Charles Barkley is scared of an Alabama victory

Charles Barkley is an Auburn alum, so he isn’t too keen on the Crimson Tide winning tonight…

“I always tell people the three saddest days of my life were the day Elvis died, the day JFK died and the day Alabama fired Mike Shula. This could be the longest year of our lives if they win. They are the worst winners in the history of civilization.”

— Charles Barkley, via

Barkley goes on to predict a three-point victory for the Longhorns.

The photo is from a SI collection of iconic 76ers photos. Check out the entire collection here.

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Top 10 reasons why it’s okay that fantasy football season is over

Originally published 12/28/07. Updated 1/6/10.

It’s that time of year again. Much like the post-draft letdown all fantasy owners go through in August or September, the end of the fantasy football season can be a depressing time indeed. I know a lot of baseball fans are already looking forward to spring training and their fantasy baseball drafts, but I’m not a baseball guy, so I need to look elsewhere for comfort. Here are 10 reasons why it’s good that the fantasy football season is finally over. (Seriously, guys, it’s not that bad.)

1. Your busted picks won’t haunt you anymore.
Just think about it: you don’t have to set your lineup for another nine months. No more looking at the injured Michael Turner or the disappointing Brian Westbrook wasting away on your bench. You can add Larry Johnson, Terrell Owens, Marshawn Lynch, Ronnie Brown, Steve Slaton and Matt Forte to that list. All of these guys were early picks that managed to sabotage fantasy seasons to one degree or another. If you only had one of these guys on your team, count yourself lucky. Two or more and your season was probably over before it started.

2. You can start (truly) rooting for your favorite team.
No more fragmented alliances. If you have a favorite team (and who doesn’t?), chances are that at one point or another, you were rooting against them this year. Either your favorite team was playing against a particular player on your fantasy team, or you needed a field goal instead of an extra point from your favorite team’s kicker. At some point, you wanted your team – whose colors you claim to bleed – to fail, somehow or someway. The best thing to do is fess up, ask forgiveness, and cheer as loudly as you can if your team was fortunate enough to make the playoffs.

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Poll: Who is the best college football team in the country?

Depending on the poll, 85%-90% of football fans would like to see some sort of a playoff. For now, we’re stuck with the BCS, which gave us Florida and Oklahoma in the title game. The problem is, now that the bowls are finished, there are three other teams (not including Florida) that have a legitimate argument that they are the #1 team in the country. Utah finished the season undefeated and beat two teams that are ranked (or will be ranked) in the top 10. USC beat up Penn State and looked great doing it. And Texas put away a feisty Ohio State team in the Fiesta Bowl…oh, and they beat Oklahoma as well. Or is the #1 team Florida, who only looked so-so in their win over the Sooners?

Poll Answers

Impressive Texas win is next step in pro-playoff perfect storm

It’s already easy to criticize the BCS, but it’s even easier when USC looks very impressive in their win against Penn St. and the upstart Utah Utes complete their perfect season by dismantling Alabama. Both USC and Utah have legitimate arguments that they are the best team in the country.

If Texas works over Ohio State, you can add another team to that list. And the more, the better.

While it’s great for fans to see an exciting BCS title game, the perfect storm would be completed if Florida narrowly beats Oklahoma in a boring game. The idea is for neither team to look particularly good, which would only strengthen the position of USC, Utah and, potentially, Texas.

We could look back on the 2008-09 season as the year that the BCS shot itself in the proverbial head.

Couch Potato Alert: 10/10

Oklahoma vs. Texas
This year’s Red River Rivalry battle at the Cotton Bowl has more marquee value than in past years; as for the first time since 2004 both teams will enter the game ranked in the top five. Heading into this season, the Longhorns offense was thought to be their biggest strength. But it has been the Texas defense that has provided most of the swagger. The Longhorns are ranked fourth nationally in total defense and that is a big jump since the 2007 unit set a school record for most yards allowed in a season. They will get stiff competition come Saturday against top-ranked Oklahoma. The Sooners are in the top five nationally in all offensive scoring categories, led by the nation’s second-rated passer Sam Bradford. National coverage begins Saturday at 12 PM ET on ABC. Click here for the official Oklahoma-Texas smack thread.

LSU vs. Florida
“The Showdown at the Swamp” marks the first time the last two national champions have faced each other since Notre Dame defeated Miami, 29-20, in 1990. The stakes are high for both schools; Florida must win to maintain any realistic hope of staying in the hunt for a berth in the BCS championship game, while LSU needs the win to stay on course to repeat as National Champions. And the matchup got even more intense after Tigers defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois promised that the LSU defense will try to knock Gator quarterback Tim Tebow out of the game. Later in the week, Jean-Francois said his comments were misinterpreted by the press. National coverage begins Saturday at 8 PM ET on CBS.

Major League Baseball LCS Series
The animosity between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox is not ready to approach the level of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, but their contempt for each other is a good undercard. Back on June 5th, the Rays’ Game One starter, James Shields, hit Red Sox outfielder Coco Crisp with a pitch that triggered a bench-clearing brawl between the two teams. Has this issue been resolved? Stay tuned for the answer. Meanwhile, the National League Championship series boils down to how well the Los Angeles Dodgers left-handed pitchers throw to the Philadelphia Phillies lethal left-handed hitting. The Phillies led the NL with 214 homeruns, with Ryan Howard leading the way with 48 followed by Chase Utley with 33, and both players bat left-handed. The top of the Phillies’ lineup also includes switch-hitting Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino, who both have outstanding on-base percentages. NLCS Game Two is Friday at 4:30 PM ET and Game Three is on Sunday at 8 PM ET; all NLCS games are on Fox. ALCS Game One is on Friday at 8:30 PM ET and Game Two is on Saturday at 8 PM ET. All ALCS games can be seen on TBS.

New England Patriots vs. San Diego Chargers
Their franchise quarterback is out for the season, and somehow the Patriots have still put together a successful start to their 2008 season. On the other side of the field, the Chargers have been one of the biggest disappointments in the NFL. To avoid falling further back in the AFC standings, the Chargers must try to defeat a Patriots team that has eliminated them from the past two post-seasons. Inconsistent play on both sides of the ball has plagued the Chargers all season; they have lost three games by a total of 10 points. Coverage begins at 8:15 PM ET on NBC

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