LeBron, Wade talk about reuniting?; plus Georgia Tech swamps Mississippi State in OB game 49-34; also big Cats news, NFL Pix results & more
1) It is WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 31. Happy New Year's Eve! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins lose to Jets, DSM poll, Duke Johnson goes pro & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.
ORANGE BOWL: GEORGIA TECH 49, MISSISSIPPI STATE 34 (Final)
ARE LEBRON AND D-WADE PLOTTING TO REUNITE?: Conspiracy theorists done with examining the Zapruder film for shadows on the grassy knoll have turned to enflaming Internet specualtion that LeBron James already is tiring of his situation in Cleveland and plotting to reunite with Dwyane Wade. It stems from a 2 minute 53 second video (click HERE to watch) from the Cavs' Christmas Day game in Miami. The game has just ended and as the video is fading out, at about the 2:45 mark, James is saying something to Wade, something muddled but not quite inaudible. Well, folks with way too much free time, and also better audio equipment than mine, swear that James says to Wade: "Like I said, If we aren't better this year, we're gonna reunite again and do some bigger and better things, alright?" That could mean anything from buying a team together to an off-court business deal, but of course the rampant implication is that James returning to Miami might somehow be plausible. Or at least remotely possible. Seems thoroughly unlikely, of course. But then again so did LeBron coming to Miami in the first place, once.
GEORGIA TECH-MISSISSIPPI STATE A GOOD MATCHUP. BUT DO WE CARE?: Wednesday night's 81st Orange Bowl game, No. 7 Mississippi State vs. No. 12 Georgia Tech, looks to be an entertaining matchup. Only two bowls other than the two College Football Playoff semifinals offer a higher-ranked matchup. But does South Florida care? Are we as a community excited? I'm not sure. That's why I'm asking!
Explaining "without championship pedigree...": In today's Orange Bowl preview column by me -- read it HERE -- I refer to this matchup as "non-traditional powers without championship pedigrees." That has led many Georgia Tech fans to blast me on Twitter and by email. For the record, GT claims national titles in 1917, 1928, 1952 and 1990 (which I knew when writing what I did), but has never won a BCS-era title or been anointed by The Associated Press. In '90 the Jackets were No. 1 in the (now-defunct) UPI Coaches poll, but Colorado won the bigger, more recognized AP crown that season. I think it's fair to say GT's first three claimed titles were relatively minor ones and that the one in '90 was, at best, a split title. Some in and around Atlanta may call that "championship pedigree." I don't.
PANTHERS SIGN BJUGSTAD LONG-TERM: This is big if you're a SoFla hockey fan. Cats today sign forward Nick Bjugstad, 22, the team's leading scorer, to a six-year deal. He's a guy you build around. And they are.
NFL PIX: A WEEK 17 BEATING ON THE BET-LINE: We update you briefly every Tuesday on how we did the previous NFL weekend with our published predictions. Went an OK 10-6 overall as King Sport wrapped up its regular season, but we were a miserable, season-worst 5-11 against the spread. Had two 'dogs-with-points in Buccaneers and Panthers and hit a perfect score exacto in Packers' 30-20 win, but not much else went right. To the playoffs!
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