Sunday, November 17, 2019

Photo Parade.

 Recently Anna learned how to play chess.
 Another camping photo.
Saturday on ESPN College Gameday guest pickers
Chip and Joanna Gaines arrived at Baylor on a John Deere tractor.
 Chip, Jonna, and Lee Corso picked Baylor.
 Jake Fromm has led UGA to three straight SEC East championships, one SEC Championship, a Rose Bowl victory, beaten Florida and Auburn three straight times, and finished in the top six in the nation the past two seasons. And some call him "a good game manager."
More on UGA/Auburn tomorrow. And Tua.
VT beat GT 45-0. Appears the GT OC is calling plays his players can't execute. After Collins said he wouldn't do that. I still say Paul Johnson could've won the 2019 division title with these same players.

Found a box of old caps in the attic. Macon Braves. Atlanta Olympics. Jacksonville Suns, Arizona Cardinals, Nucor Darlington, Atlanta Knights. I'll keep a couple, sell a few, trade some at Hot Stove, and give away the rest. 
Back when Peachtree Road Race t-shirts looked good.
I thing someone found these at  yard sale and gave them to me.
Time to sell.
Also stashed away: three unopened packages
of my grandfather's 1960-era t-shirts.
At FSU all-American wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff sported a Joe Perry-type single par face mask. In 1963 as a junior Fred also played defensive back. His 99 yard interception set the school record, which stood until 1987 when Deion Sanders ran one back one yard farther.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Spiritual vs. Religious

My purpose is not to criticize scientists, but to point out the inherent limitations of science. And my purpose in pointing out such limitations is not to criticize science, but to remind us that all humans are finite creatures in need of truth and wisdom only our Creator can supply.
Here’s why this theme is on my mind today.
It was my privilege to deliver the T. B. Maston Lectures at Baptist University of the Américas (BUA) in San Antonio this week. I believe strongly in BUA’s crucial mission and the leadership of its outstanding president, Dr. Abe Jaquez.
His faculty asked me to discuss the popularity of the “spiritual but not religious” movement, an urgent and timely topic. A Pew Research Center study reports that only 48 percent of Americans now consider themselves to be both “religious and spiritual,” while 18 percent say they are “neither religious nor spiritual.” But 27 percent say they are “spiritual but not religious.” Their number has grown nearly 50 percent in recent years.
This means there are more “spiritual but not religious” Americans than Americans who attended church last Sunday. 
A major reason why so many Americans choose to be spiritual but not religious is that they think they no longer need religion to be spiritual. It is conventional wisdom in our postmodern culture that truth is personal and subjective. There is no such thing as “truth,” only “your truth” and “my truth.”
We are therefore all equally able to discern spiritual truth for ourselves without need of divine revelation from a divine Creator. Or so we’re told.
How’s this working for us?
The theme of the book of Judges is the theme of our culture: “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). In a true kingdom, the king is the final authority on all subjects. His declaration is truth, his word inviolate.
Throughout Scripture, we are told that our God is such a king. Jesus called us to “repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). He taught us to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). We are to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). We are creatures in desperate need of truth only our Creator can provide.
It has been well said: To get along with God, stay off his throne.
 
ME: did you hear this past summer about the Georgia state legislator who cut through a Publix 8 or less line with well over the amount. When a fellow customer called her on it, she later returned to the store and falsely claimed she’d been racially abused. The guy, of Hispanic descent, also a Democrat. saw her on TV and came back to tell the true story. Of course by then her false claims had spread across the nation.
 
Not much with me. Working a half day today. Hope to move some beds and get out my winter clothes.
 
Worked until six last night. Had leftover Mellow Mushroom pizza for supper. Ceil had gone down to Buckhead Church for a baptism service, of the kids of a friend. I watched a movie Late Night. C came home and we watched Chicago Med and New Amsterdam.   
  
 
TED WILLIAMS  [SABR Bio] was the first player of Latino descent to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Williams’ mother May Venzor Williams was born in El Paso of Mexican parents. Author Ben Bradlee, Jr. revealed Williams’ previously concealed ethnic heritage in his 2013 bookThe Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams. Williams’ 1966 Cooperstown enshrinement predated Roberto Clemente’s by 7 years.
 
Although his career-best hitting streak is 23 games, he does hold the all-time record for most consecutive games reaching base. Williams reached base in a record 84 straight games, from 01-Jul through 27-Sep-1949. No other rookie has ever had more runs batted in - 145 RBI in his rookie season 1939.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Hot Stove: Chris Rowley


First Hot Stove League meeting for the 2019/2020 offseason, at Johnny Tallant’s Baseball Museum in Coal Mountain north of Cumming. The meetings have been going strong since after the 1992 season. Twelve in attendance, including special guest pitcher Chris Rowley and retired Pickens High coach Harold (below middle), who now lives nearby. Harold graduated from college in 85 and coached football, baseball, and basketball for 34 years.
Rowley is 29, formerly with the Toronto Blue Jays. He got hurt early this past season and is just now returning to full strength. He’s set to sign with the Gigantes in the Puerto Rican winter league. Its his first time playing down there, as he needs to show MLB teams he’s healthy again.  
 
Chris played on the talented 2009 state runner-up South Forsyth squad that lost to Pope in the finals. Nine players from that team played college ball and one other also signed a pro contract. Later one of the old-timers said Chris “was the third or fourth best pitcher on that team.” Rowley also played basketball, and remembered playing Collins Hill, where future UConn All-America and WNBA MVP Maya Moore dunked in warmups. While its illegal for boys to dunk in warmups, there’s no rule forbidding girls to dunk.
 
Despite “not great” grades, Rowley secured an appointment to West Point. The Army team would usually travel to warmer climes for games. They played Navy, but the coach wouldn’t schedule games against Air Force. After graduation he served near Savannah, in 2014-2015. He was released early from his service commitment in part to serve as an ambassitor in the pros for Army baseball.
The Blue Jays signed Chris as a free agent. Spent 2016 in A ball. In 2017 he went from AA to AAA to the big leagues. After the season he was DFA’d (designated for assignment) – let go by Toronto. He spent 2018 in the Texas organization, then again DFA’d after the season. For 2019 he was signed by the Padres, but got hurt early. Stops included Buffalo, El Paso, and Round Rock. 
 
Rowley was first called up in 2017 and caught a flight to meet the Jays in Houston. His family headed there to meet him. The flight was rerouted to Dallas because of a storm. By the time he got to Houston he’d missed the game. The whole trip he was reminded of a friend who’d been called up, then arrived late due to the flight, missed the game, was sent back to the minors – and was never called up again. But the Jays assured Chris he would pitch, and he did.
 
Chris was the first West Point grad to pitch in the majors, a fact Rowley didn’t know until it happened. Navy pitcher Mitch Harris pitched in the majors in 2013, hitting 100 MPH on the radar gun. Now Harris works for Merrell Lynch and lives in Roswell, and a movie is being made about his life.
 
Rowley spoke about the differences between the majors and minors. Bus travel was almost preferred, because teams would have to meet the bus at 330 am for 7 am commercial flight. Hard to pitch after so little rest. The money was vastly different – both meal money and salary. In 2016 Chris earned $7000.00. The next year he made that much after his first few days in the bigs. After being sent down his pro-rated salary was much higher. After baseball Chris would like to become an agent, if he could sign on with an agency who would send him to law school (he’s been pre-law at West Point).   
 
The big money makes some guys jaded, Chris said. Johnny: easy to tell the difference between eager young A ball players in Rome and grumpy AAA players in Gwinnett, who’d tasted the majors and thought they belonged there. The best coaches made communication a dialog, as opposed to a one way conversation – “you’re going to pitch this way whether it suits you or not.” Chris liked coach Bob Stanley, who was on the mound when Bill Buckner made his error.
 
After college and the military, Chris was older than most of his minor league teammates, especially his first year in A ball. He rarely batted in high school and college, but got one at bat in AAA. Oddly, the pitcher threw him two changeups before Rowley grounded out. Chris would rather start than relieve, since he doesn’t throw heat. His bread and butter is the sinker and change, actually an odd combo. He wants his pitches to break down, and not in to the batter’s sweet spot.
 
Rowley’s third day in the majors was at Wrigley Field, which had a party atmosphere even at 10 am. It was Toronto’s first game at Wrigley in over 20 years. He didn’t pitch at Yankee Stadium but went there in September. He loves Toronto’s Rogers Centre, the loud fans.  
 
Last year he joined the Rangers in Boston, his first callup of the year. Had to walk past fans in the concourse to get to the visiting clubhouse. He’s thrown over 100 pitches two days earlier, and had been assured he’d only be used in an emergency. Chris went out to the bullpen and spent most of the game checking out the girls in the stands. Then closer Tyler Clifford blew a 9th inning save, and the game went to extra innings. Rowley looked around the pen and realized he’d probably be put in the game. In the 10th he got the first batter to ground out. The second batter hit a grounder that went through the infielder’s legs for an error. The Red Sox hit and run, turning a double play ball into runners at first and third. An intentional pass loaded the bases. Then Xander Boegarts hit a 2-0 pitch off the top of the fence. Had it bounced back the Sox would’ve won by a run. Instead it bounced over for a walk off grand slam.
  
Two days later Chris gave up another line drive walk off hit, also in Boston. He was glad to get out of Fenway, though he did autograph the inside of the green monster while he was there.
 
Jay Happ had mentored Rowley, calling him the “most pro “ player he knew. Talented with no off switch. In turn Rowley had mentored Jays catcher Jansen “like a son” teaching him life lessons like paying rent, etc. Said some kids are handed a million dollar signing bonus and never learn how to handle money and budget. Chris said Josh Donaldson was one of the best hitter’s he’d seen up close, once hitting back to back homers off all-star Chris Archer to deep center on 0-2 counts.
Chris was amazed to hear stories of fans buying books with player addresses, mailing items to get autographed. He admitted he’s received a few items at his parents’ house in Clemson, since he’d never had a permanent address until recently. He bought a house in Atlantic Station, and throws at Georgia Tech to catcher Matt Weiters. Rolling his eyes, he said earlier that day he’d stopped traffic on North Avenue so a player could back his huge pickup into a tight spot.   
 
Rowley prefers spring training in Arizona, where the weather is better and travel not as far.
 
After being DFA’d two straight years, Rowley wouldn’t mind signing a multi-year contract to play in Japan, for the security and the experience. The money wouldn’t be bad either. Good kid. Said he was going deer hunting the next morning in north Georgia, on his grandmother’s property. Likes to get out there by himself.
 
Next Hot Stove meeting is December 11 if you want to go. The famous cap swap. Johnny is trying to get Mark DeRosa to come. Wednesday DeRo passed up Hot Stove to attend the Country Music Awards in Nashville.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Think You Know Your Pet?


Found a whitening shampoo Ceil had been using on Barney. You think you know your pet. Never knew he was a brunette! Hopefully I didn’t use that shampoo by accident – my hair is already white enough.
Tuesday:  for lunch I went out for Chinese with a couple of coworkers. With Ceil at her Tuesday night ministry, I pretty much skipped supper. Stayed 50 minutes late at work to finish up my 2020 insurance registration. Then I got a haircut. Picked up some copies for Ceil at Office Max. Then got gas. Packed an eBay shipment. M cooked himself supper. 
 
C took Barney to the vet. I think they go back. B got shots and the vet examined his leg. Torn ACL ligament. So he’s been less frisky, though when Ceil cooks he hangs around the kitchen for scraps. Since his injury Ceil’s been giving him more. Last night I forgot to block the stairs so he wouldn’t come upstairs during the night. In the middle of the night I heard his leash rattle so I went downstairs to check on him. He had moved into the living room couch, his usual perch when Ceil is gone so he can look out the front window. But by morning he was back on his bed by the TV.

Wednesday: first Hot Stove League meeting of the season, way up north of Cumming. Heard a West Point grad speak – the first Army grad to play in the big leagues. Chris Rowley, a pitcher for the Blue Jays. More on Rowley later. Had 12 at the Hot Stove meeting, including him. Didn’t get home until after 10 pm. Ceil was hanging out with her girlfriends.
 
Thursday: crazy morning. Was making an appointment with a doctor’s office and had to run out to my car for something. Was cold so I hopped in my car and closed the door. Tossed my keys on the passenger seat and looked up what I needed. Was still on the phone when I got out of my car. Locked the door and closed it – then realized I had locked my keys in the car. After getting off the phone coworker Brad found a YouTube video on how to get in. Coworker Lowell went out and gave it a try, and it worked. Got my keys back.
 
Lunch and Learn seminar catered by Mellow Mushroom. Next Friday’s sales meeting to be catered by Dreamland BBQ. If it’s something I like, I could eat the same dish several times in a row.
 
I still have my elementary class photos as well as my high school yearbooks. College too.  Nowadays you can even look them up on line. I have an old wooden soapbox I keep old stuff in, from high school, GT BSU, SPDL. Got my old Baskin Robbins shirt from the late 70’s, my high school football jersey and letter jacket, and GT BSU shirts. When I coached the Mighty Mite Celtics the team gave me a tshirt saying THE BACKBOARD IS MY FRIEND. When Will was a teenager 10 years ago he found it and wore it. At Tech we’d watch MASH reruns and I got a Hawaiian shirt from my grandfather and wore it like Hawkeye wore his. Still have it. Got all of Will and Matthew’s little league jerseys as well. Good stuff.
 
Pretty sure I remember Debbie Kelly from ECS. She had a child in the program, as I recall. 
 
ANDRES GALARRAGA  [SABR Bio] was the National League’s first two-time “The Sporting News” Comeback Player of the Year Award winner. A two-time cancer survivor and sufferer of several injuries during his 19-year MLB career, he earned TSN Comeback Player awards in 1993 and 2000. He was his franchise’s first true Free Agent signing. When he signed as a major-league expansion free agent by COL on 17-Nov-1992, he was joined on the roster by 36 new teammates the following day when the Rockies completed their Expansion Draft selections. The year after, he rocked a .370 batting average playing in front of MLB’s all-time highest single-season attendance. As a member of the 1993 Colorado Rockies, he played before 4,483,350 fans at Mile High Stadium. No team has ever drawn more for a single major league season (55350 per game). The Big Cat. El Cate Grande. Meow.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Groza Kicked Off, Too

Last week I compared the field goal stats for the twenty semifinalists for the 2019 Lou Groza Award. This week let’s look at their effectiveness at kicking off, a stat generally ignored on the website and announcements of the Groza Award committee.
 
Georgia’s Rodrigo Blankenship has the highest touchback percentage among the semifinalists. Unlike his two closest competitors (Michigan’s Sloman and East Carolina’s Verity), Hot Rod has not booted a kickoff out of bounds all year. When you factor in out of bounds kickoffs, Rodrigo has had the fewest kickoffs returned all year.  
 
TB%.KO.TB.OB.ret.YD.avg.TD
74.1  58  43   0  09 179 19.9 0 SR Blankenship GA
73.3  45  33   5  06 112 18.7 0 SR S Sloman Mich
69.6  56  39   3  12 310 25.8 0 JR J Verity E Car
58.5  65  38   0  20 365 18.3 0 JR Patterson Mem
53.9  76  41   0  28 513 18.3 0 FR G Brkic OK
53.2  47  25   1  19 601 31.6 0 SR Rohrwasser Mar
51.1  47  24   0  14 242 17.3 0 SR C Limpert Ark
29.8  47  14   0  20 445 22.3 1 JR AJ Reed Duke
25.4  59  15   3  24 569 23.7 1 SO N Sciba WF
 
Inexplicably, over half the kickers nominated for best kicker do not even handle their team’s kickoff duties – including two of the top three field goal kickers from my analysis last week: Mazza and Song (Blankenship also rated in the top three, even before adding four field goals last Saturday against Missouri). How can they be considered for the Groza Award?
 
SR Logan Justus Indiana does not handle kickoffs
SR Matt Ammendola Ok St does not handle kickoffs
SO Blake Grupe Ark State does not handle kickoffs
FR Brandon Talton Nev does not handle kickoffs
SO Blake Mazza Wash State does not handle kickoffs
SO Peyton Henry Wash does not handle kickoffs
SO Christopher Dunn NC State does not handle kickoffs
JR Brent Cimaglia Tenn does not handle kickoffs
JR Keith Duncan Iowa does not handle kickoffs
SR Jonathan Song TCU not listed
SR Jake Koehnke Air Force not listed
 
Blankenship, Verity, and Duncan were named this week’s Groza Award’s stars of the week. Last week Rodrigo made four field goals and two point-afters. Duncan connected on three field goals and one PAT. Verity booted three field goals and six PATs.
 
 
 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Dale Murphy Experience


Love me some Dale Murphy. Not sure what he’s doing these days, aside from being Dale Murphy. You’d like to think he’s managed his money well, though he sent a bunch of his children to college. He has his restaurant in the Galleria. Should he make the hall of fame his autograph will become all the more valuable.
 
Last year I noticed he hosted several “MVP Experiences” for fans. Just learned about these things: Murph takes a group of 35 fans to lunch at his restaurant, has a Q&A session, autographs items, poses for photos at various locations (his restaurant, the ‘power alley’, and the ballpark), plus a game ticket in a private suite hosted by the 2 time MVP. Very popular. A day with Dale Murphy for $575.00. In 2020 there will be four Dale Murphy events. Four times 35 fans times $575.00 = $80,500.00. Ka-ching. Wonder if he got the idea from Kramer.

Bad news: Friday night Barney dislocated his hip trying to jump up into bed. Saturday morning I had to lift him off the bed and carry him downstairs. He hopped to his bed on three legs and didn’t move until C got home around 4 pm. So now he’s sleeping downstairs. Sunday he moved around more. We’ll see if he can heal.
 
Friday night Ceil cooked pot stickers, I think you call them. Caught up on some TV shows: Fresh off the Boat, Schooled, Chicago Med. M watched some of them with us.
 
Saturday morning small group. Afterwards I drove down to College Park to check out the new arena. Had no idea what to expect. Not too much, thought they had kids activities. Mayor spoke. Drove home and watched the Tech game, stopped by Wendys on the way. C had a wedding shower then ran errands.
 
Watched GA/MO at the Halls. They’ve been graciously hosting Saturday night UGA game viewing parties outdoors around their new fire pit. The temp was 43 degrees so I’d thought surely we’d be inside, so I really didn’t bundle up. Blankets were provided. Delicious Italian dish, tossed salad, and cookie bars. Went inside for the second half, where Reid set up two TVs so we could watch Clemson/NC State as well.    

This weekend JFBC had the Disciple Now weekend for teenagers. Really big, lots of kids staying in member homes. My friends had hosted the past two years but both times afterward had to get repairs done to their house. Pastors Bryant and Clay announced the results of the previous week’s Great Commission Offering, taken at Bryant’s request instead of a farewaell present for him. Goal was $3 million, total pledged was $5.1 million.

C drove over to the Passion City north campus at North Atlanta High School, for the 11:45 service. She made some stops on the way home and didn’t get back until 3 pm. I cooked me some quesadillas, did the dishes and laundry. Later I cut the grass, finishing just before dark. Chicken and tossed salad. C put on a movie she’d watched earlier in the week. The first time I hadn’t paid much attention, so this time I was amazed at how much I hadn’t remembered.
 
Watched most of the Falcons win in New Orleans. Also watched The Morning Show on Apple TV, starring Jennifer Anniston, Steve Carrell, and Reese Witherspoon. Filthy language. Based on a book. Like athletes, the real people behind these fresh faces shouldn’t be idolized.
 
Left early Monday for an ENT doctor appointment. Not much happened. They want to schedule me for two more visits. Will probably cancel one of them. Just a follow-up visit. Stopped by Kroger but held off on the prescriptions.
 
Ceil cooked Mexican. M made it home and ate with us. Chicken, rice, refried beans, salsa, quac. I made quesadillas on the panini press. Watched The Neighborhood and some Monday Night Football. On Jeopardy Tournament of Champions a contestant didn’t know the Final Jeopardy question and instead wrote “We love you Alex.” Trebek hesitated, almost crying at the tribute.     
 
Had Maddux known he only trailed Glavine for most sac bunts by a pitcher, he might’ve made a late charge.     
 
Just realized I’ve already read 30 books this year. Halfway through 31 right now, with a couple more on deck ready to read. A record year.
 
Thought I was reading a book about Pat Tillman, but the author goes to great pains to Monday morning quarterback every misstep by the Bush administration and US military: the Supreme Court “handing” the 2000 election to Bush, whose administration “ignored” reports detailing an impending terrorist attack (what was the administration supposed to do, Jon?). Then when the US did attack, Krakauer points out every slip-up and failed US military operation. Thought I might read more of Krakauer’s works, but no thanks.
 
WILLIE STARGELL  [SABR Bio] was the oldest Most Valuable Player Award winner in the 20th century. Named NL Co-MVP In 1979 at the age of 39. (Only Barry Bonds was older. In 2004 at age 40, Bonds won his 7th and final MVP). Stargell hit 535 career home runs. Although not a trained astronomer, he knew plenty about stars. Stargell’s enormous spiritual clubhouse influence included the awarding of “Stargell’s stars” to teammates when they had a good game or made a noteworthy play.  While the small cloth gold stars (proudly affixed to the Pirates’ distinctive pill-box style caps) weren't valuable per se, they were treasured as a symbolic acknowledgements of a player's positive contributions to his team.  Stargell hit more total home runs in four different major league ballparks in the state of Pennsylvania than anyone else - 240 Pennsylvania HRs distributed among…
 
147 Three Rivers Stadium
074 Forbes Field
014 Veterans Stadium
005 Connie Mack Stadium [ Nee Shibe Park]

Monday, November 11, 2019

GT VA GA MO AL LSU ATL NO

After Clemson, most all the other ACC teams are quite inconsistent. Great one week, terrible the next. GT beats Miami. Canes beat FSU. Noles beat Boston College. Wake beats NC State, then loses to Virginia Tech. Similar ups and downs by Louisville and UNC. Only thing that's certain is that Clemson won't be challenged until they make the playoff. Might not be a good thing for them.

UVA showed up Saturday against GT. Homecoming in Charlottesville. GT scored quick to lead 7-0 and 14-7. But the Hoos came back and went ahead. Doesn't mean they're a good team. Jackets have showed improvement from earlier this year. As has QB Graham. They're going to need better athletes to better compete in the ACC.
GT kicker Wells missed an easy field goal. The kicking game cost them the Citadel game. This area must be addressed for next season. GT is a Division 1 school. There are better kickers out there. THEORY: average kickers are attracted to GT because they see the average kickers already at GT, and know GT has a low standard. Average kicker after average kicker. And average = not excellent. Guys this is a relatively easy area to improve.  
 
As expected Clemson handled NC State. Thought the #5 Tigers might run up the score to send a message to the playoff committee, but Dabo inserted backup QB Chase Bryce early in the second half. With a chance to clinch the division championship, Clemson wore their orange pants.
UGA beat Missouri. The score could've been worse. Several passes were dropped. One Pickens TD was called back because the freshman WR had lined up incorrectly. Rodrigo attempted four field goals. Had the Dawgs been able to push across two of those drives the score could've been 45-0.
Young Pickens was a 5 star recruit. Only a freshman. The difference between LSU and Alabama and UGA may be that the LSU and Alabama receivers catch everything thrown their way. In Athens only Cager does this. Too many drops by the other UGA receivers. Pickens may have stepped it up Saturday night, but he still had some slipups. Kirby will need Pickens' A-game Saturday at Auburn.
 
Rodrigo was 4-5 against Missouri. He's got an uphill battle to make the final Lou Groza Award cut down to three finalists, after his South Carolina miss. And he won SEC Special Teams Player of the Week. Again.
Dawgs have yet to allow a rushing TD this year. That may change at Auburn.  In fact the Dawgs will do good to come out of Auburn with a win. Bet you the house Georgia's first play on Saturday night will be Swift up the middle. Too predictable. Sure you gotta establish the running game, but mix it up sometimes.
LSU got out to the big lead at halftime but Bama came back to make it a game. I'd had a long day and wasn't feeling that great. Had to be at a friend's house at seven, so at halftime of LSU/AL I went to take a nap. A pretty good second half. Great catch by an LSU receiver.
Bama was showin' out their new LED light system, playing not just Sweet Home Alabama but other country classics as well. Lots of fiddle playin going on. Prediction: soon the GA & AL marching bands will be coordinating halftime shoes with the LED lights. Next thing you know we've got a full on SpongeBob Bubble Dome performance.Penn State lost at undefeated Minnesota (below). The Golden Gophers moved up from 17 to 7. Can they give Ohio State a game? Minnesota head coach PJ Fleck wears cleats, like Michigan's Jim Harbaugh. I would wear turf shoes myself, like Bill Curry used to do.
Falcons looked good. Kills me that a football team can't play more consistently. Drew Brees was rattled. Birds finally found a pass rush now that head coach Dan Quinn gave up his defensive coordinator role. Nice to win in the Big Easy, especially after the Saints played a video of the Pats Super Bowl comeback. No class.

New Atlanta kicker Younghoe Koo drilled all four field goals. Also slowed down the Saints return man on a long return. Hope he can stick around. Some call him the greatest number 7 in Falcon history. I countered with Pat Sullivan. Falcons have gone through several punters due to injuries. Yesterday the Saints roughed the punter, who limped off the field. Later the punter held for a field goal, but I didn't see whether he was still limping.

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson had another good game. Can he keep it up?      
 
Next week Tech, Georgia, and Clemson all play at 3:30 pm.
 
330 VT@GT
330 #19 Wake Forest @ #4 Clemson
330 #5 GA @ # 11 Auburn