BY CHRIS LEWIS
After what was an insane sports weekend, there’s no way to voice an opinion on everything I saw within a two hour show. With that in mind, I’m emptying the notebook in a blog form. Quick notes on what I saw.
Boise State Football
- Not an inspiring win by any stretch. The first half against Nevada was a poor performance for Boise State. More than 100 penalty yards in a half with Rypien throwing a couple picks was bad, and even more concerning since it was coming off a loss. That said, Ryp was awesome in the 2nd half, which gave Harsin a reason to go for two key 4th downs. I agreed with both calls at the time, and it was great to see the aggressive coach rewarded. Still, I’d argue that the Broncos have played below their expectation and standards in 3 of the past 4 games, which is alarming. At this moment, they are playing like the 4th best team in the Mountain West (behind Fresno State, San Diego State, and Utah State). They need to get a lot better in these next two games against Colorado State and Air Force. The biggest areas of improvement would be finding a dependable running game, continuing to see the right side of the offensive line grow, having a functional kicking/punting game, and getting healthier on defense.
College Football Scene
- Best college football weekend of the year. The 1:30 window was especially bonkers. Seemed like every meaningful game was competitive deep into the 4th… Mike Tirico calling Notre Dame games has made that team more interesting to me. It felt more like Pitt lost the game down the stretch than Notre Dame won it, but somehow that team is still unbeaten with some great wins. It’ll take 2 losses to knock them out of the playoffs, and I don’t think they have 2 losses left… LSU is the one SEC team that people can’t wait to call frauds. Happened when Les Miles was there, now happening with Ed Orgeron. Dominate win against Georgia should give them some rope… I’m still mad at Memphis. They had so many chances to put away UCF and end the nation’s longest winning streak (and I picked Memphis). That said, as a Boise State fan that gets disappointed when they lose as a favorite, I have no choice but to respect and admire UCF’s run… Chris Petersen’s kicker missing a game winning kick on Petersen’s birthday the same day Boise State and Nevada play just seems cruel. That ends Washington’s playoff chances. Oregon’s non-conference should eliminate them right now anyway, and I expect them to lose in Pullman this weekend.
- Styles make fights, and the Dodgers-Brewers series features 2 styles that create entertaining baseball. I just hope you carved out at least 4 hours to watch it. Despite it being the less sexy matchup, I find it to be the more fascinating series. National League playoff baseball is superior because of the strategy caused by the pitcher’s slot. The Brewers might have the quickest bullpen trigger in MLB postseason history, which allows more room for the viewer to manage the game from the couch. The Dodgers deep lineup provides a great test every game for how Craig Counsell navigates around it. To me, it’s much more entertaining than the static Red Sox-Astros series,
- This NFL season has been a roaring success. Thanks in large part to the rules that people whine about, these games have been significantly more compelling and action-packed than years’ past. 9 teams scored 30 or more points this week. Let’s keep these QBs healthy… Seems like more people are higher on the Chiefs now than before their 1st loss of the season. Scoring 40 points on SNF will do that. KC showed their ceiling in the 2nd half, but you can’t ignore the 1st half. Pat Mahomes can be awesome, but he’ll also have his young QB moments. Once the playoffs hit, mistakes are more costly than sensational plays are helpful. Plus, that defense has a long way to go. Extremely entertaining game though, right up there with Rams-Vikings for game of the year… Speaking of the Rams, let’s just make Rams-Chiefs on MNF on 11/19 a national holiday. No offensive record is safe… As the driver of the 2018 Bengals bandwagon, yesterday was a devastating result. Seems like the type of loss that’ll stick with them all season. Can’t rely on the officials to call a pick-play that late. Their offense was underwhelming all game… If the Bears-Dolphins game was a primetime game, it would be remembered for years. Crazy lead swings and big plays. Another overtime game. My takeaway? The Dolphins WRs are the best runners after the catch in the league… It’s amazing how the Bucs and Chargers get burned nearly every game every season with their kicker. Bucs loss yesterday in large part to a missed XP… Nathan Peterman is SOOOO BAADD, He’s played like the worst QB in NFL history, and there’s no way he can credibly be on a football field ever again… Six weeks in is enough of a sample size to give a top 5 teams list: Rams, Pats, Chiefs, Saints, Chargers.
- Tuesday begins the NBA season. My Sixers open the season against the Celtics on TNT. Before it starts, I have to go on the record with my picks. Western conference playoff order: Warriors, Rockets, Thunder, Jazz, Nuggets, Lakers, Pels, Grizzlies. Warriors beat Lakers in Western Conference Finals… Eastern conference playoff order: Raptors, Celtics, Sixers, Wizards, Bucks, Pacers, Heat, Pistons. As much as I want to pick the Sixers to reach the NBA Finals, I’ll stay safe and pick the Raptors… In season transactions could play a huge role this season, starting with the eventual Jimmy Butler trade. I think the Lakers will make a dramatic mid-season move to propel them in the playoffs.
- Awards: MVP Top 5: Curry, Davids, Embiid, Harden, Lebron… Embiid DPOY, Mike Malone COY, Kevin Knox ROY
Chris Lewis, the play-by-play voice of Boise State women’s basketball and Olympic Sports, co-hosts Idaho Sports Talk with Bob & Chris weekdays from 1-3 p.m. on KTIK 93.1 FM The Ticket. He can be found @ChrisLewisTweet (Twitter).