Articles By All

Path: /college-football/michigan-state-spartans-vs-nebraska-cornhuskers-preview-and-prediction-2015

After what can easily be considered the most disappointing loss in a long time for Nebraska football, the Cornhuskers have a chance to instantly redeem themselves as they take on the No. 7 Michigan State at home.


If the Huskers topple the Spartans, it likely knocks Michigan State out of any talk for a College Football Playoff appearance and could give Big Red fans at least one bright spot to point to for 2015.


Michigan State at Nebraska


Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET (Saturday)
Network: ESPN
Spread: Michigan State -6


Three Things to Watch For


1. Tommy Armstrong

Ryker Fyfe took Armstrong’s place versus the Boilermakers and we saw the result. Even though he managed four touchdowns, he equaled that number in interceptions. Simply put: Nebraska cannot win with No. 17.


For the Huskers to have any chance at pulling the monumental upset, Armstrong’s going to have to lead the charge, banged up or not. The good news is that No. 4 has athleticism that Fyfe does not and if he has to run, he can make it count.


2. Connor Cook

I picked this game as a loss during the preseason and this guy is the primary reason why. Easily the best quarterback Nebraska will be facing the season, Cook has all of the potential to shred a Cornhusker secondary that’s been all over the place.


If Nebraska wants to keep him in check, they have to affect him. That doesn’t necessarily mean sacking him, but forcing him to make poor throws or giving him no other option than to throw the ball away. If the Blackshirts can’t stop (or at least slow) Cook, it could be a long day for Husker fans.


3. The Turnover Margin

Ah yes, where all good upsets (or butt-kickings) are made. If Nebraska’s going to shock the world, it needs to strip the ball, pick Cook off and most importantly make sure they keep the pigskin when it’s their turn to hold onto it.


Purdue took advantage of Nebraska’s gifts. The same thing could happen in the Huskers’ favor, but it needs to start early. If Nate Gerry ever wanted to pull a pick-six out of his hat, the first quarter of this game would be the time.


Final Analysis


Alright, let’s be real. I don’t think Nebraska wins this game. If they can’t tackle Purdue, they’re not taking down the Spartans, but that’s logic talking.


The reason that we all love this sport should give the Huskers hope. Logic doesn’t always matter.


This is a night game in a one-of-a-kind atmosphere with great fans and a ton of talented recruits on the sidelines. Anyone can upset the best in that environment. It’s going to take some serious luck, because even I can’t predict a victory.


Three words for the Big Red (and I think I echo much of the college football world): Prove me wrong.


Prediction: Michigan State 38, Nebraska 23


— Written by Brandon Cavanaugh, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Be sure to follow Brandon on Twitter @eightlaces and like his Facebook page.

Michigan State Spartans vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers Preview and Prediction
Post date: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 09:35
Path: /college-football/iowa-state-cyclones-vs-oklahoma-sooners-preview-and-prediction-2015

Iowa State heads to Norman fresh off a win that not only gave the Cyclones their biggest victory of the year, but also may have saved head coach Paul Rhoads’ job. Seeing as ISU just pounded a Texas team that beat Oklahoma earlier this year, it would make sense that the ‘Clones could do the same to the Sooners, right?


Vegas doesn’t think so, installing OU as a 25.5-point favorite. However, with the Big 12’s November gauntlet still ahead of them, the Sooners can’t get caught looking past the scrappy Cyclones.


Iowa State at Oklahoma

Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET (Saturday)
TV Channel: ESPNU
Spread: Oklahoma -25.5


Three Things to Watch


1. Can Joel Lanning get loose?

Rhoads made the switch behind center last week from Sam Richardson to Lanning, and the move paid immediate dividends. The sophomore quarterback sparked the Iowa State offense, which converted a staggering 16 of 26 attempts on third and fourth down against Texas. Lanning’s timely running and efficient passing helped keep the ball in his team’s hands for more than 37 minutes against the Longhorns.


2. Protecting Baker Mayfield

Rhoads and Iowa State defensive coordinator Wally Burnham have undoubtedly seen the success that teams have had this year coming after OU’s green offensive line. Even Kansas got to Sooners' QB Baker Mayfield last week, exposing him to hits and forcing him to bail on the pocket. Bob Stoops needs to have a talk with Mayfield about keeping himself out of harm’s way. More importantly, though, the line needs to keep him clean.


3. OU’s running game

Since the Texas game, offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley has shown a commitment to getting the Sooners’ ground attack going. That’s not so hard when you’re facing Kansas and Texas Tech, the two worst run defenses in the Big 12. Iowa State isn’t much better at stopping the run, but the ‘Clones do have a solid defensive brain trust who will come up with a plan to slow Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon.


Final Analysis


Given that OU has a revenge game with Baylor on deck next week, the natural question is where the Sooners’ heads will be on Saturday night. Yet, don’t overlook the letdown factor for Iowa State after last week’s big win.


By now, Stoops knows that he needs serious style points against teams like the Cyclones if his Sooners want to have a shot at the College Football Playoff. He probably won’t take his foot off the gas on Saturday, assuming his team puts him in that position.


Prediction: Oklahoma 45, Iowa State 13


— Written by Allen Kenney, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Kenney is founder and editor of and host of the Blatant Homerism Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @BlatantHomerism.

Iowa State Cyclones vs. Oklahoma Sooners Preview and Prediction
Post date: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 09:30
Path: /college-football/week-10-college-football-picks-against-spread

Boy was I wrong about Texas A&M and Utah. Thought Vegas was off on those lines last weekend and, once again, the Wise Guys prove to be the best analysts in the game. (Amazing how that works.)


However, I've gone to the Houston, Bowling Green and Washington State wells of late and it's paid off multiple times now.


Last Week: 3-4

Year-to-date: 32-26


LSU (+6.5) at Alabama

These two are always very evenly matched and very conservative against one another. This should be a low-scoring, hard-hitting defensive affair and some even believe LSU to be the better team. While I think Bama wins the game, it feels like an awfully large number to give when the underdog has as good a chance to win as the favorite. Six of the last nine have been one-score games. Prediction: LSU +6.5


Cal (+4.5) at Oregon

Cal was an early-season darling that started hot with some nice wins. Oregon struggled in the first half of the season. But both team's courses have reversed and it's the Ducks who enter this one playing well. Both offenses will score but Oregon will handle business at home. Overtime would work in the favorite's favor. Prediction: Oregon -4.5


TCU (-4.5) at Oklahoma St

The Pokes have been living a dream thus far, winning on extra downs and special teams blunders. And last week Oklahoma State's once sort-of-impressive defense gave up 642 yards and 50 points against Texas Tech. TCU isn't great on defense (yet) but also isn't as bad at it was to start the year. The Cowboys are out of their element here. Prediction: TCU -4.5


FAU (+24) at W. Kentucky

The Owls' defense has had some nice performances... against Charlotte and FIU. But they've also given up 29.4 points per game, which is good for a tie for 85th in the nation. Western Kentucky is rolling and can score on anyone. If you play them every time against inferior talent, you'll win more times than not this season. Prediction: Western Kentucky -24


Stanford (-16) at Colorado

I went to the Cardinal well last weekend and lost. Which strangely makes me believe in a team that could have some extra motivation against the worst team in the Pac-12 South Division. David Shaw also knows that style points matter for the most underrated team in the initial College Football Playoff rankings. Prediction: Stanford -16


Temple (-12.5) at SMU

The Owls are a really good team and with Toledo's loss on Tuesday, they still control their own destiny when it comes to a New Year's Bowl. SMU will eventually be fine under Chad Morris but the Mustangs still can't stop anyone — like 122nd in the nation in yards per play allowed (7.15) and yards per game (524.4). Prediction: Temple -12.5


Navy (+8) at Memphis

Memphis is ranked 101st in the nation in total defense against the 84th-rated schedule (Sagarin). So that's terrible play against below-average competition (minus Ole Miss). Keenan Reynolds' bunch won't stop Paxton Lynch but don't be surprised by a team that's only loss came against Notre Dame on the road. Prediction: Navy +8


Best/Worst Records Against the Spread


Best TeamsRecordWorst TeamsRecord
C. Michigan7-1-1Old Dominion0-7-1
Southern Miss7-2UCF1-8
Bowling Green6-2Fresno St1-6-1
BYU6-2Arizona St2-6
Notre Dame6-2Kansas2-6
Temple6-2Michigan St2-6
Washington St6-2Oregon St2-6
Week 10 College Football Picks Against the Spread
Post date: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 09:27
Path: /college-football/ucla-bruins-vs-oregon-state-beavers-preview-and-prediction-2015

UCLA controls its own destiny in the Pac-12 South. The Bruins are just one game behind Utah in the division standings, but with games still left against the Utes and archrival USC, they have a clear path to the Pac-12 title game. If UCLA beats both teams, and avoids stumbling to other teams along the way, the Bruins will clinch another Pac-12 South title.


Avoiding an upset loss to Oregon State is the first step. The Beavers are the only Pac-12 team without a victory, but they have a history of taking down ranked foes in their home stadium. Then again, UCLA's recent track record on the road suggests the Bruins will be well prepared. The Bruins have won seven of their last eight Pac-12 road games and 12 of their last 13 contests played away from the Rose Bowl.


UCLA holds a 41-16-4 lead in the all-time series with Oregon State. The Beavers won the last meeting in 2012, defeating the Bruins, then ranked No. 19, 27-20 at the Rose Bowl.

UCLA at Oregon State


Kickoff: 4:30 p.m. ET

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Spread: UCLA -18


Three Things to Watch


1. Airing it Out

There's a good reason why freshman QB Josh Rosen has lived up to the hype in his debut season. A talented group of receivers are making life easier for Rosen. Over the last five games, senior receiver Jordan Payton and junior receiver Thomas Duarte have combined for 61 receptions for 939 yards and seven touchdowns. Payton has caught a pass in a team-best 24 straight games. He has totaled 681 yards on 45 catches this season, while Duarte has 550 yards on 36 catches. They both rank in the top 10 among Pac-12 receivers in receptions and receiving yards per game.


2. Filling in Again

Sophomore quarterback Nick Mitchell will make his second consecutive start for Oregon State this weekend. Seth Collins, who won the starting job to begin the season, has been out since injuring his knee in practice before the game at Utah. Collins did not travel with the team to Salt Lake City and there is no timetable for his return. Mitchell threw for 204 yards and a touchdown on 19-of-35 passing in the loss to the Utes last weekend. He also ran for 40 yards on 12 carries.


3. Anchoring the Line

Senior center Jake Brendel has a chance to put his name in the UCLA record books. Brendel will make his 48th career start for the Bruins against Oregon State. This matches Spencer Havner for most career starts by a Bruin player. Havner started 48 games at linebacker for UCLA from 2002 to 2005. Brendel has done a good job of anchoring the Bruin offensive line this season. He is a Campbell Trophy Finalist and has been on the Rimington and Outland Trophy watch lists this season.


Final Analysis


Oregon State has shown improvement on defense the past two weeks after a rough start on that side of the ball in Pac-12 play. It likely won't be enough to offset a Beavers' offense that ranks dead last in the Pac-12 in several key offensive categories. UCLA has too many skilled playmakers on both sides of the ball for Oregon State to handle.


Prediction: UCLA 34, Oregon State 17


— Written by John Coon, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Coon has more than a decade of experience covering sports for different publications and outlets, including The Associated Press, Salt Lake Tribune, ESPN, Deseret News, MaxPreps, Yahoo! Sports and many others. Follow him on Twitter @johncoonsports.

UCLA Bruins vs. Oregon State Beavers Preview and Prediction
Post date: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 09:25
Path: /college-football/navy-midshipmen-vs-memphis-tigers-preview-and-prediction-2015

As the AAC season hits its final month, the clutter at the top of the West Division will begin to clear out Saturday evening when Memphis hosts Navy. The teams join Houston with 4-0 records in league play, so this game could be something of an elimination affair, since both still have to play the Cougars.


It’s no secret that this is a contrast of styles. Navy (6-1 overall) is fourth in the nation in rushing, while Memphis (8-0) is seventh in passing. This is the first of a string of important AAC games that continues next week with Memphis-Houston, the following week with Temple-Memphis and Nov. 27 with Navy-Houston. The winner of this one gets a big leg up.


Navy at Memphis


Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET (Saturday)

Spread: Memphis -7.5


Three Things to Watch


1. Passing Fancy

Thanks to the sturdy arm and strong decision making of QB Paxton Lynch, the Tigers are almost unstoppable through the air. They face a Navy defense that hasn’t exactly been that tough against the pass, allowing enemy passers to complete a fat, 64.6 percent of their throws. Navy has sacked the QB only 11 times this year and has just four interceptions. It’s possible to imagine Memphis striking often and quickly against the Mids’ soft aerial D.


2. Ground Control

One of the problems with playing against Navy is that no team spends very much time practicing against the triple option, so devoting only a week to stopping an attack as successful and efficient as the Mids’ is often not enough. Making things even tougher is the presence of Navy QB Keenan Reynolds, who has rushed for 753 yards (5.0 average) and 13 TDs already. His next touchdown run will break the NCAA record for career rushing scores (77), which Reynolds now holds with former Wisconsin running back Montee Ball. If Reynolds doesn’t get you, Chris Swain (582 yards, 5 TDs) will. They comprise a formidable tandem Navy hopes will key a big time-of-possession advantage that keeps the potent Memphis attack on the sideline.


3. Getting Their Kicks

Both teams boast strong placement specialists, one reason they have combined for a 14-1 record. Navy’s Austin Grebe has made 9-of-10 field goal attempts this year, while Memphis’ Jake Elliott is 14-of-16, with a long of 52 yards. Elliott has been the AAC’s first-team kicker the past two seasons and is certainly in the discussion for a third-straight honor.


Final Analysis


When the AAC put Navy in the West Division, some scoffed at the relative geographical nonsense of such a move. But while the map may disagree, sticking the Mids in the West has created quite a compelling scenario, especially since the schedule maker decided to backload the games between Memphis, Navy and Houston. This is a biggie, with the winner taking a strong step forward.


There isn’t too much mystery with Navy. The Mids want to run it and confuse the Tigers with their motion, counters and pitches. Usually, option teams struggle with turnovers, but Navy is plus-nine in that category this year. Memphis is third in scoring offense nationally and has the potential to pile up the points quickly. Lynch has thrown just one interception all year and could well erupt for big numbers against a generous Navy passing defense.


— Written by Michael Bradley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Bradley is a writer and broadcaster based in suburban Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter @DailyHombre.

Navy Midshipmen vs. Memphis Tigers Preview and Prediction
Post date: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 09:20
Path: /college-football/south-carolina-gamecocks-vs-tennessee-volunteers-preview-and-prediction-2015

The Tennessee Volunteers (4-4, 2-3 SEC) will play host to the South Carolina Gamecocks (3-5, 1-5 SEC) on Saturday to rekindle what has been one of the SEC’s most competitive matchups in recent years. Five of the last ten, and each of the last three meetings between the two schools has been decided by three points or less. An underdog Volunteer team has played the role of spoiler in the previous two meetings, including last year’s thrilling 45-42 come from behind overtime victory in Columbia. The roles are reversed this year with the Gamecocks coming in as a fairly heavy underdog. Will the Gamecocks be able return the favor in Knoxville?


This will be the 34th meeting all time between South Carolina and Tennessee. The Vols hold a healthy advantage in the series with an overall record of 24-7-2 against the Gamecocks. Tennessee has dominated the series at home, winning 15 of the 17 games played in Knoxville. The Volunteers have won the last two meetings by a total of just five points combined.


South Carolina at Tennessee


Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET (Saturday)

TV Channel: SEC Network

Spread: Tennessee -17


Three Things to Watch


1. Tennessee’s Rushing Attack vs. South Carolina’s Run Defense

A porous Gamecock run defense could be in for a long Saturday trying to contain a potent Vols rushing attack led by Jalen Hurd, Joshua Dobbs, and Alvin Kamara. Tennessee is fresh off of a monster performance on the ground last week against Kentucky, and the Vols' 214 rushing yards per game is currently good enough to rank second in the SEC and 21st nationally.


Meanwhile, the South Carolina run defense can best be described as the exact antithesis of the Vols' rushing attack. The Gamecocks currently rank dead last in the SEC in run defense allowing 215 rushing yards per game on average. South Carolina is also coming off one of their worst performances of the season against the run, giving up a whopping 321 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground last week to Texas A&M.


With the exception of linebacker Skai Moore, the Gamecock defense is completely void of playmakers who can consistently stop the run. The Vols should find plenty of success on Saturday exploiting a weak Gamecock run defense that has been especially bad against teams with a mobile quarterback.


2. Can Tennessee Stop Pharoh Cooper?

Pharoh Cooper had a performance for the ages last year against Tennessee. In total, Cooper torched the Vols' defense for a record setting 286 yards and four touchdowns, finding pay dirt as a receiver, runner, and as a passer. As one of the top receivers in the SEC yet again this season, Cooper will be looking to duplicate last year’s performance against the Vols again on Saturday.


The Tennessee coaches and players are well aware of Cooper’s potential to do just that and claim to have a plan to limit the versatile playmaker this time around. A big part of that plan will include Vols' shut down cornerback Cameron Sutton, who will likely be shadowing Cooper throughout the evening. Look for the Gamecocks to counter by moving Cooper around in order to take advantage of mismatches. While he is unlikely to match last year’s lofty performance, Cooper will certainly have an impact one way or another.


3. South Carolina Trickery and a Secret Weapon?

The Gamecock offense is far from elite, but they do have playmakers on that side of the football. Pharoh Cooper is an obvious threat anytime he touches the ball, and Brandon Wilds’ 5.6 yards per carry average suggests top flight potential at running back. Even former walk-on Perry Orth has shown some semblance of ability at quarterback. That being said, South Carolina will likely have to resort to some trickery if they hope to keep pace with the Vols. Look for some "out of the ordinary" play calling by South Carolina's offense and special teams on Saturday.


Another aspect of trickery could include lining up backup quarterback Lorenzo Nunez at multiple positions. Nunez scored a touchdown against Texas A&M on a reverse just last week, and the Gamecock coaching staff has been exploring creative ways to utilize his talents in various roles. South Carolina could benefit from Nunez’s presence against a Vols defense that will be primarily focused on stopping Pharoh Cooper and Brandon Wilds. If Tennessee fails to account for the athletic freshman, Nunez could prove to be the Gamecocks' ace in the hole against the Volunteers.


Final Analysis


Interim Head Coach Shawn Elliott has already scored an SEC win for the Gamecocks, and in spite of last week’s close loss at Texas A&M, he seems to have South Carolina heading in a positive direction. Unfortunately, the positive vibe could be short lived as his Gamecocks will have to travel to Knoxville to face a hungry Tennessee team that appears poised to finish strong in spite of facing some adversity of their own this season.


The Tennessee offense is starting to fire on all cylinders with the long awaited arrival of a down field passing attack. The Vols' defense is still inconsistent at times, but it has shown improvement in recent weeks thanks in large part to the emergence of a potent pass rush. To top it off, the Volunteers may just have the best special teams in the country with return specialists Evan Berry, Cameron Sutton, and Alvin Kamara to go along with the phenomenal punting of Trevor Daniel.


The South Carolina offense seems to have found a little mojo of its own of late, and they certainly have some weapons capable of inflicting damage against Tennessee in this matchup. Sadly, the Gamecock offense still doesn't have enough to compensate for a terrible defense. The South Carolina defense continues to be the equivalent of a dumpster fire, and they have virtually no chance at stopping Tennessee’s offense on Saturday. Unlike previous years, this one is unlikely to end in spectacular fashion.


Prediction: Tennessee 41, South Carolina 27


— 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.

South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Tennessee Volunteers Preview and Prediction
Post date: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 09:15
Path: /college-football/arizona-state-sun-devils-vs-washington-state-cougars-preview-and-prediction-2015

Saturday's cross-divisional, Pac-12 Conference matchup between Arizona State and Washington State already had plenty at stake. 


The surprise Cougars are one week removed from a heartbreaking loss to Stanford. Had Washington State won, it would have held first-place in the Pac-12 North. The Cougars must now bounce back to stay in the divisional hunt and secure bowl eligibility. 


After losing its own heartbreaker, a triple-overtime decision to Oregon, Arizona State needs two wins in November to go bowling. 


Yes, there's plenty on the line Saturday at Martin Stadium. But Washington State head coach Mike Leach upped the ante on Tuesday's Pac-12 coaches call when asked about recent accusations of the Sun Devils stealing signs. 


"You’ve got two-straight schools with a concern for it back-to-back," Leach said, in reference to Colorado and Oregon. The Ducks used curtains on the sideline to try hiding signals. "The conference probably ought to investigate it.”


Arizona State at Washington State


Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET (Saturday)


Spread: Washington State -2.5


Three Things to Watch 


1. Arizona State's Commitment to the Run 

The Sun Devils rolled with the run last week against Oregon, ripping off 344 yards on 55 carries. Running backs Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage both surpassed 100 yards, and quarterback Mike Bercovici went for a career-high 58. 


Yet, as often and as effectively as Arizona State ran, offensive coordinator Mike Norvell called two passes in the red zone on the Sun Devils' triple-overtime possession. The second was intercepted to seal an Oregon win. 


Bercovici had a monster night passing, completing 32-of-53 for 398 yards and five touchdowns. However, Arizona State's record slipped to 1-4 when Bercovici threw 40 times or more. 


Arizona State is opposite a Washington State run defense that ranks No. 106 nationally, which has given up 5.5 yards per carry or more in three of its last four games. The Cougars' struggles against the run give the Sun Devils a window on the ground, but Norvell's temptation to pass will be a storyline to follow. 


2. Luke Falk Bouncing Back 

Washington State quarterback Luke Falk's three lowest pass-completion outings went for 27, 35 and 35. Not coincidentally, those games were against Portland State, Cal and Stanford — the three teams to defeat Washington State. 


Falk bounced back after the first two losses, throwing for four touchdowns and no interceptions against Rutgers, and five scores with no picks at Oregon. He also ran for a touchdown in the upset of the Ducks. 


Washington State's most recent loss may be the most devastating of the three. The Cougars had Stanford on the ropes late in what would have been a landmark win for Leach. Falk had an opportunity to lead a game-winning drive, but was intercepted on a tough pass under duress. 


The quarterback's response this week could shape the final month of Washington State's season — not to mention the makeup of Saturday's contest. 


3. Special Teams Play 

Arizona State and Washington State have suffered through some of the least consistent special teams play in the Pac-12 dating back to last season. The Sun Devils are coming off a loss in which placekicker Zane Gonzalez missed three field goals, and the kickoff coverage unit surrendered a 100-yard touchdown to Oregon's Charles Nelson. 


Washington State has already given up two kickoff returns for scores this season, and this week is opposite one of the nation's most electrifying returners, Tim White. 


Look for a big special teams play to have a monumental impact on Saturday's outcome. 


Final Analysis 


Washington State's Cinderella story reached a turning point with the loss to Stanford. Reaching a bowl game is a nice comeback for the Cougars after last year's disappointing, 3-9 finish, but flirtation with a Pac-12 Championship Game berth late in the season has them seeking more. 


Arizona State's in desperation mode after falling to .500 with the Oregon loss. The Sun Devils can either finish strong or fold. Past Arizona State teams were guilty of falling apart late in the season once adversity hit, but the program's had a much different M.O. under current head coach Todd Graham. 


The Sun Devils should rally from the Oregon heartbreak to move one win closer to bowl eligibility on Saturday. Never mind signals; the only thing Arizona State is stealing is an upset win. 


Prediction: Arizona State 42, Washington State 38 


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

Arizona State Sun Devils vs. Washington State Cougars Preview and Prediction
Post date: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 09:10
Path: /college-football/arkansas-razorbacks-vs-ole-miss-rebels-preview-and-prediction-2015

Slotted No. 18 in the initial College Football Playoff rankings with a 7-2 overall record, the Ole Miss Rebels enter this week’s contest against Arkansas with an SEC Western Division championship — and revenge — on their minds. Ole Miss is 4-1 in SEC play this season, with the lone blemish coming against SEC East foe Florida on the road, which means the Rebels still control their own destiny in the SEC West. A win over the 4-4 Razorbacks (who are 2-2 in SEC play) would put Ole Miss one step closer to the first SEC Championship Game in school history, and it would help to avenge the humiliating 30-0 blowout in Fayetteville last season.


Arkansas at Ole Miss


Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET (Saturday)
TV Channel: CBS
Spread: Ole Miss -11


Three Things to Watch


1. Ole Miss Wide Receiver Laquon Treadwell is Better Than Ever

Through the first nine weeks of the season, the Ole Miss Rebels have been the SEC’s most explosive offense. Ole Miss leads the SEC in scoring offense (39.4 points per game), total offense (519.6 yards per game) and passing offense (346.7 yards per game). A big part of that success is talented quarterback Chad Kelly, who has thrown for a league-leading 2,856 yards and 20 touchdowns (which ranks in the top ten nationally), and a talented and deep group of receivers including Cody Core (25 receptions, 452 yards, 3 TD) and Quincy Adeboyejo (30 receptions, 446 yards, 6 TD), plus the Rebels’ best weapon Laquon Treadwell.


Treadwell is widely expected to be a first round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, and has played like it this season by grabbing an SEC-best 61 catches for a league-leading 870 yards and six touchdowns. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound junior, who missed the Arkansas game last season with a severe leg injury, has posted four consecutive games with more than 100 receiving yards and a touchdown in four straight games — a school record.


2. Arkansas Running Back Alex Collins is in for a Tough Test

The Arkansas Razorbacks also have an explosive offense, and have averaged 32.5 points and 456.0 total yards of offense through the first eight games of the season, with average 196.0 rushing yards per game that ranks fourth in the SEC and No. 36 nationally.


Junior running back Alex Collins, with help from a talented offensive line that is the biggest in all of football (NFL included), as well as a now rare combination of tight ends and fullbacks, has 960 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on 166 carries (5.8 yards per attempt) this year. Collins has gained 127 yards or more in six of eight games this season and has scored a touchdown in all but one game (a disappointing 26-yard effort against Alabama). Last week in Arkansas’ 63-28 victory over UT Martin, Collins gained 173 yards on 16 rushing attempts and scored five TDs.


However, Collins will have his work cut out for him against an Ole Miss front-seven that is getting healthier by the week and is playing its best football of the season. Two weeks ago, without injured All-American candidate defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche, the Rebels held Texas A&M to 58 rushing yards on 27 carries (2.1 yards per attempt) in a 23-3 victory. Last week against Auburn, and with Nkemdiche back, Ole Miss held the Tigers to a modest 125 yards on 41 carries (3.0 yards per attempt). This season, the Rebels have allowed 121.5 rushing yards per contest, which ranks No. 25 nationally.


Related: Three Keys to the Arkansas Razorbacks Upsetting No. 19 Ole Miss


3. The Return of Tony Conner

Nkemdiche is healthy again, as is linebacker C.J. Johnson, who also missed time earlier this season due to injury. Finally, Ole Miss will have hybrid safety/linebacker Tony Conner back in the lineup after he missed six games following knee surgery for an injury he suffered in the Rebels’ victory over Alabama in September. Conner, a pre-season All-American candidate with first round potential, should help Ole Miss contain Arkansas’ running game in addition to helping cover talented tight ends Hunter Henry and Jeremy Sprinkle in the passing game. He had ten tackles, including 1.5 tackles for a loss, in three games this season.


Final Analysis


For a team with SEC West title hopes in the preseason, Arkansas is a disappointing 4-4 overall and 2-2 in conference play. However, the Razorbacks still have a lot to play for — specifically a second-consecutive bowl game. And, because Arkansas dominated Ole Miss 30-0 last season, the Hogs are confident they can ruin the Rebels’ conference championship hopes again this year.


However, Ole Miss is more explosive this time around with Chad Kelly behind center and a healthy (and better than ever) Laquon Treadwell. Also, the Landshark defense is healthier than it has been in over a month, so the team is trending in the right direction. And, because there’s a spot in Atlanta waiting for the Rebels if they win out, Ole Miss will be ready to play Saturday. Expect a hard-fought, close game, but a victory for the Rebels.


Prediction: Ole Miss 28, Arkansas 21


— Written by Nicholas Ian Allen, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Allen's work on college football can also be found on and Follow him on Twitter @NicholasIAllen.

Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Ole Miss Rebels Preview and Prediction
Post date: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 09:05
Path: /college-football/lsu-tigers-vs-alabama-crimson-tide-preview-and-prediction-2015

The stakes are high Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, as Alabama and LSU meet for the third time in five years ranked as top-five teams. In the first release of the College Football Playoff Committee’s Top 25 rankings, the Crimson Tide checked in at No. 4, while the Tigers ranked No. 2. Considering the 2015 rankings, recent history between these two teams, SEC, Heisman and national title implications on the line, this matchup between Alabama and LSU is one of the most important (and must-see) games of the 2015 season.


Although this meeting between SEC goliaths is critical in the conference and national title landscape, both teams still have work to do in order to finish in the top four. Alabama ranked as the top one-loss team in Tuesday night’s release, but the Crimson Tide do not control their own destiny in the West Division. Ole Miss defeated Alabama 43-37 in September and has the inside track to win the West Division. LSU still has to play the Rebels, Arkansas and Texas A&M in November. And of course, there’s the SEC Championship in December. While this game is important, neither team can afford to see this matchup as the final statement before the playoff games.


Related: Predictions for Every Week 10 Game


There’s also another storyline in play on Saturday night. LSU running back Leonard Fournette is the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy with five weeks of games remaining. If Fournette has a huge outing against one of the top defenses in the nation, how much of a cushion would that provide him in the Heisman race?


Alabama has a three-game winning streak against LSU and three out of the last four matchups were decided by a touchdown or less. Alabama also leads the all-time series at 49-25-5. Additionally, these two teams have set the standard in the SEC in recent years. Four out of the last six SEC titles have been claimed by Alabama or LSU.


LSU at Alabama


Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. ET

TV Channel: CBS

Spread: Alabama -6.5


Three Things to Watch


1. Derrick Henry, Leonard Fournette and the Matchup in the Trenches

It’s unlikely Alabama’s Derrick Henry and LSU’s Leonard Fournette are on the field at the same time on Saturday night, but this is easily one of the most-hyped battles between two running backs in recent years. Henry and Fournette are two of the most physically gifted players in the nation and take the top two spots in the SEC in rushing yards per game. Fournette averages 193.1 per contest and has scored 15 times on the ground, while Henry ranks second at 130.5 per game. While both players are two of the nation’s best in terms of raw talent, the success for both starts up front in the trenches. LSU’s offensive line is one of the best in the nation, headlined by standout tackles Vadal Alexander and Jerald Hawkins. This unit has cleared the way for LSU rushers to average 6.7 yards per carry and allowed only eight sacks through seven contests. Alabama’s front five isn’t as strong, but this group isn’t far behind. The Crimson Tide average 4.5 yards per rush and allowed 13 sacks in eight contests. Left tackle Cam Robinson has been dealing with a knee injury for part of the season and has not performed up to preseason expectations. The bye week before this game should help Robinson recover, but right tackle Dominick Jackson is dealing with a high ankle sprain. It’s no secret both offenses rely on the run to setup the pass. But how much running room can the Tigers and Crimson Tide find on Saturday night? LSU is No. 2 in the SEC against the run (93.7 yards per game), while Alabama is No. 1 (78.5 yards per game). Which team wins the battle in the trenches is likely to emerge as the winner on Saturday night.


Related: Post-Week 9 Bowl Projections


2. Quarterback Play

As we mentioned in the previous section, both teams prefer to use the run to setup the pass. While winning the battle in the trenches and gaining yardage on the ground is critical, both quarterbacks have to make plays on Saturday night. With the depth and talent in the trenches, it’s difficult to envision a team imposing its will over another up front on Saturday night. If that holds true, then making plays on first down to get into manageable second or third-down situations, as well as making timely plays is critical. Which quarterback steps up on Saturday night? LSU’s Brandon Harris is averaging only 156.9 yards per game, but the sophomore seems to be getting better with each snap. Additionally, Harris does not have an interception this season and has connected on eight plays of 40 yards or more (tied for second in the SEC). Alabama’s Jake Coker has attempted 96 more passes than Harris this year but has tossed seven picks and does not have a touchdown in his last two games. But Coker has completed at least 68.8 percent of his throws in each of the last four contests and made several clutch throws against Tennessee. In addition to the quarterbacks, both teams need their receivers to get separation against talented defensive backfields. True freshman Calvin Ridley is Alabama’s go-to option (45 catches), while LSU counters with two deep threats in Malachi Dupre (18.9 ypc) and Travin Dural (17.8 ypc).


3. Special Teams

History and the Vegas line suggest the margin of victory will be around a touchdown or less. With that in mind, the small things – turnovers, special teams and third down/red zone conversions – should be play a huge role in the outcome. But the special teams are especially worth noting, as Alabama kicker Adam Griffith has connected on four straight attempts after missing two against Arkansas. Griffith is just 10 of 16 for the season. LSU kicker Trent Domingue has made all nine attempts so far in 2015. Considering the strength on defense for both teams and the limited possessions (both teams over 32 minutes in time of possession), every scoring opportunity must be capitalized. Punts and field position are two under-the-radar areas to watch, as LSU’s Jamie Keehn averages 39.7 yards per punt, while Alabama’s JK Scott 43.3 per kick in 2015.


Final Analysis


Points will be at a premium on Saturday night. No, we aren’t expecting a repeat of the 9-6 defensive slugfest from 2011, but it’s hard to envision one team scoring more than 27-30 points (barring overtime). Expect the defenses and ground attacks to control the flow of the game. However, both offenses need plays from their quarterbacks. Can Brandon Harris continue to deliver big plays and no mistakes? Or will Jake Coker pickup where he left off against Tennessee? The guess here is Fournette and Henry are slowed a bit by the defenses, while Coker connects with Calvin Ridley on a couple of clutch plays in the second half to give Alabama just enough for the victory. One stat to keep an eye on: Turnovers. The Crimson Tide have forced 17 this year, while the Tigers have forced nine. In a close game, small things like field position, field goals and turnovers add up. LSU has the necessary ingredients to win on the road, but Alabama wins this one in the fourth quarter.


Prediction: Alabama 24, LSU 20
LSU Tigers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Preview and Prediction 2015
Post date: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 09:00
Path: /college-football/tcu-horned-frogs-vs-oklahoma-state-cowboys-preview-and-prediction-2015

The month that fans in Big 12 country have been waiting for has finally arrived: November, when the conference’s top teams play a brutal round-robin tournament that will definitely crown a league champ and potentially catapult that squad into the College Football Playoff.


Related: Ranking the Best College Football Games in November 2015


No. 8 TCU and No. 14 Oklahoma State officially kick off the month-long festivities Saturday in Stillwater. Heisman Trophy candidate Trevone Boykin will lead the Horned Frogs’ prolific offense and injury-plagued defense into Boone Pickens Stadium to square off against an OSU team that got the side-eye from playoff selection committee earlier this week.


This represents easily the stiffest test of the season so far for the Pokes, who currently look to be a couple pieces short of a title contender. After Saturday, we’ll know for sure if they’re ready to compete for the league title.


TCU at Oklahoma State


Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET (Saturday)
TV Channel: FOX
Spread: TCU -5.5


Three Things to Watch


1. Doctson, Doctson, Gives DBs the Blues

Boykin gets the accolades for both his play and his leadership, but Doctson might be the single best player on TCU’s sizzling offense. At the very least, he makes for Boykin’s best weapon, averaging more than 150 receiving yards per game with 14 touchdowns. Doctson can beat coverage any number of ways, but the 6-3 wideout might be at his best when he’s working down the field on jump balls and fades over his back shoulder. OSU defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer needs to devise a way to slow TCU’s star receiver, and odds are good that his eventual solution involves double coverage of some sort.


2. OSU’s running game

Through eight games this season, it has become clear that teams with even above-average rushing attacks can move the ball versus TCU. The Horned Frogs are surrendering 4.2 yards per rush this season, up roughly 50 percent from 2014. That downturn comes courtesy of a D that has been hammered by injuries this year. Fortunately for TCU, the Cowboys only average about 4 yards per attempt, ranking 89th overall. Whether it be by deploying designated running QB J.W. Walsh or more conventional means, OSU has to exploit Gary Patterson’s defense on the ground.


3. Mason Rudolph’s composure

Rudolph seems to be mired in a classic sophomore slump behind center. His stats are more or less in line with last season on a per-game basis. The problem is that he has more or less compiled those numbers against tomato cans. Poor decisions have dogged him lately — that includes tossing three picks in an overtime win over West Virginia and two versus Texas. Walsh, a remedial passer, is now siphoning away some snaps from Rudolph in what many would interpret as a sign of Mike Gundy’s dwindling confidence in his QB. Early mistakes out of Rudolph could put TCU in a position to bury the Pokes in the first half and never look back.


Final Analysis


OSU deserves the skepticism that it received from the selection committee on Tuesday. The Pokes played a lousy non-conference schedule, and the eye test isn’t doing them any favors, either. They’ve won enough close calls so far this year to predict that they can’t keep this up.


TCU should watch its back, though. The Horned Frogs have played pedestrian football away from Fort Worth, grinding out too-close-for-comfort victories on the road over Minnesota, Texas Tech and Kansas State. OSU has a well-schooled defense that features one of the top defensive linemen in the country, Emmanuel Ogbah. It’s not unreasonable to think the Cowboys can get enough stops to keep TCU within striking distance.


Still, OSU just doesn’t have the same type of offensive firepower that we’ve come to expect from Mike Gundy’s teams. Boykin, Doctson, running back Aaron Green and the rest of TCU’s outstanding offensive skill position players will generate one or two more big plays than OSU.


Prediction: TCU 35, Oklahoma State 31


— Written by Allen Kenney, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Kenney is founder and editor of and host of the Blatant Homerism Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @BlatantHomerism.

TCU Horned Frogs vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys Preview and Prediction
Post date: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 08:55
Path: /college-football/rutgers-scarlet-knights-vs-michigan-wolverines-preview-and-prediction-2015

Michigan (6-2) barely escaped defeat on the road last week at Minnesota where a goal-line stand was needed as time expired to beat the Gophers 29-26. The Wolverines now head into a matchup with a reeling Rutgers (3-5) team that has lost two straight games by a combined score of 97-17.


When the two teams met last season, it was Rutgers who came out on top with a narrow 26-24 victory in the first-ever matchup between the two programs. Both teams come into Saturday looking much different than a year ago.  


Rutgers at Michigan

Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET (Saturday)
TV Channel: Big Ten Network
Spread: Michigan -22.5


Three Things to Watch


1. Who starts at QB for Wolverines?
Michigan starting quarterback Jake Rudock was knocked out of the game against Minnesota last week during the second half after a late slide resulted in a hit to the head from a Gopher linebacker. Rudock did return to the sidelines but displayed visible pain while pacing around and was unable to come back into the game. Backup quarterback Wilton Speight came on in relief and led the Wolverines on the game-winning drive capped off by a 12-yard touchdown pass to Jehu Chesson in the waning moments. During his weekly radio show on Monday, head coach Jim Harbaugh stated Rudock did practice with the team the previous two days, but his status remains in question for Saturday. Regardless of which quarterback starts, look for Michigan to lean heavily on the run against a rush defense in Rutgers that has already allowed 20 rushing touchdowns in 2015.  


2. Leonte Carroo
Rutgers' star wide receiver Leonte Carroo missed last week’s matchup vs. Wisconsin with a nagging ankle injury, and has been deemed questionable by head coach Kyle Flood leading up to this week. "I'm just not medically cleared yet. When the doctors medically clear me, then I'll be out there," Carroo said to the media on Monday. "I've just got to wait, day-by-day. It's only Monday, so we'll see." It would be an understatement to say that Carroo is critical to the success of the Scarlet Knight offense. In the five games in which Carroo has played in this season, Rutgers averages 36.3 PPG. In the three games he sat out — just 13.3. Carroo playing will give Rutgers at least a puncher’s chance of pulling the upset.


3. Fresh Peppers

Michigan’s multi-dimensional star freshman Jabrill Peppers was on the field for 92 plays last week against Minnesota. Normally a rover on defense, Peppers played outside at cornerback, in the slot at nickel, safety, quarterback, receiver, punt and kickoff returner. For the first time against Michigan State three weeks ago, Peppers was featured on offense and wound up forcing Mark Dantonio to use two timeouts to make sure the defense was fully aware of the personnel on the field. Against Minnesota, Peppers was used once again in the wildcat formation when Rudock went down to provide the stagnant offense with some sort of spark. Count on the Michigan staff getting Peppers onto the field any way they can as he is one of the best overall athletes on the entire roster.

Final Analysis


As mentioned above, Rutgers fields a much more competitive team when Leonte Carroo is on the field, so his status for Saturday could play a crucial role in how close this game winds up being. Without Carroo, the Scarlet Knights do not have the additional weaponry on the outside to matchup with the physical corners for the Wolverines. Michigan will load the box on stopping the run, forcing the turnover-prone quarterbacks for Rutgers to beat them. The Wolverines should control this game from start to finish and notch their seventh win of the season in comfortable fashion.


Prediction: Michigan 27, Rutgers 13


— Written by Mike Bainbridge, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Bainbridge is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and current writer for Make sure to follow him on Twitter @MikeBainbridge2.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Michigan Wolverines Preview and Prediction
Post date: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 08:50
Path: /college-football/florida-state-seminoles-vs-clemson-tigers-preview-and-prediction-2015

The ACC’s most anticipated showdown of 2015 takes place on Saturday afternoon, as Florida State travels to Clemson in a matchup to decide the champion of the Atlantic Division. These two teams have claimed the last six Atlantic titles and four consecutive ACC Championships. But the stakes are higher than just the ACC title. Clemson ranked No. 1 in the first College Football Playoff rankings, while Florida State checked in at No. 16 and has a lot of work to do in order to return to the playoffs after losing to Georgia Tech.


Although these two teams are the class of the ACC in 2015, the path to this matchup hasn't been easy. Florida State lost several key members – including quarterback Jameis Winston – from a team that went 27-1 from 2013-14.  The Seminoles have reloaded behind sophomore running back Dalvin Cook and a host of other young players, but enter Saturday’s game with uncertainty at quarterback and a host of injuries on both sides of the ball. One of the biggest differences between these two teams? The loss column. Florida State dropped a last-second decision to Georgia Tech in Week 8, while the Tigers are unbeaten. Clemson also had its share of personnel concerns entering the season – and similar to the Seminoles – has managed to reload. Despite returning only five starters, the Tigers have been dominant. Out of Clemson’s eight wins, only two were decided by 14 points or less. Sophomore quarterback Deshaun Watson is a Heisman candidate, and the defense is limiting opponents to just 4.4 yards per play.


Related: Predictions for Every Week 10 Game


Florida State owns a 20-8 series edge over Clemson. The Seminoles have dominated this series in recent years, claiming five out of the last seven matchups, including a 51-14 win the last time these two teams met in Death Valley.


Florida State at Clemson


Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 7 at 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ABC

Spread: Clemson -12


Three Things to Watch


1. Florida State’s Injury Report and the Quarterbacks

This matchup is coming at a bad time for Florida State. A handful of key players are on the injury report, including quarterback Everett Golson, running back Dalvin Cook and linebacker Terrance Smith. Running back Mario Pender has missed five games in a row but was cleared to play on Thursday afternoon. However, defensive tackle Nile Lawrence-Stample is a game-time decision, and right tackle Derrick Kelly is listed as out on the injury report. Golson's health and Cook’s injury and status are the biggest question marks leading up to this matchup. If Golson doesn’t go (or Fisher chooses to keep him No. 2 on the depth chart), Sean Maguire will make his second start of the year. In last week’s win over Syracuse, Maguire threw for 348 yards and three scores. The Clemson secondary and defensive front will present a significantly tougher challenge than Syracuse, but the live snaps were a good opportunity for Maguire to build confidence. Golson's mobility would be a huge asset against an aggressive Clemson defense and he has experience in road environments. The senior is doing a good job of minimizing mistakes (one interception) but is only averaging eight yards per pass attempt. Cook’s health is arguably the biggest concern for Florida State. The dynamic sophomore has represented 1,218 of Florida State’s 4,096 yards this season, averages 8.2 yards per rush and topped 200 yards in wins over Miami and USF. In order to have a shot, the Seminoles need Cook to be at full strength. However, there’s also the quarterback question to answer. Will Fisher go with Golson? Or did Maguire show enough in last week’s start to make a switch?


2. Battle in the Trenches

There are a lot of similarities between Florida State and Clemson in the trenches. On the defensive side of the ball, both teams are stocked with athletic and aggressive edge rushers, while also possessing 300-pound active tackles on the interior. The Seminoles are led by DeMarcus Walker (six sacks) up front, while Derrick Nnadi and true freshman Josh Sweat are two other players on the rise. This group has generated 18 sacks through eight games – one more than this unit had all of 2014. Stopping Clemson starts at the point of attack. Can Florida State pressure Watson on passing downs and stop running back Wayne Gallman on early downs? Clemson’s offensive line had to replace four starters this offseason, but this unit has improved over the course of the season and has allowed 12 sacks through eight games. When the Seminoles have the ball, their young offensive line is going to be challenged by Clemson’s defensive front. End Shaq Lawson is one of the top defensive linemen in the ACC this year, while true freshman Christian Wilkins (52 tackles) and junior Kevin Dodd (4.5 sacks) join as major contributors. Florida State’s offensive line is a bigger work in progress than Clemson’s unit. The Seminoles have allowed 17 sacks in eight games, and this unit struggled to open rushing lanes against Georgia Tech (2.9 ypc) and Boston College (2.9). With four starters in this group in the freshman or sophomore ranks, Florida State’s offensive line is learning on the job. After playing Boston College and Louisville – two strong defenses in the front seven – the Seminoles should be better prepared for this matchup. However, it’s still a tough assignment in a hostile environment. 


Related: Post-Week 9 Bowl Projections


3. Wide Receivers

It’s no secret Florida State’s Jalen Ramsey and Clemson’s Mackensie Alexander are two of the nation’s top cornerbacks. How will the quarterbacks and receivers approach this battle? Will Clemson stay away from Ramsey and attack Marquez White (who is also having a good season)? Even if Ramsey and White deliver lock-down performances, other defensive backs have to emerge against a dangerous group of receivers. The Tigers are led by Artavis Scott (47 catches), while Deon Cain (20.1 ypc), Charone Peake, Hunter Renfrow and Ray-Ray McCloud join as key targets. Florida State’s receiving corps features three players over 30 catches, with Travis Rudolph (six touchdowns, 35 receptions) the top player in 2015. Kermit Whitfield, Jesus Wilson and tight ends Ryan Izzo and Mavin Saunders all contribute. Expect to see the receivers and defensive backs each land their share of plays in this game. The battle between these two units may not get the attention of Cook, Golson or Watson, but there are plenty of intriguing one-on-one matchups to monitor on Saturday afternoon.


Final Analysis


It’s rare to see Florida State listed as a double-digit underdog. However, coach Jimbo Fisher’s team has a tough assignment coming on Saturday. The Seminoles are talented, but the depth chart is filled with youth. 2015 is not Florida State’s year to contend for a playoff spot. 2016? That’s a different story. Everything about this matchup suggests a convincing win for Clemson. The Tigers have scored 50 points in back-to-back games, while the defense is wreaking havoc around the line of scrimmage once again and limiting opponents to 4.4 yards per play. Florida State won’t go quietly, but even if the Seminoles stay within striking distance in the third quarter, it’s tough to envision a scenario where this team pulls off the upset. Needless to say, Florida State has to win the turnover battle and catch a few lucky breaks to win in Death Valley. It’s possible. However, Clemson is playing like the best team in the nation. That’s a lot to overcome.


Prediction: Clemson 34, Florida State 24
Florida State Seminoles vs. Clemson Tigers Preview and Prediction 2015
Post date: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 08:45
Path: /college-football/iowa-hawkeyes-vs-indiana-hoosiers-preview-and-prediction-2015

The Iowa Hawkeyes will be attempting to block out the chatter of their No. 9 standing in last Tuesday's release of the season's first College Football Playoff rankings, while the Indiana Hoosiers will be going after their first "signature win" in a season that's seen them come close in prior attempts, only to walk away empty-handed.


Related: Five Thoughts on the First College Football Playoff Rankings


While the Hawkeyes are in the West Division driver's seat on the road to the Big Ten Championship Game on Dec. 5  — and have shown no indication of taking their foot off the gas — the Hoosiers desperately need a big win to stay above .500 and keep their fledgling bowl hopes alive.

Iowa holds a 43-28-4 advantage in this series, which began in 1912, including victories in 5 of the last 6 meetings.

Iowa at Indiana

Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET (Saturday)
Spread: Iowa -7


Three Things to Watch


1. Indiana's high-powered offense

The Hoosiers enter this contest fresh off a bye-week and averaging 467.6 yards total offense, including 180.6 rushing and 287.0 in the air, on the season. When they're clicking on all cylinders, they can play with the best and are capable of putting points on the board fast. Three weeks ago they showed exactly that in an eventual 52-55 loss to Rutgers. They'll need to bring their A-game this week, however, as Iowa has allowed just one rushing touchdown all year and sports the seventh best overall defense in the nation while allowing just 15.3 points per game.


2. Iowa's ability to react quickly on defense

While the B1G has traditionally been a defense-dominated league, the Hoosiers will continue to play within their high-tempo offense behind playmaker QB Nate Sudfield against the Hawkeyes, as they have all season. It's a style only Maryland showed the Iowa defense so far this season, and which resulted in moments of explosiveness from the Terps, most notably in the fourth quarter. Given the difficulty associated with replicating the Hoosiers' offensive pace in practice drills, the Hawkeye defense will be forced to react and make adjustments in a real-world environment. Don't be surprised to see the Hoosiers test that ability early and often and look for some new looks from the Hoosiers as part of their scheme.


3. C.J. Beathard and the “big play”

By now, every Hawkeye fan in the country knows that Beathard has not been at 100 percent since before Iowa's game at Northwestern. The end result has been an increased emphasis on the Iowa QB playing from inside the pocket, where he's looked to get rid of the ball much faster. That means the “big play” ability of the Hawkeyes has been limited to yards after the catch or the long rushing play. Iowa has still managed to break out of the pack more often than most other B1G teams, coming into this game at third in the conference on plays of 40-plus yards. With Indiana's often porous defense, look for the Hawkeyes to continue to attempt to exploit those long-play capabilities with a three-deep RB system (minus the injured Jordan Canzeri) that the Hawkeyes have now dubbed "the four deadly horsemen" coupled with up to seven different receivers from which Beathard can choose.


Final Analysis


The Hawkeyes must perform better against the Hoosiers' own big play capabilities than they did in the last meeting of these teams. In that 2014 game, Iowa gave up 300 yards rushing in an eventual 45-29 victory, due largely to the Hoosiers' big plays on the ground. Indiana has shown the same sort of potentially explosive efforts at times in 2015. The Hawkeyes will need to be at their absolute best mentally this time out as well. If not it could be another long day spent chasing down the men in red and white.


Prediction: Iowa 44, Indiana 20


— Written by Robert A. Boleyn, a member of the Athlon Contributor Network and a native Iowan currently based in Southern California. Boleyn attended both the University of Iowa and UCLA, and is a former contributing writer for The Daily Iowan and a die-hard Hawkeye. Follow him on Twitter @BoleynRobert.

Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Indiana Hoosiers Preview and Prediction
Post date: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 08:40
All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, Sun Belt, News
Path: /college-football/15-best-college-football-players-no-one-taking-about-2015

With 128 FBS teams and over 85 players on every college football roster, it’s easy for some talented prospects to slip through the cracks nationally. There’s no doubt about the talent or the amount of spotlight on LSU’s Leonard Fournette, TCU’s Trevone Boykin, Baylor’s Corey Coleman or Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, but there other plenty of under-the-radar performers this season. 


With that in mind, Athlon Sports set out to look at 15 players having an underrated season or the best players no one is talking about prior to Week 10. 


15 Best CFB Players No One is Taking About in 2015


Steven Daniels, LB, Boston College

The struggles of Boston College’s offense are no secret. However, even with an offense managing only 18.3 points per game, the Eagles are still holding opponents to 13.3 points a contest and 3.7 yards per play. Daniels is one of the leaders for Boston College’s defense, recording 67 tackles (14 for a loss), six sacks, one interception and two pass breakups. He’s a lock for first-team All-ACC honors this December.


Related: Predictions for Every Game in Week 10


Tyler Ervin, RB, San Jose State

Most college football fans would be able to guess LSU’s Leonard Fournette and Florida State’s Dalvin Cook as the No. 1 and No. 2 leading rushers in the nation. However, No. 3 (Ervin) is a bit of a surprise. Ervin is having a career year for the Spartans, averaging 144.9 yards per game in 2015. Additionally, the senior has rushed for 12 scores through eight contests and caught 30 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns. Ervin rushed for 300 yards in a win over Fresno State and 263 in a 31-21 victory over New Mexico.


Dan Feeney, OL, Indiana

Indiana’s offensive line is quietly one of the better groups in the Big Ten. Feeney and fellow senior Jason Spriggs are the anchors up front for coach Kevin Wilson, as this duo helps the Hoosiers average 180.6 rushing yards per game and allowed only 10 sacks through eight matchups. Feeney has started all eight games for Indiana this season and has 32 career starts.


Related: Post-Week 9 Bowl Projections


Jakeem Grant, WR, Texas Tech

Most of the attention on Big 12 receivers usually revolves around the prolific Corey Coleman at Baylor or TCU’s Josh Doctson. While Doctson and Coleman are putting together first-team All-America seasons, Grant is quietly amassing some big totals for coach Kliff Kingsbury. The senior leads all Big 12 players with an average of 189.6 all-purpose yards per game and has 69 catches for 952 yards and five scores this season. With remaining games against West Virginia, Kansas State and Texas, Grant will have plenty of opportunities to add to those totals in November.


Marquis Haynes, DE, Ole Miss

Tackle Robert Nkemdiche headlines the Ole Miss’ defensive front, and there’s no shortage of talent in the trenches in the SEC. However, it’s time to pay attention to what Haynes is doing in Oxford. The sophomore leads the team with 11 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks, while also recording 29 tackles and two forced fumbles. In SEC games, Haynes has recorded five sacks, which is tied with LSU’s Lewis Neal and Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett for the top spot in the conference.


Related: 10 Replacements for Al Golden at Miami


Brian Hill, RB, Wyoming

Hill is a key cog in second-year coach Craig Bohl’s rebuilding effort at Wyoming. The sophomore leads all running backs in the Mountain West with 1,262 yards through nine games, averages a healthy 6.2 yards per carry and ranks sixth nationally with an average of 140.2 yards per game. Hill’s 387 all-purpose yards against Fresno State was the most in the nation by any player in a single game last season.


Desmond King, CB, Iowa

King was picked as a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, but the junior still isn’t getting enough attention for his performance. King has played in all eight games for the Hawkeyes, recording 36 tackles and seven pass breakups. Additionally, King has recorded seven interceptions, which is tied for the most in the nation. Having a lockdown corner like King is a big reason why Iowa has allowed only three passing scores in Big Ten games this season.


Tyler Matakevich, LB, Temple

Matakevich is the heart and soul of an underrated Temple defense, and a player that deserves consideration for postseason All-America honors. The senior leads the Owls’ defense with 78 tackles (eight for a loss) and has also recorded four sacks, five interceptions and four pass breakups. Matakevich recorded at least 100 tackles in each of his first three seasons and is on pace to hit that mark once again in 2015.


Nick Mullens, QB, Southern Miss

Todd Monken inherited a major rebuilding project at Southern Miss. However, the third-year coach has the Golden Eagles at 6-3 and bowl eligible, largely due to an offense ranked second in Conference USA with an average of 35.7 points per game. Mullens has made steady improvement as a player over the last three seasons and is in the midst of a career year. The junior has 2,890 passing yards and 25 scores in 2015 and eclipsed over 300 passing yards in two games (Nebraska and Mississippi State) against Power 5 teams this season. Mullens also boasts a healthy 64.1 completion percentage.


Gionni Paul, LB, Utah

Paul is quietly putting together a strong resume for Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors. The senior leads the Utah defense with 75 tackles (10 for a loss) and has also recorded one sack, two picks and two forced fumbles in eight games in 2015. Paul is a sideline-to-sideline presence for the Utes and helps to anchor the Pac-12’s best run defense (113.1 yards per game).


Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville

Linemen in a 3-4 scheme will never record monster stats, as their job is usually to plug the gap and allow the linebackers to make plays. But in Rankins’ case, he’s been an active presence for Louisville’s defense around the line of scrimmage, recording 37 stops (7.5 for a loss), four sacks and returned a fumble 46 yards for a touchdown. He’s also a big reason why Louisville is limiting opponents to an average of 3.1 yards per carry this year.


Jarran Reed, DL, Alabama

Reed is another 3-4 lineman that deserves more attention. The 6-foot-4 lineman has the necessary beef to stuff the run at 313 pounds but also has the right amount of quickness to be a factor in wreaking havoc around the line of scrimmage. Reed has 39 stops (3.5 for a loss), one sack, two pass breakups and five quarterback hurries this season. He’s an underrated part of Alabama’s elite defense.


Larry Rose III, New Mexico State

The Sun Belt quietly has a nice collection of running backs, which includes UL Lafayette’s Elijah McGuire, Georgia Southern’s Matt Breida and Appalachian State’s Marcus Cox. Rose III is another rising star at running back, as the sophomore ranks second in the conference with 1,083 yards and 10 rushing scores through eight games. He also has two 200-yard games this season and recorded 1,102 yards as a true freshman in 2014.


Mike Warren, RB, Iowa State

Warren was picked as a breakout candidate for the Cyclones this season and has delivered in a big way for coach Paul Rhoads. Despite recording only nine carries in the first two games of 2015, the redshirt freshman is second in the Big 12 with 954 rushing yards. Warren has eclipsed at least 126 yards in five out of his last seven games. 


Anthony Walker, LB, Northwestern

Northwestern’s defense has emerged as one of the Big Ten’s best in 2015. The Wildcats are holding opponents to 17.6 points a game and 4.5 yards per play, while only giving up one play of 40 yards or more. Walker’s breakout season is one of the driving forces behind this group’s improvement, recording 67 tackles (first on the team), one sack and two fumble recoveries. The sophomore’s 10.5 tackles for a loss are tied for fifth among Big Ten defenders.

10 Best College Football Players No One is Taking About in 2015
Post date: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 08:37
Path: /college-football/texas-tech-red-raiders-vs-west-virginia-mountaineers-preview-and-prediction-2015

Texas Tech looks to solidify their post season by earning that sixth win and making them bowl eligible. Bringing with them one of the more explosive offenses in the nation, head coach Kilff Kingsbury and the Red Raiders have everything moving in the right direction.


On the opposite end of the spectrum, West Virginia limps into November after going through the toughest October in the history of the program. The Mountaineers went 0-for-October, losing to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor and TCU, each of whom is among the top 15 teams in the initial College Football Playoff rankings.


The Mountaineers are favored at home for the fifth time this season but it will be a tall task to slow down Patrick Mahomes and the Texas Tech offense. Will the Mountaineers be able to keep up?


Texas Tech at West Virginia

Kickoff: 12 p.m. ET (Saturday)
TV Channel: FS1
Spread: West Virginia  -8.5


Three Things to Watch


1. Mountaineers' Secondary
Coming into the season the West Virginia secondary was being touted as one of the best in the nation. Unfortunately its has not lived up to that title, especially in October. With mounting injuries West Virginia has its work cut out for them against the explosiveness of Texas Tech.


Red Raiders' quarterback Patrick Mahomes is averaging 406.4 yards per game and that is against legitimate competition. Texas Tech put up 500 yards against Baylor and 480 against Oklahoma State. With the Mountaineers struggling against the pass this season Texas Tech may be able to score often with their fast paced attack.


2. Which defense will step up?
Both West Virginia and Texas Tech have lost four games this season. What is interesting is those four losses have been to the same teams; Baylor, TCU, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State.


While Texas Tech’s offense has fared better than the Mountaineers in those games the same can not be said for its defense. In its four losses this season Texas Tech has given up an average of 62.75 ppg. The Mountaineers have given up an average of 44.75 ppg in those same losses.


There is no doubt that Texas Tech has a more dangerous offense than West Virginia, but West Virginia has the better defense.


3. Can West Virginia developed a balanced attack?

Texas Tech has always been a pass-first offense. While DeAndre Washington is averaging just over 100 yards rushing, the danger comes from the arm of Mahomes.


West Virginia, on the other hand, has a workhorse in the backfield of Wendell Smallwood. If the Mountaineers' offensive line can give Smallwood lanes, that should in turn open up the passing game for Skyler Howard. The necessity for the Mountaineers to establish a balanced attack is imperative. Keeping the Red Raiders offense off the field will go a long way toward a win for the Mountaineers.

Final Analysis


Texas Tech has not fared well against legitimate offenses this season. While the Mountaineers have struggled offensively in the last four games they have also shown if you give them a little they will take advantage.


The Mountaineers will be able to establish a balanced offense keeping the Red Raiders off the field. West Virginia will get back on track in this must win game.


Prediction: West Virginia 38, Texas Tech 34


— Written by Jeremy Simon, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and editor-in-chief of, a must visit for any and all West Virginia Mountaineer fans. Follow on Twitter @Blue_GoldSports.

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. West Virginia Mountaineers Preview and Prediction
Post date: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 08:35
Path: /college-football/notre-dame-fighting-irish-vs-pittsburgh-panthers-preview-and-prediction-2015

It has been a very, very good week for Notre Dame. First, they knocked off Temple, a ranked team, on the road. Then, the College Footbll Playoff selection committee placed Notre Dame fifth in its rankings. Most experts predicted ND to be anywhere from No. 8 to No. 12, but the Irish now find themselves knocking on the door of a Playoff spot.


It hasn’t been as good of a week for the Pittsburgh Panthers. Pitt had a couple extra days to think about their loss at home to North Carolina last Thursday night. With the loss, they were knocked out of both polls and from the ranks of the ACC unbeatens. They also now lose the tie-breaker to the rival Tar Heels.


Notre Dame and Pittsburgh have played many memorable games throughout the years with Notre Dame holding a 45-21 series lead.


Notre Dame at Pittsburgh


Kickoff: 12 p.m ET (Saturday)


Spread: Notre Dame -7.5


Three Things to Watch


1. Cranking C.J. Prosise Back Up

The Notre Dame back had just 50 yards rushing in the loss to Clemson earlier in the year. Prosise — with help from the rest of the offense — responded with consecutive 100-yard games against Navy and USC. Last week Temple held the senior to 25 yards on the ground. The Irish would like to return to a more balanced attack with Prosise leading the way. Pittsburgh has a decent run defense and if it sells out to stop the run, quarterback DeShone Kizer will have to make plays throwing the ball. But assuming the Notre Dame offensive line does its part, there should be more opportunities for Prosise this weekend.


2. The Duo of Qadree Ollison and Tyler Boyd

The Panthers don’t possess a potent, high-scoring offense. What they do have, though, are two very productive players that Notre Dame will have to contain. When star running back James Conner went down with a season-ending knee injury, most expected the Panthers' ground game to be dead and buried. But Ollison has 716 yards rushing to go along with eight touchdowns on the ground. It’s a different story at wide receiver. Boyd was the leading returning receiver in the ACC and he has had a nice season so far. Interestingly, though, after averaging over 16 yards a catch in 2014, Boyd is only averaging nine yards a reception with a long of 36 yards this fall. Much of the reason is the result of the skill set of new quarterback Nathan Peterman, who is accurate on short passes but is not as adept at throwing the deep ball.


3. The Pittsburgh Offensive Line vs. the Notre Dame Defensive Line

The Pittsburgh offensive line is one that has a lot of experience on the left side with guard Dorian Johnson and tackle Adam Bisnowaty. Also, though right tackle Alex Officer is just a redshirt sophomore, he is a returning starter. With a senior at center, it’s a pretty experienced group, despite playing redshirt freshman Brian O’Neill at right tackle. All that experience will come in handy against a Notre Dame defensive line that took it to Temple on Saturday night. Isaac Rochelle was dominant from the start and Sheldon Day had has usual outstanding performance. The play of Daniel Cage was very evident and Romeo Okwara may have had the best game of his career with three tackles for lost yardage. The Notre Dame linemen would like to apply more pressure to Peterman and slow down Ollison and the running game. This will be a big battle to watch on Saturday.


Final Analysis


This is not the easiest spot for Notre Dame. They were in Philly last Saturday night, came home, and now head to Pittsburgh for a noon start, a time at which they don’t play very often. Pittsburgh has been waiting in the Steel City since last Thursday night. From that perspective, advantage Panthers. This is also a series that has been hotly contested in recent years. Pitt upset the Irish during their last meeting in Pittsburgh and the Irish were fortunate to escape with a victory during their run to the championship game in 2012. For those reasons, this could be a close game. But if you were picking teams for a backyard game, a lot of Notre Dame players would be selected before those from Pitt. It’s a Notre Dame – Pitt game, so there will be some ups and downs for both teams. But Notre Dame will win and move to 8-1.


Prediction: Notre Dame 31, Pittsburgh 20


— Written by Jon Kinne, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a college football fanatic. Kinne has been writing about recruiting for the Irish Sports Daily for 10 years. Follow him on Twitter @JonRKinne.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Pittsburgh Panthers Preview and Prediction
Post date: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 08:30
Path: /college-football/duke-blue-devils-vs-north-carolina-tar-heels-preview-and-prediction-2015

It is most heated in basketball, but when Duke and North Carolina meet in any sport, it is all-out war. With both teams having a combined one ACC loss and the Coastal Division title within the reach, this week’s game carries extra importance.


But in what should be considered a major upset, many Duke supporters don’t have their sights fixed solely straight ahead. That’s because of the unfortunate, incredible, maddening way that Duke lost to Miami last Saturday night. The Blue Devils have every right to be angry after it took the officials over nine minutes to come up with the wrong verdict, giving the game to Miami.


Meanwhile, down the road in Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels were relaxing after their impressive victory at Pittsburgh last Thursday night. The win made UNC 7-1 on the season and propelled them to No. 21 in both the AP and Coaches polls.


Carolina holds a 57-37-4 edge in this hotly contested rivalry.


Duke at North Carolina


Kickoff: 12 p.m. ET (Saturday)


Spread: North Carolina -8


Three Things to Watch


1. Which Marquise Williams Plays?

Will we see the Marquise Williams that turned the ball over three times against South Carolina and was benched in the Delaware game? Or do we see the Marquise Williams that has run and passed the Heels to recent wins over Georgia Tech, Virginia, and Pittsburgh? Duke has the nation’s eighth-ranked pass defense, but Miami’s Malik Rosier, making his first start last Saturday, completed 20 of 29 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns. Duke star safety Jeremy Cash and the Duke secondary will have to step up to contain Williams the runner while also watching Quinshad Davis, Ryan Switzer, and the rest of the Tar Heels' receivers.


2. On the Other Side, Thomas Sirk

Sirk and Williams have some similarities. Both are big, strong quarterbacks that can run and pass. Sirk has completed 60% of his passes this fall with an impressive 12-to-3 touchdown to interception ratio. He is also the Blue Devils' leading rusher with 481 yards. North Carolina is third in the country in pass defense but 105th in run defense. Sirk will try to throw to Max McCaffrey but there will be a lot of called quarterback runs too. Duke’s running back trio of Jela Duncan, Shaun Wilson, and Shaquille Powell will have to help out by grinding out tough yardage. But Sirk has become the main playmaker for the Duke offense and he is the guy the Tar Heels must watch.


3. Scoring Touchdowns

Both teams have done a decent job of getting points when they have gotten into the red zone. Oftentimes, though, both the Blue Devils and the Tar Heels get three points instead of six. North Carolina ranks No. 82 in red zone touchdown conversion rate and Duke checks in at No. 106. In a game like this that should be close to the end, getting touchdowns instead of field goals will be vital.


Final Analysis


Duke got hosed by the officials last week. You know it, I know it, we all know it. Now it’s time to move on and with Carolina next up, Duke coach David Cutcliffe should have no trouble getting the troops fired up. Duke will face a rested and confident Carolina team, one that not only has a Coastal Division crown in sight, but also is beginning to believe that it can beat whoever comes out of the Atlantic, be it Clemson or Florida State. Duke’s defense will make things hard on UNC at times, but the Heels have too many weapons to be held down all day. North Carolina will win and put themselves in the Coastal catbird seat.


Prediction: North Carolina 27, Duke 17


— Written by Jon Kinne, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a college football fanatic. Kinne has been writing about recruiting for the Irish Sports Daily for 10 years. Follow him on Twitter @JonRKinne.

Duke Blue Devils vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Preview and Prediction
Post date: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 08:25
Path: /kentucky-wildcats-vs-georgia-bulldogs-preview-and-prediction-2015

One week after very bad losses, both Georgia and Kentucky’s programs seem to be headed in opposite directions. Rumors continue to escalate around Athens that the powers that be could be ready to move on from head coach Mark Richt.

On the other hand, starting quarterback Patrick Towles led a players-only meeting in order to rally the troops in Lexington after a 52-21 blowout loss to Tennessee, which was the Wildcats' third loss in a row. Both teams are all but out of the SEC East race but that doesn’t mean the season is over. Georgia is one win away from becoming bowl eligible while Kentucky needs two more victories. 

Kentucky at Georgia

Kickoff: 12 p.m. ET (Saturday)
TV Channel: SEC Network
Spread: Georgia -14


Three Things to Watch


1. Georgia’s response after Florida loss.
Last Saturday’s loss was the culmination of a lackluster offense missing its best player coupled with a defense that isn’t playing any better under second year defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. The loss all but knocked Georgia out of any chance of returning back to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game, a game they haven’t played in since 2012. Now Mark Richt’s seat is hotter than ever and players know this. Richt is loved by everyone but hasn’t won the SEC outright since 2005. His players hear the noise and will answer the call. These players love their coach and that could mean trouble for Kentucky.


2. Patrick Towles 
Losing Boom Williams to an elbow injury during the first half of the Tennessee game was a huge blow to this offense. Williams was averaging 6.6 yards a carry so we should see Jojo Kemp do well behind this line. But Towles is the centerpiece to this offense. Towels isn’t putting up great numbers but he is still talented enough to lead this team to a bowl. He will have to play smart and put his team in a position to win. Georgia hasn’t scored a touchdown in two games so we know their offense can be stagnant. Towels will have to protect the ball as this game will probably come down to who turns the ball over the least. 


3. Sanford Stadium
It seems as though the Georgia fanbase is split down the middle when it comes to wanting Mark Richt gone or not. It’s my opinion that more want him gone than are actually letting on. And we could see that play out on Saturday. If Georgia doesn’t win big or is beaten by Kentucky, we could see fans let their true feelings out. I’ve never been a fan of booing college athletes but coaches are different. These coaches are paid handsomely to win games and Richt isn’t doing a lot of that this year. I could definitely see Georgia fans voicing their opinion if this game doesn’t go according to plan. Fans may say they love Richt but fans pay to see wins. 

Final Analysis

Simply put, Georgia is way too talented not to win this game. But talent can only take you so far. I think Mark Richt and the Bulldogs come out swinging and take an early lead. Kentucky will give a good fight but it won’t be enough. Losing Boom Williams makes Kentucky one dimensional. Georgia still hasn’t named a starting quarterback but it won’t matter. Georgia is deep enough at the running back position to own the line of scrimmage and keep the ball out of Kentucky’s hands. 

Prediction: Georgia 21, Kentucky 13


— Written by Justin Nails, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @justinnails.

Kentucky Wildcats vs. Georgia Bulldogs Preview and Prediction
Post date: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 08:20
Path: /college-football/vanderbilt-commodores-vs-florida-gators-preview-and-prediction-2015

After rolling over the Georgia Bulldogs 27-3 in “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party,” the Florida Gators will return home to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium for Homecoming to host the Vanderbilt Commodores.


On Halloween, Vanderbilt was shutout by the Houston Cougars 34-0. The Commodores were held to only 185 yards of total offense in the game.


The 11th-ranked Gators can clinch a berth in the SEC Championship Game with a victory over the Commodores. Florida head coach Jim McElwain said he is just taking things one day at a time.


“And I've been around some great coaches obviously, something that Nick [Saban] does an outstanding job of,” said McElwain. “You can't get too high and you can't get too low. You've got to understand, you've got to take care of what you can take care of now, because whatever the event is, whatever that is, you're preparing for success. Our guys have kind of understood that. If there's a game, let's face it, if there's a game that probably will test that more than anything will be this one.”


Vanderbilt is 0-3 against Top 25 teams this season. The Commodores haven’t defeated a ranked opponent since their 31-27 win over No.19 Georgia in 2013.


Florida has a 36-10-2 all-time record against Vanderbilt. Last season, the Gators defeated the Commodores 34-10 in Nashville. 


Vanderbilt at Florida


Kickoff: 12 p.m. ET

Channel: ESPN

Spread: Florida -21


Three Things to Watch                              


1. Treon Harris

Against LSU last month, Florida quarterback Treon Harris had a solid game as he threw for 271 yards and two touchdowns in the 35-28 loss. Last week against Georgia, Harris had his struggles as he finished 8-of-19 for 155 yards and one touchdown.


While Vanderbilt isn’t expected to provide Florida with much resistance, this will be an excellent opportunity for the sophomore to get some work and gain more experience.


Earlier this week, McElwain compared Harris' completion percentage to Shaquille O’Neal.


“It’s not good,” McElwain said. “Shaquille O’Neal might have liked it for his free throw percentage. "I think at the end of the day, we were on the right side of the scoreboard." 


2. Vanderbilt’s defense

For as badly as Vanderbilt has been outplayed in a number of its games this season, its defense has been one of the few bright spots for the team. They have faced three of the nation’s best quarterbacks in Brandon Doughty, Chad Kelly and Brent Stockstill and held them all under their season averages.


Expect Vanderbilt to blitz and load the box in order to slow down Kelvin Taylor and the rushing attack. That will then put more pressure on Harris and the Gators' passing attack.


The Commodores’ third down defense is ranked fifth in FBS as they give up first downs at a 25.2 percentage. Vanderbilt’s red zone defense is 17th nationally as they allow opponents to score at a rate of 75 percent. So Saturday’s game won’t be a piece of cake for the Gators.


3. Turnovers

Both Florida and Vanderbilt come into their game on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to turnover margin.


Florida ranks second in the FBS in turnover margin with a plus-13. Vanderbilt has a terrible minus-11 turnover ratio this season and that was its undoing against Houston last week. The Commodores committed four turnovers and it is hard to beat anyone with that amount of turnovers, nevertheless a Top 25 team.


“It’s hard to win a game when you basically score 21 points for the other team,” Vanderbilt center Spencer Pulley said earlier this week. “It wasn’t anybody’s one mistake. It was a whole offensive thing.”


Vanderbilt is a heavy underdog in this game on the road. If they have any chance of pulling off the upset, they will have to play mistake-free most of the afternoon.


Final Analysis


Vanderbilt comes into this game as one of the lowest scoring teams in the FBS as the Commodores are averaging 15.8 points per game. Florida is seventh in scoring defense as it allows any average of 15.5 points per game. So it will likely be a struggle for the Vanderbilt offense. 


Expect McElwain to roll Harris out and have him throw the football early in the game. That will then open up the Gators' rushing attack.


Florida’s defense should be able to force a few turnovers. The Gators will likely start out slow, but expect them to roll to an easy victory and claim the SEC East crown in the second half.


Prediction: Florida 31, Vanderbilt 13


— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, Pro Player Insiders and is a reporter for Sports Talk Florida. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.

Vanderbilt Commodores vs. Florida Gators Preview and Prediction
Post date: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 08:15
Path: /college-football/virginia-cavaliers-vs-miami-hurricanes-preview-and-prediction-2015

After their controversial 75-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that won the game in interim head coach Larry Scott's debut, the Miami Hurricanes (5-3, 2-2 ACC) will return home to Sun Life Stadium this weekend as they will take on the Virginia Cavaliers (3-5, 2-2). 


Despite being underdogs last weekend at home against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Virginia won the game 27-21. Matt Johns finished 17-of-28 for 175 yards and a touchdown. 


The all-time series between Miami and Virginia is tied at 6-6. In the last meeting between the two schools, the Cavaliers topped the Hurricanes 30-13 last year in Charlottesville.  A win on Saturday would make Miami bowl eligible for the eighth consecutive season. 


Virginia at Miami

Kickoff: 3 p.m. ET
Channel: ESPN 3/Fox Sports South
Spread: Miami -7.5


Three Things to Watch


1. Who will play quarterback for Miami?
Starting quarterback Brad Kaaya suffered a concussion during their 58-0 loss against Clemson a couple of weeks ago. He failed the concussion protocol before the Duke game and was ruled out of last week’s game.


Prior to being injured, Kaaya was playing like one of the best quarterbacks in the ACC as he has thrown 1846 yards, 10 touchdowns against two interceptions. 


His replacement last week, backup quarterback Malik Rosier was superb in his first career start.


The freshman was 20-of-29 for 272 yards as he also chipped in two touchdowns. Rosier’s 272 yards was the second most yards for any Hurricane quarterback in their first start since 1999. 


Scott said after practice on Tuesday that Kaaya is listed as questionable for the Hurricanes' game against the Cavaliers. 


“He’s still questionable [for Saturday],” Scott said. “This is one of the final pieces to the protocol with that. He was out, did some things, looked good, but the doctors are evaluating that situation closely. We’ll follow their feedback from this afternoon when they have a chance to look at how he did and visit with him.”


2. Trent Corney
In Miami’s game against Clemson, the Tigers were able to get a lot of pressure on Kaaya and Rosier and that was the reason the Hurricanes turned the ball over three times. Virginia has the personnel to follow the same receipt to defeat Miami. 


Virginia defensive end Trent Corney had his best game of the season against Georgia Tech last week. The senior recorded four tackles, two sacks and forced a fumble that lead to a Virginia touchdown two scores later. 


With the youth on Miami’s offensive line, Scott and the Hurricanes will have to pay special attention to where Corney is lined up on the field. 


3. Takeaways 
Coming into their game on Saturday, Miami ranks near the top in turnover margin. The Hurricanes are sixth in the FBS in turnover margin as they have 17 takeaways against seven giveaways. 


While Miami is near the top in the turnover margin department, Virginia is not as the Cavaliers rank 120th in turnover margin. Virginia has eight takeaways to 18 giveaways this season. 


Any time a team goes on the road, turnovers are usually the ultimate determiner on if a team will come up victorious.


Virginia only turned the ball over once last week against Georgia Tech and they will likely have to play a similar clean game to defeat the Hurricanes on Saturday.  


Final Analysis 


It is hard to predict this game without knowing the status of Kaaya. If he is 100 percent and he does play, there’s no reason Miami can’t win this game with ease. If Rosier starts, Virginia will of course have a better shot to win this game.


Either way, Miami will likely lean on running back Joseph Yearby on Saturday. The true sophomore has rushed for 641 yards this season and five touchdowns on 5.1 yards per carry. Virginia will also have to worry about Yearby being a playmaker out of the backfield as he has caught 17 passes for two touchdowns. 


Johns has been the definition of inconsistency all season long. The senior has thrown 13 touchdowns against 13 interceptions. 


The Hurricanes should be able to force a couple of turnovers and that should be enough to carry them to a victory. 


Prediction: Miami 31, Virginia 24


— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, Pro Player Insiders and is a reporter for Sports Talk Florida. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.

Virginia Cavaliers vs. Miami Hurricanes Preview and Prediction
Post date: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 08:10
All taxonomy terms: College Football
Path: /college-football/betting-against-spread-college-football-picks-week-10-2015

This has been an odd college football season so far for many reasons. First off, there are 10 job openings already and we still have four weeks or so left to go. Virginia Tech added its name to the list with the announcement that the legendary Frank Beamer is going to retire at the end of the season. Second, the AAC provided three of the 25 teams in the first College Football Playoff rankings. Memphis is the highest at No. 13, although the Tigers still have to go through Navy, Houston and potentially Temple twice. Finally, I still maintain there's truly not a dominant team left. There are several squads without a loss, but each has their faults. We'll see how this week plays out on the field.


Record: 43-39 (6-2 last week)


Temple (7-1) at SMU (1-7) (Friday)

Temple came thisclose to beating Notre Dame and sending Owl fans into a true frenzy. Instead the Owls fell short and left the game battered and bruised. The injury list is long with Kyle Friend, Jahad Thomas, Tavon Young and Nate Smith among the walking wounded. Friend is the leader of the offensive line while Thomas is Temple’s No. 1 running back. Yes, SMU's defense is next-level awful, but can Temple take advantage of it? P.J. Walker has been up and down as QB. SMU's offense has not been the problem, as the Mustangs have moved the ball well. The problem has been turnovers with nine of them occurring in the last three games. As a Temple fan, I'm still bummed over the Irish loss so you'd have to think the players will be too. This game's not as important with the Owls maintaining a two-game lead in the AAC East and a bigger contest looming at South Florida then at home vs. Memphis. SELECTION: SMU +14 (If you want to be real daring, throw a small wager on the SMU ML)


UL Lafayette (3-4) at Georgia State (2-5)

Georgia State's offense is clicking right now as the Panthers enter Saturday's matchup with ULL. The Panthers have scored 65 points in their last two games and are doing so behind a potent passing attack. Nick Arbuckle is finding things a little easier despite not getting much support from his run game. The Ragin’ Cajuns can be beaten through the air, although most teams have preferred beating them on the ground. ULL's played three straight overs as the Cajuns’ offense has been clicking a bit. Georgia State has allowed 30 points or more in five of its last six and should do so again on Saturday. ULL is 40-18 O-U since 1992, including 13-6 the last three seasons. SELECTION: Over 63.5


Vanderbilt (3-5) at Florida (7-1)

The SEC East is all but Florida's to win and will be a done deal if it can beat Vanderbilt. The Gators have been doing enough to win and are adjusting to Will Grier no longer being at quarterback. Treon Harris is getting things done as Florida is one step away from a trip to Atlanta and the SEC Championship Game. There could be a hangover after the 27-3 win over Georgia in the rivalry game. Vanderbilt has a road win at Middle Tennessee already and has the defense to hang around. The problem is the Commodores’ woeful offense that has scored just 53 points in the last four contests. The Commodores have covered in eight of their last 11 games in the Swamp. They have also covered in 13 of their last 20 SEC games. Anytime you see a big spread and a low total, the underdog is worth a look. SELECTION: Vanderbilt +21


Syracuse (3-5) at Louisville (4-4)

A pair of poor offenses play each other as Louisville hosts Syracuse. The Orange are putting up just 337.2 yards per game as they have dealt with multiple quarterback injuries this season. Eric Dungey has been very good, but he's facing a Louisville team that is giving up just 309.2 yards per game. The Cardinals have played in five unders in their last six games, as the offense just doesn't have a lot of bite. Lamar Jackson is very mediocre at quarterback. The numbers aren't great for the Orange's defense, but they really don't have to be against the anemic Louisville attack. The home team has gone under in 18 of its last 26 as a favorite and 22 of the last 34 overall. SELECTION: Under 51.5


Kansas (0-8) at Texas (3-5)

The Jayhawks have just four more chances to pick up a win. It probably won't come Saturday when they play at Texas. The Jayhawks have struggled terribly defensively, giving up 30 points or more in five straight games. The Longhorns’ offense is dying to break out after their recent struggles against Iowa State (204 total yards). Put a weak defense in front of Texas and the Horns score, as evidenced by the 86 points at home against Rice and California in September. Kansas' offense has perked up a little bit although it's not showing on the scoreboard. Texas has allowed 435.2 yards per game so the Jayhawks might be able to find the end zone more than once. SELECTION: Over 54


Utah State (5-3) at New Mexico (4-4)

The Aggies’ porous run defense will be tested once again on Saturday against New Mexico. Utah State has surrendered 606 rushing yards in its last two games. The Lobos run it well and have put up 66 points in their last two conference home games (New Mexico State, Hawaii). The problem comes on the defensive side where the Lobos allow 422.1 yards per game. These two have played in 10 overs in their 16 games combined. New Mexico has gone over in 11 of its last 16 home games. SELECTION: Over 55.5


Iowa State (3-5) at Oklahoma (7-1)

Oklahoma's loss to Texas seems like a distant memory, as the Sooners have outscored their past three opponents 180-34. The Sooners blasted Kansas State, Texas Tech and Kansas to force their way back into the Playoff discussion. Iowa State enters this on a high following its 24-0 shutout of Texas at home. The problem for the Cyclones is that the road has been unkind in Big 12 play, falling 66-31 to Texas Tech and 45-27 to Baylor. ISU has been beaten up on defense and should continue to struggle entering this one. The Cyclones have been able to put up some points of their own with Mike Warren running the ball well. Oklahoma has a road game at Baylor next so focus could be a bit of an issue. The Sooners have gone over in 22 of their last 34 games including 19 of their last 30 as a favorite. SELECTION: Over 61




— Two teams going in a different direction in the AAC play as East Carolina hosts South Florida. The Pirates have lost two straight and three of their last four as they try to get that necessary sixth win to gain bowl eligibility. ECU has a home win over Virginia Tech to go with a close loss to Florida, but those games came back in September. The Pirates are struggling on offense with turnovers while the defense has not been able to get crucial stops lately. The Bulls have won three of their last four and are doing so behind Marlon Mack and Quinton Flowers. South Florida has a huge game next week at home against Temple as it looks to move up in the AAC East standings. I don't trust either team, but based on recent results, the road team is worth a look.


— I came very close to making an official play in the game involving two one-win MAC teams. I have tried several times to fade Miami (Ohio) and was going to do so once again with Eastern Michigan. The Eagles have a semi-decent offense to go along with a horrendous defense. The same can't be said for the RedHawks, who just have an awful defense to go along with an awful offense. They have been a favorite in just four games the last three seasons, winning three of them straight up. EMU has been an underdog of 3.5 to 10 points just five times the last three seasons. I really would like to take the road team in this one, but how can I trust the Eagles to win a game on the road when they've won just one game away from home the last three seasons?


— To keep with the theme of awful teams, I came really close to taking the over in the New Mexico State-Texas State game. The Bobcats have allowed 49 points or more in five of their seven games and have allowed 553 yards per game. The Aggies actually are much worse, allowing 561 yards and 48 points or more in six of their eight contests. The two have combined for 10 overs in 15 games this season. The reason it's not an official play is because the total has actually gone down and movements like that in smaller games concern me. Only someone who knows the Sun Belt would make a wager large enough to move the line. I lean to the over especially if someone moves the line back to its original spot.


— Injuries have prevented me from potentially making Florida State an official play in its showdown at Clemson. Everett Golson and Sean Maguire are both in play to start at quarterback for the Seminoles and that makes a bit of a difference in handicapping this game. Dalvin Cook isn't 100 percent with the ankle injury either. FSU has been an underdog of 10.5 to 21 points just five times since 1992.


— 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.

Betting Against the Spread: College Football Picks for Week 10
Post date: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 08:05
Path: /college-football/penn-state-nittany-lions-vs-northwestern-wildcats-preview-and-prediction-2015

The Northwestern Wildcats are on the prowl and feeling confident after making an appearance in the first batch of the College Football Playoff rankings of the 2015 season. They have earned it with wins against Stanford and Duke to go along with Big Ten victories at Nebraska and Minnesota. The losses have been bad ones though, losing by a combined score of 78-10 in back-to-back games against Michigan and Iowa. This week Northwestern looks to improve to 7-2 and 3-2 in Big Ten play with a home game against Penn State.


The Nittany Lions are still a work in progress, but you would not have known that watching them dismantle Illinois last weekend. Is this what teams should expect from Penn State the rest of the way? Playing on the road has not been too kind to Penn State this season, so picking up a hard-fought victory this weekend could help generate a little more momentum heading into a well-timed bye week with Michigan coming to State College in two weeks.


Penn State at Northwestern


Kickoff: 12 p.m. ET (Saturday)


Spread: Northwestern -2.5


Three Things to Watch


1. Can Penn State carry over momentum from big Illinois win?

Penn State put together the best performance on both sides of the football the program has seen in the first year and a half under James Franklin. A 39-0 victory over Illinois was a big statement for Penn State, in which the defense made up for an uncharacteristically shaky performance against Maryland and the offense opened things up a bit as Christian Hackenberg passed for 266 yards and two touchdowns and actually caught one just for fun. Penn State rolled up 400 yards of offense while holding the Illini to just 167 yards. Now the test is to take that kind of performance on the road, which has been tricky for the Nittany Lions. Penn State is 1-2 on the road this season, with losses to Temple and Ohio State and a win against Maryland.


2. Will Thor(son) be worthy of dropping a hammer on Penn State?

The key player for Northwestern is quarterback Clayton Thorson. While he can be a bit up and down as a passer, completing 52.7 percent of his passes with six touchdowns thrown against five interceptions, he gives Penn State's defense something extra to think about with his legs. Northwestern's running game has seen leading rusher Justin Jackson go three straight games without more than 40 rushing yards, but Thorson has been there to pick up the slack. Two weeks ago against Nebraska (the Wildcats were off last week), Thorson went wild with 126 rushing yards and a touchdown. He broke free for a 68-yard play against the Huskers and earlier this year rattled off a 42-yard run against Stanford. If Penn State's solid defense makes a mistake, Thorson could break another key run. Northwestern's rushing offense is ranked third in the Big Ten, while Penn State's rushing defense is ranked sixth. Penn State was gashed for 315 yards on the ground against Ohio State and 241 yards against Maryland.


3. Revenge game for Nittany Lions

This will be the fourth revenge game for Penn State this season. So far the Nittany Lions have gone 2-1 against teams that defeated them a season ago. Wins came against Maryland and Illinois the past two weeks, with the Buckeyes the only team to score a repeat victory so far. Northwestern shut down Penn State in Happy Valley last season, ruining the afternoon for the homecoming crowd. The Wildcats left town with a stunning 29-6 victory in which Penn State's offense never found any answers against the Wildcats' defense. It was a masterful performance by Pat Fitzgerald's group, but the head coach of Northwestern knows he got a couple breaks to go his team's way last year and things could easily be different this time around. If Penn State's defense can crack down on the running game, the momentum could shift in Penn State's favor.


Final Analysis


Penn State's defense has taken a couple of lumps this season on the road, and that should be a concern again this weekend with the Nittany Lions visiting Evanston, but last week showed Penn State has a defense that is capable of shutting things down when they are on top of their game. The problem for Penn State is this Northwestern team is not one to take lightly. The Wildcats already have a home win against a rising Stanford program, and they also scored a road win at Duke earlier this season. Northwestern is not going to be easy to score many points on, so Christian Hackenberg needs to be on target and Saquon Barkley needs to have room to make some things happen. Penn State can sneak out of there with a win, but it will not be easy for either team.


Prediction: Penn State 20, Northwestern 17


— Written by Kevin McGuire, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. McGuire also writes for and hosts the No 2-Minute Warning Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Northwestern Wildcats Preview and Prediction
Post date: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 08:00
All taxonomy terms: College Basketball, News, Magazines
Path: /magazines/comparing-all-2015-16-preseason-college-basketball-rankings-and-picks

Preseason predictions are an inexact science, particularly in college basketball.


Stars leave. Coaches change. Players develop. That’s always been the case. Now, impact freshmen and transfers have proven to be gamechangers. Teams can turnover their rosters on a year-to-year basis and still compete with teams full of veterans.


This season appears to be especially tricky. For the first time in several years, there is no consensus at the top. As many as four teams have earned a No. 1 ranking from major publications.


As Athlon Sports releases its preseason college basketball annual, we still like to look at the landscape of picks around the country, and this season is shaping up to be one of the most unpredictable in recent years.


2015-16 College Basketball Preseason Top 25


2015-16 Conference Champion Predictions
America East
Atlantic 10
Atlantic Sun
Big 12
Big East
Big Sky
Big South
Big Ten
Big West
Conference USA
Missouri Valley
Mountain West
Ohio Valley
Sun Belt
West Coast


Comparing All 2015-16 Preseason College Basketball Rankings and Picks
Post date: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 07:00
All taxonomy terms: videos, NFL, Overtime
Path: /overtime/jimmy-fallon-roasts-eagles-cowboys-ahead-nfl-superlatives-sunday-night-football

Jimmy Fallon is back at it, making fun of football players set to face off in the upcoming Sunday night game. 


The Eagles-Cowboys matchup is always one to watch, and on "The Tonight Show," it'll be hard to see these players and not think of these superlatives.


Post date: Thursday, November 5, 2015 - 15:27
All taxonomy terms: videos, Overtime
Path: /overtime/americas-worst-sports-fan-cowboys-lakers-duke-yankees-bulls-ohio-state-michigan

We all know that one sports fans who just so happens to always be on the winning side of things.


This person is a bandwagoner or fair-weather fan, whichever you would like to call it. They've been a fan ironically since the team started winning. It's hilarious, and mildly sad at the same time.


Post date: Thursday, November 5, 2015 - 14:12