Friday, November 08, 2013

College Hoops Tip-Off

The opening day of the college hoops season always brings me back to my wonderful stint as college basketball editor for -- hey, it was only 17 years ago!

Last year, I totally whiffed in picking Kentucky to repeat as champs. That won't stop me from picking them to win it all again this year.

*Final Four picks: Kentucky, Michigan State, Duke, Creighton.

*Will Andrew Wiggins reach the Final Four? No.

Shortest. Preview. Ever.

-- D.S.

11/08 Stanford Quickie

(1) Stanford's win over Oregon was the single-best win by any team this college football season.

The win is not just enough to put Stanford in the theoretical "What if there was a 4-team playoff right now?" bracket, but enough for me to rank the Cardinal at No. 2 ahead of unbeatens like FSU, Baylor and (give me a break) Ohio State.

The consolation that Stanford will be shut out of the national-title game is that they will be matched up with a "But we're undefeated WAH!" Ohio State and absolutely destroy them.

Anyway, last night's game was a pretty amazing example of why college football is the best.

(2) If it wasn't already, the Redskins' season is over after last night's collapse -- I'm no fan of Mike Shanahan anyway (let alone the Redskins), so I'm looking forward to the inevitable regime change. If anything, the result felt like adding insult to insult.

(3) ICYMI, Grantland's Brian Phillips on the Incognito-Martin story is the best thing on it that I have read this week. Check it out here. But meanwhile, that bullying quote relayed by Martin lawyer David Cornwell -- cripes.

(4) I love my relationship with Georgetown's Sports Industry Management (SIM) program. Last night, I got to lead a conversation with PTI creator Erik Rydholm, and he only affirmed my opinion that he is the most brilliant person in sports media. There is not much better than listening to someone really smart talk about... well, basically anything, but certainly things you also think about a lot. Thanks for the time, Erik.

Enjoy your weekend!

-- D.S.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

11/06 Election Hangover Quickie

*That Richie Incognito is loathsome is undisputed. I remain more fascinated with the culpability of head coach Joe Philbin -- not just "what did he know and when did he know it?" but this essential proposition: He either had no idea what was going on (which makes him stupid and negligent) or he did have at least some idea what was going on (which makes him a liar and fairly evil). So: Stupid or evil? Which is it, coach? I think he didn't know but SHOULD have known -- not that this is an excuse, but this was an inexperienced head coach overwhelmed by the full spectrum of the job.

*I think Nick Saban would leave Alabama for Texas -- I think that basically every college coach would leave their current situation for Texas. But WILL he? What other challenges does he have at Alabama? How much does the Big 12's relatively soft schedule factor in? I have long thought that the best college football coaches were wildly underpaid -- if I was Texas, I would offer him $10M a year for 10 years and force him to  turn down the combination of unprecedented money and unprecedented resources.

*Too bad about Aaron Rodgers. Presuming he's healthy to return to full strength for the season's final 5-6 weeks, the Packers should still get into the playoffs, at which point he can resume falling short of another Super Bowl title. In the meantime, the Packers will likely not be fun to watch.

-- D.S.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

11/3 Sunday Quickie

(1) The only material change to the CFB top 4 is that FSU jumps back over Oregon for the No. 2 spot, on the strength of clobbering Miami. Oregon will vault back to No. 2 if/when they beat No. 4 Stanford on Thursday night. Baylor moves into the top 4 with a win over Oklahoma Thursday.

(Nope, don't want to talk about either Florida or Northwestern.)

(2) Today's NFL schedule lacks a good game between two good teams (Bears-Packers tomorrow night comes closest), but we're close to must-win territory for borderline would-be playoff teams -- Dallas, Baltimore, Carolina and San Diego.

(3) The Sixers are 3-0. This is the most amazing November storyline in the history of the NBA.

-- D.S.