Wednesday, November 21, 2012

11/21 (Thankful) Quickie

Sorry to cut in: 138 points by Grinnell's Jack Taylor. Mind-boggling. Back to it....

A year doesn't go by when I'm not extraordinarily thankful for what I have -- this year particularly so:

*My happy, healthy baby daughter Lucy delivered by her amazing super-mom.

*Taking Quickish and joining the phenomenal team at USA TODAY Sports Media Group.

*Resuming my adjunct career in teaching down here in D.C. at Georgetown.

*Health, happiness and the growth of a network of people I care about.

As it relates to this blog, the biggest thanks goes to you for continuing to stick with me. Your interest is what keeps me going every morning, and I sincerely appreciate it.

Now, a few sports-related things I am thankful for from 2012:
*Tim Tebow's game-winning TD pass in the playoffs.
*The moment my Wizards drafted Bradley Beal.
*Florida football restoring my "win or fail" expectations.
*Florida basketball turning March into a thrill ride... again.
*The Nationals making me a die-hard baseball fan again.
*My two boys turning into crazy sports fans.

Here's to a great year ahead and a reminder to be thankful for everything you have.


*Grinnell's Jack Taylor and "138": It is baffling. Baffling that he would shoot that much. Baffling that his coach would encourage it. Baffling that he actually was pretty efficient. Baffling that little Grinnell could co-opt sports on a day where Indiana and Georgetown played a thrilling college hoops game, Notre Dame made the cover of SI and Mike D'Antoni made his debut for the Lakers.

*College Hoops: As I tweeted last night, the Indiana-Georgetown game was as good as you'll get for college basketball in November. The big takeaway: The Hoosiers aren't so great that it isn't obvious this season is as wide open as it has been in years. And Otto Porter (or possibly Jordan Hulls) -- and not Cody Zeller -- was the best player on the floor.

*Mike D'Antoni's debut: All that matters is what this team is doing in June. Here's hoping the Lakers are entertaining to watch in the 80-odd games until then, but they are a "bottom line" team this year.

*Rutgers joins the Big Ten: My friends at made this point yesterday, and it's spot-on: Rutgers should immediately market to Michigan alums in the NYC area, offering them guaranteed seats to the Rutgers-Michigan game in 2014 if they buy season tickets for 2013 right now.

*College Football: Matt Barkley's backup -- the one who will start for USC at QB against Notre Dame on Saturday -- predicts a Trojans upset. (What: Like you expected him to say "Nah, we're going to roll over.") Good for him. The more mind-games played with the Irish, the better chance USC has of actually fulfilling the upset potential.

If you aren't checking out the blog before the weekend, I think USC will beat Notre Dame on Saturday night, throwing the BCS situation into chaos, because Florida State is going to beat Florida in Tallahassee on Saturday afternoon, opening the door for 1-loss Oregon to get back into the national-title game against the Alabama-Georgia winner (who are we kidding: Alabama).

Meanwhile, I think Michigan ruins Ohio State's unbeaten season in Columbus; TCU upsets Texas in Austin on Thanksgiving; and Oregon takes out its frustrations on Oregon State in the Civil War. It is a GREAT weekend of college football.

*More College Hoops: Was UNC overrated or Butler underrated? Both, obviously. But it is so easy to climb back on the Butler bandwagon. (Your tusch imprint on the seat is probably still there from 2011.) Meanwhile, what the hell happened to Villanova?

*Jobs: Cal fires Jeff Tedford. He'll hook on somewhere -- he could be a head coach for a third-tier BCS-conference team or bide his time as an offensive coordinator, perhaps even in the NFL. I was shocked to see Bruce Feldman say that Cal is one of two jobs that Boise State's Chris Petersen would consider -- between the dominance of Oregon and the establishment of Stanford and what Steve Sarkisian is building at Washington and the wild card of Mike Leach at Wazzu, the Pac-12 North is turning into a tough place to win consistently. (And that doesn't even count rising teams in the South like UCLA, USC and Arizona.)

*Stat of the Morning: The Knicks are 8-1 for the first time in 40 years? Wow.

Enjoy your day -- and Thanksgiving prep. Updates all (long) weekend.

-- D.S.

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