An entertaining look at sports

Clearing my mind and notebook while wondering why anyone would risk being charged with a felony for shoplifting designer sunglasses:

Hard fall

Kirby Smart would love for his Georgia football team to get another shot at Auburn in the SEC Championship game on Dec. 2 in Atlanta. But for now, he and his players need to put the gut-wrenching pain they are feeling behind them.

“They whipped us up front, they whipped us on the back end, and they whipped us on the edges,” Smart said after Auburn routed his Bulldogs, 40-17. “They were more physical than us on both lines of scrimmages.”

Nick Chubb was held to 27 yards on 11 carries. Sony Michel added just 21 yards on nine rushes. And as a team, Georgia finished with just 46 yards rushing after Jake Fromm’s negative plays were subtracted.

The Bulldogs vaunted rushing attack? It was all but stopped in its tracks by the game plan Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele and his assistants devised.

As for Auburn’s win, I predicted as much in my SEC blog this week, stating this would be the week that Georgia took a dive, which would allow Nick Saban and his Alabama team to reclaim the No. 1 ranking.

It’s not guaranteed that that’s how the CFP committee with see things, of course. Especially not after the way the Crimson Tide struggled to beat Mississippi State 31-24 on Saturday.

The pollsters have a lot to sort out between now and Tuesday. With two of the top four teams stumbling, it will be interesting to see how the committee views the college football landscape this week.

Georgia at least has already clinched the SEC East. That means the Bulldogs will have another chance to impress in the conference championship game on Dec. 2 in Atlanta. For ranking purposes, it helps that the Bulldogs will either play Alabama or Auburn.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame was the other team to take a huge hit to its national championship hopes, losing at Miami 41-8. With two losses, and no conference title to win, Brian Kelly’s Irish are mere bowl fodder now.

My best guess for the Top 10:

  1. Alabama (10-0)
  2. Miami (9-0)
  3. Oklahoma (9-1)
  4. Clemson (9-1)
  5. Auburn (8-2)
  6. Wisconsin (10-0)
  7. Georgia (9-1)
  8. Notre Dame (8-2)
  9. TCU (8-2)
  10. Ohio State (8-2)

Amazing rally

If you love late-game dramatics, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more miraculous comeback than the one just pulled off by the Maple Grove football team in a Minnesota High School Class 6A quarterfinal.

Trailing 27-10 with a minute left, Maple Grove quarterback Curtis Haugen led three touchdown drives in 54 seconds, including scoring passes of 30 and 49 yards to Joe Raymon, to claim a 29-27 victory over the Knights of St. Michael-Albertville.

The Crimson misfired on a pair of two-point conversion attempts, but made up for it by recovering two onside kicks to keep their hopes alive.

In case  you need to see it with your own eyes before you can believe in such miracles, click on the video link:

Crazy Comeback: H.S. Football Team Scores 3 TDs In Final Minute

Headlines “LaVar Ball accepts LiAngelo’s execution as part of deal to license Big Baller Brand in China.” “Now catching for Justin Verlander: Kate  Upton.” “Russell Westbrook briefly forgets how to dribble after thinking about it too hard.” “Study: In-game fist fights safer than actual football.” “Lamar Odom gives Darwin a second chance.” “Doctors warn Marshawn Lynch that next time he goes into beast mode could kill him.”

Calling Celine

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton spends so much time studying playbooks and breaking down game film that he probably doesn’t have much time to read books or watch movies.

Still, Newton’s response was a head-scratcher after the Panthers traded wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin to the Buffalo Bills for a pair of 2018 draft picks last week.

“Yeah, we just lost a great player, but the Titanic still has to go  on,” said Newton.

Hey, Newton may even believe whatever he believes with all his heart, which suggests he’s at least memorized lyrics from the “Titanic” theme song.

 “Near, far, wherever you  are, I believe the heart does go on …”

Battling demons

In a new “30 for 30” documentary for ESPN, legendary wrestler Ric Flair claims he once chugged as many as 15 drinks per day.

He remembers telling a sports psychologist in 1989 about that he had been drinking heavily for 20 years.

“He came out of his chair and (he said), ‘You drink every day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and you’ve been doing that for how long?’ … By the time I got through with that SOB, he was laying on the couch and I was on the chair talking to him.”

Now 68, Flair said he’s no longer drinking alcohol after a health scare had him on the ropes.

“If you ever hear that I’m out drinking again, say, ‘Ric, you (dummy), you deserve whatever you get,'” said Flair.

They said it

RJ Currie of “NASCAR driver Danica Patrick was among the first passengers to ride a new driverless bus in Las Vegas. To make her feel comfortable, they had it follow 33 cars.”

Janice Hough of “3 UCLA basketball players including LiAngelo Ball arrested in China for shoplifting. For change Lavar isn’t the embarrassing one in family?”

Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: “With apologies to Ben Franklin, ‘In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death, taxes and Bruce Pearl running a dirty basketball program.’ ”

Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: “Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered a 2,300-year-old gym. To no one’s surprise, virtually all of the skeletons were found in front of the mirror.”

Comedy writer Jerry Perisho: “The college basketball season hasn’t even started, and already UCLA leads the nation in steals.”

Brad Rock of Salt Lake City’s Deseret News, after BYU was flagged for having two players with the same number on the field at the same time against Fresno State: “Unfortunately, neither was wearing Ty Detmer’s No. 14, Jim McMahon’s No. 9, Steve Young’s No. 8 …”

Comedian Steve Hofstetter: “Has anyone explored whether or not all the CTE in the NFL is caused by having to listen to the Monday Night Football theme song?”

Ticket scam

The Milwaukee Bucks are selling online ticket packages that allow fans to put together personalized mini-plans. To help with that selection process, each team is represented by one of its marquee players.

Every team, that is, except the Chicago Bulls. Their mascot, Benny the Bull, gets the honor.

There may be a reason for that: the Bulls are off to a 2-9 start to the season.

Sweet tweets

Rehastagging this weeks’ top Twitter shots from @Randy_Beard11:

Hurricanes took the “fight” right out of the Irish with dominating performance. Miami 41, Notre Dame 8. If Richt can keep them humble, I think UM can win it all.

FSU’s Emmett Rice should be suspended rest of season. If that’s what Jimbo Fisher endorses he should be fired.

Is it too late for Indiana coach Archie Miller to ‘purchase’ players for Hoosiers this season? It might be more effective than Miller coaching them.

Big Baller Brand digs a hole in China when LiAngelo Ball gets arrested for shoplifting with two UCLA teammates. Not the splash dad Lavar expected his second son to make in college.

Sad to hear that Roy Halladay appears to have lost control of his plane while attempting to do daredevil like tricks. Crash was caught on video by boaters in area.

 Weekend success

It was a bad week to be me picking games in the ACC. I was 4-4, which lowered by season total to 62-19 (76.5%).

But hey, how was I to know Wake Forest would score 64 points at Syracuse or that North Carolina would finally win a conference game? I’m writing it off to a crazy weekend for home teams.

Fortunately, I was on my game in the Big Ten and SEC. In the Big Ten, I was 6-1 for a season record of 66-19 (77.6%). And in the SEC, I was a perfect 8-0 to improve to 69-16  (81.1%).

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