OK, let's start with the excellent work from TFP college football wizard David Paschall. That's the story on Alabama falling to No. 12 in the College Football Playoff Committee rankings.
(Yes, those were the penultimate rankings for those interested.)
As expected, the top four — THE Ohio State, LSU, Clemson and Georgia — stayed the same. And yes, those are the only four that truly have control over their playoff future.
Utah was fifth, followed by Oklahoma, Baylor, Wisconsin, Florida and Penn State. Auburn was 11th.
OK, Alabama fell too far in my opinion. Also of note, Wisconsin moving to No. 8 apparently gives the Badgers a very slim chance at making the Final Four provided they beat THE Ohio State handily, LSU wins the SEC, Clemson loses as almost a 30-point favorite to Virginia, Oregon tops Utah and the Big 12 game is gross. Cue Lloyd Christmas, so you're saying there's a chance.
And we go back to our argument from Tuesday that the playoff field this year is a testament against expansion.
Because after those top four — and with Tua on the shelf — would any of the teams from five through 11 truly deserve a playoff spot or give THE Ohio State anything remotely compared to a tough test? And that's including Wisconsin, which will get its drubbing Saturday.
SEC rankings and bowl guesses
Here are our penultimate SEC rankings and bowl projections.
LSU. The nation's best résumé belongs to Ed Orgeron's bunch. (#GeauxTigers.) Side note: How cool was Joe Burrow coming out with a 'Burreaux' jersey? And how silly was the SEC or the NCAA not allowing Burrow to play in that jersey? Whatever. Bowl: College football playoff.
Georgia. I have had the Bulldogs as No.1 — and picked them to win the whole thing before the season. How can I bail now? Well, I'd feel a heck of a lot better if DeAndre Swift was fully healthy. Bowl: College football playoff after winning the SEC title game Saturday. (#Giddyup.)
Alabama. Dropping the Tide to 12 — and behind Auburn, even after the Iron Bowl loss — seems more an indictment about not having Tua than the loss. Still, I think the Tide are better than the Gators or the Malzahns. That said, as Paschall offered in his CFP analysis above, with Alabama at 12 in the playoff rankings the bowl destination is anyone's guess. Bowl: Sugar Bowl.
Florida. Dan Mullen has done an amazing job, in a season in which a lot of SEC guys have done very impressive coaching jobs. Bowl: Orange.
Auburn. Right there with Alabama, you have to wonder how many Auburn players will suit up for a bowl date that does not have a championship looming. You have to assume Derrick Brown is a no-go. Same with Marlon Davidson and possibly Nick Coe. The secondary of seniors and future NFL guys like Daniel Thomas, Jeremiah Dinson and Javaris Davis will also have BID-ness decisions to make. Bowl: Outback
Texas A&M. Next year is going to be pretty important for the future relationship between Jimbo Fisher and the Aggie Faithful, no? He's certainly not on the hot seat with a buyout that large, but another 7-5 blah-tastic finish could seriously alter any momentum Fisher and Co. are trying to establish. Bowl: Music City
Tennessee. Sorry, Chas, but the head-to-head swings this one orange. Bowl: Citrus.
Kentucky. We mentioned that Dan Mullen has done a great job. So too has Mark Stoops. And OC Eddie Gran should be a finalist for the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant. Not often does a team have a historic season, lose the best running back in program history and come back with an offense that actually runs the ball better and more effectively. Bowl: Gator.
Mississippi State. Tenuous time in Starkville, no? Yes winning the Egg Bowl is never a bad thing — no matter how it happened — and no one should take bowl invites for granted. Still, after the Mullen Mega March, next year will be critical for Joe Moorhead too. Bowl: Texas.'
And that's it because Missouri is ineligible and about to spend the next few weeks looking for a new coach. Hello Will Healy.
Bottom three are Ole Miss, Vandy and Arkansas, which is way, Way, WAY behind the 8-ball in an SEC West that makes any rebuild quite difficult.
James Harden dunked a ball that went through and back out. The refs missed the call and said Harden missed the dunk.
The Rockets went on to lose the game in double-overtime, so yeah, the call was rather critical.
In truth, it's rather inexcusable for the officials and should be one of the things that all the replay systems we have catches rather quickly.
That said, it was missed and the mistakes happened. They normally do. As Bender told us in Breakfast Club, "Screws fall out all the time, the world's an imperfect place."
Here's hoping that the overreaction to this does not take on NFL-level intrusions, though.
And it's kind of crazy to think that the NBA could overrule the outcome of the game and give the Rockets a win. (Not sure I concur with that line either, and while the game ended tied in regulation, the missed call on the dunk happened midway through the fourth quarter. Fine a way to finish the game Houston.)
This and that
— UTC found a way to turn a double-digit halftime lead into a double-digit loss at Western Carolina on Tuesday night.
— Speaking of college hoops, the 5-at-10 college hoops picks on Press Row — we are committed to making them as often as we can remember — went 2-0 Tuesday. Vandy covered the 3 over Buffalo in a 90-76 win and Louisville handled Michigan 58-43 as a 5.5-point favorite. That makes us 9-7 against the number. Tonight, you ask? Give me Maryland minus-9 over Notre Dame. And yes, it's for entertainment purposes only.
— Interesting campaign promise here from Adam Sandler, who is saying he'll make a movie 'so bad on purpose' if he doesn't win an Oscar for the upcoming "Uncut Gems."
— Carolina fired Ron Rivera on Tuesday. We covered some of the college openings Tuesday. Now combine a slew of potential NFL openings and this could be a crazy carousel of coaching shuffles.
Which way Wednesday starts this way: Am I crazy for staying with the bang-up Bulldogs against the lethal LSU offense? Discuss.
If not Georgia, which team will complete the playoff field, Oklahoma, Baylor or Utah?
Which NFL head coach will be the next to be canned?
Which SNL alum has become the best actor and would Adam Sandler be in that discussion?
As for today, Dec. 4, let's review.
Jay-Z is 50. Marisa Tomei is 55 today.
Jeff Bridges is 70. That guy has a sneaky great Rushmore. Nominations please, and don't forget the mailbag.