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College football Power Rankings for Week 4



If it really does mean more in the SEC, then more Mike Leach and more K.J. Costello this season could really make things interesting.

Leach and Costello stole the show Saturday as the SEC returned to action. Mississippi State put a 44-34 hurting on defending national champion LSU behind an SEC-record 623 passing yards from Costello in Leach’s Air Raid offense, and the Bulldogs went from unranked all the way to No. 8 in this week’s ESPN power rankings.

Who says you need to run the ball to win in the SEC? Costello threw the ball 60 times, and the Bulldogs finished with just nine rushing yards.

One of the other changes this week in our rankings is that Pac-12 teams are now eligible with that conference voting to return to play in November. Alabama, which cruised to a 38-19 road win over Missouri, remains No. 1, and what a wild Saturday it was in the Big 12. Texas gave up 56 points, but managed to win in overtime. Oklahoma wasn’t as fortunate. The Sooners blew a three-touchdown lead in the second half and lost for the second straight season to Kansas State.

And while Clemson is still clearly the class of the ACC until proven otherwise, Miami was the big mover in that league thanks to its 52-10 dismantling of Florida State. The Hurricanes moved into the top 10 at No. 7 with a trip to Clemson looming in two weeks.

Tua Tagovailoa might be gone along with a pair of receivers, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III, who were also first-round NFL draft picks back in April. But Alabama looked as dynamic as ever offensively in its season-opening 38-19 win over Missouri. The Crimson Tide cruised to a 38-3 lead early in the third quarter, and even though they didn’t finish the game as well as Nick Saban would have liked, there’s a lot to like about Jaylen Waddle and Najee Harris, who combined for all five of Alabama’s touchdowns.

Up next: vs. Texas A&M (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Changing addresses has become the norm in college football, and transfers have played key roles the past few years for the teams winning championships and teams making the College Football Playoff. Running back Trey Sermon could be that transfer this season for the Buckeyes after coming over from Oklahoma. J.K. Dobbins was a sensational talent, but Sermon and Master Teague III should complement each other well in the Ohio State backfield, especially with Teague ahead of schedule in his rehab from the Achilles injury he suffered in the spring.

Up next: vs. Nebraska (Oct. 24, TBA)

The Tigers were off this week after cruising to a pair of blowout victories in their first two games. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence looks as polished as ever, but the younger talent on this Clemson roster has also been hard to miss the first two weeks. Freshmen defensive linemen Myles Murphy and Bryan Bresee and sophomore receiver Frank Ladson Jr. are reminders that Clemson has recruited as well as anybody under Dabo Swinney, which means the Tigers’ 23-game winning streak against ACC opponents might not be ending anytime soon.

Up next: vs. Virginia (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, ACC Network)

There were some lofty expectations for Florida quarterback Kyle Trask in his second season as the starter under Dan Mullen’s tutelage, and those expectations just kept climbing after Trask’s 416-yard, six-touchdown performance in the Gators’ 51-35 season-opening win Saturday at Ole Miss. In particular, the Trask-to-Kyle Pitts connection is scary good. Florida, though, might have some work to do on defense after giving up 613 total yards to the Rebels, the third-most gained against the Gators.

Up next: vs. South Carolina (Saturday, noon ET, ESPN)

After an impressive start to the season, Notre Dame has come to a pause — literally. The Irish had 13 players last week put in isolation and/or quarantine because of COVID-19 issues and paused all football-related activities, leading to the postponement of Saturday’s Wake Forest game. On the field, the Irish showed enough on both sides of the ball in their first two games that they might be the only real threat to Clemson this season in the ACC. Yes, it still sounds bizarre to be talking about Notre Dame and the ACC race. But, then, bizarre and 2020 kind of go hand-in-hand.

Up next: vs. Florida State (Oct. 10, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBC)

There’s a lot to like about what Penn State returns on offense for the 2020 season. The Nittany Lions’ top three running backs from a year ago are back, including budding superstar Journey Brown. Four of their five starting offensive linemen are back along with redshirt junior quarterback Sean Clifford, who had to be stoked when he heard for sure that Pat Freiermuth planned to play this season. Freiermuth, who has 15 career touchdown catches, is one of the premier tight ends in college football.

Up next: at Indiana (Oct. 24, TBA)

Three games into the season, Miami is a runaway winner for the most improved team in the country, particularly on offense. The combo of D’Eriq King at quarterback and Rhett Lashlee as offensive coordinator, both newcomers to The U, has made a huge difference for the Hurricanes, who romped past Florida State on Saturday at home for a 52-10 victory. Miami led 38-3 at the half and doesn’t look anything like the team that struggled to put up points a year ago.

Up next: at Clemson (Oct. 10, TBA)

Mike Leach’s debut as an SEC coach was one to remember. K.J. Costello‘s SEC debut was even better. In fact, it was historic. The graduate transfer quarterback from Stanford carved apart defending national champion LSU’s defense for an SEC-record 623 passing yards and five touchdowns, and Mississippi State shook things up in the SEC’s Western Division with a 44-34 upset of LSU. And to fully process what happened Saturday in Tiger Stadium, the Bulldogs could have won even more convincingly had Costello not thrown two interceptions and lost two fumbles.

Up next: vs. Arkansas (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network Alternate)

Yes, it’s way too early to be handicapping the Heisman Trophy race. But few quarterbacks have played any better the first few weeks of the 2020 season than sophomore Dillon Gabriel. For the second week in a row, he threw for four touchdowns, as UCF stormed past East Carolina for a 51-28 win on Saturday. Gabriel has thrown for 825 yards with only one interception in the Knights’ first two games, and has thrown touchdown passes to five different players.

Up next: vs. Tulsa (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Auburn, in Chad Morris’ debut calling offensive plays for the Tigers, came alive when it needed to in the second half. And on defense, Kevin Steele’s unit was its usual swarming self in a season opening 29-13 win Saturday over Kentucky. Auburn’s defense came up with three turnovers, one a first-half interception in the end zone after Kentucky had driven inside the 1. The Tigers also forced a fumble while clinging to a 15-13 fourth-quarter lead that led to an Auburn touchdown. Auburn has held seven of its past nine SEC opponents dating to the start of the 2019 season to 24 points or fewer.

Up next: at Georgia (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

It’s never an easy assignment going against Army’s option offense, but Cincinnati got it done Saturday in all three phases of the game in a 24-10 win. The Bearcats showcased their balance by holding Army’s rushing attack to 182 yards and not giving up any touchdowns on defense, while also blocking a punt on special teams and getting a Desmond Ridder-to-Gerrid Doaks 60-yard touchdown pass to put the game away. The Bearcats remain right in the thick of the conversation as the best Group of 5 team in the country.

Up next: vs. South Florida (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

There’s no getting around how anemic Georgia was on offense Saturday in the first half of its season-opening 37-10 win over Arkansas, a team that now has lost 20 straight SEC games. The Dawgs did show some life in the second half with Stetson Bennett coming off the bench to throw two third-quarter touchdown passes. But even with a defense that should be elite and played to that level in the opener, Georgia will need to improve significantly on offense and play much cleaner (12 penalties for 108 yards) if it’s going to be a national title contender this season.

Up next: vs. Auburn (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

With offensive tackle Penei Sewell and the Pac-12’s best player in the lineup, the defending conference champions would be ranked even higher. But Sewell is sticking by his earlier decision to opt out for the season. The Ducks also learned Saturday that star safety Jevon Holland plans to opt out, which is a huge blow to their secondary with cornerbacks Thomas Graham Jr. and Deommodore Lenoir also not playing this season. The good news for Mario Cristobal’s club is that defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux returns after a fabulous freshman season that saw him record 14 tackles for loss, including nine sacks.

Up next: TBA

Jonathan Taylor was so good for so long at Wisconsin that it will almost be surreal watching the Badgers play without No. 23 in the backfield. But running the football is rarely, if ever, an issue in Madison, and redshirt sophomore Nakia Watson is eager to show what he can do now that Taylor is gone. Redshirt senior Garrett Groshek will also play a key role, especially on third down, and freshman Jalen Berger is talented enough that it’s going to be difficult to keep him off the field.

Up next: vs. Illinois (Oct. 24, TBA)

Just getting on the field was a win for the Hokies. This game was supposed to be played on Sept. 12, but pushed back because of COVID-19 issues at N.C. State. And last week, Virginia Tech’s game with Virginia was postponed. So the Hokies get the perseverance award, especially playing Saturday without 23 players — including starting quarterback Hendon Hooker — and still winning easily 45-24 over the Wolfpack. Despite it being their first game, the Hokies played clean football and got two touchdown passes from third-team quarterback Quincy Patterson II, who came in for Braxton Burmeister after he left the game with an injured hand.

Up next: at Duke (Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, ACC Network)

The Pac-12 is still more than a month away from cranking up, but it looks like a two-team race in that league between Oregon and USC. One of the big advantages the Trojans have is a proven quarterback after Kedon Slovis burst onto the scene last season as a freshman and passed for 3,502 yards and 30 touchdowns. Slovis’ 167.6 passing efficiency rating was the highest in school history, which is saying something when you consider the long list of talented quarterbacks USC has produced.

Up next: TBA

If you’re looking for bright spots (and, yes, we’re being overly positive), Texas has erupted for 122 points in its first two games, and Sam Ehlinger has thrown 10 touchdown passes. But the Longhorns’ 63-56 overtime escape Saturday against Texas Tech after trailing 56-41 late in the fourth quarter raises all sorts of questions about a Texas defense that was absolutely shredded. The Longhorns are always going to have a shot as long as Ehlinger is at quarterback, and maybe this was just one of those ugly run-and-gun wins that are the norm in the Big 12. At least, that’s what they’re hoping on the Forty Acres.

Up next: vs. TCU (Saturday, TBA)

Louisiana might not be the best team in the country, but Billy Napier’s club sure has been the most entertaining and just keeps finding ways to win. The Ragin’ Cajuns remained unbeaten Saturday with a 20-18 win over Georgia Southern thanks to Nate Snyder‘s 53-yard field goal on the game’s final play. That’s after rallying from two touchdowns down a week ago to win in overtime and scoring touchdowns on a 95-yard kickoff return and 83-yard punt return in the opening week. Louisiana has won 10 of its past 11 games dating to last season.

Up next: at Appalachian State (Oct. 7, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Pat Narduzzi has been around some outstanding defenses during his coaching career, but his Pittsburgh defense this season looks good enough to keep the Panthers in every game and maybe even get them back to the ACC championship game for the second time in the past three years. Pitt won 23-20 Saturday over Louisville and held the Cardinals to 223 total yards and sacked quarterback Malik Cunningham seven times. The Panthers still need to shore up some things on offense, but they’re one of those teams not named Clemson or Notre Dame to keep an eye on in the ACC race.

Up next: vs. North Carolina State (Saturday, noon ET, ACC Network)

Joe Milton‘s size, skill set and arm strength have a lot of Michigan fans eager to see what he’s capable of this season as he steps in as the Wolverines’ starting quarterback. The 6-foot-5, 243-pound Milton has waited his chance behind Shea Patterson but gets his shot right out of the gate to show what he’s capable of this year. Michigan’s schedule is the toughest in the Big Ten. After opening on the road against Minnesota, the Wolverines also go on the road two weeks later to play Indiana and also face Wisconsin, Penn State and Ohio State — all three nationally ranked teams.

Up next: at Minnesota (Oct. 24, TBA)

It wasn’t the way Mack Brown and North Carolina planned it, but the Tar Heels will have three weeks to get ready for their trip to Boston College. North Carolina’s game against Charlotte on Sept. 19 was canceled, and the Tar Heels had a week off this Saturday. The extra time to prepare might not be all bad for UNC, which looked out of sync at times on offense before pulling away for a 31-6 season-opening win over Syracuse back on Sept. 12. Three of the Tar Heels’ four touchdowns came in the fourth quarter on Javonte Williams‘ runs.

Up next: at Boston College (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN)

Maybe it’s a bit of a stretch to suggest that Chris Klieman has Oklahoma’s number. But here are the hard facts: The Sooners have lost only twice in their past 18 games against Big 12 opponents, both of those losses coming to Klieman and Kansas State. The Wildcats rebounded from their season-opening 35-21 loss to Arkansas State two weeks ago to stun the Sooners 38-35 Saturday on the road. Kansas State won despite being short-handed, too. The Wildcats were without eight players on their two-deep depth chart.

Up next: vs. Texas Tech (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1)

It seems like forever ago that Tennessee opened Year No. 2 under Jeremy Pruitt last season with back-to-back home losses to Georgia State and BYU. The Vols, although sloppy at times, ran their winning streak to seven straight games Saturday night with a 31-27 road win at South Carolina. They closed last season with six straight wins, that streak starting with a win over the Gamecocks, and their most recent win was one they almost certainly had to have if they’re going to be a factor in the SEC’s Eastern Division race this season.

Up next: vs. Missouri (Saturday, noon ET, SEC Network)

Remember the scouting report on Oklahoma State coming into the season? The Cowboys were going to roll it up on offense with Chuba Hubbard and Tylan Wallace doing most of the damage. But for the second straight week, the Cowboys leaned hard on their defense Saturday in a 27-13 win over West Virginia. Hubbard had fumbling problems, although he did have a key touchdown late, and the Cowboys went with true freshman Shane Illingworth at quarterback after starter Spencer Sanders was ruled out because of a foot injury. It was far from pretty, but the Cowboys do look improved on defense. We’ll find out how much over the next few weeks.

Up next: at Kansas (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN)

Scoring 35 points and still losing the game isn’t all that uncommon in the Big 12. But when you’re leading by 21 points at home in the third quarter and still manage to lose, that’s a problem. Clearly, Oklahoma hasn’t solved all of its problems on defense, as evidenced by its 38-35 collapse Saturday against Kansas State. The Sooners are talented and explosive enough on offense to work their way back into the Big 12 race, but this is a loss that could be a crippling blow to their College Football Playoff chances.

Up next: at Iowa State (Saturday, TBA)


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Toronto FC hoping to make MLS Cup run having spent much of 2020 far from home



On a recent Thursday in Hartford, Conn., Toronto FC goalkeeper Quentin Westberg pondered the dichotomy of wanting to reach MLS Cup on Dec. 12, but also desiring to see his family again. Meanwhile, Jim Liston, the team’s director of sports science, was planning a trip to Lowe’s to buy 15 garbage cans so players could have an ice bath after training. As for manager Greg Vanney, he was fretting about his team’s health and the lack of practice time their schedule was affording.

Such is the life of a team as it attempts to not only navigate its way through the COVID-19 pandemic, but has been forced to do it away from home.

Due to travel restrictions between the U.S. and Canada, TFC — like the league’s other two Canadian teams, Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps — set up a “home” base in the U.S. for the remainder of the season; Toronto were stationed in Hartford. (Vancouver Whitecaps took roost in Portland, ground-sharing with Timbers, while Montreal Impact split use of New York Red Bulls’ facilities in Harrison, N.J.) This was on top of nearly every team spending nearly a month inside a bubble back in July at the MLS is Back Tournament outside Orlando, Florida.

The Reds spent about seven weeks back in Toronto as they played a series of matches against Canadian teams. In mid-September, the remainder of the regular season — and the temporary move to Hartford — beckoned. The vagabond nature of the campaign is what led Liston to joke that he was willing to discuss “whatever five seasons” the team has been through so far. But for Vanney and the players, the campaign has required a special kind of focus.

“A lot of what we’ve done here, and what we try to preach here is just control the controllables, and don’t get too drawn into the things you can’t,” Vanney told ESPN. “Roll with it, and make the best out of whatever the situation is.”

Stream FC Daily on ESPN+
– 2020 MLS Playoffs: Who’s in, schedule and more
– MLS on ESPN+: Stream LIVE games and replays (U.S. only)

Toronto has largely succeeded in spite of its odyssey. While there was disappointment at missing out on the Supporters’ Shield to the Philadelphia Union, TFC went 7-3-2 during its Hartford sojourn and finished with the second-best record in the league. But the challenges have still been immense. Simply being out of one’s home environment is difficult enough, but the time spent away from family and loved ones weighs heavy on the psyche, even as Vanney has given players the occasional trip back to Toronto — under quarantine — to reconnect with loved ones.

“It’s just very different, very challenging and emotionally exhausting,” Westberg said of his experience while based in Hartford.

Westberg has arguably had it tougher than most. The TFC goalkeeper is married with four children, including a baby girl who was born in June. For that reason, Westberg and his wife, Ania, made the decision at the end of September that it would be better for her and their kids to head back to his native France so they could be surrounded by family. Westberg called it “the least bad decision,” but there are difficulties nonetheless.

“I’m a very even person, and this year has challenged me a lot,” he said. “I’m still pretty even, but I keep a lot to myself and for sure there’s some difficult days, seeing your family [struggle] from your absence.”

The inability to be home has affected the players and staff in other ways. In Toronto, there are ways of disengaging from the game. Being with friends, loved ones or even in familiar surroundings can be the best medicine in terms of forgetting a bad game or training session. But in Hartford, at the team’s hotel, that escape is nearly impossible even as players try to distract themselves by reading or taking online classes.

“You don’t really unplug,” Westberg said. “You FaceTime family, or this or that, but it’s too short. You’re 100 percent focused on your soccer, and your whole day basically relies on being ready for whatever soccer activity that you have next, whether it’s practice or game. It’s good for your physique, it’s optimal for the way you eat and the way you [train]. But mentally, you’re not as fresh as your body.”

That isn’t to say there are only negatives to the separation. There is also an us-against-the-world mentality that Toronto has adopted, given that their players and personnel are experiencing the season in a way that is vastly different than most other teams. The team staff has done what it can to make their surroundings a home away from home, whether it’s personalizing the locker rooms at Rentschler Field or having hotel staff brand the surroundings in TFC colors. The hotel went so far as to bring in a barista who could consistently give the players their coffee fix. Supporters groups have even sent down banners in a bid to convey the fact that the players are remembered.

The care that TFC takes for players has extended to families back home, with the club supplying meals to loved ones three times a week.

On the logistical side, Liston made sure that one of the gyms used at MLS is Back was brought to TFC’s hotel in Hartford, and he remarked that the food at the hotel is “arguably the best we’ve ever had on the road.”

There have also been efforts to create new routines. Assistant coach Jason Bent, aka DJ Soops, has been in charge of the pregame music selection for the past 18 months — no easy feat for a squad that has a considerable international presence. In Hartford, Bent has set aside Thursday nights to spin music in one area of the hotel. He’ll even go live on Instagram or Twitch for those who prefer to relax in their rooms.

“[We] opened it to players and staff and basically anyone that’s part of our bubble to come relax, listen to music and just enjoy each other’s company,” Bent said. “I enjoy making people happy so if it’s helping everyone even in the slightest, I have no problem arranging the set and spinning.”

For Vanney, the pandemic and operating outside of the team’s home market has meant any number of challenges. He said the team has used three different training facilities in Hartford, with varying field conditions. He recognizes that the trips home are vital for the mental health of his players and staff, but any breaks also mean less time spent on the practice field. The compressed schedule, which at times involved games every three or four days, has had an impact as well. Even the best-laid plans in terms of squad rotation were impacted as minor injuries began popping up.

“We end up with a lot of guys in different positions because they need special kinds of treatment or care to help them get fit and back to health,” Vanney said. “So it ends up being a lot of different things kind of going on all at once, and that’s been the challenge of it.”

Recovery from matches has been complicated by the fact that TFC doesn’t have access to the same level of facilities that it does at home — hence Liston’s emergency trip to Lowe’s to fashion impromptu ice baths for the players. Then there are the different ways the players occupy themselves on the road as compared to home, especially amid the pandemic.

“There’s really no life outside of the hotel,” Liston said. “[At home], you may go walk the dog in the afternoon or go for a walk with your wife or friend or girlfriend or family and you’re out and about. The recommendation [here] is to kind of stay put. So you’ve got a really active population and pro athletes, who we’re asking them to be sedentary the rest of the time, kind of stay in the hotel from a COVID and safety standpoint. That’s not optimal for recovery either.”

There are also the creature comforts of home that are no longer available on the road, which can impact sleep.

“Sleep is the number one tool for recovery, and that’s definitely been a challenge,” Liston said. “We do well-being questionnaires and the scores on quality of sleep, and hours of sleep, just drop.”



Tom Barlow and Brian White seal Toronto’s fate in a 2-1 win for New York Red Bulls. Watch MLS on ESPN+.

Another change has been same-day travel, which has drawn mixed reactions from the TFC players and staff. Vanney and Westberg are generally in favor, saying it reminds them of when they each played in France. Flying back the same night also means a training day isn’t lost. Liston has a different perspective in that he prefers arriving the day before, and then leaving the same day.

“I think [same-day travel] makes for a really long day,” he said. “And there’s definitely a negative impact on performance, taking three bus rides and a plane ride before your game. You’re getting home — it can be 12:30, but it could also be 1:30 in the morning, and that’s where you know our well-being scores and sleep hours and quality just disappear. When you have so many games in succession, you can’t make up the sleep.”

With the playoffs set to begin for TFC on Nov. 24, the end is in sight, even as it makes for a complex — and even conflicting — set of emotions.

“This is the tricky part. I miss them a lot,” Westberg said of his family. “But in a way I want to see them as [late] as possible in December, because obviously, there’s this idea that we want to do well in the playoffs and we want to keep going. TFC has a history of setting high standards and high expectations. It’s a heavy load to carry but also an exciting one.”

Win or lose, it’s a season they’ll never forget.


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Bettman: NHL is mulling temporary realignment



The NHL is considering a temporary realignment of its teams for the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, according to commissioner Gary Bettman.

Bettman said Tuesday that restrictions on travel across the Canadian border, as well as “limitations in terms of quarantining when you go from certain states to other states” within the United States, could mean the NHL creates a more regionalized alignment for its upcoming season.

“As it relates to the travel issue, which is obviously the great unknown, we may have to temporarily realign to deal with geography, because having some of our teams travel from Florida to California may not make sense. It may be that we’re better off — particularly if we’re playing a reduced schedule, which we’re contemplating — keeping it geographically centric and more divisional-based; and realigning, again on a temporary basis, to deal with the travel issues,” Bettman said during a 2020 Paley International Council Summit panel with fellow commissioners Adam Silver of the NBA and Rob Manfred of MLB.

The NHL board of governors has a meeting scheduled for Thursday which will provide a progress report and possible recommendations for a season format, based on talks between the league and the NHL Players’ Association. The target date for starting next season remains Jan. 1.

Bettman said the league is considering a few scheduling options for the 2020-21 season. Something that’s off the table: playing the entire season in the kind of bubbles the NHL had in Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta, to complete last season. But Bettman said teams opening in their own arenas is a possibility, along with a modified bubble.

“We are exploring the possibility of playing in our own buildings without fans [or] fans where you can, which is going to be an arena-by-arena issue. But we’re also exploring the possibility of a hub. You’ll come in. You’ll play for 10 to 12 days. You’ll play a bunch of games without traveling. You’ll go back, go home for a week, be with your family. We’ll have our testing protocols and all the other things you need,” he said.

Bettman also indicated that the NHL is exploring “a hybrid, where some teams are in a bubble, some teams play at home and you move in and out.”

The NBA’s board of governors unanimously approved a deal with the players’ union that sets the stage for a season that will open on Dec. 22 and with a reduced schedule of 72 games. Silver said that the commissioners are in communication on COVID-19-related issues, especially the NBA and the NHL, since the two leagues’ teams share arenas and, in some cases, team owners.

Silver said he senses that the NBA will have fans in many of its buildings this season.

“We’re probably going to start one way, where we’re maybe a little bit more conservative than many of the jurisdictions allow,” he said. “What we’ve said to our teams is that we’ll continue to work with public health authorities. Arena issues are different than outdoor stadium issues. There will be certain standards for air filtration and air circulation. There may be a different standard for a suite than there will be for fans spaced in seats.”

Silver said there will be standardized protocols that are consistent from arena to arena, such as proximity between players and fans: “In certain cases, for seats near the floor, we’re going to be putting in testing programs, where fans will certify that they’ve been tested — some within 48 hours, some within day of game.” While Silver supported a continued expansion of the NBA postseason through its play-in tournament, Bettman said that he’s not in favor of expanded playoffs or “playing with the fundamentals of the game.” The NHL had 24 teams in its postseason last summer.


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The Battleground States Where We’ve Seen Some Movement In The Polls



With apologies to The Raconteurs, the presidential race continues to be “steady as she goes,” with little sign of tightening despite a plethora of new polls. FiveThirtyEight’s presidential forecast gives Joe Biden an 89 in 100 shot at winning the election, while President Trump has just an 11 in 100 chance. This makes Biden the favorite, but still leaves open a narrow path to victory for Trump, for whom a reelection win would be surprising — but not utterly shocking.

At the same time, we also have fewer polls from live-caller surveys, which have historically been more accurate and have shown slightly better numbers for Biden, than polls that use other methodologies, such as polls conducted primarily online or through automated telephone calls. Nevertheless, while the overall picture has shifted only a little in recent days, a few battleground states have seen at least some movement in their polls, which has slightly altered the odds Biden or Trump wins in each of those places.

What election stories need to get more coverage | FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast


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