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Athlon's Essential Eleven: April 20


This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for April 20.

• Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe has the Beantown perspective onFenway Park turning 100 years old.

• Cedric Golden breaks down the Oklahoma State quarterback derby. Will Clint Chelf or J.W. Walsh replace Brandon Weeden?

• 1,050 slices of bacon on one sandwich?! This pictureis amazing.

• Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel reacts to the soap opera of Magic star Dwight Howard, who will miss the postseason because of back surgery.

• Ken Sugiura of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution previews the Georgia Tech spring game, which will take place on Friday night.

•  Mechelle Voepel has a wonderful column on Pat Summitt’s rainmaker effect on women’s basketball.

• ESPN SEC blogger Edward Aschoff looks at the challenges facing Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze in his first year in Oxford.

• BC Interruption is embarrassed by the lack of attendance at the Eagles spring game.

• Andy Glockner of looks at the effect of SMU hiring 71-year-old Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown.

• Scott Miller of CBS has a great piece on Fenway Park’s 100th anniversary. Love the line “…Fenway Park is as beautifully sturdy as Ted Williams' timeless legend.”

•  College Gridiron 365 shows us how Arkansas is following Mississippi State and Michigan in displaying a “hashtag” on its field.

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This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for April 19.

• The Knoxville News Sentinel looks back at the amazing career of legendary Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt, who will step aside as head coach after eight national titles and 1,098 wins over 38 seasons.

• reports that the Colts have made up their mind and will draft quarterback Andrew Luck of Stanford with the No. 1 overall pick.

• Adam Kramer of Bleacher Report breaks down the SEC championship odds for the 14 teams in America’s toughest conference.

• Jeff Potrykus of the Journal Sentinel looks at the national criticism that Wisconsin basketball coach Bo Ryan is receiving for restricting the transfer of Jarrod Uthoff.

• details the latest issue for a new Vikings stadium in Minneapolis. Let the Los Angeles rumors continue…

• PhilliesNation.con looks back at the stellar pitching duel between Matt Cain and Cliff Lee, which ended with the Giants defeating the Phils, 1-0, in 11 innings.

• Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post has a moving column on her good friend, Pat Summitt.

• Jon Gold of Inside UCLA summarizes the Bruins spring practice at the halfway point. When will the UCLA staff decide on a starter at quarterback?

• Jim Young of looks at C.J. Leslie’s decision to shun the NBA and return to NC State.

• ESPN Pac-12 blogger Kevin Gemmell chronicles at the football rollercoaster ride for Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn.

• The 700 Level in Philadelphia has the video of Sixers star Andre Iguodala pranking teammate Lou Williams.

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This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for April 18.

•  Campus Rivalry details how an outfitter for Texas A&M gear makes a huge geographical mistake, with North Carolina added to the SEC states.

•  The Blitzburgh Blog shows the new (and awful) throwback Steelers uniforms – a replica of the 1934 version - and predicts sickness around the Steel City.

• Mark Ennis of Big East Coast Bias has an in-depth look at the Louisville spring game. Coach Charlie Strong has the Cardinals looking like the overwhelming favorite to win the conference title in 2012.

• Tom Verducci of has a very interesting column questioning the modern bullpen. Do baseball franchises need to rethink the way they structure pitching staffs?

•  Dave Miller of National Football Post takes a good look at what new LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger could mean to the Tigers offense.

•  Pro Football Talk has some compelling notes on all 32 teams with the release of the NFL schedule.

• Troy Renck of the Denver Post has the details on Rockies starter Jamie Moyer, who last night became the oldest pitcher (49 years, 150 days) to ever win an MLB game.

•  ESPN Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg reports that Michigan State quarterback Andrew Maxwell has a sprained right knee and could miss the Spartans spring game on April 28.

•  Chris Bahn of has the details on Jessica Dorrell, the Razorbacks staff member involved in an affair with former coach Bobby Petrino, resigning her position.

•  Jason King of ESPN Dallas reports that 71-year-old Larry Brown has agreed to become the next SMU basketball coach, even though the longtime bench boss denies it.

•  ESPN AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky says the Colts are now a “1 pm EST kickoff” team, and that Indy has season tickets available for the first time since 2003.

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

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for April 17.

• Jon Solomon has quotes from aroundtable of conference commissioners discussing the BCS, new Playoff proposals and athletes being paid.

•  Deadspin has the details on Delonte West of the Mavericks earning a technical foul for giving Utah’s Gordon Hayward a “wet willie”.

•  Jake Martin of Bleacher Report has an interesting comparison between former LSU Tiger cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Mo Claiborne on the eve of the NFL Draft.

• ESPN Big 12 Blogger David Ubben sits down with West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck, who says "We didn’t really leave the Big East. It left us."

• On the heels of Alabama’s BCS title trophy being destroyed, Bleacher Report SEC Blogger Barrett Sallee is surprised that crystal trophies do not break more often. We’ll be surprised if the Tide does not try to claim another national title when the new trophy arrives.

•  Lisa Horne of Fox Sports ranks the strongest college football schedules for this season. Poor Ole Miss.

•  Lost Letterman shows Oregon quarterback Bryan Bennett taking us on a tour of the lavish, two-story Ducks’ locker room. Apparently, Nike is doing all right.

•  Matthew Osborne of has a recruiting roundup from spring games around the South, including multiple commitments for Missouri, Alabama, Auburn and South Carolina.

•  Garry Paskwietz of details a new deal where ESPN radio will broadcast USC home football games nationally.

•  Freddie Vickers of takes an in-depth look at Clemson’s spring practice. Can the Tigers repeat in the ACC?

•  Former NFL and college coach Steve Mariucci tells that he has had no contact with Arkansas about its head coaching position.

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

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for April 16.

Here is the final column for longtime Clarion Legder writer Rick Cleveland, who is leaving after 40-plus years in the business to lead the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.

Utah Jazz announcer David Locke goes bonkers, and basically starts speaking in tongues, after Derrick Favors misses a layup. SportsGrid has the audio.

• Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston covers the ongoing soap opera with the Red Sox, with new manager Bobby Valentine questioning fan favorite Kevin Youkilis’ commitment to the game.

 Here are some interesting thoughts from Travis Reier of after Alabama’s A-Day Game. Will receivers Christion Jones and Kenny Bell lead to more explosive plays in the passing game for the Tide in 2012?

• Pedro Moura of ESPNLosAngeles recaps the USC spring game, where the Trojans chose not to tackle. (You can just hear the Pac-12 jokes from Big Ten and SEC country)

• Michael David Smith of details Giants owner John Mara saying that the NFL Competition Committee has talked about eliminating kickoffs. Really? Where would the game start?

• Richard Langford of Bleacher Report features the Wolverines who stood out during Michigan’s spring game, and his early prediction for UM’s record is 10-3.

• Timothy Rapp of Bleacher Report looks at howJackie Robinson Day was celebrated around baseball.

• Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has the Browns taking Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon in her latest mock draft. Should Cleveland go with Alabama runner Trent Richardson instead?

• Brent Zwernaman of the San Antonio Express-News and Houston Chronicle details the planned renovation of Kyle Field as Texas A&M prepares for SEC play.

• Jeff Svoboda of recaps Ohio State’s practice where students were allowed on the field.