Saturday, December 08, 2007

Tim Tebow Wins The Heisman!

Tim Tebow, 2007 Heisman Trophy winner.

Enough said.

(For tonight. More tomorrow and Monday.)

Saturday 12/08 (Very) Quickie: Tebow!

So: Who is your personally favorite college football player ever?

Tim Tebow's college career might not be halfway over, but I think Tebow is my favorite college player of all time. Between that and my excitement over Tebow poised to break through the Heisman's "Class Ceiling"*, I'm really excited about the award ceremony tonight.

But this isn't about the Heisman: It's about that first idea -- who is your personal favorite college player of all time?

Source material: For some, it's a player from their formative age of fandom (my wife's favorite college player of all time is Emmitt Smith); for others, it's a player who happened to star while they were in college (or just graduated); for others, it's an annual September-December fling with the nova stars that define college football -- spectacular Saturdays today, gone tomorrow... either to the NFL, or more likely, obscurity.

It will probably not surprise you to know that I have representation in all three categories. But there's something about Tebow -- the combination of skills, charisma, humility... obviously, the fact that he plays for my favorite team.

As other Gators fans will attest, Tebow presented a near-instant idolization from fans. Among Florida fans, I don't think it's crazy to say that he is already the most popular player in school history -- more than Emmitt Smith or Danny Weurffel or anyone else.

But the real question is back to you: Do you have a favorite college football player of all time? It could be a player from your youth, from your college years... hell, like me, he could have emerged THIS year.

Call it your personal lifetime Heisman: The "I-sman." Who wins?

* - Thanks for the name-check hat-tip on that "Class Ceiling" phrase on NPR's "All Things Considered" yesterday, Stefan Fatsis; you made my mother's week.

Very quickly through today's top headlines:

Bonds pleads not guilty: Could he have put this behind him with fans by New Year's Day if he had pleaded guilty? Particularly since...

The Mitchell Report comes out next week. Apparently Thursday. If MLB is lucky, it will be a Friday, muting its impact. Going to be fascinating.

Georgia Tech hires Navy's Paul Johnson: Who else thinks Johnson short-sold himself, and if he waited another week, he'd be coaching Michigan?

NBA: Celtics off to best home start in 23 years. I always love any Celtics mark from this year's team that bests the 1986 team.

CBB: OK, so apparently, Lute Olson needs to take the entire season off because he's going through a divorce? Still seems a little sketchy.

NFL: Reggie Bush has bad knee injury. Will keep him out of Monday's game, and possibly out for the rest of 07. Dud end to dud year for him.

Meanwhile, there's this new book coming out about Bush's improprieties at USC that will push the ball forward to strip him of his Heisman. Would be wild to let Heisman voters decide his fate, although it's easier for the Heisman Trust board to strip it from him.

Let's hope they do the right thing and award the Heisman to that year's runner-up, Vince Young, rather than vacate the award for that year. I don't think any fan will complain. In fact, I think most fans would approve.)

-- D.S.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Friday 12/07 A.M. Quickie:
Tebow, Redskins, Schiano, NFL Picks, More

Today's Names to Know: Tim Tebow, Jason Campbell, Rex Grossman, Jose Guillen, Mike Ditka, Jim Grobe, Lute Olson, Allen Iverson, More!

Will Tebow win the Heisman? Breaking the "Class Ceiling" – the historical (and ridiculous) Heisman voter-bias against freshman and sophomores – is the biggest reason everyone should be rooting for him to win the award (presuming you think his on-field qualifications are worthy, too, which they undeniably are).

Herschel Walker. Marshall Faulk. Larry Fitzgerald. Adrian Peterson. Darren McFadden. All were the best players in the country as freshman and sophomores, but were denied the Heisman, presumably because of their age. (Who knows how many others never even got as far as the Top 2 or 3 because they were instantly discounted because of their class year?)

It should be the end of a stodgy era: Thank goodness. Now, with that taboo eliminated, we can get down to the business of actually giving the Heisman to the best PLAYER in college football. Not the "best junior or senior" in college football.

I'm sure Herschel Walker approves.

Redskins (without Campbell) beat Bears (without Grossman): The defending NFC champs will not make the playoffs – continuing the trend for the Super Bowl runner-up to bottom-out the next season. The Redskins keep slight playoff hopes alive, but this was a bigger win because they buried their teammate Sean Taylor just days ago.

Michigan Coaching Watch: Is Greg Schiano interested in leaving his beloved Rutgers for the Michigan job? Now THAT would be a coup for Michigan. Tracking...

UPDATE: I'm not sure I made a big enough deal out of this Schiano-Michigan story. He interviewed there. (I'm not sure why Michigan AD "Buffoonish Bill" Martin -- the punchline of this entire process -- didn't make an offer on the spot.) He wouldn't interview if he didn't have interest. And if he's interested, Michigan needs to grab him NOW. This would be a huge score for Michigan -- it might even make me lose the "Buffoonish" tag for AD Martin.

UPDATE 2: Apparently, Schiano is out of the running. Buffoonish Bill screw up again.

MLB "PED Stove": Jose Guillen (and Jay Gibbons) suspended for first 15 games of next season's debut with the Royals for being involved with HGH. That was quite the offseason pickup for KC.

NFL Preview and Picks: Top Storylines
1. Playoff Chase: 6-6, 7-5 teams need wins
2. Pats 19-0 Watch: On line vs. Steelers
3. Fins 0-16 Watch: On road vs. Bills
4."Sportsman" Curse: How's Favre's injury?
5. Fantasy playoffs begin: Are you in?

Picks (home team in ALLCAPS):
BILLS over Dolphins
BENGALS over Rams
Cowboys over LIONS
PACKERS over Raiders
Chargers over TITANS
EAGLES over Giants
JAGS over Panthers
Bucs over TEXANS
Vikings over 49ERS
SEAHAWKS over Cards
BRONCOS over Chiefs
PATS over Steelers
Browns over JETS
Colts over RAVENS
Saints over FALCONS

Sports Media: Pats-Ravens ended up being the highest-rated show in cable TV history. Not bad. (Yeah, I'm a day late on this.)

Meanwhile, this idea to have students provide content to ESPNU is genius: Free, pre-qualified content for a channel that needs the cheap inventory, all in exchange for a cost-free byline. That's not criticism; meanwhile, the college kids get some exposure in the ESPN universe.

NFL vs. Retirees: Mike Ditka a hypocrite? Ditka has been an outspoken critic of the league and supporter of NFL retirees. So why, then, has his charity dedicated to the cause only given out $57,000 on $1.3 million in collections? Just asking.

More CFB Coaching Carousel: No, Jim Grobe doesn't want to coach at Arkansas. Again: Arkansas is the new Michigan.

CFB Awards Season: Big night last night for the SEC. Tebow for Davey O'Brien and Maxwell. Darren McFadden for Doak Walker and Walter Camp. Glenn Dorsey for Outland (but Dorsey lost the Bednarik to Penn State's Dan Connor)

CBB: Lute Olson to extend his leave of absence to the entire season. This now becomes "newsy" enough that aren't you curious WHY? Yes, it's "personal family matters," but it feels like Olson gets a level of deference from mainstream media that another coach in another sport wouldn't get.

NBA Stud: Allen Iverson... for the second straight day! 35 points and 12 assists in a huge Nuggets win in Dallas on national TV. For those keeping count, that's 86 points for Iverson in two games/days.

Have a great weekend, everyone. Thanks for joining in the experiment of the spinoff blog for Commenting "regulars." They're having a good time over there; we're still having a good time over here.

-- D.S.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Thursday 12/06 A.M. Quickie:
SportsMEN of 07, Stove, CFB Awards, More!

Today's Names to Know: Sportsman of the Year, Tim Tebow, Andruw Jones, Johan Santana, Jimbo Fisher, Jim Grobe, Bears-Redskins, Allen Iverson, Manu Ginobili, Washington State, Todd Bertuzzi, Kevin Coble and More!

Dan Shanoff's Sportsman SportsMEN of the Year: Florida Basketball's Starting 5.*

Why "Them Gator Boyz?" Because this year, more than any other athlete, they stood out.

Because, coming off a national title, they deferred the guaranteed NBA millions to stay together in college for one more year to stay together (and have one more year of college fun) as a unit and to try to make history: To become the first team to win back-to-back titles since Duke in 1991 and 1992.

They were they ultimate team, in an era of sports (particularly of college sports) where individual ambition usually trumps selflessness and devotion to a greater goal. For my (admittedly biased) money, they were the greatest starting five in modern college basketball history. The on-court success matched by the off-court commitment to each other and the program.

SI had a chance to make a statement about what it means to be a team-first group in a me-first sports world (a world that Brett Favre, ironically, could be argued to personify). They overlooked the two-time national champion Florida Gators basketball starting five.

Specifically for 2007: Of any year, when sports news hit rock-bottom -- arguably the worst year ever in sports, in terms of bad news (or "bad newz") -- them Gator Boyz were a reminder of everything that is RIGHT about sports.

(* - My response to SI's pick of Brett Favre as Sportsman of the Year. Let me start by acknowledging that I sat on this until today, not knowing that Michael Wilbon would make the same call on PTI last night. I disagree with Wilbon's opinions on many topics, but I commend him on his insightful choice about this. What a reminder: When it comes to blogging, better to be early than astute!)

MLB Hot Stove: Andruw Jones to Dodgers for 2Y/$$36.2M. Not exactly the $20 million per year that Scott Boras was talking about, but $18M per year isn't bad for a guy considered perhaps on the downslope of his career. Certainly a glamorous pick-up for the Dodgers, a team that needed one.

Johan Santana Watch: Are the Twins going to keep him after all, in order to compete with the Tigers? That will be great, right up until Santana leaves eventually and they get nothing in return.

Rumor: Are the Cubs working on a deal to get both Brian Roberts AND Erik Bedard?

CFB Awards Season: The Appetizer Show is tonight, all the position-specific awards, in advance of the Heisman ceremony on Saturday.

Here are my picks:
Maxwell (Outstanding POY): Tim Tebow
Bednarik (Defensive POY): Glenn Dorsey
O'Brien (Best QB): Tim Tebow
Walker (Best RB): Darren McFadden
Biletnikoff (Best WR): Michael Crabtree
Outland (Interior Lineman): Jake Long
Thorpe (Best DB): Craig Steltz
Groza (Best K): Jose Martinez
Guy (Best P): Durant Brooks

Dorsey wins Lombardi Award: Given to nation's best lineman or linebacker. Along with the Nagurski, it could be a clean sweep tonight with the Bednarik and Outland.

(And, yet, Dorsey gets not even a hint of Heisman buzz. How can a guy be the most dominant player – offense or defense – on a team in the national title game (and favored to win it) and not even get Top 5 consideration for the Heisman?

It's time to officially reclassify the Heisman as the "best offensive player." The Nagurski Award (or maybe the Bednarik) really needs a marketing team to re-brand their award as the "Heisman of Defense," complete with a distinctive trophy.

Virginia's Chris Long (son of Howie) won the Hendricks Award as the nation's best defensive end. No word on whether he gets a gift certificate to Radio Shack from his dad.

Heisman finalists named: Tebow, McFadden, Daniel, Brennan. They had been inviting 3 recently. I had heard they were inviting 5. I think they settled on 4 because, based on projections at, Daniel and Brennan were running nearly even for 3rd. I'm all for inviting both (would have been nice to see Pat White there, or even Central Florida RB Kevin Smith, who had a monster year in relative anonymity).

Tim Tebow has never been to New York until this weekend: I personally invite Tebow to let me take him and his family on a tour. (OK, how about just letting me tag along on theirs?)

CFB Coaching Carousel: Jimbo Fisher to succeed Bobby Bowden at Florida State, eventually. Presumably, that's why they brought him in from LSU a year ago. Of course, given the way FSU looked more like A-S-S than F-S-U, I'm not quite sure he's the guy to bring FSU back to its glory days.

Meanwhile, is Wake Forest's Jim Grobe going to Arkansas? That would be a great hire for Arkansas: Grobe did the seemingly impossible -- he turned Wake Forest into a BCS-bowl team. This season wasn't as good as last season, sure, but it wasn't a regression to "old" Wake Forest.

CFB Scandal: I'm a few days late, but the blatant gamesmanship from coaches voting in the final Coaches' Top 25 poll should be enough to get the BCS to remove the Coaches' poll from the equation. With such a wide-open race for No. 2, coaches (and their particular coaching buddies) pulled out all the stops, ranking teams way ahead of where they should be -- or way below.

The Coaches' Poll already had a massive credibility problem, and it was exposed (again) this week, worse than ever. It's a goddamn embarrassment. Fans shouldn't stand for it. (Cripes, the BCS would honestly be better off replacing it with the BlogPoll Top 25. I'm only partly kidding. At least we all take it seriously enough to vote honestly. (H/T: Bleacher Report.)

NFL Tonight: Bears-Redskins. Even without Sean Taylor's death, it has been a rough year for Redskins fans, who have seen their team blunder game-endings in new and unenjoyable ways all season long. Meanwhile, Bears fans have to be bummed that their team has taken a BIG step back from NFC Champs to NFC dud. Hey, at least they've still got must-see Devin Hester. Oh, that's right, the game is on the NFL Network tonight; not much "must-see" about that. Pick: Redskins.

NFL: We've got a guarantee! Steelers DB Anthony Smith guaranteed Pittsburgh would beat the Patriots in New England next Sunday. Now, it's a pretty risk-free guarantee for him. What: Like the Pats need any more motivation right now than going 19-0? (I have always thought that more players should bust out the pre-game guarantees of victory. They can't possibly move the needle of the other team's players, and they are as meaningful as predictions from sportswriters, columnists, talking heads and bloggers -- in other words, useless.

NBA Stud of the Night: Allen Iverson, who had 51 points, but it wasn't enough for the Nuggets to beat the Lakers on national TV.

Tale of Missing Players: Without Tim Duncan, the Spurs still beat the Mavs (Ginobili 37); without LeBron James, the Cavs lost to the Wizards.

Cavs keeping Varejao. Won't help 'em if LeBron ain't healthy.

CBB: Washington State edged Gonzaga in a signature non-conference game for both teams. File that away until March.

Freshman Watch: I swear I'm not intentionally trying to go Gator-heavy today. But ad dFlorida combo guard Nick Calathes to the growing list of impact freshmen this season. He had 20 points, 9 assists and 8 rebounds in his best all-around game as a Gator; he has quickly established himself as the best player on a very inexperienced, but extremely talented team.

NHL: Cripes, was Todd Bertuzzi's "hit" on Scott Moore ORDERED by Canucks then-coach Marc Crawford (who now coaches the Kings)? (If that's the case, why didn't Bertuzzi say that immediately after the incident?)

Must-Read: Andy Katz on Northwestern's Kevin Coble. As an analogy, it's hardly a perfect fit, but I truly appreciate the choice that Coble made: 11 years ago, I was a rising young editor at in Seattle. My grandfather was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given 3 months to live. I flatly quit my promising job, drove cross-country to Brooklyn and moved in with my grandparents. He got 12 months and I got the most irreplaceable experience of my life, next to marriage and fatherhood.

-- D.S.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Wednesday 12/05 A.M. Quickie:
MLB Blockbuster, CBB Showcase, More!

Today's Names to Know: Miguel Cabrera, Dontrelle Willis, Andrew Miller, Cameron Maybin, Michael Beasley, OJ Mayo, Derrick Rose, Tim Tebow, Tommy Bowden, Tommy Tuberville, Anderson Varejao, Amare Stoudemire, Eric Rivera, Sean Taylor, Travis Henry and More!

Brett Favre is SI Sportsman of the Year:
I neglected to mention this earlier this morning. Here's my instant reaction: WHAAAAA?!

What a lousy pick. I appreciate his Renaissance this season, but he isn't even the best quarterback of 2007 – that would be either Tom Brady (this season) or Peyton Manning (for his Super Bowl "finally" win). Hell, I'd even do something inspired like "College Football's Spread Offense QBs," who are revolutionizing the game. I'll have my own pick for who they should have picked as Sportsman (or, hint: SportsMEN) of the Year tomorrow.

MLB Sizzling Stove: Marlins trade Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to the Detroit Tigers. Wow. This is huge.

The Tigers instantly become the offseason's biggest winners: (At least until the Red Sox get Santana.) The Tigers get arguably the best hitter in baseball under the age of 25 AND a pitcher who, as recently as a few seasons ago, was the guy I considered the REAL "Face of Baseball."

And the Tigers got Willis without giving up any of their established pitchers. Granted, Andrew Miller could be a future stud – and so might Maybin. But Willis and Cabrera are stars NOW. (Imagine Cabrera hitting in a lineup with Magglio Ordonez and Pudge Sheffield. Yikes.)

It was a bold move by a franchise that needed one to keep pace with the World Series champs, the Yankees and the Angels. Arguably, this was the best, most valuable offseason acquisition of any of them. Huge kudos to the Tigers.

As for the Marlins, I would have thought they would have gotten more if they had done individual deals for each player. But if you think of it as Willis-for-Miller and Cabrera-for-Maybin, they traded age (relative age) for youth and cost (eventual cost) for cheap. If you're the Marlins, it's not a bad deal; they could have done worse.

Meanwhile, the Yankees are out of the Johan Santana trade talks, opening the door for the Red Sox to get him... and dominate the AL East for the rest of the decade and beyond. I never thought I would see the day when there was a price too rich for the Yankees to pursue (and claim) a top-tier player. The George Steinbrenner Era is truly over.

College Hoops Year of the Freshman Awesomeness at Madison Square Garden: Kansas State's Michael Beasley had 19 and 13 in a loss to Notre Dame; OJ Mayo led all scorers with 16 in a USC loss to Memphis; Derrick Rose didn't score much (9 points) but had a team-high 10 assists and 4 rebounds to lead the Tigers to a gritty win. If I was an NBA scout, I would have graded their potential: Beasley, Mayo, Rose. (But, as always, it really depends on that elusive "team need.")

Steroids Scandal, Cont'd: A wild study to be released today says that the seemingly "clean" supplement that your favorite athlete might be mainlining could, in fact, have steroids in it.

Now, we don't know whether athletes take supposedly "clean" supplements knowing they have steroids in them (Shocked! Shocked!) or whether athletes are taking supplements laced with steroids unknowingly, or at least willfully blind to perhaps better improvements from the supplement than expected ("Wow, that seemingly innocuous powder really works!").

The bottom line: Yet another issue in the scandal, although perhaps a bit of cover for athletes who test positive. "It must have been that my seemingly clean supplement was secretly spiked with steroids! I would NEVER have taken them if I knew that!" At least, that's what I would claim.

CFB: Heisman Watch. You all know who I think should win, and would have voted for if I had a vote. (My ballot, in order: Tebow, McFadden, Brennan. Tebow optimally combines talent, "valuableness," stats and team success. McFadden is a close second. Brennan gets third on the strength of the classic "Ron Dayne Lifetime Achievement" rationale.)

Much more on the Heisman tomorrow and Friday, but in the meantime, if you aren't looking at, you are missing out on one of the best single-issue Web sites out there.

It's like Wiki-Heisman: SAT effectively becomes the leading independent exit poll: It tracks the Heisman votes made public by voters, as they make them, by harnessing the help of a national network of fans who tip off the site. Site founder Kari Chisolm then uses the data to make projections which have been staggeringly accurate.

For now, StiffArmTrophy has Tebow in the lead, followed by McFadden in a strong second, with Brennan and Chase Daniel locked in a battle for third. They have 151 ballots counted, which is more than statistically significant enough to "call it" (you'd be shocked at how much vastly less a news network uses to call a race on Election Night). It's looking good for Tebow, but I don't wan't a "Dewey Beats Truman" moment on this.

CFB Coaching Carousel: Apparently, Tommy Bowden won't be going to Arkansas. He'll be staying at Clemson, where he just got an extension to continue going 9-3, winning at least one game they have no business winning, then losing two more they have no business losing.

Good day for Tommys: Tommy Tuberville – another rumored candidate for Arkansas – signed a two-year extension with Auburn. With all the rejections, Arkansas is the new Michigan.

More MLB Hot Stove: Jake Peavy is going to become the highest-paid Padre of all time (as he should be)... I'm sorry: Joe Morgan for the Hall of Fame's Frick Award for Media Excellence? (My god: might implode.)

NBA: Bobcats want to sign Cavs exile Anderson Varejao. You know: That wouldn't be a terrible nucleus of Gerald Wallace, Jason Richardson, Raymond Felton, Emeka Okafor and Varejao. If they didn't waste those draft picks on Sean May and, especially, Adam Morrison, things would actually be looking promising. (It's hindsight, but imagine that team with David Lee instead of Sean May, and Brandon Roy instead of Adam Morrison.) (Yeah, yeah: I originally screwed this item up.)

NBA Stud Last Night: Amare had 42 in a 4-point win for the Suns over the Pacers. (Dud: Billy King, the 76ers GM finally axed by the team, who looked across state lines for the Nets' Ed Stefanski, an immediate upgrade.)

NFL: Know the name Eric Rivera, because you'll be hearing it a lot today. That's the 17-year-old who a grand jury said was the gunman in the death of Sean Taylor.

Travis Henry wins his appeal on the drug stuff and will NOT be suspended. Good news for fans who are counting on Henry to help them through their fantasy playoffs.

Pats-Ravens RefGate: From the questionable calls to the stuff about Samari Rolle being called "a boy" by one of the refs, it's a few too many days after the game for this to continue to be an issue people are talking about.

CFB Coach of the Year Update: The 10 finalists (for 1-A) and five finalists (each for 1-AA, D2 and D3) come out today. I suspect that names like Mangino, Croom and Zook will make the cut. It'll be interesting to see who else makes the cut. Don't forget to vote, starting today. And if you've got a comment about the finalists, leave them on my special Coach of the Year blog, done in partnership with the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award. Would love to hear your analysis over at

Attention, Commenters: If you are a commenting "regular" (or just want to be one), the group has moved to an approved-commenters-only site over at Just head over there, follow the instructions to get registered and you'll be joining the day-long, on-topic fun in no time. (Of course, you can still comment here at, but all comments are moderated.)

Oh, and if you live in NYC, tomorrow night is Varsity Letters with a fantastic lineup: Wright Thompson, Todd Gallagher, Aaron Schatz and Stewart Mandel. It's at Happy Ending (302 Broome) and FREE.

-- D.S.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tuesday 12/04 A.M. Quickie:
Pats, Hawaii, Taylor, Rutgers, More!

Today's Names to Know: Patriots, Bart Scott, Jabar Gaffney, Hawaii, Glenn Dorsey, Karl Dorrell, Chris Peterson, Tim Duncan, Rutgers, College Bowl Pick 'Em!

MNF: Pats escape Baltimore. For a single moment, we were all Ravens fans. They were leading the Pats with under a minute to play.

Then Brady-to-Gaffney happened, and 12-0 was the result.

For another moment, we were all Ravens fans: When Bart Scott drew two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, he reflected the frustration felt by ALL of us – every fan who would like to see the Pats lose and saw what might have been the closest things will get.

(Even if secretly -- or openly -- we would all like to see them go 19-0, if only for the history and to shut up those 1972 Dolphins alumni. Now, if we could only get accompanying quiet from Pats fans, it's something everyone could possibly get on board with. Unfortunately, quiet from Pats fans ain't happening. Ever.)

In the beginning of the season, the Patriots were blowing teams out; now, they are barely escaping – last night the closest finish yet.

But the fact is, the Pats are still winning: That the Ravens were leading with less than a minute to go is the power of the NFL's parity beginning to take its toll on the Pats, but the fact remains:


Pats fans can claim nervousness, but it feels disingenuous. They can claim continued arrogance, but it feels insufferable. The bottom line is that they can continue to claim they are undefeated.

Sean Taylor Funeral: Here's hoping it brings even a little bit of consolation (and perhaps even closure) to his family, friends and fans.

More CFB/BCS/Bowl Talk: The "Why Not Hawaii?" Movement. Yesterday, all that talk about Hawaii being a national-title contender was more for fun than for real. But you can feel the meme advancing, just like I put it in my Deadspin column yesterday:

"Given the way many — including me — consider UGA the best team in the country right now, wouldn't a sudden contrarian surge of AP support for Hawaii as champ put the perfect cap on this most imperfect of seasons?"

(H/T to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for putting that quote in their BCS analysis roundup.)

But you can nearly feel it: By the time we get to the Sugar Bowl, there will be legitimate momentum behind the idea that if Hawaii beats Georgia (given the respect most "experts" have for Georgia right now), they will earn enough first-place votes in a "protest" vote by the AP to make the notion of a "split" champ interesting. (The first thing I think of is BYU in 1984, which would be the closest analogue.) Of course, Hawaii has to beat Georgia first.

CFB Awards Season: Glenn Dorsey wins the Nagurski Award as CFB's top defender. I have a feeling Dorsey will sweep any/all awards in which he is a finalist. (No, Heisman doesn't count.)

MLB Hot Stove: Winter Meeting Mania! The Rays got rid of their second insanely talented (and possibly insane) outfielder by trading Elijah Dukes to the Nats, where presumably Dukes will fall under the tutelage of reformed wack-job Dmitri Young, whose brother Delmon was the first troubled-but-talented Rays outfielder to be traded this offseason.

Andy Pettitte returns to the Yankees: Not nearly as interesting as if they got, say, Johan Santana. The Yankees better not hope that's their big pitching pick-up of the offseason.

Speaking of which, while the Yankees seemed to take the hard-line with the Twins regarding Santana, the Red Sox are wisely saying, "Let's make a deal." When they get Santana and end up winning the next four World Series, the Yankees will be kind of bummed about their decisions this week.

More Hot Stove: What about Erik Bedard? If Johan Santana is out of your price range, how about Erik Bedard, who might be the second-most-talented starting pitcher available in the trade market. He could be a difference-maker to a contender.

CFB Coaching Carousel: Karl Dorrell out at UCLA. Now, UCLA isn't a Top 5 job, but it sure is intriguing. You play in a huge market with an insane recruiting base. They should have their choice of good candidates, and I'm betting they get Boise State's Chris Petersen, who denies he was even contacted about the job. (But I'm with Orson at EDSBS: Mike Leach is a phenomenal fit there.)

Michigan can't find a coach: What was that last week about Michigan being one of the Top 5 jobs in college football? Ohh, right: I said IT'S NOT. And the fact that no one wants the job -- aside from current assistants, who are paid to want the job -- confirms it. What a complete insult.

Baseball Hall of Fame Vets Committee: Marvin Miller not being in the Baseball Hall of Fame is probably the most egregious (and obviously intentional) slight of any Hall of Fame in sports.

NBA: Tim Duncan is only going to miss a few games with that sprained knee. Again: This just highlights how useless the NBA regular season is; Duncan's status won't become material until, say, May.

CBB: Rutgers women are on a mission. On the day Don Imus returned to the air, the No. 6 Scarlet Knights beat No. 3 Maryland 68-60. As the most high-profile program in women's basketball (eclipsing even Tennessee or UConn, unfortunately for non-basketball reasons), they can single-handedly drive more interest in the sport with a big season.

CBB Tonight: Michael Beasley, OJ Mayo and Derrick Rose -- all at Madison Square Garden. Arguably, these could be the first three picks of the 2008 NBA Draft, all in the same building and on national TV tonight. Beasley is arguably the best power forward in college basketball; Mayo is arguably the best shooting guard in college basketball; Rose is arguably the best point guard in college basketball. Needless to say, it's a big night.

NFL: Packers' board approves Mark Murphy as team president. Chalk another leadership position with a storied sports franchise to a Northwestern guy. First, alum Joe Girardi was named manager of the Yankees; now, the NU AD is put in charge of the most iconic franchise in pro football.

Finally, I intentionally didn't mention Florida's Capital One match-up with Michigan yesterday (see: I don't inflict my Florida fandom on you ALL the time).

Anyway, yeah: Florida is going to wax them, giving Lloyd Carr a send-off fitting a guy who spent his last season completely befuddled by the idea of defending the new-fangled spread offense. I would also like to see a small measure of beatdown for the temerity Michigan fans had last season in protesting that they, not Florida, should have been in the national title game.

Meanwhile, Florida will win impressively enough to springboard them to a 2008 preseason No. 1 ranking, which they will hold all next season en route to a national title. (There: Aren't you sorry I circled back to talk about it?)

College Bowl Mania! Don't forget to sign up using the link in the upper right. Go to's College Bowl Mania, go to the group Daily Quickie Readers and sign up. It's public so no password is necessary.

Lastly, in case you missed the announcement yesterday, we have launched a new experiment with commenting. If you want to comment on with one-off bits of your brilliant analysis, send them as usual; the comments will be moderated and not go up instantly.

However, if you are a commenting "regular" (or want to be) and would like to join in the usual day-long, on-topic conversation that has become a staple of the blog, head on over to It's an approved-only commenters' community. If you want to join, go to the site, follow the directions and you'll be part of the flow in no time.

-- D.S.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Monday 12/03 A.M. Quickie:
Ohio State vs. LSU for the BCS Title

Today's Names to Know: Ohio State and LSU, Hawaii and New Orleans, Luke McCown and Josh McCown, LaDainian Tomlinson and Adrian Peterson, Johan Santana and Phil Hughes, Randy Edsall and Bo Pelini, Texas and UCLA hoops, Grant Hill and Tim Duncan, and More!

UPDATE: This week's Deadspin CFB guest-post is up.

UPDATE 2: I have created a public group in ESPN's College Bowl Mania. Group name is the usual: Daily Quickie Readers. As always, no password required. Hope to see you in there! Sign up now! (Daily reminders over the next two weeks...)

BCS Mania! For the second year in a row, it will be top-ranked Ohio State in the national title game against an SEC champ ranked No. 2.

Ohio State vs. LSU.

It's hard to argue with it. Oklahoma fans will disagree, as will Georgia, Virginia Tech, USC and Kansas fans. But LSU was the best choice of a pretty messy situation.

Rose: USC vs. Illinois
Sugar: Georgia vs. Hawaii
Fiesta: Oklahoma vs. West Virginia
Orange: Virginia Tech vs. Kansas

Will there be a "split" title? Interestingly, Oklahoma, Georgia and USC will have a hard time generating any momentum for it, because the teams they are playing aren't even in the AP Top 9.

Anyway, I fully expect a whole lot of griping about LSU, but if we know nothing else about the BCS, it is what it is. And, if the result is anything like last year's, the clearest way to end any doubt is for the "controversial" No. 2 to throttle the "clear-cut" No. 1.

Clarification: My insisting, all week long, that West Virginia over Pitt was a lock may/will go down as my single worst prediction of 2007. (I will say this: The wrongness of that pick -- which many got wrong, let's face it -- is more than balanced out by the fact that Virginia Tech ended the regular season as the No. 1 team in the computer polls... exactly where I predicted them to be back in August. If VT beats Kansas and LSU beats Ohio State, the Hokies might not win the BCS or AP national titles, but they WILL capture a few computer national titles. Oh well...)

Much more on the BCS and college football throughout the week and month... but I'm more than a little sad that the regular season is over, particularly a regular season as wild as this one has been.

NFL Round-Up: It's the time of year when Fantasy playoff races trump actual playoff races. Here's hoping your opponent this week didn't have LaDainian Tomlinson or Adrian Peterson -- or start Luke McCown at QB because he had some sort of "gut" feeling.

Notes: I'm sure that was a doubly depressing outcome for Redskins fans... The Colts foiled the Jags for the second time this season (but, again, seriously: does any playoff jockeying in the AFC matter?)... So as seemingly half the NFC battles for that 6th and final playoff spot, the Vikings must feel good knowing that they have Adrian Peterson... Sunday Night: How frustrated must Steelers fans be that their team is 9-3 but they are given virtually no chance of winning the AFC?

Dolphins 0-16 Watch: If the question was "Can it get worse for the Dolphins than that 3-0 debacle last Monday in Pittsburgh?" The answer is: "Ouch: Yes!" When the second-worst team in the league beats you by 27, it gets MUCH worse. (Beck: NOT the QB of the future.) The Fins are now a mere 2 games from tying the 1976 0-14 Bucs. They have at Buffalo and home against the Ravens, then they're at New England. Yikes.

MNF Tonight: Pats-Ravens. Sizes up as another ass-kicking by the Pats en route to 19-0.

MLB Hot Stove: Yankees closer to Santana than Red Sox because they are willing to give up Phil Hughes? The Yankees have set a deadline of today to complete a deal. Will the Twins pull the trigger or will they lose their leverage? Would the Yankees really pull out, leaving Santana to the Red Sox?

If the Red Sox want Santana, it looks like they're going to have to give up on Jacoby Ellsbury. I know they're high on him, but I'm not sure how they can compare a good, rising outfield talent to the best pitcher of our generation. (Especially if they let the Yankees get him.)

Meanwhile, the Winter Meetings start today, and there's a lot of talk about trades. Not just involving Santana, but Miguel Cabrera is expected to be moved, too. Cabrera is only one of the Top 3 young hitters in MLB. No impact there or anything.

CFB Coaching Carousel: Randy Edsall caught whatever Les Miles had, and turned down Georgia Tech to stay at UConn, either understanding that his current job isn't so bad, understanding a better job is likely if he waits a year or understanding that GA Tech ain't such a good job.

Bo Pelini takes over at Nebraska: He will certainly improve that leaky defense. The question is: Will he fully dismantle Bill Callahan's West Coast offense and return Nebraska to smash-mouth? (Here's a hint: Borrow from West Virginia and install the zone read run as the basic play.)

More Bowling: Of all of the non-BCS bowl matchups, Missouri vs. Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas sizes up as the most intriguing. That's two Heisman contenders in two vastly different (but equally entertaining) offensive styles.

CBB: Couple of very intriguing results in the Pac-10/Big 12 Challenge (or "Hardwood Series"):

Most notably, No. 1 UCLA was taken down at home by upstart No. 8 Texas... No. 4 Kansas dispatched No. 24 USC... Salvaging a little pride for the Pac-10, unranked Arizona beat previously unbeaten Texas A&M. But that UCLA result is really interesting: One logical -- but unpredicted -- conclusion is that Texas is actually better WITHOUT Kevin Durant.

Meanwhile: Indiana beat Southern Illinois in Carbondale. Eric Gordon had 22 in what looks like a signature non-conference win for the Hoosiers.

NBA Sunday Stud: Grant Hill, who had 28 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals in what might have been his best game since he was in Detroit and considered one of the Top 10 talents in the league. The Suns rolls over the Knicks, of course, but what an offseason pick-up for Phoenix.

Meanwhile, Tim Duncan's right knee was bruised, but it doesn't sound like the injury was season-threatening. Still, it's a reminder that the Spurs should be managing their season to be peaking in May and June; who cares if Duncan doesn't play in December?

Comments System Update: We're trying an experiment. Those of you who read the blog regularly know that the comments section is a, um, lively place. There are generally two types of comments: One-off, stand-alone comments about one topic or another that comes up in the lead morning Quickie post, or a "conversation" of comments that tends to stretch throughout the day.

I wanted to create a place for this conversation to continue, with the participants having a little more control. So, we created, a blog dedicated entirely to the commenting "regulars" who enjoy discussing (and, yes, arguing) about sports topics all day. Participation on that blog's comment section is by approval only.

If you are a commenting "regular" who would like to be part of this group (or just interested in becoming one), please send an email to dscommenters-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Include your email address and Blogger screen name that you have used to make comments on the blog before. You will undoubtedly be approved.

Meanwhile, the usual comments will continue to live on They will continue to be "moderated." If you mainly want to make a smart one-off comment about one of the topics covered in the blog, this will continue to be a good forum for that.

Again, this is just an experiment, partly due to necessity, partly due to opportunity and partly due to the terrific community of commenters that has grown and developed since this blog launched last year.

-- D.S.