13) Betting handle on the Super Bowl in Las Vegas was $138.5M; hard to believe that sports betting won’t be legal everywhere in this country before too long.
If you care about such things, Vegas books made over $10M profit on that $138.5M handle.
12) Falcons hired Steve Sarkisian as its new OC, meaning Alabama will soon have its third OC of 2017, probably before Presidents’ Day.
Alabama got to the national title game with freshman Jalen Hurts at QB, but Hurts isn’t a good passer; Crimson Tide signed two freshman QB’s- that could be a contentious situation for the guy who winds up as the offensive coordinator- that guy will be Saban’s 6th OC in his ten years as Alabama’s head coach.
11) LSU football coach Ed Orgeron has himself a problem; after Signing Day, he demoted an assistant coach who was a prime recruiter in the talent-rich New Orleans area and now the HS coaches there are organizing a boycott of the LSU program. No bueno.
The assistant who was demoted has since bolted to Texas Tech.
10) Sam Vecenie covers basketball for The Sporting News; he knows his stuff. Of his top 16 prospects for the NBA Draft, 13 are college freshmen, three are foreign kids. This is part of why handicapping college basketball has gotten a lot harder: the best players are less dependable.
So the 13 best college basketball players this season were in high school LY; how many of them already have one foot in the NBA, and could care less about college? Maybe all, maybe none, but it is probably in middle somewhere. You think Ben Simmons cared about making the NCAA’s last season?
Used to be that high-level teams with lot of juniors/seniors were teams to focus on; now those kids are suspects, not good enough to move up to the next level. The most talented teams are also the least mature.
9) Friend of mine sent me some message boards from Kentucky/Louisville fans Monday; damn, those people are harsh!!! Lot of negativity- their basketball teams are really good.
As another friend of mine likes to say, “We’re with you win or tie, but we’re not crazy about tie.”
8) Kyle Shanahan’s hiring in San Francisco makes the Shanahans the 7th father/son head coaching combo in the NFL; the other 6?
Shanahan, by the way, will have control of the 53-man roster.
7) NHL’s Boston Bruins fired coach Claude Julien, kind of a gutless day to do it, with the victory parade for the Patriots burying hockey news in Wednesday’s papers.
Julien was 419-246 as Bruins’ coach; he won the Stanley Cup in 2011, lost in Finals two years later. He didn’t suddenly get stupid; the front office has done a cruddy job and Julien is the fall guy for that. He won’t be out of work long, if he doesn’t want to be.
6) Guy named Sports Dude on Twitter (@GSWahooFalcons) grew up in Cleveland, was born in Atlanta, lives in Oakland. Roots for Indians-Warriors-Falcons. Been a rough year for the man.
5) There are rumors that UConn may bolt the AAC to go the Big East for basketball next year, if they can find a landing spot for their football program. What they really need are healthy players; the AAC is a good enough league.
4) Timing is everything in life: Baylor hired a new football coach, because of a sex scandal that was overlooked by the previous coaching staff- the new football coach brought a strength coach in with him from Temple. Baylor football is trying to start over and remake is image.
In the history of bad timing, with people screaming at Baylor over the behavior of its players, it wasn’t good when the strength coach got busted in a prostitution sting over the weekend. The guy got fired immediately, even though his charge was only a Class B misdemeanor. One of the most expensive Class B misdemeanors ever.
3) DeMarcus Cousins got his 15th/16th technical fouls of the season Monday night; he gets an automatic one-game suspension for Wednesday’s game with Boston. Very talented player, but Cousins hurts himself with outbursts of anger directed towards the officials.
2) Kind of funny listening to people whine about the overtime rules in the NFL, when they had no idea what the rules were until Sunday night. Some people just like to complain.
1— Surprising fact: over the last five years, Baltimore Orioles are winningest team in the American League- they’ve outplayed their preseason projections by 14 games a year during that time. Not sure what he makes, but Buck Showalter is underpaid.