Shanoff's Wake-Up Call: Jets, Jerry, Jimmie

Today's Calls: Brett Favre vs. Matt Cassel, Tony Romo vs. Jerry Jones, Texas vs. Florida, LeBron vs. Barry Manilow, UCLA vs. UNC, Cliff Lee vs. CC Sabathia, K-Rod vs. Big Unit and More.
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↵The Opening Pitch: Well, THAT lived up to the hype. ↵

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↵The Jets went up early on the road. The Pats came roaring back. ↵

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↵Brett Favre completed 78.8 percent of his passes and threw 2 TDs with no picks. ↵

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↵Matt Cassel threw for 400 yards and 3 TDs (with no INTs) AND ran for a team-high 62 yards. ↵

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↵And the two teams at the top of the AFC East needed OT before the Jets pulled out one of the biggest regular-season wins in franchise history. ↵

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↵It was totally one of those games where you figured the Pats couldn't possibly lose, not after that comeback. ↵

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↵And yet the Jets, not the Pats, now lead the AFC East. The Jets have the 2nd-best record in the AFC. The Jets are ... oh, wow: Contenders? ↵

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↵I may hate both the Pats and Brett Favre, but that was a hell of a game. ↵

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↵Vick Watch: Mike Vick expects to be back in the NFL and wouldn't you agree with him? Look at the QB situation in the NFL right now. At a minimum, he will make some desperate team as a backup -- I'll throw this out there: Vick reinventing himself as a "Wildcat" specialist. ↵

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↵Top NFL Week 11 Storylines: (1) Return of Romo/Must-Win for Cowboys in DC?; (2) Can the Jags derail the Titans?; (3) GOTW involves the Giants for the 4th straight week (vs. Ravens); (4) MVP Watch (Warner's Cards vs. Seahawks); (5) Wow, Last night set a pretty high bar. ↵

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↵NFL Week 11 Picks: ATL, PHI, GB, IND, KC, MIA, NYG, MIN, CAR, SF, ARI, TEN, PIT, WSH, BUF. ↵

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↵CFB Weekend Preview: The biggest matchup of the weekend won't come on the field, but between BCS competitors Texas and Florida. ↵

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↵Before they think about style points and impressing pollsters, they better think about no-gimme games, UT at Kansas and UF vs. Spurrier. ↵

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↵Meanwhile, if you want to see motivated teams, check out Alabama and USC, avenging last year's losses to Mississippi St. and Stanford, respectively. (USC may have a closer eye on that Oregon St.-Cal game than their own.) ↵

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↵Thursday Night Lights: Miami beats Va. Tech (and the Hokies don't lose on Thursday night). Probably enough to get the Canes into my Top 25 next week ... but will it be enough to win them the ACC? ↵

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↵CFB Coaching Carousel: Will Lane Kiffin end up at Clemson? He always struck me as destined for a West Coast program. Maybe he did the interview to amp the pressure on a school like Washington. ↵

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↵NASCAR: I might mock the end of the Chase being more coronation than competition, but there's no denying that Jimmie Johnson is one of the top performers of the decade, in any sport: Back-to-back-to-back. ↵

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↵NBA Instant History: LeBron may have had a near-triple-double (22 pts /11 ast /8 reb), but Mo Williams' team-leading 24 pts was the standout in the Cavs' win. ... Ben Gordon may have had the points (35), but Derrick Rose's statline continues to impress (16 pts / 9 reb / 6 ast). ... The Pistons may have won a sloppy one in Oakland, but it is quickly forgotten heading into tonight's Big Game vs. the Lakers. ... Only LeBron can get away with having Barry Manilow on his iPod. ↵

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↵MLB Hot Stove: Free agent market opens today! The questions: ↵

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↵*Who will sign immediately? ↵

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↵*Which moves will shift the balance of power? ↵

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↵*How will the terrible economy impact free-agent deals? ↵

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↵Best hitters available here, with Teixera and Manny the headliners. ↵

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↵Best pitchers available here, with CC as a target for big spenders. ↵

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↵Looks like the Angels are getting ready for life without K-Rod. ↵

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↵(And one move we know ISN'T going to happen: Randy Johnson will not return with the D'backs. What team will pick him up? Is it worth it, as Unit closes in on 300 wins?) ↵

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↵MLB Awards Season: Cliff Lee was the obvious pick for AL Cy, just as Albert Pujols should be the obvious pick for NL MVP on Monday. ↵

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↵College Hoops really tips off this weekend. Virtually every Top 25 team plays. (Keep an eye on UNC without Hansbrough, although you know who I'll be watching tonight and Sunday.) ↵

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↵More: UCLA sidesteps Miami (Ohio). Early-season blahs or foreshadowing of season-long underperformance? ↵

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↵Name to Know: Jack Ikegwuonu, a formerly anonymous NFL rookie (who isn't even playing this season) who will find a modest level of Internet fame for his Facebook photos. ↵

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↵The Last Word: Thank you, Ken, Dak and Junior. Your work will be missed, but if your legacy is that other bloggers give inane columns the "patented FireJoeMorgan treatment," your effort will live on. ↵

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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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