THIS WEEK’S BEST BET:
BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: No. 1 FLORIDA STATE vs. No. 2 AUBURN, Rose Bowl, Monday at 5:30 p.m., ESPN:
Top five things you should consider heading into this final BCS title game but were afraid to Google it:
= Florida State leads the nation in scoring at 53.0 points per game, having put up a school-record 689 points in its 13 wins. The Seminoles are 28 points away from matching Oklahoma’s 2008 NCAA record of 716 points. Auburn is No. 9 nationally in scoring, averaging 40.2 points, with 522 total in going 12-1. Combine the two team’s point total — 1,211 – and that’s’ the exact number that USC and Texas had heading into their 2006 BCS classic title game.
= If Auburn scores 30 or more in a game, it’s practically a lock. They’ve won 88 games in a row when scoring 30 or more. In its history, Auburn is 305-4 when breaking 30.
= Florida State freshman quarterback Jameis Winston, celebrating his 20th birthday Monday, won the Heisman Trophy with a 190.1 pass efficiency rating, throwing for 3,820 yards and 38 touchdowns. Of those, 26 TDs and 2,579 yards came in the first half.
= Auburn junior quarterback Nick Marshall, who less than two years ago was a reserve defensive back at Georgia and spent last season at a community college in Kansas, ran for 1,023 yards this season. Only two other SEC quarterbacks in history have run for more than 1,000 yards. One is former Auburn Heisman winner Cam Newton. Another is Texas A&M Heisman winner Johnny Manziel. In a 45-41 Auburn win over Texas A&M and Manziel this season, Marshall passed for 236 yards and ran for 100.
= Auburn could be the first team to beat a No. 1 team twice in the same season, after knocking off Alabama 34-28 in November. The last time that came closest: Oklahoma, which tied No. 1 Texas (15-15) and beat No. 1 Nebraska (17-7) in 1984.
Got it? Flip the coin and get on with it. Pasadena restaurants are staying open late for your enjoyment.
THE BEST OF THE REST:
NBA: CLIPPERS vs. ORLANDO, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m, Prime:
They’re saying JJ Redick won’t be back until the middle of this month from his broken wrist. So maybe by the end of this week?
PGA TOUR HYUNDAI TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS, at Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii; final round, 1 p.m., Golf Channel:
Webb Simpson, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Speith go into the final round tied for the lead. Just follow along at home and wish you were there on a Maui vacation, eating sea scallops at the Plantation resort restaurant. Don’t poo-pooh the pu pu platter, either.
NHL: KINGS vs. MINNESOTA, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:
The Kings have a 12-3-2 record in their last 17 games at home. Like this one will be.
NBA: LAKERS at DALLAS, 5:30 p.m., TWC SportsNet:
Dirk Nowitzki, noting that his Mavs have recently blown leads of 17 to Atlanta, 18 to Golden State and 19 to Toronto, with two of those three losses at home, said that “the way we let those games slip away, I don’t think we’re a playoff team.” And the Lakers are?
HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCEMENT, 9 a.m., MLB Network:
The veterans committee has already decided that managers Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa are in for this summer’s induction. So who’s with ‘em? Thirty-six are left eligible, include those no-brainers snubbed last year as first-timers — Barry Bonds (762 homers, 515 steals, just 36 percent), Mike Piazza (429 homers, .308 average, 57 percent), Roger Clemens (354 wins, 37 percent) and Sammy Sosa (609 homers, 12 percent). Not to mention multiple rejects Mark McGwire (eighth year, 583 homers) and Rafael Palmiero (fourth year, 3,020 hits, 569 homers, 8.8 percent). Newbies Greg Maddux (355 wins), Tom Glavine (305 wins), Frank Thomas (521 homers, .301 average), Jeff Kent (377 homers for a second baseman) should get support, as well as repeaters Craig Biggio (3,060 hits), Tim Raines, Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell, Lee Smith and Curt Schilling. Former Dodgers Paul LoDuca, Hideo Nomo and Eric Gagne are also on the ballot for the first time. Hey, it’s all open for discussion. Again.
NBA: LAKERS at HOUSTON, 5 p.m., TWC SportsNet:
Not even Dwight Howard will recognize his old team this time.
NBA: CLIPPERS vs. BOSTON, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., Prime:
Doc Rivers shouldn’t be as choked up as he was when the Clippers played the Celtics last month in Boston.
UCLA vs. ARIZONA, Pauley Pavilion, 6 p.m., ESPN:
The Wildcats, 15-0 and ranked No. 1 in the nation at this juncture, is the best thing the Pac-12 has going at this point. Why would the Bruins feel a need to disrupt the attention that Sean Miller’s team had built so far? When the two teams last meet in the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament in Vegas, Arizona squandered a 49-38 lead over UCLA with 10:24 to go but the Bruins won 66-64 when Kyle Anderson put back a Jordan Adams miss with 25 seconds left, and Adams broke his right foot on the play.
USC vs. ARIZONA STATE, Galen Center, 7 p.m., Pac-12 Network:
The Trojans’ lopsided loss to UCLA to start Pac-12 play on Sunday doesn’t give them much to springboard into this one, does it?
NHL: KINGS vs. BOSTON, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:
The Kings and Atlantic Division-leading Bruins go into this week as the only two teams that have given up less than 90 goals this season. Boston, with Finnish goalie Tuukka Rask, is second in the NHL with 2.1 goals-against per game average, behind the Kings’ league-best 2.0.
PGA SONY OPEN, at Honolulu, Hawaii, first round, Thursday at 4 p.m., Golf Channel:
Found this Yelp review of the Waialae Country Club to be quite helpful: I came here today for our annual Hawaii Chapter of my alumni association board of director’s meeting that was generously hosted by a member here. … I am just amazed at the restroom here. It is fully stocked with gels, tonics, hair spray, mouthwash, toothpaste and other men’s accessories. I apologize for not taking a picture of it!!!” What more do you need to know about the venue hosting the second event on the islands in less than a week?
Golf Channel has all four rounds at 4 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
NBA: LAKERS at CLIPPERS, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., ESPN, TWC SportsNet, Prime:
Go back to that stunning result on opening night – Xavier Henry scores a career-high 22 points, Jordan Farmer adds 16 and the Lakers get 76 points from their bench in a 13-point win to spoil Doc Rivers’ debut as the Clippers coach. With Henry and Farmer among the injured, we’re not sure who the Lakers even have on their bench healthy enough to produce quality minutes in this rematch. It’s the Clippers home game, so they have every right to cover up the Lakers banners. They’ll meet two more times this season, on March 6 and April 6.
NHL: KINGS vs. DETROIT, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:
The first of two Saturdays in a row where the Kings have to meet the Red Wings. Both indoors.
NFC: NEW ORLEANS at SEATTLE, 1:30 p.m., Channel 11
AFC: INDIANAPOLIS at NEW ENGLAND, 5 p.m, Channel 2:
The Seahawks’ 34-7 win over the Saints on a Monday night in early December saw Russell Wilson complete 22 of 30 passes and finish with a quarterback rating of 139.6. He is 14-0 at home in the regular season. Drew Brees was just 23-of-38 passing for 147 yards against a depleted Seahawks’ secondary.
U.S. FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS at Boston, women’s final, 8 p.m. (delayed), Channel 4:
Twenty years after the Nancy Kerrigan-Tonya Harding drama, U.S. ladies champ Ashley Wagner (left) should have less attention on her as she tries to defend her title, four years after missing a trip to the Vancouver Olympics by 4.08 points. The 22-year-old is a favorite take one of the three open Olympic spots. On the men’s side, the field is open with Evan Lysacek passing on a comeback attempt. That means the two choices to represent the U.S. come down to Max Aaron, Jeremy Abbott, Ross Miner or Adam Rippon. Ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White should also be a favorite in their division, having won five straight international Grand Prix events.
Competition is also Saturday at noon on Channel 4 and the exhibition is Sunday at noon on Channel 4
NFC: SAN FRANCISCO at CAROLINA, 10 a.m., Channel 11
AFC: SAN DIEGO at DENVER, 1:30 p.m., Channel 2:
It’s Chargers-Broncos III. Each has won on the other’s home field during the regular season. “Three times in one year, I’ve done that couple times in my career, it’s the worst,” said CBS analyst Phil Simms.
UCLA vs. ARIZONA STATE, Pauley Pavilion, 7 p.m., ESPNU
USC vs. ARIZONA, Galen Center, 6 p.m., Pac-12 Network:
Remember, Arizona held Washington State to 25 points recently. The Trojans could be in a heap of trouble.
AUSTRALIAN OPEN, first rounds, 4 p.m., ESPN2:
This first major of the year runs through Jan. 26, mostly overnight in these parts if you’re trying to follow it all on TV. Victoria Azarenka is the two-time defending women’s champ. Novak Djokovic has won the men’s side the last four times and five total.