Bill Connelly grew up a fan of the Miami Dolphins (post-1970s glory), Pittsburgh Pirates (ditto), Portland Trailblazers (ditto again) and Missouri Tigers. That he still enjoys sports at all shows both severe loyalty and a potential personality disorder. He spends his evening playing with excel sheets and watching DVR'd football games from ESPN Classic. See more of his work at Rock M Nation, Football Outsiders and Football Study Hall.
Missouri headed into 2012 with momentum and optimism. Seven losses and countless injuries later, the Tigers were forced to lick their wounds and hope that their second impression in the SEC goes a lot better than the first. Will it?
Vandy isn't supposed to win or attract four-star recruits, but nobody told head coach James Franklin.
Dan Mullen has taken Mississippi State to three straight bowls, something that hadn't happened since the 1990s (and, before that, hadn't happened at all). But his team has regressed for two straight years.
Auburn's hire of Gus Malzahn made as much sense as any hire this past offseason. Now how quickly can he re-establish the bona fides of a program that has trended downward for most of the last seven years?
Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams cruised, there were upsets galore, and I swear this isn't just a repeat of last week's Madrid write-up.
New Kentucky coach Mark Stoops has passed his early tests with flying colors, recruiting well and drawing 50K to the Kentucky spring game. But the real tests begin in the fall, and the Wildcats likely have a few more to fail before they can become in
Notre Dame was a Top 15 team on paper in 2011, then played like it in 2012. Can the Irish manage a fourth straight year of steady improvement under Brian Kelly? And can they get enough breaks to reach the national title game again?
The BYU defense is thinner, but the offense could be healthy enough to meet the challenge of what is one hell of a 2013 schedule.
Will winning beget more winning in 2013, or will regression toward the mean (and an awful defense) catch up to them?
Rafa is still Rafa, Serena can win on clay, and the "Is Fed done?" narrative is not going away.
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