Oct. 22, 2020
"The Stack" 10-14-20
The Stack is back on this Wednesday and remember the Titans. Boy that was a surprising result last night. We’ll react to that plus some postseason baseball and an early forecast for the college football weekend so let’s get right to it and see what’s in “the stack” for today, Wednesday, October 14th:
Titans throttle Bills on Tuesday Night Football
For just the second time since 1946, an NFL game was played on a Tuesday (Vikings remember the other one pretty well, don’t they Joe Webb?). A battle of undefeated teams in Buffalo and Tennessee. Watching the game, it sure looked like one team had only practiced a couple of times and hadn’t played a game in 16 days. Naturally it was the Buffalo Bills. What, did you expect the Tennessee Titans, who have been rocked by COVID-19 to be the team that looked rusty and not well conditioned? Well yes I think just about anyone would, but the Titans got after Josh Allen and the Bills early, forcing an interception on the first drive of the game and forcing three turnovers in all while Ryan Tannehill welcomed back wide receiver A.J. Brown with a touchdown after that first interception and torched the Bills defense all game long as the Titans rolled to a 42-16 victory. Tannehill was great, throwing for three touchdowns and running for one more. Allen by far had his worst game of the year, but it wasn’t all his fault. Andre Roberts had a ball go off of his hands for that first interception and fumbled later on in the game. They were without their top cornerback and a wide receiver, but still, they should have been the sharper team given that they have had time to practice.
And the moment of the night was Titans running back Derrick Henry stiff-arming Bills cornerback Josh Norman and throwing him down like a ragdoll. It was great! And it energized the Titans and that is when the game turned. The Titans needed a moment like that and Henry delivered it for them. They are now one of four undefeated teams remaining along with Green Bay, Pittsburgh and Seattle. This was by far their best game of the season.
MLB Postseason update
Raise your hand if you saw the Los Angeles Dodgers falling behind 2-0 in the NLCS to Atlanta. Very few of you I see. Once again, the Braves pitching was stupendous (up until the 9th inning anyway) and Freddie Freeman got the hit parade and run parade going with a two run homerun in the first inning and the Braves never looked back. They were up 7-0 and 7-3 going into the top of the ninth when Ozzie Albies added an insurance home run to make it 8-3. That proved to be a very important home run, because the Dodgers rallied in the bottom of the ninth, scoring four runs, three of them earned off of Josh Tomlin that included a two run homerun by Max Muncy. The Braves had to bring in their close Mark Melancon and even he gave up a hit that brought in a run, but he got A.J. Pollack to ground out to end the game. It was an incredible rally by the Dodgers, but they ultimately fell short, losing 8-7 to the Braves. There is no doubt in my mind that the Dodgers can’t come back and win this series, but it has gotten significantly more difficult. They are a talented team, but the Braves are showing that their pitching staff may ultimately be a little better and pitching is winning championships.
In the ALCS, Jose Altuve got things going for the Houston Astros with a home run in the bottom of the first, but the Tampa Bay Rays cannot be beat. They are on fire, scoring five runs in the top of the sixth and holding off the Astros 5-2. The Rays are one win from the World Series and can sweep the Astros today. Just do it and get these damn cheaters out of the playoffs.
College Football weekend forecast
This weekend appears to be lacking for college football. When it looks that way, that is normally when we see the biggest upsets. And we could very well see that with seven ranked teams playing on the road this weekend:
· #17 SMU @ Tulane 6 PM ET ESPN (Friday)
· #14 BYU @ Houston 9:30 PM ET ESPN (Friday)
· #1 Clemson @ Georgia Tech Noon ET ABC
· #8 Cincinnati @ Tulsa Noon ET ESPN2
· #15 Auburn @ South Carolina Noon ET ESPN
· #11 Texas A&M @ Mississippi State 4 PM ET SEC Network
· #5 UNC @ Florida State 7:30 PM ET ABC
Of the seven matchups, I think it BYU, Cincinnati, Auburn, Cincinnati, Texas A&M & SMU have the best chance of losing and probably in that order. Overall though, I think maybe two of these teams lose…at most three.
The monster matchup of the weekend is in Tuscaloosa where #3 Georgia takes on #2 Alabama (8 PM ET CBS). College Gameday will be there. Georgia has the better defense, but Alabama’s offense is rolling and the more superior of the two. Playing at home will be a help to Alabama, but the fact that it won’t be at full capacity plays to Georgia’s advantage. I think Georgia is probably the more complete team, but I am taking Alabama in this one.
As of the writing of this blog, only two games are postponed this weekend, but they involve the Big 12 and the SEC:
· #7 Oklahoma State @ Baylor
· Vanderbilt @ Missouri
Those games will be made up in December on December 12th which could push the Big 12 Championship back a week of Oklahoma State has a chance to play in it. This won’t be the last time that a power 5 conference has to postpone a game. With the Big Ten, Mountain West and Pac-12 seasons on the horizon, there will be more and more games that join the postponement list.
Enjoy the college football weekend everyone. Hopefully we are in for a good weekend!
Coming up Friday: Week 6 NFL previews & predictions