Roll Tide or Go Bucks?

Roll Tide or Go Bucks?

Matt Trombley, Blake Wynveen
Daily Newsletters

Good morning! Mondays are hard, so we hope the Sprint makes your day a bit brighter. Thanks for spending some of your morning with us.

In today's Sprint:

  • 🏈   Wild Card takeaways
  • 🏆   CFP Natty
  • 🏀   Pay for Play delay

NFL

No Love Lost

The Deshaun Watson saga continues in Houston. The Miami Dolphins are reportedly interested in a trade for the three-time Pro Bowler and are willing to give up rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa to make it happen.

Why it makes sense: The deal works for all parties, allowing Miami to become an instant Super Bowl contender after an incredibly quick rebuild, and providing the Texans with the draft capital they lost from the failed Bill O’Brien era.

The trade would provide a fresh start for Watson, and give Tagovailoa a chance to develop in an organization that’s not in “win now” mode.

Wild Card Sunday

(12-5) Baltimore Ravens 20 vs. (11-6) Tennessee Titans 13

  • The Ravens and Titans do not like each other. Earlier this season, the Titans danced on the Ravens logo. Yesterday, the Ravens returned the favor. The Baltimore defense dominated, allowing only 40 yards rushing to Derrick Henry. Meanwhile, QB Lamar Jackson (313 total yards, 1 TD) earned his first career playoff victory.

13-4) New Orleans Saints 21 vs. (8-9) Chicago Bears 9

  • The NFL’s first-ever broadcast on Nickelodeon went well for young fans, filled with slime, simple football commentary, and some unexpected profanity. The same could not be said for Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears, who only managed 3 points until scoring a meaningless touchdown with no time left.

(12-5) Cleveland Browns 48 vs. (12-5) Pittsburgh Steelers 37

  • The Steelers’ opening snap sailed over QB Ben Roethlisberger’s head and into the end zone, where the Browns recovered it. That play would serve as a model for the rest of the first half as the Browns took a 35-10 lead. Pittsburgh played better in the second half but failed to make up the huge deficit.

WATER COOLER TALK
  • 🥊   Undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is being coaxed back into the ring after a surprising retirement earlier this year.
  • ⛳   Harris English won the PGA Sentry Tournament of Champions after going to a 1-hole playoff against Joaquin Niemann. This is English’s first Tour win since 2013.
  • ⚾   Recent evidence that baseball’s top pitchers use ball-doctoring substances came to light after an incriminating text from Gerrit Cole surfaced in a lawsuit.
  • 🏀   Despite 45 points from Zach LaVine, the Chicago Bulls fell 127-130 to the Los Angeles Clippers.
  • 🏈   Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Peterson is on thin ice with the team after a 4-11-1 season a mere 3 years after a Super Bowl victory.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Natty Bound

The 2020-2021 college football season was anything but normal. At some points, we wondered if this day would ever come. But we made it! The College Football Playoff National Championship is tonight.

The Game: The #3 Ohio State Buckeyes take on #1 Alabama Crimson Tide at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN. A battered and bruised Justin Fields will try to keep the Buckeyes offense rolling while Alabama will be led by Heisman winning receiver DeVonta Smith. Look out for a high-scoring affair.

Some of the Sprint crew are rolling with the Tide, but not everyone is convinced Alabama will win its third title in five years. Who do you think is right?

The case for OSU: Justin Fields and co were counted out against Clemson and put together their best performance of the season to beat the Tigers. In this one, RB Trey Sermon plays a huge role, handling 20+ carries to keep the chains moving and the Alabama offense on the sideline.

The case for Bama: Nobody on the Buckeyes will be able to cover DeVonta Smith. And if OSU focuses too much on him, expect RB Najee Harris, who finished 5th in the Heisman race, to find plenty of room to run.


NCAA

Player's Pay Delayed

The NCAA was scheduled to vote on rules and regulations in regards to athletes profiting on their likeness. However, the President of the NCAA sent out an email stating that he strongly recommends delaying the vote.

Why it matters: Although trends point toward college athletes being paid in the near future, these delays show how far the movement still has to go. Recently, some states attempted to make changes to benefit players, but until anything formal happens through the NCAA, it’s just wishful thinking.


TRIVIA

How many college programs have made it to the College Football Playoff Final since its inception in the 2014 - 2015 season?

  1. 8
  2. 6
  3. 4
  4. 10

SHARE THE SPRINT

If you enjoyed today's Sprint, share it with a friend. They'll thank you and so will we.


TRIVIA ANSWER

B. 6 - Oregon, Ohio State, Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, and LSU

Want Sideline Sprint, the best daily sports newsletter, delivered to your inbox every morning? Try it today - it's free.