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The 49ers dodged this weekend with a little help from the Vikings' Adrian Peterson, a little flair from Colin Kaepernick (Turlock) and that horrendous call that handed Seattle a win over Green Bay on Sept. 24.
If the replacement refs get that call right, the Packers earn the bye and the 49ers are sweating out Wild-card Weekend.
By the way, Seattle with the loss it deserved still would have advanced. The Seahawks and Chicago would have been 10-6, but the Seahawks won head-to-head.
Still puts a different spin on all that trendy Seattle-is-the-team to-beat stuff, right?
Had the Cowboys beaten the Redskins last week, Chicago would be in the playoffs and Lovie Smith would still have a job.
It passes for logic in the Not For Long league: Tony Romo's late-game interception last week got Lovie Smith fired.
Peterson's heroics were saluted by the 49ers, but there's more: He rushed for 2,097 yards the season after ACL surgery. Must be one of the greatest performances in NFL history.
The Modesto Junior College Pirates open the Big 8 Conference season at home Tuesday night with two-way firepower. The men are 8-6 and the women are 11-3.
Notre Dame already has broken new ground. It's the first team in BCS history to be No. 1 on the field and No. 1 in graduation rate (tied with Northwestern).
The Irish like the vibe after bowl victories by Stanford, Rice, Vanderbilt and Northwestern.
Hasn't received enough attention: Stanford's David Shaw became the first African-American coach to win a BCS game. It took 15 years.
The bowl teams that truly cared: South Carolina, Clemson, Ohio and San Jose State.
The bowl teams that exhibited, let's say, shaky attention spans: USC, Fresno State, Florida and Purdue.
When discussions begin about high school football dynasties, they end with De La Salle's Bob Ladouceur.
Justin Alumbaugh will succeed Ladouceur, which jogs the memory to the fate of John Wooden's UCLA successor Gene Bartow: 52-9 and run out of town.
Truly silly numbers: Ladouceur's teams totaled more section titles (28) than losses (25).
De La Salle's 151-game winning streak (1992-2003) started with a victory over ... Merced.
Not kidding: D.C. Washington will sing the national anthem today in Washington D.C. for the Redskins.
Giants closer Sergio Romo was detained briefly at the Las Vegas airport. No, he wasn't wearing his "I Just Look Illegal" T-shirt.
Oregon's Chip Kelly is taking NFL interviews while the Ducks look down the barrel of NCAA sanctions. Coincidence?
The Columbia College Claim Jumpers have set their admission price for Central Valley Conference games: Free!
Six quarterbacks in their first or second year have led teams into the NFL playoffs. Conclusions: 1. It's a precocious group, and 2. Quarterback quality in the league has diminished.
Andy Reid quickly jumped to a new job (Chiefs) four months after his oldest son died due to drug problems. Maybe work is his escape. Or maybe some reflection is in order.
Jim Harbaugh brought in kicker Billy Cundiff to push slumping David Akers. I detect a trend: Josh Johnson was signed to challenge Kaepernick last August.
Harbaugh likes competition on the practice field, almost as much as he likes not playing this weekend.
Bee staff writer Ron Agostini can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2302.