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Path: /college-football/sandusky-statement-surfaces
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Bellefonte, PA (Sports Network) - Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to 30-60 years in prison for his conviction on charges of child sexual abuse.

Judge John M. Cleland handed down the sentence on Tuesday after Sandusky was found guilty in June on 45 counts charging him with sexual abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period.

The scandal, which broke last November with Sandusky's arrest, brought down the Penn State football program, tarnished the legacy of the late Joe Paterno and scarred the entire university.

Teaser:
Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to 30-60 years in prison for his conviction on charges of child sexual abuse.
Post date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 23:00
Path: /nascar/nascar-news-notes-week-7
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Matt Kenseth’s win Sunday at Talladega completed one of the greatest seasons of restrictor-plate racing in NASCAR since 1988, the first season the plates were used for all the races at Daytona and Talladega.

Kenseth won the Daytona 500, finished third at Talladega in the spring, was third at Daytona in July and won at Talladega last weekend, giving him an average finish of 2.0 in those four plate races.

Dale Earnhardt Sr. owns the greatest average finish in NASCAR history in those four plates races at 1.5 in 1999. He won two of those races and finished second in the other two. Next is Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s 2004 season when he had an average finish of 1.75 in the restrictor-plate races, recording two wins, one second-place finish and a third-place finish.

Kenseth’s 2.0 average finish is next, tied with what Dale Earnhardt Sr. did in 1990 and 1993.

Kenseth’s total might have been better. He led the next-to-last lap at Daytona in July before Tony Stewart took the lead and won. Kenseth led with two laps to go at Talladega in the spring before losing the lead to Brad Keselowski, who went on to win the race.

In an era where restrictor-plate racing can be a game of chance—Jimmie Johnson was collected in crashes in three of those four races and blew an engine in the other—Kenseth’s run is remarkable. Add to it that Kenseth isn’t known for his restrictor-plate prowess and the accomplishment is even more impressive.

“I feel like through my career, honestly, it’s been one of my weak points,” said Kenseth, whose average finish in plate races last year was 22.5. “I never felt like I was very good at it, felt like we’d make not the right decisions when we had really fast cars. I felt like that a couple of times, the second Daytona and the first Talladega, both of them races were mine to lose and I lost them for my team. I thought they gave me the stuff to win both of those races as well. Super, super thankful we were able to win this (past) weekend.

“I had no idea our plate stuff was going to run that good. After the 150 (-mile qualifying race at Daytona) with this package, I felt like we learned a few things and I learned a few things. Honestly, from the 150s all the way until we got done with the race last Sunday we’ve been surprisingly good.”


SPOKE TOO SOON  Dale Earnhardt Jr. had some strong words to say about the racing at Talladega after he was collected in a 25-car crash on the last lap of a green-white-checker finish.

“If this is what we did every week I wouldn’t be doing it I will just put it to you like that,” Earnhardt said. “If this is how we raced every week I would find another job.”

When a reporter suggested that fans enjoyed such a chaotic finish with cars spinning and crash, Earnhardt said: “Really? It’s not safe. Wrecking like that is ridiculous. It’s bloodthirsty if that is what people want. It’s ridiculous.”

When asked what changes he’d like to see, Earnhardt said: “The way we are going ain’t the right direction. There are plenty of engineers out there I’m just a driver. There are plenty of smart people out there that can figure something out where when one guy gets in trouble we don’t have 30 cars tore up at the expense of it. I mean it’s awesome in a word and everybody can get on the chip about it and get excited about all that which just happened, but for the longevity of the sport that ain’t healthy.”

Tuesday, Earnhardt told SBNation.com he regretted what he said.

“I regret making a bit of a scene and not considering the fact we're going to be in a totally different racecar for 2013. It's probably going to present a totally different style of racing at those tracks, so I probably have a bit more of a positive outlook on the potential for that style of racing to be really good with the next car.

“It was a bit heat of the moment, and I kind of regret getting that emotional about it. But I was just really upset about how that all went down. We'd run so good. I was really, really happy with my car in that race and I thought we should have been able to finish really good.”


TV RATINGS FOR ’DEGA DOWN  ESPN reported that Sunday’s broadcast of the Talladega Sprint Cup race earned a 3.7 household rating. That’s down from last year when the race drew a 3.9 household rating. In 2010, the race drew a 3.6 household rating.

ESPN also noted that the Talladega race drew an average audience of 5.1 million viewers. To compare, the Dover race the previous week on ESPN drew an average audience of 3.5 million viewers.


A GOOD SIGN  The points leader after the fifth race in the Chase has gone on to win the title in five of the previous eight years.

The years the champion was not the points leader after the fifth race was 2011 when Tony Stewart was fifth in the points after the fifth race, 2007 when Jimmie Johnson was second in the points and 2006 when Johnson was sixth in the points. Saturday night’s Charlotte race is the fifth race in the Chase.


by Dustin Long
Follow Dustin on Twitter: @DustinLong

 

Teaser:
<p> Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long discusses Matt Kenseth's restrictor plate record in 2012, Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s statements about plate racing and ESPN's ratings for NASCAR's Good Sam 500 at Talladega.</p>
Post date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 18:59
Path: /nfl/2012-nfl-picks-every-game-week-6
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NFL Week 6 previews and predictions for every game on the schedule:

Steelers (2-2) at Titans (1-4)
The last time the Titans defeated the Steelers was Chris Johnson’s rookie season in 2008, when CJ taunted Troy Polamalu en route to a TD that locked up the No. 1 seed in the playoffs for Tennessee. Afterwards, the other half of "Smash and Dash," LenDale White, stomped on Pittsburgh’s signature "Terrible Towels" on the sideline. The curse was on, as the Titans lost eight straight games immediately after and have since gone 0–3 against the Steelers.
Steelers by 8

Chiefs (1-4) at Buccaneers (1-3)
"We are athletes. We are not gladiators," said Kansas City tackle Eric Winston, in a postgame rant. "When you cheer somebody getting knocked out, I don’t care who it is, and it just so happened to be Matt Cassel, it’s sickening." Good time for a road game. Brady Quinn — the Notre Dame golden boy with 10 TDs, nine INTs and a 67.3 passer rating over five seasons — will put his 3–9 record as a starter on the line.
Buccaneers by 6

Colts (2-2) at Jets (2-3)
"No question" that Mark Sanchez will be the Jets starting quarterback, according to coach Rex Ryan. But that won’t stop the Tim Tebow cheers when the league’s most popular lefty backup enters the game — or the boos when Sanchez comes back on the field.
Jets by 3

Bengals (3-2) at Browns (0-5)
For the second time in five games, Cincinnati and Cleveland will meet for a battle of the Buckeye State. In Week 2, the Bengals beat the in-state AFC North rival Browns, 34–27.
Browns by 1

Lions (1-3) at Eagles (3-2)
Michael Vick’s seven TDs (six pass, one rush) and 11 turnovers (six INTs, five lost fumbles) through five games are not a good sign of things to come for Philly.
Eagles by 4

Raiders (1-3) at Falcons (5-0)
The Silver-and-Bleak rank 32nd in the NFL in stopping opposing offenses on third down. Meanwhile, the Falcons’ Tony Gonzalez (29) and Roddy White (27) rank Nos. 1 and 2 in the NFL in passes caught for a first down. Add in the fact that Matt Ryan has a 27–4 record at the Georgia Dome and it looks like Atlanta will be 6–0 for the first time in franchise history.
Falcons by 10

Rams (3-2) at Dolphins (2-3)
Jeff Fisher turned down the Dolphins during the offseason. The Fins may need to brace for another disappointment caused by the mustache.
Dolphins by 2

Cowboys (2-2) at Ravens (4-1)
Tony Romo had the bye week to stew on his five-INT Monday night effort against Chicago. Things won’t be any easier for Romo against Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Haloti Ngata and Co.
Ravens by 5

Bills (2-3) at Cardinals (4-1)
Buffalo has been getting slaughtered the past two weeks, losing to San Francisco 45–3 after taking a 52–28 defeat against New England.
Cardinals by 5

Patriots (3-2) at Seahawks (3-2)
New England brings its Oregon Ducks-style hurry-up and run offense to the Pacific Northwest, where another neon Nike team awaits.
Patriots by 5

Giants (3-2) at 49ers (4-1)
A rematch of last season’s epic NFC title game, when the G-Men topped the Niners, 20–17, thanks to a Kyle Williams fumbled punt return that led to a game-winning FG in overtime by Lawrence Tynes. The Giants went on to win their second Super Bowl in five years, while the 49ers went home hungrier than ever. San Fran has been on a mission so far, with a balanced offense and relentless defense. Last week, the Niners became the first team in NFL history with 300 yards passing and 300 yards rushing in a single game, a 45–3 win over the Bills.
49ers by 4

Vikings (4-1) at Redskins (2-3)
All eyes will be on the status of RG3, who was knocked out of a loss to the Falcons with a ìmildî concussion and what appeared to be a few stitches to the face.
Vikings by 1

Packers (2-3) at Texans (5-0)
Green Bay can’t seem to get its footing in 2012. After losing to the Colts last week and losing running back Cedric Benson to a Lisfranc foot injury, the Packers will take on the undefeated Texans on the road on Sunday night — in what could be a defining do-or-die crossroads.
Texans by 2

Broncos (2-3) at Chargers (3-2)
Peyton Manning earned his first career win against the Chargers back in 1998. But the high points have been few and far between since. Manning has a 4–5 career record against the Bolts, including a 2–2 mark on the road in sunny San Diego and an 0–2 playoff record against the Super Chargers. Overall, Manning has thrown 16 TDs compared to 18 INTs — including a career-worst six picks during a 2007 loss and a four-pick game in a 2010 loss.
Chargers by 1


Last week: 11–3 // Season: 48–29
 

Teaser:
<p> A look at every game on the NFL schedule for Week 6, including Green Bay Packers at Houston Texans, Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers, New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans.</p>
Post date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 18:48
Path: /nfl/colts-%E2%80%9Cchuckstrong%E2%80%9D-upset-win-over-packers
Body:

Against all odds, the Indianapolis Colts proved they were indeed "ChuckStrong" during an unbelievable come-from-behind 30–27 win over the Green Bay Packers.

When first-year Colts coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia, many thought the 2012 season was essentially over for the Colts, who posted the NFL’s worst record last year and have a young roster led by rookie quarterback Andrew Luck.

When Indianapolis trailed 21–3 at halftime against Green Bay — in its first game without Pagano pacing the sidelines — nearly everyone wrote off the Colts. After such a trying time dealing with Pagano’s sudden illness, there were countless built-in excuses for losing to the Packers.

But Indy never gave up, kept its foot to the floorboard and made a speedy second-half comeback. The Colts outscored the Packers 27–6 after the break, capping the unlikely rally with a four-yard scoring strike from Luck to Reggie Wayne with just 35 seconds remaining.

"I think we all went out there wanting to do it for Chuck more than anything else. To see all the emotions on Mr. Irsay’s face, BA’s (interim coach Bruce Arians), everyone in there," said Luck. "I think it’s one of the greatest athletic moments I’ve ever been a part of."

In his finest performance since being the No. 1 overall pick out of Stanford, Luck completed 31-of-55 passes for a career-high 362 yards, two TDs and one INT, along with 24 yards and one TD on the ground.

Luck’s go-to guy was Wayne, who hauled in 13 catches for a career-best 212 yards and the game-winning TD. The effort was Wayne’s 15th game with 10 or more catches and his 40th game with 100-plus-yards in a game. The 12th-year wideout also made a fashion statement to honor his hospitalized coach, wearing orange gloves for leukemia awareness rather than the traditional pink gloves for breast cancer awareness.

"I just wanted to do something, you know, for Chuck," said Wayne. "I had some equipment guys make some calls. If they fine me, they fine me. ... I’ll go ahead and take the fine and do it for Chuck."

The Colts were able to "do it for Chuck." As a result, owner Jim Irsay brought the game ball to the coach at IU Simon Cancer Center.

"In my 40 years in this business, I’ve never been prouder of a team and how they battled back," said Irsay.

"I’ve been in a lot of winning locker rooms, Super Bowl locker rooms, but I’ve never had an experience like this. People talk about money, what the team is worth, those kinds of things. But this was priceless. Absolutely priceless.

"We walked in, he got up, we all embraced and shed some tears, and Chuck said, ‘You know, I don’t feel so sick right now.’"
 

Teaser:
<p> The Indianapolis Colts, led by Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne, proved to be "ChuckStrong" during a come-from-behind 30-27 win over the Green Bay Packers. The victory was dedicated to hospitalized coach Chuck Pagano, who was given the game ball by owner Jim Irsay after the game.</p>
Post date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 18:04
Path: /nfl/2012-nfl-power-rankings-going-week-6
Body:

Athlon Sports’ weekly rankings of the best and worst teams in the NFL starts at the top with the undefeated Houston Texans and goes all the way to the bottom with the winless Cleveland Browns. Here are our NFL Power Rankings following Week 5 of the season.


1. Texans (5-0) Cushing injures left knee in MNF victory over Jets.

2. Falcons (5-0) Off to first 5–0 start in franchise history, since ’66.

3. 49ers (4-1) Strike gold with franchise-record 621 total yards.

4. Ravens (4-1) Defense holds strong, Tucker hits FGs in ugly win.

5. Bears (4-1) Have five INTs returned for TDs over last three weeks.

6. Cardinals (4-1) Kolb sacked nine times by Rams in first loss of year.

7. Vikings (4-1) Riding first three-game winning streak since ’09.

8. Patriots (3-2) Brady improves career record vs. Manning to 9–4.

9. Steelers (2-2) Polamalu aggravates calf, won’t play at Tennessee.

10. Eagles (3-2) Vick loses two fumbles in close call loss to Steelers.

11. Giants (3-2) Bradshaw romps, Cruz cha-chas, Wilson flips in win.

12. Packers (2-3) Crosby misses game-tying 51-yard FG in loss at Indy.

13. Bengals (3-2) Late fourth-quarter INT by Dalton ends loss to Fins.

14. Broncos (2-3) Manning-led second-half rally falls short at Patriots.

15. Saints (1-4) Brees breaks Unitas’ record in Big Easy’s first win.

16. Chargers (3-2) Rivers throws INT, loses fumble in fourth quarter.

17. Cowboys (2-2) Used bye to ìrecoup, refresh, regroup,î says Carr.

18. Rams (3-2) Fisher has Rams above .500 for first time since ’06.

19. Seahawks (3-2) No controversy over Golden go-ahead TD at Carolina.



20. Redskins (2-3) RG3 bloodied, concussed after hit by Weatherspoon.

21. Colts (2-2) Dedicate ìChuckStrongî win over Packers to Pagano.

22. Jets (2-3) Tebow fake punt first-down run highlights defeat.

23. Dolphins (2-3) Have not allowed 100-yard rusher in 19 contests.

24. Bills (2-3) Have allowed combined 97 points last two weeks.

25. Lions (1-3) Stafford hopes bye ìrefocusesî disappointing Detroit.

26. Buccaneers (1-3) Schiano uses bye for top-to-bottom team review.

27. Raiders (1-3) Have yet to record INT, high-flying Falcons up next.

28. Titans (1-4) Have league-worst negative-93 point differential.

29. Panthers (1-4) Newton sophomore slump continues vs. Seahawks.

30. Chiefs (1-4) Winston ìsickenedî by fans cheering Cassel injury.

31. Jaguars (1-4) Gabbert throws two pick-sixes to Bears in defeat.

32. Browns (0-5) Fall to 0–5 for first time since returning to NFL in ’99.
 

Teaser:
<p> Athlon Sports’ weekly rankings of the best and worst teams in the NFL starts at the top with the undefeated Houston Texans and goes all the way to the bottom with the winless Cleveland Browns. Here are our NFL Power Rankings following Week 5 of the season.</p>
Post date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 17:41
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-top-20-coaches-hot-seat-post-week-6-rankings
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Week 6 of the 2012 college football season is in the books and plenty of coaches saw the temperature on their seat increase by a few degrees. Kentucky's Joker Phillips and Boston College's Frank Spaziani continue to hold down the top two spots in the rankings. Phillips' Kentucky team is off to a 1-5 start, while Spaziani and Boston College are coming off of a disappointing loss to Army. 

College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 6 Rankings

1. Joker Phillips, Kentucky
Last Week’s Rank: 1
Record at Kentucky: 12-19 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 1-5
The bad news for Phillips only got worse on Saturday. Highly touted true freshman quarterback Patrick Towles led a touchdown drive on his first series but left shortly after with an ankle injury. With Maxwell Smith and Towles sidelined indefinitely, Kentucky is down to true freshman Jalen Whitlow and struggling senior Morgan Newton at quarterback. The Wildcats are playing a lot of young players, which would seem to help Phillips’ case that he should get another year. However, with six games to go, Kentucky needs to be competitive and pull out an upset or two to give Phillips enough cache to return for 2013.

2. Frank Spaziani, Boston College
Last Week’s Rank:
2
Record at Boston College: 21-23 (4th season)
2012 Record: 1-4
If there was any doubt Spaziani was gone at the end of the year, Saturday’s loss to Army clinched his fate. Boston College dropped its third game in a row, falling 34-31 to the Black Knights. Spaziani is known for his background on defense, but the Eagles have struggled on that side of the ball this year, ranking 117th nationally against the run and 104th in total yards allowed. Barring a couple of upsets, Boston College will miss out on a bowl game for the second consecutive season.

3. David Bailiff, Rice
Last Week’s Rank:
4
Record at Rice: 24-43 (6th season)
2012 Record: 1-5
After beating Kansas in Week 2, Bailiff appeared to have Rice on the right track and was moving off the hot seat. However, it’s been all downhill since then, as the Owls have lost four consecutive games, including a disappointing 14-10 loss to Memphis on Saturday. Rice’s offense averaged 34.3 points a game through the first four weeks but is averaging just 12 points over the last two contests. Outside of an Oct. 20 date at Tulsa, every remaining game on Rice’s schedule is winnable. Needless to say, the next six contests will likely decide Bailiff’s fate.

4. Jeff Quinn, Buffalo
Last Week’s Rank:
6
Record at Buffalo: 6-23 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 1-4
Quinn jumps two spots in this week’s coaches on the hot seat ranking, but let’s give the Bulls a little credit. Buffalo gave Ohio all it could handle before losing 38-31. The Bulls have pushed Connecticut and Ohio in the last two weeks and played relatively well in the opener against Georgia. While Buffalo has shown flashes of promise, Quinn needs to get this team over the hump and convert close games into victories. The Bulls won’t have an easy road over the next three games, as they take on Northern Illinois, Pittsburgh and Toledo.

5. Dan Enos, Central Michigan
Last Week’s Rank:
7
Record at Central Michigan: 8-21 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 2-3
The momentum that Central Michigan established with a win over Iowa has quickly eroded over the last two weeks. The Chippewas fell to 2-3 with a 50-35 loss to Toledo on Saturday, which is the third game the defense has allowed 40 or more points. Central Michigan returns home for its next four games, including a nationally televised game against Navy this Friday.

6. Gene Chizik, Auburn
Last Week’s Rank:
17
Record at Auburn: 31-14 (4th season)
2012 Record: 1-4
After losing 12-10 to LSU in Week 4, most thought Auburn had found some answers on both sides of the ball and was ready to turn things around in the second half of the season. However, the Tigers were awful in Saturday’s game against Arkansas, losing 24-7 and falling to 0-3 in the SEC. Although Auburn has plenty of issues, the Razorbacks came into this game in a freefall and thoroughly handled the Tigers. While Chizik’s overall record (31-14) is impressive, take out the 14-0 national championship season and Auburn is just above a .500 team (17-14) – which won’t get it done in the SEC.

7. DeWayne Walker, New Mexico State
Last Week’s Rank:
10
Record at New Mexico State: 10-34 (4th season)
2012 Record: 1-5
As we have mentioned in this space about Walker this year, New Mexico State is a difficult job and this program needed a lot of work when he became head coach. However, the Aggies have lost four in a row, including a 35-14 blowout defeat to UTSA (a program in its second year of football) and a 26-18 loss to Idaho. With the uncertainty over New Mexico State’s future conference, Walker is probably safe for another year. However, a 1-11 or 2-10 record this season would be a major disappointment.

8. Robb Akey, Idaho
Last Week’s Rank:
5
Record at Idaho: 20-48 (6th season)
2012 Record: 1-5
The Vandals finally cracked the win column, beating New Mexico State 26-18 in Week 6. Idaho’s schedule hasn’t afford many opportunities for victories, but this team played well in a loss against Bowling Green and nearly beat Wyoming on Sept. 22. The win over the Aggies snapped an eight-game losing streak and should allow this team to build some momentum for WAC play in the second half of the season. Akey is in a difficult position with Idaho’s uncertainty surrounding its conference. However, just like New Mexico State’s DeWayne Walker, this program can’t afford to fall too far behind and a 1-11 season might bring a coaching change for 2013.

9. Jeff Tedford, California
Last Week’s Rank:
3
Record at California: 81-52 (11th season)
2012 Record: 2-4
With their backs against the wall, the Golden Bears responded with a 43-17 victory over UCLA on Saturday night. The win not only snaps a three-game losing streak, but should reduce some of the pressure on Tedford. The veteran coach has taken a lot of heat this year and still needs a few more wins to keep his job. Although California’s 2-4 record is disappointing, its schedule has been one of the most difficult in the nation through the first six weeks of 2012.

10. Derek Dooley, Tennessee
Last Week’s Rank:
9
Record at Tennessee: 14-16 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 3-2
With an upcoming schedule that features games against Mississippi State, Alabama and South Carolina, the bye week came at a good time for Tennessee. Although Volunteers’ fans want to be undefeated, this team simply lost to better teams so far (Georgia and Florida) and have not played bad in either game. While the next three contests could all be losses, Tennessee could finish out 2012 on a four-game winning streak, as Troy, Missouri, Vanderbilt and Kentucky should all be victories. Dooley’s team has made some progress, but the next seven games will be crucial for his future in Knoxville.

11. Bobby Hauck, UNLV
Last Week’s Rank:
8
Record at UNLV: 5-26 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 1-5
As the hot seat watch has mentioned in previous editions, Hauck seems to have UNLV pointed in the right direction. However, the harsh reality remains: The Rebels are 1-5 and lost to Northern Arizona in Week 2. UNLV’s schedule hasn’t been particularly easy and the next two games are daunting: Nevada and at Boise State. Looking ahead to the last month of the season, the Rebels should have a chance to win all four games, which would help Hauck make a case for another year in 2013.

12. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
Last Week’s Rank:
11
Record at Iowa: 99-68 (14th season)
2012 Record: 3-2
Ferentz has experienced a roller coaster ride on the hot seat rankings this season, as he climbed into the top 10 with a bad loss to Central Michigan but tumbled down the list after beating Minnesota on Sept. 29. With Iowa’s next victory, Ferentz will top 100 victories in his career in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes travel to Michigan State this week and host Penn State on Oct. 20, which won’t make it any easier for Ferentz to hit that milestone.

13. Ellis Johnson, Southern Miss
Last Week’s Rank:
14
Record at Southern Miss: 0-5
2012 Record: 0-5
The disastrous start to Johnson’s tenure at Southern Miss continued with a 40-14 loss to Boise State. In fairness to the Golden Eagles, the schedule hasn’t been easy, as all five of their opponents should be bowl teams. However, Southern Miss’ offense has not scored more than 17 points in each of its last four games and the defense ranks 105th nationally in points allowed. With a game at UCF this Saturday and a home date against Marshall on Oct. 20 coming up, the Golden Eagles could be 0-7 heading into a road trip to Rice at the end of October.

14. Skip Holtz, South Florida
Last Week’s Rank:
20
Record at South Florida: 15-16 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 2-4
The Bulls are one of college football’s biggest disappointments through the first six weeks of the season. With a roster that returned 13 starters, South Florida was expected to be in the mix for the Big East title, while erasing the disappointment from a 5-7 finish last year. Instead, the Bulls have slumped to a 2-4 start, which includes losses at Ball State and Temple. South Florida simply has too much talent to be 2-4, leaving Holtz and his coaching staff with much of the blame. Holtz signed a hefty contract extension in the offseason, so it’s unlikely the school will make a change. However, another 5-7 or 4-8 year won’t sit well in Tampa.

15. Mike Price, UTEP
Last Week’s Rank: Not ranked
Record at UTEP: 46-57 (8 years)
2012 Record: 1-5
Although UTEP has close calls against Oklahoma and Wisconsin this season, the Miners have only one win at the midpoint of 2012 and are 0-2 in C-USA play. UTEP’s second half schedule doesn’t provide a ton of relief, especially with road trips to Tulsa and Houston, along with a visit from UCF. Price has not had a winning year since 2005 and the Miners appear to be headed for their seventh consecutive season of at least seven or more losses.

16. Jon Embree, Colorado
Last Week’s Rank: 15
Record at Colorado: 4-14 (2nd season)
2012 Record: 1-4
Colorado had a bye week on Saturday and return to action against Arizona State on Thursday night. The off date came at a good time for the Buffaloes, as they had a handful of injured players and had a full week to make some much-needed adjustments. Colorado is going to struggle to win another game this year, but Embree doesn’t appear to be in any danger of losing his job.

17. Rick Stockstill, MTSU
Last Week’s Rank:
19
Record at MTSU: 38-42 (7th season)
2012 Record: 3-2
The week after beating Georgia Tech on the road, it was no surprise MTSU lost to Louisiana-Monroe. The Blue Raiders had a letdown performance, but the Warhawks are also one of the best teams in the Sun Belt this year. Stockstill’s seat was scalding hot after losing the season opener to McNeese State, but MTSU rebounded and could make a run at six victories.

18. Bill Cubit, Western Michigan
Last Week’s Rank: 16
Record at Western Michigan: 50-42 (8th season)
2012 Record: 3-3
With quarterback Alex Carder sidelined with a hand injury, backup Tyler VanTubbergen led Western Michigan to an easy 52-14 win over UMass. VanTubbergen threw for five touchdowns and 283 yards, while the Broncos’ defense limited the Minutemen to 135 passing yards. Cubit entered this season with a lot of pressure on his shoulders, as Western Michigan has yet to win the MAC West under his watch. The Broncos were picked by many to win the division but need some help after losing to Toledo 37-17. Western Michigan’s next five games – including four on the road – will decide whether or not this team can play in Detroit for the conference championship in early December.

19. Doug Marrone, Syracuse
Last Week’s Rank: 12
Record at Syracuse: 19-23 (4th season)
2012 Record: 2-3
Marrone is one of the biggest winners from the Week 6 action. The Orange got a much-needed victory over Pittsburgh, edging the Panthers 14-13. The win was Syracuse’s first over a FBS team since beating West Virginia 49-23 on Oct. 21 last season. Barring a disastrous finish to 2012, Marrone shouldn’t be in any danger of losing his job. However, the Orange needs to show more progress in the second half of the season, especially as a move to the ACC is on the horizon for 2013.

20. Randy Edsall, Maryland
Last Week’s Rank:
13
Record at Maryland: 5-12 (2nd season)
2012 Record: 3-2
Saturday’s 19-14 win over Wake Forest wasn’t pretty, but the victory ensured Maryland would finish 2012 with a better record than it did last season. Edsall has been under fire since he took the job in College Park, but the Terrapins are making progress, which has been made possible by a true freshman quarterback (Perry Hills) and a dynamic playmaker at receiver (Stefon Diggs). Maryland still needs some help to get to a bowl game, but upcoming match-ups against Virginia and Boston College are very winnable.

Honorable Mention

John L. Smith, Arkansas
Record at Arkansas:
2-4
2012 Record: 2-4
As the hot seat watch has mentioned every week, Smith is on a one-year contract, so he’s not really in any danger of being fired. After a 24-7 victory at Auburn, the Razorbacks are building some momentum for the second half of the season, and they still have a chance to make a bowl game. Arkansas has winnable games against Kentucky, Ole Miss and Tulsa but would need to pull off an upset over Arkansas, Mississippi State or LSU to get to six wins. Although Smith has taken a lot of heat over the last few weeks, he deserves credit for Saturday’s win over Auburn. 
 

by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven

Related College Football Content

College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 6 Ranks
ACC Post-Week 6 Power Rankings

Big East Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
Big Ten Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
Big 12 Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
Pac-12 Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
SEC Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
College Football Week 6 Recap

Teaser:
<p> College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 6 Rankings</p>
Post date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 06:00
Path: /college-football/college-football-post-week-6-bowl-projections
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College football's bowl season is inching closer, but it's never too early to take a look at what the matchups might look like. With six weeks of results in the books, it's hard to make long-term projections about teams, especially with several teams just getting into conference play. 

With little data to work with, the post-Week 6 bowl projections are a mixture between preseason projections, how things would look if the season ended today, and a dose of the results so far this year. Expect more changes over the next few weeks, especially as we see how teams perform in conference games. 

2012-2013 Post-Week 6 College Football Bowl Projections

Bowl Date Tie-In Projected Matchup
New Mexico Dec. 15 MWC vs. Pac-12 Arizona vs. Nevada
Famous Idaho Potato Dec. 15 MAC vs. WAC Utah State vs. N. Illinois
Poinsettia Dec. 20 BYU vs. MWC BYU vs. San Diego State
Beef 'O'Brady's Dec. 21 Big East vs. C-USA East Carolina vs. Connecticut
New Orleans Dec. 22 Sun Belt vs. C-USA UL Lafayette vs. Tulsa
Las Vegas Dec. 22 MWC vs. Pac-12 UCLA vs. Boise State
Hawaii Dec. 24 C-USA vs. MWC Fresno State vs. SMU
Little Caesars Dec. 26 Big Ten vs. MAC Minnesota vs. Toledo
Military Dec. 27 ACC vs. Army Duke vs. Marshall*
Belk Dec. 27 ACC vs. Big East NC State vs. Cincinnati
Holiday Dec. 27 Big 12 vs. Pac-12 Stanford vs. Baylor
Independence Dec. 28 ACC vs. SEC Wake Forest vs. La. Tech*
Russell Athletic Dec. 28 ACC vs. Big East Miami vs. Rutgers
Meineke Car Care Dec. 28 Big Ten vs. Big 12 Iowa vs. Texas Tech
Armed Forces Dec. 29 C-USA vs. MWC Houston vs. Air Force
Kraft Fight Hunger Dec. 29 Pac-12 vs. Navy Navy vs. Washington
Pinstripe Dec. 29 Big East vs. Big 12 Pittsburgh vs. Iowa State
Alamo Dec. 29 Big 12 vs. Pac-12 Oregon State vs. Texas
Buffalo Wild Wings Dec. 29 Big Ten vs. Big 12 Okla. State vs. Northwestern 
Music City Dec. 31 SEC vs. ACC Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech
Sun Dec. 31 ACC vs. Pac-12 Arizona State vs. Va. Tech
Liberty Dec. 31 SEC vs. C-USA Arkansas vs. UCF**
Chick-fil-A Dec. 31 ACC vs. SEC Clemson vs. Miss. State
Heart of Dallas Jan. 1 Big Ten vs. C-USA Purdue vs. TCU
TaxSlayer.com Gator Jan. 1 SEC vs. Big Ten Texas A&M vs. Michigan State
Capital One Jan. 1 SEC vs. Big Ten Florida vs. Nebraska
Outback Jan. 1 SEC vs. Big Ten Wisconsin vs. Georgia
Cotton Jan. 4 Big 12 vs. SEC Oklahoma vs. LSU
BBVA Compass Jan. 5 SEC vs. Big East Vanderbilt vs. UL Monroe*
GoDaddy.com Jan. 6 MAC vs. Sun Belt W. Kentucky vs. Ohio
       
BCS Bowls      
Rose Jan. 1 BCS vs. BCS Michigan vs. USC
Orange Jan. 1 BCS vs. BCS Florida State vs. Louisville
Sugar Jan. 2 BCS vs. BCS South Carolina vs. Kansas State
Fiesta Jan. 3 BCS vs. BCS West Virginia vs. Notre Dame
National Title Jan. 7 BCS vs. BCS Oregon vs. Alabama


* Indicates an at-large team due to a conference unable to fill bowl slots according to Athlon's projections.

** UCF is appealing a postseason ban and for now, is eligible to compete in the 2012 postseason.

by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven

(published Oct. 9, 2012)

Related College Football Content

College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 6 Ranks
ACC Post-Week 6 Power Rankings

Big East Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
Big Ten Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
Big 12 Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
Pac-12 Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
SEC Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
College Football Week 6 Recap

Teaser:
<p> College Football Post-Week 6 Bowl Projections</p>
Post date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 06:00
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-waiver-wire-week-6
Body:

Several top fantasy producers will be getting a rest in Week 6 with Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville and New Orleans all on bye. Not only does that mean no Drew Brees, Cam Newton or Jay Cutler, it also means owners won’t get anything out of Matt Forte, Maurice Jones-Drew, Brandon Marshall, Marques Colston, or Jimmy Graham, among others. And don’t forget about Chicago’s defense/special teams, which is far and away the No. 1 unit in all of fantasy football as the Monsters of the Midway have out-scored opposing offenses on their own over the past three weeks.

While there is not a suitable replacement for the Bears DST out there, that does not mean there aren’t any viable options available on the waiver wire. The same goes for other positions that are either impacted by the bye week, injury or a lack of production. Here are some names worth considering.

Week 6 Positional Rankings

Week 6 Start or Sit

Bye week teams: Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville, New Orleans

Quarterbacks
Week 5 Recap: This past week didn’t go that well for Matt Hasselbeck, Kevin Kolb or Ryan Tannehill, although Tannehill’s Dolphins were victorious over the Bengals. Hasselbeck had the best fantasy numbers thanks to a fourth quarter touchdown in the Titans’ loss to the Vikings, but overall his numbers (200-1-1, 10 rushing yards) were nothing to get that excited about. Hasselbeck will get another chance this Thursday at home against Pittsburgh as Jake Locker (shoulder) has already been ruled out by head coach Mike Munchak. Hasselbeck also could benefit from facing a Steelers defense that won a physical, hard-hitting affair against the Eagles on Sunday, but besides being battered and bruised, suffered even more injuries and faces a quick turnaround for this week's game. Kolb and Tannehill scored even fewer fantasy points than Hasselbeck, as the Rams knocked Kolb around (9 sacks) and he committed three turnovers (2 INT, 1 fumle), while Tannehill wasn’t called on to do that much (17-of-26, 223 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT) in the passing game. Kolb appears to have the better match-up this week as the Cardinals will host Buffalo, while Tannehill and the Dolphins welcome the aforementioned Rams to Miami.

Kirk Cousins, Washington Redksins
Purely speculative, but starter Robert Griffin III suffered an apparent concussion in Sunday’s loss to Atlanta, so he will need to pass all the mandatory tests and be cleared to not only practice, but play Sunday against Minnesota. If Griffin can’t go, Cousins will get the start, as he made his NFL debut in relief of Griffin and picked up his first career touchdown pass, a 77-yard strike to Santana Moss to give the Redskins the lead early in the fourth quarter. He also was picked off twice as the Falcons scored the final 10 points for the victory, but the rookie still finished with decent numbers (5-of-9, 111 yards, TD, 2 INT) in his first taste of NFL action. He could be in line for significantly more this Sunday.

Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Freeman hasn’t done an awful lot (790 yards passing, 5 TD, 4 INT, 22 yards rushing) in his first four games, but Tampa Bay is coming off of its bye week, allowing Freeman and the offense time to work out the kinks. Also, don’t overlook that this week the Buccaneers will host Kansas City. Even after holding Joe Flacco and the Ravens to just nine points (yet still losing), the Chiefs are still allowing the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. They have given up a total of 10 passing touchdowns compared to just three interceptions so far.

Brady Quinn, Kansas City Chiefs
Matt Cassel left Kansas City’s 9-6 loss to Baltimore with an apparent head injury, opening the door for Quinn. The reality is that while injury may end up being the official reason for a quarterback change in KC, the truth is that this was probably coming regardless. The Chiefs are 1-4 and in spite of the defense’s own issues, it’s quite easy to point the finger at Cassel. He is completing less than 59 percent of his passes for an average of 230 yards per game. More troubling is the turnovers, as he’s coughed it up 13 times (9 INTs, 4 fumbles) while accounting for only six touchdowns (5 passing, 1 rush) in five games. Injury or not, there’s a good chance Quinn will get the nod this Sunday in Tampa Bay. Quinn started 12 games in 2008-09 for the Browns, and for his career has completed less than 53 percent of his attempts for 1,934 yards, 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions. One other thing to keep in mind: Tampa Bay has given up an average of 345 yards passing in its first four games.

Tim Tebow, New York Jets
Like Quinn, Tebow may soon get the chance to show what he can do under center for the Jets, especially if Mark Sanchez and the offense continue to struggle. By now, it’s no secret what Tebow can and can not do when it comes to playing quarterback, but if he gets the opportunity to start, it instantly increases his fantasy value. His shortcomings as a passer aside, Tebow has already shown that he’s capable of producing as a rusher. Even with his limited playing time so far, Tebow is third on the team in rushing and is responsible for the Jets’ longest running play (22 yards) from scrimmage.

Running Backs
Week 5 Recap: Rashard Mendenhall certainly made his presence felt in his season debut, as he led the Steelers in carries (14), rushing yards (81) and scored the team’s only touchdown in the win over the Eagles. There’s no reason to think he’s not the team’s top back moving forward. Kendall Hunter also had 81 yards rushing as he made the most of his opportunities in San Francisco’s 45-3 blowout of Buffalo. Jackie Battle, Brandon Bolden and Ronnie Hillman combined for 83 rushing yards on 21 carries as they saw the starters in front of them, namely Ryan Mathews for San Diego and Stevan Ridley for New England, assert themselves. All three are still worth owning, but expectations, barring injury, for each moving forward should probably be tempered.

Alex Green, Green Bay Packers
Cedric Benson left Sunday’s game in Indianapolis with a foot injury and Green got the most carries (9) after that. The second-year pro from Hawaii, who was the team’s third-round pick in 2011, finished with 55 yards (6.1 ypc) and is now in line for even more opportunities, as Benson will be out for at least eight weeks (possibly lost for the season) after suffering an apparent Lisfranc injury to his foot. James Starks (and perhaps Brandon Saine) could still have something to say about this. Starks, who was the presumed starter before the Packers signed Benson during training camp, has missed the first five games with a toe injury, but is reportedly almost healthy enough to return to the field. Regardless, I wouldn’t expect a great deal out of any of the Packers' backs this week when they take on the undefeated Texans and their No. 6-ranked defense.

Isaac Redman, Pittsburgh Steelers
Rashard Mendenhall made his triumphant return as the Steelers’ lead back on Sunday against the Eagles and looks to have cemented his status as such moving forward. That said, Redman finished with only one fewer carry (13 to 14) than Mendenhall and he is currently the team’s leading rusher. Also, the Steelers decided to make Jonathan Dwyer inactive, even though he was healthy, against the Eagles, so it appears that Redman, and not Dwyer, will maintain the role of the team’s No. 2 back. There could be worse positions to be in considering the Steelers’ propensity to run the ball and this Thursday’s match-up with Tennessee, who is giving up more than 144 yards rushing per game.

Darius Reynaud, Tennessee Titans
Chris Johnson isn’t losing his job as the Titans’ starting running back, especially now that backup Javon Ringer is out four to six weeks after spraining his left knee. However, that doesn’t mean that CJ might not lose some carries, as he’s been largely ineffective (210 yards, 2.9 ypc, 0 TD) running the ball and has yet to score. To that end, it appears that Reynaud (who also could be eligible at WR depending on the league) would get the chance, as he currently has more carries, targets and receptions than Jamie Harper, who is also on the roster. The Titans already know about Reynaud’s speed and playmaking ability, as he’s averaging 27.6 yards per kickoff return, including one he brought back 105 yards for a touchdown. At this point, it certainly can’t hurt to give someone other than Johnson a shot at running the ball.

LaRod Stephens-Howling, Arizona Cardinals
Beanie Wells is already on injured reserve because of a toe injury, but there’s a chance he will return at some point this season. The same cannot be said for Ryan Williams, however, as the shoulder injury he suffered during Thursday’s loss to St. Louis ended up being worse than initially believed. Williams’ 2012 season is over as the second-year back will need to undergo shoulder surgery to repair the damage. Stephens-Howling is expected to move to the top of the Cardinals’ depth chart at running back, although he has missed the past two games with a hip-flexor injury. He was reportedly close to playing last Thursday, so if he’s healthy enough, he should get the first shot. The Cardinals also have William Powell, the only other running back other than Williams to get a carry against the Rams, and Alfonso Smith on the roster. This is a situation that bears watching, especially in deeper leagues, as Arizona welcomes Buffalo to the desert on Sunday. The Bills’ defense is among the worst in the league statistically and it gave up 311 yards rushing and 45 points to San Francisco last week.

David Wilson, New York Giants
Ahmad Bradshaw rumbled for 200 yards on 30 carries (6.7 ypc) against Cleveland, but it was Wilson who perhaps made the most of his chances against the Browns. Andre Brown went down early with a head injury, presenting Wilson with an opportunity as the Giants looked to eat up some time with a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter. Wilson finally got another chance to run the ball and he promptly took it 40 yards to paydirt. Whether or not this results in Wilson getting more opportunities in the future remains to be seen, but it certainly doesn’t hurt the rookie that he capitalized on the chance he got on Sunday, especially in light of Brown’s injury and the Giants’ renewed emphasis on running the ball.

Wide Receivers
Week 5 Recap: James Jones (4-46-2) made the most noise in Week 5, while Brian Hartline, Domenik Hixon and Andre Roberts each caught at least four passes. Donald Jones only managed two receptions, but then again the Bills had a total of 204 yards of offense and scored three measly points against the 49ers. Hartline, James Jones and Roberts appear to the most appealing options of these moving forward based on their respective situations, although Hixon’s outlook is tied directly to the health of Hakeem Nicks.

Brandon Gibson, St. Louis Rams
The Rams will be without the services of leading receiver Danny Amendola for at least a month, meaning some other wideout will need to step up in his absence. Gibson appears to be the most likely candidate to assume Amendola’s role, as he’s second on the team in targets, receptions and receiving yards and he’s already caught two touchdowns. Rookie Chris Givens probably bears watching as well. He caught a 51-yard touchdown against the Cardinals, but has had problems holding on to the ball overall (4 receptions, 15 targets).

Mario Manningham, San Francisco Giants
Alex Smith, the NFL’s top-rated passer, threw for 303 yards and three touchdowns against Buffalo. Not to say the 49ers will continue to air it out, but Smith’s showing himself capable as a passer. To that end, Manningham is third on the team in both targets (23) and receptions (19) and has the same number of touchdown catches (one) as leading receiver Michael Crabtree. It also doesn’t hurt that this Sunday Manningham’s former team, the Giants, will be making the cross-country trip to take on the 49ers.

Robert Meachem, San Diego Chargers
Perhaps all it took was some familiar faces to get Meachem going. After catching just six passes for 92 yards in the Chargers’ first four games, the free agent acquisition erupted for three catches, 67 yards and two touchdowns against the Saints, his former team. Malcom Floyd is Philip Rivers’ top target and tight end Antonio Gates will probably continue to get more looks, but Meachem can still be a productive receiver for the Chargers and someone’s fantasy team. It starts by putting together two solid games in a row as the Chargers will host Denver this coming Monday night.

Mike Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Vincent Jackson gets more targets (and makes considerably more money), but Williams has been a reliable and productive secondary option for Josh Freeman in Tampa Bay’s passing attack. Williams is averaging slightly more yards (19.9 to 19.0) per reception than Jackson and each have caught two touchdown passes so far. The Bucs have had an extra week to get ready for Kansas City, who has had its share of problems on defense and is giving up an average of 29 points per game.

Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans
Tennessee’s offense is struggling, especially when it comes to running the ball, but you can’t pin it on the rookie. Not only is he leading the team in receptions, he’s tied for 19th in the league as his 27 is also the most of any first-year wide receiver. Wright’s not getting a lot of yards (214, 7.9 ypc), but he’s tied for the team lead in touchdown catches with two and has caught a total of 13 passes the past two games. Wright is worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses, especially in PPR leagues.

Tight Ends
Week 5 Recap: Scott Chandler was the Bills’ leading receiver (4 rec., 40 yds.) against San Francisco, which isn’t saying much, but he also lost a fumble. Greg Olsen fared similarly (2, 37), minus the fumble, but that’s not surprising considering Cam Newton was 12-for-29 for only 141 yards (4.9 ypc) against Seattle. The Bills will try to get some offense going at Arizona, while Olsen and the Panthers have the week off.

Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals
Gresham is averaging five catches and 57 yards over his last three games and he’s also caught a touchdown during that span. He’s second on the Bengals in receptions and even though A..J. Green is the clear-cut primary option in the team’s passing attack, Andy Dalton has been averaging nearly 34 pass attempts per game and is seventh in both passing yards and touchdowns. With numbers like that, there should be more than enough to make Gresham fantasy relevant too.

Rob Housler, Arizona Cardinals
Housler’s not catching a ton of passes, only eight on the year, but seven of those have come over the past three weeks. He’s also averaging nearly 15 yards per reception and Kevin Kolb targeted him six times last week. If anything, it appears that Housler has established himself as the Cardinals’ primary tight end moving forward. If he can increase his production and show some consistency, at worst he could become a viable bye week replacement option.

Defense/Special Teams

Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins' defense has played well to start the season, especially against the run. The 'Fins are No. 1 in rush defense as they have allowed only 61.4 yards per game and have already faced off against running backs like Arian Foster and Darren McFadden. They have been a little more susceptible to the pass (281.8 ypg), but are only surrendering 20.6 points per game. Next up is a Rams team at home that's lost its top wide receiver and only completed seven passes last week. Following their bye in Week 7, the Dolphins have the Jets, Colts, Titans, Bills and Seahawks on their slate. Of these six teams, only Indianapolis ranks higher than 21st in the league in total offense.

Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings are tied for fourth among DSTs in fantasy scoring, largely due to their ability to pressure the quarterback (14 sacks) and having viable threats for both kickoff (Percy Harvin) and punt (Marcus Sherels) returns. Overall, the Vikings' defense has been a pleasant surprise thus far and their upcoming schedule — at WAS, ARI, TB, at SEA — doesn't appear to be all that daunting either. In fact, this week's game in Washington could look a lot different if Robert Griffin III is unable to play because of the concussion he suffered last week.

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.

— By Mark Ross, published on Oct. 9, 2012

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 6</p>
Post date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 06:00
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Visit the online store for Syracuse and other editions of the 2012-13 Athlon Sports College Basketball annual.

The first practices of college basketball season begin in mid-October, and Athlon Sports 2012-13 preview annuals have arrived on newsstands all over the country.

To prepare for the start of college basketball season, we will preview one team each weekday, counting down to the first official day of basketball practice on Oct. 15, or for some teams on Oct. 12.

We continue our countdown with a preview of No. 5 Syracuse.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim prefers to look at the players he has and not the ones who are gone. So while many pundits will pore over Syracuse’s extensive personnel losses off last year’s team that went 34–3 and advanced to the Elite Eight, Boeheim will stick to one of his favorite mantras.

“I coach the players that are here,” Boeheim says.

Syracuse’s losses would debilitate most programs. Gone from last year’s team are three starters — seniors Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph plus NBA first-round pick Fab Melo — and Big East Sixth Man of the Year Dion Waiters, who was the No. 4 pick in the draft despite not starting a game for SU in ’11-12.

Syracuse, however, should maintain its customary spot at or near the top of the Big East standings. Senior guard Brandon Triche and sophomore forward Rakeem Christmas return as starters, while senior James Southerland and juniors C.J. Fair and Baye Keita should step into bigger roles this season after gaining a wealth of experience last year.

“The fact that you have six guys that played a lot, that’s a lot,” Boeheim says. “Most teams don’t have that many. We have a good, solid nucleus of players.”

FRONTCOURT
The key to Syracuse’s frontcourt rotation could be the readiness of DaJuan Coleman. The  6-10, 285-pound freshman local product led Jamesville-Dewitt High to four New York State Class A titles and was a McDonald’s All-American last year. “I think he’s got good tools,” Boeheim says. “He’s underrated as a ball-handler and passer. He can do those things even though he’s a big guy.”

If Coleman proves ready to start, Christmas can remain at power forward. Christmas averaged just 2.8 points and 2.9 rebounds last year, but he had big moments like an eight-point, 11-rebound game against Kansas State in the NCAA Tournament.

Joseph led Syracuse in scoring in each of the last two seasons, but Fair has been preparing for a featured role for two years. Fair played 26.4 minutes per game off the bench last season, second-most on the team team behind Joseph. Fair can play either forward position but needs to extend his range out to the 3-point line to become a complete player.

Southerland could start at forward if Christmas gets moved to center, or the long, lanky senior will come off the bench ready to launch his accurate jumper from 3-point range. Expect Keita and freshman forward Jerami Grant to provide depth.

BACKCOURT
Last year, Syracuse’s backcourt was one of the most experienced in the country. This year, Triche will be the only SU guard with any substantial experience.  Still, the Orange backcourt could be just as potent.

Triche will need to emerge as a vocal leader and a become more aggressive on the offensive end of the court. Improving his 3-point shooting (35.0 percent last year) would be nice, too.

“I think he’s important,” Boeheim says. “He’s got to be ready. It’s his fourth year. He knows what to do.”

Complementing Triche will be two young players in sophomore Michael Carter-Williams and redshirt freshman Trevor Cooney. Carter-Williams, whose lean 6-5 frame reminds some of a young Jason Kidd, has outstanding court vision. His passing ability will create easy looks for the big guys up front. Carter-Williams averaged 2.1 assists in only 10.3 minutes of action as a freshman.

Cooney, a Delaware native who signed with SU two years ago, can drill the spot-up 3-pointer, but don’t label him, says Boeheim. “He’s not a guy we look at as just being a shooter. We think he’s a good player.”

FINAL ANALYSIS
Despite losing four players, including three NBA Draft picks, Syracuse will compete for the Big East title in what will be its last year in the conference before leaving for the ACC.

The Orange have enough experience in Triche, Fair, Southerland and Christmas, but the big keys will be two of the team’s younger players. If Carter-Williams can handle the point and Coleman can step in and contribute in the middle, the Orange could emerge as a Final Four contender.

“I think it’s always difficult to replace a lot of guys,” Boeheim says. “The good news is that the other guys all got to play a lot last year. We have seven guys that we think can play, and we think the two freshmen certainly are playing right away.”

@AthlonSports

Athlon College Basketball Countdown So Far:
20. Florida

19. Notre Dame

18. Memphis
17. Baylor
16. Missouri

15. San Diego State

14. North Carolina

13. UNLV

12. UCLA
11. NC State

10. Michigan State
9. Duke

8. Ohio State

7. Arizona

6. Michigan

Teaser:
<p> College Basketball Countdown: No. 5 Syracuse Preview</p>
Post date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 05:54
All taxonomy terms: College Football
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Former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden is one of 115 voters in the Harris poll for 2012.

The calendar has turned to October, and the unveiling of the BCS standings is near.

For college football fans, in short, this can be an infuriating time. College football’s national championship is decided by a handful of components -- active coaches, computers and the mix of personalities in the Harris Interactive top 25.

Part of the BCS standings since 2005 when the Associated Press pulled its poll out of the formula, the Harris poll may be the least understood of the postseason components.

Its 115 voters are randomly selected to represent each conference and the independents. Harris Interactive selects 10 voters each from a pool of candidates provided by each conference, bringing the total voters to 110. Candidates submitted by the four independents make up the final five spots in the poll.

But who are the voters? Harris releases a list of names of the panel, but not their relationship to college football, the conference from which they were selected, or the college or conference that nominated to the panel in the first place.

Through research, we have filled in the gaps with a quick description of each voter for 2012.

Here are a few of our observations on the panel.

The mix is as expected among former players, former coaches, current and former media members and college administrators.

Our breakdown is as follows:

39 former players. This includes football players who went on to broadcast careers but not former college football players who went on to become coaches or administrators. One Heisman winner, Army’s Pete Dawkins, is in the panel.

31 former administrators. This includes former commissioners, athletic directors and sports information directors. The most notable is former SEC commissioner Roy Kramer, who is considered to be the father of the BCS.

27 current and former media members for print, broadcast and online outlets.

13 former coaches. This includes Lloyd Carr (Michigan), Tommy Bowden (Clemson and Tulane), Rich Brooks (Kentucky and Oregon) and Jackie Sherrill (Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Pittsburgh and Washington State).

5 “others.” This includes a former head of officials (Tim Mills), a former television executive (Loren Matthews) and a director of college scouting for the Green Bay Packers (John Dorsey).

Other notes:

Of the 115 voters, 29 have participated in the Harris poll every season since it began in 2005.

The Harris poll features 15 new voters from last season including former Tulane quarterback Shaun King, former Indiana quarterback Antwaan Randle El, former Wake Forest quarterback Riley Skinner, former Minnesota running back Darrell Thompson and former Cincinnati and Florida State athletic director Bob Goin.

Another new voter, Bob Condron, spent the last 28 years as the director of media services for the United States Olympic Committee. His last experience in college athletics was sports information staffer at SMU and Texas Tech in the early 1980s.

Gary Hogeboom was a quarterback at Central Michigan and with the Dallas Cowboys, but he was also a contestant on Survivor: Guatemala in 2005.

Voter Description
*Denny Aldridge Texas player 1966-68
Bob Anderson Army player 1956-60
Eric Bailey Reporter, The Tulsa World
James Bates Florida player 1993-96, CBS Sports Network broadcaster
Sammy Batten Reporter, The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer
*Dick Bestwick Georgia administrator 1986-88, South Carolina athletic director 1988, Virginia coach 1976-81
*Joe Biddle Former columnist, The Nashville Tennessean
*Blaine Bishop Ball State player 1990-92, Radio host, WGFX in Nashville
Tommy Bowden Tulane coach 1997-98, Clemson coach 1999-2008
Dave Braine Georgia Tech athletic director 1997-2006, Virginia Tech AD 1988-97, Marshall AD 1985-87
Gil Brandt NFL.com analyst, Former Cowboys director of player personnel
Rich Brooks Oregon coach 1977-94, Kentucky coach 2003-09
Chip Brown Reporter, Orangebloods.com
*Brenston Buckner Clemson player 1990-93
Grant Burget Oklahoma player 1970-74
Chris Carlin Broadcaster for Rutgers and SNY
Lloyd Carr Michigan coach 1995-2007
*Charlie Cavagnaro UNLV athletic director 1995-2001, Memphis AD 1982-95
Pete Cavender Boise State player 2003-07, radio analyst BSU Sports Radio Network
Tony Collins East Carolina player 1977-80
Bob Condron Former USOC director of media services 1984-2012, former SID staffer at Texas Tech and SMU
Gene Corrigan Notre Dame athletic director 1981-87, Virginia AD 1971-80, ACC commissioner 1987-97
Joe Crowley Former University of Nevada president, former NCAA president
Dick Crum North Carolina coach 1978-87, Kent State coach 1988-90
Fran Curci Miami coach 1971-72, Kentucky coach 1973-81
*Pete Dawkins 1958 Heisman winner at Army, former CEO of Primerica Financial Services
Herb Dromedi Central Michigan coach 1978-93
Mark Dienhart Minnesota athletic director 1995-2000, Executive Vice President, University of St. Thomas
John Dorsey Green Bay Packers director of college scouting, Connecticut player 1980-83
Bob Dunlevy West Virginia player 1963-65
Chuck Ealey Toledo player 1969-71
Jack Ebling Columnist, SpartanTailgate.com; Former columnist Lansing (Mich.) State Journal
Rondo Fehlberg BYU athletic director 1995-99
Robert Gagliardi Reporter, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle
Richard Giannini Southern Miss athletic director 1999-2011, former administrator at ULM, Florida and Duke.
Bob Goin Cincinnati athletic director 1997-2005, Florida State athletic director 1990-94
Joe Gottfried South Alabama athletic director 1984-2009
Mike Griffith Reporter, MLive.com
*Bob Grim Oregon State player 1964-66
Lee Grosscup Utah player 1957-58
Mark Hermann Purdue player 1977-80
*Tommy Hicks Columnist, Mobile (Ala.) Press-Register
Gary Hogeboom Central Michigan player 1976-79
David Horning NC State administrator 1984-2010
*David Housel Auburn athletic director 1990-2004
Todd Husak Stanford player 1996-99
J.J. Joe Former Baylor player 1990-93; Radio analyst, Baylor
Scott Johnson Fresno State athletic director 2001-05
Tony Jones Texas player 1986-89
Adam Jude Reporter, The Oregonian
Don W. Kassing San Jose State president 2005-08
Laing Kennedy Kent State athletic director 1994-2010, Cornell athletic director 1983-94
*Blair Kerkhoff Reporter, The Kansas City Star
*Mike Kern Reporter, The Philadelphia Daily News
Shaun King Tulane player 1995-98
*Roy Kramer SEC Commissioner, 1990-2002
Nate Kreckman Radio host, KXDP in Denver
*Bobby Leach SMU player 1981-84
Sonny Lubick Colorado State coach 1993-2007
*Mike Lude Auburn athletic director 1992-93, Washington athletic director 1975-91
*Tom Luicci Reporter, Newark (N.J.) Star Ledger
John Mallory West Virginia player 1965-67
Bob Marcum Kansas athletic director 1978-82, South Carolina AD 1982-88, Marshall AD 2002-09
Loren Matthews Former ABCSports Senior Vice President
Derrick Mayes Notre Dame player 1992-95
*Mike McGee Duke coach 1971-78, Cincinnati athletic director 1979-84, USC athletic director 1984-93
*Lance McIlhenny SMU player 1980-83
Pete Medhurst Radio reporter and host, Navy Radio Network
Tim Millis Former executive director of the NFL Referees Association, former Big 12 supervisor of officials
Eric Mizell Troy player 1990-91
*Craig Morton Cal player 1962-64
Gerald Myers Texas Tech athletic director 1996-2011
Joe Novak Northern Illinois coach 1996-2007
Jim Oakes Louisiana Tech athletic director 1994-2008
Denny O'Brien Reporter on East Carolina for Bonesville.net
David Paschall Reporter, Chattanooga (Tenn.) Free-Press
Allen Pinkett Notre Dame player 1982-85; Radio analyst, Notre Dame
Doug Plank Ohio State player 1972-74
Mike Prater Sports editor, Idaho Statesman
*Steve Preece Oregon State player 1966-68
Antwaan Randle El Indiana player 1998-2001
*Pat Richter Wisconsin athletic director 1989-2004
Earle Robinson Radio host, AM870 East Lansing, Mich.
*Kenny Roda Radio host WKNR 850 in Cleveland
Gary Sanders Former radio broadcaster, UAB
*Harvey Schiller CEO of GlobalOptions Group, SEC Commissioner 1986-90, Former VP at TBS
*Terry R. Schmidt Ball State player 1971-73
Terry Shea San Jose State coach 1990-91, Rutgers coach 1996-2000
Jackie Sherrill Pittsburgh coach 1977-81, Texas A&M coach 1982-88, Mississippi State coach 1991-2003
Corky Simpson Former columnist, The Tucson (Ariz.) Citizen
Riley Skinner Wake Forest player 2006-09
Joe Smigiel Arizona player 1992-94
Adam Sparks Reporter, The Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Daily News Journal
Fred Stabley Former Central Michigan sports information director
Patrick Stevens Reporter, The Washington Times
Don Strock Florida International coach 2002-06
Pat Swilling Georgia Tech player 1982-85
Mel Thomas Former TCU administrator and assistant coach
Darrell Thompson Minnesota player 1986-89
*John Toner Connecticut athletic director 1969-87
Charlie Trotman Auburn player 1977-79
*Max Urick Iowa State athletic director 1983-93, Kansas State athletic director 1993-2001
*Roger Valdiserri Former Notre Dame sports information director
Jeff Van Note Kentucky player 1966-68
Tommy Vardell Stanford player 1988-91
Mike Vaught Former SMU administrator
Jim Vruggink Former Purdue sports information director
*Bob Wagner Hawaii coach 1988-95
Jim Walden Iowa State coach 1987-94, Washington State coach 1978-86
Jay Walker Radio host, KPEL in Lafayette, La., play-by-play announcer, Louisiana-Lafayette
John Walters Former columnist, The Daily
Jack White Alabama player 1971, former director for PGA Tour's Shotlink
Dwayne Woodruff Louisville player 1976-78
Rick Wright Reporter, Albuquerque (N.M.) Journal
*Hugh Yoshida Hawaii athletic director 1992-2002
  *Indicates voters since first Harris poll in 2005
  Bold indicates new voter in 2012

By David Fox

@DavidFox615

Teaser:
<p> College Football: Who votes in the Harris Poll?</p>
Post date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 05:53
Path: /nfl/2013-nfl-draft-rankings-running-backs
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 best running back prospects:

1. Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina (6-0, 220, Jr.)
He appears to be fully recovered from his torn ACL in 2011. He still might be a bit tentative but he is rounding into form. He is big, physical, never goes down on first contact, is a tremendous receiver and works hard off the field. He is the most talented, most complete runner in the nation. For his career (26 games), he is averaging 126.6 yards from scrimmage per game and has scored 39 touchdowns. He might be the only back taken in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Comparison: Adrian Peterson

2. Stepfan Taylor, Stanford (5-11, 215, Sr.)
Few players have as complete a game as the Cardinal ball-carrier. He is the workhorse back for a program that uses a physical, pro-style attack based around Taylor’s ability. He is thickly built, has a tremendous work ethic, plays smart football, can catch passes and runs hard every game. His workload in college could be his only negative, as he will be over 800 touches from scrimmage by the time his career is over. Comparison: Frank Gore

3. Giovani Bernard, North Carolina (5-10, 205, rSo.)
This tough little runner came to UNC from St. Thomas Aquinas H.S., a storied South Florida program that prepares football talents for the next level. And as a redshirt freshman, Bernard exploded onto the scene with 239 carries for 1,253 yards, along with 45 receptions for another 362 yards and a total of 14 touchdowns. He has missed some time in 2012 but also delivered a huge performance in a win over one of the best defenses in the country (262 yards against Virginia Tech, Week 6). He is a bit smaller than a proto-type back but has speed to burn and the talent to play all three downs. In addition, as a redshirt sophomore, Bernard will have the most “tread left on the tires” of any back in the class. Comparison: LeSean McCoy

4. Le’Veon Bell, Michigan State (6-1, 240, Jr.)
Bell has some negatives — average shiftiness, straight line speed and work ethic — but also has the biggest, most powerful frame of anyone in the class. He is accustomed to power-I formations and can carry the load if needed (see games of 44, 36 and 37 carries in 2012). He is right at home in a play-action style offense and will be a huge asset around the goal line. If he can stay focused on keeping his weight down and works hard, he could be a future feature back. Comparison: Steven Jackson

5. Joseph Randle, Oklahoma St (6-0, 205, Jr.)
Production hasn’t been an issue for Randle after a school-record 26 touchdowns in 2011. He has been outstanding as the leader of the revamped Pokes offense this fall and brings breakaway speed to the edge, power up the middle and will play a big role in the passing game. Randle is taller than most ideal backs who aren’t 230 pounds, but he has plenty of big-play ability. Comparison: DeMarco Murray

6. Montee Ball, Wisconsin (5-11, 210, Sr.)
Scouts cannot argue the production for a guy who has a chance to finish his career with more rushing touchdowns than anyone in the history of the sport (73). He dropped weight before his junior season and it helped with quickness and burst. Yet, he lacks the top-end skills of the NFL’s elite. However, he is a tough player who consistently produces and has fumbled one time in his entire career. Comparison: Ahmad Bradshaw

7. Andre Ellington, Clemson (5-9, 190, Sr.)
The only real knock on Ellington is his durability, which stems from his overall lack of size. His frame isn’t ideal and he has been banged up throughout his Tigers career. That said, he will finish with over 4,000 yards from scrimmage and more than 30 touchdowns in his career. He has the raw ability to do everything an NFL back is asked to do, but can he be a true workhorse on Sundays? Comparison: Donald Brown

8. Rex Burkhead, Nebraska (5-11, 210, Sr.)
He won’t wow scouts at the combine with his average measurables, but he makes up for it with things that simply cannot be tracked with a stop watch: intangibles, leadership, blitz pick-ups, toughness and heart. He is one of the most complete players in the nation and will be a welcome addition to any NFL locker room. He will be a late-round steal and could be very productive for many years — even if he is never a star. Comparison: Matt Forte

9. Silas Redd, USC (5-10, 210, Jr.)
Redd was the only star for an average Penn State team (1,241 yards, 7 TD as a sophomore) before heading out West to USC for his junior season. He is a pro-style runner who has the skills to be a three-down back should he get a little bigger. He runs with power and has adequate speed. Should he develop his skills, he could be a sneaky good player on Sundays. Comparison: Rashard Mendenhall

10. Mike Gillislee, Florida (5-11, 210, Sr.)
This Gator tailback was a late bloomer — 920 yards and 10 TDs in his first three seasons — but developed into an SEC Player of the Year candidate with hard running and toughness throughout a brutal conference schedule in 2012. He was miscast in Urban Meyer’s scheme and fits much better into the pro-style attack Will Muschamp brought to Gainesville. Look for Gillislee to continue to move up draft boards with his excellent play this fall. Comparison: Cedric Benson

11. Eddie Lacy, Alabama (6-1, 220, Jr.)
All the physical talent in the world, but can never stay healthy.

12. Jonathan Franklin, UCLA (5-11, 195, Sr.)
Long track record of success but could be limited physically on the next elevel.

13. Ray Graham, Pitt (5-9, 195, Sr.)
Has NFL ability but is still regaining form after torn ACL. Size could be an issue as well.

14. Knile Davis, Arkansas (6-0, 225, Sr.)
Not the same back as he was before suffering a major ankle injury in 2011.

15. Christine Michael, Texas A&M (5-11, 220, Sr.)
Much like Davis and Lacy, he has the talent... and the long track record of injuries.

16. Cierre Wood, Notre Dame (6-0, 215, Jr.)
Off the field focus issues have knocked him down a peg, but coming on strong.

17. DJ Harper, Boise State (5-9, 205, Sr.)
This should be a sneaky draft day value for someone. Can do a little bit of everything.

18. Kenjon Barner, Oregon (5-11, 192, Sr.)
Tremendous talent, but has been banged up and scouts will question scheme and size.

19. Spencer Ware/Michael Ford/Alfred Blue, LSU (5-11, 225/5-10, 215/6-2, 220, Jr.)
Three burly backs who are tremendously physical. Each could be a steal on draft day.

20. Zac Stacy, Vanderbilt (5-9, 210, Sr.)
Short, stocky player with lots of potential and is accustomed to high level of competition.

Third-Down Speedsters 

Curtis McNeal, USC (5-7, 190, Sr.)
Chris Thompson, Florida State (5-8, 190, Sr.)
Onterio McCalebb, Auburn (5-11, 175, Sr.)
Perry Jones, Virginia (5-8, 187, Sr.)
Dennis Johnson, Arkansas (5-8, 212, Sr.)

Other Names to Watch:

Michael Dyer, Ark. Baptist (5-8, 210, Sr.)
Orwin Smith, Georgia Tech (6-0, 205, Sr.)
Cameron Marshall, Arizona St (5-11, 220, Sr.)
Miguel Maysonet, Stony Brook (5-9, 205, Sr.)
John White, Utah (5-8, 190, Sr.)
Matthew Tucker, TCU (6-0, 225, Sr.)
Dominique Whaley, Oklahoma (5-11, 205, Sr.)
Mike James, Miami (5-11, 220, Sr.)
Ronnie Wingo, Arkansas (6-2, 230, Sr.)

- by Braden Gall

@bradengall

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

Teaser:
<p> 2013 NFL Draft Rankings: Running Backs</p>
Post date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 05:50
All taxonomy terms: News
Path: /news/athlon-sports-college-football-top-25-poll-week-7
Body:

Each week Athlon Sports ranks the Top 25 college football teams in the nation. Alabama and Oregon remain No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, with the South Carolina Gamecocks shooting up four spots to the No. 3 slot. West Virginia, who toppled Texas on Saturday, moves into the No. 6 spot. The week's biggest sliders include Georgia (down 7 spots to No. 10) and Florida State (down 9 spots to No. 13.) 

Teams falling out of the Top 25 include Washington, Nebraska and UCLA.

ATHLON SPORTS TOP 25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL POLL

Rank Team Last Week
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide #1 (-)
#2 Oregon Ducks #2 (-)
#3 South Carolina Gamecocks #7 (+4)
#4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish #6 (+2)
#5 Florida Gators #9 (+4)
#6 West Virginia Mountaineers #12 (+6)
#7 Kansas State Wildcats #10 (+3)
#8 LSU Tigers #5 (-3)
#9 Ohio State Buckeyes #11 (+2)
#10 Georgia Bulldogs #3 (-7)
#11 USC Trojans #13 (+2)
#12 Texas Longhorns #8 (-4)
#13 Florida State Seminoles #4 (-9)
#14 Oklahoma Sooners #14 (-)
#15 Clemson Tigers #15 (-)
#16 Oregon State Beavers #17 (+1)
#17 Louisville Cardinals #18 (+1)
#18 Rutgers Scarlet Knights #19 (+1)
#19 Stanford Cardinal #24 (+5)
#20 Michigan Wolverines #23 (+3)
#21 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs #25 (+4)
#22 Mississippi State Bulldogs #27 (+5)
#23 Cincinnati Bearcats #29 (+6)
#24 Texas A&M Aggies #28 (+4)
#25   Arizona State Sun Devils #35 (+10)

To see our rankings for all 124 teams, visit Athlon's 124.

Teaser:
<p> Ranking the best college football teams in the nation</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 16:34
Path: /mlb/10-worst-contracts-baseball
Body:

Fans love it when their team signs a big-name free agent or locks up a current star, but too many times organizations pay for past accomplishment instead of future production. There are obviously some baseball superstars on this list, but unfortunately much is expected from those who have been compensated at the highest level. Here’s our look at the 10 worst contracts in major league baseball.

1. Vernon Wells, Los Angeles Angels; 2 years and $42 million left on his deal.
Blue Jays general manger Alex Anthopoulos may never construct a playoff team, but his bosses were elated when he dumped this contract (originally seven years for $126 million). Not only did Anthopoulos save the club a ton of money, he got Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera in return. Wells is a great guy, but the reality is that he’s making over $20 million a year as a non-starter. Ouch. Wells has a combined .222 average and .667 OPS in his two seasons in Anaheim. Double ouch.

2. Carl Crawford, Los Angeles Dodgers: 5 years and $106.8 million left on his deal.
The speedy outfielder was outstanding during his (Devil) Rays tenure, but Crawford has struggled mightily since leaving Tampa Bay. His 2011 campaign was a season-long slump in Boston, hitting .255 with 11 home runs in over 500 at-bats. With injuries cutting his 2012 season to 31 games, the Red Sox decided to dump their massive mistake on the Dodgers. Of course, that cost Boston Adrian Gonzalez as well. Maybe Crawford will regain his form on the west coast once healthy, but his Boston deal just looks awful at the current time.

3. Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees: 5 years and $119 million left on his deal.
Obviously A-Rod was once the best player in baseball, and he’s a lock (barring a PED protest by the writers) for the Hall of Fame. However, Rodriguez’s last two years average out to 110 games played, a .274 batting average, 17 home runs and 60 RBIs. Astros/Diamondbacks third baseman Chris Johnson and his $495,000 salary matched those types of numbers this season. A-Rod turned 37 this summer and is just an average third baseman now. He can make additional bonuses should he reach all-time home run milestones, so this deal is a dud even with the Yankees' deep pockets.

4. Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels: 9 years, $228 million left on his deal.
The baseball world cringed when the Angels gave a 32-year-old first baseman a 10-year deal over the winter, and owner Arte Moreno was not counting on missing the postseason when he inked Pujols to such a large contract. King Albert’s final numbers were solid (.285, 30 home runs and 105 RBIs), but his slow start set a tone for an underachieving team that should have been better. We all know the slugger’s deal will become an albatross in a few years, but missing the playoffs in its cheapest year was not in the plans of Angels management.

5. Jayson Werth, Washington Nationals: 5 years and $101.8 million left on his deal.
This oversized contract becomes easier to take with the Nationals' pitching leading the team to the postseason. Baseball pundits screamed at Washington in December 2010 for signing a .272 hitting outfielder who had never driven in 100 runs to a seven-year, $126 million contract. Werth hit .232 and knocked in only 58 runs for the Nats in 2011, and he battled injuries and only totaled five homers (although he did hit .300 in his 81 games played) this season. Werth turns 34 next May, so the length of this deal is scary.

6. Alfonso Soriano, Chicago Cubs: 2 years, $38 million left on his deal.
The embattled outfielder has topped this list for a few years now, but his 2012 numbers (32 home runs and 108 RBIs) showed a little bit of his old form. Soriano is considered a non-leader and a below-average fielder, which seemed to make his power bat untradeable for new Cubs management who would love to get him out of their clubhouse.

7. Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins: 6 years and $138 million left on his deal.
We all loved it when Minnesota kept the likeable Mauer at home, instead of seeing him become the next big-market acquisition. However, Mauer’s total of 22 home runs from 2009-11 make it difficult to deal with his stranglehold on the Twins payroll. He hits for average and gets on base, but Mauer’s deal will hinder Minnesota efforts to acquire pitching to help the ball club become relevant again.

8. Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies: 4 years and $105 million left on his deal.
We all feared what the 2011 NLDS-ending Achilles injury could mean for the slugger’s career, and Howard only posted a .219 average and .718 OPS in 71 games played this season. He turns 33 this winter, and it will be interesting to see if he can regain his dependable form in 2013. If not, Philly management has a big issue on its hands.

9. John Lackey, Boston Red Sox: 2 years and $31 million left on his deal.
The big right-hander missed this season after having Tommy John surgery, and Lackey was already struggling in New England before his injury. A 4.40 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in his 2010 Boston debut turned into a disastrous 6.41 ERA and 1.62 WHIP during the 2011 campaign. The Red Sox were able to dump Crawford’s contract, but they look to be stuck with Lackey’s deal during their attempt to rebuild.

10. Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees: 4 years, $92.5 million left on his deal.
It was a tough call to put the Yankees first baseman on the list, but his .249 average and .822 OPS over the last two years is concerning. He played 123 games this season, and injuries could become a large concern for Teixeira who turns 33 next April. He still plays quality defense and can produce a 30-100 season, but $23+ million for four more years seems excessive even with the Yankees' budget.

Teaser:
<p> 10 Worst Contracts in Baseball</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 15:11
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Legends Poll
Path: /college-football/legends-poll-top-25-college-football-week-6
Body:

South Carolina, West Virginia and Florida moved into the top 5 of the rankings this week as the Legends Poll saw its first big shake-up of the season.

Florida State, LSU and Georgia all suffered defeats, which opened the door for a new look in the top 5.

Third-ranked South Carolina moved up four spots after its dominant 35-7 performance against Georgia, the former No. 5 team.

West Virginia jumped to No. 4 after a 41-38 victory at Texas and No. 5 Florida was the biggest mover in the top 5, jumping six spots in the rankings.

“I thought Florida was really impressive,” former Auburn coach Pat Dye said — he voted Florida No. 4. “They had a week off to prepare for LSU and put it together in the second half. But I don’t think anyone expected South Carolina to dominate Georgia like they did. That was something.”

Alabama remained the unanimous top-ranked team followed by Oregon, and No. 6 Kansas State and No. 7 Notre Dame each moved up two spots.

Florida State was the highest ranked one-loss team, dropping five spots to No. 8 after being upset at North Carolina State. Fellow one-loss teams USC and LSU rounded out the top 10.

Georgia was tied for the biggest tumble in the rankings, falling nine spots to No. 14. No. 22 TCU also fell nine spots following its loss to Iowa State, which moved the Cyclones into the rankings at No. 24.

No. 23 Boise State moved back into the Legends Poll top 25 this week and was joined by unbeaten Louisiana Tech at No. 25.

Nebraska, Northwestern and UCLA fell out of the rankings.

To see the individual votes by coach, visit the Legends Poll.

THE LEGENDS POLL TOP 25

 

RK TEAM RECORD POINTS PV RK
1 AlabamaAlabama (17) 5-0 425 1
2 OregonOregon 6-0 408 2
3 South CarolinaSouth Carolina 6-0 386 7
4 West VirginiaWest Virginia 5-0 375 6
5 FloridaFlorida 5-0 343 11
6 Kansas StateKansas State 5-0 342 8
7 Notre DameNotre Dame 5-0 334 9
8 Florida StateFlorida State 5-1 269 3
9 USCUSC 4-1 265 12
10 LSULSU 5-1 256 4
11 OklahomaOklahoma 3-1 238 15
12 ClemsonClemson 5-1 219 14
13 StanfordStanford 4-1 212 16
14 GeorgiaGeorgia 5-1 201 5
15 TexasTexas 4-1 197 10
16 Oregon StateOregon State 4-0 185 19
17 Mississippi StateMississippi State 5-0 171 20
18 LouisvilleLouisville 5-0 158 17
19 Texas A&MTexas A&M 4-1 122 23
20 CincinnatiCincinnati 4-0 85 24
21 RutgersRutgers 5-0 82 25
22 TCUTCU 4-1 48 13
23 Boise StateBoise State 4-1 31 -
24 Iowa StateIowa State 4-1 29 -
25 Louisiana TechLouisiana Tech 5-0 24 -

Others Receiving Votes

Michigan State 18, Arizona State 15, UCLA 13, Northwestern 13, Nebraska 12, Oklahoma State 11, North Carolina State 10, Michigan 10, Baylor 9, Ohio 5, Texas Tech 3, Wisconsin 1

Teams Dropped Out from Last Week's Poll

Nebraska, Northwestern, UCLA

 

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

Teaser:
<p> As voted on by 17 coaching legends</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 14:50
Path: /nascar/kenseth-survives-talladega-destruction
Body:

It’s a NASCAR theme that plays out as regularly as the seasons on the calendar change—in fact, it occurs seasonally, as NASCAR’s four restrictor-plate dates reside in February, May, July and October: The perils of “pack racing” at the sport’s largest venues, Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.

Quarterly, television commercials sell viewers on the promise of intense, white-knuckle, photo-finish action, complete with a major-league version of the local Saturday night Demolition Derby.

Make no mistake, the selling points are true. Horsepower-sapping restrictor plates put a ceiling on the power each engine produces. The result is a giant pack of sleek racecars, jostling just inches from one another at nearly 200 mph.

The spectacle is undeniable; the outcome all-too-predictable. Drivers, hellbent on leading the only lap that counts—the last one—fight for every inch of real estate in the race’s final circuits. Inevitably, the paint-swapping turns too aggressive and savagery commences.

Such was the case on Sunday, when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series made its fall pilgrimage to Talladega, Ala., home to the 2.66-mile behemoth superspeedway, with its lurching tri-oval and 33-degree-banked turns.

Filling in the event’s template this trip, it was Matt Kenseth that avoided the big wreck on the final lap of a green-white-checker overtime finish, taking the win. Sunday’s version of the “Big One” was, in fact, an actual big one, as 25 cars piled into one another.

Tony Stewart accepted blame for this trip’s destruction, which occurred as the 30-car pack barreled through Turns 3 and 4. Defending the lead, his ill-timed block of Michael Waltrip’s surging machine ignited the grinding melee that saw Stewart’s car turn upside down, only to land on all four wheels. He, along with all others involved, walked away physically unharmed.

“I just screwed up,” Stewart said. “I turned down across Michael (Waltrip) and crashed the whole field. It was my fault blocking to try to stay where I was.

“I was trying to win the race. Michael got a great run on the bottom, a big head of steam. When I turned down, I turned down across Michael’s racecar. Just a mistake on my part that cost a lot of people.”

Kenseth, meanwhile, had the good fortune to be on the high side of the three-wide pack. As chaos ensued behind his Ford, he had clean track in the windshield and sailed through the tri-oval unchallenged to take the checkered flag.

Somehow (and there’s always a “somehow” in these wrecks) Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch skated past the mess and finished second and third.

Kenseth, as most race-winning survivors state, had little insight into what happened. After all, he was in front of the incident. The obligatory, “I’m really proud to be in Victory Lane with these guys; they worked on it hard today,” and “I don't know how that happened,” was all the victor could muster.

However, other drivers—even those not involved— had strong words about the style of racing on NASCAR’s two largest tracks.

“At the end you know it’s going to get aggressive,” Gordon said. “It started to ramp up, so you’re pretty sure there’s going to be a caution, and then with the green-white-checker, you know you’re not making it back to the checkered (flag).

“I remember when coming to Talladega was fun, I really do, and I haven’t experienced that in a long, long time. I don’t like coming here. I don’t like the type of racing that I have to do.”

The most unlikely critic this time (and there’s always at least one post-race critic), was the man who once championed pack racing: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

“If this is what we did every week, I wouldn’t be doing it, I will just put it to you like that,” said Earnhardt, who was swept up in the accident and finished 20th. “If this is how we raced every week, I would find another job.

“I don’t even want to go to Daytona or Talladega next year, but I ain’t got much choice.”

But return the series and its band of driver will. Daytona testing is scheduled for January while Speedweeks at the same facility culminates with the Daytona 500 on Feb. 24.

And the same story will be written then. Just insert here the race-winner’s quote, offending-party’s name and number of cars involved in the last-lap crash.


by Matt Taliaferro
Follow Matt on Twitter:
@MattTaliaferro
 

Teaser:
<p> Matt Kenseth survived a last-lap crash that involved 25 cars to win NASCAR's Good Sam 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.&nbsp;</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 13:24
Path: /nfl/houston-texans-vs-new-york-jets-preview-and-prediction
Body:

Two contrasting AFC teams will meet on Monday Night Football when the New York Jets host the Houston Texans at 8:30 pm EST on ESPN. The Texans are off to a stellar start, standing at 4-0 and topping their opponents by a combined 70 points on the year. On the other hand, the Jets enter the game at 2-2 but have been outscored 81-33 since their Week 1 victory over the Bills. Additionally, New York has already lost two top playmakers for the season in cornerback Darrelle Revis and receiver Santonio Holmes.

When the New York Jets have the ball:
The Jets were all about the “ground-and-pound” running attack when they went to consecutive AFC title games in 2009 and 2010, but they are only averaging 86.5 yards per game on the ground this season. In fact, top tailback Shonn Greene is only averaging 2.8 yards per carry on 68 rushes this year. Quarterback Mark Sanchez has struggled mightily over the last three weeks, and many fans are waiting to see the polarizing Tim Tebow take over at signal caller. With Holmes out and tight end Dustin Keller and receiver Stephen Hill listed as doubtful, it’s difficult to see the Jets moving the ball on a consistent basis.

The Texans defense ranked No. 2 in the NFL in 2011, and that number has improved to No.1 in the league this season. Wade Phillips’ group has allowed only 273 yards and 14.0 points per game this season, while also compiling nine takeaways. Additionally, Houston defenders scored twice on interception returns in last week’s 38-14 win over the Titans. The key on Monday night for the Texans defense will be to not lapse in concentration against a struggling Jets attack.

When the Houston Texans have the ball:
The running game has been the calling card for the Houston offense over the last couple of seasons, but quarterback Matt Schaub has also been very effective this year. The veteran signal caller has 953 passing yards and seven touchdowns this season against only one interception. Arian Foster has compiled 380 rushing yards and four touchdowns in four games, but the Houston ground game has not been able to break many long runs so far. Andre Johnson is still the Texans top receiving threat, while tight end Owen Daniels and fullback James Casey have played a large role in the passing game as well.

The Jets defense was a force to be reckoned with over the last few years, but the 2012 unit has been gashed on a constant basis. New York is allowing over 27 points per contest, and the defense has only compiled five sacks and six takeaways on the season. The biggest issue for Jets has been their 31st-ranked run defense, as they are giving up over 170 yards per game on the ground. Last week against the 49ers, New York surrendered an alarming 245 yards and three touchdown runs.

Key Factor:
Houston appears to be the most balanced team in the NFL on both sides of the ball, and New York is simply not playing well. To stay in this game and give themselves a chance to win in the fourth quarter, the Jets must find a way to limit the Texans running attack. If Rex Ryan’s team can force Schaub into mistakes and not turn the ball over, then perhaps the home crowd can lift the Jets. Look for New York to play inspired ball, but for the better team to take this game and move to 5-0 on the season.

Prediction:
Texans 24 Jets 16


---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)

Teaser:
<p> Houston Texans vs. New York Jets Preview and Prediction</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 07:00
All taxonomy terms: NFL
Path: /nfl/eight-amazing-stats-nfl-sunday-week-5
Body:

NFL football is the greatest reality TV program of all time. The Giants and Colts made sure of that back in 1958. Each NFL fall weekend is a completely new and original experience for every player, fan and coach alike. New stories, new personalities, new winners and new losers. And new statistics.

Here are the most important, most intriguing and most bizarre statistics from Week 5 of NFL play:

9-4: Tom Brady's win-loss record against Peyton Manning
When it comes to raw football talent and overall ability, Peyton Manning may get the slight edge over Tommy Boy. But ask any quarterback who has ever taken a snap in the National Football League and they will tell you, winning is all that matters. Brady has clearly owned the head-to-head series with Mr. Manning after a dominating 31-21 performance this weekend. The former Michigan grad won the first six meetings, has won three of the last four and is 2-1 in playoff meetings all time against his rival. Brady's Patriots have never scored fewer than 20 points against the Tennessee grad while Manning has failed to reach the 20-point plateau four times. Sunday marked the first time in NFL history that a game featured two quarterbacks with at least 300 touchdown passes and was only the second meeting of two quarterbacks with at least 125 wins (Elway-Marino, 1998).

No. 12: Jersey number for Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck
These two quarterbacks put on a show on Sunday afternoon in Indianapolis. It's only fitting considering these two signal callers will likely be tethered to one another for the rest of their careers. Both got prestigious degrees from Pac-12 Bay Area programs. Both are first-round saviors replacing legends in Midwestern NFL strongholds. They are virtually identical in stature, athletic ability, arm strength and demeanor. And both wear No. 12.  In their first career meeting, however, it was The Pupil who took The Master to school in what was the fourth battle of a reigning MVP and reigning No. 1 overall pick — and the first time the rookie won. Luck became only the second QB to throw for 300-yards in three of his first four career games (Cam Newton) and is the first rookie QB to ever throw for at least 1,200 yards and record two wins in his first four career games. He is averaging 302 yards passing per game, has two final-minute, game-winning drives and is leading all AFC quarterbacks in rushing (104 yards, TD). While Redskins fans are wondering how long RGIII will be out after a nasty smack from Sean Weatherspoon, Colts fans might be thinking Wild Card.

7-to-11: Michael Vick's total touchdown-to-total turnover ratio in 2012
Michael Vick lost his fourth and fifth fumbles on the season in the two-point loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday. It is the most lost fumbles for Vick in a season since 2005 (5) and is just two shy of his career-worst mark (7), which he set in 2004. That gives him 11 total turnovers in five games (really four games since he had none last week against the Giants) and only seven total touchdowns (6 pass, 1 rush). In 25 career starts with the Eagles prior to 2012, Vick turned the ball over only 27 times with 52 total touchdowns. Phily has played four of five games in which the final margin of victory was two points or less, so a quarterback who is turning the ball over 2.2 times per game isn't acceptable. Vick is on pace for 19 interceptions and 16 fumbles lost and just 22 total touchdowns. 

5-0: The best start in Atlanta Falcons' franchise history
Matt Ryan moved to 15-0 when throwing for at least 300 yards with another stellar performance against Washington. It gives the Falcons their first-ever 5-0 start in franchise history. Ryan tossed it around for 345 yards and two touchdowns — including a gorgeous scoring strike to Julio Jones to take the lead in the fourth quarter. It was Ryan's 18th career game-winning drive, the most by a quarterback in his first five years in the Super Bowl era. Future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez posted his 29th career 100-yard receiving effort, as his 13 catches and 123 yards were personal bests as a Falcon. The Redskins fall to 2-3, but more importantly, lost Robert Griffin III to an injury after the young quarterback made a terrible decision to cut up field instead of throwing the ball away near the goal line.

35-27: The Bears defense has outscored its last three opponents
Chicago has scored five defensive touchdowns in the last three games against St. Louis, Dallas and Jacksonville. Those three teams combined to score 27 points against the Bears defense. Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs both scored again this weekend on INT-TDs, marking the first time in NFL history two teammates each returned an interception for a touchdown in consecutive games. Had the offense not scored a single point in any of the three games, the Bears would have finished 2-1 over that span with wins over the Rams and Jags. This unit is right there with San Francisco as the best in the NFC. Speaking of...

556: Rushing yards by the 49ers in the last two weeks
Jim Harbaugh is now 17-4 as a head coach in the NFL after the Niners posted its best two-game stretch in 50 years. No 49ers team has had back-to-back 30-point wins since 1961, but did so with wins over the Bills and the Jets the last two weeks by a combined 76 points (79-3). Buffalo entered the game leading the NFL in offensive touchdowns (16) and managed just three points in the crushing road loss. The Niners rolled-up a franchise record 621 yards of offense and have rushed for an absurd 556 yards rushing over the last two weeks (245 and 311). Alex Smith continues his evolution from first round bust to All-Pro as San Fran looks like the best team in the league right now.

212: Career-high receiving yards by Reggie Wayne
The former Miami Hurricane abused Charles Woodson all afternoon in Indy to the tune of 13 receptions, a career-high 212 yards and the game-winning touchdown. He showed toughness, heart and plenty of spring in his 33-year-old legs. It was a tremendous day for a historic player who is two catches shy of 900 for his career and scored his 75th receiving touchdown to give the Colts their second win of the year. It was a remarkable performance for a truly great player who has 12,214 career receiving yards in 12 NFL seasons. And by the way, his 506 yards this season is his best four-game start to any of those 12 years.

0: Seconds the Kansas City Chiefs have led in regulation
It's hard to believe, but the Chiefs have yet to hold a lead in regulation in 2012. The Ravens never trailed this weekend in the 9-6 victory that dropped KC to 1-4. Even in the overtime win over New Orleans last weekend, the Chiefs never held a lead in regulation. To make matters worse for one of the worst teams in the league, Arrowhead faithful were cheering when embattled starting quarterback Matt Cassel got hurt late in the game. It was ugly football, but have some class folks. Even if your team has played five football games and never has really been ahead at any point.

Bonus Super Stat!

48: Drew Brees consecutive games with a TD pass
I covered this in last week's stats, so I didn't want to dive too deep into Brees' record. It is an amazing accomplishment and congrats are due. But the most important number for the Saints is the "1" in the win column. As a side note, Brady moved into sole possession of third place with his 37th consecutive game with a touchdown pass.

- by Braden Gall

@bradengall

Teaser:
<p> Eight Amazing Stats from NFL Sunday: Week 5</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 06:50
Path: /college-football/sec-post-week-6-power-rankings
Body:

There was a big shakeup in the SEC on Saturday. South Carolina climbed to No. 2 in the league power rankings (and No. 3 in the nation) with their impressive win over Georgia, and Florida moved up to No. 3 after beating LSU 14–6 in Gainesville. Also, Vanderbilt jumped from 12th to ninth after beating Missouri in Columbia.

Post-Week 6 Offensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Mike Gillislee, Florida — The senior tailback rushed for 146 yards and scored the game’s only two touchdowns in Florida’s 14–6 victory over LSU. Gillislee leads the SEC in rushing with 109.6 yards per game.

2. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M — Manziel threw for 191 yards and rushed for a career-high 129 as the Aggies rallied from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to beat Ole Miss in Oxford. Manziel has thrown for 1,285 yards with 11 touchdowns and two interceptions and has rushed for 495 and seven scores.

3. Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina — Lattimore has rushed for 100-plus yards in three of four SEC games, including 109 on 24 carries in the Gamecocks’ 35–7 win over Georgia on Saturday. He is averaging 106.0 yards and has scored seven touchdowns in four SEC games.

 

Post-Week 6 Defensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina — The likely No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft helped shut down what had been a potent Georgia attack on Saturday night. Clowney recorded four tackles, two for a loss (plus one sack) in South Carolina’s 35–7 win over Georgia.

2. Jarvis Jones, Georgia — It wasn’t the finest moment for the Georgia defense, but Jones is still one of the elite defensive players in the nation. The junior linebacker had four tackles, including 1.5 for a loss, vs. South Carolina.

3. Kevin Minter, LSU — Minter was a monster for the LSU defense in a 14–6 loss at Florida. The junior linebacker recorded 20 tackles (including two sacks) and forced a fumble vs. the Gators. In six games, he has 54 total tackles, two tackles and three pass break-ups.

 

Post-Week 6 Coach of the Year Standings

1. Nick Saban, Alabama — It’s tempting to put Steve Spurrier up top, but Saban is the boss of the consensus No. 1 team in the nation.

2. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina — The Gamecocks have ascended to No. 3 in the nation in the polls after beating Georgia on Saturday night. South Carolina is playing with supreme confidence.

3. Will Muschamp, Florida — The Gators improved to 4–0 in the SEC with an impressive win over LSU. The defense was dominant and the running game was sound — just like Muschamp likes it. 

 

1. Alabama (5–0, 2-0 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
1
Week 5 result: Bye
The Tide took the week off and watched three top-five teams lose on a crazy Saturday of college football. Next week, Alabama heads to Missouri, which must regroup after losing at home to Vanderbilt. Mizzou quarterback James Franklin is not expected to play.
Next week: at Missouri

2. South Carolina (6–0, 4–0, SEC)
Last week’s rank:
4
Week 5 result: Beat Georgia 35–7
On a special night in Columbia, South Carolina delivered arguably the biggest win in school history. The Gamecocks discarded SEC East rival Georgia with stunning ease and have now entered the national championship picture. “We definitely sent a message out to the whole country,” Gamecocks tailback Marcus Lattimore said. “It’s not the old South Carolina. We can play with y’all. We can play with anybody.” Lattimore led the way with 109 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries. Connor Shaw only completed six passes but he threw for 162 yards and two touchdowns and did not throw an interception for the third straight game.
Next week: at LSU

3. Florida (5-0, 4-0 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
5
Week 5 result: Beat LSU 14–6
The Gators passed another huge test on Saturday afternoon to improve to 4–0 in the SEC. The Florida defense, which gave up a total of 74 points in losses to LSU in 2010 and ’11, was dominant. LSU managed only 200 total yards and was held to two field goals — both in the first half. Tailback Mike Gillislee pounded out 146 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries to lead the Florida offensive attack. “I’ll take Gilly over anybody,” UF coach Will Muschamp said after the game. “I tell him that all the time, and I mean that. I felt that way in spring and going into fall camp. He’s a Will Muschamp guy.” The Gators only had 248 total yards, but converted 7-of-14 on third down and averaged a respectable 3.2 yards per rush.
Next week: at Vanderbilt

4. LSU (5–1, 1–1 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
3
Week 5 result: Lost to Florida 14–6
LSU boasts a championship defense. The Tigers’ offense? Not so much. Les Miles’ club had only 200 yards of offense and did not score a touchdown on its way to its first regular-season loss since a 24–17 setback at Auburn in October 2010. Zach Mettenberger, who was expected to provide an upgrade at the quarterback position, completed only 11-of-25 passes for 158 yards — with 56 coming on one play that ended up with a fumble and lost possession. And the Tigers’ usually rock-solid rushing attack was limited to 42 yards on 25 carries.
Next week: South Carolina

5. Georgia (5–1, 3–1 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
2
Week 5 result: Lost to South Carolina 35–7
Time to put the brakes on the “Georgia is elite” talk. The Bulldogs, who opened the season with five straight wins and climbed into the top five in the national rankings, suffered a sobering defeat at Williams-Brice Stadium Saturday night. Georgia entered the game averaging 536.0 yards and 48.2 points per game; they had 224 and seven vs. the Gamecocks. Freshman tailbacks Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, both averaging over 85 yards through the first five games, were held to a total of 76 yards on 25 carries. And Aaron Murray, the savvy junior quarterback, had the worst game of his career, completing only 11-of-31 for 198 yards and no touchdowns.
Next week: Bye

6. Mississippi State (5–0, 2–0 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
6
Week 5 result: Beat Kentucky 27–14
With a huge home game with Tennessee looming, the Bulldogs avoided a letdown by beating Kentucky by 13 points in Lexington. Mississippi State jumped out to a 14–0 lead in the first quarter and was never really threatened. The Bulldogs outgained UK 428 to 228 and shined on third down, converting 10-of-18 (compared to 5-of-15 for Kentucky). Tyler Russell threw for 273 yards and two touchdowns, and LaDarius Perkins ran for 110 yards and a score on 24 carries. Russell, in his first season as the full-time starter, has only thrown one interception in 129 attempts.
Next week: Tennessee

7. Texas A&M (4–1, 2–1 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
7
Week 5 result: Beat Ole Miss 30–27
It’s not often that you can win a game on the road in the SEC when you turn the ball over six times. But Texas A&M did just that, thanks to a fourth quarter rally that turned a 27–17 deficit into a 30–27 victory — the first on the road for the Aggies in the SEC. Johnny Manziel, who didn’t throw an interception through his first four games, was picked off twice, but he made big plays when the game was on the line. He cut the lead to four with a 29-yard touchdown run with just under seven minutes remaining, and he put the Aggies on top with 2:33 on the clock when he found Ryan Swope for a 20-yard score. The redshirt freshman quarterback ended the game with 191 yards passing and 129 on the ground.
Next week: at Louisiana Tech

8. Tennessee (3–2, 0–2 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
9
Week 5 result: Bye
The Vols are bracing for a brutal three-game stretch that features road trips to Mississippi State and South Carolina sandwiched around a home game with Alabama. Derek Dooley cannot afford to lose all three games.
Next week: at Mississippi State

9. Vanderbilt (2–3, 1–2 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
12
Week 5 Result: Beat Missouri 19–15
Vanderbilt finally won a close game. The Commodores had lost six straight games decided by seven points or less but gutted out a four-point win over Missouri in Columbia. The Commodores struggled for much of the night on offense, but moved the ball at key times in the second half and dominated on special teams to give James Franklin his first SEC road win as the head coach at Vanderbilt. Tailback Zac Stacy’s stat line wasn’t overly impressive — he netted 72 yards on 29 carries — but he scored two touchdowns, threw a 24-yard pass to Jordan Rodgers and salted the game away with a third down run in the final 90 seconds.
Next week: Florida

10. Missouri (3–3, 0–3 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
8
Week 5 result: Lost to Vanderbilt 19–15
Missouri is still searching for its first win in the SEC. The Tigers opened strong against Vanderbilt, marching 61 yards and 90 yards on their first two possessions (both resulting in field goals) with James Franklin running the show. But after Franklin went down with a knee injury, the Mizzou offense sputtered. Backup Corbin Berkstresser, who led MU to a win over Arizona State earlier this season, completed only 9-of-30 passes in relief. Missouri outgained Vanderbilt by 100 yards (395 to 295) but the Tigers lost the special teams battle. Punter Trey Barrow dropped a snap in the end zone that resulted in a safety in the first quarter, and MU botched a potential game-tying extra point in the fourth quarter. Next week, No. 1 Alabama rolls into town, and Franklin is not expected to play. Good luck Tigers.
Next week: Alabama

11. Ole Miss (3–3, 0–3 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
11
Week 5 result: Lost to Texas A&M 30–27
Ole Miss is clearly an improved team under first-year coach Hugh Freeze, but the Rebels are still looking for their first SEC win of the season. They led Texas A&M 27–17 midway through the fourth quarter but were unable to come up with big stops when it mattered most. The Rebels’ offense did its part, with 464 total yards and a solid 9-of-19 conversion rate on third down. But the Ole Miss defense gave up 481 yards, including 290 on the ground, and allowed A&M to convert 9-of-15 on third down. Through six games, Ole Miss ranks 42nd in the nation in total offense and 56th in total defense; last year, through six games, the Rebs ranked 117th and 106th.
Next week: Auburn

12. Arkansas (2–4, 1–2 SEC)
Last week’s rank: 14
Week 5 result: Beat Auburn 24–7
The Hogs broke through with their first win against an FBS opponent this season — and it was done without breaking too much of a sweat. Arkansas pounded Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium, taking advantage of an inept Tiger offense that had 321 total yards and committed five turnovers. The Razorback pass defense that had been torched in the first five games “held” Auburn to only 242 yards through the air. Tyler Wilson was sharp at quarterback for Arkansas, completing 20-of-27 for 216 yards. The running attack was paced by Dennis Johnson, who had 17 carries for 76 yards and two scores. Knile Davis, a preseason All-American, only had three rushing attempts for minus-4 yards.
Next week: Kentucky

13. Auburn (1-3, 0-2 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
10
Week 5 result: Lost to Arkansas 24–7
It’s never a good sign when the head coach issues an apology to the fans who paid money to attend the game. But that’s what Gene Chizik did following his team’s 24–7 loss to Arkansas. The Tigers managed only 321 yards of offense against a Razorback defense that had given up 525 yards or more in three of its previous four games. Quarterback Kiehl Frazier, who has struggled in his first season as the starter, was pulled at the half in favor of Clint Moseley. A junior who started six games last season, Moseley completed 13-of-21 passes for 163 yards and one touchdown, but he also tossed two interceptions and was sacked four times.
Next week: at Ole Miss

14. Kentucky (1–5, 0–3 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
13
Week 5 Result: Lost to Mississippi State 27–14
There were some moments of hope — most notably when true freshman Patrick Towles guided the Wildcats on an 80-yard touchdown drive in the first half — but in the end it was another double-digit loss for Kentucky. The Wildcats were held to 228 yard of offense and are averaging an alarmingly low 230 yards in three SEC games. Towles completed 5-of-6 passes for 71 yards and one touchdown in his debut that was cut short by an ankle injury. Jalen Whitlow, the starter (and also a true freshman), completed 10-of-21 for 73 yards. On a positive note, UK did not commit a turnover for the first time since a Week 2 win over Kent State.
Next week: at Arkansas
 

@AthlonMitch

Teaser:
<p> There was a big shakeup in the SEC on Saturday. South Carolina climbed to No. 2 in the league power rankings (and No. 3 in the nation) with their impressive win over Georgia, and Florida moved up to No. 3 after beating LSU 14–6 in Gainesville. Also, Vanderbilt jumped from 12th to ninth after beating Missouri in Columbia.</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 06:45
Path: /college-football/pac-12-post-week-6-power-rankings
Body:

This weekend in college football was the biggest and most volatile to date. However, out West, Week 6 functioned more as an elimination weekend. Utah and UCLA have been all but removed from South Division contention. Washington proved it was still miles from competing with the North Division champs. And while Rich Rodriguez appears to have a solid team in Tucson, Arizona has started its conference slate 0-3, albeit in somewhat unlucky fashion.

Post-Week 6 Offensive Player of the Year Standings


1. Matt Barkley, QB, USC - It was only a matter of time before Barkley returned to the top slot. He completed 23-of-30 passes for 303 yards and three scores with no interceptions in a huge come-from-behind road conference win over Utah. He leads the league with 15 TDs and is still the best player in the league.

2. Sean Mannion, QB, Oregon State -
 The Beavers quarterback showed flaws this weekend, throwing three picks, but in a league loaded with huge statistical performers, Mannion is still unbeaten and is No. 2 in total offense at 324.3 yards per game. 

3. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon - His running backs continue to cancel each other out, Taylor Kelly was on bye, Matt Scott and Ka'Deem Carey can't win a big game, the UCLA Bruins backfield choked this weekend and Mariota played his best in the biggest spot. He is tied with Barkley with 15 TD passes after four against UW and he is No. 2 in passing efficiency behind only Kelly. He has settled in as the leader of the best team in the league.
 

Post-Week 6 Defensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State - The defense had to carry the Beavers to victory this weekend and Poyer was one of two stars. He intercepted three passes and now leads the league in INTs. He also had four tackles, one for loss and his seventh pass defended. He added a 24-yard punt return as well. 

2. Scott Crichton, DL, Oregon State - Normally two defenders from the same team would cancel each other out (see Oregon's RBs), but on the league's top defense, Crichton has been equally as important as Poyer. He posted four tackles, four tackles for loss and three sacks while holding Wazzu to 20 yards rushing. He now leads the league in TFL and sacks.

3. Nickell Robey, CB, USC - Oregon's Michael Clay falls off the list after not playing this weekend while Robey was brilliant on Thursday night. He had seven tackles, a forced fumble and the ended the game with a 38-yard INT returned for a touchdown. 


Post-Week 6 Coach of the Year Standings

1. Chip Kelly, Oregon - The Ducks are clearly the best team in the league to date. The offense hasn't missed a beat after losing two stars from last season and the defense is much improved — despite not having leader Michael Clay on the field against Washington.

2. Mike Riley, Oregon State - Oregon State's defense is starting to deserve some national attention as one of the best in the country. It allowed 227 total yards and six points to a MIke Leach team to stay undefeated.

3. Todd Graham, Arizona State  - Graham's team didn't play but made significant gains in the South standings due to key losses by UCLA, Utah and Arizona. The road trip to Heritage Hall on Nov. 10 is starting to look like a huge national game.

Post-Week 5 Power Rankings

1. Oregon (6-0, 3-0)
Previous rank: 1
Week 6 result: Beat Washington 52-21
Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas combined for 197 yards rushing, but Mariota was the star of the show. He kept plays alive with his legs, threw four scoring strikes and got the entire offense involved in the Ducks' attack (five different players scored six offensive touchdowns). The defense scored a touchdown for the third straight weekend as well. This team is clearly the best in the league, as the top offense in the Pac-12 scored at least 50 points for the fourth time in six games. Oregon averages over 300 yards rushing per game, has the league's No. 2 most efficient quarterback and, now, gets a chance to rest up for a marquee Thursday night trip into the desert to face an improved Arizona State team in 11 days.
This week: Open Date

2. USC (4-1, 2-1)
Previous rank: 2
Week 6 result: Beat Utah 38-28
Lane Kiffin's offensive line was shaky to start and it gifted Utah a 14-0 lead with bad turnovers deep in their own territory. But Matt Barkley wasn't fazed and led his team back with, at one point, a 28-0 run to keep USC headed in the right direction. He posted his 13th career 300-yard effort and three big scoring strikes, including a game-changing 83-yard scoring toss to Marqise Lee. Curtis McNeal, who suffered an early concussion, and Silas Redd, who paced the team with 77 yards and a touchdown, both missed time due to minor injuries but both are expected to be fine for the trip to Seattle next weekend. There is no such thing as a bad road conference win on national television, but Kiffin will likely address the 14 penalties and two early turnovers accrued by the Trojans on Thursday night.
This week: at Washington (3-2)

3. Oregon State (4-0, 3-0)
Previous rank: 3
Week 6 result: Beat Washington State 19-6
The offense carried this team to a road win over Arizona two weeks ago. This week, Mike Riley used a dominate defense to stay unblemished. The Beavers allowed 20 yards rushing to the Cougars and continues to pace the league in rushing defense at 67.3 yards allowed per game. The improvement in stopping the ground game in Corvallis is one of the most remarkable one-year turnaround stories in the nation. Last fall, Riley's bunch ranked dead last in the Pac-12 and 101st overall at just under 200 yards rushing allowed per game. They are fourth nationally at stopping the run after four games. And while Sean Mannion reminded fans that he is still a sophomore this weekend, he is still leading his team to 458 yards per game.
This week: at BYU (4-2)

4. Stanford (4-1, 2-1)
Previous rank: 6
Week 6 result: Beat Arizona 54-48 (OT)
Josh Nunes was highly criticized after three straight poor passing performances for the Cardinal. Well, the normally dreaded vote of confidence turned out to be just what Nunes needed (facing the Wildcats defense helped some too). The senior signal caller set career highs in nearly every category — 365 passing yards, 33 rushing yards, 5 total TD — and was efficient throwing the football (21-of-34 passing). He led Stanford to 20 straight points to end the game and secure the overtime win. Stepfan Taylor also got back on track with 32 touches, 147 yards rushing and two touchdowns. This was a quality gut-check, bounce-back victory for David Shaw's squad.
This week: at Notre Dame  (5-0)

5. Arizona State (4-1, 2-0)
Previous rank: 8
Week 6 result: Off
There is a good chance that Todd Graham starts 5-1 in his first year in Tempe. More importantly, a win over Colorado next Thursday night would give him a 3-0 start in league play. And the national television opportunity gives him a chance to showcase his program in a big way against the lowly Bufffs.
This week: at Colorado (1-4)

6. Washington (3-2, 1-1)
Previous rank: 4
Week 6 result: 
Lost to Oregon 52-21

The Huskies defense made a huge statement in a Week 5 win against Stanford and then came crashing back down to earth in Eugene. It allowed Oregon to rush out to a 21-0 lead and an eventual 35-7 halftime lead. It allowed 299 yards rushing and six offensive touchdowns to the Ducks. Washington's rushing game showed signs of life (208 yards rushing, 3 TD), but Keith Price could never get anything going through the air  — and actually scored more for Oregon (INT return TD) than he did for Washington. Oregon has now won nine straight games against the Huskies. Things don't get any easier as Steve Sarkisian's month from hell culminates with a visit from a resurgent USC team.
This week: USC (4-1)

7. UCLA (4-2, 1-2)
Previous rank: 5
Week 6 result: Lost to Cal 43-17
This was one of the most disappointing scores in the league to date this fall. This is the type of game true contenders have to win to stay relevant in the Pac-12 title race and Jim Mora's bunch was completely out-played. Brett Hundley and the offense turned the ball over six times, including four interceptions from the developing passer, and allowed four sacks. Meanwhile, the defense got torched through the air (295 yards, 4 TD) as well as on the ground (186 yards, 2 TD). This performance against a reeling Cal team likely reminds UCLA fans entirely too much of previous regimes. UCLA and Utah square-off this weekend in a game that could determine bowl eligibility.
This week: Utah (2-3) 

8. Arizona (3-3, 0-3)
Previous rank: 7
Week 6 result: Lost to Stanford 54-48
It was a great game with 10 lead changes, superstar performances and over 1,200 yards of offense. But for Matt Scott (506 yards, 3 TD) and Ka'Deem Carey (133 yards, 3 TD), the result was the same: Another crushing conference loss. With just over nine minutes to go, the Wildcats pushed its lead to 48-34 only to watch its defense allow yet another fourth-quarter comeback. Rich Rodriguez' offense is virtually unstoppable and was very impressive against a normally sound Stanford defense, but this team won't be able to compete in the South until it upgrades the talent on the defensive side of the ball. 
This week: Open Date

9. California (2-4, 1-2)
Previous rank: 10
Week 6 result: Beat UCLA 43-17
Jeff Tedford's tenure in Berkeley isn't over just yet. With their backs against the wall, the Golden Bears put together what was easily their best performance of a very disappointing 2012 campaign. They set a season-high for rushing attempts (42), passing yards (295), turnovers forced (6), points allowed (17) and scored more points than they had against FBS competition all year. Quarterback Zach Maynard played his best game of the year. The win merely stopped the bleeding for Tedford, who needs to continue to win to stay employed at Cal.
This week: at Washington State (2-4)

10. Utah (2-3, 0-2)
Previous rank: 
9
Week 6 result: Lost to USC 38-28
The Utes got a few lucky turnovers early, capitalized on them to build a 21-10 second quarter lead, but simply couldn't hold onto victory against a far superior football team. USC held the Utes running game in check and got off the field on third-downs — Utah was just 3-of-12 converting them — to rally for a clutch road win. Jon Hays was forced to throw short passes and couldn't get much going on offense after the nine minute-mark of the second period. With back-to-back road trips to UCLA and Oregon State now facing Kyle Whittingham's bunch, bowl eligibility is looking more and more unlikely by the week. At least, the uninformed national media got a clear look at just how good Star Lotulelei can be.

This week: at UCLA (4-2)

11. Colorado (1-4, 1-1)
Previous rank: 11
Jon Embree's squad needed the bye week to regroup after a brutal first month of the season. Next on top is a much-improved Arizona State Sun Devils team coming to Boulder with a balanced attack and off of a week of rest as well. Every game is a must-win for the embattled Buffs coach.
This week: Arizona State (4-1)

12. Washington State (2-4, 0-3)
Previous rank: 12
Week 6 result: Lost to Oregon State 19-6
Mike Leach has coached 132 games in his career and has failed to score 10 points only six times. Saturday's dreadful offensive performance featured five turnovers and only 227 yards of total offense as the Cougars failed to reach the end zone for the second time in five games this fall. Leach never has featured a stellar ground attack but 20 yards on 14 attempts isn't even trying. Wazzu now ranks 98th in scoring offense, 96th in total offense, 100th in total defense and 91st in scoring defense. It's been a rough return to the field for the quirky head coach.

This week: Cal  (2-4)

by Braden Gall

@bradengall

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Rankings
Big 12 Post-Week 6 Power Rankings

Pac-12 Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
SEC Post-Week 6 Power Rankings 

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Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 06:15
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Thanks to Saturday's 48-45 win in Austin, it's clear West Virginia is ready to challenge for a national title. The Mountaineers are in the thick of the BCS title discussion, while quarterback Geno Smith is the frontrunner to win the Heisman Trophy. Not far behind West Virginia is Kansas State, who easily beat Kansas in Week 6. Oklahoma rebounded from losing to the Wildcats with a key road win over Texas Tech, while Iowa State knocked off TCU.

Post-Week 6 Big 12 Power Rankings
 

1. West Virginia (5-0, 2-0 Big 12)
Last Week:
3
Week 6 Result: Beat Texas 48-45
There’s a new No. 1 in the Big 12 power rankings. The Mountaineers used a balance attack on offense, while the defense made timely stops in the second half to score a huge 48-45 win against Texas. The win over the Longhorns firmly places West Virginia in the mix to play for a national title. Quarterback Geno Smith was sharp once again, throwing for 268 yards and four touchdowns, but running back Andrew Buie was the real surprise, recording 207 yards and two rushing touchdowns. The Mountaineers will be on upset alert in Week 7, as they travel to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech.
Next Game: at Texas Tech

2. Kansas State (5-0, 2-0 Big 12)
Last Week:
3
Week 6 Result: Beat Kansas 56-16
As expected, the Sunflower Showdown was a one-sided affair. Kansas State got off to a slow start and led only 21-14 at halftime. However, the Wildcats outscored the Jayhawks 35-2 in the second half, which improved coach Bill Snyder to 17-4 against Kansas State’s in-state rival. Quarterback Collin Klein continues to stamp his name as one of the frontrunners for the Heisman Trophy, recording 245 yards and four touchdowns against Kansas. The Wildcats hit the road for the next two weeks, playing at Iowa State in Week 7 and at West Virginia in Week 8.
Next Game: at Iowa State

3. Texas (4-1, 1-1 Big 12)
Last Week:
1
Week 6 Result: Lost to West Virginia 48-45
The Longhorns’ Big 12 title hopes took a step back with a 48-45 loss to West Virginia. While the offense came into the season as a concern, it’s the defense the coaching staff has to be worried about. Playing two great offenses (Oklahoma State, West Virginia) certainly hurts the numbers, but the Longhorns are capable of playing better than they have shown so far. Texas has to regroup quickly, as it has a huge showdown against Oklahoma this Saturday.
Next Game: Oklahoma (Dallas)

4. Oklahoma (3-1, 1-1 Big 12)
Last Week:
4
Week 6 Result: Beat Texas Tech 41-20
After a disappointing 24-19 loss to Kansas State, the Sooners bounced back with a convincing 41-20 win at Texas Tech. The victory snapped a three-game losing streak in Lubbock and kept Oklahoma’s Big 12 title hopes alive. Quarterback Landry Jones was efficient, completing 25 of 40 throws for 259 yards and two touchdowns. The defense kept Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege in check, while taking an interception for a score in the third quarter. The Sooners need to keep winning to keep the pressure on Kansas State and West Virginia for first place in the Big 12, which raises the intensity for this Saturday’s game against Texas.
Next Game: Texas (Dallas)

5. Oklahoma State (2-2, 0-1 Big 12)
Last Week:
6
Week 6 Result: Bye Week
The Cowboys are coming off another bye week and will play only their second game in four weeks against Kansas this Saturday. Oklahoma State’s last game was a 41-36 loss to Texas, but this week’s matchup against Kansas should provide a different outcome. The biggest question mark for the Cowboys will be the quarterback position. Will Wes Lunt return from a knee injury or will J.W. Walsh make his second start?
Next Game: at Kansas

6. Iowa State (4-1, 1-1 Big 12)
Last Week:
9
Week 6 Result: Beat TCU 37-23
Thanks to a convincing 37-23 win at TCU, the Cyclones make a leap in the power rankings after six weeks of action. Iowa State’s victory was certainly helped by the Horned Frogs losing quarterback Casey Pachall to a suspension, but the Cyclones never trailed and committed only one turnover. The win was a huge boost to Iowa State’s bowl hopes, as it needs to win two more games to get eligible for the postseason. The Cyclones should beat Kansas in late November, but the rest of the schedule has no guaranteed wins. However, as the Big 12 has witnessed since Paul Rhoads took over in Ames, Iowa State should find a way to get to six or seven wins at the end of the year.
Next Game: Kansas State

7. Baylor (3-1, 0-1 Big 12)
Last Week:
8
Week 6 Result: Bye Week
The bye week came at a perfect time for the Bears. After giving up 70 points and 807 yards in a loss to West Virginia, Baylor had some extra time to figure out what went wrong and find some much-needed answers on defense. Through four games, the Bears are allowing 571.3 yards and 39.8 points per game. Baylor hosts TCU in Week 7 and travels to Texas in Week 8.
Next Game: TCU

8. Texas Tech (4-1, 1-1 Big 12)
Last Week:
7
Week 6 Result: Lost to Oklahoma 41-20
The Red Raiders missed out on a chance to make a statement in the Big 12 title race, losing 41-20 to Oklahoma in Week 6. Texas Tech cruised through its first three non-conference games and won a tough 24-13 game at Iowa State last week, but it was never able to get on track against the Sooners. Quarterback Seth Doege was held without a touchdown pass, while the Red Raiders’ defense allowed a season-high 41 points and 380 yards. Texas Tech’s No. 1 pass defense ranking will be put to the test against a West Virginia offense that is averaging 406.8 passing yards per game.
Next Game: West Virginia

9. TCU (4-1, 1-1 Big 12)
Last Week:
5
Week 6 Result: Lost to Iowa State 27-23
It was a week to forget for TCU and head coach Gary Patterson. The Horned Frogs suffered a huge setback on Thursday, as quarterback Casey Pachall was arrested on DWI charges and is suspended indefinitely. With Pachall out, redshirt freshman Trevone Boykin made his first start against Iowa State and finished with 270 passing yards and one score. However, Boykin tossed three picks and the Horned Frogs lost their first Big 12 home game. The schedule doesn’t lighten up any for TCU over the next few weeks, as a trip to Baylor is ahead this Saturday, followed by games against Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and West Virginia.
Next Game: at Baylor

10. Kansas (1-4, 0-2 Big 12)
Last Week:
10
Week 6 Result: Lost to Kansas State 56-16
The Jayhawks got off to a good start, as they jumped out to a 14-7 lead against Kansas State early in the second quarter. However, the Wildcats are simply the better team on both sides of the ball and pulled away for a 56-16 win. Kansas coach Charlie Weis did everything he could to motivate his team, which included expressing his frustration at the school paper. Although the Jayhawks had some initial energy, this team is short on talent and having five turnovers certainly won’t win many games in the Big 12.
Next Game: Oklahoma State


by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven


Related College Football Content


Big East Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
Big Ten Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
Pac-12 Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
SEC Post-Week 6 Power Rankings

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Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 06:10
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There may not be an elite team capable of winning a national championship in the Big Ten this fall, but no one can criticize the league for lacking dramatics. Michigan State survived a thriller. Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State made statements in big games against quality opponents. Wisconsin continues to show gradual improvement. But trying to pinpoint who will play in the Big Ten title game is impossible after six weeks of action. One week, the Huskers look like the favorites. The next, it's Michigan and Penn State. There won't be a national title in the Midwest this fall, but there will be plenty of excitement that should make fans proud.

Post-Week 6 Offensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State - There is no way to watch No. 5 in Scarlet and Gray and not be impressed. He provides jaw-dropping shiftiness and explosiveness (186 yards rushing, TD) while continuing to efficiently lead his team to victory. He has accounted for 17 total TDs and is already 237 yards away from 1,000 yards rushing.  

2. Matt McGloin, QB, Penn St - This is starting to be one of the more amazing stories nationally. After 282 yards passing and two more scores, the Penn State passer leads the Big Ten in passing TD (12), passing yards (1,499) and completions (136) on a team that could be one of the best in the league. He has also scored five rushing touchdowns in the last three games.

3. Venric Mark, RB, Northwestern - It wasn't enough to get a win, but Mark is quickly becoming one of the league's top play-makers. He is fifth in rushing (102.5), second in all-purpose yards (180.5) and third in scoring (9.0 ppg) after two more scores against Penn State.


Post-Week 6 Defensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Mike Mauti, LB, Penn State - He posted another nine total tackles as Penn State shutout Northwestern in the fourth quarter for the Lions' fourth straight win. 

2. John Simon, DL, Ohio State - There are a few POY candidates on the OSU defense, but Simon gets the nod this week after a monster performance against Nebraska. He posted seven total tackles, five tackles for loss, two sacks and a forced fumble.

3. Mike Taylor, LB, Wisconsin - The Badgers' defensive leader had another workman-like performance in the key divisional win over Illinois. After a 12-tackle (1.5 for a loss) effort, Taylor is now No. 2 in the Big Ten in tackles on a team quietly showing improvement.


Post-Week 6 Coach of the Year Standings

1. Urban Meyer, Ohio State - This was beginning to look like an instant classic until Meyer's bunch blitzed the Huskers in the final 20 minutes of play. Dropping 63 on Nebraska is about as impressive as it gets in the Big Ten.

2. Bill O'Brien, Penn State - The only coach who could earn Coach of the Year honors over an unbeaten Urban Meyer would be the guy taking over Penn State following this particular off-season. Penn State has won four straight and is a few plays from being 6-0. Coach BOB has done a remarkable job.

3. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern - 
His team battled to the end in a hostile environment against a superior team. It didn't end in victory, but Northwestern belongs in the Legends Division race conversation due to Coach Fitz' leadership. 


Post-Week 6 Power Rankings

1. Ohio State (6-0, 2-0)
Previous rank: 1
Week 6 result: Beat Nebraska 63-38

This was a great game — for about 35 minutes. Back and forth these two traditional powers went until Braxton Miller does what Braxton Miller does best. Take over a game and single-handedly abuse a defense en route to another victory. He rushed for a school-record (for a QB) 186 yards and passed for 127 yards while scoring two touchdowns in electrifying fashion as Ohio State ended the game on a 28-7 run over the final quarter and a half. But what should make Buckeyes fans excited about the rest of Big Ten play was the contributions of complementary pieces. Special teams and defense chipped in a touchdown each while Carlos Hyde rushed for a career-best 140 yards and four touchdowns. Miller is a Heisman front-runner, but if Urban Meyer wants the best record in the Big Ten, he will have to continue to get support from the rest of his team. 
This week: at Indiana (2-3)

2. Michigan (3-2, 1-0)
Previous rank: 3
Week 6 result: Beat Purdue 44-13
After a dominating road win over the Boilermakers, Michigan takes it turn back atop the Legends Division weekly power poll. Denard Robinson got back on track with a huge day on the ground (24 att., 235 yards), but more importantly, didn't turn the ball over. Brady Hoke, as expected, established the run early, but it was his defense that won the game. Purdue entered Week 6 averaging 42.5 points and 463.5 yards per game, but the Maize and Blue defense impressively held the Boilers to 56 yards rushing on 26 attempts and only 157 yards passing. The formula for success is obvious for Michigan: Robinson needs to protect the football and make plays with his legs, while the front seven needs to continue to develop. A home test against Illinois precedes the two-week round robin with Nebraska and Michigan State, so a win is a must next weekend. 
This week: Illinois (2-4)

3. Michigan State (4-2, 1-1)
Previous rank: 4
Week 6 result: Beat Indiana 30-27
Michigan State did everything in its power to give this one away, but its defense came up with two huge three-and-outs late in the game to preserve the comeback road victory over Indiana. The Hoosiers jumped out to a 17-0 lead before Andrew Maxwell and Le'Veon Bell led the Spartans on a 30-10 run over the final three quarters. Maxwell played his best game of his short starting career, throwing for 290 yards and two scores without a turnover. He showed improved leadership, poise and toughness while attempting 40 passes. Bell finished with 121 yards and two scores of his own. Michigan State has obvious warts in the passing game — and playing IU might not be the truest barometer — but Maxwell and his receivers played their best game to date. All of that said, however, inching out a victory over a coaching staff that has yet to win a Big Ten game for Mark Dantonio has to be very concerning. 
This week: Iowa (3-2)

4. Nebraska (4-2, 1-1)
Previous rank: 2
Week 6 result: Lost to Ohio State 63-38
Taylor Martinez accounted for three touchdowns and led his team to 38 points and 437 yards of offense. Rex Burkhead topped the 100-yard mark and moonlighted as a quarter/full-back on two scoring runs for Ameer Abdullah. But the defense simply couldn't stop the dynamic play-making ability of Braxton Miller and Martinez threw three costly interceptions. Bo Pelini was up to his old tricks berating his players on the sideline as he watched his team give away a chance at a road win over the Buckeyes. This defense had shown improvement at playing in opponents backfields of late, yet allowed a season-worst 371 yards rushing. This unit has allowed nine rushing touchdowns over the last two games and will have plenty to think about during the off week.
This week: Open Date

5. Penn State (4-2, 2-0)
Previous rank: 8
Week 6 result: Beat Northwestern 39-28
Bill O'Brien is entering National Coach of the Year territory with yet another gutty performance from his much-maligned program. In fact, with the unlikely development of Matt McGloin and continued leadership of Michael Mauti, Penn State could be in line for all three Big Ten "Of the Year" awards (Coach, Offensive Player, Defensive Player). This team is a few plays from being unbeaten and is quickly becoming one of the great stories in college football. There is a chance that the best two teams in the league could be ineligible to win the league title. And O'Brien gets all of the credit for implementing a complex and innovative offensive scheme in such short order. This is a totally different football team than a year ago — and that team started 8-1.  

This week: Open Date

6. Northwestern (5-1, 1-1)
Previous rank: 5
Week 6 result: Lost to Penn State 39-28
Northwestern missed a golden opportunity to make a statement on the road against Penn State. The Wildcats took a 28-17 lead with less than a minute left in the third quarter on Venric Mark's second punt return touchdown of the season. But after holding up extremely well against the physical Nittany Lions rushing attack and ever-improving passing game for three quarters, the Wildcats crumbled in the fourth. Penn State exerted its will in the final frame, scoring three touchdowns in a nine minute span to give Coach Ftiz' group their first loss of the year. Penn State was the better team, but Northwestern played valiantly. 
This week: at Minnesota (4-1)

7. Wisconsin (4-2, 1-1)
Previous rank: 7
Week 6 result: Beat Illinois 31-14
Joel Stave was able to start and finish the game. The rushing attack looked more like 2011 than it did 2012. And the defense played a physical brand of football, holding everyone on the Illini offense not named Nathan Scheelhaase to 22 total yards. Stave, who missed a key drive late against Nebraska, threw for 254 yards and two touchdowns while Montee Ball rushed for 116 yards and two scores of his own. Ball is quietly returning to form, after scoring five times in the last two weeks to bring his season total to eight and his career total to 69 total touchdowns. It won't have much national fanfare, but the road trip to West Lafayette next weekend could decide the Leaders Division crown. 
This week: at Purdue (3-2)

8. Purdue (3-2, 0-1)
Previous rank: 6
Week 6 result: Lost to Michigan 44-13
This was one of the more disappointing performances by any team in the league this fall. Purdue still controls its own destiny with a visit from Wisconsin coming in Week 7, so a Big Ten title is certainly within grasp. However, if the Boilers play like they did against Michigan again, the Badgers will end those hopes next weekend. The normally stout Boilers front-seven was gashed by Denard Robinson and company for 304 yards rushing on 54 attempts. And the normally explosive Caleb TerBush-led offense was completely shut down by a Michigan defense that has struggled at times this fall. The season is still out in front of the Boilermakers, but this team needs to regroup quickly after being crushed in its Big Ten opener.
This week: Wisconsin (4-2)

9. Iowa (3-2, 1-0)
Previous rank: 9
Week 6 result: Off
Iowa played arguably its best game of the year back in the Week 5 win over Minnesota. So fans have to wonder if the bye week was perfectly placed to allow this team to build on its confidence or if it halted what little momentum the Hawkeyes may have built in the victory?
This week: at Michigan State (4-2)

10. Minnesota (4-1, 0-1)
Previous rank: 10
Week 6 result: Off
Getting MarQueis Gray healthy and addressing the defensive woes that led to a blowout loss to Iowa was the likely focus of Jerry Kill's squad during the off week. The Gophers have a winnable home game this weekend that is bordering on must-win status.
This week: Northwestern (5-1)

11. Illinois (2-4, 0-2)
Previous rank: 11
Week 6 result: Lost to Wisconsin 31-14
Things continue to get worse for Tim Beckman. After an embarrassing loss to Penn State at home last week, the Illini failed to show up in Madison. Illinois has allowed 108 points in its three-game losing streak as both PSU and UW rushed for 173 yards over the last two weeks. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase accounted for all but 22 yards of total offense on a team that offered little support to its quarterback. Things only appear to be getting worse for a team that is scoring the fewest points per game in the Big Ten (21.2 ppg) and that is allowing the most points in the league (28.3 ppg). Illinois will face Michigan and Ohio State on the road in the next three weeks.

This week: at Michigan (3-2)

12. Indiana (2-3, 0-2)
Previous rank: 12
Week 6 result: Lost to Michigan State 30-27
This was his chance. Kevin Wilson has yet to win a Big Ten game and after a 17-0 lead at the end of the first quarter — and a 27-14 halftime lead — the Hoosiers failed to capitalize on a golden opportunity. The Indiana defense allowed Andrew Maxwell to grow up in Bloomington on Saturday and Cameron Coffman went three-and-out on the game's final two possessions. This would have been a signature win for Wilson and company, but he now finds himself 0-10 in Big Ten play.
This week: Ohio State (6-0)


by Braden Gall

@bradengall

Related College Football Content

Three and Out: Week 6 Recap

ACC Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
Big East Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
Big Ten Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
Big 12 Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
Pac-12 East Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
SEC Post-Week 6 Power Rankings 

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<p> Big Ten Post-Week 6 Power Rankings</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 06:03
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The Big East continues to battle uncertain times, but at least the league as a bona fide race for the title among three ranked teams. No. 16 Louisville, No. 19 Rutgers and No. 25 Cincinnati are all in the AP poll, giving the Big East three ranked teams for the first time since the end of the 2009 season.

There’s still a way to go before the Big East approaches the notoriety of past seasons -- the final 2009 poll included two Big East teams in the top 15, where this week’s poll includes none -- but three undefeated teams is a start.

None of the three teams will face each other until late October, so there’s room for all three to build up their records and national reputations before a critical final month of conference play.

Offensive Player of the Year Standings
1. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville --
It’s going to be difficult to knock Bridgewater off his perch, but others are gaining. The Cardinals quarterback will try to overcome his last two shaky starts on the road against Pittsburgh this week.

2. Jawan Jamison, Rutgers -- Jamison’s sixth consecutive 100-yard game wasn’t the most flashy, but it may have been among the most impressive. Jamison rushed for 110 yards against a top-10 run defense and a Big East Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Yawin Smallwood.

3. Gary Nova, Rutgers -- After two standout games against USF and Arkansas, Nova had a workman-like effort against Connecticut. Nova was 18 of 27 for 157 yards with a touchdown. Nova threw two interceptions against Tulane and Howard but none since.

Defensive Player of the Year Standings
1. Khaseem Greene, Rutgers --
The defending Co-Defensive Player of the Year jumps into the top spot after eight tackles, three quarterback hurries and an interception returned for 33 yards against Connecticut. Rutgers held UConn to 53 rushing yards.

2. Camerron Cheatham, Cincinnati -- Cheatham’s 68-yard interception returned for a touchdown swung the momentum into Cincinnati’s favor in the rout against Miami (Ohio). It was his second interception in two weeks.

3. Walter Stewart, Cincinnati -- Stewart had one tackle for a loss against Miami (Ohio), but the Bearcats defensive end remains among the league leaders in sacks (three) and tackles for a loss (six).

Coach of the Year Standings
1. Butch Jones, Cincinnati --
Big East play for Cincinnati won’t resume until Oct. 26 against Louisville, but Jones has his team ready. The Bearcats are in the top three in the Big East in total offense, scoring offense and scoring defense.

2. Kyle Flood, Rutgers -- The Scarlet Knights’ defense is doing just fine without Greg Schiano calling the shots, a credit to new defensive coordinator Robb Smith. The offense is also enjoying a stability it hasn’t seen in several seasons. Credit  quarterback Gary Nova limiting mistakes and improved play from the offensive line.

3. Charlie Strong, Louisville -- The Cardinals fought through some adversity in the last three games to get to 3-0, but the big tests begin in October when Louisville faces Cincinnati.

Big East Post-Week 6 Power Rankings

1. Louisville (5-0, 0-0)
Last week’s rank:
1
Week 6 result: Off
After an off week, Louisville will look to regroup after three consecutive close calls against North Carolina, FIU and Southern Miss. This week’s trip to Pittsburgh will be the Cards’ third road game in a row, but who knows what team Louisville will encounter at Heinz Field. Pitt has been good enough to rout Virginia Tech, but the Panthers are 0-2 in the Big East. Moreover, coach Charlie Strong is battling the requisite coaching carousel questions that plague every successful Big East coach.
This week: at Pittsburgh

2. Rutgers (5-0, 2-0)
Last week’s rank:
2
Week 6 result: Beat Connecticut 19-3
Off to its best start since 2006, Rutgers’ schedule may set up for another banner year with late-season intrigue. The Scarlet Knights’ next two games are against a pair of teams -- Syracuse and Temple -- that just won their Big East openers, but the season-defining games for Rutgers may come on Nov. 17 (at Cincinnati) and Nov. 29 (Louisville). Against Connecticut on Saturday, the Rutgers offense did enough to win while the defense bewildered the Huskies in the passing game and run game. Rutgers limited UConn to 1.9 yards per carry and intercepted Chandler Whitmer four times -- two stats that are setting the tone for Rutgers this season. Rutgers is second in the nation in rush defense at 60.6 yards allowed and is tied for second with 10 picks this season.
This week: Syracuse

3. Cincinnati (4-0, 1-0)
Last week’s rank:
3
Week 6 result: Beat Miami (Ohio) 52-14
The Big East takes its lumps, but any team from a non-automatic qualifying conference would jump at the chance to join. Case in point: Cincinnati’s dominance of the rivalry with Miami (Ohio). The Bearcats have won seven in a row over its MAC rival since their second season in the Big East, winning by an average of 29.6 points per game. It’s the longest winning streak by either team in the series, in which Miami had a 58-44-7 edge before Cincinnati joined the Big East. The Bearcats enjoyed their highest scoring game of the season thanks to an interception return for a touchdown from Camerron Cheatham and 189 combined yards on returns (114 on three interceptions, 75 on two kickoffs).
This week: Fordham

4. Syracuse (2-3, 1-0)
Last week’s rank: 7
Week 6 result: Beat Pittsburgh 14-13
Syracuse ended its eight-game losing streak to FBS opponents with an unexpected victory over a hot Pittsburgh team. With a road trip to Rutgers upcoming, the Orange will find out in short order whether it has turned a corner or if this win was a fluke similar to its last FBS win, a 49-23 victory over West Virginia on Oct. 21. After hard-fought losses to Northwestern and USC and a turnover-filled defeat to Minnesota, Syracuse finally caught a break with Dyshawn Davis’ 52-yard fumble returned for a touchdown in the first quarter, which turned out to be the game-winning score. Defensive end Brandon Sharpe (four sacks) led a dominant effort up front that sacked Tino Sunseri five times and held Pitt to 27 rushing yards.
This week: at Rutgers

5. Pittsburgh (2-3, 0-2)
Last week’s rank:
4
Week 6 result: Lost to Syracuse 14-13
Forget that defeating Virginia Tech might not be something to brag about this season, but what happened to the Pitt team that overwhelmed the Hokies two weeks ago? Pitt’s defense regrouped after allowing a scoring drive early in the first quarter, but the offense regressed, squandering scoring chances late in the game. The Panthers drove deep into Syracuse territory twice in the fourth quarter only to have penalties and sacks push the Panthers out of field goal range. Tino Sunseri was sacked five times and the running back duo of Ray Graham and Rushel Shell combined for only 59 yards and 2.4 yards per carry.
This week: Louisville

6. Connecticut (3-3, 0-1)
Last week’s rank:
6
Week 6 result: Lost to Rutgers 19-3
The Huskies’ defense did enough to win through the first half against Rutgers, limiting the Scarlet Knights to two field goals by halftime, but the D couldn’t overcome another rough day by the Huskies’ offense. Rutgers’ two field goals were all the Scarlet Knights needed to win. Chandler Whitmer’s four interceptions (10 for the season) are ugly, but the last two occurred on desperation attempts late in the fourth quarter. Just as alarming is UConn’s Big East-worst run game. Not helping matters was Lyle McCombs missing the first quarter as punishment for an arrest stemming from an altercation with his girlfriend. UConn has failed to win consecutive games in a year and a half under Paul Pasqualoni.
This week: Temple

7. Temple (2-2, 0-1)
Last week’s rank:
8
Week 6 result: Beat USF 37-28
Temple’s return to the Big East is already going better than its departure as the Owls won their first conference game as a Big East member since 2004. Temple got its most complete game of the season out of its backfield despite the game-ending ankle injury to Matt Brown (he’s expected to return against UConn). Montel Harris rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns, and Chris Coyer completed 16 of 20 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown. But the key was defense and special teams late. USF advanced to the Temple 23 before the Owls’ defense pushed Demetris Murray back five yards. The ensuing 45-yard field goal attempt, which would have put USF up by 1, was blocked and returned for a touchdown.
This week: at Connecticut

8. USF (2-4, 0-2)
Last week’s rank:
5
Week 6 result: Lost to Temple 37-28
What has gone wrong at USF? USF is 1-8 in the Big East since the start of 2011 thanks to fourth quarter woes that have continued into their second year. On Saturday, USF narrowed Temple’s lead to 2 points in the final 5:19 before a blocked field goal and a touchdown on the Bulls’ next possession ended USF’s comeback bid for good. Despite ample talent on that side of the ball, USF is seventh or eighth in the Big East in the major defensive categories. The Bulls are also the only team in the country without an interception. Good news: USF will have an off week to recover from four consecutive losses. Bad news: USF’s next game is at Louisville.
This week: Off

By David Fox

@DavidFox615

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Three and Out: Week 6 Recap

ACC Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
Big Ten Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
Big 12 Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
Pac-12 Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
SEC Post-Week 6 Power Rankings

Teaser:
<p> Big East Post-Week 6 Power Rankings</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 06:01
Path: /college-football/acc-post-week-6-power-rankings
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With Florida State's loss to NC State, the ACC is officially out of the national title race. The Seminoles were the conference's best hope at finishing No. 1 or No. 2 in the BCS, but the championship dreams will have to wait another year. Clemson kept its ACC title hopes alive with a victory over Georgia Tech, while Duke improved to 5-1 with a win over Virginia. 

Offensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina – Bernard missed two games with a knee injury but has been nearly unstoppable this season. The sophomore has 475 yards and five scores on 52 attempts and has 15 catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns.

2. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson – Boyd threw two picks in the win over Georgia Tech but completed 26 of 41 throws for 397 yards and two scores.

3. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson – There’s not much separating the three names in this category, and Hopkins could make a case for the No. 1 spot. He has 49 catches for 777 yards and eight touchdowns this year.
 

Defensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State – A patchwork NC State line held Werner in check, but the junior leads the ACC with 10 tackles for a loss and ranks second with 6.5 sacks this year.

2. Ross Cockrell, CB, Duke – Cockrell is flying under the radar on a national level but is having quite the season. The junior leads the ACC with 13 passes defended and has four interceptions.

3. Cornellius Carradine, DE, Florida State – Carradine led all Florida State defensive linemen with eight tackles against NC State. The senior leads the ACC with seven sacks this season.
 

Coach of the Year Standings

1. David Cutcliffe, Duke - The Blue Devils are just one win away from being eligible to play in a bowl. Duke doesn’t have a win over a FBS team with a winning record, but this team is poised to breakthrough in 2012.

2. Larry Fedora, North Carolina – Even with no bowl game or conference championship to play for in 2012, Fedora has kept this team on track. The Tar Heels handled Virginia Tech 48-34 in Week 6.

3. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State – A disappointing loss to NC State ends the Seminoles’ national title hopes.

Post-Week 6 ACC Power Rankings

1. Florida State (5-1, 2-1 ACC)
Last Week:
1
Week 6 Result: Lost 17-16 to NC State
Despite the surprising loss to NC State, the Seminoles maintain the No. 1 spot in the power rankings. Although the Wolfpack are a dangerous team at home, this is a game Florida State should not lose, especially after it jumps out to a 16-0 lead. Even though the Seminoles are out of the national title picture, this team still has to be the favorite to win the ACC crown. Florida State plays three of its next five games on the road but hosts Boston College this Saturday.
Next Game: Boston College

2. Clemson (5-1, 2-1 ACC)
Last Week:
2
Week 6 Result: Beat Georgia Tech 47-31
As expected, the Yellow Jackets gave Clemson all it could handle early on, but the Tigers scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. Quarterback Tajh Boyd had two interceptions but finished with 397 passing yards and two touchdowns. The defense allowed 339 rushing yards but forced one turnover and recorded a safety early in the fourth quarter. With Florida State’s loss to NC State, the ACC Atlantic division is up for grabs again. Clemson needs another loss by the Seminoles, but the Tigers head into a bye week with momentum and an opportunity to get back into the conference title race.
Next Game: Virginia Tech (Oct. 20)

3. NC State (4-2, 1-1 ACC)
Last Week:
5
Week 6 Result: Beat Florida State 17-16
The Wolfpack pulled off one of the biggest surprises of the 2012 college football season, beating Florida State 17-16 to knock the Seminoles out of the national title picture. NC State trailed 16-0 but rallied behind quarterback Mike Glennon. The senior finished with 259 yards and two touchdowns and made crucial plays on third and fourth downs late in the game to lead the Wolfpack to the upset. The win over the Seminoles was not only huge for momentum purposes, but NC State controls its destiny in the ACC Atlantic. If the Wolfpack can win out and beat Clemson on Nov. 17, they will play for the conference championship in early December.
Next Game: at Maryland (Oct. 20)

4. Miami (4-2, 3-0 ACC)
Last Week:
3
Week 6 Result: Lost to Notre Dame 41-3
After posting 86 combined points in wins over Georgia Tech and NC State, the Hurricanes’ offense stalled with only three points in a 41-3 loss to Notre Dame. Quarterback Stephen Morris threw for 201 yards on 18 completions but didn’t have much help from his receiving corps. True freshman running back Duke Johnson was also held in check by the Irish defense, managing just 22 yards on eight attempts. Although the offensive showing was a disappointment, Miami’s defense continues to be an issue. The Hurricanes have allowed 30 or more points in five contests and average just one sack a game.
Next Game: North Carolina

5. North Carolina (4-2, 1-1 ACC)
Last Week:
7
Week 6 Result: Beat Virginia Tech 48-34
The Tar Heels are ineligible to play for the ACC Championship, but this team isn’t letting that slow them down this year. North Carolina scored an impressive 48-34 win over Virginia Tech in Week 6, led by 261 rushing yards from running back Giovani Bernard and a defense that never allowed the Hokies’ ground attack to get on track. With a sound victory over Virginia Tech, North Carolina now sets its sights on claiming control of the division with a trip to Miami next week.
Next Game: at Miami

6. Duke (5-1, 2-0 ACC)
Last Week:
8
Week 6 Result: Beat Virginia 42-17
If there was any doubt the Blue Devils are a much-improved team this season, Saturday’s victory over Virginia should erase those thoughts. Sure, the Cavaliers aren’t a top-10 team but this is a game Duke has struggled to win in the past. With Sean Renfree sidelined with an elbow injury, Anthony Boone filled in admirably, throwing for 204 yards and four touchdowns on 30 attempts. Although Boone played well, the defense stepped up with two turnovers and did not allow a score in the second half. The Blue Devils have a difficult schedule in the second half of the season but need just one win to get bowl eligible.
Next Game: at Virginia Tech

7. Virginia Tech (3-3, 1-1 ACC)
Last Week:
4
Week 6 Result: Lost to North Carolina 48-34
After six games, it’s pretty clear: Virginia Tech is in real danger of finishing 6-6 or 7-5. Considering most expected this team would be one of the best 10-15 in the nation, the Hokies are one of the ACC’s biggest disappointments. A defense that returned one of the top backfields and lines in the nation was pushed around for 532 yards against North Carolina, while the offense continues to struggle on the ground. Virginia Tech still controls its destiny in the Coastal Division but the schedule doesn’t get any easier over the next few weeks, starting with a 5-1 Duke team on Saturday.
Next Game: Duke

8. Georgia Tech (2-4, 1-3 ACC)
Last Week:
6
Week 6 Result: Lost to Clemson 47-31
The bye week couldn’t come at a better time for the Yellow Jackets. After three consecutive losses, it’s time for Georgia Tech to regroup for the second half of the season. The defense has allowed 40 points in three consecutive games, and this team needs to find some answers if it wants to finish with a winning record and play in a bowl game. The Yellow Jackets gave Clemson all it could handle for a half but was unable to keep up with the Tigers offense in the final two quarters. The Yellow Jackets return to action on Oct. 20 against Boston College.
Next Game: Boston College

9. Maryland (3-2, 1-0 ACC)
Last Week:
12
Week 6 Result: Beat Wake Forest 19-14
It wasn’t pretty, but Maryland opened ACC play with a 19-14 win over Wake Forest. The Terrapins fell behind early but allowed only seven points to the Demon Deacons over the final three quarters. Freshman quarterback Perry Hills threw for 191 yards, with fellow freshman Stefon Diggs his favorite target (5 receptions for 105 yards). Maryland’s defense played a key role in the victory, holding Wake Forest to 71 rushing yards and forcing two turnovers. With the victory on Saturday, the Terrapins have surpassed their win total from last season.
Next Game: at Virginia

10. Virginia (2-4, 0-2 ACC)
Last Week:
10
Week 6 Result: Lost to Duke 42-17
A quarterback change wasn’t enough to spark the offense, and Virginia dropped its fourth consecutive game with a 42-17 loss to Duke. The Cavaliers recorded 461 yards but committed two turnovers, and a defense that struggled to get stops in the second half was simply too much to overcome. Phillip Sims completed 21 of 42 throws in his first start, but his two second half interceptions were costly. If Virginia wants to return to the postseason, winning the next two games (Maryland, Wake Forest) is a must.
Next Game: Lost to Duke 42-17

11. Wake Forest (3-3, 1-3 ACC)
Last Week:
9
Week 6 Result: Lost to Maryland 19-14
With receiver Michael Campanaro sidelined with a hand injury, the Demon Deacons offense sputtered in a 19-14 loss to Maryland. Wake Forest got off to a good start with a 73-yard touchdown pass on the first drive, but the Terrapins held quarterback Tanner Price to less than 100 passing yards the rest of the day. The Demon Deacons have lost three out of their last four games and have a bye this Saturday. The off week comes at a good time, especially as the team hopes to get Campanaro back as soon as possible.
Next Game: at Virginia (Oct. 20)

12. Boston College (1-4, 0-2 ACC)
Last Week:
11
Week 6 Result: Lost to Army 34-31
Embarrassing. That’s really the only way to describe the Eagles loss to Army on Saturday. Although the Black Knights are a difficult opponent to prepare for, this is a game Boston College should not lose. A big part of the struggles was the rush defense, which gave up 519 yards to Army’s option attack. The Eagles’ bowl hopes are hanging by a thread with road trips to Florida State and Georgia Tech coming up in the next two weeks. Barring a complete change of events for Frank Spaziani in the second half of the season, Boston College will have a new head coach next year.
Next Game: at Florida State


by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven

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<p> ACC Post-Week 6 Power Rankings</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 06:00
Path: /college-basketball/college-basketball-countdown-no-6-michigan-preview
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Visit the online store for Michigan and other editions of the 2012-13 Athlon Sports College Basketball annual.

The first practices of college basketball season begin in mid-October, and Athlon Sports 2012-13 preview annuals have arrived on newsstands all over the country.

To prepare for the start of college basketball season, we will preview one team each weekday, counting down to the first official day of basketball practice on Oct. 15, or for some teams on Oct. 12.

We continue our countdown with a preview of No. 6 Michigan.

Don’t try to convince John Beilein, an eternal optimist, that last year’s NCAA Tournament thud against Ohio was a bad thing for his program. To the sixth-year Michigan coach, the loss was a case of not playing “well in one particular game” and not an indication that the team’s share of the Big Ten championship was sullied.

Since a program’s ultimate success is measured in terms of NCAA wins, it’s time for Michigan to make a move into the Tournament’s second weekend. The good news is for the first time in Beilein’s tenure, the Wolverines may be in a good position to do that. A highly regarded recruiting class, the decision by guard Trey Burke to return for his sophomore season and a level of depth Michigan hasn’t enjoyed in a long time should combine to make Michigan quite dangerous — both during the regular season and postseason.

“The Block M has never been stronger across the board,” Beilein says. “We have momentum.”

FRONTCOURT
Beilein teams haven’t exactly been known for their rough-and-tumble front lines, but this year’s Wolverines have plenty of options in the paint. If they want to play big and nasty, redshirt freshman Max Bielfeldt (6-7, 240), sophomore Jon Horford (6-10, 250) and junior Jordan Morgan (6-8, 250) can bring the beef. Bielfeldt and Horford were both sidelined with injuries last season.

If they want to play a little more of a finesse game, then 6-10 freshman Mitch McGary, a fine passer and shooter from the high and low post, can team with fellow newcomer Glenn Robinson III to form a dynamic offensive combination. A pair of high-level recruits who have helped lift Michigan’s national profile, Robinson and McGary give the Wolverines potential star power. Robinson was relatively highly regarded when he signed last fall, but his stock soared even greater since. He could be one of the nation’s top scoring freshmen. McGary is the kind of skilled big man Beilein craves. Some have compared McGary to former West Virginia star Kevin Pittsnogle, who thrived under Beilein.

“Some big men have a natural ability to pass, while others have to learn it,” Beilein says. “Mitch sees the floor well from the high post and low post positions.”

BACKCOURT
Last summer, the Wolverines lost Darius Morris to an ill-advised jump to the NBA Draft. This year, Burke stuck around after his great debut (14.8 ppg, 4.6 apg), giving the Michigan attack a high-energy floor leader who will be extremely productive and able to help the rest of the team deliver, too.

“Trey gets it, and that’s what’s going to help him become a better player,” Beilein says. “He understands he will get a lot of attention, and if the young men around him can shoot and score, his assists will go up, and his turnovers will go down. He saw a lot of minutes last year, and he can be better this year with more people around him.”

One person who will help Burke is freshman point guard Spike Albrecht, a 6-1 dynamo whom Beilein believes will be an instant fan favorite and who should allow Burke to rest some after he averaged 36.1 minutes per game last year.

The other big backcourt holdover is junior Tim Hardaway Jr., who has great skill but must learn to moderate his approach. He shot just 28.3 from 3-point range last year and didn’t always play great defense. Hardaway has plenty of talent, and the addition of Robinson, McGary and Albrecht mean he doesn’t have to do as much.

“He has gained trust with his teammates, and he should have enough people around him so that he can shoot less and score more points,” Beilein says.

Two other freshmen, tough shooter Nik Stauskas and athletic wing Caris LeVert, will also vie for time.

FINAL ANALYSIS
Michigan isn’t ready for a run at the Final Four, but the Wolverines should be an improved team that can certainly reach the NCAA Tournament’s second weekend. And, if everybody comes back for ’13-14, some real fun can be had.

Burke has great potential, and Hardaway can be a big factor if he plays within himself. The freshman class is talented, and Michigan should be deeper all over the floor. The loss to Ohio was tough, but the future is bright.

@AthlonSports

Athlon College Basketball Countdown So Far:
20. Florida

19. Notre Dame

18. Memphis
17. Baylor
16. Missouri

15. San Diego State

14. North Carolina

13. UNLV

12. UCLA
11. NC State

10. Michigan State
9. Duke

8. Ohio State

7. Arizona

Teaser:
<p> College Basketball Countdown: No. 6 Michigan Preview</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 06:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Fantasy, News
Path: /college-football/college-fantasy-football-post-week-6-waiver-wire-report
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Even though the waiver wire isn’t loaded with talent this week, there is still plenty of value available.  This is the time of the season where players are easier to acquire because league cellar dwellers start to become disconnected from their teams, which means less competition for late-season gems.

Shane Carden, QB-East Carolina

We suggested benching Shane Carden last week on the road at Central Florida, but he responded with a solid outing.  Carden should provide value down the stretch playing in C-USA.

Tyler Van Tubbergen, QB-Western Michigan

Tyler Van Tubbergen struggled in his first start of the season two games ago against Tulsa, but he bounced back by tossing five scoring passes against UMass.

Sean Mannion, QB-Oregon State

Mannion didn’t exactly light it up against Washington State this past weekend, but with Brandin Cooks and Markus Wheaton on the outside, the Beavers offense has some big-play potential.

Dennis Johnson, RB-Arkansas

Dennis Johnson has taken over at running back for the Hogs and Knile Davis’ productive days on the field may have come to an end this season.

Montel Harris, RB-Temple

Harris was impressive against South Florida this past weekend, running for 133 yards and two touchdowns.  Even though Temple has some tough matchups on the horizon, Harris offers workhorse potential.

Alex Singleton, RB-Tulsa

Even though Singleton has only topped the 100-yard mark once this season, he has scored multiple touchdowns in four of Tulsa’s last five games.

Kasey Carrier, RB-New Mexico

In the Lobos’ last three games, Carrier has run for 406 yards and six touchdowns.  Next week, Carrier faces Hawaii’s 110th rated rush defense.

Andrew Buie, RB-West Virginia

After Saturday’s impressive performance at Texas, Buie jumped onto everyone’s radar and could be a major fantasy factor down the stretch.

Terence Davis, WR-Wake Forest

Since Michael Campanaro’s hand injury, Davis has emerged as quarterback Tanner Price’s go-to receiver and has posted back-to-back 100-yard games.

Jamill Smith, WR-Ball St

Smith has caught at least six passes in five of six games this season and is fresh off a 14-catch game against Northern Illinois.
 

Follow Joe DiSalvo on twitter (@theCFFsite)

Email:  joe@thecffsite.com

Teaser:
<p> College Fantasy Football: Post-Week 6 Waiver Wire Report</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 03:49

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