Monday, September 29, 2008
"They brought their toys with them!"
We get a couple of crazy weekends like this past one every year. If you're lucky, your team doesn't get swept up in the wave of upsets. Florida was not lucky. Having said that, as I pointed out in my column for fightingators.com, if UF wins out they still can accomplish everything they wanted when they woke up Saturday except for an undefeated season. Even losing to LSU and then winning out is still okay for an SEC title shot. Losing Jim Tartt at left guard was enormous and will be even bigger if he's not available for LSU. He is the leader of that line, period. Emmanuel Moody getting hurt early didn't help things either. UF has had worse luck with injuries this year than any I can remember since I started covering them in 94.
It appears Georgia's offense took that "blackout" concept a little too literally, since they appeared unconcious for the whole first half. Give Nick Saban credit, bcause Alabama's much better than even the most fanatical Tide fan could have imagined. Having said that, John Parker Wilson has thrown just seven fourth quarter passes all season. At some point against an LSU, Auburn or Ole Miss he will be challenged to make a play late - whether he can will tell the tale on how good Bama is this seaon. It's interesting to see the huge gap between the AP poll, where Bama got 21 first place votes and is number 2 overall, and the "coaches" poll, where just two sports information directors pretending to be their coaches voted the Tide first. Georgia will lose at least one more game. I've believed all along that they're good but overrated, and nothing I saw in person two weeks ago or Saturay night changed my mind. LSU will beat them in Baton Rouge, and UF certainly has a shot as well.
I've got to admit, I'm actually looking forward to MLB's postseason for the first time in a long while. Not only are the Rays in as AL East champions, but Milwaukee got in there too at the expense of the Mets. The Brewers are the closest thing I have to a team to root for in the NL. I had a good time when I went to Miller Park, the sausage race is always amusing, and Wisconsin people are great. Can you imagine the odds you could have gotten in March of those two teams being in and both New York teams missing postseason altogether?
Paul Newman's death over the weekend wasn't a shock, as it had been reported he was dealing with cancer. It's still a huge loss. If you're not familiar with just how much good Newman has done for charities over the years with his Newman's Own products, I encourage you to read his book about the project. Slap Shot is my favorite sports movie of all time. If you haven't seen it, you owe it to yourself to do so.