Welcome once again to the Weekend Six Pack. To refresh your memory, this will be six thoughts about the week that was and the weekend to come in the sports world.
World Series heating up — As I write, the Braves just finished off a 2-0 win in Game 3 to take a 2-1 series lead over the Astros. Games 4 & 5 follow on Saturday and Sunday in what’s shaping up to be a good series.
Speaking of the Braves — A lot of attention during the Series is being paid to the “Braves” nickname (as well as the Tomahawk Chop), as anticipated. In recent years we’ve seen the Washington D.C. NFL team drop the horrendous “Redskins” nickname, and the Cleveland Indians will be known as the Guardians starting next season. The franchise has shown no intentions of changing anytime soon, even having support from a few different tribes/Native American groups (which is a whole situation unto itself). But, the times they are a changing, and sooner or later Atlanta’s baseball team will be known as something else. Which is for the better, really, because besides being problematic, it’s just weird to name your team after a race of people. My vote for the new name is “Hammers.” For one, it honors the late, great, forever face of the franchise “Hammerin'” Hank Aaron. It also would be a smooth transition; they could keep the logo basically the same, and even modify the chop to a hammering thing.
The first College Football Playoff rankings will be released on Tuesday — I am on record with the opinion that releasing rankings before Selection Sunday is dumb, and you could create the same buzz by just having a show where you pontificate about what might happen. But, I don’t run these things, so I’ll pay attention to the first set of rankings just the same as everyone else. In particular, where is the committee going to place Cincinnati?
What the hell is wrong with Clemson? — In any other year, we’d see the Clemson Tigers somewhere in the top 4 in the initial rankings. Not this season. The Fightin’ Dabos are not going to be anywhere near the CFP this season. Since the opening loss to Georgia (which should’ve raised way more red flags in hindsight), Clemson has lost to NC State and Pitt, and struggled to beat Georgia Tech, Syracuse and Boston College (their only impressive win was against FCS team SC State). Dabo did once say he’d retire if the players started getting paid, maybe he just forgot to announce it?
Georgia’s first real test? — With each passing week, the Bulldogs’ opening week win over Clemson looks less and less impressive, through no fault of their own. Saturday’s Cocktail Party date with Florida will present the formidable Dawgs defense with its stiffest test yet. The Gators certainly have the offensive talent to give Georgia a game, but we’ll see if
Dan Stan Mullen has his boys ready to play.
Big week in the Big Ten — This weekend’s biggest game in undoubtedly Michigan at Michigan State. It’s the first time the two in-state rivals will meet as top 10 foes since the 60s. Ohio State hosts suddenly-struggling Penn State in Columbus, and we’ll certainly know a lot more about the Big Ten East race after this weekend. Over in the West, Iowa travels to Madison to take on Wisconsin, as they look to bounce back from their upset loss to Purdue and take a stranglehold on the division.