Article Lineup
Did You Notice? NFL Week 10
Did You Notice? NCAA Football Week 11
Golden NFL Rankings After Week 11
Pivotal World Series Plays Baker Earns His Nickname
Basketball Short Story Kobe Goes Pro - 2
Saints-Falcons With Follow-up
LSU-Arkansas Prediction with follow-up
Football Short Story ND Shatters OU's Winning Streak
Baseball Short Story Student of the Game
Tiger Den: LSU vs Mannings - 3
Saints Saga
: Saints Playoff Games - 1987
Seminoles Sidelines: 1964 - First AP Ranking
Super Bowl XVIII - Redskins vs Raiders
Memorable Game: 1926 Rose Bowl - Alabama-Washington State
Short Story
: SEC Legend - Don Hutson
How Well Do You Know the Rules?
Football Quiz
Did You Notice? NFL Week 11
  • This Week's Crazy Stats Game
    First downs: Vikings 24 Cowboys 24
    Total plays: Vikings 61 Cowboys 64
    Total yards: Vikings 430 Cowboys 376
    Yards per play: Vikings 7.0 Cowboys 5.9
    Possession: Vikings 31:49 Cowboys 28:11
    Turnovers: Vikings 2 Cowboys 1
    Score: Cowboys 31 Vikings 28
  • Tua's Education Continues
    Sunday was Tua Tagovailoa's fourth start for the Dolphins, but he was benched in the fourth quarter of the 20-13 loss to the Broncos in favor of veteran Ryan Fitzgerald. Tua had completed 11-of-20 passes for just 83y and 1 TD. Miami coach Brian Flores made clear that Tua is still his starting QB and he was just trying to create "a spark" for his stagnant offense. Fitzpatrick said afterward, "There's no controversy. This is Tua's team. He's going to lead this team." Tua took it well. "It was a great learning experience," he said. "I felt like I was holding the ball a little too long."
  • Colts Won Despite Themselves
    Saints fans were rooting for the Colts over the Packers so our heroes could move to the #1 seed in the NFC. Leading 31-28, Indy received a punt on their 34 with 3:06 left. Run the ball and at least take some time off the clock, forcing Green Bay to use up their timeouts, right? By the 1:55 mark, the Colts had moved to the GB 23, close enough to at least kick a field goal and force the Packers to score a touchdown. The Pack called their first timeout at that point. Then the possession began to fall apart for the Colts. A holding penalty set them back 10y and in effect gave GB a free timeout. Then Philip Rivers threw an incompletion to stop the clock again. On the next snap, another holding flag pushed the ball back to the 43. A 4y run forced the Packers to call their second timeout. Instead of running the ball, Rivers tried to pass but was sacked for a 7y loss and fumbled, Green Bay picking up the pigskin and running for a TD. Fortunately, replay reversed the call and ruled it an incomplete pass, which again stopped the clock. Now out of FG range, the Colts punted to the six with 1:25 on the clock. That's too much time to give Aaron Rodgers, who completed passes of 47, 14, 18, and 7y to set up the tying field goal as time expired. Fortunately, the Colts recovered a fumble on the GB 30 on the opening possession of overtime and kicked the winning field goal.
  • Support for Burrow
    Joe Burrow
    was a candidate for Rookie of the Year before tearing his ACL and MCL in Sunday's loss to Washington. What was gratifying for LSU and Bengals fans was the outpouring of support from around the league - a testimony to what a fine individual Joe is in addition to being an outstanding player. (I just realized that Burrow has gone from playing for the "Bayou Bengals" to playing for the "Bengals.")
  • "Flashy debut at QB, for Tight End"
    That's the headline on one Internet site discussing Week 11 results. Many Fantasy Football sites freeze rosters just before the Thursday night game that starts the new week. Since Sean Payton hadn't announced his choice for QB for the Falcons game yet, many Fantasy players were stuck with Jameis Winston as a QB and/or Taysom Hill as a TE.
Question of the week: Which NFL coach said this after his team's loss Sunday? "They did a really good job in coverage. I know the sack numbers will probably get out of whack because of how well they played in their coverage. It was really not a lack of protection or a lack of discipline, busted assignments, it was really those guys doing a really good job of coverage." Answer below.

Intriguing Numbers - NFL Week 11
59 Consecutive games - his entire career - in which Alvin Kamara caught at least one pass before the streak was broken against the Falcons
19-8 Sean Payton's record against Atlanta
53

Consecutive games in which the Saints have not allowed a 100y rusher

482 Career receptions by Michael Thomas, the most by an NFL player in his first five NFL seasons, surpassing Jarvis Landry's 481
138 Consecutive games played by Saints LB Demario Davis
298 Consecutive games in which the Saints have not been shut out, the longest current streak in the NFL and fourth longest all-time
93 Victories for Russell Wilson, the most all time for any QB in his first nine seasons
18-3 Chiefs' record after bye weeks, the best record since 1990
25/1 Patrick Mahomes' TD passes/INTs against the Raiders
5 Packer turnovers in their first nine games
4 Packer turnovers vs Indianapolis Sunday
848 Receiving yards by Vikings WR Jordan Jefferson (LSU) - most by any rookie this year
1994 Last time Cleveland started 7-3 or better before this year
0 Times Tom Brady's teams have made the playoffs as a wild card
Answer to this week's question: Falcons coach Raheem Morris
This week's quiz: Taysom Hill threw for 6,929y in four years of college football. What college did he play for?
Did You Notice? NCAA Week 12
  • This Week's Crazy Stats Game
    First downs: UCLA 27 Oregon 21
    Total yards: UCLA 462 Oregon 422
    Passing Yards: UCLA 195 Oregon 334
    Rushing Yards: UCLA 267 Oregon 88
    Possession: UCLA 30:27 Oregon 29:33
    Turnovers: UCLA 4 Oregon 1
    Score: Oregon 38 UCLA 35
  • What's Happened to Penn State?
    The proud Penn State program is 0-5 for the first time in its 127-year history. The Nittany Lions have never endured a winless season. They have three chances to get into the win column - barring a COVID-19 postponement. They play at Michigan, at Rutgers, then host Michigan State. PSU's problem seems to be defense. They've given up at least 30 points in every loss, and opponents are averaging 36 points a game. Long known for its home field advantage in a 107,000-seat stadium, the Lions have played before crowds consisting only of their parents. The defense particularly suffers from that limitation. The team has come out flat in every game, including the three at home, and faced double-digit halftime deficits in every contest. As happened with many other teams this season, several talented players have opted out of this season, including LB Micah Parsons, considered a top 10 pick in the NFL draft. Making matters worse, PSU has been plagued by injuries, losing the starting RB and his replacement and three other stars.
  • The Pet Strategy of 2020 Almost Backfired
    Leading Central Florida 36-33, undefeated Cincinnati had possession of the ball deep in UCF territory with less than two minutes to play. RB Gerrid Doaks ran for 4y to the one. After the Knights used their last timeout, Doaks ran into the line but passed up a chance to score and ice the game. After Cincinnati called a timeout, Doaks again went down and refused to score. Then on 4th down, the Bearcats lined up in shotgun for some reason to take a final snap. But the ball was hiked high and almost went over the head of the QB. Fortunately, he got a hand on it and fell on the ball. But if the ball had been several inches higher and zoomed over the QB downfield, a UCF player might have picked it up and run for the winning touchdown. That's why teams with a chance to go up by nine or more points in the last minute should take the touchdown and clinch the game.
  • Hail Mary Prayer Answered - for the Other Team
    UCLA led Oregon 21-17 as the clock ticked down to halftime in Corvallis. With six seconds left, the Bruins had the ball at their 44. QB Chase Griffin faded back to throw the ball as far as he could, but he was hit as he threw and the ball landed in the hands of S Jordan Happle at the Oregon 42. He returned the throw for a touchdown to put the Ducks ahead 24-21. Each team scored 14 points in the second half as Oregon won its third game against no defeats.
Interesting Numbers from Week 12
11 Interceptions by Northwestern in their five games
1979 Last year Brigham Young was 9-0
26 Consecutive victories by Ohio State over Indiana
3 INTs thrown by Ohio State QB Justin Fields in his career going into the Indiana game
3 INTs thrown by Fields in his first 21 attempts against IU
20 Points Alabama has allowed in three and a half games since the first half of the Georgia game
10 Years since Cincinnati defeated a ranked team before beating UCF
62/87 Yards for Kansas State on its opening drive vs Iowa State/Yards for KSU the rest of the game
6 Consecutive losses by Oklahoma State to archrival Oklahoma
31 TD passes by Florida QB Kyle Trask, the most by an SEC QB in the first seven games of a season
266 Passing yards by Tulsa's third-string QB Davis Brin in a little more than 18 minutes of playing time to spark the 30-24 comeback win over Tulane
This week's quiz: Heralded transfer QB JT Daniels finally played for Georgia and led the Bulldogs to a 31-24 victory over Mississippi State. What team did Daniels play for last season?
Golden NFL Rankings after 11 Weeks
# Team Avg. Total Win Loss Opp.
Wins
Opp.
Losses
Margin
Value
Last
Week
1 New Orleans 17.97 179.72 8 2 37 7 4.22 1
2 Pittsburgh 17.95 179.50 10 0 40 0 4.69 2
3 Kansas City 17.80 178.00 9 1 37 4 3.70 3
4 Tampa Bay 17.35 190.87 7 4 31 12 4.87 4
5 Seattle 17.20 172.01 7 3 30 10 1.51 7
6 Buffalo 17.20 172.00 7 3 30 8 0.68 5
7 Las Vegas 17.20 172.00 6 4 35 14 1.32 6
8 Los Angeles Rams 17.17 171.70 7 3 32 13 1.95 12
9 Tennessee 17.05 170.50 7 3 30 10 1.58 11
10 Cleveland 17.03 170.25 7 3 25 8 0.17 10
"Opp. wins" means the total number of wins by the teams the ranked team defeated.
"Opp. losses" means the total number of losses by the teams that defeated the ranked team.

Teams that jumped highest amount from last week: Los Angeles Rams and Denver (4).
Teams that dropped the furthest: Green Bay and Detroit (-4)

Complete Golden NFL rankings

Division Rankings
Rank Division Average
1 AFC North 16.699
2 NFC West 16.529
3 AFC West 16.344
4 NFC South 16.323
5 NFC North 15.835
6 AFC South 15.781
7 AFC East 15.625
8 NFC East 14.793

Overall: AFC 16.112, NFC 15.870
 Pivotal World Series Plays

Baker Earns His Nickname

The Philadelphia Athletics slugger was called "Home Run" Baker after hitting two clutch home runs in the 1911 World Series.
 Basketball Short Story

Kobe Goes Pro - 2

Bryant dominated NBA players that teams assigned to face him in workouts before the draft.
Saints-Falcons with Follow-Up

Huge game for the Saints this afternoon but fraught with uncertainty.

  • Taysom Hill will apparently start at QB, but will Jameis Winston spell him just as Hill as spelled Brees at times these past few years? NO Or will there come a time during the game when Hill isn't producing, and Sean Payton yanks him for Jameis? NO Payton reportedly agonized over the decision to start Hill, and many in the organization wanted Winston. So does Sean have packages for each of them to alternate them in order to keep the Falcons off balance? Wasn't needed.
  • No one can replace Drew, but can Taysom at least pass proficiently enough to keep the offense productive? YES; 18/23 233y 0 TD 0 INT
  • You know Payton will crank up the running game to take the pressure off Hill and Winston. So Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray will play an even bigger role in the offense without Brees. And Taysom always presents a running threat as well. The Falcons are tied for 10th in rushing yards/attempt surrendered. (The Saints are second.) Saints ran for 168y.
  • The good news is the Falcons have been asking themselves these same questions all week. So the element of surprise is in the Saints favor. But that will wear off by the second half. If the Saints aren't leading at halftime, it may be a long afternoon for our heroes. Saints took the lead 10-9 right before the end of the half.
  • The Falcons have played much better since the coaching change. After losing their first five games, they have won three of four, although none of the victims was the caliber as the Saints.
  • The solace for me is that our defense has been playing exceptionally well the last two games when the entire starting lineup has been in action. But Lattimore will miss this game, and Matt Ryan will try to exploit that. We need our front four to apply pressure the way they have against the Bucs and 49ers the last two weeks. 8 sacks but some of them were coverage sacks as Ryan couldn't find an open receiver. Marvelous example of TEAM defense.

Finally, we knew Drew Brees was a Superman in black and gold. But we didn't know he was made of kryptonite until we learned that he has eleven broken ribs. So he must have been playing with broken ribs going back to at least last season.
So it's appropriate to ask: Has Drew Brees played his last NFL game? Or, at the very least, if he returns before this season ends, will this be his last season?
Brees said in his exclusive interview on CST Sunday night that he hopes to return as soon as possible.

LSU-Arkansas with Follow-Up

I'm predicting a Tiger victory today in Fayetteville.

  • The Razorbacks are missing many players because of COVID and also coming off of three straight tough games.
  • On the other hand, the Tigers are well rested with an open week and a postponed game with Alabama. That's certainly enough time to improve the offense and QB TJ Finley in particular and to straighten out the defense that has allowed 41, 24, and 48 points in the last three games.

FOLLOW UP

The Tigers pulled out the victory that they badly needed.

  • Although Arkansas clearly had the better QB, veteran Felipe Franks, who was once committed to LSU before choosing Florida, TJ Finley played well enough to get the W, especially in the final TD drive.
  • LSU's game plan - run the ball, control the clock, and wear down the depleted Hog defense - worked well, but they still won by only three points thanks to the usual defensive breakdowns.
  • I particularly liked the way the Tiger defense, with both starting CBs on the sideline, blunted UA's last drive to force the long FG that was partially blocked.
 Football Short Story

Notre Dame Shatters Oklahoma's 47-Game Winning Streak

It was perhaps the most stunning upset in college football history.
 Baseball Short Story

Student of the Game

Ty Cobb spent untold hours searching for an edge.

Read the story ...             Read more baseball short stories ...


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