Heap It On ………… Pile It On … You Can’t Beat The Events Of This Sporting Weekend …..
Well after the climactic events of Wednesday that brought to an end an exceptional regular season there’s not much more that can be said . And now the postseason awaits the fans and in particular the MLB hierarchy who could not have asked for anything else in terms of excitement. . As the divisional rounds progeess it will be very interesting to see how those series will be played out. Certainly with the hyperbole created from the last day of the regular season the league hierarchy could not be much happier at present than they now appear to be .
Slide show for your perusal.
With College Football now entering its fifth week many of the programs are now seeking to position themselves further up the rankings . With Les Miles and the LSU Tigers now seated atop of the polls it is understandable to understand the reason why the SEC titan is now so highly lauded . Following the Tigers are the Oklahoma Sooners and their respected coach Bob Stoops as their march towards another national title as well as Big Twelve conference title . Inasmuch as I am enthralled by the college football season I can’t help but wonder when the major BCS conferences and their respective commissioners will come around to seriously considering a genuinely productive format to determine a national champion. It has now become completely asinine to hear university presidents and athletic directors bicker like infantile children and it certainly doesn’t help that programs are calling in the moving trucks to change conferences. Personally , I find a complete affront to the fans and public alike to suggest that these moves are merely being done to form somewhat more of a competitive balance. In reality this has more to do with money than anything else . Greed has been the only reason for these maneuvers and will continue to be until otherwise told . God knows , if the NCAA can’t smell the odorous shit that’s now within their midst then NCAA President Mark Emmert is a bigger fool than I could ever have thought !
Courtesy of NCAA.org
Let’s make no mistake: Today’s violations in collegiate athletics are utterly indefensible. They overshadow all that is good in college sports. They cast doubt over the motivations of all involved and give credibility to the cynical view. Worse, they encourage others to cheat. That is why they cannot be tolerated.
These concerns — among others — prompted me to gather a group of Division I college presidents this month to address these problems and resolve them quickly. The result was a strong consensus and a clearly stated agenda for action, an agenda the Division I Board of Directors and I will enact in the coming weeks and months.
First, we agreed student-athletes must be just that, students who are athletes. Winning on the court or field is not enough. College athletes must also perform well in the classroom. The board took an important first step by creating serious academic standards that teams must meet to play in NCAA championships. Higher eligibility standards for college freshmen and junior college transfers are also coming shortly.
Second, we all agreed that the NCAA’s rules need to be simplified with clear emphasis on integrity — weed out unenforceable and irrelevant rules and focus on serious threats.
Next, we are addressing the needs of student-athletes, looking to increase grants to cover the full cost of attendance and providing opportunities for multiyear scholarships and greater support for summer school.
Finally, I am committed — with the full support of our presidents — to hold all those involved in college athletics responsible for following the rules. It is not too onerous a burden to expect participants in college sports to not cheat. For those who do, we must be clear about the consequences.
We are changing our enforcement practices and our penalties to reflect these common-sense values. There must be shared responsibility — among presidents, athletes, administrators, coaches, conferences, agents and boosters alike — that cheating will not be tolerated and the cost of doing so outweighs any benefit. Words, of course, do not mean much; only action counts. We cannot legislate integrity. But we can and will define it, expect it and hold ourselves accountable.
A formal statement by the NCAA President .
With the Heisman Trophy ” watch” already going on , unabated , the talk is of Stanford’s quarterback Andrew Luck alongside Marcus Lattimore , Robert Griffin III , Tajh Boyd , Trent Richardson and Denard Robinson to name but a few . From my own perspective , Luck might appear to be a shoo-in for the accolade but I do feel that the title is his to lose but the reality is all it takes is for one of the candidates to have an exceptional season and that could very well sway the voters ! And that decision could very well come down to the season had by the Stanford Cardinals as they seek the Pac 12 title .
The NFL — schedule comes around with a great deal at stake for the teams that still remain winless and afoot of their respective divisions . Injuries have played and caused a rather daunting effect for a number of franchises , most notably the Indianapolis Colts who may well have lost — Peyton Manning for the entire season . Statistically the players are off to something of a flying start most notably the quarterbacks around the league .
Of the match-ups taking place this Sunday one of the more intriguing games on the schedule is that of the Pittsburgh Steelers taking on the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium in Houston , Texas. Gary Kubiak , his coaching staff know that the time is now for the team and in particular with the Colts having lost their Pro Bowl quarterback Peyton Manning . The 2-1 Texans lead the AFC South with the Tennessee Titans matching the current mark of Kubiak’s team.
With questions being asked as to why we have yet to see Titans’ running back Chris Johnson perform up to the standards of last season where he was one the most productive players at the position within the league . With Johnson’s productivity down this season and newly incumbent quarterback Matt Hasselbeck having lost wide receiver Kenny Britt for the season it remains to be seen how Mike Munchak and his coaching staff will seek to make the offense more productive . With the loss of Britt is incumbent that Chris Johnson be involved with regard to the team’s offense and in particular its running game . If the Tennessee Titans are to have any chance of success as their season unfolds then this will have to be mainstay of their strategy .
There have been so many times when I have wondered whether or not Andre Johnson will ever get the chance to prove himself in the postseason ! God knows, he is one of the most dynamic and productive wide receivers in the league . But for the life of me it simply infuriates to see such a God given talent at times be wasted on this Texans’ team . Either Gary Kubiak is gunshy to get his players playing to the best of their abilities or he simply is not that good an NFL coach . From my own perspective it could well be the latter, as I now firmly believe that the coaching talent at present within the NFL has taken something of a downward spiral .
In light of the New England Patriots’ loss (34-31)to the high flying Buffalo Bills in a game which showed the flaws in the Patriots’ defense . In the last few seasons I do believe that Bill Belichick has become conceited , complacent and this seems to be mirrored in the play of this team . For Tom Brady if he’s to prove that he is simply more than the face of this franchise then he has to step up to the plate at this juncture rather than giving the customary sound bytes that have now become his persona . Clearly the loss to the Buffalo Bills angered a number of Patriots’ fans who are beginning to question the mindset of the coach . But at the same Bill Belichick still has his loyal band of followers .
The Patriots’ coach and his coaching staff in conjunction with GM Nick Caserio and senior consultant Floyd Reese have always been astute judges of talent and it has fared well for the organization over the years . This offseason with their free agent acquisitions as well as the draft choices made it was felt the coach would see an improvement by this team over last season . Clearly that has not been the case with defense ranked near the bottom of the AFC and NFL as a whole . The team acquired Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth as free agents but these two malcontents could very well prove to be harbinger of things to come should things not work out for both players.
Brady has an abundance of weapons at his disposal but it has been the defense that seems to slip into these bouts of sheer complacency that led to last Sunday’s debacle at the hands of the Buffalo Bills . This Sunday with the New England Patriots taking on what appears to be a confident Oakland Raiders’ team at the Oakland Coliseum /(Alameida County Stadium) in Los Angeles , we shall we see whether or not Tom Brady and his teammates can acquit themselves well enough against a vibrant Raiders’ team . With both organizations having matching records (2-1) albeit that the Raiders sits atop of the AFC West due to the fact that they have a better win streak going for them at present and the due that with the Patriots having lost that divisional game to the Buffalo Bills which leaves them in second place within the AFC East behind the 3-0 Chan Gailey coached team .
This Patriots Raiders’ match-up ought to go a long way in telling us about both teams in particular as to the aspirations of Hu Jackson’s team. And clearly with the division up for grabs and the continued inconsistency of the teams residing there this may well the chance Oakland Raiders seek to truly establish themselves as a resurgent team not only within the division but also the AFC and league as a whole . There are weapons there on this roster to do some real damage if they can continue to play with the confidence that they have been showing on both sides of the ball. And this is clearly what Hu Jackson and his coaching staff have been working towards since he succeeded his predecessor Tom Cable .
I don’t believe that we really need to emphasize what a horrendous season the Indianapolis Colts are now having . At 0-3 the team still seeks their first win and their task doesn’t get any easier knowing that they will be facing a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team whose city is now riding on a wave of euphoria , having seen their local hometown heroes the Tampa Bay Rays make a miraculous comeback to gain the AL wildcard berth by defeating the New York Yankees —- 8-7 to make the MLB postseason . Clearly Raheem Morris knows what is expected of his team when they play the Colts at Raymond James Stadium in the city of Tampa , this Monday night in a nationally televised game .
The Buccaneers with their star quarterback Josh Freeman have made themselves prohibitive front runners within the NFC South at present and there now seems to be a clear indication that the team could well give both the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints a run for their money within the division this season . And though there are those who may well view this as a “trap game” for the Buccaneers I sincerely doubt that they will take their opponents lightly on Monday night . In doing so , it would clearly indicate that the team is not yet ready to be legitimately considered a contender within the NFC .
Morris has sought accountability from his players and Freeman the presumptive leader has reciprocated in kind with his play . But it has to be said that the team has stepped up to the plate and have answered all of the questions asked of them by the coaching staff . Young and hungry there is still the thought of last season when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers missed out on the playoffs by simple factor of not being able to win an eleventh game and thereby denying either the New Orleans Saints or Green Bay Packers for that final wildcard berth within the NFC . It was a bitter pill to swallow for Morris’ team and it has been this disappointment that makes the players want to redeem themselves this season . Whether or not they are capable of doing that remains to be seen but this game should give us all a clear indication as to the ambitions of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a whole .
Picture gallery for your perusal .
In light of the spectacular events that provided a phenomenal ending to regular season for baseball what if anything are you looking forward this weekend in terms of the sporting events taking place ? Granted , there seems to be plethora of scheduled events taking place with the start of the MLB playoffs , college football and week five of their schedule as well as the NFL . Simply chime in with your thoughts as you deem fit .
Alan aka tophatal …….. https://tophatal.wordpress.com
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) ST. PETERSBURG, FL – JULY 15: Manager Terry Francona (47) of the Boston Red Sox scratches his head during the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on July 15, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Terry Francona met with Boston Red Sox management September 30, 2011 and is expected to announce he is leaving as manager . Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ……
(2) Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon ponders a reporter’s question during a baseball news conference for the AL division series, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. The Rays and Texas Rangers are a scheduled play in Game 1 on Friday. AP Photo/LM Otero ….
(3) LSU coach Les Miles confers with quarterback Jarrett Lee (12) in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi State at Davis Wade Stadium, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011, in Starkville, Miss. LSU won 19-6 . (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) ……
(4) Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, left, greets university President David Boren before an NCAA college football game against Missouri in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011 . AP Photo/Alonzo Adams ……
(5) NORMAN, OK – SEPTEMBER 24: Running back Roy Finch (22) of the Oklahoma Sooners rushes up field during the first half against the Missouri Tigers on September 24, 2011 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. Oklahoma leads Missouri 24-14 at the half. The Sooners would go on to defeat Missouri 38-28 . Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images …..
(6) Quarterback Andrew Luck (12 )of the Stanford Cardinal scrambles to pass during the college football game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on September 17, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona. The Cardinal defeated the Wildcats 37-10 . The Stanford Cardinals are due to meet the UCLA Bruins at Stanford Stadium on 1st October 2011. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images ……
(7) Andre Johnson (80) of the Houston Texans avoids a tackle by Scott Shanle (58) of the New Orleans Saints at Louisiana Superdome on September 25, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints would go on to defeat the Texans 40-33 . Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images ……
(8) NASHVILLE, TN – SEPTEMBER 25: Chris Johnson (28) of the Tennessee Titans runs the ball against the Denver Broncos at LP Field on September 25, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans defeated the Broncos 17 – 14 . Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) ……
(9) New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady gestures as he walks away from the podium after a media availability at the NFL football team’s facility in Foxborough, Mass., Wednesday morning, Sept. 28, 2011. Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders matches the NFL’s top passing offense, led by Tom Brady’s 442.3 yards per game, against the No. 1 rushing attack with Darren McFadden, who leads the league with 131 yards per game. AP Photo/Stephan Savoia …….
(10) New England Patriots NFL football team head coach Bill Belichick answer questions from reporters during a news conference, Monday, Sept. 26, 2011, in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots were defeated by the Buffalo Bills 34-31 on Sunday, Sept. 25th 2011. Photo/Steven Senne ……
(11) Josh Freeman (5) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers walks off the field after beating the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers defeated the Falcons 16-13 . Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images ……
(12) Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris throws the challenge flag during the third quarter of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Brian Blanco …..
(13) Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back LeGarrette Blount (27) hurdles teammate Luke Stocker (88) as he cuts through the Atlanta Falcons defense during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Margaret Bowles ……..
(14) Josh Freeman (5) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers runs with the ball during a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images …….
NFL player stats thru’ week 3
NFL team stats thru’ week 3
NB: If only we could take Mark Emmert’s statement on sheer faith instead of the hypocrisy we know it to actually be filled with !