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THE FACEOFF: Week 1 (February 5 - February 11)

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THE FACEOFF is revamped and ready to go for 2014.

Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

The dead of winter is basically suffocating the entire country. Alas, hope comes in the form of a SPRING SPORT that refuses to let cold weather and snow ruin its entrance. The huddled masses look up and see this beacon of faith, and together they sing:

It's time to begin, isn't it?
I get a little bit bigger but then I'll admit
I'm just the same as I was
Now don't you understand
That I'm never changing who I am

[smashes face against the wall until the loving embrace of unconsciousness arrives]

Okay, before the Internet comes knocking at my door looking to publicly execute me, I wasn't being that serious. A new season of college lacrosse has arrived, and that means the return of our weekly infographic series -- THE FACEOFF. If you're new here, each week we'll give you a pretty picture of the week's media poll, games to watch, and some stats and graphs to throw around.

For veteran fans of the series, however, you might notice some changes, such as:

  • The "7 to Watch" has been expanded to give a wider variety of highlighted games. This allows some sneaky good games to make the cut instead of just the usual top-tier rivalry games and whatnot.
  • A scoreboard of the previous week's games is provided to give yourself an idea of what you may have missed out on in the previous week.
  • The leaderboard is going to be simplified a bit this season once we get going. Instead of breaking down the whole top five, we'll give you the leader in the key statistical categories.
  • The "Number of the Week" replaces some of the other numbers we threw around last season, mainly to squeeze in a few more graphs each week.

With the ground rules out of the way, let's check out the first edition of THE FACEOFF for 2014:

Thefaceoff2014week1_medium

(Click to make it bigger than your anticipation for the season.)

Although college lacrosse has a bit of an unorganized start to the season, there's a lot of teams taking the field this upcoming week. We'll be here all season to break it down and to talk about it, so stick to College Crosse for all the information and goodies you need to get through the spring. Opening face-offs are upon us, and THE FACEOFF is just as happy to have lacrosse back as you are!