5-at-10: Weekend winners (Ram Train) and losers (Bonds, Clemens and company) and bowl thoughts

Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / Tyner players hold the championship trophy after winning the Class 2A BlueCross Bowl state championship game at Finley Stadium on Saturday, December 3, 2022.

Weekend winners

Tyner football. Way to go Ram Train. Tyner captured its first state football title since 1997. What a great accomplishment. And to the leaders of Tyner and Baylor, well, enjoy a silent but well-earned victory lap since both schools parted ways with long-time and popular head coaches in Wayne Turner and Phil Massey, respectively, and each brought in new regimes that led the programs to state crowns. 

Fred McGriff. And Tom Emanski, of course. McGriff, affectionately known as the Crime Dog — arguably the most ever-lasting Bermaninsm honestly — and the 10-gallon-hat-wearing spokesman for the Emanski fundamental videos that spurred the back-to-back-to-back AAU champions was elected into the Hall of Fame over the weekend by the group that we used to call the Veterans Committee. McGriff hit 493 homers in a 19-year career. He was/is better than Harold Baines or Ted Simmons or a couple of the others the Veterans Committee has issued Hall passes to in recent years. That said, the measure of a Hall of Famer should never be a “Well he’s better than the worst couple of guys who are currently in there” discussion, you know? Still, congrats, Crime Dog. And Mr. Emanski.

NFC East. Man, when the two worst teams in your division are the Giants and Redskins, and they battle to a fun and feisty tie, then your group is good. Now remember that Philly flattened the Titans and Dallas dominated Indy. That whole league could make the playoffs. 

Colorado football. No, not Denver. That’s a disaster, but so were the Buffaloes. Colorado was wretched. The worst program in a very mediocre Pac-12. And they landed the name on the coaching carousel with the most pizzazz, the most upside and the most, well, juice. Sure, hiring Deion Sanders could be a disaster, but Colorado’s already a disaster, so what do they have to lose hiring a me-first, me-always megastar like Coach Prime, who at his introductory news conference said his son Shedeur was going to be the Buffs QB1 next year. He then — on camera — in a meeting with Colorado players told them to look hard at the portal because he was bringing some "luggage" with him, and his luggage is “Louis (Vitton).” It also works that Coach Prime did not get the Auburn job since he — and David Carroll — have blocked me on Twitter. 

Anthony Davis. Wow, the former UK player is healthy and reminding all of us why he was projected to be an all-timer not that long ago. He’s had at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in 10 straight games for the Lakers, including Sunday’s 55/17 showing that was Wilt-ish. 

Bonus pick: In what could have been a PR nightmare, Dr Pepper made a wise decision. At the SEC title game, the halftime contests where the kids throw footballs into the Dr Pepper bottles for tuition money ended in a tie. Then the throw-off ended in a tie. Since the rest of the halftime show needed to go on, they shockingly reverted to a Friday competition to decide the $100,000 grand prize. Social media melted down. In the end Dr Pepper gave the $100K to both contestants. Side question: Who doesn’t love the Dr Pepper halftime game? 

Weekend losers

The PED users. While Crime Dog was a unanimous choice, the Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, et al., crew could not muster more than four votes. It also leaves us in a very strange place because the baseball Hall of Fame was always the most special to me growing up. Maybe it was because of the lore and the legacy and the numbers and names. But Cooperstown now has a Hall of Fame that includes Simmons, Baines and Alan Trammell but does not include the all-time home run leader, the all-time hits leader and the pitcher who has won the most Cy Youngs ever.  

Marcus Mariota. It has to be time for the Falcons to hand the keys to Desmond Ridder now, right? Seriously, even if Ridder is worse than Mariota, then at least we know QB is a priority in the 2023 Draft. Heck it may be anyway. But Mariota’s ceiling is apparent, and dude needs to be carrying a clipboard not a QB1 tag each Sunday.

Political tradition. No, this is not about party as much as it is the proposed end of an era. Joe Biden wants the national Democratic leaders to move the Iowa caucuses from its long-held lead-off spot in the presidential nomination process. In the grand schemes of bickering and bullying and blustering, this is not any great tragedy. Still the romanticism of Iowa being first — and the great stories dating all the way back to Jimmy Carter’s every-man political approach in the mid-1970s — will be missed. And on a bigger scale in some ways, it certainly could make it much easier for each party to control the strings of the nomination process before the campaigning even starts.

The Hawks. So, tell me again that you’d rather have Trae Young than Luka Doncic Hawks fans? And now the flamboyant and undersized point guard who is mired in a shooting slump — Young’s shooting 41.1% from the floor and 30% from distance — is feuding with Hawks coach Nate McMillian. When star and coach feud in the NBA, two things happen. The team struggles. The coach almost always gets shown the door.

Jimmy G. Dude can’t keep a break, you know it? The 49ers QB was injured Sunday and likely will miss the rest of the season just as he was starting to play well and the 49ers were starting to roll. Man.

Bonus pick: Lamar Jackson hurt his knee. We’re not sure to the extent, but wow. Jackson’s biggest asset is his speed. Jackson was playing without a long-term contract. That could be nine-figure loss for Jackson depending on the severity. 

Bowling lanes

So there were a slew of college football winners and losers over the weekend, and I’m not just speaking of my picks. (Side note: For the first time that I can recall in the dozen-plus years we’ve done this little morning get together, the Fab 4 picks are under-.500 at regular season’s end.)

The committee gave THE Ohio State the final invite to the dance, which makes the Big Ten the financial winner in all of this with two teams in the field of four.

I’m OK with the top four, to be honest. I still don’t understand Alabama ahead of Tennessee, but that’s the sound of fury I suppose and signifies nothing.

But the bowl season gives us the chance to take everyone’s temperature one more time to see if the Bowling for Bowls of Bowl Game Success (Bowler Optional) Contest still interests any of you knuckle heads. Thoughts?

The committee’s ranking also makes you wonder how much better a 12-team field truly will be.

Remembering the caveat that the top-four seeds and accompanying byes would go to Power 5 conference champs, the top-four seeds would be Georgia and Michigan at one and two, and Clemson and Utah, which would move from seven and eight to three and four respectively.

So that would mean Group of Five invitee Tulane would got to fifth-seeded TCU, which moves from three to five and 11th-seeded Penn State would go to THE Ohio State.

Alabama would host USC and Tennessee would host Kansas State to round out the first round. 

Thoughts on the 12-team field and of course on the Bowl contest?

This and that

— Joe Burrow should have been included among the winners. Dude is going to be a Hall of Famer if he stays healthy, you know?

— And despite the distractions and whatever else is going on in Green Bay, there’s death, taxes and Aaron Rodgers beating the Bears.

— In some ways we’re all going to be winners this week as the Georgia run-off ends Tuesday. Man, the avalanche of commercials is dizzying.

— In case you were curious, Dale Murphy was on six of the 16 ballots of the committee that elected Crime Dog. Doesn’t look good for Murph to be honest.

— You know the rules. Here’s Paschall’s college football wrap column noting that the BCS rankings would have been perfect this year since there clearly is a top two and a whole lot of good to very good teams.

Today’s questions

Weekend winners and losers. Go.

As for multiple choice Monday, if you were forced to vote for at least one of the following for baseball’s Hall of Fame — you have to pick at least one or the committee will cut off one of your thumbs — who are you voting for:

— Bonds

— Clemens

— Rose

— A and B

— All of the above


As for today, Dec. 5, let’s review.

On this day in 1933, Prohibition ended. That had to be some kind of party that night, right, Spy?

Walt Disney would have been 121 today. Wow, what a reach his little realm of magic has now.

Have we done a Rushmore of "Walt" before? Let’s give that a run shall we? I think we shall.