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Path: /college-football/heisman-comparison-johnny-manziel-vs-collin-klein

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

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

Related: Athlon Sports Heisman Trophy Voting: Week 13

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

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

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

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

Heisman Edge: Manziel

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

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

Heisman Edge: Tie

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

Heisman Edge: Manziel

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

Heisman Edge: Klein

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

Heisman Edge: Klein

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

Heisman Edge: Manziel

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

Heisman Edge: Klein

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

Heisman Edge: Klein

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

Heisman Edge: Klein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related: Heisman Comparison: Johnny Manziel vs. Collin Klein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last week: 11–5 // Season: 121–55

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

BIG 12

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


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


2012/2013 2014
Illinois Indiana
Indiana Maryland
Ohio State Michigan
Penn State Michigan State
Purdue Ohio State
Wisconsin Penn State
Michigan Illinois
Michigan State Iowa
Minnesota Minnesota
Nebraska Nebraska
Northwestern Northwestern


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


Conference USA

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

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

Mountain West

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

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

Sun Belt

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Best of the Rest:

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

Related NFL Draft Rankings By Position:

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

2013 NFL Draft: Defensive Tackles

2013 NFL Draft: Wide Receivers

2013 NFL Draft: Offensive Tackles

2013 NFL Draft: Inside Linebackers

2013 NFL Draft: Cornerbacks

2013 NFL Draft: Guards and Centers

2013 NFL Draft: Outside Linebackers
2013 NFL Draft: Quarterbacks

<p> 2013 NFL Draft Rankings: Quarterbacks</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 05:40
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-waiver-wire-week-13

Five games remain in the NFL’s regular season, but for fantasy leagues it’s almost playoff time. Depending on your league, Week 13 could be the last or second-to-last game before the postseason, meaning time is running out to either tweak your roster to make that last playoff push or reinforce it in your quest for a championship. The latest injuries alone reflect why the waiver wire can mean the difference between sitting out your league’s postseason or potentially finishing it second to no one. Here are some possible options worth considering as you get ready for Week 13.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 13</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 05:20
Path: /college-football/acc-2012-season-recap-and-awards

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

ACC Offensive Player of the Year Standings

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

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

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

ACC Defensive Player of the Year Standings

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

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

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

ACC Coach of the Year Standings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related College Football Content

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

Pac-12 2012 Season Recap and Awards

<p> ACC 2012 Season Recap and Awards</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 05:19
Path: /college-basketball/acc-big-ten-challenge-preview-no-1-line-indiana-duke

Basketball season is in full swing, which for the ACC and Big Ten is a welcome sight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ACC-Big Ten Challenge Roundtable Picks

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

<p> Ohio State-Duke, North Carolina-Indiana highlight ACC/Big Ten Challenge, but don't overlook NC State-Michigan, Michigan State-Miami.</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 05:00
Path: /college-football/10-coaches-replace-fired-danny-hope-purdue

Even though Purdue will make its second consecutive bowl trip under Danny Hope, the school decided to end his tenure on Sunday. Hope went 22-27 in four seasons at Purdue and never had a conference record over .500 during that stretch. Although Hope had a couple of close calls this year against Ohio State and Notre Dame, it wasn't enough for the school to bring him back for a fifth season.

10 Coaches to Replace Danny Hope at Purdue

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

<p> 10 Coaches to Replace Fired Danny Hope at Purdue</p>
Post date: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 14:15
Path: /golf/mcilroy-strengthens-lead-world-rankings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

<p> World No. 1 Rory McIlroy closed his season in style as he birdied the final five holes to come from behind and win on Sunday in Dubai and that helped him increase his lead in this week's world rankings.</p>
Post date: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 11:59
Path: /college-football/10-coaches-replace-fired-jon-embree-colorado

In a bit of a surprise, Colorado decided to end Jon Embree’s tenure after just two years in Boulder. Although Embree didn’t show much progress, he also didn’t inherit a full cupboard and needed some time to build the team through recruiting. However, the Buffaloes were one of the worst BCS teams in recent memory, and it’s clear the administration didn’t have faith in Embree to turn things around in 2013.

10 Coaches to Replace Jon Embree at Colorado

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

<p> 10 Coaches to Replace Fired Jon Embree at Colorado</p>
Post date: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 09:24
Path: /nfl/8-amazing-stats-nfl-sunday-week-12

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

Here are the most important, most intriguing and most bizarre statistics from Week 12 of NFL play:

15-0: Divisional record for four AFC division leaders
New England (8-3) is 4-0 in the AFC East after a dominating performance against the Jets on Thanksgiving night. The Patriots still have two games left with the pesky Miami Dolphins (5-6). The Denver Broncos (8-3) also moved to 4-0 in the AFC West with their win over lowly Kansas City. A road trip to Oakland and the Chiefs at home is what still awaits Peyton Manning, who already has a four-game lead in the West. Baltimore (9-2) is 4-0 in the AFC North, and after a Pittsburgh (6-5) loss to Cleveland (3-8), the Ravens have a three-game lead over both the Bengals and Steelers. They still have to face Pittsburgh at home and finish the season with a tricky road trip to Cincinnati (6-5). Finally, the Houston Texans (10-1) have a 3-0 mark in the South with two remaining against the Colts (7-4) and one with the Titans (4-7). The top four seeds are all but locked into place in the AFC.

10:0: Andy Dalton's TD:Turnover ratio in Bengals three-game winning streak
Through eight games, Andy Dalton had thrown at least one interception in every game, had turned the ball over a total of 13 times and the Bengals were 3-5 in the standings. Since then, the second-year quarterback out of TCU has led his team to three straight wins and has Cincinnati tied with Pittsburgh for the final Wild Card playoff spot currently. He has accounted for 10 total touchdowns without a single turnover of any kind during the winning streak, including nary an interception in 89 pass attempts. The red-headed quarterback has scored 25 total touchdowns already this season (23 pass, 2 rush) which is four more than his 21 as a rookie (20 pass, 1 rush).

7: Ryan Lindley became the seventh rookie QB to start a game in 2012
Eleven quarterbacks were taken in the 2012 NFL Draft. The four first-round picks — Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden — have been starting since Week 1. Luck and Griffin have lived up to their billing and then some. Russell Wilson was taken in the third round and has been more than impressive in Seattle. Nick Foles was taken in the third round as well and has replaced Michael Vick (concussion) as the starter in Philadelphia. And now Ryan Lindley got his first career start for Arizona this Sunday after being drafted in the sixth round out of San Diego State. He threw for 312 yards on 52 attempts in his debut, but also tossed four interceptions. Additionally, Kirk Cousins threw a go-ahead second-half 77-yard touchdown pass against the Falcons in spot duty for RG3 earlier this season. Brock Osweiler and BJ Coleman both play behind Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers whom rarely take a snap off. That leaves Mr. Irrelevant Chandler Harnish as the final QB taken in the 2012 class by the Colts.

4th and 29: Game-saving conversion with 1:59 left for the Ravens
With 1:59 left in the fourth quarter in San Diego, Joe Flacco and the Ravens faced a 4th and 29 trailing by three points. He checked down to Ray Rice to his right before the star tailback cut back all the way across the field and powered forward to pick up one more yard than was needed. The improbable conversion on the final drive of the game led to a game-tying field goal. Once in overtime, the Ravens got a stop and then put together a 12-play, 58-yard game-winning drive that ended in a Justin Tucker field goal. The win give the Ravens a commanding three-game AFC North lead and could have sealed Norv Turner's fate as the head coach in San Diego.

30.5: Aldon Smith's career sacks in first two seasons
Reggie White owns the NFL record for sacks in the first years of a player's career with 30 (13.0 and 18.0) back in 1985 and 1986. Aldon Smith posted 1.5 sacks in the big road win over New Orleans this Sunday, bringing his total to a league-leading 16.5 QB takedowns. After 14.0 as a rookie, Smith is poised to shatter White's all-time mark through two seasons. He has 12.0 sacks in his last five games and is on pace for 24.0 this fall — which would also break the NFL single-season record set by Michael Strahan (22.5) in 2001.

200: Eli Manning's Giants franchise record for passing TDs
The Giants stopped one of the hottest teams dead in its tracks with their Sunday night thumping of the Green Bay Packers. Eli Manning completed 16-of-30 passes for 249 yards and three touchdowns in the big home win. With those three passing strikes, Manning has now thrown more touchdown passes than any New York Giant in history. Phil Simms held the previous record with 199.

56: Marques Colston's Saints franchise record for TDs scored
Running back Deuce McAllister scored 55 total touchdowns (49 rushing, 5 receiving, 1 fumble recovery) in his 97-game, eight-year New Orleans Saints career. Marques Colston, in not even seven full seasons but also his 97th career game as a Saint, scored his 56th touchdown to pass McAllister on the New Orleans all-time touchdowns list. Colston's 6,997 receiving yards are third all-time behind Eric Martin (7,854) and he is third all-time in receptions with 504 behind only Martin's 532. He should own both of these records in the very near future.

<p> 7 Amazing Stats from NFL Sunday: Week 12</p>
Post date: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 06:05
Path: /nfl/carolina-panthers-vs-philadelphia-eagles-preview-and-prediction

The Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles, two teams in desperate need of a win with head coaches squarely on the hot seat, get together for “Monday Night Football” at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Panthers (2-8) have lost seven of their last eight games, while the Eagles (3-7) have dropped six in a row. Carolina’s Ron Rivera and Philadelphia’s Andy Reid are both under a lot of pressure to finish the season with some sort of positive momentum as it relates to their job security, although in the case of Reid it may not matter how his team performs these final six games.

When the Carolina Panthers have the ball:
What a difference a year has made for Carolina quarterback Cam Newton. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft and the AP’s NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year last season, Newton has not enjoyed the same amount of success during his second year in the league. Through 10 games of his rookie season, Newton had accounted for 21 (12 passing, 9 rush) total touchdowns. That number has dropped to 13 (9 passing, 4 rush) this season, although he has cut down on his interceptions (14 to 10). Overall, Newton is the NFL’s 26th-rated passer and is averaging 240 passing yards per game, one of the reasons why the Panthers are 23rd in total offense (334 ypg). In his defense, Newton has not gotten much help from the running game, as he also is the leading rusher for the league’s 16th-ranked rushing attack. Scoring has been a problem for the offense as well, averaging 18.4 points per game (27th). This is one of the main reasons why the Panthers have lost six games by six points or less.

Philadelphia’s defense has done a solid job for most of the season, but the offense’s turnover issues and some key injuries have taken their toll more recently. Overall, the Eagles are ninth in the NFL in total defense, giving up 340.3 yards per game. They have fared better against the pass (12th) versus the run (18th), but are 25th in the league in scoring defense (25.2 ppg). Getting pressure (16 sacks) and generating turnovers (7 INTs, 3 fumbles) have not helped this unit, especially lately. The Eagles have surrendered 26 or more points in each of its last five games, all losses.

When the Philadelphia Eagles have the ball:
On paper, Philadelphia’s offense looks fairly solid. The Eagles are 14th in the NFL in total offense (361.7 ypg), 11th in rushing (121.6 ypg) and 15th in passing (240.1 ypg). A closer look, however, also reveals that they are next-to-last in scoring offense (16.2 ppg), have given up the third-most sacks (33), and have turned the ball over an NFC-worst 24 times. Quarterback Michael Vick has been the main culprit when it comes to the turnovers, having coughed it up 14 times (9 INTs, 5 fumbles) himself. However, the lack of protection from his offensive line has taken its toll on him and his health, as he won’t be playing tonight due to a concussion he sustained against Dallas two weeks ago. Rookie Nick Foles will make his second straight start in Vick’s place. Foles struggled last week (204-0-2) in his first career start and will be joined in the backfield by fellow rookie Bryce Brown. Brown will get the start at running back in place of LeSean McCoy, who also is out due to a concussion he got last week in the loss to Washington. A Foles-Brown backfield is not what the Eagles’ coaching staff or their fans were expecting to see at any point entering this season.

Carolina is 15th in the league in total defense, yielding 350.7 yards per game. The Panthers are 17th against the pass and 19th against the run. They are giving up 24.3 points per game, but have surrendered an average of 31.2 per contest in their last two outings, both losses. The Panthers have 26 sacks on the season and have forced a total of 15 (8 INTs, 7 fumbles) turnovers.

Key Factor:
Even though Vick and McCoy have not had the strongest seasons statistically, they are still huge parts of the Eagles’ offense. For example, combined they are responsible for 87 percent of the team’s rushing offense this season. Neither Vick nor McCoy will be in action tonight, and it’s not fair to expect Foles and Brown to match their production. The Eagles also appear to have the look of a team that’s thrown in the towel, as they have lost their last four games by 13 or more points.

Panthers 24, Eagles 17

<p> Carolina Panthers vs. Philadelphia Eagles Preview and Prediction</p>
Post date: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 06:00
Path: /college-football/sec-2012-season-recap-and-awards

SEC 2012 Season Recap and Awards

The regular season ended on Saturday with a dominating performance by the SEC in its four games against the ACC. Florida, South Carolina, Georgia and Vanderbilt beat ACC opponents by a combined score of 161–74. In league play, Alabama disposed of Auburn with ease (as expected), while Ole Miss became bowl-eligible with a 41–24 win over Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl.

Offensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M — Manziel capped off his brilliant freshman season with a banner day against Missouri. He threw for 372 yards and three touchdowns and added 67 yards rushing and two scores on the ground. Manziel has thrown for 3,419 yards with 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions and has an SEC-best 1,1181 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns.

2. AJ McCarron, Alabama — McCarron threw for 216 yards with four touchdowns and no picks in Alabama’s 49–0 Iron Bowl win over Auburn. The junior ranks second nationally in passing efficiency thanks in large part to his 25-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

3. Aaron Murray, Georgia — Murray ended the regular season on a tear, throwing for 13 touchdowns and no interceptions as the Bulldogs cruised to easy wins over Ole Miss, Auburn, Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech. The junior leads the nation in passing efficiency.

Defensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina — Clowney was dominant in the Gamecocks’ 27–17 win at Clemson Saturday night. The sophomore defensive end recorded 4.5 sacks and now has a single-season school-record 13 sacks despite missing time with a foot injury.

2. Jarvis Jones, Georgia —Jones had nine tackles, including 1.5 for a loss, in the Bulldogs’ convincing win over Georgia Tech. The junior linebacker now has 19.5 tackles for a loss and 10.5 sacks for the season.

3. Damontre Moore, Texas A&M — The junior defensive end was relatively quiet in the Aggies’ season-ending win over Missouri, but Moore has been one of the most productive defensive players in the league in 2012. He leads the SEC in tackles for a loss with 20.0 and sacks with 12.5.

Coach of the Year Standings

1. James Franklin, Vanderbilt — The Commodores put the finishing touches on an 8–4 regular season with a 55–21 win at Wake Forest on Saturday. Vanderbilt went 5–3 in the SEC — the school’s first winning league record since 1982 — and won five games by more than 30 points.

2. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M — It helps to have one of the most electric players in college football running the show, but Sumlin deserves a ton of credit for the Aggies’ 6–2 SEC record. They have two close losses at home to top-10 teams (Florida and LSU) and three weeks ago they knocked off Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

3. Will Muschamp, Florida — The Gators don’t always win with style points, but they finished the regular season with an 11–1 record against a very difficult slate. Florida claims victories over Texas A&M, LSU, South Carolina and Florida State.

10 Things We Learned from the SEC in 2012

1. Will Muschamp is the right coach at the right time for Florida
Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley took a bit of a risk when he hired Will Muschamp, who had no experience as a head coach, to replace Urban Meyer. And after the Gators went 3–5 in the league last season — the school’s first losing SEC mark since 1986 — it was fair to ask the question: Was Muschamp cut out to be a head coach in the SEC? No one is asking that question after the Gators capped off the 2012 regular season with a win over Florida State in Tallahassee. The Gators went 7–1 in the SEC with four wins vs. teams in the top 13 of the BCS standings.

2. Texas A&M is a perfect fit in the SEC
Texas A&M’s first season in the SEC went about as well as any Aggie could have possibly expected. The team was outstanding (10–2 overall, 6–2 SEC); the brand of football was exciting (A&M led the SEC in total offense and scoring offense); the roster featured star power (Johnny Manziel is the Heisman frontrunner); the coaching was outstanding (Kevin Sumlin is an SEC Coach of the Year candidate and offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury is being mentioned as a possible head coach at several schools); and the fans were incredibly passionate.

3. Vanderbilt was not a one-hit wonder under James Franklin
James Franklin inherited a program that won a total of four games in the previous two seasons, and guided the 2011 Commodores to six wins and a bowl game. The encore was even better. Vanderbilt closed the books on the 2012 regular season by beating Wake Forest 55–21 in Winston-Salem. The Dores head into bowl season with an 8–4 record after winning their final six games. The offense features a 1,000-yard rusher (Zac Stacy) and receiver (Jordan Matthews), and the defense ranks 18th nationally in both total defense and scoring defense. This was not done with smoke and mirrors.

4. LSU can win big with Zach Mettenberger … in 2013
One of the most important developments in the last month has been the emergence of Zach Mettenberger as a quality quarterback at LSU. The one-time Georgia Bulldog was a huge disappointment through LSU’s first eight games — he had six touchdowns and four picks and was completing less than 50 percent vs. SEC competition — but shined over the last quarter of the season. Over the last four games, Mettenberger completed 61.8 percent of his passes, averaged 267.5 passing yards per game and threw for five TDs and only two interceptions. The Tigers fell short of their primary goal in 2012 — a national title — but they found a quarterback capable of leading them to BCS glory in ’13.

5. Offense doesn’t win championships
This isn’t exactly a revelation, but rolling up a ton of yard doesn’t necessarily guarantee success, especially in the SEC. Only three of the top seven teams in the league in total offense (both overall and in league games only) had a winning SEC record — No. 1 Texas A&M (6–2), No. 3 Georgia (7–1) and No. 4 Alabama (7–1). The other four teams in the top half of the league in total offense (Tennessee, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Mississippi State) went a combined 10–22. Conversely, the top six teams in the SEC in total defense (Alabama, Florida, LSU, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Georgia) all had winning records in league play.

6. Todd Gurley was the best running back in the league
Georgia’s running game appeared to take a hit when Isaiah Crowell, who rushed for 850 yards as a freshman in 2011, was kicked off the team over the summer. No worries. Georgia plugged in two highly touted true freshmen, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, who combined to rush for 1,858 yards and 222 touchdowns. Both had their moments, but Gurley emerged as the primary ball-carrier and finished the regular season as the SEC’s leading rushing in league play by averaging 95.3 yards per game. Gurley averaged 5.8 yards per carry vs. SEC competition, second only to Alabama’s Eddie Lacy for players with over 100 carries.

7. The SEC didn’t get Missouri’s best shot in 2012
Texas A&M enjoyed a tremendous first season in the SEC, but the league’s other new member, Missouri, struggled to a 2–6 record in the league. However, the rest of the SEC didn’t get to see Missouri at its best for most of the 2012 season. The offensive line was hit hard by injuries, beginning in the preseason and carrying over until the final weeks when tackle Justin Britt was lost for the season with a knee injury against Florida. The team’s best offensive player in 2011, tailback Henry Josey, didn’t play a down in ’12 as he recovers from a devastating knee injury. And, most important, quarterback James Franklin was never completely healthy at any point this season. He was slowed early in the year by a shoulder injury, then missed time after injuring his knee in a loss at home to Vanderbilt. Franklin did return late in the win against Kentucky and started the next three games, but his mobility was limited — not good for a dual-threat quarterback.

8. Hugh Freeze was the perfect hire for Ole Miss
Perhaps no team in the nation improve as much as Ole Miss in 2012. Last season, the Rebels were outgained by an average of 174.2 yards per game in SEC play. This season, they were a plus-5.3 in league games. Ole Miss did get a significant upgrade at quarterback with the addition of Bo Wallace, but that is still a staggering statistical improvement from one year to the next. The man responsible for the upgrade is Hugh Freeze, who came to Ole Miss with only one year of experience as an FBS head coach, at Arkansas State in 2011. Freeze installed a creative offensive attack that made Ole Miss a fun team to watch even when the Rebels weren’t winning games. As the personnel improves on offense over the next few seasons, Ole Miss should consistently be among the top offensive teams in the league.

9. South Carolina has joined the elite of the SEC
South Carolina failed to win the SEC East, but the Gamecocks won six league games for the second straight season and now have a 17–7 record over the last three seasons. It took a few years longer than he might have liked, but Steve Spurrier has elevated the profile of his program to the point that we should now consider South Carolina among the top tier in the SEC. The Gamecocks are not quite at the Alabama or LSU level, but this team should be in the mix for the SEC East title on an annual basis as long as Spurrier is calling the shots in Columbia.

10. Bobby Petrino is a really, really good football coach
There were other factors — injuries, loss of key personnel — but it became clear in 2012 that Bobby Petrino is an outstanding head coach. How else can you explain Arkansas’ drop from 6–2 in the SEC in ’11 (with Petrino calling the plays) to 2–6 in ’12 (with Petrino no longer in charge)? You can’t. One man meant that much to the Arkansas program. Now, with John L. Smith officially out after one season, the Arkansas administration is doing all it can to unearth another coach who can make the Hogs relevant on a consistent basis in the SEC West.

<p>  </p> <p> The regular season ended on Saturday with a dominating performance by the SEC in its four games against the ACC. Florida, South Carolina, Georgia and Vanderbilt beat ACC opponents by a combined score of 161–74. In league play, Alabama disposed of Auburn with ease (as expected), while Ole Miss became bowl-eligible with a 41–24 win over Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl.</p>
Post date: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 05:36
All taxonomy terms: Arkansas Razorbacks, College Football, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/20-coaches-replace-john-l-smith-arkansas

John L. Smith inherited a difficult situation when he was named Arkansas' head coach in April. After Bobby Petrino was fired, the Razorbacks had an uphill battle to reach preseason expectations. Smith finished his only season at Arkansas' head coach with a 4-8 mark and as expected, the school announced he would not return for 2013. 

20 Coaching Candidates to Replace John L. Smith at Arkansas

Art Briles, head coach, Baylor – Briles is a good example of why records are overrated when judging coaches. In five years at Baylor, his record is just 31-30. However, considering the lack of success before he arrived in Waco, it’s clear Briles is one of the Big 12’s top coaches. Before his five-year stint at Baylor, Briles went 34-28 at Houston. The Texas native has elevated Baylor to three consecutive bowls and has paved the way for a new stadium to open in Waco in 2014. Briles has plenty of recruiting connections in Texas, which is certainly appealing to Arkansas.

Butch Davis, former North Carolina head coach – Despite the messy end to his tenure at North Carolina, Davis’ name has popped up in the Arkansas coaching search. Davis graduated from Arkansas and has experience in the NFL with stops with the Cowboys and Browns. The Oklahoma native went 51-20 in six seasons as a head coach at Miami and went 28-23 in four years with North Carolina. Davis’ ties to the area and ability to recruit have to be intriguing but NCAA sanctions from his last stop have to give Arkansas plenty of concern.

Dave Doeren, head coach, Northern Illinois – Doeren doesn’t have any SEC coaching experience but has been a successful hire in just two years at Northern Illinois. The Kansas native is 22-4 seasons with the Huskies and has experience from prior stops at Montana, Kansas and Wisconsin. Doeren would be an odd fit at Arkansas but certainly knows how to coach.

Sonny Dykes, head coach, Louisiana Tech – Considering how important it is for Arkansas to recruit the state of Texas, Dykes has to be high on the list for athletic director Jeff Long. Dykes graduated from Texas Tech and worked as an assistant there from 2000-06. He also served as Mike Stoops’ offensive coordinator at Arizona from 2007-09, before taking over at Louisiana Tech in 2010. In three years with the Bulldogs, Dykes has a 22-15 record and has played a role in helping to coordinate the nation’s No. 1 scoring offense.

Bryan Harsin, offensive coordinator, Texas – Harsin is a rising star in the coaching ranks and figures to make a jump for a head coaching vacancy soon. The former Boise State quarterback worked with the Broncos from 2001-2010 as an assistant, before leaving to take over as Texas’ offensive coordinator in 2011. Harsin doesn’t have head coaching experience but ran one of the nation’s top offenses at Boise State and has brought improvement to the Longhorns’ attack.

Darrell Hazell, head coach, Kent State – Just like Dave Doeren, Hazell has no experience in the SEC or any ties to Texas. However, that shouldn’t prevent Hazell from getting into the mix at Arkansas. In two years with Kent State, the New Jersey native is 16-8 and led the Golden Flashes to a MAC East title in 2012. Hazell also has a solid resume from stops as an assistant at Western Michigan, Army, West Virginia, Rutgers and Ohio State.

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

Mike MacIntyre, head coach, San Jose State – MacIntyre has done a terrific job in just three years at San Jose State. Under his watch, the Spartans improved from 1-12 in 2010 to 10-2 and a likely bowl appearance in 2012. San Jose State is MacIntyre’s first head coaching gig, but he has experience as an assistant at Temple, Ole Miss, Duke and in the NFL with the Jets and Cowboys.

Gus Malzahn, head coach, Arkansas State – Malzahn is a name familiar around the state of Arkansas and is due for a shot at a BCS program. However, is it too early for him to take over in Fayetteville? Malzahn coached at Shiloh Christian and Springdale High Schools and spent 2006 as the offensive coordinator at Arkansas. After leaving Fayetteville after one season, the Texas native made stops at Tulsa and Auburn. Malzahn is 8-3 in his first season at Arkansas State and has helped the Red Wolves record one of the Sun Belt’s top offenses.

Garrick McGee, head coach, UAB – Had McGee not left for UAB, it’s likely he would have been named head coach after Bobby Petrino’s departure. Would Arkansas be interested in McGee now or should the school get a clean break from the Petrino era? McGee went 3-9 in his first season at UAB, which was no surprise considering the Blazers were picked near the bottom of Conference USA. Despite the lackluster season, McGee is still considered a rising star in the non-BCS ranks.

Todd Monken, offensive coordinator, Oklahoma State – Monken has no head coaching experience but has helped to coordinate one of the nation’s best offenses. Before coming to Oklahoma State, the Illinois native made stops as an assistant at Eastern Michigan, Louisiana Tech and LSU. Monken is a longshot but his work with Oklahoma State suggests he is ready to become a head coach.

Chad Morris, offensive coordinator, Clemson – Morris has no head coaching experience but is one of the hottest names for open vacancies this offseason. Considering Arkansas needs to heavily recruit Texas, Morris’ ties from high school stops at Eustace Independent, Elysian Field, Bay City, Stephenville and Lake Travis have to be appealing. While a lack of head coaching experience is a negative, the Texas native is one of the brightest offensive minds in college football.

Bo Pelini, head coach, Nebraska – Pelini has a good job at Nebraska, but his name has popped up in the rumor mill for Arkansas over the last few weeks. The Ohio native is 49-18 in five seasons in Lincoln, including a Legends Division title in 2012. Pelini has experience in the SEC, coaching at LSU as the defensive coordinator from 2005-07. It may be a minor factor, but Pelini is no longer working under the same athletic director that hired him at Nebraska. 

Paul Rhoads, head coach, Iowa State – As an Iowa native, Rhoads is really in no hurry to leave Iowa State. However, he is someone that Arkansas should at least inquire about. Rhoads has a solid resume from his stops as an assistant, working as a defensive coordinator at Pittsburgh from 2000-07 and Auburn in 2008. Iowa State is a difficult job, but Rhoads has led the Cyclones to three bowl games in four seasons.

Greg Roman, offensive coordinator, San Francisco 49ers – Considering the success of David Shaw at Stanford and Willie Taggart at Western Kentucky, Roman is the next Jim Harbaugh assistant to land a head coaching gig. The New Jersey native has no head coaching experience but has stops as an NFL assistant with the Panthers, Ravens and Texans. Roman also worked with Harbaugh at Stanford and helped to coordinate one of the nation’s best offenses.

Kirby Smart, defensive coordinator, Alabama – Smart is regarded as one of the nation’s top assistants, working with Nick Saban to coordinate the Alabama defense. Smart is no stranger to life in the SEC, as he played at Georgia and served as an assistant at LSU and Georgia. Just like some other names on this list, the Alabama native has no head coaching experience.

Mark Stoops, defensive coordinator, Florida State – Stoops is a rising star in the assistant ranks and is rumored to be in the mix for the Kentucky vacancy. The Ohio native has stops as an assistant at South Florida, Wyoming, Houston, Miami and Arizona. In three seasons at Florida State’s coordinator, he has helped to resurrect the Seminoles’ defense back into one of the nation’s best. The only knock on Stoops is a lack of head coaching experience.

Charlie Strong, head coach, Louisville – Although geographical ties are sometimes overrated in coaching searches, Strong is an Arkansas native and played at Central Arkansas. In addition to his ties to the state, Strong has SEC experience from stops at Florida, Ole Miss and South Carolina. After going 4-8 in the year prior to his arrival, Louisville went 14-12 from 2010-11 and is on the cusp of a Big East title in 2012. Strong also has strong recruiting ties to Florida.

Willie Taggart, head coach, Western Kentucky – Taggart’s stock cooled some after the Hilltoppers lost three consecutive games in November. However, Western Kentucky rebounded to win the season finale against North Texas to finish 7-5, which gives the Hilltoppers back-to-back winning records for the first time since 2006-07. Although Western Kentucky struggled at the end of the year, Taggart is ready for a shot to lead a BCS program.

Tommy Tuberville, head coach, Texas Tech – Tuberville is a name familiar with many around the SEC. He went 25-20 in four seasons at Ole Miss from 1995-98 and 85-40 from 1999-2008 at Auburn. Tuberville is 20-17 in three seasons at Texas Tech and has the Red Raiders back in a bowl after a disappointing 2010 campaign. Tuberville is also an Arkansas native and his time in Lubbock should have helped to build high school connections in Texas – a key state for Arkansas in recruiting.


Mario Cristobal, head coach, FIU – Cristobal led FIU to back-to-back bowl games from 2010-11 but the Golden Panthers slipped to a 3-9 mark in 2012. Cristobal also prefers to stay in Florida.

Jon Gruden, former NFL head coach – Gruden’s name has popped up in a couple of coaching searches but has a pretty good job as a Monday Night Football analyst on ESPN. However, if Gruden is interested in coaching again, he seems more likely to land in the NFL or with the Tennessee Volunteers.

Mike Gundy, head coach, Oklahoma State – The rumor mill has placed Gundy’s name in coaching searches at Arkansas and Tennessee in recent weeks. However, would he really leave Stillwater? As a former quarterback at Oklahoma State, it would take a lot for Gundy to jump at another job.

Pat Narduzzi, defensive coordinator, Michigan State – Narduzzi is an excellent defensive coordinator but would be an odd fit at Arkansas. He has no ties to the SEC and could be more interested in any open vacancies around the Big Ten.

Gary Patterson, head coach, TCU – Just like Chris Petersen, Patterson’s name always comes up with SEC or Big 12 jobs. However, Patterson has elevated TCU from a non-BCS conference to the Big 12 and has a newly renovated stadium in Fort Worth. Bottom line: Patterson isn’t leaving TCU.

Chris Petersen, head coach, Boise State – Petersen’s name is always tossed around with any BCS opening. However, it would take a perfect situation for him to leave Boise State and that’s likely to be a job on the West Coast.  

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<p> 20 Coaches to Replace John L. Smith at Arkansas</p>
Post date: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 05:30
All taxonomy terms: Auburn Tigers, College Football, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/10-coaches-replace-fired-gene-chizik-auburn

Auburn has experienced quite the roller coaster ride over the last four years. After going 8-5 in Gene Chizik’s first season, the Tigers completed a 14-0 season and won the 2010 national championship. However, it was all downhill after the BCS title. Auburn went 11-14 over the last two seasons, which included a horrendous 0-8 record in SEC play in 2012. Chizik was a curious hire from the start and outside of the national championship season, proved to be a very mediocre head coach.

10 Candidates to Replace Gene Chizik at Auburn

Bryan Harsin, offensive coordinator, Texas – Harsin is a rising star in the coaching ranks and figures to make a jump for a head coaching vacancy soon. The former Boise State quarterback worked with the Broncos from 2001-2010 as an assistant, before leaving to take over as Texas’ offensive coordinator in 2011. Harsin doesn’t have head coaching experience but ran one of the nation’s top offenses at Boise State and has brought improvement to the Longhorns’ attack. After watching Auburn struggle on offense in 2012, Harsin’s background on offense has to be appealing.

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

Gus Malzahn, head coach, Arkansas State – Malzahn is a name familiar with many at Auburn and was a huge loss for Chizik when he departed after the 2011 season. Although Malzahn is certainly capable of thriving at Auburn, is it too early for him to come back? Malzahn coached at Shiloh Christian and Springdale High Schools and spent 2006 as the offensive coordinator at Arkansas. After leaving Fayetteville after one season, the Texas native made stops as the offensive coordinator at Tulsa and Auburn. Malzahn is 8-3 in his first season at Arkansas State and has helped the Red Wolves record one of the Sun Belt’s top offenses.


Chad Morris, offensive coordinator, Clemson – Morris has no head coaching experience but is one of the hottest names for open vacancies this offseason. Most of Morris’ experience has come on the high school level, making stops at Eustace Independent, Elysian Field, Bay City, Stephenville and Lake Travis. However, in short stints at Tulsa and Clemson, he has proven to be one of the nation’s top offensive minds. Morris commands a hefty salary as an offensive coordinator, so Auburn needs to pay big to pull him away from Clemson.


Bobby Petrino, former Arkansas head coach – Considering the disastrous Jetgate saga that surrounded Auburn and Petrino in 2003, there may be some hesitation on the Tigers’ part to go back in Petrino’s direction. However, if Auburn wants to compete with Alabama and LSU, the former Arkansas coach is the right man for the job. Considering what transpired at Arkansas, Petrino is probably available at a discount price and won’t make the same mistakes that contributed to his departure in Fayetteville.


Brent Pease, offensive coordinator, Florida – Considering the uncertainty surrounding the NCAA investigation, Auburn could struggle to attract elite candidates. If that’s the case, Pease is a name to watch. The Idaho native has spent time as an offensive coordinator at Kentucky, Baylor and Boise State, before coming to Florida in 2012. Pease has no head coaching experience but is a bright offensive mind and is due for a chance to run is own program.


Kirby Smart, defensive coordinator, Alabama – Smart is regarded as one of the nation’s top assistants, working with Nick Saban to coordinate the Alabama defense. Smart is no stranger to life in the SEC, as he played at Georgia and served as an assistant at LSU and Georgia. Just like some other names on this list, the Alabama native has no head coaching experience.


Mark Stoops, defensive coordinator, Florida State – Stoops is a rising star in the assistant ranks and is rumored to be in the mix for the Kentucky vacancy. The Ohio native has stops as an assistant at South Florida, Wyoming, Houston, Miami and Arizona. In three seasons at Florida State’s coordinator, he has helped to resurrect the Seminoles’ defense back into one of the nation’s best. The only knock on Stoops is a lack of head coaching experience.


Charlie Strong, head coach, Louisville – Although geographical ties are sometimes overrated in coaching searches, Strong is an Arkansas native and played at Central Arkansas. In addition to his ties to the state, Strong has SEC experience from stops at Florida, Ole Miss and South Carolina. After going 4-8 in the year prior to his arrival, Louisville went 14-12 from 2010-11 and is on the cusp of a Big East title in 2012. Strong also has strong recruiting ties to Florida.


Willie Taggart, head coach, Western Kentucky – Taggart’s stock cooled some after the Hilltoppers lost three consecutive games in November. However, Western Kentucky rebounded to win the season finale against North Texas to finish 7-5, which gives the Hilltoppers back-to-back winning records for the first time since 2006-07. Although Western Kentucky struggled at the end of the year, Taggart is ready for a shot to lead a BCS program.



Sonny Dykes, head coach, Louisiana Tech – Although Dykes is due for a promotion, his name has come up more in connection with the Arkansas and Kentucky jobs. The ongoing NCAA investigation may not be much but it could scare a candidate like Dykes away from interviewing.

Jimbo Fisher, head coach, Florida State – Fisher’s name has circulated in the rumor mill but don’t bet on him leaving Florida State. Even though he played at Samford and coached at Auburn in the past, Fisher has a better job at Florida State. And it’s also much easier to win in Tallahassee than it is in the shadow of Alabama and LSU right now.


Kliff Kingsbury, offensive coordinator, Texas A&M – Kingsbury has quickly emerged as one of college football’s top offensive coordinators. After playing under Mike Leach at Texas Tech, Kingsbury bounced around the NFL for a couple of seasons and landed on the Houston coaching staff under Kevin Sumlin in 2008. The Texas native led Houston to rank among the nation’s best offenses last year and has played a key role in developing Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M. Kingsbury is young (33) and has no head coaching experience. However, it won’t be long before he picks up his first head coaching offer. 

<p> 10 Coaches to Replace Fired Gene Chizik at Auburn</p>
Post date: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 05:30
Path: /college-football/pac-12-2012-season-recap-and-awards

Please raise your hand if you had UCLA at Stanford in the 2012 Pac-12 championship game? I am still waiting. Oregon and USC were overwhelming favorites to win their respective divisions out west this fall and neither was able to reach the promised land. Oregon is still the highest-rated team in the league and should land in a BCS bowl game, while USC took a very different route to disappointment this fall. That said, a host of new coaches and freshmen quarterbacks have this league poised for a run at the mighty SEC over the next few seasons.

Offensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona – The Arizona sophomore led the nation in rushing at 146.4 yards per game and he scored 21 total touchdowns (second in the Pac-12). He set a Pac-12 single-game rushing record with 366 yards and set the Arizona single-season rushing record with 1,757.

2. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon – Mariota might be the best quarterback Chip Kelly has ever coached and he is just a freshman. The Oregon quarterback led the best offense in the league to an 11-1 mark and was the Pac-12's top-rated passer (165.36). All of this while rushing for 690 yards and four scores on the ground as well. He is going to be a good one.

3. Marqise Lee, WR, USC – It might be weird to see Lee at No. 3, but a wide receiver on a five-loss team can't be as important as a guy who touched the ball 308 times (Carey) and the league's best quarterback on the top-rated team. That said, Lee was unreal in 2012, leading the league in receptions, receiving yards, kickoff returns and all-purpose yards. 

Defensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Chase Thomas, LB, Stanford – His defense led the league in total defense, rushing defense and scoring defense and is poised to win the Pac-12 championship behind his leadership. He posted 61 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, one interception and one forced fumble.

2. Will Sutton, DL, Arizona State – The versatile inside-outside talent posted 58 tackles, a league-leading 20.0 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks to go with three forced fumbles and five passes deflected.

3. Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State – He posted 44 total tackles, 4.0 tackles for a loss, a sack, six interceptions, returned eight punts and deflected six passes. He led a massive turnaround in defense production in Corvallis this fall.

Coach of the Year Standings

1. Mike Riley, Oregon State – One of the better guys in all of college football did a masterful job in a key season for the Oregon State Beavers. This team was 3-9 last year and finished dead last in the Pac-12 in rushing offense, rushing defense and turnover margin. The rushing defense was third to only Stanford and Utah this season as Oregon State stares at a potential 10-win season. 

3. David Shaw, Stanford – The Stanford coach has proven his success wasn't just Jim Harbaugh or Andrew Luck. His team led the nation in rushing defense and led the league in total defense and scoring defense. He will host the league title game — all with quarterback issues for most of the season. 

2. Jim Mora, UCLA – Clearly, the Bruins' roster has loads of elite talent. But Mora took a bunch of underachievers and got big-time results by winning the South. A win over Shaw in the title game moves him to No. 2 on my ballot.

10 Things We Learned From the Pac-12 in 2012

1. The Ducks' offseason could be anything but smooth
The Oregon Ducks are the top-rated team in this league in the polls but won't even win its division. It could be the best team in the nation not playing in the BCS National Championship game. So after what could be a great season trimmed with disappointment, fans in Eugene might need to brace for what could be a very anxious offseason. Chip Kelly has long been rumored to have lustful eyes for the NFL and could easily jump at the chance to coach well-stocked offensive cupboards in San Diego or Philadelphia. The NCAA will also be investigating the Willie Lyles scandal and could be ruling sometime this spring. Maybe the NCAA finds nothing (which seems highly unlikely) and maybe Kelly returns for another season. But after dominating the West Coast for the last half-decade, the Ducks could be dealing with NCAA sanctions and a coaching search in the same offseason.

2. David Shaw might not be in Palo Alto too much longer
Be it in the SEC where fans in Knoxville, Auburn and Fayetteville are pining for Shaw, or more likely in the NFL, Shaw proved this season that he belongs amongst football's coaching elite. Without Andrew Luck, an NFL tight end and two All-American blockers, Stanford still won 10 games and is hosting the conference championship game. More importantly, it is the toughness and physicality that Shaw has instilled in his program that has been the most impressive. His team led the nation in rushing defense and sacks while leading the league total defense and scoring defense. Their only two losses came against Notre Dame on a questionable goal-line stand and an early season road trip to Washington in which they led late. Certainly, Jim Harbaugh gets loads of credit for building the Cardinal brand nationally on the recruiting trail, but so does Shaw. Much like Harbaugh, his teams play great defense and pound the ball on offense. There is a chance that big dollars and commitment could keep Shaw at his alma mater, but much like Harbaugh, the call of the NFL could be too much for Shaw to resist.

3. No league has as much offensive talent
Marqise Lee could be a Heisman finalist and may not even be deserving of Offensive Player of the Year honors in the Pac-12. The quarterback position was deep with both seniors (Matt Barkley, Matt Scott) and a host of talented youngsters set to return (Marcus Mariota, Brett Hundley, Taylor Kelly, Sean Mannion, Kevin Hogan, Travis Wilson). Carey led the nation in rushing while Kenjon Barner (4th), Johnathan Franklin (9th) and Stepfan Taylor (14th) all finished in the top 15 nationally as well. Then there is De'Anthony Thomas, Bishop Sankey, John White and a trio of talented Arizona State backs. Lee was the top wide receiver in the nation, but Brandin Crooks, Markus Wheaton and Austin Hill landed in the top 13 nationally in receiving yards too. Marquess Wilson (quit), Keenan Allen (injury), Robert Woods (nagging injuries) and Kasen Williams (QB play) are all elite wideouts as well. Add the nation's top two tight ends in Zach Ertz and Austin Seferian-Jenkins and no league in the country can match the level of athlete playing the skill positions in the Pac-12.

4. Monte Kiffin might not be cut-out for the college game
Lane Kiffin won't get the benefit of the doubt from fans across the country. He has used some sophomoric behaviors that have opened him up for criticism. Hiring his father to coach the defense, however, has never been viewed as anything but a great move. It worked in the SEC against NFL pro-style attacks where his deceiving blitz schemes are effective. In the wide open, spread-heavy Pac-12, Kiffin has failed to adjust. Yes, depth on this roster became a major issue and likely cost USC a couple of wins. While the NCAA sanctions have nothing to do with either Kiffin, they obviously played a major role in 2012. A change on the defensive side of the ball could be coming soon at Heritage Hall. Imagine having to call your father into your office to tell him that he is fired? I couldn't do it.

5. More people need to Be Like Mike...Riley, that is
Certainly, the old phrase about the greatest hoops star of all-time was more about his on the court play than his off-the-court lifestyle. And while Mike Riley doesn't have six championship rings on the field, he is one of the better people in college football off of it. Oregon State had 26 straight losing seasons before Riley's first stint in Corvallis in 1997, and after 12 years at the helm, he is the Beavers' all-time winningest coach. And he has done so with class, grace and respect. Few coaches are thought of as highly off of the field as Riley is amongst his coaching peers and student athletes. He has always been genuine, thoughtful and gracious with his time whenever I have interviewed him. I don't root for too many individual coaches in college football because, generally speaking, they are abrasive, distant and disingenuous (for obvious reasons). But it's easy to get behind a guy like Mike Riley, even if you are a fan in Eugene.

6. The previous regime at UCLA was entirely too laid back
Jim Mora instilled a level of toughness and work ethic that Bruins fans hadn't seen in years in just a few short months. Which certainly wasn't the case under former
laissez-faire head coach Rick Neuheisel. The previous regime recruited extremely well, so the cupboard wasn't bare, but Slick Rick obviously failed to develop talent in Westwood. Mora and his well-assembled coaching staff not only got the most out of their talent, they did so in style with one of the league's top offenses. UCLA far exceeded expectations by winning the South Division championship, and with star quarterback Brett Hundley returning next fall for only his sophomore (redshirt) season, the expectation level has now officially been raised in Los Angeles.

7. Rich Rodriguez got a bad rap at Michigan
The boosters, administration and fan base never really got behind Rich Rodriguez. His teams missed bowl games and had losing records — which isn't allowed in Ann Arbor. But much of the blame for those issues has to go to Lloyd Carr. No, RichRod's aggressive nature and spread offense didn't really fit at Michigan, but he is a quality football coach who was a bit of a scapegoat for the Maize and Blue-bloods. At Arizona, he took a 4-8 team that failed to compete against good teams to an 8-4 record that features the nation's leading rusher. Matt Scott won't be back next year, but Ka'Deem Carey, the country's most underrated running back, will be. And fans can bet he won't be underrated next fall.

8. Washington fixed its defensive problems
Justin Wilcox was hired as the defensive coordinator. Peter Sirmon and Tosh Lupoi were also brought on as defensive assistants and star recruiters. A fourth-quarter choke against Washington State notwithstanding, the changes made by Steve Sarkisian on the defensive side of the ball clearly worked. In 2011, Washington finished 11th in the Pac-12 and 106th nationally in total defense by allowing 453.3 yards per game. It also ranked 11th in the Pac-12 and 108th nationally in scoring defense at 35.9 points allowed per game. The Huskies allowed exactly 100 fewer yards per game (353.3) and nearly two touchdowns less per game (23.8 ppg). The offense took a step back without Chris Polk and Jermaine Kearse and a long list of major injuries to the offensive line, but the defense has been elevated to a championship level. The next step for Coach Sark is to put it all together — like in 2013 with a glut of talented defenders and a senior quarterback.

9. Cal is better suited to win under a new regime
Jeff Tedford is arguably the most successful coach in Golden Bears history. He led Cal to its first conference championship (2006) since 1975, has won more games (79) than any coach in program history and has the highest winning percentage (62 percent) since Pappy Waldorf in the late 40s. He also should be given direct credit for the massive upgrades in facilities in Berkeley. Yet, after losing star coaches and recruits this offseason, an extremely uncompetitive 3-9 mark forced the administration's hand. Whoever is hired at Cal is much better suited to win quickly, however, due to the decade-long growth of the program under Tedford. 

10. Mike Leach has a long way to go in Pullman
Year number one at Washington State didn't exactly go the way Leach planned. Locker room turmoil, a star defection, no ability whatsoever to run the football are just a few of the issues this team dealt with in 2012. Yet, the season finished on a high note with a huge fourth-quarter comeback in The Apple Cup — and it might have been just the boost Leach needed to kick start his offseason. The win not only came against a bitter rival, but it gave Leach his first career Pac-12 win. In a year marred with poor performances, Washington State understands it needs to improve across the board in every way if it expects to compete in the stacked North Division. 

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<p> Pac-12 2012 Season Recap and Awards</p>
Post date: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 05:25
Path: /college-football/big-ten-2012-season-recap-and-awards

Bizarre might be the best word to describe the 2012 edition of Big Ten football. The best teams with the best player and the best coach won't be playing for a championship of any kind after finishing the season as one of only two undefeated teams in the nation. The non-conference performance by the league as a whole was fairly atrocious as a road win over Syracuse might be the best out-of-league win this season. What about the emotional roller coaster fans in Happy Valley have been on for over a year?

Yet, there is room for optimism. Nebraska appears to be back competing for league titles, Montee Ball broke a historic all-time NCAA record, the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry is officially back and, by the way, the league will be at 14 teams in a matter of months.

Offensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State – Much like Michigan's Denard Robinson, Miller spends a lot of time writhing in pain. But when he is upright, he is the most gifted, most electric player in the league. And his team never lost this fall. He finished No. 2 in total offense (275.8 ypg), No. 3 in passing efficiency (140.46) and No. 5 in rushing (105.9 ypg). He accounted for 28 touchdowns (15 pass, 13 rush) with only six interceptions while completing 58.3 percent of his passes.

2. Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska – Martinez had a slightly better statistical year than Miller, but his team lost twice, including a blowout at the hands of Miller and the Buckeyes. If the voting for this award took place after the title game, Ohio State was eligible and T-Mart defeated Miller to win the Big Ten crown? Things would be different. But without that win, the league's leading passer (148.34 rating) and total producer (276.3 ypg) trails Miller.

3. Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin – The Wisconsin Badgers' record-setting running back led the league in touchdowns (18) and finished second in rushing with 1,528 yards. He set the all-time NCAA record for total touchdowns scored with 79 and is currently tied for the NCAA mark of 73 rushing TD. He and the Badgers will attempt to avenge one of their close losses against Nebraska in Indianapolis this weekend. 

Defensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Mike Mauti, LB, Penn State – The numbers are good, but no player might have meant more to his team than Mauti. Even as an innocent bystander in the season finale he impacted the game. He posted 96 tackles, three interceptions, three forced fumbles, 4.0 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.

2. John Simon, DL, Ohio State – He lost the award by not being able to play against Michigan likely. But Simon was the star he was expected to be this season. He posted 44 total tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and 9.0 sacks for the best team in the league. He never quits and makes everyone around him better.

3. Will Compton, LB, Nebraska – One of the nation's best, Compton registered 98 tackles, 5.0 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, one interceptions and seven passes deflected for the team that will likely earn the Big Ten crown.

Coach of the Year Standings

1. Urban Meyer, Ohio State – To lead his team to a perfect record in the face of NCAA sanctions and bowl ineligibility in his first season is nothing short of amazing. This team lost seven games last year and the 12-0 mark was Meyer's first undefeated BCS team.

2. Bill O'Brien, Penn State – The job BoB did in Happy Valley was also remarkable. His sanctions were worse and his roster wasn't nearly as talented. But he totally revamped a stagnant PSU offense and won eight games in a city reeling from the worst scandal in NCAA history.

3. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern – This is a two-horse race but Coach Fitz deserves a nod. As does Bo Pelini. No one gets more out of less than Pat Fitzgerald, but more on that in a moment...

10 Things We Learned From the Big Ten in 2012

1. Brady Hoke vs. Urban Meyer could save the Big Ten
The Big Ten had a down year in 2012. There is no arguing that. But they also had an undefeated team, a potential Heisman trophy candidate, one of the most productive players in the history of the game (Denard Robinson) and two elite coaches on the same field this Saturday. Ohio State and Michigan have a chance to save the most lucrative league in college football. If Hoke and Meyer continue to set the Big Ten standard of excellence and success, the rest of the league will have no choice but to elevate themselves to the same level of commitment. After a back-and-forth affair in Columbus that was as enjoyable as any meeting in the long history of the rivalry, the nation once again must pay attention to the Buckeyes-Wolverines showdown. The spread offenses may not remind fans of Bo and Woody, but the throwback coaches and national importance certainly will. The Big Ten will return to national prominence at some point — e.g., competing for national championships — and it will happen because these two coaches have begun another 10-year war.

2. The Buckeyes are a national title contender in 2013
There will be plenty of holes to fill on defense, but this team has to be considered the frontrunner in the Big Ten next fall. And that should put them in the preseason Top 10 with relative ease. As long as Braxton Miller and Urban Meyer are together on offense, this team has a chance to win every game it plays. Miller is a transcendent talent who fits Meyer's system perfectly and will make another serious run at Ohio State's eighth Heisman Trophy. But after a year of great success with no payoff, expectations will soar down the banks of the Olentangy. Handling the constant offseason pressure to win — which Kansas State and Oregon couldn't handle for one week — will be Meyer's tallest order this spring.

3. Brady Hoke is going to be just fine in Ann Arbor
Michigan isn't "back" yet, but they are getting awfully close. Four losses indicate this program is still a couple of more Hoke recruiting classes away from being a national contender. But those four losses came to four teams with a combined record of 45-3 (Notre Dame, Alabama, Ohio State and Nebraska). Denard Robinson is an amazing player who has a long highlight reel loaded with eye-popping runs and won't soon be forgotten by Wolverine faithful. But he doesn't possess the skillset Hoke wants from his quarterback and fans saw a glimpse of the future with Devin Gardner late in the year. Hoke has pulled the Maize and Blue out of the Lloyd Carr-RichRod hole and is as old-school as old-school can get (SEE: short sleeves in snow). He is building towards a long run at Big Ten championships, Rose Bowls and possibly more.

4. The Big Ten is still an extremely attractive place to be
The oldest conference in America is easily the richest and most lucrative league in all of college football. That is why Maryland, against the wishes of many outspoken alumni, and Rutgers jumped at the chance to collect a Big Ten paycheck. Jim Delany may not be the nicest guy in the world, but he is one of the smartest and one of the shrewdest. The fact that the announcement of Maryland and Rutgers joining the league didn't leak until the day before the official vote and press conference indicates Delany's air-tight grasp on Big Ten operations. He has called Mike Slive's expansion raise and is staring directly at the biggest payday in college football history in the form of the conference's next (2017) TV contracts. Aside from a program like North Carolina (who would never leave) or Louisville (which lacks the TV and academic requirements), no teams were more attractive and have more potential than the Terps and Scarlet Knights. The onus of competition now falls to those two schools putting the right leaders in the right places.

5. Bill O'Brien is a pretty sharp dude
No one in the history of college football has taken over a program with more swirling turmoil than O'Brien at Penn State. The scandal that shook the college football world didn't shake the seniors on this football team, and Coach BoB deserves much of the credit for keeping this team together. He began his tenure watching as a dozen key contributors walked away from his program after unprecedented heavy-handed NCAA sanctions — all before playing a single game. But somehow, O'Brien turned an unimaginative, lethargic offense into an exciting, creative product that won eight games. He will have his hands full rebuilding the Nittany Lions brand name on the recruiting trail and depth will be a major issue for the next few years. But if the emotion and excitement in Beaver Stadium for Senior Day in the win over Wisconsin was any indication, the Nittany Lions won't be down for long.

6. Taylor Martinez quieted the doubters and is poised for a huge 2013
As a freshman, Martinez displayed a lack of mental toughness and maturity. He also was banged up down the stretch. As a sophomore, he developed as a leader within the huddle and the locker room. The question about his third season under center at Nebraska was going to be his ability to throw the football efficiently. As it turns out, he is pretty good. He led the league in passing efficiency while consistently leading his team back from second-half deficits. He has developed into one of the most complete quarterbacks in the nation and has a chance to win a Big Ten championship with one more win.

7. Michigan State doesn't reload, they rebuild
Kirk Cousins was just one of many key departures from the Spartans' back-to-back 11-win teams. The off-season question surrounding Mark Dantonio's team was if Michigan State had grown into a program that simply reloads instead of having to rebuild. There is a fine line between the two and fans in East Lansing were given a definitive and resounding "no." The offense was one-dimensional and predictable without Cousins and this team failed to finish close games all season. Dantonio is an excellent coach and the Spartans will be back soon enough, but many young players were forced into key roles this fall and it cost MSU in a big way.

8. Does anyone get more from less than Pat Fitzgerald?
His coaching ability and style may not work at a place like Ohio State or Michigan, but there is no better person to lead the Northwestern Wildcats than Pat Fitzgerald. He has never finished higher than 9th in the Big Ten in the recruiting rankings and consistently produces a winner on the field. He has averaged nearly eight wins per season over the last five seasons (7.8) and with a bowl win, the Wildcats would post their first 10-win season since Coach Fitz' 1995 Rose Bowl team. That said, his team could have had a special season this fall had they simply held onto a lead or two. Northwestern gave up second-half leads to Nebraska, Michigan State and Michigan, leaving Coach Fitz to wonder "what if?"

9. Iowa deserves better from a $39 million coach
Kirk Ferentz makes roughly $4 million per season and is the sixth highest paid coach in the nation. The math isn't difficult to follow for fans in Iowa City. One million per win isn't getting the job done. Ferentz isn't going anywhere this season, and more coaching staff changes might be expected. The hires he made last season — Greg Davis on offense and Phil Parker on defense — will be heavily scrutinized this off-season. Parker has the name and a long tenure on Ferentz staff, so a move on that side isn't likely. Davis, however, is in danger. His offense lacked creativity as quarterback James Vandenberg and the passing game took a major step back this season. It may not be justified to cut Davis loose after just one season, but he may not have a choice as the pressure will be on Ferentz to shake things up. Four wins at Iowa isn't acceptable.

10. This league might have the best coaches in the nation
Iowa's struggles this year aside, Ferentz has been one of the Hawkeyes' most successful coaches. Bret Bielema did an excellent job this fall with a very non-descript Badgers team and could earn a third straight trip to Pasadena. Bo Pelini is poised to win Nebraska's first conference title since 1999. Pat Fitzgerald's exploits in Evanston are well documented. New coaches hired in the last two years at Michigan, Ohio State, Indiana and Penn State all appear to be great hires. Jerry Kill has the Golden Gophers back in a bowl game. And Mark Dantonio is as respected a coach as there is in the nation. The jury is still out on Tim Beckman, but unlike most leagues, the Big Ten won't see any turnover on the sidelines this fall. This is why Purdue, after two bowl games in a row, might be the only coaching vacancy in the league this winter.

Related Championship Week Content

ACC 2012 Season Recap and Awards
Big East 2012 Season Recap and Awards

Big Ten 2012 Season Recap and Awards

Big 12 2012 Season Recap and Awards

Pac-12 2012 Season Recap and Awards

SEC 2012 Season Recap and Awards

<p> Big Ten 2012 Season Recap and Awards</p>
Post date: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 05:20
Path: /college-football/big-east-post-week-13-power-rankings

Say this for the Big East: The title chase won’t be without intrigue.

Losses by Louisville and Rutgers last week gave Syracuse and Cincinnati a chance to claim shares of the Big East title. Meanwhile, the two teams that scored the upsets -- Connecticut and Pittsburgh -- still have hopes of becoming bowl eligible.

By Thursday, most of the league will know where it stands for the Big East title. A Rutgers win over Louisville would give the Scarlet Knights their first outright Big East title and a trip to the BCS. A Louisville victory would result in a three-way tie (Louisville, Rutgers, Syracuse) at least and a four-way tie (Cincinnati) at most.

A three-way tie would result in the highest-ranked team in the BCS standings claiming a BCS bid -- a tiebreaker that likely ends in Louisville’s favor. In the event of wins by Louisville and Cincinnati next week, a four-way tiebreaker would first determine the teams with the best records against the other three. In that case, Louisville and Rutgers would have a 2-1 record. From there, the BCS standings between Louisville and Rutgers would determine the Big East’s representative.

In short, the contest is the same as it’s been for most of the final month of the season with Rutgers and Louisville vying for a BCS slot. Rutgers, though, is the only team that make the process simple with a win Thursday.

Ryan Nassib

Offensive Player of the Year Standings
1. Ryan Nassib, Syracuse --
The senior for the Orange takes the spot that’s been held by Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater for most of the season. In the last six games for Syracuse, Nassib has 13 touchdown passes to one interception. He’s also completing 61.1 percent of his passes during this 5-1 stretch for Syracuse.

2. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville -- Bridgewater fought through a broken wrist and ankle injury to go 30 for 53 for 331 yards in the 23-20 loss to Connecticut.

3. Montel Harris, Temple -- Harris’ season is more than his 351-yard, seven-touchdown effort against Army two weeks ago. After rushing for 106 yards against Syracuse, Harris has topped triple digits against four Big East opponents (USF, Connecticut, Louisville and Syracuse).

Defensive Player of the Year Standings
1. Khaseem Greene, Rutgers --
Greene remains tied for the Big East lead in tackles with 115 stops, but the Scarlet Knights had their worst defensive performance in a conference game this season in a 27-6 loss to Pittsburgh.

2. Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh -- With three tackles for a loss against Rutgers, Donald has had 12.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage in the last seven games. The Panthers defensive tackle leads the Big East in that category with 14.

3. Sio Moore, Connecticut -- Moore continues to pace the Big East’s best run defense. In the last three games, Moore has had 5.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks and three pass breakups.

Coach of the Year Standings
1. Doug Marrone, Syracuse --
Marrone led one of the best in-season turnarounds of any team in the country from a team that started 2-4 to one that won five of its last six. The Orange will head to a bowl for the second time under Marrone and will wait at home this week, hoping to gain a share of the Big East title.

2. Kyle Flood, Rutgers -- Rutgers remains the only Big East team in position for an outright conference championship. However, the sloppy effort in a 27-6 loss to Pittsburgh was not an encouraging sign.

3. Charlie Strong, Louisville -- Losing on the road to Syracuse is one thing. Losing at home to Connecticut is another. The Cardinals’ run game was non-existent and the passing game struggled to connect until the fourth quarter.

Big East Post-Week 13 Power Rankings

1. Syracuse (7-5, 5-2)
Last week’s rank:
Week 13 result: Beat Temple 38-20
The same team that struggled to put together extended winning streaks (i.e. more than two games) is suddenly the hottest team in the Big East. The Orange finished season by winning five of the last six to give Doug Marrone his best conference record (5-2) in five seasons at Syracuse. The numbers from the first half of the season to the second are pretty startling: Syracuse was minus-10 in turnover margin during the 2-4 start and is plus-nine in the final six. Ryan Nassib receives most of the acclaim (see above), but the run game has improved from 127.5 yards per game in the first half of the season to 216.2 in the second. Naturally, the Orange averaged 38.5 points per game over the last six games, 20 points better than in the first six.
This week: Season complete

2. Rutgers (9-2, 5-1)
Last week’s rank:
Week 13 result: Lost to Pittsburgh 27-6
Rutgers sustained a handful of in-game injuries against Pittsburgh, which the Knights hope do not carry over into the the Louisville game this week. Quarterback Gary Nova was knocked out for a series due to a head/neck injury. Khaseem Greene sat for most of the first half after a hard hit on Pitt’s Cameron Saddler. Running back Jawan Jamison remains hobbled with an ankle injury, limiting him to nine carries. And right guard Andre Civil continues to battle his own ankle injury. All but Civil are almost certian to return for Louisville. The rash of beat-up players, particularly on offense, is a concern for a Rutgers team that’s accounted for two offensive touchdowns and 16 points in the last two games.
This week: Louisville (Thursday)

3. Louisville (9-2, 4-2)
Last week’s rank:
Week 13 result: Lost to Connecticut 23-20 in overtime
Louisville’s fate seems to rest solely on Teddy Bridgewater, for better or worse. The sophomore quarterback has proven capable of taking over at times, but he couldn’t do it all against Connecticut. Battling through a broken left wrist and later a right ankle injury, Bridgewater was able to rally from 10-0. But he misfired late in the game at times against Connecticut, including an interception in overtime. Without Senorise Perry, the Cardinals’ run game has struggled mightily. Louisville topped 100 rushing yards with at least one touchdown on the ground in the first nine games. In Louisville’s last two losses to Syracuse and UConn, the Cardinals have rushed for a total of 75 yards for 2.1 yards per carry with no touchdowns.
This week: at Rutgers (Thursday)

4. Cincinnati (8-3, 4-2)
Last week’s rank: 4
Week 13 result: Beat USF 27-10
Cincinnati bounced back from a lackluster offensive showing against Rutgers with a balanced effort against USF, its sixth win over the Bulls in the last seven games. Running back George Winn returned to form with 119 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while Brendon Kay was 17 of 27 for 178 yards with a touchdown plus 48 rushing yards and a score. The Bearcats can claim a share of the Big East title for the fourth time in five seasons with a win over Connecticut, who likely will provide a bigger defensive challenge to Cincinnati than USF.
This week: at Connecticut

5. Connecticut (5-6, 2-4)
Last week’s rank:
Week 13 result: Beat Louisville 23-20 on overtime
The situation at Connecticut was dire at the start of November as the Huskies were working on a four-game losing streak. On Nov. 3, UConn was 3-6 and winless in the Big East. After back-to-back wins over Pittsburgh and Louisville, the Huskies are a win over Cincinnati away from being bowl eligible. Despite an injury to versatile lineman Adam Masters, Connecticut and running back Lyle McCombs have reasserted themselves in the last two games. UConn rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown against Pittsburgh and 149 yards and a TD against Louisville. Those numbers aren’t huge, but the Huskies rushed for 178 yards combined in their first four Big East games this season. One concern this week is the health of starting quarterback Chandler Whitmer, who left the 23-20 overtime win over Louisville after taking a shot to the head.
This week: Cincinnati

6. Pittsburgh (5-6, 2-4)
Last week’s rank:
Week 13 result: Beat Rutgers 27-6
To continue a wacky season for Pittsburgh, the Panthers handed Rutgers its first Big East loss in dominating fashion. As the Scarlet Knights dealt with injuries to key players, Pitt jumped to a 21-0 halftime lead. Running back Ray Graham topped 100 rushing yards for the third time in the last four games, and Tino Sunseri continued his case as the most improved player in the league. The Pitt quarterback was 21 of 39 for 227 yards with two touchdowns, though he did fumble near the goal line. A win over USF this week would make Pittsburgh bowl eligible for the fourth consecutive season under its third coach.
This week: at USF

7. Temple (4-7, 2-5)
Last week’s rank:
Week 13 result: Lost to Syracuse 38-20
Temple’s bowl chances ended as Syracuse pulled away in the second half for an 18-point win. With an 11-game schedule, the Owls could have received consideration for one of the Big East’s spots with a victory. Despite the final record, Temple’s first season back in the Big East should be considered a success. The Owls won two league games despite returning seven starters. The Syracuse game, though, followed a similar pattern for Temple this season as the Owls kept the game close for the first half (and actually led 20-17 in the third quarter), but they couldn’t keep pace as the game wore on. If there was any key takeaway from the Syracuse loss, it’s that Temple may have found next season’s quarterback in junior Clinton Granger. “Juice” Granger added a spark to the pass game by completing 16 of 23 attempts for 173 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions while rushing for 61 and a score.
This week: Season complete

8. USF (3-8, 1-5)
Last week’s rank:
Week 13 result: Lost to Cincinnati 27-10
USF locked up its worst season in the program’s short history by falling to 3-8 on Friday. In the last three games, largely without starting quarterback B.J. Daniels, the USF offense has mustered only 32 total points and 315.7 total yards per game. Oddly enough, the maligned USF defense had two of its better performances in the last three games, holding UConn to 327 yards and Cincinnati to 372. Both were the lowest total USF had allowed against FBS competition this season. The Bulls will face a Pitt team motivated to seal a postseason berth this week. That’s perhaps a bad sign for USF, which has not looked inspired during the final weeks of the season.
This week: Pittsburgh

Related College Football Content

Three and Out: Week 12 Recap

ACC Post-Week 13 Power Rankings
Big Ten Post-Week 13 Power Rankings
Big 12 Post-Week 13 Power Rankings
Pac-12 Post-Week 13 Power Rankings
SEC Post-Week 13 Power Rankings

<p> Big East Post-Week 13 Power Rankings</p>
Post date: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 05:15
Path: /college-football/legends-poll-top-25-college-football-week-13

Notre Dame did its part. The Irish knocked off USC on Saturday and earned a spot in January's BCS championship game.

But even though Notre Dame finished the regular season unbeaten and even though it received more first place votes (10) than Alabama (7), Alabama edged out Notre Dame for the No. 1 spot in the Legends Poll.

"I put Alabama No. 1, I put Notre Dame No. 2," former Ohio State coach John Cooper said. "I just think if Alabama plays Notre Dame anywhere, Alabama would beat them and that’s the reason I put them No. 1."

In one of the closest votes in the eight year history of the Legends Poll, he difference between the two teams was one point in the rankings.

For the second straight week, Georgia came in at No. 3, followed by Oregon and Florida.

No. 6 LSU remained the highest ranked two-loss team, one spot in front of Kansas State.

Texas A&M, Stanford and South Carolina rounded out the top 10.

No. 12 Florida State fell out of the top 10 after a home loss to Florida, tumbling five spots in the rankings.

No. 14 Clemson dropped four spots after losing to its in-state SEC rival South Carolina.

No. 24 Kent State and No. 25 Vanderbilt -- two of the week's newcomers to the rankings -- made their first ever appearances in the Legends Poll top 25.

Texas, Rutgers, Mississippi State and Washington dropped out of the rankings.

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


1 AlabamaAlabama (7) 11-1 414 2
2 Notre DameNotre Dame (10) 12-0 413 1
3 GeorgiaGeorgia 11-1 394 3
4 OregonOregon 11-1 371 4
5 FloridaFlorida 11-1 356 8
6 LSULSU 10-2 325 6
7 Kansas StateKansas State 10-1 323 5
8 Texas A&MTexas A&M 10-2 317 9
9 StanfordStanford 10-2 293 11
10 South CarolinaSouth Carolina 10-2 277 12
11 OklahomaOklahoma 9-2 243 14
12 Florida StateFlorida State 10-2 231 7
13 NebraskaNebraska 10-2 220 15
14 ClemsonClemson 10-2 211 10
15 UCLAUCLA 9-3 183 13
16 Oregon StateOregon State 8-3 154 16
17 LouisvilleLouisville 9-2 100 17
18 Oklahoma StateOklahoma State 7-4 98 21
19 Boise StateBoise State 9-2 88 22
20 MichiganMichigan 8-4 75 20
21 TCUTCU 7-4 67 -
22 Utah StateUtah State 10-2 54 25
23 Northern IllinoisNorthern Illinois 11-1 54 -
24 Kent StateKent State 11-1 43 -
25 VanderbiltVanderbilt 8-4 42 -
Others Receiving Votes: Northwestern 37, Texas 34, Rutgers 27, USC 16, San Jose State 14, Mississippi State 9, North Carolina 7, Baylor 7, San Diego State 6, Connecticut 6, Cincinnati 5, Arizona State 4, Ole Miss 3, Louisiana Tech 3, Fresno State 1
Teams Dropped Out from Last Week's Poll: Texas, Rutgers, Mississippi State, Washington
* 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 26, 2012 - 05:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Overtime
Path: /college-football/what-fired-gene-chiziks-next-book-should-be-called

Poor Auburn fans. They went from celebrating a national championship in 2010, to a horrible 3-9 season in 2012 that was punctuated by an embarrassing beating from in-state rival Alabama.

Back in 2010, when things were good, coach Gene Chikiz was writing books about his awesomeness, penning "All In." Now that he's been canned, we think we may have sneak peek of what his next book should look like. We like the title "All Out." 

<p> We created the next book jacket for Auburn's former coach.</p>
Post date: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 04:50