13) NFL coaching carousel: Colts-Raiders-Cardinals-Bears-Lions now need new head coaches, joining the Giants.
Broncos keep Vance Joseph for next year; Cleveland keeps Hue Jackson- no word out of Cincinnati on Marvin Lewis yet.
12) Georgia 54, Oklahoma 48 OT— Total yardage was 531-527 Oklahoma; they led 31-14 right before halftime, but a messed-up squib kick allowed Georgia to kick a FG at the halftime gun, and that turned out to be huge.
Now the debate about Baker Mayfield’s NFL prospects can begin; very polarizing kid. He was 23-35/287 yards in this game.
11) Alabama 24, Clemson 6– SEC is 4-5 n bowl games this year, but they’ve got two teams playing for the national title next week in Atlanta.
As great a game as the Rose Bowl, this game was a dud- Clemson didn’t have the QB play to move the ball at all on Alabama. Hell, Clemson barely beat the Crimson Tide last year, when they had Deshaun Watson.
10) Central Florida 34, Auburn 27— Good for the UCF kids; their coach bolted to Nebra$ka about 90 $econds after they won their conference title game, but UCF wins their New Year’s Day bowl game and finished an unbeaten season. Two years ago, the Knights went 0-12.
Central Florida is a very big school and is a sleeping giant athletically.It doesn’t have Nebraska’s tradition, but it has a brighter future, given the wealth of high school football talent in Florida.
9) North Texas starts league play 2-0 in Conference USA, with pair of one-point wins, in El Paso and San Antonio. Been six years since the Mean Green’s basketball team finished conference play over .500, back when Johnny Jones was UNT’s coach, before he bolted to LSU.
8) You read about all these NFL coaching vacancies and who gets interviewed and all, and I think about the late Al Davis, who would often interview people he had no intention of hiring, but what he wanted was to pick their brain, to know what they knew, to help him down the road.
I’m guessing that Sean McVay’s success this season will lead to a couple of younger guys getting head coaching jobs this winter. People tend to imitate successful teams.
7) Sunday night score: Rockets 148, Lakers 142 2OT— Houston’s bench was +46 in this game; Lakers’ subs were -30. Rockets snapped a 5-game losing streak.
6) Georgia Bulldogs QB Jake Fromm hit three homers in the 2011 Little League World Series.
5) Arizona Cardinals played really well on defense down the stretch; in their last six games, Redbird opponents converted only 11 of 70 third down plays.
4) One of the more overrated things TV guys say a lot is, when a team plays a poor first half, “…that coach must be peeling the paint off the walls in the locker room!!!”
Oftentimes, if a team is getting waxed at halftime, there are tactical adjustments that need to be made, and that takes brain power and grease boards, not screaming/yelling, especially in the NFL, where halftime is 12 short minutes.
I spent many years as a part of basketball programs; the best coaches I worked for rarely yelled at halftime, they addressed what needed to be done and how we were going to do it.
3) Rams host Atlanta in the playoffs Saturday night; their last playoff game was a 47-17 loss in the Georgia Dome to the Michael Vick-led Falcons in 2004.
2) This from a New York Times article a friend e-mailed me over the weekend:
“(The ACC has) corporate sponsors include Toyota, Gatorade and Geico. When the conference filed its annual tax return for 2015, it reported about a quarter-billion dollars from broadcasting games for its member universities, as well as $147 million in other sports-related revenue. Its commissioner earned $2.9 million. The ACC was a huge commercial success with income that would normally generate a huge tax bill.
But no taxes were owed. As the conference explained in its filing with the Internal Revenue Service, the Atlantic Coast and its member schools are nonprofit charitable organizations that place an emphasis on ‘academic excellence’”
College sports is big business, for sure.
1) Buffalo Bills fans are so happy the Bengals beat Baltimore to put the Bills into the playoffs that they’ve contributed over $57,000 to Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton’s charitable foundation in the last 24 hours. Bills are in the playoffs for the first time since 1999.