Monday is in the books and The Stack is here this Tuesday morning to recap some of the highlights from the weekend, NFL power rankings and more so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Tuesday, December 18:
Titans end Jets playoff hopes in MNF stinker
An abysmal, dreadful MNF game is in the books and the New York Jets playoff chances are done following their 14-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans. The lone highlight in this game was a 94-yard touchdown run by Chris Johnson in the second quarter. Mark Sanchez was awful throwing four interceptions and fumbling the snap on the Titans 25-yards line with over 40 seconds left. The Jets could have won this game! It was awful. Jon Gruden and Mike Tirico thought it was bad. ESPN as a whole thought it was bad. It was a joke. There is not one good thing you can say about this game other than mercifully it is over.
Jim Boeheim earns win number 900
Syracuse Orange men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim should soon be on the Mt. Rushmore of college basketball coaches following his 900th career coaching win as Syracuse beat Detroit 72-68. Syracuse has been a dominant program rich with history and Boeheim is the main reason why. He's coached at Syracuse, his alma mater, for 37 years and he has without a doubt left his stamp on the program and forever will. Boeheim joins an exclusive of list in the 900 win club, with only Bob Knight (903 career wins) and Mike Krzyzewski (936 wins and counting) as the only other members. Boeheim still has a lot left in him I feel, a lot more winning. Congrats on the win coach and many more wins still lie ahead.
More teams leaving the Big East
What was once a proud and dominant conference is very soon going to be non-existent as more and more schoosl continue to leave the Big East. The latest teams are the seven Catholic schools, the non-football schools (DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall and Villanova). The musical chairs of teams leaving conferences for other, greener pastures (and I mean greener in terms of $$), is sad and sickening. If you've read this blog for a while, you know my feelings on all of this movement. I hate it. It is ruining college sports. And why? To make a quick buck? College sports should be about the student athletes and it is getting further and further from that. Where will these schools end up? Who knows! Who cares! There's talk that they may form their own conference and invite Butler. Maybe all of the Catholic schools will form their own league, their own conference. We're getting closer to the point of four or five major conferences. The Big East certainly won't be one of them.
We conclude the college basketball heavy section of "the stack" with some thoughts on what transpired Saturday in Indianapolis between Butler and then #1 Indiana. First off, it was the best game of the young college basketball hands down. Butler, a program that has been great in the NCAA tournament in recent years, making it to back-to-back national championship games a few years ago, brought down the number one team in college basketball, Indiana 88-86. But it was the way they did it that was so stunning. Two of their top players, Roosevelt Jones and Andrew Smith fouled out in regulation. Another big man, Erik Fromm fouled out in overtime. How would the undersized Bulldogs respond? They were very overmatched in terms of size, maybe even skill. After all, Indiana does have perhaps the best player in all of college basketball in Cody Zeller. Butler had the lead late in the game before Indiana forced overtime. In overtime, it seemed that Indiana had the advantage. Butler was in foul trouble and Indiana had the momentum. Indiana was up four 84-80 when Rotnei Clarke, a transfer from Arkansas, hit a couple of big threes for Butler to give Butler the lead 86-84. Then, with time running down and the score tied 86-86, Butler looked to Alex Barlow, a walk-on sophomore for the win? What? Yet that is who had the ball and Barlow made a nice spin move in the lane and was able to get a little hook-like shot to fall and Butler won 88-86. The packed house at Bankers Life Fieldhouse went nuts. The largest crowd ever to fill the arena was treated to a spectacular game and the folks who watched the game on CBS saw something truly special. Butler may be on another magical season here and this may be the game that springboards that. What an awesome, awesome game.
R.A. Dickey headed to Toronto
The Blue Jays continued their wheeling and dealing ways by trading a couple of prospects to the New York Mets for Cy Young award winning pitcher R.A. Dickey. The Blue Jays and Dickey agreed to a two-year $25 million deal with a club option for a third year in 2016. The knuckleballer is just the latest acquisition for the Blue Jays who already traded a bunch of prospects to the Marlins for Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and others. The Blue Jays are clearly putting all of their chips in the middle and going all in. This is their time they think. The Tampa Bay Rays are continuing to hold strong, the Baltimore Orioles are looking to build off of their surprising playoff run last year and you still have the Yankees and Red Sox. Perhaps MLB should just implement a rule right now that at least four of the playoff spots in the AL should go to the top four teams in the AL East because this will be the most compelling and competitive division in baseball. Maybe one of the teams will earn a spot in the NL playoffs. Regardless, the moves Toronto has made have intrigued me so much that I'm excited to watch baseball this year and the AL East only. Toronto may have given up a little more than most teams would for a 37-year old pitcher, but his effectiveness as a knuckleballer makes him worthy of the price. Toronto is a team that should be feared. Spring training is almost here.
NFL week 15 power rankings
1. San Francisco 49ers 10-3-1
Really can't go wrong with four or five teams for the top spot, but when you go into Foxboro and beat the Patriots in those conditions, you deserve to have the top spot.
2. Denver Broncos 11-3
Nine wins in a row and they seem to be getting better by the week. Big beatdown against the Ravens and two home games remain against the Browns and Chiefs (W's!)
3. Houston Texans 12-2
Texans were very business like in their win over the Colts. They know there are greater expectations ahead of them than just the AFC South division title.
4. Atlanta Falcons 12-2
Falcons silenced a lot of the doubters in their 34-0 drumming of the Giants, but they need that type of performance in the playoffs for people to believe.
5. New England Patriots 10-4
Valient comeback by the Patriots, but you simply can't fall behind that bad at home and think you can rally to win. Patriots will correct those issues this week.
6. Seattle Seahawks 9-5
108 points in the last two weeks?! Wow! These team is looking like the most feared team in the NFC heading into the playoffs, but that will change if Richard Sherman is suspended for four games.
7. Green Bay Packers 10-4
Packers are getting healthy at just the right time and the NFC North champions will be dangerous in the playoffs.
8. Washington Redskins 8-6
Rookie QB Kirk Cousins looked awfully good in place of RGIII. Redskins may have some good trade bait and they are looking like the cream of the crop in the NFC East and one of the hottest teams in the NFC.
9. Indianapolis Colts 9-5
The loss to the Texans should prove to the Colts that they still have a little ways to go before they have a big shot at an AFC South division title.
10. Dallas Cowboys 8-6
Cowboys won a big game against a good team in the Steelers. These types of wins can certainly propel the Cowboys to the NFC Eas title. But the Cowboys in past years have laid an egg in big spots. Will they lay another one in the last two weeks?
11. Cincinnati Bengals 8-6
Very few meetings against the Steelers are as big as the one the Bengals have this week. A win all but virtually guarantees them a playoff spot and would kill their rivals playoff hopes.
12. Baltimore Ravens 9-5
Ravens are in free fall. Bad offense, bad defense, yet they have secured a playoff spot. Never before has that meant so little with the way the Ravens are playing right now. They have a lot to prove in the next couple of weeks.
13. Minnesota Vikings 8-6
Adrian Peterson, you are ridiculous! Carrying the team on his back. Vikings still have a lot of work to do to make the playoffs, but there is no doubt in my mind AP=MVP.
14. New York Giants 8-6
I know the Giants had a lot on their minds with the Newtown tragedy (continued thoughts and prayers to everyone in Newtown), but that was about as bad of a performance as the Giants have shown in quite some time against Atlanta.
15. Chicago Bears 8-6
If the Ravens are in freefall, the Bears are right behind them, having lost five of six. Will someone please help contribute or Brandon Marshall is going to lose it. Maybe he already has.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers 7-7
They lost all of the momentum against the Cowboys when Antonio Brown fumbled on a punt return. These Steelers are not like Steelers teams in recent years and that will lead them to missing the playoffs.
17. St. Louis Rams 6-7-1
Rams found out what a lot of teams have found out this season...Adrian Peterson is back and he's better than ever.
18. New Orleans Saints 6-8
Two big wins for the Saints last week: bounty-gate and the 41-0 drumming of the Bucs. Too little, too late though.
19. Carolina Panthers 5-9
Panthers have shown a lot of progress the last month or so, even if they are meaningless games. Perhaps gives a little hope for the future...and the coaching staff.
20. Miami Dolphins 6-8
See Miami? If you run Reggie Bush as well as you did Sunday, he'll gain over 100 yards and your offense will be just fine. Then again, you won't play the Jaguars every week.
21. Cleveland Browns 5-9
Not a good performance against a team without their star QB. This was a game the Browns should have won and needed to win. With the Broncos and Steelers on the road in the next two weeks, 5-11 looks likely.
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-8
A 41-0 debacle against the Saints leaves little good will that was built up earlier in the season. Might be close to imploding like that sideline altercation the cameras caught.
23. New York Jets 6-8
The J-E-T-S are a JOKE JOKE JOKE. Thank goodness this team won't be in the playoffs.
24. Tennessee Titans 5-9
Defense played well and Chris Johnson had a great long TD run (2nd longest in MNF history). Still been a long, bad year for the Titans.
25. San Diego Chargers 5-9
Last week against the Steelers, the Chargers played like a team that was fighting for the playoffs. Sunday, they looked like a team that had their bags already packed.
26. Arizona Cardinals 5-9
Two pick sixes is a team's best offense, esepcially with a quarterback situation as bad as the Cardinals. At least they ended their nine game losing streak.
27. Buffalo Bills 5-9
Still wondering if management in Buffalo is looking for a refund after spending all of that money on the defensive side of the ball in the offseason. Disgraceful performance against the Seahawks.
28. Detroit Lions 4-10
That was some game by the Lions. Good thing thinks are looking up in Detroit...oh wait, maybe not.
29. Philadelphia Eagles 4-10
The city of brotherly love is not showing much love for these Eagles. Nor should they.
30. Oakland Raiders 4-10
Beating the Chiefs won't help you move up in the power rankings, especially when you can only muster five field goals.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars 2-12
Jaguars are doing all they can to get that #1 pick in April's NFL Draft, but the Chiefs have it for now.
32. Kansas City Chiefs 2-12
Chiefs need to keep losing to fend off the Jaguars and get the number one pick.
Coming up Wednesday: Reaction to biggest sports stories from Tuesday