The Table Is Set: FSU-Auburn
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The SEC will have a place at the National Championship table. No. 3 Auburn bested No. 5 Missouri in a 59-42 shootout, and No. 10 Michigan State dispatched the only team in the Tigers' way, No. 2. Ohio State, 34-24. Later, Sparty supporters "burned whatever they could find"—including, of course, couches.
As expected, top-ranked Florida State took care of its business and even covered a 29 point spread with a 45-7 thrashing of Duke in an ACC Championship game best summed up by this GIF showing a Karlos Williams touchdown run:
Jimbo Fisher was doused with Gatorade, then leapt gracefully to avoid further saturation ... Sparty got the win but Brutus Buckeye got the girl ... Twitter provided a heavy dose of the Urban Meyer sad/struggling face; later, Meyer would have to settle for cold pizza atop a golf cart ... The legend of Red Lightning grows ... On Friday night, Auburn alum Charles Barkley hit the DJ booth at a bar to humiliate Alabama fans and announce he would buy lots of drinks ... Umpire gets in the way, becomes pretty much the only one who could stop Tigers rusher Tre Mason (46 carries, 304 yards) ... The Missouri faithful exploded in celebration after a touchdown, except for this man who wanted to finish his damn sandwich ... Kudos to the CBS graphics department for nailing its timing.
The Rest of Championship Weekend
Also filed to "refs running into players" ... All of a sudden at the Rice-Marshall game ... Oklahoma State scored a field goal during an earthquake ... Later, a male Cowboys cheerleader attempted to trip an Oklahoma player in the end zone... Jordan Lynch scored another rushing touchdown, and then picked up five extra yards thanks to an over-zealous defender ... Baylor fans spelling out "BRRRRR" dance (?) to keep warm.
So a Fan Walks Onto a Court …
Intruders on the playing field are usually reserved for football and baseball games. Usually. Last night at the Cavaliers game a kid meandered onto the hardwood in the middle of a play to relay a message to Kyrie Irving.
Rudy, Rudy, Rudy
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the release of Rudy, writer Alan Siegel took a look back at the creation of the film's unforgettable soundtrack. During an interview for the story, the film's director, David Anspaugh, shared with Siegel a story about how the composer of the score for both Hoosiers and Rudy, Jerry Goldsmith, helped Anspaugh have his own Rudy moment. As Siegel writes:
Once Goldsmith had signed on to compose the Hoosiers score, the Hungarian State Orchestra was enlisted because they were especially affordable. During the flight to Budapest, Goldsmith asked Anspaugh if he had always wanted to make movies. As a kid, Anspaugh replied, he dreamed of being an archeologist, a movie director, or a conductor. He had played trumpet in junior high, but quit because it conflicted with basketball and football. “You’ll never be able to play ball like you can blow a horn,” his school’s bandleader told him. “He was probably right about that,” Anspaugh said.
The next day at the recording session, Goldsmith handed Anspaugh the baton and told him to give conducting a shot. He was too intimidated, however, and said no thanks. But the director got a second chance in the early 1990s, after Anspaugh and Goldsmith reunited to record the score for Rudy in Los Angeles. Just as before, Goldsmith turned to Anspaugh during the session and asked if he wanted to try conducting. “This might be your last chance, kid,” he said. “It’s real easy.”
“He had a real fatherly way about him," recalls Anspaugh of the late composer, who died in 2004, after a long fight with cancer. This time, Anspaugh accepted the offer.
“I got up on the podium and conducted for 30 seconds,” Anspaugh said. “I just lost it. I still have the baton.”
You can read the full story here.
Cheerleader of the Week
Hailing from Seattle is this week's lovely cheerleader, Jenna Donohue, a senior Business Administration major at the University of Washington.
If I had to watch one movie over and over again: "Zoolander. It never gets old."
Top three items on my bucket list: "Skydiving, backpacking around South America, and scuba diving in the Barrier Reef."
Most embarrassing thing that's happened to me during a game: "During a rainy game (like it always is in Seattle), I was doing a kick and my bottom foot slipped, and I flew flat on my back, right onto the sideline."
The talent I'd most like to have that I don't currently possess: "A photographic memory."
My favorite professional sports teams: "The Seahawks! I was born and raised in Seattle. I’ve always been a fan. And we have the loudest stadium in the nation, what isn’t to love?"
To see more of Jenna, check out the full gallery.
Silence is Golden
Taylor University played its annual silent night basketball game, in which the entire crowd keeps a lid on it until Taylor scores its 10th point, and then they go bonkers.
The $100,000 Question
Anyone refilling the beer cooler during halftime of the SEC Championship game may have missed the Dr. Pepper Challenge, a football skills contest that pitted Brooks against Lindsay for $100K in tuition money. Now, the problem—or my problem—is Brooks' form: He flipped the pigskin like Pop-a-Shot balls into the Dr. Pepper container, while Lindsay for the most part threw darts, the way a football should be thrown. Young Brooks seems nice enough, but I can't stomach the form he used. Alas, he won. Please help me reconcile my feelings by sharing yours.
How the Mighty Have Fallen
Shaun Weiss, the actor who played Goldberg the goalie in The Mighty Ducks, was accused of trying to pee on his ex-girlfriend, after punching her in the face, after threatening her with a machete. Call it the degenerate hat trick.
Whoooooeee! We got back in the saddle (or didn't fall off the horse) last week with a New England/Carolina combo. Now we look to the west in search of gold. This week's Ill-Advised Teaser is an NFC West special with the Arizona Cardinals (-6) hosing the St. Louis Rams, and the Seattle Seahawks (+2.5) visiting the San Francisco 49ers.
The Cards (5-1 at home this year), fighting for their playoff lives, have been tough on the run -- matching strength against Rams strength -- and Carson Palmer is suiting up against a pretty average Rams secondary. Meanwhile, though Seattle is on the road after an emotional win over the Saints, San Fran's offensive line is a bit banged up and Seattle is a more complete team right now. I don't see them losing by more than a touchdown, if at all. So that's Arizona PK, Seattle +8.5.
Odds & Ends
The MLS Cup final came down to the 10th round of an epic shootout ... Ugly scene at the Bruin-Penguins game, where one cheap shot beget another ... Colorado
State buzzer-beater sinks No. 6 Kansas ... And here's a buzzer-beater from the pro ranks courtesy Monta Ellis ... In case you missed the epic Kobe-Is-Back "announcement" and/or want to see his jersey defying various weather systems ... Randy Moss's purple-painted-Lexus-turned-commuter-car is for sale ... Unbelievable shot sent Rutgers-Camden's soccer team to the D-III championship ... Wonder no more about the substance of those "daily reports" Lawrence Frank is writing for Jason Kidd … Revisiting the best Extra Mustard stories from the past week.
Kramer Reacts to the Iron Bowl
Solid Seinfeld mash-up.
Why So Serious?
Danica Patrick didn't take kindly to Jay Mohr's roasting at the Sprint Cup awards. I love boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s face when he realizes he's in for a bumpy ride.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Some festive music as the fantasy football playoffs begin today.