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Path: /nascar/nascar-news-notes-week-10

A Goodyear tire test Tuesday and Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway could provide a clue as to how racy NASCAR’s 2013 Sprint Cup car can be.

While the focus will be on tires at the test, NASCAR also will experiment with the car in hopes of making it easier for drivers to run closer together. One of the reasons mentioned this year for the relative lack of cautions was that it was so hard to race close together for a stretch, although Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski showed it can be done late in last weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition, said Monday that “there are some things that we are working on that show promise” and could create tighter racing when the cars debut next season.

He noted that officials are experimenting with the car’s underbody, along with the front of it and the rear spoiler.

Andy Graves, Toyota’s Cup manager, notes that when a car is alone in clean air, it has maximum downforce, thus is compressed and as close to the ground as possible. When two cars are running near each other, the trailing car loses some of that air pressure and the car rises.

 “If the car is very pitch-sensitive and very ride-height sensitive, then, unfortunately, you lose more downforce when you’re behind someone,” Graves says.

 “We’re trying to develop from the splitter, the spoiler, studying the data, looking at wind tunnel information that is more advanced than it’s ever been; we’re trying to understand and come up with some characteristics that performance stays the same whether you’re all by yourself or in traffic. That is going to help the racing.”

Pemberton said he’s confident that the new car will be better than when the current car debuted as the Car of Tomorrow in 2007.

“It goes back to us spending more time getting the car closer developed when we hand the car off,” he says. “It will be a far, far, better racing car to start off with and then the teams will take it to the next level.”

Brad Keselowski suggests not judging the car’s performance too early next season, though.

“The odds are that this car is not going to come out of the gate perfect,” he says. “It’s going to take time. But much like if you unveiled a new iPhone and rolled it out and said, ‘In a year we’ll have it working right,’ your customers probably aren’t going to be happy about that. I think we all know that and are braced for it, but we know long-term that this car is going to be part of the solution for getting NASCAR as strong as it possibly can be.”

If everything goes as NASCAR hopes, Graves says the cars should be easier to drive than the current cars but says the driver ability will still matter.

“Making cars hard to drive, that’s not what separates talent on the race track,” he says. “It’s all the other intangibles. It’s operating in traffic from setting someone up for the pass, it’s managing your tires, managing the race, understanding fuel mileage. There’s a lot of different aspects, in my opinion, rather than making the cars hard to drive and say the best driver is going to be the guy that best manages that.”

NEW FAVORITE  At one point during last weekend’s race at Texas, the crowd roared when Brad Keselowski took the lead. He missed that.

“I would have liked to have heard that,” Keselowski said. “That’s one of my biggest regrets of being a race car driver is missing out on those moments. In other sports, like football or basketball or baseball when they do something and the crowd cheers, you really feel it, (but) racing, you’ve got none of that. It’s really a big bummer because I would have loved to have heard that.”

Keselowski knows that he’s gained fans during this Chase as he battles five-time champion Jimmie Johnson for the championship.

“I think I have a lot of Jimmie-hater fans,” said Keselowski, who trails Johnson by seven points with two races to go.

“I’m not sure how I feel about it. I try really hard to engage a very informed and positive fan base. That might not be necessarily along those lines, but I’ll take every fan I can get.”

Keselowski understands why some fans feel the way they do toward Johnson.

“It’s American culture, build somebody up just so you can tear them down, whether it’s the president or sports star,” he said. “It’s just American culture. Maybe one day I’ll be so fortunate as to be torn down.”

CHARGING  Although not a title contender, Kyle Busch has scored 274 points in the Chase, fifth-most among all drivers. Busch is coming off a third-place finish at Texas last weekend, his fifth top-5 finish in the Chase.

“I wish we were in the deal,” Busch said after last weekend’s race at Texas, “but that’s what next year is for.”

TITLE RACES  With two races to go, Elliott Sadler and Ricky Stenhouse are tied for the points lead in the Nationwide Series. Austin Dillon is third, 21 points behind them.

In the Camping World Truck Series, James Buescher has a 15-point lead on Ty Dillon with Timothy Peters 25 points back and Parker Kligerman 27 points out with two races to go.

PIT STOPS  NASCAR announced Tuesday that comedian Howie Mandel will host the Sprint Cup Series Awards program on Nov. 30 in Las Vegas. ... Donny Schatz won the World of Outlaws championship driving for Tony Stewart’s team. ... Kyle Larson, a development driver for Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, won the K&N Pro Series East championship last weekend with a sixth-place finish in the season finale at Rockingham Speedway. ... Sunday’s Cup race marks Danica Patrick’s 10th and final one of the season. She is coming off her career-best Cup finish of 24th last weekend at Texas. ... Jimmie Johnson, victorious last weekend at Texas, has won 22 races in the Chase. Next on the list is Tony Stewart with 11 Chase victories.

by Dustin Long
Follow Dustin on Twitter:

<p> Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long updates on the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup car, Bradk Keselowski's popularity in the Chase and Kyle Busch's bot streak.</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 18:54
Path: /nfl/nfl-picks-every-game-week-10-0

NFL Week 10 previews and predictions for every game on the schedule:

Colts (5-3) at Jaguars (1-7)
Indianapolis has been playing “Chuck Strong” — in honor of coach Chuck Pagano’s ongoing fight with leukemia — en route to a 4–1 record since its Week 4 bye. And while rookie Andrew Luck only gives his performance a “C” grade, everyone else thinks he’s acing his first year. Meanwhile, Jacksonville is a Thursday night loss away from the worst start in team history, lowering the bar for futility set by the 2003 squad. The Jags have been outscored 126–34 at EverBank Field this year, so there is no homefield advantage to speak of in this one.
Colts by 4

Chargers (4-4) at Buccaneers (4-4)
It has been a tale of two quarters for Tampa Bay — going 1–3 before its Week 5 bye and 3–1 since regrouping under first-year coach Greg Schiano. The split stats for rookie running back Doug Martin tell the story. The Boise State back had 247 yards and one TD over his first four games and has tallied 547 yards and six TDs in his last four contests, a stretch in which the Buccaneers’ offense has averaged 477 yards and 36 points per game.
Buccaneers by 3

Titans (3-6) at Dolphins (4-4)
“If performance and competitiveness does not improve, I will look at alternatives to get back to having the Titans become a playoff and championship caliber football team,” said owner Bud Adams, following Tennessee’s terrible 51–20 defeat to Chicago. Running back Chris Johnson has not been the problem of late — with 526 yards and three TDs, two of which were 80-plus-yard sprints, the last four games.
Dolphins by 3

Bills (3-5) at Patriots (5-3)
Tom Brady loves playing the Bills. Tom Terrific has a 19–2 career record against the AFC East division rival, with 49 TD passes. Tommy Boy isn’t the only one in New England who likes to beat up on Buffalo, however. The Pats have a 17–1 record in their last 18 games vs. the Bills.
Patriots by 14

Raiders (3-5) at Ravens (6-2)
Baltimore’s record is more impressive than its resume. The Ravens have been getting by with smoke and mirrors — which will likely continue this week against the Silver-and-Bleak.
Ravens by 7

Broncos (5-3) at Panthers (2-6)
While the Cats have seemingly grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat at every turn, the Broncs have been bucking strong down the stretch all season long. Denver has outscored its opponents 103–23 in the fourth quarter, which is the best points differential in the league over the final stanza this year.
Broncos by 3

Giants (6-3) at Bengals (3-5)
Cincy looks to end its four-game losing streak against the defending Super Bowl champions, who are 3–1 on the road this season.
Giants by 5

Lions (4-4) at Vikings (5-4)
Minnesota took a 20–13 victory at Detroit in Week 4 on the strength of a 105-yard opening kickoff return TD by Percy Harvin and a punt return TD by Marcus Sherels — making the Lions the first team to give up both a kick and punt return TD in consecutive weeks.
Vikings by 1

Falcons (8-0) at Saints (3-5)
Atlanta’s Matt Ryan carries a 2–6 career record against NFC South rival New Orleans, including a 1–3 mark in the Big un-Easy. Last year, the Dirty Birds went 0–2 vs. the Saints, losing  26–23 at home on a controversial fourth-down call in Week 10 and then in a 45–16 blowout on the road in Week 16.
Falcons by 3

Jets (3-5) at Seahawks (5-4)
The sputtering J-E-T-S fly cross-country to take on the Hawks, who have a 4–0 record at CenturyLink Field this season.
Seahawks by 5

Cowboys (3-5) at Eagles (3-5)
Marcus Vick doesn’t want to see Michael Vick “with brain problems by the time he 45,” he said in a Twitter rant while watching his older brother get sacked seven times and knocked to the turf countless more times against the Saints on Monday night.
Cowboys by 1

Rams (3-5) at 49ers (6-2)
San Francisco is 9–2 at home under coach Jim Harbaugh, including a 26–0 win over St. Louis at Candlestick Park in Week 13 last year.
49ers by 11

Texans (7-1) at Bears (7-1)
A Sunday night fight featuring the league’s two one-loss clubs. Both quarterbacks have been red hot. Houston’s Matt Schaub has a 10–1 record over his last 11 starts, while Chicago’s Jay Cutler is 12–1 dating back to before his season-ending thumb injury last season.
Bears by 1

Chiefs (1-7) at Steelers (5-3)
Kansas City has coughed up a league-leading 29 turnovers, which have led to 104 points for its opponents. Blitz-burgh will likely take advantage of that trend on Monday night.
Steelers by 13

Last week: 11–3 // Season: 88–44

<p> NFL Picks, Every Game: Week 10, including Houston Texans at Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints, Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings, Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars, San Diego Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots, New York Giants at Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets at Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers.</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 17:48
Path: /nfl/nfl-power-rankings-going-week-10

Athlon Sports' weekly rankings of NFL teams — from the best, the lone remaining undefeated Atlanta Falcons, to the worst, the staggering one-win Jacksonville Jaguars.

Here are our NFL Power Rankings following Week 9 of the season:

1. Falcons (8-0) Lone unbeaten remaining at season’s halfway point.

2. Texans (7-1) Despite flu, Arian Foster posts 20th 100-yard game.

3. Bears (7-1) Defense forces five turnovers, scores TD in win.

4. 49ers (6-2) Aldon Smith denies being attacked during bye week.

5. Packers (6-3) Perfect time for bye with Matthews, Nelson injured.

6. Steelers (5-3) Antonio Brown sprains ankle in victory over Giants.

7. Giants (6-3) Take 20–10 lead, outscored 14–0 in fourth quarter.

8. Broncos (5-3) Peyton Manning improves to 8–0 all-time vs. Cincy.

9. Ravens (6-2) John Harbaugh 5–0 after bye, 10–0 against Browns.

10. Patriots (5-3) Acquire troubled cornerback Aqib Talib during bye.

11. Seahawks (5-4) “Beast Mode” loses RB battle, wins war vs. “All Day.”

12. Vikings (5-4) Adrian Peterson posts best rushing total since 2008.

13. Colts (5-3) Chuck Pagano inspires Indy with emotional speech.

14. Saints (3-5) Drew Brees extends record TD streak to 51 games.

15. Eagles (3-5) Mike Vick, Andy Reid saga an ongoing soap opera.

16. Chargers (4-4) Fans hang “Mr. Spanos, please fire A.J. & Norv” sign.

17. Dolphins (4-4) Bradshaw apologizes for Bush “chicken” comments.

18. Lions (4-4) Matt Stafford fourth youngest QB to 10,000 yards.

19. Buccaneers (4-4) Doug Martin first RB with three 45-plus-yard TDs.

20. Cowboys (3-5) Jerry Jones is “extremely, extremely” disappointed.

21. Jets (3-5) Rex Ryan voted most overrated coach by players.

22. Titans (3-6) Bud Adams says team “outcoached and outplayed.”

23. Cardinals (4-5) Have an 0–5 record since starting the season 4–0.

24. Bengals (3-5) Have an 0–4 record since starting the season 3–1.

25. Rams (3-5) Danny Amendola set to return from shoulder injury.

26. Panthers (2-6) Snap five-game slide, spoil Skins’ “homecoming.”

27. Redskins (3-6) Throwback 1937 jerseys bad luck against Carolina.

28. Bills (3-5) Mario Williams has sack but loses return to Houston.

29. Raiders (3-5) Darren McFadden injures ankle in loss to Tampa Bay.

30. Browns (2-7) Fail to score a TD despite five trips to the red zone.

31. Chiefs (1-7) K.C. still has not led a single second in regulation.

32. Jaguars (1-7) Trailed 24–0 before face-saving scores vs. Lions.

<p> NFL Power Rankings Going Into Week 10, including the Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants, Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles.</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 17:28
Path: /nfl/nfl-midseason-awards-0

NFL midseason awards at halftime of the 2012 NFL season:

Most Valuable Player
Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons

“Matty Ice” has been as cool as they come this season. The fifth-year signal-caller out of Boston College has completed 68.9 percent of his passes for 2,360 yards, 17 TDs and six INTs for a 103.0 passer rating, while leading the Falcons to a franchise-record 8–0 start to the season. Up next: Securing home field advantage for Atlanta and winning the first playoff game of his career.

Offensive Player of the Year
Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings

Knee surgery? What knee surgery? “All Day” has been trucking defenders since Day 1 this season. In fact, Peterson is on pace for a career year, with a league-leading 957 yards, on 5.7 yards per carry, and six trips to the end zone thus far. And he’s averaging a staggering 106.3 yards per game while carrying the load for the Vikes.

Defensive Player of the Year
J.J. Watt, DE, Texans

In only his second season in the NFL, Watt has established himself as the premier 3-4 end in the league. A pass-rushing, football-batting beast in the trenches, Watt has recorded 10.5 sacks and 10 pass deflections in just eight games this season, leading a Houston stop-unit ranked third in total defense and fourth in scoring defense.


Offensive Rookie of the Year
Robert Griffin III, QB, Redskins
The most competitive category on the ballot, RG3 barely leads Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and Bucs running back Doug Martin. The Skins’ dual-threat has 2,522 total yards, 14 total TDs and five turnovers, with a 93.9 passer rating in nine games.

Defensive Rookie of the Year
Chandler Jones, DE, Patriots

The little brother of MMA fighter “Bones” Jones has been making opposing offensive linemen tap out in his first season, tallying 6.0 sacks and three forced fumbles as New England’s top splash-playmaker.

Comeback Player of the Year
Peyton Manning, QB, Broncos

Manning is back in the saddle after missing the entire 2011 season due to a neck injury. And the 15th-year vet is as good as ever, completing 69.5 percent of his passes for 2,404 yards, 20 TDs and six INTs for a 108.6 passer rating through eight games.

Coach of the Year
Lovie Smith, Bears

The 2005 Coach of the Year has Chicago sitting in first place in the NFC North — the NFL’s only division with no sub-.500 teams. The Bears boast a league-best plus-116-point differential this season.

<p> NFL midseason awards at halftime of the 2012 NFL season, including Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan for MVP, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson for Offensive Player of the Year, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt for Defensive Player of the Year, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III for Offensive Rookie of the Year, Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones for Defensive Rookie of the Year, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning for Comeback Player of the Year and Bears coach Lovie Smith for Coach of the Year.</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 12:40
All taxonomy terms: Politicians, Monthly
Path: /monthly/15-athletes-turned-politicians

Many athletes hit the campaign trail once their playing days are over. And on the other side of the aisle, quite a few politicians were once on-field leaders. Here are 15 former players who became important leaders in the field of politics.

Gerald Ford
38th President of the United States (R)
Linebacker/Center, University of Michigan
An iron man on the Wolverines’ 1932 and 1933 undefeated national title teams, Ford’s No. 48 has since been retired.

Dwight Eisenhower
34th President of the United States (R)
Linebacker/Running back, U.S.M.A. at West Point
Ike tackled the legendary Jim Thorpe in 1912, but suffered a career-ending knee injury in the same game.

Ronald Reagan
40th President of the United States (R)
Offensive guard, Eureka College
Before he played “The Gipper” in the movie Knute Rockne, All American, Reagan played football.

George H.W. Bush
41st President of the United States (R)
First baseman, Yale University
H.W. played in the first two College World Series. His son, George W. Bush, co-owned the Texas Rangers before becoming the 43rd President of the United States.

Kevin Johnson
Mayor (D-Sacramento, Calif.)
Point guard, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers
K.J. averaged 17.9 points and 9.1 assists over 12 seasons before becoming the first African-American mayor in Sacramento history.

Bill Bradley
Senator (D-New Jersey)
Small forward, New York Knicks
The Rhodes Scholar was the Final Four MOP at Princeton in 1965 before winning two NBA championships with the Knicks.

Jim Bunning
Senator (R-Kentucky)
Starting pitcher, Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, L.A. Dodgers
The righty threw a no-hitter in 1958, a perfect game in 1964 and was a Veterans Committee selection in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996.

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor (R-California)
Bodybuilder, Austria
Mr. Universe became the Terminator and then the Governator. Schwarzenegger was also married to Maria Shriver, the niece of JFK.

Dave Bing
Mayor (D-Detroit, Mich.)
Shooting guard, Detroit Pistons, Washington Bullets, Boston Celtics
Named one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players in 1996, Bing was a steel magnate before taking the top office in the Motor City.

Jesse Ventura
Governor (I-Minnesota)
Pro wrestler, WWF
The Body fought in the Vietnam War and alongside “Macho Man” Randy Savage before becoming the Governing Body.

Steve Largent
Congressman (R-Oklahoma)
Wide receiver, Seattle Seahawks
An eight-time All-Pro and 1988 Walter Payton Man of the Year, Largent finished with 819 catches and 100 TDs.

Heath Shuler
Congressman (D-North Carolina)
Quarterback, Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints
The Blue Dog Democrat was a Heisman Trophy runner-up at the University of Tennessee and No. 3 overall pick in the 1994 NFL Draft.

Tom Osborne
Congressman (R-Nebraska)
Wide receiver, Washington Redskins, San Francisco 49ers
A quarterback at Hastings College and a wideout in the NFL, Osborne won three national championships as the head coach at Nebraska.

Jack Kemp
Congressman (R-New York)
Quarterback, Buffalo Bills, L.A. Chargers, Pittsburgh Steelers
Bob Dole’s running mate in the 1996 Presidential election, Kemp carried a 122–105 record as a starting quarterback.

J.C. Watts
Congressman (R-Oklahoma)
Quarterback, University of Oklahoma
Julius Caesar Watts led the Sooners to back-to-back Orange Bowl wins and was MVP of the 1981 Grey Cup for the CFL’s Ottawa Rough Riders.

<p> 15 Athletes Turned Politicians</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 10:22
Path: /college-football/college-football-post-week-10-bowl-projections

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 nine weeks of results in the books, it's beginning to get easier to make long-term projections about teams. 

The post-Week 10 bowl projections are a mixture between how things would look if the season ended today, future schedules, and a dose of the results so far this year. Expect more changes over the next few weeks. 

2012-2013 Post-Week 10 College Football Bowl Projections

Bowl Date Tie-In Projected Matchup
New Mexico Dec. 15 MWC vs. Pac-12 Arizona State 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. Bowling Green*
New Orleans Dec. 22 Sun Belt vs. C-USA UL Monroe vs. Tulsa
Las Vegas Dec. 22 MWC vs. Pac-12 Arizona vs. Boise State
Hawaii Dec. 24 C-USA vs. MWC Fresno State vs. SMU
Little Caesars Dec. 26 Big Ten vs. MAC W. Kentucky* vs. Toledo
Military Dec. 27 ACC vs. Army Kent State* vs. Marshall*
Belk Dec. 27 ACC vs. Big East Duke vs. Cincinnati
Holiday Dec. 27 Big 12 vs. Pac-12 Stanford vs. Oklahoma State
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 Baylor vs. Minnesota
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. TCU
Alamo Dec. 29 Big 12 vs. Pac-12 UCLA vs. Texas Tech
Buffalo Wild Wings Dec. 29 Big Ten vs. Big 12 Michigan State vs. West Virginia
Music City Dec. 31 SEC vs. ACC Ole Miss vs. NC State
Sun Dec. 31 ACC vs. Pac-12 USC vs. Virginia Tech
Liberty Dec. 31 SEC vs. C-USA Tennessee vs. UCF**
Chick-fil-A Dec. 31 ACC vs. SEC Clemson vs. Miss. State
Heart of Dallas Jan. 1 Big Ten vs. Big 12 San Jose State* vs. Iowa State Gator Jan. 1 SEC vs. Big Ten South Carolina vs. Northwestern
Capital One Jan. 1 SEC vs. Big Ten Florida vs. Michigan
Outback Jan. 1 SEC vs. Big Ten Wisconsin vs. Georgia
Cotton Jan. 4 Big 12 vs. SEC Texas vs. Texas A&M
BBVA Compass Jan. 5 SEC vs. Big East Vanderbilt vs. Arkansas State* Jan. 6 MAC vs. Sun Belt MTSU vs. Ohio
BCS Bowls      
Rose Jan. 1 BCS vs. BCS Nebraska vs. Oregon State
Orange Jan. 1 BCS vs. BCS Florida State vs. Louisville
Sugar Jan. 2 BCS vs. BCS LSU vs. Oklahoma
Fiesta Jan. 3 BCS vs. BCS Kansas State 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.

Bold indicates a team has accepted bowl bid.

by Steven Lassan


(published Nov. 4, 2012)

Related College Football Content

Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat After Week 10
Post-Week 10 ACC Power Rankings

Post-Week 10 Big East Power Rankings
Post-Week 10 Big 12 Power Rankings
Post-Week 10 Big Ten Power Rankings
Post-Week 10 Pac-12 Power Rankings
Post-Week 10 SEC Power Rankings
College Football Week 10 Recap

<p> College Football Post-Week 10 Bowl Projections</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 05:11
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-top-20-coaches-hot-seat-post-week-10-rankings

Week 10 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 was fired after losing 40-0 to Vanderbilt on Saturday. Phillips became the first BCS coach fired this season and the second after Idaho parted ways with Robb Akey. Boston College's Frank Spaziani now claims the top spot in the hot seat ranks. Auburn's Gene Chizik, Tennessee's Derek Dooley and California's Jeff Tedford remain in the top five, while Iowa's Kirk Ferentz rejoins the rankings after a loss to Indiana.

College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 10 Rankings

1. Frank Spaziani, Boston College
Last Week’s Rank:
Record at Boston College: 22-26 (4th season)
2012 Record: 2-7
If there was really any doubt about Spaziani’s future at Boston College, those questions were answered on Saturday afternoon. The Eagles lost 28-14 at Wake Forest, ending any hopes they had of getting bowl eligible this season. Since leading Boston College to back-to-back bowl appearances in 2009-10, Spaziani is just 6-15 and will likely finish 2012 with a 2-10 record.

2. Gene Chizik, Auburn
Last Week’s Rank: 3
Record at Auburn: 32-17 (4th season)
2012 Record: 2-7
Chizik got a much-needed victory on Saturday, as Auburn easily dispatched New Mexico State 42-7. Even though the Tigers were heavily favored, this team needed a confidence boost before the final three games of the season. Auburn has a chance to play spoiler this week, as rival Georgia comes to town with a chance to clinch the SEC East title with a victory. Barring a win in either of the Tigers’ last two conference games, it’s hard to envision Chizik getting another year in Auburn. Freshman quarterback Jonathan Wallace is someone the Tigers can build their offense around, but it’s probably too late for Chizik and this coaching staff to save their jobs.

3. Derek Dooley, Tennessee
Last Week’s Rank:
Record at Tennessee: 15-19 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 4-5
Just like Gene Chizik, Dooley got a much-needed victory on Saturday. Of course, a 55-48 last-minute win over Troy didn’t exactly quiet the restlessness surrounding the program. Tennessee’s defense has been awful under new coordinator Sal Sunseri, ranking 112th nationally in yards allowed and 107th in scoring defense. With winnable games against Missouri, Vanderbilt and Kentucky, a 7-5 finish could be enough for Dooley to return for 2013. However, even if Dooley is brought back, the road to a winning season won’t be any easier. The defensive issues won’t be an easy fix, and quarterback Tyler Bray and receivers Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson could leave early for the NFL.

4. Jeff Tedford, California
Last Week’s Rank:
Record at California: 82-55 (11th season)
2012 Record: 3-7
A bad season got even worse for Tedford last week. Star receiver Keenan Allen suffered a knee injury on an onside kick against Utah and will likely miss the rest of the season. Not having Allen in the lineup against Washington hurt the Golden Bears’ offense, as well as an injury to starting quarterback Zach Maynard. With Friday night’s loss to Washington, California dropped to 3-7 and will miss out on a bowl game for the second time in three seasons. There’s no question Tedford is in serious jeopardy of not returning for 2013 and there’s a good chance the Golden Bears finish 3-9 with Oregon and Oregon State remaining on the schedule.

5. Ellis Johnson, Southern Miss
Last Week’s Rank: 6
Record at Southern Miss: 0-9
2012 Record: 0-9
Johnson is the only first-year coach to crack the top five of the hot seat watch over the last two years. Southern Miss jumped out to a 16-0 lead against UAB, but the Blazers rallied for a 27-19 victory. The Golden Eagles are 0-9 and have already set the record for the most losses in school history. It’s rare to see a first-year coach in danger of losing his job, but Johnson has done very little to suggest he deserves a second season in Hattiesburg.

6. DeWayne Walker, New Mexico State
Last Week’s Rank: 8
Record at New Mexico State: 10-37 (4th season)
2012 Record: 1-7
As expected, New Mexico State’s trip to Auburn wasn’t pretty. The Aggies were demolished 42-7 by the Tigers, which was the eighth consecutive defeat for New Mexico State. Walker has never won more than four games in his tenure in Las Cruces and could finish with a 1-11 record this year. Considering New Mexico State’s uncertain conference situation, it will be very difficult to attract coaching candidates. However, it’s clear Walker is struggling to make any progress after four years.

7. Dan Enos, Central Michigan
Last Week’s Rank: 9
Record at Central Michigan: 9-24 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 3-6
The 2012 season has been one of missed opportunities for Enos and Central Michigan. The Chippewas beat Iowa on the road and had a chance to make a run at a bowl game if they could have won the final four contests. However, Central Michigan was defeated 42-31 by rival Western Michigan on Saturday, dropping the Chippewas' record to 3-6. The remaining schedule is favorable – Eastern Michigan, Miami (Ohio) and UMass – but it’s hard to count on any consistency from this team. Enos has recorded only three wins in each of his three years in Mount Pleasant and that’s simply not enough to keep his job for 2013.

8. Danny Hope, Purdue
Last Week’s Rank: 16
Record at Purdue: 19-27 (4th season)
2012 Record: 3-6
Barring a three-game winning streak to close out the 2012 season, Hope is unlikely to return to West Lafayette for 2013. The Boilermakers have failed to build on the momentum from the end of 2011 and have lost five consecutive games. Hope is just 10-19 in four years in Big Ten play and there are no guaranteed wins with Iowa, Illinois and Indiana remaining on the schedule. Hope recorded a 35-22 mark during his tenure at Eastern Kentucky, but has never been able to build a consistent winner at Purdue.

9. Mike Price, UTEP
Last Week’s Rank: 13
Record at UTEP: 47-59 (8 years)
2012 Record: 2-7
The Miners were off in Week 10 and return to action against UCF this Saturday. UTEP has managed only two victories this season (New Mexico State and Tulane) and has lost four conference games by at least 10 points. Price started off his tenure in El Paso with an 8-4 record in 2005 but has not won more than six games in season over the last seven. UTEP could be favored to beat Southern Miss and Rice at the end of the year but that's probably not enough for Price to return in 2013.

10. Jeff Quinn, Buffalo
Last Week’s Rank: 7
Record at Buffalo: 7-26 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 2-7
Quinn drops three spots in the hot seat watch after a 27-24 victory over Miami (Ohio) on Saturday. The win over the RedHawks was Buffalo’s first conference victory this season and snapped a six-game losing streak. A key reason in the upset win was the play of running back Branden Oliver, who has returned from an early season knee injury to rush for 300 yards over the last two weeks. With winnable games against Western Michigan and UMass the next two weeks, Buffalo has a chance to surpass last season’s win total (3).

11. David Bailiff, Rice
Last Week’s Rank: 10
Record at Rice: 27-44 (6th season)
2012 Record: 4-6
After a 1-5 start, Bailiff is making a late run to save his job for 2013. Rice has won three out of its last four games, including a 49-47 shootout victory at Tulane on Saturday. Although wins against UTSA, Southern Miss and Tulane are nothing special, the Owls have a chance to get bowl eligible if they can beat SMU and UTEP in their final two games. If Bailiff can go 5-7 or 6-6, he should be back for another year. However, if Rice loses both games, a new coach will likely be on the sidelines next season.

12. Bobby Hauck, UNLV
Last Week’s Rank: 11
Record at UNLV: 6-29 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 2-8
As the hot seat watch has mentioned throughout this year, UNLV is showing signs of improvement in Hauck’s third season. The Rebels took Minnesota to overtime in the opener and lost to Washington State by eight points. UNLV has conference wins over Air Force and New Mexico, along with a five-point loss to Nevada. The Rebels have never won more than two games under Hauck, so the next three games of the season are more opportunities to show the program is headed in the right direction. Matchups against Colorado State, Wyoming and Hawaii are winnable, which should be enough for Hauck to return for 2013.

13. Paul Pasqualoni, Connecticut
Last Week’s Rank: 14
Record at Connecticut: 8-13 (2nd season)
2012 Record: 3-6
A promising start has quickly eroded into a disaster for Connecticut. The Huskies opened 2-1 with a solid road victory over Maryland. However, it’s been all downhill since. Connecticut has only one win in its last five games – a 24-17 victory over 2-7 Buffalo. Dating back to last season, the Huskies have lost five consecutive Big East games and still have to play Pittsburgh, Louisville and Cincinnati this season. Connecticut will probably give Pasqualoni one more season to turn things around. However, there’s very little to suggest the veteran coach deserves another year in Storrs.

14. Jon Embree, Colorado
Last Week’s Rank: 17
Record at Colorado: 4-18 (2nd season)
2012 Record: 1-8
The season finale against Utah can’t get here soon enough for Colorado. The Buffaloes were soundly defeated by Stanford 48-0 on Saturday. The loss dropped Embree to 4-18 overall and the last three Pac-12 losses have come by at least 40 points. Although Colorado is committed to giving Embree more help next season, the second-year coach hasn’t shown much to suggest he deserves more time. The Buffaloes have been largely uncompetitive for two seasons and rank statistically as one of the worst teams in the nation.

15. Skip Holtz, South Florida
Last Week’s Rank: 12
Record at South Florida: 16-18 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 3-6
The Bulls snapped a six-game losing streak in Big East play with a 13-6 win over Connecticut on Saturday. However, the victory was costly, as quarterback B.J. Daniels was lost for the year with a leg injury. Although the Bulls are just 3-6 and played a bad Connecticut team, beating the Huskies was a much-needed confidence-booster for this team. With Miami, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh remaining on the schedule, South Florida will need to play its best game to have a shot to win any of those three contests. Holtz’s huge contract extension may keep him around another year but finishing with a 3-9 record would only increase the calls for his job at the end of the season.

16. Tom O'Brien, NC State
Last Week’s Rank: Not ranked
Record at NC State: 38-34 (6 years)
2012 Record: 5-4
Thanks to an inexplicable 33-6 loss to Virginia on Saturday, O’Brien makes his first appearance in the hot seat watch. Considering the talent O’Brien had coming back to Raleigh this year, there’s really no excuse for this team to lose to Virginia at home. And the grumblings within the fan base have only gotten louder over the last two weeks, especially after a loss to North Carolina on a late punt return for a touchdown. With Wake Forest, Clemson and Boston College the final three games on the NC State schedule, the Wolfpack should finish 7-5. If O’Brien can lead this team to that record, it would be the first time since 2000-02 that NC State had at least seven wins in three consecutive seasons. Although O’Brien’s record isn’t bad (38-34), there is plenty of doubt about his future.

17. Bill Cubit, Western Michigan
Last Week’s Rank: 15
Record at Western Michigan: 51-45 (8th season)
2012 Record: 4-6
The Broncos haven’t had much luck this season, but they scored a key win on Saturday, defeating rival Central Michigan 42-31. The victory over the Chippewas gave Western Michigan a two-game winning streak in the series, which is its first since 2002-03. The Broncos finish the year with Buffalo and Eastern Michigan, two games that are very winnable and could be enough to land another bowl appearance. Cubit’s teams at Western Michigan have underachieved but losing quarterback Alex Carder in late September was a difficult setback for this team.

18. Mack Brown, Texas
Last Week’s Rank: 18
Record at Texas: 148-41 (15th season)
2012 Record: 7-2
After a disappointing performance against Kansas, Saturday’s 31-22 victory over Texas Tech was a critical win for Brown. Although he’s not really in any danger of losing his job, Brown needed a solid victory to help bolster this team's hopes for a late run at 10 wins. The Longhorns take on Iowa State and TCU in Austin for their next two games, before finishing the season at Kansas State. Although Brown is taking a lot of heat for this team not contending for a Big 12 title, finishing with a 9-3 or 10-2 record is a step in the right direction.

19. June Jones, SMU
Last Week’s Rank: 20
Record at SMU: 28-33 (5th season)
2012 Record: 4-5
The Mustangs had their two-game winning streak snapped with a 42-17 loss against UCF in Week 10. SMU’s three wins in Conference USA play have come against UTEP, Houston and Memphis – not exactly the most difficult of opponents. However, the Mustangs could still get bowl eligible, especially with Southern Miss visiting Dallas this Saturday and a trip to Rice on Nov. 17. Jones has led SMU to three consecutive bowl games but he hasn’t improved the program to the level some expected. Don’t be surprised if the veteran coach takes a look at potential openings around the nation this offseason.

20. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
Last Week’s Rank: Not ranked
Record at Iowa: 100-72 (14 seasons)
2012 Record: 4-5
Ferentz has done a lot of good things at Iowa, but the program seems to be trending in the wrong direction. The Hawkeyes have watched their win total decline since posting 11 victories in 2009 and could miss out on a bowl game this year. Iowa lost 24-21 to Indiana on Saturday, its first defeat to the Hoosiers since 2007. Ferentz received a huge contract extension after the 2009 season, which won’t make it easy for Iowa to make a coaching change. Even if the Hawkeyes lose their final three games of the season, Ferentz won’t be fired. However, 19-16 record over the last three years isn’t sitting well with the fan base.

by Steven Lassan


Related College Football Content

Post-Week 10 ACC Power Rankings
Post-Week 10 Big East Power Rankings

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College Football Week 10 Recap

<p> College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 10 Rankings</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 05:10
Path: /college-football/8-college-football-coaches-who-could-run-president

Election Day always brings out strong opinions across the United States, especially when it comes to choosing a president. College football coaches aren't going to run for the Oval Office anytime soon but what if they did? Athlon examined the coaching ranks in college football and found a handful of candidates that could make a run at the White House. And just like when it comes to choosing a president or any other representative, it's perfectly fine to disagree with our choices.

8 College Football Coaches Who Could Run for President

Al Golden, Miami

When it comes to appearing "presidential", no other college football coach can match Golden. The 43-year-old Miami coach was also born on July 4 – doesn’t that count for something?

Golden’s overall record at Miami isn’t great (11-10), but he didn’t exactly inherit a full cupboard in Coral Gables. The New Jersey native seems to have the Hurricanes going in the right direction, especially since the program could make its first appearance in the ACC title game this year. Also, Golden’s previous body of work at Temple is strong, resurrecting one of the worst college football programs into a winner during his last two years.  

And it’s never a bad idea to have a candidate from a swing state (Florida) on the board.

Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia

Any coach that downs Red Bull and coffee like its water automatically has our interest. Holgorsen’s penchant for chugging on a Red Bull before a game makes us confident he would have no trouble burning the midnight oil required in the Oval Office.

The Iowa native spent most of his time in the Midwest, but his stop at West Virginia has added some East Coast experience to his resume. Holgorsen’s high-scoring offense is innovative and exciting, which leads us to believe he can help deliver some fresh ideas on how to jumpstart the economy.

Holgorsen is a bit of a wild card and was reportedly escorted from a casino in May of 2011. However, it’s hard to ignore one of the top offensive minds in the nation. And let's be honest - there would probably never be a dull day with Holgorsen in charge.

Brian Kelly, Notre Dame

Kelly has some political experience in his background, so making a run at the White House is a logical move. The Massachusetts native has gathered experience as a head coach at Grand Valley State, Central Michigan, Cincinnati and Notre Dame, with a solid record of 196-66-2.

In addition to his excellent overall record, Kelly has the personality to work with boosters or students, which would translate well to working with both sides of the political spectrum.

Kelly’s teams at Grand Valley State, Central Michigan and Cincinnati thrived on offense. However, Notre Dame’s defense ranks as one of the best in college football this season. This clearly shows Kelly is willing to adapt to whatever is necessary to succeed.

Nick Saban, Alabama

College football’s No. 1 coach is really a no-brainer when it comes to this opportunity. Saban is 64-12 in six seasons with Alabama and has won two national championships during his time in Tuscaloosa. The West Virginia native’s success isn’t just limited to Alabama, as Saban went 48-16 in five years at LSU and was 34-24-1 during his time at Michigan State.

Considering Saban’s ability to coordinate some of the nation’s best defenses, there’s no question national defense would be a strength under his watch. Saban is demanding, but he’s also the best of the best.

Even if some people may have SEC fatigue, Saban is capable of producing instant results. That’s all that really matters right?

Bill Snyder, Kansas State

Considering everything Snyder touches seems to turn to gold, why not make a run at Washington, D.C.? In 21 seasons at Kansas State, Snyder has recorded an impressive 168-83-1 record. His winning mark is even more impressive when you consider how difficult it was for a coach to win at Kansas State before his arrival.

The only thing that works against Snyder? His age. At 73 years old, Snyder is the oldest candidate on this list. However, the Missouri native is known as a relentless worker and has a clear plan for how to govern: 16 goals for success. And that plan just happens to be more than most politicians propose throughout their career.

Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M

Sumlin is a rising star in the coaching ranks and could rank among the nation's best by 2016. The Alabama native has working experience in all parts of the country, making stops as an assistant at Washington State, Wyoming, Minnesota, Purdue, Texas A&M and Oklahoma. Sumlin has worked for five years as a head coach (Houston, Texas A&M) and has compiled a 42-19 record.

If you are looking for something new and exciting, Sumlin is your man. He’s got experience from all parts of the nation and his offense would be entertaining, leading to a boost in the stands, which will only help the local economy. 

Urban Meyer, Ohio State

When it comes to producing results, it’s hard to find a coach with the track record of Urban Meyer. The Ohio native went 17-6 in two years at Bowling Green, 22-2 in two years at Utah, 65-15 in six years at Florida an 10-0 in his only season at Ohio State. Meyer also won a national title during his time with the Gators and has experience as an assistant at Notre Dame, Bowling Green and Illinois State.

Meyer’s offenses have been some of the best in college football, so if you are looking for a candidate with innovation and creativity, the Buckeyes’ coach is the right choice.

Considering Meyer got burned out during his time at Florida, he would need to surround himself with the best possible staff to help manage his tenure in the Oval Office.

Mack Brown, Texas
Age: 61

Is there really any doubt Brown is the perfect candidate to run for political office? The Tennessee native is the ultimate CEO of a college football program, knows how to lobby and never has a problem recruiting top-notch talent.

Brown has experience from all across the nation, as he has spent time as an assistant at Florida State, Iowa State, Oklahoma, LSU and Appalachian State.

Although Brown has had a few down years at Texas, he’s still capable of building a winner and would have no trouble winning the press conference or working the room with fellow politicians.

Others to Consider:

Bill O’Brien, head coach, Penn State – O’Brien inherited a difficult situation at Penn State and has quickly resurrected the Nittany Lions’ passing offense into one of the best in the Big Ten.

Pat Fitzgerald, head coach, Northwestern – Just like Bill O’Brien, Fitzgerald inherited a difficult situation at Northwestern. The Illinois native is 47-38 in his seven years with the Wildcats and has led Northwestern to four consecutive bowl games. Considering what Fitzgerald has done at Northwestern, he’s well-prepared for any opportunity on a bigger stage.

Chip Kelly, Oregon - Kelly's up-tempo offense is definitely innovative, so expect the former New Hampshire native to bring some fresh ideas to the nation.

Chris Petersen, head coach, Boise State – Considering his success at Boise State, imagine what Petersen could do on a larger scale with more resources.

by Steven Lassan


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College Football Week 10 Recap

<p> 8 College Football Coaches Who Could Run for President</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 05:09
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-waiver-wire-week-10

And then there were two, bye weeks that is. Week 10 is the second-to-last bye week on the NFL schedule, but this is one that Aaron Rodgers and Robert Griffin III owners have possibly been dreading. No Packers, Redskins, Browns and Cardinals this week mean no reigning MVP or RGIII, also known as the top two scorers in all of fantasy football, along with several other reliable fantasy producers.

Whether you are looking for a fill-in quarterback or have a need at another position because of a bye or injury issue, here are some options worth considering as you prepare your team for Week 10.

Week 10 Positional Rankings

Week 10 Start or Sit

Bye week teams: Arizona, Cleveland, Green Bay, Washington

Week 9 Recap: Matt Cassel added to his league-leading turnover total with two more in Kansas City’s 31-13 loss to San Diego. If Brady Quinn is cleared to practice, he may get the start on Monday night in Pittsburgh. Matt Moore didn’t even see the field on Sunday as Ryan Tannehill played through his injuries and performed pretty well (290-1-0) in the Dolphins’ 23-20 loss in Indianapolis.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills
Fitzpatrick had his best game of the season the last time he faced New England, throwing for 350 yards and four touchdowns in a 52-28 loss to the Patriots in Week 4. He did have four interceptions in that game, but still managed to score 32.4 fantasy points. The Bills and Patriots hook up again in Foxboro, Mass., on Sunday and as good as the Pats have been against the run, they are 28th against the pass and are allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Wilson has thrown nine touchdown passes and no interceptions in four home games, compared to four scores and eight picks in five road contests. He is averaging 29 fantasy points over his last two contests played at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks are home to the Jets this Sunday, and while the Jets are No. 6 against the pass, keep in mind that Wilson’s flawless home performances have come against the Packers, Cowboys, Patriots and Vikings.

Running Backs
Week 9 Recap: Joique Bell had a nice day for Detroit, leading the team in rushing with 73 yards on 13 carries and a score and adding three receptions for 36 yards. Even though Mikel Leshoure had three rushing touchdowns in the Lions’ win in Jacksonville, he and Bell tied in terms of total of number of touches (16 each), meaning Bell is someone definitely worth keeping an eye on moving forward. Donald Brown was listed as Questionable heading into Sunday’s game with Miami. He did play, but managed only one catch for seven yards and didn’t receive a single carry in the Colts’ win over the Dolphins. Justin Forsett got just six carries as Houston struggled somewhat to put away Buffalo. Peyton Hillis got seven carries, second most on the team, against San Diego, but finished with just 14 yards on the ground.

Lance Dunbar, Dallas Cowboys
DeMarco Murray will resume his role as the Cowboys’ lead back once he returns from his foot injury. There’s a chance Murray could be back in there this Sunday in Philadelphia. Until he’s back, however, the team continues to look for ways to jumpstart a sluggish running attack, which is why Dunbar got one less carry (9 to 8) than Felix Jones in Sunday’s loss in Atlanta. Dunbar finished with only 26 yards rushing (3.3 ypc), but with Jones’ well-documented injury history and the fact that Phillip Tanner got just one attempt against the Falcons, don’t be surprised if Dunbar gets a fair amount of touches against the Eagles should Murray miss a fourth straight game.

Mike Goodson, Oakland Raiders
Darren McFadden left Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay with a leg injury that is now being reported as the dreaded high ankle sprain. He was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday, but at this point, he has to be considered very questionable for this week. The Raiders abandoned the running game after McFadden left, but that’s also partially due to the fact they were trailing the Buccaneers 28-10 headed into the fourth quarter. Goodson figures to be first in line to take McFadden’s place in the backfield and he’s averaging 6.5 yards per carry in limited action. He also has been hampered by injuries, including an ankle injury on Sunday, so Marcel Reece and Taiwan Jones are two other names to watch. Reece is extremely valuable as a receiver, as he led the Raiders in receptions (8) and yards (95) and caught a touchdown pass from Carson Palmer. The team also likes Jones, but he has missed a lot of time with a knee injury and got his first carry of the season on Sunday.

Isaac Redman, Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers have certainly had their share of injuries when it comes to running backs, but it also seems like whoever they hand the ball to lately is getting the job done. Sunday was Redman’s turn as he rushed for a career-high 147 yards on 26 carries (5.7 ypc) and a touchdown in the win over the Giants. The Steelers don’t lack for backfield options with Redman, Jonathan Dwyer and Rashard Mendenhall all taking their turn as lead horse, but right now it’s Redman who is the healthiest and he played a huge role in Sunday’s victory. If Mike Tomlin chooses to stay with the hot hand, Redman could have another big game with Kansas City on tap for Monday night.

Wide Receivers
Week 9 Recap: T.Y. Hilton had a hand in Andrew Luck’s record-setting performance against Miami as the rookie hauled in five passes for 108 yards (21.6 ypc) and a score. Darrius Heyward-Bey accumulated 74 yards receiving on just five catches against Tampa Bay, while Titus Young managed just two for 20 against Jacksonville. Dexter McCluster got more carries than receptions (4 to 2), but finished with only 34 total yards in the Chiefs’ loss to San Diego.

Danario Alexander, San Diego Chargers
After being with the Rams the past two seasons, Alexander signed on with the Chargers in late October. Injuries to Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal thrust Alexander into action on Thursday night against Kansas City and the San Diego’s newest receiver responded by catching all three targets thrown his way for a team-leading 61 yards. Alexander averaged better than 16 yards per reception when he was with the Rams, and Philip Rivers has been looking for a deep threat to take Vincent Jackson’s place all season. It remains to be seen exactly what Alexander has to offer in terms of fantasy production, but it certainly does look like he will get more chances to prove his worth in the Chargers’ passing attack.

Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams
Keep an eye on the practice reports, but Amendola could be back in action this week after missing the Rams’ past three games with a shoulder injury. The match up with San Francisco isn’t great by any means, but Amendola is quarterback Sam Bradford’s undisputed No. 1 option, as evidenced by the 44 targets he saw in his first four games. For the season, Amendola has 32 receptions for 395 yards and two touchdowns. It’s not often you have the possible opportunity to add a No. 1-caliber wide receiver as late as Week 10.

Davone Bess, Miami Dolphins
Teammate Brian Hartline has better numbers, but one could argue that Bess has been more consistent. He has caught at least two passes in every game and has five games with four or more receptions. He’s seen nine targets in each of the past three games and has reeled in 16 receptions during that span. He’s still in search of his first touchdown on the season, but that could change with Tennessee’s porous pass defense on tap this Sunday. The Titans have allowed 20 touchdown passes, which is tied for the most in the league. Because of his consistency and match up, Bess could be a WR3/Flex option this week, especially in PPR leagues.

Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars
It took eight games, but Blackmon, the fifth overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, finally found the end zone. Blackmon has struggled getting acclimated in his first pro season, but he’s showing signs of progress. He has nine receptions for 99 yards and a touchdown in his last two games. In his previous six he had 14 catches for 126 yards and no scores. Better still, he has caught 57 percent of his targets (9 of 17) in his last two contests, compared to only 38 percent (14 of 37) in his first six. Cecil Shorts is still the Jaguar receiver to own, but the team has a lot invested in Blackmon, so he should continue to get his opportunities as well.

Emmanuel Sanders, Pittsburgh Steelers
Antonio Brown suffered an apparent high ankle sprain in Sunday’s game against the Giants, and Sanders made the most of his opportunity. He caught both targets thrown to him, including the Steelers’ first touchdown of the game. For the season, Sanders is fourth on the team in both targets and receptions and should see his role increase if Brown misses any games because of the ankle injury. Jerricho Cotchery, who caught four passes for 50 yards on Sunday, also could see more opportunities if Sanders replaces Brown as the starter opposite Mike Wallace.

Tight Ends
Week 9 Recap: Brandon Myers led all tight ends in fantasy scoring with 22.9 points as he caught eight passes for 59 yards and two touchdowns against Tampa Bay. Zach Miller didn’t score, but he did add two more receptions for 47 yards to his recent stretch of solid production.

Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts
Teammate Coby Fleener is expected to miss a second straight game with a shoulder injury, meaning Allen will get the start once again this Sunday in Jacksonville. This past Sunday, the rookie from Clemson saw seven targets from Andrew Luck, hauling in six of them for 75 yards. He has passed Fleener in receptions and yards on the season and has a two-to-zero advantage on him in touchdowns too. With as well as Luck has been throwing the ball (NFL rookie record 433 yards passing against Miami), Allen is definitely starter-worthy this week against the Jaguars.

Joel Dreessen, Denver Broncos
Dreessen may trail teammate Jacob Tamme in terms of targets, receptions and yards, but he has four touchdown catches compared to just one for Tamme. The opportunities have also been a little more even in recent weeks as both saw four targets on Sunday against Cincinnati. Dreessen, however, is clearly Peyton Manning’s more favored target in the red zone, as evidenced by his four touchdown receptions, and scores from tight ends is what makes all the difference when it comes to fantasy value.

Defense/Special Teams
Week 9 Recap: San Diego’s defense converted two Matt Cassel turnovers into touchdowns in the fourth quarter as the unit scored 27 fantasy points in the win over the Chiefs.

Denver Broncos
The Broncos are seventh among DSTs in fantasy scoring, thanks to an effective pass rush (24 sacks) and the ability to capitalize on turnovers (three defensive touchdowns so far). Denver goes to Carolina this Sunday, and while Cam Newton is not the easiest quarterback to bring down (sacked just 17 times), the Broncos’ pass rush could still prove beneficial in forcing Newton into making a mistake should he choose to throw the ball while being pressured. The Broncos also seem to have found a new special teams weapon in the addition of kick returner Trindon Holliday, who took the opening kick of the second half against Cincinnati back 105 yards for a touchdown.

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 Nov. 6, 2012

<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 10</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 05:05
Path: /college-basketball/big-12-2012-13-college-basketball-preview

The Big 12 may be one of the most interesting leagues from top to bottom in 2012-13, but the smart pick at the top remains, as always, Kansas.

The Jayhawks have won at least a share of the last eight Big 12 regular season titles, including the last four outright. Thomas Robinson is gone from Lawrence, but Bill Self again has stars ready to emerge.

Elsewhere, seven other Big 12 teams have realistic aspirations to reach the NCAA Tournament, with the possible exceptions of Texas Tech and newcomer TCU.

Baylor adds a standout freshman class as does Texas. And teams like West Virginia, Oklahoma and Iowa State are relying on an influx of transfers to bolster their postseason hopes. How each team manages the new faces on its roster may determine the look of the Big 12 in 2012-13.

2011-12 regular season champion: Kansas Player of the Year: Pierre Jackson, Baylor
2012 NCAA Tournament teams: Baylor, Kansas, Best Defensive Player: Jeff Withey, Kansas
Kansas State, Iowa State, Texas, West Virginia Most Underrated Player: Markel Brown, Oklahoma State
New coaches: Trent Johnson (TCU), Newcomer of the Year: Marcus Smart
Chris Walker (Texas Tech), Bruce Weber (Kansas State)  
Realignment: Lost Missouri and Texas A&M (SEC),  
Added TCU (Mountain West) and West Virginia (Big East)  
G Pierre Jackson, Baylor G Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State G Brady Heslip, Baylor
G Steven Pledger, Oklahoma G Myck Kabongo, Texas G/F Will Clyburn, Iowa State
G Rodney McGruder, Kansas State G Elijah Johnson, Kansas F Romero Osby, Oklahoma
G/F Le'Bryan Nash, Oklahoma State F Jordan Henriquez, Kansas State F Jordan Tolbert, Texas Tech
C Jeff Withey, Kansas C Isaiah Austin, Baylor C Cameron Ridley, Texas

2012-13 BIG 12 PREVIEW
1. Kansas (32-7, 16-2)
The Jayhawks are ranked No. 4 in our preseason rankings: Full preview

Last year’s squad survived and thrived because of heart and will, but this year’s team figures to benefit from different strengths. Chief among them is depth, something the Jayhawks had little of a season ago. While KU’s roster will give coach Bill Self plenty of options, it also figures to provide a few growing pains as nearly half of the rotation could be first-year players. In addition, Self’s bench will feature two new faces — Norm Roberts steps in for his second stint at KU to replace Danny Manning (now the head coach at Tulsa), and Doc Sadler, formerly the head coach at Nebraska, takes over as the director of basketball operations. Self doesn’t seem to be concerned.”I love the makeup of this team, especially the newcomers,” says the veteran coach. “This is going to be a young group that will rely heavily on senior leadership.”
Postseason prediction: NCAA Tournament Final Four

Related: 2012-13 Athlon Preseason All-America teams

2. Baylor (30-8, 12-6)
The Bears are ranked No. 17 in our preseason rankings: Full preview

Proud as they are of their recent success, the Bears are ready to take the next step by winning an outright conference championship for the first time since 1948. It certainly won’t be easy. Kansas has claimed the last eight Big 12 titles — and the Jayhawks will be the favorites to repeat again in 2013. The keys to Baylor ending Kansas’ streak will be another banner season from Pierre Jackson and Brady Heslip, breakthrough performances from Deuce Bello and Cory Jefferson and significant contributions from freshmen Isaiah Austin and Ricardo Gathers, both of whom must develop quickly. If those things occur, the Bears’ potential is limitless.

Postseason prediction: NCAA Tournament Two and Out

Related: Isaiah Austin, Marcus Smart among nation’s top freshmen

3. Oklahoma State (15-18, 7-11)
Travis Ford finds himself starting over in some ways. The Cowboys have missed the past two NCAA Tournaments and last year didn’t even warrant a spot in one of the lesser postseason tourneys, as they stumbled to a 15–18 finish, OSU’s first losing season in 24 years. Marcus Smart, although a freshman, projects as the key to the team’s improvement. An unselfish combo guard who prefers distributing to scoring, he brings a leadership and toughness recent Cowboys squads have lacked. Smart emerged as a key cog for the United States gold medal team at the FIBA Americas U18 Championships in Brazil, drawing rave reviews from coaches Billy Donovan and Mark Few. He’ll join another one-time heralded signee in sophomore Le’Bryan Nash, who endured an up-and-down debut season last year after arriving as a touted recruit. He averaged 13.3 points per game but shot less than 40 percent from the field. Nash should enjoy more freedom to roam and create on the fly with the Cowboys likely to run more than ever.
Postseason prediction: NCAA Tournament Two and Out

Related: Coaches on the hot seat include Travis Ford

4. Kansas State (22-11, 10-8)

Some college basketball teams face a difficult transition when it loses a successful coach. Kansas State is unlikely to be one of them. With a loaded roster coming back, the Wildcats appear poised to continue to win 20-plus games a season under new coach Bruce Weber the same way they did under former coaches Bob Huggins and Frank Martin. Yes, K-State will look — and act — differently on the sideline with a new coaching staff and attitude, but it should look eerily similar when the Wildcats take the floor in their first season under new leadership. Guard Rodney McGruder and forward Jordan Henriquez will return to comprise one of the top inside-outside combinations in the Big 12, and the pair of seniors could also form one of the best veteran duos in the country. But K-State’s experienced roster doesn’t stop there. After losing only one starter, the Wildcats are back in full force. They enter the upcoming season with high expectations, and for good reason. They have played in the last three NCAA Tournaments and appear on their way to a fourth.
Postseason prediction: NCAA Tournament Two and Out

Related: Weber among top coaching hires for 2012-13

5. Texas (20-14, 9-9)

Texas coach Rick Barnes kept his school-record streak of 14 straight NCAA Tournament appearances alive in 2011-12. Barely. Texas was one of the last at-large teams selected by the Selection Committee and followed that by losing Big 12 leading scorer J’Covan Brown, who declared prematurely for the NBA Draft. Sophomore shooting guard Sheldon McClellan, a Houston native, will be asked to fill some of the scoring void created by Brown’s departure. McClellan, the only other Texas player to average in double figures last season, lacks Brown’s feel for the game and pure scoring ability, but he’s a solid shooter and defender who appears poised to take the next step. The backcourt’s success will hinge largely on sophomore point guard Myck Kabongo, who has explosive speed with the ball in his hands but struggled through an up-and-down freshman year. Kabongo, however, is under NCAA investigation regarding his relationship with an agent. The frontcourt has a chance to take a huge step forward with the arrival of highly recruited center Cameron Ridley. At 6-9 and 270 pounds, Ridley is incredibly physical and brings a true, back-to-the-basket game to the paint.
Postseason prediction: NCAA Tournament Two and Out

6. West Virginia (19-14, 9-9 Big East)
West Virginia is transferring from the Big East to the Big 12. And it’s the hope of Mountaineer coach Bob Huggins that a few transfers make the move a smooth one. Gone from last season’s 19–14 team that made it to the NCAA Tournament is Kevin Jones, who led the Big East in both scoring (19.9 ppg) and rebounding (10.9 rpg). But Huggins is hoping to offset that loss with the addition of transfers that offer height (6-10 Aaric Murray), speed (guard Juwan Staten) and experience (senior Matt Humphrey). It will be interesting to see how WVU’s main big men — Deniz Kilicli and Murray — coexist. Kilicli is a 6-9, 260-pound senior from Istanbul, Turkey, with a sweeping left-handed hook shot and a penchant for fouling. (He had 94 personal fouls last season.) When on, Kilicli can be effective. He was third on the team in scoring last season, averaging 10.7 points. Odds are, Huggins will go with the experienced Humphrey in the starting lineup, but he very well could start three guards. With his passing ability and leadership, Staten might be the key to the team.
Postseason prediction: NCAA Tournament One and Done

Related: West Virginia, Iowa State, Oklahoma relying heavily on transfers

7. Oklahoma (15-16, 5-13)

Lon Kruger’s first season at Oklahoma resulted in an extensive learning experience — for both Kruger and his players. For Kruger, a master rebuilder, the season was a time to survey what he had, both good and not so good. For the Sooners, it was an introduction to Kruger’s demands and expectations. Entering Year 2, the stakes have been raised. The Sooners return all five starters, yet jobs are hardly secure. Wyoming transfer Amath M’Baye could start immediately, and a group of four newcomers — one junior college addition and three true freshmen — will be given every opportunity to seize significant roles. All Sooner eyes are on M’Baye, expected to provide a jolt of skill and length in the paint. Of the new faces, he’s the most ready and the most proven, having started 31 games at Wyoming two seasons ago, when he averaged 12.0 points and 5.7 rebounds as a sophomore. The year off seemed to serve him well for a transition to the Big 12. Steven Pledger, the team’s leading scorer and top 3-point threat, is the only guard assured of a starting spot. OU’s one reliable shooter and scorer, Pledger should benefit from a boost in surrounding talent and less intense focus from enemy defenses.
Postseason prediction: NIT

8. Iowa State (23-11, 12-6)

Hometown hero Fred Hoiberg returned his alma mater to prominence and the NCAA Tournament after an agonizingly long absence. Hoiberg’s got a roster full of talented players and last season’s experiment of meshing holdovers, high schoolers and high-major transfers yielded 23 wins and an impressive postseason run. The plan and cast is largely the same this year, minus All-America forward Royce White, who left early for the NBA after one incredible season. White led the Cyclones in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks and leaves some big shoes to fill. Utah transfer Will Clyburn and former Michigan State Spartan Korie Lucious are new to the Big 12 and will have a big say in whether this group is dancing again in March. Clyburn will shoulder a lot of the scoring burden, as he should. The 6-7 swingman averaged 17.1 points and 7.8 rebounds and shot 40.1 percent from 3-point range in his one season with the Utes.
Postseason prediction: NIT

9. TCU (18-15, 7-7 Mountain West)
Trent Johnson has his hands full. And that’s fine with him. TCU’s new basketball coach knew exactly what he was getting into when he left LSU to take over for Jim Christian, who bolted for the head job at Ohio. Although the Frogs are coming off their first winning season since 2005, Johnson inherits a program that is still looking for an identity. The move from the Mountain West to the Big 12 Conference should help recruiting, but the deeper league presents a whole new set of challenges. The void left by Hank Thorns’ graduation will fall on sophomore Kyan Anderson, who played well as a freshman. He’ll not only need to score (he averaged 8.3 points last season), but he’ll need to take over for Thorns’ ability to create easy baskets for his teammates. Thorns led the Frogs with 4.6 assists last season. Anderson was second with 2.8. Even when TCU has found scoring in its frontcourt the past few seasons, it was rarely from muscle in the paint. Forwards Amric Fields and Garlon Green have shown bursts of offense but usually relied on their perimeter games.

10. Texas Tech (8-23, 1-17)
A terrible season spilled into a tumultuous offseason for the Red Raiders. Though his hire brought guarded optimism, Billy Gillispie spent only one season in Lubbock as he resigned for health reasons in October. But before that, reports of player mistreatment surface. Now interim coach Chris Walker will pick up the pieces of a program that lost a handful of players during the short-lived Gillispie regime. Tech will return just five lettermen from its 2011-12 roster, but only three — Jaye Crockett, Ty Nurse and Jordan Tolbert — saw considerable playing time. The others either missed most or all of the season with an injury (Toddrick Gotcher, Kader Tapsoba) or sat out due to NCAA transfer rules (Dejan Kravic).

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

Athlon Conference Previews and Power Rankings
5. SEC

7. Mountain West
8. Atlantic 10

9. West Coast

10. Missouri Valley
11. Conference USA
12. Colonial
13. Sun Belt
14. MAC
15. Horizon

Athlon College Basketball Countdown:
1. Indiana
2. Louisville

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

20. Florida

<p> Big 12 2012-13 College Basketball Preview</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 05:00
All taxonomy terms: NFL, News
Path: /nfl/nfl-2012-midseason-preview-and-predictions

In the 31st annual Athlon Sports NFL preview magazine, the Houston Texans were predicted to defeat the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. The Green Bay Packers were slated to topple the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. We picked the Packers over the Texans in Super Bowl XLVII.

At the halfway point, we thought we would reshuffle the deck with what we have learned from the first nine weeks of action and predict how the second half will play out complete with projected records (and current records).

Projected AFC East Standings:

1. New England Patriots: 12-4 (5-3)
2. New York Jets: 8-8 (3-5)
3. Miami Dolphins: 7-9 (4-4)
4. Buffalo Bills: 5-11 (3-5)

The Pats are clearly the best team in this division and will be the only one making the postseason. A showdown with Houston on Dec. 10 could decide home field. The Jets finish with five winnable games against the Cards, Jags, Titans, Chargers and Bills. Miami still has to play New England twice as well as the Seahawks and 49ers and likely have to win one of these to get to 9-7. The only bright spot for the Bills and their 31st-rated rushing defense is four of the last five will come at home in frigid Buffalo.

Projected AFC North Standings:

1. Pittsburgh Steelers: 11-5 (5-3)
2. Baltimore Ravens: 11-5 (6-2)*
3. Cincinnati Bengals: 7-9 (3-5)
4. Cleveland Browns: 3-13 (2-7)

The injury-riddled Ravens will have to face the Steelers twice in three weeks (Weeks 11 and 13), along with tests against both Mannings and RGIII. This gives the Steelers, winners of three straight overall and six straight at home, the slight edge — especially with two against the Browns and games with Kansas City, San Diego and Cincinnati left on the schedule. Pittsburgh's running game has been rediscovered and this team will finish with three of four at home in the Steel City. The Bengals have lost four straight and face the Giants this weekend before wrapping up the season with road trips to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh before the season finale with Baltimore. The Browns locker room and front office is in a great state of transition at the moment and has one or two winnable games left on the schedule.

Projected AFC South Standings:

1. Houston Texans: 13-3 (7-1)
2. Indianapolis Colts: 9-7 (5-3)*
3. Tennessee Titans: 5-11 (3-6)
4. Jacksonville Jaguars: 2-14 (1-7)

The Texans are the class of the division and likely the NFL  — at least, until they visit the Patriots in Week 14. Trips to Chicago, Detroit and Indianapolis could also be tricky, but the Texans should claim the best record in the AFC at season's end. The Colts have been excellent behind the leadership of Andrew Luck but one has to think this team will fade with road trips to New England and Detroit remaining as well as two of their final three coming against Houston. But with a few wins (JAC, BUF, TEN, KC), the Colts could snag a Wild Card berth with a 9-7 record. The Titans and Jags have been competitive at times this fall and have looked downright atrocious at others.

Projected AFC West Standings:

1. Denver Broncos: 12-4 (5-3)
2. San Diego Chargers: 8-8 (4-4)
3. Oakland Raiders: 6-10 (3-5)
4. Kansas City Chiefs: 1-15 (1-7)

Peyton Manning is on a roll and Denver has won three straight because of it. They now won't face a team with a winning record until Baltimore in Week 15. They are a near lock to win the West. The Chargers have a much harder schedule with road trips to Denver, Pittsburgh and the Jets as well as a home date with Baltimore. An upset or two and the Bolts may sneak into the playoffs, but is that really what Chargers fans want? Norv Turner and AJ Smith for another year? Oakland has some talent on offense and could easily play the role of spoiler throughout the second half as they face New Orleans, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Denver and San Diego. Poor Kansas City may never lead a game all season long.

Projected AFC Playoffs:

Bye Weeks: (1) Houston and (2) New England
Divisional Hosts: (3) Denver and (4) Pittsburgh
Wild Cards: (5) Baltimore and (6) Indianapolis

Projected NFC East Standings:

1. New York Giants: 11-5 (6-3)
2. Philadelphia Eagles: 8-8 (3-5)
3. Dallas Cowboys: 8-8 (3-5)
4. Washington Redskins: 6-10 (3-6)

The Giants normally wait until the second half to turn things on, so a strong start feels a bit out of place for the G-Men. The Steelers gave the league a blueprint on how to defeat the defending champs in Week 9 and it likely means a loss or two over a tough final two months that features four teams that made the playoffs last fall. The Eagles and Cowboys will square off twice over the next month and those two games should iron out the pecking order behind New York. Both have favorable second-half schedules that could get either or both to at least .500. The Redskins, according to Mike Shanahan, are apparently already looking ahead to 2013.

Projected NFC North Standings:

1. Green Bay Packers: 12-4 (6-3)
2. Chicago Bears: 12-4 (7-1)*
3. Detroit Lions: 7-9 (4-4)
4. Minnesota Vikings: 6-10 (5-4)

This division will likely come down to a Week 15 meeting between Green Bay and Chicago in the Windy City. The Packers can only get healthier while the Bears physically can't play any better than they are right now. The Bears have a brutal second-half schedule with Houston and San Francisco up next before games with Seattle, Green Bay and two with Minnesota. The Bears will play three out of their last four on the road including the final two weeks of the season against Arizona and Detroit (both of whom could be fighting for a Wild Card). When push comes to shove, Aaron Rodgers gets the nod over Jay Cutler in that key showdown at Soldier Field. Speaking of the Lions, two games with Green Bay and one each with Chicago, Atlanta and Houston make their playoff chances slim. Toss in road trips to Arizona and Minnesota with the Colts coming to town and the Lions seem unlikely to return to the playoffs. The Vikings are trending downward and finish with this nasty stretch of games: at CHI, at GB, CHI, at STL, at HOU and GB. Wow.

Projected NFC South Standings:

1. Atlanta Falcons: 15-1 (8-0)
2. Tampa Bay Bucs: 8-8 (4-4)
3. New Orleans Saints: 7-9 (3-5)
4. Carolina Panthers: 3-13 (2-6)

So where do the Falcons lose? At New Orleans, Carolina, Tampa Bay or Detroit? Possibly, but the Giants at home in Week 15 appear to be the most likely culprit. Either way, the Falcons should be the top seed in the NFC. The Bucs have been very competitive and have won three of four games. However, their second half has no easy games and could feature upwards of five or six swing games. This is going to be a fun team to watch down the stretch. The Saints have the talent to beat anyone and could easily win five or six games in the second half. A key road trip to Dallas in Week 16 could determine if either the Saints or Cowboys finish above .500. Carolina got a nice road win this weekend, but Cam Newton still has lots of growing up to do with four of the last six games coming on the road. 

Projected NFC West Standings:

1. San Francisco 49ers: 13-3 (6-2)
2. Seattle Seahawks: 9-7 (5-4)*
3. St. Louis Rams: 6-10 (3-5)
4. Arizona Cardinals: 5-11 (4-5)

Three division home games highlight a solid second half slate for Seattle that also features games against AFC East foes New York, Miami and Buffalo. Look for a playoff run from the Hawks. Arizona and St. Louis should battle it out for third place in Week 12 in the desert. After losing five straight, the Cardinals are in danger of losing out — unless they can beat the Rams at home. The Niners are clearly the class of the division and could easily be the best team in the NFC. Jim Harbaugh will have a chance to prove it with games against New England and Chicago as well as road trips to New Orleans and Seattle. 

Projected NFC Playoffs:

Bye Weeks: (1) Atlanta and (2) San Francisco
Divisional Hosts: (3) NY Giants and (4) Green Bay
Wild Cards: (5) Chicago and (6) Seattle

Super Bowl XLVII: Houston over San Francisco

-by Braden Gall


Related NFL Content:

The Most Amazing Mid-Season NFL Stats of 2012
Eight Amazing Stats from NFL Sunday: Week 9
2013 NFL Draft: Running Backs

2013 NFL Draft: Tight Ends
2013 NFL Draft: Safeties

2013 NFL Draft: Defensive Tackles

2013 NFL Draft: Wide Receivers

2013 NFL Draft: Offensive Tackles

2013 NFL Draft: Inside Linebackers

2013 NFL Draft: Cornerbacks

<p> NFL 2012 Midseason Preview and Predictions</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 05:00
Path: /college-basketball/2012-13-athlon-college-basketball-preseason-all-america-team

If the list of All-America contenders is any indication, this will be a fascinating year in college basketball.

Teams like Kentucky and North Carolina are no strangers to the All-America teams. But it’s also a turn-back-the-clock kind of season for Indiana, Michigan and UNLV, who are producing All-America contenders for the first time in more than a decade.

And those aren’t even the most unlikely teams with player of the year candidates: Creighton, Murray State and North Texas all have players counted among the national elite.

Here are our picks for the preseason All-America team, where a veteran forward playing in the Missouri Valley and a guard in the Ohio Valley will compete with star freshmen for Kentucky and UCLA for postseason hardware.


G Pierre Jackson, Baylor
5-10/180, Sr.
As quick as any guard in the country, Jackson is also as clutch as they come. Behind the play of Jackson, a finalist for the Bob Cousy award presented to the nation's best point guard, Baylor reached the Elite Eight. Jackson led the Bears in scoring (13.8 points per game) and was one of 15 players nationally with 200 assists.

G/F Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA
6-6/225, Fr.
The Bruins are still waiting for their prized freshman to be declared eligible, but once he’s on the court, he’ll be the key to turning UCLA’s fortunes. He’s a strong, athletic wing who will bring toughness to the program -- probably for just one season before leaving for the NBA Draft.

F Doug McDermott, Creighton
6-8/220, Jr.
McDermott is entering rarefied territory. His 801 career points trails only Oscar Robertson and Larry Bird in Missouri Valley history. And beyond the sheer numbers (22.9 points, 8.2 rebounds), he’s tremendously efficient, shooting 60.1 percent from the field and 48.6 percent from 3-point range.
Related: Q&A with Doug McDermott

F Mike Moser, UNLV
6-8/210, Jr.
Moser may be in line to be UNLV’s most decorated player since the Jerry Tarkanian era after earning honorable mention All-America honors after last season. Moser averaged a double-double per game (14 points, 10.5 rebounds) and also led the Mountain West in steals (1.9).

C Cody Zeller, Indiana
7-0/240, Soph.
Zeller delivered on his potential as a transformative player for the Hoosiers’ program, leading Indiana to its first Sweet 16 in a decade. Now, Zeller (15.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg) will have a chance to be Indiana’s first National Player of the Year since 1992-93.
Related: Q&A with Cody Zeller


Top Floor Leaders
1. Trey Burke, Michigan
2. Phil Pressey, Missouri
3. Peyton Siva, Louisville
4. Aaron Craft, Ohio State
5. Vincent Council, Providence
6. Lorenzo Brown, NC State
7. D.J. Cooper, Ohio
8. Tim Frazier, Penn State
9. Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary’s
10. Chaz Williams, UMass
Top Inside-Out Threats
1. Doug McDermott, Creighton
2. Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota
3. Tony Mitchell, North Texas
4. Chane Behanan, Louisville
5. Andre Roberson, Colorado
6. Solomon Hill, Arizona
7. Otto Porter, Georgetown
8. Alex Poythress, Kentucky
9. Marshawn Powell, Arkansas
10. Elias Harris, Gonzaga
Top Shooters
1. Rotnei Clarke, Butler
2. Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
3. Seth Curry, Duke
4. Scott Wood, NC State
5. Jordan Hulls, Indiana
6. Brady Heslip, Baylor
7. Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga
8. Colt Ryan, Evansville
9. Chase Tapley, San Diego State
10. Steven Pledger, Oklahoma


G Trey Burke, Michigan
6-0/190, Soph.
The return of Burke means Michigan enters 2012-13 with the highest expectations since the late ‘90s. Burke is a high-energy floor leader who averaged 14.8 points and 4.6 assists last season with room to thrive as a sophomore. He’ll have a more balanced supporting cast than he did as a rookie.

G Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
6-1/195, Sr.
Canaan emerged from obscurity last season to lead Murray State to a 23-0 start and a 31-win season. Canaan won’t sneak up on anyone this season after averaging 19 points per game last season.

F Tony Mitchell, North Texas
6-8/235, Soph.
Potential NBA Draft Lottery picks don’t often turn up in the Sun Belt or in Denton, Texas, but that’s what the Mean Green have in Mitchell, who signed with Missouri before being ruled academically ineligible. Mitchell was the only freshman in the country to average a double-double last season (14.7 ppg, 10.3 rpg).

F Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota
6-8/245, Sr.
Mbakwe believes this season will be better for Minnesota, so much so he vowed to pay back his scholarship if the Gophers don’t reach the NCAA Tournament. His return from a torn ACL is a major reason why Minnesota is a postseason contender. He averaged 13.9 points and 10.5 rebounds in his last healthy season.

C Nerlens Noel, Kentucky
6-10/205, Fr.
Noel is simply stepping into the shoes of Anthony Davis, who had one of the most decorated seasons in college basketball history. Noel is another elite freshman who will probably stick in Lexington for just one season. He may be a better shotblocker than his predecessor, who set the NCAA freshman record for blocks.


Top Slashers
1. Mike Moser, UNLV
2. Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA
3. Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State
4. Kyle Anderson, UCLA
5. Allen Crabbe, Cal
6. Michael Snaer, Florida State
7. Rodney McGruder, Kansas State
8. Le’Bryan Nash, Oklahoma State
9. Adonis Thomas, Memphis
10. Ray McCallum, Detroit
Top Post Men
1. Cody Zeller, Indiana
2. C.J. Leslie, NC State
3. Isaiah Austin, Baylor
4. Mason Plumlee, Duke
5. Jeronne Maymon, Tennessee
6. Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee
7. Nerlens Noel, Kentucky
8. Jack Cooley, Notre Dame
9. Brock Motum, Washington State
10. Jeff Withey, Kansas
Top Scorers
1. Pierre Jackson, Baylor
2. Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State
3. Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati
4. BJ Young, Arkansas
5. Nate Wolters, North Dakota State
6. Kenny Boynton, Florida
7. C.J. McCollum, Lehigh
8. Khalif Wyatt, Temple
9. DeAndre Kane, Marshall
10. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia


G Phil Pressey, Missouri
: 5-11/175, Jr.
Pressey is one of the best players in the country in breaking down a defense off the dribble and finding the open man. After averaging 10.3 points, 6.4 assists and 3.3 rebounds last season, Pressey will make Missouri an instant contender in its first season in the SEC.
Related: Q&A with Phil Pressey

G Peyton Siva, Louisville
5-11/180, Sr.
Siva struggled through part of last season, though he remained of the Big East’s best point guards. Siva rebounded in the postseason, earning MVP honors at the Big East Tournament. Siva went on to average 6.2 assists per game in the run to the Final Four.

G C.J. Leslie, NC State
6-9/200, Jr.
The McDonald’s All-American was more consistent as a sophomore, especially at the end of the season. Leslie averaged 17.1 points per game over the final 16 games as NC State reached the Sweet 16 for only the second time since 1989.

G Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State
6-5/195, Jr.
Franklin returns to a loaded Aztecs team that should contend for the Mountain West title and a run in the NCAA Tournament. Last season, Franklin averaged 17.4 point and 7.9 rebounds with a knack for clutch shooting.

F James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina
6-9/230, Soph.
The Tar Heels are counting on their talented sophomore to carry his late season momentum into this season. McAdoo could become consistent double-double threat and a potential NBA first-round draft pick.


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

Athlon Conference Previews and Power Rankings
5. SEC

7. Mountain West
8. Atlantic 10

9. West Coast

10. Missouri Valley
11. Conference USA
12. Colonial
13. Sun Belt
14. MAC
15. Horizon

Athlon College Basketball Countdown:
1. Indiana
2. Louisville

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

20. Florida

<p> 2012-13 Athlon College Basketball Preseason All-America Team</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 04:30
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Fantasy, News
Path: /college-football/college-fantasy-football-post-week-10-waiver-wire-report

The fantasy playoffs are right around the corner and owners at the bottom of the standings have just about thrown in the towel.  As a result, there is not as much competition for waiver wire claims with the season drawing to a close.  Take a look at some late-season waiver gems as we head into Week 10.

Ryan Griffin, QB-Tulane

Since his return from injury, Griffin has passed for 1,100 yards and ten touchdowns in three games.  Fantasy owners should get solid production from the senior quarterback as the Green Wave play Rice, Memphis, East Carolina, and Houston to close the season.

Ray Holley, RB-Louisiana Tech

Holley isn’t a bad acquisition if you play in a deep league because the senior running back is averaging over 95 total yards from scrimmage, three receptions, and a touchdown per game 

Damon Bullock, RB-Iowa

Damon Bullock opened the season as the starter, but Mark Weisman took over when Bullock was lost for several weeks due to a head injury.  Now, Weisman is the one that is injured and the running back position in Ames may be Bullock’s once again.

Jalen Saunders, WR-Oklahoma

We are going to use the logic that we did a couple of weeks ago with Bronson Hill of Eastern Michigan when he ran for 283 yards against Toledo.  When a receiver catches 15 passes for 181 yards in a single game at this point of the season, you should claim him off of waivers and keep Saunders away from other owners. 

Eric Monette, WR-Western Michigan

Last week, we identified Josh Schaffer as the favorite target of quarterback Tyler Van Tubbergen, but with fellow receiver Jamie Wilson sidelined with a groin injury, Monette has posted two consecutive eight-catch games. 

Bryan Underwood, WR-North Carolina St

Underwood only has 28 catches, but he has caught at least one touchdown in every game this season and has posted back-to-back 100-yard games. 

Myles White, WR-Louisiana Tech

White is the second-leading receiver for the Bulldogs behind Quinton Patton and has at least 100 yards receiving and a touchdown in back-to-back games.

Ryan Grant, WR-Tulane

Grant’s success has a lot to do with the return of Ryan Griffin at quarterback.  Over the past two weeks, the junior receiver has caught 12 passes for 199 yards and three touchdowns.

Did you miss last week’s waiver report?  See it here.

By Joe DiSalvo,

Follow Joe on twitter (@theCFFsite)

Email:  [email protected]

<p> College Fantasy Football: Post-Week 10 Waiver Wire Report</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 03:28
All taxonomy terms: College Football, NFL, Monthly
Path: /college-football/ask-athlon-sports-sports-movies

Q: My son and I love to argue about the best sports movies. But which sports movie is the most successful in history?

— Irene Delores Chervitz, St. Louis, Mo.

A: There have been blockbusters with a sports component — “M*A*S*H,” for example, had that hilarious football game — but I assume you mean movies that are actually about sports. If you adjust for inflation, four of the top five all-time box office champs (among sports films) are Rocky movies. But just looking at total dollars, the winner is “The Blind Side.” The heartwarming biopic of Ravens lineman Michael Oher and his surrogate Memphis family made almost $256 million (according to It also earned Sandra Bullock an Oscar. Meanwhile, you didn’t ask, but my favorite sports movie is “Kingpin.” It’s the Farrelley brothers at their infantile best. Woody Harrelson is sharp as a one-handed, down-on-his-luck bowler Roy Munson, but Bill Murray, sporting a flyaway combover, steals the movie as Munson’s nemesis, Ernie “Big Ern” ­McCracken. Watch it with your son and tell us what you think.

Rob Doster, Senior Editor

Have a question? Email us with any sports-related questions at [email protected]
Please include first and last name, plus hometown

<p> Ask Athlon Sports: Sports Movies</p>
Post date: Monday, November 5, 2012 - 18:17
All taxonomy terms: NFL
Path: /nfl/ask-athlon-sports-players-hair-length-nfl

Q: Why doesn’t the NFL restrict hair length so it doesn’t cover the player’s name?  It’s gotten way out of hand.

— Bob Rook, Liberty Hill, Texas

A: Bob, I tend to agree — players are starting to let their locks grow and letting their freak flag fly. From Clay Matthews’ flowing blond mane to Chris Johnson's dreadlocks, hair has been steadily creeping down the backs of jerseys for some time now; pretty soon we'll have Cousin It suiting up. There’s no rule against long hair; in fact, the NFL considers hair that extends out of a player’s helmet as part of the uniform and therefore can be used to make a tackle. But there is a safety issue at play here, and in this era of heightened awareness of player health and safety, the league may need to address hair-grabbing like it did with horse-collar tackling.

Rob Doster, Senior Editor

Have a question? Email us with any sports-related questions at [email protected]
Please include first and last name, plus hometown.

<p> Ask Athlon Sports: Players' Hair Length in the NFL</p>
Post date: Monday, November 5, 2012 - 18:15
All taxonomy terms: College Basketball, NBA
Path: /college-basketball/ask-athlon-sports-basketball-raising-goals

Q: With today’s basketball players so tall, why don't they raise the goals? Let's get the game back to where it really is a game, and not just a sideshow.

— Leroy Heldman, Knoxville, Tenn.

A: The basketball goal at 10 feet is rather arbitrary, but it’s been that way since Dr. James Naismith hung his first peach basket in Springfield, Mass., in 1891. It’s true that players have gotten taller and more athletic over time, but I don’t believe the baskets will ever be raised — for the same reasons the bases will always be 90 feet apart on a baseball diamond and a football field will be 100 yards long (120 if you count the end zones) and 53 yards, one foot wide. We value tradition and history in our sports, and making such a drastic change would have too big of an impact on the game. Plus, I believe a majority of basketball fans enjoy what you call the "sideshow." It makes the game exciting.

Mitchell Light, Managing Editor

Have a question? Email us with any sports-related questions at [email protected]
Please include first and last name, plus hometown.

<p> Ask Athlon Sports: Basketball Raising the Goals</p>
Post date: Monday, November 5, 2012 - 18:12
All taxonomy terms: NFL
Path: /nfl/most-amazing-mid-season-nfl-stats-2012

NFL football is the greatest reality TV program of all time. The Giants and Colts made sure of that back in 1958. Each and every 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 the first half of the 2012 season:

0:00: Time Kansas City has held a lead in 2012 in regulation
Technically, the 1-7 Kansas City Chiefs haven't held a lead for any amount of actual game time because the game-winning overtime field goal against New Orleans stopped the clock the millisecond it went through the uprights. Otherwise, the Chiefs have never held a lead at any point in regulation of eight football games thus far in 2012. Matt Cassel's league-leading 18 turnovers (11 INTs, 7 fumbles in seven games) certainly haven't helped his team in this respect.

547.2: NFL record total points the Titans are on pace to allow
The 1981 Baltimore Colts allowed an NFL record 533 points to set the low water mark for defensive performance in a 16-game schedule over 30 years ago. The Titans are allowing 34.2 points per game and would finish well ahead of the Colts' ignominious record should things continue at this pace in the Music City. 

433: NFL single-game rookie passing record set by Andrew Luck
Any excuse to get the No. 1 overall pick into an article is a good one. By throwing for 433 yards in the win over Miami in Week 9, Andrew Luck locked up another rookie record by topping Cam Newton's previous NFL single-game passing record of 422 yards from a year ago. He is 5-3 as a rookie starter who wins on big fourth-quarter drives and poised pocket play. He is one of the single-most, game-ready, first-year players this writer has ever seen. Luck has now toppled two of his fellow four rookie starters (Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden), the only two such meetings of first-year signal callers to date. His 2,404 passing yards trail only Eli Manning and Tom Brady on the season, his 148 yards rushing leads all AFC quarterbacks and his three rushing touchdowns trail only Robert Griffin III and Newton. Speaking of...

8-8: Consecutive completions for Robert Griffin III to start his career
The No. 2 overall pick in April's draft made his debut in New Orleans by completing his first eight passes for 149 yards and an 88-yard scoring strike. The long touchdown pass was the second-longest scoring strike by any quarterback making their debut, trailing on Charlie Batch's 98-yard scoring throw to Johnnie Morton back in 1998 for the Lions. Griffin III took a 20-14 road lead over New Orleans into halftime with a perfect 158.3 QB rating, something that has never been done (10 att.). By the game's end, Washington had defeated the Saints on the road and scored the most points, 40, of any Mike Shanahan-coached team in D.C. He threw for 320 yards as one of an NFL-record five rookie quarterbacks starting on Sunday. He and Andrew Luck, who threw for 309 yards in his debut, were only the third and fourth players in NFL history to throw for 300 yards in Week 1 of their rookie season (Peyton Manning, Cam Newton).

Related: Second Half Divisional and Playoff Predictions

754: Jason Witten's Dallas Cowboys career record for receptions
Jason Witten has 58 catches for 538 yards and one touchdown in 2012. But his seven-catch performance Sunday evening against the Falcons in Week 9 made him the Dallas Cowboys' all-time leading receiver with 754 career receptions, passing Michael Irvin's 750. His 8,447 career yards rank No. 2 all-time behind Irvin and his 42 touchdown catches rank No. 6 all-time in Cowboys' history. All of this from a tight end who has missed one game in his 151-game NFL career. He is an extraordinary talent who looks to be headed to Canton.

51: Drew Brees' record consecutive games with a TD pass
Not too many records in sports stand for more than 50 years. Hitting streaks and Major championships are the types of things that last more than five decades. That makes what Brees accomplished that much more impressive. He broke Johnny Unitas' NFL record for consecutive games played with a touchdown pass that has stood since 1960 in Week 5 against San Diego. In fact, Brees and Unitas are the only two to top 40 straight while names like Elway, Montana, Young, Aikman and Eli never even got to 20. Tom Brady's active streak is at exactly 40 and the Patriots QB should become No. 3 to top 40 in Week 10. Brett Favre, who went 36 straight from 2002-04 is the fourth longest string of games with a touchdown pass. Congrats to a fellow Westlake Chaparral on a remarkable record.

39-5: Gary Kubiak's record when Houston runs at least 30 times
The Texans ran the ball 32 times for 118 yards in the not quite as easy as expected win over Buffalo and the NFL's worst rushing defense in Week 9. When Houston runs the ball at least 30 times under Coach Kubiak, the Texans win 88.9 percent of the time (39-5). Arian Foster scored for the fifth straight game and carried the ball 24 times for 111 yards. It was Foster's 20th career 100-yard effort in 43 career games and his fourth trip over the century mark this season.

6-1: Houston Texans AFC-best record after Week 7
With the franchise's first-ever win over Baltimore (1-6 all-time) back in Week 7, the Texans claimed the best record in the AFC. Why is it so important to have the best record in the AFC after Week 7? Well, the team with the best record in the AFC after the seventh weekend of action has made it to the Super Bowl in five of the last six seasons. New England (2011, 2007), Pittsburgh (2010) and Indianapolis (2009, 2006) all claimed the top mark in the AFC after seven weeks and each time made it to the Super Bowl. The 2008 Tennessee Titans, who started the season 6-0, are the only team in the last six seasons to have the AFC's best record after seven weeks and not make it to the final contest. That's the good news for the Texans. The bad news for the Texans? The last four have lost the big game.

17: NFL record consecutive games the Patriots have topped 350 yards of offense
With 473 yards of offense in the 45-7 Week 8 win over the Rams (3-5) in London, the Patriots passed the 1999-2000 St. Louis Rams for the all-time record for consecutive games of at least 350 total yards of offense. Tom Brady threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns in the easy win across the pond. It marked the 50th time Brady has thrown at least three touchdowns in a game, good for fourth all-time behind Brett Favre (72), Peyton Manning (69) and Dan Marino (62). Strangely enough, it was also his 50th career 300-yard passing game, good for seventh all-time. 

957: NFL-leading rushing yards from Adrian Peterson
Peterson is the planet's most physically gifted running back and his recovery from ACL surgery to lead the NFL in rushing is nothing short of miraculous. He has carried 168 times and has caught 26 passes in nine games — putting him on pace for roughly 300 carries and a career-high 46 receptions. His 106.3 yards per game average is his second-best per-game average to date (110.0 per game, 2008) and would put him on pace for 1,700 yards. Peterson has never rushed for fewer than 10 touchdowns in a season and with four more in 2012, he would keep that streak alive. It's safe to say A.D. is back. As a public service announcement, his given nickname for his entire life — All-Day Peterson — is why he should be called "A.D" not "A.P." So national talking heads, stop calling him A.P.

251: Doug Martin's Bucs single-game rushing record
After gaining just 31 yards in the first half against Oakland, Martin exploded for 220 and four touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters in Week 9. Martin finished with 251 yards on 25 carries (10 ypc), the most in a single game in Tampa Bay franchise history and the third-most by a rookie in NFL history. Only Adrian Peterson (296, 2007) and DeMarco Murray (253, 2011) have had more rushing yards as a rookie in a game. Martin, who scored on runs of 1, 45, 67 and 70 yards, joined Denver's Mike Anderson as the only backs in NFL history with at least 250 yards rushing and four scores in a single game. This record-setting performance comes on the heels of last week's game in Minnesota, in which Martin compiled 214 total yards of offense (135 rush, 79 receiving) and two touchdowns in the Bucs' win over the Vikings. For those keeping score at home, that's 486 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns in two games for Martin, who was taken by Tampa Bay with the 31st overall pick in April's draft.

Some Streaks to Consider:

15-0: Falcons record when Matt Ryan throws at least three TD passes.

17-0: Packers record (including playoffs) when Jordy Nelson has at least 75 receiving yards.

10-0: Giants record when Ahmad Bradshaw rushes for 100 yards.

- by Braden Gall


<p> The Most Amazing Mid-Season NFL Stats of 2012</p>
Post date: Monday, November 5, 2012 - 10:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Kentucky Wildcats, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/25-coaches-replace-fired-joker-phillips-kentucky

The first domino in the college football coaching carousel fell on Sunday, as Joker Phillips was fired at Kentucky. Phillips led the Wildcats to a 6-7 mark in his first season but the program was never able to get back to the postseason. Kentucky was 5-7 last year and is 1-9 through 10 games in 2012. Although the Wildcats had some signs of life on offense in this season, Phillips was never able to show enough progress to save his job.

Although Kentucky is one of college basketball’s top jobs, the football program is one of the toughest in the SEC. In a division with Georgia, South Carolina and Florida, finding success isn’t easy.  The Wildcats have not won more than eight games since 1984 but had a streak of four seasons with at least seven wins from 2006-09.

What should Kentucky look for in the next coach? How about youth, energy and a background in offense? The Wildcats need to be creative on offense to fill the stands, as well as to compete in the SEC. 

25 Coaching Candidates to Replace Joker Phillips at Kentucky

Neal Brown, offensive coordinator, Texas Tech – Brown fits the profile of what Kentucky should be looking for in its next head coach. The Kentucky native has a background on offense and is only 32 years old, which should bring some much-needed energy to the fanbase. Brown played at Kentucky from 1998-2000 and has been Texas Tech’s offensive coordinator since 2010. The only drawback to Brown is a lack of head coaching experience.

David Cutcliffe, head coach, Duke – Cutcliffe isn’t a flashy or exciting hire, but he has won at Ole Miss and Duke. In seven seasons with the Rebels, he recorded a 44-29 record and went to five bowl appearances. Cutcliffe is 21-37 in five years at Duke but has the Blue Devils poised to make their first postseason game since 1994. Cutcliffe is not regarded as an elite recruiter but is considered one of college football’s top developers of quarterback talent.

Dave Doeren, head coach, Northern Illinois – Doeren is quietly flying under the radar this year but expect his name to get into the mix for BCS coaching jobs after the season. The Kansas native is 20-4 in two years with Northern Illinois and led the Huskies to a MAC title last season. Doeren has experience as an assistant at Montana, Kansas and Wisconsin but has never coached in the SEC. Although his background is on defense, Doeren’s offenses at Northern Illinois have each averaged over 38 points per game. 

Sonny Dykes, head coach, Louisiana Tech – Dykes has been on a steady climb through the coaching ranks and is expected to be one of the hottest names in the rumor mill this offseason. He coached at Kentucky in 1997 and 1999 under Hal Mumme and has stops at Texas Tech and Arizona as an offensive coordinator. Dykes was named Louisiana Tech’s head coach in 2010 and has led the Bulldogs to a 21-13 record. Dykes also runs a high-scoring offense, which should be one of the top attributes Kentucky is looking for with this hire. Unless he isn't interested in the job, Dykes should be one of the first phone calls from athletic director Mitch Barnhart.

Phil Fulmer, former Tennessee head coach – Fulmer has been relatively quiet since being forced out at Tennessee in 2008. During his career with the Volunteers, Fulmer recorded a 152-52 record and led Tennessee to 15 bowl games. Although it wouldn’t be a flashy hire, Fulmer would be a similar situation to when Kentucky brought in Rich Brooks. Fulmer is a longshot for the job, but his record and success at Tennessee is hard to ignore. 

Darrell Hazell, head coach, Kent State – Hazell has shined in his first head coaching gig and is in position for a quick rise in the coaching ranks. He served as an assistant at Western Michigan, Army, West Virginia, Rutgers and Ohio State from 1986-2010, before jumping at the opportunity to coach Kent State in 2011. Hazell is 13-8 in two years with the Golden Flashes and should lead this program to its first bowl appearance since 1972 in 2012.

Mark Helfrich, offensive coordinator, Oregon – If Kentucky is looking to make a splash and turn the offense into one of the SEC’s best, why not give Helfrich a call? The 39-year-old offensive coordinator is in his fourth season at Oregon and has stops as an assistant at Boise State and Arizona State. Helfrich has no head coaching experience, but his background on offense should be very attractive for Kentucky.

Mark Hudspeth, head coach, Louisiana-Lafayette – Hudspeth is a name familiar in coaching circles in the SEC. The Mississippi native spent time at Mississippi State under Dan Mullen and led North Alabama to a 66-21 mark during his tenure from 2002-08. Hudspeth is 14-7 through two years at Louisiana-Lafayette and should lead the Ragin’ Cajuns to back-to-back bowl appearances.

Kliff Kingsbury, offensive coordinator, Texas A&M – Kingsbury is only 33 years old, but he is one of the rising stars in college football. The former Texas Tech quarterback spent time in the NFL with the Patriots, Saints, Broncos, Jets and Bills, before getting into coaching. Kingsbury started his career at Houston in 2008 and was named co-offensive coordinator in 2010. He left Houston to join Kevin Sumlin at Texas A&M in 2011 and has led the Aggies' offense to an average of 559.6 yards per game. The lack of head coaching experience is the only downside in Kingsbury’s resume, as his offense would help Kentucky recruit top quarterbacks and skill players to Lexington.

Dirk Koetter, offensive coordinator, Atlanta Falcons – Koetter’s name has generated some early buzz in the rumor mill. He fits the bill as an offensive-minded head coach, but his previous tenures haven’t been particularly impressive. Koetter went 26-10 in two years at Boise State and 40-34 in six seasons at Arizona State. The Idaho native has NFL experience but has never coached in the SEC.

Pete Lembo, head coach, Ball State – Lembo is only 42 years old and has three stops as a head coach. He went 44-14 in five seasons at Lehigh and 35-22 in five years at Elon. Lembo is in his second year with Ball State and has a 12-9 record and should lead the Cardinals to a bowl appearance this season. Lembo doesn’t have experience in the SEC but he is a proven winner and his offense at Ball State is averaging over 470 yards per game. If Kentucky wants to hire an up-and-coming option, Lembo would be a good fit.

Mike MacIntyre, head coach, San Jose State – MacIntyre’s overall record at San Jose State (13-21) may not be impressive, but he has helped to turn the Spartans into a bowl team in a short amount of time. The Spartans went 1-12 in his first year but went 5-7 in 2011 and are off to a 7-2 start this season. MacIntyre played at Vanderbilt for two seasons and has experience as an assistant at Georgia, Temple, Ole Miss and Duke.

Gus Malzahn, head coach, Arkansas State – Malzahn nearly became the Vanderbilt head coach two years ago and is off to a 6-3 start in his first season at Arkansas State. The Texas native was one of the masterminds behind Auburn’s national championship and runs an exciting offense that would help to fill the stands in Lexington each Saturday. Even if Kentucky wants Malzahn, he could be more interested in what happens at Arkansas or Auburn.

Trent Miles, head coach, Indiana State – Miles is an under-the-radar candidate who should get a look for FBS jobs over the next few years. The Indiana native has stops as an assistant at Oklahoma, Northern Illinois, Hawaii, Fresno State, Stanford, Notre Dame and Washington and one year in the NFL with the Packers. Miles inherited an awful situation at Indiana State, as the Sycamores were just 1-32 in the three seasons prior to his arrival. During his five seasons at Indiana State, Miles has a 20-34 record, including three consecutive winning records.

Todd Monken, offensive coordinator, Oklahoma State – Monken has never been a head coach but has filled a solid resume with stops as an assistant at Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan, Louisiana Tech, Oklahoma State, LSU and in the NFL with the Jaguars. Monken helped to lead Oklahoma State’s offense to rank No. 3 overall nationally in yards per game last season (545.9 ypg) and despite playing three quarterbacks, has kept the Cowboys’ attack going this year. Monken’s lack of head coaching experience is a concern, but his offensive background has to be intriguing to Kentucky.

Chad Morris, offensive coordinator, Clemson – Morris is another up-and-coming offensive mind in college football. The Texas native has no FBS head coaching experience but has engineered dynamic offenses at Tulsa and Clemson. The Tigers rank seventh nationally in scoring and are averaging 522.4 yards per game. Morris is making $1.3 million as Clemson’s offensive coordinator, so Kentucky will have to pay big to get him to Lexington.

Bobby Petrino, former Arkansas head coach – Before his firing in the spring, Petrino was one of college football’s best coaches. In four years at Louisville, Petrino went 41-9 and was 34-17 at Arkansas. Although he has been very successful and wants to get back into coaching, Petrino could aim higher than Kentucky’s vacancy. The early rumor mill suggests Petrino won’t be in the mix in Lexington, but Wildcats’ athletic director Mitch Barnhart should at least inquire.

Greg Roman, offensive coordinator, San Francisco 49ers – Roman is a name starting to generate buzz in coaching circles. The New Jersey native has made stops as an assistant in the NFL with the Panthers, Texans, Ravens and 49ers, while spending two years at Stanford with Jim Harbaugh. Roman’s offensive background is a plus for Kentucky, but he has no experience as a head coach.

Kirby Smart, defensive coordinator, Alabama – While Kentucky should be looking at offensive coaches, Smart is a candidate if it chooses to go with defense. Although Nick Saban plays a huge role in coordinating Alabama’s defense, Smart deserves a chance to run his own program. He played at Georgia and has experience from stops at Valdosta State, Florida State, LSU and in the NFL with the Dolphins. He also won the 2009 Broyles Award for the nation’s top assistant coach.

Willie Taggart, head coach, Western Kentucky – Kentucky fans are certainly familiar with Taggart’s success, as Western Kentucky won in Lexington this season. Taggart has turned in the Hilltoppers into a Sun Belt contender and has an overall record of 15-18. While the overall mark isn’t particularly impressive, Taggart inherited a difficult situation and is 13-8 over the last two years. He also spent three seasons working under Jim Harbaugh at Stanford. While Taggart would be a home-run hire for Kentucky, he’s a longshot to take the job. Not only is Taggart a Western Kentucky alum, but he can probably reach a little higher on the coaching ladder.

Five Other Names to Watch

Bryan Harsin, offensive coordinator, Texas – Harsin has made a quick rise through the coaching ranks. He worked as Boise State’s offensive coordinator from 2006-10 and jumped to Texas in 2011. The Longhorns’ offense hasn’t been as prolific as some may have expected, but Harsin is due for his chance to run a program in the near future.

June Jones, head coach, SMU – Jones has underachieved at SMU but is still one of college football’s top offensive minds.

Pat Narduzzi, defensive coordinator, Michigan State – Narduzzi has quickly emerged as one of the Big Ten’s brightest defensive minds. The Connecticut native started his coaching career at Rhode Island and worked as the defensive coordinator at Miami (Ohio) and Cincinnati, before taking the job in East Lansing.

Mark Stoops, defensive coordinator, Florida State – Stoops has returned Florida State’s defense to among college football’s elite group. However, he has no head coaching experience.

Brent Venables, defensive coordinator, Clemson – Venables has spent most of his coaching career in the Midwest and played at Kansas State in the early 1990s. He worked as an assistant with the Wildcats under Bill Snyder and at Oklahoma under Bob Stoops, before leaving to work at Clemson for 2012. 

by Steven Lassan


Related College Football Content

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College Football Week 10 Recap

<p> 25 Coaches to Replace Fired Joker Phillips at Kentucky</p>
Post date: Monday, November 5, 2012 - 05:43
Path: /nfl/philadelphia-eagles-vs-new-orleans-saints-preview-and-prediction

Two NFC teams in desperate need of a win will meet on Monday Night Football, when the New Orleans Saints host the Philadelphia Eagles tonight at 8:30pm EST on ESPN. New Orleans’ tumultuous offseason has morphed into a terrible start on the field, with the Saints standing at 2-5 after going 13-3 last year. The 3-4 Eagles have been filled with turmoil as well, with a fired defensive coordinator and a budding quarterback and head coach controversy topping the Philly headlines this season.

When the New Orleans Saints have the ball:
The New Orleans offense ranks fifth in yardage in the NFL, but that’s been solely because of Drew Brees and the aerial attack. The Saints average a league-best 316 passing yards per game, while putting up a league-worst 72.6 rushing yards per contest. Expect more of the same tonight, as Brees looks to spread the ball around to receivers Marques Colston and Lance Moore plus tight end Jimmy Graham. New Orleans will be without one key weapon, however, as Darren Sproles (second on the team in catches and third in receiving yards) will miss this game after having surgery on his broken left hand.

The Philadelphia defense has been pretty average in terms of yards and points allowed, but head coach Andy Reid felt the need to make a critical change at coordinator after six games. Juan Castillo was fired and replaced by secondary coach Todd Bowles, but the Falcons ran all over the Philly defenders in his debut last week. The key area for improvement with the Eagles will be in putting pressure on opposing signal callers, as Philadelphia has totaled only nine sacks and eight takeaways this season.

When the Philadelphia Eagles have the ball:
The Eagles offense centers on Michael Vick, and the controversial quarterback is now fighting to keep his job. Philadelphia ranks 28th in the NFL in scoring at 17.1 points per game, and Vick has turned the ball over 13 times (eight INTs and five fumbles lost) this season. The Eagles offensive line has been ravaged by injuries, and defenses are attacking accordingly. Vick has been sacked 20 times already, and his 78.6 passer rating ranks 25th in the league. It would help the embattled QB greatly if Philly could get more on the ground from LeSean McCoy, who had 17 rushing touchdowns a year ago but only two this season.

The New Orleans defense has simply been awful this season, ranking last in the league in yardage allowed (474.7 per game) and 30th in scoring (30.9). In fact, new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s group is the first defense since 1950 to allow 400-plus yards in seven consecutive games. Much like the Eagles, the Saints defenders have also struggled in generating turnovers and sacks. They will need to harass Vick tonight and force him to make the same mistakes that have defined the Philadelphia quarterback’s 2012 campaign.

Key Factor:
There should be plenty of points scored in the Big Easy tonight, and this game will be decided by the more effective quarterback. Both Brees and Vick are coming off meager performances, and whoever bounces back to a higher level and plays well in the red zone will give his team a big advantage. This one looks to be a tossup between two squads with their backs to the NFL wall, and we’ll go with the home team by a field goal.

Saints 27 Eagles 24

---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)

<h3> Philadelphia Eagles vs. New Orleans Saints Preview and Prediction</h3>
Post date: Monday, November 5, 2012 - 05:40
Path: /college-football/sec-post-week-10-power-rankings

We almost had a change at the top in the SEC, but Alabama rallied to beat LSU in Baton Rouge and hold on to the No. 1 spot in the power rankings. LSU dropped from No. 2 to No. 4 with the loss, while Georgia climbs to from No. 3 to No. 2.

Post-Week 10 Offensive Player of the Year Standings

1. AJ McCarron, Alabama — McCarron remains No. 1 on the list despite struggling for most of the night vs. LSU. The junior quarterback, however, came through in the clutch, directing the Tide on a five-play, 72-yard touchdown drive to take the lead in the final minutes. McCarron still has not thrown an interception in 204 attempts this season.

2. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M — Manziel and the Aggies’ offense made a respected Mississippi State defense look helpless in a 38–13 win in Starkville. Manziel completed 30-of-36 passes for 311 yards and added 129 yards rushing to lead the Aggies to their fifth road win of the season.

3. T.J. Yeldon, Alabama — The true freshman doesn’t have the gaudiest stats, but he is clearly one of the SEC’s elite players. Saturday night, Yeldon scored the biggest touchdown of Alabama’s 2012 season, taking a screen pass from A.J. McCarron 28 yards for the go-ahead score with under one minute remaining in Baton Rouge. He now has 739 yards rushing (on a 7.1-yard average) and 122 yards receiving.

Post-Week 10 Defensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina — South Carolina was off on Saturday. Clowney has 40 total tackles, including 15 for a loss with 8.5 sacks.

2. Jarvis Jones, Georgia — Jones had three tackles, including one for a loss in the Bulldogs 37–10 win over Ole Miss. Jones, in only seven games (he missed two with an injury), has 52 total tackles, including 15 for a loss with 8.5 sacks. He also has one interception, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries

3. Damontre Moore, Texas A&M — The junior defensive end had four tackles and one sack in the Aggies’ 38–13 win at Mississippi State. Moore leads the team with 65 total tackles and leads the SEC in both tackles for a loss (18.0) and sacks (10.5). 

Post-Week 10 Coach of the Year Standings

1. Nick Saban, Alabama — It wasn’t easy, but Saban’s team remained undefeated with a 21–17 win over LSU in Baton Rouge. Alabama, the No. 1 team in the nation, is 9–0 overall and 6–0 in the SEC.

2. Will Muschamp, Florida — The Gators completed their SEC slate with a 7–1 record, the only blemish coming two weeks ago vs. Georgia in Jacksonville. Last season, Florida went 3–5 in the league, its first losing SEC record since 1986.

3. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M — The Aggies have made a smooth transition to their new league under the leadership of Sumlin, who is in his first season as the boss in College Station. Texas A&M is averaging an astounding 550.8 yards of offense in SEC games. 

Post-Week 10 SEC Power Rankings

1. Alabama (9–0, 6–0 SEC)
Last week’s rank: 1
Week 9 result: Beat LSU 21–17
They gave up 435 total yards — by far the most this season. They lost the turnover battle 2-to-0. Their quarterback completed one of his first seven passes in the second half. But the Alabama Crimson Tide won the game because they made the big plays when it mattered most. Trailing 17–14 with 1:34 to play, AJ McCarron led Alabama on a five-play, 72-yard drive that lasted less than a minute and ended with a 28-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Yeldon. McCarron went 3-of-4 on the decisive drive with completions of 18, 15, 11 and 28 yards. He only completed 11 of his other 23 attempts for 93 yards. While the Tide struggled for much of the night in the passing game, their top two tailbacks, Eddie Lacy and Yeldon, combined to rush for 159 yards on 22 carries.
Next week: Texas A&M

2. Georgia (8–1, 6–1 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
Week 9 result: Beat Ole Miss 37–10
Georgia is now one win away from clinching its second straight SEC East title after rallying from a 10–0 deficit to beat the much-improved Ole Miss Rebels 37–10. The Bulldogs took the lead for good on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Murray to Tavarres King in the final seconds of the first half and then seized control of the game by scoring touchdowns on drives of 79 yards and 77 yards to open the third quarter. Georgia outgained Ole Miss 533-to-234 thanks in large part to a defense that shut down the Rebels’ running attack. Ole Miss tailback Jeff Scott netted 21 yards on 13 carries. The Georgia offense was led by Murray (21-of-28 for 384 with four TDs, no INTs) and tailback Todd Gurley (18 for 117).
Next week: at Auburn

3. Florida (8–1, 7–1 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
Week 9 result: Beat Missouri 14–7
Florida’s formula for success — defense, turnovers and more defense — isn’t overly exciting, but it produced a 7–1 SEC record in Will Muschamp’s second season in Gainesville. The Gators gained 276 yards and converted only 2-of-13 on third down but won for the seventh time in eight SEC games thanks to a defense that allowed only one touchdown and forced four turnovers. Quarterback Jeff Driskel completed 12-of-23 passes for 106 yards — his fourth SEC game with fewer than 110 yards — and tailback Mike Gillislee was held to under 100 yards rushing (he had 68) for the fourth straight game. Still, the Gators did enough to win, with a 45-yard Driskel-to-Gillislee touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter providing the final margin. The Gators will win the SEC East if Georgia loses at Auburn week.
Next week: UL-Lafayette

4. LSU (7–2, 3–2 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
Week 9 result: Lost to Alabama 21–17
There were so many bright spots for LSU, but in the end the final score — Alabama 21, LSU 17 — is all that really matters. Despite rolling up 435 total yards on the nation’s best defense and despite getting by far the best game of quarterback Zach Mettenberger’s career, the Tigers lost to Alabama for the second straight time. Mettenberger, who came into the game completing only 46.2 percent against SEC competition, was 24-of-35 for 298 yards and one touchdown. He made several key throws to keep drives alive and was a big reason the Tigers converted 10-of-20 on third down — an amazing stat against a defense as strong as Alabama’s. LSU is now 3–2 in the SEC and all but eliminated from both the SEC and national title chase.
Next week: Mississippi State

5. South Carolina (7–2, 5–2 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
Week 9 result: Bye
South Carolina had the week off to regroup after losing star tailback Marcus Lattimore to a devastating knee injury. The Gamecocks won’t be heading to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game, but they still have two very attainable goals — a 10-win regular season (only has happened twice before) and a six-win SEC season (only once).
Next week: Arkansas

6. Texas A&M (7–2, 4–2 SEC)
Last week’s rank: 7
Week 9 result: Beat Mississippi State 38–13
In a huge swing game in the SEC West, Texas A&M made a big statement, pounding Mississippi State 38–13 with surprising ease in Starkville. The Aggies jumped out to a 21–0 lead early in the second quarter and were never threatened. A&M recorded 693 yards of offense, including 311 through the air against one of the SEC’s most respected pass defenses. Quarterback Johnny Manziel, whose legend grows with each week, completed 30-of-36 for 311 yards and rushed for 129 yards and two touchdowns on 21 attempts. Ben Malena chipped in with 112 yards for an A&M offense that is averaging 550.8 yards in SEC games.
Next week: at Alabama

7. Mississippi State (7–2, 3–2 SEC)
Last week’s rank: 6
Week 9 result: Lost to Texas A&M 38–13
Just two weeks ago, Mississippi State was 7–0 and dreaming of a special season. Now, after two losses by a combined score of 76–20, the Bulldogs are 7–2 with trips to LSU and improved Ole Miss still on the schedule. MSU was outgained 693-to-310 and has given up 1,107 yards in the past two games. Tyler Russell was decent at quarterback, completing 19-of-30 for 212 yards, but the usually reliable Bulldog running game was limited to 98 yards on 27 attempts. Mississippi State only ran 57 offensive plays, compared to 97 by Texas A&M. “That’s as bad of a performance as I think we’ve had here,” MSU coach Dan Mullen said.
Next week: at LSU

8. Ole Miss (5–4, 2–3 SEC)
Last week’s rank: 8
Week 9 result: Lost to Georgia 37–10
The Rebels jumped on top of Georgia 10–0 in Athens but were outscored 37–0 over the game’s 45 minutes. Ole Miss had success early on offense, with three of its first four drives going for 50 yards or more. But the Rebels struggled the rest of the way; their final 11 drives went for 20 yards or fewer. The final tally was a season-low 234 yards with only 12 first downs. Tailback Jeff Scott, who had back-to-back 100-yard games against Texas A&M and Auburn, was held to 21 yards and only has 71 yards on 34 carries in the last two games. Ole Miss is still one win away from becoming bowl-eligible, with games remaining Vanderbilt, LSU and Mississippi State.
Next week: Vanderbilt

9. Vanderbilt (5–4, 3–3 SEC)
Last week’s rank: 10
Week 9 result: Beat Kentucky 40–0
Vanderbilt won its third straight game — and did so in convincing fashion. The Commodores jumped on Kentucky early, scoring touchdowns on four of five first half possessions and cruised to a 40–0 win in Lexington. Vanderbilt outgained the Cats 447 to 260 and converted 11-of-17 on third down (including 8-of-10 in the first half). The shutout was the first in SEC play for Vanderbilt since blanking Kentucky 6–0 in 1968, and the 40-point margin of victory was the largest in league play for the Dores since beating LSU 48–7 in 1948.
Next week: at Ole Miss

10. Tennessee (4–5, 0–5 SEC)
Last week’s rank: 9
Week 9 result: Beat Troy 55–48
The good news: Tennessee gained a school-record 718 yards. The bad news: Tennessee gave up a school-record 721 yards. The bottom line: The Volunteers beat Troy 55–48 in one of the craziest games of the 2012 season. Tyler Bray threw for a school-record 530 yards and five touchdowns and now has 898 yards with nine scores and one pick in his last two games. Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter each caught nine of Bray’s 29 completions, with Patterson gaining 219 yards with one touchdown and Hunter 181 yards with three scores. The big story, however, was a Tennessee defense that gave up 721 yards to a Troy team that gained 381 the previous week in a loss to FAU. “Well, it’s a bad defense,” UT coach Derek Dooley said after the game. “Just didn’t really have an answer for anything.”
Next week: Missouri

11. Arkansas (4–5, 2–3 SEC)
Last week’s rank: 11
Week 9 result: Beat Tulsa 19–15
Arkansas kept its bowl hopes alive with a 19–15 come-from-behind win over a Tulsa team that had won seven straight games. The Hogs were led by tailback Dennis Johnson, who gained 109 yards and scored two touchdowns on 22 carries, and wide receiver Cobi Hamilton, who had had 177 yards on 11 receptions. With at least three games remaining, Hamilton has a single-season school-record 69 catches for 1,077 yards. Arkansas jumped on the Golden Hurricane early and held a 10–0 lead at the end of the first quarter. But Tulsa kept things tight and took a 15–13 lead midway through the third quarter on a 29-yard field goal. After their next two drives stalled, the Hogs reclaimed the lead early in the fourth quarter when Johnson capped a four-pay 76-yard drive with a one-yard run touchdown run up the middle. Arkansas now needs to win two of its final three games to become bowl-eligible. The Hogs play at South Carolina and Mississippi State and host LSU.
Next week: at South Carolina

12. Missouri (4–5, 1–5 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
Week 9 result: Lost to Florida
Missouri ended its stay in the Big 12 with seven straight non-losing conference seasons but is already guaranteed of a losing record in its first year in the SEC. The Tigers dropped to 1–5 in the league with a 14–7 loss at Florida on Saturday. Missouri outgained the Gators 335-to-276 but was undone by four interceptions tossed by quarterback James Franklin. Making his first start since Oct. 6 (knee injury), Franklin completed 24-of-51 passes for 236 yards but was held to 29 yards rushing on 11 carries. The Missouri offense has a total of 590 yards and 17 points in two SEC road games.
Next week: at Tennessee

13. Auburn (2–7, 0–6 SEC)
Last week’s rank: 13
Week 9 result: Beat New Mexico State 42–7
Auburn overcome a slow start — the Tigers only led 7–0 at the half — and buried New Mexico State (which has yet to beat an FBS team this season) at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Making his first career start, quarterback Jonathan Wallace completed 9-of-16 passes for 164 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The Tigers did most of their work on the ground, with Tre Mason (152 yards) and Onterio McCalebb (113) both topping the 100-yard mark. Auburn’s final two SEC games are against the two teams who will likely meet in the league title game — Georgia and Alabama.
Next week: Georgia

14. Kentucky (1–9, 0–7 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
Week 9 result: Lost to Vanderbilt 40–0
Kentucky was held to 260 yards of offense in a 40–0 loss at home to Vanderbilt. Quarterbacks Jalen Whitlow and Patrick Towles, both true freshmen, combined to complete 13-of-35 passes for 159 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. The Cats’ defense was manhandled by a balanced Vanderbilt attack that had 200-plus yards rushing and passing. The Commodores scored touchdowns on five of their first six possessions. Kentucky has lost two straight to Vanderbilt (for the first times since the mid-1990s) by a combined score of 78–8.
Next week: Samford


<p> We almost had a change at the top in the SEC, but Alabama rallied to beat LSU in Baton Rouge and hold on to the No. 1 spot in the power rankings. LSU dropped from No. 2 to No. 4 with the loss, while Georgia climbs to from No. 3 to No. 2.</p>
Post date: Monday, November 5, 2012 - 05:10
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Legends Poll, News
Path: /college-football/legends-poll-top-25-college-football-week-10

The Legends Poll Top 25After surviving in a thriller at LSU, Alabama proved once again it’s worthy of the No. 1 ranking in the Legends Poll.

Trailing by three with just over a minute left in the game, quarterback AJ McCarron was able to lead Alabama down the field, and connected with running back T.J. Yeldon for the go-ahead score.

The Crimson Tide received all 17 first-place votes for the seventh straight week.

“I think Alabama has got the total package,” former Syracuse coach Dick MacPherson said. “And I don’t think anybody else has what they have.”

Oregon and Kansas State continued to jockey for second in the top 25 poll. Oregon edged Kansas State this week and jumped back into the No. 2 spot.

Notre Dame remained at No. 4 after it survived a scare of its own, a triple overtime victory over Pittsburgh.

No. 6 Georgia and No. 7 Florida State flip-flopped in the rankings after Georgia’s victory over Ole Miss. The Bulldogs can wrap up the SEC East title with a win over embattled rival Auburn.

Florida, Clemson and Louisville rounded out the top 10.

No. 20 Louisiana Tech also jumped five spots, but No. 17 UCLA was the biggest mover in the rankings, vaulting back into the top 25 after a 66-10 victory over Arizona.

Texas and TCU were also newcomers to the rankings.

No. 23 Mississippi State fell seven spots in the rankings after suffering its second straight loss.

Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and West Virginia dropped out of the poll.

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


1 AlabamaAlabama (17) 9-0 425 1
2 OregonOregon 9-0 401 3
3 Kansas StateKansas State 9-0 397 2
4 Notre DameNotre Dame 9-0 368 4
5 LSULSU 7-2 338 5
6 GeorgiaGeorgia 8-1 337 7
7 Florida StateFlorida State 8-1 336 6
8 FloridaFlorida 8-1 309 8
9 ClemsonClemson 8-1 296 9
10 LouisvilleLouisville 9-0 268 10
11 South CarolinaSouth Carolina 7-2 227 11
12 Oregon StateOregon State 7-1 226 12
13 Texas A&MTexas A&M 7-2 224 14
14 StanfordStanford 7-2 222 13
15 OklahomaOklahoma 6-2 197 15
16 NebraskaNebraska 7-2 166 19
17 UCLAUCLA 7-2 106 -
18 Boise StateBoise State 7-2 95 17
19 USCUSC 6-3 85 18
20 Louisiana TechLouisiana Tech 8-1 79 25
21 NorthwesternNorthwestern 7-2 78 23
22 TexasTexas 7-2 71 -
23 Mississippi StateMississippi State 7-2 66 16
24 RutgersRutgers 7-1 44 24
25 TCUTCU 6-3 38 -

Others Receiving Votes

Texas Tech 29, Michigan 24, Oklahoma State 20, Cincinnati 16, Utah State 13, West Virginia 10, Wisconsin 9, North Carolina 2, Miami (FL) 2, UCF 1

Teams Dropped Out from Last Week's Poll

Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, West Virginia


* 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

<p> As voted on by 17 coaching legends</p>
Post date: Monday, November 5, 2012 - 05:05
Path: /college-football/big-east-post-week-10-power-rankings

If Louisville is playing with a chip on its shoulder, Cardinals coach Charlie Strong has to be pleased with the results.

Louisville is the lowest ranked undefeated team at No. 11 in the Associated Press top 25, two spots behind a two-loss LSU. The other five undefeated teams -- Alabama, Oregon, Kansas State, Notre Dame and Ohio State -- are all in the top five.

Even an undefeated Big East champion may have difficulty cracking the top five, especially one whose best non-conference win is by 5 over North Carolina at home. For now, Louisville will just have to settle for dominating performances against its conference opponents, such as this week’s 45-17 win over Temple.

While Louisville keeps winning, other Big East teams had an eventful weekend, at least at the quarterback position. USF four-year starter B.J. Daniels will miss the remainder of the season with a broken ankle, and Cincinnati coach Butch Jones may be mulling a change of his own at quarterback.

Teddy Bridgewater

Offensive Player of the Year Standings
1. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville --
A week after setting a career high with 416 passing yards against Cincinnati, Bridgewater set a career-best with five touchdown passes against Temple. The sophomore is averaging 325 passing yards per game in Big East play while throwing 10 touchdowns and one interception in four conference games.

2. George Winn, Cincinnati -- Winn rushed for 165 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries against Syracuse on Saturday, adding a 37-yard touchdown pass to boot. Winn is averaging 128.3 rushing yards in Big East games, leading the conference by nearly 20 yards per game.

3. Jawan Jamison, Rutgers -- Jamison’s workload has eased a bit in the last two games, partially because Rutgers trailed at halftime in the win over Temple and loss to Kent State. Although Jamison failed to hit the 100-yard mark in two of the last three games, he has topped 80 yards rushing in each of the last two contests.

Defensive Player of the Year Standings
1. Khaseem Greene, Rutgers --
Greene will have a chance to shine against Army’s option offense this week. Greene leads Rutgers in tackles (74) and sacks (5.5) and leads the Big East in forced fumbles (five).

2. Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut -- Connecticut rebounded from allowing 40 points to Syracuse two weeks ago to hold USF to 13 on the road. Smallwood leads the Big East in tackles for a loss (13) and is second in tackles (91).

3. Greg Blair, Cincinnati -- The senior leads the Big East in tackles (83) to go with 4.5 tackles for a loss, two interceptions and four pass breakups. His 10 tackles Saturday against Syracuse gave him double-digit tackles for the third consecutive game.

Coach of the Year Standings
1. Charlie Strong, Louisville --
Strong has the Cardinals off to a 9-0 start, the best in school history. The win over Temple on Saturday topped Louisville’s 8-0 start in 2008 under Bobby Petrino. The Cardinals are 9-1 in their last 10 Big East games and 14-2 since starting the 2011 season 2-4.

2. Kyle Flood, Rutgers -- Here’s where Flood will be challenged most. Not only is his team bruised from a turnover-laden loss to Kent State, Rutgers will go three weeks between conference games before facing Cincinnati on Nov. 17. The undefeated record is gone, but the program’s first Big East title remains in reach.

3. Butch Jones, Cincinnati -- The Bearcats snapped out of a two-game losing streak to defeat Syracuse 35-24, but Jones now has a quarterback quandary on his hands after benching Munchie Legaux in the third quarter against Syracuse.

Big East Post-Week 10 Power Rankings

1. Louisville (9-0, 4-0)
Last week’s rank:
Week 10 result: Beat Temple 45-17
Temple returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, but that was one of the few momentum swings in the Owls' favor. The game was tied at 17 early in the second quarter, but once Louisville got going, Temple had no chance. The Cardinals scored on seven of 10 possessions (six touchdowns, one field goal) through the first three quarters to put the Owls away. The Cardinals have topped 500 yards in the last two games and average 7.2 yards per play in Big East games. The next best is Cincinnati at 6.2.
This week: at Syracuse

2. Rutgers (7-1, 4-0)
Last week’s rank:
Week 10 result: Off
The Scarlet Knights have had a week to simmer over the 35-23 loss to Kent State, but on the bright side for Rutgers, the defense has had an extra week to prepare for Army’s option offense. Not that Rutgers may need much help -- the Scarlet Knights have won eight in a row against Army by an average score of 32-11. After not allowing a team to rush for 100 yards in the first six games, Rutgers has allowed 343 rushing yards the last two games.
This week: Army

3. Cincinnati (6-2, 2-1)
Last week’s rank:
Week 10 result:Beat Syracuse 35-24
After saying earlier last week he wouldn’t flinch when it came to sticking with starting quarterback Munchie Legaux, Coach Butch Jones “went with the gut” in replacing Legaux with senior Brendon Kay in the third quarter. Jones’ gut was right as Kay led two scoring drives and completed 3 of 3 passes for 32 yards and a touchdown. The quarterback change contributed win Saturday, but it will lead to questions this week leading up to a road trip to Temple. Legaux’s ability has been apparent all season, but he’s been inconsistent. He’s struggled to complete half his passes (he went 11 of 22 against Syracuse), and he’s been turnover prone (he threw an interception and a near-pick six Saturday, which caused him to be benched). Aside from the quarterback situation, running back George Winn had a career day with 165 yards on 30 carries and four total touchdowns.
This week: at Temple

4. Pittsburgh (4-5, 1-3)
Last week’s rank: 5
Week 10 result: Lost to Notre Dame 29-26 in triple overtime
Although Pittsburgh failed to pull off the upset of the season with a 29-26 loss in triple overtime to Notre Dame, the Panthers aren’t the same team that lost to Youngstown State and Cincinnati in the first two games. The Panthers have put more on the shoulders of veteran running back Ray Graham, who rushed for 172 yards and a touchdown against the Irish. On his own, Graham rushed for more yards on the Notre Dame defense than any team this season. It was also his highest rushing total since rushing for 226 yards against USF on Sept. 29, 2011. A bowl game remains a possibility, but Pitt is going to need to win at least one game on the road with its final three games at Connecticut, vs. Rutgers at home and at USF.
This week: at Connecticut (Friday)

5. Syracuse (4-4, 1-3)
Last week’s rank:
Week 10 result: Lost 35-24 to Cincinnati
The maddening season for Syracuse continued as the Orange couldn’t get out of its own way against Cincinnati. The Bearcats had their execution issues, but the Orange had more: Syracuse lost two fumbles, had a 25-yard field goal blocked, missed a 42-yarder and dropped a potential pick six. This has been a trend for a team that leads the Big East in total offense but ranks only fourth in scoring. The difference is more stark on a national level: Syracuse averages 463.8 yards per game (26th nationally), but averages only 26.4 points per game (74th).
This week: Louisville

6. USF (3-6, 1-4)
Last week’s rank:
Week 10 result: Beat Connecticut 13-6
This is the kind of two-year stretch it’s been for USF: The Bulls ended a six-game losing streak, finally closed out a game in the fourth quarter and picked up their first two interceptions of the season. But a dose of bad news followed the game with the announcement four-year starting quarterback B.J. Daniels will miss the remainder of the season with broken ankle. In an odd bit of symmetry, Daniels ascended to the starting quarterback job after a season-ending to senior Matt Grothe, making his first career start on the road against Florida State. Redshirt freshman Matt Floyd will make his first career start against another of the Sunshine State’s major programs in Miami in two weeks.
This week: Off

7. Temple
Last week’s rank:
Week 10 result: Lost to Louisville 45-17
After a 2-0 start, Temple is starting to look more like a team struggling to find its footing at the Big East level. In the Owls’ last three loses, they’ve been outscored 127-44. With four turnovers against Louisville (including two fumbles from quarterback Chris Coyer), Temple is minus-8 in turnover margin the last four games. Unless Temple can follow through on aspirations to schedule a December game at Hawaii, the Owls must sweep Cincinnati, Army and Syracuse to become bowl eligible.
This week: Cincinnati

8. Connecticut (3-6, 0-4)
Last week’s rank:
Week 10 result: Lost to USF 13-6
After losing 13-6 to USF, Connecticut is going to have an uphill climb to win even one Big East game this season with Pittsburgh, Louisville and Cincinnati on the remaining schedule. The offense emerged from an off week as ineffective as it had all season. The Huskies failed to score a touchdown, were sacked three times and turned the ball over on each of its final three possessions to end a comeback bid. During this four-game losing streak, UConn has accounted for three offensive touchdowns (three passing, none rushing) and 11 turnovers (seven interceptions, four fumbles).
This week: Pittsburgh (Friday)

By David Fox


Related College Football Content

Three and Out: Week 10 Recap

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

<p> Big East Post-Week 10 Power Rankings</p>
Post date: Monday, November 5, 2012 - 05:03
Path: /college-football/acc-post-week-10-power-rankings

The Coastal Division has been one of college football’s most difficult races to figure out this season but there could be some clarity after Miami’s win over Virginia Tech on Thursday night. The Hurricanes own a 4-2 record in ACC play and finish with matchups against Duke and Virginia. Florida State remains the conference’s No. 1 team, with Clemson a close second at 8-1 overall.

ACC Offensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina – Bernard and North Carolina were off in Week 10, but the sophomore continues to maintain a commanding lead for the No. 1 spot. Bernard needs 70 rushing yards to reach 1,000 and has 15 total scores this year.

2. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson – Boyd has tossed 10 touchdowns over the last two weeks and ranks fourth nationally in pass efficiency.

3. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson – Hopkins is having an outstanding season so far, catching 62 passes for 1,037 yards and 13 scores through nine contests.

ACC Defensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State – Werner had an off date in Week 10 but remains tied for the ACC lead in sacks and ranks second in tackles for a loss (12.5).

2. Joe Vellano, DT, Maryland – Vellano recorded only one tackle in Saturday’s loss to Georgia Tech.

3. Ross Cockrell, CB, Duke – Cockrell and Duke’s defensive backs have struggled the last two weeks, allowing 48 points to Florida State and 56 to Clemson.

ACC Coach of the Year Standings

1. David Cutcliffe, Duke – The Blue Devils have lost back-to-back games but remains on track to make their first bowl appearance since 1994.

2. Al Golden, Miami – Even though Miami’s overall record (5-4) isn’t particularly impressive, the Hurricanes are in position to win their first Coastal title.

3. Larry Fedora, North Carolina – Despite a bowl ban hanging over this team, Fedora has been able to keep the Tar Heels on track and should have the best record in the Coastal Division at the end of the year.

Post-Week 10 Power Rankings

1. Florida State (8-1, 5-1 ACC)
Last Week: 1
Week 10 Result: Bye Week
The Seminoles were off in Week 10 and return to action on Thursday night against Virginia Tech. Florida State still controls its destiny in the Atlantic Division but cannot afford another loss with Clemson also 5-1 in conference play. The Seminoles have to travel to Blacksburg this Thursday, a place they have not won at since 1989. Even though Virginia Tech is struggling, this is still a dangerous game for Florida State.
Next Game: at Virginia Tech (Thursday)

2. Clemson (8-1, 5-1 ACC)
Last Week: 2
Week 10 Result: Beat Duke 56-20
With 98 points in the last two weeks, it’s pretty clear the Tigers' offense is hitting on all cylinders. Clemson’s offense had its way against Duke, leading the team to a 56-20 win and improving its overall record to 8-1. Quarterback Tajh Boyd threw three picks but tossed five touchdown passes. Receiver DeAndre Hopkins was Boyd’s favorite target, catching four passes for 129 yards and three scores. Clemson has scored at least 40 points four times in ACC play this season and has a shot to make a BCS bowl if it wins its final three games.
Next Game: Maryland

3. North Carolina (6-3, 3-2 ACC)
Last Week:
Week 10 Result: Bye Week
The Tar Heels were off in Week 10, allowing them a little more time to celebrate last week’s 43-35 win over rival NC State. North Carolina should be favored to win its last three games – Georgia Tech, at Virginia and Maryland. However, the Tar Heels are ineligible to play in a bowl game, which has put a damper on a promising first season by new coach Larry Fedora.
Next Game: Georgia Tech

4. Miami (5-4, 4-2 ACC)
Last Week: 7
Week 10 Result: Beat Virginia Tech 30-12
The Hurricanes moved one step closer to an ACC Coastal title with a 30-12 victory over Virginia Tech on Thursday night. Miami struggled to move the ball at times, but the defense forced three turnovers and blocked a punt to setup a scoring drive. Freshman running back Duke Johnson had a huge performance, rushing for 100 yards and one touchdown, while adding an 81-yard kickoff return in the first quarter. The Hurricanes have two more conference games remaining – at Virginia and at Duke – and wins in both contests would send this team to its first appearance in the ACC Championship game.
Next Game: at Virginia

5. Virginia Tech (4-5, 2-3 ACC)
Last Week: 5
Week 10 Result: Lost to Miami 30-12
A season that began with a lot of promise has quickly eroded into a battle just to get bowl eligible. The Hokies came off the bye week with a chance to gain control of the Coastal Division but lost 30-12 to Miami on Thursday night. Quarterback Logan Thomas had a few bright moments (a 73-yard touchdown run), but the junior also tossed two picks and completed only 19 of 37 throws. In addition to Thomas’ inconsistency, the Hokies didn’t get much production from their running backs. Virginia Tech needs two wins to get bowl eligible and should be able to beat Boston College and Virginia in the last two weeks of the season. However, a 6-6 record would be a major disappointment in Blacksburg.
Next Game: Florida State (Thursday)

6. Duke (6-4, 3-3 ACC)
Last Week:
Week 10 Result: Lost to Clemson 56-20
The last two weeks have taken a toll on Duke’s defense. The Blue Devils gave up 48 points in a loss to Florida State and was gashed for 56 points by Clemson in Week 10. Duke’s offense was able to hang with the Tigers early on, but the Blue Devils simply didn’t have enough firepower to close the gap in the second half. Although Duke dropped to 3-3 in ACC play, the next two matchups – at Georgia Tech and Miami – will decide if this team can win the Coastal Division.
Next Game: Bye Week

7. NC State (5-4, 2-3 ACC)
Last Week:
Week 10 Result: Lost to Virginia 33-6
The Wolfpack’s 33-6 loss to Virginia has to be one of the year’s most puzzling scores. NC State was a double-digit favorite to the Cavaliers, yet suffered an embarrassing loss. The Wolfpack managed only 216 yards on offense and surrendered 446 on defense. The loss to Virginia essentially knocks NC State out of the mix for the ACC Atlantic title and casts doubt on the future of coach Tom O’Brien. Although the Wolfpack are 22-13 over the last three years, there’s plenty of unrest in the fanbase. NC State will likely finish 7-5 but Saturday’s loss to Virginia won’t sit well at the end of the season.
Next Game: Wake Forest

8. Georgia Tech (4-5, 3-3 ACC)
Last Week:
Week 10 Result: Beat Maryland 33-13
After an awful showing in last week’s 41-17 loss to BYU, the Yellow Jackets bounced back into the win column with a 33-13 victory over Maryland. Georgia Tech’s defense has struggled all year and the Terrapins’ 13 points was the fewest allowed against a FBS opponent. Of course, Maryland’s quarterback issues had something to do with the defensive performance but this should help the Yellow Jackets build some momentum for the next few games. Georgia Tech could make a bowl game but needs to win two out of its last three contests – at North Carolina, Duke and at Georgia.
Next Game: at North Carolina

9. Maryland (4-5, 2-3 ACC)
Last Week: 9
Week 10 Result: Lost to Georgia Tech 33-13
The Terrapins dropped their third game in a row, losing 33-13 to Maryland on Saturday. With the injuries mounting at quarterback, converted linebacker Shawn Petty made his first start. The freshman completed 9 of 18 attempts for 115 yards and two touchdowns but struggled to get into a rhythm in the first half. Maryland’s defense has had a good season but allowed nearly 400 rushing yards to Georgia Tech. The Terrapins’ bowl hopes are slipping away, as this team needs two wins in matchups against Clemson, Florida State and North Carolina to get eligible for the postseason.
Next Game: at Clemson

10. Wake Forest (5-4, 3-4 ACC)
Last Week: 10
Week 10 Result: Beat Boston College 28-14
The Demon Deacons moved one step closer to bowl eligibility with a 28-14 win over Boston College. Wake Forest’s passing attack was the difference in the game, with quarterback Tanner Price completing 39 of 57 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns. Receiver Michael Campanaro tied an ACC record with 16 receptions, with three catches going for scores. Wake Forest’s defense had a solid effort against the Eagles’ offense, recording three sacks and four turnovers. The Demon Deacons conclude ACC play with a game at NC State next Saturday.
Next Game: at NC State

11. Virginia (3-6, 1-4 ACC)
Last Week:
Week 10 Result: Beat NC State 33-6
The Cavaliers have been one of the ACC’s most disappointing teams so far this season but got a little redemption in Week 10. Virginia manhandled NC State 33-6 to snap a six-game losing streak and claim its first win in ACC play this year. The Cavaliers’ offense has struggled to find their rhythm all year but recorded over 400 yards and finally found a spark on the ground. Kevin Parks rushed for 115 yards and Perry Jones chipped in 67 on 11 carries. The defense also did its part on Saturday, forcing five turnovers and picking up five sacks. Virginia still has slim bowl hopes and needs to win its final three games to get to six victories.
Next Game: Miami

12. Boston College (2-7, 1-5 ACC)
Last Week:
Week 10 Result: Lost to Wake Forest 28-14
With Saturday’s 28-14 loss to Wake Forest, Boston College clinched back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since 1997-98. The Eagles trailed 21-7 at halftime but pulled within seven in the third quarter. However, Boston College could never get closer, largely due to four turnovers and an inability to find an answer for Wake Forest receiver Michael Campanaro. The Eagles could be looking at a 2-10 final record, especially with matchups against Notre Dame, Virginia Tech and NC State remaining.
Next Game: Notre Dame

by Steven Lassan


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<p> ACC Post-Week 10 Power Rankings</p>
Post date: Monday, November 5, 2012 - 05:00
Path: /college-football/sec-2012-13-college-basketball-preview

Athlon Sports continues its countdown to the start of the 2012-13 basketball season, which begins with the first games on Nov. 9, with a countdown of the nation’s top conferences. We will release one conference preview each day, counting down to the top conference. For profiles of every team in each conference, check out the 2012-13 Athlon Sports College Basketball annual available in the online store.

The SEC did away with its East-West Division structure in basketball before last season, but don’t be fooled: This is a league divided.

Just compare the top of the league (Kentucky) with the No. 14 team (South Carolina). Kentucky is the defending national champion where attrition doesn’t seem to matter. The Wildcats lost four first-round NBA draft picks and two second-round picks but reloaded with another elite recruiting class with aspirations of returning to the Final Four.

At South Carolina, new coach Frank Martin immediately lost two of best players to transfers from a team that went 2-14 in the SEC last season. He’ll have an undersized team that may need a few years to rebuild. Unlike Kentucky, there will be no quick fixes with superstar freshmen.

The gulf between haves and have nots in the SEC is more than just the top and bottom teams. Kentucky, Missouri, Florida and Tennessee all ranked in the Athlon preseason top 25, and teams like Arkansas, Alabama, Ole Miss and Texas A&M are looking for the right breaks to reach the NCAA Tournament.

After that, the remainder of the league is in a stage of rebuilding. At LSU, Mississippi State and South Carolina, that process begins with new coaches, and and Vanderbilt, that begins with a wholly new cast of characters on last season’s SEC Tournament champions.

2011-12 regular season champion: Kentucky Player of the Year: Phil Pressey, Missouri
2012 NCAA Tournament teams: Alabama, Kentucky, Florida, Best Defensive Player: Nerlens Noel, Kentucky
Missouri#, Vanderbilt Most Underrated: Ray Turner, Texas A&M
New coaches: Johnny Jones (LSU), Frank Martin (South Carolina), Newcomer of the Year: Nerlens Noel, Kentucky
Rick Ray (Mississippi State)  
Realignment: Added Missouri, Texas A&M (Big 12)  
*won SEC tournament #won Big 12 tournament  
G Phil Pressey, Missouri G Kenny Boynton, Florida G Trae Golden, Tennessee
G BJ Young, Arkansas G Michael Dixon, Missouri G Ryan Harrow, Kentucky
F Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia F Murphy Holloway, Ole Miss
F Jeronne Maymon, Tennessee F Alex Poythress, Kentucky F Alex Oriakhi, Missouri
C Nerlens Noel, Kentucky F Marshawn Powell, Arkansas F Patric Young, Florida

1. Kentucky (38-2, 16-0)
The Wildcats are ranked No. 3 in our preseason rankings: Full preview

Kentucky, with three straight Elite Eights, back-to-back Final Fours and a national title, is enjoying its finest stretch since reaching three consecutive NCAA title games — winning twice — from 1996-98. John Calipari is the king of reloading, but is repeating a fair expectation? Since UCLA won seven in a row from 1967-73, only Duke (1991-92) and Florida (2006-07) have won back-to-back championships. But Calipari says: “I can tell you I like my team,” which he’s said at the start of the last three seasons, and those turned out pretty well. The guys who just helped UK win it all and have been back to watch the Cats work out this summer seem to think the next group will make another run.
Postseason prediction: NCAA Tournament Final Four

Related: Noel leads top freshmen for 2012-13

2. Missouri (30-5, 14-4 Big 12)
The Tigers are ranked No. 16 in our preseason rankings: Full preview

Missouri players believe they won’t just have more bodies this season but also more talent than they did a year ago. But to have a chance to meet or exceed last season’s accomplishments, they will also have to match the chemistry so integral to that success. The additional options could make it harder for players to fit into defined roles, but if Coach Frank Haith can get them to play together, the Tigers should be a more well-rounded team. The tandem of Laurence Bowers and Alex Oriakhi figures to make them better at protecting the rim, and their improved depth should help them extend their defense on the perimeter. With Phil Pressey, one of the nation’s top playmakers, directing the offense, Missouri should also generate enough points to contend in a league race led by reigning national champion Kentucky.
Postseason prediction: NCAA Tournament Sweet 16

Related: Tigers among teams relying on transfers

3. Florida (26-11, 10-6)
The Gators are ranked No. 20 in our preseason rankings: Full preview

Florida has the pieces in place to contend with Kentucky for the top spot in the SEC. The Gators, however, must stay healthy and will need more productivity from two key juniors — Patric Young up front and Scottie Wilbekin at the point — and for Boynton to score as efficiently as he did in ’11-12. A lack of size will still be an issue, but Billy Donovan has proven that he can win with a perimeter-oriented attack. Anything short of a return to the Sweet 16 — or beyond — will be a disappointment.
Postseason prediction: NCAA Tournament Two and Out

4. Tennessee (19-15, 10-6)
The experts told Cuonzo Martin his first Tennessee team would finish near the bottom of the SEC last season. The new Vols coach merely shrugged. “Maybe they’re right,” he said with a wicked smile. “We’ll see.” Fast forward to Year 2, and some say Martin’s second Tennessee team is among those to beat for the SEC crown and won’t sneak up on anyone. Indeed, one of the bigger blue chips in recent Tennessee prep history fell to Martin in the form of mid-term enrollee Jarnell Stokes last January. Martin and the Vols have been rolling ever since. More than 80 percent of last season’s scoring is back in the form of four returning starters. Stokes has grown into his size 20 sneakers, polishing up low-post moves and footwork that make his 6-8, 250-pound frame all the more difficult for foes to handle. When 6-7, 265-pound senior power forward Jeronne Maymon stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Stokes, the two form an imposing wall. The backcourt starts with junior point guard Trae Golden, who ranked second in the SEC in free throw shooting percentage (82.7) last season. Martin’s system utilizes two wings, and the Vols are well-stocked at the position. Battles for playing time abound, with junior Jordan McRae, incoming junior college transfer D’Montre Edwards, senior Skylar McBee and sophomore Josh Richardson fighting for time. If some scorers on the perimeter emerge, Tennessee could be in the hunt for an SEC title.
Postseason prediction: NCAA Tournament Two and Out

Related: Tennessee, Arkansas poised for return to NCAA Tourney

5. Arkansas (18-15, 6-10)

The key to Mike Anderson’s “fastest 40 minutes in college basketball” is having enough capable athletes ready to rotate in and out of the lineup to keep the pressure on. In Year 2 of his return to Arkansas, Anderson believes his roster is more equipped to thrive in his system. The Razorbacks retained the SEC’s top-scoring freshman from last season when guard BJ Young elected to return to school. He’ll team with forward Marshawn Powell, who is returning from knee surgery that cost him all but two games, to give Arkansas two of the most talented players in the league. Arkansas’ improved numbers should be evident on the perimeter. Young, one of the SEC’s best scorers, is primed for a big sophomore season. The 6-3 shooting guard ranked third in the SEC in scoring in league games with a 16.4-point average while shooting better than 50 percent from the field. Junior Mardracus Wade led the SEC with 47.6 percent 3-point shooting and should get plenty of looks again this season with Powell back in the lineup in the frontcourt. Powell’s return will help on multiple levels. The junior from Virginia can score with his back to the basket but also has the ability to step out and hit the 17-foot jump shot. He has solid ball skills, as well, which enables him to take the ball the basket from different spots on the floor. Powell averaged 14.9 points and shot 50.0 percent from the field two years ago as a freshman, his only completely healthy season at Arkansas. His work on the boards — he’s averaged 5.7 per game in his career — will be a big boost for an Arkansas team that ranked last in the SEC and 291st in the nation with a minus-3.8 rebounding margin. The pieces are in place for Arkansas to make a significant jump in the SEC standings. Anderson has a nice mix of veterans and young players who should thrive in his up-tempo game. The Hogs, however, must improve on defense and at least hold their own on the glass. If that happens, Arkansas can expect to hear its name called on Selection Sunday for the first time since 2008.
Postseason prediction: NCAA Tournament First Four

6. Alabama (21-12, 9-7)
Anthony Grant’s tenure at Alabama hasn’t resulted in the immediate success most fans crave, but it’s represented steady progress through his first three seasons. Junior Trevor Releford will bring something to the table that has become elusive in this era of one-and-done college basketball — all-conference talent and experience. He’ll be the captain of an Alabama backcourt that still lacks a go-to shooter but includes a number of experienced options. Releford, who has started 66 games over the past two seasons, saw a slight increase in scoring last season (11 to 12 points per game), but his assist totals dropped (125 to 88). Though they provided plenty of headaches because of their off-the-court behavior, JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell will be missed. The two players, when they weren’t suspended for various dustups with Grant last season, combined to average more than 27 points and 14 rebounds per game. Now, they’re both gone, and Grant will try to replace their production from a four-man pool that features only one player, sophomore Nick Jacobs, who has logged significant minutes in an Alabama uniform. Five-star freshman Devonta Pollard certainly has the talent to start right away as Alabama’s swingman. Grant’s lone signee for 2012, the 6-8, 200-pound Pollard promises to be on the court in a number of different ways. All things equal, Alabama, which has been one of the SEC’s best defensive teams under Grant, needs Pollard to, at least, replicate the kind of production Green provided during his four-year career. Without that, Alabama’s lack of depth and proven talent in the paint and its lack of go-to shooters on the perimeter will be exposed regularly by the SEC’s elite.

Postseason prediction: NIT

7. Ole Miss (20-14, 8-8)
Ole Miss hasn’t played in the NCAA Tournament since 2002, the longest drought among the 14 teams in the SEC. The Rebels might have made the Field of 68 in 2012 had they been able to find a reliable 3-point shooter in their first season in the post-Chris Warren era. Instead they finished 20–14 with a first-round NIT loss after reaching the SEC Tournament semifinals. If all goes as planned, junior college transfer Marshall Henderson, will solve the Rebels’ problem of poor 3-point shooting that sabotaged their season. A former starter at Utah, Henderson was the NJCAA National Player of the Year in ‘11-12 after averaging 19.6 points at South Plains (Texas) College. Holloway, an athletic combo forward, and Reginald Buckner, a rugged post player, flirted with leaving school early to explore professional basketball, but both opted to return to Ole Miss. They formed the top one-two rebounding punch in the SEC last season, with Holloway ranking third (9.0 rpg) in the league and Buckner fourth (8.1 rpg). Murphy Holloway also averaged 11.2 points per game in his first season back from Ole Miss after a brief stop at South Carolina. On paper, the pieces are in place keep Ole Miss in the NCAA Tournament conversation, but relying so heavily on newcomers, as the Rebels are with Henderson and fellow junior college transfer Jason Carter, is a dicey proposition.
Postseason prediction: NIT

Related: Ole Miss' Kennedy one of 10 coaches on the hot seat

8. Texas A&M (14-18, 4-14 Big 12)

Considering all of the adversity he encountered last season, second-year coach Billy Kennedy isn’t particularly worried about transitioning into a new conference. Or breaking in a new point guard. Or anything else, for that matter. He feels good physically. He likes the personnel changes he and his staff have made to the roster. And he believes his program is ready for a fresh start in the SEC. Indeed, if the Aggies receive solid play at the point, they should be tough enough to make its first season in the SEC much more enjoyable than their last in the Big 12. With all the uncertainties last season, Elston Turner was practically the rock of stability for A&M, starting 31 games and playing multiple positions. Turner is a good ball-handler and capable point guard, but he is most dangerous as a scorer. Turner could be a better pure scorer if first-year point guards Fabyon Harris and J’Mychal Reese can run the offense effectively. Kennedy says perhaps no player on the roster has improved more than Ray Turner, a 6-9 forward with tremendous athletic ability. Turner can alter games with monstrous dunks or blocked shots, but he must prove to be a more consistent scorer — especially with his back to the basket — for the Aggies to finish in the upper half of the SEC. The return of Roberson from an ankle injury last year should greatly improve A&M’s toughness. Roberson has proven to be a strong rebounder, and he brings a much-needed tenacity to A&M’s interior efforts. But if Fabyon Harris and Reese can handle the point guard duties effectively, Ray Turner and Elston Turner could have strong enough seasons to put the Aggies back into contention for a return to the NCAA Tournament.
Postseason prediction: NIT

Related: A&M, Missouri and Arkansas relying on players returning from injury

9. Georgia (15-17, 5-11)

Georgia has settled into an era of relative stability. Mark Fox is entering his fourth season as coach, with no turnover on his staff since he arrived, and he enjoys the confidence of his bosses. There has been little in the way of off-court trouble. And yet, the Bulldogs are still in a state of moving toward something — namely, consistent NCAA Tournament contention — rather than already being there. It has been two seasons since Fox guided the team to the NCAAs, where it went out in the first round. Georgia fans are waiting for Fox to show that he can recruit the caliber of players that can consistently contend in the SEC. Fox thinks his 2012-13 edition will show that. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope came to campus last year with as much hype as any recent Georgia player — and he largely lived up to it. Now, after Caldwell-Pope finished second on the team in scoring and first in rebounding, the team will basically belong to him. The bigger unknown for Georgia is what to expect in the rest of the backcourt. The point guard will be new. Senior Vincent Williams, who has barely been a member of the rotation, will get a shot to start. But he will have to beat out freshman Charles Mann, who at 6-4 is four inches taller. Georgia was one of the weakest rebounding teams in the SEC last season. Its frontcourt starters struggled to score, and other teams were able to score in the lane with near impunity. The problem was mainly that the team lacked a true center, and that problem hasn’t been remedied yet. This doesn’t appear to be a make-or-break year for Fox. But the next one is setting up that way, so at a minimum the Bulldogs need to show progress, and also show that they have the players in the program to eventually make a run.
Postseason prediction: NIT

10. Auburn (15-16, 5-11)
Tony Barbee hasn’t backed down from ambitious expectations for his third year at Auburn, even after losing one of his top players to a point-shaving investigation, enduring an offseason of massive turnover and welcoming as many as six new faces into the program. The changes were largely positive, Barbee says, and the team’s talent has been upgraded. Barbee is convinced the Tigers can move into the upper half of the league in 2013. But Auburn’s recent basketball track record — including just a 9–23 record in SEC play since Barbee arrived — will leave many skeptical until the Tigers validate their coach’s confidence by their play on the court. Varez Ward’s suspension amid a point-shaving investigation last March ended the season on a sour note and also created a vacancy at point guard. Barbee quickly offered a scholarship to Brian Greene Jr., who had been playing a post-grad year at IMG Academy in Florida. Barbee says Greene has unusual maturity for his age and that he impressed the coaching staff during summer practices. Rob Chubb was once a gangly freshman whose SEC future seemed dubious at best. Today, he’s a sturdy, 6-10, 245-pound senior who Barbee believes could be among the league’s best big men. Auburn needs Chubb to be more consistent and stay out of foul trouble, something that plagued him at times last season. While few expected Auburn’s attractive new arena to be an immediate solution to the Tigers’ decade-long basketball slump, the last two seasons have been especially grim. Auburn hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2003, and a return this year seems unlikely. But any trip to the postseason — even the NIT — would be a monumental step forward. The real measure of this year will come in the progress and development of the large and talented freshman class, on which much of Auburn’s hope for the future is staked.

11. Vanderbilt (25-11, 10-6)
Kevin Stallings’ biggest concern at this point last year was how his team, ranked by most in the top 10 in the preseason, would deal with high expectations. That, clearly, is not an issue this time around. With all five starters and the top reserve either lost to graduation or, in John Jenkins’ case, early departure to the NBA, Vanderbilt will field one of the most inexperienced teams in the nation in ’12-13. How inexperienced? Consider the following stat: Kedren Johnson, Vanderbilt’s leading returning scorer, averaged 2.3 points per game in SEC play. Johnson delivered the most memorable play of the 2011-12 season, converting a 3-point play in transition that gave Vanderbilt the lead for good in the final two minutes of the SEC Tournament title game. Now a sophomore, Johnson will be asked to emerge as a primary scoring threat on the perimeter. He has good size for a point guard and is an excellent passer, but his defense needs to improve and his 3-point shot is inconsistent. Johnson’s running mate will be fellow sophomore Dai-Jon Parker, a tremendous athlete who arrived last season as a ready-made defender. Josh Henderson, a 6-11 center, sat out the ’10-11 season as a redshirt then missed the bulk of last season with a stress fracture in his left foot. He was sidelined during the offseason as well after undergoing a second surgery to repair his foot, but Stallings expects his big man to be ready to practice. After averaging nearly 10 SEC wins over the past six seasons, Vanderbilt likely will take a significant dip in ’12-13. There is some solid talent on the roster — specifically on the perimeter — but there are no proven scorers and an alarming lack of size on the interior. Anything approaching .500 in the SEC should be considered a successful season.

12. LSU (18-15, 7-9)
To launch a new era in LSU basketball, the Tigers reached back to the most glorious part of their past. New coach Johnny Jones, hired in Baton Rouge after 11 season at North Texas, was a point guard at LSU in the early 1980s and an assistant coach after that when the Tigers twice advanced to the Final Four under Dale Brown and climbed into a spot among the national elite. That history fuels Jones’ optimism as he takes over a program with two key cornerstones back from last season’s NIT team — point guard Anthony Hickey and forward Johnny O’Bryant — along with three other veterans, including one who has started most of his first two years (Andre Stringer). That crew was fortified by a promising, under-the-radar recruiting class, anchored by junior college frontcourt teammates Shavon Coleman and Calvin Godfrey from Howard (Texas) College. Even with a five-man class on the way, though, the Tigers are poised to enter the season with only 10 scholarship players.  For LSU to be a real factor in the SEC this season, O’Bryant needs to take a major step forward. Jones would love to see the former McDonald’s All-American average 16 points and 10 boards. Hickey and Stringer are nice building blocks and have shown the ability to operate at both guard spots. But neither cracks six feet, and that becomes a problem on the defensive end.  With only one senior scholarship player on the roster, this is a team built with an eye on the future. The present could be a little rocky unless Hickey and particularly O’Bryant blossom into All-SEC-caliber players.

Related: Frank Martin, Johnny Jones among top hires for 2012-13

13. Mississippi State (21-12, 8-8)
Rick Ray shies away from the term “rebuilding,” but these are the parts he has to work with — two role players, a sophomore who averaged 3.5 minutes per game last year, an oft-injured junior, a foreign transfer still serving an NCAA suspension, and seven signees. This is clearly a rebuild. A former assistant at Clemson, Ray took over for Rick Stansbury, who retired after 14 years, and the roster took a big hit with four early departures. The only player with significant starting experience on the roster is junior Jalen Steele, a sharpshooter who has played his best coming off the bench. Steele made 39.3 percent of his 3-point shots last season and had some notable outbursts, in particular at Vanderbilt, when he knocked down four in a row during a second-half rally. Steele averaged 8.7 points per game on the season, and he’s working on becoming a more well-rounded scorer. The backcourt will be heavily populated by newcomers. Junior college transfer Trivante Bloodman and freshman Jacoby Davis will vie for the point guard spot vacated by four-year starter Dee Bost. Mississippi State’s post scoring will likely come from other sources, like junior college transfer Colin Borchert, a 6-foot-8, 225-pounder with a nice outside stroke.

14. South Carolina (10-21, 2-14)
Even by South Carolina’s modest standards, last season was an unmitigated disaster for the Gamecocks. They had their worst overall record since 1998-99, their third consecutive losing season and their fewest ever victories in the SEC, which they joined in 1991-92. Hired from Kansas State, new coach Frank Martin wants to make South Carolina matter again, but it might take a while for them to reach that point. South Carolina has two returning starters in the backcourt — point guard Bruce Ellington and shooting guard Damien Leonard — but Ellington is playing football again and won’t rejoin the basketball team until after the bowl game, Martin says. Ellington led the team in scoring two years ago and ranked second last season. The transfers of freshman Anthony Gill to Virginia and Damontre Harris to Florida and an injury to Carlton Geathers leaves South Carolina with only one true post player to start the season, seven-foot freshman Laimonas Chatkevicius from Lithuania. This is a foundation year for Martin, as he tries to get his players to embrace his pressure defense, which involves guarding opponents to the halfcourt line and being “mean as a pit bull,” Martin says.@AthlonSports

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

Athlon Conference Previews and Power Rankings
6. Pac-12
7. Mountain West
8. Atlantic 10

9. West Coast

10. Missouri Valley
11. Conference USA
12. Colonial
13. Sun Belt
14. MAC
15. Horizon

Athlon College Basketball Countdown:
1. Indiana
2. Louisville

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

20. Florida

<p> SEC 2012-13 College Basketball Preview</p>
Post date: Monday, November 5, 2012 - 05:00
Path: /college-football/big-ten-post-week-10-power-rankings

Bo Pelini and Nebraska might have turned a corner this weekend. After beating Michigan at home, the Cornhuskers went into East Lansing and snatched a victory from Michigan State to keep control of their Big Ten title hopes. With Michigan nipping at their heels, the Huskers' margin for error is slim, but Taylor Martinez overcame some miscues to lead his team down the field and potentially into the Big Ten championship game.

And what did I tell you about the Indiana Hoosiers? A win over Wisconsin next weekend at home could send Kevin Wilson to the title game as well.

Post-Week 10 Offensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State - Miller completed 12 of his 20 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns to go with 73 rushing yards on 18 attempts and his 13th rushing touchdown of the season in the easy win over Illinois.

2. Matt McGloin, QB, Penn State - McGloin is playing the best football of his career after throwing for his fifth career 300-yard game (316, 2 TD) in the dominating road win over Purdue. His team's only Big Ten loss was to Miller and the Buckeyes. 

3. Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska - He made some big mistakes (three interceptions) but also has moments of electricity that can be jaw-dropping. He rushed for 205 yards, threw for 160 yards and scored four times, including the game winner, in the huge road win over Michigan State.

Post-Week 10 Defensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Mike Mauti, LB, Penn State - He posted five total tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss in the dominating road performance against Purdue — who was held to three points until the final play of the game.

2. Mike Taylor, LB, Wisconsin - Taylor was off this weekend

3. John Simon, DL, Ohio State - Simon registered one tackles, one tackle for loss, one sack and one pass deflected in the easy win over Illinois.

Post-Week 10 Coach of the Year Standings

1. Urban Meyer, Ohio State - Meyer is now two wins away from his first undefeated season as a BCS head coach. He was unbeaten with Utah in the Mountain West and never went unblemished at Florida. With a sophomore QB and bowl ban, the job he has done in Columbus has been remarkable. 

2. Bill O'Brien, Penn State - A sign of a well-coached team is learning from adversity. Penn State faced that last week in the bad home loss to Ohio State, but Coach BoB had his team ready to rebound this weekend against Purdue.

3. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern - His Wildcats were off this weekend and will face two road trips to Michigan over the next two weeks, giving Coach Fitz a chance to contend with O'Brien and Meyer for this award. That is, if Kevin Wilson doesn't win the Leaders Division.

Post-Week 10 Power Rankings

1. Ohio State (10-0, 6-0)
Previous rank: 1
Week 10 result: Beat Illinois 52-22

Ohio State had 306 yards of offense, 16 first downs and 31 points at halftime against the overmatched Illini. Braxton Miller continues to make his case for a Heisman Trophy as he totaled 299 (226 passing, 73 rushing) yards of offense and three more touchdowns in the easy 30-point win — a win that gives Ohio State the only 10-0 record in the nation. Carlos Hyde also starred in the Ohio State backfield, rushing for 137 yards and three touchdowns on 18 attempts. A much-needed bye week, obviously OSU's first of the season, sets up Urban Meyer's run at a perfect record. The Buckeyes will face a tough two-game finale to the season: at Wisconsin and that team from up North at home on Nov. 24 so the bye comes at just the right time.
This week: Bye Week

2. Nebraska (7-2, 4-1)
Previous rank: 2
Week 10 result: Beat Michigan State 28-24 
Taylor Martinez threw three interceptions, including one in the red zone in the fourth quarter. Yet, the dynamic play maker rallied his team with his legs (205 yards rushing, 2 TD) and his arm (160 yards, 2 TD) as he connected with Jamal Turner with six seconds left to win a huge road test in the Legends Division. Even without Rex Burkhead, Nebraska's top-rated rushing attack rolled up an impressive 313 yards against the league's stingiest run defense. Martinez was brilliant on the final drive of the game, converting on fourth and long and throwing the game winner. The weight of this road win as the frontrunner in the division cannot be overstated. This was a season-defining signature win for the junior quarterback. 
This week: Penn State (6-3)

3. Michigan (6-3, 4-1)
Previous rank: 3
Week 10 result: Beat Minnesota 35-13
Brady Hoke kept his Big Ten title hopes alive with a road win and The Little Brown Jug will remain in Ann Arbor. And he did all of that without Denard Robinson. Converted wide receiver Devin Gardner, a former four-star quarterback prospect, moved back under center this weekend and he delivered an efficient performance in the Twin Cities. He completed 12-of-18 passes and ran the ball 10 times, accounting for three total touchdowns and 251 total yards of offense. Despite constantly dealing with nagging injuries, Robinson had never missed a game in his Michigan career until this weekend. His "undisclosed injury" is presumed ulnar nerve issue he has dealt with multiple times in his career. He should be back next weekend against Northwestern.
This week: Northwestern (7-2)

4. Penn State (6-3, 4-1)
Previous rank: 4
Week 10 result: Beat Purdue 34-9
After arguably the worst showing of the season, Penn State put together one of its most complete efforts on the road against Purdue. Quarterback Matt McGloin was excellent, throwing for 316 yards and 2 TDs. It was his second consecutive 300-yard passing game (5 career) and his third in the last five games. He has topped the 280-yard mark in four straight games after topping that benchmark only three times in his entire career prior. The Nits showed excellent balance on offense as well, rushing for 191 yards on 39 attempts. The defense pitched a shutout over the final 58 minutes (until Purdue scored on the game's final play) in what was a tune-up for what should be an exciting road trip to Lincoln to face the league's best offense next weekend.

This week: at Nebraska (7-2)

5. Wisconsin (6-3, 3-2)
Previous rank: 5
Week 10 result: Off
Fans in Madison better hope the bye week has helped new-old quarterback Danny O'Brien. This offense has been totally one-dimensional and uninspiring whenever Joel Stave is on the sideline. And Stave is now gone for the year with a broken collarbone. The Leaders Division champion is likely to come from the winner of the Wisconsin-Indiana game next Saturday. 
This week: at Indiana (4-5)

6. Northwestern (7-2, 3-2)
Previous rank: 6
Week 10 result: Off
The Wildcats were off this weekend and now face back-to-back road trips into the state of Michigan.  
This week: at Michigan (6-3)

7. Michigan State (5-5, 2-4)
Previous rank: 7
Week 10 result: Lost to Nebraska 28-24
Mark Dantonio has had a rough season in East Lansing. Heart-stopping endings have been a regular part of the Sparty diet this season and the loss to Nebraska in the final seconds will go down as the toughest to swallow. A long fourth-down conversion and questionable pass interference call set up the game-winning touchdown for the Huskers and left Dantonio scratching his head. Le'Veon Bell had a solid game, rushing for 188 yards and two scores on 36 carries, but the struggles once again on offense stem from quarterback play. Andrew Maxwell completed just nine of his 27 attempts. His play has been the overriding problem for the Spartans all season, however, the Big Ten's No. 1-rated rushing defense needs to take its share of blame this weekend. They allowed 313 yards to the Huskers — more than 220 yards above its season average. The bye week will be a long two weeks in East Lansing.
This week: Bye week

8. Indiana (4-5, 2-3)
Previous rank: 11
Week 10 result: Beat Iowa 24-21
The Indiana Hoosiers are now in complete control of their destiny in the Big Ten Leaders Division with three to play. Quarterbacks Cameron Coffman and Nate Sudfeld completed 31-of-48 passes with Cameron providing most of the production through the air. The sophomore threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns and led three huge drives in the final period. Coffman threw the game winner with just over 12 minutes to play and then chewed up the clock with two long, eight-play drives — one that went for 58 yards and the other that used up 4:25 of the final 4:43 left on the clock. Wisconsin comes to town next weekend well rested after the bye week, however, starting quarterback Joel Stave won't be playing due to a broken collarbone. With Purdue still on the schedule and Wisconsin having to face Ohio State and Penn State still, there is a legitimate chance Indiana will play in the Big Ten Championship Game.
This week: Wisconsin (6-3)

9. Iowa (4-5, 2-3)
Previous rank: 8
Week 10 result: Lost to Indiana 24-21
Iowa couldn't get its defense off of the field in the fourth quarter and it cost the Hawkeyes the win. After taking the lead early in the final frame, Indiana possessed the ball and converted on third downs  — something Iowa couldn't do all game (5-of-14). Indiana easily out-gained the Hawks 473 to 347, giving Kirk Ferentz his third straight loss. The good news for the people of Iowa City is Purdue visits Kinnick Stadium next weekend. The bad news is Iowa will have to beat either Michigan on the road or Nebraska at home to get to bowl eligibility. Both seem like tall orders for this team.
This week: Purdue (3-6)

10. Minnesota (5-4, 1-4)
Previous rank: 9
Week 10 result: Lost to Michigan 35-13
Golden Gophers fans will need to wait one more week to get bowl eligible after losing at home to a Denard Robinson-less Michigan squad. Minnesota heads to Illinois next weekend in what is likely its final shot to get to the postseason as Jerry Kill's team will face Nebraska on the road and Michigan State at home to finish the year. Philip Nelson failed to accomplish much of anything on offense after the game's first touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. The offense finished with just 275 total yards and was outscored 35-6 after the scoring strike. The Gophers lost The Little Brown Jug for the 15th consecutive time at home and the 21st time in the last 22 meetings against the Maize and Blue overall.
This week: at Illinois (2-7)

11. Purdue (3-6, 0-5)
Previous rank: 10
Week 10 result: Lost to Penn State 34-9

The Boilermakers kicked a field goal with two minutes into the first quarter to take a 3-0 lead on Penn State. Danny Hope's team then watched the Nittany Lions rattle off 34 unanswered points to give Purdue a fifth straight loss. Neither quarterback was very effective on offense and the defense allowed at least 29 points for the sixth straight game. A road trip to Iowa will likely keep the losing streak alive, however, an upset win over the Hawkeyes keeps the bowl hopes alive in West Lafayette as Purdue finishes the year at Illinois and hosting Indiana.
This week: at Iowa (4-5)

12. Illinois (2-7, 0-5)
Previous rank: 12
Week 10 result: Lost to Ohio State 52-22
Urban Meyer may think Tim Beckman will have a great career at Illinois, but his first season atop the Illini program will be one to forget. His team was abused by the Buckeyes, allowing 570 yards rushing and 32 first downs to Braxton Miller and company. It was the fifth straight game in which the not-so-Orange Crush defense allowed at least 31 points and was the fourth time this year the opposition scored at least 45 points. On offense, Nathan Scheelhaase threw for only 96 yards on 34 pass attempts as the Illini totaled just 170 yards of offense. 

This week: Minnesota (5-4)

by Braden Gall


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<p> Big Ten Post-Week 10 Power Rankings</p>
Post date: Monday, November 5, 2012 - 05:00