Triples are great in sports, not in heart surgery

In the world of sports, a triple usually means a good thing.  A triple in baseball, a triple-double in basketball, and the Triple Crown in horse racing, all notable accomplishments. But in the business of heart surgery, a triple bypass is risky business.

And that’s what has sidelined your lovable prognosticator of all thangs pigskin the last month or so.  “It ain’t no picnic,” noted Fearless, while thanking his readers for the many cards, calls, e-mails, and well wishes. 

Alabama and Clemson won the SEC and ACC titles, respectively, Saturday night and are the top seeds in this year’s College Football Playoff.  Alabama outlasted Florida, 52-46, while Clemson hammered Notre Dame, 34-10.  Joining these two are Ohio State and Notre Dame, and this is where Fearless has a problem.  Ohio State only played six games and squeezed by the only two decent teams they faced this season.  The Buckeyes edged Indiana and looked sluggish in topping Northwestern Saturday in the “made for playoffs” Big 10 title tilt.  Ohio State’s difficulty of schedule ranks 67th.

After losing to Clemson, Notre Dame could have been eliminated.  But the CFP voters are apparently smitten with the Big 10, Big 12, and Notre Dame.  Let’s face it, the Big 10 was awful this year, and the Big 12 with Oklahoma and Iowa State as its top teams, was nothing to write home about.

Putting mid-majors in the New Year’s Six bowl games is akin to giving every kid a trophy in Little League, no matter if they were any good or not.  Each season, a mid-major or two is good enough to win a game against a Power Five opponent, given two to three weeks to prepare.  But the grind of an 11-12 game schedule would wear them down.

Fearless says the SEC, as in most years, was easily the best conference.  Alabama is the No. 1 team, but Texas A & M, Florida, and Georgia  (right now,) are even with Oklahoma and lots better than any other team from the Big 10, Pac-12, or Big 12.   Maybe those SEC teams should have played just six games and not played each other —  a la the Big 10.  Either way, Fearless had Texas A & M in the playoff.

It’s not likely that this argument will be decided on the field.  Unlike the mid-majors and upstarts, the best players from the top Power Five conferences have started a new trend — opting out of the bowl games so they eliminate the possibility of injury ahead of the NFL draft.  The feeling is:  if the team is in the playoff, they’ll play. If not, sayonara.  Already several of Florida and Georgia’s best players are skipping out of their bowl games.

RECRUITING UPDATE:  The 2021 season with the current top ten rankings, per 247Sports.   1.  Alabama  2.  Ohio State 3. LSU  4. Georgia 5. Clemson  6. Oregon  7.  Texas A & M  8.  Notre Dame  9. Oklahoma  10  Florida. Also, 14. UNC   31.  N. C. State.

TOFF TOP 10  (factors in strength of schedule)   1.  Alabama  2.  Clemson  3.  Notre Dame  4.  Texas A & M.  5.  Florida  6.  Georgia   7. Ohio State  8.  Oklahoma  9.  Cincinnati  10.  Iowa State. Also, 13. UNC  23. N. C. State.

Southeast Sports Syndicate, 2020.