By Les Grobstein-

(WSCR) The Bulls are under way and after edging the Lakers,they turned in a bummer at Golden State. There remain some questions about how much more they are prepared to challenge Miami for the Eastern Conference Title. Is it the same Carlos Boozer we saw late last season,the one that could not jump, missing many free throws,and had too many shots blocked by guys shorter than him? Will Rip Hamilton give them help with outside shooting? And Kyle Korver has been tossing up blanks too much through a pair of games. Against the Warriors,the Bulls looked slow and over matched.

The Blackhawks are on a nice roll right now with the best record(and most points)and the entire NHL. Not only have Jonathan Toews,Marion Hossa,Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane been playing well,but veteran Dave Bolland,Victor Stalberg and newcomers like Jamal Mayers have contributed. The Goalie situation is very strong also as Ray Emery was on a hot streak while Corey Crawford was trying to get his act together, Now Crawford has turned in two strong efforts since Joel Quenville went back to him. As I have been saying on the Air, there are about 8 teams in the NHL with a chance to win the Stanley Cup,and the Hawks are one of them.

For the second straight year(and just the second time ever),both Illinois and Northwestern are on Bowl games the same season. Both are 6-6,but since there are more Bowl Games than ever,teams at the break even point are Bowl eligible. The Illini face 6-7 UCLA in San Francisco Saturday. This is the fourth Bowl meeting between Illinois and UCLA with the Bruins taking two of three. NU plays Texas A & M in Houston Saturday. The Cats only Bowl win ever was at the Rose Bowl January 1,1949. The did not return to a Bowl after that until their historic 1995 Big Ten Title season. They have not won a Bowl game since, even with visits to the Citrus,Motor City,Ticket,and Outback Bowls among others. Notre Dame and Florida State are set to renew their spirited rivalry Friday in Orlando,and Northern Illinois gets Arkansas State on January 6 in Mobile,Alabama.

SEE! There more going on than the Bears who have a glorified Exhibition game with the Vikings in the Metrodome Sunday. Will talk about the plus and minuets of winning that game tomorrow.


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