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Austin Seferian-JenkinsThe Pac-12 North is viewed as a two-team race in 2013. Oregon and Stanford are the class of the North, but there are a lot of eyes on Washington this year.

The Huskies have a revamped and improved Husky Stadium after spending a year in the Seahawks’ CenturyLink Field, and Washington will open with Boise State on Aug. 31. But the Huskies didn’t draw a favorable conference slate, as they catch Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and UCLA in crossover play, with road trips to Oregon State and Stanford also on the Pac-12 schedule.

With a challenging schedule, Washington needs a big year from quarterback Keith Price. After throwing for 3,063 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2011, Price tossed 13 interceptions and regressed in yardage (2,728) last year. Price didn’t have a lot of help from his offensive line in 2012, which is still a concern heading into this year.
 

What will Washington's record at the end of the 2013 regular season? Athlon’s panel of experts debates: 

Washington's 2013 Game-by-Game Predictions

GameSteven
Lassan
Mark
Ross
David
Fox
Kyle
Kensing
Braden
Gall
8/31 Boise State
9/14 Illinois (Chicago)
9/21 Idaho State
9/28 Arizona
10/5 at Stanford
10/12 Oregon
10/19 at Arizona State
10/26 California
11/9 Colorado
11/15 at UCLA
11/23 at Oregon State
11/29 Washington State
Final Projection8-47-57-58-48-4

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
Considering how difficult Washington’s schedule is, it’s very possible the Huskies are a better team, but the progress won’t show in the win column. Much of Washington’s success in 2013 will ride on an improved offensive line, along with the return of quarterback Keith Price to an All-Pac-12 level. Just how difficult is the schedule? Well, there could be four losses on first glance: at Stanford, Oregon, at Arizona State and at UCLA. And games at Oregon State and home against Boise State are tossups or swing games. With the status of tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and receiver Kasen Williams uncertain for the opener against the Broncos, I’m going to lean slightly with Boise State on Aug. 31. But I’m going to give Washington – especially with Seferian-Jenkins and Williams back in the lineup – a win over Oregon State on Nov. 23. After three consecutive seven-win seasons, the Huskies find a way to get to eight wins and finish third in the Pac-12 North in 2013.


Mark Ross
I like this Washington team, as I think the offense, with quarterback Keith Price, running back Bishop Sankey and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins leading the way, has a chance to do some damage. The defense also has a lot of talent and experience returning. The problem I see for the Huskies this season, however, is their schedule. Washington opens by hosting Boise State in brand-new Husky Stadium. Unfortunately, I don't see that one going Steve Sarkisian's way, and October is shaping up to be a pretty rough month as well with Stanford, Oregon and Arizona State lined up in a row.

Getting to six wins shouldn't be a problem for this team. The thing to watch is if these Huskies are able to pull of an upset or two along the way, such as on the road against Oregon State or UCLA. The potential is there for eight or even nine wins, but to get there Washington has to show up for the big games (lost to both Arizona and Oregon on the road last season by a combined score of 104-38) and must win the Apple Cup at home against in-state rival Washington State, something the Huskies did not do last season.

David Fox (@DavidFox615)
If Washington is going to get over that 7-6 hump where the Huskies have been stuck the last three seasons, they’re going to have to win on the road. That hasn’t been easy — Washington is 6-11 on the road the last three years. It’s hard to believe Washington defeated Stanford last season, but that’s not going to happen again in Palo Alto with the Cardinal’s offensive line against Washington’s weakness on the defensive front. After that, the Huskies have three winnable Pac-12 road games in Arizona State, UCLA and Oregon State. Washington's defense was one of the most improved units in the country last season (from 6.2 yards per play in Pac-12 games to 5.3). The skill positions are among the best in the league at receiver, running back and tight end. Four linemen are back. That puts the onus on Keith Price, who underachieved last season. I’ll pick Washington to beat Oregon State, which is minus lockdown corner Jordan Poyer.

Kyle Kensing, Saturday Blitz (@Kensing45)
Great recruiting classes add up to equal talent and experience on what is easily the best Washington team of the Steve Sarkisian era. He will finally get over the seven-win mark, but the question is by how much?

Justin Wilcox led a remarkable one-year turnaround of the defense that should carry over into 2013. Unfortunately for the Huskies, offensive regression coincided with the defensive improvement to keep UW from meeting its potential. Keith Price must bounce back to his 2011 level of play for UW to elevate from a good, second tier Pac-12 team to a legitimate Rose Bowl contender. We should get a sense of where the Huskies are immediately against always-outstanding Boise State, which beat UW in the final game of last season.

The Huskies' four-game stretch to open Pac-12 play is season-defining. They open at home with two teams that beat them last year, Arizona and Oregon, and must travel to face defending conference champion Stanford, then travel to face an Arizona State that is my pick to win the South. Coming out of that spell 2-2 would be a major win. Should UW go 3-1, it positions itself at a run for the conference championship game.

Braden Gall (@BradenGall)
If Coach Sark can combine his offense from 2011 with his defense in 2012, this team might be capable of winning the Pac-12. The defensive coaching changes made last year were wildly effective and this unit should once again be salty. Keith Price, however, needs to revert to his record-setting form from two years ago — and there is no reason to think that won't happen considering his now healthy O-line and talented supporting skill cast. Late season road games with Arizona State, UCLA and Oregon State will determine if this team is a 9-10 win team or a 6-7 win team. I will go right in the middle.

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College Football's 2013 All-America Team

 

Teaser:
Washington Football: Game-by-Game Predictions for 2013
Post date: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/college-football-close-game-analysis-who-best-worst-clutch
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Nothing swings a season in college football like a close game.

Every time a national championship contender wins by a touchdown or a field goal over a lesser opponent, like clockwork the talking heads say every champion has a game like that through the season, mainly because it’s true. Notre Dame had five of them leading into the national championship game. Alabama gutted out wins over LSU and Georgia and lost a close one to Texas A&M.

On the other side, a sure-fire way to lose a job as a head coach is to lose a string of close games. Jeff Tedford’s Cal teams lost five games decided by one score in a row. Arizona State’s Dennis Erickson finished his tenure going 3-13 in one-score games over his final four seasons. Skip Holtz lost eight of his last 10 at USF before being shown the door.

Indeed, the heartbreaking loss or out-of-nowhere upset make up the fabric of college football. They influence athletic directors’ decision-making and fan and perception. Here, though, are the raw numbers. We decided to look at every major conference program, their coaches and how they’ve fared in close games over the last five seasons.

A few things to consider:

1. Close games are considered to be one-score games (i.e. games decided by eight points or fewer).

2. Unless noted, all records are from the last five seasons (since 2008).

3. Our research focused on teams in the six major conferences and active coaches at those programs.

4. We didn’t spend much time considering why the game was close — did a lesser team put a scare in a more highly ranked team? Did an elite team play down to an opponent? Over the span of five seasons, these close games more or less balanced out.


Here’s what we learned:
 

BEST WIN PERCENTAGE  
1. Kansas State19-5.792
2. Utah14-5.737
3. LSU19-9.679
T4. Alabama8-4.667
T4. Oklahoma State10-5.667
T4. Penn State8-4.667
WORST WIN PERCENTAGE  
1. Arizona State4-15.211
2. Ole Miss4-13.235
3. Memphis4-10.286
4. Indiana7-16.304
5. Tennessee6-12.333
FEWEST CLOSE GAMES  
Alabama128-4
Oklahoma State128-4
Washington State138-5
Florida148-6
Memphis144-10
Oregon148-6
MOST CLOSE GAMES  
Connecticut3417-17
Louisville3316-17
Northwestern3119-16
Maryland2916-13
MOST CLOSE WINS  
Kansas State19 
LSU19 
Northwestern19 
Connecticut17 
Notre Dame17 
MOST CLOSE LOSSES  
Connecticut17 
Louisville17 
Indiana16 
Iowa16 
Pittsburgh16 
UCF16 
Wake Forest16 
ACTIVE COACHES (min. 10 games)  
1. Bill Snyder, Kansas State17-4.810
2. Brian Kelly, Cincy/Notre Dame19-5.791
3. David Shaw, Stanford10-3.769
4. Dave Doeren, NIU/NC State9-3.750
5. Kyle Whittingham, Utah14-5.737
6. Urban Meyer, Florida/Ohio State8-3.727
T7. Bronco Mendenhall, BYU14-6.700
T7. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia7-3.700
9. Les Miles, LSU19-9.679
T10. Steve Sarkisian, Washington12-6.667
T10. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State10-5.667
T10. Nick Saban, Alabama8-4.667
WORST WIN PERCENTAGE  
1. Kevin Wilson, Indiana2-8.200
2. Charlie Weis, Notre Dame/Kansas7-14.333
3. George O'Leary, UCF9-16.360
4. David Cutcliffe, Duke8-14.364
5. Jerry Kill, NIU/Minnesota11-16.407
6. Todd Graham, Tulsa/Pitt/ASU9-13.409
7. Brady Hoke, Ball St/SDSU/Michigan7-10.412
T8. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa12-16.429
T8. Jim Grobe, Wake Forest12-16.429
T8. Paul Pasqualoni, UConn4-8.429

• Brian Kelly’s 4-0 record in one-score games at Notre Dame last season was no fluke. The Notre Dame coach is 19-5 in games decided by eight points or less in the last five seasons, dating to his days at Cincinnati. And once Kelly is entrenched, the better success rate he has. Notre Dame has won eight of its last nine one-score games, and Cincinnati won nine in a row before Kelly left for South Bend.

• At what point should Lucky Les Miles shed the “lucky” tag? There has to be a skill to winning close games, right? LSU is 19-9 in one-score games in the last five seasons. Miles’ 11-4 mark in 2009-10 alone included more close games than Alabama has played in five seasons (8-4). The opponent who has played LSU the closest hasn’t been Alabama or Auburn as one might expect: LSU has split its four one-score games against Arkansas the last five years.

• Kansas State’s record in close games is staggering. The Wildcats are 19-5 in one-score games in the last five seasons for a 79.2 win percentage, by far the best in the major conferences. Kansas State has gone 17-4 in those games under Bill Snyder. But the Collin Klein era was another level: With Klein as the starting quarterback in 2011-12, Kansas State went 10-1 in one-score games.

• Arizona State is the anti-Kansas State. The Sun Devils are 4-15 in one-score games over the last five seasons. Dennis Erickson may have won two national titles at Miami, but he was 3-13 in close games in his final four seasons at Arizona State. That was more than enough to cost Erickson his job. The Sun Devils hired Todd Graham, whose record is a bit better, but not great: 9-13 in the last five seasons at Tulsa, Pittsburgh at ASU.

• The biggest surprise among teams on the right side of the ledger in close games is Utah. Aside from K-State, the Utes are the only other team to win more than 70 percent of their one-score games. Utah is 14-5 in close games the last five seasons, doing most of that damage as a Mountain West member at  10-2.

• Jim Harbaugh built Stanford into a contender, but David Shaw knows how to win the tight games. Shaw is 10-3 in one-score games as the Stanford coach; Harbaugh finished his tenure on a 6-7 note.

• Washington fans may be getting bored with seven win seasons, but Steve Sarkisian is winning when his back is against he wall. The Huskies won 10 one-score games before back-to-back losses to end the 2012 season (31-29 to Washington State, 28-26 to Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl).

• Looking for another Brian Kelly, whose close game turnaround indicates a big season? Try Al Golden and Charlie Strong. In his final three seasons at Temple, Golden in close games went 2-5, 3-1 and 4-1. In that case, the last two seasons should be a bellwether for Golden at Miami. The Hurricanes went 2-6 in close games in 2011 and 3-2 in 2012. Meanwhile, Louisville went 5-11 under Strong in such games early. The Cardinals went 6-1 with their backs against the wall last season.

• If you’re looking for other teams trending in the right direction, Florida has won five of six one-score games dating back to the 2011 Gator Bowl against Ohio State. And further illustrating the point that opponents in close games even themselves out, two of those close games in 2012 were against Texas A&M and LSU; the others were Missouri and Louisiana-Lafayette. Another impressive turnaround has been Nebraska: The Huskers went 5-10 in close games in the first four seasons under Bo Pelini before going 4-1 last year.

• Wisconsin is 14-14 overall in close games in the last five seasons, but the Badgers have lost 10 of 13 dating back to the 2011 Rose Bowl against TCU. Wisconsin, though, hired a coach in Gary Andersen who won eight of his last 10 one-score games at Utah State, one of those loses coming in Camp Randall.

• Michigan State and Iowa get the most attention for playing close games in the Big Ten. But they don’t play the most, and they don’t have the best success rate. That belongs to Northwestern, which is 19-16 in one-score games the last five seasons (albeit 0-3 in bowl games). Michigan State is 16-11, padded by an 8-1 mark in 2011. Iowa is 12-16 with a 6-12 mark the last three seasons.

• Bob Stoops is taking his lumps at Oklahoma, but the Sooners are 11-4 in one-score games since the 2009 Sun Bowl win over Stanford.

• Let’s give credit to Dabo Swinney for being able to avoid the heartbreakers. Tommy Bowden finished on a 1-7 skid in one-score games at Clemson. Swinney has won has last five one-score games.

• TCU is a strange case, aided by the Horned Frogs defensive dominance of the Mountain West. The Frogs have played only 16 one-score games in the last five seasons. Five have come in bowl games (TCU is 3-2), six came in the first year in the Big 12 (3-3).

• BYU is 14-6 in close games, which is mighty impressive. But consider that Bronco Mendenhall and the Cougars won 14 consecutive one score games from 2007-10.

• New Louisiana Tech coach Skip Holtz is a strange case. He went 10-4 in one-score games in his last two seasons at East Carolina in 2008-09. Then, he won six of his first nine close games at USF. But the Bulls squandered second-half lead after second-half lead to lose eight of their last 10 close games in 2011-12. That skid doomed Holtz at USF, but he’s still 18-15 overall in one-score games in the last five seasons.

• With its triple option offense, it’s not shocking Navy has played more close games than most, going 18-12 under Ken Niumatalolo in those games. Niumatololo’s predecessor, Paul Johnson, has gone 15-12 in one-score games at Georgia Tech, also running the option.

Teaser:
Kansas State's Bill Snyder owns staggering record in one-score games
Post date: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 07:00
Path: /nfl/nfls-worst-10-teams-expansion
Body:

The Seattle Seahawks own the 16-game NFL record for fewest points scored with 140 in 1992. Seattle also owns the all-time mark for fewest yards in a game when it totaled minus-7 yards against the L.A. Rams in 1979. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers set the modern NFL mark for worst point differential by being outscored by 287 points in 1976. The Baltimore Colts allowed an NFL-record 533 points back in 1981. The Houston Oilers claim the NFL mark for most interceptions thrown in a single season with 48 picks tossed in 1962. And the Philadelphia Eagles own the NFL’s single-season sacks allowed mark with 104 back in 1986.

Needless to say, there are many ways to measure NFL ineptitude. So while offensive and defensive statistical production (or lack thereof) is a huge factor in measuring pathetic-ness, wins and losses are still the most important way to evaluate any team.

Who are the worst NFL teams since expansion in 2002?

1. 2008 Detroit Lions (0-16)
Point Differential: -249 (268 PF, 517 PA)
Offense (total, scoring): 30th (268.3 ypg), 27th (16.8 ppg)
Defense (total, scoring): 32nd (404.4 ypg), 32nd (32.3 ppg)

No other team has ever gone winless in the modern NFL era (16-game regular season), which means the Detroit Lions must be considered the worst team due in large part to the massive "0" in the win column. Winning is all that really matters in sports and the Lions failed in truly epic fashion. Top it off with the worst defense of the expansion era, as this team fell just 16 points shy of setting an NFL record for points allowed (533). This team posted an NFL-worst four interceptions on defense, was next to last in sacks allowed (52.0) and finished 14th in the NFC in turnover differential. Dan Orlovsky led a five-man QB platoon that featured 18 touchdowns and 19 interceptions and a combined 71.3 QB rating.

2. 2009 St. Louis Rams (1-15)
Point Differential: -261 (175 PF, 436 PA)
Offense: 29th (279.4 ypg), 32nd (10.9 ppg)
Defense: 29th (372.8 ypg), 31st (27.3 ppg)

This team redefined the term offensive struggles as its 175 points were only 35 away from the NFL mark set by Seattle (140) in 1992. It is the all-time low for a Rams team that played 16 games while the 261-point differential is the worst in franchise history as well. Marc Bulger was the leading passer with 1,469 yards, 5 TDs and 6 INTs. The team itself finished with 12 total TD passes and 21 INTs and a collective passer rating of 64.0. The Rams were shutout twice and scored 10 or fewer points in nine games. St. Louis also finished 31st in the NFL in turnover margin (-13) and 30th in team sacks (25.0). Steven Jackson was the lone bright spot on a team that won only once — against Detroit. The Rams were one of only three teams since 2002 to win one or fewer games.

3. 2009 Detroit Lions (2-14)
Point Differential: -232 (262 PF, 494 PA)
Offense: 26th (299.0 ypg), 27th (16.4 ppg)
Defense: 32nd (392.1 ypg), 32nd (30.9 ppg)

While the '09 Rams set offensive football back two decades, the '09 Lions continued to show its lack of defensive prowess. The Rams did defeat the Lions (17-10) that year, but for the season, Detroit scored nearly 100 more points and won twice as many games (over Washington and Cleveland). This Lions team also finished dead last in turnover margin (-18) and No. 1 overall pick Matthew Stafford missed the final six games of the season. The Lions went 0-6 after Stafford was lost. 

4. 2007 Miami Dolphins (1-15)
Point Differential: -170 (267 PF, 437 PA)
Offense: 28th (287.5 ypg), 26th (16.7 ppg)
Defense: 23rd (342.2 ypg), 30th (27.3 ppg)

This version of the Fish lost the first 13 games of the season before winning their only game of the year over Baltimore. Cleo Lemon was 1-6 as the starter, John Beck went 0-4 and Trent Green was 0-5. The trio combined to throw 12 touchdown passes, 16 fewer than the opposition. Ronnie Brown led the team in rushing after playing only seven games (602 yards) while Jesse Chatman actually got the most carries (128). The only shot Cam Cameron has had to be a head coach in the NFL was his one-win season at the helm of the Dolphins.

5. 2008 St. Louis Rams (2-14)
Point Differential:
-233 (232 PF, 465 PA)
Offense: 27th (287.3 ypg), 31st (14.5 ppg)
Defense: 28th (371.9 ypg), 31st (29.1 ppg)

The 233-point scoring differential was a franchise record at the time and would still be the Rams' worst-ever scoring season had it not been for the 2009 team that came along the next year. This team lost the final 10 games of the year and scored only 19 offensive touchdowns all season (11 pass, 8 rush). In fact, this offense was the most scored upon OFFENSE in the NFL. That is right, the Rams offense had seven turnovers returned for touchdowns, a number that tied for the league lead.

6. 2011 St. Louis Rams (2-14)
Point Differential:
-214 (193, 407)
Offense: 31st, (283.6 ypg), 32nd (12.1 ppg)
Defense: 22nd (358.4 ypg), 26th (25.4 ppg)

If not for the 2008 and '09 teams, this team would have been the most outscored Rams team in history. The 193 total points scored are the second-worst in team history for one that played 16 games. Losing Sam Bradford to an injury after 10 games certainly didn't help the offense as the team finished with nine touchdown passes and a paltry 53.2 percent completion rate. St. Louis also led the league in sacks allowed with 55.0 while the rushing attack contributed only seven scores of its own. The 28.1 percent third-down rate was the worst ratio in the NFL as well.

7. 2010 Carolina Panthers (2-14)
Point Differential:
-212 (196 PF, 408 PA)
Offense: 32nd (12.3 ypg), 32nd (258.4 ppg)
Defense: 18th (335.9 ypg), 26th (25.5 ppg)

The offense did little to contribute to this football team whatsoever. Not only were the 196 total points scored the worst in the 17-year history of the franchise, but this season also was the only time the Panthers failed to reach 250 points. Jimmy Clausen (1-9), Matt Moore (1-4) and Brian St. Pierre (0-1) combined for a nasty 9:21 TD:INT ratio while finishing 30th in 3rd downs (30.4 percent) and 25th in turnover margin. To top it off, the 408 points allowed were third worst in franchise history on the defensive side of the ball.

8. 2011 Indianapolis Colts (2-14)
Point Differential: -212 (196 PF, 408 PA)
Offense: 32nd (12.3 ypg), 32nd (258.4 ppg)
Defense: 18th (335.9 ypg), 26th (25.5 ppg)

Obviously, without Peyton Manning, the Colts experienced its worst season since 1998, No. 18's rookie year. If not for a torrid 2-1 finish to the year, the Colts were in danger of challenging the Lions of 2008. In the first 13 losses, Indy allowed less than 23 points only one time. The total points scored, which included only 14 total touchdown passes (or 12 less than Manning's career low), and point differential were the worst numbers for the Colts since the 1993 season. The top ball carrier, Donald Brown, led the team in rushing despite making just two starts all year (645 yards).

9. 2004 San Francisco 49ers (2-14)
Point Differential:
-193 (259, 452)
Offense: 26th (286.6 ypg), 30th (16.2 ppg)
Defense: 24th (342.6 ypg), 32nd (28.3 ppg) 

San Francisco was two games worse than every other team in the NFL that year, and, technically, the 49ers were winless in regulation as both wins came in overtime. The Niners were 30th in the NFL in points scored and dead last in points allowed while finishing 31st in turnover margin (-19). Tim Rattay (1-8) and Ken Dorsey (1-6) were equally ineffective, throwing for 16 touchdowns against 21 interceptions and completing only 57.9 percent of their passes. The ground game was led by the great Kevan Barlow, who rushed for 822 yards at 3.4 yards per clip. The Niners finished 30th in the NFL in rushing at just over 90 yards per game. The 452 points allowed were one point shy of the franchise record set in 1999 (453) and the 193-point differential was an organizational record.

10. 2005 Houston Texans (2-14)
Point Differential: -171 (260, 431)
Offense: 30th (253.3 ypg), 26th (16.3 ppg)
Defense: 31st (364.0 ypg), 32nd (26.9 ppg)

There were some bad Texans team and David Carr paid a big price. After getting sacked a league-worst 76 times as a rookie, Houston once again led the league in sacks allowed in 2005 with 68. This franchise will be playing in just its 12th season this fall, but the '05 team set the benchmark for fewest wins, points allowed and point differential, all of which led to the firing of Dom Capers. Carr started every game and averaged a pathetic 155.5 yards passing per game, threw only 14 touchdowns to go with 11 interceptions and fumbled 17 times.

The...Worst of the Rest?

2012 Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14)
This team was outscored by nearly 200 points (minus-189), yet beat the Tennessee Titans as well as a shocking early season upset of the Colts. This team ranked 29th in total offense and 30th in total defense in 2012.

2004 Cleveland Browns (4-12)
Began 3-3 before losing nine straight in which they scored more than 15 points only one time. Trailed only the Niners for worst record. The offense was led by Jeff Garcia for 10 games, Luke McCown for four and Kelly Holcombe for two.

2002 Houston Texans (4-12)
The lowest scoring team in franchise history (213 pts) finished last in total offense as well as sacks allowed with 76. The first year of the Texans was salvaged by two strange wins over playoff teams (NYG, PIT) and is the only thing keeping this team out of the top ten.

2011 Tampa Bay Bucs (4-12)
The Bucs led the league in turnovers (40) and posted the worst turnover margin (-16) in 2011. After starting 4-2, Tampa Bay crumbled down the stretch with 10 straight losses and set a franchise mark with 494 points allowed (keep in mind, that is a BUCCANEERS franchise record).

2008 Kansas City Chiefs (2-14)
This team couldn't get off the field in 2008 as it was the worst 3rd down team in the league (47.4 percent) and dead last in sacks (10). It finished 31st in total defense and the 440 points allowed and -149-point differential are Chiefs single-season records.

2006 Oakland Raiders (2-14)
The Silver and Black defense was good enough to keep them out of the top ten, but the offense was nearly historic in its struggles. The 168 points scored were 28 away from the all-time NFL mark, these Raiders finished dead last in sacks allowed (72), turnover margin (-20) and both scoring and total offense. Oakland was also 31st in the league with 23 interceptions thrown.

Teaser:
Who are the most inept, least-productive NFL football teams since 2002?
Post date: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 06:45
All taxonomy terms: Overtime, News
Path: /overtime/bucs-cheerleaders-release-blurred-lines-video-awesomeness
Body:
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders have released a video of themselves dancing, flipping and smiling in bikinis to the song "Blurred Lines." Why are you still reading this? Click on the video. 

Teaser:
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders have released a video of themselves dancing, flipping and smiling in bikinis to the song "Blurred Lines."
Post date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 17:39
Path: /nascar/fantasy-nascar-picks-indianapolis-motor-speedway
Body:

To help guide you through the 2013 Fantasy NASCAR season, Athlon Sports contributor Geoffrey Miller will be offering his best predictions for each race. And because Yahoo's Fantasy Auto Racing game is arguably the most popular, he’ll break down the picks according to its NASCAR driver classes — A-List, B-List, C-List. The main picks are designed to make optimal use of Yahoo!’s 9-start maximum rule over the course of the season. The “also consider” section ranks unmentioned drivers strictly by expected result without consideration of start limitations.


Next up: Brickyard 400, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Race: 400 miles/160 laps (2.5 mile track)
2012 winner: Jimmie Johnson


A List (pick two, start one)
Tony Stewart  Tony Stewart

Without fail, you'll hear a lot about Tony Stewart and his personal connection to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the local boy from Indiana. Broadcasters can't help but repeat it. Fortunately, they'll be discussing a driver that has a high probability of success at the track he knows and loves. The two-time Brickyard 400 winner has sported a 7.1-average finish in his last eight starts at Indianapolis, with an A-List best 11.7 average position ranking. Stewart has also proven to be a remarkable passer at a track that often makes swapping positions a tedious process. In those last eight races, Stewart has gained an average of 12 spots per race — the best among A-Listers.

But you don't need to know all of that rationale. Just remember: It's Tony Stewart at Indianapolis.

Jimmie Johnson
Along the same lines as Stewart, picking Johnson, now a four-time Indianapolis winner after his dominating performance there last season, seems to be a no-brainer. Some of Johnson's statistics in the last eight races at Indy are just gaudy: Most fastest laps (12.39 percent), most laps led (229) and highest driver rating (106.3). Making matters worse for the competition, Johnson put those numbers forward with three Brickyard finishes of 19th or worse. Sunday, just like every NASCAR race at Indianapolis, will be a show of who can best maintain track position. Speeds are going to be much higher than last season, and track position will gain even more importance. In a race like that — should Johnson qualify well — it's hard to pick against the No. 48. A win would break a tie for the most NASCAR wins at the track with teammate Jeff Gordon.


B List (pick four, start two)
Mark Martin

Mark Martin has bitten fantasy players in a few of his most recent races, so I understand a hesitancy to use him at Indianapolis. But consider this: Martin has the very best average running position of any current driver at Indy (that includes the likes of Stewart and Johnson in the A-List) during the last eight seasons. Still, Martin has never won at Indianapolis. Perhaps watching the co-driver of the No. 55 take their shared Toyota to victory at Loudon will be an impetus for Martin to grab his first kiss of the bricks.

Greg Biffle
Something about Indy — whether it's the constant battle to maintain track position or the way Roush Fenway Racing's power trains hook up to the track's long straightaways — seems to fit Greg Biffle well. He's another driver with a better average running position in the last eight years at Indianapolis (10.2) than anyone in the A-List. Though also never a Brickyard winner, Biffle holds the distinction of the best average finish of any driver during the last four races at the legendary oval. It's been six years since he's finished outside the top 10, and he's completed every lap. Going with Biffle seems like a smart, solid play.

Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch has never won at Indianapolis, which, if you look at his overall record in eight career starts, is a bit surprising. Busch has had one truly bad race at Indy — he hit the wall in 2009 to finish 38th — but he has otherwise notched six top-10 finishes and seven top-15 runs. Based on Busch's returns at tracks that teams often say carry similarities to Indianapolis (he was sixth at Pocono and second at New Hampshire), it stands to figure that he'll be in line to defend the second-place run he had there last year. At the very least, a fourth-consecutive Indy top-10 seems possible.

Juan Pablo Montoya  Juan Pablo Montoya
If you're strictly looking at statistics for the Brickyard, you're going to miss Montoya. After all, why would you pick a driver that has an average finish of 23rd in the last four races at the 2.5-mile oval? It just wouldn't make sense on the surface. But Montoya could finally be the diamond in the rough of this weekend's fantasy picks. Montoya's unraveling in the 2009 and 2010 races remain some of the biggest disappointments of his NASCAR career. In those races, he led a total of 192 laps (remember, one race at Indy is only 160 laps) before pit road blunders left him out of contention. He's finished 28th and 21st in the two 400-milers since, but seems to have a better all-around package this season. Regardless, he'll be an interesting story to follow throughout the weekend.


C List (pick two, start one)
David Stremme

There's a low probability you've come close to using up David Stremme's starts this point, so why not try him at Indianapolis? In three of his four Brickyard starts, Stremme has finished on the lead lap. He's also carried an average finish of 23.1 during the span, including a 24th-place finish with his current team, Inception Motorsports, last season. Also, the team is flying (relatively) high after tying its best non-restrictor plate finish of the season at Loudon in 20th.

Joe Nemechek
I know, I know — you're surprised to see Joe Nemechek make this list. Admittedly, I'm a bit surprised too. Nemechek is making my list of picks for the Brickyard more due to the recent "hot streak" he's been on in the Sprint Cup Series than his IMS acumen. In two consecutive races, Nemechek — who likely counts as a success story of the start-and-park strategy now that he's running a majority of races to their full distance — has recorded two consecutive finishes of 27th or better. The last time he did that? Nemechek was driving Furniture Row Racing's No. 78.

He probably won't do that well Sunday. A top 30 would be decent. But for a driver that has been able to pull his self-owned team to a level where it can finish on the lead lap, that's impressive. Here's a tip of the hat, Joe.


Follow Geoffrey Miller on Twitter: @GeoffreyMiller

Photos by Actions Sports, Inc.

Teaser:
Tony Stewart and JImmie Johnson top the list of Fantasy picks for NASCAR's trip to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 20th running of the Brickyard 400.
Post date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 15:45
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-link-roundup-july-24
Body:

The Big Ten Media Days are underway in Chicago, but the news continues from around the rest of college football.

Contact us on twitter with a link or a tip we should include each day. (@AthlonSteven)


College Football's Must-Read Stories Around the Web for Wednesday, July 24th


Mike Leach blasts the new targeting rule.

A timeline has been set for the renovation of Kentucky's Commonwealth Stadium.

Virginia Tech's new coaches have brought a "culture shock" to the team.

It sounds like Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops wants his fanbase to start contacting recruits. What?

The Mountain West Conference is still trying to negotiate a television home for its conference championship game.

Who are the top breakout candidates for Washington in 2013?

How will Casey Pachall and Trevone Boykin split the quarterback duties for TCU in 2013?

An Arizona safety was dismissed from the team after being charged with four felonies.

Texas linebacker Jordan Hicks had his request for a medical redshirt approved. 

One of Minnesota's offensive linemen has decided to give up football.

Rob Moseley previews Oregon's depth chart at running back for 2013.

Ole Miss quarterback Barry Brunetti was arrested in early May after a traffic incident.

Old Dominion and UNC Charlotte are having a bitter schedule dispute.

David Watford appears to be the frontrunner for Virginia's starting quarterback spot.

Why is Michigan State linebacker Taiwan Jones only a two-down player?


Houston plans on naming its starting quarterback two weeks into fall camp.

Texas quarterback David Ash says he played with broken ribs against TCU last season.

Where would Boise State fit if college football's top five conferences form their own division?
 

Kansas could be without one of its top linebacker recruits this season, and the status of receiver Nick Harwell is still unsettled.

UCLA safety Dietrich Riley will retire from football.
 

Here's an excellent roundup from SB Nation on some of the hot topics from ACC Media Days.

Former Virginia quarterback Phillip Sims is getting closer to finding his next home. 

Seven Nevada players are no longer on the roster.

Teaser:
College Football's Link Roundup: July 24
Post date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 14:29
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Fantasy, News
Path: /college-football/45-funny-college-fantasy-football-team-names
Body:

The college football season is right around the corner, which means it’s almost time for fantasy drafts. College fantasy leagues aren't as popular as their NFL counterparts, but there is plenty of interest in the college game each season. Need a witty or funny team name to impress your league counterparts? Check out these funny 45 college fantasy team names for 2013.

Jadeveon ClowneyClowney Question, Bro

Chubb Small World After All

Treadwell Lightly

Gurley Man

Tajh.0

50 Shades of Johnathan Gray

(Rashad) Greene With Envy

(Tyler) Lockett Up

(Yawin) Smallwood Needs Lovin' Too

Jackson Turner Overdrive

Too Many Brandin Cooks in the Kitchen

The League's Ameer (Abdullah) Player

In A Major Quandre (Diggs)

Shaq Attack

Max BulloughTo the Max Bullough

Calvin and the Chipmunks

Ring My Blake Bell

The Mighty Casey Pachall Strikes Out

Kiss My David Ash

Eric Ward of the State

Tevin Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

2 Much Johnson For You

Lache Key Kid

Jeckle & Carlos Hyde

My Posse's on (Terrance) Broadway

Chuckie Cheeses

Vad Case of Loving You

Keeping Up with The Butch Joneses

(Matt) Rhule Girls, One Cup

Jameis WinstonFamous Jameis

Johnny Come Lately

Everett Golson's Tutors

NCAA Playoffs?!

Mad Hatters

Tuscaluminati

Michigan Men

Herb Kirkstreit

Nkemdiche M'kay

Hotty Toddy Hotties

Colonel Reb Is Smiling

USC Sweater Puppies

Neon Nike Ducks

Black Mambas

Houndstooth Bears

Kingsbury Skinny Jeans



2013 College Fantasy Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Team Defenses

 
Teaser:
45 Funny College Fantasy Football Team Names
Post date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 12:04
Path: /college-football/houston-showcases-new-jerseys-2013
Body:

Houston is making the move from Conference USA to the American Athletic Conference in 2013.

And the Cougars will have some new uniforms to showcase in their new conference. This photo tweeted by (@UHCougarFB) indicates the program will have eight combinations to wear in 2013.

Personally, my favorite is the all red look. Check out Houston’s new uniforms for 2013:

Teaser:
Houston Cougars unveil new uniforms for 2013.
Post date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 11:21
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-24-2013
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 24.

 

• UFC champion Ronda Rousey has scored a role in Sylvester Stallone's Expendables 3. Let the butt-kicking and name-taking commence.

 

• Sure, everyone dislikes A-Rod, but the New York Daily News' Bill Madden auditions for the job of chief of baseball's moral police with this rant.

 

Chris Johnson and Devin Hester will race a cheetah on television. Loser gets eaten.

 

• Helpful advice: 15 movies you should avoid on a first date. Then again, I'm not sure Human Centipede 2 is appropriate for any sort of dating situation.

 

• Today is Karl Malone's 50th birthday. Celebrate with this gallery of rare photos of the Mailman.

 

Phil Mickelson paid 61 percent of his Scottish Open earnings in taxes. Hey, George Harrison tried to warn you.

 

Linebacker Tig Willard paused on his way to Titans training camp to save a family from a burning car.

 

Here are college football's 25 most engaged fan bases. The SEC is well represented, but not No. 1.

 

• Rex Ryan unplugged: 10 things he thinks he thinks, from MMQB.

 

Watch a D-Backs fan drink beer through a snorkel.

 

This might be MLB's slide of the year.

 

• Note to sidelines reporters: Wait for the concussion symptoms to subside before interviewing an injured athlete.

 

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 10:48
All taxonomy terms: Baylor Bears, College Football, Big 12, News
Path: /college-football/baylors-gold-helmet-shines-big-12-media-days
Body:

Earlier this offseason, Baylor released photos of its bright (and very shiny) gold helmet. There was plenty of buzz about the helmets then, but the attention ramped up during Big 12 Media Days.


In case you missed the photos circulating online of Baylor’s gold helmet, here’s a good look tweeted by (@Leabonics).

Some aren't a fan of the metallic gold look, but I think these are a pretty good addition for Baylor, especially as the program continues to increase its national profile under coach Art Briles.

Teaser:
Baylor's new gold helmet shines at Big 12 media days
Post date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/fresno-state-unveils-black-jerseys
Body:

Fresno State is making a slight uniform upgrade for 2013. The Bulldogs aren’t doing away with their traditional white and red uniforms, but they will be adding a black uniform to the rotation. Fresno State plans to wear all black against Nevada on Nov. 2.

As this photo tweeted by (@UniWatch) showcases, this is a pretty solid look (especially the helmets) for Fresno State.

 

Teaser:
Fresno State football unveils black uniform
Post date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 09:11
All taxonomy terms: Overtime, News
Path: /overtime/check-out-hbo-hard-knocks-trailer-bengals
Body:
HBO has released the trailer for the upcoming season of Hard Knocks, featuring the Cincinnati Bengals at training camp. The team returns to the show after a four-year hiatus. (Not long enough, if you ask me.) The first episode airs on HBO on Aug. 6 at 10 pm.
 

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 08:55
All taxonomy terms: Overtime, News
Path: /overtime/concussed-rugby-player-makes-no-sense-during-interview
Body:

Australian rugby player Dylan Roberton, who plays for St. Kilda, was interviewed soon after taking a massive hit on the field. The result? Incoherent rambling nonsense of the highest order. In fact, it was so bad the reporter called it quits.

 

Teaser:
Australian rugby player Dylan Roberton, who plays for St. Kilda, was interviewed soon after taking a massive hit on the field.
Post date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 08:25
Path: /college-football/video-tour-alabamas-renovated-football-facility
Body:

Alabama’s athletic facility recently got a makeover. And needless to say, the renovations are ridiculous.

As this video showcases, there are plenty of new features for the players, including a lounge with pool tables and an arcade. And there’s a new locker room, a hallway showcasing all of the first-round draft picks under Nick Saban at Alabama, along with an updated weight room.

Every team in college football is chasing Alabama right now. And as these facilities show, the Crimson Tide will continue to attract and develop elite talent into future first-round draft picks.

 

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 08:20
Path: /college-football/notre-dame-football-game-game-predictions-2013
Body:

Tommy ReesDespite Notre Dame’s 42-14 loss to Alabama in the national championship game, there’s little doubt coach Brian Kelly has the Fighting Irish back on the right track.

Notre Dame’s hopes of repeating its undefeated regular season mark from last year took a hit after spring practice, as quarterback Everett Golson was suspended and won’t play in 2013. With Golson out of the picture, Kelly and coordinator Chuck Martin will turn to senior Tommy Rees once again. Rees played well in limited spots last year but will be throwing to a young receiving corps in 2013.

While the offense has a few question marks, the defense is expected to be one of the best in the nation once again. Eight starters are back for coordinator Bob Diaco, including end Stephon Tuitt and tackle Louis Nix III.

Notre Dame’s has one of the nation’s most difficult slates, as 11 bowl teams appear on the schedule for 2013.

What will Notre Dame's record at the end of the 2013 regular season? Athlon’s panel of experts debates: 


Notre Dame's 2013 Game-by-Game Predictions


GameSteven
Lassan
Braden
Gall
David
Fox
Mark
Ross
8/31 Temple
9/7 at Michigan
9/14 at Purdue
9/21 Michigan State
9/28 Oklahoma
10/5 Arizona State (Arlington)
10/19 USC
10/26 at Air Force
11/2 Navy
11/9 at Pittsburgh
11/23 BYU
11/30 at Stanford
Final Projection10-29-39-39-3


Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
Matching last year’s 12-1 mark is going to be a difficult task for Notre Dame. However, the Fighting Irish still have enough talent to finish 10-2 and qualify for a BCS bowl. Sure, the offense is going to be a struggle at times, but coach Brian Kelly did an excellent job at Cincinnati of mixing and matching quarterbacks to get the right results. While Rees will start, true freshman Malik Zaire could see some time in 2013. Notre Dame should be fine at running back, and the offensive line is solid with three starters back. The defense will miss linebacker Manti Te’o, but with eight starters back, the Fighting Irish figure to be a top-10 unit once again. There’s no question the schedule is among the nation’s best. However, I think Notre Dame will be able to squeeze 10 wins and play in a BCS bowl for the second consecutive season.

Braden Gall (@BradenGall)

Notre Dame's title hopes took a huge blow when Everett Golson was dismissed from school back in May. This was a top-10 team with a top-10 defense and a developing star at quarterback. I had the Irish at 11-1 and sniffing around the outskirts of the BCS National Championships conversation with Golson under center. Now I have concerns about the offense competing against the better offenses — Michigan, Oklahoma, Arizona State and Stanford. The defensive line will carry this team to wins most weekends, but the offense will have to win a close game or two and I don't see Tommy Rees doing that. Look for Malik Zaire to enter the starting lineup after a loss to Arizona State on a fast track in Cowboys Stadium on October 5.

David Fox (@DavidFox615)
It’s obvious to say, but so much of this season is going to depend on the quarterback situation. Notre Dame may end up missing Everett Golson more than Manti Te’o. The defense will be fine, especially up front. Whether Notre Dame turns to Tommy Rees or the freshman Malik Zaire, the quarterback position is going to be hard-pressed to lead a 10-win effort, particularly with road games against quality opponents like Michigan and Stanford. I’d pick Notre Dame to split the games against Oklahoma and Arizona State. I’ve picked Arizona State because the Sun Devils have a bit of momentum, the game’s on a neutral site and Todd Graham has done OK against Notre Dame and Brian Kelly in the past.

Mark Ross
If Brian Kelly wants to lead Notre Dame back to a BCS bowl, the Fighting Irish need at least nine wins in the regular season to remain in the conversation. I think that's exactly where this team will land by the end of November after navigating a rugged schedule. Road games in Ann Arbor and Stanford won't be easy and the Irish also can't look past Arizona State at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. In fact, I think Notre Dame's postseason destiny could likely come down to back-to-back games against Oklahoma at home and the neutral-site matchup with the Sun Devils. Win both and the Irish should be well-positioned for another BCS berth. Lose both and any hopes of a repeat appearance are all but gone. A split isn't a season-breaker, necessarily, but it certainly decreases Notre Dame's margin of error the rest of the way.

Related College Football Content

College Football's Top 25 Impact Transfers for 2013
College Football's Best Traditions
College Football's Worst 25 Tenures of the BCS Era
12 Steps to Fix ACC Football
College Football's Best Coaching Trees
College Football's Top 50 Defensive Linemen of the BCS Era
College Football's Top 15 Winners of Conference Realignment
The Top Independent Heisman Contenders for 2013

Teaser:
Notre Dame Football: Game-by-Game Predictions for 2013
Post date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 07:20
Path: /college-football/acc-football-breakout-players-2013
Body:

Jameis WinstonEvery year, college football fans are introduced to a handful of players that become household names by the end of the season. Predicting which players will breakout any year is never an easy task.

The ACC has a solid group of players waiting to break out in 2013, including Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. The redshirt freshman already has an enormous preseason buzz thanks to a strong performance this spring, but his emergence will keep the Seminoles in the hunt for a top-10 finish in the final BCS standings and a big-time bowl in 2013. On the defensive side, Clemson safety Travis Blanks and Virginia’s Eli Harold are two players to watch this year.

Defining what is a breakout player is nearly impossible. Everyone has a different perspective on how players are viewed around the conference and nationally. Athlon's list of breakout players for 2013 tries to take into account which names will be known nationally (not just within the conference) by the end of season. So while some of these players on this list are known to fans of a particular team, the rest of the conference or nation might not be as familiar. 

ACC Breakout Players for 2013

Adam Bisnowaty, OT, Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh’s offensive line has been under the spotlight over the last few years, as the unit has struggled to find consistency. And there's plenty of work ahead for coach Paul Chryst, as the Panthers allowed 38 sacks last season and must replace center Ryan Turnley and guard Chris Jacobson. However, there’s reason for hope in the trenches for 2013. True freshman Dorian Johnson could stabilize the right side, and the coaching staff is excited about the potential of Bisnowaty at left tackle. After spending last year as a redshirt, the Pittsburgh native is poised to start from the opening snap and protect the blindside for quarterback Tom Savage.

Travis Blanks, S, Clemson
The ACC doesn’t have many returning standouts at safety this year, so there’s an opportunity for players like Blanks to become a household name by the end of 2013. The Tallahassee native was regarded as a top-15 recruit by ESPN in the 2012 signing class, and the Clemson coaching staff wasted no time getting him on the field. Blanks played in 13 contests and recorded 51 tackles, seven pass breakups and one interception in 2012. He was named Clemson’s defensive player of the game against Ball State and recorded eight stops in the 49-37 loss to Florida State. With the Tigers entering their second season under coordinator Brent Venables, this unit expects to take a step forward in 2013 and should finish higher than seventh in the ACC in yards allowed. If Blanks builds off a strong freshman effort, he could be one of the conference’s top safeties in 2013.

Anthony Boone, QB, Duke
Duke coach David Cutcliffe has an excellent track record when it comes to developing quarterbacks, so it’s no surprise most around Durham aren’t sweating the transition from Sean Renfree to Boone. The junior shined in limited work last season, which included an impressive 212-yard and four touchdown performance in a 42-17 win over Virginia last year. Boone was steady as a passer in limited work in 2012, but he also gives Duke more of a running threat at quarterback. Even though Renfree and receiver Conner Vernon will be missed, Boone’s emergence will keep Duke’s offense performing at a high level once again in 2013.

Jay Bromley, DT, Syracuse
Bromley has developed into a steady performer for Syracuse’s defensive line, and in his senior year, the New York native is poised to push for all-conference honors. In 13 games last season, Bromley recorded 39 tackles and 2.5 tackles for a loss. The 2012 numbers were a slight improvement from 2011, as Bromley made 32 stops and 1.5 sacks in his first year as a starter. As a defensive tackle, Bromley isn’t going to record huge tackle or sack totals. However, after battling an ankle injury last year, the senior is poised to jump onto the radar for NFL scouts and is expected to be a key piece in Syracuse’s defense. 

Deon Bush, S, Miami
Finding answers on defense is the top priority for Miami coach Al Golden this offseason. The Hurricanes ranked last in the ACC in rushing, pass and total defense, and coordinator Mark D’Onofrio will have seven new full-time starters stepping into the lineup. Bush was one of the few bright spots for Miami last year, as he recorded 34 stops, three forced fumbles and one tackle for a loss. Even though he’s only a sophomore, Bush should be a leader in Miami’s secondary in 2013 and is expected to push for All-ACC honors.

Brandon Chubb, LB, Wake Forest
Eight starters are back for the Demon Deacons defense, which should easily allow this unit to improve off of a lackluster 2012 campaign. Chubb played sparingly in his redshirt freshman campaign and finished the year with 22 tackles in 12 contests. The sophomore has excellent bloodlines, as his father (Aaron) played at Georgia from 1985-88 and was drafted by the Patriots in 1989. Chubb made his biggest impact on special teams last season but is slated to slide into the starting lineup on defense in 2013. If Chubb translates his production and potential from special teams to defense, Wake Forest’s linebacking corps could be among the best in the ACC.

Ronald Darby, CB, Florida State
Even with Xavier Rhodes departing Tallahassee for the NFL, Florida State’s secondary should be among the nation’s best in 2013. Lamarcus Joyner will slide from safety to corner to help replace Rhodes, but Darby’s emergence is another factor helping to keep the Seminoles near the top of the ACC in pass defense. The Maryland native was solid in his debut season, recording 22 tackles and eight pass breakups. Darby missed spring practice due to injury, but the sophomore should slide into a starting spot over Nick Waisome this fall. New coordinator Jeremy Pruitt will make some tweaks to Florida State’s defense, which is expected to include more press coverage. All signs point to Darby emerging as one of the ACC’s top cornerbacks this year.

Mario Edwards Jr., DE, Florida State
The Seminoles lose four key players from a defensive line that played a significant role in finishing first in the ACC in rush defense, along with ranking sixth nationally in points allowed. While ends Bjoern Werner and Tank Carradine will be missed, there’s no shortage of talent returning to Tallahassee. The next star on Florida State’s line should be Edwards, who was pressed into action after an early-season injury to Brandon Jenkins. Although it was a small sample size, Edwards showcased why he was one of the top recruits in the 2012 signing class, recording 17 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for a loss. With a full offseason to work in the weight room and learn under new ends coach Sal Sunseri, Edwards is primed for a breakout year in Tallahassee.

Alex Figueroa, LB, Miami
Much like every area on the Miami defense, the linebacking corps has plenty of room to improve in 2013. And this unit will feature a revamped starting trio in 2013, as Gionni Paul and Eddie Johnson did not return to the team. Junior Denzel Perryman is a good place to start the rebuilding effort, but the Hurricanes are excited about the potential of Figueroa. The true freshman finished spring practice as a starter on the depth chart and appears poised to hold onto the job this fall. At 6-foot-3 and 233 pounds, Figueroa has the size to provide some much-needed punch to Miami’s lackluster run defense.

Eli Harold, DE, Virginia
It’s an overused cliché, but Virginia’s defense should be more aggressive in 2013. Jon Tenuta joins the Cavaliers’ staff from NC State, and the veteran coordinator has promised to turn up the pressure on opposing quarterbacks this year. Harold should benefit from the change in schemes and is expected to be the unit’s top pass-rusher. In 12 games last year as a true freshman, Harold recorded 36 stops, two sacks and one forced fumble. At 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, the Virginia native has the athleticism to be a standout pass-rusher and could easily triple his sack total from last season under Tenuta’s direction.

Demitri Knowles, WR, Virginia Tech
After finishing third in the ACC in total offense in 2011, the Hokies backtracked in 2012, ranking ninth in the conference. As a result of the struggles, coach Frank Beamer decided to revamp his offensive staff, with Scot Loeffler coming over from Auburn to call the plays. Loeffler is tasked with getting quarterback Logan Thomas back on track, but Thomas also needs more help from his supporting cast. The Hokies must replace their top three receivers from last year, including Marcus Davis (51 catches) and Corey Fuller (43 receptions). Knowles grabbed 19 receptions for 240 yards and one score as a true freshman and returned one kickoff for a score. D.J. Coles is back after missing most of last year with a knee injury, but the pressure is on Knowles to be one of the go-to (if not No. 1) targets for Virginia Tech.

Vad Lee, QB, Georgia Tech
Fans of the ACC are certainly familiar with Lee, but the rest of the college football world should take notice of the sophomore in 2013. The North Carolina native did not record a start under center but played in 12 of Georgia Tech’s 14 contests. Lee threw for 596 yards and four touchdowns and showcased his athleticism by averaging 5.7 yards per carry on 96 attempts. He scored nine times on 96 attempts and had a 79-yard run against Presbyterian. Lee doesn’t have to be a dynamic thrower in Georgia Tech’s option attack, but he should be an upgrade in the passing attack over Tevin Washington.

Jordan Leggett, TE, Clemson
After Dwayne Allen and Brandon Ford shined under the tutelage of coordinator Chad Morris, it's easy to pinpoint Leggett as Clemson’s next star at tight end. The true freshman will be pressed into significant time this year, as the Tigers lost expected starter Sam Cooper to a torn ACL in the spring. Leggett had a strong performance in the spring game, catching seven passes for 97 yards and one score. It’s always tough for a true freshman to transition into a starting role for the season opener, but Leggett is expected to play plenty of snaps in 2013.

Deon Long, WR, Maryland
Stefon Diggs is already one of the ACC’s top receivers, and Long’s arrival should give quarterback C.J. Brown (or Ricardo Young) another dangerous weapon in the passing attack. Long played at New Mexico in 2010 and transferred to play at Iowa Western in 2011. In one year on the JUCO level, Long dominated the competition, catching 100 passes (most NJCAA history) for 1,625 yards and 25 scores. Long will require an adjustment period after transferring from the junior college ranks, but his presence will help take some of the pressure off of Diggs.

Brandon Mitchell, QB, NC State
As a graduate transfer, Mitchell has a short window of opportunity to make an impact at NC State. In three seasons with Arkansas, the Louisiana native completed 25 of 43 passes for 332 yards and three scores, while rushing for 75 yards and two touchdowns. Mitchell also showcased his athletic ability by playing some snaps at receiver. If you want an idea of the offense coach Dave Doeren and coordinator Matt Canada want to install in Raleigh, take a look at Northern Illinois last season, which featured dual-threat quarterback Jordan Lynch. Mitchell is the best fit for the offense on NC State’s roster, but he also has to overcome having only one set of practices to get familiar with his new team and offense.

Charone Peake, WR, Clemson
With DeAndre Hopkins leaving for the NFL, Clemson is looking for a No. 2 target to pair with Sammy Watkins. And the coaching staff hopes Peake – a former top-100 recruit – is ready to fill that void. The South Carolina native grabbed four receptions as a true freshman in 2011 but increased his totals to 25 catches for 172 yards and two scores last year. With excellent speed and size (6-foot-3), along with two seasons of experience under his belt, Peake’s junior season should be his breakout campaign.

Caleb Peterson, OG, North Carolina
The Tar Heels simply won’t replace Jonathan Cooper’s production at guard this year. However, the offensive line still has pieces to build around, as tackle James Hurst is one of the best in the ACC and center Russell Bodine is a two-year starter. Peterson has big shoes to fill as he tries to replace Cooper, but the Alabama native was regarded as a four-star prospect in the 2012 signing class. The 6-foot-5, 300-pound guard will have a tough introduction to college football with a date against South Carolina in the opener. However, Peterson has the talent to stabilize the guard position and emerge as a strength by the end of the year.

Andre Williams, RB, Boston College
Williams has flashed potential throughout his career and is poised to shine under new coach Steve Addazio. The Pennsylvania native has recorded 1,582 rushing yards and 10 scores in his career but has never topped more than 605 yards in a single season. With Addazio likely to rely more on the run, Boston College returning three starters on the offensive line, and question marks about the depth at running back, Williams could push for 1,000 yards in 2013. And with a lack of standouts returning in the ACC at this position, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Williams make a run at All-ACC honors.

Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
Considering Winston’s preseason buzz has reached meteoric levels, he might be a little too obvious to put on this list. However, the redshirt freshman has the talent to have a breakout year similar to what Texas A&M got from Johnny Manziel last season. Of course, a Heisman Trophy is simply too much to ask from Winston this year, but the Alabama native will be a difference maker for Florida State, especially with one of the ACC’s best supporting casts at his disposal. If Winston lives up to the hype, the Seminoles could match last year’s 12 wins.

Related College Football Content

12 Steps to Fix ACC Football
Florida State Game-by-Game Predictions for 2013
Clemson Game-by-Game Predictions for 2013

ACC Predictions for 2013
ACC All-Conference Team for 2013
ACC's Top Heisman Contenders for 2013
College Football's Top 15 Winners From Conference Realignment
College Football's 2013 All-America Team
College Football's All-Freshman Team for 2013
College Football's Top 50 Offensive Linemen of the BCS Era
College Football's Top 10 Most-Improved Teams for 2013
Virginia Tech's Struggling Offense Gets a Makeover

 

Teaser:
ACC Football Breakout Players for 2013
Post date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 07:20
Path: /college-football/college-football-2013-ranking-pac-12s-logos
Body:

Brand image is a massive part of modern 21st century business and college football is big business.

Signature uniforms like the Bruins or Trojans of Los Angeles, picturesque landscapes in Seattle and the Bay Area or historic mascots like Colorado's Ralphie help separate one team from the next in the Pac-1w2 with clarity. Fans identify with these brand images and it helps build value — or brand equity — for every program in the nation.

However, official school logos have been and will always be the simplest and most important way for a college program to classify and separate itself from its peers. Some change dramatically over time while others are literally set in stone for decades. Some are edgy, exciting and extremely busy while others are clean, classic and simple. 

Every college football program in the nation has an official logo — and some are better than others — and the goal is to be the most recognizable brand in the nation.

And since Athlon Sports has been designing the best looking magazines on newstands for the better part of half a century, we'd thought we'd turn our senior graphic design guru loose on college football's logos. Here is what is Art Director Matt Taliaferro has to say about the Pac-12's football logos:

"The Pac-12 is filled with university logos that run the gamut of old-school class to (being brutally honest) new-school trash — with a little of everything in between. The traditional “blocks” of the conference — Stanford, USC, Washington … and OK, I’ll throw Oregon in there — are clean, bold and sure. Arizona, Colorado and Utah bring a graphic touch to this same concept, and thus, are effective (especially Colorado). Even UCLA, with its classic script — used in a way that shouldn’t work, but does — is a standout. The one “classic” logo that could use a tweak or two resides in Pullman, where WSU’s logo always struck me as a reach as amalgams are concerned.

"Then comes the trendy kids in the class that were wearing boot-cuts last month but are in skinny jeans now. Cal and Oregon State recently jumped on the slick, cartoon-art that will be seen as “faddish” within a decade, while Arizona State’s new trident logo brings an interesting, if not odd, update to the former Sun Smurf character. And then there’s Oregon State. Good God, where to begin? That aero-beaver will be changed quicker than they swap out unis down the road in Eugene."
 

Pac-12 Official Football Logo Rankings

 

 SchoolLogoThoughts
1.WashingtonSimple, tasteful, unchanging and very obvious. This emblem with its signature gold trim is one of the best in the nation and leaves little doubt as to what it represents.
2.UCLAThe script "UCLA" is one of the most well-known logos in all of sports much less college football. And the way the word Bruins is incorporated makes it one of the most informative in the nation while still being fairly simple.
3.StanfordMichigan State and NC State know exactly what the smart kids from Palo Alto were thinking when this logo was created. It's classic and simple with a touch of style in the stroked white/red trim. Stanford boasts one of the best brand logos in the nation.
4.ColoradoThe Buffs logo balances all of the key aspects to a company logo. It's simple and classic but with just enough style and flair while also being incredibly unique. 
5.OregonIt doesn't get any simpler than the Oregon "O." There is some subtle style to the font that makes it cooler than the average "O." The clean classic look works but some yellow trim might make it the best in the league.  
6.USCThe interlocking "S-C" is as famous as any logo in the nation and would likely be the best in league if not for the floating "Trojans." The team nickname doesn't look bad but isn't needed for a major brand like USC.
7.ArizonaIt's a clean, classic logo that hasn't needed upgrading for years. The use of two fonts is a bit odd but the two-tone, two-layered "A" leaves little doubt as to what this logo represents.
8.Washington StateAnyone who has watched College Gameday knows about this logo. It is creative in an effort to combine the W-S-U with the Cougar head emblem. It is busy and complicated but very solid nonetheless.
9.UtahThe standard block U is great and the school did an excellent job to incorporate Ute Nation into the look. However, the circle has an outdated helmet feel to it. An upgrade could make this pop.
10.CalCal updated their football logo this off-season and it has been met with mixed reviews. The traditional script "Cal" was a smooth look that had been around for some time. The new Bear looks much edgier and more aggressive. Which do you prefer?
11.Arizona StateThe pitchfork by itself is pretty solid looking with some edgy style. And the ASU is clean and classic. But together it feels a bit forced and busy. 
12.Oregon StateThe Beavers updated their look recently with a new edgier looking logo. And, frankly, they did a good job. This one is smoother and streamlined and is more aggressive. It's tough to make a beaver look mean, however.

 

2013 Pac-12 Team Previews

NorthSouth
CaliforniaArizona
OregonArizona State
Oregon StateColorado
StanfordUCLA
WashingtonUSC
Washington StateUtah


Related College Football Content

Pac-12 Predictions for 2013
Pac-12 2013 All-Conference Team
College Football's Top 10 Most-Improved Teams for 2013
Ranking the Pac-12 Stadiums for 2013
College Football's Top 25 Teams for 2013

Teaser:
College Football 2013: Ranking the Pac-12's Logos
Post date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 07:00
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-link-roundup-july-23
Body:

One day closer to August, which means we are one day closer to the start of the 2013 season.

Contact us on twitter with a link or a tip we should include each day. (@AthlonSteven)


College Football's Must-Read Stories Around the Web for Tuesday, July 23rd

Syracuse and Maryland will likely play in a non-conference series once the Terrapins depart for the Big Ten.

Is Michael Dyer close to joining Louisville for the 2013 season?

Wake Forest could be without running back Josh Harris this year.

Is Jay-Z courting South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney? 

Will the ACC's decline stunt Florida State's rebirth?

Michigan State receiver A.J. Troup will miss 2013 due to a knee injury.

Who are the most engaged fanbases in college football?

Are the BCS schools close to breaking away for a new division in college football? It sounds like it's more of a possibility after listening to the conference commissioners at media days.

Wisconsin's incoming JUCO quarterback Tanner McEvoy was the victim of a robbery in Madison.

The charges against Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison have been dropped.

Miami coach Al Golden has a gameplan for incoming freshman Corn Elder.

Memphis is expected to land Nebraska transfer Chase Rome

One of the top freshmen in Oklahoma State's recruiting class has decided to leave the team. 

Washington should expect better production from its linebackers this year.

Counting down the top 25 Oregon State players for 2013.

Teaser:
College Football's Link Roundup: July 23
Post date: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 17:16
Path: /9-amazing-mlb-stats-week-july-15-21
Body:

Erik Bedard willingly leaves a no-hitter, the Marlins can’t score and Brandon Phillips emerges as the best lineup protection in the game. These stats and more in this edition of Amazing MLB Stats for the week of July 15-21.

0    Hits allowed by Erik Bedard in 6.1 innings against the Mariners
Houston Manager Bo Porter lifted Bedard after issuing a walk in the seventh inning. Few pitchers are removed in the midst of a no-hitter, but Porter’s explanation was simple: “He told me too.” It seems that Bedard didn’t have a hankering to top 110 pitches, no matter the situation. At the time he left the game, he had thrown 109 pitches.

.857    Brandon Phillips’ batting average following an intentional walk to Joey Votto
It seems the best personal protector in the majors resides in Cincinnati, not Detroit. The Tigers’ Prince Fielder is 5-for-11 with nine RBIs and an intentional walk following an intentional pass to Miguel Cabrera, but that isn’t in Phillips’ territory. Phillips is 6-for-7 with a walk, HBP, three sacrifice flies and 11 RBIs, including two walk-offs.

.000    Batting average of the Orioles following an intentional pass to Chris Davis
On the other hand, Davis gets no protection in Baltimore. He’s received 10 intentional walks this season, and Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy have combined to go 0-for-9 with a walk. That would make Davis’ assault on the all-time American League season home run record a bit tough if teams continue to pitch around the slugger.

37    Consecutive innings in which the Marlins have been shut out
The Miami Marlins’ offense has been non-existent since before the All-Star break. The Nationals held the Fish scoreless in the final six innings prior to the break. Over the weekend, the Brewers’ staff shut out the Marlins three times, the finale going 13 innings.

250    Wins for Buck Showalter as manager for each of four different teams
Recently, Showalter became just the fourth manager to win as many 250 games with a quartet of teams. He won 319 games as the manager at Texas, 313 as the Yankees’ skipper, 250 with Arizona, and now 252 with Baltimore. He joins Joe Torre, Gene Mauch and Dick Williams in the select group. Torre accomplished that with five different teams.

96    RBIs for the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera
Through Detroit’s first 97 games, Cabrera has averaged close to an RBI per game. With four more RBIs, Cabrera will become the 17th player in history with 10 100-RBI seasons. Alex Rodriguez owns the record with 14.

3    No-hitters at the hands of the Lansing Lugnuts
The Lugnuts, the Single-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, have been the victims of three no-hitters this season. The most recent came at the hands of Victor Sanchez of Clinton (Mariners affiliate) in a 1-0 loss. On April 14, Kyle Schepel of South Bend (Diamondbacks) blanked the Lugnuts over seven innings as part of a doubleheader. Four Bowling Green (Rays) pitchers combined to hold the Lugnuts hitless on June 21 at Bowling Green.

17    Runs allowed by Atlanta in three games to AL’s worst offense
One would think that the lowest-scoring team in the American League would be a happy sight for the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves. Well, not so fast. The Sox torched Atlanta pitching for 17 runs over the weekend, taking two of three in the interleague series.

1    Hit needed to plate four runs and win by Seattle
After Bedard was lifted in the tilt with Seattle, the Mariners tallied just one hit but managed four runs in the win over Houston.

Teaser:
Erik Bedard willingly leaves a no-hitter, the Marlins can’t score and Brandon Phillips emerges as the best lineup protection in the game. These stats and more in this edition of Amazing MLB Stats for the week of July 15-21.
Post date: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 13:48
Path: /nascar/nascar-numbers-game-7-amazing-stats-indianapolis
Body:

For the 20th time, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will descend upon Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend, but the track isn’t the primary topic.

Maintaining and improving is the focus de jour for drivers and teams in the midst of one of the most hotly contested races to the Chase since the playoff’s inception. Two drivers — one particularly dominant at Indianapolis — look to maintain their sterling summer performance. Two drivers both on the Chase bubble — one terrific at Indianapolis, the other having produced at replacement level there for four races — need to ensure that the 2.5-mile track provides them with a finish that can help in realizing their wildest title fantasies.

While they aren’t discussed as a potential winner at Indianapolis, the driver and team that have been quietly lighting up the Cup Series since May look to continue their point-padding ways.


9.0  Clint Bowyer and the No. 15 Michael Waltrip Racing team have the best average finish (9.0) over the last 10 races.

Dating back to the Talladega race, two of Bowyer’s fellow MWR employees, Martin Truex Jr. and Brian Vickers, have scored victories; however, it is Bowyer and crew who have been the most electric performers out of the stable. Finishing in the top 15 in seven out of eight races — and on the lead lap for each one — Bowyer’s 5.0 finish deviation, which measures the consistency of a team’s finishes, indicates a level of steadiness that the team might wish to emulate in the Chase.


6.700  Jimmie Johnson, who scored three victories at Indianapolis in five CoT era races, leads the Cup Series in PEER (a measure of performance in equal equipment) at the facility with a 6.700 rating.  Jimmie Johnson

Johnson’s four victories in total list him among the Foyts, Schumachers and Gordons of the world as one of the storied track’s top conquerors. Amazingly, if he isn’t winning Indianapolis, he is suffering a day to forget. In his last nine Indy starts, he accumulated four wins and five finishes of 19th or worse. Saying he’s a win threat this weekend as long as nothing catastrophic happens might be the year’s biggest understatement. Because of the feast-or-famine results pattern from the No. 48 team, another driver holds the best average finish there across the CoT era races.


5.0  Greg Biffle’s fifth-place average finish in the last five races at Indianapolis is three positions better, on average, than any other driver.

Biffle? Who knew? The driver of Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 16 hasn’t scored a win at Indianapolis, but he has silently been the track’s most dependable finisher during the aforementioned time frame. He ranks second in PEER (5.450) thanks to finishes of eighth, fourth, third, seventh and third, which makes his 2.3 finish deviation there the most consistent among top performers.


1 and 2  The No. 24 team of Jeff Gordon ranked first and second in 2011 and 2012, respectively, in average green-flag speed at Indianapolis.

Perhaps the other four-time 400 winner isn’t done adding to his tally? In the last two events, it was clear that Gordon and crew chief Alan Gustafson carried serious speed. Unfortunately, neither outing translated to victory. He finished second to Paul Menard in 2011 and fifth last season. The biggest question surrounding Gordon, who is bouncing on the Chase bubble with seven races remaining in the regular season, is whether Gustafson’s speedy Indy setups can work with the Gen-6 car. Then, it becomes a matter of sealing the deal for his first victory there since 2004.


202  Juan Pablo Montoya led 202 laps across the five CoT era races at Indianapolis.

Montoya’s finishes are an item of concern, though. He crashed out of two races during that time frame, including the 2010 event in which he led 86 laps. His average finish through those five races was 26.2, with his best finish being an 11th-place score following a pit road speeding penalty in his 116 laps-led showing in 2009. Of note: the crew chief for his most dominant performances was Brian Pattie, who now sits on the pit box for the driver with the hottest hand in the Cup Series (Bowyer; see above). Since Pattie was fired from Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Montoya hasn’t led a single lap and earned finishes of 28th and 21st in two races.


40th  After a six-race string of finishes 11th or better, Joey Logano was saddled with consecutive finishes of 40th at Daytona and New Hampshire and now sits 18th in the Cup Series point standings.

Well, that escalated quickly. Logano rode a consistency wave all the way to 10th in the point standings just two races ago. What Logano, crew chief Todd Gordon and the Penske Racing No. 22 will need to accomplish this weekend in order to stop the bleeding will be foreign to Logano’s best Indianapolis efforts. Logano ranks 29th in PEER (0.313) at Indy. His best finish (ninth) came in Joe Gibbs Racing equipment in 2010’s race.

Logano might have his spirit lifted with a stellar Saturday performance, something that would be in accord with his current run through the NASCAR Nationwide Series.


5.3  Logano has averaged a finish of 5.3 in eight Nationwide Series races this season.  

Last year, Logano finished seventh in the inaugural Nationwide race at Indianapolis, but the car he’ll be driving this weekend captured the victory with Brad Keselowski behind the wheel. To secure a win of his own, he’ll have to topple the Kyle Busch-JGR juggernaut, the team with the only average finish (4.9) better than Logano’s. A win can go a long way in the apparent redevelopment of the 23-year-old driver. The extra seat time on Indy’s hallowed grounds may ultimately do his Chase chances some good.


For PEER and other metrics with which you may be unfamiliar, I refer you to my glossary of terms on MotorsportsAnalytics.com.

David Smith is the founder of Motorsports Analytics LLC and the creator of NASCAR statistics for projections, analysis and scouting. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidSmithMA.
 

Photos by Action Sports, Inc.

Teaser:
David Smith crunches the numbers to reveal some revealing NASCAR stats for the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Post date: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 12:27
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Fantasy, News
Path: /college-football/college-fantasy-football-top-300-2013
Body:

Johnny ManzielFall college fantasy football drafts are right around the corner and Athlon is here to help win your league in 2013. Athlon Sports has teamed with Joe DiSalvo of thecffsite.com to provide the latest rankings for the upcoming year.

Rankings will be updated right up until kickoff and expect plenty of tweaks to over the next couple of months.

Scoring system rankings based upon:

All draft values are based on a 12-team, 20-round draft using the following scoring system:

Passing—25 pass yds = 1 point
Passing TD = 4 points, INTs = -1 point

Rushing—10 rushing yards = 1 point
Rushing TDs = 6 points

Receiving—.5 points per reception, 10 receiving yards = 1 point, Receiving TDs = 6 points

Kicking—Extra Point = 1 point
FG 0-39 yards = 3 points, 40-49 yards = 4 points, 50+ = 5 points

Defense/ST—Defense, KR, and PR TDs = 6 points
Safety = 2 points, Fumbles and INTs = 3 points, Sack = 1 point,

Points allowed (0 = 15 points, 2-6 = 10 points, 7-10 = 7 points, 11-13 = 5 points, 14-21 = 4 points, 22-28 = 2 points, 29-24 = 0 points, 35+ = -2 points)

2013 College Fantasy Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Team Defenses


Updated: August 22, by Joe DiSalvo (@theCFFsite)

Note: This is not a list of the best players in college football. This is a ranking of the best players in terms of fantasy value (players who will have the best numbers in college football for 2013.)

 

College Fantasy Football: Top 300 for Fall Drafts
 

RankPlayerPositionTeam
1Ka'Deem CareyRBArizona
2Jordan LynchQBNorthern Illinois
3Braxton MillerQBOhio State
4Tajh BoydQBClemson
5Johnny ManzielQBTexas A&M
6Marqise LeeWRUSC
7Sammy WatkinsWRClemson
8Adam MuemaRBSan Diego State
9Todd GurleyRBGeorgia
10David FluellenRBToledo
11Antonio AndrewsRBWestern Kentucky
12T.J. YeldonRBAlabama
13Marcus MariotaQBOregon
14Branden OliverRBBuffalo
15Duke JohnsonRBMiami
16Josh StewartWROklahoma State
17Dri ArcherRBKent State
18Ameer AbdullahRBNebraska
19Brett HundleyQBUCLA
20Zurlon TiptonRBCentral Michigan
21Lache SeastrunkRBBaylor
22Bishop SankeyRBWashington
23Davante AdamsWRFresno State
24Eric WardWRTexas Tech
25Brett SmithQBWyoming
26De'Anthony ThomasRBOregon
27Venric MarkRBNorthwestern
28Tommy ShulerWRMarshall
29Justin HardyWREast Carolina
30Kolton BrowningQBUL-Monroe
31Jordan MatthewsWRVanderbilt
32Branden OliverRBBuffalo
33Bernard ReedyWRToledo
34Darrin ReavesRBUAB
35Carlos HydeRBOhio State
36Rakeem CatoQBMarshall
37Storm WoodsRBOregon St
38Charles SimsRBWest Virginia
39Cody HoffmanWRBYU
40Derek CarrQBFresno State
41Kenneth DixonRBLouisiana Tech
42Shane CardenQBEast Carolina
43Kasey CarrierRBNew Mexico
44Willie SneadWRBall State
45Beau BlankenshipRBOhio
46Bryce PettyQBBaylor
47Taylor MartinezQBNebraska
48Melvin GordonRBWisconsin
49Storm JohnsonRBUCF
50Jeremy SmithRBOklahoma State
51Terrance BroadwayQBUL-Lafayette
52Brandin CooksWROregon State
53Mike DavisRBSouth Carolina
54John HubertRBKansas State
55Noel GrigsbyWRSan Jose State
56Quinshad DavisWRNorth Carolina
57Clint ChelfQBOklahoma State
58Mike EvansWRTexas A&M
59Jay AjayiRBBoise State
60Jamison CrowderWRDuke
61Orleans DarkwaRBTulane
62Cody FajardoQBNevada
63Amari CooperWRAlabama
64Chuckie KeetonQBUtah State
65Carlos HydeRBOhio State
66Jamaal WilliamsRBBYU
67Isaac BennettRBPitt
68Jahwan EdwardsRBBall State
69Austin FranklinWRNew Mexico State
70James SimsRBKansas
71David FalesQBSan Jose State
72Austin Sefarian-JenkinsTEWashington
73Andre WilliamsRBBoston College
74Ben MalenaRBTexas A&M
75Silas ReddRBUSC
76Michael CampanaroWRWake Forest
77Allen RobinsonWRPenn State
78Damien WilliamsRBOklahoma
79Bo WallaceQBOle Miss
80Logan ThomasQBVirginia Tech
81Jalen SaundersWROklahoma
82Rod McDowellRBClemson
83Trey WattsRBTulsa
84Aaron MurrayQBGeorgia
85Michael BrewerQBTexas Tech
86Alex NeutzWRBuffalo
87Stefon DiggsWRMaryland
88David OkuRBArkansas State
89Ryan GrantWRTulane
90LaDarius PerkinsRBMississippi State
91Donnell KirkwoodRBMinnesota
92Teddy BridgewaterQBLouisville
93Stephen HoustonRBHouston
94Donte MoncriefWROle Miss
95Alonzo HarrisRBUL-Lafayette
96Jeremy GallonWRMichigan
97Tim CornettRBUNLV
98Blake BellQBOklahoma
99Marion GriceRBArizona State
100Brendan BigelowRBCalifornia
101Bryn RennerQBNorth Carolina
102Der’rikk ThompsonWRSMU
103Jay LeeWRBaylor
104Gator HoskinsTEMarshall
105Jordan JamesRBUCLA
106George Atkinson IIIRBNotre Dame
107Chris HarperWRCalifornia
108DeVante ParkerWRLouisville
109Devin GardnerQBMichigan
110Vintavious CooperRBEast Carolina
111Jeff ScottRBOle Miss
112Dawan ScottWRMiami (O)
113Alex AmidonWRBoston College
114Jordan ParkerRBMiddle Tennessee
115Je’Ron HammWRUL-Monroe
116Jerome SmithRBSyracuse
117Vad LeeQBGeorgia Tech
118Taylor KellyQBArizona State
119Keyarris GarrettWRTulsa
120David RichardsWRArizona
121Alabama D/ST  
122Eric EbronTENorth Carolina
123Kasen WilliamsWRWashington
124Antwan GoodleyWRBaylor
125Matt MillerWRBoise State
126Taylor McHargueQBRice
127Jordan HopgoodRBBowling Green
128Wesley TateRBVanderbilt
129Jace AmaroTETexas Tech
130Casey PachallQBTCU
131Titus DavisWRCentral Michigan
132Deontay GreenberryWRHouston
133Dominique WilliamsWRWashington State
134Keenan ReynoldsQBNavy
135Tyler TettletonQBOhio
136Chris CoyleTEArizona State
137Jeremy HillRBLSU
138Phillip DorsettWRMiami
139Tre MasonRBAuburn
140Kelvin YorkRBUtah
141Donte FosterWROhio
142Michael DyerRBLouisville
143Christian PowellRBColorado
144Garrett GilbertQBSMU
145David SimsRBGeorgia Tech
146Stanford D/ST  
147Jordan ThompsonWRWest Virginia
148Brandon CarterWRTCU
149Romar MorrisRBNorth Carolina
150Andre DavisWRSouth Florida
151J.D. McKissicWRArkansas State
152Blake BortlesQBUCF
153Lyle McCombsRBConnecticut
154Chris GallonWRBowling Green
155Joe HillRBUtah State
156Connor HallidayQBWashington State
157James WhiteRBWisconsin
158T.J. JonesWRNotre Dame
159C.J. FiedorowiczTEIowa
160Martavis BryantWRClemson
161Matt JonesRBFlorida
162Byron MarshallRBOregon
163Bronson HillRBEastern Michigan
164B.J. DenkerQBArizona
165Notre Dame D/ST  
166Brandon ColemanWRRutgers
167J.J. WortonWRUCF
168Savon HugginsRBRutgers
169Bradley MarquezWRTexas Tech
170Mike DavisWRTexas
171Shaquelle EvansWRUCLA
172Tevin ReeseWRBaylor
173Stephen MorrisQBMiami
174Marlin LaneRBTennessee
175Keith WenningQBBall State
176Robert HerronWRWyoming
177Derrick GreenRBMichigan
178Chris NwokeRBColorado State
179Colt LyerlaTEOregon
180Eric ThomasWRTroy
181Marteze WallerRBFresno State
182Rashad GreeneWRFlorida State
183Daniel SamsQBKansas State
184South Carolina D/ST  
185Max WittekQBUSC
186Jawon ChisholmRBAkron
187Dorial Green-BeckhamWRMissouri
188Willie McNealWRWestern Kentucky
189Tracy MooreWROklahoma State
190Dominique BrownRBLouisville
191Terrance OwensQBToledo
192Trayion DurhamRBKent State
193Nelson AgohlorWRUSC
194Michael BennettWRGeorgia
195Johnathan GrayRBTexas
196Taysom HillQBBYU
197Joe MorrowWRMississippi State
198Kevonte Martin-ManleyWRIowa
199Michigan State D/ST  
200Arthur LynchTEGeorgia
201Paul RichardsonWRColorado
202Cameron StingilyRBNorthern Illinois
203Kenny WilliamsRBTexas Tech
204James FranklinQBMissouri
205Kevin OzierWRArizona State
206Zach KlineQBCalifornia
207Kevin ParksRBVirginia
208Mark WeismanRBIowa
209Louisville D/ST  
210D.J. ColesWRVirginia Tech
211Jamill SmithWRBall State
212Alex CollinsRBArkansas
213Clive WalfordTEMiami
214David PilandQBHouston
215Bruce EllingtonWRSouth Carolina
216L.T. SmithWRAkron
217Kain ColterQBNorthwestern
218Don JacksonRBNevada
219Jyruss EdwardsRBUL-Monroe
220Noah CopelandRBNavy
221Clint TrickettQBWest Virginia
222Ted BolserTEIndiana
223Glasco MartinRBBaylor
224Jamal RobinsonWRUL-Lafayette
225K.J. MyersWRWest Virginia
226Kenny BellWRNebraska
227Alfred BlueRBLSU
228A.J. McCarronQBAlabama
229LSU D/ST  
230J.C. ColemanRBVirginia Tech
231Marcus DavisWRAuburn
232Sterling ShepardWROklahoma
233Dan VitaleTENorthwestern
234Jameis WinstonQBFlorida State
235Jarvis LandryWRLSU
236Marcus ShawRBSouth Florida
237James Wilder, Jr.RBFlorida State
238Jordan LeslieWRUTEP
239Jeremy JohnsonWRSMU
240Jake McGeeTEVirginia
241Sam RichardsonQBIowa State
242Matt SchilzQBBowling Green
243Zach ZwinakRBPenn State
244Andrew BuieRBWest Virginia
245Jake MurphyTEUtah State
246TCU D/ST  
247Alonzo RussellWRToledo
248Anthony BooneQBDuke
249LeKendrick WilliamsWRTexas A&M
250Kyle CarterTEPenn State
251Chandler JonesWRSan Jose State
252Keith PriceQBWashington
253Devin FunchessTEMichigan
254Gabe MarksWRWashington State
255Mark WeismanRBIowa
256Nick HillRBMichigan State
257Raymond MaplesRBArmy
258Florida D/ST  
259Tyler RussellQBMississippi State
260Brandon WimberlyWRNevada
261Kofi HughesWRIndiana
262Henry JoseyRBMissouri
263Nick O’LearyTEFlorida State
264Devin SmithWROhio State
265Austin BoucherQBMiami (O)
266Nathan JefferyRBUTEP
267Ty MontgomeryWRStanford
268Tavarese MayeWRUL-Monroe
269Raymond SandersRBKentucky
270Clemson D/ST  
271Devonta FreemanRBFlorida State
272Devin StreetWRPittsburgh
273Zane FakesTEBall State
274A.J. SchurrQBArmy
275Joe SouthwickQBBoise State
276Brandon HayesRBMemphis
277Josh HuffWROregon
278Texas D/ST  
279Alex BayerTEBowling Green
280Cody GreenQBTulsa
281C.J. BrownQBMaryland
282Senorise PerryRBLouisville
283Tommylee LewisWRNorthern Illinois
284Josh HarrisRBWake Forest
285Malcolm BrownRBTexas
286Florida State  
287Chase RettigQBBoston College
288Jared AbbrederisWRWisconsin
289Jacob PedersenTEWisconsin
290D.J. FosterRBArizona State
291Oregon State D/ST  
292Malcolm MitchellWRGeorgia
293Xavier GrimbleTEUSC
294Kale PearsonQBAir Foirce
295James WhiteRBIowa State
296Kevin HoganQBStanford
297Rob BlanchflowerTEMassachusetts
298Tyler LockettWRKansas State
299Albert WilsonWRGeorgia State
300Isaiah BurseWRFresno State

 

Teaser:
College Fantasy Football: Top 300 for 2013
Post date: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 12:00
All taxonomy terms: Milwaukee Brewers, Ryan Braun, MLB
Path: /65-game-suspension-not-enough-ryan-braun
Body:

As news broke yesterday of Ryan Braun’s suspension, I am reminded that when cheating and performance-enhancing drugs are involved, there are many more losers than winners. The fans, the Brewers’ organization, MLB, the Players Association, Braun’s teammates, his opponents, Braun and his family — and even Aaron Rodgers — are all losers in this scenario.

While this is a step in the right direction, and potentially a sizeable step, this is not a win for Major League Baseball. Just as pennant fever is beginning to catch on in cities around the country, fans are reminded of a sordid underbelly of professional sports. And now fans must question how rampant PED use is in MLB. Fans have been told that the game is cleaner than it has been since the 1980s, and we want to believe that, but now there is doubt.

I do believe the game is much cleaner now, and that a vast majority of players want to continue vigorous efforts to rid the sport of PEDs. I believe the process is working. But as we’ve seen from this entire Biogenesis affair, there is still much work to do. As has always been the case — and will unfortunately always be the case — there’s more money in cheating than there is in testing, so for MLB, like the Olympics, cycling, the NFL and other governing bodies, the chase will never end.

I don’t think Braun received due punishment. I think he got off light. However, I understand why MLB is interested in quickly resolving this latest PED issue.

Neither MLB nor Braun has presented any evidence to me (shocker). So any evaluation on my part is a bit presumptive. Having said that, if Braun is guilty of PED use — and by accepting this penalty it is reasonable to assume that he is indeed guilty — a 65-game suspension right now is letting him off too easy.

So why would MLB agree to such a light sentence?

A quick and absolute resolution is good for MLB. Lingering questions and doubt cloud an already murky issue. MLB is likely willing to shorten suspensions in exchange for speedy resolutions.

This first domino in the Biogenesis case will be the standard for the remainder of MLB’s cases against other players. From the physical evidence collected from Biogenesis and, perhaps, the information provided by Tony Bosch, a former employee, MLB had enough to convince Braun that the situation could be worse. Now Alex Rodriguez, Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta, Everth Cabrera, Bartolo Colon and others face similar dilemmas. How hard do they fight these allegations?

So, with one suspension in the books, MLB can move quickly to close this ugly chapter before the 2013 pennant races heat up, which is what this time of year should be about.

But here’s why this punishment is not enough. Here’s why I don’t feel sorry for Ryan Braun.

Braun will lose close to $3.5 million, a little more than a third of a season’s worth of stats, the trust of the fans, his reputation, and likely any chance of a legacy as one of the great hitters in the game. But let’s take a look at what Braun has left in his wake along the way.

With what will be a 65-game suspension, Braun will forfeit close to $3.5 million, which is his salary for 65 games. That’s not a small sum. However, he cheated and lied his way into a long-term contract that guarantees him close to $120 million through 2020. No suspension for drug use can void that deal. So, $3.5 million is a pittance to pay. A few years ago, the Brewers’ organization with limited resources, could not afford to pay two superstars like Braun and Prince Fielder. The Brewers chose Braun and this is the thanks they get?

So, why would Braun accept a suspension without a fight that costs him more than $3 million? Because it could be that he doesn’t want to fight a losing battle. Or it could be that risking a longer suspension that would drag into next season would cost him even more. This season, Braun loses about $52,400 per game. Beginning next season the tab grows to about $61,700 per game. Besides, aside from the money, this season is a loss already for the Brewers, and with a nagging wrist injury, Braun would be able to return healthy, rested and fresh for spring training. So the time and money lost could be much worse.

He has tarnished his reputation. But if we remember his last altercation with MLB over illicit substance use, Braun’s defense was based on the handling of his specimen. The outfielder and his camp called into question the integrity of the collector Dino Laurenzi, Jr., attempting to tarnish his reputation. There is no sympathy here for anyone who chooses to unfairly question another’s integrity merely in the name of self-preservation.

Braun has lost the trust of baseball fans in Milwaukee and across the country. Poor guy. Again, it’s difficult to feel bad for a guy who accepted the 2011 NL MVP award at the BBWAA dinner with the following statements: “I’ve always believed that a person’s character is revealed through the way they deal with those moments of adversity. I’ve always loved and had so much respect for the game of baseball. Everything I’ve done in my career has been done with that respect and appreciation in mind. And that is why I’m so grateful and humbled to accept this award tonight.”

And what about that 2011 MVP award? How would you expect Matt Kemp to react? Braun is not being asked to give that trophy back. And how do the members of the Arizona Diamondbacks that season feel? Braun, after testing positive to grossly inflated testosterone levels at the end of the season, was allowed to play in the postseason and batted .500 in the five games vs. Arizona. Do any of those guys feel cheated? You bet they do.

So, 65 games during a season going nowhere in Milwaukee and $3.5 million just doesn’t seem like much to pay for robbing baseball, lying to teammates and fans, challenging an innocent man’s integrity and building a career based on a lie.

Teaser:
The suspension for 65 games may seem stiff, but Ryan Braun got off easy with PED penalty.
Post date: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 11:35
Path: /college-football/nevada-updates-helmet-2013
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Change is the key word in Reno this year, as Nevada will have a new head coach (Brian Polian), and the team has to replace some key players on both sides of the ball.

The Wolf Pack is also updating their helmets this year, as they will wear a white variation in 2013. The blue version is pretty sharp and the same can be said about this new white scheme.

Photo tweeted by Chris Murray of Reno Gazette-Journal

 

Teaser:
Nevada Wolf Pack updates helmet for 2013.
Post date: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 11:30
Path: /college-football/ulm-unveils-new-uniforms-2013
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ULM is expected to be one of the top contenders in the Sun Belt this year, and the Warhawks will sport some new jerseys in pursuit of the conference title. 

These aren't a drastic switch from last season's uniform, but overall, this is a pretty solid look for ULM.

 

Teaser:
ULM Unveils New Uniforms for 2013
Post date: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 10:30
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /athlons-essential-11-links-day-july-23-2013
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This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for July 23.

 

• A countdown I can get on board with: Ranking the 50 Most Famous WAGs in sports history. Kate Upton (pictured) is only 17th, so you know it's a strong list.

 

Aaron Rodgers once bet a guy his salary via Twitter that Ryan Braun was clean. Let's see if A-Rod is a man of his word.

 

• Presented without comment: Dashcam video of Antonio Morrison barking at a police dog.

 

• Sage advice: Let's all relax and let Johnny Football do his thing.

 

An update on the guy who has 22 kids by 14 women. He might get a reality show, and he's about to become a grandpa at 33. Nice to see responsible behavior rewarded with fame and fortune.

 

Ray Lewis treads lightly on the subject of Aaron Hernandez. I think that's probably wise.

 

The latest clown to rush the field got a taste of the infield dirt in San Fran.

 

Apparently, Larry Legend is still money from three. But does he still have his amazing hops?

 

Jason Heyward ended last night's Braves win in style.

 

• Today's odd coupling: Mr. Cub joined Pearl Jam onstage.

 

• SI's Richard Deitsch got people to share photos of their happiest moments via Twitter. The results are heartwarming.

 

• The grandson of a Brewers coach wanted his money's worth on his first pitch: 60 feet, six inches. Or, in his case, about two feet.

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 10:29

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