- Dick Vitale, College Basketball analyst
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Each week I talk about the world of sports:
• Urban Meyer is flat out the No. 1 football coach in the USA. His leave of absence started after his Gators blew out previously-undefeated Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl. Florida dominated that game, but Meyer needs a release from all the pressure. Hopefully he can find a fun hobby!
• Speaking of the Gators, Tim Tebow went out a winner in big-time fashion. He threw for a career-high 482 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for 51 yards and another score as Florida won 51-24 in the Sugar Bowl. Tebow finished with 533 total yards-- more than anyone in Bowl Championship Series history. With two national championships and a Heisman Trophy on his resume, all I can say is, "WOW!" Mr. Tebow has been a class act and his career has to rank among the crème de la crème in the history of college football.
• Thanks to Bobby Bowden for all of the memories. His superb era ended in great fashion with a solid W over West Virginia in the Gator Bowl! He finished with 389 career wins and an incredible 33 consecutive winning seasons. I am just sorry that he didn't really go out on his own terms; the school should have allowed him one more season to take a victory lap.
• Down in Lubbock, the situation over Mike Leach's firing was very sad. It was tough for all parties -- Leach, the school, the James family, fans. When reading about it, my first thought was, I can't believe someone would put a kid with a concussion in a dark closet. If true, it seemed absurd! Now this Texas Tech soap opera with Leach gets a new spin every day. Stay tuned! I also wonder this: will it be tough for Leach to get a similar level job?
• How about a salute to the Cowboys as NFC East champions? The defense put up back-to-back shutouts. Now people can stop talking about a December jinx. Of course, Dallas has to face the Philadelphia Eagles again in the playoffs.
• LeBron James enjoyed a very happy birthday recently. All he did was put up 48 points to celebrate! He's only 25, and that is so scary, my friends. I really feel that LeBron is the BEST!
• The idea of guns in NBA locker rooms is ridiculous. This Gilbert Arenas situation is scary and I am sure NBA commissioner David Stern is not happy about it.
• Former North Carolina star Tyler Hansbrough had to be shocked. His new team, the Indiana Pacers, posted an eight-game losing streak over a two-week span before the Pacers beat Minnesota. That is more than he lost in two years at UNC! You can't blame Hansbrough as he has been producing in the pros.
• Do you think they are on cloud nine in Lexington? 15-0 for the Kentucky Wildcats, baby! The John Calipari era is off to a blazing start! The win over Louisville wasn't pretty at times, but big blue fans had to be ecstatic with a win over Rick Pitino and company. Calipari has done a masterful job in placing his mark on the Kentucky program. With all of the resources available to him, there is no doubt that he will post big numbers!
• I also want to make one thing clear. I heard about reports last week that said Calipari showed up Rick Pitino at my Dickie V gala last year by auctioning off four tickets for the Kentucky-Louisville game. That is simply not true as I talked to Calipari about doing that and he wanted to make sure Pitino was okay with it. We all wanted to raise more money for the V Foundation in an effort to beat the dreaded disease of cancer.
• Purdue enjoyed a superb W over a good West Virginia team. It was truly a shining moment for Matt Painter's Boilermakers! With the Final Four in Indianapolis this season, do you think Purdue has added motivation? Just remember what happened with Michigan State last season when the Final Four was at Ford Field.
• Many hoop fans felt Temple would challenge No. 1 Kansas. Forget about that as the Jayhawks are simply too good! Bill Self's team has one of the premier trios in America in Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich and diaper dandy Xavier Henry. They are dynamite together and Kansas also has tremendous depth. Fans in Austin, Texas anxiously await a shot at the top team, but right now Kansas is riding high.
• Now that 2010 is here, I wish all of you fantastic hoop fans a Happy New Year!