Articles By All

All taxonomy terms: Tiger Woods, Golf
Path: /golf/experts-poll-are-tigers-problems-mental-or-physical
Body:

After a career-worst 85 on Saturday at the Memorial, followed by the spectacle of a solo round as the last-place player in an odd-numbered field, it's clearer than ever that all is not well at Team Tiger. The game's formerly transcendent superstar doesn't look ready for a Saturday scramble at the local muni, much less the U.S. Open in a couple weeks. So what's at the bottom of Tiger's seemingly bottomless well of problems?

 

Athlon polled a number of golf insiders earlier this year on this very question: Are Tiger's problems primarily physical or mental?

 

Participants

Jay Coffin, Editorial Director, Golf Channel, @JayCoffinGC

Jason Deegan, Senior Staff Writer and Golf Advisor with The Golf Channel online, @WorldGolfer

Steve DiMeglio, USA Today, @Steve_DiMeglio

Bob Harig, ESPN, @BobHarig

Dan Jenkins, Author, Golf Digest Contributor, @danjenkinsgd

Garrett Johnston, Golf journalist, @JohnstonGarrett

Dave Kindred, Golf Digest, Sports on Earth Contributor, @DaveKindred

Alex Miceli, Senior Writer, Golfweek, @alexmiceli

Dan O’Neill, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Dave Shedloski, Golf World, @DaveShedloski

Art Spander, Global Golf Post, @artspander

 

Are Tiger's problems mental or physical?
Mental       4
Physical    1
Both          6

 

Comments
• Started mental as the scandals ended his aura of invincibility and led to a loss of confidence in every aspect of his life, even the swing.

 

• He's worn out between the ears after nearly two decades of carrying the game on his shoulders.

 

• Mental. Everybody but him seems to know it.

 

• It's 90 percent in his head and 50 percent physical. Yeah, the math doesn't add up, but that's how I see it.

 

• He will never be 100% healthy physically, but his mental game pulled him through. Now with his mental game in flux his game in general is substandard.

 

• He’s in a vicious circle right now. He needs to play a lot of golf to get out of his funk, but his body isn't healthy enough to do that.  

 

• Based on his play this year, he obviously has some confidence issues. He admits to being less focused than he was in the past and his physical problems hinder his ability to practice, much less play frequently. Not a good combination.

Both, I believe. If you have back or knee troubles, in golf or baseball (or tennis), well, they are games of swinging. And once doubts creep into the mind, you have what you had in Phoenix, the former greatest golfer in the world  chili-dipping and blasting long. That's a man untrusting of his game at the current time.

 

• Both. His back problems might be better, but he was still away from the game for long period of time and he needs to practice. In the meantime, he changed coaches, altered his swing and saw those problems creep into his short game. For one of the best ever around the greens, it is surely more than physical. There are issues of confidence and doubt that have come along with all the other changes.

 

• Tiger's struggles are more physical than mental. His inability to perform physically is hurting the mental part, however.

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, June 8, 2015 - 10:13
Path: /college-football/american-athletic-2015-all-conference-team
Body:

The American Athletic Conference should have a contender (or two) for the top spot among Group of 5 leagues for the right to play in one of college football’s top bowl games. And this league has added stability with the addition of Navy, giving the conference two six-team divisions and a conference championship in 2015.

 

The 2015 college football season is still a few months away, but it’s never too early to project what could happen this year.

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the American Athletic Conference last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2015.

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2015. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2015 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

Related: 2015 American Athletic Predictions, Preview and Awards

 

American Athletic Conference 2015 Team Previews
East Division
 
National
Rank: 
4010972996263
West Division
 
National 
Rank:
505954102104106

 

Visit the Athlon Sports Online Store to order a copy of the 2015 National College Football Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 128 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 


 

Athlon's American Athletic All-Conference Team for 2015
 First-Team
Offense
Second-Team
Offense
Third-Team
Offense
Fourth-Team
Offense
QBGunner Kiel
Cincinnati 
Keenan Reynolds
Navy 
Paxton Lynch
Memphis 
Greg Ward
Houston  
RBMarlon Mack
USF 
William Stanback
UCF 
Sherman Badie
Tulane 
Chris Hairston
East Carolina 
RBKenneth Farrow
Houston 

Chris Swain
Navy   

Hosey Williams
Cincinnati 
Zaire Williams
Temple 
APIsaiah Jones (WR)
East Carolina 
Keyarris Garrett (WR)
Tulsa 
Mike Boone (RB)
Cincinnati 
Rodney Adams (WR)
USF 
WRKeevan Lucas
Tulsa 
Shaq Washington
Cincinnati 
Darius Joseph
SMU 
Chris Moore
Cincinnati 
WRMekale McKay
Cincinnati 
Demarcus Ayers
Houston 
Mose Frazier
Memphis 
Jamir Tillman
Navy 
TEAlan Cross
Memphis 
Bryce Williams
East Carolina 
Charles Jones
Tulane 
Colin Thompson
Temple 
CKyle Friend
Temple 
Deyshawn Bond
Cincinnati 
Taylor Lasecki
SMU 
Gabe Kuhn
Memphis 
OGJ.T. Boyd
East Carolina 
B. Gudmundsson
USF 
Joey Grant
UCF 
Thor Jozwiak
USF 
OGE.K. Binns
Navy 
Quincy McKinney
East Carolina 
Chris Wallace
Tulsa 
Zach Johnson (OT)
Houston 
OTParker Ehinger
Cincinnati 
Garrett Stafford
Tulsa 
Alex Cooper
Houston 
Chavis Dickey
UCF 
OTIke Harris
East Carolina 
Taylor Fallin
Memphis 
Kris Weeks
SMU 
Arturo Uzdavinis
Tulane 
 First-Team
Defense
Second-Team
Defense
Third-Team
Defense
Fourth-Team
Defense
DLThomas Niles
UCF 
Derrick Alexander
Tulsa 
B.J. Singleton
Houston 
Terrell Stanley
East Carolina 
DLPraise-Martin
Oguike,
Temple 
Royce LaFrance
Tulane 
Derrick Calloway
USF  
Zach Wood
SMU 
DLSilverberry Mouhon
Cincinnati 
Bernard Sarra
Navy 
Derrick Luetjen
Tulsa 
Tanzel Smart
Tulane 
DLMatt Ioannidis
Temple 
Jamiyus Pittman
UCF 
Will Anthony
Navy 
Julian Campenni
UConn 
LBTyler Matakevich
Temple 
Nico Marley
Tulane  
Jackson Dillon
Memphis 
Jonathan Yenga
SMU 
LBZeek Bigger
East Carolina 
Graham Stewart
UConn 
Steven Taylor
Houston 
Marquise Vann
UConn 
LBNigel Harris
USF 
Montese Overton
East Carolina 
Craig Suits
Tulsa 
Nate D. Smith
Temple 
CBWilliam Jackson
Houston 
Parry Nickerson
Tulane 
Brendon Clements
Navy 
Sean Chandler
Temple 
CBJosh Hawkins
East Carolina 
Tavon Young
Temple 
Jhavon Williams
UConn 
Alex Wells (S)
Temple 
SZach Edwards
Cincinnati 
Trevon Stewart
Houston 
Jamie Byrd
USF 
Andrew Adams
UConn 
SAdrian McDonald
Houston 
Darion Monroe
Tulane 
Michael Mudoh
Tulsa 
Obi Melifonwu
UConn 
 First-Team
Specialists
Second-Team
Specialists
Third-Team
Specialists
Fourth-Team
Specialists
KJake Elliott
Memphis 
Andrew Gantz
Cincinnati 
Kyle Bullard
Houston 
Austin Grebe
Navy 
PMattias Ciabatti
USF  
Dalton Parks
Tulsa 
Worth Gregory
East Carolina 
Spencer Smith
Memphis 
KRDeion Sanders Jr.
SMU 
D'Angelo Brewer
Tulsa 
Johnny Holton
Cincinnati 
Jordan Akins
UCF 
PRTrevon Brown
East Carolina 
Shaq Washington
Cincinnati 
Hassan Childs
USF 
Conner Floyd
Tulsa 

 

2015 American Athletic Conference Predictions, Preview and Season Awards

 

Breakdown of Athlon's 2015 American Athletic All-Conference Team

 FirstSecondThirdFourth
Cincinnati
Offense: 3
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 2
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Connecticut
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 4
Sp. Teams: 0
East Carolina
Offense: 3
Defense: 2 
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Houston
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Memphis
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 1 
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1 
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Navy
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
SMU
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 3
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
South Florida
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Temple
Offense: 1
Defense: 3
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 3
Sp. Teams: 0
Tulane
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 4
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Tulsa
Offense: 1 
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 2
Offense: 1
Defense: 3
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
UCF
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1

 

Teaser:
American Athletic 2015 All-Conference Team
Post date: Monday, June 8, 2015 - 10:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, SEC
Path: /college-football/sec-west-have-they-become-their-own-worst-enemy
Body:

It was painful at times in 2014 to watch and listen to the talking heads of college football try to figure out the College Football Playoff early in the season. Each week, a new, hot team was inserted into the conversation on the back of a win that passed the eye test.

 

More often than not, that new, hot team was from the SEC West.

 

The process began when Texas A&M took down SEC East foe South Carolina in the highest-profile game on opening night of the season. The win shot the Aggies up the rankings, subsequently giving a quality opponent (and win) to Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Alabama in consecutive weeks. Before we knew it, some of those same talking heads had Mississippi State, Ole Miss and either Alabama or Auburn — three teams from the same division — theoretically occupying three of the four spots in the College Football Playoff.

 

We now know how far off those predictions were. The question remains, did we learn anything?

 

What I learned was that given the parity of the SEC West in most years, it will be quite an achievement for one of the teams  — forget two or three — to make its way through the division, into the conference title game and onto the Playoff this season and beyond. This doesn't even take into account the uncertainty around the division heading into the 2015 season.

 

Alabama, the highest-ranked SEC West team in Athlon Sports' Preseason Top 25, lost their starting quarterback to graduation and two of the most prolific offensive weapons in the country to the NFL Draft. On defense, they lost one of the best safeties in the nation. All told, 28 players from the SEC West were drafted by NFL teams a little more than a month ago.

 

Related: SEC 2015 Predictions

 

That's a lot of impact-making positions for every team in the division to fill.

 

I'm not one of those people who is going to jump on board and say the SEC West is without a doubt the best overall division in college football, but I'll argue all day that it will be the most competitive this season. On paper, all seven teams have a shot at walking away with the division championship. All seven are in Athlon's Top 25 to start the season and obviously, all seven will play each other.

 

Related: Stop Arguing: SEC West is College Football's Best Division

 

You are talking about a seven-way game of full contact paper, rock, scissors.

 

Few people outside the diehard fans of the seven SEC West teams realistically expect any one of those squads to run the table. I'll personally be shocked if the champion has two or fewer losses heading to Atlanta for the conference title game.

 

And that begs the next question: Can a two-loss team qualify for the College Football Playoff.

 

Given the small sample size we have from last season, I'd say the answer is a resounding "NO." We had borderline pandemonium trying to figure out which one-loss team would be left out of the mix. Looking around the country at how we expect the other Power 5 conferences to shape up, I'd say it would be a shock if three of the four other conference champions finished their campaigns with more than one loss. Taking that into account, a two-loss SEC West champion would then find itself in a marketing war with at least one other conference champion — with the target audience being the College Football Playoff committee.

 

And that's only if the SEC West champion can get past a team from the East in Atlanta.

 

College football is always changing, and it appears that the rest of the nation may have caught up to the SEC — particularly the SEC West — in this new system. The irony of all of this is, trumpeting an entire group of teams as elite over the years may have actually started a cannibalistic domino-effect in recruiting and subsequent on-field competitiveness that ends up being detrimental rather than beneficial in the current state of college football.

 

— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Scott is the editor-in-chief of KnowItAllFootball.com, a Big Ten site for Big Ten fans. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.

Teaser:
SEC West: Have They Become Their Own Worst Enemy?
Post date: Monday, June 8, 2015 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/stop-arguing-sec-west-college-footballs-best-division
Body:

The rest of the country doesn’t want to believe it but it’s true.

 

The Pac-12 has elevated itself into national prominence. The Big Ten is the reigning national champion and has added serious coaching cache over the last few seasons. The Big 12 is rolling in new television dough and the ACC is slowly but surely regaining form.

 

But the SEC is still the best conference in college football and the SEC West could be better in 2015 than it’s ever been before.

 

It all starts with the coaching, continues with talent and ends with victories.

 

Nick Saban and Les Miles have a combined five national titles and have played in the BCS title game or College Football Playoff six times since 2007. Saban (.802) and Miles (.780) are fifth and sixth all-time in SEC history in winning percentage and second (.780) and 11th all-time (.690) in league games.

 

Related: Don't listen to Nick Saban, the Bowls are fine

 

Auburn's Gus Malzahn is nipping at their heels. He’s won one national title as a coordinator and played for another as a first-year SEC head coach and ranks behind only Saban as the best current coach in the league.

 

Needless to say, their resumes speak for themselves. But the depth of coaching is what makes the SEC West so daunting. Bret Bielema has a losing record (10-15) at Arkansas but is a hot pick by many as the top challenger to the state of Alabama this fall and he won three straight Big Ten titles at Wisconsin before jumping ship to Fayetteville.

 

Kevin Sumlin has ushered Texas A&M into a new conference with a Heisman Trophy and a better winning percentage (.718) than every coach in College Station since 1928 with the exception of R.C. Slocum (.721).

 

Dan Mullen is doing things at Mississippi State that are unprecedented. No coach has left Starkville with a winning SEC record since Allyn McKeen in 1948. Mullen has led his program to its first AP No. 1 ranking and reached a bowl game in four (much less five) straight seasons for the first time in school history.

 

Related: SEC 2015 Predictions

 

In Oxford, Hugh Freeze is doing things only Johnny Vaught had accomplished. Only one Rebels coach since Vaught (David Cutcliffe) has posted a winning SEC record and only once since Vaught has Ole Miss entered a season ranked in the preseason AP top 15 (2009).

 

The Rebels are ranked No. 11 in Athlon Sports preseason Top 25.

 

That’s just the head coaches. John Chavis, Will Muschamp, Cam Cameron, Kirby Smart and Lane Kiffin are some of the best (and highest paid) coordinators in the nation.

 

Related: Buy your 2015 SEC preview magazines here!


It’s not just the elite-level coaching that makes this league so terrifying, however, it’s also the players. The SEC led all conferences at the NFL Draft for a ninth consecutive year in May and is a near lock to do so again in 2016.

 

All seven teams in the SEC West are ranked in the Top 26 in terms of raw talent. Six of the seven are ranked among the nation’s 22 most talented rosters.

 

This division is responsible for seven preseason first-team All-Americans and seven second-team preseason All-Americans.

 

One could argue the SEC West has the best quarterback (Dak Prescott), running back (Leonard Fournette, Derrick Henry), wide receiver (Laquon Treadwell, D’haquille Williams), tight end (Hunter Henry, Evan Engram, O.J. Howard), offensive tackle (Laremy Tunsil, Cam Robinson), offensive guard (Sebastian Tretola), defensive tackle (Robert Nkemdiche, A’Shawn Robinson), defensive end (Myles Garrett), linebacker (Reggie Ragland) and safety (Tony Conner) in the nation.

 

The SEC West may have the best player at almost every position… IN THE NATION.

 

This says nothing of how this division fared on the field a year ago. The SEC West went 28-0 in non-conference play with wins over Wisconsin, at Kansas State, West Virginia, at Texas Tech, Boise State and Memphis. This division lost a combined 25 regular season games a year ago — four to the SEC East and 21 to itself.

 

Related: Bowl games have no place in the College Football Playoff

 

(Don’t talk to me about bowl… ahem, exhibition games. I won’t count Arkansas’ romp over Texas if you don’t count TCU’s crushing of an injured and unmotivated Ole Miss. The only one that actually counts is Alabama’s loss to Ohio State.)

 

There is a reason that Mississippi State is picked last in the West and still ranked No. 21 nationally. There is a reason that two teams from this division are projected to make the Playoff.

 

This division isn’t the best because of some southern broadcasting media bias.

 

The SEC West is the best in football because it has the best coaches in the nation leading the best players in the nation on the best teams in the nation.

Teaser:
Stop the Debate: SEC West is College Football's Best Division
Post date: Monday, June 8, 2015 - 10:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football
Path: /college-football/wisconsin-football-experience-hype-video-jj-watt-badgers-russell-wilson-melvin-gordon
Body:

Wisconsin has a rich history. 

 

Madison is home to the Badgers, and there's no secret that the city is crazy about the college teams. "Wisconsin Football Experience" is a video showcasing the history while looking forward to the future. It gives the viewer an opportunity to not only learn about the team, but the fans that support it.

 

J.J. Watt, Russell Wilson, Melvin Gordon, and other former Badgers make appearances. Once a Badger, always a Badger.

 

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, June 8, 2015 - 09:47
Path: /college-football/breaking-down-tennessee-volunteers-future-quarterback-quinten-dormady
Body:

Tennessee fans are well aware of what returning starting quarterback Joshua Dobbs brings to the table. But what about the trio of talented freshmen that will be joining Dobbs on The Hill this fall?

 

Related: Tennessee Volunteers 2015 Preview and Prediction

 

With the loss of three of the Vols’ four scholarship quarterbacks this past year, Tennessee head coach Butch Jones knew that it was of paramount importance to recruit well at the quarterback position heading into the 2015 season. Not only did Jones and the Tennessee coaching staff rise to the challenge, they landed arguably the top class of freshman quarterbacks in the entire nation for 2015. This group is comprised of three consensus 4-star recruits — Jauan Jennings, Quinten Dormady and Sheriron Jones.  In the first of a three-part series featuring each of the freshman quarterbacks, here is a closer look at Dormady.

 

Dormady, a consensus 4-star recruit, was ranked as the No. 5 pro-style quarterback in the nation for 2015 per 247 Sports. The Boerne, Texas, native had an outstanding high school career amassing 5,903 passing yards and 59 touchdowns in just two seasons of varsity football at Boerne High School (pronounced Burnie). He threw for more than 3,000 yards, completing 61 percent of his passes in a sophomore campaign that landed him on the Texas all-state team as an honorable mention. A lofty achievement in the state of Texas for a first-year varsity quarterback. This also put him on the map as a player to watch among recruiting sites and coaches alike.

 

Unfortunately, Dormady would miss his entire junior season with a torn labrum. The injury would be a severe blow to his stock as a potentially elite college quarterback prospect, as high school football players tend to be evaluated most heavily in their junior seasons. Subsequently, Dormady would be left marginally rated by some recruiting services, while others failed to assign him any ranking at all heading into the all-important spring and summer camp circuit.

 

Dormady would rebound nicely with a stellar showing on the camp circuit, regaining much of the momentum he had lost following his injury. He would also garner an impressive offer sheet, which included the likes of Alabama, Tennessee, TCU and Oklahoma State to name a few.

 

On June 9, 2014, the rising quarterback would commit to a Tennessee coaching staff that never relented in its pursuit of the once “under the radar” Dormady. He would ultimately go on to a successful senior season in which he threw for 2,893 yards and 32 touchdowns, garnering the status of 4-star prospect, and a reputation as one of the better pro-style quarterbacks in the nation.

 

Dormady possesses all of the attributes that coaches fall in love with in a prototypical pocket passer. Size, arm strength, mechanics, accuracy and pocket presence are all characteristics that epitomize Dormady. He also is considered to be quite polished and intelligent for a quarterback his age, which stands to reason, considering that Dormady’s father, Mike, also was his head coach in high school.

 

The good news is that Dormady was able to enroll at Tennessee early for the spring semester along with fellow freshman signal-caller Jauan Jennings. This should prove beneficial to Dormady in the steep learning curve to which all freshman quarterbacks must adjust, especially in the SEC.

 

Related: Breaking Down the Tennessee Volunteers' Future at Quarterback — Jauan Jennings

 

Even as a freshman, Dormady appears to have a solid grasp of the Tennessee playbook. It does not hurt that he played in a similar offense in high school, and as he demonstrated in the Vols’ annual Orange and White spring game, he also has the ability to read defenses at a level beyond his years. He completed five of his eight pass attempts for 98 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions in the exhibition.

 

If there is a knock on Dormady, it would be his lack of athleticism. A somewhat crucial component in a Tennessee offense that has proven to fare much better with a mobile quarterback. Dormady did rush for 261 yards and five touchdowns as a senior in high school, so it is not as if he has zero ability to run the football. But, he pales in that area in comparison to his freshman quarterback counterparts, Jennings and Sheriron Jones, with whom Dormady will compete for the backup job behind returning starter Joshua Dobbs.

 

While Dormady appears to hold a slight lead in the competition for the No. 2 spot behind Dobbs heading into fall camp, that lead could quickly be erased competing against the likes of Jennings and Jones, who are both consensus 4-star prospects in their own right. Jennings is a very elusive and athletic quarterback, who can make plays with his feet that Dormady cannot. And Jones, who just arrived on campus, may be the most balanced of the three in terms of being a true dual-threat quarterback.

 

The bottom line is this; the Vols need a polished passer who understands the offense first and foremost. For now, Dormady fits that bill better than his competition. He already has a slight edge on Jennings, and Jones will be at a distinct disadvantage by not competing in spring drills. Dormady will surely have his work cut out for him, but he has to be considered the odds-on favorite to land the backup role heading into the Sept. 5 opener against Bowling Green in Nashville.

 

— Written by Rob McVey, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. McVey is a diehard Tennessee Volunteers fan who loves singing “Rocky Top” every opportunity he gets. Follow him on Twitter @Rob_UTVOLS.

 

(Quinten Dormady photo courtesy of UTSports.com)

Teaser:
Breaking Down the Tennessee Volunteers' Future at Quarterback: Quinten Dormady
Post date: Monday, June 8, 2015 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, World Cup
Path: /2015-womens-world-cup-uswnt-preview
Body:

The U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) will make its seventh World Cup appearance at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will be played in six Canadian cities (Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal and Moncton) from June 6 until July 5. These are the red, white and blue names to know:

 

Miss America: Alex Morgan

Four years ago, Alex Morgan was the youngest member of a USWNT that lost to Japan in the FIFA World Cup Final in Germany. Then then-22-year-old scored the first goal of the final match — one of her two goals in the tournament, both of which came in the Knockout Stage. But she was not called upon to shoot penalties, as the USA lost the shootout to Japan, 3–1, following a 2–2 draw in regulation and extra time.

 

Since then, her life has done a bicycle kick. She has gone from phenom forward to established star striker, as arguably the face of U.S. Soccer. She has been named U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year, been a finalist for FIFA World Player of the Year, posed in body paint for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, married fellow Californian soccer star Servando Carrasco and appeared on FOX’s American Idol — where she and Abby Wambach gave host Ryan Seacrest a USWNT jersey, as the “official waterboy.”

 

Comfortable in her skin and firmly in her prime, Morgan is poised to take over the world — or at least the World Cup. If Team USA hopes to bring the golden World Cup trophy south of the border back from Canada, the USWNT will rely heavily on Morgan’s fleet feet to make it happen.

 

Boss: Jill Ellis

The 48-year-old is making her World Cup debut as coach of the USWNT after serving as an assistant on the 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medal-winning national teams.

 

Solo Artist: Hope Solo

The USWNT netminder broke Brianna Scurry’s U.S. record for shutouts. Solo aims to add to that mark while making her third World Cup appearance as the go-to goalie.

 

Captain: Christine Rampone

The only remaining member of the 1999 World Cup champions, the veteran leader of the USWNT — and mother of two — will turn 40 years old during this year’s World Cup.

 

Icon: Abby Wambach

One of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, Wambach has scored more international goals — 178 in 239 matches — than anyone (man or woman) in soccer history.

 

Import: Sydney Leroux

Born in Surrey, British Columbia, to a Canadian mother and American father, Leroux chose to play for the USA but will make her Canadian homecoming this summer.

 

Group of Death: Part II

Last summer, the U.S. Men’s National Team survived the infamous “Group of Death.” This summer, the USWNT has drawn the group with the highest total of combined FIFA points. But unlike their male counterparts, the American women are favored entering the tournament and have a history of World Cup success.

 

Team USA won the inaugural 1991 World Cup in China and was triumphant again as the host nation at the 1999 World Cup, which was capped by a thrilling shootout victory and shirtless celebration by Brandi Chastain. In order to challenge for a third World Cup crown, the USWNT will first have to go toe-to-toe with these three teams.

 

Australia

(June 8, 7:30 ET, Winnipeg)

The Matildas are ranked No. 10 in the world and boast an explosive offense powered by seasoned forwards Lisa De Vanna and Kate Gill, along with rising stars like 20-year-old Caitlin Foord, who is making her second World Cup appearance after making her debut at 16.

 

Sweden

(June 12, 8:00 ET, Winnipeg)

The fifth-ranked Blue-Yellow are led by former Team USA coach Pia Sundhage, the 2012 FIFA World Coach of the Year who guided the USWNT to a runner-up finish at the 2011 World Cup — a tournament in which the Swedes defeated the Yanks, 2–1, in group play.

 

Nigeria

(June 16, 8:00 ET, Vancouver)

Although the Super Falcons are easily the fourth-best team in Group D, they should not be overlooked. The 2014 African champs have one of the world’s top young talents in Asisat Oshoala, the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Golden Ball winner and African Women’s Footballer of the Year.

 

PREDICTIONS

Semifinals: USA over France; Japan over England

Final: USA over Japan

Teaser:
The U.S. Women's National Team is poised for World Cup glory.
Post date: Saturday, June 6, 2015 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: Overtime
Path: /overtime/ioc-allows-caitlyn-jenner-keep-olympic-medals-despite-petition-bruce-change-org
Body:

The International Olympic Committee has received the petition to revoke the gold medal of Caitlyn Jenner, but decided not to.

 

Jenner won the medal in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, and will still be able to proudly display them wherever she chooses. Fans began a petition for the committee to revoke the medals because of Jenner's recent changes. The IOC Communications Director, Mark Adams, issued a statement to Yahoo on the decision to allow her to keep them.

 

"Bruce Jenner won his gold medal in the 1976 Olympic Games and there is no issue for the IOC," Adams said.

 

Claiming that Jenner identified as a male at the time, there is no reason for the committee to get involved. The IOC announced in 2012 that transgender athletes could compete against the gender they identify with, as long as they meet the criteria. That person would need to undergo gender reassignment surgery and legal recognition of their assigned gender.

 

More than 13,000 people have signed the petition, but that doesn't dispute the fact that the medals were won fairly.

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, June 5, 2015 - 17:00
Path: /college-football/penn-state-coach-james-franklin-gets-sweet-office-upgrade
Body:

Penn State coach James Franklin has a new and rather interesting addition to his office. On Friday, a fan gave Franklin a taxidermied Nittany Lion.

 

The school’s official Twitter account provided a few images, and Franklin seems to be pretty fired up about the unique addition to his office.

 

It’s been an interesting week for college football coaches and animals. First, it was Charlie Strong hanging out with Tiger cubs at Texas, and Franklin now has a stuffed Nittany Lion in his office.

 

Teaser:
Penn State Coach James Franklin Gets a Sweet Office Upgrade
Post date: Friday, June 5, 2015 - 16:29
All taxonomy terms: College Football
Path: /college-football/jim-harbaugh-joins-shirts-vs-skins-practice
Body:

Oh Jim Harbaugh, is there anything you can't do?

 

While at a camp, Harbaugh felt that simply watching the practice wouldn't be enough, he had to join in as well. Shirtless. The Michigan coach has a "dadbod" if I've ever seen one. Once it's seen, good luck trying to get the image out of your mind.

 

 

 

 

 

Get it out of your system now, Jim. You won't be able to do that in Michigan. 

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, June 5, 2015 - 14:58
All taxonomy terms: NBA, Overtime
Path: /nba/jimmy-kimmel-lie-witness-news-live-clippers-warriors-cavaliers-nba-finals
Body:

Jimmy Kimmel's "Lie Witness News" segments expose the truth, or lack thereof, in the streets.

 

This is a special Clippers edition of the segment, geared towards those "fans" who are happy to see the team in the NBA Finals (as opposed to the Warriors and Cavaliers). One guy is even wearing a Bulls hat. Shame. We at least expect him to know what's going on in the playoffs.

 

 

The worst thing about it is that it takes place on the streets of Los Angeles.

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, June 5, 2015 - 14:00
Path: /mlb/oakland-athletics-call-switch-pitcher
Body:

With so many great batters in the MLB, most pitchers spend countless time and effort in perfecting their craft. They understand their strengths and weaknesses, especially when it comes to facing right- and left-handed batters.

 

Pat Venditte, however, has an answer to lefties and righties: He can pitch with both arms. The Oakland Athletics called up this one-of-a-kind pitcher today in a hope to help bolster the league’s worst bullpen in terms of ERA. Although he cannot switch arms during an at-bat due to a rule that was made because of his unique ability, he still will gain an advantage over any non-switch hitting batter. 

 

Whenever he pitches against a switch-hitter, it should make for an interesting series of events before the at-bat. Hopefully he gets a chance to pitch soon because everybody around the league will surely be paying close attention to this unique skill of his.  


Take a look below at Venditte pitching with both of his arms:

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, June 5, 2015 - 13:07
Path: /college-football/arkansas-state-holder-uses-tongue-hold-ball-field-goal-attempt
Body:

Wisconsin’s Rafael Gaglianone recently set the standard for new trick shots by kickers by attempting a field goal while his holder kept the ball upright with his nose.

 

And now, Arkansas State’s Luke Ferguson is taking this to a different level. The senior posted a video attempting a field goal while his holder held the ball with his tongue.

 

Yes, that’s right. His tongue. 

Teaser:
Arkansas State Holder Uses Tongue to Hold Ball on Field Goal Attempt
Post date: Friday, June 5, 2015 - 12:54
All taxonomy terms: NBA
Path: /nba/espns-nba-finals-tribute-stuart-scott-will-melt-your-heart-warriors-cavaliers
Body:

As great as the games in the NBA Finals are, they are missing one key ingredient. The boo-yah, the flare, witty "cooler than the other side of the pillow" talk.

 

Stuart Scott has been there for years for post game interviews, the crowning of the champion, and those one-on-ones you won't see anywhere else. The colorful ESPN personality had a relationship with the players that is difficult to replicate. 

 

ESPN aired a tribute to the fallen anchor during halftime, and it's easy to see why Scott is sorely missed.

 

 

Crowning a winner without Stuart Scott there will be weird, but he's certainly not too far away.

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, June 5, 2015 - 12:08
Path: /nba/golden-state-runs-worst-play-manages-score-3-out-it
Body:

NBA players rarely get wide-open shots. Even less often they choose not to take them. In Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Golden State center Andrew Bogut did exactly that, confusing the commentators and the crowd. 

 

Following a steal, Steph Curry dribbled near the three point line, found an open Bogut running towards the hoop, and lobbed him a wide open pass for an easy alley-oop.  It looked as if Bogut would take the easy dunk and electrify the crowd.  However, whether if by design or not, Bogut dished out the pass mid-air towards an open Klay Thompson in the corner.

 

Thompson pumped a three-point attempt and missed, but Bogut rebounded the attempt and possibly had another open easy shot. However, committed to the three, Bogut once again found Thompson open for a long-range attempt. Luckily, Thompson hit this shot, which may have ultimately been the difference between winning and losing.  


Take a look at what color analyst Jeff Van Gundy called "one of the worst plays I've ever seen in my entire life":

 

Teaser:
Golden State Runs Worst Play, Manages To Score 3 Out of it
Post date: Friday, June 5, 2015 - 12:00
All taxonomy terms: NBA, News
Path: /nba/game-1-proves-lebron-james-deserves-nba-mvp-every-year
Body:

How is LeBron James not the MVP every year?

 

Steph Curry is probably one of the greatest shooters of all-time, like many have written over the last week, and a very deserving MVP winner. James Harden would have been totally acceptable as well.

 

But I don’t know how LeBron James isn’t the MVP of every court he’s ever stepped on. Maybe voters have developed a case of LeBron fatigue and they are just tired of giving it to the same guy.

 

The depleted Cavaliers lost in overtime in Game 1 of the NBA Finals to Golden State. David Blatt and Steve Kerr watched as James isolated his way to a career Finals high 44 points. He added eight rebounds and six assists as well.

 

The Cavaliers are grossly overmatched as a team against the Warriors and the only reason they are even playing right now is James. The only reason Game 1 went to overtime is because of James. The only reason Cleveland has any chance whatsoever to even win a game in this series is James.

 

With the only other meaningful player on the active roster, Kyrie Irving, in serious doubt for the rest of the series, James will have to work minor miracles to win a championship. Just getting this series past Game 5 might prove he deserves the MVP every year.

 

Curry was average but effective, scoring 26 points on 20 shots in 43 minutes, and the Warriors still won the game. The Cavs can’t have an off game from James.

 

Michael Jordan didn’t win every MVP because voters just felt like they needed to acknowledge other great players but he was the real MVP. That’s not a knock on Charles Barkley or Karl Malone, Jordan was just that good.

 

This isn’t a knock on Curry, James is just that good and is clearly more valuable to his team than anyone else in the league.

Teaser:
Game 1 Proves LeBron James Deserves the NBA MVP Every Year
Post date: Friday, June 5, 2015 - 11:34
Path: /college-football/sun-belt-football-2015-predictions
Body:

The Sun Belt has seen its share of membership changes due to conference realignment in recent years. But as the 2015 season approaches, the Sun Belt has some stability with its 11-team membership.

 

Appalachian State and Georgia Southern combined for a 16-8 record in their FBS debut in 2014, and the league had six teams reach bowl eligibility.

 

UL Lafayette and Arkansas State have been the teams to beat in recent years, but the addition of Appalachian State and Georgia Southern has strengthened the top of the league. Additionally, South Alabama and Texas State continue to develop as FBS programs and should be in the mix for a bowl in 2015.

 

Here are 5 Key Questions That Will Shape the Sun Belt in 2015

 

1. UL Lafayette, Arkansas State the Teams to Beat Once Again?

UL Lafayette and Arkansas State have been the Sun Belt’s top programs in recent years, and both teams are coming off four consecutive bowl appearances. The Ragin’ Cajuns and Red Wolves are among the favorites once again, but these two programs will be pushed by Georgia Southern and Appalachian State for the league crown. Arkansas State will have no trouble scoring points behind dynamic quarterback Fredi Knighten. But the defense returns only four starters and improving the run defense is a priority. UL Lafayette’s Mark Hudspeth is a rising star in the coaching ranks, and the Ragin’ Cajuns will be tested with just eight returning starters. Junior Brooks Haack is slated to replace Terrance Broadway at quarterback, but the biggest concern is on defense on the line. Will both teams find the right answers on defense early in the year? Or will the defensive woes push Appalachian State and Georgia Southern to the top spots?

 

2. Will Appalachian State Pick Up Where it Left Off?

Recapturing the momentum or energy from a previous season is no easy task for any team. The Mountaineers won their final six games last year, which included victories over UL Lafayette and Arkansas State. While it may not be easy to replicate the momentum from the end of 2014, Appalachian State is in a good position to challenge for the league title in 2015 with 20 returning starters. Scott Satterfield’s team is headlined by an explosive offense, and the defense held opponents to a respectable 27.3 points per game in 2014. Sophomore quarterback Taylor Lamb is one of the Sun Belt’s top rising stars to watch, and his development could be the difference in the conference title picture. Even if the Mountaineers don’t pickup exactly where they left off, this team is still capable of winning the Sun Belt title in 2015.

 

3. Georgia Southern’s Encore

It was hard to script a better start to FBS play for Georgia Southern. The Eagles thrived under first-year coach Willie Fritz, finishing with a 9-3 overall record and a perfect 8-0 mark in conference play. The Eagles also came close to victories over Power 5 teams Georgia Tech and NC State last season. Can Georgia Southern finish with a perfect mark in conference play again? Fritz’s team has a favorable schedule by missing Arkansas State and UL Lafayette, but road tests at Appalachian State and ULM will be tough. Quarterback Kevin Ellison and running back Matt Breida are back to anchor the offense, and six starters form an experienced core on defense. The biggest question mark for Fritz’s team is an offensive line that returns only one starter.

 

4. South Alabama’s Rebuilding Effort

The Jaguars were one of the team’s hit hardest by personnel departures from 2014. South Alabama returns only five starters, but there’s help on the way in the form of a handful of UAB transfers. Quarterback Cody Clements and guard Cameron Blankenship should have the biggest impact for coach Joey Jones’ team, and former UAB offensive coordinator Bryant Vincent will call the plays for the Jaguars in 2015. South Alabama has a good core of talent but a lot of inexperience and new players attempting to mesh with the current roster. How quickly will Jones find the right answers on both sides of the ball?

 

5. Can Texas State Take the Next Step?

Over the last four years under coach Dennis Franchione, the Bobcats have recorded three seasons of at least a .500 record. Texas State is coming off its best mark in that span (7-5), but the program is still looking for its first bowl appearance. Can the Bobcats take the next step and reach the postseason in 2015? The offense should be in good shape with the return of quarterback Tyler Jones, while the defense must find replacements for standouts David Mayo (LB), Craig Mager (CB) and end Michael Odiari. The schedule doesn’t provide many breaks for Franchione’s team, as Texas State catches three out of the league’s projected top four and also has road trips to Florida State and Houston in non-conference play. There’s enough returning talent on offense to carry the team until the defense finds replacements for its departed standouts. How far will Jones elevate this team in 2015? A bowl is a reasonable expectation, but the Bobcats have to improve on defense to push the top four teams in the league.  

 

2015 Sun Belt Team Previews

       
 
National
Rank:
90767712612587
  
National
Rank:
11512410893118 

 

Visit the Athlon Sports Online Store to order a copy of the 2015 National College Football Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 128 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

Sun Belt 2015 Football Predictions

     
RankTeam Projected Sun Belt RecordProjected Overall Record
1

Arkansas State

(No. 76)

7-18-4
Read the full, in-depth preview of Arkansas State for 2015.
2

Georgia Southern

(No. 77)

6-28-4
Read the full, in-depth preview of Georgia Southern for 2015.
3

UL Lafayette

(No. 87)

6-28-4
Read the full, in-depth preview of UL Lafayette for 2015.
4

Appalachian State

(No. 90)

5-38-4
Read the full, in-depth preview of Appalachian State for 2015.
5

Texas State

(No. 93)

 

5-37-5
Read the full, in-depth preview of Texas State for 2015.
6

South Alabama

(No. 108)

4-45-7
Read the full, in-depth preview of South Alabama for 2015.
7

ULM

(No. 115)

4-45-8
Read the full, in-depth preview of ULM for 2015.
8

Troy

(No. 118)

3-54-8
Read the full, in-depth preview of Troy for 2015.
9

New Mexico State

(No. 124)

2-62-10
Read the full, in-depth preview of NMSU for 2015.
10

Idaho

(No. 125)

1-72-10
Read the full, in-depth preview of Idaho for 2015.
11

Georgia State

(No. 126)

1-73-9
Read the full, in-depth preview of Georgia State for 2015.

Sun Belt 2015 Superlatives and Season Predictions
 Steven
Lassan
Mitch
Light
Mark
Ross
David
Fox
 @AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@AthlonMarkR@DavidFox615
Offensive POYFredi Knighten
QB, ASU
Matt Breida
RB, Ga. Southern
Fredi Knighten
QB, ASU
Elijah McGuire
RB, ULL
Defensive POYGerrand Johnson
DL, ULM
Mitch Lane
DB, ULM
John Law
LB, Appalachian State
Michael Johnson
LB, ULM
Coach of the YearScott Satterfield
Appalachian State
Blake Anderson
Arkansas State
Willie Fritz
Georgia Southern
Scott Satterfield
Appalachian State
Coach on Hot SeatDoug Martin
NMSU
Doug Martin
NMSU
Doug Martin
NMSU
Doug Martin
NMSU
Top NewcomerCody Clements
QB, USA
Cody Clements
QB, USA
Cody Clements
QB, USA
Cody Clements
QB, USA
Sleeper TeamTroyULMAppalachian StateTroy
Top Coordinator HireBryant Vincent
OC, USA
Bryant Vincent
OC, USA
Vic Koenning
DC, Troy
Bryant Vincent
OC, USA
Key Position to WatchGeorgia Southern OLGeorgia Southern OLULL QBGeorgia Southern OL
Hardest to EvaluateSouth AlabamaSouth AlabamaSouth AlabamaULM
Coach on the RiseWillie Fritz
Georgia Southern
Willie Fritz
Georgia Southern
Blake Anderson
Arkansas State
Willie Fritz
Georgia Southern
Must-See GameULL at 
Arkansas State
ULL at
Arkansas State
Arkansas State at 
Appalachian State
ULL at
Arkansas State
Breakout PlayerTaylor Lamb
QB, Appalachian State
D.J. Vinson
WR, USA
Taylor Lamb
QB, Appalachian State
Brandon Silvers
QB, Troy
Comeback PlayerDezmon Epps
WR, Idaho
Dezmon Epps
WR, Idaho
J.D. McKissic 
WR, Ark. State
J.D. McKissic
WR, Ark. State

Ranking the Sun Belt's Coaches for 2015

 

1. Mark Hudspeth, UL Lafayette

2. Willie Fritz, Georgia Southern

3. Joey Jones, South Alabama

4. Dennis Franchione, Texas State

5. Todd Berry, ULM

 

Ranking the Sun Belt's Quarterbacks for 2015

 

1. Fredi Knighten, Arkansas State

2. Kevin Ellison, Georgia Southern

3. Tyler Jones, Texas State

4. Taylor Lamb, Appalachian State

5. Nick Arbuckle, Georgia State

 

Ranking the Sun Belt's Running Backs for 2015

 

1. Elijah McGuire, UL Lafayette

2. Matt Breida, Georgia Southern

3. Marcus Cox, Appalachian State

4. Michael Gordon, Arkansas State

5. Larry Rose III, New Mexico State

 

Key Coordinator Hires for 2015

 

1. Bryant Vincent, Offensive Coordinator, South Alabama

2. Mike Breske, Defensive Coordinator, Idaho

3. Charlie Harbison/Melvin Smith, Co-Defensive Coordinators, UL Lafayette

 

Top Incoming Freshmen (from 247Sports)

 

1. Dion Ray, QB, UL Lafayette

2. Mario Osborne, DL, UL Lafayette

3. Jalen Thompson, DB, South Alabama

4. D.J. Pearson, QB, Arkansas State

5. Keenan Barnes, ATH, UL Lafayette

6. Markeis Hallback, RB, Georgia Southern

7. Gary Haynes, ATH, UL Lafayette

8. Cortez Sisco, DB, ULM

9. Daniel David, QB, Appalachian State

10. Joshua Moon, DB, Georgia Southern

Teaser:
Sun Belt Football 2015 Predictions
Post date: Friday, June 5, 2015 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/big-12-football-2015-predictions
Body:

The Big 12 ended 2014 with a debate about whether or not Baylor or TCU was the league’s best team. That conversation will continue into 2015, as the Bears and Horned Frogs are the favorites to win the league this season, and both teams are also in the mix to claim a playoff spot.

 

The depth of the Big 12 will be a storyline to watch in 2015 with Texas and Oklahoma each facing key question marks. The Sooners and Longhorns are picked to finish in the top half of the league, but West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Kansas State or Texas Tech could easily push their way into the top tier.

 

5 Key Questions That Will Shape the Big 12 in 2015

 

1. Baylor vs. TCU

As mentioned above, this has been the top storyline in this league since last season. And very little separates Baylor and TCU once again in 2015, which means this battle will go down to the wire or the league title could be decided on Nov. 27 when these two teams play in Fort Worth. The Horned Frogs have a clear edge at quarterback with Trevone Boykin returning, but the Bears always seem to find the right answers under center since Art Briles was hired in Waco. New Baylor quarterback Seth Russell has experience, and the junior inherits one of the nation’s top supporting casts, which includes a deep receiving corps and all five starters on the line. Defense could play a major role in how these two teams are separated in 2015. TCU – which usually rebuilds with ease on defense under coach Gary Patterson – must reload in the back seven. Baylor returns more in the way of proven talent on defense (nine starters) but improvement is needed on the stat sheet. Each team has personnel concerns to address. However, adding to the intrigue to this battle is the personnel issues (Baylor – quarterback, TCU – defense) are usually the strength of these programs under the current coaching staffs.

 

2. Oklahoma’s Offense

Oklahoma has lost six games in Big 12 action over the last two seasons, which is the most in a two-year stretch under coach Bob Stoops. Last year’s 8-5 final record also snapped a streak of four consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins, and the Sooners finished unranked for the first time since 2009. Winning at a high level over an extended period of time is never easy, and Stoops heads into 2015 looking to steer the program back among the top 10 in the nation and into conference title consideration. The offense will be under the direction of new coordinator Lincoln Riley, and Texas Tech transfer Baker Mayfield is expected to start at quarterback. Even though the Sooners are shifting offensive schemes, running back Samaje Perine will see plenty of opportunities after leading the team with 1,713 yards in 2014. Perine isn’t the only option in the backfield, as redshirt freshman Joe Mixon and junior Alex Ross help to form one of the nation’s top running back corps. Quarterback play is garnering all of the offseason attention in Norman, but Oklahoma must replace four starters on its offensive line. The Sooners still have plenty of talent. If all of the pieces fall into place, Oklahoma could easily exceed our projected final ranking (No. 17 nationally).

 

3. Year 2 for Charlie Strong

Charlie Strong essentially hit the reset button when he took over in Austin. The Longhorns are still in the process of overturning the roster and restocking both sides of the ball with talent, but Texas is trending in the right direction. However, even though Strong’s second season should be better, improvement may be minimal in the win column. The quarterback battle between Tyrone Swoopes and Jerrod Heard will continue into the fall, there’s a lack of proven options at receiver, and line coach Joe Wickline is still looking for the right combination up front. Texas should be strong on defense once again, but standout tackle Malcom Brown will be missed, and the Longhorns could start two freshmen – albeit very talented players – at linebacker. Combine personnel question marks with road tests at West Virginia, Baylor and TCU and non-conference dates against California and Notre Dame, getting to 7-5 or 8-4 would be a good second season for Strong.

 

4. Oklahoma State on the Rise

It was no surprise Oklahoma State took a step back in 2014. After all, the Cowboys lost nearly 30 seniors from the 2013 team and entered last season with less than 10 returning starters. The outlook on Oklahoma State was altered at the end of 2014, with talented quarterback Mason Rudolph making his first appearance for the Cowboys. Rudolph went 2-1 as the starter, which included a 38-35 win over rival Oklahoma (largely due to a late punt return for a touchdown by former Cowboy Tyreek Hill). With Rudolph at the controls for a full year and proven talent returning on both sides of the ball, Oklahoma State could push for a top 25 spot. Defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah is underrated nationally after recording 11 sacks in 2014, and the Cowboys should have one of the Big 12’s top defensive backfields and linebacking corps in 2015. With Oklahoma, Baylor and TCU visiting Stillwater, Oklahoma State could have a huge role in determining the Big 12 champion in 2015.

 

5. Texas Tech Searches for Answers on Defense

Scoring points hasn’t been a problem for Texas Tech under coach Kliff Kingsbury. But the other side of the ball has been an issue for the Red Raiders. In 2014, Texas Tech allowed over 500 yards per game and gave up 41.3 points per contest. Kingsbury’s hire of David Gibbs as the team’s new defensive coordinator should pay dividends in 2015. Gibbs arrives in Lubbock after a successful two-year stint as Houston’s defensive coordinator and inherits a unit that has some promising players at each level. End Pete Robertson recorded 12 sacks in 2014, Ohio State transfer Mike Mitchell is expected to play a key role at linebacker, and there’s a promising core of talent in the secondary. If Gibbs makes an impact as expected, Texas Tech should return to the postseason after a disappointing 4-8 mark last year.

 

Other Key Storylines to Watch: David Beaty rebuilds at Kansas, Kansas State reloads on offense without quarterback Jake Waters and receiver Tyler Lockett and West Virginia looks to replace receiver Kevin White.

 

Big 12 Team Previews for 2015
      
 
National
Rank:
3741034417
 
National
Rank:
285334836

 

Visit the Athlon Sports Online Store to order a copy of the 2015 Big 12 Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 10 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 
 

Big 12 Predictions for 2015

     
RankTeam Projected Big 12 RecordProjected Overall Record
1

Baylor

(No. 3)

8-111-1
Read the full, in-depth preview of Baylor for 2015.
2

TCU

(No. 5)

7-210-2
Read the full, in-depth preview of TCU for 2015.
3

Oklahoma

(No. 17)

6-39-3
Read the full, in-depth preview of Oklahoma for 2015.
4

Oklahoma State

(No. 28)

5-48-4
Read the full, in-depth preview of Oklahoma State for 2015.
5

Texas

(No. 33)

5-47-5
Read the full, in-depth preview of Texas for 2015.
6

West Virginia

(No. 36)

5-48-4
Read the full, in-depth preview of West Virginia for 2015.
7

Kansas State

(No. 44)

4-57-5
Read the full, in-depth preview of Kansas State for 2015.
8

Texas Tech

(No. 48)

4-56-6
Read the full, in-depth preview of Texas Tech for 2015.
9

Iowa State

(No. 74)

1-83-9
Read the full, in-depth preview of Iowa State for 2015.
10

Kansas

(No. 103)

0-91-11
Read the full, in-depth preview of Kansas for 2015.

Big 12 2015 Superlatives and Season Predictions
 Steven
Lassan
Mitch
Light
Mark
Ross
Braden
Gall
David
Fox
 @AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@AthlonMarkR@BradenGall@DavidFox615
Offensive POYTrevone Boykin
QB, TCU
Shock Linwood
RB, Baylor
Trevone Boykin
QB, TCU
Trevone Boykin
QB, TCU
Samaje Perine
RB, Oklahoma
Defensive POYShawn Oakman
DE, Baylor
Shawn Oakman
DE, Baylor
Eric Striker
LB, Oklahoma
Emmanuel Ogbah
DE, Okla. State
Shawn Oakman
DE, Baylor
Coach of the YearArt Briles
Baylor
Art Briles
Baylor
Art Briles
Baylor
Art Briles
Baylor
Art Briles
Baylor
Coach on Hot SeatPaul Rhoads
Iowa State
Paul Rhoads
Iowa State
Paul Rhoads
Iowa State
Kliff Kingsbury
Texas Tech
Paul Rhoads
Iowa State
Top FreshmanMalik Jefferson
LB, Texas
Joe Mixon
RB, Oklahoma
Malik Jefferson
LB, Texas
Malik Jefferson
LB, Texas
Malik Jefferson
LB, Texas
Top NewcomerDede Westbrook
WR, Oklahoma
Chris Carson
RB, OSU
Chris Carson
RB, OSU

Jordan Burton

LB, OSU

Baker Mayfield
QB, Oklahoma
Sleeper TeamOklahoma StateOklahomaOklahoma StateKansas StateKansas State
Top Coordinator HireDavid Gibbs
DC, TTU
David Gibbs
DC, TTU
Lincoln Riley
OC, Oklahoma
Lincoln Riley
OC, Oklahoma

Lincoln Riley
OC, Oklahoma

Key Position to WatchTCU DBTCU LBOklahoma QBTCU DBTexas DB
Hardest to EvaluateTexasTexasTexasTexasOklahoma State
Coach on the RiseDoug Meacham
OC, TCU
Lincoln Riley
OC, Oklahoma
Doug Meacham
OC, TCU
Charlie Strong
Texas
Doug Meacham
OC, TCU
Must-See GameBaylor at
TCU
Baylor at 
TCU
Baylor at 
TCU
Baylor at 
TCU
Baylor at
TCU
Breakout PlayerMason Rudolph
QB, OSU
Seth Russell
QB, Baylor
Mason Rudolph
QB, OSU
Seth Russell
QB, Baylor
Seth Russell
QB, Baylor
Comeback PlayerQuenton Bundrage
WR, ISU
Shaun Nixon
RB, TCU
Quenton Bundrage
WR, ISU
Quenton Bundrage
WR, ISU
Quenton Bundrage
WR, ISU
Ranking the Big 12's Coaches for 2015

 

1. Art Briles, Baylor

2. Bill Snyder, Kansas State

3. Gary Patterson, TCU

4. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma

5. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State

 

Click here to view the full Big 12 Coach Rankings for 2015

 

Ranking the Big 12's Quarterbacks for 2015

 

1. Trevone Boykin, TCU

2. Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State

3. Seth Russell, Baylor

4. Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech

5. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma

 

Click here to view the full Big 12 Quarterback Rankings for 2015

 

Ranking the Big 12's Running Backs for 2015

 

1. Samaje Perine, Oklahoma

2. Shock Linwood, Baylor

3. DeAndre Washington, Texas Tech

4. Aaron Green, TCU

5. Johnathan Gray, Texas

 

Click here to view the full Big 12 Running Back Rankings for 2015

 

The Big 12's Top 5 Players on the Rise for 2015

 

1. Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State

2. Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas

3. Seth Russell, QB, Baylor

4. Elijah Lee, LB, Kansas State

5. Dravon Henry, S, West Virginia

 

Related: College Football's Top 25 Players on the Rise for 2015

 

Top 5 Non-Conference Games for 2015

 

1. Oklahoma at Tennessee - Sept. 12

2. Texas at Notre Dame - Sept. 5

3. TCU at Minnesota - Sept. 3

4. Texas Tech at Arkansas - Sept. 19

5. Maryland at West Virginia - Sept. 26

 

Related: Complete Big 12 Schedule Analysis for 2015

 

Key Coordinator Hires for 2015

 

1. Lincoln Riley, Offensive Coordinator, Oklahoma

2. David Gibbs, Defensive Coordinator, Texas Tech

3. Kendal Briles, Offensive Coordinator, Baylor

 

Top Incoming Freshmen (from 247Sports)

 

1. Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas

2. Jarrett Stidham, QB, Baylor

3. Breiden Fehoko, DL, Texas Tech

4. Neville Gallimore, DL, Oklahoma

5. Anthony Wheeler, LB, Texas

6. Chris Warren III, RB, Texas

7. Holton Hill, DB, Texas

8. Ricky DeBerry, DL, Oklahoma

9. Kris Boyd, DB, Texas

10. Patrick Vahe, OL, Texas

11. P.J. Mbanasor, DB, Oklahoma

12. John Burt, WR, Texas

13. Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma

14. Jovon Durante, WR, West Virginia

15. Will Sunderland, DB, Oklahoma

Teaser:
Big 12 Football 2015 Predictions
Post date: Friday, June 5, 2015 - 10:00
All taxonomy terms: NBA
Path: /nba/kevin-durant-stars-weirdest-sonic-commercial-thunder-finals
Body:

NBA Finals commercials have nowhere near the appeal of Super Bowl commercials. One commercial that aired during Game 1 of the finals caught everybody's eye.

 

Kevin Durant is at the free throw line (which would've made more sense had he actually made it to the finals, or the playoffs for that matter), and he goes into a weird daydream about Sonic shakes, jolly ranchers, and other things.

 

 

Let's hope he got the weirdness out of his system so he won't be doing that in a real game next season.

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, June 5, 2015 - 09:48
All taxonomy terms: College Football, American Athletic, News
Path: /college-football/examining-overunder-2015-win-totals-american-athletic-conference
Body:

The calendar has turned to June and college football fans who keep one eye on Las Vegas already have win totals to chew on for the upcoming season. While the Power 5 conferences receive their share of attention, here is a look at how the American Athletic Conference is shaping up in 2015.

 

Related: American Athletic Conference 2015 Football Predictions

 

For the purposes of this exercise, projected win totals broken down into three categories — definite wins, definite losses and toss-ups. Most of the conference games will in the toss-up category, especially ones on the road. This preview will offer thoughts on each team and if there’s any value either over or under.

 

The AAC has several intriguing teams and several intriguing storylines. First off, the conference has split into an East and West division with each side having six teams. There's now a championship game at the end of the season and a new addition in the Naval Academy, who of course are in the West Division. The Midshipmen will have to contend with Houston, Memphis, SMU, Tulane and Tulsa. The East features Cincinnati, Temple, UCF, East Carolina, South Florida and UConn.

 

Note: Over/under odds courtesy of 5Dimes Sportsbook

 

AAC East

 

Cincinnati Bearcats

(Over 7.5 wins -130...Under 7.5 wins -110)

 

Record Last Year: 9-4, 7-1

 

Returning Starters: 13 (8 on offense, 5 on defense)

 

Offense: Gunner Kiel is back and he led the nation’s 13th-ranked passing attack last year. Kiel has the majority of his wide receivers back along with Mike Boone who ran for nine touchdowns as a true freshman. The O-line is full of veterans although they will miss Eric Lefeld at tackle.

 

Defense: This is where some issues could occur. The unit allowed over 400 yards per game last year and will be without three of their studs in Jeff Luc, Nick Temple and Terrell Hartsfield.

 

Schedule: Out of conference the Bearcats have home games against Miami and Alabama A&M with road trips to BYU and Miami (Ohio). Getting the Canes at home will be nice after last year's 55-34 blowout loss in Miami. In conference, they get woeful Tulsa and UConn at home. November features three road games out of four including tough trips to East Carolina and Houston.

 

Selection: Small lean to the over, but those wins need to come early with the rough finishing stretch.

 

UConn Huskies

(Over 3 wins -160...Under 3 wins +120)

 

Record Last Year: 2-10, 1-7

 

Returning Starters: 11 (4 on offense, 7 on defense)

 

Offense: There's nowhere for UConn to go but up after last year. The Huskies averaged 15.5 points per game, which was good for 122nd overall in FBS. Quarterback is among the many question marks here. They don't return either of their top two receivers and will have to rely on Ron Johnson and Arkeel Newsome to get the ground game going. The OL should be a bit better then last year.

 

Defense: The unit has their top four tacklers back. The defense did its part especially against the pass, allowing just 208.8 yards per game through the air. The problem is how much time UConn defenders were on the field last year due to the many short possessions by the offense.

 

Schedule: It's going to be a rough year. Villanova is no cupcake to start out the year as many predict the Wildcats will be in the mix to play in the FCS title game. If UConn doesn’t get the win there, it will have to beat Army, whom the Huskies lost to (35-21) last year. Road games at Missouri and BYU mean UConn could go 0-4 if things don't break right. Huskies get Navy, East Carolina, USF and Houston at home, but by late October and November, how motivated will they be?

 

Selection: There's incredible value with the under. This is a team that could go 1-3 in September and not win again until Oct. 17 when the Bulls come to town. Worst-case scenario is you get a push at three, but UConn is at least another year away.

 

East Carolina Pirates

(Over 7 wins -120...Under 7 wins -120)

 

Record Last Year: 8-5, 5-3

 

Returning Starters: 11 (6 on offense, 5 on defense)

 

Offense: Shane Carden is no longer slinging it in Greenville. The experience level goes down big time under center with Kurt Benkert, who threw only 10 passes last year. Two of Carden's better receivers are also gone in Justin Hardy and Cam Worthy. Isaiah Jones and Bryce Williams are two weapons looking to step in and make Benkert's transition easier.

 

Defense: It's a senior-laden unit that stops the run really well. Last year ECU was 11th in the nation against the run. Because of that, the secondary was under siege as the Pirates were in a boatload of shootouts. Josh Hawkins leads the way at corner after picking off five passes in 2014.

 

Schedule: A bowl game rematch highlights the out-of-conference schedule. On Sept. 12, the Pirates will be in Gainesville to face Florida, who they lost 28-20 to in last season’s Birmingham Bowl. ECU also gets Towson and Virginia Tech at home to go with a road game at BYU. One of the best home-field advantages in the conference will help the team as ECU hosts contenders Temple and Cincinnati in AAC play.

 

Selection: No real lean on the total. September could spiral out of control after the opener against Towson. ECU doesn’t figure to win at Florida, which could then turn into a losing streak with only one week to prepare for Navy. Pirates will start slow, but they'll finish up strong with a weaker second half to the schedule.

 

South Florida Bulls

(Over 4 wins -105...Under 4 wins -135)

 

Record Last Year: 4-8, 3-5

 

Returning Starters: 8 (5 on offense, 3 on defense)

 

Offense: Marlon Mack by himself is almost worth the price of admission. Mack had over 1,000 yards rushing and nine touchdowns on his way to earning AAC Rookie of the Year honors last season. If this team could get any sort of consistency under center, then the run game becomes even more dangerous. Until then, the Bulls will see plenty of stacked boxes and low-scoring outputs.

 

Defense: A new coordinator will try to breathe life into this unit. Tom Allen comes over from Ole Miss and is going to try and use a 4-2-5 alignment. The Bulls allowed 27 points or more in the majority of their road games. The front line is going to struggle with just Eric Lee returning at end.

 

Schedule: South Florida has a lot of big names out of conference with road games at Florida State and Maryland, but those will be ugly blowouts. The Bulls host Florida A&M and Syracuse with both representing win opportunities. They've got three home games out of five in October.

 

Selection: It's hard to go over with an unsettled quarterback position. There are plenty of win opportunities at home if they could figure out how to score. We'll agree with the money move and take the under, but we don't feel that comfortable with it. This could just be a four-win team.

 

Temple Owls

(Over 7 wins -130...Under 7 wins -110)

 

Record Last Year: 6-6, 4-4

 

Returning Starters: 17 (7 on offense, 10 on defense)

 

Offense: P.J. Walker is the key. The quarterback had 11 interceptions in his last seven games, which contributed to a .500 record and no bowl game. He's got a host of running backs in the backfield that will provide different looks to their opponent. The WR corps will need someone to step up and take over while the offensive line will have to protect Walker.

 

Defense: Tyler Matakevich is a name for the nation to know. He's made 355 tackles in his career, the most by any active player. The majority of the unit is back from a defense that allowed just 17.5 points per game and 186.9 passing yards per contest.

 

Schedule: It's an odd out-of-conference schedule where the road games are more winnable then the home ones. Notre Dame and Penn State come to Lincoln Financial Field while the Owls play at UMass and Charlotte. The conference home slate is manageable with road games taking place at Cincinnati and East Carolina.

 

Selection: Expectations are high for this team and that's hard for fans to swallow. It's going to be a roller coaster with a 2-2 start most likely transitioning to a 4-4 record and then an important November. Once again the road games are winnable, but  my feeling here is that Temple will go under the total. I think the Owls will slip up in a winnable road game and don't make up the difference at home.

 

UCF Knights

(Over 7 wins -120...Under 7 wins -120)

 

Record Last Year: 9-4, 7-1

 

Returning Starters: 10 (6 on offense, 4 on defense)

 

Offense: Justin Holman had a fine year for the Knights, as he tried to fill the shoes of the departed Blake Bortles. Holman threw for 23 touchdowns to just 14 interceptions and was helped by Breshad Perriman. Perriman has joined Bortles in the NFL, leaving UCF’s WR corps a complete mess. Luckily, running back William Stanback is back and the offensive line is filled with veterans.

 

Defense: This was a great group last year, but a lot of those players are gone. The Knights were ninth in the country allowing just 19.2 points per game. Thomas Niles and his 7.5 sacks per game are now needed more then ever with so much uncertainty behind him.

 

Schedule: UCF will be making trips to Stanford and South Carolina while it hosts FIU and Furman. This is a team that does not spend two straight weeks at home until late November when the Knights host ECU and South Florida.

 

Selection: Another number spot on by Vegas. The Knights are going to be 2-2 after September. They've got winnable road games at Tulsa and Tulane with ECU and Houston coming to Orlando. No lean on this one.

 

AAC West

 

Houston Cougars

(Over 8.5 wins +105...Under 8.5 wins -140)

 

Record Last Year: 8-5, 5-3

 

Returning Starters: 11 (5 on offense, 6 on defense)

 

Offense: Kenneth Farrow is a good place to start, as he ran for over 1,000 yards while contributing 15 touchdowns. This is an offense that will miss Deontay Greenberry who was by far the No. 1 wide receiver last year. The good thing is that new head coach Tom Herman knows offense and should be able to figure out how to play to the Cougars’ strengths. They put up almost 30 points per game last year, but won't do that again this year most likely.

 

Defense: The back end of the defense will be the strength with the top corners and safeties returning. They'll need to hold strong with only one defensive lineman back. Last year Houston gave up over 30 points in three of its last five games.

 

Schedule: The out of conference has a nice mix of winnable games and stiff tests. The Cougs get Tennessee Tech, Texas State and Vanderbilt at home while they travel to Louisville. November is home-friendly with three of four in front of their fans.

 

Selection: The money move is right here. I think Houston is one year away as Herman recruits more of his own guys. I think the defense is vulnerable and the offense doesn't have enough weapons. At best, this seems like an eight-win team even with a semi-manageable schedule.

 

Memphis Tigers

(Over 8.5 wins -105...Under 8.5 wins -135)

 

Record Last Year: 10-3, 7-1

 

Returning Starters: 10 (7 on offense, 3 on defense)

 

Offense: Paxton Lynch was really fun to watch last year and he's back again. The 6-foot-7 quarterback threw for over 3,000 yards and has a few of last year's weapons back. Mose Frazier and Alan Cross figure to get a lot of targets in this offense with the run game having to replace Brandon Hayes. The left side of the line is intact for the Tigers, who put up 36.2 points per game last year.

 

Defense: The defense lost a lot from last year's 11th-ranked unit. Jackson Dillon will try to help the linebackers out after a solid year last year. We don't talk about special teams too much here but kicker Jake Elliott is a difference-maker in close games.

 

Schedule: The Tigers host Missouri State and Ole Miss while traveling to Kansas and Bowling Green. Conference play brings them road games at Temple and Houston in November.

 

Selection: Small lean to the under for Memphis. The Bowling Green game will be huge in deciding if this actually does go over. The Falcons will be tough and since it's early, we may not see the same Tigers team we get in November.

 

Navy Midshipmen

(Over 7.5 wins -130...Under 7.5 wins -110)

 

Record Last Year: 8-5

 

Returning Starters: 10 (4 on offense, 6 on defense)

 

Offense: Keenan Reynolds is back for his senior year and that's trouble for the rest of the AAC. He's got Chris Swain in the backfield among other weapons. The offensive line has two returners so that will take time to gel. How will the AAC handle preparing for the triple option though?

 

Defense: Paul Quessenberry is a big loss for this unit that allowed almost 200 yards rushing per game. The secondary should be a strong point along with Bernie Sarra up front.

 

Schedule: Colgate, Air Force, Notre Dame and Army are the school's non-conference games. Of this quartet, the only road game is against the Irish. Even better for the Midshipmen is the extra week off after the ND game giving them time to get ready for a heavy dose of conference play.

 

Selection: We love the over here. Five of their first seven are at home with really only East Carolina as the biggest challenge coming to Annapolis. The Middies are home just once after Halloween with the traditional neutral field game against Army to close things out.

 

SMU Mustangs

(Over 2.5 wins -110...Under 2.5 wins -130)

 

Record Last Year: 1-11, 1-7

 

Returning Starters: 11 (5 on offense, 6 on defense)

 

Offense: Chad Morris' arrival should help out this anemic unit that averaged just 11.1 points per game last year. The team benefits from four returning offensive linemen who may be able to open some holes for Prescott Line and the run game. Darius Joseph was a solid wide receiver last year and should lead the way this season.

 

Defense: This is a team that's changing to a 4-2-5 alignment. The defense was non-existent at times giving up 41.3 points per game so anything new will be an improvement. The returnees should help, but they have a long way to go.

 

Schedule: Three of the first four are at home, but the opponents are Baylor, North Texas, TCU and James Madison. The Dukes are another plucky CAA team who won't go down easily and should make this a shootout. If the Mustangs don't slow JMU down, then this could be a long year. Even if they do pick up a win, it'll be tough sledding.

 

Selection: Small lean to the over in this one. North Texas and JMU are early potential wins in September. Home games with Tulsa and Tulane could push SMU over if the Mustangs pick up the two non-conference wins. I'll say this, we'll be on James Madison plus the points on Sept. 26.

 

Tulane Green Wave

(Over 5 wins -120...Under 5 wins -120)

 

Record Last Year: 3-9, 2-6

 

Returning Starters: 13 (6 on offense, 7 on defense)

 

Offense: Tanner Lee has to solidify the position after a year where Tulane barely averaged over 200 yards passing per game. Sherman Badie leads a nice three-headed monster in the backfield. The line has four returning starters so if the Green Wave can get things going on the ground, that should result in less pressure on Lee, who really needs to build chemistry with his wideouts.

 

Defense: CB Lorenzo Doss is gone and that won't help the secondary. Nico Marley leads a solid group of linebackers. If Royce LaFrance can improve on his six sacks from last year then this could become an underrated unit.

 

Schedule: September features home games against Duke and Maine with a road trip to Georgia Tech in between. The fourth non-conference game is a road contest at Army in November. Five of Tulane’s last eight are on the road so things could be a bit rough down the stretch.

 

Selection: I like the under for the Green Wave. Maine and UConn are winnable home games, but there's not too many more that we can peg as sure victories. I just don't like how things line up and think Tulane will go under the five wins.

 

Tulsa Golden Hurricane

(Over 5 wins -105...Under 5 wins -135)

 

Record Last Year: 2-10, 2-6

 

Returning Starters: 13 (8 on offense, 5 on defense)

 

Offense: Philip Montgomery comes over from Baylor and there are pieces for this unit to take off. Keevan Lucas and Keyarris Garrett are real good targets to have in the passing game. The offensive line is pretty much intact so this group has a chance to improve on its 24.7 points per game last year.

 

Defense: This was an awful group last year, allowing nearly 40 points and 500 yards per game. Derrick Alexander had 7.5 sacks last year while Michael Mudoh had 113 tackles. It could be rough on this side of the ball.

 

Schedule: Florida Atlantic kicks off Tulsa's slate and is followed up by road games at New Mexico and Oklahoma. October sees three home games out of five including Louisiana-Monroe.

 

Selection: We like the over for the Golden Hurricane. Literally and figuratively as this team will get in a lot of shootouts this season. Montgomery will get his weapons out in space, while the defense will get gashed. Tulsa needs to get wins early because a finish of UCF, at Cincinnati, Navy and at Tulane will be a test.

 

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.

Teaser:
Examining the Over/Under 2015 Win Totals for the American Athletic Conference
Post date: Friday, June 5, 2015 - 09:30
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Big Ten
Path: /college-football/five-toughest-big-ten-road-schedules-2015
Body:

All schedules are obviously not created equal, but these five Big Ten teams face road gauntlets that would challenge any team in the country.

 

Here are the Big Ten's five toughest road schedules in 2015.

 

Related: Ranking the Big Ten's Toughest College Football Schedules in 2015

 

5. Iowa

The Hawkeyes could be in the mix for the Big Ten West Division title, however, they'll be tested in five road venues that haven't been kind to them recently. Starting with Iowa State, they'll then travel to Wisconsin, Northwestern and Nebraska — all places where Iowa has lost at least one of the last two games it has played there.


Related: Iowa Hawkeyes 2015 Preview and Prediction

 

4. Purdue

The schedule isn't going to do Darrell Hazell any favors in 2015 as far as his rebuilding effort goes. The Boilermakers open with a trip to Marshall — a game they're not likely to be favored in. Once conference play starts, they can look forward to trips to East Lansing, Madison, Evanston and Iowa City. Northwestern is the only team on Purdue's road schedule that didn't play in a bowl game last year.

 

Related: Purdue Boilermakers 2015 Preview and Prediction

 

3. Northwestern

Speaking of the Wildcats, they've got an even tougher series of road games than Purdue. They'll first travel to Durham, N.C., to play what has become a very respectable Duke program. In conference, they'll play at Michigan, at Wisconsin and at Nebraska in what is quickly becoming a heated rivalry. They'll wrap up the season at Soldier Field against Illinois. Northwestern will have less distance to travel in that one, but it'll be anything but a home game.

 

Related: Northwestern Wildcats 2015 Preview and Prediction

 

2. Michigan State

As good as many are expecting the Spartans to be once again this season, the players and coaches they lost over the past couple of years should make this a fairly interesting campaign in East Lansing. After opening with what should be a snoozer at Western Michigan, they'll start their Big Ten road schedule with back-to-back trips to Rutgers and Michigan — two places where the fans will be anxious to make their presence felt against one of the "tough guys" on the block. The Spartans will then make the trip to Nebraska to play the Huskers, who haven't exactly been a pushover in recent years for Mark Dantonio and Co. The game that pushes this slate to the No. 2 position is the unenviable trip they'll make to play the defending national champion Buckeyes in Columbus on Nov. 21.

 

Related: Michigan State Spartans 2015 Preview and Prediction

 

1. Maryland

The second go-round for the Terps in the Big Ten will be a doozy. All five road opponents in 2015 played in bowl games last season. Randy Edsall's group starts its road schedule with a border-war in Morgantown to face West Virginia. Maryland follows that up with conference games at Ohio State, Iowa, and Michigan State — finishing the year with another rivalry game against fellow B1G newcomer Rutgers. 

 

Related: Maryland Terrapins 2015 Preview and Prediction

 

— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Scott is the editor-in-chief of KnowItAllFootball.com, a Big Ten site for Big Ten fans. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.

Teaser:
Five Toughest Big Ten Road Schedules in 2015
Post date: Friday, June 5, 2015 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News, Magazines
Path: /magazines/buy-2015-athlon-sports-college-football-preview-here
Body:

No more signing day. No more spring practice. All that stands between you and college football season are the long summer months.

 

Luckily, Athlon can help you fill that college football void and prepare for the 2015 season.

 

Here’s what is in the pages of Athlon Sports to get you ready for another wild football season:

 

 

Available in every magazine

 

  • The numbers and trends that determine in predicting team performance, by SB Nation’s Bill Connelly. 
  • Why college football is in a golden age ... any why it could end, by CBSSports.com’s Jon Solomon.
  • How Ohio State is pulling the Big Ten into the future, by SB Nation’s Steven Godfrey.
  • Breakdowns of key quarterback battles that will determine the season.
  • National unit rankings of every position group.
  • Heisman Trophy contenders, new coach rankings, coaches on the hot seat, key newcomers and players returning from injury, new coordinator breakdowns.
  • National top 25, bowl and conference predictions, national unit rankings.
  • FCS top 25.
  • 247Sports recruiting rankings.

 

Only available in the national edition

 

  • Rankings, previews and depth charts written by team insiders for all 128 teams.

 

 

Only available in the SEC edition

 

  • Six-page previews on each SEC team, including anonymous opponent scouting reports, depth charts and recruiting reports.
  • Four-page bonus preview of Notre Dame.
  • Previews and depth charts for regional teams such as UCF, Memphis, Southern Miss, WKU, Tulane and USF.
  • 10 trends to watch in the SEC for 2015.
  • Why paying top dollar for a coordinator is a must for winning teams.
  • Profile of new Auburn quarterback Jeremy Johnson.
  • Profile of Tennessee running backs Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara.
  • A look at the future of LSU’s troubled quarterback position.
  • Advanced stats for every team in the SEC.

 

 

Only available in the Big Ten edition

 

  • Four-page previews on each Big Ten team, including anonymous opponent scouting reports, depth charts and recruiting reports.
  • Four-page bonus preview of Notre Dame.
  • Previews and depth charts for every MAC team.
  • Profile of Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott.
  • Profile of Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg.
  • Profile of new Nebraska coach Mike Riley.
  • Profile of new Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst.
  • Advanced stats for every team in the Big Ten.

 

 

Only available in the Big 12 edition

 

  • Six-page previews on each SEC team, including anonymous opponent scouting reports, depth charts and recruiting reports.
  • Four-page bonus preview of Notre Dame.
  • Previews and depth charts for regional teams such as Houston, SMU, Marshall, Tulsa and North Texas.
  • Why Oklahoma has been both the most lucky and most unlucky team in the league.
  • Why recruiting has become a major in Big 12 country.
  • Why a letter from Bill Snyder is the greatest trophy in college football.
  • Profiles of key new coordinators at Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Kansas.
  • Advanced stats for every team in the Big 12.

 

 

Only available in the ACC edition

 

  • Four-page previews on each ACC team, including anonymous opponent scouting reports, depth charts and recruiting reports.
  • Four-page bonus preview of Notre Dame.
  • Previews and depth charts for East Carolina, Navy, Charlotte and Old Dominion.
  • Profile of high school-now-college rivals Dalvin Cook (Florida State) and Joseph Yearby (Miami).
  • How Clemson’s offense will evolve without Chad Morris.
  • How Georgia Tech and Paul Johnson continue to prove the critics wrong.
  • Why Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer and Virginia coach Mike London are facing critical seasons.
  • Advanced stats for every team in the ACC.

 

 

Only available in the Pac-12 edition

 

  • Four-page previews on each Pac-12 team, including anonymous opponent scouting reports, depth charts and recruiting reports.
  • Four-page bonus previews of BYU and Notre Dame.
  • Previews and depth charts for every Mountain West team.
  • 12 Trends to Watch in the Pac-12 in 2015.
  • Advanced stats for every team in the Pac-12.
Teaser:
Buy the 2015 Athlon Sports College Football Preview Here
Post date: Friday, June 5, 2015 - 07:36
All taxonomy terms: NBA
Path: /nba/jimmy-kimmel-releases-nba-finals-edition-mean-tweets-jalen-rose-blake-griffin-steph-curry
Body:

Jimmy Kimmel's "Mean Tweets" segment is one of the best things on television.

 

The "Jimmy Kimmel Live" host brought another edition of the tweets just in time for the NBA Finals. Jalen Rose, Mark Jackson, Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and others read the tweets that fans never really mean for the athletes to see.

 

(Warning: This video may contain NSFW language.)

 

 

Blake Griffin always gets the brunt of fan hatred.

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 21:09
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Overtime
Path: /college-football/arizona-football-releases-awesome-star-wars-themed-video-wildcats
Body:

What's better than a regular old hype video? One that incorporates Star Wars into it.

 

Arizona is appealing to a wide range of fans with its "The Force Awakens" video. Get ready to #BearDown with the Wildcats when they open the season against UTSA.

 

If the Wildcats' season is as good as this video, the rest of the Pac-12 may be in trouble.

 

 

Bear down.

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 16:42
All taxonomy terms: NFC, NFC West, Seattle Seahawks, NFL, News
Path: /nfl/throwback-thursday-seattle-seahawks-founded-41-years-ago-today
Body:

Forty-one years ago today in 1974, the NFL granted Seattle a team as part of the expansion process that brought the league from 26 to 28 teams. They joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that year in the NFL and began playing in the 1976 season. 

 

Initially a member of the NFC in 1976, they moved to the AFC the following year, not returning back to their current position in the NFC until 2002.  Since their inception into the league, they have collected one Super Bowl championship, three conference championships, nine division championships, and fourteen playoff appearances. 

 

Over the past three years, the Seahawks have established themselves as one of the top teams, making the last two Super Bowls and winning 36 regular season games.


Take a look back in time of some of the great memories in Seahawks' history:

 

 

 



A look back at when the uniforms for the Seattle Seahawks were unveiled for their first season in 1976.



Quarterback Russell Wilson douses head coach Pete Carroll with a Gatorade Bath following their victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.


Hall of Fame wide receiver Steve Largent absolutely destroys Mike Harden after an interception. Defensive holding on the play negated the interception, but the hit's memory lives on.

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 16:05

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