13) Eli Manning will take a seat Sunday and Geno Smith will start for the Giants Sunday in Oakland. Last Giants’ QB to start instead of Manning? Hall of Famer Kurt Warner, in 2004.
12) Auburn beat Georgia a few weeks ago, now the teams meet again in SEC title game; the surprising fact is this— last six SEC title games that were rematches, the team that won the first meeting also won the second meeting. I wouldn’t have guessed that.
11) Duke football coach David Cutcliffe turned down Tennessee? Really? Cutcliffe was the Vols’ OC during the Peyton Manning years, the Ole Miss coach during the Eli Manning years, but he has found the Duke job as a good place to work.
Ole Miss ran Cutcliffe off despite the Rebels going 44-29 (25-23 in SEC games) under his tutelage. Tennessee is a bigger fishbowl than Ole Miss, so Cutcliffe said no thanks.
10) Dak Prescott will get very rich someday, in part because of the training he got playing for Dan Mullen at Mississippi State.
Dan Mullen just got really rich, in part of because of how well Prescott played for him at Miss State. Hopefully the two of them send each other Christmas cards and thank each other, maybe even exchange expensive gifts.
9) Blake Griffin sprained his MCL, is likely out 6-8 weeks for the Clippers, who are relieved the injury wasn’t worse.
8) Lonzo Ball shot 41.2% on 3’s last year, 67.3% on foul line, 73% inside the arc, so I refuse to say “He can’t shoot”, but he ain’t shooting well this year (24.5% of 3’s, 42.9% of FT’s, 30.9% inside arc). Whether his problem is mental or physical, who knows?
Don MacLean, who does studio work on Clipper games, was saying Monday night that Ball’s shooting problem is a mechanical flaw that won’t be easy to fix. Seeing how Ball’s father is also his trainer, we’ll see if the problem gets fixed.
7) Virginia 49, Wisconsin 37— Why would ESPN match these two teams for a TV game? They both play slowish, unattractive styles; at least they were smart enough to put the game up against Monday Night Football, so we could easily pass on watching it.
6) Actors Matt Damon/Edward Norton made the great poker movie Rounders in 1998; that summer, both actors played for real in the main event at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.
Damon got knocked out of the Main Event by poker legend Doyle Brunson; Damon had pocket kings, but Brunson had pocket aces. Would be fun if there was video of that hand.
5) Daytime TV is generally horrible, but SEC Network has an hour-long show called Thinking Out Loud which is worth watching. Think it is on Monday and Friday for an hour, with Greg McElroy and Marcus Spears talking mostly about college football.
If ESPN was smart, they’d give those two their own talk show on a regular basis; they’re smart, have a sense of humor and are fun to listen to.
4) I’m reading baseball articles and I see these names mentioned as trade chips this winter:
Stanton-Abreu-Ozuna-Santana. Good grief, they’re all on my fantasy team. Had a good season last year, I don’t need lot of guys changing teams, though if one or two of them got traded to the Phillies and that tiny ballpark, I wouldn’t mind.
3) Jimmy Garoppolo and Geno Smith will be the 50/51st QB’s to start an NFL game this year; all of last year, 54 different quarterbacks started a game.
2) ESPN’s Herm Edwards interviewed for the Arizona State coaching job, which is interesting and could signal that Herm is gone from ESPN when their next round of personnel cuts happen.
1) Ole Miss gave interim football coach Matt Luke the full-time head coaching job- they posted his contract on Twitter. Here are some particulars of his contract:
— Luke’s salary is $12.6M, over four years (2018-21)
— Luke gets $150,000 for SEC every win Ole Miss gets, starting with Rebels’ 3rd SEC win each year.
— $150,000 for getting to the SEC title game, $400,000 if he wins the title game.
— His bowl bonus is anywhere from $50,000-$250,000, depending on the bowl’s level.
— $500,000 for getting the national playoff semifinals, $1M for winning national title.
— Just for comedy, he gets $100,000 if Ole Miss players have an APR score of 975 or better. Getting to the SEC title game is worth $150,000.
— Ole Miss has a salary pool of $5,135,000 to pay ten assistant coaches.
— They have a salary pool of $2,100,000 to staff strength conditioning crew, video analysts, football operations and other miscellaneous support staff.
College sports is big business, for sure.