Rockets ‘Swaggerless’, First CFB Playoff Ranking Released, NFL Trade Deadline Takeaways

Jonathan Grant | October 31st, 2018

Ahead of the 2018/19 season, it was expected that the Houston Rockets would be one of the few to even threaten the Golden State Warriors. But just a couple of weeks into the new season, it is looking like they could be in a struggle to keep pace with the rest of the Western Conference, with head coach Mike D’Antoni declaring they have lost their ‘swagger.’ As for now, they are bottom of the West and tied for the league’s fewest wins at 1-5 through six games. They were hammered 104-85 by Portland on Tuesday night to give them even more wounds. While defense has been a problem all season, it was poor shooting that cost them so dearly against the Trail Blazers. Is there a fix in order, or are we about to see one of the biggest flame outs of a team in recent memory?

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The release of the first College Football Playoff ranking of the season came on Tuesday, and with it came a lot of excitement. Though it will likely change, and change quite a bit between now and the end of the season, it is still an important and interesting milestone in the season. As of now, the committee has spoken loud and clear. #1 and #2 are fairly simple: Alabama and Clemson. The Crimson Tide have dominated everyone so far, while the Tigers are the only other ‘big’ school to be undefeated at this point. At #3 is where we get to say “hmm” with LSU being ranked ahead of #4 Notre Dame despite having lost once. The Fighting Irish are unbeaten thus far, but the committee decided to go with the Tigers’ stronger schedule. It could all be for nothing should they lose at home this weekend to the aforementioned Tide, but it is a crucial factor in the rankings that could play out for a while. Should LSU beat the Alabama juggernaut this weekend, we could realistically find ourselves with three SEC teams in the top four at some point. The other maddening, if you’re a UCF fan, is that two-loss Florida (#11) is ranked a spot above them. That will have them very frustrated due to being undefeated over the past two seasons.

In the NFL, the final day of the trade deadline came and went on Tuesday, and with it came a lot of action. Among the action, the Philadelphia Eagles made a move for wide receiver Golden Tate, shipping out third rounder in exchange for him. It may just be a rental, but this is seen as a positive move that could help the Eagles once again make a deep playoff run. The other potentially pivotal trade saw the perfect-so-far L.A. Rams trade two draft picks for former third overall pick Dante Fowler, Jr. This move shows the Rams aren’t about to rest on their laurels after a busy off season, that much is for sure.

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