Wednesday, January 02, 2013

01/02 (New Year) Quickie

Like everyone else, I am still astounded by Jadeveon Clowney's hit yesterday. The best reaction was from SBNation's Spencer Hall -- read it here.

Meanwhile, I have a pretty short list of "best endings to a college football season of teams I root for." 2006 and 2008 for Florida's national titles, 1995 for Northwestern's trip to the Rose Bowl (even if it ended in a loss). Maybe even 2009 - Tebow's last year - for the emotional roller-coaster of the SEC title game followed by the Sugar Bowl obliteration of Cincinnati.

Barring something insane tonight, 2012 will make the list. If/when Florida demolishes Louisville, they will likely finish the season ranked No. 2 in the country, behind only the Alabama-Notre Dame champ. Given last season, this is just about as much as any fan could hope for (short of a national title itself, obviously).

Meanwhile, Northwestern won its first bowl game in 63 years -- of my (and many others') lifetime, not to mention an enormous boost for the program. Pretty good finish - with both teams lining up for even better results in 2013 (and, yes, I know what I'm saying about Florida with that statement).

Other than that, yesterday's bowl feast was defined by Stanford out-slugging Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl -- Stanford's success (and I entirely buy David Shaw's notion that they are still ascending) is a testament to solid recruiting, extraordinary coaching and phenomenal execution, which is really just a function of the first two. If/when Chip Kelly leaves Oregon, there is no reason to believe that Stanford won't fill the breach as the best team West of Alabama.

(The finish to South Carolina-Michigan was pretty incredible, too.)

*NFL Jobs: Andy Reid to Arizona? Zzz. I am far more intrigued which team will get Chip Kelly. And, perhaps even more intriguing than that, which team will get Penn State's Bill O'Brien -- the fact that he is even entertaining the idea of interviewing for NFL jobs undermines whatever allegiance he professed to Penn State. I don't blame him for leaving, but if he leaves after just a year? I don't care how PSU might have hood-winked him with promises of no NCAA sanctions, it's a tough move for him and a rough situation for Penn State. Meanwhile, pretty amazing that the hottest college coaching commodity for the NFL (outside of Chip Kelly and, perhaps, inclusive of Chip Kelly) is Syracuse's Doug Marrone.

*NBA: Denver's yellow-with-horizontal-stripe alt-uniforms are amazing -- not quite as amazing as knocking off the Clippers and snapping LA's insane win streak, but close.

*Would be really nice to start this new year with a labor deal for the NHL.

-- D.S.

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