Halloween weekend in the sporting world was a beauty. The beauty of it all included a rarity– all five major North American sports leagues (NFL, MLB, MLS, NHL and NBA) playing on the same day, Nov. 1.
- The Seahawks won ugly but are still sitting relatively pretty at 4-4 heading into their bye week. A 13-12 final makes it clear that the offense has to do more, but they did enough and made the big plays when they mattered. Richard Sherman and the defense was firing on all cylinders with a simply dominant performance that saw Cowboy Quarterback Matt Cassel fail to reach 100 yards passing. Bottom line, they succeeded in getting to .500 before the bye week and that’s all that matters with a matchup against the Cardinals looming after the bye.
- How about those Sounders? After beating the Los Angeles Galaxy in the opening round of the MLS Cup playoffs the Sounders rolled to a 2-1 win over FC Dallas in the first leg of the semifinal round. The Sounders travel to Dallas on Nov. 8 to play the second leg and are in the driver’s seat to advance and play the winner of Vancouver and Portland. Simply put: a win or tie from the Sounders allows them to advance. There are other complicated scenarios that can play out but if you’re a Sounder fan you’re confident in Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins’ ability to score goals and put them into the next round. Dempsey’s Deciding Goal vs. FC Dallas:
- The Huskies dominated Arizona at home and the Cougars lost a heartbreaker at home against Stanford.
- The Cougars controlled the game most of the way, holding a 12-3 halftime lead, but looked a lot like the Seahawks in that they couldn’t finish drives and had to settle for a lot of field goals. Luke Falk had 2 costly interceptions and when it came down to it, Stanford Quarterback Kevin Hogan just had more experience and a steadier hand in guiding the Cardinal to victory. Don’t worry Cougar fans, this team is for real and here to stay.
- As for the Huskies, that defense is going to allow the Dawgs to stay in any game they play. They managed to keep the Wildcats’ high powered offense out of the end zone and got an otherworldly performance from linebacker Travis Feeney. The Apple Cup is setting up to be one of the best in recent memory with the fireworks of the Cougar offense pitted against the stout defense of Washington.
The Rest of the College Football World:
No big upsets to speak of despite a ton of good games including a controversial win from Miami, high scoring thrillers at Texas Tech and Arizona State, as well as statement wins from TCU and Clemson.
What to watch this week:
#17 Florida State at #3 Clemson
Florida State has a new identity at Quarterback with Sean Maguire and will be looking to avenge their slip up against Georgia Tech. Clemson doesn’t care and has the playoffs in their vision. Both teams have a lot on the line, which makes for a marquee ACC matchup.
#5 TCU at #12 Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State is undefeated yet is ranked the lowest out of all undefeated teams in the power conferences. They’re not getting a ton of respect and can catapult themselves into the playoff picture with an upset over the Horned Frogs. TCU QB Trevone Boykin will have to show why he should be a Heisman candidate in order to knock the Cowboys off and stay in the playoff picture.
#4 LSU at #7 Alabama
Always an SEC showdown, this game holds a lot of playoff implications. For me, the winner of this game wins the SEC and goes to the playoffs so yeah it’s a big game. Both teams play similar smash mouth, physical football which is led by their man child running backs Leonard Fournette for LSU and Derrick Henry for Bama. This is one of those games where I feel that the last team with the ball will win and regardless of who does pull out the win, it’s going to be a mad house in Tuscaloosa.
Playoff Predictor: Ohio State, Clemson, Alabama, TCU
The most games that any team has played is three games, but it’s never too early to evaluate what we’ve seen thus far.
The Four Headed Monster in the West:
The West will be won in Oklahoma City, Oakland, Los Angeles (sorry Laker fans, not you), or San Antonio. Houston has played themselves out of this bubble and these four have showed dominance for the most part. The only team with a loss is San Antonio (they lost to Oklahoma City in OKC) but they’re still looking every bit the part of contender. Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge are showing they can handle the load usually tasked by Duncan/Ginobili/Parker and the team has serious depth. The other three are undefeated with superhuman starts coming from Steph Curry (Golden State), Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant (OKC), and Blake Griffin (LAC). Though it has been less than a week of play, its clear once again how strong the West will be and these four are leading that point.
Biggest Surprises: Detroit Pistons (3-0) and Houston Rockets (0-3)