01/10/2012 12:47 pm ET Updated Mar 11, 2012

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for January 10, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • Alabama shuts out LSU in the BCS Championship Game 21-0.
  • Former Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin is elected to Cooperstown.
  • The 21-year old son of Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin apparently drowned in an icy Wisconsin river.
  • Venus Williams pulls out of next week's Australian Open.
  • Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl will "Tebow" today as a result of losing his "bet" with the mayor of Denver.

2. BCS

Alabama is clearly the #1 college football team in the country. LSU didn't cross midfield until midway through the fourth quarter for goodness sakes. But I think last night's BCS Championship Game will be more remembered as the one that finally tipped the scales in favor of a playoff system starting in 2014. It was not only the boring nature of the game but the fact it featured a rematch with two teams from the same conference. You had the feeling that never did so few people care about a national championship game. Of course they'll debate endlessly how the playoff would work. How will they preserve the "integrity of the bowl system?" Truthfully, with the endless parade of meaningless bowl games, what's worth preserving?

3. Cooperstown

And on his third try, Barry Larkin is a baseball Hall of Famer. Of the 300 or so in Cooperstown, he's just the 48th to spend his entire career with one team. I thought it would have been more. Pitcher Jack Morris came the closest of all those who failed to garner enough votes from the sportswriters. Larkin was a terrific player. My only quibble is an old one. Why is he a Hall of Famer this year when he wasn't last year or the year before? My opinion: if you're a Hall of Famer, you're a Hall of Famer. Not, no, no, yes.

4. Opening Day

The college football game wasn't the only event that wrapped up yesterday. Steve Stricker won the Tournament of Champions in Kapalua. Did anyone notice? Isn't "opening day" supposed to be a big hoo-hah? Not in the world of golf. They started the PGA "season" and the players didn't even care. Few of the top players bothered to show up. You want to find all the top champions? Check out the Abu Dhabi Desert Classic later this month. They'll all be there collecting nice fat appearance fees. You want the stars to begin the season on American soil? Pay up. That's the championship spirit.

5. All Rise

What do the late Kate Smith and Bronx Cantor Daniel Pincus have in common? They are/were singing good luck charms for sports teams. Kate did her thing singing "God Bless America" for the Philadelphia Flyers. The Cantor belts out the National Anthem for Fordham basketball. Despite the fact Fordham is a Jesuit school, the Jewish guy is doing just fine. Since he began crooning, the Rams are a 3-1. Unfortunately the Cantor's website doesn't feature his anthem, but if you want to hear some raging Jewish religious tunes, knock yourself out.

Happy Birthday: His five sons, all named George, will probably send him greetings today. Former boxing champ George Foreman. 63.
Bonus Birthday: Rocker Rod Stewart. 67.

Today in Sports: 30 years ago today. The wind chill factor is an estimated -59 degrees as Cincinnati beats San Diego 27-7 in the AFC Championship Game. 1982.
Bonus Event: "Great Balls of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis reaches #1. 1958

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