Well, that was fun.
Here's saying we have a full phone line for more of Press Row today. Whatcha' think?
It's Monday, and we do what we do.
From the "Talks too much" studios, who won the weekend?
On Mondays, we start trimming the list of who won the weekend. Here are some clear front-running candidates:
The entire state of Mississippi: Wow. What else is there to say. Ole Miss pulls a rabbit out of its hat and topples Alabama - and the good Bo Wallace earned a spot with Mike, William and Marcia on the Wallace Rushmore at least for now (sorry Wallace Francis, loved you on those fun Falcons clubs, but dude beat Bama). Mississippi State thumps Texas A&M. The Rebels and the Bulldogs are tied for third in the AP poll. Wish we had about 25 Egg Bowl tickets to put on the open market right now, you know?
Notre Dame: Monster rally win over Stanford and Everett Golson knows how to win. Plus, remember that there's a chance the Irish could add two starters and difference-makers - maybe before the trip to FSU in two weeks - who were suspended before the season started. Also, the area Notre Dame dropped the hammer of Signal Mountain. Pluck of the Irish, indeed.
Georgia Tech: Shhhh, but the fighting Paul Johnsons are 5-0 and have tippy-toed into the Top 25. The remaining schedule features only one ranked team - a trip to rival Georgia on Nov. 29 - and if the Jackets keep it rolling, their offensive quirkiness could be a major headache for teams prepping for spreads and pass-happy schemes. Side note: Tech starting QB Justin Thomas has attempted 72 passes this season, completing 36 for 663 yards and seven TDs; Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday was 49-of-70 for 734 yards and six TDs Saturday.
QB legends: Peyton Manning joins Brett Favre in the 500-TD club and Tom Brady becomes the sixth passer to go over 50,000 yards. When history views the ascent of the NFL in the modern-sports and cultural monolith it is, it will be in part because of TV advancements, part because of fantasy football, part because of our culture's obsession with violence. It also should be noted that the continued excellence and overlapping careers of arguably two of the all-time Rushmore QBs deserves some kudos, too.
The K.C. Way: Who else would love to see the Royals win the whole she-bang? Fewest homers in the bigs this year and they drop monster homers in each of their first four playoff games. KC swept the high-dollar L.A. Angels of Anaheim, California, the Pacific Time Zone and the United States of America. Steaks for everyone.
Pac 12: The league, which has been tabbed as the second best in college football, had a tough few days. Playoff contenders UCLA and Oregon took losses. Stanford goes on the road and gives away the game at Notre Dame. Hail Marys and a kid throwing for more than 700 yards in a loss make for great SportsCenter moments, but they leave the Pac 12 very possibly looking on the outside of the playoff four.
Butch Jones: The loss was painful - and Jomo, let's try to be at least polite today, OK - and the postgame comments were somewhat puzzling. Jones offered up an unprompted plea for the fans to be patient and to stick with the process. Well, OK. The fans want this more than anywhere, and if they are still showing up after the Dooley - and the Sunseri... SAAALLLLL!!! - era, well, there in. It was either an attempt at PR spin or possible desperation. The Vols and Jones needed that game and let it slip through their fingers.
Matt Williams: Yes, baseball is made on second-guessing, but in Saturday's 18-inning loss to the Giants, Williams pulled starter Jordan Zimmerman with two outs in the ninth after he walked a guy with a 1-0 lead. Nevermind that Zimmerman was right at 100 pitches, or the fact that he had retired 57 of the previous 62 hitters he faced dating back to his no-hitter to close the regular season or that he was still throwing in the low-to-mid 90s. Williams went and got the ball, closer Drew Storen blows the save and the Nats are in a 2-0 hole heading to San Francisco.
The Titan-ics: The Tennessee Titans blew a 25-point lead and lost 29-28 to the Cleveland Browns. Yes, as stunning as the collapse was - although did anyone else know as soon as the punt was blocked for a safety to make it 28-15 that the final score was going to be 29-28 - that it came to the Cleveland Browns is downright alarming.
South Carolina: We could have picked any number of teams that we overvalued early here - LSU getting absolutely Malzahned also deserves mention; Oklahoma gagging like only Oklahoma does - but we are going with South Carolina for two reasons. First, the Fighting Spurriers were outplayed and outcoached by Kentucky and Mark Stoops. Secondly, we need to tip the visor to Chas9's Wildcats, who will be a factor in the crazy SEC East now. Side note: When UK needs a big W and they put a skilled-position guy at QB and let him run around and do stuff, well, it appears to be a trend that's worth noting. JoJo Kemp was nuts Saturday night. Tell 'em bout it JoJo.
Joey Logano won at Kansas. Good for Joey. (Side note: We always thought Joey was the protoypical name for the coach's son, you know? Hey, good game Joey. We digress. Now we bye gress, which is better than transgress which is a lot better than transdress... not that there's anything wrong with that.)
OK, where were we? NASCAR, right.
Logano wins - his fifth this year - and stamps his ticket to the final eight. With two races left in this round of the Chase, that's a big deal.
Why do we mention this? Well, we are intrigued that of the 12 guys still speeding for the overall title - and with two races left, including the roll of the dice that is Talladega - Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson are now 11th and 12th in the standings.
Remember, only eight advance, and if in the first year of this new playoff thingee, NASCAR's most popular star and its history-chasing, best driver are eliminated before the Elite V-8 round, well, that's going to hurt.
And since NASCAR has a way of figuring its way around a) Oval tracks with left-hand turns and b) situations that would behoove the sport and the France family, here's saying that we'll take Johnson or Earnhardt to win this week at Charlotte.
This and that
- CBSsports.com columnist Dennis Dodd has Auburn, Mississippi State and Ole Miss as the top three teams in his power poll. Now it's impossible for that to hold up in the playoff because three of the four playoff teams have to be conference champs and at the most only two of those three could make it. But under his scenario, he has an Egg Bowl rematch in the Rose Bowl. Tell Jed and Granny the Magnolia State's coming. Swimming Pools and movie stars indeed.
- The Fab Four picks limited to a 4-5 mark this weaken to drop us to 21-20 against the number on the season. After three straight years at better than 60-percent - and one year at 70 - this break-even junk has us questioning ourselves. We'll get hot soon, but this is not that entertaining right now. (Side note: Last week we had three games swing the other way with cosmetic touchdowns that flipped the spread. This week we had three games that were tied and flip because of late, game-changing turnovers, including two decisive pick-sixes.)
- The NBA is starting. Thought, we'd mention it.
Feel free to crow about your team in who won the weekend.
Feel free to lament about your team in who lost the weekend.
If you still need more, in honor of Brady and Manning - or Manning and Brady - what is your Rushmore of sports rivals/duos of all-time. Bird/Magic likely are far left. Russell-Wilt may make it, but we think Brady-Manning is there too.