Heading into the ‘Announcement Sunday’ of the College Football Playoff, there really was only one question remaining. Who would be selected as the fourth and final team? Would it be Ohio State or would it be Alabama?
I told everyone I spoke to Saturday night that the selection committee had to go with one loss Crimson Tide. This, despite media pundits pushing hard it seemed, for the two-loss Buckeyes.
Logic prevailed as Alabama joined #1 Clemson, #2 Georgia, and #3 Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff. Alabama needed some help Saturday night to sneak in. Ironically, it was Ohio State that provided the help as the Buckeyes undefeated Wisconsin, leaving the Tide and Ohio State lobbying for the No. 4 spot.
The lobbying and debate lasted about 12 hours from midnight Saturday to Sunday at noon. In the end, the committee let it be known that they were not going to have a two-loss team in the playoff, especially one that lost by 31 points to unranked Iowa. So Alabama is in. And now the matchup many hoped for when the season began is here, It’s Clemson vs. Alabama, Part III. Though nobody anticipated back in September they’d meet in the semifinal, the thought back then was the Tigers and Tide were indeed two of the best teams in the country.
Eli Manning had started 210 straight regular season games at quarterback with the New York Giants before head coach Ben McAdoo sent him to the bench last week. That controversial strategy failed to pay off as the Giants lost again, this time at Oakland.
One has to wonder what McAdoo is thinking this week as he was fired on Monday and it has already been announced by ownership that Manning will return under center this week when the Giants host Dallas. General manager Jerry Reese, who approved the decision to pull Manning from the lineup, was asked to leave as well.
Manning was not having a great 2017, though that’s not all his doing. The Giants lost their two top offensive weapons when Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall suffered season-ending injuries early in the year. Despite having few weapons and being bolstered by one of the league’s least-effective running games, Manning has still managed to put up respectable numbers. It’s just that the Giants have only won two games.
McAdoo and Reese will go down in Giants’ lore as the duo who ended a streak of a Manning (Peyton or Eli) not starting a NFL game since 1998. Now they are unemployed.
The King And His Court
The supposed demise of the Cleveland Cavaliers has been put on hold. Personally, I never bought into that thinking, even with the Cavs’ slow start. And those who thought that LeBron James was handing over his throne as the best player in the game to a younger star may want to think again. As I write this, Cleveland is one victory from tying the franchise record of 13 consecutive wins. This, after a less than impressive 5-7 start to the season.
The Cavs last won 12 straight in James’ first season back with Cleveland. They’ve gone to three consecutive Finals since his return and are favored to go back again. And before you, like everyone else it seems, try to name anyone but James as the league’s MVP, here is The King’s per game averages over the current winning streak. LeBron has averaged 27 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 8.2 assists a game since Cleveland last lost a game.
Featured Image: LeBron James
Image: Ben McAdoo