Thursday, October 7, 2010

He even had an RBI!

Day one of the MLB playoffs didn't feature any superb games, but will long be remembered by anyone who watched Philadelphia's Roy Halladay mow down Cincinnati with ease on his way to a no hitter. We had the game on one of the three TVs in my studio, and even though I have zero personal rooting interest in it I started giving Halladay updates by the fifth inning. It was that obvious that the Reds hitters were completely overmatched Wednesday afternoon. Ordinarily Cliff Lee's easy domination of Tampa Bay might have been the signature pitching performance of the day. The Yankees clearly tried to wind up as the wild card team to stay away from Lee in a five game series. Based on what they and the Rays did yesterday, that was a very wise move.

Intriguing game in Manhattan tonight, as Nebraska ventures in to take on Kansas State. It'll be the first stop on the Cornhuskers Big 12 "farewell tour", and the reception's not likely to be friendly. The Wildcats have been better than expected thanks to a terrific ground game, but probably don't have the horses to win. Right now Nebraska is one of the teams I believe is most likely to play for the BCS title. They're not going to get past Alabama, Ohio State or Oregon if those teams keep winning, and Boise will always have its worshippers. There are many more potential trouble spots for those teams (besides Boise) than there are Big Red though, and their defense is tremendous. If I had to pick a BCS title game today, it would be Oregon and Nebraska for the championship.

I'll spend more time on the LSU-Florida matchup tomorrow, but it's puzzling to see Will Hill's name coming up again as someone who's not living up to expectations. Everyone expected Janoris Jenkins and Hill to be in top shape this season and play well, because they're major talents with substantial experience who likely would be able to jump to the NFL early with a successful year. Only half of that equation has turned to be accurate. Not sure what Hill's deal is, but with a kid like Matt Elam around he'd better figure it out pretty quickly.

Michigan State visits Michigan this week, and fans of both teams are ticked off that ABC has assigned Matt Millen to call the game. Millen ran the Detroit Lions into the ground, and they're still trying to recover from his tenure in charge of the team. He was in over his head from the beginning, and was allowed to keep his job despite multiple embarrassing episodes like calling one of his players a "devout coward" on the radio. Having said that, it's not like the guy set out to intentionally screw Detroit's football team up. Acting like he did comes off as pretty silly. If people are going to go this crazy every time Millen works a game involving a Michigan team, he should start having fun with it. Just drop a comment like "If I was a GM, there's no way I pass up the chance to draft Denard Robinson as a wide receiver." and then continue to say it about other players regardless of whether they play the WR position or not. People in Michigan's heads would explode.

Looking for a shirt that combines the athletic vibe of basketball with the stylish look of an old Dokken concert souvenir? Well, you're in luck. Announcer Gus Johnson has teamed up with the NCAA to market a t-shirt based on his "Rise and Fire" catchphrase, which they are prepared to sell you for the low, low price of just $34.95 plus $4.99 for shipping. Make sure you order early to beat the holiday shopping run.

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