FROM THE CHEAP SEATS
The Buckeyes are falling early this year. Michigan State's three previous road games were losses to Oregon by 34, Michigan by 12, and Minnesota (!) by 1. The Bucks stopped here and their fans still have to gird themselves for the annual choke job against Michigan. This is the 30th anniversary of the last time they didn't blow a shot at the national championship. The 90's have been particularly painful for OSU, but I guess there's always next year.
Speaking of OSU, Oregon State gave UCLA all they could handle Saturday. UCLA may have a great offense, but their defense can't stop anybody. They bend, then they break, then they break some more. Then when the game is on the line, they try to get lucky. But unlike Ohio State, they still haven't been beaten and if Nebraska can take Kansas State or Arkansas beat Tennessee, all they'll have to do is keep winning, no matter how ugly.
Are the Falcons for real? Well, if it's the playoffs we're talking about, definitely. The big test is against the 49ers this Sunday. If they can beat the Niners and keep Chris Chandler healthy, they could end up in the Super Bowl. But those are two big ifs. For the record, I think they will beat San Francisco. The other is 9-5 against.
The Jets are starting to look as good as anyone this side of Denver. Is Vinny Testaverde repeating the success story of another Heisman QB, Jim Plunkett? Maligned as a bust, he's looked mighty sharp for the Jersey boys.
Randall Cunningham had arthroscopic surgery today. If he doesn't heal fast enough to play Sunday, the Vikings starting QB will be someone named Jay Fiedler, who apparently attended that hotbed of NFL quarterbacks, Dartmouth. Jay Fiedler of Dartmouth should be the name of Randall Cunningham's agent, not his backup.
I'll miss Skip Away. Not because he was such a great horse, there will be other great horses to take his place, but because his owners ran him everywhere, and didn't care about the weight handicappers put on him. When I was younger, great horses like Forego and John Henry regularly carried 130 or more pounds. Now, if a racing secretary puts 126 on a handicap horse, the owners are as likely to pull him from the race. Hats off to Sonny and Caroline Hines for setting a great example for the owners of other top horses.
The thoroughbred training performance of the decade was turned in by Michael Dickinson, whose horse Da Hoss scored a major upset in the Breeders Cup Mile. Da Hoss won the Mile in 1996, then didn't run for two years, ran in one cheap allowance race, then beat the best milers in the world for a second time. Truly amazing.
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