NFL power poll
So, remember the Monday after the first week of the season?
Of course you do. It was an overreaction Monday when we all bemoaned everything.
Welp, some are first impressions that may be proven accurate. The Falcons struggling, for example. Or the Cardinals being better than we could have imagined.
And others are filled with so much knee-jerk jerkiness that we'd be a jerk if we did not recollect on our overabundance of overreactions.
Take for instance that Week 1 Saints 38, Packers 3 annihilation. Yeah, the chatter of dealing Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay rebuilding sooner rather than later and how the offseason of discontent was going to lead to a season of discombobulation?
Yeah, scratch that. Pack is fine. Thanks for asking.
Seven straight wins later — including last Thursday's road win at previously unbeaten Arizona — and Green Bay is atop the league and flying high.
Like William Wallace and his countrymen when then English rode heavy horse, let's get to the poles.
1. Green Bay. Yep, the Packers are spinning it like DJ EZ Rock back in the day. True or false on a Tuesday, this guy loved 1980s rap music. Answer below. Anywell, are the Packers the best team in football? Debatable. If they get home-field advantage and have a healthy Aaron Rodgers, will I bet on them to reach the Super Bowl? Like Lego Batman's nine-pack, ABS-olutely.
2. Los Angeles Rams. Love that Rams management sees the window and knows the window's Not For Long in the NFL. Heading into today's afternoon trading deadline, the Rams landing Von Miller to pressure from the edge with Aaron Donald pressuring through the middle could be the difference-maker come playoff time.
3. Arizona. Yes, the Cards gave the Rams their only loss, but the Cards' biggest loss of the last week had nothing to do with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Losing JJ Watt, who was playing inspired football with his new team, is a scary proposition for a defense built on speed and pressure.
4. Dallas. How many teams in this league can go on the road against a pretty good foe with a backup QB none of us have ever heard of before and win? Not many. Dallas did it Sunday night, though.
5. Tampa Bay. Yes, the Bucs just lost to the Saints — and cost me some coin doing it — and have the same number of losses as New Orleans and even the Titans. But the Bucs get the final and coveted spot in this prestigious ranking because a) they still have Brady and b) the Saints and Titans were crippled over the weekend with injuries to Jameis Winston and Derrick Henry.
28. New York, New York. Which begs the question, what is Sinatra's best song? Discuss.
29. Miami. Speaking of Week 1 overreactions. The Dolphins are 1-7, and that 1 was Week 1 over the Pats. Go figure.
30. Houston. Should rank them lower, even for no other reason than some possible bad karma for tonight. Seriously, about tonight — because do we really care that much about the Houston Texans? Quick, name a Houston Texan — this is a chance for Max Fried to become an All-time A-T-L legend right here, friends. Dude goes out there and spins a gem and he'll never have to buy a beer in Buckhead ever again.
31. Jacksonville. I think the Jags are better positioned for the foreseeable future than, say the Texans, but how about that Week 1 37-21 whipping the Texans handed Coach Urban Liar's crew? It could very well be the dividing factor in who gets 1 and who gets 2 next spring at the draft. I love the draft. You know this.
32. Detroit. When you know, you know. The Lions are awful. Side question: I know the tradition, but shouldn't we get to a place that the Lions have to give up that Thanksgiving slot? No one wants to see that type of cruel and usual punishment around the holidays.
Speaking of rankings
OK, the college football playoff rankings will be released tonight. Cue Herbie's close-up.
Side question, and I ask this with all the respect possible: It's time for the GameDay crew to find a graceful way for Lee Corso to exit, right? Discuss.
Anywell, the top spot is the biggest no brainers since Boston offered the Babe to the Yankees for cash.
After that, the conversation interests me greatly.
Eye test or résumé? Pedigree or perfection?
Because if forced to name the second-best team in the country, that's Alabama in my view.
To name the team having the second-best season, well, I'd probably vote for Mel Tucker's Michigan State Spartans, who are unbeaten and just toppled rival Michigan with a second-half comeback for the ages.
My top four as of this morning would not make a lot of folks happy and would fuel the burning fire for expanding the playoff, for sure.
Georgia, Michigan State, Alabama, Oklahoma. And sorry Cincy, but THE Ohio State is fifth in my book before we get to the Bearcats, who are ranked No. 2 in the polls.
Side notes, because I thought this was worth sharing: So the good folks at Bovada — an online sportsbook — sent me their projected odds for possible match-ups between the best teams in college football and the worst teams in the NFL. They look as follows:
Georgia (+24.5) vs. Lions: Georgia (+25.5) vs. Jets; Georgia (29.5) vs. Texans
Cincy (+34.5) vs. Lions; Cincy (+35.5) vs. Jets; Cincy (+39.5) vs. Texans
Bama (+21.5) vs. Lions; Bama (+22.5) vs. Jets; Bama (+25.5) vs. Texans
Rubbing the wrong way
Yeah, and it would be fair at this point for J-Mac and other NASCAR fans to note that I only really discuss NASCAR when someone steps on a landmine.
And that's fair. It's also sad. NASCAR used to very much be in my top-three-to-five favorite sports.
Seriously. We'd go to several races, almost always to Atlanta and Talladega at least once a year.
Not sure what made it fade. It wasn't even the death of Dale 20 years ago, because I was always a big Tony Stewart fan anyway. The racing deteriorated. The commercialization was awkward and annoying. The back-roads personality was sanitized and scrubbed away.
Regardless, I found other avenues. So it goes.
But NASCAR's resident hothead Kyle Busch stepped in it after a heated interview about his anything-but-best-bud Brad Keselowski. Busch called Bad Brad a "freaking (r-word)."
Busch has been ordered to attend sensitivity training for his diction. OK. It's a word that makes a lot of people angry and a lot offended.
But, what if Busch had called Keselowski a blankedy-blank, bleepedy-bleep with some combination of several of George Carlin's seven salty words?
Is that any less offensive, especially if he used the Lord's name in vain? Would it have set off the PC buzzer?
This, of course, is not trying to excuse the use of the R-word as much as wondering about the divide between offensive in terms of vulgarity and offensive in ways that demand sensitivity training.
And while we're asking somewhat rhetorical and kind of practical questions, shouldn't — considering these guys are driving cars that weigh more than three-quarters of a ton at 200 mph with spaces rarely larger than your average dressing room between each other — 'anger management' classes be part of the conversation as well?
This and that
— So we got it worked out on our end and this week's 5-at-10 Bracket Challenge is ready to roll. I'm curious to see how the public votes on which college football stadium has the best gameday atmosphere. You can vote in the first round here. Who you got?
— You know the rules, when TFP college football savant David Paschall writes about the South's favorite sport, we read and link Paschall's prose on college football. As Uncle Buck — "Ol' Buck Melanoma, Moley Russell's wart" — says, "It's in the books." Here's Paschall on UK and UT heading into a season-saving Saturday in a lot of ways for each.
— Here's today's A2 offering from some fat-faced fellow on the Final Five from which our school board will pick our next schools honcho.
— Dad joke alert: So driving the boy to school today, he was giddy about the Boba Fett trailer. Most Star Wars fans are. Well, I told him they were concerned about the early numbers. They were Boba Frett. Thank you. I'll be here all week.
True or false, it's Tuesday.
True or false, Honcho is an underused and underappreciated term.
True or false, Dallas over Minnesota on Sunday will crush Game 5 of the World Series when the TV numbers are released later this week.
True or false, you're taking Georgia and the points against the NFL dregs above. What about 'Bama and the points? (I'd lean true on both.)
True or false, Cincinnati is the second-best team in college football. True or false, Cincinnati deserves the No. 2 spot in the playoff rankings. (Because those are not congruent sentiments.)
You know the drill. Answer some T or Fs, leave some T or Fs. Right Ern?
As for today, Nov. 2, let's review.
On this day in 1983, "Thriller" was released.
On this day in 2016, the Cubs won the World Series.
Also, Nov. 2 is All Souls Day.
Rushmore of 'Soul' and be creative.