In the Championship Game: Alabama knocks off Georgia in overtime thriller


Alabama Coach Nick Saban hold record tying sixth national title trophy

Henceforth, Monday’s classic college football championship game between Georgia and Alabama, a 26-23 overtime victory for the Tide will be known simply as; “The Decision.”
Down 13-0 after being totally dominated by the Dawgs in the first half, “Groucho’s Boys” looked as dead as Dickens’ Jacob Marley.
But during the intermission, St. Nick, who now shares with Paul “Bear” Bryant the ownership of a record-tying six national championships, made one of the gutsiest decision in the history of the sport.
Desperately searching for a spark, Saban, in a “welcome to the big-top” moment decided to pull his two-year Alpha-dog starting QB Jalen Hurts, the talented producer of an unimpeachable 25-2 record, and send out a true-freshman lefty and Hawaiian native, QB Tua Tagovailoa, who had yet to play any meaningful minutes in Tuscaloosa to try and salvage a championship season.


Alabama’s savior true freshman QB Tua Tagovailoa

“I just thought we had to throw the ball, and I felt he (Tagovailoa) could do it better, and he did,” said Saban as simply as adding one and one. Except for the Redwood sized stakes riding on the outcome.
The move proved to be as brilliant as anything former World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer could have envisioned sitting across from Boris Spassky.
Alabama’s newest folk-hero not only found a spark, he led a raging inferno, throwing three second half touchdowns including the game tying, then in overtime a championship winning 41-yard dart to another t-freshman in receiver


Alabama winning TD catch in OT by true-freshman wideout DeVonta Smith

DeVonta Smith which amazingly gave Alabama not only its only lead of the night, but the national championship to boot. It will be a pass that will live forever in Alabama folklore.
To paraphrase Matt Damon in “Good Will Hunting” “How do you like them apples?”
The win for the ages, gives Alabama its fifth title in the last nine years, reaffirms the Crimson Tide’s place on top of the “Title Town” mountain, and leaves St. Nick a perfect 12-0 versus his assistants, in a run of excellence only the rarest of artists; Fischer, Mozart, Michelangelo, or John Williams have tasted, and beware out there in college football land, there is no end in sight.


The Championship: Alabama meets Georgia in an All-SEC final


We begin this championship Monday with a coach a single victory away from tying Bear Bryant’s record of six national titles, and a mid-season season rant regarding the dangers of a fawning media as a form of rat poison.
On October 7th Alabama defeated Texas A&M 27-19 to remain undefeated with a perfect 6-0 record.
But when Nick Saban was asked a postgame presser about being stopped in three of four drives, he went on the following rant; “I’m trying to get our players to listen to me instead of listening to you guys.
All that stuff that you write, about how good we are?
All that stuff they hear on ESPN, it’s like poison. It’s like taking poison. Like rat poison.” Yikes, and to think Alabama was undefeated at the time!
On this championship Monday, let’s see which team performs so poorly its faithful are placed on suicide watch, and which carries home the national championship trophy, which is the best antidote for any poisonous ingestion.
No. 4 Alabama vs No. 2 Georgia – (ESPN, 8 p.m.) An all-SEC National Championship game is not what most of the country wanted to see.
That being said, we’ll begin with Groucho’s favorite team; the Crimson Tide of Alabama.


Alabama headman Nick Saban hopes he will be raising a record tying 6th national championship trophy               AP photo

Coach Nick Saban, the other secular saint of “Title Town,” who has seven career wins against AP No.1 teams (no other coach in history has more than 4) and whose squad has been favored in a jaw-dropping 110 of its last 111 games, (ironically, the last time Bama was a dog, October 3, 2015 was to these same Georgia Bulldogs) is a mere 60-minutes away from tying the “Holiest of Holies” of college football, Paul “Bear” Bryant in what was once thought to be an unassailable resume of six national championships.

And if the Tuscaloosan sphinx, who exudes about as much emotion as the “Mona Lisa,” garners that W, it would be the fifth title in his nine year residency in Tuscaloosa, an eye-popping run of success only outdone by the still startling realization that Donald J. Trump, AKA “Two Scoops,” is the 45th President of the United States.
[Note: Saban, who has sent 18-first round draft picks to the NFL over the last ten years, earned the other title during his four-year tenure at LSU.]
These “Sons of Bart Starr,” who have outscored first half opponents by the combined aggregate of 270-56, are at its most dangerous when it hears the whispering from the hoi polloi that the “Tide may have peaked, Saban has lost his edge. He’s getting on in years (66), and Alabama is on a glacial descent from the top of the mountain.”
That’s when Alabama’s Herculean eleven morphs into a bunch of helmet wearing takes no prisoners Green Beret lasersing onto its command mission of capturing that sixth championship trophy.

Alabama QB Jalen Hurts in the Tide’s victory against Clemson         AP photo

Alabama’s commander, with apologies to John Mellencamp, is its dual-threat iceman, QB Jalen “Hurts so good,” Hurts (17 TDs-1 Ints-61%-808-yds. rushing 8 TDs), the “Cool Hand Luke” of college football, who is an astounding 26-2 since being handed the keys to the Crimson colored Cadillac.


Alabama tailbacks Damien Harris and Bo Scarbrough                    AP photo

The quiet assassin is assisted by a pair All-America caliber tailbacks; Damien Harris (7.6 ypc.-11 TDs) and his partner Bo Scarbrough (8 TDs), both of whom have the ability to rip through a defensive line with the same intensity as an RPG fired by the Pakistani Al-Qaeda through the door of a Islamabad Mosque full of worshippers.
And when Bama’s QB takes to the Tuscaloosan skies, the kid focuses on his starry Linus-blanket wideout Calvin Ridley (59 catches -15.8 ypc- 4 TDs), who despite numbers that are less than awe-inspiring, mostly due to the fact that he’s been a one man band in the Alabama receiving corps, (the next highest reception total is a paltry 16, and that belongs to tailback Bo Scarbrough) he remains a game breaking threat, who demands double coverage.
But what really makes the opposing coaches shiver at the sight of that bright cursive crimson colored “A” is a defense that is harder to penetrate than the security around Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and is the envy of the Israeli military.


Alabama tackle Raekwon Davis silencing the doubters                   AP photo

The nation’s top-rated and stingiest (11) D is as intimidating as a Redwood, anchored by All-America safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, backer Rashaan Evans (11.5 tfls-6 sacks), and tackle Raekwon Davis (9 tfls-7.5 sacks), stones runners (a best 91-yards a game), while hitting with more ferocity than a right hand from Thomas Hearns.
In Athens, the Ray Charles classic; “Georgia on my mind” perfectly captures the Peach State’s Red and Black frenzy regarding its beloved Dawgs.
And as one would expect, tickets are harder to get than the key to Donald Trump’s hair products cabinet, chiefly because Georgia’s last national championship was captured during the last year of the Carter Administration, when Vince Dooley (85-years young), and Herschel Walker were leading the “Sons of Fran Tarkenton” to its 1980 undefeated season.

Georgia’s dominating tailbacks Sony Michel and Nick Chubb          AP photo

Coach Kirby Smart’s SEC champions are a John Deere’s salesman’s dream, plowing the earth behind tailbacks Nick Chubb, and Sony Michel, arguably the best pairing since Reggie Bush, and LenDale White, combining for 2449-yards and 31 TDs, and when you add a dash of its speedster from Philly, t-freshman D’Andre Swift, that total moves over the jaw-dropping 3000-yard barrier.

Georgia’s starry t-freshman QB Jake Fromm                           AP photo

The director of this soil-tilling operation is t-freshman QB Jake Fromm (23 TDs-5 Ints-63%) who despite his tender age, has performed with the poise of Elle Macpherson posing for the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
And when the youngster takes to the friendly Athens skies, wideouts; Javon Wims (16 yds. a catch-7 TDs), Terry Godwin (17-yds. a grab-6 TDs), and Mecole Hardman (14 yds.-3 TDs) are glue-fingered chain movers.
And as its faithful are well aware, there is no Swiss in the Georgia D.


Georgia’s ubiquitous All-America backer Raquan Smith            AP photo

The nation’s fifth (15) stingiest, and sixth ranked overall, is anchored by its ubiquitous All-America backer Roquan Smith (11.5 tfls-5.5 sacks), safety J.R. Reed, and fellow backers D’Andre Walker (13 tfls) and Lorenzo Carter (7.5 tfls-4.5 sacks) all of whom cover more ground than “Johnny Appleseed,” while causing more disruption than a Steve Bannon sighting at a James Taylor-Carole King concert, or playing in a foursome behind the POTUS on one of his many golf courses.


              Mentor and student Nick and Kirby          AP photo

Kirby Smart is a protégé of Saban, that is significant for this reason, in the course of his career St. Nick is a perfect 11-0 versus his assistants, and the smallest margin of victory margin is 14-points.
And with a D that plays angrier than Donald Trump after watching the CNN 6 p.m. newscast, we think the chess-master of Tuscaloosa makes it 12 in-a-row, and wins his historic tying sixth title. Roll Tide!
Last week: 2-0
Season record; 53-20.
That’s it from cyber-space until next September. Thanks to all for reading. Until then, Peace, good health, and most importantly, listen to the music. pk

The semi-finals; Alabama takes on Clemson in Sugar Bowl, Oklahoma and Georgia meet in Rose Bowl

We begin this New Year’s Day semi-finals playoff with the legacy of legacies.


QB Paul Tyson and his great grand-father Paul “Bear” Bryant                  AP photo

The name Paul Tyson might conjure up images of a chicken magnate, but it’s the kid’s great-grandfather that gives knowing pause to the faithful of Tuscaloosa.

Tyson is the great-grandson of Alabama’s iconic, cigarette smoking, whiskey imbibing voice of God, AKA the Tide’s six time national champion coach, Bear Bryant, and the 6-foot-4, 210-pound QB was recently offered a scholarship by Nick Saban, the Tide’s other secular sainted headman, to play for the team identified by the universal cursive A.

“It’s definitely a big deal for me,” said the kid who has better lineage than Kim Jung-Un, or Prince William.

On New Year’s Day, let’s see which teams display a winning gridiron pedigree, and which, based on its performance, are in need of some deep genealogical research looking for any traces of genes with athleticism.

No. 4 Alabama versus No. 1 Clemson – Sugar Bowl Jan. 1 (ESPN, 8:45 p.m.) The question for the Tuscaloosan faithful rings as constant as the falls of Niagara; will its beloved Tide lasso a W in this “Threequel” or, is this the beginning of the passing of the baton for America’s preeminent and dominant eleven?

And while most third acts, Ali-Frazier and Sunday Silence-Easy Goer being two of the exceptions, are unwatchable duds that end up being tossed into the dustbin of history, but when this pair of thoroughbreds, who are as consistent as Winston Churchill’s daily late afternoon cigar and three-finger glass of scotch get together, it becomes must watch television especially with the Himalayan-sized stakes riding on the outcome.

In Tuscaloosa, Groucho’s Boys; [“One morning I shot an elephant …, then we tried to remove the tusks.  They were so embedded so firmly we couldn’t budge them.  Of course in Alabama the “Tusk-a-loosa…” “Captain Spaulding” from The Marx Brothers jewel; “Animal Crackers” – 1930] were given a shot to avenge last year’s final-second loss, when the playoff committee in its wisdom, decided that these “Sons of Bear” despite not even qualifying for its Conference Championship, were one of the four best teams in the country, which is the mission statement that the committee is ultimately charged in following.

But unlike the previous Alabama elevens, which groaned with more talent than a state funeral (courtesy of Tina Brown “The Vanity Fair Diaries”) this year’s edition, although still prime-aged, has been a cut below those teams of dominance.

In fact, these “Sons of Johnny Musso” have yet to notch a victory over a top-15 team for two reasons; first and foremost the mediocre overall state of play in the SEC, and secondly, through no fault of Alabama’s, Florida State never lived up to its marquee preseason billing.

On offense, the Tide flows on the leadership of its dual-threat t-sophomore QB Jalen Hurts (15 TDs-1 Int- 60% – 768 yds. rushing – 8 TDs), who glides like Dick Button, while nattily operating as securely and suavely as George Clooney striding the red carpet.

Under his two-year command Alabama’s alpha dog has been nearly as flawless as the Hope Diamond as the Tide has tasted the bile of losing just twice, last year’s championship game on a last second play, and the Auburn game this season.  Simply amazing!


QB Jalen Hurts hands off to tailback Damien Harris        AP photo

The quiet assassin, whose passing ability will never be mistaken for that of Joe Willie Namath, is assisted by a starry game breaking receiver Calvin Ridley, (who truth be told hasn’t been as dynamic as last season), and a passel of downhill, steamrolling tailbacks; led by Damien Harris (8.2 yds. a carry), and Bo Scarbrough, who can seemingly run through the side of a pyramid, or a Palestinian protest over the United States acknowledgment of Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel; having combined for 1455 yards and 19-TDs.

But if these “Sabanators” are going to move on and secure a place in the title game, it will be with a defense, which despite a slew of injuries, (particularly with its linebackers), remains harder to penetrate than the Gendarmes protecting French President Emmanuel Macron and the ‘Elysee Palace.


Alabama All-America safety Minkah Fitzpatrick               AP photo

The nation’s stingiest (11) eleven, featuring All-America safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, backer Rashaan Evans (10.5 tfls – 5 sacks), safety Ronnie Harrison, and tackle Raekwon Davis, ranks second overall, and attacks with the same blinding anger and evil intent that Richard Nixon held toward Katherine Graham and the Washington Post.

For Clemson’s Coach Dabo Swinney, whose team have won 10-in-a-row against ranked AP opponents, this New Orleans excursion carries a certain symmetrical vibe.

It is a Sugar Bowl redux, albeit a quarter-of-a-century later, for the Clemson headman, who suited up for as a member of the Tide’s 1993 perfect season national champion, who in dominating fashion shellacked the Hurricanes of Miami 34-13, a result Swinney would love to reciprocate on New Year’s Day.


Clemson QB Kelly Bryant                              AP photo

The director of these “Sons of Jeff Bostic,” is its steady first-year commander, QB Kelly Bryant (12 TDs-6 Ints – 66% – 10 rushing TDs), who has handsomely taken the reins from last year’s All-World QB Deshaun Watson, but whose mettle will be severely tested by the Tide’s relentless pressure.

Clemson’s field general, who shows inconsistency on passes over 20-yards, is assisted by a pair of rocket-fueled tailbacks; Travis Etienne (7.4 yds a pop – 13 TDs), and Tavien Feaster (6.4 ypc – 7 TDs), who have the ability to slither through a key-hole faster than the words disgraced and Bernie Law were typed together onto the pages of the newspapers published throughout the country in announcing his passing.

He also has the luxury of targeting a trio of Allstate (good hands) field-stretchers; Hunter Renfrow, Deon Cain, and Ray Ray McCloud, who have combined for more catches (153) than that “Fisher of Men” St. Peter (Christmas season reference) while methodically moving the chains.

Like its counterpart, these defending national champions field a defense that is harder to penetrate than the cell of the “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski serving life in the Federal ADX Prison in Florence, Colorado.


Clemson’s swarming defense                                              AP photo

The nation’s second (12) stingiest D, and sack (44) leaders, fires behind arguably the best front seven in America featuring a quartet of All-Americas; backer Dorian O’Daniel (10.5 tfls-5 sacks), ends Clelin Ferrell (17 tfls-8.5 sacks), Austin Bryant (14.5 tfls-7.5 sacks), and tackle Christian Wilkins (8.5 tfls-4.5 sacks) who are as relentless as the waves of a winter Nor’easter chewing the dunes of the beaches in the town of Sandwich.

Here’s our theory; give St. Nick more than a week to prepare, especially against a QB who isn’t as dynamic running the ball as Deshaun Watson, or even Johnny Manziel, and the “Tuscaloosan Sphinx, who last smiled when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated, is a chess master the caliber of Bobby Fisher at dissecting an opponent.  Roll Tide!

[Note: If Alabama grabs the victory, it will leave Saban on the precipice of tying the once seemingly unapproachable record of six national championships held by the Tides other secular saint Bear Bryant.]

No. 2 Oklahoma versus No. 3 Georgia – Rose Bowl Jan. 1 (ESPN, 5 p.m.) These Norman invaders, AKA the Sooners of Oklahoma, score almost as fast as the next political, Hollywood, restauranteur, CEO, or media “biggie” is accused of sexual harassment.

And in somewhat of an anomaly, these storied programs will be colliding for the first time in of all places “The Granddaddy of Them All” AKA the Rose Bowl, which most fans revere as the cathedral of the game of college football.

[Note: The Rose’s moniker comes from the fact that it’s the oldest of bowl games, first played in 1902 (Harvard defeated Oregon 7-6 in the 1919 Rose Bowl for its last national championship) and it has been played annually since 1916].

OU’s Lincoln Riley, 34, the youngest headman in FBS, has been an offensive innovator of the scale of I.M. Pei, blueprinting the nation’s top ranked offense, which has outscored first-half opponents by the arresting aggregate of; 342-187, while averaging a touchdown shy (44) of 50-points a game.


QB Baker Mayfield and Coach Lincoln Riley                        AP photo

The igniter of that points-a-palooza, is OU’s controversial All-World profane, crotch grabbing Heisman winning QB Baker Mayfield (41 TDs-5 Ints-71%), who on the gridiron, sashays with better numbers than Raquel Welch.

The “boffo” dual-threat gunslinger leads the nation in pass efficiency, while averaging over 330-passing yards per game, ranks second in overall total passing (4,340) yards, and lead his troops with the same swashbuckling cocksureedness as that of Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia.

He was able to compile those Prudential-tall numbers by lasering on passel of explosive receivers featuring All-America tight end Mark Andrews (58-grabs-906 yds.-8 TDs), Maquise Brown, CeeDee Lamb, Jeff Badet, as well as fullback Dmitri Flowers, who is a dangerous weapon out of the backfield, taken together they have combined for 28 of the dart-thrower’s touchdowns.


OU tailback Rodney Anderson                                 AP photo

And when Coach Riley ‘a la Lyndon Johnson ‘67 in North Viet Nam, temporarily halts his air-raid assault, tailbacks Rodney Anderson, and Trey Sermon (1670-combined yards – 16 TDs), are dangerous defense slicing alternatives.

But, as the Sooner faithful are well aware, its D which has tightened significantly over the last month anchored by All-America backers Ogbomia Okoronkwa (17.5 tfls-8 sacks), and partners Emmanuel Beal, and Kenneth Murray, still displays more holes than a West Bank Palestinian home.

In Athens, the Bulldogs are on the cusp of playing for its first national title since the Vince Dooley-Herschel Walker glory days of 1980, which was the last year of Jimmy Carter’s administration.

Ah, those were the days!

The Bulldogs will also be making its first Rose Bowl appearance since its legendary tailback and Rose Bowl MVP Charlie Trippi (age 96) was creating havoc for defenses in the FDR war year of 1943, a 9-0 shutout over UCLA.

[NOTE: In 1944 Trippi enlisted in the service, and in 1946 won he Maxwell Award as the nation’s most outstanding player, and is a member of both the College and Pro Football Hall of Fame.]


Georgia’s dominating tailbacks; Nick Chubb (L) and Sony Michel         AP photo

And unlike its counterpart, the Dawgs have done most of its damage plowing the earth behind the tailback pairing of Nick Chubb, and Sony Michel, who run more often than Althea Garrison, and have become one of the best couplings since Kate and William, combining for a jaw-dropping; 2123 yards and 26 TDs.

And when one is in need of a blow, Georgia rolls out a freshman from Philly, D’Andre Swift, who could challenge Usain Bolt and is the next tailback dynamo to be bringing the Athens’ faithful to its feet.


Georgia t-freshman QB Jake Fromm                                        AP photo

The director of these SEC Champs is t-freshman QB Jake Fromm (21 TDs-5 Ints-63%), who despite his tender age has performed at a PhD level, with assists from a trio of field-stretching receivers; Javon Wims, Terry Godwin, and Mecole Hardman, all of whom are capable of making the clutch grab.


Georgia’s punishing and swarming D                                  AP photo

But the Westminster showing for the Bulldogs is its punishing D, the nation’s fourth (13) stingiest, and fourth overall, led by a disrupting turbo-charged trio of backers: All-America Roquan Smith (10.5 tfls-5.5 sacks), D’Andre Walker (11.5 tfls-4.5 sacks), and Lorenzo Carter, who are harder to penetrate than the security perimeter around Pope Francis and Saint Peter’s Basilica (Basilica Santi Petri –yeah, I took Latin at BC High “semper ubi, sub ubi”) at midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.

This is a very tough game on which to get a handle, we can make a case for both sides.

And Oklahoma’s offensive juggernaut is as intimidating as a leering stare by Harvey Weinstein toward one of his leading ladies or young associates, but that said, we think the D of the “Sons of Vince” does enough to make life uncomfortable for OU’s Heisman QB, leading to an All-SEC title game.  UGH!

Season record: 51-20.

That’s it from cyber space.  We’ll be back with our analysis of the championship game Wednesday night.  Until then, happy and healthy New Year, Peace, and listen to the music.  pk

Army Navy the Old Man and Me, and the 118th renewal of the Army/Navy football classic

“Age wrinkles the body.  Quitting wrinkles the soul.” Douglas MacArthur.

“Untutored courage is useless in the face of educated bullets.” George Patton.

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.” Dwight Eisenhower.


Army-Navy, the Old Man and Me


The “old man” Ed Kenney and me his son Paul

We begin this week in the spirit of the season with our annual sojourn of taking my “old man” to the last remaining pure amateur sporting event in America; The Army/Nave Football Game, and in this instance it was the 1998 spectacle.

It is our version of; “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

On December 7, 1963 at the age of eleven, and some two weeks after the assassination of President Kennedy, I watched my first college football game.

It was Army versus Navy, and featured the Midshipmen’s Heisman Trophy winner; Roger Staubach.

I watched the game with my dad sharing the ends of the couch in the living room on the top floor of our Dorchester “Wattendorf-owned” three-decker located on Romsey Street.

We watched on a black and white Philco television accompanied with the mandatory rabbit ears, and even though the “old man” was WWII Army, I was rooting for Navy.

The game ended on a controversial time expiring, no call, with the Cadets perched on the Navy one-yard line, as the “Sons of Joe Bellino” (1960 Heisman winner from Winchester) escaped with a; 21-15 victory.

It was a classic game that ushered a lifelong affair with the game of college football, one in which I remain intimately involved writing a seasonal on-line column for the Patriot Ledger, as well as serving as a participating voter in the annual selection of Heisman Trophy winner.

But now a shade over a half-century later, the game for me, has much deeper roots.

My dad Ed, passed sixteen-years ago, and four years before his demise, in the spring of 1998, he experienced what was diagnosed as a “mini-stroke.”

Luckily, he came through without any complications, but it reinforced to me that this 75-year old former soldier wouldn’t be around forever, and that epiphany inspired me to put a plan into action.

I would surprise the “old man” by taking him to witness the game first hand, a “full-circle” father-son football and life journey.

And it would be a one day whirlwind excursion.

The airline reservations were a snap, remember this was pre-9/11, but now I needed some game tickets, and not just any seats, but something decent, especially for a guy who was in his mid-seventies.

I called my pal Bill Brett, the retired prize winning photographer of the Boston Globe, who still remains very active successfully snapping away.

I asked Billy, if he would ask the since deceased Globe columnist Will McDonough to ask his son Sean, who at the time was employed by CBS Sports and calling the game, for assistance in securing a pair of good seats.

They all came through.

I picked up the tickets at the stadium’s “Will Call” window which were inside a large manila enveloped marked: CBS Sports.

The young kid working the window glanced at the CBS logo and duly impressed looked up and proclaimed; “You must be important!”

Little did he know!

We ventured to our seats; lower level at Philadelphia’s Old Vet Stadium, eight rows up from the rail at the 45-yard line.  Absolutely perfect!

Now here we are, silently sitting around various Naval Brass, and after a few minutes the “old man” a former Army Corporal, who walked in and out of France and Germany, looks at me an asks; “Are you sure we are in the right seats?”

Translation: “How could a nitwit like you, pull of seats like these?!”

Even though it was the fifth of December, the weather was a balmy 60-degrees, and we were treated to a great game, watching at the time (since surpassed) the highest scoring contest in the series; a 34-30 Army victory.

Sitting on the plane just before takeoff, the “old man” leaned in and said, “In case I forget, I want to thank you.”

For a WWII father that simple statement was like; “War and Peace.”

My dad died three years later, but to paraphrase Bogie speaking to Bergman at the airport in the movie classic “Casablanca;” We’ll always have Army-Navy.

So yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Now to the game.

Army versus Navy – Philadelphia (Ch.4, 3 p.m.) This is the 118th renewal of the playing of this American jewel with the Midshipmen holding a 60-57-7 edge.

In addition to a year’s worth of bragging rights, this year’s victorious team will also capture the Commander-in-Chief Trophy, a fancy bauble that hasn’t darkened the door of West Point since the pre-Monica days of 1996, as well as a future invite to the White House for a photo op with the “Leader” of the free world.


Army Coach Jeff Monken – Coach of Year finalist                  AP photo

Last year the “Long Grey Line” ended its 14-year victory drought, and this year’s feisty edition of Coach Jeff Monken’s Cadets might be Army’s best squad (8-3), since that nine-win team of ’96.

Indubitably, as Curly often said, this game will have more running than the bulls at Pamplona, as the Corp of Cadets, and the Midshipmen, rank first and second in rushing, but rest a rusty bottom second and third worst in passing.

We’ll begin with the “Sons of Glenn Davis,” AKA the West Point keepers of “The Plain.”

Army QB Ahmad Bradshaw                AP photo

Army’s triple-option trigger man is its senior sleight of hand impresario QB Ahmad Bradshaw (1472-yards – 7.8 ypc. – 11 TDs), who along with a platoon of tailbacks; Darnell Woolfolk (666-yds. – 11 TDs), Kell Walker (553 yds.-6 TDs), and Andy Davidson (517 yds. – 4 TDs) have sliced through defenses with the same panache as Japanese sushi-master Jiro Ono. (No relation to Yoko.)

On D these “Sons of Doc Blanchard,” featuring the backing trio; James Nachtigal (7.5 tfls-5 sacks), Alex Aukerman (14.5 tfls-6 sacks), and Cole Christiansen have shown pacifist tendencies in all phases, and will be severely tested by the Navy attack.

In Annapolis, the naval operation is a mirror image of its brothers-in-arm, but as its Blue and Gold faithful are well aware, Navy has been in a Matt Lauer-Al Franken-esque tailspin, losing five of its last six games.


Navy QB Zach Abey                                        AP photo

The Brigade’s igniter is its helmsman, QB Zach Abey (1322 yds.- 14 TDs) who is assisted by a crew of talented swabbies; Malcolm Perry (818 yds.-8 TDs, who has also played QB), Anthony Gargiulo (383 yds-3 TDs) and Chris High (492 yds.-2 TDs) all of whom have been able to navigate around most of the defensive obstacles in its path.

And when these “Sons of Roger Staubach” take to the skies, despite the fact that the principle targets Tyler Carmona, and Malcom Perry (out of the backfield), have a combine for a seasonal total of 26-catches, (roughly the number of completions OU’s Baker Mayfield has by the third quarter), they are averaging over 25-yards a grab, and must be accounted for at all times.

Navy’s seventy-third ranked D, featuring backers Micah Thomas, D.J. Palamore, and safety Sean Williams is hardly Admiral worthy, surrendering an alarming SOS – all-hands on deck: 29-points a game.

In Philly, we think the lyrics from the Army fight song; “Army Goes Rolling Along,” Hi! Hi! Hi! The Army is on its way…” captures the day, as the Cadets march on with its own streak, take celebratory possession of the CIC Trophy, and earn a future date to meet “Two Scoops” AKA the President of the United States.

Last week: 4-0

Season record: 49-20

That’s it from cyber-space.  We’ll be back with our analysis of the playoff semi-finals during Christmas (if I’m allowed to write that word) week.

Until then, Peace, and Merry Christmas!  And as always, listen to the music.   pk

Playoff matchups: Clemson meets Alabama in Sugar Bowl, Georgia takes on Oklahoma in Rose Bowl, and BC plays Iowa in Pinstripe Bowl


Wizard of OZ

Like the wizard behind the curtain in OZ, the committee has spoken and the answer is; Alabama!
After yesterday’s quarterfinal results, three teams; Clemson, Oklahoma, and Georgia played its way into a playoff invite, but when Ohio State knocked off undefeated Wisconsin, the fourth spot opened and the choice fell between either the Buckeyes or the Crimson Tide.
The committee mission statement is charged with coming up with the four-best teams, and in its eyes it felt that a one loss Alabama was more deserving versus a two-loss Ohio State team, who despite the fact that the Bucks are a conference champ and owned on paper a more impressive resume were not a better team than the “Sons of Bear.”


Clemson versus Alabama Sugar Bowl semifinal

Based on that selection here are the New Year’s Day semi-final matchups: defending champion Clemson with face Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, a place where the Tigers Coach Dabo Swinney played 25-years ago as a member of Alabama’s national championship team.
It will also be the third consecutive time (“Part III”) these national powers have met in the college playoff, although it will be their first in the semi-finals.
This game will simply come down to the ability of “Groucho’s Boys” AKA Alabama to neutralize the Clemson rush which comprises the best front seven in America.


Georgia logo Rose Bowl against Oklahoma


Oklahoma logo Rose Bowl against Georgia

The other matchup will take place in the Rose Bowl between the explosive offensive juggernaut of the Sooners of Oklahoma, directed by the likely Heisman winner QB Baker Mayfield who put up pinball numbers against the Dawgs of Georgia, who feature a trio of game-breaking tailbacks, combined with an anvil-pounding, take no prisoners, swarming defense.
It has potential to be a classic Spassky-Fisher-esque chess match.
It will also be the first meeting between these two legendary elevens, and Georgia is attempting to capture its first national title since the second year of Ronald Reagan’ first term, also known as the Herschel Walker year of; 1982.
So there you have it, after three-fun filled months, which went by faster than Halley’s Comet, the final four stand before you.
To paraphrase Julius Caesar; “Et ludos incpere” – let the games begin – and we can’t wait to see these intriguing matchups.
One other note: the Fighting Addazio’s, AKA the Eagles of Boston College, received its marching orders and will be heading to New York City and Yankee Stadium on December 27 at 5:15 p.m. to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Pinstripe Bowl in what should be a close hard hitting affair. Congrats to them.
That’s it from cyber-space. We’ll officially close out the regular season with our annual “Army/Navy the Old Man and Me” and the analysis of that classic game Wednesday night. Until then, Peace, and listen to the music. pk

Georgia and Auburn, TCU and Oklahoma tussle in rematches, Clemson takes on Miami, Ohio State meets undefeated Wisconsin


Pitt State gorilla mascot                                           AP photo

We begin this quarterfinal weekend, the results of which will determine the final four, with an eccentric coach, a small university in Kansas, and a usually named mascot.
Washington State Coach Mike Leach spouted out this reply to a question about mascots during one of his news conference; “There is a place in Kansas called Pitt State, and I used to see it on film. We didn’t play them. Called Pitt State, and they’re called the Gorillas. And there should be a lot more gorillas for mascots, because think about it, a gorilla could whip a lot of stuff, you know.”
Whatever you say coach.
On this big weekend let’s see which teams send it’s faithful to the “Pit of Misery” from a painful loss, and which walks off pounding its chest gorilla-like over its scintillating conference championship victory.
No. 4 Auburn vs No. 6 Georgia – SEC Championship (Ch.4, 4 p.m.) Rematch.
It’s a word that sends almost as many shudders down a coach’s spine as the sight of Al Franken posing for a photo with your sister at a State Fair.
And when two bitter rivals are added in an unexpected post-Thanksgiving second helping of the oldest rivalry in the Deep South (Georgia holds a 57-56-8 advantage) anything is possible, especially when a playoff spot and just maybe a new place of employment for the Tigers coach riding on the outcome.
Auburn which has jumped out on its first half opponents by the combined eye-popping aggregate; 228-91 is hamstrung by a pair of ponderable questions.
If it loses, will its Coach Gus Malzahn be hitting the highway to become the next head man at Arkansas?


Auburn tone setters QB Jarrett Stidham and Kerryon Johnson            AP photo

And more importantly, for its faithful, what is the status of its bruising All-America caliber tailback Kerryon Johnson (1276 yards – 17 TDs), who left last week’s game against Bama with a shoulder injury?
If its tone setting tailback is unable to go, the entire Auburn offense transforms from a smooth purring Tesla into a rusted sputtering YUGO.
The commander of that offense is its peppermint-cool target shooting QB Jarrett Stidham (16 TDs-4 Ints-68%) whose arrival from Baylor gave War Eagle its first legitimate signal caller since Cam Newton.
And the steely leader has the luxury of lasering onto a trio of chain movers; Ryan Davis (69-catches, 5 TDs), Darius Slayton (5 TDs), and Nate Craig-Myers, and if Johnson makes only a token appearance, his running mate Kam Martin will be called upon to carry the load.
The seething D of these “Sons of Karlos Dansby,” the nation’s ninth (16) stingiest, and eleventh overall, featuring backers Jeff Holland (12 tfls-9 sacks), Deshaun Davis, and tackle Derick Brown attacks with the indignation of the French revolutionaries storming the Bastille, while hitting with the power of a Thomas Hearns right hand.
In Athens, the Bulldogs faithful are drooling almost as much as its mascot UGA X over the prospect of redemption against the team that shredded them less than a month ago. And if its claws out a victory Georgia will not only capture its first SEC title since the start of W’s second term – 2005, but also cement its position into a playoff slot.


Georgia tailbacks Nick Chubb and Sony Michel                  AP photo

Hard charging tailbacks Nick Chub, and Sony Michel (2001 combined yards – 26 TDs) the best Southern pairing since Rhett Butler and Scarlet O’Hara, are the sparkplugs propelling this “Vince Dooley” bus.
But, if the Tigers D can once again stifle the Dawgs running attack, there will be no playoff invite arriving in Athens mail.
The director of the Bulldogs operation is its unflappable t-freshman QB Jake Fromm (19 TDs-5 Ints-62%) who in addition to leaning heavily on “Rhett and Scarlett” is assisted by a trio of field-stretching targets; Javon Wims (6 TDs), Terry Godwin (20-yds a grab, 5 TDs), and Mecole Hardman.
On D, these “Sons of Jake Scott,” the nation’s fifth (13) stingiest, and fourth overall, is led by the backers threesome; Roquan Smith, J.R. Reed, and Lorenzo Carter, who are equally disruptive in stoning runners and deflating passes, and are harder to penetrate than the real estate records of Trump’s son-in-law Jared “Middle East Peace,” Kushner.
As we stated, rematch is a spooky word for a head ball coach, and with Johnson not at full strength, we think Georgia reaps its revenge, and moves into the playoff realm, while Gus Malzahn, who coached high school football Arkansas in scurries off to Fayetteville to take over the Razorbacks of Arkansas. (Maybe.)
No. 1 Clemson vs No. 7 Miami –ACC Championship (Ch. 5, 8 p.m.) Dabo just captured his 100th victory as the head ball coach of Clemson, and if wins the “Dalmatian 101st” on Saturday, Clemson will have clinched its third consecutive ACC title, and be heading to its third consecutive playoff dance.


Clemson QB Kelly Bryant                                 AP photo

These “Sons of Dwight Clark,” (who is afflicted with ALS), are under the direction of QB Kelly Bryant (10 TDs -4 Ints-66%, 10 rushing), who’s been as smooth and cool as Andy Williams on stage at the Sands belting out his signature song; “Moon River.”
The dual-threat signal caller is assisted by a cast of All-State (good hands) receivers; Deon Cain, Hunter Renfrow, and Ray-Ray McCloud, and topped by a pair of turbo-charged road runners; Travis Entienne (7 yds a pop, 11 TDs), and his equally dangerous partner Tavien Feaster.
The Tigers anvil-hardened D, the nation’s fourth (13) stingiest, featuring backers Dorien O’Daniel (9.5 tfls-5 sacks) Kendall Joseph, and ends Austin Bryant (14.5 tfls-7.5 sacks), and Clelin Ferrell (14 tfls-7.5 sacks), is more disruptive than a Nancy Pelosi bumper sticker spotted on a car parked in the lot of Trump International Golf Club.
Miami is playing with house money.
Mark Richt’s surprising eleven weren’t expected to be in this position, and while the task in front of them is Himalayan high, as the poet wrote; “Do not go gentle into that good night” and the Canes will battle till the end.


Miami QB Malik Rosier                                       AP photo

But if Miami is going to knock off the nation’s top dog, its QB Malik Rosier (25 TDs-9 Ints-55%), who has struggled in his last two games, must quickly find the solution to revive his game.
The talented rocket-launcher relies on his defense softening bell-cow tailback Travis Homer (7 TDs), whose shifty speed helps to free his game-changing principle target; wideout Braxton Berrios. [Note: tight end Christopher Herndon, Miami’s second leading receiver, is out torn MCL, and that is a huge loss.]
Miami’s turnover-chain loving D, led by ends Trent Harris (10.5 tfls-8.5 sacks), Joe Jackson (10.5 tfls-5.5 sacks), and backers Michael Pinckney (9.5 tfls), and Shaquille Quarterman won’t conjure any memories of Hurricanes glories of a bygone era, but it does have the uncanny ability to stiffen in the red-zone surrendering a highly-respectable; 18-points a game.
That said, we think Dabo and his Tigers grab victory 101 and punch its ticket to the big dance.
No. 8 Ohio State vs No. 3 Wisconsin (FOX, 8 p.m.) With apologies to John Houseman, if Urban’s Boys are going to be invited to the playoff, they are going to have to “eaaarrrrnnn it.” First by defeating the undefeated third ranked team in America, then captured what is expected to be a beauty contest between them and the Tide of Alabama.


Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett                                            AP photo

These “Sons of Archie Griffin,” the nation’s fifth highest (43) scoring eleven, is directed by “Mr. Buckeye,” its dual-threat record breaking QB J.T. Barrett (33 TDs-7 Ints-66%-9 rushing touchdowns) who, if all systems are locked on go, has the ability to deliver with Mozart perfection. (Just ask Penn State.)
But the question in Columbus lingering just beneath the Horseshoe turf for the Scarlet and Grey nation is; which J.T. will it see in Indy, the one with the beautifully written classical score who conducts with fluidity of and charisma of Leonard Bernstein, or the one who stumbles in the wilderness appearing as if he never even glimpsed of the playbook?
If he is off, the Bucks leader can rely on a pair of rocket infused tailbacks; J.K. Dobbins (1190 yds.-7.3 a pop-7 TDs) and his partner Mike Weber (602 yds.-10 TDs) who have the ability to crack any defense, while wideouts; K.J. Hill, Parris Campbell, and Terry McLaurin are more inviting targets than Judge Roy Moore on CNN.
On D, these “Sons of Randy Gradishar” anchored by end Sam Hubbard (10 tfls-4.5 sacks), tackle Nick Bosa (12.5 tfl-6 sacks), and safety Jordan Fuller, swarm to the ball, charging with the same glaring scorn that Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders exudes at her WH press briefings.
In Madison, the “Rodney Dangerfield” of college football, AKA the undefeated Badgers of Wisconsin, need to bake Julia Child perfect “baker’s dozen” if it is going to land a playoff invite.
Trust me, not even Nostradamus could have predicted this unblemished journey.


Wisconsin Heisman contending tailback Jonathan Taylor             AP photo

The catalyst for these “Sons of Alan Ameche” is its Heisman contending freshman tailback Jonathan Taylor (1806-yards – 7 yds. a carry – 13 TDs- third in the nation) who runs with the same wild abandonment as the horses in Montana, and slices through the line (averaging 150-yards a game) better than the Executive Chef at Abe and Louis hand carving a dry-aged piece of prime.
The commander of the Badgers operation is QB Alex Hornibrook (21TDs-13 Ints – 63%) who as the faithful are well aware, has a tendency to be a one man turnover machine, but fortunately his tenacious D has consistently bailed him out by snuffing out the danger.
On those occasions when he’s locked on, tight end Tony Fuagelli, and receivers A.J. Taylor, and Kendric Pryor are consistent chain movers
But it’s been the D of these “Sons of Tim Krumrie” that have propelled the Badgers to these Prudential-sized eights.
This group ranked tops overall, and the nation’s second (12) stingiest, featuring backers T.J. Edwards, Ryan Connelly, and safety D’Cota Dixon. This group has better numbers than Joey Heatherton, or a Victoria Secret runway show, and has been harder to penetrate than the Clinton Foundation’s financial accounts.
We think the “Cheese Heads” Cinderella story melts into a sticky fondue, as Ohio State lays out an Alan Dershowitz airtight case for a playoff invite.
[Note: if the Bucks do prevail it will be a talent show between them and one-loss non-champion Alabama. The feeling is in that scenario, the Boys from Columbus own the more alluring resume. We’ll see.]
No. 10 TCU vs No. 2 Oklahoma (Fox, 12:30 p.m.) The Horned Frogs situation is nearly as hopeless as waiting for the lights to return on Puerto Rico, or the POTUS to go an entire day without sending out an insulting tweet.
Even if the Frogs knock off Oklahoma, it doesn’t have enough cache to move into a playoff slot, but it would spoil the party for the entire Big-12 conference eliminating it from any consideration.

TCU QB Kenny Hill                                        AP photo

The pedestrian offense of these “Sons of Sammy Baugh” is under the direction of its leather-tough, dual-threat QB Kenny Hill (19 TDs-5 Ints-66%-4 rushing), who plays with the élan of a free flowing Baryshnikov.
The QB focuses on the receiving trio; Desmon White, KaVontae Turpin, and John Diarse and hits his targets with more accuracy than the bongs of Big Ben, which is currently in the process of undergoing a 4-year rehab project for much needed repairs.
And when the Purple Frogs take to the ground, tailback Darius Anderson (8 TDS) is the principle mail carrier.
On D, the nation’s eighth (15) stingiest, anchored by end Mat Boesen (13 tfls-11.5 sacks-4th in nation), and backers Ben Bangos (14 tfls-7.5 sacks), and Travin Howard, stone runners, allowing a nation’s second best less than 90-yards a game, but shows some serious fissures (73rd) defending the pass, which is the wrong post-holiday recipe against Oklahoma.
With apologies to Rogers and Hammerstein; “Oklaahooooma, where the ‘wins’ comes sweepin’ down the plain…” are a single victory from being crowned Big-12 conference champs for the third consecutive year, and earning a spot in the final four.
But to paraphrase George Harrison, “You know it don’t come easy,” in a rematch, there’s that word again, especially against a feisty proud bunch of Frogs from Fort Worth.

Oklahoma QB and Heisman front-runner Baker Mayfield                    AP photo

These “Sons of Billy Sims” who score more often than Taylor Swift (45ppg), while averaging a nation’s best 593-yards of offense, are under the command of its cocky Heisman front-runner, QB Baker Mayfield (37 TDs-5 Ints – 71%), who leads the nation in pass efficiency, while averaging a mind-blowing 341-yards through the air.
The All-America, who launches more rockets over the skies of Norman, than North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un fires from Pyongyang, selects from a buffet of receivers; Mark Andrews, Marquise Brown, Ceedee Lamb, and Jeff Badet, all of whom have the ability to break a game wide open.
And when “Mr. Heisman” gives his arm a rest, OU’s hard-charging tailback Rodney Anderson (11 TDs – 5 receiving), plows the earth better than a John Deere in a Kansas wheat field.
The Sooners D, never its strong calling card (62nd) led by the backing trio: Ogbonnia Okeronkwo (17.5 tfls-8 sacks), Emmanuel Beal, and Kenneth Murray, has managed to solidify in the last month, but still has serious as Jesse Jackson is wont to say “issues” defending (90) against the pass.
In a game that has potential to be a classic, we’ll stay with the Sooners, and the spirit of Bob Stoops, whose surprising late retirement this year, left its faithful with a championship caliber football team, and we think that will be on display on Saturday.
Last week; 2-3
Season record; 45-20
That’s it from cyber-space. We’ll be up and running with our analysis of the committee’s decision on the final four, and what we think will happen in our recap Sunday afternoon.
Until then, Peace, and listen to the music. pk

Auburn knocks off Alabama, Ohio State handles Michigan, BC moves to 7-5 with win over Syracuse, ND loses again

With apologies to Howard Cosell; “Down goes Alabama! Down goes Miami!


Jubilant Auburn fans storm the field in celebration win over Alabama    AP

We’ll start in the Plains of Auburn where the Tigers, for the second time in three weeks knocked off the No. 1 team in the land, in another dominating performance this time slaying the Goliath of college football the Crimson Tide of Alabama: 26-14.
In addition to some foggy heads, the other thing hurting in Auburn on Sunday morning are the beautiful hedges that surround the field at Jordan-Hare Stadium which were ripped apart by the students deliriously storming the field in celebration of their “Gridiron David’s” who if it all falls into place, just might become the next national champion.
The not so surprising victory ended Alabama’s 24-game winning streak against SEC opponents and the loss, Saban’s second biggest in the regular season since taking over in Tuscaloosa, puts the playoff chances of Groucho’s Boys in a coma induced state. (And as an added note; Saban is 0-7 against Auburn when the Tigers have at least 9 wins and that includes his time at LSU.)
No longer in control of its own destiny, Alabama needs Georgia to knock off Auburn, which is a rematch from three week ago in the SEC Championship Game, and have Ohio State take out undefeated Wisconsin to have any hope of earning an invite.
In that scenario it would come down to a beauty contest between the Buckeyes and the “Sons of Bear” as to whose resume is worthy of playoff inclusion.
Ohio State with conference championship would get an extra check, but the Committee’s somewhat nebulous criteria of the four best teams leaves this question; is Alabama better than a two-loss Ohio State? Stay tuned, there is a lot of football left to be played in conference championship weekend, and many of those questions will be answered.

Teammates celebrate TD run by freshman QB Kenny Pickett      AP photo

On Friday, the Canes of Miami, riding the nation’s longest winning streak at 15, marched into Three Rivers Stadium, home of the Pitt Panthers and had its “turnover chain” melted down for scrap by the scrappy unranked (5-7) “Sons of Dan Marino;” 24-14. It was the second consecutive year an unranked Pittsburg team knocked off a top two team.
But all is not lost for Miami, whose road map to a playoff invite is clearer than Rand-McNally. Win the ACC Championship game against Clemson, a seemingly Himalayan task for Mark Richt’s Canes, and it punches its ticket into the playoff.


BC’s starry freshman tailback A.J. Dillon                   Herald photo

On the local scene up on the Heights the “Fighting Addazio’s” AKA Boston College went out and smoked an overmatched bunch of Orangemen of Syracuse, behind the running of its budding freshman star tailback A.J. Dillon who pounded out 193 rushing yards in the Eagles dominating; 42-14 victory.
These “Sons of Mike Holovak” have won 5 of its last 6 to finish with a truly remarkable 7-5 record.

BC headman Steve Addazio                       AP photo

It’s a long way from Coach A’s “Captain Queeg-esque” soliloquy given some seven weeks ago when his Eagles sat a dismal bottom-feeding 2-4, and the coach declared, “I don’t have a time table but it’s coming and it will be beautiful…” For fans of the Eagles beautiful it has become with a bowl game invite, possibly in New York, soon to be arriving in the mail.
In Ann Arbor, here’s the question for the Maize and Blue faithful must answer; when does a rivalry stop being a rivalry?
Ohio State rallied from a 14-0 deficit and for the sixth consecutive year defeated Michigan; 31-20. It is the Scarlet and Grey second longest winning streak, and the 13th victory in its last 14 tries against its arch-rival. Yikes!
Big Blue’s savior Coach Jim Harbaugh is now 0-3 against the “Sons of Woody” and 1-2 versus the “Sons of Duffy Daugherty” its other rival, which is not what the Ann Arbor faithful envisioned when “Saint Jim” came onboard. To be fair next year has been circled as the year Michigan makes its mark as a national contender, but unless Brandon Peters in the answer to its QB issues, the jury remains deep in deliberation on the outcome.
Hail the Smart Kids!


Northwestern Coach Pat Fitzgerald AP photo

Northwestern “The Little Engine that Could,” took care of a woeful bunch of Illini, who have lost 10-in a row, racking up 42-unanswered points in its 42-7 pounding of its rival.
Pat Fitzgerald’s Wildcats are now riding a 7-game winning streak, finished its season 9-3, and are playing like one of the best teams in the nation.
Good for them and Coach Fitz, who if the Notre Dame job ever opens, would be a better fit than Bogie and Bacall.


Stanford’s Heisman contender tailback Bryce Love           AP photo

Speaking of the Irish, it’s now official, Notre Dame is the most overrated team in America as it once again laid an egg, and once again in a prime-time game, losing to a decent, but not great Stanford eleven; 38-20.
The next time a member of the “Touchdown Jesus” eleven covers a receiver, let me know. But trust me, I’m not holding my breath. UGLY!
By the way, the Cardinal of Stanford thanks to Washington’s win in the Apple Cup, will be playing USC for the SEC Championship. How about them Apples! (In honor of the 20th anniversary of the movie classic; “Good Will Hunting.”)
Stanford has won six in-a-row, and an eye-popping 8 of its last 9 against top-10 teams at home. WOW!
As mentioned the Stanford Pac-12 invite comes courtesy of another “stinkaroo” laid by the Cougars of Washington State who were eviscerated by the Huskies of Washington: 41-14.
Trust me the score isn’t indicative of how lopsided a win it was for Chris Petersen’s Boys who have now won five consecutive Apple Cups, and for the second year in-a-row kept its arch-rival out of the Pac-12 title game. OUCH!
On the coaching front; the moving vans are heading to the following destinations; Nebraska – more than likely Scott Frost although A&M might be intriguing to his wife, Arizona State, Texas A@M, Tennessee – just filled by Greg Schiano, Arkansas, Florida – just filled by Miss. State Coach Dan Mullen, Mississippi, and now Mississippi State, with the added wackiness of Gus Malzahn leaving Auburn for Arkansas, and Jimbo Fisher leaving Florida State to take over at Texas A@M. As Joe Tessitore accurately said, “It’s the silly season.”
Keep watching or to quote Bette Davis in “Sunset Boulevard;” “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.”


Former KU Coach Charlie Weis AP photo

Finally, as always, we close with our bloviating gas-bag pal Charlie Weis and the woeful Jayhawks of Kansas (1-11), the last team Charlie “fixed,” who were once again trounced, this time by the Cowboys of Oklahoma State; 58-17 and in the process extended its FCS NCAA record for the longest road losing streak to 46, just two behind the all-time record owned by 1AA Idaho State with 48. Where’s Mark Mangino when you need him?!
As Mr. Rogers might ask on “Sesame Street;” “Can you say; woe-ful?”
That’s it from cyber space. We’ll be back Wednesday night with our analysis of the four conference championship games that will determine the invitees to the playoff.
Until then, Peace, and listen to the music. pk