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Our Top 15 Most Read Stories From 2013, With Sgt. Slaughter, Mock Drafts & College Football Leading Way

  By Brad Carroll  
Here is our list of the Top 15 most read stories from 2013. It's highlighted by our story on wrestling legend Sgt. Slaughter, which comes in at No. 1, and our college football coverage, which has seven of the top 15 stories for the year. There's Jets, Mets and more below. Enjoy the list, check out the links and have a Merry Christmas from all of us at GameDay.

1. Sgt. Slaughter talks Hogan, McMahon, Heel Turn, Lots More
Matt Straub went one-on-one with Sgt. Slaughter, one of the legends of professional wrestling, back in May and it became not only the most read story of 2013, but one of the most read stories ever on our website. Sgt. Slaughter talked about everything from his career to Hulk Hogan to Vince McMahon to his heel turn as an Iraqi sympathizer. He also put Matt in the Cobra Clutch. Check out the story, and photo, at the link.

Just as our Sgt. Slaughter piece became one of the most read stories of the year and in our history, the same can be written for our college football picks column that had our previews of the 2013 Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl, Gator Bowl, Capital One Bowl, Outback Bowl and Heart of Dallas Bowl. It's No. 2 for the year and is the seventh-most read story of all time. Check out how our picks went at the link.

3. Eastern Conference Finals Game 1 Winners and Losers
We haven't had much NBA coverage on the website, but obviously when we do, it can generate big interest. That was the case as our Winners and Losers column from Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals comes in as the third most read story of the year. It's no surprise this game made it this high, considering LeBron James made the game-winning layup in overtime for the Heat against the Pacers.

Craig Carroll's annual Jets mock draft, which includes picks for all seven rounds and video highlights of each player, might have been even higher on this year-ending list if the Darrelle Revis trade doesn't happen. Craig wrote one version that was up on the site with the Jets having just one first round draft pick, and then did a whole new version after the trade for Revis. This was the second version, with the Jets having two first-round picks. It's an exhaustive process, so make sure to give it a read again or for the first time.

The most impressive part of this college football column placing fifth overall for the year was it was just posted just four days ago, easily the newest story to make this list. Whether it was the matchups, the bowls, or just fans wanting to get previews and picks against the spread for a couple of pre-Christmas matchups, the Hawaii Bowl featuring Boise State and Oregon State and the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl featuring Ohio and East Carolina was a popular column.

When the NFL released the schedules for the 2013 season, we broke down the Jets' opponents and predicted how each game would end up. The popular feature had the Jets finishing the season with a 9-7 record, far off from what most so-called experts had the team ending the year at. But our prediction isn't that far off at all from reality, as the Jets can get to 8-8 with a win against Miami Sunday. We actually picked the first four games correctly and had just one wrong through six games. Read all about it at the link.

It wasn't easy getting onto our top 15 list for most-read stories, so the fact the Mets are the only baseball item to make it says a lot about this story. In one of our State of the Mets columns, we looked at how the team went from the ultimate high of sweeping four from the Yankees to losing two straight against the horrible Miami Marlins. It was that kind of season for the Mets.

Maybe I should put in more of an effort to get wrestling consistently into the website's rotation, as this is the second story from the squared circle to make the year-end list. I could be wrong, but I'm betting these two stories were the only ones involving wrestling that were published this year. WrestleMania 29 made sense for us to have a live blog, as it was held at MetLife Stadium, home of the Jets and Giants. It featured John Cena against The Rock and CM Punk against the Undertaker. Check it all out at the link.

In addition to giving everyone our college football previews and picks against the spread week in and week out, more during bowl season, we have a competition between Brad, Craig and Glenn for the right to call themselves the GameDay Battle for College Football Supremacy champion at the end of the season. Last year, the battle came down to Craig (Evil One) and Glenn (Kool Aid) and the BCS national championship game. This story set up the end battle, with quotes and more from the combatants.

Here we previewed and our three college football experts picked against the spread the 2013 Cotton Bowl between Texas A&M and Oklahoma. The game had the national spotlight to itself and with quarterbacks Johnny Manziel, who had just won the Heisman, and Landry Jones, it was a marquee matchup with tons of hype. That much was evident as our coverage of the game was one of the most read stories of the year.

11. Jets Possible Quarterback Targets This Offseason
Here's what Brad wrote on the college class of quarterbacks in this story, "[Geno] Smith and [Matt] Barkley both took giant steps backward in the college game this past season, so there's no way to believe either will be an impact player in the NFL next year." The fact the Jets would actually start Geno Smith this entire season wasn't much of a thought last year (and how could it have been?). We put targets on Matt Flynn, Michael Vick and Alex Smith. There might be another version of this in the near future.

The first regular season version of our college football picks column makes it from a week that had a ton of big-time matchups, including UCLA at Oregon, Tennessee at Alabama, Texas Tech at Oklahoma, Penn State at Ohio State and South Carolina at Missouri. You can also see a shot of Brad's favorite helmet from college football - Missouri. There is no real reason why.

The LSU at Alabama matchup brought in a ton of readers for our Week 11 preview coverage from this season. The column also featured Florida State at Wake Forest, Auburn at Tennessee, Nebraska at Michigan and Notre Dame at Pittsburgh. Glenn picked the upset with the exact score of the Nebraska-Michigan game, which is even more impressive considering the final was 17-13.

With Alabama's destruction of Notre Dame in the national championship game, it meant Craig (Evil One) and Glenn (Kool Aid) had to settle for a split title in the GameDay Battle for College Football Supremacy. We broke down the final battle, with quotes from both participants. Brad also destroyed Notre Dame in the story. The college football column, as a note, goes back nine years now.

This seems familiar, doesn't it? The updated version of the mock draft came in at No. 4 on this list, while the original has a ranking of 15. Not bad at all for Craig Carroll's effort leading into the NFL Draft. Craig's first three picks for the Jets in this version, with just one first round draft pick, was Jarvis Jones, Zach Ertz and Robert Woods. Not bad. Check that out, and all of our top stories, at the accompanying link. Make sure to keep on reading GameDay into the new year.

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