Hello sports fans! Here’s hoping your Monday was fantastic and you’re ready to tackle today and all the sports news that comes with it.
It definitely feels weird not discussing the Olympics after watching them nonstop for a few weeks. But don’t worry — the Winter Games in Beijing are only 179 days away. The opening ceremony is on Feb. 4 — just nine days before the Super Bowl.
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Enough about the future, though. Let’s talk about the present, because we have a lot of things going on to keep us busy.
Today we will go over the best college football team in every state, the latest MLB power rankings, the latest on Deshaun Watson and much more.
Let’s get started.
📰 What you need to know1. The best college football team in every state 🏈
Don’t look now, but college football is going to be here before you know it. As such, some of our CFB experts here at CBS Sports took on the difficult task of choosing the best college football team in each state (except Alaska and Vermont, who do not have Division I programs from the FBS and FCS.)
This was easier for a few states, while some decisions caused more debate and evaluation.
College football, and all sports in general, changed a lot over the last year. Some teams played almost a full schedule while some didn’t play. With some states, the college football experts disregarded the 2020 season, not punishing a team’s status if they were not able to play.
Let’s take a look at the guidelines they used:
This is not a list of the programs that have had the most all-time success in each stateInstead, we took a deeper dive over the last three or four years. Results from 2020 were considered less in some cases due to COVID-19. Other considerations such as head-to-head matchups, championships won and the like were taken into accountThis is not a projection of the upcoming season. It never has been and it never will be
Now to the states. Since we don’t have space in this email to list all 48 teams, here is a map our social media team made:
You can check out the full list, along with commentary, here.
2. Our latest MLB power rankings ⚾
As pennant races are starting to heat up with just over one month left in the season, some MLB teams are stepping up and others are well … not. American League and National League races have changed a lot in the last week, so let’s take a look at where things stand.
The Mets had a five-game lead in the NL East at one point, remember that? They are now 2-8 in their last 10 games and sit in third place in the division. The Phillies, on the other hand, lost four of their last five games in July but are 8-0 in August so far. That’s good for first in what has been a chaotic NL East. In the AL East, I don’t even have the energy to get into what is happening to the Red Sox.
The Phillies had the biggest increase, moving up five spots, in our latest power rankings, while the Red Sox went down four spots — the most of any team.
Let’s take a look at the top fives teams right now, along with their record and how many spots they moved:
1) Giants (71-41): Same ranking2) Dodgers (67-45): Up one spot3) Rays (68-44): Up one spot4) Astros (66-46): Down two spots5) Brewers (66-46): Same ranking
For the full power rankings, along with commentary, click here.
3. What are the Texans going to do with Deshaun Watson? 🏈
Deshaun Watson’s future with the Houston Texans remains unclear, but amid trade talks, the team is still open to keeping the quarterback. The 25-year-old faces 22 civil lawsuits and 10 criminal complaints alleging sexual assault or misconduct.
According to multiple reports from the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain, Watson won’t play for the Texans again.
But apparently the door is not completely closed.
Watson is being investigated by the league for what he is accused of doing off the field. Without a settlement with his accusers, he can not be deposed or asked to provide sworn out-of-court testimony for his case until the conclusion of this season. He could face a suspension from the Texans or the league even if he does not face criminal charges, though.
On Monday, Watson returned to practice for the first time in a week. He spoke to the team’s new general manager Nick Caserio while at practice. Only time will tell if Watson will take the field wearing a Texans jersey this regular season.
4. Luka Doncic reportedly gets massive extension with Mavs 🏀
Luka Doncic is getting PAID (reportedly!)
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Dallas Mavericks star has agreed to a five-year, $207 million extension with the team. The contract begins at the start of the 2022-23 season and will include a player option for the final year. The contract is expected to be finalized today.
Doncic (via ESPN): “Today is a dream come true. The game of basketball has given me so much and has taken me to so many amazing places. I am humbled and excited to remain in Dallas as part of the Mavericks and appreciate the support of my fans.”
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, head coach Jason Kidd and special advisor Dirk Nowitzki, among others, went to Slovenia to meet with Doncic to present him the contract offer.
Doncic is only 22. May I repeat that, 22 (!!) years old, but has already made a name for him in the basketball world. Safe to say he has a few more accolades than I had at 22.
Here’s a look at just some of his accomplishments:
Lead Slovenia to a fourth-place finish at the 2020 Tokyo OlympicsRookie of the Year in 2018Two All-Star Game appearancesTwo All-NBA First Team selection (only player since the NBA/ABA merger to do so before turning 23 other than Kevin Durant)Last year he became the fourth-youngest player to reach 5,000 career points. Only LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Durant did it faster)
With this deal, Doncic will become just the seventh player with a $200 million contract.
📝 Odds & Ends
📺 What to watch tonight
⚾ Rays vs. Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. | BOS -121 | TV: MLB.TV
⚾ Reds vs. Braves, 7:20 p.m. | ATL -105 | TV: MLB.TV
⚾ Blue Jays vs. Angels, 10:07 p.m. | LAA +130 | TV: MLB.TV
Best thing I saw on the internet 🏅
The best play in MLB so far this week did not come from a player, but from the Dodgers’ ball girl making the play of a lifetime. Someone ran onto the field during a game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels on Sunday and security was unable to catch up to the person. Never fear, however, as the ball girl handled the situation by flipping the man into the seats.