Shanoff's Wake-Up Call: Panthers, K-Rod, More

Today's Calls: DeAngelo Williams vs. Jonathan Stewart, Visanthe Shiancoe vs. Brett Favre, K-Rod vs. Greg Maddux, CC Sabathia vs. Jake Peavy, Steve Spurrier vs. Urban Meyer, Colt McCoy vs. Tim Tebow, Dwyane Wade vs. OJ Mayo, Stephen Curry vs. MSG and More.
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↵The Opening Pitch: If the Panthers had been rumbling to the playoffs under the radar, they aren't any longer. ↵

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↵Not after going on Monday Night Football and rolling over their biggest rival in the NFC South. ↵

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↵Credit the best and hottest tandem of RBs in the NFC — and in an argument with Chris Johnson-LenDale White as the best RB duo in the entire NFL. It was on display last night: ↵

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↵DeAngelo Williams: 186 yards, 9.8 ypc, 2 TDs ↵

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↵Jonathan Stewart: 115 yards, 7.7 ypc, 2 TDs ↵

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↵Combined: 301 yards, 8.75 ypc, 4 TDs ↵

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↵The Bucs are no slouch: They had been allowing 108 rushing ypg during a four-game winning streak heading into last night's game, including holding NFL rushing leader Adrian Peterson to 85 yards and, last week, holding the Saints to 44 yards total. ↵

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↵In the NFC, everyone is talking about the defending champ Giants. Or the Cinderella Cards. Or even the Cowboys and Eagles, two teams that might not even make the playoffs. ↵

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↵Those footsteps you hear are coming from Carolina. ↵

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↵Visanthe Shiancoe Watch: Is he OK with the nationally-televised full-frontal display, as he told a local Minneapolis newspaper? Or is he "embarrassed," as his agent claims? Embracing it with a sense of humor is the way to go — take advantage of the new cult-star status! ↵

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↵More NFL from Mike Florio: Weekly 10-Pack. ↵

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↵MLB Hot Stove: K-Rod to the Mets for 3Y, $37M? That's the hottest rumor/reality in Vegas. Seems like a win for both sides: K-Rod gets paid, but the Mets wouldn't be on the hook for more than three years in the event (or, some cynics might say, inevitability) that K-Rod gets injured. ↵

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↵CC Sabathia to the Dodgers? That's what CC says he wants, and the Dodgers have to listen — even at the absurd numbers being tossed around Sabathia. Is his interest for real? Or a ploy to drive up the price from, say, the Yankees? ↵

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↵If he sincerely would not only rather be in the other league but the other coast, the Yankees should take that as a sign that he would ultimately be unhappy in New York and look to spend their money on talent that actually wants to play for them. Like, say, A.J. Burnett. ↵

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↵More MLB: Jake Peavy to the Cubs? ... Mark Teixeira to the Orioles? ... Ben Sheets to the Rangers? ... J.J. Putz to the Tigers? ... No Jermaine Dye trade out of Chicago ... yet. ↵

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↵Greg Maddux retires, officially: One of the best pitchers ever. Four Cy Young awards, 355 wins and a strong argument as the greatest pitcher of our generation — and one of the Top 5 pitchers of all time. ↵

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↵Want to be dazzled? Head over to Baseball-Reference and check out not just his sick years in the early 1990s, but just the insane consistency: 20 straight years of 13+ wins, stretching from age 22 to 41. ↵

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↵CFB Ranking Mania! When you pull back the curtain on the individual ballots of the final Coaches' Top 25, you see a fascinating anthropology of allegiances, rivalries and self-promotion. A few of the more provocative details: ↵

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↵— Steve Spurrier ranked Florida No. 2, not No. 1, making him the only voting SEC coach not to rank the Gators No. 1. ↵

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↵— Mack Brown ranked Texas No. 2, one spot ahead of Oklahoma. ↵

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↵— Mike Leach ranked Texas No. 5, three spots behind Texas Tech. ↵

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↵— Jim Tressel ranked Florida No. 3. Grudge much? ↵

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↵— Gary Pinkel apparently hates non-BCS teams (Utah 15, Boise State 16) ↵

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↵— Biggest delta? Ty Willingham had Mizzou at 11; the final poll had MU at 23. ↵Looking ahead to '09: Colt McCoy going back to Texas for his senior year. This isn't unexpected. Install the embittered Longhorns as the preseason No. 1 team in the country (even if Tim Tebow comes back to Florida) and McCoy as the 2009 Heisman front-runner (again, even if Tebow comes back to Florida). ↵

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↵CFB Coaching Carousel: Mike Locksley to New Mexico. The top assistant to Ron Zook at Illinois may also be most responsible for recruiting the players that made the Illinois' talent turnaround possible. I thought Locksley was due for a better job, but at this point, any head-coaching job is better than another season as an assistant on a bowl-ineligible team. He wasn't going to get any hotter, and if he wins at UNM, he will move up quick enough. ↵

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↵NBA Instant History: Big numbers last night. Dwyane Wade scores 41 in a Heat win against Charlotte. Mark down 41 for Kevin Durant in yet another Thunder loss. Second straight "20-20" game for Dwight Howard (23 and 22) in a Magic W over the Clippers. And O.J. Mayo tied Magic Johnson with 21 straight double-figure scoring games to start a career. ↵

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↵T-wolves fire Randy Wittman: He wasn't very good, yet Kevin McHale will be worse. At least Wittman had an excuse: It's not like he bought the groceries. No, that was McHale's job, and he can see first-hand what kind of mess he has cooked up in Minnesota. ↵

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↵Derrick Rose may or may not be Rookie of the Year (I'm partial to Mayo right now), but Rose has probably locked up NBA Injury of the Year, for slicing his arm after leaving a large knife in his bed after using it to cut an apple. There's something else going on there, because that is preposterous. ↵

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↵CBB Last Night: Louisville seems to have righted itself after that loss to Western Kentucky. They’ve won three games in three days over Saturday, Sunday and Monday. After scoring an anemic 54 points against WKU, they have averaged 84 ppg in these "3 Games in 3 Nights." ↵

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↵Stephen Curry at the Garden tonight! It feels like it could be a special moment in the college hoops season. Curry has momentum: He is coming off a 44-point game in a Davidson win over N.C. State. Think Bob Huggins and West Virginia want to avoid being posterized? ↵

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↵The Last Word: "If you feel the need to have a firearm to be someplace, you're in the wrong place." — Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner ↵

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↵There: Is that so hard to understand? ↵

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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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