By Dan Shanoff
Page 2 columnist

Aaron Buerge, Helene Eksterowicz
Aaron Buerge canoodles with Helene Eksterowicz, the Lou Piniella of "The Bachelor" contestants.

What does now-ex-"Bachelor" Aaron's choice of Helene over Brooke (predicted here) mean as a sports analogy? It's drafting someone who can help you today, rather than betting on potential to be fulfilled. It's promoting the understated, longtime assistant, instead of finding a high-profile, less-successful outsider to coach your team. It's saying "no" to a lifetime in "The Alabama Room," and "yes" to rooting for Rutgers. 'Bama's bowl-ineligible anyway....

Hey, both women are hotties, but here's to Aaron picking a little more substance to go with the style, and to picking the better match for himself, rather than being blinded by blondeness.

Now that everyone's faith in a typical guy's judgment has been buoyed, we can all begin our eager anticipation for January's "Bachelorette" spin-off, starring Trista, runner-up of "Bachelor I" and friend of Page 2. Prediction: She (and the show) will be the first nationwide sensation of '03. For what's hot and what's passé this week, check out the list below:

What's Hot, What's Not this week
Category Hot Not
Your "gut" about the weekend's big college football game
Michigan (duh!)

Ohio State (get real)
Credibility to criticize Hootie LPGA commish Ty Votaw NY Times editorial board
Hypocrisy Celebrating "The Stanford Band" anniversary Chiding fans for rushing the field
Spurrier's QB carousel
Danny Wuerffel

Shane Matthews
Jinx Soup endorsement Magazine cover
Heisman bandwagon
Kliff Kingsbury

Ken Dorsey
Iverson Unstoppable on-court Feeling secure off-court
Bulls trade rumor Jamal Crawford for Mike Dunleavy Jay Williams for Mike Dunleavy
Big East bandwagon

Virginia Tech
Exotic Expos home base Puerto Rico Boston
Hubie Brown's impact Losses, but they're close! Wins, any wins
Cowboys go-to guy
Troy Hambrick

Emmitt Smith
Has Cubs' attention
Jim Thome

Dusty Baker
Arturo Gatti's boxing nightmare Tyson comeback steals his PR Upcoming rematch with Micky Ward
Business niche Replacement goalposts Out-of-season surfing gear
Lucky guy
Larry Walker

Matt Williams
Conventional wisdom on Shaq Returning this week? Yeah, right Back in the lineup soon!
Not just college-hoops hype North Carolina's freshmen Xavier's lofty ranking
If Marc Bulger wasn't injured ... Mike Martz is an idiot Commend Mike Martz for his loyalty
NBA surprise Really big men (Bradley, Yao) New Orleans already bored
U.S. Olympic hoops hopeful
Stackhouse (who really wants to play)

Shaq (who really doesn't)
Weekend flick
"Die Another Day"

"Friday After Next." Ruining a great legacy. (The classic, first "Friday.")

Dan Shanoff is a columnist for Page 2. His "What's Hot, What's Not" trend-spotting list appears Thursdays. Got inside scoop on an up-and-coming trend? Want to declare something passé? Send this glimpse of your hipness to