Sunday, November 29, 2009

Wrapped Up

Ending it with rivalry weekend was a great way to cap off the 2009 College Football regular season. As the conference championships loom and Boise State awaits getting robbed, we're wrapping up.

Get After It!

The Case For Boise The 12-0 Broncos have a single game remaining, win big or win tight and it won't matter. The BCS has already determined that no game on their schedule can vault them ahead of where they've been (6) for four consecutive weeks. Then why do I think they deserve a shot at a BCS bowl game? It's simple. You can't keep 'em out. They boast a victory (v. Oregon) of a team which will be receiving an automatic BCS bowl berth as the PAC-10 regular season champion. No team has been more consistently powerful than Boise, scoring 40 points or more in each of their last six games and in 9 of their last 12. In the most recent BCS Rankings, no team in the top 10 has a win over any other team in this top 10, except Boise State & Ohio State. Led by Heisman hopeful Kellen Moore, whose play has been nothing short of amazing (38 TD's, 3 INT's), the Broncos are the nations most underrated team and deserve a shot to prove it.

Ho Hum, Texas, Florida, & 'Bama Win The Longhorns got a scare, surviving to get a 10-point win at College Station. 'Bama needed a late fourth quarter drive to win in Auburn, 26-21. Finally, the Gators ran it up on Florida State early and often. What does this mean? Exactly what we thought, you'll see two of these teams in the BCS National Championship game, if you don't, we're in trouble! The Crimson Tide and Gators are in a great spot, one team from the SEC will be playing for the National Championship. However, if the Longhorns were some how to blow the Big 12 Championship, all hell would break loose. Wouldn't Boise deserve a piece of the National Championship game? Wouldn't TCU deserve to get in there? Wouldn't a 1-loss SEC runner-up deserve another shot? Wouldn't an undefeated Cincinnati team stake claim? We may have already pre-determined the Big 12 Champion if undefeated gets a title shot, but does the same go for the Big East? For supporters of some sort of playoff system, this has to be what your rooting for, complete chaos. With that said, Go Cornhuskers! If Nebraska would win, they'd be headed to a BCS game right? Which would leave someone out, you can bet on that causing some issues. Would the Fiesta Bowl really pass on Boise State for a 1-loss Texas team? If you want chaos, you've got to keep eyes on the Texas Longhorns.

When Irish Eyes Are Crying All is not well in South Bend. A canceled West Coast recruiting trip for Charlie Weis after a fourth straight loss. Rumours of his firing are more than swirling, the Irish faithful await NFL decisions on quarterback Jimmy Clausen and receiver Golden Tate. After a 6-6 season, all six losses by seven points or less, the Notre Dame brass will be forced to make a decision very quickly. Three straight unacceptable finishes for Charlie Weis and a fan base of alumni and non-alumni screaming for his job, would you be able to game plan with all that surrounding you? I'm going to defend Weis for a moment. [1] He's a very good offensive coach, the ninth ranked offense in all of college football proves that. An offense which has scored 30 points per game and averaged 45 yards + per game has been nothing short of outstanding this season. [2] He can recruit and coach up. Jimmy Clausen is the perfect example. Here's a kid who will most likely be playing Sundays next season after being drafted in the top 5. Clausen has thrown 28 touchdown passes and just four interceptions. A top 10 quarterback in yards per attempt, total yards, and completion percentage. When Clausen told reporters this Saturday "I wouldn't be at Notre Dame if it wasn't for Charlie," someone should take notice. [3] No way Tate & Clausen don't jump to the NFL if Weis goes, new coach won't come out and get you to a BCS game in 2010, too much work will have to be done. Get over it Notre Dame, you just aren't that great any longer. Rudy would have went to Gainesville!

Final Heisman Breakdown:

(1) Toby Gerhart, RB Stanford No player made a better final push. Gerhart turned in his 3rd 200+ yard performance on Saturday which included adding 3 more rushing touchdowns. Ending the regular season as the nations leader in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.

(2) Colt McCoy, QB Texas McCoy gets it. Finish the season stronger than you start. The Texas quarterback threw 10 touchdowns in his final three outings going interception free. Heading into the Big 12 Championship Colt McCoy is as sharp as he's been.

(3) C.J. Spiller, RB Clemson You can only ignore C.J. Spiller's Heisman candidacy for so long. 7 Rushing touchdowns, 4 receiving touchdowns, and 4 kick returns for a touchdown. As Clemson made their final push toward the ACC Championship, Spiller racked up three performances of over 100 all purpose yards. He's THE game changer!

(4) Mark Ingram, RB Alabama The frontrunner for much of a lackluster Heisman race, Ingram has averaged 6.46 yards per carry in a great season. 'Bama's top weapon has picked big games to have his best; 150 yards v. Virginia Tech, 172 v. Ole' Miss, 246 v. South Carolina, 144 v. LSU, and 149 against Mississippi State.

(5) Tim Tebow, QB Florida Say what you want about his numbers in 2009, Tim Tebow is the heart & soul of the nations top football program. His final performance in Gainesville was throwback Tim Tebow; 17 of 21 for 221 yards and three touchdowns. Vintage Tebow also racked up 90 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns on Saturday afternoon.

LynchyRightNow Prediction: Toby Gerhart

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

10 & Oh No!

For the New Orleans Saints & Indianapolis Colts, it has been quite a nice ride. Both teams boasting 10-0 records through eleven NFL weeks. Both teams presenting fine MVP candidates under center. More importantly, both teams positioning themselves nicely for a deep postseason run. All that being said, by Tuesday morning Mercury Morris and Don Shula will be deep into their glasses of Dom Perignon. Pop It!

First up, the Indianapolis Colts and their week 12 meeting with division rival the Houston Texans. Yes, I'm predicting the Colts drop their first game of 2009 against a reeling Texans squad. Why?!? Glad you asked. For starters, the Texans are just that, reeling. Just two weeks ago the Texans gave Indianapolis a great scare until a last minute missed field goal from embattled kicker Kris Brown. In that game, quarterback Matt Schaub completed 32 passes including 10 to All-World receiver, Andre Johnson for over 100 yards. Why does this matter? Including that particular game, the Colts defense has allowed three straight 100-yard receivers. It's only a matter of time before the Colts drop a game with that many injuries to their secondary. Furthermore, how many weeks can the Colts tightrope walk against very good teams? The previously mentioned Kris Brown missed field goal, the now infamous Bill Belichick 4th down call, the late interception on a driving Joe Flacco, it's about time the Colts luck runs out. The Texans have the weapons to do it and a defense that can cause Peyton fits. Prediction: Houston 34 Indianapolis 24

The New Orleans Saints may just be that good; However to be the best, you've got to beat the best. Have you seen Tom Brady & Randy Moss recently? Saying they've got their swagger back would be a gross understatement (and only adds to the amout of times the word "swagger" has been used in 2009). Over the past five games, Randy Moss has caught seven touchdown passes and is averaging 111 yards per game. Funny thing is, that is still 13 yards shy of what Brady's favorite target, Wes Welker, is doing (124 yards per). The Saints are going to have to do better than they have as of late. Sure they've beaten St. Louis and Tampa Bay in the past two weeks, but New England is on an entirely different planet than those two. The New Orleans defense has given up 20+ in five of their last six games, shootouts don't go so well when Tom Brady's offense is who your going up against. While Drew Brees has these Saints ready for greatness, a win against New England would elevate them to new levels. Unfortunately that won't happen. The Patriot defense is better than adverstised, ranked sixth in passing yards allowed per game and second in total points scored per game. Prediction: New England 35 New Orleans 20

The NFL is an incredibly tough league to go undefeated in, from week in and week out anything can happen. The Broncos went from 6-0 to 6-4 in a flash. The Raiders lose to the Giants 7-44 and come back to beat Philadelphia a team which beat the Giants 40-17. If it doesn't happen this week for Indianapolis & New Orleans, mark my words it'll happen. Have a great Thanksgiving! Gobble Gobble!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

LRN Power Rankings: Week 12

Vince Young is leading the Titans on an impressive comeback trail. That's something I thought I'd never say again. While the world puts their focus on New Orleans/New England next Monday Night, we're giving you the Week 12 Power Rankings:

Get After It!

1. Indianapolis Colts (1) Peyton & Co. marched into Baltimore and left still undefeated. The now 10-0 Indianapolis Colts are poised and tested, winning their fourth straight game by four points or less.

2. New Orleans Saints (2) The Saints are good, very good. Their 10-0 record is the best start in team history. However, if you want to earn everyones respect you've got to take care of business on November 30th, Monday Night.

3. Minnesota Vikings (4) A real chance exists that the 9-1 Vikings will end up playing in the postseason with home field throughout. Don't think that matters? Favre and the Vikings haven't scored less than 27 points in that dome. With that defense on the other side of the ball, 27 points is plenty.

4. New England Patriots (5) We know the Patriots are good at home (6-0), but it is about time they get it done outside of Foxborough. Beating an undefeated New Orleans team in the Superdome would prove a point.

5. San Diego Chargers (7) After a 2-3 start, the Chargers have stormed back winning five straight and taking control of the AFC West. Over that stretch quarterback Phillip Rivers has tossed 10 touchdown passes and just three interceptions.

6. Cincinnati Bengals (3) How does a team which wins in Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Green Bay then lose in Oakland? The Bengals are good, I give you that much. Losses like this one in Oakland is what makes them not good enough.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (6) After losing to Kansas City, the Steelers have made their trip to Baltimore next week even that much more important. Another loss would put alot more heat on a team that has flat out underachieved as defending champions.

8. Baltimore Ravens (8) How much tougher can their schedule get? Indy this week, Pittsburgh next week, and then to Green Bay the week after. The 5-5 Ravens can expect a dog fight for a Wild Card spot and only hope to sneak in.

9. Dallas Cowboys by Default (9) A 7-6 win against a bad Redskins team is nothing to be proud of; However I like what Tony Romo said "You have to keep the game in front of you, don't look back." Trust me, no one is looking back at that one.

10. Philadelphia Eagles by Default (11) The Eagles are still hovering, there loss to Big D and average 6-4 win loss record holds them back. We have to take notice of LeSean McCoy and his ability to get them yards on the ground as they wait for Brian Westbrook to get back.

11. Houston Texans by Default (10) That was the type of win Houston should have had; but they lost and now they sit back at 5-5 where they are very used to being. On the flip side, I do still believe they knock off Indianapolis next week.

12. Arizona Cardinals (15) My concern is the Cardinals won't get up for non-division games knowing that they have the NFC West all but wrapped up. We'll get to see how good the Cardinals really are when Minnesota comes to their place in two weeks.

13. Miami Dolphins (14) No Ronnie Brown for the remainder, but Ricky Williams can carry the load as long as Miami can find another dimension. They'll literally play every team which will be battling them for a Wild Card. Jacksonville, Tennessee, Houston, and Pittsburgh on the schedule.

14. Green Bay Packers (13) It was great to see the Packers win two straight games and play their way back into the mix, but losing two defensive starters and almost blowing a huge lead is no way to stay in that mix.

15. Tennessee Titans (21) The once 0-6 Titans have pulled a complete turnaround in the middle of the season winning four straight. Since November 1st Chris Johnson has rushed for 161 yards per game and quarterback Vince Young playing mistake free football and keeping one thing in mind. Just W-I-N.

16. New York Giants (20) The Giants did a few things by beating Atlanta. First off, they stopped pressing and you saw Eli in the post game saying how he was relieved after 42 days since their last win. Secondly, they're only one game behind the division lead and get to play Dallas again.

17. Denver Broncos (12) The Broncos couldn't talk the talk. After winning six straight and now falling to 6-4 with a crucial loss to division rival San Diego, things are getting ugly. Kyle Orton needs to get healthy or this will spiral way out of control.

18. Carolina Panthers (16) Tough loss against Miami, but with the play of borderline teams in the NFC, anything is possible. No team finishes tougher with games against the Patriots, Giants, Saints, and Vikings. Ouch!

19. Jacksonville Jaguars (19) Jacksonville is playing for a playoff spot now tied with Pittsburgh, Denver, Miami, and most likely division rival Houston. Luckily for the Jags they get two of those four teams in their own place over the next three weeks.

20. Atlanta Falcons (17) The now .500 Falcons should have one particular goal in mind: Finish above .500 It's important that this franchise accomplish something after having such a tough schedule to navigate, that would be having two straight winning seasons which is something the Falcons have never done.

21. San Francisco 49ers (18) The Niners put together a great second half and gave Green Bay a good scare in Lambeau. Unfortunately they're 4-6 and are playing their way out of a possible postseason push.

22. Chicago Bears (22) When Donovan McNabb made it a point to find Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and assure him things would get better after the Bears 24-20 loss, he forgot to tell him one thing from me: HAND THE BALL TO MATT FORTE AND RUN THE DAMN BALL!

23. Kansas City Chiefs (25) They are easily the best of the worst, you saw that when they had what it took to beat Pittsburgh in overtime. With Larry Johnson gone this team can breath and get back to playing football, you saw that this week.

24. New York Jets (23) Look, Mark Sanchez sucks. I'm sorry, that may have been to harsh, but 16 interceptions isn't going to get you a rookie of the year that's for sure. Let me say this one thing, new quarterbacks don't hit the ground running without slip ups. Look at what Ryan & Flacco are doing this season, they are having growing pains as well.

25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (24) I probably give too much credit to a team which boasts a 1-9 record through 11 weeks. Tough break for the Bucs to have played New England, Green Bay, Miami, and New Orleans in consecutive weeks. Nice to know you have a Top 3 picked all but locked up.

26. Oakland Raiders (30) I give up. Bruce Gradkowski was under center and somehow the Raiders come out with a win. I'm telling you, when teams go into that black hole things get very interesting.

27. Washington Redskins (28) Back to back weeks the 'Skins have brought it against playoff hopeful teams. I'm going out on a limb here, but I think this is a good opportunity for one of those 'big' name coaches, so long as they get personnel control.

28. Buffalo Bills (29) Things aren't good in Buffalo, however firing Dick Jauron and starting fresh is moving in the right direction. Note to NFL franchises, firing your offensive coordinator before you take a snap is never a good idea.

29. St. Louis Rams (26) Quietly, running back Steven Jackson is second in the league in rushing (1,031 yards). I won't be the first to think Jimmy Clausen is their future.

30. Seattle Seahawks (27) How did this (3-7) Seahawks team knock off Jacksonville to the tune of 41-0 just over a month ago. Since then they've lost 4 of 5 and are setting themselves up for another Top 10 draft pick.

31. Detroit Lions (31) I love Matt Stafford coming back in after being injured. The Lions haven't had a player who wants to lead that team in a very long time, Matt Stafford wants that job.

32. Cleveland Browns (32) That loss in Detroit will linger. A 1-9 Browns team couldn't have lost in a worse way than on a defensive pass interference call that cost them their 2nd win. Ugly.

If you'd like to leave comments you can on this page, or if you message me on Twitter. Check back for new podcasts, Thanks for reading!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Binkie

Everyone who knows me or follows this column, knows I have a tendency to latch on to certain players or teams in professional and college athletics. To name a few, Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester, Celtics star Paul Pierce, Boston College linebacker and cancer survivor Mark Herzlich. On the team side, the '08-'09 Villanova Wildcats during March Madness, the '07-'08 Xavier Musketeers during March Madness, and more current, the 2009 Cincinnati 'football' Bearcats and heck, the 2009 Cincinnati Bengals!

Now these aren't teams that I'll follow forever or even the players for that matter, but each one of them fits into my specific criteria to becoming 'My Binkie':

(1) Player (X) or Team (X) has to go through adversity, professionally or personally I.E. Paul Pierce playing his entire career in Beantown and wanting to be here, through good times and in bad. Through double-digit losing streaks, through two stints with Antoine Walker, and through the Vitaly Potepenko era. When his number is raised to rafters, it'll be special. (Both Lester & Herzlich are surviving or have survived cancer, but you know that.)

(2) Player (X) or Team (X) has to be unmentioned by most, and robbed of something. I.E. You may know the name Mark Herzlich because he is surviving cancer and fighting like a champ. I cheer for Mark because he had the world by the cojones prior to developing this rare form of cancer. Herzlich is the true 2008 Dick Butkus Award winner, given to the nation's top linebacker. Not Aaron Curry. All do respect to Curry, but Mark Herzlich had a way better season last year. 2008 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, 110 tackles (81 solo, good for 4th in the country), 6 INT's (8th in the country), and 2 returned for TD's (tied for 1st in the country). Robbed of an award, and underrated.

(3) Player (X) or Team (X) has to really grip me, or just be picked by me in a March Madness office pool. The Xavier Musketeers two seasons ago and Villanova Wildcats this past year, were my college hoops sleepers. Xavier reached the Elite 8 and kept me looking smart, and Villanova last season reached the Final Four and awarded me my second straight office pool championship. On the other hand, you have a city like Cincinnati, they've experienced quite a bit of losing with the Bengals. Now in 2009, both their college football team and professional football teams are poised to make a deep run. Anytime a city who was previously left for dead is now awake, i love it!

So you have the criteria. You know both examples of 'my binkie' and how one becomes that. There is no trophy for this, because only I care, but if you've read this far then why not finish it off. Without further adieu, 'my new binkie' is:

Boston College true freshman linebacker, Luke Kuechly. Don't bother searching on google, I'm about to introduce you. I've seen this kid play in person seven times this season, and four times on television, I'm utterly impressed. The circumstances arriving on Chestnut Hill were different for Kuechly than most freshman in their first year of college football. Two senior stud linebackers, Mark Herzlich and Mike McLaughlin, ahead of him on the roster. A head coach in his first year in that role. A defense which just lost its best two interior defensive lineman, Ron Brace and B.J. Raji, to the pros. However, after an achilles injury to McLaughlin and the well known story of cancer and Mark Herzlich, Kuechly was thrust into the role as inside linebacker for the Boston College Eagles. Prior to yesterday's loss at home against North Carolina, Kuechly was ranked 8th in total tackles in the country (107) and tied for 2nd in solo tackles (66). Before I go on, Kuechly played his tail off yesterday recording 19 tackles in a losing effort. I want everyone to remember this super freshmans name, because he's that good. For an entire season I watched him play sideline to sideline running down receivers, running backs, and quarterbacks alike. This kid plays with more fire and controlled desire than anyone I've ever seen at that age. A year ago he was tackling high schoolers running the option in Ohio, now he's running down the likes of C.J. Spiller, Tyrod Taylor, and Riley Skinner. Luke Kuechly is number one on my must watch list at this point, and if Herzlich makes it back next season, my head will explode. 'My Binkie'! (Yes, I am a BC season ticket holder and homer, but the kid deserves his due!)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Keep It Real Friday!

K-K-K-K-Keep It Real Friday! We're talking everything on this one, no introduction needed . . GET AFTER IT!

"What a long strange trip it's been." -Grateful Dead Can you think of a better quote to describe the career of now veteran Dolphin running back, Ricky Williams? I can't. Playing in his 9th season since being drafted in 1999, Ricky Williams play this year has had me raising an eyebrow or two. On the road in Carolina Thursday night, Williams rushed for 119 yards and recorded two rushing touchdowns to go with one receiving. This was the type of night former Saints head coach Mike Ditka had dreamt of when he traded his entire NFL draft for the running back from Texas coming off a Heisman Trophy winning season. However, a career marred by substance abuse and subsequent suspensions never allowed us to accurately view just how good Williams is. Williams sat out the entire 2004 and 2006 seasons. Yet still he has nights like he did tonight, how many athletes could do that? Currently, Ricky Williams sits 33rd on the all-time NFL rushing leaders list (8,329 yards), again he's played in just 109 games an average of 12 games a season. Miami's Wildcat offense which has swept both the NFL and college football scenes in the last 18 months, wouldn't have been possible without Ricky Williams. The pairing of the young Ronnie Brown & Ricky Williams a season ago, was dynamic enough to lead the Dolphins to an AFC East title. Ricky Williams isn't a role model, he may not love football, and yes we expected more out of his career, but at this point, over 10 years since being drafted, I'm finally starting to get his game, it's good. Ricky, tip of the cap, you were worth every draft pick Ditka traded you for (Just not for the Saints). Keep It Real!

Quit Crying! To the parents and families of the Kansas Jayhawks football players, get over it! Current Kansas football coach and former NCAA Coach of The Year (2007), Mark Mangino, has been under fire this week from the NCAA and people within his own program. Apparently the players and parents alike are crying foul after Mangino allegedly scolded a player during practice for not paying attention and being focused. The player was laughing and joking while a team in the midst of a 6-week losing streak was going through a pre-game walkthrough. Three things come to mind: (1) This is division-1 big time college football, not pop warner. A coach is only as good as their previous season and if Mangino is frusterated with losing, then you, the player, must also be. He's coaching for his job every game, but you have school to fall back on! (2) Mangino is attempting to mold players into either professionals in football or into another profession, either way, that's his job. If you don't like his style, or what your kid got in trouble for, maybe you should tell your kid to find somewhere else to go, this is Mangino's way. Finally, (3) These are kids, not adults. They deserve to be treated as children would be treated. I've seen plenty of coaches do way worse than pointing a finger in my face, if you can't handle that, football isn't for you. If you can't pay attention and want to joke around, go back to your dorm room and flunk out in two semesters! Keep It Real! Mangino is in charge at Kansas, NOT YOUR MOM!

The great mal-content. My new nickname for the player formerly known as The Answer, Allen Iverson. I loved watching A.I. for the longest time, he was the player every fan loved. Iverson could score 50 points on any night, in his prime other teams didn't have a chance. However, after 13 years in the NBA, I'm over Iverson. Since leaving Philadelphia in the '06-'07 season and heading for Denver, Iverson has manage to submarine almost every team he's played on. The Nuggets never played as well as they did until after Iverson was dealt in exchange for Chauncey Billups, a veteran point guard from a team environment. When added to Detroit, Iverson just became a bigger head ache and only added to the problems of the once prominent Pistons. At the beginning of this season, Iverson signed on in Memphis, a place he should would leave faster than he came. A.I. was a great fit in Philadelphia when no one around him dared cross his path, he was a starter, he was THE scorer, and more importantly, it was his way. From the infamous 'practice speech' to his antics involving head coach Larry Brown, the Sixers were his. Now, Iverson is just looking for a team he can takeover for the remainder of his career, and that team may just be the New York Knicks. More power to you New York, it doesn't take a genius to see what has happened. Keep It Real Allen, just retire.

If you say so. Last weekends Pacquiao v. Cotto fight smashed pay-per-view records recording 1.25 million buys. At $56 bucks a pop, 1.25 million buys brought in over $70,000,000 in domestic pay-per-view revenue. Aren't we supposed to be in the worst economic recession in decades? Weren't Americans supposed to be saving their money? Not when Manny Pacquiao enters the ring on fight night. You can keep waiting for a dominant American heavyweight, I'm signing on with Pacquiao. The pride of the Philippines dominated Miguel Cotto last Saturday night and smashed his way into the forefront. In less than twelve months, Manny Pacquiao has made himself into not just a Filipino icon, but a global icon. From making Oscar De La Hoya quit after 8 rounds back in December, to flat out destroying Britain's own Ricky Hatton in 2 rounds last spring, and finally putting a hurting on Miguel Cotto, has Pacquiao left any questions unanswered? No. With just Floyd "Money" Mayweather and his 40-0 record remaining, Manny Pacquiao is inching closer and closer to standing alone. America, general public included, get with it. Manny Pacquiao is a new breed of fighter and it's about time we all pay attetion, Keep It Real!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

From The Readers . . .

The readers have been up in arms as of late. Three particular readers wanted me to clarify or were just looking to take me to task. Either way, I've given them the time of day!

I've got to disagree with you on the Patriots ranking this week. Not just because I'm a fan, but because they totally outplayed them for 95% of the game. Yes, they made a bad COACHING decision, but they were a better TEAM on the field. That game actually made me feel like the PATS are a Super Bowl caliber team! - Alethea, Jacksonville

Where do I begin? I love your optimism, as a Cowboys fan who hasn't seen his team win a playoff game since the first Clinton Administration, optimism is always appreciated. No one can dispute how well the Patriots played on Sunday night, they took a 17 point lead into the fourth quarter. I wouldn't have gone for it on 4th and 2 from my own 28, with two minutes remaining in the game, but that isn't my decision to make. Whether your from the camp who believes Bill just knows that offense so well he was so confident they'd get the first down or if your from the camp who thinks he just doesn't trust his defense, the fact remains, that is New Englands third loss. They needed that win. Sure they can win at home, and sure they can win in domes, but Peyton in Foxborough in December? We've read that book. That is where the Patriots should have wanted him. Not from your 28-yard line with timeouts to burn and two minutes on the clock. You can be confident about the offense being back to where they were, but even the most star-crossed Patriot fan shouldn't be without concern on Monday morning. (I can't just put the Pats #1 every week; keep those fans happy? Not a chance haha.)

You're forgetting Minnesota did play Pittsburgh and would have won if not for a bogus call by the refs. They also beat the Packers twice, whom Dallas just lost to. Your going to look bad once you look back after the Super Bowl and the champs never were higher than 4 in your Power Rankings. - Bob, Worcester

The teams ranked ahead of Minnesota are as follows; Indianapolis, just beat New England and remain 9-0. New Orleans, handed both New York teams their first losses, won in Philadelphia and in Miami, also remain 9-0. Lastly, Cincinnati who just beat Pittsburgh for the 2nd time, have beaten Baltimore twice, and won at Green Bay. However you want to put a Minnesota team who needed a missed last second field goal to beat Baltimore at home above these teams? Who else have the Vikes beaten? The (1-8) Browns, the (1-8) Lions twice, the (1-8) Rams, the (4-5) 49ers, and now they have the (3-6) Seahawks coming up. When five of your eight wins come against opponents in the lower tier of the NFL, you probably don't deserve to be as high as 4! I think the Vikings have a tremendous defense and the most dominant offensive weapon in the NFL, but they aren't better than any of those teams at the top. Not to mention, as a Vikings fan I'd be awfully quiet at this point, Brett Favre has yet to start costing you wins and that's about as good of a guarantee your going to get in the NFL. All that being said, love the fire, keep reading! Thanks!

Cincinnati, Boise State, TCU, Texas, 'Bama, & Florida. You've told us about them already. How can you ignore the one team which has been laying in the cut since day one? The class of the ACC isn't Miami, Virginia Tech, or Clemson, it's Georgia Tech! Where is their due? - Rich, ATL

Just how good is Georgia Tech? They've won in Starkville, like Florida (1). They've taken down Frank Beamer & the Hokies, like Alabama (2). They've beaten Clemson, like TCU (4). I can't say your wrong, the Jackets are the best of the 1-loss teams in the country. That being said, they are Orange Bowl bound and that's it. In most seasons Georgia Tech would be able to lay claim to a good amount of National Championship buzz, however this season is not most seasons. While Tech will end the season against another SEC opponent, Georgia, and they've already beaten Mississippi State and Vanderbilt that's all they play, Florida and 'Bama play games like that every weekend. I'll take it one step further, their one loss is against a Miami team that has struggled to a 7-3 record. Each of those teams ahead of Georgia Tech, haven't had that slip up. At the end of the day Tech only has their conference to blame. The ACC hasn't played as well as anticipated. Believe me, I notice that Jonathan Dwyer and company have put up 30+ points in 8 of 11 games this season, but the log jam of undefeated teams this late in the season is holding the Yellow Jackets back, that's the haps.

You can always leave questions or comments on LynchyRightNow or also message me on Twitter! Thanks for Reading!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

LRN Power Rankings: Week 11

It's not to often games live up to the "BILLing" however this week the Patriots and Colts did just that. Not to be outdone, the Bengals and Steelers got after it in historic fashion.

These are the Week 11 LRN Power Rankings:

1. Indianapolis Colts (2) Belichick didn't want Peyton to get the ball back, now you know why. The undefeated Colts continue to win, that's all that matters right now.

2. New Orleans Saints (1) Out of the top spot for now, there is only so many times you can play with fire before you get burnt. The Rams shouldn't have been able to cause as much trouble as they did.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (5) 5-0 in the AFC North is downright impressive. Winning in Pittsburgh and I'm sold. The Bengals are for real and can give any team a run right now.

4. Minnesota Vikings (4) I want to see Minnesota beat somebody. I think they are an excellent NFC football team. However, pit them against the Steelers, Bengals, Colts, or Patriots and they'd have major problems.

5. New England Patriots (3) It's a loss, bottom line. Maybe Belichick knew Peyton would score if he got the ball back from anywhere, maybe he thought his offense could get the two yards. Either way you slice it, it's a loss.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (6) The Steelers lost to a better football team in their own division. Word to the wild card wise, if your fighting for a spot against Pittsburgh your in trouble.

7. San Diego Chargers (12) Winners of their last four the Chargers head to Denver against a team which has dropped their last three. This one is for the division and you can bet San Diego has an axe to grind from previous loss to those same Broncos.

8. Baltimore Ravens (9) Nothing Baltimore did against Cleveland impressed me. Their offense was lethargic and is probably looking ahead. This team plays Indianapolis and Pittsburgh in back to back weeks, it gets scary here very soon.

9. Dallas Cowboys (8) This is how I put a positive spin on things. Green Bay was embarrassed last week, playing for their jobs, and Dallas coming off their biggest win. This was a trap game and they fell into the trap.

10. Houston Texans (13) Weren't they on a bye? Philadelphia lost again. Atlanta lost again. Denver continued to slide and lost again. The Texans are a playoff contender and have two division games coming up. Mark my words, November 29th the Texans hand Indianapolis their first loss of the season.

11. Philadelphia Eagles (10) The 5-4 Eagles head on the road for three of their next four. If this team has playoff dreams its about time they start playing like it.

12. Denver Broncos (7) I could handle losses to Baltimore and Pittsburgh, but Washington? With three straight losses and a very hot San Diego team coming to town, things don't look good.

13. Green Bay Packers (16) Tip of the cap, you won a game you needed badly. However, this Packer team still has problems and are watching the Vikings run away with the division.

14. Miami Dolphins (14) Traveling to Carolina on Thursday night will be interesting for the Dolphins. A chance to get back to .500 against a very hot Panthers team.

15. Arizona Cardinals (15) In St. Louis and at Tennessee coming up, the Cardinals could be 8-3 after 12 weeks. The defending NFC champs will be in the postseason, the question then becomes, can they repeat?

16. Carolina Panthers (19) Some things will have to fall their way, but the 4-5 Panthers are very much alive in the playoff picture after their win over Atlanta.

17. Atlanta Falcons (11) The Falcons are 5-4 with seven games remaining, needing a 4-3 finish to have their first back to back winning seasons in the history of the franchise. Things aren't all that bad for Atlanta thus far.

18. San Francisco 49ers (17) Yes, you can move down after a victory. The 10-6 win over Chicago is not impressive. In fact both of these teams put on a disaster on the NFL Network's first Thursday night game.

19. Jacksonville Jaguars (22) The Jags are 5-4 with two winnable games coming up. As said in previous weeks, the more MJD carries the rock the more they win. Jones-Drew is averaging 133 yards per game over the last four, the Jaguars are 3-1 in that stretch.

20. New York Giants (21) I expect the Giants have used their bye week to get things back on track. The defense still has some parts but should be getting healthy. Don't sleep on the Giants, they do have the talent.

21. Tennessee Titans (24) Vince Young is 3-0 as a starter and has completed 44 of 62 passes in those starts. Oh right, and running back Chris Johnson is averaging 160+ yards per game and two touchdowns. Go Titans!

22. Chicago Bears (18) Jay Cutler leads the NFL in interceptions (17), and the Bears are 4-5 with Philly and Minnesota coming up. Good luck against those defenses, interceptions will be very easy to come by.

23. New York Jets (20) It's a shame really. No momentum going to New England, against a team looking to make a statement. Rex better have his buckle strapped tight, Tom Brady and company will take no prisoners from this point on.

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (27) In consecutive weeks the Bucs have played tough. A win vs. Green Bay followed by a close call against Miami, Tampa Bay is playing with alot of heart, that's way more than I can say for some other teams.

25. Kansas City Chiefs (28) After their road win in Oakland this past week, the Chiefs play Pittsburgh, San Diego, and Denver. Can anybody say a 10-loss season? I can.

26. St. Louis Rams (26) I'm impressed. The Rams gave New Orleans a run for their undefeated money on Sunday afternoon. Marc Bulger threw for 298 yards and Stephen Jackson rushed for 131. Still, don't get crazy here your still in the Jake Locker sweepstakes.

27. Seattle Seahawks (25) Speaking of, with the veteran Hasselbeck turning 34 in September, and Jake Locker playing his college ball right there in Washington, what could be a better fit?

28. Washington Redskins (31) The 'Skins beat up a sliding Bronco team on Sunday. However, the question remains how long things can last on a good note in D.C.? Based on their owner, not very long.

29. Buffalo Bills (23) A tie game heading into the fourth quarter against Tennessee, that was before they allowed 24 unanswered points in the final 15. Buffalo is a dumpster fire, time to blow this thing up and decide if Canadian expansion is right for you.

30. Oakland Raiders (29) It is impossible to win in the NFL if you can't put points on the board. Through ten weeks the Raiders have managed to put 20 points on the board just once, and that was in week 1. Oh, and they've averaged just 8 points per through the last seven games.

31. Detroit Lions (30) How does this work out? The Lions are something awful with a 1-8 record preparing to play the Cleveland Browns this coming weekend, who are also 1-8. Great, whose got that game?

32. Cleveland Browns (32) How does this work out? The Lions are something awful with a 1-8 record preparing to play the Cleveland Browns this coming weekend, who are also 1-8. Great, whose got that game?

No, That wasn't a typo.

Questions, comments feel free, also catch us on Twitter!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Cup Of Coffee

Closer and closer to the end of the 2009 college football regular season and things are getting very exciting. Six teams remain undefeated as everything is up for grabs at this point. It's Sunday afternoon and we're having a cup of coffee.

At The Top

Roll Tide Roll I may have underestimated 'Bama and top Heisman candidate, Mark Ingram. The Crimson Tide left Starkville on Saturday night boasting a 10-0 record with eyes on a National Championship. Running back Mark Ingram had another fantastic game averaging 7.8 yards a carry on 19 rushes while the 'Bama defense allowed 10 or fewer points for the fifth time this season. Nick Saban's squad is very, very dangerous and close calls against Tennessee and LSU in recent weeks have toughened this team all around.

Chomp, Chomp, Chomp Twenty straight wins after a 24-14 victory at South Carolina. The Florida Gators haven't lost a game since September 27th, 2008. Anyone else impressed? The wire-to-wire top ranked Gators have a defense with bite that has yet to allow more than 20 points in any of their games this season. Led by junior defensive end Justin Trattou and senior linebacker Brandon Spikes, Florida's defense is sixth in the country in interceptions (17) and eleventh in the country in sacks (29). Very impressive.

McCoy & Co. Are Waiting After the injury to Oklahoma's Sam Bradford, the Longhorns ticket to the National Championship game was punched. Just keep winning, and your a lock. Colt McCoy has done just that. While McCoy isn't putting up earth shattering numbers as he has in recent years, he's winning. In four straight weeks the Longhorns have put 35+ points on the board and haven't allowed more than 14. The Big XII is a one-team conference and that one team is headed to the National Championship.

Hook 'Em, Horned Frogs Texas Christian is as advertised, awesome. In each of their two statement games this season, against a ranked BYU team and Utah this past week, TCU has dominated. In Provo, the Horned Frogs flattened BYU in a 38-7 rout. Saturday night, the Horned Frogs came out and put 55 points on the board against the Utes, holding them to just 4 of 15 on third downs. TCU's offense is ranked fifth in the country in rushing offense averaging 252 yards per game. From a non-BCS conference, the Horned Frogs should be able to crash the National Championship party, beware.

Rough Nights

The Irish Eyes Are Frowning What else needs to be said? The 6-4 Irish aren't a top tier program. BCS Bowl dreams are gone. Jimmy Clausen won't win the Heisman Trophy, 20+ year draught in South Bend continues. Charlie Weis will be fired and then what? Start over? Notre Dame lost their fourth game to a twelfth ranked Pittsburgh team Saturday night and the nightmare isn't over. The schedule was in their favor to begin the year, USC & Boston College, both teams they've struggled against would be coming to their place. Michigan (5-6), Washington (3-7), Purdue (4-7), and Washington State (1-9) all on their schedule. You are what your record is, 6-4 just average.

The Trojans Are Embarrassed In their two most recent "big" games, the Trojans have been outscored 102-42, ouch. Their freshman signal caller Matt Barkley has looked like a freshman throwing four interceptions combined in both of those games. Going forward it doesn't get easier for USC, with two games remaining against UCLA and a ranked Arizona team, Southern California is going to have to fix some things quick. I've seen Pete Carroll's team play three times this season, with a lead they don't attack, when losing they lay down. That's a character thing, not a talent thing. No one questions the talent that is on this team, but the hunger just isn't there. Do they have talent like Oregon's LaMichael James or Stanford's Toby Gerhart? Yes. However do they have heart and discipline like those players? No. It's about time USC plays like the top tier team everyone makes them out to be.

Heisman Update

Alabama RB, Mark Ingram Great performance against Mississippi State, 19 carries for 149 yards and two touchdowns. He's frontrunning rightnow.

Florida QB, Tim Tebow A very workmen like performance yet again. 14 completions for 199 yards passing and 1 rushing and passing touchdown.

Texas QB, Colt McCoy Completed 76.5% of his passes over the last four games. You take Clausen, Locker, and Tebow. I'll draft a veteran passer like McCoy anyday.

Clemson RB, C.J. Spiller 158 total yards in Clemson's 20 point victory over North Carolina State on Saturday. Spiller is late to the party but extremely dangerous.

Stanford RB, Toby Gerhart Last four games, 123, 125, 223, and 178 yards rushing. Previous four games, 96, 134, 200, and 113 yards rushing. The nations 3rd leading rusher, PERIOD.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Keep It Real Friday!

Some us hear things every week that drive us crazy. Most of us don't have a place to let that out! Fortunately for a big mouth like myself, this is my place! Time to Keep It Real on Keep It Real Friday . . .

Get After It!

Hockey Fans, Keep It Real! More specifically, all of you who felt the need to e-mail me your 800-word essay on how The Stanley Cup is better than the Heisman Trophy. (1) You & I will never own Lord Stanley's Cup. We do however have the opportunity to own a Heisman Trophy. Former Heisman winner O.J. Simpson had to sell off his Heisman to get some extra cash, you think he'll be the only one? Newsflash, he's not the first or the last. (2) This is H1N1 season baby, you think I want a trophy which has been passed around more times than Paris Hilton? For ages people have been sipping brew out of The Stanley Cup, I don't even take a sip of church wine from the goblet, forget The Cup. (3) Lift your left leg in the air, stick out your left arm, and cradle your right arm like you were holding a football. That's the pose! You got it! Anytime I can pose like my trophy, I'm all in. With that being said Hockey fan, I respect the cup, but Keep It Real!

Why must Mark McGwire come clean!?!? We should care very little about what the newly appointed Cardinals hitting coach decides to talk about. He doesn't matter. For all non-St. Louis Cardinal fans, do we really want to hear from the hitting coach? Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa should be asked why McGwire? Aside from that question, who cares? So McGwire decided to stay mum on everything involving steroid use, tip of the cap, you don't owe me anything. 30% of the reason why I began to watch baseball even more was because of McGwire (30% Sosa, 30% new Sox ownership and 10% Barry Lamar) Would I want McGwire's tainted name around Albert Pujols? Probably not. Would I want McGwire to become a distraction? Probably not. For the most part, Mark McGwire matters very, very, very little. Get real. Did we ask Tom Cable to discuss his demons prior to accepting the Raiders head coaching job? Did anyone ask Alex Rodriguez about his steroid use the day the Yankees won their latest world championship? Mark McGwire is what he is, we've already found him guilty in the court of public opinion, so I ask you. . .What would him coming clean do for us? For "Guy who insists" get over it. Keep It Real!

I just can't get excited about The NBA. It's November 11th, I'm in full blown football mode, college and NFL. I can't focus on the NBA for a few reasons. (1) The teams which will be there in April, are good right now. The Celtics are 8-1, the Lakers are 6-1, the Nuggets are 6-3, the Magic are 6-3, and the Suns are 8-1. All of those teams are no joke and will be there in the end, no surprise. (2) The Rays stunned the baseball scene a season ago, the Cardinals were in the Super Bowl, anyone like that in hoops? No chance. In a game dominated by stars, LeBron, Kobe, Dwayne Wade, Chris Paul, the chances for a Tampa Bay Rays or Arizona Cardinals to shock us, just isn't there. (3) I'm not going to miss anything if I don't tune in till February, I can still watch this game for four more months. For a season that starts in October but doesn't end till June, I'm not going to buy in anytime soon. I love basketball but the season is too long and too predictable. I love the Celtics and I like watching regular season games if I stumble on it, but I'd much rather watch Cincinnati play football on a Friday night. Keep It Real, the NBA doesn't have much to offer till the new year.

The Philadelphia Eagles did something important. They weren't sure where to put Michael Vick, much less how to use him, but they did give him a place to be. Vick was toxic till the Eagles, McNabb, Reid, and ownership put their necks on the line to bring this guy in and give him some kind of a shot. In recent days, coach turned mentor Tony Dungy has said Buffalo may give him a chance next season, amongst many other teams. You know why those owners will? Because Philadelphia did. If the Eagles had never let him on their team, he'd be playing flag football right now. It only took one owner to take a chance and allow him an attempt at making good, now the door is open. Michael Vick can never say word one about playing time in Philly, because it just wouldn't be right. Vick owes something to Philadelphia and whomever was responsible for giving him that shot. Here's a guy who can still make something of himself in this league, this jury may still be out, but as far as him playing in the league? Well that is going to happen. Someone give Reid, McNabb, and the Eagles their due! Keep It Real!


I just wouldn't spend the $54.99 I know boxing is making somewhat of a revival. In fact, I enjoy the sport a great deal. However, I can't justify spending $54.99 to watch an evening of fights capped off by Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto. Can't do it. There are people who can and will do it, my buddy Joe for instance. As for me? Won't do it. This Saturday night, Pittsburgh vs. Notre Dame on national television for $0.00. Which is a better deal? No one argues that boxing is in the same league as football, basketball, baseball, or even hockey. It hangs around with horse racing and poker, in a niche. The difference? We have to pay $54.99 to watch it. I'm not saying if it was cheaper I'd pay, I'm saying I'm not paying at all. If it was on my basic cable, then hell yes I'd fire up the 42-inch flat screen and watch this thing, but it isn't. I won't pay to watch Wrestling, MMA, Ultimate Fighting, or Boxing. For the most part, I wouldn't mind if they showed the fights on regular television and built up more of a following. Maybe this is the road back, maybe I'm not the one to decide but I can tell you I wouldn't pay, and many people wouldn't either. Could that be why Boxing isn't close to as big as it once was? Probably so, people aren't paying $54.99. Keep It Real!

For more LynchyRightNow you can follow my tweets, and hear The RightNowPodcast new episodes every Thursday night. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Up For Grabs

You can have your Lombardi Trophy. Take your Lord Stanley's Cup and stick it. The Larry O'Brien!?!? Please. In my world one trophy reigns supreme, the Heisman Memorial Trophy. I'll give you a moment strike the pose in your desk chair. . .you good?!? December 12th, 2009. 8:00 PM, Nokia Theatre in Times Square. Okay, let's get down to business.

Just a month away from crowning the newest Heisman Trophy Winner and the race is still wide open. As the 2009 college football season kicked off you knew the names. Returning trophy winners, Tim Tebow & Sam Bradford, alongside returning finalist, Longhorn Colt McCoy. There were some dark horses however. California running back Jahvid Best, coming off a monster sophomore season in which he rushed for nearly 131 yards per game including a Emerald Bowl performance where he notched 186 yards on twenty carries. How about Oklahoma State Cowboy super receiver, Dez Bryant? In 2008, Bryant caught 87 balls for nearly 1,500 yards which includes a 13 catches for 167 yard performance in the Holiday Bowl. With athletes like these, the 2009 Heisman Trophy race was bound to be a special one, wasn't it???

It was. Then '08 recipient Sam Bradford was hampered with a shoulder injury that would ultimately send him to the operating table and out of the Heisman Trophy race. Dez Bryant's quick start was halted when the NCAA suspended him for infractions that I'd rather not get into, the most dominant college football talent was out quicker than he was in. Jahvid Best has suffered not one but two terrifying concussions in a matter of weeks, the Cal running back is out. While McCoy & Tebow have stayed somewhat healthy and led their undefeated Longhorn & Gators squads to top 3 BCS rankings, neither has sewn up the Heisman Memorial just yet. So who can still make a claim? Who can join McCoy & Tebow in New York? Many questions still surround the most heralded trophy in all of sports.

Let's get after it!

Mark Ingram, RB Alabama. The best the SEC can offer, this side of Tim Tebow that is. Ingram has the potential to become the first to raise this trophy in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Believe that? In the storied history of Alabama Crimson Tide football, they've never had a Heisman winner. Let's get one thing straight, the only thing separating Ingram from the rest of Crimson Tide history is timing (read above). While I think Ingram is a fantastic running back, I'm not blown away and given the circumstances this season has presented us with, he's a benefactor. Ingram has the ability to close out games and protect leads. Getting first downs at the end of a game is huge, Ingram does that. He's got some numbers to boast about as well, 6.6 yards per carry, eight touchdowns, and 1,100 yards. Ingram has allowed the 'Bama offense to ignore their quarterbacks ineffectiveness. Furthermore he eats up yards when given the rock more than 20 times a game, his five 100+ yard performances have come when 'Bama does so. In must win games against South Carolina, Tennessee, and LSU, Mark Ingram rushed for 489 yards, they'd have lost one of those at least, without his ability to move the chains. Mark Ingram will be in New York on December 12th.

Kellen Moore, QB Boise State Much like his teams run at a BCS Bowl, Kellen Moore could come up short here. Moore is leading an undefeated team from a non-BCS conference to a Top 10 finish. For what its worth, he's very good. On the season, Kellen Moore has been very close to perfect throwing just three interceptions. His signature game may just be his first of the season. Against Oregon in their season opener, Moore didn't turn the ball over and completed 19 of 29 passes. Why is he a Heisman candidate? Moore is completing almost 68% of his passes and has already tossed 27 touchdowns with four games remaining. With Boise State as a team and with Kellen Moore, people can't back off of the lesser opponents theory. Yes, Moore has played against the likes of UC Davis and Bowling Green, but he's also stiffled an Oregon defense and ran up scoreboards (6 games of over 40+ points). Over the past five weeks Moore has impressed voters, five consecutive games of three touchdowns or more while averaging 270 yards passing per week. Moore might be a stretch for most voters but someone should show Boise respect, inviting Moore to New York would do that.

Toby Gerhart, RB Stanford It took Oregon getting dropped by Gerhart's Stanford squad for him to be noticed, but he is front and center now. Gerhart is a big, bruising, senior running back, at 235 lbs. When you watch this guy mash it up, it sends chills through defenses. With three games remaining, the Stanford running back has already chalked up 1,200 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns. In all but two of Stanfords nine games, Gerhart has gone over the century mark including going over 200 yards twice. In Stanfords dominating performance against Oregon, it was Gerhart who coudln't be stopped. 5.9 yards per carry, 223 yards rushing, and 3 touchdowns in their upset win over Oregon. Gerhart is been held out of the endzone in only one game this season, a game which he rushed for 82 yards. The PAC-10 is up for grabs as well as the Heisman trophy, so why isn't Gerhart's name in the conversation more? Because he doesn't play in the SEC? Toby Gerhart has twice as many touchdowns than Mark Ingram and two more 100 rushing games than the 'Bama running back. Could a masterful performance against USC vault Gerhart even closer to the Heisman race? Gerhart is the Stanford Cardinal offense, don't think so? Ask yourself why freshman Andrew Luck has been able to drop back and only be sacked six times this season? Because Toby Gerhart keeps defenses honest, they will run the ball and can pass.

Can't give you a pick just yet but I don't call Toby Gerhart a risky pick. Thank you for reading the Heisman update! -LynchyRightNow

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

LRN Power Rankings: Week 10

Vince Young is 2-0 as a starter in Tennessee. Believe it, the Dallas Cowboys are atop the NFC East. Some teams are the tale of two seasons, while others remain the same. Cincinnati is continuing to win and at 4-0 in their division, they'll look to lock it up quick. Alas, the Washington Redskins lose again while falling to 2-6 on the season and look worse doing it. These are the Week 10 Power Rankings from LynchyRightNow, get after it!

Quick notes worth explaining: The Texans and Panthers both moved up in losing efforts, they played on the road in Indianapolis and New Orleans while giving both undefeated teams a proper scare. The 4-4 Baltimore Ravens remain in the top 10, their losses are to Minnesota, Cincinnati (2), and New England, all playoff teams, they need some things to fall their way. To the Power Rankings . . .

1. New Orleans Saints (1) The Saints haven't played as well the last three weeks as they had the first five, however in the NFL a win is a win and 8-0 is pretty damn good.

2. Indianapolis Colts (2) The close calls at home to San Francisco and Houston don't worry me. Losing Bob Sanders before Brady & Co. visit Lucas Oil Stadium, now that worries me.

3. New England Patriots (5) Click, Click, Click. That is the sound of the New England Patriots beginning to 'Click' on all cylinders. This week in Indy is their first real road game since losing the first two in New York and Denver.

4. Minnesota Vikings (3) Should we ignore that Adrian Peterson has had just two 100 yard rushing games through eight weeks? Luckily, Detroit, Seattle, and Chicago are the next three for AP. Expect dominant performances.

5. Cincinnati Bengals (6) 4-0 In the AFC North. Traveling to Pittsburgh this weekend to play for the division title. It is safe to say that I'm stunned. Cedric Benson has had four 100 yard rushing games, attribute that to the reason why Carson Palmer is staying upright. (Sacked just twelves times this season)

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (8) These are the Steelers. We don't speak of them as we speak of the Patriots. We don't praise Big Ben as we do Peyton or Tom. However these Steelers make statement wins look easy. They handled the Broncos this week, they gave the Vikings their first loss. Hey, they're the Steelers.

7. Denver Broncos (4) Josh McDaniels may need to regroup his offense at this point, scoring just 17 points in their last two. Losing to Baltimore and Pittsburgh in back-to-back weeks while San Diego has ripped off three straight wins is a bad sign for the division leading Broncos.

8. Dallas Cowboys (10) The Cowboys are playing very, very well. With all do respect, I don't want to jinx it.

9. Baltimore Ravens (7) Fact, the Ravens have lost four games to better teams (Cincinnati, New England, & Minnesota). Fact, Indianapolis, Green Bay, and Pittsburgh are coming up, plenty of opportunity to make up ground.

10. Philadelphia Eagles (9) Very good one week, very average the next. Philadelphia had their opportunities at home against New Orleans & Dallas, they lost both of them. Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb should decide what they are and decide it quick.

11. Atlanta Falcons (13) We talked about how tough Atlanta's schedule is after reaching the playoffs a season ago. However, they've only lost games to teams in this weeks top 10. New England, New Orleans, and Dallas.

12. San Diego Chargers (17) Last to the party, the Chargers are playing well. After three straight wins the Chargers should be serving notice to Denver, this division isn't decided just yet.

13. Houston Texans (14) Don't worry Texans, your making moves. With seven games remaining the Texans will have a small window to get through, but they can do it. A defense that is finally stopping people led by super rookie Brian Cushing (78 tackles), and an offense led by Matt Schaub who has gone over 300 in three of their last five. Will a 5-2 finish be enough?

14. Miami Dolphins (11) Come back to planet Earth my friends. The 3-5 Dolphins aren't feeling as comfortable right now, however 5 of their next 6 are very winnable. Silver lining, they get New England, Pittsburgh, and Houston in South Florida.

15. Arizona Cardinals (18) The road warrior Cardinals? If the 49ers won't step up and win a few, leave it to the defending NFC Champion Cardinals. Arizona is 4-0 on the road this season and have 4 of their next 6, you guessed it, on the road.

16. Green Bay Packers (12) Maybe they're just bad. They've yet to beat a quality opponent and whether it be the offensive line or Aaron Rodgers himself, the quarterback is on his butt far to often.

17. San Francisco 49ers (16) Losers of four straight, most recently to the Vince Young led Titans, the Niners are struggling. Albeit, their 3-0 division record is still intact with four weeks till their next division contest.

18. Chicago Bears (15) Could Lovie Smith's job be on the line? The 4-4 Bears have given up on the run and don't hide it. A supposed Super Bowl contender is looking very average while their division rival Vikings are looking tougher and tougher.

19. Carolina Panthers (21) Well, well, well. The Carolina Panthers have some heart. The Panthers took a 17-6 lead into halftime at New Orleans this past weekend, DeAngelo Williams was one yard shy of his second straight 150+ yard game. When the Panthers are clicking, they are rushing the ball with authority. Huge game for the 3-5 Panthers this week vs. Atlanta.

20. New York Jets (20) Two weeks before they head to Foxborough, MA. Prepare yourself Rex Ryan, it's like you said, they have a better coach and a better quarterback than you.

21. New York Giants (19) It's a freefall . . .four straight losses with Atlanta, Denver, and Dallas coming up? The Giants are on a bye week and must figure a way to straighten things out before the hole is too deep.

22. Jacksonville Jaguars (23) Maurice Jones-Drew is the only thing going for this team. 136 yards a game over his last three, including six touchdowns. A massive turnaround is in check if the 4-4 Jaguars are looking to make a playoff push.

23. Buffalo Bills (22) I'm going to go out on a limb here, Michael Vick and Terrell Owens? Why not? This team can't be printing their own money yet and I have a sneaking suspicion many cameras and eyes would be on Buffalo if they brought in Michael Vick and returned T.O. with dare I say it . . legendary Tony Dungy?

24. Tennessee Titans (26) Impressed with Vince Young's 2-0 start? Not really. Impressed by Chris Johnson and his 181 yards per game over the last two, yes! The Titans may have already played themselves out of making the playoffs but finishing strong after an 0-6 start, that would be respectable.

25. Seattle Seahawks (25) The Seahawks should be blown up at some point soon, they can beat bad teams (their win vs. Detroit this past week) but against legit teams, they just aren't that good.

26. St. Louis Rams (27) The Rams got a win. Since I'm a draft guy and the Rams will have a top 5 pick . . . With the #3 selection in the 2010 NFL Draft the St. Louis Rams select Jimmy Clausen, quarterback Notre Dame.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (30) Great, let's keep it going. With the #5 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Ndamukong Suh, defensive tackle Nebraska.

28. Kansas City Chiefs (24) With Larry Johnson out, the Chiefs can get back to building their team. Scott Pioli has a rebuilding project and hopes that something will turn this team around, anything.

29. Oakland Raiders (29) The team that has gone through countless head coaches over recent years is now going through more coaching troubles? If I was a betting man, Tom Cable is out quicker than we think.

30. Detroit Lions (28) The Lions couldn't hold onto a lead against Seattle and Matt Stafford threw a bunch of interceptions. This team needs alot of things but mostly they need to be patient.

31. Washington Redskins (31) The Redskins need someone to bring players in, coach players, and keep Daniel Snyder signing checks, that's it. I'm positive that the Skins don't know where to go at this point and are just throwing money at problems.

32. Cleveland Browns (32) Mike Holmgren? Who are you going to draft? Another Notre Dame quarterback? I don't see the Browns getting any better anytime soon, firing Mangini this quick is embarrassing.

. . Till next week!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Gut Check Time!

Gut Check Time! You've won a game or two, you look like your in line for the big time, and now you've got to get over the hump! For Alabama, Oregon, and Clemson, big time bowl games are around the corner, don't rest on your laurels!

This is it 'Bama! The Alabama Crimson Tide are aware that it's either them or the Gators of Florida that will be representing the SEC for college football supremacy come January. The Gators currently sit atop the BCS and boast two statement victories, ( at LSU and a 41-17 blowout v. Georgia ), now it's 'Bama's turn.

3:30 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The Tide get those pesky Bayou Bengals coming in, beware. Terrance Cody and the Alabama defense will have to carry a struggling Tide offense. Over his last three games, junior quarterback, Greg McElroy hasn't thrown a touchdown and only completed 43 of 83 passes. I'll say it now, this LSU secondary is the wrong team to get back on your feet against. A top 25 ranked secondary with 11 interceptions, Patrick Peterson and Jai Eugene will be waiting for McElroy come this afternoon. This LSU defense doesn't allow points, over the last four games the Tigers have held opponents to just 6.5 ppg., which includes Auburn, Florida, Georgia, and Tulane. Alabama's Heisman candidate, Mark Ingram (1,004 yards & 8 TD's) is going to have to go out and win that trophy, no one is handing it to him! Pick: LSU

3:30 (East Coast Time) Palo Alto, California. Coming off their biggest win in years (47-20 v. USC) the BCS #8 ranked Oregon Ducks are headed to California to play a game they've dominated in recent years, winning seven straight against the Stanford Cardinal. The Oregon offense is playing for keeps, scoring 40+ in four of their last five games, so what should be different now that the Ducks are leaving Eugene? The fact that Stanford is 5-3 and essentially will be playing their national championship this afternoon when this high powered offense rolls in. If Oregon wants to make a case that they are in fact better than a Boise State team who handled them in week 1, they've got to win games like this in non-dramatic fashion! Freshman back, LaMichael James is going for 1,000 yards in just his seventh starting game. Put his numbers alongside Alabama's Mark Ingram and it's tough to argue he too doesn't have a shot at The Downtown Athletic Club. Careful Ducks, you need to blow out Stanford in their place! Pick: Oregon

7:45, Welcome to Death Valley. All eyes on the ACC. After a more than tumultuous start, the Seminoles are alive after their dramatic wins in Chapel Hill and against N.C. State a week ago. With essentially nothing to lose, I fully expect the 'Noles to deliver us a fantastic evening in Clemson's Death Valley. That being said, a wide open Heisman race should light a fire underneath possibly college footballs most explosive talent, Clemson's C.J. Spiller. The Clemson senior has recorded over 550 rushing yards and 250 receiving yards. However, this back shows his importance in the return game even more. Spiller has over 450 yards returning punts and three touchdowns, he's flat out dangerous with the ball in his hands. If you had to put your finger on one thing in this ACC showdown, it'd be the injury to Clemson man child, Da'Quan Bowers. The Tigers defensive end is doubtful to play this weekend and missing a 6-4, 275 lb. pass rusher who had already recorded 25 tackles including three sacks, isn't a good thing. For Florida State signal caller, Christian Ponder, that is a good thing. When staying upright, Ponder is very good and can cut up secondaries. In a big road win at North Carolina, Ponder dominated going 33 of 40 with 395 yards passing and three touchdowns, just a week after throwing five touchdowns in a loss to Georgia Tech. The 'Noles are lurking. Pick: Florida State


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

LRN Power Ranking: Week 9

For some, Indianapolis and New Orleans, things are going their way. Blowouts, comeback wins, close calls, Manning & Brees are playing on a different level which is why both of their teams have yet to lose. For others, Tennessee and St. Louis, getting off the mat was the first step and while it took eight weeks, they're up.

Then you have New York football, both the Jets & Giants are on a nightmare skid. Rex Ryan and his rookie quarterback, Mark Sanchez, have lost four of their last five after going 3-0 to open the season. The team which dropped New England in week 2 seems to have disappeared. As for the Giants, the Saints, Cardinals, and now the Eagles have exposed a defense that was supposed to have bite.

These are the Week 9 LynchyRightNow Power Rankings:

1. New Orleans Saints (1) 7-0. The Saints offense is historically deep. Opponents have to put up at least 36 points to compete with this offense, against a defense that has yet to allow that many.

2. Indianapolis Colts (2) 7-0. It's possible 49ers running back, Frank Gore, exposed some things this weekend. Possible, but I doubt it. Two matchups with Houston in between those New England and Baltimore, any one up for making a statement? Now would be the time.

3. Minnesota Vikings (4) Through eight weeks we can say with some conviction, the 7-1 Vikings are good. One step further, this defense may be the only defense that can put enough pressure on Drew Brees to knock off that New Orleans offense.

4. Denver Broncos (3) Two weeks to prepare for Baltimore and that's what you come up with? A 30-7 pasting by the Ravens doesn't validate their 6-0 start. However, knocking off Pittsburgh this week would make a statement worth reading.

5. New England Patriots (5) The Pats have had a bye week to get ready for Miami and their wildcat offense. New England has yet to lose at home and with road trips to Indianapolis and New Orleans looming, it's important they take care of business this week.

6. Cincinnati Bengals (6) It's hard to doubt a team that is 3-0 in their division, with wins over Green Bay, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh, all top tier teams. With that being said, the Ravens and Steelers get their shot to redeem earlier season losses in the next two weeks. We'll have a better idea after those games.

7. Baltimore Ravens (8) After three straight tough losses, no one needed a bye week more than the Ravens. Baltimore returned from their bye to put a three touchdown victory over previously undefeated Denver on the board. Ray Rice is turning into an explosive weapon for Joe Flacco, if he wasn't already.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers (7) The defending champs stumbled out of the gate only to win their last four. As much as a loss would be a huge statement for Denver, if the Steelers were to win at Invesco, it'd put the NFL on notice: If you want to be the champs, you've got to beat them.

9. Philadelphia Eagles (14) It is safe to say an offense that once focused on one player, Brian Westbrook, no longer needs him. From rookie running back, LeSean McCoy, to explosive receivers DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and tight end Brent Celek, the Eagles have given Donovan what he wanted, weapons.

10. Dallas Cowboys (15) Will the Tony Romo haters please stand up? Over the Cowboys current 3-game winning streak, Romo has completed 62 of 99 passes for 918 yards, thrown eight touchdowns, and hasn't been intercepted. That type of play will be needed to win in Philadelphia and Green Bay in coming weeks.

11. Miami Dolphins (12) Wait, the 3-4 Dolphins? The Fish are 0-4 against non-AFC East teams, and 3-0 against AFC East teams. All things being equal, they are dangerous. Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown are the NFL's most dynamic backfield, when the Dolphins find receivers who can catch, beware.

12. Green Bay Packers (9) Maybe Favre & Minnesota just have the Packers number. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 31 times this season, 14 of those have come at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings. Either Rodgers is hanging onto the ball too long or his offensive line is worse than we thought. Still, they show promise.

13. Atlanta Falcons (11) Finally, Atlanta got Michael Turner going. Unfortunately, they'll be playing for a Wild Card the rest of the way after losing to undefeated New Orleans. The Falcons also have a heads up loss to Dallas who could also be playing for that same Wild Card playoff spot. The defense of Atlanta needs to step up going forward, allowing 30+ won't win you many games.

14. Houston Texans (16) The 5-3 Texans are beginning to take shape. After a 2-2 start they've won 3 of their last 4 heading into a matchup with division rival Indianapolis. The potential season ending injury to tight end Owen Daniels is huge, he'd already recorded 40 receptions and 5 TD's on the season.

15. Chicago Bears (18) With the Vikings playing so well and Chicago already having a division loss to Green Bay, it makes every game important from here on out, especially those with Minnesota. I've said it for weeks, Chicago won't win till they run the ball and Matt Forte does you know good on unless he's doing that.

16. San Francisco 49ers (19) Looking in the box score and seeing Gore rush for 91 yards and Crabtree catch six balls for 81 yards is a good sign even though the game was lost. The Niners put a scare into Indy and get back-to-back home games to lick their wounds. Alex Smith, just protect the ball.

17. San Diego Chargers (20) It's about time the Chargers put up or shut up. This team has three games against the Giants, Eagles, and Broncos coming up, no more Chiefs & Raiders for at least a month. It should be a concern that the Chargers have yet to produce a 100-yard rushing game from either of their backs.

18. Arizona Cardinals (13) Getting blown out at home by a terrible Carolina team really gets under my skin. Here the Cardinals are, they've beaten the Giants and looked good doing it, then they go and lose to Carolina 34-21 in their own backyard. Way to repay your fans who carried you through the postseason last year, one win and three losses at home.

19. New York Giants (10) What!?!?! Do you think they deserve to be in the top 15?!?!? How!?! The Giants 5-3 record is laughable. The only win that shows any merit is that against Dallas in week 2, and it took Tony Romo having a nightmare performance for that to happen. You don't get love for wins against Tampa, Washington, Kansas City, and Oakland, sorry. In the last three weeks the Giants have given up an average of 37 points per game. Wow.

20. New York Jets (17) I'll admit it, I was fooled by Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan. Sanchez is an average rookie and Ryan is a loudmouth, happy now? At best the J-E-T-S will finish 3-3 in the division, at best! However, I don't think they can beat New England again and I'm going to put it out there, they got lucky the first time.

21. Carolina Panthers (24) If Carolina can keep playing under performing, inconsistent teams, then sure, they'll turn things around. To bad they get New Orleans, Atlanta, and Miami in the coming weeks. Finishing the season off with New England, Minnesota, the Giants, and Saints . . ouch!

22. Buffalo Bills (22) I thought the Bills were turning a corner coming off of two straight road wins. Then the Texans smacked them back to reality. Not sure why you go out and acquire Terrell Owens if you don't know where your offense is going?

23. Jacksonville Jaguars (21) When your rushing attack produces nearly 200 yards on the ground and you still lose by 17 to a team who hasn't won a game, there are some problems.

24. Kansas City Chiefs (25) Ahh, the Chiefs. Spending their bye week determining the correct punishment for a 29-year old man after he choose to use a derogatory slur not once, but twice. Scott Pioli wouldn't mind being back in Foxborough, I'm sure of it.

25. Seattle Seahawks (23) Jim Mora Jr. promises changes. Ummm, Jim? 2-5 Record, it just might be a bit too late for that. A rushing game that can't get out of their own way, that's the problem.

26. Tennessee Titans (31) Alright Vince, I'm listening. After a horrid 0-6 start, the Titans made the switch to Vince Young and I like it. In his first start this season, Young didn't turn the ball over and was 15 of 18, not bad at all. It always helps to have your running back go for 228 yards and nearly 10 yards a carry, thanks Chris Johnson.

27. St. Louis Rams (32) I have a new found respect for a team that goes out and puts a win up after playing so bad the whole season. Like the Titans first win, the Rams having a ground game with Stephen Jackson is really helping their cause. If the Rams aren't playing for the first pick, maybe they just want to win?

28. Detroit Lions (26) The Lions defense needs punishing players up front. I know it's early but a #1 pick overall would have many speculating Nebraska run stuffer Ndamukong Suh could be bound for Detroit . .I'm just saying.

29. Oakland Raiders (27) I can't even remember what Lane Kiffin got fired for. However, I can tell you that he never had an ESPN feature on allegations of domestic abuse charges. Really Tom Cable!??!?!

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (28) The winless Bucs shouldn't win a game remaining on their schedule. At this point, on the road in Seattle looks like their best shot and that is a very tough place to play.

31. Washington Redskins (30) Did Daniel Snyder really need to put out a press release calling his teams performance an embarrassment? The only two wins they have are against St. Louis & Tampa, we get it, they're bad.

32. Cleveland Browns (29) With many bad teams its the defense, with the Browns, they can't score. In five of their eight games the Browns have scored six or less points, hard to believe they won one of those.

Thanks for reading the Week 9 Power Rankings . . Get After It!