WATERCOOLER CHAT: PLAXICO SHOOTS HIMSELF, STEELERS ON FIRE, BCS CONTROVERSY

NFL

It was a fitting end to my fantasy football season that Giants’ WR Plaxico Burress, who was a dud all season, “accidentally” shot himself in the leg over the weekend with an illegally possessed weapon. Thankfully for the Giants, they’ve handled his distraction well and went on to win handily against the Washington Redskins. Manning threw for an impressive 305 yards and a touchdown, and Plaxico’s place was filled by the aging yet potent veteran, Amani Toomer.  He had 85 receiving yards, and was the recipient of Manning’s lone TD pass.  Now, the Giants have pretty much positioned themselves for home field advantage in the playoffs.  But, we’ve still got  four more games to go.  (Giants 23, Redskins 7)

Most impressive win of the weekend was the Pittsburgh Steelers going to New England and stopping Patriots’ QB Matt Cassel.  The Steelers defense was instrumental in winning the game by forcing five turnovers. Interestingly, the Steelers’ QB, Ben Roethlisberger, has won 48 games so far in his first five seasons in the NFL. With the season not over yet, Ben could surpass this total and could easily lay claim to the most wins ever by a QB in his first five seasons. (Steelers 33, Patriots 10)

The Baltimore Ravens have been quietly making a playoff push behind their stellar defense.  However, yesterday against the Bengals, their offense was finally on display.  Rookie QB Joe Flacco threw for 280 yards and 2 TDs, while their burgeoning star Wide Receiver Mark Clayton had 164 yards receiving and a touchdown.  However, Clayton also threw for a touchdown PASS.  The Ravens offense is really taking shape, and what perfect time with the playoffs on the horizon.  Baltimore 34, Cincinnati 3.

And on Sunday night, it was a battle for control of the NFC North, as the Bears traveled to play the Vikings.  This game, however, was all Vikings.  Their juggernaut running back Adrian Peterson had 131 yards on the ground and a TD, and the Bears just couldn’t get anything going.  The Vikings ‘D’ looks tremendous, led by Jared Allen, who sacked Bears QB Kyle Orton three times.  The Vikings have been an up and down team this season, but they seem to be jelling at just the right time in the Season.  They look a little like the Pittsburgh Steelers did when they won the Super Bowl, peaking defensively heading into the playoffs.  Minnesota 34, Chicago 14.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

The BCS controversy gives me a headache…in fact, gives everyone a headache.
As of now, Oklahoma is second in the BCS standings, ahead of Texas and Florida and behind unbeaten Alabama. What does this mean?

Next Saturday, if Alabama beats Florida in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game it is basically guaranteed a spot in the BCS national title game on Jan. 8 in Miami.  Oklahoma could earn the other spot by beating Missouri, but if Oklahoma loses, Texas could actually go to the national title game, despite not playing for its conference championship…..headache yet?

In more college football news, one of the top collegiate programs in the country is handing the reigns to a recently former NFL coach.  The Tennessee Volunteers have dubbed former Raiders head coach, Lane Kiffin, as their new skipper.  Kiffin most notably learned the ropes from USC Trojans’ coach Pete Carroll when the Trojans won three National Championships.  And, reportedly, Kiffin will make more money coaching Tennessee than he did as an NFL coach, earning more than 2 million dollars per year.  Now, the question is, can he handle the pressure of a very, VERY demanding Volunteers fan base?  We’ll have to wait until next year to find out.

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