It was glorious to see USC lose |

It was glorious to see USC lose

Joe Ellison
Nevada Appeal Betting Columnist

College football championship games rarely live up to the hype surrounding them, but everyone would have to agree that last Wednesday’s battle between undefeateds Texas and USC will forever go down as one of the greatest of all time.

There were numerous great plays, mistakes and controversies, and a 12-point comeback by Texas with five minutes left.

Longhorn quarterback Vince Young truly was inVinceable and clearly the best player on the field in a Heisman Trophy-like performance.

The end was especially satisfying with the more physical and better all-around team winning this year, which is the way it should always be in football.

As predicted here months ago, USC did not finish undefeated, and Texas is the champion. There still is no school that has ever won three consecutive titles.

On a personal note, watching the game was a truly unbelievable and cleansing experience. Other than the sorry San Francisco 49ers, I hate USC more than any other sports team, and listening to Trojan fans gloat for the last three years was making me sick. The feeling of victory really was magnificent, good therapy, and, dare I say, even better than sex.

Congratulations to those who bet on Texas to win the championship, at odds as high as 12 to 1 before the season started.

It’s hard now to focus on this weekend’s NFL playoff games, but here are some predictions anyway:

Washington at Tampa Bay-This is a rematch of the November 13 game won by Tampa Bay at home 36-35. The Buccaneers won on a two-point conversion from the one-yard line with 58 seconds left, after a blocked extra point was nullified by an off-sides penalty. More than 700 yards were gained and at least 10 points were scored in each quarter. The bet is on the Over 37 points total.

Jacksonville at New England-Since quarterback Tom Brady is undefeated in the playoffs and has won three Super Bowls, the expectation is a New England victory. But Jacksonville has lost by more than 8 points only once all season, and scored 20 or more in its last seven road games. The pick again is Over 37 1/2.

Carolina at the New York Giants-As strong as New York is at home, Carolina on the road is almost equally as good, so we’ll take another shot on a total. Partially due to defensive injuries, seven of the last eight Giant games have scored at least 44 points. Once more, the choice is Over 43 1/2.

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati-Pittsburgh has won and covered six of eight road games this year, and four out of five as a road favorite, with the one non-cover occurring when out-dated Tommy Maddox was quarterback. Cincinnati has covered only one of its last seven home games. True to form, the road team won both regular-season meetings between these division rivals. The decided edge in playoff experience helps make the pick here Pittsburgh -3.

Super Bowl-1993 was the last time both No. 1 seeds reached the Super Bowl, so one must assume that either Indianapolis or Seattle won’t get there. Considering the much stiffer competition in the AFC, and the recent distractions due to head coach Tony Dungy’s son’s tragic death, it would seem that Indy is the one destined to lose.

The AFC has won six of the last eight Super bowls.

Prediction-If injured linebacker Tedy Bruschi can play at a high level, the pick is New England to beat Seattle.