Sidelines: This week in sports


Even though the college football season is now officially over for the next eight months or so, that doesn’t mean that the college football world is drama-free during those months. Clemson’s lopsided win over the Crimson Tide of Alabama was a bit of a surprise, but Dabo has matched Saban’s success these past four years and Saban will probably come back with another successful season after the loss last week.

My way too early prediction for which teams will make the playoff next season? Clemson as the one seed, Georgia as the two seed, Ohio State as the three seed, and Bama as the four seed. Here’s hoping I’m wrong and we end up with some new faces in the playoff.

Kliff Kingsbury taking the head coaching job with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals wasn’t surprising by any means, but it likely means USC’s Clay Helton is going to have a hard time keeping his job after next season — especially if he can’t find an offensive coordinator to liven up the Trojan offense.

Justin Fields officially transferring to Ohio State has led Tate Martell to enter his name in the NCAA transfer portal. While it would have been great to see a battle between Martell, Fields, and Matthew Baldwin for the Buckeyes’ number one quarterback position — Martell, like Joe Burrow this past season, saw the writing on the wall. Martell will be extremely successful wherever he ends up — just like Burrow was this past season at LSU. Fields, however, has the real pressure in this situation. With Martell gone, Fields has to produce on the field the way he has been hyped up this past week.

Another name that made its way into the transfer portal was Alabama’s Jalen Hurts. What can certainly be said for Hurts was that he handled this past season with high character. Whenever he was called on, he made a huge impact for the Tide. He was a first class teammate to Tua Tagovailoa — who earned the starting job over Hurts. It’s likely Hurts could follow his position coach from this past season, Dan Enos, to Miami, where he was recently hired away from the Tide to be the Hurricanes offensive coordinator. Like Martell, wherever Hurts ends up, he’ll certainly make an impact.

The NFL’s AFC and NFC championship games are set. The Saints and the Rams. The Patriots and the Chiefs. While Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have had a mountain of success, I think Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes are better this season, and are going to get the best of the Pats. Rams and Saints? Here’s hoping that game combines for 90 points.

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