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The Big 12 lost its only national championship contender and likely lost a chance at the Heisman Trophy in Week 13.

If there’s any silver lining, though, Saturday could have set up an interesting final week of the season in the league.

Texas and Baylor are in action during the Thanksgiving weekend, but if the Longhorns and Bears defeat Texas Tech and TCU, respectively, they’ll still be in the Big 12 hunt come Dec. 7.

Oklahoma State controls its path to the Fiesta Bowl, but the Cowboys face Oklahoma in the final week of the season, a game that is suddenly more intriguing after the Sooners defeated Kansas State. Baylor lost in convincing fashion to the Cowboys, but the Bears will be rooting for an Oklahoma State loss to keep the Bears in the BCS hunt.

The final week of the season will be compelling, but how we got here was just as interesting. Here’s how the stats told the story.

More Stats from Week 13: ACC Big Ten Pac-12

Key Numbers from around the Big 12 in Week 13

1. One-loss team whose defeat came to a team with a losing record
The most popular question as Oklahoma State built its lead against Baylor was how in the world did the Cowboys lose to West Virginia? Indeed, it’s an outlier for one-loss teams. Of the eight one loss teams, only Oklahoma lost to a team with a losing record. Michigan State is the only other team whose loss came to a team unranked in this week’s Associated Press poll — and that team was an 8-3 Notre Dame.


29:01. Baylor’s longest streak without a touchdown before Saturday
Baylor’s longest touchdown drought this season covered 29:01 of game time, starting with the final 6:03 in a lopsided win over Kansas and going into the first half against Oklahoma on Nov. 7. The touchdown-free streak was the longest for Baylor until...

45:32. Time before Baylor scored a touchdown against Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State pulled off what no team or even pair of teams have done this season by keeping Baylor out of the end zone for more than 45 minutes. Before Antwan Goodley caught a 25-yard touchdown pass for Bryce Petty with 14:28 to go, Baylor had been limited to a field goal in the first three quarters.

3. Teams to hold Art Briles-led Baylor teams to two or fewer touchdowns since 2010
Oklahoma State joined an interesting cast of teams that have held Baylor to two or fewer touchdowns since 2010, Robert Griffin’s sophomore year and the first bowl season under Briles. Oklahoma State did it Saturday, an undefeated TCU team held Baylor to one touchdown in 2010, and Illinois, coached by Ron Zook at the time, did it in the 2010 Texas Bowl.

3. 10-win seasons for Oklahoma State under Mike Gundy
The win over Baylor secured Oklahoma State a 10-win season for the third time under coach Mike Gundy, joining a 12-1 season in 2011 and 11-2 in 2010. The Cowboys have had only six 10-win seasons in their history and Gundy has been involved in five of them. Gundy was the quarterback for Oklahoma State’s 10-2 teams in 1987 and 1988. The Pokes also went 10-2 in 1984.

37. Consecutive road losses against ranked teams for Baylor
The Bears have rewritten their record book under Art Briles, but Baylor still has one more hurdle. The 49-17 loss to Oklahoma State was Baylor’s 37th consecutive road loss to a ranked team. The winless streak goes back to Baylor’s 21-14 defeat of then-No. 16 SMU on Oct. 12, 1985.

206. Receiving yards for Kansas State’s Tyler Lockett before halftime
The nation has had 21 200-yard receiving games this season. Kansas State’s Tyler Lockett joined that group before halftime against Oklahoma. Lockett had 206 of his school-record 278 yards before halftime. Lockett has the fifth (278 against Oklahoma) and eighth-highest (237 against Texas) receiving totals in a game this season

440. All-purpose yards for Lockett against Oklahoma, most in a game this season
Lockett added 162 yards on kickoff returns against Oklahoma to give him 440 all-purpose yards, the most in a game since Nov. 17, 2012 when Tavon Austin had 572 yards against Oklahoma and NC State’s Tobias Palmer had 496 yards Clemson.

48. Average yardage on second-quarter scoring plays in Oklahoma-Kansas State
Oklahoma eventually put the game away, but one of the highlights of the Sooners’ win in Manhattan was a 38-point second quarter that featured four touchdowns of at least 30 yards. OU freshman Trevor Knight scored on an eight-yard run, but then the floodgates opened. Lockett caught a 48-yard touchdown pass, followed by a 30-yard TD pass. Oklahoma’s Brennan Clay responded with a 64-yard touchdown run. Lockett scored the final TD of the quarter with a 90-yard touchdown catch.

24. Rushing yards for Kansas State, fewest since 2006
Where have you gone, Collin Klein? Kansas State rushed for 24 yards on 22 carries, the fewest since rushing for 23 yards on 25 carries against Texas on Nov. 11, 2006.

706. Rushing yards for Oklahoma since the loss to Baylor
The Sooners rushed for only 87 yards against Baylor, but since then, Oklahoma has been unstoppable in the ground game. OU rushed for 301 yards and three touchdowns on 52 carries against Kansas State on Saturday and 405 yards and four touchdowns on 44 carries a week earlier against Iowa State.

1. Conference without a winless team in league play
Iowa State’s 34-0 rout of Kansas, a week after the Jayhawks defeated West Virginia, means the Big 12 is the only FBS conference in which every team has a league win. Orange slices for everyone.

 

Teaser:
Amazing Big 12 College Football Stats from Week 13
Post date: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/amazing-big-ten-college-football-stats-week-13
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True college football fans like to examine and dissect statistics, whether it's a quarterback's completion percentage or a team's winning record on the road. We, however, love stats. With that in mind, we scoured the Big Ten to put together some of the strangest, most amazing, and just plain cool numbers from around the conference in Week 13:

More Stats from Week 13: ACC | Big 12 Pac-12 |

296.3: Braxton Miller's total offense per game in Big Ten play
The Buckeyes' star quarterback missed two full games and most of a third in the non-conference season this fall. However, since returning to the lineup at the start of the Big Ten season, no player in the league has been more productive. In conference play, Miller leads the league in total offense (296.3) and passing efficiency (166.2). He has topped 300 yards of total offense in four of his last five games and has taken his game to another level of late, rushing for 338 yards in his last two games. He has 17 touchdown passes and five rushing scores with just three interceptions in seven Big Ten wins.

14: Combined consecutive 100-yard games from Ameer Abdullah and Jeremy Langford
Nebraska has surged to win three out of four since losing to Minnesota and much of the credit goes to running back Ameer Abdullah. He is leading the Big Ten in rushing yards (1,483) and yards per game (134.8) after his eighth consecutive 100-yard effort. Not to be outdone, Michigan State's Jeremy Langford posted his sixth consecutive 100-yard effort in a dominating, division-clinching win over Northwestern. His 15 rushing scores lead the Big Ten. Having said all of that, Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde — who missed three games due to suspension early in the year — has more rushing yards (1,023) and TDs (13) in conference games than anyone else in the Big Ten.

24-7: Mark Dantonio’s Big Ten record over the last four seasons
Michigan State went 7-1 in 2010 and '11 in Big Ten play and won the Legends Division in the conference’s first year of divisional play. The Spartans came up just a few plays short of winning the Big Ten title over Wisconsin that year. After a 3-5 rebuilding year in 2012, Michigan State has reestablished itself as a Big Ten power. Dantonio’s team is 7-0 in the Big Ten and it gives him a third seven-win Big Ten season in four years. Michigan State has won the Legends Division two of the possible three seasons and will likely finish unbeaten in Big Ten play with Minnesota coming to town next weekend.

10: Straight wins for Wisconsin over Minnesota
On a blistering day in Minneapolis, the Badgers won the 10th straight battle for the Paul Bunyan Axe. The oldest rivalry in college football was once dominated by the Gophers but since Barry Alvarez took over in Madison, Wisconsin has owned the series. Since 1995, Wisconsin is 17-2 against Minnesota and it has closed the overall series to a near tie at 58-57-8. Additionally, Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland forced his 14th career fumble, tying an all-time NCAA record.

7: Times Wisconsin has held an opponent to 10 points or fewer
With yet another suffocating defensive performance against Minnesota on the road, Wisconsin has now held seven of its 11 opponents to 10 points or fewer. Wisconsin pitched shutouts against UMass and Tennessee Tech to start the year. Purdue (10), Iowa (9), Minnesota (7), Northwestern (6) and Indiana all failed to score more than 10 points with the Boilermakers being the only team to score an offensive touchdown. Only Alabama (9) has more games with 10 points allowed or fewer than Wisconsin in the FBS ranks. Dave Aranda’s defense ranks No. 5 nationally in scoring defense (13.4 ppg) and No. 6 in yards allowed (278.5 ypg) in a league where Michigan State gets all of the headlines for leading the nation in defense.

18: Coldest temperature of an Iowa home football in history
The weather might have been the biggest storyline in the Big Ten this weekend. According to KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids, the Iowa Hawkeyes played the coldest game in school history against Michigan on Saturday. Prior to last weekend, the coldest recorded temperature in Iowa home football history was 23 degrees (at kickoff) on Nov. 20, 1926 against Northwestern. At kickoff at noon eastern against Michigan on Saturday, the temperature was 18 degrees at Kinnick Stadium. And, oh by the way, has anyone noticed that Iowa could finish 8-4 this year?

20 and 5: Ryan Shazier total tackles and tackles for a loss against Indiana
Ryan Shazier posted a stat line for the ages in the crushing home win over Indiana. The Ohio State linebacker totaled 20 tackles, 5.0 tackles for a loss, one sack and a forced fumble in the victory. He is leading the Big Ten in tackles (109), tackles for a loss (20.5) and is third in sacks (6.5). Shazier has posted a sack in four straight games and is third nationally in tackles for a loss.

20: Illinois' Big Ten losing streak that was snapped this weekend
Ron Zook started 6-0 back in 2011 before losing six straight — all Big Ten games — to finish the year. He was removed from power and the reins of the Fighting Illini football program were given to Tim Beckman. Beckman proceeded to lose his first 14 Big Ten games. Illinois' 20-game Big Ten losing streak came to an end this weekend when the Illini topped Purdue 20-16 in a pillow fight between two teams that entered Saturday winless in conference play. Beckman’s team has shown improvement in his second year and it likely means he deserves a third trip through the Big Ten.

Teaser:
Amazing Big Ten College Football Stats from Week 13
Post date: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 07:15
All taxonomy terms: NFL, News
Path: /nfl/amazing-stats-nfls-week-12
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Numbers and statistics are unquestionably a huge part of the game. Any game, for that matter.

Some fall on the sabermetric side of things, while others like to keep it simple and use the ol' eyeball test. In the football world, that means total offense, total defense and points scored versus points per play and defensive efficiency ratings. Rational and logical arguments can be made for the legitimacy and relevance of both sides of the stats spectrum.

With that in mind, Athlon Sports brings the most intriguing, important, historic and bizarre stats from Week 12 of the NFL season:

10-4: Tom Brady’s record against Peyton Manning
Among Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks, only Bart Starr and Johnny Unitas have faced each other more times (16) than Peyton Manning and Tom Brady (14). With one of the most epic comebacks in NFL history — down 24-0 three minutes into the third quarter — Brady moved his all-time record against Manning to 10-4. Manning posted the worst game of his season, throwing 19-of-36 passes for 150 yards, two touchdowns and one interception while Brady had arguably the best game of his season, completing 34-of-50 passes for 344 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. To cap off one of the most memorable games in NFL history, Bill Belichick elected to take the wind and give the ball to Peyton Manning to start overtime... and it worked.

11: Tony Romo fourth quarter/overtime game-winning drives since 2011
Since the start of the 2011 season, no quarterback in the NFL has more fourth-quarter or overtime game-winning drives than Tony Romo’s 11. Dallas got the ball back with 4:45 left in a tie game on the road against the surging Giants. Romo then led a 14-play, 64-yard drive in which he completed six of eight passes to set up Dan Bailey's game-winning 35-yard field goal. The win puts the Cowboys in first place by virtue of a tiebreaker over the Eagles in the NFC East (as it stands today). With 250 yards and two touchdowns, Romo became the only Dallas quarterback in history with 200 TD passes. According to ESPN Stats and Information, Matthew Stafford and Andrew Luck are tied for second in the NFL with 10 game-winning fourth quarter or overtime drives since the start of the 2011 season.

1978 and 1987: Years Minnesota and Green Bay last posted a tie
The Packers and Vikings played 75 minutes of football on Sunday and accomplished absolutely nothing as the game ended in a 26-26 tie. It was the first tie for Minnesota since a 10-10 decision on Nov. 26, 1978 against… the Packers. The Vikings finished 8-7-1 in ’78 and actually won the NFC Central over the 8-7-1 Packers and made the playoffs based on the tie-breaking win over Green Bay earlier in the year. The Packers’ last tie came in a 17-17 affair with Denver on Sept. 20, 1987. Had the Pats-Broncos game ended in a tie (which it almost did), the NFL would have had two ties on the same day for the first time since Week 2 of 1973. There were seven ties in the ’73 season.

100: Career games for Adrian Peterson
All-Day Peterson rushed 32 times for 146 yards and a touchdown against the Packers in his 100th career game. He has 9,846 yards rushing in his career, giving him the third-most yards in NFL history for a player in his first 100 games. Only Eric Dickerson (10,818) and Jim Brown (10,403) had more yards rushing in their first 100 career games. His 86 rushing touchdowns are fifth-most all-time behind Emmitt Smith (103), LaDainian Tomlinson (102), Shaun Alexander (91) and Jim Brown (88) for a player in their first 100 games. It also marked Peterson’s seventh season with at least 10 rushing touchdowns, trailing only Tomlinson (9) and Smith (8) in that category.

11,019: Larry Fitzgerald's career receiving yards
With five receptions for 52 yards and two touchdowns in the Cardinals impressive 40-11 beat down of Indianapolis, Fitzgerald became the youngest player in NFL history to reach 11,000 yards receiving. At 30 years and 85 days of age, Fitz passed Randy Moss’ previous record of 30 years and 222 days. A month ago, the Cardinals' star wide receiver also became the youngest player in NFL history to reach 800 career catches (30 years, 57 days). Fitzgerald’s 11,019 yards rank 29th all-time in NFL history.

93-12: Colts' combined halftime deficit over the last four games
The Colts were down 27-3 at halftime against Arizona and never had a chance in the second half. Unfortunately, trailing big at halftime is a developing trend in Indianapolis. Over the last four games, the Colts has given up 93 first-half points while scoring just four field goals. That’s an average halftime score of 23-3. The first quarter has been even worse, as the Colts have been outscored 42-3 in the first 15 minutes during the same span. The Colts' last first-half touchdown came with 10 seconds left in the second quarter against Denver in Week 7. The only saving grace for Andrew Luck and the boys in blue is that Indy has somehow figured out a way to win two of those four games. It is a trend that cannot continue if the Colts want to win the AFC South, much less a playoff game.

209.7: Cam Newton's passing yards per game over his last seven contests
The Carolina Panthers were trailing 16-3 on the road against the Dolphins with less than a minute left in the first half. Cam Newton led two second-half touchdown drives, including one that ended with a game-winning, one-yard touchdown pass to Greg Olsen with 43 seconds left to play. It was the Panthers' seventh straight win but what is more impressive is how Carolina is winning. Newton has only averaged 209.7 yards passing per game during the seven-game streak. In the modern era of passing, that 209.7 average would currently rank 30th in the NFL behind names like Chad Henne, Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mike Glennon and Case Keenum.

6: Teams tied for the final AFC Wild Card position
The Chargers (Chiefs), Titans (Raiders) and Steelers (Browns) all won key road games to move to 5-6 in the standings. The Ravens (Jets) won at home to do the same while the Jets and the Dolphins lost to fall to 5-6. It means that all six teams are tied for the final AFC Wild Card spot with no hope of a second team from this group making the postseason. The Titans currently own the tiebreaker due to straight up wins over the Jets, Steelers and Chargers while Pittsburgh and Baltimore sit at seventh and eighth in the AFC respectively. To put into perspective how mediocre the AFC is in 2013, the Titans would be 11th in the NFC right now at 5-6.

5-1: Jacksonville's and Tampa Bay's combined record over the last three weeks
The Bucs and Jags began the season a combined 0-16 by dropping their first eight of the 2013 campaign. Since Week 10, the Bucs have beaten the AFC Wild Card-hopeful Miami Dolphins, the defending NFC South champion Falcons and the NFC North-leading Detroit Lions on the road to win three straight. The Jags' first win came against the Titans, who currently hold the final AFC Wild Card spot, in Week 10, and they just topped the defending AFC South champion Texans on the road this past Sunday. A few weeks ago these two teams were battling for historic NFL ineptitude and now the Falcons, Texans and Vikings would all be picking ahead of them in the May NFL Draft.

Teaser:
Amazing Stats from the NFL's Week 12
Post date: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/amazing-acc-college-football-stats-week-13
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True college football fans like to examine and dissect statistics, whether it's a quarterback's completion percentage or a team's winning record on the road. We, however, love stats. With that in mind, we scoured the ACC to put together some of the strangest, most amazing, and just plain cool numbers from around the conference in Week 13.

More Stats from Week 13: Big 12 Big Ten Pac-12

Stats to Know from the ACC

0: Amount of times Duke has finished a season with double-digit wins
Duke’s annual matchup against North Carolina is usually one of the most-anticipated games on the hardwood, but this year’s meeting has extra importance on the gridiron. With a win over the Tar Heels, the Blue Devils will clinch a spot in the ACC Championship and earn their first season of double-digit wins in school history. Duke won nine games in 1993, 1936, 1938 and 1941 under Wallace Wade. However, the Blue Devils have never managed to crack the 10-win mark. If Duke doesn’t win this week, it will have another shot at 10 victories in a bowl.

41.5: Clemson QB Tajh Boyd’s completion percentage in two starts against South Carolina
If the Tigers are going to snap a four-game losing streak to rival South Carolina, quarterback Tajh Boyd and the offensive line has to step up this Saturday. In two starts against the Gamecocks, Boyd has completed 22 of 53 passes for 266 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. In last year’s meeting, the senior was sacked six times and harassed all game by the South Carolina defensive line.

17-9: Frank Beamer’s record against Virginia
The Hokies are in the midst of a semi-disappointing season, but with a little bit of help, can still reach the ACC Championship. However, Virginia Tech has to beat rival Virginia to have any hope of playing for the conference title. Hokies’ coach Frank Beamer has owned the Cavaliers in recent years, winning nine in a row and 13 out of the last 14. Beamer’s all-time record against Virginia is 17-9, with the Cavaliers’ last victory in Blacksburg coming in 1998.

Oct. 19: The last time Georgia Tech threw a touchdown pass
Considering Georgia Tech has a run-first offense, it’s no surprise it has only nine passing scores all year. However, it’s a bit surprising the Yellow Jackets have gone four games without a touchdown toss. Even in the Nov. 14 loss to Clemson, Georgia Tech did not record a touchdown pass despite hoisting a season-high 26 attempts. It’s not critical for the Yellow Jackets to throw for a score against Georgia this week, but Georgia Tech will need to throw to take some attention away from the line of scrimmage.

44: Average points per game by North Carolina with Marquise Williams starting at QB
Williams has four starts under his belt this year – Virginia Tech, Virginia, Pittsburgh and Old Dominion – and the Tar Heels are averaging 44 points a game in those contests. The 80 points scored against Old Dominion slightly skews that total, but even if you remove the game against the Monarchs, Williams is still averaging 31.7 points in the other three starts. With Williams only getting better, along with a strong core of skill players returning next season, the Tar Heels should be in the mix to win the Coastal in 2014.

16: Yards gained by Pittsburgh on six non-scoring drives in the second half against Syracuse
Timely offense or good defense? That’s about the only way to describe Pittsburgh’s second-half offense against Syracuse on Saturday. The Panthers managed only 16 yards on six non-scoring second-half drives but recorded 88 on nine plays to score the game-winning touchdown late in the third quarter. The Orange’s offense wasn’t much more effective in the second half, recording six drives of 27 or fewer yards. Syracuse scored on a five-play 62-yard drive early in the third quarter. A big reason for the offensive struggles for Pittsburgh was a lackluster rushing game, which managed only 21 yards on 27 attempts.

247: Rushing yards averaged by Boston College’s Andre Williams over last five games
Williams continued his torrid pace with 263 yards and two touchdowns on 32 attempts in Boston College’s 29-26 victory over Maryland. Over the last three games, Williams has averaged at least eight yards per carry and has scored two times in every game. The senior has 2,073 yards this year, which is a single-season school record. But Williams has his sights set even higher, as Barry Sanders’ single-season record (2,628 yards) is within reach with two games remaining. The senior will have a chance to add to his total this week, as Boston College travels to take on Syracuse. The Orange has held three of their last four opponents under 2.2 yards per carry, but that total will be challenged by Williams. The senior also needs just 86 yards to own the school record for most rushing yards in a career.

16: Florida State defensive players with interceptions this season
Under the direction of first-year coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, Florida State’s defense leads the nation with 23 interceptions. To indicate how deep the talent pool is on defense in 2013, the Seminoles have 16 players with interceptions this season. Freshman Nate Andrews leads the team with four, while senior linebacker Telvin Smith leads a group of four players tied with two. Five of Florida State’s 16 interceptions have been returned for touchdowns, including two by Smith and one by Andrews. 

94: Rushing yards per game averaged by Wake Forest – worst of the Jim Grobe era
Losing receiver Michael Campanaro was a huge setback for Wake Forest’s offense this year, but a bigger problem for the Demon Deacons has been the inability to run the ball. Through 11 games, Wake Forest is averaging just 94 yards per contest – easily the worst of the Jim Grobe era. The Demon Deacons averaged only 100.5 rushing yards per game last season, but 2013 is the first time under triple digits since 1998. Wake Forest’s season rushing average has also declined in each of the last three years.

211-194-4: Maryland’s ACC record with one conference game remaining
Maryland travels to NC State this Saturday for the final ACC game in school history. The Terrapins have made gains in reach of Randy Edsall’s three seasons in College Park and should play in a bowl this year. Maryland’s all-time record in ACC play is 211-194-4, with the last winning record in conference games occurring in 2010. The Terrapins are just 11-28 in ACC games over the last five years.

74: Rushing yards Kevin Parks needs to reach 1,000
Virginia’s offense has struggled mightily at times this year. The Cavaliers rank ninth in the ACC (conference-only games) in total offense, averaging just 4.4 yards per play. The rushing attack has been one of the few bright spots, with running back Kevin Parks averaging 84.2 yards per game. Parks also has 11 touchdowns this year. If Parks rushes for 74 yards against Virginia Tech, the junior will become the first Virginia rusher since Alvin Pearman in 2004 to reach 1,000 yards.

18.7: Yards per touch by Miami receiver Stacy Coley against Virginia
Allen Hurns is Miami’s go-to receiver this season, but Coley has provided plenty of big plays in his first season. Against the Cavaliers, Coley recorded 50 yards on two kickoff returns and caught five passes for 81 yards and one touchdown. The freshman scored Miami’s first offensive touchdown against Virginia, catching a 62-yard scoring pass from quarterback Stephen Morris. Coley has 27 receptions for 486 yards and five touchdowns this season.

Teaser:
Amazing ACC College Football Stats from Week 13
Post date: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/amazing-pac-12-college-football-stats-week-13
Body:

True college football fans like to examine and dissect statistics, whether it's a quarterback's completion percentage or a team's winning record on the road. We, however, love stats. With that in mind, we scoured the Pac-12 to put together some of the strangest, most amazing, and just plain cool numbers from around the conference in Week 13.

More Stats from Week 13: ACC Big 12 Big Ten 

Pac-12 Stats to Know from Week 13

48: Arizona’s Carey totes the ball an FBS-high 48 times in upset of Oregon
Ka’Deem Carey became Arizona’s all-time leading rusher (3,913 yards) and touchdown scorer (49) in Saturday’s 42-16 upset of No. 5 Oregon. He did so on 48 carries. The 48 attempts are the most by any FBS player this season, and broke his own school record (39) from earlier this season. Carey finished with 48 carries for 206 yards and four TDs.

7: After seven years, Arizona scores a win over a top-five team
Arizona’s 42-16 upset win of visiting Oregon on Saturday was the Wildcats’ first win over a top-five team since Nov. 5, 2007. The last team Arizona knocked off inside the top five? Oregon. The Wildcats were 34-24 winners that day over the No. 2 Ducks at Arizona Stadium.

371: Oregon’s Mariota has interception streak halted after 371 days
Marcus Mariota threw for 308 yards and two touchdowns in the loss at Arizona Saturday. He also threw his first interception since the Nov. 17, 2012 loss to Stanford. The streak lasted 371 days, 353 attempts and ended on his first throw of the game Saturday.

63: Stanford posts a record 63 points in the Big Game
It was the Cardinal’s turn to try and hang a high number on Cal Saturday, and they did so to the tune of a 63-13 win at Stanford Stadium. The 63 points were the most in the 116th-edition of the Big Game, and a majority of them came on the Cardinal’s school-record 42 first-half points. The 50-point margin in the game was the highest in Big Game history, and the most in the series since Stanford’s 41-0 win in 1930.

24: Arizona State has forced a turnover in all 24 games under coach Todd Graham
The Sun Devils pushed their streak to 25 straight games of forcing a turnover — the third-longest active streak in the FBS behind Missouri and Stanford — and that is 24 straight games under coach Todd Graham. Linebacker Carl Bradford intercepted UCLA’s Brett Hundley on the first play of the second quarter and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown — the seventh INT taken back for a score under Graham, and fourth this season.

8: Washington State records six wins, four conference wins and consecutive league wins for the first time in eight years
Washington State played host to Utah on Saturday and posted a trifecta of accomplishments not seen since 2006. The Cougars’ 49-37 victory led to six wins, four conference wins and consecutive conference wins for the first time since 2006.

2: Cougars post two interception returns for score for first time since 2009
Washington State’s Damante Horton (22 yards) and Casey Locker (39) recorded interception returns for touchdowns in a span of 1:21 in its win over Utah. The last time WSU had two interceptions for scores was a Sept. 29, 2009, 30-27 victory over visiting Southern Methodist. Alex Hoffman-Ellis (52) and Myron Beck (67) each returned interceptions for scores in that win.

69: Washington hangs 69 points on Oregon State, the most points for the Huskies in 69 years
Washington’s 69-27 dismantling of Oregon State on Saturday produced the most points for the Huskies since a 71-0 win against Whitman in 1944. It is also the fifth-most points scored in a conference game, dating back to the Pacific Coast Conference.

29: USC scores win over Colorado in the second-coldest game for the Trojans at 29 degrees
Somewhat surprising that it has not played in more cold games considering the long history with Notre Dame, but USC played in its second-coldest game Saturday at 29 degrees. The Trojans defeated Colorado 49-27 in Boulder in the snow. The only game colder USC played in was a Nov. 30, 1957 contest at Notre Dame. The Trojans lost 40-12 on that 20-degree day, also the last time USC played in the snow.

57: Colorado cheerleader sets world record for consecutive handsprings by a male
Colorado senior cheerleader Ozell Williams set the Guiness World Record for the most consecutive handsprings by a male with 57 between the first and second quarters of Colorado’s loss to visiting USC. He broke the record of 46 set by Tim Wade in Dallas on Nov. 9.

Teaser:
Amazing Pac-12 College Football Stats from Week 13
Post date: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/utah-state-and-wyoming-announce-awesome-rivalry-trophy
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Wyoming and Utah State are set to play this Saturday in a key Mountain West game. The Aggies need to win to get to the conference championship, while the Cowboys need a victory to get bowl eligible.

However, both teams will have a little extra incentive this week, as the schools announced a new rivalry trophy. The winner will claim a rifle after the game, which is a tribute to Jim Bridger – a famous mountain man and explorer. This rivalry will be known as “Bridger’s Battle.”

 

Teaser:
Utah State and Wyoming Announce Awesome New Rivalry Trophy
Post date: Monday, November 25, 2013 - 16:11
Path: /college-football/uniforms-unveiled-2013-navy-army-game
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Army-Navy is arguably the top rivalry in college football. These two programs have met 113 times, with Navy owning a 57-49-7 edge.

These two teams will meet on Dec. 14 this year, and both will wear alternate uniforms.

Here’s a look at the alternate uniforms for the annual Navy-Army game:

 

 

 

Teaser:
Uniforms Unveiled for 2013 Navy-Army Game
Post date: Monday, November 25, 2013 - 12:15
Path: /mlb/evaluating-new-york-mets-40-man-roster
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Between the end of the World Series and Opening Day every winter, fans are inundated with lists. Rankings of the best shortstop, the best left-handed relievers, the best leadoff men, the best second basemen in runs saved, the best right-handed pinch-hitter in road games in July and more. So, while life can be rather boring without 15 baseball games every night, over the next few weeks I’ll rank players on every 40-man roster.

This is more than merely a ranking though, it is a breakdown of contract status, future prospects and the general direction of each franchise. Generally, the ranking is based on the value of each player to the franchise, with an emphasis on the immediate effect on winning. Enjoy.

The Mets currently have very little money committed past 2014, and only two players with enough service to be free agent eligible — David Wright and Jonathon Niese — signed for 2014. The future is not now for this club, but the future is getting brighter. So much will depend on Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler carrying this pitching staff (and team) for the foreseeable future.

1. David Wright, 3B
Opening Day Age:  31
Contract:
2014
: 20,000,000
2015: 20,000,000
2016: 20,000,000
2017: 20,000,000
2018: 20,000,000
2019: 15,000,000
2020: 12,000,000
In all likelihood, Wright will retire as the greatest Mets player in history, and certainly the most popular. If his health declines more quickly than anticipated, this contract could become a burden on the team, but the club was smart to ensure their third baseman will be a Met for life.

2. Matt Harvey, SP
Opening Day Age:  25
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: 1st Year Arbitration
2017: 2nd Year Arbitration
2018: 3rd Year Arbitration
2019: First possible free agency
It’s never good news when a pitcher goes under the knife for major surgery, but at least Harvey’s operation was late in the season, and early in his career. He should be able to make an appearance or two late in 2014, and neither 2013 nor 2014 could be deemed a critical season in the Mets’ plans. Frankly, without the slight uncertainty of his post-injury struggles, Harvey may be No. 1 on this list. Take him away, and the Mets’ future is rather dismal.

3. Zack Wheeler, SP
Opening Day Age:  23
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
No matter how deep the Giants believe their pitching is, the club certainly would take the Wheeler-for-Carlos Beltran deal back. The young righthander figures to join Matt Harvey to comprise one of the best 1-2 combos in the National League for several years to come.

4. Daniel Murphy, 2B
Opening Day Age:  28
Contract:
2014
: 3rd Year Arbitration
2015: First possible free agency
Expect the Mets to work toward signing their second baseman long-term. Murphy drove in 78 runs and scored 92 for a team that struggled to find offense. He didn’t take a day off last season until Aug. 18.

5. Bobby Parnell, CL
Opening Day Age:  29
Contract:
2014
: 3rd Year Arbitration
2015: First possible free agency
Parnell became a reliable closer last season prior to surgery for a herniated disc in September. The Mets are mildly concerned about his readiness for spring training.

6. Dillon Gee, SP
Opening Day Age:  27
Contract:
2014
: 1st Year Arbitration
2015: 2nd Year Arbitration
2016: 3rd Year Arbitration
2017: First possible free agency
The 21st round pick in 2007 has been dependable since making his debut late in 2010. The Mets have won 44 of his 81 starts (.543), which is an 88-win pace for a full season. Gee and Jonathon Niese could form a nice 3-4 combo behind Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler.

7. Jonathon Niese, SP
Opening Day Age:  27
Contract:
2014
: 5,000,000
2015: 7,000,000
2016: 9,000,000
2017: 10,000,000 club option, $500K million buyout
The lefthander should be a solid No. 3 starter for the Mets for the next few years. His four seasons in the rotation thus far has yielded a 3.92 ERA, a 1.362 WHIP and 166 innings per season. The National League average over the four-year span is 3.88 and 1.348.

8. Travis d’Arnaud, C
Opening Day Age:  25
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
There’s something to be said for a player twice traded for Cy Young winners. In December of 2009, he was traded from Philadelphia to Toronto for Roy Halladay. Last winter, he was shipped from Toronto to New York for R.A Dickey. This is the season for d’Arnaud to show what all the fuss is about.

9. Jeurys Familia, SP
Opening Day Age:  24
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: 1st Year Arbitration
2017: 2nd Year Arbitration
2018: 3rd Year Arbitration
2019: First possible free agency
The young righthander held opponents to a .229 average in 8.1 innings in the Arizona Fall League. He has swing-and-miss stuff — as well as miss-the-strike-zone stuff at times — and maintains his velocity deep into games. Developing a third pitch to go with his sharp slider and fastball will be the difference between a future as a starter or closer.

10. Lucas Duda, 1B/OF
Opening Day Age:  28
Contract:
2014
: 1st Year Arbitration
2015: 2nd Year Arbitration
2016: 3rd Year Arbitration
2017: 4th Year Arbitration
2018: First possible free agency
Duda hit nine of his 15 home runs in April and May last season.

11. Wilmer Flores, IF
Opening Day Age:  22
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
Even though he turned 22 last August, the Venezuela native is the veteran of 696 minor league games.

12. Ike Davis, 1B
Opening Day Age:  27
Contract:
2014
: 2nd Year Arbitration
2015: 3rd Year Arbitration
2016: 4th Year Arbitration
2017: First possible free agency
He’s most likely played his final game in a Mets uniform, but it wasn’t all bad in 2013. From May 26 forward, he batted .256 with a .400 OBP. Trouble is, the Mets need more than walks, and Davis had just five home runs during that stretch of 210 plate appearances.

13. Jenrry Mejia, P
Opening Day Age:  24
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: 1st Year Arbitration
2016: 2nd Year Arbitration
2017: 3rd Year Arbitration
2018: 4th Year Arbitration
2019: First possible free agency
In his brief stint in the Mets’ rotation last summer, he responded with a 2.30 ERA and walked only four batters in five starts.

14. Josh Edgin, P
Opening Day Age:  27
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: 1st Year Arbitration
2017: 2nd Year Arbitration
2018: 3rd Year Arbitration
2019: First possible free agency
He had 27 saves in the minors in 2011, but only three since then.

15. Carlos Torres, P
Opening Day Age:  31
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: 1st Year Arbitration
2017: 2nd Year Arbitration
2018: 3rd Year Arbitration
2019: First possible free agency
Released by both the White Sox and Rockies in the last few years, Torres found a home with the Mets. He stranded 80 percent of the runners he inherited in 2013.

16. Ruben Tejada, SS
Opening Day Age:  24
Contract:
2014
: 1st Year Arbitration
2015: 2nd Year Arbitration
2016: 3rd Year Arbitration
2017: 4th Year Arbitration
2018: First possible free agency
After a surprisingly productive 2012 season in which he batted .289 in more than 500 plate appearances, Tejada slipped badly in 2013, ending in a demotion by the end of May.

17. Cesar Puello, OF
Opening Day Age:  22
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
Puello was progressing nicely through the Mets system and was hitting .326 at Double-A last season after 91 games when he was suspended 50 games due to his association with the Biogenesis scandal. Prior to his suspension, the Mets believed he had 20-homer, 30-stolen base potential.

18. Juan Lagares, OF
Opening Day Age:  25
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: 1st Year Arbitration
2017: 2nd Year Arbitration
2018: 3rd Year Arbitration
2019: 4th Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
The young center fielder hit much better on the road than at Citi Field. He particularly liked Philadelphia and Washington pitching, hitting a combined .407 at those two ballparks.

 

19. Chris Young, OF
Opening Day Age:  30
Contract:
2014
: $7,250,000
Twice — when he was considerably younger — the center fielder came close to 30-30 seasons with the Diamondbacks. But he’s played just more than 100 games in the past two seasons. In 2012 that was due primarily to injury, but last season it was a lack of production that cost him at-bats. He rallied for a .255 average in September to finish the season at an even .200.

20. Scott Rice, RP
Opening Day Age:  32
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: 1st Year Arbitration
2017: 2nd Year Arbitration
2018: 3rd Year Arbitration
2019: First possible free agency
Rice has pitched in the minor leagues for five different organizations before landing with the Mets. The tall lefty made 73 appearances and stranded 40 of the 47 runners he inherited.

21. Vic Black, P
Opening Day Age:  25
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
Acquired from Pittsburgh last summer in the deal for Marlon Byrd, Black is the team’s Plan B at closer as it stands now. If Bobby Parnell is not fully recovered from neck surgery by the spring, Black will get a long look.

22. Steven Matz, SP
Opening Day Age:  22
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
The lefty has been delayed by injuries in his brief career, but he can touch 97 with his fastball and the Mets believe other pitches will develop as well. It’s likely he’ll be on the fast track soon. Albeit in the Rookie league in 2012 and Single-A in 2013, in 27 minor league starts, he has 155 whiffs and allowed just 102 hits and 55 walks.

23. Jacob de Grom, SP
Opening Day Age:  25
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
He’s already 25 and has just 14 starts at the Triple-A level. His stats certainly won’t wow anyone, but he has a very good fastball and his slider and changeup aren’t far behind. He was an accomplished hitter at Stetson, so he’s still gaining valuable experience on the mound. As his command develops, so will his advancement.

24. Eric Young, OF
Opening Day Age:  28
Contract:
2014
: 1st Year Arbitration
2015: 2nd Year Arbitration
2016: 3rd Year Arbitration
2017: First possible free agency
He played in only 91 games between Colorado and New York, yet the speedster led the National League with 46 stolen bases. He went from being expendable in Colorado to a regular outfielder with the Mets. He reached safely via hit or walk in 72 of his 90 starts with New York.

25. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF
Opening Day Age:  26
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: 1st Year Arbitration
2017: 2nd Year Arbitration
2018: 3rd Year Arbitration
2019: First possible free agency
Two years ago, Nieuwenhuis was one of the Mets’ top prospects after posting a .403 on-base percentage at Triple-A. But other than one brief lukewarm stretch in July, last season was a difficult struggle at the big league level.

26. Juan Centeno, C
Opening Day Age:  24
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
Centeno handles the bat well and has a terrific arm. Those are two characteristics that can keep him in the majors for a long time.

27. Jeff Walters, RP
Opening Day Age:  26
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
Walters blossomed as a closer for Double-A Binghamton in 2013. He saved 38 games and blew just four.

28. Josh Satin, 1B/3B
Opening Day Age:  29
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: 1st Year Arbitration
2017: 2nd Year Arbitration
2018: 3rd Year Arbitration
2019: 4th Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
In his first 12 starts at first base last season, he batted .383. If he can prove he’s ready to hit major league pitching, he may be the Mets’ everyday first baseman.

29. Matt den Dekker, OF
Opening Day Age:  26
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
He was called up in late August and given an opportunity to play fairly regularly. He hit almost 100 points better on the road.

30. Wilfredo Tovar, SS
Opening Day Age:  22
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
The shortstop had never played a game above Double-A until his call-up in September. There are enough jobs up for grabs that he could earn his way onto the 25-man roster in spring training, but a full season at Triple-A is more likely.

31. Gonzalez Germen, RP
Opening Day Age:  26
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
He was almost exclusively a starter until 2013, when he made 64 relief appearances in Triple-A and the majors.

32. Zach Lutz, 3B
Opening Day Age:  27
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
There are better positions than to be a third baseman in the Mets’ system right now. Lutz may find a future as a pinch-hitter vs. left-handed pitchers.

33. Andrew Brown, OF
Opening Day Age:  29
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: 1st Year Arbitration
2017: 2nd Year Arbitration
2018: 3rd Year Arbitration
2019: First possible free agency
Brown has proved he can hit at the Triple-A level with three different organizations (.305 average, .570 slugging, 51 home runs in 248 games), but both the Cardinals and Rockies gave up on him. How much do the Mets believe in him?

34. Erik Goeddel, P
Opening Day Age:  25
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: Team control
2017: 1st Year Arbitration
2018: 2nd Year Arbitration
2019: 3rd Year Arbitration
2020: First possible free agency
The righthander made 25 starts at Double-A last season and will likely get a full season at Triple-A Las Vegas in 2014.

35. Anthony Recker, C
Opening Day Age:  30
Contract:
2014
: Team control
2015: Team control
2016: 1st Year Arbitration
2017: 2nd Year Arbitration
2018: 3rd Year Arbitration
2019: First possible free agency
The long-time Oakland farmhand is a .194 career hitter in 230 plate appearances in the majors. And he joins teammate Zach Lutz as two of only three Alvernia College alums to make it to the Show.



Significant Non-Roster Prospects
Noah Syndergaard, SP
Opening Day Age:  21

The organization’s top prospect is not subject to the Rule 5 Draft, therefore it isn’t necessary to protect him by putting him on the 40-man roster. The club fully expects him to join Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and others in the rotation in the next few years.

Rafael Montero, SP
Opening Day Age:  23

With a lively fastball and batter-than-average slider and changeup, Montero has all the tools of a future starter in the big leagues. His size reminds many scouts of Pedro Martinez.

Brandon Nimmo, OF
Opening Day Age:  21

He’s played exclusively in center field to this point, but he projects more of a very sound corner outfielder at the big league level. He is disciplined at the pate and rarely expands the strike zone and isn’t afraid to take walks. The Mets are ready to see some power develop.

Teaser:
The Mets currently have very little money committed past 2014, and only two players with enough service to be free agent eligible — David Wright and Jonathon Niese — signed for 2014. The future is not now for this club, but the future is getting brighter.
Post date: Monday, November 25, 2013 - 11:00
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-november-25-2013
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for Nov. 25.

 

New details of the Thanksgiving night four years ago when Tiger Woods' world crumbled. As a reminder of what he left behind, here's a photo of the former Mrs. Woods.

 

So Bill Belichick chose to kick off in overtime. Good call? He won, so I guess so. Here's an in-depth breakdown of last night's bizarre Brady-Manning showdown.

 

This GIF of two Florida Gators blocking each other encapsulates the crime against football that Will Muschamp's Gators have become.

 

• Never mind that the Colts were down 21: Ricky Jean-Francois had been waiting all season to break out his sack dance, which has more moving parts than a rotary engine.

 

• Speaking of ill-timed dance routines, Detroit's Joseph Fauria busted out some white-guy Saturday Night Fever moves shortly before his team lost to Tampa Bay.

 

• Snarky year-end lists can be fun. Here's one: The 25 Least Influential People of 2013.

 

• By his own admission, Tom Izzo was bitching about the new foul rules the other night.

 

• Always enjoyable: Naked displays of wealth from athletes. Speaking of rich people and their toys, Jon Bon Jovi wants to own the Buffalo Bills for some reason.

 

Three of the top five teams in the BCS standings hail from the Southeastern Conference. S-E-C!

 

• Tony Dungy's son does some pretty spot-on touchdown dance impersonations.

 

 

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, November 25, 2013 - 10:48
Path: /nfl/san-francisco-49ers-vs-washington-redskins-game-preview-and-prediction
Body:

Colin Kaepernick and the 6-4 San Francisco 49ers are in Landover, Md., tonight to take on Robert Griffin III and the 3-7 Washington Redskins on ESPN's "Monday Night Football" from FedEx Field at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Redskins have had an extremely dismaying season, sitting in the basement of the league's worst division. Washington has lost three of their last four games and Mike Shanahan's seat appears to be growing warmer by the week

San Francisco also is looking to snap a two-game slide of its own, with gut-wrenching losses to Carolina and New Orleans by a combined four points. This is the 26th regular season meeting between the two historic NFC organizations. The 49ers hold a 15-9-1 all-time record against the Redskins.

3 Things to Watch

Washington Politics

It’s been a long week in Washington, following the Redskins' 24-16 loss to the Eagles. After Robert Griffin III threw an inexplicably poor interception to end the game, respected team veteran Santana Moss took issue with how Griffin had publicly handled his own responsibility on the play. Griffin raised eyebrows when he said that his own offense was predictable enough for the Eagles defense to read. Additionally, Mike Silver of the NFL Network, reported that, while at Baylor, Griffin asked his coaches to refrain from putting his bad plays up on the boards in meeting rooms. Apparently, Washington coaches have not agreed to the same consideration. Perhaps because of this, along with a variety of other reasons, is why we are hearing that Griffin is unhappy with Mike Shanahan.  A relationship that has been in question since the coach’s handling of Griffin’s knee injury last year, could be coming to a head as rumors are swirling that the two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach actually preferred Ryan Tannehill to the Heisman Trophy winner. Such reports have triggered a landslide of PR issues for Washington. It’s not clear whether the locker room is fully behind its quarterback, but what is clear is that Redskins have spent the week doing damage control, backtracking and clearing the air internally. With so much time being spent on non-football issues, it’s likely that the on-field product will suffer tonight.

Read-option wrecks

A season ago, it seemed we were on the precipice of a new-age of NFL quarterback. Behind players such as Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson and Cam Newton, it appeared that the read-option, dual-threat quarterbacks had become all the rage. Pocket passers were out as these young quarterbacks splashed onto the scene, taking the NFL by storm with their highlight-reel plays. With 5,000 combined passing yards and 1,230 combined rushing yards, they were the new NFL. The only problem? It appears defenses have caught on. Over seven starts last year, Kaepernick averaged 259 passing and rushing yards per game. This year, the Nevada product has only thrown for over 200+ yards in just two games. In fact, he has thrown for 150 yards or less in five of his 10 games, with a career-low 91 yards against Carolina two weeks ago. For Washington, Griffin’s yardage is on par with last year's numbers, thanks to a healthy supply of garbage time completions. However, he hasn’t been utilized to near the same extent in the rushing game, as he is averaging a full yard less per attempt and has yet to register a rushing touchdown. Both quarterbacks had sparking TD-INT ratios in 2012, but have struggled with accuracy and turnovers in their second seasons as starting quarterbacks. Griffin’s completion percentage is a full six percentage points lower, while Kaepernick is carrying a meager 56.2 completion rate. Kaepernick’s accuracy issues are being seen in his seven interceptions, already more than double the three he threw a season prior. Griffin, who enjoyed the best-ever touchdown-to-interception ratio for a rookie quarterback in at 20 to 5 in 2012, has thrown 14 touchdowns to 10 picks so far this season. It will be interesting to see if either of these quarterbacks can turn things around over the season’s final stretch, as the Redskins and 49ers are still looking for the dynamic playmaking quarterbacks they are used to seeing.

Will Sunshine RBs run to daylight?

Redskins running back Alfred Morris and 49ers running back Frank Gore were both born and raised in the Sunshine State. Morris, hails from Pensacola, Fla., and attended Florida Atlantic, while Gore stayed home to play for the University of Miami. Despite being six years apart, both rank among the top backs in the NFL. Morris is the prime option for the Redskins' top-ranked rushing offense, which averages 155.2 yards per game. Morris, the NFL’s second-leading rusher a year ago, is currently third in the NFL with 918 rushing yards. He is tied for league lead in yards per attempt (5.1) , among all players with more than 100 attempts. Morris, not often thought of as an explosive player, actually leads the league with nine rushes of over 20 yards. Who is tied for second on that list? Well, that would be Frank Gore, of course. Gore isn’t experiencing any sort of 30+ downhill slide as he is seventh in the NFL in rushing yards and fourth in rushing touchdowns. Morris will probably find less rushing room this week against a stingy 49ers’ defense that allows just 103 rushing yards per game. While the Redskins' defense is ranked in the bottom half of the NFL in rushing defense, they have held the league’s top two leading rushers (LeSean McCoy and Adrian Peterson) under 80 yards. It is important to note that Washington has allowed the most rushing touchdowns, 15, of any team in the NFL.

Key Player for Washington: Fred Davis, TE

Davis has been the forgotten man in Washington. The surprising play of Jordan Reed, along with the Redskins’ overall tight end depth has resulted in the veteran being listed inactive since the Dallas game on Oct. 13. Davis was the Redskins' best pass-catching tight end in 2011 and '12, catching a combined 83 receptions and averaging 13.5 yards per catch in 19 games before rupturing his Achilles tendon. A free agent at the end of the season, there’s no doubt Davis will be trying his hardest to showcase his skills for the NFL’s other 31 teams.

Key Players for San Francisco: Linebacking Corps

The combination of NaVorro Bowman, Patrick Willis, Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith is undoubtedly the best combo the NFL has seen in a long time. They are perhaps the best the league has seen since the Ravens’ threesome of the early 2000s or the Steelers’ foursome of the late '90s. Yes, these guys are that good. Bowman and Willis combine for a terrifying middle of the defense, with 146 tackles and eight tackles for a loss. Despite Smith missing significant time, the 49ers' outside linebackers have 11 sacks between them, with eight tackles for a loss and an interception.

Final Analysis

Call it a hunch, but I think the Redskins will start to turn things around in the final month and a half of the season. San Francisco's defense is great, but its offense hasn't been very impressive with a passing attack that ranks last in the NFL. The Niners will be a completely different team when they get top wide receiver Michael Crabtree back, but until then they will remain a one-dimensional attack. All the numbers point to San Francisco's superior defense, but I think Washington will take a week of frustrations out on a team with the tough task of traveling west-to-east for a late-night game.

Washington 24, San Francisco 20

Teaser:
San Francisco 49ers vs. Washington Redskins Game Preview and Prediction
Post date: Monday, November 25, 2013 - 10:30
All taxonomy terms: NFL
Path: /nfl/nfls-2013-circle-parity-complete
Body:
The 2013 circle of NFL parity is now complete, thanks to the Patriots' victory over the Broncos. In this graphic, each team has a victory over the team next to it, going clockwise, until it circles back.
 
Source: Reddit
 
Teaser:
The NFL's 2013 Circle of Parity is Complete
Post date: Monday, November 25, 2013 - 08:43
Path: /college-football/mississippi-states-dan-mullen-detailed-breakdown-coaching-tenure
Body:

Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen is a hot topic in the SEC this season. Mullen has led the Bulldogs to three consecutive bowl games, and with a win over rival Ole Miss, can extend that streak to four.

Even though Mullen has Mississippi State on the edge of a fourth consecutive bowl appearance, there’s some grumblings in the SEC and around Mississippi about his job status. No, Mullen isn’t going to lose his job this year, but there’s plenty of talk around in the SEC about the fifth-year coach moving onto the hot seat.

Even if Mississippi State falls short of a winning record, Mullen has done enough in five years to warrant more time to build this program.

Analyzing Dan Mullen's Tenure at Mississippi State

To understand where Dan Mullen is at during his tenure at Mississippi State, it’s important to examine the history of former coaches in Starkville. 

CoachYears at Miss. StateOverall RecordSEC Record
Charley Shira1967-7216-45-25-32-2
Bob Tyler1973-7821-44-27-30
Emory Bellard1979-8537-4215-27
Rockey Felker1986-9021-345-28
Jackie Sherrill1991-200375-75-243-59-1
Sylvester Croom2004-0821-3810-30

Need evidence of just how difficult it is to win at Mississippi State?

Ranking the Jobs in the SEC

1. Florida
2. Alabama
3. Georgia
4. LSU
5. Texas A&M
6. Auburn
7. Tennessee
8. South Carolina
9. Arkansas
10. Ole Miss
11. Missouri
12. Kentucky
13. Mississippi State
14. Vanderbilt
Take a look at the numbers above. None of the last six coaches at Mississippi State has finished their tenure with an overall winning or SEC record. Jackie Sherrill is the only coach to get close, sporting a .500 overall record in his tenure with the Bulldogs. Sherrill also brought the program its only appearance in the SEC Championship. Although a SEC West title is a title, the division was very average in 1998, as Alabama went 7-5 and LSU and Auburn combined for a 7-15 mark. 

In terms of job hierarchy, Mississippi State is near the bottom of the SEC. Attracting top talent and overall program resources just aren’t the same as what coaches can get at Texas A&M, Alabama and LSU.

In USA Today’s 2012 athletic department revenue study, Mississippi State ranked 11th in the SEC, just ahead of Ole Miss and Missouri (Vanderbilt did not disclose its revenue).

While athletic revenue isn’t necessarily a true indicator of success, it’s important to note when considering where Mississippi State is on the food chain in the SEC. The Bulldogs’ 2012 revenue of $69.8 million was considerably off SEC West rivals Arkansas ($99.7 million), Auburn ($105.9 million), Alabama ($124.9 million), LSU ($114.8 million) and Texas A&M ($119.7 million).

Without the necessary dollars and fertile location for recruiting, Mississippi State is at a sizeable disadvantage to its SEC West opponents.
 

Dan Mullen's Win/Loss Record

YearRecordConf. RecordFinish
20095-73-5T-4th SEC West
20109-44-45th SEC West
20117-62-65th SEC West
20128-54-44th SEC West
20135-62-55th SEC West
Overall34-2815-24 

If Mississippi State beats Ole Miss on Thursday night, the Bulldogs will earn a school-record fourth consecutive bowl appearance. Mullen’s 24 wins from 2010-12 are the most for Mississippi State since Jackie Sherrill won 26 from 1998-2000.

Of Mississippi State’s 15 SEC wins, none have occurred against Alabama, LSU or Texas A&M. However, the Bulldogs lost by only 13 against the Crimson Tide this season, which was Alabama’s second-closest loss in 2013.

Five of Mullen’s SEC victories have been against Kentucky, two against Arkansas, one against Auburn, Tennessee and Vanderbilt and three against rival Ole Miss. The Bulldogs also have a win over Georgia and a victory at Florida under Mullen’s watch.

Recruiting Breakdown 

Recruiting information by 247Sports

YearNational RankConference Rank5* Signed4* Signed
200919th8th06
201029th9th02
201134th10th04
201222nd9th05
201325th11th14
201433rd14th03


Recruiting Within Mississippi - Top 25 Recruits

YearMississippi StateOle Miss
2009133
2010116
2011912
2012123
201377
201459
Overall5740

Considering where Mississippi State is on the SEC’s totem poll, back-to-back top-25 recruiting classes is a solid step for this program. And it’s too early to judge the 2014 class, especially since the Bulldogs have only 19 commitments. Without a huge group of departing seniors, Mississippi State isn’t going to sign a monster class this year, so it’s likely the Bulldogs rank outside of the top 25.

In the three years prior to Mullen’s arrival, Mississippi State did not rank in the top 35 nationally in signing classes. In all five of Mullen’s classes, the Bulldogs have reached that plateau, including the No. 19 overall class in 2009.

Within the state of Mississippi, the balance of power seems to have shifted back to Ole Miss. The Rebels signed seven of the state’s top prospects in 2013 after inking three in 2012. And with a few months to go in the recruiting cycle, Ole Miss has a nine to five edge in top-25 recruits.

It’s not a sizeable difference in the last two years, but Mississippi State has to continue to hold its own within the state.


Mississippi State's Offense Under Mullen

* Conference-only stats

YearRushPassTotalScoringYards Per Play
2009222.0 (1)120.9 (11)342.9 (9)22.5 (T-7th)5.1
2010186.9 (2)148.3 (11)335.1 (11)18.9 (11)4.9
2011131.1 (9)155.1 (8)286.3 (9)18.1 (9)4.4
2012111.3 (13)266.1 (5)377.4 (7)25.3 (8)5.7
2013180.4 (6)241.9 (7)422.3 (7)23.1 (10)5.9

With a background on offense, Mississippi State’s performance on this side of the ball should factor into the evaluation of Mullen.

The Bulldogs have not ranked higher than seventh in total offense, but their scoring average and yards per play have increased in each of the last two seasons. The SEC has lost some key defensive talent in recent years, and there’s a trend to more offense, but Mississippi State has made gains on offense under Mullen’s watch.

One positive sign: Dak Prescott showed flashes of potential in limited action this season. If the sophomore quarterback can build on that success, Mississippi State’s offense could show solid growth in 2014.

Final Verdict

“You always just have to completely block that out. Like one question, are you on the hot seat? Well, I hate to break it to you, if you’re coaching in the Southeastern Conference, I've been on the hot seat here for five years now."- Dan Mullen

Judging or ranking coaches isn’t an easy task. But just relying on wins and losses to judge a successful tenure isn’t the way to go. Program hierarchy plays a large role in how teams and coaches should be judged. Is a national title possible at Mississippi State? Sure. But is it likely? It’s a tough assignment for any coach. Coaching in Starkville without the tradition of success or recruiting ability of Alabama or Florida makes the Mississippi State job one of the toughest in the SEC.

Could another coach perform better than Mullen? Sure. But let’s swap Mullen with Les Miles or Kevin Sumlin tomorrow. Will either perform drastically better at Mississippi State? Probably not.

At a program like Mississippi State, it’s reasonable to expect finishes in the top 25, bowl games every year and an upset here and there against the best in the SEC.

According to Mississippi State’s game notes, the Bulldogs have only six seniors as starters. The two-deep depth chart also features 13 freshmen. This is clearly not a team built to win in 2013. With most of the core returning in 2014, combined with improvement on the recruiting trail, the Bulldogs should be in better shape to make a move in the SEC West. And with LSU, Texas A&M and Alabama losing key personnel, Mississippi State will have an opportunity to win eight games in 2014.

Considering how difficult and loaded the SEC West has developed into over the last few seasons, the Bulldogs (already at a program disadvantage to the rest of the division) are already fighting an uphill battle.

If Mullen regresses to multiple years with a losing record, then it’s time for Mississippi State to make a coaching change. But for now, Mullen is on pace to exceed the previous tenures in Starkville. And with improving facilities, Mullen has more ammunition to work on closing the gap in the SEC West. 

Mississippi State is a tough job, but Mullen has made progress. If the Bulldogs regress in 2014, then it’s time to put Mullen on the hot seat.

As long as the Bulldogs make bowl games and continue to narrow the gap with the top teams in the SEC West, Mullen should be employed in Starkville. 

Teaser:
Mississippi State's Dan Mullen: A Detailed Breakdown of Coaching Tenure
Post date: Monday, November 25, 2013 - 07:16
Path: /college-football/top-25-rivalries-college-football-history
Body:

Pep bands, cheerleaders, tailgating, student sections, cornhole and especially rivalries. All of which makes college football the greatest sport on the planet. With one of the best weeks of the calendar year upon us, the Athlon staff is giving thanks for the 25 best rivalry games in college football history.

1. Army-Navy (Navy leads 57-49-7)
Go ahead and try to attend this game without experiencing a surge of patriotism. If the Super Hornets’ flyover doesn’t get you, the Army paratroopers will. If you miss the parades of Cadets and Midshipmen, then the non-stop spirit videos on the big board will stir your senses. By game’s end, no matter what the score, America wins. That may seem hokey to some, but they haven’t been there. Trust us, Army-Navy is college football in its purest state. Today, that’s something worth celebrating. Fans of the teams thirst for victory, and so do the players, who are truly playing for their fellow students. Afterward, they rejoin their classmates in preparation for military service, not an NFL career. For 364 days of the year, Army and Navy are on the same team. For three hours on a chilled December afternoon, they represent every soldier or sailor who has ever donned a uniform, walked a post or sailed into the dark of night. The football has been pretty good over the years, too. Five Heisman winners have participated in the rivalry, and dozens of Hall of Famers have taken the field representing the academies. Though Navy has dominated the scoreboard over the past decade, the game remains a huge draw and a still thrills fans across the country. Most important, it pits future military and government leaders against each other as they fight for their Academies and provide the country with an afternoon of prideful competition.

2. Alabama-Auburn (Alabama leads 42-34-1)
When Bill Curry was coaching at Alabama, he went to a Birmingham elementary school one day to speak with children about football and life. Upon entering the classroom, he saw a boy standing in the corner, sobbing. Curry wondered what was going on, and a student told him, “Jason is an Auburn fan, and we took care of him.” Curry brought Jason out of the corner and told him it was all right to root for the Tigers, no doubt angering the young Crimson Tide supporters in the room. Truth be told, it isn’t all right to be an Auburn fan — if you follow the Tide. Tiger fans feel the same way about Bama. If you live in the state of Alabama, you have to choose; you either yell “Roll Tide” or “War Eagle.” You’re either a fan of the big-brother Crimson Tide, or Auburn, which has its roots in agricultural education and resents the perceived arrogance of its rival. In a state with no major professional sports team, Auburn-Alabama football is a religion. Curry’s minister once told him it was more important. It has been that way from the game’s earliest days, which proved to be so contentious that the schools stopped playing each other for 41 years. Once they resumed hostilities, they did so at a geographically neutral site, in Birmingham, but Auburn fans groused for decades because Legion Field was the Tide’s home away from home. That changed when the game moved to campus, but the vitriol has not abated. Fans of both teams crave victory, and a loss means a full year of misery from friends, co-workers and even family members. It’s enough to make someone want to stand in a corner and cry. And for the first time in Iron Bowl history, an SEC West —and potential BCS national championship — hangs in the balance for these two college football powerhouses.

3. Michigan-Ohio State (Michigan leads 58-45-6)
Some think the story is a tall tale, but others swear it’s true. After his Ohio State team scored its final touchdown late in a 50–14 rout of Michigan at the end of the 1968 season, Buckeyes coach Woody Hayes elected to go for two points, instead of kicking the PAT. When asked afterward why he did that, Hayes reportedly said, “Because they ­wouldn’t let me go for three.” Hayes’ hatred for “that team up north,” as he referred to Michigan, was legendary. Rest assured that Wolverine fans harbor no affection for the Buckeyes, either. The schools have met every year but five (1913-17) since 1900 — the teams’ first game was in 1897 — and their contests have become appointment viewing for much of the country, late in November, usually under gun-metal gray skies with a hint of winter in the air. More important, Big Ten supremacy is usually at stake, especially since Bo Schembechler took over in Ann Arbor in 1969 to turn the U-M fortunes around and provide an irascible counterbalance to the cantankerous Hayes. Since that point, Michigan-Ohio State has been the nation’s most consistently competitive and heated rivalry. Because the games have so much significance and occur at season’s end, a loss can be doubly haunting. Not only does the vanquished team lose to a hated foe, but its season can be destroyed also. There may be games that match these schools’ animosity for each other, and there may be contests that are as consistently important. But none combines the two into such a volatile package.

4. Oklahoma-Texas (Texas leads 60-43-5)

One of the most unique characteristics about Dallas’ Cotton Bowl is that the teams’ locker rooms empty into a common corridor, so that players take the field through the same tunnel. On more than one occasion, as Texas and Oklahoma have prepared to charge onto the hallowed stadium’s turf, they have encountered each other in a highly charged, emotional moment that could have ignited an inferno. Instead, they decided to enjoin the fight on the gridiron, in front of 95,000-plus fans divided evenly into crimson and burnt orange enclaves. Rarely has the flame from the ensuing collision failed to heat the passions of all in attendance. While the Texas State Fair rollicks on around them, and vendors offer to fry anything that doesn’t move — and some things that do — the Longhorns and Sooners offer a mid-season football feast that dates back to 1900, when Oklahoma wasn’t even a state and Texas was just beginning to tap into the huge oil reserves deep below its surface. The neighbors harbor a significant dislike for each other, and tempers have boiled over many times on nights before the game. It doesn’t help that many OU grads now live in Texas, lured south by jobs in the petroleum industry. And plenty of Lone Star football talent has headed north to Norman, especially when Barry Switzer was pillaging the state’s top programs for all-stars. The action on the field rarely disappoints. Although there have been several blowouts over the years, including 2011’s 55–17 Sooner wipeout, the action is usually taut and has national implications. Though the game is played in October, several championship runs have been spawned by a victory in Dallas, and several high hopes have been dashed.

5. USC-Notre Dame (Notre Dame leads 45-35-5)
The nation’s top intersectional rivalry owes a debt of gratitude to some unfriendly residents of Lincoln, Neb., and Bonnie Rockne’s love of warm California weather. At a time when traditional gridiron matchups are being torn asunder by the whirling conference kaleidoscope, Notre Dame and USC continue their annual hostilities, treating the nation to a classic matchup of iconic programs. The schools almost didn’t get together. But in 1925, after ND dropped a 17–0 decision at Nebraska, before an inhospitable crowd of Cornhusker fans, coach Knute Rockne and his wife were joined on the train back to Chicago by USC athletic director Gwynn Wilson and his wife, Marion. While Wilson tried to convince Rockne to ditch the burgeoning rivalry with Nebraska for an annual trip west, Marion Wilson and Bonnie Rockne became fast friends in another train compartment. Rockne resisted Wilson’s entreaties, but his wife was enthralled with the idea of Los Angeles in the late fall. She later convinced her husband to play the Trojans. The resulting rivalry has lasted 85 years and has filled the college football history books with dozens of classic tales. More Heisman winners have played in the Notre Dame-USC game than in any other rivalry, and many a national championship hope has been validated with a victory in the game. Though the teams alternate between their home sites, playing in late November in L.A. and mid-October in South Bend, the game retains a glamour that defines it and is a product of two of college football’s most storied programs.

6. Georgia-Florida (Georgia leads 49-40-2*)
The festivities begin at “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” around Tuesday, when the big boats start cruising up the St. John’s River in Jacksonville. By game time, everybody is in a festive mood – except the players. The Bulldogs and Gators have engaged in some classics over the years, from Georgia’s thrilling comeback in 1980 to Florida’s soggy 1993 triumph. Cheers! What's more special about this rivalry? These two programs can't even agree on how many times they've actually played. Florida claims the two have met 90 times while the Bulldogs have 91* outcomes in the record books. The Gators claim the 52-0 loss in 1904 doesn't count because they had not yet technically started playing football yet. 

7. Miami-Florida State (Miami leads 31-27)
For a while there during the 1990s, there was more talent on the field when the ‘Canes and ‘Noles met up than in some NFL stadiums. And everybody wanted to put on a show. This matchup lacks the tradition and history of other rivalries, but the hostility is just as high. And there have been some classics. FSU fans still wince when they hear the words “Wide Right,” while Miami backers still cringe at the 34-3 beating their heroes absorbed in ’84.

8. Harvard-Yale (Yale leads 65-57-8)
The Crimson and Bulldogs may not have played the first-ever college football game, but both schools had hands in how the game developed into what we have today. The late-November meeting between the schools is a history lesson wrapped in a high-class tailgate party. Harvard and Yale no longer compete at college football’s highest level, but they remain forever linked to the sport’s earliest days.

9. Florida-Florida State (Florida leads 34-21-2)
For years, this was a big brother/little brother battle, with the establishment Gators looking down on the upstart Seminoles. Then, FSU started to win games – a lot of games – and things changed. This may lack the in-state hate of Auburn-Alabama, but don’t worry; the two sides harbor plenty of dislike for each other. During the past three decades, as both have competed for national laurels, their games have become more than just neighborhood brawls.

10. Cal-Stanford (Stanford leads 51-43-10)
To some, The Big Game is the province of the wine-and-cheese crowd, and the schools’ NoCal addresses reinforce that. But there can be no denying that these schools thirst to defeat each other. It’s a classic battle of private (Stanford) against public (Cal), and bragging rights go well beyond which side brings the best pinot to the pre-game party. Plus, what other rivalry can boast a game with a crazy ending as the 1982 contest: “The band is on the field!”

11. Pittsburgh-West Virginia (Pitt leads 61-40-3)
Only 75 miles separates the two combatants in the Backyard Brawl.  Unfortunately conference realignment (Pitt to the ACC, West Virginia to the Big 12) meant that last season this game didn't take place for the first time since 1942.

12. Texas-Texas A&M (Texas leads 76-37-5)
This Thanksgiving weekend tradition has been suspended, at least temporarily, with Texas A&M's move to the SEC. A Texas state legislator has introduced a bill that would require the two in-state teams to play each other.

13. Oregon-Oregon State (Oregon leads 60-46-10)
The Civil War has come a long way since the Ducks and Beavers played to a 0–0 tie in 1983.

14. BYU-Utah (Utah leads 53-31-4)
The Holy War might be the best name for any rivalry in the nation.

15. UCLA-USC (USC leads 46-29-7)
The Southern California showdown was dominated by UCLA from 1991-98, but the Bruins have just two victores (2006, '12) since.

16. Alabama-Tennessee (Alabama leads 51-38-8)
The Third Saturday in October means only one thing to people in the South: Alabama vs. Tennessee.

17. Oklahoma-Oklahoma State (Oklahoma leads 83-17-7)
T. Boone Pickens’ interest in the Oklahoma State program was piqued after the Pokes, 3–7 at the time, knocked OU out of the 2001 national title game with a 16–13 win.

18. Clemson-South Carolina (Clemson leads 65-41-4)
These two schools were bitter rivals well before they started playing football in the 1890s. South Carolina has won four straight, but Clemson holds a 65–41–4 advantage in the all-time series.

19. Mississippi State-Ole Miss (Ole Miss leads 61-42-6)
The Egg Bowl is often the only way to salvage a season for these two programs that have struggled to win consistently in the SEC.

20. Auburn-Georgia (Auburn leads 55-54-8)
It’s the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry and it dates back to 1892. Auburn holds the slimmest of margins, with a 54–52–8 edge in the series. The Prayer on the Plains from this year has only added to this historic battle's legacy.

21. Michigan-Michigan State (Michigan leads 68-33-5)
It pains MSU fans that Michigan’s biggest rival is Ohio State, but the “Little Brothers” from East Lansing have won the five of the last six in the series, including this year's most lop-sided Spartans win since the 1960s.

22. Minnesota-Wisconsin (Minnesota leads 59-57-8)
The winner of the Gophers vs. Badgers showdown takes home the prized Paul Bunyan Axe. It’s the most played rivalry in FBS football, dating back to 1890.

23. Michigan-Notre Dame (Michigan leads 24-16-1)
These two traditional powers have only played regularly for the past three decades, but they produced a ton of memorable moments. Strike a pose, Desmond!

23. Georgia-Georgia Tech (Georgia leads 63-40-5)
You know it’s a good rivalry when the book about the series is called Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate.

25. Lafayette-Lehigh (Lafayette leads 77-67-5)
The Rivalry, as it’s called, pits two small private schools located 17 miles apart in Eastern Pennsylvania. Lafayette and Lehigh have met 146 times, including every year since 1897.

Teaser:
The Top 25 Rivalries In College Football History
Post date: Monday, November 25, 2013 - 07:15
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/amazing-college-football-stats-week-13
Body:

Numbers and statistics are unquestionably a huge part of the game. Any game, for that matter.

Some fall on the sabermetric side of things, while others like to keep it simple and use the ol' eyeball test. In the football world, that means total offense, total defense and points scored versus points per play and defensive efficiency ratings. Rational and logical arguments can be made for the legitimacy and relevance of both sides of the stats spectrum.

With that in mind, Athlon Sports brings the most intriguing, important, historic and bizarre stats from around the weekend of college football action:

3: SEC receiver tandems to top 1,000 yards in the same year
Only three times in SEC history has a team had two 1,000-yard pass catchers on the same team. LSU's Odell Beckham Jr. (1,101 yards) and Jarvis Landry (1,059 yards) became just the third set of wideouts to reach the milestone. In fact, the Tigers became just the second SEC team to boast such a duo as only Florida had accomplished the feat prior to 2013. 
Steve Spurrier did it with Chris Doering and Ike Hilliard in 1995 and again in 2001 with Jabar Gaffney and Reche Caldwell. What's more impressive is how much of the load these two Bayou Bengals have carried this fall. These two have accounted for 123 of the 180 LSU completions, 2,160 of the 2,949 yards and 18 of 22 receiving touchdowns.

22-1: Les Miles' record at LSU following a loss
Johnny Manziel is virtually unstoppable unless you are Les Miles. The LSU Tigers swarmed the reigning Heisman winner all afternoon and came away with a dominant 34-10 win over Texas A&M in rainy Baton Rouge. It was Miles 22nd win in 23 tries following a loss. LSU won both lines of scrimmage with relative ease, likely using the horrendous showing in Tuscaloosa as motivation. The last time LSU lost back-to-back games under Les Miles was Nov. 22 and 28, 2008 in the final two games of Miles' worst season at the helm. Manziel has an un-Heisman-like 52 incomplete passes, 500 yards, one total touchdown, five interceptions and 2.8 yards per carry in two games against LSU — both losses.

246: Jordan Matthews' SEC record receptions
Vanderbilt's Jordan Matthews was basically the only effective offensive player on the field in Knoxville this Saturday. He caught 13 passes for 133 yards in an ugly, low-scoring, mistake-filled conference win over in-state rival Tennessee. Matthews is already the SEC's all-time leader receiving in yards with 3,491 in his career. But he passed fellow Commodore Earl Bennett (236) as the SEC's all-time receptions leader as well. Matthews  has 246 catches with two games to play in his college career.

16: NCAA players to rush for 2,000 yards
Boston College's Andre Williams rushed for 263 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries in yet another Eagles win. His performance against Maryland gives him 897 yards rushing over the last three weeks, 2,073 yards on the season and a nation's best 188.5 yards rushing per game. Williams posted the NCAA's second-best two-game stretch last week (634) and now has the all-time second-best three-game stretch in NCAA history behind only Barry Sanders (937). Sanders' NCAA single-season record of 2,628 yards isn't out of the question as Williams would need to keep this pace going at 287.5 over his last two games. He is the ACC's single-game and single-season rushing record holder.

158: Career wins for Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, a school record
Barry Switzer won 157 games in 190 career tries in 16 seasons as the head coach in Norman. After a 41-31 win over Kansas State in Manhattan, Bob Stoops became the all-time winningest coach in Oklahoma history with 158 career victories. It took Stoops one less season (15) but seven more tries (197) to reach the milestone. More important, embattled coordinator and quarterback Josh Huepel and Trevor Knight put together the best offensive performance of the Sooners' season. Against a normally tough defense in a tough place to play, Oklahoma rushed for more than 300 yards behind excellent play-calling and efficient quarterback play. The Crimson and Cream now get two weeks to prepare for The Bedlam Game in Stillwater. Speaking of Stillwater…

12: Consecutive completions to start the game for Clint Chelf
In the biggest game of the year and the Big 12 championship hanging in the balance, Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf had the best game of his career. He completed his first 12 passes and sparked the Pokes to a 14-0 lead on previously unbeaten and No. 4 Baylor. By midway through the third quarter, he was 15-of-17 and held an insurmountable 28-3 lead over the Bears. He finished the 49-17 blowout 19-of-25 for a career-high 370 yards and four total touchdowns (three passing, one rushing). This from a player who has averaged just 185.8 yards per game passing over his last six games since being put back in the lineup. Of course, Glenn Spencer and the Cowboys defense will get most of the headlines by holding the top scoring offense in the nation 47 points below its 61-point scoring average but Chelf was masterful in the win.

0: Completions and passing yards for Georgia Southern
No lower-division team has ever beaten Florida, and the 26-20 loss to Georgia Southern guarantees Will Muschamp will suffer the school's first losing season since 1979. What's more painful, the Eagles didn't even complete a pass. Georgia Southern didn't connect on any of their three total passing attempts, but the option team was able to run the ball at will. The 429 yards allowed on the ground were the most by a Florida team since Tommie Frazier and Nebraska rolled up 524 in the national championship showdown of 1995. Georgia Southern is the first team this season to defeat an FBS team without completing a pass.

9: Sacks by Arizona State against UCLA
With the Pac-12 South Division Championship within reach, Arizona State proceeded to cough up a 22-point lead to the Bruins. But the defensive line saved the day and clinched a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game by pressuring Brett Hundley and holding on for a 38-33 win at the Rose Bowl. The defense finished with nine sacks and 10 tackles for loss on the day while holding UCLA to 3.7 yards per carry on 41 rushing attempts. It was the most sacks in a game for Arizona State since posting 12 quarterback takedowns against Washington State in 2009. Additionally, defensive end Carl Bradford got into the scoring column by snatching a Hundley pass out of the air and returning it 18 yards for a touchdown in the first half.

640: Brett Smith's Mountain West total offense record
Wyoming held on to defeat winless Hawaii in Laramie 59-56 in overtime. The Cowboys gained a school- and Mountain West-record 793 yards of offense while giving up 624 to Hawaii. Cowboys quarterback Brett Smith set the school and conference record while setting the season-high record for total offense in a game with 640 yards. He needed just 48 throws for 498 yards passing and seven touchdowns while adding 142 yards rushing and another touchdown on 19 carries on the ground. No one in college football this season has accounted for more touchdowns (eight) or produced more yards (640) in one game than Smith did on Saturday afternoon. This came on the same day that Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr threw for a school-record seven touchdowns and 527 yards against New Mexico.

2: ACC teams that scored 80 points
In 2012, the country played 15 full weeks of games and 35 bowls games and only once did a team score at least 80 points in a game. Oklahoma State in Week 1 of 2012 was the last FBS team to top the benchmark when it scored 84 on Savannah State. But in Week 13 of 2013, two teams in the same conference reached the 80-point plateau. North Carolina defeated Old Dominion 80-20 while Florida State beat Idaho 80-14, marking the first time a team has scored at least 80 points since the Cowboys did it in the '12 season opener. North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams threw for 409 yards and rushed for 60 more to set the Tar Heels single-game total offense record.

Teaser:
Amazing College Football Stats from Week 13
Post date: Monday, November 25, 2013 - 07:15
All taxonomy terms: College Football
Path: /college-football/2013-legends-poll-top-25-college-football-week-13
Body:

Baylor became the latest team to fall from the ranks of the unbeaten, opening the door for once-beaten Auburn to move into the top 5.

Fourth-ranked Auburn is set to host No. 1 Alabama in the Iron Bowl next weekend in a titanic clash of top 5 teams.

Florida State remained the No. 2 team in the rankings, receiving one first place vote. The other 15 votes went to top-ranked Alabama.

No. 3 Ohio State remained unbeaten this weekend, and No. 5 Clemson moved back into the top 5.

No. 11 Baylor dropped seven spots after their lopsided loss to No. 7 Oklahoma State, and No. 13 Oregon dropped eight spots after falling to unranked Arizona.

Michigan State moved into the top 10 for the first time this year after clinching a spot in the Big Ten championship game.

No. 25 Georgia was the only newcomer to the rankings this week, replacing Minnesota.

To see the individual votes by coach, visit the Legends Poll.

THE LEGENDS POLL TOP 25
RKTEAMRECORDPOINTSPV RK
1AlabamaAlabama (15)11-03991
2Florida StateFlorida State (1)11-03852
3Ohio StateOhio State11-03683
4AuburnAuburn10-13496
5ClemsonClemson10-13277
6MissouriMissouri10-13188
7Oklahoma StateOklahoma State10-130212
8StanfordStanford9-22879
9South CarolinaSouth Carolina9-226710
10Michigan StateMichigan State10-124513
11BaylorBaylor9-12434
12WisconsinWisconsin9-219915
13OregonOregon9-21945
14LSULSU8-319317
15Arizona StateArizona State9-215821
16LouisvilleLouisville10-114316
17Fresno StateFresno State10-014118
18OklahomaOklahoma9-213719
19UCFUCF9-111620
20Texas A&MTexas A&M8-310011
21USCUSC9-39123
22Northern IllinoisNorthern Illinois11-08522
23DukeDuke9-26624
24UCLAUCLA8-35514
25GeorgiaGeorgia7-411-
* The Legends Poll voting process is exactly what the BCS is trying to create and Athlon will bring it to you as the de facto Selection Committee for fans to follow over the next two seasons, allowing you to see how the Selection Committee will operate from 2014 onward. You can see the entire Poll at www.legendschannel.com.
 
Teaser:
2013 The Legends Poll Top 25: College Football Week 13
Post date: Sunday, November 24, 2013 - 22:43
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Georgia Bulldogs, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/georgia-qb-aaron-murray-suffers-knee-injury-against-kentucky
Body:

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray suffered a torn ACL in Saturday’s win over Kentucky and will miss the remainder of the 2013 season.

Prior to his injury, Murray completed 18 of 23 passes for 183 yards and four touchdowns against the Wildcats.

Hutson Mason is Murray’s backup and completed 13 of 19 throws for 189 yards and one touchdown in relief.

Murray finishes his Georgia career with 13,166 yards and 121 touchdowns. Murray also threw for at least 3,000 yards in all four of his seasons in Athens.
 

Teaser:
Georgia QB Aaron Murray Suffers Knee Injury Against Kentucky
Post date: Sunday, November 24, 2013 - 22:18
Path: /college-football/golden-arm-performances-week-13
Body:

Transamerica is a proud sponsor of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. The award is presented each year by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Education Foundation to the nation’s top college quarterback based on character, citizenship, scholastic achievement, leadership qualities, and athletic accomplishments. Candidates must be a graduating senior or fourth-year junior on schedule to graduate with their class. As a leading financial services company, Transamerica takes pride in being there for those moments when our customers say, “It’s real now.” Moments like the birth of a new baby, the opening of a new business, college acceptance, retirement, and other key milestones. By showing our support for the young men on the watch list, we look forward to seeing them thrill fans around the country and experience moments during the season and beyond when they say, “It’s real now.”

Derek Carr1. Derek Carr, Fresno State
No Golden Arm Award finalist had the kind of day Fresno State’s Derek Carr had. Carr completed 27 of 37 attempts for 527 yards and a career-high and school-record seven touchdowns as the Bulldogs blasted New Mexico, 69-28. Carr averaged 14.2 yards per attempt against the Lobos and he spread the ball around well with none of his receivers putting together a 100-yard game despite piling up the second most yards in a game in his career. This was the second time Carr had 500 passing yards in a game as well. With Carr at the helm, Fresno State continues to sit in a good position for a potential BCS bowl invite.

2. Tajh Boyd, Clemson
On senior day at Clemson, Tajh Boyd went out with a bang. In a 52-6 victory over Citadel, Boyd completed 21 of 28 pass attempts for five touchdowns and 288 yards. Boyd wrapped up a fine collegiate career in front of the Tiger fans and helped keep Clemson in position for a potential BCS at-large invite. The five touchdowns matched a career high and this was the fourth game in a row Boyd passed for at least 280 yards.

3. Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois
While most of the Golden Arm Award finalists do most of their damage through the air, Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch tends to do most of his best work on the ground. This week Lynch rushed for 161 yards and three touchdowns and completed 17 of 22 passes for 202 yards as the Huskies wrapped up the MAC West title with a win at Toledo. Lynch has now accounted for 38 total touchdowns and continues to keep Northern Illinois in the BCS conversation.

4. Aaron Murray, Georgia
Georgia’s Aaron Murray played his final game in Athens, but a knee injury has some hoping Murray has not played his final game in a Georgia uniform. Before Murray needed to leave Georgia’s 59-17 victory over Kentucky, he put together an admirable performance. Murray completed 18 of 23 attempts for 183 yards and four touchdowns, all from inside the red zone in the first half to help build a big lead early on.

5. AJ McCarron, Alabama
The Crimson Tide quarterback had a pretty easy afternoon at home against Chattanooga. McCarron completed 13 of his 16 pass attempts for 171 yards and two touchdowns before getting an early rest with Alabama cruising to a win against the FCS opponent. McCarron will look to send Alabama back to the SEC Championship Game next week by picking up a tough road win at Auburn. If McCarron can put together a standout performance against the Tigers, McCarron could emerge as the top candidate for the Golden Arm Award, if not other accolades.

Sponsored by Transamerica.

Teaser:
The Golden Arm award is presented to the top senior quarterback by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Foundation.
Post date: Sunday, November 24, 2013 - 21:10
Path: /college-football/post-week-13-bcs-rankings-and-projections
Body:

According to precedent the BCS championship field is more or less set.

With only one exception (2007 LSU), the BCS championship game teams were ranked in the top four at this stage of the season. That’s good news for Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State and Auburn.

In each of the last three seasons, the top two teams with two weeks to go held on to play for the national title. That’s not great news for Ohio State and Auburn.

Those two teams, though, were the big winners this week thanks to Baylor’s loss. The Bears’ improving schedule strength down the stretch will be a moot point after Baylor lost to Oklahoma State on Saturday. And thanks to Oklahoma State’s loss to 4-7 West Virginia, the Cowboys are not a serious threat to join the top one-loss teams in the title discussion.
Moving Up


No. 3 Ohio State. The Buckeyes didn’t move up after being ranked third last week, but Baylor’s loss keeps Ohio State safely at the third spot. The possibility of a one-loss Auburn or Missouri passing undefeated Ohio State isn’t implausible since both could face No. 1 Alabama in the next two weeks. But Ohio State has a 0.0961 edge in the BCS average, a major hurdle at this stage of the season. No undefeated team from an automatic-qualifying conference has ever been passed for the BCS championship game by a one-loss team.

Moving Down

No. 16 Fresno State. The Bulldogs slipped from No. 15 to No. 16, but Northern Illinois surprised by moving ahead of Fresno State to No. 14. Northern Illinois remains at least four spots behind Fresno State in both the coaches’ and Harris polls, but the Huskies moved from 12th in the computer rankings to No. 7. Fresno is 17th in the computer average. If NIU remains ahead of Fresno State, the Huskies would grab a BCS automatic bid. Fresno State finishes its season at San Jose State (5-6) and likely against Utah State (7-4) in the Mountain West title game. Northern Illinois finishes with Western Michigan (1-10) and either Buffalo (8-3) or Bowling Green (8-3) in the MAC Championship Game.

Quick BCS Projections

BCS Championship Game: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 2 Florida State
Rose: No. 8 Stanford vs. No. 3 Ohio State
Orange: No. 6 Clemson* vs. No. 15 Wisconsin*
Sugar: No. 4 Auburn* vs. No. 19 UCF
Fiesta: No. 7 Oklahoma State vs. No. 14 Northern Illinois
*at-large selections

Key Games This Week

No. 1 Alabama at No. 4 Auburn. With a loss by Baylor, one-loss Auburn remains a plausible national championship team. If the No. 4 Tigers defeat Alabama and either Missouri or South Carolina in the SEC Championship Game, Auburn climbs into the national title picture with a loss by either Florida State or Ohio State.

No. 6 Clemson at No. 10 South Carolina. The Tigers would all but clinch a BCS at-large berth if they can defeat South Carolina, something Clemson hasn’t done since 2008.

Minnesota at No. 11 Michigan State/Penn State at No. 15 Wisconsin. Both Michigan State and Wisconsin are strong candidates for an at-large BCS bid out of the Big Ten, but they need to win in the final week of the regular season. If Michigan State losses in the Big Ten title game, a two-loss Wisconsin may still be a more attractive BCS at-large team if eligible.

Other Observations

• Northern Illinois. The Huskies provided one of the surprises of the latest BCS release by jumping No. 16 Fresno State to No. 14. The Huskies defeated Ball State and Toledo, who have a combined record of 16-6, in the last two weeks. The team NIU defeated for its best win, Iowa, also defeated Michigan for a boost to its non-conference schedule.

• Wisconsin is an odds-on favorite for an at-large bid, but the Badgers still haven’t cracked the top 14 to be eligible for a BCS bid. Wisconsin still has a home game against Penn State, and teams ahead of the Badgers could lose — Michigan State, South Carolina and Arizona State all have difficult games in the final weeks of the season.

• The selection of at-large bids will be interesting. Baylor remained in the top 10 despite a loss to Oklahoma State and would be a strong candidate for an at-large if the Cowboys clinch the Fiesta Bowl. Three Pac-12 teams also remain in at-large contention with Stanford, Oregon and Arizona State all the top 15. A Clemson or Wisconsin loss would be a boon to the at-large hopes in the Pac-12 and Big 12.

Notes on BCS selection

• Automatic BCS bids go to the top two for the title game, the champions of the ACC (Orange Bowl), Big 12 (Fiesta), Big Ten (Rose), Pac-12 (Rose) and SEC (Sugar). The American’s automatic bid is not tied to a particular bowl.



• Notre Dame receives an automatic bid if it finishes in the top eight.



• A champion from a non-automatic qualifying league (Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt and non-Notre Dame independents) receive an automatic bid if it finishes in the top 12 of the standings or if it finishes in the top 16 and ahead of a champion from a non-AQ conference.



• To be eligible for an at-large BCS bid, a team must have nine or more wins and finish in the top 14 of the BCS standings.



• Once automatic tie-ins are placed, the selection order for BCS bids goes as follows: 1. The bowl losing the BCS No. 1 team to the championship game, 2. The bowl losing the BCS No. 2 team, 3. The Orange Bowl, 4. The Sugar, 5. The Fiesta.

Teaser:
Post-Week 13 BCS Rankings and Projections
Post date: Sunday, November 24, 2013 - 20:15
All taxonomy terms: NFL
Path: /nfl/panthers-intercept-tannehill-after-tip-tip-tip
Body:

During the Carolina-Miami game, Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill threw a pass that was tipped, and then tipped again, and again, and again…and again…and… you get what we're saying.

Panthers Intercept Tannehill After Tip…Tip…Tip…

Teaser:
Panthers Intercept Tannehill After Tip…Tip…Tip…
Post date: Sunday, November 24, 2013 - 14:33
Path: /college-football/oklahoma-states-chelf-earns-athlon-player-week-honors
Body:

The quarterback who rearranged the Big 12 wasn’t even in the lineup until the last five games.

As Baylor and Texas learned, Clint Chelf is in some ways the nation’s most unpredictable player.

Two weeks ago, Chelf, considered less of a running threat than teammate J.W. Walsh, rushed for 95 yards and two touchdowns to defeat Texas in Austin.

But Saturday brought the biggest surprise as Chelf, not his Baylor counterpart, was the quarterback of the most explosive and efficient offense. Chelf completed 19 of 25 passes for 370 yards with three touchdowns to earn Athlon Sports National Player of the Week honors.

In defeating Baylor and Texas in the last two weeks, Chelf completed better than 70 percent of his passes and put Oklahoma State into the lead for the Fiesta Bowl.

Athlon Sports Week 13 National Awards

National Player of the Week: Clint Chelf, Oklahoma State

The Cowboys’ offense has evolved through the course of the season, most notably with return to Clint Chelf as starting quarterback. Even though he’d shown marked improvement, an explosion like the one against Baylor was a shock. Chelf completed his first 11 passes as Oklahoma State built a commanding lead in the third quarter. Chelf, who has started the last five games, finished 19 of 25 for 370 yards with four total touchdowns.

National Defensive Player of the Week: Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
There were a handful of standout defensive performances in the ACC in Week 13, with Donald narrowly beating Florida State’s Timmy Jernigan and North Carolina’s Kareem Martin for this week’s honor.  With bowl eligibility on the line, Donald and Pittsburgh’s defense held Syracuse to 16 points and 307 yards on 67 plays. The Orange recorded 148 rushing yards, which was 73 below their weekly average. Donald once again wrecked havoc against the offensive line, recording nine tackles (3.5 tackles for a loss) and two quarterback hurries. Donald also blocked an extra point after Syracuse’s first touchdown.

National Freshman of the Week: Trevor Knight, Oklahoma
Like Oklahoma State, the rival Sooners started the season with one quarterback, switched and now returned to the opening day starter. Oklahoma went back to redshirt freshman Trevor Knight this week out of necessity with Blake Bell out following a concussion. Knight responded by completing 14 of 20 passes for 141 yards with a touchdown and an interception in a 41-31 road win over Kansas State. Knight added 82 rushing yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.

Coordinator of the Week: John Chavis, LSU
Chavis and his LSU defense did the impossible — shut down Johnny Manziel and the Texas A&M offense. The Aggies’ 299 total yards were 279 below their season average and 187 below their previous season low (486 in the opener against Rice). Manziel completed only 16-of-41 passes for 224 yards — the fewest in any of his 10 starts this season — with one touchdown and two interceptions. Texas A&M also had its streak of 13 straight games with at least 40 points snapped. Not bad for a defense that had to replace eight starters from last season.

Athlon Sports Week 13 Conference Awards

ACC
Offense: Andre Williams, Boston College
Defense: Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
Freshman: Jameis Winston, Florida State
Coordinator: Blake Anderson, North Carolina

Big 12
Offense: Clint Chelf, Oklahoma State
Defense: Jeremiah George, Iowa State
Freshman: Trevor Knight, Oklahoma
Coordinator: Glenn Spencer, Oklahoma State

Big Ten
Offense: Jeremy Langford and Connor Cook, Michigan State
Defense: Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
Freshman: Michael Rose, Nebraska
Coordinator: Dave Aranda, Wisconsin

Pac-12
Offense: Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona
Defense: Chris Young, Arizona State
Freshman: Scooby Wright, Arizona
Coordinator: Jeff Casteel, Arizona

SEC
Offense: Terrence Magee, LSU
Defense: Chase Garnham, Vanderbilt
Freshman: Reshard Robinson and Tre’Davious White, LSU
Coordinator: John Chavis, LSU

 

Teaser:
Oklahoma State's Chelf Earns Athlon Player of the Week Honors
Post date: Sunday, November 24, 2013 - 14:28
Path: /college-football/2013-pac-12-week-13-awards-and-power-rankings
Body:

If you don't where your team is in the Pac-12 standings, just wait a week and things will probably change. For the second straight week, the highest rated team and Pac-12 North leader lost on the road to a South Division team. Oregon fell in the desert, and with a convincing win in The Big Game, Stanford has clinched a berth in the Pac-12 Championship Game. In the other division, the biggest game of the weekend out West featured a quarterback dual for the ages with Taylor Kelly outplaying Brett Hundley in a narrow division-clinching win in Pasadena for Arizona State. 

Needless to say, it was a Grand Canyon State weekend out West.

Offensive Player of the Week: Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona
In a week where star performances were plentiful — including Connor Halliday, Ty Montgomery and Taylor Kelly — it was the Wildcats who totally shook the apple cart out West by putting on a zone-read clinic against Oregon. Carey was once again the star of the show in what was arguably the biggest upset in the nation in Week 13. Carey posted his nation's best 14th straight 100-yard effort by carrying 48 times for 206 yards and four touchdowns. He is now second in the nation in rushing (155.9 ypg), first in the Pac-12 in rushing and tied for the league lead with 16 rushing TDs.

Defensive Player of the Week: Chris Young, LB, Arizona State
There were many defensive stars for Arizona State despite giving up 33 points. Carl Bradford had eight tackles, an interception her returned for a touchdown and registered one of ASU's nine sacks. Davon Coleman had five tackles and 2.5 of his own sacks. But the team's leading tackler Chris Young gets the nod for across the board production. He posted 13 tackles and three sacks in the division clinching road win over UCLA. This group will be challenged in a big way next weekend by Rich Rodriguez in a big-time Grand Canyon State showdown.

Team of the Week: The State of Arizona
Both Arizona schools posted monumental conference victories this weekend. Arizona's zone-read was too much for the Oregon Ducks as Rich Rodriguez' bunch rushed for 304 yards and forced three turnovers to top the No. 5 team in the nation. Meanwhile, the Sun Devils went into the Rose Bowl and clinched the South Division championship. Arizona State sacked Brett Hundley nine times and Taylor Kelly was excellent again (322 yards total offense, 2 total TD). These two will meet for the Duel in the Desert next week in not only a battle for the Territorial Cup but also home field advantage in the Pac-12 title game. Should ASU win next week, Sun Devil Stadium will host the championship while a loss means ASU must head back to Palo Alto for the second time this year.

Coordinator of the Week: Jeff Casteel, Arizona
The Wildcats entered Saturday ranked eighth in the Pac-12 in total defense, allowing 387.9 yards per game. And while Oregon posted 506 yards of offense, Jeff Casteel got critical stops when it needed to in order to pull off one of the biggest upsets in the nation this weekend. His defense forced three turnovers and allowed a season-low 16 points to an offense that was averaging more than 50 points per game. Arizona held the Pac-12's top rushing offense to nearly 100 yards less (198) than it had been averaging on the season (285.9 ypg). Another challenge awaits next weekend in the season finale.

Freshman of the Week: Scooby Wright, LB, Arizona
Wright joined one of college football's most exclusive clubs this weekend. He intercepted Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. He and teammate Shaquille Richardson are the only two players in the nation to have done that to the Ducks quarterback this year. Wright collected six tackles and one for a loss in the landscape shifting upset over Oregon. Wright is No. 2 among Pac-12 freshmen with 76 stops this season.
 

Pac-12 Post-Week 13 Power Rankings:

RankTeamLWRecordThis WeekNext Week
1(1)9-2, 7-2W, Cal, 63-13 Notre Dame
2(2)9-2, 6-2L, Arizona, 42-14Oregon St
3(3)9-2, 7-1W, UCLA, 38-33   Arizona
4(4)8-3, 5-3L, Arizona St, 38-33 at USC
5(5)9-3, 6-2W, Colorado, 47-29 UCLA
6(6)7-4, 4-4W, Oregon St, 69-27Washington St
7(7)6-5, 4-4L, Washington, 69-27at Oregon
8(8)6-5, 4-4W, Arizona, 24-17at Washington
9(9)7-4, 4-4W, Oregon, 42-16 at Arizona St
10(10)4-7, 1-7L, Washington St, 49-37at Washington 
11(11)4-7, 1-7L, USC, 47-29at Utah
12(12)1-11, 0-9L, Stanford, 63-13 Bye

 

Teaser:
2013 Pac-12 Week 13 Awards and Power Rankings
Post date: Sunday, November 24, 2013 - 14:00
Path: /college-football/2013-big-ten-week-13-awards-and-power-rankings
Body:

It was a throwback weekend in the Big Ten. Blistering temperatures and inclement weather impacted every game in the league and below freezing temperatures, gusting winds and even heavy snow played a role in Week 13.

That said, Ohio State and Michigan State weren't affected as both teams stayed unbeaten in conference play. The third Big Ten title game is now set as both the Spartans and Buckeyes have clinched their respective divisions.

Here are the Big Ten's Week 13 Superlatives:

Co-Offensive Players of the Week: Jeremy Langford and Connor Cook, Michigan State
Quarterback Connor Cook executed with precision on the road against Northwestern this weekend. With great ball-handling and accurate passing in windy Chicago, he orchestrated the Spartans offense to 464 yards and 30 points in the division-clinching win at Northwestern. He threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns. Langford was once again the workhorse for Mark Dantonio. He carried 25 times and caught three passes for 185 yards from scrimmage and two touchdown runs of at least 20 yards. It is Langford's sixth consecutive 100-yard rushing effort — something a Michigan State back hasn't done since the great Lorenzo White did it in 1985.

Defensive Player of the Week: Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
The Ohio State linebacker is battling with Chris Borland for Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year — who had 12 tackles, two forced fumbles and a recovery against Minnesota. But Shazier posted a stat line for the ages. The hard-hitting Buckeye totaled 20 tackles, five tackles for loss, one sack and a forced fumble in the demolition of a once-respected Indiana offense. Shazier might have played his final game in the Horseshoe and he now is third nationally with 20.5 tackles for loss this year.

Team of the Week: Division Champions
Both teams won easily against inferior competition, but the Spartans and Buckeyes share Team of the Week honors after each clinched a spot in the Big Ten Championship game. Ohio State extended the nation's longest winning streak to a school-record 23 games in the snow-capped drubbing of Indiana at home. Meanwhile, Michigan State's No. 1-rated defense in the nation shut down an injured Northwestern offense while the underrated Spartans' offense executed masterfully on the road. Both teams are likely to finish perfect in league play in the final week and it sets up a perfect title tout in Indianapolis in two weeks.

Coordinator of the Week: Dave Aranda, Wisconsin
Aranda is making a strong case as one of the top coordinators in the Big Ten. His team totally stuffed the surging Golden Gophers on the road in a rivalry win for the Badgers. Wisconsin allowed just 185 yards of offense and held an opponent under 10 points for the seventh time in 2013 — trailing only Alabama in that category nationally. In fact, Minnesota's only points came on a defensive interception return. The Gophers finished 3-of-13 on third downs, just 9-of-23 passing the ball as a team, tallied just 11 first downs, turned the ball over three times and averaged 3.2 yards per carry.

Freshman of the Week: Michael Rose, LB, Nebraska
The redshirt freshman from Kansas City is starting to see his role expanded on defense. He played in only two of the team's first six games but has made a big impact in the Huskers resurgent final month of the season. After eight tackles in an overtime win over Penn State on the road, Rose has now posted at least seven tackles in three straight games. His 5.7 tackles per game trails only Indiana's T.J. Simmons among Big Ten freshmen.
 
Big Ten Post-Week 13 Power Rankings:
 TeamLWRecordThis WeekNext Week
1.(1)11-0, 7-0W, Indiana, 42-14at Michigan
2.

(2)10-1, 7-0W, Northwestern, 30-6 Minnesota
3.

(3)9-2, 6-1W, Minnesota, 20-7Penn St
4.

(4)8-3, 4-3L, Wisconsin, 20-7 at Michigan St
5.

(5)8-3, 5-2W, Penn St, 23-20 (OT)Iowa
6.(7)7-4, 4-3W, Michigan, 24-21at Nebraska
7.

(6)

7-4, 3-4

L, Iowa, 24-21Ohio St
8.

(8)6-5, 3-4L, Nebraska, 23-20 (OT)at Wisconsin
9.

(9)4-7, 2-5L, Ohio St, 42-14Purdue
10.

(10)4-7, 0-7L, Michigan St, 30-6 at Illinois
11.

(11)4-7, 1-6W, Purdue, 20-16 Northwestern
12.

(12)1-10, 0-7L, Illinois, 20-16at Indiana

 

Teaser:
2013 Big Ten Week 13 Awards and Power Rankings
Post date: Sunday, November 24, 2013 - 14:00
Path: /college-football/big-12-week-13-awards-and-power-rankings
Body:

The Big 12 found a way to squeeze a ton of action into only three games this week.

The headline, of course, is Oklahoma State’s 49-17 rout of previously undefeated Baylor. The Cowboys’ win knocks the Big 12 out of the BCS championship picture and puts Oklahoma State in control of its fate for the Fiesta Bowl.

The Cowboys’ rout to the Big 12 title won’t be easy, though. Oklahoma defeated Kansas State 41-31 to quiet one of the hottest teams in the Big 12 and to ensure the Bedlam Game will be between ranked teams.

Even Iowa State picked up its first league win of the season with a 34-0 victory over Kansas.

Big 12 Week 13 Awards and Power Rankings

Offensive Player of the Week: Clint Chelf, Oklahoma State
The Cowboys’ offense has evolved through the course of the season, most notably with return to Clint Chelf as starting quarterback. Even though he’d shown marked improvement, an explosion like the one against Baylor was a shock. Chelf completed his first 11 passes as Oklahoma State built a commanding lead in the third quarter. Chelf, who has started the last five games, finished 19 of 25 for 370 yards with four total touchdowns.

Defensive Player of the Week: Jeremiah George, Iowa State
The Iowa State linebacker has been a bright spot in a forgettable season for the Cyclones. In the shutout of Kansas, George again stood out with 14 tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss and a forced fumble.

Freshman of the Week: Trevor Knight, Oklahoma
Like Oklahoma State, the rival Sooners started the season with one quarterback, switched and now returned to the opening day starter. Oklahoma went back to redshirt freshman Trevor Knight this week out of necessity with Blake Bell out following a concussion. Knight responded by completing 14 of 20 passes for 141 yards with a touchdown and an interception in a 41-31 road win over Kansas State. Knight added 82 rushing yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.

Team of the Week: Oklahoma State
Few teams have shown more improvement through the course of the season than Oklahoma State. The Pokes lost their Big 12 opener 30-21 at West Virginia in what hardly seemed like a major upset at the time. Now, it's a head-scratching loss. The Cowboys demolished Baylor and Texas by a combined score of 87-30 for both the Bears’ and Longhorns’ first conference losses of the season. The Pokes will head into the Bedlam Game in two weeks with a chance for their second Big 12 championship in three seasons.

Coordinator of the Week: Glenn Spencer, Oklahoma State
As impressive as Oklahoma State’s offense was against Baylor, Glenn Spencer’s defense was even more so. The Cowboys did what no other team could do this season by shutting down the Baylor offense, holding the Bears to merely a field goal through the first three quarters. Oklahoma State stifled the run game to 2.6 yards per carry and forced four three-and-outs.

Big 12 Post-Week 13 Power Rankings
 

RankTeamLWRecordResultThis Week
1210-1, 7-1W, Baylor 49-17Off
219-1, 6-1L, at Oklahoma State 49-17at TCU
337-3, 6-1OffTexas Tech (Thu.)
449-2, 6-2W, at Kansas State 41-31Off
556-5, 4-4L, Oklahoma 41-31at Kansas
667-4, 4-4Offat Texas (Thu.)
774-7, 2-6OffBaylor
884-7, 2-6OffIowa State
9102-9, 1-7W, Kansas 34-0at West Virginia
1093-8, 1-8L, at Iowa State 34-0Kansas State

 

Teaser:
Big 12 Week 13 Awards and Power Rankings
Post date: Sunday, November 24, 2013 - 13:14
Path: /college-football/2013-acc-week-13-awards-and-power-rankings
Body:

The ACC didn’t have a matchup with national interest in Week 13, but there were plenty of key developments from the few conference games.

Boston College running back Andre Williams continued his ridiculous season with a huge outing against Maryland. The Eagles improved to 7-4 with a win over the Terrapins, which should help Boston College’s bowl positioning in the ACC.

Pittsburgh earned bowl eligibility with a 17-16 win at Syracuse, while Florida State and Clemson cruised against overmatched opponents.

North Carolina scored 80 points in a rout over Old Dominion, and Duke moved one step closer to a Coastal Division title with a 28-21 victory over Wake Forest.

The struggles of NC State and Virginia continued, as both teams dropped games in Week 13.

ACC Week 13 Awards and Recap

Offensive Player of the Week: Andre Williams, RB, Boston College
Another week, another huge outing for Williams. The senior gashed Maryland’s defense for 263 yards and two touchdowns on 32 attempts. Williams made a couple of key plays in the fourth quarter that propelled Boston College to the victory, including a 72-yard touchdown run with just over 10 minutes remaining. The senior also had a 36-yard rush, which put the Eagles into position for the game-winning field goal. Williams now has three consecutive 200-yard efforts, has eight touchdowns over his last four games, while averaging at least eight yards per carry in each of his last three contests. Considering Williams’ performance in recent weeks, the senior should be mentioned more in the Heisman discussion.

Defensive Player of the Week: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
There were a handful of standout defensive performances in the ACC in Week 13, with Donald narrowly beating Florida State’s Timmy Jernigan and North Carolina’s Kareem Martin for this week’s honor.  With bowl eligibility on the line, Donald and Pittsburgh’s defense held Syracuse to 16 points and 307 yards on 67 plays. The Orange recorded 148 rushing yards, which was 73 below their weekly average. Donald once again wrecked havoc against the offensive line, recording nine tackles (3.5 tackles for a loss) and two quarterback hurries. Donald also blocked an extra point after Syracuse’s first touchdown.

Team of the Week: Boston College
The Eagles continued their impressive turnaround under first-year coach Steve Addazio, recording a 29-26 road win against Maryland. The victory over the Terrapins gave Boston College seven this year, which is more than the program had from the 2011-12 seasons combined. Running back Andre Williams continues to carry the offense, rushing for 263 yards and two touchdowns on 32 attempts. Quarterback Chase Rettig completed only six passes, but the senior made a key 74-yard touchdown toss to Alex Amidon to give Boston College at 26-24 lead late in the fourth quarter. The Eagles’ defense held Maryland to just 4.3 yards per play and sacked quarterback C.J. Brown four times.

Coordinator of the Week: Blake Anderson, North Carolina
Old Dominion wasn’t the best defense North Carolina has played this year, but let’s give Anderson some credit for the performance of the Tar Heels’ offense. North Carolina recorded a school-record 80 points against the Monarchs, averaged 10.6 yards per play and punted only twice. Quarterback Marquise Williams continues to impress, completing 20 of 27 passes for 409 yards and five touchdowns against Old Dominion. The Tar Heels also received plenty of help from the ground attack, as freshman T.J. Logan led the way with 137 yards and three touchdowns on 14 attempts. Under Anderson’s direction, North Carolina has now scored at least 30 points in four out of its last five games.

Freshman of the Week: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
Another week, another freshman honor for Winston. Against an overmatched Idaho team, Winston was steady as usual, completing 14 of 25 passes for 225 yards and four touchdowns. The freshman’s pass protection was shaky at times, but Winston still managed to average 16.1 yards per completion and guided the Seminoles to a 49-7 lead before departing early in the third quarter. With Johnny Manziel struggling against LSU, Winston’s performance should be enough for the freshman to extend his lead in the Heisman race.

ACC Post-Week 13 Power Rankings

RankTeamLWRecordThis WeekNext Week
1111-0, 8-0W, Idaho 80-14at Florida
2210-1, 7-1W, The Citadel, 52-6at South Carolina
339-2, 5-2W, Wake Forest 28-21at North Carolina
447-4, 4-3Bye Weekat Virginia
558-4, 4-3W, Virginia 45-26at Pittsburgh
667-4, 5-3W, Alabama A&M 66-7Georgia
776-5, 4-3W, Old Dominion 80-20Duke
887-4, 4-3W, Maryland 29-26at Syracuse
996-5, 3-4W, Syracuse 17-16Miami
10105-6, 3-4L, Pittsburgh 17-16Boston College
11116-5, 2-5L, Boston College 29-26at NC State
12124-7, 2-6L, Duke 28-21at Vanderbilt
13133-8, 0-7 L, East Carolina 42-28Maryland
14142-9, 0-7L, Miami 45-26Virginia Tech

 

Teaser:
ACC Week 13 Awards and Power Rankings
Post date: Sunday, November 24, 2013 - 11:56
Path: /college-football/sec-week-13-awards-and-power-rankings
Body:

The Week 13 slate was highlighted by LSU’s dominating win over Texas A&M in Baton Rouge and Missouri’s 14-point victory over Ole Miss in Oxford. Elsewhere, Vanderbilt topped Tennessee 14–10 on a fake jump pass in the closing seconds; Arkansas remained winless by losing in overtime to Mississippi State; and Georgia crushed Kentucky on Senior Night in Athens. Oh, and we can’t forget about Florida. The Gators’ disastrous 2013 season took another shocking turn with a loss at home to FCS foe Georgia Southern.  

SEC Week 13 Recap and Awards

Offensive Player of the Week: Terrence Magee, LSU
Magee made the most of his 13 carries, rushing for a career-high 149 yards (on an 11.5-yard average) and one touchdown in LSU’s impressive 34–10 win over Texas A&M in Baton Rouge. A junior from Franklinton, La., Magee has topped the 100-yard mark three times this season — 108 vs. Kent State, 108 vs. Furman and 149 vs. Texas A&M. His previous career high against an SEC opponent was 31 in the loss to Alabama two weeks ago.

Defensive Player of the Week: Chase Garnham, Vanderbilt
Garnham, a senior linebacker, recorded 10 tackles (one for a loss) to lead an injury-ravaged Vanderbilt defense that held Tennessee 237 yards and one touchdown in the Commodores’ 14–10 win in Knoxville. Vanderbilt lost its entire secondary during the game — safety Jovan Marshall and cornerbacks Andre Hal and Steven Clarke to injury and safety Kenny Ladler to an ejection due to a targeting call. Garnham injured his leg in a Week 1 loss to Ole Miss and missed the ensuring seven games.

Team of the Week: LSU
LSU played its way out of the SEC West race by losing three of its first six league games, but the Tigers reminded everyone on Saturday afternoon that they still have one of the most talented rosters in the nation. Les Miles’ team jumped all over Texas A&M in the first half and cruised to a surprisingly easy 34–10 win in Baton Rouge. The Tigers used a familiar formula to post their second straight win over the Johnny Manziel-led Aggies — they ran the ball well (324 yards rushing) and were dominant on defense (holding A&M to a season-low 299 total yards). LSU hosts Arkansas next weekend to close the regular season.

Coordinator of the Week: John Chavis, LSU
Chavis and his LSU defense did the impossible — shut down Johnny Manziel and the Texas A&M offense. The Aggies’ 299 total yards were 279 below their season average and 187 below their previous season low (486 in the opener against Rice). Manziel completed only 16-of-41 passes for 224 yards — the fewest in any of his 10 starts this season — with one touchdown and two interceptions. Texas A&M also had its streak of 13 straight games with at least 40 points snapped. Not bad for a defense that had to replace eight starters from last season.

Freshmen of the Week: Rashard Robinson, Tre’Davious White, LSU
Robinson and White, two of the top true freshman cornerbacks in the nation, played key roles in LSU’s defensive masterpiece against Texas A&M. Robinson, from Pompano Beach, Fla, had two tackles and one interception, and White, a native of Shreveport, La., chipped in with three tackles and one pass break-up. As a team, LSU held Texas A&M to 224 yards passing on only 5.5 yards per attempt, by far the lowest of the season for the Aggies.

RankTeamLWRecordLast WeekNext Week
1111-0, 8-0W, Chattanooga 49-0at Auburn
2210-1, 6-1ByeAlabama
349-2, 6-2W, C. Carolina 70-10Clemson
4510-1, 6-1W, Ole Miss 24-10Texas A&M
588-3, 4-3W, Texas A&M 34-10Arkansas
638-3, 4-3L, LSU 34-10at Missouri
777-4, 5-3W, Kentucky 59-17at Georgia Tech
867-4, 4-4L, Missouri 24-10at Miss. State
997-4, 4-4W, Tennessee 14-10Wake Forest
10115-6, 2-5W, Arkansas 24-17 (ot)Ole Miss
11104-7, 3-5L, Ga. Southern 26-20Florida State
12124-7, 1-6L, Vanderbilt 14-10at Kentucky
13132-9, 0-7L, Georgia 59-17Tennessee
14143-8, 0-7L, Miss. State, 24-17 (ot)at LSU

 

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SEC Week 13 Awards and Power Rankings
Post date: Sunday, November 24, 2013 - 10:52

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