Thoughts from the games as I watch them....
ALABAMA vs BAYLOR
I saw a little bit of basketball this afternoon. West Virginia was clearly the most impressive to me. An easy win for the Mountaineers over Long Beach.....Marquette and Xavier played a good game in Orlando. The Warriors ended up with the win and will play Michigan tomorrow, which survived Creighton in overtime.....Now I get the chance to watch this game, which has been very competitive this far....Anthony Grant the new head coach for the Tide. He has to make a return trip to VCU where he was before he took this job. I'm sure his buddy Jeff Capel will give him some pointers on how that worked out.....Alabama starting to get a little bit of seperation, the next two minutes crucial for Baylor's chances....Baylor has switched from the zone to MtM and has gotten three straight stops, but they have to convert offensively. They've only shaved two points off the lead - its 62-55.....Another pair of empty trips, Baylor has had some chances, but hasn't gotten good looks offensively.....Duke and UCONN play tomorrow - early evening at the Garden. Be interesting to see who has the fans. UCONN has taken over the Garden in recent years at times during the Big East Tournament, while Duke has always drawn well in the Metropolitan Area, and will return for a game with Maui champs Gonzaga in December....'Bama has been much more aggressive against the man-to-man the last few trips. The Tide has gotten into the lane and produced points.....The difference in this game might be the fact that Baylor is just 10-of-20 from the line in a seven-point game....There have been some tremendous rebound baskets in this game, but I've never seen a rebound dunk overtop a defender like we just got from Udoh from Baylor....'Bama hasn't done a good job of making free throws down the stretch, and the lead is now just 74-71....Minnesota and Butler to follow this one from Anaheim....Baylor had two possessions down four and didn't get anything out of it. The Bears have had chances in the 2nd half to cut deeper into the lead, but haven't always been the most efficient....ALABAMA Won The Game 79-76.
MINNESOTA VS BUTLER
Best matchup of the day as it features a pair of ranked teams....Looks like Minnesota brought a few fans to DisneyLand with them....Ryan Burr in the studio at halftime of this game. The Gophers lead by four....Butler has turned up the defensive intensity in the second half. But just missed a pair of techinal free throws and still trying to get back to the lead....Tubby Smith is a good basketball coach, and just another example of how staying to long somewhere ruins your reputation. He deserved better at Kentucky, obviously wasn't the problem, but was forced out. It is situations like his, that make me think Bob Stoops will take the Notre Dame job...Minnesota has surprised me a little bit. You could have taken a nickel from me. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see them play for this 76 Classic Championship on Sunday....MINNESOTA Won The Game 82-73.
OKLAHOMA VS. HOUSTON
I think I'm about to call it a night. The Sooners are off to an early double digit lead in Alaska. Capel looked like he was almost taking my advice of going with the Parka. The Sooners got beat in the middle of the night last night by San Diego. The Sooners second loss of the season. They are struggling to get going early on after losing Griffin. But they do seem to have things under control early here....Well all of that obviously changed overnight. Although, I will say, I wasn't shocked when I woke up to see that Houston won the game. They were steadily closing the gap heading into the intermission - and must have done more of the same in the second. The shocker for me this morning came from the UCLA score. Obviously, we knew the Bruins were down - and had been struggling early. We also knew that Portland wasn't a pushover. But to lose 74-47 to the Pilots, in what amounts to a near home game, is just a shock. HOUSTON Won The Game 100-93.
GIANTS @ BRONCOS
Trying to get a gauge on this game is beyond me. Both teams are headed in the wrong direction and need this game. Ultimately, its a home game for the Broncos and you would think that might be enough, but we'll have to wait and see. Both teams have failed in their opening drives....Giants now trail - 3-0, but have the ball back....Nearly lost it, on one of the longest fumbles I've ever seen. The ball was hit by the Bronco defender's helmet from the ballcarriers arm and scooted 12 yards along the ground, before going out of bounds. It put the Giants in a 2nd and long situation, and they were unable to convert and forced to punt it back to the Broncs....The First Quarter has been completed and it is 3-0 Broncos....When a Kyle Orton pass gets tipped at the line of scrimmage, do you just immediately think it is going to end up in a defender's arms? I do.....Big fourth down conversion by the Broncos to keep this drive alive....All of a sudden, I'm beginning to think Tom Coughlin's days in New York may be numbered.....Broncos had to settle for a field goal and after the kickoff, another commercial timeout in the NFL....Wow,three live sporting events on TV right now, and all three at halftime. Is there a name for that? Somebody give me a name for that....NFL Network is promoting 44 hours of Super Bowl Coverage and 25 hours of Combine Coverage. Is anyone else chuckling as much as I am?...The Giants showing some life in the second half, driving in Denver territory, now awaiting confirmation of an challenged Mario Manningham catch....Giants are moving the ball in the second half, but as of now they are not getting points. Down 16-3, points would be helpful....Denver is going to win this game tonight. They looked good doing it. But how good are the Giants? Or maybe the question is, How Bad?....The Giants still calling timeouts down three scores with 1:50 left. You think that staff is feeling the pressure...Matt Millen just told Mario Manningham he should have made that catch. I find a little irony and humor in that....BRONCOS Won the Game 26-6.
TEXAS @ TEXAS A&M
I for one am glad that ESPN has made this the Thanksgiving College Football offering....I heard a caller on a national radio show today asking why the Ole Miss/Mississippi State rivalry doesn't get more coverage. Maybe because the Rebels and the Bulldogs bored us with terrible games on Thanksgiving night over the last several years....A&M scored early - but Texas (McCoy to Shipley - imagine that) has tied it up....Texas has scored again and now leads, but A&M is trying to dig out of a hole in their own end....Just announced that Dan Hawkins will stay on at Colorado for at least another year. Interesting that Chris Fowler, who is calling this game and a CU alum, had nothing of consequence to add....Fowler just redeemed himself. After the Aggies scored, he gave the girl in the A&M crowd a rough time for only kissing her beau on the cheek, as the normal kissing tradition in College Station wears on....Was waiting to see how Texas would respond to the tie score. McCoy goes deep immediately to Williams and the Horns are in Aggie territory....Texas has scored on 16 of the 26 drives following opponents scores this year....I'm not sure I believe that Mike Sherman can be the answer at A&M, but I'm impressed with the Aggies tonight....Of course, Shipley and McCoy look good as well. 2nd TD of the night....Great throw by McCoy....I think Texas has their numbers above the Longhorn on the helmet tonight. Anybody know when the last time that happened was?...Looks like Texas wore those helmets in 1961-1966 - not sure if they have done it at all since...A&M got a break on a botched punt from the 'Horns, and now they have a first down inside the 20....A&M has scored again and need the conversion to tie things up. What a surprise on Thanksgiving Night....Jesse Palmer, the bachelor, just made a comment about the Aggie fan and his 2 dates. Quality TV....Charlie Weis is coming back to South Bend after the game, instead of staying in California to recruit, what does that mean, hmmm?...Incidentally, you can buy the Texas decal numbers on EBAY. Not sure about any Black Friday specials....Very impressed with Jerrod Johnson and his 3-touchdown passing performance for the Aggies in the first half. He really seemed to make good decisions on some run - pass options....McCoy drove the Horns back down the floor to get a touchdown before the break. Texas leads 28-21 at halftime, and I believe gets the ball to start the second half against a weary A&M defense....I don't believe that the Aggies would be able to come back from two scores, so the first drive of the second half, is ultra important.....They were talking Boise State/Nevada in the studio at halftime. Trying to convince us that this might actually be a game. I'm not buying what they are selling....Thankfully, ESPN has all weekend to promote the Monday Night Matchup of New Orleans and New England....It wasn't the first drive of the second half, but Texas has taken a two-score lead in College Station. I'm officially calling it over, except for the kissing...The Longhorns haven't made it ugly at the end of three quarters. The score is 35-24, but you just don't get the feeling that the Aggies are going to have enough....A&M got it within 35-32, but Txas matched the score. But give a lot of credit to the Aggies - they've got 'em kissing again. Or as Jesse Palmer just said, "Sucking face". I said it before, I'll say it again. Quality TV....I also said this was over. I'll let you know in 7:10 if I believe that. Of course the Marquise Goodwin kickoff return for a touchdown as I was typing made me feel a little bit better about having to eat more on Thanksgiving....This Thanksgiving night shootout - is sort of what football is supposed to be on Thanksgiving. Two groups that know each other getting together and slugging it out on the gridiron. Sort of like those backyard wars that occur all around the country on Thanksgiving Day. You know the ones where you pick on Uncle Al, because he can no longer cover anybody, and the score ends up like 63-56 before somebody rings the dinner bell....A&M does the right thing and takes the points down ten with 3:21 to go. It extends the game and gives them a chance to win it later....Of course, if you miss the 23 yard field goal, it makes the point kind of mute....TEXAS Won The Game 49-39.