Football odds and ends

OLD-TIMER'S VIEW

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Ted Escobar

Well, lookie here.

Li’l ole Alabama is playing for the collegiate football national championship again.

I wonder what all those pundits who were saying Ohio Sate should have been in the 4-team final tournament instead of Alabama are thinking.

Ohio state had two losses and Alabama one, and neither was a conference champ. Ohio State played one of the final four, Oklahoma, and was dumped at home.

Alabama played one of the final four, Georgia, and thrashed the Bulldogs.

What all the pundits who poo-pooed Alabama were practicing was wishful thinking. Most of them were simply tiring of Alabama in the final four.

The Crimson Tide lost its final season game, and detractors jumped at the opportunity. The selection committee maintained its objectivity. It recognized Alabama as the king of college football in this era.

I too see Alabama as the king of college football. And as a fan, I like to see the best teams in the final.

Alabama proved Monday it’s still the king, smothering Clemson, 24-6, with a suffocating defense.

I thought Alabama would meet Oklahoma in the finale, but Georgia surprised most everyone in the Rose Bowl, taking out the sooners, 54-48 in double overtime.

The Tide should win the final game, but nothing is sure, as Oklahoma learned. The Bulldogs exhibited speed that speedy Oklahoma couldn’t match at the end.

The Bulldogs may have too much speed for Alabama, but I’m not sure they can match the Tide’s brute strength.

The Bulldogs do have the intangibles on their side. They were whacked by the Tide in their regular season meeting.

They have the revenge motive. The last game they played with that motive was against Auburn in the SEC title game, and they rambled away.

Closer to home, the way the Huskies and Cougars and the rest of the PAC-12 fared in the bowl season, 1-8, may haunt them next year. It’s going to be tough to convince the committee that any West Coast team will deserve the final four.

Look for wide receiver Doug Baldwin to leave the Seattle Seahawks, perhaps not by choice. His last two press conferences can’t be okay to the team’s administration.

They don’t want to hear what he has to say. They are he ones who are supposed to know the answers to all the questions.

He is correct that the Seahawks are on a downward trend. If Pete doesn’t recognize that, he won’t do any better next year.

I don’t know what Baldwin wants to say, but I think he has problems with the philosophy of waiting for the end of the game to win.

Russell Wilson has a remarkable record for comeback wins. He pulls them off with the full use of his talents.

But the coaches won’t let him start that way. They want him in the pocket so he doesn’t get hurt.

That’s a joke.

The two times he’s been hurt, he was in the pocket, if you can call it that. It’s like a pocket with holes in it.

Let him pose a threat to run from the first play, and defenses will have to loosen up early.

Seattle’s last four plays Sunday told the entire story. The Seahawks got the ball on the 25 with time running out.

On two plays Wilson orchestrated, the Hawks were at the Arizona 30 with a minute to go. The coaches took the ball away from Wilson to protect a chance at 47-yard game-winning field goal by Blair Walsh.

He’s the kicker who missed a 27-yarder last year to hand the Hawks a win over Minnesota in the playoffs.

He missed again.

That strategy was as good as the play that lost Super Bowl 49.

— Ted Escobar is The Daily Sun managing editor. Email him at tescobar@dailysunnews.com.

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