Former Notre Dame star and Michigan native Jerome Bettis isn't happy that the Fighting Irish and the Wolverines are putting their annual game on hold after 2014. "It's terrible," Bettis told me. "I thought that was one of the biggest rivalries in the country, and to stop it is extremely disappointing." ... Fox NFL analyst John Lynch explained why he was hesitant to criticize replacement refs at the beginning of the season: "Week 1, the league kind of duped every network and said, We're close to a deal, so have your guys go easy," Lynch said. "They weren't telling us not to say anything; just to be careful." ... Hall of Famer Troy Aikman thinks asking quarterbacks if they're elite is ridiculous, but he can see an upside. "Considering the success Eli [Manning] had [after being asked that question before last season]," Aikman said, "maybe Matthew Stafford and Joe Flacco want to be asked." ... MLB executive vice president Joe Torre told me that Derek Jeter recently sent him his 253rd home run ball—one more than Torre hit in his career. "He attached a note, 'I should have been hitting third all along,'" Torre said. "My response was, 'The ball is livelier today.'"