13) Manny Diaz was the defensive coordinator at Miami LY; he left couple weeks ago to be the head coach at Temple, but when Mark Richt retired/was fired last week, Diaz jumped ship with the Owls and was named HC of the Hurricanes.
Must have been some difficult conversations this week when Diaz then fired all the offensive coaches on the Miami staff, guys he worked with the last three years. Awkward.
12) Moving the college football national title game around the country may not be the best idea; college football is wildly popular in the south, not so much in the rest of the country. You get a Clemson-Alabama matchup in northern California and ticket demand isn’t what it would be anywhere from Texas to Georgia along the gulf coast.
11) The starting five for the Nevada Wolf Pack, a college team, is older than the starting lineup for the Phoenix Suns, an NBA team.
10) Phillies signed reliever David Robertson to a two-year deal worth $23M.
9) Pelicans’ star Anthony Davis had 34 points and 26 rebounds Wednesday in a 126-121 loss to the Nets; the last NBA player to reach those numbers in a regulation loss was Charles Barkley for the Suns, way back on March 24, 1995.
8) Saint Louis loses 6-9 freshman Carte’Are Gordon to transfer; he was scoring 8.9 ppg for the Billikens, who are 9-4 and considered a contender for the A-14 title.
Oregon Ducks’ best player Bol Bol has a foot injury that has ended his season.
7) Couple of big comebacks Wednesday night:
— Bucknell beat Army 64-63 after trailing by 26 early in the 2nd half.
— Valparaiso beat Illinois State 58-56 on a halfcourt shot at the buzzer after trailing Redbirds by 10 points with 2:07 left.
6) Memphis Grizzlies lost 10 of their last 13 games and fell below .500 this week; after their home loss to Detroit Wednesday, teammates Garrett Temple and Omar Casspi apparently got into a scuffle in a team meeting. Grizzlies tried to keep the fracas quiet, but somebody spilled the beans to the media. Bottom line is, losing creates tension, which sometimes spills over.
5) Eric Kahane, a gourmet food businessman from southern California, went 5-0 in Week 17 and won $1.4M in the Westgate SuperContest football handicapping contest, beating over 3,100 handicappers in the process.
4) Jacksonville Jaguars are only NFL team without a player in the Hall of Fame.
3) Odd Fact of the Day: In 2018, Cincinnati had 20 more inches of rain than Seattle did.
2) Interesting sidebar to Eagles-Bears playoff game Sunday is that the two head coaches worked together for seven years under Andy Reid, in KC/Philly. Couple of QB gurus who are having lot of success this season working with very young quarterbacks.
1) Looking at NFL Wild Card weekend, over last four years, home side won 12 of 16 games, going 6-6 vs spread as a home favorite in those games.