When people joke/boast about the SEC being "grown-[up] football," it is precisely yesterday's game that they are talking about.
I have heard and appreciated that Notre Dame's bona fides include that they are built to resemble a good SEC team -- the difference between "like a good SEC team" and "good SEC team" is what will be on display next month in the national-title game in Miami.
Notre Dame's running game is solid. Alabama's run defense is even more solid. Notre Dame's run defense is stout. Alabama's running game is brutalizing in a way ND has never seen. (And Georgia's running game is just as good.) Brian Kelly is a great coach. Nick Saban is the greatest coach.
I hold the 2008 SEC title game in the highest regard -- it is the greatest moment for Florida football and Tim Tebow -- but yesterday's game was even more exciting, even more of an example of how powerful and punishing the SEC is, a step beyond what everyone else in college football is doing.
I feel (nominally) for Georgia fans, because they had a shot. I don't blame the WR for catching that game-ending pass (it was headed for the end-zone and tipped anyway) as much as I blame UGA coaches for not spiking the ball and settling in for two shots at the game-winning play.
But this is yet another triumph for Nick Saban and Alabama, from the jaw-dropping running game of Lacy and Yeldon to the clutch passing TD to take the lead at the end to the third-quarter two-point conversion that ended up being the difference in the game -- something folks should think about when they are spouting orthodoxies about "taking the points" anytime before the late 4th quarter.
The SEC was on full display. And, as has come to be the norm, the league's 7th straight national title a month from now feels like a post-script.
BCS: I can feel comfortable with the title-game match-up of Alabama and Notre Dame and still not have the Irish ranked in my Top 2 to finish the season. I restore Alabama to No. 1 on the strength of yesterday's win, followed by Florida at No. 2, Texas A&M at No. 3, Georgia at No. 4 and Notre Dame at No. 5.
Other CFB yesterday: Wisconsin, whoa. The Badgers were underrated, but yikes... Kansas State had a season to be proud of (Texas? Not so much)... Why is the ACC faltering? That title game was a pretty good symbol of why... So: Oklahoma vs. Florida in the Sugar Bowl? OK.
RIP Rick Majerus: If I had to pick one person to coach my college roster -- just the coaching part -- I would pick Rick Majerus. For me, he is the ultimate example of someone who coached the hell out of their available talent, always creating winners and foiling opposing coaches. Just imagine if that guy ever had the talent that K has at Duke or Izzo has at Michigan State (or, most relevant, Pitino or Tubby had at Kentucky).
The Jovan Belcher tragedy is almost too horrible to comment on. No one can be inside his head, and so I'm left mourning his murder of his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins and the life of their 3-month-old child.
As for the NFL allowing today's Chiefs game to continue -- basically the only part of this story that would-be pundits can comment on -- seems unreasonable, given the circumstances, particularly because neither team is contending for a playoff spot and they could have easily moved the game to Monday without disrupting the schedule. For god's sake: The head coach was standing right next to Belcher when he killed himself.
All that said, enjoy your Sunday.