Last weekend featured championship games in all of the major college football conferences. Clemson rolled hard over Virginia Tech, Boise State smoked New Mexico, Southern Mississippi upset Houston, and Baylor doubled up Texas. Georgia played a decent first half against LSU but never made it out of the locker room for the second half, and in the late game, the inaugural Big Ten championship game, Michigan State totally blew it in their rematch with Wisconsin. After officials reversed a play ruled a catch on the field (the ultimate decision being the incorrect one in the eyes of the television announcers and Spartan fans at the bar where I was watching), MSU got a second chance to win the game, only to negate a punt return for a near touchdown on a melodramatic roughing the punter penalty.
If you’re wondering what would happen if two teams that lost championship games on the strength of serious second-half miscues faced off in a bowl game, wonder no more: Georgia will meet Michigan State in the Outback Bowl this year. In other bowl news, the BCS national championship game will be a rematch of the de facto national championship between LSU and Alabama, despite protests from Oklahoma State, which dismantled Oklahoma this weekend. Vanderbilt, as reported last month, will play in the Liberty Bowl, where they will meet the Cincinnati Bearcats. As for all of the rest of the bowl pairings, the big surprise seems to be Virginia Tech making it to the Sugar Bowl on a very weak record. They’ll face Michigan in New Orleans on January 3. And in case you were worried, Ohio University and Utah State will meet in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on December 17. It’s FAMOUS!
The injury-riddled NFL limps toward its own playoffs as well. The Packers survived the New York Giants to stay undefeated, and the Lions died a death of 1,000 self-inflicted cuts in the Sunday night game in New Orleans. Rather than wait until the end of the season to admit that my nuanced, second-level prediction back in August about the Philadelphia Eagles— basically, that if they were to dream team their way to a Super Bowl win, it would be under the direction of Vince Young and not Michael Vick– has been proven wrong through rigorous testing under the conditions of actual reality. Whoops.
In baseball news, Pedro Martinez wants everybody to know he’s going to retire sometime soon, in case you’d forgotten he never actually did that. Our bdoyk reacted here last night.
Finally, in sports writing news, The Classical launched somewhat inauspiciously on Friday evening amidst technical difficulties. More on that site down the road.