Decisions, Decisions

September 14, 2010

The first week of pro football is now in the books, and it has definitely provided us with some talking points for the rest of the week. The Texans are now a healthy 2-15 against the Colts all-time, the Kansas City Chiefs are leading the AFC West, and the Eagles may have more of a quarterback controversy than they envisioned they would encounter this season.

I think the most important topic is Philadelphia’s quarterback situation. With Kevin Kolb out with a concussion, Michael Vick may start in his place this coming weekend at Detroit. Eagles coach Andy Reid has made it clear that Kolb is still the team’s number one quarterback, which is a good decision in my opinion. However, since this weekend’s game is against the Lions, if Vick starts, he may again look like a quarterback worthy of the starting job. The coaching staff will have a sticky situation on their hands; start Vick, with the knowledge that he could potentially account for one or two more wins for Philadelphia this season, or stick with Kolb, their quarterback of the future. Reid may feel the heat from fans this season if he opts to stay with Kolb after he returns from his injury, but I think it’s the right decision. Vick is not their quarterback of the future, and probably won’t even be in the league in a few years. His leg speed won’t be there forever, and his performance this past weekend could just be a result of defensive coordinators not seeing him the past few years. Once teams have to prepare to stop Vick, I don’t think he will be nearly as effective. Kolb will definitely take his lumps this season if he starts, but it will be worth it if Philadelphia wants to remain a contender in the NFC East in the future.

Speaking of quarterback controversies (well, I guess this next one isn’t really a controversy anymore), Michigan’s decision to go with Denard Robinson over Tate Forcier has worked out pretty well. Of course, let’s not start the Heisman debate just yet. Robinson is good (430 yards passing and 455 yards rushing in his first two games? Yea, that’s pretty good.), but he hasn’t exactly been lighting it up against Alabama’s or Ohio State’s defenses, either. UConn has a defense that ranks in the bottom half of the Big East (known for particularly porous defenses) in yards per game allowed. Notre Dame gives up 427 yards per game, which would be good for…dead last in that same conference. For a few more weeks, Mr. Robinson will likely continue to rack up yardage and reel off ESPN worthy runs. However, I won’t be truly impressed until early October. Starting October 9th, Michigan faces in-state rival Michigan State, number nine Iowa, and number twenty two Penn State on the road. If number sixteen is still ripping up defenses after those three games, then we can start talking about the Heisman. We’ve seen it happen before in the Big Ten, though. Juice Williams rode the spread offense all the way to the Rose Bowl in 2007, but couldn’t do much against teams in his final two years. There is a chance that Denard Robinson could be the next Michael Vick, but my educated guess is that he is just taking advantage of unprepared (and mediocre) defenses.

I said that I would start to cover the U.S. Open in the later rounds, but I never really got around to it. Then I was going to cover the Final before it was played (assuming that it would be another Federer vs. Nadal epic), but Federer lost in the semi-finals and I had nothing to speculate on. Now that Nadal has won, completing his career Grand Slam, I have my newest poll: Is Nadal better than Federer? After Federer won at Wimbledon in 2009, the title of “World’s Greatest Tennis Player”, and to some extent, “Greatest Tennis Player Ever” was bestowed upon him. Enter 2010, where Nadal has won three of the four Grand Slam events. Federer was not the opponent in any of those finals. Federer is twenty-nine years old, so it is natural to assume that his best days may be behind him. However, in the Federer-Nadal rivalry, Nadal is 14-7. Even more telling of Nadal’s dominance is his record against Federer in Grand Slam Finals, which is 5-2. What is the common measure of a player’s lasting legacy in other major sports? Championships. Although Federer currently has more major championships (and probably isn’t completely done yet), common sense tells us that, barring injuries, Nadal has more years left than Federer. If Nadal can catch Federer in number of Grand Slam titles and continue to remain dominant against him in head-to-head matches, will Nadal go down as the best player in his era? Or have we already given the crown to Federer, and fair or not, it is extremely hard to steal the crown that has already been given to someone in your own era. Considering Federer’s age, this is an argument that should string out for at least two or three more years. This debate is also proof that just because Americans aren’t dominant in tennis doesn’t mean it’s any less exciting.

– K. Becks

3 Responses to Decisions, Decisions

  1. N.X. Seguin on September 15, 2010 at 11:28 am

    my ranking of high profile african american qbs in the ncaa:
    1. Ricky Dobbs
    2. Denard Robinson
    3. Terrelle Pryor
    4. JaCory Harris
    5. The hack qb at VT

    Dobbs is a terrific decision maker, athlete and a damn smart guy. Denard has the talent to take the UM program on his shoulders and save RichRod's hiny. TP throws a beautiful long ball, but short passes are often off target and crossing routes are underthrown. Plus he dosn't know when to keep/handoff on options. JaCory had a lot of poor decisions against OSU, but some very nice passes as well. VT sucks

  2. Coleman on September 15, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    tennis is extremely boring because only 3 or 4 people have a legitimate shot at winning a tournament. Bring shoelaces to the shoe then we can talk heisman. you didnt mention the weather either, slippery, wet, cold conditions are the reasons richrod's system will never work in the big ten, but i dont mind seeing the bucks whip 'em every year

  3. K. Becks on September 17, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Neil I truly like Ricky Dobbs. I like that you have him as your number one, even as racist as the list title may be.

    Coleman, I think that there are more than three or four people have a shot at winning any given tournament. Hell, Andy Roddick is ranked 11th, and we still give him a shot in the Grand Slam events (that may be our American bias, but he's 11th!). However, you have hit a point that many people agree with. Tennis, to many Americans, is boring. Women's tennis does much better in the U.S. than the men's, and I just don't know how they can fix that.

    I am also a believer that Rich Rod's system has no place in the Big Ten. October 9th, gentlemen. That's when we see if Shoelaces is for real.

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