It was an abbreviated work week for me since Tooth No. 19 was called up to Tooth Heaven.
That added up to a lack of fun in my life and a diet consisting of yogurt, applesauce, pudding, mashed potatoes and chicken noodle soup.
Dang, I can’t wait to eat pizza again.
So it will be an abbreviated Weekly Links as well since I only had half a week to choose from this time.
It does make it easier that way with fewer articles to sort through. So we’re going with two conference championship games on the college football side and one also-ran NFL game from the professional ledger.
I’m still not sure why we must go through a College Football Playoff this year to determine the top college team in the nation.
The same team that was the best in September is the best at the beginning of December. And will be again when the season is over.
Alabama is the only truly good college football team this season. Actually, the Crimson Tide are great. And they didn’t miss a beat when they lost star safety Eddie Jackson with a broken leg.
The Crimson Tide meet Florida in Saturday’s SEC title game and there isn’t much of a chance that an upset will happen.
The Gators are without six defensive starters and using a backup quarterback. Heck, perhaps Alabama should play all their third-stringers to even things up.
Crimson Tide defensive end Jonathan Allen (seven sacks, two fumble return touchdowns) is the top defensive player in the nation and he and his teammates don’t look capable of losing at all this season.
But first, they look to win the SEC title.
Here is the stellar Alabama-Florida preview — http://www.usatoday.com/sports/ncaaf/event/2016/67487/preview/top25/
I keep hearing it said that Ohio State and Michigan are the top two teams in the Big Ten.
But when asked to write the national preview for the Big Ten championship game, I didn’t need to visit either team’s websites.
So maybe Ohio State and Michigan are the third and fourth best teams, huh?
Kind of complicates things that Wisconsin and Penn State are playing for the Big Ten title when it comes to the CFP selection committee. We are looking at the possibility of a Big Ten team that didn’t play in the conference title game making the national playoffs?
Nothing makes it more clear how worthless your conference championship game is than that fact.
Penn State won the division that Ohio State is in and if it wins the conference title game, perhaps the Nittany Lions are the Big Ten team that should be part of the CFP.
The problem, though, is that Ohio State is currently the No. 2 seed. So for Penn State to get in, either Clemson or Washington gets bumped out. Sorry, that isn’t how this whole deal is supposed to work.
But know this: If two Big Ten teams make it this season, we will quickly move closer to the eight-team playoff.
Anyway, here is the stellar Wisconsin-Penn State preview (note: that isn’t my prediction at the bottom but going with this entity’s copy because they didn’t strip off my byline) — http://www.upi.com/Sports_News/College-Football/2016/12/02/Penn-State-vs-Wisconsin-prediction-preview-2016-Big-Ten-football-championship/3371480706731/
I didn’t write about any NFL teams headed toward a championship game this week.
The Philadelphia Eagles still have a chance to make the playoffs but does anybody really think that is happening with six losses in eight games after a strong 3-0 start?
And the Cincinnati Bengals? Not mathematically eliminated but even quarterback Andy Dalton is already trying to figure out what went wrong with five games still to go.
The Bengals made the playoffs in each of the past five seasons before this year’s miserable campaign.
The Eagles are revamping under first-year coach Doug Pederson and his tune has changed from talking about the playoffs to talking about the process.
Coaches who talk about the process typically aren’t doing much winning in the present.
That’s a fact.
Here is the stellar Eagles-Bengals preview (in the New York Times again!) — http://nytimes.stats.com/fb/preview.asp?g=20161204004&home=4&vis=21&action=click&contentCollection=football®ion=supplemental&module=sports-stats-module-nfl&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront