Morning briefing

Times Staff Writer

Its working title isn’t working

It’s national championship day in college football, with Ohio State taking on Louisiana State in the Bowl Championship Series national title game.

Which is sort of a long-winded name for the premier game in bowl season, if you ask Morning Briefing.

And we’re not the only one. The participants in this year’s game are looking for a new moniker as well.


“It sort of needs something,” LSU Coach Les Miles said. “Like the Title Bowl.”

Trouble is, all the good names seem to be taken, and the bad ones such as the Bluebonnet Bowl have been retired.

“We’re all hoping that something evolves, we really are,” BCS Administrator Bill Hancock said. “We got hundreds of suggestions from the public last year, but not so many this year. Maybe people have run out of ideas.”

But considering that the participants are selected based on a mathematical formula, Ohio State tackle Alex Boone has a suggestion.

“You could call it the Formula One Bowl,” he said.

Or, just call it what it is: the Big Bucks Bowl.

Trivia time

Ohio State lost the national title game last year to Florida. Name the last school to lose in consecutive years with the national title on the line.

Great Scottie

Former NBA star Scottie Pippen has briefly come out of retirement.

Pippen, 42, who retired in 2004 after 17 season with the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers, is in the middle of a three-game stint for European teams.

He had 12 points Friday playing for Torpan Pojat of the Finland League and had nine points and nine rebounds for the same team Saturday as his team won both games.


“I did not know what to anticipate without a game for the last three years,” Pippen said. “My conditioning is not at the top level, but I played with a great team and had a lot of fun.”

Pippen is scheduled to play Friday for a team in Sweden.

Presumably, he wasn’t dismissed from the Finnish team for refusing to enter a game in the waning moments.

Dog days

Twenty-two of the pit bulls seized from suspended NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s dogfighting operation have been transferred to Best Friends Animal Society, a Utah animal sanctuary.

Each dog has its own pen inside an octagonal housing unit and an outdoor run, and they’re being fed a special dog food combination called canine caviar.

Caretakers are keeping the pit bulls separated from about 600 other dogs as they adjust to a new social life.

And, perhaps most important, the only fighting they’re doing is wrestling with rubber toys.


Slippery slope

Insurance firm InsureandGo recently revealed the results of a study that showed about 11% of people who ski or snowboard have hit the slopes after drinking alcohol.

One percent said they have been skiing or snowboarding while very drunk, the firm stated, and one in five people who admitted they had skied under the influence of alcohol said they had had an accident, and one in 25 said they had caused serious injury to themselves or someone else.

The insurance company warned that people could invalidate travel insurance if they had an accident as a result of being drunk.

“This could mean that as well as nursing broken bones, you might also have to pay for a hefty medical bill yourself,” said Perry Wilson, managing director of InsureandGo.

Trivia answer

Oklahoma lost to LSU in the 2004 Sugar Bowl and USC in the 2005 Orange Bowl.

And finally

West Virginia booster Ken Kendrick donated $1 million to the Mountaineers’ athletic department last week, but he apparently figured the money would be spent on hiring a big-name coach instead of having the school promote interim Coach Bill Stewart.

“I’m disappointed he was chosen,” Kendrick told USA Today.

“I felt the university was in position, based on the success they had and the players who were returning, they could have gotten someone better.”