Rory McIlroy. An absolute woodshed taking of Rickie Fowler Sunday morning. Put Justin Rose in that category too for being the lead dog on a Euro team that lived up to its billing.
UTC football. Hooge win.
Derek Jeter. Great exit Sunday. Great ceremony too with Tiant, Yaz, Orr and The Truth. Plus, he's dating Hannah Davis. Mercy.
Brian McCann. You know, B-Mac likely will have a good, if not great, baseball career. Don't know if he'll be Hall of Fame worthy. But on the day his status as the slowest member of the Yankees was affirmed (better than alydar still), he was put in the game as a pinch-runner for ...
5 has already heaped abuse on Tom Watson and even though Phil Mickelson won his Sunday singles match, his post-tourney kvetching about the Ryder Cup selection process and the captain wasn't well received. In Lefty's defense, we ask our athletes and coaches to be honest and upfront and when they are, like he was Sunday, they get hammered for it.
Rob Ryan. So here he is with a chance to go up against the team that dumped him and what happens? They run right through his alleged defense. There isn't another assistant coach who gets more facetime than Ryan - for unknown reasons, since his last few defenses have been porous - and if he continues to get more unwarranted camera shots, he may as well change his name to Kardashian.
Sean Payton. When Jason Garrett coaches circles around you, that's not good.
The Braves. When they sent Struggla walking - and not to first base, since he didn't know where it was - they were 10 games above .500. They finished 4 games below .500 and barely escaped a fourth-place finish, thanks to weekend wins over the Phloundering Phillies. And Stinky Upton set the team strikeout record. For hitters, not pitchers.
5, I stayed up to watch the first few Ryder Cup matches.
I need professional help, don't I? (and probably for other reason as well, yes, smarty pants)
So how should jeter leave the stage this weekend at Fenway? Go to the plate for a late inning AB, only to have the pitcher step off so Girardi can send in a pinch hitter, since 2 won't be playing in the field this weekend (playing the field? Probably. Playing in the field? The pattern is full, Ghostrider)
Winners - Florida State. With all the maelstrom of distraction and starting a backup QB, they gut out a big win.
Paul Johnson and Georgia Tech. Oh, that was some vintage PJ on the sidelines Saturday in Blacksburg. And remember the names Justin Thomas and Deandre Smelter. You'll be hearing them more soon enough.
The Falcons. Big bounceback performance and the Panthers losing Sunday night was a huge boost, too. NFC South is gonna be fun.
ECU. Yes, it's also known was EZU. But these Pirates are a legit force and the good folks at Dowdy-Picklen will pack the place to see their Down East Scourges of the Sea. Arrrggghhh matey.
Losers - Florida State. Botched yet another Winston scandal. Jimbo's emotional postgame speech notwithstanding, Free Seafood University is not covering itself in glory.
The Braves. Man, talk about a faceplant. And what's the record since jettisoning Struggla?
Frank Wren. See above. If you beat up on Wren for the Uggla/Upton(s) deals, you have to give him credit for signing Harang and Santana, who pitched their tails off. But ... this team was poorly constructed from the start. Lots of power. Lots of swing and miss. And not a whole lot of hitting behind the runner, moving guys over, fundamentals kind of hitting, you know, the kind that wins close ball games, especially in October. Which will be tee times for the Bravos.
The Sun Belt conference. Still stinky. A week after 38,000 plus filed into Ladd-Peebles Stadium to see South Alabama host Mississippi State (and get drubbed in the process), 11,200 and change plopped down in its seats to see USA, an alleged conference contender, in its Sun Belt opener against Georgia Southern. Which GSU won 28-6. Join the journey.
Brady Hoke. Hail to the unemployment line soon?
Lovie Smith. See above. Lovie looked like he was waiting for a traffic light to turn all night long. Yeah, and it never stopped being green for the Falcons' offense.
Eagles are that good on offense. Tech is shaky defensively and there's no way they should have blown a 25-point halftime lead at home. The unsportsmanlike call that kept that first second-half drive going, which ended in a fourth down 32-yard TD run, was reminiscent of Jeremiah Attachou going all upside Logan Thomas' dome after a third-and-long stop against Va Tech three years ago. Hokies kept the ball, went down and scored. Scored again. Scored again. Won.
Southern might run the table in the Sun Belt after all. They can score. They can't stop anybody. But they can light up the matrix board. See below for more on the Witness Protection Program of college football.
5, concur Billy Horschel won the weekend. Nice payday for the guy who needs to update the wardrobe. Last time I saw a pair of pants like that it had a hook in it.
Carolina Panthers also won the weekend. Now have a game lead on the Falcons and are two up on the Saints after week 2.
Even though Va Tech lost at home to East Carolina, albeit a good ECU team, maybe the weekend overall was a win for the ACC. BC beats Southern Cal, UVa knocks off Louisville - which may hurt the ACC's small chances at getting multiple playoff teams but also shows that the bottom teams may be better than people realize, and NC State strafed what used to be the South Florida football program.
Weekend losers - the Falcons, for one. The Saints, for two (or for too?).
Georgia's defense. Hey, new DC, I thought you guys expected to dominate.
The Sun Belt. Bagel for 10, and Troy lost at home to something called Abilene Christian. Isn't that a GISA school out of Cohutta or Waleska?
Central Florida also lost the weekend. Now 0-2, and looked bad doing it Saturday, after a great season last year.
Erk ... gonna get all dusty in here again thinking about that man.
Weekend losers - (non UTC Mocs division):
Brady Hoke's agent. His phone will not be ringing anytime soon.
Men's tennis. Cilic vs. Nishikori or whatever sounds like two stomach ailments going against each other. Man, I just got over my cilic. Now I have to go see the doctor about my nishikori.
The New England Patriots. Way to show up for the second half, guys. So much for that talk in the Northeast about another 16-0 run through the regular season.
Savannah State football. Like the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, it exists only in lore. Give it up, guys. Go down to Division 2.
The Atlanta Hawks - when you can't get fans to come anyway, this ain't the way to go about enticing more people to come see a mediocre product. Love Philips Arena, though. No relation to Gilbert Arenas. Or Bruce Arena.
Don't forget Nebraska needed a late heave to beat McNeese and Penn State didn't exactly acquit itself well with Akron.
The Atlanta Falcons. Hooge win. Beat the Saints to get a leg up on them and Matty Ice showed he is, well, Matty Ice with two big kicks late. Oh, and that Matt Ryan kid wasn't so bad either.
The Pac 12. The USC-Stanford game looked like old school SEC. Lots of hard hitting defense. Oregon ... mercy. Just when Michigan State, which played pretty well, thought they had that game in control, here come the Ducks. Washington barely surviving Eastern Washington didn't help, but EWU is a very, very good FCS program.
Andrew Luck. Dude didn't back down on the road against Peyton and the Broncos and save for a late tipped pass might have pulled off a Mile High Miracle finish. Manning wasn't all that great in the second half and his last two passes ... yeesh. Very un-Manning like.
Very impressive Saturdays for the Vols, thumping a legit Utah State program, and for one Mr. Todd Gurley II. He's like good and stuff. Florida State may not be as good as they were last year, but to go to Dallas and find the moxie to hold off a good Oklahoma State team bodes well for the Seminoles.
The Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles and Orange County and Southern California ... also winners. Big time. Dang it.
North Dakota State - now 5-0 in its last five games against FBS. To those who claim FCS is dying, I give you the Bison, Villanova (which took Syracuse to double OT before Billy Owens layup and foul. Oh wait, wrong sport. But it was double OT) and the moribund program of Western Carolina, which threw a hooge scare into South Florida. Boy, South Florida hasn't just fallen. They've gone over the cliff like that Nazi tank in the Indiana Jones movie (not to be confused with Alabama Jones. A very, very different movie franchise).
Not winners of the weekend ... Jennifer Lawrence.
If the Mocs don't win the SoCon this year ... well, there are a ton of questions to be asked.
MT, the line about the Sun Belt being the witness protection program off college football is mine. No offense to Jomo, but you heard it from here first. That being said, good luck to the Mocs, and I do hope they win the conference. They got absolutely tooled in Statesboro last year by the refs and that cost them.
Rushmore of one-role actors? Ted Danson, anybody? I'll also go Roger Moore. Yeah, he did The Saint, but he is really more associated with being a faint facsimile of James Bond after Connery. Connery has done so much other great stuff - Highlander, The Untouchables, A Bridge Too Far, Jeopardy and his constant harassment of Alex Trebek - that he's more than just Bond.
Judging by another story from the fine folks at the Times Free Press, the winner of the weekend was Ashley Dill.
Hi, I'm Spy, I'm a Sagittarius. I love traveling and art museums ...
Didn't Shawn Marion play with Bob Pettit? (He's been in the league a loooong time, it seems).
From the "tandems ... not" category - Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman.
Golf without Tiger Woods comma won the weekend. Absolutely great drama (all the expectoration over how the final hole played out withstanding). Two young guns. An old lion baring his teeth again. Eagles. Birdies. Dogs and cats living together. All for an early prime time finish, and a golfer continuing his ascension and nowhere near the prime of his career.
A bad weekend for NASCAR. The dirt track tragedy aside, the road course races are largely ignored, it seems, and for once, the racing at the end of it was terrific. Ambrose and Allmendinger went nose to nose in a battle of who is the better driver, not a contest between who has the better car or whose crew chief has the ride "dialed in" better. And yet, that is overshadowed and understandably so by the events surrounding Tony Stewart.
So Johnny Payoff had a good (I guess - I didn't watch it) first exhibition game? Wake me when it's over. Could. Not. Care. Less. I pay as much attention to exhibition football as I will to the SEC Network (it ain't all football, yo. Get ready for a lot of kickball. And volleyball. And tumbling around with glitter and leotards. And swimming and diving).
Bad leg injuries? I'll take Tim Krumrie in the Super Bowl for $200, Alex. Or Jermaine Dye breaking his leg on a foul ball. Also bad.
No question Junior and Rory won the weekend. I didn't even know there was a race on, flipped around, saw Junior in 10th with Ms. Gordon leading (it's Gor-dawn) and said, eh, I'll watch the Braves gak again.
Rory should be called Doctor because he's just putting on clinics. And how bout Rory and Sergio just chatting it up walking down the 18th with the tournament still in the balance? They did that on a couple of holes.
And with so many things to worry about in this world, still, I'm just a little unnerved when a kid who is barely halfway through high school is already committing to a college football program. Or that a college is trying to get a kid before he's halfway through high school. How soon before somebody (Lane Kiffin at his next job is a good candidate) starts getting verbals from Myron Football after he finishes the rec season and is in English class at Bacon Primary School?