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Path: /college-basketball/college-basketballs-top-international-players-2012-13
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Stars like Syracuse’s Fab Melo (Brazil), St. Bonaventure’s Andrew Nicholson (Canada) and Vanderbilt’s Jeffrey Taylor (Sweden) and Festus Ezeli (Nigeria) may have left the college ranks for the NBA in June, but that doesn’t mean the college game isn’t still flush with international talent.

If we were to assemble a NCAA international dream team for the upcoming season, here are the 10 players who would make our rotation.

Related content:
Top 10 Freshmen for 2012-13

Impact Transfers for 2012-13
Coaches on the Hot Seat for 2012-13
10 Players Returning from Injury

2012-13 INTERNATIONAL DREAM TEAM
STARTERS

G Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary’s
Country:
Australia
The perfect leader for our international dream team is Matthew Dellavedova. Before even starting his senior season, the 6-foot-4 do-it-all guard has already made an indelible mark on the Gaels’ record book — first in career assists, second in career 3-pointers, eighth in career steals, ninth in career scoring. The reigning West Coast Conference Player of the Year, Dellavedova bolstered his résumé by representing his native land in the Summer Olympics.

G Myck Kabongo, Texas
Country:
Canada
Rick Barnes has a thing for Canadian point guards — two years ago he had Cory Joseph, then when Joseph bolted for the NBA after one season, he was seamlessly replaced with Myck Kabongo. The slender 6-1 floor general, on of the top recruits in the Class of 2011, led the Longhorns in assists last season, averaging 5.2 per game. Kabongo brings to our team a reliable ball-handler and expert distributor.

F Brock Motum, Washington State
Country:
Australia
Providing the inside scoring for our international team is last season’s leading scorer in the Pac-12, Brock Motum. The 6-10 Aussie averaged 18.0 points and 6.4 rebounds for the Cougars last season. Motum made a dramatic improvement from his sophomore season (7.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg), so don’t be surprised if he is even more productive in his final season in Pullman.

F Elias Harris, Gonzaga
Country:
Germany
Elias Harris has long been on NBA scouts’ radar, but luckily for the Zags he stuck around for four years in Spokane. The 6-7 combo forward led the squad in rebounding (8.4 rpg) last season, earning All-WCC honors. He also has international experience playing for the German National Team. His inside/outside versatility brings a unique dimension to our international squad.  

C Gorgui Dieng, Louisville
Country:
Senegal
Dieng was one of the most improved players in the nation last season for a Louisville team that reached the Final Four. The big man from Senegal has always been effective on the defensive end, but he emerged as a threat on offense as a sophomore. Overall, he averaged 9.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game. He gives our International team some size and shot-blocking.

THE BENCH
G Brady Heslip, Baylor
Country:
Canada
Every team needs a 3-point sharpshooter, and our international squad has one of the best in the nation, Baylor’s Brady Heslip. In his first season on the court for the Bears (after transferring from Boston College), Heslip knocked down 100 3s at a 45.5 percent clip, including a memorable 9-of-12 performance against Colorado in the Round of the 32 of the NCAA Tournament.

G Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga
Country:
Canada
Our second Canadian guard off the bench is Gonzaga’s Kevin Pangos. The Bulldogs have always had a strong recruiting pipeline to Canada, and they imported another key player from the Great White North last season. Despite playing on a roster full of veterans, Pangos surprisingly led the team in scoring (13.6 ppg), as well as assists, steals and 3-pointers made. Pangos can penetrate and kick it out to Heslip behind the arc.

F Ryan Broekhoff, Valparaiso
Country:
Australia
Providing veteran leadership off the bench for our team is Valpo’s Ryan Broekhoff. The reigning Horizon League Player of the Year, Broekhoff, a 6-7 senior, can play forward or guard, and no doubt is on a confidence high training with the Australian National Team this past offseason.

F Arsalan Kazemi, Oregon
Country:
Iran
The first Iranaian to play Division I basketball, Kazemi is a versatile scorer who has averaged a double-double for Rice in each of the last two seasons while shooting over 50 percent from the field. Kazemi transferred from Rice to Oregon in September and is seeking a hardship waiver to play this season.

C Steven Adams, Pittsburgh
Country:
New Zealand
New Zealand isn’t exactly a hotbed of hoops talent, but don’t tell that to Steven Adams. Despite being orphaned and living on the streets as a teen, the 7-foot “Kiwi Phenom” blossomed into one of the top-ranked incoming freshmen to the NCAA this fall. Adams is an explosive, athletic big man who gives Jamie Dixon perhaps his most ballyhooed recruit since taking over the reins of the Panthers.

@AthlonSports

More previews for the 2012-13 season can be found in the Athlon Sports College Basketball annual available in the online store

Athlon College Basketball Countdown:
1. Indiana
2. Louisville

3. Kentucky

4. Kansas
5. Syracuse
6. Michigan
7. Arizona
8. Ohio State
9. Duke
10. Michigan State
11. NC State
12. UCLA
13. UNLV
14. North Carolina
15. San Diego State
16. Missouri
17. Baylor
18. Memphis
19. Notre Dame
20. Florida

Teaser:
<p> College Basketball's Top International Players for 2012-13</p>
Post date: Friday, October 19, 2012 - 05:29
All taxonomy terms: News
Path: /nfl/report-andy-reids-son-died-heroin-overdose
Body:

Easton, PA (Sports Network) - Garrett Reid, the son of Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid, died in August of an accidental heroin overdose.

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli held a news conference Thursday to release details of the investigation and coroner Zachary Lysek confirmed the cause of death was "acute opiate 'heroin' toxicity."

Garrett Reid died Aug. 5 at the age of 29. He was found dead in a dorm room at Lehigh University, site of the Eagles' training camp.

The younger Reid had battled substance abuse for a few years, spending time in jail as a result, and Andy Reid had mentioned the drug problems in the immediate aftermath of Garrett's death, saying in a statement his son had "lost the battle that has been ongoing for the last eight years."

Teaser:
Garrett Reid, the son of Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid, died in August of an accidental heroin overdose.
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 19:00
All taxonomy terms: crossword, Monthly
Path: /monthly/october-2012-crossword-solution
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Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 16:31
Path: /college-football/notre-dame-fighting-irish-vs-byu-cougars-preview-and-prediction
Body:

Last week’s goal-line stand against Stanford moved Notre Dame to 6-0 and one step closer to getting the Irish back to a BCS bowl. With six contests remaining, Notre Dame has four games it should be heavy favorites in, while tough road matchups await the Irish against USC and Oklahoma.

With a tough road trip to Oklahoma next week, Notre Dame has to be careful not to overlook this week’s opponent: BYU. The Cougars are 4-3 but have lost to Oregon State and Boise State - a combined 10-1 record – along with rival Utah.

These two teams are the nation’s top Independent squads but have played only six games. Notre Dame holds a 4-2 edge on BYU, with the last matchup coming in 2005. The Cougars claimed victories in 1994 and 2004, but their four losses to the Irish have come by 19 points or more.  

Storylines to Watch in Notre Dame vs. BYU

Winning the turnover battle
Turnovers were a big problem for Notre Dame’s offense last season, but the Irish rank 10th nationally in turnover margin and have lost only four fumbles. The Cougars have been quite generous with turnovers this year, tossing 10 interceptions and losing four fumbles through the first seven games. Quarterback Riley Nelson has been slowed by a back injury the last few contests and has tossed six picks over his last two games. If BYU continues to give the ball away, it will have no shot to leave South Bend with a victory. The weather certainly was a factor last week, but Notre Dame lost three fumbles against Stanford, which has to be a focus for Brian Kelly and his staff this week. Although the Irish are a big favorite, losing the turnover battle is a good way to allow an underdog to hang around until the fourth quarter.

Will BYU be able to run the ball on Notre Dame’s defense?
Establishing the ground attack against Notre Dame has been nearly impossible for opposing offenses this season. The Irish rank 25th nationally in rush defense, allowing only 113.5 yards per game. Also, only three opponents have managed more than 100 yards in a game, and Notre Dame has yet to allow a rushing touchdown this season. BYU ranks 52nd nationally in rushing offense, and starting running back Michael Alisa is out indefinitely due to a broken arm suffered against Utah State. With Alisa and backup dual-threat quarterback Taysom Hill out, the Cougars have struggled to find a spark on the ground. True freshman Jamaal Williams has big-play potential but was held in check by Oregon State’s defense last week (36 yards). Establishing balance will be critical to BYU's upset hopes, but considering Notre Dame’s rush defense is a strength, that’s easier said than done.

Everett Golson or Tommy Rees?
Notre Dame’s quarterback carousel continued to spin last week, as Everett Golson was forced to leave the game due to a concussion. However, the redshirt freshman was cleared to practice on Wednesday and if he doesn’t suffer any setbacks, should be the starting quarterback on Saturday afternoon. Golson hasn’t posted eye-popping numbers, but he hasn’t made any huge mistakes to cost his team a chance to win and is completing 58.5 percent of his throws. Tommy Rees has been effective as a change of pace option and shined in relief duty against Stanford, completing all four of his passes for 43 yards and one touchdown. Regardless of who starts or finishes this week, it’s crucial for Notre Dame to build some confidence in Golson, especially with a trip to Oklahoma next week. BYU’s defense ranks 24th nationally against the pass but was torched by Oregon State’s backup quarterback for 332 yards last week. The Irish will have plenty of opportunities to make plays through the air, but it’s up to Golson or Rees to deliver.

Can Riley Nelson attack the Notre Dame secondary?
A back injury slowed Nelson in late September and had an underwhelming performance in his return to the lineup. Against Oregon State, Nelson threw for 305 yards but tossed three picks and completed only 28 of 51 passes. The Cougars have some weapons in the receiving corps, led by receiver Cody Hoffman and tight end Kaneakua Friel. However, Nelson won’t have an opportunity to deliver the ball downfield to his receivers if the offensive line continues to struggle. BYU’s offensive line is allowing 2.6 sacks per game, which is a bad sign against Notre Dame’s defensive front. Even though the Irish have some inexperienced players stepping into key roles at cornerback, the secondary is allowing only 173.5 yards per game. If Nelson has time to throw, Hoffman and Friel will have opportunities to make plays downfield. However, Notre Dame’s defense will certainly have other plans, as it looks to copy Oregon State's gameplan last week and force Nelson into a few mistakes to give its offense a short field and easy points. 

Final Analysis

As each week passes, the stakes get a little higher for Notre Dame. The Irish are squarely in the national title mix and next Saturday’s game against Oklahoma will be a huge measuring stick and opportunity. However, the Irish have to focus on BYU this Saturday, a team that is dangerous despite its 4-3 record.

The Cougars should be able to hang around early, especially with a defense that ranks fifth nationally in yards allowed and seventh in scoring defense. However, expect a strong performance from Notre Dame’s defense, while the offense will find its rhythm in the second half. Considering next week's opponent (Oklahoma) will be the Irish's toughest challenge of the season, this is an important game for the offense to get on track and most importantly, build some confidence for quarterback Everett Golson.

Final Prediction: Notre Dame 31, BYU 13

 

by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven

 


Related College Football Content

ACC Week 8 Preview and Predictions
Big East Week 8 Preview and Predictions

Big Ten Week 8 Preview and Predictions

Big 12 Week 8 Preview and Predictions

Pac-12 Week 8 Preview and Predictions

SEC Week 8 Preview and Predictions

Teaser:
<p> Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. BYU Cougars Preview and Prediction</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 13:48
Path: /college-football/10-statistical-highlights-lsu-vs-texas-am-games
Body:

LSU and Texas A&M will meet for the 51st time on Saturday, when the Tigers travel to Kyle Field for the first time since 1995 to battle the Aggies. These two proud schools may be new SEC rivals, but obviously LSU and Texas A&M are very familiar historically and on the recruiting trail.

The Tigers lead the all-time series 27-20-3, with the first game being played in 1899 and the last meeting in the Cotton Bowl at the conclusion of the 2010 season. Here are 10 statistical highlights focusing on the history between two teams with elite fan bases and tradition.


1 – Common head coach between the schools, the legendary Dana X. Bible. Many Texas A&M fans know his name well, but College Football Hall of Famer coached at LSU for three games in 1916, going 1-0-2. Bible would leave for College Station the next year and would compile a 72-19-9 record in 100 games at the A&M helm. He also coached basketball and baseball at the school, and Bible would go on to lead the Nebraska and Texas programs as well.

446 – Total yards for LSU in the 2011 Cotton Bowl, a 41-24 win over Texas A&M in the last meeting between these programs. Running backs Stevan Ridley and Spencer Ware both topped the 100-yard mark for the Tigers, while Jordan Jefferson tossed three touchdown passes. Many college football pundits predicted this would be LSU coach Les Miles last game as head coach because of the Michigan vacancy, but the Mad Hatter stayed in Baton Rouge and led the Tigers to an SEC championship last year.

33 – Games in this series played in Baton Rouge. LSU holds the advantage in those contests, 22-10-1. Only nine of the 51 games have been played in College Station, with the Aggies going 7-1-1 at home. The Tigers lead in eight neutral-site games by a 4-3-1 mark.

63 – Points scored by Texas A&M in the 1914 game, a 63-9 win in Dallas. That is the highest scoring mark in this series. The Aggies own the four top point totals (63 in 1914, 52 in 1899, 46 in 1922 and 45 in 1991) over the Tigers, with LSU’s largest total coming in the 42-17 victory in 1972.

18 – Number of used cars that LSU needed to get back to Baton Rouge after its 19-14 victory over Texas A&M in the 1944 Orange Bowl. According to schools officials, most of them ran out of fuel stamps before returning to campus.

39 – FBS teams with less total yards than current Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. “Johnny Football” has amassed 1.680 yards and 14 touchdowns through the air, while also running for 676 yards and 10 scores.

9 – Wins for LSU in this series during the 1960s. The 10th game in that decade was a 7-7 tie in 1966. Paul Dietzel led the Tigers in 1960-61, and the legendary Charlie McClendon took over in 1962 and would lead the LSU program until 1979.

5 – The longest winning streak for Texas A&M in this series, and it happens to be the last five regular-season meetings. The R.C. Slocum-led Aggies beat the Tigers every season from 1991-95

1 – Heisman Trophy winner for each school, and the two winners were just two years apart. Texas A&M halfback John David Crow won the award in 1957, while LSU legend Billy Cannon would take home the trophy in 1959. Unfortunately, the two Hall of Famers just missed playing against each other in this series.

5 – Times that LSU’s Les Miles has faced the Aggies, compiling a 3-2 record. He went 2-2 versus Texas A&M as the Oklahoma State head coach, and Miles led the Tigers to the aforementioned Cotton Bowl victory to conclude the 2010 campaign.

Teaser:
<p> 10 Statistical Highlights from LSU vs. Texas A&amp;M Games</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 12:24
Path: /nascar/backseat-drivers-fan-council-31
Body:

With Dale Earnhardt Jr. missing last weekend’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway because of a concussion, members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council had much to discuss from what should NASCAR do about concussions to if Fan Council members would still watch a race if their favorite driver was injured and not competing. Here’s what members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council said:


What do you think NASCAR should do about concussions?
After news that Dale Earnhardt Jr. would miss two consecutive races because of a concussion, Jeff Gordon said that if he were battling for a championship and thought he had a concussion, he would conceal it. Mark Martin stated that, "I hate the day when somebody like a doctor tells you whether you can or you can't (compete).” Fan Council members were asked what NASCAR should do:

61.4 percent said more stringent guidelines for examining a driver after a wreck and follow-up if necessary
21.5 percent said nothing, drivers know their bodies and know if they have a serious problem
11.6 percent said change the points structure where a driver could afford to miss a race because of injury
5.6 percent said "Other"

What Fan Council members said:
• If NASCAR insists on random drug testing under the premise that possible impairment from drugs is a safety threat to other drivers, how can they not consider potential brain injuries as an equally important safety threat?

• I don't know how to answer this, so I'll put it this way: Common sense tells you that if you are hurt, you shouldn't be out there. The right call is to stay home until you are healed up and come back stronger than ever. I'm not a race driver, but I can tell you this: If I was (hurt) and I had the chance to win the title (which I don't think Junior had anymore, by the way), there is no way in hell anybody would get me out of that car until after Homestead. I would look into the eyes of anyone who asked me how I was feeling and lie through my teeth.

• I understand how competitive the drivers are, but when football and hockey players who have played with concussions and other injuries start dying, you have to evaluate if it's really worth it. Way too many suicides, heart attack and early deaths. Junior did the right thing.

• I'm sorry to hear the position some drivers and others have taken on concussions. I applaud Dale for stepping up and speaking out. I am involved in the game of football, and have had extensive training in concussions, signs and symptoms, as well as their short- and long-term effects, which are scary to say the least. Concussions themselves are bad, but what compounds the problems are what happens to the brain if an athlete comes back too soon and suffers another blow to the head.

• NASCAR implements various safety measures because they are well aware of the risks the drivers would willingly take with their health and safety in order to win a race. The concussion issue is another instance in which NASCAR needs to accept responsibility for drivers' safety. The drivers fought against the HANS device. NASCAR mandated it for their safety. Many drivers—Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin included—applaud NASCAR for their aggressive approach to driver safety. In our society we have a responsibility to protect those who are unable (or unwilling) to do so. In NASCAR society, the sanctioning body has the same responsibility.

• They are independent contractors, right? Their decision.

• The point system is so stringent that a driver cannot miss a single race and still compete for the championship. This should be changed. If not, the drivers will continue to hide their injuries and keep driving while hurt.

• If you change the points structure so a driver could miss a race, you run the chance that a driver will “claim injury” for a track he just doesn't run well at.

• The letter Fred Lorenzen’s daughter wrote to Dale Jr. in care of Jim Utter should be required reading for all NASCAR drivers, owners and crew chiefs. A macho man isn't worth a darn when they have dementia or one of the other incapacitating illnesses.


Would you watch a NASCAR race if your favorite driver was injured and not competing?

94.0 percent said Yes
6.0 percent said No

What Fan Council members said:
• I'll be honest, if you consider yourself to be a REAL NASCAR fan, you should watch the race if you had planned to before, no matter what driver is in it. I consider myself to be a real NASCAR fan and I would watch any race, even if Jeff Gordon (my favorite) wasn't in it.

• I answered yes, but I only watched five percent of Saturday night’s race. If Junior had been racing I would have stayed home to watch, but without him I wouldn't clear my schedule just for the race. If I had no other plans then I would watch regardless.

• That's exactly what happened this weekend: I sat in those cold stands and watched every single lap even though it wasn't my driver behind the wheel of the 88. I'm a race fan. It's what I do.

• My favorite driver was NOT competing Saturday night and while it broke my heart, I would rather have him around for years to come than to risk it for a few races right now. I DID watch the race, granted not with as much enthusiasm, but pulled for Regan to do well in (Earnhardt’s) car. After all, it was still Dale's TEAM that was competing and wanted the best for all those guys who have worked so hard this year.

• I was shocked to hear that people were leaving because Junior wasn't racing. They paid all that money, took time off of work, etc., and left the track? They aren't true NASCAR fans. Then again, maybe this is why I personally have several favorite drivers/teams that I follow.

• Won't watch a race until Junior is back in the car. Some people think it's wrong to be like that but I tried to watch it (Saturday) and couldn't. I love racing and NASCAR, but I need someone to follow, someone to be my driver. I felt the same way in 1993 after Davey Allison passed. I had no one to follow and didn't consistently watch NASCAR races again until 1998 when I happened to catch a Busch race from the Glen and saw Junior racing. I was impressed at how well he did on a road course and found a new reason to watch consistently again. I've watched every week since then—until (Saturday).

• Love me some Tony Stewart, but I also enjoy the overall competition and have secondary drivers to follow. I enjoy the pageantry and tradition to each race beyond just the competition on the track.

• I am a huge Dale Jr. fan and still watched the race. It was strange, but I was rooting for my other drivers, as well.
 

Teaser:
<p> This week, Dustin Long and the Backseat Drivers Fan Council discuss the tricky topic of concussions and whether Dale Earnhardt Jr. made the right decision to step out of his car. Fan Council members also voice their opininons on what NASCAR should do about drivers that suffer from concussions and grade the Bank of America 500 from Charlotte Motor Speedway.</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 10:41
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-second-half-predictions
Body:

The first half of the college football season provided plenty of twists and turns, but the second half is really when the national championship and the conference title races will be decided. With most teams finished with their non-conference games, the focus shifts to conference play, which is arguably the best stretch of the season. And the best news for college football fans? None of the six BCS conferences is decided, which means there are plenty of big games in the second half of the year.

If you can’t watch any more games the rest of the season, don’t worry: We have predicted how the conference and national title races will play out, along with a few random predictions to monitor over the next seven weeks.

ACC Second-Half Preview and Prediction

Barring a lot of chaos, the ACC won’t have a team play for the national title this season. However, the conference title race could be one of the nation’s most intriguing battles. North Carolina has the inside track on the Coastal Division but is ineligible to play for the conference championship. Miami and Virginia Tech would be next in line, but neither team has seized the No. 1 spot. Until a surprising 17-16 loss at NC State, Florida State was in the mix for the national championship. The Seminoles are the favorites to win the Atlantic title but need NC State to lose at least once. Surprisingly, the only undefeated team in ACC play is Maryland. After a disastrous first season, Randy Edsall has the Terrapins moving in the right direction.

Predicted Atlantic Division Winner: Florida State

Predicted Coastal Division Winner: Virginia Tech (North Carolina ineligible)

Predicted ACC Championship: Florida State over Virginia Tech


Key Conference Games to Watch:

Virginia Tech at Clemson (Oct. 20)
Florida State at Miami (Oct. 20)
Virginia Tech at Miami (Nov. 1)
Florida State at Virginia Tech (Nov. 8)
NC State at Clemson (Nov. 17)

Big East Second-Half Preview and Predictions

The Big East has unfairly been a national punching bag for the last two seasons, but this season the conference has three teams ranked inside of the top 25 in the BCS standings. Louisville was the preseason favorite, but Rutgers and Cincinnati are a combined 11-0 through the first seven weeks. The middle of the conference is jumbled, but newcomer Temple is a surprising 2-0, and Pittsburgh has shown flashes of promise. The Bearcats have quietly flown under the radar, thanks to a relatively soft schedule. However Cincinnati's Oct. 26 date at Louisville will provide a better assessment of where this team stands. If Rutgers and Louisville continue on their current respective courses, these two teams should be unbeaten for a Nov. 29 showdown in New Jersey, which should decide the champion of the Big East.

Predicted Champion: Louisville
 

Key Conference Games to Watch:

Cincinnati at Louisville (Oct. 26)
Rutgers at Cincinnati (Nov. 17)
Rutgers at Pittsburgh (Nov. 24)
Louisville at Rutgers (Nov. 29)

Big Ten Second-Half Preview and Predictions

With NCAA sanctions banning Ohio State and Penn State from postseason play, the Big Ten is without a team in the top 25 of the BCS standings. The conference also struggled to earn respect in the non-conference portion of the schedule, which makes bowl season even more important for this league. After Wisconsin’s win over Purdue last Saturday, the Badgers are the clear frontrunner in the Leaders Division. The Legends Division race should be one of the most intriguing battles the rest of the way, with Michigan, Iowa, Northwestern, Michigan State and Nebraska all harboring division title hopes. Michigan is getting better on defense, while its offense remains deadly with Denard Robinson at quarterback. The Big Ten has taken some hits this year but expect at least two teams to finish in the top 25 of the BCS standings.

Predicted Leaders Division Champion: Wisconsin (Ohio State ineligible)

Predicted Legends Division Champion: Michigan

Predicted Big Ten Championship: Michigan over Wisconsin

 

Key Conference Games to Watch:

Nebraska at Northwestern (Oct. 20)
Michigan State at Michigan (Oct. 20)
Michigan at Nebraska (Oct. 27)
Ohio State at Penn State (Oct. 27)
Nebraska at Michigan State (Nov. 3)
Ohio State at Wisconsin (Nov. 17)
Michigan at Ohio State (Nov. 24)


Big 12 Second-Half Preview and Predictions

With nine teams likely to get bowl eligible, the Big 12 isn’t far behind the SEC in terms of overall depth. Kansas State is the conference’s only unbeaten team, but five teams have just one conference loss, including West Virginia, Oklahoma and Texas Tech. The Mountaineers host the Wildcats this Saturday and can jump back into the Big 12 title picture with a victory. Oklahoma’s win over Texas last week clearly shows the Sooners will be a factor in the second half of the season, while Texas Tech is a much-improved team, especially on defense where it ranks fourth nationally in yards allowed. With six one-loss teams still in the mix for the conference title, this race will likely go down to the final week of the season. Kansas State’s match-up with West Virginia this Saturday will be huge, but the Oklahoma-West Virginia and Texas Tech-Kansas State games also will be critical to the title picture. Considering how tight this conference is, it’s unlikely the champion will make it through with just one loss.

Predicted Big 12 Champion: Kansas State
 

Key Conference Games to Watch:

Kansas State at West Virginia (Oct. 20)
Texas Tech at Kansas State (Oct. 27)
TCU at West Virginia (Nov. 3)
West Virginia at Oklahoma State (Nov. 10)
Oklahoma at West Virginia (Nov. 17)
Texas at Kansas State (Dec. 1)
 

Pac-12 Second-Half Preview and Predictions

The Pac-12 was widely believed to be a two-team race in the preseason, but there’s more depth than expected, especially with Oregon State’s rise into the top 10 of the polls and Arizona State’s 5-1 start. USC suffered an early setback against Stanford, but the Trojans have won three in a row and should be 7-1 heading into a Nov. 3 showdown against Oregon. The Ducks have cruised to a 6-0 start, but the schedule gets considerably tougher in the second half of the season, as they have to hit the road to play Arizona State, USC, California and Oregon State. If the Trojans want to get back in the national title discussion, they have to beat Oregon on Nov. 3. However, if the Ducks can knock off USC in the regular season and in the Pac-12 title game, they will have a strong resume and a likely spot in the BCS Championship.

Predicted Pac-12 North Champion: Oregon

Predicted Pac-12 South Champion: USC

Predicted Pac-12 Championship: Oregon over USC
 

Key Conference Games to Watch:

Oregon at Arizona State (Oct. 18)
UCLA at Arizona State (Oct. 27)
Oregon at USC (Nov. 3)
Oregon State at Stanford (Nov. 10)
Arizona State at USC (Nov. 10)
Stanford at Oregon (Nov. 17)
USC at UCLA (Nov. 17)
Oregon at Oregon State (Nov. 24)

SEC Second-Half Preview and Predictions

The toughest conference in college football features seven ranked teams, including four among the top 10 in the BCS standings. The East Division appeared to be a two-team race between Georgia and South Carolina in the preseason, but at this point Florida looks like the team to beat. The Gators have already knocked off LSU and Texas A&M but must play South Carolina and Georgia in the next two weeks. The Gamecocks have a chance to stake their claim for the division title in Gainesville this week and already own a tiebreaker over the Bulldogs. Alabama and Mississippi State are the only unbeaten teams in the West, but the Crimson Tide are an overwhelming favorite to win the division title.

Predicted East Division Winner: Florida

Predicted West Division Winner: Alabama

SEC Championship Prediction: Alabama over Florida

 

Key Conference Games to Watch:

LSU at Texas A&M (Oct. 20)
South Carolina at Florida (Oct. 20)
Florida at Georgia (Oct. 27)
Mississippi State at Alabama (Oct. 27)
Texas A&M at Mississippi State (Nov. 3)
Alabama at LSU (Nov. 3)
Texas A&M at Alabama (Nov. 10)


10 Random Predictions for the Second Half of the 2012 Season

National Championship will be...Alabama vs. Oregon
The SEC’s streak of national champions will continue for one more season. The Crimson Tide will survive a road date at LSU and the SEC title game to finish 13-0 and should be heavily favored in the national championship. Oregon will have to beat USC twice, but the Ducks should find a way to make their second BCS title appearance under coach Chip Kelly.
Predicted National Champion: Alabama

BCS Bowl Predictions:

Rose: USC vs. Michigan
Fiesta: Notre Dame vs. Kansas State
Sugar: Florida vs. Oklahoma
Orange: Florida State vs. Louisville

The Heisman winner will be...Geno Smith
Sure, Smith had an off day in Saturday’s loss to Texas Tech, but every candidate gets a mulligan. The senior will have a couple of opportunities to regain the lead, especially in match-ups against Kansas State, TCU and Oklahoma. Smith’s first-half resume is rock solid, as he has yet to throw an interception and leads the nation in passing efficiency. Expecting the senior to not throw an interception the rest of the way is nearly impossible, but as long as West Virginia keeps winning, Smith should be the No. 1 candidate to hoist the Heisman in early December.

Ohio State will finish unbeaten
The Buckeyes are far from a perfect team, but the schedule sets up favorably for a 12-0 record. Home games against Purdue and Illinois should be easy wins, while road trips to Wisconsin and Penn State will be swing games, along with the finale against rival Michigan. Winning in Madison and Happy Valley won’t be easy, but the Buckeyes should emerge victorious, and there’s plenty of incentive to avenge last season’s loss to Michigan. If Ohio State finishes 12-0, the decision not to take a bowl ban after a disappointing 6-6 regular season in 2011 will be a colossal failure by the athletic department.

Notre Dame will finish 10-2 and play in a BCS bowl
With wins over Michigan State, Michigan, Miami and Stanford, the Irish have to be considered a legitimate national title contender. The defense is one of the nation’s best and has not allowed an opponent to score more than 17 points in a game this year. Although the defense is capable of winning a BCS title, the offense has been inconsistent, and redshirt freshman quarterback Everett Golson is still developing as a passer. With a schedule that features BYU, Pittsburgh, Boston College and Wake Forest, the Irish should easily reach 10 victories but losses against Oklahoma and USC will end any hope of playing for the national championship.

Oregon State’s Mike Riley will win coach of the year honors
The Beavers were picked by many to finish last in the Pac-12 North this season, but Riley and his staff have developed Oregon State into one of the most-improved teams in the nation. The Beavers are off to a 5-0 start, which includes a victory at BYU with their backup quarterback. The schedule sets up nicely for a run at 10 wins, especially with only two road games remaining the rest of the year. Even if Oregon State finishes 9-3 or 8-4, Riley will be a clear favorite to take home coach of the year honors. 

Derek Dooley and Gene Chizik will return for 2013
Dooley and Chizik rank near the top of the hot seat watch after seven games and how well their respective teams perform in the second half of the season will be crucial for their long-term future. Dooley is just 14-17 through his third season, while Chizik is 31-15 in his fourth year. Although Chizik has a winning record, take out the 14-0 national title season in 2010 and his record stands at a mediocre 17-15. Dooley didn’t inherit a great situation at Tennessee, but the Volunteers are 1-10 in their last 11 SEC games. Even though both coaches will fail to meet preseason expectations, a coaching change at either school would be a surprise. The Volunteers really can’t afford to have their fourth head coach in six seasons, while Chizik’s national title probably buys him another year. Assuming both coaches survive for 2013, they will have to win early to save their job for 2014.

No BCS Buster in 2012
Boise State was the only team outside of one of the big six conferences to crack the first release of the BCS standings. The Broncos should climb in the rankings, especially with four out of their next five opponents having only one win this year. The biggest obstacle will be a road date at Nevada in the season finale, which could decide whether or not Boise State will climb high enough in the standings to make a BCS bowl. However, the Broncos lost their last meeting in Reno and struggled on the road against New Mexico and Michigan State this season. If Boise State doesn’t qualify, Louisiana Tech and Ohio are the only other candidates who could potentially crash the BCS. Losing to Texas A&M likely ended any hopes the Bulldogs had, while Ohio’s narrow victories against MAC bottom-feeders UMass, Buffalo and Akron won’t be enough to push it high enough in the polls. Boise State is the non-AQs best shot at a BCS bowl, but the Broncos may not escape Reno with a victory.

Boston College’s Frank Spaziani will be the first BCS coach fired
Spaziani was already in serious trouble with Boston College’s 1-5 start, but the school recently hired a new athletic director and all signs point to a coaching change at the end of the year. Spaziani is 21-24 through four seasons, and the program’s win total has declined every year since 2009. Boston College isn’t an easy job, but the Eagles made a bowl game every season from 1999-2010.

There will be an unexpected BCS job become available this offseason
Even though all signs point to a relatively quiet coaching carousel this offseason, there’s always a job that becomes unexpectedly available. No one expected Todd Graham to leave Pittsburgh after one season and of course, Bobby Petrino’s motorcycle incident in April. Who knows, maybe Chip Kelly decides to revisit the NFL again? Maybe Steve Spurrier decides to retire at South Carolina? Expect one surprise BCS job to be open at the end of the season. 

Conference realignment is over…for now
The days of crazy realignment rumors should be over at least for the next few months. The Big 12 is committed to 10 teams, and the ACC isn’t likely to add any other members unless Notre Dame wants to join for football. The Big East wants to add another team for football, but the conference isn’t in any rush since Navy doesn’t join until 2015. College football’s landscape will have more changes but at least for the rest of this season, conference realignment will stay in the background. 
 

by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven


Related College Football Content

Midseason Awards and Recap
Post-Week 7 Bowl Projections

Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat

Heisman Contenders After Week 7

Teaser:
<p> College Football's Second-Half Predictions</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 08:07
Path: /fantasy/don%E2%80%99t-start-jermichael-finley-shonn-greene-brandon-lloyd-russell-wilson-week-7
Body:

Who should you sit in Week 7? Well, with six teams on bye this week, every fantasy owner’s roster depth is sure to be tested. With players like Matt Ryan, Peyton Manning, Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez and many others not available, chances are you might be starting some unfamiliar faces. That said, here are a few names we would advise you to sit in Week 7, if at all possible.

Jermichael Finley, TE, Green Bay at St. Louis
In Finley’s defense, he is dealing with a shoulder injury, which has cut down on his playing time. This also obviously has an adverse effect on his production. Injury issues aside, the truth is the big target just hasn’t been that effective or productive period this season. He has 24 receptions for only 210 yards (8.8 ypc) and one lone touchdown, which came in Week 1. Since that opening game against San Francisco, where he caught seven balls for 47 yards and that score, his number of receptions has gone down each successive week. Last week in a game in which the Packers put up 427 yards of total offense and Aaron Rodgers threw six touchdown passes, Finley caught a grand total of two passes for 12 yards. What’s more, this week’s opponent, St. Louis, has allowed only one touchdown reception to tight ends so far. Between the injuries, the lack of production and the match-up, you can take your pick as to the reason why you should leave Finley on the bench this week, and probably until further notice.  

Shonn Greene, RB, New York Jets at New England
Greene, who was our Sneaky Start for Week 6, exploded last week for a career-high 161 yards rushing and three touchdowns against Indianapolis. Of course it certainly helped that he was facing one of the worst rushing defenses in the league, no? Prior to his career performance, Greene had rushed for 217 yards and one touchdown in his first five games. In other words, he nearly quadrupled his per-game average over five games in only four quarters of play. As valuable as Greene was to those owners who stuck by him, don’t expect anywhere near similar results this week. New England is eighth in the NFL in rushing defense, compared to Indianapolis, who is No. 26. The Patriots are allowing 3.4 yards per carry and have surrendered only two rushing touchdowns. In two games last year against his AFC East rivals, Greene had 144 yards rushing and one touchdown. It may be hard to bench last week’s top-scoring running back, but I just don’t see Greene putting up big numbers this week.

Brandon Lloyd, WR, New England vs. New York Jets
Lloyd is the Patriots’ second-leading receiver in both receptions and yards, and actually has more targets than even Wes Welker. However, Lloyd has caught just one touchdown pass so far, as Tom Brady has spread out his 15 scoring strikes to six different receivers. Speaking of all those weapons, Brady got another one back last week with the return of Aaron Hernandez, who promptly caught one of Brady’s two touchdown passes in the loss to Seattle. When the season started it appeared that Welker was the one being hurt the most by the presence of Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, two athletic, pass-catching tight ends. However, once Hernandez went down with an ankle injury, it was Welker, and not Lloyd, who made the most of the opportunity. Lloyd also hurt his shoulder late in last week’s game, and while he says he is fine, you know how mysterious (dare I say frustrating?) the Patriots are when it comes to injury disclosures. While I expect him to play, I just don’t think he’s a huge part of the aerial attack right now. Also, the Jets, even without All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis, have done a pretty good job defending wide receivers. They have only given up three touchdown receptions to opposing wideouts and are allowing the fewest fantasy points to the position as a whole.

Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle at San Francisco (Thursday)
For at least one week, the rookie upstaged the veteran as Wilson out-performed Tom Brady in the Seahawks’ come-from-behind victory over the Patriots. The third-round pick out of Wisconsin set career highs in both passing yards (293) and touchdowns (3), and didn’t turn the ball over as he moved his career record to 3-0 against the likes of Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Tony Romo. Of course, it didn’t hurt Wilson that all three of these games were at home, and he has the support of one of the league’s best defenses behind him. Speaking of defenses, Wilson’s next test is against the No. 5 San Francisco defense, a unit that is still smarting from the whipping the Giants gave it last week. Oh and did I also mention the game is in San Francisco? In home games so far Wilson has a sparkling 6:0 touchdown-to-interception ratio. On the road, it’s 2:6. Let’s see, Thursday night game, on the road, against a fired up 49ers defense in a pivotal NFC West match-up? Good luck rook.

- By Mark Ross, published on Oct. 18, 2012

Teaser:
<p> Don’t Start Jermichael Finley, Shonn Greene, Brandon Lloyd, Russell Wilson in Week 7</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 06:41
Path: /fantasy/start-josh-gordon-matt-hasselbeck-felix-jones-brandon-pettigrew-week-7
Body:

Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego are all on bye in Week 7. That’s a lot of fantasy firepower owners won’t be able to call on. But this is why you put so much preparation into your draft and you watch your league’s waiver wire like a hawk, right? So if you can’t use a Peyton Manning, Jamaal Charles, Brian Hartline or Tony Gonzalez, who can you turn to? Here are a few options that may be able to pick up the slack in Week 7.

Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland at Indianapolis
Gordon was taken by Cleveland in the second round of the supplemental draft, so chances are he has been flying under the radar, if you were even aware of him, this season. That may soon change, however, as he is quickly establishing himself as not only a legitimate deep threat, but as quarterback Brandon Weeden’s favorite target. Gordon has three touchdowns in his last two games, and two of these scoring strikes were plays of more than 60 yards. For the season he is averaging 22.8 yards per catch and is starting to get more opportunities thrown his way. He has a total of 12 targets in his last two games, after seeing 14 in the first four combined. Indianapolis has done a decent job of limiting the amount of damage done by opposing wide receivers in terms of yardage, but they have been burned several times on the long ball. Everyone knows about the Browns’ two first-round draft picks, Weeden and running back Trent Richardson, but if Gordon continues what he’s done recently, the team may have just hit the trifecta when it comes to impact offensive players it can build around.

Matt HasselbeckMatt Hasselbeck, QB, Tennessee at Buffalo
Hasselbeck will make his third, and probably final, start this week in Buffalo in place of Jake Locker. Locker has been sidelined the past three weeks with a shoulder injury, but he returned to practice this week and Titans head coach Mike Munchak has already said the second-year player will get his job back from the veteran Hasselbeck when he’s healthy. So if this will be Hasselbeck’s last start (provided Locker stays healthy), what better way for him to go out than to get the NFL’s worst defense, no? Prior to last week, Buffalo had given up more than 1,200 yards and 97 points in a span of two games. While the Bills’ D looked much better in the overtime win in Arizona, this unit still has its share of issues. In fact, this game features two of the bottom three defenses in the entire league, so chances are this game will feature plenty of offensive fireworks. I like Hasselbeck to go back to the bench swinging, if you will, as the Bills are allowing the most fantasy points to quarterbacks. If Chris Johnson can take advantage of the Bills’ rush defense (worst in the league), that should open up things even more for Hasselbeck, who has multiple weapons in the passing game in receivers Kenny Britt, Nate Washington and Kendall Wright as well as tight end Jared Cook. The Titans may not win, but if you decide to start Hasselbeck, I think you will at least like that outcome.  

Felix Jones, RB, Dallas at Carolina
The Cowboys had little trouble running on the Ravens last week, as DeMarco Murray got things started with 72 yards in the first quarter alone. Murray would finish with a total of 93 yards on the ground, but he wasn’t able to finish the game. He suffered a foot injury before halftime and only carried the ball one more time in the third quarter before leaving for good. Enter Jones, who scored on a 22-yard run in the first quarter, and finished his day with 92 yards on 18 carries. After the game, the team learned that Murray suffered some ligament damage in his left foot, which will sideline him for at least a week. With Murray out, Jones will get his first real start since Week 15 of last season. In that game, Jones rushed for 108 yards and he will be looking for similar results on Sunday against Carolina. Jones has disappointed many a fantasy owner in the past with his untapped potential and injury-prone nature, but I think this time it will be different. He looked pretty good against the Ravens last week and should find some running room against the Panthers this week. Carolina is allowing the third-most fantasy points to running backs and is giving up an average of 127.4 yards on the ground per game. In many ways, it’s now or never for the former first-round pick, as he will be a free agent at the end of the season. If he’s still a free agent in your league, I recommend picking him up and getting him into your lineup this week.

Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Detroit at Chicago (Monday)
Chicago’s defense is No. 2 in the league overall, first in both rushing and scoring defense and fifth against the pass. So why am I picking a Lion as a “Start” option, you ask? As good as the Bears’ defense has been (and it has been VERY good, especially in terms of fantasy scoring as a DST), its one weak spot to this point has been defending the tight ends. The Monsters of the Midway are allowing the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, while the 35 receptions by them are the fourth-most. Enter Pettigrew, who is second only to All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson in terms of targets for the Lions. He has 26 receptions, which ties him with wideout Nate Burleson for second, along with 261 yards and a touchdown. Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford is certainly keeping Pettigrew heavily involved as the 6-5, 265-pounder has seven or more targets in all but one of the team’s five games. In two games against the Bears last season, Pettigrew had a total of 14 catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. As good a job as the Bears have done pressuring the quarterback (18 sacks) and shutting down opposing wide receivers (3 TD catches), Stafford may have no choice but to look Pettigrew’s way early and often come Monday night.

Teaser:
<p> Start Josh Gordon, Matt Hasselbeck, Felix Jones, Brandon Pettigrew in Week 7</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 06:35
Path: /nfl/seattle-seahawks-vs-san-francisco-49ers-preview-and-prediction
Body:

Two divisional foes coming off drastically different  Week 6 contests will meet on Thursday Night Football, when the San Francisco 49ers host the Seattle Seahawks at 8:20 p.m. EST on the NFL Network. The 49ers were surprisingly “out-physicaled” against the Giants last week, losing the NFC Championship Game rematch 26-3 at home. Meanwhile, the Seahawks overcame a 23-10 fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Patriots 24-23 in dramatic fashion.

When the Seattle Seahawks have the ball:
Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson had been fairly inconsistent through five weeks, but he had his best game by far in the Patriots win on Sunday. Wilson threw for 293 yards and three scores, including the game-winning 46-yard touchdown pass to Sidney Rice with less than two minutes to go. The young signal caller will need Marshawn Lynch and the running game to get going after two subpar weeks, as playing one-dimensional football against the stingy 49ers is not a formula for success.

San Francisco ranks No. 1 in the league after six weeks, allowing only 275.8 yards per game. However, Patrick Willis and company are company off a performance where they allowed 149 rushing yards to the Giants and did not cause any turnovers or sacks. The 49ers’ focus tonight will be on Lynch, who rushed for 107 yards and a touchdown when these teams met last Christmas Eve. If the Niners can limit Seattle’s run game, they should be able to force the youthful Wilson into mistakes.

When the San Francisco 49ers have the ball:
The San Francisco offense is known for its power running attack, but the Giants held Frank Gore to 36 yards on eight carries. Additionally, Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley is expected to miss this game with a concussion. The 49ers will need Gore and Kendall Hunter to grind out tough yards against an elite Seattle run defense. After throwing for eight touchdown passes and just one interception in the first five games of the season, quarterback Alex Smith tossed an uncharacteristic three picks in the loss to New York. He must get back to protecting the ball and completing a high percentage of his passes tonight.

The Seattle defense has been excellent against the run in 2012, ranking No. 2 in the NFL by allowing only 70 yards per game on the ground. The most rushing yards by an opposing running back against the Seahawks this year was 55 by the Rams’ Steven Jackson, and they will look for more of the same versus Gore and the 49ers. The physical Seattle secondary has intimidated opponents all season with its solid run support and punishing hits on pass catchers.

Key Factor:
This NFC West battle should be an old-fashioned slobberknocker, with yards very difficult to come by. The quarterback who can make some first downs through the air and not turn the ball over should lead his team to a huge divisional victory. We’ll take San Francisco to bounce back from its worst loss under coach Jim Harbaugh and win a close one at home.

Prediction:
49ers 20, Seahawks 16


By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)

Teaser:
<p> Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers Preview and Prediction</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 06:25
Path: /college-football/pac-12-week-8-preview-and-predictions
Body:

The desert will be a busy place this weekend out West as both Arizona and Arizona State host huge showdowns. The Wildcats welcome Washington to Tucson in what should be a tremendous Xs and Os contest, while fans all over the nation will finally learn if Todd Graham's Sun Devils are a legit contender in the Pac-12 on national TV against Oregon on Thursday night.

Meanwhile, USC should roll, Oregon State has to hold serve and The Big Game takes over the Bay Area.

Pac-12's Top Storylines to Watch in Week 8:

1. Will Arizona State get exposed or make a statement on national televsion?
The schedule for both the unbeaten Oregon Ducks and surprise Arizona State Sun Devils gets nasty in the second half. Oregon plays four tough road games, starting with a nationally televised visit to Tempe on Thursday night. The Sun Devils, led by Taylor Kelly, the league's top rated passer, is looking to make a major statement to the nation. Yet, ASU's record is inflated after facing backup quarterbacks (Mizzou, Illinois, Utah) and three of the four easiest conference opponents in the league. This game should feature a boatload of elite skill players on both sides, but it will come down to Todd Graham's No. 1-rated Pac-12 defense staying strong for all four quarters. Otherwise, the Ducks will roll right through town en route to another dominating league win. 

2. Justin Wilcox vs. Rich Rodriguez
The most intriguing game this weekend out West will likely take place in Tucson when Washington visits Arizona. Rich Rodriguez has his offense, led by Matt Scott and Ka'Deem Carey, clicking on all cylinders. It leads the league in total offense at over 550 yards per game and in passing offense at nearly 370 yards per game. Meanwhile, Justin Wilcox has completely reinvented the Huskies defense. Washington is 12th in the nation in passing defense and just held Matt Barkley to 167 yards and 24 total points. Look for these two Xs and Os gurus to get creative in the desert Saturday night.

3. Keith Price vs. Jake Fischer
On the other side of things, Washington quarterback Keith Price has been a shell of his former self. He was lighting up defenses and throwing touchdowns in droves last fall and simply hasn't gotten going this fall. Certainly, his offensive line has been crushed by injuries and that has led to many of the issues in Seattle on offense. But Arizona hasn't been much better on defense. Jake Fischer's squad is 11th in the Pac-12 in total defense and scoring defense, but has allowed 49, 38 and 54 points during its 0-3 conference start. In the battle of ineptitude, someone has to make a play, right?

4. Matt Barkley's Heisman train gets back on track in a big way
Barkley has a chance to quiet many of his Heisman detractors with a huge game this weekend against lowly Colorado. His numbers haven't been great — 187 yards against Syracuse, 192 against Cal and 167 against Washington — but he still leads the league in touchdown passes and has his team poised to face Oregon for the Pac-12 title. Defenses have been backloading their secondaries to contain the talented big-play wide receivers, so Barkley has turned to the ground game and Silas Redd (who has been excellent). Look for all aspects of the offense to roll this weekend and for Barkley to return to many Heisman ballots.

5. The Big Game features two bruised football teams
Jeff Tedford and Cal were reeling a couple of weeks ago but has since won two straight league games to reach 3-4. This team is in must-win mode every week from here on out and needs a quality showing against crosstown rival Stanford. Cal has allowed 79 points in two straight losses to the Cardinal. Meanwhile, Stanford likely spent a lot of time in the training room after that physical battle in South Bend. Stanford is the better team, but has to regroup after the tough, nail-biting loss to the Irish. There is plenty on the line in this edition of The Big Game.

6. Can Oregon State continue to win without Sean Mannion?
One of the most impressive showings nationally last week was the Beavers' road win over BYU. Backup quarterback Cody Vaz picked-up where Sean Mannion left off, throwing for 332 yards and three touchdowns while leading Oregon State to 42 points and an unbeaten 5-0 record. While a win over the Cougars is nice, it doesn't help Mike Riley's bunch in the Pac-12 standings. This weekend will be the first league game without Mannion and Riley needs another quality showing from Vaz to stay in the Pac-12 North race. Against Utah, that shouldn't be an issue.

Week 8 Pac-12 Predictions:

Week 8 Pac-12 Games Braden Gall Mitch Light Steven Lassan David Fox
Oregon (-8) at Arizona St Oregon, 41-24 Oregon, 42-28 Oregon, 45-30 Oregon, 42-27
Stanford (-2) at Cal Stanford, 27-20 Stanford, 24-21 Stanford, 27-24 Stanford, 35-31
Colorado (-40.5) at USC USC, 42-14 USC, 47-13 USC, 48-10 USC, 56-7
Washington (+7.5) at Arizona Arizona, 30-27 Arizona, 27-21 Washington, 34-31 Arizona, 35-21
Utah (+10.5) at Oregon St Oregon St, 27-13 Oregon St, 30-13 Oregon St, 34-20 Oregon St, 27-10
Last Week: 6-0 6-0 5-1 3-3
Yearly Totals: 40-15 41-14 40-15 36-19

Bye: Washington State, UCLA

by Braden Gall

@bradengall

Related College Football Content

ACC Week 8 Previews and Predictions
Big East Week 8 Previews and Predictions

Big Ten Week 8 Previews and Predictions

Big 12 Week 8 Previews and Predictions

SEC Week 8 Previews and Predictions

College Football Week 8 Upset Predictions

Athlon's 2012 Bowl Projections

Ranking All College Football Teams 1-124

Teaser:
<p> Pac-12 Week 8 Preview and Predictions</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 06:07
Path: /college-football/big-ten-week-8-preview-and-predictions
Body:

The round robin in the Legends Division got started with Iowa's win over Michigan State last weekend. Otherwise, none of the top five teams in that division have faced each other yet. That will all change this weekend as two huge puzzle pieces will fall into place in Evanston and Ann Arbor. Otherwise, a barometer game in Iowa City and a battle for a six-foot long wood chopper highlight the Week 8 slate in Big Ten country.

Big Ten's Top Storylines to Watch in Week 8:

1. Has The Wolverine State battle lost its luster?
Michigan State has owned this in-state battle of late. Try four straight wins for the Spartans, the last two coming in dominating fashion. After two debilitating losses at home to Ohio State and then Iowa, the Spartans are on the Big Ten title ropes. Meanwhile, the Wolverines have bounced back from losses to two top-five teams early in the year to crush its first two Big Ten opponents, Purdue and Illinois, by a total of 89-13. The ground game is back. The defense has played its best. Brady Hoke has his team poised to not only remove the Spartan monkey from their Maize and Blue backs, but place their name atop the Legends Division standings. And it all starts with one guy...

2. Denard Robinson is back — and will end his losing streak to Spartans
The explosive quarterback has yet to defeat the cross-state rivals from East Lansing but is poised to have his best shot. Shoelace has completed 15-of-27 passes for 264 yards, three touchdowns, and most importantly, no interceptions. He has been up to his old tricks on the ground, rushing for 363 yards and two touchdowns in the Wolverines' 2-0 start in the Big Ten. Against Michigan State, Robinson has been less than electric, however, completing only 9-of-24 passes a year ago and throwing four interceptions in his last two meetings with Sparty. Additionally, he rushed for just 119 yards in three games against MSU and has been contained by Mark Dantonio's powerful front line. Look for Robinson and Michigan to make a big statement this weekend at home against one of its top rivals. 

3. Cornhuskers looking for revenge in Evanston
Northwestern do-everything athlete Kain Colter burst onto the national scene last season in Lincoln when the Wildcats defeated the Cornhuskers 28-25. Colter was unstoppable, throwing for 115 yards and one score to go with 57 yards rushing and two touchdowns on the ground. Both programs are poised to compete for the Big Ten Legends Division crown and their respective title pushes start with this game. After a crushing final two quarters in Columbus, Bo Pelini had a week off to prepare his maligned defense for the versatile Northwestern offense. The importance of this game cannot be overstated for both teams and Nebraska will bring an intense memory of Colter into this game up in Chicago. Nebraska feels like the top challenger to Michigan in the Legends Division race, but a loss to Northwestern would flip the entire championship race on its head.

4. Will Northwestern's rushing attack take advantage of Black Shirts defense?
So where will the game be won? Nebraska's porous rushing defense that is ranked No. 10 in the Big Ten will have to stop one of the nation's top rushing attacks. Venric Mark is leading the Big Ten in all-purpose yards and Colter brings tremendous athleticism to the quarterback position. Mark has topped the 100-yard mark in four of his last six games and has been equally dynamic on special teams — and it has earned him some Heisman Trophy recognition. Meanwhile, the Black Shirts are coming off of a defensive performance in which they allowed 371 yards and six touchdowns on the ground to Ohio State. This is a huge test for both defenses — Nebraska is tops in the league in rushing, total and scoring offense — and the outcome will undoubtedly hinge on the Wildcats' ability to run the football.

5. Can Iowa's D maintain momentum against potential POY candidate Matt McGloin?
This is a sneaky good game between two teams that are unbeaten in Big Ten play. Iowa is trying to keep pace with their Legends Division brethren after two excellent defensive performances. The Hawkeyes have allowed 29 total points, less than 330 yards of total offense and picked off four passes in the last two games. And it has Kirk Ferentz back in the good graces of the fans and Iowa in the heart of the Big Ten race. Stopping potential Offensive Player of the Year Matt McGloin, however, will be a different beast than Max Shortell and Andrew Maxwell. McGloin has been exceptional and Bill O'Brien has this offense rolling along at levels unseen in Happy Valley since Michael Robinson was under center. The Nits signal caller has accounted for six touchdowns and no turnovers in two Big Ten wins, and should he play well, Penn State will win its fifth straight game.

6. Paul Bunyan's Axe up for grabs
The most-played rivalry in all of college football is the Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe between the Badgers and the Golden Gophers. Minnesota leads the all-time series 59-54-8 as these two prepare to meet for the 122nd time. The Badgers, however, have dominated their rivals from the Twin Cities with eight straight wins in the series, many of which have not even been competitive. The Gophers haven't had much luck in Madison either with their last win in Camp Randall Stadium coming way back in 1994. Wisconsin has gotten Montee Ball rolling of late — eight touchdowns in the last three games — and should have little trouble scoring on the Gophers. Look for Bret Bielema to continue to improve his team with another key win over its long-time rival.

7. Braxton Miller must to hold serve at home
Two weeks ago, Herbie was touting the Boilermakers as the team to beat in the Leaders Division on College Gameday. After two crushing and embarrassing losses to Michigan and Wisconsin, Purdue has become an afterthought in the race for the Big Ten title. With a trip to Ohio State this weekend, Danny Hope's team is in danger of becoming completely irrelevant. And that is precisely what Braxton Miller wants to do. The Buckeyes have a chance to become the only 8-0 team in the nation this weekend as Miller's Heisman candidacy continues to close on Geno Smith. Ohio State will lean on its running game and star quarterback to keep Purdue at arm's reach, stay unbeaten, exact some revenge and keep Miller on pace to land in New York at season's end.

8. Big Ten's final non-conference game provides opportunity
Indiana will play the league's final non-conference game on the road against Navy this weekend. The struggles of the Big Ten out of conference have been well documented and the Hoosiers have an opportunity to not only triple their win total from 2011 but end the league's difficult non-conference slate on a high note. The defense will have a tough time stopping Navy's triple-option attack but the Midshipmen won't be able to stop the league's No. 1 passing attack (313.0 ypg).

Week 8 Big Ten Predictions:

Week 8 Games Braden Gall Mitch Light Steven Lassan David Fox
Purdue (+18) at Ohio St Ohio St, 42-28 Ohio St, 41-20 Ohio St, 38-17 Ohio St, 48-28
Minnesota (+18) at Wisconsin Wisconsin, 30-14 Wisconsin, 31-10 Wisconsin, 38-20 Wisconsin, 21-14
Nebraska (-6) at Northwestern Nebraska, 34-30 Nebraska, 27-21 Nebraska, 31-27 N'Western, 35-28
Michigan St (+10) at Michigan Michigan, 38-14 Michigan, 30-14 Michigan, 27-20 Michigan, 42-14
Indiana (+2.5) at Navy Indiana, 31-21 Indiana, 34-24 Indiana, 36-30 Indiana, 35-10
Penn St (+3) at Iowa Penn St, 20-17 Penn St, 21-20 Penn St, 24-20 Penn St, 24-14
Last Week: 4-1 3-2 4-1 3-2
Yearly Totals: 51-11 47-15 52-10 48-14

Bye Week: Illinois

by Braden Gall

@bradengall

Related College Football Content

ACC Week 8 Previews and Predictions
Big East Week 8 Previews and Predictions

Big 12 Week 8 Previews and Predictions

Pac-12 Week 8 Previews and Predictions

SEC Week 8 Previews and Predictions

College Football Week 8 Upset Predictions

Athlon's 2012 Bowl Projections

Ranking All College Football Teams 1-124

Teaser:
<p> Big Ten Week 8 Preview and Predictions</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 06:06
Path: /college-football/big-12-week-8-preview-and-predictions
Body:

In a handful of ways, last week turned the Big 12 race on its head.

West Virginia’s defensive shortcomings finally burned the Mountaineers in their first loss of the season. That it happened in the first place wasn’t as much of a surprise as Texas Tech being the one to deliver the resounding upset. The 49-14 win further proved Texas Tech’s defensive turnaround is no fluke as the Red Raiders are the only Big 12 ranked in the top 10 nationally in both total offense and total defense.

West Virginia’s loss left Kansas State, who escaped a trap game scenario against Iowa State, as the only undefeated team in conference play, a perfect record that will be tested this week at West Virginia.

And then there was the Red River Rivalry. After a 63-21 beatdown to Oklahoma, Texas looks no better than second-tier in the league, if that. And the Sooners looked more like the team picked to win the Big 12 in the preseason. They’ll be rooting for West Virginia on Saturday.

Other Week 8 Previews and Predictions

ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC

Big 12’s Top Storylines to Watch in Week 8:

Is Kansas State-West Virginia a Heisman eliminator?
A week ago, West Virginia’s Geno Smith was just about everyone’s Heisman frontrunner. His performance against Texas Tech (29 of 55, 275 yards, one touchdown) may have cut into his lead a bit with Kansas State’s Collin Klein among those who could benefit. For those following the Heisman race as closely as the Big 12 championship race, this will be a critical game where Smith can either boost his case or Klein can further close the gap with the remainder of the field.

How does West Virginia’s no-show defense handle Kansas State’s smash mouth offense?
West Virginia’s struggles on defense are well-established as the Mountaineers have allowed 593 yards per game against three Big 12 opponents. Kansas State’s grinding, physical style brings a different challenge than Baylor or Texas Tech or even Texas. The Wildcats are the rare Big 12 team that still uses a huddle and tries to shorten the game with the run. Moreover, Kansas State doesn’t make a whole lot of mistakes: The Wildcats are averaging a Big 12-low three penalties a game and have turned the ball over only four times all season. West Virginia is built for the Big 12, but Kansas State is not the typical Big 12 team.

Can Kansas State continue to stifle big plays?
Only Texas Tech has allowed fewer plays of 20 yards or more (eight) than Kansas State’s 16 -- and we saw how Texas Tech handled the West Virginia offense. Only one of those 20-yards or more plays, a 30-yard pass last week from Iowa State, resulted in a touchdown. West Virginia may have to tweak its receivers against Kansas State with Stedman Bailey hobbled since the second half against Texas Tech and at least one freshman entering the starting lineup (Coach Dana Holgorsen burned the redshirt for Travares Coleman, and considered playing another true freshman). With the way West Virginia started the season, it’s tough to imagine the Mountaineers struggling two weeks in a row on offense, but Kansas State may be able to give West Virginia fits.

How hot can it get for Mack Brown?
Losing 63-21 to Oklahoma is bad enough, but the scene down in Austin could get even worse this week if Texas loses for the third consecutive time to Baylor, a team that has never defeated the Longhorns three times in a row. On paper, this matchup does not bode well for Texas, despite Baylor’s 0-2 Big 12 record. Baylor is averaging 7.4 yards per play -- better than both Oklahoma and West Virginia -- and leads the nation in pass efficiency. Making matters worse for Texas, defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat, one of the few players performing at a high level for the Longhorns defense, is out for the remainder of the season. The questions are now extending to the offensive side of the ball as well, as quarterback David Ash is trying to recover from a wrist injury.

How does Seth Doege fare in Round Three against a good defense?
Seth Doege passed for career-highs with 499 yards and six touchdowns against West Virginia. Doege’s a good quarterback, but it may be too much to expect that much out of him each week, especially when he faces another above-average defense. Already this season, Doege threw five total interceptions against Iowa State and Oklahoma. Now the senior will line up against the TCU defense, which has intercepted a pass in every game this season for a total of 14 picks in 2012.

Is Trevone Boykin ready to face the Texas Tech defense?
With a full week to prepare as TCU’s starting quarterback, Boykin rebounded from his three-interception performance against Iowa State with a win over Baylor. The redshirt freshman was 22 of 30 for 261 yards with four touchdowns to go with 56 rushing yards and a score against the Bears. That’s an encouraging sign for a TCU team that just lost its second-year starting quarterback. Then again, Boykin’s performance was against Baylor's struggling defense. This week's opponent, Texas Tech, ranks seventh in the nation in pass efficiency defense and just made Geno Smith look pedestrian a week ago. That’s a tall order for a freshman in his third career start.

Does Oklahoma State have real concerns on offense?
Oklahoma State leads the nation in total offense, but the Cowboys didn’t look that team against Kansas last week. The 20 points Oklahoma State scored were the fewest since the 21-7 Cotton Bowl loss to Ole Miss at the end of the 2010 season. Against the Jayhawks, Joseph Randle averaged only 2.8 yards per carry, and quarterback J.W. Walsh was 18 of 29 for 255 yards. Granted, the conditions last week were not great as both teams played in a driving rain. A bounce-back game against Iowa State, who defeated the Cowboys 34-31 last season, will be worth watching this week. Freshman quarterback Wes Lunt, who began the season as a starter, would have been available in an emergency against Kansas, but Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has been tight-lipped about his availability this week.

What does a two-quarterback plan mean for Kansas’ future?
The youth movement is already under way in Kansas with Charlie Weis spending more time on underclassmen than seniors in practice recently. Now, he’s starting to look at redshirt freshman Michael Cummings at quarterback. Weis said earlier this week Cummings will play this week along with Dayne Crist, the transfer who also signed with Weis at Notre Dame. Odds are, the move won’t make too much difference against Oklahoma, but it could be a glimpse into the future for the Jayhawks.

Week 8 Big 12 Predictions

Week 8 Big 12 Games David Fox Braden Gall Steven Lassan Mitch Light
Iowa St. at Oklahoma St. (-14) Okla. St. 35-21 Okla. St. 34-24 Okla St. 38-24 Okla. St. 31-27
Texas Tech (-2) at TCU TCU 28-21 TCU 30-24 TCU 31-27 Texas Tech 28-27
Kansas at Oklahoma (-35) Oklahoma 41-10 Oklahoma 42-14 Oklahoma 45-17 Oklahoma 37-7
Kansas St. at West Virginia (-2.5) Kansas State 35-28 West Virginia 31-30 West Virginia 38-34 West Virginia 34-30
Baylor at Texas (-11) Baylor 35-31 Texas 42-35 Texas 38-34 Texas 38-30
Last week 3-2 3-2 2-3 3-2
Overall 36-7 34-9 34-10 35-8

by David Fox

@davidfox615

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<p> Big 12 Week 8 Preview and Predictions</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 06:05
Path: /college-football/acc-week-8-preview-and-predictions
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There's a full slate of games in the ACC this week, as all 12 teams are in action on Saturday afternoon. Although there are no marquee top-25 games, there are some crucial conference matchups, including Florida State-Miami and Virginia Tech-Clemson. Duke hopes to get bowl eligible against North Carolina, while Virginia looks to end a five-game losing streak with a win over Wake Forest.

Other Week 8 Previews and Predictions

Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC

ACC's Top Storylines for Week 8

Is this the week Duke gets bowl eligible?
The Blue Devils need just one more win to get bowl eligible for the first time since 1994. However, the schedule is considerably tougher over the second half of the season, and the team is reeling just a bit from the 41-20 loss to Virginia Tech last Saturday. Injuries have plagued this team this year, but coach David Cutcliffe continues to find the right answers. If the Blue Devils want to their sixth win on Saturday night, the defense will have to have one of their best efforts of the season. North Carolina has defeated Duke eight consecutive times and brings to Durham an offense averaging 40.3 points a game. The Blue Devils appear to be a much-improved team on defense, but the Tar Heels will be the best offense they have faced in 2012. Duke should be able to move the ball on North Carolina’s defense, but if it cannot slow down the Tar Heels’ combination of quarterback Bryn Renner and running back Giovani Bernard, the Blue Devils will have to wait another week to get bowl eligible.

Is Maryland a trap game for NC State?
The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for NC State coach Tom O’Brien. With a huge win over Florida State on Oct. 6, the Wolfpack could enjoy that upset a little longer and not have to worry about a letdown last Saturday. With that victory clearly in the rearview mirror, NC State has to refocus and prep for a much-improved Maryland team. The Terrapins have already doubled their win total from last season and are the only unbeaten team remaining in the ACC. Winning in College Park has been a challenge for NC State in recent years, as the Wolfpack have lost three in a row at Maryland. Although the Terrapins are an improved team, they are still limited offensively. If NC State quarterback Mike Glennon can get on track against a Maryland secondary ranked 18th nationally against the pass, the Wolfpack should snap their losing streak in College Park. However, if Maryland controls the tempo and keeps this a low-scoring game, the Terrapins will pull off the upset.

Does Miami have any shot to beat Florida State?
The Hurricanes dominated the series with Florida State in the early 2000s, but Florida State has won five out of the last seven matchups. The Seminoles are clearly the better team but with this being a huge rivalry game, Miami will have extra motivation. Any upset bid for the Hurricanes has to hinge on the health of quarterback Stephen Morris and a defense that has been among the nation’s worst. Morris suffered an ankle injury in last week’s loss against North Carolina and is questionable to play on Saturday night. If he cannot go, Memphis transfer Ryan Williams will make his first start at Miami. Even though the quarterback play is a huge concern, the Hurricanes’ porous defense is a bigger issue. Miami ranks 117th nationally in total defense and has allowed at least 30 points in three out of four ACC games. In Florida State’s loss to NC State, coach Jimbo Fisher took a lot criticism for being too conservative on offense. The Seminoles rebounded with 649 yards and 51 points against Boston College and need to be aggressive once again. If Miami doesn’t fix its defense issues, Florida State will score at will on Saturday night. Expect the Hurricanes to try to control the clock to keep their defense off the field, but the Seminoles rank fifth nationally against the run. Never rule out an upset in a rivalry game such as this one, but Miami’s path to a victory is very, very steep.

Can Virginia Tech’s defense slow down Clemson?
The Hokies’ defense was gashed in two meetings against Clemson last season, allowing 61 combined points and surrendering 451 yards in the 38-10 loss in the ACC Championship. Virginia Tech’s defense was touted as one of the nation’s best in the preseason but has failed to live up to the hype so far. The Hokies are allowing 381.3 yards and 22 points per game and are averaging just 1.9 sacks per contest. The Tigers have been strong on offense all year, scoring at least 37 points in each of their last five games, while leading the conference in passing yards per contest. Cornerbacks Antone Exum and Kyle Fuller figure to have their hands full, especially as they try to cover receivers Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins. It’s unlikely Virginia Tech will be able to completely shut down the Tigers, but they need to get pressure on quarterback Tajh Boyd to throw off the timing of this offense and not allow any big plays.

Is this the week Virginia Tech’s offense gets on track?
Statistically, the numbers for Virginia Tech’s offense aren’t awful. The Hokies rank 54th nationally in scoring and are averaging nearly 400 yards per game (398). However, a deeper look into the statistics shows Virginia Tech ranks just seventh in ACC in total offense in conference-only games. The Hokies have picked it up on offense the last two weeks, scoring 34 points against North Carolina and 41 versus Duke last Saturday. The rushing attack has sputtered this season, but freshman J.C. Coleman ignited the ground game last week, rushing for 183 yards and two touchdowns. Although Virginia Tech may have found its answer on the ground, the offensive line has been hit hard by injuries and will be without center Andrew Miller for the rest of the year. Clemson’s defense hasn’t slowed many teams this season and has allowed at least 31 points in each of its three ACC contests. Stopping quarterback Logan Thomas will be a challenge for the Tigers defense, but if the Hokies want to win in Death Valley, they need the offensive line to step up a notch this weekend.

Which defense will step up: Boston College or Georgia Tech?
There should be no shortage of points when Boston College and Georgia Tech meet this Saturday. These two teams rank near the bottom of the ACC in total, rushing and scoring defense. This will be the Yellow Jackets’ first game after the firing of defensive coordinator Al Groh, and coach Paul Johnson promoted assistant Charles Kelly to call the plays for the rest of the year. Boston College has allowed at least 40 or more points in three of its games this season, while ranking 117th nationally against the run. Considering Georgia Tech ranks third nationally against the run, and the Eagles struggled to stop another option team earlier this year (Army), Boston College will need their best effort of the season to contain the Yellow Jackets’ rushing attack. When Boston College has the ball, it should be able to exploit Georgia Tech’s secondary (267.7 ypg). This is a critical matchup for both team’s bowl hopes and whichever defense can turn things around will help score a key victory for their team.

Can Virginia find a spark on offense against Wake Forest?
Saturday’s Wake Forest-Virginia matchup is crucial for both team’s bowl hopes. The Cavaliers have a five-game losing streak entering Saturday’s game, while the Demon Deacons have a 3-3 record and still have to play Clemson, NC State and Notre Dame. Needless to say, the loser of this game probably won’t make a bowl. Virginia’s offensive production has been puzzling this season, as the Cavaliers are averaging 423.1 yards per game but rank 10th in the ACC in scoring offense. Turnovers have been a big problem for Mike London’s team, and the rushing attack has been stuck in neutral most of the year. Alabama transfer Phillip Sims has started the last two games but has just one touchdown pass, while tossing three picks and completing less than 50 percent of his throws. Considering how Sims has played over the last two games, Virginia will likely give former starter Michael Rocco a chance to play in a relief role this week. The Demon Deacons haven’t been the toughest defense in the ACC this year but have played some quality offensive teams, including Florida State, North Carolina and a difficult team to prepare for in Army. Wake Forest ranks 10th in the ACC against the run, which should be a good sign for Virginia’s struggling ground attack. The Demon Deacons don’t usually beat themselves, which adds even more pressure for the Cavaliers to win the turnover battle this week. 

ACC Week 8 Predictions

Week 8 ACC Games David Fox Braden Gall Steven Lassan Mitch Light
Virginia Tech at Clemson Clemson 38-28 Clemson 34-30 Clemson 34-24 Clemson 33-20
Wake Forest at Virginia Wake 21-14 Virginia 24-21 Virginia 28-24 Wake 27-23
Boston College at Ga. Tech Ga. Tech 28-10 Ga. Tech 30-20 Ga. Tech 38-27 Ga. Tech 34-20
NC State at Maryland Maryland 17-10 NC State 31-24 NC State 27-20 NC State 24-17
North Carolina at Duke UNC 35-28 UNC 48-31 UNC 34-24 UNC 24-20
Florida State at Miami FSU 41-21 FSU 30-17 FSU 38-17 FSU 41-24
Last Week: 3-1 3-1 3-1 4-0
Season Record: 48-11 47-12 45-14 49-10


by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven


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<p> ACC Week 8 Preview and Predictions</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 06:03
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The Week 8 shedule in the SEC his highlighted by South Carolina's trip to Gainesville to battle Florida, but the Texas A&M-LSU showdown in College Station will be fun to watch as well. Can the Tigers' defense slow down Johnny Manziel? Stay tuned.

Other Week 8 Previews and Predictions

ACC | Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-12

SEC Top Storylines to Watch in Week 8

1. Can Johnny Manziel make plays against the LSU defense?
Texas A&M leads the league in both total offense (543.7 ypg) and scoring offense (47.0 ppg) and is led by redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel, one of the most exciting players in college football. Consider this stat: Texas A&M has played in one less game than LSU, yet Manziel has almost twice at many total yards (2,356 to 1,220) as Tiger quarterback Zach Mettenberger. Manziel, however, has yet to see a defense as formidable as LSU. In the opener against Florida, the only other top-flight defense A&M has faced, the Aggies were held to 17 points, and Manziel had a season-low 233 total yards. This should be a fascinating battle between two vastly different styles of play.

2. Can the LSU offensive line hold up?
An LSU offensive front that was expected to be among the nation’s finest struggled early in the season. Sure, injuries played a part — left tackle Chris Faulk was lost for the season after one game — but there is no denying that this unit underperformed at key times. That, however, was not the case Saturday night. The line played arguably its best game of the season, especially when you factor in the quality of the competition. South Carolina entered the night ranked ninth in the nation in rushing defense and had not given up more than 120 yards on the ground in any game. Led by freshman Jeremy Hill, LSU powered its way to 258 yards and two scores on 53 attempts. And that was with Alex Hurst, a preseason All-American, and Josh Williford out with injuries, and center P.J. Longergan slowed by a back injury. Only one player, left guard, La’El Collins, has played in the same spot in every game this season. We often to point to depth as what separates programs like Alabama and LSU from the rest of the league — and country, at times. LSU needs its depth on the offensive line to shine in the second half of the season if it hopes to remain relevant in the national title chase.

3. Who will play quarterback for Auburn?
Auburn has yet to announce a starter for its game Saturday at Vanderbilt, and it’s possible that all three scholarship quarterbacks will see action. Clint Moseley, making his first start of the 2012 season, received the majority of the snaps in last week’s loss at Ole Miss. The junior started strong, completing 8-of-8 for 80 yards in the first half but he went 3-of-10 for 32 yards the rest of the way. True freshman Jonathan Wallace did not attempt a pass but had six carries for 14 yards out of the Wildcat formation. Sophomore Kiehl Frazier, the starter in the first five games, did not play — due in part to injury and in part to his early season struggles. As a team, Auburn was held to 213 total yards against an Ole Miss defense that had been allowing an average of 379.8 yards per game.

4. Can Vanderbilt handle the role of the favorite?
Vanderbilt finds itself as a 7-point favorite over Auburn this Saturday. It’s only the seventh time in the past 10-plus years the Commodores have been favored by at least a touchdown against an opponent from an AQ conference. They are 3¬–3 straight up in those previous six games, with wins vs. Kentucky (-13) in 2011, Duke (-8) in 2006 and Mississippi State (-12.5) in 2003 and losses to Mississippi State (-9) in 2009, Duke (-9.5) in 2008 and Kentucky (-8) in 2006. Overall, Vanderbilt is 6–11 straight up as the favorite vs. AQ conference opponents in the past 10-plus years, including a 2–2 record under James Franklin.

5. Can South Carolina win if it’s forced to pass?
Connor Shaw has proven himself to be one of the top quarterbacks in the SEC. But it’s clear that South Carolina is a better team when Shaw is asked to do less in the passing game. It’s no knock on him as a player — it’s just the way this team is constructed. I realize the sample size isn’t huge, but consider the Gamecocks’ last two games: Shaw attempted 10 passes in a 35–7 win over Georgia; he attempted 34 in a 23¬–21 loss at LSU. Against Georgia, South Carolina jumped out to an early lead and leaned on tailback Marcus Lattimore, who rushed for 110 yards on 24 carries. In the loss in Baton Rouge, Lattimore and Shaw both struggled to run the ball, which forced South Carolina to rely on its passing attack. The results weren’t favorable. Shaw completed a season-low 55.9 percent of his passes and was intercepted twice. Obviously, a lot of teams are going to struggle against LSU, but it will be interesting going forward — starting with this weekend against Florida — to see if South Carolina can beat an elite opponent by throwing the ball.

6. Can Florida hold Marcus Lattimore to under 100 yards (if he plays)?
Name the last player to top the 100-yard mark against Florida. If you said Jerodis Williams (133 yards in Week 11 last season) from Furman, you’d be correct. The Gators have now gone eight straight games without allowing a 100-yard rusher. That streak will be tested this weekend when Marcus Lattimore and South Carolina visit Gainesville, provided Lattimore overcomes a hip injury to play against the Gators. Lattimore is coming off his worst game of the season (35 yards on 13 carries against LSU), but he is still one of the elite backs in college football. He missed the Florida game last season with an injury, but had one of his finest moments of his career two years ago against the Gators when he ran for 212 yards and three touchdowns on 40 carries in a 36–14 Carolina victory. Florida currently ranks 20th in the nation in rush defense, allowing 107.5 yards per game. The Gators did a great job against LSU two weeks ago, but had some trouble at times stopping Vanderbilt’s power rushing attack last week in Nashville. The Commodores’ two primary tailbacks combined to run for 152 yards on 34 carries.

7. Is AJ McCarron hurt? If so, can Alabama still win at Neyland Stadium?
The short answers: Who knows, and yes. McCarron has been one of the more underrated quarterbacks nationally in the last year-and-a-half. He’s done a masterful job doing what needs to be done as the leader of the Alabama attack — complete a high percentage of his passes (66.5 for his career) and not make mistakes (five interceptions in 338 career attempts). There have been reports this week that McCarron is dealing with a knee injury. He is still expected to play against Tennessee, but Alabama is built as well as any team in the nation to succeed with a backup quarterback. Sure, it would be nice to have a completely healthy McCarron this Saturday night in Knoxville, but the Tide will be fine if they are forced to turn to Blake Sims.

8. Will Tennessee find new ways to get Cordarrelle Patterson the ball?
Justin Hunter might be the Tennessee’s most polished offensive player, but Patterson has emerged as the Volunteers’ most dynamic playmaker. Last week against Mississippi State, Patterson caught three passes for 57 yards and a touchdown, carried the ball three times for 57 yards and had a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. For the season, Patterson, a junior college transfer, is averaging 15.5 yards on his 34 offensive touches. The task for Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney is to get the ball in Patterson’s hands — either on direct snaps out of the Wildcat, conventional handoffs from the quarterback or quick-hitting passes. He is simply too good not to get at least 10 offensive touches per game.

9. Can Mississippi State avoid the letdown?
One of the biggest wins in the Dan Mullen era, a 41–31 victory over Tennessee, has set up one of the biggest games in the history of the program … if Mississippi State beats Middle Tennessee on Saturday. An MSU win over the Blue Raiders coupled with an Alabama win over Tennessee sets up a showdown of 7–0 teams in Tuscaloosa in two weeks. Before that dream matchup becomes a reality, the Bulldogs must focus on a Middle Tennessee team that has a 49–28 win at Georgia Tech on its 2012 résumé. The Blue Raiders, however, will make the trip to Starkville without running back Bennie Cunningham, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in last week’s 34–30 win at FIU. Cunningham had two 200-yard games this season, including 217 and five touchdowns in the win over Georgia Tech.

10. Can Kentucky hit the elusive 250-yard mark against Georgia?
Kentucky’s offense has been beyond bad over the last month. Forced to play with either a true freshman (Jalen Whitlow) or a senior who was buried on the depth chart at the beginning of the season (Morgan Newton) at quarterback, the Wildcats have failed to gain more than 250 yards in any of their four SEC games. In fact, UK ranks last in the nation in total offense in league games, averaging 215.0 yards in SEC play. This week, Whitlow will get the start against a Georgia team that is eager to get back on the field after having a bye last week. The Bulldogs have a ton of talent on defense but gave up a total of 79 points in their last two games — a win vs. Tennessee and a loss at South Carolina. Yards figure to be very difficult to come by for the Wildcats.

@AthlonMitch

Week 8 SEC Predictions

Week 8 SEC Games David Fox Braden Gall Steven Lassan Mitch Light

LSU (-3.5) at Texas A&M

Texas A&M 28-24 LSU 24-21

LSU 27-20

LSU 27-20
Auburn (+7) at Vanderbilt Vanderbilt 17-7 Vanderbilt 34-24

Vanderbilt 24-20

Vanderbilt 27-20

South Carolina (+3) at Florida

South Carolina 24-17 Florida 20-17

Florida 20-17

Florida 21-20

Alabama (-18) at Tennessee

Alabama 38-14 Alabama 38-14

Alabama 38-13

Alabama 33-17

Georgia (-27.5) at Kentucky

Georgia 41-10 Georgia 45-17

Georgia 45-10

Georgia 41-7

Middle Tennessee (+19) at Mississippi State

Miss. State 35-7 Miss. State 30-20

Miss. State 38-14

Miss. State 34-20
Last week 6-1 6-1 6-1 5-2
Season 52-12 54-10 54-10 52-12


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Teaser:
<p> The Week 8 shedule in the SEC his highlighted by South Carolina's trip to Gainesville to battle Florida, but the Texas A&amp;M-LSU showdown in College Station will be fun to watch as well. Can the Tigers' defense slow down Johnny Manzeil? Stay tuned.</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 06:03
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Body:

Here’s the good news for the Big East for the second half of the season: The league has three nationally ranked, undefeated teams in Louisville, Rutgers and Cincinnati who will all face each other in the final month. For a conference struggling for national relevance, this round robin will be a breath of fresh air.

Here’s the bad news: With apologies to Temple, those three are about all there is in this top-heavy league. Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and USF all have losing records and are facing must-win situations in the coming weeks if any are going to reach the postseason.

Other Week 8 Previews and Predictions

ACC | Big 12 | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC

Big East’s top Storylines to Watch in Week 8:

How will Cincinnati’s defense handle the Toledo passing game?

Butch Jones wasn’t completely pleased with his defense after the 49-17 win over Fordham. That’s probably because he knew of the test coming up against Toledo, which may have the best passing game Cincinnati has seen so far this season. Since a season-opening loss at Arizona, the Rockets have completed at least 60 percent of their passes in each game while totaling 1,802 yards in the last six games. Cincinnati gets veteran safety Drew Frey back from injury, so that should boost a unit looking to gain momentum before a critical matchup against Louisville and Teddy Bridgewater in two weeks.

Will Charlie Strong’s fire-and-brimstone pep talk last into another week?
The Louisville coach lit into his team at halftime last week against Pittsburgh, leading to a 21-0 explosion in the third quarter. The Cardinals still allowed Pittsburgh to tack on two fourth-quarter touchdowns for a 45-35 final score, but Strong knew his team needed a kick in the pants. Louisville hasn’t had a beginning-to-end consistent effort since a win over Missouri State in the second week of the season. With Rutgers and Cincinnati challenging for the Big East title, that needs to change in a hurry. Will the intensity level carry over against struggling USF?

Will Temple be the first team to crack the Rutgers run defense?
Rutgers is second only to Alabama in run defense, allowing 60.8 yards per game on the ground. Temple is as good a candidate as any to test the Scarlet Knights’ front seven. The Owls have rushed for 418 yards and five touchdowns in their 2-0 start in the Big East. Montel Harris ran for 142 yards and a touchdown against Connecticut, the league’s No. 2 run defense. Adding to the test for Rutgers’ defense could be the return of Temple’s 1B running back Matt Brown, who is day-to-day with an ankle injury.

Is it time to start considering Khaseem Greene for national awards?
Any Big East player is going to fight an uphill battle to pry national defensive awards away from Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o or a handful of players from the SEC, but Greene is making a case to be a finalist for the Nagurski, Bednarik and Lombardi awards. A week ago, Greene had a singular defensive performance last week with 14 tackles, 1.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception against Syracuse. He’ll have another chance to shine against the Temple run game.

Who comes up with a victory in a must-win game in the Pasqualoni Bowl?
Paul Pasqualoni will coach his first game in the Carrier Dome since he was ushered out of the Syracuse job in 2004. Those were better days for both Syracuse and Pasqauloni, who won 107 games with the Orange from 1991-2004. Any nostalgia will need to be pushed aside of either Syracuse (2-4) or Connecticut (3-4) are going to save their seasons. The two teams have opposite problems -- Syracuse with its Big East-leading pass game but struggling run game and defense and UConn with its stifling run defense and and offense that’s as bad as it’s been since the Huskies moved up to FBS. Of the league’s bottom four teams, Pittsburgh’s second-half schedule is the most friendly to a bowl trip. If the Panthers defeat Buffalo this week, then Temple, Connecticut and USF, they’ll be at six wins without needing an upset over Notre Dame or Rutgers.

How will Paul Chryst juggle his running backs?
With a backfield of Ray Graham and Rushel Shell, it seems a crime for Pittsburgh to be 85th in the nation in rushing. But Pitt is finally getting the two of them healthy at the same time. Buffalo this week could give Pitt a chance to give both plenty of work. Chryst has worked with productive running back tandems over his time at Wisconsin, but it remains interesting how he’s going to rotate the veteran Graham with the freshman Shell over the second half of the season.

Does USF have anything in the tank for Louisville?
Things are looking bleak for USF after a four-game losing streak, which has included losses to Ball State and Temple. The Bulls rank no better than third in the Big East in any major category and rank last in scoring defense and rush defense. The struggles on both sides of the ball prompted Skip Holtz to shuffle his depth chart during the off week, but it remains to be seen if it will have ay major impact one the road against Louisville. After this week, USF has home games against Syracuse and Connecticut. Holtz may need to start picking up wins or see the coaching staff shuffled.

Week 8 Big East Predictions:

Week 8 Big East Games David Fox Braden Gall Steven Lassan Mitch Light
Connecticut at Syracuse (-4.5) Syracuse 21-14 Syracuse 17-14 Syracuse 24-20 Syracuse 23-20
Rutgers (-5.5) at Temple Rutgers 27-13 Rutgers 24-14 Rutgers 27-13 Rutgers 21-14
USF at Louisville (-6.5) Louisville 38-17 Louisville 31-20 Louisville 31-20 Louisville 30-20
Pittsburgh (-11) at Buffalo Pittsburgh 21-10 Pittsburgh 31-20 Pittsburgh 34-13 Pittsburgh 31-7
Cincinnati (-6.5) at Toledo Cincinnati 42-38 Cincinnati 34-27 Cincinnati 34-31 Cincinnati 41-20
Last week 3-1 3-1 3-1 3-1
Overall 28-11 27-12 25-14 26-13

by David Fox

@DavidFox615

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Top Heisman Trophy Contenders After Week 7

Teaser:
<p> Big East Week 8 Preview and Predictions</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 06:01
Path: /college-football/college-football-week-8-upset-predictions
Body:

Week 8 of the college football season features a handful of intriguing top 25 matchups, including South Carolina-Florida and West Virginia-Kansas State. While those games will grab the national headlines, Athlon's editors give a look at the top upset picks to watch this Saturday.

College Football's Week 8 Upset Picks

Dave Bartoo (@CFBMatrix), CFBMatrix.comMaryland +3.5 vs. NC State
In a week in which my March game picks matched all but 4 FBS Vegas favorites, it is slim pickings for any CFBMatrix upset alerts. This should be a very close game.  Coach O’Brien of NC State is strong after week 7 of each college football season and their talent is equal to that of Maryland. The Terps are struggling for consistency but the key will be the home field.  When you look at the numbers for both teams home and away the average score is 23-22 in 2012.  Maryland covers and wins by one.

David Fox (@DavidFox615): Northwestern (+6) over Nebraska
I have no doubt Nebraska will be motivated to avenge last season’s loss at home to Northwestern. The question, though, is if motivation will matter against the Northwestern offense. The matchup of Kain Colter and Venric Mark against the Cornhuskers defense remains a mismatch, despite the Wildcats sputtering last week against Minnesota. Nebraska’s defense can’t seem to stop the run and Nebraska is still struggling in the turnover department (minus-7 since the Southern Miss opener). Seems to be a recipe for another Northwestern upset.

Braden Gall (@BradenGall): Penn State (+3) at Iowa
The Hawkeyes defense has played well of late. But that was against a back-up quarterback in Minnesota's Max Shortell and Michigan State's scuffling Andrew Maxwell. I can't believe I am saying this, but Matt McGloin is the best passer of the football in the Big Ten and Iowa's defense hasn't seen one like him all season. He is taking care of the football, getting his power running game involved and letting Michael Mauti and the defense do the rest. Penn State, under Bill O'Brien, has been reenergized and is the better team. I will take the Nittany Lions to win the battle of the Big Ten unbeatens on the road. 

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven): Penn State (+3) over Iowa
Even though the Hawkeyes are coming off a huge road victory against Michigan State, I am surprised to see them favored over Penn State. The Nittany Lions have lost four in a row in Iowa City but won last season’s meeting 13-3 in Happy Valley. Penn State’s defense ranks 15th nationally, allowing just 16 points a game. Iowa has struggled to find consistency on offense all year and surprisingly, quarterback James Vandenberg has thrown only two touchdowns and has failed to top 200 yards in back-to-back games. The Hawkeyes got a spark from walk-on Mark Weisman at running back, but the sophomore is questionable to play with an ankle injury. It’s a huge concern for Iowa if Weisman cannot go, especially with Damon Bullock out with a concussion. The Hawkeyes own one of the Big Ten’s stingiest defenses but will be tested by a Penn State passing offense averaging 251.8 yards per game. Both teams have a solid defense, but the Nittany Lions are better on offense, which will be the difference in a low-scoring game.  

Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch): Washington (+7.5) at Arizona
Washington has faced arguably the most difficult schedule in the nation to date. The Huskies have played teams ranked third (Oregon), sixth (LSU), 10th (USC) and 20th (Stanford) in the initial BCS standings. They are 1–3 in those games, with the one win coming vs. Stanford. This is not a bad team, despite its rather ordinary 3–3 overall record. Arizona got off to a 3–0 start under new coach Rich Rodriguez but has since lost three straight, all in league play. The Wildcats, too, have faced a tough slate, with Pac-12 games against Oregon (No. 3), Oregon State (No. 8) and Stanford (No. 20). One of those losses, vs. Oregon State, came by three points; another, vs. Stanford, went to overtime. Arizona is also 3–3, and like Washington, not a bad team. So which “not bad” 3–3 team is better? Well, the home-standing Wildcats are favored by more than a touchdown, and that seems a bit high. Washington 27-21  

Mark Ross: Eastern Michigan (+3.5) over Army
Yes, Eastern Michigan is still searching for its first win, but Army only has one, a three-point home victory over a Boston College team that will be under new leadership next season, if not sooner. So it's not exactly like the Eagles, who are playing at home, are going up against a Black Knight juggernaut here. Granted, Army is No. 1 in the nation in rushing (385.32 ypg), while Eastern Michigan is dead last when it comes to stopping the run (296.8 ypg), but the Knights are giving up close to 240 (114th) on the ground themselves. The Eagles also are coming off of their best performance yet, as they collected 624 yards of total offense in a 52-47 loss to Toledo last week. They piled up more than 300 yards both rushing and passing, by far their best offensive effort of the season, and the five points were their closest margin of defeat yet. It may not be pretty, but a win is a win, and that's exactly what Ron English and his team will finally get this Saturday.  

Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman): Washington (+7.5) at Arizona
This upset seems pretty unlikely at first glance, but the struggling Huskies have played one of the most difficult schedules in the nation at the halfway point of the season. Washington quarterback Keith Price has not been the same behind a banged-up offensive line, but playing the likes of LSU, Stanford, Oregon and USC can make many players struggle. I think Price and running back Bishop Sankey will be able to move the ball against a porous Arizona defense and stay in this road game. Arizona signal caller Matt Scott has flourished under Rich Rodriguez, but the Wildcats have dropped three in a row — albeit to a trio of quality opponents. The Wildcats had a bye week to fix their defense and prepare for a much-improved Huskies defensive unit, and both teams need this win badly to build momentum in the latter half of the Pac-12 campaign. I’ll take the better defense of Washington to shock Arizona in Tucson.

Related College Football Content

ACC Week 8 Preview and Predictions
Big East Week 8 Preview and Predictions

Big Ten Week 8 Preview and Predictions

Big 12 Week 8 Preview and Predictions

Pac-12 Week 8 Preview and Predictions

SEC Week 8 Preview and Predictions

Teaser:
<p> College Football Week 8 Upset Predictions</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 06:00
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-positional-rankings-week-7
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any website can give you.

2012 NFL Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 7 Start or Sit

Week 7 Waiver Wire

Note: Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego are all on bye this week.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

DEFENSIVE SCORING
0 points allowed = 12 points
1-6 points allowed = 10 points
7-13 points allowed = 8 pts
14-20 points allowed = 6 points
21-27 points allowed = 2 pts
28+ points allowed = 0 points
Safeties = 2 points
Fumbles recovered = 2 points
Interceptions = 2 points
Sacks = 1 point
Defensive/Special Teams TDs = 6 points

KICKER SCORING
PATs = 1 point
39 yards and under = 3 points
40-49 yards = 4 points
50-59 yards = 5 points
60+ yards = 6 points

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Positional Rankings: Week 7</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 06:00
Path: /college-basketball/10-college-basketball-players-returning-injury
Body:

A season can be changed by an injury. In the same way, 10 teams are hoping a key player returning from injury will change their fortunes for 2012-13.

Among those players returning from injury include a forward with All-American potential at Minnesota, a key veteran at rebuilding North Carolina, and explosive guard at USC and former starters at three SEC schools.

Related content:
Top 10 Freshmen for 2012-13

Impact Transfers for 2012-13
Coaches on the Hot Seat for 2012-13


10 PLAYERS BACK FROM INJURY
Laurence Bowers, F, Missouri

Bowers’ knee injury last October was thought to be a crippling blow to a Missouri team that lacked size in ’11-12. The Tigers, however, thrived playing small ball and went on to win 30 games in Frank Haith’s first season. Still, Mizzou will welcome back the 6-8, 227-pound senior, who averaged 11.6 points and 6.1 rebounds two years ago.

Michael Davenport, G, St. Bonaventure
Davenport started 31 games as a junior in 2010-11, averaging 11.1 points while shooting 37.1 percent from 3-point range. He missed all but the first eight games of the ’11-12 campaign with a shoulder injury. The 6-5 senior from Cincinnati will be one of the Bonnies’ primary offensive options this season.

Jio Fontan, G, USC
The Trojans’ hopes to be relevant in the Pac-12 took a hit last year when Fontan went down with a torn ACL during a summer tour through South America. The transfer from Fordham averaged 10.5 points and 3.9 assists in 2010-11, his first season at USC.

Trevor Mbakwe, F, Minnesota
The skilled power forward was on his way to a terrific senior season (14.0 ppg, 9.1 rpg) before tearing his ACL after seven games. Mbakwe was granted an extra season of eligibility by the NCAA and will return to anchor the Gophers’ frontcourt. His return, however, is a complete guarantee as Mbakwe could face jail time after a DUI conviction was a violation of his probation.

Leslie McDonald, G, North Carolina
The former McDonald’s All-American missed all of his junior season with a torn ACL. He has averaged 5.2 points in 13.1 minutes while shooting a disappointing 35.6 percent from the field. McDonald, however, will be expected to play a big role on the ’12-13 Tar Heels. Fellow guard Dexter Strickland also returns to the UNC lineup after missing the final 19 games with a torn ACL.

Marshawn Powell, F, Arkansas
Powell emerged as one of the best big men in the SEC as a freshman in ’09-10 but has had to battle injuries over the past two seasons. He played in 28 games as a sophomore in ’10-11 but his production was down due in part to a slow recovery from a broken foot. Last year, he missed all but two games after going down with a knee injury.

Scootie Randall, G, Temple
Randall averaged 10.7 points and 4.7 rebounds two years ago but was sidelined with a knee injury in ’11-12. He will play a major role in a Temple backcourt that must replace Juan Fernandez and Ramone Moore.

Kourtney Roberson, F, Texas A&M
An ankle injury limited Roberson to only nine games last season. The 6-9, 240-pound power forward averaged 5.6 points and 3.8 boards in only 12.7 minutes as a freshman two years ago. He could be a double-digit rebounder for the Aggies in 2012-12.

Terrance Shannon, F, Florida State
Shannon, a bullish power forward, was off to a solid last season (8.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg through seven games) before going down with a shoulder injury. With Bernard James and Xavier Gibson no longer around, Shannon will be asked to make significant contributions on a Florida State club that should be in the hunt for an ACC title.

Scott Suggs, G, Washington
Suggs, who missed last season with a broken foot, will give the Huskies a much-need 3-point threat on the perimeter. The 6-6 senior averaged 7.4 points and shot 45.0 percent from the beyond arc two years ago.

@AthlonSports

More previews for the 2012-13 season can be found in the Athlon Sports College Basketball annual available in the online store

Athlon College Basketball Countdown:
1. Indiana
2. Louisville

3. Kentucky

4. Kansas
5. Syracuse
6. Michigan
7. Arizona
8. Ohio State
9. Duke
10. Michigan State
11. NC State
12. UCLA
13. UNLV
14. North Carolina
15. San Diego State
16. Missouri
17. Baylor
18. Memphis
19. Notre Dame
20. Florida

Teaser:
<p> 10 College Basketball Players Returning from Injury</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 05:58
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-quarterback-rankings-week-7
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego are all on bye this week.

2012 NFL Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings — Quarterbacks

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Aaron Rodgers GB at STL Rodgers in MVP form (338-6-0) against Texans.
2 Drew Brees NO at TB Bucs are No. 31 against pass.
3 Eli Manning NYG vs. WAS No TDs, 4 INTs, 2 Ls last season vs. Skins.
4 Robert Griffin III WAS at NYG Concussion? What concussion?
5 Tom Brady NE vs. NYJ Brady went 329-3-0 last time he faced Jets.
6 Ben Roethlisberger PIT at CIN Big Ben has 10 TDs just two INTs so far.
7 Cam Newton CAR vs. DAL Cowboys have given up 31 rushing yards to QBs.
8 Andrew Luck IND vs. CLE At home: 6 TDs, 2 INTs vs. 1, 5 in road games.
9 Tony Romo DAL at CAR Has three TDs, six INTs in last two games.
10 Matthew Stafford DET at CHI (Mon.) Bears allowing fewest fantasy points to QBs.
11 Matt Schaub HOU vs. BAL Threw two picks, sacked 3x vs. Packers.
12 Joe Flacco BAL at HOU Texans gouged by Rodgers (338, 6) last week.
13 Andy Dalton CIN vs. PIT Had 305 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs vs. Steelers in '11.
14 Carson Palmer OAK vs. JAC Has thrown only 6 TD passes so far.
15 Jay Cutler CHI vs. DET (Mon.) Only one TD in two games vs. Lions last season.
16 Josh Freeman TB vs. NO Coming off of huge game (328-3-1) vs. Chiefs.
17 Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF vs. TEN Titans 29th against pass, last in scoring D.
18 Christian Ponder MIN vs. ARI Four INTs in last two games, after none in first four.
19 Alex Smith SF vs. SEA (Thurs.) Giants' D gave him all sorts of problems (0 TDs, 3 INTs).
20 Matt Hasselbeck TEN at BUF Gets third straight, possibly final, start.
21 Brandon Weeden CLE at IND Needs to improve upon 7:10 TD:INT ratio.
22 Mark Sanchez NYJ at NE Only 82 yards, but 2 TDs and 0 TOs vs. Colts.
23 Sam Bradford STL vs. GB Had season-high 315 yards passing last week.
24 John Skelton ARI at MIN Skelton's turn again w/ Kolb out several weeks (ribs).
25 Blaine Gabbert JAC at OAK Interesting to see how he looks coming off of bye.
26 Russell Wilson SEA at SF (Thurs.) Don't expect repeat of last week vs. angry 49ers D.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 7 Positional Rankings

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 7 Waiver Wire

Week 7 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings: Week 7</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 05:56
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-running-back-rankings-week-7
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Atlanta, Denver, Miami, Kansas City, Philadelphia and San Diego are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings — Running Backs

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Arian Foster HOU vs. BAL Two short TDs salvaged otherwise poor showing vs. Packers.
2 Ray Rice BAL at HOU Texans have yet to allow rushing TD to RB.
3 Maurice Jones-Drew JAC at OAK Looking to jumpstart Jags' offense coming off of bye.
4 Darren McFadden OAK vs. JAC Jaguars are ranked 30th in rush defense.
5 Adrian Peterson MIN vs. ARI AP held to just 79 yards last week against Redskins.
6 Trent Richardson CLE at IND Dealing with rib/cartilage issue, but expected to play.
7 Matt Forte CHI vs. DET (Mon.) Should be fresh and rested coming off of bye.
8 Ahmad Bradshaw NYG vs. WAS Followed up 200-yard game with 116-yard effort vs. 49ers.
9 Alfred Morris WAS at NYG Giants only gave up 62 yards rushing to SF RBs last week.
10 Doug Martin TB vs. NO Saints allowing most fantasy points to RBs.
11 Stevan Ridley NE vs. NYJ Couldn't get much going vs. Seahawks last week.
12 Marshawn Lynch SEA at SF (Thurs.) "Beast Mode" will be necessary vs. fired up 49ers.
13 Chris Johnson TEN at BUF Can't ask for better match-up, Bills are last in run defense.
14 Frank Gore SF vs. SEA (Thurs.) Had just 36 yards vs. Giants, 'Hawks will be another tough test.
15 C.J. Spiller BUF vs. TEN Made the most of his opportunities last week.
16 Felix Jones DAL at CAR Big opportunity with Murray sidelined (foot).
17 Darren Sproles NO at TB Always seems to do well against Bucs.
18 Steven Jackson STL vs. GB Keep an eye on workload split with Richardson.
19 Fred Jackson BUF vs. TEN Still getting most of the carries.
20 Shonn Greene NYJ at NE Broke out in a big way (161, 3) vs. Colts.
21 Mikel Leshoure DET at CHI (Mon.) In for tough test against Monsters of Midway.
22 Rashard Mendenhall PIT at CIN Dealing with Achilles issue, but expected to play.
23 BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN vs. PIT Could help himself and his team with big game vs. Steelers.
24 Alex Green GB at STL Fared pretty well in first career start.
25 William Powell ARI at MIN Took first step in establishing himself as lead back last week.
26 Jonathan Stewart CAR vs. DAL Cowboys have been somewhat susceptible to run.
27 DeAngelo Williams CAR vs. DAL Crowded backfield continues to limit touches, production.
28 Vick Ballard IND vs. CLE Had a total of 25 yards in first career start against Jets.
29 Pierre Thomas NO at TB Better option than Ingram because of receptions.
30 Daryl Richardson STL vs. GB Slowly moving towards equal split with SJax in Rams' backfield.
31 Montario Hardesty CLE at IND Workload will depend on Richardson's playing status.
32 Ben Tate HOU vs. BAL Could be flex option given Ravens' issues with run defense.
33 Isaac Redman PIT at CIN Dealing with ankle issue, keep eye on updates throughout week.
34 Michael Bush CHI vs. DET (Mon.) Has taken backseat since Forte's return.
35 LeGarrette Blount TB vs. NO Slowly developing into viable red zone back, possibly more.
36 Phillip Tanner DAL at CAR Should backup Jones, had 31 yards in 2nd half vs. Ravens.
37 Danny Woodhead NE vs. NYJ Has replaced Bolden as Pats' second option at RB.
38 Kendall Hunter SF vs. SEA (Thurs.)  
39 LaRod Stephens-Howling ARI at MIN Won't be long before Powell officially passes him on depth chart.
40 David Wilson NYG vs. WAS Has put together back-to-back strong showings.
41 Mark Ingram NO at TB Basically a one-trick pony and not get many carries at that.
42 Brandon Bolden NE vs. NYJ His touches continue to decline.
43 Mike Goodson OAK vs. JAC Has reasserted himself as McFadden's backup.
44 James Starks GB at STL Injuries and Green's emergence have made him almost irrelevant.
45 Jamie Harper TEN at BUF  
46 Cedric Peerman CIN vs. PIT Led team with 8 catches last week.
47 Robert Turbin SEA at SF (Thurs.)  
48 Baron Batch PIT at CIN Role will depend on Mendenhall's, Redman's status.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 7 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 7 Waiver Wire

Week 7 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings: Week 7</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 05:51
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-wide-receiver-rankings-week-7
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings — Wide Receivers

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 A.J. Green CIN vs. PIT Leads NFL in yards, tied for 2nd in TD catches with 6.
2 Calvin Johnson DET at CHI (Mon.) Second in ypg, 4th in catches, but only one TD so far.
3 Percy Harvin MIN vs. ARI Leads league in receptions with 49.
4 Victor Cruz NYG vs. WAS Tied for second with Green in touchdown catches.
5 Brandon Marshall CHI vs. DET (Mon.) Put up 8-138-1 vs. Cowboys on MNF in Week 4.
6 Larry Fitzgerald ARI at MIN Hasn't made any big plays yet, longest catch is 37 yards.
7 Marques Colston NO at TB All four TDs have come in last two games.
8 Wes Welker NE vs. NYJ One of few bright spots for Pats' offense in Seattle.
9 Vincent Jackson TB vs. NO Has 10 catches, 166 yards and 3 TDs over last two games.
10 Reggie Wayne IND vs. CLE Jets held him to just 87 yards last week.
11 Mike Wallace PIT at CIN Just 21 catches so far, but 4 TDs.
12 Dez Bryant DAL at CAR Put up best numbers (13-95-2) in a while against Ravens.
13 Jordy Nelson GB at STL Posted second career 3-TD game vs. Houston.
14 Hakeem Nicks NYG vs. WAS Played for first time since Week 2, caught three passes.
15 Stevie Johnson BUF vs. TEN Has only 3 catches of 20+ yards.
16 Andre Johnson HOU vs. BAL His eight catches vs. Packers were most this season.
17 Steve Smith CAR vs. DAL Cowboys' secondary has been tough on WRs.
18 Miles Austin DAL at CAR Coming off just two catches for 31 yards vs. Ravens.
19 Antonio Brown PIT at CIN  
20 James Jones GB at STL Second in the NFL in touchdowns with 7.
21 Denarius Moore OAK vs. JAC Posted first 100-yard game since last season vs. Falcons.
22 Torrey Smith BAL at HOU Only four catches combined over past two weeks.
23 Anquan Boldin BAL at HOU Has been Ravens' main receiver past few weeks.
24 Kenny Britt TEN at BUF Scored first TD last week, may finally be over ankle issue.
25 Brandon Lloyd NE vs. NYJ Injured shoulder last week, probably want to monitor him.
26 Mike Williams TB vs. NO Caught 62-yard TD pass vs. Chiefs last week.
27 Michael Crabtree SF vs. SEA (Thurs.)  
28 Randall Cobb GB at STL Has carved out nice little niche in Packers' attack.
29 Lance Moore NO at TB  
30 Kendall Wright TEN at BUF Rookie becoming Hasselbeck's favorite target.
31 Jeremy Kerley NYJ at NE  
32 Brandon Gibson STL vs. GB Has replaced injured Amendola as Rams' top receiver.
33 Nate Washington TEN at BUF  
34 Domenik Hixon NYG vs. WAS  
35 Andre Roberts ARI at MIN  
36 Josh Gordon CLE at IND Three TDs last two weeks, doing it with big plays.
37 Andrew Hawkins CIN vs. PIT  
38 Nate Burleson DET at CHI (Mon.)  
39 Donnie Avery IND vs. CLE  
40 Sidney Rice SEA at SF (Thurs.) Connected with Wilson for game-winning TD vs. Pats.
41 Santana Moss WAS at NYG Has stepped up in Garcon's prolonged absence.
42 Darrius Heyward-Bey OAK vs. JAC Returned from concussion and contributed.
43 Brandon LaFell CAR vs. DAL  
44 Stephen Hill NYJ at NE Returned from hamstring injury and caught TD.
45 Devery Henderson NO at TB  
46 Mario Manningham SF vs. SEA (Thurs.)  
47 Chris Givens STL vs. GB Has shown he can make the big plays.
48 Justin Blackmon JAC at OAK Rookie slowly showing signs of progress, development.
49 Pierre Garcon WAS at NYG Foot injury just won't go away.
50 T.Y. Hilton IND vs. CLE  
51 Leonard Hankerson WAS at NYG  
52 Kevin Walter HOU vs. BAL  
53 Doug Baldwin SEA at SF (Thurs.) Hooked up with Wilson for TD last week vs. Patriots.
54 Titus Young DET at CHI (Mon.)  
55 Cecil Shorts JAC at OAK  
56 Devin Hester CHI vs. DET (Mon.)  
57 Kevin Ogletree DAL at CAR Hasn't done much of anything since huge Week 1 game.
58 Michael Jenknins MIN vs. ARI Stepped up in Jerome Simpson's absence last week.
59 Randy Moss SF vs. SEA (Thurs.)  
60 Donald Jones BUF vs. TEN  
61 Emmanuel Sanders PIT at CIN  
62 Greg Little CLE at IND  
63 Golden Tate SEA at SF (Thurs.)  
64 Greg Jennings GB at STL Groin injury will likely keep him out again this week.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 7 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 7 Waiver Wire

Week 7 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 7</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 05:50
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-tight-end-rankings-week-7
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego all are on bye.

2012 NFL Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings — Tight Ends

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Vernon Davis SF vs. SEA (Thurs.) Davis No. 2 among TEs in fantasy scoring.
2 Rob Gronkowski NE vs. NYJ Gronk contributing, just not putting up huge numbers.
3 Jimmy Graham NO at TB Is Week 5 ankle injury still an issue?
4 Owen Daniels HOU vs. BAL Played a key role in Texans' passing game so far.
5 Kyle Rudolph MIN vs. ARI Rookie leads his position with 5 TDs.
6 Aaron Hernandez NE vs. NYJ Returned and caught TD pass last week.
7 Jason Witten DAL at CAR Back among top 15 after slow start.
8 Heath Miller PIT at CIN Remains one of Big Ben's favorite targets.
9 Scott Chandler BUF vs. TEN Titans giving up most fantasy points to TEs.
10 Brandon Pettigrew DET at CHI (Mon.) Bears have struggled some with defending TEs.
11 Jermaine Gresham CIN vs. PIT  
12 Jared Cook TEN at BUF  
13 Greg Olsen CAR vs. DAL  
14 Martellus Bennett NYG vs. WAS Played through knee issue last week.
15 Fred Davis WAS at NYG  
16 Jermichael Finley GB at STL Shoulder injury clearly affecting him.
17 Brandon Myers OAK vs. JAC Has 21 catches on season, but no TDs yet.
18 Dustin Keller NYJ at NE Should fare better in second game back from injury.
19 Dennis Pitta BAL at HOU Hasn't done that much since Week 3.
20 Coby Fleener IND vs. CLE Has more rec., yds. than teammate Allen, but no TDs.
21 Marcedes Lewis JAC at OAK  
22 Lance Kendricks STL vs. GB  
23 Dwayne Allen IND vs. CLE Tied for team lead with 2 TD catches.
24 Rob Housler ARI at MIN  
25 Benjamin Watson CLE at IND Teammate Jordan Cameron taking away targets.
26 Dallas Clark TB vs. NO

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 7 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 7 Waiver Wire

Week 7 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings: Week 7</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 05:46
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-kicker-rankings-week-7
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Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings — Kickers

Rk Player Team OPPONENT
1 Stephen Gostkowski NE vs. NYJ
2 Lawrence Tynes NYG vs. WAS
3 Blair Walsh MIN vs. ARI
4 David Akers SF vs. SEA (Thurs.)
5 Jason Hanson DET at CHI (Mon.)
6 Sebastian Janikowski OAK vs. JAC
7 Greg Zuerlein STL vs. GB
8 Phil Dawson CLE at IND
9 Robbie Gould CHI vs. DET (Mon.)
10 Mason Crosby GB at STL
11 Rob Bironas TEN at BUF
12 Garrett Hartley NO at TB
13 Justin Tucker BAL at HOU
14 Shayne Graham HOU vs. BAL
15 Dan Bailey DAL at CAR
16 Kai Forbath WAS at NYG

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

KICKER SCORING
PATs = 1 point
39 yards and under = 3 points
40-49 yards = 4 points
50-59 yards = 5 points
60+ yards = 6 points

Additional Week 7 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Week 7 Waiver Wire

Week 7 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Kicker Rankings: Week 7</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 05:45
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-defensespecial-teams-rankings-week-7
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings — Defense/Special Teams

Rk Player OPPONENT Notes
1 Chicago Bears vs. DET (Mon.) In just 5 games, has scored 29 more points than No. 2 DST
2 San Francisco 49ers vs. SEA (Thurs.) Should be plenty motivated after last week's performance.
3 Minnesota Vikings vs. ARI Vikings glad they won't be seeing RGIII again this week.
4 Houston Texans vs. BAL Another defense looking to put Week 6 behind them.
5 Seattle Seahawks at SF (Thurs.) Hawks' D did job at home against NE, SF road test on tap.
6 Arizona Cardinals at MIN Cardinals are No. 4 in league in scoring defense.
7 Green Bay Packers at STL Packers held Texans' vaunted rushing attack to 90 yards.
8 Pittsburgh Steelers at CIN Even w/o Polamalu, Steelers D is healthier than O.
9 New England Patriots vs. NYJ Patriots No. 6 in rush defense so far, Jets had 252 last week.
10 Baltimore Ravens at HOU Ravens' D will certainly miss Lewis, Webb.
11 Dallas Cowboys at CAR Cowboys' D hoping to contain Cam.
12 New York Giants vs. WAS Giants dominated 49ers, looking for repeat performance vs. RGIII.
13 Cincinnati Bengals vs. PIT Steelers' o-line, RBs are hurting.
14 Cleveland Browns at IND Browns already have 10 interceptions, Luck has 7.
15 Buffalo Bills vs. TEN Bills' D finally showed signs of life last week in Arizona.
16 Oakland Raiders vs. JAC Raiders have a total of 4 sacks so far.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

DEFENSIVE SCORING
0 points allowed = 12 points
1-6 points allowed = 10 points
7-13 points allowed = 8 pts
14-20 points allowed = 6 points
21-27 points allowed = 2 pts
28+ points allowed = 0 points
Safeties = 2 points
Fumbles recovered = 2 points
Interceptions = 2 points
Sacks = 1 point
Defensive/Special Teams TDs = 6 points

Additional Week 7 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers

Week 7 Waiver Wire

Week 7 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Defense/Special Teams Rankings: Week 7</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 05:44

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