I found myself caught up in a couple of crazy circumstances a week ago and decided to share those stories on the show this past Saturday.
For starters, my carelessness while running late to a Super Bowl party resulted in banging up the car of Mike Bianchi, columnist at the Orlando Sentinel and host of AM 740 The Game’s “Open Mike,” while in the parking lot at Ker’s WingHouse. We capped the opening segment by also talking about a new football league forming in 2016 that’s looking to bring yet another minor league team to Orlando next spring.
Then on Friday, while on assignment to cover a prep soccer game at West Orange High School in Winter Garden, I was nearly attacked by an angry Warriors dad in the press box. We finished the show talking about that wild encounter while giving props to the local high school state tournament teams and touching on the disturbing hype that surrounds National Signing Day on a yearly basis.
ORLANDO, Fla. – He’s done all that’s been asked of him yet Orlando Jones High School’s Withney Simon, the No. 2-rated linebacker in Central Florida, is unsure of his football future.
I caught up with Simon following the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl earlier this month at the Florida Citrus Bowl and asked him about his college options. He said that although he’s got the grades to qualify for football at the next level, he’s a bit surprised at how little interest he’s garnered from college programs.
The first version of the official College Football Playoff rankings rolled out Tuesday. There will be plenty of changes to that list throughout the remainder of the season and it’ll be fun to see how the committee weighs each team as it decides upon the four programs most deserving of playing for a national title. This week the top four teams according to the College Football Playoff consist of Mississippi State, Florida State, Auburn and Mississippi – in that order. Here’s how the Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings shape up this week:
#1 (1) Florida State (7-0) – Did not play
#2 (2) Mississippi State (7-0) – Won 45-31 at Kentucky
#3 (4) Oregon (7-1) – Won 59-41 at California
#4 (6) Auburn (6-1) – Won 42-35 vs South Carolina
#5 (3) Mississippi (7-1) – Lost 10-7 at No. 24 LSU
#6 (7) Alabama (7-1) – Won 34-20 at Tennessee
#7 (5) Notre Dame (6-1) – Did not play
#8 (9) TCU (6-1) – Won 82-27 vs Texas Tech
#9 (8) Michigan State (7-1) – Won 35-11 vs Michigan
#10 (10) Kansas State (6-1) – Won 23-0 vs Texas
There’s still plenty to be decided as we get closer to figuring out which four teams will be the last program’s standing to take part in the new college football playoff. Although nine of the 10 teams listed below are the same names tabbed in the top spots of the Associated Press Top 25, these rankings vary quite a bit. Here’s this week’s Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings:
#1 (1) Florida State (7-0) – Won 31-27 vs No. 5 Notre Dame
#2 (2) Mississippi State (6-0) – Did not play
#3 (3) Mississippi (7-0) – Won 34-3 vs Tennessee
#4 (6) Oregon (6-1) – Won 45-20 vs Washington
#5 (5) Notre Dame (6-1) – Lost 31-27 at No. 2 Florida State
#6 (7) Auburn (5-1) – Did not play
#7 (10) Alabama (6-1) – Won 59-0 vs No. 21 Texas A&M
#8 (9) Michigan State (6-1) – Won 56-17 at Indiana
#9 (8) TCU (5-1) – Won 42-9 vs No. 15 Oklahoma State
#10 (–) Kansas State (5-1) – Won 31-30 at No. 11 Oklahoma
The only running back worth a first round pick in the 1990 NFL Draft turned out to be Emmitt Smith. At No. 17 overall.
Blair Thomas (RB, New York Jets) 1990 Topps Traded rookie card – No. 34T
Despite being the second selection in the draft out of Penn State, by the New York Jets, Blair Thomas was outdone in the National Football League by nearly every contemporary picked after him. His pedestrian 2,236 yards rushing and seven touchdowns (533 carries) over six years trails a number of other moderately memorable guys, even some worth remembering. Terry Allen was taken by Minnesota in the 9th round before going on to rush for 8,614 yards and 73 TDs. Chris Warren, selected in the 4th round by Seattle, rushed for 7,696 yards and 52 TDs.
Maybe Thomas would’ve been better off with a different team. He entered the league at the same time as New York’s first-year head coach Bruce Coslet, who would last just as long with the Jets as Thomas did before going on to finish his NFL career with a worthless 47-77 record over nine years. It’s worth mentioning that Coslet never knew a season better than 8-8 while on the sideline with either the Jets or Cincinnati Bengals.
Thomas rushed for just 2,009 yards (468 carries) and five touchdowns for the Jets from 1990-93. He carried the ball at least 15 times in a game only eight times during that stretch and rushed for 100 yards or more just two times. Career highlights include 20 carries for 100 yards in a loss to the New England Patriots in his fourth career game, and then going for a career-high 125 yards on 27 carries against the Chicago Bears just four games into his second season.
Upsets! That’s what Week 3 of the college football season served up for fans this past Saturday. And they were the type of upsets that brought major changes to the Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings. Consider this a Top 10 dedicated to momentum each week based off level of upsets and voting by the Associated Press:
#1 (1) Florida State (2-0) – Did not play
#2 (2) Auburn (2-0) – Did not play
#3 (4) Texas A&M (3-0) – Won 38-10 vs Rice
#4 (3) Oregon (3-0) – Won 48-14 vs Wyoming
#5 (7) LSU (3-0) – Won 31-0 vs La.-Monroe
#6 (9) Oklahoma (3-0) – Won 34-10 vs Tennessee
#7 (10) Alabama (3-0) – Won 52-12 vs Southern Miss
#8 (–) South Carolina (2-1) – Won 38-35 vs No. 6 Georgia
#9 (–) East Carolina (2-1) – Won 28-21 at No. 17 Virginia Tech
#10 (–) Boston College (2-1) – Won 37-31 vs No. 9 USC
That brief moment of excitement I feel each year when preparing to watch the NFL Draft doesn’t linger for too long. I’m usually ready to channel surf or dip in and out of the room by the eighth pick. But this year I realized it’s all in the way you approach it.
I spent much of the draft last night in a recliner with a laptop, smartphone and remote control nearby. First thing I realized was that ESPN has been ruining this event for me for years. It wasn’t until I committed to the NFL Network’s broadcast that I no longer had the urge to throw my television through a wall due to the rabid jaw-flapping.
Then I got caught up in the information overload world of Twitter and Facebook, reading and responding to online posts about fan’s draft triumphs and despair, with plenty of doses of humor thrown in at each other’s expense.
For the second night in a row I found myself covering a high school postseason game that needed extra time to be decided.
West Orange High School scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning on Wednesday to come away with a 3-0 win over Boone in a Class 8A region semifinal, in what was an interesting pitching dual much of the way.
Tennessee commit Kelsey Morrison went 4-for-4 and struck out eight batters for West Orange. Lost in all of this excitement the superb night turned in by Boone’s Chase Cassady, who struck out 12 in the loss.