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And almost all suggested that indeed it was a distraction that they and their teammates and assistant coaches could do without. Especially for teams whose seasons had gone careening out of Read more Rewind to the summer of The basketball world was stunned by Wilt Chamberlain's announcement that he was jumping from the L. The Lakers would sue, claiming Wilt still owed them the option year of his contract.

But the Lakers were just partly successful in their legal challenge, as Chamberlain was only barred from playing for the Qs So, Wilt, to the disbelief of many, became a head coach, albeit in the ABA. Basketball insiders were startled. From this point forward, every Saturday is effectively a? Shakedown Saturday? The upcoming week is no exception, with a few very high-profile battles effectively serving as elimination games and likely having significant implications for the?

Final Four? For us at TGS , however, it? A lost season and another injury-shortened campaign have followed, but if Rose is really back to his former explosive form, it's the Bulls, not the Cavs, that are likely the team to beat in the East. Rose now has a more refined supporting cast, too, as the offseason addition of PF Pau Gasol gives HC Tom Thibodeau two of the best-passing "bigs" in the league, with the ability to shuttle Gasol and Joakim Noah between the Read more Among our favorite exercises each year at TGS are the well-received?

Having been publishing since , we have nearly six decades worth of memories to draw upon and catalog as we deem appropriate, and the? Somewhat coincidentally, the gridiron revival in the Magnolia State immediately brings to mind Read more And here we thought the NFL was the place this fall for scandal and controversy! It turns out that college football is hardly immune to such developments, either, thanks to a couple of late-week storylines that include enough intrigue to trigger significant repercussions perhaps even beyond the fall.

The beneficiaries of recent news are conspiracy theorists, who have just been thrown some red meat from a pair of stories in the Sunshine State. Well , if they? Appropriately, perhaps, oral arguments in the Garden State?

US District Court Judge Michael Shipp has granted a request from attorneys in the case for additional time, although reply briefs from the state are still Read more We look forward to the rematch of last year? Interestingly, normally unhittable Dodger ace Clayton Kershaw was anything but in playoffs vs. But even with Kershaw in untouchable form, the Dodgers performed in an uneven manner much of the campaign, barely getting above. Mercurial OF Read more Here we go Chris Christie have mounted another less-publicized assault, with plenty of implications for the league While seeking an editorial beacon of sorts to help us draw our intended analogy to recent events, we came across a passage in the thought-provoking best-selling book , Breach of Trust , authored in by Andrew J.

Bacevich, a professor of history and international relations at Boston U who earlier served 23 years as an officer in the U. Bacevich is also a renowned military scholar who has rattled the cages of many conventional thinkers regarding not only the role of the modern armed forces, but a blunt observation of its present-day embrace by American society. More specifically, Bacevich believes that the public has, for the most part Read more Brady Hoke, Michigan Big Ten sources almost unanimously acknowledged that Hoke was under the gun entering Al Borges under the bus and replacing him with Alabama?

While the opening win over App State was encouraging, it was the second game vs. Notre Dame that figured to be the first real barometer of the new Nussmeier offense. Unfortunately Read more Kansas City 8 got off its eyebrow-raising start in , with Andy Reid pushing all the right buttons and Alex Smith flashing some Montana-esque form.

But last season? And, one must ask,? Every once in a while, we experience an? Abe Ribicoff moment? Ribicoff, if you recall, was the U. Senator from Connecticut who famously, and forcefully, told the assembled masses at the Democratic Convention in Chicago what many of them didn?

Specifically , Ribicoff bravely, or perhaps brazenly, went off script and upbraided Mayor Richard Daley and his Chicago political machine to their faces, right in their backyard of the old International Amphitheater, for the behavior of their police force against protestors nearby at Grant Park and on Read more We are reluctant to simply pick divisions in the same order as the previous season.

And we are aware of the Super Bowl hangovers that have inflicted many championship teams over the past decade. The negatives? Not many. There was a bit more outflow than inflow in free agency, which could somewhat impact depth, especially on the DL after rotation pieces Chris Clemons and Red Bryant moved elsewhere Read more Lost to Seattle in the Super Bowl While that fact might very well serve as motivation for this year?

Nevertheless, the Broncos enter with the highest of hopes. After all, Peyton Manning is back Read more After all, each other division member finished beneath. While the road to the playoffs will not be paved as smoothly every year, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Indy might be able to back its way into the postseason if necessary After making the playoffs as the final qualifier and losing in Read more After a slew of defensive injuries early and then a key late-season loss at Carolina cost New Orleans the NFC South championship in , the Saints seem ideally poised to get back to the top of the divisional stack in Last year?

As long as Aaron Rodgers stays healthy, the Packers--despite a few holes on defense--remain the favorite to win their fourth straight NFC North crown. Rodgers pretty much re-established that fact in last year? The Bears and Lions both had late-season leads in Read more The Ravens' slip to last fall suggested more than a Super Bowl hangover, as many key pieces from the title run had either departed or were noticeably on the decline.

Whether or not that might include QB Joe Flacco, entering his 7th season this fall, remains to be seen. Yes, Miami won the division in , but that was after Brady was felled in the season opener with a torn ACL. Thus, it? After N. Overlooked entering the season, while the media fawns over more flashy contenders in the NFC East.

Back-and-forth efforts throughout the first half of the season. Then, the gears begin to mesh in December, QB Eli Manning begins to play with confidence, and the G-Men peak at just the right time to storm down the stretch and win the Super Bowl. The above transpired in both the and seasons under HC Tom Coughlin, and, in truth, we don? But it wasn't in the first four Super Bowls, rather in the preseason meetings of thru '69, matchups that took on extra meaning featuring teams going all-out to win, rather than the sterile exercise the modern NFL preseason has become.

We reprise the following story from last year when we recalled how preseason games really meant something in the days when the AFL-NFL rivalry was at its fiercest and boiled the most briskly in those August and early September days of the late '60s It looked like something very good happened late last season with the Sooners, who closed like a freight train with eye-opening wins at Kansas State and Oklahoma State and then outgunning Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

Which partly coincided with then-RS frosh QB Trevor Knight finally taking control of the offense after an uneven season that included just five starts and a knee injury. But as long as the Knight who passed for yards and 4 TDs vs. Mike Stoops? It was a different era in college football when TGS began to publish in No kidding! Indeed, the faceoff between the Owls and Middies would be the only matchup of top ten teams in that postseason.

To further confirm it was a different era, however, all we have to do is Read more Brian Kelly is an impressive in 4 seasons in South Bend, and he? Not many college stadiums have doubled as homes for pro football teams in their histories. And the MAC certainly doesn? But an archaeological dig into the gridiron sub-surface will reveal a time when the MAC and pro football did converge at a most unlikely locale Eastern Michigan?

Now, if you can remember that team, you should probably be due some sort of added bonus Read more Toledo HC Matt Campbell likes his team. In my six years at the University of Toledo, this is the most complete football team we've had,? The Rockets are certainly experienced, as 35 of last season? That unit was responsible for generating 6.

The football history of the American is obviously an abbreviated one, as the league has been in existence for only a year. Effectively an extension of the football-playing portion of the old Big East, now augmented by various Conference USA refugees, the conference itself has little background, although many of the programs in its midst have a rich football tradition that dates back several decades.

Indeed, some of the more important tales in college football lore have been told by American members in the past. The Falcons are coming off their first conference championship since , but the departure of HC Dave Clawson to Wake Forest after 5 years in Bowling Green threw a monkey wrench into the machine. The BG offense was very good last season, ranking 28th nationally at 35 ppg, and that unit returns virtually all its important pieces Read more But don?

Cajuns have gone overall, in Sun Belt games, and in Read more Relatively speaking, there isn? But many of the programs that comprise the league have football storylines that date from decades earlier. Including Southern Miss, which has fielded football teams since interrupted only when not fielding squads during World War I between , and World War II between And since Southern is the only league member that remains from its original collection of schools almost Read more With 14 returning starters fully integrating HC Tommy Tuberville?

After a upset loss at South Florida on Oct. The schedule won? And after being forced to sharpen its skills with tough, high profile non-conference Read more Call it Tulane redux. You remember that Tulane team, right? Tommy Bowden was in his second year as head coach. Almost all of the key players from the Green Wave's team returned, the schedule didn't appear to be demanding, and no team had a clue how to stop offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez's newfangled offense, known today as the spread.

Rice is back, and so is HC David Bailiff, who has stabilized a program that had not experienced much success since the Eisenhower administration. Only the legendary Jess Neely has recorded more bowl visits as Owls coach than Bailiff, whose three postseason trips are two more than the entirety of Rice?

No surprise, then, that Bailiff has been rewarded with deserved contract extensions since, and a loss vs. After all, not many Read more We at TGS have been known to offer impromptu sports movie and book reviews on occasion, but we have never done one of those before the fact. Or, in this case, before a movie has been released So, instead, we? If you don? The subject matter of the new movie is the story of former University of Texas safety Read more After its thumping of two-time defending champion Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, expectations are soaring again in Norman.

HC Bob Stoops and the Sooner Nation hope they have found their answer at QB for the foreseeable future in quick Trevor Knight, who fairly embarrassed the proud Crimson Tide defense in the Superdome, hitting 32 of 44 passes for yards and 4 TDs with only one interception. Although Knight Read more Forgive those from elsewhere who might not think of SEC rivalries beyond the grudge match du jour that is the Iron Bowl between Auburn and Alabama, which has reached new heights in the stratosphere after last season?

Most also know about Florida vs. Georgia and what used to be called the "World? Trust us, however, there are more. Just beneath the surface beats the heart of another rivalry that could erupt in Mount Vesuvius-like fashion at any time. Rivalries, oh 'lawdy , does the SEC have some rivalries! And when you talk about a bucket of hate, stirring it up, and getting napalm, we'll stack up LSU and Ole Miss Read more McCarron, but no team in college football reloads better than the Tide, which is our pick to win the SEC West once again.

Remember, Bama had won its first 11 games and was steaming toward a shot at an unprecedented third straight BCS national title before one of the wildest plays in college football history put an end to the Tide? And Nick Saban? Mastermind Saban--who has brought in the No. We are not approaching an ordinary season in college football. The foundation of college athletics in general is under assault, thanks in good part to the unionization arguments first presented by Northwestern players.

And as relates to the all-powerful SEC, we? And despite losing its QB, top WR and premier defensive player from , the Gamecocks have a very good shot at being in the inaugural four-team College Football Playoff. All of us in the SEC, if we can win our division, win the game in Atlanta, we probably be in that final four,? When Michigan and Ohio State talk about war, they really mean it. Michigan, Ohio, and antagonism have a long history even before the Wolverines and Buckeyes starting to put on their football pads.

Although the chapters between gridiron battles between the latter two can fill books of college football history. Specifically, the? Wiscy HC Gary Andersen isn? He took over in Madison after Bret Bielema made a quick and surprising move to Arkansas last season. Anderson made a very smooth transition, and the Badgers likely deserved a better fate than their mark. A controversial loss at Arizona State when the referees failed to place the ball ready for play in a timely fashion cost Wisconsin a shot at a potential game-winning field goal.

UW outgained Ohio State in Columbus and threw a real scare into the Buckeyes with a second-half rally that fell just short. Head coach Mark Dantonio and defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi got big, fat raises in the offseason. The icing on the cake for Spartan boosters is that Dantonio? Dantonio has already addressed Read more A few years ago, when discussing college football?

In Miami,? The traditional Southerners would gravitate toward the Gators. The young and hip crowd seemed to like Florida State. It had a base of fans, people from the Keys and Read more The question on the minds of all followers of ACC football, beyond if local supermarkets are off limits to Jameis Winston , is if FSU is up for a repeat run at the national championship. Well, here? Many of the Seminoles? Power vacuums are nothing new in the ACC; we recall one such instance not long ago, in the middle of the last decade, when simultaneous downturns by Florida State and Clemson in the Atlantic half of the loop, and Miami stumbling in the Coastal, provided an opening for Jim Grobe?

Similarly, the Coastal half collectively collapsed around Duke last season, allowing the Blue Devils to sneak in and steal the division. And while traditional powers Virginia Tech and Miami try Read more Great Pumpkins and Giant Killers? Sounds more like some kind of a storybook tale than a college football reference, doesn? But for a short and glorious while at Oregon State in the late?

Moreover, those Beavers began to represent more to their fan base than a simple storyline from years gone by. One thing is apparent for UCLA going into this promising campaign. QB and Heisman candidate Brett Hundley is eager to assume more of a leadership role. As if he were not doing enough already.

Last year, Hundley connected on After another dazzling start last season SU; vs. Oregon had scored at least 42 points in winning every game prior to November, reaching 55 or more six times and many times lifting their webbed foot off the accelerator before halftime. Who needed Chip Kelly anyway? But that wasn? There wasn?

But more than a third of Petersen? On the attack end, senior triggerman Cody Fajardo, the successor to Colin Kaepernick and now entering his fourth year running the familiar Pistol formation first introduced by Chris Ault in , is back for an encore. NFL scouts have taken notices of Fajardo? Backup Devin Combs was also hurt in but stepped into the breach to lead a couple of wins Read more Preceding our Mountain West preview is a look back at when a current MWC league member provided an unforgettable storyline in the earliest days of TGS Much like expansion teams in pro sports, fledgling college football programs rarely make a splash on the national scene.

Will Muschamp, Florida Mushchamp barely survived the j meltdown of that was the Gators? Many regional sources expected longtime AD Jeremy Foley to pull the plug, but Foley, who famously hit the eject button on Ron Zook in after just three seasons on the job, resisted temptation, perhaps fearing the sort of revolving door that has stalled progress at Tennessee the past few years. Muschamp, however, walks on the thinnest of ice after recording a pair of non-winning regular-season marks Read more After all, we've been there for the last three chances Funny Cide in , Smarty Jones in , and Big Brown in at the Triple Crown, so we owe it to California Chrome to see if he can achieve what those three champions and countless others couldn't.

For us, the electricity at Belmont Park with a Triple Crown on the line is like no other sporting event we have witnessed in person. Unlike the Kentucky Derby, where average race fans have almost no chance to show up on Derby Day at Churchill Downs and actually see the race, or Pimlico Read more The NFL Draft always brings back plenty of memories.

Especially for this writer, who recalls the days long before the draft became an industry unto itself, and who worked on rudimentary draft previews for the heck of it. We recall the days when the draft festivities would take place almost at the conclusion of the regular season, and then when it would be conducted in late January during the years immediately following the AFL-NFL merger.

Before the advent of ESPN , keeping track of the draft meant waiting for the evening newspaper remember those? The same could be said today about Wisconsin's Ryan, overdue for this award from us after a hard-to-believe string of excellence with the Badgers that includes 13 straight Big Dance trips since taking over from Dick Bennett in , capped by a Final Four appearance this season.

In truth, we would be justified in giving this award to Ryan almost every year. Although we admit Read more Final Four rematches are nothing new. Indeed, we're on the cusp of a fourth meeting between Florida and Kentucky if those two SEC entrants advance to the Monday night championship game.

Which would not be the first time for such a matchup in the title clash. I want to reassure everyone that we will not be changing this beloved publication. Gold Sheet owner Rick Allec and the WagerTalk team plan to build a new mobile-optimized website featuring free content, statistics, matchup data, and odds pages in a streamlined format. I have worked closely with the Gold Sheet team over the years and I am excited to have our core team continue producing the content Gold Sheet readers have trusted for over five decades.

To own something that I have used my entire life could not make me happier. SBC Americas. Martin Lycka: the Americas are calling — welcome, bienvenidos, bem-vindos! Getting regulation ready for the US — Navigating the process of…. Event News.

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In one sense, however, it is definitely not business as usual in the sports gaming arena. While conventions are not the lifeblood of the industry, they have emerged as important markers as the business continues to evolve. Sports gaming has long been a part of the all-encompassing ICE shows which highlight all manners of gambling , on many continents, in recent years.

But like many of these in-person events in various industries, the ICE showcases, which have become grand in scale, have temporarily been forced to re-make themselves as virtual entities. Though it is hoped that other ICE shows slated for can return to their normal in-person selves; the biggest show of them all, ICE London, is tentatively scheduled for next April in a traditional in-person format at the Excel Center.

The corresponding iGB Affiliate Show in London, usually held in conjunction with the larger ICE show, is also targeting a spring date for its traditional show. In the meantime, it will have to be the virtual setting for any industry shows such as this week's ICE North America , which includes various gaming offshoots specific to sport. That storyline meandered through federal court for several years before finally being granted an audience in December of by SCOTUS, which in a landmark decision in May of would rule in favor of the Garden State.

Thanks to the ruling, each state was thus free to establish its own regulated sports betting laws. Subsequent Sports Betting USA conferences have highlighted the evolving sports gaming business in the states and provided valuable insights into the direction of the industry. This includes activities on the periphery of the bookmaking end of the sector. Related businesses, indeed almost any that disseminate and distribute sports information with a gaming slant, are seeking to capitalize on a newer, less-restrictive environment.

For the past couple of years post- PASPA , varieties of these businesses have been sold to eager buyers. The new name of that game, as it has become across many industries, is moving audience ; the more eyes and potential customers that can be transferred via sale, the more valuable the business in the marketplace, regardless of profits. Buyers, if possible, want an existing customer base to cultivate. The larger, the better. Especially for those on the bookmaking end. So it goes for the ongoing news, often head-spinning, that continues to filter from the industry.

Such as the latest reported during the past week in the Wall Street Journal, which in a departure from the pre- PASPA repeal days has been obliged to cover developments within the sports gaming sector due to their sheer magnitude.

Nor do we expect to hear it seriously in the future, even as we enter the era of the College Football Playoff, which announced its four-team field Alabama, Oregon Florida State, Ohio State on Sunday. By its nature, there are always going to be controversies regarding not only the quartet of teams selected, but teams five, six and so forth Read more Flying a bit under the radar are the Purple Aces, who have been on our secondary watch list since the beginning of the season.

Balentine last year's top Valley scorer at Moreover, Villanova transfer G Mislav Brzoja has added another scorer to the mix. There is good spacing on the floor with Egidijus Mockevicius 14 ppg a force to be reckoned with on the blocks Read more As Alex Trebek or, for oldtimers, Art Fleming might have offered as an answer in the? What is now in the rear-view-mirror? Jim Larranaga had to limp through last season with a depleted offense after all starters had departed following the Sweet 16 run from the previous year.

Now it looks as if Larranaga's re-formulated mix has solved some of those issues, as Texas transfer F Sheldon McClellan Miami impressively romped through the field in last week's Charleston Classic, and the new Canes are getting more familiar with Larranaga's defensive schemes, including his pet "scramble" deployment. Miami looks prepared Read more Is this the end of the road for New Jersey and its attempt to legalize sports wagering in the state?

Don't bet on it. The judge stayed consistent with his previous pattern of ruling against the state and in favor Read more It was general knowledge that the Houston Rockets, picking first, would take U of Houston center Akeem before he added the "H" Olajuwon. Following, courtesy of the excellent biography entitled Knigh t, by Bob Hammel, is Knight's recounting of the brief discussion that Read more Talk about the story that never ends! The Garden State? We at TGS feel like we?

But it has been a compelling and important storyline that has demanded our attention over several editorials the past two years. Developments, however, are hardly abating as this story has now morphed into something even bigger than Read more Now he has the sort of material up and down his roster that he has not had in past years. The bigs are not plodders anymore, with Frank Kaminsky one of the unique weapons in the country.

Ryan can thus spread the floor more effectively than ever because all of his players can drive. Moving PF Nigel Hayes into the starting lineup also allows deadeye Sam Dekker to move to his more natural "3" position, which should make the offense really click. The new-look Badgers are more athletic Read more To those who don't believe that pending coaching changes in college football can be distractions to team members, think again. While at various conference media days over the past couple of summers, we have made a point of asking select players at those functions if pending dismissals of their previous coaches was a bit disconcerting to them and others.

And almost all suggested that indeed it was a distraction that they and their teammates and assistant coaches could do without. Especially for teams whose seasons had gone careening out of Read more Rewind to the summer of The basketball world was stunned by Wilt Chamberlain's announcement that he was jumping from the L.

The Lakers would sue, claiming Wilt still owed them the option year of his contract. But the Lakers were just partly successful in their legal challenge, as Chamberlain was only barred from playing for the Qs So, Wilt, to the disbelief of many, became a head coach, albeit in the ABA. Basketball insiders were startled. From this point forward, every Saturday is effectively a? Shakedown Saturday? The upcoming week is no exception, with a few very high-profile battles effectively serving as elimination games and likely having significant implications for the?

Final Four? For us at TGS , however, it? A lost season and another injury-shortened campaign have followed, but if Rose is really back to his former explosive form, it's the Bulls, not the Cavs, that are likely the team to beat in the East. Rose now has a more refined supporting cast, too, as the offseason addition of PF Pau Gasol gives HC Tom Thibodeau two of the best-passing "bigs" in the league, with the ability to shuttle Gasol and Joakim Noah between the Read more Among our favorite exercises each year at TGS are the well-received?

Having been publishing since , we have nearly six decades worth of memories to draw upon and catalog as we deem appropriate, and the? Somewhat coincidentally, the gridiron revival in the Magnolia State immediately brings to mind Read more And here we thought the NFL was the place this fall for scandal and controversy! It turns out that college football is hardly immune to such developments, either, thanks to a couple of late-week storylines that include enough intrigue to trigger significant repercussions perhaps even beyond the fall.

The beneficiaries of recent news are conspiracy theorists, who have just been thrown some red meat from a pair of stories in the Sunshine State. Well , if they? Appropriately, perhaps, oral arguments in the Garden State? US District Court Judge Michael Shipp has granted a request from attorneys in the case for additional time, although reply briefs from the state are still Read more We look forward to the rematch of last year?

Interestingly, normally unhittable Dodger ace Clayton Kershaw was anything but in playoffs vs. But even with Kershaw in untouchable form, the Dodgers performed in an uneven manner much of the campaign, barely getting above. Mercurial OF Read more Here we go Chris Christie have mounted another less-publicized assault, with plenty of implications for the league While seeking an editorial beacon of sorts to help us draw our intended analogy to recent events, we came across a passage in the thought-provoking best-selling book , Breach of Trust , authored in by Andrew J.

Bacevich, a professor of history and international relations at Boston U who earlier served 23 years as an officer in the U. Bacevich is also a renowned military scholar who has rattled the cages of many conventional thinkers regarding not only the role of the modern armed forces, but a blunt observation of its present-day embrace by American society. More specifically, Bacevich believes that the public has, for the most part Read more Brady Hoke, Michigan Big Ten sources almost unanimously acknowledged that Hoke was under the gun entering Al Borges under the bus and replacing him with Alabama?

While the opening win over App State was encouraging, it was the second game vs. Notre Dame that figured to be the first real barometer of the new Nussmeier offense. Unfortunately Read more Kansas City 8 got off its eyebrow-raising start in , with Andy Reid pushing all the right buttons and Alex Smith flashing some Montana-esque form. But last season? And, one must ask,? Every once in a while, we experience an?

Abe Ribicoff moment? Ribicoff, if you recall, was the U. Senator from Connecticut who famously, and forcefully, told the assembled masses at the Democratic Convention in Chicago what many of them didn? Specifically , Ribicoff bravely, or perhaps brazenly, went off script and upbraided Mayor Richard Daley and his Chicago political machine to their faces, right in their backyard of the old International Amphitheater, for the behavior of their police force against protestors nearby at Grant Park and on Read more We are reluctant to simply pick divisions in the same order as the previous season.

And we are aware of the Super Bowl hangovers that have inflicted many championship teams over the past decade. The negatives? Not many. There was a bit more outflow than inflow in free agency, which could somewhat impact depth, especially on the DL after rotation pieces Chris Clemons and Red Bryant moved elsewhere Read more Lost to Seattle in the Super Bowl While that fact might very well serve as motivation for this year?

Nevertheless, the Broncos enter with the highest of hopes. After all, Peyton Manning is back Read more After all, each other division member finished beneath. While the road to the playoffs will not be paved as smoothly every year, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Indy might be able to back its way into the postseason if necessary After making the playoffs as the final qualifier and losing in Read more After a slew of defensive injuries early and then a key late-season loss at Carolina cost New Orleans the NFC South championship in , the Saints seem ideally poised to get back to the top of the divisional stack in Last year?

As long as Aaron Rodgers stays healthy, the Packers--despite a few holes on defense--remain the favorite to win their fourth straight NFC North crown. Rodgers pretty much re-established that fact in last year? The Bears and Lions both had late-season leads in Read more The Ravens' slip to last fall suggested more than a Super Bowl hangover, as many key pieces from the title run had either departed or were noticeably on the decline.

Whether or not that might include QB Joe Flacco, entering his 7th season this fall, remains to be seen. Yes, Miami won the division in , but that was after Brady was felled in the season opener with a torn ACL. Thus, it? After N. Overlooked entering the season, while the media fawns over more flashy contenders in the NFC East. Back-and-forth efforts throughout the first half of the season. Then, the gears begin to mesh in December, QB Eli Manning begins to play with confidence, and the G-Men peak at just the right time to storm down the stretch and win the Super Bowl.

The above transpired in both the and seasons under HC Tom Coughlin, and, in truth, we don? But it wasn't in the first four Super Bowls, rather in the preseason meetings of thru '69, matchups that took on extra meaning featuring teams going all-out to win, rather than the sterile exercise the modern NFL preseason has become. We reprise the following story from last year when we recalled how preseason games really meant something in the days when the AFL-NFL rivalry was at its fiercest and boiled the most briskly in those August and early September days of the late '60s It looked like something very good happened late last season with the Sooners, who closed like a freight train with eye-opening wins at Kansas State and Oklahoma State and then outgunning Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

Which partly coincided with then-RS frosh QB Trevor Knight finally taking control of the offense after an uneven season that included just five starts and a knee injury. But as long as the Knight who passed for yards and 4 TDs vs.

Mike Stoops? It was a different era in college football when TGS began to publish in No kidding! Indeed, the faceoff between the Owls and Middies would be the only matchup of top ten teams in that postseason. To further confirm it was a different era, however, all we have to do is Read more Brian Kelly is an impressive in 4 seasons in South Bend, and he? Not many college stadiums have doubled as homes for pro football teams in their histories. And the MAC certainly doesn?

But an archaeological dig into the gridiron sub-surface will reveal a time when the MAC and pro football did converge at a most unlikely locale Eastern Michigan? Now, if you can remember that team, you should probably be due some sort of added bonus Read more Toledo HC Matt Campbell likes his team. In my six years at the University of Toledo, this is the most complete football team we've had,?

The Rockets are certainly experienced, as 35 of last season? That unit was responsible for generating 6. The football history of the American is obviously an abbreviated one, as the league has been in existence for only a year. Effectively an extension of the football-playing portion of the old Big East, now augmented by various Conference USA refugees, the conference itself has little background, although many of the programs in its midst have a rich football tradition that dates back several decades.

Indeed, some of the more important tales in college football lore have been told by American members in the past. The Falcons are coming off their first conference championship since , but the departure of HC Dave Clawson to Wake Forest after 5 years in Bowling Green threw a monkey wrench into the machine. The BG offense was very good last season, ranking 28th nationally at 35 ppg, and that unit returns virtually all its important pieces Read more But don?

Cajuns have gone overall, in Sun Belt games, and in Read more Relatively speaking, there isn? But many of the programs that comprise the league have football storylines that date from decades earlier. Including Southern Miss, which has fielded football teams since interrupted only when not fielding squads during World War I between , and World War II between And since Southern is the only league member that remains from its original collection of schools almost Read more With 14 returning starters fully integrating HC Tommy Tuberville?

After a upset loss at South Florida on Oct. The schedule won? And after being forced to sharpen its skills with tough, high profile non-conference Read more Call it Tulane redux. You remember that Tulane team, right? Tommy Bowden was in his second year as head coach. Almost all of the key players from the Green Wave's team returned, the schedule didn't appear to be demanding, and no team had a clue how to stop offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez's newfangled offense, known today as the spread.

Rice is back, and so is HC David Bailiff, who has stabilized a program that had not experienced much success since the Eisenhower administration. Only the legendary Jess Neely has recorded more bowl visits as Owls coach than Bailiff, whose three postseason trips are two more than the entirety of Rice? No surprise, then, that Bailiff has been rewarded with deserved contract extensions since, and a loss vs.

After all, not many Read more We at TGS have been known to offer impromptu sports movie and book reviews on occasion, but we have never done one of those before the fact. Or, in this case, before a movie has been released So, instead, we? If you don? The subject matter of the new movie is the story of former University of Texas safety Read more After its thumping of two-time defending champion Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, expectations are soaring again in Norman.

HC Bob Stoops and the Sooner Nation hope they have found their answer at QB for the foreseeable future in quick Trevor Knight, who fairly embarrassed the proud Crimson Tide defense in the Superdome, hitting 32 of 44 passes for yards and 4 TDs with only one interception. Although Knight Read more Forgive those from elsewhere who might not think of SEC rivalries beyond the grudge match du jour that is the Iron Bowl between Auburn and Alabama, which has reached new heights in the stratosphere after last season?

Most also know about Florida vs. Georgia and what used to be called the "World? Trust us, however, there are more. Just beneath the surface beats the heart of another rivalry that could erupt in Mount Vesuvius-like fashion at any time.

Rivalries, oh 'lawdy , does the SEC have some rivalries! And when you talk about a bucket of hate, stirring it up, and getting napalm, we'll stack up LSU and Ole Miss Read more McCarron, but no team in college football reloads better than the Tide, which is our pick to win the SEC West once again. Remember, Bama had won its first 11 games and was steaming toward a shot at an unprecedented third straight BCS national title before one of the wildest plays in college football history put an end to the Tide?

And Nick Saban? Mastermind Saban--who has brought in the No. We are not approaching an ordinary season in college football. The foundation of college athletics in general is under assault, thanks in good part to the unionization arguments first presented by Northwestern players. And as relates to the all-powerful SEC, we? And despite losing its QB, top WR and premier defensive player from , the Gamecocks have a very good shot at being in the inaugural four-team College Football Playoff.

All of us in the SEC, if we can win our division, win the game in Atlanta, we probably be in that final four,? When Michigan and Ohio State talk about war, they really mean it. Michigan, Ohio, and antagonism have a long history even before the Wolverines and Buckeyes starting to put on their football pads. Although the chapters between gridiron battles between the latter two can fill books of college football history. Specifically, the?

Wiscy HC Gary Andersen isn? He took over in Madison after Bret Bielema made a quick and surprising move to Arkansas last season. Anderson made a very smooth transition, and the Badgers likely deserved a better fate than their mark.

A controversial loss at Arizona State when the referees failed to place the ball ready for play in a timely fashion cost Wisconsin a shot at a potential game-winning field goal. UW outgained Ohio State in Columbus and threw a real scare into the Buckeyes with a second-half rally that fell just short. Head coach Mark Dantonio and defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi got big, fat raises in the offseason. The icing on the cake for Spartan boosters is that Dantonio?

Dantonio has already addressed Read more A few years ago, when discussing college football? In Miami,? The traditional Southerners would gravitate toward the Gators. The young and hip crowd seemed to like Florida State. It had a base of fans, people from the Keys and Read more The question on the minds of all followers of ACC football, beyond if local supermarkets are off limits to Jameis Winston , is if FSU is up for a repeat run at the national championship.

Well, here? Many of the Seminoles? Power vacuums are nothing new in the ACC; we recall one such instance not long ago, in the middle of the last decade, when simultaneous downturns by Florida State and Clemson in the Atlantic half of the loop, and Miami stumbling in the Coastal, provided an opening for Jim Grobe?

Similarly, the Coastal half collectively collapsed around Duke last season, allowing the Blue Devils to sneak in and steal the division. And while traditional powers Virginia Tech and Miami try Read more Great Pumpkins and Giant Killers? Sounds more like some kind of a storybook tale than a college football reference, doesn? But for a short and glorious while at Oregon State in the late? Moreover, those Beavers began to represent more to their fan base than a simple storyline from years gone by.

One thing is apparent for UCLA going into this promising campaign. QB and Heisman candidate Brett Hundley is eager to assume more of a leadership role. As if he were not doing enough already.