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All taxonomy terms: NBA
Path: /nba/kevin-durant-stars-weirdest-sonic-commercial-thunder-finals
Body:

NBA Finals commercials have nowhere near the appeal of Super Bowl commercials. One commercial that aired during Game 1 of the finals caught everybody's eye.

 

Kevin Durant is at the free throw line (which would've made more sense had he actually made it to the finals, or the playoffs for that matter), and he goes into a weird daydream about Sonic shakes, jolly ranchers, and other things.

 

 

Let's hope he got the weirdness out of his system so he won't be doing that in a real game next season.

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, June 5, 2015 - 09:48
All taxonomy terms: College Football, American Athletic, News
Path: /college-football/examining-overunder-2015-win-totals-american-athletic-conference
Body:

The calendar has turned to June and college football fans who keep one eye on Las Vegas already have win totals to chew on for the upcoming season. While the Power 5 conferences receive their share of attention, here is a look at how the American Athletic Conference is shaping up in 2015.

 

Related: American Athletic Conference 2015 Football Predictions

 

For the purposes of this exercise, projected win totals broken down into three categories — definite wins, definite losses and toss-ups. Most of the conference games will in the toss-up category, especially ones on the road. This preview will offer thoughts on each team and if there’s any value either over or under.

 

The AAC has several intriguing teams and several intriguing storylines. First off, the conference has split into an East and West division with each side having six teams. There's now a championship game at the end of the season and a new addition in the Naval Academy, who of course are in the West Division. The Midshipmen will have to contend with Houston, Memphis, SMU, Tulane and Tulsa. The East features Cincinnati, Temple, UCF, East Carolina, South Florida and UConn.

 

Note: Over/under odds courtesy of 5Dimes Sportsbook

 

AAC East

 

Cincinnati Bearcats

(Over 7.5 wins -130...Under 7.5 wins -110)

 

Record Last Year: 9-4, 7-1

 

Returning Starters: 13 (8 on offense, 5 on defense)

 

Offense: Gunner Kiel is back and he led the nation’s 13th-ranked passing attack last year. Kiel has the majority of his wide receivers back along with Mike Boone who ran for nine touchdowns as a true freshman. The O-line is full of veterans although they will miss Eric Lefeld at tackle.

 

Defense: This is where some issues could occur. The unit allowed over 400 yards per game last year and will be without three of their studs in Jeff Luc, Nick Temple and Terrell Hartsfield.

 

Schedule: Out of conference the Bearcats have home games against Miami and Alabama A&M with road trips to BYU and Miami (Ohio). Getting the Canes at home will be nice after last year's 55-34 blowout loss in Miami. In conference, they get woeful Tulsa and UConn at home. November features three road games out of four including tough trips to East Carolina and Houston.

 

Selection: Small lean to the over, but those wins need to come early with the rough finishing stretch.

 

UConn Huskies

(Over 3 wins -160...Under 3 wins +120)

 

Record Last Year: 2-10, 1-7

 

Returning Starters: 11 (4 on offense, 7 on defense)

 

Offense: There's nowhere for UConn to go but up after last year. The Huskies averaged 15.5 points per game, which was good for 122nd overall in FBS. Quarterback is among the many question marks here. They don't return either of their top two receivers and will have to rely on Ron Johnson and Arkeel Newsome to get the ground game going. The OL should be a bit better then last year.

 

Defense: The unit has their top four tacklers back. The defense did its part especially against the pass, allowing just 208.8 yards per game through the air. The problem is how much time UConn defenders were on the field last year due to the many short possessions by the offense.

 

Schedule: It's going to be a rough year. Villanova is no cupcake to start out the year as many predict the Wildcats will be in the mix to play in the FCS title game. If UConn doesn’t get the win there, it will have to beat Army, whom the Huskies lost to (35-21) last year. Road games at Missouri and BYU mean UConn could go 0-4 if things don't break right. Huskies get Navy, East Carolina, USF and Houston at home, but by late October and November, how motivated will they be?

 

Selection: There's incredible value with the under. This is a team that could go 1-3 in September and not win again until Oct. 17 when the Bulls come to town. Worst-case scenario is you get a push at three, but UConn is at least another year away.

 

East Carolina Pirates

(Over 7 wins -120...Under 7 wins -120)

 

Record Last Year: 8-5, 5-3

 

Returning Starters: 11 (6 on offense, 5 on defense)

 

Offense: Shane Carden is no longer slinging it in Greenville. The experience level goes down big time under center with Kurt Benkert, who threw only 10 passes last year. Two of Carden's better receivers are also gone in Justin Hardy and Cam Worthy. Isaiah Jones and Bryce Williams are two weapons looking to step in and make Benkert's transition easier.

 

Defense: It's a senior-laden unit that stops the run really well. Last year ECU was 11th in the nation against the run. Because of that, the secondary was under siege as the Pirates were in a boatload of shootouts. Josh Hawkins leads the way at corner after picking off five passes in 2014.

 

Schedule: A bowl game rematch highlights the out-of-conference schedule. On Sept. 12, the Pirates will be in Gainesville to face Florida, who they lost 28-20 to in last season’s Birmingham Bowl. ECU also gets Towson and Virginia Tech at home to go with a road game at BYU. One of the best home-field advantages in the conference will help the team as ECU hosts contenders Temple and Cincinnati in AAC play.

 

Selection: No real lean on the total. September could spiral out of control after the opener against Towson. ECU doesn’t figure to win at Florida, which could then turn into a losing streak with only one week to prepare for Navy. Pirates will start slow, but they'll finish up strong with a weaker second half to the schedule.

 

South Florida Bulls

(Over 4 wins -105...Under 4 wins -135)

 

Record Last Year: 4-8, 3-5

 

Returning Starters: 8 (5 on offense, 3 on defense)

 

Offense: Marlon Mack by himself is almost worth the price of admission. Mack had over 1,000 yards rushing and nine touchdowns on his way to earning AAC Rookie of the Year honors last season. If this team could get any sort of consistency under center, then the run game becomes even more dangerous. Until then, the Bulls will see plenty of stacked boxes and low-scoring outputs.

 

Defense: A new coordinator will try to breathe life into this unit. Tom Allen comes over from Ole Miss and is going to try and use a 4-2-5 alignment. The Bulls allowed 27 points or more in the majority of their road games. The front line is going to struggle with just Eric Lee returning at end.

 

Schedule: South Florida has a lot of big names out of conference with road games at Florida State and Maryland, but those will be ugly blowouts. The Bulls host Florida A&M and Syracuse with both representing win opportunities. They've got three home games out of five in October.

 

Selection: It's hard to go over with an unsettled quarterback position. There are plenty of win opportunities at home if they could figure out how to score. We'll agree with the money move and take the under, but we don't feel that comfortable with it. This could just be a four-win team.

 

Temple Owls

(Over 7 wins -130...Under 7 wins -110)

 

Record Last Year: 6-6, 4-4

 

Returning Starters: 17 (7 on offense, 10 on defense)

 

Offense: P.J. Walker is the key. The quarterback had 11 interceptions in his last seven games, which contributed to a .500 record and no bowl game. He's got a host of running backs in the backfield that will provide different looks to their opponent. The WR corps will need someone to step up and take over while the offensive line will have to protect Walker.

 

Defense: Tyler Matakevich is a name for the nation to know. He's made 355 tackles in his career, the most by any active player. The majority of the unit is back from a defense that allowed just 17.5 points per game and 186.9 passing yards per contest.

 

Schedule: It's an odd out-of-conference schedule where the road games are more winnable then the home ones. Notre Dame and Penn State come to Lincoln Financial Field while the Owls play at UMass and Charlotte. The conference home slate is manageable with road games taking place at Cincinnati and East Carolina.

 

Selection: Expectations are high for this team and that's hard for fans to swallow. It's going to be a roller coaster with a 2-2 start most likely transitioning to a 4-4 record and then an important November. Once again the road games are winnable, but  my feeling here is that Temple will go under the total. I think the Owls will slip up in a winnable road game and don't make up the difference at home.

 

UCF Knights

(Over 7 wins -120...Under 7 wins -120)

 

Record Last Year: 9-4, 7-1

 

Returning Starters: 10 (6 on offense, 4 on defense)

 

Offense: Justin Holman had a fine year for the Knights, as he tried to fill the shoes of the departed Blake Bortles. Holman threw for 23 touchdowns to just 14 interceptions and was helped by Breshad Perriman. Perriman has joined Bortles in the NFL, leaving UCF’s WR corps a complete mess. Luckily, running back William Stanback is back and the offensive line is filled with veterans.

 

Defense: This was a great group last year, but a lot of those players are gone. The Knights were ninth in the country allowing just 19.2 points per game. Thomas Niles and his 7.5 sacks per game are now needed more then ever with so much uncertainty behind him.

 

Schedule: UCF will be making trips to Stanford and South Carolina while it hosts FIU and Furman. This is a team that does not spend two straight weeks at home until late November when the Knights host ECU and South Florida.

 

Selection: Another number spot on by Vegas. The Knights are going to be 2-2 after September. They've got winnable road games at Tulsa and Tulane with ECU and Houston coming to Orlando. No lean on this one.

 

AAC West

 

Houston Cougars

(Over 8.5 wins +105...Under 8.5 wins -140)

 

Record Last Year: 8-5, 5-3

 

Returning Starters: 11 (5 on offense, 6 on defense)

 

Offense: Kenneth Farrow is a good place to start, as he ran for over 1,000 yards while contributing 15 touchdowns. This is an offense that will miss Deontay Greenberry who was by far the No. 1 wide receiver last year. The good thing is that new head coach Tom Herman knows offense and should be able to figure out how to play to the Cougars’ strengths. They put up almost 30 points per game last year, but won't do that again this year most likely.

 

Defense: The back end of the defense will be the strength with the top corners and safeties returning. They'll need to hold strong with only one defensive lineman back. Last year Houston gave up over 30 points in three of its last five games.

 

Schedule: The out of conference has a nice mix of winnable games and stiff tests. The Cougs get Tennessee Tech, Texas State and Vanderbilt at home while they travel to Louisville. November is home-friendly with three of four in front of their fans.

 

Selection: The money move is right here. I think Houston is one year away as Herman recruits more of his own guys. I think the defense is vulnerable and the offense doesn't have enough weapons. At best, this seems like an eight-win team even with a semi-manageable schedule.

 

Memphis Tigers

(Over 8.5 wins -105...Under 8.5 wins -135)

 

Record Last Year: 10-3, 7-1

 

Returning Starters: 10 (7 on offense, 3 on defense)

 

Offense: Paxton Lynch was really fun to watch last year and he's back again. The 6-foot-7 quarterback threw for over 3,000 yards and has a few of last year's weapons back. Mose Frazier and Alan Cross figure to get a lot of targets in this offense with the run game having to replace Brandon Hayes. The left side of the line is intact for the Tigers, who put up 36.2 points per game last year.

 

Defense: The defense lost a lot from last year's 11th-ranked unit. Jackson Dillon will try to help the linebackers out after a solid year last year. We don't talk about special teams too much here but kicker Jake Elliott is a difference-maker in close games.

 

Schedule: The Tigers host Missouri State and Ole Miss while traveling to Kansas and Bowling Green. Conference play brings them road games at Temple and Houston in November.

 

Selection: Small lean to the under for Memphis. The Bowling Green game will be huge in deciding if this actually does go over. The Falcons will be tough and since it's early, we may not see the same Tigers team we get in November.

 

Navy Midshipmen

(Over 7.5 wins -130...Under 7.5 wins -110)

 

Record Last Year: 8-5

 

Returning Starters: 10 (4 on offense, 6 on defense)

 

Offense: Keenan Reynolds is back for his senior year and that's trouble for the rest of the AAC. He's got Chris Swain in the backfield among other weapons. The offensive line has two returners so that will take time to gel. How will the AAC handle preparing for the triple option though?

 

Defense: Paul Quessenberry is a big loss for this unit that allowed almost 200 yards rushing per game. The secondary should be a strong point along with Bernie Sarra up front.

 

Schedule: Colgate, Air Force, Notre Dame and Army are the school's non-conference games. Of this quartet, the only road game is against the Irish. Even better for the Midshipmen is the extra week off after the ND game giving them time to get ready for a heavy dose of conference play.

 

Selection: We love the over here. Five of their first seven are at home with really only East Carolina as the biggest challenge coming to Annapolis. The Middies are home just once after Halloween with the traditional neutral field game against Army to close things out.

 

SMU Mustangs

(Over 2.5 wins -110...Under 2.5 wins -130)

 

Record Last Year: 1-11, 1-7

 

Returning Starters: 11 (5 on offense, 6 on defense)

 

Offense: Chad Morris' arrival should help out this anemic unit that averaged just 11.1 points per game last year. The team benefits from four returning offensive linemen who may be able to open some holes for Prescott Line and the run game. Darius Joseph was a solid wide receiver last year and should lead the way this season.

 

Defense: This is a team that's changing to a 4-2-5 alignment. The defense was non-existent at times giving up 41.3 points per game so anything new will be an improvement. The returnees should help, but they have a long way to go.

 

Schedule: Three of the first four are at home, but the opponents are Baylor, North Texas, TCU and James Madison. The Dukes are another plucky CAA team who won't go down easily and should make this a shootout. If the Mustangs don't slow JMU down, then this could be a long year. Even if they do pick up a win, it'll be tough sledding.

 

Selection: Small lean to the over in this one. North Texas and JMU are early potential wins in September. Home games with Tulsa and Tulane could push SMU over if the Mustangs pick up the two non-conference wins. I'll say this, we'll be on James Madison plus the points on Sept. 26.

 

Tulane Green Wave

(Over 5 wins -120...Under 5 wins -120)

 

Record Last Year: 3-9, 2-6

 

Returning Starters: 13 (6 on offense, 7 on defense)

 

Offense: Tanner Lee has to solidify the position after a year where Tulane barely averaged over 200 yards passing per game. Sherman Badie leads a nice three-headed monster in the backfield. The line has four returning starters so if the Green Wave can get things going on the ground, that should result in less pressure on Lee, who really needs to build chemistry with his wideouts.

 

Defense: CB Lorenzo Doss is gone and that won't help the secondary. Nico Marley leads a solid group of linebackers. If Royce LaFrance can improve on his six sacks from last year then this could become an underrated unit.

 

Schedule: September features home games against Duke and Maine with a road trip to Georgia Tech in between. The fourth non-conference game is a road contest at Army in November. Five of Tulane’s last eight are on the road so things could be a bit rough down the stretch.

 

Selection: I like the under for the Green Wave. Maine and UConn are winnable home games, but there's not too many more that we can peg as sure victories. I just don't like how things line up and think Tulane will go under the five wins.

 

Tulsa Golden Hurricane

(Over 5 wins -105...Under 5 wins -135)

 

Record Last Year: 2-10, 2-6

 

Returning Starters: 13 (8 on offense, 5 on defense)

 

Offense: Philip Montgomery comes over from Baylor and there are pieces for this unit to take off. Keevan Lucas and Keyarris Garrett are real good targets to have in the passing game. The offensive line is pretty much intact so this group has a chance to improve on its 24.7 points per game last year.

 

Defense: This was an awful group last year, allowing nearly 40 points and 500 yards per game. Derrick Alexander had 7.5 sacks last year while Michael Mudoh had 113 tackles. It could be rough on this side of the ball.

 

Schedule: Florida Atlantic kicks off Tulsa's slate and is followed up by road games at New Mexico and Oklahoma. October sees three home games out of five including Louisiana-Monroe.

 

Selection: We like the over for the Golden Hurricane. Literally and figuratively as this team will get in a lot of shootouts this season. Montgomery will get his weapons out in space, while the defense will get gashed. Tulsa needs to get wins early because a finish of UCF, at Cincinnati, Navy and at Tulane will be a test.

 

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.

Teaser:
Examining the Over/Under 2015 Win Totals for the American Athletic Conference
Post date: Friday, June 5, 2015 - 09:30
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Big Ten
Path: /college-football/five-toughest-big-ten-road-schedules-2015
Body:

All schedules are obviously not created equal, but these five Big Ten teams face road gauntlets that would challenge any team in the country.

 

Here are the Big Ten's five toughest road schedules in 2015.

 

Related: Ranking the Big Ten's Toughest College Football Schedules in 2015

 

5. Iowa

The Hawkeyes could be in the mix for the Big Ten West Division title, however, they'll be tested in five road venues that haven't been kind to them recently. Starting with Iowa State, they'll then travel to Wisconsin, Northwestern and Nebraska — all places where Iowa has lost at least one of the last two games it has played there.


Related: Iowa Hawkeyes 2015 Preview and Prediction

 

4. Purdue

The schedule isn't going to do Darrell Hazell any favors in 2015 as far as his rebuilding effort goes. The Boilermakers open with a trip to Marshall — a game they're not likely to be favored in. Once conference play starts, they can look forward to trips to East Lansing, Madison, Evanston and Iowa City. Northwestern is the only team on Purdue's road schedule that didn't play in a bowl game last year.

 

Related: Purdue Boilermakers 2015 Preview and Prediction

 

3. Northwestern

Speaking of the Wildcats, they've got an even tougher series of road games than Purdue. They'll first travel to Durham, N.C., to play what has become a very respectable Duke program. In conference, they'll play at Michigan, at Wisconsin and at Nebraska in what is quickly becoming a heated rivalry. They'll wrap up the season at Soldier Field against Illinois. Northwestern will have less distance to travel in that one, but it'll be anything but a home game.

 

Related: Northwestern Wildcats 2015 Preview and Prediction

 

2. Michigan State

As good as many are expecting the Spartans to be once again this season, the players and coaches they lost over the past couple of years should make this a fairly interesting campaign in East Lansing. After opening with what should be a snoozer at Western Michigan, they'll start their Big Ten road schedule with back-to-back trips to Rutgers and Michigan — two places where the fans will be anxious to make their presence felt against one of the "tough guys" on the block. The Spartans will then make the trip to Nebraska to play the Huskers, who haven't exactly been a pushover in recent years for Mark Dantonio and Co. The game that pushes this slate to the No. 2 position is the unenviable trip they'll make to play the defending national champion Buckeyes in Columbus on Nov. 21.

 

Related: Michigan State Spartans 2015 Preview and Prediction

 

1. Maryland

The second go-round for the Terps in the Big Ten will be a doozy. All five road opponents in 2015 played in bowl games last season. Randy Edsall's group starts its road schedule with a border-war in Morgantown to face West Virginia. Maryland follows that up with conference games at Ohio State, Iowa, and Michigan State — finishing the year with another rivalry game against fellow B1G newcomer Rutgers. 

 

Related: Maryland Terrapins 2015 Preview and Prediction

 

— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Scott is the editor-in-chief of KnowItAllFootball.com, a Big Ten site for Big Ten fans. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.

Teaser:
Five Toughest Big Ten Road Schedules in 2015
Post date: Friday, June 5, 2015 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News, Magazines
Path: /magazines/buy-2015-athlon-sports-college-football-preview-here
Body:

No more signing day. No more spring practice. All that stands between you and college football season are the long summer months.

 

Luckily, Athlon can help you fill that college football void and prepare for the 2015 season.

 

Here’s what is in the pages of Athlon Sports to get you ready for another wild football season:

 

 

Available in every magazine

 

  • The numbers and trends that determine in predicting team performance, by SB Nation’s Bill Connelly. 
  • Why college football is in a golden age ... any why it could end, by CBSSports.com’s Jon Solomon.
  • How Ohio State is pulling the Big Ten into the future, by SB Nation’s Steven Godfrey.
  • Breakdowns of key quarterback battles that will determine the season.
  • National unit rankings of every position group.
  • Heisman Trophy contenders, new coach rankings, coaches on the hot seat, key newcomers and players returning from injury, new coordinator breakdowns.
  • National top 25, bowl and conference predictions, national unit rankings.
  • FCS top 25.
  • 247Sports recruiting rankings.

 

Only available in the national edition

 

  • Rankings, previews and depth charts written by team insiders for all 128 teams.

 

 

Only available in the SEC edition

 

  • Six-page previews on each SEC team, including anonymous opponent scouting reports, depth charts and recruiting reports.
  • Four-page bonus preview of Notre Dame.
  • Previews and depth charts for regional teams such as UCF, Memphis, Southern Miss, WKU, Tulane and USF.
  • 10 trends to watch in the SEC for 2015.
  • Why paying top dollar for a coordinator is a must for winning teams.
  • Profile of new Auburn quarterback Jeremy Johnson.
  • Profile of Tennessee running backs Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara.
  • A look at the future of LSU’s troubled quarterback position.
  • Advanced stats for every team in the SEC.

 

 

Only available in the Big Ten edition

 

  • Four-page previews on each Big Ten team, including anonymous opponent scouting reports, depth charts and recruiting reports.
  • Four-page bonus preview of Notre Dame.
  • Previews and depth charts for every MAC team.
  • Profile of Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott.
  • Profile of Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg.
  • Profile of new Nebraska coach Mike Riley.
  • Profile of new Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst.
  • Advanced stats for every team in the Big Ten.

 

 

Only available in the Big 12 edition

 

  • Six-page previews on each SEC team, including anonymous opponent scouting reports, depth charts and recruiting reports.
  • Four-page bonus preview of Notre Dame.
  • Previews and depth charts for regional teams such as Houston, SMU, Marshall, Tulsa and North Texas.
  • Why Oklahoma has been both the most lucky and most unlucky team in the league.
  • Why recruiting has become a major in Big 12 country.
  • Why a letter from Bill Snyder is the greatest trophy in college football.
  • Profiles of key new coordinators at Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Kansas.
  • Advanced stats for every team in the Big 12.

 

 

Only available in the ACC edition

 

  • Four-page previews on each ACC team, including anonymous opponent scouting reports, depth charts and recruiting reports.
  • Four-page bonus preview of Notre Dame.
  • Previews and depth charts for East Carolina, Navy, Charlotte and Old Dominion.
  • Profile of high school-now-college rivals Dalvin Cook (Florida State) and Joseph Yearby (Miami).
  • How Clemson’s offense will evolve without Chad Morris.
  • How Georgia Tech and Paul Johnson continue to prove the critics wrong.
  • Why Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer and Virginia coach Mike London are facing critical seasons.
  • Advanced stats for every team in the ACC.

 

 

Only available in the Pac-12 edition

 

  • Four-page previews on each Pac-12 team, including anonymous opponent scouting reports, depth charts and recruiting reports.
  • Four-page bonus previews of BYU and Notre Dame.
  • Previews and depth charts for every Mountain West team.
  • 12 Trends to Watch in the Pac-12 in 2015.
  • Advanced stats for every team in the Pac-12.
Teaser:
Buy the 2015 Athlon Sports College Football Preview Here
Post date: Friday, June 5, 2015 - 07:36
All taxonomy terms: NBA
Path: /nba/jimmy-kimmel-releases-nba-finals-edition-mean-tweets-jalen-rose-blake-griffin-steph-curry
Body:

Jimmy Kimmel's "Mean Tweets" segment is one of the best things on television.

 

The "Jimmy Kimmel Live" host brought another edition of the tweets just in time for the NBA Finals. Jalen Rose, Mark Jackson, Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and others read the tweets that fans never really mean for the athletes to see.

 

(Warning: This video may contain NSFW language.)

 

 

Blake Griffin always gets the brunt of fan hatred.

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 21:09
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Overtime
Path: /college-football/arizona-football-releases-awesome-star-wars-themed-video-wildcats
Body:

What's better than a regular old hype video? One that incorporates Star Wars into it.

 

Arizona is appealing to a wide range of fans with its "The Force Awakens" video. Get ready to #BearDown with the Wildcats when they open the season against UTSA.

 

If the Wildcats' season is as good as this video, the rest of the Pac-12 may be in trouble.

 

 

Bear down.

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 16:42
All taxonomy terms: NFC, NFC West, Seattle Seahawks, NFL, News
Path: /nfl/throwback-thursday-seattle-seahawks-founded-41-years-ago-today
Body:

Forty-one years ago today in 1974, the NFL granted Seattle a team as part of the expansion process that brought the league from 26 to 28 teams. They joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that year in the NFL and began playing in the 1976 season. 

 

Initially a member of the NFC in 1976, they moved to the AFC the following year, not returning back to their current position in the NFC until 2002.  Since their inception into the league, they have collected one Super Bowl championship, three conference championships, nine division championships, and fourteen playoff appearances. 

 

Over the past three years, the Seahawks have established themselves as one of the top teams, making the last two Super Bowls and winning 36 regular season games.


Take a look back in time of some of the great memories in Seahawks' history:

 

 

 



A look back at when the uniforms for the Seattle Seahawks were unveiled for their first season in 1976.



Quarterback Russell Wilson douses head coach Pete Carroll with a Gatorade Bath following their victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.


Hall of Fame wide receiver Steve Largent absolutely destroys Mike Harden after an interception. Defensive holding on the play negated the interception, but the hit's memory lives on.

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 16:05
Path: /mlb/cleveland-indians-channel-their-inner-taylor-swift-twitter
Body:

While the Cleveland Cavaliers have been at the center of attention, it was their neighbors, the Indians, who took over social media last night. In an AL Central matchup with the first-place Kansas City Royals, the social media team channeled their inner Taylor Swift on Twitter. 

 

The move was not random, however, as Swift was performing at the same time in Cleveland at Quicken Loans Arena, home to the Cavaliers. The team tweeted out references to several Swift songs, including "Shake It Off" and "Bad Blood," during the course of the game. While the Indians lost the game, it seems like one of those nights not to fret the loss for anybody following on Twitter.
 

Look below for some of the tweets during the game:

 

 

We knew Escobar and Moustakas were trouble when they walked in. KC takes 1-0 lead after 1, as Escobar doubles and Moustakas singles.

 

(We're not sure we're going to be able to keep this up all night, but we're going down swinging.)

 

Oh boy ... probably going to be some (ahem) bad blood after those #CyKluber #whiff of Rios and Infante in the 2nd.

 

Even without the beard, he'll never go out of style. pic.twitter.com/DECDAk43Qw

 

 

Teaser:
Cleveland Indians Channel Their Inner Taylor Swift on Twitter
Post date: Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 15:15
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Overtime
Path: /college-football/south-carolina-releases-hype-video-anticipation-season
Body:

College football season can't arrive soon enough. 

 

South Carolina released their video called, "Anticipation" to get fans hyped for what lies ahead. They take moments from the past, present, and what they hope will be the future. 

 

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 15:08
All taxonomy terms: NBA, Overtime
Path: /overtime/lebron-james-jr-leads-his-team-championship-cavaliers
Body:

It pays being the son of one of the greatest players in the world, and LeBron James Jr. is taking full advantage.

 

The younger James participated in the Hype Sports Summer Jam 2015 tournament and led his team to victory, as he's seen his father do so many times. This kid dribbles, drives, passes, steals, and shoots. Being great at a little bit of everything is this kid's game.

 

The court vision of the elder James is often seen in his son as he assists players with the sweetest dimes.

 

 

College coaches can't wait for this kid to grow up.

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 13:56
All taxonomy terms: NBA, Overtime
Path: /nba/shia-labeouf-steph-curry-lebron-james-pumped-finals-warriors-cavaliers
Body:

Motivational speeches can come from anyone. Yes, even Shia LaBeouf.

 

The "Transformers" actor seems to be more pumped than anybody for the NBA Finals. Coming off the heels of his inspirational words just a few days ago, LaBeouf is back to help LeBron James and Stephen Curry get hype for the big game. 

 

 

Maybe LaBeouf needs to get out on the court too.

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 13:19
All taxonomy terms: Overtime, News
Path: /overtime/blackhawks-kris-versteeg-smashes-post-gets-penalty
Body:

Blackhawks right winger Kris Versteeg wasn’t even supposed to be playing in game one of the Stanley Cup Finals. On Monday he had his first child, and he hadn’t played since Game 3 of the Conference Finals on May 21. However, left-winger Bryan Bickell was sidelined with an upper body injury that freed up a spot for Versteeg.

 

In the second period, Vertseeg was fighting for the puck to the left of the Lightning net with two defenders. After not gaining possession, he skated away in front of the goal, but was blocked off by one of the defenders. He then tripped into the goalie, with his face smashing into the right post, sending the net out of its place holding. 

 

Then to add insult to injury, officials pinned Versteeg with goalkeeper interference, a two-minute penalty that gave the Lightning a power play.

 

The Blackhawks went on to win the game, 2-1, scoring both of their goals in the third period.  

 

Take a look below to see the hit and another time Versteeg ended up in the goal:

 




 

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 12:59
Path: /college-football/breaking-down-tennessee-volunteers-future-quarterback-jauan-jennings
Body:

Tennessee fans are well aware of what returning starting quarterback Joshua Dobbs brings to the table. But what about the trio of talented freshmen that will be joining Dobbs on The Hill this fall?

 

Related: Tennessee Volunteers 2015 Preview and Prediction

 

With the loss of three of the Vols’ four scholarship quarterbacks this past year, Tennessee head coach Butch Jones knew that it was of paramount importance to recruit well at the quarterback position heading into the 2015 season. Not only did Jones and the Tennessee coaching staff rise to the challenge, they landed arguably the top class of freshman quarterbacks in the entire nation for 2015. This group is comprised of three consensus 4-star recruits — Jauan Jennings, Quinten Dormady and Sheriron Jones.  In the first of a three-part series featuring each of the freshman quarterbacks, here is a closer look at Jennings.

 

The first of the three highly touted signal-callers to commit to the Vols was Jennings, the home state product who starred at Blackman High School in Murfreesboro. Jennings is a phenomenal athlete that possesses the talent to play multiple positions, which enabled him to garner the accolade of Tennessee Mr. Football in class AAA for 2014. The 6-4, 200-pound rising star also ranked as the No. 167 player in the nation according to the 247 Sports composite rankings for the 2015 class.

 

Among Jennings’ greatest attributes are his athleticism and speed, which allowed him to rush for 883 yards and 17 touchdowns in his senior season at Blackman. Jennings’ ability to escape the pocket, giving valuable time for receivers to get open, is another of his stronger assets. This aided tremendously in his 2,155 passing yards and 22 touchdowns through the air in his final season of high school football.

 

While Jennings has plenty of upside as a dual-threat quarterback, he is not quite as polished as his freshman quarterback counterparts in the passing game. Footwork, accuracy and mechanics are all areas where he needs to show improvement. Running ability is a great attribute for any quarterback to possess, and there is no doubt that Jennings has wheels, but that will only get him so far against the rough and tumble defenses of the SEC.

 

The good news is that Jennings was able to get a jump start by enrolling early at Tennessee allowing him to participate in spring drills. He also participated in the 2015 Orange and White game, where his gifts were on full display, breaking free for a crowd pleasing 45-yard jaunt to the end zone.

 

All indications coming out of spring practice are that Jennings resides just behind fellow freshman Quinten Dormady for the backup spot on the depth chart. Jennings also will have his hands full competing with the other talented incoming freshman, Sheriron Jones, who is expected to arrive on campus in the near future.

 

Jennings is the most athletically gifted of the three freshman quarterbacks. This should help provide him with every opportunity to seize the No. 2 spot behind incumbent starter Dobbs heading into the season opener, but the fact remains that he will need to make tremendous strides in the passing game between now and Sept. 5 to make that a reality. One thing that is quite evident, Jennings is destined to be an impact player for the Vols, even if it turns out that his future lies somewhere other than quarterback. This is an advantage and luxury his fellow competitors do not possess.

 

— Written by Rob McVey, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. McVey is a diehard Tennessee Volunteers fan who loves singing “Rocky Top” every opportunity he gets. Follow him on Twitter @Rob_UTVOLS.

 

(Jauan Jennings photo courtesy of UTSports.com)

Teaser:
Breaking Down the Tennessee Volunteers' Future at Quarterback: Jauan Jennings
Post date: Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 12:30
Path: /mlb/cubs-junior-lake-homers-then-taunts-marlins
Body:

Down 6-1 in the sixth inning, Cubs right fielder Junior Lake blasted a home run deep to left field. Filling in for an injured Jorge Soler, the unassuming batter flipped his bat a bit much and trotted around the bases to collect his run. 

 

However, as he rounded third and headed for home, he glared over at the Marlins dugout and brought his finger to his mouth, indicating them to shush. 

 

Nobody on the Marlins seemed to make any provocation against the young player, but things became chippy afterwards. After stepping on the plate, Marlins catcher, J.T. Realmuto greeted him with some strong words that ultimately cleared the benches and brought both teams around home plate. Cubs star, Anthony Rizzo, restrained Lake well, and luckily no punches were thrown during this odd ordeal. 

 

It was just Junior Lake’s first home run of the season, and the Cubs went on to lose 7-3.  

 

Take a look below at his taunt:

 

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 11:44
Path: /college-football/big-ten-football-2015-predictions
Body:

The Big Ten is a conference on the rise. Ohio State is the defending national champion, Michigan State has won at least 11 games in four out of the last five seasons, and with new coaches at Penn State (James Franklin) and Michigan (Jim Harbaugh) it won’t be long before both programs are back among the top 25 on an annual basis.

 

In a prediction that should surprise no one, Ohio State is Athlon’s projected Big Ten champion for 2015. The Buckeyes are also Athlon’s predicted national champion. Michigan State is a close No. 2 in the East, but the Spartans must replace standout coordinator Pat Narduzzi and reload in the secondary. Wisconsin is Athlon’s pick to win the West.

 

Here are a few key storylines to watch for the Big Ten in 2015, followed by complete predictions and season projections.

 

5 Key Questions That Will Shape the Big Ten in 2015

 

1. Ohio State’s Quest for a Repeat

Ohio State will be fighting history in its quest to go back-to-back as college football’s national champion. Only one team since 1998 (Alabama) was able to go back-to-back, and it’s never easy to make it through a season with a loss, key injury or simply bad luck in a game. While history isn’t on their side, the Buckeyes have few holes and a favorable path to a playoff bid. Sure, there’s uncertainty at quarterback, but coach Urban Meyer isn’t hurting for proven options. Replacing receiver Devin Smith and right tackle Darryl Baldwin are the biggest question marks on offense, while the defense needs to develop more depth in the trenches and fill the void left behind at cornerback by Doran Grant. Will Michigan State push Ohio State for the Big Ten title? Could rival Michigan play spoiler in the final week of November? Those scenarios are possible, but it’s going to be tough for any team to beat the Buckeyes in 2015.

 

2. Jim Harbaugh’s Impact at Michigan

There’s no doubt Michigan will show improvement in the first season under new coach Jim Harbaugh. But how high can the Wolverines climb in the East Division? Third place seems to be the ceiling for Harbaugh’s team. While Michigan is poised to make gains in the win column, this team still has a few glaring concerns. Quarterback is the biggest question mark for Harbaugh, but Iowa transfer Jake Rudock provides an experienced option. The offensive line has been the biggest issue for Michigan over the last two seasons and returns four starters for 2015. The Wolverines also need to generate better production on the ground and find a go-to receiver. The strength of Harbaugh’s team will be on defense after limiting opponents to 22.4 points per game in 2014. Eight wins is a reasonable expectation for Michigan. But reaching eight or nine victories will require improvement on offense. How quickly will Harbaugh find the right answers in his return to Ann Arbor?

 

3. Wisconsin vs. Nebraska in the West

Anchored by defending national champion Ohio State and Mark Dantonio’s Michigan State Spartans, the balance of power in the Big Ten is clearly in the East. In addition to Ohio State and Michigan State, Penn State and Michigan should show improvement in 2015. The West Division has only one team (Wisconsin) in Athlon’s projected top 25 for 2015. Even with a new coach (Paul Chryst), the Badgers’ formula for success won’t change. Melvin Gordon will be missed, but Corey Clement is the next star at running back. And Wisconsin’s defense should be among the best in the Big Ten with seven returning starters. While the Badgers will be a popular pick to win the West, Nebraska isn’t far behind. New coach Mike Riley is changing the schemes on both sides of the ball, so there will be a transition period for this team. However, if quarterback Tommy Armstrong settles into the new pro-style attack, the Cornhuskers have the necessary pieces in place to win the West. Wisconsin is the favorite, but the gap between the Badgers and Nebraska might be smaller than most believe.

 

4. Year 2 for James Franklin at Penn State, Michigan State Defense

James Franklin’s Penn State debut had its share of ups and downs. The Nittany Lions finished 7-6 but closed the year with a win over Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl. The defense ranked near the top nationally in the four major statistical categories and should be strong once again with seven starters back. However, for Franklin’s team to finish in the top 25, the offense has to take a step forward. The offensive line struggled in 2014, but there’s signs of optimism in 2015. And if the line is able to provide better protection for quarterback Christian Hackenberg, the offense will easily surpass last year’s totals. The talent is there to push for nine wins in 2015. Getting there requires improved play up front and a better year from Hackenberg (15 TDs, 12 INTs in 2014). For Michigan State, the Spartans have emerged as one of the Big Ten’s top programs over the last five seasons. Coach Mark Dantonio’s team won’t slip too far in the standings in 2015, but the defense may take a step back without Pat Narduzzi calling the plays. While the front seven is rock solid for new co-coordinators Harlon Barnett and Mike Tressel, there’s a lot of uncertainty in the secondary. How quickly Michigan State reconfigures on defense will dictate whether or not it can challenge Ohio State.

 

5. On the Hot Seat?

Could this be a make-or-break year for a couple of coaches in the Big Ten? Kirk Ferentz’s oft-mentioned contract will continue to be a point of discussion around the Big Ten, especially if the Hawkeyes finish close to the .500 mark once again. Iowa is just 19-19 over the last three years, and Ferentz has to push for improvement with a team that returns just 10 starters in 2015. Despite a bowl appearance in 2014, Illinois’ Tim Beckman is on the hot seat. Allegations of player mistreatment this offseason have only added to the pressure on this program, and the Fighting Illini are looking to take a step forward after losing all seven games by at least 10 points last year. Making matters worse for Beckman, top receiver Mike Dudek suffered a torn ACL in the spring and may miss all of the 2015 season. Rutgers is also coming off a bowl game, but how much will this team miss offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen? In the Hoosier State, Indiana and Purdue combined for a 7-17 mark last season. There’s more reason for optimism for Kevin Wilson’s Hoosiers, especially with the return of quarterback Nate Sudfeld from injury. The Boilermakers are young and showed signs of progress in coach Darrell Hazell’s second year. However, the Boilermakers struggled to be competitive in Big Ten play and more progress is needed.  

 

Big Ten Team Previews for 2015

East Division
 
National
Rank:
605734713265
West Division
 
National
Rank:
64534529588419

 

Visit the Athlon Sports Online Store to order a copy of the 2015 Big Ten Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 14 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 
 

 

Big Ten Football 2015 Predictions

     
East Division
RankTeam Projected Big Ten RecordProjected Overall Record
1

Ohio State

(No. 1)

8-013-0
Read the full, in-depth preview of Ohio State for 2015.
2

Michigan State

(No. 7)

6-210-2
Read the full, in-depth preview of Michigan State for 2015.
3

Penn State

(No. 32)

4-48-4
Read the full, in-depth preview of Penn State for 2015.
4

Michigan

(No. 34)

4-47-5
Read the full, in-depth preview of Michigan for 2015.
5

Maryland

(No. 57)

3-56-6
Read the full, in-depth preview of Maryland for 2015.
6

Indiana

(No. 60)

2-66-6
Read the full, in-depth preview of Indiana for 2015.
7

Rutgers

(No. 65)

1-75-7
Read the full, in-depth preview of Rutgers for 2015.
     
West Division
RankTeam Projected Big Ten RecordProjected Overall Record
1

Wisconsin

(No. 19)

6-29-4
Read the full, in-depth preview of Wisconsin for 2015.
2

Nebraska

(No. 29)

5-38-4
Read the full, in-depth preview of Nebraska for 2015.
3

Minnesota

(No. 45)

5-38-4
Read the full, in-depth preview of Minnesota for 2015.
4

Iowa

(No. 53)

4-47-5
Read the full, in-depth preview of Iowa for 2015.
5

Northwestern

(No. 58)

4-46-6
Read the full, in-depth preview of Northwestern for 2015.
6

Illinois

(No. 64)

3-56-6
Read the full, in-depth preview of Illinois for 2015.
7

Purdue

(No. 84)

1-73-9
Read the full, in-depth preview of Purdue for 2015.
     
Big Ten Championship
  Ohio State over Wisconsin  

 

Big Ten 2015 Superlatives and Season Predictions
 Steven
Lassan
Mitch
Light
Mark
Ross
Braden
Gall
David
Fox
 @AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@AthlonMarkR@BradenGall@DavidFox615
Offensive POYEzekiel Elliott
RB, OSU
Ezekiel Elliott
RB, OSU
Ezekiel Elliott
RB, OSU
Connor Cook
QB, MSU
Ohio State QB
Defensive POYJoey Bosa
DE, OSU
Joey Bosa
DE, OSU
Joey Bosa
DE, OSU
Darron Lee
LB, OSU
Joey Bosa
DE, OSU
Coach of the YearUrban Meyer
Ohio State
Urban Meyer
Ohio State
Urban Meyer
Ohio State
Urban Meyer
Ohio State
Jim Harbaugh
Michigan
Coach on Hot SeatTim Beckman
Illinois
Tim Beckman
Illinois
Kevin Wilson
Indiana
Tim Beckman
Illinois
Tim Beckman
Illinois
Top FreshmanJabrill Peppers
DB, Michigan
Jabrill Peppers
DB, Michigan
LJ Scott
RB, MSU
Jabrill Peppers
DB, Michigan
Jabrill Peppers
DB, Michigan
Top NewcomerJordan Howard
RB, Indiana
Jordan Howard
RB, Indiana
Jordan Howard
RB, Indiana
Jake Rudock
QB, Michigan
Paris Palmer
OT, PSU
Sleeper TeamNebraskaIndianaPenn StateNebraskaNorthwestern
Top Coordinator HireD.J. Durkin
DC, Michigan
D.J. Durkin
DC, Michigan
D.J. Durkin
DC, Michigan
D.J. Durkin
DC, Michigan
Danny Langsdorf
OC, Nebraska
Key Position to WatchPenn State OLPenn State OLOhio State QBMichigan State DBPenn State OL
Hardest to EvaluateMichiganMichiganMichiganNebraskaMinnesota
Coach on the RiseDave Aranda
DC, Wisconsin
Dave Aranda
DC, Wisconsin
Bob Shoop
DC, PSU
Dave Aranda
DC, Wisconsin
Bob Shoop
DC, PSU
Must-See GameMich. State at
Ohio State
Ohio State at 
Michigan
Mich. State at
Ohio State
Ohio State at
Michigan
Ohio State at
Michigan
Breakout PlayerRaekwon McMillan
LB, OSU
Jalin Marshall
WR, OSU
Rodrick Williams
RB, Minnesota
De'Mornay Pierson-El
WR, Nebraska
Corey Clement
RB, Wisconsin
Comeback PlayerNate Sudfeld
QB, Indiana
Nate Sudfeld
QB, Indiana
Jabrill Peppers
DB, Michigan
Braxton Miller
QB, OSU
Nate Sudfeld
QB, Indiana

Ranking the Big Ten's Coaches for 2015

 

1. Urban Meyer, Ohio State

2. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan

3. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State

4. James Franklin, Penn State

5. Jerry Kill, Minnesota

 

Click here to view the full Big Ten Coach Rankings for 2015

 

Ranking the Big Ten's Quarterbacks for 2015

 

1. Ohio State: Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett or Cardale Jones

2. Connor Cook, Michigan State

3. Christian Hackenberg, Penn State

4. Wes Lunt, Illinois

5. Nate Sudfeld, Indiana

 

Click here to view the full Big Ten Quarterback Rankings for 2015

 

Ranking the Big Ten's Running Backs for 2015

 

1. Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State

2. Corey Clement, Wisconsin

3. Justin Jackson, Northwestern

4. Jordan Howard, Indiana

5. Akeel Lynch, Penn State

6. Josh Ferguson, Illinois

 

Click here to view the full Big Ten Running Back Rankings for 2015

 

The Big Ten's Top 5 Players on the Rise for 2015

 

1. Jabrill Peppers, DB, Michigan

2. Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State

3. Corey Clement, RB, Wisconsin

4. Nate Gerry, S, Nebraska

5. Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State

 

Related: College Football's Top 25 Players on the Rise for 2015

 

The Big Ten's Top 5 Non-Conference Games for 2015

 

1. Oregon at Michigan State - Sept. 12

2. Wisconsin vs. Alabama (Arlington) - Sept. 5

3. Ohio State at Virginia Tech - Sept. 7

4. TCU at Minnesota - Sept. 3

5. Nebraska at Miami - Sept. 19

 

Related: Big Ten 2015 Schedule Analysis

 

Key Coordinator Hires for 2015

 

1. D.J. Durkin, Defensive Coordinator, Michigan

2. Danny Langsdorf, Offensive Coordinator, Nebraska

3. Tim Beck, Co-Offensive Coordinator, Ohio State

 

Top Incoming Freshmen (from 247Sports)

 

1. Justin Hilliard, LB, Ohio State

2. L.J. Scott, RB, Ohio State

3. Jerome Baker, LB, Ohio State

4. Brian Cole, WR, Michigan

5. Torrence Gibson, QB, Ohio State

6. Michael Weber, RB, Ohio State

7. Jashon Cornell, DL, Ohio State

8. Eric Glover-Williams, DB, Ohio State

9. Isaiah Prince, OL, Ohio State

10. Matthew Burrell, OL, Ohio State

11. Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

12. Adam McLean, DL, Maryland

13. Garrett Taylor, DB, Penn State

14. John Reid, DB, Penn State

15. Eric Lee Jr., DB, Nebraska

Teaser:
Big Ten Football 2015 Predictions
Post date: Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/mac-football-2015-predictions
Body:

The MAC is known for its high-scoring offenses and midweek games, but more attention should be paid to the depth of this league for 2015.

 

Northern Illinois has dominated the MAC in recent years, claiming five consecutive appearances in the conference championship. The Huskies are once again among the league’s best, but Bowling Green, Toledo and Western Michigan will push Rod Carey’s team this season. UMass is also expected to improve in coach Mark Whipple’s season year, and Ball State will rebound after a 5-7 mark in 2014.

 

Three of the four top teams in the league hail from the West Division, while the Falcons are the clear pick in the East.

 

5 Key Questions That Will Shape the MAC in 2015

 

1. Matt Johnson’s Return at Bowling Green

Bowling Green’s offense was dealt a significant setback last season, as quarterback Matt Johnson was lost for the year after a hip injury in the opener against Western Kentucky. After throwing for 3,467 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2013, Johnson was among the preseason favorites to win MAC Offensive Player of the Year honors last season. But despite Johnson’s absence, Bowling Green won the East and finished 8-6 overall. With Johnson back in the lineup, the Falcons are the pick to repeat as East champs. But is Johnson’s return enough to lift coach Dino Babers’ team to the MAC title? The offense will have no trouble scoring points. However, a defense that allowed 33.5 points per game in 2014 has to improve.

 

2. Toledo vs. NIU vs. WMU

It’s a close call at the top of the West Division. Athlon Sports is picking Toledo, but a strong case could be made for Northern Illinois or Western Michigan. Provided the line is a quick rebuild after losing all five starters, the Rockets will be explosive on offense. Quarterback Phillip Ely returns after missing most of 2014 due to injury, and Kareem Hunt is one of the top running backs in the nation. Coach Matt Campbell’s defense also gets a boost with the return of cornerbacks Cheatham Norrils and Cameron Cole. Western Michigan was one of the nation’s most-improved programs last year and returns 16 starters for 2015. But the Broncos have a tough schedule, including back-to-back games at Northern Illinois and Toledo to close the regular season. Northern Illinois returns a strong core, and quarterback Drew Hare will be better with another offseason to work as the starter. However, the Huskies have a few personnel issues, as first-team All-MAC end Jason Meehan and standout safety Dechane Durante must be replaced. Additionally, three starters on the offensive line are gone. Expect the West Division to go down to the final week.

 

3. UMass…Potential MAC East Contender?

After winning just two games from 2012-13, UMass improved to 3-9 in coach Mark Whipple’s return to Amherst. But the Minutemen were much closer to .500 than the final record indicated. UMass lost by three points in matchups against Vanderbilt and Colorado and was suffered three defeats by a touchdown or less in MAC games. The Minutemen are departing the conference after 2015, and it’s critical for the program to show progress with a handful of seniors – including star quarterback Blake Frohnapfel – out of eligibility at the end of this season. While UMass has a road date at Bowling Green, it misses Ohio in conference action and doesn’t play Western Michigan or Northern Illinois. A winning record wouldn’t be a surprise for Whipple’s team in 2015.

 

4. Buffalo and Akron use Different Methods to Find Improvement

The “wild card” tag would be appropriate when examining the prospects of Akron and Buffalo in 2015. The Bulls should be explosive on offense behind quarterback Joe Licata and running back Anthone Taylor. And new coach Lance Leipold was one of the offseason’s top hires, which should help the program take a step forward after a 5-6 mark in 2014. Buffalo does have question marks on defense and on the offensive line, but a good quarterback and coach can mask some of the issues in a league like the MAC. While the Bulls are turning to a new coach for improvement, Akron is dipping in the transfer market for talent upgrades after a 5-7 record in 2014. The Zips won at Pittsburgh in late September but did not beat a team with a winning record in MAC games. How will transfers Tra’Von Chapman (QB), Rodney Coe (DT), Jamal Marcus (DE) and Larry Hope (Miami) blend with the returning talent? Akron has enough pieces to get to a bowl if coach Terry Bowden is able to improve an offense that finished ninth in the MAC in scoring last year.

 

5. Signs of Progress at EMU, Miami (Ohio) and Kent State?

Kent State, Miami (Ohio) and Eastern Michigan rank at the bottom of Athlon’s 128 power rankings and the MAC for 2015. However, there’s reason for optimism at all three programs. The Eagles return promising sophomore quarterback Reginald Bell and tackling machine Great Ibe at linebacker. There’s also a favorable home slate in 2015, which should allow coach Chris Creighton’s team to take a step forward. Miami (Ohio) loses standout quarterback Andrew Hendrix, but the RedHawks are trending in the right direction in coach Chuck Martin’s second year. Kent State has won only six games in coach Paul Haynes’ two seasons. With the addition of coordinator Don Treadwell and the return of running back Trayion Durham, the Golden Flashes could double their win total from 2014 (two).

 

MAC 2015 Team Previews
East Division
 
National
Rank:
97781051191219892
West Division
 
National
Rank:
94111127807581

Visit the Athlon Sports Online Store to order a copy of the 2015 National College Football Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 128 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

MAC Football 2015 Predictions

     
East Division
RankTeam Projected MAC RecordProjected Overall Record
1

Bowling Green

(No. 78)

7-18-5
Read the full, in-depth preview of Bowling Green for 2015.
2

UMass

(No. 92)

5-36-6
Read the full, in-depth preview of UMass for 2015.
3

Akron

(No. 97)

5-36-6
Read the full, in-depth preview of Akron for 2015.
4

Ohio

(No. 98)

4-47-5
Read the full, in-depth preview of Ohio for 2015.
5

Buffalo

(No. 105)

3-56-6
Read the full, in-depth preview of Buffalo for 2015.
6

Kent State

(No. 119)

1-72-10
Read the full, in-depth preview of Kent State for 2015.
7

Miami (Ohio)

(No. 121)

1-72-10
Read the full, in-depth preview of Miami (Ohio) for 2015.
     
West Division
RankTeam Projected MAC RecordProjected Overall Record
1

Toledo

(No. 75)

6-29-4
Read the full, in-depth preview of Toledo for 2015.
2

Northern Illinois

(No. 80)

6-28-4
Read the full, in-depth preview of Northern Illinois for 2015.
3

Western Michigan

(No. 81)

6-27-5
Read the full, in-depth preview of Western Michigan for 2015.
4

Ball State

(No. 94)

4-46-6
Read the full, in-depth preview of Ball State for 2015.
5

Central Michigan

(No. 111)

3-54-8
Read the full, in-depth preview of Central Michigan for 2015.
6

Eastern Michigan

(No. 127)

1-71-11
Read the full, in-depth preview of Eastern Michigan for 2015.
     
MAC Championship
 Toledo over Bowling Green 

 

MAC 2015 Superlatives and Season Predictions
 Steven
Lassan
Mitch
Light
Mark
Ross
David
Fox
 @AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@AthlonMarkR@DavidFox615
Offensive POYKareem Hunt
RB, Toledo
Blake Frohnapfel
QB, UMass
Kareem Hunt
RB, Toledo
Jarvion Franklin
RB, WMU
Defensive POYJatavis Brown
LB, Akron
Paris Logan
CB, NIU
Trent Voss
DE, Toledo
Quentin Poling
LB, Ohio
Coach of the YearMark Whipple
UMass
Mark Whipple
UMass
Matt Campbell
Toledo
Pete Lembo
Ball State
Coach on Hot SeatPaul Haynes
Kent State
Paul Haynes
Kent State
Terry Bowden
Akron
Matt Campbell
Toledo
Top FreshmanGus Ragland
QB, Miami (Ohio)
Gus Ragland
QB, Miami (Ohio)
Justin Tranquill
S, WMU
James Gilbert
RB, Ball State
Top NewcomerRodney Coe
DL, Akron
Rodney Coe
DL, Akron
Rolan Milligan
S, Toledo
Jamal Marcus
DL, Akron
Sleeper TeamBuffaloUMassWestern MichiganBall State
Top Coordinator HireDon Treadwell
OC, Kent State
Brian Ward
DC, BGSU
Brian Ward
DC, BGSU
Don Treadwell
OC, Kent State
Key Position to WatchToledo OLUMass OLUMass RBToledo OL
Hardest to EvaluateCentral MichiganBuffaloNorthern IllinoisAkron
Coach on the RiseLance Leipold
Buffalo
Lance Leipold
Buffalo
P.J. Fleck
WMU
P.J. Fleck
WMU
Must-See GameToledo at 
BGSU
Toledo at
BGSU
Toledo at
BGSU
Toledo at 
BGSU
Breakout PlayerReginald Bell
QB, EMU
Phillip Ely
QB, Toledo
A.J. Ouellette
RB, Ohio
A.J. Ouellette
RB, Ohio
Comeback PlayerMatt Johnson
QB, BGSU
Matt Johnson
QB, BGSU
Trayion Durham
RB, Kent State
Matt Johnson
QB, BGSU
Ranking the MAC's Coaches for 2015

 

1. Pete Lembo, Ball State

2. Rod Carey, Northern Illinois

3. Frank Solich, Ohio

4. Terry Bowden, Akron

5. Matt Campbell, Toledo

6. P.J. Fleck, Western Michigan

 

Ranking the MAC's Quarterbacks for 2015

 

1. Blake Frohnapfel, UMass

2. Matt Johnson, Bowling Green

3. Zach Terrell, Western Michigan

4. Joe Licata, Buffalo

5. Cooper Rush, Central Michigan

6. Drew Hare, Northern Illinois

 

Ranking the MAC's Running Backs for 2015

 

1. Kareem Hunt, Toledo

2. Jarvion Franklin, Western Michigan

3. Travis Greene, Bowling Green

4. Anthone Taylor, Buffalo

5. A.J. Ouellette, Ohio

 

MAC's Top 5 Non-Conference Games for 2015

 

1. Michigan State at Western Michigan - Sept. 4

2. Northern Illinois at Ohio State - Sept. 19

3. Toledo at Arkansas - Sept. 12

4. Western Michigan at Ohio State - Sept. 26

5. UMass at Notre Dame - Sept. 26

 

Key Coordinator Hires for 2015

 

1. Don Treadwell, Offensive Coordinator, Kent State

2. Brian Ward, Defensive Coordinator, Bowling Green

3. Brian Borland, Defensive Coordinator, Buffalo

 

Top Incoming Freshmen (from 247Sports)

 

1. James Morgan, QB, Bowling Green

2. Justin Tranquill, DB, Western Michigan

3. Deontai Williams, DB, Ohio

4. Spencer Tears, WR, Northern Illinois

5. LeVante Bellamy, WR, Western Michigan

6. Juantez McRae, DB, Kent State

7. Aaron Covington, DB, Toledo

8. Chris Green, LB, Toledo

9. Brandon Childress, WR, Central Michigan

10. Jeff Christian, DB, Ohio

Teaser:
MAC Football 2015 Predictions
Post date: Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 10:00
Path: /nba/lebron-james-has-strong-history-against-golden-state-warriors
Body:

Although the Golden State Warriors enter the NBA Finals as the favorites over the Cleveland Cavaliers, recent history between the two teams sides with Lebron James. The King should have plenty of reasons to feel optimistic about the upcoming matchup because of his utter dominance. The series opens up at Golden State, where Lebron’s last trip resulted in dramatic winning fashion.

 

On February 13, 2014, as a member of the Miami Heat, Lebron sank a step back three pointer with under a second left to steal a 111-110 win from the Warriors.  James ended the game with 36 points and 13 rebounds

 

A little over a year later on February 26, Lebron James once again dominated with 42 points and 11 rebounds in a 110-99 win at home.

 

The two teams split the regular season series this year, although Lebron James missed the first game due to knee and back injuries. 

 

Here's a look at Lebron James' game winning shot in 2014 and dominance earlier this year:

 

 

Teaser:
LeBron James Has Strong History Against Golden State Warriors
Post date: Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 09:00
Path: /college-football/wisconsin-kicker-rafael-gaglianone-attempts-field-goal-holders-nose
Body:

Wisconsin’s Rafael Gaglianone is taking trick shots by kickers to a new level. On Wednesday, the Badgers kicker posted a video attempting a field goal, while his holder keeps the ball upright by using his nose.

 

Needless to say, perfection is critical here. If Gaglianone just misses, the holder is going to be in a little of bit of pain.

 

Whether it’s in the NFL or college football, kickers are always under the spotlight. Miss a field goal or extra point and it might cost a team a victory.

 

In Gaglianone’s case, attempting a field goal while your holder uses his nose to keep the ball upright requires perfection and timing – this is why he’s one of the best kickers in the Big Ten.

 

 

Teaser:
Wisconsin Kicker Rafael Gaglianone Attempts Field Goal Off Holder's Nose
Post date: Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 08:30
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News, Magazines
Path: /magazines/athlon-sports-2015-preseason-top-25-streaks-droughts-and-superlatives
Body:

College football is an unpredictable sport, which, naturally, makes life interesting for those of us in the business of trying to evaluate what’s going to happen next.

 

The preseason top 25 is a starting point as much as it is a prediction of what’s to come. We've had our share of hits and misses over the years, some No. 1 teams that have won championships, some leaps of faith tha panned out and some that did. 

 

Certainly, we want to nail every pick, but we're just fine if not everything goes to plan. Who wants to watch a sport they can forecast perfectly months before the season?

 

Now that the Athlon top 25 has been released, and our magazines are available all across America, this is a perfect time to look back at this year’s top 25 and how teams rank compared to years past.

 

In some ways, this is a typical year. Ohio State and Alabama sit near the top of the rankings, which is pretty much a sure-thing at this point.

 

But at the same time, teams like Baylor, TCU and Michigan State all have their highest ranking in Athlon history while Florida and Texas are nowhere to be found in the top 25.

 

Here’s what made this year’s top 25 standout compared to Athlon’s preseason rankings going back to 1976.

 

• Ohio State is No. 1 for the fourth time since Athlon’s rankings began in 1976. Only Florida State (eight times), USC (six) and Oklahoma (five) have been ranked No. 1 more.

 

• The Buckeyes have the distinction of having the longest active streak in the Athlon top 25 at more than two decades. Ohio State has been in every Athlon top 25 since 1994. The next longest streaks belong to Oklahoma (in the top 25 every year since 2000) and Georgia (since 2002).

 

Alabama, ranked second in this year’s top 25, has been ranked Nos. 1, 2 or 3 every year since 2010.

 

Baylor’s No. 3 ranking is the highest ranking for the Bears in Athlon history, beating their old record of No. 10 last season. Baylor was unranked from 1992-2013 and had never been ranked higher than No. 14 in 1978.

 

• Another sign the Big 12 has been turned upon its head: No. 5 TCU is making its first appearance in the Athlon top 10.

 

• After back-to-back AP top-five finishes, Michigan State has finally taught us a lesson. The No. 7 Spartans have earned their highest ranking in Athlon history, topping a No. 11 ranking in 1988 — a team that finished 6-5-1 with a Gator Bowl loss.

 

• No. 21 Mississippi State is ranked for the first time since 2001, which the Bulldogs probably hope is a better omen than it was back then. Mississippi State followed an 8-4 season in 2000 by going 3-8 in 2001. Oops.

 

• No. 17 Oklahoma is tied for its lowest ranking since the last time the Sooners were last out of our top 25 in 1999. Oklahoma has been ranked in our preseason top 10 in all but three seasons since 2000 (ranked 17th in 2015, 2013 and 2000). Oklahoma won the national title in 2000 — but started the season ranked No. 17 by Athlon and No. 19 by the AP.

 

• Welcome back, Tennessee. The No. 22 Volunteers are ranked for the first time since 2008. Tennessee had been ranked every year from 1990-2008.

 

• More good news for Vols fans: Florida is out of the top 25 for the second time in the last four seasons. The Gators had been in our preseason top 25 every year from 1991-2011.

 

Texas is out of the top 25 for the first time since 1998. 

 

• No. 13 Arizona State highest ranking since 1998 when the Sun Devils were ranked eighth.

 

• The longest rankings drought ended in this year’s top 25 belongs to No. 18 Georgia Tech, ranked for the first time since 2009.

 

• How different was the college football landscape 10 years ago? Purdue (No. 15), Boston College (No. 17), Virginia (No. 22) and UTEP (No. 24) were all ranked in the top 25 in 2005. None have been ranked since. Pittsburgh was ranked 23rd in 2005 and has only been ranked once since then.

 

• Another sign of how things change: Oregon has been in the top 10 in six consecutive magazines. The Ducks had been ranked in the top 25 only five times from 1990-2008.

Teaser:
Athlon Sports' 2015 Preseason Top 25: Streaks, Droughts and Superlatives
Post date: Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 08:00
All taxonomy terms: Overtime
Path: /overtime/espn-defends-giving-caitlyn-jenner-arthur-ashe-award-lauren-hill-noah-galloway-espys
Body:

Ever since Caitlyn Jenner was announced as the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage by ESPN, there has been plenty of public outcry about it.

 

The worldwide leader in sports never mentioned anyone else being in the running, but fans quickly brought up the names Lauren Hill and Noah Galloway. Both winners in their own right. ESPN decided to release a statement defending their decision on Jenner.

 

 

The point of the award isn't to compare people who should or should not receive it, but to send congrats to those even brought up in the conversation. Obviously Galloway and Hill have done something right to have touched so many lives.

 

 

ESPN is standing firm in its decision and hopes to move forward.

 

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - 17:16
Path: /mlb/5-mlb-players-watch-june
Body:

The calendar has flipped from May to June as the baseball season has reached a quarter of it's life. Over the course of the past 50-plus games several young studs have lead their squads toward contention, while a handful of All-Star veterans are needed to step up to keep their teams in the hunt. 

 

Joc Pederson, Dodgers

Part of the Hollywood drama that was the Dodgers' 2014 season was the constant rumblings about the overcrowded outfield, and who would be the first to go to make room for Pederson, the rookie from Palo Alto, Calif., in 2015. Matt Kemp was the odd man out as he was traded away to San Diego this past winter. It has taken just 52 games, but Dodgers fans are salivating at the future of their new stud center fielder. 

 

Pederson has been better than advertised. After hitting 33 long balls last season in Triple-A Albuquerque, Pederson has already hit 16 home runs, including three in the past three games, two of which were hit on both ends of a double header in Colorado, traveling a combined 950 feet. Pederson’s average distance of home runs is the best in baseball, at 426 feet per long ball (Yes, longer than Giancarlo Stanton’s). The rest of the 23-year-old lefty’s numbers are exceptional as well. Thus far Pederson has knocked in 31 runs to go along with a .383 on-base percentage, a .971 OPS and an OPS+ of 167. 

 

Pederson not only gets it done at the plate, but in the field as well, having only committed one error in center field in over 423 innings of work. The only knock on Pederson’s game is his 29.3 percent strikeout rate — but that is to be expected from a rookie. If the first-place Dodgers are going to hold off the Giants throughout the month of June without the inured Yasiel Puig, Pederson is going to be a big reason why. The kid is an All-Star — right now.

 

Adam Jones, Orioles

In a division full of disappointing teams, the Baltimore Orioles might be the most discouraging. The Orioles, who won 96 games in 2014, are currently sitting five games below .500, and boast one of the more mundane offenses in the American League.  Part of that struggle has been the fall-off of Chris Davis and the prolonged absence of slugging catcher Matt Wieters from Tommy John surgery. While the finger of blame can be pointed at several candidates, a key reason for the O’s' early-season struggles could be the ongoing struggles of Jones, Baltimore's All-Star center fielder and all-around Mr. Nice Guy. 

 

After starting the 2015 campaign on fire, Jones hit skid row once the calendar flipped to May. Last month Jones hit just .239/.272/.284 with just one home run, two doubles, and seven RBIs. Thanks to his hot start in April, Jones is still hitting .293 on the year, 13 points above his career average, but his recent slide has been baffling. Make no mistake, the O’s' lackluster play is not all on Jones’ woes at the plate — far from it. But if Buck Showalter’s squad has postseason aspirations, Jones is going to have to be his old self in June. 

 

David Ortiz, Red Sox

Big Papi has molded into the senior spokesman for this generation of baseball players, but his performance at the plate has been no better than senior citizen. Ortiz is currently hitting at a .224 clip, 60 points below his .284 career average, and his BABIP (batting average on balls in play) is a measly .236, the lowest of his career by far. While last year’s below-average slash line of .263/.355/.517 could have been an indication for things to come for the now 39-year-old Ortiz, in he did hit 35 home runs, 27 doubles, and knocked in 104 runs just last season. Entering Wednesday's action, Ortiz has hit just six homers with 18 RBIs. Nothing s going right for Big Papi, nor the Red Sox for that matter, this season. 

 

The good news is that historically Ortiz turns it on after May with a career slash line of .292/.389/.572 and OPS of .921 in the month of June. The person wishing the most for an Ortiz turnaround (other than Big Papi, himself) has to be Red Sox skipper John Farrell, whose team sits in last place in the AL East for the second straight summer. 

 

Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees

$175 million doesn't seem to go as far as it used to. The Yankees’ massive investment in Tanaka two winters ago has yet to pay any dividends. Last season the Yanks’ ace missed 10 weeks with a partially torn UCL in his right elbow, an injury that he opted to not have Tommy John surgery to repair. This season, Tanaka has missed five straight weeks due to a right forearm strain and tendinitis in his right wrist. 

 

When healthy, there is no question that Tanaka is the ace of a Yankees rotation that has been unreliable at best. Tanaka has made just four starts in 2015, but in those starts he struck out 24 batters over 22.1 innings of work, surrendering just 14 hits and 10 runs with an ERA of 3.22 and a WHIP of .940. 

 

Currently the Yankees sit atop the grisly AL East, one game ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays (Yes, really, the Rays are contending). If Tanaka can come back and be his old self on the mound, the Yanks have a great shot at building upon their lead throughout the month of June. 

 

Joey Gallo, Rangers

Bryce Harper’s former Little League teammate made his MLB debut last night for the Texas Rangers in Arlington. A single, double, two-run home run, four RBIs, seven total bases, and a curtain call later, everyone knows Gallo’s name. Athlon Sports' No. 5 prospect entering the season, Gallo will be filling in at third for Adrian Beltre, who will be sidelined the next couple of weeks with an injured thumb. Once Beltre returns from the DL, the 6-5, 230-pound Gallo could find himself playing in left field, giving the prodigal son and oft-injured Josh Hamilton much needed days off.

 

Related: Joey Gallo Homers in Huge MLB Debut for Texas Rangers

 

While Gallo, just 21 years old, has a lot of work to do to cut back on his high strikeout rate (33.6 percent in Double-A), his raw power is something to behold. Last season Gallo smacked 42 long balls in the minors, one shy of Cubs uber-prospect Kris Bryant.

 

With the resurgence of Prince Fielder and the return of Hamilton, Gallo could be the piece the already-surprising Rangers need in their lineup to allow them to contend in the AL West.

 

— Written by Jake Rose, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. An avid baseball fan, Rose also takes time to do some play-by-play work for the radio broadcasts of Middle Tennessee State Blue Raider baseball games. He can be reached on Twitter @JakeRose24.

Teaser:
5 MLB Players to Watch in June
Post date: Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - 14:45
All taxonomy terms: Overtime
Path: /overtime/jon-stewarts-goes-after-media-over-caitlyn-jenner-reaction-late-show-comedy-central
Body:

Jon Stewart is known for his harsh and upfront opinion. 

 

The host talked about the unveiling of Caitlyn Jenner, and the immediate treatment of her by the media. Once the now infamous Vanity Fair photo was released, multiple media outlets began commenting on her looks. Although it is the most prominent thing to notice given the circumstances, Stewart couldn't help but to weigh in.

 

 

Being treated like a woman isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - 13:11
All taxonomy terms: AL West, American League, Texas Rangers, MLB, News
Path: /news/joey-gallo-huge-mlb-debut-texas-rangers
Body:

Bryce Harper has recently garnered all the baseball attention for his dominant month of May. But it’s his teammate from Little League, Joey Gallo, who took center stage last night for the Texas Rangers.  Young power hitters have dominated this season, and Gallo is the latest to join the show, if even just for a couple weeks.

 

Related: 5 MLB Players to Watch in June

 

Filling in for an injured Adrian Beltre, who many consider to be a future Hall of Famer, Gallo made people quickly forget about his absence. Facing Jeff Samardzija, who was named to the All-Star team last season, Gallo singled in two runs with the bases loaded and two outs on a misplayed grounder in the first inning. Though scoring it a hit was questionable, he silenced any doubters in his second at bat when he crushed a two-run home run 430 feet into the right field upper deck, later taking a curtain call. 

 

Just two innings later, he brought the crowd to his feet as he doubled to right field off the top of the wall, missing his second home run by mere inches. 

 

Here's a few highlights from Gallo's monster debut:

 

 

 

Teaser:
Joey Gallo Homers in MLB Debut
Post date: Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - 12:51
Path: /college-football/pac-12-football-tv-schedule-planner-september
Body:

The Pac-12 Conference released kickoff times and broadcast information for most of the league's first month of games, and the docket features numerous marquee games that could help shape the national college football landscape in 2015.

 

Related: Pac-12 Football 2015 Predictions

 

For those wanting a head start on programming the DVR or planning viewing parties, consider the following your primer for the must-see Pac-12 action in the 2015 season's first three weeks. 

 

WEEK 1

 

Thursday, Sept. 3

 

Can't-Miss Game: Michigan at Utah, 8:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 

 

A new era in Michigan football begins the first night of the 2015 Football Bowl Subdivision season, as Jim Harbaugh returns to Pac-12 country—albeit against a program that joined the conference after his departure from Stanford. 

 

Utah carved out its niche as a Pac-12 member in 2014, breaking through with a nine-win season and ranking in the final Associated Press Top 25. The Utes have designs on a conference championship in 2015, and head coach Kyle Whittingham said running back Devontae Booker is a Heisman Trophy contender. The national spotlight will shine on Booker from the outset thanks to the interest this matchup will attract. 

 

One of Utah's nine wins last season came in a 26-10 decision over Michigan at the Big House. 

 

Also on: UTSA at Arizona, 10 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; Colorado at Hawaii, 1 a.m. ET Sept. 4 on CBS Sports Network

 

Friday, Sept. 4

 

Can't-Miss Game: Washington at Boise State, 10:15 p.m. ET on ESPN 

 

Washington head coach Chris Petersen makes his return to Boise State, the program he helped put on the map.

 

Expect emotions to run high when the Huskies clash with a team featuring dozens of players Petersen recruited, facing a coach in Bryan Harsin that Petersen knows well. Harsin was a Boise State assistant from 2001 through 2010, and offensive coordinator from 2006 on. 

 

Harsin's first season as Boise State head coach ended with a crescendo. The Broncos beat Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl for the program's third win in that prestigious bowl. Returning a tremendous defense, including one of the nation's best secondaries, Boise State could spoil Petersen's homecoming. Washington struggled to find its offensive identity in 2014, and heads into 2015 with unanswered questions at quarterback. 

 

Also on: Weber State at Oregon State, 8 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Networks

 

Saturday, Sept. 5

 

Can't-Miss Game: Arizona State vs. Texas A&M (in Houston), Time and TV TBA  

 

The clamor for more contests pitting SEC opponents against the Pac-12 is answered with this neutral-in-name-only clash between Arizona State and Texas A&M. 

 

Arizona State head coach Todd Graham scheduling this game is part of a strategic move to build more of a presence in the Lone Star State, an area rich in recruiting talent that the native Texan Graham is eager to drive to Tempe. A strong showing against Texas A&M can go a long way to Sparky planting his pitchfork in the state. 

 

Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin and Arizona State coordinator Mike Norvell are two of the game's great offensive minds. With both teams bringing talent-laden offenses led by gun-slinging quarterbacks Kyle Allen (Texas A&M) and Mike Bercovici (Arizona State), 100 combined points are not out of the realm of possibility. 

 

Also on: Portland State at Washington State, 2 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; Virginia at UCLA, 3:30 p.m. ET on Fox; Grambling at Cal, 5 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; Eastern Washington at Oregon, 8 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; Arkansas State at USC, 11 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; Stanford at Northwestern, Time and TV TBA

 

WEEK 2

 

Friday, Sept. 11

 

Can't-Miss Game: Utah State at Utah, 9 p.m. ET on ESPN 2 

 

Utah last faced in-state counterpart Utah State in the 2013 season, when Aggies quarterback Chuckie Keeton nearly spoiled the party for the Utes with 399 total yards of offense and three touchdowns. 

 

Keeton, Utah State's dual-threat playmaker, is back after missing most of the 2014 campaign with a knee injury and should be eager to make up for lost time. With Keeton leading the Aggie offense, Utah State's defense could pose the Utes trouble on the opposite end. 

 

Utah State has ranked No. 12 or better nationally in scoring defense each of the last three seasons. 

 

Saturday, Sept. 12

 

Can't-Miss Game: Oregon at Michigan State, 8 p.m. ET on ABC 

 

Arguably the best non-conference game of the 2015 season, Michigan State gets its rematch with reigning national runner-up Oregon in East Lansing. Both the Spartans and Ducks should factor into the College Football Playoff race in the coming season, but the winner in this Week 2 tilt has an undeniable, early inside track. 

 

Oregon rallied from a first-half deficit in last year's meeting at Autzen Stadium, deluging Michigan State with 28 consecutive second-half points en route to a 46-27 win. The Ducks won't have Marcus Mariota captaining the offense this time around, but the Spartans no longer have Pat Narduzzi, now head coach at Pittsburgh, overseeing the defense. 

 

Expect ESPN's "College Gameday" to be in East Lansing for the proceedings. 

 

Also on: Sacramento State at Washington, 2 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; UMass at Colorado, 2 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; San Diego State at Cal, 5 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; Arizona at Nevada, 7 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network; Idaho at USC, 8 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; UCF at Stanford, 10:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1; UCLA at UNLV, 10:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network; Cal Poly at Michigan

 

WEEK 3

 

Saturday, Sept. 19

 

Can't-Miss Game: Stanford at USC, 8 p.m. ET on ABC 

 

In-state rivals Stanford and USC have played for almost a century, but only in the last decade has this become one of the conference's more intriguing rivalries. The first indicator of its rise was Stanford's historic upset win at the Coliseum in 2007, followed two years later by the postgame confrontation between coaches Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll. 

 

In more recent years, Stanford-USC contests have simply been great games, with the winner every year since 2010 escaping by eight points or fewer. Each of the last three contests were decided by a field goal's margin. 

 

USC holds a two-game win streak after Stanford took five of six from 2007 through 2012. The Trojans' 2013 win in the Coliseum doomed Stanford's hope for a BCS Championship Game berth. 

 

Despite taking the loss last September at home, the always-stout Stanford defense forced USC's Heisman-contending quarterback Cody Kessler into his worst game statistically of the 2014 campaign. 

 

Also on: New Mexico at Arizona State (Friday, Sept. 18), 10 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; Georgia State at Oregon, 2 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Networks; Utah State at Washington, 5 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; Colorado vs. Colorado State (in Denver), 7 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network; Cal at Texas, 7:30 p.m. ET on Fox; San Jose State at Oregon State, 8 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; Wyoming at Washington State, 8:30 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; Utah at Fresno State, 10:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network; BYU at UCLA, 10:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1; Northern Arizona at Arizona, 11 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks

 

— Written by Kyle Kensing, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a sportswriter in Southern California. Kensing is publisher of CFBHuddle.com. Follow him on Twitter @kensing45.

Teaser:
Pac-12 Football TV Schedule Planner for September
Post date: Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - 12:00
All taxonomy terms: Overtime
Path: /overtime/fans-are-petitioning-caitlyn-jenners-olympic-medals-be-revoked-bruce-decathalon-1976
Body:

Where there's smoke, there's fire.

 

People are not going to let Caitlyn Jenner take the easy road. There's now a petition surfacing for the Olympic gold medal winner to give back the prize she won. Jenner won the gold medal for the decathlon in 1976. 

 

Asking an Olympian to return his or her gold medals is pretty harsh. As long as that person wins them without cheating, who are we to force them to give them back? Now because Jenner stated that she always identified as a woman, some people say that it's only right she be striped of the gold.

 

The petition states: 

 

Dear International Olympic Committee,

 

It has recently come to light that gold medalist Bruce Jenner is in fact transgender, and therefore, identifies as a woman. We congratulate Ms. Jenner on these new developments and wish her the best. However, this creates somewhat of a problem as Ms. Jenner (as talented as she is) claims that she has always believed herself to be truly female, and therefore, was in violation of committee rules regarding women competing in men's sports and vice versa. Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that we must ask whether or not it is proper that Ms. Jenner should retain her olympic records in light of this, as we must now either claim that Bruce Jenner and Caitlyn Jenner are two entirely different people (which we know is not true), or that Bruce Jenner was, in fact, a woman participating in a men's event. It is only fair to all involved that women receive their credit as champions of the Decathalon and that the men racing Ms. Jenner are not expected to compete with a superior, streamlined being such as herself.

We urge Ms. Jenner to support the transgender community by giving up the medals earned by competing against the wrong gender.

 

Thank you, and congratulations to Ms. Jenner for her courage!

#givebackthegold

 

What would a petition be without a hashtag? What ever personal decisions Jenner decides to make, nothing can take away from the fact that she won those medals fair and square.

 

At the moment this is written the petition has about 2,600 signatures, which is 2,400 short of the goal. Even if the petition does get the 5,000 signatures, the chances are slim that Jenner will be forced to return the medals from many years ago.

 

Jenner's ordeal shows just how quickly the public perception and acceptance of a person can change.

 

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - 11:39

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