San Jose State/Cinn/Baylor Thursday Bowl Winners, Friday Bowl Previews, NBA News and Notes, New NHL Offer, MLB Hot Stove League + Free Play for Friday, December 28, 2012

Thursday Bowl Recap ….. Baylor throttles UCLA

In Thursday Bowl action, the favorites and the over both went 2-1 as San Jose State, Cincinnati and Baylor posted wins. San Jose State scored 10 points in the final four minutes to get the front door cover. Cincinnati and Duke were tied at 34 with 44 seconds left in the game before an 83-yard touchdown pass and a pick six gave Bearcat backers the miracle cover. Baylor led pummeled UCLA start to finish in their 49-26 win. The Bears led 35-10 at the half.

Independence, Russell Athletic, and Car Care Bowls top Friday action

Three more Bowl games on today’s schedule. At 2:00 PM EST, UL Monroe is a 7.5 point favorite over the Ohio Bobcats in the Independence Bowl. The total is 60. Check weather before kickoff as rain is expected in Sheveport. At 5:30 PM EST, a strong move on Rutgers has dropped the Virginia Tech Hokies to a one-point favorite in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Weather will be perfect. At 9:00 PM EST, Texas Tech is a 13-point favorite over Minnesota in the Meinecke Car Care Bowl in Houston. The total is set at 55 with the weather expected to be perfect.

Clippers win 15th straight with blowout of the Celtics

The Los Angeles Clippers continued their white hot play with a 106-77 beat down of the Boston Celtics extending their franchise best win streak to 15 games. The Clippers jumped out to a 24-9 lead at the outset and never looked back in cruising to the easy win. The Clippers aren’t just winning, they are mauling people. Their closest game in the last 30 days was a six point win over Minnesota on November 28th. Los Angeles leads the league in point differential and margin of victory.

Avery Johnson fired as coach of the Nets, is Phil Jackson next ???

What have you done for me lately. Less than a month after being names the NBA coach of the month for November, Avery Johnson has been fired as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets. After a fast start that saw the nets go 11-4 out of the gate, the Nets are just 3-10 since with rumors abounding about unrest in the locker room. Phil Jackson, both Van Gundys and Jerry Sloan are said to be high on the list of possible hires. P.J. Carlisimo will coach the team on an interim basis.

Dwayne Wade suspended one game for groin shot

DWade will miss today’s Heat game with the Pistons after being suspended one game by the league for Wednesday’s kick to the groin on the Bobcat’s Ramon Sessions. Intentional ??? You make the call.

NHL ups contract limits in new offer to the players

With Friday being Day 105 of the NHL Lockout and the doomsday date for the cancellation fast approaching, the NHL has made a new offer to the players to jumpstart the stalled talks on a new CBA. The two side have not met or talked since December 13th. The new offer would include a six-year term limit on contracts, which would go up to seven years if it was a player already on your team. The previous offer had term limits at five years. The “make whole portion” of the offer would remain at $300 million. Each team would be given one “compliance buyout” (similar to the NBA amnesty buyout) prior to the start of the 2013-14 season that would not count against the salary cap. The league is still targetting a 2013-14 salary cap of $60 million.

Hideki Matsui announces retirement

2009 World Series MVP Hideki Matsui has announced his retirement. Matsui, 38, hit .282/.360/.462 with 1,253 hits, 175 homers and 760 RBI in his 10-year major-league career. He had four seasons of at least 100 RBI and five seasons with at least 20 home runs. Matsui comes off a season where he hit .147/.214/.221 in 103 plate appearances for the Rays. Matsui’s nickname was Godzilla, he was a three-time MVP in the Japanese League and is said to have a porn collection of more than 55,000 DVDs.

Free Play

(NCAAF) Virginia Tech -2 over Rutgers (Friday, December 28, 5:30 PM EST)

Free Pick record in December: 11-14