Monday, October 24, 2011

Palmer Performance (or lack thereof) Tops Another Wild Weekend

Maybe retirement wasn't such a bad idea. Of course it was too much to ask Carson Palmer to step in and play for the Raiders right away. Palmer hadn't played or practiced since last season before joining the Raiders this past Tuesday. It was as ugly as it gets, three interceptions, with one returned for a touchdown. The one returned for a touchdown was on a quick out that was blanketed, and was the kind of decision that would get a junior high quarterback benched. As I was watching this it was really hard to feel bad for Palmer because he's the one who made this bed. I also couldn't help but think of the following: If Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, or any of the other big-time franchise quarterbacks were in this situation, would they look this bad? Who knows? But I highly doubt it. And it was Raiders coach Hue Jackson who called Palmer a "big-time franchise quarterback" after the big-time franchise trade. But Palmer will have more chances to get it right, and I'm sure he will have good games and bad stretches, just like we saw in Cincinnati the past few years. Fortunately for Palmer, he has a couple of weeks to get ready for his next appearance. ``This bye week couldn't be at a better time,'' said Palmer. Not to pile on, but I would suggest this past week would have been a better time.

Can we please pull the plug on prime-time appearances for the Colts this season? Last night's 62-7 beatdown in New Orleans should be enough for one season. They are scheduled for two more Sunday night games on NBC, but those can be flexed out and replaced with other games. The only way that won't happen is if "you know who" makes his return in one of them. But while Peyton Manning hopes to return this season, there is no reason for the Colts to allow that to happen.

How did U.C. do it? With all of the mistakes the Bearcats made at South Florida Saturday, they found a way to pull out a win at South Florida and take over the Big East Conference lead with a 2-0 record. Zach Collaros shook off a couple of brutal interceptions to lead the Bearcats to the win, with Collaros scoring the winning touchdown with just 12 seconds left. A big plus for U.C. in the 37-34 win was veteran leadership mixed with big plays by some youngsters.

Speaking of U.C., the conference thing could be coming to a head. Missouri could let the Big 12 know as early as today that it is leaving for the SEC. Should that happen its possible West Virginia heads straight to the Big 12. The reports with the most common theme have West Virginia making the Big 12 a ten team conference. If they go to 12, it's Louisville, then BYU, or perhaps Cincinnati. There are differing reports on BYU, and nobody seems convinced one way or the other. It may not hurt Cincinnati's chances that it's new Athletic Director comes from a Big 12 school. Whit Babcock spent the past four years at Missouri as executive associate athletic director. I still feel the best fit for WVU, Louisville, and Cincinnati, is to find a way to make the Big East work as opposed to becoming an outpost in the Texas-Oklahoma top-heavy Big 12.

Xavier and U.C. rolled out their basketball teams this past weekend, and both schools have plenty to be excited about. X is ranked 15th in the preseason coaches poll and has a back court many think can get the Musketeers deep come March. U.C. is ranked 22nd and has room to improve, especially if Yancy Gates of this past March and late February is the same player for the Bearcats all of 2011-12. Also, if juco transfer Cheikh Mbodj (I may never spell it right again, so enjoy) is as good as I'm told, look out. Xavier and U.C. are among five teams within a two hour drive of Cincinnati in the top 25. Kentucky is ranked second, Ohio State is third, and Louisville is eighth. How's that for the best college basketball hotbed in the nation? Butler is 31st in the preseason voting.

We have a World Series, with a guarantee of at least six games. The Rangers won 4-0 last night and are tied 2-2 with the team Cincinnatians love to hate. The Rangers and Cardinals play game 5 Monday night.

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