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Published: Friday, 3/22/2013

Best guess is that Cullop stays at UT

BY DAVE HACKENBERG
BLADE SPORTS COLUMNIST

Idle thoughts from an idle mind; noting that Toledo quarterbacks coach Scott Isphording has been named the MAC’s top football recruiter by Scout.com

■ Many Toledo women’s basketball fans have been in a dither since the announcement a few days ago that Jim Foster would not be returning to coach at Ohio State. UT’s Tricia Cullop would have to be a leading candidate to replace him, right?

Those of us tucked up here in the northwest corner of the state have a great appreciation for Cullop as both a coach and a person and imagine she’d do a great job in Columbus. But relax. If I were a betting man, her name, background, and accomplishments aren’t big-time enough for Ohio State.

The Buckeyes cut loose a coach who sported a .772 winning percentage, won six Big Ten championships and four league tournament titles, but whose teams always sputtered in the NCAA tournament. The latter is a big hole in Cullop’s resume.

That is not to say Tricia wouldn’t be an attractive candidate elsewhere, but I doubt she would take a bad job just for the sake of moving. There’s something to be said for being the big fish in a medium-sized pond.

■ Speaking of Toledo and fish, my friend Susan told me recently that when the Walleye held a contest a few years back to name its mascot, she submitted “Carpy Finbeiner” in honor of a former mayor. How in the world did that NOT win?

■ Phil Dawson’s days, 14 seasons worth, as a Cleveland Brown were probably numbered from the moment CEO Joe Banner was handed the keys to the franchise.

When Banner was president of the Philadelphia Eagles, he allowed kicker David Akers, then 36, to move on after a Pro Bowl season in 2010. Dawson, 38, is also coming off a Pro Bowl season.

Banner won’t tie up mega-money and major salary cap space in a kicker when birth certificates come into play.

Ironically, Dawson will join the San Francisco 49ers to replace Akers, who ran out of steam last season, much as Banner suspected.

■ As a fascinated nonparticipant in sports gambling, I bring you this regarding the Miami Heat’s 23-game winning streak from the Las Vegas-based Pregame.com: If you had started with $100 and let it ride on LeBron & Company winning each of their last 23 games, you would have won $55,500.

■ Speaking of wagering, you may have read the other day that there are 9.2 quintillion possible NCAA tournament bracket combinations, which is 9 trillion multiplied by 1 million. What are your chances of getting it right? Supposedly, if everyone on planet Earth filled out one bracket, the odds would be 1 billion to 1 against anyone having a perfect result.

■ Tiger Woods and skier Lindsey Vonn announced earlier this week that they are a couple. For Woods, who zealously protects his privacy, posting four pictures and a statement on his Web site and via social media was atypical behavior. Why did he do it?

“We wanted to limit the stalkarazzi and all those sleazy Web sites,” he said, perhaps inventing an appropriate term for the paparazzi that seem to intrude on a celebrity’s every move. “Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is in our society right now, and we felt like it was the best thing to do.”

Contact Blade sports columnist Dave Hackenberg at: dhack@theblade.com or 419-724-6398.



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