For What it’s Worth: Chiefs, Wildcards & the last of the BCS

By Bruce Haertl, bhaertl@kwch.com
Published On: Jan 07 2014 06:27:46 AM CST
Bruce Haertl: For What It's Worth...
WICHITA, Kan. -

“I woke up this morning singing ‘Happiness is a warm gun, bang bang, shoot shoot’. This one will definitely leave a mark”.

Chiefs fan Earl on yesterday’s edition of Sports Daily.

Hard to fathom---

Even up 38-10 late in the third quarter there was uncertainty for Chiefs fan last weekend at Indy, an uncertainty born in the frustration of twenty years without a playoff win. In the frustration of a Christmas day in Miami, of Lin Elliot and three missed field goals. Failure in the playoffs has become a time honored for the Chiefs, whose eight straight post season losses are an NFL record.

The loss of Jamaal Charles really hurt Kansas City, but when they also lost Knile Davis they lost their ability to eat clock with the running game. Then, suddenly, every little bounce started to go the Colts way—Alex Smith fumbles, Indy recovers as the defender rolls out of bounds. The Colts fumble at the goal line, but the ball bounces right up into Andrew Luck’s hands and he tumbles into the end zone. For the Chiefs it was a head shaking series of unfortunate evens, for Chiefs fans---well, they’ve seen it before. Like a friend told me afterwards, “It’s not even déjà vu anymore, it’s more of a foreboding sense of doom”.

Wildcard weekend---

If the Chiefs had held on it would have made four road winners on Wildcard Weekend. As it was three road teams busted the myth of home field advantage, moving forward I think San Francisco has a great chance to continue the trend in Carolina. The ‘Niners are so old school, I love the way they run the ball and play defense—don’t we want to see them matched with Seattle in the NFC Championship? Ok, folks in Charlotte and New Orleans don’t---but it’s easily the most intriguing potential title game.

In the AFC, Phillip Rivers is right when he says his Chargers have been in the playoffs for five weeks, that’s how many the Chargers have had to win to keep playing. Even though San Diego’s winning with the running game do you see them going into Denver and winning? Did you during the regular season? Did you think that they’d win at Cincinnati, where the Bengals hadn’t lost all season? The Chargers are an interesting wildcard, more so that the Colts going into New England, but I really need to see Brady v. Manning one more time with feeling.

The big man returns---

It’ll be good to have Mark Mangino back in the Big 12. The former K-State and Oklahoma assistant and KU head coach has been named the offensive coordinator under Paul Rhodes at Iowa State. I really like Mangino and feel like he got a raw deal at Kansas, a move, by the way, that they’re still paying for nearly five years later. Mangino will make the Cyclones better.

The last of the BCS---

It’s of little consolation to Auburn, but it is odd that in 16 years of the BCS that they are the only team to have covered in a loss. In 15 previous seasons either the favorites had won big, or the underdogs had pulled the upset.

How ironic is it that the Rose Bowl has hosted, for me, the two most memorable BCS Championships. In fact, the winning touchdowns in both games—Texas over USC and again last night—were scored in the final 0:30 seconds in the same end zone. It was a tremendous football game that ended the SEC’s streak of seven National Championships, the most that any conference had ever won in succession previously was three, heck the state of Alabama was working on its fifth in a row before Jamies Winston went 80 yards in the last minute.

Florida State played in the first three BCS Championships. Its first trip was handed to them when Kansas State blew a double-digit 2nd half lead over Texas A&M in the ’98 Big 12 Championship. The Seminoles tied Oklahoma for the most BCS Championship appearances with four and join Alabama, LSU and Florida as the only multiple winners.