January 2Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
A bowl-watcher's dream game: The nation's unspotted, top-ranked teams battle it out in the season finale. Nebraska (No. 1) and Florida (No. 2) have raced to 11-0 and 12-0 marks, respectively, won by huge margins, and gained the Bowl Alliance's inaugural invitation to play in the all-but-official major-college championship game. Next season, another of the alliance's bowls will get the first choice of opponents. For now, though, interest focuses on Tempe, Ariz., and the only game played the day after New Year's.
Women's college basketball
The University of Tennessee, a perennial power, hosts defending college champion Connecticut in a game expected to draw more than 10,000 spectators to Knoxville's Thompson-Boling Arena. These teams had never met until last season, when they played twice, first in a nationally televised regular-season game and then in the NCAA Finals. UConn won both times - and finished the season with a 35-0 record.
Baseball Hall of Fame selections
The Baseball Writers Association of America announces the results of its annual vote on the game's all-time greats. Players with a minimum of 10 seasons in the major leagues who have been retired for five years are eligible. Candidates must be named on 75 percent or more of several hundred ballots for induction into the Cooperstown, N.Y., shrine.
Gold Cup soccer
Southern California will host eight men's teams from the Americas, including the national teams of Brazil, Mexico, and the United States, in this biennial tournament. The winner of the final played in the Rose Bowl goes on to the Intercontinental Cup. US coach Steve Sampson has loaded his roster with 16 World Cup veterans.
Australian Open tennis
Displeased with unequal prize money, some women players reportedly considered staying home from this year's opening Grand Slam tournament at Flinders Park in Melbourne. According to the Women's Tennis Association, however, there will not be a boycott, thanks to a redistribution plan that has at least temporarily defused the issue. The return of three-time champion Monica Seles could provide a major storyline. Mary Pierce and Andre Agassi are the defending singles champions.
Baseball owners meeting
When the major-league club owners meet in Los Angeles, they will have to discuss the status of labor negotiations. Spring training is approaching, and without progress toward a new collective-bargaining agreement, baseball could be in trouble again.
Super Bowl XXX
Yep, it's been 30 years since Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 in Super Bowl I (then called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game). This season the game pays its first visit to Arizona and Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, a suburb of Phoenix. The San Francisco 49ers extended the National Football Conference's winning streak to 11 with last season's triumph over San Diego. The Niners seem capable of winning again, but the team that enters the postseason with a league-best 13-3 record is Kansas City of the AFC. The conference championship games are Jan. 14.