Lance Zierlein's Z-Report

Finally, a good matchup for Alabama

Alabama playing college all-stars would be must-watch. Getty Images

From all of the feedback that I got from Twitter, The Bench, and discussions with people during the week, the only people cheering for Alabama against LSU were Crimson Tide fans and anyone who had bet on Alabama. Is Alabama’s dominance good for college football? Can anyone touch them? The first question is inconsequential and the second question is a resounding “NO!”

Instead, we are all reduced to coming up with hypotheticals to create conversation surrounding competition for Alabama. And you know what? I lead the league in hypothetical discussions and arguments! That’s my jam! So without further delay, let’s throw some hypotheticals together for you to weigh in on.

Alabama vs. an NFL Team

The most popular discussion point when it comes to a dominant college basketball or football team is whether or not that team could beat the worst NBA or NFL team. There is a great chance that you’ve had this discussion with someone in the past and the more popular sentiment is that Alabama would beat the worst NFL team (take your pick of who that is). That sentiment is incorrect.

Sure, Alabama will have plenty of players who get drafted this season and in seasons to come, but NFL rosters are filled with players who were also drafted and who have had the benefits of additional growth through age, dedicated nutrition, and dedicated training. While Alabama has players with NFL size coming out, let’s also remember they have players “who will be drafted” who haven’t finished growing.

These college players also lack the experience that NFL players would have from an Xs and Os standpoint. The NFL game is also faster and more physical. Alabama has younger players who would be at a distinct disadvantage and plenty of players who won’t play for NFL teams as well.

Alabama vs. College All-Stars

Over the weekend, I started thinking about a more interesting scenario for this mythical matchup for Alabama. Instead, I started to dream about a matchup between Alabama and a team of All-Stars from the Pac-12. After racking my brain for what that all-star team might look like, I decided that it would probably be smarter to put together an all-star team from the Big 10.

QB: Dwayne Haskins / Shea Patterson / Trace McSorley

RB: Jonathan Taylor / Mike Webber

OL: A mixture of Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, and Iowa

Pass Rush: Rashan Gary, all of Ohio State

I could go on and on putting a team together, but as you can see, this team would be loaded with early round picks and their depth would be far superior to Alabama’s - at least I think. I might be wrong considering how Alabama just reloads without even blinking an eye.

So let’s do this…. Let’s forget the entire College Football Playoffs for this season. We know how this is going to end for any team that goes up against Alabama. If you have a good defense, you don’t have enough offense to stick with Tua and the boys. If you have a good offense (Kyler Murray, anyone?), you don’t have enough defense to fade the the Alabama offensive onslaught. I promise that an “Alabama vs. All-Stars” matchup would be an incredible spectacle. The ratings would be off the charts. The build-up would be incredible. The trash-talking would be unmatched!

LEEEETTTTTTSSSSS GOOOOOOOO!!!!!

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Houston's magic number stays at 2

Astros drop series finale to Mariners after rough start by Greinke

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With their magic number at 2 to secure their spot in the 2020 MLB postseason, the Astros returned to T-Mobile Park in Seattle for this three-game series' finale and rubber game. Here are the highlights from the game:

Final Score: Mariners 3, Astros 2.

Record: 28-28, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Nick Margevicius (2-3, 4.57 ERA)

Losing pitcher: Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03 ERA).

Greinke unable to complete five innings

While the Astros were being held scoreless, the Mariners were putting up runs on Zack Greinke. They took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles followed by an RBI-double with one out. Greinke would stop the damage there, then looked to settle in over the next few frames.

He allowed just one baserunner in the second through fourth innings, a one-out single in the bottom of the fourth. Then, in the fifth, the Mariners would knock him out of the game by getting a one-out single that would come around to score on a two-out RBI-double, followed by an RBI-single to extend the lead to 3-0. Greinke faced one more batter, allowing a single before Dusty Baker would take the ball and move to the bullpen. His final line: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 HR, 92 P.

Astros try a late rally, come up short

On the other end, the Astros were unable to break through against Nick Margevicius, getting just one hit and two walks through the first four innings. They had a chance to get on the board in the top of the fifth, starting the inning with back-to-back singles before a walk loaded the bases with one out to turn the lineup over. They'd come up empty, though, with George Springer striking out before a long flyball to center by Jose Altuve to end the inning.

After finishing the fifth for Greinke, Andre Scrubb returned for a scoreless sixth, working around a one-out walk. Still 3-0, Blake Taylor took over on the mound in the bottom of the seventh, erasing a leadoff single and two-out walk to keep Seattle from extending their lead. Houston had another chance to score in the top of the eighth, getting two runners in scoring position, but again would strand them.

Cy Sneed was the next reliever out for the Astros, working around a two-out walk to send the game on to the ninth. The Astros would avoid the shutout, getting a two-RBI single by pinch-hitting Josh Reddick in the top of the ninth to make it a one-run game at 3-2. That's as close as they'd come, though, as the Mariners would eventually get the final out to take the series and keep the Astros' magic number stagnant at 2.


Up Next: There is one series left in the regular season for Houston, and it awaits them in Arlington with a four-game series against the Rangers, who are well eliminated from playoff contention. The first of the four games will start at 7:05 PM Central on Thursday with a pitching matchup of Lance Lynn (6-2, 2.53 ERA) for Texas and Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.33 ERA) for the Astros.

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