Saturday, November 05, 2011

Sports columnist Aaron McFarling: Would the Game of the Century by any other name be as huge?

This week's Q&A-Mac is brought to you by THE GAME OF THE CENTURY™.

Q: Why the all-caps and trademark symbol?

A: We've got to distinguish today's GAME OF THE -CENTURY™ from other games of the century. We've had about six of 'em already, and the century's only a little more than a decade old. Ohio State-Michigan in 2006 comes to mind.

Q: Don't like the label for LSU-Alabama, huh?

A: Huge game. Can't wait. We're just a little myopic with our labeling process, that's all. Either that, or we think the rest of the century's going to be pretty lousy.

We're like the poker player who goes all in with pocket 8s on the third hand of the day. Sure, you might win, but you might want to consider waiting for aces. We've got 89 years before we can make a reasonable determination on this.

Q: About the matchup itself: Saw in the Forecasters that you picked LSU despite the Tigers being a five-point underdog on the road. Reason?

A: LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee has a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 13-to-1, best in the SEC. In a game that figures to be decided on turnovers, that's huge.

Alabama QB A.J. McCarron has a solid 10-to-3 ratio, but he doesn't have the experience Lee does. He falters under the aberrant pressure; Tigers win a tight one.

Q: Is this your lock of the century?

A: Heck, no. I'm last in the Forecasters. Even Mark Berman's laughing at me now.

Q: I would be too after seeing you pick that woeful Maryland crowd over UVa today. Did you see that Terps-Boston College game last week?

A: Yes. And it was much more lopsided than the final score (28-17 Eagles) indicated. The Terps are a mess right now. They couldn't stop Giles High School's rushing attack.

Q: Well, in fairness, the single wing is a beast. And the running game is UVa's strength, right?

A: It is. The Cavs should feast on the ground. On top of that, the media in the D.C. area have turned on Maryland coach Randy Edsall, and you wonder if some players have, too.

For a guy who preached "all substance, no style" at ACC media days -- and had practiced that philosophy at UConn -- his team has garnered 10 times as much interest for its uniforms than its play.

Q: So wait -- you're picking the Cavs then?

A: Nope. Everything you thought you knew about momentum, throw it out with that UVa team. Up †down †up †down. Vegas is right to favor the Cavs here, but I can't trust 'em. Not yet. Somehow, Maryland wins.

Q: Boy, that's some brilliant analysis. Flipping coins, are we?

A: Something like that.

Q: Reader comment of the week on the blog?

A: A lot of long ones that were really strong. Let's go with a shorter one from Original Greg on the potential impact of LSU coach Les Miles on THE GAME OF THE CENTURY™:

"I'm leaning toward LSU also, but the Mad Hatter brings a huge unknown dimension to the game. Is he going to fake punt on his own 20 in the first quarter? Fake field goal on a 4th-and-20? You never know with that guy."

Q: Agree?

A: Yeah, the dude scares me, too. But his luck over the years has been uncanny. I'd love to see him on a game show.

Miles: "I'd like to buy a vowel ... Q."

Sajak: "Wow. That's a new one. Judges? OK, we'll give it to him. And there are eight Q's!"

Q: By the way, have you ever seen the old game show "Sale of the Century?"

A: You bet I have. And there's a title that is not overstated. That fabulous program and "Press Your Luck" got me through a lot of summers as a kid. They just don't make them like that anymore.

Q: "Press Your Luck" was sweet, wasn't it?

A: No doubt. But we're way off track now, thanks. Annnnnnd ... Stop!

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