Florida State has a clear shot at the BCS title game, there's a weekend full of football starting tomorrow, and - brace yourselves - college hoops is back, baby! Happy Friday to ya, you guys. Lets hit the links, shall we?
Lloyd Christmas will appreciate this: Vegas released their final preseason odds to win the NCAA championship, and BC came out as a 250-1 long shot. The Eagles open up their basketball season tonight, but they'll be without sharpshooter Lonnie Jackson (hamstring) when they host Providence in Chestnut Hill.
Dabo Swinney and the Tigers have a bye this week, so here's a play-by-play breakdown of their 49-point drubbing of Virginia last week - folks, this Sammy Watkins fella is pretty good at football. Brad Brownell and his troops get their season started tonight at home against Stetson, which will give fans a chance to see how Devin Coleman and Jaron Blossomgame look after returning from injuries.
Cameron Indoor Stadium is the host, and for the 107th time, Duke and Davidson will square off tonight in men's basketball. Coach K will have to replace 62 percent of his scoring from last season, which is a lot, but with a lineup as gifted as this, he won't be getting sympathy from anyone. The perimeter-oriented skills of this year's Blue Devils roster reminds many of Coach K's talented Team USA basketball rosters.
Out on the West Coast late last night, something very good happened for the Seminoles: Oregon went down - 26-20 - to Stanford, which gives FSU the inside track for the BCS title game and could vault QB Jameis Winston to the top of the Heisman list. FSU's center Bryan Stork is one of the best in the nation, but his road to Tallahassee hasn't been easy.
Next week, the Yellow Jackets travel to Clemson to pen another chapter in one of the South's fiercest rivalries; the Atlanta Journal-Constitution put together a cool photo display of some of their more recent clashes. As he enters his third season in Atlanta, Brian Gregory's program is ready to turn the corner.
Linebacker Cole Farrand - the team's leading tackler, who had 23 tackles two weeks ago against Clemson - is out for Saturday's showdown with Syracuse. Mark Turgeon's club returns to Brooklyn and the Barclays Center tonight to open up their season against No. 18 UConn.
Old rivals - remember the Big East, you guys? - Miami and Virginia Tech are preparing to duke it out tomorrow in South Beach - in a game that will have serious Coastal Division title implications. The Hurricanes announced the 2014 class for the university's Sports Hall of Fame; Clinton Portis and Andre Johnson - members of their 2001 title team, and standouts for several years in the NFL - will be inducted - along with several others - on Nov. 23.
When the Tar Heels get their 2013-14 season under way tonight against Oakland - no, not the Raiders - they will be without their top two wings - P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald, who will sit out because of NCAA eligibility concerns. Last season - out of necessity - UNC was forced to play small; that will not be the case this year - expect to see Roy Williams back in his comfort zone, playing two post players at the same time.
The Wolfpack kicks off Mark Gottfried's third season tonight against Appalachian State, and all eyes will be on sophomore superstar T.J. Warren. Here's a very nice breakdown of App State, which is coached by former UNC forward Jason Capel. Spoiler alert: the Mountaineers aren't very good on offense.
Mike Brey and company - who get their inaugural ACC season started tonight against Miami (OH) - have big goals for 2013-14 - and the players to achieve them. Longtime rivals Pitt and Notre Dame will add another chapter to their series history tomorrow night in Pittsburgh; here's LT Zack Martin talking about the game, his team's health.
Paul Chryst has put together a solid initial recruiting class at Pittsburgh, but he and his staff will have to improve their efforts going forward if they're to compete with the football powerhouses - yes, laugh all you want - of the ACC. Jamie Dixon and his Panthers open their season tonight at home against Savannah State, which may raise some eyebrows.
Time passes by, things change, yada yada yada (Seinfeld, for the win), but something in upstate New York remains constant: Syracuse, which opens its season tonight against Cornell, is a force in college basketball. And now Scott Shafer has weighed in on the Richie Incognito situation in Miami, so we've got that going for us, which is nice. Running back George Morris II will be able to play tomorrow against Maryland.
As the Joe Harris and Akil Mitchell-lead Cavaliers prepare to open their season tonight against James Madison, there are a lot of major expectations surrounding this season's Hoos. ICYMI: Mike London, who's readying his team for UNC tomorrow, chatted with our David Glenn yesterday.
With no Duke Johnson for Miami tomorrow, the Hokies will have to make sure to neutralize his replacement: sophomore back Dallas Crawford. For everything else you need to know about tomorrow's Coastal Division showdown, check this excellent and detailed - as per the usual - preview from The Key Play.
There is speculation that injured stud WR Michael Campanaro could make it back in time to play Nov. 30 against Vanderbilt, but as Dan Collins writes, that may not be such a good idea. Jimbo Fisher and FSU expect a healthy amount of pressure from Wake's defense when the Demon Deacons and Seminoles square off tomorrow. The Demon Deacons, who play host tonight to Colgate in hoops, are returning a lot this season, but they'll have to find a way(s) to replace the scoring and leadership of the departed C.J. Harris.