Zies’ Pieces

Kyle Zies


A weekly addition of news and notes across the sports world, all in the humble eye of Kyle Zies.

NFL Notebook:

I could honestly do a topic alone just on the Detroit Lions beating the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field for the first time in 24 years. However, it’s actually simpler than that. The Packers have dropped three straight after starting the season at 6-0 and among the league’s best. Since then, the Minnesota Vikings, at 7-2, have trumped the Pack for the division lead and Green Bay finds themselves in Wild Card position. It’s hard for NFL fans to admit but it seems to be a fact right now; the Green Bay Packers are not good.

When T.J. Yates was a wee child, his mother told him that he would grow up to be big and strong and become an NFL quarterback. His mother probably didn’t mention that all Bengals fans would hate him because that’s the only team he knows how to beat. On Monday Night, Houston’s starting quarterback, Brian Hoyer, left the game with an apparent concussion and backup T.J. Yates entered the game, trailing 6-3. Yates would go on to throw a game winning touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins to upset the Cincinnati Bengals and destroy Cincinnati’s undefeated bid. The last time T.J. Yates threw a touchdown pass? January 7, 2012 in a 31-10 playoff victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. T.J.’s mother must be so proud.

Pick ‘Em:

College Football-

LSU at Mississippi- Leonard Fournett and the LSU offense is too good to lose to this Mississipi team: LSU

Michigan State at Ohio State- OSU is yet to put together a complete game against a top opponent: MSU

Northwestern at Wisconsin- I am a big fan of the way Northwestern has played this year when on a roll but they have been way too inconsistent: WIS

USC at Oregon- Oregon pulled off an upset against Stanford last week but have not played well in big games; USC is looking back on track under Helton: USC

Baylor at Oklahoma State- With starting quarterback Seth Russell out for the year, I have lost confidence in Baylor; Don’t be surprised if Oklahoma State comes up big in this one: OSU

TCU at Oklahoma- We can count on Trevon Boykin throwing for over 350 yards but, can we count on a win? Oklahoma has looked scary good lately: OU


Cincinnati at Arizona- Perhaps a Super Bowl preview? Expecting two very good offenses to show up. This one comes down to defense or who shoots themselves in the foot the most: ARI

Buffalo at New England- Buffalo is looking good but New England is looking 16-0 good: NE


Los Angeles at Detroit- Two evenly matched teams slowly starting to pick up steam. Los Angeles’ forward group has struggled but have to rebound eventually: LAK

Montreal at New York Islanders: The Islanders have looked pretty good of late but Montreal seems just too darn perfect: MON
College GameDay Signs:

Perhaps the biggest game to date on the Buckeyes’ schedule is that of the Michigan State Spartans who hail from East Lancing and come armed with a high powered offense led by top NFL prospect, Connor Cook. But Buckeye fans won’t be worried about that until about 3:30pm eastern time. The more pressing concern is getting out their crayons and magic markers to compile the best sign to hold behind the heads of Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, and Desmond Howard. In anticipation of the big game, ESPN’s College GameDay parks their bus in Columbus bringing previews to all college football action in the wee hours of the morning. Now Buckeye fans ask themselves what to do to get three hours of fame on national television. Personally, I am a fan of poking fun at random people throughout the sports world. “Charlie Weiss ate the chocolate factory.” Classic. “Mark Mangino wears jean shorts.” That’s a knee slapper. “Urban Meyer cites Wikipedia.” Please stop, you’re killing me. Whatever the Buckeye faithful come up with, make sure to color inside the lines and make Columbus proud!


Extended Piece: Ohio State vs. Michigan

What makes a good rivalry anymore? In today’s society it seems the best option would be to politely knock on someone’s front door, bring a housewarming bottle of wine and exchange pleasantries. Followed by a nice little invitation that reads “Will you be my rival?”

The common answer would be that each team must have a burning hatred for one another. That’s a far too simple answer as every athlete hates their opponent on game day. Go back further. The real key to building a rivalry is when a fan could flip a coin to determine the winner of this game. When both teams have success and trade wins with each other year after year after year.

Under Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke, the Ohio State versus Michigan game did not have the same feeling as it did before. The Wolverines would come in itching to get to .500 whereas the Buckeyes needed to beat this conference team and they just had this idea burned into their head since birth that they had to beat them. Prior to the Rich Rod and Brady ‘Choke’ Hoke era, Ohio State and Michigan was the best game of the year because either team could win and each team’s fan base had enough to brag about and enough weight behind their own team to throw it on an opposing fan. “Remember Desomnd ‘Heisman’ Howard?” Point Michigan. “Rich Who?” Point Ohio State.

This rivalry has nowhere to go but down as both respective universities have seen the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows. Now, with the perfect, call it marriage if you will, of coaches between Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh, expect this rivalry to do the unthinkable and go up, returning to its glory days.

With Harbaugh gaining steam with this Wolverine team that has subpar talent, imagine the matchups that will be bestowed upon our eyes down the road. This 2015 matchup could be one of the better ones that we have seen in a while with both teams having something on the line. Ohio State, the College Football Playoffs. For Michigan, a high ranking bowl game. For now, sit back and grab your popcorn, it’s time to renew the rivalry.