"The Stack" 9-29-20

The Stack is back on this Tuesday and we have a lot to get to. A lot to react to. And the baseball playoffs start today! 16 teams! How crazy is that? Let’s get right to it all in “the stack” for today, Tuesday, September 29th:

Patrick Mahomes has monster night, Chiefs take down Ravens on MNF

It was dubbed the game of the year entering the MNF contest and rightfully so. Hall-of-famer Patrick Mahomes and the high-octane Kansas City Chiefs against Lamar Jackson and the high-powered Baltimore Ravens. It became quickly evident though that it was all about the Kansas City Chiefs. Mahomes threw four touchdowns (and for 385 yards) and ran for another one as the Chiefs dominated large chunks of this game winning 34-20. The Chiefs amassed 517 yards of offense. The Ravens had only 228. They sometimes have that many yards just rushing. That was their total for the game. Jackson threw for 97 yards, a career low. This Chiefs team is not just about the offense. They have a defense as well.

What stings most about this loss for the Ravens, or what I would imagine stings most about this loss for the Ravens is that they have now lost three games to the Chiefs with Jackson as their quarterback and now the Chiefs own the tiebreaker for the one seed in the AFC. With only one team securing a bye in the playoffs this year under the new format, this game was especially crucial. If not now, when? That has to be what Ravens fans are wondering today, because if you can’t beat the Chiefs in your own building, it’s going to be awfully difficult to beat them in Arrowhead in the playoffs. This Chiefs team is amazing to watch.

Lightning win the Stanley Cup

The Tampa Bay Lightning are Stanley Cup champions. They made it through the bubble for two months and have emerged lifting Lord Stanley’s Cup, shutting out the Dallas Stars 2-0 in game 6 to win the series 4-2. Brayden Point scored a power play goal in the first period to get the scoring going for the Lightning. Point was on point all playoffs long and I thought deserved to win the Conn Smythe Trophy (the playoff MVP). That went to defenseman Victor Hedman. I guess that makes sense given how many goals he had in the playoffs, but Point was fantastic. I think I would have probably given the MVP award to him, just like I would have given the Super Bowl MVP award to Chiefs running back Damien Williams and not Mahomes.

The Stars just couldn’t generate a lot of shots or scoring opportunities on the Lightning in game six. They made a push late, but the Lightning held strong. They never lost back-to-back games in the postseason. That is incredible! Congrats to them on winning the Stanley Cup and congrats to the NHL for pulling off an incredible tournament in Toronto and Edmonton. Great job in the bubble. We’ll see you next year probably??

Wild week in college football

Oh man it is so nice to have the SEC back and playing once more. College football feels more complete. It will be even better when the Big Ten and Pac-12 join the season at the end of October.

I know I am late to the party, but it is so nice to hear Mike Golic call college football games. His knowledge and passion are evident. He and Dave Pasch are a great team, but that game they called on Saturday between #13 UCF and Eastern Carolina, my goodness. All of the penalties. All of the false starts by UCF. It was unbelievable. Their offense is also unbelievable. Hope they don’t mess up and find a way to make it to the College Football Playoff.

Another year, another Kansas State upset win of a top five ranked Oklahoma team. K-State stunned #3 Oklahoma 38-35. The Sooners had a 35-14 at one point and it was no sooner that they lost (see what I did there?) Freshman quarterback Spencer Rattler made a lot of good throws and plays for Oklahoma, but he also threw three interceptions. That doesn’t help and neither does poor defense. How do you let Kansas State beat you in your home building? This is a Wildcats team that lost to Arkansas State for goodness sakes. Oklahoma, you’re out of the playoff picture!

Do you sense a hurricane coming? Or do you sense more Hurricanes coming? Miami (FL) is back. Quarterback D’Eriq King makes the ‘Canes a legitimate threat to make a run at Clemson or get an at-large for the College Football Playoff…provided that the CFP expands this year. Miami (FL) rolled Florida State 52-10. It was a beatdown of epic proportions.

What a comeback in Lubbock for the #8 Texas Longhorns. They were down by 15 with only a few minutes left to go in the game and somehow managed to force overtime and would ultimately beat Texas Tech 63-56. Excruciating loss for the Red Raiders. If only they had Patrick Mahomes. I don’t think Texas is safe by any stretch, but they’re doing better than Oklahoma right now.

The biggest story of the weekend though happened down in Baton Rouge where the Pirate, Mike Leach, brought his air raid attack to the SEC with Mississippi State. Oh yeah, he brought a quarterback with him as well that he was familiar with, former Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello. Not only did Mississippi State beat #6 LSU 44-34, but Costello threw all over them, setting an SEC record with 623 passing yards. He shattered the record. And in doing so, the entire rest of the conference has been put on notice. Plus Leach had a great postgame interview on CBS and tweeted about pumpkins losing spice later in the evening. What a national treasure. Count me in on the Mississippi State bandwagon. I hope there is room.

There may have been no better moment during the weekend though than what took place in Lafayette in a game between Georgia Southern and Louisiana. The Ragin’ Cajuns had given up a lead and trailed 18-17 but got into field goal range. It would be a long field goal of 53-yards for Nate Snyder who had really struggled through the beginning part of the season. Heck he had missed a 34-yard field goal earlier in the game. But the team stuck with them and he rewarded them with a tremendous 53-yard boot that would have been good by another few yards. The celebration was deserved and Louisiana emerged victorious 20-18. What a great moment for that kid. Congrats Mr. Snyder.

Beginning of the MLB Playoff preview

So with Major League Baseball expanding their playoffs this year to 16 teams and with baseball playing their series after this initial round in a bubble, it makes sense to spread our preview out a bit. So today, we are going to preview AL side since they are starting today. Let’s preview the four series (all games in the series played at the higher seed’s home stadium:

#1 Tampa Bay Rays VS #8 Toronto Blue Jays (St. Petersburg, FL) Game #1 5 PM ET TBS

Awfully impressive what the Rays did this season in toppling the New York Yankees for the AL East crown. They had their issues with the Blue Jays though in the regular season, only winning the season series 6-4. The Blue Jays have a lot of great young talent that will make them a factor in the division for years to come. But it’s hard for me to see them getting by the fantastic pitching that the Rays have. Rays win and advance.

Predicted series winner: Tampa Bay Rays

#2 Oakland A’s VS #7 Chicago White Sox (Oakland, CA) Game #1 3 PM ET ESPN

The White Sox surprised a lot of people in this shortened season, but they fell apart in the final week and lost the division to the Minnesota Twins. Don’t sleep on the talent that this team has, but the A’s have a really good team that is often overlooked. They won the AL West for a reason. I think this goes three games and it won’t shock me if the White Sox win, but I think the A’s prevail:

Predicted series winner: Oakland A’s

#3 Minnesota Twins VS #6 Houston Astros (Minneapolis, MN) Game #1 2 PM ET ABC

Oh my goodness, ABC is carrying a baseball game? This could be kind of fun. The Twins bring in a 16-game postseason losing streak. That is tough to do, but Twins fans everywhere are thanking their lucky stars that the Twins don’t have to face the Yankees. The Astros don’t deserve to win this series because of their past postseason cheating. The Twins offense isn’t as good this year, but the pitching is better. The Bomba Squad will show up and the Astros just aren’t very good. Twins should prevail.

Predicted series winner: Minnesota Twins

#4 Cleveland Indians VS #5 New York Yankees (Cleveland, OH) Game #1 7 PM ET ESPN

Okay so the Indians have been playing better as of late, but they don’t compare to the Yankees. The Yankees are coming into form. They are getting healthy. They are belting out homeruns and I don’t think the Indians, who have some good pitchers, are going to be able to stave off the attack.

Predicted series winner: New York Yankees

So only one upset predicted in this initial round which means that there will be at least one or maybe two more. It should be fun. Tomorrow we’ll preview the NL. It’s going to be a lot of fun these next few days.

Coming up Wednesday: Tuesday baseball playoff reaction plus NL round one preview