Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene and advises you to never take his betting advice. He likes old guitars and old music, never eats press box hot dogs, and can be heard on 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. weekdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon.
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-In a very embarrassing development for Twin Cities reporters, noone in the local media discerned what was really happening in the world of Big Time College Football this week.
Urban Meyer, loyal to the University of Florida, realizes that by stepping down he can allow Florida to make a coup of a hire that will ensure the future greatness of the Gators. He realizes...that Tim Brewster might become available. Better yet, he realizes that Tim Brewster might become available and be willing to bring one of the great Gators of all time, Jedd Fisch, with him to Gainesville.
Then Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi, always proactive, recognizes the peril in letting a coach of Brewster's accomplishments leave, and quickly counters Meyer's thrust with a parry, offering Brewster a contract extension. Tragedy averted.
Meyer, disappointed his ploy didn't work, agrees to return as Florida coach after a leave in which he will mourn Brewster's loyalty to the University of Minnesota.
How did everyone miss this?
-I completely disagree with Colts coach Jim Caldwell pulling his starters with an undefeated season within his grasp.
Yes, it is possible that a key player could have gotten hurt if he had kept his starting lineups intact. My arguments for playing for 16-0, though, are these:
-How often does any team get a chance to make history? The Colts could have become the first team ever to go 19-0. Isn't that worth playing for? Aren't your players motivated by that?
A team wins the Super Bowl every year. Rarely does a team have the chance to achieve a truly history feat. Caldwell blew it when he pulled Manning.
-The Giants proved when they won the Super Bowl that playing your best at the end of the season is an ideal way to set yourself up for postseason success, and a handful of Tony Dungy's Colts teams proved that rust does accumulate at the end of the season if you rest your starters and then sit through a bye week in the playoffs.
This is time to peak, not rest.
-How would you like to be a father who took out a second mortgage so you could take your kids to Colts games, and then, with your team on the cusp of history, you're all of a sudden watching a preseason lineup blow the game you paid so much to see?
-I'm writing this before the Bears-Vikings games, and maybe the Vikings will change my mind tonight, but right now I think I'd rather bet on the last four teams in the projected NFL playoff seedings than the top two.
New Orleans is reeling. The Vikings are slumping. The Eagles, Cardinals, Packers and Cowboys are not only playing their best, they also have passing games that would test the Saints and Vikings. Like I said, it's about peaking at the right time.
In the AFC, I'd bet everything I owned on San Diego making it to the Super Bowl - if I bet on sports.
-I continue to say that the Favre-Childress skirmish is not as big a deal as ESPN has made it out to be. That's because World War III wouldn't be as big a deal as ESPN has made this out to be.
Childress told ESPN that he wanted to pull Favre to protect his health. I believe that. I also disagree with the decision, for many of the reasons listed above. The Vikings need to play well in December and they aren't going to get sharper with Tarvaris Jackson trying to save the day. Even if Jackson had played well, that wouldn't have helped the offense prepare for the playoffs.
-This isn't exactly groundbreaking, but I believe the key to tonight's game will be the performance of the Vikings' offensive line. If the boys up front give Adrian Peterson holes and protect Favre, this could be a blowout. If they don't, even Jay Cutler has a chance to beat them.
I'll check in again after the game.
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