Twitter/@dariusruckerDarius Rucker is a huge South Carolina fan, but he’s not going too crazy with expectations for the Gamecocks in Will Muschamp’s first year. All he wants is a bowl game. Any bowl game.If South Carolina reaches six wins this year, the country star and former leader of Hootie and the Blowfish will play a concert at the famous ‘Horseshoe’ on his alma mater’s campus.Rucker agreed to the arrangement after receiving a tweet suggestion from a ‘Cocks fan. School president Harry Pastides quickly agreed.I think if we get 6 wins this season @dariusrucker should have another concert on the horseshoe— Croc (@WhiteJungleboi) August 10, 2016I’m dying to play the horseshoe. Start a petition tell them I’m in!! https://t.co/mgiW6vV9WF— Darius Rucker (@dariusrucker) August 10, 2016No need for a petition…consider it done! Darius in concert on the ‘Shoe after we get to 6! https://t.co/FMKYZ56Cpa— Harris Pastides (@HarrisPastides) August 11, 2016This isn’t the first time Rucker has put a performance on the line with South Carolina athletics, although this is a show he definitely wants to have. Last June, the country star serenaded ESPN’s Mike Golic with the Notre Dame fight song, after Golic’s Fighting Irish women’s basketball team beat the Gamecocks in the Final Four.With an SEC schedule, getting to six wins won’t be easy for South Carolina this season. Win at Vanderbilt, vs. ECU, at Kentucky, vs. UMass, vs. Missouri, and vs. Western Carolina. That’s probably the easiest path.[The State]
El Clasico is back, with Barcelona playing host to Real Madrid in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final at Camp Nou.The Catalans have had to work tremendously hard to get themselves into this position, notably staging a stunning second-leg comeback against Sevilla last week , while Madrid’s progress to this juncture has been rather more serene.Having lost the first match of each of their last two ties, Barca will have to be on the mettle from the beginning on Wednesday or face their biggest challenge yet as they strive for their 31st triumph in the tournament. 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 Barcelona vs Real Madrid Date Wednesday, January 6 Time 8pm GMT / 3pm ET Stream (US only) fubo TV (7-day free trial) TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day 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 beIN Sports / beIN Sports en Espanol fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be streamed on Eleven Sports. UK TV channel Online stream N/A Eleven Sports Squads & Team News Position Barcelona squad Goalkeepers Ter Stegen, Ezkieta Defenders Pique, Semedo, Lenglet, Alba, Chumi, Vermaelen, Roberto, Todibo, Jeison Midfielders Rakitic, Busquets, Coutinho, Arthur, Vidal, Boateng, Samper, Alena Forwards L. Suarez, Dembele, Malcom, Messi Confirmed Barcelona starting XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur; Malcom, Suarez, Coutinho Position Real Madrid squad Goalkeepers Navas, Casilla, Courtois Defenders Carvajal, Vallejo, Ramos, Nacho, Varane, Marcelo, Odriozoloa, Reguilon Midfielders Kroos, Modric, Casemiro, Valverde, Vazquez, Llorente, Asensio, Isco, Ceballos, B. Diaz Forwards Marcelo, Benzema, Bale, Vinicius Junior Confirmed Real Madrid starting XI: Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Llorente, Modric, Kroos; Lucas, Benzema, Vinicius.Betting & Match Odds Barcelona can be backed at 4/5 to win this encounter, with Real Madrid offered at 7/2 by bet365 . Meanwhile, a draw is available at 3/1.Click here to see more offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more. Match Preview While La Liga and the Champions League may be the main target for both Barcelona and Real Madrid, having been paired together in the Copa del Rey, suddenly the knockout competition has taken on a new importance.The rivalry between these clubs runs deep and both will be determined to reach the final in Seville, which will be played on May 25.Throughout this competition, the respective teams have typically been shuffled to allow the star men to rest for the more important league matches, though that logic will now go out of the window for these clashes. Indeed, Barcelona already seemed to be thinking ahead to this match as they struggled to find their best form against Valencia at the weekend, fighting back to draw 2-2 but potentially losing their ace in Lionel Messi due to injury for this fixture.Nevertheless, on paper, it is Barca who hold the upper hand. They boast a six-point lead at the summit of the Primera Division ahead of Atletico Madrid and are eight marks clear of Real, having shown greater consistency over the season to date. Indeed, when the teams played earlier this term, Barca swept to a stunning 5-1 victory, without Messi, which proved the end of Julen Lopetegui in the Madrid hotseat, paving the way for Santiago Solari to take interim charge.Moreover, the manner in which Barca swept aside Sevilla 6-1 in the second leg of their quarter-final last week was utterly formidable and signified a team coming to the peak of its power.Nevertheless, the capital side are bullish about their prospects of causing an upset.“I play at Real Madrid, the best team in the world,” Vinicius Junior said ahead of the fixture . “I do not fear anything.”Historically, Barcelona have gotten the better of the Clasico, which was first played in 1929, with 113 overall wins to Real Madrid’s 99. Meanwhile, there have been 60 draws.As Los Blancos go chasing a historic 100th victory in the fixture, these are encounters that mean more to them, especially Solari, who is doing his best to show the board that he is worth the coaching job on a full-time basis.Barcelona, meanwhile, are the undoubted kings of the cup, having appeared in 23 successive rounds of the competition. Indeed, the last time they were knocked out before the final was February 2013, when Madrid beat them 4-2 on aggregate.The four-time defending champions will not want history to repeat itself.
Sports Analytics Professor’s “FourCast” Reveals What Current College Football Playoff Rankings Would Be
TAMPA, FL – JANUARY 09: A general view during the national anthem prior to the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers at Raymond James Stadium on January 9, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)University of North Florida sports analytics professor Jay Coleman has a formula that reveals what the College Football Playoff rankings would be today.Next Tuesday, the first College Football Playoff rankings will be unveiled by the selection committee, reflecting the first nine weeks of games. However, we’ve all been speculating about the four teams that will be included in the field since Week 1.Coleman has designed a formula, based on trends from the 2014 and 2015 seasons, that reveals what the Playoff rankings would look like, if they were out today.From UNF:The predictions below are based on strongly consistent patterns found in the CFP Selection Committee’s weekly rankings during the 2014 and 2015 seasons. If the current CFP selection committee follows these same patterns during 2016, the ranking shown below should closely match the actual CFP ranking. Obviously, there is no guarantee that the current committee will follow a similar protocol.While the committee only ranks the top 25 each week, Coleman’s rankings go all the way from No. 1 to 128 (sorry, Buffalo).The top 25:25. Navy (5-1) 24. Washington State (5-2) 23. Penn State (5-2) 22. Colorado (6-2) 21. LSU (5-2) 20. North Carolina (6-2) 19. Western Michigan (8-0) 18. Utah (7-1) 17. Oklahoma (5-2) 16. Tennessee (5-2) 15. Boise State (7-0) 14. Florida (5-1) 13. Auburn (5-2) 12. Florida State (5-2) 11. West Virginia (6-0)For the top 10 College Football Playoff contenders based on Jacobs’ “FourCast,” click through below.