13) Average salary for an NFL head coach is $6.7M; there are now eight college coaches who make more than that, as schools jockey to lure big-name coaches to their school, while players bolt from one place to another, trying to find their way to the NFL. Strange times we live in.
12) Fresno State football coach Kalen DeBoer bolted to Washington to become the Huskies’ new coach; few hours later, Fresno’s quarterback Jake Haener entered the transfer portal- wonder where he is going.
11) Unclear who will coach Notre Dame in their bowl game, now that Brian Kelly has bolted to Baton Rouge.
10) Alabama is a 6.5-point underdog to Georgia in the SEC title game Saturday; it ends a streak of 92 straight games where the Crimson Tide was favored to win, dating back to 2015.
9) Ohio State 71, Duke 66:
— Second time in five nights the #1 team in country got beat.
— Duke didn’t score for the last 4:29 of the game.
— Buckeyes survived 11-22 shooting on foul line.
— This result helps to explain why Duke avoids pre-conference road games, at all costs.
8) Over their last four games, New England outscored opponents 63-0 in second half.
7) IF Javier Baez signed a 4-year, $140M contract with the Detroit Tigers; lot of money flying around this week, between baseball and college football coaches.
6) Nevada sportsbooks took in $1.1B in bets during October, breaking the previous single-month record of $786.5M wagered during September.
5) Former Michigan/Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez will be named football coach at Jacksonville State, a I-AA team that beat Florida State earlier this fall. Gamecocks are moving up to I-A and the Sun Belt Conference for the 2023-24 season.
Rodriguez’s coaching resume:
2001-07— 60-26 at West Virginia
2008-10— 15-22 at Michigan
2012-17— 43-35 at Arizona
I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that Jacksonville State is the alma mater of Dieter Brock, a quarterback who led the Rams to the NFC West title in 1985, his only season in the NFL, after he had a great CFL career.
4) In three seasons as a pro, Zion Williamson has played in 85 NBA games; he’s missed 81 games with injury. As the old saying goes, the best ability is…….availability.
3) Group that owns the Boston Red Sox bought the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins this week; things could get awkward in Beantown if Bruins/Penguins ever cross paths in the playoffs.
2) Colorado 80, Stanford 76:
— First conference game of this year’s college basketball season.
— Stanford led 21-10 early, but was minus-9 (15-6) in turnovers.
1) When the clock strikes midnight Wednesday, baseball is expected to slip into a lockout, which is exactly what the sport doesn’t need. This week has been fun, with free agent signings and some trades; that’s what the sport needs, not lawyers quibbling over how to divide their millions that they make year after year.
Here’s my solution:
— Expand the playoffs
— Add Sunday doubleheaders to condense the regular season
— Universal DH
— Ban shifts.
Shake hands, and play ball, it isn’t that difficult.