Mr. Sports: Goodbye BCS. Hello college football playoff.

By Bob Labbe
By Bob Labbe

The last BCS National Championship Game is now just a memory as the college football scene finally gets into a playoff system next season with the top four teams getting into a two-round playoff to determine the national champion. As for the BCS, it was a nice run and only fitting the last title game under the BCS guidelines being one of the best.

Florida State came from 18-points down to beat Auburn 34-31 in a wonderful game that presented us football fans with just about everything we could want in a title game. I predicted the Seminoles to win by four over the Tigers in what I thought would be a close game, especially at the end. The game didn’t disappoint, unless you are an Auburn fan.

Yes, there have been lots of controversy in the BCS rankings and the determination of what two teams made it to the championship game, but I see more controversy coming in the new playoff system that goes into effect next season. For an example, let’s say there are five undefeated teams. Which one is left out and why? I see it happening, so be prepared to deal with the confusion and constant discussion…but enjoy…it’s college football.

Bowl Recap

Overall, the SEC was 7-3 in the bowl games. For me, some of the best games did feature the teams from the SEC, but also featured some outstanding, exciting play from teams from throughout the country.

Here some of the highlights: Wisconsin has three turnovers in the final five minutes enabling South Carolina to come away with a 34-24 victory over the Badgers in the Capitol One Bowl; Texas A&M had that great 52-48 comeback against Duke in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Yes, Johnny Manziel got all the credit for the turnaround, but the A&M defense stepped up and allowed just 10 points in the second half and had two interceptions in the last five minutes of the game, including one for a 55-yard touchdown to put the Aggies on top of Duke; The Rose Bowl stood up to all the pre-game hype. It may have been the best pure football game of them all with Michigan State outlasting Stanford 24-20; Georgia should have beaten Nebraska in the Gator Bowl. Two late in the game drives, nixed by dropped passes, gave Nebraska a 24-219 victory; The University of Central Florida was a 17-point underdog to Baylor, but come away with a 52-42 victory; The New Mexico Bowl gave us the

most exciting game of the post-season as Washington State scored 18-points in the final three minutes against Colorado State for an incredible 48-45 victory; Alabama looked rather average, or at least not to champion standards its looked the last five years. The Oklahoma Sooners took the Tide to woodshed in the Sugar Bowl.

Football Player of the Year

Two of our local high school football players are in the running for the Back or Lineman of the Year awards scheduled to be handed out, along with the annual Mr. Football Award, at the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s banquet in Montgomery on Jan. 15.
Running back Malik Miller and offensive lineman Frank Williams, both from Madison Academy, have both been named a finalist of the back and lineman awards in Class 3A, which also qualifies them for possible selection as Mr. Football in Alabama. Miller is a sophomore. Williams is a senior.
Huntsville Havoc

The pro hockey fellas are back in town this weekend as the Havoc play home matches this Friday and Saturday with both matches beginning at 7:30 p.m. On Friday, it’s FANtastic Friday! “Star wars Night” with fans encouraged to dress up in Star Wars-themed outfits with a chance to win great prizes. On Saturday, it’s the annual “Youth Jersey Night” with the first 1,500 fans age 12 and younger receiving a free Havoc jersey.

Harlem Globetrotters

The Ambassadors of Goodwill will be at the VBC this Sunday with tipoff at 2 p.m. The Harlem Globetrotters are making its annual stop in the Rocket City on the team’s 88th consecutive season of play.

A 12-year player for the Globetrotters, Buckets Blakes, told me his love for what the Globetrotters do is what still makes him feel as though the team is innovators and trendsetters in entertainment. “The torch is always lite with the Harlem Globetrotters,” said Blakes. (You can read more about Blakes and the Globetrotters elsewhere in this week’s edition). “We are the comfort food of entertainment as we make feel smile and laugh, which brings happiness to many of those who don’t have much of that in their lives.”

By Bob Labbe
Sports Editor
Madison Weekly