Tuesday Top Tens: February 17

Every Tuesday for the rest of the season, I’ll be posting 3 sets of power rankings: my college hoops top 10, my top 10 NBA teams, and a ranking of something unrelated. 

Let’s do it, and this time (and from now on), let’s count down from 10 to 1. 

College Basketball

Also Considered: Utah, Oklahoma, Baylor

10. Northern Iowa

9. Iowa State

8. Kansas

7. Arizona 

6. Villanova

5. Duke

4. Wisconsin

3. Gonzaga

2. Virginia 

1. Kentucky

I think it’s important for me to mention that I don’t think Gonzaga deserves a #1 seed, even though I think they are the third best team in the nation. The way their schedule broke (St. John’s, UCLA, and BYU have all become less impressive wins than Mark Few was planning) has left them with a great team, but a soft resume.

March Madness never breaks how you’d expect (for example, a #7 seed beat a #8 seed in last year’s title game), but right now I’d find it very hard for anyone outside that top 9 to cut down the nets at season’s end.


Also Considered: Toronto, Chicago, New Orleans

10. Oklahoma City

9. LA Clippers

8. Houston

7. Dallas 

6. Cleveland

5. San Antonio

4. Portland

3. Memphis

2. Atlanta

1. Golden State

More change than you’d expect in what was mostly an off-week. Cleveland moves up as the West stays very jumbled.

Candidates to replace Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show

(Note: this list is based on a combination of likelihood, willingness, and ability. Some I think would be better than others, but are less likely to do so.)

Also Considered: Joel McHale, Tina Fey, Sarah Silverman, Kyle Kinane, Anthony Jeselnik, Amy Schumer

10. Promoting From Within


I’m not head over heels with any of the current correspondents ability to take over the head job. Jessica Williams, Aasif Mandvi, and Jason Jones/Sam Bee are great at what they do, but I’m not confident that they could fill those shoes.

To me the most logical succession plan within the Daily Show family would be to move Larry Wilmore up to Stewart’s spot and then look to fill his 11:30 slot. Wilmore’s style fits the brand and would allow Comedy Central to explore some radically different options in the other spot.

9. Hannibal Burress


Burress wouldn’t necessarily be a good Daily Show host in the terms that we think of now, but he’s one of the funniest comedians alive and it’s not impossible to imagine him bringing a unique delivery to the format.

8. Daniel Tosh


WAIT WAIT WAIT! Before you stop reading the list here, let me explain this one.

Tosh’s stand-up is great. His television show is a mess. If he were to approach his bosses at Comedy Central, promise to act like a grown-up, and have a shot at Stewart’s desk, I’d think they’d have to listen and could do worse.

The main thing going against Tosh would be the negative reaction of intellectuals and media types who swear by Stewart’s every word.

7. Colin Quinn


Quinn’s had a shot at the big time when he anchored “Weekend Update” at SNL. Those days are long behind him, though everything he’s done since has suggested he could handle this role. His one-man show Unconstitutional (which looked through the US Constitution) was very well received.

6. Paul F. Tompkins


PFT is a seasoned comedian with a long resume. His YouTube interview show Speakeasy is an absolute charm and totally worth a watch. He currently hosts a show about current events and hot topics that was created by the former head writer of The Daily Show…but it also stars a cast of puppets and airs on a channel I’m not even sure I get. This could be a welcome promotion.

5. Michael Ian Black

mib Black was a finalist to host The Late Late Show when the job went to Craig Ferguson. He’s always been very funny, but never had a truly great opportunity to show it.

4. Amy Poehler

Amy Poehler at the 2013 Vanity Fair Oscars Party in West Hollywood

Would she be great? Yes. She’s Amy Poehler. She has been great at everything she’s ever tried.

Would she do it? I don’t think so. Parks and Recreation is ending, which means she’ll have plenty of offers. Moving back to New York to host a daily television show or stay in LA to act in movies? Movies almost always win.

3. Patton Oswalt

Patton Oswalt Visits Fuse TV For His Appearance On "Distortion"

Similar to Black and Tompkins, Oswalt is a comedian who’s never had the right opportunity to showcase his skills. All of his stand-up is worth listening/viewing. He brought laughs in his biggest acting role on King of Queens (even if he didn’t care at all).

He’s very political on and off stage. I’d imagine he’d relish this chance.

2. John Mulaney


Oh, John.

New In Town, his stand-up special, was one of the best you’ll see from a comic his age (and available on Netflix, watch it if you haven’t). He was the co-head writer of Saturday Night Live and chose to leave to pursue his own show. Then Seth Meyers left and everyone thought Mulaney would have had his chance at the “Weekend Update” desk…if he hadn’t left. His show went through a bunch of issues and just isn’t as good as his other work.

Now he’s stuck trying not to think about hypotheticals and thinking about what’s next instead of what could have been.

That being said, none of his humor is based on news or politics. He even has a bit about not knowing anything about these subjects. Maybe that would be a fun schtick for a Daily Show host.

1. Neal Brennan


The following is true about Neal Brennan:

1. He co-create, co-wrote, and directed one of the greatest television shows in American history, Chappelle’s Show.

2. His stand-up is very funny, including his special Women and Black Dudes (which is available for $5 at CC:Direct).

3. He co-hosts a great podcast called “The Champs” with fellow comedian Moshe Kasher.

4. He is the host of The Approval Matrix on the SundanceTV.  From what I’ve seen of the show (some, but not much), he would be an excellent host of a show in The Daily Show‘s format. Even during panel discussions on his show, he’s able to inject rants and opinions that even guys like Stewart and John Oliver would envy.

5. He’s worked with Comedy Central before, has hosting experience, and after living as “the white-guy in Dave Chappelle’s shadow”, I don’t think he’d have any trepidation about stepping into Stewart’s chair.

I was so intrigued by the possibility, I search Twitter to see if anyone was talking about it.


Someone had…and Neal had favorited that tweet.

Given that information, I’m sure all of you agree with everything I said, so I can’t imagine any reason to comment on this post.

Shane McNichol is the founder, editor, and writer at PalestraBack.com. Follow him on Twitter @OnTheShaneTrain.

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