USC Tumbles, Pacquiao Dominates, Belichick Gambles, & Other Headline Truths

November 16, 2009 presents our quick truths on today's top headlines in the world of sports. The truth shall set you free . . .

HEADLINE: USC Drops to #22 in the AP Poll
TRUTH: 'SC ran into a buzzsaw Saturday, losing to one of the country's hottest teams in Stanford. Still, that does not excuse the fact that the program's 7-year aura of invincibility now has been officially shattered, as a potential fourth conference loss is not out of the question coming down the home stretch.

HEADLINE:Bengals Improve to 7-2 With Win Over Steelers on Road
TRUTH: Yes, having a healthy Carson Palmer has been huge, but the most overlooked factor in the Bengals' success this year has been their defense. After many productive years in Dallas, defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer seems to have molded another solid unit in Cincinnati.

HEADLINE:Lakers Suffer Second Straight Ugly Loss, Falling to Houston at Home 101-91
TRUTH: This team misses Pau Gasol.

HEADLINE:Michelle Wie Wins Her First LPGA Tour Title
TRUTH: Wie has been in the public eye for so long, that her lack of a signature win made her seem like somewhat of a disappointment in today's instant-gratification world. In truth, Wie is only 20 -- 20! This should be the first of many victories for her on the Tour.

HEADLINE: Patriots Lose to Colts 35-34 After Belichick's Fourth Down Gamble Backfires
TRUTH: When Coach Bill Belichick decided to go for a 4th and 2 late in the game on his own 28 and failed to convert, no one was happier than Barry Switzer. Switzer had a similar blunder with the Cowboys in the 1990's, and can only hope that in the future such errors now get affiliated with Belichick instead.

Although many are pointing to the decision as an indication that Belichick lacks faith in his D, it could just simply be a case of him having supreme confidence in Tom Brady's ability to make the right play in crunch time.

HEADLINE:Cowboys' Four Game Win Streak Ends in Green Bay
TRUTH: The Dallas offense was lethargic all day, as they were unable to control the Packer pass rush. Injuries to right tackle Marc Colombo and corner Mike Jenkins certainly did not help the situation either.

Although a playmaking wideout could have provided some quality assistance for Tony Romo, the receiving corps could muster only a mediocre effort. In particular, Roy Williams' fumble and subsequent dropped pass were two momentum-killing plays that contributed significantly to the loss. If Roy Williams is going to start complaining about touches, then he needs to produce when given the opportunity.

HEADLINE:Pacquiao Crushes Cotto, Setting Up Showdown with Mayweather
TRUTH: A Mayweather-Pacquiao fight would be tremendous, as it would pit the sport's best defensive fighter versus its most exciting offensive machine. Nevertheless, why does Shane Mosley's name continue to be omitted from any discussion as a possible opponent? After all, the most exciting, all-action fight out there is a Mosley-Pacquiao bout. If Sugar Shane defeats talented Andre Berto in their upcoming fight, then this legend deserves his shot at either one of these two big names.

Saturday's fight proved three other truths regarding Cotto and Pacquiao. First, Miguel still has not learned how to hold when in trouble. That lack of ring generalship has now cost him in both the Margarito and Pacquiao fights. Second, Cotto's power is overrated. In his fights with Mosley, Margarito, Clottey, and Pacquiao, Cotto's opponents were able to walk through his shots, and had him in full backpedal mode in the fight's latter stages.

Finally, we should stop talking about Pacquiao as a little guy. Not only does he have a welterweight punch, he also has a welterweight chin.

By Mike Elliott
Staff Editor for

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