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5 observations from the weekend in sports

5 observations from the weekend in sports


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BYU and Utah received great news Tuesday at the Mountain West Meetings in Las Vegas. Neither team was voted to win the conference by the media. That honor went to TCU. This is great news because in the history of the conference (since 1999) only two teams voted the preseason favorite (2004 Utes and 2002 CSU Rams) have gone on to win the outright conference title. A third team (BYU in 1999) finished that season tied for 1st. It will be interesting to see if TCU can avoid the dreaded media poll curse and win an outright conference title. On paper they have great talent returning including preseason defensive player of the year and all-American Jerry Hughes. They also led the conference with seven players named to the preseason all-conference team. But they face a tough non-conference schedule with ACC trips to Virginia and Clemson, with the Tigers likely beginning the season in the Top 25. Two losses early could deflate them before they begin conference play. They also have to come to Provo on a Saturday night in late October where the Cougars will have an entire week to prepare their revenge for what I believe was the most embarrassing loss in the Mendenhall era since a 2005 loss at San Diego State. BYU will be fired up with a senior Quarterback leading an angry group of players that have a lot to prove against the Horned Frogs. Not to mention the tough home contest they face against the Utes. TCU will have a very tough time making it through conference play unscathed.

With that said here are 5 more Observations from the week in sports.

5 observations from the weekend in sports

5
players from both the Utes and Cougars named to the [MWC preseason All-Conference Team](http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=294&sid=7239647). The media got it right by making Stevenson Sylvester a unanimous decision but who didn't vote for Max Hall? I don't care what happened the last two games of the season, no other Quarterback in the conference, including Andy Dalton, can come close to the production Hall had last season. He passed for league-highs of 3,957 yards and 35 touchdowns last fall and his total yardage numbers ranked in the top ten nationally. Also, Jan Jorgensen was the only Cougar Defensive player to earn honors. You wonder if the rest of his teammates see that as a slap in the face and turn that into motivation this season?
4
goals and one very [ big stop by Nick Rimando](http://web.mlsnet.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=5724991) saved RSL's season Friday night. With 13 games left in the regular season and, at least, 6 points out of the final playoff spot, a home loss to lowly FC Dallas would have all but crushed their postseason dreams. Instead they responded to a 2-0 deficit at the half by scoring 4 goals in the 2nd half while shutting out the hoops. The play of the game came in the 61st minute when former RSL player Jeff Cunningham lined up for a [penalty kick ](http://web.mlsnet.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=5723177) that if made would have vaulted him ahead of RSL coach Jason Kreis on the all-time MLS goals scored list. Instead Nick Rimando stuffed his shot keeping the game even and setting the stage for the greatest comeback in franchise history.

5 observations from the weekend in sports

3
place at the Tour de France for [ Lance Armstrong](http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/tdf2009/columns/story?columnist=ford_bonnie_d&id=4357232). I shouldn't have expected the 37 year old to win the tour after a 3 ½ year hiatus but I did anyway. When a guy wins this race 7 times you never doubt him. But he was no match for 26-year-old teammate Alberto Contador who is poised to dominate this sport for the next few years. Did Lance tarnish his legacy by making a comeback? I say no. He would have to do much worse than a respectable 3rd place finish to do that. But I wish he would have followed the example of John Elway and not Michael Jordan and walked away a champion.
2
big time Quarterback recruits already competing against each other before their college careers begin. BYU commit Jake Heaps and Washington Huskies commit Nick Montana (son of Joe Montana) have already started to develop a rivalry before they even begin their senior years of high school. Both competed last week at the invitation only [Elite 11 quarterback camp](http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/recruiting/football/news/story?id=4352894). It was Heaps that returned home with MVP honors as well as the award for highest football IQ among others. Montana was named most improved. These two Quarterbacks could face each other four times in the next five years starting this fall when Heaps' Skyline H.S. (Sammamish, WA) hosts Montana's Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, CA) in a nationally televised game. Then the Cougars and Huskies will play each other in three of the next four seasons. What was even more interesting is the [two signal callers were roommates](http://sports.espn.go.com/highschool/rise/football/news/story?id=4350210) at the Elite 11 camp.

5 observations from the weekend in sports

1
perfect game for the ages. Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle made history Thursday by tossing just the [16th perfect game](http://cbs2chicago.com/sports/mark.buehrle.perfect.2.1098514.html) in the modern era. You can watch all 27 outs by clicking [here](http://mlb.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?mid=200907235699065). Think about how rare that is? More men have orbited the moon than pitched a perfect game. It was so big, [President Obama](http://cbs2chicago.com/video/?id=60982@wbbm.dayport.com) (who happens to be a White Sox fan) called Buehrle to congratulate him. But if not for the [catch of the year](http://mlb.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?mid=200907235699065) by DeWayne Wise the perfection couldn't have happened. Wise was a ninth inning defensive substitution by [manager Ozzie Guillen](http://mlb.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?mid=200907235699065). So many things had to happen to make the perfect game possible. Buehrle now has a no-hitter, perfect game, and a World Series ring. It's good to be Mark Buehrle right now. **Video of the Week**

It's one thing to hit a hole-in-one but this is just plain ridiculous!

Countdown to college football season: 38 days!

E-mail: jjensen@ksl.com

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Jeremiah Jensen Sports Reporter

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