Sports

Football at many levels suddenly losing its class

Reading time, two minutes:

It's us against the world: Franklin High, the New England Patriots and, always, the Oakland Raiders.

The best team in the NFL is guilty of both cheating and running up the score. Congratulations, Patriots.

Once again remembering the late Bill Walsh: His 49er teams, when presented with a chance to tack on a needless touchdown -- similar to the Patriots-Cowboys game last week -- ALWAYS took a knee.

If schools are supposed to stress the importance of being accountable, why is Franklin's Tom Verner still the coach?

The Raiders are improving, but: They'll spin their wheels in the AFC West until they stop LaDainian Tomlinson.

Nevada's Colin Kaepernick ran around and through Boise State in his first career start. Here's what he rushed for at Pitman as a junior and a senior -- minus 2 yards!

There are reasons: He was skinny, he was a good passer and he handed off to Anthony Harding (Fresno State) for more than 1,300 yards.

Second-guessing Manteca coach Eric Reis for faking a PAT, thus dropping the Buffaloes' 26-game winning streak at Oakdale, is too easy. Give him credit for believing in his team.

Cal blew a chance to be No. 1 last week. For those who recall the 1970s, think "We May Never Pass This Way (Again)" by Seals & Crofts.

Anyone who follows Stanford football knows it's in the school's DNA to beat USC and then lose the next week to Texas Christian.

Pac-10 opponents almost never punt to Cal's DeSean Jackson. Why does the NFL keep punting to the Bears' Devin Hester?

It's why everyone dreams during spring training: One silly-hot month, and the Colorado Rockies are in the World Series.

When you win 21 of 22, nine in a row on the road and seven consecutive in the playoffs, you are "in the zone."

The Rockies offer proof that if you play baseball in Modesto, you may be only two years from the World Series.

Inspect from Joe Torre's point of view: The Yankees won four world titles, six pennants and advanced into the playoffs 12 consecutive years under my watch, and they offer me a one-year contract and a 33 percent pay cut?

Conclusion: The Yankees no longer deserve Joe Torre.

Prediction: Mike Montgomery will return to collegiate coaching sooner than later. If Lute Olson steps down at Arizona, Montgomery will succeed him.

Is there a bylaw that mandates Kenny Lofton's inclusion in the playoffs every year?

His team gives up 40 points in four of the last five games, his athletic director is fired and then he speaks ill of Tom Osborne: Bill Callahan, not long for employment at Nebraska.

Paraphrasing Callahan in Oakland: I must be the dumbest coach in America.

The 49ers: From trendy preseason pick to certifiably unwatchable.

Stanford's Brook Lopez worked out with the Cardinal last weekend at Cal State Stanislaus. This week, he's suspended (academically ineligible).

The Warriors' Keith Larsen on Stanford: "They were so efficient. They didn't run from drill to drill. They sprinted."

Groping for first downs: Notre Dame and the 49ers.

Today's coaches-in-trouble matchup: Texas A&M at Nebraska.

Question: If the Dolphins go 0-16, will the 1972 Dolphins raise their glasses?

Bill Belichick isn't the first coach to score an in-your-face touchdown, but he seems to enjoy it.

Bee sports columnist Ron Agostini can be reached at ragostini@modbee.com or 578-2302.

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