Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tuesday 12/18 A.M. Quickie:
Vikes, Saban, Rod, Roy, Blogs, Bowls, More!

Today's Names to Know: Minnesota Vikings, Adrian Peterson, Nick Saban, Rich Rodriguez, Brandon Roy, Mike Dunleavy, Mariano Rivera, Fernando Vina, Blogger Tournaments, Bowl Mania and More!

Vikings win 5th straight, zero in on NFC playoffs: The 20-13 win over the Bears wasn't pretty (4 turnovers), but it was effective enough to bring Minnesota within at least one scenario that has them clinching an NFC playoff spot as early as next week. (Rookie of the Year lock Adrian Peterson: 20 carries, 78 yards, 2 TD.) Who saw the Vikings' playoff surge coming?

Must-Read: Fanhouse's Michael David Smith gets an inside look at how "Monday Night Football" is put together. Here's the link.

Did Nick Saban's agent contact West Virginia about its new head-coaching opening?

True or not, this rumor is spectacularly awesome – the best kind of rumor, because it could/should send fans of both the principal teams (along with every other college football fan, along with a few particularly bitter Dolphins fans) into a frenzy. Can you imagine if Saban left Alabama after a season for West Virginia?

(Aside from the sleaziness -- and, given that it's college football coaches and Saban in particular, how un-sleazy do you expect it to be? -- it isn't a bad thought. If you want to compete for national championships, it is easier to do it at West Virginia, where you rule the conference, than it is at Alabama, where the conference rules you.)

Rich Rodriguez welcomed to Michigan: Sure, there are lingering doubts that he's not a "Michigan man," that his spread offense won't take in the Big Ten, that he lost (when it mattered most) to Dave Wannstedt.

But otherwise, how can a Michigan fan NOT be excited? The fact that he's NOT a "Michigan man" should be considered a plus; the marriage of Rod's spread and a creaky Big Ten should lead to on-field pyrotechnics (especially if he adds super-prep Terrelle Pryor); and that loss to Pitt won't be remembered in Ann Arbor if he can beat Jim Tressel.

(Ryan Mallett Update: DS.com reader Eric H. thinks that Mallett ends up at UCLA, becoming Norm Chow's latest strapping young QB who turns into a star. It's not a bad theory at all.)

NBA Stud Team: Suns beat Spurs in San Antonio. Here's the thing about the NBA season: This win was meaningless. Call me when the Suns KO the Spurs in the playoffs.

More: Blazers win 8th straight, behind Brandon Roy's 24 points and 8 assists. Roy is working on an All-Star-caliber season and the Blazers are the biggest surprise in the league. (Hey, weren't they supposed to stink without Greg Oden? Just imagine when he returns next season....)

NBA Stud Player: Mike Dunleavy, who scored a career-high 36 in the Pacers' win over the Knicks (including 22 in the 3rd quarter.) Again, this is Mike Dunleavy we're talking about.

MLB Hot Stove: Mariano Rivera finalizes deal with Yankees for 3Y/$45M. Mo plays a key part of the Yankees' "old-new" strategy.

Mitchell Report: Having tons of names in the Report didn't scare the Dodgers away from signing another Mitchell name, catcher Gary Bennett.

Fernando Vina admits using HGH: If he was smart, he would volunteer to become ESPN's permanent "PED Analyst."

Hot meme: Using HGH to rehab injury before it was outlawed by MLB isn't so bad and certainly isn't as bad as using illegal steroids.

(If you applied the same standard to amphetamines as MLB PED hysterics did to HGH, it would cover ALL players and go back 50 years.)

Best Sports Blogger of 2007 Bracket: As reported yesterday, I'm seeded No. 14 in the South Region, with a very tough match-up against the 3-seed Brothers Mottram of Mister Irrelevant. Let's produce a world-shaking upset! Vote here. Vote now. (Warning: Browser opens to pictures of people in bikinis. SFW? Your call.) Support the cause! (Voting ends Wednesday. Coming tomorrow: A look at the rest of the bracket.)

CFB Bowls Preview: My latest Deadspin column, published yesterday, breaks down every single bowl game, along with its sponsors and a prediction.

Reviving a Daily Quickie tradition, see if you can match the sponsor to the bowl game:

Konica Minolta
R&L Carriers
Bell Helicopter
San Diego County Credit Union
Pacific Life
Gaylord Hotels

Music City
Armed Forces
Las Vegas
New Orleans

Answers found in my Deadspin post. Don't forget to sign up to compete in my Bowl Pick 'Em. Use the link on the upper-right. Group name: Daily Quickie Readers. No password needed; it's an open group.

-- D.S.


C Gally said...

I still don't understand the "spread defense won't work in the Big Ten" argument. Just because it hasn't been tried or because other teams don't do it doesn't mean it won't be effective.

With the slower defenses in the Big Ten, and fast offense can own house. Rich Rod with have a tough game once a year against OSU. I don't see any other teams that will have the speed on defense to compete.

Gundy said...

Just for clarification, All Day had 2 TDs last night: the goal line plunge and then the nearly-botched-handoff from Bollinger which turned into free and easy, high-stepping TD.

marcomarco said...

Yeesh, i'm happy to vote, but give a warning to those of us at work when a link opens to a bunch of bikini chicks saying "Busted Coverage"

After my vote, you're up 371-260

Unknown said...

What? No love for Fabio Capello, Dan? I've been waiting since Friday...

C Gally said...

Man, apparently my grammar doesn’t kick in until after 9

The Rev said...

Does Michigan fleecing West Virginia rival Boston pillaging Minnesota?

Honey Brown said...

The spread offense seemed to work pretty well for Illinois against tOSU. Although it didn't work against us all that well, Michigan student here. I for one am prying day and night that Pryor decides to come here, which would create instant excitement for next season. Him and Sam McGuffie in a few years might make for one of the most exciting backfields we've ever had. I just hope we can recruit some more athletic linemen rather than the power guys we have now.

Also, I'll be happy to see Mallet gone. Cocky kid with a bad attitude who thinks he is entitled to everything. The stories I've heard about him on campus do not make me like him at all. I'd be shocked if he made it 3 years without being suspended. I figured he'd go back to Texas somewhere, but UCLA with Chow would make sense if that all unfolded.

The Big Picture said...

you're making short work of Bros Mottram. Take it all, Dan!

Michael W said...

Over/under on Michigan winning the Big 10 - I say 2.5 years. What do you take?