So Shaq is on Twitter. What do you think it would take to get him to follow me? (If you're on Twitter, you can follow me @danshanoff)
OK, I love that Ball State is having an undefeated season. I'm sure Whitlock is beside himself. But there's a huge difference between appreciating their unbeaten season and finding them BCS-worthy, which they are not. That's near the top of today's SN column.
If all it takes to be BCS-worthy is being undefeated, then any/every BCS-conference team -- particularly the ones who can't crack the BCS -- would be smart to drop out of their conference, join the MAC or Sun Belt or Whatever and go unbeaten.
Now, compare Ball State's unbeaten season -- on the back of a terrible strength of schedule (see Hawaii a year ago) -- to Utah. Utah has arguably played a tougher schedule than USC. The computers have Utah ranked at No. 4.
Would Utah be unbeaten if they played in the Big 12? Doubt it. Would they be unbeaten if they played in the Pac-10? The Mountain West's success againt the Pac-10 this season would suggest that they very well might. I'd love to see Utah vs. USC in a BCS bowl, just to prove it.
This is a big weekend for the Utes: If they beat rival BYU in SLC, they should be BCS-bowl-bound. And they are worthy. Unlike Ball State, which is a great story, but not a BCS story.
(Hell: Ball State still has to beat Western Michigan next week, though the MAC title game should be a breeze.)
Meanwhile, I'm partial to Mike Mussina -- I saw him pitch in person a ton when I was growing up going to Orioles games and I saw his final game at Yankee Stadium. But I think that anyone who can get to 270 wins in this era -- in this era -- deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. I think he'll get there.
I put what could be my lamentation of the year in the column today: With the Dec. 1 deadline for Cubs bids, it is the shame of our generation that we couldn't harness the power of the Web to put together a million people putting up $1,000 each to make a billion-dollar play for the team. It would have been very hard for MLB to dismiss a massive fan-ownership effort. It's a missed opportunity.
Kudos to mega-Blazers fan Henry Abbott for pointing his readers to this yesterday: Greg Oden's plus-minus is not very good. In fact, it's kind of terrible. So I checked out last night's game stats: Sure, 11 pts, 10 reb, 4 blocks in 17 minutes seems good. But he had a +9 +/- in a 42-point Blazers win. That's not good. (FWIW, +/- is probably the most accurate broad-stroke single way to gauge a player's impact.)
I just can't buy Michigan State as a Final Four team, and I was thinking that long before last night's ugly win over IPFW.
Complete SN column here. More later.