Today's Names to Know: Georgia, Colt Brennan, Plus-One, Lloyd Carr, Chad Henne, Tim Tebow, Joe McKnight, Tony Temple, Fiesta Bowl, Sidney Crosby, Reggie Bush and Kim Kardashian, Varsity Letters and More!
Georgia waxes Hawaii: If nothing else, this 41-10 domination affirmed that last year's Cinderella win by Boise State over Oklahoma in a BCS bowl game was an exception, not a paradigm shift (sort of like George Mason making the Final Four in hoops two years ago, followed up by last season's fairly conventional results).
Here's where things get interesting: If you thought that Hawaii was overrated all along, then this blowout was nothing more than confirmation -- even if you had Georgia ranked higher than its current No. 4. The best you can do is rank Georgia No. 2 at the end of the year, leapfrogging the Ohio State-LSU loser and
However, if you thought (or suspected or even secretly hoped) that Hawaii was actually a legit team -- you were dazzled by the unbeaten record or by Colt Brennan's stats or by June Jones constantly telling you they were -- then you have to take the drubbing Georgia gave them and seriously consider giving the Bulldogs half the national title (the AP half), particularly if you had UGA ranked No. 1 at the end of the regular season (as I did).
Dud: Colt Brennan, who was brutalized. He threw 3 INTs, who was sacked 8 times and who lost 2 fumbles. Oh, and he threw for ZERO touchdowns, threw for less than half of his yards-per-game average and even suffered a TKO.
The upshot? Again: Either
The other (fictitious) upshot: "Playoff" implications. After yesterday, everyone will be talking about what a game it would have been between Georgia and USC. I see it differently:
Yesterday's results repudiate the "Plus-One" idea: Please explain how you would pick two "Plus-One" teams from Georgia, USC and the OSU-LSU winner? That doesn't even factor in Oklahoma if
Even a 4-team playoff now looks problematic: If you had picked a PRE-bowls Top 4 for a playoff and you left out either Georgia or USC (which you would have to to accommodate
More Bowl Hangover:
As a college football fan, I feel good for Lloyd Carr and I feel good for
As a Gators fan, I'm obviously frustrated by a soft defense and an otherwise-explosive offense that turned timid on two game-deciding drives late in the 4th. (But credit a fierce Michigan D with making Tim Tebow's day a tough one.)
Dominance of the Day: USC over
USC should be a consensus Top 3 team next season (but with a huge early-season game against consensus Top 3 Ohio State).
What a new year for USC: Reggie Bush and Kim Kardashian are reportedly engaged (says OK! Magazine via Page Six). I expect Yahoo Sports to be providing the most comprehensive coverage of the nuptials.
Stud of the Day: Tony Temple. The Missouri RB had a Cotton Bowl record 281 yards rushing to go with 4 TDs in a Tigers win over
Comeback of the Day:
Satisfaction of the Day: Tennessee Vols fans, whose team took care of the ball and took care of a tough bowl opponent in Wisconsin (meanwhile, they got a nice bit of schadenfreude watching the Gators lose to Michigan).
Bowls Tonight: Fiesta!
Instead they draw
Oklahoma is motivated by a return to their field of ignominy from a year ago. Pick:
NHL Winter Classic: Very cool (and cold!) The TV ratings still have to be counted, but the game set an all-time attendance record of 71,217, which is astonishing (if not surprising, given the novelty of the game and the passion of the fans in the
I tuned in from time to time: All in all, a huge success for the NHL. They learn a valuable lesson: When you are a "niche" sport, relevancy comes in one-game or one-day or one-moment bursts, not over the course of a sustained season.
(By the way, that's partly why I constantly refer to the NBA as now qualifying as a "niche" sport: They have the Christmas Day game, the Finals...maybe, the Draft and the occasional intriguing mid-playoff must-see matchup, but those are few and far between. And that's it, as far as appeal to casual fans goes.)
NFL: Chargers GM AJ Smith gets a 5-year extension. He'll outlast Norv Turner, that's for sure.
Reminder: Shanoff reading in NYC tomorrow night! I'm the opening act for Will Leitch and Dave Zirin. It's at 8 p.m. at Happy Ending (302 Broome) and it's FREE. Here's a link to all the info, including a far-reaching pre-event interview that is one of my favorite of all time.
(By the way, I predict you're going to be hearing a lot about Will's book "God Save the Fan" this month. It comes out on January 22, and it's going to be a huge sensation. It's very very good, which helps. Did you happen to catch the Page Six item about it yesterday?)