🏈 Cutdown day: All 32 NFL teams must trim their 90-man offseason rosters down to 53 players by 4pm ET today. Track the movement here.
⚾️ Bizarre scene: Two fans accosted Ronald Acuña Jr. in the outfield on Monday, hugging the Braves superstar and inadvertently tackling him to the ground before security detained them.
🏀 Heavyweight clash: The Liberty beat the Aces, 94-85, on Monday, as New York (28-7) pulled within 1.5 games of Vegas (30-6) in the race for the No. 1 playoff seed.
⚾️ 20 games below: With their 4-1 loss to the Padres on Monday, the Cardinals fell to 20 games under .500 for the first time since 1995.
SMU'S HAIL MARY
SMU once came undone due to booster money. 40 years later, can the Mustangs come back because of it? Yahoo Sports' Dan Wetzel dives in...
The wild spending of aggressive, wealthy SMU football boosters once killed the program — via a literal "death penalty." That was the 1980s, when local businessmen kept buying talented recruits.
Now the businessmen are back — a new generation at least — trying to save the program before a final churn of conference realignment leaves the prideful Mustangs behind forever.
Give SMU backers this much: four decades ago, they never blinked at the price of a running back and they sure aren't blinking now at the far steeper cost of conference realignment. This time it could cost $200 million.
What we're hearing: SMU, which is currently a member of the AAC, is so desperate to get into a Power 5 league that it is willing to join the ACC for free (or close to it).
In a proposal that will likely be voted on today, SMU could receive an ACC membership offer that calls for the Dallas-based school to receive no media rights revenue for seven to nine years, sources told Yahoo Sports' Ross Delenger.
In an era when everyone is jumping leagues to get more money, SMU is willing to get no money because its monied alums are willing to cover the loss. Money is, literally, not an issue.
The stakes: The NCAA Death Penalty caused SMU to shut down for the 1987 and 1988 seasons. It's never recovered. This is probably the program's last chance to be a player in big-time football again.
[SMU boosters] already went big on an NIL deal that assured each player about $36,000 a year in base deals, with plenty more for stars. Expect SMU to spend millions more.
It's all checkbooks on deck now. There is no time to waste. If in five years, SMU is a national player again, and somehow, some way, it survives the next round of realignment, then it will be worth it.
The other dominoes... SMU isn't the only school being linked to the ACC. Stanford and Cal are also considering forgoing a majority of revenue distribution to join the conference after the Pac-12's seismic implosion.
JULIO, M'S STAY RED-HOT
On August 15, the Mariners were 7.5 games out of first place. 14 days later, they hold a a one-game lead atop the AL West.
Seattle blanked Oakland, 7-0, on Monday to win its fourth straight game and 12th game in 13 tries.
Julio Rodríguez had four hits (including a homer), the fifth time he's recorded 4+ hits in his last 10 games (!!!).
Stat to know: Rodríguez has 28 hits in his last 10 games, the most by any player in a 10-game span since Kenny Lofton in 1997.
AL West: This should be a fun race to the finish…
Rangers, 74-57 (1 GB)
Astros, 75-58 (1 GB)
Angels, 63-69 (12.5 GB)
Athletics, 38-94 (37.5 GB)
Texas can't close... The Rangers spent 140 days with at least a share of first place until Sunday. Part of the reason they've been surpassed by Seattle? They have as many blown saves (25) as converted ones.
PREDICTIONS: HEISMAN, CFP FINAL FOUR
Who will win the national championship in the final season with a four-team playoff? Will Caleb Williams win back-to-back Heismans? Our experts make their picks above.
Betting favorites, via BetMGM:
Title odds: Georgia (+225), Alabama (+600), Ohio State (+700), Michigan (+800), LSU (+1200), USC (+1400), FSU (+1800), Clemson (+1800), Texas (+2000), Penn State (+2200) ... See more
+ More CFB: Jim Harbaugh renews call for players to be paid (Yahoo)
PHOTO OF THE DAY
MADRID — Hundreds marched in protest against Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales on Tuesday, demanding he resign after he forcibly kissed Women's World Cup star Jenni Hermoso during the on-field trophy ceremony.
The fallout: 11 national team coaches have already quit in protest, and 81 players are refusing to play until Rubiales resigns. Thus far, he has refused to do so and maintains the kiss was consensual.
THE ONE RULE COACHES WOULD CHANGE (AND I WOULDN'T)
If you could change one on-court rule for Division I men's college basketball, what would it be? CBS Sports asked over 100 D-I coaches that exact question.
The top three responses:
28% said they would allow teams in the final two minutes to advance the ball past halfcourt by calling a timeout (like the NBA). "More exciting, more strategies involved."
21% said they would adopt a 24-second shot clock (down from 30 seconds). "It would make our game faster ... Instead of set-happy micromanaging coaches."
20% said they would ditch two halves for four quarters. "There needs to be uniformity across the game. I would go to quarters to get on the same page as all other leagues."
My take: If the NCAA Men's Basketball Rules Committee listens to the 28% of coaches who want to adopt this rule, I may start a riot.
None of these iconic moments would have happened if Duke, Villanova and Gonzaga could have simply called timeout and inbounded from 35 feet instead of 94.
CBS Sports' Matt Norlander agrees... "Nowhere else in major American sports does a team get to advance its possession/scoring objective without resistance from (or by fault of) its opponent. It is inherently a gimmick ... It's done for TV, most of all."
BIG TEN NICKNAMES, RANKED
Rankings are a big part of sports, whether they're objective (stat leaders) or subjective (best sports movies). So naturally, each edition of Yahoo Sports AM will include a "Daily Ranking."
To celebrate college football's return, we're ranking the nicknames of each team by Power Five conference. Yesterday was the SEC. Today, we've got the Big Ten.
Big Ten nicknames, ranked:
Buckeyes (Ohio State)
Golden Gophers (Minnesota)
Nittany Lions (Penn State)
Scarlet Knights (Rutgers)
Spartans (Michigan State)
Coming up: We'll hit the Big 12 tomorrow, Pac-12 on Thursday and ACC on Friday.
AUG. 29, 1974: MOSES TURNS PRO
49 years ago today, high school phenom Moses Malone signed with the ABA's Utah Stars*, becoming the first basketball player to jump directly from high school to the pros.
Blazing a trail: One year later, Darryl Dawkins (76ers) and Bill Willoughby (Hawks) became the first of 41 high schoolers drafted into the NBA. The remaining 39 all came between 1995 and 2005, when the league and union agreed to a rule change requiring draftees to be at least one year removed from high school, ushering in the one-and-done era.
🎾 1968: Billie Jean King beat Vija Vuskains, a tournament alternate who was also a dentist, in the first-ever U.S. Open match.
⚾️ 1977: Lou Brock stole two bases to pass Ty Cobb as MLB's all-time leader. He'd end his career with 938, a total eclipsed only by Rickey Henderson (1,406).
*Fun fact: The Stars were the first major professional basketball team to use a pre-game shootaround.
WATCHLIST: ROUND 1 CONTINUES
Round 1 of the U.S. Open continues today, with 64 singles matches spread out across the day (11am ET, ESPN/ESPN2/ESPN+).
Who to watch: John Isner (11am), Andy Murray (11 a.m.) and No. 3 Jessica Pegula (12pm) are in action early, with No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz (7pm) and Venus Williams (7 p.m.) headlining the night session.
More to watch:
🏀 FIBA World Cup: Group stage (8 a.m., ESPN+) … Talent-rich Canada takes on Latvia, which stunned and eliminated France, at 9:30 a.m.
Mookie Betts is just the second player in MLB history to hit at least 35 home runs out of the leadoff spot in consecutive seasons.
Question: Who's the other player?
Hint: He did it as a Yankee this century.
Answer at the bottom.
IF A VIEW IS OBSTRUCTED, MICHAEL WILL FIND IT
Michael Barker (@CFBcampustour) has seen a game at all 133 FBS college football stadiums. He's seen where not to see them, too.
I love this guy ... As part of his stadium visits, Barker looks for seats with obstructed views (is USC serious with this?) and proceeds to take what I can only describe as my new favorite photos on the internet.
— College Football Campus Tour (@CFBcampustour) August 27, 2023