October 28, 2005
Hottest manager in baseball. Now, of course, the greatest move ever would be to retire, as he jokingly said he would back in September.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Virginia Tech is No. 1.

(Actually, VA Tech is arguably No. 1.)

Sometimes I think the braintrust of college football intentionally keeps the system ambiguous, even though it drives worse publicity than Harriet Miers gets and more indictment than your average D.C. scandal.

But why shouldn't they keep it hazy? We're talking college football, aren't we? And, after the gripes about the BCS system end, fans inevitably start to talk about the merits of USC vs. Texas vs. VA Tech.

That's good for college football. So is the fact that it has the best regular season in sports: 12 weeks of de facto playoff, where a single loss virtually knocks you out of title contention.

Which brings us back to Tech's big win over BC on Thursday night, to stay unbeaten. No one can say definitively that USC or Texas is better than the Hokies.

Fans can look at VA Tech's remaining strength of schedule and argue that if it wins out convincingly, it deserves a spot in Pasadena.

Why should VT be penalized because USC and Texas had the built-in advantage of being ranked No. 1 and 2 before even playing a game?

The only title Tech is going to win at this point is "This year's Auburn."

But as long as fans keep college football at the top of their argument list, the BCS will consider itself a success.

The lesson? Griping won't change anything. In fact, it'll only affirm the status quo. Fans would have to ignore college football for it to change.

But who wants to do that? (That's a devious bunch, that NCAA.)

CFB Weekend Preview
It's the Saturday of the Year at ultra-biased Quickie HQ:

3:30 pm: Georgia vs. FLORIDA
GameDay at the Cocktail Party in Jacksonville! No Shockley? Big problems for the Dawgs. Gators have had two weeks to prep to wreck UGA's season.

Mrs. Shanoff says: "Urban joins the list of UF coaches who own Georgia!"

7 pm: Michigan at N'WESTERN
One of these teams is tied for first in the Big Ten: It's my 'Cats, boasting a top 5 offense (yes, in the NATION). NU at night? Rocking.

Mr. Shanoff says: "Remember that 54-51 Instant Classic in 2000? Buckle up!"

NFL Week 8 Preview
Return of the Week: Bruschi
Bills at Pats: Every fan will be holding their breath a little bit on Sunday night (8:30, ESPN) when Tedy delivers his first hit.

Brian Diesbourg: 50-yard kick at CFL game nets fan $1 mil
Pittsburgh Penguins: Finally get their season's first win
Breeder's Cup: Watch Borrego, Saint Liam and Rock Hard Ten
Todd Bertuzzi: Booed mercilessly vs. Avs (as he should be)
Grant Hill: Another disappointment: Out 3-6 weeks (hernia)
Women's Boxing: Rejected by IOC for Olympics in Beijing 08
Prove-It of the Week: Philly
Eagles at Broncos: Both teams need this quality win to establish contender bonafides. Will T.O. and Westbrook freak out over touches?

Prove-It runner-up: Vikes Mo?
Vikings at Panthers: Don't expect the good times following last week's wild comeback to follow the Vikings to Carolina.

Rivalry of the Week: NFC East
Skins at Giants: The winner of this "Prove-It" game will emerge as the top contender to dethrone the Eagles.

Rivalry runner-up: NFC North
Bears at Lions: Winner earns sole possession of first place in the NFL's most worthless division (ever?)

QB of the Week: B. Leftwich
Jags at Rams: Emerging JAX QB goes up against the No. 28 passing D in the league. Jags making a run at cracking NFL Top 5 teams list.

QB runner-up: Brett Favre
Packers at Bengals: Favre's the anti-Leftwich; his team is letting him down. Things get worse for Favre (1-6???) before they get better.

Xs/Os of the Week: LT Solved?
Chiefs at Chargers: In holding Tomlinson to only 7 rushing yards last week, did the Eagles provide a template for the rest of the league?

College Hoops Poll
Big shocker: Duke is No. 1, on the strength of a Top 3 post player, a Top 3 shooting guard and a sick freshman class.

How much parity in college hoops? Consider 11 of the Top 25 weren't ranked at the end of last season. The highest of the bunch? Texas at No. 3

World Series Hangover
If no one was watching, did it really happen? Morning-after spin has hardened into long-lasting conventional wisdom:

*Few were watching.
Lowest-rated Series ever.
*These Sox were g-o-o-d
History will remember "11-1."
*Next year? Who knows?
If Soxes can win, anyone can.

Hot Stove Pre-Heat
Most intriguing free agents?

1. Paul Konerko
ALCS MVP will get big payday.
2. Johnny Damon
King Idiot out of Boston?
3. A.J. Burnett
W-Sox model: Get starters!
4. B.J. Ryan
Bidding war for closer?
5. Raffy Palmeiro
Insert your own joke here.

PGA Playoff
The PGA's "major" system is fine enough, but it lacks the definitive crowning of an annual champ (the rankings system is a farce).

That's why I fully endorse the PGA's NASCAR-style plan for a points chase and "playoffs" system in 2007. Maybe more casual fans will care.

Of course, it doesn't solve the glaring flaw of the major system: If Tiger's not in it at the end, most fans don't really care. (via USA Today)

Halloween, Cont'd
For Quickie readers, the hands-down most popular costume was to find a Vikings jersey and combine it with either (a) a life jacket or (b) a ship captain's hat. You all are too clever.

Enjoy any weekend party-going. More Halloween on Monday.

Jean Van De Velde:
Miffed at British Open allowing women to qualify, he's going to apply for the women's British Open. He claims he's proving a point. What: That he's a jerk?
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie: Live!
Page 2 index
Ford on VA Tech
More NFL W8 Subplots
TB at SF
Still reign the city
Personalities + Wins
First taste of titles
How can you not love 'em?
Won Big Ten, went to Rose

NFL Week 8 Office-Pool Picks: CIN, DAL, CHI, OAK, JAX, NYG, CAR, CLE, MIA, SD, DEN, TB, NE (SNF), PIT (MNF) (LW: 10-4, Season: 63-35)

Theo Watch: He's reportedly going to stay in Boston, but his assistant Josh Byrnes will take the D-Backs job. (Jed Hoyer to replace Byrnes?)

More GM Hot Stove: The Phillies are reportedly talking to ex-Astros GM Gerry Hunsicker. (via HOU Chron)

Is Mike Schmidt on the D-Rays' managerial interview list? (via Tampa Trib)

Unsurprisingly, ex-Bucks guard Desmond Mason isn't quite happy about being shipped out of rising Milwaukee to the lowly Hornets.

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