Shanoff's WUC: Rex Ryan, Myles Brand, MLB WC

Today's Calls: Rex Ryan vs. Lane Kiffin, Giants vs. Rockies, Red Sox vs. Rangers, Mark Reynolds vs. History, Michael Crabtree vs. Eric Mangini, RIP Myles Brand. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Rex Ryan is what Lane Kiffin should be. ↵

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↵They are both first-year head coaches of their respective high-profile franchises. They are both sons of legendary NFL defensive thinkers. But where Kiffin loses flaccidly at home to UCLA, Ryan leads an energizing win in Houston. ↵

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↵They are both amusingly mouthy. But where the 34-year-old Kiffin is one of the most grating personalities in college football, the 46-year-old Ryan has quickly become the NFL's most likable head coach. ↵

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↵Kiffin's verbal jabs at his would-be nemesis (and weekend opponent) Urban Meyer smack of desperation, Ryan's pokes at his would-be nemesis (and weekend opponent) Bill Belichick ooze confidence. ↵

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↵The latest fizzle from Kiffin: He claimed Florida doesn't run a good system for WRs who want to play in the NFL. (Florida instantly put out a release comparing its four NFL WRs to Tennessee's one -- including rookie breakout and Meyer protege Louis Murphy.) ↵

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↵The latest awesomeness from Ryan: "Hey, this is Rex Ryan ..." He recorded a voice-mail message for Jets season-ticket holders, telling them he needs their support this weekend. This is tremendous. ↵

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↵"Again, I admit that I'm not as good as Belichick, but at the end of the game, I want to be 1-0 against him. So, help me out if you don't mind." ↵

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↵With the Jets having home-field advantage, the momentum from their terrific Week 1 win and the Pats' apparent vulnerability, Ryan will end up besting Belichick, affirming his place as not just a new NFL head coach, but an elite one. ↵

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↵Meanwhile, Kiffin is just trying to keep it within 40. ... ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points ↵

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↵• Giants lose critical one: Too little too late in 9th. ↵

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↵• Red Sox rally: Not 1, not 2, but 3 of 'em. ↵

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↵• And Rangers lose again: The week they blew it. ↵

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↵• 2010 Sked: Yanks-Sox ... yada yada yada ... season over. ↵

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↵• Milestones: Mark Reynolds 200th K (205 in sight!) ↵

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↵Tebow Watch: Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver gets it. Drafting Tim Tebow isn't just about making his team more competitive -- it's about making it more "compelling" with fans who would love to see their hometown/homestate hero in teal. Football is a business. ↵

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↵(Here's the irony: Unless the Jaguars are in the draft's Top 10 -- or willing to pay dearly to move up into the Top 10 -- I don't think Tebow will be around for them to select. But I agree that they should do what they have to do to get him.) ↵

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↵NFL Week 2 Look-Ahead: Is Giants-Cowboys the best rivalry in the league? Is it even the most intriguing game of Week 2? (Per today's lead, I think there is something equally interesting about Pats-Jets.) ↵

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↵Crabtree Holdout: At what point is Crabtree going to wake up and realize that he's not winning this battle? The 49ers won't pay him like Darrius Heyward-Bey; he has already missed a month of preparation that will probably set him back for the entire season; and the opportunity cost of going back into the draft pool -- especially if he is likely to DROP, rather than rise -- is substantial. ↵

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↵CFB Tonight: Georgia Tech at Miami, which aptly kicks off a week of some bitter retribution, given the way Tech KO'ed Miami a year ago. Miami is coming off that thrilling win over Florida State, but with FSU's struggles last Saturday against Jax State, The U. will be under pressure to show that "thrilling" wasn't really simply "struggling to beat a really mediocre team." Pick: GT ↵

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↵Jim Tressel defends Terrelle Pryor: Um, shouldn't it be the other way around? ↵

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↵USC QBs: Corp or Barkley? Pete Carroll isn't saying who will start Saturday at Washington. Is that because he really doesn't know Barkley's status? Or because he wants to engage in a little gamesmanship with his protege Steve Sarkisian? ↵

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↵Gambling: NFL fines Jets for intentionally misleading injury report about Brett Favre from last year. Again: Won't someone consider the gamblers?!?! Obviously, the NFL is paying close attention to its ... "integrity." ↵

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↵Business: Confirming what was already suspected, Brett Favre's jersey was the NFL's best-seller from April through the end of August. Kudos to the Vikings fans who were able to overcome their Favre loathing to plunk down $80 to advertise for him. ↵

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↵Fan of the Year: Emily Monforto! (The best part was the reaction from her dad, Steve: The hug. Crazy my-kid's-the-next-Tiger parents, please take note.) ↵

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↵The Last Word: RIP Myles Brand, president of the NCAA, whose top-line historical moment was exiling Bobby Knight from Indiana, but who also tried to increase academic standards and transparency across college sports. Cynically, you could look at the increasingly messy side of college sports -- then consider how much worse it would be without Brand's stewardship. ↵

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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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