Ethan: I'm not even going to give you a setup this week. Just start complaining about the BCS. Go ahead, do it.

Amir: ILLINOIS IN THE ROSE BOWL?! A THREE LOSS TEAM FROM THE WORST CONFERENCE?! WHO WANTS TO SEE THESE GAMES?! NONE OF THEM ARE INTRIGUING! WHO CARES WHAT CONFERENCE THEY COME FROM— JUST LET THE BEST TEAMS PLAY AGAINST EACH OTHER!!!

Ethan: What? You're not excited about Navy and Utah in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl? Both QBs will be better than Philip Rivers. You're right on Illinois, though; they lost to Michigan, Iowa, and Mizzou, who should be in a BCS bowl if not for stupid rules.

Amir: You think Ron Zook cares about rules?

Ethan: Illinois' main qualifications seem to be beating an overrated Ohio State team, having a QB named "Juice," and Zook's text-messaging ability. You okay with the title matchup, though?

Amir: Ohio State is a one loss team, which is the new undefeated so I guess they have to be in there. But I still think USC is the best two-loss team I would have liked to see them in there over LSU. Though I like the Tigers blowing three opportunities in the same year to end the year number one. Triple the disappointment!

Ethan: You know who else would have one loss if they're played Ohio State's schedule? The Dillon Panthers from Friday Night Lights; they'd have beaten Kent State by 30. USC's only really impressive win was throttling Arizona State, and they lost to Stanford. That said, wouldn't you have been more excited for USC-LSU? Or Oklahoma-LSU? Or just a taped replay of the 2006 Rose Bowl instead of a national title game?

Amir: I think if I had to choose one game to watch it would be Hawaii/Georgia. It's the Boise State/OU of 2007. If you could only watch one bowl game, which would it be?

Ethan: Of the games in the first week of January? The International Bowl with Ball State and Rutgers. It's never a good sign when your bowl's sponsor is just an adjective, so get it while it lasts. Of the BCS games, I think VT-Kansas should be entertaining, and so will Oklahoma-WVU. Any game involving a covered wagon and a mountain man with a rifle has potential.

Amir: Send that guy to the BCS selection meeting. He'll get things changed.

Ethan:
Moving on to the NFL, isn't it great how the Pats' bandwagon is emptying? Not because they lost, but because they couldn't cover the spread.

Amir: There are two ways to think about these last two Patriot games: 1) Pats are unbeatable, they played their worst game possible and STILL WON! 2) The Pats are VERY beatable, you just have to be a .500 on the decline to challenge them. I for one think they are much more vulnerable then they were 5 weeks ago. I would bet against 19-0 right now… I just don't have the money on me. I'm good for it, though. Please… I'm begging you. Don't break my legs!

Ethan: Are you insane? You want a .500 team on the decline, take the Lions. Not only would the Pats force Kitna to fumble nine times, they'd convert him to Islam. This week showed the blueprint for beating the Pats: keep running the ball and wear out their old linebackers, but I can't think that's a new strategic development. No one noticed Junior Seau was 55 years young before this week?

Amir:At least he doesn't have a history of stroke. Are you telling me Patriot fans aren't concerned they made Kyle Boller look like… AJ Feeley?

Ethan: How can Patriots fans be upset about anything? Sure, most of them probably miss Drew Bledsoe, but the worst thing anyone's saying about the team is that they might not go 19-0. If they can get past Pittsburgh this week, I think they'll get past the QB trio of Kellen Clemens, John Beck, and Eli. God, that sounds like a Pro Bowl ballot someone filled out after a bottle of Mad Dog. So, can the Steelers pull it off this weekend?

Amir: Dude, this Orange Jubilee is so tasty. Vote for Jerramy Stevens at TE. Of course the Steelers can pull it off. They're better than the Eagles and the Ravens. I think any team with a competent running attack can give the Patriots a run for their money. Steelers have one of the best in the league. How great would it be if the 0-14 Dolphins are the ones to beat them? They did score 28 on them last time they played…

Ethan: "Of course?" You think it's a foregone conclusion? I agree that the Steelers have the pass rush, running game, and elusive QB needed to beat the Pats, but the Steelers' running game never scores. That's why Willie Parker's fantasy owners are depressed and Steely McBeam is getting some reps as a goal-line back in practice. I like the Pats this week. Of course, I also liked the Packers last week. Oops. Can the Cowboys go ahead and print ugly "NFC Champs!" caps?

Amir: The only team that can give the Cowboys a challenge may not make the playoffs, but if the Vikings get in… any team with Adrian Peterson has a chance to win. They're like a fantasy team.

Ethan: I'd like Cowboys-Vikings just for the coaches' press conferences. Who's going to win: the team coached by the Rich Texan from the Simpsons or the one coached by that creepy neighborhood guy with the mustache whose house your parents never let you trick-or-treat at? The Cowboys should win the NFC, though, but they're a terrible matchup against the Pats, as we've seen already. Any thoughts on college hoops?

Amir:I just hope this season is as wacky as football has been. #1's going down, mid majors coming up, and Michigan disappointing everybody.

Ethan: Even with a loss to Tommy Amaker's Harvard, Michigan's still 1-1 against the Ivy League. I smell a Wolverine basketball renaissance! Although to be fair, if you consider Western Kentucky to be "pretty much Ivy League," and I do, the record drops to 1-2. At least Detroit got Cabrera and Dontrelle. Like this deal?

Amir: Just another step for the Marlins to become the first team with a payroll of 0.

Ethan: They got really good value, I thought; Miller and Maybin could be stars, and De La Cruz could close at some point. The Tigers gave up a lot for a guy with weight problems, but up north Cabrera isn't considered fat; he's insulated for the playoffs.

Amir: The great thing about trading prospects is that the fans have never even heard about most of them. Which is great until they become amazing players in three years and the guy you traded for is on IR or retired or sometimes, if you're lucky, both!

Ethan: I worry about Dontrelle adjusting to being a Tiger, though. He's been declining pretty badly, and his bat can't slightly offset it anymore. Plus, remember when he drunkenly parked his Bentley in the street and took a piss? Can't do that kind of stuff in Detroit. Has to be an American car. Got an interesting fact?

Amir: This one comes from the world of undefeated football. The 1972 Dolphins (The last team to play an undefeated season) were 16-0 going into the Super Bowl. Interestingly enough, their opponents, the Redskins, were favored. Any chance the Pats are underdogs in this years Super Bowl?

Ethan: I'm not so sure they'd be underdogs if they played the NFC in the Pro Bowl.

Amir: I like to imagine Bill Belichick's grumpy face in a Hawaiin Shirt and a lei.

Ethan: Until next week, get excited for Ricky Hatton-Floyd Mayweather in Vegas. Someone could take his first loss, but to take the edge off of it, his breakfast will be comped.

Amir and Ethan also run StraightCashHomey.net: A Random Jersey Blog. It's pretty cool if you're into that sorta thing…