Saturday, December 07, 2013

12/07 Tailgate Quickie

*Auburn over Mizzou, Ohio State over Michigan State -- and, absurdly, the SEC will be shut out of the national-title game.

*Northern Illinois: That's why you play the whole schedule. (And why you never know with Michigan State.)

*World Cup draw: Ouch. Yikes. Yeesh. That said! I predict we will beat Ghana (finally) and draw with Portugal, putting us in a position to advance to the knockout round.

*Cano did what he had to do: He'll regret not playing on a championship team, but -- then again -- it's not like he was playing on a championship team in New York.

*Malzahn staying at Auburn: In the absence of a not-forthcoming offer from Texas, he might as well lock it in while the getting is as good as it gets.

*Texans fire Kubiak: Anyone not see that coming? Good for Houston for dumping him now and giving themselves a running start to find a replacement. I'd try to hire Kevin Sumlin from Texas A&M (who just signed an extension but clearly would not be begrudged for leaving for the NFL), but that's just me. Trade the No. 1 overall pick for a couple of 1sts (hello, St. Louis) and pick Manziel plus Best Available (probably not in that order).

*Kentucky hoops: From what you can see, they don't look like an elite team that will be able to win six straight in March. They are certainly not last season's debacle, but they are much closer to the uber-talented Wall-Cousins-Bledsoe 2010 team that fell well short of a national title than the Davis-MKG team that won one in 2012.

*Can't wait for Kobe's return tomorrow.

-- D.S.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Sunday 12/01 Auburn December Quickie

It's a glorious morning for those of us who traffic in instant history: Auburn's jaw-dropping win over Alabama was the single-greatest finish in college football history.

If you consider the context, participants, stakes, history -- all of it -- nothing can match it. It not only ended Alabama's national-title hopes, but it elevated Auburn's.

All in a rivalry game and all in the single-most-stunning play you will ever see. Just when you think sports can't sports any more dramatically... sports.

Let's move on to what will be a cataclysmic debate this week: Given the SEC's string of national titles and given Auburn's -- or Missouri's -- (vastly) superior resume, should a 1-loss SEC champ get into the BCS title game ahead of an unbeaten "brand-name" team from a power conference?

The answer -- simply enough -- is absolutely.

When you compare Ohio State's resume -- devoid of literally any high quality wins, let alone the multiple high quality wins of either Auburn or Mizzou -- it simply doesn't compare.

Even if/when Ohio State beats Michigan State next week, the Auburn-Missouri winner will have racked up yet another high-quality win -- far more impressive than Michigan State.

(Forget top 2 in the country: Can we agree that Ohio State might only be the 6th-best team in the SEC, reasonably set behind Auburn, Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, Missouri and South Carolina?)

You could say that a BCS finale that shuts out a clearly superior 1-loss SEC champ in favor of two unbeatens with relatively paltry resumes is the fitting end to a flawed system.

I would prefer it if the BCS belied its checkered history and -- not unlike the way Breaking Bad ended things for Walter White -- sent itself out with a bit of dignity that comes with rejecting a kneejerk "But they're unbeaten!" rationale for what we all know to be true:

The Auburn-Missouri winner deserves a shot at the national title in a way that Ohio State simply doesn't. (OK: If you want to make it interesting, let Ohio State and Florida State play in two Saturdays for the right to face the Auburn-Mizzou winner... but that's a 4-team playoff, of course.)

None of this should overshadow the most remarkable finish to a college football game in the history of the sport.

-- D.S.