I want to wish everyone out there a Merry Christmas, before getting down to sports business.
I want to extend my sympathies to those affected by the Newtown, Conn., tragedy. I just want to caution everyone not to be too hasty in taking action in the wake of it.
A couple of names from WVU's past resurfaced recently as former head basketball coach John Beilein led the University of Michigan to a victory over the Mountaineers and Rich Rodriquez led the Arizona Wildacts to victory in their bowl game. By the way, if you thought WVU's defense was weak, Arizona's is even weaker, ranking 101st among FBS teams in points allowed.
Another aspect of WVU's past, the Big East Conference, is soon to suffer another rupture as the seven basketball-dominant, non-FBS teams, have announced their pending departure. ESPN's Andy Katz put it best when he said basketball created the Big East, football ended it.
Frankly, I don't understand the money motive for conference realignment, unless the television packages are so lucrative that they make up for the added expense of Syracuse traveling to the Carolinas or WVU traveling to the Midwest, to name two examples.
I haven't been paying that much attention to the local collegiate basketball scene, but from all indications, everybody seems to be getting off to decent starts. The Bluefield State women's team, after years of struggle, are now 5-2, while the Bluefield College women have adjusted well to a new classification with a solid start.
As for the NFL, the two best defensive teams, in terms of points allowed, are the two teams atop the NFC West, the San Franscisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks. Both teams are starting first-time starting quarterbacks in Colin Kapernick and Russell Wilson, respectively. The 49ers have Frank Gore at running back, the Seahawks, Marshawn Lynch. The 49ers defense is based around their linebackers, the Seahawks around their defensive backs.
The third-ranked defense in terms of points allowed is the Chicago Bears. They have hit a rough stretch of their schedule, but can still turn it around with the talent they have on offense and defense.
Next to the Philadelphia Eagles, the most disappointing team in the NFL is the Detroit Lions. I think their undisciplined approach stems from the head coach's position as Jim Schwartz, the same man who wanted to fight Jim Harbaugh over the latter's over-enthusiastic post-game handshake last year, is supervising the team.
The Josh Hamilton saga ended with him signing with the Los Angeles Angels. I must say that the Texas Rangers didn't act like a team which wanted to retain his services with the comments from Nolan Ryan and the local media. I hope Hamilton has a good year out there.
As for the NBA, same old story with the Lakers. In fact, it's getting tiresome to hear ESPN's endless analysis of the team's troubles, which seem to be all Mike D'Antoni. I think it's more the fact that there's been no chance to form a coherent attack through three coaches.