Shanoff's Wake-Up Call: BCS, Favre, McNabb

Today's Calls: Texas vs. Oklahoma, Big 12 vs. BCS, Brett Favre vs. Titans, Donovan McNabb vs. Kevin Kolb, Matt Forte vs. Michael Turner, LeBron vs. New York, Shaq vs. Oden, Myron Rolle vs. Oxford football and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Looking for someone to blame for this year's BCS mess? Try the Big 12 South. ↵

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↵Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech: Who is the best of the Big 12 South? Who can say? Texas beat Oklahoma head-to-head on a neutral field, but lost to Texas Tech on the road on a last-second score. Then, Saturday, Oklahoma buried Texas Tech in Norman. ↵

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↵If the season ended today, the BCS standings would give the Big 12 title to Texas. But Oklahoma plays Oklahoma State — No. 12 in this week's BCS rankings — next week. Would a win there put OU over UT and into the Big 12 title game, with a sightline on one of the two coveted national-title spots? ↵

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↵Meanwhile, it's possible that flip-flop wouldn't even be fatal to the Longhorns. Here is a development that should have the rest of the country fuming — or freaking: ↵

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↵If Alabama loses to Florida in the SEC title game, it is still very possible Oklahoma and Texas could finish 1-2 in the BCS standings, freezing out the rest of the college football world. That gives us a rematch that no one is asking for and no one really needs to see, like Ohio State-Michigan II in 2006. ↵

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↵Oklahoma-Texas II as a national-title game would be a BCS doomsday scenario for the ages, arguably the worst outcome of the BCS era — certainly the worst BCS result since 2003, when another undeserving Big 12 team crashed the title game (and was promptly smoked, setting up a split champ). ↵

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↵Fans everywhere are owed the best non-Big 12 team getting a shot at one of the Big 12 South's Big 3 — frankly, who cares which of the three it is? ↵

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↵FCS Playoffs: Hey, did you hear about the 16-team college football playoff bracket that came out yesterday? Yup, and you don't hear any complaints from teams about being snubbed, or administrators about missing class or anything! Thank you for the sanity, 1-AA. ↵

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↵CFB Must-Read: Spencer Hall's Alphabetical. ↵

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↵Favre, Jets ruin Titans' perfect season: I have prepared myself for half a day to say this ... ↵

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↵OK: I'm impressed with Brett Favre. ↵

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↵Whew. That took a lot out of me. But it's impossible to deny: The Jets' 8-3 record and first-place standing in the AFC East is all great, but the fact he led them into Nashville and past the previously unbeatable Titans is his best win of the season — even better than beating the Pats a week ago. ↵

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↵Dare I say it? The Jets are the new hottest team in the NFL. And much of that credit has to go to Favre. Will we start to hear "Favre for MVP" talk this week? With Collins/Haynesworth suddenly looking mortal and Kurt Warner getting blitzed by Favre's crosstown rivals, it's not a stretch. ↵

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↵NFL Weekend Wrap: It's still all about the NFC East. ↵

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↵— Donovan McNabb benched! That 8-for-18, 59 yards, 2 INT, 1 FUM first half. The question: Is the McNabb Era over in Philly? The team is all but eliminated from playoff contention, despite talent that says they should be there. Kevin Kolb can't do worse than McNabb right now. ↵

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↵— NFL's No. 1 team: It's still the Giants, going on the road to knock off a sizzling Cards team that had been playing like the second-best team in the NFC. ↵

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↵— Can the Cowboys breathe easy about the playoffs, now that they are 7-4 with their traditional Thanksgiving game against the patsy Seahawks coming up Thursday? Not quite: They finish with the Steelers, Giants, Ravens and Eagles. (Wow, did T.O. have a big day. Makes the T'giving game even more must-see.) ↵

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↵— Cassel vs. Brady: That's two straight 400+ yard games for Matt Cassel, and the surprisingly weak Pats’ D needed every bit of that. Obviously, Cassel isn't going to displace Brady, but Cassel has earned himself a starting job in the NFL ... somewhere else. ↵

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↵— This week's lesson that you don't know anything about the NFL: Raiders 31, Broncos 10. ↵

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↵— Fantasy Stud: Michael Turner (4 TDs, 117 yds, 4.9 ypc). In a season where the "split RB" trend, along with injuries, has made your original draft-day decisions about RBs seem ludicrous in hindsight, you would have been pretty smart to take Turner. ↵

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↵— Rookie Watch: Matt Forte (2 TDs, 132 yds, 6.6 ypc). In the best season for rookie RBs in recent memory (Forte, Johnson, Hightower, Slaton, Stewart, Green-Ellis ... even McFadden), Forte leads all rookie RBs in rushing yards. ↵

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↵Charlie Weis needs to be fired right now: For most of the season, I think most people could agree that Greg Robinson was the worst college football coach east of Washington state. What do you call the coach who loses to that coach? If you're a Notre Dame fan, how can you possibly support Weis now? (Snowballs thrown by his own team's fans are the least of Weis' problems.) ↵

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↵Meanwhile: After three years of retirement, Bill Snyder will come back to Kansas State to try to take the program he built from bad-to-good back to good. I think he'll find that in just three years since he's been out of the game, the Big 12 has gotten much better. ↵

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↵NBA Instant History: Did you hear? LeBron James is joining the Knicks in 2010. You'd be forgiven for assuming that was the case, based on the breathless coverage of the Knicks clearing massive cap room for 2010 by unloading Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph. More on this tomorrow. ↵

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↵Meanwhile, did everyone catch the way Shaq showed Greg Oden what was what on Saturday? Shaq dominated with 19 and 17; Oden had as many fouls as points (5) in 13:50 minutes that showed how far he has to go to match O'Neal. ↵

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↵(For comparison: In Shaq's rookie year, he averaged 23.4 ppg, 13.9 rpg, 3.5 bpg and shot 56 percent while playing 37.9 mpg. Prediction: Greg Oden won't match any of those totals in any single season of his career, ever.) ↵

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↵Sunday's storylines: Is Chris Bosh leaving Toronto for, say, New York? If Bosh thinks his current team won't put him in a position to topple the best in the conference, then maybe yes. ... Weirdest result of November: The T-wolves beat the Pistons by 26 in Detroit. ... Eight Lakers in double-figures against the Kings? Yikes. ↵

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↵College Hoops Weekend Wrap: This is not last year's Memphis. Last year's team won 26 straight games to open the season, en route to a national-championship appearance; this year's team couldn't even win the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, playing an unranked Xavier. ↵

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↵Meanwhile, USC is not good right now: Coming off their loss last week to Seton Hall, you'd think they would re-focus. Instead, they fall to Missouri. ... Sunday Stud: James Harden, Arizona State's All-American SG, who had 33 of his team's 61 in a Sun Devils’ win over Pepperdine. ↵

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↵Player of the Weekend: Blake Griffin, who scored 35 points and had 21 rebounds in an Oklahoma escape Gardner-Webb. The Bulldogs put up more of a competitive fight against the Sooners than Texas Tech football did. ↵

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↵MLB Hot Stove: How good is young Japanese phenom Junichi Tazawa? Good enough that the Red Sox reportedly offered him $6M. Theo and Co. don't seem to mind that Japanese baseball officials are ticked that MLB teams are trying to recruit their young star-in-waiting to the States. ↵

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↵(Without the usual posting fee, because he is skipping out on the draft process altogether, $6M is a bargain; you'd think Hank Steinbrenner would jump in with "Well, if the Red Sox think he's worth 6, offer him 10!") ↵

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↵Offseason Injury Watch: Chad Billingsley broke his leg slipping on ice near his house. For the Dodgers SP, that adds injury to the insult of losing two games in last season's NLCS. ↵

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↵MLB Hot Stove + Injury Mash-Up Bonus! As predicted here at the start of free agency, A.J. Burnett's injury history is limiting teams' interest in giving him a longterm deal for mega-bucks. ↵

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↵The Last Word: Congratulations to Myron Rolle, the Florida State All-American safety who won an uber-prestigious Rhodes Scholarship on Saturday. ↵

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↵I would love to see him defer the NFL for a year to study at Oxford; the NFL isn't going anywhere, and it would be an amazing signal about the obvious priority that Rolle puts on his academics and his real future. ↵

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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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