The start of the NFL and college football seasons are just around the corner, and that means it’s time to start getting your game day gear ready. Here’s what sports fans need to know about September.
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The NFL Season
The regular season
The NFL regular season typically runs from the week after Labor Day to the week after Christmas, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week. The bye weeks are staggered so that no more than two teams are off in any given week. The NFL schedule is released in the spring, typically in April.
The National Football League (NFL) playoff system is a single-elimination tournament held after the end of the regular season to determine the NFL champion. Each year, 12 teams make the playoffs: the six teams with the best records in each conference (the NFC and AFC), plus four wild card teams (the two best non-division-winning teams in each conference). The four division winners in each conference are seeded 1–4 based on their overall won-lost-tied record, with the division winner with the best record getting seed 1, and so on. The two wild card teams are seeded 5 and 6.
Even though the NFL draft receives more television coverage and more media attention, the start of the college football season is just as important to sports fans. Just like the NFL, college football has its own version of a draft, called the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. This game is important because it gives scouts a chance to see how the college players perform against each other.
The regular season
The regular season of college football generally runs from late August to early December. During this time, each team plays a total of 12 games, which are typically spread out over the course of 13 weeks. However, some teams may choose to play an occasional 14th game during the season, typically known as a “bowl game.” These games are generally played at the end of the regular season and serve as a way for teams to further showcase their skills and earn additional revenue.
The bowl games
The term “bowl game” comes from the Rose Bowl, which was originally created as a means to help pay for the Tournament of Roses Parade. The first Rose Bowl was played in 1902, and it wasn’t until 1916 that another bowl game (the Cotton Bowl) was created.
Today, there are 41 bowl games, and each one has its own individual history and tradition. The bowls are organized into two different tiers: the New Year’s Six and the rest of the bowl games. The New Year’s Six are the six largest and most prestigious bowl games, and they are:
-The Rose Bowl
-The Sugar Bowl
-The Orange Bowl
-The Cotton Bowl
-The Peach Bowl
-The Fiesta Bowl
The remaining 35 bowl games are midsize to small in comparison, but they are all unique in their own ways. Some notable bowl games outside of the New Year’s Six include the Sun Bowl (which is the second oldest bowl game after the Rose Bowl), the Liberty Bowl (which is played in Memphis, TN), and the Holiday Bowl (which is played in San Diego, CA).
Major League Baseball
The Major League Baseball (MLB) is the professional baseball organization, and it is composed of 30 teams that play in the American League (AL) and National League (NL). MLB has been considered as the highest level of play in North America, and it is organized by the Major League Baseball Constitution.
The regular season
The regular season of Major League Baseball (MLB) is played between the months of April and September. During this time, each of the 30 MLB teams play a total of 162 games. These games are spread out evenly over the course of the season, with each team playing every other team in their league a total of 19 times.
The regular season is important because it determines which teams will make it to the postseason. At the end of the regular season, the team with the best record in each division (there are three in each league) automatically advances to the divisional playoffs. In addition, there are two wild card teams in each league that also advance to the playoffs. These are the teams with the best record who did not win their division.
The divisional playoffs pit the three division winners against each other, as well as the two wild card teams. The winner of each series advances to the next round until only two teams remain. These two teams then compete in the World Series, a best-of-seven game series to determine which team is crowned MLB champion for that year.
In Major League Baseball, the playoffs begin in October. The playoffs are a best-of-seven series between the two teams with the best records in each league. The team with the better record gets to choose whether to play the first two games at home or on the road. The remaining games are played alternately between the two teams’ stadiums.
The playoffs culminate in the World Series, which is a best-of-seven series between the champions of the American League and the National League. The team with the better record in the World Series gets to choose whether to play the first two games at home or on the road. The remaining games are played alternately between the two teams’ stadiums.
Outside of football, there are plenty of other sports going on in September. Here are some of the most notable events.
Although the four Grand Slam tournaments—Wimbledon, the French Open, the U.S. Open, and the Australian Open—get most of the attention, September is still a big month for tennis. The Davis Cup, a men’s international team event dating back to 1900, takes place September 14-16. And the Fed Cup, its women’s equivalent, runs September 21-23. Both competitions use a knockout format, with home-and-away ties between teams of four players. The U.S. men’s team is defending champion; the Czech Republic won the women’s event in 2016.
The Ryder Cup is one of the biggest events in golf, and it takes place every two years. This year, the tournament will be held from September 25-27. It features two teams of 12 players competing against each other, with each team representing their respective countries. This year’s Ryder Cup will take place in France, and Team USA is looking to defend their title.
With the Ryder Cup taking place in September, there are plenty of other sports fans need to know about. Football season is in full swing, and the NHL and NBA seasons are just getting started. Here’s a look at some of the other sports fans need to know about in September:
Football: The NFL regular season begins on September 6th and will conclude on December 30th. Super Bowl LIII will take place on February 3rd, 2019.
Hockey: The NHL regular season begins on October 3rd and will conclude on April 6th, 2019. The Stanley Cup Finals will take place in June 2019.
Basketball: The NBA regular season begins on October 16th and will conclude on April 10th, 2019. The NBA Finals will take place in June 2019.
This September, NASCAR heads to Darlington Raceway for the Bojangles’ Southern 500. The Southern 500 is one of the most historic races on the NASCAR schedule, and it always provides plenty of action.
The track, nicknamed “The Lady in Black,” is one of the oldest and most challenging on the circuit. It’s a 1.366-mile oval with 24 degrees of banking in the turns. The Darlington Stripes are also famous – they’re the markings on the wall that drivers try to avoid.
This year’s Southern 500 will be run on Sunday, September 2nd at 6:00 pm ET. It will be broadcast live on NBCSN.