Shanoff's WUC: NFL Week 4, CFB Duds, 2016

Today's Calls: Pink cleats vs. neon jerseys, Ravens vs. Pats, Gus Malzahn vs. Monte Kiffin, Sam Bradford vs. LeGarrette Blount, Chicago vs. Rio, Zack Greinke vs. Minnesota and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Think pink. ↵

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↵The biggest story in the NFL on Sunday -- obviously, the Favre-Packers Eclipse begins starting late Sunday night -- is not the Pats and Ravens in a clash of would-be AFC contenders. It's not the winless Titans or 1-win Steelers fans in panic mode. It's not the intriguing battle of defensive Xs vs. offensive Os between the Jets' Rex Ryan and the Saints' Sean Payton. ↵

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↵When fans tune in Sunday, the in-your-face theme will be ... pink. ↵

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↵Pink sweatbands. Pink towels. Pink accessories. Most notably: Pink shoes. ↵

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↵It's all in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it will not only help the worthy cause, but allow players to reveal their inner fops -- you know Chad Ochocinco is ALL over this opportunity to go glam. It will brighten the NFL's otherwise dreary, no-fun policies. In sports bars and fan caves across the country, it will be the No. 1 topic fans will be discussing -- and isn't that the point? ↵

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↵The Seahawks' neon-green jersey last week earned mixed reviews (ok: terrible reviews, although I liked them). But I think everyone will be able to get behind this week's fashion statement. ↵

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↵Just call him "Chad Ochopinko." ↵

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↵NFL Week 4 Picks: Bears, Bengals, Colts, Giants, Pats, Bucs, Jaguars, Texans, Saints, Dolphins, 49ers, Cowboys, Steelers, Vikings (Last week: 13-3, Year-to-date: 34-14) ↵

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↵Fantasy Pick to Click: 49ers RB Glen Coffee ↵

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↵CFB Weekend Story Line: It's "Let-Down Saturday." After last week's Top 10 upheaval, this week's few once-promising matchups are suddenly duds, regardless of who wins: ↵

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↵• USC at Cal? Meh: Two Pac-10 also-rans. ... ↵

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↵• LSU at Georgia? Tigers may be country's most overrated team. ... ↵

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↵• Oklahoma-Miami? Between OU's first week and Miami last week. ... ↵

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↵(Plus: No Bradford return, which would help spice it up.) ↵

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↵• Even GameDay is uninspired, heading to B.C. for a non-game. ... ↵

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↵Most intriguing game of the week: Auburn isn't ranked in the AP Top 25, but they should be -- and they will be if they beat Tennessee in Knoxville, matching up two geniuses: Auburn OC Gus Malzahn vs. Tennessee DC Monte Kiffin. Worth watching just for that duel. ↵

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↵CFB Upset Special: Like Hayes, I'll take Georgia over LSU in Athens, just to make next week's LSU-Florida game that much more weird, and I'll take Stanford over unbeaten UCLA in Palo Alto. ↵

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↵Thursday Night CFB: Noel Devine for Heisman? At the very least, there isn't a more electrifying RB in college football -- Jahvid Best and Jeff Demps included. 220 for Devine last night in WVU's win over Colorado. ↵

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↵Tebow Watch: John Brantley is prepping like he is starting a week from Saturday. More on this next week, but I think the Gators can beat LSU at LSU with Brantley at QB, rather than Tebow. Brantley is solid, plus the Gators' sick D, RBs and special teams -- more than enough to win games. ↵

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↵LeGarrette Blount back? Hopefully, Oregon will do the right thing and rescind the permanent ban on Blount, allowing Blount back onto the team -- and on the field. If Oregon had "indefinitely" suspended him -- as they should have -- they wouldn't be in this mess. ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points: Regular season ends Sunday. The playoff spots are either locked up (Rocktober!) or might as well be. Sorry, Twins fans. ... Zack Greinke can put a punctuation mark on his sick Cy-worthy season with a win over Minnesota. Lincecum has the NL Cy locked up. ... And for Mets fans, the only bliss of the season: It's over. ... Starting Monday: The awesomeness that is the MLB playoffs. (Yes, casual MLB fans: It's time to start paying attention.) ↵

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↵NHL Season Opener: Picks up where things left off -- Ovie! Two goals and an assist in a Caps W. Will this be the Cup-winning breakthrough season for the team with the league's best player? Here's a good omen: The Caps hadn't won in Boston in regulation since 2000. ↵

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↵NBA Preseason: Nothing crazy happened with the replacement refs, but it feels like everyone is patronizingly tiptoeing around them. ↵

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↵NBA Countdown: No. 27 Grizzlies. For all the young star wattage -- Mayo, Gay -- they were eclipsed when AI signed with the team. That's not necessarily a bad thing -- as long as Memphis is going to stink, at least AI adds to their telegenic core. ↵

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↵CBB: I understand why the NCAA wouldn't want schools tailoring (or negotiating) letters-of-intent for each individual recruit, but it ignores the common-sense reality that if a kid signs and the coach he wants to play for leaves, the kid gets screwed if he can't get out of the deal. ↵

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↵Endorsements: So, as noted here yesterday, the Nike "endorsement deal" with Vick is more like the company giving Vick a few pairs of shoes. It's not like they are giving him millions, a signature shoe and an ad campaign. ↵

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↵Weird: Ted Williams' head -- the cryogenically frozen one -- was mistreated at its storage facility. That just ain't right. ↵

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↵The Last Word: Chicago or Bust. Literally, for Barack Obama and today's vote on the 2016 Olympic Games. (Sounds like the presentation went well.) ↵

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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. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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