Shanoff's WUC: Grudges Are Petty, But Spicy

Today's Calls: Jets vs. Patriots, Kerry Rhodes vs. Tom Brady, Urban Meyer vs. Lane Kiffin, Texas fans vs. Mike Leach, Rangers vs. Twins, Zack Grienke vs. Cole Hamels, Aaron Corp vs. Matt Barkley and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: The theme of the weekend in football is "grudge." ↵

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↵The Pats-Jets game is sizing up as the NFL Game of the Week -- and the NFL's hot rivalry, thanks to Rex Ryan -- and the trash-talk is in late-season form. ... ↵

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↵Kerry Rhodes: "You go out from the first quarter on, from the first play on, and try to embarrass them. Not just go out there and try to win, try to embarrass them." ↵

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↵Tom Brady: "Talk is cheap. They can treat it however they want to treat it. We're going to treat it like we treat every game." ↵

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↵Meanwhile, on Saturday, the nation's top two college football teams are fueled by agita: ↵

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↵Florida's only option is to decimate Tennessee; Lane Kiffin's yapping didn't help. And, in Austin, Texas has the chance to thump Texas Tech; it won't soothe the pain of last year's season-killing loss, but it will help the '09 cause. ↵

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↵Vengeance IS petty, but it is vastly more entertaining than the vanilla "take-care-of-business" approach. ↵

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↵More Top NFL Week 2 Story Lines: Will McNabb play? ... It's only Week 2 and already Houston and Tennessee are in "must-win" mode. ... It can't possibly get worse for Jay Cutler, can it? ... Can the Lions notch that first win over Favre? Lamentably, no... Fantasy intrigue: Hank Baskett. ↵

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↵More CFB Story Lines: ↵

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↵Aaron Corp or Matt Barkley under center for USC up in Seattle? ... Another cupcake for Penn State. ... BYU needs a "statement" win over a "name" team like FSU. ... This week's Houston-style Upset Special: Toledo over Ohio State in Cleveland. ... ↵

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↵Five big "prove-it" games (picks in bold): ↵

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↵• Nebraska at Virginia Tech ↵
↵One more sign Big 12 is overrated. ↵

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↵• Cincinnati at Oregon St ↵
↵Cincy does what USC couldn't. ↵

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↵• Utah at Oregon ↵
↵Utes pile on Oregon's troubles. ↵

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↵• Arkansas hosting Georgia ↵
↵Petrino's breakthrough win. ↵

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↵• Auburn hosting West Virginia ↵
↵Don't mess with Auburn run game. ↵

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↵Miami solves Georgia Tech: OK, so my preseason pick that GT was the team to beat in the ACC was wrong -- unless I meant "beat by Miami in Week 3." Meanwhile, any doubts that The U. was propped up by edging a weak FSU team have been quashed. The Canes are for real -- Jacory Harris may not have more Heisman juice than Tebow or McCoy, but he has way more indie cachet right now. ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points: ↵

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↵• It is hard to take the Angels-Red Sox series results seriously as some sort of proxy for a potential playoff matchup. ... ↵

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↵• If the Twins can sweep the Tigers at the Metrodome this weekend, they will be one game back for the AL Central lead. ... ↵

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↵• Same with the Rangers: After stinking it up against the A's, they can climb within 3 games of the Angels in the AL West if they sweep this weekend in Arlington. ... ↵

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↵• Much-needed for Philly: Cole Hamels has won 3 of 4 in September, including matching a season-high 10 Ks last night. ... ↵

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↵• Why is there even a debate that Zack Greinke wouldn't be the AL Cy? ↵

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↵NBA: Where ... crappy officiating happens? That's what the league, its players and -- most of all -- the fans can expect if the league and the refs' union can't figure out a deal before training camp starts. A league going through a so-called "renaissance" can't afford to have its product impacted by replacement refs. (Apparently, the refs get that.) ↵

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↵NCAA: Who will replace Myles Brand? One name that has popped up is Georgia president Michael Adams, who is intriguing if only because of his vocal anti-BCS/pro-playoff stance from two years ago. (Or maybe he was just ticked about Georgia being the best team in the country that year, yet shut out of the BCS title game.) ↵

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↵Crime: Good for Leodis McKelvin for pressing charges against the 16-year-old vandals. It's a little petty, but -- hey -- that's the theme of the week. ↵

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↵Top Sports Moment of the Week: Hands down, it was the story of Steve and Emily Monforto. ↵

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↵The Last Word: "Nobody could guard me before, and can't nobody guard me now." -- Gilbert Arenas, naturally. (Oh, and Agent Zero also blames the team for letting him play before he was fully rehabbed.) ↵

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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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