Fascinating Camp Battles for College Football Playoff Contenders

Written by Brent Larsen
 from XL Sports Blog"

Fall camp is just around the corner in the college football world, and teams across the country will try to identify new starters throughout the month of August in preparation for their season openers. Some camp battles are more important than others, as they could play a huge factor in the race for College Football Playoff tickets.

Undoubtedly, the biggest opening that needs to be filled this summer is Alabama quarterback, as the Crimson Tide are a perennial threat to grab College Football Playoff tickets. Most assume the job has already gone to Florida State transfer Jacob Coker, who only arrived on campus this summer. However, despite the expectation that Coker will be immediately ready to step into McCarron’s shoes, Saban and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin will give senior Blake Sims a fair chance to upset the newcomer.

Across the state of Alabama, Auburn must find a replacement for promising DE Carl Lawson, who will miss most of the fall, if not the entire season, after injuring his knee during spring practice. Sophomore Elijah Daniel and junior college transfer DaVonte Lambert look like good pass rushing options, but the team could also use DTs Gabe Wright and Montravius Adams on the edge as well.

In Big Ten country, the Ohio State Buckeyes have to go about replacing All-American running back Carlos Hyde. With Braxton Miller’s health at a premium in 2014 as the Buckeyes hope to snag College Football Playoff tickets, it will be imperative for Urban Meyer and staff to identify at least one workhorse back to take the rushing load off their star quarterback. Ezekiel Elliott has the requisite size to handle a larger workload, and should be first in line to replace Hyde. Slotback Dontre Wilson is more of a multipurpose threat than true tailback, but should see his carries total climb as well.

The Oregon Ducks have many of the ingredients to contend for College Football Playoff tickets, but wide receiver could be the lone sore spot on the roster. Explosive junior Bralon Addison was lost for the year during spring ball, leaving the Ducks very inexperienced out wide. One player to keep an eye on is redshirt freshman Devon Allen, who just won the NCAA 110 meter hurdle title, as he clearly has speed to burn.

What is More Important, LA or a Global Game?


One of the proposed stadiums for a new team in LA.

Recent talks of getting the NFL in Los Angeles has me beginning to wonder if it really matters that the NFL is in LA. The NFL has a product that is not matched by any other professional sport. There are small market teams and large market teams and not only do small market teams contend with large market teams but they consistently win divisions and conferences over large market teams.

Plans to build the infrastructure in Los Angeles have been floating around for a while now and more recently a new stadium plan has been released in the midst of the recent push for LA. Building a stadium will either drawing a current team to Los Angeles or attract someone to start from scratch.

The NFL has been considering the options of either moving a team such as the local and former LA team, the Raiders, or the team that will be going for sale soon, the Bills. The other option that they could possibly look at is to expand the NFL and create a new team in Los Angeles. If they were to add a team into the NFL they would have to expand elsewhere. London?

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Tiger Hits Volunteer in the Face With A Drive, Yells at Photographers

Well Tiger Woods had a good round and finished -3, 3 off the lead at the moment. That doesn’t mean that he didn’t have some rough spots, and no I’m not talking about the two bogies on the first two holes.

Can Tiger Break the Barrier?


The worlds best golfers gather this week at Royal Liverpool for the sports oldest tournament and the biggest story is that Tiger will be competing in his first major since his back surgery 4 months ago. Tiger claims to be in good shape and ready to take on the field.

Tiger Woods has been stuck at 14 and that may change this weekend, 14 majors that is. In his quest to chase Jack Nicklaus’s 18 major championships, Woods has never fallen behind in milestones to reach the goal in 14 years and if he fails to lift the Claret jug on Sunday, he will. That means that in Nicklaus’s 35 year he won The Open Championship as his 15th major win and Tiger (also in his 35th year) must win this weekend to stay on track.

The last time The Open Championship was at Royal Liverpool was in 2006. Tiger Woods avoided nearly every deep walled fairway bunker and made very key puts to win his 11th major at the time, just two months after his father, Earl, passed away.

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5 Steps To Take Your Fantasy Football League To The Next Level


With the fantasy football season around the corner, your fantasy commissioner should be looking to make their league better. For the next few week, I will be posting 20 tips to make your Fantasy Football League Better. Continue reading


As the Captain gets ready for his final All-Star Game, Nike Jordan’s release an awesome commercial. Jeter is the most influential player in the last 25 years. In the steroid-scandle era, Jeter is one of the only players that has preformed at a high level and not been apart of controversy (unlike his own teammate). So to show respect, Nike Jordan’s released this commercial.

Lebron Conspiracy Theory

Miami Heat v Sacramento Kings

Conspiracy theories are always fun and every situation can produce a few so here is mine. For the record, I am not saying that this is true!

During the last few days my friends have been discussing the impossible situations that could have been happening. Here is my favorite. Back at the 2003 NBA Draft, Lebron, the Heat and the Cavs talked it out. Miami told the Cavs to take the hometown hero and build him up. When Lebron became a free agent he would leave for Miami to win multiple championships but playing with Wade and a player of his choice. Dan Gilbert played it off like it was a stab in the back, make the fans hate him, make it seem less planed, burn some jerseys so when he comes back fans are forced to buy new ones. When the four year contract expires he would make the very emotional commitment to return to his hometown and bring hope and rings to the city.

Well that’s my theory, what’s yours? comment below with what you think could have happened.

The King is Coming Home


I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.

In a very emotional first person essay on SI.com, Lebron James announces that he will be returning to his home town to play with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The rumor talk is over and all the speculation can be put aside because the king has chosen. This decision goes beyond the greatest basketball player on Earth choosing a team to play for, this is the beginning of the reawakening of a city and restoring hope to a city that means so much to Lebron.

The painful and disrespectful announcement four years ago stirred up emotions and as a city wept, Lebron went to South Beach. Jerseys were burned as their hometown hero left for bigger and better things. Dan Gilbert’s letter was to raise the spirits of those fans who lost all hope. Ironically that same letter almost kept their hero from ever coming back. Lebron says “I’ve met with Dan, face-to-face, man-to-man. We’ve talked it out. Everybody makes mistakes. I’ve made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge?”

Lebron went on to build the “Big 3″ with Wade and Bosh in Miami and win not one but two championships. He says that the hardest thing to do is leave something that he created and built. He says that twice in his essay, one when he left to go to Miami and again when he leaves his team that he engineered to win in Miami.

The thought that Lebron is going to be joining a team with Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins and with two first round draft pick in the future draft will make any sports fan drool. It will be a spectacular show.

He says this decision goes beyond basketball, it is that he grew up in Cleveland, he loved his city and he wanted his children to grow up there and learn that “In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.”


Quit Your Complaining!

Ghana v USA: Group G - 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilWorld cup fever has spread through the United States and some people refuse to embrace it. Unfortunately they aren’t open minded to the “new” sport in the spot light. Every four years I find it exciting to see the world come together and compete against each other in a sport that the red white and blue does not dominate like in the Olympics.

Soccer critics say that the game is too long, there are enough goals to make it interesting, the clock counts up,the ref can control the outcome of the game too much by dictating stoppage time, and there are DRAWS!!! What they have to realize is that it isn’t our game. Americans are use to having sports a certain way. The clock counts down, the refs don’t control the time and there is always a winner.

First, a soccer game is shorter than any other American sporting event. Baseball games are 3 hours, Football games can push 3 and a half hours, hockey and basketball games are about 2 and a half hours. When it comes to soccer, you can bet that it will end in exactly 2 hours.

That isn’t even the best part. You can turn on the game at any time and always see soccer. That may seem straight forward but think about it. How many times do you sit down and throw on the NBA game and it is a commercial or you switch to check the score of the other 1:00 NFL game and the players are just standing around waiting for the refs to make a call or just waiting for the next play. When you turn on a soccer game there is always action because the clock never stops.

Stoppage time is a little shady. There have been quite a bit of gambling problems with referees and giving them the power to control the amount of time  left in the game, but in the world cup you don’t have to worry about that because the refs are selected to move on the next round game based on how they score the games before.

What is the difference between watching a 1-0 baseball game that took 3 hours and a 1-0 soccer game that took 2 hours? This world cup has produced more goals in the group stage than any other world cup so there are a lot more goals to keep things interesting.

If none of these arguments convince you to turn on and watch the world cup then don’t worry it will be over in less than a month.

No Longer American’s Past Time?

A Sport falling apartMajor League Baseball has been around for 145 years and for the majority of its rain, the MLB has been the top sport in the American market. Now there are so many sporting events that sometimes it seems that baseball can get lost in the mix. How can a sport that has dominated the market for so long just fade into a shadow of other sports. There are still hard-core baseball fans but is the MLB a truly national sport or has it turned into a local business for each team? How much has a constant feed of mass information for fans hurt baseball?

If you ask most people what the top sport in America is the odds are they will say the NFL. Football is huge compared to other sports. When football is in season or even pre-season, all you will be able to see on major sports network is 24/7 coverage of football, that’s it. Continue reading