Saturday Rundown – MLB Wild-Card, Iowa State-TCU, CFB Picks

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October 6, 2012 by MarkHanrahan20

Cardinals Advance Over Braves in a Wild One

If Bud Selig’s goal for the Wild-Card Friday was to get people talking baseball, then you would have to say Friday was an overwhelming success. The scene in Atlanta caused one of the biggest twitter eruptions and sports bar ruckuses that I have ever witnessed.  I think it’s safe to say that most sports fans now have a better understanding of the “infield fly rule” than they ever have.  At the end of the day, did the umpires make the right call?  Maybe?  Was the call well executed?  Absolutely not.  The infield fly rule was designed to prevent fielders from purposely dropping a fly ball to take advantage of the runners on base to easily get a double play. If you are simply going to interpret the rule by the way it is written, “a catch that can be made with ordinary effort” then you could probably argue that Cardinal short stop Pete Kozma did just that.  But, I would contend that as soon as the infielder turns his back to the infield to chase after the ball, not only is he displaying more than an ordinary effort, he is also now an outfielder.  Sure, this has nothing to do with the rule as it’s written, but in the spirit of the rule and the reason it is written should be more important on the field of play.  Then we get into the execution.  Analysts tell us that the umpire made his call as soon as Pete Kozma squared his shoulders to the field under the ball, as they are taught.  By the time Kozma was able to square up, the ball was less than thirty feet from the ground.  It would seem to me that the “ordinary effort” should be determined independent to the particular fielder and the call should be made at the peak of its arc. Had the umpires made the call early and assertively we might have been able to avoid the mayhem that ensued.  Well, if Pete Kozma catches that ball, we probably avoid it too.  But, I am not an umpire and really have no desire to ever be one, so let’s play on.

Oh, and I’m also not going to pile on Braves fans and say that they embarrassed themselves or acted out of line.  If that happened to your team, your fans would act the same way.  Personally, I like the passion.

Rangers Look Flat, O’s Roll On

Remember those Rangers teams that were having fun, flashing “The Claw” and the “Antlers”?  What happened to those guys?  Did they buckle under the expectations that come with being a two time defending AL Champion?   Were they a team that knew this may be their last chance, with a star about to leave for Free Agency, the Angels reloading and the young, up and coming A’s arriving a couple years ahead of schedule?  Something didn’t work this year in Arlington and it’s tough to say if this is the end of the line for the Rangers’ success.  Yu Darvish again showed just why Nolan Ryan and company spent so much to get him in Texas but it wasn’t enough to get by the mighty Joe Saunders… Excuse me, I just spilled my coffee… When it comes down to it, it really looked like the Orioles just wanted it more.  I wish them luck and would love to see an Oakland-Baltimore ALCS.

Can Iowa State Solve Their Offensive Woes

Last weekend may have been the worst offensive performance I have ever witnessed as a Cyclone fan, and I have seen some bad ones.  A lot of people immediately wanted to point fingers at Steele Jantz, citing the four turnovers and the three yards passing at the half, but thankfully those chants have been quieted.  The fact is, it would have been tough for anyone to make plays with what was happening around Jantz.  The receivers looked like they didn’t know what to do against press coverage.  Aaron Horn and Jarvis West spent more time on the ground than they did in routes.  The offensive line probably had its worst single game effort in the Paul Rhoads era and the offense as a whole looked like it lacked a plan or an ability to adjust when that plan was taken off track.  A lot of eyes are going to be on Courtney Messingham going forward. I was skeptical of the hire from the get go, especially looking at some of the offensive stats from his 1-AA days and it’s always scary to hear that one of the reasons a guy got a job is because the “players like him”.  Something has to happen on offense for the Cyclones to have any chance of competing, much less winning in the Big 12 and it all starts with “Mess”.

Last Week’s PBR Tall Boy Goes to

The entire Cyclone defense.  The boys competed and kept the team in the game while the offense floundered.  They are going to need that type of effort week in and week out this year.

Weekly Pick Seven – (Last Week 4-3, Season 18-9-1)

TCU and Iowa State Under (41).  TCU’s best offensive output against an FBS team was 27 points against a bad Virginia team and that was with starting QB Casey Pachall.  Iowa State has had all sorts of offensive issues.  Iowa State 12 – TCU 10

Florida (+2) over LSU – I’m not ready to say that the Gators are back, but they might be back.  LSU had a tough one last week with Auburn and their offense looked a little out of sorts.  Gators capitalize and win in The Swamp 24-13.

Boston College (-7) over Army.  Boston College has had a rough start but really hasn’t been terrible.  Army on the other hand, is terrible.  Boston College 35 – Army 24

Rutgers (-7) over UCONN.  Rutgers and UCONN have played some very close games over the years, but this Scarlet squad just has too much talent for the Huskies.  Rutgers 35 – UCONN 14

Florida State (-16.5) over NC State.  I think the Seminoles get the offense back on track after a bit of a hiccup against South Florida.  NC State allowed 566 yards passing last week against a suspect Miami Hurricane squad.  FSU 48 – NC State 20

South Carolina (-1) over Georgia.  Connor Shaw might be my favorite player to watch this year, a tough runner and delicate passer. I think Georgia is a bit overrated at #5 and the Bulldog freshman duo of running backs get a wakeup call today.  South Carolina 27 – Georgia 24

Texas and West Virginia Over (73.5).  The Texas defense has gotten a lot of props for their talent, but as a unit they are still giving up points. West Virginia, well they have no defense.  West Virginia 52 – Texas 41.

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