acetrack.Its bittersweet, these last two races | Forum

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jcy123 Jan 14
Rivalry Week is here. Donald Payne Jersey Retro . Its also the final week of the regular season and the top five teams in the College Football Playoff rankings face challenges from their biggest rivals.With a week to go until the final rankings, keep up to date with the latest for the playoff contenders.Dinich projects the committees top sixClemson showed no signs of a letdown against rival South Carolina and is headed to the ACC championship game where it will face Virginia Tech. The Tigers should be a lock for the top four if they win the ACC title, along with Alabama.AlabamaOhio StateClemsonWashingtonMichiganWisconsinPac-12 states its caseThe Pac-12 punctuated the regular season with the best possible results, as wins by Washington and Colorado set up a conference championship game that will feature two top-10 teams and give the winner one final boost to its playoff resume. The good news for Colorado is that the Big Ten is guaranteed to have a two-loss conference champ. The bad news? Ohio State is still in the mix after knocking off No. 3 Michigan, so the Pac-12 winner must impress the committee more than the one-loss Buckeyes or the Big Ten champ. The Pac-12 winners resume will be put under a microscope, and selection committee chair Kirby Hocutt said last week that the group has hesitated to rank Washington any higher because of its weak strength of schedule. That could change, though, with a league title against a ranked opponent.Ohio State, Penn State wins wreak havoc on CFPPenn State clinched the Big Tens East division with its win over Michigan State and Michigans loss to Ohio State, pitting the Nittany Lions against Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game. At 11-1, Ohio State still makes a great case to finish in the top four because it has four wins against ranked opponents, but its still going to need some help because it lost the head-to-head result to Penn State. If the Nittany Lions win the Big Ten, they would have the edge over Ohio State in two of the committees tiebreakers they consult when resumes are comparable. PSU doesnt have the league title yet, though, so a gap will likely remain between it and OSU on Tuesday. Michigans playoff hopes took a huge hit with the loss, but because it was a double overtime loss on the road to the No. 2 team in the country, its possible the Wolverines dont drop out of the top four entirely this week because their resume still has three wins against top 10 teams and that might still trump Washingtons strength of schedule. Because a two-loss Big Ten champion is now guaranteed, though, it further strengthens Washingtons case if the Huskies can finish as a one-loss Pac-12 champ.Bama still the 1Alabama avoided any scare from Auburn in the Iron Bowl and is the only undefeated Power 5 team remaining heading into championship week. The Tide should remain the selection committees clear-cut No. 1 -- about the only thing thats certain heading into Tuesdays top four. Alabama will face Florida in the SEC title game. Speaking of the Gators, they were almost assuredly eliminated from the playoff even if they upset the Crimson Tide in the SEC championship. Yes, it would be an epic upset, but there are too many other good teams out there with fewer losses and better resumes - including Alabama.How Saturday affects the Big 12s chancesOklahoma and Oklahoma State are off this week, but they got a little bit of a boost from the outcomes in the Big Ten, which is now guaranteed to have a two-loss conference champion in either Penn State or Wisconsin. Its good news for the Big 12 because its champion will then be compared against a two-loss Big Ten champ instead of a one-loss Ohio State or Michigan champ. It would also help, though, if Washington or Clemson lost again.Is Western Michigan in?The highest-ranked Group of 5 champion is guaranteed a spot in a New Years Six bowl, and after No. 19 Boise States loss to Air Force, undefeated and No. 21-ranked Western Michigan should be the committees top-ranked Group of 5 team this week after its 55-35 win over Toledo. No. 20 Houston also lost on Friday, to Memphis. Western Michigan will play Ohio for the first time this season in the MAC championship game at Ford Field in Detroit. If the Broncos win, they should be headed to the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.Playoff impact gamesFriday, Nov. 25No. 5 Washington 45, Washington State 17Iowa 40, No. 16 Nebraska 10Saturday, Nov. 26No. 2 Ohio State 30, No. 3 Michigan 27 2OTNo. 1 Alabama 30, No. 13 Auburn 12Notre Dame at No. 12 USC, 3:30 ET (ABC/ESPN App)No. 7 Penn State 45, Michigan State 12No. 6 Wisconsin 31, Minnesota 17No. 22 Utah at No. 9 Colorado, 7:30 ETSouth Carolina at No. 4 Clemson, 7:30 ET (ESPN/ESPN App)PickCenterRooting guideIf youre a fan of one of these teams on the outside of the playoff picture, looking in, heres who you should be rooting for the rest of the day.Oklahoma: South Carolina, Penn StateThe two-loss Big 12 teams didnt get any help from Washington State, which was routed by Washington. A South Carolina upset over one-loss Clemson would be nice, but what the Sooners could really use is Penn State winning the Big Ten, so they would be compared with a fellow two-loss conference champ.Oklahoma State:?South Carolina, Penn StateThe Cowboys are looking at the same scenarios as the Sooners, even if coach Mike Gundy thinks his teams record should be 10-1 considering the controversial finish to the Central Michigan game.USC: Utah, then pure chaosBefore anything else, USC needs Utah to beat Colorado, so the Trojans have a chance to win the Pac-12 title. They needed things to go really crazy, and so far, it hasnt. Washington handled Washington State, so USC waits to watch if South Carolina can knock off Clemson and hope for a ton of Big Ten upsets. Even that might not be enough, but with a second win over the Huskies in the Pac-12 title game, it could get interesting.Brewing Big Ten controversyThere appears to be a caveat in the College Football Playoff selection committees protocol that could keep Ohio State in the top four even if Penn State -- which beat the Buckeyes -- goes on to win the Big Ten.According to the protocol, strength of schedule, head-to-head competition and championships won must be specifically applied as tie-breakers between teams that look similar.Heres the catch: As of right now, the committee doesnt think No. 2 Ohio State and No. 7 Penn State look similar.Does the selection committee see a small margin of separation this week between No. 2 Ohio State and No. 7 Penn State? We do not, selection committee chair Kirby Hocutt told reporters on Tuesday evening.For more, click here.Low: Its time to start thinking about two Big Ten teams in the playoff.Dinich: If the College Football Playoff were today. Jeff Walker Jersey Retro . Kozun faked to the forehand and beat Monsters starter, Calvin Pickard, pad side in the second round for the winner. Spencer Abbott also scored in the shootout for the Marlies (25-13-4). Bud Cooper Jersey Retro .S. Open champion Justin Rose birdied the first hole with a blind shot he hit to a foot of the pin, and he stayed in front Tuesday until he completed a 4-under 67 for a two-shot lead over Jason Dufner in PGA Grand Slam of Golf. . -- Jacksonville wide receiver Cecil Shorts will likely be a game-time decision whether hell play Sunday in the Jaguars home game against the San Diego Chargers. The announcement this week that Love the Chase, dam of California Chrome, will be bred next year to American Pharoahs sire Pioneerof the Nile set the imagination alight. North Americas richest racehorse would now be step-brother to racings most recent Triple Crown winner. Or something like that.Breeding news abounds at this time of year. High-priced racemares have been changing hands like hot stocks. Broodmares in foal are counting the days. Young stallions are sniffing the air, getting in the mood for their first rites of spring.And then there is California Chrome.Any other year, California Chrome would be winding down from four seasons of competition to be dealing with his first Kentucky winter, in his case at Taylor Made Farm in Nicholasville.But no, the 5-year-old chestnut with the road-stripe blaze is still hard at work at Los Alamitos, exercising each morning under the lights, giving Dihigi Gladney all he can handle in the irons as the father-son training team of Art and Alan Sherman looks on, calculating each stride as a step toward the $12 million Pegasus World Cup on Jan. 28.To that end, California Chrome will be turned loose Saturday afternoon for a practice session in full pads around the Los Alamitos oval he knows so well. Management has cobbled together a $100,000 stakes race and named it the Winter Challenge, even though it looks more like the Globetrotters vs. the Washington Generals.Normally, it would be all hands on deck with the California Chrome syndicate whenever its hero/ATM goes postward. The bitter taste of his noble loss to Arrogate in the Breeders Cup Classic still lingers, and the Winter Challenge figures to be a good way to at least partially cleanse the palate. Unfortunately, certain Christmas plans were set in stone long before the Sherman brain trust and Dr. Ed Allred of Los Alamitos put the race in play, so it will be Chrome and several thousand of his closest friends and fans gathered in Orange County on Saturday for carols and hot toddies.Mike and Linda Stinson are sick at heart over missing the race in person. Since becoming part of the California Chrome ownership group a year ago, they have been loyal camp followers, traveling far and wide from their Fort Worth, Texas, home to fly the flag.Our annual family Christmas function is on Saturday, Linda Stinson said this week. Its about to kill us to miss the race. But the party will stop to gather around the television to watch the race, count on that.The Stinsons have been married going on 44 years and racing fans together for just as long. Mike Stinsons career in banking and financial services has allowed them to own racehoorses of all creeds and colors, and one of them is Peppers Pride, the most famous Thoroughbred ever produced in the state of New Mexico. Jordan Bernstine Jersey Retro. She won all 19 of her races, the climax coming on Dec. 14, 2008, at Sunland Park. Upon her retirement, the Stinsons bought into her broodmare career with owner-breeder Joe Allen.Peppers Pride took up residence at Taylor Made, which is why it made perfect sense that Mike Stinson was on the shortlist of potential partners when the farm bought an interest in California Chrome. He confessed to being a Chromie from the start.First of all, I always thought there was more to this horses pedigree than people were willing to acknowledge up front, Stinson said. But before I even got to the pedigree, his 2-year-old races showed me a tactical high cruising speed, almost push-button style. And I just love that in a horse. When youve got speed, youve got options.When he turned 3, it just looked like as you stretched him out, that speed would be even more effective, Stinson added. I remember telling Frank Taylor before California Chrome ran in the Belmont, If there was any opportunity to do anything with the horse, count us in.Partnering with owner and co-breeder Perry Martin, the Taylors of Taylor Made formed a syndicate of investors who would be able to bring quality mares to the court of California Chrome. Certainly, the Stinsons qualified on that count with Peppers Pride, whose second foal, by Distorted Humor, named Punctuate, impressively won a Del Mar maiden race for Arnold and Ellen Zetcher.As a bonus, the new partners got a racing season to remember, with victories in the Dubai World Cup and Pacific Classic, three other major stakes, and that dramatic second in the Breeders Cup.It was assumed that Peppers Pride would be among the first group of mares bred to California Chrome next year -- once he has dealt with the Pegasus World Cup -- but recent events have put that decision on hold.She lost her foal about three weeks ago, Stinson said. It was a twisted umbilical chord, one of those odd things that happens. Fortunately, she will be healthy enough to breed next year.The foal was by American Pharoah.Whether she goes to him or Chrome, we dont know yet, Stinson said. Were guaranteed in the deal to go back to American Pharoah, so wed have to work that out.In the meantime, there is still work to be done on the racetrack.Its bittersweet, these last two races for Chrome, Linda Stinson said. But we could never have imagined the year hes given us. ' ' '