Thursday, December 11, 2014

Bowl games and the Boss

Recently, yours truly shot his editor an email with my take on the upcoming college football national championship playoffs. I like to think I'm pretty good at keeping up with the sports scene, but this guy is all over it. Maybe that's why he makes the big bucks and I don't. It follows.

I considered using the following as a blog post, and might still yet. But then I thought -- what the hell -- I haven't pestered a certain bacon and cheese omelet scarfing sports editor in a while. So why not? Onward. 

Question: How can a team be ranked #3 going in, win their last game by 52 points, and drop three spots in the polls to fall out of national playoff contention?

My answer: Follow the money. While Condy and her committee can bluster all they want about "bodies of work", tell me they weren't acutely aware (if not influenced) by the almighty network TV executives, trying to get the ultimate bang for ad bucks -- and I'll tell you I don't believe it. Had it been, say, Texas, instead of TCU in the same predicament, I suspect things would have turned out a bit differently. Yes/no?  

Nevertheless, time to weigh in on the games. 

The Sugar Bowl. Though Bama seemed to be vulnerable earlier in the year, methinks they've regained their junkyard dog mentality. Plus, they're loaded with talent and depth across the board. Kudos to OSU for what they've accomplished with a second, and then third string quarterback. The beatdown of MSU was impressive enough, and the absolute 59-0 slaughter of a very good Wisconsin team in the conference championship game was eye-popping. But the Tide will basically have regional home field advantage and I foresee Cardale Jones, in just his second start, having a long and brutal day against the Bama defense. Haven't seen the spread, but I'd think Bama would be favored by a touchdown or so (it's now 10 points). And I think they cover. 

The Rose Bowl. Home field advantage goes to Oregon. The Ducks are definitely a speedy bunch and have a likely Heisman winning QB. In the meantime, FSU is tough to figure out. They're reigning national champs, the only undefeated team in the field, yet somehow dropped from a pre-season #1 to #3. Thing is, outside the Tallahassee area, most people want to see these guys get knocked off. Probably because of the on-going rumblings concerning Jameis Winston's alleged misdeeds of the past. I have no idea whether such allegations are true, but Winston and the 'Noles haven't lost a game since he set foot on campus two years ago. Funny though, how Winston has recently had a hearing in front of university officials regarding student misconduct, but no word yet on their decision. Well, of course not. They'll make sure they "deliberate" for a few weeks. Even if they already think he's guilty, they're not about to bounce/suspend their star QB until the playoffs are over. Who's kidding who? FSU has escaped a few close calls with second half rallies, but I think in Pasadena, their winning streak comes to an end. Instead of the 'Noles wearing somebody else out, I think the Ducks wear THEM out. Again, no idea about the point spread, but I'd guess 3 or 4 in favor of Oregon (the Ducks are currently favored by nine.) 

So yours truly has Alabama and Oregon meeting for the national championship. 

And what say you?


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