Leading Off

10 pressing questions in the world of sports

▪ The 49ers appear to be interested in leaving no stone unturned in their hunt for a coach to replace Jim Harbaugh, but the best candidate already works for the team, right?

▪ If the 49ers don’t promote defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and he leaves as expected, will veteran defensive lineman Justin Smith retire after 14 NFL seasons?

▪ Two of the top candidates are retreads Mike Shanahan and Rex Ryan, so should 49ers fans be concerned about the direction of the franchise?

▪ If Raiders owner Mark Davis retains Reggie McKenzie as general manager, will McKenzie be able to lure Mike Holmgren, his former Packers’ colleague, to be head coach?

▪ The Kings have lost six of nine games since firing Michael Malone, so is replacement Tyrone Corbin the wrong coach for the wrong team at the wrong time?

▪ When DeMarcus Cousins, hands on knees, didn’t move for an entire play during the fourth quarter of a close game against Minnesota, was the big fella simply tired after missing 10 games with viral meningitis or was it another sign of his growing frustration?

▪ As the Kings’ best player, should Cousins be expected to step up to rally his teammates when it’s needed the most?

▪ After Alabama lost to Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl, did Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban really say, “I don’t think you necessarily have to get a trophy to be a winner?”

▪ Even though he’s projected in many mock NFL drafts as a top-five pick, will anyone be surprised if quarterback Jameis Winston returns for another season after Florida State was whipped by Oregon in the Rose Bowl?

▪ With Oregon and Ohio State advancing to the first College Football Playoff championship, isn’t it interesting these teams would have played in the Rose Bowl when it was the “The Granddaddy of Them All?”

– Tom Couzens


What to watch

NFL, Baltimore at Pittsburgh, 5:15 p.m., Ch. 3: These bitter AFC North rivals go at it again in the second of today’s wild-card playoff games.

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