Pocket Change – The Weekend in Football


Well they did it.  Can’t really say it was a surprise.  The BCS, in their infinite wisdom will “give” us a championship contest in January featuring two SEC teams.  Jeez, how noble of them.  No matter what could have happened, this was one of the worst outcomes anyone could have hoped for.  The fact that LSU will have to beat a team they’ve already beaten is absurd.  If Alabama wins what does that prove?  Not much, as then both teams will be even.  The only viable option was Oklahoma State.  You know, a team that actually WON their conference.

This isn’t to say that Alabama isn’t a worthy team, but they had their shot and lost.  LSU has beaten all the other contenders, and that leaves the Cowboys from Stillwater as the last team standing.  They won their conference and dismantled a good Oklahoma Sooners team in the process.  Alabama didn’t even win their own division.  Both teams had one loss, but the Cowboys loss was in two overtimes on the road while the Crimson Tide lost in overtime AT HOME.  There’s little difference there, but losing on the road in double overtime would be a little more forgivable than losing at home.  In the end it doesn’t matter, because the fat cats in the SEC and BCS got exactly what they wanted, even if it’s not the most equitable solution.

In the NFL, teams continue to jockey for position as the season moves into it’s last quarter.  What will the last four games hold?  Can Houston continue to win despite losing offensive weapons seemingly every week?  Are the Bears going to be able to overcome the loss of a starting quarterback AND most valuable player candidate in Matt Forte and get into the postseason?  All questions that need answers…

So the college bowl season is all ready to kickoff now that the match ups have been set.  In reviewing all the games, there are a few that stand out.  Of course, most people will point to the championship game between LSU and Alabama since it’s really the only game that means anything, but for now let’s pretend that all the games are important.

I’m thinking the Alamo Bowl, featuring Baylor and Washington will be one of those to watch, if for no other reason than Robert Griffin III from Baylor.  The game could be his last for the Bears (I hope it’s not) and having one more chance to see him do his thing is must-see TV for any college football fan.

I’m also interested to see if the Houston Cougars will be able to overcome their disappointment at missing out on the big bowl games when they go against Penn State in the (ugh) TicketCity Bowl.  Did I really just say that?

The Rose Bowl is always a good watch, and this year is no exception.  Oregon’s high-paced, high-powered offense goes against the Big Ten Champion Wisconsin Badgers.  Contrasting styles make this potentially one of the best games of the bowl season.

In the Fiesta Bowl you have potential first overall pick in April’s NFL Draft Andrew Luck from Stanford and BCS Championship Game snub Oklahoma State.  Lots of footballs flying through the air in this one.  It will remain to be seen if the Cowboys can overcome the sting of being left out of the title game and take out their frustration on the boys from Palo Alto.

The last of the games I’ll be watching closely is the Orange Bowl.  Clemson makes it’s first visit to the Orange Bowl in 30 years as champions of the ACC.  They will take on a West Virginia team that can score in bunches.  We might see over 100 points in this game.

Wow, can the Bears and Texans catch a break?  Both teams have lost starting signal-callers within the last few weeks and now both have lost another marquee offensive threat.  In Houston, Head Coach Gary Kubiak said he didn’t expect Andre Johnson’s injury to be too serious, and he should be back soon.  Good news for the Texans, because with third-string quarterback TJ Yates leading the charge for the playoffs, they’re gonna need it.  For Chicago the news isn’t so positive.  Matt Forte’s apparent leg injury could keep him out for the rest of the regular season, which will hamper any potential Bears playoff push (and my fantasy team’s).  What seemed like a slam dunk playoff run just a few weeks ago now seems cloudy at best.

One more week down, one more come-from-behind win for the Denver Broncos.  Will “Team Tebow” keep it going for another week?  Is Tim really that hero riding in on the white horse that saves the Bronco season and leads them to a division title?  With four games remaining, it now appears very likely.