Friday, October 22, 2010

Hope you didn't have UCLA +46.5 last night

Cam Newton is a lot of people's choice for the Heisman Trophy right now because of what he's doing at Auburn. That's why there were a lot of Tiger fans who were unhappy or chose to not believe the story when word came out yesterday that he told ESPN's Mark Schlabach he'd still rather be at Florida. Considering he chose to come to Gainesville originally and had never indicated any dissatisfaction prior to the infamous laptop episode, I'm not sure why this would come as a shock to anyone. It's not like he's trashing Auburn, but common sense says the kid would have preferred for his career not to take the detour that it did. Given were Florida's offense is right now, I'm sure the feeling from Gator fans is mutual.

This isn't a terrific weekend for college football. Although there are some games worth watching. As little as I think of Les Miles, LSU has a decent shot to beat Auburn if he doesn't screw it up. Their defense is sound against the run, which is essential to make Newton put the ball in the air. Whoever eventually beats Auburn is going to have forced Newton to try to be accurate down the field, which he isn't reliably. LSU's got offensive talent, they just aren't very good at utilizing it. Considering Auburn's D has given up 34 points or more and won in back to back games for the first time in 26 years, I think it's safe to say there will be opportunities for LSU to make some plays. If their D can keep Auburn under 30, I believe LSU wins.

If you're looking for an undefeated team that may lose to one that isn't also undefeated, keep your eye on Michigan State. The Spartans become a legit threat to run the table if they get past next week's game with Iowa still unbeaten, but Northwestern is a good team as well. They've got a really good QB you likely haven't heard much about yet in Dan Persa and are very well coached. If MSU is looking ahead even a little bit, they will lose to the Wildcats. Even if they are focused, they might lose anyway.

Miami isn't ranked, but this weekend's game against UNC could be very important for Randy Shannon. Butch Davis has dominated the matchups with his old program, and this time he's coming in incredibly short handed. With the loss of tight end Zack Pianalto for the year, QB T.J. Yates is missing his most reliable target he's had during this already diminished season. If the Canes can't win at home against the Tar Heels now, when are they going to be able to do so? With former Canes already questioning what Shannon's doing, this is a critical game for him. I think there's a very good chance he loses it.

NBA owners have apparently set a goal of cutting salaries by a third when they do battle with the players union after the coming season. Should they succeed, I'm sure the fans will also benefit in the form of reduced concession, ticket and parking prices. All joking aside, the NBA's problem is a simple one. It's given entirely too much money to people no one cares that much about seeing play. This is a league that has seen people like Bryant "Big Country" Reeves get six year, 61 million dollar contracts. Why should the union help the NBA owners not be stupid by agreeing to cut their own pay? If the NBA doesn't think players should make the money they do, all it takes is owners not being willing to give it to them. The problem with that approach is that owners like Mark Cuban want to win and will pay guys whatever it takes to make their team better. The cheap owners in places like Memphis don't like that, so they're trying to keep it from being possible any more with the upcoming labor battle. The only question is whether the lockout will last all season, but there's no question it's coming.

I'll be in Columbia this weekend, and with the Gamecocks on the road in Nashville Saturday should be a pretty busy college football watching day. Sunday it's another terrific NFL matchup as I head to Charlotte for San Francisco at the Panthers. follow along on Twitter at heathradio should you be so inclined. Have a great weekend and I'll see you back here Monday.

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