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All taxonomy terms: News
Path: /news/athlon-sports-college-football-top-25-poll-week-7
Body:

Each week Athlon Sports ranks the Top 25 college football teams in the nation. Alabama and Oregon remain No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, with the South Carolina Gamecocks shooting up four spots to the No. 3 slot. West Virginia, who toppled Texas on Saturday, moves into the No. 6 spot. The week's biggest sliders include Georgia (down 7 spots to No. 10) and Florida State (down 9 spots to No. 13.) 

Teams falling out of the Top 25 include Washington, Nebraska and UCLA.

ATHLON SPORTS TOP 25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL POLL

Rank Team Last Week
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide #1 (-)
#2 Oregon Ducks #2 (-)
#3 South Carolina Gamecocks #7 (+4)
#4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish #6 (+2)
#5 Florida Gators #9 (+4)
#6 West Virginia Mountaineers #12 (+6)
#7 Kansas State Wildcats #10 (+3)
#8 LSU Tigers #5 (-3)
#9 Ohio State Buckeyes #11 (+2)
#10 Georgia Bulldogs #3 (-7)
#11 USC Trojans #13 (+2)
#12 Texas Longhorns #8 (-4)
#13 Florida State Seminoles #4 (-9)
#14 Oklahoma Sooners #14 (-)
#15 Clemson Tigers #15 (-)
#16 Oregon State Beavers #17 (+1)
#17 Louisville Cardinals #18 (+1)
#18 Rutgers Scarlet Knights #19 (+1)
#19 Stanford Cardinal #24 (+5)
#20 Michigan Wolverines #23 (+3)
#21 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs #25 (+4)
#22 Mississippi State Bulldogs #27 (+5)
#23 Cincinnati Bearcats #29 (+6)
#24 Texas A&M Aggies #28 (+4)
#25   Arizona State Sun Devils #35 (+10)

To see our rankings for all 124 teams, visit Athlon's 124.

Teaser:
<p> Ranking the best college football teams in the nation</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 16:34
Path: /mlb/10-worst-contracts-baseball
Body:

Fans love it when their team signs a big-name free agent or locks up a current star, but too many times organizations pay for past accomplishment instead of future production. There are obviously some baseball superstars on this list, but unfortunately much is expected from those who have been compensated at the highest level. Here’s our look at the 10 worst contracts in major league baseball.

1. Vernon Wells, Los Angeles Angels; 2 years and $42 million left on his deal.
Blue Jays general manger Alex Anthopoulos may never construct a playoff team, but his bosses were elated when he dumped this contract (originally seven years for $126 million). Not only did Anthopoulos save the club a ton of money, he got Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera in return. Wells is a great guy, but the reality is that he’s making over $20 million a year as a non-starter. Ouch. Wells has a combined .222 average and .667 OPS in his two seasons in Anaheim. Double ouch.

2. Carl Crawford, Los Angeles Dodgers: 5 years and $106.8 million left on his deal.
The speedy outfielder was outstanding during his (Devil) Rays tenure, but Crawford has struggled mightily since leaving Tampa Bay. His 2011 campaign was a season-long slump in Boston, hitting .255 with 11 home runs in over 500 at-bats. With injuries cutting his 2012 season to 31 games, the Red Sox decided to dump their massive mistake on the Dodgers. Of course, that cost Boston Adrian Gonzalez as well. Maybe Crawford will regain his form on the west coast once healthy, but his Boston deal just looks awful at the current time.

3. Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees: 5 years and $119 million left on his deal.
Obviously A-Rod was once the best player in baseball, and he’s a lock (barring a PED protest by the writers) for the Hall of Fame. However, Rodriguez’s last two years average out to 110 games played, a .274 batting average, 17 home runs and 60 RBIs. Astros/Diamondbacks third baseman Chris Johnson and his $495,000 salary matched those types of numbers this season. A-Rod turned 37 this summer and is just an average third baseman now. He can make additional bonuses should he reach all-time home run milestones, so this deal is a dud even with the Yankees' deep pockets.

4. Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels: 9 years, $228 million left on his deal.
The baseball world cringed when the Angels gave a 32-year-old first baseman a 10-year deal over the winter, and owner Arte Moreno was not counting on missing the postseason when he inked Pujols to such a large contract. King Albert’s final numbers were solid (.285, 30 home runs and 105 RBIs), but his slow start set a tone for an underachieving team that should have been better. We all know the slugger’s deal will become an albatross in a few years, but missing the playoffs in its cheapest year was not in the plans of Angels management.

5. Jayson Werth, Washington Nationals: 5 years and $101.8 million left on his deal.
This oversized contract becomes easier to take with the Nationals' pitching leading the team to the postseason. Baseball pundits screamed at Washington in December 2010 for signing a .272 hitting outfielder who had never driven in 100 runs to a seven-year, $126 million contract. Werth hit .232 and knocked in only 58 runs for the Nats in 2011, and he battled injuries and only totaled five homers (although he did hit .300 in his 81 games played) this season. Werth turns 34 next May, so the length of this deal is scary.

6. Alfonso Soriano, Chicago Cubs: 2 years, $38 million left on his deal.
The embattled outfielder has topped this list for a few years now, but his 2012 numbers (32 home runs and 108 RBIs) showed a little bit of his old form. Soriano is considered a non-leader and a below-average fielder, which seemed to make his power bat untradeable for new Cubs management who would love to get him out of their clubhouse.

7. Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins: 6 years and $138 million left on his deal.
We all loved it when Minnesota kept the likeable Mauer at home, instead of seeing him become the next big-market acquisition. However, Mauer’s total of 22 home runs from 2009-11 make it difficult to deal with his stranglehold on the Twins payroll. He hits for average and gets on base, but Mauer’s deal will hinder Minnesota efforts to acquire pitching to help the ball club become relevant again.

8. Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies: 4 years and $105 million left on his deal.
We all feared what the 2011 NLDS-ending Achilles injury could mean for the slugger’s career, and Howard only posted a .219 average and .718 OPS in 71 games played this season. He turns 33 this winter, and it will be interesting to see if he can regain his dependable form in 2013. If not, Philly management has a big issue on its hands.

9. John Lackey, Boston Red Sox: 2 years and $31 million left on his deal.
The big right-hander missed this season after having Tommy John surgery, and Lackey was already struggling in New England before his injury. A 4.40 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in his 2010 Boston debut turned into a disastrous 6.41 ERA and 1.62 WHIP during the 2011 campaign. The Red Sox were able to dump Crawford’s contract, but they look to be stuck with Lackey’s deal during their attempt to rebuild.

10. Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees: 4 years, $92.5 million left on his deal.
It was a tough call to put the Yankees first baseman on the list, but his .249 average and .822 OPS over the last two years is concerning. He played 123 games this season, and injuries could become a large concern for Teixeira who turns 33 next April. He still plays quality defense and can produce a 30-100 season, but $23+ million for four more years seems excessive even with the Yankees' budget.

Teaser:
<p> 10 Worst Contracts in Baseball</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 15:11
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Legends Poll
Path: /college-football/legends-poll-top-25-college-football-week-6
Body:

South Carolina, West Virginia and Florida moved into the top 5 of the rankings this week as the Legends Poll saw its first big shake-up of the season.

Florida State, LSU and Georgia all suffered defeats, which opened the door for a new look in the top 5.

Third-ranked South Carolina moved up four spots after its dominant 35-7 performance against Georgia, the former No. 5 team.

West Virginia jumped to No. 4 after a 41-38 victory at Texas and No. 5 Florida was the biggest mover in the top 5, jumping six spots in the rankings.

“I thought Florida was really impressive,” former Auburn coach Pat Dye said — he voted Florida No. 4. “They had a week off to prepare for LSU and put it together in the second half. But I don’t think anyone expected South Carolina to dominate Georgia like they did. That was something.”

Alabama remained the unanimous top-ranked team followed by Oregon, and No. 6 Kansas State and No. 7 Notre Dame each moved up two spots.

Florida State was the highest ranked one-loss team, dropping five spots to No. 8 after being upset at North Carolina State. Fellow one-loss teams USC and LSU rounded out the top 10.

Georgia was tied for the biggest tumble in the rankings, falling nine spots to No. 14. No. 22 TCU also fell nine spots following its loss to Iowa State, which moved the Cyclones into the rankings at No. 24.

No. 23 Boise State moved back into the Legends Poll top 25 this week and was joined by unbeaten Louisiana Tech at No. 25.

Nebraska, Northwestern and UCLA fell out of the rankings.

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

THE LEGENDS POLL TOP 25

 

RK TEAM RECORD POINTS PV RK
1 AlabamaAlabama (17) 5-0 425 1
2 OregonOregon 6-0 408 2
3 South CarolinaSouth Carolina 6-0 386 7
4 West VirginiaWest Virginia 5-0 375 6
5 FloridaFlorida 5-0 343 11
6 Kansas StateKansas State 5-0 342 8
7 Notre DameNotre Dame 5-0 334 9
8 Florida StateFlorida State 5-1 269 3
9 USCUSC 4-1 265 12
10 LSULSU 5-1 256 4
11 OklahomaOklahoma 3-1 238 15
12 ClemsonClemson 5-1 219 14
13 StanfordStanford 4-1 212 16
14 GeorgiaGeorgia 5-1 201 5
15 TexasTexas 4-1 197 10
16 Oregon StateOregon State 4-0 185 19
17 Mississippi StateMississippi State 5-0 171 20
18 LouisvilleLouisville 5-0 158 17
19 Texas A&MTexas A&M 4-1 122 23
20 CincinnatiCincinnati 4-0 85 24
21 RutgersRutgers 5-0 82 25
22 TCUTCU 4-1 48 13
23 Boise StateBoise State 4-1 31 -
24 Iowa StateIowa State 4-1 29 -
25 Louisiana TechLouisiana Tech 5-0 24 -

Others Receiving Votes

Michigan State 18, Arizona State 15, UCLA 13, Northwestern 13, Nebraska 12, Oklahoma State 11, North Carolina State 10, Michigan 10, Baylor 9, Ohio 5, Texas Tech 3, Wisconsin 1

Teams Dropped Out from Last Week's Poll

Nebraska, Northwestern, UCLA

 

* 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:
<p> As voted on by 17 coaching legends</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 14:50
Path: /nascar/kenseth-survives-talladega-destruction
Body:

It’s a NASCAR theme that plays out as regularly as the seasons on the calendar change—in fact, it occurs seasonally, as NASCAR’s four restrictor-plate dates reside in February, May, July and October: The perils of “pack racing” at the sport’s largest venues, Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.

Quarterly, television commercials sell viewers on the promise of intense, white-knuckle, photo-finish action, complete with a major-league version of the local Saturday night Demolition Derby.

Make no mistake, the selling points are true. Horsepower-sapping restrictor plates put a ceiling on the power each engine produces. The result is a giant pack of sleek racecars, jostling just inches from one another at nearly 200 mph.

The spectacle is undeniable; the outcome all-too-predictable. Drivers, hellbent on leading the only lap that counts—the last one—fight for every inch of real estate in the race’s final circuits. Inevitably, the paint-swapping turns too aggressive and savagery commences.

Such was the case on Sunday, when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series made its fall pilgrimage to Talladega, Ala., home to the 2.66-mile behemoth superspeedway, with its lurching tri-oval and 33-degree-banked turns.

Filling in the event’s template this trip, it was Matt Kenseth that avoided the big wreck on the final lap of a green-white-checker overtime finish, taking the win. Sunday’s version of the “Big One” was, in fact, an actual big one, as 25 cars piled into one another.

Tony Stewart accepted blame for this trip’s destruction, which occurred as the 30-car pack barreled through Turns 3 and 4. Defending the lead, his ill-timed block of Michael Waltrip’s surging machine ignited the grinding melee that saw Stewart’s car turn upside down, only to land on all four wheels. He, along with all others involved, walked away physically unharmed.

“I just screwed up,” Stewart said. “I turned down across Michael (Waltrip) and crashed the whole field. It was my fault blocking to try to stay where I was.

“I was trying to win the race. Michael got a great run on the bottom, a big head of steam. When I turned down, I turned down across Michael’s racecar. Just a mistake on my part that cost a lot of people.”

Kenseth, meanwhile, had the good fortune to be on the high side of the three-wide pack. As chaos ensued behind his Ford, he had clean track in the windshield and sailed through the tri-oval unchallenged to take the checkered flag.

Somehow (and there’s always a “somehow” in these wrecks) Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch skated past the mess and finished second and third.

Kenseth, as most race-winning survivors state, had little insight into what happened. After all, he was in front of the incident. The obligatory, “I’m really proud to be in Victory Lane with these guys; they worked on it hard today,” and “I don't know how that happened,” was all the victor could muster.

However, other drivers—even those not involved— had strong words about the style of racing on NASCAR’s two largest tracks.

“At the end you know it’s going to get aggressive,” Gordon said. “It started to ramp up, so you’re pretty sure there’s going to be a caution, and then with the green-white-checker, you know you’re not making it back to the checkered (flag).

“I remember when coming to Talladega was fun, I really do, and I haven’t experienced that in a long, long time. I don’t like coming here. I don’t like the type of racing that I have to do.”

The most unlikely critic this time (and there’s always at least one post-race critic), was the man who once championed pack racing: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

“If this is what we did every week, I wouldn’t be doing it, I will just put it to you like that,” said Earnhardt, who was swept up in the accident and finished 20th. “If this is how we raced every week, I would find another job.

“I don’t even want to go to Daytona or Talladega next year, but I ain’t got much choice.”

But return the series and its band of driver will. Daytona testing is scheduled for January while Speedweeks at the same facility culminates with the Daytona 500 on Feb. 24.

And the same story will be written then. Just insert here the race-winner’s quote, offending-party’s name and number of cars involved in the last-lap crash.


by Matt Taliaferro
Follow Matt on Twitter:
@MattTaliaferro
 

Teaser:
<p> Matt Kenseth survived a last-lap crash that involved 25 cars to win NASCAR's Good Sam 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.&nbsp;</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 13:24
Path: /nfl/houston-texans-vs-new-york-jets-preview-and-prediction
Body:

Two contrasting AFC teams will meet on Monday Night Football when the New York Jets host the Houston Texans at 8:30 pm EST on ESPN. The Texans are off to a stellar start, standing at 4-0 and topping their opponents by a combined 70 points on the year. On the other hand, the Jets enter the game at 2-2 but have been outscored 81-33 since their Week 1 victory over the Bills. Additionally, New York has already lost two top playmakers for the season in cornerback Darrelle Revis and receiver Santonio Holmes.

When the New York Jets have the ball:
The Jets were all about the “ground-and-pound” running attack when they went to consecutive AFC title games in 2009 and 2010, but they are only averaging 86.5 yards per game on the ground this season. In fact, top tailback Shonn Greene is only averaging 2.8 yards per carry on 68 rushes this year. Quarterback Mark Sanchez has struggled mightily over the last three weeks, and many fans are waiting to see the polarizing Tim Tebow take over at signal caller. With Holmes out and tight end Dustin Keller and receiver Stephen Hill listed as doubtful, it’s difficult to see the Jets moving the ball on a consistent basis.

The Texans defense ranked No. 2 in the NFL in 2011, and that number has improved to No.1 in the league this season. Wade Phillips’ group has allowed only 273 yards and 14.0 points per game this season, while also compiling nine takeaways. Additionally, Houston defenders scored twice on interception returns in last week’s 38-14 win over the Titans. The key on Monday night for the Texans defense will be to not lapse in concentration against a struggling Jets attack.

When the Houston Texans have the ball:
The running game has been the calling card for the Houston offense over the last couple of seasons, but quarterback Matt Schaub has also been very effective this year. The veteran signal caller has 953 passing yards and seven touchdowns this season against only one interception. Arian Foster has compiled 380 rushing yards and four touchdowns in four games, but the Houston ground game has not been able to break many long runs so far. Andre Johnson is still the Texans top receiving threat, while tight end Owen Daniels and fullback James Casey have played a large role in the passing game as well.

The Jets defense was a force to be reckoned with over the last few years, but the 2012 unit has been gashed on a constant basis. New York is allowing over 27 points per contest, and the defense has only compiled five sacks and six takeaways on the season. The biggest issue for Jets has been their 31st-ranked run defense, as they are giving up over 170 yards per game on the ground. Last week against the 49ers, New York surrendered an alarming 245 yards and three touchdown runs.

Key Factor:
Houston appears to be the most balanced team in the NFL on both sides of the ball, and New York is simply not playing well. To stay in this game and give themselves a chance to win in the fourth quarter, the Jets must find a way to limit the Texans running attack. If Rex Ryan’s team can force Schaub into mistakes and not turn the ball over, then perhaps the home crowd can lift the Jets. Look for New York to play inspired ball, but for the better team to take this game and move to 5-0 on the season.

Prediction:
Texans 24 Jets 16


---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)

Teaser:
<p> Houston Texans vs. New York Jets Preview and Prediction</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 07:00
All taxonomy terms: NFL
Path: /nfl/eight-amazing-stats-nfl-sunday-week-5
Body:

NFL football is the greatest reality TV program of all time. The Giants and Colts made sure of that back in 1958. Each NFL fall weekend is a completely new and original experience for every player, fan and coach alike. New stories, new personalities, new winners and new losers. And new statistics.

Here are the most important, most intriguing and most bizarre statistics from Week 5 of NFL play:

9-4: Tom Brady's win-loss record against Peyton Manning
When it comes to raw football talent and overall ability, Peyton Manning may get the slight edge over Tommy Boy. But ask any quarterback who has ever taken a snap in the National Football League and they will tell you, winning is all that matters. Brady has clearly owned the head-to-head series with Mr. Manning after a dominating 31-21 performance this weekend. The former Michigan grad won the first six meetings, has won three of the last four and is 2-1 in playoff meetings all time against his rival. Brady's Patriots have never scored fewer than 20 points against the Tennessee grad while Manning has failed to reach the 20-point plateau four times. Sunday marked the first time in NFL history that a game featured two quarterbacks with at least 300 touchdown passes and was only the second meeting of two quarterbacks with at least 125 wins (Elway-Marino, 1998).

No. 12: Jersey number for Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck
These two quarterbacks put on a show on Sunday afternoon in Indianapolis. It's only fitting considering these two signal callers will likely be tethered to one another for the rest of their careers. Both got prestigious degrees from Pac-12 Bay Area programs. Both are first-round saviors replacing legends in Midwestern NFL strongholds. They are virtually identical in stature, athletic ability, arm strength and demeanor. And both wear No. 12.  In their first career meeting, however, it was The Pupil who took The Master to school in what was the fourth battle of a reigning MVP and reigning No. 1 overall pick — and the first time the rookie won. Luck became only the second QB to throw for 300-yards in three of his first four career games (Cam Newton) and is the first rookie QB to ever throw for at least 1,200 yards and record two wins in his first four career games. He is averaging 302 yards passing per game, has two final-minute, game-winning drives and is leading all AFC quarterbacks in rushing (104 yards, TD). While Redskins fans are wondering how long RGIII will be out after a nasty smack from Sean Weatherspoon, Colts fans might be thinking Wild Card.

7-to-11: Michael Vick's total touchdown-to-total turnover ratio in 2012
Michael Vick lost his fourth and fifth fumbles on the season in the two-point loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday. It is the most lost fumbles for Vick in a season since 2005 (5) and is just two shy of his career-worst mark (7), which he set in 2004. That gives him 11 total turnovers in five games (really four games since he had none last week against the Giants) and only seven total touchdowns (6 pass, 1 rush). In 25 career starts with the Eagles prior to 2012, Vick turned the ball over only 27 times with 52 total touchdowns. Phily has played four of five games in which the final margin of victory was two points or less, so a quarterback who is turning the ball over 2.2 times per game isn't acceptable. Vick is on pace for 19 interceptions and 16 fumbles lost and just 22 total touchdowns. 

5-0: The best start in Atlanta Falcons' franchise history
Matt Ryan moved to 15-0 when throwing for at least 300 yards with another stellar performance against Washington. It gives the Falcons their first-ever 5-0 start in franchise history. Ryan tossed it around for 345 yards and two touchdowns — including a gorgeous scoring strike to Julio Jones to take the lead in the fourth quarter. It was Ryan's 18th career game-winning drive, the most by a quarterback in his first five years in the Super Bowl era. Future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez posted his 29th career 100-yard receiving effort, as his 13 catches and 123 yards were personal bests as a Falcon. The Redskins fall to 2-3, but more importantly, lost Robert Griffin III to an injury after the young quarterback made a terrible decision to cut up field instead of throwing the ball away near the goal line.

35-27: The Bears defense has outscored its last three opponents
Chicago has scored five defensive touchdowns in the last three games against St. Louis, Dallas and Jacksonville. Those three teams combined to score 27 points against the Bears defense. Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs both scored again this weekend on INT-TDs, marking the first time in NFL history two teammates each returned an interception for a touchdown in consecutive games. Had the offense not scored a single point in any of the three games, the Bears would have finished 2-1 over that span with wins over the Rams and Jags. This unit is right there with San Francisco as the best in the NFC. Speaking of...

556: Rushing yards by the 49ers in the last two weeks
Jim Harbaugh is now 17-4 as a head coach in the NFL after the Niners posted its best two-game stretch in 50 years. No 49ers team has had back-to-back 30-point wins since 1961, but did so with wins over the Bills and the Jets the last two weeks by a combined 76 points (79-3). Buffalo entered the game leading the NFL in offensive touchdowns (16) and managed just three points in the crushing road loss. The Niners rolled-up a franchise record 621 yards of offense and have rushed for an absurd 556 yards rushing over the last two weeks (245 and 311). Alex Smith continues his evolution from first round bust to All-Pro as San Fran looks like the best team in the league right now.

212: Career-high receiving yards by Reggie Wayne
The former Miami Hurricane abused Charles Woodson all afternoon in Indy to the tune of 13 receptions, a career-high 212 yards and the game-winning touchdown. He showed toughness, heart and plenty of spring in his 33-year-old legs. It was a tremendous day for a historic player who is two catches shy of 900 for his career and scored his 75th receiving touchdown to give the Colts their second win of the year. It was a remarkable performance for a truly great player who has 12,214 career receiving yards in 12 NFL seasons. And by the way, his 506 yards this season is his best four-game start to any of those 12 years.

0: Seconds the Kansas City Chiefs have led in regulation
It's hard to believe, but the Chiefs have yet to hold a lead in regulation in 2012. The Ravens never trailed this weekend in the 9-6 victory that dropped KC to 1-4. Even in the overtime win over New Orleans last weekend, the Chiefs never held a lead in regulation. To make matters worse for one of the worst teams in the league, Arrowhead faithful were cheering when embattled starting quarterback Matt Cassel got hurt late in the game. It was ugly football, but have some class folks. Even if your team has played five football games and never has really been ahead at any point.

Bonus Super Stat!

48: Drew Brees consecutive games with a TD pass
I covered this in last week's stats, so I didn't want to dive too deep into Brees' record. It is an amazing accomplishment and congrats are due. But the most important number for the Saints is the "1" in the win column. As a side note, Brady moved into sole possession of third place with his 37th consecutive game with a touchdown pass.

- by Braden Gall

@bradengall

Teaser:
<p> Eight Amazing Stats from NFL Sunday: Week 5</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 06:50
Path: /college-football/sec-post-week-6-power-rankings
Body:

There was a big shakeup in the SEC on Saturday. South Carolina climbed to No. 2 in the league power rankings (and No. 3 in the nation) with their impressive win over Georgia, and Florida moved up to No. 3 after beating LSU 14–6 in Gainesville. Also, Vanderbilt jumped from 12th to ninth after beating Missouri in Columbia.

Post-Week 6 Offensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Mike Gillislee, Florida — The senior tailback rushed for 146 yards and scored the game’s only two touchdowns in Florida’s 14–6 victory over LSU. Gillislee leads the SEC in rushing with 109.6 yards per game.

2. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M — Manziel threw for 191 yards and rushed for a career-high 129 as the Aggies rallied from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to beat Ole Miss in Oxford. Manziel has thrown for 1,285 yards with 11 touchdowns and two interceptions and has rushed for 495 and seven scores.

3. Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina — Lattimore has rushed for 100-plus yards in three of four SEC games, including 109 on 24 carries in the Gamecocks’ 35–7 win over Georgia on Saturday. He is averaging 106.0 yards and has scored seven touchdowns in four SEC games.

 

Post-Week 6 Defensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina — The likely No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft helped shut down what had been a potent Georgia attack on Saturday night. Clowney recorded four tackles, two for a loss (plus one sack) in South Carolina’s 35–7 win over Georgia.

2. Jarvis Jones, Georgia — It wasn’t the finest moment for the Georgia defense, but Jones is still one of the elite defensive players in the nation. The junior linebacker had four tackles, including 1.5 for a loss, vs. South Carolina.

3. Kevin Minter, LSU — Minter was a monster for the LSU defense in a 14–6 loss at Florida. The junior linebacker recorded 20 tackles (including two sacks) and forced a fumble vs. the Gators. In six games, he has 54 total tackles, two tackles and three pass break-ups.

 

Post-Week 6 Coach of the Year Standings

1. Nick Saban, Alabama — It’s tempting to put Steve Spurrier up top, but Saban is the boss of the consensus No. 1 team in the nation.

2. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina — The Gamecocks have ascended to No. 3 in the nation in the polls after beating Georgia on Saturday night. South Carolina is playing with supreme confidence.

3. Will Muschamp, Florida — The Gators improved to 4–0 in the SEC with an impressive win over LSU. The defense was dominant and the running game was sound — just like Muschamp likes it. 

 

1. Alabama (5–0, 2-0 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
1
Week 5 result: Bye
The Tide took the week off and watched three top-five teams lose on a crazy Saturday of college football. Next week, Alabama heads to Missouri, which must regroup after losing at home to Vanderbilt. Mizzou quarterback James Franklin is not expected to play.
Next week: at Missouri

2. South Carolina (6–0, 4–0, SEC)
Last week’s rank:
4
Week 5 result: Beat Georgia 35–7
On a special night in Columbia, South Carolina delivered arguably the biggest win in school history. The Gamecocks discarded SEC East rival Georgia with stunning ease and have now entered the national championship picture. “We definitely sent a message out to the whole country,” Gamecocks tailback Marcus Lattimore said. “It’s not the old South Carolina. We can play with y’all. We can play with anybody.” Lattimore led the way with 109 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries. Connor Shaw only completed six passes but he threw for 162 yards and two touchdowns and did not throw an interception for the third straight game.
Next week: at LSU

3. Florida (5-0, 4-0 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
5
Week 5 result: Beat LSU 14–6
The Gators passed another huge test on Saturday afternoon to improve to 4–0 in the SEC. The Florida defense, which gave up a total of 74 points in losses to LSU in 2010 and ’11, was dominant. LSU managed only 200 total yards and was held to two field goals — both in the first half. Tailback Mike Gillislee pounded out 146 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries to lead the Florida offensive attack. “I’ll take Gilly over anybody,” UF coach Will Muschamp said after the game. “I tell him that all the time, and I mean that. I felt that way in spring and going into fall camp. He’s a Will Muschamp guy.” The Gators only had 248 total yards, but converted 7-of-14 on third down and averaged a respectable 3.2 yards per rush.
Next week: at Vanderbilt

4. LSU (5–1, 1–1 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
3
Week 5 result: Lost to Florida 14–6
LSU boasts a championship defense. The Tigers’ offense? Not so much. Les Miles’ club had only 200 yards of offense and did not score a touchdown on its way to its first regular-season loss since a 24–17 setback at Auburn in October 2010. Zach Mettenberger, who was expected to provide an upgrade at the quarterback position, completed only 11-of-25 passes for 158 yards — with 56 coming on one play that ended up with a fumble and lost possession. And the Tigers’ usually rock-solid rushing attack was limited to 42 yards on 25 carries.
Next week: South Carolina

5. Georgia (5–1, 3–1 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
2
Week 5 result: Lost to South Carolina 35–7
Time to put the brakes on the “Georgia is elite” talk. The Bulldogs, who opened the season with five straight wins and climbed into the top five in the national rankings, suffered a sobering defeat at Williams-Brice Stadium Saturday night. Georgia entered the game averaging 536.0 yards and 48.2 points per game; they had 224 and seven vs. the Gamecocks. Freshman tailbacks Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, both averaging over 85 yards through the first five games, were held to a total of 76 yards on 25 carries. And Aaron Murray, the savvy junior quarterback, had the worst game of his career, completing only 11-of-31 for 198 yards and no touchdowns.
Next week: Bye

6. Mississippi State (5–0, 2–0 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
6
Week 5 result: Beat Kentucky 27–14
With a huge home game with Tennessee looming, the Bulldogs avoided a letdown by beating Kentucky by 13 points in Lexington. Mississippi State jumped out to a 14–0 lead in the first quarter and was never really threatened. The Bulldogs outgained UK 428 to 228 and shined on third down, converting 10-of-18 (compared to 5-of-15 for Kentucky). Tyler Russell threw for 273 yards and two touchdowns, and LaDarius Perkins ran for 110 yards and a score on 24 carries. Russell, in his first season as the full-time starter, has only thrown one interception in 129 attempts.
Next week: Tennessee

7. Texas A&M (4–1, 2–1 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
7
Week 5 result: Beat Ole Miss 30–27
It’s not often that you can win a game on the road in the SEC when you turn the ball over six times. But Texas A&M did just that, thanks to a fourth quarter rally that turned a 27–17 deficit into a 30–27 victory — the first on the road for the Aggies in the SEC. Johnny Manziel, who didn’t throw an interception through his first four games, was picked off twice, but he made big plays when the game was on the line. He cut the lead to four with a 29-yard touchdown run with just under seven minutes remaining, and he put the Aggies on top with 2:33 on the clock when he found Ryan Swope for a 20-yard score. The redshirt freshman quarterback ended the game with 191 yards passing and 129 on the ground.
Next week: at Louisiana Tech

8. Tennessee (3–2, 0–2 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
9
Week 5 result: Bye
The Vols are bracing for a brutal three-game stretch that features road trips to Mississippi State and South Carolina sandwiched around a home game with Alabama. Derek Dooley cannot afford to lose all three games.
Next week: at Mississippi State

9. Vanderbilt (2–3, 1–2 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
12
Week 5 Result: Beat Missouri 19–15
Vanderbilt finally won a close game. The Commodores had lost six straight games decided by seven points or less but gutted out a four-point win over Missouri in Columbia. The Commodores struggled for much of the night on offense, but moved the ball at key times in the second half and dominated on special teams to give James Franklin his first SEC road win as the head coach at Vanderbilt. Tailback Zac Stacy’s stat line wasn’t overly impressive — he netted 72 yards on 29 carries — but he scored two touchdowns, threw a 24-yard pass to Jordan Rodgers and salted the game away with a third down run in the final 90 seconds.
Next week: Florida

10. Missouri (3–3, 0–3 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
8
Week 5 result: Lost to Vanderbilt 19–15
Missouri is still searching for its first win in the SEC. The Tigers opened strong against Vanderbilt, marching 61 yards and 90 yards on their first two possessions (both resulting in field goals) with James Franklin running the show. But after Franklin went down with a knee injury, the Mizzou offense sputtered. Backup Corbin Berkstresser, who led MU to a win over Arizona State earlier this season, completed only 9-of-30 passes in relief. Missouri outgained Vanderbilt by 100 yards (395 to 295) but the Tigers lost the special teams battle. Punter Trey Barrow dropped a snap in the end zone that resulted in a safety in the first quarter, and MU botched a potential game-tying extra point in the fourth quarter. Next week, No. 1 Alabama rolls into town, and Franklin is not expected to play. Good luck Tigers.
Next week: Alabama

11. Ole Miss (3–3, 0–3 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
11
Week 5 result: Lost to Texas A&M 30–27
Ole Miss is clearly an improved team under first-year coach Hugh Freeze, but the Rebels are still looking for their first SEC win of the season. They led Texas A&M 27–17 midway through the fourth quarter but were unable to come up with big stops when it mattered most. The Rebels’ offense did its part, with 464 total yards and a solid 9-of-19 conversion rate on third down. But the Ole Miss defense gave up 481 yards, including 290 on the ground, and allowed A&M to convert 9-of-15 on third down. Through six games, Ole Miss ranks 42nd in the nation in total offense and 56th in total defense; last year, through six games, the Rebs ranked 117th and 106th.
Next week: Auburn

12. Arkansas (2–4, 1–2 SEC)
Last week’s rank: 14
Week 5 result: Beat Auburn 24–7
The Hogs broke through with their first win against an FBS opponent this season — and it was done without breaking too much of a sweat. Arkansas pounded Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium, taking advantage of an inept Tiger offense that had 321 total yards and committed five turnovers. The Razorback pass defense that had been torched in the first five games “held” Auburn to only 242 yards through the air. Tyler Wilson was sharp at quarterback for Arkansas, completing 20-of-27 for 216 yards. The running attack was paced by Dennis Johnson, who had 17 carries for 76 yards and two scores. Knile Davis, a preseason All-American, only had three rushing attempts for minus-4 yards.
Next week: Kentucky

13. Auburn (1-3, 0-2 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
10
Week 5 result: Lost to Arkansas 24–7
It’s never a good sign when the head coach issues an apology to the fans who paid money to attend the game. But that’s what Gene Chizik did following his team’s 24–7 loss to Arkansas. The Tigers managed only 321 yards of offense against a Razorback defense that had given up 525 yards or more in three of its previous four games. Quarterback Kiehl Frazier, who has struggled in his first season as the starter, was pulled at the half in favor of Clint Moseley. A junior who started six games last season, Moseley completed 13-of-21 passes for 163 yards and one touchdown, but he also tossed two interceptions and was sacked four times.
Next week: at Ole Miss

14. Kentucky (1–5, 0–3 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
13
Week 5 Result: Lost to Mississippi State 27–14
There were some moments of hope — most notably when true freshman Patrick Towles guided the Wildcats on an 80-yard touchdown drive in the first half — but in the end it was another double-digit loss for Kentucky. The Wildcats were held to 228 yard of offense and are averaging an alarmingly low 230 yards in three SEC games. Towles completed 5-of-6 passes for 71 yards and one touchdown in his debut that was cut short by an ankle injury. Jalen Whitlow, the starter (and also a true freshman), completed 10-of-21 for 73 yards. On a positive note, UK did not commit a turnover for the first time since a Week 2 win over Kent State.
Next week: at Arkansas
 

@AthlonMitch

Teaser:
<p> There was a big shakeup in the SEC on Saturday. South Carolina climbed to No. 2 in the league power rankings (and No. 3 in the nation) with their impressive win over Georgia, and Florida moved up to No. 3 after beating LSU 14–6 in Gainesville. Also, Vanderbilt jumped from 12th to ninth after beating Missouri in Columbia.</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 06:45
Path: /college-football/pac-12-post-week-6-power-rankings
Body:

This weekend in college football was the biggest and most volatile to date. However, out West, Week 6 functioned more as an elimination weekend. Utah and UCLA have been all but removed from South Division contention. Washington proved it was still miles from competing with the North Division champs. And while Rich Rodriguez appears to have a solid team in Tucson, Arizona has started its conference slate 0-3, albeit in somewhat unlucky fashion.

Post-Week 6 Offensive Player of the Year Standings


1. Matt Barkley, QB, USC - It was only a matter of time before Barkley returned to the top slot. He completed 23-of-30 passes for 303 yards and three scores with no interceptions in a huge come-from-behind road conference win over Utah. He leads the league with 15 TDs and is still the best player in the league.

2. Sean Mannion, QB, Oregon State -
 The Beavers quarterback showed flaws this weekend, throwing three picks, but in a league loaded with huge statistical performers, Mannion is still unbeaten and is No. 2 in total offense at 324.3 yards per game. 

3. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon - His running backs continue to cancel each other out, Taylor Kelly was on bye, Matt Scott and Ka'Deem Carey can't win a big game, the UCLA Bruins backfield choked this weekend and Mariota played his best in the biggest spot. He is tied with Barkley with 15 TD passes after four against UW and he is No. 2 in passing efficiency behind only Kelly. He has settled in as the leader of the best team in the league.
 

Post-Week 6 Defensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State - The defense had to carry the Beavers to victory this weekend and Poyer was one of two stars. He intercepted three passes and now leads the league in INTs. He also had four tackles, one for loss and his seventh pass defended. He added a 24-yard punt return as well. 

2. Scott Crichton, DL, Oregon State - Normally two defenders from the same team would cancel each other out (see Oregon's RBs), but on the league's top defense, Crichton has been equally as important as Poyer. He posted four tackles, four tackles for loss and three sacks while holding Wazzu to 20 yards rushing. He now leads the league in TFL and sacks.

3. Nickell Robey, CB, USC - Oregon's Michael Clay falls off the list after not playing this weekend while Robey was brilliant on Thursday night. He had seven tackles, a forced fumble and the ended the game with a 38-yard INT returned for a touchdown. 


Post-Week 6 Coach of the Year Standings

1. Chip Kelly, Oregon - The Ducks are clearly the best team in the league to date. The offense hasn't missed a beat after losing two stars from last season and the defense is much improved — despite not having leader Michael Clay on the field against Washington.

2. Mike Riley, Oregon State - Oregon State's defense is starting to deserve some national attention as one of the best in the country. It allowed 227 total yards and six points to a MIke Leach team to stay undefeated.

3. Todd Graham, Arizona State  - Graham's team didn't play but made significant gains in the South standings due to key losses by UCLA, Utah and Arizona. The road trip to Heritage Hall on Nov. 10 is starting to look like a huge national game.

Post-Week 5 Power Rankings

1. Oregon (6-0, 3-0)
Previous rank: 1
Week 6 result: Beat Washington 52-21
Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas combined for 197 yards rushing, but Mariota was the star of the show. He kept plays alive with his legs, threw four scoring strikes and got the entire offense involved in the Ducks' attack (five different players scored six offensive touchdowns). The defense scored a touchdown for the third straight weekend as well. This team is clearly the best in the league, as the top offense in the Pac-12 scored at least 50 points for the fourth time in six games. Oregon averages over 300 yards rushing per game, has the league's No. 2 most efficient quarterback and, now, gets a chance to rest up for a marquee Thursday night trip into the desert to face an improved Arizona State team in 11 days.
This week: Open Date

2. USC (4-1, 2-1)
Previous rank: 2
Week 6 result: Beat Utah 38-28
Lane Kiffin's offensive line was shaky to start and it gifted Utah a 14-0 lead with bad turnovers deep in their own territory. But Matt Barkley wasn't fazed and led his team back with, at one point, a 28-0 run to keep USC headed in the right direction. He posted his 13th career 300-yard effort and three big scoring strikes, including a game-changing 83-yard scoring toss to Marqise Lee. Curtis McNeal, who suffered an early concussion, and Silas Redd, who paced the team with 77 yards and a touchdown, both missed time due to minor injuries but both are expected to be fine for the trip to Seattle next weekend. There is no such thing as a bad road conference win on national television, but Kiffin will likely address the 14 penalties and two early turnovers accrued by the Trojans on Thursday night.
This week: at Washington (3-2)

3. Oregon State (4-0, 3-0)
Previous rank: 3
Week 6 result: Beat Washington State 19-6
The offense carried this team to a road win over Arizona two weeks ago. This week, Mike Riley used a dominate defense to stay unblemished. The Beavers allowed 20 yards rushing to the Cougars and continues to pace the league in rushing defense at 67.3 yards allowed per game. The improvement in stopping the ground game in Corvallis is one of the most remarkable one-year turnaround stories in the nation. Last fall, Riley's bunch ranked dead last in the Pac-12 and 101st overall at just under 200 yards rushing allowed per game. They are fourth nationally at stopping the run after four games. And while Sean Mannion reminded fans that he is still a sophomore this weekend, he is still leading his team to 458 yards per game.
This week: at BYU (4-2)

4. Stanford (4-1, 2-1)
Previous rank: 6
Week 6 result: Beat Arizona 54-48 (OT)
Josh Nunes was highly criticized after three straight poor passing performances for the Cardinal. Well, the normally dreaded vote of confidence turned out to be just what Nunes needed (facing the Wildcats defense helped some too). The senior signal caller set career highs in nearly every category — 365 passing yards, 33 rushing yards, 5 total TD — and was efficient throwing the football (21-of-34 passing). He led Stanford to 20 straight points to end the game and secure the overtime win. Stepfan Taylor also got back on track with 32 touches, 147 yards rushing and two touchdowns. This was a quality gut-check, bounce-back victory for David Shaw's squad.
This week: at Notre Dame  (5-0)

5. Arizona State (4-1, 2-0)
Previous rank: 8
Week 6 result: Off
There is a good chance that Todd Graham starts 5-1 in his first year in Tempe. More importantly, a win over Colorado next Thursday night would give him a 3-0 start in league play. And the national television opportunity gives him a chance to showcase his program in a big way against the lowly Bufffs.
This week: at Colorado (1-4)

6. Washington (3-2, 1-1)
Previous rank: 4
Week 6 result: 
Lost to Oregon 52-21

The Huskies defense made a huge statement in a Week 5 win against Stanford and then came crashing back down to earth in Eugene. It allowed Oregon to rush out to a 21-0 lead and an eventual 35-7 halftime lead. It allowed 299 yards rushing and six offensive touchdowns to the Ducks. Washington's rushing game showed signs of life (208 yards rushing, 3 TD), but Keith Price could never get anything going through the air  — and actually scored more for Oregon (INT return TD) than he did for Washington. Oregon has now won nine straight games against the Huskies. Things don't get any easier as Steve Sarkisian's month from hell culminates with a visit from a resurgent USC team.
This week: USC (4-1)

7. UCLA (4-2, 1-2)
Previous rank: 5
Week 6 result: Lost to Cal 43-17
This was one of the most disappointing scores in the league to date this fall. This is the type of game true contenders have to win to stay relevant in the Pac-12 title race and Jim Mora's bunch was completely out-played. Brett Hundley and the offense turned the ball over six times, including four interceptions from the developing passer, and allowed four sacks. Meanwhile, the defense got torched through the air (295 yards, 4 TD) as well as on the ground (186 yards, 2 TD). This performance against a reeling Cal team likely reminds UCLA fans entirely too much of previous regimes. UCLA and Utah square-off this weekend in a game that could determine bowl eligibility.
This week: Utah (2-3) 

8. Arizona (3-3, 0-3)
Previous rank: 7
Week 6 result: Lost to Stanford 54-48
It was a great game with 10 lead changes, superstar performances and over 1,200 yards of offense. But for Matt Scott (506 yards, 3 TD) and Ka'Deem Carey (133 yards, 3 TD), the result was the same: Another crushing conference loss. With just over nine minutes to go, the Wildcats pushed its lead to 48-34 only to watch its defense allow yet another fourth-quarter comeback. Rich Rodriguez' offense is virtually unstoppable and was very impressive against a normally sound Stanford defense, but this team won't be able to compete in the South until it upgrades the talent on the defensive side of the ball. 
This week: Open Date

9. California (2-4, 1-2)
Previous rank: 10
Week 6 result: Beat UCLA 43-17
Jeff Tedford's tenure in Berkeley isn't over just yet. With their backs against the wall, the Golden Bears put together what was easily their best performance of a very disappointing 2012 campaign. They set a season-high for rushing attempts (42), passing yards (295), turnovers forced (6), points allowed (17) and scored more points than they had against FBS competition all year. Quarterback Zach Maynard played his best game of the year. The win merely stopped the bleeding for Tedford, who needs to continue to win to stay employed at Cal.
This week: at Washington State (2-4)

10. Utah (2-3, 0-2)
Previous rank: 
9
Week 6 result: Lost to USC 38-28
The Utes got a few lucky turnovers early, capitalized on them to build a 21-10 second quarter lead, but simply couldn't hold onto victory against a far superior football team. USC held the Utes running game in check and got off the field on third-downs — Utah was just 3-of-12 converting them — to rally for a clutch road win. Jon Hays was forced to throw short passes and couldn't get much going on offense after the nine minute-mark of the second period. With back-to-back road trips to UCLA and Oregon State now facing Kyle Whittingham's bunch, bowl eligibility is looking more and more unlikely by the week. At least, the uninformed national media got a clear look at just how good Star Lotulelei can be.

This week: at UCLA (4-2)

11. Colorado (1-4, 1-1)
Previous rank: 11
Jon Embree's squad needed the bye week to regroup after a brutal first month of the season. Next on top is a much-improved Arizona State Sun Devils team coming to Boulder with a balanced attack and off of a week of rest as well. Every game is a must-win for the embattled Buffs coach.
This week: Arizona State (4-1)

12. Washington State (2-4, 0-3)
Previous rank: 12
Week 6 result: Lost to Oregon State 19-6
Mike Leach has coached 132 games in his career and has failed to score 10 points only six times. Saturday's dreadful offensive performance featured five turnovers and only 227 yards of total offense as the Cougars failed to reach the end zone for the second time in five games this fall. Leach never has featured a stellar ground attack but 20 yards on 14 attempts isn't even trying. Wazzu now ranks 98th in scoring offense, 96th in total offense, 100th in total defense and 91st in scoring defense. It's been a rough return to the field for the quirky head coach.

This week: Cal  (2-4)

by Braden Gall

@bradengall

Related College Football Content

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ACC Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
Big East Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
Big Ten Post-Week 6 Power
Rankings
Big 12 Post-Week 6 Power Rankings

Pac-12 Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
SEC Post-Week 6 Power Rankings 

Teaser:
<p> Pac-12 Post-Week 6 Power Rankings</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 06:15
Path: /college-football/big-12-post-week-6-power-rankings
Body:

Thanks to Saturday's 48-45 win in Austin, it's clear West Virginia is ready to challenge for a national title. The Mountaineers are in the thick of the BCS title discussion, while quarterback Geno Smith is the frontrunner to win the Heisman Trophy. Not far behind West Virginia is Kansas State, who easily beat Kansas in Week 6. Oklahoma rebounded from losing to the Wildcats with a key road win over Texas Tech, while Iowa State knocked off TCU.

Post-Week 6 Big 12 Power Rankings
 

1. West Virginia (5-0, 2-0 Big 12)
Last Week:
3
Week 6 Result: Beat Texas 48-45
There’s a new No. 1 in the Big 12 power rankings. The Mountaineers used a balance attack on offense, while the defense made timely stops in the second half to score a huge 48-45 win against Texas. The win over the Longhorns firmly places West Virginia in the mix to play for a national title. Quarterback Geno Smith was sharp once again, throwing for 268 yards and four touchdowns, but running back Andrew Buie was the real surprise, recording 207 yards and two rushing touchdowns. The Mountaineers will be on upset alert in Week 7, as they travel to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech.
Next Game: at Texas Tech

2. Kansas State (5-0, 2-0 Big 12)
Last Week:
3
Week 6 Result: Beat Kansas 56-16
As expected, the Sunflower Showdown was a one-sided affair. Kansas State got off to a slow start and led only 21-14 at halftime. However, the Wildcats outscored the Jayhawks 35-2 in the second half, which improved coach Bill Snyder to 17-4 against Kansas State’s in-state rival. Quarterback Collin Klein continues to stamp his name as one of the frontrunners for the Heisman Trophy, recording 245 yards and four touchdowns against Kansas. The Wildcats hit the road for the next two weeks, playing at Iowa State in Week 7 and at West Virginia in Week 8.
Next Game: at Iowa State

3. Texas (4-1, 1-1 Big 12)
Last Week:
1
Week 6 Result: Lost to West Virginia 48-45
The Longhorns’ Big 12 title hopes took a step back with a 48-45 loss to West Virginia. While the offense came into the season as a concern, it’s the defense the coaching staff has to be worried about. Playing two great offenses (Oklahoma State, West Virginia) certainly hurts the numbers, but the Longhorns are capable of playing better than they have shown so far. Texas has to regroup quickly, as it has a huge showdown against Oklahoma this Saturday.
Next Game: Oklahoma (Dallas)

4. Oklahoma (3-1, 1-1 Big 12)
Last Week:
4
Week 6 Result: Beat Texas Tech 41-20
After a disappointing 24-19 loss to Kansas State, the Sooners bounced back with a convincing 41-20 win at Texas Tech. The victory snapped a three-game losing streak in Lubbock and kept Oklahoma’s Big 12 title hopes alive. Quarterback Landry Jones was efficient, completing 25 of 40 throws for 259 yards and two touchdowns. The defense kept Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege in check, while taking an interception for a score in the third quarter. The Sooners need to keep winning to keep the pressure on Kansas State and West Virginia for first place in the Big 12, which raises the intensity for this Saturday’s game against Texas.
Next Game: Texas (Dallas)

5. Oklahoma State (2-2, 0-1 Big 12)
Last Week:
6
Week 6 Result: Bye Week
The Cowboys are coming off another bye week and will play only their second game in four weeks against Kansas this Saturday. Oklahoma State’s last game was a 41-36 loss to Texas, but this week’s matchup against Kansas should provide a different outcome. The biggest question mark for the Cowboys will be the quarterback position. Will Wes Lunt return from a knee injury or will J.W. Walsh make his second start?
Next Game: at Kansas

6. Iowa State (4-1, 1-1 Big 12)
Last Week:
9
Week 6 Result: Beat TCU 37-23
Thanks to a convincing 37-23 win at TCU, the Cyclones make a leap in the power rankings after six weeks of action. Iowa State’s victory was certainly helped by the Horned Frogs losing quarterback Casey Pachall to a suspension, but the Cyclones never trailed and committed only one turnover. The win was a huge boost to Iowa State’s bowl hopes, as it needs to win two more games to get eligible for the postseason. The Cyclones should beat Kansas in late November, but the rest of the schedule has no guaranteed wins. However, as the Big 12 has witnessed since Paul Rhoads took over in Ames, Iowa State should find a way to get to six or seven wins at the end of the year.
Next Game: Kansas State

7. Baylor (3-1, 0-1 Big 12)
Last Week:
8
Week 6 Result: Bye Week
The bye week came at a perfect time for the Bears. After giving up 70 points and 807 yards in a loss to West Virginia, Baylor had some extra time to figure out what went wrong and find some much-needed answers on defense. Through four games, the Bears are allowing 571.3 yards and 39.8 points per game. Baylor hosts TCU in Week 7 and travels to Texas in Week 8.
Next Game: TCU

8. Texas Tech (4-1, 1-1 Big 12)
Last Week:
7
Week 6 Result: Lost to Oklahoma 41-20
The Red Raiders missed out on a chance to make a statement in the Big 12 title race, losing 41-20 to Oklahoma in Week 6. Texas Tech cruised through its first three non-conference games and won a tough 24-13 game at Iowa State last week, but it was never able to get on track against the Sooners. Quarterback Seth Doege was held without a touchdown pass, while the Red Raiders’ defense allowed a season-high 41 points and 380 yards. Texas Tech’s No. 1 pass defense ranking will be put to the test against a West Virginia offense that is averaging 406.8 passing yards per game.
Next Game: West Virginia

9. TCU (4-1, 1-1 Big 12)
Last Week:
5
Week 6 Result: Lost to Iowa State 27-23
It was a week to forget for TCU and head coach Gary Patterson. The Horned Frogs suffered a huge setback on Thursday, as quarterback Casey Pachall was arrested on DWI charges and is suspended indefinitely. With Pachall out, redshirt freshman Trevone Boykin made his first start against Iowa State and finished with 270 passing yards and one score. However, Boykin tossed three picks and the Horned Frogs lost their first Big 12 home game. The schedule doesn’t lighten up any for TCU over the next few weeks, as a trip to Baylor is ahead this Saturday, followed by games against Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and West Virginia.
Next Game: at Baylor

10. Kansas (1-4, 0-2 Big 12)
Last Week:
10
Week 6 Result: Lost to Kansas State 56-16
The Jayhawks got off to a good start, as they jumped out to a 14-7 lead against Kansas State early in the second quarter. However, the Wildcats are simply the better team on both sides of the ball and pulled away for a 56-16 win. Kansas coach Charlie Weis did everything he could to motivate his team, which included expressing his frustration at the school paper. Although the Jayhawks had some initial energy, this team is short on talent and having five turnovers certainly won’t win many games in the Big 12.
Next Game: Oklahoma State


by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven


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Big East Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
Big Ten Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
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<p> Big 12 Post-Week 6 Power Rankings</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 06:10
Path: /college-football/big-ten-post-week-6-power-rankings
Body:

There may not be an elite team capable of winning a national championship in the Big Ten this fall, but no one can criticize the league for lacking dramatics. Michigan State survived a thriller. Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State made statements in big games against quality opponents. Wisconsin continues to show gradual improvement. But trying to pinpoint who will play in the Big Ten title game is impossible after six weeks of action. One week, the Huskers look like the favorites. The next, it's Michigan and Penn State. There won't be a national title in the Midwest this fall, but there will be plenty of excitement that should make fans proud.

Post-Week 6 Offensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State - There is no way to watch No. 5 in Scarlet and Gray and not be impressed. He provides jaw-dropping shiftiness and explosiveness (186 yards rushing, TD) while continuing to efficiently lead his team to victory. He has accounted for 17 total TDs and is already 237 yards away from 1,000 yards rushing.  

2. Matt McGloin, QB, Penn St - This is starting to be one of the more amazing stories nationally. After 282 yards passing and two more scores, the Penn State passer leads the Big Ten in passing TD (12), passing yards (1,499) and completions (136) on a team that could be one of the best in the league. He has also scored five rushing touchdowns in the last three games.

3. Venric Mark, RB, Northwestern - It wasn't enough to get a win, but Mark is quickly becoming one of the league's top play-makers. He is fifth in rushing (102.5), second in all-purpose yards (180.5) and third in scoring (9.0 ppg) after two more scores against Penn State.


Post-Week 6 Defensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Mike Mauti, LB, Penn State - He posted another nine total tackles as Penn State shutout Northwestern in the fourth quarter for the Lions' fourth straight win. 

2. John Simon, DL, Ohio State - There are a few POY candidates on the OSU defense, but Simon gets the nod this week after a monster performance against Nebraska. He posted seven total tackles, five tackles for loss, two sacks and a forced fumble.

3. Mike Taylor, LB, Wisconsin - The Badgers' defensive leader had another workman-like performance in the key divisional win over Illinois. After a 12-tackle (1.5 for a loss) effort, Taylor is now No. 2 in the Big Ten in tackles on a team quietly showing improvement.


Post-Week 6 Coach of the Year Standings

1. Urban Meyer, Ohio State - This was beginning to look like an instant classic until Meyer's bunch blitzed the Huskers in the final 20 minutes of play. Dropping 63 on Nebraska is about as impressive as it gets in the Big Ten.

2. Bill O'Brien, Penn State - The only coach who could earn Coach of the Year honors over an unbeaten Urban Meyer would be the guy taking over Penn State following this particular off-season. Penn State has won four straight and is a few plays from being 6-0. Coach BOB has done a remarkable job.

3. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern - 
His team battled to the end in a hostile environment against a superior team. It didn't end in victory, but Northwestern belongs in the Legends Division race conversation due to Coach Fitz' leadership. 


Post-Week 6 Power Rankings

1. Ohio State (6-0, 2-0)
Previous rank: 1
Week 6 result: Beat Nebraska 63-38

This was a great game — for about 35 minutes. Back and forth these two traditional powers went until Braxton Miller does what Braxton Miller does best. Take over a game and single-handedly abuse a defense en route to another victory. He rushed for a school-record (for a QB) 186 yards and passed for 127 yards while scoring two touchdowns in electrifying fashion as Ohio State ended the game on a 28-7 run over the final quarter and a half. But what should make Buckeyes fans excited about the rest of Big Ten play was the contributions of complementary pieces. Special teams and defense chipped in a touchdown each while Carlos Hyde rushed for a career-best 140 yards and four touchdowns. Miller is a Heisman front-runner, but if Urban Meyer wants the best record in the Big Ten, he will have to continue to get support from the rest of his team. 
This week: at Indiana (2-3)

2. Michigan (3-2, 1-0)
Previous rank: 3
Week 6 result: Beat Purdue 44-13
After a dominating road win over the Boilermakers, Michigan takes it turn back atop the Legends Division weekly power poll. Denard Robinson got back on track with a huge day on the ground (24 att., 235 yards), but more importantly, didn't turn the ball over. Brady Hoke, as expected, established the run early, but it was his defense that won the game. Purdue entered Week 6 averaging 42.5 points and 463.5 yards per game, but the Maize and Blue defense impressively held the Boilers to 56 yards rushing on 26 attempts and only 157 yards passing. The formula for success is obvious for Michigan: Robinson needs to protect the football and make plays with his legs, while the front seven needs to continue to develop. A home test against Illinois precedes the two-week round robin with Nebraska and Michigan State, so a win is a must next weekend. 
This week: Illinois (2-4)

3. Michigan State (4-2, 1-1)
Previous rank: 4
Week 6 result: Beat Indiana 30-27
Michigan State did everything in its power to give this one away, but its defense came up with two huge three-and-outs late in the game to preserve the comeback road victory over Indiana. The Hoosiers jumped out to a 17-0 lead before Andrew Maxwell and Le'Veon Bell led the Spartans on a 30-10 run over the final three quarters. Maxwell played his best game of his short starting career, throwing for 290 yards and two scores without a turnover. He showed improved leadership, poise and toughness while attempting 40 passes. Bell finished with 121 yards and two scores of his own. Michigan State has obvious warts in the passing game — and playing IU might not be the truest barometer — but Maxwell and his receivers played their best game to date. All of that said, however, inching out a victory over a coaching staff that has yet to win a Big Ten game for Mark Dantonio has to be very concerning. 
This week: Iowa (3-2)

4. Nebraska (4-2, 1-1)
Previous rank: 2
Week 6 result: Lost to Ohio State 63-38
Taylor Martinez accounted for three touchdowns and led his team to 38 points and 437 yards of offense. Rex Burkhead topped the 100-yard mark and moonlighted as a quarter/full-back on two scoring runs for Ameer Abdullah. But the defense simply couldn't stop the dynamic play-making ability of Braxton Miller and Martinez threw three costly interceptions. Bo Pelini was up to his old tricks berating his players on the sideline as he watched his team give away a chance at a road win over the Buckeyes. This defense had shown improvement at playing in opponents backfields of late, yet allowed a season-worst 371 yards rushing. This unit has allowed nine rushing touchdowns over the last two games and will have plenty to think about during the off week.
This week: Open Date

5. Penn State (4-2, 2-0)
Previous rank: 8
Week 6 result: Beat Northwestern 39-28
Bill O'Brien is entering National Coach of the Year territory with yet another gutty performance from his much-maligned program. In fact, with the unlikely development of Matt McGloin and continued leadership of Michael Mauti, Penn State could be in line for all three Big Ten "Of the Year" awards (Coach, Offensive Player, Defensive Player). This team is a few plays from being unbeaten and is quickly becoming one of the great stories in college football. There is a chance that the best two teams in the league could be ineligible to win the league title. And O'Brien gets all of the credit for implementing a complex and innovative offensive scheme in such short order. This is a totally different football team than a year ago — and that team started 8-1.  

This week: Open Date

6. Northwestern (5-1, 1-1)
Previous rank: 5
Week 6 result: Lost to Penn State 39-28
Northwestern missed a golden opportunity to make a statement on the road against Penn State. The Wildcats took a 28-17 lead with less than a minute left in the third quarter on Venric Mark's second punt return touchdown of the season. But after holding up extremely well against the physical Nittany Lions rushing attack and ever-improving passing game for three quarters, the Wildcats crumbled in the fourth. Penn State exerted its will in the final frame, scoring three touchdowns in a nine minute span to give Coach Ftiz' group their first loss of the year. Penn State was the better team, but Northwestern played valiantly. 
This week: at Minnesota (4-1)

7. Wisconsin (4-2, 1-1)
Previous rank: 7
Week 6 result: Beat Illinois 31-14
Joel Stave was able to start and finish the game. The rushing attack looked more like 2011 than it did 2012. And the defense played a physical brand of football, holding everyone on the Illini offense not named Nathan Scheelhaase to 22 total yards. Stave, who missed a key drive late against Nebraska, threw for 254 yards and two touchdowns while Montee Ball rushed for 116 yards and two scores of his own. Ball is quietly returning to form, after scoring five times in the last two weeks to bring his season total to eight and his career total to 69 total touchdowns. It won't have much national fanfare, but the road trip to West Lafayette next weekend could decide the Leaders Division crown. 
This week: at Purdue (3-2)

8. Purdue (3-2, 0-1)
Previous rank: 6
Week 6 result: Lost to Michigan 44-13
This was one of the more disappointing performances by any team in the league this fall. Purdue still controls its own destiny with a visit from Wisconsin coming in Week 7, so a Big Ten title is certainly within grasp. However, if the Boilers play like they did against Michigan again, the Badgers will end those hopes next weekend. The normally stout Boilers front-seven was gashed by Denard Robinson and company for 304 yards rushing on 54 attempts. And the normally explosive Caleb TerBush-led offense was completely shut down by a Michigan defense that has struggled at times this fall. The season is still out in front of the Boilermakers, but this team needs to regroup quickly after being crushed in its Big Ten opener.
This week: Wisconsin (4-2)

9. Iowa (3-2, 1-0)
Previous rank: 9
Week 6 result: Off
Iowa played arguably its best game of the year back in the Week 5 win over Minnesota. So fans have to wonder if the bye week was perfectly placed to allow this team to build on its confidence or if it halted what little momentum the Hawkeyes may have built in the victory?
This week: at Michigan State (4-2)

10. Minnesota (4-1, 0-1)
Previous rank: 10
Week 6 result: Off
Getting MarQueis Gray healthy and addressing the defensive woes that led to a blowout loss to Iowa was the likely focus of Jerry Kill's squad during the off week. The Gophers have a winnable home game this weekend that is bordering on must-win status.
This week: Northwestern (5-1)

11. Illinois (2-4, 0-2)
Previous rank: 11
Week 6 result: Lost to Wisconsin 31-14
Things continue to get worse for Tim Beckman. After an embarrassing loss to Penn State at home last week, the Illini failed to show up in Madison. Illinois has allowed 108 points in its three-game losing streak as both PSU and UW rushed for 173 yards over the last two weeks. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase accounted for all but 22 yards of total offense on a team that offered little support to its quarterback. Things only appear to be getting worse for a team that is scoring the fewest points per game in the Big Ten (21.2 ppg) and that is allowing the most points in the league (28.3 ppg). Illinois will face Michigan and Ohio State on the road in the next three weeks.

This week: at Michigan (3-2)

12. Indiana (2-3, 0-2)
Previous rank: 12
Week 6 result: Lost to Michigan State 30-27
This was his chance. Kevin Wilson has yet to win a Big Ten game and after a 17-0 lead at the end of the first quarter — and a 27-14 halftime lead — the Hoosiers failed to capitalize on a golden opportunity. The Indiana defense allowed Andrew Maxwell to grow up in Bloomington on Saturday and Cameron Coffman went three-and-out on the game's final two possessions. This would have been a signature win for Wilson and company, but he now finds himself 0-10 in Big Ten play.
This week: Ohio State (6-0)


by Braden Gall

@bradengall

Related College Football Content

Three and Out: Week 6 Recap

ACC Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
Big East Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
Big Ten Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
Big 12 Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
Pac-12 East Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
SEC Post-Week 6 Power Rankings 

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The Big East continues to battle uncertain times, but at least the league as a bona fide race for the title among three ranked teams. No. 16 Louisville, No. 19 Rutgers and No. 25 Cincinnati are all in the AP poll, giving the Big East three ranked teams for the first time since the end of the 2009 season.

There’s still a way to go before the Big East approaches the notoriety of past seasons -- the final 2009 poll included two Big East teams in the top 15, where this week’s poll includes none -- but three undefeated teams is a start.

None of the three teams will face each other until late October, so there’s room for all three to build up their records and national reputations before a critical final month of conference play.

Offensive Player of the Year Standings
1. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville --
It’s going to be difficult to knock Bridgewater off his perch, but others are gaining. The Cardinals quarterback will try to overcome his last two shaky starts on the road against Pittsburgh this week.

2. Jawan Jamison, Rutgers -- Jamison’s sixth consecutive 100-yard game wasn’t the most flashy, but it may have been among the most impressive. Jamison rushed for 110 yards against a top-10 run defense and a Big East Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Yawin Smallwood.

3. Gary Nova, Rutgers -- After two standout games against USF and Arkansas, Nova had a workman-like effort against Connecticut. Nova was 18 of 27 for 157 yards with a touchdown. Nova threw two interceptions against Tulane and Howard but none since.

Defensive Player of the Year Standings
1. Khaseem Greene, Rutgers --
The defending Co-Defensive Player of the Year jumps into the top spot after eight tackles, three quarterback hurries and an interception returned for 33 yards against Connecticut. Rutgers held UConn to 53 rushing yards.

2. Camerron Cheatham, Cincinnati -- Cheatham’s 68-yard interception returned for a touchdown swung the momentum into Cincinnati’s favor in the rout against Miami (Ohio). It was his second interception in two weeks.

3. Walter Stewart, Cincinnati -- Stewart had one tackle for a loss against Miami (Ohio), but the Bearcats defensive end remains among the league leaders in sacks (three) and tackles for a loss (six).

Coach of the Year Standings
1. Butch Jones, Cincinnati --
Big East play for Cincinnati won’t resume until Oct. 26 against Louisville, but Jones has his team ready. The Bearcats are in the top three in the Big East in total offense, scoring offense and scoring defense.

2. Kyle Flood, Rutgers -- The Scarlet Knights’ defense is doing just fine without Greg Schiano calling the shots, a credit to new defensive coordinator Robb Smith. The offense is also enjoying a stability it hasn’t seen in several seasons. Credit  quarterback Gary Nova limiting mistakes and improved play from the offensive line.

3. Charlie Strong, Louisville -- The Cardinals fought through some adversity in the last three games to get to 3-0, but the big tests begin in October when Louisville faces Cincinnati.

Big East Post-Week 6 Power Rankings

1. Louisville (5-0, 0-0)
Last week’s rank:
1
Week 6 result: Off
After an off week, Louisville will look to regroup after three consecutive close calls against North Carolina, FIU and Southern Miss. This week’s trip to Pittsburgh will be the Cards’ third road game in a row, but who knows what team Louisville will encounter at Heinz Field. Pitt has been good enough to rout Virginia Tech, but the Panthers are 0-2 in the Big East. Moreover, coach Charlie Strong is battling the requisite coaching carousel questions that plague every successful Big East coach.
This week: at Pittsburgh

2. Rutgers (5-0, 2-0)
Last week’s rank:
2
Week 6 result: Beat Connecticut 19-3
Off to its best start since 2006, Rutgers’ schedule may set up for another banner year with late-season intrigue. The Scarlet Knights’ next two games are against a pair of teams -- Syracuse and Temple -- that just won their Big East openers, but the season-defining games for Rutgers may come on Nov. 17 (at Cincinnati) and Nov. 29 (Louisville). Against Connecticut on Saturday, the Rutgers offense did enough to win while the defense bewildered the Huskies in the passing game and run game. Rutgers limited UConn to 1.9 yards per carry and intercepted Chandler Whitmer four times -- two stats that are setting the tone for Rutgers this season. Rutgers is second in the nation in rush defense at 60.6 yards allowed and is tied for second with 10 picks this season.
This week: Syracuse

3. Cincinnati (4-0, 1-0)
Last week’s rank:
3
Week 6 result: Beat Miami (Ohio) 52-14
The Big East takes its lumps, but any team from a non-automatic qualifying conference would jump at the chance to join. Case in point: Cincinnati’s dominance of the rivalry with Miami (Ohio). The Bearcats have won seven in a row over its MAC rival since their second season in the Big East, winning by an average of 29.6 points per game. It’s the longest winning streak by either team in the series, in which Miami had a 58-44-7 edge before Cincinnati joined the Big East. The Bearcats enjoyed their highest scoring game of the season thanks to an interception return for a touchdown from Camerron Cheatham and 189 combined yards on returns (114 on three interceptions, 75 on two kickoffs).
This week: Fordham

4. Syracuse (2-3, 1-0)
Last week’s rank: 7
Week 6 result: Beat Pittsburgh 14-13
Syracuse ended its eight-game losing streak to FBS opponents with an unexpected victory over a hot Pittsburgh team. With a road trip to Rutgers upcoming, the Orange will find out in short order whether it has turned a corner or if this win was a fluke similar to its last FBS win, a 49-23 victory over West Virginia on Oct. 21. After hard-fought losses to Northwestern and USC and a turnover-filled defeat to Minnesota, Syracuse finally caught a break with Dyshawn Davis’ 52-yard fumble returned for a touchdown in the first quarter, which turned out to be the game-winning score. Defensive end Brandon Sharpe (four sacks) led a dominant effort up front that sacked Tino Sunseri five times and held Pitt to 27 rushing yards.
This week: at Rutgers

5. Pittsburgh (2-3, 0-2)
Last week’s rank:
4
Week 6 result: Lost to Syracuse 14-13
Forget that defeating Virginia Tech might not be something to brag about this season, but what happened to the Pitt team that overwhelmed the Hokies two weeks ago? Pitt’s defense regrouped after allowing a scoring drive early in the first quarter, but the offense regressed, squandering scoring chances late in the game. The Panthers drove deep into Syracuse territory twice in the fourth quarter only to have penalties and sacks push the Panthers out of field goal range. Tino Sunseri was sacked five times and the running back duo of Ray Graham and Rushel Shell combined for only 59 yards and 2.4 yards per carry.
This week: Louisville

6. Connecticut (3-3, 0-1)
Last week’s rank:
6
Week 6 result: Lost to Rutgers 19-3
The Huskies’ defense did enough to win through the first half against Rutgers, limiting the Scarlet Knights to two field goals by halftime, but the D couldn’t overcome another rough day by the Huskies’ offense. Rutgers’ two field goals were all the Scarlet Knights needed to win. Chandler Whitmer’s four interceptions (10 for the season) are ugly, but the last two occurred on desperation attempts late in the fourth quarter. Just as alarming is UConn’s Big East-worst run game. Not helping matters was Lyle McCombs missing the first quarter as punishment for an arrest stemming from an altercation with his girlfriend. UConn has failed to win consecutive games in a year and a half under Paul Pasqualoni.
This week: Temple

7. Temple (2-2, 0-1)
Last week’s rank:
8
Week 6 result: Beat USF 37-28
Temple’s return to the Big East is already going better than its departure as the Owls won their first conference game as a Big East member since 2004. Temple got its most complete game of the season out of its backfield despite the game-ending ankle injury to Matt Brown (he’s expected to return against UConn). Montel Harris rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns, and Chris Coyer completed 16 of 20 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown. But the key was defense and special teams late. USF advanced to the Temple 23 before the Owls’ defense pushed Demetris Murray back five yards. The ensuing 45-yard field goal attempt, which would have put USF up by 1, was blocked and returned for a touchdown.
This week: at Connecticut

8. USF (2-4, 0-2)
Last week’s rank:
5
Week 6 result: Lost to Temple 37-28
What has gone wrong at USF? USF is 1-8 in the Big East since the start of 2011 thanks to fourth quarter woes that have continued into their second year. On Saturday, USF narrowed Temple’s lead to 2 points in the final 5:19 before a blocked field goal and a touchdown on the Bulls’ next possession ended USF’s comeback bid for good. Despite ample talent on that side of the ball, USF is seventh or eighth in the Big East in the major defensive categories. The Bulls are also the only team in the country without an interception. Good news: USF will have an off week to recover from four consecutive losses. Bad news: USF’s next game is at Louisville.
This week: Off

By David Fox

@DavidFox615

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SEC Post-Week 6 Power Rankings

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With Florida State's loss to NC State, the ACC is officially out of the national title race. The Seminoles were the conference's best hope at finishing No. 1 or No. 2 in the BCS, but the championship dreams will have to wait another year. Clemson kept its ACC title hopes alive with a victory over Georgia Tech, while Duke improved to 5-1 with a win over Virginia. 

Offensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina – Bernard missed two games with a knee injury but has been nearly unstoppable this season. The sophomore has 475 yards and five scores on 52 attempts and has 15 catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns.

2. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson – Boyd threw two picks in the win over Georgia Tech but completed 26 of 41 throws for 397 yards and two scores.

3. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson – There’s not much separating the three names in this category, and Hopkins could make a case for the No. 1 spot. He has 49 catches for 777 yards and eight touchdowns this year.
 

Defensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State – A patchwork NC State line held Werner in check, but the junior leads the ACC with 10 tackles for a loss and ranks second with 6.5 sacks this year.

2. Ross Cockrell, CB, Duke – Cockrell is flying under the radar on a national level but is having quite the season. The junior leads the ACC with 13 passes defended and has four interceptions.

3. Cornellius Carradine, DE, Florida State – Carradine led all Florida State defensive linemen with eight tackles against NC State. The senior leads the ACC with seven sacks this season.
 

Coach of the Year Standings

1. David Cutcliffe, Duke - The Blue Devils are just one win away from being eligible to play in a bowl. Duke doesn’t have a win over a FBS team with a winning record, but this team is poised to breakthrough in 2012.

2. Larry Fedora, North Carolina – Even with no bowl game or conference championship to play for in 2012, Fedora has kept this team on track. The Tar Heels handled Virginia Tech 48-34 in Week 6.

3. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State – A disappointing loss to NC State ends the Seminoles’ national title hopes.

Post-Week 6 ACC Power Rankings

1. Florida State (5-1, 2-1 ACC)
Last Week:
1
Week 6 Result: Lost 17-16 to NC State
Despite the surprising loss to NC State, the Seminoles maintain the No. 1 spot in the power rankings. Although the Wolfpack are a dangerous team at home, this is a game Florida State should not lose, especially after it jumps out to a 16-0 lead. Even though the Seminoles are out of the national title picture, this team still has to be the favorite to win the ACC crown. Florida State plays three of its next five games on the road but hosts Boston College this Saturday.
Next Game: Boston College

2. Clemson (5-1, 2-1 ACC)
Last Week:
2
Week 6 Result: Beat Georgia Tech 47-31
As expected, the Yellow Jackets gave Clemson all it could handle early on, but the Tigers scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. Quarterback Tajh Boyd had two interceptions but finished with 397 passing yards and two touchdowns. The defense allowed 339 rushing yards but forced one turnover and recorded a safety early in the fourth quarter. With Florida State’s loss to NC State, the ACC Atlantic division is up for grabs again. Clemson needs another loss by the Seminoles, but the Tigers head into a bye week with momentum and an opportunity to get back into the conference title race.
Next Game: Virginia Tech (Oct. 20)

3. NC State (4-2, 1-1 ACC)
Last Week:
5
Week 6 Result: Beat Florida State 17-16
The Wolfpack pulled off one of the biggest surprises of the 2012 college football season, beating Florida State 17-16 to knock the Seminoles out of the national title picture. NC State trailed 16-0 but rallied behind quarterback Mike Glennon. The senior finished with 259 yards and two touchdowns and made crucial plays on third and fourth downs late in the game to lead the Wolfpack to the upset. The win over the Seminoles was not only huge for momentum purposes, but NC State controls its destiny in the ACC Atlantic. If the Wolfpack can win out and beat Clemson on Nov. 17, they will play for the conference championship in early December.
Next Game: at Maryland (Oct. 20)

4. Miami (4-2, 3-0 ACC)
Last Week:
3
Week 6 Result: Lost to Notre Dame 41-3
After posting 86 combined points in wins over Georgia Tech and NC State, the Hurricanes’ offense stalled with only three points in a 41-3 loss to Notre Dame. Quarterback Stephen Morris threw for 201 yards on 18 completions but didn’t have much help from his receiving corps. True freshman running back Duke Johnson was also held in check by the Irish defense, managing just 22 yards on eight attempts. Although the offensive showing was a disappointment, Miami’s defense continues to be an issue. The Hurricanes have allowed 30 or more points in five contests and average just one sack a game.
Next Game: North Carolina

5. North Carolina (4-2, 1-1 ACC)
Last Week:
7
Week 6 Result: Beat Virginia Tech 48-34
The Tar Heels are ineligible to play for the ACC Championship, but this team isn’t letting that slow them down this year. North Carolina scored an impressive 48-34 win over Virginia Tech in Week 6, led by 261 rushing yards from running back Giovani Bernard and a defense that never allowed the Hokies’ ground attack to get on track. With a sound victory over Virginia Tech, North Carolina now sets its sights on claiming control of the division with a trip to Miami next week.
Next Game: at Miami

6. Duke (5-1, 2-0 ACC)
Last Week:
8
Week 6 Result: Beat Virginia 42-17
If there was any doubt the Blue Devils are a much-improved team this season, Saturday’s victory over Virginia should erase those thoughts. Sure, the Cavaliers aren’t a top-10 team but this is a game Duke has struggled to win in the past. With Sean Renfree sidelined with an elbow injury, Anthony Boone filled in admirably, throwing for 204 yards and four touchdowns on 30 attempts. Although Boone played well, the defense stepped up with two turnovers and did not allow a score in the second half. The Blue Devils have a difficult schedule in the second half of the season but need just one win to get bowl eligible.
Next Game: at Virginia Tech

7. Virginia Tech (3-3, 1-1 ACC)
Last Week:
4
Week 6 Result: Lost to North Carolina 48-34
After six games, it’s pretty clear: Virginia Tech is in real danger of finishing 6-6 or 7-5. Considering most expected this team would be one of the best 10-15 in the nation, the Hokies are one of the ACC’s biggest disappointments. A defense that returned one of the top backfields and lines in the nation was pushed around for 532 yards against North Carolina, while the offense continues to struggle on the ground. Virginia Tech still controls its destiny in the Coastal Division but the schedule doesn’t get any easier over the next few weeks, starting with a 5-1 Duke team on Saturday.
Next Game: Duke

8. Georgia Tech (2-4, 1-3 ACC)
Last Week:
6
Week 6 Result: Lost to Clemson 47-31
The bye week couldn’t come at a better time for the Yellow Jackets. After three consecutive losses, it’s time for Georgia Tech to regroup for the second half of the season. The defense has allowed 40 points in three consecutive games, and this team needs to find some answers if it wants to finish with a winning record and play in a bowl game. The Yellow Jackets gave Clemson all it could handle for a half but was unable to keep up with the Tigers offense in the final two quarters. The Yellow Jackets return to action on Oct. 20 against Boston College.
Next Game: Boston College

9. Maryland (3-2, 1-0 ACC)
Last Week:
12
Week 6 Result: Beat Wake Forest 19-14
It wasn’t pretty, but Maryland opened ACC play with a 19-14 win over Wake Forest. The Terrapins fell behind early but allowed only seven points to the Demon Deacons over the final three quarters. Freshman quarterback Perry Hills threw for 191 yards, with fellow freshman Stefon Diggs his favorite target (5 receptions for 105 yards). Maryland’s defense played a key role in the victory, holding Wake Forest to 71 rushing yards and forcing two turnovers. With the victory on Saturday, the Terrapins have surpassed their win total from last season.
Next Game: at Virginia

10. Virginia (2-4, 0-2 ACC)
Last Week:
10
Week 6 Result: Lost to Duke 42-17
A quarterback change wasn’t enough to spark the offense, and Virginia dropped its fourth consecutive game with a 42-17 loss to Duke. The Cavaliers recorded 461 yards but committed two turnovers, and a defense that struggled to get stops in the second half was simply too much to overcome. Phillip Sims completed 21 of 42 throws in his first start, but his two second half interceptions were costly. If Virginia wants to return to the postseason, winning the next two games (Maryland, Wake Forest) is a must.
Next Game: Lost to Duke 42-17

11. Wake Forest (3-3, 1-3 ACC)
Last Week:
9
Week 6 Result: Lost to Maryland 19-14
With receiver Michael Campanaro sidelined with a hand injury, the Demon Deacons offense sputtered in a 19-14 loss to Maryland. Wake Forest got off to a good start with a 73-yard touchdown pass on the first drive, but the Terrapins held quarterback Tanner Price to less than 100 passing yards the rest of the day. The Demon Deacons have lost three out of their last four games and have a bye this Saturday. The off week comes at a good time, especially as the team hopes to get Campanaro back as soon as possible.
Next Game: at Virginia (Oct. 20)

12. Boston College (1-4, 0-2 ACC)
Last Week:
11
Week 6 Result: Lost to Army 34-31
Embarrassing. That’s really the only way to describe the Eagles loss to Army on Saturday. Although the Black Knights are a difficult opponent to prepare for, this is a game Boston College should not lose. A big part of the struggles was the rush defense, which gave up 519 yards to Army’s option attack. The Eagles’ bowl hopes are hanging by a thread with road trips to Florida State and Georgia Tech coming up in the next two weeks. Barring a complete change of events for Frank Spaziani in the second half of the season, Boston College will have a new head coach next year.
Next Game: at Florida State


by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven

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Visit the online store for Michigan and other editions of the 2012-13 Athlon Sports College Basketball annual.

The first practices of college basketball season begin in mid-October, and Athlon Sports 2012-13 preview annuals have arrived on newsstands all over the country.

To prepare for the start of college basketball season, we will preview one team each weekday, counting down to the first official day of basketball practice on Oct. 15, or for some teams on Oct. 12.

We continue our countdown with a preview of No. 6 Michigan.

Don’t try to convince John Beilein, an eternal optimist, that last year’s NCAA Tournament thud against Ohio was a bad thing for his program. To the sixth-year Michigan coach, the loss was a case of not playing “well in one particular game” and not an indication that the team’s share of the Big Ten championship was sullied.

Since a program’s ultimate success is measured in terms of NCAA wins, it’s time for Michigan to make a move into the Tournament’s second weekend. The good news is for the first time in Beilein’s tenure, the Wolverines may be in a good position to do that. A highly regarded recruiting class, the decision by guard Trey Burke to return for his sophomore season and a level of depth Michigan hasn’t enjoyed in a long time should combine to make Michigan quite dangerous — both during the regular season and postseason.

“The Block M has never been stronger across the board,” Beilein says. “We have momentum.”

FRONTCOURT
Beilein teams haven’t exactly been known for their rough-and-tumble front lines, but this year’s Wolverines have plenty of options in the paint. If they want to play big and nasty, redshirt freshman Max Bielfeldt (6-7, 240), sophomore Jon Horford (6-10, 250) and junior Jordan Morgan (6-8, 250) can bring the beef. Bielfeldt and Horford were both sidelined with injuries last season.

If they want to play a little more of a finesse game, then 6-10 freshman Mitch McGary, a fine passer and shooter from the high and low post, can team with fellow newcomer Glenn Robinson III to form a dynamic offensive combination. A pair of high-level recruits who have helped lift Michigan’s national profile, Robinson and McGary give the Wolverines potential star power. Robinson was relatively highly regarded when he signed last fall, but his stock soared even greater since. He could be one of the nation’s top scoring freshmen. McGary is the kind of skilled big man Beilein craves. Some have compared McGary to former West Virginia star Kevin Pittsnogle, who thrived under Beilein.

“Some big men have a natural ability to pass, while others have to learn it,” Beilein says. “Mitch sees the floor well from the high post and low post positions.”

BACKCOURT
Last summer, the Wolverines lost Darius Morris to an ill-advised jump to the NBA Draft. This year, Burke stuck around after his great debut (14.8 ppg, 4.6 apg), giving the Michigan attack a high-energy floor leader who will be extremely productive and able to help the rest of the team deliver, too.

“Trey gets it, and that’s what’s going to help him become a better player,” Beilein says. “He understands he will get a lot of attention, and if the young men around him can shoot and score, his assists will go up, and his turnovers will go down. He saw a lot of minutes last year, and he can be better this year with more people around him.”

One person who will help Burke is freshman point guard Spike Albrecht, a 6-1 dynamo whom Beilein believes will be an instant fan favorite and who should allow Burke to rest some after he averaged 36.1 minutes per game last year.

The other big backcourt holdover is junior Tim Hardaway Jr., who has great skill but must learn to moderate his approach. He shot just 28.3 from 3-point range last year and didn’t always play great defense. Hardaway has plenty of talent, and the addition of Robinson, McGary and Albrecht mean he doesn’t have to do as much.

“He has gained trust with his teammates, and he should have enough people around him so that he can shoot less and score more points,” Beilein says.

Two other freshmen, tough shooter Nik Stauskas and athletic wing Caris LeVert, will also vie for time.

FINAL ANALYSIS
Michigan isn’t ready for a run at the Final Four, but the Wolverines should be an improved team that can certainly reach the NCAA Tournament’s second weekend. And, if everybody comes back for ’13-14, some real fun can be had.

Burke has great potential, and Hardaway can be a big factor if he plays within himself. The freshman class is talented, and Michigan should be deeper all over the floor. The loss to Ohio was tough, but the future is bright.

@AthlonSports

Athlon College Basketball Countdown So Far:
20. Florida

19. Notre Dame

18. Memphis
17. Baylor
16. Missouri

15. San Diego State

14. North Carolina

13. UNLV

12. UCLA
11. NC State

10. Michigan State
9. Duke

8. Ohio State

7. Arizona

Teaser:
<p> College Basketball Countdown: No. 6 Michigan Preview</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 06:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Fantasy, News
Path: /college-football/college-fantasy-football-post-week-6-waiver-wire-report
Body:

Even though the waiver wire isn’t loaded with talent this week, there is still plenty of value available.  This is the time of the season where players are easier to acquire because league cellar dwellers start to become disconnected from their teams, which means less competition for late-season gems.

Shane Carden, QB-East Carolina

We suggested benching Shane Carden last week on the road at Central Florida, but he responded with a solid outing.  Carden should provide value down the stretch playing in C-USA.

Tyler Van Tubbergen, QB-Western Michigan

Tyler Van Tubbergen struggled in his first start of the season two games ago against Tulsa, but he bounced back by tossing five scoring passes against UMass.

Sean Mannion, QB-Oregon State

Mannion didn’t exactly light it up against Washington State this past weekend, but with Brandin Cooks and Markus Wheaton on the outside, the Beavers offense has some big-play potential.

Dennis Johnson, RB-Arkansas

Dennis Johnson has taken over at running back for the Hogs and Knile Davis’ productive days on the field may have come to an end this season.

Montel Harris, RB-Temple

Harris was impressive against South Florida this past weekend, running for 133 yards and two touchdowns.  Even though Temple has some tough matchups on the horizon, Harris offers workhorse potential.

Alex Singleton, RB-Tulsa

Even though Singleton has only topped the 100-yard mark once this season, he has scored multiple touchdowns in four of Tulsa’s last five games.

Kasey Carrier, RB-New Mexico

In the Lobos’ last three games, Carrier has run for 406 yards and six touchdowns.  Next week, Carrier faces Hawaii’s 110th rated rush defense.

Andrew Buie, RB-West Virginia

After Saturday’s impressive performance at Texas, Buie jumped onto everyone’s radar and could be a major fantasy factor down the stretch.

Terence Davis, WR-Wake Forest

Since Michael Campanaro’s hand injury, Davis has emerged as quarterback Tanner Price’s go-to receiver and has posted back-to-back 100-yard games.

Jamill Smith, WR-Ball St

Smith has caught at least six passes in five of six games this season and is fresh off a 14-catch game against Northern Illinois.
 

Follow Joe DiSalvo on twitter (@theCFFsite)

Email:  joe@thecffsite.com

Teaser:
<p> College Fantasy Football: Post-Week 6 Waiver Wire Report</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 03:49
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/top-25-college-football-game-capsules-0
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Eugene, OR (Sports Network) - Marcus Mariota threw four touchdown passes on Saturday and the No. 2 Oregon Ducks dominated No. 23 Washington, 52-21, at Autzen Stadium. Mariota went 15-of-24 passing for 198 yards and an interception, while Kenjon Barner added 122 yards on 20 carries and De'Anthony Thomas chipped in 75 yards and a score on 10 rushes for the Ducks (6-0, 3-0 Pac-12), who have scored 30- plus points in 19 straight games. Keith Price finished 19-of-31 for 145 yards and two interceptions for Washington (3-2, 1-1), which has lost nine straight meetings with the Ducks, which is the longest streak for either side in the 111-year history of the rivalry. Bishop Sankey rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries in a losing effort.

Final Score: North Carolina State 17, (3) Florida State 16

Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Mike Glennon's 2-yard touchdown pass to Bryan Underwood with 16 seconds remaining capped a furious second-half rally that propelled North Carolina State to a stunning 17-16 victory over third-ranked Florida State in Atlantic Coast Conference action from Carter-Finley Stadium. Glennon completed 30-of-55 passes for 259 yards -- all but 41 of which came after halftime -- and a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns as North Carolina State (4-2, 1-1 ACC) overcame a 16-0 deficit at intermission and knocked off a nationally-ranked Seminoles squad for the fourth time in the last nine years. Florida State (5-1, 2-1) was also upset in Raleigh by a 28-24 count in 2010, when the program was ranked 16th at the time, and was also dealt defeats by the Wolfpack while in the national polls during the 2005 and 2006 seasons.

Final Score: (10) Florida 14, (4) LSU 6

Gainesville, FL (Sports Network) - Mike Gillislee ran for a pair of second- half touchdowns to lead No. 10 Florida past fourth-ranked LSU, 14-6. Gillislee finished with 146 yards on 34 carries for the Gators (5-0, 4-0 SEC), who racked up 176 yards on the ground to remain undefeated. Jeff Driskel completed 8-of-12 passes for 61 yards and was backed by a stifling defense that held LSU to 1-for-13 on third-down conversions. Zach Mettenberger went 11-for-25 through the air for 161 yards and an interception for the Tigers (5-1, 1-1), who had their 18-game regular season win streak snapped. LSU had not dropped a game in the regular season since a 31-23 decision to Arkansas in the 2010 finale. The Tigers' Odell Beckham paced all receivers with 81 yards on four receptions in defeat.

Final Score: (6) South Carolina 35, (5) Georgia 7

Columbia, SC (Sports Network) - Connor Shaw threw for a pair of touchdowns and rushed for another as sixth-ranked South Carolina rolled over No. 5 Georgia, 35-7, on Saturday. Ace Sanders added a 70-yard punt return for a score for the Gamecocks (6-0, 4-0 SEC), who set a new school record with their 10th straight win dating back to last season. Shaw completed 6-of-10 passes for 162 yards and added 78 yards on 14 carries. Marcus Lattimore totaled 109 yards and a touchdown on 24 rushes as South Carolina improved to 6-0 for the first time since 1988. Aaron Murray went 11-for-31 through the air for 109 yards and an interception for Georgia (5-1, 3-1), which had its streak of 15 straight regular season wins snapped.

Final Score: (7) Kansas State 56, Kansas 16

Manhattan, KS (Sports Network) - John Hubert carried the ball 10 times for 101 yards and four touchdowns, lifting the seventh-ranked Kansas State Wildcats over the Kansas Jayhawks, 56-16. Collin Klein completed 7-of-14 passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns for the Wildcats (5-0, 2-0 Big 12), who are unbeaten after five games for the second straight season. Klein also carried the ball 10 times for 116 yards and two scores. Tyler Lockett and Travis Tannahill caught TD passes for Kansas State, which scored 35 points in the second half. Dayne Crist connected on 16-of-27 passes for 189 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions for the Jayhawks (1-4, 0-2), who have lost four in a row since starting the season with a win over South Dakota State. James Sims rushed for 115 yards and a score on 28 carries.

Final Score: (8) West Virginia 48, (11) Texas 45

Austin, TX (Sports Network) - Geno Smith threw four touchdown passes and Andrew Buie ran for 207 yards and a pair of scores, including the game-sealing TD with under two minutes left, as eighth-ranked West Virginia earned a wild 48-45 win over No. 11 Texas. Smith finished 25-of-35 for 268 yards for the Mountaineers (5-0, 2-0 Big 12), who got three TD receptions from Stedman Bailey. Tavon Austin caught 10 passes for 102 yards and a score. It was a far cry from a record-setting performance like last week, when Smith set school marks with eye-popping totals of 656 passing yards and eight touchdown throws in a 70-63 win over Baylor. Smith has 24 TD passes this season without an interception. David Ash connected on 22-of-29 throws for 269 yards, including an 8-yard TD pass to Marquise Goodwin with 15 seconds remaining. West Virginia recovered the ensuing onsides kick and sent the Longhorns (4-1, 1-1) to their eighth straight loss when facing a team ranked in the top 25.

Final Score: (9) Notre Dame 41, Miami-Florida 3

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Cierre Wood and George Atkinson III ran all over a shaky Hurricanes defense on Saturday as No. 9 Notre Dame dominated Miami-Florida, 41-3, at Soldier Field. Wood ran for 118 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, while Atkinson ended his night with 123 yards and a touchdown on just 10 carries for the Fighting Irish (5-0), who have won the first five games of the season for the first time since beginning the 2002 campaign 8-0. Cam McDaniel and Theo Riddick each added a rushing touchdown in the victory as the Irish racked up 376 yards on the ground. Everett Golson was benched to start the game due to a violation of team rules, but entered on the team's second offensive series. He threw for 186 yards on 17-of-22 passing and ran for 51 yards on six carries as Notre Dame remained perfect at Soldier Field in program history with a 10-0-2 record. Stephen Morris threw for 201 yards on 18-of-35 passing for the Hurricanes (4-2), who had their three-game winning streak snapped. Jake Wieclaw accounted for the only Miami points with a 28-yard field goal.

Final Score: (12) Ohio State 63, (21) Nebraska 38

Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Braxton Miller rushed for a career-high 185 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries and Carlos Hyde added four rushing scores as No. 12 Ohio State downed No. 21 Nebraska, 63-38, on Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Miller added 127 yards and a touchdown pass on 7-of-14 passing and Hyde finished with 138 yards on 28 carries for the Buckeyes (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten), who slipped past Michigan State on the road last weekend to open conference play. Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez threw for 214 yards and one touchdown on 15-of-25 efficiency, but tossed a career-high tying three interceptions in the setback, which snapped Nebraska's (4-2, 1-1) three-game winning streak. Rex Burkhead rushed for 119 yards on 14 carries, while Kenny Bell hauled in five passes for 133 yards in a losing effort.

Final Score: (14) Oregon State 19, Washington State 6

Corvallis, OR (Sports Network) - Jordan Poyer came up with three interceptions, and Sean Mannion threw for 270 yards and a touchdown, as 14th- ranked Oregon State downed Washington State, 19-6, at Reser Stadium. Markus Wheaton had 95 yards receiving and a touchdown for the Beavers (4-0, 3-0 Pac-12), who also got a pair of field goals from Trevor Romaine. Brandin Cooks contributed five catches for 82 yards. With the victory, Oregon State surpasses their three-win total from last season and improves to 4-0 for the first time since the 2002 season. Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday had a rough game, going just 9- of-20 passing for 81 yards and three interceptions. His replacement, Jeff Tuel, went 11-of-17 for 126 yards and an interception, and also was sacked three times. Gino Simone caught three balls for 83 yards and Andrew Furney connected on two field goals for the Cougars (2-4, 0-3).

Final Score: Iowa State 37, (15) TCU 23

Fort Worth, TX (Sports Network) - Jared Barnett threw for 183 yards and three touchdowns, Josh Lenz hauled in three TD passes and threw for another score, as the Iowa State Cyclones upset the No. 15 TCU Horned Frogs, 37-23, at Amon G. Carter Stadium. For TCU (4-1, 1-1 Big 12), the loss puts an end to the nation's longest active win streak, as the Horned Frogs had won 12 straight dating back to last season. It also marks their first loss to a conference opponent as a new member of the Big 12. The Horned Frogs were forced to face Iowa State (4-1, 1-1) without one of their biggest weapons. Junior starting quarterback Casey Pachall was arrested Thursday morning on suspicion of DWI and suspended by head coach Gary Patterson for at least a game, possibly more. Without Pachall, the Horned Frogs turned to redshirt freshman Trevone Boykin, who responded with a tough performance, going 23-of-40 for 270 yards and a touchdown. Boykin also threw three interceptions, with two in the fourth quarter, taking TCU out of contention.

Final Score: (15) Clemson 47, Georgia Tech 31

Clemson, SC (Sports Network) - Tajh Boyd threw for 397 yards and two touchdowns, adding 63 yards and a rushing score, as the 15th-ranked Clemson Tigers turned up the heat with a 47-31 decision over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in an ACC shootout at Memorial Stadium. DeAndre Hopkins totaled 173 yards and a pair of TDs on seven catches for the Tigers (5-1, 2-1 ACC), who have won two in a row and have two weeks to enjoy the victory before returning to action on Oct. 20 against Virginia Tech. Roderick McDowell posted two rushing scores, while Andre Ellington ended with 82 yards on 24 carries for Clemson. Tevin Washington passed for 144 yards and one score, adding 104 yards and two rushing touchdowns for the Yellow Jackets (2-4, 1-3), who have dropped three straight and also have a week off before a clash with Boston College. Orwin Smith rolled up 117 yards and two end-zone entries on just seven totes and Jeff Greene registered a TD reception in the loss.

Final Score: (17) Oklahoma 41, Texas Tech 20

Lubbock, TX (Sports Network) - Landry Jones threw for two touchdowns and Blake Bell added two scores on the ground as the 17th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners steamrolled the Texas Tech Red Raiders, 41-20, to earn their first Big 12 victory of the season. Jones completed 25-of-40 passes for 259 yards and connected with Justin Brown and Kenny Stills for scores. Bell took two 1-yard carries into the end zone for touchdowns as Oklahoma (3-1, 1-1 Big 12) rebounded nicely off its bye week following a 24-19 loss to Kansas State on Sept. 22. Seth Doege led Texas Tech to a victory over Oklahoma last season, but struggled on Saturday and was unable to replicate the same result. Doege finished 22-of-36 for 203 yards and was intercepted three times, with his third returned by Javon Harris for a score that put the game out of reach for the Red Raiders (4-1, 1-1), who were denied a 5-0 start for the second consecutive season.

Final Score: (18) Stanford 54, Arizona 48 (OT)

Stanford, CA (Sports Network) - Stepfan Taylor's 21-yard touchdown run in the first overtime period lifted the 18th-ranked Stanford Cardinal over the Arizona Wildcats, 54-48. Stanford's defense came up big in overtime. On Arizona's fifth offensive play, Matt Scott had his pass deflected at the line of scrimmage and Chase Thomas came up with the interception. Taylor then found a hole up the middle and sprinted 21 yards into the end zone for the come- from-behind victory. Taylor carried the ball 31 times for 142 yards and two scores for the Cardinal (4-1, 2-1 Pac-12), who have won nine straight games in the month of October dating back to Oct. 9, 2010. Josh Nunes completed 21- of-34 passes for 360 yards and two touchdowns for Stanford, which bounced back from a 17-13 loss to Washington on Sept. 27. Nunes also carried the ball seven times for 33 yards and three scores.

Final Score: (20) Mississippi State 27, Kentucky 14

Lexington, KY (Sports Network) - Tyler Russell threw for 269 yards and two touchdowns, leading No. 20 Mississippi State past Kentucky, 27-14, and helping the Bulldogs to their best start since 1999. Russell completed 23-of-39 passes to keep the Bulldogs (5-0, 2-0 SEC) undefeated. Adrian Marcus caught a 10-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and Chad Bumphis paced all receivers with nine catches for 104 yards and a score. Bumphis' touchdown catch was the 18th of his career, passing Eric Moulds and Justin Jenkins for the most in school history. Jalen Whitlow returned as the Kentucky quarterback after Patrick Towles suffered an ankle injury at the end of the second quarter. Whitlow finished 10-of-21 for 73 yards and rushed for 26 yards and a score, but the Wildcats (1-5, 0-3) dropped their fourth consecutive game. La'Rod King hauled in two passes, both from Towles, for 46 yards and a touchdown in the defeat.

Final Score: (22) Rutgers 19, Connecticut 3

Piscataway, NJ (Sports Network) - Gary Nova threw a touchdown pass and the Rutgers defense forced five turnovers, as the 22nd-ranked Scarlet Knights earned a 19-3 victory over Connecticut. Nova completed 18-of-27 passes for 157 yards, including a 14-yard TD strike to Mark Harrison for the game's lone offensive touchdown in the third quarter of the struggle between the Big East's top two defensive squads. Wayne Warren returned an interceptions 25 yards for a late touchdown for Rutgers (5-0, 2-0 Big East), which played as a ranked team for the first time since 2009 and won a game while ranked for the first time since 2007. Jawan Jamison ran for 110 yards, eclipsing the 100-yard mark for the fifth time in as many games this season for the Scarlet Knights, who are unbeaten after five games for only the third time since 1976 and are 2-0 in Big East play for second straight year and third time overall. UConn running back Lyle McCombs sat out the first quarter for disciplinary reasons and finished with just 32 yards on 12 carries. The Huskies (3-3, 0-1) were playing their conference opener and coming off a win last week against Buffalo.

Final Score: Penn State 39, (24) Northwestern 28

University Park, PA (Sports Network) - Matt McGloin's five-yard touchdown run was the go-ahead score late in regulation, as Penn State rallied from an 11- point fourth-quarter deficit to upend No. 24 Northwestern, 39-28, in front of a delirious crowd at Beaver Stadium. McGloin finished with 282 yards passing and a pair of scores through the air for the Nittany Lions (4-2, 2-0 Big Ten), who won their fourth straight game. Allen Robinson and Michael Zordich added touchdowns in a 22-point final stanza for Penn State, which has won six in a row over its suburban Chicago foes. Trevor Siemian was 21-of-36 for 135 yards and one TD for the Wildcats (5-1, 1-1), who failed in their bid to start 6-0 for the first time in 50 years. Venric Mark totaled 72 yards and a score on 13 carries and contributed a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown which sent Northwestern up 28-17. Kain Colter picked up a score on the ground in defeat.

Final Score: California 43, (25) UCLA 17

Berkeley, CA (Sports Network) - Zach Maynard threw four touchdown passes as California knocked off the 25th-ranked UCLA Bruins, 43-17. at Memorial Stadium. Maynard completed 25-of-30 passes for 295 yards with an interception and also ran for a touchdown for the Golden Bears (2-4, 1-1 Pac-12), who snapped a three-game losing streak. C.J. Anderson had a huge day on the ground for the Golden Bears, running for 151 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. He also caught a touchdown pass. Richard Rodgers led the receiving corps with seven catches for 129 yards and Keenan Allen caught eight balls for 79 yards and a pair of TDs. Brett Hundley threw for 253 yards on 31-of-47 passing and two touchdowns, but was intercepted four times. Cassius Marsh and Joseph Fauria caught touchdown passes for the Bruins (4-2, 1-2), who have dropped two of their last three. Johnathan Franklin ran for 103 yards on 15 carries in a losing cause.

Teaser:
Marcus Mariota threw four touchdown passes on Saturday and the No. 2 Oregon Ducks dominated No. 23 Washington, 52-21, at Autzen Stadium. Mariota went 15-of-24 passing for 198 yards and an interception, while Kenjon Barner added 122 yards on 20 carries and De'Anthony Thomas chipped in 75 yards and a score on 10 rushes for the Ducks (6-0, 3-0 Pac-12), who have scored 30- plus points in 19 straight games. Keith Price finished 19-of-31 for 145 yards and two interceptions for Washington (3-2, 1-1), which has lost nine straight meetings with the Ducks, which is the longest streak for either side in the 111-year history of the rivalry. Bishop Sankey rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries in a losing effort.
Post date: Sunday, October 7, 2012 - 23:00
All taxonomy terms: Michigan State Spartans, Big Ten, News
Path: /news/michigan-states-leveon-bell-hurdles-indiana-player
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Michigan State had to work a little harder than expected to beat Indiana. The Spartans needed a huge second half comeback to knock off the Hoosiers, which included a big game from running back Le'Veon Bell.

Bell provided one of the game's best highlights, hurdling an Indiana defender in the fourth quarter to move Michigan State a little closer to the goal line.

The junior has been one of the Big Ten's top performers this season and has provided plenty of highlight moments by jumping over players against Indiana, Boise State and Notre Dame.

Teaser:
<p> Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell Hurdles Indiana Player</p>
Post date: Sunday, October 7, 2012 - 21:31
Path: /college-football/college-football-week-6-recap-south-carolina-dominant-florida-state-flops
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Statement games littered the Saturday football lineup. For South Carolina, a statement of dominance. For Florida, a statement of a return to the national scene. For Ohio State, a statement the Buckeyes are the Big Ten’s best, postseason or no postseason.

Elsewhere, other statements were less positive, but still loud and clear. Florida State isn’t back among the national title contenders, but back to the status quo of disappointing in ACC play with another loss to a conference underdog on the road. And suddenly, LSU looks like it may be in trouble after its offense could muster only two field goals against Florida before the Tigers face South Carolina, Texas A&M on the road, Alabama and Mississippi State.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 6 RECAP: THREE AND OUT

MOVING THE CHAINS
South Carolina’s dominance.
What was billed as the biggest game in South Carolina history may hold that title for a few weeks or months. A matchup against a fellow top-six team was all but over in the first quarter when South Carolina took a three-touchdown lead in a 35-7 win. The Gamecocks defense was dominant up front, limiting Georgia’s freshman tailbacks, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, to 76 yards. The duo averaged nine yards per carry in SEC games entering Saturday but averaged three yards per carry against South Carolina. Another highlight-reel punt return from Ace Sanders and a brutally efficient effort from quarterback Connor Shaw and running back Marcus Lattimore completed a dominant effort in all three phases of the game. And suddenly the schedule that seemed to be tilted against South Carolina in the SEC East doesn’t look quite as bad. Florida, not LSU, may be the tougher away game in South Carolina’s upcoming two-week road swing.

Florida in the second half. Most of the credit to the Gators’ turnaround goes to Florida’s resilience in the second half. On Saturday, Florida broke open a defensive stalemate in the second half with a few key second-half adjustments. The absence of LSU linebacker Kevin Minter (20 tackles, three tackles for a loss, one sack, one forced fumble) for parts of two series didn’t hurt, either.  LSU’s defensive line dominated the first half, but the Gators’ unbalanced line look caused the Tigers problems, starting when Mike Gillislee went untouched in a 12-yard touchdown run to give the Gators the lead. Against LSU, Will Muschamp doubled down on the power run game in the second half to earn the signature win of his career. After trailing at halftime against Texas A&M, Tennessee and LSU, Florida outscored those three opponents 51-6 in the second half on the way to a 4-0 start in the SEC.

Landry Jones in Lubbock. Oklahoma’s veteran quarterback had been off to an unspectacular start, but the Sooners may have vanquished some demons with a dominant win on the road against Texas Tech. With a 41-20 win, Jones became the first Sooners quarterback to win in Lubbock since Jason White in 2003. The Sooners’ offense wasn’t explosive, but it was effective. Jones finished 25 of 40 for 259 yards with two touchdowns against the national leader in pass efficiency defense.

FALSE STARTS
Florida State.
Like clockwork, Florida State raised expectations only to lose to a nondescript ACC team on the road. This season, the the Seminoles reached the top three in the AP poll for the first time since 2003 yet lost to NC State 17-16. Florida State was shut out in the second half, but handed the Wolfpack chance after chance late in the fourth quarter, first on a blocked punt and then on a personal foul penalty to move NC State into the red zone. And, somehow, NC State’s offensive line held Florida State to one sack despite the Wolfpack missing three starters. This was as mystifying as any of Florida State’s ACC upsets.

Texas defense. West Virginia’s going to score on anyone, but it’s past time to be suspicious of the Texas defense, a unit that was expected to the best in the Big 12. The Longhorns held Geno Smith to a season-low 268 passing yards and four touchdowns, but Texas’ run defense allowed an opposing back to thrive for the second consecutive week. Andrew Buie rushed for 207 yards and two touchdowns only a week after Oklahoma State’s Joseph Randle rushed for 199 yards and two touchdowns in Stillwater.

Nebraska. The Cornhuskers failed to build on the momentum from a second-half comeback against Wisconsin and collapsed in a 63-38 loss to Ohio State in what was supposed to be a game between the Big Ten’s two best teams. If that was the case, the Buckeyes erased any doubt. The Cornhuskers defense gave up 300 rushing yards for the second time this season (UCLA was the other team to do so). The Huskers gave up a touchdown in all three phases of the game (one interception return, one punt return, seven on offense). For Nebraska’s sake, at least every team in the Big Ten Legends Division is vulnerable.

HEISMAN MOVERS
Aaron Murray, Georgia.
The Bulldogs quarterback entered the game against South Carolina ranked third nationally in pass efficiency. He left with one of the worst games of his career, going 11 of 31 for 109 yards with an interception.  His 35.5 completion percentage against the Gamecocks was the lowest of his career.

EJ Manuel, Florida State. Two weeks after his second-half heroics against Clemson, Manuel had trouble putting NC State away as the Seminoles were shut out in the second half. Manuel was 17 of 29 for 218 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Braxton Miller, Ohio State. Matt Barkley had trouble overcoming USC’s bowl ban to reach New York as a Heisman finalist. Will Miller face the same fate even if his play merits inclusion. Miller was 7 of 14 passing for 127 yards with a touchdown against Nebraska, but as usual did most of his damage in the ground game. He rushed for 186 yards, including a 72-yard rush and a 31-yard touchdown run. Miller has topped 100 rushing yards in seven of his last 11 games.

STAT WATCH
182:12.
Notre Dame has not allowed a touchdown in more than 12 quarters, dating back to a Purdue touchdown in the final 2:12 on Sept. 8. A first-quarter field goal was the only scoring from Miami in Notre Dame’s 41-3 win.

3,905. Poor performances against Alabama and Notre Dame probably cost Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson some national recognition, but he’s still rewriting record books. With 234 rushing yards against Purdue, Robinson passed Indiana’s Antwaan Randle El for the Big Ten’s rushing career rushing record for quarterbacks with 3,905 career yards. Robinson is 575 yards short of the national record held by West Virginia’s Pat White.

36. Geno Smith can win a Big 12 road game, we learned that much Saturday. The West Virginia quarterback threw four touchdown passes against Texas to give him 36 touchdown passes since his last interception, including 30 this season. Smith did have his first turnovers of the season, however, with two lost fumbles. West Virginia’s only other turnover this season was an interception by backup quarterback Paul Millard.

SCORES THAT MAKE YOU GO ‘HUH?’
Syracuse 14, Pittsburgh 13
Vanderbilt 19, Missouri 15
Cal 43, UCLA 17
FIRST THREE BOWL ELIGIBLE TEAMS
Ohio
Oregon
South Carolina
LAST THREE TEMPLE WINS IN THE BIG EAST
Oct. 6, 2012: USF 37-28
Nov. 13, 2004: Syracuse 34-24
Nov. 16, 2002: Rutgers 20-13

BURIED ON THE DEPTH CHART
UCLA.
The Bruins’ late-night 43-17 loss to Cal was one of the most surprising scores of the day with the Bruins enjoying a rebound year under Jim L. Mora and Cal starting the season 1-4. UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley finally looked like a freshman with four interceptions and five sacks. Cal quarterback Zach Maynard’s performance was just unexpected as he finished 25 of 30 for 295 yards with four touchdowns.

Losing streaks end. Three eight-game losing streaks ended Saturday with Army defeating Boston College 34-31, Idaho defeating New Mexico State 26-18 and Memphis defeating Rice 14-10. The nation’s longest losing streak still belongs to Tulane, which has lost 15 in a row with a 41-13 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette.

Another crazy finish in Navy-Air Force. Navy offensive guard Jake Zuzek fell on a fumbled snap in the end zone in overtime to give the Midshipmen a 28-21 victory for another unorthodox finish in this series. A year ago, Air Force won 35-34 in overtime when officials flagged Navy unsportsmanlike conduct on an OT touchdown. Th extra point from 35 yards out was blocked, and Air Force won on the second frame of OT.

THREE WILD FOURTH QUARTERS
Stanford 54, Arizona 48.
The Wildcats ran their offense at a breakneck pace, including 69 pass attempts from Matt Scott and 103 total plays. But Stanford’s more traditional offense got the last laugh. After an Arizona fumble, Stanford quarterback Josh Nunes led two scoring drives to erase a two-touchdown deficit in the final 6:34. An interception followed by a 21-yard Stepfan Taylor touchdown in overtime sealed a 54-48 win.

NC State 17, Florida State 16. The Wolfpack narrowed the deficit to 6 points early in the fourth quarter, but the game took its turn on NC State’s blocked punt in the final 2:30. Mike Glennon then converted three fourth-down plays on the final possession including the game-winning touchdown pass to end FSU’s national title hopes.

Texas A&M 30, Ole Miss 27. Yet another page in the legend of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. Early in the fourth quarter, the Aggies had turned the ball over six times and trailed by 10 in Oxford. Manziel led two scoring drives, capping them with a 29-yard touchdown run and 20-yard touchdown pass to give the Aggies their first SEC road win.

THREE COACHES WORKING MIRACLES
Bill O’Brien, Penn State.
Say this for O’Brien’s first team at Penn State: It doesn’t give up easily. The same group that fell apart in the second half against Ohio and endured a kicking debacle against Virginia, overcame an 11-point deficit in the final 10 minutes against Northwestern to win comfortably 39-28. Quarterback Matt McGloin may be the most improved quarterback in the nation with 10 touchdown passes and two interceptions this season. He had eight touchdowns and five interceptions all of last season. The Penn State offense topped 30 points for the third time in the last four games, a feat the Nittany Lions accomplished only three times all of last season.

David Cutcliffe, Duke. What kind of hex does Cutcliffe have on Virginia? The Duke coach is 4-1 against the Cavaliers at Duke, but no win was bigger than Saturday’s. After defeating Virginia 42-17, the Blue Devils are a win a way from bowl eligibility for the first time since 1994. Even more remarkable than a rout in an ACC game, is that Duke did it without three-year starting quarterback Sean Renfree. Backup Anthony Boone replaced the injured Renfree to complete 18 of 31 passes for 212 yards and four touchdowns.

Kyle Flood, Rutgers. The signature win came last week against Arkansas, but there was no hiccup the Scarlet Knights’ 19-3 win over Connecticut. Jawan Jamison rushed for at least 100 yards for the fifth time this season, and the defense forced five turnovers, including four interceptions, to extend Rutgers’ 5-0 record in Flood’s first season.

THREE COACHES UPDATING RESUMES
Gene Chizik, Auburn.
Can a coach who won a national title two seasons ago really be under this much pressure? It sure looks that way. Auburn’s offense was listless against Arkansas despite a halftime change at quarterback. The Tigers were sacked eight times and committed five turnovers -- against a team that had seven sacks and two takeaways all season. Auburn is 4-7 in the SEC since Cam Newton’s last game. Meanwhile, Auburn has scored three offensive touchdowns in its last five SEC games, including two in three games this season.

Skip Holtz, USF. The Bulls may be among the two or three most talented teams in the Big East. Yet despite a veteran quarterback and a speedy defense, USF has the worst record in the league the two seasons. A 37-28 loss to Temple gave the Bulls a 1-8 mark in the Big East since the start of last season and a 3-11 mark overall since starting the 2011 season 4-0. Riding a four-game losing streak, the Bulls are minus-12 in turnover margin this season.

Frank Spaziani, Boston College. The Spaziani tenure at Boston College hit its lowest point with a 34-31 loss to Army. Quarterback Trent Steelman ran for a 29-yard touchdown with 45 seconds left to end an eight-game losing streak for the Black Knights. With an option offense, Army will get its rushing yards, but 516 against Boston College is a little much, to put it mildly. A week before defeating Boston College, Army lost 23-3 to Stony Brook. Not a good sign for Spaziani and Boston College, which is 5-12 since the start of 2011.

DANG, THEY’RE GOOD
Kansas State
Ohio State
South Carolina
DANG THEY’RE BAD
Virginia
Auburn
Kansas
BEST GAMES NEXT WEEK
Texas vs. Oklahoma
Stanford at Notre Dame
South Carolina at LSU

THREE TEAMS BREATHING SIGHS OF RELIEF
Michigan State. The Spartans had seven penalties in the first half against Indiana, all of the personal foul or 15-yard variety. The Hoosiers took a 27-14 lead that took Michigan State the entire second half to overcome. The Spartans won 31-27, but it was another close call for a team that also struggled to put away Eastern Michigan two weeks ago.

Clemson. Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson has Clemson’s number, a trend that continued into the fourth quarter Saturday. The Yellow Jackets led 31-30, but Clemson scored 17 unanswered points for a key ACC win, especially when Florida State lost to NC State. Sammy Watkins didn’t have a play from scrimmage longer than nine yards, but Tajh Boyd passed for a career-high 397 yards in the win.

Oregon State. The Beavers had their worst game of the season on offense since the opener against Wisconsin. Sean Mannion threw three interceptions, and the Beavers rushed for 100 yards on 40 carries. Good thing Oregon State was playing Washington State. The Cougars threw four interceptions, including three to Jordan Poyer, in the 19-6 loss.

 

By David Fox

@DavidFox615

Teaser:
<p> College Football Week 6 Recap: South Carolina dominant, Florida State flops</p>
Post date: Sunday, October 7, 2012 - 10:55
Path: /fantasy/injury-updates-week-5-aaron-hernandez-pierre-garcon-lance-moore
Body:

There are a few key fantasy contributors that have had a number of injury question marks surrounding their playing status leading up to Week 5 of the 2012 NFL season. Here’s a little bit about these three and what you should consider.

Aaron Hernandez, TE, New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos
Aaron Hernandez (ankle) returned to practice on Thursday, practiced again on Friday and is listed as questionable for today’s late game against visiting Denver. He practiced on a limited basis, per the Patriots’ always forthcoming injury news. If it was gamesmanship to get the Broncos thinking about Hernandez it also has fantasy owners thinking about the standout tight end as well. Denver gave up one touchdown to the tight end position each of the first three weeks and then saw Oakland lay an egg offensively last week.  The Broncos are 19th against fantasy receivers and 10th against fantasy running backs and were allowing 25,6 points per game before the Raiders put up just six. Late game, earlier-than-expected recovery from the injury for Hernandez — if he is recovered — and whether the Pats really need him to win this home game would have me a little leery of inserting Hernandez today.

 

Pierre GarconPierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins vs. Atlanta Falcons
Pierre Garcon said earlier this week it’s “going to take some time” for his foot to completely heal, but he should be on the field today against Atlanta — his second game back since missing two games with the injury suffered in Week 1. It might take a fully healthy Garcon, however, to get solid production against a stingy Atlanta pass defense. Outside of Demaryius Thomas’s great toe-drag catch in Week 2 and Kealoah Pilares 36-yard wide-open score on his only offensive play of the game last week, the Falcons have not surrendered any other TDs to receivers. On Wednesday, Garcon had his first full day of practice since the injury. Washington’s pass defense should be no match for Atlanta’s pass offense. You would hope Garcon could get something going early. If the Falcons jump out to a lead and there is garbage-time production to be had, the question is: Will Garcon still be out there to get it? In this offense, if Garcon’s playing, you start him and hope for the best.

 

Lance MooreLance Moore, WR, New Orleans Saints vs. San Diego Chargers (Sunday night)
Lance Moore (hamstring), the indoor phenomenon, is out for tonight’s game. He will not get a chance to showcase his skills on turf against a Chargers team that is 11th against fantasy receivers but has allowed production to opposing team’s other non-No. 1 receivers. Rod Streater, Kendall Wright and Julio Jones all caught touchdowns against San Diego and Jonathan Baldwin was 4-for-50. So who steps in for Moore Sunday night?  That’s hard to tell. Being that it is a Sunday night game, there is probably no one on the Saints not named Marques Colston that I would insert in my WR spot today. It’s too much of a gamble when there are better plays out there.

 
— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter

Teaser:
Post date: Sunday, October 7, 2012 - 07:00
All taxonomy terms: Doug Baldwin, Jared Cook, Kenny Britt, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/injury-updates-week-5-jared-cook-kenny-britt-doug-baldwin
Body:

There are a few key fantasy contributors that have had a number of injury question marks surrounding their playing status leading up to Week 5 of the 2012 NFL season. Here’s a little bit about these three and what you should consider.

Kenny BrittJared Cook, TE and Kenny Britt, WR, Tennessee Titans vs. Minnesota Vikings
Jared Cook had the 61-yard touchdown in Week 3 against Detroit and later suffered ligament damage and an AC joint sprain in that game. He was limited to three catches for 36 yards on four targets in the loss to Houston last week. Cook has been targeted no more than six times this season and now draws a Vikings team that has been kind to opposing No. 1 tight ends in three of the first four weeks. Marcedes Lewis (5-for-52 and a score on five targets), Vernon Davis (5-for-53 and a score on eight targets) and Brandon Pettigrew (7-for-67 on nine targets and dropped a TD pass in the end zone) all had double-digit fantasy days in PPR, and had Pettigrew caught the ball, all would have had double-digit days in non-PPR. Cook said he feels better and should play today. As for receiver Kenny Britt, it is not looking so good. He has returned from the ACL/MCL injuries suffered a year ago only to be bothered by a left ankle sprain. He tweaked the ankle this week while doing running on the side. Britt did not practice on Saturday and it would seem highly unlikely you will see him on the field in Minnesota today. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck takes over for the injured Jake Locker (shoulder) this week. Hasselbeck and Cook really connected at the end of last season, as the tight end was targeted 26 times for 21 catches, 335 yards and one score in the last three weeks of the 2011 season.

Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks vs. Carolina
Doug Baldwin (shoulder) is only drawing a mention because he was likely drafted late — likely dropped since — and it’s a bye week. It’s been a rough go in year 2 for the undrafted free agent out of Stanford. He led the team in receptions last season (51) but has dealt with hamstring that sidelined him in August, broken teeth in Week 1 and a shoulder injury forced him to miss Week 3. He returned last week against St. Louis and drew three targets for one catch and 10 yards. He has little rapport with QB Russell Wilson since they have not worked together much due to the injuries. Today, the Seahawks draw a Carolina team that is last against fantasy running backs — good news for Marshawn Lynch — and sixth against fantasy receivers — likely because of the previous stat. Sure, you could find better, but don’t be surprised if Wilson is showcased in this game as he returns to North Carolina where he played football for N.C. State and minor league baseball for Gastonia and Asheville. Perhaps Baldwin could be the benefit of that showcase, and Pete Carrol said this week “we’ve got to get Doug back into things.” Start today.


— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter

Teaser:
<p> To help you decide who to start and who to sit.</p>
Post date: Sunday, October 7, 2012 - 06:55
Path: /fantasy/injury-updates-week-5-reggie-bush-christian-ponder-rashard-mendenhall
Body:

There are a few key fantasy contributors that have had a number of injury question marks surrounding their playing status leading up to Week 5 of the 2012 NFL season. Here’s a little bit about these three and what you should consider.

Reggie BushReggie Bush, RB, Miami Dolphins vs. Cincinnati Bengals
First the knee, now the hip but neither should keep Reggie Bush from playing against the Bengals. He practiced Friday and it’s a decent matchup for the Miami running game as they go against the eighth-worst fantasy defense against running backs. There might be some fear in the fact theBengals just held Maurice Jones-Drew to 38 yards on 13 carries and he only sniffed a double-digit day in PPR thanks to five catches for 42 yards. At least we know Bush can both run and catch  — 369 ground, 72 air this season, on pace to best his No. 11 ranking as a fantasy RB last year. Prior to MJD, Cincinnati had allowed Alfred Morris 78 yards rushing and a score, Trent Richardson 109 yards rushing, 36 yards receiving and two scores and Ray Rice 68 yards rushing and two scores.

Christian Ponder, QB, Minnesota Vikings vs. Tennessee Titans
Christian Ponder is listed on the injury report as probable with a knee but his availability should not be a concern. After what the Titans have displayed on defense thus far — or lack thereof — Ponder cannot take to the field fast enough. They have allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, third-most to running backs and most to tight ends. Ponder-Adrian Peterson-Kyle Rudolph all sound pretty good to me this week. And that’s not even mentioning what Percy Harvin might do. No starting QB has thrown for under 200 yards, no team has collected less than two touchdowns and only Philip Rivers has been intercepted (once) by the Titans this season. Start Ponder with confidence.

Rashard MendenhallRashard Mendenhall, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Rashard Mendenhall is slated to make his season debut today against the Eagles, returning from a torn ACL suffered late last season. It is unlikely he will take a full workload in his return. But what is a full workload in Pittsburgh this season? No back has eclipsed 12 carries in a game and Jonathan Dywer’s 43 yards in Week 1 is the high point for rushing. Keep in mind that Mendenhall was not that great last season before the injury. He carried over 20 times once and produced 146 yards and a score in that game (Week 6 against Jacksonville). From that point until the Week 17 injury, he averaged 60.9 yards rushing per game with six scores. Philadelphia is ranked seventh against fantasy running backs this season, having allowed just one rushing score to the position and 3.3 yards per carry.

— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter

Teaser:
<p> Who's healthy enough to start for your fantasy football team</p>
Post date: Sunday, October 7, 2012 - 06:52
All taxonomy terms: Ben Tate, Donald Jones, Jon Baldwin, NFL, Fantasy
Path: /fantasy/injury-updates-week-5-ben-tate-jon-baldwin-donald-jones
Body:

There are a few key fantasy contributors that have had a number of injury question marks surrounding their playing status leading up to Week 5 of the 2012 NFL season. Here’s a little bit about these three and what you should consider.

Ben TateBen Tate, RB, Houston Texans vs. New York Jets (Monday night)
Texans running back Ben Tate is battling a sprained toe that kept him out of practice until Saturday. It was his first practice this week, albeit limited, and coach Gary Kubiak said he expects Tate to go Monday night. Limited Saturday, Sunday lineup deadline, Monday game, and probably game-time decision at best; not a good trifecta there. These aren’t your older brother’s Jets as they are allowing 4.52 yards per carry with six touchdowns to opposing fantasy running backs. But you have to question how much Tate will be needed after New York took a 34-0 pasting at home against the San Francisco defense and now gets an equally good Texans defense. You might want to find someone else for your flex instead of relying on the ultimate flex/handcuff each week in Tate.

Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens
A hamstring injury has Jonathan Baldwin on the injury report and he is listed as probable. However, he practiced on Friday and should be good to go Sunday against Baltimore. The Ravens have been pretty gracious to No. 2 receivers so far this year. It started in Week 1 when Cincinnati’s Andrew Hawkins went 9-for-86, followed in Week 2 when DeSean Jackson went 7-for-114, continued in Week 3 when Wes Welker went 8-for-142 and sputtered when the Ravens faced whatever Cleveland’s receiving corps is supposed to be. Four receivers not named Greg Little combined for nine catches for 109 yards. Baldwin has been second in targets to Dwayne Bowe each of the last three weeks and turned those 15 targets into 10 catches for 148 yards and no scores — or 8.3 fantasy points per week in a PPR. You could do better, but there’s nothing that says the Chiefs should be in this game and everything saying the Ravens are friendly to No. 2s.

Donald JonesDonald Jones, WR, Buffalo Bills vs. San Francisco 49ers
Donald Jones is listed as questionable with a head injury but is likely to play against San Francisco today. He is not a suggested start, however. When David Nelson went down for the season there was hope that Jones would emerge as the second target for Ryan Fitzpatrick outside of the red zone — since Fitz only has eyes for Chandler inside the 20 it seems. But outside of a 68-yard score on one of his three targets last week, Jones produced six catches for 42 yards and no scores on nine targets in the two weeks after Nelson’s season-ending injury. Nine targets in an offense that ran more three-wide receiver sets — and one of the receivers is on IR — is not going to get it done in fantasy. The emergence of rookie T.J. Graham, Steve Johnson being the target leader (36 in four games for 18th most in the NFL) and Chandler being the 25-yards-and-in TD threat means Jones will have to rely more on the one-play production like he had last week. There are more explosive — and healthier — receivers you can find  to try and bank a TD on than Jones, who has four scores in three years.

— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter

Teaser:
Post date: Sunday, October 7, 2012 - 06:40
Path: /fantasy/injury-updates-week-5-torrey-smith-scott-chandler-andre-johnson
Body:

There are a few key fantasy contributors that have had a number of injury question marks surrounding their playing status leading up to Week 5 of the 2012 NFL season. Here’s a little bit about these three and what you should consider.

Torrey SmithTorrey Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs
An ankle injury last Thursday against Cleveland has Smith as probable on the injury report. However, that was 11 days ago and Smith practiced all week. He and the Ravens get the Chiefs this week, who are 14th against fantasy receivers. After allowing Roddy White and Julio Jones to combine for 12 catches, 195 yards and two scores in Week 1, Kansas City has allowed one receiver to score each of the last three weeks. However, only Buffalo’s Steve Johnson was a No. 1 receiver; Lance Moore and Eddie Royal scored the other two. No receiver has gone over Lance Moore’s 70 yards outside of White and Jones. The Chiefs are also 24th against fantasy running backs. This could be a Ray Rice game, but you cannot ignore Baltimore boasting the fourth-best fantasy receivers in the game, including Smith receiving 10 targets each of the last two weeks for 12 catches, 224 yards and three scores.

Scott Chandler, TE, Buffalo Bills vs. San Francisco 49ers
A head injury forced the tight end out of the game last week after catching two touchdowns. It’s a bye week and Chandler has already been hanging around the waiver wire as a guy to grab, San Francisco is ranked 23rd against fantasy tight ends. The 49ers gave up four touchdowns over the first two weeks and then faced the offensiveless Jets last week. It’s touchdown-or-bust for Chandler normally as he has just 15 catches for 216 yards but the four touchdowns. The Bills should not be able to run on the 49ers, so Chandler will likely be involved.

Andre JohnsonAndre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans vs. New York Jets (Monday night)
A groin injury has Andre Johnson on the injury report, but something always has Johnson on the injury report it seems. He saw light practice on Friday and it is a Monday night game this week. He looks like he is good to go, and chances are you are not sitting Johnson, particularly with bye weeks in full force. Just some info to know, however: There is no Darrelle Revis on the Jets’ defensive side of the ball anymore. The Jets have allowed plenty of rushing yards and the Texans are ranked 22nd in passing attempts this season. Johnson, since his Week 1 performance of 10 targets, eight catches, 119 yards and one score, has combined for 14 targets, eight catches, 149 yards and one score. Play at your own risk as these are the Texans of a few years ago.

— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter

Teaser:
Post date: Sunday, October 7, 2012 - 06:40
Path: /fantasy/injury-updates-week-5-julio-jones-hakeem-nicks-domenik-hixon-jordan-norwood-josh-gordon
Body:

There are a few key fantasy contributors that have had a number of injury question marks surrounding their playing status leading up to Week 5 of the 2012 NFL season. Here’s a little bit about these players and what you should consider.

Julio JonesJulio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons vs. Washington Redskins
Julio Jones played in Week 4 with a lacerated hand and it resulted in a one-catch, 30-yard performance on eight targets against Carolina. He said the hand had little to do with the production, or lack thereof last week, and that he’s “ready to go” this week against Washington. And what a matchup it is. The Redskins are the worst in the NFL in points allowed to fantasy receivers. Two Tampa Bay receivers went over 100 yards last week; Two Cincinnati receivers went over 60 and a touchdown and A.J. Green added 183 and a score to weeks ago. The Rams got 160 yards and a touchdown from Danny Amendola and 53 yards and a score from Brandon Gibson in Week 2. And the Saints opened with 191 yards and two scores from Lance Moore and Marques Colston. The Redskins have no pass rush, and Matt Ryan should have time to sling it all across the gridiron with Jones and Roddy White.

Hakeem NicksHakeem Nicks and Domenik Hixon, WRs, New York Giants vs. Cleveland Browns
Oh, if Hakeem Nicks could have suited up today against Cleveland, his matchup is just as tasty as the Falcons’ receivers. But a knee injury continues to keep Nicks on the shelf after battling a foot injury. Ramses Barden was the pick up to have a few weeks ago when he stepped in for Nicks and caught nine balls for 138 yards against Carolina. But Domenik Hixon was out with a concussion for that game and he returned last week and supplanted Barden as the No. 2 receiver. Hixon finished with six catches for 114 yards on 11 targets; Barden had two catches for 36 yards on four targets. And Barden is now out with a concussion for today’s game. The job is all Hixon’s and he should not disappoint. The Browns are second-to-last in the NFL in fantasy points allowed to receivers, having given up 228 yards and a touchdown to Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin last week and having allowed at least 60 yards and a score to at least one receiver in all four games this season.

Jordan Norwood and Josh Gordon WRs, Cleveland Browns vs. New York Giants
Seemingly ever Browns receiver that has logged meaningful minutes opposite Greg Little this season is injured and it might be up to Jordan Norwood and rookie Josh Gordon to try and take advantage of a friendly New York pass defense. Norwood had 10 targets and caught four of them for 56 yards last week at Baltimore. Gordon, a project from Baylor, has seven catches for 93 yards in four games thus far. The Browns can have success in the air against the Giants’ 20th-ranked pass defense (254 ypg) but might try to keep it on the ground since their own pass defense is not any better. Cleveland is 28th in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game (286.0). New York is 22nd against the run at 118.2 yards per game. It is probably not advised to play either Norwood or Gordon, but it is a bye week, you might be looking for a flier and the Giants, at 8.5-point favorites at home, should mean more passing opportunities. If you take said flier, take it on Gordon, who is slated to start today.
— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter

Teaser:
<p> To help you decide who to start and who to sit.</p>
Post date: Sunday, October 7, 2012 - 06:32
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/injury-updates-week-5-matt-forte-trent-richardson-greg-jennings
Body:

There are a few key fantasy contributors that have had a number of injury question marks surrounding their playing status leading up to Week 5 of the 2012 NFL season. Here’s a little bit about these three and what you should consider.

Matt ForteMatt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Matt Forte owners ran the gamut of emotions Monday night as he returned to the lineup quicker than expected, limped off after his first play and then returned to finish the game. Cautious owners, like myself, wish he would have just stayed idle until after next week’s bye but that did not happen. He was not very productive in a 34-18 win over Dallas (13 carries, 52 yards, one catch, minus-three yards). Now he gets a Jacksonville team, on a short week, which has allowed 84.5 yards per game to lead backs — thanks for ruining the average, Donald Brown and your 62 yards. Forte practiced this week. If he’s back, he’s in your lineup.

 

Trent Richardson, RB, Cleveland Browns vs. New York Giants
This is just to tell you that Trent Richardson is on the injury report but it is not injury related. He was welcoming in child No. 3 to the family. Richardson has 183 rushing yards and three scores in the last three games and now gets a friendly New York run defense. The Giants are allowing 4.7 yards per carry to running backs. They have surrendered just one score to the position, but the 4.7 is too big to ignore. Richardson has also become more involved in the passing game, catching 14 balls for 117 yards and a score on 18 targets.

 

Greg JenningsGreg Jennings, WR, Green Bay vs. Indianapolis Colts
Greg Jennings (groin) was declared out before Week 5 officially began Thursday night, so this is just a reminder in case you had not heard. Get Greg Jennings out of your lineup(s). Now the fun begins in regards to who will replace him this week vs. a Colts team that is allowing the sixth-most points to fantasy receivers. When Jennings missed the Week 2 game against Chicago it was Jordy Nelson who got the most production (six catches, 84 yards on nine targets). James Jones and Randall Cob combined for seven targets, three catches and 19 yards receiving. No more or less love went to tight end Jermichael Finley as he has received five targets each of the last three weeks after tying a career-high with 11 in the opener against San Francisco. Jones would be the best bet to plug in as he has at least six targets in three of four games — oddly enough his low mark of five coming when Jennings was out — and has averaged 4.6 catches for 64 yards and one score in those three games.

— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter

Teaser:
Post date: Sunday, October 7, 2012 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: News
Path: /mlb/alds-preview-baltimore-orioles-vs-new-york-yankees
Body:

Of course, New York is quite familiar with this Orioles team that is back in the postseason for the first time since 1997. New York split 18 meetings with Baltimore and battled for a division title with it all through September before finally securing the crown on the final day of the regular season.

New York had been in first place since June 11, but thanks to the pesky Orioles, needed all 162 games to nail down its 12th AL East crown in the last 15 years with a three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox, coupled with Baltimore losing two of three to the Tampa Bay Rays.

It's no secret that New York is driven by its offense, an attack that this year belted a major league-high 245 home runs. Leading the charge is All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano, who may be the hottest hitter in baseball entering the playoffs.

Over his last nine games Cano is hitting .615 with three HRs, 14 RBI and seven doubles. He ended the year hitting .313 with 33 home runs, 94 RBI and 105 runs scored. His torrid stretch may continue, as he is a .338 hitter against the Orioles with 24 home runs and 89 RBI in 135 games.

Cano isn't the only superstar in the Yankees' lineup, as Derek Jeter led the majors with 216 hits, Curtis Granderson belted 43 home runs and Nick Swisher also had a productive season. Not to mention first baseman Mark Teixeira appears healthy after missing most of September with a calf injury.

Ichiro Suzuki has also fit the Yankees' lineup like a glove since being acquired from Seattle on Aug. 3. In 67 games with the Yankees, Ichiro batted .322 - 61 points higher than he hit in 95 games with the Mariners - with five home runs, 27 RBI, 28 runs scored and stole 14 bases.

Then, there is Alex Rodriguez. The three-time AL MVP missed a few months with a broken wrist, but had one the least productive seasons of his career, hitting .272 with 18 home runs and 57 RBI.

Plus he hasn't homered since Sept. 14. And of course, the postseason hasn't been kind to A-Rod, who is just 6-for-39 in his last two series with 10 strikeouts.

CC Sabathia will get the call for the Yankees in Game 1 following a down year by his standards, as Sabathia endured two stints on the disabled list and ended the season 15-6 with a 3.38 ERA.

Lefty Andy Pettitte came out of retirement and was pitching well up until a line drive broke his leg back on June 27. Pettitte returned in September and gave up just three runs in three starts and ended the year 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA.

The playoffs are where Pettitte shines, though, as he owns a major league record 19 postseason wins.

Hiroki Kuroda (16-11, 3.32) enjoyed a terrific first season in the Bronx and will likely get the nod in Game 3, while right-hander Phil Hughes (16-13, 4.23) will go in Game 4 if needed.

Rafael Soriano gave the Yankees everything they could have hoped for in the wake of Mariano Rivera's season-ending ACL injury in May. Soriano saved 42 games and pitched to a 2.26, but has nowhere near the air of invincibility as Rivera, especially come playoff time, where the all-time saves leader was close to automatic.

Righties David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain will serve as the main bridges to Soriano, while Boone Logan and Clay Rapada will be called upon to get lefties out.

As good as the Yankees bullpen is, it pales in comparison to that of Baltimore's, which is spearheaded by closer Jim Johnson, who led the majors with team-record 51 saves. He actually had 10 less strikeouts than he had saves.

Sidewinding Darren O'Day serves as his main setup guy and gives right-handed hitters fits. Lefty Brian Matusz may have found a home in the bullpen after struggling as a starter, as Buck Showalter doesn't hesitate to use him against a lefty in a big spot.

In all, five Orioles pitched in 50 or more games this year, and all five ended with ERAs between 2.28 and 2.64. Baltimore relievers threw 60 innings from the 10th frame on, and allowed five runs, for a 0.75 ERA.

Quite simply the bullpen is the biggest reason the Orioles posted their first winning season in 15 years.

It's the reason they went 29-9 in one-run games, the best record in one-run affairs since 1900. It's the reason they've captured 16 consecutive extra- inning wins, the longest streak since the 1949 Cleveland Indians won 17 in a row. And the reason they were 74-0 when holding a lead after seven innings.

It all added up to a 93-69 finish, the team's first winning record since 1997.

If you can name three Orioles starting pitchers, you are probably in the minority. Chris Tillman emerged as the team's ace down the stretch and went 9-3 with a 2.93 ERA. After a solid first half, Taiwanese product Wei-Yin Chen struggled and closed the year by losing his last four decisions spanning seven starts.

The group could get a lift in this series, though, with the return of right-hander Jason Hammel, who has missed most of the second half with a knee injury. Hammel, though, was the Orioles' top pitcher in the first half of the season and won eight of his first 10 decisions

"I would assume that if you would trust me to start, if I am starting, there wouldn't be a pitch count because it's a 25-man roster and you need those extra guys in the pen so you have to expect a guy to go deep for that important a game," Hammel said."I would think no pitch count until I was told otherwise."

Lefty Joe Saunders could also be a factor after giving up a run and six hits in 5 2/3 innings of the O's wild card win over the Texas Rangers.

Offensively, the young O's are led by burgeoning superstars Adam Jones and Matt Wieters. Jones hit .287 with 32 home runs, 82 RBI and 103 runs scored, while Wieters swatted 23 homers and knocked in 83 runs.

A player to watch in this series could be 20-year-old third baseman Manny Machado, who has drawn comparisons to Rodriguez and really started to come into his own down the stretch.

Chris Davis has also contributed of late and closed the regular season by homering in six of his final seven regular season games.

The Orioles and Yankees are certainly no strangers to one another and in addition to all the regular season meetings, these teams also met in the 1996 ALCS, a series won by New York, but one that was made famous by the Jeffrey Maier catch. New York won that series in six games.

As good as Baltimore's bullpen has been, New York gets the overall edge based on a decided advantage in the starting pitching department. Still, given the way these teams fought tooth and nail down the stretch, this should be a pretty entertaining series.

But, in the end New York's experience should prevail.

PREDICTION: YANKEES in FOUR

Teaser:
The New York Yankees begin their quest for a 28th World Series title on Sunday when they open the American League Division Series against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.
Post date: Saturday, October 6, 2012 - 23:00

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