peripateticblogger.com

Football thoughts – Week 15

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on December 17, 2020

College: The final regular season game between my beloved Oklahoma Sooners and West Virginia Mountaineers was canceled due to Covid-19 concerns. Nevertheless, it is official, and the Sooners will play Iowa State University for the Big XII championship on Saturday morning, assuming both teams can field a team. Football for breakfast, my favorite kind.

This is the only college game that was of any interest to me this week and it was a cropper. However, I was glad to see that some college football pundits are finally starting, as I have been from the get-go, to question the fairness of having Ohio State in the playoffs when they have only played five games. It’s about time. (Ditto any Pac 12 or Big 10 team, which all started the season late.)

NFL: Easily the best game of the week was between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns, which the Ravens won at the bell 47-42. Both quarterbacks, Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield, were superb. In fact, Mayfield had the Browns in position to win the game (the Browns scored 42 points!), but Jackson scored a last-minute touchdown to win it.

The sour note for the Browns is that their defense was so poor. Not only didn’t it play well, but the defensive game plan was criminally defective. The defensive coordinator apparently didn’t get the memo that Jackson is the Ravens’ biggest threat, and he’s most dangerous when he’s running. The Browns defense focused on covering Jackson’s receivers and not him, with the result Jackson ran for record-breaking rushing yards for a quarterback.

Next draft, the Browns should spend their picks #s 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7 on defensive players, oh, and get a new defensive coordinator.

The Arizona Cardinals, my new favorite team, beat the New York Giants 26-7. Kyler Murray is the goods. The Cardinals need some serious upgrading in the next draft, though, and they have got to cut down on undisciplined penalties.  A new coach or two wouldn’t hurt either.

But the really big news about recent OU quarterbacks was that Jalen Hurts got the start for Philadelphia and upset the Breesless Saints 24-21. I presume this spells the end of Carson Wentz at Philadelphia. Hurts is the goods. He has a natural feel for the game, which Wentz, for all his physical attributes, does not possess.

Meanwhile, The Washington Redskins beat the 49ers (the NFL team suffering the most injuries and Covid-19 problems this year) and will apparently win the NFC East, much good may it do them.

My erstwhile favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys, lost to the Baltimore Ravens, which was expected, 34-17 on December 8 and then beat the Cincinnati Bengals 30-7 on the 12th. Who cares? They still stink on ice.

The family feud between Belichick and Brady went badly for the coach this week. Brady and the Bucs beat a good Vikings team 26-14 while the Patriots lost to the Los Angeles Rams 24-3. Cam Newton had such a bad game he was pulled in the fourth quarter. The Patriots are simply not as good this year as they have been in the past, with or without Brady. This feud must be observed for a few years to determine a winner. I’m thinking both coach and quarterback will do well in their new circumstances, ultimately.

Elsewhere, Kansas City and the Packers still look like the cream of the quarterbacks, which is always a leg up in the playoffs.

Football thoughts – Week 14

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on December 10, 2020

College: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners beat Baylor 27-14. It wasn’t a pretty win, but there were two reasons. First, Baylor has a pesky team and an infuriating quarterback who gives us fits. He graduates this year, and I will not miss him. Second, and more important. OU had double digit players not able to play due to COVID-19 concerns.

This sets up a Big XII conference championship game between OU and Iowa State. ISU beat us early in the season, but we are not the same team now as then. Many important players were not available for that game and the team overall was green as grass. We’ll do better next time, but it will still be an exceedingly difficult game. The Cyclones are a very good team.

The remainder of the schedule went pretty much by the chalk, at least those games that were able to be played, including the Aggies nice win over Auburn.

NFL: It was an unusual week in the league, including a Thursday Night Football game played on Tuesday night between my erstwhile favorite team the Dallas Cowboys, and the Baltimore Ravens.

There was nothing unusual about the game, just the day on which it was played. The game was like all recent Cowboys games. Dallas stunk on ice, 34-17. They are spectacularly bad. Terrible coaching, terrible defense, just terrible, period. Fortunately, I don’t care about the Cowboys anymore. I have a new favorite team – the Arizona Cardinals.

Unfortunately, my Cardinals lost also, to the Rams, 38-28. Overall, this was just a case of the better team winning. Arizona still has a way to go, particularly on defense, and the defense will not improve, I fear, so long as Kingsbury is the coach. I’m not sure he knows how to spell defense. He coached at the college level for a school not known for academics, and certainly not for defense.

The Cleveland Browns, the other team with a Heisman Trophy winning #1 draft pick from OU, upset the Tennessee Titans 41-35 and Baker Mayfield was rock solid.

In two unlikely results, The Giants upset the Seahawks, and the Redskins upset the Steelers, which means as Dallas is sinking down the crapper, other NFC East teams are pulling it together.

In the family feud, Tampa Bay was idle, but the Patriots pounded the Chargers 45-0, so Belichick and Cam Newton get this spotlight this week.

However, the most unusual play occurred in the Kansas City v Broncos game, when Tyreek Hill made a catch so improbable that Hill didn’t even realize that he had caught the ball. It was ruled a fumble, and Hill thought it must have hit the ground.

After it was too late, replay showed that it had been a catch, which led to some finger pointing between coach and receiver about why they didn’t challenge the play. My question is why isn’t the finger being pointed at the referees? They are arguably the worst team on the field week after week.

(In the Cowboys’ humiliating loss, they were the victims of among the most egregious missed calls I have ever seen in pro football, right up there to the injustice that kept Brees and the New Orleans Saints out of the Super Bowl a few years ago.)

Football Thoughts – Week 12

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on December 3, 2020

College: The game between my beloved and rapidly improving Oklahoma Sooners and West Virginia Mountaineers was postponed due to “Covid-19 concerns” in the Oklahoma camp. Though university presidents seem determined to prop up the season to get the revenue, I’m still taking the under on either the college or pro games’ completing what anyone would call a season.

That said, Baylor upset Kansas State and Iowa State beat Texas, so I assume that if there is a conference championship game, it is most likely to be between the Sooners and Iowa State, assuming OU wins out.

The committee continues to include teams from the Big 10 and Pac 12 in its rankings, including Ohio State, which comes in at #3. This offends me greatly. These schools are at an advantage because they came into the season late and are fresher. It’s like letting milers jump into the race at the half mile mark.

The Aggies, who sit at #5, beat LSU, and Missouri blanked Vanderbilt, so some readers are happy. Penn State, which is dreadful, upset Michigan, which is even more dreadful. It’s a bad year for a football team to be coached by someone named Harbaugh.

NFL: The Washington Football Team used my erstwhile favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys, as a mop and wiped up the floor with them 41-16. To say the Cowboys were inept is an understatement. There were spectacularly stupid coaching decisions, and I had no idea their defense could play that badly.

In the comparison and contrast between OU’s two Heisman Trophy winners and #1 draft choices, Baker Mayfield was solid as the Browns beat the Jaguars, who it must be admitted are not a good team this year.

Kyler Murray and the Cardinals, my new favorite team, lost to the Patriots, in a game Arizona could have won. Murray had them in position. But the team was done in by penalties (Arizona leads the NFL in them) and disastrous special teams play. This is a Kingsbury team in spades – good offense, but no defense and no attention to special teams whatsoever.

This will be the Cardinals’ fate as long as Kingsbury is its coach. We saw this same act when he was at Texas Tech. He wasn’t a particularly good college coach there. What the hell is he doing coaching an NFL team?

In the family feud between Belichick and Brady, as mentioned above, the Pats won with Cam Newton. But the Bucs and Brady were upset by the Chicago Bears in Chicago. Brady didn’t play particularly well, but their defense was leaky, and it was not an ideal game plan for Brady, in my view. I think this may be a case where the coach is not adapting his game to optimize the strengths of his quarterback.

The San Francisco 49ers upset the Rams, and as a reward were thrown out of Santa Clara for three weeks due to a tremendous spike in Covid-19 cases there. San Francisco will be playing their next three game in Dallas!

Rodgers and Mahomes look like the cream of the quarterbacks at this point in the season. They will almost certainly be in the playoffs, and Kansas City looks like the best team in the NFL and should be the favorite to win the Super Bowl at this point.

A woman made an NFL roster, got into the game, and made a successful kickoff. This is worthy of mention.

Football Thoughts – Week 11

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on November 27, 2020

Football: The lead story this week is all about the virus, again. More and more games are having to be postponed or canceled, making the entire season of both the college and pro games suspect. When the seasons end, if they are not just canceled, there should be a big, glaring asterisk on this season, and I don’t think any records should be recognized, nor champions crowned.

College: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners wiped up the floor with Oklahoma State 41-13. It really wasn’t much of a game, and for all practical purposes it was over quickly. OU led 21-0 about half-way through the first quarter.

This outcome came as no surprise to me. OU has been rounding into form since it got Stevenson and Perkins back. OU was the better team by a margin. But I haven’t worried about OSU as an opponent for years. They’ve had teams far better than this one recently, and we’ve beaten every one of them.

This means OU is in decent shape to play for the Big XII championship, probably against Iowa State, which shut out Kansas State, 45-0.

Of note, Northwestern beat Wisconsin 7-17, which was not totally unexpected. Missouri beat South Carolina 17-10 so my Missouri readers are happy.

Postponements and cancelations due to Covid-19 continue to complicate and disrupt the season. The Texas A&M game was postponed, with Aggies sitting at #5, in the first playoff rankings, so my Aggie daughter is disappointed.

NFL: The Dallas Cowboys, my erstwhile favorite team, beat the Minnesota Vikings, improbably, 31-28, keeping Dallas in the hunt for the NFC East championship.

In the comparison and contrast between Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield, this week was “inconclusive.” Murray and the Arizona Cardinals, my new favorite team, lost to the Seattle Seahawks 28-21. There’s no shame in that; Seattle has a good team. Mayfield’s Browns beat the Eagles 22-17. He didn’t do anything spectacular, but he was steady, and managed the game well, which was enough to beat the lowly Eagles.

In the family feud between Belichick and Brady, I give this one to Belichick. The Pats lost, but Cam Newton had a terrific game. Brady and the Bucks were outplayed by the Rams 27-24.

Other top year quarterbacks lost. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers also got beat by the Colts, and the Titans beat Lamar Jackson and the Ravens.

Football Thoughts – Week 10

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on November 19, 2020

College: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners had a bye week, so nothing to report about them. Nothing else happened in the Big XII to warrant mention. The Texas Aggies moved up to #1 so my Aggie daughter is happy. Missouri had to postpone its game due to Covid-19, which will distress my friend and Mizzou alum Peter.

It looks like the season is unraveling as I predicted, however. By my count, 15 games will be postponed or canceled next weekend due to Covid-19 concerns, in addition to those canceled this week. Some games can be made up, but each week there are fewer open dates left to play postponed games. Already some schools are matching teams whose scheduled opponents are having Covid-19 issues and playing what amount to pick up games.

I’m not sure what will happen to bowl games, but the greedy university presidents will drag four teams to a playoff, no matter who they are, including possibly teams from the Big 10 and Pack 12 conferences, but it won’t be the same. You know it. I know it. Everybody knows it.

NFL: My erstwhile favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys, had a bye week so they couldn’t embarrass themselves again. New York beat the Eagles and Detroit beat the Redskins, so Dallas is still in the hunt for the conference championship.

All the news was about my new favorite team, the Arizona Cardinals, and quarterback Kyler Murray, because they beat Buffalo on a last second “Hail Murray” pass to DeAndre Hopkins in the endzone to win the game.

Murray lost a game he should have won against the Miami Dolphins the week before and he wasn’t happy about it, including with his coach’s play calling. I won’t say Kingsbury coached his team out of a win (but he did).

Murray is not used to losing and he doesn’t take it well. I was pretty sure he would find a way to win this one, no matter what, and somehow, he did. Thursday night the Cardinals play the Seahawks in Seattle and I can hardly wait.

In the comparison and contrast between Murray and OU’s other recent Heisman Trophy winner and #1 draft choice, Baker Mayfield, I grade it a push. Murray’s win was more dramatic, but Cleveland won its game over Houston 10-7, and Mayfield had his challenges to overcome, in his case, terrible stormy weather.

The family feud between Belichick and Brady I also graded a push. Brady won his game against Carolina handily, but New England also won its game against the Baltimore Ravens, a tougher team.

Most of the other top tier quarterbacks, including Rodgers and Brees, played well, but Brees suffered an injury that will keep him out for several games.

Football Thoughts – Week 9

Posted in Sports - football, mostly, Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on November 12, 2020

College Football: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners beat the breaks off the Kansas Jayhawks 62 to nine. This is as it should be. Kansas is truly awful and will be for a while. But the way OU won was impressive. I may have been too critical too soon. (What can I say? I’m a spoiled Chinaman.) The team has gotten a few players back recently and it is showing on both sides of the ball.

I’m off defensive coordinator Grinch’s case for now. The defense played with spirit and effort. As important, I’m seeing a plan for the defense evolving here. I’ve seen new, young faces in the defense, and they belong to taller, heavier players.

Things are lining up such that with a little luck, OU could be playing for the conference championship. Oklahoma State beat Kansas State, which was helpful but not definitive. OU plays OSU in two weeks, which should tell us a lot more.

Notre Dame got a break and played their one hard game against Clemson when Trevor Lawrence was out and won the game.

OU moved up to #18 in the rankings. There are still four Big XII teams in the top 25, two of which – Oklahoma State and Iowa State are ahead of us. Texas is at 21, but we’ve already played and beaten (I just love writing that) them.

It’s odd seeing some of the teams ranked ahead of OU, such as Marshall and Coastal Carolina, but they won their early games. and we did not.

The Pac 12 began football play a week or two after the Big 10. I feel the same way about the Pac 12 as the Big 10. If the presidents want the revenue, ok, but the teams should not be in the rankings. It’s unequitable.

NFL: My erstwhile favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys, put up a decent fight, but lost in their usual fashion to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Technically, these losers could still win the NFC East, because all the other teams in the conference are as bad as the Cowboys this year (the Giants beat the Redskins this weekend). But it isn’t going to happen. You know it, I know it, everybody knows it.

In the family feud between Belichick and Brady, the coach came out looking rather good this week. The Patriots beat the Jets, though just barely, 30-27, when Cam Newton drove them to a last-minute field goal. It’s pretty clear, though, that the Pats have some rebuilding to do, particularly on defense.

Meanwhile, Brady and the Bucs got clobbered by the Saints 38-3, with Brady having an uncharacteristically very bad, horrible, terrible day.

The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Panthers, though not by much, 33-31. The Chiefs keep winning, but not looking as immortal as last year.

The comparison and contrast between Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray was not on full display again this week, because it was Cleveland’s bye-week and Mayfield was idle.

Kyler Murray and the Cardinals lost to Miami 34-31 on what was easily the most entertaining game of the week. It was a shootout between two gifted, young quarterbacks: Murray and Miami’s rookie Tua Tagovailoa. Tua won this round in what I am sure will be a years-long rivalry at the top level, but in fairness to Murray, he led the Cardinals down for a field goal to tie the game at the end, but the kicker missed it.

It was clear that Murray disagreed with the coach’s decision to go for the kick rather than 4th and one. I can’t fault Kingsbury for kicking. It was a close call. But it does show the flaw in the coach because he had gone on fourth down several times previously in the game but choked on this one, showing too little faith in his quarterback.

Football thoughts – Week 8

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on November 7, 2020

College Football: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners blasted Texas Tech 62 to 28 in Lubbock and restored some of my faith. The game was more or a drubbing than the score indicates. OU led 48-14 at the end of the first half and played reserves for almost all of the second. Half of Tech’s points were scored in the second half.

The defense played with better effort. More important, OU got a couple of players back from a dubious suspension that no one seems to want to talk about. Perkins on defense really helped, and Stevenson on offense won co-offensive player of the week. OU moved up from the top 25 to the top 20, at 19th.

Texas stunned #6 Oklahoma State and West Virginia beat Kansas State. Two Big XII teams – Iowa State and OSU – are ranked higher than OU. Still, it is now possible to see a path for OU to win the conference championship (though not to the playoffs), probably with a championship game repeat against ISU. We shall see.

NFL: Since my new favorite team – the Arizona Cardinals – had a bye week, I checked on my erstwhile favorite team – The Dallas Cowboys. Like OU, Dallas got a couple of players back and looked a little better, but they still lost in their usual way to the Philadelphia Eagles.

My big take away from this game had to do with coaching. At the beginning of the third quarter, after stinking up the place in the first half, Dallas started running Zeke Elliot, and it was working. The Cowboys got well into Eagles territory running the ball and when they got there, they quit running Zeke and ran trick passing plays, which backfired.

In my football world, when something is working, you stay with it until the opponent proves it can stop it, and then you look from where they had to get reinforcements and go to that spot next. This coaching staff couldn’t coach an offense across the street with a green light.

Dallas could not win another game this year, or, on the other end of the spectrum, they could still win the NFC East Division. I’m taking the under on this because Dallas is a dependably underperforming team.

In the family feud between Belichick and Brady, the Quarterback got the best of it again this week. New England lost to Buffalo and Cam Newton did not play well. Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers won their game, but the lowly New York Giants gave them all they wanted. You just can’t get up for every game and Tampa Bay looked flat for this one. San Francisco lost to Seattle, of course, and it looks like Garoppolo is out for the season. This reflects badly on Belichick, who wanted Garoppolo to replace Brady, but Jimmy G just can’t stay healthy and Brady is still winning.

In the Kyler Murray – Baker Mayfield competition, as mentioned above, Murray had a bye. But Mayfield didn’t gain any advantage because the Browns lost to the Raiders 16-6 and looked bad doing it.

In games involving the newest rookie qbs, Tua won his first game starting for the Dolphins by upsetting the Rams, and Burrow looked good in Cincinnati’s win over the Titans.

Aaron Rodgers lost to the Vikings. Russell Wilson, as mentioned led Seattle over the 49ers. Mahomes won. In the NFL, the quarterback play determines who gets to the playoffs.

Football Thoughts – Week 7

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on October 29, 2020

College: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners won their game against TCU and looked surprisingly good doing it. They played with energy, even on the defensive side of the ball. I saw some new faces on the field, which means there has been some shaking up, and also a reminder to me that OU is in a mildly rebuilding year. Fortunately, some of the new players looked really good. Mims, a true freshman, won Big 12 honors this week. Boomer Sooner.

OU has crept into the top 25, though just barely, at #24. Think about it. Usually we are in the top five, not top 25. As it stands, there are now four Big 12 teams in the rankings and three of them are ahead of us. Unfortunately, two of those teams have already beaten us. The top ranked Big 12 team is Oklahoma State, at #6. The only chance OU has to win the conference championship is for OSU to knock off the other rivals and for us to beat OSU. Hope springs eternal.

The Big Ten began playing this weekend. I did not play football in college. I ran track. It was a long time ago, but when I competed, a runner could not jump into a race half-way through it and win a medal. I understand why greedy university presidents would want the revenue, but I don’t think Big Ten teams should be allowed in the rankings.

NFL: My Dallas Cowboys lost to the Washington Redskins in a humiliating fashion, 25-3, in other words, by more than three touchdowns. This team stinks on ice. It is saddled with clueless coaches and underperforming players. The Cowboys have officially settled into seemingly perpetual mediocrity (I suspect they haven’t hit bottom yet), and the Jones boys are responsible for it, and what’s worse, seem to be okay with it. So, hell with them and on to my new favorite team, the Arizona Cardinals.

In the best game of the weekend, the Cardinals beat the Seattle Seahawks, 37-34. It was an excellent game that went into overtime. Interestingly, Arizona led in this game for only four seconds when they kicked the game winning field goal at the end of overtime.

It was enjoyable to watch Kyler Murray and the incomparable Russell Wilson duke it out. I never bet against Wilson, but in the end, Murray won this match up.

In the comparison and contrast I am following, Baker Mayfield also had a great day, as the Browns beat the Cincinnati Bengals in another shootout, against rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, by the same 37-34 score. Mayfield scored five touchdown and had a 143.5 QBR. Excellent. Murray still has the better team, but the Browns took a step forward.

In the feud between Belichick and Brady, it was all Brady this week. Brady and the Buccaneers beat the Las Vegas Raiders handily, 45-20, as Brady threw for 369 yards and accounted for four touchdowns, one of which he ran in. He had a 136 QBR.

Meanwhile the Patriots were trounced 33-6 at home by the San Francisco 49ers, in which Cam Newton, who is clearly still suffering from the effects of Covid-19, had to be benched.

The only solace for Belichick is that Jimmy Garoppolo, who he wanted to replace Brady with at New England, was quarterbacking the 49ers team. The Pats, heavily damaged by the virus, are also in what has to be considered a rebuilding year, so this feud will play out over two or perhaps even three seasons.

In other games, the cream is rising to the top.  Aaron Rodgers threw for four touchdowns and racked up a 141 QBR in Green Bay’s win over the Houston Texans. The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Denver Broncos 43-16. Patrick Mahomes had a so-so day, but to be fair, the game was played in the snow. The Baltimore Ravens were tested by the lowly Philadelphia Eagles 30-28. Lamar Jackson had a so-so passing day with about 200 yards, but he also led the team in rushing with 108 yards.

Red Flag Alert: in both the college and pro leagues, games were “postponed,” due to Covid-19 cases.

Football Thoughts – Week 6

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on October 23, 2020

Despite the enormous pressure from greedy pasty white guy NFL owners, and even more greedy university presidents, my bet with myself that the football season will not be able to finish due to Covid-19 is looking better and better. Several college and professional games were “postponed” this week over the virus, and as we are coming into colder weather, as predicted by models, cases are beginning to spike seriously again.

College Football: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners were idle this week, so nothing about them.

The rankings are beginning to sort themselves out. Eight ranked teams were upset, such as Florida State’s upset over #8 North Carolina, which had no business being ranked this high in the first place. Speaking of which, the great pretender, Notre Dame, beat 1-3 Louisville 12-7 on four field goals!

Oklahoma State v. Baylor was postponed. (See above.)

NFL: Jones boys. Fire every god damned one of them, including yourselves. Fire that out of work head coach you hired, that out of date defensive coordinator, that wunderkind offensive coordinator who is a wunderclunker, and enough players to get the others’ attention. That 38-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals made me long for the good old mediocre 8-8 years, because this team, isn’t going to win even eight games at this rate.

Still, inconceivably, Dallas could still win the NFC East, which it leads with a 2-4 record, though I no longer expect it.

In the comparison and contrast between OU’s successive Heisman Trophy winners and first round draft picks, it was all Kyler Murray this week (see above). Murray wiped up the floor with Dallas, and the Pittsburgh Steelers wiped up the floor with Baker Mayfield’s Cleveland Browns. Murray has a better organization and team around him, whereas Mayfield has a team around him that endangers his life every time he takes a snap. Mayfield is tough, but he is getting beaten up to the point of injury.

(It was recently fired coach and GM of the Houston Texans who traded DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals for a third-round draft pick. This trade has helped Arizona and Murray immeasurably, and was such a stupid trade that it should have gotten O’Brien on the spot.)

Similarly, in the feud between Belichick’s New England Patriots and Brady’s Tamp Bay Buccaneers, it was all Brady this week. Brady outdueled Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers handily.

Here again, Brady has the better team. I’ve long thought of the Packers as “Rodgers and the Seven Dwarfs,” and last Sunday, when Rodgers had a bad day, the Packers looked hopeless.

To be fair, New England has been particularly bedeviled by Covid-19, which struck several players, coaches, and staff, including quarterback Cam Newton. It has caused a postponement, roster problems and disrupted their practice schedules.)

Football thoughts – Week 5

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on October 17, 2020

I’m running very late with my blogs about last week because one of my daughters came to visit, the first of my daughters I have seen in person in months, and I reordered my priorities to spend time with her and my son-in-law. Sorry, not sorry.

College Football: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners won the annual Red River Shootout over Texas 53-45. (The media now refer to this game as the Red River Showdown because “Shootout” is no longer considered politically correct, but it will always be Shootout to me, and as you can see by the score, this one was definitely a shootout.

The over/under on this game was 72.5 points, so Vegas expected a high scoring game given the potent offenses of the two teams and, for OU at least, the pitiable defenses. But the teams blew right through that line to 98 points, the highest total points ever scored in the 116 years of this rivalry.

To be fair, the game went to four overtimes, so it was longer than the average game, and there was a lot of scoring in the overtimes. But many of the points were scored during regulation, due to porous defenses and a lot of mistakes and penalties. But as any Sooner fan, or Longhorn fan, will tell you, no matter how ugly the game may be, any win in this game is paramount.

I digress to give a nod to Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger, as this was probably his last game against OU. Ehlinger is 1-4 against us, with three losses in regular season games and one loss in a Big 12 Championship game, but this record is deceptive. Ehlinger is an excellent quarterback, and he gave us fits every game. I am surprised our record against him is that good. I have respect for him as a player. That said, I will not be sorry to see him move on, for he is dangerous.

In the Big 12, Iowa State beat Texas Tech and Kansas State beat TCU. Both of these winning teams have beaten OU, damn it. At this point in the season, three Big 12 teams are in the top 25, including Texas at 22, but Oklahoma is not one of them. It’s impossible to see how we can make it to the playoffs this year. The current top four teams – Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida – are legitimate contenders (though Florida has to get through Georgia, and I don’t see that happening). Notre Dame sits in the fifth spot. As usual, ND has an embarrassingly easy schedule, but they catch Clemson this year, which should be a very long afternoon for them.

Missouri upset LSU, which made my friend Peter happy, and the Aggies upset the aforementioned Florida, which made my daughter Erin incredibly happy. Both were impressive wins.

NFL: The Dallas Cowboys won their game against the New York Giants, but lost quarterback Dak Prescott for the season. Even with this serious injury (a compound ankle fracture) to Prescott, the NFC East is so weak this year that Dallas still might win the division. Dallas already leads the dreadful division with a losing 2-3 record, and the Cowboys have a very respectable backup quarterback in Andy Dalton.

In the comparison and contract between Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield, the Cardinals beat the Jets and the Browns beat the Colts, so both Heisman Trophy winning, #1 draft choice OU quarterbacks did well. The Cardinals won more handily – 30-10, but the Browns had the tougher opponent – 32-23. (Arizona plays the Cowboys Monday night. I’m conflicted who to pull for.)

In the family feud between Belichick and Brady, both were losers of a kind. Tampa Bay was upset by the Chicago Bears and New England wasn’t even able to play its game due to Covid-19 issues causing postponement of its game.