News item: Utah improved to 13-0 with a solid, 31-17 victory over No. 4 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl on Friday night, which should further energize calls for a playoff system to determine the Football Bowl Subdivision national championship.
My take: I think so. The Utes soundly defeated a team that was No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25, the USA Today coaches poll and the Bowl Championship Series rankings for five of the final six weeks of the regular season. If you take the "C" out of BCS, you'll get my opinion of the current system.
News item: The Ravens are in Miami today in search of their first postseason victory since they defeated the Dolphins in the first round of the playoffs in 2002.
My take: It could be deja vu all over again, right down to the 20-3 final score.
News item: Ravens assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Rex Ryan is again among the candidates to get one of the head coaching jobs that opened up at the end of the regular season.
My take: Talk about mixed feelings. Rex definitely has earned the opportunity to lead a team, but nobody around here could pass a polygraph test claiming to be rooting for him get it.
My take: Ryan led the dramatic turnaround of a team that was devastated by the Michael Vick scandal and received 44 of the 50 votes from the AP media panel. The award is richly deserved.
Bonus take: That said, I'm still scratching my head over the fact that not one of the voters cast a ballot for Joe Flacco.
My take: Don't get excited. The Cubs still have Mike Fontenot to play second base, so the best chance of Brian Roberts playing at Wrigley Field next season might be in interleague action as a member of the White Sox.
Related news item: There really is a rumor floating around that the Orioles are discussing a deal with the White Sox that would send Roberts to the South Siders for pitcher Gavin Floyd.
My take: Go for it. I'm thinking one Severna Park kid is as good as another.
My take: They might as well name the award after him. If there was ever a season for him to have a down year, this was it, but even offseason surgery could not slow him down.
My take: That's probably the most surprising coaching move of the season, considering Shanahan's track record and great relationship with ownership, but it was probably the right time for this breakup. He'll go somewhere else and be back in the playoffs in a couple of years, and the Broncos will do just fine without him.
News item: The Dallas Cowboys, after back-to-back losses to the Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles, fired special teams coach Bruce Read after two seasons with the team.
My take: Somebody had to pay, and Wade Phillips wasn't going to fire himself. He did the same thing to his special teams coach with the Buffalo Bills after the "Music City Miracle" loss to the Tennessee Titans.
News item: The Ravens ended up ranked sixth in ESPN's final regular-season NFL Power Rankings.
My take: I think it's fair to say this team was overlooked, considering the Ravens were ranked No. 24 and thought to be quarterback-challenged at the start of the season.
News item: Connecticut put on a late charge to defeat Buffalo, 38-20, yesterday in the International Bowl at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
My take: This was actually the third International Bowl, which was added to the postseason schedule when they ran out of locations in the United States to hold bowl games.
My take: Favre is obviously a great player, but I think if you took a poll of the players on the other three teams in the AFC East, they would want him to return to the Jets, too.
Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon most Fridays and Saturdays.