It's a championship time of year in so many ways
I've got a few miscellaneous thoughts. Some people say those are my best thoughts, the miscellaneous kind.
They're not wrong.
The wrong call
Not that you asked, but the College Football Playoff teams should have been Michigan, Washington, Texas and Florida State. Sorry, Alabama fans, but all games matter, even early-season games. Florida State played a good schedule in a top conference and won all its games.
Yes, Florida State is without its starting quarterback. Yet it still beat a ranked Louisville team with its third-string QB.
Florida State earned that berth that went to Alabama. It's a really bad look for the committee to say that injuries matter more than wins.
To be honest, Ohio State should have been chosen before Alabama, which struggled to beat mediocre sorts Auburn and Texas A&M. It's just recency bias that Alabama got the pick over Ohio State. Ohio State lost to the No. 1 team in the playoff, but because that loss happened in November instead of September, the Buckeyes were penalized.
Or was it that the committee just felt it had to bow to pressure from the SEC?
Congratulations to Northwestern on its bid to the Las Vegas Bowl to play Utah.
Congratulations also to Northern Illinois, which earned a bid to the Camellia Bowl vs. Arkansas State.
Both games are Dec. 23. And no, I'd never heard of the Camellia Bowl before either.
Now that the fall high school sports season is over, there are many to congratulate.
Let's start with the Daily Herald All-Area captains in boys soccer, girls volleyball and football. In case you missed it, we published football All-Area on Sunday.
For that matter, congratulations to Class 6A football champion Cary-Grove and Class 7A runner-up Downers Grove North. It's a great accomplishment for both teams.
In girls golf, Glenbrook North won Class 2A, with Hinsdale Central second and Stevenson third. Benet's Jenna Shilts placed second in Class 2A.
In boys golf, Marmion's Regan Konen won the Class 2A individual title, and Conant's Nicolas Simon won Class 3A.
In girls swimming, Rosary won the state title.
In girls tennis, Benet placed second in Class 1A, where Elgin Academy's Addison Lanton won individual honors. Stevenson placed second in Class 2A, and Glenbard West's Mira Kernagis placed third individually.
In girls volleyball, IC Catholic took second in Class 2A, St. Francis won Class 3A and Benet placed second in Class 4A, one spot ahead of Willowbrook.
In boys cross country, Downers Grove North won Class 3A and Glenbard South took second in Class 2A. Hinsdale Central's Aden Bandukwala won individual honors in Class 3A.
In girls cross country, York won the Class 3A title, with Downers Grove North second and Barrington third. Barrington's Scout Storms won the individual title ahead of second-place Liv Phillips (Naperville Central), third-place Julie Piot (Naperville North) and fourth-place Anna Lester (Vernon Hills).
I've said it before and I'll say it again, we're fortunate to have so many incredible athletes to cover here in the suburbs.
College of DuPage won the Red Grange Bowl for the NJCAA Division III football national championship for a third straight year. Today the Red Grange Bowl, tomorrow the Camellia Bowl.
North Central College advanced to the NCAA Division III football semifinals for a fourth consecutive year. It's time to start calling the Cardinals a dynasty.
Congratulations to the Bears on Carolina's loss this weekend. They're one week closer to that No. 1 overall draft pick.
Condolences to the family of former Daily Herald Outdoors writer Mike Jackson, who died last month at age 79 in Buffalo Grove.
Although our time here at the Daily Herald overlapped, I never met Mike, and it wasn't until a few weeks before his death that I learned Mike Jackson was his pen name, that his real name was Orrin Bland.
Yes, we shared a first name.
I looked up the history of the name a few years ago and learned it peaked around the turn of the century. No, not this century. The name was actually pretty popular among babies born around 1900, which explains why when, as a kid, I read of others with my name in my local newspaper, it was usually in the obituaries.
Some would say my parents were a few decades behind the time. I prefer to think they were ahead of their time.
Let's make the name popular again. More people should name their babies Orrin.
Like I said, miscellaneous thoughts.
Tis the season ... to support those in need by helping your local food pantry in any way you can. You could donate money, donate food or other needed goods, or you could volunteer. The need is great in the suburbs.
You could be helping a neighbor who is dealing with persistent health problems or who just lost a job and needs a helping hand.
Thank you for reading the Daily Herald and for supporting local journalism.