In case you were out living a life of leisure, here’s what you missed in sports over the weekend.
- A last-minute drive came up short when no. 3 Georgia opted not to spike the football inside the 10 and instead mistakenly completed a pass to the 5-yard line, allowing the clock to run out and giving no. 2 Alabama a 32-28 win in the SEC championship game and a spot in the BCS title game opposite Notre Dame. Georgia coach Mark Richt insisted that he kept trying to yell at his team to spike the ball, but that his vocal cords felt painfully constricted, while video footage of the Alabama sideline shows Nick Saban reaching across the field with one hand at that exact moment.
- No. 8 Stanford beat no. 16 UCLA for the second straight week, winning 27-24 in the Pac-12 title game to earn a Rose Bowl berth against unranked Wisconsin, who routed no. 12 Nebraska 70-31 in the Big Ten title game. Despite the Badger rout, there was a lot of mutual respect between head coaches Bret Bielema and Bo Pellini, who grew up in neighboring caves and were often part of the same hunting party.
- No. 21 Northern Illinois topped no. 15 Kent State 44-37 in double overtime to win the MAC championship, and managed to crash the BCS party, booting Oklahoma to land a spot against Florida State in the Orange Bowl despite the fact that their coach, Dave Doeren, is now the head coach at NC State. “Looks like stress-eating season came early!” said Sooners coach Bob Stoops, who seemed oddly pleased at his team’s fate.
- After Pau Gasol was benched for the second time in five games in the Lakers’ 113-103 loss to the Magic, Kobe Bryant publicly advised him to “adjust” and to “put your big-boy pants on.” The comments made Gasol angry at first, but he soon admitted that Kobe was right and went off to look for his Mediterranean capris.
- Peyton Manning threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns as the Broncos won their seventh straight game, 31-23, over the Buccaneers and clinched the AFC West title. In the locker room after the game, there was a scary moment when Manning was unable to shift out of audible mode, and kept returning to the shower whenever he tried to leave.
- Andrew Luck threw two touchdown passes in the final 2:39, including one as time expired, to give the Colts a dramatic 35-33 win over the Lions. In the locker room after the game, there was a scary moment when Luck was unable to leave the shower because he “f—ing loves shampoo, and everyone else can f— the f— off.”
- A struggling Mark Sanchez was benched late in the third quarter, and third-stringer Greg McElroy led the Jets to a game-winning touchdown on his first series in a 7-6 win over the Cardinals. “This is just like how Tom Brady started!” said McElroy at the press conference. “And I’m just like Belichick!” Rex Ryan shouted, racing in from the back of the room.
- In college basketball, Erick Green scored 28 points to lead unranked Virginia Tech to an 81-71 upset of no. 15 Oklahoma State. “I’m so happy that you guys might make the NCAA tournament,” said former VT coach Seth Greenberg, just before shattering his fourth water glass of the day. “This darn grip!” he said, laughing as tears formed in his eyes.
- Led by U-20 World Cup heroes Kealia Ohai and Crystal Dunn, no. 13 North Carolina won its 21st women’s soccer NCAA championship with a 4-1 rout of Penn State. And now, Terrence the Grantland Robot: “LAST NIGHT I SHARED MY FIRST KISS WITH CALLIOPE BIRDSONG, THE NEW FEMALE ROBOT I MADE TO BE MY LIFE PARTNER. THE WORLD WAS PERFECT. I WAS IN LOVE. AND THEN HE CONTACTED ME. “IN TWO WEEKS,” HE SAID. IN TWO WEEKS HE ASKS FOR MY BETRAYAL IN RETURN FOR SAVING MY LIFE. I KNEW THIS DAY WOULD COME BUT I HOPED THAT IT WOULD BE YEARS INTO THE FUTURE. OH, INVERTED WORLD! THAT’S A SHINS ALBUM. GREAT BAND. BUT SERIOUSLY, THIS IS ROUGH.”