Ravens deserve higher ranking from ESPN

Terps don't have much of a chance against Paul Johnson's Georgia Tech team

October 07, 2011|Peter Schmuck

News item: The Ravens have soundly beaten both teams from last year's AFC title game and appear to have the scariest defense in the league, but somehow are only fifth in this week's ESPN power rankings.

My take: You could throw the first four teams after the No. 1 Packers in a hat, but the Ravens have been more dominant than the No. 3 Patriots and certainly deserve to be ranked ahead of the Detroit Lions until they play a few more good teams.

Related News item: The Ravens got one of the earliest byes this year and will be off this weekend after Sunday night's uplifting victory over the New York Jets.

My advice: Root for the Jets to knock off the Patriots and give the Ravens another leg up in the AFC battle for home-field advantage during the postseason.

Bonus take: Yes, it's too early to think about the playoffs, but there's nothing else to do this weekend.

News item: Paul Johnson's 5-0 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are favored by two touchdowns in Saturday's matchup against Maryland at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

My take: Would love to be wrong here, but I think the oddsmakers are giving the Terps too much credit.

News item: To fill the news vacuum while the Orioles spent the past 10 days trying to figure out their future front office hierarchy, speculation bubbled up that newly unemployed Terry Francona might be a fit to manage the Orioles if Buck Showalter moved into the front office.

My take: I don't see Showalter leaving the dugout, but even if he did, Francona would be a stretch for a number of reasons — not the least of which is the difficulty of imagining him accepting a job that would take him back to Fenway Park three times next year with an inferior team.

News item: Hank Williams Jr. and ESPN have parted ways after the guy who provided the popular musical introduction to Monday Night Football for more than a decade made an incendiary reference connecting Adolf Hitler and president Barack Obama on "Fox and Friends."

My take: Don't see where the network or the NFL had any other choice. Both entities are far too successful to allow themselves to be associated with such a divisive comment, even if Williams insists that is was "misunderstood."

Bonus take: I guess every generation needs to have its "Jimmy the Greek" moment to remind everyone how a television camera works.

News item: Navy captain Alexander Teich has been suspended for Saturday's game against Southern Mississippi at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium for conduct following last week's loss to Air Force that head coach Ken Niumatalolo deemed detrimental to the team.

My take: Teich is a major player in the Navy offense, so it couldn't have been an easy decision for his coach after back-to-back losses, but you have to give Niumatalolo credit for making it clear that no one is bigger than the team — especially at the Naval Academy.

News item: The Chicago White Sox have filled their managerial vacancy with long-time third baseman Robin Ventura.

My take: Considering all the Terry Francona rumors and Ventura's lack of experience, the announcement was quite a surprise, but I think he'll do just fine if he takes a "My way or the Ventura Highway" approach in the clubhouse.

Bonus take: Oh, and he should probably avoid making eye contact with Nolan Ryan when the White Sox open the 2012 season against the Rangers.

News item: The St. Louis Cardinals have put out traps at Busch Stadium to rid the field of the "rally squirrel" which ran onto the field during both NLDS games in St. Louis. Club officials say the squirrel must be relocated for public safety reasons.

My take: That's probably true, but the karmic repercussions could be significant.

News item: Ravens tackle Haloti Ngata was fined $15,000 by the NFL for driving his helmet into the back of Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez.

My take: He can afford it.

News item: NBA commissioner David Stern announced that the first two weeks of the regular season will be canceled if the owners and players don't reach a new collective bargaining agreement by Monday.

My take: Is that a promise or a threat?

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

Listen to Peter Schmuck when he hosts "The Week in Review" Fridays on WBAL (1090 AM) and wbal.com.

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