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All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-quarterback-rankings-week-13
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.

2012 NFL Week 13 Fantasy Football Rankings — Quarterbacks

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Aaron Rodgers GB vs. MIN Has 19:3 TD:INT ratio in 9 games vs. Vikings.
2 Tom Brady NE at MIA Has 8 TDs, only 1 INT in last 4 games vs. Dolphins.
3 Peyton Manning DEN vs. TB Has thrown 13 TDs, 1 INT in 5 home games.
4 Drew Brees NO at ATL (Thurs.) Put up 298-3-1 in Week 10 win vs. Falcons.
5 Robert Griffin III WAS vs. NYG (Mon.) Has four TD passes in two straight games.
6 Matt Ryan ATL vs. NO (Thurs.) Season-high 411 yds. in Week 10 vs. Saints.
7 Matthew Stafford DET vs. IND Season-high 61 att., 441 yds. last week vs. Texans.
8 Cam Newton CAR at KC Can Superman do it two weeks in a row?
9 Tony Romo DAL vs. PHI Eagles: 13 TD passes allowed, 0 INTs over last 5.
10 Eli Manning NYG at WAS (Mon.) Three TDs vs. Packers, first since Week 7.
11 Andrew Luck IND at DET Has at least one INT in each of last three games.
12 Colin Kaepernick SF at STL Harbaugh sticking with "hot hand" vs. Rams.
13 Andy Dalton CIN at SD Has already eclipsed last season's 20 TD passes (23).
14 Matt Schaub HOU at TEN Titans allowing sixth-most fantasy points to QBs.
15 Carson Palmer OAK vs. CLE Season-low 146 yards passing against Bengals.
16 Josh Freeman TB at DEN First game w/o a TD pass last week vs. Falcons.
17 Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF vs. JAC Threw 12 TD passes in Weeks 1-4, 6 since.
18 Joe Flacco BAL vs. PIT Posted 164-0-0 in Week 11 win vs. Steelers.
19 Chad Henne JAC at BUF Has thrown for 651 yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT in last 2 G.
20 Philip Rivers SD vs. CIN Bengals: 1 TD pass allowed in past 3 games.
21 Jay Cutler CHI vs. SEA Returned from concussion, put up 188-1-1 in win.
22 Jake Locker TEN vs. HOU Injured shoulder in Week 4 loss to Texans.
23 Ryan Tannehill MIA vs. NE Patriots allowing fifth-most fantasy points to QBs.
24 Sam Bradford STL vs. SF Put up 275-2-0 in Week 10 tie with 49ers.
25 Christian Ponder MIN at GB Has just 5 TD passes in his last 5 games.
26 Russell Wilson SEA at CHI Bears' defense boasts 10:20 TD:INT ratio.

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 13 Positional Rankings

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 13 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings: Week 13</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 04:59
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-running-back-rankings-week-13
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.

2012 NFL Week 13 Fantasy Football Rankings — Running Backs

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Arian Foster HOU at TEN Has rushed for 100+ yards in every road game.
2 Adrian Peterson MIN at GB Rushed for 100+ yards and 5 TDs in last 5 games.
3 Trent Richardson CLE at OAK Averaging 26.5 carries, 101.8 yards over last 4.
4 Ray Rice BAL vs. PIT Held to just 40 yards rushing vs. Steelers in Week 11.
5 Doug Martin TB at DEN Only 63 total yards vs. Falcons, but 2 rushing TDs.
6 Jamaal Charles KC vs. CAR Panthers allowing fifth-most fantasy points to RBs.
7 C.J. Spiller BUF vs. JAC Jaguars are 29th against the run.
8 Frank Gore SF at STL Had 97 yards rushing, TD in Week 10 tie with Rams.
9 Alfred Morris WAS vs. NYG (Mon.) Rookie is fifth in the league in rushing (982 yds.).
10 Chris Johnson TEN vs. HOU His 141 yds. rushing in Week 4 are most HOU has allowed.
11 Marshawn Lynch SEA at CHI Bears have allowed 100-yd rusher in 3 of last 4 games.
12 Stevan Ridley NE at MIA Dolphins have given up only 3 rushing TDs to RBs.
13 Ahmad Bradshaw NYG at WAS (Mon.) With A. Brown out (leg), should see more carries.
14 Mikel Leshoure DET vs. IND Averaging less than 4 ypc, but has 5 TDs in last 4 games.
15 Ryan Mathews SD vs. CIN Only one TD on the season, averaging 4.1 ypc.
16 Bryce Brown PHI at DAL Exploded for Eagles' rookie record 178 yards on MNF.
17 Steven Jackson STL vs. SF Put up 101 yards, TD vs. 49ers in Week 10 tie.
18 Darren Sproles NO at ATL (Thurs.) Returned last week after missing three games.
19 BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN at SD Has posted back-to-back 100-yard games.
20 Marcel Reece OAK vs. CLE Should produce even if McFadden (ankle) returns.
21 Felix Jones DAL vs. PHI Will see fewer carries if Murray (foot) returns.
22 Knowshon Moreno DEN vs. TB Appears to be Broncos' lead back for time being.
23 Michael Turner ATL vs. NO (Thurs.) Had just 15 yards on 13 carries vs. Saints in Week 10.
24 Jonathan Dwyer PIT at BAL Named starter, had 55 yds. rushing last game vs. Ravens.
25 Beanie Wells ARI at NYJ Returned from IR and posted 17-48-2 vs. Rams.
26 Shonn Greene NYJ vs. ARI Averaging 13 carries over last 5 games, only 1 TD.
27 Michael Bush CHI vs. SEA Workload dependent upon Forte's (ankle) status.
28 Reggie Bush MIA vs. NE His 87 yds. rushing last week most since Week 2.
29 Rashad Jennings JAC at BUF Back as the starter with MJD still out, Parmele on IR.
30 DeAngelo Williams CAR at KC Should see more carries if Stewart (ankle) can't go.
31 Fred Jackson BUF vs. JAC Returned (concussion) last week, but only got 7 touches.
32 Darren McFadden OAK vs. CLE May return (ankle) this week after missing past 3 games.
33 Vick Ballard IND at DET Basically split carries with D. Brown last week.
34 Jacquizz Rodgers ATL vs. NO (Thurs.) Got 10 carries and first rushing TD last week vs. Bucs.
35 Daniel Thomas MIA vs. NE Gained 60 yards (6.7 ypc) w/ TD last week vs. SEA.
36 Bilal Powell NYJ vs. ARI Has 23 total carries and 3 TDs in last two games.
37 James Starks GB vs. MIN Got fewer carries (8 to 10) than A. Green last week.
38 Donald Brown IND at DET Basically split touches with Ballard last week.
39 Mark Ingram NO at ATL (Thurs.) Rushed for season-high 67 yds. vs. Falcons in Week 10.
40 David Wilson NYG at WAS (Mon.) Another opportunity with Brown (leg) out for season.
41 Isaac Redman PIT at BAL Has a combined three carries in last two games.
42 Brandon Jacobs SF at STL Expected to back up Gore with Hunter (ankle) on IR.
43 Chris Ivory NO at ATL (Thurs.) Has at least 7 carries in each of past 3 games.
44 Alex Green GB vs. MIN Got more carries (10 to 8) than Starks against Giants.
45 Joique Bell DET vs. IND Had 47 yds. on 5 carries (9.4) ypc and TD last week.
46 Rashard Mendenhall PIT at BAL Designated No. 3 RB on Steelers' depth chart.
47 Danny Woodhead NE at MIA Has just 3 carries, 5 rec. in last 3 games combined.
48 DeMarco Murray DAL vs. PHI Could return (foot) this week, monitor 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 13 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 13 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings: Week 13</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 04:58
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-wide-receiver-rankings-week-13
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.

2012 NFL Week 13 Fantasy Football Rankings — Wide Receivers

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Calvin Johnson DET vs. IND Megatron averaging 163.3 ypg, TD over last 3.
2 A.J. Green CIN at SD Saw nine-game TD streak come to end last week.
3 Demaryius Thomas DEN vs. TB Bucs allowing most fantasy points to WRs.
4 Andre Johnson HOU at TEN Third in league in receiving yards, but only 3 TDs.
5 Reggie Wayne IND at DET Leads league in receptions, 2nd in yards.
6 Roddy White ATL vs. NO (Thurs.) Went for 13-114 against Saints in Week 10.
7 Brandon Marshall CHI vs. SEA Put up 12-92 vs. Vikings with Cutler back.
8 Dez Bryant DAL vs. PHI Has 20 rec., 290 yds., 3 TDs in last two games.
9 Julio Jones ATL vs. NO (Thurs.) Season-high 147 yds vs. Bucs, despite ankle injury.
10 Victor Cruz NYG at WAS (Mon.) Put up 11-131-1 vs. Redskins in Week 7.
11 Wes Welker NE at MIA Has 75 rec, 981 yds, 4 TDs in 9 games vs. Dolphins.
12 Hakeem Nicks NYG at WAS (Mon.) Scored first TD since Week 2 against Packers.
13 Marques Colston NO vs. ATL (Thurs.) Falcons' secondary is seriously hurting.
14 Vincent Jackson TB at DEN Averaging 20.5 ypc, Broncos fifth against pass.
15 Randall Cobb GB vs. MIN Held to just 4-39 last week vs. Giants.
16 Eric Decker DEN vs. TB Bucs have given up most catches, yards to WRs.
17 Jordy Nelson GB vs. MIN Hauled in 61-yard TD vs. Giants.
18 Stevie Johnson BUF vs. JAC Posted first 100-yard game of season last week.
19 Cecil Shorts JAC at BUF Averaging 97 ypg w/ a TD over last 3 games.
20 Danario Alexander SD vs. CIN Sustained thigh injury late last week, watch status.
21 Denarius Moore OAK vs. CLE Just two catches in last two games combined.
22 Steve Smith CAR at KC No. 14 in league in yards, but only one TD.
23 Torrey Smith BAL vs. PIT Had just one catch against Steelers in Week 11.
24 Larry Fitzgerald ARI at NYJ Hard to trust Fitz b/c of Cardinals' QB issues.
25 Miles Austin DAL vs. PHI Injured hip vs. Redskins, expected to play Sunday.
26 Pierre Garcon WAS vs. NYG (Mon.) Looked pretty good (5-93-1) against Cowboys.
27 Justin Blackmon JAC at BUF Has had two productive games in a row.
28 Greg Jennings GB vs. MIN Expected to suit up for first time since Week 4.
29 Jeremy Maclin PHI at DAL Top target now that Jackson (ribs) is on IR.
30 Lance Moore NO at ATL Went for 7-91 against Falcons in Week 10.
31 Percy Harvin MIN at GB Status (ankle) uncertain, watch closely.
32 Malcom Floyd SD vs. CIN Not a lot of yards, but a TD in 3 of last 4 games.
33 Michael Crabtree SF at STL Has fared better with A. Smith under center.
34 Danny Amendola STL vs. SF Played sparingly b/c of foot injury, watch status.
35 Dwayne Bowe KC vs. CAR Played through injury, but limited b/c of QB.
36 Antonio Brown PIT at BAL Expected to return from ankle injury this week.
37 T.Y. Hilton IND at DET Three TDs on 9 catches in last two games.
38 Mike Wallace PIT at BAL Has 47 yards combined in his last three games.
39 Kenny Britt TEN vs. HOU Only 3 catches, but he did have a TD vs. Jaguars.
40 Brian Hartline MIA vs. NE No TDs in seven straight, targets declining too.
41 James Jones GB vs. MIN No receptions or targets vs. Giants last week.
42 Brandon Lloyd NE at MIA Is knee an issue? Only 12-116-0 in last 3 games.
43 Mike Williams TB at DEN Broncos have allowed only 8 TD catches to WRs.
44 Ryan Broyles DET vs. IND Has pretty much replaced T. Young as starter.
45 Darrius Heyward-Bey OAK vs. CLE No receptions or targets vs. Bengals last week.
46 Sidney Rice SEA at CHI No 100-yard game on season, but 6 TDs.
47 Brandon LaFell CAR at KC Has caught a TD pass in back-to-back games.
48 Davone Bess MIA vs. NE Patriots are 29th in passing defense.
49 Jeremy Kerley NYJ vs. ARI Tied season high with 7 rec. vs. Patriots.
50 Santana Moss WAS vs. NYG (Mon.) Has five touchdown catches in last five games.
51 Anquan Boldin BAL vs. PIT Went for 8-79 vs. Steelers in Week 11.
52 Brandon Stokley DEN vs. TB Season-high seven receptions against Chiefs.
53 Josh Gordon CLE at OAK Has 9 catches for 130 yards in last two games.
54 Nate Washington TEN vs. HOU Only one 100-yard game, 4 TDs this season.
55 Julian Edelman NE at MIA Has a TD catch in each of last 2 games.
56 Donnie Avery IND at DET Played despite getting concussion previous week.
57 Kendall Wright TEN vs. HOU Leads all rookies with 48 receptions.
58 Andre Roberts ARI at NYJ No TDs since Week 7, did put up 9-92 last week.
59 Jason Avant PHI at DAL Likely starter with Jackson (ribs) on IR.
60 Golden Tate SEA at CHI Bears have given up 6 TD receptions to WRs.
61 Chris Givens STL vs. SF Had best game (5-115-1) of season last week.
62 Emmanuel Sanders PIT at BAL Back to No. 3 with Brown's (ankle) return.
63 Leonard Hankerson WAS vs. NYG (Mon.) Had season-high 70 yards vs. Giants in Week 7.
64 Greg Little CLE at OAK Production has declined in each of last 3 games.

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 13 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 13 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 13</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 04:57
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-tight-end-rankings-week-13
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.

2012 NFL Week 13 Fantasy Football Rankings — Tight Ends

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Jimmy Graham NO at ATL (Thurs.) Put up 7-146-2 against Falcons in Week 10.
2 Tony Gonzalez ATL vs. NO (Thurs.) Went for 11-122-2 against Saints in Week 10.
3 Jason Witten DAL vs. PHI Second in NFL in receptions (82), only 1 TD.
4 Owen Daniels HOU at TEN Titans have given up 8 TD catches to TEs.
5 Aaron Hernandez NE at MIA Only 2 catches for 36 yds. in first game back.
6 Jermaine Gresham CIN at OAK Has 10 rec., 110 yds. and a TD in last two games.
7 Vernon Davis SF at STL Posted second game w/ no targets, receptions.
8 Antonio Gates SD vs. CIN Just two catches in each of last two games.
9 Brandon Pettigrew DET vs. IND Tied season high w/ 74 yards vs. Texans.
10 Greg Olsen CAR at KC Has at least 42 yards receiving in each of last 4.
11 Heath Miller PIT at BAL No touchdowns in four straight games.
12 Martellus Bennett NYG at WAS (Mon.) Redskins allowing fourth-most fantasy points to TEs.
13 Brandon Myers OAK vs. CLE Tied for 15th in league with 55 catches.
14 Jermichael Finley GB vs. MIN Has posted back-to-back solid efforts.
15 Dustin Keller NYJ vs. ARI Has 5+ receptions in three of last five games.
16 Jared Cook TEN vs. HOU Had season-high six catches vs. Jaguars last week.
17 Dallas Clark TB at DEN Broncos allowing second-most fantasy points to TEs.
18 Kyle Rudolph MIN at GB Got concussion last week, but should play Sunday.
19 Marcedes Lewis JAC at BUF Followed up 2-TD game with 4-56 last week.
20 Dennis Pitta BAL vs. PIT Has a TD reception in 2 of last 3 games.
21 Scott Chandler BUF vs. JAC Just four catches in last two games combined.
22 Brent Celek PHI at DAL Not been the same since Vick got hurt.
23 Jacob Tamme DEN vs. TB Touchdown last week was first since Week 1.
24 Dwayne Allen IND at DET Viable option as long as Fleener (shoulder) is out.
25 Rob Housler ARI at NYJ Season-high 8 catches, 82 yds. last week.
26 Logan Paulsen WAS vs. NYG (Mon.) Total of three catches in last two games combined.

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 13 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 13 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings: Week 13</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 04:56
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-kicker-rankings-week-13
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.

2012 NFL Week 13 Fantasy Football Rankings — Kickers

Rk Player Team OPPONENT
1 Lawrence Tynes NYG at WAS (Mon.)
2 Matt Bryant ATL vs. NO (Thurs.)
3 Stephen Gostkowski NE at MIA
4 Justin Tucker BAL vs. PIT
5 Sebastian Janikowski OAK vs. CLE
6 Jason Hanson DET vs. IND
7 Blair Walsh MIN at GB
8 Shayne Graham HOU at TEN
9 Dan Bailey DAL vs. PHI
10 Phil Dawson CLE at OAK
11 Connor Barth TB at DEN
12 Robbie Gould CHI vs. SEA
13 Adam Vinatieri IND at DET
14 Garrett Hartley NO at ATL (Thurs.)
15 Matt Prater DEN vs. TB
16 David Akers SF at STL

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 13 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Week 13 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Kicker Rankings: Week 13</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 04:55
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-defensespecial-teams-rankings-week-13
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.

2012 NFL Week 13 Fantasy Football Rankings — Defense/Special Teams

Rk Player OPPONENT Notes
1 San Francisco 49ers at STL Last two games: 11 sacks, 4 INTs, 2 defensive TDs, 28 PA.
2 Chicago Bears vs. SEA Lead all DSTs with 33 turnovers, 8 defensive TDs.
3 Houston Texans at TEN Posted 4 sacks, 3 TOs, 2 def. TDs in Week 4 vs. Titans.
4 New York Jets vs. ARI Cardinals have allowed 45 sacks, 4 defensive scores.
5 New England Patriots at MIA On a roll w/ 9 TOs, 5 def/special teams TDs in last 2 games.
6 Denver Broncos vs. TB Broncos 4th in total defense, 5th vs. pass, 9th vs. rush.
7 Seattle Seahawks at CHI Bears have allowed 35 sacks, turned ball over 20 times.
8 Baltimore Ravens vs. PIT Steelers had 8 TOs last week, still no Big Ben at QB.
9 Arizona Cardinals at NYJ Jets: 5 TOs, allowed Pats' DST to score 3 TDs last week.
10 Dallas Cowboys vs. PHI Eagles allowing second-most fantasy points to DSTs.
11 Cincinnati Bengals at SD Have at least 3 sacks, 1 TO in three straight games.
12 Pittsburgh Steelers at BAL Scored first DTD (INT returned for TD) last week.
13 Carolina Panthers at KC Chiefs have league-worst 32 turnovers.
14 Cleveland Browns at OAK Nine sacks, eight takeaways in last two games combined.
15 Green Bay Packers vs. MIN Managed just one sack, no TOs and 38 PA vs. Giants.
16 New York Giants at WAS (Mon.) Three sacks, 4 TOs, 23 PA in Week 7 win vs. Redskins.

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 13 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers

Week 13 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Defense/Special Teams Rankings: Week 13</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 04:54
Path: /college-football/louisville-cardinals-vs-rutgers-scarlet-knights-preview-and-prediction
Body:

When the Big East released its 2012 schedule, many circled the Nov. 29 date between Rutgers and Louisville as a matchup that could decide the conference title. And after 11 games and several twists and turns this season, it’s no surprise the Cardinals and Scarlet Knights meet with a trip to a BCS bowl on the line.

After opening this season 9-0, Louisville has been headed in the wrong direction with back-to-back losses. The Cardinals dropped a 45-26 matchup at Syracuse on Nov. 10 and lost 23-20 to Connecticut in three overtimes last Saturday. Rutgers relinquished full control of the Big East title after a 27-6 road loss at Pittsburgh last week, which was also its first defeat in conference play this year. The Scarlet Knights also lost to Kent State 35-23 in late October.

These two teams have played 11 times, with Rutgers holding a 7-4 edge in the series. Louisville has won the last two matchups but has lost four out of the five contests at Rutgers.

And a game preview about Rutgers-Louisville wouldn’t be complete without a mention about conference realignment. With both teams slated to leave the Big East in 2014, after next season’s matchup, who knows when these programs will meet again on the gridiron.

When the Louisville Cardinals have the ball:

The health of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is the biggest wildcard for Thursday night’s game. The sophomore suffered a broken wrist on his non-throwing hand and a sprained ankle in last week’s loss to Connecticut. Bridgewater is expected to play but is obviously less than 100 percent. The Cardinals will have to make some changes on offense, as Bridgewater will be unable to take snaps from center.

With Bridgewater battling injuries, Louisville’s supporting cast needs to step up. With Senorise Perry sidelined for the rest of the year with a torn ACL, Jeremy Wright will be the No. 1 back. However, Wright managed only 43 yards in last week’s loss to Connecticut and faces a Rutgers defense allowing just 110.7 rushing yards per game.

In addition to jumpstarting the rushing attack, Louisville’s offensive line can’t afford to allow many hits on Bridgewater. The Scarlet Knights are averaging just 1.6 sacks per game, but the Cardinals’ front five ranks sixth in the Big East in sacks allowed this year. 

If Bridgewater gets time to throw, he should have opportunities to make some plays against Rutgers’ secondary. The Scarlet Knights allowed 419 passing yards against Arkansas and 356 to Syracuse, which happened to be the best offenses this defense has faced this year.

With a receiving corps that features solid options like DeVante Parker, Eli Rogers, Damian Copeland and Andrell Smith, the Cardinals have a chance to throw for over 300 yards on Thursday night.

When the Rutgers Scarlet Knights have the ball

After scoring at least 20 points in seven out of its first nine games this year, Rutgers’ offense has been stuck in neutral the last two weeks. The Scarlet Knights managed just 10 points against Cincinnati and recorded only six points against Pittsburgh.

Despite the recent struggles, a matchup against Louisville’s defense could be what Rutgers’ offense needs to get back on track. The Cardinals rank seventh in the Big East in rush defense and fifth in total yards allowed. The Scarlet Knights are averaging only 341.4 yards per game, but the matchups favor opportunities for success.

Running backs Jawan Jamison and Savon Huggins have been a solid one-two punch this season, with Jamison leading the team with 1,004 yards. Considering Louisville’s struggles against the run, Jamison and Huggins should be able to find plenty of room on Thursday night.

Louisville leads the Big East in pass defense but has allowed 19 passing scores and opposing quarterbacks are completing nearly 60 percent of their passes (58.5 percent). Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova has not topped more than 186 passing yards over the last three weeks and has tossed at least one interception in each of his last five games. Although Nova hasn’t played well in recent weeks, the playmakers are in place for a bounce back performance. Brandon Coleman is a big-play target, averaging 15.2 yards per catch and scoring nine times this year. Mark Harrison, Tim Wright and tight end D.C. Jefferson are also reliable options in the passing game for Nova.

Final Analysis

With a Big East title on the line, expect both teams to have a little extra motivation for Thursday night’s game. Louisville has to prevent Bridgewater from taking too many hits, while finding ways to establish a ground attack that has been missing the last two weeks. Rutgers has the better defense, while its offense should be able to move the ball on the ground against the Cardinals’ front seven. The stats say Rutgers but here's a hunch Louisville snaps its two-game losing streak with a huge road victory.

Prediction: Louisville 24, Rutgers 20


Related College Football Content

Week 14 Big East Preview and Predictions
Post-Week 13 Heisman Contenders

Post-Week 13 Big East Power Rankings

Teaser:
<p> Louisville Cardinals vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights Preview and Prediction</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 04:49
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /golf/usga-ra-propose-anchoring-ban
Body:

Far Hills, NJ (Sports Network) - The United States Golf Association and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club announced on Wednesday a proposal to ban anchored strokes.

At the core of the issue are long putters and belly putters, which have been used by three of the past five major champions.

Under Wednesday's proposal, long putters and belly putters would not be banned, just the act of anchoring any club against a player's body during a shot.

Golf's ruling bodies noted that they will take comments from the golf industry over the next three months, with an expected final decision to come in spring 2013. If the proposal is upheld, the ban will go into effect with the next official update of the Rules of Golf in 2016.

"Throughout the 600-year history of golf, the essence of playing the game has been to grip the club with the hands and swing it freely at the ball," said USGA executive director Mike Davis. "The player's challenge is to control the movement of the entire club in striking the ball, and anchoring the club alters the nature of that challenge. Our conclusion is that the Rules of Golf should be amended to preserve the traditional character of the golf swing by eliminating the growing practice of anchoring the club."

Long putters and belly putters have been around for several decades, but their use has noticeably increased in recent years, prompting Wednesday's proposal.

"Anchored strokes have very rapidly become the preferred option for a growing number of players and this has caused us to review these strokes and their impact on the game," said R&A's chief executive Peter Dawson.

Here is the proposed change, which will be listed under Rule 14-1b:

"In making a stroke, the player must not anchor the club, either 'directly' or by use of an 'anchor point.'

"Note 1: The club is anchored 'directly' when the player intentionally holds the club or a gripping hand in contact with any part of his body, except that the player may hold the club or a gripping hand against a hand or forearm.

"Note 2: An 'anchor point' exists when the player intentionally holds a forearm in contact with any part of his body to establish a gripping hand as a stable point around which the other hand may swing the club."

While the change will not alter current equipment regulations, it will prohibit an integral part of the belly putter stroke -- anchoring.

Last year, Keegan Bradley won the PGA Championship, becoming the first major champion to use a belly putter. Webb Simpson used the club to capture the U.S. Open title in June and Ernie Els anchored his way to a British Open victory in July.

Bradley has been openly opposed to the rumored proposal, but he relented somewhat on Tuesday at the 14th annual World Challenge.

"You know, I'm not -- obviously not happy with the ruling, but I respect the USGA, and especially Mike Davis," said Bradley. "They make the rules, and I'll adjust appropriately. But I'm going to accept the challenge and hopefully do well when they do ban it."

Also on Tuesday, Simpson stated that he has been practicing with a short putter for "a couple years" in anticipation of a rules change.

Tiger Woods, the host of this week's World Challenge, is a proponent of the anchoring ban.

"I just believe that the art of putting is swinging the club and controlling nerves and having it as a fixed point, as I was saying all year, is something that's not in the traditions of the game," Woods said on Tuesday. "We swing all other 13 clubs. I think the putter should be the same. It should be a swinging motion throughout the entire bag."

Some of the game's organizations weighed in on Wednesday's ruling; generally taking a respectful wait-and-see approach.

Here are some excerpts:

PGA Tour:

"As with any rule change, we will go through our normal process of evaluating the potential impact this will have to all our constituents. It will be discussed at our next annual player meeting on January 22 in San Diego, and it is anticipated that it will be reviewed by our Policy Board during its March meeting. During this review process, we will provide periodic updates to our stakeholders."

PGA of America President Ted Bishop:

"The PGA has long supported the USGA in its role of establishing the Rules of Golf governing play and equipment. We have representation on the Rules of Golf Committee and we have tremendous respect for the USGA in regard to their critical role in writing and interpreting the Rules of Golf. As our mission is to grow the game, on behalf of our 27,000 men and women PGA Professionals, we are asking them to seriously consider the impact this proposed ban may have on people's enjoyment of the game and the overall growth of the game."

LPGA Chief Communications Officer Kraig Kann:

"The LPGA has consistently conducted our official events in accordance with the Rules of Golf as defined by the USGA and the R&A. We certainly respect golf's governing bodies and their long standing desire to protect and promote the best interests of the game. The proposed new Rule 14-1b prohibiting 'anchoring the club' in making a stroke is not yet final and the LPGA will wait with interest while the USGA and R&A consider further comments and suggestions from the golf community. In the meantime, we will continue to discuss this proposed change with our players and provide our input and thoughts directly to the USGA and R&A."

Like Simpson, many golfers -- from those in the professional ranks, to weekend enthusiasts, will be forced to reevaluate their putting strokes following Wednesday's landmark announcement.

Teaser:
The United States Golf Association and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club announced on Wednesday a proposal to ban anchored strokes.
Post date: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 23:00
Path: /nfl/10-worst-owners-sports-history
Body:

As long as sports have been played in organized leagues, there have been team owners who have disgraced their respective games. Scoundrels, cheapskates and spoiled brats have always found a way to rip defeat from the jaws of victory — none worse than these 10 worst owners in sports history.

1. Harry Frazee, Boston Red Sox (1916-1923)
The infamous Harry Frazee is the man who sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for $125,000 and started the 86-year “Curse of the Bambino.” Legend has it that Frazee used the ill-gotten gains to finance his Broadway play “No, No, Nanette.” After selling the “Sultan of the Swat” in 1919, the Red Sox did not have another winning season until 1935 and didn’t win another World Series title until 2004. Frazee bought one of baseball’s best teams — a club that won the World Series in 1912, 1915, 1916 and 1918 — then promptly sold its best player and ran the franchise into the ground.


2. Donald T. Sterling, Los Angeles Clippers (1981-present)
Notoriously racist slumlord Donald Sterling has an 874–1620 record (.350 winning percentage), with 28 non-winning seasons in his 31 years (prior to 2012-13) owning the Clippers. Despite just three winning campaigns (1992, 2006 and 2012), L.A.’s “other” NBA team has made the playoffs five times by default under Sterling. His many off-the-court indiscretions include paying the largest housing discrimination settlement involving apartment rentals in Justice Department history, being sued by Hall of Famer and longtime Clippers GM Elgin Baylor for age and racial discrimination, being sued for sexual harassment, and giving casual yet graphic testimony under oath regarding his preference for prostitutes.


3. Dan Snyder, Washington Redskins (1999-present)
Dave McKenna’s piece on Dan Snyder for the Washington City Paper
is a comprehensive breakdown, albeit two years old, of the Redskins owner and his greedy, manipulative, petty ways. Snyder’s list of terrible free-agent signings includes washed up overpaid former All-Pros like Jeff George, Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith and Albert Hayneworth. He’s also not afraid to hire a has-been or never-was to run the show, with Norv Turner (1999-2000), Terry Robiskie (2000), Marty Schottenheimer (2001), Steve Spurrier (2002-03), Joe Gibbs (2004-07), Jim Zorn (2008-09) and Mike Shanahan (2010-present) all coaching during Snyder’s reign.



4. Marge Schott, Cincinnati Reds (1984-1999)
Chain-smoking, slur-spewing Marge Schott was banned from MLB from 1996 until 1998 for her outspoken hate-speech against pretty much all races and orientations — except for Adolf Hitler; Schott made it known that she was a big fan of Hitler and the Nazi Party. The Reds did win the 1990 World Series, in one of the two playoff appearances Cincy made under Schott.



5. Charles Comiskey, Chicago White Sox (1901-1931)
Another historic swindler, Charles Comiskey planted the dishonest seeds for arguably the worst sports scandal in history. The 1919 World Series “Black Sox Scandal” has its roots in Comiskey scamming ace pitcher Eddie Cicotte out of a $10,000 bonus he was set to receive for winning 30 games. With Cicotte — who earned a $6,000 salary that season — sitting at 29 wins, Comiskey ordered manager Kid Gleason to bench Cicotte for his final five starts in order to avoid paying the bonus. According to the book Eight Men Out by Eliot Asinof, Cicotte resisted taking mob money to throw the World Series until being denied a chance to earn his bonus by Comiskey.


6. James Dolan, New York Knicks (1999-present)
The son of Cablevision founder Charles Dolan, little Jimmy was a wannabe rock star with a few drug, alcohol and anger issues before inheriting his way to being one of the worst owners in sports history — mismanaging both the NBA’s New York Knicks and NHL’s New York Rangers as the top dog at Madison Square Garden. Dolan stood by the equally incompetent Isiah Thomas for most of the 2000s, despite an ugly sexual harassment lawsuit involving Thomas and an extensive history of bad free-agent signings, terrible trades and the squandering of numerous high draft picks — usually as part of one of the aforementioned terrible trades. In 2005-06, the Knicks had the NBA’s second-worst record despite having the Association’s highest payroll. But at least Dolan has provided plenty of material for comedy-sportswriters.


7. Every NBA Owner in Charlotte History
The NBA in North Carolina makes sense in theory. The Tobacco Road hoops traditions of UNC, Duke, NC State and Wake Forest are strong. But the transition from college to the pros has never worked in the state that was first in flight. All three owners in Charlotte’s NBA history — with the expansion Hornets and Bobcats — have failed.

George Shinn, Charlotte Hornets (1987-2002)
Shinn was a Court TV fixture during his 1999 kidnapping and sexual assault trial before ripping the Hornets out of Charlotte and relocating the team to New Orleans in 2002.

Robert Johnson, Charlotte Bobcats (2004-2010)
The founder of BET and first black billionaire, “Bob” named an NBA team after himself — as in “Bob-cats” — before selling the club to “His Airness” in 2010.

Michael Jordan, Charlotte Bobcats (2010-present)
As painful as it is for longtime MJ fans to admit, the greatest basketball player of all-time has been one of the sport’s worst owners, as last season’s 7–59 record and record-low 10.6 winning percentage proved.


8. CBS, New York Yankees (1964-1972)
The Columbia Broadcasting System had a big eyeball on the Bronx Bombers’ worst stretch in franchise history. After winning 20 World Series titles before CBS bought the pinstripes in 1964 — including championships as recently as 1961 and 1962 — the Yanks only made the playoffs once (1964) under the watchful eye. The immediate failure included finishing second in the division for the first time in 40 years in 1965 and a last-place finish in the AL for the first time since 1912 in 1966. Luckily, CBS canceled their own show and sold the club to the “Boss,” George Steinbrenner, whose extended legacy includes seven World Series titles.


9. William Clay Ford Sr., Detroit Lions (1963-present)
The last living grandchild of automotive pioneer Henry Ford is possibly the least innovative owner ever. Ford’s lowlights include the only 0–16 season in NFL history in 2008, keeping Matt Millen as the club’s primary decision-maker for eight years despite a 31–97 record (.242 winning percentage) and absolutely no signs of improvement, and the national injustice of wasting the sheer genius of Barry Sanders, who may or may not have retired in his prime due to the leadership behind the wheel in Detroit.


10. Jeffrey Loria, Miami Marlins (2002-present)
Loria sold the Montreal Expos to MLB’s other 29 teams before turning around to buy the then-Florida Marlins in 2002. The Marlins won the World Series in 2003, then sold off the team — just like the Fish did after winning the World Series in 1997. Fair enough. But Loria’s latest budget cuts are shameful and inexcusable. After spending over $500 million in public money from taxpayers and the city of Miami in order to build Marlins Park, the Marlins pulled the bait and switch — trading away nearly every player of note on the roster. Shortstop Jose Reyes, starting pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, catcher John Buck and utility speedster Emilio Bonifacio were shipped to the Toronto Blue Jays in a pennies-on-the-dollar salary-dump trade.

Teaser:
<p> The 10 worst owners in sports history, including the Boston Red Sox's Harry Frazee, Los Angeles Clippers' Donald T. Sterling, Washington Redskins' Dan Snyder, Cincinnati Reds' Marge Schott, Chicago White Sox's Charles Comiskey, New York Knicks' James Dolan, Charlotte Bobcats' Michael Jordan, Detroit Lions' William Clay Ford Sr. and Miami Marlins' Jeffrey Loria.</p>
Post date: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 06:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Kentucky Wildcats, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/grading-kentucky-footballs-hire-coach-mark-stoops
Body:

Kentucky was the first BCS program to make a coaching change this year, and the Wildcats are the first team to hire a replacement. Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops landed his first head coaching gig, as he was hired as the replacement for Joker Phillips in Lexington.

Winning at Kentucky is no easy task. Although the Wildcats have an elite basketball program, the football team is just 101-146 since 1991. Kentucky has made five bowl games since 2006 but has never won more than eight games since a 9-3 season in 1985.

Needless to say, Kentucky is arguably one of the toughest BCS jobs in college football and ranks 13th out of 14 teams in the SEC in terms of desirability. Considering how tough it is to win big at Kentucky and the Wildcats' 2-10 record in 2012, Stoops has his work cut out for him over the next couple of seasons.
 

Positives

Strong defensive background
Considering Kentucky has never finished higher than 40th in total defense over the last five years, this is one area Stoops should be able to make an immediate impact. The Wildcats finished 13th in the SEC in scoring defense in 2012 and ranked 11th in yards allowed. This unit had a lot of youth stepping into key roles but also needs an infusion of talent. When Stoops arrived in Tallahassee in 2010, the Seminoles were coming off a horrendous season on defense. Florida State ranked 108th nationally in yards allowed and was giving up 30 points a game. However, the Seminoles made significant progress in Stoops’ first season, finishing 43rd in total defense and 30th in points allowed. And in 2011 and 2012, Florida State ranked in the top 10 in scoring and total defense. The competition is tougher in the SEC, but Stoops should be able to bring some immediate improvement to this unit.

Coaching history
With a brother (Bob) that has a national championship at Oklahoma and another brother (Mike) who served as a head coach for eight years at Arizona, Mark Stoops has plenty of good bloodlines in his family. In addition to being surrounded by two brothers with head coaching experience, Stoops has coached at South Florida, Wyoming, Houston, Miami, Arizona and Florida State, so he has plenty of experience from various parts of the country and has paid his dues on each stop on the coaching ladder.

Recruiting ties
For Kentucky to be successful in football, it has to be able to pull some talent from Ohio. And this is a big advantage for Stoops, as he was born in Youngstown and is still well-connected within the state. Also, after spending three years at Florida State and time with Miami and South Florida, Stoops should have developed plenty of recruiting connections within the state of Florida. If Kentucky is going to be successful, it needs a relentless recruiter and someone who can spark some interest in the program. Mission accomplished.
 

Negatives

Head coaching experience
Whether or not it’s overrated when it comes to hiring a replacement, a lack of head coaching experience has to be a concern. In other SEC hires, James Franklin and Dan Mullen had no previous head coaching experience but have turned out to be solid hires. However, there’s also the other side of the coin, which includes Kentucky’s last hire of Phillips and Ron Zook at Florida.

What offense will he run?
Although Stoops should be able to bolster Kentucky’s defense, it remains uncertain what time of offense he will run. Although the Wildcats should recruit well under Stoops, they need to do something unique on offense to compete in the SEC. Before a season-ending leg injury sidelined quarterback Maxwell Smith, Kentucky was on the right track with its pass-first offense. Whether it’s a pass-first approach or a spread offense, the Wildcats need to try something different and forget about a pro-style attack.

Building a coaching staff
In addition to finding the right fit as offensive coordinator, Stoops has to fill out a coaching staff for the first time in his career. If Kentucky makes the financial commitment to hiring good assistants, Stoops won’t have a problem building a solid staff of proven options. However, it’s never easy for a coach at his first job to piece together a staff, especially since he doesn’t have any ties to the SEC. It’s not a huge negative but something to watch as Stoops builds his coaching staff.
 

Final Analysis and Grade

Make no mistake: Kentucky isn’t an easy job. However, it seems the Wildcats made the right hire in picking up Stoops. The 45-year-old Ohio native is inheriting a roster that has some promising pieces on offense but needs a lot of work on the defensive side. Stoops is a high energy guy, which should help spark some interest in the fanbase and on the recruiting trail for Kentucky. The biggest question for the Wildcats will be picking an offensive scheme that’s a little outside of the box and not a pro-style approach. Although that type of offense could work at Kentucky, Stoops needs pick a coordinator that can build a run or pass-first approach. Don’t expect Stoops to be a miracle worker, but he should turn the Wildcats into a consistent bowl team.  

Grade: B-
 

Related College Football Content

SEC 2012 Recap and Awards
What Gene Chizik's New Book Should Be Called

Teaser:
<p> Grading Kentucky Football's Hire of Coach Mark Stoops</p>
Post date: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 05:47
Path: /college-football/heisman-comparison-johnny-manziel-vs-collin-klein
Body:

The 2012 Heisman winner will likely be debated and argued about for years to come. There are a half-a-dozen candidates any of whom would be extremely qualified to take home the stiff-armed trophy. The hodge-podge of contenders this year includes freshmen, defensive players, ineligible teams and a host of record-setting stars.

The most heated debate, however, appears to come between Kansas State’s Collin Klein and Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel. Both have been truly transcendent talents who have led their teams to unexpected seasons of greatness. Heisman beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder. Do voters value stats, wins, championships, level of competition, wow factor or even age? Ideally, all factors are considered when making a decision on who is the “Most Outstanding College Football Player” in 2012.

Related: Athlon Sports Heisman Trophy Voting: Week 13

So how do Manziel and Klein stack up against each other?

Note: Keep in mind Kansas State still has one game to play before the Heisman Trophy will be awarded.

Statistical Production:
Johnny Manziel leads the SEC in rushing as a quarterback at 98.4 yards per game. He leads the SEC in total offense at 383.3 yards per game. He also leads the SEC in scoring at 9.5 points per game. He owns the SEC’s total offense single-season (4,600 yards) and single-game (576 yards) records. Collin Klein was fifth in the Big 12 in rushing (71.5 ypg) and averaged more points per game (10.9 ppg) than Manziel.

  G Comp. Att. % Yards TD INT QB Rat Att. Yards TD Pts/Gm
Johnny Manziel 10-2 273 400 68.3 3,419 24 8 155.85 184 1,181 19 9.5
Collin Klein 10-1 172 258 66.7 2,306 14 6 155.00 171 787 20 10.9

Heisman Edge: Manziel

In-Conference Production:
Klein was masterful in Big 12 play for the second straight season. He has scored 16 of his 20 rushing touchdowns in league play, including huge road performances at West Virginia, Oklahoma, Iowa State and TCU. He avenged both losses to Oklahoma schools last fall with big showings against the Sooners and Cowboys. Manziel has been much more up and down in SEC play. He had a huge performance against Alabama and Mississippi State, struggled against Florida, LSU and somewhat against Ole Miss while torching bad teams like Arkansas, Auburn and Missouri. Manziel’s out-of-conference numbers are much more inflated than Klein’s. Of Manziel’s 43 total touchdowns, 22 came in four games against South Carolina State, Sam Houston State, SMU and Louisiana Tech. 

  G Comp. Att. % Yards TD INT QB Rat Att. Yards TD Pts/Gm
Johnny Manziel 6-2 200 284 70.4 2,289 11 6 146.67 128 698 10 7.5
Collin Klein 7-1 129 199 64.8 1,702 9 4 147.58 125 582 16 12.0

Heisman Edge: Tie

Level of Competition:
The SEC is better than the Big 12. At the top, in the middle and on defense, the SEC gets the nod over the Big 12. Manziel faced the No. 2, No. 4 and No. 7 teams in the nation as well as Mississippi State. But he went 2-2 in those games and gets plenty of credit for playing his first collegiate game against the Gators' defense despite his struggles and the loss. Klein has faced No. 11 and No. 23 and will face No. 18 Texas this weekend. His dominating performance over Miami (Fla.) deserves note, however, as the Canes won the ACC's Coastal Division this season.

Heisman Edge: Manziel

Offensive System:
Kevin Sumlin’s offense has been arguably the best passing attack to ever grace the college football gridiron. His Houston offense essentially owns every major passing NCAA record in the books. His Texas A&M offense ran 959 plays (11th nationally) for an average of 6.9 yards per play (5th nationally). Bill Snyder’s offense is totally different, ranking 120th nationally with only 712 plays. However, the Wildcats have been equally effective at 6.4 yards per play (19th nationally). Both offenses have produced at a similar rate all year, so that means Klein has produced his stats on 247 fewer offensive snaps. 

Heisman Edge: Klein

Supporting Cast:
This one is no contest. Manziel has an infinitely better supporting cast than Klein at Kansas State. Texas A&M has an average national team recruiting ranking of 20.3 over the last four classes and has finished no lower than 27th (2011) in the team rankings. Kansas State has an average national team ranking of 70.1 over the same span. The best class Manhattan has seen in four years was 2012’s 58th-rated class. With two potential first-round picks blocking for him, multiple five-star tailbacks, and a senior All-SEC wide receiver at his disposal, Manziel has by far the best supporting cast of the two. And it’s really not even close.

Heisman Edge: Klein

Highlight Moments:
Manziel is the more explosive player and had his Heisman moment by making clutch throws down the field in the road win over No. 1 Alabama. He finished with 253 yards passing and 92 yards rushing with two touchdowns and no interceptions. That said, it was a goal-line stand by the Aggies defense that ultimately won the game for Texas A&M. Manziel also struggled mightily against LSU at home, throwing three interceptions in a loss that actually cost Texas A&M a shot at a national championship. Klein has been equally clutch against big-time competition. He was dominant on the road against West Virginia and Oklahoma and at home against Oklahoma State and Miami. Much like Manziel, however, Klein also has one big wart on his resume with three interceptions in the loss to Baylor. Klein is more workmanlike where Manziel has had more eye-opening plays that make voters' jaws drop. 

Heisman Edge: Manziel

Team Success:
Kevin Sumlin could be the SEC Coach of the Year and the Aggies won 10 game in their first trip through the best league in America. Bill Snyder could be the national coach of the year and is one win away from winning the Big 12 championship. Should Kansas State defeat Texas this weekend, Klein will have led his team to the Big 12 championship and a BCS Bowl berth. And had there been a four-team playoff, his team would have a great case to be included in that mix. With two losses, A&M cannot make those claims. This, due in large part to Manziel’s three interceptions against LSU. If Kansas State loses to the Longhorns, this argument goes out the window for Klein. Think about this: Had Texas A&M beaten LSU, they would have won the West and would be facing Georgia in Atlanta for a trip to the National Championship. But Manziel had his worst game of the season: 29-of-56, 276 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT, 17 carries for 27 yards, 0 TD. Klein did the same against Baylor: 286 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT, 39 yards rushing, TD.

Heisman Edge: Klein

Off The Field Character:
This is a small factor but Klein is one of the most respected, most upstanding young people this game has ever seen. He is Tim Tebow off of the field as well as Tebow in the huddle and locker room. Manziel was arrested this summer for getting into a fight with a 47-year old man and carrying multiple false IDs. Is Manziel simply a young kid enjoying the trappings of young fame (SEE: Halloween pictures)? Of course, but Klein would never get into a fight with someone nearly 30 years older than himself.

Heisman Edge: Klein

Nickname:
“Johnny Football” versus “Optimus Klein.” I am sorry, but this one isn’t even close. Johnny Football is one of the lamest, most unimaginative nicknames I have ever heard. And as a kid who grew up loving the Transformers, my vote goes to Klein. This one is easy and heavily in favor of the Kansas State Wildcat. It's a good thing a nickname has absolutely nothing to do with the Heisman.

Heisman Edge: Klein

Not counting the nickname, the race to New York is as follows: Manziel gets the nod on statistical production, level of competition and wow factor in big moments. Klein gets the edge as a champion with much less talent around him with relatively equal production and a Golden Boy image off of the field. Even after analyzing every possible angle of the Klein vs. Manziel Heisman debate, there is no clear-cut winner. That is what makes this particular race for the most coveted trophy in sports the most intriguing in decades. 

And it's why Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o will win the 2012 Heisman Trophy.

Related: Klein, Manziel aren't only pieces of historic Heisman field

Teaser:
<p> Johnny Manziel vs. Collin Klein: Comparing the Heisman Contenders</p>
Post date: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 05:40
Path: /college-football/2012-heisman-trophy-contenders-post-week-13
Body:

Each week, the Athlon editors and others who closely follow college football vote on the most prestigious award in the sport. A 13-man conglomerate of college football gurus from Athlon Sports and other publications cast their votes for their top Heisman Trophy candidates. The votes will be tallied and the results will be posted as the Athlon Sports Heisman Watch List every week of the regular season.

Voting: Each first-place vote receives 10 points. A second-place vote receives nine points. So on and so forth with a 10th-place vote receiving one point. Here are Athlon's guest voters:

Barrett Sallee: Bleacher Report SEC Lead Writer (@BarrettSallee)
Jim Young: ACCSports.com (@ACCSports)
Blair Kerkhoff: Kansas City Star (@BlairKerkhoff)
Chris Level: RedRaiderSports.com (@ChrisLevel)

1. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M (8 first-place votes)
Stats: 273-400, 3,419 yards, 24 TD, 8 INT, 184 att., 1,181 yards, 19 TD
The record-setting quarterback did his usual work against Mizzou in the season finale. He threw for 372 yards, rushed for 67 and scored five total touchdowns in the Aggies' 10th win of the season. He led the SEC in rushing and total offense, setting SEC benchmarks for total yards in a season and total offense in a game (twice). Right or wrong, he will be knocked for his age, but it is hard to argue with his electric play this fall. 
Next Week: None

Related: Heisman Comparison: Johnny Manziel vs. Collin Klein

  Last Name Pos. Team Tot. Pts 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Ballots
1. (1) Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M 123/130 8 3 2 - - 13/13
2. (3) Manti Te'o LB Notre Dame 119/130 4 7 2 - - 13/13
3. (2) Collin Klein QB Kansas St 104/130 1 3 7 1 1 13/13
4. (4) Braxton Miller QB Ohio St 87/130 - - 1 8 3 13/13
5. (5) Marcus Mariota QB Oregon 54/130 - - - 2 4 10/13
6. (6) Marqise Lee WR USC 54/130 - - - 1 3 13/13
7. (9) Ka'Deem Carey QB Arizona 36/130 - - - - - 10/13
8. (7) Tajh Boyd QB Clemson 29/130 - - - - - 8/13
9. (8) Kenjon Barner RB Oregon 29/130 - - 1 - 1 8/13
10. (10) Jordan Lynch QB N. Illinois 20/130 - - - 1 1 6/13
11. (20) Tavon Austin WR W. Virginia 14/130 - - - - - 5/13
12. (11) Taylor Martinez QB Nebraska 12/130 - - - - - 4/13
13. (ur) Jadeveon Clowney DE S. Carolina 11/130 - - - - - 3/13
14t. (12) Giovani Bernard RB N. Carolina 4/130 - - - - - 2/13
14t. (14) AJ McCarron QB Alabama 4/130 - - - - - 3/13
14t. (16) Stepfan Taylor RB Stanford 4/130 - - - - - 1/13
17t. (ur) Landry Jones QB Oklahoma 3/130 - - - - - 2/13
17t. (19) Damontre Moore DL Texas A&M 3/130 - - - - - 1/13
19. (20) Barrett Jones OL Alabama 2/130 - - - - - 1/13
20. (15) Jarvis Jones LB Georgia 1/130 - - - - - 1/13

2. Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame (4 first-place votes)
Stats: 103 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 7 INT, 1.5 sack, FR, 4 PBU
Te'o is the consummate leader who has elevated a once-dormant program to an unbeaten season and berth in the National Championship game. He is the best defensive player in the nation and if he can't win this award, then it needs to be officially labeled an Offensive Trophy. He posted five tackles and his seventh interception of the season in the road win over USC. Next Week: None

3. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State (1 first-place vote)
Stats:
 172-258, 2,306 yards, 14 TD, 6 INT, 171 att., 787 yards, 20 TD
Klein was on bye last week and will face the Texas Longhorns this weekend with the Big 12 championship hanging in the balance. His only chance to win the Heisman will be to post big numbers in a big win over Texas to clinch a BCS bowl for a team predicted to finish sixth in the league. He is the only offensive player who has been as equally impressive as Manziel. A loss to Texas and he is out of the race. Next Week: Texas

4. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State
Stats: 
148-254, 2,039 yards, 15 TD, 6 INT, 227 att., 1,271 yards, 13 TD
Miller finished with an unbeaten season by defeating the hated Wolverines in exciting fashion. He completed 14-of-18 passes for 189 yards and rushed 20 times for 57 yards and scored one big touchdown. He finished his sophomore season fifth in the Big Ten in rushing, second in total offense and third in passing efficiency. He is an electric talent who is overlooked because of Ohio State's sanctions and will be on the preseason Heisman frontrunner list next summer. Next Week: None
 
5. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Stats: 
218-312, 2,511 yards, 30 TD, 6 INT, 98 att., 690 yards, 4 TD
The redshirt freshman capped his fantastic first year under center in a big way. He completed 17-of-24 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown with 85 yards rushing on eight carries and another score in the huge road win over rival Oregon State He finished as the league's most efficient passer and was fifth in total offense. Mariota is the best quarterback Oregon has had under Chip Kelly. Next Week: None

6. Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Stats: 112 rec., 1,680 yards, 14 TD, 28 KR, 802 yards, TD, 106 yards rushing 
Next Week: None

7. Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona
Stats: 275 att., 1,757 yards, 20 TD, 33 rec., 288 yards, TD
Next Week: None
 
8. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson
Stats: 251-377, 3,550 yards, 34 TD, 13 INT, 157 att., 492 yards, 9 TD
Next Week: None

9. Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon
Stats: 248 att., 1,624 yards, 21 TD, 19 rec., 232 yards, TD
Next Week: None

10. Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern Illinois
Stats: 203-319, 2,750 yards, 23 TD, 4 INT, 235 att., 1,611 yards, 16 TD
Next Week: Kent State (MAC Championship)

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Heisman Trophy Contenders: Post-Week 13</p>
Post date: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 05:00
Path: /nfl/2012-nfl-picks-every-game-week-13
Body:

NFL Week 13 previews and predictions for every game on the schedule:



Saints (5-6) at Falcons (10-1)
Atlanta’s Matt Ryan has a 2–7 career record against NFC South rival New Orleans, including a 31–27 defeat in Week 10. The Dirty Birds are on a four-game losing streak against the Saints, and haven’t beaten Drew Brees and Co. since a 27–24 victory on Sept. 26, 2010.
Falcons by 2


Seahawks (6-5) at Bears (8-3)
The Windy City is 15–5 with Smokin’ Jay Cutler starting and 0–6 without him in 2011 and ’12.
Bears by 6


Texans (10-1) at Titans (4-7)
Despite a 141-yard effort from Chris Johnson, Tennessee lost at Houston, 38–14, in Week 4.
Texans by 10


Patriots (8-3) at Dolphins (5-6)
Miami may need the sprinklers to come on again in order to cool off Touchdown Tom Brady — who has 15 total TDs and zero turnovers during New England’s five-game winning streak.
Patriots by 9


Jaguars (2-9) at Bills (4-7)
J-Ville boss Mike Mularkey returns to Buffalo, where he went 14–18 in two seasons as coach. Current coach Chan Gailey has a 14–29 record.
Bills by 4


Colts (7-4) at Lions (4-7)
Two of the last four No. 1 overall picks — Andrew Luck (2012) and Matthew Stafford (2009) — go head-to-head in a potential shootout.
Lions by 2


Panthers (3-8) at Chiefs (1-10)
Fantasy football players who didn’t already give up on Cam Newton may want to start him in K.C.
Panthers by 1


Vikings (6-5) at Packers (7-4)
Aaron Rodgers is 4–0 against Minnesota since losing to good buddy Brett Favre twice in 2009.
Packers by 6


49ers (8-2-1) at Rams (4-6-1)
A rematch of the 18th overtime tie in history, Week 10’s epic 24–24 NFC West stalemate.
49ers by 9


Cardinals (4-7) at Jets (4-7)
If Fireman Ed “could play linebacker, (Rex Ryan) would use him.” That’s not a good sign, coach.
Jets by 4


Buccaneers (6-5) at Broncos (8-3)
Peyton Manning is 4–1 at Mile High this season, losing only to the 10–1 Texans back in Week 3.
Broncos by 9


Steelers (6-5) at Ravens (9-2)
Seven of the last nine Steelers-Ravens games have been decided by exactly three points, including a 13–10 Baltimore win in Week 11.
Ravens by 6


Bengals (6-5) at Chargers (4-7)
The Freezer Bowl — the –37-degree 1981 AFC title game — won’t happen in sunny San Diego.
Chargers by 1


Browns (3-8) at Raiders (3-8)
The race to the bottom — or top of the NFL Draft as it were — starts with this brown-or-blackout.
Raiders by 3


Eagles (3-8) at Cowboys (5-6)
Philly owner Jeffrey Loria said 8–8 wouldn’t be good enough; it’s all but over for Andy Reid.
Cowboys by 6


Giants (7-4) at Redskins (5-6)
From “Bob” to “Sir,” RG3 earned the respect of Osi Umenyiora, who called Robert Griffin III the “best quarterback” the G-Men had played after a 27–23 New York win in Week 7.
Giants by 2


Last week: 11–5 // Season: 121–55
 

Teaser:
<p> NFL Week 13 previews and predictions for every game on the schedule, including New York Giants at Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams.</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 18:48
Path: /nfl/nfl-power-rankings-going-week-13
Body:

Athlon Sports' weekly rankings of NFL teams — from the best, one-loss Houston Texans, to the worst, the autograph-seeking one-win Kansas City Chiefs.

Here are our NFL Power Rankings following Week 12 of the season:



1. Texans (10-1) Schaub says Ndamukong Suh not “Texan-worthy.”

2. Falcons (10-1) Ryan leads fifth fourth-quarter winning drive of ’12.

3. 49ers (8-2-1) Healthy Alex Smith watches Colin Kaepernick win.

4. Ravens (9-2) Ray Rice 4th-and-29 conversion already legendary.

5. Giants (7-4) Martellus Bennett uses “Spidey-sense” to save fan.

6. Packers (7-4) Greg Jennings set to return from abdomen ailment.

7. Bears (8-3) Upset over Jared Allen blindside block of Lance Louis.

8. Patriots (8-3) Bill Belichick the eighth coach with 200 wins.

9. Broncos (8-3) Peyton Manning passes John Elway in all-time wins.

10. Colts (7-4) Cheerleaders shave heads to support Chuck Pagano.

11. Steelers (6-5) First-round pick David DeCastro returns from injury.

12. Bengals (6-5) Andrew Whitworth ejected after brawl with Raiders.

13. Seahawks (6-5) Ball-Hawks Sherman, Browner may face suspension.

14. Vikings (6-5) “It’s a big deal” Adrian Peterson missed team bus.

15. Buccaneers (6-5) Ronde Barber makes 210th straight start, 47th INT.

16. Saints (5-6) Marques Colston scores team record 56th TD in loss.

17. Redskins (5-6) RG3 compared to Cool Hand Luke by Mike Shanahan.



18. Cowboys (5-6) Tony Romo falls to 5–1 on Thanksgiving Thursdays.

19. Dolphins (5-6) Snap three-game slide with FG on game’s final play.

20. Chargers (4-7) Prevent defense prevents Bolts from stopping Rice.

21. Rams (4-6-1) Janoris Jenkins high-steps for two pick-sixes in win.

22. Panthers (3-8) Ron Rivera relieved after MNF win at Philadelphia.

23. Titans (4-7) OC Chris Palmer fired, replaced by Dowell Loggains.

24. Lions (4-7) Ndamukong Suh not suspended for Turkey Day kick.

25. Jets (4-7) Famed superfan Fireman Ed to hang up his helmet.

26. Bills (4-7) Chan Gailey, not Ryan Fitzpatrick, will be play-caller.

27. Cardinals (4-7) Rookie Ryan Lindley throws four INTs in first start.

28. Eagles (3-8) DeSean Jackson out for season with broken ribs.

29. Raiders (3-8) Carson Palmer endures painful return to Cincinnati.

30. Browns (3-8) Brandon Weeden status uncertain after concussion.

31. Jaguars (2-9) Win first home game of season over rival Tennessee.

32. Chiefs (1-10) Charles, Bowe ask Peyton Manning for autograph.
 

Teaser:
<p> NFL Power Rankings Going Into Week 13, including the Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals, Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints, Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys.</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 18:21
Path: /nfl/cam-newtons-4-tds-lead-panthers-win-over-eagles
Body:

After avoiding the rookie wall last season, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton experienced a sophomore landslide this year until finding his footing during a 30–22 win on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football.

Newton completed 18-of-28 passes for 306 yards, two TDs and zero INTs through the air, while tucking the ball to run for 52 yards and two TDs on the ground in a prime time victory.

The four-score effort brought back memories of the a phenomenal first year that included a rookie-record 4,051 passing yards, 21 passing TDs, 706 rushing yards and a quarterback-record 14 rushing TDs en route to the Offensive Rookie of the Year award and a trip to the Pro Bowl.

“He was very decisive, and that’s when you see his ability, his athleticism come through,” said Panthers second-year coach Ron Rivera, who entered the nationally televised game with a 2–8 record and a spot firmly on the proverbial hot seat.

“We put a lot on his plate early in the year, and we’ve taken some of it back. He’s reacting to that very well. The last few weeks he’s been outstanding, and he’s giving us a chance to win.”

After accounting for eight TDs and 11 turnovers while leading the Cats to a 1–6 start to the season, Newton has reversed field to the tune of nine TDs and just two turnovers during Carolina’s recent 2–2 stretch — which has included road wins at Washington and Philadelphia, with home losses to Denver and Tampa Bay.

“Cam is not trying to carry everything,” said receiver Steve Smith. “He’s just relaxing. He seemed very comfortable (against the Eagles) and threw some great passes.”

Never was that comfort level more evident than late in the fourth quarter on Monday night. Heading into Philly, the Panthers had held fourth-quarter leads in five of their previous six losses — a fact that had to be on the mind of every fan, player and coach wearing electric blue and black.

But Newton calmly led a six-play, 60-yard drive that was capped by a two-yard QB-sneak TD and Cam’s signature Superman celebration.

Rather than losing yet another close call — six of Carolina’s eight losses have come by six or fewer points — the Panthers pulled out a victory that could change the trajectory of this year and the near future in Charlotte.

“Winning is huge. It cures all,” said Rivera. “We’ve got to continue now. We have to take this momentum we have on a short week to Kansas City.”

With four of their next five games coming against teams with sub-.500 records, Carolina could turn it around — especially if Newton keeps it up.

“I think my best is yet to come,” said Newton. “I’m still focused on getting better each and every week.”

Teaser:
<p> Cam Newton scored four TDs during the Carolina Panthers' 30–22 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football.</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 17:26
All taxonomy terms: College Football
Path: /college-football/college-football-conference-realignment-tracking-all-changes
Body:

Conference realignment has been one of the major storylines in college football and basketball the last few years. Some moves have been major, such as ACC and Big Ten expansion and another realignment within the Big East, but other conference lineups across the country have changed since the end of last season.

Need to catch up? Want to look ahead? Here’s our guide to college basketball realignment for the next two seasons.

The charts below reflect only changes in college football. We also have a primer on college basketball realignment.

Teams in italics are leaving the conference listed. Teams in bold are joining the conference listed.

POWER CONFERENCES

ACC

2012 2013 2014
Boston College ATLANTIC ATLANTIC
Clemson Boston College Boston College
Duke Clemson Clemson
Florida State Florida State Florida State
Georgia Tech Maryland Louisville
Maryland NC State NC State
Miami Syracuse Syracuse
NC State Wake Forest Wake Forest
North Carolina COASTAL COASTAL
Virginia Duke Duke
Virginia Tech Georgia Tech Georgia Tech
Wake Forest Miami Miami
  North Carolina North Carolina
  Pittsburgh Pittsburgh
  Virginia Virginia
  Virginia Tech Virginia Tech

BIG 12

2011 2012
Baylor Baylor
Iowa State Iowa State
Kansas Kansas
Kansas State Kansas State
Missouri Oklahoma
Oklahoma Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State TCU
Texas Texas
Texas A&M Texas Tech
Texas Tech West Virginia

BIG EAST/AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Cincinnati Cincinnati Cincinnati Cincinnati Cincinnati
Connecticut Connecticut Connecticut Connecticut Connecticut
Louisville Louisville Houston East Carolina East Carolina
Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Louisville Houston Houston
Rutgers Rutgers Memphis Memphis Memphis
Syracuse Syracuse Rutgers SMU Navy
USF Temple SMU Temple SMU
W. Virginia USF Temple Tulane Temple
    UCF Tulsa Tulane
    USF USF Tulsa
      USF UCF
        USF

BIG TEN

2012/2013 2014
LEADERS EAST
Illinois Indiana
Indiana Maryland
Ohio State Michigan
Penn State Michigan State
Purdue Ohio State
Wisconsin Penn State
LEGENDS Rutgers
Iowa WEST
Michigan Illinois
Michigan State Iowa
Minnesota Minnesota
Nebraska Nebraska
Northwestern Northwestern
  Purdue
  Wisconsin

SEC

2011 2012
EAST EAST
Florida Florida
Georgia Georgia
Kentucky Kentucky
South Carolina Missouri
Tennessee South Carolina
Vanderbilt Tennessee
WEST Vanderbilt
Alabama WEST
Arkansas Alabama
Auburn Arkansas
LSU Auburn
Ole Miss LSU
Misssissippi State Ole Miss
  Mississippi State
  Texas A&M

NON-POWER CONFERENCES

Conference USA

2012 2013 2014
East Carolina Charlotte* Charlotte
Houston East Carolina FAU
Marshall FAU FIU
Memphis FIU Louisiana Tech
Rice Louisiana Tech Marshall
SMU Marshall Middle Tenn.
Southern Miss Middle Tenn. North Texas
Tulane North Texas Old Dominion
Tulsa Old Dominion* Rice
UAB Rice Southern Miss
UCF Southern Miss Tulsa
UTEP Tulane UAB
  Tulsa UTEP
  UAB UTSA
  UTEP Western Ky.
  UTSA  

*Charlotte and Old Dominion do not play FBS football at this time but expect to move up in the coming years.

Mountain West

2011 2012 2013
Air Force Air Force Air Force
Boise State Boise State* Boise State
Colorado State Colorado State Colorado State
New Mexico Fresno State Fresno State
San Diego State Hawaii Hawaii
TCU Nevada Nevada
UNLV New Mexico New Mexico
Wyoming San Diego State San Diego State
  UNLV San Jose State
  Wyoming UNLV
    Utah State
    Wyoming

*Boise State originally agreed to join the Big East as a football-only member in 2013 but will remain in the Mountain West.

Sun Belt

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Arkansas St. Arkansas St. Arkansas St. Arkansas St. Appalachian St.
FAU FAU Georgia St. Georgia St. Arkansas St.
FIU FIU UL-Lafayette Idaho Ga. Southern
UL-Lafayette UL-Lafayette South Ala. UL-Lafayette Georgia St.
Middle Tenn. Middle Tenn. Texas St. New Mexico St. Idaho
North Texas North Texas Troy South Ala. UL-Lafayette
Troy South Ala. ULM Texas State New Mexico St.
ULM Troy Western Ky. Troy South Ala.
Western Ky. ULM   ULM Texas State
  Western Ky.     Troy
        ULM
         

WAC

2011 2012
Fresno State Idaho
Hawaii Louisiana Tech
Idaho New Mexico State
Louisiana Tech San Jose State
Nevada Texas State
New Mexico State Utah State
San Jose State UTSA
Utah State Utah State

*With only Idaho and New Mexico State remaining, the WAC will cease to be be a football conference. Idaho and New Mexico State will be independents in FBS.

Teaser:
<p> Realignment within the Big Ten, ACC and Big East has set forth another round of conference realginment with in college football.</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 14:05
Path: /college-basketball/college-basketball-player-survey-record
Body:

College hoopsters can be an honest bunch—even more so under the cover of anonymity. Athlon Sports talked to dozens of college basketball stars from coast to coast—at 50 schools in 18 conferences—and got them to open up on a variety of topics, from the hottest woman alive, to which coach (other than their own) they'd like to play for, to overrated opponents to improper benefits. Their replies are sometimes predictable (Kim Kardashian and Kate Upton, anyone?), sometimes provocative. Read on. 

Who was your favorite basketball player growing up?
Michael Jordan (17.8%)
Kobe Bryant (16.4%)
Allen Iverson (8.2%)
Kevin Garnett (6.8%)
Steve Nash (4.1%)
Shaquille O’Neal (4.1%)
Dominique Wilkins (4.1%)
Larry Bird (2.7%)
LeBron James (2.7%)
Tracy McGrady (2.7%)
J.J. Redick (2.7%)
 
Notable: 17 players received at least one vote. Some weren’t a surprise: Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Paul Pierce. Some were: Pete Maravich, who last played in the NBA in 1980, Bobby Jackson, Shuan Livington and Gordon Heyward. 
 
 
Who is the most overrated player you have faced?
Nerlens Noel, Kentucky (6.8%)
Kyle Wiltjer, Kentucky (6.8%)
Michael Snaer, Florida State (5.5%)
Aaron Craft, Ohio State (4.1%)
Austin Rivers, Duke (4.1%)
Mason Plumlee, Duke (4.1%)
Patric Young, Florida (4.1%)
Trey Burke, Michigan (2.7%)
Pierre Jackson, Baylor (2.7%)
Josh Smith, UCLA (2.7%)
Cody Zeller, Indiana (2.7%)
 
Notable: 20 players received at least one vote, including 2012 NBA first-round draft picks Terrence Jones (Kentucky), Marquis Teague (Kentucky) and Royce White (Iowa State).
 
 
Have you ever received benefits from a booster?
Yes (13.7%)
No (86.3%)
 
 
How much time do you spend on your schoolwork per week (including classes)? 0-5 hours, 5-15 hours, 15-plus hours?
0-to-15 hours (57.5%)
15-plus hours (42.5%)
 
 
Would you rather have $1 million or win an NCAA championship? 
NCAA Championship (80.8%)
$1 million (19.2%)
 
 
Who would you like to trade places with for one day?
President Obama (19.2%)
LeBron James (11.%)
Floyd Mayweather (6.8%)
Bill Gates (5.5%)
Jay-Z (5.5%)
Michael Jordan (4.1%)
Justin Bieber (2.7%)
Anthony Davis (2.7%)
P Diddy (2.7%)
Shaquille O’Neal (2.7%)
Kanye West (2.7%)
 
 
Would you go to the same school if you had to do it over?
Yes (84.9%)
No (15.1%)
 
 
Have you ever had a grade changed because you were an athlete?
Yes (15.1%)
No (84.9%)
 
 
Would you still be in college if you weren’t playing basketball?
Yes  (75.3 %)
No  (24.7%)
 
 
Which other coach, other than your own, would you like to play for?
Mike Krzyzewski, Duke (21.9%)
John Calipari, Kentucky (12.3%)
Brad Stevens, Butler (9.6%)
Roy Williams, North Carolina (6.8%)
Lorenzo Romar, Washington (4.1%)
Bill Self, Kansas (4.1%)
Shaka Smart, VCU (4.1%)
 
Notable: 18 other coaches received at least one vote, including Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers and Mike Davis, the interim head coach at Texas Southern. 
 
 
Which other coach would you never play for?
Billy Gillispie, Recently fired Texas A&M (23.3%)
Frank Martin, South Carolina (16.4%)
Bob Knight, Retired (9.6%)
John Calipari, Kentucky (6.8%)
Bob Huggins, West Virginia (4.1%)
 
Notable: 16 other coaches received at least one vote. 
Mike Krzyzewski, John Calipari, Mike Davis, Randy Bennett, Bob Huggins and Rick Byrd were mentioned on both lists above. 
 
 
What is your favorite TV show?
Family Guy (9.6%)
Fresh Prince (6.8%)
Martin (6.8%)
Entourage (5.5%)
Everybody Hates Chris (5.5%)
SportsCenter (5.5%)
 
Notable: 29 other TV shows received at least one vote, including Boy Meets World, Seinfeld and The Price is Right. 
 
 
How much should college basketball players be paid?
$1-5,000 per semester (46.8%)
$5-10,000 per semester (22.6%)
Nothing (19.4%)
$10-20,000 per semester (6.4%)
$20,000 per semester or greater  (4.8%)
 
 
What is your favorite arena to play in, other than your own? 
Rupp Arena, Kentucky (12.3%)
Madison Square Garden (12.3%)
Allen Fieldhouse, Kansas (8.2%)
Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke (5.5%)
FedExForum, Memphis (5.5%)
Hec Edmundson Pavilion, Washington (4.1%)
O’Connell Center, Florida (4.1%)
 
Notable: 23 other arenas received at least one vote, including the Lahaina Civic Center, home of the Maui Invitational. 
 
 
Who is the hottest woman alive?
Kim Kardashian (12.3%)
Kate Upton (9.6%)
Megan Fox (6.8%)
Paula Patton (6.8%)
Beyonce (5.5%)
Stacy Dash (4.1%)
Meagan Good (4.1%)
Marissa Miller (4.1%)
Gabrielle Union (4.1%)
 
Notable: 27 other women received at least one vote, including three over 40 years old— Jennifer Anniston (43), Halle Berry (46) and Jennifer Lopez (43). “My girlfriend” and “my mother” also received one vote each.
 
 
 
 
 
Teaser:
<p> College Basketball Player Survey: Off the Record</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 06:00
All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, NC State Wolfpack, News
Path: /college-football/11-coaches-replace-fired-tom-obrien-nc-state
Body:

Even though Tom O'Brien went 24-14 in his last three seasons at NC State, the school decided to make a change after Saturday's win against Boston College. O'Brien was a steady coach but couldn't elevate the program to the next level. NC State wants to compete with Florida State and Clemson more frequently, which means a coaching change had to be made to raise the level of the program.

11 Coaching Candidates to Replace Tom O'Brien at NC State

Dave Clawson, head coach, Bowling Green – Clawson took a lot of heat for Tennessee’s struggles on offense in 2008, but he is a proven head coach at three different stops. The New York native went 29-29 in five seasons at Fordham (1999-2003), which also included a trip to the FCS playoffs in 2002. Clawson jumped to Richmond in 2004 and led the Spiders to two playoff appearances, including an 11-3 mark in 2007. After the failed season at Tennessee, Clawson landed at Bowling Green and went 7-6 in his debut year and 8-4 in 2012.

 

Dave Doeren, head coach, Northern Illinois – Even though Doeren has spent his career coaching defense, his Northern Illinois’ teams the last two years have ranked among the nation’s best. Doeren is only 40 years old, so he doesn’t have a ton of experience from other coaching stops. He spent two seasons at Montana (2000-01), before moving to Kansas in 2002. After a couple of seasons in Lawrence, Doeren took over as Wisconsin’s defensive coordinator in 2006 and held that position until 2010, when he became Northern Illinois’ head coach. Doeren inherited a good situation in DeKalb, but he’s also done a good job of putting his own stamp on the program. And despite his defensive background, Doeren would likely run an uptempo, spread offense at his next stop.

 

Darrell Hazell, head coach, Kent State – Just like Northern Illinois’ Dave Doeren, Hazell has done a terrific job in a short amount of time at Kent State and is due for a promotion to a BCS program. Hazell inherited a program that had not won more than five games in the four seasons prior to his arrival and has quickly turned Kent State into a MAC title contender. Hazell is 16-8 in two seasons with the Golden Flashes, which includes a huge road win over Rutgers in 2012. Although this is his first head coaching gig, Hazell has an impressive resume from stops at Western Michigan, Army, West Virginia, Rutgers and Ohio State.

 

Mark Hudspeth, head coach, Louisiana-Lafayette – Hudspeth has quietly led Louisiana-Lafayette to back-to-back bowl games and has a 16-8 mark in two seasons with the Ragin’ Cajuns. Before his current job, Hudspeth was 66-21 in seven years as the head coach at North Alabama. The Mississippi native has some SEC experience, working for two seasons under Dan Mullen at Mississippi State. Although Hudspeth isn’t a big-name hire and doesn’t have experience in the ACC, he’s a high-energy guy and has proven to be a successful coach in two years with the Ragin’ Cajuns.

 

Butch Jones, head coach, Cincinnati – Jones has been in the rumor mill quite a bit over the last few weeks, especially with the open vacancy at Kentucky. Considering the uncertainty over Cincinnati’s future conference and long-term stability in the Big East, it’s no surprise Jones could be looking to leave for the Big Ten or SEC. Jones followed up Brian Kelly at Central Michigan and Cincinnati, recording a 27-13 mark in three seasons with the Chippewas and a 22-14 record with the Bearcats. Another reason for Jones to be targeted by NC State? His background on offense, which includes a stint as Central Michigan’s offensive coordinator and at West Virginia as a wide receivers coach.

 

Pete Lembo, head coach, Ball State – Lembo isn’t a big name but has been a successful head coach at three different stops. In five seasons with Lehigh, he recorded a 44-14 record and made two appearances in the FCS playoffs. Lembo spent the next five years at Elon and compiled a 35-22 mark and one trip to the FCS playoffs. In two seasons at Ball State, Lembo is 14-9 and has the Cardinals poised to make their first bowl appearance since the 2008 season. Lembo doesn't have any experience in the ACC but is track record suggests he can win anywhere in college football.

 

Gus Malzahn, head coach, Arkansas State – Although Malzahn has spent most of his coaching career in Arkansas, his up-tempo, high-scoring offense would work anywhere in the nation. Malzahn has only been a head coach on the collegiate level for one season and is 8-3 with a chance to win the Sun Belt title on Saturday for Arkansas State. Considering the lack of head coaching experience on the FBS level, there’s certainly some risk with Malzahn. However, his exciting offense would ignite the fanbase, as well as help to recruit elite quarterbacks and receiving talent to Raleigh.

 

Chad Morris, offensive coordinator, Clemson – After O’Brien’s departure, Morris was one of the first names to circulate through the rumor mill in Raleigh. Although the Texas native has no collegiate head coaching experience, he has run some of the nation’s best offenses at Tulsa and Clemson. Morris also has strong recruiting ties to Texas, especially after spending over 10 years as a head coach on the high school level. Morris is an unknown commodity when it comes to being a head coach but there’s also a lot to like on his resume.

 

Bobby Petrino, former Arkansas head coach – If NC State really wants to make a splash, how about making a run at Petrino? Although the messy end to his tenure at Arkansas is a huge negative, he’s ready to work and can probably come at a discounted price. Petrino was 34-17 in four seasons at Arkansas and recorded a 41-9 mark in four years at Louisville. Although the off-the-field incident in Fayetteville is a concern, Petrino is an instant impact hire and would help NC State ignite its fanbase, especially with an offense that averaged over 35 points a game last season.

 

Mark Stoops, defensive coordinator, Florida State – Stoops’ name has popped up in connection with the Kentucky job, and it’s only a matter of time before he takes over a BCS program. Stoops does not have any head coaching experience but has stops as an assistant at Wyoming, South Florida, Houston, Miami and Arizona. Stoops has quickly resurrected Florida State’s defense back among the best in the ACC over the last three years.

 

Willie Taggart, head coach, Western Kentucky – Taggart’s stock has been on the rise over the last few seasons and is due for a shot to run a BCS program. In three seasons with the Hilltoppers, Taggart is 16-20 and has back-to-back winning records. In addition to his solid run as Western Kentucky’s head coach, Taggart spent three seasons as an assistant under Jim Harbaugh at Stanford. Taggart is young, energetic and has strong recruiting ties to Florida, which seems to describe what NC State needs in its next head coach.  

Teaser:
<p> 11 Coaches to Replace Fired Tom O'Brien at NC State</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 05:40
Path: /college-football/2013-nfl-draft-rankings-quarterbacks
Body:

It is never too early to begin looking ahead to next year's NFL Draft. Each year a unique set of prospects enters the professional ranks with a chance to make an immediate impact on the country's most powerful sport. The 2013 NFL Draft won’t be any different.

Today, we rank college football's best quarterbacks prospects with the help of 2006 BCS National Championship Game MVP for the Florida Gators Chris Leak. You can follow @CLQB12 or hear him on SiriusXM College Sports Nation's Coast-to-Coast nightly radio show from 7-10 PM ET with Chris Childers. 

1. Geno Smith, West Virginia (6-3, 220, Sr.)
Smith may have the biggest arm of any prospect in the class with the possible exception of Tyler Bray. He is poised, lightning quick in his release and decision-making and has posted some huge numbers. He topped 4,300 yards as a junior and could top 4,000 yards again this fall. He could easily reach 70 touchdown passes in his final two seasons and has a sterling 66.9 percent completion rate. He will be knocked for his bad second half of 2012 and that his numbers have been inflated by the shotgun, no-huddle spread attack at West Virginia. If he can prove he can play from under center and in a pro-style attack, Smith possesses all the elite tools to be an excellent quarterback on Sundays. Comparison: Matthew Stafford

Chris Leak's Scouting Report: Elite passer at CFB level. Student of the game with high football I.Q. Field general that can have immediate impact on an NFL franchise.

2. Matt Barkley, USC (6-2, 230, Sr.)
Barkley isn't nearly as big as his listed numbers indicate. He will be lucky to measure 6-foot-1 and will have to battle the "short" moniker. His numbers have been huge —12,327 yards and 116 TD passes — and he is an upstanding member of any locker room. He is a 64.0 percent career passer and has produced big numbers in the face of NCAA sanctions. He has a big arm and plays in a pro-style offense, but overcoming his late-season injury this fall will take some effort. There is little downside to Barkley as a professional as there are no questions about his work ethic, commitment, dedication to winning and being a leader. Comparison: Andy Dalton

Leak's Scouting Report: Intelligent QB who does so many of the little things well. Fundamentally sound and solid mechanics will allow immediate success at next level.

3. AJ McCarron, Alabama (6-4, 210, Jr.)
The Alabama Heisman candidate won't wow scouts with any one talent, but he has every piece of the puzzle to be a very successful NFL quarterback. He is a champion who has done anything his coaching staff has asked. He has an excellent frame and plenty of arm to make all the throws. He is an unquestioned leader who takes his work extremely seriously. He is wildly efficient as a career 66.5 percent passer and rarely turns the ball over. He will also set multiple career and single-season Alabama passing records. Look for his poise, intelligence and work ethic to move him slowly up draft boards come next spring — if he decides to leave early. Comparison: Matt Ryan

Leak's Scouting Report: Successful QB that shows poise and courage in the pocket against top SEC competition. Has ability to ignore oncoming defenders and still get off an accurate pass.

4. Tyler Bray, Tennessee (6-5, 215, Jr.)
Bray has a first-round arm, a first-round frame and has played against first-round competition. But he currently has a seventh-round head on his shoulders. He can make every throw in the book, but he hasn't proven he can protect the football, stay healthy, lead an offensive huddle or win football games. Scouts will love his raw skills but will have major doubts about his mental make-up, maturity and dedication. He is a 58.5 percent career passer in college and will post career highs with an SEC-best 3,612 yards and 34 touchdowns in 2012. Comparison: Philip Rivers

Leak's Scouting Report: Gunslinger with great height to scan entire field. Great feel on downfield throws. Needs to improve accuracy on intermediate throws.

5. Tyler Wilson, Arkansas (6-2, 218, Sr.)
Wilson was highly thought of by college and pro personnel alike until this fall. His offensive production was clearly not the same without Bobby Petrino and it will raise questions about Wilson's long-term upside. He has a solid arm, displays incredible toughness (just ask his OL) and has adequate size for an NFL pocket. His team went from 11 wins to four in one year and his numbers plummeted in his senior season (3,638 yards, 24 TD, 6 INT in 2011 and 3,387 yards, 21 TD, 13 INT in 2012). He is a career 62.7 percent passer and will need to prove his accuracy during the combine circuit this offseason. Comparison: Mark Sanchez

Leak's Scouting Report: Possesses a strong arm, and has ability to fit passes through tight windows. Didn't progress as a senior however.

6. Mike Glennon, NC State (6-6, 235, Sr.)
There isn't much left to learn about Glennon. He has a massive frame that is perfect for an NFL pocket passer. He is not an athlete who will run around, so his big frame and big arm are well-suited for the pass-happy NFL. He has played with little elite athletic ability around him on offense and the running game has been non-existent over the last two seasons. He has turned the ball over a bit too much (26 INTs in last two seasons) and has completed just under 60 percent of his passes for his career. But he also finished with 6,702 yards and 61 TDs in his final two seasons. Scouts will love his size and arm strength, however, and that could push him up draft boards. Comparison: Joe Flacco

Leak's Scouting Report: Has ideal size and arm strength for the next level, but needs to continue and improve his technique. Unpolished with his footwork and needs to refine the details of the position.

7. EJ Manuel, Florida State (6-4, 240, Sr.)
Manuel might be the most intriguing prospect on this entire list. He entered college as an elite prospect and took three full seasons to develop into the star he is today. He has a great frame and big arm to make all of the throws. He is an excellent member of the community who will take his work extremely seriously on the next level. He also has above average athletic ability to keep plays alive and move the chains with his legs. However, he is unrefined as a true pocket passer and will need work developing his motion and release. As a career 67.1 percent passer, he has been efficient in the college game and scouts will wonder if that translates. He also has dealt with some injury issues in his past, especially in big games like Oklahoma in 2011 and the second half of the Florida game this fall. The upside is massive with Manuel, who has his team poised to win the ACC for the first time in nearly a decade, but he has some major question marks. He finished with 7,311 yards passing, 752 yards rushing and 56 total touchdowns. Comparison: Carson Palmer

Leak's Scouting Report: Ideal height with the arm strength to push the ball downfield. Has ability to extend and make plays with his legs. Intriguing NFL prospect because of his raw physical tools and athletic ability.

8. Derek Carr, Fresno State (6-3, 210, Jr.)
Older brother flop of a draft pick (David) aside, Carr has put together two big seasons in a row in two different systems. He has thrown only 14 interceptions in 903 attempts in the last two seasons with 62 touchdown passes. He is a career 65 percent passer and has led his team from a 4-9 record in the WAC in 2011 to a potential 10-win season and a share of the Mountain West championship in 2012. He takes care of the football and posts big numbers — try 3,742 yards and 36 TD with only five picks as a senior — with big-time talent. He will fly under the draft radars until scouts get a better look at him. His stock could soar late in the process. Comparison: Matt Schaub

Leak's Scouting Report: Strong arm with great feel on sideline throws, possesses a great deal of natural arm talent and is confident in his ability to fit the ball between tight windows. Very quick release but doesn't fully take advantage of his height due to 3/4 release point.

9. Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech (6-5, 260, Jr.)
Few players have the size and athleticism that Thomas can offer the scouts in the NFL. He also has been a walking turnover this season and the Hokies have produced their worst season in nearly a decade. He has an okay arm, but not elite. His major strengths are his massive frame, strength and athleticism. He lacks accuracy — he is a 56.3 percent passer and has nearly as many INT as he has had passing TD over his two-year stint as the starter. Someone will fall in love with his size and athletic ability but his inefficiency, turnovers and lack of arm strength make him a high-risk prospect. Comparison: Josh Freeman

Leak's Scouting Report: Has combination of size, mobility and arm strength for next level. Very gifted athlete with raw mechanics and will need to improve accuracy and mental part of his game.

10. Landry Jones, Oklahoma (6-4, 220, Sr.)
Few players have ever been as productive as Jones in college. He will finish with more than 16,000 passing yards and over 120 total touchdowns. Yet, he has struggled with turnovers (nearly 50 INTs) and has struggled to win big games — on the road or at home. He has good size and a great arm as a potential pocket-passer, but will have to overcome the dreaded "system" mantra as Oklahoma has elite wideouts, a big-time OL and faces mediocre defenses in the Big 12. Jones will be an intriguing prospect to watch as the offseason moves along. Comparison: Sam Bradford

Leak's Scouting Report: Very accurate passer in the pocket but not as much on the move. Can lead receivers down the field and on crossing routes, places throws where only his man can make a play. Ideal size and athletic ability for the next level.

11. Tajh Boyd, Clemson (6-1, 220, Jr.)
Undersized but very tough. Has a big arm and above-average athletic ability. Sneaky good potential. He finished his junior season with 3,550 yards passing, 490 yards rushing, 43 overall touchdowns and 10 wins. 

Leak's Scouting Report: Excellent dual-threat QB. Consistent accurate passer on the move. Ability to freeze safeties by looking one direction and passing the other.

12. Aaron Murray, Georgia (6-0, 215, Jr.)
A winner who plays with great toughness and moxie. Gunslinger who is very undersized and will be hurt in the draft by his lack of height. He will remind scouts of a less efficient version of Russell Wilson with a similar skillset to that of Drew Brees. 

Leak's Scouting Report: Successful SEC QB, possessing plenty of arm strength to handle the jump to the NFL despite his lack of preferred height. Decision making will be key for jump to elite status.

12. Bryn Renner, North Carolina (6-3, 215, Jr.)
Big arm and a pro-style passer who has dealt with loads of turmoil in the locker room. Has played with elite receivers, running backs and offensive lines, so he has much to prove on the next level.

Leak's Scouting Report: A traditional drop back passer and looks the part with a tall, filled out frame. Has above-average arm to make all the throws and does a nice job working through his progressions to find the open target.

14. Zac Dysert, Miami-Ohio (6-3, 230, Sr.)
Experienced leader who has thrown a ton of passes. Does he have NFL passing talent?

Leak's Scouting Report: Displays an obvious understanding of the game of football, with great size and height with the arm strength to stretch defenses from sideline to sideline. Can be a statue at times in the pocket but shows confidence in arm and throwing with accuracy.

15. Ryan Nassib, Syracuse (6-2, 230, Sr.)
Has posted big numbers on a bad team. Has shown significant growth over his time as the starter.

Leak's Scouting Report: Has good arm strength and is very accurate throwing on the run. Shows toughness and is a gamer with a lot of potential.

The Best of the Rest:

16. Brad Sorensen, Southern Utah (6-4, 235, Sr.)
17. Collin Klein, Kansas State (6-5, 225, Sr.)
18. Sean Renfree, Duke (6-4, 225, Sr.)
19. Keith Price, Washington (6-1, 200, Jr.)
20. Matt McGloin, Penn State (6-1, 220, Sr.)
21. Alex Carder, Western Michigan (6-2, 225, Sr.)
22. Seth Doege, Texas Tech (6-1, 200, Sr.)
23. Jeff Tuel, Washington State (6-3, 225, Sr.)
24. Jordan Rodgers, Vanderbilt (6-0, 205, Sr.)
25. Dayne Crist, Kansas (6-4, 230, Sr.)

Related NFL Draft Rankings By Position:

2013 NFL Draft: Running Backs
2013 NFL Draft: Tight Ends
2013 NFL Draft: Safeties

2013 NFL Draft: Defensive Tackles

2013 NFL Draft: Wide Receivers

2013 NFL Draft: Offensive Tackles

2013 NFL Draft: Inside Linebackers

2013 NFL Draft: Cornerbacks

2013 NFL Draft: Guards and Centers

2013 NFL Draft: Outside Linebackers
2013 NFL Draft: Quarterbacks

Teaser:
<p> 2013 NFL Draft Rankings: Quarterbacks</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 05:40
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-waiver-wire-week-13
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Five games remain in the NFL’s regular season, but for fantasy leagues it’s almost playoff time. Depending on your league, Week 13 could be the last or second-to-last game before the postseason, meaning time is running out to either tweak your roster to make that last playoff push or reinforce it in your quest for a championship. The latest injuries alone reflect why the waiver wire can mean the difference between sitting out your league’s postseason or potentially finishing it second to no one. Here are some possible options worth considering as you get ready for Week 13.

Quarterbacks
Week 12 Recap: Chad Henne tossed two more touchdowns (six in the last two games) in Jacksonville’s win over Tennessee. What’s more, the starting job is clearly his for the rest of the season, if not beyond, as Blaine Gabbert was placed on injured reserve with an elbow injury. Nick Foles didn't turn the ball over against Carolina, but he also threw for only 119 yards on 16-of-21 passing in the 30-22 loss Monday night. Byron Leftwich didn’t play in Pittsburgh’s loss to Cleveland because of two cracked ribs, leaving Charlie Batch as the Steelers’ starting quarterback. Batch threw three interceptions in the loss, so Leftwich could get another chance this week against Baltimore, provided he’s cleared to play and Ben Roethlisberger (ribs, shoulder) isn’t ready to return.

Kevin Kolb, Arizona Cardinals
Kolb didn’t play against St. Louis on Sunday because of his ribs, but he was able to return to practice in a limited basis. As bad as the quarterback play has been for the Cardinals this season, someone’s going to start. Considering rookie Ryan Lindley got the call against the Rams in place of John Skelton, he appears to be the only competition for Kolb to get his starting job back. And since Lindley tossed four interceptions in the 31-17 loss to the Rams, it appears that Kolb’s chances of regaining the job, when he’s healthy, are pretty good. That said, it’s up to you to decide if it’s even worth having a Cardinal quarterback on your roster.

Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans
Locker was back in the saddle for the Titans against Jacksonville after missing the previous six games because of a shoulder injury. Locker also had the Week 11 bye to help him get ready to return to action, and, for the most part, he didn’t look too rusty. He passed for 261 yards and a touchdown, but also threw two picks – one coming on a tipped pass, the other coming late in the fourth quarter with the Titans trailing. Regardless, Locker is the Titans’ starter as long as he’s healthy and his ability to make plays with both his arm and his legs (averaging 7.3 ypc) and an upcoming schedule that includes Indianapolis and the Jets should make him an intriguing option down the stretch, depending on your team’s quarterback situation.

Running Backs
Week 12 Recap: Bryce Brown made the most of his first career start, on "Monday Night Football" no less, rushing for a Philadelphia rookie record 178 yards on 19 carries (9.4 ypc) and two touchdowns. He did fumble the ball twice, however, in the Eagles' 30-22 loss to the Panthers. Ronnie Hillman got a total of three carries as Knowshon Moreno (see below) carried the load and dominated the backfield touches in Denver’s win over Kansas City. Mark Ingram got the most carries against San Francisco, but he only managed 27 yards (on 10 attempts, 2.7 ypc) as the 49ers held the Saints to just 59 yards rushing. Jalen Parmele gained a respectable 5.6 yards per carry against Tennessee, but he left the game early with a leg injury, which sent him to the sidelines in the fourth quarter too, as Rashad Jennings finished with the most carries (16 to 8) and scored the Jaguars’ lone rushing touchdown. Bilal Powell basically split the carries (12 to 14) with Shonn Greene, but saw more targets (3 to 1) out of the backfield and added a rushing touchdown to his stat line. 

Michael Bush, Chicago Bears
Ever since Matt Forte returned from injury, Bush has been relegated to nothing more than spot work. That changed on Sunday as Forte went down early with another ankle injury, leaving Bush to carry the load. Even though he had just 60 yards rushing on 21 carries (2.9 ypc), Bush scored two touchdowns on the ground. With quarterback Jay Cutler returning from a concussion and pass protection continuing to be an issue, the Bears will continue to run the ball to limit the number of hits he takes. That task will fall to Bush, especially if Forte misses any time with this latest injury.

Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos
In his first game action since Week 2, Moreno got 20 of the Broncos’ 24 rushing attempts and finished with 85 yards (4.3 ypc) on the ground in the win in Kansas City. Moreno also added four catches for 26 yards and seemingly put himself in position as the Broncos’ lead back for the time being with Willis McGahee out until at least the playoffs. Even though he’s been a disappointment for most of his career, sometimes opportunity is all a player needs to have an impact. If Moreno continues to get the bulk of the carries, he may not be a bad addition if you are hurting at running back or in need of some depth there.

Beanie Wells, Arizona Cardinals
On injured reserve since Week 4, Wells made his return to the field on Sunday against St. Louis and promptly took back his starting role in the Cardinals’ backfield. Wells got 17 of the team’s 23 rushing attempts, finishing the game with 48 yards and, more importantly, two touchdowns. LaRod Stephens-Howling, who was coming off of a 100-yard game against Atlanta, got one lone carry. The Cardinals’ quarterback issues could result in the team running the ball even more, which bodes well for Wells, if he is the starter moving forward.

David Wilson, New York Giants
Wilson was mentioned here back in Week 6 and since then he has rushed for a grand total of 50 yards in six games. So why bring him up now? Because Andre Brown went down with a broken leg in the Giants’ win on Sunday night against Green Bay. Before getting hurt Brown had more carries than starter Ahmad Bradshaw, meaning the coaching staff isn’t afraid to spread the wealth. Bradshaw himself has a well-documented history of injuries, meaning Wilson is just one misstep or hard tackle away from being the main guy. Even though Wilson has yet to put up big numbers, his explosiveness and big-play ability is tantalizing, as he’s averaging 25.3 yards per kickoff return. If anything, he’s now the must-have handcuff for Bradshaw owners as Brown is done for the season.

Wide Receivers
Week 12 Recap: T.Y. Hilton and Mohamed Sanu each scored two touchdowns on Sunday, albeit in different ways. Hilton was responsible for the Colts’ two touchdowns in their win over Buffalo, as he returned a punt 75 yards for a score and added a touchdown reception later. Sanu caught two scoring strikes from Andy Dalton in the Bengals’ victory over Oakland, bringing his total to four touchdowns in his last three games. Golden Tate didn’t score, but he did lead the Seahawks in receptions (4) and yards (56) in their loss in Miami, while Jarius Wright hauled in a team-high seven catches (49 yards) in the Vikings’ loss to Chicago.

Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys
Miles Austin left in the first quarter of the Thanksgiving game against Washington with a hip flexor and didn’t return, opening the door not only for Dez Bryant (8-145-2), but also for Beasley. The diminutive (5-8, 177) rookie from SMU finished with seven receptions for 68 yards (9.7 ypc) and was second only to tight end Jason Witten in targets (15 to 13). The extent of Austin’s injury is not yet known, but if he misses any time, Beasley could be in line for more games like the one he had against the Redskins, as it appears he and quarterback Tony Romo have a good rapport. Another Cowboy wideout to watch is Dwayne Harris, who averaged 17.8 yards on his four catches against the Redskins.

Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars
The No. 5 overall pick in April’s draft appears to finally be settling in. Blackmon has touchdowns in three of his past four games and has a combined 12 receptions for 298 yards in the past two contests. These two games are also the ones in which Chad Henne (see above) was the one pulling the trigger. Henne will remain the Jaguars’ starter the rest of the season, which only increases Blackmon’s fantasy potential and upside. If he continues to produce like he has been, Blackmon could pay off big down the stretch.

Ryan Broyles, Detroit Lions
The Lions suspended Titus Young for the Thanksgiving game against Houston for conduct detrimental to the team (in other words, for being a knucklehead). Broyles got the start opposite Calvin Johnson and the rookie responded with six catches for 126 yards (21.0 ypc) in the overtime loss to the Texans. The Lions have been down this road before with Young, who can’t seem to get out of his own way, so it should surprise no one if Broyles replaces him on the depth chart. If that happens, Broyles becomes an intriguing option, especially considering how much the Lions like to throw the ball (61 pass attempts vs. Texans, averaging 45 per game over last five).

Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
Edelman left the win over the Jets after receiving a helmet-to-helmet hit, so his status for this week needs to be monitored. That said, he has seven catches for 122 yards and two scores in the last two games combined and also scored a touchdown on a fumble return on special teams against the Jets. The Patriots don’t lack for weapons, but the door is clearly open for someone other than Wes Welker to establish themselves in the passing game with tight end Rob Gronkowski sidelined by a broken forearm for at least several weeks. Fellow tight end Aaron Hernandez (2-36) didn’t take advantage of Gronk’s absence against the Jets and wide receiver Brandon Lloyd has seen his numbers decline in recent weeks. It’s hard to trust a part-time player like Edelman, but he’s shown what he can do when given a chance and everyone knows that Tom Brady is not shy when it comes to spreading the ball around.

Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins
It has been a frustrating season for Garcon owners, at least those who have had the patience to stick with him this long, but if his Thanksgiving showing in Dallas is any indication, he’s still worth owning provided he stays healthy. Garcon scored his first touchdown since Week 1 against the Cowboys and finished the game with five catches for a team-high 93 yards. His foot has been the issue for him this season, causing him to miss six games and limiting him in three others, but he looked pretty healthy on his 59-yard catch-and-run to the end zone in the second quarter against Dallas. You could do worse by adding a potential No. 1 wide receiver at this point of the season, if he’s available on your waiver wire.

Tight Ends
Week 12 Recap: Garrett Graham had three catches for 17 yards on Thanksgiving Day against Detroit, while Marcedes Lewis went four for 56 on Sunday against Tennessee.

Dallas Clark, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It has taken some time, but Clark has become a fairly reliable target for quarterback Josh Freeman over the past month or so. He has at least two catches in five of his last six games and has caught three touchdown passes during this span. He has a total of 11 receptions for 123 yards in his last two games and has scored 6.8 or more fantasy points in each of the last three contests.

Rob Housler, Arizona Cardinals
Housler caught a season-high eight passes for 82 yards in Arizona’s loss to St. Louis on Sunday. He still hasn’t posted a touchdown catch, but he’s scored 7.9 or more fantasy points in three of the last five games. It’s really hard to trust any Cardinal pass-catcher right now — this includes Larry Fitzgerald (sigh) — but when it comes to tight end, any sort of consistent fantasy production is a welcome sight.

Defense/Special Teams
Week 12 Recap: Carolina gave up 22 points to Philadelphia and 178 yards rushing to rookie running back Bryce Brown on "Monday Night Football," but the Panthers also forced three turnovers and held Nick Foles to 107 yards net passing in their 30-22 win.

Cleveland Browns
The Browns forced eight turnovers (5 fumbles, 3 INTs) and allowed only eight points to Pittsburgh’s offense in their 20-14 win on Sunday. For the season, Cleveland is a borderline top 10 fantasy DST that’s done a good job pressuring the quarterback (28 sacks) and generating turnovers (13 INTs, 12 fumbles). The Browns’ upcoming schedule is also appealing with Oakland and Kansas City (league-leading 32 turnovers) on tap the next two weeks.

Scoring is based on Athlon Sports default scoring which is 6 points for all TDs, .5 points per reception and 1 point per 25 yards passing, 10 yards rushing/receiving and 40 return yards.

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 13</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 05:20
Path: /college-football/acc-2012-season-recap-and-awards
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Chalk up 2012 as a year to forget for fans of the ACC. Florida State and Clemson were easily the class of the conference, but in-state SEC rivals handled both teams last Saturday. The Coastal had three teams finish at 5-3 in conference play, with Georgia Tech representing the division in Charlotte. With Miami and North Carolina banned from postseason play, the Yellow Jackets at 6-6 are just one win away from a BCS bowl. Maryland showed signs of progress in Randy Edsall’s second year, but quarterback injuries doomed its season. Virginia Tech was one of college football’s top disappointments, finishing 6-6 after having preseason top-15 expectations.

ACC Offensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson – It’s a close call between Boyd and Giovani Bernard for the No. 1 spot. However, a slight edge goes to Boyd, despite closing out the season with a lackluster performance against South Carolina. The junior quarterback threw for 34 touchdowns and 3,550 yards this year and added 492 yards and nine scores on the ground.
 

2. Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina – Despite dealing with a knee injury earlier this year, Bernard rushed for 1,228 yards and 12 touchdowns, along with catching 47 passes for 490 yards and five scores. Bernard rushed for 262 yards and one touchdown in a 48-34 win over Virginia Tech.
 

3. EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State – While Boyd and Bernard are clearly the No. 1 and No. 2 players in this category, it’s really anyone’s guess for the third spot. Even though Manuel was inconsistent at times and struggled against Florida, the senior gets the nod over Clemson receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
 

ACC Defensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State – It’s really a tossup between Werner and Carradine for the top spot. We’ll give a slight edge to Werner, who finished with 13 sacks, 18 tackles for a loss and one forced fumble.
 

2. Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State – If Werner is the No. 1 player at this spot, Carradine is really 1b. The senior led the team with 80 tackles and finished just behind Bjoern Werner with 13 tackles for a loss and 11 sacks this year. Unfortunately for Carradine, he suffered a torn ACL in Saturday’s loss to Florida.


3. Joe Vellano, DT, Maryland – Vellano battled injuries late in the season but still finished with 61 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss and six sacks.


ACC Coach of the Year Standings

1. Al Golden, Miami – There’s really not a clear No. 1 coach of the year candidate, but we will give a slight edge to Golden. Despite pending NCAA sanctions hanging over the program, Miami finished 7-5 with a host of young players receiving significant snaps. The Hurricanes could be a top 25-team in 2013.


2. David Cutcliffe, Duke – Even though the Blue Devils tailed off at the end of 2012, Cutcliffe has this program back in a bowl for the first time since 1994.


3. Larry Fedora, North Carolina – Just like Al Golden, Fedora did a good job of keeping his team on track with NCAA issues circulating over the program. Fedora went 8-4 overall and should have the Tar Heels in the thick of the Coastal race in 2013.


10 Things We Learned/What's Next in the ACC

1. Clemson is the ACC’s frontrunner in 2013
Yes, it’s a little early to talk about 2013, but Clemson should be the ACC’s No. 1 team next season. The Tigers lost only one game in conference play this year, which happened to be a 49-37 shootout defeat to the ACC’s No. 1 team – Florida State. Quarterback Tajh Boyd and receiver DeAndre Hopkins are considering an early entry into the NFL Draft but most expect Boyd will return to Clemson next season. Even if Hopkins leaves, the Tigers have plenty of depth and talent at receiver. The defense should be more comfortable in the second year under coordinator Brent Venables but needs to replace the production from departing seniors Malliciah Goodman, Xavier Brewer and Rashard Hall.

2. Miami is getting better…but awaits NCAA sanctions
Winning 13 games over the last two years certainly isn’t going to invoke memories of Miami’s national title seasons, but the Hurricanes are moving back in the right direction under Al Golden. With pending NCAA sanctions, Miami decided to self-impose a bowl ban for the second consecutive season. However, the Hurricanes return nearly everyone on the two-deep for next season and despite any scholarship limitations, should be the favorite to win the Coastal in 2013. Miami’s defense was a huge liability but has to be better with another offseason to jell and work under coordinator Mark D’Onofrio. Al Golden has Miami moving in the right direction and with the uncertainty surrounding the program, his name will pop up with open jobs across the nation. Assuming Golden returns next year, the Hurricanes should take another step forward in 2013.

3. Virginia Tech needs a spark on offense
Considering the expectations that surrounded this team in the preseason, the Hokies have to be one of college football’s top 10 disappointments this season. A variety of reasons are to blame, but an offense that failed to show progress from 2011 is the primary culprit. Quarterback Logan Thomas had to deal with a revamped offensive line and receiving corps and tossed four more interceptions on fewer passing attempts than last season. The junior completed only 52.6 percent of his throws and was forced to led the team in rushing without a running back emerging as a clear No. 1 option. Coordinator Bryan Stinespring and quarterback coach Mike O’Cain deserve their share of criticism, and both coaches have to find some answers this offseason. An offense doesn’t have to have flash to be effective, but it seems Virginia Tech’s attack needs some spice. Whether it’s the scheme, offensive line, receiving corps, running backs or Thomas, every unit needs to be thoroughly evaluated before spring practice.

4. David Cutcliffe has Duke on the right track
It’s hard for the Blue Devils to be a yearly contender for the Coastal Division crown, but there’s no reason why Duke can’t get to 6-6 or 7-5 most seasons. Credit David Cutcliffe and his staff for getting the Blue Devils over the hump this year, as Duke will make its first bowl appearance since 1994. Although the Blue Devils tailed off at the end of the year, they knocked off in-state rivals North Carolina and Wake Forest, along with a huge blowout victory over Virginia. The rest of the Coastal Division should be better next year, and Duke must replace quarterback Sean Renfree and record-setting receiver Conner Vernon. However, it seems Cutcliffe has developed some depth in the program, which should keep the Blue Devils right in the mix for a bowl bid in 2013.

5. Paul Johnson’s No. 1 offseason priority is the defense
The Yellow Jackets have no reason to apologize for making the ACC Championship with a 6-6 record. Although the Coastal Division was down this season and Miami and North Carolina’s self-imposed bowl ban helped, the Yellow Jackets won their last four ACC games to make it to Charlotte. While the late-season surge was good enough to represent the Coastal in the title game, this team has a lot of work to do to repeat this feat in 2013. After firing defensive coordinator Al Groh earlier this season, Georgia Tech didn’t make much progress on that side of the ball the rest of the year. The Yellow Jackets gave up at least 40 points in three out of their final five games. With an offense that returns nearly everyone next season, Georgia Tech has to fix its defense to push for seven or eight wins in 2013. Luckily for Johnson, there’s some good talent returning in the linebacking corps, but the defensive line will need some work. Along with finding the right coordinator, Georgia Tech needs to decide if the 3-4 scheme needs to stay, or a move back to the 4-3 is the better solution.

6. Maryland should be a bowl team in 2013
Just as we did with the Clemson projection above, it’s important to caution this is a very early pick and a lot could change before 2013. However, after a disastrous 2011 season, the Terrapins showed some signs of life in 2012. Despite losing four quarterbacks to season-ending injuries, Maryland doubled its win total from last season and had three conference losses by a touchdown or less. With C.J. Brown or Perry Hills back under center next season, along the return of standout sophomore receiver Stefon Diggs, the Terrapins should easily improve on offense next year. The defense will miss tackle Joe Vellano but most of the unit will return intact for 2013.

7. 7-5 won’t get it done at NC State
Even though Tom O’Brien led NC State to three consecutive bowl games, it wasn’t enough to save his job. The veteran coach’s dismissal came as a surprise to some, but it’s clear NC State wants to find a coach that can elevate the program to the next level. While O’Brien did a lot of good things in Raleigh, the school wants to push Clemson and Florida State for the Atlantic title on a consistent basis. Although it won’t be easy to knock off the Seminoles every year, this program has the resources to compete for the division title. And that’s the message athletic director Debbie Yow sent when she decided to part ways with O’Brien. Yes, O’Brien had turned NC State into a consistent winner but going 7-5 and 8-4 wasn’t good enough. It’s a risky move to fire a coach that went 24-14 over the last three years. However, Yow’s message is clear: Mediocrity won’t be tolerated at NC State.

8. The ACC needs an image boost
There’s really no way to positively spin the 2012 season for the ACC. Florida State held early national championship hopes but was knocked off by a NC State team that finished 7-5 and was dominated by Florida in the season finale. Virginia Tech – a team picked by most to win the Coastal and finish in the top 25 – went 6-6 and was 0-2 against teams from the Big East. Need more bad news? Georgia Tech (representing the Coastal Division in the title game) lost to MTSU and was clobbered 41-17 by BYU. Unless there’s a change after the bowl games, the ACC will have just two teams finish in the top 25. The conference will also struggle to fill out its bowl allotment, largely due to Miami and North Carolina’s postseason sanctions. However, six teams will qualify for bowl games and at least two will have just six wins. With Florida State losing some key pieces, it’s up to Clemson to give the ACC a national title contender in 2013.

9. Florida State’s QB battle will be one of the most intriguing ones to watch this spring
The Seminoles will suffer some key departures on defense but has a solid offensive line and playmakers at receiver and running back returning for 2013. However, for Florida State to contend for a top-10 finish next season, the quarterback battle has to get sorted out in a hurry this spring. Sophomore Clint Trickett will be the early frontrunner to replace EJ Manuel, but the job is far from settled. Top recruit Jameis Winston and Jacob Coker are expected to push Trickett in the spring but this is a battle that could wage into fall practice. If Florida State can get steady production from whichever quarterback wins the job, the Seminoles should easily push for 10 victories once again in 2013.

10. A new direction at Boston College
With a 6-18 mark in his last two years in Chestnut Hill, it’s clear it was time for Boston College and coach Frank Spaziani to part ways. Spaziani led the program to back-to-back bowl games in 2009 and 2010, but he wasn’t the right coach to lead Boston College in 2013 and beyond. This is a key hire for new athletic director Brad Bates, as the Eagles can’t afford to fall far behind in the 14-team ACC. There should be plenty of interest in this job, and the right coach should be able to turn Boston College back into a consistent bowl team. After two awful seasons, Bates needs to get someone who can make an instant impact in 2013, as well as build a successful program for the long haul.  

Related College Football Content

SEC 2012 Season Recap and Awards
Big Ten 2012 Season Recap and Awards

Pac-12 2012 Season Recap and Awards

Teaser:
<p> ACC 2012 Season Recap and Awards</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 05:19
Path: /college-basketball/acc-big-ten-challenge-preview-no-1-line-indiana-duke
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Basketball season is in full swing, which for the ACC and Big Ten is a welcome sight.

The ACC-Big Ten Challenge, as usual, will feature Final Four-type matchups at the top, including implications for the No. 1 spot. Duke has defeated two Final Four teams from a year ago and draws Ohio State, a Final Four candidate for this season. Meanwhile, North Carolina will attempt to avenge on the state of Indiana after the Tar Heels lost to Butler in the Maui Invitational. Roy Williams’ team, though, will have to unseat No. 1 Indiana in Bloomington.

The matchups could be telling throughout the Challenge as one of the deepest leagues, the Big Ten, faces an ACC that has perhaps the most unclear pecking order of any of the major conferences.

Best game: Ohio State at Duke
The Buckeyes have been one the nation’s quietest top teams with its best win coming by 11 against Washington. Meanwhile, Duke has made its share of statements, defeating defending national champion Kentucky and winning the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament with wins over Minnesota, VCU and Louisville. The individual matchups here should be compelling all over the court with Duke’s Mason Plumlee (19.7 ppg, 10 rpg) facing Deshaun Thomas (24 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and Ohio State’s Aaron Craft working to shut down Seth Curry on the perimeter. Ohio State hammered Duke 85-63 last season in Columbus as the Blue Devils made a quick turnaround after the Maui Invitational. This season, Duke’s turnaround is more manageable from the Bahamas back to Cameron Indoor Stadium, the Blue Devils still played three games in three days.

Don’t overlook: NC State at Michigan
Wait, NC State-Michigan is a game between two ranked teams, why would it be overlooked? Well, there’s the Ohio State-Duke game mentioned above, plus North Carolina-Indiana. The game in Ann Arbor is a distant third in the blue-blood factor. The preseason ACC favorite, NC State hasn’t been sharp to start the season, losing 76-56 to Oklahoma State in the Puerto Rico Tipoff followed by a narrow 82-80 win over UNC Asheville. Turnovers have been plentiful, and Mark Gottfried has cited chemistry concerns, a bit of a surprise for a team that returned the core of last year’s Sweet 16 team. Meanwhile, Michigan has had four players capable of taking over this season as the Wolverines defeated Pittsburgh and Kansas State on the way to title in the NIT Season Tip-Off.

Mismatch: Minnesota at Florida State
The opponents in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge appear to be evenly matched, at least on paper. This one may have the best potential for a mismatch, depending on which Andre Hollins or Michael Snaer shows up. The Gophers’ Hollins scored 41 points on 12 of 16 shooting against Memphis but followed that with eight points and a 1 of 8 performance from the floor. The Seminoles’ Snaer has scored in double figures in every game, but he can be a streaky shooter at times, too.

Snoozer: Boston College at Penn State
There are other lackluster games (Nebraska at Wake Forest) and another whose pace may be sleep-inducing (Virginia at Wisconsin). But this one takes the mantle for worst game in the challenge. The best player for either team, Penn State’s Tim Frazier, has been lost for the season to injury. Meanwhile, Boston College is 2-4 after a loss to Bryant.

Most to gain: The winner of Maryland at Northwestern
Both teams may be marginal NCAA Tournament prospects, though Maryland looked the part with the addition of Dez Wells and a narrow 72-69 loss to Kentucky to start the season. Maryland could pick up its first road win of the season while Northwestern could pick up a quality non-conference win, which will be imperative before facing a deep Big Ten.

Most to lose: Indiana
After an overtime scare against Georgetown in the Legends Classic, Indiana can reassert its hold on No. 1 with North Carolina coming to town. After a six-point game against Georgia, Cody Zeller responded with 17 points and eight rebounds against the Hoyas. The Hoosiers dominated their next time out with 101-53 win over Ball State on Sunday, but Indiana could lose the top spot if it loses at home to North Carolina, especially if No. 2 Duke defeats Ohio State. Indiana guard Jordan Hulls, who has made 19 of 35 3-pointers this season, could be the key player, though. North Carolina allowed Butler to convert 12 of 25 3-pointers in a loss in the Maui Invitational.

Players to watch:
Scott Wood, NC State. The Wolfpack was 10-0 when Wood hit at least four 3-pointers last season, a trend that’s carried into 2012-13. Wood has struggled at times to start the season, including a 1 of 11 performance from the field against Oklahoma State.

Durand Scott, Miami. Scott returned from a suspension to put up 15 points with five rebounds and three assists against Detroit, helping the Hurricanes recover from an embarrassing loss to Florida Gulf Coast. The return of Miami’s 6-5 senior guard could help the Hurricanes look more like the ACC dark horse they were projected to be to start the season. Now at full strength, Miami will face a team that’s shorthanded. Michigan State will be without highly touted freshman  guard Gary Harris, who will miss 2-3 weeks with a shoulder injury.  

Nik Stauskas, Michigan. Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary were the more high-profile freshmen, but the 6-6 guard Stauskus has been the second-most productive after Robinson. Stauskas averaged 13.3 points the last three games, helping Michigan stretch its offense. He’s hit 10 of 17 3-pointers this season.

ACC-Big Ten Challenge Roundtable Picks

TUESDAY (All times Eastern) David Fox Braden Gall Mitch Light Mark Ross Nathan Rush
Minnesota at Florida St., 7:15 p.m., ESPN2 Minnesota Florida St. Minnesota Florida St. Minnesota
Iowa at Virginia Tech, 7:15, p.m. ESPNU Iowa Va. Tech Iowa Va. Tech Va. Tech
NC State at Michigan, 7:30 p.m., ESPN Michigan Michigan Michigan Michigan Michigan
Maryland at Northwestern, 9:15 p.m., ESPN2 Maryland N'western N'western Maryland Maryland
Nebraska at Wake Forest, 9:15 p.m., ESPNU Wake Wake Wake Nebraska Wake
North Carolina at Indiana, 9:30 p.m., ESPN Indiana Indiana Indiana Carolina Indiana
WEDNESDAY          
Virginia at Wisconsin, 7 p.m., ESPN2 Wisconsin Wisconsin Wisconsin Wisconsin Wisconsin
Purdue at Clemson, 7:15 p.m., ESPNU Clemson Clemson Clemson Purdue Clemson
Michigan St. at Miami, 7:30 p.m., ESPN Miami Mich. St. Mich. St. Mich. St. Miami
Georgia Tech at Illinois, 9 p.m., ESPN2 Illinois Illinois Illinois Illinois Illinois
BC at Penn St., 9:15 p.m., ESPNU BC BC Penn St. Penn St. Penn St.
Ohio St. at Duke, 9:30 p.m., ESPN Ohio St. Duke Duke Duke Duke

Teaser:
<p> Ohio State-Duke, North Carolina-Indiana highlight ACC/Big Ten Challenge, but don't overlook NC State-Michigan, Michigan State-Miami.</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 05:00
Path: /college-football/10-coaches-replace-fired-danny-hope-purdue
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Even though Purdue will make its second consecutive bowl trip under Danny Hope, the school decided to end his tenure on Sunday. Hope went 22-27 in four seasons at Purdue and never had a conference record over .500 during that stretch. Although Hope had a couple of close calls this year against Ohio State and Notre Dame, it wasn't enough for the school to bring him back for a fifth season.

10 Coaches to Replace Danny Hope at Purdue

Jim Chaney, offensive coordinator, Tennessee – Although Chaney does not have any head coaching experience, he fits what Purdue is looking for in its next coach. The Missouri native is a bright offensive mind and worked under Joe Tiller at Purdue from 1997-2005, which included helping to mold Drew Brees into one of the nation’s top quarterbacks. Even though Tennessee struggled to win games this year, the offense certainly wasn’t the problem. The Volunteers ranked 15th nationally in passing offense and 20th with 475.9 yards per game.
 

Dave Clawson, head coach, Bowling Green – Clawson took a lot of heat for Tennessee’s struggles on offense in 2008, but he is a proven head coach at three different stops. The New York native went 29-29 in five seasons at Fordham (1999-2003), which also included a trip to the FCS playoffs in 2002. Clawson jumped to Richmond in 2004 and led the Spiders to two playoff appearances, including an 11-3 mark in 2007. After the failed season at Tennessee, Clawson landed at Bowling Green and went 7-6 in his debut year and 8-4 in 2012.

 

Bob Diaco, defensive coordinator, Notre Dame – Although Purdue has indicated it wants to hire an offensive-minded coach, Diaco should be a candidate that draws some interest. Diaco played at Iowa, so he’s certainly no stranger to life in the Big Ten. And he’s made stops as an assistant at Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Virginia and Cincinnati before coming to Notre Dame. Diaco has been one of the top coordinators in college football this season, leading the Irish defense to rank No. 2 nationally in points allowed and No. 6 in yards allowed. Diaco has no head coaching experience but has a strong resume from his time as an assistant and as a player at Iowa during the 1990s.
 

Dave Doeren, head coach, Northern Illinois – Even though Doeren has spent his career coaching defense, his Northern Illinois’ teams the last two years have ranked among the nation’s best. Doeren is only 40 years old, so he doesn’t have a ton of experience from other coaching stops. He spent two seasons at Montana (2000-01), before moving to Kansas in 2002. After a couple of seasons in Lawrence, Doeren took over as Wisconsin’s defensive coordinator in 2006 and held that position until 2010, when he became Northern Illinois’ head coach. Doeren inherited a good situation in DeKalb, but he’s also done a good job of putting his own stamp on the program. And despite his defensive background, Doeren would likely run an uptempo, spread offense at his next stop.
 

Darrell Hazell, head coach, Kent State – Just like Northern Illinois’ Dave Doeren, Hazell has done a terrific job in a short amount of time at Kent State and is due for a promotion to a BCS program. Hazell inherited a program that had not won more than five games in the four seasons prior to his arrival and has quickly turned Kent State into a MAC title contender. Hazell is 16-8 in two seasons with the Golden Flashes, which includes a huge road win over Rutgers in 2012. Although this is his first head coaching gig, Hazell has an impressive resume from stops at Western Michigan, Army, West Virginia, Rutgers and Ohio State.
 

Butch Jones, head coach, Cincinnati – Jones has been in the rumor mill quite a bit over the last few weeks, especially with the open vacancy at Kentucky. Considering the uncertainty over Cincinnati’s future conference and long-term stability in the Big East, it’s no surprise Jones could be looking to leave for the Big Ten or SEC. Jones followed up Brian Kelly at Central Michigan and Cincinnati, recording a 27-13 mark in three seasons with the Chippewas and a 22-14 record with the Bearcats. Another reason for Jones to be targeted by Purdue? His background on offense, which includes a stint as Central Michigan’s offensive coordinator and at West Virginia as a wide receivers coach. 
 

Kliff Kingsbury, offensive coordinator, Texas A&M – If Purdue is wiling to take a risk and wants to hit a home run with this hire, Kingsbury is the perfect candidate to target. Although he has no prior head coaching experience, the former Texas Tech quarterback is clearly one of the nation’s top assistant coaches. Kingsbury played a key role in developing Houston’s offense into one of the nation’s best and helped to mold Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel into a top quarterback this season. And how’s this for an interesting connection: Kingsbury’s current boss (Kevin Sumlin) played at Purdue.
 

Chuck Martin, offensive coordinator, Notre Dame – Although Brian Kelly plays a large role in calling the plays each week for Notre Dame, Martin should get his chance to be a head coach on the FBS level in the next few seasons. He succeeded Kelly at Grand Valley State and recorded a 74-7 mark in six seasons, including back-to-back national titles in 2005-06. Martin came to South Bend in 2010 and spent two years on defense, before moving to offensive coordinator in 2012. With his background on offense and successful stint at Grand Valley State, Martin fits the mold of what Purdue is looking for on in its next head coach.
 

Todd Monken, offensive coordinator, Oklahoma State – Monken is another coach with a background on offense and is also due for his shot to run a program. The Illinois native has no head coaching experience but has built a solid resume with stops as an assistant at Eastern Michigan, Louisiana Tech, LSU, Oklahoma State and in the NFL with the Jaguars. Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy has helped to build a foundation for offensive success in Stillwater, but Monken has done a tremendous job this season, starting three quarterbacks and dealing with a revamped offensive line to rank No. 3 nationally in scoring offense.
 

Pat Narduzzi, defensive coordinator, Michigan State – Narduzzi isn’t an offense-first coach, as he has spent his entire career on defense. However, Narduzzi has helped to mold Michigan State’s defense into one of the nation’s best and has been rumored to be in the mix for a couple of head coaching jobs over the last few seasons. Although Purdue seems to be targeting coaches with a strong background on offense, Narduzzi is a good coach that’s ready for a promotion. 

Teaser:
<p> 10 Coaches to Replace Fired Danny Hope at Purdue</p>
Post date: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 14:15
Path: /golf/mcilroy-strengthens-lead-world-rankings
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World No. 1 Rory McIlroy closed his season in style as he birdied the final five holes to come from behind and win on Sunday in Dubai and that helped him increase his lead in this week's world rankings.

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - World No. 1 Rory McIlroy closed his season in style as he birdied the final five holes to come from behind and win on Sunday in Dubai and that helped him increase his lead in this week's world rankings.

McIlroy's lead atop the rankings went from 3.53 average points to 4.33.

Luke Donald shared third behind McIlroy, but still lost ground in the rankings. Donald was again followed by Tiger Woods, who will host his World Challenge starting on Thursday.

Justin Rose took second behind McIlroy and moved up three spots to No. 4 in the latest rankings. Adam Scott remained in fifth, while Lee Westwood was down two to six and Louis Oosthuizen dropped one to seventh.

Jason Dufner held steady at No. 8 and was followed by Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker and Bubba Watson. Ian Poulter and Phil Mickelson exchanged spots with Poulter up to 12th.

Steve Stricker, Keegan Bradley and Nick Watney remained in the 14th to 16th positions. Peter Hanson jumped two to 17, which bumped Matt Kuchar and Dustin Johnson down a spot apiece to 18 and 19. Ernie Els was 20th again this week.

Teaser:
<p> World No. 1 Rory McIlroy closed his season in style as he birdied the final five holes to come from behind and win on Sunday in Dubai and that helped him increase his lead in this week's world rankings.</p>
Post date: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 11:59
Path: /college-football/10-coaches-replace-fired-jon-embree-colorado
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In a bit of a surprise, Colorado decided to end Jon Embree’s tenure after just two years in Boulder. Although Embree didn’t show much progress, he also didn’t inherit a full cupboard and needed some time to build the team through recruiting. However, the Buffaloes were one of the worst BCS teams in recent memory, and it’s clear the administration didn’t have faith in Embree to turn things around in 2013.

10 Coaches to Replace Jon Embree at Colorado

Tim DeRuyter, head coach, Fresno State – DeRuyter had a successful debut season at Fresno State, leading the Bulldogs to a 9-3 record and a share of the Mountain West title. DeRuyter has a solid resume as an assistant, working as a defensive coordinator at Air Force and Texas A&M. Although he’s only been a head coach for one year, it’s very easy to be impressed with DeRuyter. Fresno State struggled to get over the hump with Pat Hill on the sidelines, but DeRuyter brought quick improvement after the Bulldogs went 4-9 last season.
 

Pep Hamilton, offensive coordinator, Stanford – Hamilton is considered a rising star in the coaching ranks and it’s only a matter of time before he lands a head coaching gig. Hamilton played quarterback at Howard from 1993-96 and coached there from 1997-2001. After a couple of seasons in the NFL with the Jets, 49ers and Bears, Hamilton joined Stanford’s staff in 2010. Although David Shaw plays a key role in the offensive gameplan and play-calling, Hamilton is heavily involved. Hamilton is a bright offensive mind but has no head coaching experience.
 

Mark Helfrich, offensive coordinator, Oregon – Although Chip Kelly is the mastermind behind Oregon’s offense, Helfrich has played a key role in fine-tuning the Ducks’ attack. Helfrich was previously at Colorado from 2006-08 and also made stops as an assistant at Boise State and Arizona State. The 39-year-old coach is expected to be in high demand but may want to wait and see if Kelly leaves for the NFL before taking another job.

 

Mike MacIntyre, head coach, San Jose State – MacIntyre’s name has popped up with virtually every job this offseason. And once you look at MacIntyre’s resume, it’s pretty easy to see why he’s one of the hottest names in coaching searches. In three years at San Jose State, he has transformed the Spartans from one of the worst programs in the nation to a 10-2 team in 2012. MacIntyre also has stops as an assistant at Temple, Ole Miss, Duke and in the NFL with the Jets and Cowboys.
 

Derek Mason, defensive coordinator, Stanford – Mason has never been a head coach on the FCS or FBS level, so he would be another risky hire for Colorado. However, the Arizona native has a wealth of experience as an assistant and has helped Stanford to rank as the No. 1 defense in the Pac-12. Mason has stops as an assistant at Utah, New Mexico State, Ohio and in the NFL with the Vikings.
 

Noel Mazzone, offensive coordinator, UCLA – Considering how much Colorado struggled to develop any consistency on offense this year, a name like Mazzone has to be intriguing. The Washington native has bounced around throughout his career, making stops at TCU, Minnesota, Ole Miss, Auburn, Oregon State, NC State, Arizona State and in the NFL with the Jets. The biggest knock on Mazzone? No head coaching experience.
 

Bob Stitt, head coach, Colorado School of Mines – Stitt is a name that has popped up in Boulder over the last couple of months and is a wildcard to watch in this coaching search. The Nebraska native is highly regarded for his work on offense and has a 90-57 mark during his 13 years as the head coach at the Colorado School of Mines. It would be a big jump for Stitt to take this job, but he’s a rising star that’s due for a promotion in the next few years.
 

Todd Monken, offensive coordinator, Oklahoma State – If Colorado wants to go with a young, offensive-minded coach, Monken is another guy to keep on the radar. The Illinois native has no head coaching experience but made stops as an assistant at Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan, Louisiana Tech, LSU and Oklahoma State. Monken also spent two years in the NFL with the Jaguars.
 

Jeff Tedford, former head coach at California – Tedford had a solid tenure at California, finishing with an 82-57 mark in 11 seasons. His 82 wins are the most in school history and led the program to eight bowl appearances. Although Tedford’s tenure at California has to be considered a success, he may have grown stale at the end of his run. The Golden Bears were just 10-15 over his last two seasons and failed to make a bowl game in two out of the last three years. Tedford clearly knows his way around the Pac-12 and would be a good hire at Colorado. However, considering he is receiving a buyout from California, he may not be in any hurry to take another head coaching gig.
 

Justin Wilcox, defensive coordinator, Washington – Wilcox made an instant impact on Washington’s defense this season. After ranking among the nation’s worst last year, the Huskies finished 30th in yards allowed and 39th in scoring defense. The Oregon native has paid his dues as an assistant, spending time at California, Boise State and Tennessee. Although Wilcox is ready to be a head coach, he might be waiting to see if Chip Kelly leaves Oregon or Chris Petersen departs Boise State.
 

Longshots

Gary Andersen, head coach, Utah State – Andersen signed an extension at Utah State earlier this season and all signs point to a return to Logan for 2013.

Ron Caragher, head coach, San Diego – Caragher is 43-22 in six seasons with San Diego and has some FBS experience with stints as an assistant at Kentucky and UCLA.

Sonny Dykes, head coach, Louisiana Tech – Dykes is 22-15 in three seasons at Louisiana Tech but probably wanting to aim a little higher if he wants to move into a BCS job.

Teaser:
<p> 10 Coaches to Replace Fired Jon Embree at Colorado</p>
Post date: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 09:24

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