Monday, January 07, 2008

Monday 01/07 A.M. Quickie:
BCS, NFL Wild Cards, Clemens, UNC, More!

Today's Names to Know: LSU, Ohio State, Jaguars, LaDainian Tomlinson, Eli Manning, Jon Gruden, Roger Clemens, Kevin Smith, June Jones, Tulsa and Paul Smith, Terrelle Pryor, North Carolina and Wayne Ellington, Rick DiPietro and More!


Oh my god: If LSU beats Ohio State tonight, I win -- WIN! -- the Daily Quickie Readers Bowl Pick 'Em group. (h/t: reader/commenter Steve)

BCS National Title Game: LSU vs. Ohio State. You all know where I stand: I have been high on LSU's championship bona fides most of the season – and equally down on Ohio State. I think this game plays out similarly to last year's national title game, except Ohio State fans won't be so shell-shocked when it happens: Overmatched Ohio State loses decisively to an SEC champ.

But the fact is: LSU brings a ferocious, lightning-fast defense the likes of which Ohio State has never seen. Last year's Florida defense was very good; this LSU defense is even better (and this year's Ohio State offense isn't nearly as good as last year's OSU offense). And LSU's offense is more than versatile enough, between Flynn/Perriloux, Doucet, Hester and Holliday.

Prediction: LSU.

Here's the intrigue: Will there be a split champ? There is one team with a very legit claim to the AP half of the title:

Georgia.

Start with this: LSU didn't beat Georgia during the regular season. They never played (and, unfortunately, we missed a match-up between them in the SEC title game, which I argue Georgia would have won).

They have the same two losses. They played the same brutal SEC schedule. Georgia finished the season hotter -- and playing better. Georgia romped in its BCS bowl win, not just beating the only undefeated team in the country, but absolutely stifling the nation's most prolific offense.

Even if Ohio State beats LSU, I would argue that – this wacky season, if ever – Georgia deserves a share of the national title.

If I was an AP voter, I would have already locked in Georgia as my No. 1 team, regardless of what happens tonight. Let the coaches have their champ, and the media end a season appropriately unconventionally.

NFL Wild Card Wrap. Jaguars, Seahawks, Giants, Chargers advance. Obviously, the Jaguars' win was the biggest of the weekend, because it was the one that creates the first playoff hurdle for the Patriots. More on that later this week.

Chargers stifle VY, Titans: This quickly felt like a gimme once the second half started. Let's wait for Norv Turner's usual season-killing miscalculation next week in Indianapolis. But, still, congrats to San Diego on their first playoff win since 1995.

Giants beat Bucs in Tampa: Suffice to say, Eli Manning really really REALLY needed this win, his first ever in a playoff game. Everything after this is gravy, because this result alone will be spun as "progress."

Jon Gruden insists that tanking the last few weeks of the season "to stay healthy for the playoffs" (my quote) didn't leave the Bucs unprepared for the Giants: Yeah, right. That just doesn't pass the smell test.

Clemens Watch: "It's not a lie if you believe it." Perhaps the most defining (and most memorable) words ever uttered by George Costanza properly puts Clemens into perspective at this point.

Clemens has determined to go the denial route – he has no other choice BUT to convince himself that he is being truthful, which is why I'm quite sure Clemens can offer to take a lie-detector test on "60 Minutes." That's why it is important to watch for any linguistic hedge, such as "My understanding was that he was giving me lidacaine and B-12..."

Meanwhile, Rocket sues McNamee: For all the talk about Brian McNamee suing Clemens, the Rocket struck first, suing McNamee for defamation. Oh, yes, this will get uglier.

NFL Draft: Kevin Smith WILL turn pro. The Central Florida running back was the most prolific RB in the nation this season, both in terms of yards and TDs. He had said he was going back to school, but a weak bowl game and the chance to be a first-rounder now probably seems too tempting.

CFB Coaching Carousel: June Jones resigns from Hawaii. One can only surmise that it's "SMU, here he comes." If it is SMU, I'm looking forward to see what Jones can do with a pipeline to Texas talent and his wide-open offense. SMU will be a poor man's Texas Tech. (Or, I guess if you know the SMU students and alums, a rich man's Texas Tech.) There is still a chance he'll return to Hawaii.

CFB Bowling: Tulsa routs Bowling Green 63-7, and the 56-point difference was the greatest margin of victory in a bowl game ever, topping Alabama over Syracuse by 55 in the 1953 Orange Bowl. Tulsa QB Paul Smith holds a new record with his 14th straight 300-yard passing game. If you're going to win in a blowout, at least it was a record-breaking blowout.

CFB Recruiting: Here's a prediction: Terrelle Pryor will lead the college team of his choice (Michigan?) to a national title before he leaves for the NFL. I'll say it will be 2010, when Pryor is a junior.

CBB: UNC survives at Clemson, but it took a buzzer-beating 3 in overtime by Wayne Ellington, and that was to win by 2. The lesson here? Don't let UNC's non-conference buzzsaw fool you; it's a new season when teams go into conference play, and UNC is not the best team in the country. (That would be Memphis.)

CBB Weekend Wrap: If you spend the regular season (particularly the non-conference season) looking for clues and foreshadowing related to the NCAA Tournament in March, then Texas' win over feisty (and ranked) St. Mary's was one to file away. Yes, the Longhorns are better this season than last season, even without Kevin Durant.

Meanwhile, West Virginia got its first huge win under Bob Huggins, a Big East win over Marquette... staying in the wild Big East, Villanova (coming off a loss to DePaul) beat Pitt.

NHL: Rick DiPietro's crazy all-white goalie pads last the entire game. Wow, he really was worth that gajillion dollar contract the Islanders gave him, wasn't he?

Anniversaries: Five years ago yesterday, I debuted the Daily Quickie on ESPN.com. How many of you remember being there from the first day? Regardless, it was a momentous day for me and my career – it's not unreasonable to say that not many (if any) of you would be here today if not for that day and what came every day for the next 3-plus years afterward.

-- D.S.

17 comments:

Zappatista said...

Ya, we all know how "high" you were on Florida demolishing Michigan as well....how'd that one work out for ya?

John said...

I especially enjoyed when Clemens kept trying to change the subject to Vioxx. Keep lying Rocket. There's no turning back now!

Steve said...

Dan, if LSU wins tonight you win the Daily Quickie Readers Group for the Bowl Mania challenge. Just thought I'd let you know.

T-Mill said...

Georgia does not deserve the national title. If you can't even win your own DIVISION in your conference then you deserve a NATIONAL championship plain and simple.

Kansas has more of an argument than Georgia because of one loss, but they don't deserve it either for the same reason. Georgia lost its right to bitch when it lost two games. If you want to gripe then go win on the field.

Jason said...

Absolutely, under no circumstances does Georgia belong in the discussion as a National Champion. The team didn't even go to their conference championship game, let alone win it.

It isn't like Georgia has one loss and it was a close game, they have 2 losses. After their bowl win, the talk was Hawaii was inferior and didn't belong. How does beating an opponent who probably shouldn't have been in the BCS qualify for a national title? If Georgia belongs in the discussion, then you have to open it up to Kansas or USC.

goathair said...

Georgia didn't even win their division, let alone their conference. I can't get behind a team that didn't finish top 2 in their conference as the national champion.

BobbyStompy said...

TWO of your SEC teams as split national titles? Only on danshanoff.com. Why isn't USC being thrown into the discussion?

Jen said...

GO BUCKS!!!!

O-H
I-O

Brian said...

How predictably ridiculous of Dan to argue that not one, but two national champions should come from the SEC this year. What is surprising is that he didn't try to make some convoluted argument that Florida deserves a third of the national title. You can't make a case for Georgia that can't be better made for USC or Kansas.

glcallan said...

proud to say ive been here since day 1...congrats on the anniversary!

Bacon said...

Holy crap, I have been reading you for 5 years?!?!?!

congrats

ashorner said...

CBB: RE UNC vs Clemson: Could it be that Clemson and the ACC are stronger than expected?

Give the Heels credit for pulling out a road ACC win, down 2 players and with a hobbled back-up point guard.

Memphis, Kansas, UNC, UCLA are all top tier teams (but none of them stand out over the others). Memphis had a key win of Georgetown (who hasn't been playing up to expectations), but all CBB teams are pushed throughout the season.

Memphis? No conference challenges; usual NCAA Tourney flame out.

It's easy to pick a team that plays nobody during the regular season and talk about your pick throughout the season...Then you'll change your tune come Tourney time. Have some balls and make a real pick...

Cody said...

Why isn't WVU considered for a split national tittle. They had the most impressive win in the BCS bowl games. They beat an Oklahoma team that some thought should be playing in the national championship game.

Jen said...

One more time:

GO BUCKEYES!!!!

Forgot say "Happy Quickie Anniversary". I think I started reading about 3-4 years ago.

RT said...

I'm on the final days of my 20's, but the Quickie five year anniversary really makes me feel old. Hard to believe your bandwagon fandom has been driving me crazy for that long.

Randvek said...

Gotta back Cody here... Georgia, USC, and WVU all had bowl games that make them look as strong as LSU. Even if they blow out OSU, didn't we all say they were overrated?

The fact is, nobody really stood out this year. I wouldn't complain if we could split the national title 3 or even 4 ways this year. It's that crazy.

Playoffs still aren't the answer, though.

d_helms32 said...

I'll be honest with ya Dan; the only reason I'm here is because of the Daily Quickie. It captured my attention then, and your writing captures me now. Keep up the good work and here's to many more years!!!