Here is your final grade book for the month of September. As always, Josh Houchins and I will break these down on the wildy popular WGEM SportsCenter around 8:20 today. Listen in each weekday morning from 7 a.m to 9 a.m. on ESPN 1440 or online at wgemradio.com.
A — Don Patterson. The former Western Illinois University football coach showed us that nice guys can finish first. Patterson did nothing to tarnish the great football tradition at WIU during his decade-plus time at the Macomb school, getting the program to the playoffs three times and winning two league titles. A battle with tonsillar cancer is all that stopped him from becoming the school’s all-time winningest coach. Here’s to hoping Patterson, who will stay active in the WIU athletic department, will be there for a long time.
B – Los Angeles Angels. The Angels could have let the early season death of pitcher Nick Adenhart derail them this season. Instead, the Angels showed once again that they’re the class of the American League’s West Division. As you can see from this photo, they didn’t forget about Adenhart either when they clinched the division title on Monday night. Good move by a classy organization. Other than the rally monkey, it’s hard to hate the Angels
C — Iowa Hawkeyes. Yes, the Hawkeyes got a big win Saturday by going to Happy Valley and beating Penn State — again. Some media folks have fallen in love with the Hawkeyes. Heck, Mark May of ESPN said he’d be in his top 5 if he had a poll vote. Before we go anointing the Hawkeyes Big Ten champs after one win, let’s remember that it took two blocked field goals in the final minute of the game for them to beat Northern Iowa. This team is winning because of its defense, but the offense had better come to play when the team plays Michigan in Iowa City and at Ohio State. Win those two, and the team will win me over, too. Right now, I’m still not buying Iowa.
D — University of Missouri athletic department. The department recently got rid of a bunch of old phones, but didn’t wipe clean of information that was stored on them. As a result, a lucky fan had a jackpot of collector’s items for just $190. The guy offered to sell them back to the school for $3,000, but they passed. (Not like they don’t have the money.) After feeling the heat from the Mizzou faithful, the guy decided only to sell them to Mizzou fans who vowed not to use the phones for malicious purposes. Somehow, I still see a Kansas fan getting their hands on some of these bad boys. Smooth move, Mizzou.
F — Missouri pro football. It’s becoming a rite of early fall — terrible starts by the St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs. Missouri’s pro football teams are a combined 0-6 this season and might be the two worst teams in football. Some day when things are good again, Rams fans will shake their heads over the prospect of Kyle Boller being their starting quarterback. And the Chiefs just might be second-guessing that big deal they gave to Matt Cassel during the off-season.