College football’s biggest November storylines, by conference

first_imgMORE: LSU in envious Playoff position after win over AuburnSEC: Will LSU and Alabama both get in?We have the stage for a regular-season “Game of the Century” on Nov. 9 between undefeated LSU and Alabama — the first of its kind since the two teams met in a 9-6 fistfight in 2011. With LSU’s Joe Burrow — and hopefully Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa — the best-case scenario for both teams is to live up to the game of the year billing in a shootout where both quarterbacks shine. The winner goes on to win the SEC championship. The loser has the best 11-1 record in the country and snags the final Playoff spot. Don’t think it can happen? The BCS found a way to squeeze Oklahoma State out in 2011 to let the Crimson Tide and Tigers play in a second rock fight. Alabama got in without winning its division again in 2017. The Tide won the national championship in both seasons. There’s no reason to suggest it can’t happen again, with some help.Group of 5: App State or SMU? Take your pickAppalachian State and SMU are the lone unbeaten teams among the Group of 5, and either one would generate an intriguing storyline with an unbeaten season. The Mountaineers, of course, made the climb from FCS powerhouse to Sun Belt champion, and this would be their biggest stage since beating Michigan at The Big House since 2007. Could App State pull the same trick in a New Year’s Day 6 bowl against an SEC powerhouse? SMU has a tougher road in the American Athletic Conference and would have the inside track with an unbeaten season. The Mustangs — the only program in FBS history to be given the “Death Penalty” — would be back on that stage for the first time since the “Pony Express.” Sonny Dykes might get another shot in the Power 5 as a result. This would be a redemption story worth following. MORE: SN Week 10 college football rankingsDon’t just assume the chalk will hold throughout November; Oklahoma’s shocking 48-41 loss to Kansas State on Saturday proved that anything can happen.With that, looking at the biggest storyline for each of the Power 5 conferences — and Group of 5 — heading into November.ACC: Will Clemson avoid disaster?Imagine being the defending national champion — one that happens to be on a 23-game win streak — and still being held to an undefeated-or-else-standard with the rest of the FBS. That is the predicament for Clemson, and that’s mostly a byproduct of a conference that can’t cobble together a worthy challenger out of the ACC Coastal. The Tigers must mow through Wofford, N.C. State, Wake Forest and South Carolina — which pulled an upset against Georgia — before the ACC championship against what could be a three-, four- or five-loss Coastal champion. Clemson has no choice but to run that winning streak up to 28 if it wants to be guaranteed a spot in the College Football Playoff. Oklahoma’s loss certainly helped. Speaking of the Big 12. …Big 12: Can Baylor (yes, Baylor) carry the banner?Oklahoma’s 48-41 loss to Kansas State was devastating for the conference’s Playoff hopes. Even if the Sooners were to run the table from here on out, would that be enough to make the committee forget it was once down 48-23 to the Wildcats? It’s not an easy question to answer. Preseason darling Texas has three losses, so the possibility of the Sooners and Longhorns having a rematch in the Big 12 championship game doesn’t have as much shine as last season. That leaves Baylor as the lone unbeaten team in the conference, and the Bears face the Sooners and Longhorns in the final month of the season. If Baylor was able to sweep those two and win the Big 12 championship, then would the committee be willing to turn away an unbeaten Power 5 conference team? Remember, the Bears finished No. 5 in 2014 with one loss.MORE: Week 10 College Football Playoff pictureBig Ten: Will Ohio State close the deal?The Buckeyes have a strong case to the No. 1 team in the country right now. Ohio State is the only team with a point differential better than 300 after outscoring its opponents 386-63. They have three viable Heisman candidates among Justin Fields, J.K. Dobbins and Chase Young, and Ryan Day has yet to lose a game as head coach. The Buckeyes also have two huge games to keep that focus with Penn State and Michigan in the final two weeks of the season. Urban Meyer was 13-1 against those teams, and those will be the big-money games for Day. Ohio State has been left out of the Playoff each of the last two seasons with one loss. This team knows that, and there are no indications it will place itself in a similar scenario. If the Buckeyes finish 13-0, then there is a decent chance they will be the No.1 seed in the final College Football Playoff rankings.Pac-12: What’s the fallout from Oregon-USC?The biggest game remaining on the Pac-12 schedule is Oregon at USC on Saturday. The Ducks remain the conference’s best bet to claw back into the Playoff argument, and the regular-season matchup against a reeling USC is their best remaining game. Oregon needs to win that one, and by a lot, before running the table and beating Utah in the Pac-12 championship game. As for USC: Could Clay Helton beat Oregon and Utah to take the conference’s Playoff hopes with him if the Trojans show him the door? It would prove the national narrative on the conference remains a talking point for another season. October is in the books, and there are five November weeks left in the college football season. Those five weeks will shape the course of the conference championship and College Football Playoff hunts, and the anticipation is building toward the first unveiling of Playoff rankings on Nov. 5.That said, each Power 5 conference faces at least one question that, for better or worse, will be answered heading into the final leg of the season.last_img read more

Nicholson leads the way at Greenwood

first_imgThe Travellers Rest Golf GroupMonday this week combined Easter Monday with April Fools Day, so I wasn’t sure whether my golf game was going to experience a resurrection or whether I was going to feel like an idiot as usual.  After playing a round at a breezy Bangpakong I must admit it was more like the latter than the former, although I did finish better than I started so perhaps it was a little of both. It was a swift return to Bangpakong for the TRGG as it was less than two weeks since our previous visit and the windy conditions kept the scores down.  Instead of the usual 40+ points required to take first place it was a more modest 37pts posted by Mike Ensor (10), which was good enough to take the prize money.  Neil Allison (19) was a close second on 36pts and Mike Rushant (11) slipped into third spot with 34.Mike Ensor.On Tuesday 2nd April, Greenwood A and B courses played host to our group and the slightly kinder conditions led to some better scoring, or maybe there were some better golfers in the field, I am not sure.  Anyway, Dave Nicholson (14) showed everybody the way home with an impressive 39pts.  His playing partner Max Scott (4) came second on 37pts, winning on count back from Jim Cleaver (13).Thursday 4th April saw the TRGG make its weekly visit to Phoenix to take on Mountain and Lakes.  Craig Hitchens (12), shooting 38pts, was too good for the rest and took the winner’s berth.  Phil Taylor (17), who had had a bit of a nightmare at Bangpakong on Monday, showed one and all that it had been a temporary blip by returning to form with 36pts to take second and Mod Chaviraksa (11) showed you can’t keep a good woman down for long taking by third place with 35.On Friday 5th April it was the turn of Bangpra to provide the stalwarts of the TRGG with an examination of their golfing skills.  Mike Rushant (11) passed with a distinction by finishing first with 38pts.  Larry Simpson (12) acquitted himself well enough to take a second with 35 and Neil Bramley (9) flew back into Thailand to post a good third place finish with 34pts.Good luck to all you golfers for the coming week!Dave Nicholson (left) with Max Scott.last_img read more

The World Cup remains a blot on football’s greatest curriculum

first_img Lionel Messi leaves Kazan without revealing Argentina future 30/06/2018 Ivan San Antonio @sanantheone El Mundial, un borrón en el currículum de Messi A STRANGE BODY  Russia could have seen the last of Lionel Messi in international football. Qatar 2022 is slowly appearing on the horizon and the No.10 will be 35 then. Predicting his evolution is as difficult as thinking that, even if he does play it, something will have changed for him to have a chance to win his first World Cup. Bloody World Cup! What a grotesque way to dirty the greatest curriculum in the game!  Messi, Catalan in Argentina and Argentina in Catalonia, left the pithc at the Kazan Arena with the same face as always, the same one he wore in Germany, South Africa and Brazil. Leo was the youngest Argentina player in 2006, he fought for his place, he earned the captain’s armband, runs everything and should be made to feel at home.  But not. He never felt like he was at home. Messi has never noticed the warmth that he receives at Camp Nou, nor complicity on the pitch from those that have grown along with him. Not once has he flowed in the Argentina shirt as he does in the Barcelona strip. The 10 on his back, the armband or the Argentine passport don’t mean anything. They don’t add anything. The biggest love stories aren’t built on material gifts.  RELATED STORIES Coach Jorge Sampaoli changed his system for the umpteenth time against France. And he could change it as many times as Argentina play games with Messi. There won’t be any improvement. The victories are circumstantial, the same as the losses. The problem is not the set up, nor the players selected. To find the reason why Leo looks like he’s in a strange body when playing for Argentina, you have to rewind 18 years, back to when he was 13, when his destiny changed and football took him to Barcelona. That day, everything changed and Barça’s success would be balanced by Argentina’s failings. Because both things are intimately connected.  LAST WORLD CUP? IN SPORT.ES Upd. on 02/07/2018 at 18:07 CEST How many knocks of this stature is one person — who since he was young has been obliged to win a World Cup — capable of taking? Lionel Messi was born in Rosario, where football is a religion, but he became a man in Barcelona. It was also surrounded by the Mediterranean that he was crowned as the best player in the history of the game, a symbolic prize which is only argued about where he was born. And all because of a tournament that is played every four years, a tournament that is whimsical and unpredictable. The hell Messi has to go through every four years is all because of Diego Maradona and his two goals against England in 1986. Bloody World Cup!  Messi at his most human as Argentina crash out of World Cuplast_img read more

Fullerton birdies 18 to capture first Zone One West Kootenay Junior tour title Sunday in Nakusp

first_imgRyan Fullerton took advantage of a small field to capture his first ever Zone One West Kootenay Junior Golf tour title Sunday at the Nakusp course. “Ryan played solid golf all day and sealed the victory sticking his approach on 18 to five feet and then making the birdie putt,” said zone coordinator Rob McKay.”Ryan has played the circuit for three years and he was well deserving of the win.”Brenan Moroney of Rossland/Trail won the 17-18 division while in the 15-16 category Brett Mengler of the host Nakusp course took first ahead of Amber Arnold from Castlegar.The 14 and under division went to a playoff with Braden McKay from RTCC beating Carson Arcuri from Granite Point on the second playoff hole. On the first playoff hole Carson made a fantastic par save from the bunker, but on the second hole of the playoff his approach ran through the green and he was not able to get up and down. In the Net division the McInnes brothers from Nakusp took honors.  Nathyn McInnes took the 15 – 18 year old division with a net 67 and Dugan the 14 and under with a net 63. In the skill prizes Brenan Moroney and Braden McKay both dominated.  Both kids won the KP and LD in their age divisions.last_img read more

Cork City v Galway United Preview – The Shane Keegan Interview

first_imgJohn Spoke to Galway United Manager Shane Keegan on Over The Line Galway United take on Cork City at Turners Cross in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division Tomorrow Evening At 7.45pm. https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/sports.podcast/SHANE+KEEGAN+OTL.mp3print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Emaillast_img

Goals Arrest The Garda Challenge As NUI Galway Record Win In Senior Football League

first_imgA nervous outing to Templemore ended with a ultimately comfortable seven points win against a competitive home side who gave the visitors much to think about before two goals in as many minutes decided the contest.Fielding a sizable number of players from last years Sigerson campaign NUIGalway exchanged early blows with the Garda college managed by long time former Clare senior goalkeeper Joe Hayes. Indeed for an early season foray both sides were intent on securing the league points that would defer relegation fears.A sizable attendance in the Templemore grounds had to wait until the fourth minute for NUIGalway centre forward Owen Gallagher to open the scoring. Kildare’s Jack Robinson added to this opener before Headford’s Enda Tierney (2) and Patrick O Donnell left the winners (0-5) to (0-2) clear as Galway starlet Paul Mannion was impressive for the Garda College.Aaron Brady in the NUI Galway goal was quick off his line to deny Paul Mannion just before Kevin Quinn was also stopped from hitting the game’s first goal at the other end. Mannion added two scores and with seven minutes left in the first half the sides were level.Both sides were guilty of errors in front of goal more so Maurice Sheridan’s men. Indeed a scoretaker of renown Sheridan would have worried more for NUIGalway in this aspect as they hit 18 wides over the duration of the outing. Kieran Molloy even though named at 15 was sweeping all over the well prepared Tipperary venue.Enda Tierney edged his side a point clear before three scores from Garda sent them into the lead. This was as good as it got for the trainee’s as Tierney (2) and Kevin Quinn were on the mark to leave NUI Galway ahead by the odd score in 17 at the interval.Two early second half scores by Garda left them ahead by the minimum and indeed NUI Galway were under the cosh before Kevin Quinn with two scores and one response from Garda left the sides deadlocked at (0-11) apiece and one feeling the NUI Galway had retaken the initiative in the contest. The result was effectively decided between the 41st and 45th minute with NUI Galway hitting (2-1) opposed to a solitary score from Garda. Patrick O’Donnell and Owen Gallagher were the goalscorers as Jack Robinson added the minor.The final quarter saw (1-2) more from NUI Galwayy as Garda kept plugging away with Fionan O Laoi the scorer from the penalty sport after he won the free. NUI Galway move onto Round 2 to play IT Sligo at 6pm in IT Sligo next Wednesday evening.NUI Galway: Aaron Brady, Stephen Brennan, Sean Mulkerrins, Ciaran McCloskey, Patrick O’Donnell (1-1), Ruairi Greene, Nathan Mullen, Cian Darcy, Kevin McDonnell, Donal Shanley, Owen Gallagher (1-1), Enda Tierney (0-4), Jack Robinson(0-4), Kevin Quinn (0-3), Kieran Molloy.Subs: Fionan O’Laoi (1-1). By Michael O Connor NUIGalway GPO NUI Galway 3-14 Garda College 0-16center_img print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Emaillast_img read more

Lamar Men and Women Highlight NCAA South Central Regional

first_imgStephen F. Austin sophomore and Southland Male Newcomer of the Year Charles Mathenge finished the course in a time of 29:58 – roughly a 4:50 mile pace – to break his second school record of the season and capture a seventh-place finish. The Ol Kalou, Kenya, native also owns the school record in the 8K (23:42) after his runner-up performance at the Conference Championships on Nov. 3. Mathenge also earns a spot in the upcoming NCAA National Championship race and is a NCAA All-Region honoree. The NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship selection show will take place tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. CT, and will stream live on NCAA.com. Lamar freshman runner Minttu Hukka was the top Southland women’s finisher as she placed 14th in the 6K race with a time of 20:43.6 and took home NCAA All-Region honors. Hukka was named Southland Freshman and Athlete of the Year after winning the Conference Championship race on Nov. 3. Hukka was followed by teammate and first team all-conference selection Leigh Lattimore, who finished 17th in 20:52. Lamar’s Verity Ockenden, a first team all-conference selection, also finished in the top 25 with a time of 21:02.6. Lattimore and Ockenden each were NCAA All-Region honorees. FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Lamar men’s cross country team finished third at the NCAA South Central Regional hosted by Arkansas Friday afternoon, while the Lamar women came in fourth. Lamar’s Sam Stabler and Stephen F. Austin’s Charles Mathenge each punched a ticket into the NCAA National Championships with their top-10 individual finishes at the regional race. Three Southland women’s runners placed in the top 25 and claimed NCAA All-Region honors, while Lamar had a fourth-place team finish. Southland runner-up Stephen F. Austin came in ninth, McNeese State 13th, Sam Houston State 15th, Houston Baptist 18th and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 19th. A total of ten Southland men’s and women’s runners earned NCAA All-Region honors after finishing in the top 25 of the NCAA Regional race. Lamar senior runner Sam Stabler, who was Southland Conference Male Athlete of the Year and league champion, ran the Agri Park 10K course in 29:35.9. Stabler ran a personal career best 10,000-meter time and claimed NCAA All-Region honors. The Leicester, England (Ratcliffe College), native finished third out of 152 total runners and 23 teams to earn a spot in the NCAA National Championships Nov. 22 in Terre Haute, Ind. Men’s ResultsWomen’s Results Lamar’s Jan Lukas Becker and Southland Male Freshman of the Year finished the race course 12th in a time of 30:09.6 and earned NCAA All-Region honors. Central Arkansas’ Jonathan Burgess came in 16th, Stephen F. Austin’s Cody Brown 19th, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s Philipp Baar 20th and Lamar’s Alex Dunbar 24th, each claiming a spot on the NCAA All-Region list. Seven Southland men’s runners finished in the top 25 and earned NCAA All-Region honors as Lamar and Stephen F. Austin had top-five team finishes. Lamar’s third-place finish was followed by Stephen F. Austin in fifth place. McNeese State men and Central Arkansas men finished ninth and 10th, while Texas A&M-Corpus Christi came in 13th, Sam Houston State 17th, and Houston Baptist 21st. A total of 31 teams compete as a team at the NCAA Division I Championships with 18 automatic bids from the top two teams at each regional, 13 bids are at-large. After teams have been determined, 38 additional individuals per gender are selected. After teams have been determined, 38 additional individuals per gender are selected to compete. From those teams not selected in the above process, the top four finishers at each regional are automatically selected but must have finished within the top 25 of the region. Two additional athletes will be selected from the remainder of the national pool as at-large individuals but must have finished in the regional top 25.last_img read more