1st Down: The United States women’s soccer team will be headed to the 2024 Olympics in Paris following their 1-0 victory in the final of the CONCACAF W Championship on Monday night against Canada. Canada, of course, are the defending Olympic champions and ousted the Americans in the semis of that competition, so the win will be a little bit sweeter as a result of that prior outcome. The sides were equal until the last 15 minutes when Rose Lavalle drew a penalty that Alex Morgan dispatched with 12 minutes remaining. The Americans will now head to France while Canada will be forced to take on Jamaica for a spot in a year’s time. Both teams, by virtue of their group stage dominance, also qualified for the next Women’s World Cup.
2nd Down: There will be, apparently, no partnership between the 12 conferences, according to the latest reports. Sources indicate that the Pac-12 and Big 12 had been talking, in a preliminary way, about teaming up due to the latest changes in conference alignment, but that has gone out the window for good now. The idea was that the two would merge fully, with any other ideas said to not be viable. However, the Big 12 ultimately decided not to go on with the plan as they didn’t feel it was financially viable enough to go through with. The Pac-12 has just two years to go on its media rights deal, meaning there is a real possibility that more schools could be behind UCLA and USC in going elsewhere.
3rd Down: If the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday night is tied after nine innings, there will be no tie. There will also not be extra innings played. Instead, the tiebreaker will be a Home Run Derby in which three participants from each team get three swings apiece to determine the outcome. That is the news that emerged on Monday as it became known that more home run derby swings could be made if the AL and NL find themselves deadlocked. Brian Snitker picked Pete Alonso, Ronald Acuna, Jr., and Kyle Schwarber for the National League while the American League, led by Dusty Baker, pegged Julio Rodriguez, Kyle Tucker, and Ty France just in case it does come down to that.
4th Down: Deion Sanders is putting his money where his mouth is. If anyone questioned Prime Time’s commitment to Jackson State’s football program, they will surely be convinced now. The legendary cornerback, now head coach of the Tigers, will be donating half of his $300,000 salary to the school to ensure that their football facility is done a month before the season is due to start. Sanders hopes to follow up an 11-2 season last year with one even better, and he made quite the splash by landing #1 nationwide recruit Travis Hunter.