You thought 2017 was crazy? Here's our look at 2018!by J.W. Miller on 01/01/18
The new year starts off with a bang in New Orleans as Alabama defeats Clemson 20-17 in the Sugar Bowl to avenge its championship game loss a year ago. The title game is an All-SEC affair after Georgia picks off four Baker Mayfield passes to defeat Oklahoma 31-14, then rolls over the Tide 27-24 for their first national championship since Herschel Walker was a pup. Paul Finebaum declares the SEC as the best conference of all time in any sport, any country.
LSU Coach Ed Orgeron fires Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada and hires his old Northwestern State teammate Bobby Hebert. Said Orgeron: “Hey, Bob and me unnerstand each udder, which me and dat Canuck could not be doin’ all season, me!” In the NFL, the Saints beat the Panthers and Eagles in the playoffs but fall to the Vikings in the conference championship game. Minnesota can’t solve the Pittsburgh pass rush in the Super Bowl, losing to the Steelers, 27-13, as LB Bud Dupree is named MVP with three sacks of QB Case Keenum.
The Saints re-sign Drew Brees to a two-year, $54 million contract, but lose Kenny Vaccaro to Carolina in NFL Free Agency. Commissioner Roger Goodell opens the NFL’s March meeting with the national anthem, but Dallas owner Jerry Jones takes a knee. The league’s legal team recommends an NBA-type lottery with the team whose name is drawn required to sign QB Colin Kaepernick. New England owner Bob Kraft says if they are modeling the NBA, then the lottery should be “weighted” with the playoff teams having fewer chances than the teams with the worst records. Owners from the Browns, Giants, Texans and Jets immediately protest, and the recommendation is tabled until the next lawsuit is filed.
In NCAA basketball, UNO wins the Southland Conference tournament and upsets No. 4 seed Kentucky to advance to the round of 32. Coach John Calipari says the Wildcats’ disappointing season is the best thing that could happen since only two of his top eight players will be drafted and the others will return. UNO falls to Villanova which defeats Texas A&M in the championship game for the men’s title. Connecticut returns to the winner’s circle, defeating Immaculata for the women’s title.
In the NFL draft, the Browns take UCLA QB Josh Rosen with the No. 1 overall pick, followed by the Giants who take USC QB Sam Darnold then trade QB Eli Manning to Denver. Said Eli of the trade: “Great deal. Peyton says he will rent his house to me!” Picking 29th, the Saints draft Ohio State DE Sam Hubbard. Classic Empire wins the Kentucky Derby by a length over Gormley, but he can’t duplicate the Triple Crown feat of his half-brother American Pharoah, and is outrun by Gormley in the Preakness.
The Yankees, led by Aaron Judge’s 65 and Giancarlo Stanton’s 63, set a home run record but the team’s pitching falls apart, and the Red Sox win the AL East. The Sox upset the Astros in the ALCS final and beat the Dodgers for their fourth World Series title this century, after which David Ortiz annoucing he is coming out of retirement to "get one for the thumb!" Ortiz changes his mind after he is elected mayor of Boston.
LSU starts the college football season pounding Georgia Southern, 52-10, and winning impressively at Texas, 37-24. But after they come home and fall to Northwestern State, 21-0, Orgeron fires Hebert and hires sports talk show host Jim Rome to replace him. Said Orgeron: “Rome be da most offensive person I ever did meet, cher!” After an 8-4 season, the LSU Board of Supervisors fires AD Joe Alleva and hires Paul Finebaum. In announcing the shakeup, Chairman Stephen Perry said: “Nick Saban wouldn’t come back, and Finebaum is the closest thing to Saban we could find.”
The Saints go on an early season roll, winning their first 10 games despite losing QB Drew Brees for six of those games with a hamstring pull. Backup QB Taysom Hill doesn’t miss a beat in Brees’ absence, and his insistence on retaining his kick coverage duties saves the team a roster spot. Brees returns after Thanksgiving, and the Saints win their final six games to take the No. 1 seed going into the playoffs.
HEY, IT COULD HAPPEN! HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!