Ready for your weekly dose of Zingers? Sidelines with Mike Ashley.


By Mike Ashley

IT’S A BIG SALARY AFTER ALL: Jim Mora got a $12.4 million buyout at UCLA, and Chip Kelly is getting $24 million over four years. That makes sense in a town where the third sequel to ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ cost $378.5 million. 

UPON FURTHER REVIEW: Watched a lot of football over the extended weekend and unofficially led the nation in pie.

IN A RELATED NOTE: Disappointed Clemson’s Tavien Feaster didn’t have a bigger Thanksgiving weekend than just his 18 yards rushing, one TD against rival South Carolina.

TRADE SECRETS: Baseball winter meetings start Dec. 10. Less than two weeks until sportswriters and unnamed sources report.

TIMEOUT FOR TRIVIA: Name the rookie receiver that led the NFL with 90 receptions in 1996.

WARM UP THE CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK COUCH: The Pac-12 Championship game (No. 11 USC vs. No. 21 Stanford) kicks off Friday night, going head-to-head with MacGyver on CBS. This week MacGyver is hired by Tennessee to help a group of Volunteers avert disaster.

BEAM ME UP: As for Saturday and the key games (Georgia-Auburn, Oklahoma-TCU, Clemson-Miami, Ohio State-Wisconsin) to decide the playoff berths, well, you need a Vulcan science officer to sort out all the possibilities.

RED ALERT: In a related note, poll voters are concerned about Russian hacking after Chechnya mysteriously moved into this week’s College Football Playoff rankings.

THE BRYCE IS RIGHT: Free-agent-to-be Bryce Harper could fetch a $500 million contract after next season, but most of that is for hair care products.

GLASS HALF PHILLED: Phil Jackson did get the Knicks Kristaps Porzingis, but it was Carmelo Anthony’s departure that let him be a real star. 

CUPS RUNNETH OVER: Legally if Virginia Tech wins another Commonwealth Cup next year, the state capitol has to move to Blacksburg. That’s known as Beamermandering, I believe.

FALLING STAR: In the wake of the team’s recent woes, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has threatened to have team president Jerry Jones and team general manager Jerry Jones switch jobs.

INSULT TO INJURY: Haven’t really had the opportunity to miss Odell Beckham, Jr., and Aaron Rodgers since they are on just about every commercial break on Sundays.

TRIVIA ANSWER: It was Ohio State product Terry Glenn, who hauled in 90 passes for the New England Patriots in 1996. Twelve-year pro Glenn, who also played for Dallas and Green Bay, was killed in a car crash last week.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mike Ashley has covered college athletics for over 30 years. He has worked in the athletic departments at Virginia Tech, Radford University and Marshall University, in addition to freelance work from his Northern Virginia home. Ashley has also worked as a stand-up comic, and has been a regular on many radio stations throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. His work appears in Terrapin Times (covering the University of Maryland), NCAA programs, Blue Ribbon YearbooksAthlonLindy’s, and on bathroom stalls in major sporting venues. He has also co-authored a book on the golden age of Virginia Military Institute football, “Best Regrets: VMI’s John McKenna and The Lost Age of College Football.” Previously, the Salem, Va., native has helped author books on the New York Yankees, Emmitt Smith, Maryland’s 2002 NCAA basketball championship, and published a book on the history of Radford University.

William Roth