Shanoff's WUC: Bradford, Lions, Oudin, BYU

Today's Calls: Sam Bradford vs. Matt Stafford, Rays vs. Rockies, BYU vs. Oklahoma, LeGarrette Blount vs. Byron Hout, Michael Jordan vs. David Thompson, Terrelle Pryor vs. Mike Vick, Melanie Oudin vs. Cinderella and More. ↵

↵Matthew StaffordThe Opening Pitch: There is a bizarro football universe out there. ↵

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↵Sam Bradford, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft, has been named starter of the Detroit Lions, with a massive contract, the full support of his head coach and no expectations beyond, "Anything better than 0-16 is an improvement." I don't know where Matt Stafford is — maybe KC? Denver? ↵

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↵Instead — in reality — Bradford's season is basically over. Oh, sure, he might return in the next few weeks, as Bob Stoops projects. But his team's shot at the national-title game is basically over. His Heisman defense is over. And is he another body-slam from the DL? ↵

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↵What has changed since before the weekend? More than anything, the balance of power in college football: Oklahoma is an instant afterthought as a national contender; BYU is the team from Utah with aspirations of breaking into the BCS. (Hey, even The U feels back.) ↵

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↵The weekend was a cautionary tale for every would-be college football (and Heisman) contender — it can all collapse in an instant. Who would have thought Bradford could have had more success as the rookie QB of the winless Lions than the Heisman QB of the winless Sooners? ↵

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↵NFL Opening Week: Gamesmanship between the Giants — SN's pick to win the Super Bowl — and the Redskins, who just signed Andre Woodson, who spent the past year as the Giants' practice squad QB. The two teams play Sunday, and the Skins are already in the Giants' head about this. Jim Zorn: "He might be able to help us a little bit." ↵

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↵Less interesting than the Lions and Stafford: That Eric Mangini won't say which of his QBs is the starter. Honestly: Mangini's secrecy schtick is kind of a joke. ↵

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↵Pats fleece Raiders for 2011 1st-round pick for Richard Seymour, who hasn't even reported. Nevermind that the pick could be worth a Top 5 selection in 2011; I'm convinced Bill Belichick will parlay that potential to a non-contender in the Top 10 in 2010, so he can draft Tim Tebow. ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points ↵

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↵— AL Wild Card: So is that it for the Rays? ↵

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↵— Chris Carpenter Is Sick: 1-hitter with 10 Ks ↵

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↵— NL Wild Card: Long weekend all Ws for Rox ↵

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↵— Milestones: 17 straight losing seasons for Pirates ↵

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↵— Mark Buehrle Watch: Perfect jinx over ... finally ↵

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↵— Fantasy Stud: Juan Uribe (3-for-4, 2 HR, 5 RBI) ↵

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↵CFB Weekend: BYU stunner: BYU may or may not have positioned itself for a shot for the BCS title game — let's see if they get past TCU and Utah first. But at the very least, we know Oklahoma is finished, at least as a national-title contender. ↵

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↵More CFB: OK, until further notice (like a loss), I will NOT take shots at Notre Dame anymore. (Or Michigan, which means that I will get one of the two back after next weekend). ... YouTube clip of the weekend: Denard Robinson. ... Syracuse and Greg Paulus are 1-0, if you count moral victories. ... Next week's best: USC at Ohio State. ↵

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↵BlogPoll Ballot Top 5: (1) BYU, (2) Alabama, (3) Oklahoma State, (4) Boise State, (5) Florida. Until there is further evidence, I have to rank with heavy weight given for who a team beat. At the very top, at least for now, let's reward the teams who challenge themselves in Week 1. ↵

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↵Did yesterday's games have an impact on my ballot? You bet: I vaulted Cincy to 13th and rewarded Miami with No. 22. Jacory Harris! ↵

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↵LeGarrette Blount's suspension: Absurdly harsh. I go back to the remorse Blount showed virtually instantly — at least early enough for it to get into the game stories. The "teachable" moment was not taking him out for the year — it was taking his apology and halving the ban to six games. ↵

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↵(It seems all the more ludicrous, given that Boise State instigator Byron Hout wasn't suspended. And here's another bad sign: Blount didn't go to practice yesterday; let's hope he hasn't given up on Oregon in the same way Oregon so shamefully gave up on him.) ↵

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↵U.S. Open: Cindy in the house. With all the big names being eliminated, the tournament has been saved by the emergence of one American instant darling: 17-year-old Melanie Oudin, who has made it to the quarters after being a virtual unknown. Her win yesterday was all the more remarkable, given that she dropped the first set 1-6 to 13-seed Nadia Petrova. (Male counterpart John Isner was also eliminated.) ↵

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↵NBA Offseason: Iverson to Grizzlies a go? AI met with Memphis owner Michael Heisley. Is this Iverson's best offer? Or his only one? ↵

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↵Crime: Shawne Merriman just can't seem to keep himself out of trouble. The only question is whether Roger Goodell will count Merriman's previous offenses toward whatever punishment he dishes out for this latest issue with Tila Tequila. (Merriman says he didn't do anything.) ↵

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↵MJ to be inducted into hoops HOF by ... David Thompson? Not Dean Smith? Not another Carolina guy? In fact: An N.C. State guy? Unconventional choice. ↵

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↵Media: Tedy Bruschi will join ESPN as an analyst, mere days after his retirement from the NFL. The TV stuff is all well and good, but consider Bruschi's potential impact on ESPN's upcoming ESPNBoston.com Web site. That's where his real value is. ↵

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↵The Last Word: "Not everybody is perfect in the world. Everyone kills people, murders people, steals from you, steals from me, whatever. I just feel that people need to give him a chance. I always looked up to Mike Vick and I always will." ↵
↵— Terrelle Pryor, who sported "Vick" on his eyeblack during Saturday’s game. Not sure how the Ohio State coaching staff let him walk out with that. ↵

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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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