A GRIP ON SPORTS
There is little in the way of earth-shattering news in the world of sports today. At least that's the way it looks from my perspective. I guess if you were a New York Jets fan, you would see it differently. Read on.
• Remember when Mark Sanchez announced in 2009 he was leaving USC and heading for the NFL draft a year early? And remember what his then-coach, Pete Carroll, said? That Sanchez wasn't ready. That another year in college would help. That now wasn't the time. Carroll was roundly criticized, mainly called on the carpet for trying to thwart the NFL dream of his quarterback. Putting USC's interests before Sanchez's. Now, if you were one of those critics and you watched last night's Jets/Titans game, wouldn't you be on the phone today, calling Seattle and apologizing to Carroll? Or maybe asking Carroll if he meant to say Sanchez would never be ready for the NFL? Either way, Carroll was basically right. Another year at USC would probably have helped Sanchez – or at the very least saved him from being drafted by the New York Jets. Sure, he was OK his first two seasons at the helm of the vanilla Jets offense, but the last two have been putrid. And this year has been getting progressively worse. Last night was probably the final straw. Sanchez threw four of the worst interceptions you'll ever see, a couple into easy-to-read triple coverage. Then he couldn't bend over far enough to pick up a center snap when the Titans had handed the Jets a golden opportunity late in the game. Sanchez's failures will probably lead to the dismissal of his head coach, Rex Ryan, in the not-to-distant future. Heck, when the final New York snap was low, Sanchez fumbled it and the Jets' running back kicked it to the Titan defender, I turned to Kim and said the circus nature of that play, on national television, made me believe Ryan would get fired that night, Tuesday at the latest. Well, I still have a few hours.
• Washington State: Christian Caple's move is finished (I kept having these visions of the opening of “The Beverly Hillbillies” in my head yesterday – if you don't know what I'm referring too, Google it) which allows him the comfort of knowing he'll have nothing distracting him from Ken Bone's press conference this afternoon. Except a drive to Seattle this evening. Christian has all that in his morning post. … The Cougars' Lia Galdeira is the Pac-12 freshman of the week. … Bob Clark has his Pac-12 basketball notebook.
• Gonzaga: Trailing by a point late in the game last night, the Zag women couldn't control a rebound when Ohio State missed the front end of a one-and-one. It was just the final miscue in a series of them that cost GU a chance to defeat the visiting Buckeyes. Chris Derrick has the story on the Zags' 65-60 loss. Jesse Tinsley also has these photos. … The Gonzaga men have a breather coming up, then face what may be the toughest part of their schedule. Jim Meehan has more in this notebook. … Portland picked up a much-needed win over Cal State Bakersfield.
• EWU: The Eagles bombed away from the outside last night, then bombed away some more. Not enough of their 41 3-pointers fell, however, and they fell, 87-65 at UC Davis. … The Big Sky race began last night with Southern Utah and Northern Arizona posting victories.
• Preps: There were a few high school basketball games last night. We have a roundup.
• Seahawks: The preliminaries are behind us. If the Seahawks win Sunday night at home against the 49ers, they clinch a playoff berth – and keep alive hopes of an NFC West title. It's a big game in its own right, then you throw in the “relationship” between Jim Harbaugh and Carroll – “what's your deal?” – and it's even better. … The question of who the Seahawks will have available at cornerback this weekend is becoming clearer, with Richard Sherman's appeal to be heard on Friday and the injury situation coming into focus. … Before getting all fired up about Sunday night, let's take one last look back at last week's game.
• Mariners: The M's spent a bit more than $84 million on payroll last season, a pittance compared to wait they would have been spending next year if Josh Hamilton had taken their not-all-that-competitive offer.
• Sounders: The team's management is trying to bring the U.S. National team to Seattle for a game.
• Guess what? We have a radio gig on 700 ESPN today, joining Rick Lukens and Keith Osso for wide-ranging conversations (I'm sure Christmas shopping will somehow come up). You can listen here between 3 and 6 p.m. if you would like. Until later …