Strike Point Sports: Who's Hot/Who's Not
by Strike Point Sports - 10/03/2006
Strike Point Sports offers a weekly look at who's hot and who's not in the world of sports.
Heisman Darkhorse Garrett Wolfe
While Northern Illinois' top runner won't be bringing in the Heisman hardware, this tailback is putting up monster numbers through the first five weeks of the season. At 3-2 the Huskies have been very shaky as a whole, however Wolfe has carried them to each of their victories in 2006. After opening the nation's eyes with almost 300 total yards against the No. 1 Buckeyes in the Horseshoe, his numbers have only improved. Through five games Wolfe has totaled 1,181 yards with 11 scores. His best game came last week against Ball State when he rushed for 353 yards and three touchdowns.
The Ever Calm Peyton Manning
Down twice in the fourth quarter, the Colts' signal caller captained two impressive drives to earn Indy a 4-0 start to the 2006 season. The first came after the Colts fell behind 21-17 on a Kevan Barlow touchdown run. With less than eight minutes remaining, Manning organized a 12 play, 68-yard drive spanning 5:21 to take the lead 24-21. Peyton's two-yard touchdown pass to Bryan Fletcher put them up what thought to be for good. However, the following kick-off saw Justin Miller's 103 return for a score put the Jets up 28-24. Needing a second comeback drive, Manning capped off the day with a 9 play, 61-yard drive over 1:30 to give the colts the 31-28 victory.
MLB Octoberfest 2006
The annual Fall Classic is here and there is a lot to be excited about. The Yankees are the prohibitive favorite and look for their first title in six years. The Tigers will play the role of underdog in every sense of the word against the Bombers, despite being on top of baseball for 99 percent of the season. The A's are back but need to prove they can win in the postseason. However, this is the best Oakland team we've seen in the last decade. In the NL the Mets cruised to the top spot, while on the other side the Cardinals barely snuck in and will get a firm test in the form of NL West champ San Diego. The second west club is the Dodgers, back into the playoffs and ready to give New York all it can handle. Any of these eight teams could win it all. It will be a wild ride. Prediction: A's over Mets.
Arizona State's Decision Making
A month ago head coach Dirk Koetter had a choice to make: senior Sam Keller or sophomore Rudy Carpenter. Both had live arms and were at the top of their games. Koetter chose Keller, but then a couple of days later changed his mind saying he made a mistake. Keller left school, transferring to Nebraska. Carpenter was left with the reins and the starting position in his second year at ASU. Let's just say he made the wrong choice. Through five games the Sun Devils are 3-2 and Carpenter has been very unimpressive. He has thrown nine interceptions and has been sacked 14 times. Only completing 54 percent of his passes, the Arizona State offense has sputtered at times when it shouldn't have and a team thought to compete for the Pac-10 title could be starring down 0-3 in the conference when they go to Los Angeles to play USC on Oct. 14.
Michigan State Collapsing
They were one quarter away from a 4-0 start and a major win over Notre Dame. That was the likely outcome. However, that was not the outcome. The Spartans now head to the Big House at 3-2 and in the midst of the major tailspin. Last week they were favored by almost four touchdowns at home to Illinois. The Illini came in to East Lansing and stole a win, 23-20. Now all Michigan State has to do to is win at Michigan to stay above .500 and avoid a 0-2 conference start. Michigan has been one of the nation's best teams and with the Spartan defense getting pushed around so easily, it does not look good for Sparty. Currently the Spartans are 16-point dogs against the Wolverines.
Misery in Oakland
Despite a 0-2 start that earned critics across the board, the Raiders had a chance for redemption at home in week four against the winless Browns. Leading 21-3 in the first half, even Oakland could do no wrong. Well, the real Raiders showed up for the second half. Cleveland quarterback Charlie Frye led two huge scoring drives in the third quarter to get the led, 24-21. Oakland was held scoreless in the final two quarters, as quarterback Andrew Walter finished the game 9/23 for just 68 yards through the air.