Don't forget to sign up for the NFL Pick 'Em. See post below.
Speaking of picks, in my SN column today, I feel like I copped out by picking the Pats over the Cowboys for the Super Bowl. The whole exercise seemed rote: I feel like 5 of 6 AFC playoff teams are locks (NE, IND, PIT, SD, JAX), with the 6th -- Giants 07 notwithstanding -- being fairly irrelevant. The NFC -- again Giants '07 notwithstanding -- is uninspiring, beyond the Cowboys, the defending champs and perhaps the designated "sexy" pick, Minnesota. Pats over Cowboys? I grade myself with a "Meh."
Meanwhile, instant replay in baseball didn't have to result in overturning an ump's call in order to be deemed a huge success. The mere fact that they checked makes it worthwhile -- I'd be thrilled if there wasn't a single ump's call that was overturned between now and the end of the season.
So: Are Cubs fans freaked out yet? 5 losses in a row, Zambrano with an MRI today and Rich Harden on what feels like a month's rest between starts, which makes the likelihood of his effectiveness in a 5- or 7-game series in October...iffy, enough that it should worry Cubs fans.
CFB: I will be equal opportunity here -- Ohio State shouldn't even THINK about playing Beanie Wells this weekend, one week ahead of the make-or-break game at USC. I suspect they won't chance it. In the same way, Florida shouldn't even think about playing Percy Harvin this weekend against Miami, two weeks ahead of the SEC opener at Tennessee. They don't need him; if anything, last Saturday proved that the team has "Harvin-Lite" game-breakers in Rainey and Demps and James. Save him for when they DO need him.
Picks: Complete weekend CFB and NFL picks coming tomorrow, but there are two picks to make for tonight, and I'm sure it'll get me off to my usual banner start with the NFL:
Giants over Redskins.
Vanderbilt over South Carolina.
More later. Complete SN column here.