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THE BEST OF TGS..."THE GAME" THAT STILL RESONATES

In this latest "Best of TGS" installment, we recall the following feature which ran in Issue 12 of our 62nd edition in November of 2018, when we honored the 50th anniversary of an epic matchup that continues to resonate...


We’re
about to enter the peak of college football “rivalry season” in the next two weeks as various regional bloodbaths will once again renew.  In our 62 seasons of TGS publishing, however, one of these rivalry games remains singular.  And we’re not sure we’ve ever lived through a game quite like...well, The Game.
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TGS PAC-12 RETROSPECTIVE...WHEN THE RIVALRY RAGED IN L.A.

Though given consideration in the early-season rankings, projected 14th nationally by Sports Illustrated in its preview issue, and 16th in AP’s preseason poll, there were numerous skeptics about the prospects of UCLA in ‘68. After all, Heisman winner Gary Beban had graduated after the Bruins had won 23 games under his direction the preceding three years.  Among them the doubters was the shrewd HC, Tommy Prothro, who naturally fretted about the upcoming post-Beban era. Not as much because of a lack of confidence in the anointed successor at QB, junior Bill Bolden
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THE BEST OF TGS...THE "ACID BATH" FOR TEXAS

Rest assured they haven’t forgotten about the days of the “Wishbone T” at Texas. Among the glorious eras of Longhorn football, the span from the late ‘60s into the early 70s when the Darrell Royal “Wishbone” ran wild remain among the all-time favorites for the countless “Texas Ex-es” and college football historians. The high-water mark, we have always believed, of that great Wishbone era might continue to be mostly overlooked by college sports historians and the modern-day media. In fact, looking back
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THE BEST OF TGS...IT'S TIME FOR NOTRE DAME-USC WEEK!

Among our favorite weeks each autumn is the run-up to the annual Notre Dame-USC grudge match.  Though this clash has lost some of its luster in recent years, it remains college football's quintessential intersectional rivalry, and one we at TGS have had a front-row seat to observe throughout our six-plus decades of publishing. And one of our favorite Fighting Irish-Trojans "Retrospective" pieces was this one from October, 2017 when we went back to review two of the more memorable Notre Dame-Southern Cal battles from the TGS era...
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NEW COVER STORY...TGS 2020 NFL DRAFT PREVIEW!

6-LOS ANGELES CHARGERS... The Philip Rivers era officially ended for the Bolts when their long-serving pitcher walked to the Colts in free agency. Though after Rivers struggled mightily a year ago with 20 picks, we’re not sure how much he will be missed. For the moment, word is that the Chargers are content to let holdover Tyrod Taylor act as a bridge to a high-profile rookie QB, though rumors continue to circulate that the Bolts could opt for still on-the-market Cam Newton as a short-term fix while whatever rookie (Oregon’s Justin Herbert?) watches and learns for a year or two. After all, the Chargers were decimated by injuries last year and believe they could make a quick
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COL HOOPS SPECIAL REPORT...TGS 2019-20 SUPERLATIVES

TGS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Obi Toppin, Dayton... We’ll never get to find out if Dayton could have made a run all of the way in the Big Dance after taking a 29-2 SU mark into the A-10 Tournament before college hoops shut down in mid-March. But at 29-2, this was the Flyers’ chance, and they would have likely been seeded number one in the East Regional had the Dance commenced in a normal fashion. Along the way, Toppin dominated his conference (the A-10) more than any player in the country, and while he might
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THE BEST OF TGS...SYMBOLISM AND THE SPORTS MEDIA

Back again we go into the "Best of TGS" files for this memorable piece which first ran on these pages in September of 2014, right about the time the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell were facing heavy scrutiny over the Ray Rice situation...

While seeking an editorial beacon of sorts to help us draw our intended analogy to recent events, we came across a passage in the thought-provoking best-selling book, Breach of Trust, authored in 2013 by Andrew J. Bacevich, a professor of history and international
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COL HOOPS SPECIAL REPORT...TGS ALL-NEWCOMER TEAM!

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Vernon Carey, Duke...Not quite by acclimation as was Blue Devil predecessor Zion Williamson last season, Carey nonetheless appears a worthy honoree, even if this year’s newcomer crop seemed to lack the sizzle of a year ago. Carey, however, helped create the dynamics for one of the nation’s most-explosive attacks that would often look to the blocks and Carey for its first offensive option. Carey made an impact almost immediately, cracking the 30-point barrier by his fifth game (scoring 31 in an 87-52 romp past Cal on November 21 at MSG) en route to 15 double-doubles, and was a
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THE BEST OF TGS...THE "BAG MEN" OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Every once in a while, we experience an "Abe Ribicoff moment."  Ribicoff, if you recall, was the U.S. Senator from Connecticut who famously, and forcefully, told the assembled masses at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago what many of them didn't want to hear.Specifically, Ribicoff bravely, or perhaps brazenly, went off script and upbraided Mayor Richard Daley and his Chicago political machine to their faces, right in their backyard of the old International Amphitheater, for the behavior of their police force against protestors nearby at
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THE BEST OF TGS...FIFA FOLLIES AND THE WORLD CUP

While we try to pass the time until sport is resumed, we've decided to cull our vast files of past stories and editiorals for "Best of TGS" features which will appear periodically over over the coming weeks.  One of these in particular was a spin-off from our old European Soccer Weekly publication which existed for seven years into 2007.  On occasion thereafter we would revive the ESW features on these pages, and one such time came in late 2010 after FIFA simultaneously awarded World Cups to Russia (for 2018) and Qatar (for 2022), respectively.
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TGS PUBLISHING NOTE...

Like most everyone, we at TGS are aware of the current national situation. At the proper time we are likely to have more commentary, but for the moment our product and publishing schedules are on hold after the termination of the college hoops season and the NBA suspending its schedule. As soon as the NBA & NHL campaigns resume, we’ll get back to normal coverage with our Late Telephone Service selections, which will also include MLB once that season begins.  In the meantime, be on the lookout for some of our usual late March-April features, including Col Hoops All-Newcomer and Superlatives, NFL Draft Preview, and, once a time-certain is established for the commencement of baseball, our annual MLB season-wins preview.  All coming soon, pkus select "Best of TGS" features, to these website pages!--Bruce Marshall, Goldsheet.com Editor 
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...MOCK BRACKETS FOR 2020 DANCE

With the college hoops season having been prematurely terminated, and some extra time to ponder what might have been on the hardwood these next few weeks, there’s no harm speculating how the field of 68 might have looked if there hadn’t been the recent disruption. We had been keeping close tabs and formulating our own TGS brackets (as we alwqays do) for the past three months, and at least as of last Thursday morning had an idea of how the brackets might have shaped up at that time
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...TOURNEY WEEK THUR BRACKET UPDATE

Xavier...Oh, Lordy, doesn’t the X now regret that loss to Butler in the final seconds last weekend? Instead of a win over the Bulldogs which would have allowed the Musketeers to bypass the opening round of the Big East Tourney at MSG, Travis Steele’s team was forced to deal with the only situation that could probably jeopardize a seed that was hovering in the 10-11 range. That is, a bad loss, which DePaul inflicted on Wednesday, 71-67. We still believe the X is on the safe side of the cut-line, but is going to be spending a nervous few days until Sunday, while keeping a careful lookout for any potential “Bubble
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NEW TGS HOOPS...LATEST "BRACKETOLOGY" UPDATE!

3 Duke (24-6) vs. 14 Akron (23-7)...Duke usually gets a break from the Selection Committee, which likes to keep the Blue Devils in the East (Madison Square Garden also hosts the regionals this March) and often has a Tobacco Road venue waiting in the sub-regionals; this time, it’s the venerable Greensboro Coliseum, where Coach K and his boys could camp out for a few more days after next week’s ACC Tourney. Recent losses suggest that even if the Blue Devils win the ACC Tourney next week, they won’t ascend higher than the 2-line. Akron has emerged as
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NEW TGS BRACKETS & LOW-MAJOR TOURNEY PREVIEWS!

WAC...Tourney March 11-14 at Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV. Cal Baptist is in transition phase to D-I and not eligible for conference title. Last year’s winner...New Mexico State. Top contenders-New Mexico State*, Seattle, UT Rio Grande Valley. Last year...NCAA-1 (New Mexico State); CIT-3 (CS Bakersfield-quarterfinals), UT Rio Grande Valley (2nd round), Seattle; CBI-3 (Utah Valley-quarterfinals, Cal Baptist, Grand Canyon).
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TGS BRACKETOLOGY UPDATE & NBA ALL-STAR BREAK REVIEW

Toronto Raptors (40-15)...Consider the 101-91 loss on Wednesday at Brooklyn to be nothing more than a minor course correction for the Raps, who took a stunning 15-game SU win streak into Barclays Center. It puts Toronto almost exactly where it was at this time a season ago when the Raps were on their way to the title. Even minus Kawhi Leonard, Nick Nurse has kept the champs afloat despite a series of injuries around the holidays (Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell) and a bit earlier (Kyle Lowry missed most all of November) that shortened rotations. The emergence of Siakam
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT... UPDATED FEBRUARY  "BRACKETOLGY"

2 Duke (19-3) vs. 15 Little Rock (17-7)...Some things seem to stay the same each year, and one of those is Duke, whose roster names have mostly changed since last season but with the same look on the bench (namely, Coach K) that has become a March staple. What is different about this season, however, is an ACC downturn, which we will amplify upon a bit more as we get further into the brackets. The Sun Belt race has turned into a Little Rock party, with the Trojans 2 ½ games ahead of the chasing pack into the second weekend of November
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TGS SUPER BOWL LIV PREVIEW... BACK TO THE BEGINNING!

One neat byproduct of having published since 1957 is that TGS predates the Super Bowl era by almost a decade. Which also means that we remember what it was like from the start when the game overtones were far more compelling than the modern-day, homogenous NFL. Remember, the Super Bowl was born from the merger of the AFL and NFL in 1966, when the rivalry between the two leagues was hot and heavy. As the leagues wouldn’t officially “merge” until the 1970 season, the 1966 thru ‘69 campaigns would still be conducted independently.
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NEW TGS HOOPS...FRACAS AT THE PHOG AND BRACKET UPDATE

Like baseball fights, most basketball fights tend to be much ado about nothing. Rarely does anyone really get hurt. But, sometimes, things can get ugly. In the pros, the first thing that comes to mind is the raucous Pacers-Pistons melee from November 2004. And there have been a couple of college basketball brawls in the past decade (Cincinnati-Xavier and Texas Tech-Oklahoma State) that also pushed things to the edge because fans either indirectly, or directly, became involved in the fracas. That’s where the line has to be drawn in such melees, and one in which Kansas and Kansas State
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT..."COLD BOWL" & CONF. TITLE NOTEBOOK

We at TGS precede the “Super Bowl era” by a full decade, and can recall a time when the pro football season would essentially end after the NFL and AFL championship games, usually contested in late December. (TGS was also in existence for three seasons between 1957-59 that preceded the existence of the old AFL!) So when the Super Bowl initially arrived for the 1966 season (and yes, it was unofficially referred to as the “Super Bowl” by all media outlets before Pete Rozelle would affix the name permanently to the championship tilt), the AFL and NFL title games became effective semi-final games.
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...NFL 2019 REVIEWS & DIV RD NOTES

Denver (7-9)...A fourth straight playoff miss and the first back-to-back-to-back losing seasons since 1970-72 (covering the end of the long-ago Lou Saban and start of the John Ralston regimes) confirm how far the Mile High operation has slipped on the watch of John Elway. Elway's decision to sign slow-footed Joe Flacco as the stopgap QB for 2019 effectively blew up in the Broncos’ face before Flacco was humanely placed on I-R at the beginning of November. By the end of the season the keys had been handed to Mizzou rookie QB Drew Lock
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NEW TGS HOOPS...NEW YEAR'S BRACKETOLOGY UPDATE!

1 Duke (12-1) vs. 16 St. Francis-PA (7-4)...No more Zion or RJ or Cam, but here we are projecting the brackets and once again the Blue Devils are sitting on the top line. Though this year’s edition hasn’t yet been as breathtaking as last year’s versuon (which we thought was more than a bit overvalued), it;s been only one loss thus far for Coach K’s new crop of frosh stars and holdover PG Tre Jones, who has been a valuable piece of glue at Cameron indoor. With the ACC looking a bit jumbled this season, nice to know that we can at least count on Duke. Meanwhile the Northeast
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...NFL WILD CARD NOTEBOOK

In recent years, when recalling past late-season and first-round playoff games, we have occasionally mentioned 1965 (when THE GOLD SHEET was already into its ninth year of publication), and results from 54 years ago that necessitated a one-game Western Conference playoff between the Colts and Packers. In retrospect, that turned out to be one of the most important games of the modern era, for a couple of reasons. First, it triggered a rules change in the league, as goalpost uprights were raised in height the following year after the referees botched Green Bay PK Don
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...A BOWL TALE YOU WON'T BELIEVE!

Bowl season reminds us at TGS of a tale that no one could comprehend today, and certainly not fans of Ohio State, a football factory if there ever was one and back in the Final Four again this season. Indeed, it can be argued that no school in the country takes its pigskin participation any more seriously than in Columbus. But we at TGS were finishing up our fifth season of publishing when the Buckeyes shocked the college football world with a decision that even then seemed like some sort of gridiron version of hari-kari, and a bit
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...NY SPORTS BETTING USA REVIEW--PART II

As noted on these pages last month, a featured speaker last month in Manhattan was former New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak, who spearheaded legislation that was pushed through Trenton in the first place, and remained a driving force behind all of New Jersey’s subsequent adjustments and court challenges. Lesniak, currently out of the state legislature after an unsuccessful run for the governorship last year, was able to enlighten a bit further from his unique perspective of how the entire process proceeded, but it was
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT... THANKSGIVING FB NOTEBOOK

Mention of the Lions on Thanksgiving often recalls the classic 1962 game vs. the Packers, who were the annual Turkey Day opponent of the Lions thru the following season in 1963. Perhaps Vince Lombardi’s best-ever Green Bay side rumbled into old Tiger Stadium on Thanksgiving Day 1962 (a year after the big ballyard changed its name from Briggs Stadium) with a 10-0 record and appearing en route to unbeaten gridiron immortality. But the ‘62 Lions were formidable, just two lengths back at 8-2,
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...NY SPORTS BETTING USA REVIEW

In the 18 months since the SCOTUS ruling and repeal of PASPA, the arena for the sports betting storyline has thus shifted from the federal courts to the individual states, several of which having moved quickly to follow New Jersey into the marketplace. For the past couple of years, an annual barometer of the industry in the states has been the Sports Betting USA Conference in New York City, held each November, and most recently in the first week of this month.  As we were present with TGS again in New York two weeks ago as we have been for the past
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT... HERE COME THE RIVALRIES!

This past summer, in our Retrospective series, our SEC edition (“The Forgotten Sequel”) recalled in detail one of the most anticipated battles in our six-plus decades of publishing. Though often overlooked. As whenever LSU and Ole Miss get together (as they will again this Saturday in Oxford), their 1959 Halloween classic in Baton Rouge is often recalled, highlighted by Billy Cannon’s dramatic 89-yard punt return TD in the 4th Q for the winning points in a stirring 7-3 Tiger triumph
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...LSU-BAMA AND  1 VS. 2 HISTORY!

Matchups of No. 1 vs. No. 2 in college football are not as rare these days thanks to the playoffs, and, prior to that, the BCS and Bowl Alliance which often would pit the top two ranked teams for the national title, beginning in the late ‘90s. What remains a bit rare, however, is for a regular-season game to pit No. 1 vs. No. 2. Interestingly, the last time we were treated to one of those was eight years ago, and it involved the same two teams going at it this Saturday in another No. 1 vs. No. 2 titanic, though
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HOOPS COVER STORY...TGS COLLEGE HOOPS PRESEASON TOP 40!

1-FLORIDA...It was the most anticipated move of the offseason. We’re talking about the destination of ex-Virginia Tech PF Kerry Blackshear, who seemed ticketed to various locales as a grad transfer before landing in Gainesville. When last seen, Blackshear was terrorizing Duke and almost single-handedly knocking Zion Williamson & Co. out of the Dance in the Sweet 16 before Michigan State did the honors in the Elite 8. Now an already-loaded Gators side adds one of the best rebounders and inside scorers in the country. Moving ahead with Blackshear, don’t expect foes to play ping-pong off the offensive glass vs. 
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...BIG SPREADS AND BIG UPSETS

While co-hosting last Friday on VSIN’s My Guys in the Desert co-hosting last Friday on VSIN’s My Guys in the Desert with Ron Flatter and Vinny Magliulo, Jimmy Vaccaro from the host South Point sports book made an appearance on the show and began waxing nostalgic about football pointspreads in bygone days, noting how the books worked with different parameters into the ‘80s. “Some of these big pointspreads we see every week, like these 30-point and higher lines with Bama, Clemson, and Ohio State, well, we didn’t even book those games in the old days,” said Vaccaro.
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...NBA 2019-20 SEASON WINS TO WATCH!

Sports priorities have changed in D.C., as it’s become a baseball and hockey town thanks to the Nats and Caps, not so much with football (Redskins) and basketball.  In fact, only because the Redskins are so bad that the Washington Wizards (24 ½) might not be bottom of the local pile.  Star G Bradley Beal just signed a $72 mill, 2-year extension, but we’re not sure that is over-the-top good news, as among other things he’s no longer in a contract year that often does wonders for a star’s production.  Remember, longtime backcourt mate John Wall likely misses the entire season as he rehabs from last season’s Achilles tear, and there
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...INTO THE WEEDS OF COLLEGE SPORTS

Funny business, this college sports thing. We have always though it interesting the reaction from foreigners who might have no idea how big-time college sports operate in this country. We’ve seen incredulous looks from those types as they try to contemplate how schools and universities in the states can build stadiums for up to (and is some cases beyond) 100,000 fans and conduct themselves as might a pro sports league.  Indeed, big-time college sports do behave much like pro sports leagues, except that the stars of the show are not officially compensated (ahem!) for
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...STIRRING THE MEMORY BANKS

Focus shifts to college football, and nothing encapsulates the 63 seasons we have been producing TGS any better than the special rivalries that mark each autumn. The 2019 calendar provides us with two of the most-enduring, and endearing, or those matchups this week which will highlight the upcoming college card before the majority of big rivalries renew in November. Indeed, recollections of Texas-Oklahoma and Notre Dame-USC could fill several highlight chapters of our six-plus decades in business. But as these old enemies prepare to face off yet again on Saturday
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...MLB PLAYOFFS PREVIEW!

For a while it didn’t look like the St. Louis Cardinals (5/1) were going to make a run this season, but the Redbirds took flight around the All-Star break and soared into the playoffs atop the NL Central (despite some angst in the final week courtesy the D-backs and nemesis Cubs). Mike Shildt was able to navigate around subpar season from a lot of key lineup cogs including 1B Paul Goldschmidt, 3B Matt Carpenter, SS Paul deJong, and LF Marcell Ozuna, often forced to manufacture runs (not a bad thing at all). If the bats awaken in October, the Cards have a
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...NFL SPREADS & NHL POINTS

We’re apparently into a new era of big favorites and big pointspreads. Not just football; Major League Baseball has been overrun with big prices in recent weeks, too. Indeed, we counted seven matchups with prices of -250 or higher (some much higher) in MLB action last Saturday alone. But the “big number” discussions of the past week were highlighted by a couple of NFL bomber prices in games involving the lowly Miami Dolphins (at Dallas) and hurtin’ New York Jets (at New England); for the first time since a replacement-game week in the strike-
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...LATEST POST-PASPA UPDATE

Readers familiar with these TGS pages know that we have been keenly interested in the mechanics of the new legalized sports betting environment in the USA. Over the course of several years, we devoted a lot of space to New Jersey’s quest to overturn PASPA, the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, when select states (Nevada, Oregon, Delaware, and Montana...but not New Jersey) were “grandfathered” by federal law to accept sports wagers, though only in Nevada’s case would it include single-game wagering; it was parlay cards only for the other states. 
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...THE FINE ART OF SCHEDULING

Is discretion the better part of valor? When it comes to college football scheduling, maybe so. It’s been that way for decades; indeed, gridiron history is replete with teams that bit off more than they can chew, as the iconic LA Times columnist Jim Murray reminded readers when UCLA decided to hit the eject button on HC Bill Barnes back in December of 1964. “They gave Billy Barnes a schedule the Green Bay Packers would shy at,” wrote Murray.“Pittsburgh, Penn State, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Illinois and Air Force got on it this year. 
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...NFL SEASON WINS TO WATCH!

We have a long-standing belief at TGS that whenever a team runs for the bus the way the Jacksonville Jaguars (8½) did last season, the well simply becomes poisoned. And while the Jags are also just 20 months beyond reaching the AFC title game and coming about 2 minutes from making Super Bowl LII, we don’t think a 2017 encore is coming anytime soon. While ex-Eagle Nick Foles (now re-united with his former Philly QB coach, John DeFilippo, the new o.c. for the Jags) should be an upgrade from Blake Bortles, Foles also has limitations and is not a transformational player. Relying upon Leonard Fournette to
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...THE GREAT ONE'S OPENER TO REMEMBER

Without saying, this time of year definitely gets us in a mood to reminisce. In recent times, we’ve written about some past memorable opening weeks, especially those with landmark implications, but in the 62 previous seasons we’ve been publishing TGS, we’re not sure there was a better opener than we experienced in 1967. For those who can’t recall an era in which Nick Saban wasn’t a coach, or Clemson regarded as a national power, or Ohio State and Michigan weren’t considered featured performers in the Big Ten, then 1967 was for you
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TGS 2019 COLLEGE FB PREVIEW...PRESEASON TOP 40!

1-CLEMSON... Preseason rankings are overrated–there, we said it! Stereotyping is prevalent, such as the “of course we have to rank Alabama number one” crowd. We suspect there would have been those who would have picked the Tide to beat Clemson even after the Tigers’ 44-16 blowout win in the national title game last January. In the aftermath, Bama probably would have again been supported as the betting favorite, too. But what matters on the field is what counts, and Clemson was indeed the best team last season, by a good margin. A new year, of course, but Dabo Swinney’s program has become a Cadillac
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TGS 2019 COLLEGE FB PREVIEW...A LOOK AT THE INDEPENDENTS

Notre Dame... Coming off a 12-1 season, and with seven offensive and six defensive starters returning, HC Brian Kelly must’ve felt pretty good about his team’s chances of collecting double-digit wins for the third straight fall in 2019. No Irish team had won 10 or more in consecutive seasons since the legendary Lou Holtz piloted the team to a 31-5-1 mark in 1991-1993.  However, the Irish are already stumbling a bit out of the gate this season, and they don’t play until Monday, September 2. Among the graduated players were three offensive and three defensive starters drafted into the NFL
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TGS 2019 COLLEGE FB PREVIEW...A LOOK AT CUSA--PART II

He’s found his niche. We’re talking about HC Skip Holtz, whose career looked like it might be at a dead end a few years ago at South Florida, only to be revived at Louisiana Tech). Indeed, the Bulldogs have become an annual fixture on ESPN’s Bowl Week with five straight postseason appearances. Holtz has won all of those, too, including a rousing 31-14 success in the Hawaii Bowl last December, rallying to pull clear of the host Rainbow Warriors in the second half at Honolulu. Though most believe Holtz is perfectly content to see out the rest of his career
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TGS 2019 COLLEGE FB PREVIEW...A LOOK AT THE SUN BELT--PART II

Appalachian State... Longtime HC Scott Satterfield moved on to Louisville, so App State will be guided by former NC State o.c. Eliah Drinkwitz going forward. Drinkwitz has the most experienced team in the SBC and one of the most experienced in college football this year and the Mountaineers are clearly the favorites to repeat as SBC champions.   The offense alone boasts four first or second-team all-Sun Belt performers in jr. QB Zac Thomas (2039 YP, 21-6 TD-int., 504 YR, 10 rush TDs), jr. RB Darrynton Evans (1187 YR, 6.6 ypc), jr. C Noah Hannon and sr. LT Victor Johnson. Not a bad
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TGS 2019 COLLEGE FB PREVIEW...A LOOK AT CUSA--PART I

The pieces are in place for not only another bowl run but something much more meaningful for FIU this fall (we’ll get to the schedule dynamics in a moment). The key link on offense, former Bowling Green transfer QB James Morgan, remains in the fold for another year after becoming a revelation in 2018 with almost 2800 YP and 26 TDS (vs. just 7 interceptions) and pacing an attack that led C-USA in scoring at nearly 35 ppg. Morgan even missed the Bahamas Bowl win over Toledo due to injury but was back in the mix in spring and welcomes most of his key receiving
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TGS 2019 COLLEGE FB PREVIEW...A LOOK AT THE SUN BELT--PART I

Arkansas State... A series of coaching changes in the conference has left Blake Anderson, entering his sixth season at the helm in Jonesboro, as the dean of SBC mentors. That continuity of leadership is a main reason the Red Wolves have continued the success ASU enjoyed under Hugh Freeze, Gus Malzahn and Bryan Harsin, recording a winning record and taking the team to a bowl game in each of his five seasons. Stability is a positive in recruiting, and Anderson has plucked some plumbs, not only from the high 
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TGS 2019 COLLEGE FB PREVIEW...A LOOK AT THE PAC 12--PART II

It took a while, but Utah finally became the big boy in the Pac-12 South last fall, winning the division for the first time since joining the loop in 2011. The Utes had come close before under HC Kyle Whittingham, who during days in Mountain West once fashioned a 13-0 mark in 2008 and a win over Nick Saban’s Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Though in the end last season, the Utes were a bit frustrated, unable to do much vs. Washington (for the second time) in a slow-paced 10-3 loss in the Pac-12 title game, then blowing a
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TGS 2019 COLLEGE FB PREVIEW...A LOOK AT THE PAC 12--PART I

Washington... HC Chris Petersen has entrenched himself as one of the best hires in the Pac-12 in decades, overcoming a bit of a slow start in Seattle by going 32-9 in the past three seasons. As it turned out, Steve Sarkisian did the Husky faithful a service by bailing on his contract and jumping to Southern Cal in 2014. Petersen has been a perfect fit for Washington.  Most of the pundits are concerned about Washington’s defense this season. That unit returns only two starters, but we’re willing to look past 
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TGS 2019 COLLEGE FB PREVIEW...A LOOK AT THE SEC--PART II

Let it not be said that some of our contacts in the SEC region are without a sense of humor. At the recent Media Days in Hoover, one long-time acquaintance took a look at the favorable schedule of Alabama (2018 SUR 14-1; PSR 8-7; O/U 9-6) and said, “If (Nick) Saban can’t go 12-0 vs. that schedule, he should be fired.” Our friend was teasing, of course, but it doesn’t camouflage the fact that everything is lining up smartly for another Saban assault on the Final Four and national title, of which he has won five with his Crimson Tide in the last ten seasons. There are some
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