January 6, 2014

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The Week in Sports

By: Anson Whaley

NFL Playoff thrillers: Fans were hoping for some watchable playoff games this weekend in the NFL and the league didn’t disappoint. Outside of the San Diego Chargers thrashing the Cincinnati Bengals, 27-10, pro football’s postseason games were all close. Saturday featured the Colts erasing a 28-point deficit against the Chiefs to come back for a 45-44 win. In addition, the Saints and 49ers both won on field goals as time expired in their games against the Eagles and Packers, respectively. The games were about as close as you could ask for and that surely amounted in a ratings bonanza for the league.

San Diego Chargers

The San Diego Chargers had the most convincing win of the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs.

BCS Championship Game: Florida State takes on Auburn tonight in college football’s national championship game and while the potential for a good game is there, the Seminoles cruising to a comfortable win seems the more likely scenario. While Auburn has a loss and several close games, Florida State has beaten up on everyone they’ve played this season. Their closest margin of victory was by 14 points against Boston College and the fewest points the Seminoles have scored was 37 in a 30-point win against rival Florida. The team not only has the nation’s top ranked offense, but the No. 1 defense as well. I’ll take Florida State tonight, 41-24.

Texas picks Charlie Strong as head coach: Texas didn’t get their original target in Alabama coach Nick Saban, so over the weekend, they tabbed former Louisville coach Charlie Strong as their next leader after Mack Brown stepped down. Saban is widely considered as the top coach in college football but getting Strong isn’t a bad consolation prize. Strong took over a weak Cardinals program and won 37 games in four seasons there. Many will point to the fact that he piled up his wins in the Big East and the AAC, where Louisville competed this season, but Strong’s teams have fared well against other major BCS programs, too. The Cardinals crushed a good Miami team this year in their bowl game and beat third-ranked Florida last season in the Sugar Bowl.

Kobe to start All-Star Game?: Despite barely playing this season fighting injuries, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is still getting votes to start in the NBA’s All-Star Game. A lot of them. The future Hall of Famer has only played in six games this year, but is still one of the leading vote getters in the Western Conference and is on pace to be named as a starter by fans. The league has opened the door for this sort of thing by putting ballots into the fans’ hands, but this really is a perfect example of how the voting has gotten out of control. Guards such as Steph Curry and Damian Lillard are having huge seasons and should be rewarded instead of Bryant, who by his own admission, won’t likely be healthy enough in time to even play.

Lambeau Leap Fail: Green Bay Packers’ fullback John Kuhn scored a touchdown in the team’s playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Unfortunately, his Lambeau Leap left a lot to be desired. Yeah, um, that didn’t work at all.

Team USA Hockey selections: The USA Hockey team selections for the 2014 Olympics were made last week and as always, there were a few notable omissions. Two guys that didn’t make the cut, defenseman Jack Johnson and winger Bobby Ryan, were interesting. Johnson is regarded as a top defenseman and Ryan is one of the best goal scorers in the league. For whatever reason, though, the pair didn’t make the team. But while there’s a lot of noise about them being left out right now, expect that die down if Team USA can win a gold medal.

The blowout of blowouts: Southern University won a basketball game over Champion Baptist College, 116-12. No, that’s not a typo. Their 44-0 lead to start the game was an NCAA record. The ironic thing is that at 5-9, it’s not like Southern is a basketball powerhouse. Keep in mind that this is the same team that lost to Denver, Arkansas-Little Rock, Louisiana Tech, and Middle Tennessee State. Just how bad were things for Champion Baptist? Their starters were a combined 2-29 from the field and only two players on the team scored field goals. Guard Zach Hendricks was the star for the team … and he had four points. CBC had a chance to score more points, but was only 5-17 from the free throw line. The school was outrebounded 69-22, had 27 turnovers, and only recorded a single assist.

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