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Football Thoughts – Week 9

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on November 9, 2021

College: I don’t put much stock in early playoff rankings, and don’t comment on them. First, there is still a lot of football to be played and the early rankings are nothing but premature guesses. Much will happen before the final decisions.

My beloved Oklahoma Sooners typically plays the Big XII’s stronger teams, many of whom are ranked, later in the season, which propels them into the playoffs. I would really have egg on my face if I criticized the committee for its choices and then the Sooners were to lose one of more of those important games and not make it, which is my second reason for restraint and patience with the committee’s early opinions.

But I like our chances. OU had a bye this week to rest up, heal and prepare for a run through #12 Baylor, Iowa State and #10 Oklahoma State, and the Big XII Championship.

However, the first week of rankings had so many warts that I have to say something about it, because it raises questions in my mind whether this committee is up to the task. (For the record, this committee has ranked OU #8, while the AP and Coaches Polls have them #4.)

Let’s start with Michigan State, a darling of the uninformed this season. The committee shot them up to #3 in the first ranking, based on their upset of Michigan. Apparently, the committee failed to consider that Jim Harbaugh, head coach of the Wolverines, cannot win important games. Having achieved this ranking, the Spartans were upset by Purdue this week. I’m not sure how far they will drop, but it probably won’t be far enough.

Then we have Cincinnati, who some polls have as high as #2, which is ludicrous. Cincinnati may be a good team. We just don’t know because they don’t play anybody. They have one quality win and that’s it. They’re going to have to show a lot more, and I don’t see how they can do it. Of the remaining teams on Cincinnati’s schedule, only one team – SMU – even has a winning record. And SMU got beat this weekend by a 5-4 Memphis team, making SMU a two-loss team before they even get to the Bearcats!

And don’t even get me started on Oregon, Ohio State and Notre Dame, which are all one loss teams that have played some pretty weak sisters.

NFL: The Dallas Cowboys laid about the biggest egg this weekend that I have even seen from them, losing to the Denver Broncos 30-16, and the game wasn’t that close. Dallas was scoreless for the first three quarters and scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter when the outcome was already decided. It was a complete collapse.

This game was so bad that it could have been just an aberration, unlikely to happen again, but I am skeptical. The failures were the usual failures – underachieving players and poor coaching – which are not being addressed adequately.

That said, I still think the Cowboys will win the NFC East, much good may it do them when they have to play good teams.

Results by the OU QB Amigos were a mixed bag this week. Starting with the best, after a week of drama, the Cleveland Browns beat the breaks off the Cincinnati Bengals 31-17, and Baker Mayfield looked superb doing it.

The Arizona Cardinals won, but Tyler Murray did not play so it doesn’t really count for him one way or the other. The Cardinals were without DeAndre Hopkins too, so it didn’t look promising for Arizona. But backup quarterback Colt McCoy played very well, and the Cardinals improved to 8-2.

(McCoy bedeviled Oklahoma when he quarterbacked at Texas. He gave us fits every year, though he was only 1-4 against us. He beat us soundly in 2013, by 32-20 if I remember correctly, but who’s counting? I usually hold grudges about things like that, but I was happy for McCoy to see him play so well for Arizona.)

Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Los Angeles Chargers, a team with a winning record and favored in this game. But the Eagles gave them one – 27-24 – and Hurts played well. Philly has lost of problems, particularly on pass defense, but Hurts is not one of them. It won’t surprise me at all if the Eagles beat Denver next week, who humiliated the Dallas Cowboys just this last week.

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