What’s this? A second blog post on the same day? Yeah, I’m sick… Well not really but I had the urge and here we go.
Yesterday’s bowl games all had the same theme.. Blowout. Not much competition and it really felt kind of anti-climatic. there were 5 major bowl games yesterday and all of them were won by double digits. Not to mention the semi-final games on Thursday also blowouts, with Clemson and Alabama both advancing to the championship next Monday night in AZ. What I take away from these games is that nothing is ever as it seems. I thought there would be a lot of close games in the last two days, specifically Northwestern and Tennessee, and the Notre Dame Ohio State game. I never expected either one of those teams to be as dominant as it played out. Makes me wonder after Michigan States lackluster performance against Alabama if the wrong B1G School was in the playoff. Don’t get me wrong, after their loss to Michigan State, and their underachieving play for most of the season, Ohio State did not deserve to be in the playoff, but I wonder if maybe they would have played better than the Spartans did, and after looking at how they handled ND, I am not so convinced they would not have beaten Alabama, just like they did last year. That is not how the playoff played out and I accept that, but it just makes me wonder. Looking ahead to the final next week, I hope it will be a good game, because thus far it has not been an entertaining bowl season. forgive me for wanting close games, but that’s what I enjoy as a football fan. I like Alabama in this game, I think they are the more physical team and Clemson has a lot of uphill to climb to win this game. As Dabo Swinney, the head coach of Clemson has said in interviews, maybe no one does believe they can do it, maybe we are all underestimating them, but it is a huge undertaking to try and beat Alabama, especially after shutting out Michigan State. Should be a decent game.
We are now on to the final week of the NFL season, and there are playoff spots still up for grabs going into the final week. Let me try and put it all into perspective. The only real question mark left is the AFC Wildcard with the Jets and Steelers fighting for the last spot. The Jets win and they are in. The Steelers need a victory over the Browns and a Jets loss to the Bills to get in. I am hoping the Browns can pull the upset and prevent the Steelers from getting in as that would be a bright spot in an otherwise dismal season for my Browns. I don’t know that they can do it, because they have been horrible and they are now officially down to Austin Davis at QB, but it is at home, and the place will be electric. Anytime the Steelers come to Cleveland the gloves come off and it becomes a battle (at least I want to think it will be). Finally the only other spot up for grabs in who will win the AFC South, Indy or the Texans. The sheer volume of what the Colts need to happen makes their playoff berth almost non-existent, but they are still mathematically alive for the division. Here is what they have to do: they need to win against the Titans, have Houston lose to Jacksonville, then have eight other games fall in their favor. The Bengals, Jets and Saints must lose, then the Broncos and Dolphins both have to win. if that occurs then it falls to strength of schedule and in that case both the Steelers and Chiefs have to lose as well. The eighth game was played last Monday night and that went in their favor when the Broncos beat the Bengals. My thoughts on the whole scenario is if you are a betting man, you could win a ton of money if all of that falls into place, because their chances of pulling it off stand at 3,300-1. I predict that the Jets and Texans make it in. The Steelers may beat the Browns, but if the Jets win, they’re in, so yeah, I think they go into Buffalo and pull off the victory (sorry Jon). All will be clear by about 8pm tomorrow night when the Vikings and Packers tee it up on SNF. That game will decide the NFC North, but both have already made the playoffs, and its more about bragging rights and hosting a first round playoff game versus traveling to the Nation’s Capital against the Redskins for the fist week of the playoffs.
Those are my thoughts on the week ahead, what are yours?
Scott Wright “The Sports Nerd”