Admit it, when Peyton Manning signs with the Denver Broncos, you wonder if the aging, broken-down QB still has his fastball ... or any pitch besides his commercials. Manning, recovering from a serious neck injury, throws for nearly 1,200 yards in the opening month and goes on to guide the Broncos to a 12-3 record and the division title.
Speaking of remarkable comebacks, Adrian Peterson, who suffered a devastating knee injury a year ago, comes out of the box flying, too. By late December, he leads the NFL in rushing by more than 400 yards.
■ In its SEC debut, Texas A&M puts up a valiant struggle but loses 20-17 to Florida at Kyle Field.
■ Replacement refs screw up enough NFL games that the league finally settles a labor dispute with its officials.
■ Marble Falls QB Mike Richardson smashes a state record with 724 yards passing in one game.
■ The Big 12 signs a $2.6 billion TV deal that brings stability to a league that was teetering just a year ago.
■ Geno Smith fires 8 TD passes and seizes the Heisman lead in West Virginia’s wild 70-63 win over Baylor.
■ Texas State falls to Texas Tech in its first home game as an FBS program.
■ “Austin Andy” Roddick retires from tennis after tumbling in the fourth round of the U.S. Open.