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Athlon’s Essential Eleven Links of the Day


This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for August 31.

• ESPN Big Ten blogger Brian Bennett believes Michigan has almost nothing to lose in the season opener against defending champion Alabama.

• SI’s Andy Staples looks at South Carolina’s close call on the road at Vanderbilt. The Gamecocks pulled out a 17-13 victory.

• The San Francisco Giants have an awesome promotion on Tuesday: it’s Bruce Lee Bobblehead Night.

• The NFL and its locked-out referees will meet today to try and solve their labor issues.

• It’s a huge weekend for ACC football, with Clemson taking on Auburn and NC State battling Tennessee.

• Gotta love this beer commercial from the Chive.

• UCLA beat Rice in Jim Mora’s debut despite having three extra points blocked.

• The NCAA has surprisingly exonerated North Carolina in its academic violations case.

• The Lakers will retire Shaquille O’Neal’s No. 34, as well as Jamaal Wilkes’ No. 52.

• It sounds like Texas Tech basketball players are rebelling against coach Billy Gillispie.

• It was great to finally see some college football last night, and Kent State’s Andre Parker gave us a classic highlight on opening night. He runs the wrong way after picking up a punt, but then for some reason the Towson players tackle him. Holy Moly!

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)

August 30

• The college football season is here! Russ Mitchell of CFN believes that Vanderbilt can upset Marcus Lattimore and South Carolina in tonight’s opening contest.

• ESPN Pac-12 blogger Ted Miller has the latest on DirecTV’s rejection of the league’s new network.

• A potential Apple lawsuit?

• Giants defender Mathias Kiwanuka calls out Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, saying the G-men have been “whupping his ass for a long time.”

• Former Notre Dame running back and current Irish radio broadcaster Allen Pinkett apologized today for his controversial comments that “to have a successful team you've got to have a few bad citizens.”

• Former Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett rips the Boston sports culture.

• It’s been an interesting year for NBA big man Kris Humphries. There was his well-publicized marriage and quick divorce from Kim Kardashian, and now he’s being sued by a Los Angeles woman for giving her herpes. Lovely.

• It was quite a night for Nationals rookie Bryce Harper, who hit two home runs and was ejected in Washington’s 8-4 win over the Marlins.

• When will star running back Maurice Jones-Drew end his holdout and report to the Jaguars?

• The Dodgers may have lost starting pitcher Chad Billingsley for the rest of the season due to elbow issues.

• My thoughts during the NFL preseason have been that the replacement refs (after they get acclimated to the pro game) would not be that much worse than the regulars, but calls like this one in the Patriots-Giants game last night do not help.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)

August 29

• Brent Zwerneman has the latest on a ton of Texas A&M news. Saturday’s game against Louisiana Tech has been postponed due to Hurricane Isaac, and the Aggies will play Arkansas at Cowboys Stadium each season from 2014-2024.

• Twins All-Star catcher and hometown hero Joe Mauer has been put on waivers by the club.

• We hope Hurricane Isaac does not affect the Kool-Aid crop this year.

• Bleacher Report’s Barrett Sallee looks at Nick Saban’s comparison between Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson and former Auburn star Cam Newton.

• Michael Vick won’t be the first guy to wear Kevlar in Philly, but the Eagles are hoping a new flak jacket will protect the oft-injured quarterback.

• has compiled its “sexiest movie posters ever.”

• Even with their new acquisitions, the Dodgers cannot afford to lose Matt Kemp to another injury.

• Three suspects in the assault of Wisconsin star running back Montee Ball have been arrested.

• Loyola (Md.) will leave the MAAC after this season to join the Patriot League.

• Florida coach Will Muschamp still has not named a starting quarterback for Saturday’s game against Bowling Green, although both Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett will play in the first half.

• Check out Masters champ Bubba Watson pulling a prank on Alex Miceli of the Golf Channel.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)

August 28

• Former Oregon quarterback Nate Costa believes the Ducks cheerleaders' physical appearance is in decline. We do not agree.

• Penn State has chosen not to play “Sweet Caroline” at its games this year for obvious reasons. Hopefully other sports entities will ban the song as well, simply for the reason that it’s cheesy and insufferable.

• This was not your average ride on the Gravitron.

• Mark Ennis of Big East Coast Bias looks at ESPN’s picks for the league winner and wonders what Joey Galloway is thinking. We concur.

• Saturday Down South’s Kevin Duffey calls out Rick Neuheisel’s fan-like quip that the SEC is powerful because of ESPN.

• CBS’ Jeff Borzello looks at the slower pace of college basketball’s verbal commitments.

• ESPN stirs up an Adrian Beltre-Hall of Fame debate.

• Sometimes you choose the game; sometimes it chooses you.

• Check out what Baltimore Orioles reliever Luis Ayala is doing with his bullpen time.