Friday, January 2, 2009

Rose Bowl Recap, Brian Fuentes

University of Southern California 38, Pennsylvania State University 24 (Rose Bowl)

USC has the best college team money can buy. And frankly, it's not even close. Thank god for Oregon State, because without that ugly loss to the Beavers, the Trojans would be playing for the BCS title and winning easily.

Basically, this game was determined when the Nittany Lions recovered a USC fumble deep in USC territory. But thanks to some idiot who lined up offside, it turned a fumble recovery into a first and five for the Trojans, who ended up scoring on that drive en route to 24 unanswered points in the second quarter. Fundamentals, kids, something Joe Paterno's teams are usually familiar with, were not on display this afternoon. Red zone turnovers are not the hallmark of a winning team, and Penn State managed to fumble away the football under 20 yards from the end zone. Whoops.

Overall, the real problem was the PSU defense which, for some reason, was giving 10-15 yard cushions to the SC receivers during the entire first half. This meant that receivers like Damien Williams would be standing wide open underneath the secondary well past the first down marker. This is not a good strategy. Comically, the second half belonged to Penn State. The Lions outscored the Trojans 17-7 in the second half, an impressive feat considering the miserly USC defense had allowed just three second half touchdowns all season. Throw away a disastrous second quarter and Paterno walks away a Rose Bowl winner.

But really, it's a joke regardless. USC pays their players , so what shot does any other team actually have?

Angels sign Brian Fuentes

A weird move, basically trading K-Rod for Fuentes in a roundabout way. Fuentes is better than Frankie, but he's also 33, and the Angels have no farm system to speak of anymore. This draft affords them several high picks in the early rounds, but if they sign another free agent, they're going to keep losing them.

But at least he's a good pitcher. He'll likely be closing, allowing Arredondo to work through an inevitable sophomore slump with less collateral damage to the team. And the contract is 2 years for 17 million, decidedly reasonable. No harm, no foul?


The Pats are missing the playoffs as an 11-5 team, only the second team to miss the playoffs with an 11 win season since the introduction of divisional play. It sucks, but they have nobody to blame but themselves. I hang the medal of shame on Jabbar Gaffney, whose dropped touchdown pass led to a loss against the Colts and ultimately the loss of the playoffs.

Matt Cassel deserves to be back next season as the teams franchise player, but it's a risky move to have so much payroll assigned to quarterbacks. We'll see.

Also, Brett Favre fucking sucks. If he knew how to play football, the Pats would have at least one game left on the schedule. But more importantly, if Favre had just stayed retired, he wouldn't have massacred his reputation and the Patriots' season. Go home, Brett. It's over.