Coaching Change in Buffalo:
Buffalo Bills head coach former head coach Dick Jauron is the first coach to get the ax, getting fired on Tuesday. This move had been rumored for weeks, so it doesn’t come as a huge surprise. But it is interesting when you see that six teams have records worse than Bills 3-6, and three other teams are tied for the same record. Buffalo doesn’t usually have the persona of a team who makes bold moves during the season, but maybe this is a sign of things to come in Buffalo. What I do find interesting is, if the Bills had upset the Patriots in Week 1, would Jauron have been fired? And the only answer I think is fair is, that beating New England would have saved his job now. But this Bills team is so bad that Jauron would have to be gone at the end of the season.
Larry Johnson Finds a Home:
The Cincinnati Bengals signed troubled running back Larry Johnson. Now I know the first reaction of many is “big surprise”, considering the issues surrounding many current and former Bengals. Cincinnati is a team that doesn’t alway put character first, and over the years has had its share of locker room issues. And one could arise with Johnson if he isn’t content on being the back-up running back. As long at the Bengals keep winning, I feel as though the situation won’t cause a problem. But if they lose and Benson wasn’t producing, how long will it be before Johnson puts his foot in his mouth again? While I think there is a serious reservation with signing Johnson, the Bengals had to add another running back with experience. Benson is leading the league in carries, and his top back-up is a rookie 6th round pick (Bernard Scott). Cincinnati will need to start limiting Benson’s load late in games to keep his legs fresh for a deep playoff run. Only time will tell if the good will outweigh the bad, with the signing of Johnson.
Top 25 Surviving Early Upset Bids:
Just one day after freshman point guard John Wall saved No. 5 Kentucky with a last second shot, three other top 25 teams were taken down to the wire. No. 1 Kansas held their breath as Memphis’ Elliot Williams 3-pointer at the buzzer hit off the rim, giving Kansas the 57-55 win, and keeping them atop the polls. Their closest competition also faced a scare and No. 2 Michigan State was taken down to the wire by the unranked Gonzaga Bulldogs. The Bulldogs actually had a five point lead at half, and were still up by four with 4:48 on the clock, but could not close out Michigan State on the road. The Spartans controlled the last 5 minutes of the game, and Gonzaga’s youth and inexperience came to light with some bad shots and decisions down the stretch. Top 5 teams weren’t the only ones facing upset bids, as No. 20 Georgetown were able to outlast the Temple Owls during their home opener (despite their best efforts to give them the game). The Hoyas were struggling to find their rhythm all game, and led the Owls just 19-13 at halftime. Temple stormed back in the second half, but Georgetown took the lead for good with Greg Monroe’s basket with six seconds remaining.