Thursday Notes – January 14

1. Can someone please explain to me what the NFL offensive player of the year award means. I thought I knew – it seem self-evident – but this year’s voting leaves me totally mystified. Peyton Manning won the MVP award in a landslide because he was far more dominant and effective than any other player. It wasn’t really a debate. I’m pretty sure he’s an offensive player. If he’s the best player in the league then he should, I would think, be one of the best offensive players in the league. Apparently not. Chris Johnson won the award with 38.5 votes, while Manning was third with just 1.5 votes. Johnson won this award overwhelmingly, yet he didn’t get a single vote for MVP. Not one. There’s a logic problem here.

2. I’m sad that Norm Chow isn’t going to USC. It’s not that I like the team or care about where he works – I don’t. I just remember how well Chow and Kiffin got along back when they were on Carroll’s staff – they were like dogs and kittens by all reports. The Kiffin era is going to be a total zoo at USC, and the addition of another layer of conflict – especially when it was the school that was trying to get Chow, not Kiffin – would have added to the potential for fireworks.

3. Surprising deal today from the Marlins – a team that seems allergic to spending money. They have signed pitcher Josh Johnson to a four year, $39 million extension. That’s a huge contract – the second biggest ever given to a pitcher heading into just his second salary arbitration. Johan Santana earned the biggest. Johnson is a good pitcher with lots of upside, and at 34-16 and a 3.40 ERA in his career he has already proven his potential, but I don’t understand why I team that has sold off or traded virtually every good young player they have developed would choose Johnson as the guy to make a stand with. Odd.

4. Former Cavaliers’ coach John Lucas said today that the Cavs tanked it during the 2002-03 season to give themselves the best shot at landing LeBron James. To which I succinctly answer – no kidding. This is the definition of obvious – they had no talent, no hope, and a mostly empty building, and there was a local(ish) kid who had world class talent waiting for the winner of the draft lottery. Obviously they made sure they got theĀ  most balls they could. The senior management of the team is vehemently denying Lucas’ claims, but I’m not sure anyone is buying what they are selling.

5. Skip Holtz was hired to take over at South Florida today. I like the move from USF’s perspective – the guy can coach. I’m a bit surprised that Holtz chose this as his way into the BCS conferences, though. He gets mentioned for virtually every job that opens, so I thought he might hold out at East Carolina until a school a bit higher up the ladder comes calling.

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