3-point stance: Rival domination

November, 22, 2010
11/22/10
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1. There are teams that dominate rivals because they are better (and we’ll say more about Ohio State-Michigan later in the week). And there are teams -- or coaches -- who dominate rivals because they just do. Oregon State’s season looked as if it had run off the rails. And then hotter than hot USC came to Corvallis. The Beavers beat the Trojans for the third time in four trips. And it doesn’t matter who Houston Nutt is coaching -- Arkansas or Ole Miss. His team is going to push LSU to the limit.

2. Alabama and Auburn fans think about past Iron Bowls and what’s at stake Friday. Players don’t really care. “We can’t focus on what the legacy will hold for us,” Tide wideout Julio Jones said Sunday in comments emailed by the university. “We just have to go out there and play for 60 minutes and give it our all. You can’t be disappointed if you go out there and give it your all. ... I don’t know what to tell you about trying to spoil their season or whatever, but it’s a competitive sport and everybody wants to win.”

3. So the Big Ten extended its season by a week last year to cut the dead time before the bowls, and won its first Rose Bowl in 10 years. But have you realized how nearly every other league has done so, too? Here it is Thanksgiving week, and only six teams have finished their regular seasons. It’s a smart decision. Stretching the season allows teams to get at least one week off. And it means the season stretches longer for all of us.

Ivan Maisel | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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