This You Gotta See: Bears host Cards, Bulls visit an old friend, CFB Playoff four revealed

We’re all such suckers. Of course Alabama is the new No. 1. Why didn’t we see it coming?

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2021 SEC Championship - Georgia v Alabama

Nick Saban and Bryce Young after the SEC title game.

Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

We’re all such suckers.

Of course Alabama is college football’s new No. 1. It’s playoff time, with the field set to be announced late Sunday morning, so what else was going to happen? Does anything else ever happen? Why didn’t all of us see this coming?

The Crimson Tide weren’t better than Georgia at any point in any week all season — right up until they trailed 10-0 on Saturday in the SEC championship game. And then quarterback Bryce Young went off with a “give me that Heisman” flurry of NFL-quality dimes. Wide receiver Jameson Williams made like DeVonta Smith. Safety Jordan Battle ran in a pick-six.

What did Georgia do? It got away from what it does best, which is run the ball and beat up the guys in the other jerseys. It got really desperate, really fast, and became an almost unrecognizable version of itself. That’s what Nick Saban’s teams do to opponents in big games. We’ve seen it so many times.

What did Alabama do? It Alabama-ed. That’s all. 

It gets kind of old sometimes. But it’s also amazing.

It’s the Tide’s world. Maybe Georgia will pay them back in the playoff, or maybe Georgia will get rolled again by an even worse score than 41-24. Which would be more surprising?

Saban’s next national title will be the eighth of his career and No. 7 at Alabama. Is it in the cards this season? It’ll probably be more enjoyable to pretend we don’t already know the answer.

Here’s what’s happening:


CBB: Northwestern at Maryland (11 a.m., BTN)

It’s the Wildcats’ Big Ten debut, and what a time to be visiting College Park. Mark Turgeon is out as coach. In Game 1 as the interim guy: Danny Manning. Believe it or not, some say he was an even better player than Chris Collins.

College Football Playoff rankings show (11:15 a.m., ESPN)

At last, the final four teams are revealed. Is Notre Dame in? And on a completely unrelated note, is LSU coach Brian Kelly seriously faking a Southern accent?

Arizona Cardinals v San Francisco 49ers

Murray should be back at it against the Bears.

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Cardinals at Bears (noon, Fox-32)

If Cards QB Kyler Murray’s ankle isn’t going to stop him from playing, any chance it can at least stop him from embarrassing the Bears’ defense?

Blackhawks at Islanders (6:30 p.m., NBCSCH)

How bad have the Isles been lately? Early-season-Hawks bad. Jeremy Colliton might have to save Barry Trotz a stool at the Pink Slip Saloon.

Broncos at Chiefs (7:20 p.m., Ch. 5, Peacock)

Which is worse if you’re Denver: Patrick Mahomes’ 7-0 record against you or Andy Reid’s 19-3 record coming off bye weeks? The correct answer is “yes.”


CBB: Illinois at Iowa (6 p.m., FS1)

Sadly, Kofi Cockburn-Luka Garza battles are a thing of the past with Garza off to the NBA. Are we the only ones who just assumed he’d go straight from Iowa to a 50-and-over league?

Nuggets at Bulls (7 p.m., NBCSCH)

Not to tell Billy Donovan how to do his job, but we’d stick with the game plan in which Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan combine for 60-plus points. Hey, it worked a couple of weeks back in Denver, didn’t it?

Patriots at Bills (7:15 p.m., ESPN)

If you go by point differential, these are the best two teams in the NFL. It also strongly indicates they share a division with the Jets.


Rangers at Blackhawks (7:30 p.m., NBCSCH)

The Rangers have been banged up all season — now goalie Igor Shesterkin is out — yet they keep winning all the time anyway. Isn’t that against the rules or something?

Cleveland Cavaliers v Washington Wizards

Markkanen has been A-OK lately for the Cavs.

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images


Bulls at Cavaliers (6 p.m., NBCSCH)

New Cavalier Lauri Markkanen has been playing some of the best basketball of his career lately, and you know what? Good for him.


Canadiens at Blackhawks (6 p.m., NBCSCH)

In a matter of months, the Habs have gone from the Stanley Cup Final to worst-team-on-the-planet territory. You’ve got to admit, that’s impressive.

Steelers at Vikings (7:20 p.m., Fox-32, NFL, Amazon)

Neither team has amounted to much this season, but there’s still some time left. Wait, is that a good thing?

FRI 10

CBB: DePaul at Louisville (7 p.m., ACC)

These schools haven’t played each other since 2013, when the Blue Demons lost to Louisville for a 10th straight time over an eight-year span. No wonder they took their ball and went home for a while.

SAT 11


The Army-Navy game is always special.


Army vs. Navy (2 p.m., Ch. 2)

The Black Knights and Midshipmen meet for the 122nd time, this one in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Geez, what did they do to deserve being sent there? 

MLS Cup final (2 p.m., Ch. 7, UniMas)

You’ve got to hand it to MLS — you never know who’s going to win the championship because it’s seemingly a different team every year. (Insert Fire joke here.)

CBB: Arizona at Illinois (4 p.m., Fox-32)

At least the Illini know that even if they’re down 15 points in the final minutes, Deron Williams, Luther Head and Dee Brown can pull them right back into it.

Bulls at Heat (7 p.m., NBCSCH+)

Their last game in Chicago — Heat 107, Bulls 104 — was a really good one. It’s just more fun, isn’t it, when neither team stinks?

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