The Seawanhaka Sports Rundown is a weekly roundup of five stories that examine developments in sports news at the local, state, national, and international levels.
By: COOPER ALBERS / STAFF REPORTER
Teams Chosen for 2022 College Football Playoff
On Sunday morning, it was announced that Georgia, Michigan, TCU, and Ohio State will compete for the National Championship in the College Football Playoff.
Following USC’s loss to Utah in the Pac-12 Championship game on Friday, Ohio State moved up the rankings and into the playoff picture. Alongside Michigan, Ohio State will be one of two Big Ten teams in the playoff, marking the first time in College Football Playoff history that two Big Ten teams will appear in the tournament together. On December 31, Ohio State (#4) will play Georgia (#1) in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, while Michigan (#2) will face off against TCU (#3) in the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl.
Team USA Eliminated from the World Cup
On Saturday, Team USA was eliminated from the 2022 World Cup after falling to the Netherlands 1-3. The Netherlands struck quickly, scoring twice in the first half. A late goal from US Forward Haji Wright gave the young US squad some momentum towards the end, but the Netherlands quickly responded with a third goal to halt the run. The Netherlands are set to take on Argentina this upcoming Friday. Meanwhile, the United States look forward to 2026, where they will co-host the World Cup with Mexico and Canada, getting a chance at redemption on their home turf.
Stephen Thompson Defeats Kevin Holland
On Saturday, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson put on a striking masterclass in his TKO victory over Kevin Holland at UFC Fight Night in Orlando. From the opening bell, Thompson and Holland gave the fans exactly what was advertised: pure striking violence. To the dismay of their coaches, the two fighters disregarded all aspects of wrestling, and instead exchanged ferocious blows that left the crowd on the edge of their seats. Still, the fighters made time to chat with one another and joke around. Eventually, the seasoned vet Thompson gained the edge over the young Holland. Thompson began to land devastating kicks at an alarming rate, and after the fourth round, Holland’s corner called a stop to the fight after he had suffered a broken hand.
LeBron Passes Magic in All-Time Assists
On Friday, LeBron James made history with his 10,142nd career assist, passing Magic Johnson on the All-Time Career Assists list. James reflected on the momentous occasion in his post-game interview, stating: “The way Magic approached the game, it was very infectious. His teammates loved playing with him because of the joy he played with and the ability to pass the ball and get other guys involved. He was always excited about seeing his teammates be great. I always admired that in him” (via CNN). Currently, James sits at No. 6 on the All-Time Assists List. In addition, he is just 937 points away from overtaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the All-Time Leading Scorer in NBA history. He's projected to do so by February of this season.
MLB Aces on the Move
On Friday night, it was announced that one of the most dominant pitchers of this generation, Jacob DeGrom, agreed to a five-year, $185 million contract with the Texas Rangers. The two-time Cy Young Award Winner decided to opt out of the remainder of his contract with the New York Mets, despite being injured for the majority of last season. He missed the first four months of the season with a shoulder injury and, upon his return, posted a 5-4 record with a 3.08 ERA. Nonetheless, the demand for a pitcher of deGrom’s caliber was still high. DeGrom’s annual salary of $37 million made him the second-highest paid player ever, just behind his former teammate, Max Scherzer.
DeGrom’s departure is a devastating blow to the New York Mets. However, the Mets wasted no time in filling the void. On Monday, it was announced that the Mets signed former Astros ace Justin Verlander to a two-year contract worth $86 million, tying Scherzer’s record AAV of $37 million. Despite being 39 years old and coming off a recent Tommy John surgery, Verlander has continued to dominate any batter put in front of him. Last season, he posted a 1.75 ERA, won his third Cy Young Award, and won the World Series with the Astros. Verlander has shown he still has a lot left in the tank, and will be a pivotal addition to the Mets roster following the loss of DeGrom.