Real Madrid coach Solari: January signings? C’mon guys…by Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid coach Santiago Solari has pleaded with the media to allow his players to celebrate their Club World Cup triumph.After their 4-1 final win over Al Ain, Solari was immediately asked about his transfer plans for January.”Recruits this winter? What I’m saying is that we deserve to breathe a bit, we have earned this title with a lot of merit and we must enjoy it,” said the Argentine.”The only thing I’m sure of is that this team deserves this trophy. “For now, the sequel is a deserved holiday.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Everton loanee Vlasic slams Allardyce: It wasn’t footballby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveNikola Vlasic has said that Everton played terrible football under Sam Allardyce.The winger has admitted the players were even scared of the home supporters, as they knew that no one was happy with the way they were playing.Vlasic thinks that it has improved under Marco Silva, even though Everton are below the 8th place where they finished last season under Allardyce.”Everything changed after Koeman left. The football played by Big Sam was awful, if it could even be called football,” Vlasic told Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti.”In such football I do not have a place. The football team was terrified by everything, the fans mostly. This season, Marco Silva plays different, much nicer football, but has not got results.”It is true that Everton did not make an expected breakthrough but at least fans now look at the normal football in which the guys, through their actions, are trying to score and win.” About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say
West Ham boss Pellegrini coy over season targetby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveWest Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini is coy over their season target.Skipper Mark Noble says they should be going for the top six.Pellegrini said, “I never say what our team target is for the season. I think though, that if pundits have those feelings, maybe it is because the team is showing in games, we are able to do that. “Our duty as a team is not to hear what happens, it is to play every game and demonstrate we are able to do it. “We know we have a very strong team to play and we have a good test against Manchester United and we will try to beat them. That would be the only way to arrive in the top six position, by demonstrating in every game we can do exactly that.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
TagsPremiership NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your say Liverpool boss Klopp lauds Leicester counterpart Rodgersby Ian Ferris21 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been speaking of the return to Anfield of former Reds boss Brendan Rodgers with Leicester.”He is doing really well – and to be honest, I am not surprised about that. I knew when I came here that he was not the reason that things did not work out. Since then he has done an incredible job at Celtic and now at Leicester.”A lot of players were in before him and are still there, but [he has made] good signings as well, really good signings, and a brilliant team. What they do is really good.”I don’t have to say that because I think everybody knows it in the moment when you watch the Leicester games, it is just exciting, they are fresh, they are good. Just good.”They defend well, play football and especially [their] counter-attacks are pretty threatening. The reception will be good, from my side and from the supporters as well, but still it is not a friendly game and that’s what we want to make sure. We are there to perform as well and hopefully that’s what we will do.”
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Royalty to attend Man Utd v Liverpool clashby Paul Vegas6 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveNorwegian King Harald V will be at Old Trafford tomorrow.While a fan of Tottenham, King Harald will attend Manchester United’s clash with Liverpool to support Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.Harald was delighted when the Norwegian was named manager of United last season.”It’s impressive. Really,” stated Harald. “I hope with all my heart that he succeeds.”
The 2019 Asian Cup will come to a head on Friday when first-time finalists Qatar prepare to face off against four-time champions and front-runners Japan.Japan have been the team to beat this tournament following the early exits of South Korea and Australia, having clinched the top spot of Group F in a straightforward manner with wins over Turkmenistan, Oman and Uzbekistan, before beating Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Iran in the knockout stages.Qatar emerged as an unlikely powerhouse after knocking out favourites South Korea in the quarter-finals, and will head into the final backed by the momentum of their 4-0 semi-final victory over hosts United Arab Emirates. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Game Japan vs Qatar Date Friday, February 1 Time 2pm GMT / 9am ET Stream (US) DAZN (one month free trial) TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live with DAZN (one month free trial) .New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream Univision NOW DAZN (one month free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on BT Sport 2 and livestreamed on BT Sport Live. UK TV channel Online stream N/A N/A Squads & Team News Position Japan players Goalkeepers Gonda, Higashiguchi, Schmidt Defenders Nagatomo, Yoshida, Sakai, Makino, Tomiyasu, Shiotani, Miura, Muroya, Sasaki Midfielders Haraguchi, Inui, Shibasaki, Endo, Aoyama, Minamino, Ito, Doan Forwards Osako, Muto, Kitagawa With holding midfielder Wataru Endo injured, Al Ain defender Tsukasa Shiotani could be set for a return to the XI following his only start against Uzbekistan in the group stages.Kawasaki Frontale midfielder Hidemasa Morita is also unavailable to feature.Potential Japan XI: Gonda; Sakai, Yoshida, Tomayasi, Nagatomo; Haraguchi, Shiotani; Minamino, Doan, Shibasaki; Osako. Position Qatar players Goalkeepers Al Sheeb, Hassan, Al-Bakri Defenders Ro-Ro, Hassan, Salman, Ismail, Al-Muhaza, Al-Rawi, Al-Ali, Madibo Midfielders Fatehi, Hatem, Mohammed, Boudiaf, Al-Hajri, Khoukhi, Moustafa, Afif Forwards Alaaeldin, Al-Haydos, Afif, Ali The eligibility of Qatar players Almoez Ali, 22 and Iraqi-born defender Bassam Al Rawi, 21 have been questioned ahead of the final – with Ali having scored his record-equalling eighth goal of the tournament.Potential Qatar XI: Al Sheeb; Ro-Ro, Khoukhi, Salman, Hassan; Boudiaf, Afif, Madibo, Al-Hajri; Al Haydos, Ali.Betting & Match Odds Japan are priced at odds of winning 23/20 according to bet 365, while a draw is available at 2/1. A win for Qatar is priced at 3/1.Click here to see all of bet 365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more. Match Preview Japan are on course to win a record-extending fifth continental title as they take on Qatar at Zayed Sports City following their 3-0 victory over fellow favourites Iran in the semi-finals.Head coach Hajime Moriyasu is set to become the first manager to win the tournament as both head coach and player, having been part of the Samurai Blues’ title-winning 1992 team.Thirty-year-old Tsukasa Shiotani was drafted in for the injured Morita and scored the winner during the 2-1 group stage victory over Uzbekistan, and could be in line to be included in the XI for the final.“If the manager picks me, I’ll be ready to do my best,” Shiotani said in the lead-up to the game. “It’s not every day you get to play in an Asian Cup final. I want to enjoy it.”Debut finalists Qatar have reached their first continental final in their nation’s history, with a win over neighbours UAE following an impressive 1-0 quarter-final victory over tournament favourites South Korea.Hasan Al Haydos and Hamid Ismaeil scored late on for Qatar during the politically-charged semi, and have won all six of their matches and are yet to concede a single goal – becoming the first nation to ever do so at the Asian Cup.Qatari players were pelted with plastic bottles and shoes by furious local fans during their 4-0 semi-final thrashing of UAE.The protests stemmed from a history of political and economic boycotts of Qatar, which the UAE had launched alongside Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt in 2017 – with the four countries accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism, which it denies.The tensions has also meant that almost no Qatari fans or media have been present in the UAE to report on their run to a first continental final.”We have already realised a dream that the whole country had,” said striker Almoez Ali, who equalled Ali Daei’s record of eight goals in a single Asian Cup against the hosts on Tuesday.”We will need patience in the final but if we are patient, we have a chance of being champions.”
Romelu Lukaku’s “time in England is over”, according to Andy van der Meyde, with the Manchester United striker being tipped to form an “unbelievable” strike partnership with Mauro Icardi at Inter.Speculation regarding a move away from Old Trafford for the Belgium international is starting to intensify.Initial rumours have seemingly taken on more substance, with the 26-year-old now expected to take on a new challenge. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Lukaku has openly admitted in the past that he would welcome the opportunity to test himself in Serie A at some stage.That wish may be granted in the summer of 2019, with former Inter star Van der Meyde hinting that reported interest from San Siro may deliver a big-money deal.He told FCInterNews: “I’ll tell you what I think, not what he told me in front of the cameras. For that, I refer you to the episode [of my show] that will be broadcast in a few weeks.“I think this time in England is over and he can move to another like Serie A.“On the other hand, Romelu’s message to one of your [Italian] TV stations in which he praised [Antonio] Conte by claiming that he is the best manager in the world, makes it clear.“But to avoid specific problems, again this is just my personal opinion.”Inter already have a star frontman on their books in the form of Argentina international Icardi.He has been linked with a move of his own, with Van der Meyde admitting that a long-runner saga has become an unwelcome distraction.The Dutchman said of Icardi: “I think he is a very good player and he was a good captain. So the situation is a bit bleak.“But this is football. The players come and go. The team is more important than the single athlete.”While fearing that Icardi could be offloaded in the current window, Van der Meyde hopes that his services are retained and used alongside Lukaku.He added: “They could be a pair of deadly strikers. Unbelievable. Do you know how many goals they could score?”Inter are expected to bring in a number of fresh faces now that they have Conte at the helm, with the club eager to force their way back into contention for major honours and end Juventus’ dominance of Italian football.
Fulham wonderkid Harvey Elliott was in attendace for an easy friendly victory for Liverpool on Thursday as he closes on what would be a dream move to Anfield.The Champions League holders raised few eyebrows at Prenton Park in a dominant 6-0 defeat of Tranmere Rovers to kick off pre-season preparations. Nathaniel Clyne opened the scoring after just six minutes and Rhian Brewster hit a double to effectively end the game as a contest before half time, before Curtis Jones and Divock Origi further widened the margin in the second half. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Steven Gerrard’s cousin Bobby Duncan rounded off the rout with the sixth goal of the evening to mark a perfect start to pre-season for Jurgen Klopp’s men. And in the stands at Prenton Park was Elliott, who Goal can confirm will soon be signing terms on a move to Liverpool. In May, Elliott became the youngest player in Premier League history when he came on for already relegated Fulham against Wolves aged 16 years and 30 days. While he will not be able to sign professional terms until his 17th birthday in April 2020, he is nevertheless free to pen a youth contract with Liverpool after his deal with Fulham expired. He is expected to complete his move in the coming days, with Fulham set to receive a significant compensation package for the player. The signing represents a coup for Liverpool, who had to beat off interest from a host of rival clubs in order to land the teenager. Arsenal, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain were all linked with Elliott, whose support of the Reds seems to have been key in his decision. He certainly comes with the highest of recommendations from his former club. “He’s been a sensation since he joined in training a few months ago,” Fulham captain Tom Cairney said. “He doesn’t look out of place and does some bits of magic that everyone says ‘wow’.”His attitude and his belief in himself at such a young age is frightening. He’s got a great football brain, an eye for goal and is a very entertaining player.”Elliott would be Liverpool’s second signing of the summer window, after swooping for PEC Zwolle’s 17-year-old defender Sepp van de Berg at the end of June. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
When Christian Pulisic left the United States to join Borussia Dortmund at the tender age of 16, he was by no means the first young American to try his luck abroad.However, there is no denying that the success of the Chelsea winger has led to a bit of a trend.In fact, the USA team that made it to the quarter-finals at the Under-20 World Cup back in June relied heavily on players plying their trade in Europe, with expats such as Timothy Weah, Sebastian Soto and Alex Mendez the standout performers. Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Another member of that talented squad who has already made the jump to Europe is gifted midfielder Richard Ledezma.The 18-year-old joined Eredivisie giants PSV at the start of 2019 and, even though an injury initially slowed him down somewhat, he is now slowly but surely getting used to his new surroundings.“It wasn’t that difficult to make the move to Netherlands,” Ledezma told Goal and Voetbalzone. “I’ve been away from my family for almost two, three years, playing with Real Salt Lake in Utah. So we were living in dorms and I don’t think it’s much harder.” That’s not to say nothing’s changed at all for the youngster, though, as he’s had to accept a change to his diet. “When I arrived, I was a little chubby – they called me fatty!” 😂#USMNT youth international Richard Ledezma tells us about Christian Pulisic’s Fortnite advice, and Ruud van Nistelrooy tells us about PSV’s next promising talent 🔥 pic.twitter.com/xclNXTg8zs— Goal (@goal) July 22, 2019“PSV help me with my nutrition, with my food and how I eat. It’s the quantity of food you eat, I guess,” he added. “Because I came a little chubby, when I got here, I guess. They all called me ‘fatty’ and stuff, so I was like, cool, you know? So no more McDonald’s!” Having spent the first six months of his PSV career with the Under-19 team, he worked closely with legendary striker Ruud van Nistelrooy and the former Manchester United ace is impressed with Ledezma’s potential. “He’s making a difference in midfield with very quick-thinking passes, movement, can score a goal, play people in, he’s creating chances for the whole team,” the PSV U-19 coach stated. “So a very promising talent, I was really happy to work with him for now.” Ledezma himself, meanwhile, agrees with Van Nistelrooy’s assessment of his biggest strengths. “I play as a No.10 or No.8, although I can also play the No.6 role. But I’m more flashy as a player, so I like going forward more,” the USA U-20 star said. “I like to assist, to create goals. I’m not about scoring goals, but about assists, you know, that’s my thing.” With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Ledezma idolises former Barcelona superstar Andres Iniesta, as well as his aforementioned compatriot Pulisic. “Role-models? Iniesta… He’s a big player obviously. I know it’s hard to compare, but I think I could do it one day. You have to aim high,” he added. “Pulisic is an inspiration too. I played Fortnite with him once, the video game. It was nice talking to him, giving me a little advice. I look up to him, he’s the number one when it comes to Americans playing soccer in Europe.” But whereas Pulisic has already earned himself a big-money move to Chelsea after making over 100 appearances for BVB, Ledezma still very much has his work cut out to prove himself in the European game. His contract with PSV is due to expire at the end of the 2019-20 campaign and he’s well aware of the importance of the season ahead, with the Eindhoven side having a unilateral option to extend his deal by two years. “My ambition here at PSV is to convince the club to trigger that option. So hopefully I get those two extra years and move up to the first team quickly. And then just experience first-team minutes. “My ideal route would be to get those two extra years, but to be playing with the first team and some games with Jong PSV obviously. And hopefully move higher and higher. “[I would] play in the first team for a few years and then maybe move to Spain. “Real Madrid are my favourite club in the world, but I don’t necessarily see myself playing there…”
European champions Lyon have announced the capture of England international and Manchester United captain Alex Greenwood.The clubs had previously announced an agreement over a fee for the 25-year-old defender, with United promising a further announcement on Twitter.Greenwood celebrated her move on Twitter, writing: “So excited to be joining @OLfeminin the best women’s club in the world and to test myself against the best players everyday. Excited for the journey ahead.” Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Liverpool-born Greenwood played one season with United in the Women’s Championship, England’s second-division, joining the club in their debut season.She scored four goals in 18 league games for the club, helping to guide them to the title and promotion to the Women’s Super League.But her successful campain for United will be her only one, as she moves to France to suit up for Europe’s most dominant side.Lyon have captured six of the last nine Champions League crowns, including four straight from 2015-16 through 2018-19. The club have also dominated domestically, having captured the title every season in the French top flight dating back to 2007, a run of 13 straight seasons. Greenwood joins a side that features reigning Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg and France stars Wendie Renard, Amandine Henry and Eugenie Le Sommer.L’Olympique Lyonnais est heureux d’annoncer l’arrivée de l’Internationale anglaise @AlexGreenwood au poste de latérale gauche en provenance de Manchester United.Bienvenue Alex ! 🔴🔵 pic.twitter.com/vfKFBGYb3f— OL Féminin (@OLfeminin) August 8, 2019The defender’s Lioness team-mates Lucy Bronze, Nikta Parris and Izzy Cristiansen also feature for Lyon.Parris’ move from Manchester City to the European Champions was announced in June, as she joined on a three-year contract.Greenwood started four games for England at this past summer’s Women’s World Cup, scoring a goal as she helped the Lionesses to the semi-final, where they fell to the eventual winners, the United States.Prior to her time with United, Greenwood featured at Everton, Notts County and Liverpool, all in the Women’s Super League.Lyon get their 2019-20 season underway when they face Marseille at home August 24.
Former Liverpool boss Graeme Souness has renewed hostilities with Manchester United’s Paul Pogba ahead of Sunday’s season-opener, claiming he would not want the midfielder in his dressing room if he was in charge at Old Trafford.France international Pogba has endured an unsettling summer, but has offered reassurances to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that he will not create a divide in the dressing room, and is even understood to be under consideration for the club’s captaincy ahead of the new campaign.The 2018 World Cup winner became the subject of almost constant speculation during the off-season, with a purported move to Real Madrid and subsequent rumours regarding his old club Juventus top of the agenda. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? However, ex-Scotland international and Sky Sports pundit Souness, who has a history of launching scathing attacks on the 26-year-old in front of the cameras, has questioned whether the player remains fully committed ahead of the Red Devils’ curtain-raiser with Chelsea. Romelu Lukaku, who left the club to join Inter on Thursday after a similarly destabilising spell, has also found himself in the line of fire, with suggestions that the pair are the reason United missed out on Champions League qualification last season.Speaking to The Times, Souness said: “If I’m sitting in United’s dressing room, I’m glad Lukaku has gone and don’t want Pogba in there with me either if he’s not up for the fight ahead and is also keen to get away.“They’re as responsible as anybody for the predicament United are in, yet have effectively said to their team-mates: ‘It’s everybody else’s fault’.“No, let’s get it right, lads, you’re part of the reason United are not in the Champions League this year.“Madrid are looking to nick Pogba on the cheap because they’re suspicious of his form, while Inter haggled over the asking price for Lukaku because he didn’t pull up any trees at United either.”United forward Marcus Rashford, who could play a pivotal role up front following Lukaku’s move to Italy, also found himself being questioned by the former Rangers and Newcastle boss. The 21-year-old, alongside the likes of Anthony Martial, will form the backbone of Solskjaer’s attack, but Souness says the England man might not be up to the job.”I’m not convinced he’s ready for it yet,” he added. “It’s not ideal and it would not have happened under (former manager) Fergie (Sir Alex Ferguson).” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Week 4 of the college football season is underway. On Friday night, two ranked programs received scares before dominating the latter half of their games to escape with victory.No. 16 UCF and No. 10 Penn State stayed undefeated after coming back to claim a win. Now, Saturday’s full slate of games has begun.While there are several intriguing matchups, a few aren’t so enticing – such as Ole Miss vs. Kent State. Not even the Rebels’ own fanbase wanted to show up to the game.Here’s the crowd at kickoff for the Rebels against the Golden Flashes.The Ole Miss student section at kickoff. 11 am + Kent State + 90 degrees = blah. pic.twitter.com/ydhHXLsGuB— David Brandt (@davidbrandtAP) September 22, 2018Now, it’s important to note that the temperature at kickoff is already over 90-degrees and its still in the early afternoon. The opponent also leaves much to be desired.We’re sure fans will trickle in as the game moves on. Perhaps those that wanted a little extra sleep this morning can bring some energy to the stadium later this afternoon.
BLACKSBURG, VA – SEPTEMBER 30: A general view of Lane Stadium prior to the game between the Virginia Tech Hokies and Clemson Tigers on September 30, 2017 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)One of the nation’s best college football team’s isn’t playing like it today. No. 13 Virginia Tech is struggling this afternoon against Old Dominion.The undefeated Hokies are tied 14-14 with the winless Monarchs despite fielding a superior roster. Are the Hokies just sleepwalking through an inferior opponent or is there a real problem in Blacksburg?It’s most likely the former, but Virginia Tech has been dominated through the air by quarterback Blake LaRussa who has nearly 250 yards and two touchdowns at the half.The Hokies have been solid in the run game with 172 yards rushing, but quarterback Josh Jackson has been shaky thus far.0-3 Old Dominion is tied with #13 Virginia Tech at halftime ? pic.twitter.com/P4rX4HravU— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) September 22, 2018Old Dominion doesn’t have win on the year and have been outscored 108-55 through three games this season. However, the Monarchs are giving Virginia Tech all the team can handle through the first 30 minutes of the game.Will the Hokies wake up in time to keep their perfect season alive?
STATE COLLEGE, PA – OCTOBER 22: Trace McSorley #9 of the Penn State Nittany Lions looks on in the first half during the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes on October 22, 2016 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)Penn State football’s 2018 season has been a bit disappointing for the fans who wanted to see a breakthrough to the College Football Playoff.After back-to-back trips to New Year’s Six games, with the 2017 Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl, a step up to the top four with a senior quarterback in Trace McSorley was a solid, if lofty, goal.Instead, PSU is 7-3, with losses to the Big Ten East’s three other main powers, Ohio State, Michigan State, and most recently, a drubbing at the hand of conference favorite Michigan.Still, not all is lost for the Nittany Lions. After picking up a nice win over Wisconsin on Saturday, we’ll learn more about where they stand tonight, when the new College Football Playoff rankings are released.Last week, Penn State came in at No. 20. No. 11 Kentucky, No. 14 NC State, No. 16 Mississippi State, No. 17 Boston College, and No. 18 Michigan State all suffered losses over the weekend, so the Nittany Lions are poised to make a pretty big leap forward.If they can continue to rise, PSU may find itself in a big bowl once again. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)Finishing in the Top 12 of the College Football Playoff rankings is important for Penn State football to make a third straight New Year’s Six bowl.The Nittany Lions should finish 9-3 in the regular season, with a trip to Rutgers this weekend and a final game at home against Maryland.Those two wins should put the program on the cusp of a Top 12 spot, which would give it a very good chance at making a NY6 bowl, likely the Peach Bowl. Of course, the highest ranked Group of Five school automatically gets one of those bids, which is important to keep in mind. That is currently undefeated No. 12 UCF.Here are the main competitors for those coveted spots, and their upcoming games:No. 9 West Virginia (7-1): at Oklahoma State, vs. No. 7 Oklahoma, potential Big 12 Championship GameNo. 10 Ohio State (8-1): at Maryland, vs. No. 4 MichiganNo. 11 Kentucky (7-2): vs. Middle Tennessee, at LouisvilleNo. 13 Syracuse (8-2): at No. 3 Notre Dame (Bronx, NY), at No. 17 Boston CollegeNo. 15 Florida (6-3): vs. Idaho, at Florida StateNo. 19 Texas (6-3): vs. No. 22 Iowa State, at KansasPenn State has an easier path than West Virginia, Syracuse, and arguably Texas. You can definitely put Ohio State on that list too, but the Buckeyes have a head-to-head win over the Nittany Lions, and it seems likely that they will end with just one or two losses.If Penn State jumps a bunch of those teams and winds up in the Top 12 at season’s end, a first-ever Peach Bowl trip for the team is likely. The Fiesta Bowl is also an option, though it is unlikely that Penn State will be sent to the same game two years in a row.If Ohio State loses to Maryland AND Michigan, and Michigan makes the playoff, the Rose Bowl is also a possibility, but a very remote one. The Buckeyes are 14.5-point favorites over the Terrapins on the road.
AUBURN – OCTOBER 16: Photo of the Auburn University logo at the top of Jordan-Hare Stadium during the game between the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Auburn Tigers on October 16, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)Auburn is getting a major boost to its linebacking corps next year by landing one of the top LBs in the country.On Wednesday afternoon, five-star OLB Owen Pappoe announced on Twitter that he was affirming his commitment to Auburn.“Let me clear things up…I am 100% committed to Auburn!!! War Eagle,” he wrote.Per 247Sports, Pappoe is the No. 1 OLB prospect in the country, and the No. 15 prospect in the country.Let me clear things up…I am 100% committed to Auburn!!! War Eagle ? pic.twitter.com/2L1UcVVFFF— Owen Pappoe (@opfreak15) December 5, 2018Pappoe, who attends Grayson Highschool, is the highest-rated prospect in Auburn’s upcoming recruiting class as of writing.247Sports’ Crystal Ball Prediction had a near-even chance of going to Auburn (43-percent) or Georgia (46-percent).The Tigers are going to need Pappoe to come in and make an impact quickly as senior LB Deshaun Davis is slated to play his final game in the Music City Bowl. The team has six OLB recruits coming into their class so far.
SANTA CLARA, CA – JANUARY 07: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on during warm ups prior to the CFP National Championship against the Clemson Tigers presented by AT&T at Levi’s Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)A former Alabama assistant coach had an intense meeting with head coach Nick Saban when he told him he was leaving for another school.Josh Gattis, an offensive assistant for the Crimson Tide, left Alabama for a job at Michigan, where he’ll be the offensive coordinator.The assistant coach addressed his meeting with Saban during an appearance on Jim Harbaugh’s podcast.“When Coach (Jim) Harbaugh called, it kind of caught me off guard because I had just left a meeting with Nick Saban getting my butt chewed out for 20 minutes telling him I was leaving and he was trying to get me to stay. It did not go over well,” Gattis said. “If there was any band-aid to the bruise or whatever that he left on me, it was that phone call. It was exciting to hear his voice and to talk to him personally.”Unsurprisingly, those comments went viral.Gattis has taken to Twitter to address them.“Anyone who has taken words from my podcast out of context as a shot on someone and a program I have tremendous respect for is completely wrong! Reading without listening is a complete assumption. The joke was poorly made lightly not to reflect someone I have the utmost respect for!” he wrote.Anyone who has taken words from my podcast out of context as a shot on someone & a program I have tremendous respect for is completely wrong! Reading without listening is a complete assumption. The joke was poorly made lightly not to reflect someone I have the utmost respect for!— Josh Gattis (@Coach_Gattis) January 16, 2019Alabama has had a ton of coaching turnover this offseason, so it’s not surprising that Saban would want Gattis, an up-and-coming offensive coach, to stay.However, it appears the “heated” meeting between the two wasn’t actually that heated.
GLENDALE, AZ – JANUARY 11: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Clemson Tigers reacts after being defeated by the Alabama Crimson Tide with a score of 45 to 40 in the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 11, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)Deshaun Watson made an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show Wednesday afternoon as he made the media rounds ahead of the Super Bowl.In his appearance on the show, Watson revealed he would have gone to a different college if he could have played basketball as well as football. According to Watson, he was a very good basketball player and would have liked to play both sports.So, where would he have gone instead of Clemson? Watson said he grew up a Duke fan and would have played football for the Blue Devils if it meant he got to play for Coach K at Duke.He also said he grew up idolizing J.J. Redick during his time with Duke because he wore the No. 4, which Watson wore at Clemson..@dpshow: If you could’ve played two sports at Duke, would you have gone to Duke?@deshaunwatson: For sure.#AUDIENCEsports pic.twitter.com/qN1n60YYxE— AUDIENCE Sports (@AudienceSports) January 30, 2019The college football landscape would have looked quite different with Watson in a Blue Devils uniform. Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide might have an extra national title if Watson decided to take his talents to Duke rather than Clemson.Would he be the Houston Texans quarterback? Or would he be on an NBA roster instead of playing under center?Unfortunately we’ll never know the true answer, but it’s a fun hypothetical.
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JANUARY 01: Head coach Tom Herman of the Texas Longhorns looks on during the second half of the Allstate Sugar Bowl against the Georgia Bulldogs at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 01, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)The Texas Longhorns sent an emphatic message to the rest of the country to finish their season by defeating the Georgia Bulldogs in the Sugar Bowl.With Sam Ehlinger back under center for his junior year, the Longhorns will be considered the favorites by many to win the Big 12.Although Texas will have tons of talent returning for 2019, Tom Herman did an excellent job of recruiting additional impact players to Austin.Texas has 24 commits in the 2019 recruiting class, which features 12 hometown players.247Sports’ recruiting rankings has the Longhorns at No. 3 in the nation.ESPN released its grades for every Power Five program’s recruiting class, which includes the Longhorns’ incoming haul.Herman’s recruiting class at Texas earned outstanding scores from ESPN’s Gerry Hamilton, Tom Luginbill and Craig Haubert.ESPN’s trio of college football experts gave Texas an A grade and ranked its class No. 5 in the nation.The Longhorns have addressed needs very well in 2019 after inking a top-five class in 2018. Wide receiver is a focus, and Tom Herman and staff have LOIs from ESPN 300s Bru McCoy, Jordan Whittington, Marcus Washington and explosive playmaker Jake Smith out of Arizona. Speaking of Arizona, the returns for putting ample recruiter resources out west have resulted in a signature from ESPN 300 TE Brayden Liebrock. California has also been huge in this cycle, with ESPN 300 linebacker De’Gabriel Floyd and ESPN 300 safety Chris Adimora on the signed list. Floyd is joined at LB by ESPN 300s David Gbenda and Marcus Tillman Jr. out of the Sunshine State. ESPN JC 50 LB Caleb Johnson was a big win over Oregon and will compete for a starting spot early on. Offensive tackle is another position of need, and the Longhorns hit it out of the park with in-state ESPN 300 Tyler Johnson and four-stars Isaiah Hookfin and Javonne Shepherd. The quarterback in the class is Under Armour All-America Game selection Roschon Johnson. The Longhorns have found success in the Peach State as well, with faxes from ESPN 300 CB Kenyatta Watson and ESPN 300 RB Derrian Brown. Four-star safety Tyler Owens was one of the Lone Star State’s most improved seniors. Four-star juco DE Jacoby Jones was a huge flip from Oklahoma. He fills an immediate pass-rushing need, while DE Myron Warren out of Louisiana will also fill the need. Three-star TE Jared Wiley and three-star WR Kennedy Lewis are names to remember down the line.Five-star wideout Bru McCoy headlines the class after making the switch from USC to Texas. He’s be joined by five-star athlete Jordan Whittington, four-star offensive tackle Tyler Johnson and four-star linebacker De’Gabriel Floyd.[ESPN]
EUGENE, OR -SEPTEMBER 06: A general view of Autzen Stadium during the second quarter of the game between the Oregon Ducks and the Michigan State Spartans at Autzen Stadium on September 6, 2014 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)Hailing from Orem High School in Utah, linebacker Noah Sewell is the top player in the state and one of the top players in the nation. With a little under a year to make his commitment decision, he’s narrowed down the list.Taking to Twitter this weekend, Sewell revealed his top eight schools. The list consists of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas A&M.I truly am grateful to all the Coaches & Universities that offered me an opportunity to continue my education. But moving forward, I will focus on these 8 schools, and find what best fits me. Please respect my decision. I apologize for not taking any interviews at this time.Sewell has clearly taken a strong interest in the Southeastern Conference, with six of his eight schools coming from the SEC. To date, he has had confirmed visits to most of the schools on his list.247Sports rates Sewell as a five-star recruit and the No. 23 overall prospect in the country. He is the No. 2 inside linebacker in the nation, and the No. 1 prospect from the state of Utah.I truly am grateful to all the Coaches & Universities that offered me an opportunity to continue my education. But moving forward, I will focus on these 8 schools, and find what best fits me. Please respect my decision. I apologize for not taking any interviews at this time.🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/bXDg31gw4D— Noah Sewell™️ (@Blessah_2) July 28, 2019Despite the glut of SEC teams on the list, 247Sports’ Crystal Ball Predictions indicate Sewell will be staying local. 90-percent of predictions have him going to Oregon. He’s taken multiple unofficial visits to the Oregon campus in the past year.Sewell has a strong pedigree of college football talent. He has three brothers who all played for different schools: Oregon, Nevada, and Utah.Will Sewell staying in the Northwest, or will he be taking his talents to the Midwest or Southeast?