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Path: /johnson-firing-all-cylinders-texas-win
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Something is beginning to look familiar about this NASCAR championship chase.

One season ago, Jimmie Johnson was engaged in a dogfight atop the Sprint Cup Series point standings and emerged from Texas with a seven-point lead over rival Brad Keselowski after a commanding 168 laps-led performance. The Hendrick Motorsports driver has a different adversary this year, but the results from a Sunday shootout in Texas were the same. In fact, they were even more impressive.

Johnson pulverized the field in the AAA Texas 500, leading 255 of 334 laps to snag his sixth win of the season and second of the Chase. In the process, the five-time champion leaves with an all-to-familiar seven-point advantage over his closest competitor, Matt Kenseth, who finished fourth.

Of course, last season Johnson lost his points lead the following week in Phoenix when a tire failed and he hit the wall. The ensuing 32nd-place finish found him 20 points behind Keselowski, a deficit he was not able to overcome.

“I hope history doesn’t repeat itself,” Johnson said.

Honestly, it’s hard to imagine that happening twice to a team as prepared — and successful — as the No. 48.

“We really focus on what it is we need to do,” crew chief Chad Knaus explained. “We can all say that Phoenix was the culprit last year why we didn’t win the championship. The fact of the matter is we had a mechanical problem at Homestead that took us out of it. If we had won Phoenix and went to Homestead and still had a mechanical problem, we’d have lost the championship.”

Regardless of whether history does or does not repeat itself, Johnson’s performance put the sport on high alert. Even a slow pit stop on lap 238 that dropped Johnson from the lead to fourth couldn’t derail his efforts. Within 20 laps he had driven back to the point.

Concurrently, a pit road mistake by Kenseth seriously hindered his cause. Penalized for speed entering the pits on lap 173, Kenseth dropped from second to 16th and spent the remainder of the race making up ground.

“I sped trying to be aggressive, which was all on me,” Kenseth said. “Still came back and got a top 5. The day could have been a lot worse. It was a good day for us, really.

“If I hadn’t messed up, maybe we could have finished second.”

Second; not first. That’s how clear it was that Johnson was in another zip code.

Runner-up Dale Earnhardt Jr. and third-place Joey Logano said as much afterward.

“We had a fast enough car to keep track position, but the 48 was in another class and nobody had anything for him,” Earnhardt said.

“We can’t be disappointed with a third-place finish,” Logano said. “Just the 48 car was ridiculously fast.”

However, oftentimes in racing, the fastest car does not win. And that fact was not lost on Johnson:

“When you have a dominant car, it is so stressful because you’re just waiting for that thing that can get you, whatever it is. Chad said it once on the radio, ‘Just keep a positive mindset here, and things are going to work out.’ We did that. We stayed focused and got the job done.”

Even with last season’s championship defeat still fresh, don’t expect Johnson to consider this a knockout blow to a veteran such as Kenseth.

“At this point of the season if you’re in contention, you’ve got more pressure than you ever wanted — it’s just there,” Johnson said. “I don’t know if this puts any more (on Kenseth). They were able to get some points on us last week. We got some on them this week.”

And Kenseth, for his part, left with an optimistic outlook at the season’s final two events:

“The math works out if you win the last two races, so it’s still in our hands. It’s not like we have to have somebody have trouble. If we can go out there and outrun everybody for two weeks, we’ll just go with that mindset.

“We’re still in this thing after eight weeks and we’re going to try to get it.”

One more Texas-like performance out of Johnson and that math changes.


Follow Matt Taliaferro on Twitter: @MattTaliaferro
Photos by Action Sports, Inc.
 

Teaser:
Jimmie Johnson wins the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway and increases his lead in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup to seven points over Matt Kenseth.
Post date: Monday, November 4, 2013 - 13:18
Path: /college-football/northwestern-unveils-patriotic-uniform-michigan-game
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With Northwestern needing two more wins to get bowl eligible, the Nov. 16 game against Michigan will be huge for its postseason hopes.

And the Wildcats will play that game with a new uniform combination, which helps to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.

Here’s a look at the uniform combination Northwestern will wear on Nov. 16 against the Wolverines:

 

 

Teaser:
Northwestern Unveils Patriotic Uniform for Michigan Game
Post date: Monday, November 4, 2013 - 12:28
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /golf/5-amazing-stats-wgc-hsbc-champions
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Dustin JohnsonHalfway around the world, while you were enjoying your extra hour of sleep on Saturday night, Dustin Johnson was busy earning what he called "the biggest win I've had in my career so far" — a three-shot triumph at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai. Against golf's most elite field (minus an absent Tiger Woods), Johnson withstood a final-round challenge from a couple of Ryder Cup stalwarts to post the eighth and most prestigious victory of what has been a stellar six-plus years on Tour.

Early in the final round, any Americans who happened to be watching had to be suffering some alarming Ryder Cup flashbacks. Paired with European Cup stalwarts Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell, Johnson squandered his 54-hole three-shot lead, going 1-over for the first seven holes while Poulter and McDowell — and Sergio Garcia a few holes ahead — were firing howitzers, and it seemed as if Johnson would reprise his major heartbreak of years past. He stayed patient, though, and starting at No. 8 went on a tournament-clinching tear that was highlighted by an eagle chip-in at the short par-4 16th that effectively ended the tournament, much to the frustration of defending champion Poulter. "A little disappointed not to put my hands back on the trophy," said Poulter. "But 15 birdies and an eagle at the weekend is some pretty good golf. Dustin finished the job. It was good golf and it was good fun to play in that group."

And especially fun for Americans looking ahead to the 2014 Ryder Cup and seeing Johnson more than hold his own.

Here are the numbers from Johnson's weekend sojourn to China.

-24 Johnson's 24-under par 264 set the HSBC Tournament record.

2 For the second time in this calendar year, Johnson won his first tournament of the season. That's right — thanks to the PGA Tour's new wraparound schedule, the HSBC is part of the new 2013-14 season. Johnson added the HSBC to his season-opening Mercedes win back in January. In other words, Johnson just set a record that will never be broken.

3 With his eighth career win, Johnson is one of only three players under the age of 30 with four or more PGA Tour wins. Rory McIlroy (6) and Webb Simpson (4) are the others.

7 Johnson now has at least one PGA Tour victory in seven consecutive seasons (2008-current). Only Phil Mickelson (10 consecutive years) has a longer active streak. Tiger Woods had a 14-year winning streak from 1996-2009.

1 Johnson is the first player since Tiger Woods (1996-2001) to win in his first seven consecutive seasons straight out of college (2008-current). Woods would stretch that streak to 14 years.

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, November 4, 2013 - 11:32
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-november-4-2013
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This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for Nov. 4.

 

Enjoy this countdown of the 101 Most Beautiful People in Sports, including Octagon girl Brittney Palmer (pictured).

 

Adrian Peterson did his best Earl Campbell impression on an insane touchdown run yesterday.

 

• Unintentional danglies on the TV screen are never not funny. These are courtesy of analyst Dan Fouts.

 

• The last month's most dominant team? Yep, the Carolina Panthers.

 

The WSJ takes some air out of the Chiefs' balloon by pointing out that they've been feasting on backup quarterbacks. Hey, a win's a win, I say.

 

The Richie Incognito bullying saga has taken a new twist. Apparently the psycho apple didn't fall far from the tree.

 

• So just how did Twitter take over the world? Here are the 140 moments that made Twitter matter.

 

• Today in sad Philly has-beens: Dutch Daulton had to break up Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams and Lenny Dykstra at an autograph signing.

 

Bob Ryan ranks the 25 greatest Red Sox players of all time. Papi's No. 4. That seems awfully high. But Ryan's pretty much seen 'em all.

 

Here's a list of badass vegans, including Iron Mike Tyson, whose chomp on Evander Holyfield's ear was a rare moment of carniverous weakness.

 

So Usain Bolt ate 1,000 Chicken McNuggets in Beijing. I sense a sponsorship opportunity.

 

• Kansas coach Bill Self broke out the Ron Burgundy impression. Not bad.

 

 

 

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

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, November 4, 2013 - 10:58
All taxonomy terms: Funny, Overtime
Path: /overtime/florida-gators-fan-gets-pranks-peanuts-his-head
Body:
During this weekend's Georgia-Florida matchup, the cameras caught this poor fan getting a head full of peanut shells. We approve. 

Teaser:
During this weekend's Georgia-Florida matchup, the cameras caught this poor fan getting a head full of peanut shells. We approve.
Post date: Monday, November 4, 2013 - 08:30
Path: /college-football/amazing-college-football-stats-week-10
Body:

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

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

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

3: Georgia quarterbacks to beat Florida three years in a row
The Bulldogs stayed alive in the SEC East championship hunt with a heated, hard-fought victory over rival Florida. The win was Georgia's third straight win over the Gators for the first time since Steve Spurrier arrived in Gainesville (1987-89). It was Murray's third win over Florida, making him the third quarterback in school history to win three in a row over the Gators. Buck Belue, who led Georgia to its last national championship, won three straight from 1979-81. Johnny Rauch, 1945-48, is the only Dawgs signal caller to ever win four straight in the series.

41-3: Team that rushes for more yards in the Michigan-Michigan State rivalry
The Spartans were one of Week 10's biggest winners nationally after dominating their in-state rival in record-setting fashion. Michigan State held Michigan to minus-48 yards rushing, the worst mark in Maize and Blue history. The Spartans were able to nearly quadruple the Wolverines in rushing — against an equally as stingy rushing defense — by totaling 142 yards on the ground. In the last 44 meetings between the Big Ten rivals, the team that has run for more yards is 41-3. Michigan totaled just 168 yards, but more on that in a second. The 29-6 win was the most lopsided victory for Sparty over the Wolverines since a 34-0 shutout in 1967.

43.4: Michigan State's yards rushing allowed per game
The Spartans allowed just 168 total yards of offense, two field goals and minus-48 yards rushing. With the dominant performance, Michigan State is on pace to become just the fourth team in the last 30 years to allow less than 50 yards rushing per game. TCU allowed 47.1 yards per game in 2008 and Michigan gave up 43.4 yards per contest in 2006. Only Arizona's Desert Swarm unit of 1993 (30.1 ypg) allowed fewer rushing yards per game over the last three decades than MSU's current pace. Additionally, Mark Dantonio's defense is leading the nation in total defense at 210.2 yards per game — second only to Alabama's elite national championship 2011 unit (183.6 ypg) since 2000.

116: Tajh Boyd all-time ACC total TD record
The Clemson quarterback threw for 377 yards and accounted for four total touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) in an easy road win over Virginia. It gave Boyd 116 career total touchdowns, passing Philip Rivers' 112 for No. 1 all-time in ACC history. The Tigers gunslinger has 93 passing scores and 23 rushing touchdowns and is just three away from breaking Philip Rivers' ACC passing touchdown mark (95). Boyd has 10,673 career passing yards and 11,632 total yards of offense in his career, both of which are good for No. 2 all-time behind, you guessed it, Rivers (13,484 passing; 13,582 total offense). Interestingly, Russell Wilson is third all-time with 93 total touchdowns in ACC history — in just three seasons at NC State.

56.0: Arizona State points per game over their last four Pac-12 games
The Sun Devils limped out of Palo Alto with a bad loss and a tough schedule ahead. But Todd Graham's team has rallied in a big way, thanks in large part to its offense. It has scored at least 53 points in each of its four Pac-12 wins since losing to Stanford. Quarterback Taylor Kelly is playing his best football and is leading a team that has scored 27 touchdowns in four games for an average of 56 points per game. The Sun Devils now sit a full game up in the division over Arizona, UCLA and USC with looming games with each one.

5: Jameis Winston's career 300-yard games
EJ Manuel played in 43 games as a starting quarterback for Florida State, becoming just the second player in NCAA history to start and win four bowl games (Pat White). He had five career 300-yard passing efforts and was the No. 16 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Christian Ponder played in 35 games prior to Manuel and had just four career 300-yard passing games before getting picked 12th overall by the Vikings. In just eight career games, Winston has topped 300 yards five times and has yet to lose a game as a starter. Despite two bad interceptions, the Seminoles quarterback finished with 325 yards on 72.4-percent passing. He is No. 2 nationally to Bryce Petty with a 201.12 quarterback rating.

1: TCU three-game losing streaks under Gary Patterson
The Horned Frogs are headed in the wrong direction. TCU lost 20 yards on three plays before having to attempt a 62-yard field goal in the first overtime against West Virginia. The Mountaineers kicked a field goal on the ensuing possession to give the Frogs its third consecutive loss for the first time in the Gary Patterson era. Patterson is 119-41 in 13 seasons as the head coach in Fort Worth and after losing to Oklahoma State, Texas and WVU. The Frogs are 5-10 in conference play since entering the Big 12 in 2012.

3: Teams to win three straight as at least a TD underdog since 1980
According to ESPN/Grantland's R.J. Bell, only three teams since 1980 have won three consecutive games as a touchdown underdog. Minnesota defeated Indiana on the road as a 10-point underdog, giving it a third straight win as a double-digit dog after toppling Northwestern (+12.5) and Nebraska (+10.5). Arkansas in 1991 and Arizona in 2006 were the only two teams since 1980 to win three straight games as a TD underdog until the Gophers did it. Not only were they at least 10-point underdogs, but Minnesota has moved to 7-2 without head coach Jerry Kill. Defensive coordinator-turned-acting head coach Tracy Claeys is quietly turning the Gophers into one of the nation's best stories.

1990: Last time Arkansas lost six straight games
Guz Malzahn returned to his home state in impressive fashion by thumping Bret Bielema's Razorbacks 35-17 in Fayetteville. It gives Arkansas its sixth consecutive loss following a 3-0 start to the season — something that has never happened since joining the SEC in 1992. In fact, the last time Arkansas lost six straight games, it was a member of the Southwest Conference. The last four have been particularly painful and uncompetitive. The Hogs have been outscored 167-34 during that span and own the SEC's worst scoring offense at 20 points per game. Bielema has one chance at an SEC win left on the schedule: at Ole Miss, Mississippi State (Little Rock), at LSU.

29: Quinn Epperly NCAA-record consecutive completions
Princeton junior quarterback Quinn Epperly started the game against Cornell by completing the first 29 passes he threw. It broke Richie Williams' NCAA record for consecutive completions (28) set in 2004. He threw six touchdown passes for the second straight game and finished with 325 yards on 32-of-35 passing. East Carolina's Dominique Davis owns the FBS record with 26 straight completions against Navy in 2011.

Teaser:
Amazing College Football Stats from Week 10
Post date: Monday, November 4, 2013 - 07:20
Path: /college-football/big-12-post-week-10-power-rankings-2013
Body:

Finally, in the first week of November, the preseason favorite to win the Big 12 started to look the part.

Oklahoma State defeated Texas Tech 52-34 in Lubbock in its most complete game of the season, just in time for the Cowboys’ toughest part of the year. Like Baylor, Oklahoma State’s schedule is backloaded against Texas, Baylor and Oklahoma — all of which are ranked ahead of the Pokes in the power rankings for now.

But the Big 12 is shaping up as Athlon and others predicted it with four teams with realistic expectations to reach the Fiesta Bowl or more. Texas Tech all but bowed out of the race, but Oklahoma State gladly stepped into its place.

More Post-Week 10 Power Rankings: ACC | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC

Big 12 Post-Week 10 Power Rankings

RankTeamLWAnalysis
11Baylor (7-0, 4-0). Baylor had the week off as it prepares for the toughest portion of its schedule. The Bears’ final five opponents are 30-12 combined and 18-9 in the Big 12. Five of those league losses belong to TCU. Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and TCU all rank in the top 25 nationally in fewest yards per play. This week: Oklahoma
22Texas (6-2, 5-0). This week was another game in which Texas controlled both ends of the ground game. Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray combined to rush for 187 yards and four touchdowns on 38 carries while Kansas rushed for 140 yards on 36 carries. The Longhorns are third in the Big 12 in run defense in conference games, both in yards per game and yards per carry. Texas’ run game game been tough to stop at home (232.8 rushing yards per game in Austin, 5.5 yards per carry), but the Longhorns go on the road to face a West Virginia team that has played well in Morgantown this year. This week: at West Virginia
33Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1). A stat to note: Oklahoma’s defense has done a good job of keeping opponents off the field. The Sooners’ defense has been on the field for 63.8 plays per game, the fewest in the Big 12. Baylor is averaging 79.4 plays per game. This week: at Baylor
45Oklahoma State (7-1, 4-1). There are probably a handful of reasons Oklahoma State’s offense is starting to find some consistency: Clint Chelf has taken hold of the quarterback job, improving his passing output from 78 yards in his second start to 211 in his third. Desmond Roland and Rennie Childs have become the most reliable run threats. Coordinator Mike Yurcich also has adapted to his new job and personnel after moving up from Division II. Let’s also consider that Oklahoma State had the same starting lineup on offense in consecutive games for the first time all season. This week: Kansas
54Texas Tech (7-2, 4-2). The Red Raiders’ defense has returned to Earth after building a 7-0 start against TCU, Kansas and Iowa State. The Red Raiders allowed 526 yards to Oklahoma and 492 yards to Oklahoma State, the two highest totals of the season against Texas Tech. The offense hasn’t helped with six turnovers in two games (plus a blocked punt). Texas Tech is minus-7 in turnover margin this season while leading the Big 12 in penalties. This week: Kansas State
66Kansas State (4-4, 2-3). Kansas State has been much improved the last two weeks, defeating West Virginia and Iowa State by a combined score of 76-19. Granted, both wins were in Manhattan, and neither were against Big 12 contenders. The Wildcats will get an idea of where they stand this week when they visit Texas Tech. Jake Waters and Daniel Sams have continued to improve the the two quarterback system, helped by the return of top receivers Tyler Lockett and Tramaine Thompson. Against West Virginia and Iowa State, the quarterback duo has combined to complete 31 of 39 passes for 512 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. They’ve added combined 160 yards rushing in that span. This week: at Texas Tech
77West Virginia (4-5, 2-4). The Mountaineers won a key game for their bowl hopes by holding off TCU 30-27 in overtime. West Virginia must score two wins over Texas, Kansas and Iowa State to reach the postseason for 12th consecutive season. Charles Sims had his best game of the season in his return to Texas, rushing for 154 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. Sims also caught three passes for 35 yards with a score. This week: Texas
88TCU (3-6, 1-5). The Horned Frogs finally got the offensive production they needed, especially early when the took a 17-3 lead on West Virginia. Casey Pachall returned to form by completing 40 of 58 passes for 394 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions, including a furious comeback in the final four minutes to send the game to overtime. Meanwhile, former starting quarterback Trevone Boykin became Pachall’s top target with 11 catches for 100 yards. But TCU still had its setbacks, starting with the 30-27 loss and continuing with the ongoing absence of receiver Brandon Carter. With three games remaining against Iowa State, Kansas State and Baylor, the Frogs' bowl hopes are slim. This week: at Iowa State
99Iowa State (1-7, 0-5). The news keeps getting worse for struggling Iowa State. Running back Aaron Wimberly missed his second consecutive game with injury. Linebacker Luke Knott, who missed the last two games, is now out for the season. Both quarterbacks Sam Richardson and Grant Rohach were similarly ineffective against Kansas State , combining to go 17 of 36 with three interceptions. This week: TCU
1010Kansas (2-5, 0-5). As it did against Texas Tech and Oklahoma, Kansas was competitive for a time against Texas before losing by a significant margin. If there’s a silver lining, linebacker Ben Heeney returned to lead Kansas with nine tackles. This week: at Oklahoma State

Big 12 Week 10 Awards and Recap

Offensive player of the week: Clint Chelf, Oklahoma State
Chelf may have had the rug pulled out from under him when J.W. Walsh replaced him as the starter in the second game of the season, but the senior is making the most of his return to the lineup. Chelf completed 18 of 34 passes for 211 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in the road win over Texas Tech. For the second consecutive game, Chelf produced in the run game with 88 yards and two touchdowns on six carries.

Defensive player of the week: Will Clarke, West Virginia
The Mountaineers defense has struggled away from Morgantown, but they came up with a solid effort against feisty TCU in Fort Worth. Clarke led the way with four tackles and 2.5 tackles for a loss. The defensive end played a key role in West Virginia’s 24-0 run with a sack and a forced fumble that gave West Virginia the ball in the red zone. The Mountaineers capitalized by taking a 27-17 lead.

Freshman of the week: Daikiel Shorts, West Virginia
Shorts has developed into West Virginia’s top receiver, a position group reeling from the loss of Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. Shorts finished the game with six receptions for 98 yards against a strong TCU secondary. Shorts leads the Mountaineers in receptions (37) and yards (430).

Team of the week: Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State had been a flawed team even through a 6-1 start, but the Cowboys are starting to round into shape just in time for the critical part of the Big 12 schedule. With 58 points against Iowa State in Ames and 52 points against Texas Tech in Lubbock, Oklahoma State has scored 50 points in consecutive road games for the first time in school history.

Coordinator of the week: Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State
The coordinator Mike Gundy plucked from Division II Shippensburg is starting to feel his way through the Big 12. The Cowboys had their most complete offensive game of the season, rushing for 281 yards and passing for 221. Oklahoma State also converted both of its fourth down attempts. Texas Tech entered the game holding opponents to 379 per game before Oklahoma State amassed 502.

Fifth Down

• Chris Whaley became the first defensive tackle in Texas history to have two defensive touchdowns in the same season. Whaley scored on a 40-yard interception return against Kansas on Saturday and a 31-yard interception return earlier this season against Oklahoma.

• Oklahoma State became the first team to beat Texas Tech three times in a row in Lubbock since Nebraska in 1994, 1996 and 2000.

• TCU has lost three games in a row for the first time in 12 years under Gary Patterson.

• Former starting quarterback Trevone Boykin was TCU’s leading receiver against West Virginia, catching 11 passes for 100 yards. Boykin’s 11 catches is the most for anyone under Patterson.

• TCU wide receiver Brandon Carter, a breakout candidate who struggled for most  of the season, did not play against West Virginia due to a family issue.

• Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro had a prolific day, even for his standards. Amaro caught 15 passes for 174 yards with a touchdown, but he had his second fumble in two games.

• Kansas State running back John Hubert had his second 100-yard rushing day of the season with 105 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries against Iowa State. His season-high is 118 against UMass.

• Sam Richardson started at quarterback for Iowa State after a head injury scare last week against Oklahoma State. Richardson was 6 of 12 for 38 yards with an interception before he was relieved by Grant Rohach in the second quarter.

 

Teaser:
Big 12 Post-Week 10 Power Rankings 2013
Post date: Monday, November 4, 2013 - 07:20
Path: /college-football/2013-big-ten-post-week-10-power-rankings
Body:

What a wild week in the Big Ten. The three best teams in the league — Ohio State, Michigan State and Wisconsin — won in convincing fashion but the rest of the conference was under cardiac arrest in the fourth quarter.

Indiana came storming back with 28 unanswered points only to watch Philip Nelson throw the game-winning touchdown pass. Christian Hackenberg led a game-tying drive at the end of regulation and then tossed the game winner in overtime. And Nebraska won on a Ron Kellogg III Hail Mary that will be remembered for decades to come in Lincoln.

More Post-Week 10 Power Rankings: ACC | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC

Big Ten Post-Week 10 Power Rankings:

 TeamLWAnalysis 
1.(1)Ohio State (9-0, 5-0): The Buckeyes continue to earn style points with another huge blowout. This one was to be expected, however, as the league's best team crushed the league's worst by 56 points. Braxton Miller was excellent again, throwing four touchdown strikes. Urban Meyer moved to 21-0 as the head coach at Ohio State and is two games against Illinois and Indiana from the much awaited trip to Michigan. Next Week: at Illinois 
2.
 
 
(3)Michigan State (8-1, 5-0): The Spartans stayed perfect in the Big Ten by dominating the line of scrimmage against rival Michigan. The nation's leading defense held Michigan to a school-record minus-48 yards rushing thanks to seven sacks. Connor Cook made clutch throws when needed, and Jeremy Langford was productive enough to give the Spartans the most lopsided win over their in-state rival since 1967. Mark Dantonio gets two weeks to prepare for a road trip into Lincoln for a de facto Legends Division championship game. Next Week: Bye 
3.
 
 
 
(2)Wisconsin (6-2, 4-1): It wasn't pretty as both defenses stole the show in the first three quarters, but Wisconsin pulled away late for an important road win against rival Iowa. The Badgers defense, playing without leader Chris Borland, suffocated the Hawkeyes, holding Kirk Ferentz group to 289 yards of total offense and no touchdowns. The typically powerful UW running game will need to be better next week in an unusual nonconference game with BYU. The Cougars bring a similarly stingy defense to Madison. Next Week: BYU 
4.
 
 
(5)Nebraska (6-2, 3-1): A really bad week in the Pelini family ended as only it could — with a championship- and job-saving Hail Mary on the final play of the game against Northwestern. Both teams were held without an offensive touchdown in the second half until Ron Kellogg III heaved a final pass from the 49-yard line and Jordan Westerkamp snagged the tipped ball out of the air. The throw keeps the Huskers in Legends Division contention as the Big Red will face both Michigan schools over the next two weeks. Next Week: at Michigan 
5.
 
 
 
(4)Michigan (6-2, 2-2): Devin Gardner is going to see Spartans in his nightmares. He had no time to throw and the running game gave him no support as the Wolverines offensive line was obliterated by the Spartans defensive line. The team rushed for the lowest total in school history (minus-48 yards) and were tackled behind the line 18 times (11 TFL, seven sacks). Brady Hoke's team is 2-2 in the league and is three games behind their in-state rival Michigan State. Next Week: Nebraska 
6.
 
(6)Minnesota (7-2, 3-2): Philip Nelson had to be nervous as he watched his team give up four straight touchdowns to Indiana in the fourth quarter. But trailing by four with less than five minutes to go, Nelson delivered with the biggest throw of his career. His 50-yard TD pass won the game, and, after the defense recovered a juggled pitch on the Hoosiers' ensuing possession, Minnesota celebrated its third straight win. Jerry Kill is slowly inching his way back into control of the Gophers team — a welcomed sight for all Big Ten fans — but Tracy Claeys is no 3-0 as the interim head coach in what has quickly become one of the nation's best stories. Next Week: Penn State 
7.
 
(7)

Penn State (5-3, 2-2): Bill Belton nearly coughed up the game for the Nittany Lions, fumbling on the goal line down by three with less than four minutes to go. But his freshman quarterback and superstar wide receiver saved the day. Christian Hackenberg led a game-tying drive in the final minute and threw the game-winning touchdown to Kyle Carter in overtime. Allen Robinson caught 11 passes for 165 yards and made several critical catches in the waning moments. Belton's fumble nearly overshadowed a 200-yard rushing effort and, despite bowl sanctions, this team is one win away from being bowl eligible in each of Bill O'Brien's seasons at the helm. Next Week: at Minnesota

 
8.
 
 
 
(8)Iowa (5-4, 2-3): Trailing by five, quarterback Jake Rudock was knocked out of the game midway through the third quarter, and backup C.J. Beathard wasn't capable of getting anything going the rest of the way. The defense played valiantly against the powerful Wisconsin offensive line but simply couldn't move the ball on offense — and when it could, Iowa didn't finish drives with touchdowns. Kirk Ferentz's group will have to wait another week to get to bowl eligibility — which should happen next weekend. Next Week: at Purdue 
9.
 
(9)Indiana (3-5, 1-3): The Hoosiers had a chance at another critical win but might have watched their postseason chances disappear with a last minute fumble against Minnesota. Give Kevin Wilson and his team credit for battling back from a 35-13 deficit to take a late lead with 28 unanswered points, but IU couldn't finish when it had the chance inside the Gophers 10 yard-line with less than 30 seconds left in the game. The Tevin Coleman fumble likely knocks Indiana out of the postseason at it must win three of its final four: Illinois, at Wisconsin, at Ohio State and Purdue. Next Week: Illinois 
10.
 
(10)Northwestern (4-5, 0-5): Only a team on a four-game losing streak could lose in such heartbreaking fashion. Northwestern kicked a field goal with 1:20 left in the game to take a three-point lead over Nebraska on the road. Pat Fitzgerald needed one more play on defense to secure his first Big Ten win of the year and to stop his 2013 ship from officially sinking. But after watching the Huskers win on a Hail Mary, it's hard not to think that his particular Northwestern team is jinxed. Next Week: Bye 
11.
 
 
(11)Illinois (3-5, 0-4): Nathan Scheelhaase drove his team down the field on the road in the fourth quarter to take a lead in a Big Ten game in over a year. But the defense couldn't hold up, and, in overtime, Scheelhaase made a critical mistake to give the win to Penn State. His interception in the endzone ended the game and extended the Illini's Big Ten losing streak to 18 games. Next Week: at Indiana 
12.
 
(12)Purdue (1-7, 0-4): Ten first downs, 116 total yards of offense and zero points. That is what the Purdue offense mustered against Ohio State. 30 first downs, 640 yards of total offense and 56 points. That is what the defense allowed to the Buckeyes. This team is on pace to be Purdue's worst since a 1-10 squad in 1993. Next Week: Iowa 

Big Ten Week 10 Awards and Superlatives:

Offensive Player of the Week: Philip Nelson, QB, Minnesota

Nelson and the Gophers built a commanding 35-13 lead with less than six minutes to go in the third quarter. However, Indiana stormed back with four unanswered touchdowns to take a narrow lead late in the final frame. But Nelson answered back with a 50-yard scoring strike to Maxx Williams to give Minnesota a thrilling three-point win over Indiana. Nelson finished with 298 yards on 16-of-23 passing and four touchdowns and 11 yards rushing on seven carries.

Defensive Player of Week: Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State
Any number of key contributors from Michigan State could be mentioned here. Denicos Allen (nine tackles, three TFL, two sacks) and Ed Davis (four tackles, 2.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks) each had big games for the nation's best defense. Calhoun has become the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year candidate, however, and his performance against Michigan was worthy of a headline. He posted six tackles, three tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and is now leading the Big Ten in sacks this season (6.5). Nebraska's Avery Moss needs to get a mention as well for his performance against Northwestern. He posted four tackles, a tackle for a loss and returned his first career interception for a game-tying touchdown.

Team of Week: Michigan State
The Buckeyes earned a few more style points with a 56-0 win over Purdue on the road but no team was more impressive than Michigan State in Week 10. The nation's best defense held Michigan in check the entire afternoon, allowing just 168 yards of total offense and two field goals. The Spartans are unbeaten in Big Ten play and look like the top challenger to the Buckeyes. Connor Cook is making timely throws, and Jeremy Langford has emerged as a workhorse back. This team is averaging more than 30 points per game in Big Ten play and may be built to compete with Ohio State should it get past Nebraska in two weeks.

Coordinator of Week: Pat Narduzzi, Michigan State
Who else could it be? The No. 1 defense in the nation showed the nation why it might be the only unit in the Big Ten that can stop Ohio State. The Wolverines posted a school-record low of minus-48 yards rushing as Narduzzi dialed up pressure all night long. Michigan State finished with seven sacks, 12 first downs allowed 168 total yards of offense. The 23-point win was the most lopsided victory since 1967 between the two in-state rivals. 

Freshman of the Week: Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
The Penn State freshman has quickly proven he can handle himself in late-game pressure situations. For the second time in his young career, he drove his team down the field to tie the game in the final minute. And for the second time, he led his team to an overtime victory over a Big Ten foe. Hackenberg finished with 240 yards passing on 20-of-32 passing and two total touchdowns (one pass, one rush). He didn't turn the ball over and moved the Lions to even in the Big Ten this year. Hack still leads the Big Ten in passing (253 ypg).

Bonus: Play of the Year: Ron Kellogg III and Jordan Westerkamp, Nebraska
With no time remaining and his job potentially on the line at home against Northwestern, Bo Pelini watched one of the most memorable plays in Nebraska history unfold before yet another sellout crowd at Memorial Stadium. Kellogg heaved the ball 49 yards where Westerkamp snatched the tipped pass out of the air for the game-winning touchdown. It was Westerkamp's first career TD and it kept the Huskers Big Ten title hopes alive. Kellogg-to-Westerkamp now belongs next to Kirk Cousins, Kordell Stewart, Doug Flutie, Drew Tate and Marcus Randall in Big Ten lore. 

Fifth Down

• Michigan State is giving up a nation-best 210.2 yards per game. Only 2011 Alabama has posted a better mark (183.6) since 2000. The Spartans are also just one of four teams in the last 30 years to allow less than 50 yards rushing per game (Arizona, 1993; Michigan, 2006; TCU, 2008).

• Minnesota's David Cobb is the first Gopher back to top 100 yards in three straight game since Amir Pinnix in 2006. He has 60 carries and 326 yards combined in wins over Nebraska and Indiana.

• Minnesota became just the third team since 1980 to win three straight games as at least a touchdown underdog. The Gophers were double-digit underdogs in each of the last three games.

• Bill Belton rushed for 201 yards in Penn State's win over Illinois. It was the first 200-yard effort by a Nittany Lion since Larry Johnson in 2002. He nearly cost his team the game with a fourth-quarter fumble but was outstanding on his other 35 carries.

• Without Chris Borland, Wisconsin turned to Marcus Trotter to fill the void at linebacker on the road against Iowa. Trotter had nine tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss while holding Iowa to three field goals.

• Iowa entered play on Saturday leading the nation in rushing touchdowns allowed with two. They gave up two in a game for the second time in three weeks to Wisconsin.

• Michigan State's first offensive play from scrimmage was a busted throw back to the fullback. Trevon Pendleton rumbled 49 yards for the Spartans longest play of the season.

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With 10 weeks in the books, Florida State has clearly separated itself from the rest of the ACC. The Seminoles have dominated the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in Athlon’s weekly ACC power rankings and jumped into the No. 2 spot in the release of the latest BCS standings.

After Florida State, Clemson and Miami are entrenched as the next two teams. The Tigers have an edge over the Hurricanes.

Georgia Tech and Duke are set as the No. 4 and No. 5 teams, but after that is anyone’s guess.

Boston College was dominated by North Carolina last Saturday, but the Eagles rebounded with a win over Virginia Tech in Week 10. Despite Boston College’s loss to the Tar Heels, we give a slight nod to the Eagles for the No. 6 spot over North Carolina and Virginia Tech.

Syracuse makes a small jump in the rankings after beating Wake Forest 13-0.

More Post-Week 10 Power Rankings: Big 12 | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC

ACC Post-Week 10 Power Rankings

RankTeamLWAnalysis
11Florida State (8-0, 6-0): The Seminoles continued to distance themselves from the rest of the ACC with an impressive 41-14 victory over Miami. Quarterback Jameis Winston tossed two picks, which led to the Hurricanes only scores of the night. However, Winston finished with 325 passing yards and one touchdown, while running back Devonta Freeman recorded 176 total yards and three touchdowns. Florida State limited Miami’s offense to just 4.8 yards per play and only 120 yards in the second half. Both sides of the ball were impressive for coach Jimbo Fisher, and there’s a good chance these two teams rematch in Charlotte for the ACC title in early December. The Seminoles have an easy path to 11-0 with Wake Forest, Syracuse and Idaho up next. And then there’s the rivalry game against Florida on Nov. 30 which is the biggest obstacle left in the regular season. Next Week: at Wake Forest
22Clemson (8-1, 6-1): As expected, the Tigers had little trouble in a 59-10 win over Virginia. The offense gashed the Cavaliers for 610 yards, and the defense held a struggling Virginia offense to 277 yards. Clemson averaged 6.9 yards per play, with quarterback Tajh Boyd throwing for 377 yards and three touchdowns. The Tigers’ defense held the Cavaliers to 10 three and outs and forced three turnovers. Overall, it was a complete performance for Clemson, and coach Dabo Swinney has his team playing at a high level entering the bye week. After the bye, the Tigers host Georgia Tech and Citadel, then play rival South Carolina in the finale. Next Week: Bye Week
33Miami (7-1, 3-1): The Hurricanes dropped their first game of the year, losing 41-14 in Tallahassee to Florida State. Miami held its own (sort of) for a half, but the offense managed its only scores after picking up two turnovers. The Hurricanes’ offense never sustained a drive for a score in the second half and was limited to 4.8 yards per play. Miami’s defense forced only one punt and recorded only one sack on Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. Despite the loss, the Hurricanes are in the driver’s seat to win the Coastal Division. However, they will have to do it without running back Duke Johnson, who suffered a broken ankle against the Seminoles and is out for the rest of the season. Next Week: Virginia Tech
44Georgia Tech (6-3, 5-2): The Yellow Jackets earned their third consecutive victory with an efficient 21-10 win over Pittsburgh. Georgia Tech’s offense generated 360 yards, with 276 coming on the ground. Running back David Sims led the team with 94 yards, while Robert Godhigh was the big-play threat, averaging 14.8 yards per carry. The Yellow Jackets held the Panthers to 228 total yards and sacked quarterback Tom Savage five times. Georgia Tech’s win over Pittsburgh ensured the Yellow Jackets would be bowl eligible for the 17th consecutive season. Next Week: Bye Week 
55Duke (6-2, 2-2): The Blue Devils had a bye in Week 10 and return to action next Saturday against NC State. Duke has two ACC losses, but coach David Cutcliffe’s team is still alive in the Coastal Division, especially with a game against Miami remaining on Nov. 16. Next Week: NC State
69Boston College (4-4, 2-3): After Duke, the next three spots in the power rankings are up for grabs. Boston College lost one week ago to North Carolina, but the Eagles deserve a bump after beating Virginia Tech. First-year coach Steve Addazio continued his impressive debut with the Eagles’ 34-27 victory over Virginia Tech. Boston College’s offense recorded only 289 yards, but the Eagles scored 17 points off four Hokies’ turnovers, which was just enough for Addazio’s team. Running back Andre Williams posted another strong effort, gashing one of the ACC’s best defenses for 166 yards and two scores on 33 attempts. The Eagles need just two wins to get bowl eligible, which should be attainable with New Mexico State, NC State, Maryland and Syracuse remaining. Next Week: at New Mexico State 
76Virginia Tech (6-3, 3-2): The blame for back-to-back losses for the Hokies has to fall on the offense. In Saturday’s loss against Boston College, Virginia Tech had no trouble moving the ball (446 yards, 6.4 yards per play). However, the Hokies had four turnovers and managed only 55 yards on the ground. Quarterback Logan Thomas has six interceptions in his last two games, which is problematic for an offense that isn’t built to score 30 points a game. The Hokies aren’t out of the Coastal Division title mix, but Thomas and the offense has to quickly figure things out with a trip to Miami on Saturday night. Next Week: at Miami 
88North Carolina (3-5, 2-3): For the first time since 2005-06, the Tar Heels have a two-game winning streak over their in-state rival. Saturday’s victory over NC State didn’t start out according to plan, as North Carolina fell behind 10-0 in the first quarter. But the Tar Heels battled and took the lead for good with just under 10 minutes to go in the second quarter. The two-quarterback system of Bryn Renner and Marquise Williams combined to complete 23 of 37 passes, with tight end Eric Ebron serving as the main target (nine caches for 70 yards). The Tar Heels’ defense stepped up in the second half, holding NC State to three possessions of three yards or fewer in the final two quarters. Next Week: Virginia
97Pittsburgh (4-4, 2-3): The Panthers lost 21-10 to Georgia Tech on Saturday, giving Pittsburgh its first losing streak of 2013. Pittsburgh’s offense has struggled in recent weeks, scoring only 20 points once in its last four games. Quarterback Tom Savage completed 25 of 37 throws for 233 yards against the Yellow Jackets, but the senior was sacked five times and tossed one pick. The rushing attack never got on track, as Georgia Tech held the Panthers to -5 yards on 21 attempts. One bright spot for Pittsburgh was defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who recorded 11 tackles (six for a loss) and two forced fumbles. Next Week: Notre Dame 
1012Syracuse (4-4, 2-2): The Orange scored a key victory for their bowl hopes, defeating Wake Forest 13-0 on Saturday. Quarterback Terrel Hunt guided an efficient offense (4.6 yards per play), as he completed 18 of 30 throws for 144 yards. Syracuse averaged 4.1 yards per carry, with Prince-Tyson Gulley leading the way with 85 yards on 13 attempts. The Orange defense pitched their second shutout of the year and held Wake Forest to just 213 yards. After a 56-0 loss to Georgia Tech two weeks ago, Saturday’s 13-0 win was a solid rebound effort by Syracuse. Next Week: at Maryland
1110Wake Forest (4-5, 2-4): The Demon Deacons’ bowl hopes took a hit with a 13-0 loss at Syracuse. And the loss was costly from the injury department, as receiver Michael Campanaro suffered a broken collarbone against the Orange and is likely to miss the rest of the regular season. With Campanaro sidelined, Wake Forest struggled to get anything going on offense. The Demon Deacons finished with just 213 yards (three yards per play) and only one drive in the second half went longer than 20 yards (23). Next Week: Florida State
1211Maryland (5-3, 1-3): The Terrapins had a much-needed off date in Week 10. After a 4-0 start, Maryland is just 1-3 in its last four games. The Terrapins have been outscored 74-37 in their last two contests. Injuries have ravaged the offense, including top receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long. Maryland should be able to get to a bowl, but it certainly won’t be easy with the injuries on both sides of the ball. Next Week: Syracuse
1313NC State (3-5, 0-5): The Wolfpack jumped out to a 10-0 lead, but North Carolina rallied to take home a 27-19 victory and bragging rights within the state until next year’s game. NC State’s offense got a spark from quarterback Brandon Mitchell on the ground (105 yards), but the senior struggled through the air (two interceptions, 130 yards). Momentum in the first half also shifted after NC State had a fake punt that was stopped for a loss of a yard on the 30-yard line, which allowed the Tar Heels a short field on a touchdown drive. The Wolfpack has lost four out of their last five games and still need three wins to get bowl eligible. With matchups against Duke, Boston College, East Carolina and Maryland remaining, the postseason isn’t out of the question for NC State. However, this team has to get more from Mitchell in the passing game in future weeks. Next Week: at Duke
1414Virginia (2-7, 0-5): The Cavaliers dropped their six consecutive game with a 59-10 defeat against Clemson. With a struggling offense, Virginia couldn’t afford to fall behind early. The Tigers jumped out to a 35-7 lead by halftime, which was simply too much for coach Mike London’s team to overcome. The final stat sheet wasn’t pretty for Virginia, as the Cavaliers’ offense managed only 277 total yards (3.3 yards per play), and the defense allowed 610 to Clemson. After recording 16 plays on its first two drives, Virginia had nine straight possessions of five plays or less. The Cavaliers are still looking for their first win in ACC action, and with North Carolina, Miami and Virginia Tech remaining, coach Mike London’s team is staring at a 2-10 final record. Next Week: at North Carolina

ACC Week 10 Recap and Awards

Offensive Player of the Week: Devonta Freeman, RB, Florida State
Florida State’s offense had its way with Miami’s defense on Saturday night, as the Seminoles gashed the Hurricanes for 517 yards and punted only once. Quarterback Jameis Winston was steady as usual, but Freeman was the catalyst for Florida State’s high-powered attack. The Miami native rushed for 78 yards and two touchdowns on 23 attempts, and the senior caught six passes for 98 yards and one score. In three career games against the Hurricanes, Freeman has 224 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

Defensive Player of the Week: Kasim Edebali, DE, Boston College
The Eagles’ defense led the way in the 34-27 victory over Virginia Tech. The Hokies recorded 446 yards, but Boston College created four turnovers and sacked quarterback Logan Thomas four times. Edebali wrecked havoc against Virginia Tech’s line, recording eight tackles (three for a loss), two sacks and one pass breakup. Edebali also forced three fumbles, with the final turnover sealing the victory with just over a minute to go. Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald also had a huge effort on Saturday, but Edebali gets the edge in a winning effort.

Team of the Week: Florida State
Boston College scored an upset win over Virginia Tech, and North Carolina’s road victory over rival NC State was noteworthy, but Florida State gets the nod as the ACC’s team of the week. The Seminoles continued to establish their dominance over the rest of the conference with a 41-14 victory over Miami. Florida State scored over 40 points for the eighth consecutive time this year, and the offense averaged 7.1 yards per play against the Hurricanes. Quarterback Jameis Winston’s two picks resulted in Miami’s touchdowns, but the Seminoles limited the Hurricanes to just 275 overall yards. Winston’s supporting cast stepped up, as Devonta Freeman rushed for 78 yards and caught six passes for 98 yards and one score. Florida State is one of the top teams in the nation and should cruise to 11-0, with a date against Florida and then the Coastal Division champion the two biggest remaining obstacles on the schedule.

Coordinator of the Week: Jeremy Pruitt, Florida State
In his first year calling the plays for Florida State, Pruitt continues to push all of the right buttons. The Seminoles allowed 115 yards in Miami’s first two possessions, but the Hurricanes managed only 144 yards in its next six drives. Miami’s only points were scored off turnovers by Florida State’s offense, and the Hurricanes failed to have a drive longer than six plays in the second half. Pruitt’s defense held Miami to 4.8 yards per play and limited its offense to just 4 of 11 on third-down conversions. Considering all of the starters Florida State had to replace coming into this year and hasn’t missed a beat, Pruitt has been one of the top assistant hires for 2013.

Freshman of the Week: Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
Florida State’s Jameis Winson had another strong performance against Miami, but we’ll give the Week 10 honor to Boyd. In a losing effort against Georgia Tech, Boyd caught 11 passes for 118 yards and one score. The freshman’s longest catch went for just 15 yards, but his 12-yard catch in the third quarter helped Pittsburgh pull within four in the second half.

5th Down

• Wake Forest receiver Michael Campanaro is out four to six weeks with a collarbone injury. Campanaro suffered the injury during the first half of Saturday’s loss to Syracuse.

• Miami running back Duke Johnson suffered a broken ankle against Florida State and will miss the rest of the season.

• Boston College running back Andre Williams rushed for 166 yards in the 34-27 win over Virginia Tech. Williams has at least 166 yards in three out of his last four games.

• Florida State punted only one time against Miami.

• Georgia Tech held Pittsburgh to -5 rushing yards on Saturday night.

• After throwing six interceptions through the first seven games, Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas has six in his last two contests.

• NC State quarterback Brandon Mitchell accounted for 235 of the Wolfpack’s 388 yards against North Carolina.

• Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig has not thrown for more than 93 yards in each of his last two games.

• Georgia Tech defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu had four tackles (three for a loss) and two sacks against Pittsburgh.

• Syracuse defensive tackle Jay Bromley had a strong performance against Wake Forest, recording four tackles (one for a loss) and one sack.

• North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams led the Tar Heels with 51 rushing yards against NC State.

• NC State defensive end Darryl Cato-Bishop had a solid game against North Carolina, recording five tackles (two for a loss) and one forced fumble.

• Virginia freshman Keeon Johnson led the team with five receptions for 77 yards against Clemson.

• Wake Forest averaged just three yards per play against Syracuse.

• Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins has 30 receptions over his last three games.

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With Oregon and Stanford on bye in Week 10, it was a relatively quiet Saturday in the Pac-12.

However, the spotlight shifts to the Pac-12 on Thursday night, as the Ducks and Cardinal meet to stay alive in the national title picture.

Arizona State easily handled Washington State on Thursday night, improving to 6-2 this season. The Sun Devils appear to have a slight edge on UCLA for the top spot in the South Division.

USC continued to improve under interim coach Ed Orgeron, defeating Oregon State 31-14 in Corvallis on Friday night.

Arizona picked up a tough win at California, while UCLA defeated Colorado to round out the Week 10 action in the Pac-12.

More Post-Week 10 Power Rankings: ACC Big 12 | Big Ten | SEC

Pac-12 Post-Week 10 Power Rankings

RankTeamLWAnalysis
11Oregon (8-0, 5-0): The Ducks were on bye in Week 10 and return to action on Thursday night against Stanford. Oregon-Stanford was pegged as the Pac-12’s No. 1 game this preseason and nothing has changed that outlook. The Ducks lost 17-14 to the Cardinal in Eugene last year, but Oregon has claimed two out of the last three meetings in this series. Next Week: at Stanford (Thursday)
22Stanford (7-1, 5-1): The Cardinal had a bye in Week 10 and host Oregon in one of the biggest games of college football’s 2013 season on Thursday night. Stanford won in Eugene last year, but the Ducks have claimed two out of the last three games in this series. In Oregon’s last trip to the Farm, the Ducks handled the Cardinal 53-30. Next Week: Oregon (Thursday)
33Arizona State (6-2, 4-1): Behind quarterback Taylor Kelly, the Sun Devils jumped out to a 42-14 halftime lead against Washington State and held on for an easy 55-21 win. Kelly finished with seven touchdowns, including five through the air on 22 completions. Running back Marion Grice had a quiet night, rushing for 94 yards on 18 attempts against the Cougars. The Sun Devils’ defense also delivered a strong performance, as Washington State managed most of its yards and points with the outcome no longer in doubt. Arizona State has won three in a row, and with four games remaining, is a slight favorite over UCLA to win the Pac-12 South. Next Week: at Utah
44UCLA (6-2, 3-2): After back-to-back losses to Stanford and Oregon, UCLA desperately needed a win to keep pace with Arizona State in the South Division. The Bruins did just that on Saturday, beating Colorado 45-23 to snap a two-game losing streak. Quarterback Brett Hundley turned in an efficient performance, throwing for 273 yards and two scores, while adding 72 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. UCLA’s defense forced only one turnover and generated one sack, but this unit held the Buffaloes to just 10 points in the final two quarters. Next Week: at Arizona 
56Washington (5-3, 2-3): The Huskies had an off date in Week 10 and are set to host Colorado in Week 11. The bye week came at a good time for coach Steve Sarkisian’s team, as Washington played Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State and California in consecutive weeks without an off date. Sarkisian has the Huskies on the right track, but can Washington finally win more than seven games under his watch? Next Week: Colorado
67USC (6-3, 3-2): For the most part, interim coach Ed Orgeron has pushed all of the right buttons for USC since he was promoted to replace Lane Kiffin. The Trojans turned in an impressive performance on Friday night against Oregon State, scoring a 31-14 victory in Corvallis. Both sides of the ball delivered for Orgeron, as the offense had a balanced attack, rushing for 242 yards and passing for 247. Running backs Silas Redd and Javorius Allen chipped in over 100 rushing yards, while quarterback Cody Kessler was an efficient 17 of 21 for 247 yards. Oregon State recorded 369 overall yards, but the Trojans picked off quarterback Sean Mannion three times. Even with a shorthanded roster, it’s not out of the question USC finishes with nine wins this year. Next Week: at California 
75Oregon State (6-3, 4-2): After six consecutive victories, the Beavers have lost back-to-back games. Making matters worse for coach Mike Riley’s team is the upcoming schedule isn’t going to get any easier: at Arizona State, Washington and at Oregon. For the second week in a row, Oregon State’s passing attack struggled to get on track. Quarterback Sean Mannion was sacked only twice but tossed two picks and was pressured throughout the night. The Beavers’ defense struggled with tackling and allowed 242 rushing yards to USC. The bye week comes at a good time for Oregon State, which should allow Riley and the coaching staff to regroup before a tough three-game stretch to finish the season. Next Week: Bye Week 
88Arizona (6-2, 3-2): With Saturday’s 33-28 win over California, the Wildcats are bowl eligible for the second year in a row under coach Rich Rodriguez. The Golden Bears gave Arizona more of a fight than some may have anticipated, but Arizona used a balanced attack on offense to hold on for the five-point win. Running back Ka’Deem Carey topped 100 yards for the 11th consecutive game, and quarterback B.J. Denker threw for 261 yards and added three rushing touchdowns. The Wildcats play their next three games at home, including a chance to play spoiler in matchups against Oregon and UCLA. Next Week: UCLA
99Utah (4-4, 1-4): The Utes had a much-needed bye on Saturday. Quarterback Travis Wilson will benefit the most from the off week, as the sophomore was dealing with a hand injury prior to the bye and completed eight passes (and four picks) in his last two games. Getting Wilson back on track will be huge for the Utes’ bowl hopes. Next Week: Arizona State
1010Washington State (4-5, 2-4): The Cougars have been in a bit of a slide since beating California 44-22 on Oct. 5. Washington State lost to Arizona State 55-21 on Thursday night, which dropped coach Mike Leach’s team to 4-5 overall. The Cougars were unable to get their offense on track early on, and the defense had no answer for the Sun Devils’ balanced attack. Washington State is on bye this Saturday and closes out the 2013 season with games against Arizona State, Utah and Washington, with two victories needed to get bowl eligible. Next Week: Bye Week 
1111Colorado (3-5, 0-5): The Buffaloes dropped their fifth straight game, losing 45-23 at UCLA on Saturday. However, Colorado gave the Bruins a battle and trailed only by eight points going into halftime. Freshman quarterback Sefo Liufau had a solid performance on the road, completing 25 of 36 throws for 247 yards and one score. The Buffaloes’ defense struggled to stop UCLA, as the Bruins averaged 7.2 yards per play and converted 6 of 11 third downs. Colorado needs three wins to get bowl eligible, which will be difficult with USC, Washington and a road trip to Utah remaining. Next Week: at Washington
1212California (1-8, 0-6): The Golden Bears losing streak reached seven games on Saturday, as Sonny Dykes’ team lost 33-28 to Arizona. Although Dykes certainly won’t be happy with a loss, California’s five-point defeat is its smallest margin of 2013. Freshman quarterback Jared Goff threw for 289 yards and four scores but tossed two interceptions. The Golden Bears’ defense kept Arizona running back Ka’Deem Carey out of the endzone and held the offense to five yards per play. Saturday’s loss was a step in the right direction for California, and the Golden Bears need to build on that over the final three games. Next Week: USC

Pac-12 Week 10 Recap and Awards

by Braden Gall
 

Offensive Player of the Week: Taylor Kelly, QB, Arizona State
USC's Javorius Allen (133 yards, three touchdowns) played well for the Trojans. Arizona's B.J. Denker (305 total yards, four touchdowns) was huge on the road against Cal. But it's hard to argue that the Sun Devils quarterback wasn't the best player in the league this weekend. Late on Thursday night on the road, Kelly accounted for seven touchdowns and more than 300 yards of total offense against Washington State. He threw for 275 yards and five scores while rushing for 66 yards and two more touchdowns on the ground while leading his offense to its fourth consecutive Pac-12 game with at least 50 points. Kelly is third in the league — ahead of Marcus Mariota and Brett Hundley — with 313.9 yards per game in 2013.

Defensive Player of the Week: Devon Kennard, LB, USC
The former five-star recruit missed all of last year with an injury and it appears he is starting to round into all-conference form. Kennard posted a career-high two sacks in the upset of Sean Mannion and his potent Beavers passing attack. He added four total tackles. He has seven quarterback take downs on the season, trailing only Trent Murphy (9.5) and Tony Washington (7.5) in the Pac-12. The Trojans lead the league at 323.0 yards allowed per game. 

Team of the Week: USC
With an interim head coach and a depleted roster in a stadium where it hadn't won at in nearly a decade, the Trojans got an unexpected Pac-12 road win. The defense played excellent football against a high-flying Beavers offense without Morgan Breslin, Su'a Cravens and Anthony Brown. The running game and return of Marqise Lee delivered on offense despite missing Kevin Graf and Randall Telfer. USC won it's third straight Pac-12 game and became bowl eligible. Interim coach Ed Oregeron is now 3-0 in Pac-12 since taking over for Lane Kiffin and it puts USC squarely in the divisional race, one game behind Arizona State.

Coordinator of the Week: Clancy Pendergast, USC
Oregon State boasts one of the most potent passing attacks in the nation, and Pendergast's unit shut it down. On the road, the Trojans allowed just 277 yards passing to the No. 3-rated pass offense in the nation and only 92 yards on the ground. USC forced three Sean Mannion turnovers and held star wide receiver Brandin Cooks to just six receptions and 88 yards. USC is leading the Pac-12 in total defense (323.0 ypg) and has held Utah and Oregon State to a combined 570 yards after allowing over 500 to both Arizona State and Arizona.

Freshman of the Week: Scooby Wright, LB, Arizona
For the second week in a row, Wright gets top honors after a terrific showing in a Wildcats win on the road. Wright posted a career-high 11 total tackles and 3.0 tackles for loss in the five-point win over Cal. He is 11th in the Pac-12 in tackles (7.5 pg) and is No. 3 among freshman (Addison Gillam, Cameron Walker). The Wildcats are bowl eligible and one game back of the Sun Devils in the South Divison with games left with both UCLA and Arizona State at home. USC's Leon McQuay II gets a mention for six tackles and two pass break-ups against Oregon State in place of star freshman Su'a Cravens.

Fifth Down

• Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey rushed for more than 100 yards for the 11th consecutive game, rushing 32 times for 152 yards against Cal. B.J. Denker stole the show again, scoring four times and accounting for more than 300 yards of offense.

• USC's Javorius Allen (16) and Silas Redd (22) combined for 38 rushing attempts and 273 yards against Oregon State. Marqise Lee returned with five receptions, 105 yards and a touchdowns.

• UCLA's Devin Fuller touched the ball four times on offense and scored on three of them. He caught two touchdowns in three receptions and scored on his only rushing attempt. He totaled 107 yards from scrimmage.

• UCLA didn't have an injured Eric Kendricks, and tailback Jordan James returned to action. James carried six times for eight yards.

• UCLA's Brett Hundley was excellent against Colorado, throwing for 273 yards and rushing for 72 and accounting for four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing). 

• The South Division went 3-0 against the North Division this weekend. 

• Oregon State's Sean Mannion and Brandin Cooks lead the nation with 14 touchdown connections this season.

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With the favorite winning all four of the SEC games on Saturday, there wasn’t much movement in the weekly Power Rankings. Arkansas, which has lost six straight game, did fall from No. 13 to No. 14. 

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SEC Post-Week 10 Power Rankings

RankTeamLWAnalysis
11Alabama (8-0, 5-0): Alabama had the week off before its huge showdown with LSU in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide, who have allowed 10 points or fewer in all but one game this season, lead the nation in scoring defense (9.8 ppg). Next Week: LSU
22

LSU (7-2, 3-2): After playing nine straight weeks, LSU had its first bye of the season leading up to next Saturday’s trip to Alabama. The Tigers have lost two of their last three on the road — at Georgia and Ole Miss, by three points each. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger has thrown five interceptions in the last two games after throwing a total of two in his first seven games. Next Week: at Alabama

33Auburn (8-1, 4-1): Gus Malzahn is making a strong case for National Coach of the Year. Auburn improved to 8-1 overall with a relatively stress-free 35-17 win over Arkansas in Fayetteville. The Tigers only attempted nine passes, but they completed eight for 135 yards — an average of 14.8 yards per attempt. Tre Mason led a productive running attack with a career-high 32 carries for 168 yards and four touchdowns. Quarterback Nick Marshall added 59 yards rushing on nine attempts. Auburn’s offensive production is up by nearly 200 yards per game this season. Next Week: at Tennessee
44

Texas A&M (7-2, 3-2): It was a slow start on a late kickoff (8 p.m. local time), but the final result was no surprise: Texas A&M 57, UTEP 7. The Aggies only led 9-7 at the end of the first quarter but outscored the Miners 48-0 over the next 30 minutes to take control of the game. Johnny Manziel threw for 273 yards and four touchdowns and added 67 yards and two scores on the ground. Mike Evans, who was getting some recent Heisman talk, only had 46 yards on four receptions. UTEP was without starting quarterback Jameill Showers, who began his career at Texas A&M but transferred following the 2012 season. Showers was sidelined with a shoulder injury. Next Week: Mississippi State

55South Carolina (7-2, 5-2): The Gamecocks only had 307 yards of offense (on 54 snaps) and converted just 1-of-11 on third down yet had little trouble with Mississippi State in a 34-16 win in Columbia. Quarterback Connor Shaw, the hero in Carolina’s win at Missouri last week, threw for 148 yards and a career-high four touchdowns. Mike Davis was terrific on the ground, rushing for 127 yards on an 8.5-yard average. He leads the SEC with 117.6 yards per game. The Gamecocks have next week off then close out their SEC season with a home against Florida. Next Week: Bye
66Missouri (8-1, 4-1): The Tigers bounced back from an excruciating overtime loss to South Carolina with an impressive 31-3 win over Tennessee. Mizzou controlled the line of scrimmage, which led to a productive night running the ball. Surprisingly, quarterback Maty Mauk was the Tigers’ leading rusher with 114 yards on 13 carries. Henry Josey, Russell Hansbrough and Marcus Murphy combined for 179 yards on 31 carries. Mauk threw three touchdowns and did not have a pass intercepted, but he completed only 12-of-25 attempts. In his three starts, Mauk has completed 46.6 percent of his passes. Starting quarterback James Franklin could possibly return next week, but the Tigers may opt to keep him out another game since they have a bye following their trip to Kentucky. Next Week: at Kentucky 
77Georgia (5-3, 4-2): Georgia needed a big win to lift its spirits following consecutive losses to Missouri and Vanderbilt. Mission accomplished. The Bulldogs surged to a 20-0 lead on rival Florida but had to hold on for a 23-20 win — their third straight in the series. The final offensive numbers weren’t overwhelming (414 total yards), but the Bulldogs were terrific in the first half when they grabbed the big lead. The return of All-America tailback Todd Gurley was a big boost; he rushed for 100 yards on 17 carries and caught three passes for 87 yards, highlighted by a 73-yard catch-and-run in the first quarter. Wide receiver Michael Bennett, who missed two games with a knee injury, returned and caught five passes for 59 yards. Next Week: Appalachian State. 
88Ole Miss (5-3, 2-3): Ole Miss did not play. The Rebels are 5-3 overall after ending a midseason three-game slide with wins over LSU and Idaho. The Rebels are out of the SEC West race but are set up for a strong finish, with Troy and Missouri at home followed by a season-ending trip to Starkville for the Egg Bowl. An 8-4 regular season against a difficult schedule — not to mention a slew of key injuries — would be a huge accomplishment for Hugh Freeze’s team. Next Week: Troy
99Florida (4-4, 3-3): Give the Gators credit for a spirited comeback against Georgia in Jacksonville, but this is a team with a ton of problems right now — most notably on the offensive side of the ball. The Gators had only 319 yards against Georgia and have not topped the 400-yard mark in a game since beating Kentucky 24-7 on Sept. 28. Quarterback Tyler Murphy, who played well in his first three games after replacing Jeff Driskel, has completed only 50.6 percent of his passes and averaged 4.5 yards per attempt over the last three games. The Gators have now lost three straight games and have to win two of their final four games — Vanderbilt, at South Carolina, Georgia Southern, Florida State — to become bowl-eligible. Next Week: Vanderbilt
1011

Vanderbilt (4-4, 1-4): The Commodores did not play last weekend. At 4-4, they need to win two of their final four games — at Florida, Kentucky, at Tennessee, Wake Forest — to become bowl-eligible for the third straight season. Vanderbilt has lost 22 straight games to Florida and has only won one time in Gainesville — in 1945, the first game between the two programs. Next Week: at Florida 

1110Tennessee (4-5, 1-4): The Vols lost 31-3 at Missouri in Josh Dobbs’ first start at quarterback. The true freshman threw for 240 yards and completed 61.9 percent of his passes, but he tossed two interceptions and lost a fumble. Marlin Lane ran well, averaging 6.2 yards on six carries, but Rajion Neal was limited to eight yards on eight attempts. The Vols had trouble slowing down Mizzou’s rushing attack, giving up 339 yards on 54 carries. Since upsetting South Carolina on Oct. 19, Tennessee has been outscored 76-13 in losses at Alabama and Missouri. Next Week: Auburn
1212Mississippi State (4-4, 1-3): Mississippi State outgained South Carolina 385-to-307 in Columbia and converted 6-of-13 on third down but never really threatened the Gamecocks because it lost the turnover battle 5-to-0. Dak Prescott did some nice things at quarterback (235 yards passing, 78 rushing), but he threw three interceptions. The Bulldogs are 2-7 in their last nine SEC games dating back to the middle of last season. Next Week: at Texas A&M
1314Kentucky (2-6, 0-4): Kentucky climbs out of last place in our weekly power rankings for the first time this season. The Cats rolled past FCS foe Alabama State 48-14 on Saturday, but their move to No. 13 has as much to do with Arkansas’ struggles as their improvement. UK used a balanced attack (233 yards rushing, 189 passing) to wear down Alabama State after a tight first quarter. Jalen Whitlow played most of the way at quarterback, throwing for 186 yards and two TDs and rushing for a game-high 101 yard and two more scores. Former Georgia tailback Isaiah Crowell led Alabama State with 84 yards on 12 carries. Next Week: Missouri
1413

Arkansas (3-6, 0-5): Arkansas’ losing streak is now at six games after a 35-17 loss at home to Auburn. The Hogs did a decent job on the ground, with 222 rushing yards, but they continue to get subpar play from the quarterback position. Brandon Allen completed only 10-of-22 passes for 112 yards. In SEC games, Arkansas is averaging 138.2 passing yards per game (13th in the league) and has four touchdown passes and seven interceptions. Overall, the Hogs only have eight touchdowns in five SEC games; to put that in perspective, Texas A&M has 30 touchdowns in five conference games. Next Week: at Ole Miss

SEC Week 10 Recap and Awards

Offensive Player of the Week: Tre Mason, Auburn
He doesn’t often get mentioned with some of other elite backs in the SEC, but Mason is enjoying a tremendous junior season under first-year coach Gus Malzahn. On Saturday night in Fayetteville, Mason rushed for 168 yards and four touchdowns on 32 carries to lead Auburn to a 35-17 win over Arkansas. In SEC play, Mason is averaging 117.8 yards per game with a league-best eight rushing touchdowns.

Defensive Player of the Week: Garrison Smith, Georgia
Smith, a senior defensive end, had the most productive day of his career in a very important game for the Georgia program. The Atlanta native had nine tackles and was credited with 2.5 sacks (for 12 lost yards) in the Bulldogs’ 23-20 win over Florida — their third straight over their rivals from Gainesville. Georgia held the Gators 319 total yards and allowed only one drive that went for more than 50 yards. 

Team of the Week: Georgia
The Bulldogs survived a spirited second-half comeback to edge Florida 23-20 in a battle of proud programs seeking a feel-good win. Georgia dominated the first half and appeared on its way to a lopsided win until one play — a lateral that tight end Arthur Lynch failed to pick up — changed the complexion of the game. Florida outscored the Dawgs 17-0 the rest of the way but came up just short and lost for the third straight time in the series. The win keeps Georgia in the hunt in the SEC East. The Bulldogs and South Carolina each have two losses. Missouri has one loss. The Tigers, however, still have to play Ole Miss on the road and Texas A&M at home. 

Coordinator of the Week: Mike Bobo, Georgia
It might seem odd to give Bobo the nod here since Georgia only scored 23 points and was shut out in the second half. But consider a few stats: The Bulldogs had 414 total yards and averaged 6.8 yards per play (only Missouri has done better against Florida this season), and Georgia averaged 9.9 yard per pass attempt — the most against Florida since October 2011. The Bulldogs also converted 7-of-12 on third down — their first game over 50 percent for the season — and ended the game on a 67-yard drive that ate up the final 8:17 of the game. 

Freshman of the Week: Kelvin Taylor, Florida
It was far from a banner week for the league’s freshman. We’ll give the nod to Taylor, who rushed for 76 yards on 20 carries against Georgia in his first career start. The son of former Florida star Fred Taylor has been forced into a prominent role due to injuries at the tailback position. He has rushed for 202 yards on 42 carries in the last three games.

5th Down

• Tyler Russell, Mississippi State’s starting quarterback at the beginning of the season, did not play a snap in the Bulldogs’ 34–16 loss at South Carolina. Coach Dan Mullen said Russell, who has been dealing with an ankle injury, was cleared to play “but if he didn’t have to play he wasn’t going to, which (will allow) him to be very healthy getting into next week.” Dak Prescott threw for 235 yards and rushed for 78 yards and two scores, but he threw three interceptions.

• South Carolina’s Connor Shaw has 17 touchdowns and only one interception in seven SEC games. Only two other quarterbacks have more than 10 TDs in league games — Johnny Manziel (15) and Aaron Murray (15).

• Missouri rushed for 339 yards in a 31-3 win against Tennessee, the Tigers’ highest single-game total in SEC play since joining the league last season. Mizzou was led by quarterback Maty Mauk, who had a career-high 114 yards on 13 attempts, and Henry Josey, who ran for 74 yards on 16 carries.

• Arkansas is averaging only 4.8 yards per passing attempt in SEC games. Only two teams nationally are worse in league play — Purdue (4.5 in the Big Ten) and Syracuse (4.1 in the ACC). Two years ago, in the final year of the Bobby Petrino era, the Hogs averaged a league-best 7.7 yards per pass attempt in SEC games.

• Auburn had a season-low 366 total yards (on a season-low 55 snaps) yet still beat Arkansas with ease, 35-17. The Tigers’ previous season low was 375 yards in a 30-22 win at home against Ole Miss. 

Teaser:
2013 SEC Post-Week 10 Power Rankings
Post date: Monday, November 4, 2013 - 07:20
Path: /college-basketball/louisville-kentucky-inside-rivalry
Body:

As much as their fans don't want to admit it, the two basketball powers of the Commonwealth have more in common than the last two national championships. Probably too much for comfort.

When Louisville claimed the 2013 national championship, the Cardinals ensured that the trophy wouldn’t leave the state after Kentucky’s 2012 title. During the last four seasons — since John Calipari’s arrival at Kentucky — the two programs have combined for 233 wins and four Final Four appearances.

The fanbases always have shared close quarters, especially with the state’s population center Louisville supplying students and basketball players to Lexington, and UK sending them back. The Cardinals’ hire of Rick Pitino in 2001 meant that the two programs shared a coach as well. And as Pitino hired some of his former UK players and staff to work with him at U of L, he ensured that fan favorites would become rivals.

Kentucky and Louisville are once again poised to be two of the premier teams in 2013-14. With the Wildcats’ freshman class — considered to be the best crop of newcomers in the history of the sport — and Louisville’s title-winning veterans, this showdown may not be completely settled until NCAA Tournament time (again).

Pitino isn’t the only key figure who has had to walk the line between the two rivals. In anticipation of the Bluegrass State ruling college basketball this season, Athlon Sports wanted to learn the perspective of the souls whose rooting interests are divided — or not so divided as it seems.

PAUL ROGERS, THE VOICE

Rogers grew up in Louisville, graduating from Eastern High in 1969 before going on to the University of Kentucky. He returned to Louisville 40 years ago to work in sports broadcasting for WHAS. He’s been the play-by-play voice of Louisville football since 1992 and Louisville basketball since 1995 in addition to calling events at Churchill Downs.

“I grew up a Kentucky fan. I followed Louisville, but Kentucky was my team. That’s very common here. People consider it to be half and half, but in recent years it’s grown to be more pro-Louisville. There are definitely a lot more Kentucky fans in Louisville than Louisville fans in Lexington, though.

“It’s my 40-year anniversary at the station. I came here after college and worked here ever since. I’ve heard, ‘He’s really a Kentucky fan.’ But I’ve been with Louisville long enough where sometimes when people hear I went to Kentucky, they’re surprised to hear that. With the younger generation, they know less about your past than your present.

“If I ever say anything halfway critical of Louisville or halfway complimentary of Kentucky, there will always be a few people out there who know about my background who will say, ‘You know he’s really a Kentucky fan.’ But it’s not a major issue. I can’t recall pissing the other side off, though I’m sure from time to time I have.

“One of the weirdest experiences I’ve had was two years ago when we were playing in Lexington, we were setting up at the (broadcast) table. We hadn’t gone on the air yet. We do a 90-minute pregame, so it was at least a couple of hours before the game. Things were really quiet. This guy walks up to me and says, ‘Are you Paul Rogers?’ I said yes. And he said, ‘I’m from Eastern Kentucky. I hate Louisville. I hate the school. I hate everything about it. But I think you’re the best announcer I ever heard.’ It floored me.”



STEVE MASIELLO, THE OUTSIDER

As a kid, Masiello was a ball boy for the New York Knicks while Rick Pitino was an assistant under Hubie Brown. After high school, he walked on at Kentucky for Pitino with intentions of getting into coaching. He graduated as a co-captain under Tubby Smith in 2000. His major break as an assistant came at Louisville in 2005, where he stayed before taking a head-coaching job in his home state at Manhattan in 2011.

“It’s really different as an outsider, someone not from the state of Kentucky. When I was at Kentucky as a player you didn’t realize the impact it had on the fans and the alumni. You knew it was a big game and you knew you were supposed to hate them because that’s what you’re told.

“When I was at Louisville, we came out and we knew we were hated but you didn’t realize how hated until you walk out into Rupp Arena. That’s hatred at its highest. When I was a player at Rupp and Louisville came in, you knew it was a big game, but I didn’t remember it being that way. I think the Coach Pitino factor has a lot to do with it, but I remember the first time walking into Rupp against Rajon Rondo’s team. I was an assistant at Louisville. I’ve never seen anything like that in anything. You really thought these people personally hated you. They might have. That may have been the case.

“When you’re a player, the players hang out. I had friends who played at Louisville, and when I was an assistant at Louisville, our guys were friends with the Kentucky players.

“You could never win. To the Louisville fans, I was always a Kentucky player. To the Kentucky fans, I was a traitor. But those four years I spent at Kentucky were probably the best four years of my life. The six years I spent at Louisville were probably the most important of my professional career, so I hold both places very dear to my heart.

“That Final Four game (in 2012), I recruited a lot of those players (at Louisville), and I worked with Richard Pitino and Coach Pitino. I had some really close relationships and bonds with those guys. I was pulling for Louisville. If you were to ask me years from now — and Rick Pitino’s not the coach of Louisville and none of the players are there — will I still cheer for Louisville, probably not as much.”



DEREK ANDERSON, THE TRAITOR

Anderson starred at Louisville (Ky.) Doss High but left the Commonwealth to sign with Ohio State. After two seasons, he returned to his home state to play for Kentucky and coach Rick Pitino. He started for the Wildcats’ 1995-96 national championship team and had his final season in 1996-97 cut short by injury. Anderson retired from the NBA in 2008 and started the Derek Anderson Foundation, based in Louisville, to aid abused women and underprivileged children.

“I love Coach Pitino. I’ll always wish him well, but I’ll never cheer for him at Louisville. He understands that.

“Everybody was mad that I didn’t go to Louisville, but that was Louisville’s fault. ... I always wanted to play for Louisville as a kid. That’s where I wanted to go, but Denny Crum didn’t recruit me and didn’t do what he was supposed to. My whole thing was about loyalty. ... I went to Ohio State, but Coach Pitino told me he didn’t have any scholarships, but he wanted me to come. He respectfully told me he would let me walk on. At least there was respect enough to tell me.

“(At Kentucky) we played against (Louisville) twice and beat them twice by 20 points. I loved it. The first game was at Rupp, and the second game was in Louisville, but I don’t remember if I got booed because I was so focused, I zoned out. Four of my first five buckets were all dunks. I don’t remember if the crowd cheered or not. I couldn’t care less at that point.

“I’m happy for (Pitino’s) success. When he first got to Louisville, I used to go work out with his players. I lived in Louisville, so I went over there a lot. I never thought anything of it. I’ve always supported him and I always will, but I’ll never cheer for Louisville.

“They always say I should have (gone to U of L), but they all like me now because they know me as a person and not as an athlete. My foundation is still in Louisville, people just embrace me as Derek from Louisville, not that I didn’t go to Louisville.”



TERRY MEINERS, THE JOKESTER

Meiners grew up in Louisville, attended Kentucky in the mid 1970s and later took courses at U of L. He returned to the Derby City 33 years ago to work in radio. He’s hosted his afternoon drive-time program on WHAS for 28 years, where he’s used his platform to parody Rick Pitino, Joe B. Hall, Kentucky fans and Louisville fans over the years. He’s also built a strong friendship with Pitino. Meiners also has hosted Pitino’s weekly television show.

“I went to Kentucky. I loved UK, but I had pictures of Louisville players in my dorm room. It’s my hometown. I grew up here. I’ve sold Pepsis in Freedom Hall. When I was a little kid, I lived a block or so from the arena. I had an affection for Louisville. When I went to college, it wasn’t like my memory banks were cleared.

“In Louisville, I do a radio show every afternoon, and we do parodies and voices. When Pitino was hired at Kentucky, we had a guy with a thick New York accent, and a guy doing a real thick Southern accent, and they had trouble understanding each other. The Kentucky (sports information director) heard about it and asked for tapes, and Rick called and asked (me) to go on a trip with them, a road trip to Georgia. Tubby Smith was the coach at the time, and we’ve been friends ever since.

“I get a certain amount of smack talk for both sides. I always remember what one guy said to me after Rick had been here a few years. A guy walked up to me at a mall, and I thought he was going to shake my hand. He walked up to me and said, ‘You used to be a Wildcat, but now you’re an a**hole.’ He was just so offended that I went to UK and worked so closely with Louisville.

“What people don’t realize is that I was the last guy in Rick’s house in Lexington begging him not to take the Celtics job. I was begging him to not take the job and an hour later he’s at a press conference, so that’s the influence I had.”



WINSTON BENNETT, THE FAVORITE SON

A graduate of Louisville (Ky.) Male High, Bennett was Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball in 1983. He elected to play for Kentucky despite the Wildcats’ lingering reputation of racial strife, where he spent two seasons under Joe B. Hall and two under Eddie Sutton. After spending some time in the NBA, he returned as an assistant at Kentucky from 1995-97.

“It’s hard to live in Louisville at that time, especially as a minority, and not be a Louisville fan. Most of the time you heard a lot about Kentucky being prejudiced during the Rupp era, so there was a black cloud over Kentucky at the time.

“As an eighth grader I was a ball boy for the University of Louisville. Darrell Griffith was kind of our Michael Jordan for the young kids of Louisville. All that meant a lot to me. As I continued to progress, I began to hear a lot about Kentucky, and I had parents who wanted me to experience my own life and (said), ‘Why don’t you check it out yourself.’ And that’s what sold me on Kentucky.

“There were some upset people during that time, as you would imagine. The recruiting war got a little hostile. My father drove around town — once I chose Kentucky — in a big, blue Wildcat van. He did carpet cleaning, so he worked out of his van. He’d be bold enough to ride around in this big, blue van. It was kind of throwing salt in the wound of some of the Louisville fans, and even some of our extended family.

“I root for both teams except for when they play each other, then I go with the team where I spent my blood, sweat and tears and that’s Kentucky. Other than that, I’m a huge Louisville fan.”

Teaser:
Louisville-Kentucky: Inside the Rivalry
Post date: Monday, November 4, 2013 - 07:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Legends Poll
Path: /college-football/2013-legends-poll-top-25-college-football-week-10
Body:
It seems every team is gunning for top-ranked Alabama, and Florida State once again proved it belongs among the top contenders after another dominating performance against a top 10 opponent. 
 
No. 3 Florida State dismantled Miami (FL) in Tallahassee Saturday night in front of a record crowd, 41-14, sending the Hurricanes tumbling eight spots to No. 15 in the Legends Poll.
 
Alabama and No. 2 Oregon were idle over the weekend. But Oregon has its chance to make a statement in front of the nation next Thursday night when it takes on No. 6 Stanford.
 
Besides Miami, there were no other changes in the top 14 positions in the Legends poll.
 
No. 4 Ohio State continued its dominant play against inferior opponents behind the sterling play of Braxton Miller in their 56-0 win over Purdue, and No. 17 Michigan State stepped forward as the toughest possible opponent for the Buckeyes. Michigan State took care of in-state rival Michigan on Saturday, knocking the Wolverines out of the Legends Poll.
 
Georgia and Arizona State moved back into the top 25 at No. 24 and No. 25 respectively.
 
Oregon State was the other team to drop out of the rankings.
 
To see the individual votes by coach, visit the Legends Poll
 
THE LEGENDS POLL TOP 25
RKTEAMRECORDPOINTSPV RK
1AlabamaAlabama (15)8-03991
2OregonOregon (1)8-03822
3Florida StateFlorida State8-03713
4Ohio StateOhio State9-03524
5BaylorBaylor7-03325
6StanfordStanford7-13246
7ClemsonClemson8-12888
8AuburnAuburn8-12829
9MissouriMissouri8-128111
10OklahomaOklahoma7-124210
11LSULSU7-223812
12Texas A&MTexas A&M7-222613
13South CarolinaSouth Carolina7-221015
14Oklahoma StateOklahoma State7-118817
15Miami (FL)Miami (FL)7-11767
16LouisvilleLouisville7-114816
17Michigan StateMichigan State8-112222
18UCLAUCLA6-210820
19WisconsinWisconsin6-210719
20Fresno StateFresno State8-010518
21Texas TechTexas Tech7-28914
22Northern IllinoisNorthern Illinois9-07521
23UCFUCF6-16724
24GeorgiaGeorgia5-331-
25Arizona StateArizona State6-225-
 

* The Legends Poll voting process is exactly what the BCS is trying to create and Athlon will bring it to you as the de facto Selection Committee for fans to follow over the next two seasons, allowing you to see how the Selection Committee will operate from 2014 onward. You can see the entire Poll at www.legendschannel.com.

Teaser:
2013 The Legends Poll Top 25: College Football Week 10
Post date: Monday, November 4, 2013 - 07:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football
Path: /college-football/golden-arm-performances-week-10
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Transamerica is a proud sponsor of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. The award is presented each year by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Education Foundation to the nation’s top college quarterback based on character, citizenship, scholastic achievement, leadership qualities, and athletic accomplishments. Candidates must be a graduating senior or fourth-year junior on schedule to graduate with their class. As a leading financial services company, Transamerica takes pride in being there for those moments when our customers say, “It’s real now.” Moments like the birth of a new baby, the opening of a new business, college acceptance, retirement, and other key milestones. By showing our support for the young men on the Top 30 watch list, we look forward to seeing them thrill fans around the country and experience moments during the season and beyond when they say, “It’s real now.”

Taylor Kelly1. Taylor Kelly, Arizona State

Taylor Kelly got an early start among the Golden Arm Award candidates this week with a big Thursday night performance against Washington State. On Halloween night Kelly had a whole bag of tricks for the Cougars, running for two touchdowns in the first quarter, then throwing four more before halftime to build a 42-14 lead. One more touchdown pass in the third quarter gave Kelly seven total touchdowns as the Sun Devils picked up a 55-21 victory and held on to their top spot in the Pac 12 South Division. Kelly passed for 275 yards and rushed for 66 yards on the night and this was the third straight game Kelly passed and rushed for a touchdown in the same game.
 
2. Tajh Boyd, Clemson
Clemson wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard on the road at Virginia. Tajh Boyd tossed the first of three touchdowns when he completed a 33-yard pass to Sammy Watkins just 87 seconds into the game. The two would connect on a 96-yard touchdown play early in the third quarter as well as Boyd put together a 300-yard day with 377 passing yards while completing 24 of 20 attempts. This marked Boyd’s second straight 300-yard game in a row and fifth this season. Boyd also notched a rushing touchdown from one yard out late in the first half to give Clemson a 35-7 halftime lead.
 
3. Derek Carr, Fresno State
Fresno State kept their BCS dreams alive late Saturday night with a home win over Nevada. The formula for a win was similar to what it has been all year, with Derek Carr throwing for 487 yards and three touchdowns, including a 32-yard pass to Josh Harper early in the fourth quarter to help the Bulldogs start to pull away from their Mountain West Conference foe. This was the fifth time Carr has thrown for at least 400 yards in a game this season and was his third straight without an interception.
 
4. Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois
Northern Illinois had no problems taking care of Massachusetts on the road. As usual, Jordan Lynch carried the offense to a big game. Lynch completed 10 of 13 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown but once again did most of his damage on the ground. The Huskies quarterback led the team with 119 yards and a new career high four touchdowns before getting an extended rest in the second half. This marked the fourth time Lynch has rushed for 100 yards in a game and the fourth straight game Lynch rushed for a touchdown.
 
5. Connor Shaw, South Carolina
A week after stepping in to lead South Carolina to a rally for a win on the road, Connor Shaw was back at leading the Gamecocks to a win. Though Shaw only completed 10 out of his 20 attempts, four of those went for a touchdown. Shaw returned to the starting line-up after having to come in off the bench last week and he battled admirably against a Mississippi State team that caused some frustration early on. Shaw did toss two of his four touchdowns in the first quarter and his two third quarter touchdown passes put the Gamecocks up 31-10, which was more than enough.
Sponsored by Transamerica
Teaser:
The Golden Arm award is presented to the top senior quarterback by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Foundation.
Post date: Sunday, November 3, 2013 - 21:22
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The final year of the BCS standings will give fans of a handful of teams a chance to argue one last time.

Alabama, Oregon, Baylor and Stanford were all off Saturday, but Thursday will begin a week that will define the remainder of the season. On Thursday alone, Oregon faces Stanford and Baylor faces Oklahoma, either boosting undefeated teams or clearing paths for Florida State and Ohio State.

Elsewhere in the rankings, though, the machinations are on for other BCS slots. Fresno State has enjoyed an edge against fellow unbeaten Northern Illinois, but that may change in the coming weeks.
 

Moving Up

Florida State. The Seminoles chipped away at Alabama's and Oregon’s stranglehold on the top two spots. Florida State received three first-place votes in the coaches’ poll and two in the Harris after defeating Miami 41-14. FSU did not have any first-place votes a week earlier. At the same time, FSU also moved from second in the computer average to first. The Seminoles were first in only one computer ranking last week (Sagarin), but they were first in all but one (Billingsley) after defeating Miami 41-14.

Moving Down

Texas A&M. The Aggies aren’t in national title contention, but they’d be an attractive BCS at-large team if eligible thanks to an enthusiastic fanbase and the draw of Johnny Manziel. That’s why it’s probably troubling for the Aggies top drop from No. 12 to No. 15, one spot outside of the at-large threshold. A&M dropped after Oklahoma State defeated Texas Tech while the Aggies faced UTEP. Texas A&M will have plenty of opportunities to get back into the BCS at-large mix when it faces LSU and Missouri on the road. The big winner for A&M falling out of BCS contention, though, would be the Cotton Bowl, which would salivate at a change to pit the Aggies against Texas or Baylor.

Key Games this Week

No. 3 Oregon at No. 5 Stanford (Thursday). Oregon may jump Florida State for good if the Ducks defeat Stanford and both teams remain undefeated. Florida State’s schedule takes a major hit against Wake Forest, Syracuse, Idaho and Florida while Oregon faces Utah, Arizona and Oregon State to round out the regular season. But let’s not forget about Stanford, which remains the highest ranked one-loss team despite a defeat to Utah. The Cardinal will be back in the title hunt if it can defeat Oregon.

No. 10 Oklahoma at No. 6 Baylor (Thursday). The schedule is holding Baylor back in a major way. The Bears rank ninth in the computer average, but they’ll finish the season against No. 10 Oklahoma, No. 25 Texas Tech, No. 14 Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas. An undefeated Baylor may have a stronger case than Ohio State or even Florida State. Whether the Bears have the mettle to go undefeated will be determined Thursday.

No. 13 LSU at No. 1 Alabama. The Tide staying at No. 1 in the BCS standings seems to be a given. Alabama still has two top-15 games to play during the regular season, starting with this one against the Tigers.

Other Observations

• Fresno State got some breathing room over fellow non-automatic qualifying BCS contender Northern Illinois. The Bulldogs landed at No. 16 and would be an automatic bid by virtue of ranking ahead of No. 21 UCF if the season ended today. The No. 18 Huskies, though, just completed the softest portion of their schedule and will make up ground if they can defeat Ball State, Toledo and the MAC East champion.

• Notre Dame is ranked 23rd, moving up from No. 25. The Irish need to be ranked eighth for an automatic berth. That seems unlikely. Notre Dame finishes at Pittsburgh, against BYU and at Stanford. The Irish will be hoping for losses by Northern Illinois and Fresno State to free up an at-large spot if Notre Dame finishes 14th.

• The coaches’ poll and Harris poll voters are stubborn when it comes to UCF. The Knights are ranked 21st in the BCS, one spot behind Louisville. UCF defeated Louisville head-to-head, not to mention Penn State on the road. The Knights are ranked five spots behind Louisville in the coaches’ and Harris polls but ahead of the Cards in every computer ranking.

Notes on BCS selection:


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



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



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



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



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

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Post-Week 10 BCS Rankings and Analysis
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By virtue of the process of elimination, Clint Chelf entered the season as one of the most experienced quarterbacks in the Big 12.

After the opener, he also had the least firm grip on his starting job when he was replaced by J.W. Walsh. But in the first week of November, Chelf has Oklahoma State in control of its fate in the Big 12 race.

In his second start since returning to the starting lineup, Chelf accounted for 299 yards of total offense and three total touchdowns in a 52-34 win over Texas Tech to earn Athlon Sports National Player of the Week honors.

In road wins over Iowa State and Texas Tech, Chelf has supervised the first Oklahoma State offense to score 50 points in back-to-back road games. He’s also helped lead the Cowboys to a 7-1 start and a 3-1 start in the Big 12 with games against Texas, Baylor and Oklahoma State his his future.

Athlon Sports Week 10 National Awards

National Offensive Player of the Week: Clint Chelf, Oklahoma State
Chelf may have had the rug pulled out from under him when J.W. Walsh replaced him as the starter in the second game of the season, but the senior is making the most of his return to the lineup. Chelf completed 18 of 34 passes for 211 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in the road win over Texas Tech. For the second consecutive game, Chelf produced in the run game with 88 yards and two touchdowns on six carries.

Defensive Player of the Week: Garrison Smith, Georgia
Smith, a senior defensive end, had the most productive day of his career in a very important game for the Georgia program. The Atlanta native had nine tackles and was credited with 2.5 sacks (for 12 lost yards) in the Bulldogs’ 23-20 win over Florida — their third straight over their rivals from Gainesville. Georgia held the Gators 319 total yards and allowed only one drive that went for more than 50 yards.

National Freshman of the Week: Tarean Folston, Notre Dame
Folston gave a major lift to a Notre Dame run game that has struggled all season by rushing for 140 yards and the game-winning touchdown on 18 carries against Navy. Folston is only the second Notre Dame tailback to top the 100-yard mark this season. The rookie from Cocoa, Fla., is also the first Notre Dame freshman to rush for 100 yards since 2007.

National Coordinator of Week: Pat Narduzzi, Michigan State
Who else could it be? The No. 1 defense in the nation showed the nation why it might be the only unit in the Big Ten that can stop Ohio State. The Wolverines posted a school-record low of minus-48 yards rushing as Narduzzi dialed up pressure all night long. Michigan State finished with seven sacks, 12 first downs allowed 168 total yards of offense. The 23-point win was the most lopsided victory since 1967 between the two in-state rivals. 

Athlon Sports Week 10 Conference Awards


Three things we learned from Florida State’s rout of Miami, plus all the hits and misses of the Week 10 in Athlon Sports’ Three and Out Recap.
ACC
Offense: Devonta Freeman, Florida State
Defense: Kasim Edebali, Boston College
Freshman: Jeremy Pruitt, Florida State
Coordinator: Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh

Big 12
Offense: Clint Chelf, Oklahoma State
Defense: Will Clarke, West Virginia
Freshman: Daikiel Shorts, West Virginia
Coordinator: Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State

Big Ten
Offense: Philip Nelson, Minnesota
Defense: Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State
Freshman: Christian Hackenberg, Penn State
Coordinator: Pat Narduzzi, Michigan State

Pac-12
Offense: Taylor Kelly, Arizona State
Defense: Devon Kennard, USC
Freshman: Scooby Wright, Arizona
Coordinator: Clancy Pedergast, USC

SEC
Offense: Tre Mason, Auburn
Defense: Garrison Smith, Georgia
Freshman: Kelvin Taylor, Florida
Coordinator: Mike Bobo, Georgia

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Oklahoma State's Chelf earns Athlon National Player of the Week Honors
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Every league race is all about momentum. For sure, the Big 12 has packed a ton if it for only 10 teams.

Oklahoma State has it. So does Kansas State. Texas Tech doesn’t.

The Cowboys’ offense is starting to round into form just in time to contend for the Big 12 championship after defeating Texas Tech 52-34 on Saturday in the league’s key game of the week. Even if the Wildcats aren't conference contenders, Kansas State also kept its momentum going with its second consecutive lopsided win in Manhattan.

With Oklahoma and Baylor off in preparation of Thursday night’s showdown in Waco, Oklahoma State takes center stage this week in our Big 12 awards.

Big 12 Week 10 Awards and Recap

Offensive player of the week: Clint Chelf, Oklahoma State
Chelf may have had the rug pulled out from under him when J.W. Walsh replaced him as the starter in the second game of the season, but the senior is making the most of his return to the lineup. Chelf completed 18 of 34 passes for 211 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in the road win over Texas Tech. For the second consecutive game, Chelf produced in the run game with 88 yards and two touchdowns on six carries.

Defensive player of the week: Will Clarke, West Virginia
The Mountaineers defense has struggled away from Morgantown, but they came up with a solid effort against feisty TCU in Fort Worth. Clarke led the way with four tackles and 2.5 tackles for a loss. The defensive end played a key role in West Virginia’s 24-0 run with a sack and a forced fumble that gave West Virginia the ball in the red zone. The Mountaineers capitalized by taking a 27-17 lead.

Freshman of the week: Daikiel Shorts, West Virginia
Shorts has developed into West Virginia’s top receiver, a position group reeling from the loss of Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. Shorts finished the game with six receptions for 98 yards against a strong TCU secondary. Shorts leads the Mountaineers in receptions (37) and yards (430).

Team of the week: Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State had been a flawed team even through a 6-1 start, but the Cowboys are starting to round into shape just in time for the critical part of the Big 12 schedule. With 58 points against Iowa State in Ames and 52 points against Texas Tech in Lubbock, Oklahoma State has scored 50 points in consecutive road games for the first time in school history.

Coordinator of the week: Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State
The coordinator Mike Gundy plucked from Division II Shippensburg is starting to feel his way through the Big 12. The Cowboys had their most complete offensive game of the season, rushing for 281 yards and passing for 221. Oklahoma State also converted both of its fourth down attempts. Texas Tech entered the game holding opponents to 379 per game before Oklahoma State amassed 502.

Fifth Down

• Chris Whaley became the first defensive tackle in Texas history to have two defensive touchdowns in the same season. Whaley scored on a 40-yard interception return against Kansas on Saturday and a 31-yard interception return earlier this season against Oklahoma.

• Oklahoma State became the first team to beat Texas Tech three times in a row in Lubbock since Nebraska in 1994, 1996 and 2000.

• TCU has lost three games in a row for the first time in 12 years under Gary Patterson.

• Former starting quarterback Trevone Boykin was TCU’s leading receiver against West Virginia, catching 11 passes for 100 yards. Boykin’s 11 catches is the most for anyone under Patterson.

• TCU wide receiver Brandon Carter, a breakout candidate who struggled for most  of the season, did not play against West Virginia due to a family issue.

• Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro had a prolific day, even for his standards. Amaro caught 15 passes for 174 yards with a touchdown, but he had his second fumble in two games.

• Kansas State running back John Hubert had his second 100-yard rushing day of the season with 105 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries against Iowa State. His season-high is 118 against UMass.

• Sam Richardson started at quarterback for Iowa State after a head injury scare last week against Oklahoma State. Richardson was 6 of 12 for 38 yards with an interception before he was relieved by Grant Rohach in the second quarter.

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Big 12 Week 10 Recap and Awards
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It was an odd weekend out West as Stanford, Oregon, Washington and Utah were all off. Certainly, all eyes in the Pac-12 — and the nation — will be on Palo Alto on Thursday evening when the Ducks visit Stanford.

But just because the best two teams didn't play, didn't mean that things went according to plan. USC pulled a critical upset over Oregon State to give itself a fighting chance in the South. Arizona, Arizona State and UCLA all held serve in the South and now all four teams are tied with six wins.

Here are your Week 10 Pac-12 superlatives:

Offensive Player of the Week: Taylor Kelly, QB, Arizona State
USC's Javorius Allen (133 yards, three touchdowns) played well for the Trojans. Arizona's B.J. Denker (305 total yards, four touchdowns) was huge on the road against Cal. But it's hard to argue that the Sun Devils quarterback wasn't the best player in the league this weekend. Late on Thursday night on the road, Kelly accounted for seven touchdowns and more than 300 yards of total offense against Washington State. He threw for 275 yards and five scores while rushing for 66 yards and two more touchdowns on the ground while leading his offense to its fourth consecutive Pac-12 game with at least 50 points. Kelly is third in the league — ahead of Marcus Mariota and Brett Hundley — with 313.9 yards per game in 2013.

Defensive Player of the Week: Devon Kennard, LB, USC
The former five-star recruit missed all of last year with an injury and it appears he is starting to round into all-conference form. Kennard posted a career-high two sacks in the upset of Sean Mannion and his potent Beavers passing attack. He added four total tackles. He has seven quarterback take downs on the season, trailing only Trent Murphy (9.5) and Tony Washington (7.5) in the Pac-12. The Trojans lead the league at 323.0 yards allowed per game. 

Team of the Week: USC
With an interim head coach and a depleted roster in a stadium where it hadn't won at in nearly a decade, the Trojans got an unexpected Pac-12 road win. The defense played excellent football against a high-flying Beavers offense without Morgan Breslin, Su'a Cravens and Anthony Brown. The running game and return of Marqise Lee delivered on offense despite missing Kevin Graf and Randall Telfer. USC won it's third straight Pac-12 game and became bowl eligible. Interim coach Ed Oregeron is now 3-0 in Pac-12 since taking over for Lane Kiffin and it puts USC squarely in the divisional race, one game behind Arizona State.

Coordinator of the Week: Clancy Pendergast, USC
Oregon State boasts one of the most potent passing attacks in the nation, and Pendergast's unit shut it down. On the road, the Trojans allowed just 277 yards passing to the No. 3-rated pass offense in the nation and only 92 yards on the ground. USC forced three Sean Mannion turnovers and held star wide receiver Brandin Cooks to just six receptions and 88 yards. USC is leading the Pac-12 in total defense (323.0 ypg) and has held Utah and Oregon State to a combined 570 yards after allowing over 500 to both Arizona State and Arizona.

Freshman of the Week: Scooby Wright, LB, Arizona
For the second week in a row, Wright gets top honors after a terrific showing in a Wildcats win on the road. Wright posted a career-high 11 total tackles and 3.0 tackles for loss in the five-point win over Cal. He is 11th in the Pac-12 in tackles (7.5 pg) and is No. 3 among freshman (Addison Gillam, Cameron Walker). The Wildcats are bowl eligible and one game back of the Sun Devils in the South Divison with games left with both UCLA and Arizona State at home. USC's Leon McQuay II gets a mention for six tackles and two pass break-ups against Oregon State in place of star freshman Su'a Cravens.

Fifth Down

• Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey rushed for more than 100 yards for the 11th consecutive game, rushing 32 times for 152 yards against Cal. B.J. Denker stole the show again, scoring four times and accounting for more than 300 yards of offense.

• USC's Javorius Allen (16) and Silas Redd (22) combined for 38 rushing attempts and 273 yards against Oregon State. Marqise Lee returned with five receptions, 105 yards and a touchdowns.

• UCLA's Devin Fuller touched the ball four times on offense and scored on three of them. He caught two touchdowns in three receptions and scored on his only rushing attempt. He totaled 107 yards from scrimmage.

• UCLA didn't have an injured Eric Kendricks, and tailback Jordan James returned to action. James carried six times for eight yards.

• UCLA's Brett Hundley was excellent against Colorado, throwing for 273 yards and rushing for 72 and accounting for four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing). 

• The South Division went 3-0 against the North Division this weekend. 

• Oregon State's Sean Mannion and Brandin Cooks lead the nation with 14 touchdown connections this season.

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Another showdown of top-10 teams in the ACC resulted in another Florida State blowout victory. The Seminoles dominated Miami for a 41-14 lead, which certainly doesn’t hurt Florida State’s quest to be one of the top-two teams in the BCS standings.

The Florida State-Miami game stole the spotlight in the ACC, but Boston College’s 34-27 upset over Virginia Tech is another good sign in the rebuilding project for first-year coach Steve Addazio. The Eagles need two wins to get bowl eligible, which should be possible with their remaining schedule.

Elsewhere in the ACC, North Carolina beat NC State, Syracuse pitched a shutout against Wake Forest, Clemson hammered Virginia, and Georgia Tech knocked off Pittsburgh 21-10.

ACC Week 10 Recap and Awards

Offensive Player of the Week: Devonta Freeman, RB, Florida State
Florida State’s offense had its way with Miami’s defense on Saturday night, as the Seminoles gashed the Hurricanes for 517 yards and punted only once. Quarterback Jameis Winston was steady as usual, but Freeman was the catalyst for Florida State’s high-powered attack. The Miami native rushed for 78 yards and two touchdowns on 23 attempts, and the senior caught six passes for 98 yards and one score. In three career games against the Hurricanes, Freeman has 224 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

Defensive Player of the Week: Kasim Edebali, DE, Boston College
The Eagles’ defense led the way in the 34-27 victory over Virginia Tech. The Hokies recorded 446 yards, but Boston College created four turnovers and sacked quarterback Logan Thomas four times. Edebali wrecked havoc against Virginia Tech’s line, recording eight tackles (three for a loss), two sacks and one pass breakup. Edebali also forced three fumbles, with the final turnover sealing the victory with just over a minute to go. Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald also had a huge effort on Saturday, but Edebali gets the edge in a winning effort.

Team of the Week: Florida State
Boston College scored an upset win over Virginia Tech, and North Carolina’s road victory over rival NC State was noteworthy, but Florida State gets the nod as the ACC’s team of the week. The Seminoles continued to establish their dominance over the rest of the conference with a 41-14 victory over Miami. Florida State scored over 40 points for the eighth consecutive time this year, and the offense averaged 7.1 yards per play against the Hurricanes. Quarterback Jameis Winston’s two picks resulted in Miami’s touchdowns, but the Seminoles limited the Hurricanes to just 275 overall yards. Winston’s supporting cast stepped up, as Devonta Freeman rushed for 78 yards and caught six passes for 98 yards and one score. Florida State is one of the top teams in the nation and should cruise to 11-0, with a date against Florida and then the Coastal Division champion the two biggest remaining obstacles on the schedule.

Coordinator of the Week: Jeremy Pruitt, Florida State
In his first year calling the plays for Florida State, Pruitt continues to push all of the right buttons. The Seminoles allowed 115 yards in Miami’s first two possessions, but the Hurricanes managed only 144 yards in its next six drives. Miami’s only points were scored off turnovers by Florida State’s offense, and the Hurricanes failed to have a drive longer than six plays in the second half. Pruitt’s defense held Miami to 4.8 yards per play and limited its offense to just 4 of 11 on third-down conversions. Considering all of the starters Florida State had to replace coming into this year and hasn’t missed a beat, Pruitt has been one of the top assistant hires for 2013.

Freshman of the Week: Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
Florida State’s Jameis Winson had another strong performance against Miami, but we’ll give the Week 10 honor to Boyd. In a losing effort against Georgia Tech, Boyd caught 11 passes for 118 yards and one score. The freshman’s longest catch went for just 15 yards, but his 12-yard catch in the third quarter helped Pittsburgh pull within four in the second half.

5th Down

• Wake Forest receiver Michael Campanaro is out four to six weeks with a collarbone injury. Campanaro suffered the injury during the first half of Saturday’s loss to Syracuse.

• Miami running back Duke Johnson suffered a broken ankle against Florida State and will miss the rest of the season.

• Boston College running back Andre Williams rushed for 166 yards in the 34-27 win over Virginia Tech. Williams has at least 166 yards in three out of his last four games.

• Florida State punted only one time against Miami.

• Georgia Tech held Pittsburgh to -5 rushing yards on Saturday night.

• After throwing six interceptions through the first seven games, Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas has six in his last two contests.

• NC State quarterback Brandon Mitchell accounted for 235 of the Wolfpack’s 388 yards against North Carolina.

• Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig has not thrown for more than 93 yards in each of his last two games.

• Georgia Tech defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu had four tackles (three for a loss) and two sacks against Pittsburgh.

• Syracuse defensive tackle Jay Bromley had a strong performance against Wake Forest, recording four tackles (one for a loss) and one sack.

• North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams led the Tar Heels with 51 rushing yards against NC State.

• NC State defensive end Darryl Cato-Bishop had a solid game against North Carolina, recording five tackles (two for a loss) and one forced fumble.

• Virginia freshman Keeon Johnson led the team with five receptions for 77 yards against Clemson.

• Wake Forest averaged just three yards per play against Syracuse.

• Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins has 30 receptions over his last three games.

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2013 ACC Week 10 Recap and Awards
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The Week 10 slate was highlighted by Georgia’s 23-20 win over Florida in Jacksonville. The Bulldogs surged to a 23-3 lead at the half but had to hold on for a three-point win. Elsewhere, South Carolina beat Mississippi State with ease despite struggling a bit on offense; Auburn pounded Arkansas in Gus Malzahn’s return to the Natural State; and Missouri had little trouble with Tennessee, which started true freshman Josh Dobbs at quarterback.  

SEC Week 10 Recap and Awards

Offensive Player of the Week: Tre Mason, Auburn
He doesn’t often get mentioned with some of other elite backs in the SEC, but Mason is enjoying a tremendous junior season under first-year coach Gus Malzahn. On Saturday night in Fayetteville, Mason rushed for 168 yards and four touchdowns on 32 carries to lead Auburn to a 35-17 win over Arkansas. In SEC play, Mason is averaging 117.8 yards per game with a league-best eight rushing touchdowns.

Defensive Player of the Week: Garrison Smith, Georgia
Smith, a senior defensive end, had the most productive day of his career in a very important game for the Georgia program. The Atlanta native had nine tackles and was credited with 2.5 sacks (for 12 lost yards) in the Bulldogs’ 23-20 win over Florida — their third straight over their rivals from Gainesville. Georgia held the Gators 319 total yards and allowed only one drive that went for more than 50 yards. 

Team of the Week: Georgia
The Bulldogs survived a spirited second-half comeback to edge Florida 23-20 in a battle of proud programs seeking a feel-good win. Georgia dominated the first half and appeared on its way to a lopsided win until one play — a lateral that tight end Arthur Lynch failed to pick up — changed the complexion of the game. Florida outscored the Dawgs 17-0 the rest of the way but came up just short and lost for the third straight time in the series. The win keeps Georgia in the hunt in the SEC East. The Bulldogs and South Carolina each have two losses. Missouri has one loss. The Tigers, however, still have to play Ole Miss on the road and Texas A&M at home. 

Coordinator of the Week: Mike Bobo, Georgia
It might seem odd to give Bobo the nod here since Georgia only scored 23 points and was shut out in the second half. But consider a few stats: The Bulldogs had 414 total yards and averaged 6.8 yards per play (only Missouri has done better against Florida this season), and Georgia averaged 9.9 yard per pass attempt — the most against Florida since October 2011. The Bulldogs also converted 7-of-12 on third down — their first game over 50 percent for the season — and ended the game on a 67-yard drive that ate up the final 8:17 of the game. 

Freshman of the Week: Kelvin Taylor, Florida
It was far from a banner week for the league’s freshman. We’ll give the nod to Taylor, who rushed for 76 yards on 20 carries against Georgia in his first career start. The son of former Florida star Fred Taylor has been forced into a prominent role due to injuries at the tailback position. He has rushed for 202 yards on 42 carries in the last three games.

5th Down

• Tyler Russell, Mississippi State’s starting quarterback at the beginning of the season, did not play a snap in the Bulldogs’ 34–16 loss at South Carolina. Coach Dan Mullen said Russell, who has been dealing with an ankle injury, was cleared to play “but if he didn’t have to play he wasn’t going to, which (will allow) him to be very healthy getting into next week.” Dak Prescott threw for 235 yards and rushed for 78 yards and two scores, but he threw three interceptions.

• South Carolina’s Connor Shaw has 17 touchdowns and only one interception in seven SEC games. Only two other quarterbacks have more than 10 TDs in league games — Johnny Manziel (15) and Aaron Murray (15).

• Missouri rushed for 339 yards in a 31-3 win against Tennessee, the Tigers’ highest single-game total in SEC play since joining the league last season. Mizzou was led by quarterback Maty Mauk, who had a career-high 114 yards on 13 attempts, and Henry Josey, who ran for 74 yards on 16 carries.

• Arkansas is averaging only 4.8 yards per passing attempt in SEC games. Only two teams nationally are worse in league play — Purdue (4.5 in the Big Ten) and Syracuse (4.1 in the ACC). Two years ago, in the final year of the Bobby Petrino era, the Hogs averaged a league-best 7.7 yards per pass attempt in SEC games.

• Auburn had a season-low 366 total yards (on a season-low 55 snaps) yet still beat Arkansas with ease, 35-17. The Tigers’ previous season low was 375 yards in a 30-22 win at home against Ole Miss. 

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If Saturday seemed quiet, that was with good reason.

No Alabama. No Oregon. No Stanford. No Oklahoma. No Baylor.

In their place, Florida State and Ohio State took the opportunity in a less-crowded schedule to prove their mettle.

The Seminoles made the most of their opportunity with yet another rout this season, and another against a top-10 team. Florida State’s home win over Miami likely will be the last opportunity for the Seminoles to pick up a signature win before the final BCS rankings. The next three opponents are Wake Forest, Syracuse and Idaho. The regular season finale at Florida becomes less and less interesting every week, and now Miami is wounded as it tries to win Coastal Division title for a rematch with FSU in Charlotte.

The Buckeyes finished with another lopsided score, but it’s too little too late as long as two of the top three remain undefeated. A Purdue team that historically has given Ohio State fits in West Lafayette will have its worst seasons since before Joe Tiller arrived. And like Florida State, Ohio State can’t expect a major boost with its season-ending rivalry game on the road. Michigan, after Saturday, is simply looking to move the ball forward for a change.

College Football Week 10 Recap: Three and Out

Three Things We Learned from Florida State 41, Miami 14

There’s no reason to keep Florida State out of the title game. Jameis Winston threw two interceptions for the first time in his career, and the Seminoles still won by 27. That's just how FSU is handling opponents these days. In the last three weeks, Florida State defeated Clemson and Miami, both ranked in the top 10 at kickoff, by a combined score of 92-28. The Seminoles have scored at least 40 points in every game this season, and only one team (Boston College) has scored more than 17 against the Noles. Florida State has proven itself to be in a league with Alabama and Oregon right now, but the problem for the Noles is that Alabama and Oregon are equally deserving of title game slots.

It’s not all Jameis. The redshirt freshman quarterback has been the transformative figure for Florida State’s program under Jimbo Fisher, but the win over Miami proved how imposing the Seminoles’ supporting cast is. Running back Devonta Freeman did most of the work on a 49-yard touchdown on a screen pass, and the imposing 6-5, 234-pound Kelvin Benjamin seems to catch any pass remotely in his area. Throw in Rashad Greene, Kenny Shaw and tight end Nick O’Leary, and Winston may have the nation’s most impressive group of skill position players around him.

Stephen Morris needs to get better. And before Dec. 7. With Virginia Tech losing, Miami remains the favorite in the ACC Coastal. A rematch with Florida State is possible, but Stephen Morris will need perform better than he did Saturday. Morris was 16 of 29 for 196 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, both in a problematic second half. With top receiver Phillip Dorsett already hurting and running back Duke Johnson out with a broken ankle, the spotlight is on Morris if the Canes are going to win the Coastal.

Related: Duke Johnson suffers broken ankle in loss

Moving the Chains

Michigan State’s front seven. The nation’s top defense resides in East Lansing. After Saturday, it’s tough to argue otherwise. Michigan rushed for minus-48 yards in a 29-6 loss to Michigan State, setting a Wolverines record for futility in the run game. Most of the lost rushing yards came on sacks (seven sacks for a loss of 49 yards), but Michigan State stopped Michigan’s designed run plays at or behind the line of scrimmage eight times. The Wolverines had only two rushing plays longer than five yards and none longer than nine. Defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, Mark Dantonio’s defensive coordinator since 2004 at Cincinnati, could have one of the best defenses in recent decades. Since 2000, only 2011 Alabama allowed fewer total yards per game than Michigan State’s 210.2 so far. And in the last 30 years, only four teams have held opponents to fewer than 50 rushing yards per game. The Spartans are holding teams to 43.3 rushing yards per game and 2.1 yards per carry.

Oklahoma State’s Big 12 hopes. A loss to West Virginia and an uneven offense have made Oklahoma State an overlooked one-loss team but not anymore. On Saturday, the Cowboys all but ended Texas Tech’s bid for the Big 12 title, and now the Pokes control their own fate after defeating the Red Raiders 52-34 in Lubbock. Oklahoma State still has games against Texas (Nov. 16 in Austin), Baylor (Nov. 23) and Oklahoma (Dec. 7) for a chance to win the league. On Saturday, Oklahoma State jumped to an early 21-0 lead on turnover and a blocked punt. The Cowboys never really let up even when Texas Tech narrowed the deficit to 4 at halftime. Credit the Oklahoma State offense that has stabilized with Clint Chelf and Desmond Roland in the backfield. In his second consecutive start, Chelf was 18 of 34 for 212 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions while rushing for 88 yards and two scores.

This play by Nebraska. The Cornhuskers’ chances to win the Big Ten Legends Division remain intact thanks to a miracle 49-yard touchdown Hail Mary from senior former walk-on Ron Kellogg off a deflection to mustached redshirt freshman receiver Jordan Westerkamp in the end zone. Nebraska never led after the midway point of the first quarter against Northwestern and gave up a 3-point lead in a field goal with 1:22 left before this highlight reel pass play to win 27-24.

False Starts

Virginia Tech’s ACC hopes. Two weeks ago, Virginia Tech had plenty of reason to believe the Coastal Division would come down to next week’s matchup against Miami. The defense was stout, and quarterback Logan Thomas had appeared to turn a corner. After losing back-to-back games to Duke and Boston College, Virginia Tech will fighting for a semi-respectable bowl berth. The defense is doing just fine, holding opponents to 18 of 40 passing 2 of 23 on third down in the last two games. But Thomas has been a mess the last two weeks. He threw two interceptions, including a pick six to BC’s Kevin Pierre-Louis to give the Eagles the lead. Thomas has eight turnovers in the last two games (six interceptions, two fumbles).

Florida’s composure. Florida finished its 23-20 in way that’s become all too typical for the Gators — with a momentum-sapping penalty. In the final moments, Florida stopped Georgia on a third and 5 to set up a 42-yard field goal, but a facemask penalty gave Georgia the game-clinching first down. In the third quarter, an illegal formation negated a long pass play into Georgia territory on a third-and-15 conversion. But the tone was set on Florida’s first possession when an 83-yard pass play to Quinton Dunbar, one of the rare long pass plays for the Gators this season, turned into a missed 40-yard field goal four plays later because of a personal foul. Florida finished with seven penalties, the 21st time in the last 34 games the Gators have been flagged seven or more times.

Texas Tech’s first quarter. The Red Raiders gave themselves little chance to bounce back from a loss to Oklahoma with a disastrous first quarter against Oklahoma State. Texas Tech had a three-and-out, a punt, a fumble and a blocked punt to spot the Cowboys a 21-0 lead from which Texas Tech never recovered in a 52-34 loss.

Heisman Movers

Mike Davis, South Carolina. Davis didn’t have his most prolific day of the season against Mississippi State, but he continued to be one of the most consistent performers of the year. Davis rushed for 128 yards on 15 carries and caught two passes for 26 yards, giving him 150 yards from scrimmage in his sixth game this season. Davis is averaging 7.1 yards every time he touches the ball on offense.

Sean Mannion, Oregon State. The Beavers’ quarterback still has 3,540 passing yards and 31 touchdowns in nine games, but his Heisman bid is probably up after running into two elite defenses for Stanford and USC. Mannion was 67 of 102 for 548 yards. Mannion averaged nearly nine yards per pass attempt in the first seven games but only 5.4 against Stanford and USC.

Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona. The Wildcats are a quiet 6-2 team, but Arizona’s running back should be ready to take center stage in the final month of the season. Carey rushed for 152 yards on 32 carries in the 33-28 win over Cal to give him 1,072 yards in seven games this season. Arizona finishes with UCLA, Washington State, Oregon and Arizona State.

Stat Watch

187. Snaps Purdue has taken since it last ran a play in the red zone. Purdue has an eight-game losing streak to FBS opponents and has lost its last three games by a combined score of 114-14. But the biggest sign of Purdue’s futility is the Boilermakers’ streak of 187 consecutive plays outside of the red zone, dating back to the Sept. 28 loss to Northern Illinois.

73. Times Tom Savage has been sacked in his career. It wasn’t a game many people watched, but Pittsburgh quarterback Tom Savage will have the bruises from a 21-10 loss to Georgia Tech. Savage was sacked five times, not a season high, but it highlights that he’s been sacked 24 times this season. The former Rutgers quarterback has played on three teams ranked 100th or worse in sacks allowed, giving him 73 sacks in 25 career games. Just for comparison, Alabama’s AJ McCarron has been sacked 44 times ... in 44 games.

119-14. Amount Ohio State is outscoring opponents since the first BCS standings. Two games, two routs since Ohio State was put at No. 4 in the BCS standings. The Buckeyes may post similar scores against Illinois and Indiana, but it remains unlikely for Ohio State to pass Alabama, Oregon or Florida State without a loss by one of those teams.

Buried on the Depth Chart

Bowl eligible
Arizona
North Texas
USC

Dang, They’re Good
Clemson
Michigan State
Ohio State

Dang, They’re Bad
Kent State
NC State
Purdue

Best Midweek Games Next Week
Oklahoma at Baylor (Thursday)
Oregon at Stanford (Thursday)
Ohio at Buffalo (Tuesday)

Best Games Next Saturday
BYU at Wisconsin
Houston at UCF
LSU at Alabama
FAU upsets Tulane. Bowl-eligible Confernece USA contender Tulane is one of the biggest turnarounds this season with Curtis Johnson deserving of coach of the year mentions. FAU had one of the season’s major controversies when coach Carl Pelini was fired this week for illegal drug use, including accusations from one of his assistants of cocaine use. Naturally, FAU defeated Tulane 34-17 for the Green Wave’s first C-USA loss of the season.

Texas State is bowl eligible. Texas State has been one of the success stories of teams moving up to FBS after decades in the FCS/Division I-AA. In is third season in the FBS, Texas State is bowl eligible after defeating Idaho 37-21 to move to 6-3.

Tulsa’s fall. The defending Conference USA champions likely won’t go to a bowl game after losing 34-15 at home to slip to 2-6. Tulsa has missed a bowl game only twice since 2003.

Three Big-Time Runners

Todd Gurley, Georgia. Gurley was not at full speed in his first game since Sept. 28, leaving the game at times with stomach ailments. That’s a scary thought. Gurley rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries and had a 73-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter. On his first carry upon returning from the locker room in the second quarter, Gurley rushed for 30 yards.

David Cobb, Minnesota. Cobb, who rushed for 65 total yards in two seasons entering this season, continues to carry the Gophers run game. The junior from Killeen, Texas, rushed for 188 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries while catching two passes for 48 yards in Minnesota’s 42-39 win over Indiana. Cobb has rushed for 429 yards his last three games, all Big Ten wins for Minnesota.

Anthony LaCoste, Air Force. This has not been a shining season for Air Force, but LaCoste ended the seven-game losing streak with 263 rushing yards, second-most in school history, in a 42-28 win over Army.

Reasons You Should’ve Found Something Better to do Saturday Morning

Wisconsin 28, Iowa 9. The Badgers needed two fourth-quarter touchdowns to pull away, but Iowa never really posed a threat to Wisconsin. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz was risk averse, to say the least. The Hawkeyes settled for three field goals of fewer than 30 yards (29, 22, 29) and even punted once from Wisconsin’s 35-yard line. The game was all but over when Iowa starting quarterback Jake Rudock was lost to a leg injury in the third quarter.

Penn State 24, Illinois 17 (OT). Illinois’ Big Ten losing streak extended to 18 games in excruciating fashion as the Illini coughed up a three-point lead in the final 51 seconds. Illinois bungled its clock management at the end of the first half, settling for a 20-yard field goal despite running three plays from inside the Penn State 10 in the final minute. Illinois also failed to capitalize on a Bill Belton fumble in the final two minutes of the game, giving Penn State the ball at 50 after a three and out.

Syracuse 13, Wake Forest 0. Even though Wake Forest gave Miami trouble last week, no one would have circled this ACC game on the schedule. This game lived up to its non-billing by featuring a combined 23 punts.

Has Anyone Noticed?

Notre Dame is quietly building a BCS case. The Irish will have to move from No. 25 into the top 14 to be eligible for an at-large bid (or No. 12 for an automatic bid), but Notre Dame is on its way to making that a possibility. Navy gave Notre Dame all it could handle in the Irish’s 38-34 loss, but the Irish are 7-2 with games remaining against Pittsburgh, BYU and Stanford. A 10-2 Notre Dame team fresh off a win over Stanford may crack the top 12. On Saturday, though, Navy had a chance to keep the game alive when it caught Notre Dame’s defense off guard with a fourth down reverse, but Shawn Lynch couldn’t beat the Irish D to the first down marker. The Irish played the last two games without standout defensive lineman Louis Nix, but Tommy Rees has played consistently in the last three games.

Boston College is 4-4. With a 34-27 win over Virginia Tech, Boston College improved to 4-4 in the first season under Steve Addazio. The Eagles haven’t won away from home, but they’ll have ample opportunities to get to bowl eligibility or more with games remaining at New Mexico State, against NC State, at Maryland and at Syracuse.

TCU has lost three in a row. The Big 12 is tougher, and TCU has had a slew of injuries and player departures the last two seasons. Still, Gary Patterson has seen better days. With a 30-27 loss in overtime to West Virginia, TCU has lost three in a row for the first time under Gary Patterson. The Horned Frogs scored 10 points in the final 3:49 of the third quarter to force overtime, but collapsed in the extra frame to the point the Frogs attempted a 62-yard field goal (it failed). As TCU has lost three consecutive Big 12 teams, keep in mind this is a team that lost three games total from 2009-11.

The “What Have You Done For Me Lately?” Awards

Dan Mullen, Mississippi State. The Bulldogs have gone to three consecutive bowl games only twice in their history, including 2010-12 under Mullen. But the Mullen era has been marked by uncompetitive games against above-average teams. Saturday was another one of those games as the Bulldogs lost 34-16 to South Carolina. The Gamecocks — quarterback Connor Shaw, in particular — started slow, but Carolina scored 17 third-quarter points for a convincing win. In the last three seasons, Mississippi State is 4-15 against FBS teams with winning records, with those victories coming against Troy, Bowling Green, Middle Tennessee and Louisiana Tech. In order for Mississippi State to reach a fourth consecutive bowl game, the Bulldogs will need to score at least one major upset in the last four games (at Texas A&M, Alabama, at Arkansas, Ole Miss).

Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech. Odds are Beamer gets to decide when he steps aside from the Virginia Tech program he built whenever he wants, but the last two weeks were reminiscent of another legendary ACC coach near the end of his tenure. Virginia Tech is 13-11 overall and 7-6 in the ACC since a 2011 loss to Clemson in the ACC Championship Game. In 2006-07, Bobby Bowden went 14-12 with a 7-9 ACC record. Bowden remained at Florida State until 2009, but Jimbo Fisher was hired as offensive coordinator/coach-in-waiting in 2007.

Will Muschamp, Florida. Injuries have played a major role in the Gators’ 4-4 start this season. That may save Muschamp from a similar fate to another third-year Gators coach with a similar record. Former Florida coach Ron Zook went 23-14 overall and 16-8 in the SEC from 2002-04 while Muschamp is 22-12 overall and 13-9 in the SEC. Even if Muschamp gets the benefit of the doubt for missing five starters, plus a handful of backups, due to injury this season, he’s still the first Florida coach since Galen Hall to have two three-game losing streaks on his resume. Muschamp is also 0-3 against Georgia. If Florida doesn’t win two of its final four (against Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Georgia Southern and Florida State), the Gators will miss a bowl for the first time since 1990.

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College Football Week 10 Recap: Noles more than just Winston
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What a wild week in the Big Ten. The three best teams in the league — Ohio State, Michigan State and Wisconsin — won in convincing fashion but the rest of the conference was under cardiac arrest in the fourth quarter.

Indiana came storming back with 28 unanswered points only to watch Philip Nelson throw the game-winning touchdown pass. Christian Hackenberg led a game-tying drive at the end of regulation and then tossed the game winner in overtime. And Nebraska won on a Ron Kellogg III Hail Mary in Lincoln.

Here are the Big Ten's Week 10 Superlatives:

Offensive Players of the Week: Philip Nelson, QB, Minnesota

Nelson and the Gophers built a commanding 35-13 lead with less than six minutes to go in the third quarter. However, Indiana stormed back with four unanswered touchdowns to take a narrow lead late in the final frame. But Nelson answered back with a 50-yard scoring strike to Maxx Williams to give Minnesota a thrilling three-point win over Indiana. Nelson finished with 298 yards on 16-of-23 passing and four touchdowns and 11 yards rushing on seven carries.

Defensive Player of Week: Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State
Any number of key contributors from Michigan State could be mentioned here. Denicos Allen (nine tackles, three TFL, two sacks) and Ed Davis (four tackles, 2.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks) each had big games for the nation's best defense. Calhoun has become the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year candidate, however, and his performance against Michigan was worthy of a headline. He posted six tackles, three tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and is now leading the Big Ten in sacks this season (6.5). Nebraska's Avery Moss needs to get a mention as well for his performance against Northwestern. He posted four tackles, a tackle for a loss and returned his first career interception for a game-tying touchdown.

Team of Week: Michigan State
The Buckeyes earned a few more style points with a 56-0 win over Purdue on the road but no team was more impressive than Michigan State in Week 10. The nation's best defense held Michigan in check the entire afternoon, allowing just 168 yards of total offense and two field goals. The Spartans are unbeaten in Big Ten play and look like the top challenger to the Buckeyes. Connor Cook is making timely throws, and Jeremy Langford has emerged as a workhorse back. This team is averaging more than 30 points per game in Big Ten play and may be built to compete with Ohio State should it get past Nebraska in two weeks.

Coordinator of Week: Pat Narduzzi, Michigan State
Who else could it be? The No. 1 defense in the nation showed the nation why it might be the only unit in the Big Ten that can stop Ohio State. The Wolverines posted a school-record low of minus-48 yards rushing as Narduzzi dialed up pressure all night long. Michigan State finished with seven sacks, 12 first downs allowed 168 total yards of offense. The 23-point win was the most lopsided victory since 1967 between the two in-state rivals. 

Freshman of the Week: Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
The Penn State freshman has quickly proven he can handle himself in late-game pressure situations. For the second time in his young career, he drove his team down the field to tie the game in the final minute. And for the second time, he led his team to an overtime victory over a Big Ten foe. Hackenberg finished with 240 yards passing on 20-of-32 passing and two total touchdowns (one pass, one rush). He didn't turn the ball over and moved the Lions to even in the Big Ten this year. Hack still leads the Big Ten in passing (253 ypg).

Bonus: Play of the Year: Ron Kellogg III and Jordan Westerkamp, Nebraska
With no time remaining and his job potentially on the line at home against Northwestern, Bo Pelini watched one of the most memorable plays in Nebraska history unfold before yet another sellout crowd at Memorial Stadium. Kellogg heaved the ball 49 yards where Westerkamp snatched the tipped pass out of the air for the game-winning touchdown. It was Westerkamp's first career TD and it kept the Huskers Big Ten title hopes alive. Kellogg-to-Westerkamp now belongs next to Kirk Cousins, Kordell Stewart, Doug Flutie, Drew Tate and Marcus Randall in Big Ten lore. 

Fifth Down

• Michigan State is giving up a nation-best 210.2 yards per game. Only 2011 Alabama has posted a better mark (183.6) since 2000. The Spartans are also just one of four teams in the last 30 years to allow less than 50 yards rushing per game (Arizona, 1993; Michigan, 2006; TCU, 2008).

• Minnesota's David Cobb is the first Gopher back to top 100 yards in three straight game since Amir Pinnix in 2006. He has 60 carries and 326 yards combined in wins over Nebraska and Indiana.

• Minnesota became just the third team since 1980 to win three straight games as at least a touchdown underdog. The Gophers were double-digit underdogs in each of the last three games.

• Bill Belton rushed for 201 yards in Penn State's win over Illinois. It was the first 200-yard effort by a Nittany Lion since Larry Johnson in 2002. He nearly cost his team the game with a fourth-quarter fumble but was outstanding on his other 35 carries.

• Without Chris Borland, Wisconsin turned to Marcus Trotter to fill the void at linebacker on the road against Iowa. Trotter had nine tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss while holding Iowa to three field goals.

• Iowa entered play on Saturday leading the nation in rushing touchdowns allowed with two. They gave up two in a game for the second time in three weeks to Wisconsin.

• Michigan State's first offensive play from scrimmage was a busted throw back to the fullback. Trevon Pendleton rumbled 49 yards for the Spartans longest play of the season.

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The Indianapolis Colts will try and extend their lead in the AFC South tonight when they face off with the Houston Texans at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC. The Colts (5-2) currently lead the Titans by two games and the Texans (2-5), who have lost five in a row, by three.

Andrew Luck and the Colts have gotten back to the basics this season, putting more of an emphasis on running the ball and playing more physical on defense. J.J. Watt and the Texans’ defense have done their job for the most part, but the offense has made too many costly mistakes and has struggled to put points on the scoreboard.

3 Things to Watch

Who Becomes Luck’s “New” No. 1 Target?
The Colts headed into their Week 8 bye on a high, beating the previously undefeated Broncos 39-33 in Peyton Manning’s return to Indianapolis. The win didn’t come without a cost, however, as wide receiver Reggie Wayne tore his ACL, ending his season. Wayne has been Andrew Luck’s favorite target since the No. 1 overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft made his first start, as the two have combined for 144 receptions for 1,885 yards and seven touchdowns in 23 regular-season games. More importantly, Luck targeted Wayne on 252 of 851 pass attempts during that same span. To put it another way, three out of every 10 passes Luck has thrown in the NFL have gone to Wayne. Now those looks have to go to someone else, as Luck needs one of his other pass-catchers to emerge and become as reliable and productive as Wayne. The primary options are fellow wideouts T.Y. Hilton and Darrius Heyward-Bey and tight end Coby Fleener. All three have caught at least 18 passes this season, but that was with Wayne on the field with them, drawing defenders’ attention away. What happens now will be key to how the second half of the Colts’ season plays out. And if there wasn’t enough pressure on Hilton, Heyward-Bey and Fleener already, tonight’s matchup with the No. 1 passing defense in the league is not exactly the ideal situation in which to “break in” a new passing attack.

Does Keenum Make His Case?
Matt Schaub’s problems in the pocket have been well documented. Earlier this season, he became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw an interception returned for a touchdown in four straight games. Then to make matters worse, after Schaub got hurt against the Rams in Week 6, backup T.J. Yates took over and made it five games in a row with a pick-six. Houston head coach Gary Kubiak then turned the reins over to undrafted, second-year pro Case Keenum. Although the Texans fell to the Chiefs, Keenum was solid in his first career start, throwing for 271 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions, although he did lose one of his two fumbles. Still, Keenum apparently showed enough that he remained the starter after the bye. He will make his second NFL start tonight against an Indianapolis defense that has done a decent job against the pass. The Colts entered this week 13th in the league in passing defense and this is a unit that has already faced Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning. If Keenum is able to make some plays through the air, lead the Texans on some scoring drives and protect the ball, he could secure his status as the Texans’ starter for the rest of the way, even though Schaub is healthy enough to play.

Houston’s Hurting in the Backfield
For all of their offensive woes, the Texans have still been productive in the running game. Although the numbers aren’t where they were last season, the Texans are currently 10th in the NFL in rushing at 127.7 yards per game. After a slow start, Arian Foster has picked things up, averaging 113.7 yards rushing per game during a three-game stretch in which the Texans played all NFC West teams – Seattle, San Francisco and St. Louis. Unfortunately, Foster lasted just four carries in his last game before exiting with a hamstring injury. He was still limited in practice this week, even after the bye, and will be a game-time decision to play tonight. Foster has especially enjoyed facing the Colts, as he’s averaging 173 total yards in six games against them with six touchdowns. And the Colts have had some issues stopping the run this season. They enter this game 29th in the league in rushing defense at 122.3 yards per game. Foster’s not the only Texan back hurting either. His backup, Ben Tate, is dealing with four broken ribs, but he will play. So with Foster a question mark and Tate at less than 100 percent, Deiji Karim, who has yet to play a single snap this season, could be called on. Whoever ends up getting the ball, they must find a way to take advantage of the perceived weak spot in Indianapolis’ defense. Otherwise, quarterback Case Keenum’s job, in just the second start of his NFL career, is going to be a lot harder.

Indianapolis Key Player: Trent Richardson, RB
Three yards per carry and two touchdowns isn’t exactly what the Colts were hoping for when they sent a first-round pick in next year’s draft to Cleveland for Richardson. Since joining the Colts in Week 3, Richardson has averaged less than 46 yards rushing per game and his longest run has been 16 yards. Backup Donald Brown (5.9 ypc) and Ahmad Bradshaw (4.5), who is now on injured reserve, have both been more productive with their carries, as has been quarterback Andrew Luck (6.5). Richardson also hasn’t made any impact as a receiver out of the backfield, catching just two passes on seven targets for 19 yards. This will be Richardson’s sixth game with the Colts and he just had a bye week to help him get more comfortable with the playbook. The Texans, like the Colts, have struggled against the run this season, allowing 122.1 yards rushing per game. With Reggie Wayne lost for the rest of the season, the running game will need to maintain its production while Luck and the pass-catchers figure the new pecking order out. There’s a reason the Colts traded for Richardson, and tonight would be as good as time as any for the third overall pick of the 2012 draft to show everyone why.

Houston Key Player: J.J. Watt, DE
The Texans may be 2-5, but their defense is No. 1 in the NFL. Despite all of the problems on offense, Watt and his running mates have done everything they can to keep this team afloat. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year may not be making as much noise as he did last season, but he does have 4.5 sacks, 34 total tackles, three passes defended and a forced fumble in seven games. Watt is capable of changing the direction of a game on any snap, and a big play on defense may be just what this Texans team needs to get it going. Andrew Luck is a mobile quarterback who can move around in the pocket and make plays with his legs if need be, but he’s also well aware of Watt’s vast skill set. Unless the offense suddenly figures things out, the Texans will need Watt to have some sort of impact tonight if they want to end their five-game losing skid.

Final Analysis

Headed into this season, most NFL analysts and pundits expected this game to feature the AFC South division leader. The only problem is that Houston was the team projected to be in first place, not Indianapolis. Even at 2-5, the Texans aren’t completely out of the wild-card discussion, but this is pretty much a must-win situation.

The Colts may be in first, but their offense has to figure out how to make things work without Reggie Wayne. Andrew Luck has been as good as advertised since being taken No. 1 overall in the 2012 draft, but this will be his first game without his top target.

Even without Wayne, the Colts have a huge advantage at quarterback, as Case Keenum will be making his second career start tonight. Both teams are coming off of a bye, but the Texans are still pretty banged up, especially in the backfield. This will make it harder for them to take advantage of a generous Colts rushing defense.

The Texans put up a spirited fight in front of the home crowd, but in the end Luck and the Colts simply make more plays. Indianapolis’ defense forces Keenum into a critical mistake late in the game to help send the defending divisional champions to a potentially crippling sixth straight loss.

Indianapolis 27, Houston 23

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Ben Roethlisberger and the 2-5 Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Gillette Stadium to take on Tom Brady and the 6-2 New England Patriots at 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS. Twelve years ago these two proud franchises met in the 2002 AFC Championship Game. Starting with that game, Pittsburgh and New England have combined for 12 AFC title game appearances, eight Super Bowl appearances, and five Lombardi Trophies. Since the 2001 season, there have only been two AFC Championship Games that didn't include either the Patriots or the Steelers. Indeed, their decade-long dominance of the AFC was quite impressive.

Unfortunately, for Pittsburgh fans, things have begun to change. After an 8-8 finish a season ago, the Steelers started 2013 0-4 before notching back-to-back victories against the Jets and Ravens. However, a loss to the Raiders last week put a damper on any hope the Steelers could get back in the AFC North divisional race. The Patriots, meanwhile, got off to a quick 4-0 start before going 2-2 in their last four contests. While things haven't always looked pretty for New England this season, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have found ways to win. This is will be the 27th overall meeting and 23rd regular-season matchup between the two franchises. Pittsburgh holds a 14-8 advantage in regular-season games.

3 Things to Watch

Tom Terrific?

Perhaps it can be blamed on a young, inexperienced receiving corps, but the numbers clearly show that Brady is having a down year. Brady has only thrown for 300 yards in a game just once this year. Through eight games, Brady is on pace for an 18:12 TD-to-INT ratio on the season. Last Sunday, the Patriots attacked the Dolphins with the running game, finishing with 37 rushing attempts compared to Brady's 22 throws. Earlier this season he was in the midst of a 52-game stretch of at least one touchdown pass. He surpassed Johnny Unitas, but fell two games shy of Drew Brees' NFL-record 54-game streak. Brady, however, has been held without a passing touchdown in two of his last four games. That isn't to say that Brady is out of magic; something that those who watched his comeback effort against the Saints can attest to. Perhaps another week with Rob Gronkowski in the lineup and additional time with his young wideouts will lead to improvement in Brady's statistics over the second half of the season.

Shaky Offensive Lines

These are two of the most suspect offensive lines in the league. The Steelers have had troubles with this unit for years. Ben Roethlisberger has been sacked 27 times this season and the Steelers are ranked 30th in rushing offense, at just 68 yards per contest. Last week injuries knocked out three Steelers guards: Ramon Foster (concussion), David DeCastro (right ankle) and Guy Whimper (left knee). This is in addition to the season-ending injury to center Maurkice Pouncey earlier this year. The Steelers will likely struggle to block Chandler Jones, the Patriots' long, athletic pass-rusher. Jones leads New England with 6.5 sacks and has only failed to notch at least one sack in just three games this season. On top of Brady's struggles in the pocket this season, he will be without starting right tackle Sebastian Vollmer, who broke his leg last week and was placed on injured reserve. Vollmer would have been responsible for blocking the Steelers' leading pass-rusher, Lamarr Woodley. Woodley is hot right now, notching four sacks in his last five games.

Run Defenses

These aren't the stout run defenses we used to know. There is no Vince Wilfork. There is no Casey Hampton. Without their run-stuffing nose tackles, the Steelers are 27th in the NFL against the run, allowing 121.9 rushing yards per game, while the Patriots are 31st at 130.8 yards per game on the ground. Clearly, New England misses Wilfork, who was lost for the season after tearing his Achilles in Week 4. Over the past two weeks New England gave up 104 yards to the Jets' Chris Ivory and 4.9 yards per carry to the Dolphins' Lamar Miller. The Steelers' defense is No. 2 in the NFL against the pass, which may be misleading as teams don't throw much on Pittsburgh due to their lackluster rush defense. In fact, the Steelers have faced the second-fewest pass attempts in the league with just 207, compared to 213 rushing attempts. More rushes than passes is almost unheard of when it comes to offensive game plans in today's NFL. The Steelers' defense, normally stingy in the red zone, also has allowed nine rushing touchdown, which is tied for the third-most in the league.

Key Player for Pittsburgh: Le'Veon Bell, RB

After being inactive for the Steelers' first four games, Bell returned earlier this month. He has struggled to really get himself going, averaging 3.3 yards per rush. It appeared he had turned a corner two weeks ago against Baltimore when he rushed for 93 yards on 4.9 yards per carry. However, last week he took a step back against the Raiders, finishing with just 24 yards on 13 carries. He does give the Steelers a legitimate scoring threat on the ground, leading the team with three rushing touchdowns. Bell is the Steelers' best bet to keep pressure off of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who has been sacked 26 times (3rd in the NFL) and knocked down or forced out of the pocket on numerous other occasions.

Key Player for New England: Stevan Ridley, RB

The former LSU Tiger hasn't been flashy this year, but he's been quite efficient in rushing for 399 yards and four touchdowns. He's provided offense for the Patriots when Tom Brady and the passing game stalls. He should be chomping at the bit to slash up a very weak Steelers run defense. Mark him down as a definite fantasy starter this week as he will likely put up over 100 yards rushing.

Final Analysis

Pittsburgh hasn't looked really good all season. These Steelers aren't close to the team they've been in past years. New England is perhaps the most unimpressive division-leading team this season. While it hasn't always looked pretty, the Patriots have found ways to win. Seemingly on their way to another AFC East title, New England will only improve as this season goes on. After this game the Steelers will find themselves off to an uncharacteristic 2-6 first half.

New England 24, Pittsburgh 13

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Once again, six teams are on bye in Week 9 and plenty of other running backs are dealing with injuries. Who is looking good for today and whose playing status is a little more uncertain?

Arian Foster and Ben Tate, RBs, Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts
There is nothing worse, or frustrating for that matter, than watching your star running back come off a bye week and still not be completely healthy. That’s the case with Foster, who is still dealing with a lingering hamstring injury. He was able to practice some this week, but he’s considered Questionable and will be a game-time decision for tonight’s (8:30 p.m. ET) game. Tate (right), who is playing with four broken ribs, is Probable and will play against the Colts. Foster has enjoyed considerable success in his career against the Colts, averaging 173 total yards in six games with six touchdowns, but the late start time and game-time decision status put his owners in a tough position. I would keep an eye on any updates this morning, but unless you have a better option, I think you have to roll the dice and hope Foster plays. Meanwhile Tate is definitely in the flex discussion with a rather appealing upside, especially if Foster doesn’t play.

C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, RBs, Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Spiller sat out last week’s game to give his ankle more time to heal and it appears the decision has paid off. While not back to 100 percent, Spiller returned to practice on Thursday in a limited basis and was a full go on Friday. He is Probable and is expected to be back on the field. Jackson continues to deal with his lingering knee issue, but he practiced fully on both Thursday and Friday and also is Probable. Neither are terrific options against a tough Kansas City defense, especially considering the timeshare that will happen between Jackson and Spiller with Tashard Choice also getting a few carries. Jackson and Spiller still carry the most fantasy appeal, but both should be viewed as nothing better than RB2s this week, with Jackson having the slight edge over Spiller.

DeMarco Murray and Lance Dunbar, RBs, Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings
Murray was a possibility to go last week, but the coaching staff decided to keep him sidelined. He practiced fully all week, is Probable and will be back in there against Minnesota. Murray is a solid starting option against a Vikings defense that is giving up 113.7 yards rushing per game. Murray’s return means fewer opportunities for rookie Joseph Randle. In fact, Randle and Dunbar, who is Probable even though he’s dealing with a hamstring injury, will share backup duties to Murray. Even though Murray likely won’t see a heavy workload in his first game back, it’s too risky to count on either Randle or Dunbar this week, even as a possible flex option. For one, there’s no telling which one will get the most touches or, more importantly, do the most with them. There’s also the possibility that Philip Tanner could vulture a goal-line or short-yardage touchdown. In other words, as far as Cowboy backs go this week, there’s Murray (RB2 with upside) and the rest don’t even matter.

Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills
Charles has been dealing with some bumps and bruises and he was held out of practice earlier in the week because of a sore knee. He practiced fully on Friday and is Probable for today’s game in Buffalo. Charles is leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage, averaging about 128 total yards per game, and is No. 1 in fantasy points at his position. Need I say anything more?

Zac Stacy and Daryl Richardson, RBs, St. Louis Rams vs. Tennessee Titans
Stacy was quite impressive last week against Seattle, rushing for 134 yards on 26 carries, but he rolled his ankle late. He was a full participant in practice on Thursday, but was limited on Friday and is considered Questionable to play the Titans. His backup, Richardson, did not practice at all on Friday, and he too is Questionable. There have been no reports of Stacy suffering any sort of setback, so unless something changes between this morning and the 1 p.m. ET kickoff, he should be on the field. Richardson appears far more uncertain, and his fantasy potential was already limited because of Stacy’s emergence. While expectations need to be limited, you should be able to employ Stacy as a RB2/RB3/flex this week, and I would not mess with Richardson.

Teaser:
Week 9 Injury Updates: Arian Foster, C.J. Spiller, DeMarco Murray, Jamaal Charles, Zac Stacy
Post date: Sunday, November 3, 2013 - 06:30

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