Shanoff's WUC: Tebow, Obama, Twins, Lions

Today's Calls: Tim Tebow vs. Sam Bradford, Barack Obama vs. the IOC, Twins vs. Tigers, Braves vs. Rockies, Cowboys vs. Panthers, Frank Gore vs. Chad Pennington, Detroit Lions vs. the Super Bowl teams, LeBron vs. Shaq and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: So ... what'd I miss? What's that you say? ↵

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↵• Tim Tebow, the biggest superstar in the history of college football, suffered a brutal concussion, seemingly putting his season into jeopardy -- and fans into hysterics. Then, just 48 hours later, his coach is saying that he "thinks" Tebow will play against LSU. Whaaa?! ↵

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↵• The Detroit Lions have a record equal to or better than the following teams: Redskins, Bucs, Panthers, Seahawks, Cards, Rams, Bills, Dolphins, Steelers, Browns, Jaguars, Texans, Titans, Raiders and Chiefs. Yes: The Lions have the same record as last year's Super Bowl teams. ↵

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↵• The New York Yankees clinched their first AL division title since 2006, ending an exile that had marginalized them among baseball's contending class. The champagne might be tasty, but -- as it is for the Angels or Red Sox -- it is all meaningless unless they win the World Series, period. (That's what makes Twins-Tigers so compelling: Winning the division title actually matters in the larger scheme.) ↵

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↵Wow. What a lame sports weekend. ↵

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↵Obama pinch-hitting for Chicago 2016 Olympics campaign: Consider him the closer -- he wouldn't go if he didn't think (or know ... in that IOC "wink-wink" way) that his presence would seal the deal for Chicago. Back home, he would be wise to make political football a temporary Olympic sport by playing up the jobs creation in the Midwest to support the 7-year development effort. ↵

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↵(Per TSB's Chris Littmann, it feels like only Kanye "pulling a Kanye" on the IOC committee could screw this up for Chicago.) ↵

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↵Cowboys earn first win at Cowboys Stadium: They discovered the secret to success at their new digs -- whether playing in primetime or otherwise: Simply play one of the worst teams in the league (0-3 Panthers), rather than one of the best (3-0 Giants). ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points: Workday Distraction Alert! Last night's rainout means that we get a day-night doubleheader today to start the Twins-Tigers series. By the end of the night, the two teams could be tied for the AL Central lead -- or the Tigers could put it virtually out of reach. ↵

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↵NL Wild Card Watch: Pay no attention to the Braves creeping within 4 of the Phillies in the NL East -- it's a pipe dream that ATL would catch them. But keep your eyes on the NL Wild Card, where Atlanta is now just 2 GB the Rockies, who were idle last night. (If the Braves DO catch the Rox, they would play the playoff in ... Atlanta.) ↵

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↵Angels clinch AL West: This has felt like a foregone conclusion for months. It is ironic that to clinch, they shellacked their closest rival for the division. (That picture of the players soaking an "Adenhart" jersey is powerful.) ↵

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↵MLB Hot Stove is on "pre-heat": Are the Brewers ready to trade Prince Fielder? It's arguable he'll never have a better season than the one he just had. ↵

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↵Remainders: How can any self-respecting MLB awards voter NOT pick Zack Greinke for AL Cy? ↵

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↵CFB: Things get even uglier for USC this season. RB Stafon Johnson is out for the season with a crushed larynx, after a weight-bar fell on it. That sounds horrifying. Johnson was USC's goal-line and short-yardage go-to RB. ↵

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↵This Week's BlogPoll Ballot Top 10: (1) Alabama, (2) Florida, (3) Texas, (4) Cincy, (5) Houston, (6) LSU, (7) TCU, (8) VA Tech, (9) Kansas, (10) Iowa See the entire thing here. (Yes, I know I have LSU ranked too high. I watched that Mississippi State game; the Tigers should have lost. Should probably flip-flop LSU with Iowa.) ↵

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↵CFB Must-Read: Brian Cook's This Week in Schadenfreude, featuring ... Cal! (Throw Penn St, Ole Miss and The U. in there, too.) ↵

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↵NFL Injuries: Frank Gore out 2-3 weeks (ankle). This adds injury to the insult of the 49ers allowing Brett Favre to deliver a -- sigh -- "classic Favre" moment on them on Sunday. If he's available in your fantasy league (and he won't be), get RB Glen Coffee right now. ↵

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↵More: Chad Pennington is likely out for the season, which means that Miami's Chad Henne Era starts a year earlier than expected. This could be a rough learning year, but given the start Miami is off to this season, they might as well start playing for next season anyway. ↵

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↵QB Benchings: Byron Leftwich. The 0-3 Bucs have little to lose by promoting soph Josh Johnson ahead of the largely ineffective Leftwich. Raheem Morris noted he liked Johnson's ability to make plays with his feet when plays break down. No wonder Leftwich was yanked. (Johnson gets just about the cushiest starting point he could: The Bucs play the hapless Redskins this weekend.) ↵

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↵CBB Must-Read: Mike DeCourcy finishes up his Top 10 by position with the Cs -- Luke Harangody at No. 1 feels like a no-brainer. He will be a lock as a preseason (and probably postseason) 1st-team All-American. ↵

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↵NBA Media Day: Yes, LeBron-Shaq will be every bit the circus you think it will be. ... My first question for Dwyane Wade would be: "How do you think you'll look in a Knicks uniform?" ... OJ Mayo thinks AI and Z-Bo can bring more "attitude" to the Grizzlies. Oh, will he learn. ... ↵

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↵NBA Must-Read: Shoals' complement to SN's NBA Countdown. Today: No. 30 -- the Kings. At the very least, Sacto features one of the best backcourts in the league in Kevin Martin and Tyreke Evans. In a world where the label "underrated" has been devalued to the point of cliche, Martin remains the NBA's truly most underrated would-be star. ↵

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↵The Last Word: "You're darned if you do, and you're darned if you don't. I'd rather be on the side of doing it." -- Michelle Obama, on the direct involvement of her husband in Chicago 2016 Olympic bid. ↵

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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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