Talking Points: From no expectations to NFC title game

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What’s the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:

1

When this NFL season started (and probably before that), the San Francisco 49ers were thought to be one of the leaders in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.

Afterall, the 49ers were coming off their eighth consecutive non-winning season and bringing in a new head coach for the fifth time in that time span. And a rookie NFL coach for that matter.

A 13-3 record later, the Niners find themselves as hosts for the NFC Championship Game for the first time since the 1997 playoff season.

Andrew Luck who?

2

The talk has already begun that the Pac-12 Conference could become the first “major” basketball conference to get just one bid for the NCAA Tournament since the tournament went to 48 teams.

Not exactly shocking since, as of Sunday, no Pac-12 team had a win over a team currently ranked in the Top 25. The overall league RPI is ninth, three spots behind the Mountain West’s and one spot behind the Missouri Valley’s. Cal is the only Pac-12 squad in the top 50 of the RPI, at 33rd, and half of the league’s teams are 130th or worse in the RPI.

Yahoo Sports writer Mike Huguenin pointed out on Friday: “The lack of marquee non-conference wins definitely hurts the national perception of the league; more important, though, is that it’s going to be tough for a league team to nab an NCAA at-large bid if it has beaten no one of note outside the league.”

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