Shanoff's W.U.C.: Meeks, Pioli, Magic, Mays

Today's Calls: Jodie Meeks vs. Dan Issel, Scott Pioli vs. Herm Edwards, Orlando Magic vs. the 3-point line, Frank Spaziani vs. Jim Harbaugh, Michael Crabtree vs. Taylor Mays, Lane Kiffin vs. Knox Kiffin and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: During an otherwise slow sports cycle, Jodie Meeks became THE name to know. ↵

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↵The Kentucky guard scorched the floor at Tennessee for a school-record (that's a Kentucky record) 54 points, the most points in an SEC game since legendary scoring machine Chris Jackson scored 55 in '89 and the best individual performance in a single game by a college hoops player this season. ↵

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↵The play-by-play reads like an aria: ↵

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↵1st: Layup. (Missed 3.) 3. 3. 3. (Missed J.) 3. (Missed 3.) Layup. 3. FT. FT. Layup. FT. FT. FT. ↵

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↵Intermission. (26 pts, 8/11 FG, 5/7 3-pt.) ↵

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↵2nd: Jumper. Jumper. 3. 3. (Missed 3.) FT. FT. (Missed 3.) FT. FT. (Missed J.) 3. 3. FT. FT. FT. (Missed 3.) FT. FT. ↵

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↵Fin. 15/22 FG. 10 3s. 14/14 FT. 54 points. (Oh, and a win for the Cats.) ↵

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↵Chiefs hire Scott Pioli as GM: This is a brilliant move, poaching from the Pats perhaps the most accomplished personnel honcho in the league. The Falcons showed the way (ironically, with one of Pioli's proteges, Thomas Dimitroff): Get a top-flight GM, then give him the authority to oversee the turnaround. ↵

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↵What will be Pioli's biggest move? Hiring his own head coach, which means Herman Edwards is gone, sooner or later. The Chiefs have a ton of cap space ($32 million) and the No. 3 pick in the draft. (The 2nd-biggest question: Is Tyler Thigpen the answer at QB? Wow, regional hero Sam Bradford would look good here.) ↵

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↵Speaking of good moves, the smartest thing that new Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels could do is hire a very experienced defensive coordinator: He got one in Mike Nolan, who couldn't head-coach particularly well but who knows how to run a D. (He also has an early-career history as a Broncos coach.) ↵

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↵NBA Instant History: The Magic know "3conomics." (I think that Wendy's ad has gotten into my head.) AND YET! It seemed fitting -- if awkward -- given that Orlando set the NBA record for 3s made in a game: a whopping 23. Who's their coach: Billy Donovan?) ↵

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↵Meanwhile: Kobe had 33 in a huge Lakers win in Houston, opening up a 4-game road trip that continues tonight in San Antonio. ↵

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↵CFB Coaching Carousel: Frank Spaziani is elevated at BC, as expected. We will all presume that he "wants" to be there, and that his "commitment" is to the "long-term" success of the BC program. Promoting from within -- a 12-year assistant, no less -- was the right move here. ↵

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↵(Meanwhile: Jim Harbaugh insists he is staying at Stanford. I have no doubt that means he will be there ... for now. But Stanford is a "stepping-stone" program; it's a place where you succeed specifically to prove that you can win big at a bigger, more prominent place -- like the NFL.) ↵

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↵BCS Mess, Cont'd: At the American Football Coaches Association meeting, the organization said it would review the coaches' role in the BCS system. The Coaches' poll itself is so absurdly opaque and full of so many conflicts that it has ceased to have any real legitimacy -- beyond its self-appointed place in the BCS formula. ↵

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↵(Presuming that they stay in the formula, on my wish list for changes -- not that I'm holding my breath -- is disclosing every coach's ballot every week, not just after the penultimate ballot. Also, expand the number of participating coaches beyond 60 and eliminate the requirement that coaches must support the BCS champ.) ↵

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↵Michael Crabtree going pro, officially: As mentioned before, not only is he the best WR prospect in his class, but also he could be one of the Top 5 WRs in the history of college football. (You know I love "Best-Ever" more than anyone, but no one tops Larry Fitzgerald.) ↵

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↵(Also going pro: Aaron Maybin, Penn State's All-American DE, and a 1st-round lock ... Ball State QB Nate Davis: Because it just won't get better for him in college than it did this past season.) ↵

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↵Taylor Mays staying at USC: This was a surprise, given his status as a 1st-round lock and, y'know, his general NFL-quality abilities. The USC defense faces a ton of retooling (or is that reloading?) next season, but having Mays in the middle of it all will help a lot. ↵

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↵Today's NFL announcement drama: LSU RB Charles Scott. If you liked Joseph Addai's development from college bruiser to NFL stud, you'll really like Scott. (Plus: Scott's LT teammate Ciron Black.) ↵

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↵MLB Hot Stove: Does Derek Lowe really count as a "No. 1 starter?" That's setting a pretty low bar, isn't it? ↵

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↵Tonight's Must-Watch Game: Syracuse at Georgetown, in one of the most compelling Big East games of an every-week-is-compelling Big East conference season. Still wondering if the ‘Cuse is for real? This is their biggest test yet (with Notre Dame, at Pitt and Louisville coming up next). ↵

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↵The Last Word: Lane Kiffin must really love Tennessee. He named his newborn son after Knoxville -- Monte Knox Kiffin, a 21-inch, 8-pound, 8-ounce future football coach who will go by "Knox." ↵

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↵(Won't that be awkward in 10 or 20 years after Kiffin is long-gone from Tennessee? They might as well have named the kid "Three Jobs Ago.") ↵

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↵Anyway: Congrats to the happy Kiffin family! ↵

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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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