Hello everyone, it's Shanna McCarriston back to give you all the sports news of the day. This is our last HQ AM newsletter of the week as we are taking a brief break for Thanksgiving. I hope you are all able to take some time with friends and/or family and enjoy some good food. Stuffing is personally my favorite food on the Thanksgiving table, so, along with some laughs around the table with my family, and of course some football, that's what I'm most looking forward to.

I know the Thanksgiving food debate is a major one around this time of year, so let me know your favorite on Twitter.

Moving on to sports, we have a lot to get to today so here we go.

Good morning to everyone but especially to...



The fourth edition of the College Football Playoff Rankings were released last night. Ohio State moved up two spots to No. 2 while Cincinnati also finally made it into the top four. That spot is enormous for Cincy, as they are the first Group of Five team in history to earn a spot in the top four of the rankings.

Let's break down the movement in the rankings:

  • Over the weekend, the Buckeyes defeated Michigan State, 56-7, to convince the College Football Playoff voters that they deserve a spot in the coveted top four. Ohio State is currently 10-1.
  • Moving on to the Bearcats, they became the first Group of Five team to enter the top four of the College Football Playoff Rankings. Their resume includes an 11-0 record and two Power Five wins. It'll be hard to knock them out of the top four assuming the rest of their games result in wins. Hard ... but not impossible.

The latest rankings are particularly crucial because, historically, no team ranked outside the No. 7 by this point has advanced to the playoff. So with the top seven having such significance at this point in the season, let's take a look at the top seven teams:

For the full rankings, click here.

Honorable mentions:

NFL Power Rankings: Cardinals back on top 🏈

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Our NFL writers have the difficult task of making sense of all the shocking games, blowouts and underdog wins we've seen this NFL season ... and then turning them into weekly Power Rankings. This past week many were surprised by the Colts defeating the Bills 41-15, the Vikings besting their division rival Packers, the Bears coming close to beating the Ravens, the Texans somehow defeating the Titans and the Saints losing to the Eagles.

So, yeah, there were definitely some crazy outcomes over the weekend

This week in the Power Rankings, the Bills' loss impacted them the most. They dropped the furthest, moving eight spots down to No. 11. The Eagles, meanwhile, moved eight spots up and now sit at No. 18.

Here are the top 10 teams for Week 12 and how far they moved:

  • No. 1: Cardinals, moved up three spots
  • No. 2: Rams, moved up four spots
  • No. 3: Packers, moved down two spots
  • No. 4: Titans, moved down two spots
  • No. 5: Buccaneers, moved up two spots
  • No. 6: Ravens, moved up two spots
  • No. 7: Patriots, moved up two spots
  • No. 8: Chiefs, moved up two spots
  • No. 9: Chargers, moved up two spots
  • No. 10: Colts, moved up four spots

Of all the outcomes, I was most impressed by the Colts, who exposed the Bills. Indianapolis' victory had other implications, such as moving the Patriots to the top spot in the AFC East and bumping the Bills to second place in the division.

For the full list on the latest rankings and commentary on each team, click here.

What MLBPA wants in new CBA ⚾

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Dec. 1 once seemed so far away, but we are fast approaching the date on which the current collective bargaining agreement expires. The CBA is what governs nearly every aspect of the working relationship between the players and team owners in MLB.

The CBA expiring could mean a lockout, something we have seen in the league before. A lockout is not a guarantee, of course, and negotiations are ongoing ... but there is not much time left to come to an agreement before the current CBA expires. It is expected owners will lock out the players on Dec. 1 or Dec. 2 until a new CBA is forged.

The lockout could end before start of the 2022 season, but it could always end up impacting the season if things don't move quick enough between both sides. And speaking of both sides, they each have different agendas. 

Let's take a look at what the players' side is looking for in the negotiations, courtesy of our MLB scribe Dayn Perry:

  • A reinvigorated free agency: One way to change the current slow-developing free agent markets is to lower the threshold for free agency. Altering what equals a year of time in the league could be one way to make this happen. 
  • A shorter timeline for younger players getting paid: The current salary structure puts more value on tenure than capability and even though younger players tend to perform better than older players, they are paid less. Increasing the minimum salary could help bring in more money for the young players.
  • Tanking disincentives: Players want owners to be competitive. Changing the way the draft order is determined so that teams don't get a better draft position for having a bad season would be a start.

For more on what MLBPA wants in the new CBA, click here.

Champions League recap: Chelsea dominates Juventus ⚽

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We've talked a lot about football today, so let's talk some futbol. The group stage of the Champions League is coming to an end. Lucky for you, you can catch all of the remaining action on Paramount+.

Yesterday, in Michael Carrick's debut, Manchester United were able to win with goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho in the final 12 minutes of the match. Chelsea was another club that got a win on Tuesday, with a 4-0 shutout victory against Juventus.

Here are the other scores from the day:

  • Bayern Munich def. Dynamo Kyiv 2-1
  • Manchester United def. Villarreal 2-0
  • Young Boys tie Atalanta 3-3
  • Chelsea def. Juventus 4-0
  • Lille def. Salzburg 1-0
  • Barcelona ties Benfica 0-0
  • Sevilla def. Wolfsburg 2-0
  • Malmo FF ties Zenit 1-1

What we're watching Wednesday 📺

And because we won't be speaking again until Monday, here's what is on the docket Thursday:

Thanksgiving Day NFL schedule 📺