Wednesday, October 19, 2011

DFW Sports Hot List – Oct. 19

The Hot List
1.  Nelson Cruz and the Texas Rangers
Nelson Cruz is on fire. After hitting .364 with six home runs and 13 RBIs in the ALCS, the outfielder was rightly named the series MVP. His home run and RBI totals are the most ever recorded by a player in a single series (note the series only went 6 games). Has there ever been a more dangerous hitter in the seven spot?
2.  The Dallas Stars
Living in the shadow of the Texas Rangers are the 5-1-0 Dallas Stars. After dropping a 5-2 decision at Chicago on Oct. 8, the team has reeled off four consecutive victories, despite being outshot 203-154 during that stretch. Kudos to goalie Kari Lehtonen, who leads the league with five wins and 164 saves. Also, did you see the goal by forward Jamie Benn. Phenomenal.
3.  SMU Football
SMU (5-1) has won five consecutive games, most notably a 40-33 OT thriller against cross-town rival TCU.  Junior RB Zach Line leads Conference USA with 665 yards rushing and 13 TDs. A few more wins might just move SMU out of the “others receiving votes” category and finally into the rankings.
4.  TCU Athletics
A move to the Big East would have been a disaster for a Texas-based major college program. Weekly travel would have been trivial for the cash heavy football program, but the toll on the women’s equestrian team would be far too great. Great move in joining the Big 12, which suddenly looks formidable and stable after all.
5.  Allen High School Football
When a program has the sustained the success that Allen is having, it deserves to be recognized.  2008 State Champions, USA Today’s No. 5 team in the country, 7-0 on the season and rolling through district.
The Not List
1.  CJ Wilson
It’s amazing that the Rangers have made a second consecutive World Series appearance without much help from their starting rotation. CJ has been the worst of the bunch.In three starts (0-2), the “ace” has compiled an ERA of 8.04 with a WHIP of 1.85.  That’s awful, especially for a guy that the Rangers will likely pay nearly $100 million to this offseason.
2.  FC Dallas
After two consecutive MLS wins, many thought the team had escaped their dreadful September slump (0-1-5). That is until Toronto FC came to town and soundly defeated the Hoops 3-0 to eliminate the team from the CONCACAF Champions League.  Luckily for Dallas, the MLS playoffs are just around the corner, and the team is well positioned to repeat their 2010 run to the MLS Cup Final.
3.  Jason Garrett’s play-calling
Fair or not, Jason Garrett has been criticized for his conservative play calling in the fourth quarter against the Patriots. Though the Cowboy’s stall of RBs averaged only 2.6 yards per carry, Garrett called three consecutive running plays before handing the ball back to Brady for the decisive drive. Garrett played not to lose, but he did.
4.  Mitch and Yorvit’s playing time
Mike Napoli and Michael Young should play every game in the World Series. Unfortunately, four of the seven potential games will be played at Busch stadium, a National League park, eliminating the DH. Expect those two to be relegated to pinch hitting duties in the late innings.  Moreland’s two hits in 19 at bats will be missed this series.
5. Jerry Jones' 2011 NFL Draft
Tyron Smith is performing admirably as a rookie right tackle, so I will leave him out of this.  Outside of Smith, there is little productivity. 
2nd: Bruce Carter has been injured. 
3rd: Demarco Murray has been largely uneffective (71 yards on 24 carries). 
4th: David Arkin isn't ready to see the field, despite all the injuries.
5th: Josh Thomas was cut.
6th: Shaun Chapas made the practice squad.
6th: Dwayne Harris was released (on Tuesday).

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