College Football Championship Monday

Monday is the fun day this extended football week. I intentionally did not put this in the Division Weekend post. Oh, and as to that, as usual, my off the cuff picks were not, shall we say, exactly right. You get what you pay for. Niners won as expected. Cool! But the Titans totally clocked the Quoth the Ravens. Did not see that coming! Chefs looked moribund and cooked, and then went on a roll like I have never seen before. Goofy, but got that right. I really thought the Squawks would upset the Pack. But Lambeau and Rodgers held on. That was my upset special, and, boy, was I wrong.

Enough of those bygones, tonight is the, at long last, college championship. LSU and Clemson. Both 14-0. Hard to see how either could be more impressive at this point. Clemson has not lost a game in two years. That would be 29 games in a row. That is stupid good. And they are not only defending champions, Clemson has won it all two of the last three years. And did so on the back of Nick Saban and the winners of the world (thanks Steely Dan!) Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide.

So, coming in undefeated, after an undefeated championship year last year, makes the Clemson Tigers the absolute favorite, right? Nope. The “other” Tigers, the ones from LSU are unquestionably the favorite. LSU’s QB, Joe Burrow, won the Heisman Trophy. And he deserved it and by the biggest margin in history, which he got. If both came out for this spring’s draft, who goes first? A year ago it would have been unconscionable to say anybody but Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence. Not now, the Bengals will be taking Joe Burrow at number one.

So, what’s up tonight? Yeah, I dunno. Some of the newer people here seem to be slow learning that my picks are nominally common sense and mostly follow standard logic and odds. And that I rarely gamble with my own money. I still have a house, because I have never bet it.

Sooooo…….Tonight! The Tim McGraw song ESPN opened their coverage with was pretty damn good. As a red blooded gut, nowhere near his wife, Faith Hill’s, SNF opener. Sorry folks, that one from nearly ten years ago seriously rocked.

As to the game. The right two teams are clearly playing. LSU seems, qualitatively, the much better team. But how Ohio State ever got seeded ahead of undefeated defending champs Clemson is seriously insane. To the point of being a joke. People like to make fun of the diminished relevance of the PAC-12, but the Big-10 has been overrated bullshit since I was a kid and any random 7-3 PAC champion regularly kicked Bo and Woody’s ass in the Rose Bowl. But, wait, I digress….

Tonight LSU is favored, and they should be. Joe Burrow is the real deal. Trevor Lawrence is too, but, wow, Burrow has been insanely good. Both can throw. Both can run too. Both defenses are really good. Dabo Swinney has the hardware. But how can you not simply lover the Ragin Cajun Ed Oregon?

I have no prediction, just hope for a game that can live up to the moment as potentially one of the best ever.

It all rolls in Nola, and let there be good times rolling. So, some gumbo music from an old friend Janiva Magness (one of the finest blues singers you have never heard of) playing zydeco with her Louisiana pal Tab Benoit (who is fucking great by the way).

24 replies
  1. Molly Pitcher says:

    Looking forward to the game and the booing of Lame Duck Trump. I think you are right about LSU bmaz. this is going to b a good one.

  2. Jharp says:

    Being an Ohio State graduate and big fan I’m thinking I’m still too pissed off to even watch.

    So far anyways. It’s gametime and I’m not turning on the TV.

  3. P J Evans says:

    So far the game seems to be good. The royal couple got booed – they were on the field with the color guard, for some reason, and Trmp was trying to look all military by pulling his gut in and leaning over his toes.

  4. orionATL says:

    speaking of cheatin’ cheaters of _________.

    there are always takers when opportunity knocks:

    in contemporary american society, this is an astounding punishment. it actually holds people (the coach and general manager) in positions of high responsibility responsible for actions they allege they did not know about. this approach should have been used on banking honchos in the mortage/banking collapse and scams of 2007-2009. you are responsible for what your corporation does; pleading ignorance of subordinate misconduct should not be an acceptable defense.

    too bad, as christopher steele was recently quoted as saying in the guardian/observer, that those who cheated in the 2016 election have never have been held responsible for their actions.

    it has only been people like steele, who tried to do a paul revere for american society who were punished, and became a punching bag in our perverse contemporary society whacked at by multiple folks with their own political agendas.

    • P J Evans says:

      yes, and the financial penalties should be paid by the corporation and the executives, and they should hurt. Shareholders, who generally have zero say in how companies are managed, lose a little. Customers shouldn’t be hurt.

    • Bay State Librul says:

      I agree. If Cora is found guilty the manager and the Red Sox should be held accountable.
      That said, sign stealing dates back to John McGraw, Bobby Thompson’s homer, and off course the Spymaster himself, Leo Durocher

      • bmaz says:

        Yeah, sign stealing has been going on as long as signs have been a thing in baseball. Baserunners been doing it forever, not to mention opposing dugouts. Even dudes with telescopes in the outfield, though that was heavily frowned on.

        But Cora has already been found guilty in the Astros report. He is a great young manager, but he is already toast I would think. If MLB bounced Hinch for a year (before the Stros fired him), hard to see how that is “not” coming for Cora. The Astros report actually is worse for Cora than Hinch. Sawx gonna need someone else on the bench next year methinks. Kind of hope they don’t fire Cora though.

        • scribe says:

          As I noted the other day, back in the day if you were caught peeking around the catcher to see what his signs were, you got thrown at. No bureaucracy, no lawyers, no time wasted, no games affected months later. Over and done with right there.
          The ‘stros-Sawx cheating scandal is qualitatively different because it relied upon technology as opposed to a sharp-eyed runner on second spotting things and passing them on. This was an organized conspiracy to, as in the words of one state’s criminal statute “rig a publicly exhibited contest”. Good thing none of the games were played in that state.
          Cora is gone from the CheatSawx, a salutary development insofar as the team got out ahead of it.
          I still say Cora should be banned for life. Pete Rose was quoted yesterday to the effect of Cora’s (and the others’) cheating was worse than his betting on baseball. For once, we agree. Rose’s betting had, at best, only tangential effect on games. Mario Soto might have had his feels hurt b/c Manager Pete didn’t bet on him in his games, while he bet on other pitchers in theirs. By contrast, this affected pitch after pitch and hitters knew what was coming.
          Pour encourager les autres.

          And I called purple Sunday. Right again.

    • bmaz says:

      They truly are both spectacular teams.

      It may be often a cliche thing, but, damn, it is really true tonight.

      • orionATL says:

        yes they are both great teams.

        and that brings to mind this thought, that we have been privileged this weekend to watch – in pro and now college ball – some of the finest contests between first-rate opponents that i remember seeing in years.

        titans and ravens

        san francisco v vikings

        chiefs and texans in a barn burner of a game

        and my first love, the green bay packers, v seattle (in which a seattle tackler carried a green bay runner to the “winning” first down sliding on his legs).

        and now lsu v clemson and two fascinating coaches out of the mold – obregon and sweeney.

      • bmaz says:

        The game was better than the final score reflects. But Trevor Lawrence did not have a very good game passing. Have to give the LSU defense credit, but Lawrence simply did not play up to the level he did last year. Joe Burrow was just better. He is an impressive kid. Maybe even enough to resurrect the Cinci Bungles. Now that will be a challenge.

  5. CD54 says:

    A little late but: my biggest takeaway from the weekend playoff games is that it appeared that SF won the O-Line/D-Line game on 90% + of all plays from the line of scrimmage. They were really THAT dominant.

    I think this puts them as the team to beat (theirs to lose) for the entirety of the rest of games this post season.

    • bmaz says:

      That sounds about right. I expect the Packers to play a lot better game against the Niners than they did in Santa Clara earlier this year. But if the Niners from last weekend show up, and you have to expect they will, they are just too good on both sides of the ball. And even as a Packers fan, the SF versus KC Super Bowl would be fantastic.

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