Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived
• The worst thing about seeing this wild regular season shake out is how anticlimactic and over-determined the whole bowl selection process feels, which seems especially counter-intuitive since chaos has become the norm. Perfect seasons have to be their own reward for teams with weaker schedules. Early rankings inevitably rob us of the most intriguing match-ups, and individual bowls tend to choose teams with the best possible fan turnout in mind. I'm not sold on a playoff, especially if it cuts too deeply into the student-athlete's vital spring semester, but I think some things could be done at the conference level to improve the process.
• Tebow's tears are getting a lot of play on the Schadenfreude-fueled corners of the Internet, but I always knew I would meet the last gasp of his college career with indifference and even sadness, despite my distaste for all the pomp.
• Tebow didn't anoint himself the amateur Messiah, though he arguably played along in order to spread one gospel or another. I'm more bothered by the grown men who chose to project all of their insecurities and biases on the guy, and, unlike Tebow, Gary Danielson ain't going nowhere. He'll just find some other cypher to embody his belief system.
• I've never been one to get all hysterical about the pedestrian misbehavior of athletes, but Carlos Dunlap probably doesn't have a single friend left on the Gators. At least the circumstances surrounding Andre Smith's suspension last year were a bit murkier. Nitpicky NCAA rules beg to be violated. There's no forgivable explanation for passing out at a stoplight five days before the biggest game of your young life. No way Mark Ingram runs for 113 yards with Dunlap in the game.
• STILL: Tell me even the most hardened H8er didn't feel the patented Tebow thrill on that second quarter drive.
• Charlie Strong to Louisville? As of Monday, it's not official, but one can only hope that the Big East can do what it seemed like other conferences never would. His unit didn't look great on Saturday, but he's been a consistent ingredient on one of the most successful teams of the decade.
• See how many words I've wasted on the guys that lost? Such is the strange allure of that damn team. I don't have much to say about the actual SEC champs. Two things I gathered from the win: 1) I don't think anybody believes we'll get a replay of last season's Utah game. 2) Mark Ingram is the clear frontrunner for the Heisman.
• Due to inescapable limitations of the modern world and the inexorable shortcomings of reality, the Texas Longhorns will be standing in for TCU in the BCS National Championship game. The Horned Frogs will be forced to take out their frustrations on Boise State in the Wellbutrin Consolation Bowl.
• Every Southerner hates Notre Dame. Always have. There are a million reasons why. The Irish have just added one more:?Brian Kelly's inevitable departure from Cincinnati for South Bend will make the Sugar Bowl completely unwatchable.
• Two Non-Hog Bowl Games to Watch: LSU vs. Penn State and Kentucky vs. Clemson. The running meme all year has been about the mediocrity of the SEC's middle-of-the-pack teams. I think these two games will shut that trend down, especially if Les Miles can pull one out over the Nittany Lions.
• Yes, the Big 12 sucks this year. But OSU is gonna torch the Rebels. Since he got that one big win out of the way last year, Ole Miss fans are about to get familiar with Nutt's infamous bowl game reputation.
• Don't ever forget that the Liberty Bowl is an improvement, however many seconds we were from the Capital One. I'll file a more comprehensive game preview closer to the bowl game, but whatever you might say about Conference USA, Skip Holtz has been ready to make the jump to a more “respected” conference for a while now. His Eagles faced down a Houston offense that looks very similar to the Hog air attack on the surface, but it's hard to compare Mallet and company to the Cougars with a straight face. Despite ECU's trumpeted defensive front, we'll beat them on the ground.
Building a lead so rapidly and holding it in games, even professional football, is difficult…