In this week’s edition of Around the Dorm, “Ref” Otto Gomez asks our panel of three experts — George Tatoris, Chelsea LoCascio and Miguel Gonzalez — three questions: As the college football season winds down, who is your Heisman favorite? Has any individual sports victory meant more to its city than the Cubs Game 7 win? As the college ultimate season starts, what teams will come out on top?
1. Has any individual sports win meant more to its city than the Cubs Game 7 win?
George: Just a few days after the Cubs won, Ireland ended a 111-year drought against New Zealand’s national rugby team — the All Blacks — winning, 40-29. I don’t know much about rugby, like many Americans, so I’m going to try and contextualize this so even a patriot can understand. Back in the 18th century, England had conquered much of the world. Since New Zealand first played rugby in the 1800s, they toured the world, conquering other nations’ teams in their wake. They’re the only team to have a winning record against every opponent they’ve faced and overall have won 77 percent of their games. Since the Rugby World Cup was started in 1987, they’ve won it the most. Not much could stop England — maybe France, and not much can stop the All Blacks. England, South Africa and Australia come close, but no one even considered Ireland could beat them. Similarly, no one thought any colony would dare rise up against England — that is… until one day in 1776. Ireland participated in the only type of story every American can identify with — an underdog story. The Cubs, on the other hand, were favored to win the World Series even before the season started.
Chelsea: I don’t think there’s any other victory in sports history quite like the Chicago Cubs Game 7 win. The Cubs had to wait 108 years to become World Series Champions, which was made even more memorable since it happened in the iconic Wrigley Field. People considered the Cubs and Cubs supporters losers for that long, which can be tough, but things started looking up when the Cubs were picked to be the preseason favorites. After winning 103 games to clinch the National League (NL) Central, they beat the Giants in the NL Division Series and won against the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series to reach the World Series against the Cleveland Indians. This win was the first time a team came back from 3-1 deficit and win Games 6 and 7 since the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1979.
Miguel: The Cubs have endured enough championship drought for the past 108 years. Last June, Lebron James and the Cavaliers brought pride and dignity to Cleveland (and almost the Indians). However, the most significant individual sports victory this year occurred during the Rio Olympics when Monica Puig won a gold medal in Women’s tennis singles and claimed Puerto Rico’s first Olympic gold medal. The 23-year-old Puig, ranked 34th heading to Rio, managed to defeat former grand slam champions Garbiñe Muguruza, Petra Kvitova and Laura Siegemund en route to the gold medal match. In the finals, Monica took down reigning Australian Open champion and Wimbledon finalist Angelique Kerber. Monica’s road to the gold medal is similar to Leicester City winning the Premier League. There was no expectation for Monica to compete, much less win. Prior to the Olympics, Puig’s previous tournament victory was the Internationaux de Strasbourg in France in 2014. More importantly, her victory propelled the argument of Puerto Rico’s legitimacy as a nation rather than a U.S. territory.
George gets 3 points for the extensive history. Miguel gets 2 points for Puig’s underdog victory. Chelsea gets 1 point because they won in Cleveland, not Chicago.
2. As the college football season winds down, who is your Heisman favorite?
George: While he may be an underdog compared to Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, I’m going with Husky quarterback Jake Browning. While experts are lauding Jackson, Browning showed his mettle by leading Washington to a 9-0 record (as I’m writing this) and is on track to beat Russell Wilson’s NCAA passing efficiency record. Compared to the other quarterbacks in the running, Browning has the highest completion percentage. He has 34 touchdown passes and only three interceptions this season. Besides the record, Browning is leading the Huskies through a historic season. This past Saturday, Nov. 5, they beat California 66-27 — the most they’ve scored on the Golden Bears since 1915, and with the most yardage the University of Washington has ever seen against a conference opponent — 704 yards. Browning finished that game 19 for 28 for 378 yards with six touchdowns.
Chelsea: My Heisman favorite is definitely Louisville Cardinals quarterback Jackson. Only a sophomore at the University of Louisville, he already has thrown for 2,753 yards, resulting in 26 touchdowns in the 2016 season. He has also rushed for 1,181 yards, resulting in 19 touchdowns. Just in Week 10 versus Boston College, he had seven total touchdowns. A close runner-up for the Heisman is Washington Huskies quarterback Jake Browning, who has thrown for 2,273 yards, which led to 34 touchdowns this season. However, Browning only got four touchdowns as a result of rushing 77 yards. It’s clear that while Browning is good, Jackson is better. We will see how he fares in his next game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Saturday, Nov. 12, but regardless, I’m confident that he will take the Heisman Trophy.
Miguel: From a high school stud at Paramus Catholic high school, Jabrill Peppers is the most complete Heisman candidate. Jackson seems to be an obvious choice. Nonetheless, Jackson has mainly beat up subpar opponents compared to Michigan. Aside from Clemson and Florida State University, Jackson’s competition can’t be compared to opponents like Pennsylvania State and University of Wisconsin. There is a huge reason why Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines are currently 9-0 and ranked second behind the Alabama Crimson Tide. Peppers is useful in 12 positions, ranging from linebacker to tight end. He does not get too carried away with himself like Jackson did during the Cardinals loss against Clemson. NFL players should be prepared to play different roles. I believe Peppers has a better chance of succeeding in the National Football playoffs where the real college football teams come to compete.
Chelsea gets 3 points because Jackson has been unstoppable. George gets 2 points for naming a really underrated player. Miguel gets 2 points because of Pepper’s versatility.
3. As the college ultimate season starts, what teams will come out on top?
George: Ah, ultimate Frisbee®. Discus combined with football combined with soccer combined with basketball. The sport of champions. Of Kings. Of men. But also of women. And I guess by proxy of Queens. I have always admired the simple Frisbee®, that magnificent flying pie platter and registered trademark of the Wham-O toy company, something so light even my feeble arms can toss it far. I loved the sport so much I would lament the loss of many a Frisbee® as they landed upon rooftops and within tree branches in my youth. I remember once, I had to buy a knock-off brand Frisbee® — a red Phrizzzdauber with a gold star on it — which was made somewhere in Korea — possibly North. After one game of ultimate, it turned my palm red. It was then I thought never again. I would only use the Frisbee® from now on. To answer your question, Minnesota and Harvard will be in the final.
Chelsea: For the men, I would have to go with the University of Massachusetts Zoodiscs. With its power rating of 2,067, the team is ranked No.1. Assistant coach Russell Wallack must be proud of his team, as they had 28 wins and only four losses. Deep Jeffrey Babbit is certainly carrying the team, with 18 points and seven assists. The women’s team I am rooting for is the University of Oregon Fugues, who are far more impressive than the Zoodiscs. With a power rating of 2,254, this team has 42 wins and six losses. The player to look out for is Olivia Bartruff, who has 25 points and four assists.
Miguel: The College of New Jersey Revolution will be competing in the National D-III Championships next spring. This year’s squad is stacked with talent with caliber players, such as senior Steven Powers, junior Phil Treu and sophomores Nick Pellegrino and Eli Smith. Who else can forget sports writer senior Otto Gomez? Not only can Gomez write amazing articles, but he adds extra speed and power for the Lions. He has the intuitive mind and capacity to outwit opponents with a grip more secure than super glue. On the D-I side, I believe in the University of North Carolina and University of Massachusetts. UMass has versatile players such as Benjamin Sadok and Jacob Radack. Coming off of a semifinals appearance last spring, the UNC Darkside looks to win the championship now that there once young roster has grown experienced. Players like Aaron Warshauer, JD Hastings and Dan Neilsen look to lead the Darkside under the direction of head coach Mike DeNardis.
Miguel gets 3 points for Darkside’s chances. Chelsea gets 2 points because Babbit graduated, unfortunately. George gets 1 point for only playing one game.