As we approach the start of college football season, ESPN The Magazine created a mini bracket to determine the top five storylines to watch in the 2014 season, and enlisted the fans' vote to pick the winners. The first round produced close voting, including Appalachian State winning by less than 50 votes and Charlie Strong and T.J. Yeldon pulling upsets over higher seeds. Vote now in the final round and then check out The Mag's July 24 football issue to see the winners!

The final round of voting ends July 18.



RUNNING BACKS: Gurley vs. Yeldon

Todd Gurley and T.J. Yeldon will be two of the pre-eminent backs in the SEC this season.

SportsNation

Which running back is more worthy of being a first-round pick?

  •  
    48%
  •  
    52%

Discuss (Total votes: 2,238)


QUARTERBACKS: Coker vs. Allen

Bama's Jacob Coker and TAMU's Kyle Allen take over teams that finished 2013 in the top 20.

SportsNation

Which of these first-year starting quarterbacks has the better chance to win the Heisman?

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    60%
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    40%

Discuss (Total votes: 2,032)


COACHES: Sarkisian vs. Strong

Steve Sarkisian returns to USC as the head coach; Charlie Strong won 2 Big East titles in 3 years.

SportsNation

Which newly hired head coach is more likely to NOT be with their team in four seasons?

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    55%
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    45%

Discuss (Total votes: 2,093)


UPSETS: Wisconsin or Appalachian St.?

Wisconsin is 18-2 in nonconference since '09, while Appalachian State upset Michigan in '07.

SportsNation

Which of these nonconference upsets is more likely to happen in Week 1?

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    70%
  •  
    30%

Discuss (Total votes: 2,078)


SURPRISES: Florida or Michigan?

Florida has one .500 or below season since 1987, while Michigan has one since 1984.

SportsNation

Which of these teams has the greater potential to make a surprise run to the playoffs?

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    52%
  •  
    48%

Discuss (Total votes: 2,047)

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World Cup final -- Germany-Argentina

One semifinal brought an ocean of goals. The other featured precisely zero. But only one thing mattered in each: Germany and Argentina won, and now they will meet in the final of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Will the Germans, who routed the hosts 7-1, take the whole thing? Or will the Argentines, who won a penalty shootout against the Netherlands after 120 scoreless minutes, gut out another victory? Cast your votes!

  • Which team will win the World Cup final?

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      71%
    •  
      29%

    Discuss (Total votes: 145,378)

  • Which team are you rooting for in the World Cup final?

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      51%
    •  
      49%

    Discuss (Total votes: 16,443)

  • Which team will win the World Cup third-place game?

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      28%
    •  
      72%

    Discuss (Total votes: 6,466)

  • How would you grade the 2014 World Cup so far?

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      48%
    •  
      36%
    •  
      9%
    •  
      2%
    •  
      5%

    Discuss (Total votes: 14,903)

Comment »

The lineups for the 2014 Home Run Derby have been set, with National League captain Troy Tulowitzki picking Todd Frazier, Yasiel Puig and league homer leader Giancarlo Stanton, while AL skipper Jose Bautista selected defending champion Yoenis Cespedes, Adam Jones and, in something of a surprise move, second baseman Brian Dozier of the hometown Minnesota Twins. How would you rank these eight sluggers? Set your list below!

More: Your thoughts on All-Star Game rosters?

HR Derby Participants

Jose Bautista

Jose Bautista

Blue Jays
17 HR

Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes

Athletics
14 HR

Brian Dozier

Brian Dozier

Twins
16 HR

Todd Frazier

Todd Frazier

Reds
17 HR

Adam Jones

Adam Jones

Orioles
16 HR

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig

Dodgers
12 HR

Giancarlo Stanton

Giancarlo Stanton

Marlins
21 HR

Troy Tulowitzki

Troy Tulowitzki

Rockies
18 HR

Your Rankings

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Jon Jones kept his top spot in the ESPN MMA pound-for-pound rankings with a resounding win over Glover Teixeira at UFC 172. He's followed by Jose Aldo, Demetrious Johnson, Chris Weidman, and Cain Velasquez, with Renan Barao dropping out of our top 10 after a loss to T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 173. Do you agree with the entire list? Click the photos below to submit your rankings.

Pound-for-pound MMA fighters

Jon Jones

Jon Jones

Light heavyweight
20-1-0
P4P ranking: 1

Jose Aldo

Jose Aldo

Featherweight
24-1-0
P4P ranking: 2

Demetrious Johnson

Demetrious Johnson

Flyweight
20-2-1
P4P ranking: 3

Chris Weidman

Chris Weidman

Middleweight
12-0-0
P4P ranking: 4

Cain Velasquez

Cain Velasquez

Heavyweight
13-1-0
P4P ranking: 5

Anthony Pettis

Anthony Pettis

Lightweight
17-2-0
P4P ranking: 6

Johny Hendricks

Johny Hendricks

Lightweight
16-2-0
P4P ranking: 7

Chad Mendes

Chad Mendes

Featherweight
16-1-0
P4P ranking: 8

Anderson Silva

Anderson Silva

Middleweight
33-6-0
P4P ranking: 9

Alexander Gustafsson

Alexander Gustafsson

Light heavyweight
16-2-0
P4P ranking: 10

Your Rankings

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How do you react after a loss of that magnitude? Even a late goal couldn't save Brazil from experiencing their worst loss ever, a 7-1 drubbing at the hands of Germany that saw the home team give up five goals in one brutal 18-minute stretch in the first half. There were 36.5 million people who tweeted about the match, making it by far the most-discussed sporting event on Twitter. We're not going to subject you to all of them (don't doubt that we could -- we're very powerful), so here are the best reactions we found:

Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku, who scored against the U.S. in the knockout stages, posted this photo after Brazil scored their fourth goal:

British comedian Russell Brand tried to see the bigger picture at 5-0:

Dirk Nowitzki, obviously rooting for Germany, became less coherent with joy as the game went on:

One fan repurposed the World Cup's logo to represent Brazil's stages of grief:

ESPN's own Michael Ballack celebrated in the studio once the scoring had stopped:

At least one fan decided to blame a familiar target, although for once we don't think it was his fault:

Fans in the stadium reacted in various ways, from anguished disbelief ...

Brazil fanAP Photo/Bruno Magalhaes

... to clothes-rending frustration ...

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

... to a kind of quiet resignation.

Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

For our money, however, the match was best-summed up by this 13-second spot by a German radio station:

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