Monday Morning Breeze: Football’s Capitals and Lower Cases

If you believe in Time and its limitations, all weeks are significant. But this week was significantly significant, on and off the field formed for football.

The University of Missouri’s movement motivated a monumental potential power-shift in college football and served as the weekly CFB news nerve-center as oh-by-the-way their head coach Gary Pinkel surprisingly announced his retirement, effective at the end of the season.

But in a matter of greater importance, this week brought an increased-decreasing of the amount of people we’re surrounded by. Terrorist attacks in Paris attracted the nation’s attention and removed a significant amount of humans from the Earth, along with their 5 senses, their appreciations of whatever they liked in life, their disdain for whatever annoyed or terrified them in daily duties, and their warmth for whatever they were able to exude to other humans in this life. I’m aware people die every day, but as this week also brought a difficult development in my cousin’s battle with cancer I’m a little more focused on what it means to just be. Here. The train chiming and rattling over the highway’s roar outside my friend’s door, the way citric acid predictably destroys the inside of my mouth yet-I-still keep fixing myself those “healthy” vodka-cranberry-lime drinks to get somewhere else. Somewhere else, in apartments and houses and closets around the world, there are shirts that’ll never be worn by their previous owner, shoes that’ll never protect their familiarly friendly feet from harsh paths no matter how aimless, instruments that’ll never again be illuminated by their previous player, partners that’ll rely on those close or learn to find new connections or remain lonely for their remainders, families that’ll lean on prayer or faith that’s barely there or the gift of a passing touch’s share. Apparently, we’re still there.

Yet, we’re forced to continue marching on in a world where The Big Bang Theory is once again TV’s #1 comedy, where somehow people have enough money for luxury car companies to run commercials touting Christmas deals enticing people with enough money to buy LUXURY CARS as gifts, where Carrot Top’s probably rich and laughing on a beach somewhere, where certain celebrated traditions take place every weekend no matter what havoc the previous week wrought, so we can grab the Mahogany Handrail that is football season allowing us to turn on, tune in, and drop the fuck out, until we can’t or we’re no longer. Thankfully, on to the games….


College Football Link Dinks and Dunks of the Week

Hate to start with this but Saban’s face cut is akin to Rushmore being spray paint-tagged, so what happened? Missouri is the news nerve center this week. First, in one of the more compelling developments of the year, Missouri’s football players of color joined an on-campus protest against recent racist incidents around the university. They vowed not to play until University President Tim Wolfe resigned or was fired. This caused administrations and TV stations around the country to rise in fear from their baths of Golden Grey Goose, as an empowered group of college football players awakening to their ability to collectively pull the plug on CFB’s massive TV money would give even the most iron-chested admin’s and TV execs a heart-attack. Well, this past Monday Mizzou’s Wolfe resigned, and the games will go on as scheduled. But mindful players will use this for future consideration of the significant leverage they hold, and this great piece by SI’s Andy Staples examines it all…and now, Mizzou’s Head Football Coach Gary Pinkel has resigned effective at the end of the season, to spend more time with family and continue fighting his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma…Florida’s early on-field success in the Jim McElwain era leading to victories on the recruiting trailBaylor’s WR Corey Coleman is dominating college football this year…One man’s Heisman Watch, if you want to see who’s unofficially “leading”….I mean, Millenials, but still, Clemson players don’t know who Jim Brown is!?

CFB Game of the Week:

#6 Baylor vs. #12 Oklahoma
This was the clear game of the week, as it’d show if Baylor would keep storming through the Big 12 enroute to the CFB Playoff, or if Stoops’ Sooners had enough to keep rebounding from their surprising loss to Texas enroute to a potential Big 12 title.

As it turns out, Oklahoma’s got a pretty good QB and offense, with a stout defense to boot, which led the Sooners to a somewhat-unsurprising upset win, beating Baylor and sending the Big 12 title race into chaos. Oklahoma 43 – Baylor 33

Power of Three Points:

  1. Oklahoma shut down Combustible Corey Coleman: Whether it was a combination of Baylor’s frosh-QB struggling to get Coleman the ball, or the Sooners focusing on clamping down on Heisman-candidate Coleman, Oklahoma got the job done. Their D limited Coleman to just 3 catches for 51 yards, and did just enough to slow Baylor’s high-octane offense in getting the win.
  2. Where’s Shawn Oakman?: For all the hype Baylor DL Oakman got in the offseason, and honestly, we know Oakman gets most attention due to his ridiculous physique, but for someone so physically imposing he sure doesn’t produce much. He was basically non-existent in this game, registering 3 total tackles and a .5 sack. Oakman’s draft stock drops week by week.
  3. Non-Norman Big 12 fans would’ve preferred Oklahoma lose this game: It’s true, as it would’ve set up a winner-take-all Baylor-OKST matchup next week in Cowboy-ville. But that’s now how this world works, so now the playoff committee must consider a shaky OKST team against a Sooner team trending upward, and a Baylor team that’s only loss is to the aforementioned buzzsawing-Cowboys. Big 12 fans just hope this doesn’t keep their conference out of the playoff for the second year in a row, mirroring last year’s Baylor/TCU debacle.

Who Capitalized, Who Lowercased this Week?

L: I understand Under Armour’s trying to make Maryland the equivalent of Nike’s hometown, design-lab Oregon Ducks with their money-splash uniforms, but this week’s Terp outfits/helmets look less sleek and more like Kevin Plank puked nightmarish bad ideas all over them.
C: Florida’s CB Jalen Tabor, with a pick vs. South Carolina. He plays differently (better) than everyone else on the field.
C: The casual spin-move TCU’s KaVontae Turpin pulls off in the middle of this beautiful punt return TD
L: Injuries. FSU’s electric RB Dalvin Cook and TCU’s dynamite QB Trevone Boyking both with down with lower-leg injuries, though the severity of each still unknown.
L: Sluggish-ass FSU getting pushed around by longtime nemesis NC State in the first half. Down 17-7, Jimbo Fisher pulled the plug on QB Golson for the day, inserting Sean McGuire who sparks ‘Noles to tie it up at half, 17-17.
C: Any chance Clemson caught sleeping in Syracuse? Nope. Two-play, 80 yard, TD drive and then a quick fumble recover on D to start the game for the Tigers..
C: ‘Bama with a huge goal-line stand early in the MSU game, when momentum still being established.
C: Navy’s K. Reynolds sets the all-time CFB rushing touchdown mark against SMU with 3 total TD’s, surpassing WISC’s Montee Ball with 80 (and counting)
C: ‘Bama WR Cal Ridley is ridiculous, proven in the past and present with this shake ‘n ankle-break TD catch/run

At the End of the Day: CFB’s Top 25 Went this Way (All Rankings from Official College Football Playoff Poll)

#1 Clemson @ Syracuse
Tigers start fast and sustain, Carrier-ing the Orange to another disappointing defeat

#2 Alabama @ #17 Mississippi St.
Saban’s Satan Train keeps righteously rolling, causing Bulldogs pain

#3 Ohio State @ Illinois
J.T. Barrett returns from his OVI arrest and reasserts why he’s a BMF, as the Buck’s truck Illini

#4 Notre Dame vs. Wake Forest
Brian Kelly’s Irish remain boring, unbeaten, predictably decleat Demon Deacons

#5 Iowa vs. Minnesota
Hawkeyes barely keep CFB playoff hopes corning along, shyly-shucking the faux-Golden Gophers

#6 Baylor vs. #12 Oklahoma
Big-game Bob beats Baylor’s butts, as the Sooners slow down and upset Waco’s Bears

#7 Stanford vs. Oregon
Ducks use Nike luck and speed to stop last-gasp 2-point attempt, upset Stanford in Palo Alto, derailing Pac-12 dreams

#8 Oklahoma State @ Iowa State
Cyclones rattlesnake OSU early but fall late, as OK State survives & keeps playoff hopes alive

#9 LSU vs. Arkansas
Razorbacks set Tigers SEC chances and Fournette’s Heisman hopes back

#10 Utah @ Arizona
Rich Rod’s Cats shock Utes while most of the nation slept, sending Pac-12 to Playoff tailspin

#11 Florida @ South Carolina
Florida’s bo-re-da facing ‘Cocks with no Game, UF puts Spurrier’s ghosts to shame

#13 Michigan State vs. Maryland
Shaky Sparty pulls away vs. ugly-ass Terp uniforms on grass. On hardcourt? We excited to see

#14 Michigan @ Indiana
MGoBlue survives double-OT test from IU, as The Harbaughs survive

#15 TCU vs. Kansas
TCU loses Heisman-ish Trevone Boykin to early-game leg injury, still wins vs. mock ‘Hawks

#16 Florida State vs. NC State
FSU pulls QB Golson as McGuire hot-sauces Noles’ holes, sparking team past State

#18 Northwestern vs. Purdue
Pat’s ‘Cats hang on against the Popular Miner Drinks

#19 UCLA vs. Washington St.
Wazzu’s Mike Leach is a pirate and a wizard, as his Cougars upset Mora’s borahs, keep rollin’

#20 Navy vs. SMU
Midshipmen roll Horse-haired-Hoes as Navy smokes SMU

#21 Memphis @ #24 Houston
Tom Herman has Houston humming, handing Tigers 2nd straight loss & winning battle of the cats

#22 Temple @ South Florida
South Florida asks “Who are these Owls” in upsetting the David Lynchian, Philly upstarts

#23 North Carolina vs. Miami
Tarheels keep ACC momentum rolling, increase Canes’ interim pain in route

#25 Wisconsin (BYE)


NFL Link Dinks and Dunks of the Week

Thursday night’s Jets-Bills game featured Nike’s new “color rush” uniforms which the NFL eventually admitted were terrible for color blind fans…Is being a celebrity endorser for Subway the new Madden Curse?: “Ray Lewis told Michael Phelps to go to rehab.” Rex Ryan controversially names Bills’ LB I.K. Enemkpali a captain for this week’s game against the NY Jets. You might remember I.K. as the guy last seen in a Jets’ uniform this preseason breaking then-teammate-and-starting QB Geno Smith’s jaw. Nothing to see here…Rex remained newsworthy Tuesday by wearing a Clemson football helmet to his weekly press conference, ripping off Ricky Williams’ style, in my mind…While impressively beating the Broncos last week, Andrew Luck suffered a lacerated kidney!?!?…Heavily-concussed WR Wes “Foot Jokes” Welker signed by the St. Louis Rams this week, and everyone’s terrified for his head..

NFL Game of the Week

Patriots vs. Giants
Touted by many as a rematch of the helmet-catch Super Bowl 42 win by the Giants. Touted by me as another opportunity for the Patriots to show the NFL how much better they are than every other team out there and end their 3-game losing streak to the G-men. Post-Deflategate, New England’s been rolling through their schedule with reckless abandon, and this game would seem to be no exception. The most interesting thing to watch, other than the Brady/Gronk/Edelman beauty and the effectiveness of Giant’s DE Jason Pierre-Paul’s fireworks’-altered-now-three-fingered-hand, would be how the Patriots try to handle NYG’s transcendent WR Odell Beckahm Jr. and his Polamalu-ey famous hair with their Shakey Graves corners.

As it turned out, Edelman might’ve broken his foot at the end of the 1st quarter, ODB went off early with a gripping catch-and-run torching the Pats D for a 80+ yard TD but that was about it, and the Pats won late on a clutch special teams play to keep the undefeated train rolling. Eli played really well, the Giants D-line terrified NE all game, yet the Patriots were still able to pull out the win in the end. New England 27 – NYG 26

Power of Three Points:

  1. The Patriots O Looked Bad Post-Edelman Injury: Julian Edelman went out of the game at the end of the 1st quarter with an injury that might end his season early. After his exit, the Giants D largely neutralized Mr. Brady and the Pats, attacking their re-shuffled O-line, constantly getting pressure during passes, and stuffing the run. If it wasn’t already clear before, it is now; Edelman is a huge part of making the Patriot machine hum.
  2. Stephen Gostowski is Gold: Much ado was made way back when Belicheck let former Patriot hero Adam Vinaitieri walk to the Indianapolis Colts in free agency rather than signing him to a bigger deal. In Adam’s stead, the Pats drafted Stephen Gostowski in the 4th round of the 2006 draft, and haven’t looked back since. That other Polish Patriot has been steady-as-she-goes for his entire career, and proved his own late-game mettle once more, nailing the game-winning, 54-yard field goal (after a potential Giants INT was ruled incomplete) with 6 seconds on the clock. Clutch kickers in NE remain a thing.
  3. Pats’ D just good enough FTW: I was very interested to see how the questions NE secondary would handle next-level talent Odell Beckham Jr. With ODB’s early-game 87-yard catch and TD torch I thought the Patriots D could be in for a long evening of chasing the stud NYG receiver all night. While ODB got his on the stat sheet (104 yards, 1 TD) he was largely shut down by Deon Butler and crew after that huge catch, keeping the Pats in the hunt to eventually finish off their New York nemesis. It’ll be interesting to see if their defense can continue to hold the fort well enough on New England’s march to perfection.

NFL Caps and Lowercases of the Week

C:  Nobody’s “Hangin’ with Amari F’ing Cooper”! First off, if this doesn’t become Amari’s nickname or a catch phrase thrown around during his career, then we’re not free (here’s the old show that nickname references, btw). Already proven as a stud rookie WR this year, only a few plays after getting blasted over the middle on a “hang my WR out to dry” throw by Derek Carr, Cooper made an incredible WTF!? catch, leading to an OAK TD.

C & L: Peyton Manning deserves huge applause, breaking the all-time record for passing yards vs. the Chiefs. He also deserves huge boos for getting picked 4 TIMES against 5 COMPLETIONS in this game before being replaced by backup Bronc’s QB Brock Osweiler

C: Minnesota KR/WR Cordarrelle Patterson is terrifyingly great with the ball in his hands, returning an Oakland kick for a TD post-Raider TD

L:  I applaud the development and great play of Carolina’s QB Cam Newton but, while I’ve never met him, he reeks of the kinda athlete that’s always been bigger and better than those around him, only he never hit that level of opponent that could put him in his place. There are many examples of Cam’s punkiness, the latest being his excessive dancing post-TD vs. the Titans, causing a few Titan defenders to come barking at him.

L:  This perfect hit by Miami CB Jamar Taylor on Philly WR Jordan Matthews exemplifies the inherent violence problem with the sport of football. I love watching football but I’m also a human being that struggles when I see people smash to injury. Sanchez leaves Jordan out to dry and might not get invited to the Matthews’ family Thanksgiving this year.

L:  I love Titans’ rookie QB Marcus Mariota. BUT, I encourage him,and every other male-not-Burt-Reynolds to adopt this slogan and “Stash the ‘stache.”

C: Panthers’ TE Greg Olsen with a nasty one-handed catch along the sideline late in Carolina’s win against Tampa. Though they all play so differently, Newton-to-Olsen is second-fiddle only to the Brady-to-Gronkowski QB/TE connection

C: Miami WR Jarvis Landry with the best deflected-rebounded-pass for a TD I’ve ever seen. Ball was in the air for at least 3 minutes.

L: Great hit by Rolando McClain, but terrible seeing Philly QB Sam Bradford go out with an apparent shoulder injury as a result of the sack/fumble

C: Chicago RB Jeremy Langford eating up 83-yards in a beautiful catch-and-run TD late in the 2nd Q against the Rams.

C: Aaron Donald with back to back brilliant plays against the Bears, out-quicking the OL each time and making the tackles

L: Rams LT Greg Robinson with 3 holding penalties through 3 quarters, one negating a crucial 1st down

C: Electrifying Detroit RB Ameer Abdullah taking the 2nd half kickoff 104-yards before barely getting tripped up at the 1, ultimately leading to a Lions (Pettigrew) TD

L: Rex Ryan, in his return with the Bills to face the Jets team he coached just last year, chose to remain in the locker room while his team warmed up pre-game, because the game was “not about him”. Of course, the head coach staying in the locker room during warm-ups is kinda noteworthy, especially in this game, so the media’s narrative focused on…you guessed it, Rex Ryan.

NFL Winners/Losers Roundup

Bills vs. Jets (Thursday)
Edible Rex returns as Bills give New York rug burns, beat Jets

Jags vs. Ravens
The United Kingdom Jags Jag-on, beat Baltimore late in the Terrible Teams Bowl as the Brothers Harbaugh’s stock triple-lindy-flip-flops

Panthers vs. Titans
Cam keeps Carolina roaring finah, despite being an asshole, as Panthers punk Mariotas

Saints vs. ‘Skins
Payton/Ryan’s NOLA cards get closer to revocation as Washington sins n’ skins Saints behind Kirk Cousin’s PERFECT QB RATING

Bears vs. Rams
Chicago averts Rams’ Deadly Slip Ring surrounding the EJ Dome, ride Langford home to big win

Cowboys vs. Buccaneers
‘Boys continue to look like booty w/out “their quarterback, man, their quarterback” Romo, Winston’s Buc’s love booty in beating Jerry’s Kids

Lions vs. Packers
Aaron Rodgers human at home, Mason Crosby shanks last second FG as Detroit upsets Green Bay in Favre’s House

Dolphins vs. Eagles
‘Fins knock out Bradford, forcing Sanchez into (in)action as Miami welcomes Philly to defeat

Browns vs. Steelers
Pittsburgh sends Cleveland deeper down the well of despair, stealing hope without care

Vikings vs. Raiders
Teddy’s Vikes spike those Men from the Land of Oak, as “All Day” Peterson rushes for 203 yards

Chiefs vs. Broncos
Peyton gets all-time passing record, looks awful otherwise as KC busts Denver to 2nd straight L

Patriots vs. Giants
Pats shake Giants curse late with Gostowski game-winning FG, Eli Face Remains Bitterly Burned

Cardinals vs. Seahawks
‘Zona hangs on late to send Seattle skidding, Palmer throws 3 TD’s doing aerial beauty’s bidding

Texans vs. Bengals (Monday Night Football Prediction)
I believe the Texans surprise the Road House Andy’s (Dalton), relieve Cincinnati from the unbeaten tree, defeat Bengals but still stay sucky

Super Exclusive Fantasy Football Tip of the Week

2 thoughts on “Monday Morning Breeze: Football’s Capitals and Lower Cases”

  1. Where did UM’s stout Run D disappear to? I know they were down Glasgow,  but come on…a number 1 unit isn’t made by one man.

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