Saturday, December 12, 2020

State Championships in Football

After a long and difficult season due to COVID, the KHSAA has finally reached the finals of its six classes in football.  Normally this would be the time when I would complain about how poorly the teams from Western Kentucky did, how well the private schools did, and how we have too many classes.  But this year, I'm just grateful to everyone at the schools and in the KHSAA for giving us the chance to have a real season.

Here are your state title games, which will all be played at the University of Kentucky (private schools in italics):

Friday, December 18:
10 AM Central (Class 1A):  Kentucky Country Day (10-1) v. Paintsville (9-2)
2 PM Central (Class 2A):  Lexington Christian (10-1) v. Beechwood (9-2)
6 PM Central (Class 4A):  Boyle Co. (10-0) v. Franklin Co. (9-1)

Saturday, December 19:
10 AM Central (Class 3A):  Elizabethtown (12-0) v. Ashland Blazer (10-0)
2 PM Central (Class 5A):  Owensboro (12-0) v. Bowling Green (9-2)
6 PM Central (Class 6A): Lou. Trinity (9-0) v. Lou. Male (8-1)


139 comments:

  1. Paintsville crushes KCD 38-7 to win their first ever state championship in football.

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    1. I'm very happy for Paintsville. I once shared a WKU dorm room with a guy from there.

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  2. Lexington Christian had a field goal to win the 2A title, but it bounced off of the upright and the crossbar before falling back into the end zone (a "double doink"). LCA and Beechwood are tied at 17 and heading to OT.

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  3. In the overtime, Beechwood scores and makes the extra point to take a 24-17 lead.

    Then LCA goes. The Eagles score on two plays. But THE EXTRA POINT IS BLOCKED! Beechwood wins its 15th state title by a score of 24 to 23.

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  4. State champions so far:

    1A: Paintsville
    2A: Beechwood

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  5. Another overtime game! Boyle County beats Franklin County 31-28 in overtime to win the 4A title.

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  6. State champions so far:

    1A: Paintsville
    2A: Beechwood
    4A: Boyle County

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  7. In the 3A title game, Ashland Blazer leads E-town 14-0 with 4 minutes left in the 2d quarter.

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  8. Blazer leads E-town 21-0 with 5 minutes left in the third. This game is apparently not headed to OT.

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  9. Blazer rolls to an easy 35-14 win. This is their third state title in football so far.

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  10. State champions so far:

    1A: Paintsville
    2A: Beechwood
    3A: Ashland Blazer
    4A: Boyle County

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  11. I'm troubled by the fact that Tilghman is in the same class as Ashland Blazer and Elizabethtown, and is therefore two classes below Owensboro and Bowling Green. In my mind, Tilghman should be a peer of Owensboro and Bowling Green, not E-Town.

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  12. Meanwhile, Wisconsin is crushing Louisville 62-32 in men's basketball, with only 12 minutes left in the game. This score will probably be the highlight of the day for UK fans (unless their team happens to win the state football championship).

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  13. Gonzaga was supposed to have a real challenge today from Iowa, but the Zags are crushing the Hawkeyes 67-51 with 14 minutes left. I'm usually very cynical about Gonzaga, but I like this year's version.

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  14. I was listening to the Gonzaga game on the Iowa Radio Network, but I felt so bad for the Hawkeye announcers that I've switched over to the 70s on 7 on XM Radio, where Casey Kasem is counting down the hits for December 16, 1978.

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  15. Number 21 was "We've Got Tonight" by Bob Seger, which is one of my favorite songs of all time.

    "I know your plans don't include me." What a great line.

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  16. Zags now up 81-67 on Iowa with 8 minutes to go. I don't think UK will score 81 points in a game for the rest of the season.

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  17. Wisconsin pounds Louisville 85-48. Enjoy it while you can, UK fans.

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  18. Zags up 89-79 with 3:32 left. The key to this game is that Iowa is only 4-17 from three-point range, while Gonzaga is 12-22. Making three-pointers is the best strategy for winning basketball games, as Duke, Villanova, and Golden State have proven.

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  19. Here are UK's starters for today's game:

    Terrence Clarke
    Brandon Boston
    Davion Mintz
    Isaiah Jackson
    Olivier Sarr

    None of these guys could have started for any team that Calipari has fielded since 2013. And certainly none of them could start for Carolina.

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  20. I just want to point out that Iowa had a guy -- Luka Garza -- who has gone 13-16 on 2-point shots in this game. He has 30 points and 10 rebounds. But instead of trying to get him more shots, the Hawkeyes have gone 4-19 on three's. And have played no defense.

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  21. Gonzaga wins 99-88. They are really good. Now switching to the WKU/Alabama game from Tuscaloosa. WKU wearing their legendary black uniforms.

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  22. Matt Jones is already complaining about cheap fouls against UK. Here's my advice to Matt Jones: If you don't want to see cheap fouls, then don't play the Tar Heels.

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  23. Oh, wow! Now Casey has the Donna Summer version of "Macarthur Park." I LOVE this song!

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  24. OK, I'm switching over to FOX, where Northwestern leads Ohio State 10-6 in the third quarter of the Big 10 football championship.

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  25. Sure enough, OSU scores. They lead 13-10 with 2 minutes left in the third quarter.

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  26. And . . . Northwestern immediately throws an interception.

    This is what I get for watching the Big 10.

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  27. Northwestern's defense holds, and the Wildcats take over after a punt. They will start at their own 5.

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  28. At the half, WKU leads Alabama 33-32 in Tuscaloosa. Ken Pom has Alabama winning this game 80-73.

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  29. And . . . Northwestern gets to its own 41, and fumbles the ball back to OSU.

    This is what I get for watching the Big 10.

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  30. OSU still can't do much, but they do enough to kick a field goal. Buckeyes lead 16-10 with 12 minutes left.

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  31. Now they're showing the commercial where Baker Mayfield is locked out of Progressive Stadium when he's trying to bring in the groceries. I really like those commercials, and I'm pretty sure I would watch a regular series of sketches -- about 5-10 minutes each -- all set in this particular universe.

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    1. My least favorite is the book club, and I still like it.

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  32. By the way, the Big 10 made no effort to decorate the field in Indianapolis for this game, other than to slap a couple of BIG logos here and there. They still have the Colts markings in the end zones, and they still have the Colts helmet at the 50.

    I will never understand the Big 10, and now I'm convinced I will never understand the Midwest.

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  33. Now Casey has reached the number-1 song, which is "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" by Neal Diamond and Barbra Streisand. What happened here was that there was a DJ at WAKY in Louisville who realized that Neal Diamond and Barbra Streisand had each recorded a version of the same song. So he spliced together parts from the two songs to make a duet -- and it became a big hit in Louisville. So then Neal Diamond and Barbra Streisand heard about it and decided to make a real duet. Which they did, and then it became a number-1 hit. Casey loves this story.

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    1. I had never heard this story! INSTANT HP CLASSIC post!

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  34. So today, Casey is playing us the original spliced version that was put together by the guy in Louisville. It's really good -- almost as good as the version we all know. Hooray for Louisville! Hooray for DJ's! Hooray for Kentucky!

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  35. Gary Guthrie, the program director at WAKY, was the hero of that story. Casey kept giving the guy's name, so I thought it was only fair to pass it along.

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  36. OSU rolls over NW 22-10. Same as it ever was.
    Oklahoma beats Iowa State 27-21 for the Big 8 title. Same as it ever was.

    But in Tuscaloosa, Western leads Alabama 67-62 with 4:14 to go.

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  37. Meanwhile, you'll be shocked -- shocked! -- to know that the UK fans on Twitter have doubts about the officiating in the UK/UNC game.

    My position -- now and for all time -- is that UK should never play UNC or Duke in basketball unless they have to play them in the NCAA Tournament.

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    1. If you aren't in the ACC, and you play UNC or Duke in the regular season, then you shouldn't complain about the officiating. You knew -- or at least you should have known -- what was going to happen. If you don't want to be cheated, play someone else.

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    2. Also, if you coach the University of Kentucky, you might want to start the season with guys who already know something about the basic concept of basketball.

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    3. I'm sad that you and Coach Cal have drifted apart.

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  38. At halftime in the 5A title game, Bowling Green leads Owensboro 10-0.

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    1. This reminds me of someone I need to wish a merry Christmas this week and happy birthday last week.

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  39. WKU and Alabama now tied at 71 with 51 seconds left. WKU ball.

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  40. WKU fails to score. Alabama ball with 26 seconds left.

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  41. Alabama goes down and doesn't score, and the time runs out.

    BUT WAIT!! The Western players are CELEBRATING. It turns out that in the previous possession, they DID NOT FAIL TO SCORE. In fact, GOALTENDING was called on Alabama, but ESPN's scoreboard did not reflect the goaltending. SO WESTERN WINS THE GAME, 73 to 71! GO HILLTOPPERS!!!

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  42. OK, now I'm going to watch Clemson and Notre Dame play for the ACC Championship. If there were ever two institutions that deserve each other, those two institutions are Notre Dame and the ACC. Digger Phelps could have been at least 20 percent more annoying if Notre Dame had been in the ACC back in the 1970's.

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  43. Notre Dame jumps out to an early 3-0 lead.

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  44. The worst part about this season is that UK is going to lose the all-time wins lead to Kansas. From my perspective, keeping that lead was one of Cal's main jobs.

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  45. Carolina cruises past UK 75-63. Cats fall to 1-5. It's hard to see how they win 10 games this year. This is the worst UK team of my lifetime, and probably the worst since before Adolph Rupp came to town. I would love to read a good explanation of how Calipari got into such a disastrous situation.

    But at least we don't have to worry about guys heading to the NBA.

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    1. In fact, UK did not win 10 games. But they didn't lose the all-time lead to KU.

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  46. Here are the remaining games where I feel UK has a chance to win:

    1/5: Vandy
    2/13: Auburn
    2/17: at Vandy
    2/23: Texas A & M

    That's pretty much it -- I think they're underdogs in all the rest.

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  47. Of course, that's looking at the team that they have now. I think you're going to see huge changes by the end of January. It wouldn't surprise me if multiple players were gone. It wouldn't surprise me if Cal were gone. (I don't think he'll get fired; I just think he may choose to leave.) The whole situation is so negative, and so toxic, that it feels like anything could happen.

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  48. There are two big questions that Mitch Barnhart has to resolve very quickly. First, is Cal prepared to do whatever it takes to win another National Championship at UK? If not, then he needs to move on. He's here to win for us, not to make his players rich. Second, assuming that Cal is committed to making the UK job his top priority, can Barnhart convince the fanbase that things will be better next year?

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  49. This year is beyond saving. Even Pitino would struggle to win 10 games with these guys. Their talent is below what you would normally expect from, say, Vanderbilt. They can't shoot, pass, or do anything that you would expect a high-caliber basketball player to do.

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  50. Plus, I'm sure they're all planning to leave as soon as the season is over.

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  51. So Cal will be starting all over again next year. Can the UK fans deal with something like a 7-19 record this year, and a rebuilding project next year? Is that something Cal even wants to do? Barnhart needs to figure this out, and needs to do so really quickly.

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  52. The more I think about it, the harder it is to see Cal coming back from something like this. He will come under so much criticism for the next few months -- and he hates being criticized. At some point, I just see him walking away -- I don't see him wanting to help the UK fans after all the things he's going to hear over the next few months.

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  53. His position will be that he's done a great job for us, and it was a pandemic, and we should cut him some slack. And a lot of fans will agree with him. But many of them will not. And they will be very, very unpleasant.

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  54. In a sense, we're lucky that Cal won't have to be in Rupp Arena with 20,000 angry fans. That would be very unpleasant very quickly.

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  55. I really believe that the best solution would be for Cal to take a year off -- much like Coach K did in 1995. This team isn't worthy of his time anyway. He should go off, visit his kids, talk to his wife, and decide if he really wants to work this hard for the next 10 years. If he does, I'm happy to keep him. If not, then we have to find someone who will. UK can't do like Georgetown or Maryland, and keep a legendary old coach who isn't trying as hard as he used to. That's just not our program.

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  56. UK now down to 51 on Ken Pom. That's still way too high -- Richmond is number 52, and Richmond is much better than UK.

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    1. I should make one final point about UK's players. I really feel sorry for them. They thought they were on the verge of making a lot of money. That's what their friends thought. That's what their families thought. And I can only imagine how heartbreaking it must be to realize that you just aren't as good as everyone told you that you were. I understand the temptations to despair, or transfer, or do anything to get out of the current nightmare.

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    2. In my opinion, all of that would be a mistake. They need to all forget about the NBA and March Madness. None of that is happening this year. They just aren't good enough. But if they would stick together, and spend the rest of the year trying to get better, they could be competitive by February. Then if they all came back next year, they could be really good. And then some of their dreams could still come true.

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  57. Meanwhile, Western is 6-2, and Ken Pom has them ranked as the best team in C-USA.

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  58. Here are the last three ACC championship games:

    2017: Clemson 38, Miami (Fla.) 3
    2018: Clemson 42, Pittsburgh 10
    2019: Clemson 62, Virginia 17

    It looks like we're headed to a similar score today. The Tigers lead Notre Dame 14-3 in the second quarter.

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  59. Bowling Green wins its 7th state championship with a 17-7 win over Owensboro. Big day for Bowling Green.

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    1. Huge day for a lot of Bowling Green. Still a pretty bad day for a lot of Bowling Green sports fans, too--maybe even half of Bowling Green's sports fans, in fact, I imagine.

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  60. State champions so far:

    1A: Paintsville
    2A: Beechwood
    3A: Ashland Blazer
    4A: Boyle County
    5A: Bowling Green

    Only the battle of Louisville left.

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  61. Clemson up 24-3 at the half. It would be madness to send Notre Dame into the playoff.

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  62. Now it's 31-3 for Clemson. And I'm sure that Dabo understands that it would be better for him, and for the ACC, if Notre Dame could get into the playoffs. So he has a very strong incentive not to run up the score. But what can you do?

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  63. Honestly, only two teams should make the playoffs: Alabama and Clemson. No one else is worthy.

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  64. In the last high school football game of the season in Kentucky, Trinity leads Male 14-0 with 8:50 left in the fourth quarter.

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  65. Florida is out for blood after that humiliating loss to LSU last week. Gators get an early touchdown and the SEC championship is tied at 7-all with 10:05 left in the 1st quarter. This game has already had more excitement than the Big 10 game and the ACC game put together.

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  66. Trinity now leads 28-0 with 4 minutes left in the 3d quarter, and they will be your 6A champions.

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  67. Alabama threw an interception, but Florida fumbled the interception. Then Alabama hit a long touchdown pass to make it 14-7. See, this is what college football is supposed to be like.

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  68. Back and forth we go. Florida kicks a field goal, and the Tide lead 14-10 with 1:57 left in the first quarter.

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  69. You remember how the Big 10 Championship was just played on the regular Colts' home field? This game has the SEC logo at the 50 yard line, one end zone decorated for Florida, and another decorated for Alabama. That's how you do it.

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    Replies
    1. I'm excited to be rolling out some additional Christmas lights later today.

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  70. Trinity wins its 27th state championship with a 28-0 win over Male.

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  71. State Champions for 2020:

    1A: Paintsville Tigers
    2A: Beechwood Tigers
    3A: Ashland Blazer Tomcats
    4A: Boyle County Rebels
    5A: Bowling Green Purples
    6A: Louisville Trinity Shamrocks

    Worthy champions all. Congratulations to everyone in Kentucky for having a successful high school football season. There are a lot of kids in Virginia who wish their leadership had done the same.

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    1. That's a very correct slate of #khsfb football champions.

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  72. I think this may be the best Alabama team of all time, and the Tide is now up 28-10 with 2 and one-half minutes left in the first half.

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  73. But Florida will not yield! The Gators come charging back down the field, and the score is now 28-17 with 1 minute left in the half.

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  74. But Florida left a minute on the clock, and Alabama uses that minute to drive the length of the field. At the half, Alabama leads 35-17.

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  75. For the record, Bowling Green and Louisville Male have very similar uniforms. Look it up.

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  76. There are report that USC will not accept a bowl bid. It feels like the Pac 12 is slowly turning into the Ivy League.

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  77. Florida quickly hits a long touchdown pass to start the second half, and Alabama leads 35-24 with 13:25 left in the third quarter.

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    1. I gave up on this game because we had a Home Alone party in our house and my older brother, Kurt, was texting me his enthusiasm about Alabama's seemingly inevitable blowout victory. It's the first time I ever really watched that movie, and I don't much like it--but I laughed and laughed at the most violent parts because it reminded me so much of how much my mom laughed at them when my Kurt showed her the movie 25 years ago or whatever. It was always so interesting to see how different a relationship Mom had with each of my siblings and me. Anyway, I was so lost in all of this Christmas-movie violence and remembering and laughing that I failed to even notice that Kurt quit texting me, and I'm thankful that you wrote about how it all came out so I can catch up this morning. Thank you!

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  78. Alabama drives down to the Florida 38, but the Gator defense HOLDS. Florida takes over at its own 38 with 11 minutes left in the third quarter.

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  79. But the Alabama defense holds, and the Gators punt. The Tide will start from its own 10 with about 9 minutes left in the third.

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  80. It occurs to me that this could be the year that I really focus on college baseball.

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  81. Florida's defense holds again, and Alabama punts into the end zone. Florida will start from its own 20 with 5:16 left in the third.

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  82. And Florida goes the length of the field and scores! With 18 seconds left in the third quarter, the Gators have pulled to within 4 points of the lead. Alabama leads 35 to 31.

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  83. Then the Alabama offense stirs itself to life, and the Tide drive the length of the field for another TD. Tide lead 42-31 with 11:23 left.

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  84. On the next possession, Florida FUMBLES, and Alabama takes over at the Florida 10. But the Gators hold, and the Tide kicks a field goal. Alabama leads 45-31 with 9:53 left.

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  85. But the never-say-die Gators charge right back down the field and score another touchdown. Now Alabama leads by only 7 points -- 45-38 -- with 6:33 left.

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  86. I actually think all of these guys do a good job in their commercials, but here is how I would rank various QB's on their acting ability:

    3. Patrick Mahomes -- personable and funny, but room to improve.

    2. Aaron Rodgers -- quite good, but a bit wooden

    1. Baker Mayfield -- I think he's already at least as good as Peyton, and he may be better than Peyton. Someone joked on Twitter recently that his football career is interfering with his acting, and I could see their point.

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    1. Agree. The 1974 desk wants to weigh in with some Don Meredith thoughts, but it's getting late and the ladies are about to wake up in 2020.

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    2. I think Mina Kimes made the joke about Baker Mayfield's acting, and I want to give her credit.

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  87. Alabama quickly zips down the field and scores again. 52-38 with 5 minutes left.

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  88. Meanwhile, undefeated Cincinnati is locked in a 24-24 tie with Tulsa at the American Athletic Conference Championship. 2:33 left in the game. Bearcat ball.

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  89. Alabama has 606 total yards in this game.

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  90. But if you've watched as many Big XII games as I have,. you know that Florida will come back and score again. And so they do. Alabama leads 52-44 with 2:07 left.

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  91. Florida goes for two. They try a fade rout to the corner, Alabama intercepts, but there's a flag. Defensive pass interference and we'll try again.

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  92. Florida goes for two again, this time from 1 1/2 yards away. Kyle Trask runs it in, and the score is now Alabama 52, Florida 46.

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  93. The analytics guys all say that you go for two when your eight points behind late in the game.

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    1. I would always be going for two and not punting, but I wouldn't be a very good coach.

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  94. Cincinnati kicks a last-second field goal to see off Tulsa 27-24 and finish the season undefeated.

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  95. Alabama recovers the onside kick. Florida has one timeout left.

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  96. Florida holds, and Alabama will punt with 26 seconds left.

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  97. The punt goes to the 9. Florida has 16 seconds left and no time outs.

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  98. On first down, Kyle Trask is SACKED. Florida can't stop the clock, the GAME IS OVER, and ALABAMA WINS THE SEC CHAMPIONSHIP 52 to 46.

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    1. OK. Still ... what a Heath Post post this has been!

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  99. Here are my final four for the College Football Playoff:

    1. Alabama
    2. Clemson
    3. Ohio State
    4. Cincinnati

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  100. That would be great, and I hope it's Alabama-Clemson on one side and Ohio State-Cincinnati on the other.

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  101. I so enjoyed the last 45 minutes. Thank you again. I needed that.

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