Category: College Football (Page 1 of 11)

Make Me Moveable

At GCR this Sunday we’re starting a sermon series about moving into God’s new everything. It’s intended to work well with this being January and the beginning of a new year and all that implies. But we don’t want to just move into new diets and exercise routines, new reading plans and bedtimes, new spending habits and screen-time management. We want to move into the Lord’s new everything!

Things may not be great for you right now. Or for your family. Or your workplace. Or a relationship. Or the country in which you live. Things might be bad. Are you leaning into your trust of the Lord or are you utilizing your own wisdom and moving away from him? God is at work right now to move you into a place of his blessing. But are you moveable?

We’re going to use a prayer to center us as a congregation during these five weeks. We’re planning to pray this prayer together every Sunday as part of submitting to our God and to his plans for us. I invite you to make this prayer your own as we transition into 2024.

Lord, please make me moveable.
Move me to the place where I am able to receive your blessings.
Draw me closer to you; push me closer to your people.
Bring me to your Word; bring me to your worship.
I want to be with you in the place where you are.
Father, give me the strength and the resolve to move to you and to the place of your blessings.
In Christ.


After Michigan’s runaway win in last night’s college football championship game, the results are final in our annual GCR staff bowl challenge. First place receives a free meal, a free dessert, and gets to pick the restaurant at our monthly staff lunch next week. Second place and last place get a free meal, too.

Tim Neale finished in first place, Kim O’Connor jumped over seven of us last night to finish in second, and Ryan Rampton finished dead last. I am vowing today to never again pick Texas to win anything important, unless it’s a volleyball match. Jadyn is today explaining to J.E. how football playoffs work. Jim is cursing SMU because those 40 points would have kept him in second place. Brenda is thankful that she can now devote her full attention to Red Raiders basketball. And Ryan is trying to claim he finished in last place on purpose.


I know the Cowboys have gone 12-5 three years in a row. This is being celebrated as some kind of all-time franchise mark and the reason for Cowboys fans to be really excited about Mike McCarthy and this team. Okay. Fine. Whatever.

Let me back us out to 30,000 feet and remind you of the big picture and how far the Cowboys have fallen as a franchise and how low the bar is now for its fans.

McCarthy’s twelve wins are because of the expanded schedule. Jimmy Johnson’s last three teams went 11-5, 13-3, and 12-4. That 1991 team finished the regular season on a five game winning streak; give them one more game and they probably hit 12-5. Most importantly, they won two Super Bowls in that run.

As for Tom Landry’s teams, we need to remember that he coached more than half his 29-years with just a 14-game schedule. If you judge his record by winning percentage, the Cowboys were better than 12-5 in six straight seasons from 1968-73 when they went 12-2, 11-2-1, 11-3, and 10-4 three times. They managed another seven year stretch from 1975-81 in which their worst season was  10-4 in 1975 and their second worst mark was 11-5 in 1979. The other five seasons were 11-3 and 12-4 four times.

Most importantly, the Cowboys won a Super Bowl during each of those runs and played in five of them. They went to nine NFC Championship games in those 13 years.

Those are the things Cowboys fans used to celebrate.

This Sunday, when Dallas hosts the Packers in a first-round playoff contest, it’ll be the 28th anniversary of the Cowboys’ most recent NFC title game. I guess if you’re still a Cowboys fan, 12-5 three years in a row is a pretty big deal.



2024 World Series Champs

The biggest sports news of my weekend wasn’t that TCU qualified for the four-team college football playoff or that the Cowboys scored a franchise record 33-points in the fourth quarter to complete a blowout of the Colts. The truly earth-shattering, universe-altering, mind-blowing, euphoria-inducing news came down late Friday evening: Jacob deGrom has signed with the Texas Rangers!

deGrom is the best pitcher in Major League Baseball. And he is a Ranger. The 34-year-old, two-time Cy Young Award winner signed a five-year, $185-million free agent contract to pitch in Arlington after a couple of Zoom meetings with GM Chris Young and new Texas skipper Bruce Bochy. What a coup! deGrom brings that 98-mph heater and a winning clubhouse presence to a team that, finally, is making a serious push to win a World Series.

Last offseason it was Corey Seager and Marcus Semien in a remake of the middle infield. Last month it was pulling Bochy out of retirement to manage. They’ve also retained All-Star Martin Perez and traded for Jake Odorizzi. They’ve got top fifty prospects Jack Leiter, Kumar Rocker, and Owen White probably one year away from starting at the MLB level. This team is ready right now to compete in the AL West and should be in the mix for a run or two at the World Series starting in 2024.

Yes, this is exciting. This is bigger than the record-smashing signing of Alex Rodriguez back in the day. The Rangers have a legitimate World Series winning manager, a General Manager who’s been given an open checkbook by ownership, and now they have the best pitcher in the game at the front of the rotation.


Concerning the Cowboys: don’t get too happy about a 54-19 win over the hapless Colts. Remember that the Indy coach, Jeff Saturday, had never coached football at any level before they pulled him out of the ESPN studios last month. Quarterback Matt Ryan looks like he should have retired a couple of years ago. This is a mess of a team – they’re terrible.

And it was a two-point game heading into the fourth quarter. Had Saturday kicked an extra point instead of going for two, it would have been a one-point game heading into that final period. Had they made the two-point conversion, it would have been tied.

Ryan and the Colts turned the ball over four times in that last quarter which led to the most lopsided fourth quarter in the NFL since 1925. But after three quarters at home against one of the worst, mismanaged, dysfunctional teams in the league, Dallas was only up 21-19.


Alabama football fans, you need to sit down and be quiet. You know who you are. Stop it. The Crimson Tide didn’t have anything taken away from them when they failed to make the college football playoffs. They haven’t been ripped off in any way. They simply do not deserve to be playing for a national championship.

If you’re going to be one of the top four teams in the country, you have to be one of the top two teams in your own conference, and Alabama is not. They didn’t even qualify for their own conference championship game. They lost two games. Their best win is a one-point victory over Texas on the last play of the game. TCU beat five ranked opponents this season while going 12-0, including a seven-point win against those same Longhorns on that same field. TCU played in their conference championship game and lost by a field goal in overtime, after being stopped at the goal line on a fourth down run from the one. TCU beat everybody they played this year, having defeated K-State in the regular season by ten in the regular season.

And don’t give me the line that Alabama deserves it over TCU because if those two teams lined up against each other today, ‘Bama would be favored by a lot. Championships aren’t won in Las Vegas; they are won on the football field. And TCU did much more between the lines than Alabama this year.



Congrats to Kristin

Kristin Rampton held off her challengers with last night’s Georgia win over Alabama to take first place in the inaugural GCR Bowl Challenge. Kristin is one of only three of us on the GCR church staff who, back nearly a month ago, picked the Dawgs to win the college football national championship (Crystal and J.E. are the other two) and it was crucial to her victory. Kristin correctly chose the winner in 20 of the 34 games we picked overall, and finished strong with seven wins in the final nine games.

I was glad to see Brandon here at the church building this morning. He and I were texting throughout last night’s game – he’s a hard core ‘Bama fan and I’m for whoever is on the opposite sideline of Nick Saban. Late in the third quarter and early in the fourth, when Georgia really started rolling, I stopped texting Brandon because I didn’t want to jinx it. When I went back to my phone at the end of the game, Brandon had turned off his notifications. I’m happy to report that he’s okay. And all the doors at his house remain firmly on their hinges.

Kristin gets her lunch and her dessert free at next week’s monthly staff lunch. We’re also buying lunch for the last place finisher, but I’ll let him or her divulge his or her identity.



Roll, Roll, Roll

Alabama could have won the NFC East. They should have been allowed to. Watching the Crimson Tide host Tom Brady’s Buccaneers in Tuscaloosa would have been a lot more interesting than what we watched last night.



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