(Photo: USA TODAY Sports) Alabama vs. Texas A&M is the most-anticipated college football game of the season The other matchup of ranked opponents will be in Lincoln, where Nebraska hosts UCLA Texas tries to bounce back from last week in a test vs. Mississippi, and Tennessee travels to Oregon SHARE 20 CONNECT 29 TWEET 4 COMMENTEMAILMORE The wait is over. The most-anticipated college football game of the season is finally here. Ten months after Texas A&M stunned Alabama in Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide will pay a visit to College Station and face the team that nearly knocked them out of national title contention. RANKING: Week 3’s top 10 games Alabama must figure out how to stop Johnny Manziel and the Aggies offense that tore through them early last year. With the entire offseason to prepare, we’ll see if Nick Saban has come up with a way to slow down the Heisman Trophy winner. Though the stakes are high for this game, it is important to note that Alabama last season was able to overcome a loss to make its way to the BCS title game . The loser isn’t out of it. But the winner sure gets a big boost on the way to Pasadena. The other matchup of ranked opponents will be in Lincoln, where Nebraska hosts UCLA.
154 Smile: USA ranks 17th among world’s happiest countries Kim Painter, Special for USA TODAY 6:39 p.m. EDT September 9, 2013 Happiness scores rose worldwide, but not in the USA or countries hit hard by economic and political upheaval. The United States ranks 17th for happiness in a new report. Factors such as freedom and social support play a role in the rankings. (Photo: Getty Images/Brand X Pictures) Story Highlights Happiest: Denmark and other northern European countries Unhappiest: Togo and several other African nations U.S. ranks 17th, behind Canada, ahead of France and Japan SHARE 2297 CONNECT 335 TWEET 154 COMMENTEMAILMORE Something to smile about? Americans are not the happiest people on earth, but we do rank a respectable No. 17, among 156 countries evaluated for a new United Nations report. The second annual World Happiness Report , released Monday, finds the highest levels of happiness in Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden, all in northern Europe. The lowest ranked were Rwanda, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Benin and Togo, all in Africa. The report, from the U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network, is based on how people around the world rate their overall satisfaction with life, not just on how they feel at any moment.
Portland vs. Chivas USA second match preview – Timbers hope to continue momentum towards playoff push
With the team sharing Stub Hub Center with the Los Angeles Galaxy in one of the better facilities in MLS, the team hasn’t been able to establish much of an identity in one of the largest MLS markets especially amongst the varied demographics in Southern California that should normally embrace a club that is associated with a legendary Mexican soccer team. We’ve not heard much about plans to sell the team , but knowing MLS, I’m sure the league is keeping a very close eye on the situation to ensure that there is stability on the forefront or at least the appearance otherwise. Attendance is still a huge concern, but the on-the-pitch results have been improving slight. Chivas USA can point to a big 3 to 2 win over the New York Red Bulls on August 25 at home, a draw with Vancouver on September 1 in B.C. Place, and a win over D.C. United 1 to 0 at home on September 8 to show they are capable of producing good results at points. However, they’ve also produced several frustrating streaks of futility that have them sitting at the bottom of the MLS Western Conference without hope for the postseason . The stretches of ineptitude cost Jose Sanchez Sola or “El Chelis as he’s more commonly known his job as he was replaced by Jose Luis Real, who was already serving as the technical director for Chivas Guadalajara and Chivas USA . View full size Diego Valeri was a constant threat to Chivas USA and frequently had two defenders marking him in the May match, but with him dealing with an adductor strain, his availability for the road match could be limitedRick Curwen, community blogger The organization hasn’t shaken the full impacts of their dysfunction, as there is still a standing discrimination lawsuit from two former academy coaches on the books. The attention grew more significantly when HBO’s Real Sports did an extended expose on these allegations, including interviews with former players and a confused, attempted rebuttal from the organization that prompted more questions than provided answers . The improved results on the scoreboard have lessened some of the pressure, but there are still plenty of questions about what direction this team is really headed in. They’ve got one of the best goalkeepers in the business, Dan Kennedy, on the roster plus several quality players, such as midfielders Carlos Alvarez, Eric Avila and Edgar Mejia. There is also excitement about the newly signed forward Erick Torres, who has scored seven goals in nine appearances since joining Chivas USA, plus the impending return of midfielder Jorge Villafana who has returned to training after suffering a toe injury.