Notre Dame – After long being mired in mediocrity despite the advantages of independence and a lucrative TV deal, the Domers somehow flew under the radar early and were often dismissed by the college football “experts” until they forced their way into the spotlight. It wasn’t pretty but they succeeded on a grand scale this season and have their chance to win it all. Perhaps getting a coach that sounds like he belongs to the Irish was a good choice.
Indianapolis Colts – One year ago this team looked to be in disarray and had a very uncertain future. Right now they are in possession of what would be the 5th playoff spot in the AFC, they have what appears to be a QB for the next decade plus, and they’ve done it while their head coach has been sidelined battling cancer. Their mettle seems galvanized by adversity and purpose and that is translating to their play on the field. They are absolutely the feel good story of the year and hopefully they can make a deep run into the playoffs this season.
New England Patriots – In the early part of the season the Patriots seemed out of sorts and were not playing up to New England’s standards. The past 4 games? 4 victories where they’ve averaged over 47 points per game. I’d say that the Patriots seem to be hitting their stride at just the right time and they are doing it even when they are banged up. There isn’t a defense in the NFL that wants a piece of these guys right now.
Ohio State – Well, I’m pretty sure this went exactly how Urban Meyer planned it. Start out with a little less attention due to the postseason ban and then gain momentum through the year to carry them to an undefeated finish and still an outside chance at the AP National Title (you can bet OSU is cheering hard for the SEC champ). If you think Buckeye nation is insufferable already…just wait until preseason next year! (Oh, and I think Urban Meyer is a good coach… just in case you were wondering)
‘Dre Hollins – Folks in Minnesota were very familiar with Hollins, but outside of the Twin Cities, there wasn’t a whole lot of national love. Well that changed after he dropped 41 points in a victory against Memphis last weekend and then sank the winning free throws against Stanford. It’s probably not a good idea to sleep on Tubby’s boys this season unless you want to get burned.
Skyfall – The best Bond movie in decades. If you haven’t seen it. Go see it.
Turkeys – If they survived last week, they have to like their chances for the next year. Kudos to the gobblers.
Thanksgiving with Family – Gotta say… it doesn’t get much better than this past weekend!
4th and 29 – Seriously… that’s all you have to say to anyone in Baltimore. Even long-time fans didn’t see this coming. It’s not often you throw a pass 1 yard across the line of scrimmage and have any hope of picking up the most important first down of the game 28 yards away. But that’s the beauty of Ray Rice and the hideousness of the San Diego Charger defense. Pretty unbelievable. I’m pretty sure he only made it by 2 inches.
We are the Fallen
The ACC – On the heels of losing Maryland to the Big X+IV there were 3 rivalry games last weekend that could really make a statement for the conference in football. In fact, 3 ACC vs. SEC matchups. How did they turn out?! Well Clemson & South Carolina proved why they were only 1 spot apart in the standings with a close game, but SC came out on top. Florida had looked like garbage 3 times in their past 5 games so FSU seemed poised to take this one, but they laid an egg. And Georgia Tech v. Georgia?! Well, no one in their right mind thought Tech would win, but THAT was pitiful. Just a terrible showing on the Atlantic Coast.
Norv Turner, Rex Ryan, & Andy Reid – If there are logical owners around then these three coaches have sealed their collective fate and all will be unemployed at the end of the season. Andy Reid had a great run, but sometimes there is just a need for a new voice. Rex needs to learn to actually keep us from HAVING to hear his voice and perhaps have some control over his locker room instead. And Norv Turner has had the luxury of an enormously long leash despite many disappointments, but I think his time is finally up. I think Norv can still be a great coordinator, but his head coaching days should be through.
The Eagles Defense – So we’re supposed to believe that it was the defensive coordinator’s fault?! Since Philly fired their DC they have gotten remarkably worse! Opposing QB’s are completed over 20% more passes since the change. Their TD/INT ratio was 7/7 before and is 13/0 since the change. Their collective QB rating has shot through the roof. So while I can’t dispute that it seemed foolish to have a Tight Ends coach take over your defense, that sure seems like a better plan than what they are doing now!
Auburn – So if you don’t buy your QB you’re bad enough to fire your coach?! Interesting…
Missouri – Just remember that you jumped at the chance to join the SEC while you clean out your lockers after not gaining bowl eligibility this season. Perhaps you should have kept that KU game on the schedule!
Washington Wizards – 0-12 and counting…
Red Dawn – It’s been a long time since I’ve been that disappointed coming out of a movie. I liked the first one. And about an hour in, I thought this was an improvement. But then… wow… just wow.
Black Friday – Between starting early on Thursday which makes the Friday part hard to buy into and then there just not being the kind of deals that people can really look forward to, Black Friday seemed like quite a disappointment. Perhaps retailers could consider putting sales on things that everyone actually wants. Just a thought.
Pigs – The turkeys are mostly in the clear, but the Honeybaked people have the three little piggies in their sights now!