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All taxonomy terms: Carolina Panthers, NFC, NFC South, NFL
Path: /nfl/carolina-panthers-2013-schedule-analysis
Body:

The Carolina Panthers finished strong last season, winning their last four games. Can Cam Newton lead his team to the playoffs in his third season? Here's our look at the Panthers' 2013 NFL schedule.

Carolina Panthers 2013 Schedule:

Week 1: Seattle
Week 2: at Buffalo
Week 3: New York Giants
Week 4: BYE
Week 5: at Arizona
Week 6: at Minnesota
Week 7: St. Louis
Week 8: at Tampa Bay (Thurs.)
Week 9: Atlanta
Week 10: at San Francisco
Week 11: New England (Mon.)
Week 12: at Miami
Week 13: Tampa Bay
Week 14: at New Orleans
Week 15: New York Jets
Week 16: New Orleans
Week 17: at Atlanta

Order your 2013 Carolina Panthers Athlon Sports NFL Preview magazine

Out of the Gate: Carolina fans should be happy with their team's opening month slate since it means Seattle and the New York Giants will both be coming to Charlotte. But then again, the fans aren't the ones who have to play these two NFC powerhouses. Sandwiched between these two home contests is a trip up north to face Buffalo. The Panthers' bye comes in Week 4, meaning they will have to play 13 straight weeks starting Oct. 6.

Toughest Stretch: Crossover play with the AFC East and NFC West is one thing, but when the schedule lines up three straight division champions from last season in a row? That's what the Panthers are facing in November with Atlanta (home), San Francisco (away) and New England on tap in Weeks 9-11. To add to the degree of difficulty, the Falcons game is preceded by a Thursday night road game at Tampa Bay in Week 8, and then there's the matter of the cross-country trip to play the 49ers on their turf. At least the matchup with the Patriots gives Cam Newton and company an opportunity to play in the "Monday Night Football" spotlight.

Swing Games: NYG (Week 3), at MIN (Week 6)
Crossover Divisions: AFC East, NFC West
Bye Week: Week 4
Opp. 2012 W/L %: .543 (1st)
Athlon's SOS Rank: 13th

Easiest Stretch: Carolina's home schedule is pretty brutal (Seattle, New York Giants, St. Louis, Atlanta, New England, Tampa Bay, New York Jets and New Orleans), so it's kind of unfair that the Panthers' "easiest" games are on the road. Buffalo, Arizona, Minnesota and Miami are the non-divisional destinations and could present opportunities to come up with big road wins. The matchups with the Cardinals and Vikings come back-to-back following the Panthers' bye in Week 4, so I guess that will have to suffice for this exercise. The bottom line is this - there are very few breathers on this schedule for head coach Ron Rivera and his team.

Circle The Calendar: No lack of options here. The opener with Seattle will be intriguing because of the matchup between the Seahawks' defense and Newton. There's also the Week 10 trip to San Francisco, which will feature the 49ers' Colin Kaepernick and Newton, who are similar in their playing style, athleticism and dual-threat ability, on the same field. (Although the 49ers' defense figures to be a much tougher test for Newton compared to the Panthers' D for Kaepernick.) And if that's not enough, the following week will highlight quarterbacks with totally contrasting playing styles, as Tom Brady and the Patriots pay a visit to Charlotte for "Monday Night Football."

Divisional Notes: The Panthers don't play an NFC South opponent until a Thursday night date in Tampa Bay in Week 8. That means six of Carolina's final 10 games are divisional contests, highlighted by two against New Orleans in a three-week span (Weeks 14 and 16). That first game against the Buccaneers is followed by a home date with Atlanta, while the second meeting precedes a road game in New Orleans. In addition to playing the Saints twice in a three-week span, the Panthers have the daunting task of finishing their regular season in the Georgia Dome against the Falcons.

Playoff Push: A playoff berth in Newton's and Rivera's third season would be a huge statement for this team. However, Carolina's tough schedule may make this goal too hard to accomplish, even if the Panthers put together another strong final month like they did last season when they won their final four games. The last month of this season has the Panthers playing four divisional games, including two against New Orleans, along with a rare visit from the New York Jets. With four of its six divisional contests set for December, it's entirely possible that Carolina could have a fighting chance at a playoff spot, provided this team is able to survive the first three months of the season.

Fantasy Playoff Run (Weeks 14-16): In an interesting schedule quirk, the Panthers get the Saints twice in a three-week span, sandwiched by a visit from the Jets. If Cam Newton continues to make strides as a passer, he will get two shots at the defense that surrendered the most fantasy points to QBs and WRs last season. A different plan of attack may be employed against the Jets, who finished 26th against the run.


2013 Athlon Sports NFL team-by-team schedule analysis:

AFC East AFC North AFC South AFC West
Buffalo Baltimore Houston (6/19) Denver (6/18)
Miami (6/25) Cincinnati Indianapolis (6/20) Kansas City (6/24)
New England (6/26) Cleveland (6/17) Jacksonville (6/21) Oakland (6/28)
NY Jets (6/27) Pittsburgh (7/1) Tennessee (7/3) San Diego (7/2)
       
NFC East NFC North NFC South NFC West
Dallas (6/18) Chicago (6/17) Atlanta Arizona
NY Giants (6/25) Detroit (6/19) Carolina St. Louis (6/27)
Philadelphia (6/26) Green Bay (6/20) New Orleans (6/24) San Francisco (6/28)
Washington (7/3) Minnesota (6/21) Tampa Bay (7/2) Seattle (7/1)

Other Related NFL Content:

Ranking the NFL's Toughest Schedules of 2013
10 Things Every Fan Should Know about the 2013 NFL Schedule

Teaser:
<p> Carolina Panthers 2013 Schedule Analysis</p>
Post date: Friday, June 14, 2013 - 11:50
All taxonomy terms: AFC, AFC North, Cincinnati Bengals, NFL
Path: /nfl/cincinnati-bengals-2013-schedule-analysis
Body:

The Cincinnati Bengals have made the playoffs four times since 1990, but three of those four have come in the last four seasons. This franchise is looking to take the next step in the postseason this fall. And since scheduling plays a huge role in the outcome of every NFL season, Athlon is analyzing every team's 16-game slate.

Cincinnati Bengals 2013 Schedule:

Week 1: at Chicago
Week 2: Pittsburgh (Mon.)
Week 3: Green Bay
Week 4: at Cleveland
Week 5: New England
Week 6: at Buffalo
Week 7: at Detroit
Week 8: New York Jets
Week 9: at Miami (Thurs.)
Week 10: at Baltimore
Week 11: Cleveland
Week 12: BYE
Week 13: at San Diego
Week 14: Indianapolis
Week 15: at Pittsburgh
Week 16: Minnesota
Week 17: Baltimore

Order your 2013 Cincinnati Bengals Athlon Sports NFL Preview magazine

Out of the Gate: Few teams will begin the season like the Bengals in 2013. The first five weeks of the season have to be the league's toughest opening slate and the first three weeks are definitely the NFL's most difficult opening. Home games with Pittsburgh, Green Bay (after a short week) and New England coupled with road games against Chicago and Cleveland offer as nasty a first month as there is in the NFL. And two of these contests are divisional games that will likely decide playoff seeding come the season's end.

Toughest Stretch: The final month of the season won't be any easier for Marvin Lewis and company. Road games with San Diego and Pittsburgh will be tough and three other playoff teams from a year ago — Indianapolis, Minnesota and Baltimore — will come to Paul Brown Stadium during the season's most important month. Not only are two of those tests against divisional foes, but this slate also includes four AFC teams that figure to battle for a postseason berth.

Swing Games: at SD (Week 13), IND (Week 14)
Crossover Divisions: AFC East, NFC North
Bye Week: Week 12
Opp. 2012 W/L %: .508 (12th)
Athlon's SOS Rank: 4th

Easiest Stretch: With the AFC's toughest schedule according to Athlon Sports, there are few breaks in '13 for the Bengals. But there is a four-week stretch in the heart of the season that will allow this team catch its breath. Three of them are on the road but Cincy should be favored heavily in all four. Fans of the Bills, Lions, Jets and Dolphins can't possibly be expecting to make the playoffs this fall, can they?

Circle The Calendar: Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers, Big Ben and Adrian Peterson are all coming to Cincinnati this year (buy your season tickets now, folks). But when the defending Super Bowl champs roll into town for the regular-season finale, all eyes will be on Paul Brown Stadium. The AFC North championship and/or a wild card berth should be on the line, providing a fitting end to the regular season.

Divisional Notes: The AFC North could be the most balanced and deepest division in the AFC this fall (sorry, Browns fans). The good news is the Bengals will get extra time to prepare for both Pittsburgh in Week 2 (Monday night) and the trip to Baltimore in Week 10 (Thursday night game in Miami the previous week). The bad news is the Bengals will play at Pittsburgh and will host Baltimore over the final three weeks of the season. This does afford the team a chance to win the division on its own. However, it also means the division favorite (Steelers) and the defending Super Bowl champs could control their own destiny as well. Much will hang in the balance in the final three weeks for Cincinnati.

Playoff Push: As the "toughest stretch" shows, the final month of the season will be brutal for the Bengals. The two division games are massive but a potential wild card showdown with Indianapolis and visit from the developing Vikings and All-Day are just as difficult. The good news is three of the final four contests will come at home, including the all-important regular season finale against the Ravens.

Buy your 2013 Athlon Sports Fantasy Football Preview Magazine

Fantasy Playoff Run (Weeks 14-16): A visit to Heinz Field, especially considering that the Steelers were No. 1 in the NFL in both total and passing defense last season, is not what you want to see on a fantasy postseason schedule. What there is to like: the two home games against Indianapolis and Minnesota. The Colts’ and Vikings’ defenses are not the second coming of the Steel Curtain, as evidenced by their 21st and 24th rankings, respectively, against the pass last season.


2013 Athlon Sports NFL team-by-team schedule analysis:

AFC East AFC North AFC South AFC West
Buffalo Baltimore Houston (6/19) Denver (6/18)
Miami (6/25) Cincinnati Indianapolis (6/20) Kansas City (6/24)
New England (6/26) Cleveland (6/17) Jacksonville (6/21) Oakland (6/28)
NY Jets (6/27) Pittsburgh (7/1) Tennessee (7/3) San Diego (7/2)
       
NFC East NFC North NFC South NFC West
Dallas (6/18) Chicago (6/17) Atlanta Arizona
NY Giants (6/25) Detroit (6/19) Carolina St. Louis (6/27)
Philadelphia (6/26) Green Bay (6/20) New Orleans (6/24) San Francisco (6/28)
Washington (7/3) Minnesota (6/21) Tampa Bay (7/2) Seattle (7/1)


Other Related NFL Content:

Ranking the NFL's Toughest Schedules of 2013
10 Things Every Fan Should Know about the 2013 NFL Schedule

Teaser:
<p> Cincinnati Bengals 2013 Schedule Analysis</p>
Post date: Friday, June 14, 2013 - 11:50
Path: /nascar/nascar-heads-michigan-mourns-loss-jason-leffler
Body:

1. Reflecting on Jason Leffler, forever a hard charger
News of Jason Leffler’s death after a New Jersey sprint car crash ran fast, far and wide this week. His passing is, as it too often becomes, a startling reminder that race car drivers don’t compete in an arena like most other athletes.

Racing isn’t just entertainment. It’s a way of life — an often difficult one — for those who pursue it. For every NASCAR national series driver traveling by jet and racing in front of tens of thousands, there are hundreds of others hopefully scraping enough dollars together for new tires every few races or working through the night to make repairs from the last time out.

They do it for the thrill of a well-executed pass, or to feel the joy of victory lane one more time. They do it for the speed, for the rush and for the adventure that’s forever locked inside the walled confines of a racetrack only available to those who work hard enough to enter. It’s an event of open participation, but an experience only a select few ever try.

I didn’t know Jason Leffler, and I never interviewed him. I won’t pretend to know what motivated him to slide in a race car for the first time so long ago, or know what he was seeking from racing Wednesday night at Bridgeport Speedway in an event that paid $7,000 to win. I just know that Jason Leffler was a race car driver in the purest sense with a style both brash and unbounded.

He pushed limits and occasionally stepped over them. He was unflinchingly aggressive when a gap opened — often to a fault — and was more than willing to seek retribution against a driver who had done him wrong. If Jason Leffler was in a race, you more than likely knew it regardless if he was first or 25th.

It all combined to produce in Leffler the status and goal every racer wishes to achieve: Winner.

Leffler didn’t win as often as he liked — no driver ever does — but he was a four-time champion in the USAC ranks in midget and silver crown cars. He started the Indianapolis 500 and he did score trips to victory lane in both the Nationwide Series and NASCAR’s truck series.

It was after his second and final Nationwide Series race win in 2007 at the former Indianapolis Raceway Park that perhaps told us all we need to know about why Leffler spent the majority of his life scrambling across the country to jump behind a steering wheel. Leffler, who had just beat Greg Biffle and David Reutimann using his standard strong-nosed tactics, went through the usual gratuitous crew and sponsor acknowledgements in the post-race interview before he paused, looked directly to the ESPN interviewer and shouted.

“I’m happy!”

Jason Leffler loved his life of racing. And he especially loved the winning. It’s terribly unfortunate and greatly saddening that he lost his life in that continued pursuit. But it’s also comforting knowing that Leffler — at least occasionally — had found what he was chasing.


2. Anniversary brings talk of Dale Earnhardt Jr.
You may have read Dale Earnhardt Jr. won at Michigan International Speedway last June. You may have heard that Sunday’s race is the one-year anniversary of Earnhardt’s last win. You may have also heard that the confluence of that event with Earnhardt’s great run at Pocono Raceway last week have made him a good pick for Sunday’s race.

While picking a race winner is often a trivial pursuit (unless you’re picking Jimmie Johnson every week), there are a lot of signs that Earnhardt should have a good car Sunday in Michigan.

Consider that Earnhardt had a top-10 finish at Auto Club Speedway earlier this season. Consider that he’s typically been strong on the tracks similar to Michigan this year. And consider that Earnhardt feels his car is measuring closer to the performance of the No. 48.

“I looked through the notes from last year, and we didn’t unload perfect. We had to work to get it right,” Earnhardt said. “You don’t go in with confidence that you are going to go there and it will be perfect. You have the confidence to know that we will get it dialed in.”

A win last year is certainly no guarantee of success for Earnhardt. But to come back to a track as a defending race winner riding the wave of confidence from recent good runs is a great start to a solid weekend.


3. Ride swaps on tap for Allmendinger, Labonte
Bobby Labonte has become an afterthought in the Sprint Cup Series in recent seasons. After filling the seat vacated by Marcos Ambrose in the JTG-Daughtery No. 47 in 2011, Labonte has just four top 10s to his name. None of those have come in 2013 for the 2000 series champion, and the team apparently is losing some patience with the direction to this point.

As a result, AJ Allmendinger was hired to drive the No. 47 Sunday at Michigan in an attempt to perhaps find some solutions to speed and handling issues in the Gen-6 car. Sunday’s event is the first of five races Allmendinger will drive for the team over the course of the season.

Meanwhile, Labonte will preserve his 702-race consecutive starts streak by jumping in the ever-rotating seat of James Finch’s No. 51.

While it’s not certain that this driver switch for the No. 47 officially opens the NASCAR silly season of driver and team changes, it’s not often that one driver takes over another driver’s ride for performance reasons — even if temporarily — without some larger adjustment down the road.
 

Teaser:
<p> Geoffrey Miller pays tribute to Jason Leffler and highlights the five storylines to follow as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits Michigan International Speedway.</p>
Post date: Friday, June 14, 2013 - 11:40
All taxonomy terms: MLB
Path: /mlb/mlbs-best-according-players
Body:

At the end of each MLB season, baseball writers cast their votes for MVP, Cy Young, Rookie and other award winners. But have you ever wondered who the players think is the best in the game?

We did and that's why Athlon Sports polled today's players on who they think is the best when it comes to certain categories, such as best pure hitter, best defender and best baserunner. These questions were part of a larger survey through which we gauged the opinions, tastes and preferences of today's players on a variety of topics related to both on and off-field issues. More than a fifth of all MLB players responded for this survey, which appears in full in the upcoming June issue of Athlon Sports Magazine, so we feel this is a fair representation of the mindset of today’s major-leaguers.

Best Pure Hitter?
(Numbers following name represent the percentage of the vote player received)

1. Miguel Cabrera, 3B, Detroit (61.0%)
2. Robinson Cano, 2B, New York Yankees (6.2%)
3. Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati (5.5%)
4. Joe Mauer, C, Minnesota (4.8%)
T-5. Ryan Braun, OF, Milwaukee (4.1%)
T-5. Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels (4.1%)
7. Albert Pujols, 1B/DH, Los Angeles Angels
(3.4%)

No one should be surprised that Cabrera, the reigning AL Triple Crown winner and MVP, was the runaway winner here. The Tigers' slugger is leading the majors in both batting average and RBIs once again and at his current pace, he would top his Triple Crown-winning numbers from last season. In 2012, Cabrera posted the following line: .330-44-139. Through 64 games this season, he's batting .358 and is on pace to finish with 45 home runs and 174 RBIs, along with 129 runs scored (109 last year) and 101 walks (just 66 in 2012).

If there were any surprises in this vote, it's probably that Mauer, a catcher by trade, finished fourth and Mike Trout, who is in his first full season in the majors, came in tied for fifth with 2011 NL MVP Ryan Braun. Mauer, now in his 10th season, is a career .323 hitter who currently is third in the AL with a .332 average. On the other hand, Trout has played in less than 250 career games and is eight years younger than anyone else on this list. Trout is 21 years old, Braun and Joey Votto are the next youngest at 29. Trout's career batting average currently stands at .304, but it's obvious his peers like what they see from the young superstar at the plate.

Related: 10 Baseball Players Who Would Make Great Managers

Best Baserunner

1. Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels (19.3%)
2. Michael Bourn, OF, Cleveland (13.1%)
3. Dee Gordon, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers (9.7%)
4. Peter Bourjos, OF, Los Angeles Angels (8.3%)
T-5. Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates (4.8%)
T-5. Ben Revere, OF, Philadelphia (4.8%)
7. Emilio Bonifacio, 2B/OF, Toronto (4.1%)
T-8. Jarrod Dyson, OF, Kansas City (3.4%)
T-8. Tony Campana, OF, Arizona (3.4%)

There's that Trout kid again. The AL Rookie of the Year and MVP runner-up to Miguel Cabrera last season, Trout led the league in stolen bases in 2012 with 49 in just 139 games. He's added 14 more this season and has been caught just eight times in 75 career attempts (89 percent success rate).

Bourn averaged 53 steals a season from 2008-12 and McCutchen has swiped at least 20 in each of his first four full seasons. Outside of these three, however, there are no other All-Stars among the top vote getters. Bourjos and Revere see plenty of playing time for their respective teams, but Bonifacio and Dyson (who is currently on the DL) are part-time players, while Campana and Gordon are currently in the minor leagues.

Best Defender

1. Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis (13.5%)
2. Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels (10.6%)

3. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS, Cleveland (9.2%)
4. Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado (5.7%)
5. Brendan Ryan, SS/2B, Seattle (5.0%)
T-6. Adrian Beltre, 3B, Texas (4.3%)
T-6. Brandon Phillips, 2B, Cincinnati (4.3%)
8. Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pittsburgh (3.6%)

A five-time Gold Glove recipient, Molina's reputation as the best defensive catcher in baseball is well established and it's clear his work doesn't go unnoticed by his peers. His defense and ability to shut down a team's running game have been critical to the Cardinals' pitching success during his tenure in St. Louis. His defensive contributions go beyond his glove, as he often will direct the positioning of the other fielders from behind the plate.

Trout's range and athleticism have already produced a number of highlight-reel catches and more than likely will net the young outfielder a Gold Glove in the near future, perhaps as early as this season. Cabrera has yet to take home any hardware for his defense, but he's put together a nice collection of "Web Gems" for his wizardry at shortstop. Beltre has won four Gold Gloves at third while Phillips has three at second and has turned the over-the-shoulder catch into an art form. It's also nice to see that players respect defense on its own, as evidenced by Ryan's inclusion in this list. The Mariners' versatile middle infielder is as slick and smooth as they come with the glove, which is a good thing considering Ryan is hitting just .210 this season.

Best Throwing Catcher

1. Yadier Molina, St. Louis (65.5%)
2. Matt Wieters, Baltimore (7.6%)
3. Joe Mauer, Minnesota (5.5%)
4. Sal Perez, Kansas City (3.5%)
5. Miguel Olivo, Miami (2.8%)

No real surprise here. For his career, Molina has cut down nearly half (45 percent) of the baserunners who have tried to steal on him. His reputation alone is enough to cause would-be base stealers to shorten their lead from first, making the pitcher's job of holding them close that much easier.

While he has not developed into the offensive player many expected, Wieters has been every bit as good as advertised behind the plate. The winner of the last two Gold Gloves in the AL, the Orioles' backstop has nailed more than half (52 percent) of those attempting to steal thus far. Mauer's defense can get lost because of his ability as a hitter, but he's won three Gold Gloves (2008-10) and has shown he's more than capable at first base too. Perez is only 23 years old, while Olivo is a 12-year veteran who has played for six different teams and has thrown out 34 percent of those attempting to steal in his career (1,041 GP at C).

Best Outfield Arm

1. Jeff Francoeur, Kansas City (16.6%)
2. Rick Ankiel, Free Agent (15.4%)
3. Gerrardo Parra, Diamondbacks (6.3%)
T-4. Jose Bautista, Toronto (5.6%)
T-4. Carlos Gonzalez (right), Colorado (5.6%)
6. Shin-Soo Choo, Cincinnati (4.9%)
T-7. Nelson Cruz, Texas (2.8%)
T-7. Bryce Harper, Washington (2.8%)

Francoeur has a cannon for an arm, which he has used to rack up 119 outfield assists in his nine-year career. Unfortunately, it appears that his days as a full-time player are over. Unable to successfully hit the catcher's mitt from 60 feet, six inches, Ankiel found more use for his howitzer of a left arm when he moved from the pitcher's mound to the outfield. He's currently looking for a job following his release by the Mets, the second team (Astros) he's played for this season.

Parra has finally gotten a chance to showcase his all-around game this season with the Diamondbacks, while Bautista and Gonzalez have big arms to go with their big bats. Even though he's currently on the DL with a knee issue, Harper will more than likely continue to rise on this list in the years to come.

Best Pickoff Move

1. Andy Pettitte, SP, New York Yankees (40.6%)
2. Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers (12.6%)
3. Mark Buehrle, SP, Toronto (10.5%)
4. Clayton Richard, SP, San Digeo (7.7%)
5. Travis Blackley, RP, Houston (5.6%)
6. James Shields, SP, Kansas City (4.9%)
7. Chris Capuano, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers (3.5%)

Pettitte, who will turn 41 on Saturday, may be one of the oldest players in the majors, but that doesn't mean he still can't teach the young guys a thing or two. The active pitcher with the most wins (250), Pettitte has 97 career pickoffs in his 18 seasons. Kershaw is 16 years younger than Pettitte, but he already has one Cy Young award to his credit and he has 40 career pickoffs so far.

One thing all these pitchers have in common, with the exception of Shields, is they are left-handed, giving them a natural sight line of the man on first as they get ready to deliver the pitch. Even though Blackley is a southpaw, his inclusion is interesting as he is by far the least accomplished pitcher on this list. Currently a reliever for Houston, Blackley has started games for Seattle, Oakland and San Francisco, and his career record stands at 7-7 with a 5.25 ERA. So why did he get the fifth-most votes you ask? How about seven pickoffs last season in less than 108 innings pitched. Obviously that got the attention of his peers, not to mention a few votes.

Related MLB Content:

10 Baseball Players Who Would Make Great Managers

Teaser:
<p> MLB players cast their vote for who they think is the best on the diamond</p>
Post date: Friday, June 14, 2013 - 11:15
All taxonomy terms: Phil Mickelson, Golf
Path: /golf/phil-mickelsons-greatest-hits
Body:

Phil Mickelson had perhaps the greatest round of a great career, shooting a final-round 66 to win the British Open by three shots after starting the day five behind leader Lee Westwood. One key to the victory was his laser 3-wood second shot to the par-5 17th that set up a two-putt birdie. It was the latest in a career defined by heroic shots.

Sure, he's lost his share of tournaments, many of them in heartbreaking fashion. But he's also escaped from disaster countless times with creative flops, clutch putts and a nearly unmatched flair for the dramatic.

Here's a video rundown of some of Mickelson's greatest moments - 11 of the greatest golf shots of his remarkable career, starting with the 2013 Open Championship.

 

11. 2013 British Open

Phil's monster 3-wood second shot on the massive par-5 17th at Muirfield was the key moment of his career-defining round.

 

10. 2011 Farmers Insurance Open
Only Phil would treat us to the spectacle of having caddy Bones Mackay tend the pin on an approach shot from the fairway.

 

9. 2012 HP Byron Nelson Championship
Mickelson's the ultimate shot-shaper, which he proved with this bender around the trees at the Byron Nelson.

 

8. 2009 Tour Championship
For Mickelson, this was a routine chip-in, but given the circumstances — it clinched his Tour Championship win — it makes the list.

 

7. 2008 Crowne Plaza Invitational
Another stunning escape from the trees. All in a day's work.

 

6. 2009 Doral
Once was not enough. Lefty displayed his short-game mastery with consecutive chip-ins at Doral.

 

5. 2012 Masters
Phil's known for his flop shot, but from this position? Under Masters pressure? Sick.

 

4. 2010 BMW
Sometimes, it's preferable for fans (and for Phil) when he misses the green.

 

3. 2000 Chevron World Challenge
Only Phil would even think to attempt this bizarre shot, much less pull it off — a chip-in on an ice-littered green.

 

2. 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open
Mickelson broke Brandt Snedeker's heart with this bomb through the fringe and down the slope on No. 7 in the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

 

1. 2010 Masters
The hero shot to top all hero shots — Phil off the pine straw on 13 at Augusta. Pure guts.

Teaser:
<p> The Open Champion Has Had Countless Career-Defining Moments</p>
Post date: Friday, June 14, 2013 - 10:49
Path: /college-football/athlons-essential-11-links-day-june-10
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for June 14.

• "Man of Steel" opens this weekend, which prompted Coed to count down the sexiest Lois Lanes of all time. Amy Adams ranks pretty high on that list.

Last night, the Big Three lived up to the hype. Finally. Pop let Tim Duncan that he wasn't mad, though. At least not at him.

This Spurs fan is no doubt eating cold pizza for breakfast this morning. And for the next 26 mornings.

Chris Bosh won't win any Oscars for flopping, but hey, it drew a foul. Well worth the fine.

All that chatter about Merion being too easy a venue for the U.S. Open? Yeah, never mind about that. The marquee threesome of Tiger, Rory and Adam Scott combined to go 8-over in the first round.

• Ooh, this could get interesting. Bill Simmons bites the hand that feeds him via Twitter.

I know sports editors are poorly paid, but this guy's choice of a second job is highly dubious.

• A Father's Day weekend morsel: How Mom's advice differs from Dad's.

• October's when the you-know-what gets real in the SEC. Here's an October schedule analysis from Saturday Down South.

Tim Tebow's signing with New England gave Jimmy Fallon the excuse to trot out Tebowie. That makes it all worth it.

• I've truly never seen anything like what happened to Carl Pettersson at the U.S. Open yesterday. At least not where sober professionals are playing.

 

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]


June 13

• My favorite part of hockey? Probably the ice girls, but then I'm kind of a pig. Enjoy this photo array of the ice girls of the 2013 Stanley Cup finals.

• Recently retired point guard Jason Kidd is the Nets' new head coach. For what it's worth, Magic Johnson approves.

They played hockey last night. And played. And played.

It's raining at Merion, but I don't think the heavy stuff will be here for a while.

Lolo Jones took to Vine to try to score a date with Michael Phelps. Her desperation is starting to show.

• Football news from down SEC way: Florida's o-line is better than you might realize. And this schedule analysis shows that they like their cupcakes down in Mississippi. Not surprising, considering the obesity rates.

• Tis the season for a summer grilling guide.

• Today's '90s flashback: Back in the days of flannel, the Seattle sound and Monica Lewinsky, these sports power couples ruled the headlines.

Somebody vandalized Clemson's iconic Howard's Rock. Dabo Swinney needs to find a way to pin it on Florida State.

• An exhausted Andrew Shaw apparently let an f-bomb slip on live TV in his postgame interview. After nearly 120 minutes of hockey, we'll cut him some slack.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]


June 12

• Since it's Stanley Cup season, what better time to celebrate Canada's sexiest women, including hockey WAG Elisha Cuthbert? Speaking of Ms. Cuthbert, here are 25 tantalizing GIFs. Once again, the Internet proves its worth.

This Erik Spoelstra GIF says all that needs to be said about last night's Spurs rout. He and his assistants look like they're waiting for a bus.

• A little late to this, but the Internet freaked out over AJ McCarron possibly cheating on Katherine Webb.

• Remember Tiger mistress Rachel Uchitel? Her taste in men continues to underwhelm.

• Many think that early-season SEC football is a cupcake parade, but that's not quite accurate. Here are the league's five toughest August/September schedules. There are some legit matchups in there.

The USGA's pace-of-play initiative borrows a line from "Caddyshack." This is a campaign I can get behind.

• Need a schadenfreude fix this morning? Here are 25 pictures of athletes who just lost championships.

• Not sports-related, but I'm throwing this one in for free: a Mitch Hedberg quote generator. Who's Mitch Hedberg, you ask? Only one of history's most underrated comedians.

How powerful is Jack Nicholson? He got Maria Menounos kicked out of a Laker game for wearing a Celtics jersey.

Olivia Munn threw out the first pitch at a Dodgers game and was far less embarrassing than many other celebrities have been.

• The Spurs were en fuego from downtown last night, hitting a Finals-record 16 3-pointers. Here's every single one of them.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]


June 11

• Here at Athlon Sports, we're in the information business. We're educators first and foremost. With that in mind, here are 21 things you didn't know about Kate Upton, who turned 21 yesterday.

• It was an eventful day yesterday. By the time it was over, NFL reject Tim Tebow had a job, and NBA Coach of the Year Lionel Hollins didn't. Here are 10 predictions for the Tebow tenure in Foxboro. And here's the Boston Herald giving the news the New York Post treatment.

• Also yesterday: The butt-slap heard round the Internet landed Chad Johnson in the pokey.

This Formula One driver's helmet cam footage is all kinds of awesome. POV porn for speed junkies.

• Father's Day is coming up. Whether your old man's a boozer or a golfer (or, more likely, both), we're here to help.

The 13 funniest celebrity first Tweets. Kobe Bryant made the list.

• So is there such a thing as a home cooking? How the flags fly in each SEC stadium.

• Things got heated between the Red Sox and Rays last night in what turned out to be a pretty epic tilt.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]


June 10

This is my kind of guessing game: Match the WAG with the athlete. Hint: The girl in the photo is a Victoria's Secret model.

They're already calling it LeBlock, the defining play of King James' career thus far. Downside: It came during an off night for James and a rout for the Heat. Still, it was pretty epic. Enjoy Jim Ross' call of the play at this link.

This then-and-now GIF of the Spurs swept the interwebs over the weekend. It's pretty spectacularly mesmerizing.

Your weekend recap, including the Finals, the French Open and extra innings baseball.

Speaking of Rafael Nadal, he took to Twitter to mourn the death of the still-alive Nelson Mandela.

Is this the future of the football facemask? Good lord, I hope not, although the article seems to think it's cool.

Good news, late-night drunks: Waffle House is no longer your only option.

• They play a little offense in the SEC West, meaning that these seven defenders are indispensable.

The legend of Yasiel Puig grows, even as the Dodgers crash.

Baseball's turning into horse racing. Bloodlines mean everything, apparently.

• There was some pretty spectacular Super Regional action in college baseball over the weekend, but this might have been the best single play.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Friday, June 14, 2013 - 10:32
Path: /college-football/ranking-big-12s-college-football-stadiums
Body:

Fall Saturdays are special.

Small towns, huge crowds, tailgating, bands, cheerleaders and student sections are just a few of the reasons college football is the best sport on the planet. When campuses jump to life across the nation each weekend in the fall, college stadiums become a staging ground for history.

There are a variety of ways to evaluate the greatness of a stadium. Huge attendance numbers, home-field advantage in the win-loss column, rich traditions, picturesque landscapes and amenities are just a few of the aspects that must be considered to rank so many great college football cathedrals.

With that in mind, here's how the stadiums in the Big 12 stack up.

1. Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium, Texas
Opened: 1924
Capacity: 100,119
2012 Attendance: 100,884 (4th)

Everything is actually bigger in Texas and the Longhorns' stadium tops the Big 12 based on sheer size alone. It isn’t the loudest 100,000 fans in the nation, but the building is arguably the most imposing facility as it dwarfs most every other stadium in the Big 12. After the most recent run of extensive exterior construction, the amenities are second to none in the league as well. Plans are also in the works to expand the south end zone that will push DKR’s capacity to upwards of 112,000 fans — which would make it the nation’s largest stadium. And finally, located in the heart of one of the world’s best cities, fans have a long list of attractions while pre- and post-gaming on Saturdays.

Related Content: 2013 Big 12 Predictions

2. Memorial Stadium, Oklahoma
Opened: 1925
Capacity: 82,112
2012 Attendance: 85,243 (13th)

Easily the No. 2 spot to catch a game in the Big 12, Norman’s college football palace provides the loudest and most passionate fan base in the league. The 103.8-percent capacity and single record against Notre Dame (86,031) a year ago prove that. A recent round of renovations have added 8,000 seats, a massive new brick-lined video board, new luxury suites, a new press box and beautiful brick exterior. Large gaps in the end zone seating keep the capacity well below that of a certain arch rival in Austin and likely limit the decibel levels as well.

3. Boone Pickens Stadium, Oklahoma State
Opened: 1920
Capacity: 60,218
2012 Attendance: 56,557 (32nd)

Named after billionaire benefactor T. Boone Pickens just a few years ago, the Cowboys' home stadium got a massive facelift, new additions, extra seats and a beautiful new façade. The single-tiered, true horseshoe building is now flanked on the west by a 146,000-square foot, state of the art facility that contains all of the Pokes' football operations. The West end zone is still flanked by historic Gallagher-Iba Arena. The brick and mortar exterior creates a massive set of exterior columns that majestically climb above the Stillwater skyline. There isn’t a bad seat in the house and when packed, BPS is as raucous as any place in the nation. Keeping the seats full during down times as well as the overall lack of size is what keeps this gorgeous facility from competing with Texas' or Oklahoma's.

4. Milan Puskar Stadium, West Virginia
Opened: 1980
Capacity: 60,000
2012 Attendance: 55,916 (33rd)

When it comes to rabid, passionate supporters, the Mountaineers are much closer to SEC levels rather than Big East. And the surrounding mountains of Morgantown are a fantastic setting for a college football Saturday. That said, the building isn’t one of the nation’s biggest and the stadium itself is a fairly straight-forward facility that likely could use another round of renovations.

5. Jones AT&T Stadium, Texas Tech
Opened: 1947
Capacity: 60,862
2012 Attendance: 57,209 (29th)

Mike Leach had his issues departing Lubbock but he is largely responsible for the consistent growth and development of Texas Tech’s home venue. The stadium has been improved and upgraded in 2005 (luxury suites, parking garage), '07 (master plan), '08 (Spanish façade), '09 (6,000 east side seats) and '13 (new jumbotron). The atmosphere is electric and the facilities have advanced dramatically from over the last decade. The trip to Lubbock makes getting to a game slightly more difficult than even some of the other Big 12 outposts.

Related Content: 2013 Big 12 Predictions

6. Jack Trice Stadium, Iowa State
Opened: 1975
Capacity: 55,000
2012 Attendance: 55,274 (36th)

Iowa State is home to one of the most underrated home atmospheres in the nation in a building named after Iowa’s first black athlete. The passion of the fans cannot be questioned as the Cyclones outdrew their capacity in 2012 on a team that barely reached the postseason the last two seasons. In the works are future expansions of the south end zone and east concourse. The move will upgrade the facilities across the board and will add an upper deck to the end zone. This isn’t the most daunting home field experience, but it has consistently over-delivered compared to its team success.

7. Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Kansas State
Opened: 1968
Capacity: 50,000
2012 Attendance: 50,278 (39th)

It’s small on three sides and has some quirky lines, but Bill Snyder Family Stadium will rock when the Wildcats are rolling. Like Iowa State, this building was over capacity on average a year ago as the team clinched its first Big 12 title since 2003. A 2006 renovation expanded seating in the north end zone and also upgraded the locker rooms. It isn’t the biggest or fanciest building in the conference, but this place will over-deliver much like Jack Trice will on game day.

8. Amon Carter Stadium, TCU
Opened: 1929
Capacity: 45,000
2012 Attendance: 46,047 (48th)

Named after prominent Ft. Worth businessman Amon Carter, TCU completely rebuilt its home venue following the 2010 season. The $164 million renovation changed the quaint worn down stadium into a state of the art football facility that provides more room to grow in the near future. The beautiful Southwestern art deco blends with the new football facilities as well as the popular design trend in the DFW area. The building is brand new and fans showed up in force last year (over capacity) but it is still small and will take time to build-up the long-term tradition and pageantry that exists throughout college football’s blueblood venues.

9. Floyd Casey Stadium, Baylor
Opened: 1950
Capacity: 50,000
2012 Attendance: 41,194 (60th)

Long named Baylor Stadium, the school changed the name in 1988 when longtime supporter and trustee Carl B. Casey and his father Floyd Casey were honored. The simple, straightforward, single-tiered bowl has long struggled to draw big crowds but that is something Art Briles has changed. The Baylor tarp is still needed for most games and last spring, the Board of Regents approved a new on-campus facility to be completed by 2014.

10. Memorial Stadium, Kansas
Opened: 1921
Capacity: 50,071
2012 Attendance: 41,329 (59th)

A poor home win-loss record (209-199-16), the old-school athletic track circling the field and simple styling make this the worst venue in the conference. The last major upgrade took place over a decade ago, the attendance is fairly small and the building itself lacks tradition and character.
 

2013 Big 12 Team Previews

Related Content: 2013 Big 12 Predictions

Baylor Oklahoma State
Iowa State TCU
Kansas Texas
Kansas State Texas Tech
Oklahoma West Virginia


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Teaser:
<p> Ranking the Big 12's Football Stadiums</p>
Post date: Friday, June 14, 2013 - 08:10
Path: /college-football/sun-belt-football-2013-all-conference-team
Body:

The 2013 college football season is just around the corner, and Athlon continues its countdown to kickoff with a look at our first and second All-Sun Belt teams for this season.

Related Content: Sun Belt Predictions for 2013

Athlon's 2013 All-Sun Belt Team

First-Team Offense

QB Kolton Browning, ULM

RB Antonio Andrews, Western Kentucky

RB David Oku, Arkansas State

WR Je’Ron Hamm, ULM

WR J.D. McKissic, Arkansas State

TE Wes Saxton, South Alabama

C Andre Huval, UL Lafayette

OG Steven Haunga, Arkansas State

OG Daniel Quave, UL Lafayette

OT Mykhael Quave, UL Lafayette

OT Joseph Treadwell, ULM



First-Team Defense

DE Alex Page, South Alabama

DE Christian Ringo, UL Lafayette

DT Kentarius Caldwell, ULM

DT Ryan Carrethers, Arkansas State

LB Andrew Jackson, Western Kentucky

LB Qushaun Lee, Arkansas State

LB Michael Orakpo, Texas State

CB Xavier Daniels, Texas State

CB Tyree Robinson, Western Kentucky

S Jonathan Dowling, Western Kentucky

S Isaiah Newsome, ULM



First-Team Specialists

K Brian Davis, Arkansas State

P Will Scott, Troy

KR Jafus Gaines, Texas State

PR Antonio Andrews, Western Kentucky


The Breakdown of Athlon's 2013 All-Sun Belt Team

  First Second Overall
Arkansas State 6 4 10
Georgia State 0 1 1
South Alabama 2 3 5
Texas State 3 2 5
Troy 1 3 4
UL Lafayette 4 5 9
ULM 5 4 9
Western Kentucky 5 4 9


Second-Team Offense

QB Terrance Broadway, UL Lafayette

RB Jyruss Edwards, ULM

RB Alonzo Harris, UL Lafayette

WR Jamal Robinson, UL Lafayette

WR Eric Thomas, Troy

TE Mitchell Henry, Western Kentucky

C Sean Conway, Western Kentucky

OG Jon Fisher, ULM

OG Cliff Mitchell, Arkansas State

OT Cameron Clemmons, Western Kentucky

OT Melvin Meggs*, South Alabama



* Meggs suffered a season-ending injury in June and will miss the 2013 season.


Second-Team Defense

DE Eddie Porter, Arkansas State

DE Chris Stone, Arkansas State

DT Justin Hamilton, UL Lafayette

DT D.J. Yendrey, Texas State

LB Justin Anderson, UL Lafayette

LB Cameron Blakes, ULM

LB Enrique Williams, South Alabama

CB Vincent Eddie, ULM

CB Tyrell Pearson, South Alabama

S Chris Pickett, Troy

S Sterling Young, Arkansas State



Second-Team Specialists

K Will Scott, Troy

P Matt Hubbard, Georgia State

KR Antonio Andrews, Western Kentucky

PR Andy Erickson, Texas State

 

2013 Sun Belt Team Previews

Arkansas State Troy
Georgia State UL Lafayette
South Alabama UL Monroe
Texas State Western Kentucky

 


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Teaser:
<p> Sun Belt Football 2013 All-Conference Team</p>
Post date: Friday, June 14, 2013 - 08:00
Path: /college-football/texas-am-takes-playful-jab-alabama-nick-saban
Body:

Considering it’s college football’s offseason, anything that happens on the news circuit is generally blown out of proportion.

However, it’s generally not a good idea to poke the bear. Right? Did the SEC miss the memo?

Well, the rest of the SEC certainly seems to be having some fun at Alabama’s expense this offseason. The Crimson Tide has claimed back-to-back titles and is the favorite to win in 2013. Yet, coach Nick Saban has been the brunt of the jokes by Vanderbilt’s James Franklin and Florida offensive line coach Tim Davis earlier this offseason.

And Texas A&M got into the act on Thursday night, as athletic director Eric Hyman lobbed a playful joke in Alabama’s direction:

 

After Hyman made his playful jab, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin had this to say:


But of course, the fun didn't end there. Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin had a humorous response to a tweet from radio personality Paul Finebaum:
 

 

Needless to say, the expectations in Aggieland are sky high for 2013. 

And let's keep this in mind: It's the offseason and Hyman and Loftin's remarks are just two ways of firing up a Texas A&M fanbase that has plenty of reasons to be excited after an 11-2 campaign in 2012.

But here's the good news: Alabama and Texas A&M play on Sept. 14 - which should be one of college football's top games of 2013.
 

 

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Teaser:
<p> Texas A&amp;M's Eric Hyman and R. Bowen Loftin take playful jabs at Alabama and Nick Saban.</p>
Post date: Friday, June 14, 2013 - 07:50
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/2013-college-football-fcs-top-25-and-predictions
Body:

College football isn't just about the major conferences and the BCS. The FCS  settles its national champion with a playoff, something most FBS fans have wanted for years. North Dakota State tops Athlon's Top 25 FCS teams for 2013, as the Bison look to win their third consecutive national championship. 

1. North Dakota State (14-1, 7-1 MVC)
A tremendous amount of returning talent powers the Bison as they seek a third straight national title. Cornerback Marcus Williams and linebacker Grant Olson fuel the nation’s stingiest defense, and quarterback Brock Jensen will feed 1,000-yard backs Sam Ojuri and John Crockett. A word of caution for Kansas State, which hosts the Bison on Aug. 30: coach Craig Bohl’s program is 6–3 against FBS opponents since joining the FCS ranks in 2006.

2. Montana State (11-2, 7-1 Big Sky) 
The three-time defending Big Sky champions welcome back linebacker Na’a Moeakiola and defensive end Brad Daly but have several holes to plug on defense. This season, the Bobcats offense has to lead the way, and it can, behind fourth-year starting quarterback DeNarius McGhee, running back Cody Kirk and receiver Tanner Bleskin.

3. Georgia Southern (10-4, 6-2 Southern) 
The FBS-bound Eagles are ineligible for the Southern Conference title and a playoff berth after three straight semifinal-round appearances. With a solid offensive line and the return of quarterback Jerick McKinnon (1,817 rushing yards, 20 rushing TDs) and fullback Dominique Swope (1,246, 17 total TDs), Georgia Southern’s triple option attack could lead the FCS in rushing once again.

4. Sam Houston State (11-4, 6-1 Southland) 
Two straight losses in the national final are motivating coach Willie Fritz’s squad. The offense will score in bunches with the return of quarterback Brian Bell, All-America running back Timothy Flanders and multi-dimensional running back/receiver Richard Sincere. Still, the defense is vulnerable after suffering key losses.

5. Villanova (8-4, 6-2 CAA) 
With the return of 18 starters, veteran coach Andy Talley seemingly has one of his better teams, although a competitive CAA race will test the Wildcats. Quarterback John Robertson, the 2012 Jerry Rice Award winner, has fellow playmakers in running backs Kevin Monangai and Jamal Abdur-Rahman. Plus, the Wildcats are as deep in the trenches as any FCS team.

6. Appalachian State (8-4, 6-2 Southern)
Scott Satterfield faces the difficult task of replacing legendary coach Jerry Moore as the Mountaineers head toward the FBS. Ineligible for the SoCon title and a playoff berth, they feature a terrific passing game led by quarterback Jamal Jackson and receivers Sean Price, Andrew Peacock and Tony Washington.

7. Eastern Washington (11-3, 7-1 Big Sky) 
The Eagles’ schedule is diabolical — road games at Oregon State, Toledo, Sam Houston State, Montana and Cal Poly, and a home date against Montana State. Can they overcome it? Last season’s national semifinalists expect to with the likes of quarterback Vernon Adams, linebacker Ronnie Hamlin and cornerback T.J. Lee III.

8. Towson (7-4, 6-2 CAA) 
Junior running back Terrance West has scored 44 touchdowns in his career and is beaming over the return of all five starting offensive linemen. Wisconsin transfer Joe Brennan may take over at quarterback, while the defense will be strong at linebacker and defensive back.

9. Montana (5-6, 3-5 Big Sky) 
The Grizzlies are still coming out of a tumultuous period, including last year’s first losing record since 1985. The reinstatement of 2011 starting quarterback Jordan Johnson could settle the position again. The defense is stacked in the front seven with end Zach Wagenmann and senior linebackers Jordan Tripp, Brock Coyle and John Kanongata’a.

10. South Dakota State (9-4, 6-2 MVC)
Zach Zenner led the FCS in rushing yards (2,044 yards) as a sophomore and is the focal point of the offense. But the Jackrabbits need quarterback Austin Sumner to provide his 2011 level of production instead of last year’s drop-off. Sophomore linebacker T.J. Lally is a big-game player already.

11. New Hampshire (8-4, 6-2 CAA) 
Opponents will be hard-pressed to slow the Wildcats’ bid for a 10th straight FCS playoff berth. Nico Steriti, who averaged 6.6 yards per carry as a sophomore, heads a deep running attack, and quarterbacks Sean Goldrich and Andy Vailas always get the ball to junior wide receiver R.J. Harris. New Hampshire must replace linebacker Matt Evans, the school’s all-time tackles leader.

12. Central Arkansas (9-3, 6-1 Southland) 
Dual-threat quarterback Wynrick Smothers (3,103 yards passing, 449 yards rushing in 2012) and defensive end Jonathan Woodard are poised for big seasons for the Bears, who have yet to lose in two seasons on their purple-and-gray turf. Linebacker Justin Heard and cornerback Jestin Love also star for the emerging defense.

13. Richmond (8-3, 6-2 CAA) 
The Spiders enjoyed a five-win improvement in coach Danny Rocco’s first season as the head coach, and they may be poised for another leap forward with the return of 18 starters. In a run-heavy CAA, senior wideout Ben Edwards (80 receptions) stands out for quarterback Michael Strauss. Defensive linemen Evan Kelly and Kerry Wynn track down the opposing quarterbacks.

14. Northern Iowa (5-6, 4-4 MVC) 
The Panthers have softened the schedule after overindulging last season — at Wisconsin and at Iowa in the first three weeks of the season — and they expect to get back on track behind junior running back David Johnson and sophomore quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgen. Placekicker Tyler Sievertsen, who’s made 28-of-33 career field goal attempts, likes the comforts of the UNI Dome.

15. Cal Poly (9-3, 7-1 Big Sky) 
After making a splash in their Big Sky debut, the Mustangs return a veteran squad, but their losses include quarterback Andre Broadous and 1,500-yard back Deonte Williams. Slotback Kristaan Ivory is the new offensive star, and defensive tackle Sullivan Grosz gets into opponents’ backfields.

16. Northern Arizona (8-3, 6-2 Big Sky) 
Two season-ending losses — at home vs. Southern Utah and Cal Poly — sabotaged the Lumberjacks, who return 18 starters. Running back Zach Bauman seeks a fourth straight 1,000-yard season, and fellow seniors Anders Battle and Lucky Dozier headline one of the better secondaries in the FCS.

17. James Madison (7-4, 5-3 CAA)
Sophomore quarterback Michael Birdsong is a star in the making, and running back Dae’Quan Scott does a little bit of everything for the Dukes. All-America middle linebacker Stephon Robertson works sideline to sideline, backed by emerging safety Dean Marlowe.

18. Chattanooga (6-5, 5-3 Southern)
The Mocs are primed for SoCon title contention with the conference’s best defense, featuring 2012 Defensive Player of the Year Davis Tull at end, linebacker Wes Dothard and cornerback Kadeem Wise. Jacob Huesman, son of coach Russ Huesman, has supplanted Terrell Robinson at quarterback.

19. Wofford (9-4, 6-2 Southern) 
With FBS-bound Appalachian State and Georgia Southern ineligible for the SoCon title, the Terriers are the league favorites. They lose standout Eric Breitenstein but now feature fullback Donovan Johnson, who has 1,793 career rushing yards. Linebacker Mike McCrimon and Alvin Scioneaux are rocks on defense.

20. Eastern Illinois (7-5, 6-1 OVC)
Behind his lethal passing attack, first-year coach Dino Babers took the Panthers from worst to first in the Ohio Valley Conference. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and wide receiver Erik Lora, whose 136 receptions set the FCS single-season record, lead the passing game.

21. Tennessee State (8-3, 4-3 OVC)
After beginning last season with seven straight wins, the Tigers need talented junior quarterback Michael German to be their closer. Much of the defense returns, including shutdown cornerback Steven Godbolt III and aptly named linebacker Nick Thrasher, their leading tackler.

22. Delaware (5-6, 2-6 CAA) 
New coach Dave Brock inherits a talented team that features senior tailback Andrew Pierce (3,637 career rushing yards) and, the Blue Hens hope, a healthier Trent Hurley at quarterback. Linebacker Jeff Williams broke in as a premier pass-rusher last season.

23. Youngstown State (7-4, 4-4 MVC) 
A tough schedule in November means the Penguins need a fast start as they chase their first playoff appearance since 2006. Quarterback Kurt Hess will air it out to make amends for last season’s disappointment.

24. Illinois State (9-4, 5-3 MVC) 
The Redbirds have filled major holes on offense with transfers — quarterback Jared Barnett, from Iowa State, and power running back Collin Keoshian, from Glendale (Calif.) Community College. Premier defensive end Colton Underwood has to lead a defense that also sustained heavy losses.

25. The Citadel (7-4, 5-3 Southern) 
A rare sweep of Appalachian State and Georgia Southern last season could be a prelude for an even better 2013. The Bulldogs’ triple option returns quarterbacks Ben Dupree and Aaron Miller, 1,000-yard fullback Darien Robinson and a veteran offensive line.

 

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Teaser:
<p> 2013 College Football FCS Top 25 and Predictions</p>
Post date: Friday, June 14, 2013 - 07:50
All taxonomy terms: Atlanta Falcons, NFC, NFC South, NFL
Path: /nfl/atlanta-falcons-2013-schedule-analysis
Body:

After finally getting over the playoff hump last season, the Atlanta Falcons have their sights set squarely on Super Bowl XLVIII. The path to the NFC crown will be anything but easy, but the pieces are in place for this Falcons team to play in New York on Feb. 2. Here's our look at the Falcons' 2013 NFL schedule.

Atlanta Falcons 2013 Schedule:

Week 1: at New Orleans
Week 2: St. Louis
Week 3: at Miami
Week 4: New England
Week 5: New York Jets (Mon.)
Week 6: BYE
Week 7: Tampa Bay
Week 8: at Arizona
Week 9: at Carolina
Week 10: Seattle
Week 11: at Tampa Bay
Week 12: New Orleans (Thurs.)
Week 13: vs. Buffalo (Toronto)
Week 14: at Green Bay
Week 15: Washington
Week 16: at San Francisco (Mon.)
Week 17: Carolina

Order your 2013 Atlanta Falcons Athlon Sports NFL Preview magazine

Out of the Gate: The defending NFC South champions didn't get any breaks from the schedule-makers as the Falcons open the season on the road against division rival New Orleans. Opening at home against St. Louis the following Sunday probably won't be a cakewalk and then it's a trip down south to Miami and a home date with New England to close out the first month. The Falcons will need to bring their "A" game from the start or could put themselves in an early hole before the calendar turns to October.

Toughest Stretch: There are few, if any, breathers on this schedule, but November in particular could be a make-or-break month for Atlanta. The Falcons enter the second half of their schedule with a road game against division rival Carolina as the precursor to a rematch of last season's NFC Divisional Playoffs against Seattle. After that it's back-to-back divisional games - first a trip to Tampa Bay followed by a Thursday night date with New Orleans in the Georgia Dome.

Swing Games: at GB (Week 14), WAS (Week 15)
Crossover Divisions: AFC East, NFC West
Bye Week: Week 6
Opp. 2012 W/L %: .504 (15th)
Athlon's SOS Rank: 1st

Easiest Stretch: Coming out of their Week 6 bye, the Falcons get Tampa Bay at home followed by back-to-back road games at Arizona and Carolina. A three-game stretch featuring two divisional games and two road games may not seem "easy," but that's the kind of schedule Atlanta drew this season. The Buccaneers, Cardinals and Panthers all finished below .500 in 2012, although to be fair, the two NFC South teams were close at 7-9.

Circle The Calendar: Take your pick. The Week 4 matchup with New England should be entertaining and then there's a December trip to Lambeau Field to play Green Bay in Week 14. Crossover play with the NFC West also means the Falcons get another shot against Seattle at home and a chance to exact some revenge against San Francisco on the road on "Monday Night Football" in Week 16.

Divisional Notes: Atlanta opens the season on the road in New Orleans and then doesn't play another NFC South opponent until after its Week 6 bye. Later in the season, the Falcons go to Tampa Bay in Week 11 and then it's a quick turnaround for a Thursday night showdown at home against the Saints the following week. What makes this double-dip even more daunting is that the Buccaneers' game is preceded by Atlanta's rematch with Seattle in the Georgia Dome. Along those same lines, the Falcons will finish the regular season with Carolina at home, but that game comes on the heels of playing the 49ers in San Francisco on Monday night to close out the Week 16 slate.

Playoff Push: The Falcons will spend the first two weekends in December up north with their first two games of the final month set for Toronto, where they will play Buffalo, and the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field to face off with Green Bay. Then it's home to play Washington, who may or may not have Robert Griffin III running the offense by then, before heading cross-country for a Week 16 Monday night showdown and NFC Championship game rematch with San Francisco. If the Falcons' playoff hopes and/or seeding are still undecided come Week 17, Carolina would like nothing more than to spoil either or both by taking down its divisional rival on its own home turf.

Fantasy Playoff Run (Weeks 14-16): Matt Ryan and his receivers should get plenty of work in against Green Bay and Washington. The road game against the Packers will probably feature plenty of offense, while the Redskins finished 30th in the league in both passing defense and fantasy points allowed to WRs. The dynamic could change greatly on the road against the 49ers (No. 3 in ypg, No. 2 in ppg) in Week 16.


2013 Athlon Sports NFL team-by-team schedule analysis:

AFC East AFC North AFC South AFC West
Buffalo Baltimore Houston (6/19) Denver (6/18)
Miami (6/25) Cincinnati (6/14) Indianapolis (6/20) Kansas City (6/24)
New England (6/26) Cleveland (6/17) Jacksonville (6/21) Oakland (6/28)
NY Jets (6/27) Pittsburgh (7/1) Tennessee (7/3) San Diego (7/2)
       
NFC East NFC North NFC South NFC West
Dallas (6/18) Chicago (6/17) Atlanta Arizona
NY Giants (6/25) Detroit (6/19) Carolina (6/14) St. Louis (6/27)
Philadelphia (6/26) Green Bay (6/20) New Orleans (6/24) San Francisco (6/28)
Washington (7/3) Minnesota (6/21) Tampa Bay (7/2) Seattle (7/1)

Other Related NFL Content:

Ranking the NFL's Toughest Schedules of 2013
10 Things Every Fan Should Know about the 2013 NFL Schedule

Teaser:
<p> Athlon breaks down each and every team's schedule for the 2013 NFL season.</p>
Post date: Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 12:15
All taxonomy terms: AFC, AFC East, Buffalo Bills, NFL
Path: /nfl/buffalo-bills-2013-schedule-analysis
Body:

A new era of Buffalo Bills football begins this fall with Doug Marrone now steering the ship. And since scheduling plays a huge role in the outcome of every NFL season, Athlon is analyzing every team's 16-game slate.

Buffalo Bills 2013 Schedule:

Week 1: New England
Week 2: Carolina
Week 3: at New York Jets
Week 4: Baltimore
Week 5: at Cleveland (Thurs.)
Week 6: Cincinnati
Week 7: at Miami
Week 8: at New Orleans
Week 9: Kansas City
Week 10: at Pittsburgh
Week 11: New York Jets
Week 12: BYE
Week 13: Atlanta (Toronto)
Week 14: at Tampa Bay
Week 15: at Jacksonville
Week 16: Miami
Week 17: at New England

Order your 2013 Buffalo Bills Athlon Sports NFL Preview magazine

Out of the Gate: Doug Marrone's first month as an NFL head coach won't be easy. The month begins with the two of the toughest three home games of the year as September is bookended by the Patriots and Ravens paying a visit to Ralph Wilson Stadium. Carolina and the Jets are two of the more winnable games but asking Marrone to gameplan for Cam Newton in just his second game won't be easy either. A 2-2 start would be a huge success.

Toughest Stretch: The AFC East will play the AFC North this year and the toughest stretch of games — Week 4 to Week 8 — includes three straight with the North. After playing the Ravens, the Browns on a short week and the Bengals, Buffalo takes two road trips to Miami and New Orleans. This team likely won't be favored in any of those five games and this stretch could end the Bills' season before the halfway mark.

Swing Games: KC (Week 9), at JAC (Week 15)
Crossover Divisions: AFC North, NFC South
Bye Week: Week 12
Opp. 2012 W/L %: .496 (19th)
Athlon's SOS Rank: 27th

Easiest Stretch: If somehow, some way the Bills can survive the first 13 weeks of the season, Marrone and his squad will have three winnable games in December. Two trips south to Florida to face Tampa Bay and Jacksonville and a home test against Miami could provide a late-season boost to the win-loss record.

Circle The Calendar: The Bills will only play one primetime national showdown when it travels to Cleveland in Week 5, so finding marquee contests for this team is difficult. However, there is some added juice to a late-season visit to Tampa Bay. Marrone and Bucs coach Greg Schiano coached against each other for three seasons in the Big East. Syracuse and Marrone won two out of three and Schiano doesn't forget that type of thing.

Divisional Notes: The AFC East offers chances for wins for all four teams, including the Bills. The season will begin and end with uphill battles against the Patriots, but the other four divisional tests could provide some success. Home games with the Jets and Dolphins over the final seven weeks will come as welcome sights for a team that could struggle for wins in 2013.

Playoff Push: Buffalo's off weekend will come in the final possible slot, which this season is Week 12. This means the Bills will be well rested for the final month of the season. December begins with the annual Toronto game (against Atlanta) and ends with a daunting road trip to the Patriots. However, in between could be the "easiest" stretch of the schedule. A 3-2 final month would be considered a successful finish for Buffalo.

Buy your 2013 Athlon Sports Fantasy Football Preview Magazine

Fantasy Playoff Run (Weeks 14-16): Yes, Tampa Bay, the Bills' Week 14 opponent, finished dead last in passing defense and fantasy points allowed to WRs last season. No, this is not the same Buccaneers secondary with All-Pros Darrelle Revis and Dashon Goldson now on the roster. Sorry, Stevie Johnson. Fortunately, C.J. Spiller can look forward to the Week 15 trip to Jacksonville and a chance at the Jaguars’ 30th-ranked rushing defense.


2013 Athlon Sports NFL team-by-team schedule analysis:

AFC East AFC North AFC South AFC West
Buffalo Baltimore Houston (6/19) Denver (6/18)
Miami (6/25) Cincinnati (6/14) Indianapolis (6/20) Kansas City (6/24)
New England (6/26) Cleveland (6/17) Jacksonville (6/21) Oakland (6/28)
NY Jets (6/27) Pittsburgh (7/1) Tennessee (7/3) San Diego (7/2)
       
NFC East NFC North NFC South NFC West
Dallas (6/18) Chicago (6/17) Atlanta Arizona
NY Giants (6/25) Detroit (6/19) Carolina (6/14) St. Louis (6/27)
Philadelphia (6/26) Green Bay (6/20) New Orleans (6/24) San Francisco (6/28)
Washington (7/3) Minnesota (6/21) Tampa Bay (7/2) Seattle (7/1)


Other Related NFL Content:

Ranking the NFL's Toughest Schedules of 2013
10 Things Every Fan Should Know about the 2013 NFL Schedule

Teaser:
<p> Athlon breaks down each and every team's schedule for the 2013 NFL season</p>
Post date: Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 12:00
Path: /college-basketball/2013-14-college-basketball-mid-major-rankings-mwc-mvc
Body:

After Florida Gulf Coast reached the Sweet 16 and Wichita State reached the Final Four, teams outside of the college basketball power structure are starting to reach even footing. At least on the court.

Beyond the major surprises in the NCAA Tournament, this is an interesting time for mid-major programs. The Mountain West showed surprising depth last season, a trend that should continue as the league expands. Even though Creighton left the Missouri Valley and Temple, Xavier and Butler left the Atlantic 10, there’s plenty to watch in both leagues.

Wichita State already has the look of the MVC’s flagship program. The same could be said of VCU and Saint Louis in the A-10, provided they can hold off upstart UMass.

We took a quick look of seven conferences already this offseason. Here’s a snapshot of 11 key teams in the the Mountain West, Atlantic 10, Missouri Valley, West Coast and more.

Other conference snapshots:
ACC
American
Big 12

Big East

Big Ten
Pac-12
SEC

1. WICHITA STATE (30-9, 12-6 Missouri Valley, NCAA Final Four)
Key players gone: Malcolm Armstead, Carl Hall, Demetric Williams
Top returners: Ron Baker, Tekele Cotton, Cleanthony Early, Fred Van Vleet, Jake White
New faces: D.J. Bowles (freshman), Kadeem Coleby (Louisiana-Lafayette transfer), Earl Watson (junior college), Evan Wessel (redshirt)
The point guard Armstead and leading rebounder Hall are gone from the Final Four run, but the rising sophomore Baker played only 18 games last season. With Early, Baker and Cotton, there’s enough returning to win the Missouri Valley this season, especially if Van Vleet flourishes as a full-time point guard. The 6-foot-9 Louisiana-Lafayette transfer Coleby and local 6-5 guard Wessel will fill some gaps.

2. VCU (27-9, 12-4 Atlantic 10, NCAA round of 32)
Key players gone: Troy Daniels, Darius Theus
Top returners: Rob Brandenburg, Treveon Graham, Juvonte Reddic, Melvin Thomas, Briante Weber
New faces: Jordan Burgess (redshirt), Terrance Shannon (Florida State transfer)
Five of the top seven players return to VCU, including three who averaged double-figure scoring. Theus’ 2.4 steals per game will be missed on the defensive end, but there’s a lot to like about a VCU team that went 12-4 in its first season in the Atlantic 10. Shannon was an injury-riddled player at Florida State, but he’s a 6-8 senior who will be a key piece for the Rams if he can stay healthy.

3. GONZAGA (32-3, 16-0 West Coast, NCAA round of 32)
Key players gone: Elias Harris, Guy Landry Edi, Kelly Olynyk
Top returning players: Gary Bell Jr, Sam Dower, Przemek Karnowski, Kevin Pangos, David Stockton
New faces: Gerald Coleman (Providence transfer), Angel Nunez (Louisville transfer)
The front line takes a hit without Olynyk and Harris, but Mark Few’s backcourt should be solid with Pangos (41.7 percent on three pointers) and Bell. Two centers who were part-time players last season in Karnowski (7-1) and Dower (6-9) will look to take a step forward in replacing the Olynyk. Gonzaga’s season was marred by losing to Wichita State in the round of 32, but the Bulldogs should remain a top-25 contender in 2013-14.

4. NEW MEXICO (29-6, 13-3 Mountain West, NCAA round of 64)
Key players gone: Tony Snell, Demetrius Walker
Top returning players: Cameron Bairstow, Alex Kirk, Hugh Greenwood, Kendall Williams
New faces: Merv Lindsey (transfer from Kansas), Cullen Neal (freshman)
Longtime Steve Alford assistant Craig Neal was promoted to coach a team that returns four players who started at least 30 games. The Lobos may be the preseason pick to win the Mountain West, but that NCAA Tournament loss to Harvard will be tough to forget. Snell (12.5 ppg) is a notable departure, but the Lobos were a balanced team for most of the season.

5. SAINT LOUIS (28-7, 13-3 Atlantic 10, NCAA round of 32)
Key players gone: Kwamain Mitchell, Cody Ellis
Top returners: Dwayne Evans, Grandy Glaze, Jordair Jett, Rob Loe, Mike McCall
Jim Crews has the job full-time and a chance to repeat in the Atlantic 10. Replacing Kwamain Mitchell’s 30 minutes per game will be tough. Four starters are back, not including the assist leader Jett.

6. UMASS (21-12, 9-7 Atlantic 10, NIT first round)
Key players gone: Freddie Riley, Terrell Vinson
Top returning players: Cady Lalanne, Raphiael Putney, Chaz Williams
New faces: Derrick Gordon (transfer from Western Kentucky)
Derek Kellogg’s program has steadily improved in five seasons. Now, the Minutemen have a chance to be the top team in the Atlantic 10, which will see Butler, Temple and Xavier depart. The 5-9 point guard Chaz Williams will be one of the top players in the league, and the 6-3 Gordon was a major pickup from Western Kentucky, where he averaged 11.8 ppg, 6.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists.

7. HARVARD (20-10, 11-3 Ivy, NCAA round of 32)
Key players gone: Christian Webster
Top returning players: Siyani Chambers, Steve Moundou-Missi, Laurent Rivard, Wesley Saunders
New faces: Zena Edosomwan (freshman)
Harvard’s upset of New Mexico signaled the young Crimson would be ready to take the next step in 2013-14. Last year’s team had only one senior (Webster), and one junior seeing significant minutes (Rivard). Led by Saunders and Chambers, Harvard will have a leg up on the the rest of the Ivy League the next two seasons.

8. BOISE STATE (21-11, 9-7 Mountain West, NCAA First Four)
Key players gone: Kenny Buckner
Top returning players: Anthony Drmic, Jeff Elorriaga, Igor Hadziomerovic, Derrick Marks, Mikey Thompson, Ryan Watkins
The Mountain West is expanding, but teams like Colorado State, UNLV and San Diego State are in transition. With two of the league’s top returning scorers, Boise State is geared up for another run to the NCAA Tournament. Leading the four-guard lineup, Drmic averaged 17.7 points, and Marks averaged 16.3.

9. SAN DIEGO STATE (23-11, 9-7 Mountain West, NCAA round of 32)
Key players gone: Jamaal Franklin, James Rahon, Chase Tapley
Top returning players: J.J. O’Brien, Xavier Thames, Winston Shepard)
New faces: Josh Davis (transfer from Tulane)
The Aztecs have absorbed the loss of Kawhi Leonard and other key pieces in recent years. The next step is to replace Franklin, their top player the last two years, and the clutch Tapley. The key is the sophomore Shepard, a five-star recruit who averaged 5.7 points last season. Davis is a major pickup after averaging 17.6 points and 10.7 rebounds for Tulane in 2012-13.

10. UNLV (25-10, 10-6 Mountain West, NCAA round of 64)
Key players gone: Anthony Bennett, Anthony Marshall, Mike Moser, Katin Reinhardt
Top returning players: Khem Birch, Bryce Dejean-Jones
New faces: Jelan Kendrick (junior college), Christian Wood (freshman)
UNLV was the most talented team in a deep Mountain West, but the Runnin’ Rebels finished third in the league before losing to Cal in the NCAA Tournament. The Rebels will have eight players who were top-100 recruits at some point, and that’s taking into account the departures of Reinhardt and Moser via transfer. With something of a revolving door on the roster, the results have been mixed under Dave Rice.

And 1: BYU (24-12, 10-6 West Coast, NIT semifinal)
Key players gone: Brandon Davies, Brock Zylstra
Top returning players: Tyler Haws, Matt Carlino, Josh Sharp
New faces: Kyle Collinsworth (returning from mission) Eric Mika (freshman)
BYU missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven seasons in 2013, but the Cougars could return in 2014. The backcourt will lead the way with Haws and his 21.7 points per game leading the way. With Davies gone, BYU will need the power forward Mika to make an instant impact.

Teaser:
<p> The key mid-majors to watch for 2013-14.</p>
Post date: Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/sec-football-2013-all-conference-team
Body:

The 2013 college football season is just around the corner, and Athlon continues its countdown to kickoff with a look at our first, second, third and fourth All-SEC teams for this season.

Related Content: SEC Predictions for 2013

First-Team Offense

QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M

RB Todd Gurley, Georgia

RB T.J. Yeldon, Alabama

WR Amari Cooper, Alabama

WR Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt

TE Arthur Lynch, Georgia

C Travis Swanson, Arkansas

OG Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State

OG Anthony Steen, Alabama

OT Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama

OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M



First-Team Defense

DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina

DE Chris Smith, Arkansas

DT Dominique Easley, Florida

DT Anthony Johnson, LSU

LB Jordan Jenkins, Georgia

LB A.J. Johnson, Tennessee

LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama

CB Andre Hal, Vanderbilt

CB Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida

S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama

S Craig Loston, LSU


First-Team Specialists

K Carey Spear, Vanderbilt

P Kyle Christy, Florida

KR Andre Debose, Florida

PR Marcus Murphy, Missouri


The Breakdown of Athlon's 2013 All-SEC Team

  First Second Third Fourth Overall
Alabama 6 2 1 5 14
Arkansas 2 1 2 0 5
Auburn 0 2 1 2 5
Florida 4 1 2 3 10
Georgia 3 2 3 1 9
Kentucky 0 1 2 0 3
LSU 2 1 2 3 8
Mississippi State 1 2 3 0 6
Missouri 1 1 1 1 4
Ole Miss 0 4 2 3 9
South Carolina 1 2 0 4 7
Tennessee 1 2 2 1 6
Texas A&M 2 2 4 2 10
Vanderbilt 3 3 1 1 8

 

Second-Team Offense

QB AJ McCarron, Alabama

RB Keith Marshall, Georgia

RB LaDarius Perkins, Mississippi State

WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M

WR Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss

TE Rory Anderson, South Carolina

C James Stone, Tennessee

OG Chris Burnette, Georgia

OG Aaron Morris, Ole Miss

OT Wesley Johnson, Vanderbilt

OT Antonio Richardson, Tennessee



Second-Team Defense

DE Bud Dupree, Kentucky

DE C.J. Johnson, Ole Miss

DT Byran Jones, Arkansas

DT Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina

LB Lamin Barrow, LSU

LB Adrian Hubbard, Alabama

LB Denzel Nkemdiche, Ole Miss

CB Deshazor Everett, Texas A&M

CB Marcus Roberson, Florida

S Kenny Ladler, Vanderbilt

S Nickoe Whitley, Mississippi State



Second-Team Specialists

K Cody Parkey, Auburn

P Steven Clark, Auburn

KR Marcus Murphy, Missouri

PR Jonathan Krause, Vanderbilt

 

Related Content: SEC Predictions for 2013


Third-Team Offense

QB Aaron Murray, Georgia

RB Ben Malena, Texas A&M

RB Tre Mason, Auburn

WR Odell Beckham Jr., LSU

WR Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia

TE Malcolm Johnson, Mississippi State

C Ryan Kelly, Alabama

OG Jon Halapio, Florida

OG Jarvis Harrison, Texas A&M

OT Ja'Waun James, Tennessee

OT Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M



Third-Team Defense

DE Denico Autry, Mississippi State

DE Walker May, Vanderbilt

DT Daniel McCullers, Tennessee

DT Donte Rumph, Kentucky

LB Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State

LB Antonio Morrison, Florida

LB Avery Williamson, Kentucky

CB E.J. Gaines, Missouri

CB Damian Swann, Georgia

S Eric Bennett, Arkansas

S Cody Prewitt, Ole Miss



Third-Team Specialists

K Zach Hocker, Arkansas

P Tyler Campbell, Ole Miss

KR Trey Williams, Texas A&M

PR Odell Beckham Jr., LSU


Fourth-Team Offense

QB Connor Shaw, South Carolina

RB Jeremy Hill, LSU

RB Jeff Scott, Ole Miss

WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri

WR Bruce Ellington, South Carolina

TE OJ Howard, Alabama

C Jonotthan Harrison, Florida

OG A.J. Cann, South Carolina

OG Zach Fulton, Tennessee

OT La’El Collins, LSU

OT John Theus, Georgia



Fourth-Team Defense

DE Dee Ford, Auburn

DE Dante Fowler, Florida

DT Isaac Gross, Ole Miss

DT Brandon Ivory, Alabama

LB Trey DePriest, Alabama

LB Chase Garnham, Vanderbilt

LB Steven Jenkins, Texas A&M

CB Jalen Mills, LSU

CB Charles Sawyer, Ole Miss

S Demetruce McNeal, Auburn

S Jaylen Watkins, Florida



Fourth-Team Specialists

K Taylor Bertolet, Texas A&M

P Cody Mandell, Alabama

KR Bruce Ellington, South Carolina

PR Christion Jones, Alabama


 

2013 SEC Team Previews

East Division West Division
Florida Alabama
Georgia Arkansas
Kentucky Auburn
Missouri LSU
South Carolina Mississippi State
Tennessee Ole Miss
Vanderbilt Texas A&M


Related College Football Content

SEC Predictions for 2013
College Football's Top 25 Teams for 2013

College Football Team Rankings for 2013: No. 26-40

College Football Team Rankings for 2013: No. 41-60

College Fooball Team Rankings for 2013: No. 61-80

College Football Team Rankings for 2013: No. 81-100

College Football Team Rankings for 2013: No. 101-125

College Football's Top 50 Quarterbacks of the BCS Era

College Football's Top 50 Running Backs of BCS Era

College Football's Top 50 Wide Receivers of BCS Era

College Football's Top 30 Tight Ends of the BCS Era

Teaser:
<p> SEC Football 2013 All-Conference Team</p>
Post date: Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 07:21
Path: /college-football/ranking-pac-12s-college-football-stadiums
Body:

Fall Saturdays are special.

Small towns, huge crowds, tailgating, bands, cheerleaders and student sections are just a few of the reasons college football is the best sport on the planet. When campuses jump to life across the nation each weekend in the fall, college stadiums become a staging ground for history.

There are a variety of ways to evaluate the greatness of a stadium. Huge attendance numbers, home-field advantage in the win-loss column, rich traditions, picturesque landscapes and amenities are just a few of the aspects that must be considered to rank so many great college football cathedrals.

With that in mind, here's how the stadiums in the Pac-12 stack up.

1. Autzen Stadium, Oregon
Opened: 1967
Capacity: 54,000
2012 Attendance: 57,490 (28th)

There is a long list of players who have claimed they’ve never heard a louder atmosphere than the Ducks' home building. Tales of the tunnel shaking in the pre-game ceremonies only add to the already amazing Saturday experience despite a smaller capacity. Smooth design lines, a beautiful setting, signature, two-tone green field turf and loads of backing from Nike money make Oregon’s home stadium one of the nation’s top venues. In the friendly confines of Thomas J. Autzen Stadium, the Ducks were 26-2 under Chip Kelly in his four seasons.

Related Content: 2013 Pac-12 Predictions

2. Husky Stadium, Washington
Opened: 1920
Capacity: 71,900*
2012 Attendance: 58,617 (27th)

Technically, the rebuild is a renovation but it might as well be considered a new stadium. With a breath-taking view of Lake Washington, new Husky Stadium will be one of the finest facilities in the nation when it opens this fall. The $250 million “facelift” will actually drop the capacity ever so slightly, but the building will keep its trademark cantilever roofs that trap sound and make the venue one of the Pac-12’s loudest. Seattle has excellent fan support for its football teams (including its MLS Sounders) and no doubt U of W faithful will flock to this luxurious and picturesque football cathedral.

* - estimated

3. Rose Bowl, UCLA
Opened: 1921
Capacity: 92,542
2012 Attendance: 68,481 (22nd)

There may not be more hallowed ground in college football than the Rose Bowl. Historically, some of sports greatest moments have happened within these walls — five Super Bowls, multiple World Cup matches, BCS national title games and, of course, the Granddaddy of Them All. So Bruins home games, at times, fail to live up to the epic reputation of the venue — there were roughly 20,000 empty seats per game last year for a team that won the Pac-12 South championship. The building also deserves to get knocked for being 30 minutes from campus. That said, visiting the Arroyo Seco Park Area for a game, with mountains on the horizon and the Brookside Golf Course next door, is a one-of-a-kind experience. A $164.5 million renovation is underway that should be completed by the end of the 2013 calendar year and should only add to the experience on Saturdays.

4. Los Angeles Coliseum, USC
Opened: 1923
Capacity: 93,607
2012 Attendance: 87,945 (9th)

The biggest venue in the Pac-12 is home to the Men of Troy. The massive, intimidating Coliseum has all the quirks and character of the best venues in the nation, which is why this building has hosted the Summer Olympics, the Super Bowl and the World Series. And when the Trojans are rolling, it is an impossible place for the visiting team to win in. That said, USC doesn’t feature one of the louder 90,000-seat atmospheres in the nation, and, in certain sections, the sheer size of the building can distance the fans from the action. Otherwise, the weather is amazing and the scenery (in all senses of the word) gorgeous.

5. Folsom Field, Colorado
Opened: 1924
Capacity: 53,750
2012 Attendance: 45,373 (50th)

When the Buffs are good, this is one of the greatest places to watch a game in the nation. It certainly needs a facelift and the accommodations need upgrading across the board, but few places can match the beauty of Boulder, Colo., on Saturdays. Named after former coach Fred Folsom, rowdy fans have poured into this building for nearly a century. The Buffaloes have won a grand total of four games over the last two years but this building was still 84.6-percent full last season — a testament to the passion of the fans.

6. Memorial Stadium, Cal
Opened: 1923
Capacity: 62,717
2012 Attendance: 55,876 (34th)

This venue was in dire need of an upgrade and the administration has done a great job refurbishing one of the more unique stadiums in the Pac-12. The $321 million renovation took two years but, Memorial Stadium re-opened in 2012 and the project was hailed as a rousing success. The entire West Side was demolished and rebuilt, the field was lowered to improve sightlines and the East Side amenities were totally overhauled. Earthquake engineering and Tight Wad Hill, where students climb trees to watch the game, give this building some extremely unique character. And at 34th nationally in attendance, Cal sports one of the sneaky good gameday atmospheres on the West Coast.

7. Sun Devil Stadium, Arizona State
Opened: 1958
Capacity: 71,706
2012 Attendance: 56,835 (31st)

This building is a bit older than some of the others and has plenty of empty seats, but Sun Devil Stadium has provided many a excellent Saturday evening. The crowd is one of the most beautiful in the nation and climbing nearby Tempe Butte is a right of passage for many. It also is one of the league’s largest venues and consistently led the conference in attendance in the '80s. Future renovations and consistent winning could make SDS one of the nation’s best in the near future.

8. Reser Stadium, Oregon State
Opened: 1953
Capacity: 45,674
2012 Attendance: 43,424 (56th)

At 95.1-percent of capacity, quaint Reser Stadium has very few empty seats on Saturdays. Recent renovations gave Oregon State faithful one of the biggest video boards in the nation, expanded seating in the end zones, hip upgrades to the East Grandstand and improved amenities. Future plans also call for more growth, targeting a 55,000-seat capacity. Named in 1999 after benefactors Al and Pat Reser of Reser’s Fine Foods, Oregon State’s home on Saturday’s is one of the more underrated places to watch a game.

9. Stanford Stadium, Stanford
Opened: 1921
Capacity: 50,000
2012 Attendance: 43,343 (57th)

The Farm isn’t the biggest or loudest place to watch a game but there is much to like about Stanford Stadium. The amenities are second-to-none and the state-of-the-art building is located among groves of eucalyptus and oak trees on one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation. If the building were bigger, and the fans louder, Stanford Stadium would be ranked higher among its peers.

10. Arizona Stadium, Arizona
Opened: 1928
Capacity: 51,811
2012 Attendance: 47,931 (43rd)

When the team is playing well, this place can get loud. The recent $378 million renovation project added a new video board, upgraded team facilities and football offices while expanding seating in the North end zone. The Wildcats' home sits 2,430 feet above sea level in the beautiful Santa Catalina Mountains. The three-tiered stadium has a long-standing reputation for bizarre late-season upsets and crazy endings.

11. Rice-Eccles Stadium, Utah
Opened: 1998
Capacity: 45,017
2012 Attendance: 45,347 (51st)

The building was completely torn down and rebuilt in 1998 after being deemed unworthy of hosting events for the Salt Lake Winter Olympics. Since then, the building and its fans have watched the school outgrow the Mountain West and leap into the deep and powerful Pac-12 waters. Named after donors Robert L. Rice and George and Dolores Eccles, the building is regularly at capacity and the offers the Wasatch Mountains as a fantastic backdrop. The longer this team plays in the Pac-12, the better Saturdays will get in Rice-Eccles.

12. Martin Stadium, Washington State
Opened: 1972
Capacity: 32,248
2012 Attendance: 30,252 (74th)

During a big game, Martin Stadium will pop to life and make fans forget the building is the smallest in the league. Or that it’s located in the Pac-12’s most distant outpost. The building has a metallic feel and getting to campus is virtually impossible, but the Cougars' faithful hold their own during critical moments (see Washington game last year).
 

2013 Pac-12 Team Previews

North South
California Arizona
Oregon Arizona State
Oregon State Colorado
Stanford UCLA
Washington USC
Washington State Utah

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Pac-12 Predictions for 2013
College Football's Top 25 Teams for 2013

College Football Team Rankings for 2013: No. 26-40

College Football Team Rankings for 2013: No. 41-60

College Fooball Team Rankings for 2013: No. 61-80

College Football Team Rankings for 2013: No. 81-100

College Football Team Rankings for 2013: No. 101-125

College Football's Top 50 Quarterbacks of the BCS Era

College Football's Top 50 Running Backs of BCS Era

College Football's Top 50 Wide Receivers of BCS Era

College Football's Top 30 Tight Ends of the BCS Era

Teaser:
<p> Ranking the Pac-12's College Football Stadiums</p>
Post date: Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 07:17
Path: /college-football/ranking-big-tens-college-football-stadiums
Body:

Fall Saturdays are special.

Small towns, huge crowds, tailgating, bands, cheerleaders and student sections are just a few of the reasons college football is the best sport on the planet. When campuses jump to life across the nation each weekend in the fall, college stadiums become a staging ground for history.

There are a variety of ways to evaluate the greatness of a stadium. Huge attendance numbers, home-field advantage in the win-loss column, rich traditions, picturesque landscapes and amenities are just a few of the aspects that must be considered to rank so many great college football cathedrals.

With that in mind, here's how the stadiums in the Big Ten stack up.

1. Ohio Stadium, Ohio State
Opened: 1922
Capacity: 102,329
2012 Attendance: 105,330 (2nd)

There is little doubt that the Horseshoe is the Big Ten’s best place to watch a game. A great nickname, awesome traditions, tremendous fan support and commitment, elite level of success, High Street and the Banks of the Olentangy make Ohio Stadium a bucket list destination for fans of every team. And with a brand new video board, audio system and LED lighting, Ohio State boasts one of the top college football venues in the nation. Watching the "Dotting of the I" before a Buckeyes game is something all college fans should experience. Finishing No. 2 in average attendance doesn’t hurt either.

2. Beaver Stadium, Penn State
Opened: 1960
Capacity: 106,572
2012 Attendance: 96,730 (5th)

From a massive city like Columbus to a sleepy college town like State College, Beaver Stadium nearly matches The Horseshoe’s every facet. Named after former Board of Trustees’ President James Beaver, Penn State’s home stadium is as intimidating as any in the nation — especially when 100,000 fans are all wearing white. Massive, boisterous crowds steeped in rich tradition and history make Nittany Lions’ home games a sight to behold. And climbing nearby Mount Nittany is a right of passage of sorts for all who attend a game at Beaver Stadium.

3. Memorial Stadium, Nebraska
Opened: 1923
Capacity: 81,067
2012 Attendance: 85,517 (12th)

Towering over the sprawling Lincoln campus, Memorial Stadium rises high into the horizon for all Big Red faithful to see. The façade of Memorial Stadium is extremely intimidating to those down on the field and the crowds are the most committed in the nation. This venue has been sold out since 1962. With another round of multimillion dollar expansions coming, this college football cathedral is expected to get even bigger (91,000) and even more luxurious. And from a technology standpoint, few programs in the nation can boast the level of advancement of the Cornhuskers football program.

4. Camp Randall Stadium, Wisconsin
Opened: 1917
Capacity: 80,321
2012 Attendance: 80,006 (17th)

Madison is routinely considered one of the nation’s most enjoyable college towns. Nestled between two gorgeous lakes, the downtown campus “jumps around” on fall Saturdays. The brat haze that floats over State Street and down Regent Street ushers fans through a gorgeous campus and into the House that Barry built. Camp Randall got its name from its time as a Civil War army base in the 1800s long before Big Ten athletics were created. Wisconsin has consistently poured money into renovating its prized gem of a stadium over the years, with some finishing touches still yet to come. One of the nation’s best game day atmospheres is only getting better with time.

5. Michigan Stadium, Michigan
Opened: 1927
Capacity: 109,901
2012 Attendance: 112,252 (1st)

The biggest stadium in the nation is located in Ann Arbor, Mich. And capable of holding upwards of 80,000 people at the time it opened, The Big House was well ahead of its time in terms of sheer size and capacity. Built down into the ground, the massive bowl doesn’t tower over the land or hold in the sound like some of its 100,000-seat brethren. However, the renovations completed in 2010 installed new luxury boxes, added a massive video scoreboard and thousands of club seats. These changes have contained the noise to some degree and made The Big House more inhospitable to opposing teams.

6. Kinnick Stadium, Iowa
Opened: 1929
Capacity: 70,585
2012 Attendance: 70,474 (21st)

Formerly Iowa Stadium, the name changed in 1972 when a local sports writer convinced the powers that be to rename the building after former Heisman Trophy winner Nile Kinnick. The Hawkeyes' home field took its current shape in 2006 when a $86 million renovation added a new press box, video scoreboard and built permanent seating in the south end zone, complete with upgraded amenities. The no-frills, straight forward seating can be as loud as any stadium in the Big Ten and the famous pink visitors’ locker room only adds to the building’s rich tradition.

7. Spartans Stadium, Michigan State
Opened: 1923
Capacity: 75,005
2012 Attendance: 75,382 (20th)

Entering the 2012 season, Michigan State has put together an extremely respectable 69.6-percent winning percentage (334-142-13) at home since taking up residency in Spartan Stadium. So clearly, last year’s bizarre 2-5 home mark isn’t indicative of the home-field advantage that Sparty has enjoyed within the perfectly symmetrical walls of Spartan Stadium. Renovations completed in 2006 upgraded the luxury suites, club seats, concourses and amenities and added The Grand Entrance, a sharp looking glass and brick façade that welcomes Green and White faithful each Saturday.

8. TCF Bank Stadium, Minnesota
Opened: 2009
Capacity: 50,805
2012 Attendance: 46,637 (47th)

The newest building in the Big Ten is home to the Golden Gophers of Minnesota. The on-campus, outdoor facility opened in 2009 and cost roughly $300 million to build. It could be expanded to 80,000 should it be needed. The west end zone is open air, holds a massive HD video board and provides a scenic view of downtown Minneapolis. “The Bank” or “Gopher Hole” has dramatically improved the game day atmosphere for home games and provides Minnesota an on-campus home of its own for decades to come. The amenities are also among the league’s best considering it’s the newest building in the conference.

9. Ross Ade Stadium, Purdue
Opened: 1924
Capacity: 62,500
2012 Attendance: 43,588 (55th)

Named for Boilermakers alumni David Ross and George Ade, Purdue’s home stadium could be the next Big Ten stadium to get a makeover. It has plenty of tradition, a rich history of elite players and has provided plenty of upsets — just ask Ohio State. But an upper deck on the North and East sides as well as a facelift for the amenities would go a long way to improving the status of this proud venue. The rumored additions would balance out the currently western heavy feel to the building — due to the massive press box and luxury suites towering over the single-bowl facility. Winning more games, of course, would go a long way to pushing forward these potential renovations.

10. Memorial Stadium, Illinois
Opened: 1923
Capacity: 60,670
2012 Attendance: 45,564 (49th)

The exterior of Illinois’ facility has always had a classic and traditional feel that welcomes home and road fans. But prior to 2008, this facility lacked the passion and intensity of the bigger Big Ten buildings. However, a brand new press box and luxury suites on the West side coupled with 10,000 new seats in the north end zone have helped rebuild the Memorial experience. And when the multimillion dollar video board is added in the coming months, the Fighting Illini’s home venue will be even better.

11. Memorial Stadium, Indiana
Opened: 1960
Capacity: 52,959
2012 Attendance: 44,802 (52nd)

The Hooisers’ home field is one of the few in the nation that has remained largely unchanged throughout the years. The signature, solitary press box rests gently atop the single-tier bowl nicknamed “The Rock.” A rare 2009 renovation expanded seating slightly, added the brand new Hall of Champions athletic facility and enclosed the north end zone. Bloomington is an awesome college town and Memorial offers the homely experience of a laid-back Midwestern campus. But until the team can win at a higher level more consistently, The Rock won’t be nearly as intimidating as most places in the league.

12. Ryan Field, Northwestern
Opened: 1926
Capacity: 47,130
2012 Attendance: 35,697 (65th)

Formerly Dyche Stadium, the Wildcats' home stadium was renamed Ryan Field in honor of Patrick G. Ryan, who was the chairman of the Board of Trustees at that time. The unique gentle curves of the stadium allow for great sight lines and few bad seats. Located in northeast Chicago along Lake Michigan, the Evanston campus offers plenty for fans to enjoy. However, much like Duke or Vanderbilt, this venue struggles to match the rabid intensity of bigger more powerful athletic departments.

Big Ten Team Previews

Leaders Division Legends Division
Illinois Iowa
Indiana Michigan
Ohio State Michigan State
Penn State Minnesota
Purdue Nebraska
Wisconsin Northwestern

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Teaser:
<p> Ranking the Big Ten's Football Stadiums</p>
Post date: Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 07:15
All taxonomy terms: Drivers, Golf
Path: /golf/golf-equipment-drivers
Body:

• AMP CELL Driver
Put a little pizzazz in your golf bag with this new driver by COBRA golf. The driver looks good — it comes in silver, blue, red or orange — and performs great. Golfers can set six different lofts/trajectories with its MyFly technology. Website: www.cobragolf.com.

 

 

 

• R11S by TaylorMade Golf

The white head of the original R11 remains red-hot thanks to added adjustability that allows golfers to create 80 different launch settings. The new five-way Adjustable Sole Plate (ASP) complements the Movable Weight Technology (MWT) and Flight Control Technology (FCT). TaylorMade increased the size of the clubhead to 460cc, the maximum allowed by the United States Golf Association. TaylorMade testing indicated that the white color, coupled with the black face and increased size, makes the head look even larger than it is, promoting player confidence standing over the ball. We all need a little more of that, right? Website: taylormadegolf.com.

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 19:52
Path: /nascar/fantasy-nascar-picks-pocono-international-speedway
Body:

To help guide you through the 2013 Fantasy NASCAR season, Athlon Sports contributor Geoffrey Miller will be offering his best predictions for each race. And because Yahoo's Fantasy Auto Racing game is arguably the most popular, he’ll break down the picks according to its NASCAR driver classes — A-List, B-List, C-List. The main picks are designed to make optimal use of Yahoo!’s 9-start maximum rule over the course of the season. The “also consider” section ranks unmentioned drivers strictly by expected result without consideration of start limitations.


It’s round one of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Michigan International Speedway this weekend — and the one year anniversary of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s most recent win. Oh, that’s the only thing everyone is talking about this week? Sorry about that. Jump in, make your picks and, hopefully, make us look like we know what we’re talking about.


A-List (Pick two, start one)
Jimmie Johnson  Johnson was so, so good at Pocono Raceway. Without a differing pit strategy from Ryan Newman, there’s a good chance Johnson could have led all but about 10 laps or so thanks to the green flag pit stops. Most worrisome for the field is that Johnson discussed after the race how the car’s demands are really sharpening in to focus for that team. In other words: Johnson and crew chief aren’t trying out new setup theories at this point, they’re improving on what’s already working. There’s a good chance Johnson erases his distinction of never winning at Michigan come Sunday.

Denny Hamlin  Hamlin didn’t quite come through at Pocono like expected, and he’s now starting to reach desperation mode if the summer comeback from the four races he missed is going to happen. It was just two years ago that Hamlin drove away from the field to win at Michigan, and remember he was injured in a crash while battling for the lead earlier this year at Auto Club Speedway — Michigan’s sister track in shape and design. Last year, his Michigan race ended in a fire on pit road — knocking his average finish at MIS to 13.6.

Also consider: Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne
 

Teaser:
<p> Fantasy NASCAR tips for the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway.</p>
Post date: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 17:59
All taxonomy terms: Hybrids, Golf
Path: /golf/golf-equipment-hybrids
Body:

• Adams Golf Idea Super S Hybrid
Bought by TaylorMade-adidas Golf last year, Adams Golf continues to churn out quality clubs for all skill levels. The newest line, called Super S, was designed to be easy to hit. The Cut-Thru sole slot on the hybrid is thinner, deeper and longer, designed to increase ball speeds for greater distance. Website: www.adamsgolf.com.

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 17:43
All taxonomy terms: Putters, Golf
Path: /golf/golf-equipment-putters
Body:

• Bridgestone Golf
All three e-Series golf balls (e5, e6 and e7) have experienced an aerodynamic upgrade in 2013, utilizing a new 326-seamless dual dimple pattern. Dimples that are six percent larger and cover 2.5 percent more surface area on the ball reduce drag and increase lift to maximize distance. The three-piece Surlyn cover construction of the e6 — available in white, yellow and orange — reduces sidespin for more accuracy. Website: www.bridgestonegolf.com.

FASHION

• Loudmouth Golf
Founded in 2000, Loudmouth has time-warped the outrageous 1970s fashions into today’s world. John Daly helped put the brand on the map, but the company offers more than just Daly’s wild colors and patterns. For the more conservative types, there are stylish Loudmouth outfits that will look great on anyone. Then again, most golfers wearing Loudmouth want to stand out from the crowd, not blend in. Website: www.loudmouthgolf.com.

• TRUE Linkswear
Ryan Moore, always the snappy dresser, wears the sensei for its mix of comfort and fashion. TRUE Linkswear, founded just two years ago, created the first golf shoe built on a barefoot platform with the thinnest sole in the game. They’re so comfortable they feel more like slippers and look more like casual tennis shoes than traditional golf shoes. Expanded offerings in 2013 ensure this upstart a place in a market dominated by Footjoy and other major manufacturers. Website: www.truelinkswear.com.

• AHEAD
Acquired by Sweden-based New Wave Group AB in the summer of 2011, this versatile brand is best known for its logoed hats and visors. It is the leading supplier of headwear to the United States Golf Association and PGA of America, and has relationships with Annika Sorenstam, Luke Donald, Retief Goosen, Jim Furyk, Sean O’Hair and Brittany Lincicome. Men will enjoy the classic look of the polos and the splash of color contrast in its growing PGA Authentic line. Women can accessorize to the max with the Kate Lord Collection. The 2013 fall line adds new colors, like thistle and oasis blue, and new thermal pieces with rich hues.Website: www.aheadweb.com.

• Oakley RadarLock Pitch sunglasses
The RadarLock Pitch, a durable carbon-fiber sports performance frame, features two lenses. The G30 Iridium lens is called the “golf lens” for its ability to improve contrast and depth perception and reduce glare, all great for reading greens. SwitchLock technology makes changing lenses fast and hassle-free. Oakley recently signed Zach Johnson and Bubba Watson to endorsement contracts. Website: www.oakley.com.

• Nexbelt X-Factor Golf Belt
Nexbelt designs “The Belt With No Holes” thanks to PreciseFit, an innovative ratcheting system that allows for ¼” adjustments. With no holes, Nexbelt gives off a fashionable, streamlined appearance. There’s even a hidden ball marker under the buckle just a flip away. The company has introduced three new styles in 2013 to complement their colorful existing lineup of men’s and women’s belts. Website: www.nexbelt.com.

 

GROW THE GAME GEAR

• Hello Kitty Golf
Want your daughter to get bitten by the golf bug? New pink golf gear from Hello Kitty Golf just might nudge her in the right direction. Junior sets with a golf bag come in separate sizes for ages 3-5 (three clubs), ages 6-8 (five clubs) and ages 9-12 (six clubs). A full women’s set and accessories such as golf balls, divot tools, towels and head covers are also available. Website: www.sanrio.com/hello-kitty-golf.

• SNAG Golf
SNAG, which stands for Starting New at Golf, uses oversized clubs and color-coded teaching aids to inspire children and beginners to take up the game without all the confusing technical talk of the golf swing. Troon Golf, which operates courses around the world, uses SNAG in a successful learning program at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz. The new Jack Nicklaus Learning Leagues, powered by SNAG, will be introduced at select local park and recreation facilities around the country this year for players ages 5-12. Individual kits of clubs and training tools, sold in different sizes by age, are perfect for any little player. Website: www.snaggolf.com.

TRAVEL GEAR

• The Last Bag by Club Glove
This durable road warrior, preferred by most PGA Tour players, can take clubs wherever they dare to travel, from Ireland to New Zealand and back. The water-resistant nylon cover comes in 17 different colors and with a limited lifetime warranty. There are two exterior pockets for golf shoes and durable zippers, handles and wheels. The bag can also connect to other ClubGlove luggage, making transportation to and from the airport easier. Website: www.clubglove.com.

 

• Stiff Arm
Even the clubs of PGA Tour players aren’t immune to the hazards of airline travel. Lee Janzen had his clubs trashed either by airline staff or the airport ground crew in 2011. Protect your clubs with the Stiff Arm by Club Glove, a fully adjustable three-piece crutch that fits in all travel bags. The nylon plastic head will take the beating while protecting even the longest club in your bag (presumably the driver). It’s a smart $30 investment. Website: www.clubglove.com.

BAD WEATHER GEAR

• Sunice Albany Jacket
This versatile rain jacket comes from the Hurricane Collection of Sunice, a Canadian company known for excellent outerwear. It is 25 percent lighter with 25 percent more stretch than other jackets in its category. Gore-Tex, a high performance fabric, will keep the water out, while the warmth stays in. Lockdown waterproof zippers keep the iPod storage chest pocket dry. Website: www.sunice.com

 

• Pro Gold Golf Umbrella
GustBuster calls this product the only “UN-Flippable, UN-Flappable, UN-Leakable” umbrella in the world. Wind-release vents in the nylon fabric can withstand winds of more than 55 miles-per-hour, and the frame, made of carbonized steel and aluminum, won’t collapse. The fabric is backed by a lifetime repair or replacement warranty. It will blow away in a storm before it will break. Website: www.Gustbuster.com.

COOL APPs

• My Pro To Go
Need a quick swing fix on the road? This new app brings the highly trained and experienced teaching pros of GolfTEC right to your fingertips. Golfers who capture a front and side view of their swing with their smartphone can send the videos to the app or the website to receive a video swing lesson and drills from a certified GolfTEC coach. A single private lesson costs $39, with savings for a series of lessons. Colorado-based GolfTEC, founded in 1995, has grown to more than 140 improvement centers around the United States, Canada and Japan. Website: www.myprotogo.com, www.golftec.com

• GolfLogix
GolfLogix, the first company to introduce handheld GPS to the golf industry, offers a free app that provides accurate distances on nearly 30,000 golf courses worldwide. It features yardage-book quality imagery and aerial flyovers. For $20 a year, players can track every shot to learn club distances and shot trends. Website: www.Golflogix.com.

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 16:42
All taxonomy terms: Golf Gear, Golf
Path: /golf/golf-equipment-gear
Body:

• Bridgestone Golf
All three e-Series golf balls (e5, e6 and e7) have experienced an aerodynamic upgrade in 2013, utilizing a new 326-seamless dual dimple pattern. Dimples that are six percent larger and cover 2.5 percent more surface area on the ball reduce drag and increase lift to maximize distance. The three-piece Surlyn cover construction of the e6 — available in white, yellow and orange — reduces sidespin for more accuracy. Website: www.bridgestonegolf.com.

FASHION

• Loudmouth Golf
Founded in 2000, Loudmouth has time-warped the outrageous 1970s fashions into today’s world. John Daly helped put the brand on the map, but the company offers more than just Daly’s wild colors and patterns. For the more conservative types, there are stylish Loudmouth outfits that will look great on anyone. Then again, most golfers wearing Loudmouth want to stand out from the crowd, not blend in. Website: www.loudmouthgolf.com.

• TRUE Linkswear
Ryan Moore, always the snappy dresser, wears the sensei for its mix of comfort and fashion. TRUE Linkswear, founded just two years ago, created the first golf shoe built on a barefoot platform with the thinnest sole in the game. They’re so comfortable they feel more like slippers and look more like casual tennis shoes than traditional golf shoes. Expanded offerings in 2013 ensure this upstart a place in a market dominated by Footjoy and other major manufacturers. Website: www.truelinkswear.com.

• AHEAD
Acquired by Sweden-based New Wave Group AB in the summer of 2011, this versatile brand is best known for its logoed hats and visors. It is the leading supplier of headwear to the United States Golf Association and PGA of America, and has relationships with Annika Sorenstam, Luke Donald, Retief Goosen, Jim Furyk, Sean O’Hair and Brittany Lincicome. Men will enjoy the classic look of the polos and the splash of color contrast in its growing PGA Authentic line. Women can accessorize to the max with the Kate Lord Collection. The 2013 fall line adds new colors, like thistle and oasis blue, and new thermal pieces with rich hues.Website: www.aheadweb.com.

• Oakley RadarLock Pitch sunglasses
The RadarLock Pitch, a durable carbon-fiber sports performance frame, features two lenses. The G30 Iridium lens is called the “golf lens” for its ability to improve contrast and depth perception and reduce glare, all great for reading greens. SwitchLock technology makes changing lenses fast and hassle-free. Oakley recently signed Zach Johnson and Bubba Watson to endorsement contracts. Website: www.oakley.com.

• Nexbelt X-Factor Golf Belt
Nexbelt designs “The Belt With No Holes” thanks to PreciseFit, an innovative ratcheting system that allows for ¼” adjustments. With no holes, Nexbelt gives off a fashionable, streamlined appearance. There’s even a hidden ball marker under the buckle just a flip away. The company has introduced three new styles in 2013 to complement their colorful existing lineup of men’s and women’s belts. Website: www.nexbelt.com.

 

GROW THE GAME GEAR

• Hello Kitty Golf
Want your daughter to get bitten by the golf bug? New pink golf gear from Hello Kitty Golf just might nudge her in the right direction. Junior sets with a golf bag come in separate sizes for ages 3-5 (three clubs), ages 6-8 (five clubs) and ages 9-12 (six clubs). A full women’s set and accessories such as golf balls, divot tools, towels and head covers are also available. Website: www.sanrio.com/hello-kitty-golf.

• SNAG Golf
SNAG, which stands for Starting New at Golf, uses oversized clubs and color-coded teaching aids to inspire children and beginners to take up the game without all the confusing technical talk of the golf swing. Troon Golf, which operates courses around the world, uses SNAG in a successful learning program at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz. The new Jack Nicklaus Learning Leagues, powered by SNAG, will be introduced at select local park and recreation facilities around the country this year for players ages 5-12. Individual kits of clubs and training tools, sold in different sizes by age, are perfect for any little player. Website: www.snaggolf.com.

TRAVEL GEAR

• The Last Bag by Club Glove
This durable road warrior, preferred by most PGA Tour players, can take clubs wherever they dare to travel, from Ireland to New Zealand and back. The water-resistant nylon cover comes in 17 different colors and with a limited lifetime warranty. There are two exterior pockets for golf shoes and durable zippers, handles and wheels. The bag can also connect to other ClubGlove luggage, making transportation to and from the airport easier. Website: www.clubglove.com.

 

• Stiff Arm
Even the clubs of PGA Tour players aren’t immune to the hazards of airline travel. Lee Janzen had his clubs trashed either by airline staff or the airport ground crew in 2011. Protect your clubs with the Stiff Arm by Club Glove, a fully adjustable three-piece crutch that fits in all travel bags. The nylon plastic head will take the beating while protecting even the longest club in your bag (presumably the driver). It’s a smart $30 investment. Website: www.clubglove.com.

BAD WEATHER GEAR

• Sunice Albany Jacket
This versatile rain jacket comes from the Hurricane Collection of Sunice, a Canadian company known for excellent outerwear. It is 25 percent lighter with 25 percent more stretch than other jackets in its category. Gore-Tex, a high performance fabric, will keep the water out, while the warmth stays in. Lockdown waterproof zippers keep the iPod storage chest pocket dry. Website: www.sunice.com

 

• Pro Gold Golf Umbrella
GustBuster calls this product the only “UN-Flippable, UN-Flappable, UN-Leakable” umbrella in the world. Wind-release vents in the nylon fabric can withstand winds of more than 55 miles-per-hour, and the frame, made of carbonized steel and aluminum, won’t collapse. The fabric is backed by a lifetime repair or replacement warranty. It will blow away in a storm before it will break. Website: www.Gustbuster.com.

COOL APPs

• My Pro To Go
Need a quick swing fix on the road? This new app brings the highly trained and experienced teaching pros of GolfTEC right to your fingertips. Golfers who capture a front and side view of their swing with their smartphone can send the videos to the app or the website to receive a video swing lesson and drills from a certified GolfTEC coach. A single private lesson costs $39, with savings for a series of lessons. Colorado-based GolfTEC, founded in 1995, has grown to more than 140 improvement centers around the United States, Canada and Japan. Website: www.myprotogo.com, www.golftec.com

• GolfLogix
GolfLogix, the first company to introduce handheld GPS to the golf industry, offers a free app that provides accurate distances on nearly 30,000 golf courses worldwide. It features yardage-book quality imagery and aerial flyovers. For $20 a year, players can track every shot to learn club distances and shot trends. Website: www.Golflogix.com.

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 14:24
All taxonomy terms: Irons, Golf
Path: /golf/golf-equipment-irons
Body:

• Mizuno JPX-825 Irons
Mizuno calls these irons "the longest and most forgiving irons in the company’s history." That should get your attention. Mizuno’s distance-generating JPX technologies of Hot Metal and MAX COR create an ultra-thin face that delivers extra distance. In the 4- through 7-irons, the MAX COR ultra-pocket cavity design and a multi-thickness face result in solid feel, highest allowable ball speeds, and maximum forgiveness with an easy, high launch. The 8-iron through wedge utilize a Mid COR through a Deep Pocket Cavity Design that delivers greater precision and distance. Lastly, the Solid Power Design in the gap wedge provides enhanced solid feel and maximum control.
Website: www.mizunousa.com/golf

• Rocketbladez irons
The “Speed Pocket,” a small slot in the sole of the Rocketbladez iron, flexes and rebounds at impact, an action that promotes faster ball speed, a higher launch angle and more powerful ball flight. TaylorMade studies indicate that 68 percent of iron shots by amateurs are miss-hits below the center of the clubface. The Speed Pocket — used in the 3- through 7-irons — will help the distance and trajectory on those shots. Website: taylormadegolf.com.

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 12:40
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /golf/us-open-television-schedule
Body:
Thursday, June 13 9 a.m.-3 p.m. ESPN First Round
  3-5 p.m. NBC First Round
  5-7 p.m. ESPN First Round (Part II)
  8-11 p.m. ESPN Best of First Round (tape)
Friday, June 14 12-1 a.m. ESPN2 SportsCenter at the U.S. Open
  1-4 a.m. ESPN2 Best of First Round (tape)
  9 a.m.-3 p.m. ESPN Second Round
  3-5 p.m. NBC Second Round
  5-7 p.m. ESPN Second Round (Part II)
  8-11 p.m. ESPN Best of Second Round (tape)
Saturday, June 15 12-1 a.m. ESPN2 SportsCenter at the U.S. Open
  2-5 a.m. ESPN2 Best of Second Round (tape)
  11 a.m.-Noon ESPN SportsCenter at the U.S. Open
  Noon-7:30 p.m. NBC Third Round
Sunday, June 16 12-1 a.m. ESPN2 SportsCenter at the U.S. Open
  2-5 a.m. ESPN2 Best of Third Round (tape)
  11 a.m.-Noon ESPN SportsCenter at the U.S. Open
  Noon-7:30 p.m. NBC Fourth Round
Monday, June 17 12-1 a.m. ESPN2 SportsCenter at the U.S. Open
  1-4 a.m. ESPN2 Best of Fourth Round (tape)
  Noon-2 p.m. ESPN Playoff Round (if necessary)
  2 p.m.-Conclusion NBC

Playoff Round (if necessary)

All Times Eastern

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 11:39
All taxonomy terms: MLB, MLB
Path: /mlb/10-baseball-players-who-would-make-great-managers
Body:

When it comes to managing a baseball team, who knows the game better than someone who played it? That’s why it should come as no surprise that of the league’s 30 current managers, 25 of them are former MLB players.

With an established history and track record of making the transition from the field to the dugout already in place, the question becomes which current players would make the best manager?

This was just one of the many questions Athlon Sports posed to today’s players, with the goal of gauging their opinions, tastes and preferences on a variety of topics related to both on and off-field issues. More than a fifth of all MLB players responded for this survey, which appears in full in the upcoming June issue of Athlon Sports Magazine, so we feel this is a fair representation of the mindset of today’s major-leaguers.

Which current player will make the best manager?
(Numbers following name represent the percentage of the vote player received)

1. Derek Jeter, SS, New York Yankees (7.1%)
There should be little surprise the Yankees captain received the most votes from his peers. Even though he has yet to play in a game this season, Jeter’s Hall of Fame legacy is secure, as is his standing as one of the greatest to ever wear Yankee pinstripes.

Whether Jeter even has any managerial aspirations is for him to reveal, but it’s clear that his peers think he’s more than capable of making the transition. Playing his entire career in the media capital of the world for one of the world’s most recognizable franchises and becoming one of the greatest of all-time certainly doesn’t hurt his credentials either.

2. Jason Giambi, 1B/DH, Cleveland (6.4%)
A 19-year veteran who has played for four different teams, Giambi has left enough of an impression on his peers in regard to his chances of making it as a manager. Giambi has a reputation for being a great teammate, and he also gained some credibility and respect when he publicly apologized in May 2007 for steroid use. Giambi reportedly was considered as a possible managerial candidate in Colorado during this past offseason before the Rockies settled on Walt Weiss. First-year Cleveland manager Terry Francona also was adamant about signing Giambi, believing he would be a great mentor for the Indians' younger players. So it appears that the players aren’t the only ones who think highly of Giambi in this respect.

3. David Wright, 3B, New York Mets (5.7%)
Similar to Jeter, Wright is the face of the other baseball team in New York, as he already is the all-time Mets’ franchise leader in numerous offensive categories. Wright hasn’t enjoyed near as much team success as Jeter, but the Mets’ struggles in the win-loss column haven’t impacted the complete, all-out effort Wright puts into every game. He’s been known to play hurt or at less than 100 percent and has clearly won the respect of his teammates, as he was named the fourth captain in Mets’ franchise history this season.

4. Mark DeRosa, 2B/3B/OF, Toronto (4.3%)
A 16-year veteran who has played for eight different teams, DeRosa has seen and done it all during his career. He is a versatile player who has spent time at every position on the diamond with the exception of pitcher, catcher and center field. He has been an asset to the managers he’s played for during the latter part of his career as a do-everything, utility player who is ready when called upon and won’t grouse about at-bats while on the bench. A graduate of the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania, DeRosa certainly appears to have the ingredients players like to see in their managers.

5. David Ross, C, Boston (4.3%)
He’s played for six different teams in 12 seasons and has appeared in more than 90 games just once. A career .237 hitter, Ross has obviously earned the respect of his teammates and peers for his contributions to a team based on him finishing tied for fourth in this vote. While he may just be a backup catcher, Ross is in good company as 10 current managers, which is a third of MLB teams, spent time behind the plate during their playing careers.

6. Mark Kotsay, OF/1B, San Diego (3.5%)
The recipient of the Golden Spikes Award in 1995 as college baseball’s best player while at Cal State Fullerton, Kotsay is in his 17th major-league season. A career .278 hitter with 127 home runs who has played for seven different teams, Kotsay’s contributions to a ball club go beyond what he can do at the plate. Kotsay has made the transition from full-time starter to part-time player and done so while maintaining the respect of both his teammates and the franchises he has played for.

7. Joe Mauer, C/1B, Minnesota (3.5%)
The 2009 AL MVP, there’s no disputing Mauer’s status as one of the game’s top hitters. His worth to the Twins goes well beyond his contributions on the diamond, as evidenced by the eight-year, $184 million contract he signed in 2011. An established, well-respected player on the field and a profitable, likeable and marketable commodity off of it, Mauer is a perfect fit to eventually become the next in a line of “home-grown” Minnesota managers, similar to Tom Kelly and current Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire.

8. Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis (2.8%)
Long known as one of the best defensive catchers and game-callers in the game, Molina also has developed into one of the top offensive backstops in recent seasons. His contributions and importance to the success of the Cardinals’ pitching staff during his tenure is unmistakable, so it only makes sense that his peers feel Molina would make a great manager. Besides his work with the pitchers, Molina often will direct the positioning of the other fielders. Molina’s middle brother Jose is a catcher with Tampa Bay, while his older brother Benjie is the assistant hitting coach for the Cardinals. So why not a Molina-heavy coaching staff with Yadier as manager?

9. Nick Punto, 2B/3B/SS, Los Angeles Dodgers (2.8%)
Punto is the epitome of a major-league utility man, having played 13 seasons for five different teams even though he’s started more than 100 games in a season just twice. He’s played all four infield positions and also spent time in the outfield. He won a World Series with the Cardinals in 2011 and represented Italy in the World Baseball Classic in both 2009 and ’13. More known for his glove than his bat, Punto is your prototypical solid, yet not spectacular, professional major-leaguer in the mold of current Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum.

10. Paul Konerko, 1B, Chicago White Sox (1.6%*)
A 17-year veteran with more than 400 career home runs, Konerko is second all-time in White Sox franchise history in both homers and RBIs and has been the team's captain since 2006. Whether Konerko decides to follow in the footsteps of former teammate and current manager Robin Ventura remains to be seen, but he is well respected for his baseball mind and has had a good working relationship with the media during his career. Rather than Ventura, a better comparison for Konerko would be current Los Angeles Dodgers skipper and former All-Star first baseman Don Mattingly.

*Jerry Hairston Jr. (OF, Los Angeles Dodgers) and Michael Young (3B/2B, Philadelphia) also each received 1.6 percent of the vote.

Teaser:
<p> 10 Baseball Players Who Would Make Great Managers</p>
Post date: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 11:00
All taxonomy terms: U.S. Open, Golf, News
Path: /golf/us-open-5-storylines
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Here are some of the stories we'll be following when the players tee it up at the Merion Golf Club for the 2013 U.S. Open on Thursday morning:

Is Merion Tough Enough?
In the clubhouse at Merion Golf Club hangs the iconic photo that has found its way into many picture frames across the world: Ben Hogan’s famous 1-iron shot to Merion’s 18th green at the 1950 U.S. Open. The photo is famous for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it captures Hogan on his way to winning the U.S. Open less than two years after nearly being killed in an auto accident that affected the rest of his career. But also notable is the fact that Hogan is using a 1-iron. Nobody uses that club today. And it is quite unlikely that a player today, hitting from the same distance to the pin, would need that much club.

The club near Philadelphia will host the U.S. Open for the fifth time, but the first since 1981. The course was believed to be too short for the world’s best golfers 30 years ago, which leads to the same kind of questions today. And if it is not too short, then how will the United States Golf Association’s Mike Davis go about setting it up to make it a firm enough test?

Graeme McDowell, the 2010 U.S. Open champion, had the chance to play at Merion last summer and raved about the venue. He also wondered “just how high are they going to grow the grass, how difficult will the rough be?’’

It's a given that the rough will be brutal, the fairways narrow and the greens as fast and treacherous as possible given the torrential rains that have soaked the area.

In order to get the Open again — it is played on the club’s East Course, about a mile from the West Course, where the players will practice and have locker room facilities — Merion officials had to agree to some changes put forth by the USGA. Of course, lengthening several holes was part of the process. In 1981, when David Graham hit all 18 greens in regulation during the final round, Merion measured less than 6,500 yards.

The USGA feels that those changes were worth it, and that Merion is worth showcasing. “This is a national treasure in the world of golf and to expose it to the world, I feel good about that,” said Davis, who is the USGA’s executive director and also in charge of setting up its championship venues. “If I have a fear, it’s four days of wet conditions, where they are throwing darts, but I feel that way at every Open. If we get firm conditions, this course will be an awesome test.”

Whether it's playing tough or not, Merion should provide plenty of thrills, as tweeted by Rory McIlroy: "What a golf course! Plenty of birdie chances mixed with plenty of potential disaster! Going to be an exciting US Open!"

Dream Threesome
The marquee group for the first two rounds of the U.S. Open at Merion is a doozy: three-time Open champ Tiger Woods, 2011 champ Rory McIlroy and reigning Masters champion Adam Scott. The grouping provides subplots aplenty, not the least of which is the fact that Woods and former caddie Steve Williams, now on Scott’s bag, will be reunited for only the second time since their acrimonious parting. It also marks the first time — but hopefully not the last — that Woods and McIlroy will be paired at a major. The group will tee off on Thursday at 1:14 p.m. Eastern from tee No. 1 and then at 7:44 a.m. on Friday from tee No. 11. We’ll be watching.

Is Rory Ready?
Former World No. 1 Rory McIlroy has been underwhelming in 2013, to say the least. He missed the cut in his only two European Tour appearances this season, and aside from a runner-up at the Valero Texas Open, he hasn't contended in the U.S. either. His ballstriking has been better than you would think; he ranks fourth on Tour in Greens in Regulation. If he can get a few putts to drop and avoid too many trips to the knee-high rough, he'll contend.

What About the 40-Somethings?
At last year's British Open, Ernie Els, then 42, proved that 40 is not a death sentence for golfers, winning his fourth major. Can another 40-something kiss the trophy this week? Merion doesn't require the prodigious length that eliminates some older players before they start, giving hope to the aged this week. Els himself is a candidate to win his third U.S. Open after a respectable T13 at The Masters, although his British Open win is his only victory since 2010 and may have been an outlier. Jim Furyk seemed primed to win his second U.S. Open last year at age 42 before a disappointing final round left him T4. But the guy we're watching this week is Phil Mickelson. This tournament owes something to Lefty, who celebrates his 43rd birthday on Sunday. What a birthday and Father's Day it would be for Mickelson if he got over the hump at a tournament where he's finished second a record five times. His runner-up finish at the FedEx St. Jude could bode well.

Will the Drought Finally End?
It's been a full five years since Tiger Woods' one-legged U.S. Open win. Who knew at the time that it would be his swan song for the foreseeable future. Tiger seems primed to end the drought, winning four tournaments before the end of May for the first time in his career and posting his first win at the Players Championship since 2001. He ranks first on Tour in Adjusted Scoring, All Around and FedExCup points. Once again, he's the undisputed best player in the world. A poor putting performance at the Memorial could have been a red flag, but we think it's a mere blip. We expect him to be the last man standing, this time on two good legs.

Teaser:
<p> 5 Storylines to Watch at the U.S. Open</p>
Post date: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 10:30

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