Stats, Notes, and Quotes From Last Weekend

andrewCorrespondent ISeptember 17, 2008

Some collected tidbits from the weekend of football action…

- This is the first time in history that one conference has FIVE teams ranked in the Top 10 of the AP Top 25 college football poll. While USC is the runaway choice at #1, you’ve got SEC teams all over that top 10 like a rash: Georgia is #3 (speaking of which, another tidbit for you: Georgia is the first preseason No. 1 since Oklahoma in 1985 to start the season with three consecutive victories and still drop as far as No. 3), Florida is #4, LSU #6, Alabama #9, Auburn #10.

- The Big 12 doesn’t look too shabby either; while not quite in the same conversation as SEC when it comes to dominance, the Big 12 had six wins this weekend against non-conference opponents, and ALL SIX of the wins were by at least 28 points.

- Although Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin’s popularity has taken a hit in the desert because of his demand to be traded, team insiders tell us he remains arguably the Cardinals’ most popular player in the locker room. Word is his teammates couldn’t stop singing his praises following his outstanding second-half performance (eight catches for 82 yards) in Week One, which was one of the keys to the Cardinals’ victory over the Niners. Said one longtime insider: “If he continues to play like he did in that second half, the fans will forgive him, too."


- Since 2000, teams that start an NFL season 0-2 have about an 8.8% of making the playoffs. According to Clark Judge at

“A year ago the New York Giants lost their first two games, then won a Super Bowl. That’s a great lesson for struggling teams, except for one thing.

It almost never happens.

Nope, if you lose your first two games, you generally have as much chance of reaching the playoffs as the Kansas City Royals. Of the 68 teams that started 0-2 since 2000, only six made it. And since the NFL went to the 16-game format in 1978, the number is 27 — including three that won Super Bowls.

So it is possible. It’s just not likely”

So, he says Cleveland, Minnesota, Seattle, Jacksonville and Cincinnati should be very concerned at this point. However, Judge says the Chargers - another 0-2 team - should NOT be too worried. To wit:

“Normally, I might be anxious. But the Bolts have been here before, starting 1-3 a year ago before winding up in the conference championship game. The same thing could happen this season, but it won’t. I’m not talking about the AFC championship game; I’m talking about the 1-3 start. The Chargers next play the Jets at home, then travel to Oakland and Miami. The way I see it, that’s three straight, though you never know with these guys. Let’s face it, they got out-and-out shafted in Denver Sunday, with referee Ed Hochuli and a now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t replay system costing them a couple of touchdowns. I can’t believe it, either, but it’s time to stop bellyaching. You can’t do anything about it. What San Diego can fix is a defense that leaks like the S.S. Minnow in the first half, with the Chargers hemorrhaging 610 yards and 40 points in losses to Denver and Carolina. Compare that to the 264 yards and 25 points they allow in the second half, and you know why it’s up to coordinator Ted Cottrell to straighten his guys out. I know they lost Shawne Merriman, but this is a team game, remember? The Patriots move forward without the league MVP. The Chargers can do the same without Merriman.”