Some things just re-affirm your faith in...well, everything. The Rays beating back the Sox surge to win Game 7 and the AL pennant is one of those moments.
The question, as I lay out in my SN column today, is whether this is a revolution or a blip?
The Red Sox -- from sheer payroll by itself, let alone its expert front-office management -- will always be a contender. But the Rays did it on a fraction of the budget, with a surplus of young talent. If the Rays offered the Sox a roster swap -- straight up, team-for-team -- is there any doubt the Sox would take it?
They looked the defending champ -- arguably the best elimination-game team in MLB history -- in the eye and Boston blinked. I thought we were in the middle of the Red Sox Dynasty.
This might be the beginning of the Reign of the Rays.
Meanwhile, BCS BCS BCS. You know who was No. 2 in the first BCS poll a year ago? South Florida. Things will change. Texas and Alabama "control their own destiny," but things inevitably happen.
Well, perhaps not to Texas, which looks like an absolute juggernaut, even in the tough Big 12 (which isn't quite the monster it looked like a few weeks ago).
But Alabama still has a hell of a row to hoe, including the SEC title game (if they get that far). Penn State is sitting pretty -- IF they can win at Ohio State (no gimme), although it's hard to stomach another Big Ten champ making the BCS, given how mediocre the league is.
USC will cruise to 11-1, but its strength of schedule will continue to haunt it. And if Penn State beats Ohio State - or if Ohio State loses to anyone else -- that single signature USC win suddenly doesn't look so impressive.
There is a crack of light for Florida, although I'm certain it won't play out this smoothly: Beat Georgia. Win the rest of the regular-season games. Beat Alabama in the SEC title game. Not easy, but a 12-1 SEC champ should be more than enough (unless both Texas and Penn State both go undefeated -- even then, you wonder whether a 1-loss SEC champ is worse than an unbeaten Big Ten champ).
It's a rare Monday when the NFL is relegated behind two other stories. But here we are: The Cowboys are a mess. The Titans should have silenced all doubters (although beating KC isn't exactly beating, say, the Giants). I really want an enterprising blogger to find all the YouTube clips from Draft day where the Titans were mocked for drafting Johnson.
And Brett Favre is accused of helping the Lions prep for their Week 2 game against the Packers, which is so farcically predictable that it HAS to have some truth to it. It's so petty, so narcisisstic -- thus, so Favre. It's not against the rules, per se, but so against the spirit of competition; it's not like the Lions signed a Packers castoff who helped his new team scheme his old team.
Anyway, it's a fun Monday. They're all fun. Complete SN column here. More later.