It is my opinion that the Tuesday after The Super Bowl is one of the saddest, loneliest, emptiest days of the year. After nearly 6 months of following our favorite sport The Fat Lady has sung her song and it is time to move on to other things for a while. Monday was spent analyzing & dissecting The Super Bowl, but what now?? The Daytona 500 won’t roll around for few weeks. College basketball is a month away from being really interesting. No one cares about the NBA until the playoffs begin. Pitchers & catchers report in a few days but the season itself won’t start for a couple of months. I don’t have a long term answer for how to fill the void, but atleast for today we can take a look back at how well…or badly…your humble Potentate of Profundity did with all of my pigskin insight this past season. As usual it wasn’t pretty, but I still think I’m smarter…and more entertaining…than ¾ of the talking heads in Bristol, CT. Anyway…let’s tie up those loose ends and bid the gridiron a fond adieu (atleast until the NFL Draft).
Zach went 41-49, which is a 46% winning percentage. Not bad for a rookie. It’s better than the 39% that I had last season. Yours truly finished 2013 with a 45-46 record…a 49% winning percentage. A clear improvement on my part. More importantly I really enjoyed doing the picks each week and would like to thank my nephew for joining in on the fun. I hope it is a tradition that we will continue for many years.
My college bowl picks were atrocious, while Zach actually did quite well. He went 19-16…a very respectable 54%. I’d be surprised if any of the yahoos on ESPN were as accurate. Conversely I went 9-26, which is only 26%. I knew bowl games were hard to predict, but holy cow I think a blind monkey could have done better.
16 out of the 25 teams in my NCAA Pre-season Top 25 actually finished in the Top 25. Five of those finished within two spots of where I had them picked. Oregon’s two losses relatively late in the season ruined their chances at a Top 5 finish, while Alabama getting throttled in the Sugar Bowl cost them a likely spot among the top 3 or 4 teams. I am not a guy who follows recruiting and knows all about the 4 Star prospects who’ll be impact freshmen, so I didn’t know about QB Jameis Winston and therefore had no idea that Florida State had national title potential. I knew that Louisville was a risky pick at #6 and that they’d probably have to go undefeated to end the season that high. Unfortunately they lost late to Central Florida and plummeted out of the Top 10. Missouri?? UCF?? Baylor?? Didn’t see any of their success coming. Ditto…in a huge way…for the Auburn Tigers, who parlayed two miracle finishes into a National Championship Game appearance and a #2 finish. Kudos. The Texas Longhorns really disappointed me and head coach Mack Brown paid for it with his job. Brady Hoke will get another year at Michigan, but one more 7-6 season might mean the unemployment line for him as well. The Ohio St. Buckeyes were big fish in a mediocre pond and had their otherwise successful season torpedoed by ending with two losses.
I predicted 8 out of the 12 NFL playoff teams successfully…5 out of 6 in the AFC, 3 out of 6 in the NFC. I had the Denver Broncos beating the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl. The 49ers didn’t make it, while the Broncos were pummeled by the Seattle Seahawks.
Speaking of the Seahawks…..
One of their starting cornerbacks…the (by now) well-known Richard Sherman is 6ft.3. The other cornerback…Byron Maxwell…is 6ft.1. Strong safety Kam Chancellor is 6ft.3. They are now Super Bowl Champions. The top 5 wide receivers in the NFL are (arguably) Calvin Johnson (6ft.5), Larry Fitzgerald (6ft.3), Dez Bryant (6ft.2), Brandon Marshall (6ft.4), & A.J. Green (6ft.4). So when the NFL draft rolls around and the talking heads start pimping cornerbacks that are 5ft. 8/5ft.9 fans need to collectively tell them to just shut up. If I were an NFL general manager I wouldn’t waste one second even evaluating a defensive back under 6 feet. It’s a new league. This ain’t your granddaddy’s NFL.
Huge kudos to the New York Jets. I predicted that they’d go 2-14, but instead they went 8-8 and were in the hunt for a playoff spot until the very end of the season. Ownership made the right call by giving head coach Rex Ryan a three year extension (after I predicted he might be fired by mid-season). More NFL teams (especially the idiotic Cleveland Browns) need to understand that consistency is a key to success and not be so quick to make changes just for the sake of change.
I predicted that the Kansas City Chiefs would be one of the most improved teams in the NFL. I was right but they far exceeded even my expectations, going 11-5 (I predicted 9-7). Can they continue that level of success in 2014?? Possibly.
My really really really early thoughts on Super Bowl contenders for next season: Seattle Seahawks (duh), Carolina Panthers (they are building a good team around QB Cam Newton), Indianapolis Colts (Andrew Luck will have them in the hunt for many years), Green Bay Packers (they’ll be back), & New England Patriots (Brady & Belichick aren’t finished just yet)
Reaction to the Bruno Mars halftime show at the Super Bowl seems predictably mixed…women loved it, guys didn’t hate it but thought the Red Hot Chili Peppers were the best part. I believe that the NFL has purposely been trying to appeal more to women the past few years so none of this is surprising. Since the game was in Jersey the two obvious choices would have been Springsteen or Bon Jovi, but The Boss already did the halftime show about 6 years ago and someone mentioned to me that Jon Bon Jovi is negotiating to buy a stake in the Buffalo Bills so it would have been a conflict of interest. That’s too bad.
I’d be surprised if Peyton Manning actually retired, but this season felt like his last best chance to get another ring. He looked old, slow, & completely outmatched in the Super Bowl and has been duly noted by many folks the last couple of years he doesn’t seem to have much zip in his passes anymore. Next season the Bengals, Chiefs, & Colts could all be even better, the Patriots will still be around, and teams like the Steelers, Ravens, and Texans could rebound. Denver might have a tough time even making it to the playoffs.
One of the biggest winners after the Super Bowl?? QB Johnny Manziel. Russell Wilson is 5ft.11 & 210 lbs. In his second year he is a champion and probably should have won the game MVP award. The biggest knock on Johnny Football has been his size, but at 6ft.1 & 210lbs. (if we take all the listed measurements for both players at face value) he is about the same size as Wilson and just as mobile. Now I grant you that the biggest reason Wilson now has a ring is because of the stout defense of his team, but the point is that if Manziel could land on a really good team with a plethora of defensive talent he could have just as good of a shot at success as Wilson. Unfortunately for Johnny the Cleveland Browns…his likely landing spot…are not a good team.
One last note about the Seattle Seahawks…..
I have no issue with the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014…offensive tackle Walter Jones, defensive end Michael Strahan, linebacker Derrick Brooks, punter Ray Guy, wide receiver Andre Reed, cornerback Aeneas Williams, & defensive end Claude Humphrey. I am especially glad for Reed and Guy, both of whom have waited far too long for the honor. I was kind of disappointed that Williams got elected over former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis, but I am confident that The Bus will receive the call in the next few years.