Bob Smizik: Three days of football Heaven

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Nobody asked me, but ...

• If you’re a football fan -- and if you’re reading this you likely are -- what a sensational three-day extravaganza you’ve had the pleasure of watching. Two spectacular NFL wild-card games on Saturday, another on Sunday and then -- on the turf of the granddaddy of them all -- we had the granddaddy of them all as Florida State went from hapless impostor to national championship with an amazing comeback win over Auburn in the BCS title game. Wow!

• Draft-day dilemma for the Steelers: Do they strengthen a strength -- their offense -- by adding a wide receiver, where they lack depth, in an early round or do they almost solely concentrate on rebuilding their old and declining defense?

• The notion that Pitt would have to adjust to the ACC never made much sense. The ACC would just as much have to adjust to Pitt. Basketball is basketball, for the most part. Pitt’s 2-0 start in the ACC, including an impressive win over Maryland last night, isn’t necessary indicative of anything except this: Never underestimate Jamie Dixon.

• Would love to hear an explanation from someone in the Steelers hierarchy on their decision to allow cornerback Keenan Lewis, about to enter his prime, to walk in free agency while hanging on to Ike Taylor, about to leave his prime. It reeks of the early 1980s when Chuck Noll held on to some veterans too long.

• The Phillies signed a 25-year, $2.5 billion TV contract with Comcast Sports Net, which is an average of $100 million a season. Remind me to check with Frank Coonelly to see if that puts them ahead of the Pirates.

• Let me say it again: Although the Steelers get criticized for their recent history of drafting, their salary cap management has been no better and probably worse.

• Pirates.com is not known as a site where much critical commentary about the team is found. It was therefore a bit funny and a bit insightful to read Tom Singer referring to Neal Huntington as the "clandestine general manager."

• Throughout his career, Pitt’s Aaron Donald never struck me as a player who would be in the discussion for having his number retired. My bad. There's no easy way to measure the college career of a lineman, but Donald has won all of the awards. Based on available criteria, Donald’s number should be retired. And his pro career should have no bearing on that.

• The Baseball Hall of Fame announces its 2014 class today at 2 p.m. My guess: Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas and Tom Glavine will be elected.

• On the subject of Lewis, how many NFL players have to be forced from games, as he was Saturday night, with concussion symptoms before they get smart and lead with their shoulder and not their head.

• Cincinnati Reds general manager Walt Jocketty gets a "A" for candor. Asked if the Reds would sign a free agent of Stephen Drew’s caliber, he said, "No, definitely not. We don’t have the money." Asked if the Reds might re-sign free agent Bronson Arroyo, he said, "I don’t see how we make it fit financially."

• Dept. of That’s-Why-They’re-The-Bungals: With the 35th pick in the 2011 NFL draft, Cincinnati took Andy Dalton. With the 36th pick, San Francisco took Colin Kaepernick.

• Ticket prices for the BCS title game: End zone, $325; side, $385.

• Duquesne takes a four-game winning streak into its game game Wednesday against Fordham. The combined record of the four teams the Dukes beat -- St. Francis UMass Lowell, Texas Pan American and Appalachian State: 9-44.

• Ben Roethlisberger is coming off one of his best seasons but his reputation as a quarterback is taking a hit because in the eyes of so many a quarterback’s success is tightly tied to his team’s won-loss record. The Steelers 16-16 record the past two seasons puts Roethlisberger in a negative light with many.

• Steven Adams is averaging 4.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 0.9 blocks and 15.5 minutes for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He is fourth on the team in rebounds and tied for second in blocks. Not bad for a guy a lot of people thought was headed to the developmental league.

• The second-half strategy of Kansas City coach Andy Reid -- 23 passes and 11 runs when his team had a 28-point lead over Indianapolis Saturday before the third quarter was two minutes old -- would indicate he studied clock management at the same school as Mike Tomlin.


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