Random Things Of The BCS & NFL Variety...
The BCS Goes "Classic"
- Thanks to Texas taking care of the pesky Black Shirts and Alabama shutting down (and exposing on a much larger, yet not as discussed scale) Tebow and the New Ball Coach... we've got a National Championship game between two traditional powers that we haven't seen occupy the same stage since I was...2? Wow. I'm old. :P Texas/Alabama should be very interesting and as much as I'd like to say the BCS got it "wrong", how could they? We all but conceded the SEC Champion would get one slot, Texas if it won would get the other. That's what happened. So we've now got...
Orange Bowl- Iowa vs. ACC Champion Georgia Tech
- All I know about Iowa is that if not for the loss of Stanzi, it'd probably be Iowa/Oregon instead of Oregon/Ohio State. Georgia Tech is the first team I know outside of the Big Corn conference to run the option as prolific-ly as they do.
Sugar Bowl: Big East Champion Cincinatti vs. Florida
- Hmmm, this has a feeling of deja vu to me. "You shouldn't be here, but are by BCS equivalent of Affirmative Action" squad against SEC team licking its chops after demoralizing loss in SEC Title game...(refer to Utah/Alabama circa 2009 Sugar Bowl)
Fiesta Bowl aka BCS Buster Bonanza: WAC Champion Boise State vs. Mountain West Champion TCU
- Boise State beat Pac-10 Champion Oregon so bad, LeGarrette Blount punched out one of the Broncos after the fact in utter frustration. TCU's just been beating folks like a drum, just cause. Something has to and will give in this one.
Rose Bowl: Pac-10 Champion Oregon vs. Big 10 Champion Overrated State
- If nothing else, OSU can breathe easy at the fact that they won't have to worry about USC. On the flip side, they're facing an Oregon team that pounded USC like a porn star does new pussy and they're fast. VERY fast. Overrated State don't do too well against teams that fly faster than they do and I'm still not utterly convinced Pryor's a prime time player.
Random NFL Bits...
Are The Raiders Better Than We Thought Or Are The Steelers Just Royally Funked Without Troy?
- Once, it happens. Twice, coincidental. Four times? Well, maybe they aren't as sucky as we thought they were after all. Oakland, apparently sick of being the punchline to every NFL joke on suck that can be made, have four wins this year. With Bruce Gradkowski as its QB and JaMarcus either looking to update his resume, travel up to the Great White North or get his job back next year. Perhaps all that's needed is a GM to get this roster going in the direction it needs to be heading in. Conversely...Pittsburgh's in trouble.
Their secondary is what I thought it was, which is to say, VERY subpar. Especially once you take away the intimidating presence of Troy Polamalu, who seems to be everywhere at once. The thing with the 3-4 is that if the QB's not confused by who the 4th rusher is and the rush is sealed off, the QB's got all day to throw. If your corners can't be left alone to cover, then it's a wrap. I'm of the understanding that it's fairly premature to pronounce any team dead as far as playoffs go at this point...but it might be time for Pittsburgh to write their Last Will and Testament now. Their win against Cleveland aside (which if they lose, Mangina might just save his job after all and then you can read the Steelers their last rites), their remaining schedule is favorably tough. Two home games, but both against potential playoff teams. The game against Baltimore two weeks from this Sunday is Do or Die. Loser's done, then again it might not even matter by that point. On the flipside...
Has Arrogance Doomed The Pats?
- Valid question, considering how this year has turned out. A division race that was supposed to be an afterthought, is now a race with one game between the Pats and a possible early Winter break. I'll concede the loss to the Saints as NO basically going Tyson circa mid to late 1980s on New England and the Pats never recovered. Yesterday however...what's the excuse? The Pats are a better team than Miami, yet Chad Henne had the game of his lifetime against the Pats. I'm sorry, but aren't the Pats supposed to be really good defensively? What's it say about these guys when Chad Henne and a bunch of no name receivers are going ballistic?
Wonder if Belichick's wishing he had Seymour back, because he sure as hell could use him on that defensive line.
If It's December, You Know What Time It Is...
- Time for the Cowboys to start their December Descent. Which they started on by losing to the Giants in Jersey yesterday. It's staggering to think how many folks made more of this team than they were, but that's "they" for you in a nutshell. "They" know shit. Anyhoose, the Giants did what they had to do and did it well. Now, they must beat Philly next Sunday night. Dallas on the other hand...oy. San Diego and then New Orleans. Which reminds me...
Perhaps They Are That Good After All...
- There reaches a point when perhaps, you have to just give a team its due. That there is indeed a fine line between a team that falls behind and keeps coming back by the skin of its teeth or a team that just does it because it's got the swagger to know it can. After yesterday, perhaps the Saints are a team that's got that swagger to know no matter the defecit, if there's time on the clock they can still go. The Colts have locked up homefield, will probably throw it into cruise control the week after next. Conversely, as it was stated last night and in this instance it might be true, 16-0 might be necessary to lock up homefield for New Orleans provided Minnesota doesn't slip again in the week to come. That said...
Oh...actually, I'll get to this in another column. It's one part TCU/Boise State, one part wrestling and this reeks of irony if you watched wrestling on January 4th, 1999 and get to why you're really going to enjoy January 4th, 2010 if you're a wrestling fan. Trust me.
Alright, back to teams that are in No Slip Territory.
Miami & New York
- Jets and Dolphins are within striking distance, but the margin for error is NONE. Not even "slim to none", it is NONE. They're a game back of the Patriots who for reasons we cannot explain or rationalize, are making a race of a division that it's heads and shoulders better than. The clock's struck midnight for Miami and its Auto-Run offense, the sky's the limit for the Jets. This isn't the AFC West, which figures to get 2 teams in the playoffs. Whoever wins the division, is in. Loser's drinking egg nog and thinking of what might be next year. Honestly, I don't like either team's chances, for a few reasons. Miami isn't overwhelming on offense and I seriously think this Auto-Run has run its course. The Jets honestly, as much as I'd love to see the Jets make the playoffs...I'm realistic enough to realize this year might not be the best year for them to make the type of run I'd like to see them make. In years past, sure. I'd write like a fanboy that the Jets are gonna run the table and blah blah blah, but facing facts, they're not ready yet. With a 2-4 mark within a division that's not exactly a heavyweight division...you don't deserve to make the playoffs.
Pittsburgh & Baltimore
- One week from Sunday, one of these teams will be prepping for April's NFL Draft. One team's been done in by defensive deficiencies (Steelers), the other's been done in by a lack of offensive weapons and a defense that's showing its age (Ravens). I say one week from Sunday, because one week from this coming Sunday, they'll meet head to head. A win from either team, will effectively kayo the other from the playoff race.
Sorry Houston and Tennessee, you're not going to make it this year. Jeff Fisher probably waited three games too late to start VY and Kubiak...well, we wish you well in your future endeavors. You're probably going to be fired. You'll find work elsewhere, as I don't believe you're a bad head coach. You just had the unfortunate luck to be in the same damn division as Peyton Manning and the Colts during its prime. On the NFC side...
Dallas, Philly, G-Men
- Out of this trio, one's going to be the odd team out. Philly & New York will lock up this week and in a rather ironic note, these two have the best division record within the NFC East. Dallas is 2-2, which may haunt them going forward if a tiebreaker factors into the mix. Oh and getting swept by the Giants, does them no favors at all. Their remaining schedule gives them two trips to New Orlenas and Washington, while hosting San Diego this week and then hosting Philly in what may be an elimination game for one of them (deja vu?). Philly, will get NY this Sunday night and then host San Fran and Denver before traveling to The House That Jerry Built on January 3rd. New York, should they win this Sunday, SHOULD coast through the rest of this month with the Redskins and Panthers on tap before facing Minnesota at the end of the year in what MAY be a meaningless game for both depending on how the month plays out for the Vikes and Giants respectively.
Who am I going with here? The winner of this game will probably win the division. I think the loser of this game will get the Wild Card, as I'm convinced the Cowboys will fold down the stretch and Wade Phillips will be wished well in his future endeavors.
- Matt Ryan's questionable (I'm contemplating dumping him on my fantasy squad as I start my quest towards my first ever Fantasy Football title in a money league) and The Burner's more or less done for now. The Falcons in their history have not made the playoffs in consecutive seasons and looking more and more like it won't change this year.
Beyond that, the Colts will lock up homefield "officially" this Sunday. The Saints, may have to go 14-0 to hold off the Vikings. The Vikings, loss aside on Sunday night figure to have a stranglehold on the 2nd seed. Conversely, the Cards may be a serious threat in the NFC if someone gets caught slipping. On the AFC side, there's Indy and then there's everybody else. Seriously. Peyton's gone most of this season without Anthony Gonzalez, who was supposed to be his #2 guy next to Wayne...has blitzkrieged everyone. Sans Belichick's gamble, they may have crushed everyone in their path. Aside from the Chargers, I don't know if there's a team that can legitimately say "we can walk into Indianapolis and beat the Colts" that you don't laugh at. But the Chargers have done something the Patriots have not done in this decade. They've beaten the Colts in the postseason. The Bengals...I'm not really sure. (Interesting note, they've got a better road record compared to their home mark.) The AFC, is maybe at BEST a two maybe three team race. The NFC...oy. I don't think it's as clear a cut as we all think. As great as the Saints have been this year...I'm not totally set on them as locks for the NFC Championship. They may host it, the road to Miami may run through it, but I'm not set on the belief that New Orleans will be in Miami. Minnesota's strong, Arizona doesn't appear to have any Super Bowl hangover (they're actually playing pissed by how they let it slip through their fingers, a fire the Steelers don't appear to have, which speaks VOLUMES about how that really played out).
Alright, I'm done now. Err, I'm done FOR now that is.