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All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army West Point Black Knights, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, syndicated, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, Sun Belt, News
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-10-most-explosive-running-quarterbacks-2016
Body:

Having a dual-threat quarterback who makes the defense respect his arm and legs is arguably a must for effective offenses in today’s college football. These quarterbacks have the unique ability to turn ordinary plays into pay dirt and six points for the offense. They come in different shapes and sizes, but there are a few qualities each big-play signal-caller seems to possess - speed, acceleration and great playmaking ability. This spreadsheet below shows runs that went over 20 and 30 yards, average per carry and a total sum of the statistics. There is no perfect system to define the elite dual-threat quarterbacks, but this arbitrary metric should efficiently sort out the best of the best. Without further ado, here are the most dynamic running quarterbacks in college football.

 

CFB's 10 Most Explosive Running QBs for 2016

Name

20+

30+

Avg

Total

Greg Ward Jr. (UH)

16

9

5.8

30.8

Lamar Jordan (UNM)

13

4

5.3

22.3

Lamar Jackson (UL)

11

6

5.2

22.2

Deshaun Watson (CLEM)

10

6

5.4

21.4

Kevin Ellison (GSU)

9

5

6.4

20.4

Matt Davis (SMU)

11

5

4.1

20.1

Tyler Jones (TSU)

9

5

4.2

18.2

Quinton Flowers (USF)

10

3

5.0

18.0

Kenny Potter (SJSU)

9

5

3.5

17.5

Joshua Dobbs (UT)

10

2

4.6

16.6

Greg Ward Jr., 5’11, 185 lbs., Houston

Became the first Houston quarterback to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season.

 

Lamar Jordan, 5’10, 190 lbs., New Mexico

Has 1,419 career rushing yards and had a 5.11 average per carry versus Power 5 opponents in 2015.

 

Lamar Jackson, 6’3, 196 lbs., Louisville

Holds the school record for rushing yards by a quarterback in a season and already owns the career record with 960 yards.

 

Deshaun Watson, 6’2, 210 lbs., Clemson

Broke the ACC total offense mark of 4,600 yards set by Philip Rivers of NC State in 2003.

 

Kevin Ellison, 6’0, 183 lbs., Georgia Southern

The triple-option threat has 2,690 career rushing yards and 28 touchdowns thus far in his storied Eagle career.

 

Matt Davis, 6’0, 212 lbs., SMU

Had four 100-yard rushing performances and owns the two highest rushing totals by a quarterback in SMU history.

 

Tyler Jones, 6’2, 205 lbs., Texas State

Was second in the Sun Belt for rushing yards by a quarterback and rushed for 160 yards versus Southern Miss.

 

Quinton Flowers, 6’0, 210 lbs., South Florida

Posted 3,287 yards of total offense and set a USF season record for total touchdowns accounted for with 34.

 

Kenny Potter, 6’2, 208 lbs., San José State

Became the first San José State quarterback in 11 years to rush for six touchdowns in a season.

 

Joshua Dobbs, 6’3, 207 lbs., Tennessee

Rushed for at least one touchdown in 13 of his last 19 starts with two or more in six of those games.

Teaser:
College Football's 10 Most Explosive Running Quarterbacks for 2016
Post date: Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: AAC, ACC, College Football, Pac-12, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/college-football-podcast-jeremy-foley-beer-and-gaming
Body:

Braden Gall and David Fox break down a slow news week in college football.

 

- Jeremy Foley is stepping down as Florida's Athletic Director. How impressive was his run and was he the first of a new type of AD.

 

- Ohio State will sell beer at games this year, bringing the total to more than 30 FBS schools selling alcohol at sporting events. What is the downside? Are there any negatives to selling booze at games?

 

- Why can't Baylor get out of his it's own way? Is the Board of Regents going to vote Art Briles back in place? What is the real solution for the Bears? (Hint: TELL THE TRUTH!)

 

- The guys break down the Athlon Sports preseason All-American and All-Conference teams.

 

- Finally, are eSports the future of college athletics? The Pac-12 Network seems to think gaming is the wave of the future.

 

Check out the .

 

You can order your preseason .

 

 

Send any ideas, questions or comments to  @AthlonMitch or @DavidFox615 or email . The podcast can be found on  and our .

Teaser:
College Football Podcast: Jeremy Foley, Beer and... Gaming?
Post date: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 15:47
All taxonomy terms: syndicated, NBA
Path: /overtime/someone-bought-cryingjordancom-and-redirected-it-cavaliers-website
Body:

The crying Jordan meme has been used frequently for the past year. However, this instance has taken it to a whole other level.

 

Fans buying website domains to troll is not new. In 2012, someone bought Nets.com to redirect Nets fans to the New York Knicks official website. In 2015, another person bought TheWashingtonRedskins.com to redirect Redskins fans to the New York Giants official website. 

 

Instead of seeing the usual memes you would expect on a website named , the URL redirects you to the Cleveland Cavaliers official website. 

 

Whatever the reason and whoever it is, this troll is pretty funny. A Crying Jordan never fails to disappoint. 

 

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 15:43
All taxonomy terms: Funny, syndicated, Video, videos, NFL
Path: /nfl/colts-mean-tweets-read-indianapolis-ty-hilton-pat-mcafee-defense-adam
Body:

Reading mean tweets about yourself can be difficult, but funny.

 

The Indianapolis Colts took it upon themselves to take a gander at the things being said about them on social media, and it does not disappoint. Players learn that twitter users think they're old, ugly, and can't play defense. Ouch.

 

 

Please never tweet about Pat McAfee again.

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 14:08
Path: /college-football/ranking-toughest-games-arkansas-college-football-schedule-2016
Body:

If is to ever make a run at a West title, 2016 would be the year to do it. The Razorbacks have a lot going for them heading into the season with nine starters back on defense, a very favorable schedule, and their side of the SEC figures to be down this year. The trouble for the Hogs is the unknown on offense.

 

Related:

 

Arkansas pulled together an 8-5 season in 2015 after stumbling hard out of the blocks at 1-3. The Hogs buckled down through the heart of their SEC schedule, ending the year on a high note with a 45-23 trouncing of Kansas State in the Liberty Bowl.

 

On offense, quarterback Brandon Allen is gone replaced by younger brother Austin, as is leading rusher Alex Collins with Kody Walker, Rawleigh Williams and incoming freshman Devwah Whaley in a battle to fill his big shoes. Another key piece of last year’s offense that has departed is Mackey Award-winning tight end Hunter Henry. The one good thing for second-year offensive coordinator Dan Enos is the cupboard is not bare at tight end or wide receiver. So if Allen can come in and get the ball to his weapons, the Razorbacks should be able to move the ball and score some points.

 

The defense was a Jekyll and Hyde affair with one part being stout (run defense finished 12th in the nation) with the other being anything but (pass defense finished No. 117). Former Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads has been brought on to help mold the secondary into shape. If Arkansas is to have a season to remember, the pass defense must improve and quickly. The good news for defensive coordinator Robb Smith is that plenty of experience returns in those nine starters.

 

Here is a look at Arkansas 12 regular season games ranked from easiest to most difficult.

 

12. Oct. 1 vs. Alcorn State

The Braves may get a distracted Arkansas team in early October. Arkansas has lost back-to-back games to Texas A&M in overtime, so one can expect another nail-biting finish leading into this game, and the Hogs get Alabama the following week. The Braves were 9-4 in 2015 but were quickly shown the door against their lone FBS opponent, Georgia Tech, losing 69-6 in their season opener.

 

11. Sept. 17 vs. Texas State

The Bobcats suffered through a 3-9 (2-6 Sun Belt) showing in 2015 and have just four starters back on offense and four back on defense. Texas State could be a much-needed game to get the ship back on course if all does not go well in Fort Worth against the Horned Frogs the week prior.

 

10. Sept. 3 vs. Louisiana Tech

The Bulldogs were 9-4 a year ago, but lost quarterback Jeff Driskel and running back Kenneth Dixon to the NFL. Louisiana Tech likes to use four wide receivers, making this season opener a good barometer for Arkansas’ beleaguered pass defense in preparation for the likes of TCU, Texas A&M and Auburn. The Bulldogs only have two key starters returning on defense, so the Hogs should be able to make some noise on offense too.

 

9. Nov. 25 at Missouri

First-year head coach Barry Odom will have his hands full in 2016 trying to revive Missouri’s offense. The line returns just one starter to protect sophomore quarterback Drew Lock, who needs to take a step or two forward this season. The running game should get a boost from true freshmen Nate Strong and Damrea Crockett but can the line get a push up front?

 

Missouri’s defense was very good a year ago, finishing sixth overall in FBS. The Tigers’ front line is stout and led by Charles Harris, Josh Augusta and Walter Brady. If Missouri can produce some offense, expect the Tigers to hang closer than the 28-3 beating they took in Fayetteville last season.

 

8. Sept. 10 at TCU

Athlon Sports has the Horned Frogs , which on paper may seem a bit odd. TCU may put up a pile of points on its Big 12 competition because that is what the Horned Frogs have been able to do lately, but the offense returns just one starter as the potent passing combination of Trevone Boykin to Josh Doctson is no longer around. Quarterback Kenny Hill beat the Hogs when he was with Texas A&M in 2014, but he may not get the starting spot if Foster Sawyer has anything to say about the matter.

 

TCU should be solid on defense with eight starters back, but that unit was fairly average in 2015 against the run, something Arkansas will look to exploit if possible.

 

7. Oct. 22 at Auburn

The Tigers limped to a 7-6 mark in 2015 but still almost beat Arkansas in Fayetteville before losing 54-46 in overtime. Former running back Peyton Barber ran over Arkansas’ defense for 120 yards on 37 carries with four scores. Sean White, who is in a battle with Jeremy Johnson for the starting spot under center, was good enough to keep the chains moving, hitting 19 of 32 passes for 254 yards.

 

Auburn welcomes Arkansas at the right time, after consecutive games against Alabama and Ole Miss. The Hogs have a bye the following week before Florida and may be eyeing a week off to rest and heal before four more SEC games to end the regular season.

 

6. Nov. 19 at Mississippi State

How good can Mississippi State be with quarterback Dak Prescott now in the NFL? Each year Mississippi State is essentially picked last in the SEC West, and each year the Bulldogs rise above expectations. Nick Fitzgerald appears to be the heir apparent in the pocket. Like Prescott he can run, which has caused trouble for Arkansas defenses in the past.

 

On defense, the Bulldogs are moving from a 4-3 to a 3-4 alignment, which could work in Arkansas’ favor. The Hogs had trouble moving MSU’s defensive front a year ago. MSU has five key starters back on defense and five on offense. Everything teeters on quarterback play for the Bulldogs. 

 

5. Sept. 24 vs. Texas A&M (Arlington, Texas)

No matter the records or amount of returning starters either Arkansas or Texas A&M has on their rosters when they square off, the game is sure to be exciting. The Aggies went 8-5 in 2015 but lost both starting quarterbacks to transfer. Former Oklahoma starting quarterback Trevor Knight has been given the nod to start the season in the pocket for A&M. How will he hold up against a SEC schedule?

 

The Aggies will be tough on defense again and will have arguably one of the best wide receivers corps in the nation. Just another tough game for the Hogs.

 

4. Nov. 5 vs. Florida

Arkansas rotates off Tennessee from the East for Florida, which may be a blessing. The Gators lost a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, especially on defense to the NFL. For the sixth year in a row, Florida will have a new starting quarterback. The Gators return three along their offensive line and have running backs Jordan Scarlett and Jordan Cronkrite back after solid freshmen seasons.

 

The defense may be salty again but will miss cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III, safety Keanu Neal and lineman Jonathan Bullard.

 

Florida could be struggling by the time Arkansas welcomes the defending SEC East champions to Fayetteville. The Gators’ schedule is difficult with road games to Tennessee and Vanderbilt, home games against LSU and Missouri, a neutral site game against Georgia, then to Arkansas before going back to the Swamp to greet South Carolina.

 

3. Oct. 15 vs. Ole Miss

Arkansas escaped Ole Miss 53-52 in overtime in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium thanks to the “Henry heave” to running back Alex Collins on a 4th-and-20 play for a game-saving first down. The Rebels will be very young on offense but have senior quarterback Chad Kelly and his conference-leading 4,042 yards and 31 touchdown passes back.

 

Brandon Allen exploited Ole Miss’ defense for 442 yards and six scores without a pick. It is tough to assume Austin Allen will be able to do the same. With three starting defensive backs returning, the Rebels’ pass defense should improve. Coming right after the showdown against Alabama makes this a really difficult game for Arkansas.

 

2. Oct. 8 vs. Alabama

Between Bobby Petrino, John L. Smith and Bret Bielema, the Hogs are closing in on a decade of losing to Alabama. The last time the Hogs bested the Crimson Tide was a 24-23 win in 2006. If Arkansas could pick a year to beat Alabama, this would be it.

 

Alabama has six starters back on offense and will be replacing three up front, its quarterback and running back. The Crimson Tide’s secondary is very solid but the front seven might be tested in 2016.

 

Arkansas has its cupcake game against Alcorn State the week before Alabama comes to town. The Hogs could be 5-0 looking for legitimacy at this point or 3-2 looking to turn things around against the best college football program in the nation. Maybe Bama will be looking ahead to another critical conference road game (at Tennessee the following week)?

 

1.  Nov. 12 vs. LSU

Tough to pick anything against Alabama not being the No. 1 game, but LSU could be the team to beat in 2016. Brandon Harris’ play at quarterback will be under the microscope but with seven other starters back on offense, including Heisman Trophy contender Leonard Fournette, and 10 back on defense, the Tigers look like one of the nation’s best this season.

 

LSU heads to Arkansas after what could be tough back-to-back games against Ole Miss and Alabama. The Hogs have beaten LSU the last two seasons with both games coming after the Tigers fell to Alabama.  That part of the schedule is in place again this fall so If Alabama wears down LSU again, Arkansas could pull out its third win in a row over the Bayou Bengals.

 

— Written by Ryan Wright, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and an established media professional with more than two decades' worth of experience. Over the years, Wright has written for numerous sites and publications and he recently started his own recruiting site, . Follow him on Twitter .

Teaser:
Ranking the Toughest Games on Arkansas’ College Football Schedule in 2016
Post date: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 11:00
Path: /college-football/big-ten-football-2016-all-conference-team
Body:

Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Iowa are projected to be the Big Ten’s top four teams this season, so it should be no surprise these programs dominate the Athlon Sports projected All-Big Ten team for 2016. Michigan leads the way with 13 overall selections, while Iowa and Michigan State rank a close second with 12 picks. Ohio State returns only six starters, but the Buckeyes have a strong showing on Athlon’s projected all-conference team with 10 selections. 

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the  last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

Related: 

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

Big Ten Team Previews for 2016

East Division
 

National

Rank:

55 66 5 13 3 39 87
West Division
 

National

Rank:

74 19 60 31 45 95 33

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 Big Ten Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 14 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

 

Athlon's 2016 All-Big Ten Team

 

First-Team

Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

J.T. Barrett

Ohio State 

C.J. Beathard

Iowa 

Tommy Armstrong

Nebraska 

Wes Lunt

Illinois 

RB

Saquon Barkley

Penn State 

Corey Clement

Wisconsin 

Devine Redding

Indiana 

LeShun Daniels

Iowa 

RB

Justin Jackson

Northwestern 

LJ Scott

Michigan State 

Mike Weber

Ohio State 

Shannon Brooks

Minnesota 

AP

Jordan Westerkamp (WR)

Nebraska 

Curtis Samuel 

Ohio State 

Ke'Shawn Vaughn

Illinois 

Markell Jones

Purdue 

WR

Jehu Chesson

Michigan 

Simmie Cobbs

Indiana 

R.J. Shelton

Michigan State 

Malik Turner

Illinois 

WR

Chris Godwin

Penn State 

Amara Darboh

Michigan 

Matt VandeBerg

Iowa 

D.J. Moore

Maryland 

TE

Jake Butt

Michigan 

Josiah Price

Michigan State 

Brandon Lingen

Minnesota  

George Kittle

Iowa 

C

Pat Elflein

Ohio State 

Michael Deiter

Wisconsin 

Dylan Utter

Nebraska  

Michael Dunn

Maryland 

OL

Brian Allen

Michigan State 

Cole Croston

Iowa 

Christian DiLauro

Illinois 

Jordan Roos

Purdue 

OL

Mason Cole

Michigan 

Nick Gates

Nebraska 

Kodi Kieler

Michigan State 

Blake Hance

Northwestern 

OL

Sean Welsh

Iowa 

Erik Magnuson

Michigan 

Andrew Nelson

Penn State 

Dimitric Camiel

Indiana 

OL

Dan Feeney

Indiana 

Billy Price

Ohio State 

Jonah Pirsig

Minnesota 

Kyle Kalis

Michigan 

 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team

Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team

Defense

DL

Malik McDowell

Michigan State 

Taco Charlton

Michigan 

Darius Hamilton

Rutgers 

Freedom Akinmoladun

Nebraska 

DL

Tyquan Lewis

Ohio State 

Jaleel Johnson

Iowa 

Demetrius Cooper

Michigan State 

Parker Hesse

Iowa 

DL

Sam Hubbard

Ohio State 

Garrett Sickels

Penn State 

Tyler Lancaster

Northwestern 

Bryan Mone

Michigan 

DL

Chris Wormley

Michigan 

Dawuane Smoot

Illinois 

Jake Replogle

Purdue 

Olive Sagapolu

Wisconsin 

LB

Raekwon McMillan

Ohio State 

Vince Biegel

Wisconsin 

Hardy Nickerson

Illinois 

Brandon Bell

Penn State 

LB

Jabrill Peppers

Michigan 

Riley Bullough

Michigan State 

Jason Cabinda

Penn State 

Jack Lynn

Minnesota 

LB

Anthony Walker

Northwestern 

Josey Jewell

Iowa 

T.J. Edwards

Wisconsin 

Marcus Oliver

Indiana 

CB

Desmond King

Iowa 

Gareon Conley

Ohio State 

Matthew Harris

Northwestern 

Vayante Copeland

Michigan State 

CB

Jourdan Lewis

Michigan 

William Likely

Maryland 

Sojourn Shelton

Wisconsin 

Grant Haley

Penn State 

S

Nate Gerry

Nebraska 

Marcus Allen

Penn State 

Jonathan Crawford

Indiana 

Demetrious Cox

Michigan State 

S

Montae Nicholson

Michigan State 

Godwin Igwebuike

Northwestern 

Damarius Travis

Minnesota 

Taylor Barton

Illinois 

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Griffin Oakes

Indiana 

Drew Brown

Nebraska 

Ryan Santoso

Minnesota 

Rafael Gaglianone

Wisconsin 

P

Cameron Johnston

Ohio State 

Sam Foltz

Nebraska 

Jake Hartbarger

Michigan State 

Joe Schopper

Purdue 

KR

Janarion Grant

Rutgers 

Solomon Vault

Northwestern 

Desmond King

Iowa 

Jourdan Lewis

Michigan 

PR

William Likely

Maryland 

Desmond King

Iowa 

De'Mornay Pierson-El

Nebraska 

Jabrill Peppers

Michigan 

 

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 All-Big Ten Team
  First Second Third Fourth

Illinois

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 0 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Indiana

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Iowa

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Maryland

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense:  1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Michigan

Offense: 3

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 2

Michigan State

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Minnesota

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Nebraska

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Northwestern

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Ohio State

Offense: 2

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Penn State

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Purdue

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Rutgers

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Wisconsin

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Teaser:
Big Ten Football 2016 All-Conference Team
Post date: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 10:30
All taxonomy terms: syndicated, Olympics
Path: /olympics/oscar-pistorius-walks-without-prosthetic-legs-court-avoid-jail
Body:

Oscar Pistorius' defense team is doing all they can to avoid jail time. 

 

The 29-year-old Paralympian gold medalist is currently facing at least a 15-year jail term for the 2013 murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius claims he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder as he fired four shots, killing her. His defense team hopes that showing the athlete's vulnerability without his legs will lessen his term or even eliminate it completely.

 

"The accused was vulnerable because of his disability," Barry Roux, Pistorius' lawyer said. 

 

Roux went on to say he should serve a non-custodial sentence that includes community service.

 

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 10:24
Path: /college-football/mac-football-2016-all-conference-team
Body:

The balance of power in the MAC clearly resides in the West Division this season, as 38 of the selections on Athlon’s projected all-conference team for 2016 come from the league’s top three teams – Northern Illinois, Toledo and Western Michigan. The Rockets lead the MAC with 15 selections, while the Huskies check in at No. 2 with 12. Bowling Green takes the top spot among East Division programs with 10 selections on Athlon’s All-MAC team.  

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the MAC last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

Related: 

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

MAC 2016 Team Previews

East Division
 

National

Rank:

98 97 113 118 112 91
West Division
 

National

Rank:

116 88 124 80 79 69

 

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 National College Football Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 128 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

 

Athlon's 2016 All-MAC Team

 

First-Team

Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

Zach Terrell

WMU 

Cooper Rush

CMU 

Drew Hare

NIU 

Thomas Woodson

Akron 

RB

Kareem Hunt

Toledo 

Jamauri Bogan

WMU 

Warren Ball

Akron 

Darian Green

Ball State 

RB

Joel Bouagnon

NIU 

Terry Swanson

Toledo 

A.J. Ouellette

Ohio 

Fred Coppet

BGSU 

AP

Jerome Lane (WR)

Akron 

Jordan Johnson (RB)

Buffalo 

Shaq Vann (RB)

EMU  

Alfonso Smith (RB)

Miami 

WR

Corey Davis

WMU 

Jesse Kroll

CMU 

Marcus McGill

Buffalo 

JoJo Natson

Akron 

WR

Kenny Golladay

NIU 

Sebastian Smith

Ohio 

KeVonn Mabon

Ball State 

Jordan Reid

Ohio 

WR

Ronnie Moore

BGSU 

Cody Thompson

Toledo 

Rokeem Williams

Miami 

Corey Willis

CMU 

C

Tim McAuliffe

BGSU 

John Keenoy

WMU 

James O'Hagan

Buffalo 

Mitch Palmer

Miami 

OL

Jacob Bennett

BGSU 

Mike Ebert

Toledo 

Josh Ruka

NIU 

Reno Reda

Kent State 

OL

Taylor Moton

WMU 

Zach Hovey

Miami 

Troy Watson

Ohio 

Ryan Hunter

BGSU 

OL

Levon Myers

NIU 

Drake Miller

Ball State 

Logan Dietz

BGSU 

Paul Perschon

Toledo 

OL

Storm Norton

Toledo 

Darien Terrell

EMU 

Max Scharping

NIU 

Chukwuma Okorafor

WMU 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team
Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team

Defense

DL

J.T. Jones

Miami 

Ikeem Allen

Miami 

Luke Maclean

EMU 

Brandon Crawford

Buffalo 

DL

Jamal Marcus

Akron 

Treyvon Hester

Toledo 

Terrance Bush

BGSU 

Earl Moore

Toledo 

DL

Josh Posley

Ball State 

Pat O'Connor

EMU 

Tarell Basham

Ohio 

Kurt Laseak

Ohio 

DL

Terence Waugh

Kent State 

Se'Von Pittman

Akron 

Keion Adams

WMU 

Joe Ostman

CMU 

LB

Quentin Poling

Ohio 

Brandon Berry

Buffalo 

Sean Folliard

NIU 

Jeremi Powell

Toledo 

LB

Austin Valdez

BGSU 

Blair Brown
Ohio 

Paul Moses

Miami 

Elcee Refuge

Kent State 

LB

Sean Wiggins

Ball State 

Jaylen Coleman

Toledo 

Trenton Greene

BGSU 

Caleb Bailey

WMU 

CB

Shawun Lurry

NIU 

Darius Phillips

WMU 

Heath Harding

Miami 

DeAndre Scott

Akron 

CB

Demetrius Monday

Kent State 

Boise Ross

Buffalo 

Najee Murray

Kent State 

Amari Coleman

CMU 

S

Asantay Brown

WMU 

Tony Annese

CMU 

Ryan Williamson

Buffalo 

Martez Hester

Ball State 

S

Nate Holley

Kent State 

DeJuan Rogers

Toledo 

Brandon Mayes

NIU 

Zach Guiser

Akron 

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Christian Hagan

NIU 

Jameson Vest

Toledo 

Brian Eavey

CMU 

Morgan Hagee

Ball State 

P

Joe Davidson

BGSU 

Austin Barnes

EMU 

Kyle Schmidt

Ball State 

Nick Ellis

Toledo 

KR

Aregeros Turner

NIU 

KeVonn Mabon

Ball State 

Darius Phillips

WMU 

Diontae Johnson

Toledo 

PR

Corey Jones

Toledo 

JoJo Natson

Akron

Corey Lacanaria

Ball State 

Shawun Lurry

NIU 

 

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 All-MAC Team
  First Second Third Fourth

Akron

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Ball State

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Bowling Green

Offense: 3

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 1 

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Buffalo

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Central Michigan

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Eastern Michigan

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Kent State

Offense: 0

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Miami

Offense: 0 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Northern Illinois

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Ohio

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Toledo

Offense: 2 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 3

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 2

Western Michigan

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Teaser:
MAC Football 2016 All-Conference Team
Post date: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/ranking-toughest-games-west-virginias-college-football-schedule-2016
Body:

The 2016 season looks to potentially be a breakout campaign for Dana Holgorsen and the . With the majority of the offense returning, including quarterback Skyler Howard, expect the Mountaineers to put plenty of points on the board.

 

Related:

 

The loss of Big 12 rushing champion Wendell Smallwood will be noticeable but not detrimental. Rushel Shell returns for his senior season and the addition of junior college national offensive players of the year Justin Crawford presents a one-two punch that will keep defenses guessing.

 

There are questions on the defensive side of the ball though. Replacing Karl Joseph, KJ Dillon, Jared Barber and Daryl Worley will be a tall task. The secondary will be young and will see growing pains against the spread offenses of the Big 12.

 

The Big 12 should not be as daunting as it was last season for the Mountaineers though and an improvement upon their 8-5 record from last season is expected. With that said, let’s rank the Mountaineers’ schedule this coming season from easiest to most difficult.

 

12. Nov. 5 vs. Kansas

You never want to consider a conference game the easiest of the season, especially when there is a team from the Missouri Valley Conference on the schedule. Unfortunately for Kansas there isn’t much to get excited about. This game should look much like last season’s 49-0 Mountaineer victory. The only difference this year is that the game is in Morgantown.

 

11. Sept. 10 vs. Youngstown State

The Mountaineers will be coming off the season opener against Missouri and will therefore already have faced a legitimate Power Five school. FCS member Youngstown State, under former Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini, will try to establish a run game against the Mountaineers that should not get them very far.

 

10. Nov. 26 at Iowa State

The Mountaineers easily handled the Cyclones last season at home, winning 30-6. Under new head coach Matt Campbell it is a new beginning in Ames. However, with a lack of depth at the receiver position the Cyclones will struggle to get anything going offensively. And with the Mountaineers’ running attack the Cyclones will struggle to stay in this game.

 

9. Oct. 1 vs. Kansas State

Yes the Mountaineers have failed to defeat the Wildcats since joining the Big 12 but that victory has to come sooner or later correct? Many of the playmakers that helped Kansas State come from behind last season are gone. A rebuilt offensive line and uncertainty at the skill positions should play in the Mountaineers’ favor this season, especially at home.

 

8. Sept. 3 vs. Missouri

The Tigers are a truly unknown this season. Under new head coach Barry Odom Missouri is looking to rebuild in multiple areas. The quarterback position is still a question mark and their best playmakers are both coming back from injury. If the Mountaineers are at full strength they should be able to cover the spread, which currently stands at 13 points.

 

7. Oct. 15 at Texas Tech

This matchup can go either way every year. The Mountaineers have beaten the Red Raiders by a combined eight points the last two seasons. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes may be on the cusp of a breakout season for Kliff Kingsbury’s team. That fact paired with the Mountaineers’ perceived inexperience in the defensive secondary could make this another close game. West Virginia should be able to tally a victory in Lubbock but don’t expect either team to win by double digits.

 

6. Nov. 12 at Texas

You simply never know what you are going to get with this matchup. The Longhorns and Mountaineers have split the last two seasons both winning at home. With the Mountaineers traveling to Austin will the trend continue? The Longhorns are looking to implement a spread offense this season under new coordinator Sterling Gilbert. But with the Longhorns’ best option to run that offense being a true freshman it may be a tall task to defeat WVU defensive coordinator Tony Gibson and his scheme.

 

5. Sept. 24 vs. BYU (Landover, Md.)

With a new coaching staff at BYU there are numerous unknowns going into the 2016 season. The Cougars do return running back Jamaal Williams, who needs fewer than 1,000 yards to become the program’s all-time leading rusher. This one could be a toss-up simply because we do not know what BYU will bring to FedEx Field in September.

 

4. Dec. 3 vs. Baylor

Who knows what we will see from Baylor this season? With the departure of head coach Art Briles there are more questions than answers surrounding this team. Interim head coach Jim Grobe has a proven track record but plays a different style of football than Briles. At the end of the day this is still Baylor and there is no shortage of talent in the program.

 

3. Oct. 22 vs. TCU

Most believe the Horned Frogs may be down this season with the departure of quarterback Trevone Boykin. However, Texas A&M transfer Kenny Hill is now eligible to take the reins. While there are several key roles that must be filled on both sides of the ball for TCU, there is no shortage of talent waiting to step in. Co-offensive coordinators Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie should have the Frogs humming by October.

 

2. Oct. 29 at Oklahoma State

The Cowboys return a veteran offensive line and starting quarterback in Mason Rudolph. The Mountaineers will see mostly same the team they did last season in Morgantown when they lost 33-26. The Cowboys look to be one of the best teams in the Big 12 this season and this fall the Mountaineers have to travel to Stillwater to face them.

 

1. Nov. 19 vs. Oklahoma

For the first time since 2012 the Mountaineers play the Sooners later in the season. The Sooners will have to replace some key players on defense; however this is still a Bob Stoops-coached team that has a Heisman Trophy contender in quarterback Baker Mayfield running the offense. The Sooners will travel to Morgantown for this season’s matchup but until the Mountaineers rise to the challenge against one of the Big 12’s powerhouses this will continue to be the toughest game on their schedule.

 

— Written by Jeremy Simon, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and editor-in-chief of , a must visit for any and all West Virginia Mountaineer fans. Follow BlueGoldSports.com on Twitter .

Teaser:
Ranking the Toughest Games on West Virginia's College Football Schedule in 2016
Post date: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 09:30
All taxonomy terms: College Football, syndicated, News, Magazines
Path: /college-football/comparing-all-2016-preseason-college-football-rankings-and-picks
Body:

For Athlon Sports, the offseason is one of our favorite times of the year.

Of course, we enjoy the season as much as any crazed college football fan, but the bread-and-butter for Athlon since 1967 has been helping readers prepare for the season, helping them get to know the teams and players they need to watch.

This is the time of year we get to share our preseason annuals, our national edition and regional previews for five conferences. Countless hours of study and work from dozens of individuals went into the 2016 editions, and we still have room for debate on the outlook for every team.

Of course, Athlon isn’t the only publication out there. And just like anyone we like to compare how everyone evaluates the season ahead. Here’s how the top 25 and conference champions shook out in the various publications.

 

We’ll continue to update the grid as more rankings are released through the offseason. (Note: Athlon, Lindy's, Sporting News and ESPN went to press before coach Art Briles was fired at Baylor.)

 

Athlon's college football preview magazines are available on newsstands now and in .

 

2016 Preseason College Football Rankings
 
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.
2016 Conference/Division Champion Picks
*projected conference championship game winner
 
ACC Atlantic * * *
ACC Coastal
AAC East
AAC West * * *
Big 12
Big Ten East * * *
Big Ten West
C-USA East *
C-USA West *
MAC East
MAC West * * *
MW Mountain * *
MW West *
Pac-12 North * *
Pac-12 South *
SEC East
SEC West * * *
Sun Belt

 

Teaser:
Comparing All 2016 Preseason College Football Rankings and Picks
Post date: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: Funny, syndicated, Video, NBA, Overtime
Path: /overtime/colbert-stephen-steph-curry-shoe-under-armour
Body:

After a whole week of hate, the jokes about Steph Curry's new Under Armour Curry 2 Low are not done yet. Since the release, the all-white shoe has been called the new "dad" shoes or "nurse" shoes. Pete Carroll has even , which has for a long time been viewed as the "dad" shoe. 

 

Curry responded to the criticism by drawing "Straight Fire" on his sneaker during practice. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephen Colbert had some more jokes for the shoe.

 

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 16:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, syndicated, NASCAR
Path: /nascar/dale-earnhardt-jr-michigan-race-car-88-wolverines-jim-harbaugh
Body:

Dale Earnhardt will always be welcome in Ann Arbor after this.

 

The NASCAR driver unveiled his Wolverine-themed car ahead of the Pure Michigan 400 in August. The No. 88 car will sport the Michigan colors and hope for a win when the time comes. Maybe Jim Harbaugh will ride shotgun.

 

 

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 15:56
All taxonomy terms: syndicated, NFL
Path: /nfl/kids-talking-fathers-day-drew-brees-antonio-brown-ryan-kalil-saints-steelers
Body:

NFL dads are always great. All they want is for their kids to love them, and maybe even root for their team.

 

For Father's Day, Courtyard Hotels put together a video of NFL stars watching their children talk about them and all that they do. Drew Brees can't seem to get his kids to convert to Who Dat Nation, Antonio Brown's son is the spitting image of him, and Ryan Kalil's daughter seems to think he's the one catching the ball on Sundays. Kids really are the best people ever.

 

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 13:27
All taxonomy terms: Overtime
Path: /overtime/steph-curry-wife-ayesha-curry-ref-twitter-kyrie-cavaliers-warriors
Body:

With Steph Curry playing in the NBA Finals, it seems like other members of the Curry family have been receiving more attention. After Steph's sister, Sydel, got , Ayesha has found herself stirring up some trouble as well.

 

After the Golden State Warriors loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5, Ayesha tweeted out her frustration like many other fans:

 

 

Many Cavalier fans fired back quick:

 

 

The most noteworthy tweet came later with a photoshopped picture of Kyrie Irving with Steph's family:

 

 

 

Many Cavs fans haven't forgotten about Sydel yet and asked the original poster of the picture whether he had been blocked yet. Hopefully Curry's family and shoes can stay out of the news as the Warriors and Cavaliers head into Game 6 in Cleveland.

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 12:34
All taxonomy terms: College Football, LSU Tigers, syndicated, SEC
Path: /college-football/lsu-beware-jacksonville-state-no-ordinary-fcs-team
Body:

fans, heed the warning — Jacksonville State is no ordinary Football Championship Series (FCS) program. The “other” Gamecocks are the real deal.

 

Related:

 

Head coach John Grass is entering his third year with the Gamecocks and show no signs of slowing down in 2016. After romping through Alabama high school competition as the head coach at Oxford High School (41-16), Grass has put up back-to-back double-win seasons at his alma mater, notching a 10-2 mark in 2014 and a 13-2 record last season. The Gamecocks have not posted that needed win over their bigger FBS brethren to be taken seriously at the next level, but scared the life out of Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn, Tiger fans, and the collective SEC fan base by nearly taking down the SEC giant in Jordan-Hare Stadium in Week 2 of the 2015 season before falling 27-20 in overtime.

 

Some talent will be missing from JSU’s electric offense that averaged 38.9 points per game a year ago, namely running back Troymaine Pope. Pope rushed for 1,788 yards with 19 scores but has used up his eligibility. Gamecock fans can rest easy with the news that former Auburn tailback Roc Thomas is coming.

 

The 5-foot-10, 203 pound junior squared away his financial aid agreement on Monday giving Grass another weapon in his arsenal. Thomas was a big recruit for Auburn out of high school after rushing for 2,211 yards and 32 touchdowns during his senior year, but was slowed to 475 yards and three touchdowns along with 17 receptions for 227 yards in two seasons with the Tigers.

 

JSU also has some help up front coming in from former East Carolina lineman Darius Anderson. Senior quarterback Eli Jenkins, an All-American, also has a new weapon on the outside in former LSU receiver Kevin Spears. Jenkins completed 60.7 percent of his passes during his junior season for 2,788 yards with 21 scores. His top target, Josh Barge returns. Barge had 92 receptions for 1,145 yards with 11 touchdowns. Combine Jenkins' talent and experience with Thomas and Spears joining Barge as his main weapons and Jacksonville State should once again be dangerous on offense.

 

The Gamecocks were tough on defense last season as well, allowing 19.9 points per game. The secondary will be strengthened in 2016 by yet another SEC transfer, former South Carolina cornerback Al Harris Jr.

 

JSU has more talent on the roster than four former FBS players; a heads up on senior center Casey Dunn and defensive ends Darius Jackson and LaMichael Fanning. The influx of the new talent paired with what's already on roster should make for another Ohio Valley Conference title and give Jacksonville State a fighting chance to put an end to North Dakota State's domination (five straight national titles) in the FCS playoffs. It also could put the Gamecocks in position to put a big scare into one of college football big boys — .

 

LSU is entering a pivotal season under head coach Les Miles. The Tigers are ranked No. 8 in the  with a roster loaded full of talent and a potential Heisman Trophy winner in running back Leonard Fournette. On Sept. 10 the Gamecocks could make a big statement in front of a national TV audience should it pull off the upset in Death Valley.

 

Only these Gamecocks don't hail from the SEC. Get ready LSU — Jacksonville State is coming to play!

 

— Written by Ryan Wright, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and an established media professional with more than two decades' worth of experience. Over the years, Wright has written for numerous sites and publications and he recently started his own recruiting site, . Follow him on Twitter .

Teaser:
LSU Beware, Jacksonville State is No Ordinary FCS Team
Post date: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 11:00
Path: /college-football/sec-football-2016-all-conference-team
Body:

The SEC – college football’s best conference – is never short on talent and features some of the nation’s best players once again in 2016. The balance of power in the SEC is tilted to the West this fall, with 63 of the 108 selections on Athlon’s projected all-conference team coming from this division. Alabama leads the way with 14 overall selections, followed by LSU with 12, with Tennessee, Georgia and Florida tied with 11. The Volunteers, Bulldogs and Gators account for 33 of the East Division’s 45 selections on Athlon’s 2016 All-SEC team. 

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the SEC last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

Related: 

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

SEC 2016 Team Previews
East Division
 

National

Rank:

20 16 56 62 63 7 57
West Division
 

National

Rank: 

1 26 35 9 41 10 28

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 SEC Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 14 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

Athlon's 2016 All-SEC Team
  First-Team
Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

Chad Kelly

Ole Miss 

Joshua Dobbs

Tennessee 

Brandon Harris

LSU 

Jacob Eason

Georgia 

RB

Leonard Fournette

LSU 

Nick Chubb

Georgia 

Ralph Webb

Vanderbilt 

Jovon Robinson

Auburn 

RB

Jalen Hurd 

Tennessee 

Sony Michel

Georgia 

Bo Scarbrough

Alabama 

Keith Ford

Texas A&M 

AP

Boom Williams

Kentucky 

Alvin Kamara 

Tennessee 

Speedy Noil

Texas A&M 

Terry Godwin (WR)

Georgia 

WR

Christian Kirk

Texas A&M 

Fred Ross

Miss. State 

Josh Reynolds

Texas A&M 

Malachi Dupre

LSU 

WR

Calvin Ridley

Alabama 

Damore'ea Stringfellow

Ole Miss 

Drew Morgan

Arkansas 

Antonio Callaway

Florida 

TE

Evan Engram

Ole Miss 

O.J. Howard

Alabama 

Jeremy Sprinkle

Arkansas 

Jeb Blazevich

Georgia 

C

Ethan Pocic

LSU 

Jon Toth

Kentucky 

Brandon Kublanow

Georgia 

Jamaal Clayborn

Miss. State 

OL

Alex Kozan

Auburn 

Will Clapp

LSU 

Javon Patterson

Ole Miss 

David Sharpe

Florida 

OL

Cam Robinson

Alabama 

Avery Gennesy

Texas A&M 

Andrew Jelks

Vanderbilt 

Maea Teuhema

LSU 

OL

Dan Skipper

Arkansas 

Braden Smith

Auburn 

Austin Golson

Auburn 

Martez Ivey

Florida 

OL

Jashon Robertson

Tennessee 

Greg Pyke

Georgia 

Ross Pierschbacher

Alabama 

Dylan Wiesman

Tennessee 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team
Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team
Defense
DL

Myles Garrett

Texas A&M 

Charles Harris

Missouri 

Trent Thompson

Georgia 

Da'Shawn Hand

Alabama 

DL

Jonathan Allen

Alabama 

Deatrich Wise

Arkansas 

Davon Godchaux

LSU 

A.J. Jefferson

Miss. State 

DL

Derek Barnett

Tennessee 

Carl Lawson

Auburn 

Lewis Neal

LSU 

Caleb Brantley

Florida 

DL

Arden Key

LSU 

Marquis Haynes

Ole Miss 

Cece Jefferson

Florida 

Montravius Adams

Auburn 

LB

Zach Cunningham

Vanderbilt 

Kendell Beckwith

LSU 

Richie Brown

Miss. State 

Oren Burks

Vanderbilt 

LB

Reuben Foster

Alabama 

Jarrad Davis

Florida 

Brooks Ellis

Arkansas 

Michael Scherer

Missouri 

LB

Jalen 

Reeves-Maybin

Tennessee 

Tim Williams

Alabama 

Ryan Anderson

Alabama 

Lorenzo Carter

Georgia 

CB

Jalen Tabor

Florida 

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Alabama 

Torren McGaster

Vanderbilt 

Aarion Penton

Missouri 

CB

Tre'Davious White

LSU 

Cam Sutton

Tennessee 

Carlton Davis

Auburn 

Chris Westry

Kentucky 

S

Jamal Adams

LSU 

Tony Conner

Ole Miss 

Armani Watts

Texas A&M 

Johnathan Ford

Auburn 

S

Eddie Jackson

Alabama 

Marcus Maye

Florida 

Dominick Sanders

Georgia 

Brandon Bryant

Miss. State 

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Daniel Carlson

Auburn 

Adam Griffith

Alabama 

Gary Wunderlich

Ole Miss 

Eddy Pineiro

Florida 

P

JK Scott

Alabama 

Johnny Townsend

Florida 

Trevor Daniel

Tennessee 

Sean Kelly

South Carolina 

KR

Evan Berry 

Tennessee 

Speedy Noil

Texas A&M 

Brandon Holloway

Miss. State 

Johnathan Ford

Auburn 

PR

Cameron Sutton

Tennessee 

Antonio Callaway

Florida 

Christian Kirk

Texas A&M 

Isaiah McKenzie

Georgia 

 

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 All-SEC Team
  First Second Third Fourth

Alabama

Offense: 2

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1 

Defense: 2 

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Arkansas

Offense: 1 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Auburn

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Florida

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Georgia

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Kentucky

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

LSU

Offense: 2

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Missouri

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Miss. State

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Ole Miss

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

South Carolina

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Tennessee

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Texas A&M

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Vanderbilt

Offense: 0

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

 

 

Teaser:
SEC Football 2016 All-Conference Team
Post date: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/sun-belt-football-2016-all-conference-team
Body:

Arkansas State, Georgia Southern and Appalachian State were the top three teams in the Sun Belt last season and open 2016 at the top of predictions for this conference. Considering the strong returning core of talent for the Red Wolves, Mountaineers and Eagles, it should be no surprise these three teams dominate the Athlon Sports 2016 All-Sun Belt team. The Red Wolves lead the way with 19 overall selections, with the Mountaineers checking in second with 16 picks. Georgia Southern and Georgia State are tied for third with 12 selections, with South Alabama (10) and Idaho (10) up next.  

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the Sun Belt last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

Related: 

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

2016 Sun Belt Team Previews
             
 

National

Rank:

58 78 81 110 119 107
   

National

Rank:

126 120 115 122 102  

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 National College Football Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 128 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

Athlon's 2016 All-Sun Belt Team 

 

First-Team

Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

Taylor Lamb

App. State 

Kevin Ellison

Ga. Southern 

Brandon Silvers

Troy 

Matt Linehan

Idaho 

RB

Matt Breida

Ga. Southern 

Elijah McGuire

ULL 

L.A. Ramsby

Ga. Southern 

Jalin Moore

App. State 

RB

Larry Rose

NMSU 

Xavier Johnson

South Alabama 

Johnston White

Ark. State 

Jordan Chunn

Troy 

AP

Marcus Cox (RB)

App. State 

Callen Hightower

Idaho 

Cameron 

Echols-Luper

Ark. State 

Warren Wand (RB)

Ark. State 

WR

Robert Davis

Georgia State 

Ajalen Holley

ULM 

Tyrian Taylor

NMSU 

Josh Magee

South Alabama 

WR

Penny Hart

Georgia State 

Dijon Paschal

Ark. State 

Shaedon Meadors

App. State 

Marcus Green

ULM  

TE

Gerald Everett

South Alabama 

Buck Cowan

Idaho 

Keith Rucker

Georgia State 

Deon Watson

Idaho 

C

Andy Kwon

Ga. Southern 

Devin Mondie

Ark. State 

Steven Matlock

Idaho 

Eddie Gordon

ULL 

OL

Jemar Clark

Ark. State 

Colby Gossett

App. State 

Jeremiah Culbreth

Ga. Southern 

Frank Sutton

ULM 

OL

Parker Collins

App. State 

Ryan Melton

Texas State 

Alex Stoehr

Georgia State 

Gabe Mobley

Georgia State 

OL

Antonio Garcia

Troy 

Beau Nunn

App. State 

Joseph Bacchus

Ark. State 

Curtis Williams

South Alabama 

OL

Colton Jackson

Ark. State 

Jordan Rose

Idaho 

Anthony McMeans

NMSU 

Tommy Boynton

Ga. Southern 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team

Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team

Defense

DL

Rashad Dillard

Troy 

Tre Alford

South Alabama 

Waylon Roberson

Ark. State 

Mario Osborne

ULL 

DL

Jay Ellison

Ga. Southern 

Bernard Dawson

Ga. Southern 

Jamal Stadom

Troy 

Mackendy Cheridor

Georgia State 

DL

Dee Liner

Ark. State 

Shawayne Lawrence

Georgia State 

Jamal Johnson

Ga. Southern 

Tyson Fernandez

App. State 

DL

Ja'Von

Rolland-Jones

Ark. State 

Nate Norwood

App. State 

Dallas McClarty

Texas State 

Jimmie Gipson III

South Alabama 

LB

Eric Boggs

App. State 

Ironhead Gallon

Ga. Southern 

Rodney Butler

NMSU 

Ukeme Eligwe

Ga. Southern 

LB

John Law

App. State 

Alonzo McGee

Georgia State 

Roman Buchanan

South Alabama 

Devan Stringer

App. State 

LB

Xavier

Woodson-Luster

Ark. State 

Otha Peters

ULL 

Kaden Elliss

Idaho 

Khari Lain

Ark. State 

CB

Latrell Gibbs*

App. State 

Chandon Sullivan

Georgia State 

Jayshawn Jordan

Idaho 

Lenzy Pipkins

ULM 

CB

Jeremy Reaves

South Alabama 

Blaise Taylor

Ark. State 

Jerome Smith

Georgia State 

Kamryn Melton

Troy 

S

Cody Brown

Ark. State 

Bobby Baker

Georgia State 

Alex Gray

App. State  

Tre Hunter

ULM 

S

Kalen Jackson

South Alabama 

Savion Brown

ULL 

Tracy Walker

ULL 

Chris Humes

Ark. State 

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Austin Rehkow

Idaho 

Aleem Sunanon

South Alabama 

J.D. Houston

Ark. State 

Younghoe Koo

Ga. Southern 

P

Austin Rehkow

Idaho 

Bentlee Critcher 

App. State 

Lumi Kaba

Texas State 

Steven Coutts

ULL 

KR

Blaise Taylor

Ark. State 

Marquan Greene

Georgia State 

Marcus Green

ULM 

Gabe Fuselier

ULL 

PR

Blaise Taylor

Ark. State 

Brandon McDowell

Texas State 

Gary Haynes

ULL 

Latrell Gibbs

App. State 

 

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 All-Sun Belt Team
  First Second Third Fourth

Appalachian State

Offense: 3

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Arkansas State

Offense: 2

Defense: 4

Sp. Teams: 2 

Offense: 2

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Georgia State

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 4

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Georgia Southern

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Idaho

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 3

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

UL Lafayette

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 2

ULM

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

New Mexico State

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

South Alabama

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Texas State

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Troy

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0 

 

* Gibbs was later ruled academically ineligible for the 2016 season in early July.

 

 

Teaser:
Sun Belt Football 2016 All-Conference Team
Post date: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/ranking-toughest-games-stanfords-college-football-schedule-2016
Body:

Defending  champion returns a Heisman Trophy runner-up in Christian McCaffrey, talented playmakers on defense and a stout offensive line. With David Shaw manning the sidelines, the Cardinal have pieces to defend their crown.

 

Related:

 

In order to do so, however, they must navigate one of the .

 

Stanford plays an incredible 11 games against Power Five conference competition, and most of its toughest games are away from home. The Cardinal also must replace a four-year starter at quarterback in Kevin Hogan, and defensive stars like Blake Martinez and Aziz Shittu.

 

12. Nov. 26 vs. Rice

Stanford's regular season caps with a non-conference date against Rice, the sole Group of Five opponent on the Cardinal's 2016 docket.

 

Rice head coach David Bailiff has flourished unlike any Owls leader of the last half-century, and done so with the same kind of high-level academic recruits that make up Stanford. Despite unprecedented success, however, the Owls simply lack the playmakers to keep pace with the Cardinal.

 

11. Nov. 5 vs. Oregon State

Shaw-coached teams have a knack for finding their stride in the final month. Rebuilding Oregon State should be overmatched whenever these teams face, but especially so late in the season when the Cardinal begin their championship push in earnest.

 

10. Oct. 22 vs. Colorado 

Colorado's progress under head coach Mike MacIntyre became evident when, in 2015, the Buffs played much of the Pac-12 to close finals. Stanford was an exception.

 

The Cardinal rolled last year in Boulder, as has been customary when these teams meet. Stanford simply presents a considerable mismatch against Colorado's style of play.

 

9. Oct. 29 at Arizona 

Stanford and Arizona have played only twice since Rich Rodriguez became the Wildcats' head coach in 2012, both times on The Farm, and both Cardinal wins. The first encounter, in 2012, went to overtime. Last season, Stanford smashed Arizona by 38 points -- and the final outcome could have been uglier.

 

The Wildcats should be improved from a season ago, in part because they couldn't possibly be as injured. Quarterback Anu Solomon missed last year's game with a concussion. A healthier Arizona roster and the always-raucous Zona Zoo could spring a trap for Stanford, but the Wildcats don't match up particularly well on paper.

 

8. Sept. 2 vs. Kansas State

Consider this unusual, non-conference meeting the appetizer before the buffet that is Week 1's loaded slate. 

 

Kansas State's Friday night visit to Stanford kicks off a treacherous schedule for the Cardinal appropriately enough, as the Wildcats would crack the upper-half of most game rankings. Bill Snyder's teams are always well coached and disciplined, qualities that mirror Stanford under Shaw.

 

7. Nov. 19 at Cal 

Stanford's one-sided dominance of The Big Game stands as microcosm of the program's respective places in the Pac-12 landscape. As much as the Cardinal have dominated the Bay, en route to winning conference championships, the Golden Bears' improvement became evident in last year's deceptively close battle.

 

Cal faces some uncertainties entering the year without Jared Goff at quarterback. Sonny Dykes and his staff should have some of those remedied by this point in the season. With the Ax on the line, the stakes are high.

 

6. Oct. 8 vs. Washington State

Last season's Halloween night showdown in Pullman went down to the wire -- specifically, the tight wire McCaffrey walked to set up a critical Cardinal score in the fourth quarter. Washington State had Stanford on the ropes in a game that would have launched the Cougars into first place in the Pac-12 North.

 

Washington State visits The Farm this time around boasting what is arguably an even better lineup. The Cougars have the make-up of a Top 25 team, if not a conference title contender.

 

5. Sept. 17 vs. USC 

Beginning with the animus between former head coaches Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll, the Stanford-USC rivalry has grown into one of the more intense and exciting in the Pac-12.

 

Stanford won four straight from 2009-12, dropped back-to-back in 2013 and '14, but rebounded last year with a pair of wins: one at the Coliseum, and the other in the Pac-12 Championship Game. This early-season encounter of last year's divisional winners should provide a telling barometer of the conference's outlook for the 2016 season to follow.

 

4. Sept. 24 at UCLA

Stanford has dominated the series in Jim Mora's tenure as UCLA head coach. Last year's blowout win on The Farm improved Shaw's record against the Bruins to 6-0; 5-0 head-to-head against Mora.

 

This year, UCLA benefits from home-field advantage, as well as a new look offensively. The Bruins' implementation of a more traditional scheme mirrors Stanford in several key facets, which makes this year's in-state showdown especially intriguing.

 

The Cardinal will still be adjusting without Hogan under center, and still finding their star pass rushers. Both quarterback play and pressure on the quarterback have been key in Stanford's recent success against UCLA.

 

3. Sept. 30 at Washington 

The en vogue preseason pick to shake up the Pac-12 power structure hosts THE Pac-12 power structure. Seattle's been inhospitable to Stanford teams in recent years, with the Cardinal mustering just 33 combined points in their last two visits there.

 

Washington's loaded defense in head coach Chris Petersen's third season promises more of the same. Expect a low-scoring slug-fest from which the winner will arise bruised, battered -- and in the early lead for the Pac-12 North championship.

 

2. Oct. 15 at Notre Dame

The meetings in this cross-country rival series since Brian Kelly became head coach at Notre Dame have largely been instant classics. Last year's was no exception, as a last-second Cardinal field goal thwarted the Fighting Irish's hope of landing in the College Football Playoff. Consider that Notre Dame's receipt for denying Stanford a shot at the BCS championship in 2012.

 

In three of the four seasons starting with the epic, overtime encounter of 2012, at least one of these two teams went on to play in either a BCS or New Year's Six bowl game. The trend should continue in 2016.

 

1. Nov. 12 at Oregon 

Given the stakes this budding rivalry has had tied to it every year since 2009, it's only fitting the annual showdown with Oregon tops the preseason ranking of Stanford's grueling '16 schedule.

 

The Ducks own a two-game winning streak in the series, capitalizing on costly Stanford fumbles last November to ostensibly keep the Cardinal out of the College Football Playoff. With that in mind, Shaw has every reason to circle this date on the Cardinal calendar in red ink.

 

— Written by Kyle Kensing, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a sportswriter in Southern California. Kensing is publisher of . Follow him on Twitter

Teaser:
Ranking the Toughest Games on Stanford's College Football Schedule in 2016
Post date: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 09:30
All taxonomy terms: College Football, syndicated
Path: /college-football/projected-fcs-playoff-qualifiers-2016
Body:

The more, the merrier.

 

The expansion of the FCS playoffs to 24 teams in 2013 has allowed most conferences to put multiple teams into the field.

 

Last year, eight conferences had at least two qualifiers, led by the Missouri Valley with five, CAA Football with four and the Big Sky with three.

 

This year, the power conferences are primed to flex their muscle a bit more, with the.

 

Related:

 

With apologies to playoff staples New Hampshire, Eastern Kentucky and, recently, Fordham, here’s a sneak preview at the 2016 playoff field (in alphabetical order):

 

Charleston Southern (Big South champ)

Return to conference power Liberty on Nov. 12; won there in 2014

 

Chattanooga (Southern champ)

Only tough non-conference game is final one: Nov. 19 at Alabama

 

Colgate (Patriot champ)

Toughest league games on the road: Lehigh (Oct. 8) and Fordham (Nov. 5)

 

Dayton (Pioneer champ)

Difficult road schedule includes Duquesne, San Diego and Jacksonville

 

Duquesne (Northeast champ)

Last time we saw QB Dillon Buechel, he was throwing six touchdowns in FCS playoff game

 

Eastern Washington (Big Sky champ)

High expectations and talent, but replacing entire starting offensive line a recipe for disaster

 

Illinois State (at-large bid)

First regular-season game against North Dakota State since 2013 takes place in Fargodome on Oct. 1

 

Jacksonville State (Ohio Valley champ)

Beefed-up non-conference schedule will pay off in conference play

 

James Madison (at-large bid)

Easiest road game is at Maine, and that isn’t

 

McNeese State (at-large bid)

Will likely have to win at Sam Houston State (Nov. 5) to repeat as Southland champ

 

Montana (at-large bid)

Open Big Sky play at Cal Poly (Sept. 24), which has won the last two meetings

 

North Dakota (at-large bid)

Fighting Hawks are probably still talking about being left out of last year’s playoff field

 

North Dakota State (Missouri Valley champ)

Bison have skipped the non-conference cupcakes to try to tackle Charleston Southern, Eastern Washington and Iowa (in Iowa City).

 

Northern Iowa (at-large bid)

Panthers not far behind NDSU in toughness of non-conference start: at Iowa State, Montana and at Eastern Washington

 

Portland State (at-large bid)

Not as strong as last season, Vikings probably need to beat an FBS opponent again (they face San Jose State and Washington)

 

Richmond (CAA champ)

Difficult November finish awaits: James Madison, Delaware and at William & Mary

 

Sam Houston State (Southland champ)

All that remains is winning a national title, right?

 

South Dakota State (at-large bid)

Jackrabbits face TCU, North Dakota State, Illinois State and Northern Iowa on the road

 

The Citadel (at-large bid)

This year, Bulldogs host the other reigning SoCon champ, Chattanooga, on Oct. 15 and also will travel to Chapel Hill to take on reigning ACC Coastal champ North Carolina

 

Towson (at-large bid)

Just like North Dakota, CAA squad was one of the last teams left out of the 2015 playoff field

 

Villanova (at-large bid)

Head coach Andy Talley’s swan song surely deserves to wrap up in the playoffs

 

Western Illinois (at-large bid)

A 6-5 record got Leathernecks in playoffs last season; new coach Charlie Fisher expects even better mark

 

William & Mary (at-large bid)

Tribe have excellent offense and special teams, need quick rebuild on defense

 

Youngstown State (at-large bid)

Last year’s five Missouri Valley playoff qualifiers on this list; will Penguins make it a record six bids?

 

— Written by Craig Haley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Haley has covered the FCS level since 1999 and is the national writer for . He appears frequently on radio shows and podcasts to discuss everything FCS. Follow him on Twitter .

 

(Top photo by William & Mary Athletics)

Teaser:
Projected FCS Playoff Qualifiers for 2016
Post date: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: syndicated, NFL
Path: /nfl/stephen-smith-oj-simpson-trial-win-espn-first-take-skip-bayless-made-america-30-for-30
Body:

There isn't a day that goes by that Stephen A. Smith doesn't say something questionable.

 

The "First Take" host, along with Skip Bayless, discussed ESPN's newest 30 For 30, "O.J.: Made in America" and gave us one of the best Smith lines of all-time.

 

"I believe the evidence was clear," Smith said. "Might be the cockiest thing I have ever said ... if it were me, there's no way in hell Johnnie Cochran would have beaten me with that evidence they had. I'm telling you right now — I'm not even a lawyer. There is no way that you would have put 12 jurors in front of me with that evidence and I would have lost."

 

Smith went on to say Simpson was "guilty as hell" and that the prosecution team did "an absolutely horrendous job." There you have it, Smith could be your next attorney and if the evidence is clear, he might even win it for you.

 

 

Who needs a big, fancy lawyer when you could just hire Smith for your next trial? 

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, June 13, 2016 - 16:01
All taxonomy terms: syndicated, Overtime
Path: /overtime/espn-president-john-skipper-says-bill-simmons-lack-respect-hbo-ringer
Body:

Bill Simmons and ESPN are like that couple that broke up but are always talking about each other.

 

In a article, ESPN President John Skipper reveals the real reason Simmons was let go. And no, it has nothing do with the Roger Goodell-bashing he did.

 

"Bill would rather spin conspiracy theories and be perceived as a martyr than take responsibility for his own actions," Skipper said. "Let me be unequivocal and clear and take responsibility for my actions: I alone made the decision, and it had nothing to do with his comments about the commissioner. I severed our relationship with Bill because of his repeated lack of respect for this company and, more importantly, the people who work here."

 

Skipper doesn't seem to regret his decision and Simmons claims he couldn't be happier with The Ringer, so it seems good for everyone involved. 

 

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, June 13, 2016 - 13:18
Path: /college-football/acc-football-2016-all-conference-team
Body:

The ACC featured four teams – Clemson, Florida State, Louisville and North Carolina – in Athlon's projected top 25 for 2016, and those four teams are home to a good chunk of the league’s talent this fall. The Tigers lead the way with 14 overall selections on Athlon’s 2016 All-ACC team, while North Carolina and Louisville are tied for second with 12. Projected ACC champion Florida State is slightly behind Clemson, North Carolina and Louisville with 10 overall selections. 

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the ACC last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

Related:

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

ACC 2016 Team Previews

Atlantic Division
 

National

Rank:

65 4 2 18 59 75 64
Coastal Division
 

National

Rank:

53 49 27 21 38 72 29

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 ACC Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 14 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

Athlon's All-ACC Team for 2016
 

First-Team

Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

Deshaun Watson

Clemson 

Brad Kaaya

Miami 

Lamar Jackson

Louisville 

Mitch Trubisky

North Carolina 

RB

Dalvin Cook

Florida State 

Elijah Hood

North Carolina 

Matt Dayes

NC State 

Joseph Yearby

Miami 

RB

Wayne Gallman

Clemson 

James Conner

Pitt 

Travon McMillian

Va. Tech 

Jon Hilliman

Boston College 

AP

Artavis Scott

Clemson 

Jaylen Samuels

NC State 

Taquan Mizzell (RB)

Virginia  

James Quick (WR)

Louisville 

WR

Isaiah Ford

Va. Tech 

Mack Hollins

North Carolina 

Stacy Coley

Miami 

Ryan Switzer

North Carolina 

WR

Mike Williams

Clemson 

Travis Rudolph

Florida State 

Jamari Staples

Louisville 

Steve Ishmael

Syracuse 

TE

Jordan Leggett

Clemson 

Bucky Hodges

Va. Tech 

Cam Serigne

Wake Forest 

Cole Hikutini

Louisville 

C

Jay Guillermo

Clemson 

Lucas Crowley

North Carolina 

Freddie Burden

Ga. Tech 

Jackson Matteo

Virginia 

OL

Roderick Johnson

Florida State 

Geron Christian

Louisville 

Kareem Are

Florida State 

Tony Adams

NC State 

OL

Mitch Hyatt

Clemson 

Jon Heck

North Carolina 

Casey Blaser

Duke 

Jonathan McLaughlin

Va. Tech 

OL

Dorian Johnson

Pitt 

Caleb Peterson

North Carolina 

Danny Isidora

Miami 

Jon Baker

Boston College 

OL

Adam Bisnowaty

Pitt 

Tyrone Crowder

Clemson 

Wyatt Teller

Va. Tech 

Gabe Brandner

Duke 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team

Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team

Defense

DL

Ejuan Price

Pitt 

Ken Ekanem

Va. Tech 

DeAngelo Brown

Louisville 

KeShun Freeman

Ga. Tech 

DL

DeMarcus Walker

Florida State 

Harold Landry

Boston College 

Bradley Chubb

NC State 

Nazair Jones

North Carolina 

DL

Carlos Watkins

Clemson 

Josh Sweat

Florida State 

Duke Ejiofor

Wake Forest 

A.J. Wolf

Duke 

DL

Al-Quadin
Muhammad

Miami 

Christian Wilkins

Clemson 

Derrick Nnadi

Florida State 

B.J. Hill

NC State 

LB

Ben Boulware

Clemson 

Micah Kiser

Virginia 

P.J. Davis

Ga. Tech 

Connor Strachan

Boston College 

LB

Devonte Fields

Louisville 

Marquel Lee

Wake Forest 

Matt Galambos

Pitt 

Zaire Franklin

Syracuse 

LB

Keith Kelsey

Louisville 

Matt Milano

Boston College 

Jermaine Grace

Miami 

Ro'Derrick Hoskins

Florida State 

CB

Marquez White

Florida State 

Des Lawrence

North Carolina 

Trumaine Washington

Louisville 

Brandon Facyson

Va. Tech 

CB

Cordrea Tankersley

Clemson 

M.J. Stewart

North Carolina 

Brad Watson

Wake Forest 

Corn Elder

Miami 

S

Derwin James

Florida State 

Quin Blanding

Virginia 

Chuck Clark

Va. Tech 

Donnie Miles

North Carolina 

S

Jordan Whitehead

Pitt 

J. Harvey-Clemons

Louisville 

DeVon Edwards (CB/S)

Duke 

Shaq Wiggins (CB)

Louisville  

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Greg Huegel

Clemson 

Michael Badgley

Miami 

Cole Murphy

Syracuse 

Chris Blewitt

Pitt 

P

Justin Vogel

Miami 

Nicholas Conte

Virginia 

Ryan Winslow

Pitt 

A.J. Cole

NC State 

KR

DeVon Edwards

Duke 

Artavis Scott

Clemson 

Michael Walker

Boston College 

Nyheim Hines

NC State 

PR

Ryan Switzer

North Carolina 

Brisly Estime

Syracuse 

Bra'Lon Cherry

NC State 

Jaire Alexander

Louisville 

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 All-ACC Team
  First Second Third Fourth
Boston College

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Clemson

Offense: 7

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Duke

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1 

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Florida State

Offense: 2

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Georgia Tech

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Louisville

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2 

Defense: 2 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Miami

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

North Carolina

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 5

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

NC State

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1 

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 2

Pitt

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Syracuse

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Virginia

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Virginia Tech

Offense: 1 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Wake Forest

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

 

 

Teaser:
ACC Football 2016 All-Conference Team
Post date: Monday, June 13, 2016 - 11:30
Path: /college-football/american-athletic-2016-all-conference-team
Body:

Houston, USF and Temple are considered the top three teams and favorites to win the American Athletic Conference in 2016, so it should be no surprise these programs dominate the projected all-conference team by Athlon Sports. The Cougars and the Bulls are tied with 14 selections on Athlon Sports’ 2016 American Athletic all-conference team, with the Owls checking in at No. 3 with 11 selections. UConn and Tulsa are just a step behind with 10 picks.

 

The 2016  season is still a few months away, but it’s never too early to project what could happen this year.

 

Athlon Sports released its  last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

Related:

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

American Athletic Conference 2016 Team Previews
East Division
 

National

Rank:

54 77 94 37 52 100
West Division
 

National

Rank:

15 83 67 101 117 84

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 National College Football Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 128 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

 

Athlon's American Athletic All-Conference Team for 2016
 

First-Team

Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

Greg Ward

Houston  

Quinton Flowers

USF 

Gunner Kiel

Cincinnati 

Dane Evans

Tulsa 

RB

Marlon Mack

USF 

Dontrel Hilliard

Tulane 

Dishan Romine

Navy 

Mike Boone

Cincinnati 

RB

Jahad Thomas

Temple 

Duke Catalon

Houston 

Doroland Dorceus

Memphis 

Taj McGowan

UCF 

AP

Arkeel Newsome

UConn 

Sam Craft

Memphis 

Trevon Brown

East Carolina 

D'Angelo Brewer (RB)

Tulsa 

WR

Zay Jones

East Carolina 

Rodney Adams

USF 

Ra'Shaad Samples

Houston 

Ventell Bryant

Temple 

WR

Keevan Lucas

Tulsa 

Chance Allen

Houston 

Jamir Tillman

Navy 

Noel Thomas

UConn 

WR

Courtland Sutton

SMU 

Tre'Quan Smith

UCF 

Josh Atkinson

Tulsa 

Avery Peterson

Cincinnati 

C

Deyshawn Bond

Cincinnati 

Will Noble

Houston 

Chandler Miller

Tulsa 

Drew Kyser

Memphis 

OL

Kofi Amichia

USF 

Blake Belcher

Tulsa 

Brian Carter

Temple 

Evan Brown

SMU 

OL

J.T. Boyd

East Carolina 

Trevon Tate

Memphis 

Na'Ty Rodgers

Houston 

Robert Lindsey

Navy 

OL

Dion Dawkins

Temple 

Chris Taylor

Tulane 

Gabe Kuhn

Memphis 

Tyler Hudanick

UCF 

OL

Ryan Leahy

Cincinnati 

Dominique Threatt

USF 

Andreas Knappe

UConn 

Leon Johnson

Temple 

  First-Team
Defense

Second-Team

Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team

Defense

DL

B.J. Singleton

Houston 

Luke Carrezola

UConn 

Amos Mason

Navy 

Ed Oliver

Houston 

DL

Tanzel Smart

Tulane 

Jamiyus Pittman

UCF 

Fred Presley

East Carolina 

Justin Lawler

SMU 

DL

Folorunso

Fatukasi

UConn 

Deadrin Senat

USF 

Bruce Hector

USF 

Jeremy Smith

Tulsa 

DL

Haason Reddick

Temple 

Praise-Martin

Oguike

Temple 

Cameron Malveaux

Houston 

Kevin Bronson

USF 

LB

Steven Taylor

Houston 

Matt Linscott

Tulsa 

Jarred Alwan

Temple 

Daniel Gonzales

Navy 

LB

Nico Marley

Tulane 

Eric Wilson

Cincinnati 

Chequan Burkett

UCF 

Tyus Bowser

Houston 

LB

Auggie Sanchez

USF 

Junior Joseph

UConn 

Trent Martin

Tulsa 

Jordan Williams

East Carolina 

CB

Jamar Summers

UConn 

Brandon Wilson

Houston 

Jhavon Williams

UConn 

Parry Nickerson

Tulane 

CB

Sean Chandler 

Temple 

Deatrick Nichols

USF 

Brendon Clements*

Navy 

DaShaun Amos

East Carolina 

S

Zach Edwards

Cincinnati 

Travon Simmons

East Carolina 

Devin Abraham
USF 

Delvon Randall

Temple  

S

Obi Melifonwu

UConn 

Nate Godwin

USF 

Jeremy Brady

Tulsa 

Daiquan Thomasson

Navy 

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Jake Elliott

Memphis 

Andrew Gantz

Cincinnati 

Austin Jones

Temple 

Bobby Puyol

UConn 

P Caleb Houston
UCF 

Worth Gregory

East Carolina 

Spencer Smith

Memphis 

Sam Geraci

Cincinnati 

KR

Brandon Wilson

Houston 

Rodney Adams

USF 

Dishan Romine

Navy 

Braedon West

SMU 

PR

Tajee Fulwood

USF 

Quay Johnson

East Carolina 

Roderick Proctor

Memphis 

Ra'Shaad Samples

Houston 

 

 

Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 American Athletic All-Conference Team
  First Second Third Fourth

Cincinnati

Offense: 2

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

UConn

Offense: 1

Defense: 3 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

East Carolina

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0 

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Houston

Offense: 1 

Defense: 2 

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 3 

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2 

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Memphis

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Navy

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

SMU

Offense: 1 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Temple

Offense: 2 

Defense: 2 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0 

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Tulane

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Tulsa

Offense: 1 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2 

Defense: 2 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

UCF

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

USF

Offense: 2 

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 3

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

 

* Clements was dismissed from the team in early July.

 

(Credit to /Stephen Pinchback for the top photo of QB Greg Ward)

Teaser:
American Athletic 2016 All-Conference Team
Post date: Monday, June 13, 2016 - 11:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Florida Gators, SEC
Path: /college-football/ranking-toughest-games-floridas-college-football-schedule-2016
Body:

Coming into Jim McElwain’s first season in Gainesville, not much was expected of the , especially after finishing a disappointing 7-5 record in 2014. But not only did McElwain and the Gators exceed expectations with 10 wins last season, they also played in their first SEC Championship Game since 2009.

 

Florida slumped in the second half of the season after starting 7-1. The campaign ended with three straight losses to Florida State, Alabama in the SEC title game and Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl.

 

College Football: Big 12 adds title game, Vegas odds and Jeffery Simmons



Subscribe: |

 

Just like last season, not many experts and preseason magazines are picking the Gators to win the SEC East. Florida won’t have to travel far this season, as nine of their 12 games will be played in the Sunshine State.

 

Related:

 

Let’s taking a look at the Gators’ 2016 schedule from the easiest to the most difficult matchup:

 

12. Nov. 19 vs. Presbyterian

Everyone knows Florida’s game against Presbyterian is pretty much a scrimmage in preparation for Florida State the following weekend in Tallahassee. In last year’s warm-up game against FAU, the Gators needed a touchdown pass in overtime to win 20-14.

 

Florida should make quick work of a Blue Hose team that went just 2-9 last season.

 

11. Sept. 17 vs. North Texas

The North Texas Mean Green will be the second non-conference opponent the Gators will face in 2016. Last season, the Mean Green won just one game (1-11), as head coach Dan McCarney was fired after five seasons in Denton.

 

Florida will use this game as a tune-up to its big matchup against Tennessee, who is the favorite to win the SEC East this season.

 

10. Sept. 3 vs. UMass

To open the 2016 season, the Gators will play a UMass program that has had trouble adjusting to the FBS. Last season, UMass finished with a 3-9 record and is still looking to qualify for its first bowl game since returning to the FBS in 2011.

 

This should be a great opportunity for the younger Gators to get some playing time and reps. Florida will begin its SEC schedule the next week against Kentucky.

 

9. Nov. 12 vs. South Carolina

South Carolina went 3-9 last season, as head coach Steve Spurrier retired midway through. Former Gators head coach Will Muschamp was hired as Spurrier’s replacement last December.

 

This is clearly a rebuilding job for Muschamp and the Gamecocks. South Carolina could have a true freshman starting at quarterback along with very little depth at receiver and on defense.

 

8. Oct. 15 vs. Missouri

After winning two straight SEC East titles, the Tigers went from 11 wins in 2014 to five last season. This season, the Tigers have a new head coach in Barry Odom and their fans are hoping the team can return to their winning ways.

 

Sophomore Drew Lock returns at quarterback and should produce better results now that he and his receivers have some experience under their belts. Missouri’s defense should be as strong as it has been the last three seasons.

 

7. Sept. 10 vs. Kentucky

After a fast start to the season, the Wildcats finished with a disappointing 5-7 record, extending a bowl game drought that goes back to the 2011 campaign. Kentucky has new co-offensive coordinators this season as Eddie Gran and Darin Hinshaw have made the move from Cincinnati to Lexington.

 

That should result in more of a high-powered Kentucky offense and an improved Wildcats team.

 

6. Oct. 1 at Vanderbilt

Despite finishing 4-8 last season, the Commodores have made noticeable progress under head coach Derek Mason. With 12 starters returning and a stout defense, Vanderbilt could find itself in a bowl game by season’s end.

 

Quarterback Kyle Shurmur’s play will need to improve, but getting back wide receiver C.J. Duncan and tight ends DeAndre Woods and Jared Pinkney should help him and the offense develop.

 

5. Oct. 29 vs. Georgia (Jacksonville, Fla.)

Florida had a lot of success against former Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt, but a new era is set to begin in Athens.

 

Former Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart was hired as head coach last December and he is hoping to develop Georgia into a consistent national title contender once again.

 

Georgia has a lot of talent returning this fall, but a spot in the College Football Playoff this year seems unlikely. It isn’t out of the realm of possibility that the Bulldogs could win the SEC East however.

 

4. Nov. 5 at Arkansas

The Razorbacks must replace several key pieces from last year’s 8-5 team, but they should still be a factor in the SEC West. Austin Allen is in line to replace his brother Brandon as Arkansas’ starting quarterback.

 

With nine starters returning on defense, the Razorbacks will be relying on that side of the ball to be successful in 2016. A trip to Fayetteville is never easy, so the Gators will have their hands full.

 

3. Oct. 8 vs. LSU

Florida lost a close game to LSU 35-28 a year ago in Baton Rouge. With the game in Gainesville this season, the Gators could be in position to break their three-game losing streak to the Tigers.

 

Florida will have to slow down preseason Heisman Trophy candidate Leonard Fournette. LSU also returns 17 other starters from a team that was ranked second in the nation at one point last season.

 

2. Nov. 26 at Florida State

Normally Florida State is No. 1 on this list every year, but there’s a bigger game this season. In any event, the Seminoles should be a contender for the national championship again in 2016 after having a bit of a rebuilding season a year ago.

 

Whoever is the Seminoles quarterback this fall, there will be a ton of talent around them. Florida State’s defense also should be better than the unit that allowed 17.5 points per game in 2015.

 

1. Sept. 24 at Tennessee

Yes, the Gators have defeated the Volunteers 11 straight times, but that streak could come to an end this season. Tennessee will field its best team since going 10-4 and winning the SEC East in 2007.

 

All four of Tennessee’s losses last season were by seven points or fewer. For the first time in years, big expectations are expected in Knoxville and the Volunteers could finally fulfill them.

 

— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, Pro Player Insiders and is a reporter for Sports Talk Florida. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.

Teaser:
Ranking the Toughest Games on Florida's College Football Schedule in 2016
Post date: Monday, June 13, 2016 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/most-important-player-every-big-ten-team-2016
Body:

Every team has that one guy who needs to show up every week and get his job done at the highest level in order for his team to have success. Sometimes that player is simply the most talented one on the team. Often it's the quarterback. Other times, the most important player is one who simply plays a key role in the game plan and scheme from week to week.

 

Whatever the case, these guys from each team need to show up and play at a high level — perhaps even more so than their teammates — in order for their teams to have success this season.

 

The Most Important Player on Every Big Ten Team in 2016

 

Dan Feeney, Guard, Indiana

The Hoosiers have evolved into a bit of an offensive juggernaut over the last couple of seasons. They rely on lighting up the scoreboard and getting into shootouts in order to stay in and win football games. That all starts with solid play on the offensive line, and none of their lineman are more talented than Feeney. He didn't allow a single sack in 2015 and proved to be one of the more dominant run blockers in the Big Ten. His presence raises the bar for his fellow linemen and makes Indiana a threat to consistently move the ball.

 

Will Likely, Cornerback, Maryland

Speaking of raising the bar, the undersized Maryland corner is one of the very few bright spots in College Park on football Saturdays. He gives the Terrapins an elite defensive back that opposing offenses must respect and often game plan around. He also has the ability to flip the field as a return man. His playmaking ability should provide a certain level of comfort and a boost of confidence for a team going through a coaching transition.

 

Jabrill Peppers, Linebacker, Michigan

Peppers is a natural defensive back whose athleticism is going to be used at the linebacker position in Michigan's new scheme. His versatility, which allows him to come off the corner and pressure the quarterback as well as lock down tight ends and running backs in pass coverage, will be the difference between the Wolverine defense being good and great. He must stay healthy, and that could be a tall order as he operates largely in an area of the field where the big bodies roam.

 

Brian Allen, Center, Michigan State

Allen will likely be the pivot man on the Spartan offensive line. His role is all the more important, as Michigan State works in a new full-time starting quarterback for the first time in more than three seasons. Additionally, some serious talent on the offensive line from 2015 departed for the NFL. It'll be up to Allen to provide the leadership and continuity necessary for this offense full of solid skill players to function at a high level.

 

J.T. Barrett, Quarterback, Ohio State

No team in college football has lost more raw talent since the end of last season than the Ohio State Buckeyes. Barrett returns to lead Urban Meyer's crew on a quest for another title. His experience and playmaking ability — especially early in the season — will be key to Ohio State surviving long enough for the new players to get comfortable as starters without suffering a couple of early losses. He'll need to be at his absolute best — particularly in the early matchup at Oklahoma — if the Buckeyes want to be in the College Football Playoff conversation past September.

 

Trace McSorely, Quarterback, Penn State

The Christian Hackenberg era has come to an end. McSorely now takes over an offense with some elite skill players that could end up stunning the East division. His ability to pick up the new, no-huddle scheme being installed by offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead could be the deciding factor as to whether or not the Nittany Lions are competing for a division title or just the chance to play in a bowl game.

 

Janarion Grant, Wide Receiver, Rutgers

New head coach Chris Ash will have his work cut out for him in Piscataway this season. He has made strides in recruiting, but inherited a fairly empty cupboard, especially in the way of playmakers. Grant is the lone star in that regard and will be counted on to be a consistent threat in the passing game. He's also one of the best returners in the country. His ability to flip the field could save Ash a lot of headaches in 2016.

 

Hardy Nickerson, Linebacker, Illinois

Lovie Smith will have the luxury of a seasoned quarterback in Wes Lunt to lean on during his first season at the helm in Champaign. Hardy Nickerson, whose father will serve as the team's defensive coordinator, will be that guy on defense. The graduate transfer already speaks the language of the scheme and will provide the senior leadership on and off the field necessary to keep this team focused during a transition period.

 

Greg Mabin, Cornerback, Iowa

The Hawkeyes have talent all over the field on defense — most notably in cornerback Desmond King. King might be the best defensive back in the country. Kirk Ferentz and all of Hawkeye Nation know what he brings to the table every week. Opposing offensive coordinators and quarterbacks are well aware of King's talents as well, making Mabin's mere presence and playmaking ability that much more important. King will have his third of the field locked down, meaning Mabin will be tested early and often. If he's not ready for the challenge, Iowa's defense becomes much easier to attack.

 

Shannon Brooks, Running Back, Minnesota

Minnesota's lack of home-run hitters has plagued them for a couple of years now. Brooks is the only skill player the Gophers have who can light up the scoreboard from anywhere on the field. He'll need to do just that early in the season in order to keep opposing defenses honest against an otherwise pedestrian offensive attack — especially through the air.

 

Tommy Armstrong, Quarterback, Nebraska

We saw what Armstrong and the Husker offense can do when they are firing on all cylinders last December when they ran over a talented UCLA team in the Foster Farms Bowl. The Huskers have some decent talent of their own on offense, but it will be Armstrong's decision-making ability that will determine just how effective the offense will be. If he can avoid some of the head-scratching turnover issues he had in 2015 and replicate his bowl game performance during the majority of the matchups on Nebraska's slate, it could be a special season in Lincoln.

 

Clayton Thorson, Quarterback, Northwestern

The Wildcats exceed the expectations of most experts and pundits in 2015, largely on the back of a dream season from their then-freshman quarterback. Thorson's mobility and wherewithal to know when to tuck it and run and when to throw it away were key factors in Northwestern winning 10 games. He'll have another stout defense as a security blanket as well as one of the nation's better running backs in Justin Jackson behind him in 2016. Thorson just needs to play to his ability and maintain control of the situation for Northwestern to replicate its success from a season ago.

 

Jordan Roos, Guard, Purdue

Everything I said about Dan Feeney could probably be said here about Roos' situation at Purdue. The difference is, the Boilermakers do not have the same explosive offense. They do, however, have running back Markell Jones. Jones will likely be the focal point of the Purdue attack. The Boilermakers will live and die by his ability to move the chains consistently, and that'll only happen with solid play from the team's best blocker.

 

Vince Biegel, Linebacker, Wisconsin

Offensively, Wisconsin will do what it does: pound the ball. On defense, the Badgers need Biegel to turn in another standout campaign as a pass rusher if they want to compete for a trip to the Big Ten Championship Game. The Big Ten West has a diverse collection of quarterbacks, ranging from mobile, dual-threat playmakers to traditional pocket passers. Biegel's ability to get after and disrupt all of them will be key to getting his clock-eating offense as many possessions as possible.

 

— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Scott is the owner of . Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.

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The Most Important Player on Every Big Ten Team in 2016
Post date: Monday, June 13, 2016 - 09:30

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