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October 10, 2011

NBA lockout: Lay the blame (with poll); plus LeBron James a Seahawk?, Tim Tebow an actor?, Cruz control redux, Hank Jr. & more

[Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

Click on Villains Everywhere for today's latest column by me, on neither side being "right" in NBA lockout, and on Ain't No Sunshine for my previous column on Dolphins leading the sad state of our state.

1aa1lockout NBA LOCKOUT: ENOUGH, ALREADY!: Owners and players failed to reach labor peace by yesterday's self-imposed deadline, and commissioner David Stern canceled the first two weeks of the regular season. More may yet be lost. I have avoided blogging much on the lockout, but the very idea that two sides of grown men can't agree on how to share billions of dollars is fairly disgusting, and now the season itself is being impacted. I feel for the people being locked out, but I don't mean the players, I mean you, the fans. Time to have your say. Who's most to blame? Is it the league and owners like the Heat's Micky Arison? Or is it players like Dwyane Wade and LeBron James? Vote and say why.

LEBRON JAMES ... SEATTLE SEAHAWK?: LeBron James on Twitter this week inquired about the NFL 1aa1lbjseadeadline for signing free agents, playfully hinting he might be interested in switching leagues during the NBA lockout. The notion is not preposterous, considering LBJ is a former all-state high school receiver and, at 6-9 and 250 pounds, can be pictured as a tight end skying over undersized (compared to him) defenders. So Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll -- probably playfully but maybe not -- Tweets this photo. Fun! This is precisely what the PR-addled Miami Dolphins should have done, either seriously or in jest or a little of both.

TIM TEBOW ... ACTOR?: Speculation is afloat that Gator-turned-Broncos QB Tim Tebow is (for some odd 1aa1bowtimreason) being considered to replace Bruce Willis' character in future Die Hard films. Tebow currently stars in Try Hard, playing an under-skilled NFL quarterback who gets by on gumption and resolve and is wildly popular for not being Kyle Orton. I'm not sure about Tebow portraying Willis' hard-bitten character, though. Not sure at all if those bad guy-terrorists will be swayed by his handing them leaflets advising they put their trust in Jesus.

ME, PICKS: Had a bad Week 5, going 8-5 straight-up and 6-7 against the spread, including a really horrid Upset of the Week call with Titans over Steelers. Oy. Details (unfortunately) coming on this Friday's NFL predictions page.

ME, FANTASY: Better. Greg's Lobos won, 139-86, improving to 3-2 on the season. The squad was led by 28 as expected from Aaron Rodgers and a big unexpected 27 Benjarvus Green-Ellis.

UPDATED BCS CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS: From our friends at Bodog, the college football title pack is led as expected by Alabama at 7-4, Oklahoma at 3-1 and LSU at 9-2. Top five completed by Wisconsin at 7-1 and Boise State at 10-1. No Florida school on the radar at even 125-1 or better. 

HANK JR. DUPES FANS, DEADSPIN ON "NEW" SONG: Hank Williams Jr. is trying shamelessly to 1aa1hankjr capitalize on his being fired by ESPN from its Monday Night Football intro over comments insulting President Obama. On his website hankjr today: "In light of the recent Hank Jr. and ESPN news Hank has recorded a song called 'Keep The Change'..." That of course implies the song is newly written about the ESPN controversy and, sure enough, the website Deadspin takes the hook with an item about the song calling it "an Obama/Fox & Friends/ESPN diss track." Um, anybody care for the truth? The song was inspired by the singer's opposition to Obama's election, the title of it a play on the president's "Change" campaign theme. But the song was written in 2008, long before this latest controversy and having zero to do with ESPN's actions. Hank's newly recorded version adds a late, cursory mention of the latest controversy. Click here for a YouTube video of Hank Jr. singing his "new" song more than two years ago in Evansville, Ind.

BASEBALL: BACK TO CRUZ CONTROL FOR TEXAS: Two nights after Nelson Cruz whapped the first walkoff grand slam in postseason history, his three-run homer last night carried the Rangers over Detroit 7-3 for 3-1 ALCS lead for Texas. A possible clinching Game 5 is today at 4:15. In the NLCS St. Louis won 4-3 last night for a 2-1 lead over Milwaukee, with Game 4 tonight at 8. Your rooting interest, if you don't give a crap, should go here: 1. Milwaukee. City has had Brewers since 1970 and seeks first World Series title in only fourth playoff appearance. 2. Texas. Have had Rangers since 1972 and seek first WS crown, although reached finals last year. 3. Detroit. Had the Tigers since 1901 and have won four championships but none since 1984, and this is only third postseason bow since then. 4. St. Louis. Cardinals since 1900 and 10 WS titles, as recently as 2006. In context of this final four, rooting for St. Louis is like rooting for the Yankees.

COTE'S STATE OF THE STATE: Our latest updated weekly ranking of the seven FBS teams in our state, with previous week's rank in parentheses. Entering Week 7:

1aa1fla 1. Florida Gators (1) 4-2, 2-2 SEC 

2. Miami Hurricanes (3) 2-3, 0-2 ACC

3. FSU Seminoles (2) 2-3, 0-2 ACC

4. S. Fla. Bulls (3) 4-1, 0-1 Big East

5. C. Fla. Knights (5) 3-2, 1-0 C-USA  

6. FIU Panthers (6) 4-2, 1-1 Sun Belt

7. FAU Owls (7) 0-5, 0-2 Sun Belt

1aa1breasts WOMEN'S BREASTS!: Did I get your attention? I enjoy toying with the parameters of what being sexist means. Here is a link in which a writer (a woman , if that matters) discusses seven popular terms for female breasts. This does not bother me. I am amused what society tells us: That it is OK for women to accentuate and be proud of their assets, but that men run the risk of being labeled as sexist for openly admiring said assets. For example, the admittedly juvenile poster at right I find funny and not the least bit anti-women or sexist. Am I wrong?

THE REAL T-30: The Real T-30 is our weekly cumulative, consensus Top 30 college football ranking based on a combination of the three major polls: Associated Press, USA Today, ESPN. Points based on 30 for a No. 1 ranking, 29 for No. 2, etc. The combined ranking entering Week 7:

Rank   Team   Points   (Last week)

1   Oklahoma   620   (1)

2   Louisiana State   606   (2)

3   Alabama   601   (3)

4   Boise State   551   (4)

5   Stanford   529   (5)

6   Wisconsin   507   (7)

7   Oklahoma State   499   (6)

8   Oregon   451   (8)

9   Nebraska   410  (9)

10   South Carolina   382   (12)

11   Arkansas   381   (13)

12   Texas A&M   370   (10)

13   Virginia Tech   354   (14)

14   FLORIDA STATE   340   (11)

15   FLORIDA   262   (15)

16   West Virginia   239   (17)

17   Texas   237   (16)

18t   Clemson   218   (20t)

18t   Michigan State   218   (18)

20   Michigan   198   (24)

21   Baylor   185   (19)

22   Georgia Tech   164   (27)

23   Arizona State   156   (25)   

24   Texas Christian   149   (20t)

25   Ohio State   145   (22)

26   SOUTH FLORIDA   144   (23)

27   Illinois   133   (29)

28   Auburn   131   (26)

29   Mississippi State   90   (28)

30   Kansas State   75   (36)

38   MIAMI   13   (37)

41t   CENTRAL FLORIDA   7   (40t)

Click back. Much more coming to this latest blog post this evening and into Tuesday...

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