I cannot express my disappointment with the St. Petersburg Times enough. I am tired, as are all Bulls fans, of the lack of adequate coverage in your newspaper. I was very upset to open the Sunday Times and see only a small headline for the USF win over West Virginia and a giant color photo and bold headlines for the Florida-Florida State game, not to mention the two-page color spread inside the paper. This is pretty much every week, too. Not everyone here is a Gators or Seminoles fan, and last I checked, this is Tampa Bay, the location of the University of South Florida. This isn't Gainesville or Tallahassee.
Mike Hill, Tampa
I was very sad to hear Miami fired Larry Coker. After six years with them, he deserved a little better than that. With all the problems Miami had this year and the sudden death of one of its players, it was a wonder anyone could keep his mind on the game. Not everything that happened this year was his fault. I think they should have given him until next year to make it to the Big Game.
Judy Plank, via e-mail
Forget that business about a BCS bowl.
Saturday, it was all rendered BS. Bulls Shot.
South Florida fired broadside into a West Virginia season teeming with national-championship promise barely three weeks ago, felling it with a 24-19 salvo inside stunned Mountaineer Field and turning arguably the most-hyped year of the program's 114 into virtual county roadkill.
It was a monumental victory for South Florida and their fans - most of them related to Franklin, W.Va. native and Bulls offensive coordinator Rod Smith - among the 52,790 patrons who showed. This 10-year-old program had never harvested such a big game on the road; in fact it'd lost eight of the previous 13 games outside its state. Its only victories against ranked teams heretofore came in Tampa against then-No. 9 Louisville last year and then-No. 1 Troy State in Division 1-AA in 2000. Saturday it was led into such uncharted territory by a redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Grothe, who went 22-of-30 for 279 yards, threw two interceptions and passed and ran for a touchdown each.
Chuck Finder, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
I have no interest in developing a young quarterback, or nursing his wounded inner child, over the larger priority of winning a championship. The question now becomes whether the Bears can keep suffering the mistakes of Rex Grossman and still win their first Super Bowl in 21 years. They have the defense to win it, the attitude to win it, the collective talent to win it and, certainly, the vehicle to win it via the spongy NFC.
But do they have the passer to win it?
If Sunday was Grossman's litmus test, the answer is an emphatic, time-to-panic no.
Jay Mariotti, Chicago Sun-Times
Sign that old-time hockey still exists
Saturday night in Toronto, two former Lightning teammates - Boston's Paul Mara and Toronto's Darcy Tucker - duked it out pretty good when the normally timid Mara jumped Tucker, who had cross-checked Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. And there's a good chance for a rematch tonight in Boston when the teams meet again. "Mara will have his chance if he wants it early in the next game,'' Tucker said. "He can have his chance if I'm rested.''
Rumor of the day
The Austin American-Statesman is reporting that when Bobby Bowden eventually does retire, the Seminoles will at least check if Texas coach Mack Brown has any interest. Brown has a degree from FSU.
Question of the day
Former Lightning center Denis Savard was hired Monday to be the head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks. He is the third former Lightning player to become an NHL head coach. Can you name the other two?
Answer: Gerard Gallant (Columbus, 2003-06) and Steve Kasper (1995-97).