College football’s toughest places to play for 2019, from Death Valley (again) to the Horseshoe

first_imgMORE: College sports’ best football/basketball coaching duosThe truth is it’s a subjective question with more than one good answer. Sporting News, using stats from TeamRankings.com, looked at some of the toughest places to play in 2019, and we have several different categories to pick from.A closer look:Overall: Bryant-Denny Stadium (Alabama) By every metric, it’s just hard to win there. Alabama is 59-4 at home since 2010 and hasn’t lost a home game since 2015, against Ole Miss. There’s a reason why Alabama coach Nick Saban admonishes students who don’t stay for games: He wants to make it even tougher for opponents to win. The Tide were one of 17 FBS teams to go undefeated at home last season, and they did it by winning by an average of 33 points per game. Alabama beat Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Auburn by an average of 25.7 points per game.Last two years: Samford Stadium (Georgia)  The Bulldogs have not lost a home game the last two seasons, though it could be argued they haven’t faced that big a test. In fact, Mississippi State is the only ranked team that has faced Georgia at home. That will be tested this year with a schedule that includes visits from Notre Dame, South Carolina and Texas A&M.Last four years: Memorial Stadium (Clemson)  Clemson has all the same metrics as Alabama the last four years. The Tigers have an identical 27-1 record at home under Dabo Swinney, and a 5-0 record against ranked teams with nonconference victories against Notre Dame and Auburn. Texas A&M will be the next big visitor this season. The pageantry by Howard’s Rock before games hasn’t lost its charm.Since 2010: Ohio Stadium (Ohio State)  The Buckeyes have an FBS-best 60 wins at home since 2010, and that comes with just five losses. Baker Mayfield-led Oklahoma is the only team to walk into The Shoe and win the last two seasons. Urban Meyer lost one Big Ten game at home since 2012 — a shocking upset against Michigan State in 2015. These are the standards first-year coach Ryan Day will have to uphold.Last 15 years: Albertsons Stadium (Boise State)  When the Broncos say they don’t lose on “The Blue,” they mean it. Boise State is 89-8 at home over the last 15 seasons, and they have lost just five home games under coach Bryan Harsin. They lead FBS football with a 91.8 win percentage in that timeframe.MORE: College football’s best programs this decadeAs Power 5 home favorite: Bill Snyder Family Stadium (Kansas State)Three Power 5 schools have one home loss as the favored team the last five years. You already knew Alabama and Clemson. You might not have known about Kansas State. Imagine how first-year coach Chris Klieman can use that to his advantage once the Wildcats are rolling again.As Group of 5 home favorite: Maverik Stadium (Utah State)The Aggies are 21-0 at home as a home favorite the last five years, but it will be interesting to monitor how that changes with the coaching change from Matt Wells to Gary Andersen.As Power 5 home underdog: Sun Devil Stadium (Arizona State)It’s all about that heat. The Sun Devils have an 8-6 record as the underdog at home the last five years; tied for the most wins among Power 5 schools with Virginia (8-9). Herm Edwards will continue to build on that.As Group of 5 home underdog: Falcon Stadium (Air Force)Playing against an Academy School is tough. Playing against that school in their house when they are an underdog isn’t any easier. The Falcons are 6-2 as a home underdog since 2014.MORE: SN’s prediction for Playoff, bowl gamesConference game: Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (Oklahoma)It’s the same answer as last year. Oklahoma has lost just one Big 12 game at home the last four seasons — against Iowa State in 2017 — and that includes a 5-0 record against ranked teams. Texas never visits Norman due to the neutral site nature of that rivalry, but every other Big 12 team has. Not one of them has come away from unscathed.At night, Part I: Tiger Stadium (LSU)  The stands are always shaking when LSU plays at home at night, even if the last big game was a 29-0 loss to No. 1 Alabama. Still, the reputation alone for an unmatched atmosphere keeps the Tigers on this list.  At night, Part II: Beaver Stadium (Penn State)  You can’t mention Tiger Stadium at Night and not have a sidebar about the “White Out” at Penn State, though the last one featured a heart-breaking loss against Ohio State. There aren’t many better settings in college football.One Power 5 to watch in 2019: Michigan Stadium (Michigan)  The Wolverines have the sixth-best record among Power 5 schools at home, boasting 24-4 record since Jim Harbaugh took over in 2015. Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Penn State and Oklahoma — all schools mentioned above — are the only ones that have been better in that stretch. The problem is those four losses came two times each to Michigan State and Ohio State. The Spartans, Buckeyes and Notre Dame all visit the Big House this year. It’s a big home schedule for Michigan.One Group of 5 to watch in 2019: Spectrum Stadium (UCF)UAB is the only other Group of 5 school that is undefeated at home the last two seasons, but the Knights have got a lot more publicity. UCF is 15-0 at home as part of a two-year unbeaten streak in the regular season. They will put that on the line against Stanford, Houston and South Florida this season. MORE: Ranking college football coaches 1-130 for 2019 seasonUnder 80K: Husky Stadium (Washington) Washington is 19-1 the last three seasons and has re-established its Pac-12 power. With that, the reputation for going to Husky Stadium will continue to increase. Chris Petersen did the same thing at Boise State.Between 80-100K: Jordan-Hare Stadium (Auburn) The configuration puts fans at eye level with the players, and despite home losses to LSU and Tennessee last year we’re sticking with this answer. Auburn is 4-1 against ranked teams at home the last two years, including wins against Alabama and Georgia. The Tide and Bulldogs visit Jordan-Hare in November. What’s the toughest venue in college football? That’s a question that’s almost impossible to put a true measurement on. You can go by the wins and losses. You can go by the size of the stadium. You can go by the atmosphere or by time of day (or in most cases, time of night).last_img read more

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Yankees sign coveted ace Gerrit Cole to record $324M deal, reports say

first_imgCole, the 2019 Cy Young runner-up, just turned 29 and will presumably spend the remainder of his career (or close to it) in pinstripes. He is the biggest name starting pitcher acquisition for the Yankees since they signed CC Sabathia more than a decade ago, and a signal of intent from a team to this point unable to get over the hump with its current core. The Yankees have splurged on the top free agent available this offseason: Gerrit Cole.New York on Tuesday night agreed to a nine-year, $324 million deal with the ace right-hander, as first reported by Jon Heyman and later confirmed by others. Ken Rosenthal reported there a player option after the fifth year of Cole’s contract. MORE: Astros could move Carlos CorreaThe Angels were thought to be one of the main bidders for Cole and will now need to turn their attention elsewhere. Similarly coveted Stephen Strasburg re-signed with the Nationals earlier this week, further depleting the top-end pitching market. The Dodgers are also reportedly on the hunt for rotation help.Cole carries a 3.22 career ERA and has gotten better in his late-20s, striking out more than 12 batters per nine innings over his past two campaigns.last_img read more

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Harris tells Iowans it’s time to write a new chapter

first_imgWEST DES MOINES — California Senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris says President Trump a “predator” who is testing the “noble ideals” on which America was founded.“This day that we celebrate our independence is a day to reflect on the fact that, one, our framers imagined a moment like this…where our democracy would be challenged,” Harris said this afternoon.Harris has returned to the Iowa campaign trail this holiday week buoyed by a strong performance in the opening round of debates among the Democratic candidates. During her first public remarks in Iowa this week, Harris again presented herself as a prosecutor who can take President Trump to task for trying to “roll back the clock” in America.“We cannot turn back the page any longer,” Harris said at a picnic hosted by West Des Moines Democrats. “We’re ready to write a new chapter.”Harris told reporters afterwards she’s expanded her paid staff in Iowa, with 65 now on the payroll here.“The fact that we are seeing momentum grow across the country is something that I’m very proud of. We have a great team here on the ground in Iowa and across the country,” Harris said, “and so progress is good.”Harris is among nine Democratic presidential candidates who will set foot in Iowa this week. President Trump is scheduled to speak from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. and Harris questions that decision.“I don’t think he understands this is America’s birthday, not his birthday,” Harris told reporters.Harris suggested Trump would better spend the day thinking about how to avoid military conflict rather than showcasing the weapons of war in a D.C. spectacle.“This president, seemingly without much reflection or thought, is prepared to send our troops to various places around the world, based on his unilateral actions and decisions about our relationships with various countries, including most recently Iran,” Harris said.Harris campaigned Thursday in Indianola and Council Bluffs. today, she’ll hold a town hall meeting at a church in Sioux City.last_img read more

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CORRECTION-Tracker Flyers to compete for league championship

first_imgThe Fort St. John Tracker Flyers are three wins away from an NAMHL championship.Friday April 1, the Tracker Flyers will begin competing in the playoff finals, in a best-of-five series with the St. Albert Blues for the league championship.- Advertisement -As the regular season first placed team, the St. Albert Blues will have home ice advantage, hosting the Flyers for the first, second and third games of the finals.The Flyers will play host to the Blues for games four and five if necessary at the North Peace Arena. Game four will take place on Saturday, April 9 at 7:30 p.m. and game five on Sunday, April 10 at 12:30 p.m.The Tracker Flyers road to the finals has been extremely successful so far, as the team has yet to lose a post season game, sweeping all three series they have participated in.last_img read more

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