NEW DUNKER IN DURHAM
Duke's got ups ... Zion who? Just kidding. College basketball hasn't moved on from it's favorite phenom quite that quickly. However, Duke's school record for maximum vertical leap is a different story. On Wednesday, 6-foot-5 freshman Cassius Stanley dethroned last year's Wooden Award winner and No. 1 NBA draft pick (this guy you may have heard of named Zion) by setting a new school record for who can jump the highest. So yeah, it appears Duke's going to have some serious athletes this season. In other news, water is wet. Read More
THINGS TO CARE ABOUT
From beer money to charity ... Carson King just wanted to make a funny joke on College Gameday and maybe pick up some spare money for beer in the process. When his Gameday sign went viral, however, he was inundated with more than $67,000 worth of transactions to his Venmo account. That could buy a significant haul of beer, but King has a better idea of what to do with his windfall. Read More
Always bet on Mahomes ... Air Force surgical technician Nathan Carnahan and Patrick Mahomes have never met, but Mahomes is indirectly responsible for paying for Carnahan's entire wedding and honeymoon ... and all he had to do was demolish NFL secondaries on his way to winning the league MVP award. Here's why Carnahan has just a single regret about the entire thing. Read More
0-2 to the playoffs? It is very, very bad for an NFL team to lose the first two games of the season. You wouldn't be blamed for writing your team off entirely if they did. But wait! There's hope. Since 2002, about one in nine teams with an 0-2 start have managed to turn it all around. Bill Barnwell has the breakdown. Read More
WEEKEND BINGE READS
Lane Kiffin's crazy year at Tennessee ... Trash talk. Mattress fires. A flying projector. Lane Kiffin was only Tennessee's head coach for a single season, but it was an eventful one. The Volunteers may only have gone 7-6, but included in those 13 games were some amazing highs, humbling lows, and a complete lack of anything resembling boredom. Come with us and relive one of the most ridiculous one-year tenures in college football history. Read More
"We have to try to help each other ..." Attitudes towards mental health have come a long way in recent years, but there's still quite a ways to go in reducing the stigma surrounding attempts to discuss it honestly. Blackhawks goalie Robin Lehner knows this, as he has been diagnosed with bipolar 1 disorder, ADHD, and post-traumatic stress. He's not keeping his story to himself, however. Lehner hopes his openness will help others who are going through the same thing. Read More
"The Dabo Way ..." The best coaches spread their influence through a network of former assistants and coordinators who attain head coaching positions of their own. For Dabo Swinney, however, he's got an unofficial coaching tree as well -- a loosely-defined group of other football coaches who are seeking to replicate Dabo's singular focus on a winning culture at Clemson. Can they succeed? We've got their story right here. Read More
THINGS TO WATCH
Stephen A. on Adams' gripe: The NFL is unfair to defensive players
Stephen A. Smith reacts to Jets safety Jamal Adams being fined for roughing the passer and explains why it is more profitable for the NFL to be tougher on defenses.
"He said, 'I want to play for you,' and he pointed at me. He said, 'Mr. Ballmer, I love the things you do and what you stand for, but your team is not good enough and if you don't change your team, I'm not coming.'"
-- Doc Rivers, on his and Steve Ballmer's free agency meeting with Kawhi Leonard Read more
On this date in 1998, Cal Ripken took a day off for the first time in 16 years, ending his consecutive games played streak at 2,632.
WHAT'S ON THIS WEEKEND?
Air Force at No. 20 Boise State (Friday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2): Air Force has started off the season hot, with a decisive win over Colgate and a close victory over Colorado. They'll face a tough test on the road against Boise State in a Mountain West showdown.
College Gameday (Saturday, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN): Gameday travels to Athens for the showdown between Notre Dame and Georgia. After the crew makes their picks, make sure to stay tuned for a full day of football on the ESPN family of networks, including Southern Mississippi at No. 2 Alabama (Noon ET, ESPN2).
UFC Fight Night: Rodriguez vs. Stephens (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+): Yair Rodriguez takes on Jeremy Stephens in a featherweight showdown in Mexico City. You can catch the preliminary fights at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
Sunday NFL Countdown (Sunday, 10 a.m. ET, ESPN): Can Lamar Jackson outduel Patrick Mahomes? Can the Browns keep up their momentum against the Rams? Do the Jets have any chance against the Patriots? Get ready to preview Sunday's full slate of matchups with the crew.
Washington Mystics at Las Vegas Aces (Sunday, 5 p.m. ET, ESPN2); Connecticut Sun at Los Angeles Sparks (Sunday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2): Elena Delle Donne and the Mystics locked down a 2-0 series lead, but it was far from easy as the Aces prove to be every bit a formidable (and fiery) opponent. Meanwhile, the Sun is now just one win away from its first WNBA Finals since 2005.
Phillies at Indians (Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): Two teams fighting desperately for wild card spots in their respective leagues face off on Sunday Night Baseball. Starters Vince Velasquez and Adam Plutko have struggled a bit this season, so this could erupt into fireworks before long.