Snack on this: Sports scene in September a real treat

September 04, 2006|By PETER SCHMUCK

September is the best sports month of the year.

You can look it up.

There's the start of the college football season (this past weekend) and the NFL regular season (next weekend) and the final push toward the playoffs for about 15 major league teams (present company excepted). You could probably make a case for April, with the baseball openers and the Final Four and the Masters, but somebody had to make a decision and you weren't here, so we're going with September.

Now that we've settled that, here are some observations after a weekend of intense power-watching and Dorito-eating that just might rank among the most impressive displays of sloth in the history of man:

Notre Dame is overrated. Everybody has anointed Brady Quinn as the next Heisman Trophy winner and Charlie Weis as the second coming of Knute Rockne, but I'm not buying it. Don't remember seeing Georgia Tech in the Top 25, but the Yellow Jackets sure looked like they could play with the Irish in Saturday's 14-10 loss at Tech.

Still, you've got to give the Irish credit for playing a team you've heard of on the first weekend of the college football season. Apparently, LSU has Louisiana-Lafayette booked through 2020.

I've been saying over the past few weeks that Southern California was way too high in the polls after losing almost every name player from last year's national championship runner-up. Might have to re-evaluate after an impressive road win at Arkansas on Saturday night.

USC quarterback John David Booty looked terrific in his first game after spending three years in the shadow of Matt Leinart. The ESPN graphics crew did a side-by-side with the final stats from Booty on Saturday and Leinart in his first college start against Auburn. No comparison.

Neither Maryland nor Navy was on local TV on Saturday, but I thought both the Terps and the Midshipman sounded pretty good in their opening victories.

If you're going to be the Texas Longhorns quarterback who follows Vince Young, it's probably a pretty good idea to have a name like Colt McCoy.

The best college football game of the opening weekend is yet to come. No. 11 Florida State faces No. 12 Miami tonight in the first great rivalry game of the year, proving that at least two college football coaches - Bobby Bowden and Larry Coker - have the guts to put their national title hopes on the line right out of the chute.

Barry Bonds appears to be waking up for the stretch run. If he hits seven or eight home runs in September, he could play the 2007 season on crutches and still break Hank Aaron's all-time home run record. Gulp.

Here's a thought: The Orioles are looking for somebody to play first base and DH next year?

Tony Romo completed 30 passes in the Dallas Cowboys' 10-10 preseason tie with the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night, but Terrell Owens caught just one pass for 6 yards in his exhibition debut. Trust me, this is going to get good.

The gold-medal game of the FIBA World Championship between Greece and Spain aired on ESPN2 at 6:30 a.m. yesterday. Apparently, my alarm clock didn't go off again.

You can't come back to earth any faster than the ninth-ranked California Bears, who had visions of a national championship run until they ran into 23rd-ranked Tennessee yesterday. The Volunteers rolled up 35 points before the Bears even sniffed the end zone and were playing reserves while Cal scored 18 meaningless points down the stretch.

Just want to take this opportunity to thank the Orioles' bullpen for letting Frank Thomas go out in style. I didn't even know the guy was still alive. peter.schmuck@baltsun.com.

The Peter Schmuck Show airs on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon on Saturdays.

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