SIDELINES: this week in sports

The other day, I read an article about how much credit Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins deserve for the Cleveland Indians current success. Of course, I don’t think anyone is suggesting their recent 22-game win streak is all thanks to them. However, there may be some merit to the work the two did before they came to Toronto. My question is, will that be the excuse if nothing gets better from here for the Blue Jays? Does it actually take that long to build a team into a success? Does that mean that 2015 and 2016 were just lightning in a bottle?

College football, week three. If you didn’t get a chance to catch the Louisville versus Clemson game, you didn’t really miss out. Clemson has shown everyone on the College Football Playoff committee that they are here to stay. Tennessee played Florida in a game that I would call “Are we really a ranked team”? Florida is definitely better than they were in the Will Muschamp era, but I don’t watch them play and see a without-a-doubt conference championship contender. Tennessee has been in and around the hype, but just can’t get over the hump. So, in a battle of “Who is more legit,” the winner this time around was Florida on a last-second Hail Mary. Butch Jones may be on the hot seat now, Tennessee just hasn’t gotten back to the top of the standings, and the Vols fans are growing impatient. It’s no secret, the SEC is not what it was two, three, four years ago. Alabama still rules the land, Ole Miss has fallen in the wake of the Hugh Freeze issues, Arkansas and Texas A&M have started the season in a slump … but teams like South Carolina and Georgia may be making a return to the top of the standings. Mississippi State is 3-0 after a huge blowout win this weekend against LSU. Another huge upset from the weekend, how ‘bout those Aztecs from San Diego State knocking off 19th ranked Stanford? Tom Herman’s life got better in the moment, but after losing in overtime to USC, the Longhorns find themselves at a disappointing 1-2 record going into week four.

Let’s review the Homecoming weekend here at Brock. The Steel Blade on Friday night was competitive through the first period, and regained some hype in the third, but that second period was bad on all levels. Saturday was filled with home games at Alumni Field, with wins from women’s soccer over McMaster (we always love a win against Mac), men’s rugby won a close one, and women’s rugby had a stomping over Laurier 98-10. Both our men’s and women’s rugby teams are 3-0. Men’s golf won gold at the Carleton Invintational on Saturday, and women’s golf captured bronze. The Badgers also got wins from men’s lacrosse, a split for men’s baseball on Saturday, a sweep from men’s baseball on Sunday (also against Mac), and a loss from men’s soccer. Overall a great weekend for the Badgers.

The Leafs announced this week that they will not have a captain for this season. I don’t think there’s much of a surprise there, but nonetheless, when they have their guy, they’ll know. The Leafs hosted part of their training camp in Niagara Falls this weekend at the Gale Centre. Hundreds of fans gathered as early as 6:00 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning to line up for free tickets. Mike Babcock was all over his guys on both sheets of ice, goalies getting work, and some special moments for the youngsters Matthews and Marner in the scrimmages. The Leafs have their first pre-season game tonight against Ottawa, and notable cuts from training camp (who have been assigned to the AHL Marlies) include Adam Brooks and Jeremy Bracco, with Timothy Liljegren being the only remaining player at camp who was drafter this year.

In perhaps the most boring game on Sunday, the Bills and Panthers found themselves in a field goal battle, with the Panthes ultimatley spoiling Sean McDermott’s return to Charlotte in a 9-3 final. Oakland finds themselves 2-0 after a handling of the Jets, who are now 0-2 on the season. Do things ever get better for Jets fans? Tom Brady got back to his “old” ways after going 30-for-39 on the day including three touchdowns. The Saints clearly aren’t a great defensive team, but the loss to Kansas City only worked in New England’s favour.

 

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