Ranking the top 10 sports events Jan. 8-14 you won’t want to miss:
NO. 1: NHL: DUCKS at KINGS
Details/TV: At Staples Center, Saturday, 7:30 p.m., FSW, Prime
After a league-mandated week layoff for both teams, what do you say we pull the curtain open on the second half of the season by also unveiling a new statue of Bob Miller in Star Plaza before the faceoff? The ceremony will take place at 7 p.m., just west of the Chick Hearn statue, to see the work of the Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt-Amrany, the same artists who did the statue of Luc Robitaille and the Kings’ 50th Anniversary monument. Miller will then be honored in a pregame on-ice ceremony that will include raising a banner to the rafters in Miller’s honor. Plus, there’s a bobblehead giveaway of the Hall of Fame broadcaster who retired after last season, and doesn’t need incentive to come use his new season seats at Staples Center to sit among the fans now with his wife, Judy. This is the third of five meetings in the Freeway Faceoff – the Kings (24-13-5) won both previous, a 4-3 overtime game at Anaheim on Nov. 7 and a 2-1 shootout at home on Nov. 25. The next two after this: At Anaheim on Jan. 19 and March 30. The Ducks (19-15-2) are like the Kings, coming off two one-goal losses in a row.
NO. 2: COLLEGE FOOTBALL
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: GEORGIA vs. ALABAMA
Details/TV: At Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Monday, 5 p.m., ESPN
No matter how this turns out, the SEC will have produced nine national championship teams in the last dozen years, depending on what method they’ve used to declare them. We’re not sure if the winner here, however, is obliged to set up a meeting sometime in February against undefeated Central Florida, which just won the Citrus Bowl over Auburn, which beat both Alabama and Georgia during the season. The hometown Bulldogs and the 3 ½-point favorite Tide did not face each other during the SEC season, so this one is overdue. Alabama has been to the national title game three seasons in a row and looking for its fifth national championship under Nick Saban since 2009. Georgia hasn’t won a national title since 1980 and has not defeated Alabama since 2007.
NO. 3: NFL PLAYOFFS DIVISIONAL ROUNDS
NFC: FALCONS at EAGLES
Details/TV: At Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Saturday, 1:35 p.m., Ch. 4
NFC: SAINTS at VIKINGS
Details/TV: at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Sunday, 1:30 p.m., Ch. 11
AFC: TITANS at PATRIOTS
Details/TV: At Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.,…