And we’re off. Here’s hoping you’re dry and have power.
From the “Les is Best Studios,” here we go.
Maryland running back Davin Meggett (8) tries to outrun Miami linebacker James Gaines in the first half of an NCAA football game in College Park, Md., Monday, Sept. 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
College Football Monday (yes we know it’s Tuesday, but hope you enjoyed Labor Day) Morning Quarterback
Welcome to what will be a regular Monday (Again, yes, we know it’s Tuesday) feature from now until the first Monday (you know) in December. We'll look back at the weekend that was and try to recap the ebbs and flows of the weekend’s action.
Here are the top five things to know:
1) When will the uniform madness end. Jay Bilas tweeted Monday as Maryland trotted out in helmets that were multi-colored and pattered after the state flag (and it’s not a real attractive flag, mind you): “The 1970's Houston Astros have just released a statement that they would not be caught dead in Marylands uniforms.” Ouch. Well played indeed.
That said, Georgia’s awful get-up and the soon to-be-worn debacle that Michigan will present Saturday were worse than the Terrapins travesty. First, Georgia and Michigan have classic uniforms and to ruin those is bad. Second, at least Maryland’s attempt had a connection to the state.
That said, they all look like a mix between the old XFL and something you could have expected to see in “Any Given Sunday” or even “Roller Ball 2020.” (And that’s not a compliment.)
2) Les Miles rules. You know this. We discussed it Monday — but it’s still true this morning.
3) Auburn is lucky. Dang lucky. But lucky and 1-0 — even though the Tigers needed a successful onside kick and two touchdowns in the final 128 seconds to beat Utah State 42-38 at home — is way better than playing well and being 0-1. Ask Oregon. Or Ole Miss.
4) There is a lot of unrest in the Bulldog Nation right now. It will be interesting to see what TFP ace David Paschall brings back from Tuesday’s media meeting with UGA coach Mark Richt.
5) Wow, UT’s passing game appears to have the ability to keep them in the game against anyone this side of the New England Patriots. Bray looked sharp (got to love the Sunday replays on SportSouth, right?) and the receiver/composing duo of Rogers and Hunter(stein, yes, BIspy, we went musical on you) is top-notch. The Vols’ trip to the Swamp in two weeks will be high drama indeed.
Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay, left, sits in the dugout next to Cliff Lee after finishing three innings of work during a spring training baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Clearwater, Fla., Saturday, March 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Phillies deliver a message
Ouch. Seriously, ouch.
Cliff Lee dropped the hammer on Atlanta on Monday, getting his sixth shutout of the season with a five-hit, no-walk gem in a 9-0 win. Lee was overpowering — he hit 93 mph on the gun in the ninth.
The Phillies’ biggest area of weakness is their bullpen. You know this.
But if shutdown starters of Lee and the Co. are going to throw complete games, that point becomes meaningless.
If anything, as the Braves continue the three-game set in Philadelphia, Atlanta needs to salvage some confidence in the next 48 hours. A sweep will almost assuredly linger — in both dugouts — come next month.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning listens to a question during a news conference after Indianapolis was defeated by New York Jets, 17-16, in an NFL AFC wild card football playoff game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
More on Manning
Here are some stunning numbers about Peyton Manning’s value to the Colts. Manning has not progressed well from offseason neck surgery and may miss some time with Indy this year, and that possibility of an absence has sent shock waves through Vegas. RJ Bell of Pregame.com lists the following for the Colts:
— Sunday’s game with Indy at Houston — With Manning, the Colts were a 1-point favorite; without Manning, the Colts are 8.5-point underdogs.
— Reaching the Super Bowl — With Manning, the Colts were 14-to-1; without Manning, the Colts are 35-to-1.
— To win the AFC South — With Manning, the Colts were the favorites and the Houston Texans were given a 36-percent chance of winning the division; without Manning, the Texans are a 69-percent pick to win the division.
Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart's crew prepare to move his car to the garage during a rain storm before the NASCAR Atlanta Sprint Cup AdvoCare 500 auto race, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011, at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, in Hampton, Ga. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
This and that
— The Casa de 5-at-10 was without power for most of the night. For our money, here are the two most irrational common things consistently done by rational people: During a power outage (or even when a bulb is out) we flip the switch expecting light, and we do it more than once; when looking for misplaced keys it is common to check your pockets no fewer than 14 times. Just thought we’d share those.
— Hey, UT hired Dave Hart as its new athletic director. Great move. By all accounts, he’s top shelf. Plus it sets up a real state-wide marketing ploy. His son Rick is UTC’s athletic director. Let’s say Tennessee Tech hires Bret “The Hitman” Hart, Austin Peay hires former ET reporter Mary Hart, Belmont hires former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Gary Hart and Memphis hires Robert Wagner and Stephanie Powers (Yes, the former TV tandem that was “Hart to Hart”). Then the entire slogan can be — Tennessee athletics — you gotta have Hart. Thank you and remember to tip your waiters and waitresses.
— NASCAR is supposed to race today. We’ll believe it when we see it.
— Webb Simpson topped Chez Reavie in the next round of the PGA playoffs. Yep, Webb beating Chez — boy that PGA postseason fever... if you catch it, see a doctor and get rid of it. (Thank you Navin R. Johnson).
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (18) in action during the second quarter of an NFL AFC wild card football playoff game between the New York Jets and the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis on Jan. 8. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
As we discussed earlier, it appears Peyton Manning could be on the shelf for a while. And as we pointed out, there is no other player in team sports that means as much to their team’s success than Manning.
That said, is there a player on any team that said team could do without that is comparable to Manning?
Who’s next on the MVT — Most Valuable to Team — scale? (And we know Eljefe is going to say A-Rod.)
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...