Looking like an extra from "Phantom of the Opera,"
LeBron James showed no problems wearing a mask,
scoring 26 in a Cavs W. (New on-court fashion trend?)
QUICKIE LIVE! 9-10 a.m.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
For its first act of independence since
bolting the BCS cabal, the media who vote for college
football's No. 1 should give half of the national
title to deserving (and 13-0) Auburn.
With that simple, powerful statement, a system's
inequities are put into better balance. Not ideal
(that's a playoff), but undeniably better.
No need to list Auburn's bonafides; it's simply the
most fair (and accurate) outcome for a system where
fairness and accuracy are a rarity.
I'm not saying Auburn is better than the winner
of the Orange Bowl; however, the Tigers certainly
deserve their rightful half.
What finally convinced me was this: Fans want it that
way. And not just Auburn fans. Fans all over the
According to the most recent ESPN.com poll, the
majority of ESPN fans (who, as a group, are at least
as knowledgeable as the voters) say that's the way it
should be -- by nearly 10 percentage points. That's a
If the Orange Bowl is ugly, expect a last-second surge
of support for an Auburn title-share.
But even if it isn't, the ugliest outcome would be
punishing Auburn for the system's problems.
No. 1 USC vs. No. 2 Oklahoma: For all
the criticism of the BCS, there sure is a lot of
pregame hype that this is the best title matchup in
years. (From the same consistently inconsistent folks
who will dis Auburn. OK, letting it go
Battle of System-Heisman QBs
(M. Leinart edges J. White)
Battle of Shoulda-Heisman RBs
(A. Peterson edges R. Bush)
Ironically, for all the marquee names on offense, it will be the staggeringly effective defenses that will own a
low-scoring title game.
Pick: USC (8 ET, ABC)
MLB HOF Results
Wade Boggs is a lock, and he'll
probably wear a Red Sox hat, simply because it's the
cool thing to do these days. He had so much faith in
the franchise that he fled to New York to win his
Ryne Sandberg deserves to make it, and I'm not
just saying that because he was my favorite player
when I was growing up.
Bruce Sutter? Eh: I could go either way. Check
out Rob Neyer's nifty take-down on his ESPN Insider
||CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
|WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...|
Alex Smith: Wiry, brainy, winning Utah QB heading to NFL|
Aaron Rodgers: Ditto. Cal stud could be first QB drafted
Vernand Morency: Ditto. Latest in line of OK St RB studs
|... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'|
Trojan Pride: OJ Simpson will be in Miami rooting on USC|
Ravens O-coordinator Matt Cavanaugh: Axed ... ya think?!
Who's Your Daddy: It's not just a stadium chant anymore ...
Meanwhile: Let's hope the media-circus "big
tent" doubling as the HOF voters' pool has never
disparaged the BCS; college football polling is
transparent by comparison. Make all HOF ballots
Mets Woo Beltran
Silly Omar Minaya: He can fly to Puerto
Rico to rush Carlos Beltran, but doesn't the Mets GM
realize that Beltran's going to the highest bidder,
period? But wait ...
Yankees out? Check that: Omar Minaya might
be the highest bidder, if rumors are true that
the other team from New York dropped out of the
bidding. (Wait: The Yankees have
Amazin'-ly enough: The Mets are the new leader
Sonics beat Heat
The Sonics winning in Miami
did more than simply snap the Heat's 14-game W
Playoff foreshadowing: The "Skimpy-Sonics" can
go toe-to-toe on the road vs. a team with a dominant
big man (Shaq: 25/14) and grit out a W.
Seattle fans should bust out this example to justify their optimism in the team's playoff
Moss vs. Alexander
As often noted in this space: It's not
the mistake itself; it's the damage control. So,
ripped from today's headlines, let's look at two
Player: Shaun Alexander
Mistake: "Stabbed/back" quote
Justified: Was ONLY 2 yards
Reaction: Apology in media
Long-term rep effect: Low
Player: Randy Moss
Mistake: Exited game early
(Real Mistake: Busted by TV)
Justified: Was ONLY 2 seconds
Reaction: None; media silence
Long-term rep effect: Medium
Which player takes the bigger hit? See DQ'ed for the ultimate loser.
Jumping to NFL
Bowls are over: Let the annual rite of
underclassmen signing with agents begin! This is when
critics publicly gnash their teeth, while privately
inserting the talented underclassmen somewhere near
the top of their draft boards.
But thanks to Maurice Clarett, only juniors:
Nevermind that the most talented (and NFL-ready)
player in college football is a freshman, Oklahoma RB
L.A. vs. Anaheim
L.A. Angels of Anaheim: Yeah, right,
like anyone's going to use that.
But for struggling franchises trying to glom onto
brands with more cachet (but legally keeping their
original affiliation as part of the "official" name),
can you imagine the ramifications:
New York Nets of New Jersey?
Vegas Hornets of New Orleans?
Tiger Montgomerie of Colin?
Nicole Hilton of Richie?
NFL Hockey League of NHL?
Alexander jobbed by Holmgren for that rush title;
Moss, meanwhile, made the fan-inexcusable move of
*quitting* on his team. Now, permanent part of rep.
|Today on ESPN.com|
|SportsNation: Auburn No. 1?|
|Neyer on Sutter|
|Best Bowls of Season (Before the Orange)|
|Did you take that over?|
|Vince Young Party|
|Capital One (Iowa-LSU)|
|Iowa's last-gasp TD|
|Cal takes a hit|
|To see Utah's skills|
Unit to NY: Selig approved the trade; now, it's up to
the Yankees to sign Randy to a 2-year deal extension.
Asking price? Whatever he wants ...|
NFL rumors: Browns eyeing Pats as a model
(literally). They are looking at Romeo Crennel to
coach and Scott Pioli to GM ...
Wade watch: 28 points in loss to Sea, with a nifty 23 in
the 2nd half. But shot an uncharacteristic 9/22 FG,
with only 2 reb, 4 ast ...
Is a Golden State trade for a Euro benchwarmer named
Cabarkapa what goes for NBA trade action these days?
Someone explain this to me: Auburn isn't a top-2 team,
yet most voters will rank them there, dropping the
Orange loser to No. 3 ...