Shanoff's WUC: Yankees Choke? BCS Leapfrog?

Today's Calls: Angels vs. Yankees, John Lackey vs. A.J. Burnett, TCU vs. Boise State, Brett Favre vs. Ben Roethlisberger, Iowa vs. Michigan State, Terrelle Pryor vs. Evan Turner, John Wall vs. T.O. and More. ↵

↵Alex RodriguezThe Opening Pitch: There are two types of comebacks. ↵

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↵(1) The team in the lead chokes. Did Yankees fans think that big top-of-the-7th secured an A.L. pennant? How were they feeling when the Angels roared back in the bottom of the inning? Or when the Yankees' lineup couldn't muster the offense to flip the scoreboard? ↵

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↵Yankees fans shouldn't be nervous about their team blowing a 3-1 series lead, should they? Not with Games 6 and 7 back in New York. Not with this offense. Not with CC Sabathia available for Game 7. But if they lose Game 6 and it's a toss-up Game 7? OK: Panic a little bit. ↵

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↵(2) The team behind leapfrogs. TCU is better than Boise State. The Horned Frogs were better a year ago, when they beat Boise State head-to-head in a bowl game, and they are better now. ↵

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↵TCU doesn't have the same "signature" win that Boise got when they beat Oregon, but don't confuse Boise's fortunate scheduling with strength of schedule, where TCU has the edge, including tomorrow's conference game at BYU. ↵

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↵That is the reason the common BCS projection is that unbeaten TCU would inevitably use their superior schedule strength to leapfrog unbeaten Boise State for pole position for the "non-BCS" slot in a BCS bowl game, just like Utah did over unbeaten Boise State last year. ↵

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↵The Yankees and Angels control their own destiny. Boise State can only sit back and hope TCU loses. ↵

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↵ALCS Strategery: Joe Girardi should not have left A.J. Burnett in (but there was no good reason to take him out); Mike Scioscia should not have taken out John Lackey (but there was at least some evidence to do it). But because Scioscia's team won the game, his move gets a pass. ↵

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↵OK, one more time: MLB needs a more aggressive form of replay, to help with mistakes like this. It's no knock on the umps, but let's focus on the bottom line — getting the calls right. ↵

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↵(Actually, it IS a knock on the umps: You'd think that they, of all people, would want to see the correct call made, using whatever tools available. It's not like we'll replace umps, outright. Much better chance of umps losing their jobs if we DON'T have a mechanism to overrule their clearly erroneous calls.) ↵

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↵Philly N.L. Pennant Hangover: Dan Levy nails it. The difference between triumphalist Philly fans and triumphalist Boston fans is that Philly fans are self-aware of their obnoxiousness. ↵

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↵NFL Week 7 Story lines: ↵

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↵— Game of the Week: Vikings at Steelers ↵
↵No matter who wins, the rest of us lose. ↵

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↵— Arms vs. Legs: Saints at Dolphins ↵
↵Magic of Brees vs. Brown's Wildcat ↵

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↵— Pats binge continues? Against winless Tampa ↵
↵If they could score 54 in the snow ... ↵

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↵— Titanfreude: They will NOT lose this week. ↵
↵They have a bye — as good as a win! ↵

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↵Week 7 NFL Picks: Packers, Chargers, Colts, Steelers, Pats, Texans, Panthers, Jets, Falcons, Bears, Saints, Giants, Eagles. (Last week: 7-7, Year-to-date: 64-27) ↵

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↵More CFB Games to Watch: ↵

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↵— Transitive GOTW: No. 11 Oregon at Washington ↵
↵One more data point Ducks > Trojans ↵

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↵— Mentor Bowl: No. 1 Florida at Mississippi State ↵
↵Tebow vs. Mullen, Mullen vs. Meyer. ↵

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↵— Upset Special: Michigan State over Iowa ↵
↵It's a BCS Curse for the Hawkeyes. ↵

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↵— Hunh? No. 12 Ga. Tech at Virginia ↵
↵Try to guess which team is 1st in ACC? ↵

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↵SEC Ref Problems: Urban Meyer is right to publicly support the conference suspending the refs. (Can you imagine how Meyer would feel about them if they didn't help giftwrap a couple of terrible calls that helped the Gators escape last weekend?) Meyer is a bit unrealistic to suggest the league be a little more subtle about the suspensions — the publicness of them was the point, given the pressure the league was under. ↵

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↵CFB Last Night: "Close win" is the new "wide right." You know Florida State is having a bad year when the relief FSU's fans feel about barely winning against a mediocre opponent is on par with winning a national title. (It was actually an admirably gritty win for the ‘Noles, given how terrible this team is.) ↵

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↵NBA: Isiah feuding with Magic? Say it ain't so! (Actually, it's just one more sign of Isiah's problems that even his longtime pal Johnson is throwing him under the bus. The only reason Magic is lame to do it is because he's about three years too late on the topic.) ↵

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↵NBA Countdown: No. 6 Blazers. For the second straight year (if not longer), the Blazers are the "young team with upside." They're not ready to compete with the Lakers and Spurs yet, but all they have to show is progress. Would help if Greg Oden got better, too. (Read Bethlehem Shoals' take here.) ↵

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↵NBA Fantasy Sleeper: Anthony Morrow ↵

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↵CBB Countdown: No. 19 Ohio State. It helps that the Buckeyes have the most talented player in the Big Ten in Evan Turner. (Of course, didn't we say the same thing about Ohio State football and Terrelle Pryor?) ↵

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↵CBB Media Daze: SEC. Kentucky, Kentucky, Kentucky. The story of the SEC this season isn't that the conference will be so much better than it’s been the past few years — it's that the SEC has the country's best team, the country's best player and the country's best story. ↵

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↵(What? What's that about John Wall's eligibility issues?) ↵

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↵CBB Recruiting: Kyrie Irving, a terrific PG from NJ, committed to Duke. I'm sure you're shocked Duke landed the point guard of its choice. Too bad what they REALLY need — as usual — is better big men. But they don't recruit for that, apparently. ↵

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↵Sneakers: If Marcus Jordan only wanted to wear Nikes to play college basketball, he shouldn't have picked an adidas school. (Then again, you get the sense that in the recruiting process, he was undoubtedly told by coaches he could wear whatever he wants, because you KNOW it came up.) I hope this leads to a trend of lots of college players — not just the rich ones — demanding they get to wear whatever shoes they want. ↵

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↵Business: One more step towards the return of the "Los Angeles Rams." ↵

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↵The Last Word: I think [his career is] done or close to it. He'll have a couple of games here and there where he shows up, but big picture, long term, I think it's done." ↵
↵— Anonymous NFL exec, on the state of T.O.'s NFL career. (h/t: Yahoo) ↵

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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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