THE NFL - After huffing and puffing all year, some teams made the NFL playoffs, and some did not. For the rest of the season, it is win or go home. For the most part, the playoff teams are the same this year as they were in the previous one. Kansas City, Philadelphia, and Cincinnati are the new teams this year. Of these newcomers, Cincinnati is the most talented, and Philadelphia is the most determined. I expect that Indianapolis will send Kansas City home early.
For history buffs, this is the first time that there will be three African-American quarterbacks in the playoff games. They are Cam Newton with the Carolina Panthers, Colin Kapernick with the San Francisco 49ers, and Russell Wilson with the Seattle Seahawks. Of the three of them, I think that Wilson has the best chance of getting to the Super Bowl, and then winning it. This is especially true, if Seattle is able to play all of its games on their home field.
This was a most disappointing year for Robert Griffin, lll. He had shown flashes of brilliance last year, before he was injured. However, he was reinjured this year and his erratic play and his confusesd coaching staff ruined this season for the Redskins. Things may be better for him next year, since Mike Shanahan has been fired as the head coach of that team. This new start for Griffin will have to be better than this season that he just endured.
The Pittsburg Steelers, led by head coach Mike Tomlin, are usually in the playoffs but they did not make it this year. So, Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals is the only African-American head coach in this contest. The Bengals are a talented team, with quality depth at most positions. Their quarterback is Andy Dalton, and in my opinion, he is not playing well enough for this team to be considered a serious championship contender.
The 49ers were sensational last year, but this year has been a struggle for them. So, after a careful analysis, and after consulting with my Ouija board, I am picking the Seattle Seahawks, led by head coach Pepsodent Pete Carroll, to win this year's Super Bowl Championship Game. If they do not, please do not punish me.
College Bowl Games - There are many good ones this year. However the one that most of us are interested in is the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day, between Michigan State and Stanford. This should be an exciting game, and reminiscent of the historical games between the Big 10 and the Pac-10.
This game should be a slugfest between two talented teams. Neither of them is loaded with All-Stars, but both are tough and they have great depth at most positions. Stanford's head coach David Shaw may be making his last appearance for Stanford, since he will be offered a number of positions in the NCAA and the NFL. He was being considered for the head coaching job at the University of Texas, but it now looks like that position will go to the current head coach at Penn State.
Shaw has coached eyeball to eyeball with Chip Kelly, who enjoyed great success this year as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. Kelly proved, without any doubt, that great college coaches can also be great coaches in the NFL. It may be that Shaw himself is the only one he knows whether or not he's interested in coaching in the NFL. However, the amount of money that someone puts on the table in front of him may help him make his decision.