Random evidence of a cluttered mind

Local fans hope Bama and Notre Dame both lose

 

Hot list

Today: As Notre Dame and Alabama try to add to their totals Monday night, here are the colleges with the most football national championships won via The Associated Press or coaches’ polls (or BCS) since the poll era began in 1936:

Titles School Most recent* (Coach)
9Alabama2011 (Nick Saban)
8Notre Dame1988 (Lou Holtz)
7Oklahoma2000 (Bob Stoops)
6Southern California2003 (Pete Carroll)
5Ohio State2002 (Jim Tressel)
5Miami2001 (Larry Coker)
5Nebraska1997 (Tom Osborne)

*Year refers to season, not date of bowl game. Note: A seventh Southern Cal title, in 2004, was vacated related to NCAA violations.


What South Florida sports fans are talking about:

1. BCS CHAMPIONSHIP

Notre Dame, Alabama in dream matchup here Monday: South Florida has hosted 19 previous games that determined the college national champion, 10 Super Bowls and six AFC Championship Games, but Monday’s might be the biggest, most anticipated football game ever played in Miami, according to Alabama and Notre Dame fans.

2. NFL PLAYOFFS

Two teams out, two to go as Wild Card Weekend opens postseason: I had Texans over Bengals and Packers over Vikings on Saturday. Now I like Ravens over Colts and Redskins to upset Seahawks on Sunday’s platter. You want Day 2 drama? How about three super-rookie QBs in action plus retiring Ray Lewis’ emotional comeback.

3. HEAT

Miami must find way to rebound from its awful rebounding: Defending champion Heat still has best record in its conference entering Sunday’s home game against Washington, but many fans are worried. One legit concern: Miami ranks 29th of 30 teams in rebounding. Dear Heat: Remember, one re- leads to another. No rebounding, no repeating.

4. DOLPHINS

Free agency, draft make for big potential in offseason: Last week’s shutout loss at New England ended a playoff-less 7-9 season for Miami. The good news? Team has 10 draft picks and lots of money to spend on free agents. The bad news according to many Dolfans? It’ll once again be general manager Jeff Ireland doing the drafting and spending.

5. FIU

Panthers recycle, hire Turner as new football coach: Ron Turner, 59, last coached in college in 2004 before Illinois fired him. The upside? He has a better first name than his brother, Norv. FIU athletic director Pete Garcia had a better choice available, but it would have been too embarrassing for him to rehire Mario Cristobal, whom he just unwisely fired.

gcote@miamiherald.com

Finally! After a seemingly endless marathon of dozens of college football bowl games, our long wait is almost over. After weeks of excited anticipation and breathless buildup, we arrive at last at the threshold of the one game — the only game — that really matters:

Kent State vs. Arkansas State in Sunday’s GoDaddy.com Bowl!

Wait. What?

Oh, you thought I meant Notre Dame vs. Alabama? Come to think of it, the No. 1 Fighting Irish and No. 2 Crimson Tide playing in the BCS National Championship Game at Dolphins stadium on Monday night could be a fairly good game, too.

I just hope it doesn’t prove anticlimactic and get overshadowed by the penultimate bowl as the Golden Flashes and Red Wolves clash at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile.

That reminds me. Alabama coach Nick Saban played at Kent State in the early 1970s. Wonder if he’ll watch his alma mater play Sunday night or accompany his team as it watches a private screening of Zero Dark Thirty.

Saban, of course, is despised by Miami Dolphins fans for lying before he left for Alabama, and Notre Dame is despised by Miami Hurricanes fans.

That sound you hear Monday night will be Irish and Tide fans cheering for their team, and South Floridians angrily booing both on general principle.

• Hope you all had a safe and happy New Year’s. New Year’s Eve is the only time you hear people scream, “The ball is dropping!” Well, other than when the New York Jets are on offense.

• The New York Daily News reported that Jets coach Rex Ryan has a tattoo of his wife wearing nuthin’ but a Mark Sanchez jersey. HARD-HITTING INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM LIVES!!!

• Seven NFL coaches were fired, including the Eagles’ Andy Reid and Bears’ Lovie Smith. Reid quickly signed with the Chiefs, and Oregon’s Chip Kelly reportedly might sign with the Browns. Apparently, both men are tired of winning.

• Old Cane Ray Lewis of the Ravens announced he would retire after these playoffs. Son Ray Lewis III will be a UM football freshman next season. Not sure of his chances of making the NFL, but about 90 percent sure of the chances his nickname will become RL3.

• Suspended Saints coach Sean Payton was given a contract extension. Not sure the amount, but I bet it was bounteous.

• Louisville upset Florida in the Sugar Bowl, and in the Orange Bowl, Florida State answered whether Northern Illinois belonged. The answer was 31-10.

• UM football nervously awaits its Notice of Allegations from the NCAA. It’ll be the last bowl game of the season: Canes, bowled over.

•  Charles Barkley said fans should not be allowed to vote for NBA all-stars. I disagreed. Until I saw that Chris Bosh was trailing the human remains of Kevin Garnett in fan voting.

• ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh wrote a story headlined, “Are We Bored With LeBron?” The theory was that James’ excellence has become routine, such as his 31 consecutive games with 20-plus points to start a season, the second-longest streak ever. Dear Tom: You might be bored. But Miami isn’t.

LeBron explained the Heat’s well-documented rebounding woes by simply saying the team doesn’t have the “knack.” (Your punch line goes here and must include the word “Sharona.”)

•  Amare Stoudemire returned from injury for New York, where Knicks fans are still trying to decide if that was a good thing.

• Hurricanes men’s basketball has begun Atlantic Coast Conference play without center Reggie Johnson, who will miss at least six weeks with a broken thumb. Reggie is 6-10, 300 pounds. Call it a big loss. Very big.

• Sunday is Day 113 of the NHL lockout. In most of America, that’s known as I No Longer Give A Crap Day.

• Miami Jai-Alai opened its 86th season. Roster is again led by top player Goikoetxea, who is best known for constantly having his name misspelled.

• Disgraced Lance Armstrong reportedly is considering coming clean and admitting his use of performance-enhancing drugs. Might as well, Lance. It’s not like anybody still believes you, anyway.

• The Senior Bowl announced that the Lions and Raiders staffs would coach the North and South teams. Apparently, they want a chaotic, penalty strewn game.

• ESPN’s Buster Olney listed baseball’s top 10 teams, lineups, infields, outfields and rotations, and the Marlins were nowhere in any. If only Buster had listed baseball’s top 10 infuriating owners.

• Baseball’s hall of fame reveals its latest inductees next week, otherwise known as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens Payback Day.

The Junior Orange Bowl Championships ended in tennis. The most extraordinary performance that really stood apart was by that one parent who did not berate his losing child.

• Indiana’s Bloomington South High won a girls basketball game, 107-2. Not sure what coach Larry Winters teaches at the school, but guessing it isn’t sportsmanship.

•  Parting thought: Victoria Azarenka withdrew from a tennis tournament this week with an infected big toe she blamed on a pedicure. So now I really have heard everything: A professional athlete injured by pampering.

Visit Greg’s Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog daily at MiamiHerald.com and follow on Twitter @gregcote.

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