Utah put the beat-down on Alabama last night. Unlike previous David over Goliath stories, like when Boise State beat Oklahoma two years ago and West Virginia’s defeat of Georgia in the Sugar Bowl three years ago, this was a decisive victory. When Utah took a 21-0 lead, there was a feeling of dread, that the big boys would make a run and the Utes would have to hold on. Alabama doesn’t have a come-from-behind offense yet. They aren’t built for it. It wasn’t that Utah won, they seemed to have superior athletes where it mattered. I do want Alabama receiver Julio Jones on my fantasy team when he goes pro, though.
The announcers acted like Utah was a mid-level high school team going against Bear Bryant’s finest. That was the predictable angle. I always hear about the top announcers like Chris Collinsworth and how much game prep he does. Most of the announcers at the bowl games I watched seemed to hold on to one angle and not do much in the way of analysis. At the Alamo Bowl the announcers were on Northwestern’s jock as soon as the game was 7-0. Last night Daryl Johnston and Kenny Albert played the “I’m stunned” card for three hours.
Florida and Oklahoma will play for the crystal trophy, but Utah’s the only team that will finish undefeated. The system can’t take that away from them.
A couple of notes regarding today’s games: When the matchups were first set, everyone loved Atlanta and Indy in the Saturday wild card games. I’ve noticed that there has been an undercurrent of support for the Cardinals and Chargers. Don’t discount the home team. Every year, especially after the Steelers’ run in 2006, the fifth and sixth seeds get a little too much love in the opening round. Sure, wild card teams have won titles twice in the past three years. Before that, it happened three times ever. Don’t sleep on the home teams this weekend.