The allure of an All-Harbaugh Super Bowl hangs in the air like a promise unfulfilled. Both the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers were here last year. Both got no farther. Will this year be different? Will the Harbaughs meet in the year’s biggest game? Will either make it that far?
#5 Syracuse at Louisville
Syracuse has only one loss this season, a record that has earned the the #6 position in the polls. Saturday they face another 16-1 team, the #1 Louisville Cardinals. A win for the Orange would be a huge boost. A loss for Louisville would knock them out of the top spot, probably for good.
#4 The Australian Open
It’s the first Grand Slam of the new year. It’s the first chance to see Serena Williams brutalize whichever poor women earn the misfortune of facing her on the court. Meanwhile, on the men’s side, Novak Djokovic is looking to repeat as Down Under champ.
#3 AFC Conference Championship
The Baltimore Ravens are playing way over their heads. They had no business winning last week or even the week before. Yet they did. The Ravens have a shot at the Super Bowl. There is one minor little detail standing between them and the big game. The New England Patriots have been here before and came out on top. They have home field advantage. They have Tom Brady. And former bit player Shane Vereen is suddenly an unstoppable force in the open field. OK, maybe that’s more than one minor detail. That’s several major details.
It’s not a hoax! Not a dream! Not an imaginary story! The 2013 NHL Hockey season is a reality. And it begins on Saturday with a slate of thirteen games with six more on Sunday. The Los Angeles Kings — you’re forgiven if you’ve forgotten last year’s winner during the long, dark months of no hockey — will begin their quest to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions on Saturday at 3 pm ET.
#1 NFC Conference Championship
The San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons were the two best teams in the NFC during the regular season. They are undoubtedly the two teams that should be competing in the NFC Conference Championship for a chance to go to the Super Bowl. The 49ers should have been there last year but blew it on two awful special teams plays. The Falcons have been consistently impressive all season long and managed to win ugly last week. Somebody has to lose. The trick is to avoid being that somebody on Sunday.
(Images: U.S. Army, Dept of Defense)