Okay, 2009 is feeling kind of strange and I’ve got some questions about what’s going on. There have been some weird deals, odd decisions and bizarre behavior.
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Apparently the Browns are committed to continuing their impressive legacy of losing. Eric Mangini?!? Really?!? Why in the world would you rush to be the first team to hire a new coach when he’s the one you are going to hire? You could have had an equally crappy coach weeks from now, and you could have held out hope in the mean time that a real coach would be available and interested. Terrible choice.
The New Year certainly saw the face of college basketball change quickly and fairly drastically.
The AP top-10 in week seven looked like this:
With the GMAC Bowl in the books, there is now just one college bowl game left before the countdown to the college football season begins in earnest. Luckily for us, the last game is a gem. As we get closer to the Florida – Oklahoma showdown, I find myself changing my mind about the game a few times a day. I like Oklahoma a lot more than I like Florida from a personal bias basis, but my confidence has been shaken in them by the struggles of the big Big 12 teams in their bowls. As I drive my self crazy about the game, here are 10 things that will likely factor into my ultimate decision:
I’m watching Canada attempt to win its fifth consecutive World Junior Hockey Championship gold medal right now. They are playing Sweden. Canada is obviously hockey-crazy, and this tournament is massively important. Beyond the Olympics, no hockey event matters to the whole country more than this. Canada is fairly heavily favored (-180 at Pinnacle, or -0.5, -115). This plus the Fiesta Bowl ensures that this will be a good night. Unless we lose, of course.
1. Joe Flacco was 9/23 for 135 yards. Eery isn’t it just how good Baltimore is at looking good in the playoffs with barely adequate quarterbacking?
2. I’m not sure that I have ever seen a defense more in the head of a decent quarterback than the Ravens were in Chad Pennington’s. It’s like Ed Reed was in the Miami huddle.
1. Larry Fitzgerald is a freak. He changed that game several times over.
2. Kurt Warner – he may be old and all, but it’s hard to count him out when the chips are down. It’s not impossible to imagine him taking them a long way. Not likely, but possible.
Ravens Vs. Miami
Run, Ravens, run: All of the Baltimore starting pass catchers are listed as “questionable.” Wide receiver Clayton has a bad knee, tight end Todd Heap’s having back trouble and wideout Derrick Mason’s shoulder is injured. Will the three starters play? Most likely, yes. But their range, durability and output will probably be reduced. Rookie QB Joe Flacco will be handing the ball off a lot to running backs Le’Ron McClain and Willis McGahee. The best thing that the Ravens’ offense can do is play cleanly, allowing the team’s defense to play its game and control Miami.
Falcons Vs. Cardinals
Anquan Bolden: He’ll play and be used in a variety of ways by Arizona to create a pseudo running game today. Bolden is an expert at catching short passes and gaining a lot of yards after the grab. The Cardinals don’t have a running game, so this will have to suffice. This can turn the game around if it works.
It’s halfway through the Sugar Bowl, and I have contentedly been watching college football almost non-stop for three days. This is such a great, great time of year. As I sit here at halftime hoping that Utah can hold on and keep Alabama at bay, it seems like a good time to look back to see what we have learned the last few days: