Links: BP is back, Chipper stylin’ in retirement
Published on Tuesday, 12/11/12, at 2:10 p.m. Eastern.
By Brian Edwards
–Bobby Petrino is back in college football, but we start with my man, Chipper Jones, the pride of The Bolles School in Jacksonville. Chipper’s Hall of Fame career with the Braves ended several months ago, but all is going well in retirement. While Chipper awaits his HOF induction in Cooperstown, he’s keeping busy with his new lady, Taylor Higgins.
–Petrino’s exile from college football barely lasted eight months. BP is back in business at Western Kentucky in the Sun Belt Conference. When Jeff Long handed BP his pink slip last April at Arkansas, my first thought then was that he would be back but it would have to be at a school in Conference USA or the Sun Belt. However, when things started to go south at Tennessee and Auburn this year, I changed my tune. I really believed both programs were in such disarray that they’d be willing to take the public-relations hit to hire such a talented coach. Granted, it’s only been 24 hours and there’s certainly less buzz because he was hired by a school in Bowling Green, KY., but you have to wonder if other schools are kicking themselves right now because the backlash aimed at Western Ky. has been minimal so far.
–For those implying that Western Ky. is ‘being used’ by BP to get a better job, you would be wrong. In fact, you could make a better case that it’s the other way around. If Petrino bolts after one year, the Hilltoppers will get paid to have one of the nation’s best coaches for a season. Petrino’s salary is $850,000 per season and his buyout is $1.2 million. By my math, Western Ky. will make $350,000 in that scenario. If BP is gone after two seasons, the Tops will pay him a grand total of $500,000. That’s a steal of a deal for Western Ky. and its AD Todd Stewart, who nailed it in an interview on the Tim Brando Show this morning.
–No shocker here but like Chipper, Johnny Freakin’ Football has a hot girlfriend these days.
–New Orleans rookie center Anthony Davis will return to the lineup tonight vs. Washington. Davis has been out for weeks with a sprained ankle. The Hornets are five-point home favorites.
–Pau Gasol will miss his fifth consecutive game tonight for the Lakers, who are six-point favorites at Cleveland. The Cavs will get star guard Kyrie Irving back tonight, but they will most likely be without rookie Dion Waiters (‘doubtful’).
–If you wish, check out my Bowl Season Primer on VegasInsider.com.
–The bowl season starts Saturday, so go ahead and sign up for my bowl package. During the regular season, I had the No. 1 college football winning percentage on VegasInsider.com with a 56-35-1 record (62%). My Saturday picks in the Las Vegas Review Journal went 42-16-1 (72%).
–I’ll start posting weekly Power Rankings in college basketball in January. This is my top five right now: