1. Villanova's Curtis Sumpter is hurt again. With fellow big Jason Fraser battling injuries yearly, the Wildcats cannot seem to keep everyone healthy for a season. Even worse, it sounds like Sumpter may be gone for the year. This is a tremendous blow to 'Nova's Final Four hopes. They will need their freshman frontcourt players (especially Shane Clark, who will become eligible in January) to mature quickly if they are to remain the top team in the Big East.
2. I ran the Bowling Green 10k Classic in 40.34 on Saturday. I harbored hopes of breaking the 40 minute barrier, but the realist in me felt that it was probably a year away. Still, I took nearly two full minutes off of my 10k time from last year (42.23), so next year should be my coronation into the sub-40 group. My wife finished the 5k in 27.32, also a personal best and good for 7th in her age group. I have one major race left this year: the Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, AL, on December 10.
3. Who wants to bet a gazillion dollars that Memphis does not live up to the preseason hype? Any takers? None? I did not think so.
4. In my heavy rotation of music right now:
Willie Nelson's Red Headed Stranger: if there is a better country album EVER out there, I have not found it.
Sufjan Stevens' Illinoise: just try not to bob along to one of the trumpet-ladened tracks. I dare you.
Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits: some form of Paul Simon is always in my heavy rotation.
Wilco's Woody Guthrie Songs: if it's remotely country/folky and my wife likes it, it's good.
5. On Thursday, my first piece on SouthernCollegeSports.com should be up. I will be talking about the slew of early season tournaments that kick off a mere two weeks from today. The following week, I will look at some of the experimental rules being used in many of these tourneys.
6. My alt.country band, Redfoot, has a MySpace.com page up and running now. There are a couple of shows listed and there are a couple of more dates to be added soon. An album is coming in the early spring (hopefully).
7. Some non-power conference names to remember this season: Yemi Nicholson, Denver; Jose Juan Barea, Northeastern; Christian Maraker, Pacific; Anthony Winchester, Western Kentucky; Courtney Lee, Western Kentucky; Bucknell (NOT a one-year fluke last year); Nick Fazekas, Nevada; Paul Millsap, La Tech; Daniel Kickert, Saint Mary's-CA.
8. For everyone who thought I was off my rocker, here is proof that The Great Space Coaster was a real TV show for kids in the early-to-mid 1980s. "No gnews is good gnews with Gary Gnu." I loved that guy.
9. Shameless WKU plug: the #1-ranked (in D-IAA) WKU Hilltopper football team will play conference nemesis #8-ranked Southern Illinois on ESPNU at 6:30 pm on this Thursday night, October 25. The Tops (sledge) hammered the Western Illinois Leathernecks 42-7 in Macomb, IL, last week and appear to be putting it all together as they head for the home stretch.
10. I give little to no time to the NFL here, but I should mention that I will be attending my first NFL game on Sunday. I will be heading to Nashville to watch the Oakland Raiders (a team I half-heartedly call my own) play the Tennessee Titans. Thanks to a buddy who landed free tix, I will be watching these two mediocre teams battle to get to not-quite-.500. Catch the fever! Honestly, I am excited about the experience. I might actually devote some blog time to this trip. Road trips to any sporting event are made of life's good stuff.