Shanoff's WUC, Tiger, VY, Favre, MNF, Tebow

Today's Calls: Tiger vs. Elin, Vince Young vs. All Comers, Pats vs. Saints, Florida vs. Alabama, Charlie Weis vs. Notre Dame, Oklahoma St. vs. Boise St., USC vs. UCLA, Toby Gerhart vs. Tim Tebow, AI vs. Brandon Jennings, Florida hoops vs. UCLA hoops and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: How big is Tiger Woods? ↵

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↵Big enough that he can eclipse Tim Tebow on a weekend that Tebow otherwise owned. And eclipsed Brett Favre on a weekend where Favre probably took over as the leading MVP candidate in the NFL. ↵

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↵Tebow? Favre? Ha! Mere gods of the sports world. ↵

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↵Tiger Woods is a Titan. THE Titan. The biggest star in sports, by a wide margin. Tiger has had the most perfect career of anyone in sports today. Perhaps anyone in sports history. ↵

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↵Success. Money. Fame. Respect. Elin. ↵

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↵Ah, Elin. The courageous hero of Tiger's "accident?" Or something else? ↵

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↵The most remarkable display of Tiger's Titanic status? Defiantly, Tiger isn't talking. ↵

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↵Oh, sure, he released a bland statement about it. But he's not talking to cops. And he's certainly not talking to the media. ↵

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↵Normally, this would ensure certain P.R. doom for anyone -- but Tiger isn't anyone. ↵

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↵For the world's most powerful athlete, the same rules don't apply. Trending tweets bounce off him like bullets off Superman. TMZ is reduced to running flamboyant, credibility-eroding rumors. ("Zales?" I don't think so.) ↵

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↵Sports reporters are reduced to ambiguities like "Questions still surround..." without anything to actually confirm. ↵

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↵The truth usually comes out, and it is usually worse than it would be if the athlete just came clean immediately. ↵

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↵But Tiger Woods isn't just any athlete. He is THE athlete of our times. ↵

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↵And if he wants this story to stay buried, it will stay buried. ↵

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↵Move along... nothing to see here. Tiger says so. ↵ ↵

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↵Vince Young: "VINCE YOUNG!!!" If Alex Rodriguez is the Redemption Story of the Year in sports, then what VY has done the last five weeks -- culminating with his game-winning 99-yard drive complete with sick last-second TD pass -- has to be a close second. ↵

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↵Monday Night Game of the Year: Patriots at Saints. Is this a Super Bowl preview? If nothing else, it is the toughest game left on the Saints' schedule and, by far, the acid test to whether their unbeaten season, revamped defense and Super Bowl aspirations are legit. ↵

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↵Alabama-Florida Build-Up: Where to start? 1 vs. 2. 12-0 vs. 12-0. Meyer vs. Saban. Tebow vs. McClain. Biggest SEC game of all time. De facto national semifinal (and perhaps a presumptive national title). Too much hype? No: Can't hype this game enough. ↵

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↵Tebow Swamp Finale: Wow. The vibe was off-the-charts (those camera flashes!), but you'd be forgiven for wondering if "CBS" was "TeBowS." (Not that I'm complaining.) Still: A fitting home finale for the most compelling player in college football history. Now, about that jump-pass. ... ↵

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↵Will Charlie Weis get fired today? If not today, then tomorrow. If not tomorrow, then what is Notre Dame waiting for? Every day Weis isn't fired is a day they can't be recruiting a new coach, who can be recruiting new players. (Meanwhile, Weis can slide right into the NFL.) ↵

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↵NFL Week 12 Wrap ↵

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↵• "Brett Favre, 2009 NFL MVP": Wow, we are getting dangerously close to this reality. ↵

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↵• Dennis Dixon Debut: Shame he's backing Big Ben; could be a full-time starter. ↵

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↵• Offensive Rookie of the Year: Percy Harvin (101 yds rec., TD). ↵

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↵• Just when you think you understand the NFL ...: Bills throttle Fins. ↵

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↵• Still unbeaten: Did you really think that Texans lead would hold? ↵

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↵• Surging Chargers still on pace for that early-round playoff exit. ↵

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↵• Fantasy Studs: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, RB Justin Forsett, WR Kenny Britt. ↵

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↵• Injury Watch: Matt Ryan and Mike Turner (ATL still beat sorry TB). ↵

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↵• Tracking: Holmgren/Gruden combo headed for Seahawks? ↵

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↵CFB Weekend Hangover: Biggest news? Oklahoma St. blew its chance at a BCS at-large bid -- and ensured that Boise St. would have a seat. I'd argue for a compelling Boise-TCU BCS-level "Cinderella Bowl," but TCU already beat an unbeaten Boise in a bowl game, a year ago. ↵

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↵Dumbest Moment: UCLA-USC. First, Rick Neuheisel inexplicably calls a time-out when USC is trying to kneel out the clock to end the game; then, in apparent retaliation, Pete Carroll calls for a TD bomb. Much chest-thumping ensues. Both teams look lame. ↵

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↵This Week's BlogPoll Top 10: (1) Florida, (2) Alabama, (3) TCU, (4) Texas, (5) Cincinnati, (6) Boise State, (7) Oregon, (8) Oregon St., (9) Ohio St, (10) LSU. (Check out the first-draft of the entire ballot here.) ↵

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↵Heisman Ballot: (1) Toby Gerhart, (2) Tim Tebow, (3) Colt McCoy. I feel like if Tebow had a chance to watch Gerhart like we fans get to watch him, Tebow himself would vote for Gerhart -- the stats are there (and he's got that great backstory), but it's his drive. ↵

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↵CFB Coaching Carousel: Kragthorpe out at Louisville, and I hope they look at Florida DC Charlie Strong. L'ville is a good gig -- fertile recruiting region, plus a conference BCS auto-bid that will be up for grabs once Brian Kelly leaves Cincy. ↵

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↵Al Groh is axed at Virginia: Like Louisville, another job with pretty good potential in a league that annually has a vacuum at the top (see the way neither division champs Georgia Tech nor Clemson could get it done against seemingly middling rivals from the SEC). ↵

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↵NBA Talking Points: So is AI retired or not? It is a better league with AI cavorting in one team or another's backcourt, flinging up shots and otherwise playing harder than anyone else on the court. Here's to seeing him "come back" with the Sixers. ↵

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↵Nets Watch: 0-17, tying the NBA record for worst start to a season. Wednesday night, they could break it -- and I think it is a pretty compelling ticket-sales opportunity for the Nets: Root them on to snap the streak ... or be there to witness history. ↵

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↵Durant-Jennings ESPN Showdown: Seemed like Jennings choked up in the spotlight (3/11 FG and 12 pts) while Durant thrived (33 pts on 10/21 FG, 12 rebs and 5 ast -- two more than Jennings). But Durant has better talent around him. All in all, it didn't match the hype. ↵

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↵Nets coach Lawrence Frank is out -- not unexpectedly. It could be asked why now, rather than five games ago ... or 5/15/55 games from now? It's not like a new, interim head coach will make a difference. They wouldn't even let him be on the bench for the record-setting loss! Boo! ↵

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↵CBB Weekend's Best: Florida. The unranked Gators' win over No. 2 Michigan State on Friday night was Florida's best hoops win since the night they won the 2007 national title. They followed it up with a win over Rutgers. They aren't an elite program, but it's progress. ↵

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↵(Runner-up: Northwestern, for beating Notre Dame and Iowa State to get to five wins in November for the first time in school history. With Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan taking tough losses this weekend, perhaps I was too quick to write off NU's March 2010 Dance-Wagon.) ↵

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↵CBB Team of the Weak-end: UCLA. After loss to Long Beach State, Bruins wouldn't even be a Top 2 team in the Big West, let alone the Pac-10. ↵

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↵MLB Hot Stove: The Marlins are at the center of the two biggest NL names on the market. Would they really trade franchise cornerstone Hanley Ramirez to the Red Sox? (Insert spit-take here.) GM Michael Hill says no. ↵

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↵And the Marlins insist they aren't trading ace Josh Johnson, but a lot can happen between now and next summer's trade deadline. Just wait until a contender finds themselves in need of a boost. They'll offer big and the Fish will deal. ↵

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↵Selig to retire in 2012: (a) Who will replace him, and (b) how will their style differ from Bud? ↵

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↵The Last Word: "I love you guys. We've got two more games to go." -- Tim Tebow, in the locker room to his teammates after his final game at The Swamp. ↵

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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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