Random thoughts after what for many was a long holiday weekend which included plenty of eating with some shopping thrown in.

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Turns out that once the cold weather broke on Friday it was a pretty nice weekend with many taking advantage and putting up their outdoor Christmas lights and decorations.  With Thanksgiving so late this year the segue into Christmas is a fast one and while I loathe some aspects of the holiday season I do like the look of decorated homes and neighborhoods.

For the most part we  prefer the simple look although many seem to take on a sort of Griswaldian approach in which they cover every square inch of their front yards with inflatable’s which you can clearly see with enough lights to take care of a football field.  It’s a matter of taste and style and it’s only for a month or so or until you get you next electric bill.

Big-time college sports is a mess and dominated by dollars that too often make the student part of student-athlete nothing more than a joke.  However for all its faults it provides magical moments like Saturday which can’t be duplicated on the pro level.  For a while the big story was Ohio State’s stunning victory over Michigan in what is arguably the best rivalry in all of college football.  Michigan scored a late touchdown and went for the win rather than send the game into overtime but missed a two-point conversion and the Buckeyes remained undefeated.

However that was only the appetizer with the entrée coming later when Auburn stunned Alabama in what might be the greatest ending to an important game late in the season.  Seeking their third straight national championship the Crimson Tide missed a long field goal on the final play of a tie game which an Auburn player returned 109 yards for a touchdown to set off an unforgettable celebration in which the field was completely covered by Tigers fans.

Listen to the call of Chris Davis' return

Glenn Carson (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

On a personal note the desert was Penn State’s upset win at Wisconsin as the Nittany Lions were 24-point underdogs and won in the final game of Glenn Carson’s college career.  The former Southern Regional standout overcame early adversity to become a Lions leader and he’ll now turn his attention to getting ready for the NFL draft in April.

Today is the first official day of practice for high school basketball and wrestling teams although 7 Shore Conference football teams will be preparing for state sectional championship games this coming weekend at TCNJ, Kean and Rutgers.