Back from a weekend in Gainesville...
Tomlinson is NFL MVP: LaDainian Tomlinson is this season's runaway NFL MVP. His 4 TDs in last night's 35-27 Chargers win confirms it.
For the record, that makes 19 TDs in his last 6 games; he's the fastest to 100 career TDs in NFL history. Move over, Emmitt and Brown.
(I'm actually kind of curious to wonder if LT's career ended tomorrow, has he already had a Hall of Fame-worthy career?)
McNabb's season-ending injury is obviously yesterday afternoon's huge story. Given the Cowboys' huge win over the Colts, the balance of power in the NFC has shifted dramatically.
Favre's elbow injury is similarly intriguing, but not for any playoff-drive implications – simply for its impact on his 251-game starting streak. (Oh, and Aaron Rodgers sucks.)
Colts no longer unbeaten: Count me among the ones who would argue this is better for the Colts than to clinch the playoffs early and lose all momentum at the end of the season before the playoffs. Just look at last season.
49ers shock defending NFC champs: If you had the chance to buy "futures" in a team's next five years, I'd recommend buying the Niners over buying the Seahawks. Back in January, who would have thought that? (By the way, if there was an NFC MVP award, who else is willing to at least CONSIDER 49ers RB Frank Gore? Team-record 212 yards.)
BCS Update: Ohio State versus...?! Being down in Gainesville this past weekend, I had a LOT of time to ponder the state of the BCS. I have a separate item planned for later this morning, but it looks like if USC beats Notre Dame and UCLA, they'll vault Michigan. Otherwise, Michigan will play Ohio State in a rematch, which I can get behind in theory but think it's an atrocious idea in reality. More on this later.
Spurrier denies rumors he's going to The U. That's all fine and good – he's certainly a great fit being back in the SEC – but he'd be crazy not to jump back to a "brand name" school, let alone one based in Florida. If he had known Miami would be available two years ago before he took the South Carolina job, I think he would have waited for it. (Hell, I think if Miami thought they could get Spurrier two years ago, they would have ejected Coker to make it happen.)
NL MVP: Ryan Howard or Albert Pujols? That's your choice. My vote is for Howard, because I expand the definition of "valuable" to account for the fact that Howard's performance single-handedly kept casual fans' interest in baseball going in the dog days. He has replaced D. Willis as the "Face of Baseball." (Please don't say: "But I thought Jeter was the 'Face.'")
MLB Hot Stove: $oriano to Cubs! So the Cubs ARE committed to spending their way to success. I suppose that in the NL, starting pitching isn't nearly the decisive factor that it is in the AL, so teams can load up on the arms race to try to "offense" their way to the playoffs. (The Cubs need to look no further than the Mets.) The number is staggering: 8Y/$136M, second-largest in Cubs history. Say this: They ain't kidding around.
College Hoops: Georgetown shocker! Lose at campus bandbox McDonough Arena for the first time in 24 years, to Old Dominion. Certainly makes me feel less good about my picking them to the Final Four last week.
NBA: Shaq out 6 weeks after knee surgery. I'll say the same thing about Shaq that I always do when he gets hurt – who cares how many regular season games he plays? Anything less than a complete and total concentration on having him ready for the playoffs is a waste. All that matters is the ring.
"Congrats!" to: Jimmie Johnson, 2006 Nextel Cup Champ. (My one problem with the NASCAR system is that the "champ" can finish 9th in the final race en route to a title. Hardly dramatic.)
"See ya!" to: Rutgers Mania. Sigh. Well, that was fun while it lasted...