I have to take my son to daycare this morning, so I won't be able to weigh in fully until later in the morning. For now, here are a few things on the radar this a.m.:
*Big East/ACC Challenge: It's obvious now that Maryland is painfully underrated at No. 21. They won the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament and, last night, became the first non-conference team to win at Illinois since 1998. Are the Terps this year's Gators? (I thought Maryland's women's team -- defending champ, all five starters returning -- was this year's Gators?)
*BCS bowl picks: Specifically, which way will the Rose Bowl go if USC beats UCLA? Word is that they'll take LSU. But wouldn't it make more sense if the Sugar Bowl didn't *automatically* get the SEC champ (if they're not in the BCS title game), so we could see a real "3-vs-4" game? 3-vs-5 is nice, but not the same.
(Of course, if Florida loses to Arkansas in the SEC title game, then LSU *will* be the No. 4 team. Look, can we all simply agree that the answer should be: "Anyone But Notre Dame.")
*MLB Hot Stove: The Red Sox signing JD Drew is only interesting in that it catalyzes the trade of Manny Ramirez out of Boston. Speaking of Boston, MLB won't let them apply their $51.1M posting bid to Matsuzaka's actual contract -- some rare common sense from MLB.
(Meanwhile, the Yankees won the bid on a Japanese pitcher with half the posting price but more than half the talent. It doesn't take an MBA to see the relative value there; it remains to be seen whether EITHER pitcher will be worth the huge outlay of cash.)
*More Hot Stove: Who else thinks that the White Sox are robbing the Angels by potentially getting rising starting pitcher Ervin Santana (and Chone Figgins) for Joe Crede and Freddy Garcia? "The Other" Santana could end up nearly as good as "The Cy" Santana.
*Obligatory Bama Coaching Watch: Hiring Rich Rodriguez from WVA makes a ton of sense...for Alabama. For RR? Hardly: His best players are only sophs and the Big East/unbeaten season is his for the taking in '07 *and* '08. And don't you think better jobs than Bama (perhaps offering even more money) will open up between now and then? (Yes, I'm looking at you, Florida State. Yes, FSU is a better job than Alabama...uh, I think.)
More later. Feel free to throw your own intriguing storylines of the morning/day into the comments.
Update: How about the B&B owner-turned-Raiders O.C. getting yoinked from play-calling duties? If you didn't see that coming when TK hammered on it on MNF in the preseason, you weren't paying close enough attention.
And how about the NFL fining Mike Vick $10K for his middle finger(s). That's $5K per finger, right? There is nothing as impotent as monetary fines in pro sports.
And, since I'm always on the lookout for sports-media beefs and feuds, did anyone else catch Yahoo Sports columnist Dan Wetzel's shot across the bow of my former colleague Bill Simmons in Wetzel's interview with The Big Lead, published yesterday? (These must-read interviews with online media types are becoming TBL's signature.) It's a classic example of Rule #1 of feuding: Always take your punch in the direction of a higher weight class.