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The "Festivus" Jumbo Package │12.23.14

Your yearly dose of sports related grievances and hot takes.

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

First the relevant articles..

SEC Basketball: Esteemed Round Table Discusses The Season So Far - Team Speed Kills

Which newcomer (freshman or transfer) has impressed you the most this season [if you name a UK player I'd also appreciate a second pick too]? CH: Ricky Tarrant at Alabama.  He didn't do too mcuh against Wichita State the other night, but they needed him to be an impact addition this season, and he's done that and then some. I'm not sure he can keep it up, but it's been the best avenue that Anthony Grant has to keeping his job.

With degree now in hand, D.J. Pettway made the most of his second chance for Alabama |

Alabama head coach Nick Saban took the platform to charge back against those who railed against him or anyone for giving people second chances. "Where do you want them to be? Guy makes a mistake. Where do you want them to be? Want them to be in the street? Or do you want them to be here, graduating," Saban said.

Tide's Blake Sims, Jalston Fowler accept Senior Bowl invites - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Bowl officials confirmed that both players will play in the game. The Senior Bowl website lists 95 players who have accepted invitations to play in the game which will be Jan. 24, 2015 at Ladd Pebbles Stadium in Mobile. Sims set a Crimson Tide single season record with 3,250 yards passing with 26 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He's also run for six touchdowns. "Blake is one of the great stories in all of college football," Reese's Senior Bowl Executive Director Phil Savage said in a press release. "He was not on our initial watch list in August, yet played into our game through his efforts and production on the field."

Dre Kirkpatrick intercepts Peyton Manning twice, including a pick-6 |

With Cincinnati holding a two-point lead, Kirkpatrick picked off a short pass intended for wide receiver Demaryius Thomas on a third-and-1 snap from the Denver 29-yard line and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown with 2:41 left in the game. "It was just a great read," Kirkpatrick said on ESPN Radio's "The Freddie Coleman Show" immediately after the game, "playing my technique, staying outside, doing the things my coach has coached me up to do all week, and I just went out there and made a great play on the ball."

Urban Meyer, Ohio State out to prove they're no underdogs against Alabama |

"We're not there yet," Meyer said last week when I asked about the underdog idea for this game compared to eight years ago. "We'll see what kind of team we have"

The story behind Derrick Henry's 'Tractorcito' nickname and the announcer who coined it |

"Really? And I go to the Internet and Google it and the first thing was a meme with a tractor," Viruega said by phone from Bristol. It was a spontaneous moment inspired by Henry's big game. "I remember that we called the guy 'Tractorcito' because every time he got the ball, he was pushing and pushing and pushing and pushing," Viruega said. "And I remember asking 'OK, why doesn't Nick Saban put El Tractorcito on the field?' And when we say that, (Henry ran) the screen pass and took it to the end zone."

Now your sports related airing of grievances..

I'll start with the universities of Clemson, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Louisville, Miami, Boston College, Florida, and Georgia Tech.

Boston College and Georgia Tech get a pass because they are Boston College and Georgia Tech but the rest of you should be ashamed of yourselves. Clemson, you didn't even have to face Winston and you still couldn't pull out the win. NC State...You had a 17 point lead in the 1st quarter and lost by 15. Seriously?

Don't even get me started with Louisville and your 21 point lead, losing by double digits at home, self.. And dammit Notre Dame, you can't even run a simple pick play without tripping over your clovers...

SMH Hurricanes, what exactly is this patheticness? Let us not forget Florida forced four Winston interceptions and only managed to score 13 points...

What gives? Are y'all so #ACC that you don't know what it feels like to play with a lead? Did this collective group all forget that football games last for four quarters?

Finally, NFL, we have a problem. You see, you've made everyone believe that playoffs are the only way declare a true champion. Now, while that may be somewhat true, your format is flawed. You'll allow a team with a losing record to make the playoffs. Shame on you and a pox on all your houses. Because of you (and the NCAA basketball tournament that by the way has made the basketball regular season nigh unwatchable) College Football now has to deal with the playoff committee and teams complaining about who's the 5th best team. So thanks for that.

We also have people trying to make college football look and feel just like the NFL. I swear, if some 8-4 ACC team makes the CFP in the future, I'm going to blame you. Forever.