By: Dennis Fithian
This is the February’s #Trending. Trending is a poll which ranks who is getting talked about the most on the Detroit sports scene. Last month’s rankings are in parentheses. Comments and suggestions are welcome.
(Rankings are compiled after meetings with on-air hosts, producers and call screeners at 97.1.)
Top 25 #Trending
1. (24) Manti Te’o: Irish linebacker goes from Lions 1st round pick to Dr Phil’s couch.
2. (1) Trey Burke: Huge stretch for the UM guard who tries to get Wolverines a #1 seed in tourney.
3. (12) Andre Drummond: If minutes go up he could end up as the NBA’s rookie of the year.
4. (5) Matthew Stafford: Joe Flacco leads Ravens to Super Bowl. What can Stafford do for the Lions in the future?
5. (2) Martin Mayhew: Critical decisions ahead will affect the immediate future of the Detroit Lions franchise.
6. (3) Jim Schwartz: Had about as bad of a year that a coach can have and still have ajob.
7. (22) Gary Harris: He’s the Big Ten Freshman of the year, at this point, in a season of great candidates.
8. (10) Keith Appling: Spartans look like they can play with anybody in the country if the junior point guard is on his game.
9. (6) Jimmy Howard: With less wiggle room than in seasons past, Howard’s play is Wings biggest key for success.
10 (NR) Mitch McGary: Freshman pivot continues to elevate his game week by week.
11. (4) Henrick Zetterberg: Newest captain must be tired of answering questions about Wings less than stellar special teams.
12. (13) John Beilein: Substitution patterns and late game play calling both need fine tuning for Big Ten stretch run.
13. (NR) Tom Izzo: Mr. March has his team positioned for a run at everything.
14. (NR) Joe Dumars: Good news/bad news; Pistons will have a lot of cap room in the off season.
15. (NR) Dave Dombrowski: Sounds like the Tigers GM believes in a rookie closer.
16. (NR) Damien Brunner: ‘Brew-ner’ or Brunner the 26-year old Swiss forward looks like an NHLer.
17. (9) Mike Babcock: Has the Wings coach had the same lineup out there yet this year?
18. (NR) Bruce Rondon: He’s pitched less than 30 innings above ‘A’ ball.
19. (20) Glenn Robinson III: MIA in a couple big games recently. Wolverines will need him if they want to win Big Ten title.
20. (16) Tim Hardaway Jr.: Pulled UM out of the fire at home vs. OSU with three point shooting.
21. (NR) Adreian Payne: MSU and NBA stock continues to rise with high level play from Spartan big man.
22. (17) Pavel Datsyuk: He’s a superstar and the Wings need him to be.
23. (NR) Jeff Backus: Mulling over retirement. Lions fans won’t know what they have until he’s gone.
24. (18) Denard Robinson: Senior Bowl, Maize Rage, NFL combine and then draft await former UM signal caller.
25. (19) Nick Kronwall: Trying to keep the Wings back end steady with all of the injuries in early going.
Dropping out of the top 25: Ray McCallum, Jarvis Jones, Conner Cook, Nick Lidstrom, Ndamukong Suh, Nick Stauskas, Mike Ilitch and Lawrence Frank.
Also receiving votes this month: Titus Young, Calvin Johnson, Anibal Sanchez, Scott Linehan, Tom Gores, Gary Bettman, Scott Boras, Jim Leyland, Brandon Dawson, Greg Monroe, Derrick Green, Bjoern Werner, Ken Holland, Gunther Cunningham, Dominic Raiola, Al Borges, Brady Hoke, Mark Dantonio, Kyle Singler, Miguel Cabrera, Torii Hunter, Jose Calderon, Kyle Vanden Bosh and Devin Gardner