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Path: /college-football/college-footballs-link-roundup-july-25

A relatively quiet day around college football as Big Ten Media Days winds down in Chicago. 

Contact us on twitter with a link or a tip we should include each day. (@AthlonSteven)

College Football's Must-Read Stories Around the Web for Wednesday, July 25th

Can Kliff Kingsbury replicate Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald's path?

Penn State and West Virginia are close to finalizing a home-and-home series.

Saturday Down South ranks the cornerbacks in the SEC for 2013.

Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr played all of 2012 with an abdominal tear.

Texas receiver Cayleb Jones has decided to transfer.

How will Kansas State rebuild its defense?

Will California running back Brendan Bigelow be ready to go in fall practice?

Crystal Ball Run breaks down the latest in the Carlos Hyde saga at Ohio State.

Tight end Christo Kourtzidis is transferring from Florida State. 

JUCO recruits are hit-or-miss in the Big 12.

Thankfully, there is no end in sight to the Louisville-Kentucky rivalry.

Here's an excellent Q and A with Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury.

Georgia's coordinators enter 2013 with contrasting outlooks.

If Division 4 is created, expect the American to fight to be involved. And on the same subject, Southern Miss coach Todd Monken had some interesting thoughts on an NCAA split.

Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins has already served his day in jail as a result of an off-the-field incident this summer.

An Oregon State cornerback was dismissed from the team this week.

What are some of the key questions and answers for Oklahoma State this year?

Maryland's linebackers have some big shoes to fill in 2013.

Tulane is expected to add a LSU transfer for the 2013 season.

College Football's Link Roundup: July 24
Post date: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 14:49
All taxonomy terms: Eldora Speedway, NASCAR, NASCAR, News
Path: /taking-stock-nascars-visit-eldoras-dirt-oval

"Do we have to go back?!"

That was the question asked by Clint Bowyer, referring to returning to the Sprint Cup Series, following Wednesday's Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway. And he didn't even race.

NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series was at the center of the North American motorsports spotlight upon its visit to tiny Rossburg, Ohio, marking the first time one of NASCAR’s three major touring circuits raced on a dirt track since Sept. 30, 1970. That race, the Old State 200 at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, N.C., was won by Richard Petty.

When the green waved over the 150-lap feature, few of the participants were even born when Petty ended an era of dirt in NASCAR 43 years ago.

And in an odd — yet telling — twist, the visit to Eldora’s 24-degree banked dirt oval has upstaged what once was a jewel on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit: The Brickyard 400 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In recent years, interest in NASCAR at the grand old speedway has waned, as evidenced by severely sagging attendance, TV ratings and the desperate inclusion of Nationwide Series and Grand Am races to complement Sunday’s Cup show.

Indy has never provided great “racin’” in the vein stock car fans are accustomed, and a tipping point may have been reached in 2008, when failing Goodyear tires on a newly diamond-ground surface essentially reduced the event to a series of 12-lap heat races. And even if that race had gone off without a hitch, it’s doubtful many would feel different about the on-track product the speedway provides the bulky stocks.

Enter Eldora, whose racing may not have been "great" in the classic sense, but was certainly an enjoyable change of pace. Tony Stewart's half-mile oval is a throwback in every sense of the word, as far from a 1.5-mile asphalt cookie-cutter track as one will find. A palpable enthusiasm had permeated the fan base since the date’s announcement last fall; it was a welcome return to the sport’s roots. Something new, fun and as accessible as a quarter-mile dirt track “just a few miles out in the county” — a half hour from your house or mine. The big boys of NASCAR were racing on (what felt like) the local level. And social media reaction on Twitter ran overwhelmingly positive (a rarity) during the event.

Is this the type of show fans have longed for from a sport whose sanctioning body often seems disconnected from the loyal base that made NASCAR what it is?

Perhaps NASCAR should learn from this experiment. Perhaps sparsely-attended 500-mile parades at aero-dependent palaces of speed aren’t what interest fans after all — or pull new ones in. Perhaps “great racing” at a facility that will pack in "only" 20,000 rabid fans means more than NASCAR’s track-operating wing showing a hefty year-end surplus on a ledger sheet. After all, the the ruling family is soon to be about  $4 billion richer, thanks to a healthy new TV contract.

Perhaps Eldora will help NASCAR find its identity again, the same as the rough ’n’ tumble short tracks did nearly two decades ago just before the sport began a rocketship rise from regional obsession to national phenomenon.

Or perhaps another casino on a speedway’s grounds will justify a second date, as seen at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway. Or prime dates will be doled out to struggling France family-owned facilities, as fellow 1.5-miler Chicagoland Speedway’s first Chase date highlights. Those immaculate cathedrals cater to the suite-dwelling business types whose sponsorship dough keep teams running, after all.

Yes, Wednesday’s show at Eldora was a fun one to watch — and it may have opened the door to the Truck Series’ return to other off-the-beaten-path locales. But let's enjoy it for what it was: a gimmick — and that's not a bad thing. It was a gimmick that really and truly worked and should be scheduled again post haste. (Props to Stewart, Steve O'Donnell, Roger Slack, et al, for a flawless show.)

Just don’t hold out hope that the mighty Cup Series will descend upon Knoxville any time soon, or that the Nationwide circuit will magically reappear in South Boston, Myrtle Beach or Nashville. And don’t expect the wallets of the few to be effected by the wants of the many.

Follow Matt Taliaferro on Twitter: @MattTaliaferro

What does NASCAR's visit to the dirt track at Eldora mean for the sport's future?
Post date: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 12:53
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/best-and-worst-times-be-usc-football-fan

The 2012 season wasn’t a pleasant one for USC. The thud from preseason No. 1 to 7-6 with a two-touchdown loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl qualifies as one of the most disappointing for any school anywhere.

Painful as it was, that season alone doesn’t qualify as one of the toughest times for a USC fan. At least Trojans fans got to watch their team. The 1982-83 squads, also limited by NCAA sanctions, faced a television ban. And yet USC still managed to go 8-3 in ’82 and recovered to go to the Rose Bowl two years later.

The standards are higher at USC for sure, and the Trojans have rarely had long stretches of poor play. USC has only had 12 losing seasons in its history.

Certainly, the highs are more notable in Los Angeles.

The most prominent college football programs, for the most part, resided West of the Rocky Mountains when John McKay became USC’s head coach in 1960, though the Trojans at the time were a Rose Bowl regular before then. McKay set up USC to become one of college football’s premier programs with a constant stream of Heisman winners, national champions, All-Americans and future Pro Football Hall of Famers.

Here are the times when the Song Girls had a little more pep in their step as well as the times they were the better draw to the Coliseum than the football team.


National championships: 4
Coach: John McKay, John Robinson
Notable players: O.J. Simpson, Ron Yary, Lynn Swann, Richard Wood, Ricky Bell, Dennis Thurman, Charles White, Ronnie Lott, Marcus Allen, Sam Cunningham
Generations of Americans will remember O.J. Simpson for reasons other than what a superstar Juice was in college. Simpson ushered in the most successful era in USC history by rushing for 3,423 yards in two seasons with 23 touchdowns as a senior. The ledger during this era is astounding: Four national titles (1967, ’72, ’74, ’78), three Heisman winners (Simpson, White and Allen), an Outland winner (Yary) nine Pac-10 titles (plus a 10th in the 7-4 season in 1966). These USC teams also brought social significance, with Sam Cunningham and USC’s 42-21 win over an all-white Alabama team in Birmingham in 1970 doing “more to integrate Alabama in 60 minutes than Martin Luther King did in 60 years,” as Tide assistant Jerry Claiborne put it. The 1972 team was one of the best in USC history, becoming the first team to gain every first-place ballot in the AP and UPI polls.

Record: 68-9
National championships: 2
Coach: Pete Carroll
Notable players: Reggie Bush (right), Matt Leinart, Carson Palmer, Troy Polamalu, Dwayne Jarrett, Sam Baker, Keneche Udezi, Lofa Tatupu
Before Alabama resurfaced, USC was the dominant program of the 21st century, though the fanfare around the two traditional powers couldn’t be more different. Pete Carroll was made for Los Angeles with his big personality and open invitations for celebrities such as Will Ferrell and Snoop Dogg to hang around the program. USC won seven consecutive Pac-10 titles under Carroll, a feat no Trojans coach accomplished. On a national scale, USC won back-to-back national titles in 2003-04 during a run of seven consecutive top-five finishes. With three Heisman winners (Palmer, Bush and Leinart), USC had one of the nation’s best offenses, but the Trojans had one of the best defensive performances in school history by holding eight teams to a touchdown or less in 2008. During this era, only a Vince Young-led Texas team was able to beat USC in a bowl game.

National championships: 2
Coach: Howard Jones
Notable players: Mort Kaer, Jesse Hibbs, Morley Drury, Erny Pinckert, Gus Shaver, Ernie Smith, Aaron Rosenberg, Cotton Warburton
USC quickly became the preeminent Western power in the late ‘20s, winning two pre-AP era national championships in 1931 and ’32. The 1932 team that finished 10-0 held opponents to a grand total of 13 points.


Record: 21-27-2
Coaches: Don Clark, John McKay
USC had yet to achieve dynasty status as it did in the ‘60s and ‘70s, but the Trojans had come to expect more that what it got in the late ‘50s during the short tenure of Don Clark. He went 1-9 in his first season and finished 8-2, but USC endured a seven-year Rose Bowl drought, the longest for the program since the ‘20s. Clark’s tenure wasn’t all a failure; his staff included McKay and future Raiders icon Al Davis. McKay went 8-11-1 in his first two seasons before an unlikely undefeated national championship season in Year Three.

Coaches: John Robinson, Paul Hackett
Robinson’s second tour of duty with USC wasn’t nearly successful as the first, as he went 12-11 in his final two seasons. Hackett didn’t fare much better, going 11-13 in his final two seasons. This was one of the rare times USC was dormant in the Pac-10, reaching only one bowl game in five seasons.

The '60s and '70s were a good time to pull for Tailback U
Post date: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 12:40
Path: /nfl/2013-afc-coordinator-carousel

More than half of the teams in the AFC will have at least one new coordinator in 2013. Most of the staff changes are the result of the five new head coaches that were hired by Buffalo, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Kansas City and San Diego and filling some vacancies that were created as a result.

There also were those changes that were made due to a lack of performance, such as is the case for the New York Jets, who have a new offensive and denfensive coordinator following last season's 6-10 showing.

Related: 2013 NFC Coordinator Carousel

Here is a rundown of the coordinator changes in the AFC:

Buffalo Bills, Offensive Coordinator
OLD: Curtis Modkins
NEW: Nathaniel Hackett

New Buffalo head coach Doug Marrone brought Hackett, the offensive coordinator his last two seasons at Syracuse, with him to the NFL. Hackett is tasked with trying to jumpstart one of the league’s least-productive passing offenses in 2012.

Buffalo Bills, Defensive Coordinator
OLD: Dave Wannstedt
NEW: Mike Pettine

Pettine stays in the AFC East, coming over after serving as Rex Ryan’s defensive coordinator with the Jets the past four seasons. Pettine has his work cut out for him in Buffalo. The Bills surrendered the second-most points (435) in franchise history last season.

Cleveland Browns, Offensive Coordinator
OLD: Brad Childress
NEW: Norv Turner

Fired after six seasons in San Diego, Turner returns to the role where he first made a name for himself in the NFL. As Dallas’ offensive coordinator from 1991-93, Turner helped produce three top-10 offenses for Cowboy teams that won back-to-back Super Bowls.

Cleveland Browns, Defensive Coordinator
OLD: Dick Jauron
NEW: Ray Horton

After getting passed over for the head job in Arizona, Horton was tabbed by new Cleveland coach Rob Chudzinski to help the Browns’ young defense take the next step.

Denver Broncos, Offensive Coordinator
OLD: Mike McCoy
NEW: Adam Gase

Promoted from QBs coach following Mike McCoy’s departure to San Diego, Gase will try to continue what Peyton Manning & Co. started. Gase has even more weapons at his disposal in wide receiver Wes Welker and rookie running back Montee Ball.

Indianapolis Colts, Offensive Coordinator
OLD: Bruce Arians
NEW: Pep Hamilton

After Bruce Arians left to take over as the head coach in Arizona, Chuck Pagano hired Hamilton, who was Andrew Luck’s quarterbacks coach and Stanford’s offensive coordinator during Luck’s highly successful final season with the Cardinal.

Jacksonville Jaguars, Offensive Coordinator
OLD: Bob Bratkowski
NEW: Jedd Fisch

New Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley is already familiar with Fisch, as the two worked together on Pete Carroll’s staff in Seattle in 2010. Fisch returns to the NFL following a two-year stint as the Miami Hurricanes’ offensive coordinator.

Jacksonville Jaguars, Defensive Coordinator
OLD: Mel Tucker
NEW: Bob Babich

Babich brings three decades of experience to Jacksonville to oversee Gus Bradley’s defense. He had been a part of the Bears coaching staff since 2006, including the past three as linebackers coach, where he worked with Pro Bowlers Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher.

Kansas City Chiefs, Offensive Coordinator
OLD: Brian Daboll
NEW: Doug Pederson

Pederson was part of Andy Reid’s staff in Philadelphia from 2009-12 and will take his first crack as a coordinator working with Reid in Kansas City. Pederson was the Eagles’ quarterbacks coach when the team set a franchise record for total offense in 2011.

Kansas City Chiefs, Defensive Coordinator
OLD: Romeo Crennel
NEW: Bob Sutton

Sutton spent the past 13 seasons on the Jets’ staff. He served as Eric Mangini’s defensive coordinator in New York from 2006-08 before shifting to LBs coach under Rex Ryan.

New York Jets, Offensive Coordinator
OLD: Tony Sparano
NEW: Marty Mornhinweg

The Eagles’ offensive coordinator the past seven seasons, Mornhinweg landed on his feet following his dismissal in Philadelphia. He’ll work with a Jets offense that scored fewer than 18 points and averaged less than 181 yards passing per game last season.

New York Jets, Defensive Coordinator
OLD: Mike Pettine
NEW: Dennis Thurman

The Jets’ DBs coach the past five seasons, Thurman was promoted to defensive coordinator by Rex Ryan after Pettine left for the same post in Buffalo. Thurman will try to help the Jets’ defense return to its ’09 form, when it led the NFL in points and yards allowed.

Oakland Raiders, Offensive Coordinator
OLD: Greg Knapp
NEW: Greg Olson

Knapp was made the scapegoat for the Raiders’ inability to run the ball. Olson is no stranger to this role, having served as OC for Detroit, St. Louis and Tampa Bay.

San Diego Chargers, Offensive Coordinator
OLD: Hal Hunter
NEW: Ken Whisenhunt

Fired after six seasons as the head coach in Arizona, Whisenhunt joins new San Diego head coach Mike McCoy’s staff in the same role he held with Pittsburgh from 2004-06.

Related NFL Content

Top 25 NFL Players on the Hot Seat in 2013
8 NFL Head Coaches on the Hot Seat in 2013
12 NFL Quarterbacks on the Hot Seat in 2013
12 NFL Running Backs on the Hot Seat in 2013
15 NFL Wide Receivers/Tight Ends on the Hot Seat in 2013

2013 NFL Training Camp Dates and Locations
2013 NFL Training Camp: Storylines to Watch
2013 NFL Training Camp: Quarterback Battles to Watch

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

AFC EastAFC NorthAFC SouthAFC West
BuffaloBaltimoreHouston Denver
MiamiCincinnatiIndianapolisKansas City
New EnglandClevelandJacksonvilleOakland
NY JetsPittsburghTennesseeSan Diego
NFC EastNFC NorthNFC SouthNFC West
NY GiantsDetroitCarolinaSt. Louis
PhiladelphiaGreen BayNew OrleansSan Francisco
WashingtonMinnesotaTampa BaySeattle

Click here to order your Athlon Sports Pro Football 2013 Preview magazine

2013 AFC Coordinator Carousel
Post date: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 12:00
Path: /nfl/2013-nfc-coordinator-carousel

Similar to the AFC, half of the teams in the NFC made a change at either offensive or defensive coordinator, or both, during the offseason. Three teams — Arizona, Chicago and Philadelphia — hired new head coaches, which meant they brought in new coordinators as well.

Carolina and Seattle also had to find new a offensive and defensive coordinator, respectively, as their previous ones were hired by AFC teams to be their head coaches. The change at defensive coordinator in Dallas and New Orleans was prompted simply by poor performance in 2012.

Related: 2013 AFC Coordinator Carousel

Here is a rundown of the coordinator changes in the NFC:

Here is a rundown of the coordinator changes in the AFC: - See more at:

Arizona Cardinals, Offensive Coordinator
OLD: Mike Miller
NEW: Harold Goodwin

Miller was among the many assistant coaches dismissed when Arizona fired Ken Whisenhunt. Goodwin and new head coach Bruce Arians served on Pittsburgh’s offensive staff from 2007-11 before moving on to Indianapolis, where Goodwin was the Colts’ offensive line coach last season. This will be Goodwin’s first stint as an offensive coordinator (though Arians is expected to call the plays).

Arizona Cardinals, Defensive Coordinator
OLD: Ray Horton
NEW: Todd Bowles

Horton left for Cleveland when he was passed over for the head coaching position following Ken Whisenhunt’s firing in Arizona. Bowles was promoted from Philadelphia’s defensive backs coach to defensive coordinator following Juan Castillo’s dismissal during the Eagles’ bye week last season.

Carolina Panthers, Offensive Coordinator
OLD: Rob Chudzinski
NEW: Mike Shula

With Chudzinski getting the head coaching gig in Cleveland, Shula moves up from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator on Ron Rivera’s Panthers staff. The head coach at Alabama from 2003-06, Shula served as Tampa Bay’s offensive coordinator from 1996-99. He’s been Cam Newton’s quarterbacks coach since Newton entered the league.

Chicago Bears, Offensive Coordinator
OLD: Mike Tice
NEW: Aaron Kromer

Kromer had been on Sean Payton’s staff in New Orleans the past five seasons, serving first as running backs coach and then offensive line coach. He also was the Saints’ interim head coach the first six games of last season. Kromer and new Bears head coach Marc Trestman previously worked together on Oakland’s staff from 2001-04.

Chicago Bears, Defensive Coordinator
OLD: Rod Marinelli
NEW: Mel Tucker

Marinelli went to Dallas to join Monte Kiffin’s staff as the Cowboys’ defensive line coach. New Chicago head coach Marc Trestman hired Mel Tucker away from Jacksonville. The Jaguars’ defensive coordinator and then assistant head coach from 2009 until last season, Tucker also served as Cleveland’s defensive coordinator during the ’08 season.

Dallas Cowboys, Defensive Coordinator
OLD: Rob Ryan
NEW: Monte Kiffin

The 73-year-old Kiffin is back in the NFL after being a part of his son Lane’s staff at Tennessee and USC. The long-time Tampa Bay defensive coordinator (1996-2008) will try to turn around a Dallas defense that finished 24th in the league last season in points allowed and forced a total of just 16 turnovers.

Related: It's Playoffs or Bust for the Dallas Cowboys in 2013

New Orleans Saints, Defensive Coordinator
OLD: Steve Spagnuolo
NEW: Rob Ryan

Rex’s twin brother landed in New Orleans following his dismissal in Dallas. This will be Rob’s fourth stint as an NFL defensive coordinator; he served in that capacity at Oakland (2004-08) and Cleveland (2009-10) before running things in Dallas the past two seasons.

Philadelphia Eagles, Offensive Coordinator
OLD: Marty Mornhinweg
NEW: Pat Shurmur

Mornhinweg was let go by the Eagles but landed the same job with the Jets. Shurmur likewise was fired following his 9–23 two-season stint as Cleveland’s head coach and decided to return to Philadelphia to work with first-year head coach Chip Kelly.

Philadelphia Eagles, Defensive Coordinator
OLD: Juan Castillo/Todd Bowles
NEW: Bill Davis

Rookie NFL head coach Chip Kelly tabbed NFL-lifer Davis to run his defense in Philadelphia. Davis has been an NFL assistant coach since 1992 when he got his start in Pittsburgh. The Eagles are the ninth team Davis has worked for, including previous stints as the defensive coordinator for the 49ers (2005-06) and Cardinals (2009-10).

St. Louis Rams, Defensive Coordinator
OLD: Committee
NEW: Tim Walton

After going with a three-headed monster to run the defense last season, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher hired a member of his coaching tree to take over the reins. Walton served as Detroit’s secondary coach the past four seasons, during which time he worked under Jim Schwartz, Fisher’s former defensive coordinator when they both were with the Titans.

Seattle Seahawks, Defensive Coordinator
OLD: Gus Bradley
NEW: Dan Quinn

Bradley parlayed the Seahawks’ recent success into the top job in Jacksonville. Quinn returns to the Seahawks after spending the last two seasons as Florida’s defensive coordinator. Quinn served under Bradley as the Seahawks’ defensive line coach from 2009-10.

Related NFL Content

Top 25 NFL Players on the Hot Seat in 2013
8 NFL Head Coaches on the Hot Seat in 2013
12 NFL Quarterbacks on the Hot Seat in 2013
12 NFL Running Backs on the Hot Seat in 2013
15 NFL Wide Receivers/Tight Ends on the Hot Seat in 2013

2013 NFL Training Camp Dates and Locations
2013 NFL Training Camp: Storylines to Watch
2013 NFL Training Camp: Quarterback Battles to Watch

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

AFC EastAFC NorthAFC SouthAFC West
BuffaloBaltimoreHouston Denver
MiamiCincinnatiIndianapolisKansas City
New EnglandClevelandJacksonvilleOakland
NY JetsPittsburghTennesseeSan Diego
NFC EastNFC NorthNFC SouthNFC West
NY GiantsDetroitCarolinaSt. Louis
PhiladelphiaGreen BayNew OrleansSan Francisco
WashingtonMinnesotaTampa BaySeattle

Click here to order your Athlon Sports Pro Football 2013 Preview magazine

2013 NFC Coordinator Carousel
Post date: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 12:00
Path: /nascar/austin-dillon-wins-nascars-return-dirt-eldora

“I think it was a success. It was such a great show. This is real racing right here, and that’s all I’ve got to say.”  Austin Dillon and Tony Stewart

With those words from race-winner Austin Dillon, NASCAR’s inaugural trip to the famed Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, was deemed a success.

Not that those in attendance or watching on television needed affirmation.

NASCAR’s first sanctioned dirt race of its top three series in 43 years went off without a hitch Wednesday night in front of a capacity crowd somewhere in the neighborhood of 18,000.

After a night filled with heat races, last-chance qualifiers and a 150-lap feature, it was Richard Childress Racing’s Dillon that won the Mudsummer Classic, beating Kyle Larson and Ryan Newman in a spirited battle that was extended to 153 laps due to a green-white-checker finish.

“This is bad to the bone,” Dillon said. “This is a great race. … This is one of the biggest wins of my career.”

It was one of the most anticipated nights in Camping World Truck Series history, orchestrated by track owner and Sprint Cup regular Tony Stewart, NASCAR VP Steve O’Donnell and track general manager Roger Slack. And the evening started with a bang, as veteran racer Ken Schrader won the pole, in the process becoming NASCAR’s oldest pole-winner at 58 years of age.

Youth took over from there, with the 20-year-old Larson leading 51 laps and at times putting on a clinic in how to hustle the bulky trucks around the slick half-mile oval. But Dillon made the decisive pass for the lead while in heavy traffic on lap 89 and held off Larson and Newman for the final 31 circuits. He led a race-high 64 laps.

“My dad told me a long time ago that if we won at Eldora, we’d just skip all the NASCAR stuff and go to NHRA because there’s nothing more out here to do because it’s just so tough to do,” said Dillon, who started 19th.

“We’re going to stick in NASCAR, but the coolest thing is you’re out of control out there. … I’d clip the fence and I’m leading the race. You’re on the edge every lap.”

Finicky NASCAR fans took to Twitter to voice support of the race throughout the evening, and competitors — including Stewart, a three-time Cup champion and regular dirt tracker — mirrored Dillon’s enthusiasm.

“This is more than just a truck race," Stewart said. “This is big for every dirt track across the country. This is exposure that a lot of these tracks never get. We’re fortunate to have this opportunity. This is something that can help short-track racing as a whole.”

Follow Matt Talaiferro on Twitter: @MattTaliaferro

Austin Dillon wins Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway.
Post date: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 11:56
All taxonomy terms: Buffalo Bulls, College Football, MAC, News
Path: /college-football/buffalos-rebranding-effort-be-new-yorks-team

Buffalo launched a rebranding effort this summer, and the team debuted its new jerseys and helmets for 2013 at MAC Media Days.

The Bulls are hoping to brand themselves as the State University of New York, and the new jerseys reflect the rebranding effort with a patch just above the number.

It’s not a huge change, but an interesting effort by Buffalo.

(Photos tweeted by (@JasonAmessenger)


And here is Buffalo's new helmet for 2013


Buffalo launches rebranding effort
Post date: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 11:30
Path: /college-basketball/college-basketball-americans-top-freshmen-transfers-and-more-2013-14

Most coaches would envy Rick Pitino. Louisville won the national championship and returns every key player other than Peyton Siva and Gorgui Dieng. Those are major losses, for sure, but the Cardinals may start the season ranked in the top three.

The determining factor in Louisville’s ability to repeat may be a handful of new key players. Junior college transfer Chris Jones takes over Siva’s point guard spot. Freshman Terry Rozier will bolster backcourt depth. Redshirt freshman Mangok Mathiang isn’t the veteran Dieng was, but he could be a solid shotblocker.

The Cardinals will be the overwhelming favorite in the first season of the American, but how newcomers perform elsewhere in the conference may determine how much the other teams in the league challenge Louisville. Memphis, as usual, has highly touted freshmen. So does Connecticut. SMU has a slew of transfers ready to make the Mustangs relevant.

Our series on new faces started earlier this week with the ACC. We continue today with the American.

Chris Jones, Louisville
Junior college transfer
Few newcomers have bigger shoes to fill. Point guard Peyton Siva is one of the few departures from the national title winners, and more than that, he was one of Rick Pitino’s all-time favorite players. Jones was a junior college All-American who committed to Tennessee out of high school but took a detour since then. He’s a relentless defender who will be a good fit in the Cardinals’ press.

Terry Rozier, Louisville
Freshman (Hargrave Military Academy)
Another addition to the Louisville backcourt, Rozier adds a scoring touch with his ability to attack the rim. That was pretty evident in January when Rozier scored a Hargrave-record 68 points in a double-overtime game on 19-of-37 shooting and 22-of-24 free throws.

Jermaine Lawrence, Cincinnati
Cincinnati scored fewer than half its points from 2-point range last season (49.6 percent, ranked 247th nationally). Adding the 6-9 power forward Lawrence, a top-25 recruit, should help the Bearcats in the low post. From Sparta, N.J., Lawrence is another big-time prospect Mick Cronin has pulled from the New York/New Jersey area, joining Lance Stephenson and Sean Kilpatrick.

Austin Nichols, Memphis
With Joe Jackson, Chris Crawford, Geron Johnson and Shaq Goodwin, Memphis has a strong backcourt despite a pair of player transfers and an NBA Draft early entry. Memphis needs Nichols, the Tigers’ top recruit and a local product from Briarcrest Christian, to step into the frontcourt right away.  The Tigers also signed two other 6-9 top-50 forwards Kuran Iverson and Dominic Woodson.

Kentan Facey and Amida Brimah, Connecticut
The Huskies got little production out of their frontcourt last season, so this pair of freshman will have the opportunity to push veterans DeAndre Daniels and Tyler Olander. Facey is a good rebounder while Brimah is a lanky shot-blocker.

Lasan Kromah, Connecticut
George Washington transfer
Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright return to lead the UConn backcourt, but adding Kromah gives the Huskies some nice depth on the perimeter. Kromah averaged 11 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in three seasons at George Washington.

Keith Frazier, SMU
SMU has decided it’s serious about basketball, hiring Larry Brown, renovating its arena and signing a local McDonald’s All-American in Frazier. On a team that returns all five starters, the 6-5 shooting guard Frazier could end up the top scorer on a team that hopes to make a splash in its first season in the American Athletic Conference.

Nic Moore, SMU
Illinois State transfer
Moore followed his coach at Illinois State, SMU’s head coach-in-waiting Tim Jankovich, to Dallas. The Mustangs didn’t have a true point guard last season — SMU ranked 11th in Conference USA in assist-to-turnover ratio — so Moore will have a chance to take over point guard duties immediately. Moore had a 1.71 assist-to-turnover ratio and 135 assists as a freshman at Illinois State in 2011-12.

Danrad “Chicken” Knowles, Houston
Ineligible last season
Knowles was the rare top-100 recruit to sign at Houston, but the 6-10 power forward was ineligible last season. Houston is also hoping former Baylor guard L.J. Rose will receive a waiver to be eligible immediately. If both are ready to play this season, Houston will be competitive in its new league. Without them, Houston went 7-9 in a bad Conference USA — and that was before leading scorer Joseph Young transferred.

Josh Brown, Temple
Brown, a graduate of the St. Anthony program coached by the legendary Bob Hurley, committed twice to Temple, both before and after his junior season breakout. He could be the Owls' best perimeter scorer only a year after Temple lost the backcourt duo of Khalif Wyatt and T.J. DiLeo.

Greg Lewis, Rutgers
Rutgers has brought in a handful of transfers to help ease the roster turnover from the Mike Rice era, but Kerwin Okoro (Iowa State) and J.J. Moore (Pittsburgh) are still seeking immediate eligibility. Lewis is a big body at 6-9, 240 pounds who missed last season with a knee injury.

Others of Note

John Egbunu, USF
The Bulls signed Egbunu, a top-100 center, but coach Stan Heath may sweat a bit. USF is pushing back his enrollment a semester as an academic precaution.

Yanic Moreira and Markus Kennedy, SMU
Moreira transferred from junior college and Kennedy transferred from Villanova to bolster SMU’s frontcourt.

Troy Caupain, Cincinnati
Cashmere Wright was a fixture at point guard for Cincinnati, and now the Bearcats turn to a freshman to run the position. He’ll have every chance to take over there to set up Sean Kilpatrick.

Mangok Mathiang, Louisville
The 6-10 center still needs to develop offensively, but he’s ready to contribute now as a shotblocker.

Mark Williams, Temple
The Owls are doing some major rebuilding in the frontcourt, so the 6-8, 230-pound Williams will play immediately. He’ll be a big body inside.

We continue our look at the new faces who will shape each conference race
Post date: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 11:00
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-25-2013

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 25.


• Elsewhere on this very site, you'll find a must-watch video of the Bucs cheerleaders doing a "Blurred Lines" video. I'll wait while you go watch it here. That photo is a sneak preview.


• Aaron Hernandez forfeited his freedom. Now he's forfeited his All-American brick at Florida.


• Speaking of tight ends from the state of Florida, FSU's Nick O'Leary absolutely shredded his motorcycle but somehow walked away. You'd think Jack Nicklaus' grandson could drive better than that.


Kids and adults have differing perspectives on summer. Kids love it; adults wonder if they've actually died and gone to hell.


• Best part of a knucklehead rushing the field at a sporting event? Security guard bodyslam. Here's a video gallery.


Check out this youth football de-cleating. Looks like a pee-wee remake of "The Waterboy."


Updates on Tim Hudson's gruesome ankle injury. Don't watch the video if you've already eaten this morning.


• Brandon Moore, who put the "butt" in the "butt fumble," is retiring. That's just an excuse to link to my favorite NFL play of the last decade.


Guy stuck his head in a crocodile's mouth, with sadly predictable results.


Ranking the top 10 linebackers in the SEC. Guess who has the top two?


Andrew Bynum apparently walked in to his barber and said, "Give me the Don King."


• Play of the night: The Rays turned a tasty double-play against the Sox.



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

Post date: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 10:32
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Miami Ohio RedHawks, MAC, News
Path: /college-football/miami-ohio-unveils-crazy-new-uniforms

Miami, Ohio is making a pretty drastic switch to its uniforms for 2013.

And needless to say, it’s quite an interesting change, as the RedHawks are adding a chrome helmet with the block M in front (instead of the sides as in previous years). Miami is also adding the school’s name across the shoulder pads.

Credit Miami, Ohio for trying something different, but I think I would prefer the RedHawks old jerseys.



Miami (Ohio) Unveils Crazy New Uniforms
Post date: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 10:00
All taxonomy terms: MLB, Overtime
Path: /overtime/david-wright-hits-himself-head-bat

David Wright not only chopped a grounder to short during the Mets game against the Braves, but also chopped himself in the head. During the fourth inning, Wright's bat broke just as he was finishing up his swing, resulting in a nasty smack in the back of his head. From the video, it looks like has seeing stars.


Post date: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 08:40
All taxonomy terms: Atlanta Braves, Tim Hudson, MLB, Overtime, News
Path: /overtime/braves-tim-hudson-breaks-ankle-video
In a freak accident, pitcher Tim Hudson's right ankle was broken when he was stepped on by Eric Young while covering first base last night. The incident ended one of Hudson's best starts this season and spoiled Atlanta's 8-2 victory over the New York Mets. We wish Hudson a speedy recovery.


Tim Hudson breaks his ankle GIF

Post date: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 08:21
Path: /college-football/college-football-2013-ranking-accs-logos

Brand image is a massive part of modern 21st century business and college football is big business.

Signature uniforms like Clemson's alternate purples, picturesque campuses like Blacksburg, Va., or historic personalities like Bobby Bowden help separate one team from the next in the ACC with clarity. Fans identify with these brand images and it helps build value — or brand equity — for every program in the nation.

However, official school logos have been and will always be the simplest and most important way for a college program to classify and separate itself from its peers. Some change dramatically over time while others are literally set in stone for decades. Some are edgy, exciting and extremely busy while others are clean, classic and simple. 

Every college football program in the nation has an official logo — and some are better than others — and the goal is to be the most recognizable brand in the nation.

And since Athlon Sports has been designing the best looking magazines on newsstands for the better part of half a century, we'd thought we'd turn our graphic design guru loose on college football's logos. Here is what Athlon Sports Art Director Matt Taliaferro has to say about the ACC's football logos:

“If the Big Ten is the gold standard for university logos and the Pac-12 is a strange amalgamation of classy and gaudy, the ACC sits somewhere (not surprisingly) in the middle.

Overall, its members subscribe to a more traditional design ethos (with one glaring exception!). Clemson, UNC, Miami, Virginia, Georgia Tech and Duke get high marks for being simple, yet creative; a combination that equates to being effective. Virginia Tech, NC State and Wake leave some intangible 'zing' on the table, yet their logos — for better or worse — have stood the test of time. Either that or university principles have failed to invest in an upgrade, take your pick.

Those yet to be mentioned are a mixed bag. FSU’s logo owes more to the school’s gridiron success than for being a standout in its own right; Pitt’s arched, blocked mark should work, but somehow comes across as clumsy and a bit sloppy; BC has gone contemporary, and that’s fine if that’s your thing (in this case, it’s not mine).

And then there’s Maryland … oh boy, I could write a thesis on what’s going on in College Park. Let me first say that what the Terps are doing with everything from logomarks to uniforms screams 'fun, fun, fun!' While many scoff at the radical look of the football unis, I give Under Armour a ton of credit for zigging while others zag, being innovative, and successfully tying it all together in an exciting presentation. Trust me, one day we’ll look at this as groundbreaking stuff in the sports realm. As for the logo, the new-school block “M” takes a traditional approach and adds a touch of today with a simple flick of the wrist. The total “Maryland package” is well conceived, well executed and — this being the end-game of UM’s madness — makes me want to tune in to see what happens next. Bravo.”

ACC Official Football Logo Rankings

1.ClemsonThere are tons of Tigers, Wildcats and Bulldogs in college sports but none use their mascot quite like Clemson. The Tiger Paw print is synonymous with Clemson athletics and is utterly simple but still edgy and creative. 
2.North CarolinaThe interlocked N-C are as famous as any brand logo in the nation. There are simple touches of style — the font and black trim — that make this logo completely unmistakable.
3.MiamiIt's as simple as it gets but also brings loads of creativity and history. No other logo turns into a hand signal like "The U" and the two-tone color scheme and pattern is unique.
4.Florida StateThe traditional Seminole logo is as recognizable as any in college football. It is a busy look but the subtle "Florida State" isn't too obvious and the lines are very smooth. Frankly, the tradition/success of the football team makes the logo in this case.
5.PittsburghFew teams have a logo that is simply the program's name. With drop shadows and arched font, the Panthers sport one of the cooler looks.
6.Virginia TechVirginia Tech has one of the best combination letter logos in the nation. It is hard to make it work but the simplicity and color pattern combines two letters that fit together nicely.
7.VirginiaThe Cavalier sabres crossed beneath the seraphed "V" is equal parts classic and creative. Few logos can combine these aspects of graphic design.
8.MarylandThe Testudo logo is excellent and this "M" standing alone is unique and fairly good looking. But the added obsession with the state flag in Maryland drops this one down a peg or two.
9.Georgia TechThe Ramblin Wreck's interlocking "G-T" is a historic look that isn't really good or bad. It's got some creativity but not too much.
10.NC StateThe block "S" is a popular logo for many college football teams (Michigan State, Stanford) but NC State takes it a step further by adding the N-C. The black trim is a nice touch and the overall package has good symmetry.
11.DukeThe font is bizarre, that is for sure — and that is what keeps it from being one of the league's top logos. However, it is a signature logo that everyone knows all across the nation.
12.SyracuseOnce again, the block "S" is a classic look and feel and is difficult to screw up. Adding the arched team name above it, however, takes away from what could be a classic, simple logo.
13.Wake ForestThe ACC seems to have more two-letter logos than any other league and Wake Forest is one of them. However, unlike Virginia Tech or Georgia Tech, Wake hasn't really found a creative way to connect its "W" and "F."
14.Boston CollegeThe cartoon eagle and italicized/overlapped BC just doesn't exude tradition and excellence like some other logos. The colors aren't bad but it's too busy to be considered a great logo.

Related College Football Content

ACC Predictions for 2013

12 Steps to Fix ACC Football
ACC All-Conference Team for 2013
ACC's Top Heisman Contenders for 2013
College Football's Top 15 Winners From Conference Realignment
College Football's 2013 All-America Team
Virginia Tech's Struggling Offense Gets a Makeover

Who has the best football logo in the ACC?
Post date: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 08:00
Path: /college-football/vanderbilts-james-franklin-jumps-cliff-chattanooga-video

Vanderbilt coach James Franklin and his staff are on an annual coaches treat in Chattanooga, but that didn’t stop the third-year head coach from having a little fun.

Franklin took the challenge of jumping from a 50-foot cliff into the lake, and it was all captured on film thanks to receivers coach Josh Gattis and player personnel coach Andy Frank.

Check out James Franklin’s jump from a 50-foot cliff:

Vanderbilt's James Franklin Cliff Jumps in Chattanooga (Video)
Post date: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 07:25
Path: /college-football/florida-state-te-nick-oleary-survives-motorcycle-crash-video

Florida State tight end Nick O’Leary was involved in a scary motorcycle accident in early May, but details of the crash have been kept largely quiet for the last two months. O'Leary was not seriously injured in the crash, which is hard to believe considering the collision that occurred between his motorcycle and car.

Thanks to some excellent reporting from, the video from the incident and a few more details about the wreck was just released.

And needless to say, it’s great to see O’Leary walk away from the scene after what could have been a serious injury.


Florida State TE Nick O'Leary Survives Motorcycle Crash (Video)
Post date: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 07:20
Path: /college-football/washington-football-game-game-predictions-2013

Austin Seferian-JenkinsThe Pac-12 North is viewed as a two-team race in 2013. Oregon and Stanford are the class of the North, but there are a lot of eyes on Washington this year.

The Huskies have a revamped and improved Husky Stadium after spending a year in the Seahawks’ CenturyLink Field, and Washington will open with Boise State on Aug. 31. But the Huskies didn’t draw a favorable conference slate, as they catch Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and UCLA in crossover play, with road trips to Oregon State and Stanford also on the Pac-12 schedule.

With a challenging schedule, Washington needs a big year from quarterback Keith Price. After throwing for 3,063 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2011, Price tossed 13 interceptions and regressed in yardage (2,728) last year. Price didn’t have a lot of help from his offensive line in 2012, which is still a concern heading into this year.

What will Washington's record at the end of the 2013 regular season? Athlon’s panel of experts debates: 

Washington's 2013 Game-by-Game Predictions

8/31 Boise State
9/14 Illinois (Chicago)
9/21 Idaho State
9/28 Arizona
10/5 at Stanford
10/12 Oregon
10/19 at Arizona State
10/26 California
11/9 Colorado
11/15 at UCLA
11/23 at Oregon State
11/29 Washington State
Final Projection8-47-57-58-48-4

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
Considering how difficult Washington’s schedule is, it’s very possible the Huskies are a better team, but the progress won’t show in the win column. Much of Washington’s success in 2013 will ride on an improved offensive line, along with the return of quarterback Keith Price to an All-Pac-12 level. Just how difficult is the schedule? Well, there could be four losses on first glance: at Stanford, Oregon, at Arizona State and at UCLA. And games at Oregon State and home against Boise State are tossups or swing games. With the status of tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and receiver Kasen Williams uncertain for the opener against the Broncos, I’m going to lean slightly with Boise State on Aug. 31. But I’m going to give Washington – especially with Seferian-Jenkins and Williams back in the lineup – a win over Oregon State on Nov. 23. After three consecutive seven-win seasons, the Huskies find a way to get to eight wins and finish third in the Pac-12 North in 2013.

Mark Ross
I like this Washington team, as I think the offense, with quarterback Keith Price, running back Bishop Sankey and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins leading the way, has a chance to do some damage. The defense also has a lot of talent and experience returning. The problem I see for the Huskies this season, however, is their schedule. Washington opens by hosting Boise State in brand-new Husky Stadium. Unfortunately, I don't see that one going Steve Sarkisian's way, and October is shaping up to be a pretty rough month as well with Stanford, Oregon and Arizona State lined up in a row.

Getting to six wins shouldn't be a problem for this team. The thing to watch is if these Huskies are able to pull of an upset or two along the way, such as on the road against Oregon State or UCLA. The potential is there for eight or even nine wins, but to get there Washington has to show up for the big games (lost to both Arizona and Oregon on the road last season by a combined score of 104-38) and must win the Apple Cup at home against in-state rival Washington State, something the Huskies did not do last season.

David Fox (@DavidFox615)
If Washington is going to get over that 7-6 hump where the Huskies have been stuck the last three seasons, they’re going to have to win on the road. That hasn’t been easy — Washington is 6-11 on the road the last three years. It’s hard to believe Washington defeated Stanford last season, but that’s not going to happen again in Palo Alto with the Cardinal’s offensive line against Washington’s weakness on the defensive front. After that, the Huskies have three winnable Pac-12 road games in Arizona State, UCLA and Oregon State. Washington's defense was one of the most improved units in the country last season (from 6.2 yards per play in Pac-12 games to 5.3). The skill positions are among the best in the league at receiver, running back and tight end. Four linemen are back. That puts the onus on Keith Price, who underachieved last season. I’ll pick Washington to beat Oregon State, which is minus lockdown corner Jordan Poyer.

Kyle Kensing, Saturday Blitz (@Kensing45)
Great recruiting classes add up to equal talent and experience on what is easily the best Washington team of the Steve Sarkisian era. He will finally get over the seven-win mark, but the question is by how much?

Justin Wilcox led a remarkable one-year turnaround of the defense that should carry over into 2013. Unfortunately for the Huskies, offensive regression coincided with the defensive improvement to keep UW from meeting its potential. Keith Price must bounce back to his 2011 level of play for UW to elevate from a good, second tier Pac-12 team to a legitimate Rose Bowl contender. We should get a sense of where the Huskies are immediately against always-outstanding Boise State, which beat UW in the final game of last season.

The Huskies' four-game stretch to open Pac-12 play is season-defining. They open at home with two teams that beat them last year, Arizona and Oregon, and must travel to face defending conference champion Stanford, then travel to face an Arizona State that is my pick to win the South. Coming out of that spell 2-2 would be a major win. Should UW go 3-1, it positions itself at a run for the conference championship game.

Braden Gall (@BradenGall)
If Coach Sark can combine his offense from 2011 with his defense in 2012, this team might be capable of winning the Pac-12. The defensive coaching changes made last year were wildly effective and this unit should once again be salty. Keith Price, however, needs to revert to his record-setting form from two years ago — and there is no reason to think that won't happen considering his now healthy O-line and talented supporting skill cast. Late season road games with Arizona State, UCLA and Oregon State will determine if this team is a 9-10 win team or a 6-7 win team. I will go right in the middle.

Related College Football Content

Pac-12 Football Predictions for 2013
Pac-12 2013 All-Conference Team
Lane Kiffin's Last Stand at USC
The Pac-12's Top Heisman Contenders for 2013
A New Era Begins at Oregon with Mark Helfrich
Mike MacIntyre Brings Hope and a New Commitment to Colorado
College Football's Top 10 Players Returning From Injury for 2013
The Pac-12's Best Traditions
College Football's All-Freshman Team for 2013
5 First-Year Starting QBs Who Could Win College Football's National Title
College Football's 2013 All-America Team


Washington Football: Game-by-Game Predictions for 2013
Post date: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/college-football-close-game-analysis-who-best-worst-clutch

Nothing swings a season in college football like a close game.

Every time a national championship contender wins by a touchdown or a field goal over a lesser opponent, like clockwork the talking heads say every champion has a game like that through the season, mainly because it’s true. Notre Dame had five of them leading into the national championship game. Alabama gutted out wins over LSU and Georgia and lost a close one to Texas A&M.

On the other side, a sure-fire way to lose a job as a head coach is to lose a string of close games. Jeff Tedford’s Cal teams lost five games decided by one score in a row. Arizona State’s Dennis Erickson finished his tenure going 3-13 in one-score games over his final four seasons. Skip Holtz lost eight of his last 10 at USF before being shown the door.

Indeed, the heartbreaking loss or out-of-nowhere upset make up the fabric of college football. They influence athletic directors’ decision-making and fan and perception. Here, though, are the raw numbers. We decided to look at every major conference program, their coaches and how they’ve fared in close games over the last five seasons.

A few things to consider:

1. Close games are considered to be one-score games (i.e. games decided by eight points or fewer).

2. Unless noted, all records are from the last five seasons (since 2008).

3. Our research focused on teams in the six major conferences and active coaches at those programs.

4. We didn’t spend much time considering why the game was close — did a lesser team put a scare in a more highly ranked team? Did an elite team play down to an opponent? Over the span of five seasons, these close games more or less balanced out.

Here’s what we learned:

1. Kansas State19-5.792
2. Utah14-5.737
3. LSU19-9.679
T4. Alabama8-4.667
T4. Oklahoma State10-5.667
T4. Penn State8-4.667
1. Arizona State4-15.211
2. Ole Miss4-13.235
3. Memphis4-10.286
4. Indiana7-16.304
5. Tennessee6-12.333
Oklahoma State128-4
Washington State138-5
Kansas State19 
Notre Dame17 
Wake Forest16 
ACTIVE COACHES (min. 10 games)  
1. Bill Snyder, Kansas State17-4.810
2. Brian Kelly, Cincy/Notre Dame19-5.791
3. David Shaw, Stanford10-3.769
4. Dave Doeren, NIU/NC State9-3.750
5. Kyle Whittingham, Utah14-5.737
6. Urban Meyer, Florida/Ohio State8-3.727
T7. Bronco Mendenhall, BYU14-6.700
T7. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia7-3.700
9. Les Miles, LSU19-9.679
T10. Steve Sarkisian, Washington12-6.667
T10. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State10-5.667
T10. Nick Saban, Alabama8-4.667
1. Kevin Wilson, Indiana2-8.200
2. Charlie Weis, Notre Dame/Kansas7-14.333
3. George O'Leary, UCF9-16.360
4. David Cutcliffe, Duke8-14.364
5. Jerry Kill, NIU/Minnesota11-16.407
6. Todd Graham, Tulsa/Pitt/ASU9-13.409
7. Brady Hoke, Ball St/SDSU/Michigan7-10.412
T8. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa12-16.429
T8. Jim Grobe, Wake Forest12-16.429
T8. Paul Pasqualoni, UConn4-8.429

• Brian Kelly’s 4-0 record in one-score games at Notre Dame last season was no fluke. The Notre Dame coach is 19-5 in games decided by eight points or less in the last five seasons, dating to his days at Cincinnati. And once Kelly is entrenched, the better success rate he has. Notre Dame has won eight of its last nine one-score games, and Cincinnati won nine in a row before Kelly left for South Bend.

• At what point should Lucky Les Miles shed the “lucky” tag? There has to be a skill to winning close games, right? LSU is 19-9 in one-score games in the last five seasons. Miles’ 11-4 mark in 2009-10 alone included more close games than Alabama has played in five seasons (8-4). The opponent who has played LSU the closest hasn’t been Alabama or Auburn as one might expect: LSU has split its four one-score games against Arkansas the last five years.

• Kansas State’s record in close games is staggering. The Wildcats are 19-5 in one-score games in the last five seasons for a 79.2 win percentage, by far the best in the major conferences. Kansas State has gone 17-4 in those games under Bill Snyder. But the Collin Klein era was another level: With Klein as the starting quarterback in 2011-12, Kansas State went 10-1 in one-score games.

• Arizona State is the anti-Kansas State. The Sun Devils are 4-15 in one-score games over the last five seasons. Dennis Erickson may have won two national titles at Miami, but he was 3-13 in close games in his final four seasons at Arizona State. That was more than enough to cost Erickson his job. The Sun Devils hired Todd Graham, whose record is a bit better, but not great: 9-13 in the last five seasons at Tulsa, Pittsburgh at ASU.

• The biggest surprise among teams on the right side of the ledger in close games is Utah. Aside from K-State, the Utes are the only other team to win more than 70 percent of their one-score games. Utah is 14-5 in close games the last five seasons, doing most of that damage as a Mountain West member at  10-2.

• Jim Harbaugh built Stanford into a contender, but David Shaw knows how to win the tight games. Shaw is 10-3 in one-score games as the Stanford coach; Harbaugh finished his tenure on a 6-7 note.

• Washington fans may be getting bored with seven win seasons, but Steve Sarkisian is winning when his back is against he wall. The Huskies won 10 one-score games before back-to-back losses to end the 2012 season (31-29 to Washington State, 28-26 to Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl).

• Looking for another Brian Kelly, whose close game turnaround indicates a big season? Try Al Golden and Charlie Strong. In his final three seasons at Temple, Golden in close games went 2-5, 3-1 and 4-1. In that case, the last two seasons should be a bellwether for Golden at Miami. The Hurricanes went 2-6 in close games in 2011 and 3-2 in 2012. Meanwhile, Louisville went 5-11 under Strong in such games early. The Cardinals went 6-1 with their backs against the wall last season.

• If you’re looking for other teams trending in the right direction, Florida has won five of six one-score games dating back to the 2011 Gator Bowl against Ohio State. And further illustrating the point that opponents in close games even themselves out, two of those close games in 2012 were against Texas A&M and LSU; the others were Missouri and Louisiana-Lafayette. Another impressive turnaround has been Nebraska: The Huskers went 5-10 in close games in the first four seasons under Bo Pelini before going 4-1 last year.

• Wisconsin is 14-14 overall in close games in the last five seasons, but the Badgers have lost 10 of 13 dating back to the 2011 Rose Bowl against TCU. Wisconsin, though, hired a coach in Gary Andersen who won eight of his last 10 one-score games at Utah State, one of those loses coming in Camp Randall.

• Michigan State and Iowa get the most attention for playing close games in the Big Ten. But they don’t play the most, and they don’t have the best success rate. That belongs to Northwestern, which is 19-16 in one-score games the last five seasons (albeit 0-3 in bowl games). Michigan State is 16-11, padded by an 8-1 mark in 2011. Iowa is 12-16 with a 6-12 mark the last three seasons.

• Bob Stoops is taking his lumps at Oklahoma, but the Sooners are 11-4 in one-score games since the 2009 Sun Bowl win over Stanford.

• Let’s give credit to Dabo Swinney for being able to avoid the heartbreakers. Tommy Bowden finished on a 1-7 skid in one-score games at Clemson. Swinney has won has last five one-score games.

• TCU is a strange case, aided by the Horned Frogs defensive dominance of the Mountain West. The Frogs have played only 16 one-score games in the last five seasons. Five have come in bowl games (TCU is 3-2), six came in the first year in the Big 12 (3-3).

• BYU is 14-6 in close games, which is mighty impressive. But consider that Bronco Mendenhall and the Cougars won 14 consecutive one score games from 2007-10.

• New Louisiana Tech coach Skip Holtz is a strange case. He went 10-4 in one-score games in his last two seasons at East Carolina in 2008-09. Then, he won six of his first nine close games at USF. But the Bulls squandered second-half lead after second-half lead to lose eight of their last 10 close games in 2011-12. That skid doomed Holtz at USF, but he’s still 18-15 overall in one-score games in the last five seasons.

• With its triple option offense, it’s not shocking Navy has played more close games than most, going 18-12 under Ken Niumatalolo in those games. Niumatololo’s predecessor, Paul Johnson, has gone 15-12 in one-score games at Georgia Tech, also running the option.

Kansas State's Bill Snyder owns staggering record in one-score games
Post date: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 07:00
Path: /nfl/nfls-worst-10-teams-expansion

The Seattle Seahawks own the 16-game NFL record for fewest points scored with 140 in 1992. Seattle also owns the all-time mark for fewest yards in a game when it totaled minus-7 yards against the L.A. Rams in 1979. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers set the modern NFL mark for worst point differential by being outscored by 287 points in 1976. The Baltimore Colts allowed an NFL-record 533 points back in 1981. The Houston Oilers claim the NFL mark for most interceptions thrown in a single season with 48 picks tossed in 1962. And the Philadelphia Eagles own the NFL’s single-season sacks allowed mark with 104 back in 1986.

Needless to say, there are many ways to measure NFL ineptitude. So while offensive and defensive statistical production (or lack thereof) is a huge factor in measuring pathetic-ness, wins and losses are still the most important way to evaluate any team.

Who are the worst NFL teams since expansion in 2002?

1. 2008 Detroit Lions (0-16)
Point Differential: -249 (268 PF, 517 PA)
Offense (total, scoring): 30th (268.3 ypg), 27th (16.8 ppg)
Defense (total, scoring): 32nd (404.4 ypg), 32nd (32.3 ppg)

No other team has ever gone winless in the modern NFL era (16-game regular season), which means the Detroit Lions must be considered the worst team due in large part to the massive "0" in the win column. Winning is all that really matters in sports and the Lions failed in truly epic fashion. Top it off with the worst defense of the expansion era, as this team fell just 16 points shy of setting an NFL record for points allowed (533). This team posted an NFL-worst four interceptions on defense, was next to last in sacks allowed (52.0) and finished 14th in the NFC in turnover differential. Dan Orlovsky led a five-man QB platoon that featured 18 touchdowns and 19 interceptions and a combined 71.3 QB rating.

2. 2009 St. Louis Rams (1-15)
Point Differential: -261 (175 PF, 436 PA)
Offense: 29th (279.4 ypg), 32nd (10.9 ppg)
Defense: 29th (372.8 ypg), 31st (27.3 ppg)

This team redefined the term offensive struggles as its 175 points were only 35 away from the NFL mark set by Seattle (140) in 1992. It is the all-time low for a Rams team that played 16 games while the 261-point differential is the worst in franchise history as well. Marc Bulger was the leading passer with 1,469 yards, 5 TDs and 6 INTs. The team itself finished with 12 total TD passes and 21 INTs and a collective passer rating of 64.0. The Rams were shutout twice and scored 10 or fewer points in nine games. St. Louis also finished 31st in the NFL in turnover margin (-13) and 30th in team sacks (25.0). Steven Jackson was the lone bright spot on a team that won only once — against Detroit. The Rams were one of only three teams since 2002 to win one or fewer games.

3. 2009 Detroit Lions (2-14)
Point Differential: -232 (262 PF, 494 PA)
Offense: 26th (299.0 ypg), 27th (16.4 ppg)
Defense: 32nd (392.1 ypg), 32nd (30.9 ppg)

While the '09 Rams set offensive football back two decades, the '09 Lions continued to show its lack of defensive prowess. The Rams did defeat the Lions (17-10) that year, but for the season, Detroit scored nearly 100 more points and won twice as many games (over Washington and Cleveland). This Lions team also finished dead last in turnover margin (-18) and No. 1 overall pick Matthew Stafford missed the final six games of the season. The Lions went 0-6 after Stafford was lost. 

4. 2007 Miami Dolphins (1-15)
Point Differential: -170 (267 PF, 437 PA)
Offense: 28th (287.5 ypg), 26th (16.7 ppg)
Defense: 23rd (342.2 ypg), 30th (27.3 ppg)

This version of the Fish lost the first 13 games of the season before winning their only game of the year over Baltimore. Cleo Lemon was 1-6 as the starter, John Beck went 0-4 and Trent Green was 0-5. The trio combined to throw 12 touchdown passes, 16 fewer than the opposition. Ronnie Brown led the team in rushing after playing only seven games (602 yards) while Jesse Chatman actually got the most carries (128). The only shot Cam Cameron has had to be a head coach in the NFL was his one-win season at the helm of the Dolphins.

5. 2008 St. Louis Rams (2-14)
Point Differential:
-233 (232 PF, 465 PA)
Offense: 27th (287.3 ypg), 31st (14.5 ppg)
Defense: 28th (371.9 ypg), 31st (29.1 ppg)

The 233-point scoring differential was a franchise record at the time and would still be the Rams' worst-ever scoring season had it not been for the 2009 team that came along the next year. This team lost the final 10 games of the year and scored only 19 offensive touchdowns all season (11 pass, 8 rush). In fact, this offense was the most scored upon OFFENSE in the NFL. That is right, the Rams offense had seven turnovers returned for touchdowns, a number that tied for the league lead.

6. 2011 St. Louis Rams (2-14)
Point Differential:
-214 (193, 407)
Offense: 31st, (283.6 ypg), 32nd (12.1 ppg)
Defense: 22nd (358.4 ypg), 26th (25.4 ppg)

If not for the 2008 and '09 teams, this team would have been the most outscored Rams team in history. The 193 total points scored are the second-worst in team history for one that played 16 games. Losing Sam Bradford to an injury after 10 games certainly didn't help the offense as the team finished with nine touchdown passes and a paltry 53.2 percent completion rate. St. Louis also led the league in sacks allowed with 55.0 while the rushing attack contributed only seven scores of its own. The 28.1 percent third-down rate was the worst ratio in the NFL as well.

7. 2010 Carolina Panthers (2-14)
Point Differential:
-212 (196 PF, 408 PA)
Offense: 32nd (12.3 ypg), 32nd (258.4 ppg)
Defense: 18th (335.9 ypg), 26th (25.5 ppg)

The offense did little to contribute to this football team whatsoever. Not only were the 196 total points scored the worst in the 17-year history of the franchise, but this season also was the only time the Panthers failed to reach 250 points. Jimmy Clausen (1-9), Matt Moore (1-4) and Brian St. Pierre (0-1) combined for a nasty 9:21 TD:INT ratio while finishing 30th in 3rd downs (30.4 percent) and 25th in turnover margin. To top it off, the 408 points allowed were third worst in franchise history on the defensive side of the ball.

8. 2011 Indianapolis Colts (2-14)
Point Differential: -212 (196 PF, 408 PA)
Offense: 32nd (12.3 ypg), 32nd (258.4 ppg)
Defense: 18th (335.9 ypg), 26th (25.5 ppg)

Obviously, without Peyton Manning, the Colts experienced its worst season since 1998, No. 18's rookie year. If not for a torrid 2-1 finish to the year, the Colts were in danger of challenging the Lions of 2008. In the first 13 losses, Indy allowed less than 23 points only one time. The total points scored, which included only 14 total touchdown passes (or 12 less than Manning's career low), and point differential were the worst numbers for the Colts since the 1993 season. The top ball carrier, Donald Brown, led the team in rushing despite making just two starts all year (645 yards).

9. 2004 San Francisco 49ers (2-14)
Point Differential:
-193 (259, 452)
Offense: 26th (286.6 ypg), 30th (16.2 ppg)
Defense: 24th (342.6 ypg), 32nd (28.3 ppg) 

San Francisco was two games worse than every other team in the NFL that year, and, technically, the 49ers were winless in regulation as both wins came in overtime. The Niners were 30th in the NFL in points scored and dead last in points allowed while finishing 31st in turnover margin (-19). Tim Rattay (1-8) and Ken Dorsey (1-6) were equally ineffective, throwing for 16 touchdowns against 21 interceptions and completing only 57.9 percent of their passes. The ground game was led by the great Kevan Barlow, who rushed for 822 yards at 3.4 yards per clip. The Niners finished 30th in the NFL in rushing at just over 90 yards per game. The 452 points allowed were one point shy of the franchise record set in 1999 (453) and the 193-point differential was an organizational record.

10. 2005 Houston Texans (2-14)
Point Differential: -171 (260, 431)
Offense: 30th (253.3 ypg), 26th (16.3 ppg)
Defense: 31st (364.0 ypg), 32nd (26.9 ppg)

There were some bad Texans team and David Carr paid a big price. After getting sacked a league-worst 76 times as a rookie, Houston once again led the league in sacks allowed in 2005 with 68. This franchise will be playing in just its 12th season this fall, but the '05 team set the benchmark for fewest wins, points allowed and point differential, all of which led to the firing of Dom Capers. Carr started every game and averaged a pathetic 155.5 yards passing per game, threw only 14 touchdowns to go with 11 interceptions and fumbled 17 times.

The...Worst of the Rest?

2012 Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14)
This team was outscored by nearly 200 points (minus-189), yet beat the Tennessee Titans as well as a shocking early season upset of the Colts. This team ranked 29th in total offense and 30th in total defense in 2012.

2004 Cleveland Browns (4-12)
Began 3-3 before losing nine straight in which they scored more than 15 points only one time. Trailed only the Niners for worst record. The offense was led by Jeff Garcia for 10 games, Luke McCown for four and Kelly Holcombe for two.

2002 Houston Texans (4-12)
The lowest scoring team in franchise history (213 pts) finished last in total offense as well as sacks allowed with 76. The first year of the Texans was salvaged by two strange wins over playoff teams (NYG, PIT) and is the only thing keeping this team out of the top ten.

2011 Tampa Bay Bucs (4-12)
The Bucs led the league in turnovers (40) and posted the worst turnover margin (-16) in 2011. After starting 4-2, Tampa Bay crumbled down the stretch with 10 straight losses and set a franchise mark with 494 points allowed (keep in mind, that is a BUCCANEERS franchise record).

2008 Kansas City Chiefs (2-14)
This team couldn't get off the field in 2008 as it was the worst 3rd down team in the league (47.4 percent) and dead last in sacks (10). It finished 31st in total defense and the 440 points allowed and -149-point differential are Chiefs single-season records.

2006 Oakland Raiders (2-14)
The Silver and Black defense was good enough to keep them out of the top ten, but the offense was nearly historic in its struggles. The 168 points scored were 28 away from the all-time NFL mark, these Raiders finished dead last in sacks allowed (72), turnover margin (-20) and both scoring and total offense. Oakland was also 31st in the league with 23 interceptions thrown.

Who are the most inept, least-productive NFL football teams since 2002?
Post date: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 06:45
All taxonomy terms: Overtime, News
Path: /overtime/bucs-cheerleaders-release-blurred-lines-video-awesomeness
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders have released a video of themselves dancing, flipping and smiling in bikinis to the song "Blurred Lines." Why are you still reading this? Click on the video. 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders have released a video of themselves dancing, flipping and smiling in bikinis to the song "Blurred Lines."
Post date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 17:39
Path: /nascar/fantasy-nascar-picks-indianapolis-motor-speedway

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.

Next up: Brickyard 400, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Race: 400 miles/160 laps (2.5 mile track)
2012 winner: Jimmie Johnson

A List (pick two, start one)
Tony Stewart  Tony Stewart

Without fail, you'll hear a lot about Tony Stewart and his personal connection to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the local boy from Indiana. Broadcasters can't help but repeat it. Fortunately, they'll be discussing a driver that has a high probability of success at the track he knows and loves. The two-time Brickyard 400 winner has sported a 7.1-average finish in his last eight starts at Indianapolis, with an A-List best 11.7 average position ranking. Stewart has also proven to be a remarkable passer at a track that often makes swapping positions a tedious process. In those last eight races, Stewart has gained an average of 12 spots per race — the best among A-Listers.

But you don't need to know all of that rationale. Just remember: It's Tony Stewart at Indianapolis.

Jimmie Johnson
Along the same lines as Stewart, picking Johnson, now a four-time Indianapolis winner after his dominating performance there last season, seems to be a no-brainer. Some of Johnson's statistics in the last eight races at Indy are just gaudy: Most fastest laps (12.39 percent), most laps led (229) and highest driver rating (106.3). Making matters worse for the competition, Johnson put those numbers forward with three Brickyard finishes of 19th or worse. Sunday, just like every NASCAR race at Indianapolis, will be a show of who can best maintain track position. Speeds are going to be much higher than last season, and track position will gain even more importance. In a race like that — should Johnson qualify well — it's hard to pick against the No. 48. A win would break a tie for the most NASCAR wins at the track with teammate Jeff Gordon.

B List (pick four, start two)
Mark Martin

Mark Martin has bitten fantasy players in a few of his most recent races, so I understand a hesitancy to use him at Indianapolis. But consider this: Martin has the very best average running position of any current driver at Indy (that includes the likes of Stewart and Johnson in the A-List) during the last eight seasons. Still, Martin has never won at Indianapolis. Perhaps watching the co-driver of the No. 55 take their shared Toyota to victory at Loudon will be an impetus for Martin to grab his first kiss of the bricks.

Greg Biffle
Something about Indy — whether it's the constant battle to maintain track position or the way Roush Fenway Racing's power trains hook up to the track's long straightaways — seems to fit Greg Biffle well. He's another driver with a better average running position in the last eight years at Indianapolis (10.2) than anyone in the A-List. Though also never a Brickyard winner, Biffle holds the distinction of the best average finish of any driver during the last four races at the legendary oval. It's been six years since he's finished outside the top 10, and he's completed every lap. Going with Biffle seems like a smart, solid play.

Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch has never won at Indianapolis, which, if you look at his overall record in eight career starts, is a bit surprising. Busch has had one truly bad race at Indy — he hit the wall in 2009 to finish 38th — but he has otherwise notched six top-10 finishes and seven top-15 runs. Based on Busch's returns at tracks that teams often say carry similarities to Indianapolis (he was sixth at Pocono and second at New Hampshire), it stands to figure that he'll be in line to defend the second-place run he had there last year. At the very least, a fourth-consecutive Indy top-10 seems possible.

Juan Pablo Montoya  Juan Pablo Montoya
If you're strictly looking at statistics for the Brickyard, you're going to miss Montoya. After all, why would you pick a driver that has an average finish of 23rd in the last four races at the 2.5-mile oval? It just wouldn't make sense on the surface. But Montoya could finally be the diamond in the rough of this weekend's fantasy picks. Montoya's unraveling in the 2009 and 2010 races remain some of the biggest disappointments of his NASCAR career. In those races, he led a total of 192 laps (remember, one race at Indy is only 160 laps) before pit road blunders left him out of contention. He's finished 28th and 21st in the two 400-milers since, but seems to have a better all-around package this season. Regardless, he'll be an interesting story to follow throughout the weekend.

C List (pick two, start one)
David Stremme

There's a low probability you've come close to using up David Stremme's starts this point, so why not try him at Indianapolis? In three of his four Brickyard starts, Stremme has finished on the lead lap. He's also carried an average finish of 23.1 during the span, including a 24th-place finish with his current team, Inception Motorsports, last season. Also, the team is flying (relatively) high after tying its best non-restrictor plate finish of the season at Loudon in 20th.

Joe Nemechek
I know, I know — you're surprised to see Joe Nemechek make this list. Admittedly, I'm a bit surprised too. Nemechek is making my list of picks for the Brickyard more due to the recent "hot streak" he's been on in the Sprint Cup Series than his IMS acumen. In two consecutive races, Nemechek — who likely counts as a success story of the start-and-park strategy now that he's running a majority of races to their full distance — has recorded two consecutive finishes of 27th or better. The last time he did that? Nemechek was driving Furniture Row Racing's No. 78.

He probably won't do that well Sunday. A top 30 would be decent. But for a driver that has been able to pull his self-owned team to a level where it can finish on the lead lap, that's impressive. Here's a tip of the hat, Joe.

Follow Geoffrey Miller on Twitter: @GeoffreyMiller

Photos by Actions Sports, Inc.

Tony Stewart and JImmie Johnson top the list of Fantasy picks for NASCAR's trip to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 20th running of the Brickyard 400.
Post date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 15:45
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-link-roundup-july-24

The Big Ten Media Days are underway in Chicago, but the news continues from around the rest of college football.

Contact us on twitter with a link or a tip we should include each day. (@AthlonSteven)

College Football's Must-Read Stories Around the Web for Wednesday, July 24th

Mike Leach blasts the new targeting rule.

A timeline has been set for the renovation of Kentucky's Commonwealth Stadium.

Virginia Tech's new coaches have brought a "culture shock" to the team.

It sounds like Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops wants his fanbase to start contacting recruits. What?

The Mountain West Conference is still trying to negotiate a television home for its conference championship game.

Who are the top breakout candidates for Washington in 2013?

How will Casey Pachall and Trevone Boykin split the quarterback duties for TCU in 2013?

An Arizona safety was dismissed from the team after being charged with four felonies.

Texas linebacker Jordan Hicks had his request for a medical redshirt approved. 

One of Minnesota's offensive linemen has decided to give up football.

Rob Moseley previews Oregon's depth chart at running back for 2013.

Ole Miss quarterback Barry Brunetti was arrested in early May after a traffic incident.

Old Dominion and UNC Charlotte are having a bitter schedule dispute.

David Watford appears to be the frontrunner for Virginia's starting quarterback spot.

Why is Michigan State linebacker Taiwan Jones only a two-down player?

Houston plans on naming its starting quarterback two weeks into fall camp.

Texas quarterback David Ash says he played with broken ribs against TCU last season.

Where would Boise State fit if college football's top five conferences form their own division?

Kansas could be without one of its top linebacker recruits this season, and the status of receiver Nick Harwell is still unsettled.

UCLA safety Dietrich Riley will retire from football.

Here's an excellent roundup from SB Nation on some of the hot topics from ACC Media Days.

Former Virginia quarterback Phillip Sims is getting closer to finding his next home. 

Seven Nevada players are no longer on the roster.

College Football's Link Roundup: July 24
Post date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 14:29
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Fantasy, News
Path: /college-football/45-funny-college-fantasy-football-team-names

The college football season is right around the corner, which means it’s almost time for fantasy drafts. College fantasy leagues aren't as popular as their NFL counterparts, but there is plenty of interest in the college game each season. Need a witty or funny team name to impress your league counterparts? Check out these funny 45 college fantasy team names for 2013.

Jadeveon ClowneyClowney Question, Bro

Chubb Small World After All

Treadwell Lightly

Gurley Man


50 Shades of Johnathan Gray

(Rashad) Greene With Envy

(Tyler) Lockett Up

(Yawin) Smallwood Needs Lovin' Too

Jackson Turner Overdrive

Too Many Brandin Cooks in the Kitchen

The League's Ameer (Abdullah) Player

In A Major Quandre (Diggs)

Shaq Attack

Max BulloughTo the Max Bullough

Calvin and the Chipmunks

Ring My Blake Bell

The Mighty Casey Pachall Strikes Out

Kiss My David Ash

Eric Ward of the State

Tevin Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

2 Much Johnson For You

Lache Key Kid

Jeckle & Carlos Hyde

My Posse's on (Terrance) Broadway

Chuckie Cheeses

Vad Case of Loving You

Keeping Up with The Butch Joneses

(Matt) Rhule Girls, One Cup

Jameis WinstonFamous Jameis

Johnny Come Lately

Everett Golson's Tutors

NCAA Playoffs?!

Mad Hatters


Michigan Men

Herb Kirkstreit

Nkemdiche M'kay

Hotty Toddy Hotties

Colonel Reb Is Smiling

USC Sweater Puppies

Neon Nike Ducks

Black Mambas

Houndstooth Bears

Kingsbury Skinny Jeans

2013 College Fantasy Rankings

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Team Defenses

45 Funny College Fantasy Football Team Names
Post date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 12:04
Path: /college-football/houston-showcases-new-jerseys-2013

Houston is making the move from Conference USA to the American Athletic Conference in 2013.

And the Cougars will have some new uniforms to showcase in their new conference. This photo tweeted by (@UHCougarFB) indicates the program will have eight combinations to wear in 2013.

Personally, my favorite is the all red look. Check out Houston’s new uniforms for 2013:

Houston Cougars unveil new uniforms for 2013.
Post date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 11:21
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-24-2013

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 24.


• UFC champion Ronda Rousey has scored a role in Sylvester Stallone's Expendables 3. Let the butt-kicking and name-taking commence.


• Sure, everyone dislikes A-Rod, but the New York Daily News' Bill Madden auditions for the job of chief of baseball's moral police with this rant.


Chris Johnson and Devin Hester will race a cheetah on television. Loser gets eaten.


• Helpful advice: 15 movies you should avoid on a first date. Then again, I'm not sure Human Centipede 2 is appropriate for any sort of dating situation.


• Today is Karl Malone's 50th birthday. Celebrate with this gallery of rare photos of the Mailman.


Phil Mickelson paid 61 percent of his Scottish Open earnings in taxes. Hey, George Harrison tried to warn you.


Linebacker Tig Willard paused on his way to Titans training camp to save a family from a burning car.


Here are college football's 25 most engaged fan bases. The SEC is well represented, but not No. 1.


• Rex Ryan unplugged: 10 things he thinks he thinks, from MMQB.


Watch a D-Backs fan drink beer through a snorkel.


This might be MLB's slide of the year.


• Note to sidelines reporters: Wait for the concussion symptoms to subside before interviewing an injured athlete.




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

Post date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 10:48
All taxonomy terms: Baylor Bears, College Football, Big 12, News
Path: /college-football/baylors-gold-helmet-shines-big-12-media-days

Earlier this offseason, Baylor released photos of its bright (and very shiny) gold helmet. There was plenty of buzz about the helmets then, but the attention ramped up during Big 12 Media Days.

In case you missed the photos circulating online of Baylor’s gold helmet, here’s a good look tweeted by (@Leabonics).

Some aren't a fan of the metallic gold look, but I think these are a pretty good addition for Baylor, especially as the program continues to increase its national profile under coach Art Briles.

Baylor's new gold helmet shines at Big 12 media days
Post date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 10:00