NFL playoffs set, college coaches hired, fired
How the NFC West Was Won: After a long day of some pretty bad football games (I'll spare you the details) in Week 17, we capped it off with a winner take all "play-in" game for the NFC West title between the Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams. The Seahawks won 16-6, making NFL history as the first ever division winner with a losing record. I can live (sort of) with a sub-.500 division winner, but they get to host the Saints, an 11-5 team, because division winner trumps wildcard. Fielding Mellish said it best in Bananas: "It's a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham."
Here are the final playoff seedings:
AFC: (1) New England (home field throughout playoffs); (2) Pittsburgh; (3) Indianapolis; (4) Kansas City; (5) Baltimore; (6) NY Jets. The Colts make their 9th straight playoff appearance, tying Tom Landry's cowboys for most consecutive appearances all time.
NFC: (1) Atlanta (home field throughout playoffs); (2) Chicago; (3) Eagles; (4) Seahawks; (5) New Orleans; (6) Green Bay. Two 10-win teams, the NY Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, finish on the outside looking in.
Here's your playoff schedule for next weekend:
Saturday, Jan. 8: Saints at Seahawks (4:30 p.m. ET); NY Jets at Colts (8 p.m. ET).
Sunday, Jan. 9: Ravens at Chiefs (1 p.m. ET); Packers at Eagles (4:30 p.m.).
In other NFL news, Brett Favre probably, almost definitely, but you never know with him, made his last appearance on the football field yesterday when he waved to the crowd in Detroit from the sidelines (he didn't play due to a concussion). After the game, Favre said he's done. The Raiders went 6-0 against the AFC West but aren't going to the playoffs.
College football: There were about 20 bowl games on Saturday and the Big Ten got its clock cleaned -- going 0-5. In coaching news, we have our first big move as Randy Edsall, who built UConn's football program from the ground up, is leaving after 12 years to coach at Maryland, replacing Ralph Friedgen. Also, new Pitt head coach Mike Haywood was fired less than three weeks after being hired due to a domestic violence charge.
And oh yeah, the Lakers got shellacked at home by the Memphis Grizzlies. There is trouble in L.A. right now for the two-time defending champs.