Edge to John in Harbaugh Bowl pre-game battle

Things a Jerseyguy took note of this week:  The Harbaugh Bowl between  San Francisco 49ers’ coach Jim Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh will be played out Sunday night in New Orleans.


Every question, every conceivable angle has been played out, examined, but none more than the match-up of brothers, which you will see countless times again in Sunday’s pre-game shows which will last all day until the post 6  p.m.  kickoff.

How nonsensical has it been? Consider the following tidbits provided by ESPN. At the final press conferences of the week  with the two coaches, ESPN compared the brothers in some salient matters.

For example.  Average length of answers to questions: John won by a margin of 1:44  to 1:21. John also won the smile contest, smiling 7 times, which was twice as many as the three times that Jim smiled.

Needless to say, both coaches have proven they can win at the highest level and both men have handled all the intrusions into  their personal life this week with a degree of grace that many other NFL coaches would not have tolerated.


Wonder if Butch Harmon’s fees have risen in the last few days. Harmon, who has worked with Tiger Woods and several other PGA tour player, received a call from one of his students, Phil Mickelson, on Monday after Michelson had pretty much flattened out in last weekend’s tournament in San Diego, finishing well back in the pack behind Woods.

Harmon flew to Phoenix on Monday to work with Mickelson in this week’s Phoenix Open. All Mickelson did was flirt with a round of 58 on Thursday before settling or a round of 60. After two rounds, Mickelson was leading the tournament at a sizzling 17 under par


It’s February, so conference showdowns in college basketball will start to appear on a regular basis. None bigger in the Big Ten than  Saturday night’s encounter between No. 1 Michigan and pre-season No. 1 (and currently No 3) Indiana….Interesting transaction in the coaching arena the last few days. Doug Martin, who came to Boston College for a 1-year run as the Eagles’ offensive coordinator, is now the head coach at New Mexico State–which will come to The Heights next November for a non-conference game with the Eagles….How much crazier can the Manti Te’o affair get now that we learned via Dr. Phil that the perpetuator of the hoax was a male who developed a crush  on Te’o and passed himself off to the Notre Dame linebacker as a girl in their phone conversations over a two-year period?..Word has it that ACC is looking at New York City as a possible landing-place for the ACC tournament in the 2016-21 time frame. Don’t bet on it happening. New York already has the Big East and will have some form (football, basketball) for the next several years at the very least and Brooklyn has the A10. Despite its expansion northward, the ACC remains tilted to the South, which means the tournament will be in Charlotte or Greensboro in North Carolina. If the ACC ventures out of Carolina, Tampa or Washington D.C. remain the only likely possibilities…Nice to see St. John’s and Syracuse continue their rivalry during the next few years with a home and home series, beginning in the Garden next season. Syracuse will move to the ACC next season. Speaking of Syracuse, there seems more of  possibility that Cuse’ coach Jim Boeheim might make at least one run through the ACC before he decides to call it a career.  Who knows, Boeheim might be around for a while.


Although nothing is official yet, look for the name of the new football Final Four format starting after the 2014 season to be very simple and basic. Maybe something as direct as “The College Football Championship”, B….Progress sometimes comes in small increments. Take Boston College. The Eagles’ 75-68 victory over Clemson on Saturday elevated their record to 10-11 which doesn’t seem like a big deal.  But in comparison to last season when the Eagles were 9-24, the progress is obvious.  With more than a month remaining in the regular season, the Eagles have already surpassed their win total of a year ago. “The morale is tremendous,” said BC coach Steve Donahue, who watched his team nearly blow a 20 point lead against Clemson in the final minutes. “The confidence is very fragile.”

As for the milestone of 10 wins. “It’s  a big deal, it another measuring stick for sure,” said Donahue. ”


Finally, after a week of hype, Super Bowl XLVII is now almost upon us and the gut feeling here is that when the final whistle blows Sunday night, the Baltimore Ravens will have a 24-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. The difference will be QB Joe Flacco and defensive back Ed Reed.

© 2013, Mark. All rights reserved.

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