For the past week, I've been hearing debates about whether this NFL team or that NFL team should or should not play their best players because they're saving up for the playoffs. And that bugs me. It seems like teams should try their best to win every game they play regardless of any long-term goals.

The argument is that the playoffs are all that matters, so they don't want to risk injuries to key players. What about teams out of the playoffs? Should they save their best players? My feeling is, fans who shell out hundreds of dollars should be able to see a team's best effort on the field on that particular day ...

A week ago I suggested the Jazz needed to get another shooter through a trade, and sure enough, the Jazz did that Saturday. Of course they did better than my suggestion of trading Mehmet Okur and instead unloaded Gordan Giricek, who always seemed to be "sideways" with Jerry Sloan. The fact that Kyle Korver is coming from Philadelphia is a good sign, considering that's where both Jeff Hornacek and Matt Harpring played before coming to the Jazz ...

With TCU's victory over Houston on Friday, the Mountain West Conference is just one win away from establishing a perfect record in bowl games this year. Tonight, Air Force can make it a perfect 5-0 for the MWC in bowl games, which will be (hard/impossible) for any other league to beat. At nearly the halfway point of the 32-game bowl season, every conference except the MWC, SEC and the Sun Belt has at least one loss. Two leagues, the WAC and Pac-10, already have two losses, and Conference USA, which is on a comparable level to the MWC, is an abysmal 1-4 with one bowl game remaining. The Sun Belt is 1-0 thanks to Florida Atlantic's win over

Memphis ...

It was a little surprising to see UCLA decide on Rick Neuheisel as its new coach. It seemed like defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker, whose team did such a good job in limiting BYU's offense in the recent Las Vegas Bowl, would have been a good pick. Instead, the Bruins went with a big name with school ties rather than hire another minority with limited head-coaching experience ...

Do you think Kentucky fans are having second thoughts about running Tubby Smith out of town? The Wildcats, who are the winningest college basketball program of all time, appear to be on their way to a losing record for the first time since 1988-89, which was the first losing season in 61 years. The Wildcats stand 5-6 under Billy Gillespie with their latest loss coming Saturday to San Diego at home, where they earlier lost to Gardner-Webb ...

Just when the Mountain West Conference seemed to be putting some distance between itself and the Western Athletic Conference, its best basketball team, BYU, blows an 11-point halftime lead and loses to Boise State of all teams. As good as the Cougars are this year, their lack of depth may keep them from being a Top 25 team as well as a championship team ...

Speaking of lack of depth, Utah losing backup forward Kim Tillie was a "big blow" as coach Jim Boylen said no less than five times after Thursday's win over Idaho State. The Utes are already terribly thin in the middle and now must try to survive throughout the first half of the league season or longer with a skinny freshman forward backing up center Luke Nevill, who isn't having the best of seasons ...

I'm not blaming ex-Utah coach Ray Giacoletti, because recruiting is such an inexact science. But he missed on Vanderbilt freshman center A.J. Ogilvy, who us averaging 19 points and 6 rebounds per game for a team ranked 15th in the nation and is one of only seven unbeaten teams in Division I basketball. Vandy coach Kevin Stallings was quoted in a recent AP story saying that he was put onto the 6-11 Australian by Giacoletti, who couldn't take him at Utah because he was out of scholarships at the time. Do you think the Utes would trade their Australian center, Nevill, straight up for Ogilvy? ...

Speaking of Giacoletti, tonight's matchup in Spokane between the Utes and Gonzaga, where Giacoletti is an assistant, will be interesting to say the least. The Zags should win, where they are 44-2 since the McCarthey Athletic Center opened in 2004. But if they don't, it would be a hard pill to swallow for Giacoletti to lose to his former players who couldn't win enough games for him to retain his job.


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