The New Year Can Now Officially Begin. I’d like to officially welcome you to the first work week of 2014. Did you get your fill of family, food and football?
Back to Work and School
Today is always a “blah” day for most. It brings the end of a two-week break where the kids are home from school and the working world seems to stop down as well (most of it, anyway).
No more sleeping in and staying up late. The Christmas lights and decorations come down. New Year’s resolutions kick in and everyone is on a health kick this week. How many will continue it into February?
I continued my personal tradition last night of listening to The Vince Guaraldi Trio’s album – A Charlie Brown Christmas – one last time before turning off the lights for good. Is there any better track during the holidays than Linus and Lucy?
Thirty-four bowl games down; just one to go
The BCS National Championship Game is tonight, and while it should be a great game, its arrival is bittersweet. It marks the end of my favorite four months of the year – college football season.
This one certainly did not disappoint. No matter your affiliation, this fall brought us the usual ups and downs that come with the college game. It’s better than any movie or TV series because it’s non-scripted and plays out better than any writer could imagine.
No team has enjoyed the ride more than Auburn. From the Miracle at Jordan-Hare vs. Georgia and the field goal run-back in the Iron Bowl to last-minute barn-burners vs. Mississippi State and Texas A&M, the Tigers are in Pasadena tonight to try and complete their “season of destiny.” Will it be eight National Championships in a row for the SEC? The Reverse Barometer says no, but I’m rooting for them. Florida State 37, Auburn 21
The Big Bowl Winners
Obviously tonight’s champion is the big bowl winner of the 2013 season. But several bowls brought out the best in entertainment and performances.
The Best Games:
The Rose Bowl (Michigan State 24, Stanford 20): This was an old-fashioned smash-mouth football game that came down to who wanted it more on a fourth-and-one play for Stanford. Michigan State stopped them in their tracks and won the game.
The Orange Bowl (Clemson 40, Ohio State 35): A back-and-forth contest that proved to be Clemson’s first BCS victory. Tajh Boyd passed for 378 yards and five touchdowns while game MVP Sammy Watkins caught 16 balls for 227 yards.
The Chick-Fil-A Bowl (Texas A&M 52, Duke 48): The Aggies complete the biggest comeback in school history on the back of Johnny Manziel. Ironically the much-maligned defense won the game for A&M with two picks late in the game.
Fearless Football Predictions for 2014
Big 12: Baylor takes a step back as OU comes back into the limelight (now that they found a quarterback). Texas will be just fine under Charlie Strong, but they are still another season away from being one of the favorites in the conference. Strong will do well at Texas, as long as the boosters and Longhorn Network don’t beat him down. Texas Tech will be the team that make the biggest improvement in 2014, competing for the Big 12 title. TCU will continue to search for an identity and need a quarterback before they can find it. OSU again lies in the weeds before losing the Bedlam game (again) at OU as the Sooners take the title.
SEC: Texas A&M looks to re-define itself with the departure of Johnny Manziel. The offense will be just fine (Kenny Hill and Kyle Allen are both great QBs to battle for the open spot) but can the defense make strides? An 8-4 season is probably with a possible big 2015 on the horizon. Auburn will be the favorite, and rightfully so. Not because they are defending SEC champs, but because they are practically the only team bringing back their quarterback. LSU, Bama, A&M, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Mizzou and Georgia will all be fielding new signal callers. Bama will simply reload, but I like Auburn in the west. The east is WIDE open and I like Georgia to be the winner, followed closely by…Tennessee.
Cowboys: Jerry will try to wheel and deal his way into the top 10 to draft a quarterback but is unsuccessful. He should concentrate on defense and it may fall into his lap this year. Both Bill Callahan and Monty Kiffin will not be with the organization when the season starts. The team’s record: 8-8, what do you think? That track record is to easy to predict.