Nov. 17, 2003
Bengals WR/seer
Chad Johnson:

Any more "guarantees" for us? How about an AL MVP pick? Paris Hilton's future in film? Maybe handicap the Democratic presidential race?
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

You can keep Parcells, Belichick, Fox and Vermeil. NFL Coach of the Year was sewn up Sunday when Marvin Lewis' Bengals knocked off the previously unbeaten Chiefs.

Consider the symbolism: Cincinnati, the NFL's punchline for more than a decade, beat KC, the team with this season's biggest bandwagon (new slogan: Sixteen and ... D'oh!).

Then there's the rub-your-eyes reality: The Bengals are tied for first in the AFC North. That's not a misprint.

Going worst-to-first in Cincy in only one season (even over just 11 weeks) may be the coaching job of the decade.

NFL Week 11 Hot/Not
Nothing hotter: Bucs-bashing. How many of you out there had them to repeat? (Be honest! ...Who, me?) Does title of "ex-champ" get officially bestowed today?

No one wants to play 'em:
Hot: Eagles
Not: Vikings

Backup QB:
Hot: Rick Mirer
Not: Doug Flutie

Coach off hot seat:
Hot: Dave Wannstedt
Not: Jim Fassel (still)

Hot: Raiders over Vikings?
Not: Colts over Jets

Cowboys wisdom:
Hot: House o' cards
Not: Not enough credit

Who's No. 2?
A controversy-free Sugar Bowl between Oklahoma and USC Sugar Bowl is no lock:

Last week's BCS No. 3 Ohio St is expected to flip-flop with USC into the No. 2 spot (USC blanked Arizona 45-0,. but OSU beat a real team, No. 10 Purdue).

Then next Saturday: The toughest games of the season

1 So much for 16-0: Chiefs lose to -- gasp -- the Bengals!
2 New BCS standings come out: Whither USC/OhioSt/LSU/TCU?
3 AL MVP announced today: Wide-open race; A-Rod the fave
1 Tampa Bay Bucs' playoff hopes: Loss to Packers ends 'em
2 "Winston," NASCAR title sponsor: Deal ends; Nextel next
3 Bud Selig gave $$$ to the Brewers: Yeah, THAT helped ...
for the Buckeyes (at Michigan) and BCS No. 4 LSU (at Ole Miss).

If OSU or LSU (or both!) defy the skeptics and win those huge games, that No. 2 BCS slot becomes the No. 1 sports snafu of the year.

BCS Reform: What Next?
If the goal of hush-hush weekend meetings about BCS reform was to create more "inclusion" (read: money) for current BCS have-nots (and not just hire more iffy consultants to revise the process), here's a quick(ie) solution:

*Create a fifth BCS game.
*Brand it the "Cinderella Bowl."
*Schedule as a doubleheader with the national-title bowl game.

*Guarantee one slot always be given to a mid-major conference team.

MLB 'Roids Fallout
What could MLB have done to avoid a weekend of humiliation over their laughable reaction to the steroids-testing report?

*Recognize/admit that 5 percent of players testing positive is, oh, a ton.

*Get out front, pressuring the union to consent to penalties with more teeth.

*Threaten to out 'em all with an anonymous media leak. (Ah, there it is ...)

Scared straight? Fear of fines and suspensions won't deter a player pumping 'roids for the sake of his entire professional life; fear of public condemnation sure will.

MLB Awards
Today: AL MVP, and it doesn't get any more contentious. Should be A-Rod's by performance -- and because you have to invent arguments for all the other top contenders.

Tuesday: NL MVP. Voters picked Barry Bonds if they had any sense, and Albert Pujols if they just wanted to pick a fight.

Four Raiders:
Reportedly tested positive for THG and will be suspended. This is what those in the business call "the tip of the iceberg."
Today on
P2: Best college football rivalries
NFL: Week 11 Wrap-Up
College Basketball Preview
Ranking NFL's Top 5:
Titans (8-2)
Suddenly, KC seems mortal
Chiefs (9-1)
Had to lose at some point
Panthers (8-2)
Not pretty, but effective
Patriots (8-2)
Blanking 'Boys not THAT hard
Bengals (5-5)
You beat KC, you make the list

Pipe down, TCU-backers: Schedule strength is still a farce, and the anti-BCS rhetoric is moot until after Thursday's game at So. Miss ...

NASCAR's LeBron: 20-y.o. Brian Vickers (Busch Series champ), youngest Nextel Cup (nee Winston) full-time driver ever ...

Today is the 35th anniversary of the famous/infamous "Heidi" game. Guess it depends on how you feel about Heidi ...

MNF: T.O. alone is enough to tune in for the 49ers-Steelers game, but how about that brewing SF QB controversy? ...

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