Shanoff's WUC: Colts, Crabby, Kiffin, Cincy

Today's Calls: Peyton Manning vs. Time of Possession, 49ers vs. Rex Ryan, Lane Kiffin vs. Urban Meyer, Brian Kelly vs. Chip Kelly, Mark DeRosa vs. Mark Reynolds, Ron Artest vs. Expectations and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: How long will it take you to read this lead item? ↵

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↵Because in that time -- say, roughly 45 seconds -- the Colts will have held the ball long enough to beat the Dolphins last night. ↵

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↵Indy held the ball for 14 minutes and 53 seconds. Not for a quarter. Not for a half. For the game. They ran 35 plays to Miami's 84. ↵

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↵And, yet, scoring efficiently, the Colts won -- in the process, becoming the first team in more than 30 years (1977) to hold the ball that little and "still" win. ↵

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↵In those 15 minutes, the Colts scored half their points -- the first and last scores of the game -- in a blitz: One play on their first drive (12 seconds), 4 plays on their last (32 seconds). ↵

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↵In less time than it takes you to read this lead, the Colts did everything they needed to erode the value of "time of possession" -- and win the game. ↵

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↵What I liked most about this eye-popping stat is that it's not like the Dolphins played poorly -- they did everything right, according to conventional wisdom: Ran the ball effectively, didn't turn the ball over, controlled the clock. ↵

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↵Dejected Dolphins lineman Jake Long summed it up perfectly: "Stats really mean nothing if you don't win." ↵

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↵Jets tampering with Crabtree? The 49ers claim it, the Jets deny it. In the meantime, Crabtree still looks like the biggest fool in football. ↵

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↵Vick Watch: If Donovan McNabb can't start, Kevin Kolb -- not Mike Vick -- will start for the Eagles. That makes sense. The real question is: How many touches will Vick get, and how many of them will come inside the Chiefs' 20-yard-line? ↵

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↵Kiffin still talking: Unbelievable. Asked about his team getting the flu that hit Florida on Saturday, Kiffin replied: ↵

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↵"I don't know. I guess we'll wait and after we're not excited about a performance, we'll tell you everybody was sick." ↵

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↵(Kiffin also implied Meyer was acting unsportsmanlike by expressing surprise that the Vols were not playing to win, but simply not to lose by a wide margin. That will bother Meyer a lot less than the comment mocking Meyer's concern for his players.) ↵

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↵Cincinnati is absurdly underrated: Both the AP and Coaches polls put the Bearcats in the low teens, mainly because neither group of pollsters had the insights to rank them there in the preseason. ↵

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↵Cincy has two quality wins -- at Rutgers, at Oregon State -- sandwiched around a 70-point shellacking. If Penn State sported that resume, they would be No. 1 in the country. That's why I have Cincy ranked at No. 2, even ahead of Texas and Florida. Brian Kelly is among the country’s top five coaches. ↵

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↵(While perhaps not a Top 5 coach, Chip Kelly -- no relation to Brian -- earns major cred for being responsive to his Oregon fans.) ↵

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↵CFB Must-Read: Brian Cook's The Week in Schadenfreude, starring... well, who else? USC. ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points: Too-little-too-late Texas needed to do a week ago what they did to the A's last night ... If the Cards make the World Series, will they look back on the midseason deal for Mark DeRosa (2 HR last night) as a key move? ... The Yankees just can't clinch (and it is intriguing that potential the playoff opponent Angels kept them from it.) ... The Twins are still tantalizingly close (2.5 GB with 12 to play); in this drama-free September, we'll take it. ↵

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↵Reynolds Watch: O Ks last night. The D'backs 3B is 2 Ks away from breaking his own MLB record for strikeouts in a season. ↵

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↵(Before you mock, Reynolds is only the 11th player in baseball history to join the 40 HR/20 SB club, in the National Leauge he is Top 5 in slugging percentage and Top 10 in OPS. Every player should strike out this much. ...) ↵

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↵CBB: Top 10 PGs, per DeCourcy. He can have Sherron Collins. I will take John Wall. ↵

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↵(Then Mike will make a good point about how Collins and KU beat Wall-ish Derrick Rose and Calipari for the national title, and I will concede the point. But it's not about winning titles; it's about the most talented PGs.) ↵

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↵NBA Offseason: Mike Beasley is back with the Heat after his rehab for pot. Miami fans can now go back to full-time worrying that Dwyane Wade will leave the team next summer for New York. ↵

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↵MMA: If any 47-year-old could make the jump to MMA, don't you think it could be Herschel Walker? ↵

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↵Twitter: Larry Fitzgerald's previously anonymous brother Marcus would like you to know that all those ranting tweets from Sunday complaining about his brother and, allegedly, his brother's problems with the Cards' offense? Just playing. ↵

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↵TV Ratings: The Cowboys-Giants game on Sunday night was the most-watched regular-season primetime NFL game since 1998. (Does that count those of us who ducked out at 10 to watch "Mad Men?" Or the ones who flipped back-and-forth with the Emmys?) ↵

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↵The Last Word: "They won last year, and I'm the new addition. The fans expect to repeat. Everybody in L.A. expects a second ring. And if we don't then yeah, they should point it right at me, throwing tomatoes and everything." -- Ron Artest, admirably pre-empting criticism of the Lakers' inability to repeat by blaming himself. ↵

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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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