The “We can’t wait until Saturday” (plus Sunday) Six-Pack:
1. The CFP Standings: Week 2. Think of them in the same light as our senatorial race — it’s a long way from being over.
In fact, appropriately enough, it won’t be over until Dec. 6, which just happens to be the day of the Mary Landrieu-Bill Cassidy runoff. So it doesn’t matter who’s ahead of whom right now, just like Landrieu getting more votes than Cassidy on Tuesday but being an underdog in the runoff.
But what we’re learning from the 12-person committee’s early voting patterns is that they’re not afraid to reward teams for quality wins (Arizona State jumping past Baylor and Notre Dame to No. 9 after beating Utah at home) while also considering a season’s body of work (Oregon over Alabama for the No. 4 spot).
And the best thing is that contenders will prove their mettle for the next month in head-to-head debates, er, games instead of relying on incessant TV ads.
If only real life were more like football.
2. Eastbound and down: Like almost every NFL team travelling across two or three time zones for games, the San Francisco 49ers will be arriving in New Orleans for Sunday’s game against the Saints on Friday.
But it’s hard to say whether coming early helps or not.
San Diego did so last week for its long trip to Miami and was shellacked 37-0. In fact, the four teams from the Pacific Time zone (San Diego, Oakland, Seattle and San Francisco) are 2-4 at Eastern time teams this season (the Raiders have three of the losses) but 6-1 in road games at Central locations.
Last year, though, the West Coast teams were 9-7 in the East but 6-6 in the Central.
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh pointed out that NFL teams always find a way to adjust to varying days and kickoff times.
But it’s curious that more west to east games don’t begin in the late afternoon time slots, if they’re not Sunday or Monday night games.
That would mean games are not starting at 10 a.m. local time on the West Coast, which has to be a detriment to TV ratings. And the Saints would just as soon see more of their games start at 3 p.m. as at noon.
Guess some things, like the inexplicable fascination with the Khardashians, will forever be a mystery.
3. Pels facing a titanic trio: With games at San Antonio on Saturday and Cleveland on Monday followed by the Los Angeles Lakers visiting on Tuesday, the Pelicans will be going against three of basketball’s all-time greats in succession, Tim Duncan, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.
So we asked Pelicans coach Monty Williams, which of the three he would most want for a teammate.
“I don’t even have to think about it,” Williams said. “I played with Tim, so he’s he best.”
Williams could have added that he’s coaching a player with the potential to be in the same discussion one day.
Those chants of “M-V-P, M-V-P” directed at Anthony Davis in the fourth quarter of Monday’s game against Charlotte may have been a little premature considering we’re only four games into the season, but considering the way he’s played thus far, not inaccurate.
4. RG3 gets dissed: Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has plenty of heat on him these days. But ESPN’s Britt McHenry made it worse Sunday when she described several of his teammates making so much noise last week during RG3’s first media availability since he suffered a dislocated left ankle in Week 2 that the interview session had to be moved outside the locker room.
The impression was that disruption was meant show the players’ displeasure with Griffin regaining the starting quarterback job ahead of Colt McCoy because of RG3’s supposed lack of leadership. But according to reporters who were actually there, it was in protest directed toward the team’s media relations staff over extended access time in the locker room and that the day before players had to be asked to turn down the music they were playing for the same reason.
Redskins coach Jay Gruden called McHenry’s reporting “amateurish” and “totally false.” Perhaps if McHenry had checked with espn.com’s regular reporter she might have characterized things differently.
Still, it was also highly unprofessional of the players. Nothing like it has been seen in the Saints locker room during the Sean Payton era.
Gruden didn’t lessen the speculation on Griffin’s status Monday by saying. “The jury is still out,” on his third-year quarterback. Griffin responded by saying, “This is my team and I’m going to lead it.”
5. Vikings want Peterson back: Now that Adrian Peterson’s generous paid leave is nearing an end following his pleading no contest on child abuse charges, word is that several of his Minnesota teammates would be happy to welcome him back.
Hopefully they’ll greet his return with a not-so-gentle running of the gauntlet featuring the same kind of switches which Peterson used in his “whupping” the 4-year-old child whom he’s not worthy of being considered the father.
6. No standing room at Tiger Stadium: Too bad. The 102,321 persons who do have seats should consider themselves lucky.
This will be the ninth straight meeting between LSU and Alabama in which both teams were ranked, four times with one at No. 1.
LSU has averaged being ranked eighth going into the game and ‘Bama fourth, although the Tide’s No. 17 ranking in 2007 was the lowest between the two.
Four times in the past seven years either LSU or Alabama has won the national championship, and both are still in the title hunt this season.
That’s how good these programs have been, and there’s no drop off in sight.
Yep, it’s a good week to be a football fan.