The Stack is here on this Tuesday where they are stunned in Los Angeles, giddy in Manhattan, and relieved in Pittsburgh. Plenty to talk about from yesterday along with a few thoughts from the weekend and NFL power rankings so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Tuesday, November 13:
Steelers survive scare from Chiefs on MNF, lose Roethlisberger
The Pittsburgh Steelers said they wouldn't fall in to this "trap game" against the 1-7 Chiefs. Well they were taken to the brink and probably should have lost this game, but thanks to Lawrence Timmons interception in overtime, the Steelers left with a 16-13 win over the Chiefs. Don't know if it was just because the Chiefes are so bad, but it certainly seemed like the Steelers were getting all of the calls. In the third quarter, the Chiefs had a touchdown called back on a holding penalty. It was a questionable call. The Chiefs wound up missing a field goal on that drive. Then on the Steelers drive, the Chiefs thought they had a defensive touchdown on a fumble recovery. Replay showed Byron Leftwich clearly was throwing the ball and the play was overturned. Oh yeah, the Chiefs got an unsportsmanlike penalty called for a touchdown celebration that kept the drive alive. And on the next Steelers possession, two defensive penalties allowed the Steelers to get a field goal. When it rains, it pours if you're a Chiefs fan. They did force overtime, but a pick by Matt Cassel sealed the Chiefs fate and the Steelers kicked the game-winning field goal. Not a good performance by the Steelers, but of more importance to them is the health of Ben Roethlisberger who left the game with a shoulder injury. Might just be a sprain, but more tests are being performed and with the Ravens coming up, if they want to win, they need Big Ben under center.
D'Antoni accepts Lakers head coaching position
The news was shocking to most people when they awoke Monday morning. The Los Angeles Lakers agreed to a deal with former Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni to become their next head coach. Wait, what? Hadn't we heard numerous reports that this was Phil Jackson's job to lose? That he had some special requests that the Lakers were working on trying to iron out? Apparently, those were all phony reports and rumors. D'Antoni signed a three-year deal worth $12 million. There is also an option for a fourth year. Everyone assumed Jackson would be the next head coach. Fans were chanting his name at the game Friday night. They were so confident that Jackson would come back and lead the Lakers to another title.
D'Antoni had been mentioned from the get-go, so this is not a move that should completely blindside folks. He was with Steve Nash in Phoenix and he has a terrific offensive approach. The Lakers will score a lot of points and they will be exciting. But there is a reason why D'Antoni has never won an NBA title as a head coach. He's great with the offensive scheme, but is not a complete head coach. The season is young and the Lakers will come out of their early funk. But with the Oklahoma City Thunder's early struggles and with the Lakers roster, they look like a team that will make plenty of noise in the west. Just not sure that they have enough to beat the Miami Heat. Might have with Jackson. Not real positive it can happen with D'Antoni.
Mike Trout, Bryce Harper win MLB rookie of they year awards
Awards continue to come even though the baseball season has been done for a couple of weeks. Monday, rookie of the year awards were announced and as expected, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout won the AL Rookie of the Year award and he did it in impressive fashion. Trout was the unanimous rookie of the year pick in the AL, receiving all twenty-eight first place votes. He's the youngest AL player ever to win the award. He hit thirty homeruns, drove in 83 RBIs and hit .326. He didn't even start opening day. He was fantastic in the field and was by far the Angels best player. That's saying something considering that the Angels also have Albert Pujols. Trout will be a terrific players for years to come in the Angels organziation.
In the NL, there too was little surprise as Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper became the second youngest player to win NL Rookie of the Year. Harper hit 22 homeruns and knocked in 59 RBIs while hitting .270. No doubt he will be a special player for years to come and the Nationals have a good nucleus of young talent led by Harper and Stephen Strasburg.
Thoughts from the weekend
College basketball has gotten underway (preview tomorrow) and plenty of teams looked impressive. UCONN beat a ranked Michigan State team in Germany Friday. This is supposed to be a down year for UCONN what with being ineligible for the postseason and everything, but they certainly looked good. Want to give a shoutout to the South Dakota State Jackrabbits who almost pulled off a nice win over Alabama. The Jacks will be good this year.
Speaking of good, Johnny "Football" Manziel has been really good all year and Saturday, he pulled off his most impressive feat of the year in going on the road and knocking off #1 Alabama 29-24. He threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns and nearly ran for one hundred more. Oh yeah, and no turnovers. Very, very impressive. He's a freshman too! Simply amazing. He's playing well enough to be a Heisman Trophy candidate as well. Expect to see him in New York.
The loss shakes up the BCS standings as well. Kansas State is now number one with Oregon two and Notre Dame three. Should all three teams remain undefeated, it is going to be awfully interesting to see which one gets left out. My feeling is it will be Notre Dame.
That brawl in Phoenix at the NASCAR race was pretty good too. Jeff Gordon and Clint Boyer's pit crews got in it after Gordon made Boyer crash late in the race Sunday. Gordon said it was retaliation not just for something Boyer did earlier in the race, but also for stuff that has been going on all year. Alright then. Brad Keselowski leads the Sprint Cup with just one race to go, next week in Miami.
NFL week 10 power rankings
1. Houston Texans 8-1
Winning in Chicago in those conditions is awfully impressive. Best team in the league.
2. Atlanta Falcons 8-1
So close to being 9-0. Must improve both running the ball and stopping the run though.
3. Chicago Bears 7-2
Tough to gauge the Bears in that loss. Jay Cutler's health is most important right now.
4. Baltimore Ravens 7-2
Why doesn't Joe Flacco play this way every week? Oh yeah, he doesn't play the Raiders.
5. Denver Broncos 6-3
Somebody better tell Trindon Holliday to celebrate after he reaches the endzone next time. Broncos are looking really good.
6. New England Patriots 6-3
The balanced Patriots offense is good. Their defense though, not so much. That could hold them back in the playoffs.
7. Green Bay Packers 6-3
Packers had a week to heal up, but Packers fans can only wonder what injury will hit next.
8. San Francisco 49ers 6-2-1
A tie is odd, but it could be help the 49ers in the end. 49ers are probably happy they got a tie based on how many opportunities the Rams had to win the game. Alex Smith's health now is of concern.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers 6-3
Steelers looked bad last night. Probably looking ahead to the matchup with the Ravens next week. May have to do it without Ben Roethlisberger. That would not be good.
10. Seattle Seahawks 6-4
That defense is phenominal. Russell Wilson is playing great. Seattle is very tough at home. It's away though that they have issues which could hold them back.
11. New York Giants 6-4
That NFC East division that looked to be on lockdown now looks a little shaky thanks to the last couple of weeks. Giants need to regain their mojo fast.
12. Indianapolis Colts 6-3
Will Andrew Luck start a rivalry with Tom Brady this week? Maybe. He is the real deal.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5-4
Doug Martin was ordinary, but the Bucs were solid in all three phases. They're really coming on strong.
14. Minnesota Vikings 6-4
Adrian Peterson is having an MVP type season. Big test for the Vikings after the bye with four of their final six games against the Bears and Packers.
15. New Orleans Saints 4-5
Don't look now, but the Saints are marching towards a playoff spot in the NFC.
16. Dallas Cowboys 4-5
Cowboys looked good all across the board Sunday. If they can play that consistent the rest of the year, they may just may make the playoffs, maybe even win the division.
17. St. Louis Rams 3-5-1
Rams had plenty of chances to beat the 49ers, but made more mistakes that cost them a shot at a "W". They will learn from this though. Jeff Fisher will make sure of that.
18. Cincinnati Bengals 4-5
Big win for the Bengals who keep some playoff hopes alive. Now can they keep up that play from Sunday on the road the next few weeks?
19. Detroit Lions 4-5
The Lions failure to realize the game has started before halftime will be the main reason why they miss the playoffs this year.
20. Miami Dolphins 4-5
Ouch! What a bad loss at home to the Titans. All of that goodwill is gone after a loss like that.
21. San Diego Chargers 4-5
You know what I think Norv Turner? I think your team isn't very good and you'll miss the playoffs.
22. Tennessee Titans 4-6
Following a blowout loss at home with a blowout win on the road? Yeah, sounds about right.
23. Philadelphia Eagles 3-6
With no Michael Vick, the season is lost. Even with Vick, the season was probably lost following the loss to the Cowboys.
24. Buffalo Bills 3-6
Heartbreaking loss after it looked like they were going to come back and beat the Patriots. Now can they get back on the winning track Thursday against Miami?
25. Arizona Cardinals 4-5
Have the Cardinals found an answer to their quarterback issues when they were on the bye? I hadn't heard so either.
26. Washington Redskins 3-6
RGIII and the Redskins don't want to be thinking about the future other than this week's opponent, the Eagles. Yeah, they should be ok.
27. Oakland Raiders 3-6
At least the Raiders didn't allow 60 points.
28. New York Jets 3-6
Jets can't find the endzone and their defense is struggling. Not a recipe for winning games.
29. Carolina Panthers 2-7
Super Bowl bound? More like Stuper Bowl bound. Another abysmal showing by the Panthers. Their season has become a nightmare.
30. Cleveland Browns 2-7
Hope the Browns are ready for the Cowboys Sunday. Browns fans must be expecting the worst.
31. Kansas City Chiefs 1-8
The Chiefs finally got a lead this season! They played hard at Pittsburgh, getting them out of the cellar.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars 1-8
This team is terrible. It is going to be a long rebuilding process.
Before we go, college basketball has begun it's 24-hour tipoff marathon on the family of ESPN channels. Love college basketball and am super pumped it's back on. It is going to be a wild and exciting season. Take a moment or two to watch some of the games today.
Coming up Wednesday: College basketball preview