Brad Keselowski – You are the champion my friend. During the last half of the race it actually appeared that this result was in jeopardy, but a missing lug nut and a pierced oil line later and the #48 didn’t even finish 2nd in the standings. Meanwhile Keselowski proved to everyone that he not only belongs, but he’s one of the elite and will be a contender for years to come. I guess Dale Jr. really did see something special a few years back when he hired Brad for his Nationwide team. The #2 is the new #1
Notre Dame – Of course in some sports the #3 is the new #1. With the help of a couple of teams that we will see in the ‘Fallen’ Notre Dame has ascended to the top of the heap for the first time since Windows 3.11 was the earth-shaking Microsoft product garnering all of the buzz. And now the gift of facing USC without Matt Barkley has paved a pretty smooth path for them to reach the promised land. Will the Pope send the Baptists in Waco a thank you card?
The SEC Champ – They only had to fear for one week that they could be shut out of the national championship game (which, I would imagine, still sent shockwaves through the entire southeast) before they were gifted with the clear path to the second spot in the BCS Championship. Provided both schools take care of business this week, Alabama and Georgia should meet as the #2 & #3 teams in the country, assuring the SEC of having a presence in the BCS title game.
The NBA in New York – The Knicks have been a travesty for the past few years. The Nets were aimless in New Jersey. Now? They are both sitting (in New York) atop the Eastern Conference with plenty of excitement and hope for their fan bases. It’s so nice to see the small market teams succeeding…
Georgia Tech – Uh…are we really talking about this? In a shocking twist, the previously woeful Yellow Jackets have won 4 straight conference games and, with the help of Miami’s continued upstanding living – kudos to you Donna Shalala, have locked up the ACC Coastal Division. Now, please ignore the 6-5 record, the upcoming games with Georgia and FSU, and a bowl game which could very possibly cause them to end the season at 6-8… just focus on the fact that they are Division Champs! And for the first time, Georgia and Georgia Tech will meet each other with both carrying the crown of “division champ”.
The Unexpected Heisman – With Collin Klein, Marqise Lee, Kenjon Barner & A.J. McCarron doing significant damage to their chances of winning the Heisman trophy the past two weeks we now have an interesting situation. The top 3 candidates that I see are a freshman (Johnny Manziel), a defense-only player (Manti Te’o), and the QB from a team banned from any postseason games (Braxton Miller). It could be quite a historic announcement if OSU and Notre Dame can finish undefeated and if A&M can beat the hapless Mizzou Tigers. (Brief Heisman Tangent: While Auburn, Clemson, Rice, and Penn can claim John Heisman as a former football coach of theirs, only Georgia Tech can claim him as a former football, basketball, and baseball head coach as well as athletic director)
The Spirit of Christmas: Tis the Season of Giving!! It was good to see Matt Ryan leading by example, giving Arizona interception after interception to help the poor Cardinals out. Too bad they couldn’t capitalize and enjoy their presents. They were like the kid that breaks the new toy before Christmas night.
New Orleans Saints: Wasn’t this team 0-4 and being left for dead? Don’t look now but the Saints are 5-5 and looking very scary to upcoming opponents. If they make the playoffs there could be an amazing story to end the saga that is this season…
Twitter Conversation of the Week:
[from Maryland Press Conference ] @ESPN_ACC – Twitter sooooo slow here, argh!
[reply ] @RoyKesselSL: If you come to the Big Ten it is faster.
We Are The Fallen
Steeler QB Ribs – Paging Charlie Batch. Please pick up your body armor at the front desk! Back to back weeks of QB’s breaking (or dislocating) ribs should definitely be a topic of conversation in the offensive line meetings this week don’t you think?!
Traditional Rivalry Games – Somehow Texas v. Texas Christian doesn’t hold the same swagger that Texas v. Texas A&M did…
The BCS Top 2 – One week after ascending to the top to have a chance at a national championship, both the BCS #1 and #2 fell flat on their respective faces and quickly gave away their chance. Unranked Baylor made it look like Kansas State brought a knife to a gunfight and blew the Wildcats off the field. And in a game that was expected to be a track meet, Stanford appeared to put molasses on Oregon’s shoes and slowed things down to a crawl. And all hopes of having an SEC free title game appear to have vanished. *sigh*
The ACC – After landing a major victory by getting Notre Dame to join the fold (mostly) earlier this season, the ACC PR machine took a hit when Maryland jumped ship to the Big X+IV and the likely Coastal Division champions Miami self-imposed another post-season ban that will keep them from a rematch with Florida State with the conference title on the line on the same day. Never fear, there are 3 or 4 Big East teams (presumably UConn, Louisville, or Cincinnati) that are likely to back-fill that position, but regardless it is a blow to lose a conference charter member.
His Gronkness – Despite fighting through many injuries, the Patriots’ Tight End was having another Gronktastic season with over 700 yards and 10 TD’s before fracturing his arm on Sunday, putting a big dent in the Patriots’ prolific passing attack and YouTube’s library of NFL player antics.
The Washington Wizards (0-8) – Perhaps they are just destined to lose until they change their name back to the Bullets. No matter what, Washington fans are giving all of their attention to RGIII and the NHL lockout in hopes that at no point this winter will the Wizards be their only option to watch in sports.
Brandon Roy – Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Brandon Roy is out at least a month after yet another knee surgery. You just have to feel sorry for the guy.
Fun with Twitter:
@pboulware – Jonathan Dwyer is a load. Not quite the Bus but maybe a mini van.
@DannyZuker – “Yeah, yeah that Gaza thing but what’s this about no more Ding Dongs?” – Americans
For all Big Bang Theory Fans – http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JdLvUkLW5Jk
- Nebraska @ Iowa – It’s the Hawkeyes’ Super Bowl and a chance to make Black Friday mean something else for the Huskers. Either that or Nebraska locks up their spot in the Big X+IV title game.
- Georgia Tech @ Georgia – Is it possible that the Dawgs will look past the Yellow Jackets to their matchup with Alabama the following week? Is it possible that the Yellow Jackets can pretend to play defense in this one? No matter what… Clean Old Fashioned Hate Week is always good for some fun trash talk.
- Michigan @ Ohio State – Banned from postseason, but not from potentially being crowned champions by the AP Poll, Ohio State has a ton to play for in Urban Meyer’s attempt to finish undefeated in his first year in the Horseshoe.
- Oregon @ Oregon State – All of a sudden there is a really good chance that Oregon won’t even make the Pac 12 title game! And a hungry in-state rival will not make that slim dream an easy one to have come true.
- Oklahoma State @ Oklahoma – After OU’s near miss last week you can bet that a resurgent OSU Cowboy team will be amped up for this one. Of course there’s little chance that OU playing their annoying sibling in Norman will overlook this one either.
- Packers @ Giants – Aside from being a playoff rematch, this is a good earmark for both teams to see how they stack up in the NFC. And let’s be honest… Eli v. Rodgers is pretty good TV.
- 49ers @ Saints – Two preseason favorites that have had very different paths during the season. A win here for the Saints would validate that they truly are a force that won’t be going away.
- Turkey @ Kitchen Table – I’ve got a pretty good idea how this one is going to come out… but Happy Thanksgiving!