Wow, what a fantastic weekend of football it was. It was like I had a fairy godmother, going around and sprinkling every match-up I watched with some sort of magic dust to make it exciting. Only the last two games of the weekend - the Dallas/Philly and Baltimore/Pittsburgh pro games were blow-outs, and by then I was mostly concerned about my fantasy team (and I had a great weekend on that front, as well).
Saturday I woke up in time to catch the start of the Navy/Notre Dame contest. Notre Dame drove right down the field and scored, and Navy fumbled their first posession, and I thought that it could get carried away early. But Navy held, and soon they and UND were off to the races in one of the most exciting games I can remember. Both coaches were channeling Les Miles and going for it on 4th down early and often - I think I only saw two punts all game. By the time regulation ended, each team had put 28 points on the board, and we were headed to overtime.
Notre Dame won the toss, and so Navy started posession one on offense. They drove and scored a TD, and converted the PAT. UND followed suit, so onto posession two it went, with first Notre Dame and then Navy being stopped and forced to convert field goals, both of which did so successfully. On the third posession, Navy uncharastically threw the ball down the field for a 25 yard touchdown completion on the first play, and then passed again to convert the mandatory (in the 3rd OT and beyond) 2-point conversion attempt. UND scored a TD of their own, but then Navy stopped them twice on 2-point attempts (the first time they were hit with a very dubious pass interference call). Just like that, 43 years of frustration were released.
The LSU/Alabama game also was extremely entertaining, as was the Florida State/Boston College game.
After last weekend's completion, my power 10 stand thusly:
National Championship - 1 LSU vs. 2 Oregon - Sorry, Ohio State, but how am I supposed to take you seriously enough to put in this game?
Fiesta Bowl - 3 Oklahoma vs. 10 Hawaii - I would give my left kidney to see Oklahoma get beat in this game by a WAC opponent again.
Rose Bowl - 4 Ohio State vs. 9 Arizona State - A nice traditional match-up for the Big Ten/Pac 10 match-up, but unfortunately the only way I see a Big 10 school in this game is if Michigan beats OSU in the season finale.
Orange Bowl - 5 West Virginia vs. 8 Boston College - There should be at least 8 conferences screaming about how the BCS is unfair and we need a playoff: the 5 mid-major conferences, the ACC, the Big East, and the SEC. The season that these two schools are having, and the amount of play they are getting as potential national championship game participants, definately should lead their conferences to believe that a playoff is the only way they are going to be competing - unless their names are Florida State or Miami, of course.
Sugar Bowl - 6 Georgia against 7 Missouri - I see Kansas going to this game, unfortuantely, as Missouri will pick up their second loss in the Big 12 title game and Kansas will jump them even after losing to them in the season finale, but Missouri should go to this game.
The NFL was great, as well. The Redskins game was very dramatic - they came back and won after moping their way to a 17-3 defecit - and of course the Colts/Pats was another classic. I wanted the Colts to win, of course, but all that really matters now is that there is a challenger for New England. I didn't want this whole season to be the Patriots Show and now it isn't going to be - there is actually a team that wants to and has the players to compete with them.
The NFL Power Rankings:
1. Patriots (AFC East) - Last unbeaten standing, and without another contest left on their schedule except for the AFC Championship Game.
2. Colts (AFC South) - Never mind that they didn't have Harrison - injuries are part of football and the Pats won that game fair and square (well, presumably); the important thing is, the Colts will get a rematch with much higher stakes.
3. Cowboys (NFC East) - Does it even matter from this point on?
4. Packers (NFC North) - How does the rest of the NFL let a team with no running game get this high?
5. Steelers (AFC North) - Sure, they looked impressive last night. But they've also lost to Arizona and Denver.
6. Giants (NFC WC) - Not missing Tiki a bit.
7. Jaguars (AFC Wild Card 1) - This is assuming Garrard makes a complete recovery this season.
8. Titans (AFC Wild Card 2) - Vince Young isn't quite the man, yet, but the defense is doing a great job holding the fort until he is.
9. Redskins (NFC Wild Card 2) - Play the way they played after getting down 17-3 to the Jets on Sunday, and they'll shoot up this list. Consistency has been the Skins biggest problem, however.
10. Saints (NFC South) - Finally, the team we knew and loved last fall.
11. Seahawks (NFC West) - Wow, the two western divisions have really fallen off the map, huh?
12. Chargers (AFC West) - I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt - for now - over Kansas City because of the talent levels of the two squads - especially if Larry Johnson has to miss significant time - but Norv Turner is turning a predictably awful performance in San Diego, and the Chargers better figure out that he is not the answer, and that right soon.