Tracking this morning:
*Chargers-Pats: De facto SBXLI?
*Eagles-Saints: Who to root against?
*Giants: What next? (Fire/Hire)
*Is Petrino the new Saban?
*BCS Title Game: Gameday ramp-up
Remember when the NFC title game used to be the de facto Super Bowl? Who else suspects that the same will apply to next week's Pats-Chargers winner?
If any team can derail the Chargers – even in
As for the other AFC semifinal, I have zero faith in the Ravens. I also have zero faith in the Colts. However, I think this is the year that the teams who had zero expectations (like Indy and Philly) will ultimately succeed where they have previously failed with far stronger teams and greater expectations. It's just the ironic way this shit inevitably works out sometimes.
Eagles bounce out the Giants: Tony Romo could take a lesson from Koy Detmer about how to field (and hold onto) a snap on a game-winning playoff field goal. The Eagles' surreal season, mercifully, continues. The Giants surreal season, mercifully, ends.
I'm baffled by the Eagles-Saints matchup next week. Obviously, this season's Saints are the NFL Feel-Good Story of the Year (if not of all time). No one with a soul wants to see the ride end next week in
As for the other NFC semifinal, the Bears are going to cram some ugly down the throat of the defending NFC champs, clubbing the crown from the Seahawks' head (no matter how bad Rex Grossman might look while doing it).
Meanwhile, what about this past weekend's playoff losers?
What next for the Giants? Let's start with this: They have GOT to dump Tom Coughlin as coach, and their best move would be to make a strong play to lure Charlie Weis away from Notre Dame. (And, based on last week's bowl result and the prospects of NEVER truly being a national-title contender at ND, he should be amenable.)
And good riddance to retiring GM Ernie Accorsi, who was so blinded by his lifelong man-crush on Johnny Unitas that, in his final act, he ruined the franchise by developing a myopia for Eli Manning that has turned his team into a Super Bowl contender. (Too bad I'm talking about the team that originally drafted him –
What next for the Jets? I'd like to buy stock in Eric Mangini, if his rookie season resulted in a playoff run. The Jets are on the rise, the Pats are static (at best) and the rest of the division is a disaster. Not a bad position for Mangini to be in.
Falcons hire Bobby Petrino from
After all, he's bolting from Louisville just one year after signing a 10-year, $25 million contract, which strikes me as at least as skeevy as what Saban did (whether Petrino ever made any claims or not).
I honestly wonder if there's a perception difference between bolting from the NFL to college (Saban) and bolting from college to the NFL (Petrino), with the Petrino spin being "Can you blame him? The NFL jobs are SO much rarer than the college jobs" rather than "He made a prominent commitment for 10 years but only stuck it out for one, the rat bastard."
Anyway, if the Falcons wanted an innovative offensive mind to re-invent Michael Vick's career, they found it. Petrino is the top offensive mind in college football (and, perhaps, all of football). I presume that during the interview, he blew owner Blank and GM McKay away with the ways he'd innovatively use Vick.
Rich Rodriguez spurned
College Hoops: Who's No. 1? Who cares? UNC beat FSU last night, which should lift them directly up from No. 2 to the No. 1 spot. I'm still not convinced that UNC is better than
Congrats to Cal Tech, which snapped an 11-year, 207-game losing streak in Division 3 hoops by absolutely destroying Bard (NY) College, 81-52. Where the hell did THAT rout come from, and how bad must Bard be?
MLB Hot Stove: Randy Johnson agrees to 2Y/$26M deal with the D'backs. Let's get to the trade already, so we can start the feverish speculation of when the Yankees will sign Roger Clemens.
From today's USA Today Sports Media column: ESPNU is going to use my former ESPN.com colleague Bill Simmons as a guest-commentator on two college hoops games in the next two weeks. Very interesting!
I'm curious about the depth of his role in the broadcast. And is this a signal that BSG will become the Tony Kornheiser of ESPNU college hoops broadcasts?
Maybe they will add him to the College GameDay mix (though I can't imagine that Bilas, Digger or Rece would appreciate that Bill would be a bigger on-campus star than any of them)?
And will they ever let Bill crash an NBA telecast on ESPN, where he would REALLY add some value?
BCS Title Game Preview: Game Day! Full post coming around midday, where we can have it out over our pre-game analysis for the rest of the day. Here's a great recap of the improbability of
Consider the way the Gators defy conventional wisdom about what makes a CFB champ contender: (1) No reliable true RB, (2) atrocious kicking game, (3) second-to-last in yards penalized, (4) top NFL prospect kicked off the team mid-season.