Friday, 8/25 Quick Hitters: QBs galore, Best Bets for Week Zero, Kyrie trade, Mayweather-McGregor

We have college football games that count starting on Saturday and this weekend features NFL preseason games worth watching (as most of the starters play at least a half). Finally!

-Looks like I’ll have to calm down on my Blaine Gabbert as the Cardinals’ starting QB later this season. Earlier this week coach Bruce Arians selected Drew Stanton as Carson Palmer’s backup. I’m still standing by my prediction that Gabbert surpasses Stanton on the depth chart sooner than later.

-I will say this for the record: I may not be a Drew Stanton fan but I’d MUCH rather have him in a pinch than either of Blake Bortles or former ASU QB Brock Osweiler. So would Jacksonville and Cleveland I’d bet.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Cleveland Browns

-Osweiler’s contract from the Texans before the 2016 season might go down as one of the greatest con jobs in recent memory. It’s safe to say his skills and ability to read a defense have eroded. Now that Browns want to get rid of him…I have a feeling Brock’s tenure in the NFL is winding down.

-Speaking of the Jaguars – a name to watch as a possible Cardinals trade target at wide receiver: Allen Hurns. He posted a 1,000 yard season as a rookie in 2015 and with Jacksonville looking to move him, it could be a nice low risk, high reward move for Cardinals GM Steve Keim.

allen-hurns
-Each week in this space I’ll give you my best bets in college football and the pros. With the light card this week, here are my two favorites:

CFB WEEK ZERO BEST BETS
Last Week: 0-0
Season Record: 0-0
Rice +31 vs. Stanford in Sydney
San Jose State / South Florida Under 69 Total Points

-Hey folks – if you don’t like college football – it might be time to start. Read this article and tell me if you aren’t seriously concerned about labor peace in the NFL and a damaging lockout in 2021. Not good.

-How and why did Manny Wilkins beat out Alabama transfer Blake Barnett for ASU’s starting QB job? Another reason Todd Graham is apparently clueless. My guess is Barnett starts by the Pac-12 opener against Oregon.

ESPN’s Fan Happiness Rankings put ASU at #70 and UofA at #116. I don’t quite understand the methodology but sadly I’d say it seems accurate in my eyes. Please do something good this year, RichRod!

pac-12_media_day_football_60597


Let’s talk about the Kyrie Irving Cavs-Celtics deal for a minute. Yes, Cleveland did well considering they lost any trade leverage once Kyrie demanded a trade from the front office. But Boston – if they aren’t the Eastern Conference favorites for at least the next two years, then call me crazy!

Sorry LeBron – I knew the Cavs were already going to take a step back this season but this confirms it. Isaiah Thomas is a fine player (who the Suns should’ve never given up on so quickly several years ago) and his presence with LBJ and Kevin Love makes Cleveland the clear second choice in the East. But Boston with KyrieIrving -Gordon Hayward-Al Horford and a solid supporting cast including rookie Jayson Tatum…no one is touching them before the NBA Finals.

celtics-cavaliers-basketball

Long term, it’s a fine trade for the Cavs due to the fact that they’ll likely be in position to draft a potential franchise player (Michael Porter, Marvin Bagley) in the top 5 next year with Brooklyn’s top pick. But if you think that LeBron is going to stay now when he’s a free agent next Summer…you’re looney.

One final thought on this – when is the last time, in any sport, that the top two teams in a conference / division traded with each other on such a high level? This deal was truly unprecedented and I love it!

-Hey D-Backs fans…don’t worry…the Brewers won’t catch your team in the Wild Card standings. Usually I’d say worry about the Cardinals but they seem extra vulnerable this season. Once Arizona remembers how to hit with runners in scoring position and play adequate defense, they’ll be fine. Calm down everyone.

-Give me a Floyd Mayweather 5th round TKO of Conor McGregor but not after some stupidity breaks out beforehand. If you’re paying the $100 to watch the fight, don’t expect to get your money’s worth. Hope I’m wrong but boxing will continue to further fade into oblivion after this crazy match.

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-My 2nd of 3 trips to Del Mar Racetrack last weekend was simply awesome. Unfortunately the richest horse in history, Arrogate, got beaten again for the second time in four weeks in the $1,000,000 Pacific Classic (maybe I’m just bad luck) but he ran a hell of a race. I ran into Louisville coach, Rick Pitino outside of the racetrack on Friday…and NBA Champion coach (and proud UofA alum) Steve Kerr on Saturday in the paddock (with the NBA Championship Trophy)! And as you might be able to see below, I also photobombed reporter Jay Privman on NBC Sports Network last Saturday. Whoops!


-Finally, there’s this:

The sensitivity of people sometimes amazes me. But this story, if that’s what you want to call it, is among the most ridiculous and overblown that I’ve heard in recent memory.

At least it allows for tweets like this one to be posted:

Hysterical!

To read previous entries of my blog, click here. Also make sure to follow me on Twitter @eacohen83.

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