Shanoff's Wake-Up Call: Scary? Tebow, CP3

Today's Calls: Halloween vs. Philadelphia, Big 12 vs. SEC, Tebow vs. Hansbrough, Chris Paul vs. Ron Artest, Manny Ramirez vs. CC Sabathia, Pats vs. Colts, Giants vs. Cowboys and More! ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Here are a few scary thoughts, just in time for Halloween: ↵

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↵— Tim Tebow is now apparently 100 percent after hiding a knee injury the past few weeks. (Just in time for Georgia! Hmm: Head games?) ↵

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↵— As MVP-ish as Chris Paul was last season, CP3 looks even better this season (20p/10a/8r in a Hornets W over PHX). ↵

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↵— Manny Ramirez to the Yankees. (No, it's not happening ... yet, but it certainly should scare people.) ↵

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↵— It's official: This was the least-watched World Series ever, down 17 percent from woeful Cards-Tigers in '06. (But "Game 5.5" will live forever.) ↵

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↵— Just two seasons after being champs, the Colts could have the AFC's fourth-worst record, if they lose at home to the Pats on Sunday. ↵

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↵— UNC All-American and consensus national preseason player of the year Tyler Hansbrough is out "indefinitely" with a shin problem. ↵

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↵— NHL poster guy Sidney Crosby was injured last night, on a cross-check to the ribs. Gotta protect the biggest star in the league! ↵

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↵— "Our guys are not going to be satisfied not playing in October." (Joe Maddon, about the Rays' new expectations.) ↵

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↵CFB Weekend Preview: Call it "playoff-ish." The top two contenders of the top two conferences play each other this weekend. ↵

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↵The winner of Texas-Texas Tech has the inside track on the Big 12 South title (at Lubbock, it is UT's toughest game of the season). ↵

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↵The Florida-Georgia winner has the inside track on the SEC East; either would likely be favored in the SEC title game. (Sorry, Bama.) ↵

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↵If, like, me you believe that the Big 12 and SEC champs have the most worthy resumes to meet for the national title, it's a big day. ↵

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↵NFL Weekend Preview: Wow, remember when Pats-Colts was THE rivalry in the NFL? Was it really so long ago? Feels like it. ↵

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↵Instead, Giants-Cowboys is the Game of the Week — although given the Cowboys' injury/offense issues, expect NY in a rout. ↵

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↵And the Titans have become a weekly “must-track”: GB would have been more daunting last season; the Johnson-White combo is too much. ↵

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↵Will fans in Philly watching the Eagles at Seattle have recovered from celebrating by Sunday? Good thing it should be a walk. ↵

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↵Otherwise, as you look down Sunday's schedule, it sure feels like a batch of forgettable matchups. ↵

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↵(You know, it's really too bad the 49ers have a bye week. In one week, Mike Singletary has become the NFL's most entertaining coach.) ↵

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↵Picks: BUF, CHI, JAX, BAL, TEN, TB, STL, HOU, DEN, ATL, NYG, PHI, NE, PIT. ↵

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↵NFL Must-Read: NFL Films' Greg Cosell on the NFL at midseason. Fascinating stuff in there. ↵

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↵NBA Instant History: Wow, do the Rockets look good with Ron Artest. Now 2-0, Houston worked over the Mavs, and Ron-Ron had 29 points (the Big 3 had 75 of Houston's 112 points on 48 FG pct). ↵

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↵Fantasy Watch: Josh Howard doesn't seem to have suffered any ill effects from his terrible PR offseason: 28 pts (11/19 FG), team-high 11 reb, 4 ast and a block. ↵

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↵Lakers extend Bynum: Kobe may be the MVP, but the Lakers' future depends on young C Andrew Bynum, who just signed a four-year extension. (If Bynum was on the open market next summer, he would arguably command a "max" deal. Yeah, skipping college really hurt his career.) ↵

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↵CFB Top 25 Last Night: Cincy took out South Florida, which should earn the Bearcats a flip-flop with the Bulls into the Top 25. ↵

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↵MLB Hot Stove: Free agency is here. The Top five biggest prizes? (1) CC; (2) Manny, (3) K-Rod; (4) Teixeira, (5) Sheets. All are change-the-playoff-landscape players, although it remains to be seen how the bad economy will depress the dollars these guys command. ↵

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↵You saw the story about Manny and the Yankees at the top; consider that Sabathia could get $100 million. Hey: What recession? ↵

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↵MLB Manager Hiring: Really, Ken Macha? Is that supposed to be considered some kind of breakthrough upgrade for Milwaukee? ↵

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↵CBB Recruiting: Top SG prospect Kenny Boynton committed to Florida. Boynton-Calathes would be one of the nation's best backcourts (if Calathes doesn't turn pro early). ↵

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↵NHL: With the above-mentioned injury to Crosby, it's a good thing the league has Steven Stamkos, another rising star. ↵

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↵Business: NFL Pro Bowl to stay in Hawaii? I cannot believe that a mainland city isn't willing to pony up at least $4 million that Honolulu will pay to host the NFL’s all-star game. ↵

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↵(Whatever happened to that amazing idea to have the Pro Bowl in the Super Bowl host city on during the off-week between the conference title games and the SB? Or, better yet, on the Saturday before the SB?) ↵

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↵The Last Word: Happy Halloween. In past years, sports stars have made for decent costume inspiration. ↵

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↵I mean, Rays fans who got themselves "Ray-hawk" haircuts have to do something with it, right? ↵

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↵Suggestion: Grab a pair of heavy dark-rimmed glasses and go as Joe Maddon. ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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