Jayson Stark Senior Writer, 

How about this Jake Arrieta nugget: Since the start of August 269 pitchers have given up 4+ ER in an inning. And Arrieta has given up 4 ER in 2 months!

Time for the Cubs to end the curse?

Two of our 23 baseball analysts surveyed think so. Chicago is favored to win Wednesday's wild-card matchup against Pittsburgh, however, it loses a good amount of supporters in the NLDS. Playoff picks

Mitch Sherman ESPN Staff Writer 

A key difference for Northwestern, Fitz says, is renewed emphasis on depth. He talked to Jim Tressel in the offseason about the importance of keeping all players fresh -- not just starters and front-line players.

Getty Images

Buster Olney's choice for NL Cy Young

Olney offers five candidates for the award, including the obvious trio of Zack Greinke, Jake Arrieta and Clayton Kershaw. Who does he have taking home the hardware? Buster's blog (Insider)

New coaches pepper top of NFL Power Rankings (1:43)
Slim playoff hopes for the Irish and ACC (0:45)

Mitch Sherman ESPN Staff Writer 

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald, headed to Michigan Saturday at 5-0, on the Wildcats' rise: "There's great chemistry. There's great brotherhood and love and trust within our program."

44mMatt Borcas

Grantland: Hawks, Harbs, and Hoosiers: Fourteen Reasons to Love the New-Look Big Ten

The league of Legends and Leaders is deeper, chicer, and more interesting than ever before -- or at least since Woody and Bo were patrolling the sidelines. Look no further than the latest AP poll, which contains five Big Ten teams, including two in the top five. Herewith, I present 14 explanations for this phenomenon, because we all know that 14 is the new 10.

AP Photo, USA TODAY Sports, USA TODAY Sports
22hJeremy Crabtree

Crabtree: Ranking the top recruiters

As we approach midseason, some coaches have picked up major steam on the trail. USC's Tee Martin and Florida State's Tim Brewster top the recruiter rankings.

Tillman on tenure in Chicago: 'We just didn't get it done' (1:55)
Getty Images, AP Photo
2hTim Kurkjian

Kurkjian: Five NL wild-card questions

The NL wild-card game features an intriguing matchup: leading Cy Young Award candidate Jake Arrieta vs. the forgotten man, Gerrit Cole. Tim Kurkjian breaks it down.

Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images

Is Jimmy Butler the Bulls' best?

By a long shot, according to our NBA fantasy rankings. See how far down you have to scroll to find Derrick Rose. Top 200 fantasy rankings

Matt Forte plays 'What they look like' (0:53)
Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports

Matt Forte on top perk about being in NFL

Bears RB Matt Forte comments on teaching teammates about personal finance, the value of NFL agents, the biggest perk of being a player in the league and the issues kids in Chicago face.

Report: Bears center out for season

Will Montgomery suffered a fractured left tibia in Sunday's game and will miss the rest of the season, according to the Chicago Tribune. The 32-year-old center left early in the game when teammate Charles Leno fell on him. The Tribune reports he will require surgery and will be placed on IR.

Cubs fan gets exam pushed back in order to attend wild card game (2:10)
Greeny: Theo Epstein is a Hall of Famer (1:14)
Olney: Arrieta doing special things (0:57)
David Banks/Getty Images

Olney: Arrieta would be my Cy Young pick

ESPN MLB Insider Buster Olney comments on CC Sabathia's voluntary entrance to rehab for alcohol abuse, the Yankees' wild-card matchup with the Astros and who should win the NL Cy Young.

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
6hJeff Dickerson

Fantasy defenses feasting on the Chicago Bears

Opposing defenses and special teams have dominated the Bears this season, and that could continue with a turnover-prone Jay Cutler back at QB.