Once the World Series is over, it'll be time for teams to make some adjustments and moves to either make a run for next year's World Series or build for the future. Obviously, that should go without saying. Anyways, these following teams should make specific adjustments to ensure a brighter future.
New York Yankees: Hire A Manager That Will Work Well With The Young Players: With the Yankees unceremoniously letting Joe Girardi go from his managerial position last week, the Yankees are now in pursuit of a new leader. The new manager must be able to build the younger Yankees on the team and help Aaron Judge with his strikeout woes. Other players like Gary Sanchez and the upcoming call-ups will want a manager who will help enhance their game. Dusty Baker has been linked to the Yankees job. Even though that sounds nice, Dusty's postseason resume is uninspiring. Maybe hire John Farrell to the helm?
Detroit Tigers: Make One More Move Just To Be Sure: It's become apparent the Tigers are in a rebuilding mode after a disastrous season this year. In turn, they've traded away pieces like Justin Verlander, Justin Wilson, and J.D. Martinez to build for the future. Detroit already has the #1 pick in next year's draft. But the Tigers should try for one more move, shopping either Nick Castellanos or Michael Fulmer around in order to get a top prospect or two.
Miami Marlins: Get Everybody On Board For The Future: New CEO Derek Jeter has expressed interest in wanting to try for a rebuild in Miami. Although superstar Giancarlo Stanton has expressed his discontent with the rebuild, Jeter should talk with everyone from the front office to the player personnel and get on the same page regarding the future of the Marlins. Will they contend next year? Will they blow it up the way the previous owner Jeffrey Loria loved to do when things quickly turned south?
Chicago Cubs: Revamp The Rotation: Theo Epstein and crew will have some turnover in the rotation come the offseason. John Lackey will likely retire and Jake Arrieta will become a free agent. This will be the time to go after some pitching, maybe by acquiring the likes of Yu Darvish and/or Shohei Otani. The Cubs should also look to getting players like Anthony Rizzo back on track.
Minnesota Twins: Look For A Steal In The Market: Like the Cubs, Minnesota is in need of some rotation help. Unlike the Cubs, the Twins don't spend a lot of money just to lure free agents to the Twin Cities. The Twins have a promising young lineup with players like Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton, but will need to look for a low price veteran or two on the free agent market to get the Twins back to the playoffs.
Atlanta Braves: Take The Next Step: Teams like the Houston Astros and the Chicago Cubs have tried the tanking process and have had great success, getting their squads to the World Series later on. Atlanta appears to be the next team that has tried the process to take that next step after a 72-90 season. What the Braves should do is to go after one or two big-name free agents. Should the Braves go after Arrieta? Should they re-unite with Justin Upton should Upton opt out? Should they try for J.D. Martinez? Anyways, Atlanta needs a big move or two to take that next step.
With the first revealing of the playoff rankings coming up next week, college football fans will finally get to see the playoff picture unfold. In the mean time, who are the biggest winners of the week and who are the biggest losers?
Winner: Arkansas Razorbacks: At one point, the Razorbacks were getting demolished against Ole Miss, 31-7, in the second quarter. However, Arkansas never quit and stormed back to win, 38-37. Connor Limpert hit a 34-yard field goal with four seconds left to seal the deal for Arkansas.
Winner: Notre Dame Fighting Irish: Notre Dame's defense didn't just force a turnover on downs once against NC State; they did it twice. Once again, the #9 Fighting Irish had a resounding win over a ranked team, putting the playoff committee on notice with a 35-14 knockout of the #14 Wolfpack.
Winner: Iowa State Cyclones: Like the Fighting Irish, #25 Iowa State had a solid defensive performance. They bent in the red zone defensively, but didn't break as they committed two red zone turnovers in a 14-7 upset against #4 TCU. The Cyclones have two wins against Top Five teams this season.
Loser: Penn State in the Fourth Quarter: The Nittany Lions had a chance to put the foot on the Buckeyes' throat in the fourth quarter; they were up in Columbus by a score of 35-20. However, the Buckeyes scored 19 points in that quarter, coming back for a 39-38 win. This loss doesn't kill off Penn State's playoff chances. However, it doesn't help them in their pursuit of winning the Big Ten East.
Loser: Stanford Cardinal: Granted, Bryce Love didn't play in this game. But there's no reason for #20 Stanford to come close to losing to a lowly Oregon State team. This is especially true when you get outgained 264-222 in total offense. The Beavers' Landry Payne (ten total tackles, 0.5 for loss), Jonathan Willis (ten tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss), and Omar Hicks-Onu (five tackles, 1.5 for loss) feasted on the Cardinal offense all night long.
Loser: Jim McElwain: The Florida coach and Butch Jones still have jobs. How is this possible?
Other Winners: Central Florida, Houston, Mason Rudolph, UAB
Other Losers: Michigan State, Florida State, Saquon Barkley
If you thought the Vegas Golden Knights would get off to a blistering 7-1 start to their NHL season, you would've been laughed out of the building. However, that is the case as the Golden Knights have amassed 14 points, beating teams like the Chicago Blackhawks and the St. Louis Blues. Their 7-1 start is the best start ever in the NHL by an expansion team in the Modern Expansion Era.
A big part of their success has been left wing James Neal. The ex-Nashville Predator has scored six goals this season, which leads the team. The Golden Knights have also been stingy against opposing teams on the back check, yielding only 2.4 goals a game (3rd in the NHL). This is in spite of losing starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury with a concussion. A team that makes it their primary focus to deflect shots has given opponents fits with the puck.
Now is it possible that the Golden Knights make the postseason come April? To be honest, it's entirely possible. The Pacific Division is the one of the weaker divisions in the NHL. Edmonton hasn't woken up yet. Arizona, San Jose, and Anaheim are all underwhelming. Also, are the first-place Los Angeles Kings for real? Granted, the Golden Knights are wrapping up a seven-game home stand and will have their first true road trip in franchise history. In fact, nine of their next eleven games are on the road, with the Knights only having four home games throughout the month of November. It will be a big test for a hungry Vegas squad.
There weren't any major upsets to note like the past two weeks. However, that doesn't mean that there were noteworthy stories in college football. Here's who won the week and who lost it.
Winner: Montana Tech Orediggers: The NAIA team scored 93 points on 932 yards of offense in a 93-19 rout of MSU-Northern on Saturday. Jed Fike rushed for 247 yards in the first half while rushing for four touchdowns. Dion Williams caught eight passes for 141 yards and a touchdown, making him one of eleven Orediggers with a catch for the day. Both the 93 points and 932 yards are school records.
Winner: Bolu Olorunfunmi: Check out this ridiculous vault that the UCLA running back did on a hapless Oregon defender.
Winner: Notre Dame Fighting Irish: Is it a good time to start the playoff watch for the Fighting Irish? #13 Notre Dame dominated #11 USC from start to finish, 49-14, behind a strong running game from Josh Adams (19 carries, 191 yards, three touchdowns) and a defense that forced three turnovers. If Notre Dame can capitalize on feasting on ranked competition, don't discount them from the playoff discussion.
Loser: USC Trojans: On the other side, the Trojans saw their playoff hopes go up in smoke with the rout. USC's loss also hurts the Pac-12's chances of getting a playoff team in this year.
Loser: Michigan Wolverines: Like the Trojans, the #19 Wolverines saw their playoff hopes disappear with an embarrassing 42-13 loss to #2 Penn State. The 'vaunted' Wolverines defense allowed 506 total yards and let Saquon Barkley run all over the Maize and Blue. Barkley ran for 108 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns, both of which came in the first quarter.
Loser: Butch Jones: Just fire him already. Geez.
Other Winners: Iowa State, Texas's defensive efforts, Auburn
Other Losers: Texas's offensive efforts, Oklahoma's defense, West Virginia
Photo Courtesy of MCall.com
This week's slate of games will certainly feature better matchups. But will they feature as many upsets?
#1 Alabama 56, Tennessee 0: Butch Jones and his underachieving tenure will be fired after this game.
#2 Penn State 28, #19 Michigan 7: Michigan's Don brown-coached defense will be greatly tested by Heisman candidate Saquon Barkley. It won't matter since the Wolverines can't do anything on the other side of the ball.
#8 Miami 28, Syracuse 17: The Hurricanes have started a neat tradition of giving whichever defensive player creates a turnover a gold-plated chain to wear. It's a nice incentive to inspire high level play from Miami.
Navy 31, #25 UCF 30: The Knights lead all FBS teams in point differential per game at +33.8. However, Navy's been sneaky good of late and should be inspired by the home crowd to pull off the win.
#13 USC 27, #16 Notre Dame 24: USC barely escaped against a tough Utah squad not too long ago, but are pitted with another test. One more loss and their playoff hopes are finished.
Upset Watch: Texas over Oklahoma State
Welcome to another edition of "Blending Buddy", where I show you what I create for a healthier lifestyle. I try to add variety to my blended concoctions while boosting my nutrition intake and getting the day kicked off the right way. This week's edition is "The Basics".
Did you think the upsets and shake-ups in the polls would be only for one week? Think again. Here's who won the week and who lost it.
Winner: Top Ten Upsets: Clemson, Washington, Washington State, and Auburn all went down, leaving room for a shake-up in the polls for a second straight week. In fact, this week was a big week for upsets overall. USC's barely escaped against Utah and Texas Tech got routed by West Virginia. Oklahoma, Michigan, and Miami all survived nail-biters in their games.
Winner: Army's Run Game: For a second time this season, Army won a game without completing a pass. This time, it was a close call against Eastern Michigan, 28-27, after the Eagles failed to convert a two-point conversion in the final minute. Ahmad Bradshaw led the Black Knights' rush attack with 19 carries for 171 yards and a touchdown. Army had a total of 413 rush yards.
Winners: Ohio State Buckeyes: All that talk about a young offense not finding its groove and clicking seems ready to be put to rest as the Buckeyes demolished Nebraska, 56-14. In their game, all their drives have had at least seven plays, showing that Urban Meyer's team can grind down defenses with ease. Their next game will be a tough test at home against Saquon Barkley and Penn State.
Loser: Michigan's Discipline: The Wolverines may have won on the road in overtime against Indiana, 27-20. But Michigan had a school-record 16 penalties in the game. Next week, the Wolverines better be ready and more disciplined for a well-rested Penn State team on the road.
Losers: Washington State Cougars: The fact that the Huskies lost in a trap game in Berkeley is one thing. But to only muster three points in the entire affair is another.
Other Winners: Iowa State, Georgia's offense, Memphis, Darrell Langham
Other Losers: Texas Tech in the fourth quarter, Eastern Michigan's late two-point conversion attempt, Louisville
Playoff Four (At The Moment):
Last week saw some wild upsets in the college football world. Can we expect the same events to happen this week?
#8 Washington State 30, California 6: I would like to go with the shutout here. But, it's usually risky business trying to predict a shutout given that a team would have to not score AT ALL. Still, this game has potential for a shutout given that Mike Leach's squad has improved on defense.
#17 Michigan 17, Indiana 14: The Hoosiers like to utilize two quarterbacks in their system: Senior Richard Lagow and the more mobile Peyton Ramsey, who's a freshman. However, the Wolverines should score at least one defensive score in the game since their offense can't produce anything right now. Michigan has the best total defense in the country, yielding only 213 yards a game.
#7 Wisconsin 20, Purdue 10: In that same category, Wisconsin isn't too shabby, either. The Badgers yield 273.8 yards a game defensively. Keep an eye out for senior linebacker Leon Jacobs; he's a big help on that Wisconsin defense filled with speed and versatility.
#12 Oklahoma 45, Texas 35: They say that rivalry games tend to bring out the best of both sides, regardless of their records. This will certainly be the case as Texas will compete to the end of this game.
#13 USC 28, Utah 14: A crucial game in the Pac-12 South. Sam Darnold must show he's capable of being a franchise quarterback in the NFL, for he hasn't done that yet.
Oregon over #23 Stanford
Kansas State over #6 TCU
After an embarrassing 2-1 loss to Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday, the U.S. men's soccer team is left with an abundant amount of questions. Paired with wins by Honduras and Panama, the United States will miss their first World Cup in the men's field since 1986.
With billions of dollars spent on youth leagues, training, and other necessities, it seems like the United States soccer department threw billions of ideas at the wall with none of these ideas sticking. They've tried hard on player development and only got Christian Pulisic as the bearing of their fruits. They've also tried to bring in Bruce Arena to fix the team as a coach. That didn't work, either.
The elimination from World Cup qualifying sends a shock wave that hurts the soccer scene in the United States. For starters, Major League Soccer, a league that is experiencing unprecedented growth in North America, is hurt by the elimination. The loss hurts the reputation of MLS as being seen as a second-tier league compared to the likes of La Liga and the English Premier League. FOX is also hurt since it will put a major damper on ratings for the 2018 World Cup in the United States. Nike is also hurt in this as well as the youth soccer leagues, where young children won't be as motivated to join such leagues without the World Cup presence of the United States.
So what needs to change? To start, get rid of Sunil Gulati and institute a ten-year plan or anything of the variation. In 2000, the Germans failed to get out of their group in UEFA Euro, finishing dead last in a mundane Group A. After the humiliating bow-out, the Germans established a "ten-year plan" consisting of growing the sport in the country and focusing on player development. In 2014, the Germans went on to win the World Cup. With that being said, get rid of Bruce Arena as well. Arena seems to have a lack of connection with the players and isn't getting the most out of his group.
Whatever the case, the U.S. men's soccer team needs solutions and they need them quickly. The women's side for the United States has shown some backbone in the international scene. Now it's time for the men's side to do the same.
Welcome to another edition of "Blending Buddy", where I give you some delectable (and nutritious) drinks to blend. My goal with these is to help get you on a better path to a healthy lifestyle. Today's edition is my personal blended drink. You can use at least three fruits or vegetables with today's edition.
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