Monday, December 5, 2011

Catching Up from A to Z

Here's a rundown on the last couple days from A to Z.

A is for Andrew Luck. The Stanford quarterback earned his first bit of end of the year hardware today bringing home the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. The award is presented annually to the nation's top quarterback who best exemplifies character along with scholastic and athletic achievement. Past winners of the award include Colt McCoy (2009), Matt Ryan (2007), Brady Quinn (2006), Matt Leinart (2005), Eli Manning (2003), Carson Palmer (2002), David Carr (2001), Peyton Manning (1997), Charlie Ward (1993) and Rodney Peete (1988). Luck and Stanford are getting set to take on 3rd ranked Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl on January 2nd.
Photo Credit: beta.jimrome.com
B is for the BCS. I'll be honest. I hate the way the BCS works right now. I don't like that you can play for the National Championship Game without even playing in your Conference Championship Game. I don't like that a school like Boise State is ineligible to play in a BCS bowl because they don't win their conference; Not just that they weren't picked for a BCS Bowl Game, that they weren't even eligible to BE picked. I also don't like that Michigan finished behind Michigan State in the Big Ten Legends division, lost to Michigan State during the regular season, didn't have to play the team that won the Big Ten (Wisconsin) whereas Michigan State had to play them twice, and because Michigan State lost the Big Ten Championship game while Michigan was sitting at home, Michigan now gets a BCS Bowl while Michigan State does not. And finally I'm baffled by the fact that the Big 12 can have 4 schools in the Top 14 of the BCS rankings - the same amount as the vaunted SEC -, but only get one school into a BCS bowl. Sorry Kansas State (8), Baylor (12) and Oklahoma (14). The whole bowl system is broken if you ask me. This sport needs a playoff and it needed it yesterday.
Photo Credit: zaroo7.com
C is for Cam Newton. The number one overall pick in this year's draft is now the single-season record holder for rushing touchdowns by an NFL quarterback. Newton ran for three touchdowns against the Bucs yesterday giving him 13 rushing touchdowns on the year breaking Steve Grogan's record that had stood since 1976. Oh, and just for good measure, Newton also threw for 204 yards and a touchdown AND had a 27 yard reception on a pass from Legadu Naanee.
Photo Credit: cfnews13.com
D is for Dempsey. Clint Dempsey's goal against Liverpool today gives him 37 in his English Premier League career, breaking Brian McBride's record for goals by an American in Premier League play of 36. Dempsey is one of just three Americans to have double digit goals in the EPL and he's the only American ever to have scored against Liverpool in Premier League Play.
Photo Credit: edition.cnn.com
E is for Earning your Paycheck. Chris Johnson made a lot of headlines when he signed for a 4 year deal worth $53.5M dollars back in September. Then Johnson went out and needed four games to reach 100 rushing yards on the season, five games to get into the end zone, and through ten games had run for over 100 yards just twice while failing to reach 65 yards on the ground in his other eight games. It's finally starting to look like Johnson and the Titans O-Line might be getting on the same page though. Over the past two weeks (not coincidentally both Tennessee wins), Johnson has run for 343 yards and a pair of touchdowns giving him 852 yards on the season putting him back on track for what should be his 4th consecutive 1000 yard campaign. More importantly, it has the Titans back in the hunt for the 6th and final playoff spot in the AFC.
Photo Credit: tennessean.com
Fis for Forte. The Bears can just not catch a break this year. First they lose Jay Cutler to a badly broken thumb, now running back Matt Forte is out with a Grade 2 MCL spain to his knee suffered in yesterday's 10-3 loss to the Chiefs. The Bears who had won 5 straight with Cutler, have now lost two straight with Caleb Hanie at quarterback and now are going to be without Forte for two to six weeks. The rash of injuries now has people whispering that the Bears should be looking at Donovan McNabb or even Brett Favre for QB help. At 7-5, the Bears are now on the onside of the NFC playoff picture looking in with 4 games to go. Chicago is at Denver on Sunday.
Photo Credit: jocksandstilettojill.com
G is for Gunslinger. All three of the quarterbacks chasing Dan Marino's 1984 record moved a little bit closer to history this weekend. Drew Brees went for 342 and 3 touchdowns as he goes over 4000 yards on the season, Tom Brady went for 289 yards and 2 touchdowns and currently stands at 3916 yards, and Aaron Rodgers threw for 369 yards and 4 touchdown passes giving him 3844 yards and 37 touchdowns on the year. All three quarterbacks are on pace to break the record if they continue putting up numbers at the pace they have been. Brees is on track for 5375, Brady 5221 and Rodgers 5125.
Photo Credit: espn.go.com
H is for hamstring. We already talked about Chicago's injury woes, I'd be remiss if I didn't address the Houston Texans. Earlier this year it was running back Arian Foster's "not-awesome" hammy, then Foster came back only to have receiver Andre Johnson go down with a hamstring injury, then the Texans lost both their number one and number two quarterbacks, and now it's Johnson again. The Texans top wide receiver pulled up lame in the third quarter of yesterday's 17-10 win over Atlanta, and it's not certain he'll be ready to go when Houston takes on Cincinnati this coming Sunday. The fact that the Texans are 9-3 and atop the AFC right now despite everything they've gone through is quite remarkable.
Photo Credit: sport.webtomorrow.info
I is for Icing the Kicker. Usually you do this to the other team. Unfortunately the Cowboys did it to themselves on Sunday negating a 49 yarder from rookie Dan Bailey that would've won the game at the end of regulation. Bailey would miss the second attempt and the Cowboys would go on to lose the game in overtime when LaRod Stephens-Howling scored on a 52 yard pass play. Still, with New York's loss to Green Bay, the Cowboys remain in first place atop the NFC East.
Photo Credit: thelandryhat.com
J for Jozy Altidore. The 22 year old American striker scored his 9th goal for AZ Alkmaar this year (his 5th in league play), but his Dutch club saw their 11 match unbeaten streak come to a screeching halt on the road at Heerenveen by a score of 5-1. Despite the loss, Jozy's club still sits atop the Dutch Eredivisie, 3 points clear of PSV Eindhoven with a game in hand. Altidore finished second on the U.S. Men's team this year with 3 goals trailing only Clint Dempsey who had 5. No other American player scored more than one.
Photo Credit: msn.foxsports.com
K is for Knational Championship. The K is silent... Probably a reach there, but I needed to figure out a segue for the Stanford Women's Soccer Team winning their first ever NCAA Women's Soccer Title. Stanford's women had lost three straight national title games losing to Notre Dame in 2008, North Carolina in 2009 and Notre Dame again in 2010 before defeating Duke 1-0 Sunday to cap off a 25-0-1 season. Senior Teresa Noyola scored the game winner in the 53rd minute and was named the College Cup MVP.
Photo Credit: gostanford.com
L is for Losing Streak. The Colts dropped their 12th straight game this year falling 31-24 to the Patriots yesterday in a game that was not as close as the final score might suggest. The Pats and Brady jumped out to a 31-3 lead, and Indianapolis needed 3 4th quarter scores just to make the final score close. On the bright side for Indy, they got some strong play out of quarterback Dan Orlovsky who along with teammate Ernie Sims is trying to avoid a second 0-16 season (both players were on the 2008 Lions squad that went winless). Orlovsky threw for 353 yards and a pair of touchdowns making his first start with the Colts.
Photo Credit: boston.com
M is for the Miami Marlins. The Fish are making some moves this offseason and it's going way beyond just changing their team name and team colors and bringing in new manager Ozzie Guillen. After signing Heath Bell last week, the Marlins made headlines again grabbing Jose Reyes for 6 years from the New York Mets. The 28 year old Reyes hit .337 last year en route to winning a controversial batting title (Ted Williams he is not) and gives the Marlins a situation similar to what the Yankees have on the left side of their infield as Hanley Ramirez will shift over to third base keeping both players on the field. Fear the Fish.
Photo Credit: zimbio.com
N is for Niners. The San Francisco 49ers clinched their first NFC West title in nearly a decade with a 26-0 win over the Rams on Sunday. The 10-2 49ers join the unbeaten Packers as the only two teams to have clinched a playoff berth so far this year.
Photo Credit: sacbee.com
O is for Oklahoma State. Playing for the first time since their double overtime loss at Iowa State, the Cowboys did everything they could to state their case for being considered the #2 team in the country blowing out 10th ranked Oklahoma 44-10 in the Bedlam Game. The win gave them 5 wins against the current BCS Top 25 (Oklahoma, Kansas State, Baylor, Texas, Missouri) compared to Alabama's 2 (Penn State, Arkansas), and 7 wins against FBS teams with winning records (Tulsa, UL-Lafayette) compared to Alabama's 3 (Auburn), but it still wasn't enough as the Cowboys came up short and will now play in the Fiesta Bowl against Stanford instead.
Photo Credit: news9.com
P is for Pujols. Keep an eye on the Marlins the next couple days as they are reported to be about to make a big time run at free agent Albert Pujols. If they can somehow pull it off, the Marlins will be able to send out a lineup that includes stars Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes in addition to Pujols as well as promising youngsters Emilio Bonifacio, Gaby Sanchez, Logan Morrison, Mike Stanton and 2009 Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan. Look out NL East.
Photo Credit: zimbio.com
Q is for quarterback trouble. The Texans might not be the only team starting a third string quarterback this week. The St. Louis Rams have a banged up starter in Sam Bradford and backup A.J. Feeley has a fractured thumb leaving his status for Monday night in doubt. Tom Brandstater was brought up from the practice squad on Friday. Never heard of him? Me neither. The 27 year old was a 6th round pick out of Fresno State by the Broncos in 2009 as has spent time with Indianapolis, Miami and Dallas in his brief career spending the bulk of his time in the league on practice squads. He has never played in a regular season game. The Rams take on Seattle on Monday night.
Photo Credit: coltzilla.com
R is for rematch. College Football's National Championship Game is going to be a rematch. I was on board with this until Oklahoma State dismantled Oklahoma on Saturday. Unfortunately my vote counts for nothing so we're going to watch a sequel to a game that featured no touchdowns and 4 missed Alabama field goals. Yayyyyyy... Hopefully we get something a little more entertaining this time around.
Photo Credit: salmanmovies.com
S is for the Southern Miss. Finally matched up against a ranked team, Houston's BCS hopes were shattered at the hands of Southern Miss in the Conference USA Championship Game. The Cougars were held to a season low 28 points and the Golden Eagles never trailed en route to a 49-28 win. Heisman hopeful Case Keenum completed 41 of 67 passes for 373 yards and a pair of touchdowns but was picked off twice. Houston's loss leaves LSU as the only undefeated FBS school. No longer BCS eligible the Cougars will instead take on Penn State in the TicketCity Bowl while the Golden Eagles take on Nevada in the Hawaii Bowl.
Photo Credit: huffingtonpost.com
T is for Tim Tebow. The magic continues. Tim Tebow engineered yet another come from behind win on Sunday, this time without a stellar performance from the Denver defense. Down 32-29 with just over 3 minutes to play, Tebow drove the Broncos 52 yards highlighted by a 40 yard pass to Demaryius to set up the game tying field goal, and then a Christian Ponder interception set up the winning field goal as the Broncos improved to 6-1 with Tebow under center. Tebow finished 10 for 15 with a career best 202 yards and a pair of touchdown passes and also ran for a 2-point conversion. With Oakland's loss to Miami, the 7-5 Broncos now are ahead the Raiders atop the AFC West. Who saw that one coming?
Photo Credit: siphotos.tumblr.com
U is for undefeated, and through 12 games the Packers still are. In an exciting game that game down to the final seconds, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers outgunned Eli Manning and the Giants 38-35 yesterday pushing the Packers to 12-0, just 4 wins away from becoming the second team in NFL history to go 16-0 during the regular season. They're also just the 9th team in NFL history to start a regular season 12-0. Rodgers finished with 369 yards and 4 more touchdown passes giving him 37 on the season. Rodgers has thrown at least two touchdown passes in every game this season, and has tossed 4 touchdown passes 4 times now.
Photo Credit: washingtonpost.com
V is for Vick. It appears the Vince Young show is over in Philadelphia. After missing the last three weeks, Michael Vick was practicing again and expects to be ready for Sunday's game against the Dolphins. Too bad it doesn't mean anything since the Eagles are 4-8. The Eagles do still have a chance to play spoiler this month though with games against the Jets (12/18) and division leading Cowboys (12/24), and must win out to avoid a losing season.
Photo Credit: sportsnet.ca
W is for Woods. After two years and 26 tournaments without a win, Tiger Woods is finally a winner again. Woods brought home the Chevron World Challenge Championship this weekend to beat out Zach Johnson by a stroke ending a 749 day drought.
Photo Credit: abcnews.go.com
X is for Xavi. The Barcelona midfielder, his teammate Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo are the three finalists for the FIFA world player of the year award. The winner will be announced January 9th. Messi won the award last year beating out Xavi and Andres Iniesta.
Photo Credit: typicallyspanish.com
Y is for Yates. The Texans keep on winning, even though they're down to their third string quarterback. Rookie T.J. Yates led the Texans to their 6th straight win as they defeated the Atlanta Falcons 17-10 on Sunday. Yates was just 12 for 25 for 188 yards but threw a touchdown pass to Joel Dreessen in the first half and engineered a 19 play 85 yard touchdown drive eating up nearly 11 minutes of clock in the second half leading to the winning touchdown, a one yard run by Arian Foster. Yates and the Texans will now face rookie quarterbacks in his next two starts as the Texans travel to Cincinnati this coming Sunday and host Carolina the following week.
Photo Credit: bostonglobe.com
Z is for Zoltan Mesko. Period.
Photo Credit: bostonherald.com

1 comment:

  1. Love the pic of Jared Allen chasing Tebow.

    ReplyDelete