Back to the grind — and 10 quick-hit thoughts

We are two games into the college football season and the NFL is under way, as well. It must mean it’s fall! And, in case I wasn’t convinced of that by the falling leaves and all the gridiron action, I am also already inundated with school work. Woo hoo!

The first priority to get moved down is my blogging. For that, I apologize. I really am going to try to — at the very least — post once a week.

I watched the second half of the Huskies-Syracuse game. (I was at the Ohio-Toledo game for the first half.) But, I had three immediate observations:

1.) Jermaine Kearse looked great. The Huskies haven’t had a receiver that put the fear of all things possible into defenses since Reggie Williams. What are all things possible with a receiver? The long ball, the yards-after-catch run, and the physicality of someone who is not afraid to take a hit over the middle. Kearse does it all.

Dennison latches on for the tackle. (Photo by Elaine Thompson/AP)

2.) Cort Dennison is a rising star — and I never would have predicted that. Dennison was recruited by Tyrone Willingham and came to UW with little fan fare. He redshirted his first year at Washington and, to be honest, the only thing I remember about him is that he looked like he needed to lose some baby fat. In ’08, no one said much about him and we reporters didn’t think to ask much, either. But I love the way this kid plays. He has clearly worked his way into his role and plays like he loves it. I love seeing players like that.

Mr. Dennison, apologies for not paying attention sooner.

3.) Despite Dennison’s and Mason Foster‘s motors in the middle, the defense still scares me. There’s a lack of discipline or focus in the secondary that shows itself on occasion. Unfortunately for the Huskies, those occasions typically become big plays for their opponents. And the front four is clearly not in sync yet. Nebraska is too good for lapses of judgment or focus, or for stupid penalties.

Now, I’m faced with a bit of a problem for Saturday: I can’t tell if Athens, Ohio is going to get the Washington-Nebraska game on ABC. It looks like I’m right on the border on the regional map, and if I get stuck with Alabama-Duke, I’m going to blow a gasket. I foresee my anger making me something irrational, like purchasing the ESPN GamePlan. On a college student’s salary, that is irrational.

Alright, 10 quick-hit thoughts before I return to reading:

1.) Ohio State hosts Ohio University this Saturday. This is a lop-sided duel only called a “rivalry” because the two state schools are but 80 minutes from each other. The powerful Buckeyes are 6-0 against their little brother to the Southeast, but in the last meeting two seasons ago, The Buckeyes were a 33-point favorite and damn near lost.

In the fourth quarter of that 2008 game at the Horseshoe, the Bobcats led 14-12 and might have held on to win had it not been for a fumbled punt return and an ill-timed no-call on a blatant hold on a 69-yard punt return for a TD.

However, after watching the Bobcats fall to Toledo, I’m not hopeful for a repeat (of a close game.) That said, I would like nothing more than to eat my words and have my brother-in-law’s recruits or tight end score the game-winning touchdown.

2.) O.J. Simpson’s jersey is still retired at USC, but Reggie Bush’s is no longer. There’s something wrong with this.

3.) The Steelers’ defense is still the best. The return of Troy Polamalu and Aaron Smith make me really wonder what last year would have been like if they had stayed healthy… Wow.

4.) I made a bet with Stacy that the Seahawks would finish the season at less than .500. Their season-opening rout over the 49ers have me concerned.

5.) Billy Matters said I took a shot recently at football on this side of the Mississippi, but I can’t find it. I’m pretty certain that, after the Big Ten’s dominance in the 2009 bowl season, I am full on crow.

6.) That said, I will still feel sick to my stomach when more people in Athens will be wearing Buckeyes jerseys than Bobcats gear Saturday. UGH.

7.) I feel terrible for Boise State. All this team does is everything it is asked to do. Win a BCS game? Done (twice). Play a tougher schedule? Done. Beat everyone on that schedule? Done. Travel to DC and play a top-10 team? Done. Beat that team? Done.

And now that Virginia Tech loses to James Madison and Boise State loses the respect it deserves.

8.) Every moron out there that thinks that any reporter — male or female — enjoys the lockerroom setting is crazy. And that goes double to Clinton Portis for thinking that if I stand in front of 53 naked men, I’ll want at least one of them. Let me put it this way: There is nothing attractive about naked linemen. There is nothing attractive about athletes that try to make you uncomfortable. And there is nothing more unattractive than absolute idiocy.

The ol’ “women in the lockerroom” issue should have been died in the early 1990s with Lisa Olson’s plight.

Reporters have no business being in locker rooms, but until athletes respect reporters’ jobs and time by being immediately available to us for a few minutes after a contest, this is what we’re stuck with. All of us.

9.) The Seattle Storm are but one win away from the 2010 WNBA championship. Say what you want about women’s professional basketball, but this team is awesome.You can have LeBron and D-Wade. I’ll take a Sue Bird-to-LJ give and go any day!


10.) I have a killer “woman-cave” and a cornhole set. This Saturday is going to rock … especially if I don’t have to buy ESPN GamePlan. 🙂


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