Today's Names to Know: Jeff Francis, Justin Upton, CC Sabathia, Josh Beckett, BCS, Chase Daniel, Glenn Dorsey, Vinny Testaverde, Tom Brady, Tony Romo, Grant Hill, John Schuerholz, Dennis Franchione,
MLB Playoffs: NLCS. Rockies take Game 1 in
Stud: Jeff Francis, who out-pitched Brandon Webb. The Dud was either Justin Upton, for that iffy slide ruled interference that triggered a double-play and the ire of previously flaccid
MLB Playoffs: ALCS. Sabathia vs. Beckett in
Yankees' decision on Torre pushed back to next week: So much for speculation that they would let him go immediately after the playoffs ended for the Yankees. (That's all I have to say about that; let's try something different and not talk about the Yankees today.)
CFB Top 25 Preview and Picks: After the last two weeks, I think fans need/deserve a break. Some sort of low-upset weekend where the top teams simply win – and we all wait for the insanity of the first BCS poll to come out after the weekend.
Presuming no upsets (iffy), the question is this: Which team will join LSU in the uber-coveted first two spots in the BCS poll? It's either going to be
(Two other teams deserve consideration for that No. 2 spot: South Florida and Mizzou. If Mizzou can beat Oklahoma on the road, that would be as impressive as Cal beating Oregon on the road, which -- so far -- is the most impressive win of the year. Unfortunately for BC, beating Notre Dame – even in
Of other particular interest: Does LSU suffer any kind of let-down after the huge
1 LSU over at 17
4 BC over at Notre Dame
10 USC over
Here's a fun preview from EDSBS' Orson Swindle, now writing weekly for the Sporting News.
Meanwhile, Glenn Dorsey for Heisman? It's not a crazy thought, with even the most talented offensive player (Darren McFadden), most valuable offensive player (Tim Tebow), most NFL-prized offensive player (Brian Brohm) and the standard whoever-is-playing-QB-for-USC all having their own flaws. The NYT's influential Pete Thamel makes the case. If it was ever going to happen, this would be the year.
(Remember when FSU losing to
NFL Week 6 Preview and Picks
Everything else on Sunday and Monday is a distant second to the huge battle of unbeatens: Patriots at Cowboys. But here's the thing: The Pats are going to wax them, just like they've waxed everyone else. Even more so, I'll bet, because thumping the next-best team in the league sends an even clearer message that we're witnessing 19-0.
At Bears over Vikings
At Browns over Dolphins
At Packers over Redskins
Bengals over at Chiefs
Eagles over at Jets
Titans over at Bucs
Jaguars over Texans
Ravens over Rams
Cardinals over Panthers
Pats over at Cowboys (GOTW)
Chargers over Raiders
Seahawks over Saints (SNF)
Giants over Falcons (MNF)
Oh, wait, there IS an intriguing storyline beyond Pats-Cowboys: Will Vinny Testaverde start for the Panthers on Sunday, just days after the 43-year-old joined the team? That is awesome, and infinitely more interesting than seeing David Carr start with that sore back.
John Schuerholz resigns as GM of Braves: I didn't particularly like his philosophy when I read about it during his book tour earlier this year, but I certainly respect the way he put together all those titles. (Sorry: Division titles. Wouldn't want to confuse him with a guy who won multiple World Series championships.) He will remain the No. 2 guy in the franchise, which should make his replacement, Assistant GM Frank Wren, a little uneasy. Can't imagine Schuerholz will let it go.
Texas A&M doesn't like Dennis Franchione's secret email newsletter to boosters: I give him points for creativity (with points docked for sheer stupidity – either he was stupid to think he wouldn't get caught or stupid to think it wasn't a big deal). Apparently, he has violated his contract; if A&M wants to oust him, this is their opportunity. It also makes me wonder if I could make any money with my little online "newsletter"...
NBA Preseason: Grant Hill made his preseason debut with the Suns, and he finished with 17 and 8 as a starter playing 24 minutes. He's in for a Renaissance... Al Horford led all rebounders in
Trade-Kobe Watch: Meanwhile, off of yesterday's news that Jerry Buss would (or is that "will?") trade
(Maybe not better enough to contend in the West, but they weren't going to contend in the West with
Today's Must-Read: Whenever The Big Picture comes out with another blogger interview, it's a must-read. Today: Brian from Awful Announcing, one of the most popular and talented bloggers out there.
College Hoops: Midnight Madness! Is it me, or is Midnight Madness not the "event" it used to be. It used to be a lot more "underground" and fun. I loved the live look-ins on TV, the weird dunk contests, the novelty of students and fans going crazy at such a weird hour. (Hat-tip: Lefty Dreisell.) It's a little bit more of a slick production now, with a lot of teams dropping the whole "midnight" part, which consequently guts the "madness" part.)
Anyway, is it too early for Final Four predictions? (No, I'm not taking
Without their Final Four nemesis of the past two years blocking the way, this year's national champion will be...
Basketball Prospectus launches: Congrats to Ken "KenPom" Pomeroy and John "Wonk" Gasaway on the launch of Basketball Prospectus this week. (I guess their own version of "Midnight Madness.")