College Football kicks off tonight: And I couldn't be more excited. Sure, LSU shouldn't be challenged by
(1) Kickoffs: Experts and pundits can disagree, but I'm saying that moving the kickoffs from the 35 to the 30 will be the biggest rule-change in college football since OT -- perhaps more. Just wait for the first KR TD early in a game (the first kickoff of the game?) and you'll see coaches simply kick it out of bounds and take their chances with the ball placed on the
(2) "We're All Hokies Fans": Virginia Tech is already an overdone story, which is a shame, because it's the team story of the season. It'll get even better when the Hokies win at LSU, then sit staring at a table-running remainder of their schedule and a date with the BCS title game -- and destiny. (Again: This will be the most overwraught, maudlin storyline of the year.)
(3) Offensive Innovation: I'm not saying Florida created a new template for a championship team, but if the defense was fast and furious, the offense was eclectic and electric: The two-QB system, the lack of a traditional lead RB, the deployment of the best players, like Percy Harvin, anywhere (and everywhere) on the field.
Between the Gators in the South, West Virginia in the East, Michigan in the North, Louisville in the heartland, Cal and Boise State out West and Hawaii WAY out West, I think we'll see offensive Xs and Os that will change the future of the game.
(4) Defensive Dominance: Despite all of the offensive firepower that will generate most of the headlines and highlights, the reason the consensus Top 2 teams -- USC and LSU -- are where they are is because of their sick defenses. Meanwhile, the reason I picked Virginia Tech as my national champ was because the defense will be so dominant. Yet one more reason the VT-LSU game is the Game of the Year.
The Yankees and Mariners are tied for the AL Wild Card after
The Indians own Johan Santana: They beat him for the 4th time this season (they are the only team to beat him even 3 times). That, and
MLB Stud: Ben Sheets, who came off the DL to lead the Brewers to a near-must-win over the Cubs. (Ryan Braun also is coming very close to locking up the NL ROY, contributing a double with the bases loaded.)
NFL Get-Tough Policy: It's selective. Apparently, missing palimony payments doesn't rise to the level of triggering punishment through the league's personal conduct policy. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?!?!
Florida football might be effed: Speaking of CFB projecting, not to put too fine a point on it, but Florida lost their most important and valuable player: All-America candidate, senior captain and left tackle Phil Trautwein, who has a stress fracture in his right foot. He will certainly miss the first few weeks and could miss the entire season.
People can talk about Tebow, about Harvin, about Harvey or about any of the Gators' other weapons, but it was the potential of the O-line – led by Trautwein -- that anchored the promise of this offense to be spectacular (and making up for an inexperience, if speedy, D).
More CFB: Facebook breaks the news that the mainstream media couldn't -- Notre Dame's starting QB. Charlie Weis is powerful, but not more powerful than social media! (h/t EDSBS)
US Open: 6-foot-9 American sensation John Isner vs. Roger Federer in the next round might just be the most intriguing match-up of the men's tournament this year. Isner will get crushed, but as the Next Great American Hope, it'll be fascinating to see how he stacks up against the Best Ever. (Federer played last night in all-black, which was a badass look for the most dominant athlete in the world.)
Beckham Watch: Right knee sprained in SuperLiga final! What does this mean for his future this season?
NCAA Idiocy: Oh, for cripes sake: Just grant the waiver to let a booster pay for a recruit's funeral. This is a case of rules overriding reason.
Bernard Lagat: Wins 1500m for the
R.I.P. Richard Jewell, who in 1996 was put through a publicity hell most of us wouldn't wish on anyone.
CFB Picks: In a preview of tomorrow's Top 25 predictions (a weekly tradition carried over from last season):
Boise St over Weber St.