1. It’s National Signing Day! It’s the one day of the year in college football in which just about EVERYBODY wins. Except Boise State. The Broncos never pull in a Top 10 — or even Top 20 — recruiting class, and then the following autumn Chris Petersen coaches up his team to an 11- or 12-win season. The Broncos are 84-8 (a .913 win percentage; even Knute Rockne swoons at those numbers) since Petersen arrived in 2006 and yet have never landed a top 20 class in those times. I’m not sure if ESPNU ever even mentions them on the first Wednesday of February.
Granted, the Broncos do not play in the SEC or the Big 12. But at a certain point the numbers speak for themselves. And Petersen’s record, combined with his roster’s dearth of four- and five-star talent, suggest that he is as talented a coach as exists in college football (outside of Tuscaloosa).
2. “The University of Ole Miss.” The nation’s No. 1 overall recruit, Clowney clone Robert Nkemdiche (6-5, 260), chooses “the University of Ole Miss.” Older but smaller brother Denzel Nkemdiche (5-11, 203), led the Rebels in tackles as a linebacker last season. Both Nkemdiche brothers wore white button-down shirts, red suspenders, bow ties and baseball caps at the announcement. Are they teaming up for the Rebels or for Boyz II Men?
3. Three-for-all in Houston, as the Rockets bury 23 three-pointers, tying the NBA record, in a 140-109 rout of the Golden State Warriors. Jeremy Lin stroked a career-high five threes while scoring 28 points, while James Harden and Chandler Parsons hit four apiece. Nine different Rockets made at least one three as Houston shot 23 of 40 from beyond the arc and scored the most points in regulation of any NBA squad this season. The most bizarre aspect of the Rockets’ deadly long range accuracy? Houston’s top three-point shooter, Carlos Delfino, sat out the contest with an elbow injury.
4. They say that there are two types of motorcyclists: those that have crashed and those who will. The same can be said for downhill ski racers. Yesterday at the World Championships in Schladming, Austria, American Lindsay Vonn tore her ACL and MCL, and suffered a “lateral tibial plateau fracture” during the Super-G event. Watch the video of her crash and we defy you not to exclaim “Ow!” at some point. You can actually hear her cry out after the initial fall. Vonn, who was airlifted from the scene, should need at least 6-8 months of recovery time, unless Tim Tebow applies a laying on of hands, in which case she will be healed instantly. She should be healthy for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi — we don’t know how to spell it and we are still five months away, at least, from caring how to do so — but whether she will be as fearless or as fast is yet to be determined.
5. The nation’s premier hoops conference this season? The Big Ten. Last night No. 3 Michigan slipped past No. 10 Ohio State in overtime in Ann Arbor, 76-74. It was the Wolverines’ second top-ten, Big Ten duel of the past four days (then No. 1 UM lost at No. 3 Indiana on Saturday) and its second highly enthralling contest. It was also a nice way for Wolverine coach John Beilein to celebrate his 60th birthday.
No. 2 Florida, which as we noted two days earlier had won its past previous 10 games by an average margin of 25 points, falls at Arkansas, 80-69. You could see this coming. Mississippi State visits Gainesville on Saturday and it’s going to be ugly.
The United States Postal Service will no longer deliver mail on Saturdays. So when should I expect my copy of The Saturday Evening Post to arrive in the mail?
Monopoly trades in the iron for a cat. Few of us will miss the iron, but why a cat? Why not a Donald Trump token?
Remember our friend Mamadou Ndiaye? The seven-foot-five high school center from Huntington Beach, Calif.? Since returning from an absence (injury? I don’t know), the UC-Irvine-bound native of Senegal has played five games. Here are his totals and, granted, he is playing a low level of competition in southern California.
Jan. 29, vs. Oxford Academy: 45 points, 15 rebounds in a 76-55 win.
Jan. 31 vs. Crean Lutheran: 40 points, 12 rebounds in an 81-65 win.
Feb. 1 vs. Servite: 34 points, 26 rebounds, 4 blocked shots in a 50-34 victory.
Feb.2 vs. Whitney: 35 points, 16 rebounds, 4 blocked shots in a 77-47 rout.
Feb. 5 vs. St. Margaret’s: 18 points, 14 rebounds in a 58-40 win.
Brethren Christian’s last scheduled game before the playoffs (their record is 21-3) is tomorrow night. If I were ESPN I’d be airing it on one of my networks.
And finally, Pitt has signed a kicker named Chris Blewitt. He’s giving Dee Liner heavy competition for Most Aptly Named Player of the 2013 recruiting class.