*Alabama, Oregon, FSU, Ohio State: I'm with Spencer Hall on this.
*Madison Bumgarner is SI Sportsman of the Year: No quibbles. (Only because THE event of 2014 was the World Cup, I would give runner-up to Tim Howard.)
*NFL Sunday: The Super Bowl pairing is coming from the Pats, Seahawks and Packers.
*The two college hoops wins from the past week that I'm filing away for March: Duke over Wisconsin in Madison and Arizona over Gonzaga in Tucson.
*On a personal note, I am so saddened by the death of Olivia Barker, a standout USA TODAY reporter who was my journalism "protege" (as we liked to joke) back in high school. My deepest condolences go out to her family, friends and colleagues -- and especially her husband and 5-year-old son.