It's an absolutely loaded SN column this morning. Tons to cover:
Perhaps not my absolution to bestow, but on behalf of non-Chargers fans, I forgive Ed Hochuli (and I was among the more vocal haters all week long).
Speaking of hating, I finally give up/give in and Tim Lincecum gets my pick over CC Sabathia for NL Cy -- ironically the morning after Lincecum loses his first game since July.
I'm having a hard time deciding which 9th-inning comeback was better: The Cubs (down 4 with 2 outs and no one on against the closest division rival) or the Twins (5-run rally against the best of the AL East and playoff oblivion pending if they didn't). Given that the Cubs' magic number is 2 and the Twins magic number is, like, "-6" I'm going with the Twins.
Wait: Why am I talking baseball? It's a football Friday. I'm wondering about Adrian Peterson. I'm wondering about Darren McFadden. I'm wondering about Tyler Thigpen. I'm wondering about JT O'Sullivan. I'm wondering if Brandon Marshall is going to be suspended again.
The CFB weekend is a little more clear-cut: It's SEC-dominated. Georgia at Arizona State. Florida at Tennessee. LSU at Auburn. That's 4 Top 10 teams, with the other two teams ranked in the Top 20 in the preseason (not that that counts!)
What I'm hoping is that in the absence of USC playing, perhaps pundits will recognize that the SEC's strength of schedule is so much more difficult than USC's that in the event that both the SEC champ and Big 12 champ go unbeaten, both would vault USC into the BCS title game.
At the very least, that Florida will stomp Tennessee and I will be able to listen to the lamentation of Clay Travis for one more year.
Full CFB Preview and Picks coming at around 11:30 this morning, but I've only picked one upset in the Top 25.
I will say, however, that my faith in Ohio State's ability to fend off feisty Troy is directly correlated to the percentage of snaps that Jim Tressel gives Terrelle Pryor. It will be 50 percent, as Tressel says -- right up until Troy keeps it close, at which point Todd Boeckman will be benched and never see the light of day again.
The SN column also has one of my favorite jokes of the year. About Auburn's dean of students telling fans not to boo, the natural response -- and apologies if others have gotten to this faster, as I'm sure they have -- is to say "They're not saying 'boo!' They're saying 'Boo-urns!'" That line has never ever been more fitting.
I was at Yankee Stadium last night, btw. I'm not a Yankees fan (as you all know), but I appreciated the moment of history, with the Stadium's last game on Sunday night. (It was also a chance for me to see Mike Mussina in person for the first time since his early years in Baltimore -- he's one of my favorite pitchers of all time, and it was nice to see him pitch another win in this remarkable Fountain-of-Youth year.) But, yeesh, that place is a dump. (The new one, though? Gorgeous, at least from the outside.)
Ryder Cup: I'm not particularly interested, although I appreciate it as golf-as-team-sport spectacle, with all that jingoistic nationalism thrown in for fun. But as I mentioned in the column, any homer chant of "USA! USA!" should be met by the Euros with "AIG! AIG!" And then we can all continue weeping over the state of the U.S. economy...
Complete SN column here.