We are starting a fantasy Pro Wrestling 16 man Tournament. This tournament will be decided by you, cause the fans like to be involved, should be involved and … well we need some way to determine a winner.

Taker vs Punk

We have picked 16 men (mostly from WWE, it is what it is) and placed them from 1 – 16 rankings. These rankings have decided the order of the tournament and for your viewing pleasure we will introduce to you the 1st round matchups:

1.) Hulk Hogan vs 16.) The Ultimate Warrior

8.) Triple H vs 9.) Ted Dibiase

5.) The Rock vs 12.) Brock Lesnar

4.) Shawn Michaels vs 13.) Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig

6.) Bret hart vs 11.) Sting

3.) The Undertaker vs 14.) CM Punk

7.) Macho Man Randy Savage vs 10.) Andre the Giant

2.) Stone Cold Steve Austin vs 15.) Rowdy Roddy Piper

 

You can vote via our facebook page That Other Sports Show or our Twitter account @sporty_nutz

we hope you enjoy and remember VOTE,VOTE, VOTE! [Voting will end on the Sunday of every week]

Every week I’ll be bringing you my thoughts from the Grid Iron, and recapping some of the biggest games of the weekend. With that said, it’s time to look at last weeks action.

1. The Leagues Last Unbeaten Suffers Their Second Straight Loss

 It wasn’t too long ago the Kansas City Chiefs were atop the league standings looking down on everyone at 9-0. In week 11 the Chiefs suffered their first loss to the Denver Broncos, and this weekend the Chiefs lost a heartbreaker at home against the Chargers. Alex Smith and the Chiefs marched down the field late in the fourth, when Smith found Receiver Dwayne Bowe in the end zone to pull ahead by four. With only 1:22 seconds on the clock, and 78 yards to go things looked bleak for the Chargers. It became an even bigger task when Quarterback Phillip Rivers started the drive off 0-2. A couple of straight completions, and a Pass Interference call against Eric Berry later, the Chargers were within striking distance.  But then the unthinkable happened, and the aforementioned Eric Berry got into the backfield and brought Rivers down for a sack. San Diego quickly took their last timeout, and regrouped. The result was Rivers finding WR Seyi Ajirotutu (yes this is the same Seyi Ajirotutu that has 20 career receptions in four years) for a 26 yard touchdown, and the game winner with around 30 seconds remaining.

 It wasn’t just another bad loss for the Chiefs though. During their nine game streak to start the season the Chiefs Defense failed held all opponents to 17 points or less, including two games with just a touchdown given up, and one that was a Defensive shutout (the punt team surrendered a safety). However in their two losses, the Chiefs have allowed opponents to score 27 and 41 points. While I don’t quite think the Chiefs Defense has been exposed, I do think we’re beginning to see just how weak the competition was for the Chiefs through week 11. The Chiefs had played just two teams who currently have winning records during their league best nine game winning streak to start the season. With games against Denver and San Diego still remaining, as well as matchups against a great Washington Offense, and a hot and cold Colts team, expect to see the Chiefs drop a couple more games. Another concern is Linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston are both banged up and could possibly miss some time.

2. A Tale of Two Halves

Brady vs manning 2

Another team in the AFC West had a tough pill to swallow on Sunday night. The Denver Broncos looked to be cruising in Foxboro, when they entered the locker room at halftime up 24-0. But as I’ve said a couple of times the last few weeks, this game of football is a funny thing. After looking dead in the water (including not being able to do simple things like secure a football) during the first thirty minutes, the Patriots started clicking after the break. Tom Brady was on fire, completing seven straight passes on the Patriots touchdown drive to open the half. The Patriots then forced their own turnover, and marched straight down the field again to cut the lead to deficit to 10. The Pats Defense continued to put the clamps on the Broncos, forcing them to punt or turn the ball over on their next three series. Another three scoring drives put the Patriots up by seven in the fourth quarter, and what looked like an embarrassing home loss at Gillette, was becoming an even more embarrassing collapse on the road for the Broncos.

 But this is the Sheriff Peyton Manning we’re talking about. The Broncos responded driving down the field, and getting the tying score with about three minutes remaining. The game would slow down a bit after that, and the teams would head to overtime deadlocked at 31. Both sides would have promising looking drives turn into punts, including a drive that got Denver to the New England 42. With less than three minutes in overtime this game appeared to be heading towards infamous tie territory. New England was punting, and Denver would have one last chance with about three minutes to drive down the field. But then the unthinkable happened. Tony Carter ignored the poison punt call, and made contact with the ball, resulting in a New England recovery. Two plays later, Kicker Stephen Gostkowski put the game on ice with a 31 yard field goal in icy Foxboro. For the Patriots, the win is a great rebound from a hard fought loss against the Panthers on Monday Night Football, and for the Broncos it’s just another disappointing game against the Patriots by a Peyton Manning led team.

3. The Panthers Keep Rolling

 The league’s hottest team went down to sunny South Beach this weekend, in what many were calling a potential letdown game, and early it certainly looked like they were right. A questionable helmet to Cam Newton’s chin left the star Quarterback dazed for most of the first half, and the Panthers Offense looked like a unit that spent too much time enjoying the South Beach scenery on Saturday. At one point, the dependable Graham Gano missed a field goal when he kicked the ball into the back of Guard Travelle Wharton. The Panthers defense also looked sluggish, surrendering 16 first half points to the Dolphins, including letting Mike Wallace get them on a deep route.

 But much like the game in Foxboro, the game in Miami was also a tale of two halves. The Panthers offense found their mojo, and marched down the field on a 14 play, 83 yard drive that ate up seven minutes of time on the clock. The drive included a fourth and one conversion from the Carolina 41, and resulted in a five yard Cam Newton keeper for the score to pull the Panthers to within three. In the fourth quarter the Dolphins missed a 53 yard field goal, but the Panthers couldn’t capitalize. The Panthers Defense would force one more punt, and Cam Newton would get a chance to steal a win down three with a little over four minutes remaining. It wouldn’t be easy for Newton and the Panthers as they had to convert on fourth and 10 from their own 20 with under three minutes to go. Newton would find Steve Smith for 19 yards to move the chains and keep the drive alive. Newton looked like a savvy veteran when he perhaps sold a late hit out of bounds, after scrambling for a first down on third and eight. Four plays later, Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula and Newton would fool the defense with play action on the goal line, and found his Tight End Greg Olsen uncovered in the back of the end zone. The win is the Panthers seventh straight, and they will look for number eight at home against the Buccaneers before heading to New Orleans for a Sunday night matchup against the Saints.

Final Thoughts

 Be careful what you wish for… This is something that Oregon players learned all too well this weekend. During the week leading up to their game against Arizona, the Ducks players were saying they were “tired” of playing in the Rose Bowl, and wanted “a new challenge”. Well, a funny thing happened to the Ducks on Saturday. They lost. Not only did they lose, they lost in embarrassing fashion, to a team they were favored by over 20 against. Arizona Running Back Ka’Deem Carey potentially entered the Heisman talk as he steamrolled the Ducks with 48 carries and four touchdowns. Lucky for the Ducks they didn’t want the Grandaddy of Them All, because now they’ll surely be on the outside looking in.

 I’ll keep this short and sweet. I find it hard to believe that after the Donovan McNabb fiasco of several years ago teams still don’t know the NFL overtime rules, but apparently it’s true. Late in their overtime tie against the Vikings Sunday, Packers players were said to be “unaware” that the game would end in a tie. I have no words….no really, I’m done.

Overtime

[Article written by contributor Daniel Guy, Follow Daniel on Twitter @danny_g13]

GSP Champion   Georges St. Pierre is now 25-2 overall, 20-2 inside the famed UFC Octagon. He has helped make his opponents money, Zuffa money and lets not forget that he isn’t struggling in the financial department himself. His career was thought to have been defined then redefined all over again but now we see the UFC Welterweight Champion at another impasse, that moment in time when the most difficult questions of St. Pierre’s career must and will be answered.

GSP has never shied away from competition, having only fought the best since his pre Zuffa days and only to find his road from Montreal, Quebec, Canada to a UFC Championship only that much tougher. From his wars with Matt Hughes and BJ Penn to his newest challenges which have included the likes of Carlos Condit, Nick Diaz, Jake Shields and most recently; Johny Hendricks, St. Pierre has carried with him the weight of not thinking he was the best but continuously trying to get to that point.

There has been mentions of “Going to a dark place” and being very “Cutoff from the world” GSP has never seemed to have time to do anything for himself. Seemingly forgoing personal relationships for business relationships, being the ULTIMATE COMPANY MAN any company has ever seen. We have never seen St. Pierre with a real bad word for opponents, he adores his fans heck he adores the UFC, and rightfully so. But to keep pace with the “Karate” lifestyle you need a little yin with your yang and if not things get out of balance, out of whack, things become lopsided in one way or the other and this is that turning point Georges St. Pierre the man not the fighter, needs to make some heavy decisions.

In the Main event (once again) St. Pierre was set to defend his title as he had done 8 previous times before against a very dangerous puncher in Johny Hendricks. Before the fight St. Pierre had again had some strange admissions before the fight, speaking of an obsession to defeat Hendricks, trouble sleeping, anxieties. Again, St. Pierre has not shown any mental breakage inside the Octagon but folks we are all human and have our breaking points when we sacrifice so much for everyone else but ourselves, especially in the way that he has sacrificed his mind, body ad soul for the sake of MMA as well as his employers, ZUFFA/UFC.

I won’t get into whos, whats, whys and hows because the fight ended with St. Pierre’s hand raised and the strap wrapped around his waist yet again, so that’s that in my mind.  The stuff that happened afterwards however was some of the most unsettling words ever to be echoed in a LIVE interview.

St. Pierre practically declared retirement, stating that “personal issues” are the cause, (Joe) Rogan asked him several times if this was the end, if he was retiring and although an answer set in stone was not given it was quite apparent that this man has had enough and wants out, even if just  “for a little bit”.

It is evident (especially on his face) that his last three fights have been the toughest of his career and fights that he has taken some of the worst damage of in his career. He repeated (probably due to concussion) that he was hit a lot ad lost memory of earlier moments in the fight against Hendricks ~ just to keep you up to date, losing memory is never a good thing. He has taken on every challenger the UFC has thrown his way, he is now the winningest UFC Champion ever and by far the classiest.

After the fight and his strange bow-out inside the Octagon there were reports from several sources that the Fertitta’s and Dana White had gone to the locker room of St. Pierre, to congratulate, to check up on and to order an immediate rematch and an explanation for his strange interview …. WHAT??

Georges St. Pierre was not being told how great of a Champion he has been for their company, he wasn’t being told how brave he was to continue in his most current fight under such overwhelminly physical odds, he was being told that retirement is not an option. The most winningest Welterweight Champion the UFC has ever produced was being scolded like a child, punished for wanting time to his self and his friends and his family. Georges St. Pierre was being treated like a dog who had gotten off the leash and forced back into the kennel.

I have never been a Dana White “fan”, he is a great fight minded man, business manager and so on without a doubt, but after his actions that night, Humanitarian can be taken off his resume. Many people were up in arms over the fight itself and it’s outcome but the ones who were upset over the actions of the UFC management in the wake of their Champions decision to take some time off were ones correct in their thought process. St. Pierre is a human being who has never thought of himself, always put company first whether it was a photo shoot or an interview or a fight. St. Pierre is a class human being who works for dog fighters who get paid for his blood, please lets not forget that this is not a business … yes, yes rules are in place for safety, measures are taken in order to keep chaos from spilling out but these men and women for the most part are fighting LITERALLY for their jobs unlike the rest of us who simply go in and punch a time card.

I know, GSP isn’t in the “poor class” of Mixed Martial Artists, he is most certainly an upper class kind of athlete but he still deserves his time away in the same regards to enjoy his rewards from his life’s hard works. He deserves the proper recognition for his accomplishments and for everything that HE, HIMSELF has brought to the UFC.

In my view if a man wants to walk away from anything, they will and more importantly they can. They may leave in the wake of their decision hurt feelings, angriness or bitterness but they can and are allowed to walk away whenever they feel (Contracts are for lawyers to figure out and deal with) We are free men and women from within a free world, some decisions, repercussions will last longer than others but in this case a man’s sanity (claims of alien abductions and sleepless nights) are on the line. You could see the emotions on his face were real, St. Pierre was almost embarrassed to even mention them, he tried to walk away, quietly, like the great man he is … I hope he does. I greatly hope Georges St. Pierre leaves “RUSH” behind, leaves “GSP” behind even if only for the “Little While” he spoke so candidly about, and gets back to humanity, gets back to his real roots, gets back to where home really is.

Good Luck Georges St. Pierre, Born in  Saint-Isidore, Montérégie, Quebec, Canada, born again inside an arena in front of thousands. Don’t let that same arena become your grave.

[Article written by Jesse Thomas, owner and Host of That Other Sports Show, follow Jesse on Twitter via @JTT81]

 

Every week I’ll be bringing you my thoughts from the Grid Iron, and recapping some of the biggest games of the weekend. With that said, it’s time to look at last weeks action.

 1. Oregon gets a second chance

This time last week, the Ducks weren’t in a good place. They had been physically dominated by Stanford, suffered their first loss of the season, and saw their National Title hopes disappear. But this game of football is a strange…..strange thing. You see, despite the fact that Stanford looked poised to run the table and at worst play for a trip to the Rose Bowl in a few weeks, you never can predict this game. Saturday night Stanford traveled to the usually somewhat friendly confines of the L.A. Coliseum to face off against the USC Trojans. But that’s the thing. This wasn’t just a regular game for the Trojans, Interim Head Coach Ed Orgeron, or the fans at the Coliseum. Sure Stanford had beaten USC four straight years, including three of the most agonizing losses in the post Pete Carroll era. Sure the Trojans don’t have much to play for other than pride right now, and yes USC isn’t supposed to compete with a team like Stanford with the scholarship reductions they’re dealing with. But Saturday night was special for the Trojan faithful. Right from the kickoff it was obvious something was different. The crowd was deafening to the point that Stanford was forced to use two timeouts in less than two minutes. The Trojans defense looked was physical, flying around and swarming to ball carriers.

Much like Oregon, USC found it difficult to run the football, but Cody Kessler responded completing 25 passes for 288 yards and a touchdown. Modest numbers for sure, but sometimes modest is enough. The Trojans would find a hero in the most unlikely of places as weekly scapegoat Andre Heidari sent a 47 yard field goal right between the pipes to start the celebrating. The partying wasn’t just in L.A. though. Further North in Eugene, the celebrations also began…

The Trojans’ win puts the Ducks back in control of their own destiny, and on course to potentially represent the Pac-12 in the Rose Bowl.

2. The NFC Race Might Be Over Already

Another team in the Pacific Northwest had a good football weekend. Out in Seattle, the Seahawks hosted the Vikings. Not surprisingly, the Hawks won going away, and took another step closer to sealing home field advantage throughout the playoffs. That is something every single team in the NFC should be concerned about. It’s not just that Seattle has a very good, and suddenly very balanced team. It’s more than the dreary Seattle weather at times lulling teams to sleep, or the Legion of Boom that strike fear in most opposing Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers. It’s more than the 12th man, their energetic coach that the team feeds off of or the jet lag from a cross country trip. It’s all these things mentioned and more. The Seahawks are as close to unbeatable at home as you’re going to get in the NFL (they have a 5-0 record to prove it). The scarier part of the 5-0 record is the 17 point average margin of victory that the Hawks have at home.

percy-harvin

In case the numbers alone weren’t enough to suggest Seattle clinching home field advantage is a very bad thing, the Hawks have a secret weapon. His name? Percy Harvin. Seattle’s biggest move in the offseason was to give young QB Russell Wilson an explosive weapon in the passing game. Carroll and the Seattle staff paid a large price, but acquired a player they believe can get them a Lombardi in the jack of all trades Harvin. But for Harvin and the Seahawks, the change of scenery to Seattle hit a speed bump. Harvin suffered a significant hip injury during the offseason and was forced to have surgery sidelining him for much of the season. Sunday, Harvin made his debut, and looked as explosive as ever. He made an acrobatic catch where he tapped the ball to himself and then gathered it falling to the ground. Not content to settle for just one highlight, Harvin had a 58 yard punt return that reminded everyone just how special the former Florida Gator standout can be. All of a sudden we’re seeing the team that Carroll envisioned in the offseason, and we’re seeing just how good it can be. A home game against New Orleans could be the last remaining hurdle to clinch home field advantage. If they do….look out.

3. The Playoff Race Is Shaping Up
As it does most years around the middle of November, the NFL playoff scenarios are starting to unfold. In the AFC the Broncos and Chiefs both seem like locks for the playoffs, and possible favorites for the Super Bowl. You have the teams that may not be as strong, but are almost locks for the playoffs because of their divisions. This is a group of three teams in New England, Indianapolis and Cincinnati. Things get a little murky with that last Wildcard spot where you have eight teams still in contention with a 5-5 or 4-6 record. Looking at the remaining schedules, the Jets or the Dolphins seem the most likely to grab that last spot, but it’s almost assured the first five are in.

Over in the NFC there’s one team standing out. The aforementioned Seattle Seahawks are in the driver’s seat in the conference, and have a chance to put a stranglehold on it this Sunday when they host the Saints. Speaking of those Saints, they have the second best record in the conference at 8-2, but with two games still remaining against the surging 7-3 Panthers anything could happen in the South. The list of teams that are effectively out of the playoff list is a little larger in the NFC. Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Minnesota, Washington and St Louis and New York all are realistically out of the playoff picture. The race for the NFC North and the NFC Least is a little cluttered. Three teams are within a game of first place in the North, but with injuries to Jay Cutler and Aaron Rogers the Lions look to be the favorites. Over in the East, the Eagles and Cowboys are the “class” of one of the weakest divisions in football.

Which brings me to the Wildcard situation. Much like the AFC, there’s a number of teams competing for the two spots. The Panthers hold a slim lead on the other Wildcard contenders, but will need to continue to win to guarantee their spot. Luckily for the Panthers they have a relatively favorable schedule with four of their six remaining games coming against teams that are .500 or worse. I would be pretty surprised if the Panthers (who are known to get better down the stretch in the Rivera era) fell apart and missed the playoffs completely. Factoring in QB injuries in the North, San Francisco, Arizona, and the runner up in the East seem to be the favorites for the second spot. Of those four teams, San Francisco is the best of the bunch, and with a pretty favorable schedule down the stretch I would be surprised if they were on the outside looking in when January rolls around.

Eugene Buffalo Wild Wings watching USC Kick vs Stanford 11/16/2013

[The Week in Football written by contributor Daniel Guy, Follow Daniel on Twitter via @Danny_G13]

Bellator 108  Bellator 108 in Atlantic City brings a Heavyweight Title fight, Tournament Finals and Featured Bouts.

—MAIN CARD—

Quinton Jackson vs. Joey Beltran

-Both fighters have the stand and brawl mentality and this would make for a good fight if at a different point in both fighters careers. If Jackson should decide to take the fight to the ground, he might have the advantage there, however; this fight will most-likely end standing.
PREDICTION: Jackson def. Beltran via TKO

Alexander Volkov vs. Vitaly Minakov

-A bout for the Heavyweight Title between two Russian countryman (which should be the main event!) should make for an exciting scrap! Minakov is simply a finisher and has a solid chance if he could overcome Volkov’s massive reach advantage and striking skills. I just don’t see Minakov being able to do so this time.
PREDICTION: Volkov def. Minakov via TKO

Patricio Freire vs. Justin Wilcox

-The final in the Featherweight Tournament will probably be a one-sided event. Freire ran through the tournament and is basically a better all around fighter with a huge striking advantage.
PREDICTION: Freire def. Wilcox via KO

Marcos Galvao vs. Tom McKenna

-While being called a “Bantamweight Feature Fight”, it seems to be a somewhat poor job in matchmaking. Galvao will most-likely be able to expose McKenna’s weakness to leg kicks and his average striking ability.
PREDICTION: Galvao def. McKenna via TKO

—PRELIMINARY CARD—

Nah-Shon Burrell vs. Jesus Martinez

-Burrell’s boxing should expose Martinez’s susceptibility to the KO.
PREDICTION: Burrell def. Martinez via KO

Will Martinez vs. Kevin Roddy

-If Martinez can avoid the ground and submissions, he should have the advantage striking and be able to catch Roddy.
PREDICTION: Martinez def. Roddy via KO

Chip Moraza-Pollard vs. Sam Oropeza

-Oropeza should be able to get the fight to the ground and have the advantage.
PREDICTION: Oropeza def. Pollard via SUBMISSION

Tom Deblass vs. Jason Lambert

-Two UFC veterans who seem very well matched an should be a close fight.
PREDICTION: Lambert def. Deblass via DECISION

Liam McGeary vs. Najim Wali

-McGeary has been on a rampage as of late and will enjoy a huge size advantage against Wali who makes his pro debut.
PREDICTION: McGeary def. Wali via TKO

Sergio da Silva vs. Rob Sullivan

-While da Silva is moving up a weight class, his experience should still play the difference.
PREDICTION: da Silva def. Sullivan via DECISION

Ryan Cafaro vs. Dan Matala

-Both fighters making their pro debut look as if Cafaro is a little more well-rounded.
PREDICTION: Cafaro def. Matala via DECISION

Kenny Foster vs. Anthony Morrison

-Veteran vs. Veteran should have Morrison with the advantage due to his ground and pound ability.
PREDICTION: Morrison def. Foster via DECISION

[Previews and Predictions for Bellator 108 done by contributor; Mike Smith. You can follow Mike on Facebook as well as on Twitter @OutLawInkd]

 

 

 

UFC 167  As the 20 year anniversary of the UFC is amongst us, we prepare for one of the most stacked cards in UFC history. With titles on the line, friends vs friends, revitalized careers and fighters fighting for their jobs and countries. This should make for an epic event!

—MAIN CARD—

Georges St. Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks

-Hendricks could be St. Pierre’s toughest test yet and has a whole lot more than a “punchers chance”, but will have a hard time overcoming St. Pierre’s tactical game plan and pace.
PREDICTION: St. Pierre def. Hendricks via DECISION

Rashad Evans vs. Chael Sonnen

-This fight could go either way! Sonnen who seems to be somewhat revitalized should be able to take the fight to Evans and put him on his back. Sonnen should be able to overcome the distractions surrounding him, but will probably not have the desire to finish the fight against his friend.
PREDICTION: Sonnen def. Evans via DECISION

Rory MacDonald vs. Robbie Lawler

-Lawler will most-likely be searching for the KO through this whole fight, which should play right into MacDonald’s tactical “GSP like” style.
PREDICTION: MacDonald def. Lawler via DECISION

Tyron Woodley vs. Josh Koscheck

-Woodley is a up and coming powerhouse in the welterweight division and Koscheck seems to be closing out his career. Koscheck’s chin will be tested in this fight.
PREDICTION: Woodley def. Koscheck via TKO

—PRELIMINARY CARD—

Donald Cerrone vs. Evan Dunham

-Cerrone, who can be somewhat inconsistent should be the more active of the two fighters and have the ability to either shut down or avoid Dunhams ground game.
PREDICTION: Cerrone def. Dunham via DECISION

Ed Herman vs. Thales Leites

-Leites is very similar to the guys Herman has recently lost to and might even have a higher skill set.
PREDICTION: Leites def. Herman via SUBMISSION

Brian Ebersole vs. Rick Story

-A wrestler vs wrestler match-up usually results in a striking match where Story should have the edge in technique and power.
PREDICTION: Story def. Ebersole via TKO

Erik Perez vs. Edwin Figueroa

-Both in need of a win and Figueroa could be fighting for his job. Perez most-likely will out work Figueroa standing and on the ground with his high level game plan.
PREDICTION: Perez def. Figueroa via DECISION

Jason High vs. Anthony Lapsley

-Lapsley is a high level wrestler, but should have a hard time with High’s counter wrestling an submissions ability.
PREDICTION: High def. Lapsley via SUBMISSION

Sergio Pettis vs. Will Campuzano

-Campuzano has a granite chin and is a seasoned competitor, but Pettis will most-likely overwhelm Campuzano with his explosive striking and pace.
PREDICTION: Pettis def. Campuzano via DECISION

Cody Donovan vs. Gian Villante

-Both coming off losses to Ovince St.Preux, however; Donovan lost by KO and has lost KO a few more previous times. Villante’s striking should be too much for Donovan.
PREDICTION: Villante def. Donovan via KO

[Preview and Predictions for UFC 167 by contributor; Mike Smith. Mike is the creator and CEO of SharpNux Apparel and certified MMA Referee. Follow Mike on Facebook as well as Twitter @outlawinkd]

Stanford  1. The National Championship Picture Is Becoming Clearer.

Entering the week of action everyone was asking whether or not Florida State should have jumped Oregon, and if Oregon would jump back over them. Another thing people were asking was which deserving team would be left out. After Thursday night, the Stanford Cardinal helped with answers to both of those questions. The Cardinal hosted the undefeated Oregon Ducks, in a game that Oregon had a little extra incentive to win.

Last year, it was the same Stanford Cardinal that ended Oregon’s National title hopes. Too be fair, Oregon’s Heisman hopeful Quarterback Marcus Mariota was playing on one wheel with a sprained MCL. The Sophomore QB was bothered by the injury all night, to the point that after a fumble he couldn’t even move to attempt to recover the ball. Still, the Cardinal have to be commended for their 2012 game plan that saw them wear down Oregon all night in the trenches. The physical Stanford team beat Oregon into submission, and during the fourth quarter led 26-0. Despite the lead, Mariota and the Ducks made a game of it. The Ducks scored 20 unanswered points and came within an onside kick of making things even more interesting. But in the end the Cardinal were able to do just enough, and end the Ducks title hopes (for now at least) 26-20.

2. Tide Keep Rolling Toward Their Third Straight Title Game

In the nightcap on Saturday, another team in the title hunt was featured. The top ranked Alabama Crimson Tide hosted the LSU Tigers. In a game that has had huge title implications for three straight years; the Tide entered a sizable favorite and showed why. After a tight first half that saw Alabama leading by three, the Tide poured it on the rest of the way. LSU drove down the field on their first drive of the third quarter and tied it up with a field goal. From then on though it was Alabama who showed the nation why they’re number one in the rankings.

The Alabama offense led by Tailback TJ Yeldon, and Quarterback A.J. McCarron, scored 21 unanswered points. The Tide defense did their part as well, forcing LSU to punt or turn the ball over on downs on their final three drives. One thing is clear after Saturday. There’s Florida State, Alabama and everyone else. No disrespect to Ohio State, or a Baylor team that I personally love, but it’s becoming “crystal” clear. This has looked like a two horse race for a while, and taking a glance at both teams’ schedules only reinforces that. The more interesting battle at this point may be between Ohio State, Baylor and a surging Stanford team for the bronze.

3. Remember When I Said The Carolina Panthers Were For Real…

I meant it. Not only did I mean it, but the Panthers backed it up on Sunday against the 49ers. All week long I heard the same two things over and over again. The Panthers haven’t played anyone, and the 49ers would expose them. Well, now they have played someone, and the last time I checked the scoreboard Sunday night they weren’t exposed. Excuse me if I’m sounding a little arrogant or maybe even a bit bitter but this has been festering for a month for me. To put it simply, teams that blowout other teams (no matter the quality of the opponent) are good teams. But enough of that, on to the actual game. The Panthers entered Candlestick Park on Sunday looking for respect, and respect is what they got.

The Panthers offense looked nervous early, but late in the second half finally started to settle down. At the same time, the Panthers defense out played, out hit, and out schemed the 49ers defense all day, to the point that Head Coach Jim Harbaugh had to settle for a field goal after a first and goal from inside the 10 yard line. The Panthers performance on defense was so dominant, that outside of their first drive of their first drive of 46 yards the 49ers didn’t have a drive of longer than 17 yards all day. The 49ers converted three field goals, and were leading 9-0 late in the second quarter, but then Cam Newton and the offense found their groove. The Panthers put together an 80 yard drive against one of the NFL’s best defenses, and Running Back DeAngelo Williams found pay dirt from 27 yards out to pull the Cats to within two at the half. In the second half the Panthers defense continued to clamp down, holding the 49ers scoreless through the two quarters. While the Panthers offense had its own problems, they managed to make the plays necessary in the fourth quarter to kick an eventual game winning field goal. Up next for the newly respected Panthers is a Monday night date with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. The Panthers will be looking for their sixth straight win against the Patriots who are coming off the bye week.

4. There’s No Dominant Team in the NFL   Detroit

Sometimes you have one, sometimes you don’t. This is one of those don’t years. There’s a lot of good teams, maybe even a few great teams. But that one team that stands above all the rest as the clear favorite for the Lombardi? It doesn’t exist, at least not yet. Let’s start with the Seahawks, everyone’s trendy pick to make it to the Super Bowl this year. They’re probably the most complete team. They have a dominant defense, with perhaps the most feared secondary in the league and a pass rush that can get to the Quarterback in a hurry. A great running game featuring one of the toughest runners in the game, and just when you thought they were done their offense is about to become just a bit more explosive with the return of Percy Harvin. Still, they have a somewhat patchwork Offensive Line, and the team has won in spite of QB Russell Wilson at times this year. Then we have Denver, who has the best QB in the game, a plethora of pass catchers, and a great run defense. But on the other hand they’re average running the football, and dreadful defending the pass. Kansas City, the only undefeated team in the league is completing just 59% of their passing attempts, and has the third lowest yards per pass attempt at 6.1. Finally, the Saints are a team that looks great on paper and in statistics, but away from the Superdome appear pedestrian at best in occasions. One thing is for sure, no matter who wins the Lombardi this year they will have warts.

Final Thoughts

Both the Jaguars and Buccaneers are in the win column! Okay, so maybe the parades should be held off for a while, but it’s always feels good to get your first win. As a Panthers fan I’ve gone through watching losses for several weeks to start the season and it doesn’t feel good. While both of these teams are still pretty bad, it feels good to know you won’t match the infamous 2008 Detroit Lions.

Every week I’ll be bringing you my thoughts from the Grid Iron, and recapping some of the biggest games of the weekend. With that said, it’s time to look at last week’s action

[The Week in Football written by contributor Daniel Guy, Follow Daniel on Twitter via @Danny_G13]