season. After May 25, Gooden was 18-1 with a 1.39.

  • On the surface Gooden’s ERA in the 1985 streak seems better than Cole’s in 2019, but in context they were virtually identical. The National League ERA was 3.60 in 1985, while the American League ERA was 4.62 in 2019. BOTH were at 39% of the league average.
  • Their strikeout totals were also virtually identical in context. Cole averaged 13.87 K/9 in that streak, but the American League average is now 8.75. Gooden struck out “only” 8.67 per nine innings, but the NL average then was 5.50, so they are BOTH 58% above the league average!

The statistical similarity of the two streaks is absolutely amazing!

Results

The 49ers and Patriots remained undefeated. I guess we can say that the 49ers are obviously for real since they defeated the Rams in LA! The Patriots win was atypical. They scored 35 points without a passing touchdown.

The Seahawks and Saints advanced to 5-1. The Bills had a bye. The two other one-loss teams, the Packers and Lions, square off tomorrow.

The Jets and ‘Skins won, leaving only the Dolphins and Bengals winless. Of course, the ‘Skins win was tainted by the fact that it came against Miami, and they only won because the weak Dolphins chose not to play for a tie, but it’s still a W in the standings. The Jets win was legit. They saw the first light at the end of their dark tunnel, beating the Cowboys behind a promising performance by Sam Darnold.

  • I’m not sure how much more Matt Ryan could have done (30 for 36 with 4 TDs, no picks), but the Falcons lost anyway – on a missed extra point! To be fair, Arizona’s Kyler Murray matched Ryan almost step for step (27 for 37 with 3 TDs, no picks).
  • Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs really helped your fantasy team. He had 167 receiving yards and 3 TDs.

In college news, Georgia lost and LSU leapfrogged over Clemson and THE Ohio State, so the LSU Tigers went from #5 to #2 in the AP poll. The Coaches’ Poll does not agree fully, preferring the other Tigers (Clemson) in the #2 spot. The computer ratings are completely different. Ohio State is #1, while LSU and Clemson don’t even crack the top four.

It has been a good year for Tigers. Princeton is also undefeated, although three of those wins came against their own family butlers.

Top 25 round-up

Texas/OU weekend was more chaotic and violent than usual, and this time it was not on the streets of Austin. Both teams were charged with unsportsmanlike conduct penalties before the game even began. Two of the officials were hit in the process. When the game finally got started, it was #6 Oklahoma all the way. The final score sounds close (34-27), but the Sooners never trailed in the process of amassing 500 yards from scrimmage and holding the Texas passing offense below 200. What was the name of the Oklahoma defensive co-ordinator who stole Christmas from the #11 Longhorns? Grinch.

Speaking of defense. #8 Wisconsin cruised to its fourth shutout of the year. They seem to be tuned up well for their big game in a couple of weeks against THE Ohio State University, with the winner very likely to make the playoff.

#3 Georgia found out just what a tough town the SEC is. They lost to a South Carolina team that came into the game 2-3.

#5 LSU broke free in the second half to hand #7 Florida its first loss.

That’s a huge win for the Nationals. They managed to win on the road, behind their fourth starter, despite giving him little offensive support.

Expecting the bats to come around and the big arms to deliver, they gotta be thinkin’ about the World Serious.

And the Cards have to be thinking about getting in some extra batting practice, because they somehow managed to make Anibal Sanchez look like the second coming of Walter Johnson.

Gerrit Cole pitched another masterpiece. The Astros spotted him four runs in the first inning, and he pretty much cruised from there, his two-hit performance spoiled only by an unlikely home run on the first pitch of the second inning by bespectacled journeyman Eric Sogard, who came into the game batting .133 against Cole, and had hit only 24 lifetime homers in nine major league seasons. Sogard had his dream season in 2019, batting .290, a spectacular improvement over a 2018 season that would have embarrassed Ray Oyler (.134 with no homers).

The Houston victory sets up the dream match-up with the Yanks. The 2019 Yankees and Astros are second and third of all time in team home runs. The Astros also set the all-time record for the highest team slugging percentage, while the Yankees earned the #4 spot on that list!

Houston and New York played seven games during the regular season. The Astros swept a three-game series way back in early April, then the Yankees took the second series 3-1.

Howie Kendrick hit a grand slam in extra innings. How’s that for a big moment?

The Dodgers staked Walker Buehler to a 3-0 lead, but the Nats managed to climb back in the eighth with back-to-back homers off the best pitcher of his generation, Clayton Kershaw. And then came Kendrick

I don’t usually root for or against specific teams, but in this case I’m happy to see a win for the scrappy underdogs, and it’s nice to see Kendrick clean his slate after having played first base as poorly as Doctor Strangeglove himself. After that dinger, nobody will ever remember those errors.

By the way, did you look at Kendrick’s regular season stats? At age 36 he batted .344 with a .967 OPS.

It was another good day for the Yankees, even though they didn’t play. The National League’s two strongest teams were eliminated, making the league send a representative to the World Series with no more than 93 wins.

Remember how the Braves had not won a post-season series since time immemorial?

They still haven’t.

They lost control of this game immediately. In the the entire history of major league ball, no team had ever scored ten runs in the first inning of a post-season game.

Now they have.

The Cards sent fourteen batters to the plate in that inning. Among the first eleven, only one made an out, and that was intentional. (There was a sac bunt early in the inning when it was still possible that a single run might be important.) The Braves’ Mike Foltynewicz had a 162.00 ERA for this game!

The Nationals and Rays have fought back against the odds.

The Rays just took two in a row against pitchers who will undoubtedly be in the Hall of Fame one day, but they now have to beat the King of K’s, Gerrit Cole, in his home park. Cole is still young, so the Hall is not yet on the table, but his career also seems to be bound for Cooperstown. If the Rays win that game, it would be the climax of a comeback for the ages. When they were down 2-0, you could probably have gotten 20-1 odds against them beating three of the best pitchers in the game successively.

Of course they have not done it yet.

I know the Yankees are rooting for them.

The Rays have succeeded using a lot of creative strategies. In this game they used six pitchers and none of them lasted more than two and a third innings. None of those pitchers were yanked for poor performance. They all pitched well until a fresher arm or a better match-up was available. As a group, they allowed the powerful Astros only six hits. The save went to last year’s Cy Young winner, starter Blake Snell.

The Rays are tinkering with the whole concept of a starting pitcher. Ryne Stanek, a relief pitcher, started 27 games this year, 29 last year. They call him an “opener” rather than a starter. A guy really has to swallow his ego to take on that role, because at the end of the day, his record in that job will be 0-and-something, and his winning percentage will be an embarrassing zero. According to the rules of MLB, a guy who pitches the first inning or two can get a loss, but not a win, so Stanek’s lifetime record in 56 starts is 0-3.

The Rays don’t really believe very strongly in closers, either. The 2018 staff had 52 saves, but no individual pitcher had as many as half that amount. The team had 46 in 2019, but no individual topped 20. In contrast, Osuna had 38 of the Astros’ 47 this season; Kirby Yates had 41 of San Diego’s 47.

Total digression:

I’m impressed that San Diego had so many leads to preserve. For the season they had 73 save opportunities with only 70 wins, compared to Houston’s 67 opportunities in 107 wins. There is normally a correlation between team wins and save opportunities, although that relationship is not a 1-to-1 correspondence because there are complicating factors. For example, if a team (like Houston) is often too far ahead, the rules allow them fewer save opportunities. But even given the normal complexity of the save-to-win relationship, the Padres were a real fluke. 73 save opportunities with only 70 wins is amazing. There were six other teams with win totals in the 67-72 range, and they averaged only 51 save opportunities.

They totally curb-stomped the Browns to stay undefeated

The Browns managed only 78 net passing yards, Mayfield was 8-for-22 with two pics, a lost fumble, and a lot of sack yardage.

One positive thing on the Browns: they had a helluva punting game. In this game alone, Gillan had a 68-yarder and a 71. Those now represent two of the five longest punts of the year. OK, it’s not much, but it’s a good thing they had that, considering how many times they had to punt from deep in their own territory in this game. The game was 31-3, but it probably could have been a lot worse.

That punter is a rookie who played his college ball at Arkansas – Pine Bluff. Who knew they even had a team? (Well, I guess L.C. Greenwood knew, because he also graduated from that school.) Do they have enough students to field both a football team and a band? I’ll bet they do double duty and change uniforms for the halftime show. (Baritone voice: “Here’s number 99, playing linebacker and trombone, and also the night manager at the local 7-Eleven …”) They must be in about Division Twelve. I looked them up and their opponents include such fearsome powers as Lane College and Langston University. (I didn’t make those names up. They are tiny schools which are part of of the HBCU network.)

Sunday’s scores

The big news is that KC fell from the unbeaten ranks, reducing the club membership to two: the mighty Patriots and … the 49ers (??)

Membership may be restricted to the Patriots after tonight’s game. The Niners, playing at home, are favored by four or five in the Monday game, but I think they may have trouble defeating the underrated Browns.

On the other side of the ledger, still no wins for Washington, Cincinnati, Miami and the Jets. (Hey, somebody had to win the Cardinals-Bengals game!) Barring a tie, one of the winless wonders has drop out of the club next week as well, when Washington faces Miami. How bad are the Dolphins? They are underdogs at home against Washington. Oh, the shame.

Baseball recap

The Dodgers had 8 RBIs by players who fell behind in the count 0-2. That is the most by any team in a game all season! The Dodgers are up, two games to one, but the Nats have Scherzer ready for game four at home, so it should at least be interesting.

22-year-old Canadian phenom Mike Soroka (13-4, 2.68) and the Atlanta bullpen held the Cardinals to just four hits, but Adam Wainwright was even better, and the Braves were down 1-0 with two out in the ninth. They promptly scored three and won! This is the first time that the Braves have led a post-season series since 2002. They have not actually won one since 2001, when their line-up included Julio Franco. Braves up, two games to one.

Houston wins 3-1

Cole allowed more hits than Verlander, but made up for that with 15 Ks. The Rays have not scored against Houston’s starters.

I don’t know if it is going to get any easier for the Rays when they go home to Tampa. The next guy they have to face is Zack Greinke, who was 18-5 this year and is probably headed for the HoF with a lifetime record of 205-123. Consider this: Greinke started his career 21-35, so since then he’s 184-88. In the period from 2008 to the present, Greinke is second in wins (behind Verlander), second in W-L percentage (behind Kershaw), and third in ERA among pitchers with 100 wins or more (behind only Kershaw and Chris Sale, whose poor 2019 year raised his lifetime ERA from 2.89 to 3.03).

The top 25 around the nation

The biggest match-up of the week pitted two undefeated top-10 teams in the Thunderdome. #10 Florida defeated #7 Auburn. Florida’s pass defense was the key to the victory. They held Auburn’s Bo Nix to a dismal 11-for-27 with three picks. The Gators are lookin’ good, but still have a rough road ahead. They have to play #5 LSU next week, and in three weeks will face #3 Georgia.

The two big dogs didn’t hunt this week. #1 and #2 had the week off.

#3 through #6 won easily, and #8 through #13 all won

#14 Iowa fell from the undefeated ranks with a loss to Michigan.

We all know that undefeated #24 SMU isn’t really good enough to be ranked nationally (the computers rank them 45th), but they pulled off an amazing comeback this week. They were down 30-9 after three quarters to Tulsa(!!), but came back with 21 in the fourth quarter to tie the game in regulation, then scored 13 more in OT. It took three overtimes to pull it out of the fire! This is the first time SMU has started a season 6-0 since Reagan’s first term.

By the way …

Speaking of Sagarin’s computer rankings, his formulas place neither Alabama nor Clemson in the #1 spot. That goes to THE Ohio State University. Before Saturday’s games, the computers ranked Clemson 5th!

Remember, Minnesota won their division and set the all-time record for most home runs in a season. On paper they were about even with the Yanks. They each won more than 100 games, scored about the same amount of runs, allowed about the same amount. The Yankees hold a slight edge, but the Twins were expected to put up a good fight.

Hasn’t happened so far.

The Twins made the bizarre decision to give the start to Randy Dobnak, who has pitched a total of 28 innings in the majors and started the season as an Uber driver. Oh, yeah, the kid wowed ’em in Ft. Myers and had a terrific start last week against the Tigers, so he might have a great future, but this is the present, and facing the Charlotte Stone Crabs ain’t exactly like taking the mound in the post-season against the New York Yankees. Predictably, the Yankees lit him up like the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. He faced only 13 batters, allowing six hits and two walks, and he left the third inning with the bases loaded and nobody out.

————–

To give you an example of how much offense the Yankees can put on the field, their #9 hitter, third baseman Gio Urshela, batted .314 with 21 homers.

If he had hit like that at Coors, it’d look like a good season for Rogers Hornsby. He would literally be the best hitter on the Rockies, but on the Yankees he bats last. (Not joking. Urshela had a .902 OPS on the road; Arenado led the Rockies at .866.)

To be fair, Urshela never showed any signs of that offensive talent before this season. He kicked around the minors for a decade, including six seasons in AAA, where he was a steady .275 hitter with about 10-homer power. He played for two other major league teams previously, and never managed to hit as high as .240 in a season. In his two seasons with the Indians, he got into 148 games, equivalent to one season as a full-time player, producing only 7 homers and a .225 batting average.

Friday’s Scoreboard

The Nats won, but they had to use their two star pitchers to do it. Not a lot of faith in the ‘pen. The tied the series, which was critical, but will have to cross their fingers from here.

The Braves squared their series, as the Cards once again proved that it is not possible to win a game without scoring.

The Astros won because, well … because Verlander was unhittable. And dats da name o’ dat tune, as Baretta used to say.

The Yankees put up a 10-spot on the Twins. Did you know that the 2019 Yankees hit the second-highest number of team home runs in the history of MLB, despite losing their two top musclemen for much of the season? Two years ago, Stanton and Judge combined for 111 homers. This year they hit 30.

So …

Guess who had the highest team homer total in history. The 2019 Twins. Guess who is third. The 2019 Astros. Guess who holds the NL record. The 2019 Dodgers. Guess who is second and third in NL history. I reckon you’ve figured out this pattern by now. It’s the 2019 Cubs and the 2019 Brewers.

Ten of the top 20 in baseball history are from 2019! It was obviously the year of the home run. When the 1961 Yankees, the fabled team of Mantle, Maris and company, poled 240 in 1961, it was considered one of the most difficult records to break. It did hold up for 34 years, then 1996 came along, and all hell broke loose. After those 34 years when no team came very close, three teams broke the record in the same year, and the Mariners raised the bar again the following year. In one more year, Mark McGwire would leave Maris’s individual record of 61 in the rear view mirror.

And so on.

The mighty 1961 Yankees are now in 29th place on the all-time list, and the new record is 307. Here’s how to put that number in perspective. Take the 1961 Yankees in your historical fantasy league. I’ll allow a DH, and I’ll let you draft 1927 Babe Ruth with his 60 homers to be your DH. That imaginary team still hit fewer homers than the 2019 Twins.

It’s insane. Teams are hitting homers now about 20% more frequently than they did in 2000, the year of peak steroids. Today’s players are hitting three and a half times as many homers as they did in 1927, when Ruth lashed his 60.

Did they actually field the first team against the Dodgers, or were those some people they recruited from the stands?

Oh, well. Long flight, little rest, two best starters not available. That’s not a good concatenation of circumstances. The team had no hitting, and no relief pitching, and Howie Kendrick picked a bad time to show off the wacky Dick Stuart impersonation that always leaves the clubhouse in stitches.

I’m guessing the Nationals must use Bill Buckner as a special first base coach.

What can ya say? As Scarlet O’Hara declaimed, “After all, tomorrow is another day.”

(Actually, Corbin did fine under pressure in the starter role. He was the only bright spot. But you can’t win a game when you score no runs.)

———-

Meanwhile that Atlanta-St Louis game was pretty soporific for seven innings – but the last two were pretty wild!

ESPN notes:

“Atlanta has lost nine straight playoff series and is just one away from tying the Chicago Cubs’ record for postseason futility — 10 postseason losses in a row between 1908 and 2003. Atlanta has not won a postseason series since 2001, and hasn’t even led a series since going up 2-1 on San Francisco in the 2002 NLDS. The Giants won the next two games to advance.”

I had not really noticed that. 2001? That’s a lot of years. I can still remember the previous decade when they were the favorites to win every post-season series, thanks to having three Hall of Fame pitchers in the rotation.

The Rays lead-off hitter blasted a homer to start the game, and things never got better for the Oakland A’s because Tampa added three more dingers.

The Yankees and Twins will now square off in a match-up of 100-game winners, while Tampa Bay will go on to challenge the mighty Astros, who posted one of the highest regular season win totals in baseball history (107).

Four teams have won more than 110 games in the regular season, but produced mediocre results in the post-season. The two at the top of the list failed to come home with the rings.

1906 Cubs, 116 wins, lost the World Series.
2001 Mariners, 116 wins, lost the ALCS.
1998 Yankees, 114 wins, won the World Series.
1954 Indians, 111 wins, lost the World Series in a 4-0 sweep.

The Nationals will now be in the REAL playoffs (against the Dodgers)

“Washington’s Juan Soto delivered a bases-loaded single against Josh Hader that scored three runs with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, and the Nationals rallied to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 in the NL wild-card game Tuesday night.”

It is always difficult for the wild card team after the play-in game. First, they have to face the toughest opponent. Second, they often have to use their best pitcher to get there. In this case the Nats had to use their best TWO pitchers! On the other hand, they have all kinds of confidence right now, having won 10 of their last 11.

What happened this week?

  • The Jets had their best week of the year – they drew a bye.
  • We learned that the Bills and Lions may actually be pretty good. They didn’t beat the Patriots and Chiefs, but it came down to the wire in both cases.
  • The Eagles got some of their mojo back on Thursday, beating the Pack at Lambeau.
  • The Rams now seem very vulnerable, having allowed 55 points at home to Tampa Bay. That is the most points the Rams have ever given up at home. Jared Goff passed for 517 yards – and lost! (Throwing three INTs and losing a fumble did not help his cause.)
  • The Browns showed some serious offense, scoring 40 points and accumulating 500 yards from scrimmage against the vaunted Ravens’ defense.
  • It appears that Washington sucks deeply. We’re talkin’ Dolphins depth. In two weeks we will all be able to find out for sure in the dream game: Washington at Miami. They will both almost surely go into that game with no wins, since the Dolphins have a bye next week and Washington plays the Patriots.
  • Hey, the ‘Phins are improving every week. In week one they lost by 49, then 43, then 25 … and only 20 this week! At this rate they may win a game by 2022. It’s not going to be easy for them to pull off a perfect season, because they have two games against the Jets and one against Washington, but I have faith in my boys!
  • I fell asleep during the Cowboys-Saints game. One of them must have won eventually. I don’t care which.

Still with no losses: the Patriots, Chiefs and (surprise!) 49ers.

Still with no wins: seven different teams. (Miami, the Jets, Washington, Arizona, Denver, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati). Unless there is a tie, the size of that group will be reduced by one tomorrow, when the Steelers and Bengals go head-to-head. (It has been a sad year for Monday Night Football. If you care, the Steelers are favored by three.)

It appears that Christian Yelich “backed into” the batting average crown by missing the last three weeks. He edged Ketel Marte .3292 to .3286. ESPN’s stats are not MLB’s official ones, but MLB.com has the same info. Yelich also led the NL in OBP and slugging. In fact, he led the majors in slugging.

Mike Trout led the AL in both OBP and slugging.

Pete Alonso did achieve the undisputed rookie HR record with 53.

Eugenio Suarez hit 49 homers, thus improving his HR total for the fifth consecutive year. In every year since his rookie season, he has hit least five homers more than the previous year. Unless he suddenly turns into Barry Bonds, he has just about run out of room to improve. (4-13-21-26-34-49)

The Houston Astros had the only 20-game winners in baseball. It is an impossible choice between Verlander and Cole for the Cy Young:

Verlander 21-6, 2.58 ERA, .80 WHIP, 300K
Cole 20-5, 2.50 ERA, .89 WHIP, 326K

They finished 1-2 in the league in wins, ERA, WHIP and Ks

Jorge Soler led the AL with 48 dingers. In his previous five years he hit 5-10-12-2-9. I won’t start calling him “Brady” unless he falls back to 9 next year.

Freak home run years:
Brady Anderson, three successive years (1995-1997): 16-50-18
Ned Williamson, three successive years (1883-1885): 2-27-3 *
Jorge Soler: 9-48-?? **

Asterisks explained in (excruciating) depth after the jump.

Continue reading “Final major league stats”

As far as I can see, only one interesting thing happened in college football this Saturday.

North Carolina came into the Clemson game as four-touchdown underdogs, but they could have won the game by making a two-point conversion with about a minute to play. They failed and had to settle for a near miss (21-20).

Actually it’s not that surprising that North Carolina scored 21, but their defense gets a big round of applause for holding Clemson to 20! Based on the spread and the over/under, the bookies expected Clemson to score about 44.

Here is the complete recap of the games involving the top 25 teams.

52 dingers. Not a bad rookie season, eh? (With two more to play.)

Alonso had a bit of a slump in July when he batted .177 with “only” six homers, but he battled right back in the following two months. There’s really no knock on the kid. His clutch stats are excellent: he actually batted better in the late innings of close games. His splits are non-existent: he hits right handers as well as southpaws. And he’s as strong as an ox.

In other MLB news, the ten playoff teams have now been determined, but there is one matter still unresolved. The Brewers and Cardinals are both in the post-season, but one of them will go in as a division champ, while the other will have to participate in the much-despised play-in game. The Cards are more likely to win the division. As I type this, they have a one-game edge and have the easier schedule. They will finish the season with two home games. The Brewers have two on the road, and to make it worse, the games are at Coors, where the Rockies are quite competent. (The Rocks are over .500 at home, but finished a pathetic 28-53 on the road.) At the risk of being drummed out of Wisconsin, I have to opine that the Cards deserve it. They have a better team even when the Brewers’ star, Christian Yelich, is healthy, which he currently is not. You do have to tip your cap to the way that the Brew-crew finished the season. Yelich is currently the NL leader in both OBP and slugging, so it was a big loss when he went down, but going into Friday’s game, they had won 13 of 15 without him, leaving the Cubs in the dust.

Condolences go to the Cleveland Indians, who have a better record than THREE of the National League’s post-season teams, but will be watching the playoffs on TV.

As of this moment, the Astros, Dodgers and Yankees are more or less co-favorites to win the World Series, according to Vegas. I have no horse in the race, but I am impressed by Houston’s formidible pitching staff. As I type this, their four regular starters are 61-18, a winning percentage of .772.

Week three recap

After three weeks there are still eight undefeated teams, seven at 3-0 and the Lions at 2-0-1. Most of those were expected to be good from the outset of the season, but there are some minor surprises.  The 49ers were expected to be mediocre, with only a slight chance at the post-season, while the Bills and Lions were expected to be in the bottom half of the standings.

  • The Bills’ 3-0 means almost nothing, having come against very weak competition. Ya gotta figure they will probably crumble once they start facing the big boys.
  • The Lions, on the other hand, have to be absolutely thrilled with what they have done. Their two wins are against the Chargers and Eagles, two teams that were expected to breeze into the playoffs. It’s still going to be a tough season for their improved team because of their schedule. If the Lions could trade places with the Pats, they would probably win the AFC East and make the playoffs, but in the NFC North, they could finish last if they falter even slightly.

As for the underperformers … there are seven teams that have not yet managed a W. There are no real surprises in that group, other than that the Giants are not in it! Six of the no-win teams were expected to miss the post-season, and the Steelers were expected to have only a small chance.

 

 

This week’s polls.

The big winners:

Wisconsin moved up five spots by defeating Michigan easily.

Cal moved way up, eight spots. They defeated Ole Miss this week, and previously handed an L to Washington.

The other side of the ledger:

Utah and Michigan dropped nine spots each.

Washington State dropped 14 spots, from 19th to a spot far off the board at 33rd.

Arizona State followed a similar path, tumbling from 24th to 38th.

TCU dropped from the top 25 all the way to no votes at all, as a consequence of losing to Southern Methodist.

It was a more interesting week:

#3 Georgia and #7 Notre Dame battled down to the wire, with Georgia emerging on top 23-17.

The game between #8 Auburn and #17 A&M produced a similar score, 28-20 in favor of Auburn, but it was not a close game until the Aggies made a furious fourth-quarter push.

The Michigan-Wisconsin game was supposed to be close, but was not. #13 Wisconsin was up 28-0 at halftime over #11 Michigan, and they rode that lead to an easy victory.

#10 Utah lost a close one to USC, 30-23.

Austin must have been wild last night, as the #12 Longhorns took a 36-30 home victory over previously undefeated Oklahoma State.

#19 Washington State, which had been undefeated, blew a 32-point lead in the process of losing to UCLA, which came into the game without a win! The final score was 67-63, which sounds more like a Big 12 game.

#15 UCF lost a nail-biter to Pitt, 35-34.

In that very special 50th Anniversary Monday Night tribute to Namath’s famous Super Bowl triumph, the Jets lost 23-3 at home to the Cleveland Fucking Browns.

Super Joe had some harsh words for his former team. Earlier on Monday, the Jets tweeted happy birthday to safety Bennett Jackson, but then the team cut Jackson hours later and deleted the tweet. Namath quote-tweeted a comment with his thoughts on the situation during Monday Night Football.

“The first words I ever heard from Don Maynard at Shea Stadium in 1965 were, ‘Son, this is a cold blooded business,’” Namath wrote. “‘When they’re finished with ya they won’t even shake your hand goodbye.’ Of course this business may have changed. Just not on birthdays.”

There’s only one bright spot in the Jets future this season – they will get to play Miami twice.

There were not many surprises. The three best teams (Pats, Chiefs and Rams) all won. The Pats and Chiefs had easy opponents, but the Rams were expected to have a hard time with New Orleans. They did not. They won 27-9 in a game in which they never trailed.

The Monday night match-up is one of the worst ever. What scheduling genius thought the Browns and Jets were going to pull in viewers?

Rumor of the week: there is widespread speculation that Adam Vinatieri, the NFL’s all-time leading scorer, will retire tomorrow after 24 years in the Big Show. He’s obviously off his game, having missed two field goals and four extra points already this year, in only two games. To place that in perspective, in 2014 he converted EVERY extra point and went 30-for-31 on field goals.

  • Next week’s demolition of the Dolphins — Dallas, at home. The Cowboys are currently favored by 21.
  • Next week’s demolition of the Jets — the Patriots, at home. New England is currently favored by 17.