It's official. Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers has pitched his last game for the 2015 season. The Tigers lost to the Chisox again and also officially locked up their place in the basement of the AL Central division.
Verlander is getting paid an incredible $28 million a year, guaranteed through at least 2019. I don't want to hear about early season arm problems or lack of run support. The man posted a grand total of a meager five, count-em, FIVE victories this season. That's over five and a half MILLION bucks per W. Talk about overrated.
Former Tiger Max Scherzer just threw his second no-hitter of the season for the Washington Nationals. Very impressive. Pity his record was only 14-12 this year, journeyman stats. Even with super-stud Bryce Harper (a lock for NL MVP), the Nats were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs some time ago. If you think Verlander's salary is ridiculous, Mad Max is making a whopping $35 million a year. This? For a pedestrian 14-12 record? What comes after overrated?
And nobody is more overrated than the Michigan State Spartan football team. It's almost like the "fix was in" for them to rise to #2 in the country. In preseason polls, the Sparties were somewhere around #4 or 5. Defending champ Ohio State was rightfully #1. But TCU was #2.
The Buckeyes have struggled against some teams, including just yesterday when they BARELY edged out unranked Indiana. But surprisingly, the Hoosiers haven't been too shabby, and it was a road game for OSU. Besides, the champs are the champs until somebody knocks them off.
Meanwhile, the Spartans have climbed their way to #2 by beating 5 patsies, none convincingly. The only road game they've had so far was their opener against minor league Central Michigan, which they defeated 37-24.
Many thought the Spartans eking by Oregon 31-28 the next week was a statement game. Hardly. The Ducks have proven to be terrible this year. They were subsequently absolutely hammered by Utah to the tune of 62-20. This is the same Utah team that had to rally at home to beat Jim Harbaugh's rejuvenated Michigan Wolverines in THEIR opener.
MSU, again at home, would go on to beat lowly Air Force 35-21. Then host another in-state minor league team and semi-thump Central Michigan 30-10. Hardly impressive stuff.
Just yesterday, the woeful Purdue Boilermakers visited East Lansing and after MSU had jumped off to an early lead, they would up hanging on for dear life in the fourth quarter to squeak by Purdue 24-21.
Add this all up and Michigan State is the #2 team in the country? Please. Next up they face perennial powerhouse Rutgers. Pretty please. Half their season will be over and MSU still won't have faced any decent competition.
Remember, TCU was ranked #2 going into the season. They remain undefeated as well. They went into Minnesota and beat a decent Gopher team 23-17. Then they had a patsy of their own. Stephen F. Austin. The Horned Frogs know what to do with patsies. Try 70-7. Another convincing home win over SMU 56-37, then on the road to Texas Tech. Hardly an in-state minor league opponent, TCU would prevail 55-52 in a thriller. Just yesterday, TCU walloped Texas 50-7. Next up they travel to Kansas State, a worthy opponent.
So just exactly where in those records does it suggest TCU should have fallen in the polls while MSU went up? It defies logic.
But Michigan State's day of reckoning may well come on Oct.17. They have to visit Michigan. Since their opening loss to the Utes, the Wolverines have outscored their opponents 122-14. Michigan finally cracked the Top 25, while Mich State remains at #2.
It will be interesting to see what the point spread is for that game, and even more interesting to see how it turns out. One thing's for sure. Michigan State will finally face some decent competition -- and it's about time.
More on that as it gets closer...