▪ The Bengals better shake their blahs and quick. Sunday’s 28-14 loss at Dallas dropped Marvin Lewis’ club to 2-3 on the season. This, after Cincinnati was 12-4 and AFC Central champs last year. The same intensity and success has been lacking so far in 2016.
Now the Bengals are staring 2-4 in the face what with a trip to 4-1 New England scheduled for Sunday. In case you haven’t heard, the Patriots now have this quarterback named Tom Brady back behind center. After serving a four-game suspension, then throwing for 406 yards in the Pats’ pummeling of poor Cleveland last week, Brady makes his home debut Sunday. Not good timing for the guys with the striped helmets.
▪ The SEC has found itself in quite a mess after canceling last Saturday’s LSU-Florida game in Gainesville because of Hurricane Matthew. At some point, the game has to be played. The trouble is LSU doesn’t want to cancel its Nov. 19 home game with South Alabama to go to Gainesville. And Florida doesn’t want to move any of its scheduled games.
▪ Phil Steele has a strength of wins chart that works like this: For each win by an FBS team, that team gets credit for all of its opponent’s FBS wins. Under that scenario, Michigan is ranked No. 1 with 20 wins, followed by Texas A&M, Clemson, Alabama and Tennessee with 18 wins. No other team has more than 13.
Kentucky ranks tied for 53rd with six wins. New Mexico State has beaten New Mexico and Louisiana-Lafayette. South Carolina has beaten Vanderbilt and East Carolina. Vanderbilt has beaten Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky.
▪ Bovada gives Louisville 10-1 odds of winning the national title and U of L quarterback Lamar Jackson 1-2 odds of winning the Heisman Trophy.
▪ Fox Sports ranked the NBA’s best shooting guards for 2016-17. Heading into just his second year, ex-UK guard Devin Booker ranked eighth.
▪ Before Saturday’s 20-13 win over Vanderbilt, Kentucky had lost the last two games in which it carried at least a two-touchdown lead into halftime. Last season, Kentucky led Louisville 24-7 at the break only to collapse and lose 38-24. This year, UK led Southern Miss 35-17 at intermission only to collapse and lose 44-35. Saturday, the Cats led Vandy 17-3 at halftime, but didn’t collapse.
▪ Boogie is not a Beatles fan. A Paul McCartney concert opened Sacramento’s new Golden 1 Center last week. Asked if he attended the show, Kings center DeMarcus Cousins said, “I don’t even know who that is.”
▪ Kudos to Mark Stoops’ old friend from Youngstown, current Maryland coach DJ Durkin, who suspended Isaiah Davis for one game after Davis put a totally unnecessary late hit on Penn State kicker Joey Julius last week.
▪ An NBA scout who attended Kentucky basketball’s open and televised practice Sunday night told Adam Zagoria, “Kentucky is a team that is going to struggle to consistently make perimeter jump shots especially when teams play zone against them.” The scout was high on UK’s speed, however, saying De’Aaron Fox, “has exceptional quickness and speed.”
▪ That Monday night’s extra-innings win over the Chicago Cubs extended the San Francisco Giants’ streak to 10 straight wins in elimination games is one of the most amazing stats in sports.
▪ If you missed it, former Madison Southern star Damien Harris recorded his third 100-yard rushing game of the season on Saturday. Harris gained 122 yards on 13 carries in Alabama’s 49-30 win at Arkansas. He also had 100-yard rushing games against USC (138 yards on nine carries) and Ole Miss (144 yards on 16 carries).
▪ Since 2009, Kentucky is 23-5 when it rushes for 200 or more yards. The Cats gained 258 yards on the ground in the grunt-game win over Vanderbilt.