Daily Jolt, January 3: Texas coaching search centers on Mora
Texas' search is heating up, and UCLA coach Jim Mora has become part of the mix. The University of Texas has expressed strong interest in [Mora] as a possible replacement for Mack Brown, and the two sides have had conversations, sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Mora previously coached in the NFL, most recently as head coach in Seattle and Atlanta. He is 18-8 at UCLA. Monday night's Valero Alamo Bowl was Brown's final game at Texas after 16 years. He's resigning after a rocky final season in which Texas lost at least four games for the fourth consecutive year. New Texas athletic director Steve Patterson said last week he expects a successor to Brown will be found within two weeks. Patterson said before kickoff at the Alamo Bowl that he believes Texas needs a new coach by Jan. 15. (ESPN.com) Comment
Jay Cutler is back -- and for a very long time. The Bears can't win a Super Bowl with someone as erratic as Cutler, no matter how soothing the voice of Trestman, "the Horse Whisperer," might be in his ear. But -- and this "but" is as big as B.J. Raji's butt -- they had to sign him. Emery needs to focus on getting the defense right, and this is no time to be looking for a quarterback who is as good as Cutler. Sorry, Josh McCown fans, your guy is not a short- or long-term answer. A Cutler-led offense with Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte isn't the problem. I used to be on the side of signing Cutler only if you think you can win a Super Bowl with him. But circumstances and a record-setting (not in a good way) defense slapped me out of that thinking. There isn't a better alternative. (Chicago Sun-Times) Comment
With all the big-market teams that might take a swing at bidding for Japanese righty Masahiro Tanaka, perhaps there is another team worth watching. The Arizona Diamondbacks cannot be ruled out as major players for [Tanaka], not after giving serious consideration to free-agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo. ... The Diamondbacks, facing fierce competition, could opt to make a pre-emptive strike and sign a major league free agent such as righty Matt Garza for less money. Tanaka, however, remains the D-backs' No. 1 target. Club officials do not expect to meet with him in Japan; the pitcher's agent, Casey Close, is discouraging such visits, sources said. But at this point, the D-backs expect to stay involved in the bidding, according to sources. (Fox Sports) Comment
P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens celebrates his goal in the second period against of a 6-4 win over the Dallas Stars. (Ronald Martinez/Getty)
Oklahoma players storm the ESPN set after their 45-31 win over Alabama ... and break it.