Stanford stands alone as best one-loss team

A little of this, and a lot of that — gridiron edition:

– I don’t have a vote — and if there were any justice at all in the college football world, neither would anyone else — but it says here that the best one-loss team in America plays at Stanford Stadium.

It won’t mean much when Oregon and Auburn line up to play for the mythical “title,” but if a national playoff tournament was in place, I’d like the Cardinal’s chances better than any of the one-loss “State” teams — Ohio, Michigan or Boise — and as much as Wisconsin’s, too.

– Truth be told, I’d love to see Jim Harbaugh get a second crack at Chip Kelly — this time, on a neutral field — and Cam Newton’s Auburn Tigers looked like anything but a lock against top competition like Alabama on Friday. My kingdom for a last-man-standing tournament to find out for sure.

– The Denver Broncos were fined $100,000 for illegally videotaping a 49ers’ practice session in London. Perhaps if Josh McDaniels had videotaped his own practices as thoroughly last season, he might have noticed Peyton Hillis, now a superstar for the Cleveland Browns, and decided against trading him and two draft picks for a third-string quarterback.

– Deion Sanders is a semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, but don’t count the former Niner and Cowboy as a lock for induction. Neon Deion has reportedly told the Hall that a gold, diamond-encrusted bust will get him to the acceptance stage, but a plain bronze likeness just won’t do. Oh, and if he has to tackle anyone before high-stepping across the stage, he says he’s out.

– Pittsburgh Steelers’ linebacker James Harrison has unwittingly become the face of the NFL’s new anti-contact policy. Harrison clearly has a target on his back, and every official in the league seems to be packing a radar-locked-yellow-flag. The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year has already paid $80,000 in fines this year, and was hit with yet another 15-yard penalty for a standard, lower-the-shoulder-and-drive–through-the-QB hit on Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in the third quarter of Sunday’s game. Roger Goodell has apparently instructed officials that Harrison is no longer allowed to play tackle football. The league is embarrassing itself.

– Back to the BCS for a moment the arrogant, pompous president of Ohio State University, E. Gordon Gee, declared both Boise State and TCU to be unworthy of the BCS title game, because they play what he called a “Little Sisters of the Poor” type of schedule. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes placed powerful Eastern Michigan, Ohio University and Marshall on their nonconference schedule to join that treacherous “gauntlet” of Purdue, Indiana, Northwestern and Illinois. Hey Gordie, in case the walls of your glass house were too smudged for you to see clearly, your team has an abysmal record against top-5 and BCS opponents in the last six years. Maybe a stiffer schedule of your own will make your boys more battle-tested next time they come up against a true national contender.

– Anyone else notice how quickly Brett Favre’s health turns, depending on the outcome of games? After defeats, he’s a broken man complaining to the media of ankle injuries, sore shoulders and bad knees. But after scores in games they’re winning, how is he healthy enough to sprint downfield and jump into teammates’ arms like a little kid? Aspiring thespians, take notice of the Drama King at work.

– Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson and Tennessee Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan exchanged punches in Sunday’s 20-0 Texans win. According to established precedent set last week by the fair-and-balanced Roger Goodell, both men can expect a minor fine of $25,000. Right, Richard Seymour? We’ll see …

Bob Frantz is a freelance journalist and regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at

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