Football

The Offseason Informant: And that’s why they play the games

What a game! Following the Baltimore Ravens’ stunning ride to a championship, I think we can safely dispense with the idea that home field advantage, regular-season performance, or really any other factor has any effect on who wins the Super Bowl. For the fourth time in six years, a team that began in the wild-card round ended up lifting the trophy. Regular season success is great, but it guarantees nothing and it often has led to playoff letdowns, as I am sure Peyton Manning’s Broncos can attest.

The Football Informant: Manning or Bust

Everything is about to change. In an abrupt series of sweeping moves, John Elway and Peyton Manning have conspired to give a complete facelift to the Denver Broncos organization. The old script, featuring a young team on the rise with an unlikely messiah and a dazzling future ahead, has been thrown out entirely. Tim Tebow is old news, as the most bafflingly successful player in the NFL has been replaced by the very image of stoic consistency. On the face of it, it seems to be a no-brainer – a four-time MVP and surefire Hall of Fame inductee instead of a young gun with little more than luck and tenacity on his side. And maybe it will all work out for the best in the end. I am certainly not audacious enough to second-guess John Elway’s opinions about quarterbacking potential. However, I am uneasy about the far-reaching implications of this change. This is now a completely different Broncos team, and it remains to be seen what the identity of these New Broncos will be. The consensus opinion seems to be that the Manning acquisition was heartless and borderline cruel to Tebow, but that it was an excellent move in terms of winning football games. After some consideration, I am not certain even that the team will benefit as much as advertised.

The Football Informant: Some men just want to watch the world burn

After a slow start, the world of college football has fallen into chaos once again. It is a beautiful thing to see, an insane free-for-all that, for better or worse, is only possible in NCAA football. Every non-SEC team in the top 7 of the BCS rankings lost this week, and the national title picture has been shrunk as Oklahoma and Oregon have been eliminated beyond doubt. Realistically, barring a stunning upset by Auburn (vs. Alabama) or Georgia (in the SEC Title Game), no team outside of the SEC West has any shot at even reaching the BCS Championship Game in New Orleans. This week, the rankings will be capped by LSU, Alabama, and Arkansas. The Razorbacks have roared from nowhere and now control their own destiny for a national championship—but perhaps not for the SEC West. All Texas A&M fans looking at the rankings this week could be forgiven for wondering what the hell they were thinking by moving to the AFC…er, SEC West.

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