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The Panthers got the best of the Redskins on and off the field this weekend.
While touring Charlotte, home of the Panthers, the Redskins found quite a few fans and made a statement they would soon regret. They claimed Carolina was "Redskins country." Uh oh. The Panthers twitter fired back at the Redskins where it hurts... the trademark issue.
@Redskins Good luck with getting a trademark on that 😊— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) November 22, 2015
@Panthers shouldn't be too hard after tomorrow.— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) November 22, 2015
After the game, the Panthers hit the Redskins with a two-fer, trolling Kirk Cousins and the trademark all in one tweet.
Cousins definitely wasn't saying this after the game.
The start of college football’s 2015-16 bowl season is less than one months away, but it’s never too early to take a peek at the potential matchups this postseason.
The bowl season is bigger and better than ever with 41 matchups, starting on Dec. 19 with five games. The postseason concludes on Jan. 11 with the national championship, while the playoff semifinals are on Dec. 31 this year.
The post-Week 12 bowl projections are a mixture between picks for the next two weeks, how things would look if the season ended today, and the results from the first 12 weeks of action. Expect several changes over the next few weeks.
College Football's Post-Week 12 Bowl Projections
|AutoNation Cure||Dec. 19||Sun Belt vs.|
|Gildan New Mexico||Dec. 19||C-USA vs.|
New Mexico vs.
|Dec. 19||MW/BYU vs.|
Air Force vs.
|Dec. 19||MAC vs.|
|Dec. 19||C-USA vs.|
Louisiana Tech vs.
|Miami Beach||Dec. 21||American vs.|
|Famous Idaho Potato||Dec. 22||MAC vs.|
Utah State vs.
|Boca Raton||Dec. 22||American vs.|
Western Michigan vs.
|SDCCU Poinsettia||Dec. 23||Mountain West vs.|
San Diego State vs.
Northern Illinois vs.
|Popeyes Bahamas||Dec. 24|
|Hawaii||Dec. 24||American vs.|
|St. Petersburg||Dec. 26||C-USA vs. |
|Hyundai Sun||Dec. 26||ACC/ND vs.|
NC State vs.
|Zaxby's Heart of|
|Dec. 26||Big 12 vs.|
Southern Miss vs.
|New Era Pinstripe||Dec. 26||ACC/ND vs.|
|Independence||Dec. 26||ACC/ND vs.|
|Foster Farms||Dec. 26||Big Ten vs.|
|Military||Dec. 28||ACC/ND vs.|
|Quick Lane||Dec. 28||ACC/ND vs.|
Central Michigan* vs.
|Dec. 29||MW vs.|
Boise State vs.
|Russell Athletic||Dec. 29||ACC/ND vs.|
|Dec. 29||Big 12 vs.|
Texas Tech vs.
|Birmingham||Dec. 30||American vs.|
|Belk||Dec. 30||ACC/ND vs.|
Virginia Tech vs.
|Dec. 30||ACC/ND/Big Ten vs.|
Penn State vs.
|Dec. 30||Big Ten vs.|
|Outback||Jan. 1||Big Ten vs. |
|Buffalo Wild Wings|
|Jan. 1||Big Ten vs.|
|TaxSlayer||Jan. 2||ACC/ND/Big Ten vs.|
|AutoZone Liberty||Jan. 2||Big 12 vs. |
West Virginia vs.
|Valero Alamo||Jan. 2||Big 12 vs.|
Oklahoma State vs.
|Cactus||Jan. 2||Big 12 vs. |
Kansas State vs.
|Chick-fil-A Peach||Dec. 31||At-large vs.|
Florida State vs.
|Fiesta||Jan. 1||At-large vs.|
|Rose||Jan. 1||Big Ten vs.|
|Sugar||Jan. 1||SEC vs.|
|National Championship||Jan. 11||Cotton Bowl Winner vs.|
Orange Bowl Winner
The Ole Miss Rebels and the Mississippi State Bulldogs will meet in Starkville on Saturday in the 112th edition of the Battle of the Golden Egg, which is commonly known as the Egg Bowl. Ole Miss holds a 62-43-6 edge in the all-time series (Mississippi State victories in 1976 and '77 were vacated due to NCAA penalties), and won 31-17 last season in Oxford, but hasn’t beaten its in-state rival on enemy turf since 2003.
One of the nation’s most intense in-state battles, the Ole Miss-Mississippi State football rivalry has a long and unique history that makes it one of college football’s best. Let’s take a look at 10 things you may not know about the Egg Bowl.
1. The Awarding of the Golden Egg Began in 1927
Mississippi A&M (as Mississippi State was then known) had beaten Ole Miss in 13 consecutive games leading up to the matchup between the two rivals on Thanksgiving Day 1926, but the Red and Blue’s 7-6 victory snapped the streak and supporters stormed the field in Starkville in an attempt to tear down A&M’s goalposts.
Fights ensued, and in an effort to increase sportsmanship the following season, the two student bodies announced a trophy would be awarded to the winning team. The students fashioned a golden trophy with a football on top that resembled an egg, and Ole Miss beat the Aggies 20-12 in Oxford to claim the Golden Egg for the first time. The 2015 matchup will be the 88th game since the trophy was introduced.
2. The Term “Egg Bowl” Was Coined in 1977
The Clarion-Ledger newspaper in Jackson, Miss., is credited with coining the term “Egg Bowl” and first used it in print in the 1977 in the headline: “Egg Bowl Is Up For Scramble.” Adding “bowl” to the Battle for the Golden Egg helped raise the stakes for the rivalry game in which neither team would likely be invited to a postseason bowl. In the Nov. 20, 1978 edition of The Clarion-Ledger, Steve Doyle wrote:
"In a year in which neither team will be remembered, the Battle of the Golden Egg is a bowl game. Intense, heated, unbelievable in its lore, this one is for supremacy of the season. Bragging rights, recruiting edges and sheer pride are the guts of it. Every cliché you've ever heard about a single game applies to it."
Editor Tom Patterson dedicated an entire week’s worth of coverage to the Egg Bowl in 1978. The name caught on among media members, and has stuck.
3. Mississippi State has won the Egg Bowl as the Aggies, Maroons, and Bulldogs
Before officially becoming the Mississippi State Bulldogs in 1961 (though the nickname “Bulldogs” dates back unofficially to at least 1905), when the school officially became Mississippi State University, the Mississippi A&M Aggies (1901-32) and the Mississippi State College Maroons (1933-60) each defeated the University of Mississippi in the Battle for the Golden Egg.
4. Mississippi A&M Beat Ole Miss Twice in a Single Season
Like nearly every rivalry in college football today, Ole Miss and Mississippi State square off once a year. Also like many of the biggest in-state rivalries in the nation, the Rebels and Bulldogs battle in the final game of the regular season. However, in 1918, Mississippi A&M defeated Ole Miss on both Nov. 28 (by a score of 34-0) and Dec. 7 (13-0) – the first and only time the two schools have met on the gridiron in a single season.
5. Mississippi State Holds the Longest Winning Streak in Series History
Mississippi A&M was in complete control of the football rivalry series with the University of Mississippi from 1911-25. The Aggies won 13 straight over the Red and Blue, which included 10 shutouts. The 65-0 victory in 1915 still stands as the most lopsided result in the history of the series.
6. Ole Miss Holds the Longest Unbeaten Streak in Series History
Ole Miss may have lost 13 in a row in the series, but the Rebels held Mississippi State winless in the Battle for the Golden Egg from 1947-63 with a record of 14-0-3 during that span. After beating Ole Miss 20-0 in 1946, the Bulldogs didn’t secure a victory over the Rebels again until a 20-17 upset in '64 – a span of 18 years without a victory is the longest drought in series history.
7. Jackson, Columbus, Tupelo, Clarksdale and Greenwood Have All Hosted the Rivalry
The first two football games between Ole Miss and Mississippi State were played in Starkville, and the third edition was hosted in Oxford. From 1926-72 and in every year since 1991, the series has alternated between the campuses of the two institutions. However, 29 Ole Miss-Mississippi State football games have been played in the state capital of Jackson (including every year from 1973-90), with Columbus (1904), Tupelo (1915-17), Clarksdale (1919), and Greenwood (1920-21) all hosting the rivalry in its early years.
8. When Ole Miss and Mississippi State Tied, They Shared the Golden Egg
Ties are no longer part of college football history, but six Ole Miss-Mississippi State football games have ended in ties, with five of those occurring after the introduction of the Golden Egg. In most rivalry trophy games, the last team to win would retain the trophy another year in the event of a tie. However, the Golden Egg spent half the year with each school until its rightful owner won it again.
9. One Player Started For Both Ole Miss and Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl
It’s rare for fans to cross from one side of the Ole Miss-Mississippi State rivalry to the other, but it’s even rarer for a player to do it. However, there have been three players to letter for both football programs. The most well known in Breck Tyler, a wide receiver and the son of former State head coach Bob Tyler, who is believed to be the only player to have started for both the Rebels and Bulldogs in the Egg Bowl. Tyler played for the Bulldogs from 1977-78, and transferred to play for the Rebels in 1980-81.
10. Mother Nature Saved the Rebels in 1983
There have been many dramatic games in Egg Bowl history, and many iconic moments that live in series lore. However, there was just one instance in which Mother Nature made her preference known. In 1983, in the name now known as “The Immaculate Deflection,” Mississippi State kicker Artie Crosby lined up for a 27-yard field goal with 24 seconds left in the game. What appeared to be a strong and accurate kick was met by a stronger gust of wind (reportedly measuring 40 miles per hour) that knocked the kick down and preserved a 24-23 Ole Miss victory.
— Written by Nicholas Ian Allen, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Allen's work on college football can also be found on SaturdayBlitz.com and FanSided.com. Follow him on Twitter @NicholasIAllen.
(Top photo courtesy of Getty Images)
The end of the college football season is never a welcomed sight for fans of all 128 programs. However, the end of November brings arguably one of – if not No. 1 – parts of the college football regular season in rivalry week.
Rivalries are a huge part of college football and matter for bragging rights among the teams and on the recruiting trail. Rivalries are often built on geography, tradition and history. However, rivalries can morph based upon the coaches involved, current success of teams or realignment in leagues.
With several huge rivalry matchups this week, Athlon Sports ranks the best 25 rivalries in college football. Army-Navy (played on Dec. 12 this year) ranks No. 1, but two matchups – Ohio State-Michigan and Auburn-Alabama – take place this week.
College Football's Top 25 Rivalries
1. Army-Navy (Navy, 59-49-7)
Go ahead and try to attend this game without experiencing a surge of patriotism. If the Super Hornets’ flyover doesn’t get you, the Army paratroopers will. If you miss the parades of Cadets and Midshipmen, then the non-stop spirit videos on the big board will stir your senses. By game’s end, no matter what the score, America wins. That may seem hokey to some, but they haven’t been there. Trust us, Army-Navy is college football in its purest state. Today, that’s something worth celebrating. Fans of the teams thirst for victory, and so do the players, who are truly playing for their fellow students. Afterward, they rejoin their classmates in preparation for military service, not an NFL career. For 364 days of the year, Army and Navy are on the same team. For three hours on a chilled December afternoon, they represent every soldier or sailor who has ever donned a uniform, walked a post or sailed into the dark of night. The football has been pretty good over the years, too. Five Heisman winners have participated in the rivalry, and dozens of Hall of Famers have taken the field representing the academies. Though Navy has dominated the scoreboard over the past decade, the game remains a huge draw and a still thrills fans across the country. Most important, it pits future military and government leaders against each other as they fight for their Academies and provide the country with an afternoon of prideful competition.
2. Alabama-Auburn (Alabama, 43-35-1)
When Bill Curry was coaching at Alabama, he went to a Birmingham elementary school one day to speak with children about football and life. Upon entering the classroom, he saw a boy standing in the corner, sobbing. Curry wondered what was going on, and a student told him, “Jason is an Auburn fan, and we took care of him.” Curry brought Jason out of the corner and told him it was all right to root for the Tigers, no doubt angering the young Crimson Tide supporters in the room. Truth be told, it isn’t all right to be an Auburn fan — if you follow the Tide. Tiger fans feel the same way about Bama. If you live in the state of Alabama, you have to choose; you either yell “Roll Tide” or “War Eagle.” You’re either a fan of the big-brother Crimson Tide, or Auburn, which has its roots in agricultural education and resents the perceived arrogance of its rival. In a state with no major professional sports team, Auburn-Alabama football is a religion. Curry’s minister once told him it was more important. It has been that way from the game’s earliest days, which proved to be so contentious that the schools stopped playing each other for 41 years. Once they resumed hostilities, they did so at a geographically neutral site, in Birmingham, but Auburn fans groused for decades because Legion Field was the Tide’s home away from home. That changed when the game moved to campus, but the vitriol has not abated. Fans of both teams crave victory, and a loss means a full year of misery from friends, co-workers and even family members. It’s enough to make someone want to stand in a corner and cry. And for the first time in Iron Bowl history, an SEC West and trip to the BCS national championship hung in the balance in 2013 when the Tigers won with the most improbable play in college football history.
3. Michigan-Ohio State (Michigan, 58-47-6)
Some think the story is a tall tale, but others swear it’s true. After his Ohio State team scored its final touchdown late in a 50–14 rout of Michigan at the end of the 1968 season, Buckeyes coach Woody Hayes elected to go for two points, instead of kicking the PAT. When asked afterward why he did that, Hayes reportedly said, “Because they wouldn’t let me go for three.” Hayes’ hatred for “that team up north,” as he referred to Michigan, was legendary. Rest assured that Wolverine fans harbor no affection for the Buckeyes, either. The schools have met every year but five (1913-17) since 1900 — the teams’ first game was in 1897 — and their contests have become appointment viewing for much of the country, late in November, usually under gun-metal gray skies with a hint of winter in the air. More important, Big Ten supremacy is usually at stake, especially since Bo Schembechler took over in Ann Arbor in 1969 to turn the U-M fortunes around and provide an irascible counterbalance to the cantankerous Hayes. Since that point, Michigan-Ohio State has been the nation’s most consistently competitive and heated rivalry. Because the games have so much significance and occur at season’s end, a loss can be doubly haunting. Not only does the vanquished team lose to a hated foe, but its season can be destroyed also. There may be games that match these schools’ animosity for each other, and there may be contests that are as consistently important. But none combines the two into such a volatile package. This rivalry has some extra punch in 2015 with the arrival of Jim Harbaugh as Michigan's coach. Urban Meyer is 3-0 as Ohio State's head coach against Michigan.
4. Oklahoma-Texas (Texas, 61-44-5)
One of the most unique characteristics about Dallas’ Cotton Bowl is that the teams’ locker rooms empty into a common corridor, so that players take the field through the same tunnel. On more than one occasion, as Texas and Oklahoma have prepared to charge onto the hallowed stadium’s turf, they have encountered each other in a highly charged, emotional moment that could have ignited an inferno. Instead, they decided to enjoin the fight on the gridiron, in front of 95,000-plus fans divided evenly into crimson and burnt orange enclaves. Rarely has the flame from the ensuing collision failed to heat the passions of all in attendance. While the Texas State Fair rollicks on around them, and vendors offer to fry anything that doesn’t move — and some things that do — the Longhorns and Sooners offer a mid-season football feast that dates back to 1900, when Oklahoma wasn’t even a state and Texas was just beginning to tap into the huge oil reserves deep below its surface. The neighbors harbor a significant dislike for each other, and tempers have boiled over many times on nights before the game. It doesn’t help that many OU grads now live in Texas, lured south by jobs in the petroleum industry. And plenty of Lone Star football talent has headed north to Norman, especially when Barry Switzer was pillaging the state’s top programs for all-stars. The action on the field rarely disappoints. Although there have been several blowouts over the years, including 2011’s 55–17 Sooner wipeout, the action is usually taut and has national implications. Though the game is played in October, several championship runs have been spawned by a victory in Dallas, and several high hopes have been dashed.
5. USC-Notre Dame (Notre Dame, 45-36-5)
The nation’s top intersectional rivalry owes a debt of gratitude to some unfriendly residents of Lincoln, Neb., and Bonnie Rockne’s love of warm California weather. At a time when traditional gridiron matchups are being torn asunder by the whirling conference kaleidoscope, Notre Dame and USC continue their annual hostilities, treating the nation to a classic matchup of iconic programs. The schools almost didn’t get together. But in 1925, after ND dropped a 17–0 decision at Nebraska, before an inhospitable crowd of Cornhusker fans, coach Knute Rockne and his wife were joined on the train back to Chicago by USC athletic director Gwynn Wilson and his wife, Marion. While Wilson tried to convince Rockne to ditch the burgeoning rivalry with Nebraska for an annual trip west, Marion Wilson and Bonnie Rockne became fast friends in another train compartment. Rockne resisted Wilson’s entreaties, but his wife was enthralled with the idea of Los Angeles in the late fall. She later convinced her husband to play the Trojans. The resulting rivalry has lasted 85 years and has filled the college football history books with dozens of classic tales. More Heisman winners have played in the Notre Dame-USC game than in any other rivalry, and many a national championship hope has been validated with a victory in the game. Though the teams alternate between their home sites, playing in late November in L.A. and mid-October in South Bend, the game retains a glamour that defines it and is a product of two of college football’s most storied programs.
6. Georgia-Florida (Georgia, 49-42-2*)
The festivities begin at “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” around Tuesday, when the big boats start cruising up the St. John’s River in Jacksonville. By game time, everybody is in a festive mood – except the players. The Bulldogs and Gators have engaged in some classics over the years, from Georgia’s thrilling comeback in 1980 to Florida’s soggy 1993 triumph. Cheers! What's more special about this rivalry? These two programs can't even agree on how many times they've actually played. Florida claims the two have met 90 times while the Bulldogs have 91* outcomes in the record books. The Gators claim the 52-0 loss in 1904 doesn't count because they had not yet technically started playing football yet.
7. Miami-Florida State (Miami, 31-29)
For a while there during the 1990s, there was more talent on the field when the ‘Canes and ‘Noles met up than in some NFL stadiums. And everybody wanted to put on a show. This matchup lacks the tradition and history of other rivalries, but the hostility is just as high. And there have been some classics. FSU fans still wince when they hear the words “Wide Right,” while Miami backers still cringe at the 34-3 beating their heroes absorbed in ’84.
8. Harvard-Yale (Yale, 65-58-8)
The Crimson and Bulldogs may not have played the first-ever college football game, but both schools had hands in how the game developed into what we have today. The late-November meeting between the schools is a history lesson wrapped in a high-class tailgate party. Harvard and Yale no longer compete at college football’s highest level, but they remain forever linked to the sport’s earliest days.
9. Florida-Florida State (Florida, 34-23-2)
For years, this was a big brother/little brother battle, with the establishment Gators looking down on the upstart Seminoles. Then, FSU started to win games – a lot of games – and things changed. This may lack the in-state hate of Auburn-Alabama, but don’t worry; the two sides harbor plenty of dislike for each other. During the past three decades, as both have competed for national laurels, their games have become more than just neighborhood brawls.
10. California-Stanford (Stanford, 60-46-11)
To some, The Big Game is the province of the wine-and-cheese crowd, and the schools’ NoCal addresses reinforce that. But there can be no denying that these schools thirst to defeat each other. It’s a classic battle of private (Stanford) against public (Cal), and bragging rights go well beyond which side brings the best pinot to the pre-game party. Plus, what other rivalry can boast a game with a crazy ending as the 1982 contest: “The band is on the field!”
11. Pittsburgh-West Virginia (Pittsburgh, 61-40-3)
Only 75 miles separates the two combatants in the Backyard Brawl. Unfortunately conference realignment (Pittsburgh to the ACC, West Virginia to the Big 12) meant that in the 2011 season this game didn't take place for the first time since 1942. These two teams are scheduled to renew their rivalry in 2022.
12. Texas-Texas A&M (Texas, 76-37-5)
This Thanksgiving weekend tradition has been suspended, at least temporarily, with Texas A&M's move to the SEC. A Texas state legislator has introduced a bill that would require the two in-state teams to play each other in 2013. However, the two teams have yet to agree on a date to resume the rivalry.
13. Oregon-Oregon State (Oregon, 62-46-10)
The Civil War has come a long way since the Ducks and Beavers played to a 0–0 tie in 1983.
14. BYU-Utah (Utah, 57-34-4)
The Holy War might be the best name for any rivalry in the nation.
15. UCLA-USC (USC, 46-31-7)
The Southern California showdown was dominated by USC from 1999-2011, but the Bruins have won the past three seasons.
16. Alabama-Tennessee (Alabama, 53-38-7)
The Third Saturday in October means only one thing to people in the South: Alabama vs. Tennessee.
17. Oklahoma-Oklahoma State (Oklahoma, 84-18-7)
T. Boone Pickens’ interest in the Oklahoma State program was piqued after the Pokes, 3–7 at the time, knocked OU out of the 2001 national title game with a 16–13 win.
18. Clemson-South Carolina (Clemson, 66-42-4)
These two schools were bitter rivals well before they started playing football in the 1890s. Clemson won for the first time last year after South Carolina had won five straight.
19. Mississippi State-Ole Miss (Ole Miss, 62-43-6)
The Egg Bowl is often the only way to salvage a season for these two programs that have struggled to win consistently in the SEC.
20. Auburn-Georgia (Georgia, 56-55-8)
It’s the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry and it dates back to 1892. Georgia holds the slimmest of margins, with a 56–55–8 edge in the series. The Prayer on the Plains only added to this historic battle's legacy.
21. Michigan-Michigan State (Michigan, 68-35-5)
It pains MSU fans that Michigan’s biggest rival is Ohio State, but the “Little Brothers” from East Lansing have won the seven of the last eight in the series. This year's game resulted in one of the most incredible endings in college football history when the Spartans won on the last play of the game.
22. Minnesota-Wisconsin (Minnesota, 59-57-8)
The winner of the Gophers vs. Badgers showdown takes home the prized Paul Bunyan Axe. It’s the most played rivalry in FBS football, dating back to 1890. None will be bigger than the 124th meeting when the Big Ten West championship was to be decided by these two.
23. Michigan-Notre Dame (Michigan, 24-17-1)
These two traditional powers have only played regularly for the past three decades, but they produced a ton of memorable moments. Strike a pose, Desmond!
23. Georgia-Georgia Tech (Georgia, 64-40-5)
You know it’s a good rivalry when the book about the series is called Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate.
25. Lafayette-Lehigh (Lafayette, 78-67-5)
The Rivalry, as it’s called, pits two small private schools located 17 miles apart in Eastern Pennsylvania. Lafayette and Lehigh have met 150 times, including every year since 1897.
The Michigan vs. Ohio State rivalry is the greatest in college football history, otherwise it wouldn’t be known as “The Game.” There are others that started earlier and have featured more meetings, but none of them include two schools that have 19 national championships and 77 conference titles between them.
Picking the five best games of these two historic programs' 111* matchups (Michigan leads 58-46-6) is impossible, but there are some moments that stand out for their significance. Here are five.
Michigan 86, Ohio State 0
Ann Arbor – Oct. 25, 1902
One of Wolverine head coach Fielding Yost’s legendary “Point-a-Minute” teams provided the biggest thumping of the series. Michigan finished undefeated in 1902, outscoring its opponents 644-12, and has since been universally recognized as the national champion for the season. Ohio State actually finished with a respectable 6-2-2 record and its loss was by no means the worse suffered by a Michigan opponent that year. That honor goes to Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University), who was defeated 119-0.
Michigan 24, Ohio State 12
Ann Arbor – Nov. 22, 1969
The Buckeyes were ranked No. 1 and riding a 22-game winning streak when they faced Michigan and first-year head coach, Bo Schembechler, a former assistant to Ohio State head coach Woody Hayes. The 12th-ranked Wolverines built a 24-12 halftime lead and held it for the remainder of the game. With the win, Michigan earned its first Big Ten title in five years and a berth in the Rose Bowl. The famous “Ten-Year War” between Hayes and Schembechler had begun.
Ohio State 23, Michigan 20
Ann Arbor – Nov. 21, 1987
Earle Bruce took over for Hayes as head coach of Ohio State in 1979, but was fired in 1987 during the week of the Michigan game in the midst of a lackluster 6-4-1 season. Nevertheless, he was allowed to coach the final game and his players were fired up to win for him. Taking the field sporting headbands that said, “Earle,” the Buckeyes overcame a 13-0 deficit to win 23-20 in a gutsy performance that included 29 tackles by Chris Spielman. After the game Wolverines head coach Bo Schembechler told Bruce, "I always mind losing to Ohio State, but I don't mind so much today." Few coaches have made such an exit.
Michigan 13, Ohio State 13
Columbus – Nov. 21, 1992
This rivalry has produced six ties, but this one is particularly unique. Not only was it the last one, but it also made Michigan the last team to finish the regular season unbeaten with only eight wins. The Wolverines started the season with a 17-17 tie with Notre Dame and then tied Illinois 22-22 the week before the Ohio State game. The Wolverines led 13-3 in the fourth quarter, but Ohio State kicked a field goal and Buckeyes quarterback Kirk Herbstreit later tied the game with a five-yard touchdown pass to Greg Beatty on fourth down with 4:24 left. Michigan beat Washington in the Rose Bowl to finish 9-0-3. Since overtime was instituted in college football’s regular season in 1997, the ‘92 Wolverines’ unique place in history is secure.
Ohio State 42, Michigan 39
Columbus – Nov. 18, 2006
This game is the only No. 1 versus No. 2 matchup in the rivalry. Both teams entered the annual meeting undefeated for the first time since 1973 and the hype surrounding this particular matchup has not been eclipsed by any game since. The Buckeyes jumped out to 28-14 halftime lead and held onto it despite a furious Michigan comeback. A mere 14 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) ranking points prevented a rematch from taking place in the national title game, as Florida finished with .945 and Michigan finished with .932. One final note, the drama surrounding this matchup turned to sadness when legendary Wolverines head coach Bo Schembechler died of a heart attack the day before the game.
*Ohio State’s win over Michigan in 2010 was later vacated and is not included in the all-time series record. The Buckeyes also vacated their share of the Big Ten title that season.
— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports’ Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.
The undefeated New England Patriots take the field on "Monday Night Football" to face Rex Ryan and his suddenly surging Buffalo Bills (5-4). The Bills are coming off one of their biggest wins of the season over Ryan's former New York Jets and have now won two straight, sitting in the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC.
The Patriots are coming off an emotional victory themselves after escaping New York with a last-second field goal to beat the Giants. Despite the win, the Patriots lost Julian Edelman for at least the rest of the regular season, continuing a trend of significant injuries to their offense in recent weeks. However, the Patriots did get good news this week with tackles Marcus Cannon and Sebastian Vollmer returning to practice. They'll need their protection this week.
Given Rex's history with the Patriots, and the absence of Edelman, this game should be a close one as the Bills look to cement their place in the playoff picture and the Patriots look to move to 10-0.
Buffalo at New England
Kickoff: 8:25 p.m. ET (Monday)
Spread: Patriots -7
Three Things to Watch
1. Bills' Run Game vs. Patriots' Run Defense
The Patriots' run defense had major questions entering the season after losing Vince Wilfork, but they're currently ranked first in rushing yards allowed per game. However, the Bills will be a big test as they're ranked second in rushing yards-per-game. This is where the game will be decided because if New England can shut down LeSean McCoy and company, it will put the game on the arm of Tyrod Taylor. If the Bills are able to get their ground game going their entire offense will spring to life.
2. Containing Tyrod Taylor
The Patriots roared out to a huge lead in the second half against the Bills last time, but the Bills came storming back once Tyrod Taylor starting getting out of the pocket and making plays down the field. New England will do its best to keep Taylor contained, forcing him to beat them with his arm. The later in the down it gets and the more Taylor is allowed to extend the play, the better he is. Expect New England to manage its pass rush with discipline and keep a spy on Taylor to prevent any big runs from him.
3. Patriots' Offense on Third Down
There isn't a better player at beating Rex Ryan's style of defense than Julian Edelman. He has the ability to get open on double coverage (see his touchdown against these Bills in Week 2) and can turn short catches into big gains. He's also Brady's key receiver on third down. Now without Edelman (or Dion Lewis for that matter) the Patriots must find a new chain-mover. Rob Gronkowski is likely to draw a ton of attention, as will Danny Amendola in key spots. If Brady can't find a new option on the money down, the Patriots' offense could struggle. This is the start of a new evolution for Brady and the Bills will need to exploit his lack of targets on third down and get off the field.
The Patriots always seem to find a way to overcome the major injuries that hit them, but the loss of Edelman, especially against the Bills and their style of defense, will put that to the test. Rex always puts up a good fight against Brady, but it's the Patriots' defense that will be the tougher matchup for the Bills. If the Patriots continue to stop the run like they have been in recent weeks and Malcolm Butler takes away Sammy Watkins, the Patriots shouldn't need a ton of points to pull out the win this time.
Prediction: Patriots 24, Bills 13
Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads was fired on Sunday, ending a seven-year run with the Cyclones. During Rhoads’ tenure, Iowa State went 32-54 and recorded three bowl appearances. Rhoads will coach the final game of the season for the Cyclones on Saturday against West Virginia.
Iowa State is not an easy job and it is one of the toughest among Power 5 programs. Considering the challenging nature of the job and the hierarchy within the Big 12, the program needs to find a coach who can bring something different to the table in terms of style. Running a pro-style offense when trying to recruit against some of the top teams in the Big 12 is nearly impossible.
Who should replace Rhoads at Iowa State? Here are 10 names to watch:
10 Coaching Candidates to Replace Paul Rhoads at Iowa State
Chris Ash, co-defensive coordinator, Ohio State
Ash is a name many in Ames are familiar with, as he worked as an assistant at Iowa State from 2000-06 and again in 2009. Ash also has stops on his resume from stints at San Diego State, Wisconsin and Arkansas. The Iowa native joined Urban Meyer’s staff at Ohio State in 2014 and has been a key assistant for a defense limiting opponents to 14.1 points per game in 2015.
Dino Babers, head coach, Bowling Green
Babers is a rising star in the coaching ranks and is regarded as one of the top offensive minds from the Group of 5 conferences. After going 19-7 in two seasons at Eastern Illinois (2012-13), Babers is 16-9 with two MAC East titles at Bowling Green. Prior to Eastern Illinois, Babers worked as an assistant under Art Briles at Baylor (2008-11). Babers runs an offense similar to the one in Waco, as the “Falcon Fast” pass-first, up-tempo attack averages 43.8 points per game in 2015.
Rod Carey, head coach, Northern Illinois
Carey has continued to make Northern Illinois the team to beat in the MAC. He was promoted to the top spot in DeKalb after Dave Doeren left for NC State and has guided the program to a 31-9 mark over the last three seasons. The Huskies have claimed back-to-back MAC West Division titles and need one win in Week 13 to claim a third consecutive trip under Carey to Detroit for the conference championship.
Related: 25 Must-See Moments from Week 12
Willie Fritz, head coach, Georgia Southern
Fritz should be the No. 1 coach on Iowa State’s list to replace Rhoads. In two seasons at Georgia Southern, Fritz is 16-6 and guided the program to a 9-3 record in its first year on the FBS level (2014). Prior to taking over at Georgia Southern, Fritz went 40-15 at Sam Houston State and 97-47 at Central Missouri. Fritz has coaching experience in the region, has ties to Texas (an important recruiting area for Iowa State) and runs a style of play (run spread option) that would benefit the Cyclones.
Scott Frost, offensive coordinator, Oregon
Frost is a former Nebraska quarterback and spent two years as an assistant at Northern Iowa (2007-08). While Frost hasn’t spent time at Iowa State, it’s fair to say he knows the job and what it takes to win in the Midwest. Frost has worked since 2009 at Oregon, including the last two seasons as the team’s play-caller. Under his watch, the Ducks averaged 45.4 points per game in 2014 and lead the Pac-12 with a 42.4 total in 2015. Frost has no experience as a head coach on the FBS level.
Doug Meacham, co-offensive coordinator, TCU
Meacham was one of the top coordinator hires last season, transforming a struggling TCU offense into one of the nation’s best. The Horned Frogs averaged 46.5 points per game in 2014 and average 42.9 through 11 games this season. Meacham has never been a head coach, but he has been a successful play-caller at TCU and Houston, while spending from 2005-12 as an assistant at Oklahoma State.
Todd Monken, head coach, Southern Miss
Monken has engineered quite a turnaround at Southern Miss. After inheriting a team that went 0-12 under Ellis Johnson in 2012, the Golden Eagles went 1-11 in Monken’s first season (2013) and improved to 3-9 in 2014. After restocking the roster and rebuilding the depth chart from 2013-14, Monken is off to an 8-3 start in 2015 and has a chance to win Conference USA’s West Division in Week 13. Monken runs a high-powered spread offense, averaging 40.2 points a game in 2015. He also has experience within the Big 12, coaching at Oklahoma State from 2002-04 and again from 2011-12.
Ken Niumatalolo, head coach, Navy
Niumatalolo is a longshot to land the job, but Iowa State has to at least inquire to see if he’s interested. Navy is 66-36 under Niumatalolo’s watch, including eight bowl appearances (if you count 2015) in nine years. The Midshipmen have only one season of fewer than eight wins under Niumatalolo’s direction. Niumatalolo is a Paul Johnson disciple and runs a triple-option attack. That style of play would be a good switch for Iowa State, but it’s going to take a lot Niumatalolo for consider leaving Navy.
Brock Spack, head coach, Illinois State
Spack has emerged as one of the top coaches on the FCS level in recent seasons, recording a 55-28 mark at Illinois State from 2009-15. The Redbirds were the runner up for the 2014 FCS Championship and are 9-2 through 11 games in 2015. Prior to taking over at Illinois State, Spack worked as Purdue’s defensive coordinator from 1997-08 and Wyoming from 1995-96.
Matt Wells, head coach, Utah State
Wells coaches at his alma mater and has a good run going at Utah State, so it will be tough for the former Aggie quarterback to leave Logan. In three seasons at Utah State, Wells is 25-14 and guided the Aggies to a Mountain West Mountain Division title in 2013. This program has been hit hard by injuries to quarterbacks in recent years, yet Utah State is poised to earn its third consecutive bowl appearance in 2015 and has claimed 18 conference victories under Wells.
Justin Forsett's season is done.
The Ravens running back suffered a gruesome injury during a game against the Rams in which someone missed a block and allowed him to get thrown to the ground. The result is a fracture to the forearm that would lead one to assume he'll be effectively finished for the season.
CAUTION: The video may be difficult to watch.
Ravens announce Forsett suffered broken right arm. Out for game (sure) and rest of season? Been that kind of year for @Ravens— Mark Viviano (@MarkWJZ) November 22, 2015
Week 12 of the college football season is in the books. The weekend slate provided plenty of highlights, big plays, standout performances and surprises.
With another weekend of action in the books, it’s time to hand out the hardware to honor the best of the best from Week 11. Here’s a look at Athlon Sports’ picks for the offensive, defensive, coordinator, freshman and unsung hero from Week 12:
College Football Week 12 Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State
Prescott carried Mississippi State to a 51-50 victory over Arkansas on Saturday night. The senior completed 38 of 50 passes for 508 yards and five touchdowns and added 46 yards and two scores on the ground. The 508 passing yards were a career best for Prescott, while the senior became the ninth player in SEC history to score seven touchdowns in a game.
Defensive Player of the Week: Ejuan Price, DL, Pittsburgh
Price and the Pittsburgh defense dominated the line of scrimmage in Saturday’s 45-34 win over Louisville. The Panthers held the Cardinals to minus-one rushing yards and recorded seven sacks. Price was responsible for most of the damage, recording six tackles for a loss, five sacks and 10 overall stops.
Coordinator of the Week: Harlon Barnett, Co-Defensive Coordinator, Michigan State
Michigan State’s defense delivered one of its best performances of the season in Saturday’s 17-14 win against Ohio State. The Spartans owned the line of scrimmage, limiting the Buckeyes to just 86 rushing yards and never allowed a drive longer than 32 yards. Additionally, Barnett’s defense surrendered only 46 passing yards to quarterback J.T. Barrett, with the longest pass completed at 16 yards.
Freshman of the Week: Shannon Brooks, RB, Minnesota
Minnesota kept its bowl hopes alive and earned the first victory with Tracy Claeys as the team's permanent coach with a 32-23 win against Illinois on Saturday. Brooks was a key cog in the victory, recording 174 yards and three scores on 17 carries. He also caught four passes. The 174 yards was Brooks’ second-highest rushing total in his brief career at Minnesota.
Unsung Hero of the Week: Chris Johnson, QB, Baylor
With Seth Russell out for the year and Jarrett Stidham sidelined with an ankle injury, Baylor was forced to turn to Johnson against Oklahoma State to keep its playoff and Big 12 title hopes alive. While coach Art Briles is one of the nation’s top offensive minds, Johnson was converted to receiver in the offseason and had yet to throw a pass in 2015 prior to Saturday night. All Johnson did was complete 5 of 10 passes for 138 yards and two scores and rush for 42 yards and a touchdown on six attempts in a huge 45-35 victory in Stillwater.
David Fox and Braden Gall break down a huge weekend of action from Week 12.
Has Oklahoma taken over the top slot in the Big 12? Is Baylor still in the mix for a Playoff spot? How far should Ohio State fall and are the Bucks eliminated? How good is Michigan State and what do we make of their resume?
Where do Iowa, Notre Dame and Stanford fit into the Playoff discussion?
Also, the guys break down the Les Miles and Mark Richt situations in the SEC. Is Florida worthy of being in the top 10?
Lastly, the guys break down the Heisman race and give one Group of Five player some stiff-armed love.
Numbers and statistics are a huge part of college football. Every Sunday, reading updated box scores and stats is like Christmas for fans and media members. Some stats like total offense and total defense are overrated, but each help paint a picture for a team or particular game.
Whether the stats are historic, advanced or just an observation from a box score, Athlon Sports brings the most intriguing, important, historic and bizarre stats from around the weekend of college football action:
10 Amazing College Football Stats from Week 12
132: Ohio State’s Total Yardage Against Michigan State, Lowest Under Urban Meyer
Ohio State’s hopes of a repeat took a huge hit with Saturday’s loss to Michigan State. The Buckeyes have struggled to find the right mix on offense, but this unit appeared to turn a corner with J.T. Barrett as the starting quarterback. However, Michigan State exposed Ohio State’s biggest flaw. The Spartans stacked the line of scrimmage and forced Barrett and the receivers to win the game. The Buckeyes couldn’t and managed only 132 total yards, which was the lowest mark for this program under coach Urban Meyer. The 132 total yards was also the lowest by any of Meyer’s teams in his 14 years as a head coach.
2: Wins by Michigan State in 2015 With First and Only Lead at 0:00
For the second time this season, Michigan State won a huge conference matchup on the road in unusual fashion. The Spartans knocked off Michigan on the final play of the game after a dropped snap by the punter resulted in a fumble return for a touchdown. The ending of Saturday night’s Ohio State-Michigan State game wasn’t as chaotic, but the Spartans found a way to win without starting quarterback Connor Cook and used a 41-yard field goal by Michael Geiger to score the 17-14 victory in Columbus. The field goal by Geiger connected as time expired, which marked the second win in 2015 by the Spartans with their first lead of the game coming at 0:00.
1999: LSU’s Last Three-Game Losing Streak
LSU’s late-season collapse continued on Saturday with a 38-17 loss at Ole Miss. After starting 7-0 and climbing to No. 2 in the first College Football Playoff rankings, the Tigers have been dominated in three consecutive losses. Coach Les Miles’ team lost 30-16 at Alabama, followed by a 31-14 to Arkansas in Baton Rouge. On Saturday, LSU looked disorganized and distracted in a 38-17 loss to Ole Miss. This is the first three-game losing streak for the Tigers since 1999. And the losing streak is a big reason why Miles is on the hot seat going into LSU’s final game against Texas A&M this Saturday.
35.7: Average Yards on Oregon QB Vernon Adams’ Six TD Passes Against USC
A healthy Vernon Adams makes a huge difference for Oregon’s offense. The Ducks have been on fire since Adams returned from a finger injury, reeling off five consecutive wins and three performances of 44 or more points in that span. In Saturday’s 48-28 win over USC, Adams completed 20 of 25 throws for 407 yards and six scores. The six touchdown passes by Adams averaged 35.7 yards, including a 48-yard strike to Bralon Addison to open Oregon’s scoring on Saturday. Additionally, the six touchdown passes were the most by an opponent against USC in program history.
914: Combined Passing Yards in Saturday Arkansas-Mississippi State Game
The box score from Saturday night’s Arkansas-Mississippi State game didn’t resemble the usual SEC slugfest between Arkansas and Mississippi State. Instead, the scoreboard and stat sheet looked like Big 12 shootout. The two teams combined for 1,110 yards and 101 points, with quarterbacks Dak Prescott (Mississippi State) and Brandon Allen (Arkansas) combining for 914 yards and 12 passing touchdowns. Allen became just the seventh player in SEC history to throw seven touchdowns in a game.
Related: 25 Must-See Moments from Week 12
389: Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey’s All-Purpose Yards Against California
Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey continued to build a strong case for the Heisman in Saturday night’s win over California. The sophomore rushed for 192 yards on 29 attempts, caught a 49-yard pass for a score and accumulated 148 yards on three kickoff returns. McCaffrey recorded 389 all-purpose yards against the Golden Bears, which set a single-game school record. The sophomore leads the nation with an average of 255.2 all-purpose yards per game.
3: Rushing TDs Needed by Alabama RB Derrick Henry to Break SEC Record
Alabama didn’t need much from running back Derrick Henry in Saturday’s easy 56-6 victory over Charleston Southern. However, the junior was quite effective in limited snaps, rushing for 68 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries. Henry has 21 rushing touchdowns this season, including 11 over the last five matchups. He needs three rushing scores the rest of the year to break the SEC’s single-season record, currently shared by former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and Auburn running back Tre Mason at 23.
22: Consecutive Wins by Northern Illinois in November
Northern Illinois moved one step closer to winning the MAC’s West Division on Wednesday night with a 27-19 victory over Western Michigan. The win over the Broncos marked the 22nd consecutive victory by the Huskies in November. The last time Northern Illinois loss in November came in 2009 (Nov. 27) at the hands of Central Michigan. The Huskies have also won 35 out of their last 36 games at home.
27.6: Average Yards Per Completion by Baylor QB Chris Johnson on Saturday
Baylor has been hit hard by injuries to its quarterbacks this season. The Bears lost starter Seth Russell to a neck injury against Iowa State, and true freshman Jarrett Stidham suffered a back injury in last week’s loss against Oklahoma and injured an ankle in Saturday night’s win over Oklahoma State. Even though Stidham was a huge loss in the second half against the Cowboys, Baylor’s offense never missed a beat. Third-string quarterback Chris Johnson – who converted from quarterback to receiver this preseason – replaced Stidham and completed five of his 10 passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns in the 45-35 victory over Oklahoma State. Johnson averaged 27.6 yards on his five completions, which were his first pass attempts in a game since Sept. 6, 2014.
2: Unbeaten Teams Remaining After Week 12
Three teams – Ohio State, Houston and Oklahoma State – lost on Saturday, which leaves just two teams unbeaten going into Week 13. Iowa and Clemson are both 11-0 and have clinched spots in their conference championships. The Hawkeyes will be tested at Nebraska on Friday, while the Tigers play at rival South Carolina this week. Saturday’s results should ensure the College Football Playoff’s final top four will have at least two teams with one loss. Finishing the season with an unbeaten record is no easy task for any team.
Rob Ryan won't be missed in New Orleans, even less after this.
The former defensive coordinator for the Saints was let go recently and while talking about his former team, he made a joke about Hurricane Katrina that perhaps wasn't in the best taste.
"Everything in New Orleans is being blamed on me, including Katrina," Ryan said. It was visibly awkward for everyone on set.
Week 12 of the college football season is officially in the books. With the playoff and bowl picture coming into focus, there were no shortage of critical games or must-see matchups on Saturday. And the weekend slate produced its share of crazy moments, wild finishes and big plays.
Miss anything from Week 12? Here are 25 must-see plays, moments or post-game celebrations from the weekend of action:
25 Must-See Moments from College Football's Week 12 Games
1. Michigan State knocks Ohio State from the ranks of the unbeaten with last-second field goal:
2. Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott was unhappy with the play-calling in the loss to Michigan State:
Zeke Elliott: "I'm disappointed in the positions we were put in. I'm disappointed. I think I do deserve more than 11 carries. I really do."— Eric Seger (@EricSeger33) November 22, 2015
Ezekiel Elliott also said he was lobbying with Urban Meyer to change the play calling and get more touches: "It's very disappointing."— Eric Seger (@EricSeger33) November 22, 2015
Elliott: "I deserve more than 11 carries. I really do. I can't speak for the playcaller. I don't know what was going on."— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) November 22, 2015
Teammate Darron Lee had a different take than most on Elliott's comments:
Zeke isn't calling anyone out. He wanted the ball more to help his team win. That's what playmakers/competitors do. #StayWoke— Darron Lee (@DLeeMG8) November 22, 2015
Quarterback Cardale Jones also indicated he's leaving for the NFL at the end of the season:
Last time walking down them steps and into The Shoe, wish the results were different tho pic.twitter.com/BalXhHTOS7— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) November 22, 2015
3. Virginia Tech honors Frank Beamer in final home game:
#ThanksFrank (@VT_Football) November 21, 2015
Players carry Frank Beamer off the field. pic.twitter.com/f6vp86cClk— Nathan Warters (@NathanWarters) November 21, 2015
4. An emotional day at Missouri in Gary Pinkel's last home game:
5. A bad week for LSU coach Les Miles continues. The Tigers lose big at Ole Miss, and Miles took a shot from one of his players on this play:
Les got wiped out pic.twitter.com/3aHRRl2eAB— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) November 21, 2015
Miles watch continues: LSU AD Joe Alleva declines comment on Les Miles' future until after season ends.— Pat Smith (@patsmithradio) November 22, 2015
6. Great news from Central Michigan coach John Bonamego:
7. North Carolina clinches ACC Coastal title on this touchdown pass in overtime:
North Carolina coach Larry Fedora did a little celebrating after the big win:
8. Virginia Tech defensive end Dadi Nicolas was very unhappy with a penalty and took his frustration out on the referee:
9. The Citadel scores huge upset over South Carolina:
#TheCitadel (@CitadelSports) November 21, 2015
So...... We lost to the Citadel ? What happened ?— Ace Sanders (@WhyNot8Teen) November 21, 2015
10. Oklahoma survives TCU's upset bid after Steven Parker deflects two-point conversion pass:
11. Mississippi State and Arkansas combined for 12 touchdown passes. Bulldogs escaped with a 51-50 victory after blocking a Razorbacks' field goal with less than a minute remaining:
Mississippi State receiver Fred Ross made this nifty one-handed grab during Saturday night's win:
A fight broke out in the stands with less than a minute to go:
12. Baylor ends Oklahoma State's unbeaten season thanks to third-string quarterback Chris Johnson:
13. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh goes crazy during Saturday's game against Penn State:
14. What is a catch these days? No one knows. Wisconsin lost to Northwestern after this pass was ruled incomplete:
This was the Wisconsin TD that was overturned pic.twitter.com/5sAA7qzj9W— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) November 21, 2015
Man oh man...... 4 steps + Knee down✔️.. Possessed & secured tight✔️.. No bobble✔️.. BUT. Reversed???? pic.twitter.com/IOBk9AzmQF— Jazz™ (@JazzPeavy) November 22, 2015
Wisconsin fans expressed their anger with the referees by throwing snowballs at them:
Earlier in the game, Wisconsin cheerleaders left the field after being hit with snowballs:
15. Oregon quarterback Vernon Adams becomes first player to throw six touchdown passes against USC:
16. Georgia ends Georgia Southern's upset bid with this touchdown in overtime:
17. Snow covers Iowa's Kinnick Stadium on Friday night/Saturday morning:
Snow plows clearing the frozen tundra for Purdue at Iowa pic.twitter.com/DRVqCRhoRU— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) November 21, 2015
18. The banners are back at Miami:
The second banner? "Make Miami great again -- Butch Davis 2016" pic.twitter.com/J5eeBDsHTw— Christy Chirinos (@ChristyChirinos) November 21, 2015
19. This awesome photo was taken at Fenway Park on Saturday morning well before Notre Dame-Boston College kicked off:
20. Clemson offensive lineman Daniel Stone proposes on Senior Day (she said yes):
21. Mark Mangino was let go by Iowa State as the team's offensive coordinator earlier this season. On Saturday, he took to Twitter to get a jab in at the Cyclones after their last-second loss to Kansas State:
There is no doubt at all...The Fat Lady is singing!— Mark Mangino (@KeepSawinWood) November 21, 2015
22. Bowling Green receiver Gehrig Dieter makes an awesome one-handed touchdown catch against Toledo on Tuesday night:
Is this a catch? pic.twitter.com/L3JCSp7exI— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) November 18, 2015
23. UConn fans stormed the field after upset victory against Houston:
This is happening. pic.twitter.com/lJn6OA4Zc0— Ed Daigneault (@EdDaigneault) November 22, 2015
24. Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville shows his disappointment with his team in a 65-27 loss at USF:
25. Iowa clinched the Big Ten West Division title with win over Purdue. Snoop Dogg was very excited about this development:
The Cincinnati Bengals (8-1) were just knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten and now get an even tougher test on the road, facing an Arizona Cardinals (7-2) team coming off its biggest win of the season in Seattle. Yes, after last week both teams seem to be in opposite places, but this potential Super Bowl preview will cement one team's status as a favorite.
The Bengals' offense was stymied last week by the Texans, putting up a mere six points, including none in the second half. Still the Bengals enter this game ranked fifth in the league in scoring offense and first in scoring defense. Did the Texans expose the "blueprint" for beating Cincinnati? Or was it just one of those off games that regularly occur in the NFL? Clearly the Bengals are still a very good team, but they'll need to bounce back and put forth their best effort to win in Arizona.
The Cardinals meanwhile didn't play their best game of the season against their divisional rival Seahawks, but they did recover from back-to-back Seahawk touchdowns in the fourth quarter to retake the lead and seal the win with two clutch touchdowns of their own. After losing two of their first three games to open October, the Cardinals have now won three in a row. A win over the Bengals on national TV might just cement the Cardinals' place atop the NFC as Super Bowl favorites.
Cincinnati at Arizona
Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. ET
Spread: Cardinals -4
Three Things to Watch
1. Bengals offense bounce-back?
The Bengals had just 256 yards of offense against the Texans, easily a season low, and things don't get any easier with a tough Cardinal defense playing at home. Patrick Peterson on A.J. Green is the marquee matchup to watch, as Green was held to just five catches for 67 yards last week. But the bigger question mark is Tyler Eifert, whose three catches for 26 yards really embodied why the Bengals struggled. Eifert was off his game against the Texans and the effect was clear. They'll need to get Green and Eifert going early to get their offense back on track.
2. Cardinals best offense in the NFL?
The Cardinals have only been held under 400 yards of offense twice this season. Larry Fitzgerald (65 catches, 836 yards, seven touchdowns) and Chris Johnson (166 carries, 734 yards, three touchdowns) have been rejuvenated and Carson Palmer is just 10 touchdown passes away from breaking his career high of 32, which was set in 2005. But as the season wears on, can these veteran players maintain this level of play? Or will they start to break down? The Bengal defense, which should be hungry and looking to bounce back, should give the Cardinals a great test.
3. Bright lights for Bengals
This will be the third game in a row the Bengals will be on national television. Their first was an easy beatdown of the Browns, the second they sputtered at home against the Texans, and now they must go on the road to face one of the best teams in the NFL. The football world has been waiting for a signature win from Andy Dalton and this Bengals team, and this could be it.
These are two of the best teams in the NFL right now and this is the time of year when the real contenders start to play their best football. Both teams sputtered at times last week, but only the Cardinals were able to overcome their mistakes to pull out the win. A loss like the one the Bengals had at the hands of the Texans can often derail teams, so they have a lot to prove against the Cardinals. The problem is that the Cardinals have only one two-point loss at home this year and have arguably the best offense in the NFL. The Bengals' holes will continue to be exposed, but they'll put up a good fight.
Prediction: Cardinals 31, Bengals 24
It's do or die time for the Seattle Seahawks (4-5) after losing a critical NFC West Showdown last Sunday 39-32 to the Arizona Cardinals. Following last week's defeat, the Seahawks fell to three games behind Arizona in the NFC West race and two games out in the NFC Wild Card race. The cure for Seattle is a visit from the San Francisco 49ers and Blaine Gabbert, who are coming off a bye week and will be looking to pull off the upset. This will be the second meeting between these two teams this season as Seattle won the Week 7 matchup at Levi’s Stadium by a score of 20-3.
Prior to its bye week, San Francisco (3-6) showed a little bit of a pulse in a 17-16 win over the Atlanta Falcons. The 49ers still were pedestrian at best offensively against the Falcons with 318 yards of offense, but they were able to grind out just enough rushing offense on the ground to keep Atlanta at bay defensively. Also, Blaine Gabbert did what he needs to do in order for San Francisco to win games down the stretch. Gabbert, completed 15 of 25 passes for 185 yards with two touchdowns passes but he had two interceptions. It is going to be beyond critical for Gabbert to not throw interceptions against the Seahawks' defense on Sunday.
San Francisco at Seattle
Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET (Sunday)
TV Channel: Fox
Spread: Seahawks -13.5
Three Things to Watch
1. Where is Russell Wilson at mentally?
Wilson has not lived up to being the second-highest paid quarterback in the NFL in 2015. There have been too many times this season when Wilson has been off target with passes that he normally would complete. That begs the question where his focus truly is. It's one thing to take some time off during a bye week to rest and recover, but Wilson’s vacation to Mexico with girlfriend Ciara was highly publicized and a really bad look considering how poor the offense played as a whole in the first half on Sunday night. It's on Wilson to step up his leadership and produce like the second-highest paid quarterback in the NFL.
2. What about Marshawn Lynch’s Health and Lack of Production?
Despite the rash of nagging injuries, Lynch has not produced at a level worthy of his $8.5-million-dollar salary cap hit this year. Lynch has only rushed for 417 yards in the season with 122 of those against San Francisco in Week 7. This is a fork in the road moment for Lynch. If he does find a way to play despite being questionable with an abdominal injury - he needs to produce. If Lynch can't go, Thomas Rawls will be counted on step in and take care of business with the running game as the season is slipping away too quickly for Pete Carroll and the Seahawks for them to keep waiting on Lynch to get right physically.
3. Will the Seahawks Defense Bounce Back?
Carson Palmer and the Arizona Cardinals pretty much had their way with the Seattle defense, as Palmer threw for 363 yards with relative ease. The Seahawks as a whole have been playing pretty well since the return of Kam Chancellor. However, the ridiculous inconsistency of the Seahawks' offense is going to wear even the most talented of defenses like Seattle has. The 49ers are not elite whatsoever offensively, so it will be incumbent upon the Seahawks to set the tone early by forcing turnovers and not allowing big plays. Seattle has already allowed 30 plays in the passing game of over 20 yards or more in comparison to the 32 they allowed during the entire 2014 season. Another glaring issue as Earl Thomas pointed out earlier in the week is that the overall chemistry of the defense - especially in the secondary - is not the same this season. The Legion of Boom has yet to display anywhere near the level of intimidation this unit showed against the opposition from previous seasons.
If there ever was a Sunday for the Seahawks to get right, it's this Sunday against the 49ers. Blaine Gabbert at quarterback for San Francisco should deliver multiple turnovers for the Seahawks, and without running back Carlos Hyde, Seattle should be able to force the 49ers to be one dimensional all afternoon long. Offensively, for the Seahawks it simply comes down to executing better and actually playing with discipline in the trenches. Will Seattle put it together offensively for four quarters and put up 30 points on the San Francisco defense? The odds are the offense will make enough big plays to score about 24 points and seal a comfortable win for the Seahawks on Sunday. However, with two tough games on deck - Pittsburgh visits Century Link Field next Sunday and a road trip to Minnesota awaits the following week - it is going to take significant improvement in order for Seattle to go on a run towards the playoffs.
Prediction: Seahawks 27, 49ers 9
— Written by Scott Whittum, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and also writes for College Sports Madness, covering college football, basketball, softball and baseball. Follow him on Twitter @smwhittum.
Three short weeks ago, it appeared as if Green Bay was headed for a Super Bowl collision with New England. The mighty Packers were stout on defense and were receiving tremendous performances from QB Aaron Rodgers. Sunday, the Pack staggers into Minneapolis searching for answers and wondering if it’s possible to regain the momentum it had generated during the season’s first six weeks.
If you think Green Bay’s stumble is surprising, consider the success of the Vikings, whose five-game winning streak is the third longest in the NFL, and whose first-place status in the NFC North is one of the season’s biggest shocks. Minnesota hasn’t been overpowering, but it has a solid balance on offense and has been playing sticky D that doesn’t allow rivals to get too comfortable. It may be premature to anoint the Vikes one of the NFC favorites, but a win over Green Bay will certainly make more people believe in the Purple.
Green Bay at Minnesota
Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET (Sunday)
Spread: Pick 'em
Three Things to Watch
1. Purely Offensive
Through six games, Rodgers appeared to be on his way to an MVP award and one of the best seasons in his impressive career. Since then, he has lost some of his trademark accuracy and has been under siege behind a shaky offensive line. Rodgers completed just 57.4 percent of his 61 passes in last week’s embarrassing home loss to the Lions — Green Bay’s first at Lambeau to Detroit in 24 years — and appeared to have timing issues with his wideouts. The Packers’ three-game losing streak isn’t all Rodgers’ problem. The Green Bay ground game has been abysmal, and James Starks managed just 42 yards on 15 carries against Detroit. The receivers aren’t getting much separation from defensive backs, and the offensive line is struggling with pass and run blocking.
2. On a Roll
These aren’t the Bud Grant Vikings of the late ‘60s and ’70s, but Minnesota is playing the kind of steady, winning football its fans used to enjoy when Fran Tarkenton was under center, and the Purple People Eaters were terrorizing enemy attacks. The Vikes are playing ball control with Adrian Peterson, who leads the league in rushing by a wide margin, and backing up his efforts with steady play (64.2 percent completion rate, six interceptions) by QB Teddy Bridgewater. Peterson ran for 203 yards in last week’s 30-14 win at Oakland, his fourth consecutive 100-yard-plus game and the sixth 200-yard game of his career, which ties O.J. Simpson for most all-time. Minnesota isn’t overwhelming, but it is in first place, and that’s a big deal in an NFC that lacks an abundance of standout teams.
3. In No Rush
Through the first six games of the season, Green Bay had sacked enemy passers 23 times. Over the past three, no Packer has brought an opposing quarterback to the ground. Even though the Pack brought more pressure last week against Detroit, it still couldn’t register a sack of Matthew Stafford. That’s remarkable, given the fact that Stafford had been dumped 22 times in the first eight games. The Packers still have plenty of pop in the pass-rush department, thanks to Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews, but they must get more pressure on Bridgewater Sunday to have a chance.
It’s tempting to think that there is no way the Packers can lose a fourth straight game, not with Rodgers at the helm. But this is a team that has looked lethargic the past three weeks and simply doesn’t seem to have enough playmakers to win a big one on the road. If the line doesn’t get more productive, the Green Bay offense will have to rely solely on Rodgers, and he doesn’t have the weapons outside to carve up defenses that are no longer respecting his receivers’ ability to get deep.
The Vikings play old-fashioned football, with frequent doses of Peterson that help minimize the difficult situations in which Bridgewater finds himself. This is not a team with great weapons on the outside — Minnesota has just seven TD catches — but with Peterson able to gain yards on first and second downs, it doesn’t have to go downfield too often. Minnesota wants to control the clock and play solid defense. Expect to see plenty of that this Sunday.
Prediction: Packers 23, Vikings 20
— Written by Michael Bradley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Bradley is a writer and broadcaster based in suburban Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter @DailyHombre.
Kansas City (4-5) is coming off a big win in Denver where Peyton Manning handed them more interceptions than made completions. Since losing five in a row, the Chiefs have now won three straight and are in eighth place in the conference, but if the Broncos fade without Manning, the Chiefs could make a push for the division crown. With two games each against the Raiders and Chargers still left, Kansas City's fate is still very much in their own hands.
Few teams have been hit harder with injuries than the San Diego Chargers and their 2-7 record reflects that, but they have still managed to throw for more passing yards than anyone else in the NFL. Four of their seven losses have been by four points or less, a testament to Philip Rivers, who's gotten by with a makeshift offensive line and without his two best receivers. It is likely too late to save the season now, but the Chargers are not afraid to throw the ball and will put up yards on anyone.
Kansas City at San Diego
Kickoff: 4:05 p.m. ET (Sunday)
Spread: Chiefs -3
Three Things to Watch
1. Charcandrick West Ascending
With the loss of Jamaal Charles for the season, West has emerged as the top weapon in the Chiefs' offense, putting up 417 total yards and four touchdowns in the last three games, all Chiefs wins. With an anemic passing offense (25th overall), most of the Chargers' focus will go on West and the Chiefs' ground game. The Chargers are 27th overall in rushing yards allowed per game so this is likely where the game will be won or lost.
2. Stop Danny Woodhead
With the injuries to Keenan Allen, Malcom Floyd and Antonio Gates, the Chargers have been left with Danny Woodhead as their primary weapon and he led the team in both rushing and receiving in their last game two weeks ago against the Bears. Just as the Chargers will be focusing on dual threat West, the Chiefs will center their gameplan around containing Woodhead. Yes, that's what it has come to for the Chargers, who will need Stevie Johnson to resurface to attack a stout Chiefs' defense.
3. Perhaps KC Will Pass?
With two of the Chargers' top three corners questionable, the time could be right for the Chiefs to get their passing game on track. And really, if they're to make any noise in the playoffs they won't be able to do it on the road with just West. Jason Verrett and Patrick Robinson still could dress, but will they be full strength? The Chiefs have broken 300 yards passing just once this season in a loss to the Bengals, and have only broken 200 yards a total of three times. It might be too much to expect them to suddenly start clicking through the air now, but an undermanned Chargers' secondary could set the stage.
Despite these two teams appearing to be heading in two different directions, this divisional contest is pretty evenly matched. Both teams have been hit hard by injuries and are shadows of what they hoped to put on the field coming into the season. The Chiefs have some momentum, but the Chargers have only been a play or two away from wins in quite a few of their games. When you add it all up it looks like a close contest that will come down to the end.
Prediction: Chargers 17, Chiefs 16
Welcome to the Week 11 running back injury report. With four teams on a bye (Pittsburgh, New York Giants, Cleveland and New Orleans), the list is shorter than weeks past, but some big names have made the list. Also, keep in mind that running backs that are on the injury report but are listed as probable and have gotten in a full practice (Ronnie Hillman, Joique Bell, Eddie Lacy, Alfred Morris) are not on this report as they will suit up on Sunday. Don't forget to check out the quarterback/tight end injury report and the wide receiver injury report. Please note all games are at 1 p.m. EST unless otherwise noted.
Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears vs Denver Broncos
Out - knee
With Jeremy Langford playing as well as he has been, the Bears have no reason to rush Matt Forte back on the field. Forte put in limited practices Wednesday and Friday after sitting out on Thursday. He will likely sit another week and return on Thursday when the Bears play the Packers on Thanksgiving night. Even if Forte is active, expect him to only be involved in a limited fashion. While Langford and Forte may share carries going forward, this isn't the week to trust that it will be an equal split. As hard as it may be, leave Forte on your bench, even if he is active. (UPDATE: Inactive)
Darren McFadden, RB, Dallas Cowboys at Miami Dolphins
Questionable - groin
McFadden was added to the injury report on Thursday with a groin injury, but it appears that it was minor and he is expected to play on Sunday. He put in a limited practice on Friday as well and is a RB1 on Sunday. With Tony Romo back, defenses have to spread out, which should give McFadden room to run. Miami's run defense isn't very good, and as long as McFadden can stay on the field, he is in line for a good day.
Ryan Mathews, RB, Philadelphia Eagles vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Out - concussion
It's not a surprise that Mathews has been ruled out. He hasn't been able to practice (or even attend practice) for the past week. He will have to pass the league's concussion protocol before being cleared to play. With a short week, it is unclear if he will be available for the Eagles Thanksgiving day matchup against the Lions.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings vs Green Bay Packers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m.)
Probable - hamstring
Fantasy owners fear not: Peterson will play on Sunday. The Packers give up the 10th fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, so it's not a great matchup, but after putting up 203 rushing yards and a touchdown in Week 10, he probably is a little sore. He's had over 100 total yards in the past four games. Look for him to continue the streak in Week 11.
Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (Sunday, 4:25 p.m.)
Out - foot
It's still unclear what exactly Hyde's injury is. If it is a stress fracture, as he's said, only rest will heal it (although surgery may still be required). Hyde hasn't played since October 22, and he was banged up at the time. At this point, even though he is considered day-to-day, he needs to at least be able to practice before fantasy owners can consider starting him. The 49ers face Arizona in Week 12, in the late afternoon games. Fantasy owners should already have other plans in place for that game as well.
Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks vs San Francisco 49ers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m.)
Questionable - abdomen
Another week of Lynch being questionable and a game-time decision. And yes, another week of the Seahawks playing in the late afternoon games. Last week, when Lynch looked like he might sit out, he was active. He only had eight carries, but he turned that into 42 yards and a touchdown (on many fantasy benches). It looks like he will be active in Week 11,and the 49ers give up the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. He's a RB1 if active, and this week, pencil him in.
The Week 11 quarterback injury report is short and easy: four quarterbacks and all are ruled out. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Teddy Bridgewater and Aaron Rodgers are both on the injury report as probable, but both practiced in full and are on track to play. For tight ends, Owen Daniels was able to practice in full on Friday (and is listed as probable), so if you were planning on starting him, you can continue to do so. Please also check out the running back and wide receiver injury report. Note that all games are at 1 p.m. EST unless otherwise noted.
Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos at Chicago Bears
Out - foot
After awarding his fantasy owners with negative points in Week 10, he will be sitting in Week 11. Suffering from plantar fasciitis, Manning reportedly won't be back on the field until he his healthy, and then he will be the starter. Brock Osweiler will fill in. In less than a half in Week 10, Osweiler threw for 146 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He's worth a flyer in two-quarterback leagues.
Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts at Atlanta Falcons
Out - abdomen
After suffering a lacerated kidney, Luck has been ruled out for not only Week 11, but probably an additional month as well. Matt Hasselbeck will take over as quarterback in his absence. When Hasselbeck played earlier this season, he put up decent numbers: 282 and 213 yards in two games with three total touchdowns and no interceptions. He's worth starting in two-quarterback leagues.
Brian Hoyer, QB, Houston Texans vs New York Jets
Out - concussion
After suffering a concussion in Week 10, Hoyer has been ruled out for Week 11. He hasn't passed the league's concussion protocol yet, and the hope of the Texans is that he'll be ready for when they face the Saints next Sunday in Week 12. T.J. Yates will step in for Houston and shouldn't be started in fantasy leagues. The Texans pass-catchers (namely DeAndre Hopkins) take a hit in value as well.
Sam Bradford, QB, Philadelphia Eagles vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Out - concussion
Welcome, Mark Sanchez. After suffering a concussion and a sprained AC joint in his non-throwing shoulder in Week 10, Bradford will miss Week 11. Sanchez will fill in for Bradford. In his only game action of the year (taking over in Week 10), Sanchez threw for 156 yards and an interception. Hopefully for Jordan Matthews owners, the pair will rekindle the magic they had in 2014. Sanchez is a QB2 this week.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Philadelphia Eagles
Questionable - shoulder
For some reason the Bucs keep listing Seferian-Jenkins as questionable, although he has yet to play. Every week it seems he might be close, but every week, he is deemed inactive. This week should be no exception. He's remained limited in practice and the word out of Tampa Bay is that he's not going to play in Week 11.
Ladarius Green, TE, San Diego Chargers vs Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday, 4:05 p.m.)
Questionable - ankle
Both tight ends for San Diego are on the injury report, but it appears that Green is truly more questionable than Gates. In a tough matchup against Kansas City (who gives up the fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends), Green is not a recommended start. He's banged up (just practicing for the first time on Friday) and Gates will likely be playing. Even in an offense that is losing players left and right, Green needs to get through a game before fantasy owners should think about starting him.
Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers vs Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday, 4:05 p.m.)
Probable - knee
Gates has the probable tag, while Green is questionable. Expect to see Gates on Sunday, although if you have better options at tight end, use them. Gates has a knee issue, which is causing a hip problem. He had two touchdowns in his first game back, but in the past two games he's played, he has 10 receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns. The Chiefs haven't allowed a tight end to get more than four receptions yet this season. Gates is a good player, and because of position scarcity, is still a TE1 this week, but barely.
Per usual, the wide receiver injury report is the longest out of the group. The quarterback/tight end injury report and the running back injury report don't have nearly the list of players as the wide receivers. Also, the wide receivers contain more game-time decisions. Players that practiced in full and are listed as probable are not on here, as they are expected to play on Sunday. Those wide receivers include: Eric Decker, Brandon Marshall, Nate Washington, James Jones and Larry Fitzgerald. Note that all games are at 1 p.m. EST unless otherwise noted.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos at Chicago Bears
Questionable - ankle
After being on the injury report last week, being a game-time decision, and eventually being active, Sanders rewarded fantasy owners that took a risk on him with a big zero for the day. Sanders now has a finger injury in addition to the ankle injury, but is expected to play on Sunday. While it is a risk to start him, it is a good matchup with Chicago. Brock Osweiler will need to throw the ball, and Sanders is the guy that will catch the short passes and try to make plays. He has more value in PPR leagues than standard leagues, but is a solid WR2 in both formats.
Eddie Royal, WR, Chicago Bears vs Denver Broncos
Out - knee
Royal hurt his knee in Week 8 (November 1) and hasn't played or practiced since. He has been ruled out for Week 11, and will likely be out for the Bears matchup on Thanksgiving night as well because of the short week. Alshon Jeffery is also banged up, which puts the Bears receiving corps in a tough spot. For now, continue to hold Royal in case he does come back as he could have value down the stretch.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears vs Denver Broncos
Questionable - groin
Eddie Royal has already been ruled out, and Jeffery missed practice both Thursday and Friday. Typically that would be a sure sign that the player will be out for the game on Sunday, but the Bears are arguably the worst team in the league about their injury reports. Jeffery was questionable heading into Week 10 and he played (although he only had three receptions for 23 yards in a tough matchup against St. Louis). This week's matchup isn't any easier, and Jeffery is a WR3, if active. Between the matchup and the injury, it's tough to trust him. We don't expect him to be on the field.
Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions vs Minnesota Vikings
Probable - ankle
After missing practice on Wednesday, Johnson practiced on Thursday and Friday. The matchup against the Vikings is a good one and he seems to be past the worst of the ankle injury. In Week 10 (with the injury), he still managed six receptions for 81 yards. While he hasn't found the end zone since Week 7, this may be the week that changes. Start Megatron as a WR1.
Leonard Hankerson, WR, Atlanta Falcons vs Indianapolis Colts
Probable - hamstring
Hankerson will likely be active on Sunday, but fantasy owners have to be desperate to consider starting him. He hasn't had a good game since Week 4. Since then, he's had five receptions for 50 yards in three games. Granted, he's left those games with injuries, but until he can get through a full game, he should remain on fantasy benches. While the Colts have let up 16 touchdowns to wide receivers, and Julio Jones may see a lot of Vontae Davis, it is a risk to start Hankerson. He's a WR4 (although not a terrible contrarian play in DFS).
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans vs New York Jets
Probable - knee
After giving fantasy owners a scare earlier this week, Hopkins said his knee was fine. After getting in practice on Friday and earning a probable tag, fantasy owners should expect to see him on Sunday. He's scored four touchdowns in the past four weeks, but T.J. Yates at quarterback caps his upside. In addition, Darrelle Revis will be covering him, and Hopkins hasn't yet proven that he's elite enough to be matchup-proof. He's still a WR1, but temper expectations.
Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Philadelphia Eagles
Questionable - knee
Vincent Jackson hasn't played since Week 7, and he's only had one good game all season: week 4 (10/147/1). Eliminate that game, and he has 11 receptions for 172 yards and a touchdown in five games. Reports came out Wednesday that V-Jax would miss Week 11. Then he returned to practice on Thursday and has earned the questionable tag. It's likely, however, that he does sit out this week and returns in Week 10 vs. the Colts.
Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys at Miami Dolphins
Probable - foot
Bryant will be on the injury report with his foot injury every week, and unless he suffers a setback of some kind, he will play. Finally getting Tony Romo back only helps Bryant. He did only have a 5/48/0 stat line in Week 1, but he should improve upon that for Week 11. Miami is middle-of-the-road in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers, and Bryant should regain his clear-cut WR1 status.
John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals vs Cincinnati Bengals (Sunday, 8:30 p.m.)
Questionable - hamstring
After being active in Week 10, Brown gave fantasy owners a zero. (At least he was targeted three times, as opposed to when he was active and didn't play a snap in Week 8 before the bye. Knowing that Brown is still struggling with the hamstring injury and seeing how he's performed with this injury over the past two games, it's hard to start him. Add in that it's a late game, that the Bengals are actually a tough defense against opposing wide receivers, and try to keep Brown on your bench for another week.
Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals vs Cincinnati Bengals (Sunday, 8:30 p.m.)
Questionable - hamstring
After not practicing all week, Floyd is listed as questionable and a game-time decision. He pulled his hamstring during the Week 10 game and clearly is still hampered by it. Don't count on Floyd playing this week. With two of the big three wide receivers out or limited for Arizona, it's going to be a big game for Larry Fitzgerald (and likely the running backs).
Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (Sunday, 4:25 p.m.)
Questionable - hamstring
While it appears that Boldin will be active on Sunday, it is a tough matchup for a player that is still banged up and has Blaine Gabbert throwing to him. The Seahawks defense has allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. When the 49ers played the Seahawks in Week 7, Boldin had three receptions for 39 yards. He only has two 100-yard games and two touchdowns on the year. He's a WR4 this week.
Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks vs San Francisco 49ers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m.)
Probable - toe
Baldwin may be on the fantasy radar because of his Week 10 stat line of 7/134/1. However, remove that game, and on the season, he has 31 receptions for 345 yards and two touchdowns on the year (as in, over the course of eight games). That's less than four receptions and 45 yards a game, on average. While the 49ers do give up the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, Baldwin is a WR4 this week. The toe injury isn't a concern, but the lack of consistency is.
Malcom Floyd, WR, San Diego Chargers vs Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday, 4:05 p.m.)
Out - shoulder
After injuring his shoulder in Week 9, Floyd was a long shot to play this week. He wasn't able to practice and has already been ruled out. While he does insist he will be back on the field this season, if fantasy owners need the roster spot, feel free to cut bait. Shoulder injuries are hard for wide receivers to overcome (look at Randall Cobb) and with the fantasy playoffs just around the corner, it's going to be hard to trust Floyd.
Ohio State’s unbeaten season ended with a surprising 17-14 loss to Michigan State on Saturday. Despite the Spartans missing starting quarterback Connor Cook, coach Mark Dantonio’s team found a way to win and altered the outlook of the Big Ten Championship and College Football Playoff picture.
The primary culprit in Saturday’s loss for the Buckeyes was an offense that generated just 132 yards.
After the loss, running back Ezekiel Elliott sounded off on the team’s play-calling. Elliott had only 33 yards on 12 carries against the Spartans. Needless to say, the junior isn’t happy:
Ezekiel Elliott also said he was lobbying with Urban Meyer to change the play calling and get more touches: "It's very disappointing."— Eric Seger (@EricSeger33) November 22, 2015
Zeke Elliott: "I'm disappointed in the positions we were put in. I'm disappointed. I think I do deserve more than 11 carries. I really do."— Eric Seger (@EricSeger33) November 22, 2015
Ezekiel Elliott: "Honestly, that was my last game at the Shoe. There's no chance I'm coming back next year."— Austin Ward (@AWardESPN) November 22, 2015
Elliott: "I deserve more than 11 carries. I really do. I can't speak for the playcaller. I don't know what was going on."— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) November 22, 2015
More #Buckeyes Elliott:"We should have run more power. We stopped calling plays that worked Disappointed by lack of effort from coaches."— Rick Pizzo (@BTNRickPizzo) November 22, 2015
Clemson's Senior Day will always be one to remember for Daniel Stone.
The senior offensive tackle ran out during the player introductions and couldn't wait a minute longer to propose to his girlfriend. Great scene for all Tiger fans in attendance.
Luckily she said yes. It could've really put a damper on the whole game if she didn't.
Katy Perry is back in Oxford... somewhat.
The pop singer got the crowd hype for the game against LSU and gave a subtle hat tip to Les Miles & Co. with a corndog. Perry said while on College GameDay last year that LSU fans smell like them.
Frank Beamer made Blacksburg, VA what it is. The legendary coach made his mark on every Hokies fan in the past couple decades.
The fans at Lane Stadium gave the Virginia Tech coach the proper welcome for his final home game after 29 seasons.
Trends come and go. The important thing is to know when it's time to fade them out.
Bryce Harper's butchering of the word "meme" got me thinking of some other times that things should not have been done or said in the sports realm. From Harper to Cris Carter, some just aren't meant to keep up with the times. It's not for everyone.
1. Harper is a 23-year-old man. There is no reason he shouldn't know how to pronounce "meme." Obviously the word "meme" isn't going away anytime soon, but Harper has permanently changed the way everyone hears it.
2. That time the NBA Tonight crew tried to rap. No. Just no. Cassidy Hubbarth and Chris Broussard in particular need to never rap again. I'm not even sure I want them listening to it. We don't need them getting any more ideas like this.
3. Remember the schmoney dance? People were glad to see that go after catching these golfers doing it on television. It was pretty much lame to do after this aired.
4. Carter thinks dabbing, what Cam Newton caused a stir doing during the Panthers-Titans game, is called "bapping." It's ok to say you don't know, Cris. This just reeks of someone's dad trying to keep up with the times.
5. Russell Wilson doing the whip and nae nae on the Kids' Choice Awards. I get that it was for the children, but maybe Riley Curry would've been a better candidate to do it. In all fairness, Wilson's dance could've been a lot worse.