(Photo courtesy of www.cbc.ca)
-It continues for the Blazers as Greg Oden injured his knee Saturday night against the Rockets. Oden was a high draft pick, just like Bill Walton and Sam Bowie, and like them, continue to suffer through injuries. I don't have any record of saying that Kevin Durant was the better player, so you have to take my word. Oden was the safe pick that has been anything but safe, while Durant continues to improve in Oklahoma City. I feel bad for Portland fans, who are great and shouldn't be suffering like they do.
-I have to admit, Philly was the perfect place to end for Iverson. He gets to be welcomed with a conquering hero's return home and the Sixers have no dreams of being involved in free agency until 2012, so the team needs a reason to get people to show up, and that's AI.
-Some more NBA notes; congratulations Nets on you're first win and two of three now. Of course, their hurting their chances at John Wall with this new found winning ability. The Nuggets and Mavs seem to be the biggest challengers to the Lakers out West (I don't believe in the Suns staying power). The East has seen the Cavs float to the top, while the Hawks continue to remain among the contenders. Now only imagine if the Hawks had drafted Chris Paul and I should mention this every time I mention the Atlanta Hawks.
-I tweeted it before, now I link it here: Dan Wetzel's annual "Here's how you can do a College Playoff" is a tour de force. It touches on why the BCS sucks, who's involved with the sucking and how to replace it. Honestly, you can't say with fact that TCU and Cincinnati would be better than Texas and that Boise State is the worst of these unbeatens. Still, I was disgusted with the way Texas won that game, given the short field on a kickoff by Nebraska's second kicker, then almost the dumbest play in football history (yes, even dumber than Dan Orlovsky running out-of-bounds in his end zone) when Colt McCoy almost ran the clock out throwing the ball away before getting a reprieve (rightly) and winning the game on a field goal. Thus, the Longhorns get to go to Pasadena for the BCS title game. Let's hope this costs McCoy the Heisman.
-Speaking of the Heisman, the finalists are: Mark Ingram, Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy, Toby Gerhart and Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska's defensive tackle who had 4.5 sacks on Saturday. The fact Tebow is even going to New York says that too many voters did so before he spit the bit in Florida's loss to Alabama. I think McCoy should be written off because of the poor performance against Nebraska. My ballot would be 1. Suh 2. Ingram 3. Gerhart but I have a feeling McCoy will win because as I wrote at the start of the season, it's McCoy's turn to win, no matter who was better.
-Best thing about the weekend: Tim Tebow crying. Joins Sasha Vujacic and Adam Morrison as the greatest criers for all to mock. Now, I'm sure Tebow will be drafted, as a second round pick of the Lakers.
-I just can't quit you, Giants. Once again, I was ready to bury the 2009 N.Y. Giants, only they win a game that I don't expect them to and I'm reeled back in. If they beat the Eagles on Sunday, the Giants all of a sudden are in the drivers seat for the division as they get to finish with the Redskins, Panthers and the Vikings who likely will rest starters. Meanwhile, if you haven't read a calendar in a while, you know this is the month where Cowboys begin to fall apart. The NFC East will only win a playoff game if two teams play each other in the first round, since all three teams aren't as good as New Orleans, Minnesota, Arizona and Green Bay, even though the media always treats the division like it is. Once more thing, can people (ESPN and SNY) stop talking about Andy Reid as a great coach. A great coach wins big games. A great coach inspires confidence in not only your team, but you're fans. People like to think Philly fans are irrational, but they know Andy Reid does funny things as a coach. Why does only Bill Simmons and Michael Lombardi ever call him out on them?
-Final thoughts from Week 13: Saints with their miraculous win against the Redskins and the Vikings loss (nice to see the Brett Favre I know play Sunday) are in the drivers seat for home-field advantage and thus no longer need to be unbeaten to avoid a game in the Metrodome. The Colts got closer to their unbeaten season, derailing the Young-Johnson Express. The Bengals and Chargers continue to close in on a collision course for that second AFC seed, which should be decided in Week 15 when they play each other. The Pats and Steelers continue to struggle, who's chances of making the playoffs continue to drop.
Now I once again try to right the ship with my picks, as my NFL season has turned into my college season (so glad that's over). It starts tonight with the Steelers and the Browns in another dull NFL Network game. Let's hope this game is decided by halftime so we can all watch "Jersey Shore", but I don't think it will be. Still, the Browns stink and the Steelers always beat them. I know the Raiders beat the Steelers, but that should knock some sense into Pittsburgh, who don't have the easiest of schedules to close it out.
Pittsburgh (-9.5) over CLEVELAND