Tuesday, January 03, 2012

01/03 (Bowl Hangover) Quickie

Oklahoma State is a very (very) good football team. They vanquished Oklahoma. They won the Big 12. They beat a very good Stanford team in the Fiesta Bowl.

The Cowboys are not the No. 1 team in the country if Alabama beats LSU next week. I'm typically a "split-the-title" person, egging on the AP to nullify the BCS by picking an alternative champ. In this case, it's really hard to justify picking an OSU team that simply can't play defense and lost to Iowa State ahead of an Alabama team that would have lost by a field goal to overwhelming then-No. 1 LSU, then turned around and beat them.

That doesn't mean Oklahoma State didn't have a marvelous season. A Top 3 finish is hardly something to sniff at, particularly if your program has been as historically second-tier as OSU.

But if OSU getting snubbed inspires systemic change that generates a four-team playoff? That's an even bigger/better legacy than winning a national championship.


*Gosh, is Oregon fun to watch. I'd love to see Oregon play Oklahoma State. I think Oregon would throttle them. (It's a testament to just how good LSU is -- and USC, frankly -- that they came out ahead of the Ducks when they played.

*Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson needed to know that 2 seconds isn't enough time to spike the ball. Just run a play and take your chances. It sure beats the alternative.

*Andrew Luck doesn't sound very excited about playing in Indianapolis if Peyton Manning is still there -- and he shouldn't be.

*Justin Blackmon is going to have as big of an impact next year as an NFL rookie as AJ Green did in Cincinnati this year. He might not make the playoffs, but he will make some terrible offense a lot better.

*OK, so the Heat aren't going to go 66-0? (Let's remember: The only thing that matters with the Heat is that Miami gets 16 wins in the postseason. That's it. That's all. Nothing else.)

*The NHL Winter Classic was terrific this year. Unless you're a fan of the Flyers or Rangers, it doesn't matter who won -- it's one of the great TV spectacles you'll get all year. A dramatic game is just a bonus.

*NFL Black Monday: It was time for a regime change from the Polians in Indy... Tough break for Raheem Morris in Tampa -- he has been doomed for weeks... If the Rams can pick up a big haul for that No. 2 pick (or simply take the best available OT), they are a great job opportunity... Beyond Bill Cowher, Jeff Fisher is the biggest name on the market; I think he ends up with the Colts (and Luck).

*Rex Ryan lost control of the Jets: The question is whether his system -- his management style -- creates an atmosphere where players freak out. The short-term answer is probably to be less sure of himself that he can handle headcases and stick to a more Belichickean strategy of recruiting a compliant roster.

*Bowling tonight: Michigan vs. VA Tech. Zzz.

*Politics: Iowa caucuses prediction time! Paul 24, Romney 23, Santorum 19.

-- D.S.

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