RealClearSports Newsletters: RCS Weekend Warmup

Labor Day College Football Extravaganza

Labor Day College Football Extravaganza
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Welcome to the RealClearSports Weekend Warmup!

The doldrums of summer are ending, and it's finally heading into the time of year when the sports landscape is filled with more than just hollow debate shows on cable TV. The MLB wild card race is heating up, college football has officially begun, and the NFL preseason schedule has been completed as we transition toward the regular season.

This is also the time of year for fantasy football drafts aplenty, and RCS editor Cory Gunkel has put together a list of his Top 10 Fantasy Football Tips to help you win your league and reign supreme over your friends and co-workers.

College Football

There's no easing into the college football season this year as an enticing slate of matchups this weekend will have big impact on the College Football Playoff.

The premier game is one of the most anticipated match-ups of the season: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 3 Florida State inside the newly finished Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Saturday (8 p.m. ET on ABC).

The undercard to this heavyweight fight also features duels between non-conference powers. Maryland looks to build on mild success last season when D.J. Durkin's squad travels to face a Texas team with a new face on the sideline in first-year head coach Tom Herman (Saturday, Noon ET on FS1). Later on Saturday, No. 17 Florida and No. 11 Michigan will tangle in Arlington, Texas (3:30 p.m. ET on ABC), and No. 13 LSU and BYU will face off inside New Orleans' Superdome (9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN) after the game was moved from Houston's NRG Stadium in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

On Sunday, UCLA hosts Texas A&M in Los Angeles (7:30 p.m. on Fox), while No. 21 Virginia Tech and No. 22 West Virginia will square off in Landover, Md., at FedEx Field (7:30 p.m. on ABC).

The Labor Day weekend schedule concludes on Monday, when No. 25 Tennessee faces the powerful triple option of Georgia Tech in Atlanta (8 p.m. ET on ESPN).

U.S. Open

In Flushing Meadows, the tennis action is only beginning to heat up at the U.S. Open. Friday's third-round coverage begins on ESPN (1-6 p.m. ET) before concluding in prime time on ESPN2 (6-11 p.m. ET) with Americans Venus Williams, John Isner, and Sam Querrey in action. Catch Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer, and Maria Sharapova during Saturday’s play on ESPN (11 a.m.-11 p.m. ET) and Sunday’s Round of 16 coverage on ESPN (11 a.m.-7 p.m. ET) and ESPN2 (7-11 p.m. ET).

MLB

The race for the AL East crown remains close and once again the baseball world turns its focus to the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. On Friday in the Bronx, Sonny Gray takes on the Red Sox’s Doug Fister (7 p.m. ET on MLB Network). Saturday the Yanks will throw Masahiro Tanaka vs. the BoSox’s Drew Pomeranz (1 p.m. ET on MLBN). The series closes with Boston’s AL Cy Young hopeful Chris Sale going against New York’s Luis Severino (8 p.m. ET on ESPN).

Soccer

As the club season pauses for an International Break, the United States faces a pair of must-win games in World Cup qualifying. Sitting in third place in the CONCACAF Hexagonal standings, Bruce Arena's squad needs a win Friday night against Costa Rica (6:55 p.m. ET on ESPN or Univision). Any dropped points will ratchet-up the pressure on the Americans ahead of a Tuesday, Sept. 5, clash from San Pedro Sula with Honduras (5:30 p.m. ET on beIN SPORTS).

PGA Tour

The second weekend of the FedEx Cup Playoffs gives us a rare Friday-Monday schedule. The world's top golfers descend upon Norton, Mass., for the Dell Technologies Championship at TPC Boston with opening round coverage Friday and Saturday on Golf Channel (2:30-6:30 p.m. ET). Early coverage Sunday continues on Golf Channel (1-3 p.m. ET) before NBC grabs the baton (3-6 p.m. ET). Labor Day’s final round coverage starts on Golf Channel (11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET) before finishing on NBC (1:30-6 p.m. ET).

On This Day

On this date in 2006, Roger Goodell officially began his tenure as commissioner of the National Football League. And while the league has experienced some fantastic growth since then, the NFL also has experienced numerous scandals -- with Goodell now a punching bag and one of the most scorned figures in all of professional sports.

Check RealClearSports.com throughout the weekend for coverage of college football’s glorious return, NFL final-cut day, the baseball playoff races and more. Follow us on Twitter @RealClearSports and join the conversation on Facebook.

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