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Bad Beats: Disaster Awaits The Raiders and Wolverines
by Ben Burns

Sure was a nice showing from the Raiders against the Saints Saturday. Anyone out there man enough to admit they took Oakland +2.5?

If so, make sure that’s the last time you’re on the Raiders this year.

Exhibition or not, getting pounded 45-7 is ridiculous and really says something about the overall talent, coaching and character of this team.

“This is embarrassing to me,” new Raiders coach Tom Cable said.

You think?

“A lot of times, we were getting up to the ball, getting set, and they were still trying to get lined up,” said Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

This just in: The Saints like to run a little hurry-up offense … for about the last three seasons.

The Saints’ first-team offense was expected to play into the second half. Instead, Brees and company sat down early in the second quarter.

The Saints had 21 points and 225 yards on 29 plays in the first quarter.

"Really the plan was to give them ‘x’ number of snaps and what happened was that we got those snaps earlier than expected," Saints coach Sean Payton told reporters Sunday. "Our plan was to go a half, come out in the second half and we thought we would’ve been close to 30 snaps there, but we got to that number a little quicker.”

It was ugly from the start for the Raiders. JaMarcus Russell was sacked and fumbled on their third play. They turned the ball over three times total and committed 10 penalties.

After having the 31st-ranked run defense in the league last year, they look like they have gotten worse. The Raiders have surrendered 634 rushing yards in three preseason games, including 232 by the Saints.

You call pull out the “It’s preseason” card if you want, but that usually only applies if your problems are something fixable on the field.

Things aren’t any better off the field for Al Davis’ flailing franchise. Reports have Cable getting in a fight and breaking a bone in the face of assistant coach Randy Hanson in early August. That kind of thing divides locker rooms and raises some serious concerns about the team’s leadership and direction.

The Raiders’ season total on wins is 5.5. Hmmm …

Speaking of teams headed for disaster …

Reports surfaced over the weekend that several Michigan football players claim coach Rich Rodriguez is violating NCAA rules that limit the amount of time a team can train and practice.

ESPN.com reported that a player that started for Michigan last season said the team would be at the football facility from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays.

Four hours is the daily limit, with a weekly total of 20 hours, the NCAA allows teams to prepare.

Rodriguez and Wolverine officials are denying the accusations, but the damage has been done.

Michigan opened as 13-point home favorite in its season opener against Western Michigan.

The line was down to 12 and 11.5 at some books, as of Sunday.

The Wolverines’ season win total is 6.5.

David Payne wrote this on behalf of Ben Burns.

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