LSU prevails over Alabama in overtime


Okay, so it wasn’t the unwillingly anointed “game of the century” — not unless you spend your free time analyzing the art of field goal kicking. The 9-6 overtime boxing match between No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama was filled to the brim with great defense, but unless you were expecting a shootout with all kinds of crazy momentum swings and off-the-wall, how-in-the-Les-Miles-did-that-work big plays, well, then you might have turned off the TV slightly disappointed.

If that was the case, I apologize. We built this one up a lot.

[/taps chest] Our bad, man.

But what were we supposed to do? We had two weeks to fill! Two weeks!

But for those who tuned in to watch the top two ranked teams in the country earn every yard, every inch they gained, then you probably turned off the TV happy — even if you were sporting a houndstooth hat. If you sat down to watch good ol’ fashioned ground-and-pound football game, you probably walked away satisfied — even if you end each sentence with “Roll Tide!”. If you were stuck in a Buffalo Wild Wings praying for overtime, you were probably elated — even if the walls were decorated in signed in Crimson memorabilia.

The modern-day sports fan is picky and cynical. “Ugh, this game was so boring! Where was the offense? These two three quarterbacks are get a ‘B’ at best!”

They also fantasize in absurd hypothetical scenarios. “If this were the Big Ten, no one would watch this game! If Julio Jones was still at Bama, it’d be different.”

Well, guess what? It isn’t, and he’s not.

What we had tonight were 60 minutes and an overtime of generally well-played, evenly-matched, hard-hitting, high-stakes football. How much more can we really ask for? Not much at all.

Okay, maybe one trick play from Les Miles. 

Come to think of it, Miles was uncharacteristically conservative tonight. No fake punts or field goals. No wacky fourth down quadruple reverses to the right tackle (is that even allowed?). No nothing. Miles gets plenty of attention — or grief depending on the situation — for his high risk, high reward philosophy, but in a tight game that was dictated by stingy defense and special teams, Miles made the correct call. Don’t put the team in an unnecessary situation, win the field position battle, and eventually, someone will more than likely make a mistake.

While more flashy at times this season, that’s been LSU’s mantra all along. That’s Pop Warner football right there, folks, and Miles has the record in big games to show for it.

And to think people have been giving that man the business. Foooorrrrr ssshhhaaammmeee.

But since we’re praising Miles, it’s only appropriate to criticize one move he made in particular: replacing Jarrett Lee with Jordan Jefferson immediately after Lee threw his first interception, only to toss Lee back in the game three series later. I get that Miles wants to use two quarterbacks, but what’s the point of inserting Jefferson if he’s going to do what Lee did? Besides, playing in the “game of the century” on national TV seemed like a decent time for Miles to put Lee back out there right away and show some confidence in him. Trying to plug Lee in later in the game turned out to be a head-scratching move paid in full by a second Lee interception.

Ultimately, it didn’t cost the Tigers the game, and Jefferson stayed in at quarterback. Thankfully, LSU didn’t have to rely on their quarterback to win. Both sides were so even for the entire game and this one just had the feeling that it would come down to a couple plays, perhaps on special teams.

That turned to be the case. Bama missed four of six field goals and LSU was able to flip the field position in some key moments thanks to punter Brad Wing. It was a close game from start to finish, so you’d expect the outcome to be determined by something like that.

Was it the “game of the century”? No. It wasn’t even the best 1 vs. 2 matchup, but it was fun to watch. So let’s cool it on the rematch talk, live in the moment and take some time to digest what was a really, really good football game. There’s a month left in the college football season. We should hope every is like the one played tonight.

Colorado to retire Ralphie V after home finale vs. Washington

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Colorado has retired Ralphie V at the end of this season, AD Rick George announced Tuesday.

Actually, the retirement is already partially in effect because, as The Ringer’s Rodger Sherman pointed out on Twitter, she had become too powerful.

Ralphie turned 13 in October and is in great health; she receives regular veterinarian check-ups.  As the season progressed, she just wasn’t having the consistency she had displayed in prior years.  With past Ralphies, as they aged, their speed typically decreased; with Ralphie V, she has been so excited to run that she was actually running too fast, which created safety concerns for her and her handlers.  She also wasn’t consistently responding to cues from her handlers, and her temperament was such that she was held back from leading the team out for CU’s last two home games against USC and Stanford.

“Ralphie V has served the department and the university well,” George said.  “She has been a very special buffalo and has truly been adored by many.  We hope she lives for many years to come and look forward to finding her successor.”

Ralphie V, Colorado’s mascot since 2008, will make her last appearance Nov. 23 against Washington, where she will not lead the Buffaloes on to Folsom Field but will appear on the sidelines.

“Ralphie V was our first Ralphie to serve in the age of social media,” Ralphie Program Manager John Graves said.  “Thanks to her, we were able to incorporate an educational aspect to the Ralphie Program and hundreds of thousands of fans were able to meet her and learn more about her and buffalo in general, while countless more learned via social media.  As one of the biggest and fastest Ralphies, her love for running and power was showcased every home game during her career.  It’s almost like she knew she was the queen of campus and she loved to show that fact off when she ran onto the field and at her public appearances.”

Colorado officials are currently reviewing film and making recruiting trips to select Ralphie VI, who will make her debut in 2020.

Alabama sees title odds plunge off loss to LSU

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Coming off the loss to LSU this past Saturday, it wasn’t a matter of if but how far Alabama plunged in the eyes of wagering establishments.  Tuesday, we have that answer.

According to the odds released by one offshore sportsbook, Alabama is listed at 10/1 to win the 2019 College Football Playoff championship.  That’s down from 11/4 the week before the LSU loss.

As was the case a week ago, Ohio State, ranked No. 1 in the initial CFP Top 25, is the favorite at 2/1, shortened from 5/2.  LSU, which is expected to be the new No. 1 when the playoff rankings are released later on tonight, has moved up to 5/2 (9/2 last week) while Clemson is right behind at 3/1 (11/4).

Georgia (10/1) and Oklahoma (20/1) are next up with shorter odds at 9/1 and 16/1, respectively.

A pair of Pac-12 teams are further back in the wagering pack, with Oregon (16/1) posting longer odds at 15/1 and Utah putting up the same 40/1 they were at a week ago.  A pair of unbeatens are even further back — Minnesota at 50/1 (100/1 last week) and Baylor at the same 66/1.

The only Group of Five school listed is Cincinnati, with the Bearcats going from 250/1 seven days ago to 500/1 now.

Miami’s Evidence Njoku tweets decision to enter transfer portal

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Following a standout career at Miami, David Njoku was a first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in the 2018 NFL Draft.  Njoku’s younger brother had hoped to follow in his footsteps at The U, but, as it turns out, that won’t be the case.

On his personal Twitter account Monday afternoon, Evidence Njoku announced that, “after Deep Thought And Discussion I Have Decided To Enter The Transfer Portal To Furthermore Continue My Athletic And Academic Career.” The tight end gave no specific reason for his decision.

“He’s a good young man,” Miami head coach Manny Diaz said. “We wish him well wherever he ends up.”

Njoku was a three-star member of the Hurricanes’ 2017 recruiting class who came to The U as a wide receiver before converting to tight end.  After playing in eight games as a redshirt freshman last season, he had played in just one game thus far in 2019.

The 6-6, 226-pound New Jersey native finishes the Hurricanes portion of his collegiate p[laying career with just one catch for 11 yards, with that coming in the last year’s regular-season finale against Pitt.

Florida announces future home-and-home with Arizona State

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With the 2019 regular season rapidly drawing to a close, Florida has dropped some future scheduling news on the masses.

Early Tuesday afternoon, Florida confirmed that it has agreed to a future home-and-home series with Arizona State.  The Gators will travel to Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe in 2028, with the Sun Devils making the trek to The Swamp in Gainesville in 2031.

The 2028 game will be played on Sept. 16, while the backend of the series will be played either Sept. 6 or 13 of 2031.

That first matchup in 2028 will mark the first-ever meeting between the football programs.

Arizona State last played at the home of an SEC school in 2009, a 20-17 loss to Georgia in Athens.  Florida’s last trip to a Pac-12 school was a 1983 tie with USC.  The Gators last played host to a school from that conference the year before, with the Trojans serving as the opponent once again.