SIDELINES: this week in sports

College football week five was full of interesting games, record-breaking games and a couple coaches who have secured their hot-seat. Perhaps the biggest upset of the season happened this weekend, when unranked Troy took down number 25 ranked Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge. Though the game appeared close, with a 24-21 final, Troy had control of the entire game, not giving up a point to LSU until the third quarter. It will be a tough few weeks for Ed Orgeron with an away game against Florida coming up this weekend and hosting then Auburn the week after. Speaking of the Tigers, another battle of ranked teams ended up not-so-competitive, with Auburn handling Mississippi State easily, 49-10. Alabama thrashed Ole Miss — a team that, prior to NCAA investigations — was one of the only teams who gave Saban’s teams a run for their money in past years, putting up 66 points on the Rebels.

Butch Jones’ time at Tennessee is surely done, maybe not this week, or this month, maybe not even after this season (if the Vols can manage to go a somewhat acceptable 9-3), but it is inevitable. Regardless, the blowout loss to Georgia this weekend after nearly escaping UMass doesn’t leave much hope Jones. JT Barrett set two records this weekend, he became OSU’s all-time leader in passing yards, and is now the first OSU player ever to reach 10,000 yards of total offense. Lost in the records being broken by the senior quarterback was a shutout by the silver bullets en route to a 56-0 win. Washington State knocked off USC on Friday night to remain undefeated and first place in the PAC-12 north division. Most notably, however, was Mike Leach’s response to the atmosphere in Pullman: “It’s like Woodstock, except everybody’s got their clothes on.” Wouldn’t it be fun to see this guy coach in the playoff?

Many NFL players and teams continued to take a knee this weekend during the national anthem. People take issue with this because they feel the players are being disrespectful towards the military. The real reason behind taking a knee is about the police brutality in the United States. Why take a knee during the anthem? Because, when you take a knee during the anthem, none of the camera men are going to stop filming, the anthem won’t stop playing, and most people won’t turn the TV off (because isn’t that disrespectful to the anthem then, too?). These athletes and coaches, whether kneeling in unison, or not, are using their exposure to make a point, to show that what is happening in the United States is wrong and that there needs to be change.

MLB playoffs start this week, and despite the lingering sadness that the Jays season is over, there is still the excitement of the pennant race. Yankees and Twins in the AL wild card, and Rockies and Diamondbacks in the NL wild card. Here’s hoping that even without our Jays in the mix, there will be some walk-off, bat-flipping moments in the 2017 postseason too.

The hometown IceDogs are 3-1 to start the season after wins against Hamilton (4-1), Erie (4-1) and Peterborough (5-1) at home, the Dogs dropped their game on Sunday in Peterborough 8-4. Goaltender Stephen Dhillon is 3-0, with 87 saves on 90 shots through his first 180 minutes between the pipes this season. In other hometown news, plenty of Brock teams are gearing up for the last few weeks of the season, with others heading into playoffs — including women’s rugby, men’s baseball, and women’s softball.

Here’s the real treat, people. The next time you read Sidelines, there will be lots about the NHL as the regular season kicks off on Wednesday night. There’s this feeling when the season starts, the home team announces the trainers, the equipment managers, coaches, and players — rivalries are renewed. It’s a clean sheet of ice, and every team — no matter where they ended the last season — ignites the same level of hope and excitement in their fans. A new season, same traditions and a few new ones with a new team … if this isn’t the best thing in the world, I don’t know what is.

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