Random thoughts while watching the Arkansas Razorbacks and waiting on Monday night's College Football Playoff Championship Game:
The Razorbacks may have played their best defense of the year for most of the final three minutes, allowing them to pull to within 79-78, but with 33 seconds to play, Texas A&M's Marcus Williams took advantage of a 3-foot defensive buffer and hit a three-pointer.
The Aggies would make their final four free throws and win 86-81.
Arkansas has struggled in five of its last six games, losing those five, but their lack of defensive intensity has been a big part of the problem as opponents have gotten open looks inside and out.
The Razorbacks shot themselves in the foot yesterday, leading by 13 points in the first half and then committing several turnovers to fall behind and never regain the lead.
They got close, but not close enough to finish out a road game and fall to 10-5 overall and 0-3 in SEC play.
A lot of folks in Indianapolis have been somewhat surprised by the cold weather.
Seriously, Indy is always cold in the winter and it is a great sports city. It also has enclosed skywalks, so people don't have to freeze walking to and from Lucas Stadium.
However, it would make more sense if there was a three-stadium rotation in the South to give better odds of not having 12 inches of snow dumped on you overnight.
First would be AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, fondly known as Jerry's World. It is a premiere arena made for football and the enjoyment of it by its fans. It has a major airport, and thanks in part to Six Flags Over Texas dozens and dozens of motels and hotels.
Second is the obvious, Caesars Superdome in New Orleans. While it is a nightmare for the media, (press row was moved to the rafters and all seats are right in front of the huge heating and cooling vents) it is great for players, coaches and fans.
Almost every hotel is within walking distance. It has a major airport.
And outside of Bologna, Italy, no one can beat the food. New Orleans knows how to throw a party. The high in Indy today is supposed to be 38 degrees, the forecast for the Big Easy is 78 degrees.
Third would be Atlanta and Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Served by one of the largest airports in the world with hundreds of hotels and motels and again the weather is not brutal.
The majority of the programs would be able to make direct flights into these three cities.
The fans -- the majority of the college football world -- are right. The transfer portal and name, image and likeness have changed college athletics and not for the better.
Long before the NIL became a reality, it was seen as going to happen. The NCAA ignored it. They did nothing to try to govern it or limit it.
So it has few guidelines and the richest schools will get richer.
If Hollywood ever decides to get involved with UCLA or USC, you are going to see athletes get big bucks for cameo appearances in movies and TV shows.
If Nike decides to go all in on Oregon, the Ducks will be be a powerhouse overnight.
The Arkansas Razorbacks have some of the most successful companies in the country within a short drive. J.B. Hunt, Tyson Foods, George's Chicken and Walmart are nationally known.
The Waltons have mostly been involved in academics and culture, but if they wanted, they could make what Kroger has done for the Kentucky Wildcats look like chump change.
Walmart has vendors with budgets, too. That said, the Waltons have made huge impacts on things other than athletics.