Playoffs already under way for college football

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Josh Adams and Notre Dame are among several one-loss teams still with a shot at the playoffs./Bleacher report

By Ray Hamill

The great thing about college football is that it’s the only sport where the playoffs essentially begin midway through the regular season.

That’s what happens when you only invite four teams out of 125 or so to the postseason party. When that’s the case, there is little room for error for any team that wants to be considered a contender, and any of them that lose early know they cannot afford to lose again.

With the first official playoff rankings due out this week, it will be interesting to see how the committee reacts to a Saturday that saw two of the top four teams falling.

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The problem for U.S. soccer can be seen on the streets

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Children playing soccer on the streets is a common sight in many places around the world but not in the U.S./WSJ

By Ray Hamill

Good news for the rest of the world. FIFA has decided to go ahead anyway with the World Cup next summer, even without the U.S.

Apparently, they’re not going to miss us as much as we’re going to miss them.

First up, though, let’s deal with the obvious.

Missing out on qualification for the finals is an embarrassment for the U.S. men’s team. There is simply no other way to describe it.

Especially considering the resources the Americans boast, the far larger pool of players and coaches than most of our CONCACAF rivals that we can choose from, and the relative ease of our route to the finals. (Arguably, only the host nation, which qualifies automatically, has an easier route to the World Cup Finals than Mexico or the United States.)

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No great teams in the NFL any more

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The Atlanta Falcons take on the New England Patriots this Sunday/Zimbio

By Ray Hamill

This Sunday night sees a repeat of last season’s Super Bowl, when the Atlanta Falcons travel to the New England Patriots.

Whether or not we witness a repeat of the excitement we saw in Houston last February, it’s an intriguing showdown for many reasons, with both clubs struggling to find the form that led each to respective conference titles.

The Patriots have the worst defense in the NFL right now, and we’re far enough into the season where it’s become a trend and a serious concern, although Tom Brady has done his best to hide those concerns and has his team atop the AFC East at 4-2. 

Conversely, the Falcons have struggled on offense, and have stumbled their way to a 3-2 record, falling to a poor Miami Dolphins team last week, giving up a 17-point lead in the process. Read more

HSU football crucial to local community for so many reasons

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Like many small school college teams around the country, HSU football is a big part of the local community. Football Scoop

By Ray Hamill

I’ll never forget the first big sporting event my father took me to as a child back in Dublin.

It was a hurling championship game at Croke Park, one of the largest and most historic stadiums in all of Europe, and as I climbed the steps of the cold grey stands for the first time ever that day, I remember feeling a tremendous sense of awe at the sight of the bright green field and the intense nature of the occasion.

That moment is a pivotal one for sports fans all over the world. It is an initiation of sorts, a rite of passage, a coming of age when you get to see the big stage up close for the first time ever.

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Crazy season takes surreal turn

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By Ray Hamill

It’s certainly been an interesting season so far for the Miami Dolphins, although I’m not sure anyone knew it was going to get quite this interesting.

But like a cheesy daytime soap opera, nothing seems too crazy these days for the scriptwriters in As The Dolphins World Turns, and nothing too shocking or too unbelievable.

Indeed, there have been plenty of storylines to keep us intrigued and guessing, and coming back for more. Read more

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