Monday Madness

College football turned in a wild day of action on Saturday, when Iowa State topped then-#2 and presumptive national championship contender Oklahoma State, Southern Cal beat then-#4 Oregon, Baylor beat then-#5 Oklahoma, and North Carolina State destroyed then-#7 Clemson. Nebraska’s first visit to the Big House did not go well for the ‘Huskers (more on that game later), and Michigan’s 45-17 win, together with Michigan State’s 55-3 pounding of Indiana paved the way for the Spartans’ appearance in the first-ever Big Ten championship game, where they’ll face either Wisconsin or Penn State. In the SEC, Georgia hung on to beat Kentucky and ensure the Dawgs’ place in the SEC championship game against LSU, and Tennessee beat Vanderbilt in a controversial, overtime finish in Neeyland Stadium on Saturday night. The result of all of this is that LSU and Houston are the only undefeated teams, and the scenario that would’ve sent three SEC teams to BCS bowls now looks like it could balloon to four, with Alabama and Arkansas in the second and third BCS slots, respectively, and Georgia still set to play for the SEC championship.

As predicted, the Lions beat the Panthers, overcoming the offensive force that is Cam Newton in a shootout. Stafford (28-36, 335 yds, 5 tds) outplayed Newton (22-38, 280 yds, 1 td), and the Lions seem to have rediscovered a running game in the form of Kevin Smith’s mohawk, but a concern going forward is the apparent decreased effectiveness of their defense. In Chicago, Philip Rivers continued his free fall, but the concern for the Bears, who weren’t going away this season, is that Jay Cutler’s broken thumb may knock him out for the rest of the season. And I didn’t forget about the Colts, who lost to the Bye Week and are holding steady at 0-10.

Finally, in one of the most exciting NASCAR races in memory, Tony Stewart held off Carl Edwards to win the race and the championship on Sunday night. Stewart and Edwards, who finished 1-2, technically were tied in points, but Stewart held the tie-breaker: most wins on the season. Stewart won five times this year, and each win came during the Chase– the season-ending ten-race playoff. This marks Stewart’s third championship, something only eight other drivers have accomplished, and it’s his first as an owner.

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