The Peterson Principle 1/7/13

Ray Lewis: Best ever?

Have you moved off the couch for the last week and a half? If you’re a football fan, and aren’t we all? it’s been heaven with a bowl game nearly every night followed by the start of the NFL playoffs this past weekend.The wives and girlfriends might not be too happy but you’ll just have to add a little extra to the “Honey Do” lists once the deluge of games is over.

From now on is it fair to say that anybody who is the victim of a big hit just got “Clowneyed.” And what made South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney’s hit even cooler was that it was perfectly clean. Also it wasn’t delivered with a running start and yet he still managed to dislodge the ball and the helmet from the Michigan running back.

To this point I’ve always been a Lane Kiffin advocate. But after that performance in the Sun Bowl it would be hard to argue with Pat Haden if he decided to show Kiffin the door. There are way too many questions and not enough answers. How do you play like that after three weeks of preparation? How do you lose by two touchdowns to a team that came into the game with a record that was under .500? Is Max Wittek the starting quarterback going into next year? Why do the Trojans seemingly come out flat every game?

Haden won’t fire Kiffin. If he was going to get canned it would have happened already. But you can bet 2013 is do or die for Lane.

UCLA had a good season, not great. Three straight losses to close the season including that thrashing by Baylor in the Holiday Bowl took some of the bloom off the rose. Mora has the Bruins on the right track but there are still a few hurdles to clear. Baylor’s offense was simply to fast for UCLA.

Has it already been four years since Arcadia’s Todd Golper started at UCLA? His last game was the Holiday Bowl.

Johnny “Football” Manziel lived up to the Heisman hype with a huge game in the Cotton Bowl. Good thing he ‘s not eligible for the NFL draft now or he’d be gone. It’s rare to see a kid that young (freshman) dominate a game in football the way he did against Oklahoma. You see it in basketball regularly but it’s rare in football. Manziel will be playing on Sundays soon enough.

Oregon scores every way possible. In the win over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl the Ducks even scored on a one point safety. Kansas State blocked an extra point and when it was recovered and the K-State player tried to return it and was tackled in the end zone it was by rule a one-point safety. Anybody still think De’Anthony Thomas made the wrong decision in going to Oregon?

I think it’s time to get somebody other than Wisconsin into the Rose Bowl. The Badgers became the third team in history to lose three consecutive Rose Bowl games. And they left Pasadena with six losses overall.

Lawrence Taylor, Dick Butkus, Jack Lambert, Mike Singletary, Ray Nitschke, Willie Lanier…there’s a lot of players that a case can be made for best linebacker ever. But does Ray Lewis move to the top of the list? You have to consider that he played 17 years, and presided over a defense in 2000 that carried the Ravens to a Super Bowl victory. I’m not saying it’s cut and dried but with Lewis announcing his retirement this week, it’s just a thought that should be considered.

With Robert Griffin III hobbled, the Redskins were cooked.

Love wildcard weekend but the Texans-Bengals game was a cure for insomnia.

I like Alabama over Notre Dame.

Don’t start on that list just yet. The Super Bowl is not until February.

That’s my principle.

Tim can be reached at

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