The college football playoff championship is set, and while Alabama’s easy win over Notre Dame was no surprise, Ohio State pounding Clemson was a shocker.

Last week I said Ohio State didn’t belong in the playoffs. Boy, was I wrong. They dismantled the Tigers on both sides of the ball and finished with more than 600 yards of offense.

I think Clemson Coach Dabo Sweeney voting the Hoosiers No. 11 in the Final Coaches Poll likely inspired Ohio State to play their best game of the season. Dabo was even serenaded after the game by Ohio State fans. A fitting goodbye to his stupid comments. I didn’t think Ohio State belonged in the playoff, but I still had them as No. 6 overall, not behind several two-loss teams like Dabo did.

As far as winning the National Championship, Alabama is the odds-on-favorite, but if Ohio State plays like they did against Clemson — especially quarterback Justin Fields — they could win. That’s why I’m taking Ohio State to win it all!

In the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings last game of the season started out like they didn’t even want to play the game. They had two three-and-outs to start the game, including the latter when they got a turnover and started the drive with the ball at Detroit’s 42.

Captain Kirk Cousins threw the ball into the turf to a wide open receiver on first down, was sacked on second as once again he held onto the ball way too long, and on third down threw incomplete. That led to a second straight punt.

Detroit responded by marching 90 yards as the defense gave up a long touchdown pass. At least the kicker missed the extra point.

This is where I turned the TV to Cleveland and Pittsburgh to watch the Browns take a 7-0 lead. I turned it back just in time to see Alexander Mattison’s 28-yard touchdown pitch and run from Captain Kirk on a fourth-and-two play. Dan Bailey made the extra point and the Vikings were ahead 7-6.

I did watch most of the game after that, and it was exciting with seven lead changes in all. And despite throwing for more than 400 yards, Captain Kirk still made some stupid mistakes against a very bad Detroit team. Detroit also got hosed on the roughing the passer penalty on a sack of Cousins on fourth-and-goal. The Vikings were gifted another opportunity and this time they scored on Captain Kirk’s touchdown sneak, which turned out to be the deciding score.

Dan Bailey, who missed a field goal earlier in the game, shanked the extra point badly for a 37-29 lead. In the end Minnesota held on for a 37-35 win, which doesn’t help their draft status, but at least Coach Mike Zimmer can say his team is not the worst team in the division.

That’s not much to hang your hat on when your quarterback consistently makes bad decisions. And then we have to listen to the pundits and broadcasters state that Captain Kirk is one of the best NFL quarterbacks. What!

There are 32 teams in the NFL and I can name at least a dozen better quarterbacks. That would put Captain Kirk in the middle of the pack, which by my count would make him average!

Here are some of those who are better than Captain Kirk — Josh Allen, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, Kyler Murray, Phillip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Ryan Tannehill, Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson.

Now let’s talk about a star football player. Justin Jefferson broke the rookie record for yardage, and the team’s rookie record for catches and yards in the win. I would like to say he is a lock for Rookie of the Year, but Herbert, the LA Chargers’ quarterback, will win the award after breaking nearly all the rookie records for a quarterback. Besides, Herbert plays on a team that has less talent than the Vikings and he led them to a 7-9 record, which is identical to Minnesota.

Of all the teams making the playoffs, I’m sticking with my pre-season picks. If you forgot what I said, here it is once again.

I’m picking Green Bay or Chicago, and maybe Minnesota to win the NFC North.  I still see Capt. Kirk as a mediocre quarterback, but last year he finally won his first playoff game. Super Bowl or Bust!

Dallas will easily win the East and will be a strong candidate to win the entire NFC now that Mike McCarthy is the head coach.

San Francisco should win the West Division, but I’m not sure they will get back to the Super Bowl. Kyle Shanahan’s inept play calling in the fourth quarter cost them a Super Bowl win!

I’m taking New Orleans or Tampa Bay to win the South. Tom Brady, “The Kid,” and Drew “I can’t get my foot out of my mouth fast enough” Breese have all the weapons and talent around them to get to the Super Bowl and win it!

As for the AFC, New England’s days of winning the East Division will end. I see Buffalo as the champs with the Pats second.

Will Baltimore win the North or will Big Ben and Steelers have something to say about that? By the time the dust settles, it will be the Ravens with the Browns grabbing a wild card.

In the West Division, I don’t see anyone but Kansas City. The Raiders will have a nice season, but that’s it!

The toughest division to predict is the South once again. Will it be Houston, who choked against Kansas City in the playoffs, Indianapolis and new quarterback Phillip Rivers, Jacksonville or Tennessee? I see three teams sitting at 9-7 or 10-6, with Tennessee ultimately coming out on top.

If anyone wants to know who I picked to win the Super Bowl last fall, it was Kansas City. This year I’m taking Baltimore over Tampa Bay.

My only bad prediction was Dallas!


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