Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Baylor Trying to Save the Big XII

The SEC voted to invite Texas A&M to join their ranks. But before the Home of the 12th Man can be the SEC's 13th member, they're going to have to go through Baylor. One contingency of the SEC's invitation is that there be no legal challenges or roadblocks stopping A&M or any team the SEC decides to invite. Baylor, however, has decided to mount a legal challenge.

It makes sense for Texas A&M to join the SEC, especially with the threat of Oklahoma and Texas joining the Pac-12. It makes sense for the SEC to invite A&M, who has quality programs in multiple sports, and would also help open the state of Texas to SEC recruiters.

Baylor's decision to try to stop this also makes sense. The Big XII is about to be ripped apart, and Baylor will likely be one of the leftovers remaining. They'll likely be invited to the Mountain West, which is respectable, but it's not the BCS. The money that bowl games and TV contracts give to BCS conferences is ridiculous, and that money gets divided evenly by all members of the conference.

To be blunt, Baylor's been getting paid big money thanks to the likes of Texas and Oklahoma. I know they want to keep that money coming, but the reality is that TV dollars now dictate conference alignment, not geography and tradition.

Manny Being Arrested

Manny Ramirez was arrested last night in Weston, Florida and was charged with battery. Allegedly, he slapped his wife Juliana in the face, which also caused the back of her head to strike the headboard of their bed.

Manny reportedly told deputies that he'd grabbed his wife by the shoulder's, "shrugged her" and that's how she hit the back of her head. However, Police say that she had bruising in the back of her head, as well as "red welling" on her face.

None of this story surprises me. We've seen Manny slap a teammate in public, we know that he tried using PEDs, even after being caught and harshly punished. Quite simply, he lacks that voice in the back of his head that says "Don't do that." He's a child that doesn't understand punishment.

And it's sad, because his on the field performances were the stuff of legend. And now he's a cautionary tale.

Brady Drowns the Dolphins

There was a point in this game that I was worried. It was when it was 14-14 just after halftime. The Dolphins defense had been pressuring Brady, and I had a not-so-good feeling that the Pats would lose 24-21 or something. But a 10 play, 73 yard drive that ended with a 2 yard pass from Brady to Welker alleviated all my concern.

The Patriots' offense is just too good for most teams in the NFL to handle. As much as Jon Gruden was on Cameron Wake's junk, the Dolphins' defense simply could not fathom what Brady and his receivers and tight ends were doing to them.

Brady's numbers tell the whole story. 32 for 48, 517 yards, 4 TDs, and an interception that wasn't really his fault. 8 different Patriots caught passes. Four of those guys had over 80 yards receiving.

Defensively, the Patriots had a few agonizing drives. There were some big 3rd down and 4th down plays that reminded me of last year's 3rd down horror shows. But there was something different this time. There were some quality plays in big situations, especially from the defensive front. The raw power of Haynesworth pushed the defensive line back so many times.

This defensive line won't accumulate many sacks. But I don't mind that. I like seeing QBs make bad throws because they're afraid of being sacked. That's when they throw incompletions on 3rd and long, that's when they throw picks.

Just some notes on Tom Brady's performance: This was his 35th all-time 300 yard game, which is the 11th most in NFL history. John Elway is 10th with 36, and Drew Bledsoe is 9th with 37. Brady's 517 yards is the most for a New England QB. Brady now has 265 career TD passes, which is 10th most all-time, only 8 behind Joe Montana.

It wasn't perfect. Ochocinco was invisible except for one catch and a procedural penalty. Edelman was a bit too eager to return the ball even when it would have been better to take touchbacks. McCourty could have hauled in an interception. These were exceptions, though. This was a good win on the road in the division. I'll take it.

The Chargers come to town 4:15PM Sunday.