Sunday, November 19, 2006


The Patriots won their first ever game in Wisconsin (they had been 0-2) 35-0. Not much analysis needed for this one. The Patriots played good against a team that played terribly. This wasn't a perfect victory on the part of the Patriots who put the ball on the ground a few times and benefited from Brett Favre's consistent overthrows.

Brady was 20/31 with 4 TDs to 4 different receivers (only 1 of which is listed as a WR). Cassel played most of the 4th quarter. Testaverde made his Patriots debut in the victory formation. The Pats rushed for 120 on the ground.

The story was the defense. Warren and Vrabel were monsters, each with 1.5 sacks. The team had 4 all together and forced a fumble. The Pats held Green Bay to 120 yards of total offense. We forced Green Bay to punt 10 times. We had the ball nearly twice as much as the Packers did.

Now, this game was not a statement game or anything. This was a nice blowout win, but we didn't play perfectly and the way Green Bay played wasn't much of a test for us. The real test will come next week. We have yet to beat a really good team and the Bears are a really good team.

Speaking of Chicago, they beat the Jets 10-0 so we now have a 2 game lead in the division. If we had won last week, it'd be a 4 game lead and would practically be locked up.


The Red Sox extended infielder Alex Cora's contract for two more seasons. The deal is worth $4 million total. Cora will most likely remain a bench player backing up a guy like Dustin Pedroia. Cora is far from an offensive threat, but he can play short-stop, third base, and second base effectively. He's a solid utility middle infielder.

Speaking of effective short-stops, Alex Gonzalez has just signed a three year deal with the Reds worth somewhere around $15 million. This means the Red Sox will be looking for a new short-stop once again. Pedroia could fill this role in 2007. A-Gon was what we expected him to be, a defensive short-stop with minimal production.

Even with the Matsuzaka negotiations underway, the big story in Sox Nation is what to do with Manny Ramirez. You know, I think we should just ride it out. We've already spent $120 million on him, why not just spend the remaining $40 over the next two seasons. We're not going to get good value for him in a trade unless we pay a lot of his salary. If he refuses to play, we get him for breach of contract or place him on waivers.

Bill Mueller has retired after an 11 year Major League career. Mueller was an integral part of the 2004 World Series winning team, hitting .429 in the World Series that year.

Sox prospect Jacoby Ellsbury wrapped up a solid season in the Arizona Fall League. Ellsbury hit .276 and scored 18 runs in 25 games for the Peoria Javelinas. He also stole 7 bases.

Lenny DiNardo also played in the AFL for the Javelinas. In 10 appearances he went 1-0 with an ERA of 2.70. DiNardo will once again be vying for a spot on the 25 man roster next season. He's a lefty so he has a solid shot.

Twenty-five year old Rhode Islander Barry Hertzler went 1-0 with a 3.31 ERA for Peoria. Kyle Jackson had a bad ERA of 6.23 but he did lead the AFL with 6 wins. David Pauley did not fare well going 0-3 with a 5.06 ERA. Catcher Dustin Brown hit a meager .239 for the Javelinas. Twenty-three year old Chad Spann hit .268 with 12 RBI and 11 runs in 21 games for Peoria.

In the Hawaii winter league, Ryan Phillips has thrown 4 innings, all hitless. Undrafted catcher John Otness is batting .329 for West Oahu.

In the Venezuelan winter league, Venezuela native Edgar the Younger Martinez has not allowed a run in his last 5 innings. Opponents are hitting .167 off him.

Down in the Dominican, Brandon Moss is hitting .247 but he does have 5 homers, 13 RBI and 12 runs in 22 games.


OK, I know Boston College was probably 10th on the list of games to watch this weekend with #1 OSU hosting #2 Michigan, #17 Cal at #4 USC, #19 Virginia Tech @ #14 Wake Forest, and the Iron Bowl down in Alabama, but it was a major win for the Eagles.

BC needed to win in order to keep their hopes of a divisional title alive, and needed to win in order to keep their hopes of a Gator Bowl alive. The Eagles were ranked 20th in the nation and a win over #21 Maryland would significantly help their chances at getting an ACC title, and getting to a top bowl game.

With the Eagles defensive display (4 turnovers forced, 3 returned for TDs), they beat the Terps 38-16. Coupled with Wake Forest's loss to Virginia Tech, the Eagles are in a three way tie atop the Atlantic Division with Wake and Maryland. BC holds the tie-breaker over Maryland, but Wake holds the tie-breaker over us.

On Thursday (my birthday and the 22nd anniversary of Doug Flutie's Hail Mary), the Eagles go down to Miami to play the 5-6 Hurricanes. We haven't beaten Miami since 1984, but we will be favored to win this game.

We need to win to insure a share of the ACC title. If we win, we could very well be going to the Gator Bowl as the 3rd ACC team. If we win and Maryland beats Wake Forest, we go to the ACC title game in Jacksonville to play Georgia Tech for the Conference Championship and a berth to a BCS bowl.

Speaking of BCS. There really needs to be a playoff system in college football. Ohio State is in the national title game, deservedly so, but there are four or five other contenders that all have good cases to be in the game. Michigan, Florida, Arkansas, Notre Dame, USC, and Boise State all deserve a shot, in my opinion.

The argument that a playoff system would affect academics is bullshit because most big programs have no academic standards.

The argument that a playoff system would ruin the traditional bowls is also a load of crap. Teams knocked out of the playoff could then play in games like the Rose Bowl or Fiesta Bowl. And the hallowed GMAC Bowl would not be affected by a playoff system.