Friday, November 30, 2012

11/30 (Friday) Quickie

*Can't seem to find anyone particularly enthusiastic about the Falcons as a legit Super Bowl contender, which will either lead to post-hoc "Told you so!" or "Should've known!"

*Losing to Notre Dame doesn't diminish my preseason enthusiasm for Kentucky to repeat. ND was as motivated as they will be this season, and Kentucky is still figuring things out. (FWIW, absolutely hated the "black-out" jerseys, but absolutely loved Manti Te'o in the student section.)

*However! What might diminish my preseason enthusiasm for Kentucky to repeat was watching Florida destroy Marquette last night. I'm as self-critical about the Gators as any hater, but last night displayed why Florida should be on the short list of teams with a legit chance not just to make a Final Four, but to win six straight and take a national title: When Patric Young is on, giving the Gators as bullying of a post presence as exists in college hoops, it activates everything else that is great about this team: The stretch-4 (Murphy), the do-the-little-things swingman (Yeguete), the experienced and shot-jacking backcourt (Boynton and Rosario), the heady PG (Wilbeken) and yet another dangerous 3-point shooter (frosh Frazier). This is a very very good team.

*Louisville wins Big East BCS bowl bid: Hard not to love Teddy Bridgewater. And there isn't a hotter head-coaching commodity than Charlie Strong, who would be best-served to skip the mediocre jobs open this winter and wait for next year, pairing with Bridgewater for a run at unbeaten in '13.

*Must-see game of the night: Kent State vs. Northern Illinois, with the winner potentially (likely?) earning a BCS bowl bid, which would be amazing. MACtion!

*Spurs sit 4 starters: I have absolutely no problem with Gregg Popovich giving Duncan, Parker, Ginobili and Green a rest at the end of a tough road trip ending in Miami. (Sending them home? Kind of a dick move, but certainly reasonable under the circumstances -- it is self-defeating to "rest" them but have them sit on the bench. I like that he doesn't care what anyone thinks.) What made it all the more awesome was that the short-handed Spurs nearly beat the full-strength Heat -- the game was way more interesting under the Pop-changed circumstances than if everyone played.

*MLB Hot Stove: The Mets are keeping franchise player David Wright for the long-term. He has been and remains the face of the franchise in the post-Piazza era of mediocrity. He will eventually have his number retired by the team -- but is going to have a ton of trouble leading the troubled team to success in the standings.

*More: Nats trade for Denard Span. Near-universal approval for this move -- the kind of thing a contender does to get stronger. Span is great defensively and gets on base effectively, making him a solid lead-off option. The Nats had been looking for a CF for more than a year, and they got a solid option at a reasonable price and without log-jamming the position for up-and-coming prospect Brian Goodwin. This is potentially the position-player equivalent of trading for Gio Gonzalez -- use the stockpile of prospects to help the team win now.

*NFL Week 13 Storylines I Like:
*Good luck to all battling for fantasy-playoff positioning!
Meanwhile, it's not too early for "real" playoff positioning:
*Must-win for Seahawks in Chicago?
*Must-win for the Bucs in Denver?
*Must-win for the Bengals in San Diego?
*Game of the Week: Wait til Monday -- Skins-Giants.

*CFB Saturday -- the final weekend of the season, which is depressing to think about. At least we've got a national semifinal -- Alabama-Georgia winner goes to the BCS title game. The pick is Alabama, in a rout. (There are other BCS bowl bids on the line: Nebraska-Wisconsin for the Big Ten side of the Rose Bowl. I keep thinking I should take Nebraska, but Wisconsin always seems to win these games. Also: Is anyone outside of FSU not excited about the idea of 7-6 Georgia Tech representing the ACC in the Orange Bowl? Imagine Georgia Tech vs. Kent State in the Orange Bowl. Wow.

Enjoy the college football. Enjoy the NFL weekend. More on both weekend mornings.

-- D.S.

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