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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

18 UP, 17 DOWN

By Marc Lawrence — ESPN college football guru Bill Connelly contends that every college football team begins a given season with questions to answer. Some just have far more than others. This time last year, we were wondering if Justin Fields was ready to dominate at Ohio State or if Joe Burrow’s late-2018 surge at LSU meant something significant. He was, and it did. This year the questions shift, but the teams most well-positioned for a title run are about the same. The raw number of questions about a team says a lot. If you simply count the “ifs” – if this happens, if that happens – it takes to turn a team into a true national title contender, that drops some major hints about the teams most likely to make deep runs. By focusing on the quality of the team at hand, Connelly insists that if you give him enough “ifs,” he can make anybody a champ, but the likely title winner will come from a pool of 18 teams he has identified. For instance, Ohio State gets there “if” its high-upside wide receivers prove that upside. The Buckeyes’ offense was balanced and brilliant in 2019, and it returns quarterback Justin Fields and three linemen who earned all-conference honors, but J.K. Dobbins (2,003 rushing yards) and three of last season’s top five receivers all depart. To read more on each of his 18 top picks click here.

Trending Today

Lamar Jackson is the cover boy of “Madden NFL 21”. However, if you’re looking to fade Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens this season, you’d better have more bullets in your holster than just the “Madden Curse”. It hasn’t been the same the last 3 seasons: Madden 20 – Patrick Mahomes won Super Bowl LIV … Madden 19 – Antonio Brown led NFL in TD Receptions (15) … Madden 18 – Tom Brady lost Super Bowl LII, but won the NFL MVP award.

Grinding Out The Profits

2020 PLAYBOOK Football Preview Guide magazine reports: Don’t dismiss the chances of former Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton, the all-time franchise leader in completions (2,757) and passing touchdowns (204), taking a lot more snaps in Dallas than pundits predict. Dalton started a playoff game in each of his first 4 seasons in the NFL. The only QBs to do that since 1950 were Otto Graham (6) and Joe Flacco and Russell Wilson (5). The Red Headed rifle will also be working with Mike McCarthy who relishes experience. Just sayin’.

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