NFL News and Notes, College Football, MLB Diamond Dust, Ryder Cup + Free Plays for Wednesday, September 5, 2012

NFL News and Notes

The NFL regular season kicks off tonight with the Dallas Cowboys traveling to the Meadowlands to meet the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants. The game opened with Big Blue at -3 and the total 46.5 but seems to have settled on the G-Men at -4 with the total 45. The injury report has Dallas nose tackle Jay Ratliff out with a high anke sprain and Poke TE Jason Witten doubtful with a damaged spleen. For the Giants, Hakeem Nicks WR Hakeem Nicks is a 50-50 game time decision.
Weather in New Jersey calls for mostly cloudy with a 40% chance of rain. Game time temp around 80 degrees.

College Football News and Notes

Behind their 41-14 demolition of the No.8 Michigan Wolverines, the Alabama Crimson Tide leap-frogged over USC and into No.1 in the Associated Press college football poll. The Trojans fell to No.2 after a ho-hum 49-10 win over Hawaii at home. This is the 86th time in the 76-year history of the AP media poll that the top-ranked team won and dropped in the rankings. It’s happened at least once every year since 2007. LSU picked up a couple of first place votes and sits third.

MLB Diamond Dust

A little more that a month ago, the Yankees were cruising along with a ten-game lead in the AL East and the best record in baseball. Since then, the Bronx Bombers have been ravaged by the injury bug and barely treading water. Today they are tied with the Oriloles for the division lead and no lead pipe cinch to even make the playoffs. Tuesday, Baltimore routed Toronto 12-0 for their piece of the AL East lead while the Yankees were getting beat 5-2 at Tampa Bay. New York only leads the Rays by a game-and-a-half and will try to avert a Tampa Bay three-game sweep tonight with Hideki Kuroda toeing the bump.

Brian Blessing and Kenny White analyze the upcoming Yankees/Orioles series

Davis Love tabs Ryder Cup captain selections

Jim Furyk, Dustin Johnson, Steve Stricker, and Brandt Snedecker were named captain’s picks by Davis Love III to play on this year’s Ryder Cup team vs Europe. None of the picks were really a surprise. Furyk has had a good year and brings plenty of experience to the table, this will be his eighth Ryder Cup. Stricker, Johnson, and Snedecker are among the hottest golfers on the planet. Hunter Mahan, Ricky Fowler, and Nick Watney were other possiblities for DL III but have not played well of late.

Allegations of mistreatment have Gillispie’s career in limbo

Billy Gillispie’s career as the men’s head basketball coach at Texas Tech could be in jeopardy as allegations of mistreatment of his players and staff continue to surface. Gillispie is alleged to have kept player scholarships in limbo, practiced injured players until they wept, and reneged on promises made to his coaches. There has been a turnover of 30 people, 15 staff and 15 players, since Gillispie took over in March 2011. Gillispie is currently hospitalized at University Medical Center in Waco with an undisclosed ailment.

Free Plays

(MLB) NY Mets (Dickey) +135 over St Louis (Wainwright) 1:45 PM EST

(MLB) Washington (Gonzalez) -1.5 -110 over ChiCubs (Volstad) 7:05 PM EST

(MLB) LA Angels (Haren)/Oakland (McCarthy) Under 8 3:45 PM EST

(MLB) Baltimore (Gonzalez) +105 over Toronto (Morrow) 7:05 PM EST