Shanoff's Wake-Up Call: Why CFB Season Rules

Today's Calls: Ohio State vs. USC, Matt Cassel vs. Brett Favre, K-Rod vs. Bobby Thigpen, Phillies vs. Brewers and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Ohio State-USC, more than anything, affirms college football's status as having the best regular season in sports. ↵

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↵What other sport holds a de facto playoff in the third week of the season? (And kudos to both teams for scheduling it.) ↵

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↵The game's winner will have the inside track for one of the two spots in the BCS national-title game; the game's loser won't be eliminated, but they will need help. ↵

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↵Say this for the loser: Presuming they roll through the rest of the season with this one smirch on their record, their claim of "only lost to No. 1" WILL make them a BCS factor the first week of December. ↵

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↵OSU's claim is only stronger if they lose without Beanie Wells; I guarantee they will push the “We're such a different/better team with him” argument in December's BCS lobbying. ↵

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↵That's when college football's glorious regular season descends into its most inglorious postseason. But that's another story. ↵

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↵As for the game itself, between last week's performance vs. Ohio and the injury to Beanie Wells, the Buckeyes are due for a thumping that will fall somewhere between the drubbing they took in the 2006 BCS title game and the thrashing they took in the 2007 BCS title game. But again, as noted above, will it really impact the loser's BCS future? ↵

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↵(Of course, if USC loses at home to Ohio State, playing without Beanie, the Trojans pretty much lose any/all claim to the BCS title game.) ↵

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↵As for the rest of the CFB weekend ... ↵

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↵Best Non-USC/OSU Game: Kansas at South Florida ↵

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↵Upset Special: Fresno State over Wisconsin ↵

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↵BCS-Buster Watch: BYU vs. UCLA ↵

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↵Worst. Game. Ever.: Notre Dame vs. Michigan ↵

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↵NFL Week 2: Make no mistake — Cowboys-Eagles is the game of the week. But that's on Monday night, so we can all focus entirely on ... ↵

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↵THE BRADY-LESS PATS VS. BRETT FAVRE!!! ↵

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↵(Sick of the hype yet? Oh, you will be. ...) ↵

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↵I must admit: I am a longtime Pats-loather, but I find their situation now entirely appealing. They are so much more interesting. As for the Jets, I suspect Brett Favre is already overdue for a game-killing INT, which I'm sure Bill Belichick is well aware of. ↵

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↵Other Week 2 storylines: Ravens-Texans will join Cowboys-Eagles on Monday night, due to Ike. ... Vince Young says he isn't depressed (he only plays that on TV, apparently). ... Alternative GOTW: Chargers-Broncos. (What's LT's status? How will Marshall's return affect Royal?) Think the Raiders will blitz more? Not if the coach and D-coordinator are puppets? Agreed. ... Green Bay continues the “Teams That Favre Wanted to Play For More Than the Packers” Revenge Tour. ... Week 2 “Prove-Its”: Bills-Jags, Matt Ryan-Michael Turner. ↵

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↵Week 2 Picks: GB, OAK, NYG, IND, CIN, NO, CHI, JAX, SEA, TB, NE, MIA, DEN, PIT, DAL, HOU. (LW: 9-7, YTD: 9-7) ↵

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↵MLB Instant History: Will "58" be our "56?" Last night, K-Rod tied Bobby Thigpen's record for saves in a season with 57. With his next save, K-Rod will set a new standard. If K-Rod can get that final total above 60, I think we're looking at a close-to-untouchable standard, particularly amazing given the era. ↵

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↵Wild Card Watch: With three more wins like their series-opener last night, the Phillies can catch the Brewers for the N.L. Wild Card lead (Wow, remember when Ryan Howard started the season in that slump? He now has 43 HRs). ... The Astros will have to wait, with games on Friday and Saturday postponed by Ike. ... Wonder if the Jays wish they were in the more geographically appropriate A.L. Central? ↵

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↵More: Hank Steinbrenner says during the past five years, “clearly a lot of mistakes were made.” Yeah: Like leaving Hank's father installed as the person “in charge.” ... Fantasy Stud: Roy Oswalt (CG SO). ... Career Stud: Albert Pujols (100 RBIs for 8th straight seasons). ... Was baseball created in 1755? In ENGLAND?! ↵

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↵NASCAR: Here's where the "playoff" aspect of the Chase rings hollow: Not doing well in New Hampshire carries little penalty. Wouldn't it be cooler if the worst finisher of the 12 was relegated out of the Chase and back into NASCAR gen-pop? ↵

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↵The Last Word: Shaq is retiring in two years when his contract is up? You just know he wants that whole "retirement tour" thing where each team gives him gifts and allows fans to cheer him before the game. ↵

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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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