Shawn On Sports: Get Ready For October
Shawn Liverance Muses on the Next Chapter in Michigan Sports.
As the calendar flips to October, football is taking over the sports headlines. Be it high school, college, or the NFL, football has everyone's attention.
But let us not forget: it’s October. And that means playoff baseball. Yes, Detroit Tigers fans sat thru one of the most dreadful season’s in franchise history. A season that nearly rivaled the 2003 Tigers setting an American League record with 119 loses. Honestly, I think this year's Tigers might be worse than the 2003 Tigers. At least that team had a couple players who eventually contributed to a World Series win in 2006. I'm not sure there are any players on this year’s team that I can say that about. So yes, it’s hard to imagine. But help could be on the way, considering the Tigers' farm system is loaded with good young arms.
So keep those good thoughts in mind as you tune in to watch post-season baseball, which has several compelling story lines. Will the Dodgers finally get over the hump and win the World Series this years? Will Justin Verlander win another World Series with the Astros this season? Will the Yankees make another title run? It should all make for a fascinating post season.
And by the way, I like the Astros over the Dodgers in the World Series.
While baseball winds down, football is just heating up. The story lines abound. The Lions are one of only seven undefeated teams in the NFL. They might have that tie with Arizona, but they haven’t lost! We'll find out if the Lions are for real this week as they take on the Kansas City Chiefs and reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes. Don't underestimate the Lions, they've beaten San Diego and Philadelphia who were both playoff teams last season. So, what if the Lions can knock off the Chiefs at Ford Field? It would surely raise some eyebrows, but I'm not counting on it. Give me the Chiefs.
Switching gears to the college ranks. What is going on in Ann Arbor? Was that dismantling at the hands of the Badgers last weekend just an aberration or should the Wolverine faithful be concerned? Judging by the social media outcry, Jim Harbaugh might be wearing out his welcome in Ann Arbor. He is now 1-9 against top 10 opponents, 0-7 as an underdog and 1-6 on the road against ranked teams. Not sure that was what Michigan fans expected when they hired him five years ago. With the meat of their schedule in front of them, including games against Penn. State, Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State, Harbaugh and the Wolverines better figure things out quickly. That said, I expect the Wolverines to bounce back at home this week against Rutgers.
Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio knows a little about taking heat as he endured a rough week following the Spartans bad home loss to Arizona State. Sparty rebounded last week with a 31-10 road win over Northwestern taking some heat off Dantonio as the MSU offense got untracked. Michigan State should make it two straight wins as they host Indiana for Homecoming weekend.
So, as we put summer in the rear view mirror and head into October. Just remember: it’s a great time of the year to be a sports fan.