13) Since 1950, NFL QB’s with 250+ passing yards, 3+ passing TD’s and no INT in their NFL debut:
— 1961, Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton
— 1986 Hall of Famer Jim Kelly (played in USFL before NFL)
— 2018 Nick Mullens, Thursday night
12) Golfer Bryson DeChambeau will go against the grain this coming season and putt with the pin in the hole, in every tournament except the US Open, where apparently the flagsticks are thicker than at regular Tour events.
DeChambeau said this: ”It depends on the COR, the coefficient of restitution of the flagstick. In U.S. Opens, I’ll take it out, and every other Tour event, when it’s fiberglass, I’ll leave it in and bounce that ball against the flagstick if I need to.”
11) South Carolina Gamecocks will play a home football game vs Akron December 1 to make up for the game vs Marshall that was canceled on September 15 due to Hurricane Florence.
10) Cubs traded lefty P Drew Smyly to Texas for a couple of broken bats, then picked up Cole Hamels’ $20M option for next season.
9) Clayton Kershaw had two years for around $71M left on his Dodgers contract; they tore that up and now he has a three-year, $93M deal- its good to be him.
8) Oakland A’s won 97 games this year but had only one bunt hit the whole season, by Jed Lowrie in Minnesota.
Since 1988, they’re just second team (’95 Cardinals) to go whole season with only one bunt hit.
7) How does Joe Girardi not have a managing job in the major leagues?
11 years experience, a record of 988-794, albeit only 28-24 in playoffs with Bronx Bombers. His one losing season was in 2006 with the 78-84 Marlins, who went 71-91 the year after he left.
The most fascinating part of modern baseball is the internal tug-of-war between analytics people and old-school baseball people— who/where are the decisions made? Interesting stuff.
6) College basketball starts Tuesday night; research is in full swing.
Last year, the Penn Quakers won the Ivy League tournament and got a 16-seed in the NCAA tournament, the Ivy League’s first 16-seed since 1989. Ivy teams had been on an upswing, but when upsets happen in the conference tournament, you get lower seeds in the NCAA’s.
5) Tom Crean is the new basketball coach at Georgia, which is a tough place to win; in the last 25 years, Tubby Smith, Jim Harrick, Mark Fox among others have swung, mostly missed trying to make the Dawgs winners at a school that is football-centric- they drew 80,000 fans for the spring football game.
Crean is a good coach; when he was at Marquette, his first booster meeting drew 17 people, not a good start, but then he recruited Dwyane Wade and wound up in the Final Four.
Georgia hasn’t won an NCAA tournament game since 1996; this will be fun to follow.
4) Kentucky spent $19,180,059 on men’s basketball in the latest fiscal year; Georgia spent $6,237,492, so you get the idea of the scope of Crean’s job.
3) Mid-American Conference (MAC) hasn’t had an at-large team in NCAA’s since 1999, but this could be the year; league is expected to be stronger than it has been in years.
2) Missouri Valley teams won their last nine first round games in NCAA tournament.
1) Looking for an improved NBA team that is fun to watch on League Pass? Sacramento Kings won their last five games, are fun to watch- they scored 146 points in their last game and six of their nine games have been on the road.