Before you start waving the Stars and Stripes for the U.S.-Ghana match later this afternoon at the World Cup, let's first check out what's happening a bit closer to home in the SEC:
By now, you're probably familiar with Phil Steele's preseason magazine, which breaks down college football into incredible statistical detail. His blog today focuses on his new combined experience chart, which examines the returning starters on each team. Numerous returning starters don't guarantee success, of course, but the bad news for teams in the SEC is that defending conference champ Auburn ranks sixth out of the 128 teams on the list. Conversely LSU, Missouri, Tennessee and Vanderbilt are all in Steele's bottom 10 for least experience returning.
Georgia defensive end Sterling Bailey's dad called the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Chip Towers to share his own take on why the Bulldogs have lost several players to disciplinary issues over the last several months. The players need to accept the blame for their departures instead of blaming the program, Bailey said.
LSU transfer Stephen Rivers is part of a big group of players who are competing to become Vanderbilt's next starting quarterback, but Commodores coach Derek Mason said Rivers is “an immediate impact guy.”
Let's go with another Vandy transfer story, this one involving Stanford tight end Davis Dudchock joining the Commodores for his fifth season of eligibility.
Former Vanderbilt coach James Franklin created a stir by attending the Commodores' game at the College World Series on Saturday. The Tennessean's David Climer writes that he doesn't understand the vitriol directed toward Franklin, particularly because he came to Omaha following an invitation from friend and former co-worker Tim Corbin, the Vandy baseball coach.
Athlon's Braden Gall took a look at the top 30 non-conference college football games to watch this fall, nine of which will feature teams from the SEC. Leading the way were South Carolina-Clemson at No. 4 and LSU-Wisconsin at No. 5.
A nine-time Pro Bowler, LSU alum Alan Faneca was a surefire Louisiana Sports Hall of Famer anyway. Then he lost more than 100 pounds after his NFL career ended and completed a marathon in New Orleans, only adding another impressive accomplishment to his resume.
Former Kentucky football player Howard Carter has made a name for himself by operating his own successful concrete business.