What team is standing in the way of a Buccaneers repeat? Plus, Derek Jeter’s most memorable moments

Hello again sports fans, it is Shanna McCarriston ready to give you all the sports news of the day. The countdown for the NFL regular season is officially at ONE DAY.

For the question of the day, I want to hear your boldest predictions for the upcoming NFL season. Let me know your hot takes on Twitter. Today we will discuss some NFL power rankings heading into the start of the season, the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony that is taking place this afternoon and much more.

Let’s get to it.

📰 What you need to know

1. NFL power rankings heading into the regular season opener 🏈

We’ve been waiting all year for the NFL regular season and it is finally (almost) here. With the season starting comes predictions, power rankings and previews — and we have it all.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have 22 starters returning and another year with Tom Brady running the offense, so they are an easy pick for Super Bowl contenders. The Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs are also teams to watch and you can’t ignore each team’s talent at quarterback.

Heading into Week 1, here are the CBS Sports NFL power rankings (and whether each team moved up or down since the last rankings):

  • No. 1: Buccaneers, didn’t move
  • No. 2: Bills, moved up one spot
  • No. 3 Chiefs: moved down one spot
  • No. 4 Packers: didn’t move
  • No. 5 Browns: didn’t move
  • No. 31: Jets, didn’t move
  • No. 32 Texans, didn’t move

For full power rankings and commentary on each team, click here.

I think you can move around those top four teams in a few ways, but I like the order CBS Sports’ own Pete Prisco put them in. I will never doubt Brady until he gives me serious reason to and, with the team bringing back so many key players, they are more than motivated to repeat.

As far as bold takes, I think this is the year Josh Allen will prove himself even further. He’s shown he has the talent, but hasn’t made it far enough in the playoffs for the level he is playing at. 

2. It’s a special day for Derek Jeter and Larry Walker ⚾

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The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will officially induct its latest class this afternoon, after the 2020 ceremony was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no 2021 class, because the BBWAA didn’t collectively vote at a 75 percent clip for any player.

So instead, the spotlight will be on Derek Jeter and Larry Walker later today. Ted Simmons (player via veteran committee vote) and Marvin Miller (former union boss via veteran committee vote) will also be enshrined.

Let’s break down their credentials:

  • Jeter received 99.7 percent of the vote. The 14-time All-Star’s resume includes Rookie of the Year, five Silver Sluggers, five Gold Gloves, five World Series rings, All-Star Game MVP and World Series MVP. He is also a career .310 hitter and is sixth all-time in hits at 3,465. This isn’t breaking news, but Jeter has some iconic MLB moments. Take a look at some of his most memorable ones. Or don’t if you hate the Yankees like me
  • Walker had to wait for his 10th and final time on the ballot to get into the hall. He is a career .313/.400/.565 hitter with 2,160 hits, 383 homers, 230 stolen bases, 1,300 plus RBI and runs apiece and 154 career outfield assists
  • Simmons was an eight-time All-Star with a 21-year career. He has 1,389 RBI, which is second only to fellow Hall of Famer Yogi Berra
  • Miller died in 2012 and this honor is long overdue. He was the executive director of the MLB Players Association from 1966-82 and helped baseball grow tremendously

Here’s how you can watch the Hall of Fame induction ceremony this afternoon.

3. Breaking down the latest college football Top 25 🏈

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The college football AP Top 25 was released yesterday, so of course we have to analyze it. Like we went over earlier this week, Georgia’s ranking was greatly helped by beating Clemson. The Bulldogs moved up three spots up to No. 2. Clemson fell four spots as a result of the loss.

Alabama is where it usually is: at the top of the rankings. That’s thanks to their 44-13 rout of Miami. Ohio State moved up to take the No. 3 spot, while Oklahoma dropped to No. 4 and Texas A&M landed at No. 5.

Here is a look at the AP poll, including how many first place votes the team got:

  • No. 1 Alabama, 59
  • No. 2 Georgia, 4
  • No. 3 Ohio State
  • No. 4 Oklahoma
  • No. 5 Texas A&M
  • No. 6 Clemson
  • No. 7 Cincinnati
  • No. 8 Notre Dame
  • No. 9 Iowa State
  • No. 10 Iowa

For the full AP 25 poll, click here.

4. Rays rookie passes Mickey Mantle with historic on-base streak ⚾

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It’s not every day that a Mickey Mantle record is broken. Rays rookie Wander Franco extended his on-base streak to 37 consecutive games on Tuesday night. That passes Mantle’s mark of 36 games and moves Franco to second all-time in the category for players 20 years or younger.

Franco did it with a walk in the seventh inning on Tuesday. The 20-year-old is in some good company in the record books right now. Here’s a look at the top on-base streaks for players 20 years or younger:

  • Frank Robinson: 43 games in 1956
  • Wander Franco: 37 games (and counting) in 2021
  • Mickey Mantle: 36 games in 1950-51

The longest on-base streak in MLB history is a record that belongs to Ted Williams. He reached base 84 games in a row back in 1949. That one will be a difficult statistic to challenge. 

Franco was signed at 16 by the Rays out of the Dominican Republic. He’s a career .332/.398/.536 hitter in the minors and is clearly making an impact in the big leagues as well. Before Monday, Franco was hitting .336/.399/.552 with 13 doubles, three triples, four homers, 26 RBI and 36 runs during his 36-game on-base streak.

📝 Odds & Ends

📺 What to watch tonight

⚾ Blue Jays vs. Yankees, 7:05 p.m. | NYY -117 | TV: MLB.TV

⚾ Nationals vs. Braves, 7:05 p.m. | ATL -214 | TV: MLB.TV

⚾ Dodgers vs. Cardinals, 7:45 p.m. | STL -106 | TV: MLB.TV

🏅 Best thing I saw on the internet

This is one of the most adorable videos you’ll see all week. Young Cowboys fan Aaiden Diggs, who also happens to be the son of Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs and the nephew of Bills receiver Stefan Diggs, loves Dak Prescott and got to meet his idol. 

However, in the moment of seeing Prescott, Aaiden slipped up and called him Patrick Mahomes. Prescott laughed, saying he has to stop confusing him with No. 15, noting the difference in their hair. When it was finally real to the young fan that the Cowboys QB was in front of him, he said, “So good to see you.” The entire interaction was beyond wholesome. 

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