No football today. Finally.
It has been overkill since December 17, the first day of bowl games. There was at least one live game EVERY DAY between that day and yesterday. That’s 17 consecutive days if you’re counting.
There can be too much of a good thing, and there was too much in this case. Forty-one bowl games and 47 NFL games is overkill. It is time for four days of finding other things to watch on television than football.
USC defeated Penn State 52-49 in the Rose Bowl. I hated it.
Joe Paterno must have flipped over in his grave, not so much over the Nittany Lions losing, but for the team giving up FIFTY TWO points in a bowl game. Heck, there were some seasons where Paterno’s charges didn’t give up 52 points in half a season. In one game? Holy crap.
USC may have been known as “Tailback U” when John McKay and John Robinson led the Trojans, but USC would not have won any national championships without stellar defense. Don’t forget that one of the NFL’s best defenders this millennium, Troy Polamalu, played at USC.
The college game is so heavily tilted to the offense it isn’t funny. Yes, Alabama wins big with defense, but the Crimson Tide has Nick Saban. All of the others playing at the highest level of college football–126, at least 50 too many–don’t.
Yes, Deshaun Watson, in my opinion the best quarterback in college football this season, plays for Clemson. But last I checked, Ohio State did not score vs. the Tigers. The first time Urban Meyer has ever been shut out. FIRST. TIME. EVER. So what about that Clemson defense, huh?
If LSU had a halfway decent offense, it would have been in the playoff. The Bayou Bengals’ defense suffocated Lamar Jackson, the unworthy Heisman Trophy winner, and Louisville, which averaged 533 yards per game in the regular season. LSU’s defense was on par with any in the nation, a step below Alabama, but certainly above at least 110 of the 126 others.
I’m sorry for all those fans who like shootouts, but that’s not a winning formula. Not if you don’t have a good defense.
I do not like high scoring football. If you want to score at will, go play a video game.
People complain about the rules in the NFL being heavily tilted to the offense. If that’s the case, then the rules are tilted to the offense in college at a 90-degree angle. The defense has no chance. And with the clock stopping after every first down to move the chains, the game drags on and on and on and on.
In 2006, the NCAA changed two timing rules to try and speed the game up. One, the clock started on a kickoff when the ball was kicked, not when it was touched in the field of play; and second, the clock would restart following every change of possession when the ball was spotted ready for play, not on the snap.
I didn’t agree with those rules. That’s a little too much in trying to speed the game up. But the clock does not need to stop to move the chains, except maybe in the last two minutes of each half if the NCAA wants to keep that option in the rules.
Another idea: two timeouts per half. It works in Canada.
Okay enough ranting. I’ve got things to get done.
Five days at Buffalo Wild Wings playing tons of trivia. My ears need the rest after all the screaming, mostly by Chiefs and Iowa Hawkeyes fans.
I am tired of seeing the negativity about the presidential election. I can’t take it anymore. I participated four years ago, and it was a huge mistake.
There was a huge anti-Trump rally yesterday in downtown Kansas City. My dear friends Robb and Dawn Amos attended. I know they’re down about the election, way down. They’re supposed to come to Buffalo Wild Wings today, first time I’ve seen them since the election. I hope they’ll be in a better mood. I will try not to bring up the election.
The protest in Kansas City was peaceful. However, that hasn’t been the case everywhere. I was horrified to learn of defacing of monuments with hate speech in New Orleans. My hometown embarrassing itself yet again.
I’m conservative, but I was not a fan of Trump. He is a crude, boorish man. I know Tiffany Trump, Donald’s daughter with Marla Maples, was born on my 17th birthday, but that’s just a coincidence.
Life is going to go on. Nothing will change until Trump is inaugurated January 20.
Thank God for football!
The second, third and fourth teams in the Nov. 8 College Football Playoff committee rankings lost yesterday. Two of them, #2 Clemson and #4 Washington, fell at home. #3 Michigan lost in Iowa City to the Hawkeyes, which would not have been shocking last year, but given Iowa’s struggles this year and the way the Wolverines had been poleaxing opponents throughout 2016, it was.
Clemson had been darn lucky to be 9-0. The Tigers should have lost earlier this season at home to North Carolina State, but the Wolfpack kicker missed a gimme field goal at the end of regulation, allowing Clemson to escape in OT. The Tigers won a tough won from Louisville. And if Clemson’s season opener at Auburn occurred one month later, the Tigers from the SEC, not the ones from the ACC, might have emerged victorious.
Washington? Come on. The Pac-12 isn’t that strong this season. Stanford has fallen quite a bit. Oregon has collapsed. Arizona stinks. It says something when the two newest members, Colorado and Utah, are fighting for the South division, and Washington State, which lost to Eastern Washington in its season opener, now leads the North.
The Huskies’ non-conference schedule was a joke. Rutgers, Idaho and Portland State? Bill Snyder, the permanent king of cupcake scheduling, was probably envious. Tom Osborne would have been proud of that slate. Nick Saban has it right: it is high time teams in the Power 5 conferences stop playing these punching bags. I am well aware the punching bags want a big paycheck to help fill their athletic coffers, but wouldn’t those schools save money by playing more games closer to home?
Give USC credit. The Trojans could have waved the white flag after early season losses to Alabama, Stanford and Utah, but Clay Helton has revived Toy and will have USC in the Rose Bowl soon, if not this season. Fitting the win was in Seattle, where the man who led the Trojans to so much glory earlier this millennium, Pete Carroll, now coaches the Seahawks. Carroll probably was upset his team had to play at New England this weekend. He would have no doubt loved to have been watching the Trojans at Husky Stadium.
Michigan has always had trouble at Kinnick Stadium. In 1985, the Wolverines were #2, but lost 12-10 to the then-#1 Hawkeyes on the rain-slicked AstroTurf of Kinnick. Legendary Iowa coach Hayden Fry had the visiting locker room painted pink in an attempt to channel the aggression out of the visiting team, but Michigan’s equipment staff plastered over the pink walls with maize and blue posters. Nice idea. Too bad for the Wolverines it didn’t work.
Yesterday marked the first time since October 19, 1985, that the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 teams all lost on the same day.
As was the case then, Iowa beat Michigan in Iowa City, and two other teams lost at home. Then it was Oklahoma (to Miami) and Arkansas (to Texas). The Sooners bounced back and won the national championship by defeating Penn State in the Orange Bowl. Oklahoma also had a big assist from Tennessee, which beat Miami in the Sugar Bowl. The Hurricanes were a huge favorite over the Volunteers, largely based upon Miami’s 58-7 destruction of Notre Dame in its regular season finale, the final game of Gerry Faust’s coaching career. Faust had announced his resignation earlier that week following Notre Dame’s 10-7 loss to LSU in South Bend the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
I’m about to get on the road to Zona Rosa. I’ll be there at 11 when it opens, ready for the NFL.