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The SEC just means score, the Joe Burrow Index and more Week 4 takeaways

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A Mike Leach team finished with more than 600 passing yards and single-digit rushing yards. Texas Tech roped a highly ranked team into some serious scoreboard explosions and fell short. Alabama was merciless. Oklahoma lost as a huge favorite to Kansas State.

The word “normal” has lost all meaning in 2020, but damned if Week 4 of the college football season didn’t return a heavy dose of normalcy to our senses. The chaos that only this sport regularly provides shook up the national title race and left us struggling to understand what to think about quite a few prominent teams. Let’s take stock.

The SEC: It Just Means Score

You can’t blame Georgia quarterback D’Wan Mathis for struggling so much in his starting debut: It was out of his hands. With what was happening elsewhere in the SEC, with a few scoreboards lighting up far more than normal, the universe demanded a sacrifice. Mathis’ miserable first-half performance — 6-for-14 for 20 yards, an interception and a sack — provided it before backup and former walk-on Stetson Bennett saved the day for the Dawgs.

Down in Mississippi, things were awfully prolific.

Florida 51, Ole Miss 35

The Gators and Rebels combined for 1,255 yards, 61 first downs and a point total that could have been even higher had the teams not settled for four field goal attempts.

Ole Miss’ Matt Corral went 22-for-31 for 395 yards and three scores and a pick. When Florida safety Shawn Davis got ejected for targeting early in the game, Ole Miss went deep over the middle constantly because Lane Kiffin is a Spurrier-esque scab-picker. But Corral was easily the second-best quarterback on the day: Florida’s Kyle Trask went 30-for-42 for 416 yards and six TDs. He had days of time in the pocket, completed passes to 11 different guys and connected with Kyle Pitts on touchdowns of 1, 16, 71 and 17 yards.

College football is based on matchups, and Pitts didn’t find anyone on the Ole Miss defense he didn’t match up well against. He was either too big or too fast, and in one instance, his stiff arm — punch, really — was too cruel.

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Kyle Trask targets Kyle Pitts, who dashes into the end zone for a 71-yard Florida touchdown.

Mississippi State 44, LSU 34

Maybe the most incredible thing about this game is that the pass rushes were both excellent. MSU sacked LSU’s Myles Brennan seven times in 53 pass attempts, while LSU brought down MSU’s K.J. Costello five times in 65. And yet, after a slow start — 111 combined yards in the first quarter — the Bulldogs and Tigers still managed to finish with 1,057 combined yards.

Costello might have the best raw arm talent — I hate that term, but it’s useful — that a Mike Leach quarterback has ever had, and the Bulldogs figured out fun ways to get star running back Kylin Hill involved despite the whole “Leach doesn’t really run the ball” thing: He rushed seven times for 34 yards — and caught eight passes for 158 yards and a touchdown.

After LSU’s magnificent, offense-driven run to the 2019 national title, SEC schools loaded up on points-friendly coaches. Ole Miss hired Kiffin, Mississippi State hired Leach, Missouri hired Eliah Drinkwitz, and while Arkansas went with lifetime line coach Sam Pittman, he in turn hired Kendal Briles as his offensive coordinator. That’s a whole lot of offensive IQ residing in what we assume to be the bottom half of the conference. That, in turn, could result in quite a few Big 12-style shootouts and more potential upsets.

Elsewhere, Alabama’s Mac Jones went 18-for-24 for 249 yards and two scores against what could be a solid Mizzou pass defense, and Auburn’s Bo Nix threw for 233 yards and three scores in 27 attempts against what could turn out to be an even better-than-solid Kentucky secondary. In all, five SEC QBs topped a 165 passer rating (Corral, Trask, Jones, Nix, Costello), and another three topped 140 (Bennett, Missouri’s Shawn Robinson and Tennessee’s Jarrett Guarantano). Passing is winning in the SEC, apparently, and even with the recent success of players like Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa, it’s still jarring to see this taking place in a conference that was for nearly a century known primarily for defense and field position.

(Remind me how fun this all was when Saturday’s huge Auburn-Georgia game, pitting the No. 1 and No. 2 defenses in the country per SP+, turns into a rock fight.)

The Burrow Index

The temptation is impossible to avoid. Last fall, we witnessed maybe the greatest season-long quarterback performance in the history of the sport — Burrow setting a passer rating record while throwing for 5,671 yards and 60 TDs and leading LSU to a 15-0 record. And with the way that QB stats have continued to one-up each other from year to year of late, it’s hard not to start thinking about who will go wild next.

Burrow’s raw numbers will be impossible to top in a shortened season, but which Burrow-like characters — transfers and/or second-year-or-thereabouts starters who were good but not amazing last year — are doing the most Burrow-like things early in the season? Let’s take a look. Presenting the Burrow Index, a combination of raw and rate stats, personality, wins and whatever bonus points I feel like offering. (Important note: This is not particularly scientific. If you’re going to yell at me on Twitter about this, at least take that into account.)

1. K.J. Costello, Mississippi State

Key stats: 83.1 QBR (10th), 168.1 passer rating (14th), 623 passing yards per game (first), 1-0 record

He threw a pretty bad pick-six in the first half and took a lot of sacks, but look: If you’re going to average 623 yards per game in the SEC, you’re going to rank really high on that list. Costello, receivers Osirus Mitchell, JaVonta Payton and Tyrell Shavers (combined: 17 catches, 373 yards, three TDs) and Hill are going to be absurdly prolific in Leach’s system. Obvious bonus points for taking down Burrow’s former team on its home field in his first game in maroon. 91% Burrow.

2. Kyle Trask, Florida

Key stats: 93.4 QBR (third), 201.8 passer rating (seventh), 416 passing yards per game (second), 1-0 record

He tied an SEC record with six touchdown passes in a single game on Saturday. With whom does he share that record? Burrow, of course. Most SEC defenses will offer more resistance than Ole Miss, but the Burrow Index was meant for players who tie or break Burrow records, yeah? 89% Burrow.

3. Mac Jones, Alabama

Key stats: 95.2 QBR (first), 189.7 passer rating (ninth), 249 passing yards per game (22nd), 1-0 record

He was pulled from the game earlier than the two guys above him because Bama was not struggling much with Mizzou, but whatever he lacks in raw volume, he makes up for with the bonus points earned when his girlfriend quit her job to make sure his chances at going Full Burrow were maximized. 88% Burrow.

4. D’Eriq King, Miami

Key stats: 83.8 QBR (ninth), 153 passer rating (22nd), 245 passing yards per game (23rd), 52 rushing yards per game (bonus), 3-0 record

You want to score high in the Burrow Index? Bring Miami back to prominence. The former Houston star has done everything asked of him so far, and The U has rolled to a 3-0 record and 43 points per game. He gets bonus points for his third-down perfection, too: He’s 18-for-25 for 248 yards and four TDs on third down, 9-for-12 for 137 on third-and-10+. 83% Burrow.

5. Bo Nix, Auburn

Key stats: 86.6 QBR (eighth), 168.4 passer rating (13th), 233 passing yards per game (31st), 1-0 record

Nix still throws off his back foot too much for my liking and his piloting of Auburn’s win over Kentucky was more “solid and sturdy” than “holy crap, look at this guy!” But he was very good against a potentially strong Kentucky defense, and he scored bonus points for this off-the-back-foot rocket to Seth Williams.

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Bo Nix throws a dart to wide receiver Seth Williams who goes up and snags it extending Auburn’s lead.

More bonus points: He pinned Kentucky inside the 10 with punts twice, too. 82% Burrow.

6. Zach Wilson, BYU

Key stats: 87.4 QBR (seventh), 216.6 passer rating (third), 312 passing yards per game (ninth), 2-0 record

No, Wilson hasn’t exactly faced power conference-level competition so far, but Navy and Troy aren’t terrible, and Wilson’s Cougars have been cruel and dominant. And he proved he was meant for a list like this two seasons ago, when he went 18-for-18 passing in a bowl game. 77% Burrow.

7. Dillon Gabriel, UCF

Key stats: 77.4 QBR (14th), 173.5 passer rating (12th), 413 passing yards per game (third), 2-0 record

Again, opponent adjustments apply here — UCF has thus far beaten Georgia Tech (63rd in SP+) and ECU (105th). But Gabriel threw for 3,653 yards and 29 touchdowns as an unexpected freshman starter, and he’s completing 67% of his passes at 14 yards per completion so far. Full Burrow? No. Tremendous? Absolutely. 76% Burrow.

8. Matt Corral, Ole Miss

Key stats: 91.8 QBR (sixth), 203.5 passer rating (sixth), 395 passing yards per game (fourth), 0-1 record

Really, Corral did only one thing wrong against Florida on Saturday: He couldn’t defend Trask. Going unbeaten is a huge part of the Full Burrow, and losing is a point deduction. Make no mistake, though: Ole Miss’ offense looks diverse and terrifying, and Corral dealt with a solid amount of pass-rush pressure and still delivered. 74% Burrow.

9. Shane Buechele, SMU

Key stats: 75.3 QBR (15th), 164.5 passer rating (17th), 284 passing yards per game (14th), 3-0 record

The veteran gunslinger has taken full advantage of a weak slate of opposing defenses; he completed 72% of his passes for 711 yards in road wins over Texas State and North Texas before taking it easy against SFA on Saturday. The schedule gets harder from here — Memphis is scheduled to visit on Saturday — but one can assume the numbers will remain gaudy. 69% Burrow.

10. Malik Willis, Liberty

Key stats: 74.1 QBR (17th), 154.3 passer rating (21st), 209 passing yards per game (38th), 126 rushing yards per game (bonus), 2-0 record

Remember him? The Auburn transfer has started brilliantly for Hugh Freeze and the Flames. He rushed for 168 yards in a win over WKU, then threw for 285 and two scores in a tight win over FIU. (He also injured his arm in the fourth quarter. We’ll see what comes of that.) 64% Burrow.

Also under heavy consideration: Boston College’s Phil Jurkovec, North Carolina’s Sam Howell, Louisiana Tech’s Luke Anthony, and maybe Kentucky’s Joey Gatewood if the NCAA would decide whether he gets a transfer waiver.

Special teams: Still an adventure?

Special teams nearly destroyed Texas’ unbeaten record in Lubbock on Saturday, then special teams helped to save the Longhorns.

Nearly every possible special-teams event happened at some point.

Bad: Texas punter Ryan Bujcevski shanked a 17-yarder in the second quarter and after the ensuing Tech touchdown drive, the Red Raiders recovered a surprise onside kick. In the third quarter, Bujcevski had a punt blocked, which set up Tech in the Texas red zone, and D’Shawn Jamison muffed a punt, which Tech’s Xavier Martin returned for a touchdown.

Good: Texas’ Cameron Dicker made two field goals, including a 43-yarder (Tech’s Trey Wolff missed a 46-yarder, too), and Tyler Owens blocked a punt that Jahdae Barron collected for a touchdown. And with 2:39 left, down eight, Texas recovered an onside kick, then drove for the tying touchdown and 2-point conversion.

Wild special-teams events have been one of the themes of the early season, and it remained the case in Week 4, not only in Lubbock but also in places like Lafayette, where Louisiana’s scattershot Nate Snyder, who has missed four FGs this year, bombed in a 53-yard, game winner at the buzzer. But how have the season averages evolved? Were these games truly special, or are things settling down a bit overall? Let’s compare the overall season averages to September’s games last year:

  • Field goals under 40 yards: College kickers hit 82.6% of these last September and 81.0% this September

  • Field goals over 40 yards: 59.9% last September, 62.7% this September

  • PAT attempts: 96.9% last September, 96.7% this September

These seem to be evening out after a rusty start. And it appears if you’ve got a good kicker capable of nailing some long-bomb kicks, he’s even more capable of that this season.

  • Net yards per punt: 38.4 last September, 37.9 this September

  • Blocked punts: 1.0% of all punts last September, 1.5% this September

  • Punt returns: 55.9% gaining at least 5 yards last September, 50.8% this September

Punting has been a smidge more adventurous, but we are seeing fewer solid returns this time around as well.

  • Average starting field position from kickoffs: 26.1 last September, 26.0 this September

  • Kick returns: 13.1% gaining 30+ yards last September, 12.8% this September

  • Onside kicks: 16-for-44 (36%) last September, 5-for-15 (33%) this September

I’ll admit, I was surprised that the onside kick rate was that close. Anecdotally, it seemed there have been quite a few fun recoveries this year. (Of course, college football doesn’t get to take credit for the most befuddling and hilarious onside kick of the season thus far — the one that happened in Dallas last Sunday.)

On average, special-teams units have caught up to where they were in previous years. This fan of chaos thinks that’s rather unfortunate.

The role of the nonconference slate

Oklahoma walloped Missouri State while Kansas State got upset by Arkansas State. Two weeks later, KSU beat OU. Texas obliterated UTEP, while Texas Tech thought really hard about losing to Houston Baptist. Two weeks later, Tech led UT by 15 with 2:30 left. Boston College thumped Duke, then nearly lost to Texas State. Georgia Southern nearly lost to Campbell, then nearly beat Louisiana.

Again, college football isn’t exactly known for its stability. The old Lou Holtz line about how “you coach a different team every week” continues to ring true. But Week 4 seemed particularly jarring in this regard and as we get used to a temporary world in which power conference teams play one nonconference game at most (and none against fellow P5s), we might be seeing a side effect here. Teams are generally at their flakiest in September, when they perhaps don’t quite know who they are or what they’ve got yet. But instead of dropping a game in nonconference play — or winning a lackluster contest against a cupcake — these bouts of craziness have higher stakes.

Granted, Week 4’s fallout could have ended up far more significant than it did. For a while on Saturday afternoon, after OU’s loss, it looked as if LSU, Texas and Georgia might all fall. In the end, only one of three did. But when you look ahead to the second set of SEC games next week — Auburn at Georgia, Texas A&M at Alabama, Florida hosting South Carolina and former Florida head coach Will Muschamp — and think about what might come with a few more sudden personality shifts … well … that sounds pretty fun to me. Anybody have a fast-forward button so we can go ahead and skip to Saturday?

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

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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
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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.”

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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

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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

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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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