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The Starting 5 – 12814

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College Football Playoff –   By now, we have all seen the coveted four spots in the first college football playoff, but did they get it right?  As it stands, Alabama, the first seed, will play Ohio State, the fourth seed.  Oregon, the second seed, will play Florida State, the third seed.  The first three seeds were win and in scenarios.  As long as they won their respective conference titles they were in the playoff.  However, Ohio State was ranked 6th overall coming into the championship week.  They did beat the pants off of Wisconsin who was ranked 13th, but Baylor, who was ranked fifth, also beat a high ranked opponent in Kansas State, and TCU, who was previously ranked fourth, won big as well.  Did the fact that Baylor and TCU being in the same conference, with no championship game, play a part in the decision?  Did the fact that the Big 12, whose slogan is “One True Champion,” actually hurt its’ top two members by having TWO true champions?  Ohio State is on its 3rd string QB and playing the number one team in the country. On the other side, we see last year’s Heisman Trophy winner against, what is right now, the favorite for this year’s Heisman Trophy.  Two games that all college football fans will be tuned into most certainly.  We will see what January 1st, brings for both games. Landon Donovan – The man who put US soccer on the map, is retiring.  We tip our cap to you, Landon Donovan.  You were never the most athletic man on the pitch, but you had the most heart.  In Donovan’s 13 year career, he won six MLS championships.  He is the only player to accomplish that feat.  Let the comparisons to Michael Jordan begin.  Oh, wait, no one cares about the MLS?  This is the country that went nuts when the US national team advanced out of group play in the World Cup, right?  I digress.  Landon Donovan, in his final game as a professional soccer player, went out a champion.  Few top athletes can say that.  Off the top of my head I can think of John Elway and Joe Dimaggio as other players to do that.  Going out on top is something few players are able to do.  Congratulations on a revolutionary career Landon Donovan.  You will be missed. Johnny Football – Well folks, we had to endure one more week without Johnny Football.  I have to say, it wasn’t as fulfilling as it could have been.  Week 13 could have been better.  By better, I mean I could have used more Johnny.  Cue Will Ferrell clanging his cow bell.  The bright side is that this may have been our last week of watching “Johnny Clipboard.”  Next week, I predict, we will see Manziel under center.  To quote the great Lloyd Christmas, “I can’t stop once I’ve started, it stings.”  Once Johnny Football gets the start, there is no turning back.  The era of Johnny will have begun and the world will be a better place.  I hope my prediction is correct.  If not, assume you will be reading this exact same thing next week. Cleveland Cavaliers – The Cavs, who are on a seven-game winning streak, seem to have righted the ship.  Rock bottom came when they lost to the Toronto Raptors, their fourth straight, and fell to a 5-7 record.  Now, with a record of 12-7, things are looking up.  Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love seemed to have found their roles.  Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson have proven that they are valuable assets off the bench.  And of course, Lebron James needed to be himself.  By himself, I mean score 25 points, grab 7 rebounds, and dish out 7 assists.  While shooting 60% from the field of course.  Something we, as fans, expect from “The King.”  I am hesitant to predict a championship for the Cavaliers this year.  In your first year being together, it is hard to be the best in the league.  But, I could see them making the finals.  Once you are in the ship, anything is possible.  I am looking forward to seeing where the NBA season ends up. Golden State Warriors – The Warriors have now won 12 straight games and are sitting at 17-2.  They rank at the top or near it in every category. Is this the year for the Warriors?  Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are both averaging over 20 points per game and are top five in the league in offensive, but surprisingly defensive categories as well.  This week though, the owner did take some shots at former coach Mark Jackson about his way of dealing with the coaching staff and front office during his tenure as coach.  Stephen Curry came out Monday and said he does believe it is a distraction.  Could this be a reason for the Warriors to fall apart?  When was the last time the best team in the league was also the most entertaining?  Who knows if the Warriors have what it takes to take on the rest of the Western Conference and get to the Finals.  Either way, it’s important to know that the dominance they are showing now, notably on offense, is something we have not seen in a very long time.


Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Sean Melmer and Alex Kjellsen

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