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-- Dennis Erickson deserved better than to have his Arizona State club throw in a tank job in his last game coaching the Sun Devils. Boise State waxed ASU 56-24, making Kellen Moore 50-3 as a college QB. 50-3.
-- Great game that ended about 3:40am; Auburn got a dunk with 0:03 left by a kid named Rob Chubb, beating host Hawai'i and moving to the semis of the Diamond Head tourney against Long Beach State.
-- Matt Barkley is staying in college next year; either his family has ton of cash, or someone is lining his pockets to stay at USC. Why would a kid who is a lock to be the #2 pick stay in college? Fight On Matt!!! Live the dream
-- Nets' center Brook Lopez broke his foot already, is out a month or so. League better hope this isn't a sign of things to come.......
-- Carlos Beltran got $26M, two years from St Louis. What a country.
-- So the Colts beat Houston and are now 2-13? If they beat Jaguars in their finale next week, and they could, they would slip to the #3 pick, not exactly the ideal end to an already hideous season.
Friday's List of 13: Things I'm looking for this weekend........
13) Eagle-Dallas game is at 4:15 Sunday; if Giants win at 1:00, then Philly is eliminated and this game means virtually nothing to the Cowboys. If the Giants lose, this becomes an elimination game for the Iggles and a potential division-clincher for Dallas.
12) Chargers-Lions is only 4:15 game in Eastern time zone on Christmas Eve. Good thing my wife knows the only thing more important than her is my kids and my Lions.
11) Giant-Jet tickets are being scalped for significant amounts of money. High stakes with both teams struggling, but still having a shot at the playoffs. This is one of the few times these teams will play at the same time; otherwise, TV schedule dictates they play at different times.
10) 49ers are on an unthinkable roll, with a +25 turnover ratio; they’re doing all the little things extremely well. Seattle won four of its last five games and is still alive; this should be an interesting game. Ted Ginn had two return TDs in the first meeting on Opening Day at Candlestick.
9) Diamond Head Classic means we could see Frank Martin f-bombing his players while wearing a Hawai’ian shirt; Kansas State-Xavier was the expected final, until the Musketeers had all those suspensions. Now Long Beach State has a legit shot to get to the final.
8) How quickly will the Nevada-Southern Miss bowl game get over the total? Hawai’I Bowl, with a captive TV audience on Christmas Eve, is usually high-scoring, as teams try to impress TV-watching recruits.
7) A's traded Gio Gonzalez to Washington, which seriously set me off; I actually called the A's group sales office and vented to whomever it was that answered the phone. This is unthinkable, to break up your team so you can suck until someone promises to build you a new stadium. Just so you know, I apologized both before and after I vented, but for a team not to even try to win until they get a new stadium reeks of extortion.
6) How hideous are the NBA games going to be Sunday/Monday? Teams haven’t had enough time to get ready for the season.
5) Now that the Ravens got help from the 49ers Monday night, they have no excuse not to beat the Bengals/Browns and win the division title, giving them their first playoff home games in the John Harbaugh era. They do need to win two more games though.
4) John Skelton/Matt Moore are two backup QBs making statements for their teams’ starting job in 2012; can they keep it up? Both are underdogs playing in cold weather Sunday; interesting games.
3) Does the Rangers signing the Japanese pitcher indicate they’re out of the Prince Fielder race? I was hearing late Thursday Seattle was in lead to sign Fielder, another stake in the heart of an A's fan.
2) Will Lovie Smith put Josh McCown in at QB in place of Caleb Hanie? Will Matt Flynn see the field, with Green Bay having no reason to win? Sounds like McCown will get his start on the frozen tundra Sunday.
1) Xavier has been hurt pretty badly by these suspensions, losing again out in Hawai'i; if they lose to host Warriors Friday, they'll be 0-3 since a fight that started when a Cincinnati played decked a Xavier player, not the other way around. Cincinnati hasn't lost since the fight.
-- Great game in Las Vegas, as Baylor stayed unbeaten with an OT win over young but stubborn West Virginia.
-- Wagner won at Pitt; no way the Hurley brothers will be coaching on Staten Island much longer. Logical next step: Siena of the MAAC?
-- UNLV pounded Cal 85-68; game wasn't that close. Rebels have had a tremendous pre-conference performance.
-- Texas Rangers' catcher Yorvit Torrealba is in hot water after shoving an umpire in the face while arguing a called strike down in Venezuela.
-- Charlie Batch is starting QB for the Steelers Saturday against Rams, who are starting recently-acquired Kellen Clemens.
-- If you owned the Colts, wouldn't you order the coach to lose his next game, or else? Wouldn't it hurt the Colts' big picture to win?
Late Night Update: Another tremendous game in middle of night out in Hawai'i at the Diamond Head Classic, as Hawai'i beat Xavier 84-82 in OT, in a game that ended at 4:03am. Xavier had raced out to a 12-0 lead before the game got good. One of the better games of the season so far.
Saturday's List of 13: Passing out some Christmas gifts........
13) For college football fans—An 8-team playoff, like the one in I-AA. This would be extremely popular and TV would love it.
12) Academics who like basketball—A Northwestern-Harvard first round tournament game. This could happen. Wildcats have never made the NCAAs; its been eons since Harvard made it, but both are expected to get there this time around.
11) Mr and Mrs Homer Drew—Improved health for former Valparaiso coach and his wife, and a Baylor run to the Final Four for their son Scott.
10) Detroit Lions—A healthy and tandem of running backs for Stafford and the Lions for next season, so they can finally play in a Super Bowl.
9) Terry Francona-- A year of good health and peace/quiet, as well as some gratitude from Red Sox nation for the great work he did for them in winning two World Series and doing it with class.
8) Sidney Crosby—A clear head and a quick return to the ice.
7) College football TV viewers—We’ve already gotten one great gift; Craig James is running for US Senate and is off ESPN’s airwaves. Asking for anything else would be greedy.
6) Matt Barkley-- A healthy season next year, so his gamble of returning to USC for his senior year doesn't turn into a financial disaster.
5) Rex Ryan—A gig as a WWE manager when his coaching days are done. He’d be great doing interviews with Jerry Lawler, or getting hit over the head with a metal chair.
4) Met fans—Mayor Bloomberg (a billionaire) buys the Mets, then flips them for a quick profit to Mark Cuban. Imagine the NYC tabloids if Cuban owned the Mets?
3) TV golf people—Eldrick Woods winning an event or two early in 2012; they’re sucking up to him so much right now, praying that he wins—TV golf ratings desperately need Woods to get a win or two. It makes everyone wealthier, even his competitors.
2) NBA/DirecTV—Good sense to realize that if your schedule has 19.5% less games in it, then your pay-per-view package should be at least 19.5% cheaper than it was last year. If beer companies turned 6-packs into 5-packs, wouldn’t they lower the price?
1) Too all my forum friends—A happy, healthy Hanukkah and Christmas/New Year’s. Thanks to all of you for reading. Hope 2012 is a great one for all of us.
-- Dallas-Giant game has been moved to Sunday night in Week 17, with the NFC East title up for grabs. Good get for NBC. Bad for my cousin, who has Giant season tickets and will now freeze for three hours.
-- Favorites are 5-9 against the spread this week; two games remain.
-- Lions were only team that clinched a playoff spot Saturday.
-- Under is 10-4 this week, with only 56 offensive TDs scored. There were four TDs scored on defense/special teams- Buffalo had three.
-- The Hawai'i Bowl saves my Christmas Eve every year.
-- Thought of the Day
Hope everyone out there has a happy and healthy Christmas Day
Sunday's List of 13: Wrapping up an NFL Saturday.........
13) Giants beat the Jets, setting up Sunday night game next week as big game of the week, with the NFC East title at stake when Dallas visits the Garden State for a game in Swamp Stadium.
12) Another big game will be in Denver, where old friend Kyle Orton can knock the Broncos out of the playoffs if his Chiefs upset Denver. Not the best of days for the AFC West, with Chargers/Broncos getting crushed. Denver might be 7-3 with Tebow starting, but two of his three losses are by 45-10/40-14 scores. Tebow looks like a JV high school QB when he has an off day passing- he was 13-30 with four INTs Sunday.
11) We hope Adrian Peterson didn't tear his ACL as feared, but if he did, not only did Minnesota screw up its draft position by winning Sunday, they lost their best player heading into next season. Not good.
10) Bengals narrowly missed an enormous collapse; they led 23-0 in 4th quarter, and Cardinals had receiver wide open for tying TD in last minute, but Early Doucet fell down before pass got there and Bengals survived.
9) Why stats can be misleading: Carolina scored 48 points- they were 0-6 on third down. Steelers won 27-0; they were 1-7. Buffalo scored 40, and they only had one offensive TD. Have to look at the whole picture.
8) Woeful, pathetic Rams are 2-13; they're 0-12-1 vs spread in those 13 losses, thats how non-competitive their offense has been, because to be fair, their defense hasn't been terrible.
By way of comparison, by my quick count, the other 31 NFL teams are 38-181-6 vs spread (17.4%) when they lose a game.
7) Rams need Colts to win at Jacksonville next week; if so, they will have the #1 pick in the draft, which could turn into a trade bonanza if there are a lot of teams who are willing to trade for Andrew Luck.
6) Raiders won at Kansas City in OT, despite 15 accepted penalties for 92 yards, 7th time in last nine games they've had 10+ accepted penalties.
5) Titans didn't have one penalty Sunday; now thats unusual. Houston is locked into the #3 seed in AFC, so their game next week vs Tennessee won't mean anything to the Texans.
4) You see how the 49ers struggle when they don't dominate turnovers and field position; they were +1 in turnovers, but -3 in field position and were life-and-death to win at Seattle 19-17, getting their only takeaway when the Seahawks were driving for the game-winning field goal.
3) Going to be a long offseason for Mark Sanchez, who might be well-advised to lay off a little on the commercials.
2) Congrats to Lion fans; our team is in the playoffs for first time since 1999. 12 years is a long time in between playoff games.
An absolutely awesome Christmas present for Spooky
1) Merry Christmas to everyone; Sunday has five NBA games, the NFL game at night and four college hoop games from Hawai'i. Enjoy.
Monday Night Football and rooting on Missouri and the Over in the college bowl game.
Tonight is a mixed bag. Lean towards Atlanta with the points but want New Orleans for a number of other reasons.
That said with a ton of games ahead of us this week gonna sit tight and root for the Saints and think the Under has a good shot at cashing.
May as well keep rolling with the NFL and not force much.