NHL Super Early Season Reactions

Every season, there is stuff that happens that can’t be explained, or stuff that we never saw coming, and things that we all knew would happen.  This is this year’s NHL Early Season Reactions Column.  I will do one for the NBA in a couple of weeks.

Anaheim and Montreal are really good

This really isn’t a surprise.  Montreal is leading their conference, and have been really dominate this year.  P.K. Subban leads them in assists, which has played huge for Tomas Plekanec, who leads the Canadians in goals.  Montreal’s goaltending has been great thus far, with both of their goalies having save percentages over 90%.  I expect them to keep it up, since nobody behind them looks stunning, yet.

The Ducks are another non-surprise.  Sitting in 1st in the competitive Western Conference, the Ducks are 7th in the NHL in scoring, and 7th in defense as a team.  Corey Perry has been a monster so far, leading the team in goals, and having a +/- of 11 so far this season.  I also expect them to keep this up, though in the West, which is a lot better than the East, any team can sneak up.

Vancouver? Calgary?

Yea! Two teams that I predicted to be terrible!  The Canucks traded Ryan Kessler to Anaheim over the summer, one of their best players.  Since, the always great Sedin brothers have shined, leading the team in points.  Henrik’s shooting percentage has been great, though Linden Vey has 36.40%.  Their shooting a lot better than last year, which is helping.  There are teams better than them in the West, though they’re really interesting, but the Canucks will come back to Earth, how hard?  We will see.

The Flames are the true shocker so far this year.  Mark Giordano and TJ Brodie have been excellent so far, at the top of the team in points.  Brodie leads in +/- and assists (tied with Giordano in assists).  The Flames are 4th in the league in scoring, though they aren’t shutting people out.  Jonas Hiller has been good this season, with a save percentage of 93.5%.  The Flames aren’t great; it’s really just a hot start.  I don’t trust them a bit, especially in this conference.

Colorado’s slip has already began

I said it in my preview that the Avalanche we’re going to slip.  They are young, and lost Paul Stasny to the Blues over the summer.  It’s hurt them so far.  Their scoring is way down, ranked 16th in the league, and the defense has been awful.  Nathan MacKinnon has to lead this team.  He’s so great, but yet so raw.  Even though Stasny’s been hurt for the Blues, his presence has been missed on the Avalanche’s side of things, on and off the ice.  MacKinnon’s +/- has been ugly, and it’s killed them.  I think they will improve, but I’m not sure by how much.

Philadelphia needs to get back on track, defensively 

Now, part of this resides on their really tough early-season schedule, but the Flyers have been atrocious so far on defense.  Steve Mason hasn’t had a good game yet, though he’s backup to Ray Emery.  The offense has been fine.  Jakub Voracek leads the league in assists, and has had a spectacular year.  The injury bug has hurt them, with seven guys on the injury report.  Philly hasn’t been good on the road this year, which may not mean a whole lot in hockey, but still, it can fuel some tempers.  Goaltending wise, again, Mason hasn’t been good at all yet, and Emery is still one of the better goalies on the league, but they haven’t shut anyone out yet.  They have to get back together.  I already had them at 6th in the East, and if they want to live up to that, then need to get moving, now.

NBA Column similar to this will be coming eventually.



2014’s Most Disappointing MLB Teams

Every baseball season, there are teams that disappoint.  I will say, there are more disappointing teams than what’s below.  I took the top three, because there were so many, which sucks.  We never want this many bad or disappointing teams, because it bad for baseball, and it’s even worse for their fans.

I was going to write about the surprising teams, but there were not a lot this year.  The Royals were the only true surprise, and look at what they did.  


Oakland A’s The A’s, in early May, looked incredible.  I remember talking about a possible Giants-A’s World Series in gym class, and giving I lived in the Bay Area at that time, everyone was buzzing about it.  They started 18-10, which wasn’t spectacular, but still got the attention of people, giving the way they were winning games..  Throughout May, they continued their run, and really didn’t let up for a while.

It wasn’t until July when they finally lost some steam.  Unfortunately, they didn’t pick back up, and after making multiple big time moves before the July 31st trade deadline, the A’s completely feel apart in August. Those big time moves were acquiring Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammel, and Jon Lester.  They traded their star player Yoenis Cespedes, which didn’t sit well with anyone in A’s nation.  I didn’t like it myself.  They traded him for a pitcher who they were getting for three months and would take them to a World Series.  It was risky, but could’ve had the ultimate victory come with it. It could’ve gone either way.  I said in the Trade Deadline column it would kill this team or take them all the way.  And really, the trade had affect on their season, but didn’t completely alter it.

In August, the team completely fell apart.  Two separate times, they lost four straight games.  It didn’t, whatsoever, set a good tone for Playoffs.  The A’s found themselves in the AL Wild Card Game against the Royals after failing to win their division.  Oakland collapsed as the Los Angeles Angels rose, and they ended up taking the AL West.

We all know what happened in the Wild Card Game, and I’m not going to touch on it, but it capped a overall disappointing season for a team that looked so great early.  It’s probable that Jon Lester leaves, which sucks after what they gave up for him.  The fact that they lost Cespedes to Boston is heartbreaking, but it’s baseball, and anything can happen.

Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays first month of the season wasn’t so hot.  Late in April, they had a four game losing streak, which capped the month with a record of 12-15 on the season.  Mark Burhele though, had a phenomal start to the season.  Coming out of the gate at 3-0, Burhele was at 9-1 by the end of May.  For a 35 year old pitcher, it was super impressive, and even drove some people to think it wasn’t all him (not going to touch on that).   The Blue Jays had a win streak of nine at one point, with one loss separating them from a 12 game win steak.

Burhele and the rest of the team came back to Earth by June, going along about average.  Edwin Encarnacion had been lighting everyone up so far, and the Blue Jays had comfortable AL East lead.  That division was never good this past year, and it was really a crapshoot between Baltimore and Toronto.

The bad month of June though, had cost the Blue Jays their division lead.  At one point six games up in the AL East, the latter month stretch costed them the lead, and they only had a  one game lead entering July, July was the Jays sketchy’s month, starting off really bad, then closing out strong.  Toronto had completely lost their division lead to by mid month, but due to multiple games that didn’t end their way, though they should have, it set a bad tone for the rest of year.

Like the A’s, the Blue Jays had their peak, and when they came back, they never rebounded, and then the season ends dreadfully.  Toronto won only nine games in August, as they kept falling and falling back in the division.

By the end of the month, the Orioles were running away with the division, and the Jays had fallen 10 1/2 games back.  Their season was over, and they knew it. The Jays have some interesting and key players from the last couple years on the free agent market, and I guess they would try to resign all of them.. Check out these names:

  • Colby Rasmus
  • Melky Cabrera
  • J.A. Happ

Happ is going to be a hot commodity, so they better jump on him early.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers started the 2014 campaign with a huge shock, starting the season 20-8, and taking a early 5.5 game lead over the Cardinals in the NL Central.  The Brewers looked unbeatable.  Mid April, they won nine games in a row, and had 7-1 streak after their run.  It truly looked like they would run away with the division.

When May hit, Milwaukee slowed down, probably a little less than they wanted to.  Losses to the Cubs and Diamondbacks, two teams whose Playoff chances seemed slim already at that point, hurt them, and contributed to their 13-15 record that month, playing poorly on the road.  They were still in first, but St.Louis had secretly been creeping up, which costed them down the road.

June was a massive rebound month for the Brewers; they went 18-10, and had played good baseball.  Their pitching was very good, with guys like Wily Peralta and Kyle Lohse having good seasons.  They scored a ton of runs that month, which drove them back up the standings to a 6.5 game lead. Then July hit.

July was the Brewers worst month, even though the record says otherwise.  They hit rock bottom.  The pitching collapsed, with multiple guys having ERA’s of over 4.00.  It got really bad.  So bad that they lost seven in a row, part of a horrendous 1-9 streak.  Milwaukee won nine games in July.  They made on move at the deadline, acquiring Matin Prado from Arizona.  Their NL Central lead went from 6.5 to 2.5, and with the Cardinals coming up on their speciality month, the timing couldn’t have been worse.

At this point, the Brewers had almost lost control of their season.  They didn’t have another winning month over the rest of the season, and lost the division to the Cardinals.  Their season was over by mid August, and it was truly pathetic.  There was no reason for their collapse, and for a team that looked like a World Series contender in April, it was embarrassing.

I will have columns throughout the Winter, and possibly next week, regarding the free agent market.

NFL Week 9 Roundup

Well, that was interesting.  Over the weekend, we saw highly anticipated games not live up to the hype, and games no really cared about turn out great.  With massive passing performances, and bus crashes, Week 9 had it all.

New Orleans-28 Carolina-10

Led by Mark Ingram for the second straight game, the Saints dominated the Panthers in primetime.  Ingram had 100 yards rushing and 2 touchdown runs against a Carolina defense that has absolutely collapsed.  (Fantasy owners, you feel me)  Drew Brees had a good game, throwing for 297 yards and a TD.

On the other side, Cam Newton played awful, which lead to this Saints blowout.  Newton threw for 151 yards and a interception in the loss.  His running backs didn’t help him, so he scored the Panthers only TD by taking into the end zone himself.  It was a really bad game for the Panthers, who after their decent start, are beginning to crumble.

Minnesota-29 Washington-26

RG3 returned after a seven week bench trip, only for the team’s two buses to crash.B1cYitbIYAAfJ8m.jpg-large-850x560

The crash occurred in downtown Minneapolis on the way to TCF Bank Stadium.  Nobody on the buses were hurt, by a police officer who part of the escort was.  He is now okay.

That was just the start of the day for the Redskins.

Teddy Brigdewater threw for 268 yards and a TD in the win, while his running provided some backup.  Matt Asiata ran in three touchdowns, which helped solidify the Vikings win.  Minnesota’s only breakout was Asiata, and he proved to be enough for them.

RG3 did very well in his first game back, throwing for 251 yards and TD.  Griffin didn’t run much, which is probably a good thing if your Jay Gruden or anyone in the front office.  Alfred Morris had a great game with 92 yards rushing and two TD’s.  Morris has finally gotten into his trend this season, even though we expected it sooner.

Desean Jackson had 120 yards receiving and a TD to lead the Redskins, but with everything they put up, it just wasn’t enough.  RG3 had a chance at the end of the game to lead a wining drive, but couldn’t get into field goal range, forcing a punt.  Neither of these teams should be a playoff team, though Washington has big opportunity approaching them.

Miami-37 San Diego-0

We all saw this one coming, right?

Ryan Tannehill looked like Dan Marino as he tossed three TD’s and passed for 288 yards in the dominating win.  He spread the ball around to 10 different receivers, making the highest individual receiving mark only at 65 yards.  Lamar Miller also ran in a TD to contribute.  It was all Tannehill Sunday.  He looked great, and the Dolphins, even though I don’t trust them, look like they are in very good shape.

On the other side, Philip Rivers threw for only 138 yards.  He also had three turnovers, throwing picks left and right.  Nobody had a good game for the Chargers, and not scoring any points isn’t something their used to.  This team needs to get back on track, because they are declining fast.

Cincinatti-33 Jacksonville-23

My first thought about this game was: This shouldn’t have been this close.  Really, it was closer than the score showed.  Blake Bortles had a great game, throwing for 247 yards and 2 TD’s.  He threw a pick, but it’s Blake Bortles, he’s thrown a pick in about every game he’s played in.  Denard Robinson had a awesome game running the football, rushing for 94 yards and a score.  He looks like the real deal, though Storm Johnson should be getting some touches.  Allen Hurns (Who?) had 112 yards catching the ball and 2 TD’s.  He’s been a breakout start, and I recommend you try to pick him up in fantasy.

Though, with the great performances on the Jaguars side, the Bengals are the better team, and showed it.  Andy Dalton threw for 233 yards and 2 TD’s, with one going to AJ Green, who retuned after his toe injury (Sounds funny, doesn’t it?).  Green had 44 yards, but the leader was Mohhamed Sanu, again!  Sanu had 95 yards, on 4 RECEPTIONS! FOUR!

He also scored a touchdown, but this guy is one of the more underrated deep ball guys in the league, and I probably haven’t given him the right amount of respect.

Jacksonville is a young team.  They’re going to lose close games.  They’re going to lose games they should have won.  It’s going to happen, and it will take a while, but I love what their doing there.  They have a bright future.

Kansas City-24 New York Jets-10

(Homerism Possible)


I’d hate to be rude, and I know this is a commonly used term to describe this team, but I haven’t used it yet.  That time has come, however.  The 2014-2015 New York Jets are a dumpster fire.  They might be even worse than that, but I won’t go that far.  If you know a Jets fan, please pray for them tonight, and acknowledge to yourself what they are going through.

The Jets Sunday didn’t turn the ball over.  They didn’t have absolutely awful stat lines.  They just can’t play good football.  Like ever.  When Matt Simms has to play QB for your team, who might as well shut the TV off.

That’s what happened Sunday.  Michael Vick got hurt (What else is new?) and Matt Simms had to play QB in the National Football League.  He only there eight passes, completing three of them, though.  Vick eventually returned, and had a decent game.  Only throwing seven incompletions, he had 196 yards passing and TD.  Percy Harvin, in his second game as a Jet, went off for 129 yards, leading the team.

The Chiefs though, dominated this game.  Alex Smith threw for 199 yards and 2 TD’s in the win, while Jamaal Charles also contributed a touchdown.  Smith spread the ball around quite well, throwing to nine receivers.  Overall, this was super boring, and if your not a Jets fan, then you were probably laughing the whole time.

Philidelphia-31 Houston-21

Even though the Eagles won, a massive blow was dealt to them early in this game.  Nick Foles only threw for 124 yards and a TD, but broke his collarbone in the game, and didn’t return, leaving Mark Sanchez to take over the reigns for the rest of the game.  Sanchez did well, but threw two picks.  Completing 15/22 for 202 yards and 2 TD’s, Sanchez will be the QB for the Eagles until at least Week 14, with Foles’s injury being a 4-6 week thing.

Otherwise, LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin had great games.  McCoy had 117 yards on 23 carries, while Maclin had 158 yards, 2 TD’s on SIX catches.  Look for McCoy to be featured more now that Foles is out.

On the other end, Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t have a good game, and really no one did for the Texans.  DeAndre Hopkins though, as expected, had 115 yards and a TD on SIX catches.  Arian Foster couldn’t get going against the Eagles defensive line.

The Eagles are now in a pickle without Foles, though some believe it’s not a downgrade.  Foles hasn’t been great this year, but he is a guy who is perfect for Chip Kelly’s offense, and I’m not sure Sanchez is, at all.

Arizona-28 Dallas-17

(Homerism Possible)

(Let me get something out of the way)


(Back to non-homer me)

Brandon Weeden had to play QB for the Cowboys on Sunday, which didn’t go so great.  He threw two picks and a TD, with 183 yards.  The Cowboys couldn’t get DeMarco Murray going, and nobody had a good receiving day for the Cowboys.

The Cardinals really dominated this game, and Carson Palmer threw for 249 yards and three TD’s.  He did start the game with a ugly pick six, but rebounded and totally took control.  Andre Ellington had 95 yards on the ground, and Larry Fitzgerald lead the Cardinals receiving wise.  The Arizona defense keep holding back the Cowboys, which led to the win.

The Cowboys have no reason to not win the NFC East.  Tony Romo will be back for Week 10 against Jacksonville in London, and with the Eagles probable collapse, they should take this thing.  The Cardinals now have the league’s best record, and are way up there in multiple power rankings.  They play in a tough division, but their main competitors haven’t done so well so far, leaving a massive opportunity for the Cardinals.

Cleveland-22 Tampa Bay-17

This was a thriller, wasn’t it?

Brian Hoyer actually had a decent game Sunday, throwing for 300 yards and 2 TD’s, but also threw his two regular picks.  The Browns couldn’t get the running game going, which lead them to have Hoyer throwing the ball a dizzying (for him) 34 times.  The Browns still got the half-baked win, because when you look at the box score, the Buccaneers should have won this game.

Mike Glennon had a similar game to Hoyer, throwing for 260 yards, 2 TD’s, and two picks.  I’m not giving up on Glennon; I think they should give him the rest of the year, because it’s not like they have anyone behind him who’s reasonable.  Josh McCown will probably be the starter again when he returns, but if Glennon does well the rest of the year, he may take over.

St. Louis-13 San Francisco-10

I’m really starting to get worried about this 49er team.  Colin Kaepernick threw for 237 yards and a TD against the Rams defense, which is a tough one, but the 49ers are a better team than this.  The running game couldn’t get going, which plagued the 49ers throughout the game.

In a pretty boring, but close game, it came down to a 49er drive with 3:11 left.  San Francisco had a great drive, and got the ball down to the St. Louis one yard line with nine seconds.  On 3rd down, Kaepernick sneaked up the A gap, and fumbled in process, ending the game right there.  It would’ve been a game-wining touchdown, which is a absolutely killer way to lose a game.  Now, the 49ers lost the game on that play, but they had other chances, and couldn’t capitalize off of them.

Austin Davis threw two picks, and had a touchdown in a pretty bad game for him.  Tre Mason contributed to the win, but really, the 49ers lost this game, the Rams didn’t win it.

New England-43 Denver-21

I really can’t believe this is how the game played out.  I truly thought that this would come down to the wire, but exactly the opposite happened.

Tom Brady had 333 yards and 4 TD passes in the blowout win, throwing all four to different receivers.  The Patriots, surprisingly, didn’t run the ball, giving the weather that morning, but hey, it’s Tom Brady, he does fine in any weather.

On the other end, Peyton Manning threw for 438 yards and 2 TD’s, but had two very costly picks, which could have given the Broncos more scoring opportunities.  Denver didn’t run the ball either, having 43 yards as a team.  Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel sNADERS both had over 125 yards receiving, though caught no TD’s.

Denver is still a top three team int he league, and i wouldn’t draw to much concern for them after this blowout.  It was more about the Pats showing the world that they aren’t anyone to mess with, and really, they never went away.  It’s very likely this is a playoff matchup, so Denver will know what they have to do different.

Seattle-30 Oakland-24

This game shouldn’t have been anywhere near this close.

My family and I had finished dinner, so most of us sat down to watch this game.  At the time, it was the only interesting game on, giving some blowouts.  At one point, Oakland was playing visibly better than Seattle, and i really thought they would win this game.

Visualizations like that are concerning, especially against the league’s worst team.  Seattle, even with their struggles this year, are still a good team, with tons of talent.  Part of the score had to do with Russell Wilson’s poor game, only thorn gofer 179 yards.  Seattle had trouble running the ball, even though Marshawn Lynch had two TD runs.

The Raider couldn’t run the ball either, leaving it to Derek Carr to throw 41 passes.  He threw two picks, but had two TD’s with it.  It wasn’t a great game for him, and against a good defense, it’s understandable.

Seattle’s should be okay, but their definitely not in great shape.  If they want the NFC West title, they have to play better all around.  I think they still will make the Playoffs, but in the NFC, you can’t goof around.

Pittsburgh-43 Baltimore-23

Ben Rothlisberger had a record setting Week 8, and Sunday night, he added to it.  Throwing six TD’s, he lead the Steeler s to a dominating win over the Ravens.  He only had 340 yards, but SIX touchdowns in back to back weeks is insane.  Rothlisberger threw his touchdowns to five different receivers.  The defense shut down Baltimore, by stuffing their running game, which they rely on.  Joe Flacco had 303 yards and two TD’s, but the Ravens secondary was busted the entire night, and that costed them.

Indianapolis-40 New York Giants-24

Even though the Giants lost, Odell Beckham Jr. had a incredible game, and after having himself on the Giants nerves earlier this year, he sure looks worth it.  Beckham Jr. had 156 yards Monday,  in a game he probably will want to forget, giving the outcome of the game.  Andrew Luck threw for 4 TD’s in the rout, and man, he looks like the real deal.  Now, he may have already, but it’s not just how the team is preforming.  The type of throws Luck made last night were incredible, and I’ve really never seen anything like it.  He took over the reigns Monday, and with a just okay surrounding cast, he kinda has to.

On to Week 10….




2014 World Series Roundup: The Giants Complete A Dynasty

The MLB Playoffs are a complete crapshoot.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  We all know it.  We saw the No.1 seeds in both the AL and NL get taken out in the first round; one of them getting swept.  We saw the Oakland A’s, one of the league’s best teams this year, blow a four run lead in the AL Wild Card Game.  We saw the San Francisco Giants continue their incredible postseason play since 2010, featuring Buster Posey and the Panda.

These Giants though, are no crapshoot.  Three championships in five years is a dynasty.  I don’t care what the definition is.  I don’t care what other people think.  The Boston Red Sox won a ring in-between the Giants 2012 and 2014 campaigns, only to completely self-destruct this past year.  The Giants have been a team who plays above average, but not spectacular in the regular season, then get hot at the right time, and with powerful pitching, it takes them to another ring.

This series, the pitching completely took off.  Madison Bumgarner had a absolutely phenomenal postseason, pitching in seven games and posting a 1.03 ERA.  Bumgarner set a record for most inning pitched in a postseason, and got his 3rd ring in the process.

The most incredible thing though, took place in Game 7 of the World Series.  In a strange game, Tim Hudson made it 1.2 innings in, giving up two early runs.  We didn’t expect the starters to be in the game long, but this wasn’t what the Giants hoped for.  Jeremy Affeldt replaced him, and ended up taking the statistical win in the clinching game.  Affedlt was pulled after 2.1 innings, then Bumgarner came in, and completely dominated.  Bumgarner threw five shutout innings, giving up only two hits, and got the final out for the Giants.

That final out though, didn’t come easy.  Down to his final strike, Alex Gordon hit a deep ball to left center field.  What should’ve been a double ended being a triple when Gregor Blanco had trouble picking it up.  Sounds ridiculous, hun?  Well, the obvious was immediately identified by me and my Dad, who couldn’t believe what was happening.  He was nervous.  His hands were shaking.  He didn’t want to be the one to blow it, and because he was thinking about it,  he almost did.  Blanco finally fielded the ball and Gordon ended up at 3rd.  A base hit would tie the game at 3, eerily similar to the Diamondbacks-Yankees Game 7 from 2001 (Ask my Dad about his memories of that, he’s got a good story).

With Salvador Perez coming up to bat, hobbled by a HBP that hit him in the upper left leg earlier in the game, he had a really ugly at-bat to end the season.  One of Mad-Bum’s signature pitches is the fastball up high, and not only did he throw it, but Perez swung at it, and swung at it, and then swung at it again.

He wasn’t gone on three pitches, but the three he swung on were upper fastballs.

Anyways, it was a stellar way to close out a incredible postseason and World Series.  It was truly incredible.  Mad-Bum did something that we probably won’t see again, and that’s what makes him special.  It’s why he won MVP.

The Kansas City Royals had the whole country rooting for them.  When your the underdog, that’s what happens.  But these Royals were more than an underdog.  Having not been to the Playoffs since 1985, when they won the World Series, it was the longest drought in the current MLB.  And the fact that they not only beat the A’s in that Wild Card Game, but doing what they did to get to the World Series, was most incredible part.  I’ve said this before, but the funniest thing is, nobody saw it coming.

The Royals lost Game 1, automatically ending their furious win streak.  It wasn’t a huge disappointment, because the Royals chances of winning the Series were slim anyways.  That was only one game, and in the next game, they beat the Giants close to same score  (Game 1: 7-1 Giants, Game 2: 7-2 Royals) .

It’s amazing how this World Series had it’s share of blowouts, and incredibly close games.  Four of the seven games were what you consider “blowouts”, and the others were close.  It had it’s fair share of diversity, but that’s what we expect, right?  This was only the seconds series to go Game 7 since 2001, with Rangers-Cardinals from 2011 going seven games also.

Overall, what the Royals did was absolutely incredible.  For themselves, for Baseball, for their city.  KC was on fire during this postseason.  Everyone had gear.  Everyone was supporting win or lose.  The Royals and their might not have even cared about the outcome of the World Series, because for most of them, they hadn’t seen their team here, at all.  It was all about the joy of them making it there.

I remember watching the post game interviews after Game 7.  Seeing the Royals devastated, along with their fans.  The Giants, however, we’re celebrating, giving interviews and such.  But during those interviews, they weren’t screaming into the microphone.  They were calm.  You could tell they were happy, but it wasn’t overkill.

You know why?

They’re used to it.  It was the 3rd time in five years they had won.  They’ve been here before.  They handled it perfectly.  Now, as I understand, some of the first years guys on the team, like Michael Morse, were definitely happy.  Tim Hudson has pitched 15 seasons, and finally got that glorious ring he desired.  Now he had a reason to go nuts.  He’s 38, and was part of the “Moneyball” era for a little bit while in Oakland.  It’s quite possible this was his final year, and if so, he would’ve capped it off with a bang.

Game 6 was over-shadowed by the death of Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras.  The news broke during the game.  I will tell you this.  That kid was going to be a star.

Taveras was killed in a car accident along with his girlfriend in the Domican Republic.  I found out on Twitter like many others.  I saw a tweet that stated (below).

That summed up the whole.  45,000 people are watching Game 6 of the World Series, while people in the press box are crying, and can’t believe what they have read.  That shows how much of a shock this was, and what Taveras was going to become.

FOX did a report about the news during the game, and handled it properly.  For some people, it may been similar to John Lennon’s death announcement in 1980 on Monday Night Football, but this was presented on a bigger stage.  Taveras wasn’t as popular as Lennon, but he had the chance to be.

“A lone light in right”

That was all the Cardinals did as tribute, and it was perfect.

Like the NHL Playoffs last year, these 2014 MLB Playoffs were absolutely incredible.  It makes you truly appreciate baseball.  Kids nowadays talk about how boring it is and such, but really, if you only care about the postseason, you should check out the first 162 games of the season, because secretly, they’re just as great.

Sucks To Be You Column: Georgia, Arizona and East Carolina Go Down

Honestly, I’m really surprised this is all I’m writing about.  On Saturday, we had four ranked-ranked match ups, but most ended in the favorites way.  Neverless, all of those games came down to wire, except Arizona-UCLA, where the Bruins made a heave to try to earn more playoff respect.

(For Arizona-UCLA: As always, homerism possible)

What it really came down to was Arizona’s offense.  Anu Solomon, who I’ve not been impressed with this season even with Arizona’s high ranking, had a miserable game.  Completing only 18 of 48 passes, he only had 175 yards passing.  Solomon’s accuracy continues to be the problem, though there is no way they pull him, since the Wildcats have had a great season.

From now on, the Wildcats can’t be sloppy and have to work on accurate passes.  The whole game Saturday revolved around offense.  Arizona’s didn’t show up, but UCLA’s did, which is why the Bruins got the win.

Brett Hundley had 189 yards and a TD in the lower scoring game.  He was also the Bruins leading rusher with 131 yards.  Neither offense did great, but again, UCLA’s did enough, or more than the Wildcats to get the win.  With Saturday victory, the Bruins should climb in the Playoff rankings.

I would usually use the AP Top 25, but since the Playoff rankings shape the postseason, I’m using those.

UCLA was ranked No.22 coming into the game.  They’re a super talented team, but just haven’t gotten the respect from the committee.  Their two losses were bad ones, which is hindering their rank.  They should be no higher than No.15, and I’d be shocked if the got above No.18.  Again, this win could be the start of UCLA’s rankings climb.

As for Arizona, this loss could be considered a bad one.  Even though it’s only their 2nd, it might have dropped them from New Years Six conversation.  They have to play better football than they did Saturday.  If that happens, they’ll be fine.

The biggest upset of the day came at the Swamp, where the Florida Gators shocked Georgia.  Before the game, I joked about Will Mushchamp’s job security, anticipating this game would be a lot different than expected.

The Gators looked like they were playing for their coach’s job.  They knew what might happen if they didn’t win that game.  They dominated Georgia.  Once up 30-7, the Gators just ran the football all day.  They ran so much that Treon Harris threw the ball six times, completing three of them for 27 yards.

Kevin Taylor and Matt Jones both carried the football 25 times.  They both had over 195 yards and both had 2 TD’s.  Jones had 192 yards while Taylor had 197.  It was a incredible performance.  As a team, the Gators rushed for 418 yards.

Now, you would’ve thought, if any team in this game rushed for 418 yards, it would be Georgia. Georgia was without Todd Gurley again, as the NCAA suspended him for this game and next week’s at Kentucky after their findings in his case.  Nick Chubb, who has made a name for himself in Gurley’s absence, had a good game, with 156 yards and TD.

It came down to the Bulldog’s run defense not being able to stop Florida.  This game would’ve been a lot more competitive had that happened.  This isn’t a good loss for Georgia, and it makes them look really bad.  They should have won this game, and really, even if they had Todd Gurley, it probably wouldn’t have made a difference.  The defense has to improve.

East Carolina was a team that I had praised in the beginning of the year.  I thought they could make a statement and find themselves in the rankings.

They did exactly that, until Saturday, when the No.23 team lost to Temple.

The game though, wasn’t decided by stats.  Both teams had decent to bad stat lines.  Shane Carden, Pirates QB, completed barely over 50% of his passes and threw for 217 yards.  The Pirates running game though, had 211 yards as a team, but the difference came into affect when East Carolina fumbled five times, losing all of them.  That was the difference.  Temple took advantage of those, and turned them into to something.

Temple’s stat line was awful, however.  They only threw for 70 yards and rushed for 65.  The running game did score Temple’s two TD’s, so it wasn’t a no-show day.

What’s most important is that Temple pulled off a huge upset.  It was their first home win over a ranked team ever.  East Carolina’s mistakes proved costly, and they are sure to drop from the rankings.  They have to limit mistakes, because we all know they cost you.

Heisman Poll

With Todd Gurley out another week, his Heisman chances have officially been dashed.  This moves multiple players up and into the poll.

1. Dak Prescott, Mississippi State

2. Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska

3. Marcus Mariota, Oregon

4. Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin

5. Amari Cooper, Alabama