Wednesday’s List of 13: Happy New Year!!!!

13) This season’s bowl records:
AAC: 2-3
ACC: 4-5
Big 14: 3-2
Big X: 1-4
C-USA: 3-4
MAC: 2-3
MW: 4-2
Pac-12: 3-3
SEC: 4-1
Sun Belt: 2-2

12) From Darren Rovell:
Bettor who bet $74,430 on Patriots to beat Dolphins straight up would have won $4,651, but New England lost.

At the same sportsbook, a bettor wagered $744.55 on the Dolphins to win straight up. He won $6,329. 

11) Cleveland Browns fired GM John Dorsey Tuesday, fortifying their position as the worst-run franchise in the NFL. They have zero continuity from year to year, are now replacing their coach and GM, and if the new people aren’t big Baker Mayfield fans, they’ll change QB’s again. 

Baylor coach Matt Rhule declined an interview with the Browns; smart guy. 

10) Next year, the Browns will have their 8th head coach in 12 years; the Steelers have had three head coaches in the last 50 years.

9) 37-year old QB Ryan Fitzpatrick ran the ball for 215 yards this year; that led the Dolphins in rushing for the season. 

Marlon Mack of the Colts ran the ball for 225 yards in one game this season. 

8) Chicago Bears fired four assistants, including OC Mark Helfrich, and re-committed to QB Mitch Trubisky for next year.

7) Arizona State 20, Florida State 14— From 2012-16, Seminoles went 59-9; the last three years, they’re 18-20, and will have their third coach in four years next season. 

6) I’m still trying to process that Seattle had 21 first downs in the 2nd half Sunday; they’ve had seven games this season where they had less than 21 first downs for the whole game. 

5) Solid bit of trivia: Howard Schultz is the guy who used to be the CEO of Starbucks; he grew up in Brooklyn, but went to college at Northern Michigan, where he tried out for the football team, as a QB. But Northern Michigan already had a good QB, a guy named Steve Mariucci, who went on to coach the 49ers and Lions in the NFL.

Starbucks is overpriced, but they do have excellent lemon pound cake. 

4) Baylor coach Matt Rhule is one of the ten highest paid coaches in the country? Wow. Word is the Giants are interested in hiring Rhule as their next coach. 

3) Detroit Lions fired six assistant coaches, which raises the question: Why did they keep the head coach? What has he done to justify his continued employment? 

2) Minnesota Twins signed pitchers Rich Hill ($3M), Homer Bailey ($7M) to one-year deals; Hill isn’t expected to pitch until June after having his arm operated on recently. 

1) Happy New Year, everyone. Hope 2020 is a great year for all of us. 

Tuesday’s List of 13: Our last home page of 2019……

13) If you’re an NFL head coach and your GM drafts a quarterback, you’d best have some job security, because these days, rookie QB’s play sooner than later, and they usually don’t play well, so the team loses and the coach gets fired. They don’t fire players very much.

2013– Mike Shanahan, Redskins (fired after RGIII’s 2nd year)
2014– Dennis Allen, Raiders (Carr)
2015– Ken Whisenhunt, Titans (Mariota)
2016– Jeff Fisher, Rams (Goff)
2017— John Fox, Bears (Trubisky)
2018— Steve Wilks, Cardinals (Rosen)
2018— Hue Jackson, Browns (Mayfield)
2018— Todd Bowles, Jets (Darnold)
2019— Jay Gruden, Redskins (Haskins)
2019— Pat Shurmur, Giants (Jones)

12) Doug Peterson (Wentz), Mike Smith (Ryan) did it right; they got hired as head coach the same year their team drafted a QB, which gives you time to grow together.

11) California 35, Illinois 20— Garbers threw for 272 yards, four TD’s, as Pac-12 evens its bowl record this month at 2-2. 

10) Western Kentucky 23, Western Michigan 20— True freshman kicker nailed a 52-yard FG at the gun for the win; he missed a 29-yard FG at end of first half. 

Hilltoppers outgained WMU 481-307, but threw a pick-6 in last minute of first half that tied score at 10-all. WKU finishes the season 9-4.

9) Louisville 38, Mississippi State 28— Sometimes life is simple; when you hear that one of Miss State’s QB’s couldn’t play in this game, because one of his teammates broke the orbital bone near his eye in a post-practice fracas, then you pick against that team. 

8) College basketball upsets:
— Stetson (+21) 63, South Carolina 56
— South Carolina State (+11) 58, Jacksonville 52
— Green Bay (+5.5) 73, Northern Kentucky 59

7) Michigan State’s basketball team is 2-0 early on in the Big 14 standings; Northwestern is 0-2; the other 12 teams are all 1-1. 

Northwestern lost to Hartford the other day, not a good sign for the Wildcats. 

6) Cal State- Fullerton won 77-74 at UCLA Saturday, which isn’t good for Mick Cronin; losing to North Carolina or Michigan State is one thing, but losing to Big West teams, especially one with a 3-10 record and #275 ranking, is a huge red flag. 

One of Cronin’s apologists tried to blame the talent former coach Steve Alford left behind, but Alford went to Nevada, inherited a total of two players (TWO!!!) from Eric Musselman and the Wolf Pack is 8-5. Maybe Alford is as good a coach as Cronin is.

This is the first UCLA roster without at least one McDonald’s All-American since the award was started in 1977, but plenty of solid D-I players weren’t McDonald’s All-Americans.

5) By the way, over the last 19 years, UCLA had never lost to a team ranked lower than #210 in the KenPom rankings; Fullerton was #284 before they upset the Bruins.

4) USC fired their defensive coordinator and special teams coach after its dismal performance in the Holiday Bowl Friday night. 

3) In the NBA, Knicks have won one playoff series since 2001; they ain’t going to make it there this year, either. Too bad they can’t fire owners for gross incompetence.

2) Zion Williamson has a 5-year sneaker contract worth $15M a year but he still hasn’t played a game yet for the Pelicans.

1) From Zach Berman:
At Caesars sportsbook this summer, the over/under on passing yards for Carson Wentz this season was 4,040.5. You could wager whether Wentz would pass for more or less than 4,040.5 yards.  

He finished with 4,039 yards; Sunday’s finale was played in a steady rain. Very bad beat. 

Friday’s Den: In a perfect world, where I made all the decisions……..

13) I’d like everyone to be nicer to each other; life is short, lets enjoy it. 

Lets tolerate our differences; I like the A’s, you like someone else. you like beer, I like Cherry Coke, our differences are what make life interesting. 

12) A friend of mine wouldn’t talk to me for a year because I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016 (I voted for the 3rd party candidate). Why take life that seriously? Especially the way Presidential elections are, the Democrat almost always wins New York anyway. 

11) Would a date with Gina Gershon be too much to ask for? (probably, yes…..)

10) Sounds like one of the things I’ve been posting in this space for years will finally happen; both leagues should have the DH in 2022. Both leagues should have the same rules. 

9) Lets do away with Daylight Savings Time; who needs sunlight at 5:30am? Keep the clocks the way they are in the summer. Let it stay light as late in the day as possible.

8) Can we get rid of the Electoral College? Whoever gets the most votes should win, yes?

7) Every kid would learn basic life skills in high school: cooking, laundry, how to write a check, how to do a budget, the divorce laws. 

When it comes to cooking, I can make one thing……reservations. 

6) No Thursday NFL games, except for Week 1 and Thanksgiving Day. Instead, why not have Monday night doubleheaders every week? 7:00/10:30 games; that would be fun. 

5) NBA playoff series would be two out of three until the Finals, which would be best-of-5. 

4) College football teams shouldn’t be playing I-AA opponents; I mean, Alabama played Western Carolina this year, and Florida played UT-Martin AND Towson State- how does this happen? Why would anyone pay to see mismatches like this?

3) I’d be in favor of college basketball adopting the NBA’s 8-second rule for getting the ball over half court; most anything that encourages pressing and a faster-paced game is a good thing.

2) I’d make cigarettes illegal; they’re known to cause cancer. What is good about them?

1) I’d make sure DirecTV picked up the Pac-12 Network. Its not too much to ask. This is my list after all.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas.