The college football semifinal playoff game between Georgia and Oklahoma was a classic. What a battle between two explosive teams. Oklahoma jumped out to a 17-point lead in the first half but Georgia came back to win on RB Sony Michel’s 27-yard touchdown run in overtime to propel the Bulldogs to their first national championship game since the early 1980s. Oh yeah, Alabama beat Clemson to advance as well. Personally, Alabama should have never been in the playoffs but it is what it is. The college football national championship will be played on Monday night in Atlanta’s shiny new stadium named after an expensive car.
Did you see that the University of Central Florida finished the season as the only major college to go undefeated? Yep, they finished their perfect season with a win over Auburn. I read today that UCF is going to have a national championship parade in Disney World. I know, I had to snicker at that too but, really, shouldn’t UCF had been given a wildcard or something for being undefeated? Yes, I know they play in the American Athletic Conference or something like that but just the fact they went undefeated should have got them somewhere in the playoffs. It didn’t and – no – they aren’t going to be the official national champions outside of Disney World. The playoff system won’t be right until they give all the conference winners a chance to play for the national championship.
I don’t know how to pick the Georgia-Alabama game. I don’t it will be a high-scoring game. I’m just going to watch the game and not risk jinxing anybody by making a pick.
In other football news:
The Tennessee Titans and Atlanta Falcons rounded out the playoff field for the National Football League (NFL) playoffs this weekend. Let me just get it off of my chest here – if Derek Henry ever learns to run straight he will be hard stop. Please! Pick the hole and run through it! With that said, I think the Tennessee-Kansas City match up is pretty interesting. Don’t be surprised if Tennessee wins. Stranger things have happened. The Carolina-New Orleans matchup will probably be the best one of the wildcard weekend. Here’s how I see it going: Tennessee 21, Kansas City 16; Los Angeles Rams 33, Atlanta 24; Carolina 37, New Orleans 34; Buffalo 20, Jacksonville 17. Now go place your bets….
There are rumors that the XFL is going to come back. Lord, I hope not. You remember that one-year wonder right? It was put together by WWE’s Vince McMahon. Who could forget “He Hate Me”? The league was quite gimmicky. I used to have a Memphis Maniax jersey. Dang, I should have kept it. Don’t hold your breath for the XFL. Aside from the United States Football League (USFL) – which most think was ruined by our current prez – no other league has been able to survive against the NFL.
Here are some of the best spring football leagues (that actually played):
- United States Football League (USFL)
- World League of American Football (WLAF)
- NFL Europa
A new indoor football league called the Fan-Controlled Football League (FCFL) – nope I didn’t make this up folks – is planning to kick off this year with eight teams. This strange league will allow fans to build up something called Ethereum-based FAN tokens and use them to manage the action both on and off the field. So the games will be controlled by fans sitting in their seats drinking beer and chowing down on their nachos? Yeah, okay, I think I can watch some grass grow somewhere.
Here are the indoor leagues scheduled to play in 2018 (defending champs):
- Arena Football League (Philadelphia Soul)
- Indoor Football League (Arizona Rattlers)
- Champions Indoor Football (Texas Revolution)
- China Arena Football League (Beijing Lions)
- American Arena League (none)
- National Arena League (Jacksonville Sharks)
Mater Dei of Santa Ana, California are the USA Today National High School Football champions. They finished at #1 in the USA Today Super 25 poll with a record of 15-0. Yeah, doesn’t excite me that much either. Well, here’s the rest of the top ten in the final poll:
- IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL)
- St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, MD)
- St. John Bosco (Bellflower, CA)
- Allen (Allen, TX)
- Ben Davis (Indianapolis, IN)
- Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, NV)
- Pickerington Central (Pickerington, OH)
- Cypress-Fairbanks (Cypress, TX)
- Pine-Richard (Gibsonia, PA)
The Rome Wolves (Rome, GA) finished #16 as the highest-ranked Georgia team but I really still can’t talk about it. Brentwood Academy (Brentwood, TN) over here in my backyard finished #22.
The Jerusalem “Big Blue” Lions shutout Beersheva 45-0 in the Israel Football League (IFL) to remain the only undefeated team at 8-0. Jerusalem QB David Abell completed 19 of 30 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Lions.
In the American Football League of China, the Shanghai Titans and Shanghai Warriors will meet in the championship game. Both teams will be looking to become the first team in league history to win two championships. The Titans defeated the Shanghai Nighthawks 27-14 in their semifinal game as Titans’ receiver Jibril Rasheed scored on a 19-yard touchdown in the third quarter to put the Titans up 27-14. The game was called early in the fourth quarter due to a fight which broke out resulting in multiple player ejections. The Warriors defeated the Chengdu Pandaman 26-8. A four-yard touchdown run by Chris Gardner midway through the third quarter gave the Warriors a 20-0 lead to pull away from the Pandaman. (I’m not making this up)
The Seoul Vikings scored the winning touchdown with nine seconds left to defeat the Goeje Bluestorm to win their fifth Korean National Football League title.