Buc renaissance, Oregon #1 in college football, and can Cliff Lee keep the low-rated World Series on the air?

But how 'bout them San Francisco Giants, and in particular, 21-year-old pitcher Madison Bumgarner?  After his 3 hit shutout (combined with the weirdly fascinating Brian Wilson), the Texas Rangers are looking like roadkill right now.

Okay, they do have the much deified Cliff Lee pitching what will no doubt be his last game in a Rangers uniform (unless he's called in for special relief in a possible Game 7).  But the Giants have their own Cy Young winner in Tim Lincecum matching up against the much hailed left-hander, who Sports Illustrated in their current issue dubbed "the difference" in why the Rangers would beat the Giants.

Anything is certainly possible.  At 3 games to 1, the Giants are absolutely in the driver's seat, and it would take a monumental collapse for the Rangers to come back - but it can happen.

Or do you forget the Chicago Cubs back in 2003, leading 3-1 to the Florida Marlins? The Red Sox of '04 down 3-0 to the NY Yankees.  For Giants fans it's a little easier to recall - the 2002 World Series, where they took a 5-0 lead in Game SIx into the 7th inning in Anaheim, leading 3 games to 2.  The Angels ended up winning the whole thing.

Some Giants fans are actually rooting for Lee and the Rangers, bizarrely, hoping that the Giants can win it in front of their home fans later this week in San Francisco, to celebrate an occasion that has never happened - the Giants winning it all in San Francisco.  That is insane, and arrogant.

Back to last night, how about the site of 41 and 43, George Herbert Walker Bush and his son, George W., throwing out the first pitch in Arlington?  Great to see two of our ex-living Presidents getting out to the ballpark on a Sunday night.

Interesting fun fact.  When 41 came to SF for a fund-raiser back in 1988 when he was still VP, famed labor organizer Dolores Huerta was seriously injured protesting his visit.   I don't remember any visits by either Bush ever to San Francisco while President (still checking though), but in 2008, San Francisco voters did vote on the George W. Bush Sewage Plant.

It lost at the polls by a 70%-30% margin.

Message to Tampa Bay area football fans: While you've decided in the past year to stop religiously following your local team in your favorite sport, the Raheem Morris led ball club has become one of the surprises of the first half of the 2010 season, after the Bucs, led by their 2nd year QB Josh Freeman, held on in suburban Phoenix last night to knock off the Cardinals, 38-35.

The Bucs will take their gaudy 5-2 record next week up to Atlanta in a major showdown for the NFC South supremacy.

In other NFL news, with the NY Jets collapsing yesterday at the New Meadowlands, the New England Patriots showed why they might be the best team in the league so far, in eclipsing the Minnesota Vikings 28-18.  The Pats were wearing their old school AFL uni's, which I believed they also wore last year in a snowstorm when they beat Tennessee 59-0.  In any event, the Pats, who despite being called the team of the aughts haven't won a championship in 6 years, are looking pretty hungry and pretty good so far in 2010.  Ex teammate Randy Moss apparently thinks so.  After catching only one pass for 8 yards, the mercurial wide receiver, who apparently thought he was being disrespected by Patriot management only a month ago, sounding very much like he wishes he had never been traded in a post game news conference.

Of course, the other major news in this game is how Brett Favre got beat up again.  The Vikes are a pretty sad story in 2010.

Please give me a moment to give a shout out to the Oakland Raiders, who for the first time in over two years have won consecutive games (and blow outs, at that).  The Silver and Black host one of their biggest games in November in over half a decade this Sunday when the very surprising Kansas City Chiefs come to the black hole.

In college football, Oregon is now #1 after it dismantled USC in the second half out in Los Angeles Saturday night.  Auburn dropped out of the #1 ranking, even though they were successful on Saturday.  And Gator fans went back to being a bit obnoxious Saturday night after they clawed their way to a 34-31 overtime win over resurgent Georgia and their Plant High grad, QB Aaron Murray.

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