Things I’ve mulled over while recovering from the monumental disappointment of Evan Bayh choosing not to run for president:

THE SO-SO INDIANA PACERS: Not to be confused with the Go Go Sox, this once-proud vehicle might soon require an overhaul from front bumper to rear.

Having recently attended the team’s 10-point home loss to Utah enabled me to observe smooth offensive flow complete with crisp passes -- the majority of it coming from the unselfish Jazz, who swing on-court chess matches their direction with basic fundamentals.

At the other end ... two names. Jamaal Tinsley and Stephen Jackson.

If either of these Indiana starters were blessed with one-half the spirit, hustle and professionalism of one Darrell Armstrong, the Pacers wouldn’t be on a fast track to a 42-42 finish like they are.

And if anyone has seen Al Harrington or his game, please notify the authorities.

THE BUTLER DID IT: Let’s see now. They’ve beaten Indiana, Notre Dame and Purdue already this season, not to mention Tennessee and Gonzaga.

I think we can quit feigning surprise when the Bulldogs men’s basketball program defeats a higher-profile opponent. The ’Dogs aren’t Cinderella, they’re Godzilla.

And is it too late to go back and give the title of Indiana Mr. Basketball for 2004 to that other A.J., Butler guard A.J. Graves?

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: The win against Cincinnati proved a much-needed booster shot, but Indy still isn’t in San Diego’s class.

Not to worry.

Only a year ago none of the NFL’s other teams was supposed to be in the Colts’ class, and look what happened. Besides, Marty Schottenheimer’s playoff record is miles from dazzling (2-4), so the pressure is on the Chargers this time around, not Indianapolis.

OHIO STATE VS. UH, HANG ON, IT WILL COME TO ME: The BCS Championship game is fast approaching and so far the silence is deafening.

Want to know why the Ohio State-Florida game has thus far generated the buzz of the Poinsettia Bowl’s halftime show? Because no one north of a line connecting Panama City with Jacksonville thinks the Gators have a chance to knock off the Buckeyes.

Ohio State 37, Florida 13.

THE NBA’S ATLANTIC DIVISION: This is a joke, right? Please tell me the team in first place isn’t experiencing sub-.500 temperatures.

Here’s what David Stern should do: Disband the Atlantic and sprinkle the five franchises into the league’s remaining divisions.

Woeful Boston can join the Central where the Celtics can duke it out with Milwaukee to see who can stay out of the cellar, Toronto can join the Southeast and hang out with stellar franchises such as Atlanta and Charlotte, and New Jersey can buddy up with Memphis in the damp and dreary basement of the Southwest Division.

The others, the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers, can do whatever they want. Doesn’t matter because they could combine their rosters and not make the playoffs.

It’s pitiful that one of these weak franchises will make the playoffs when none of them should be allowed in.

And yet somehow Isiah Thomas will wind up losing his job with the Knicks and again wind up with a better job. My calculations tell me Thomas is only four more firings from becoming president of the United States.

Sports Editor Mike Beas can be reached at

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