Wrapping Up The First Weekend Of The Year As Fast As I Can

The key word for me is: busy.  As in, I’ve had a busy weekend to start 2011, and the next couple of days are going to be equally as hectic.  But enough happened this weekend that I needed to touch on it, so here’s a quick wrap-up before I get to my NFL Playoff picks later in the week.

— A hearty congratulations to TCU for their victory in the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin, culminating a 13-0 season and a chance to win the national title in their next game against .. oh, that’s right.  There is no tomorrow for this year’s Horned Frogs, thanks to the eternal stupidity of the B(C)S.  Still, it was nice to see one of the non-BCS conference teams yet again prove that they’re as worthy of playing for the title as the teams from the traditional “power’ conferences.

— And speaking of those “power” conferences, I wonder if we’ll hear Ohio State president Gordon Gee spout off again about the strength of the Big Ten and disparage teams like TCU the way he did back in late November when he dismissed the credentials of schools from non-BCS schools as unworthy.  “We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor. We play very fine schools on any given day,” Gee had said at the time — conveniently ignoring the cream-puff part of Ohio State’s schedule that featured Marshall and Eastern Michigan, two schools whose football teams might have had their own trouble beating the Little Sisters of the Poor in 2010.

What Gee should have said then was “We play very fine schools on any given day — and we usually lose royally to them.”  Or at least, that’s what it seemed like the last couple of days, as the Big Ten embarrassed themselves this weekend going 0-5, with Michigan and Michigan State getting outscored 101-21 in their humiliating losses — that’s in addition to Wisconsin’s loss to those “undeserving” Horned Frogs.  The Big Ten has proven itself to be over-matched more often than not in recent years when it comes to the Bowl Season, and this year was just more of the same.

"Let's see if I have this straight -- if there's no 2011 season, I can't lose any more games, right?"

— After my piece on Friday on coaches that I thought should be headed for the unemployment line, reports leaked that two of the head men in question — Gary Kubiak from Houston and Jason Garrett from Dallas — were probably going to be retained for 2011.  If true, there’s drastically different reasons for those decisions — Kubiak’s retention after he signed a two-year extension after last season screams out “There’s a lockout coming and I don’t want to pay two head coaches” from Texans owner Bob McNair, while Garrett earned his retention by going 5-3.

I still think neither is the answer for their teams.  Assuming both come back next year and that there’s actually an NFL season for us to watch (a big assumption at this point, as crazy as that should sound),  Garrett may last longer than a year in his new position, but I think I have a better chance at getting hired as an NFL coach myself than Kubiak surviving yet another season of disappointing results — which is exactly what he’s going to bring to the Texans if he stays.

Not pictured: A team deserving of a trip to the playoffs in 2010

— And finally, the NFL has to be thrilled to see a 7-9 team in the Seattle Seahawks backing into making the playoffs after beating the equally hapless St. Louis Rams on Sunday night in a game that I frankly has trouble sitting through and watching.  Even my fantasy football leagues have a rule that says you have to finish at least .500 to make the playoffs — but the NFL doesn’t?  Mercifully, the Seahawks playoff run should be as brief as it will be painful for Roger Goodell to watch.

Later this week, I’ll be back with my 2nd Annual Crappy Playoff Predictions — be sure not to miss it!


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