AUSTIN, TX – SEPTEMBER 04: Texas Longhorns mascot Bevo XV is seen during the game between the Texas Longhorns and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on September 4, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)Each year of the College Football Playoff, since its inception in 2014, has brought at least one team that had never made the field previously. Even with the small group from which Playoff teams have come, that trend is yet to break.In 2014, Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, and Ohio State made the field, with the Buckeyes taking home the title that year. Since then, six other teams have made their debut.2015 brought Clemson, which has made the field every year since, Michigan State, and Oklahoma. In 2016, Washington made the field, 2017 brought Georgia, and this past season, Notre Dame made its playoff debut.Of course, there’s no guarantee that the trend will continue in 2019, but if it does, we have some interesting candidates to make their first playoff run. Sports Illustrated college football analyst Andy Staples was asked about 2019’s top College Football Playoff “dark horses” in his mailbag column.He identified four potential CFB powers that could break through.Two are from the Big Ten, and could use Urban Meyer’s retirement to their advantage: Michigan and Penn State. Staples mentions Meyer in his write-ups for both teams:The departure of Urban Meyer from Ohio State doesn’t mean the Buckeyes won’t continue to rule the Big Ten, but it does mean there is an opportunity for someone else to take command. Penn State could be that team.[…]The way the Wolverines ended the season makes them feel farther from the playoff than they actually are. They’ll probably have to solve the Buckeyes to get there, but with Meyer gone, that might tilt the balance of power. Michigan brings back a lot of production and will be led by a senior quarterback (Shea Patterson).After last season’s Sugar Bowl win over Georgia, it looks like Texas may, finally, be back. Staples also has the longhorns listed in his column:The Longhorns beat Oklahoma in the regular season and then creamed Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, and they bring back a lot of the players—specifically quarterback Sam Ehlinger and receiver Collin Johnson—who helped create a renaissance in 2018. They’ll get a chance to prove they belong in the playoff conversation early with a visit from LSU on Sept. 7, but their candidacy likely will come down to how they play against the Sooners in Dallas and (they hope) in Arlington.Staples has two more dark horses listed in his write-up. Head to Sports Illustrated for the full column.
President Sirisena thanked the MCC for selecting Sri Lanka for assisting under the Threshold Programme and recalled that the US has been assisting Sri Lanka for several decades starting with the help provided for preparation of a Feasibility Report for Mahaweli Hydro Electric project as early as in 1950s. “Today it is Sri Lanka’s biggest multipurpose project,” he said. The United States Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has selected Sri Lanka for its Threshold Programme, under which assistance will be provided for selected projects.The MCC Chief Executive Officer, Ms Dana J Hyde called on President Maithripala Sirisena at the Loews Regency Hotel in the US and stated that the MCC team is already in Sri Lanka for the preparation of a feasibility report, which will be presented to the MCC Board of Directors in December 2016. The Board will, then, decide on the projects to be implemented in Sri Lanka, she said. The CEO added that the MCC will assist several projects to assist the realization of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Ms Hyde congratulated for the achievements of the government during the last one and a half year period and said that the world recognizes the tremendous achievements made by the government.Ministers Arjuna Ranatunge, Gayantha Karunathilake, Deputy Minister Ajith Perera and Permanent Representative Rohan Perera and Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam also participated in the discussion. (Colombo Gazette)