At long last, college football is back this Saturday night, along with the start of the Italian soccer season headlined by Cristiano Ronaldo. Before those top weekend features, fill your week with the first leg of the Champions League playoffs, the Tour Championship, the Little League World Series and a crucial division series in Major League Baseball.
Must Watch: College Football Arrives
College football returns this week, even if it's only the appetizer before next week's full main course. But the game to open the season is sure to bring the passion for which we all know and love the sport. The Miami Hurricanes take on the Florida Gators in Orlando on Saturday night (7 p.m. ET on ESPN) to kick off the season.
This meeting will actually be the first since 2013 for the historic rivals and only seventh this millennium, a stretch dominated by the Canes 5-1. Miami also leads the all-time series 29-26.
In the second game on Saturday, stay up late for Arizona at Hawaii in Honolulu (10:30 p.m. ET on CBSSN). The Warriors went 8-6 last season and will provide a tough-road opener for second-year Wildcats head coach Kevin Sumlin, who may already be under pressure following a disappointing 5-7 record a year ago.
Watch This: Tour Championship
The FedEx Cup playoffs conclude this week in Atlanta at the Tour Championship. With a new scoring format this year, the champion at East Lake Golf Club will also win the FedEx Cup. After going super low at 25 under to win the BMW Championship over the weekend, Justin Thomas is atop the playoff standings heading into the final event of the season.
Therefore, with the new format, Thomas will begin the Tour Championship "already" at 10-under par. The player currently in second, Patrick Cantlay, will start at eight under. Brooks Koepka sits in third and will tee off at seven under. Here's a little more on how this all works, with each of the 30-player field having a staggered starting score to ensure the tournament winner wins the FedEx Cup.
Last year's Tour champion Tiger Woods will not be a part of the festivities in 2019 after failing to make it into the top-30 rankings. Woods withdrew from the first playoff event with an oblique injury, so he needed a huge performance at the BMW, where his solid seven-under finish wasn't enough. Justin Rose, who won the FedEx Cup last year, is among the top 30 and will have a chance to repeat. He'll start the Tour Championship at under two. The winner will earn $15 million.
Live television coverage of the Tour Championship will be on Golf Channel and NBC. Watch the first two rounds on Golf Channel on Thursday and Friday beginning at 1 p.m. ET. Third-round coverage begins Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET on Golf Channel and then switches to NBC at 2:30 p.m. ET. Watch the final round on Sunday starting at noon ET on Golf Channel and then moving to NBC at 1:30 p.m. ET. You can also stream the action on the course with PGA Tour Live beginning Thursday and Friday at 10:30 a.m. ET, Saturday at 12:15 p.m. ET, and Sunday at 11:15 a.m. ET.
What's on B/R Live: UEFA Champions League Playoff Round
Twelve teams, six spots, two legs. That's the situation this week as the Champions League playoff round begins with the final six places in the 2019-20 group stage up for grabs. Each playoff-round matchup will be decided on aggregate over two legs, with every first leg playing this week and streaming here on B/R Live. There will be three matches on Tuesday, including a semifinalist from last season in Ajax, and three on Wednesday, featuring a group of clubs with strong history in Europe.
Here's the schedule for Leg 1 this week, with each match kicking off at 3 p.m. ET. In addition to every match streaming on B/R Live, TNT will broadcast one select match each day. B/R Football Matchday begins at 2 p.m. ET both days on both platforms.
Tuesday | Stream on B/R Live
APOEL vs. Ajax (TNT)
CFR Cluj vs. Slavia Prague
LASK vs. Club Brugge
Wednesday | Stream on B/R Live
Dinamo Zagreb vs. Rosenborg
Olympiakos vs. Krasnodar (TNT)
Young Boys vs. Red Star Belgrade
Also, catch select Europa League playoff-round matches Thursday on B/R Live.
More to Watch This Week
1. Serie A Begins, Plus English and German Showdowns
Italy's Serie A is the last of the big four European domestic leagues to begin and does so with a full slate this weekend. And that means year two in the league and at Juventus for Cristiano Ronaldo.
Juventus opens away to Parma on Saturday at noon ET, followed by Florentina vs. Napoli at 2:45 p.m. ET, both on ESPN+. Then on Sunday, AC Milan opens the campaign at Udinese at noon ET on ESPN+, followed by AS Roma vs. Genoa at 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN. Check out the full first matchday schedule for Serie A here.
Also Saturday are two prime and simultaneous matchups in the Premier League and Bundesliga. Schalke hosts Bayern Munich for an early test at 12:30 p.m. ET on FS1, while Liverpool and Arsenal square off at Anfield at the same time on NBC. Get those remotes and/or dual screens ready.
2. Baseball in All Shapes and Sizes
A significant matchup in the National League Central highlights this week on the diamond. The Brewers and Cardinals play a three-game series in St. Louis that could fortify the Cards' division lead or flip it in favor of Milwaukee. They and the Cubs form the tightest three-team race in baseball. Here are the full MLB standings.
Here are the pitching matchups for the series, with each game starting at 7:45 p.m. ET. You can watch Tuesday's game on ESPN+ and the other two matchups locally or on MLB.TV.
Monday: Zach Davies (MIL) vs. Dakota Hudson (STL)
Tuesday: Gio Gonzalez vs. Michael Wacha
Wednesday: Adrian Houser vs. Adam Wainwright
Then this weekend brings an absolute heavyweight showdown, with MLB's top two teams battling in Los Angeles in what could be a World Series preview. The Yankees visit the Dodgers in a series that's likely to feature big hitting and several home runs. Last week L.A. set an MLB record with 22 homers in just five games. Good luck to these pitchers this weekend:
Friday: James Paxton (NYY) vs. Hyun-Jin Ryu (LAD) 10:10 p.m. ET on MLB.TV
Saturday: CC Sabathia vs. TBA, 4:05 p.m. ET on FS1
Sunday: Domingo German vs. Clayton Kershaw, 7 p.m. ET on ESPN
And don't forget about the kids. The Little League World Series had a fun opening weekend, highlighted by a girl playing with the boys and one very curious but effective batting stance.
Because of some rain over the weekend, there are five games today from morning until night, each on ESPN or ESPN2. Check out the full daily schedule here, and for the latest scores and updated bracket, go here. The International and United States finals are on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET and 3:30 p.m. ET respectively, with the overall LLWS final on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET. Each of those three games will broadcast on ABC.
3. MLS Playoff Race and Rivalry Weekend
Wednesday and Thursday bring a handful of important matches in the MLS playoff picture as some teams work to improve their positioning while others are only concerned with getting above the playoff line. On Saturday, LAFC became the first team to clinch a playoff spot. Here is the league table as it stands.
NYCFC vs. Columbus Crew, 7 p.m. ET on ESPN+
D.C. United vs. New York Red Bulls, 8 p.m. ET on Twitter, TUDN USA, UniMas, MLS Live
LAFC vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 10:30 p.m. ET on Twitter, TUDN USA, UniMas, MLS Live
Sporting Kansas City vs. Minnesota United, 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN Deportes
Then things heat up on with some rivalry-weekend matches that are sure to entertain, including the Zlatan Ibrahimovic vs. Carlos Vela rematch in El Trafico in Los Angeles. Despite running through the league this season, LAFC still has never beaten Zlatan's Galaxy.
Friday on ESPN, ESPN Deportes
Orlando City vs. Atlanta United, 8 p.m. ET
Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders, 10 p.m. ET
Sunday on Fox Sports 1
FC Cincinnati vs. Columbus Crew, 6 p.m. ET
FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo, 8 p.m. ET
LAFC vs. LA Galaxy, 10:30 p.m. ET
1. Bill Walton Goes to The Show
Legendary center Bill Walton has become just as legendary in the college basketball broadcast booth, and he kept that same energy for his debut behind the mic at the ballpark. We highly encourage you to check out this thread of videos beginning with the first one below.
2. Putting the Greek in Greek Freak
Giannis Antetokounmpo balling in his home country.
3. What It Do Birdieeeeeeee
Fun guy Kawhi Leonard let his hair out and played some golf this weekend, showing off a pretty good swing.
4. From Barcelona to Bayern Munich for this Brazilian
Philippe Coutinho is headed to the seven-time German champions on a season-long loan deal that includes an option for Bayern to make the move permanent.
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