By Jeremy Dennis
We are rejoicing in the Southeastern United States as it seems that the Nine Circles have left us after it was believed that Hell resided squarely over the city of Atlanta. I mean seriously, 100 degrees? In October? Anyway, let’s see who makes it into the sulfur and brimstone dog house this week:
Circle 1 - Limbo
The Clemson Tigers. You know, it really doesn’t seem right to put them here. The Tigers are undefeated and should have no problems being the ACC representative in the College Football Playoff. But, there is the rub. The ACC is miserable this year and Clemson has not been playing the level of football that got them the trophy last year. Could it be possible that a one-loss SEC team makes it over Clemson if they continue to play lackluster football?
Circle 2 - Lust
Bo Nix and the Auburn Tigers. Look at that young man go! Started adding to his lore early with a rousing come-from-behind victory against Oregon in Week One. Every week, his play was improving by leaps and bounds culminating in throwing up 52 points against Mississippi State. He marched into the Swamp as a three-point favorite and left with an 11-point loss. The Florida Gator defense did indeed work him silly with two costly mistakes (an interception in the end zone throwing into triple coverage and a 20-yard sack) which cost them a chance at two field-goals that may have changed the flow of the game in the second half. Bad news, Bo. It is only going to get worse with LSU, Georgia, and Alabama on the horizon.
Circle 3 - Gluttony
The Houston Texans. Deshaun Watson and the boys threw up 53 points on the hapless Atlanta Falcons. Heck, even the defense got into the act with a pick-six at the end of the game. The Texans had 592 yards of total offense. Watson threw for 445 and five touchdowns. They scored every time they touched the ball in the second half to the tune of 37 points. Yowza!
Circle 4 - Greed
I actually have to write an original paragraph this week since the Miami Dolphins were on a bye. Let’s award it to the NFL for scheduling regular-season London games. Can’t you do that crap in the pre-season? I fail to see the logic of having two to four games a year in the UK when you do not seem willing to have a team over there (which is a bad idea too). I also don’t see where it is fair for the teams involved having to go across the pond than have to get their mind right and play a decent game back in the States. At least they didn’t start the damn game at 9am Eastern Time...
Circle 5 - Anger
The Dallas Cowboys. What the heck was that stinker that got put up as the Game of the Week Sunday afternoon? Did Dallas just have two bad games in a row? Or have they been exposed as their three victories were against teams with a combined record of 2-12? They had better get their crap straight. Down the road, they have the Patriots, Bills, Bears, Rams and the Eagles twice. If they do not get to the playoffs this season, it will be hard to believe Jason Garrett retains his job in Big D.
Circle 6 - Heresy
The NCAA. Boy, this California law about paying college athletes for their likenesses and such has opened up a can of worms. With the bill’s passing, the NCAA has looked like a three-year-old having a temper tantrum. Shouldn’t we have a forum about this? Look, if we took the average salary of the muckety-mucks that are pissing and moaning about the law versus the families of the athletes, I would imagine that there is a great divide. It is of my opinion that this is the beginning of the end for NCAA’s governance over college football. The sport is too big and powerful and many believe the NCAA is unable to evenly police the schools.
Circle 7 - Violence
Anyone who took the Temple Owls and the points on Thursday night against East Carolina. The Owls were sitting pretty with less than four minutes to go in the game up 27-10 (line was Temple -11). They are running out the clock having had the ball for three minutes already when the lights go out! After a 30 minute delay, Temple’s next four plays were loss of four, a gain of one, holding penalty, incomplete. They punt the ball away and of course, the defense (who had only given up 224 yards to that point) allows an 84-yard drive and a touchdown. The game ends at 27-17. Temple bettors are losers.
Circle 8 - Fraud
UCF. 2017 - “Oh, we’re the National Champions!” Blah, blah, blah. 2018 - “We should get a chance to play in the Playoff!” Blah, blah, blah. 2019 - “I guess we will go back to our lane since we lost back to back weeks.” Enjoy the Heart of Texas Bowl!
Circle 9 - Treachery
Hey NFL, what in the hell is up with the 10 football games at 1pm? Then have the nerve to have one of the late games be Broncos-Chargers. That was a turd game if I ever saw one. What made it worse was the other late-game essentially being a blow out as the Packers drop-kicked the Cowboys. I was discussing this with a colleague this week. Why doesn’t the NFL stipulate that all West Coast teams, regardless of where they play, start at 4pm. I am sure the Arizona fans would have appreciated this (the Bengals fans could have cared less since they stopped watching three weeks ago). Use your heads, NFL!
It looks like we have finally turned the corner on football scheduling and will have a bevy of great games to look forward to this weekend. Personally, I am chomping at the bit to get a load of them Redskins and Dolphins playing for the #1 overall pick. jk…
Enjoy your football week!