The Big Ten this week embarks on its first nine-game conference schedule, rekindling the debate whether all Power Five conferences should play the same number of league games in the era of the College Football Playoff.The Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference have eight-game conference schedules. The Big 12 and Pac-12, and now the Big Ten, play nine league games.Those leagues tout their nine conference games as a way of boosting schedule strength and, hopefully, increase their members chances of being selected for the playoff. But there is another component. Conference games tend to be more attractive inventory for league television networks and partners, and they also help keep stadiums full, compared with matchups against lower-tier competition.Nebraska coach Mike Riley argued consistency in number of conference games across the Power Five is a matter of fairness.I think that probably with the playoffs at stake, he said, that should be equitable that way.Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said he hadnt thought about conferences playing the same number of league games but added, Coach Riley has a good point there.The College Football Playoff selection committee evaluates each teams body of work, with strength of schedule part of the criteria, with no regard to how that schedule in composed. It also does not take a position on how conferences determine their champions.I really believe the data points that are going to be evaluated to decide who is going to be a national championship-caliber team should be decided the same way, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. If that means we all play nine, we all play eight, we all play 10 in the Power Five, I dont really care what we do and how many we play. We should just be playing the same if were going to be evaluated the same way.The SEC decided in 2014 to continue with its eight-game conference schedule with a requirement that each team play at least one nonconference game against a Power Five opponent. Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart said last month that the SEC has not had any discussions about reconsidering conference scheduling.ACC athletic directors are scheduled to meet next month and could discuss future football scheduling. The ACC is mulling whether to continue with eight conference games but require each team to play two nonconference games against Power Five opponents, or whether to go to nine conference games and require one non-conference game against a Power Five team.Were the only sport in America that doesnt have the same set of rules for everyone that plays, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. Ive never figured that out. Everyone goes to their own neighborhood and makes their own rules. Im for uniform for everything across the board in everything we do. Why cant we play the same number of games, same conference championship?Even if all Power Five conferences played the same number of league games, it wouldnt necessarily create the same criteria for the playoff selection committee to consider. For example, a team playing eight conference games along with two nonconference games against high-caliber opponents could be held in higher regard than a team with a nine-game conference schedule that, depending on the year, could include crossover games against bottom feeders and weak non-conference opponents.Also at issue: keeping alive nonconference geographical rivalry games, many of them between SEC and ACC teams, and maintain the flexibility in nonconference scheduling that allows schools to generate the significant revenue that comes with playing seven home games.In the Big Ten, the nine-game conference schedule is not embraced by everybody. East Division teams will have five conference games at home and four away in even-numbered years, with West Division teams following that schedule in odd-numbered years.Minnesotas Tracy Claeys and Northwesterns Fitzgerald would prefer 10 conference games so each team would get five at home and five on the road.There is a huge advantage to playing home football games, especially in some of these cathedrals of college football we have in Big Ten play, Fitzgerald said. The traditional powers of our conference, it might not impact them that much. But the programs like ours, that are trying to build from historically being in the bottom of the conference to building to the middle of the conference and fighting and scratching and clawing to get to the top... having four home games and the other side has five makes it really challenging.---AP Sports Writers Joe Reedy in Tallahassee, Florida, Dave Campbell in Minneapolis and Steve Megargee in Knoxville, Tennessee, contributed.---Online:AP college football website: http://collegefootball.ap.org James Hurst Jersey . Reigning world champion Eve Muirhead of Scotland opened with a 12-2 rout of Winnipegs Jennifer Jones in a battle of teams bound for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Steve Smith Sr. Jersey .C. -- Manny Malhotra had two goals and an assist, leading the Carolina Hurricanes to a 6-3 win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. http://www.customravensjersey.com/custom-patrick-onwuasor-jersey-large-1933d.html . 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LOUDON, N.H. -- Rick Hendrick does not believe the concussion symptoms suffered by Dale Earnhardt Jr. will end the career of the sports most popular driver.Earnhardt, who announced Thursday he could not race this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway because of the symptoms, missed two races in 2012 because of concussions.The 41-year-old Earnhardt believes crashes June 12 at Michigan and July 2 at Daytona possibly caused the symptoms, which he initially thought were from severe allergies or a sinus infection.He and I talked about years beyond next year just around Daytona, Hendrick said Sunday afternoon at NHMS, referring to Earnhardts contract, which ends in 2017. If there was something major wrong, I think they would have seen it already.Im very hopeful and hes very hopeful. I think the doctors want to err on the side of being sure. We want him for a long time.Alex Bowman replaced Earnhardt at New Hampshire and had a solid day ruined when he hit the wall late and finished 26th. He was running in the top-10 when he had contact on a restart at lap 269. Four laps later, a fender rubbing a tire as a result of the contact ended up in a flat and a crashed into the wall.Im really disappointed to end our day that way but we showed we were a top-10 car all day long, said Bowman, whose career-best in 72 Sprint Cup starts is 13th. It was the first time Ive really run top-10 in a Cup car. We made a lot of progress this weekend. It is by far my worst race track, so to come here with these guys and run that well just shows what a great piece they bring to the race track.Jeff Gordon will come out of retirement?to replace Earnhardt if he cannot compete July 22-24 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Hendrick said that Gordon, a four-time Cup champion who moved from racing to the Fox Sports booth after last season, could do more races.Hopefully Dale is going to be back next week and its not even something we think is going to happen, Hendrick said. Jeff is a team player and wants to support the organization, and Im sure hell do whatever he has to do.Hendrick said he was busy lining up an ear, nose and throat doctor for Earnhardt last week before Earnhardts visit to the neurologist indicated he should sit out the New Hampshiire race.ddddddddddddHes running through a bunch of tests, and hes going to have some more tests the first of the week, Hendrick said. Hes doing good. He wants to be in the car. The doctors are going to tell him when its OK for him to be back.I know hes anxious, and we want him back as soon as the doctors give clearance.Hendrick said he didnt notice anything about Earnhardt that would indicate he was suffering from a concussion after the Michigan race. He said he doesnt know if any of his drivers are hurt unless they tell him, and the first he heard of the symptoms was last week. He said he believes the drivers do the right thing and let the teams know if they are hurting.Ive had enough sinus infections, and when youre taking medication for that, you dont feel 100 percent, Hendrick said. That was it.For Earnhardt to be eligible for a Chase for the Sprint Cup berth, he would need a waiver to have missed a race during the regular season. It is expected he would get one, but Hendrick said he hasnt even applied for one yet, as the focus remains on Earnhardts health.By missing the race, Earnhardt dropped from 14th to 16th in the Chase-qualifying standings, with his cushion on the first driver outside the provisional Chase cutoff,?Trevor Bayne, dropping from 32 points to 14 points.Hes kind of an iron man -- he doesnt want to let the team down, he doesnt want to let his fans down, Hendrick said. We need him for the long pull. He wants to be in the car. But the best thing the doctors can do is go through all the protocol and do all the tests, and theres a bunch of tests.When they say, Youre good to go, hell be back.The team already had Bowman in place as a backup for New Hampshire and stuck with that plan to keep him as the full substitute driver. Gordon, who is still an equity owner in Hendrick Motorsports, was in France last week when Hendrick called him.He thought I was kidding at first, Hendrick said. He was on vacation and I asked him what he was doing and he said, Ill be in Indy. ... I said, Bring your drivers uniform just in case.He said, Are you kidding? I said, No, Im serious. ' ' '