OTC: Quinn Still Woozy, Cassel Less So / Bama & K-State On Upset Alert? / Sporting Down 0-2

“Quinn has not been cleared to play. Cassel will start at QB vs. Steelers.”
Adam Teicher, @adamteicher, Chiefs beat writer for the Kansas City Star, Twitter
GH: Are we supposed to be upset about this news? Does anyone outside the Quinn family care?

“Romeo Crennel says both Glenn Dorsey and Brady Quinn will not play against the Steelers this Monday…”
Kurtis Seaboldt, @KSeaboldt, Twitter
GH: Don’t forget Stanford Routt. Stanford will be spending the weekend much like Romeo did, sitting and thinking – about the $5 million the Chiefs paid him for eight games.

“I’ve never seen anything like the facilities at Texas A&M. I was just blown away. I couldn’t have been more impressed.”
Paul Finebaum, on his visit to College Station, Sirius XM 91
GH: The Aggies have played some of the best football of any team in the country the past two seasons – and some of the worst. It has never been a question of talent for A&M but more an inability to play well in the second half of many of their losses. Are they good enough to go to Alabama this Saturday and win? I think so.

“A&M has nothing to lose. They shouldn’t be here. They’re one of the great success stories of the season. This is going to be a tremendously competitive game. I think this is going to be hard for Alabama to do in back-to-back weeks.”
Dennis Dodd, of CBSsports.com, referring to Alabama’s last-second win last Saturday at LSU, 810 AM
GH: I know the popular perception of A&M is that they don’t belong in the top 20 but this is a talented bunch of football players. The Aggies lost the respect of KC area fans due to Mizzou’s recent two wins in College Station. Instead of belittling A&M for those losses, I prefer to think of those wins as marquee moments for Pinkel’s program.

“Against UF, Mizzou generated a lot of yards, a lot of guys open, you could see the confidence coming back.”
Gabe DeArmond, @GabeDeArmond, of PowerMizzou.com, Twitter
GH: Mizzou’s defense is starting to look to be SEC worthy. Unfortunately, their offense is as well. What a quick evolutionary change for Pinkel’s team. MU has always struggled defensively under Pinkel but his spread offenses changed how the Big 12 recruited talent. In the span of a couple of months, MU has gone from looking like Oregon to playing old man football. Who woulda thought?

“Danny Sheridan says Bama would be -3 vs. Oregon in BCS. Also -10 vs. K-St. and -14 against ND.”
Paul Finebaum, @finebaum, Twitter

“I think it’s an equal maximum upset alert for both [Alabama and Kansas State]. I think K-State going down there [to TCU] is going to be hard. I think TCU’s gotten better and it’s going to be a tremendous struggle for both [K-State and Alabama].”
Dennis Dodd, of CBSsports.com, 810 AM
GH: Is Kansas State in trouble heading down to play Gary Patterson at TCU? Read on.

“I think when you look at the teams that are winning, you see the best defenses in the league. So, yeah, this is a league where you have to score points to keep up, but it’s also a league where your defense can make a big, big difference.”
Gary Patterson, DallasNews.com
GH: Five Big 12 teams are averaging 40 points or more a game. K-State’s offense looks almost unstoppable with Collin Klein at the helm. Much has been said about Patterson’s knowledge of Bill Snyder’s system. What coach doesn’t know Snyder’s system? The guy’s been coaching for 50 years. Knowing and stopping are two different things. I like K-State big again this Saturday in Fort Worth.

“Coach P, I’m not sure he ever wants us to give up a point or a yard.  You can say that [bend but don’t break], but that’s not how we live out there. We want to stop every play for no gain.”
Kenny Cain, TCU linebacker, DallasNews.com
GH: Welcome to the Big 12, Kenny. May you have as many lives as your South park namesake.

“The horns down is disrespectful. We ought to talk about that as a league.”
Mack Brown, on opposing players and fans turning the signature Longhorns’ gesture upside down, Kansas City Star
GH: I am starting to worry about Mack – and not for the obvious reasons. If he thinks the horns down sign is disrespectful, what does he think of what goes on inside the student section of a college basketball arena? Mack needs to take a trip up to the Octagon of Doom or sit with The Antlers for a game. He’ll think that little hand gesture looks like somebody’s blowing BEVO a kiss. 

“I believe that we will win.”
Signature chant of Sporting Kansas City
GH: Sporting KC takes on Houston tonight at Livestrong Sporting Park in what is the second half of their playoff game. The first half took place in Houston – and Sporting is smarting from a two-goal deficit going into tonight’s match. At the risk of upsetting my soccer readers [again], I have a few questions…like what the hell kind of playoff game lasts a week and covers two scoreboards and a couple of states? Why did Houston get the jump on the game if Sporting won the division? Why is this live-or-die match on a Wednesday night?  All that said – Go Sporting! If they can pull this one out of the fire, maybe the MLS will give them a weekend date.

[email protected] and Twitter / greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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24 Responses to OTC: Quinn Still Woozy, Cassel Less So / Bama & K-State On Upset Alert? / Sporting Down 0-2

  1. Gavin says:

    I think Mack Brown must really LIKE the “‘Horns Down” gesture. Otherwise, why would he be trying to tell students to stop it? Ask KU how well it’s gone to try and get the students to stop saying “RIP HIS FUCKING HEAD OFF!!!” during kickoffs.

    At least they appear to have given up on the ridiculously stupid “Home of the Chiefs” thing they used to do. So there’s a silver lining for the Chiefs’ suckage.

    • MrBrightsideKC says:

      I love the “Home of the Chiefs” but it’s hard to keep it alive when the stadium is half full at kickoff.

  2. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    More whining from Mack Brown? Sheezus. First crying about how LHN is a pain in the ass for him, and now sobbing about people using the “horns down” sign? Would you prefe the middle finger, Mack? Cause that’s what you and texas deserve.

  3. Floyd says:

    In a two-game, aggregate goal format, it is considered favorable for the higher seeded team (Sporting) to get the second game at home. However, I’m not sure that is truly an advantage. Also, I am OK with the game being played on a Wednesday, but what was silly was the first game being mid-afternoon on a Sunday – competing directly against the NFL.

    • kylerohde says:

      To add on, Houston is KC’s nemesis. They knocked Sporting out of the playoffs in the conference finals last year and they always seem to have a leg up on KC for whatever reason. It’s like KSU always beating Texas even in the Ron Prince era, just one of those things.

      Being a new fan to the whole thing, the two-game format is dumb in my opinion. One game or best-of-three makes sense, but not two-games.

    • harwood benjamin says:

      Greg–Yes, the soccer playoff format is unusual to those who worship the major American sports, but it’s pretty simple to understand and seems just as viable a method of determining the winner as making the games separate entities. Zimmerman said don’t criticize what you can’t understand.

      • Ronnie says:

        I’m not positive Harwood, but from what I understand this type of format does not even take place in soccer across the pond. If that is true, than this format doesnt only not make sense to those of us who worship major American sports. It doesnt make sense to those who play “football” in the EPL.
        I’ll tell you what also doesnt make sense. Why does MLS change the format every year?

        • Bill says:

          This is the common format of the biggest soccer tournament in the world outside the World Cup, the Champions League. Once there are 16 teams left in the tournament it enters the “knockout rounds” where teams play home-and-home games with aggregate scoring. Across the pond they actually factor in away goals to break ties. Be glad MLS doesn’t worry about that, it would really make American heads spin.

  4. tigerdan4 says:

    Texas A&M has a damn good team. Johnny Football is the real deal. But they don’t have a chance in hell of getting a win at Bama. Nobody does this year. And while we’re on the SEC, Mizzou WILL win at Tennessee. Bank on it.

    Not to be a negative nancy but y’all know Sporting KC will come up short, right? Of course they will. They’re a professional sports team from Kansas City. It’s in the city’s DNA to disappoint fans. Not that I’m a fan. I root for them but I’m not a soccer guy at all.

  5. The Smartman says:

    MU? SEC worthy? Wait, that must be Katy Perry at my front door wanting me to bang her for the next 4 hours.

    A&M? Beating Alabama? Holy shit! Mila Kunis is at my front door wanting to have a three way with Katy and me!

    Mack Brown must be having a bad case of digital neuropathy if he’s that out of touch with college kids. After Paterno you’d think the old dudes might have reeled in their time machines. Yes sir, yes ma’am, thank you, please, I’m sorry, excuse me and pardon me are out the fucking door too Mack.

    Good to see Matt Cassel getting the start in Pittsburgh. Todd Haley has gotta have a boner that’s harder than Chinese algebra. Redemption, thou hast a name and it is Monday Night Football.

  6. Phaedrus says:

    How does Chinese algebra differ from American algebra?

  7. S says:

    American sports fans will find any contrived reason to complain about soccer. The two-game aggregate format is a long-standing soccer tradition from European competitions. That’s just how it works. I understand that’s different from the best-of-seven format seen in other North American sports, or a Super Bowl type event, but that’s not what soccer has done. Playing at home in the second game is definitely an advantage, as much of an advantage as you can muster from a two-game playoff format that is determined by aggregate. That said, SKC is in a tough position having given up that second goal to a team that is about as sound defensively as any MLS team. They can pull it out, but they’re a longshot right now.

  8. jamma says:

    At the risk of upsetting my soccer readers [again], I have a few questions…like what the hell kind of playoff game lasts a week and covers two scoreboards and a couple of states? Why did Houston get the jump on the game if Sporting won the division? Why is this live-or-die match on a Wednesday night?

    I appreciate the fact that you are paying attention to SKC so thanks!!!!! It means a lot!!! Doesn’t a baseball playoff series also last a week, covers two scoreboards, a couple of states, often has the lower seeded team host first and potentially has an elimination game mid-week? Odd that you didn’t point that out in your recap of the baseball playoffs. Very strange.

    On another topic, really enjoyed your NYC marathon recap/entry/article. I completely agree with you in that picking on the marathon runners seemed like an odd choice for a villain.

  9. goonzablazin says:

    Good thing MLS doesn’t use the away goals rule or Greg’s mind would really be blown.

  10. BlackJack says:

    Well, as expected, SKC came up JUST SHORT in the home game capper, effectively ending their season. As usual, they totally controlled possession, outshooting the opponent (Houston) 2:1 ratio, and had some point-blank, clear-cut opportunities that went just wide or over the crossbar. For whatever reason, Houston truly has SKC’s number. Every other team in the league has figured out how to beat Houston, just not us.

    Going forward, SKC needs to obtain a world-class (or at least MLS-class) striker who can put the ball in the back of the net consistently, That is really the only position they are lacking to be a truly elite team.

    I am not a big fan of the home-and-away, aggregate goal playoff format either. The fact that they change the system each year makes it kind of hard to take it seriously. I wish they would either go with a siongle-elimination playoff knockout round with the game being played at the higher seeded team’s home stadium, or dispense with the payoffs altogether and just go with the regular season champ like in EPL and La Liga.

  11. nick says:

    Last night was a GREAT game. Sporing KC played thrilling, balls-to-the-wall soccer and it was VERY exciting to watch.

    But so much of it all is just STUPID!

    Why can’t the league do a best 2-outta-3? After earning a conference-best record, SKC’s reward is to hit the road in the 1st of 2 playoff games…with an asinine aggregate scoring system. STUPID! Part of what makes ANY game in ANY sport so interesting is watching how players handle adversity, tiredness, and injuries from start to finish. And fans want to see if a team can be ahead on the scoreboard when the final horn sounds. Sporting KC completely dominated last night and won the 90 minutes, but it means squat. It should be 1-1 series now, with a deciding game 3 at Livestrong. Dumb, dumb, dumb!

    And the inconsistency of ref calls in soccer is annoying. Players get grabbed around the neck and tackled to the ground with nothing called. 2 players go equally for a header, but the one that flops to the ground hardest gets rewarded. Players writhe on the ground like they’d been riddled with bullets, trying to draw a foul. Then they instantly bounce up fresh as a daisy.

    I rolled my eyes more last night than I did the whole election season.

    • jamma says:

      I appreciate you capitalizing the important words. Thanks.

      I know you probably don’t want answers to your questions but I’m a sucker for a good soccer debate. The basic answer is that soccer is just different and ties (and the strategy of playing for a tie) is part of the game. Now, you might think this is silly and maybe that’s why you don’t like soccer as much as someone else, but it’s still part of the equation.

      Now, you claim that SKC “completely dominated last night” but Houston allowed this so-called domination because they had a two-goal advantage and had the luxury of soaking up pressure and not sending guys forward. It’s all part of the format (which you will say is dumb…got it). I’m pretty sure the players, fans, and coaches all understood the format though so I’m not sure I understand your complaint about wanting to watch them handle adversity, tiredness and injuries.

      I hear you on the flopping but, if we can be honest for a second, other sports haven’t exactly figured this out either. I thought the ref did fine last night and truly think officials in other sports have a much more difficult time judging the action.

  12. Observer says:

    I don’t think most detractors are really saying they don’t understand the mechanics of a two-game playoff format. What I think people are asking is “why.” Answering with, “that’s how it’s done in Europe and rest of the world,” is not a good answer, in my opinion. I’m not sure that if the league’s goal is to grow a U.S. mainstream audience why honor certain European traditions. Why? This is a U.S. league.

    Think about it this way … communications 101. The first thing one should do when contemplating any communication is to consider the audience. MLS’s desired audience is American. If the MLS wants deeper penetration into this audience – better engagement from this audience – then the MLS needs to think of how to mold and shape the league to the audience with which it hopes to connect. I personally don’t see the value of a nod to European methods. If we did that with all our sports we’d be reading Greg’s column about how bad Kansas City’s scrum half has been playing and that our fly half just got released.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m really diggin’ SKC and I’m glad for their success. What they have going on out there at LSP is the talk of the league. But, if the MLS is really interested in more American eyeballs and butts, then they better be just a bit smarter about things. The two-game playoff is not a formula for success here regardless of how long it has been used in the rest of the world. You don’t set up a borscht stand on the corner of 31st and Troost Ave. – don’t give your audience something they can’t swallow.

    Look, I could be way wrong about this. Yet, I overheard three separate conversations by 9 a.m. at work today about how wacky the two-game format is. These weren’t NFL snobs talking, they were just average Americans who wanted SKC to win but were left with a very unsatisfied feeling thinking that their team had split a two-game series but somehow had been eliminated.

    Again, I agree that it is a beautiful game. The lines and the angles and the tension created by pressure is what makes it a great sport. When watching their games, I find myself squirming in my chair as crisp passes are made and someone breaks into the box. We’re not saying the sport is bad. But, what we want is a definitive victor when two teams come together. Splitting a two-game series 1-1 is not a definitive winner in the minds of most Americans.

    Oh, and get the heck up off the grass and play!

  13. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    If the Chiefs and Royals were playoff caliber teams, no one would give two chits about Sporting KC. That’s how pathetic pro sports are in Kansas City. The major sports suck so bad, that some people even speak about soccer.

  14. Observer says:

    The NHL had this problem and they fixed it. They took care of this a few years back by giving 2 min. penalties for floppers and it ended the behavior. Besides, when you flop in hockey or basketball, you take yourself out of the play. In these sports, that’s too costly because of the pace of the games. Someone rolling around on the grass for 30 sec. doesn’t hurt their team too much. I’m not sure that anything else other than a yellow card is going to stop the behavior in soccer.

    On a related thought, I wonder why the same culture that is so crazy for soccer can wink at these floppers and wouldn’t tolerate it in rugby.

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