13) Forgot to mention this Monday, but NFL gets the Week 17 thing right; every game is a divisional rivalry game, and the most meaningful games are stuffed into the 4:25 window of games, to maximize drama. Makes handicapping more difficult, but so be it.
12) There are rumors going around Las Vegas these days that UNLV is going to have a new basketball coach next year, and that guy is coaching in Greece right now— Rick Pitino.
11) Kentucky 27, Penn State 24— Wildcats win 10+ games in same football season for first time since 1977. Kentucky led 27-7, were outgained 407-297, but hung on for the win- they ran a punt back for a touchdown, the first punt return Penn State allowed for a TD since 2012.
10) Houston snags football coach Dana Holgorsen away from West Virginia, giving him $20M over five years; not often a guy voluntarily leaves a Big X program for an AAC team, but money talks……
9) Of the 12 teams who made NFL playoffs this year, Rams played most games (4-3) against them this season. Bears (2-1), Ravens (1-2) played the fewest.
8) Jets could be a good over bet for wins next season; since 2000, here are the Jet head coaches, 1st year and then after……
2000 Al Groh First year: 9-7 Replaced after one year
2001 Herm Edwards: First year: 10-6 Rest of time: 29-35
2006: Eric Mangini: First year: 10-6 Rest of time: 13-19
2008: Rex Ryan: First year: 9-7 Rest of time: 37-43
2015: Todd Bowles: First year: 10-6 Rest of time: 14-34
7) Speaking of the Jets, how does the coach at Iowa Freakin’ State turn down an interview with an NFL team? Matt Campbell doesn’t want to coach in the NFL? Fine, but interviewing with an NFL team wouldn’t at least be a good experience for him? I laughed when I saw this note.
6) Agreed that Steve Alford/UCLA was an odd fit, but here is the list of coaches who made 3+ Sweet 16’s in the last five years:
Alford, Beilein, Calipari, Few, Huggins, Krzyzewski, Sean MIller, Self, Williams.
Firing Alford before conference play was insulting, and probably done to placate a big-money donor. Wonder if it’ll hurt them in finding a high-profile replacement.
5) Gambling is difficult: Monday, Weber State (-6.5) won 93-87 at Idaho. Weber was up 41-16 with 5:49 left in first half, led by 22 at the half, but didn’t cover. Idaho made 10-19 3-pointers but covered by only a half-point. Weber was the right side in the game, but not the winning side.
4) Ohio State 28, Washington 23— I wonder if Urban Meyer will ever coach again; hopefully he will never be on TV again, just a totally humorless, serious person who was a great coach but for Pete’s sake, tell a joke or say something sarcastic now and then- its not that hard.
3) LSU 40, Central Florida 32— Tigers’ QB Joe Burrow was 21-34 for 394 yards and four TD’s as LSU ended UCF’s 25-game winning streak. Burrow led LSU to a 10-3 record this season; he was the 3rd-string QB at Ohio State before this year. Think about that for a second.
2) Lions fired OC Jim Bob Cooter Tuesday; officially it is a “mutual parting of ways” which is a nice way of Matt Patricia saying, “Take a hike!!!!”
Jets/Cardinals need to look at Cooter to help develop their young QB’s. He was Peyton Manning’s backup at Tennessee, so he has connections.
1) Tuesday is usually garbage day in my neighborhood, but because of New Year’s Day, it got pushed back a day this week. Lot of my neighbors didn’t get the memo and put their garbage out Monday night, and it was really windy Tuesday morning, so the neighborhood was a mess Tuesday morning, lot of stuff everywhere. Not a great way to start 2019.