Random Rumblings - 1/8/13

All eyes were on Miami last night (specifically A.J. McCarron's girlfriend) but by the end of the night there was a ton going on. Syracuse has a new coach, the Lakers have no bigs and KG is still a punk.

BCS Blowout

Early in last night's game I tweeted "this isn't nerves, this is an ass kicking" and by the end of the Tide's high in Miami even Irish eyes couldn't disagree. Everything went Alabama's way from the opening kickoff on the way to Nick Saban's 4th national title. It's his 3rd title in 4 years and many say the team in 2010 that didn't win (thanks to Cam Newton) was the best. This year's squad was led by a dominant offensive line that Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix III insisted to SI's Pete Thamel didn't dominate his unit last night. I'll disagree as much as you can with a 340 lbs man who could end/eat me.

Not only were the Irish dominated in the trenches, but they couldn't tackle. Manti Te'o missed two tackles all season according to ESPN's Chris Fowler before the game. The future first rounder (yes, still) missed that many and more in the first half. Eddie Lacy was out of this world good. He's built like a tank but cuts as well as most scat backs. Lacy isn't his predecessor Trenton Richardson, but he's just as much fun to tackle which is none what so,freaking ever. Meanwhile T.J. Yeldon also went over 100, is only a freshman, and general consensus is he's better than Lacey. Speaking of scary freshman, the guy I think that has the brightest NFL future on offense for Bama is Amari Cooper. He has at least one gear, if not two, that other guys can't get to. He's that fast. His hands are outstanding and he's pretty good in the air. And he's a freshman.

Looking ahead and back to what could have been

Add in the fact that Bama consistently brings in top five (or higher) recruiting classes so they're re-loading and their now 2-time national quarterback is returning with the aforementioned weapons and Bama's your #1 team going into next year. This year was a downish year for college football but next year is semi-absurd. Oregon, who I think is the best team in the country (more on that in a minute) brings back QB Marcus Mariota (was only a frosh) and De'Anthony Thomas not to mention they somehow brought back Chip Kelly. Johnny Football (speaking of freshman) is back at Texas A&M as is Aaron Murray and a number of offensive weapons at Georgia (although they lose a silly amount of NFL talent on D). Keep an eye on Clemson too who will have a senior Tajh Boyd and the best receiver duo in the country in DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins. They just have to avoid their typical "wtf was that?!" Clemson loss and Jadaveon Clowney wrecking them in the last week of the regular season (good luck with that) and they could have a path to Pasadena.

As for this year, how awesome would a playoff have been? I think to most it's pretty clear that Alabama and Oregon are the two best teams. We got to see the people arguing for K-State and Notre Dame emphatically silenced by what happened on the field which is the way sports are supposed to work. If you're someone like me who thought Oregon was the best team all year, then you're left feeling unfulfilled. It's hard to argue against that after last night's dominance, but I'll stick to my guns and we'll never be able to definitively know. We'll also never know how Notre Dame would've faired against Alabama if the game had been played a week after the SEC title game. The layoff is ridiculous but also gives us another reason to marvel at Saban. Brian Kelly is a hell of a coach and the best he could do last night at halftime is say he hoped Alabama didn't show up for the second half. Sure Saban has lost bowl games that he probably cared about but the man's 4-0 in title games. Give him extra time and he's almost impossible to beat.

Hello there pretty lady

Last night during the game Twitter absolutely exploded thanks to ESPN showing A.J. McCarron's girlfriend and Brent Musberger speaking the words on the minds of every man and lots of women even in America: woah. Was it a little creepy since Musberger is 73 and the reigning Miss Alabama, Katherine Webb is 22? Sure. But a few things. First, she's in pageants meaning she is subjected to judgement by her looks by choice and I'm pretty sure she's aware that she's ridiculously good looking. Second, Musberger's exchange with Herbstreit about the quarterbacks getting the girls was actually pretty funny and it's not inaccurate. Had it stopped there, it eould've been fine. Third, I don't think anything Musberger said crossed the line of decency. It was a unprofessional but it was funny and we were all thinking "wow, she's stunning," Brent just said it out loud on television. Broadcasting kids, be more tactful. Sometimes right isn't good enough. As I said, he wasn't indecent, just unprofessional.

When there's smoke

We all know the saying and in the case of Kevin Garnett, I'm pretty convinced there's fire on KG at best being a classless jerk and at worst a classless punk. A few years ago, Charlie Villanueva had words for Garnett after KG allegedly made fun of CV's skin condition saying something about cancer. Last night, Carmelo was so pissed at whatever KG said that he waited outside the Celtics bus after he tried to get after KG in Boston's locker room. Why? According to reports, Garnett said something about Melo's wife.

I'm all for trash talking. I can't tell you how many people I've told they can't guard/score on me. I had a guy take me out in mid-air in a pickup game Andrew Bynum on JJ Barea style because I torched him so bad and told him just how bad I was doing it. It's fun. Most of the time it's good natured. You should be able to shake hands after the game. Garnett doesn't play by those rules. Going after a man's wife or his health isn't okay. Neither is the time he taunted Jose Caldleron with a finger in his face dribbling up the court. There's been too many times where I've just wanted to ask him "what's your deal man?" For a guy that's unquestionably a hall of famer, he doesn't need this crap. I get you're a competitor. I get you're uber-intense. You're also a human being, act like a semi-decent one.

Big Time Trouble

Losing Dwight Howard is bad. So is losing Pau Gasol. Jordan Hill too are you %#$&'ing kidding me?! The Lakers found out they lost their top three bigs in one day and an already tumultuous and injury riddled season is only getting worse. Best case scenario is that the time off for Dwight Howard letting is torn labrum in his shoulder heal allows his still less than 100% back heal and he comes back the dominant player he once was. With him at full strength, the Lakers easily make the playoffs with a stellar second half and are hot going into the playoffs. Don't hold your breath.

The sobering reality is starting to set in that Mike D'Antoni was a horrible hire. He's not an offensive genius. That is some stupid fallacy he cemented with perfect personnel for his unique and innovative system in Phoenix. You want a real offensive genius? Try John Calipari who every year totally redesigns his play book around his ever changing uber talent. That's genius. What D'Antoni is stubborn. He refuses to put one of the or the single best post player in the league in the post (Pau Gasol) and make other necessary adaptations considering he has an old team with no shooters. Oh and they can't defend. I liked the thought of D'Antoni for the Lakers. I'm also smart enough to realize that I hate the reality. The thought of Dwight Howard being the future is also scary. As of today I want no part of signing him. I'd rather tie to him than Andrew Bynum but I'd rather go with door number 3 and figure it out. David Stern denying the Chris Paul trade was far worse than anyone in purple and gold could have ever imagined.

All in the family

So many have asked me thoughts on Scott Shafer being promoted at SU and the answer is "it's complicated." Things I know: Shafer can coach. He knows how to develop talent and he's an excellent X's and O's coach. I also talked to a player last night who said he loves Shafer and "can't wait till spring now." Having a coach guys want to play for is often half the battle so in that respect I'm thrilled.

That said, I'm left wondering what if. Everyone made a huge stink about losing recruits and I get it, but nothing says that Shafer is going to continue continue recruiting like Marrone did. He was Drew Brees's offensive coordinator and an alum. That speaks to recruits. Also, could we have done better and gotten a guy who could land the big time recruit Marrone always got close to but never signed? Even if it cost SU one or two guys this year, wouldn't it be worth it in the long run? If Dan Mullen from Miss St. was truly an option, I kinda wish Cuse had given him a longer look. In the end, I'm happy with and for Shafer. He's going to keep a lot of guys from leaving and that does matter. I always enjoyed talking with him and his players swear by him. If he maxes out at 8 wins a year over the next few though, I'll certainly wonder if someone could've gotten SU to the next level as they enter the ACC.