|Mizzou @ Tennessee (-3.5)||Tenn||Tenn||Mizzou||Mizzou|
|K State @ West Virginia (-2.5)||K State||WV||K State||K State|
|K State Record||5-4||5-4||6-3||7-2|
|Kansas @ Oklahoma (-25)||Oklahoma||Oklahoma||Oklahoma||Kansas|
|Chiefs (-7) @ Raiders||Chiefs||Raiders||Chiefs||Chiefs|
|Cowboys (-3) @ Giants||Giants||Cowboys||Cowboys||Cowboys|
|Mizzou @ Texas A&M (-4.5)||Mizzou||Mizzou||A and M||Mizzou||A and M||Mizzou|
|K State Record||5-4||5-4||6-3||7-2||7-2||4-5|
|TCU (-29) @ Kansas||TCU||TCU||TCU||Kansas||TCU||KU|
|Seahawks @ Chiefs (-2)||Chiefs||Chiefs||Chiefs||Seahawks||Seahawks||Seahawks|
|Patriots @ Colts (-3)||Colts||Colts||Colts||Patriots||Patriots||Patriots|
|Florida State (-1.5) @ Miami||Miami||FSU||Miami||FSU||Miami||Miami|
And now ready for the final chapter to erase 29 years…
For watching Cone and Beltran and Damon and leaving
For watching Bo and Kerry Robinson climbing walls for different reasons
For Mike Sweeney pounding out 144 RBI and pounding down Jeff Weaver
For pounding tequila and having milk and cookies
For flipping a coin for the opening day starter
For all the jokes by Carson and Leno and Conan and Leno again and Fallon
For 9 presidential terms and 15 Olympiads
For signability picks
For Hal McRae considering Brett for Miller
For the promise of Bob Hamelin and Angel Berroa
For Storm and Mark Davis
For Hillman’s unicycle and Pena’s shower soaked uniform
For the committee and Miles Prentice
For renovations and the rolling roof
For George Brett and Frank White
For Howser and Quiz and Split
For 29 years…10,594 days..and 2513 losses..
And now ready for one game to make it all worthwhile…Soren Petro
It’s been an amazing run for the Royals to this point in 2014. A roller coaster ride of a regular season finished with a late post season berth and a magical run to the World Series. Would all that be enough?
That answer probably can’t be answered until later. How much later? Well, in a week, if the Royals win it all the answer will be an easy one. If the Giants win their third World Series in five years it may take a few months to decide if “getting there” was enough.
Not many expected the Royals to be here, but now that they are business needs to be finished. No one knows this more than Royals fans who have waited 29 years between post season appearances. I’m often asked as a Cardinals fan why I care when the Cardinals lose in the playoffs because “you’re there every year.” My response is you never know when it’s going to be your last chance in a while.
There will be big decisions in the off season…will James Shields be back, will Billy Butler and the Royals find a new contract that makes sense for both and can they afford to put millions to keep the Big 3 in tact. Teams that come back whole the next year have trouble repeating a World Series run…a team with payroll restrictions and young players due a raise have it even tougher.
There is no guarantee of tomorrow so you must make the most of today. The Royals are red hot and facing a team they match up well against. Opportunity must be realized. It’s hard to say there is pressure on a team few expected to even make it to this grand stage, but when the chances are so rare they have to be grasped.
Maybe we will look back and see this as the beginning of a regular run into the postseason. If not, a World Series win would let Royals fans look back and know that at least for one magical year their team did more than surprise…they became Champions.
It’s hard to get a read on the Chiefs after the first two games because they couldn’t have played with a more different effort and against two more different opponents. People knew the schedule would be tougher this year, but game one against the Titans wasn’t supposed to be part of that. The Chiefs played with little emotion and a questionable game plan and fell flat.
The effort, execution and plan were all better in Denver week 2, but the so was the opponent and the Chiefs fell just short. It’s hard to hold much optimism for the tougher games on the schedule when the effort is inconsistent and still not enough on its better days.
This week isn’t one of the tougher weeks for the Chiefs though against an equally inconsistent team in the Dolphins. Playoffs seem like a long shot now so nothing is a must win…but for the Chiefs this may be one of the few “could wins” left on the schedule. It looks to be a long year for the red and gold.
Tiger fans were split on expectations for the team going into the year. That split almost mirrored the split on expectations for new starting QB Maty Mauk. Mauk has performed well and so have the Tigers. After sleep walking through a hot opener against a far inferior opponent, the Tigers have answered their other tests with high marks. Going to Toledo could have proven tricky but Mauk and the defense were up to the task. Central Florida tested Mizzou at their place a few years ago, but this time Mizzou won with ease pulling away in the second half.
The biggest question for Mizzou now is how will they handle success. After losing a lot of talent from last year’s team Mizzou’s new crop had something to prove. They have to avoid the temptation now of thinking that job is done. Indiana is a trap game and then the SEC slate begins with a tough trip to South Carolina…who already has a home win against Georgia on its resume. The Tigers look good enough to steal a game most people think they will lose. I see 3 losses on the schedule…four at worst.
The difference between a special season and a good season is often razor thin. That margin may have been used up by K State in the loss to Auburn. The opportunity was there for a Cat win, but too many mistakes and miss-kicks left them just short of an upset
The Wildcats look to have enough pieces to compete near the top of the Big 12. And because of the way College Football is set up…and with the Big 12 being a round robin set up…K State still has everything in front of them. Seeing some of the struggles they had against Auburns athletes I think the Cats will fall just short against Baylor and Oklahoma. It will be another good season for Bill Snyder, but without the drama and finish of a few years ago.
If the Jayhawks don’t beat Central Michigan it’s hard to believe they will beat anyone else. Charlie Weis has to go. Then, it’s just wait for basketball season.
Five Questions for Sunday
1. Is a brand new offensive line ready for prime time?
The Chiefs offensive line is one of the youngest in the NFL. Despite their age, there is some experience because Rodney Hudson, Eric Fisher and Jeff Allen have all gotten significant playing time early in their careers. Early questions remain though with the suspension of Donald Stephenson and how that will effect things for the first 4 games of the season as the Chiefs shuffle the line to get by. The answer to this question really comes down to the play if Eric Fisher. If he can take strides and stay healthy the line could be ok. If not, long year. Also something to keep an eye on is if rookie guard Zach Fulton is ready to step up to the speed and power of the NFL. If there is good news it’s that the Chiefs rely on the running game and in general run blocking is easier for young players than pass protection.
2. Can Jamaal Charles repeat last years performance?
There is no doubt the Chiefs offense begins and ends with Number 25. Charles was asked to shoulder 40 percent of the offense last year…and all signs point to another busy season this campaign. Andy Reid will do a nice job of finding different ways to use Charles and if he stays healthy he should live up to the top fantasy pick he was in most drafts.
3. How does Alex Smith handle the new contract?
Alex Smith and the Chiefs agreed to a new deal on the eve of the season and now we find out if he makes the Chiefs look good or puts them in a bind for years to come. Signing Smith was almost a necessity…not because of how good he is…but because of how bad it could be if the Chiefs had to find a replacement. Smith will make smart plays and finds ways to get the job done but he isn’t the type of quarterback to win a game on its own. He needs playmakers around him. We know about Charles, but can Bowe and the tight ends step up and take Smith’s smart, quick decisions and turn them into big plays? That’s what this offense will need to be great.
4. The secondary?
There is no specific question here…just the position group in general. Eric Berry hasn’t been around much in the preseason and the Chiefs need him to be a playmaker to rescue this unit. The Chiefs are going to as their corners to cover man to man and jam receivers…neither of which they have shown to be particularly good at. This spot may really hurt the Chiefs this year…especially with games against Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers and Tom Brady looming.
5. Can Bob Sutton find a way to unleash his pass rushers?
If there is something that can mask the secondary it’s a good, and fast pass rush. Sutton has tools here…Tamba, Justin Houston and rookie first round pick Dee Ford. Can he find a away to get them…along with Derrick Johnson and Eric Berry…to the quarterback fast enough to protect a suspect secondary? This unit is expensive and talented and needs to carry a defense with holes in other areas.
There are no games scheduled for today.
There are no games scheduled for today.