By all media accounts, Denver Broncos’ new starting QB Tim Tebow is the favorite son of the Son of God. Since his days as a Florida Gator journalists and broadcasters have practically knocked each other over to anoint him as the second coming of Christ despite the only marginal talents he displays on the field. The most famous and egregious example came from FOX announcer Thom Brennaman who spewed this most nauseating tribute during the 2009 BCS National Championship: “If you’re fortunate enough to spend five minutes or 20 minutes around Tim Tebow, your life is better for it.“
By contrast, Lions’ imposing DT Ndamukong Suh has begun to get the reputation of being the NFL’s dirtiest player. Whether or not that characterization is just, this Sunday’s Broncos/Lions matchup could be billed as the ultimate battle of Good vs. Evil.
In his first NFL start against Miami last week, Tebow proved both his critics and proponents right by looking like anything but a professional quarterback, yet he found a way to win. Tebow went an abismal 13 for 27 for a mere 131 yards, but he was able to lead the Broncos to two TDs in the final 2:44 to tie the game and eventually win on a long field goal in overtime.
Strict analysis of his tangible abilities prove Tebow is not up to the challenge of being an NFL quarterback. However, his disciples point to his intangibles as what sets him apart as he always seems to find a way to win. So the Tebow debate remains unsettled after last week’s performance, but that will change tomorrow when the Lions and the demonized Suh come to Mile High.
Suh has been fined $42,500 over his first two seasons for varying degrees of questionable hits and general nastiness. Last week, Suh was even accused of taunting Atlanta’s Matt Ryan as the QB writhed in pain after his own lineman rolled up on his ankle. A few Falcons whined to the media afterwards claiming Suh mockingly called out, “Get the cart!” But perhaps he knew Ryan was embellishing a bit because he was able to make a miraculously quick recovery and was back on the field just two plays later.
Regardless, the notion that Suh is too nasty for pro football is laughable. Does anyone think like Jack Lambert, “Mean” Joe Greene or Dick Butkus would have any issues with his play? Anyone who thinks Suh needs to take it down a notch needs to look at the past and realize he is emulating the greats in the sport’s history.
For the first time Tebow will face a truly menacing defensive line led by Suh that should cause plenty of turnovers and dispel the messianic Tebow myth. If anyone wants to characterize this Sunday’s Bronco/Lions game as a battle of Good vs. Evil, go ahead. Is Suh evil? Yes he is. Get used to it.
It has become so painfully obvious college football needs a playoff system to everyone (except the corrupt cabal of big conference commissioners, of course) that even the computers have rebelled against their masters like HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey ["I'm sorry BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock, I'm afraid I can't do that."] and created a de facto Final Four.
The first BCS poll of the year was revealed on Sunday and, much to everyone’s surprise, the computers actually got it right on the first try. LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are truly the top four teams in the county. But even more serendipitous is that LSU vs. Alabama on November 5th and OU vs. OSU on December 3 will create what amounts to a national semi-final.
So let’s look at the BCS Final Four. The seeding doesn’t really mean anything as things stand right now, but LSU is more than qualified to be the nation’s best at 7-0 with victories over four Top 25 teams including a neutral-site victory over my pre-season National Champion pick Oregon and a road win over #16 West Virginia. Les Miles and crew aren’t afraid to play anyone anywhere and have been justly rewarded for it.
It’s hard for this B1G fan to admit, but the SEC is simply the best conference in college football. Period. One only has to look at the last five National Champions to know it’s true. And as much as it pains me, Prick Saban’s 7-0 Alabama squad deserves the second slot with thee victories over Top 25 teams.
Oklahoma certainly deserves it’s #3 ranking with the best road win of the year at an incredibly hostile Florida State as well as a convincing blowout win over Red River rival Texas.
Where things get a bit contentious is at the #4 spot. Arguments could be made for Wisconsin, Stanford and most strongly for 7-0 Clemson with three victories over Top 25 teams, but Oklahoma State gets the nod for several reasons. The Cowboys simply have more quality wins than Wisco and Stanford thus far. Clemson might have the resumé to possibly supplant OSU, but the Tigers suffer by being ranked #8 in the AP, USA Today Coaches’ and Harris polls—two spots behind the Ok. State in each. As for Boise State, a win over a mediocre Georgia team and nothing else to hang it’s hat on just doesn’t cut it.
Of course, the only way this virtual Final Four all works out in the end depends on each of the quartet remaining unbeaten until and after their impending semi-final battles. Even if it does happen, the BCS is still fatally flawed and corrupt. This lucky break doesn’t change that.
For the better part of the last 60 years it could be said that the “D” in Detroit football stood for Depression, Desperation, and Doubt. But yesterday’s miracle comeback win in Dallas has removed all doubt—the 4-0 Detroit Lions are FOR REAL.
There certainly was plenty of doubt permeating the local Detroit sports watering hole where I met several of my fellow long-suffering, yet hopeful Lions fan buddies as well as my blogging nemesis PV who was, of course, unabashedly decked out in all his Cowboy regalia. The first half had Pete celebrating like it was 1993 as Dallas could to do no wrong, stifling the Lions offense and shredding their defense to head to the locker room with a seemingly insurmountable 20-3 lead.
Trailing by 24 with 10:30 remaining in the 3rd quarter after punting for the 6th time against a potential playoff team in the massive House that Jerry Built, there was little reason to think the game was salvageable. Things were so bleak that one of our crew even decided to bail. BIG MISTAKE, JON.
Detroit’s dormant defense suddenly stepped up with two pick-sixes that finally gave almost everyone in the bar (besides a suddenly silenced PV) something to cheer about. The defensive assault sparked the offense to 17 unanswered points in the 4th quarter culminatied in the biggest road comeback in team history and sent the bar into honolulu blue hysteria.
But the historical significance of yesterday’s victory doesn’t end there. Check out these incredible factoids:
- According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Lions are only the 4th road team in NFL history to come back to win from a 24-pt deficit.
- The Lions are the first team in NFL history to register 20+-pt comebacks in consecutive weeks.
- Dating back to last season, the Lions have their first 8-game win streak since 1953-54.
- This is the first 4-0 start in Lions history that includes 3 road wins.
- The 4-0 start is their first since 1980 and only the fifth in team history.
- Their current 5-game road wining streak is the longest in team history.
No idea what the guy in the backpack did to the Giants’ Michael Boley, but he looked like he deserved it.
The 2010 play of the year was affectionately known as “Little Giants” and it couldn’t have been more beautiful for Spartan fans. That play simultaneously propelled Michigan State to an 11-1 regular season and a B1G championship while crushing the spirit and ruining the season of the Fighting Irish. The fact that State’s Coach Mark Dantonio had a heart attack shortly after the call is testament to how taxing and ballsy that decision was.
But more than anything, the play exemplified the dominance Michigan State (2-0) has had over Notre Dame (0-2) over the better part of the last two decades regardless of circumstance, talent, coaching or even home field advantage. Since 1997, State has taken 10 of 14 from the Irish, including six out of the last seven in South Bend, of which I was lucky enough to witness two in person.
Notre Dame comes into the game nursing substantial wounds from yet another devastating loss, this time to arch-rival Michigan, in what will go down as one of the greatest (well, let’s say most exciting) games in college football history. “Under the Lights” at Michigan Stadium for the first time ever, a superior ND squad managed to piss away a 24-7 fourth quarter lead that included two separate leads in the last two minutes. The loss turned Coach Brian Kelly’s head a frightening color of purple and sent the Irish home 0-2.
MSU, on the other hand, comes in 2-0 after dominating performances with a combined score of 72-6. While Youngstown State and Florida Atlantic are admittedly subpar opponents, the Spartans are riding a wave of confidence nonetheless and certainly are not intimidated by the spectre of playing in the shadow of Touchdown Jesus tomorrow.
It seems the Green & White simply has the Golden Domers’ number and there’s little to suggest that will change this year as State will walk away with yet another Megaphone Trophy.