Shanoff's Wake-Up Call: 49ers, Lakers, Ball St.

Today's Calls: Mike Singletary vs. the Refs, Lakers vs. Hawks, AI vs. CB, Ball State vs. BCS, FOX vs. ESPN, Tim Lincecum vs. Cy Young, Joe Maddon vs. Fredi Gonzalez, Stephen Curry vs. Turnovers and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: With no dominant story line this morning, we need some good ol' manufactured debate: ↵

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↵— Mike Singletary should not be an NFL coach?! ↵

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↵— The Lakers are a failure if they don't win 70?! ↵

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↵— You left Tim Lincecum off your N.L. Cy ballot?! ↵

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↵— Ball State has absolutely no claim to the BCS?! ↵

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↵— Stephen Curry should stick to shooting guard?! ↵

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↵There is one thing all fans seem to agree on: Charlie Weis is a truly terrible college football coach. ↵

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↵Discuss... ↵

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↵NFL: Now Mike Singletary and Mike Martz are blaming the refs. They didn't know where the ball was spotted and the refs started the clock too quickly. They would be hilarious if they weren't so sad. (No, seriously: Mike Martz heard about the issues shortly after the game after talking to ex-coach Mike Nolan, who alerted him to the issues. Huh?!) ↵

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↵More NFL: If it's a weekday, T.O. must be griping. Get the ball in his hands? Sure: Just as soon as the Cowboys can find a QB. ↵

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↵Injury Watch, RB Edition: Steelers’ Willie Parker could play; Redskins’ Clinton Portis likely won't; how many carries will new Bronco Tatum Bell get? ↵

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↵NBA Instant History: The Lakers are unstoppable. ↵

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↵Meanwhile, weren't the Hawks supposed to drop off this year? Last year was a fluke, they lost Childress to Greece, the rest of the East got better, yada yada yada. ... Atlanta is 6-and-freaking-0. (Al Horford wins Fantasy Stud of the Night: 27 pts, 17 reb, 6 blk, 3 asts and a steal. He out-boxscored Derrick Rose, who had 26 points, 10 reb and 6 ast.) ↵

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↵More: And there's the AI the Pistons traded for (30 pts, 9 ast, 7 reb, in a road win at Sacramento). Meanwhile, the Nuggets are still unbeaten with Chauncey Billups running the team. ↵

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↵Deron Williams Makes Season Debut: His shooting touch wasn't there (1/8 FG), but he had 9 asts, logged 31 minutes and the Jazz won. ↵

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↵Question of the Day: Is Greg Oden going to play at Miami tonight? ↵

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↵CFB: Give Ball State credit. They are still undefeated. They are climbing the rankings simply by not losing (while better teams do). They are taking advantage of national-TV time during midweek showcases. ↵

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↵But any talk of "BCS-buster" consideration is premature: I won't buy it until they dispatch their closest MAC rivals — Central Michigan and Western Michigan — back-to-back in the next two weeks. ↵

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↵(Even then, they need both Utah and Boise State to lose — and does anyone think that a two-loss TCU or one-loss BYU wouldn't clobber them?) ↵

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↵Is the BCS moving from FOX to ESPN? I think the better question is: Can ESPN use its leverage to get the BCS to change its format to incorporate some form of playoff? Otherwise, it's more of the same. ↵

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↵Re: Ball State et al: Why don't the non-BCS leagues come together to create an eight-team playoff, with the winner earning a BCS bowl bid? Wouldn't that shame the BCS cabal into re-evaluating their system?) ↵

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↵Embattled Charlie Weis is going to call the offensive plays for Notre Dame vs. Navy: I think it is too little too late, with vastly more downside than upside for Weis: Another flaccid ND loss would leave Weis nowhere to hide. It is funny to see Notre Dame sympathizers finally come to the realization the rest of us had at least two years ago. ↵

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↵(Speaking of coaching changes, Jon Gruden says he isn't interested in the Tennessee job. Vols fans should be happy about that; I think in this era, pro football coaches make terrible college football coaches.) ↵

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↵MLB Awards Season: Managers! Joe Maddon is a lock in the A.L., and anything but a unanimous decision would be laughable. ↵

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↵In the N.L., I'm partial to the way Fredi Gonzalez similarly did more with less (payroll) in Florida. (It's hard to pick Piniella or Torre, given the level of payroll support they had.) ↵

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↵N.L. Cy: Tim Lincecum was the best and/or most valuable starting pitcher for a full season* in the N.L. And that's as valid a reason as anything to make him the N.L. Cy Young award winner. (Enjoy it, SF fans: The Giants are going to throw him until his arm prematurely falls off.) ↵

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↵* — I will notch it as a moral victory that CC Sabathia came in fifth, receiving a single — perhaps symbolic — first-place vote. (Note: There's no place for symbolic votes in sports awards.) ↵

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↵Every year, some voter makes news by doing something "outrageous" with their ballot — the Chicago Sun-Times' Chris De Luca didn't even have Lincecum on his ballot (Webb, Lidge, Santana). ↵

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↵Most laughably, De Luca tries to justify his snub by citing criteria as debunked as win totals as a reason for discounting Lincecum. Why do reporters get to vote again? The BBWAA's role in awards is a farce. ↵

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↵Hot Stove: Given that the Dodgers are willing to go up to $60 million to keep Manny, I'm not sure I buy the rumors the team will pull the offer off the table on Thursday if Manny doesn't sign. ↵

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↵CBB: Another rout for Duke, with another 19-point effort from Kyle Singler, who looks like he is becoming the go-to guy on this team. ↵

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↵Stephen Curry Watch: He is my preseason pick for Player of the Year, but I'm not entirely sold on his move to PG. Per last night: Good news is Curry drained 41 points (15/19 FG, 6/9 3-pt) in a Davidson exhibition rout of Lenior-Rhyne. Bad news is he committed eight turnovers. ... (Here's a Must-Read profile of Curry by Mike DeCourcy, who also ranks him as the No. 1 PG in the country). ↵

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↵The Last Word: Told you yesterday about FreeDarko's new must-have book about the NBA. SN now has excerpts — try before you buy! ↵

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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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