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The BCS Championship Had Points After All

Batting Around is BC Sports' look back at the week's happenings in the world o' sports, presented in a lineup card format for some undisclosed reason.

The Lineup Card

1. QB Matt Flynn
2. LB Ali Highsmith
3. QB Eli Manning
4. C Shaquille O'Neal
5. DF Joleon Lescott
6. 1B Carlos Delgado
7. G Manny Legace
8. Andy Murray
9. SP Roger Clemens
Coach: June Jones

1. QB Matt Flynn — Preview columns die quickly, and for good reason. Ninety percent of what's written is usually torn to shreds by what actually happens in the game. Sort of like this BCS Championship Game preview on Monday.

"The quarterbacks wouldn't make an impact," and such. Phooey. Flynn threw four touchdowns to just one interception and completed 70 percent of his passes in LSU's 38-24 pasting of Ohio State. Hey, Flynn may not be an NFL quarterback, but he was the leader of a national championship team on this night. In a man's heart, sometimes that's all that matters.

But sometimes being right is nice too. Maybe next year.

And on the other side, Ohio State put up 24 points. Really? The same team who couldn't score more than 20 against Akron at home? All right then.

2. LB Ali Highsmith — But I can't depart this game without mentioning someone on the defense. Ricky Jean-François won the defensive MVP Award, and well deserved at that, but Highsmith (Ooh! One of the guys I mentioned in the preview!) had eight tackles and a key 4th down fumble-slash-sack on Todd Boeckman that really quashed a potential comeback. Sure, Ohio State shot themselves in the foot worse with that roughing-the-punter penalty in the third quarter, but in terms of plays LSU made to protect the lead, Highsmith had the defensive play of the game.

For what it's worth, Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis had 18 tackles — 12 solo. No other cool stats, though. Just cool tats.

(I have nowhere else to put this couple of pence into the debate, but why is the Big Ten all of a sudden being wet upon by everyone? Didn't Ohio State just make the national championship game in it's rebuilding year? Didn't Michigan, a team that lost to a I-AA school, beat defending national champion Florida in a bowl game? Didn't LSU, this year's the national champion, lose to two unranked schools? I'm not here to say the Big Ten is better than this conference or that conference, but wow. Huge shot at the Big Ten out of nowhere.)

3. QB Eli Manning — Speaking of quarterback performances I didn't expect. Hoo, boy. I think Manning's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last weekend finally grew some hair on his chin, not to mention other areas of male the anatomy where stubble ought flourish. Now he can use that razor Peyton Manning got him for Christmas. And not the Lady Bic gag gift Usi Umenyiora got him his rookie season. (Note: this is a contrived story.)

Manning's 20-for-27, 185-yard, 2 touchdown performance didn't exactly silence the unforgiving New York media, but they are a few decibels quieter. They still need to beat the Cowboys next week for that to happen, at which point they'll continue to be quieter. This is dangerous territory. Any more silence over the city and we'll actually be able to hear people urinating on the subway.

4. C Shaquille O'Neal — Rumors are so much fun. (And easy to spread!) Apparently Shaq is handling his divorce pretty well:

"Every time Shaq is in town, I get the call, and let me tell you: He's got more women leaving his hotel room then any celebrity I've ever seen. Every time he stayed at the Marriott in South Beach, he had a blonde or a brunette with him."

That's from a cab driver who often drives Shaq around. Or at least used to drive him around Miami.

I can't imagine being Shaq's mistress would be all that fun. First of all, if the chick is any shorter than 6-feet tall, it's like sitting in the handicapped stall of the public bathroom. (Unnecessarily oversized.) And because of his toe, what should normally last an hour would be limited to 21 minutes.

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