2007 football season baffles prognosticatorsWritten by Norm Wamer | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Random thoughts while wondering why Drew Brees now looks like Joey Harrington …
This football season has defied logic. Let’s start with high school football in the City League. The tale of who might win the City League started Sept. 14 when St. John’s met Central Catholic at UT’s Glass Bowl. Lately, these two teams have opened up their offenses while playing near mistake-free football. Despite controlling the yardage numbers, Central Catholic misfired on several opportunities in a run-oriented game that featured six turnovers in a 15-7 St. John’s win. That means St. John’s goes one up on the rest of the City League, right? Wrong. St. John’s last week played without its starting quarterback and starting tailback and gave that win right back by being upset by Rogers, 22-21.
So that makes Whitmer the favorite, right? Maybe. I don’t think you can call a 2-0 City League start disappointing, but the Panthers have made it way too interesting for coach Joe Palka. Two weeks ago, Whitmer faced a Start team that had been shut out by Sylvania Southview. Whitmer’s defense struggled to stop Start when it counted and relied on a Kevin Koger-blocked extra point to survive a 35-34 overtime heartstopper.
Would it be easier for Whitmer to beat a St. Francis team that went 3-7 last season? No. Whitmer had to rally from behind to beat the Knights in overtime last week, 24-17. Does that finish St. Francis? No. St. Francis beat Rogers two weeks ago, and based on the Knights’ recent efforts, they are formidable. Central Catholic and St. John’s can still run the table and lay claim to a piece of the City League title.
Which Michigan Wolverines are the real Wolverines? Are they the team that steamrolled Notre Dame and upset Penn State, or are they the team that was embarrassed by Oregon and a non-Division I school? Now Michigan fans want a freshman quarterback to start over the senior. Go figure.
The Mid-American Conference is more confusing. Bowling Green opens the season at the Metrodome by beating Minnesota, which later lost to non-Division I Florida Atlantic, goes toe-to-toe with Michigan State and then gives up points in bunches to Temple, which by the way got blown out by perennial doormat Buffalo. It gets better. Toledo beat Iowa State last week. Great win right? Well, kind of. Yes, Iowa State is a big-conference team that knocked off Iowa from the Big Ten, but they also lost to Kent State and non-Division I Northern Iowa. By the way, Toledo lost to defending MAC Champion Central Michigan three weeks ago. Central Michigan last week was crushed by non-Division I North Dakota State, 44-14.
Want something more bizarre in college football? Two words: Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish, who enter this weekend’s games at 0-4, will have to pull an upset sometime soon to avoid an unfathomable 0-8 start.
The NFL doesn’t make sense either. The Cleveland Browns name Charlie Frye their starting quarterback only to ship him off to Seattle after only 10 passes in a quarter and a half of football. The newly anointed starter, Derek Anderson, throws five touchdown passes in a wild 51-45 upset of Cincinnati only to turn around and lose to the Oakland Raiders, who had lost 11 straight games.
Want something more bizarre in the NFL? The Detroit Lions have won twice, and it’s still September, and we are not counting the pre-season. How is anyone expected to predict something like this?
I’m going to lie down now. I have a headache.
Norm Wamer is program director of Sports Radio 1470 “The Ticket” WLQR-AM and co-hosts “The Front Row” weekday afternoons from 3 to 6 p.m.