As you can see from the title, a mixed bag from The Grandstander this morning.....
Not much to add to what you have no doubt already read about yesterday's unexpected, but now euphoric, victory over the Ravens. How can you not be happy for Charlie Batch about engineering this victory? The picture below may well end up summarizing the Steelers season, and seeing it on TV as this moment was taking place even brought tears to the eyes of Mrs. Grandstander:
So now the Steelers sit at 7-5, in a playoff position, and with four games, three of them at Heinz Field, remaining, all games that they should be favored to win (San Diego, Dallas, Cincy, and Cleveland), provided Ben Roethlisberger returns to the helm. who would have thought it after those losses to the Raiders and Titans?
Pitt closed it's season on Saturday night with a win over South Florida, giving them a 6-6 record, and securing for themselves a third straight trip to the BBVA Compass Bowl, also known as the "Granddaddy of all Garbage Bowls". This is disappointing in that many were anticipating that Pitt would play West Virginia in the tradition-rich Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Surely a renewal of sorts of the Backyard Brawl would make everybody happy, right? Well, call me Oliver Stone, but I have a theory as to why this match-up did not occur. I believe that all of these third tier bowls have tie-ins to various conferences, and both the Compass and Pinstripe are tied to the Big East. I believe that the Big East decreed that Pitt got sentenced to Birmingham for the third straight year rather than take on WVU, and that this was done as one final big Middle Finger from the Big East to BOTH schools for their desertion of the Conference.
I wonder how Pitt will handle playing in a bowl game this year while NOT under the direction of an interim coach?
The wailing and gnashing of teeth of the SEC Loyalists on Facebook this weekend have been hilarious. Georgia, they are saying, was this close to playing in the BCS title game, but now they are relegated to playing in the god-awful Outback Bowl (a New Years's Day game, btw) against Nebraska, a team that couldn't even win the god-awful Big Ten, while an undeserving, god-awful independent like Notre Dame gets the chance to be horsewhipped by Alabama in the title game.
My answer to this is, hey, that is the BCS system in place, but I guess that that is only a good system when two SEC teams get into the title game.
Makes me want to call my nephew Kevin and borrow as much ND gear as possible to wear while watching that game on January 7.
I skipped both the SEC title game and the Pitt-USF game and toddled out to the Sewall Center to take in my first basketball game of the season, and was rewarded with a nice Colonials victory over undefeated Ohio University. It was a nice wire-to-wire win for RMU and they withstood a big push from the Bobcats in the second half, but never did give up the lead. I was impressed with both the enthusiasm of the RMU students throughout the game, and, more importantly, with the play of the Colonials. They look like they could be a pretty strong team in the Northeast Conference this season.
Reports now say that both Duke and North Carolina may be looking at joining the Southeast Conference, or maybe the SEC is looking at them. Whatever, the case, the ACC could end up going down that same path that the moribund Big East is now traveling. Four sixteen team super-conferences are just around the corner, and I fear that Pitt may end up on the outside looking in when it all the dust settles.