Football stuff and gratuitous cheerleader photos after the jump.
Just because the Detroit Lions actually picked up a win for the first time since 2007 does not mean these ain't your daddy's Lions. I guess I'll have to be he who brings the bad news. The Lions -- despite the win -- have still been outscored 86-59 in the season's first three weeks. And other than the mild success the team enjoyed against the Redskins, the Lions are still cowardly in my eyes.
In Week 1, Drew Brees torched Detroit's "D" for 358 yards and six (!) touchdown passes. Mike Bell rushed for 143 yards. Against the Minnesota Vikings, Brett Favre had a pedestrian 155-yard passing game in which he threw two touchdowns without throwing a pick. Adrian Peterson gained only 92 yards and a touchdown.
Just looking at the box scores is making Matt Forte -- and his fantasy owners -- foam at the mouth. As for Jay Cutler, he could fatten up on the Lions as well. But this might be the week in which Forte busts through the wall that has met him thus far in his sophomore season.
For more advice see our special guest blog by Scott Mieszala, "Who's Burning Detroit?"
One of my favorite football players I never got a chance to cover was Deji Karim. OK, well, I kinda covered him. Karim wore a medical red-shirt last season -- only one year after ranking third on the football Salukis in rushing touchdowns. Now that he is 100 percent healthy, Karim is showing why head coach Dale Lennon and the training staff is a genius for talking him into redshirting last season.
Karim opened Southern Illinois' 30-10 win against Western Illinois with a 92-yard touchdown run from the team's first play from scrimmage. He would go on to pick up 282 all-purpose yards in the 20-point win that helped move the Dawgs to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference play. The win was the school's 400th in the school's history.
Deji is one of those rare backs that combines power and speed. While a lot of the pre-season focus was directed at SIU's highly touted defense, Karim is turning out to be the offense's "X-factor" early in the 2009 campaign.
More on Karim in the coming days.
Then there's this for friend and faithful TBDS reader Marcus, whose Michigan State Spartans defeated my Michigan Wolverines.
My Michigan Wolverines, you ask? Allow me to explain.
As a child, the state of Illinois didn't have any good college football teams. Northwestern had its Rose Bowl run with Gary Barnett before he skipped town for Colorado. Then there was the Ron Turner Era at Illinois. So, I latched myself to Michigan's bandwagon because they were on TV every week. I found myself cheering for guys such as Brian Griese and Charles Woodson. That carried throughout my high school and collegiate years.
Last season, I un-latched myself from the Big Blue bandwagon because of the hiring of Rich Rodriguez. As much as I love watching the spread offense, I have two issues with the whole situation. Issue No. 1 is Rodriguez himself, who comes off as un-trustworthy as your local used car salesman. I have a slight problem with someone so willing to leave their alma mater at a whim. My second issue is with the spread offense.
Again, don't get me wrong, I like the spread. It's fun to watch and fun to write about. But the spread is like the fad all the kids make so popular, adults find a way to like it and implement it in their lives. Watching teams like Michigan and Ohio State, who have thrived with pro prospects in pro-style offenses, convert to a modified spread formation is like finding out your mom listening to Drake's mixtape.
The so-called little guys used to use the spread in an attempt to create the match-up problems that come with pitting linebackers against wide receivers. Now, with everyone running the spread, not only will it hurt some of the game's fundamentals ... it will also hurt pro football as well. No one runs the spread in the NFL. Do you know why? That's because everyone is big and fast.
But now that Michigan (despite Saturday's loss) is starting to reap the benefits of its new system, I might re-latch myself to the Wolverines' bandwagon.