Let’s Review the Week That Was in the NFL

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Let’s Review the Week That Was in the NFL

Capital One Bowl – Penn State and LSU pony up for a battle of two teams who had good season, but were standing behind better teams in their conferences.  LSU had Florida and Alabama’s shadow to stand in whilst the Nittany Lions were hard up to get past a depleted Ohio State squad.  Even though this isn’t the bowl Penn State was looking for you have to feel good for Joe Pa for getting his team to yet another New Year’s Day bowl and playing strong after the controversy that swirled around him a few years ago as his age came into question.

LSU’s Les Miles is one of the oddest coaches in college football because we’re always left to wonder if they win because of the coaching or in spite of the coaching.  Both teams have pretty nice offenses and strong defenses, but the game is only left up to a couple factors:

1.  Daryll Clark has a good game and Penn State is hard to beat.
2.  If LSU’s defense can produce turnovers like they did in 2008 they are nearly unstoppable.
3.  If Les Miles doesn’t make any stupid decisions that Tigers are always dangerous.

I’ll take the Nittany Lions because I don’t think Les Miles can help himself…

The Rose Bowl – Ohio State and Oregon tangle in my favorite bowl game every year…the Rose Bowl.  I love the Rose Bowl because it conjures images of players holding roses in their teeth after leading their teams to glory.  Vince Young played one of the best games in the history of college football and won Texas a national title in that very stadium.  The Rose Bowl signifies tradition, glory, elegance, all that is right and good in college football.

Ohio State is a sentimental favorite for me because my wife is from Ohio (so I’ve got an entire side of the family that is Buckeye-faithful) and Oregon is a fun pick because Chip Kelly is a great coach and he drug them from the abyss (the LeGarrette Blount punch game against Boise State) to a near loss at Oregon State for a chance to play in this very game.

The problem is that as much as I like the Buckeyes they are carrying an underperforming Quarterback who has yet to live up to even a fraction of his own hype.  Let’s not forget that Terrelle Pryor brought this on himself by having his own little press conference to announce where he was going to school like it was newsworthy.  (In essence, he’s getting every bit of criticism he deserves.  I know he’s a kid, but he’s a kid who’s going to school for free {who doesn’t want that for their kid} who wanted the spotlight and now that he’s got it he isn’t performing.)

There’s something about the scrappy nature of the Ducks that makes me want to pick them.  I’ve ridden the Buckeyes to shame in the past (especially that humiliating loss to Florida in 2006 when EVERYONE thought they were going to win their 2nd national title since 2002) and I just can’t bring myself to ignore their recent failings in bowl games.  You combine that with the intensity and “scrappiness” of Oregon under Chip Kelly and you’ve got the makings of an Oregon blowout.

The Allstate Sugar Bowl – Two lame duck teams in Florida and Cincinnati take the field in disappointment on both sides.  The Gators have a coach who’s going on indefinite leave and Cincinnati’s former coach Brian Kelly already ticked off every player on the team when he sprung the “I’m bouncing for Notre Dame” speech on them.  This is Tim Tebow’s final college game and it will be under Urban Meyer whose life Tebow has clearly changed.  (Meyer cried when describing Tebow’s impact on his life for Pete’s sake!)  Tim Tebow will be emotional, ready to end with a bang, and ready to prove to the NFL that he’s worthy.)

The Cincinnati players are ready to back up the talk they gave to the media after Brian Kelly broke them down with the Notre Dame news.  Mardy Gilyard was the most vocal when he basically told the press that the players made the plays and they were going to show Brian Kelly that they don’t need him.

Here you have a clash of the titans with a team ready to usher out one of their greatest players with a win and a team angry and ready to spit nails.  I still don’t think Tebow was “all there” during the SEC Title Game and I have no idea if he’ll be “there” on New Year’s Day, but I DO know that he has a lot to prove and he’s a fighter.  Disgruntled players (like the ones at Cincinnati) play well in spurts, but I don’t know if they can overcome such a good player as Tebow when they are playing purely on emotion (emotions they’ve had bottled up for about a month.)  I don’t think it’s wise to try to beat a team as good as Florida like that so I’ll have to take Florida because the spurts of emotion you get form Cincinnati will not be enough for a very good/well-seasoned/veteran team like the Gators.

Tim Tebow is a life-changer and though he did not deserve to be in New York for the Heisman ceremony he is STILL a great player and over-looking him is a bad deal.  Remember, the Crimson Tide had to stop HIM in order to win the SEC.  Nobody else, just Tebow.  That says a lot. and I’m not tangling with a dude like that, are you?

Tune in Thursday for the picks for the final week of the NFL Regular Season, a look at how the playoff races will shake out (yes, I figured out all the tiebreakers by myself) and what that means for the race to the Super Bowl…as always, love me or hate me.

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