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by on January 9, 2019
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The 2014 NCAA football season kicks off on Thursday and, as always, there is plenty of intrigue leading into Division 1 in the post-BCS world. Cheap Air Max 97 Nz Clearance . Here are five storylines to follow as the season gets underway: 1. The BCS is dead: The system still isnt perfect and not exactly what everybody wants to see, but its better than the BCS. No longer will teams vie for only two spots in the BCS Title game, but now four teams will be eligible to compete for the College Football Championship in a semi-final playoff format. Bowl season will still exist, but rather than have the title game conclude the bowl schedule, two bowl games will act as de facto semi-finals. Those bowls will come from the six games that were previously designated as part of the BCS series and will rotate every year among the Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Peach Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl. This season, the two semi-final bowls will be the Sugar and Rose Bowls. The four participants in these semi-finals will be selected from a committee made up of 13 members, including former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The criteria for selection into the semi-finals will take into account much of what was previously considered for the BCS Title game, but the NCAA notes that the new format would not preclude multiple teams from the same conference to appear in the two semi-finals and that AP Top 25 rankings will not be considered. A week after the semi-final bowls, the National Championship Game will be played on January 12, 2015 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. 2. Jameis Winston and a second Heisman: Defending Heisman Trophy winner Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is the early betting favourite to claim this years trophy, but he certainly has his work cut out for him and will enter rarefied air if he can do so. Only one man in the trophys 78-year history has claimed two awards, Ohio State running back Archie Griffin (1974 and 1975). Though history might not be on Winstons side and the redshirt sophomore, whose offseason was plagued with a sexual assault complaint and a pair of shoplifting incidents, would much rather help coach Jimbo Fisher and the preseason top-ranked Seminoles retain their national title than claim individual glory, the 20-year-old might have the best chance to do what the likes of Roger Staubach, Tim Tebow and Johnny Manziel couldnt. Perhaps not as deep as last years squad, Winston will still have many of the same weapons at his disposal this season, including WR Rashad Greene and RB Karlos Williams, and the Seminoles are expected by many to perform up to last years highs. That said, the field is stacked with potential Heisman candidates this year and, if Winston cant surpass or even equal his impressive numbers from last season, voters will likely look elsewhere. If not Winston, then who? Quarterbacks Marcus Mariota (Oregon) and Brett Hundley (UCLA) chose not to enter the 2014 NFL Draft to return to their respective schools and will give Winston the most competition on the pivot front. There are no shortage of running back candidates, including Duke Johnson (Miami), Ameer Abdullah (Nebraska), TJ Yeldon (Alabama), Mike Davis (South Carolina), Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin) and Todd Gurley (Georgia). 3. Academic fraud hits Notre Dame again: The Fighting Irish went on a run unforeseen by most two seasons ago, going 12-0 through the year only to be humbled in the BCS Title game 42-14 by Alabama. Though key players like LB Manti Teo, TE Tyler Eifert and safeties Zeke Motta and Jamoris Slaughter moved on to the NFL, hopes were still high around South Bend that the team could try to replicate the previous years high. That, of course, was before starting quarterback Everett Golson was suspended for the season after being deemed academically ineligible last May. Golson later admitted to cheating on a test as the reason for his suspension, but Brian Kellys Irish struggled with Tommy Rees at quarterback and the team finished a disappointing 8-4, falling well short of expectations. Golson was readmitted to Notre Dame and Kelly once again installed him as his starting QB, but academic infractions have reared their ugly heads again, this time with four players, including three starters. Suspended for Week 1 against Rice are starters CB KeiVarae Russell, OLB Ishaq Williams and WR DaVaris Daniels. Danielss absence will be felt most, as the junior was to be a key weapon for Golson and was last seasons leading receiver. While the probe investigating the quartet has yet to be completed and theres a chance that all four could return at some point this season, a second academic scandal in two years has taken some lustre off of the storied institution and there could be program-wide penalties to follow. It will be interesting to see how Kellys charges can cope with what could be a season-long black cloud hanging over the Irishs heads. 4. Taking the reins: There are a number of new coaches at high-profile institutions this season and, when it comes to a big program, theres never any grace period. After 15 seasons, six Big 12 titles and a national championship, Mack Brown was shown the door at Texas. Taking charge of the Longhorns will be Charlie Strong, who spent the last four seasons at Louisville. Known for his commitment to defence and a no-nonsense approach, Strong will look to reignite a Longhorns program that has been in decline since losing the 2009 BCS Title game to USC. Speaking of the Trojans, Southern California hopes to have found its long-term successor to Pete Carroll. The Lane Kiffin era, which came nowhere close to Carrolls reign, ended with a thud just five games into last season when the former Oakland Raiders coach was dismissed from his post. Assistant Ed Orgeron did an admirable job in guiding the team to a 6-2 finish, but was never really considered for the permanent position. Steve Sarkisian, after five seasons with Washington, returns to the Trojans as the man given the task of restoring USC back to prominence. Sarkisian has eight years of experience coaching at various positions with the school, including acting as offensive coordinator under Carroll. Carroll even saw Sarkisian as his successor with the Trojans. Though, Sarkisian was greatly influenced by the now Seattle Seahawks coach, he brings his own style back to USC with a no-huddle offence and a 3-4 defence. Bill OBrien did an admirable job at Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal and the dismissal of Joe Paterno, but with OBrien now coaching the Houston Texans, James Franklin assumes control in Happy Valley. Franklin already seems to have good rapport with sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg and, with the end of NCAA sanctions on the horizon, the Nittany Lions are looking at what could be a top-three recruitment class next season. Also of interest is Bobby Petrinos return to Louisville seven years after his very acrimonious exit from the Cardinals. 5. Can SEC domination be stopped?: Florida State claimed a national title last season for the ACC, but in the 16 years of the BCS era, nine national titles were claimed by Southeastern Conference schools, including seven of the last 10. With seven SEC representatives in the preseason AP Top 25 (Alabama, Auburn, South Carolina, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Mizzou) the SEC can once again stake its claim as the best conference in Division 1, but can it produce a champion? Of the title contenders, Nick Sabans Crimson Tide has the most favourable out-of-conference schedule, while Auburn will play a good Kansas State team and South Carolina has a date with Clemson. It will be, of course, the conference schedule that decides who comes out alive from the SEC, but one loss in the conference wont necessarily preclude a trip to the Sugar or Rose Bowl. The same scenario could play out in the Pac-12, who have six teams of their own in the preseason AP Top 25 (Oregon, UCLA, Stanford, USC, Arizona State and Washington), where one of the most competitive seasons in years appears to be on tap out west. Prediction: Alabama, UCLA, Oklahoma and Georgia are the four College Football Playoff teams with the Crimson Tide claiming their fourth national championship in six seasons and 20th overall. TSNs NCAA football coverage kicks off on Thursday with Wake Forest taking on Louisiana-Monroe on TSN2 (7pm et/4pm pt) and #18 Ole Miss hosting Boise State on TSN3 (8pm et/5pm pt) Cheap Air Max 97 Nz Shoes .J. -- Kevin Gilbride retired Thursday as offensive co-ordinator for the New York Giants. Cheap Air Max 97 Nz Online . Now comes an off-season of questions about manager Matt Williams decisions and a handful of key roster choices, including what to do about Ryan Zimmerman, whether to sign Jordan Zimmermann and Ian Desmond to long-term deals, and how to upgrade an offence that fell flat in October.WASHINGTON -- Ovechkin once. Ovechkin twice. Steen not at all. Just like that, theres a tie atop the NHL goal scoring race, as well as a new leader in the Metropolitan Division. Alex Ovechkin scored his 16th and 17th goals in the first period, while Alexander Steen was held pointless for only the second time this season Sunday night in the Washington Capitals 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues. "For me, it means a lot," Ovechkin said. "Its always nice to score big goals in big game, but it was a very good team effort today." Braden Holtby made 46 saves, a career high for a regular season game. Mikhail Grabovski and John Carlson also scored, and Nicklas Backstrom had three assists for the Capitals, who have won three straight win and seven out of nine to leapfrog the Pittsburgh Penguins for first place in the division. Vladimir Sobotka scored in the second period for the Blues, who had won eight of 10. The Capitals caught them at a good time, with St. Louis playing for the third time in four nights and on the second half of a back-to-back after a home win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday. "We knew theyre a hot team, theyre a good team, strong, and we knew their situation last night and what they had to deal with," Carlson said. "And Im sure theyre saying its not an excuse, but for us we wanted to jump on them as quick as possible." Sure enough, the Blues said the schedule wasnt an excuse, but they also knew they couldnt afford to be playing catch-up with tired legs. "First period, we were a step behind," St. Louis defenceman Jay Bouwmeester said. "To get down like that against a tough like that, its tough." The Blues took a season-high 47 shots compared to 20 for the Capitals, but the statistic is misleading. St. Louis quality chances were few and far between, while Washington scored on three of its first six shots. Cheap Air Max 97 Nz. Ovechkin got the first two. Sprung on a pass at centre ice by Backstrom -- another sign of the solid chemistry that has developed between the two -- Ovechkin sped past the Blues defencemen and into the right circle for a clean look, beating goaltender Jaroslav Halak stick-side. Ovechkin then flicked in a rebound off a shot by Karl Alzner to give the Capitals a 2-0 lead less than 13 minutes into the game. Meanwhile, Steen finished with three shots on goal and another four that were blocked. His points streak came to an end at 13 games, the longest for a Blues player since Pierre Turgeons 15-game run in 1999-2000. "We had lots of shots, but we didnt have any real penetration, or good shots," Bouwmeester said. "That wasnt our best game, for sure." After Ovechkins two goals, Grabovski poked in a rebound from a tight angle to make it 3-0 late in the first period. The Blues and Capitals also have the top two power plays in the NHL, and they traded man-advantage goals in the second period. Sobotka and Carlson each scored with a drive through traffic from high in the slot, with Carlsons goal ending an 0 for 11 power-play drought for Washington over the previous three games. "Obviously we expected them to be a little tired," Washington coach Adam Oates said. "But I dont think those goals came from fatigue. I think we got rewarded for doing the right things." Notes: The Blues had scored first in their previous 10 games. ... The Capitals have won six in a row at home. ... Washington D Mike Green missed his second consecutive game with a lower body injury and was placed on injured reserve. Oates said Green might return for Wednesdays game against the Penguins. ... The Capitals recalled D Dmitry Orlov from Hershey of the AHL. ... 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