ONE: The biggest story from the weekend (which I will roughly include Monday in because I didn’t work on Monday) is likely Alabama’s victory in the national championship game. Woo. What was predicted to be one of the most watched bowl games ever turned into a boring railroading. For me, Notre Dame’s crap offensive performance begs the question of how Oregon, a team with respectable defense and electrifying offense, could have done in this matchup. Could the Ducks have won? Who knows, maybe not. Would it have been more interesting than this lame excuse for a national championship game. Oh, yeah. I’ve felt like ND was overrated all season, and if this game was any evidence, I was right.
TWO: Speaking of Oregon football, Chip Kelly will be returning as the head coach of the Ducks next year.
Excuse me while I prepare a healthy serving of crow to eat. With a side of potatoes and being way to cocky.
At any rate, NFL teams could reportedly tell that, while he was interested in the possibility of jumping to the Big Time, he still wanted to be at Oregon where he was already one of the top dogs. Depending on what happens with the NCAA over the summer, who they can recruit and develop quickly at running back, and how well Stanford does, there could be another national championship run in the works. Which is another monument to Kelly’s impact; in just four years, he’s instilled an attitude of “Nati or Bust” into the previously moribund Oregon program. OSU’s Mike Riley would like to purchase this attitude for his players so he can win some more games.
THREE: Speaking of OSU, the Beavers’ basketball team lost their conference opener to the Ducks 79-66. After leading at the half, the Beavers’ admitted that they simply got outplayed in the second period. This game helped to clarify some things about that the Pac-12 is going to look like. First, as my colleague Kenny Ocker pointed out, Oregon State’s pass-happy bigs and gunner guards are a pretty flawed combination. They had some early success, but dropping the Towson game and getting soundly defeated in what was a winnable game against their arch-rival spells a less than promising future for the Beavers. Oregon, on the other hand, is poised to make a big splash in the Pac-12, and honestly has one of the best chances to hand Arizona their first loss on Thursday night at MKA. A win there probably puts Oregon in the top 25 and would go a very long way towards getting them to the Dance.
FOUR: Houston, Green Bay, Baltimore and Seattle all advanced to the divisional round of the NFL playoffs. I’m am actually somewhat surprised that Indy couldn’t make it closer than 24-9 against the Ravens, but Ray Lewis had a big game and sent the rookie Andrew Luck packing. The downside of that is that we are now deprived of watching Peyton Manning take on the Colts at Mile High. I’ll save my selections for who wins what for a forthcoming edition of Pick ‘n’ Roll, but I honestly can’t see more than two of them being exciting. This would be an improvement over the wild card weekend, when only one game was really exciting, and then only until something really bad happened.
FIVE: Something bad like Robert Griffin III ripping up his ACL and MCL in the Redskins loss to Seattle. Griffin got hurt early in the game and did not at all look like himself, but they chose to leave him until a bad snap and an extremely uncomfortable looking dive in the fourth cost him dearly. I’m not going to argue whether starting RGIII was a good idea or a bad idea, but Kirk Cousins is a capable enough quarterback that leaving Griffin in after the tweak and the fall int he first quarter was nothing short of madness. Cousins might not be as good as Griffin with all things equal, but I honestly think that Cousins at 100 percent is better than Griffin at 75 percent or less, which was the question that Mike Shanahan was facing. He chose… poorly. Now he’ll have the off-season to think about it between stints of visiting RGIII during his post surgery rehab.