Ralph Malbrough / Contibuting Writer
Now the Saints are out of the playoffs some of you might be wondering, 'Who should I root for in the playoffs?' Well, I'm here to help.
I know some LSU fans rooted for Auburn against Oregon because they think when an SEC team wins a bowl game, especially the national championship, it proves the SEC is the best football conference the WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN! I don't. The SEC is the best conference in college football because the schools spend the most money and the fans are crazy. If you don't believe me, just find the delusional minority of LSU fans who wanted Les Miles to go to Michigan. What a great idea! Let's run off the coach who is 62-17, 5-1 in bowl games, and has won a BCS crown. Every SEC team has a percentage of fans who think their coach sucks and needs to go coach in the ACC or some league where schools don't even know what a football is.
(By the way I could not be happier Les Miles is staying. I love his goofy press conferences, hyper aggressive gameday strategy and he's made Saturday fantastic in the fall for six years. Les Miles turned down Michigan TWICE and he's going to be the greatest coach in LSU history -- not Charlie Mac, not Nick Saban. LSU is cleaning up yet again in recruiting, he has a great coaching staff, and if he and Gary Crowton can coax just good quarterback play next year LSU will hoist crystal ball number three. Ok back to the column.)
I hate Auburn, Alabama, Florida, and any other SEC team who might beat LSU. * I don't hate you Vanderbilt because my mom told me I shouldn't hate or be mean to puppies, children, or the needy like you.
If I hated Urban Myer all year because he's the Brett Favre or college football coaches and changes his mind ever 10 minutes on whether he'll coach I can't root for him against 345-year-old Joe Paterno in a bowl game. Same thing applies with Atlanta and if you tell me, 'If the Falcons win the Super Bowl, it proves the NFC South is the best division in all the land so I'm pulling for them.' We can't be friends anymore. My dream of Atlanta never winning a Super Bowl is all I have left to make it through the winter. I'm petty, small, and misery loves company so the Falcons need to come to my house where the playoffs ARE DEAD.
To the games
Last Week: 2-2
Pittsburgh (-3) vs. Baltimore: I hate both these teams. Ray Lewis and Big Ben annoy me with their off field issues and on field demeanor. Ray Lewis' dance got old in 2005 while Ben Roethlisberger looks like he'd make a pass at your sister, wife, or eat your food when you were out on a Saturday. I'll be rooting for the Ravens because Steelers fans are like roaches; anywhere they are people wish they weren't. Pittsburgh and New York Yankees fans are hated everywhere but in their own cities. I'll be rooting for unibrow and the Ravens just because I want Steelers fans to be sad all over America, but they probably won't be.
Green Bay (+2) at Atlanta: Strangely, watching the Packers win in Atlanta will make the loss in Seattle worse because all Saints fans will be saying, '$$^@%$! If the Saints win against the Seahawks homefield in the NFC was there for the taking.' Mike Smith running the ball on 3rd and 3 with 2:45 left and letting the Packers get the ball back to win will ease the pain a little.
Chicago (-9.5) vs. Seattle: I can't decide if 10 minutes after kickoff when Matt Hasselbeck is limping around on a bad hip and has thrown two picks I'll be yelling, 'Where the hell was this Seahawk team last week?' or maybe Jay Cutler will keep the Seahawks in the game and Seattle will be hosting the NFC Championship? My guess is Seattle used everything they had to beat the Saints and will look like a hung-over college student desperate for coffee because of the early kickoff time. Seahawks either win or get hammered because that's what they did all year. They get hammered.
New England (-9.5) vs. New York Jets: Mark Sanchez looks injured to me. The Jets won in Indy but Sanchez was terrible mostly. The Patriots are going to win their fourth Super Bowl and we are powerless to stop it.
(Ralph Malbrough is a Saints fan living in Houston. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, find him on facebook, or listen to his Saints draft night podcast at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/forecastradio)