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Creating a college football ‘Super League’: These 15 schools would make the cut in 2021

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Creating a college football 'Super League': These 15 schools would make the cut in 2021

What would a college football Super League look like?  

That’s been the question since news of a 15-team European soccer league broke out last weekend. For college football, a Super League would have to be based on four “R’s”: revenue, relevance, rings and recruiting.

We at Sporting News attempted to form our own 15-team Super League using the following criteria:

  • Revenue (scored 15-1): Money talks. Which programs generate the most money? They would be ranked from 1-15, with the top program receiving 15 points. This would be updated every year. 
  • Record (scored 15-1): What is your program’s record the last 10 seasons? The top 15 FBS schools in winning percentage would be listed, with the top program receiving 15 points.
  • Rings (scored 15-1): When did your school win its last national championship? The last 15 schools would receive points on a 15-1 scale, with Alabama, the most-recent national champion, getting 15 points.  
  • NFL Draft picks (scored 15-1): You could counter-balance this with NCAA graduation rates, but the number of NFL Draft picks would be ranked on that same 15-1 scale from the last 10 drafts.  

You could use those four factors to move schools in and out of the league every year. After all, Notre Dame, Georgia and Penn State haven’t won a national championship in the last 30 seasons. Boise State and Appalachian State have room to slip in based on high winning percentages. 

Imagine watching the NFL Draft for relegation purposes. Teams could then be rewarded with points based on championship and championship appearances within the Super League.  

Imagine a coin flip to decide the 15th team. That formula isn’t perfect, but this is college football after all. As you’ll see, this formula isn’t about regionalism at all.  

With that in mind, a look at the 15 teams in Sporting News Super League ranked from top to bottom: 

(SN/Getty)

Sporting News’ College Football Super League 

1. Alabama (52)  

The Crimson Tide rank first in national championships, NFL Draft picks and winning percentage. They are one of five SEC schools in the league.  

2. Ohio State (49.5)  

The Buckeyes have dominated the Big Ten and are the only Super League team that ranks in the top five in every category.  

3. LSU (41.5)  

The Tigers’ 2020 national championship and high volume of NFL Draft picks would keep them in the top five for the foreseeable future, but there is competition within the SEC.  

4. Clemson (38)  

The Tigers would be the model for programs that want to be in the Super League, because they would not have been here during the BCS era. The Tigers are not a huge revenue-generator, but they have the on-field success.  

5. Georgia (34)  

The Bulldogs rank second in revenue, and they back that up with strong showings in winning percentage and NFL Draft picks. That compensates for the national championship drought that dates back to 1980.  

kirby smart 081818 getty
Getty Images

6. Oklahoma (33.5)  

The Sooners are one of two Big 12 programs in the Super League, and this ranking is accurate given the consistent success tempered by the inability to win a College Football Playoff semifinal.  

7. Notre Dame (25)  

This is the right spot for the Irish, a program that hasn’t won a national championship since 1988 but has managed top-five revenue with a top-10 winning percentage. Let’s see how Notre Dame does in this conference.  

t8. Texas (23)  

The Longhorns rank first in revenue, which compensates for no points in NFL Draft production or winning percentage. That could be fixed with being the lone Texas school represented in the Super League.  

t8. Florida (23)  

The Gators are outside the top 15 in winning percentage, but they are the highest ranked team of the three major FBS schools in Florida. Few would disagree with that assessment heading into 2021.  

t10. Michigan (20)  

College football’s winningest program ranks third in revenue, but they are not among the top 15 schools in winning percentage the last decade. Is Michigan worthy of the Super League? That would be trending every Saturday.  

mike norvell 092920 getty
(Getty Images)

t10. Florida State (20)  

The Seminoles might not have the revenue now, but they won the last national championship in the BCS era and have proven they can put together rosters flush with NFL talent.  

12. Auburn (19)  

The Tigers are the fifth SEC school on the list, and this would be the spot that schools such as Texas A&M and Tennessee would be chasing.  

13. Miami (14.5)  

“The U” made it despite not placing in the top 15 in revenue or winning percentage. They are a unicorn on this list as a result, but for now all three Florida powers are in the Super League. That’s good for television.  

14. Penn State (12)  

The Nittany Lions rank sixth in revenue, and they would be on the bubble any given year given the program’s last national championship was 1986.  

15. USC (11.5)  

The Trojans are the lone Pac-12 representative in the Super League, and their spot is tenuous given the competition behind them. USC still produces enough NFL talent to be relevant, but the Pete Carroll heyday is fading quickly.

clay helton 12032019 getty
(Getty Images)

First Five out  

Boise State (11) 

The Broncos missed the cut by 0.5 points as the next four out. A Group of 5 school’s odds would be slim, but they have a better chance of being in the Super League than they do the College Football Playoff.  

Wisconsin (10) 

The Badgers would be in the mix on any given year based on their winning percentage and NFL Draft production, but this accounts for the program’s inability to win a national championship.  

Nebraska (8.5)  

The Huskers still rank in the top 15 in revenue, but they can no longer live off those 1990s national championships. 

Appalachian State (8)  

Could you imagine the rise from FCS powerhouse to Super League Cinderella?  

Tennessee (8)  

The Vols would be the highest-ranked SEC schools outside of the Super League. Who is going to argue they belong based on the 21st century?  

Super League scores  

RANK SCHOOL TOTAL
1 Alabama 52
2 Ohio State 49.5
6 LSU 41.5
3 Clemson 38
5 Georgia 34
4 Oklahoma 33.5
7 Notre Dame 25
8 Texas 23
9 Florida 23
10 Michigan 20
11 Florida State 20
12 Auburn 19
13 Miami 14.5
14 Penn State 12
15 USC 11.5
16 Boise State 11
17 Wisconsin 10
18 Nebraska 8.5
19 Appalachian State 8
20 Tennessee 8
21 Stanford 7
22 Oregon 6
23 Oklahoma State 3
24 Washington 2

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Twitter reacts to Russell Westbrook’s NBA-record 182nd career triple-double

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Twitter reacts to Russell Westbrook's NBA-record 182nd career triple-double

Russell Westbrook made history Monday night, notching his 182nd career triple-double — and moving past Oscar Robertson for the all-time NBA record.

Robertson’s record lasted 47 years, from 1974 through Monday night when a fourth-quarter rebound in front of a reduced-capacity crowd in Atlanta gave Westbrook sole possession of the record. It took him 12 years to surpass Robertson’s record after he achieved his first triple-double (17 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds) in 2009 as a rookie with the Thunder.

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Monday’s triple-double was Westbrook’s 36th of the year. That insane output is helping him average, for the fourth time in his career, a triple-double over the course of the season. The previous such campaigns came in 2016-17 through 2018-19.

Westbrook finished with 28 points, 21 assists and 13 rebounds in the Wizards’ 125-124 loss to the Hawks; the loss dropped Washington to 32-37 on the season, but the team still ranks 10th in the Eastern Conference standings. The Wizards’ playoff hopes pale in comparison to the history Westbrook made, however.

He even made sure to get the game ball from officials so he could be certain to commemorate the historic achievement.

Here are some of the best reactions to Westbrook’s history-making feat:

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Kenny Mayne’s ESPN cover letter was perfect precursor to his incredible career

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Kenny Mayne's ESPN cover letter was perfect precursor to his incredible career

ESPN’s Kenny Mayne, one of the most recognizable talents in sports broadcasting, is leaving the network, he announced on Monday.

The 27-year ESPN anchor broke the news on Twitter, describing his exit from the worldwide leader in sports as a “salary cap casualty.” Naturally, he could only include some of the dry humor that helped him become a beloved presence in the studio and on millions of sports fans’ TVs.

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The longtime “SportsCenter” host’s final day will be on May 24, bringing to an end a 27-year stint at ESPN that began in 1994. His absence will undoubtedly be noted among fans who appreciated his humor and presence in ESPN’s studios — but his Monday announcement is as good a reason as any to remember the incredible cover letter that first landed him the gig in 1994.

Mayne sent a short and sweet cover letter to ESPN’s John Walsh in 1994, offering him three checkboxes in the former’s bid to land a job with ESPN:

Unsurprisingly, Mayne made Walsh smile. Walsh wouldn’t be the last person to smile at Mayne’s humor and creativity.

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Jaylen Brown injury update: Celtics star out for rest of season with torn wrist ligament

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Jaylen Brown injury update: Celtics star out for rest of season with torn wrist ligament

The Celtics will have to fight for a playoff spot without one of their most important players.

Boston announced Monday night that All-Star forward Jaylen Brown has suffered a torn scapholunate ligament in his left wrist and will miss the rest of the 2020-21 season. He is expected to undergo surgery later this week.

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The Celtics offered no specific timetable for Brown’s return to the court, but as The Athletic’s Jared Weiss noted, Boston guard Romeo Langford suffered the same injury last year and took about six months to recover. If Brown stays roughly on that timeline, he should be available to rejoin the lineup for the start of the 2021-22 campaign.

Brown dealt with injury and COVID-19 issues throughout the season, but the 24-year-old still managed to earn his first All-Star selection with some of the best individual numbers of his career. He averaged a career-high 24.7 points per game while shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 39.7 percent from 3-point range.

Without Brown available, Boston will rely heavily on Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker to produce offensively. The Celtics will also need more from trade deadline acquisition Evan Fournier, who most recently scored 30 points in a loss to the Heat on Sunday — his highest scoring output since joining the team.

Even if other players step up in Brown’s absence, the Celtics, currently the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference standings, are unlikely to make a deep run in the 2021 NBA playoffs. They would face an uphill battle in a potential first-round series against the 76ers, Nets or Bucks, the top three seeds in the Eastern Conference.

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