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Oregon vs. Auburn stage just got bigger and better with ESPN GameDay

Oregon vs. Auburn stage just got bigger and better with ESPN GameDay

Are you ready for a day long dose of the Ducks on August 31? ESPN’s College GameDay will open the football season on Aug. 31 at Sundance Square in Fort Worth, Texas to preview that night’s marquee matchup between Oregon and Auburn in the Advocare Classic at AT&T Stadium.

Oregon’s 25 GameDay appearances ranks ninth all time in total appearances.  It also is the third time for a game in AT&T Stadium.

The national attention continues for the game on ABC’s Saturday Night Football broadcast with a 4:30 p.m. PT kickoff.

44 days away from the polarizing matchup, the Ducks are the projected underdog, but I predict Oregon will emerge from probable top-15 battle as the victors.

Optimism is high for Oregon football’s 2019 season and beating the Tigers will essentially make or break the team’s College Football Playoff hopes. A win sends the Ducks and the Pac-12 Conference into national relevancy, and a loss initiates an uphill fight; no team has ever rebounded from a week one loss to make the final field of four.

Oregon is 14-10 all-time in games in which College GameDay is in attendance, six losses on the road or in neutral site games. Last season, the Ducks lost both their games in which GameDay was in attendance (Stanford, Washington State). Auburn’s record is 9-9 when College GameDay visits the site its games, last winning during the 2017 Iron Bowl.

It’s the first meeting between these teams since Auburn’s 22-19 win in the BCS National Championship game in 2011.

Trail Blazers almost crack ESPN's Top 10 in 'Watchability'

Trail Blazers almost crack ESPN's Top 10 in 'Watchability'

ESPN, specifically Zach Lowe and and Bill Simmons released their annual NBA League Pass "Watchability" rankings for all the NBA teams. This is essentially their take on ranking teams based on how entertianing of a watch they will be on TV this season. 

Here is how they scored the teams:

"Teams are awarded between one and 10 points in five categories:

Zeitgeist: Will normies care about this team? Will talking about them get you anywhere at parties?
Highlight probability: Does any player make you linger just in case he does something special?
Style: Are they fun to watch? Do they embrace any unconventional strategies?
League Pass minutia: When choosing between blah matchups on a Tuesday in February, when a third of the league has been effectively eliminated, pleasing uniforms and commentary can win the day.
Unintentional comedy: Blame Simmons."

The Blazers came in ranked #12 on the list. 

Lowe says "perfectly acceptable basketball" and Damian Lillard's insane two-week stretch he puts together every season as the justification for the ranking. CJ's ankle breakers also get some love. 

[RELATED: A staple of Stotts' offense -- Horns]

The lack of fastbreaks and dunks in the Trail Blazer offense kept them from cracking the Top 10. 

You can of course watch the Trail Blazers right here on NBC Sports Northwest all season long if you're in the Portland market. If you're outside of Trail Blazer territory, fire up your league pass and get ready for some Dame and CJ all season long. 

Arkansas wins College World Series, except, they didn’t

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USA Today

Arkansas wins College World Series, except, they didn’t

The Arkansas Razorbacks beat the Oregon State Beavers in Game 2 to win the 2018 College World Series… in some alternate universe.

Twitter was on fire on Tuesday night when ESPN changed their webpage to congratulate the Razorbacks. The only problem - the game wasn't over yet.

At the time it was the top of the ninth inning and Arkansas had a 3-2 lead. However, in true Beavers fashion, Cadyn Grenier would hit a single to tie the ballgame with two outs and Trevor Larnach would follow him with a two-run shot to right field to give the Beavers the 5-3 lead.

The Beavers pulled off the miracle win to force a winner-take-all game on Wednesday. 

In baseball terms, if ESPN's homepage were a pitch it would be "just a bit outside"

Chip Kelly is returning to football... as an analyst

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Chip Kelly is returning to football... as an analyst

Chip Kelly has finally landed a gig. This time though looks a little different... Want to see more of Chip Kelly's iconic TV interviews? Well now you can. Former Oregon Ducks head football coach and NFL Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly will be joing the ESPN staff as a college football analyst on Saturday's and appearing on SportsCenter to provide NFL analysis on Sunday's.

"I spoke with a lot of people this offseason about different situations for me — in coaching and TV," Kelly said in a statement. "I had various opportunities in both. In the end, I have had a relationship with ESPN for many years from when I was coaching and after speaking with them, I decided it was the best step for me to take."

Kelly, who was with the Oregon Ducks from 2009-2012, accumluated a 46-7 record and lead them to a Rose Bowl victory in 2011 and a Fiesta Bowl victory in 2012 before heading the NFL. His three-year NFL coaching career with the Philadelphia Eagles (2013-2015) came to a hault after recording 10-6, 10-6, and 6-9 seasons. Kelly then made his way to the Bay to coach the 49ers for just one season after going 2-14. 

Be sure to check out this article for more information on the move.

Mark Helfrich gives candid interview with ESPN radio

Mark Helfrich gives candid interview with ESPN radio

The now former head coach of the Oregon Ducks joined ESPN’S Russillo and Kanell for his first public interview since he was fired earlier this week.

As the university continues its search for a new coach, Helfrich is left to wonder what might have been. Could he have turned the program around? Was the 4-8 season just a blip on the radar? We will never know.  But what better way to understand the situation than to hear from Helfrich himself. Here are a few of the takeaways from the interview:

-Feeling like he was coaching for his job in the Civil War – “That’s kind of a week to week deal in our existence, and that’s kind of the mode we were in the last month or two…Nobody’s safe in this business.”

-Future of Oregon the program: “Whoever ends up being the coach here is going to inherit a very talented team”

-Challenges of being at Oregon now versus 10 years ago: “The uniform thing…has caught on everywhere else. Everybody is doing that in some way, shape, or form. The facilities in the conference, and nationally…there’s an ongoing battle to one-up everybody…People go elsewhere and are sometimes equally ‘wowed’ as when they came to Eugene.”

-What he thinks Oregon should do now: "I thought they had a pretty good situation going, but obviously they disagreed."

- Chip Kelly hating recruiting: “That’s a fact. Don’t know if he hated recruiting, but disliked, strong dislike.”

- Oregon’s press release: “We gave everything to this place. Little disappointed for sure, but nothing I’ll think twice about”

- Calling Chip Kelly: “I just wanted to let him know that to take our personal relationship out of it in every shape and form if he wanted to consider this”

- Why he chose to call Kelly: "It was probably more selfishly than anything. When you start thinking about your assistants and your support staff, if he were to come back, some of those people would be saved…Just trying to take our personal relationship out of it, remove me from the equation, and let him think of it that way."

-His coaching future: “I don’t know. Had a few conversations with different people for…as a head coach, as an assistant, a couple NFL things. I don’t really know at this point. Got a few things going on… again, just trying to help out the guys that helped me out so much; our assistants and our support staff.”

You can listen to the entire interview here