by TOM WEPPEL
NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
There will be a lot of attention and a lot of pressure in existence on Sunday afternoon, when the Cowboys travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles. Both teams have been disappointing in numerous ways. They both carry 3-5 records, with the Eagles having lost their last four, while the Cowboys have lost their last two. A win for either team will be a huge relief and certain gratification, while a loss will send the other team into a further tailspin, in oh, so many ways! Dallas is a slight one-point favorite. Should be fun to observe…
Meanwhile, two of the best teams in the League go head-to-head on Sunday night. The 7-1 Houston Texans go into Chicago to take on the surprising 7-1 Bears. The Texans are 3-0 on the road so far this season, with a solid defense that ranks third overall in the NFL, led by DL J.J. Watt with 10.5 sacks. RB Arian Foster leads the NFL in scoring TD’s, with 10.
But he’ll be going up against the #1 rushing defense in the League, as the Bears ‘D’ has been simply dominating opponents. They have also been scoring as well, including seven INT’s for TD’s!
It will most likely be windy and quite chilly in Chicago Sunday night. The Bears are a one-point favorite. It certainly qualifies as a must-watch game!
In New York, there continues to be discussion and speculation as to what the deal is all about involving Tim Tebow and his play (or lack of!). When he was signed by the Jets, there was a tremendous amount of interest and coverage, with fans and media alike all wondering how, or if, he would fit into the New York offense. People were curious if Mark Sanchez was going to start, and for how long.
Well, so far, we have not seen much of Mr. Tebow at all! His play, on special teams and one or two offensive plays here and there, is minimal, compared to his days with Denver. Its been a disappointment to and for a lot of fans, especially considering the Jets have not been that good this year at 3-5.
The question now is, with the second half of the season cranking up for the Jets, can he be valuable to them by being used more? And if so, to what extent? New York goes on the road to face the Seattle Seahawks. The Jets are a seven-point underdog. If they lose a few more, will we see Tebow get more playing time? Just curious…
There is no question that judgment and opinion by the Media and the pollsters, including Coaches, etc…has a lot to do with actually how good certain teams are in college football.
Case in point…
We all know and see Alabama as the undisputed #1 team in the nation, especially after their convincing win last weekend at LSU. But then we see a variance between Oregon and Kansas State, which are both undefeated and ranked #2 and #3 in the BCS and the coaches polls. There is a lot of debate as to which team is better and are they worthy of the #2 spot?
And we see that in the Vegas lines that are out, heading into the weekend. Oregon (9-0) will go on the road in a PAC 12 matchup, heading into Berkley to face the Cal Bears (3-7). The Ducks go into that contest as a four-touchdown favorite. They’ve averaged scoring over fifty points a game. It is possible, though, that California could give them problems. If they do, it would change the impressions so many are getting from the Ducks.
Meanwhile, Kansas State (9-0) also goes on the road this weekend to face the Horned Frogs of TCU (6-3). Interestingly enough, the Wildcats are a one-point UNDERDOG for that game!
Obviously, Kansas State is lacking a whole lot of respect and appreciation. There are a lot of people who believe K-State simply is not that good of a team. To be so highly ranked at 9-0, yet NOT favored to win their upcoming game, is a slight mystery!
So, it shall be quite interesting to see how things unfold this weekend…
One other example…how about the Louisville Cardinals? They carry a perfect 9-0 record, yet are ranked tenth in the nation. They go into their contest this weekend at Syracuse, a team which is only 4-5 as only a three-point favorite! Is there some disparity here?
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
After their game on Wednesday, the Lakers have now started off the season with a 1-4 record. That certainly is NOT what the owners, the coaches, the team, or the fans, had in mind before the season started.
They actually had lost 11 games straight at one point, having lost all eight of their preseason contests, then started the season 0-3.
Expectations were certainly high, after they brought in G Steve Nash and C Dwight Howard. However, Nash has been out now with a leg injury, and Howard has not been completely dominant on a consistent basis.
Everyone is scratching their collective heads, wondering what is not working or right about this club. Then you see the fill-in starting PG, Steve Blake, get into a slight verbal altercation with a fan during their game last Friday against the Clippers in the Staples Center. Turns out, the fan was the son of longtime season ticket holder Steve Jackson, who is the founder of the sports apparel company LA Gear.
Word leaked out about the deal, to the point where the NBA was not happy with the whole scene, and ended up fining Blake $25,000 for his actions.
The bottom line here is that the Lakers have a very bright spotlight on themselves. They get a lot of press and coverage every single day. The drama is building more and more. They have to start winning a few more games pretty soon, or else the whole thing will really start to unravel…