A showdown for the ages

Kenny Roda from WKNR SportsTalk 850 will be writing a weekly blog on Cleveland Scores covering the sports world both locally and nationally. Check back often for his updates!

Well it’s finally here. They both did what everyone was hoping they’d do by running the table.

Go undefeated to set up arguably the greatest game in the history of the greatest rivalry in college football. Ohio State (11-0), ranked #1 in all the polls, versus 11-0 Michigan, ranked #2 in all the polls. Playing for an outright Big Ten championship and for the right to play in Glendale, Arizona on January 8th, 2007 for the BCS National Championship! And it’s at “The Shoe” in Columbus, Ohio………..WOW!

I don’t know about you but it doesn’t get much better than this. Well unless of course it’s a close game and one team wins by one point on a last second field goal and the Buckeyes and Wolverines end up #1 & #2 in the BCS Standings and they’d play again on January 8th!

That would be NIRVANA! Beating Michigan twice in the same year, once for the Big Ten title and then again for the national title. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here. Lets just enjoy this week. It’s OHIO STATE/MICHIGAN Week!

Please send me every Michigan joke you have. Remind me time and time again that
Jim Tressel is 4-1 versus the Wolverines. Play Hang On Sloopy over and over in the car, at home, at the office or wherever. Tell the story of why Woody Hayes went for 2 points near the end of an Ohio State blowout of Michigan, because as Woody would say, “I couldn’t go for 3”! Remember that Troy Smith has accounted for over 700 yards of total offense with 5 touchdowns and no turnovers in 2 games against that team from up north. Oh yeah, he’s also 2-0 against Michigan. Remind me that Lloyd Carr is still the coach at Michigan.
Dot every “i” you write this week in scarlet ink. Get your “Muck Fichigan” and ” Ann Arbor is a Whore” T-shirts out and wear them proudly this week. Go grab your cd of “TBDBITL” and crank it in your car stereo and roll down the windows so everyone can hear it and wave at you. Just walk around wherever you are and yell out “OH” and wait for the “IO” in return.

Enjoy it, cherish it, be a part of it, in anyway you can, because it may never happen again.

It’s “F-ING” Ohio State/Michigan Week for all the marbles baby.

Let the fun begin! OH…….IO……OH……IO…….OH….IO!

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Weekend thoughts

Kenny Roda from WKNR SportsTalk 850 will be writing a weekly blog on Cleveland Scores covering the sports world both locally and nationally. Check back often for his updates!


What a great win for LeBron and the gang at San Antonio on Friday night, ending a 16-game losing streak in the Alamo city. James was fabulous, finishing with 35 points and 10 rebounds and one spectacular, high flying jam over Tim Duncan in the first quarter. That is how you posterize someone. If Nike or the Cavaliers don’t do something with that dunk in the very near future, they’re both stupid. It was legendary, just like Dr. J’s windmill over Michael Cooper or M.J.’s baseline throwdown over Patrick Ewing.

But as great as the win was at San Antonio, the loss at Charlotte was just as horrible. If the Cavs expect to be considered with the elite teams in this league, they can’t lose games like they did Saturday night against the Bobcats, 92-88. It was a back-to-back for both teams and the Cavs jumped out early with a big lead and thought they could just coast to a victory. You have to put teams like that away to be considered one of the best. And I was a little surprised that LeBron didn’t take over a game like that. Are you kidding me, three field goal attempts in the 4th quarter? Michael Jordan would never have let the Bulls lose a game like that. LeBron needed to be more of a leader and take charge in that game. Let’s hope he and the Cavs learn something from that loss.


Cleveland played a better game than I thought they would in the 32-25 loss at San Diego. I thought for sure they would get blown out. In the end, had they been able to score a touchdown or two instead of kicking 6 field goals, they actually might have been able to pull off the upset. Instead they’re where a lot of us thought they would be at this point with a record of 2-6. But they did manage to score 25 points, and that makes two games in a row they have scored at least 20 points under new offensive coordinator Jeff Davidson. So some progress is being made.

Charlie Frye is still a huge question mark for me. It’s tough to judge his performance because of the horrendous offensive line he’s playing behind. There are times where I say to myself, “that was a heck of a play and if he only had more time, he could be a very good QB in this league.” Then there are times when I’m thinking out loud, “What the hell was he trying to do there? Throw the damn ball away or don’t force it!” The announcers made some good points yesterday based on what San Diego players had told them, Frye does have a case of Kelly Holcomb-iduss. He locks onto his receivers from the get go and allows the defensive backs to break quicker on the ball to break up the pass or pick it off. Frye was lucky he had only one interception on Sunday as the Chargers dropped at least three of his passes.

Kamerion Wimbley is the best #1 draft pick the Browns have made since they returned in 1999. Learning a new position and doing so at the NFL level in your rookie season and registering 4 sacks already and numerous other pressures and tackles for losses makes him a future stud in my eyes.

Ohio State

They won on the road at Illlinois, but by a lot closer score then most of us predicted, 17-10. It almost looked like after they jumped out to a 17-0 halftime lead Jim Tressel went into the prevent offense. He just wanted to run the ball, chew up clock and count on his defense to pitch another shutout. It almost backfired. Did they use any 5 wide receiver sets at all? Nobody can stop that. When you up by 17, put your foot on their throat and don’t let them breath. Go for the jugular and put them out of their misery. Don’t let them hang around and think they still have a shot. But as they say, a win is a win and the Buckeyes are still undefeated and ranked #1 in all the polls. But they’re going to have to play better next week at Northwestern to make sure they’re 11-0 going into the November 18th game against Michigan in Columbus.

Did Troy Smith hurt his Heisman chances with a 13-23 day for 108 yards, 1 interception and no touchdowns? A little, but even with Brady Quinn putting up huge numbers at Notre Dame against high school teams, it’s still Smith’s award to win. Play well next week at Northwestern and then put the finishing touches on a perfect regular season against Michigan, and the hardware is his!

Surprised or not that the Ohio State offense struggled without Alex Boone in the lineup? The starting left tackle sat out the game at Illinois on Saturday due to a knee injury and procedure. He protects the blind side for Smith and often opens up huge holes for Antonio Pittman on the left side. Without the 6’8″, 325 pound sophomore on the field Saturday, Smith was sacked 3 times and Pittman ran for only 58 yards on 32 carries. Here’s hoping Boone is 100 percent for the Michigan game in 2 weeks!

Did JD pass the OC test?

Kenny Roda from WKNR SportsTalk 850 will be writing a weekly blog on Cleveland Scores covering the sports world both locally and nationally. Check back often for his updates!

Yes, the Browns were victorious on Sunday, 20-13 over the Jets, but was it really because of the offense and the way they executed the play calls of new offensive coordinator Jeff Davidson? Lets dive into the numbers and facts and you tell me if you agree with what Kellen Winslow Jr. told me: “J.D. is an awesome coach, he did an awesome job!”

– The Browns scored 20 points, which is 5.3 points more than their 2006 season average.

– The Browns gained 267 total yards. That’s 22 more than their season average.

– The Browns rushed for 147 yards against a Jets defense that, on average, gives up 142 yards per game (NFL rank 28th). But the 147 yards by the Browns is 79 more yards than their season average.

– The Browns threw for a net of 120 yards, or 57 less yards than they have been averaging.

– Charlie Frye was 15 of 22 for 141 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception for a quarterback rating of 81.8. Charlie’s seasonal QB rating coming into the game was 68.8.

– Rueben Droughns carried the ball 33 times for 125 yards and one score.

– Kellen Winslow Jr. caught 7 passes for 76 yards and 1 touchdown.

– The Browns were 7 of 17 in 3rd down conversions, while last week they were 1 for 11.

– The Browns won the time of possession battle, keeping the ball for a total of 35 minutes and 11 seconds.

– The Browns had a 20-3 lead, but had to hang on for the win and did so, despite going three and out on offense in their final three series (which gained a total of 1 yard) and with getting a favorable call at the end of the game that kept the Jets from forcing overtime.

So when it’s all said and done, and yes the Browns did win their second game of the year, did Cleveland’s offense really perform that much better than it did in the previous 6 games with Maurice Carthon calling the plays? I’m looking forward to your thoughts!

Questions and answers

Kenny Roda from WKNR SportsTalk 850 will be writing a weekly blog on Cleveland Scores covering the sports world both locally and nationally. Check back often for his updates!

Q: The Browns are 1 of only 6 teams in the NFL with just 1 win. Who else is in this distinctive fraternity? Oakland, Tennessee, Miami, Detroit and Arizona. So of these 6 teams, who do you think will end up with the worst record and the first overall pick in the draft?

A: Oakland, because the Browns beat them this year and thus lose the tie breaker.

Q: Who or what is worse when you think of the Browns? The offensive line or offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon? I know that one really makes you think doesn’t it!?

A: As much as I want to fire Carthon, I have to admit the O-line is worse.

Q: Right now, do you think Randy Lerner cares more about his football team or his soccer team?

A: His soccer team, they’re scoring more than the Browns!

Q: Is Charlie Frye the quarterback of the future for the Browns?

A: The more I see of him, the more I doubt it.

Q: How would you rate the job that Browns GM Phil Savage has done so far?

A: Overall – “C-“…drafts – “C+”….free agents – “D”

Q: How would you rate the job that Browns head coach Romeo Crennel has done so far?

A: “C”…6 wins last year, not bad. But he better turn it around quickly this year or that grade becomes a solid “D”.

Q: Who is the Browns best player?

A: That’s an easy one. Punter Dave Zastudil

Q: Why do fans continue to pay big dollars to go down to the stadium and watch the Browns lose week after week?

A: This one I can honestly say I have no answer for. Please help me out and tell me why you all keep wasting your hard earned dollars on a team that has gone 18-41 at home since returning to the NFL in 1999. And their overall record now, counting this year’s 1-5 start, is 37-81. Why do you continue to pay for such punishment?

Weekend observations

Kenny Roda from WKNR SportsTalk 850 will be writing a weekly blog on Cleveland Scores covering the sports world both locally and nationally. Check back often for his updates!

Memo to Dolan: Look at Leyland

While the Indians continue to believe (why I have no idea) that Eric Wedge is the right guy for their team, the Tigers went out and hired a proven manager this off-season in Jim Leyland, and I think it’s safe to say that a manager can make a difference. Leyland has taken a Tigers team that lost 91 games a year ago to the World Series in one season. In the previous three years “BL” (before Leyland), Detroit posted a combined 186-300 record, for a winning percentage of (.383). In one year “WL” (with Leyland) calling the shots, the Tigers went 95-67, for a winning percentage of (.586). Now try and tell me a manager or a coach can’t make a difference with professional athletes!

Leyland has now taken three different teams (Pirates, Marlins & Tigers) to the League Championship Series and two of those teams (Marlins & Tigers) have moved on to the World Series. Of course, we all know how the Marlins did in 1997 and who they beat.

We’ll see if Leyland and the “Cats” can get it done this year. If they do, and I hope Tribe owner Larry Dolan is paying attention, it’ll be the second straight year that a team not named the Indians has won the World Series coming out of the American League’s Central Division!

Buckeyes #1 in BCS

A good weekend for Northeast Ohio football fans. The Ohio State Buckeyes went into
East Lansing, Michigan and kicked the crap out of Michigan State 38-7 and the
Cleveland Browns didn’t lose. What a perfect weekend!

Speaking of the Buckeyes. The first BCS Poll is out and Ohio State is ranked #1 in the standings. USC is 2nd, while Michigan is 3rd. Should both the Buckeyes and Wolverines run the table and have identical (11-0) records, then the winner of that game on November 18th down in Columbus would mean a trip to Glendale, Arizona to play for the National Championship.

By the way, if you’re wondering, has it ever happened before that the Buckeyes and Wolverines have played a game where they were ranked #1 and #2 in the nation? The answer is no. While the Wolverines are 3rd in the BCS poll this week, they are ranked #2 in the AP Poll. The last time these two teams met as undefeateds was back in 1973 in Ann Arbor. The last time they met with perfect records in Columbus was back in 1970. In 1973 the two teams tied 10-10, while in 1970 the Buckeyes won 20-9.

Peterson lands on collarbone, season done

Hopefully all pro, college and high school football players learned a lesson this weekend thanks to Adrian Peterson of Oklahoma. Peterson broke his collarbone at the end of a 53-yard touchdown run. No, he wasn’t blindsided at the goaline. Nobody dragged him down from behind to force him to land awkwardly. He broke his collarbone because he decided to dive into the endzone unnecessarily so he would look good and make all the highlight shows that day. Now his season is probably over, unless he can recover and play in a bowl game. And instead of maybe making history, his chance to win the Heisman Trophy is definitely history. The lesson is learned here, hopefully. If you’re going in for the touchdown, and it is not necessary to dive…DON”T! Act like you’ve been there before.

Miami/FIU brawl

And last but not least. The brawl that happened in the Miami and Florida International game was a disgrace to college football. Players using helmets as weapons, another injured player who wasn’t even dressed for the game swinging his crutch at players and players kicking and stomping on defenseless players laying on the ground. While 31 players were suspended, it sounds like they will be out for only one game. If that’s the penalty issued by the teams and conferences involved, it’s a joke. The NCAA, who doesn’t want a playoff system in part because they are worried about the health of their student athletes, needs to step in and send a message here if they really are concerned about their student athletes’ health. Suspend all the players involved for the rest of the season and let it be known throughout college football that this type of behavior will not be tolerated at any level. Anything short of that tells me the NCAA is full of it!