John Calipari takes an interesting approach when it comes to motivating his players, including personal challenges. "I tell them, not only do they want to beat Kentucky. They want to beat you as an individual player. You know why? They wanted that scholarship that you got, and they want to prove they're better than you." ... Calipari's comments came on the heels of the fifth-year UK coach's admittance that he wants to go undefeated -- 40-0 -- with a team that features five McDonald's All-Americans as incoming recruits and returns key pieces Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein from last season. ... "Before I retire, I'd like to coach and undefeated team because they say it can't be done," he said. "Everywhere I've been, 'You can't do this. You can't do that. You'll never do this. You'll never do that.'" (Courier-Journal) Comment
At least part of Panthers wideout Steve Smith remained contrite. [Smith] took responsibility for his dropped touchdown pass in Sunday's 22-6 loss at Arizona -- and then took repeated shots Monday at one of the game officials who worked the game. Smith was upset with several calls and non-calls in the defensive backfield, saying the Cardinals' coverage crossed the line from physical to "molesting." ... Smith is aware his comments about officials could draw a fine from commissioner Roger Goodell. "To be honest, I make enough money where if Roger wants to fine me he can. But I really think that referee probably was the sorriest referee that I have ever met," Smith said. "When I dove for the first down (and) he was standing right there, he didn't even acknowledge -- he received a check that day and I hope he feels good. He was terrible. He was garbage." (Charlotte Observer) Comment
The Knicks open with plenty of storylines -- among them Carmelo Anthony's contract, Amar'e Stoudemire's health, J.R. Smith's return and the chip on Raymond Felton's shoulder. "The chip is still there," said Felton, who got outplayed by Indiana's George Hill. "It's a bitter taste in my mouth the way the season ended last year. The chip is still there. If anything, it's another chip. It's now on the other shoulder. I'm still coming out with the same attitude, still with a lot to prove." Indeed, Felton does have more to prove. While he has said since July he will become a bigger leader off the court this season, Felton also must prove he can excel in a traditional backcourt on the hardwood -- with a shooting guard. Felton also must handle quicker point guards on defense better than he did in 2012-13. (New York Post) Comment
The Dodgers celebrate their clinching win over the Braves in Game 4 of the National League Division Series. (Mark J. Terrill/AP)
SI.com's Andy Staples takes a look at the field of candidates for the Heisman Trophy.