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The Pulse: New 2023 Mock Draft, USMNT’s Opportunities and CFP Chaos

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Good morning! Have we all calmed down from the USMNT game?

Mock draft SZN

Bryce Young rises

Before the season the debate was already settled: Bryce Young or CJ Stroud? If Dane Brugler’s latest mock draft, released this morning, is any indication that Young is the guy we’ll be seeing in a Texan uniform next year.

Interestingly, Stroud slid down the board a bit. The full list is worth a look, but I’ve picked the top 5 for us:

  • HOU: Bryce Young-QB, Alabama
  • CHI: Will Anderson-Edge, Alabama
  • DET: Jalen Carter – DT, Georgia
  • SEA: Myles Murphy – Edge, Clemson
  • CAR: CJ Stroud – QB, Ohio State

If Young and Anderson go 1-2, it will be the first time since 2000 that the top two draft picks have come from the same school. Courtney Brown and LaVar Arrington, both from Penn State, are your trivia answers.

It’s worth remembering that if this order holds, three of the top six picks will come via trade, perhaps none more impactful than the first round winner Philadelphia received from New Orleans in this year’s draft day mega trade. That pick is currently ranked 6th, and the Eagles are 10-1.

Full of mockery here. eat up

World Cupdate

So can the USMNT really beat the Oranje?

The Americans survived a white-knuckle, pelvic injury Affair yesterday against Iran to reach the round of 16 at the World Cup. It’s a significant achievement after missing out on the last World Cup and should inspire optimism for the future of the programme.

We will have enough time to celebrate the crew after the cup is over. Focus is on Saturday at 10am ETwhen the US men’s national team plays the Netherlands. And yes, the Americans can win. It might also be more doable than you think.

Two points:

  • US defenses were outstanding. Aside from a damning penalty against Wales that resulted in an easy goal from Gareth Bale, they haven’t conceded a goal, even in a fearsome English attack. The Dutch weren’t very productive and had an easier group than the Americans. It’s a good pairing.
  • Some of these opportunities need to be converted, right? The Americans have had so many chances in the last three games. Only two goals came through. As this team gains confidence – reminded they’re so, so young – it wouldn’t be surprising to see more shots.

However, the Dutch remain favourites, currently -250 at BetMGM. Most of our experts have also opted for the Oranje. It will be fascinating to see how the odds shift as Saturday approaches.

Paul Tenorio and Sam Stejskal have a great retelling of perhaps the most stressful nine minutes and 53 seconds in USMNT history. I am still captivated by it a day later.

Incidentally, Christian Pulisic says that despite the “pelvic bruise” he suffered to score the winning goal, he will play on Saturday. bless him


UAB is about to hire Dilfer
It’s understandable to look twice at this: UAB has targeted former NFL quarterback and current high school coach Trent Dilfer as the school’s next head coach, sources told The Athletic last night. Bryan Vincent has coached the Blazers all season with an interim title after longtime coach Bill Clark retired in the summer. Dilfer has had tremendous success at Lipscomb Academy in Nashville, where his team is currently 12-0 and playing for the state title tomorrow.

Tiger: Norman has to go
Presenting a united front with Rory McIlroy in a news conference yesterday, Tiger Woods said LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman “has to go” if the two companies have any chance of a friendly relationship in the future. You must also resolve this antitrust lawsuit.

December madness?

It’s all on TCU and USC now

We have new (and anticipated) top 4 in the College Football Playoff leaderboard:

1. Georgia
3. TCU

This feels right now. All four sides are playing this weekend and depending on 3rd and 4th place could keep within the top four when the field is set on Sunday. But if TCU or USC lose? The committee made a difficult decision:

  • who do you choose Ohio State — just waxed from Michigan — sits at No. 5, while Alabama — who hasn’t beaten anyone of importance this year — is hanging out at No. 6. To make matters even funnier, committee chairman Boo Corrigan said last night that “it’s not necessarily” that order will stand even if no team plays this weekend.

I’m guessing you’re voting the state of Ohio? The Buckeyes have one loss to Alabama’s two, so I’ll count that as solid logic and move on.

If USC and TCU both lose? Pray for our collective sanity as the online CFP lobbying wars between coaches and fanbases get hairy. Thankfully, David Ubben has broken down each scenario here.

pulse picks

Ken Rosenthal has another notebook with what he hears about the MLB free agent market, including the possibility of Wilson Contreras and the Astros finally getting together.

Club football has no patience with the World Cup. There are already many rumors about where Pulisic will end up in the January transfer window.

The latest in our NHL99 series: Zdeno Chara, the greatest player in NHL history to be kind of looked down on early in his career.

David Aldridge writes about Kristaps Porziņģis, who has become the key to the Wizards’ success.

Myles Turner somehow stays focused despite being a 6-11 trade rumor. Law Murray caught up with the young center.

(Photo: Gary Cosby Jr./USA Today)