Happy New Year!
Today's Names to Know: New Year's Day Bowls! Darren McFadden! Tim Tebow! Mike Leach! Chris Long! Ron Zook! Colt Brennan! Knowshon Moreno! (And non-Bowl names: Brian Billick, Randy Mueller, Roger Clemens, Andre Woodson, Jonathan Stewart, Eddie Sutton, NHL Outdoor Mayhem and More!)
Start your new year with this: My annual must-read list of What's "Out" and what's "In" for 2008 – a tradition dating back to the late 90s and a list I have compiled through the years for ESPN.com, SI.com and, the last two years, Deadspin. Enjoy!
Settle in, with your New Year's Day elixir of choice... for fans of teams ending their seasons today (as with fans whose teams have played all month long in other bowls), it's a long way until the 2008 season opener (or, at least, the spring game)...
UGA Hawaii, if Knowshon Moreno isn't at full-strength (see below).
To be clear: If
More for today:
Sugar Bowl Update:
(The whole point of voting Hawaii No. 1 if they beat UGA is that they would be beating the team playing better than anyone in the country at the end of the season; without a healthy Moreno, that's not Georgia anymore -- no real college football fan or "expert" could claim that.)
NHL Winter Classic: I'm not much of a hockey guy, but today's "Winter Classic" (massive outdoor game) is something I will have on the second TV in my house. It's the most clever marketing the league has produced in years (certainly since trying to put the league on YouTube), and it's exactly the type of thing that casual (or non-) fans would tune in for. It's not just a great day for college football fans, but for hockey fans, too.
Ravens fire Brian Billick: This was such a long-time coming that it is almost anti-climax. Still: The guy DID win a Super Bowl title; there's no question that he will find work as a head coach, soon. Meanwhile, all signs point to the Ravens wanting a win-now coach, who will be hamstrung by the team's lack of a reliable QB.
Bill Parcells fires GM Randy Mueller: Hopefully, there's still a seat at the table for him with ESPN.com Insider for the NFL Draft, where he can talk all about taking wide receivers as a reach. (Jeff Ireland, the Cowboys' lead scout and a Parcells guy, is the top name to replace him.)
NFL Draft: I was originally right yesterday (and wrong in the "Update"). The Falcons, Chiefs and Raiders will have a crazy coin-flip in order to determine the 3-4-5 order in the NFL Draft, because they all had the same strength of schedule.
Here's the complexity: The Falcons and Raiders flip for the 3-spot to start. If
Where are the Jets in all this, you ask? By beating the Chiefs in OT in the season finale and having a tougher strength of schedule than the other three 4-win teams, the Jets got bumped all the way to No. 6, rather than locked in at No 3.
NBA: Blazers winning streak ends at 13 after a loss to the Jazz. Now we'll see how the young streaky Blazers really respond.
CBB: Eddie Sutton is still two wins away from 800 career wins in his single-minded self-absorbed mission to hit the milestone at the expense of a
Not about sports: One of my favorite newspaper features of the year comes out on January 1. The Washington Post's annual list of what's out and in for the new year.