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 offense once again obliterated Baltimore in Wednesday's finale. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Owners of a nine-game winning streak, the Astros tried to keep the train rolling to make it double digits and complete the three-game sweep of the Orioles in Baltimore. Not only would they get the win, but they also did it by dominating on both sides of the ball again in a one-sided shutout.

Final Score: Astros 13, Orioles 0

Astros' Record: 46-28, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (6-3)

Losing Pitcher: Thomas Eshelman (0-1)

Houston keeps mashing

Unlike Tuesday's game which ended 3-1 in a much closer affair, the finale on Wednesday was once again a lopsided affair like Monda's opener, favoring the Astros. Houston once again put up double-digit runs in an offensive explosion. It started right off the bat, with three runs scoring in the top of the first on a two-RBI double by Carlos Correa and an RBI single by Kyle Tucker to grab a 3-0 lead.

Yuli Gurriel extended it to 4-0 with a two-out RBI single in the second, then Jose Altuve made it a six-run game with a two-run blast in the top of the fourth. Michael Brantley joined in with an RBI single in the top of the sixth, then Yordan Alvarez led off a four-run seventh with a solo bomb before a three-run homer by Abraham Toro made it 11-0.

Urquidy cruises through seven scoreless

Jose Urquidy was cruising all the while, allowing just three baserunners over that span, a double to start his night, which he erased, then a one-out walk in the second and leadoff single in the sixth. He returned at the bottom of the seventh with a manageable pitch count, where he'd erase a one-out single to keep Baltimore scoreless. With the insurmountable lead, he'd be given the rest of the night off. His final line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 84 P.

Astros complete the sweep and grab tenth straight win

Chas McCormick, who came off the bench defensively in the bottom of the seventh, made it a twelve-run lead with a one-out solo homer in the top of the eighth, then later Abraham Toro notched his fourth RBI with a run-scoring single to make it 13-0. Brandon Bielak took over for Urquidy in the bottom of the eighth, and after loading the bases with no outs, was able to escape with a strikeout and double play.

Ralph Garza Jr. was Houston's third pitcher, wrapping things up at the bottom of the ninth. He erased a one-out walk and a single with a double play to end the game, giving Houston the three-game sweep and extending their winning streak to ten games as they continue to look like baseball's best team.

Up Next: The next stop on this road trip for Houston is Detroit, where they will kick off a four-game set with the Tigers on Thursday at 6:10 PM Central. The pitching matchup for the opener will be Luis Garcia (5-4, 2.82 ERA) for Houston and Jose Urena (2-7, 5.79 ERA) for Detroit.

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