Today's Names to Know: Boston College, Matt Ryan, Curt Schilling, Ohio State, London, Steven Jackson, Boston Celtics, The Starter Wife, UNC hoops, David Stern, "real" fans.
Because no matter what
Both BC and OSU are unbeaten: It all comes down to strength of schedule and "quality" wins; B.C. has the edge, particularly after racking up the most impressive single win of any BCS contender: Winning AT Virginia Tech, one of the toughest places to play in the country.
The Eagles did it in the slop, a rainy mess, with the Hokies controlling the game – dominating – for 55 minutes before re-energized Heisman contender (dare I say "front-runner?") Matt Ryan engineered two TD drives, with a very effective/lucky onside kick in between.
It was one of those "miracle" wins where you begin to think that B.C. has a destiny this season to reach the national title game.
Come Sunday morning, B.C. will have a stronger claim to that national title game than any other team in the country. Their most impressive trick: Leap-frogging the Buckeyes before OSU even takes the field.
(The only question is whether I put LSU ahead of
World Series: Red Sox take 2-0 lead over
Curt Schilling pitched phenomenally, and the Red Sox tag-team bullpen of Okajima and Papelbon shut down any
As for the Rockies, now, we're in territory that
But this is the World Series, where being down 2-0 means that every single one of the three games in
CFB Preview and Picks: TWO unbeatens could go down. But which ones? I am projecting this weekend to be as crazy as the last four.
At Rutgers over 7
NFL Week 8 Preview and Picks: My Top 5 Most Intriguing Storylines.
1. NFL in
2. Pats 8-0: And don't give a f***
3. Favre's MNF finale: Maybe, finally?
4. Steven Jackson returns: Rams need him.
5. 2-4 teams: On edge of playoff abyss
At Bears (3-4) over
Steelers (4-2) over at Bengals (2-4)
At Titans (4-2) over Raiders (2-4)
At Rams (0-7) over Browns (3-3)
Giants (5-2) over Dolphins (0-7) (
At Vikings (2-4) over Eagles (2-4)
Colts (6-0) over at Panthers (4-2)
At Jets (1-6) over Bills (2-4)
Chargers (3-3) over Texans (3-4)
At Bucs (4-3) over Jags (4-2)
At Pats (7-0) over Redskins (4-2)
Saints (2-4) over at 49ers (2-4)
At Broncos (3-3) over Packers (5-1) (MNF)
Today's Must-Read: The NFL is letting down its female fans. This is an example of a great post – passionate, interesting, exclusive, exhaustively researched. Kudos to The Starter Wife and the Ladies... on this terrific post.
(And TSW earns extra points from me because she emailed to say The Starter Boyfriend adopted her Steelers. Given the fact that I have my NFL allegiance from adopting the team for which I was assigned to write a Deadspin season preview, he's doing OK by me.)
NBA Preview: Top 5 Storylines
1. Celtics: After 20 years, a return to relevancy
3. Durant + Rookies: Big sleeper? Al Thornton.
4. Surprises: Who is this year's Warriors?
5. Refs: Fan Preview: "YOU ON THE TAKE, REF?!"
What's your top NBA storyline this season? And what's your top under-the-radar storyline this season? Coming Monday: Awards. Coming Tuesday: Playoff/Finals Picks.
College Hoops: UNC tops Coaches' preseason Top 25. UCLA,
More Top 25 notes: Two-time defending champ
As a reminder, my first crack at the Final Four is: UCLA (champs),
More NBA: David Stern won't punish all the refs – half the freaking group – who violated the league's ban on casino gambling. What was he going to do: Suspend half the league's refs?
I recognize that the rule was probably a little overwrought, except for two things: (1) The fact is, the refs DID break a rule, which is disconcerting, because it involves gambling, if legal.
(2) What's so unreasonable about asking pro sports officials to steer clear of casinos while they are employed by the NBA? Is their compulsion so great they can't put their incredibly exclusive job ahead of their need to gamble? Because if that's the case, aren't they at risk to fall into a trap where their gambling compromises their job?
(The same thing applies to players: Don't you think that Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley's severe gambling habits puts them in at least MILD risk of compromising games in the service of their psychological addiction? It's hardly a heretical point to raise.)
What makes a "real" fan: Huge thanks to all commenters who made yesterday's discussion of what makes a "real" fan one of our most interesting ever. And additional thanks to all readers who emailed me directly to share their own thoughts and stories. Enjoyed them all.
Find any blogger reaction to the post? Email the URL to me so I can link to it (whether they found the story compelling or not -- I welcome all discussion). For example, the highly esteemed Eric McErlain at Fanhouse put up this. It's a really phenomenal post by one of my favorite sports thinkers, and I really recommend you give it a read. (Here's another Fanhouse post from Josh Alper, on his brief fling with Michigan State.)
(Ironically, the name of my first company, a start-up, was "Real Fans," an online-sports pioneer acquired by AOL. Were any of you out there AOL members back in mid-90s and remember the site? God, it was so fun. Sometime, I'll recount how crazy it was, as if anyone really cares.)
Wow, how about that: Two days this week of two-a-day posting? Could this be the start of a trend? Hmm...