Here are my opinions on some sports topics in the news right now.
Topic No. 1: Does Cam Newton deserve to win the Heisman Trophy?
According to Heisman.com, the trophy is awarded to an individual who deserves designation as the most outstanding college football player in the United States. The Heisman Trophy is a national symbol of collegiate football experience and competitiveness. No where in that definition does it say anything about controversy off the field.
Regardless of what Newton's father did or did not do, it does not take away from what his son achieved on the field. Money did not increase his completion percentage or add rushing touchdowns. He was the best college football player of 2010.
The same can be said about Reggie Bush. Yeah, his parents receiving a free house may have been illegal according to the NCAA's standards, but it did not make him run faster or score more touchdowns. Ten years from now when someone asks me who won the 2005 Heisman Trophy, I will say Reggie Bush. I won't say, "It was Reggie Bush, but then it got taken away because his parents received free rent." Or maybe I will. Either way, he was the best college football player in 2005 and that can never be erased.
Recently I have joked about how Newton should enjoy the award now since it may be taken away from him a few years down the road. Will it happen? Who knows. All I do know is that Cam Newton was the best college football player in the land. Period. He has my Heisman vote.
Topic No. 2: Golden State's Monta Ellis is today's Allen Iverson.
He may even be a better offensive player than Iverson. It depends on how you look at it. Ellis is a much better shooter than AI, but will never be able to play defense like Iverson did in his hay day.
In terms of shooting, Iverson is nowhere close. Ellis is a 47.6 percent career shooter. Allen Iverson? 42.5 percent.
Ellis is shooting over 47 percent again this year. In fact, only once in his six-year career has Ellis shot under 44.9 percent. He even shot 53 percent in 07-08 and that was in 81 games with 15 shots attempted. Iverson shot under that 45 percent in 11 of the 14 years he was in the league. Iverson may have had more points, but seven of his 26.7 point-average came at the free throw line.
Ellis had one of his more exciting games the other week. The Warriors were playing the Suns (I know, probably the worst defensive team in the league) on TNT and scored in ways that reminded me of No. 3.
First it was the crossover. Ellis had Jason Richardson isolated at the top of the key (ala AI vs. everyone that tried to D him up), dribbled with his right, quickly snapped it to the left and slashed to the hoop for the score.
Later he drove into the paint where he was surrounded by three defenders. He jumped, took a bump from a forward and still finished with ease. Who hasn't seen AI do that a million times?
Then came the jumper that I was talking about. Ellis' teammate came to set a pick and his defender went under the screen. Right then and there I said, "Buckets." Lo-and-behold, Ellis pulls up and drills it right down the back of the rim from just inside thr three-point line. He finished the night 16-for-27 with 38 points.
Golden State isn't on much, but if they are - take a quarter or two and watch Ellis. I promise he will leave you shaking your head on a few occasions.
Topic No. 3: Does the Big East deserve a BCS bid?
Absolutely… not. I am almost positive that the BCS would have taken away the Big East's automatic bid if TCU didn't decide to join the conference a few years from now.
The Big East is ridiculously bad in football. No team that wins that conference deserves to play on or after New Year's Day. If one team is even remotely decent, they will probably go 7-0 in the conference and have an overall record around 10-2. That may look good, but not when you consider their level of competition.
There shouldn't be automatic bids in football. With the way the BCS is set up, nobody deserves a free trip. All bids should be earned. Maybe if the NCAA went to a playoff I could see awarding some conferences, but I may be a while before that happens.
Topic No. 4: Is the Phillies 2011 pitching rotation the best of all-time?
It's a tough question for me to answer since I have only been breathing since 1983 and starting paying attention to baseball in 1990.
Yahoo's Ron White recently had a column on this very topic. While he did not offer a straightforward answer, he did list some options. I may be too young to know some of these people, but perhaps you the reader will.
1998 Atlanta Braves - Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Kevin Millwood, Denny Nagle.
1954 Cleveland Indians - Bob Lemon, Early Wynn, Mike Garcia, Bob Feller, Art Houtteman.
1988 New York Mets - Dwight Gooden, Side Fernandez, David Cone, Bob Ojeda, Ron Darling.
1971 Baltimore Orioles - Mike Cuellar, Pat Dobson, Jim Palmer, Dave McNally.
1966 Los Angeles Dodgers - Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale.
Obviously only time will tell with this group of Halladay, Lee, Oswalt and Hamels. I have only seen the Braves' rotation and they were pretty nasty, especially with lefty Steve Avery mixed for a few of those years. Still, I think the Phils' arms can be much better.
The Phils have a perfect mix of righties and lefties. Halladay and Lee each have a number of pitches that they can locate at any given time. Oswalt still throws gas and can break off a nasty curve at any moment. Hamels' fastball-change-up combo is unhittable if he is on that day. One thing is for sure. I will be rooting for them to make history.