Gopher football: You can look at Michigan, Ohio State and Iowa as tests for Tracy Claeys - I'd like to see if he can beat Illinois at home, because if he can't, Gopher ``officials'' may have to start worrying.
Gopher basketball: I like Nate Mason, and Joey King can shoot and I'm not sure what else we're supposed to be excited about this year.
Wild: Injuries and illnesses leading to a mid-season downturn - anyone heard this one before?
Wolves: Of all the potential problems with this team, I didn't think Kevin Martin's shot would be one of them, and it may have cost this team a couple of games already.
Twins: If the Twins can sign Park, they'll have a deep, more-powerful lineup; they'll also need to separate Sano and Park and get Dozier to make more contact or they'll strike out way too much.
Packers: For all of their problems, if Aaron Rodgers had seen a wide-open Cobb in the end zone at Carolina, the Panthers wouldn't be undefeated and the Packers would not be on a three-game losing streak.
Vikings: I think the Vikings win this weekend, maybe even handily, and I'm still not sure, given the state of the Packers, they will have faced a great test.
Some friends are holding a coat drive Sunday before the Vikings-Packers game. They'll be in Lot 37 at TCF Bank Stadium. Nick Spadaccini will be hosting a tailgate party and they'll collect any winter garb you can spare. All donations will go to Union Gospel.
New shows with Roy Smalley, Jon Krawczynski and Viking Update publisher Tim Yotter up at MalePatternPodcasts.com. Also my chat with ESPN Wisconsin Packers writer and host Jason Wilde. At 4 p.m. Saturday Michael Russo and I will talk hockey at Tom Reid's Hockey City Pub, with giveaways and live questions.